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Of course, Marbury remains the property of the Knicks, who are not exactly enamored of the idea of Marbury joining an Eastern Conference rival and remaining relevant well into June -- a good two months after the Knicks' own 2008-09 relevancy will have long since expired.
New York is even less enamored of Marbury possibly joining the Miami Heat -- one of the teams the Knicks expect to be contending with for one of the final playoff spots in the East. That is why team president Donnie Walsh was planning to check into the legality of whether NBA rules permit him to make a deal -- whether a handshake deal, or something in writing-- with Marbury in which New York would offer a larger buyout sum if Marbury agreed to sign with a Western Conference team. The Chicago Bulls had a handshake agreement of that sort with Tim Thomas three years ago when they bought him out and allowed him to sign with Phoenix, but it is questionable whether an outright pre-arranged divorce agreement designating which conference the bought-out player would relocate to would be allowable under NBA guidelines.
In speaking with ESPN.com prior to the game, Walsh made it clear that he plans to take his time moving forward on any Marbury resolution -- even going so far as to say he wouldn't be completey surprised if some team comes to him in the next six weeks and makes him a trade offer for Marbury in order to clear long-term salary. (To date, he said no team has made a trade offer of any sort for Marbury).