But, although he admitted last week he’ll have to play through some discomfort in the left knee on which he underwent arthroscopic surgery Jan. 18, it could be the start of a 19-game trial to determine if he can be of any use next season.
Or it could serve as a showcase for any team willing to take on the nearly $11.3 million he’s due next season and give the Knicks even more salary-cap room this summer.
The Knicks also could buy him out during the off-season to save $1 million to $2 million this summer before the rest of his salary comes off in 2011.
All that, of course, depends upon how well he plays and based on his past history, how long he lasts.
"I’m not even thinking about it," he said Tuesday after practice about his potential staying power. "I’m just looking at it as an opportunity to go out there, get some games in and try to go into the summer with some kind of momentum."
"I do want to play him and keep amping up the minutes a little bit," coach Mike D’Antoni said. "But I would imagine the first week or so would be kind of rocky."
Be it a litmus test or a showcase, the Knicks have nothing to lose at this point. At best, Curry could contribute immediately by rebounding and providing some size in the middle. At worst, he flounders and the Knicks continue to lose and get a better grasp on their assets in the process. Much of the last five years has been spent chasing the dragon that is Curry's undeniable potential and immense offensive skillset. Every triumphant return has hit a snag, though, so it's tough to get jazzed at this point. In any event, before recurring injuries derailed Curry's return in December, the big fella's off-the-ball orbit didn't exactly mesh with the spaced-out Knicks attack (well, "attack"). Against a Spurs team that's towards the bottom of the league in pace, it'll be interesting to see if the Knicks hit the brakes to incorporate Curry. Whether or not Eddy Curry is actually game-ready, this is another added element to keep Knicks games interesting in an otherwise meaningless March. Until the organization hears me out on my Slamball idea, we'll take what we can get.