Do you remember Isiah Thomas‘ justification for picking Renaldo Balkman, a largely unheard of forward from South Carolina with the 20th selection in the ’06 draft? He said that if he didn’t grab Balkman, the Suns were going to nab him with the next pick. (The Suns chose Rajon Rondo, who was of course traded to Beantown.)
Well if that were the case, then why would one of Mike D’Antoni‘s first orders of business as the Knicks coach be to send Renaldo Balkman out of town? That’s the rumor floating around New York: Balkman to Denver in exchange for Taurean Green and Bobby Jones. Upon arriving in the Big Apple, Green and Jones would promptly be cut, giving the Knicks $1.32 million in cap space that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
So that’s essentially trading Balkman for nothing but a bag of change. Back in ’06, ‘Zeke must have been covering his back when he said that the Suns coveted the 6-7 small forward.
The Knicks are overloaded at small forward with the addition of first-round pick Danilo Gallinari, and Balkman also became expendable because he lacks the savvy and quick decision-making required by D’Antoni’s system.
That’s the same system that he employed in Phoenix. Just imagine the doo-doo face Isiah’s making right now.