When New York Knicks president Donnie Walsh traded Jamal Crawford to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington and dealt Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins to the Los Angeles Clippers for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas, the clear goal was to free up salary cap space for the summer of 2010 when LeBron James and several other top tier players are set to become free agents. Sure, New York tickets could be the hottest thing in basketball come 2010 thanks to those two moves, but what will they get fans now? Well, first let’s take a look at the roster makeup. A likely starting lineup for this new team would consist of Chris Duhon, Mobley, Wilson Chandler, Harrington and David Lee. Bench players that figure to get significant playing time include Quentin Richardson, Nate Robinson and Thomas. Historically, head coach Mike D’Antoni likes to run an eight-man rotation, so this makeup suits that trend well. Harrington should thrive in D’Antoni’s small ball, eight seconds or less offense with his potent inside/outside attack. He’s the prototypical forward for D’Antoni’s offense and should see a lot of touches.
Mobley provides the team with outside shooting, something the Knicks have been streaky with thus far this season. He should step in and start at the two position immediately and give the team a defensive boost as well. Thomas may not get a ton of playing time, especially when Jared Jeffries returns, but he did thrive under D’Antoni during his stint with Phoenix, most notably in the playoffs. It appears as if Duhon’s role will remain the same, hitting open shots and distributing the ball. Chandler will likely be looked to for more offense now that Crawford is gone; he and Harrington should lead this team in scoring. David Lee will get the opportunity to prove that he can handle a starting role and will probably get most of his run at the center position, which is fine in D’Antoni’s small ball system. Lee has had some trouble this season in the consistency department, but did show up in a big way in the first game since the trades went down, notching 22 points and 10 rebounds from the five spot.
As for the bench players, Nate Robinson should see the floor even more with this trade. Mobley won’t warrant a ton of minutes thanks to his age and heart condition. Robinson is off to a quick start this season and has taken to D’Antoni’s desire to push the ball. He’s hitting threes and picking the ball often, and he’ll get more opportunities to do so with this new roster. Quentin Richardson should still get some major burn, as his shooting ability will keep him regularly in the lineup. Malik Rose and Anthony Roberson could receive some time as well, but I wouldn’t expect much. When Jared Jeffries returns from a broken leg, he should get some time as D’Antoni liked the way he was playing in the preseason. The team could also give Eddy Curry some minutes in the attempt to boost his trade value, but only if he gets himself in acceptable shape. All in all, this team should contend for one of the final few playoff spots. It’s more likely that the club lands in the late lottery than makes the postseason, but it should be competitive. To see the team take on fellow playoff hopefuls, visit StubHub.
Morgan C. Dunn wrote this article, which was sponsored by StubHub, one of the finest places in the entire world wide web to get New York Knicks tickets, concert tickets, theatre tickets, special events tickets, or almost any kind of sports ticket out there.