Saturday, June 20, 2009
From Alan Hahn of Newsday:
Donnie Walsh will sit down with the beat writers on Monday at the MSG Training Center, but on Friday he was a guest on Indianapolis' WNDE and discussed the Knicks, the NBA Draft and even a little about the media.
Walsh didn't give away any secrets and I won't even attempt amateur tea-leaf reading. But one thing he did say with notable confidence was there will be no wavering from the 2010 Plan. He said the goal for this season was to "make our team better and make us competitive for the playoffs" but he said they would not do it while compromising the salary cap space for next summer.
Remember that old saying, "I'm just the man sittin' next to The Man"? Consider this the year sittin' next to The Year.
“I think we can do well in ," Walsh said, "and if we can do well in that, you can make a quick jump.”
There is a strong possibility that the Knicks will trade David Lee. How the hell does a team get better and "competitive for the playoffs" when the team's best player is shipped off? If Lee is traded, it'll be for a mix of an unproven player in the lottery and expiring contracts. Right off the bat I have a problem with what Walsh said.
The sooner Lee signs his deal, and is NOT traded, then we can discuss the team being a playoff contender in two years. I know Lee isn't the best player in the NBA -- not a Top 25 -- but it doesn't make sense to give him up if he's already on the team and likes New York.
If Lee is signed, the Knicks have a great, young core to build around and attract free agents. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, along with Lee, looks extremely promising going forward. More free agents would be interested if those guys were all playing at MSG.
The other thing is while it's always good to have a plan, Donnie Walsh is pretty much telling the Knicks fan base that the 2009/2010 season doesn't count. Don't worry about it... Why even go to the games? To see Larry Hughes clank line drive jumpers off bottom rim?
My prediction: the Knicks will win 35 games, miss the playoffs and get a higher lottery pick again. I'm not looking forward to that at all.
--Interesting note, also posted up on Hahn's blog, John Hollinger of ESPN has ranked UNC Point Gaurd Ty Lawson as the best player in the draft. Blake Griffin coming in at a close second. I don't know how Hollinger does this, but he's usually right (Sabermetricians, stand up!).
So whoever gets Lawson will end up with a great player according to Hollinger. New Jersey is in the running. They very well could trade down and take Lawson in the second half of the first round. Maybe the Knicks will finally come to their senses and snag him.