Knicks need McGrady

17 02 2010

As of Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m., the Knicks are unwilling to meet all the Houston Rockets’ requirements in order to obtain Tracy McGrady — Jordan Hill, cash, swapping 2011 first round draft picks and the 2012 first rounder. I understand New York’s hesitancy.

Here they are willing to give up their first round pick from this year (Hill) plus move lower in the 2011 first round and lose their 2012 pick all for a player who may or may not be able to capture half of his old ability and for the salary cap flexibility in order to possibly sign some of this summer’s elite free agents. (The Knicks also don’t have a first rounder this year as part of the Stephon Marbury trade in 2006.) The Knicks would be taking a huge chance by meeting Houston’s demands. but for the sake of this franchise, it’s something they have to bite on.

Hill will make Knicks fans only more bitter since he represents the Donnie Walsh administration’s failure to draft Brandon Jennings, who would’ve fit smoothly into Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Imagine Jennings penetrating the lane and kicking out to Danilo Gallinari. Every Knicks fan reading this just punched himself in the face.

But the lure of betting that McGrady can return to become a 20-point scorer, albeit a broken-down 20-point scorer, would give them enough to challenge for a playoff spot down the stretch. Plus the cap room from moving Jared Jeffries — who the Knicks are adamant about including in the deal, thus necessitating Houston’s elevated trade demands — would permit the Knicks to sign one elite and one high-level free agent this year. So they could re-sign David Lee and still go after Chris Bosh or Bron or Amare or Joe Johnson to team with Galinari and Wilson Chandler. The latter two thrived with D’Antoni in Phoenix and the first two were coached by him on the Redeem Team. If the Knicks are going to make a move, then now is the year.

Even if they don’t get Bron or Dwyane Wade, then Johnson, Amare or Rudy Gay represents a step-up for Knicks fans who are suffocating from the team’s ineptitude. They could opt not to do the deal but that means signing one high-level or elite player, who obviously would be less inclined to sign with a roster if there wasn’t another guaranteed star coming to play with him. We’ll see how serious the Knicks are about aggressively pursuing the stars they need to put themselves back on the NBA map.

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One response

18 02 2010
Page Seven

The big gamble is obviously how good Tmac will be. That’s my big worry. Plus, we need young players to build around, and it just scares me to be giving up so many picks. But with that said, I do think we do this deal. I just hope Tmac comes back inspired.

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