By Ed Easton Jr.
The trade deadline is looming in the NBA and the number one player on the Knicks’ list continues to be Denver forward Carmelo Anthony. As Knick fans are getting excited by the possibility of Anthony in New York we decided to go down a memory lane of nightmares. Here’s some reminders of the Knicks poor decision-making.
During the summer of 1996, Charlotte Hornets star forward Larry Johnson was traded to the Knicks for Anthony Mason and Brad Lohaus. Johnson may be most remembered for his miraculous four point play in the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals, but still was considered a bust by many. Back injuries greatly slowed his explosiveness to the basket that made him an All-Star in Charlotte. While Johnson would never become an All-Star with the Knicks, Mason had a breakout year in 2001 as a star for the Miami Heat, posting career highs in points and rebounds and was selected to the All NBA Third Team in 1997.
In February of 2003, the Knicks acquired Jalen Rose from the Toronto Raptors for Antonio Davis, cash and a first round draft pick. Rose was highly ineffective during his short tenure with the Knicks and was a salary cap problem, since he was set to make 15.7 million that season and 16.9 million the following year.
In August of 2001, the Houston Rockets signed Shandon Anderson to a 6-year, $41 million contract and traded him to the Knicks. The Knicks sent Glen Rice and $1 million to the Rockets and Mugsy Bogues to the Mavericks. The Mavericks sent Howard Eisley to the Knicks and the rights to 2nd round pick Kyle Hill with $1 million to the Rockets. After all these deals were done the Knicks were stuck with two mediocre players in Anderson and Eisley that now possessed long-term contracts.
In July 2003, the Knicks trade Latrell Sprewell to the T-Wolves in a multi-team trade, acquiring Keith Van Horn. The trade reportedly happened due to Knicks owner James Dolan having a personal feud with then crowd favorite Sprewell. Van Horn didn’t even last a year in New York as he was eventually shipped out mid-season to Milwaukee for Tim Thomas while Sprewell helped to lead the T-Wolves to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 2004.
In June 2007, the Knicks trade Channing Frye and Steve Francis to the Portland Trailblazers for Zach Randolph. Randolph was a double, double machine that was supposed to be the other half to the Knicks version of the twin towers. Eddy Curry was hurt most of the season as the Knicks just seemed like a nightmare every night not being able to find any chemistry with one another. In Randolph’s lone full season with the Knicks, the team won 23 games and it looked like they would be stuck with his large contract beyond 2010 before eventually dealing him to the Los Angeles Clippers.
On draft day in June 2002, the Knicks trade Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson, and the seventh overall pick in the 2002 draft for Antonio McDyess. McDyess gets injured in the preseason and only plays 18 games – posting mediocre numbers in points and rebounding. McDyess would later become one of the better 6th men in the league for teams like Detroit and San Antonio.
In February 2006, the Knicks trade Trevor Ariza and the expiring contract of Penny Hardaway to the Magic for Steve Francis, despite the fact that Francis still had two years left on his maximum-salary deal. During his short tenure with the Knicks, Francis seemed broken down and uninterested in being part of the team. The dream back court of Marbury and Francis – bringing back memories of Frazier and Monroe – quickly turned into nightmares while watching them on the court. Trevor Ariza became one of the better bench players in the league and a NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers while Francis faded out quickly from the spotlight and league.
In January 2004, the Knicks trade Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Maciej Lampe, the rights to Milos Vujanic, two first-round draft picks and cash to the Suns for Cezary Trybanski, Penny Hardaway and Stephon Marbury. The Knicks seemed like a contender after making it to the playoffs that year eventually being swept by the New Jersey Nets. It seemed like everything went down hill as the Knicks twice tied their previous record for loses with 23 wins. It seemed like every coach butted heads with Marbury until he finally met his match with current coach Mike Dantoni. Dantoni showed him the door ending both the Knicks and Marbury’s miserable era that had more legal court action then on the court.
In October 2005, the Knicks complete a trade for Eddy Curry, sending the Bulls the Knicks 2006 first round draft pick, the 2007 and 2009 second round picks, and the right to swap first round picks in 2007. Curry posted one good year for the Knicks in 2006-07, averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds per game earning him a long-term contract. Since then, Curry has only played in 69 total games the past three seasons due to heart and weight problems and legal issues. The Knicks currently have him on their roster as trade bait for teams looking to cut salary.
During the summer of 2000, the Knicks trade franchise center Patrick Ewing, acquiring Glen Rice, Luc Longley, and Travis Knight. The trade was seen by many as disrespect to the 15-year veteran who gave his all to the franchise. Many felt the Knicks could have let him finish the last year of his contract. Instead they added $90 million in payroll through 2004, starting the downward spiral of the franchise.
The moral of this list is not to get your hopes up too high Knicks fans. Let us know below in the comments section what should have been on the list and why?