Is Isiah Thomas still running New York? This sort of feels like it. Reports have been coming in all afternoon about the Knicks sweeping in from under a couple of West Coast teams’ legs and possibly stealing prized big man Tyson Chandler. Now, ESPN.com reports one source with knowledge said: “It’s 98 percent sure that Tyson is going to wind up with the Knicks.” During a crazy period, which got even crazier once we found out Mark Cuban was going to break up the core group for the NBA champions, this might be the craziest move of all. Why? It really feels like just the tip of the iceberg.
So let’s say the Knicks do sign Chandler. They’d have to get rid of Ronny Turiaf (no biggie) and Chauncey Billups (something that was going to happen eventually, but surprising nonetheless). There’s been talk of a trade with Billups, but c’mon now, no one’s trading for Billups and that $14.2 million contract right now. It’s amnesty or nothing for the old guy… unless it’s Dallas in a sign-n-trade with New York. If the Knicks get rid of those two, that would leave them with about $11 million to offer Chandler, and as John Hollinger tweeted, they can scoop out another extra $1.4 mill if they renounce Derrick Brown & the two Williamses (Shawne & Shelden).
My first thought upon seeing this was “Hmmm… Tyson Chandler loves Chris Paul. CP desperately wants to play with him again. The Knicks fantasize about CP3 like he was their hot elementary teacher. There has to be some type of connection.” Well, ESPN reported New York’s thinking might be to add Chandler, and then trade Amar’e Stoudemire to New Orleans to bring in Paul. Instead of a Big Three, they’d have Carmelo Anthony, CP and… Tyson Chandler. Not bad. But not grand either.
If you’re the Knicks, what would you do? I get the feeling they desperately want Paul but realize they have no shot right now before next summer, and Paul will almost assuredly be traded to someone else by then. This could be their only shot.
As for Dallas, the writing is now officially on the wall. They’re gearing up for next summer and Deron Williams. No Chandler. Don’t expect the rest of their free agents to return either. If they can pull Billups in a sign-n-trade out of this, it could help them on the perimeter this year, but with his deal expiring after this season, I doubt they’d keep him around much longer.
Chandler is expect to sign, at a minimum, a contract worth $50 million over four years. Yahoo! Sports reports it’ll be four years for $58 million. In New York, he’d become the best defensive anchor in the middle Mike D’Antoni‘s ever had, and would help to balance out their team. But at this point with so many dominoes still waiting to fall, it’s hard to say exactly what this would mean in New York City.
What do you make of all this?
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