In The Knick Of Time?

Ok, living in New York City, you get surrounded by hopeful but loyal, Knick fans.  When rumors flew of LeBron becoming a free agent in 2010, along with a few others, The N.Y. Knick LeBron campaign began.  The Knicks started cleaning house faster than Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  But, before Knicks fans continue to think Bronny will be a Knick, lets look at what is creating the problem.  The Knicks had a roster LOADED with BAD Contracts.  Not only were players like Eddy Curry & Jared Jeffries, grossly overpaid (Due a combined 35 mil+ thru 2010-11 season), but they hold all the cards.  Both of them are protected in their contracts with Player Options, which you can almost BET your life, they’ll exercise.  The hold up isn’t just that, Q-Rich and Al Harrington both total over 20 mil. for next year.  Add that together with Cat Mobley and Larry Hughes’ deals, which total over 22 mil for next year, and you get the mess that is currently the Knicks Roster.  That is almost 80 million dollars wrapped up in just 6 players!!!  Ok, that doesn’t sound so bad right….well it just got worse, out of all of those players Hughes and Harrington produce consistently for them, with Q-Rich contributing here and there.  The others = BUM JUICE!  Mobley has a heart condition, and was forced to retire, leaving him on the hook for the Knicks for another season.  What makes this situation worse, 2 of the fan favorites, and best players on the team, will most likely play somewhere else next season.  David Lee and Nate Robinson are both restricted free agents, and can be signed by other teams.  So if either of them decide to sign  an offer sheet in excess of what the Knicks can afford, then bye bye goes most of last year’s production.  
In a perfect world, all of the players that have options in their deals, would opt out, and would ultimately make the Knicks wallets a lot fatter, and offer much more room to make moves, come 2010.  The Knicks used to be a proud franchise that was always good for post season drama, and a definite good game.  Since those years have come and gone, bad decisions were put into play.  One year wonders, (Jerome James, Jared Jeffries, Eddy Curry, etc…) were given massive contracts, AND, the option of whether or not to continue to play under those contracts.  Put yourself in their positions, if you haven’t cracked the starting lineup, played close to what you did the year prior to the big contract, and was given the option to be paid even more, with the contract you have…WOULD YOU OPT OUT???? NO!!!  So the Knicks are going to have to find a taker for both Curry, and Jeffries, or hope they can work out buyouts, which would likely be the result if they can’t find anyone to take on these contracts, which would prolong their own progress!   Curry & Jeffries
Lets say things work out for the Knicks, and they’re able to move both Curry and Jeffries, and totally unload all these big contracts by the summer of 2010.  I can almost bet anything that LeBron James WON’T be a Knick.  There’s not much of a reason for him to come here.  Yes it’s a bigger market, yes he’ll increase a lot of revenue for the team, and of course the league.  But, just like Jordan, and other greats, they love to play at the Garden…not FOR the Garden.  LeBron is building and empire in Cleveland, and it will get rid of the big contracts that they’re dealing with, by that summer as well, and LeBron will ALWAYS be a draw for other players, so you can bank on that 66 win team being better.  The Knicks would have to hope that the front office of the Cavs sign the wrong players, and halts the Cavs’ progress, which would force Bronny to make a decision.  Most likely, the Cavs will land Rasheed Wallace, Charlie Villanueva, or Shawn Marion this coming off-season, which will definitely make the Cavs a title contender again next year, and give LeBron that extra help he still needs.  The Knicks are also notorious for NOT helping themselves in the draft either!  Frederick Weis should ring a bell, and most likely set off a fire alarm in the land of Orange and Blue.  WHY DRAFT HIM ANYWAY???  This new kid, Danillo, dunno about him either.  He’s a shooter, who they think can be the next Dirk…ok question, if you DO intend to sign LeBron…did you ever think that they play the same position, or factor in if the kid might actually be good?  Then What?  That’s the poor planning I’m talking about!  He’s already proved to be cupcake in the toughness department, with all the injuries he dealt with this year.  Then the Knicks are eyeing Stephen Curry in the draft, a Scorer, who they’re looking to play the Point.  Hmm…not taking anything away from Curry, but the last time the Knicks had a scorer at PG, (Marbury, Crawford, and even Francis), none of them worked out.  Francis fell off faster than Ja Rule and the rest of the Murder Inc.  The Knicks need a PG, that can score, but doesn’t HAVE to…especially in D’Antoni’s style of play. 
What are keys to re-building the Knicks.  Do all they can to move Curry and Jeffries is priority 1B.  1A, orchestrate some sort of deal that would allow them to move up in the draft that could involve moving Q-Rich, and the #8 pick to Sacramento, who’s in the 4 spot.  At that position, the Knicks could draft Ricky Rubio, or Johnny Flynn, who’d both fit D’Antoni’s system, and be the PG that could lead the Knicks back to the playoffs. 
It would also free up a lot more money this year, saving 9+ mil. by moving Q-Rich.  The Knicks also need a true Center, which is a thin position in this year’s draft, and unless they want to be forced to play Curry next yr. they’ll need to orchestrate a sign-and-trade for Lee or Nate Robinson.  Nate is a fan favorite along with Lee, but fans have to take the lesser of two evils, hate the franchise for dealing one of them now, or be happy when they bring in a marquee player(s) in 2010.  LeBron is more of a fantasy, than it is reality, but the Knicks likely lineup could be.
PG – Johnny Flynn
SG – Rudy Gay
SF – Wilson Chandler or Danillo Gallinari
PF – Amar’e Stoudemire
C  – Marcus Camby
I have a feeling Chandler will be dealt at some point or another, and Camby will should come at a relatively cheap price at that point in his career.  Rudy Gay is a candidate to be dealt, as the team moves to build around O.J. Mayo.  But, him hitting the open market in 2010, he’ll definitely seek a big market, as will Joe Johnson, who may look to play with LeBron in Cleveland.  But that projected lineup gives the Knicks a powerful lineup, with both scorers (Stoudemire, Gay), and defenders (Camby, Chandler), and a PG that embodies the Knick PG mentality (Flynn).  But lets see what happens, I mean this is the Knicks we’re talking about…

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