Linkin' Center: Darren Collison Trade, Sergio's Grade & A Hint Amare Might Go?


From Mark Stein on ESPN:

Rival executives will continue to try to convince the Hornets to make Chris Paul available in trades, pointing to the fact that Williams can simply slide the promising Darren Collison and his modest $1.4 million salary into that spot. When those teams get shot down, look for the Hornets — based on the hints we’ve received from more than one exec — to make Collison available as long as the interested party is willing to take back the cap-clogging contract of Emeka Okafor,James Posey or Peja Stojakovic with Paul’s backup.

Everyone’s talkin’ ’bout Tony Parker as a trade target, how’s about the much cheaper Darren Collison with Okafor thrown in as center?  Particularly since New Orleans wants to cut costs they’d be interested in Eddy Curry, unlike San Antonio.  We’d still be able to sign two max free agents, or one and keep David Lee with money left over.

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KnickerBlogger, like us, is going through our roster one at a time and evaluating ‘em.  Their latest is on Sergio Rodriguez, who it should be mentioned that despite rumors is NOT signed to return to Spain.  Yes, he’s had talks, but he is still under contract to the Knicks until June 30th, with us having the option to keep him another year.  So I’m pretty sure even if he wanted to, he couldn’t just up and leave.  That said, it seems unlikely the Knicks will pick up his option, so okay, fine, go ahead and consider it as good as gone.

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In Posting and Toasting, Seth talks about the prospects who came in on Tuesday.  They are:

Denis Clemente- 6’1″ G, Kansas State (24 years old)
Gavin Edwards- 6’9″ C, Connecticut (22)
Jeff Foote- 7’0″ C, Cornell (22)
Courtney Fortson-  5’11″ G, Arkansas (22)
Marquis Gilstrap- 6’7″ F, Iowa State (22)
Ryan Wittman- 6’7″ G, Cornell (22)

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Steve Kerr stepped down as GM of the Suns.

A source told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher that the move has to do with Kerr feeling unable to adequately do the job with the financial limitations imposed by [Phoenix Suns' owner Robert] Sarver. The Suns have bothAmare Stoudemire and Channing Frye as potential free agents this summer.

Hmm, sounds like he’s worried that Sarver won’t pony up for Stoudemire and Kerr doesn’t want to take the fall when they allow Stat to walk.  If so, that’s good news for the Knicks, ‘cuz the more big free agents available, the better the chance we get someone decent (and won’t have to overpay for them).

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Most free agents are impressed when a GM and owner show up at their home at midnight on July 1st to show how much they want them.  However, LeBron isn’t most free agents and the New York Post reports that Donnie Walsh is bringing reinforcements:

The Knicks have put together a committee filled with some of New York’s biggest names to help bring free agents to the struggling basketball team.

Free agents, such as LeBron James, for instance.

“New York would be a great thing for LeBron,” said Donald Trump, who has joined the committee along with a cavalcade of other Gotham notables, such as Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Boomer Esiason and Spike Lee.

Chris Rock, who has also agreed to join the effort, knows just what he would say to LeBron.

“You really want to live in Cleveland?”

[...]The star-filled panel is built to grow and the team expects it to include talk-show host Charlie Rose, John McEnroe, Donny “The Big Idea” Deutsch, Whoopi Goldberg, Rangers Stanley Cup hero Mark Messier, former Giants Super Bowl winner Phil Simms and Knicks legends Willis Reed, Walt Frazier and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.

It’s good ta be the King.

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Hot Stove New York’s Andrew Feingold asks Is Carlos Boozer better than David Lee? Feingold ultimately decides Boozer is better now, but Lee will become a better player.  However, Booze loses big-time points by actually answering whether he thinks he’s better than Lee:

“Oh, absolutely I do. I think he’s a very good, young player though. I think he had a great season. He was an All-Star this year. I think he has a great upside to him. I do think I’m better but, I mean, that’s for you guys to debate about. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. “

Even if Booze feels that way, and even if Booze is right, you just don’t publicly admit it.  Reminds me of when Starbury proclaimed himself the game’s best point guard and our season immediately went down the tank.  I hope we don’t end up with Boozie.

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Adam Zagoria (who I know from college and didn’t realize he also had a NY sports blog until now!) has a nice scoop on his ZagsBlog about Rafer Alston wanting to be a Knick.  Rafe told Adam the following quotes:

“I’m a free agent. I’m hoping I can play here in New York…the Knicks,”

“They do [need a point guard] and I would hope I could be it,” Alston said. “I’ll definitely have my agent [Dan Fegan] give them a call, see what’s going on.”

