he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Knicks Acquire Randolph From Blazersh

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Knicks Acquire Randolph From Blazers

Draft night 2007 promised to make a big and memorable splash on the NBA community. Not only was the draft one of the deepest since 2003, but there were blockbuster trade rumors swirling around seemingly every team. Teams like the Bobcats, the Sonics, the Warriors, and the Celtics all made blockbuster trades. Even the Knicks got involved, trading for one of the best post players in the NBA in Zach Randolph. Randolph averaged 23.6 ppg (a career high) and grabbed 10.1 boards for the lowly Trailblazers during the 2006-2007 campaign.

The Knicks dealt away Steve Francis and Channing Frye for Randolph, Fred Jones, and Dan Dickau. Isiah was very lucky to find a team that would take on Steve Francis' contract. It seemed that Isiah was going to inevitably buyout the rest of Francis' contract, making him a free agent. Instead not only did Isiah trade him he got the 12th best scorer in the NBA last season. Trading Frye hurts a bit because he is talented and showed signs of becoming a good NBA player, but his inconsistency this season soured Knicks fans a bit. Plus Randolph is only two years older than Frye, and far more talented.

Randolph's acquisition is a curious one for the Knicks. I'm not certain this put the Knicks over the edge in terms of where they stand in the Eastern Conference because Randolph does not necessarily solve a team need. In fact Randolph is statistically worse defensively than Eddy Curry. Curry averaged more blocks per game (.5 compared to .2) and only averaged .4 more steals than Curry. Due to Randolph's poor defense he does not solve the Knicks most pressing need, defense and a formidable shot blocker. However, Randolph's rebounding will help Curry much like David Lee did when he played. This way when Lee is not in the game Randolph will still be there to help Curry. In addition, it will be interesting to see how Isiah sets up the Knicks offense with two post players who need the ball to be successful. Marbury and Crawford might have to sacrifice a couple of points off of their season average so that Randolph and Curry can get the touches they need to succeed. Hopefully the paint will not be too crowded with double and triple teams possibly coming on both players.

Although Randolph clearly improved the Knicks it is unclear whether or not he has made the Knicks into a playoff team. Only time will tell. Isiah, the ball is in your court.


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