According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Tyson Chandler will soon be signed by the Knicks in free agency or acquired via sign-and-trade from the Dallas Mavericks. The news comes out of nowhere, as New York has apparently concluded via back channels that PG Chris Paul is virtually unattainable due to insufficient trading assets and Paul’s desire for a maximum contract from the team potentially acquiring him.
Stein, appearing as a guest on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 1050, said “[I]t’s going to happen, and naturally [the Knicks] would also love Chris Paul, [presumably] by trading Amar’e Stoudemire.”
So what does this mean for Chauncey Billups ($14.2M) ? Simple. He’s history as far as his Knick tenure goes. Whether that means via the amnesty route or by trade along with Ronny Turiaf ($4.4M) – perhaps to Denver or Sacramento, two teams currently below the NBA-mandated trading-floor – remains to be seen.
Might Denver be interested in a package of Billups, Turiaf, Landry Fields and Toney Douglas to reacquire the dearly-departed Danilo Gallinari?
As far as who will run the point for the Knicks should any of this happen, it may take some time for that to sort itself out. Absent another blockbuster trade – as explored by Harvey Araton of the New York Times earlier today – such as dealing Stoudemire for Paul or (gasp) Carmelo Anthony for Deron Williams, the team may need to rely on Douglas and rookie Iman Shumpert in the short term.
Neither Douglas, nor Shumpert are bound to inspire much confidence as facilitators of Mike D’Antoni’s offense, but they’re both top-notch defenders at the position.
Ramon Sessions has also been mentioned as a possible target, especially given D’Antoni’s well-known high-esteem for the CLE point guard. Lurking in the background, as always, will be the Steve Nash rumors, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
The NBA. Where insanity happens.
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