Well like it or not Donnie's run as GM is over and we all have our opinions of if this is a good thing or bad, I go back and forth, on the one hand I love Donnie Walsh and how he handled himself and brought credability back to our team, but on the other hand he was following up Isiah, kinda like being President after George Bush, you are almost certain to look better than him regardless of what you do!
so lets let the moves speak for themselves
1st Move:Isiah is Out!!!!
This was single by far as exciting an announcement as David Stern pulling out the frozen envelope and declaring we had just landed Patrick Ewing!!!! There is no way Walsh wouldve had any credability if he kept Isiah around in the forefront, I imagine Walsh wanted a clean break, but settled for Isiah being a consultant because even that was enough to improve the moral of the franchise for the next couple of years til he nabbed a big time FA
Grade:A (would be A+ but he did not have the cohonees to insist Isiah be moved all together)
2nd Move Dantoni In!!
Well The Knicks were one of the worst defensive teams in The NBA, we had at the time the most unathletic Front Court in the NBA with Curry and Randolph and Walsh goes out and hires the "Seven Seconds or less " specialist with a rep for not focusing on Defense. Now this move is very easy to critiique 2 years later but I have to say at the time this was a head scratcher espeicially since moving forward every move we made was predicated on bringing in players for this system (more on that later) and with gritty Coaches like Scott Skiles and Tom Tibbidoeu out there not to mention former Knicks Pat Ewing and Mark Jackson
Grade:C- (feeling nice today)
3rd move; Drafts Danillo
Well exactly what I meant by now having to get players who fit in a particular style of play. Danillo was great for us but I will forever be haunted by us passing on Eric Gordon,Brook Lopez amongst others here. Yet Gallo was solid, he had the swagg to be a Knick, but he did resist Joe Alexander and Jared Bayless and no GM gets the draft right every year.
Chris Duhon gets MLE
OK, this was a low risk high reward move! We were way over the cap that summer, there were no other PG's on the market so it was worth the shot. In this move Donnie proved not to be Isiah who's ****iness about how much he knows and his ignorance about long term effects wouldve give Duhon a 4 year deal that would just be ending next year!!! Walsh got Duhon to take less years to serve as a interim PG, now if Duhon had finished the way he started Donnie wouldve found a real gem but he proved to be nothing more than a backup and all that was wasted was some of Dolan's money.
Grade:B (due to savvy, not for product delivered)
Trades Zach and Jamal for expiring deals
We knew the plan was to get under the cap in 2010 but with Crawford,Curry,Jefferies,and Randolph on the books it seemed next to impossible....this move put us in prime positon! This move sent an electricity and new found hope through the city. This move is why we were in the playoffs this year
Buys out Stephon Marbuary
to some as monumental as losing Isiah, to others heartbreak...simply put I loved how Walsh couldve held out on the buyout to prevent Marbaury from being able to be on a playoff roster but elected to buy Steph out to allow him free will to become a Celtic. Class Act!
Grade: none given
Trades Q Rich for Darko
This trade was a wash! Q shot the ball horrible the season before we traded him and after, Darko sucked while he was here, so no harm no foul. The attempt was commendable in trying to land a Dantoni style big man!
Drafts Jordan Hill
Worst move of all for Walsh!!!! Slew of PG's available and we take a player who playes the position of our then best player (David Lee) a bigger stronger Balkman one poster called him and it looks like he will have as productive a career. The most important pick for The Knicks because we needed to prove we had a core of players that could help a 2010 FA want to be here.
Drafts Toney Douglas
a nice find and the only thing it cost us was more of Dolan's money (which is essentially our money). TD will not make us forget about passing on some quality PGs but he was a nice find that late in the draft.
Trades Hill and Jefferies for expiring deals
Horrible when you consider that we would eventually bring back Jefferies and that we used the money freed up to nab Felton to fill the PG slot and had we just drafted a PG to begin with then we wouldve not needed to have gotten Felton....not to mention we gave up a unprotected pick to Hou in this deal!
Drafts Landry Feilds
who knows what he will ever be, but a second round pick who makes All NBA rookie team and played like a vet is praise worthy for a GM
Signs Amare to a multi year deal
Hated by many (yours truly being on) at the time but Stat proved to be one of the best players in all the league this year. First Knick to make an All NBA team since Pat, first Knick since Pat to start an All Star game. Homerun in a lot of ways.....but will his body hold up for the life of his contract
A- (only because I still feel we paid more than anyone else wouldve)
David Lee for G-States poo-poo platter of players
Well w Stat on board what was the need for David Lee right? well consider how little each of the players we traded for contributed, I mean Tariaf had his moments but nothing serious, AR looked like a JV player while he was here and Azbuike never even wore a Knicks uniform! Hindisght is 20/20 they say
B- (the moves landed chips used to get Melo)
Won't grade Melo deal because I feel that was a Dolan move all day!!!
"I'd Rather Melo shoot with 3 men on him than Jefferies shotting wide open"
-Jeff Van Gundy