As many tangibles and intangibles as Kurt Thomas offers, and as difficult as it is to surrender the Knicks’ only hombre, his presence proved fairly meaningless in the win column. At this point in his career, Kurt’s biggest contribution to their cause is he’s considered enough of an asset at almost 33 to be worth a 25-year-old compulsive scorer and a first-round draft pick to one of the NBA’s most enchanting teams.
If you’re scoring at home, that reduces the Knicks’ resources, and I’m being kind, to a precious two; Crawford, perhaps, and maybe Mike Sweetney to a lesser degree. Other than that Isiah Thomas is fresh out of genuinely desirable commodities, exempting the No. 8 pick in Tuesday’s draft.
Oh, yeah, and the players on the end of their obscene contracts that the Knick president insists are so coveted. Look, ma, no nibbles on Penny Hardaway and Maurice Taylor, or the stretch jobs belonging to Malik Rose and Jerome Williams; all four fetched to New York by the man with the forever-fluctuating fix-and-repair-daily scam, er, plan.
Given a brief meeting with my cabinet of column castigators, I’m leaning toward liking this latest one:
Assembling a venomous 3-guard rotation like the one Isiah ruled over in Detroit (don’t tell me Bill Laimbeer’s familiarity with the system gives him an edge over Herb Williams) figures to get the opposition’s immediate attention, if not respect; Stephon Marbury, 28, is the oldest of the trio.
Locating a mobile center and a portable power forward is where Isiah must come through (this is where it gets tricky) or else his renovation is going to be time consuming – which is OK, I promise to be very understanding.
If the Knicks intend to take full advantage of their perimeter shooting, it’s somewhat imperative either to obtain (Kwame Brown is worth a gamble; giving the Wizards’ No. 8 doesn’t scare me), sign (I’d offer Reggie Evans or Udonis Haslem the mid-level max), draft (Gerald Green is the most enticing HS player, meaning he’ll probably be gone when it’s Isiah turn), or discover an authentic post up player who’ll force the defense to double.
Idle chatter about working out a deal for Zydrunas Ilgauskas doesn’t get any emptier; Camp Cablevision has nobody that interests the Cavaliers. Even if they could be sufficiently compensated, Isiah doesn’t need to take a chance on a soft 7-foot defender/rebounder with a history of foot problems that can’t be insured.