Mike D'Antoni inherits the mess that Isiah Thomas slopped together in New York. He and GM Donnie Walsh are faced with the monumental task of rebuilding a once proud franchise from the bottom up. With the exception of Jamal Crawford, the Knicks are void of any type of player that would be suitable for the type of basketball D'Antoni will attempt to implement. They are either offensively challenged or not athletic enough to run and gun like the Suns.
I'd do the following trade if I knew Baron would be gone in the Summer of 2009. Judging from the early negotiating, it is a very real possibility. Dumping Harrington's salary a year early would give the Warriors all the cap space in the world to pursue any of the top Free Agents. Depending on who is sign this Summer and how much they shell out to keep Monta and Andris, the team could be under the salary cap by as much as + $20 million.
Golden State Warriors
Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 7.3 REB: 3.6 AST: 0.9 PER: 11.70
Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 3.5 REB: 2.1 AST: 0.6 PER: 7.27
2009 2nd Round Pick
Outgoing Players: Al Harrington
New York Knicks
Years Remaining: 2
PTS: 13.6 REB: 5.4 AST: 1.6 PER: 15.70
Outgoing Players: Wilson Chandler, Malik Rose, 2009 2nd Round Pick
(Adding Mardy Collins to the deal works CBA-wise, but although he has a nice Assit/40 stat, he has the worst True Shooting % in the entire league. However, if Warriors wanted to land a backup PG in the deal, he could be had)
Knicks Lineup 2008/2009
Knicks get a solid scoring option in Harrington who is capable of playing D'Antonio's brand of basketball. The Knicks have a huge player budget, so taking on additional salary is not a big deal for their organization. Malik Rose is not in their rotation and Wilson Chandler won't contribute anywhere near as much as Harrington would. Draft Brook Lopez if available (Mayo, Bayless, or Randolph if not available) at #5 and they are on their way back.
Warriors Lineup 2008/2009
The Warriors take a step short term step back with this trade, but there are several benefits:
- We are off the hook for Harrington's salary a year early. Couple that with Baron's departure and we become big time player in the Free Agent market of Summer 2009.
- Wright steps up as starting PF now that Harrington is gone. That means better defense, rebounding, and inside scoring.
- Wilson Chandler could turn out to be a good player. He has all the skills and attributes suited for Nelliball. He a natural SF who can easily play PF on the Warriors. Towards the end of this season, he showed that he can play at this level, although his game still needs a lot of work. Game Log
- Let's face it, Harrington isn't the most dependable player on the Warriors. He seems to show up every 4 games and has already expressed interest in being traded to a team that would allow him to take on a bigger role (not just a perimeter scorer). His minutes go to the younger guys and our #14 pick - perhaps a better use of playing time.
Draft Marreese Speights as a physical, change-of-pace forward to complement both Wright and Biedrins' games. He could back up both and I strongly believe he will be a very good player in a few years.
Draft Anthony Ranldoph, Donte Green, Joe Alexander, or Nicholas Batum as our future SF.
Draft Lester Hudson 6'-3" PG/SG from Tenn. Martin Draft Express Profile
Resign Ellis, Beidrins, Barnes, Azubuike, and Watson.
Use part of the Mid-Level on another rotation player, possibly a PF like Walter Herrmann.
Ellis becomes Davis' primary backup, logging 10-15 min. a game at PG.
PG: Davis/Watson/L. Hudson
SF: Jackson/Barnes/W. Chandler
PF: Wright/W. Herrmann/M. Rose
C: Biedrins/M. Speights/Perovic
I admit, on paper, it doesn't look like we improve too much - but losing Harrington now could bring in a near Max player in 2009 and accelerate the development of some of our young players. And judging by his Playoff performance record, he won't make or break our chances at doing anything special should we make the Playoffs next year.