During the conversation, I broached the notion that Donnie Walsh would not take three players with little or no use to this Knicks team just for the sake of dealing Jeffries. Rather I presumed that Walsh will explore deals such as the oft-talked about deal involving Jeffries and Washington's Mike James because not only would James serve a purpose on this team, but such as deal would preserve roster flexibility.
Training camp has not started yet, so this topic is a bit premature. However, let's take a look at what Walsh was faced with last fall. Curry was out of shape and his season was essentially over before it even started. The Marbury situation was a fiasco. Jeffries got hurt early. Danilo Gallianri was hurting. Jerome James was hurt and he was a wasted roster spot anyway. Mardy Collins was a third stringer. Excuse me if I missed anyone else.
Last season, Walsh was right filling his roster to the max. There were simply too many holes and question marks. This season, however, we have to hope that Curry and Gallo will be ready to go for the beginning of the season (After all, Walsh likely passed on Iverson in order to let a player like Gallo grow). We have to hope that all of the players currently on the roster will be ready to start the season. Again it is still early. Wishful thinking I guess.
So I get back to my point. With Walsh almost definitely looking to deal Curry and Jeffries, would it behoove him to take away any roster flexibility that he has and bring in players with guaranteed contracts that will serve no purpose on this team, ala Anthony Roberson? In order to make a 2-1 deal, Walsh's actions last season proved that he is not likely to simply buy out players to facilitate a trade. (** I am not taking into account the Marbury buyout. That buyout was not the norm for Walsh.)
With rumors that many teams will open up with 12-14 man rosters as opposed to the maximum 15 players due to financial constraints, Walsh might be smart to follow suit, but for a different purpose. Roster flexibility is a good thing to have, especially when you are looking to be active in the trade market. The ability to take on more players than you are sending out can be a big factor is some deals.
Perhaps this is part of the reason for the non-guaranteed contracts that Walsh has given to players like Sun Yue, Gabe Pruitt, and Warren Carter. If they work out, then they can have a spot on the roster. If not, Walsh has not handicapped himself with dead weight on his roster, much like he did with Roberson last summer.
Just a thought...