Blog Entry

Knicks and Wiz talking swap?

Posted on: June 22, 2009 9:21 am
 
There's going to be a lot of this over the next few days, because the teams holding picks 3-7 in the NBA draft Thursday night are motivated to do what Elaine used to say to Jerry on Seinfeld.

Get out ...

The latest buzz has the Knicks and Wizards talking about swapping the No. 8 and No. 5 picks, respectively, in a trade that would accomplish much of what each team is looking to do this offseason. Alan Hahn of Newsday checked out a rumor that the Knicks were offering Wilson Chandler and found it to be baseless. But both teams have plenty of, um, assets to work with that would make a deal work.

The Wizards are said to be intrigued by the prospect of bringing back ex-Wizards Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries, who were key contributors on Washington's 2006 playoff team. The Wizards also would love to unload Etan Thomas' expiring contract. The Knicks are just the place for it. Donnie Walsh has ended the perception that the Knicks are simply a dumping ground for bad contracts, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't take an expiring deal if he could unload Jeffries, who has $6.9 million due in 2010-11. If Walsh is going to maximize his flexibility in the free-agent summer of 2010, he's going to have to move Jeffries or Eddy Curry -- if not both.

It's easy to see what the Wizards are up to. They're on pace to be a tax-paying team next season, and with a veteran core led by Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, they don't need to use scarce resources to pay a young player who doesn't wow them. Most draft observers concur that there's not much separation among the players available after the second pick. The Knicks? They're the one team in the top 10 with an inclination to trade up, with most of the buzz centering on their interest in Stephen Curry and Ricky Rubio. Jrue Holiday is back in New York Monday for a second workout, which could either be a sign that the Knicks are interested or simply that they want to make sure they're not interested. Either way, if the Knicks can move up a few spots to get a player they like and shed 2010 salary at the same time, it would be an unmitigated success -- something that's quite foreign to Knicks fans, on draft night or any other night, really.

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Speaking of point guards, the one thing you can say about this draft is that there are a lot of point guards. The Timberwolves worked out six of them Friday: Jonny Flynn, Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Jeff Teague. The workout was closed to the media, but ah, in the age of the blogger, nothing is closed to the media anymore. Season ticket holders were invited to watch, and one such fan who reads the TrueHoop blog filed a report on the workout, which was posted online. Good info here, depending on what degree of trust you have in season ticket holder Michael Stephenson's talent-evaluation abilities. Among other observations, Stephenson wrote that Evans dominated the workout.
 
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