Amongst rumors of a possible trade, the Knicks banded together tonight as a team and played their best game of the young season in a solid road win against the win-less Wizards.
David Lee, rumored to be in a possible deal with Al Harrington coming to NY, was held out of the starting lineup and Wilson Chandler filled in as the undersized Knicks banged down 13 three pointers. After the game Mike D’Antoni said he wanted Chandler to guard Antawn Jamison.
But it was Chris Duhon who made the engine purr tonight. In by far his best effort, the point guard remarkably tallied 12 assists without recording a turnover, and added 6 points and 7 boards to lead the offense.
Jamal Crawford was huge down the stretch finishing at the hoop and grabbing a clutch rebound with 4 minutes to go, as the team clamped down defensively on Caron Butler (30 points) and they kept the young legs of JaVele McGee off the boards (12 points 10 rebounds 2 blocks) and pulled to over .500.
As far as the proposed trade goes, here’s my take. Rumors are swirling that Gerald Wallace is now done in Charlotte and we already know that Harrington is on the outs with Nellie in Golden State. So logically the Knicks are the third team should the Warriors not pull off a straight up deal with the Bobcats. I think the Cats have little use for Harrington, they are looking for size, so Walsh needs to do all he can to lure the Warriors into including Marco Belinelli. That could be a deal breaker and the bounty to give up Curry’s contract, in fairness, is Lee, but Walsh would be making a huge statement if he can set the team up for 2010 without Curry’s contract in addition to ridding Harrington’s after 2009.
That move would be enormous, and I hear fans when they scream that Lee should bring back more, but again he’s a free agent and teams don’t trade value for uncertainty, which Lee’s contract situation brings. We know Harrington isn’t the second coming, but again, this isn’t really about this year.
But now we’re hearing that Harrington is sitting on the bench, not because of a rift with Nelson, but because of injury to his back, so who knows about the rumors. If Harrington is moved and Walsh can somehow bring back a young piece for Lee, in addition ridding Curry’s contract, it would be a huge move in the right direction.
The Knicks (3-2) return to action Sunday against the Jazz.