Regardless of reactions to the latest round of trade rumors, I think we can all agree that what we want for the Knicks is to win with likable players that enhance our rooting experience. We've all seen the latest deal. If that's what it takes, we're going to lose favorites, guys who we have watched improve for a couple years now, and whose futures were, in our minds, intertwined with that of the Knicks. Those players are part of the identity of this team that's finally rewarded us with a glimpse of hope after a decade of despair, and it stings to lose them. For right now though, I have nothing else to say about the trade proposal, except for the new reports of James Dolan's direct involvement in the talks.
It's absurd and is absolutely the recipe that made us the laughingstock of the league throughout the decade. Why would a guy who probably doesn't know what a gallon of milk costs be able to negotiate the values of basketball players? Is he insecure enough (no matter what, the answer is yes) that this can this really be a pissing contest with the Russian in NJ? Is his butthole still sore from that billboard Prokhorov put up in front of MSG? And is he now he's compensating by spending basketball players as carelessly as he spends his inherited fortune? That inherited fortune, by the way, has fueled the arrogance required to overrule a couple of basketball lifers who doesn't like the deal. His dad invented HBO so I guess he isn't really some sadsack 50-something manchild who oozes weakness and ineptitude and who personifies so loathsomely the "born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple" quote someone used to describe him in another thread here. Right?
The aspect that most worries me about Dolan's doing this is the potential for collateral losses in the trade including Donnie and D'Antoni's futures as NYK employees scares me too much to really consider. It also raises the specter of meddling by I.T. (I don't like seeing his name) which, true or not, will just fuel the obnoxious, terrifying, and entirely plausible speculation that he's pulling at least some strings from his position at the bottom of the Sun Belt Conference standings.
OK, with all of that said, here is my list of talking points (an emerging MeloDrama staple) as I coax myself off the ledge and accept what I must to continue getting return on my league pass broadband investment.
1. If the new CBA included a franchise tag option (it reasonably could after all these star player power moves), we'd be unable to sign Melo outright and keep all our chips. Like his trade to the Nets, the free agency option was probably never on the table. If we were ever going to get Melo, we probably (80-90%) needed to do it like this. And if we were going to trade for him and use Eddy's contract to do it, we needed to do it this weekend.
2. Because of the individual salary cap, healthy superstars will routinely outperform their contracts. Relatedly, guys a step or two down are overpaid relative to superstar salaries. This offseason, Wil Chandler can go from cute and cuddly at 2 mil a year to an albatross if he's paid like Rudy Gay. Same goes for Gallo in 2 years (as long as Al Harrington doesn't freeze him out on the court or accuse ownership of over-hyping him, which he will. More than anyone in this, poor Gallo.)
3. Donnie Walsh. Love the guy and every move he's made since Day 1. But is he too cautious? Count the rings.
4. Speaking of results-oriented analysis, the three guys fronting our team in the latest proposed roster (Amare, Melo, Billups) have lead two teams to the finals of the vaunted Western Conference each the last two years in unexpected fashion. This team hasn't been this good or this close to a title (yeah, the team doesn't even exist on paper yet) since 1999, or maybe even since Ewing was in his prime. STAT is 28, Melo is 26. We probably just opened a 4 year championship window with this move.
5. David Lee vs. Amare Stoudemire. Summer 2010, I couldn't believe that we were really losing Lee for Stoudemire, they're both 20 and 10 guys and Lee can pass the ball and is so much cheaper, right? I wouldn't even put the two in the same paragraph now, unless it was this one. Still have nothing but love for David Lee and his time given to the team, but I don't think anyone is looking back sadly on that move.
6. Shit's about to get Landrier. He's our clear cut number 4 now, and likely will be number 3 in a year or two. I think he's going to answer the bell when D'Antoni tells him they need more from him.
7. In the NY tradition of a couple parting shots on the way out of town, and a few things that might help you like the move long term: the long term prognosis on Gallo's surgically repaired back. Wil's season ending knee injuries the last two years. Anthony Randolph may have already been ruined by the time we got to him (think Darko after a couple years of Larry Brown). Felton's recent return to earth after a (dare I say?) Duhon-esque fast start.
8. What if Ewing had Bernard King?