Citing a well-connected anonymous source, the New York Times’ Howard Beck reports the Knicks have made an offer to Orlando for Steve Francis that is likely to be accepted.

The current proposal, according to the person, would send guard Jamal Crawford, forward Maurice Taylor and possibly the swingman Trevor Ariza to Orlando. The Knicks would obtain Francis and forward Pat Garrity.

Penny Hardaway’s expiring contract, which the Knicks have sought to use in a number of potential deals, would not be included in the Francis trade. Hardaway could still be moved in a deal to land one of the Knicks’ other targets, among them Portland’s Theo Ratliff and Darius Miles, and Denver’s Earl Watson.

Not that Isiah Thomas should pander to public opinion or anything, but is there a human being alive who thinks pairing Stevie Franchise and Stephon Marbury on the same team, let along the same backcourt, seems like a good idea?

The Racine Journal-Times’ Gery Woelfel makes the following claim :

A trade that seems on the verge of going down involves the Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers. The trade would center around the Knicks sending Penny Hardaway and his soon-to-be-expiring contract of $15.6 million, along with a future first-round pick, to the Portland Trail Blazers for veteran center Theo Ratliff (above) and swingman Darius Miles. The Blazers then would use some of that cash to re-sign center Joel Przybilla, who will become a free agent this summer.