“I’m a hometown kid,” Alston said. “I would like to try to have a helping hand in getting them back to the playoffs. It’s something that I would enjoy doing, really getting this city alive again and feeling good about playoff basketball.”

Tags: Adam Zagoria Alec Baldwin Amare Stoudemire Carlos Boozer Chris Rock Darren Collison Donald Trump Donnie Walsh Emeka Okafor LeBron James New Orleans Hornets Phoenix Suns Posting And Toasting Rafer Alston Robert Sarver San Antonio Spurs Sergio Rodriguez Spike Lee Starbury Steve Kerr Tony Parker Tracy Morgan

  • Brian

    No Sergio!!! Stay in the NBA and prove yourself. Get a training camp done with Coach D and see what you can pull off… you’ve been at it too long to give up now that your finally in a system that fits your style.

    So… what do you think the chances are of him reading that and then changing his mind?

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      Brian, considering Walsh is thinking of buying second rounders partly to save a million in cap space, I think there’s no way he chooses to keep Sergio for nearly $3 million. And while I liked the flashes of Sergio I saw in Portland and had high hopes for him, he honestly hasn’t shown that he’s worth more than the minimum. I’d love to see him succeed in the NBA, but if he stays he’ll have to take a salary cut.

  • Brian

    P.S. Getting Collison would be amazing!

  • Chase Thomas

    Yeah, Sergio was awful for us last season and all signs point to him not working out here.

    I also wouldn’t want any part of trading for Collison. Sure, he played well for Paul last season, but trading for him would be utterly useless considering we already have another young point guard who ALSO played great in the second half of the season in Douglas. I’d rather just keep Douglas than trade for Collison.

    In regards to Kerr, I think Kerr and Sarver were split on paying Amare max money or not and this goes back to letting Johnson go a few years back. And there’s reports that Sarver wanted Kerr to take a pay decrease. All in all, Amare’s future in Phoenix is still 50-50.

    And to add to the Boozer or Lee debate I’ll take Lee every single time. Boozer brings nothing Lee doesn’t bring to the table offensively and defensively and comes at a much cheaper price.

    Lastly, I think Alston would be a nice pick up for the right price. He’s a hometown guy who’s played in big games and lead very good teams. Just a year ago he led a Magic finals run, so I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing him and giving him a shot.

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      Yeah, Chase, you’re right on with Sarver. I think his cheap ways (both in terms of lowballing Kerr and Amare) brought this about. And yes, Amare could still remain in Phoenix, but this ain’t a great sign. Amare’s said he actually wants to stay there if given a max contract, but so far Phoenix hasn’t offered him one in an extension, so that’s why he’s 50-50. I can’t help but feel that if Kerr had more faith that Sarver would pay to keep all their players that Kerr would’ve stuck around. Maybe Phoenix does give Amare a max, but they let Frye and Lou Amundson go?

      In the Collison vs. Douglas debate, I dunno if I’d say Douglas played GREAT in the second half of the season, but he did play well. However, compare their post-All Star stats:
      Tony – 44.1%fg | 40.7%3pt | 79.6ft% | 3.2ast | 1.1TO | 1.1stl | 11.0pts
      Collison – 50.9fg% | 45.2%3pt | 84.8%ft | 8.7ast | 3.7TO | 1.4stl | 18.9pts

      Except for in TOs (which, granted, is a huuuge stat), Collison is markedly better in every stat. To shoot over 50% as a point guard, let alone a rookie pg, is insanely good. And as amazing as Tony’s over 40% shooting from 3-pt land was, somehow Collison was even more phenomenal at over 45%!

  • Chase Thomas

    Just curious, but where did you get your stats on Toney and Collison come from?

    Basketball-Reference has different numbers. Collison played over a 1,000 more minutes then Douglas, took almost 400 more shots, took roughly 100 less 3′s, and shot 5% higher from the line.

    All in all, trading for Collison won’t be worth trading Curry and others.

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      I got ‘em from Yahoo, and it looks like Basketball-Reference has the same #s. I just looked at Post All-Star splits.

      However, your point about the difference in minutes is a big ol’ valid one. While BBall-Reference doesn’t have splits for their Per 36 minutes stats (which, for those who don’t know, eliminates the minutes difference in players by figuring out what everyone’s stats would be if they all played only 36 minutes), so you can’t look at just post-All Star #s or end-of-the-season #s. But if you look at the full season Per 36#s, it proves your point that there isn’t quite as wide a margin between the two players. Their point production is nearly identical, & TD actually gets a slight edge in the steal category. And while the assists margin gets closer, Collison still doubles TD at 7.4 to 3.7. Plus the %s are of course still a bit better.

