Donnie Walsh made a bit of a splash in his first trade deadline as Knicks GM. It's time for us to say goodbye and welcome in a half dozen different players. First, the farewells:
Malik Rose: Malik never really wanted to be here and, well, the feeling was mutual. Even so, Mr. Rose was always a professional, friendly dude and took whatever playing time he got seriously. Take care, Malik.
Tim Thomas: Tim was actually fairly productive in his rather brief second stint with the Knicks. Maybe he'll come back in a couple years, only to be traded to the Bulls again.
Anthony Roberson: Believe it or not, Anthony can shoot. I've seen him do it. Maybe he'll latch on somewhere and find his stroke. Maybe not.
Jerome James: I neglected my duties during the Scrubdown, but the time has come to properly acknowledge one of the more entertaining Knicks in recent years. Look for a farewell post within the next week.
Now, time to welcome in some new guys.
Larry Hughes: Larry Hughes makes people very, very upset. He's a lanky combo guard á la Jamal Crawford, only with less handles, less range and less of a conscience, if you can believe it. These qualities are so potent that they inspired one of the most brilliant websites of all time. He will likely upset us as well. That said, Larry brings a few things to the table.
1. He can play point guard a little, which should allow Chris Duhon some much-needed rest.
2. He once led the league in steals and can defend a little when duty calls.
3. He's been playing in slowed-down, confining systems in Cleveland and Chicago, and might find his rhythm a little better in a D'Antoni set.
Let's give Larry Hughes a clean slate. He's pretty talented and he's only here 'til 2010.
Chris Wilcox: I'm pretty excited about this one. I've been clamoring for any player resembling a center, and Wilcox fits the bill pretty ably. He's 6'10'' and 235, and can finish around the rim. I wouldn't be surprised if Chris is thrust into the starting lineup relatively soon to body up opposing centers. Now, we're not talking about any sort of intimidator- Wilcox averages less than half a block for his career- but it's undoubtedly an improvement over Lee and Jeffries facing the league's best big men.
Wilcox's offensive game is mostly in the shallow water, where we'll need him. When David Lee sits or draws defensive help, Wilcox can run the pick-and-roll proficiently with Duhon.
I've heard some concern about reduced minutes for Lee, but I'd expect Wilcox to draw more from Jared Jeffries' playing time. If anything, the new guy's presence should allow Lee to play his natural position (the four) and avoid foul trouble against premier big men.
Chris Wilcox is rough, but he's ready to contribute in areas of great need. Oh, and all we had to give up was Malik Rose to get him.
Some other notes:
- I would expect Wilcox (54) and Hughes (32) to wear their customary numbers, but you never know.
- Tim Thomas's absence probably means more minutes for Danilo Gallinari.
- The deals open up two roster spots, which could mean a quick raid of the D-League. Patrick Mini-Ewing, anybody?
- You've gotta feel for OKC fans. Imagine you've got a big, green box of Mike 'n' Ikes that you're ready to dig into, only you open it up and it's full of Good 'n' Plenty. That's what missing out on Tyson Chandler for Malik Rose must be like.
- Wil+Cock= Wilcox?
- Nate Robinson and David Lee are still Knicks, at least until July.
That's all I've got. I'm pretty satisfied with today's deals. This doesn't do much for the salary situation down the road, but it'll help the Knicks stay competitive now, and clears some deadweight for small signings and call-ups. I wonder if the new guys will be ready to suit up tomorrow against Toronto?