Evening Scoop: New York's LeBron Play?
By: Bill Ingram Last Updated: 8/27/08 6:33 PM ET | 8946 times read
Adjust font size:This morning's top NBA story, in case you missed it, was a trade rumor that the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies could be close to a deal that would send Antoine Walker and Darko Milicic to the Knicks for the often-rumored Zach Randolph. No doubt Knicks fans are scratching their heads . . .and maybe Grizzlies fans, too.
First of all, Randolph isn't as bad as I've heard people saying. He's an incredibly charismatic guy, even crazy funny at times, but he's really a big kid. He goes with the flow and is very easily influenced. It all comes down to who you want influencing him. In New York he doesn't have much to choose from, but in Memphis he would have some outstanding guidance from the likes of Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, and now OJ Mayo - all of them outstanding citizens as well as being gifted basketball players. Marc Iavaroni, too, is a strong personality who could guide Zach in the right direction. The Grizzlies' run-and-gun style of play would most certainly benefit Randolph, who is a great rebounder and scorer but struggles to commit to the defensive end. In this case a great offense could turn out to be his best defense.
On the Knicks side of the ledger, this would be all about taking $17 million off of their payroll in time for the 2010 NBA free agency period. Milicic's deal ends that summer and Walker's contract has a player option that could take him off the books even a year earlier should he choose to exercise it. Ultimately, the move would be made in order to set up a courtship of the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James.
When you consider that the Grizzlies need another legit seven-footer to play alongside Marc Gasol and the Knicks are all about cap space in 2010, all of a sudden this move makes a lot of sense. As Steve Kyler reported this morning, a source close to the Grizzlies situation is admitting they're considering it, so stay tuned for more on this possible trade.