he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Rumor: Jermaine O'Neal Requests Trade to NYh

Monday, May 07, 2007

Rumor: Jermaine O'Neal Requests Trade to NY

Rumors have been running rampant that O'Neal requested a trade to the Knicks. According to the Chicago Tribune O'Neal told the Pacers that he would like to play for the Knicks, and close friend, and former coach, Isiah Thomas. O'Neal, originally drafted by the Trailblazers, struggled mightily for playing time his first four years out of high school, until he went to the Pacers. As soon as O'Neal went to Indiana, in 2000-2001, he immediately began to flourish. Since then O'Neal has gone on to average 19.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, and most importantly 2.4 bpg.

The Tribune speculated as to possible deals for O'Neal. Sam Smith, the author of the article, suggested Steve Francis, Channing Frye, Jared Jeffries, and the Knicks first rounder this year (which is actually the Bulls pick) for O'Neal and a contract. This scenario would be a dream situation for Knicks fans. Get rid of Francis and Jeffries' contracts, trade Frye while he still has value (although I still think he can turn out to be a solid player), and Randolph Morris will be considered our first round pick this year. Isiah could then fill the other roster spots with various free agent pick ups.

Newsday's Ken Berger has another trade scenario. Berger thinks that if the Knicks offered Malik Rose, Channing Frye, Jared Jeffries, their 23rd overall selection, and Jamal Crawford would get O'Neal. This scenario the Knicks give up much more talent, but I would still seriously consider the deal. Assuming Isiah can grab a few good role players from free agency the Knicks could be a very good team next year. Here's to hoping the rumors are true.

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