Following up on that Knicks-Wizards rumor involving the fifth overall pick:
There have been recent conversations between the teams about players, mainly ones the Wizards are interested in on the Knicks roster. But what may come as a surprise is that Wilson Chandler doesn't appear to be the main ingredient here. In fact, from multiple sources with knowledge of the Wizards' strategizing, they're the ones who have inquired about two former Wiz players, Larry Hughes and Jared Jeffries.
The Knicks are all ears.
Washington tried to trade for Hughes (for Mike James and Etan Thomas) during the past season, when he was still with Chicago and they asked about Jeffries before the trade deadline. Both were key members of the 2004-05 Washington team that reached the second round of the playoffs. Hughes and Gilbert Arenas were a strong backcourt and some within the Wizards braintrust feel they missed Jeffries more than they thought they would after he took that mid-level exception offer sheet from Isiah Thomas in 2006. The Wizards feel they have a small window of opportunity with their core of Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison and want to build a strong supporting cast of veterans to make a run.
The Knicks wouldn't mind shedding Hughes' contract, though it has one year left with a team-high $13.6M pricetag. They could consider th at same James/Thomas scenario because both players are also in expiring deals. James ($6.4M) is a shooter (and a Long Islander) whom the Knicks could use and the 6-10 Thomas ($7.3M) provides size, grit and rebounding depth in the frontcourt.
Jeffries, of course, is the big one to move, with $6.4M next season and a critical $6.8M against the salary cap in 2010-11. The Knicks almost moved him to the Kings at the trade deadline and, according to a source, recently were close to something with the Toronto Raptors that fell through when the Raps turned it down.
And, aware that the Wizards aren't that excited about anything they see at No. 5, the Knicks too the opportunity ask about the pick. It may have been suggested that Chandler is the only young asset the team could offer in return that may interest Ernie Grunfeld for the pick, but it was not something the Knicks offered. At this point, it doesn't appear to be anything more than a speculative scenario.
But that five-spot is valuable to the Knicks because, presumably, they would snatch Stephen Curry there before anyone else gets their grubby hands on him. But we're starting to get skeptical here, mainly because of Curry's quick about-face when it comes to workouts. Initially, after his workout with the Knicks, Curry's father said his son was shutting it down. Then within a day it was decided that he will, in fact, participate in more workouts.
Why the sudden change of mind? Did he not get the guarantee from the Knicks he had hoped to get? Perhaps without a guarantee at No. 8, Curry didn't want to give up potential opportunity -- and money -- from interested teams in the top five. So off to Sacramento he went this weekend.
As Starberman predicted, UCLA's Jrue Holiday will be back for his second workout with the Knicks on Monday, among a five-player group of second-round/summer league invite types. Instead of Curry, this time Holiday will go up against Miami senior Jack McClinton (6-1, 185). Others in the group include Gonzaga center Josh Heytfelt, Santa Clara center John Bryant and a pair of swingmen in Rodney Alexander (Oklahoma City University) and Lorrenzo Wade (San Diego State).
The second look at Holiday should be noted, because the Knicks were high on the 6-3 freshman, but he had an admittedly underwhelming workout on June 10. You generally bring a kid back to make sure you're ready to pass on him, in case you have to decide. And right now I would venture a guess that Tyreke Evans is ahead of Holiday on the Knicks draft board. Evans is solidly-build, should be able to defend and can play the pick-and-roll real well. One thing the Memphis guard did during his workout on June 15 was prove he can shoot the rock. If Holiday continues to struggle with his stroke and leaves enough doubt, Evans and Curry would be my best bets as favorites at No. 8.
I've consistently touted Curry as the best fit in this draft for the Knicks needs in the system Mike D'Antoni runs. While Evans has serious potential, he's just too ball-dominant. But perhaps as a two-guard, once he learns the philosophies of quick decisions, constant motion and catch-and-shoot mentality, he will fit well.
It is highly unlikely both he and Curry will be there and, of course, very possible neither will be available by the 8th pick. Another reason to give a second look to Holiday. And don't overlook Ty Lawson here. If neither Curry and Evans are there and Holiday continues to underwhelm, Lawson, the true floor general and proven winner who [Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]
, may be in play.
Ricky Rubio and his camp were reportedly finalizing a buyout agreement with his Spanish team, DKV Joventut, which places in bold letters Rubio's intention to play in the NBA next season. Very interesting development there, as he will be the focal point of some serious debates in the war rooms for Memphis, Oklahoma City and Sacramento.
Much more to come on Monday . .
Remember to get your Fix on twitter by following me at [Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]