Sunday, July 10, 2005

What's With The Infrequency, Kenneth? (Starbury Time)

I know, I know--I'm actually updating two days in a row. Shocking! Nothing terribly exciting today, but I want to start putting stuff up every day just to keep myself busy. And to keep writing. And so Lang will leave me the hell alone. (All love.)

All I wanted to write about today was the recent profane reaction of Knicks vice president (president? GM?) Isiah Thomas to a question as to whether he was considering trading Stephon Marbury. In an expletive-filled response, he essentially suggested to the assembled media throng that it was more likely that he'd jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. Are you kidding me? Because if that's true, Isiah should be fired. Immediately.

Let's face it. Stephon has been more trouble than he's worth ever since he left Minnesota (which was his first and biggest mistake). He doesn't make his teammates better, he's petulant, he bruises easier than a day-old apple, and his morose attitude when the chips are down is dangerously contagious--all the more so when you consider he's the leader of an increasingly young team. And this, mind you is from someone who for years was painted as one of Steph's staunchest supporters. And honestly, I still like him tremendously, both as a person and a player. I just think he's a bad fit for the new-look Knicks (ironic, seeing that he was the first, and biggest, acquisition).

It goes all the way to the way he plays the game. Given his attack mentality, and despite his occasionally brilliant playmaking, Steph should be a scorer. And he needs to part of a winning team, where his downcast attitude wouldn't be as much of an issue. And--the biggest thing, playingwise--Steph just isn't an up-and-down guy. He never has been. Even in New Jersey, with Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles, he wanted to bring the ball up slowly, and play in the half-court set. If the Knicks truly want to be a running team, they need a different point guard.

Then there's the matter of his max contract, which will pay him roughly 20 million annually for the next three years. Why WOULDN'T Isiah want to move that? As a guy who says he cherishes flexibility, why would he want to dedicate roughly a third of the cap for the next three years to an aging, miscast, redundant, misanthropic guard? Just because he's from Brooklyn? Why not try and actually free up cap space to draw a marquee free agent like, say, LeBron James? And, even more inexplicably, why would Zeke so categorically and emphatically deny it--except perhaps to save Steph's easily hurt feelings? Trading Stephon Marbury shouldn't only be a possibility for the New York Knicks, it should be an inevitability. The homecoming was the feel-good story of the year, but the experiment failed. Let both parties move on.

Where to trade him? I was thinking Memphis, for Jason Williams and the admittedly cancerous Bonzi Wells. Start Wells at the three, with Williams running (literally) the point and Quentin Richardson at the two, with Jamal Crawford being the first guard off the bench. Or replace Wells with a re-signed Stromile Swift and include someone like Michael Sweetney. (I haven't looked up salary numbers, but the new CBA loosened the salary restrictions anyway). I don't know, just something to think about. It would definitely make both teams better--Memphis would be rid of some headaches, and the Knicks could REALLY start running. And you know how many "Williams 55" Knick jerseys would sell?

Honestly, I don't think Steph plays another game for the Knicks. And, if so, I can't wait to hear what Isiah has to say then.

2 comments:

Ben said...

I'm not sure if he could deal Steph if he wanted to. If you run through the entire list of NBA teams, I can think of only three teams that would MAYBE make a deal for Steph:

Memphis, as you mentioned.
Minnesota,
and Portland.

I really don't think Minnesota would take him back, especially since they'd then have $34 million wrapped up in the combination of KG and Steph.

Portland might, although he'd take up some of his cousin's PT. This would seem to be the most likely scenario if they do try and deal him, but you're gonna be getting dimes on the dollar.

The only possible trade I could see is something along the lines of Stephon for Nick Van Exel and Joel Przybilla, which gets you a 7 footer who played well for stretches last year, and Steph's $18 million contract off the books for next year.

Yet that still only gets the figure for next year down to about $68 million or so, leaving you about $10 million over the cap, so it doesn't really do THAT much.

The fact is, the options are VERY limited (and that's an understatement). Which leads me to believe that only if the Knicks got royally screwed would they even be able to get rid of Marbury. Perhaps then the expletive laden rant will do the good of giving Marbury the confidence, since I don't think a deal will happen anyway.

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