      I think part of whether one thinks the trade is good or not also depends on one’s view of Emeka Okafor, ‘cuz really it’s his salary that matches up against Curry. I like him and think he’d shore up the middle, so I think it’d definitely be a good deal. Particularly since we’re getting nothing out of Curry. But I assume your point is that you think we could get more for Curry.

  • Chase Thomas

    Yeah, I don’t want to let Curry’s expiring go for just Okafor.

  • Brian

    ARGGG!!!! I just wrote a really long response to this, only to get an error when I submitted it, and thus lose everything I typed.

    So, here is the short version of what I said:

    I like Douglas and he impressed me a lot at the end of the season… but are you kidding me? Collison was a freak of nature!!! During the 23 games from Jan 30th to March 17th (when I’m pretty sure Paul was out) he was AVERAGING 19.4 pts on 49.3 FG% with almost 11 assists. 11!!!!!! A freakin’ rookie. The kid isn’t going to be great, he IS great, and any team that can snag him this early in his career would be wise to do so in my opinion.

    Now granted, he had more chances than Douglas to show us his stuff, but he did it repeatedly and consistently, and Douglas didn’t even get over 7 assists on any given night this season. Collisons high this season was 20!!! I could write a fairly good list of great PG’s that never got a 20 assist night in their entire career, and he’s doing this stuff as a rookie.

    Douglas seems more like a 2-guard to me anyway, and not a PG you want running Coach D’s offense. But even if you keep him as a scorer, Collison outdoes him there too. Collison even had a couple of 30+ pt performances (35 being his high).

    So anyway, I think Curry’s contract would be well worth giving up for a chance at that kid. Could you imagine him putting up those type of numbers AND having 2 max (or close to max) free agents join with him!

    I’m trying to remember why I care so much about the knicks as a Blazer fan? Maybe Kevin Pritchard can work out a deal for him (before he gets fired for no good reason).

    ok, time to Ctrl+C this time just in case :)

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      Thanks for the perseverance with your post, Brian!

      And yeah, I agree with you 100%. I’d love to get Collison.

      Douglas does also seem to me to be more of a 2 and isn’t a great assist man. However, if the Knicks do get a swingman (like LeBron, Joe Johnson or Wade) who handles the ball a bunch, creating shots for himself and others, that star could play the Steve Nash PG role, while Douglas plays the role of Derek Fisher (or if we wanna stick to D’Antoni’s previous players, then Raja Bell). Or to translate into Blazer-onian: a Steve Blake to a Brandon Roy. Um, but not as bad. A Steve Blake who can play defense and shoot really well.

  • Chase Thomas

    This Collinson hype is ridiculous. He played extremely well for 2 months. Let’s see how he does in a full season of work before you start to make assessments like these.

    And I disagree about the Douglas being a 2. He hovered around 7 assists a game, which is great for a rookie. He doesn’t have the shot to be a 2 and matches up very well on defense with PG’s around the league.

    • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

      You’re right that Collison doesn’t have a huge body of work yet, but obviously the same is true of Douglas. However, there’s no two ways about it: to produce those types of numbers in the NBA is darn impressive. It’d be one thing if he just scored a ton of points because he could just be jacking up shots on a bad team, but he shot an amazing percentage and in his 37 starts averaged just over 9 assists a game. It ain’t easy to consistently get that many assists over that many games. And assists tend to be a stat that you really have to earn (versus say rebounds where even if you don’t try you tend to end up catching a few that bounce your way).

      Also, Douglas never hovered around 7 assists. You’re right, if he did that, it would’ve been phenomenal. However, his best months he averaged just 3.6. Even if you just look at games where he was a starter it only goes up to 3.8. The whole year he only even reached the 7 assist barrier 3 times (2x getting 7 exactly, and once with a season high of 8).

      Yes, they have their whole careers ahead of them, so who knows? I like Toney, don’t get me wrong, but you have to admit that Collison put up some very, very, very impressive stats for almost half a season.

  • Brian

    Doh! I was wrong… 8 assist high. I was looking at his game logs on nba.com and missed the Dallas game. But ya, I agree with Alex here. How can you say “hovered around 7″??? I don’t think he is a pure PG by any means.
    I’ll give you the D though. Douglas plays on both ends of the floor. I still think he could be a great player, I mean roy swings between 1 and 2, so who cares if he doesn’t become a pure PG. I just don’t think he can run an offense anything like Collison has already shown us he can do.

  • Chase Thomas

    I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one lol.