The Knicks, like a number of other teams mired in trade and free agency negotiations, haven't been very well staffed for the first couple days of training camp. That should change today. All of the deals necessary to acquire Tyson Chandler are done, allowing the Knicks to move forward and sign the rest of the fellows waiting in the wings. There should be ten men at camp today, with Chandler plus the finally inked Iman Shumpert, Josh Harrellson, and Jared Jeffries able to suit up. (Shumpert, by the way, appears to have chosen number 21, as expected). So, they'll actually be able to run a decent scrimmage at practice today.
The Knicks, of course, aren't quite done. Mike Bibby has agreed to a one-year, veteran's minimum deal, but it doesn't seem like the contract has actually been signed yet. Jerome Jordan, meanwhile, probably touched down at JFK some time this morning. Again, those two have apparently agreed to sign, but haven't actually done so, at least as far as I can tell. (Update: Bibby is
signed dimed and practicing.)
And the fact that pen hasn't hit paper yet (well, Mike Bibby actually signs contracts by Scotch-taping a dime to the document) suggests that the front office is otherwise occupied. Indeed, there are three remaining targets. One is J.J. Barea, who the Knicks are trying to convince to sign that $2.5 million mini mid-level exception. Another is Shawne Williams, who has been very patient throughout this process, and is probably waiting to see if the Knicks can offer him more than the veteran's minimum. The third, and most interesting, is Jamal Crawford. Crawford's market value is definitely more than the Knicks can muster, so he'd need to be acquired via sign-and-trade. Said sign-and-trade is being discussed, and would almost definitely have to include Toney Douglas.
The notion of trading a Douglas-anchored package to the Hawks for Crawford is a tough one, as became readily evident in last night's thread. My instinct was to assume that Crawford would be an upgrade over Douglas (and I do think D'Antoni would try to start him at point guard). He's a crafty passer when called upon, and already has a bunch of experience playing with Chandler (not to mention D'Antoni and Woodson).
But, I mean...look at their 2010-2011 seasons. Douglas, who we already know is a significantly better defender than Crawford, also registered comparable shooting marks, superior rebounding numbers, and a better assist/turnover ratio. He's also six years younger and-- one would assume-- millions of dollars cheaper. Unless I'm missing something, Toney Douglas is just better than Jamal Crawford. So, while I can see the motivation, (Crawford, subjectively speaking, strikes me as a better passer, despite the numbers. He throws mean lobs and can run a fast break properly. The same can't be said of Douglas yet.) I don't think I'd support losing Douglas in a Crawford deal. If that deal could be done without ditching Toney, that's a different story. Perhaps the inclusion of a third team (which has been mentioned) could obviate the need to include Toney, but I really don't know. I'm interested to hear more of y'all's thoughts on a potential trade for Crawford.
Today promises to be yet another busy one. The Knicks actually have a useful number of bodies at camp, but they're not quite done shuffling. I'll update with any more rumors and newses that emerge.
Update: Berman now says that the Knicks will not include Toney Douglas in any trade for Jamal Crawford.
Update: Howard Beck says the Knicks are trying to convince Crawford to take the $2.5 million, two-year "room" exception. Same thing they're likely trying to do with Barea. If one of them agrees to sign for that little, well, that'd just be splendid. Unlikely, though.