Claiming that Malik Rose (!) is the only New York player likely to meet Larry Brown’s approval, Peter Vescey predicts “today’s Knicks roster is guaranteed to translate into tomorrow’s transaction list” in Friday morning’s NY Post.
First on Brown’s “Be Gone, Satan,” Wish List is side of beef Jerome James, one rib shy of 300 pounds. That’s 15 more than Larry’s Law allows. Late last week, say sources, the Knicks intensified their full court press to pry Theo Ratliff from the Blazers. I have too much respect for Portland president Steve Patterson and GM John Nash to think that’s humanly possible.
Dumping the 7-foot James and his five-year $30 million endowment won’t be easy, but it’s not hopeless. It’s not as if he’s in danger of shrinking. What’s more, this is the dream-weaving NBA where $6M per is only an average salary.
Still, you’ve got to wonder why Thomas would gamble so much (relative to the real world) on someone so suspect who turns 30 on Nov. 17, yet never faked so much as a move on 6-11, 240-pound Zaza Pachulia. What was the problem? Too young (21)? Only two years of experience (all good) at Orlando and Milwaukee? Doesn’t come with enough baggage? Too physical? Couldn’t pronounce his name? Asked for too little?
Billy Knight has made his disproportionate share of mistakes since becoming Hawks GM, but signing Zaza to a four-year $16M offer sheet isn’t one of them. He may never impact the standings, but he was a sensational pickup for a team desperate for inside offensive and defensive punishment.