Article: 3-Part Plan To Fix The Knicks

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Is Chad Ford's plan good for the Knicks?

Yes, the Knicks would improve.
No, it's not a good plan.
No votes
Nothing can help the Knicks.

Total votes: 3

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» Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:58 am
A 3-Part Plan To Fix The Knicks

by Chad Ford

The field I teach in is conflict resolution, so, as you may guess, I get a lot of readers who write in asking me if I could solve all of the Knicks' problems.

My reply? Middle East peace might be possible … making the Knicks good, not so easy.

As I wrote in my blog, Isiah Thomas' problem is that he's intent on always getting the best individual talent in the deal, no matter what it costs. He showed this again in his acquisition of Steve Francis.

One problem with this approach is that the Knicks need role players to fit around their so-called stars.

If the Knicks are going to win, they'll have to get rid of some of the egos and actually make a trade or two where the goal is chemistry and role, not scoring.

Given that Isiah just dealt away his best trading chip, Penny Hardaway, it won't be easy to fix the team overnight.

But, for what it's worth, here's what I'd do. It won't win the Knicks a championship, but it could make them respectable.

Step 1:

Turn around and trade either Francis or Stephon Marbury. (Francis can be re-traded immediately as long as he's traded by himself.) I think Marbury is a better player, but perhaps Larry Brown has had enough of him, and I'm sure Marbury has had enough of Larry.

Could they move either guy? It wouldn't be easy. Neither is much of a hot commodity now.

But I wonder about the Lakers. Clearly, the idea that they were after Francis is coming from somewhere. If they were after Francis, wouldn't Marbury be an even better fit? And, if it's true they are no longer high on Lamar Odom, which is what just about every GM in the league that I talk to believes, then there's a deal there.

Here's the deal:

The Lakers send Odom to New York; Kwame Brown and Smush Parker to Atlanta; and Devean George, Stanislav Medvedenko and Laron Profit to Utah.

Utah sends Carlos Boozer to the Lakers.

New York sends either Marbury or Francis to the Lakers.

Atlanta sends Josh Childress to Utah and Tyronn Lue and Donta Smith to the Lakers.

Here's why this might work:

The Knicks would do this to turn Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury into Lamar Odom. Everyone knows that Francis and Marbury won't work well together in the backcourt. The Knicks have too many me-first, shoot-first players, especially on the perimeter.

Odom is the opposite, a team guy who can play multiple positions and does what's best for his team. He's not going to drop 30 on you too often, but that's exactly the attitude Larry Brown needs on his roster right now.

I know Lakers coach Phil Jackson isn't thrilled about the idea of losing Odom in midseason, but this one could pay off in the long term. The Lakers need to get two players for Odom to make something like this work -- a guard and a rebounder, at least. Francis (or Marbury) and Boozer are overpaid, but they should serve their roles just fine as long as both can stay healthy.

The downside for the Lakers is that they would lose any cap flexibility they were going to have in the summer of 2007. However, the cap flexibility isn't going to be much because the Lakers would have to waive all but three players on their roster to get far enough under the cap to sign one max player. I seriously doubt the Lakers are considering putting eight minimum players on their roster in 2007.

This deal would give the Lakers more balance, more scoring and more star power. Whether Kobe would ever pass the ball to the new guys is a different story altogether, though you would have to believe that Marbury in particular would be more adamant about asking for it.

The Jazz basically would be giving away Boozer for cap flexibility and a nice, young two guard with some potential. With the development of Mehmet Okur this year, the Jazz don't really need Boozer -- Okur, Andrei Kirilenko and Greg Ostertag have the front line covered.

That move would also put the Jazz roughly $13 million under the cap, allowing them to use their cap space this summer to find a two guard who can create his own shot (kind of like the guy they gave away, Kirk Snyder) in the draft, via free agency or with a sign-and-trade.

The Hawks might do it to try out Kwame (who hails from the Atlanta area) for the next season and a half. He would not be a long-term commitment, and this summer's free-agent market is short on bigs.

Parker is also interesting. He's had some success in L.A. this year and might be a good fit in the backcourt next to Joe Johnson.

Childress has shown potential, but the Hawks have a huge logjam at the wing position.

Step 2:

New York sends Jamal Crawford to Denver.

Denver sends Earl Watson and Greg Buckner to New York.

The Knicks need a real point guard -- one who doesn't need to take 20 shots a night and one who's willing to defend on the perimeter. To fit those needs, Watson is the best guard on the trade market. His defense, especially, would get Larry Brown excited and add balance to a backcourt featuring Francis or Marbury. Buckner is another defensive stopper who could get some love from Larry.

This isn't an ideal situation for the Nuggets. Crawford isn't the world's greatest shooter or the world's smartest player. But he's 25, knows how to score on the perimeter, is rarely injured and would provide an instant boost for the Nuggets' run-and-gun style.

Step 3:

New York sends Quentin Richardson to Washington.

Washington sends Antonio Daniels and Jared Jeffries to New York.

Remember, we're remaking the Knicks not with stars but with role players. Richardson is a terrible fit for Larry Brown and isn't happy sitting on the pine. Daniels struggled as a starting two guard in Washington but was very effective coming off the bench as a point guard for Seattle last season. He provides defense, size and scoring in the backcourt.

