Knicks Make 2 Blockbuster Trades To Clear Cap Room

…And Definitively Enter The 2010 Lebron James Sweepstakes

Knicks Make 2 Blockbuster TradesIt was just a couple of weeks ago that Joe Dumars made a surprising blockbuster trade to position his Pistons’ Team for the immensely deep and talented 2010 NBA Free Agency Class (which you can read about here). GM Donnie Walsh knew his window of opportunity to do the same was dwindling. The Knicks were the talk of the NBA on Friday as news swirled around the league of Walsh pulling off not one, but two NBA Trades. What many though would take years, Walsh was able to find trading partners to accomplish just 11 days into the young NBA Season.

In two separate deals the Knicks moved their two top scorers (Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph), and cleared an additional $30 Million Dollars off their Salary Cap for that all important 2010 off-season. Crawford makes $10 Million in 2010, while Randolph and Mardy Collins would make a combined $20 Million. None of the players that New York acquired have salaries in 2010.

Al Harrington Traded to NY for Jamal CrawfordVery early into Friday morning, reports were coming in that Guard Jamal Crawford was heading to the Golden State Warriors for Forward Al Harrington. By mid-afternoon it was a done deal, but the Knicks hadn’t announced anything official yet. Why? Because Walsh was working the phones hard wrapping up another deal that would send their other top scorer, Forward-Center Zach Randolph, and Guard Mardy Collins to the Los Anglos Clippers for Guard Cuttino Mobley and Forward Tim Thomas (this would be Thomas’ second stint with the Knicks).

Walsh did the right thing by moving these two “bigger” contracts while he still could. Everyone knows Crawford is a streaky shooter, and reports in NY over the last couple of Weeks had Randolph aching a little in his back and knee (a guy who’s had two micro-fracture surgeries). The minute Randolph got even the slightest injury, his stock would’ve plummeted. NY has a tough schedule over the next couple of weeks (going back to the Dallas game last week). Had they continued to lose, and Randolph or Crawford were inconsistent, or had the Clippers or Warriors gone on winning streaks…I bet neither deal would’ve been feasible, or even still on the table then.

Cuttino Mobley Traded to NY for Zach RandolphFor over a Year now the Clippers were interested in Randolph, and most of the League knew it. The Warriors were desperate to unload Harrington for awhile now, and most of the League knew it. The Knicks were desperate to unload both Randolph and Crawford, but not because of talent, but because of their albatross contracts that would hinder their 2010 plans. The problem? Prior to the arrival of new Coach Mike D’Antoni and Walsh, their trade values were VERY low around the League. The most you could have gotten back were longer contracts from worse players. After thriving the first couple of weeks in the young NBA Season (20 PPG and 12 RPG for Randolph, 20 PPG and 4 APG for Crawford), Walsh jumped at the chance to lock-in the 2010 Cap Space he needed while acquiring players that could still help “in the now”. Selling high while he could, Walsh brilliantly washed away a lot of the Franchise’s past fiscal mistakes.

We as Knick fans are happy because the Team finally has direction again. The last time we had a plan (at the end of last Century), it worked out great for us. Opening up the doors for guys like Latrell Sprewell, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Larry Johnson, and Allan Houston to get signed or traded for. We went to the NBA Finals not long after.

Tim Thomas Traded to NY for Zach RandolphNot only does NY now have a legit (and not just hypothetical) shot at Lebron, but we have enough Cap Space to go after another Max Free Agent to pair alongside him (whether it be Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, or someone else) in 2010 or 2011…we also have enough money to add role players around them to fortify such a Team (such as Steve Nash, or a re-signed Chris Duhon, etc.). If they can pair David Lee with Eddy Curry, they can move him to a Team like the Bobcats or Spurs and clear even more Cap Room.

This is by no means a guarantee that any of that would happen…but, you know what’s the best part? It’s no longer hypothetical, the Knicks actually have that Cap Room. The Knicks are no longer doing patch jobs to get a few more wins now, while debilitating the future. These are no longer Scott Layden or Isiah Thomas’ Knicks. This is a Team that has new management that understands there are no quick fixes for this Team. There can be rebuilding in New York, and not just retooling. This Team, under this system will be fun to watch, while they prepare for something that has eluded Knick fans since the ill-fated Patrick Ewing trade: Cap Space.

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~ by drcorner on November 22, 2008.

4 Responses to “Knicks Make 2 Blockbuster Trades To Clear Cap Room”

  1. The best part is that it isn’t a hypothesis anymore. Donnie Walsh said what he was going to do, and he didn’t rush it, now we’re looking at a bright bright future.

  2. You got it Jeff, management exercised patience, even when they were receiving pressure from fans and the media for turning down deals in the Off-Season.

    Now, they’ve guaranteed cap space for themselves in 2010, and can get even more if they play their cards right again. It’s a good thing that they guaranteed that cap space because less and less Teams will be willing to trade for Cap Relief with anyone as 2010 draws nearer.

  3. Hi, I don’t know much about this “cap” subject, but thought I’d doff my cap to you and say Happy Thanksgiving. I do follow the Kansas Jayhawk basketball team very fervently, though. Rock Chalk Jayhawk! I love college basketball.

  4. Thanks Cat’ for the holiday wishes…I wish you the best as well. Check back tomorrow morning, I should be finish with my Thanksgiving Post by then. Happy Holidays!!!

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