he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Early Rumors Show Signs of Wild Off-seasonh

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Early Rumors Show Signs of Wild Off-season

Jermaine O'Neal, Rashard Lewis, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Vince Carter, and even Ron Artest have all been rumored to be coming to the Knicks. Rumors have even said that Kobe and O'Neal have directly gone to management and asked for a trade to the Knicks. The off-season hasn't even started yet! It looks like it won't be a slow off-season for the Knicks and their beat writers. If the Knicks get even one of the players listed above then the Knicks will immediately become a playoff team. Artest is the worst player on that list, and that is saying something.

On that list Rashard Lewis is probably the most likely player to come to the Knicks, and Lewis would most likely come on a sign and trade with the Sonics. Offers of Crawford and Nate for Lewis have circulated the rumor wire. That trade would be perfect for the Knicks for a few reasons. One, Lewis is the consistent second scorer for the Knicks who would also become their main downtown threat (career 38.6% for three). Secondly, losing both Crawford and Nate would open up more playing time for Collins, and with the loss of Nate the team fundamentally becomes much stronger. Although I love Nate, I also hate him just as much. His sporadic play is beyond frustrating, and the excitement he offers does not outweigh the negatives he brings, at least not yet.

Jermaine O'Neal and Kobe are the other two rumors that have not stopped since both players have apparently demanded to be dealt. Stephen Jackson, a close friend of Jermaine O'Neal, told reporters that he think O'Neal wants to go to the Knicks to play for his old Pacer coach, Isiah. Jackson went on to say that O'Neal plus Curry could carry the Knicks to epic proportions. As for Kobe, he would be the hardest player for the Knicks to trade for. The Knicks could offer a package (assuming they still have all their players because of other trades) of Lee, Frye, Francis (to even contracts), and the Knicks 23rd overall selection. The problem with that offer is that the Knicks don't give up the one stud player. Sure David Lee could wind up averaging 18 ppg and 12rpg, but that's only if he develops some post-up moves. Most of his points come from tip ins and dunks, and if he does not develop some post moves then it would be hard for him to average more than 14 points a game.

One thing is for sure. If even one of the players are acquired by the Knicks we will have a lot to look forward to come next season.


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