Newsday’s Alan Hahn scoffs at the notion Knicks G Steve Franchise is eager to take a buyout.

There’s some big money still left to be paid to him. Half of this year’s salary is still on the books for $7,503,500, plus $16,440,000 for next season and $17,180,000 for 2008-09. That’s $41,123,500 sitting on the table in guaranteed money. Let me say that again – guaranteed money.

If you were Steve Francis, why would you agree to accept anything less?

You wouldn’t if you believed another team out there would be willing to pick up the contract. You wouldn’t if you believed if you took a leave of absence and went to Houston to rehabilitate the tendinitis in your right knee so you can get back to 100 percent health and show that your high-flying, explosive game is still there. And if so, you can attract someone who would be willing to take on that contract so he can continue to earn every penny of the $41,123,500 that is left on it.

I believe that’s why the Knicks have granted him this leave. It is far more beneficial for the Knicks to trade that contract rather than buy it out and then watch Francis sign for the veteran’s minimum with another team and rediscover his game. Nothing worse than paying a guy to contribute for another team. At least Jalen Rose and Maurice Taylor aren’t doing much of anything where they are now.

So when it comes to these rumors of buyouts, I wouldn’t believe anything that suggests Francis is looking to be bought out right now. It makes no sense that he would want to take a penny less than what he is guaranteed to make over the remainder of this season, plus the next two. Especially if his knee condition doesn’t ever improve to the point where he can return to the player that earned that kind of cash.

Basketbawful is disturbed that Gilbert Arenas is, well, such a nerd. Hey, we can’t all party like Tim Hudson.

The Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Allesandro, showing he might not have a future in the blogging biz, steadfastly refuses to go batshit over this morning’s Jason Kidd revelations.

Dave: Today’s reports about Jason Kidd’s renewed marital troubles seem to be indicative of the total breakdown of the “Nets Family” over the last few years — notably since Bruce Ratner’s unfortunate purchase of the team. The miracle Nets that reached two straight NBA Finals — much to the disbelief of even us die-hard supporters — is all but a forgotten memory. True, the Kenyon Martin departure turned out to be for the best, but everything that was right about those clubs seems to be missing. The thrill is gone. Our beloved team is now in lame-duck status, so Ratner can make his billions and pretend to solve the world’s problems, and the First Family of the Nets — The Kidds — seems to be in permanent tatters. There was something comforting about seeing Joumana and young T.J. root on the greatest thing to ever happen to New Jersey since the Boss himself. I feel terrible for the Captain and as badly for our team, that may now just wallow in mediocrity (at best) for the remaining 2½ years before taking off to Ratner-Land.

Boss: I™m not trying to tell you that you should try to break the emotional bonds you have with this or any team “ though I still don™t understand how that™s beneficial to your mental health. But I hope you™re not trying to establish a connective premise between Ratner™s purchase and Kidd™s marital problems, because that™s kind of a reach. We all feel bad about this, because Jay™s a great guy, but c™mon — you must have other things more serious in your life than to ruminate on the difficulties of a couple you™ve never met. I know I have one: The paper wants me to write a column about this whole mess, just when I felt like taking a nap. So far, here™s what I™ve come up with for my thesis: œMarital strife “ why I™m against it. I™m not being glib, I™m just wondering why this is anyone™s business, mindful that I™d get a cogent argument from some gossip page pinhead.