Knicks Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Friday, June 29th, 2007 at 7:42 am and is filed under Basketball, Knicks Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

It appears that Steve Francis will finally get that long-rumored buyout – just not from the New York Knicks. Via ESPN.com:

The New York Knicks didn’t have a lottery pick Thursday night but made their own draft-night splash by acquiring Portland big man Zach Randolph.

The Knicks and Trail Blazers reached agreement on a deal that swaps Randolph and teammates Dan Dickau and Fred Jones for guard Steve Francis and Channing Frye.

Francis has only two seasons left on his contract, worth just over $34 million, but possesses the option to become a free agent after next season. The Blazers, however, are planning to buy out Francis’ contract and make him a free agent this summer, sources said.

Yet even if they changed course and decided to keep Francis, his arrival would still provide Portland with some long-term payroll relief, since Randolph has four seasons left on his contract worth more than $61 million.

You can say this about Isiah Thomas: He doesn’t do things half-way. As has been the case with the majority of Zeke’s moves as general manager of the Knicks, this could be one of the best deals of this NBA offseason or one of the absolute worst. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, more often than not Isiah’s wheelings and dealings have blown up in his face.

In this latest blockbuster, the Knicks are acquiring a monster in the paint with a spotty record off the court. Whether Zeke can get the 25-year old problem child to straighten out his life and focus on basketball is just one of the hurtles the Knicks will have to clear in the wake of Randolph’s acquisition. The other, and perhaps more significant, is whether there’s enough room in the paint for both Randolph and Eddy Curry to coexist. The team faced similar questions when Steve Francis was first acquired to play in the backcourt with Stephon Marbury, and the experiment turned out to be a disaster.

While I’m not convinced the Knicks are facing similar ruin in this instance, Knicks fans should brace for some major growing pains as these two young big men adjust to one another. The odds are certainly against it, however there is potential here for a dynamic frontcourt unparalleled in the Eastern Conference, if not the league.

P.S. The Knicks selected SF Wilson Chandler out of DePaul with the 23rd overall pick. Chicago – using the Knicks’ No. 9 selection – picked Florida’s Joakim Noah. Chew on that.

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