I really don't think the Knicks are looking at a deal before this month's deadline. For some odd reason, I have faith in Isiah's word that not increasing payroll is a key concern. Morale is also relatively high for a losing team, and prospects look somewhat less bleak than they did months ago. With the season as a sample, there is still some reason to believe that success might lie in resolving the Curry-Randolph conundrum, excommunicating Marbury, and playing the draft lottery. Simply put, the Knicks don't seem to be desperate enough for a Memphis-level fire sale, nor are they close enough to justify taking on contracts.
Right. That previous paragraph might make this whole post moot, but I think it's worth it to take a look at some of the rumors. When Isiah's involved, anything can happen. Let us steel ourselves for the illogical and unexpected. So, who's been mentioned? How scared should we be?
Ron Artest: This hasn't officially been rumored in about a month, and I just don't think it's going to come up again. Isiah's shown a pretty consistent (and reassuring) reluctance to part ways with David Lee and, to a lesser degree, Renaldo Balkman. Not only is Ron-Ron currently making nice, but the Knicks won't be able to get it done without one of those two. I hope.
Jermaine O'Neal: Tom at Indy Cornrows has reason to believe that the rumored JO for Z-Bo deal isn't legit. Larry Bird quite directly shot down the prospect of Randolph in Indy, and unless the Pacers are interested in Curry, I don't expect Isiah to be searching for another extra big man. He has his faults, but I'm pretty sure he knows you can only have 5 players on the court at once. Even the prospect of three big men who have the talent, but not necessarily the attitude, to be leaders all on one team makes my pancreas hurt.
Ben Wallace: The most recent detailed trade rumor, and perhaps the only one that isn't completely sickening, is Ben Wallace for Richardson, Rose, and Fred Jones. Big Ben is a purely defensive big man, which is something the Knicks need, so that's good. There are a couple of issues, though. One, he makes a fuckdiculous amount of money ($28.5 million over the next two years according to this article), and you can get a similar player for like 1/20 of the price. (Chong Williams anybody?). Second, any deal for Wallace that didn't include Randolph or Curry would, just like the previous case, even further mess with the frontcourt rotation. Oh, and he doesn't want to come to New York. I like the idea, but all I'm saying is if you want Ben Wallace, draft Hasheem Thabeet.
Vince Carter: Fuck off.
So, in summary, the Knicks are a sinking ship. For the time being, though, it's uncertain whether blowing up and starting over or just patching up the holes is the best bet. With that in mind, it's probably best not to swing any deals for big names this month. But that doesn't mean it won't happen.