(being no. 2 means Damon Jones just tries a little harder)

Bad enough that Henry Abbott helps The Nervous Breakdown expose LeBron an an instamatic-confiscating killjoy, but the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami declares the 2007 Easter Conference Champs to be the 2nd suckiest finalists compared to the ’03 Nets.

“That™s not arguable if you watch Larry Hughes, Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones,” proposes Kawakami, though I’m in hurry to see an Electronic Arts simulation of a game between the current Cavaliers and the 2001 Sixers (whom Tim nominates for the 4th Worst Finalists, just ahead of Spree’s 1999 Knicks).

Excellent news, Knicks fans. Isiah Thomas tells the New York Post’s Marc Berman that he feels no obligation to draft a player at no. 23 overall that might actually help next year’s team.

Thomas says he plans to be a “Gamblin’ Man” on June 28 and feels he can be looser with the 23rd pick. He considers former Kentucky center Randolph Morris, signed in March after the NCAA Tournament, as his first selection of the 2007 draft. “I feel it’s my second pick in the draft,” Thomas said last week at Orlando’s pre-draft camp. “Having [claimed] one pick in this draft, I could be more riskier with the second pick. I’m could take some chances, take a flier on maybe somebody people aren’t expecting you to pick.”

“The guy we pick at 23, I’d be surprised if he cracked the playing rotation next year,” Thomas added. “We can afford to draft a guy and maybe look at a two-year window and wait on him.”

This draft season, word around the league has Thomas considering Boston College shot-blocking center Sean Williams at 23. Williams was kicked off BC’s team in January for alleged repeated marijuana use. Now that would be a risk, as Williams could be a candidate for a lifetime NBA ban since the league tests five times a season.

Thomas could take a European risk, perhaps even leaving him overseas for one year. Tiago Splitter, a rugged, 6-11 power forward, has been passed over in the draft the past few years because of a complicated buyout with his Spanish team. However, sources say the buyout is now just $500,000.