On the flip side, the Knicks have pursued Jason Kidd, but he has decided to stay in Dallas. Plan B? That's Grant Hill, who visited yesterday and who the Knicks have made an offer to in excess of the bi--annual exception. Hill is likely to choose among New York, Phoenix, and Boston. If he decides to play in Boston (which is what I would do. The Celtics are desperate for bench help beyond their front five. Adding Wallace was a major step, but they are not done. Hill can help boost that team back to a title), then Donnie Walsh will go back to the drawing board and cross another name off the list.
Speaking of that list, who else might be on it? It is very, very possible that Walsh only had two names on that list when free agency opened on July 1st. It is very possible that it was either Kidd and/ or Hill, or bust for Walsh this off-season. If Hill spurns the Knicks and decides to go for a ring, Walsh has the option of looking for another player to fill the gaps on this team or he can simply wait and see what happens with the Lee and Nate situations. If either leave, Walsh will likely look for a S&T for either player (definitely Lee). That scenario would hopefully net the Knicks a couple of young, quality players. In my own opinion, that is what I think Walsh will end up doing. Perhaps he will try and acquire a cheap veteran PG, such as Ty Lue, or perhaps try and trade his trade exceptions for a young, average PG. Perhaps the Lakers, who just re-signed Shannon Brown, and are looking for a way to make the finances work to bring back Lamar Odom, would be willing to shed a couple of million dollars off their payroll. Farmar appears to be third on their depth chart behind Fisher and Brown. That would be a great move for Walsh.
There is also the chance that Kidd and Hill were the only free agent targets, but Walsh has a specific trade target in mind and has the expiring contracts of fairly productive players (Hughes (productive ?) and Harrington) to make a deal happen.
However, there is also the possibility that Walsh has a few other free agents in mind. If this off-season has proved one thing about Walsh's desires, it has shown that Walsh wants a productive, and more importantly, a very respected veteran to help show this team how to handle themselves on the court and to help show this team how to win. Say what you want about last year's team, but one of the biggest problems was that they did not know how to finish games (remember the Portland debacle with Roy sinking the game winning lay-up?). A guy like Grant Hill can teach this team how to get the job done down the stretch of a game. Most of these younger free agents do not have that ability.
That said, what other free agents are out there for the Knicks to look at? With the courtship of Grant Hill, it is clear that Walsh is not against trying to acquire another SF. D'Antoni thinks that Hill will play the SG position, but in reality, Hill is much more of a SF than a SG. In my opinion, there are a few good young options at the SF position that might be available to this team via free agency. Two of them are technical property of the Hawks. Both Josh Childress and Marvin Williams are young and talented. More importantly, both are good defenders and are good in transition. Childress is a high IQ player that knows where to be on the floor when he is out there. Childress has the ability to play the SG spot moreso than does Williams. With the Hawks unsure if they can financially make it work to keep both (or even one of them), can either be available for the MLE?
I like Marvin Williams, but he is less of a fit than Childress, especially considering Childress' ability to be effective coming off the bench. If Walsh had to trade Wilson Chandler in any deal for Ricky Rubio (I apologize for making this post too hypothetical), then perhaps Williams would be a better option.
I am not saying that Walsh will, or should, look at either of those two players. They can both be effective and worth the MLE. Williams, in our system, has the potential to break out and become an all-star level player. Ramon Sessions might be a better option than either, but much like both Childress and Williams, Sessions is a RFA and the Bucks figure to match any offer he receives. Something tells me that Marvin Williams is more crucial to that Atlanta team and that the Hawks would match any MLE deal offered to him. Childress might be the odd man out however. After all, the Hawks did let him go play last year in Greece instead of re-signing him.
Thoughts? Can Childress play the two? Can he be effective at the two?