That said, Kevin from Basketball Prospectus most certainly has.
Dwyer would lead you to believe that the Knicks would move any young player on the roster if it meant ridding Jared Jeffries or Eddy Curry.
"...The problem here is that the Knicks want, oh, about none of these players back next year. They're trying to shed space for a bit of free agency fun; and while their quartet of youngsters (Danilo Gallinari(notes), Toney Douglas(notes), Jordan Hill(notes), Wilson Chandler(notes)) will be under contract and a welcome sight on the 2010-11 roster to coach Mike D'Antoni and personnel chief Donnie Walsh, don't think that New York wouldn't deal any of those parts in a second if it meant being able to deal either Jared Jeffries(notes) or Eddy Curry(notes) for expiring contracts.The first sentence is a contradiction. "About none of these players" means that they want at least one player back and that's obviously Gallinari. He is going nowhere. Period.
Everyone else? Gone..."
And I'd venture to guess that Wilson Chandler is getting himself to untouchable status too. But I won't go that far, considering that Chandler has $2.1 million on the books for next year. Frankly, between Jeffries and Chandler, I can imagine Donnie Walsh may be receiving phone calls about availability of both players now, based on how well each has played. Jeffries may be playing himself into a situation where he doesn't need an asset with him in order to be moved. Now, I mentioned yesterday that Jeffries has been a huge piece to the team, defensively, and that I wouldn't just trade him if it weren't the right deal at this point. I mean, to take say, Adam Morrison, back or Earl Watson to unload JJ may make more sense at the trade deadline, but not now. Jeffries would help the Lakers and the Thunder as a defensive presence off the bench. Mike James is a name that has always been tossed out there, but who knows what the Wiz are thinking now. Any deal could severely hamper the Knicks playoff chances should they still be in the mix, which is why Walsh's best bet is to wait until the deadline.
In Curry's case, it seems that a buyout over the summer would be the best option in order to save a few dollars, but we'll see.
One has to wonder if Chandler, Jeffries and Darko Milicic's contract would be enough to entice Carlos Boozer and, say, Kyle Kover? Chandler would be a great fit for the unbalanced Jazz lineup and Jeffries is a Jerry Sloan type of player.
Any way you slice it, Gallinari will be here.
Kevin from BP (by far and away one of my favorite sites) does a great job of breaking down the Knicks resurgence and points to several things that we alluded to on TKB Chalkboard, most notably the team's length and ability to protect the 3 point arc. Again, if you keep teams out of transition and prohibit 3s you're going to give up less than 100 points for the most part. This is why Jonathan Bender is a key piece to the second unit even if he's struggling to make shots, I guarantee you that he takes away two three pointers per game (6 points) from an opposing bench player who is used to coming in the game with the second unit and getting wide open looks. Very few teams can bring in 7'0 on the perimeter defensively off the bench.
"...There's reason to believe the Knicks are better defending the three than they looked early in the campaign. While there is little correlation between opponent three-point shooting season to season, New York was sixth-best at defending the arc last year. Moving Jeffries into the starting lineup has given the Knicks plenty of length and a versatile group of defenders who can switch almost any pick. I'm willing to accept New York as one of the best three-point defenses in the league, if not the best, but 25.2 percent shooting beyond the arc is unsustainably low. As we saw with the Miami Heat earlier this season, fluky three-point shooting by opponents can make a defense look a lot better than it is. Expect the Knicks' D to regress slightly going forward..."