Suddenly the Knicks' backcourt would look pretty balanced, with Watson and Daniels on the defensive end and Marbury/Francis and Nate Robinson in the scoring role. Jeffries is a pretty terrible offensive player, but his length and athleticism make him a nightmare for opponents as a perimeter defender.

The Wizards might do it because Daniels has been terrible in Washington, and Richardson could provide them some more size, rebounding and 3-point shooting in the backcourt.

If the Knicks could pull off all three deals, here's how their team would look:

PG: Earl Watson, Antonio Daniels

SG: Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson, Greg Buckner

SF: Lamar Odom, Jalen Rose, Jared Jeffries

PF: Channing Frye, Maurice Taylor, David Lee

C: Eddy Curry, Jerome James

I don't think that's a championship team. But if the Knicks' young players were to develop, it would be very solid.

With this roster, the Knicks' players would have defined roles. Francis (or Marbury) and Curry would be the primary scorers, with Odom and Frye able to reach 20 points on any given night. Watson and Daniels would be there for defense and chemistry. Odom has the ability to handle the ball and defend, and he also would be the best rebounder on the team.

Suddenly Larry Brown would have the defenders to hide some of his team's defensive weaknesses.

It's not a perfect plan, but conflict agreements rarely are. This much I believe: That team would win more games than it lost and wouldn't be giving up any young assets in the process.

Are Knicks fans asking for anything more at this point?
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» Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:21 pm
Chad Ford is on crack...

My one part plan to fix the Knicks:


Then wait and rebuild.
» Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:20 pm
this cant work because earl watson is a sonic.

plus who cares about the knicks?!

thats my word.
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» Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:33 pm
drfrank wrote:this cant work because earl watson is a sonic.

Yeah, I suppose he wrote that article before the deadline.

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» Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:45 pm
i agree with TMC, first step should be to fire thomas.
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» Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:57 pm
But I think Chad Ford has a really good point with what the big problem (aside from Thomas) is in New York: Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. If they can get their hands on some solid role players (along with a semi-star like Odom - or even Jamison - instead of a franchise star like Marbury), I think they'll get out of last place.

First step, fire Thomas. Second step, ship out some of those egos.
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» Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:45 am
drfrank wrote:this cant work because earl watson is a sonic.

plus who cares about the knicks?!

thats my word.

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» Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:28 am
drfrank wrote:plus who cares about the knicks?!

I think any article on how to fix the worst team in basketball is interesting... even if it's only on a fairly amusing level. No team in basketball has a higher hill to climb than the Knicks, so how to pull themselves out of that tail interests me. It's nice to read about other struggling teams that are worse off than you... makes you feel better about your team. :)

Besides, I felt like sharing some NBA Insider articles with you guys for those people who don't subscribe to ESPN and always click on the GOOD articles, just to find a "You Must Be An ESPN Insider To Read This" sign... Here's sticking it to The Man!
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» Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:46 am
#32 wrote:the GOOD articles

Just remember that Chad Ford doesn't write that kind of articles :wink:
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» Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:56 pm
Hahaha, I agree, for the most part. I think he and Hollinger are garbage, but Scoop Jackson can't write ALL the articles on ESPN... :)
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» Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:59 am
#32 wrote:No team in basketball has a higher hill to climb than the Knicks, so how to pull themselves out of that tail interests me.

-Trade Francis or Marbury, QRich and Jalen to the TWolves for KG
-Trade Francis or marbury, Curry and Nate Robinson to the Bobcats for Knight and Okafor

That is getting rid of huge contracts and busts and replacing them with estabished, hard working players!

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» Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:01 am
Regardless of what you seem to think, not every team can just pull together three players and make a run at Garnett, migya... Give it up.

Also, the Bobcats are building around Okafor... but they also like Raymond Felton, so they won't trade their franchise player to roadblock their young point with a ballhogging, score-first PG.

Besides, have you heard what Bill Walton says about all the Knicks players? He says "Thomas takes all the players that NOBODY wants!"... Look at that trade list of yours: QRich, Curry, Jalen, Marbury, Francis... Nobody wants them!

The road back up for the Knicks is a lot longer than you think. I dunno who told you that a magical Garnett trade fixes everything, but KG's not available to every team in the league! Besides; they have enough stars, they need role players. It's like what I said earlier: too many Chiefs, not enough Indians.
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» Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:47 am
These so called players that nobody wants were very wanted a year or two ago! QRich is a desired player for a team that he fits well into, such as the Suns who had him shooting threes. The Knicks just don't know how to use their assets!

KG does make everything a whole lot better and I want him to make things better playing for the Warriors!!!!
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» Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:13 am
migya wrote:These so called players that nobody wants were very wanted a year or two ago! QRich is a desired player for a team that he fits well into, such as the Suns who had him shooting threes. The Knicks just don't know how to use their assets!

QRich is not a good example. He's a ballhog with no skills to be one.

The Knicks have some good players with very bad contracts, but they're not as bad as many of the so-called journalist say. In just three seasons (barring any further trade for new salaries), the'll be one of the teams with more available cap, a real player in free agency, so they should stick with their young guns, building around Channing Frye and the new rookies they'll get and they could be a contender in just 4 years.

But everybody knows Isiah will do something stupid and ruin their chances to do so.
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» Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:36 am
Okay, that makes sense, I agree with TMC.

But the whole "magical trade for KG" theory, that would fix every team in the league, is getting disturbing.

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