Donnie Walsh must have blisters on his fingers from all the calls he’s made in the last few days. Three trades have been finalized. We already reported on the first one: the lame white boy trade (one little addendum to it is that the Knicks have already waived their new lame white boy — no surprise since as we said this was just about getting some hard cash for the Knicks since neither player would ever get minutes for us).
The second one, which we also talked about before it was finalized, was a trade with the Houston Rockets involving Tracy McGrady & his big ol’ expiring contract. Turns out the deal didn’t contract, it expanded, becoming a threesome with the Sacramento Kings. The Knicks basically gave up everything that was initially reported, and their attempts to protect their draft picks were laughable. The Rockets get the choice to swap 2011 picks with the Knicks, but we stood our ground and got the pick protected. If it’s the top pick in the draft. Really? That’s the best we could do? What was the conversation like between Donnie Walsh and Houston GM Daryl Morey?
Walsh, “No, no, you’re asking for too much, we’ll only do it if the pick is lottery protected!”
Walsh, “Fine, top-ten protected.”
“Top three! And that’s as low as I’ll go!”
“Can’t do it. Oh, got Sacramento on the other line, so I best be going-”
“Okay, okay, no protection! Wait, no, that’ll make me look like a total chump who didn’t even attempt to fight this.”
“Know what? You seem like a nice guy, tell ya what I’ll do. We both know the chances of it being the number one pick are like a hundred-to-one, whadaya say we make it Top One protected. It won’t affect me, and you… you can make up stories about how you stood your ground, refused to be bullied about.”
“Hmm, I can live with that.”
“But ya also gotta call me the ‘Grand High Poobah’ whenever we speak.”
“As you wish, Poobah.”
“That’s ‘Grand High’ to you.”
Ummm, but I digress. Incredibly far. Back to the actual facts of the trade. So the Rockets, who made out like bandits, not only get to swap that 2011 pick, they also get the Knicks 2012 pick (oooh, but it’s top-5 protected), Jordan Hill, Jared Jeffries, and the biggest thing… Sacramento’s sweet shooting Kevin Martin. Martin, who’s still recovering from injury, has been able to easily score 25 points/game in the past, getting to the line 7-10 times a game for free buckets, and hitting threes with impunity despite having one of the oddest looking shooting motions. He should thrive in the Rockets’ current free-flowing system, and should Yao Ming return healthy next year, Martin’s outside shooting should complement him much better than T-Mac’s game ever did. Oh, and the Rockets also have to take Sacramento’s Hilton Armstrong (now on his third team this season).
The Kings, who had decided that Martin wasn’t working well along their rookie wunderkind, Tyreke Evans, get Martin’s contract off their books, plus the Rockets’ contender for sixth-man-of-the-year, Carl Landry. Despite coming off the bench, Landry has been top 5 this season in points scored in the fourth quarter. With the Kings struggling to close out some games, he could be a big boon. And the wily Rockets had signed Landry to a great, reasonable deal too. The Kings also get Larry Hughes from us, plus Joey Dorsey from the Rockets.
As for us, we get TMac, plus Sacramento’s third-string point guard, Sergio Rodriguez. As mentioned, the key impetus for this whole deal was to get Jared Jeffries’ contract off the books for next year. Since TMac’s contract expires this year, we get what we want: enough cap space to sign nearly two max free agents (it depends on what the final cap limit will be, which won’t be determined until this summer), which’ll be more cap space than any other team in the league is expected to have. However, in the meantime, like I said previously, we get a free audition of McGrady to see if he has anything left. And if he does, maybe he’ll choose to stay in NYC for a discount. The other short-term bonus is that even though he’s not a PG, he’s a good distributor so maybe he can take minutes away from the god-awful Chris Duhon. Along those lines, the throw-in Sergio Rodriguez is actually a pretty darn exciting PG himself, nicknamed “Spanish Chocolate” (kinda odd that he ended up in Sacramento where Jason Williams, aka “White Chocolate” made his name. What’s up with Sac-town’s desire for Chocolate? I mean it ain’t like they play in Hershey, Pennsylvania or something…). “Spanish,” much like “White,” is known to be a mediocre defender, but hell, on this Knicks’ team he should fit right in. Unlike Duhon, he is aggressive, and unlike Nate Robinson, he is a pass-first type of point guard.
Whew, this is getting long, and I haven’t gotten to the third trade yet. It’s with the Celts, and sadly it includes fan favorite Nate Robinson (plus another Knick, who for some reason is still unknown — I’m thinking Jonathan Bender or Marcus Landry) in return for Eddie House and seldom used players J.R. Giddeons and Bill Walker. Kind of an odd trade. The Knicks do it solely to get rid of Nate, not for better talent, versatility, money or anything. His inconsistency and free-lancing just bugs the hell out of Mike D’Antoni, so they got rid of him even though along with David Lee he’s the longest tenured Knick and as I said, the fans love him. On the opposite end, Eddie House is not only a big fan favorite for the Celts, but also someone who Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers says is a core player who he doesn’t want to lose. However, the Celts have been playing poorly lately (for a team who wants a championship or bust) so management used this to send a “message” that players better step it up. I mean Nate’s a slightly better defender than House, and has more offensive versatility (meaning he’s not just a spot-up three-point shooter), but he won’t be the difference between a championship or not for Boston. Their real problem is with their power forwards: Kevin Garnett (gimpy), Rasheed Wallace (fatty), and Glen “Don’t Call Me Big Baby” Davis (no D).
Oh yeah, and we lost again last night to the Bulls (played well for three plus quarters, then fell apart). If only the summer of 2010 could get here sooner so we could get a real team…
Topics: Big Baby Davis, Bill Walker, Boston Celtics, Carl Landry, Chicago Bulls, Chris Duhon, Daryl Morey, David Lee, Doc Rivers, Donnie Walsh, Draft Picks, Eddie House, Glen Davis, Hilton Armstrong, Houston Rockets, J.R.Giddeons, Jared Jeffries, Jason Williams, Joey Dorsey, Jonathan Bender, Jordan Hill, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Martin, Larry Hughes, Marcus Landry, Mike D'Antoni, Nate Robinson, Rasheed Wallace, Sacramento Kings, Sergio Rodriguez, Spanish Chocolate, Tracy McGrady, Tyreke Evans, White Chocolate, Yao Ming