With a report that Peter Vescey is bound to find fault with in a day or two, the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola writes about the Knicks’ continued attempts to pry Kenyon Martin and his onerous contract from the Denver Nuggets.
According to a league source, the Knicks have offered Penny Hardaway’s expiring contract to Denver plus another player. The Knicks may be forced to part with rookie David Lee (above, left), but they insist on not giving up Frye (right).
“It seems like everyone wants Frye,” said one GM. “I think that’s why the Knicks are going to keep him.”
Denver is working on several deals, including a trade for Orlando’s Steve Francis. But in order to get Francis, the Nuggets want to rid themselves of Martin’s contract, which calls for him to make $65 million over the next four years. With Carmelo Anthony looming as a restricted free agent, the Nuggets are reluctant to go over the luxury tax threshold in the future.
The Knicks are willing to provide Denver with salary cap relief but not at the expense of losing Frye, their top rookie. A deal for Martin likely would include point guard Earl Watson and guard Voshon Lenard heading to New York, with Jamal Crawford and Trevor Ariza going to Orlando along with the Nuggets’ Nene. The Nuggets would get Francis.
Orlando, like the Knicks, is desperately trying to revamp its team. The Magic have another deal in place with the Pistons that includes Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo coming to Orlando in return for Kelvin Cato and a first-round pick. That deal is contingent on Orlando’s three-team trade with the Knicks and Denver being completed.
A potential side benefit to New York acquiring Martin is that the former Nets forward’s entourage might be very useful if asked to intimidate witnesses in forthcoming lawsuits against Isiah Thomas or James Dolan.