Knicks Talk: Worst Knicks Trades

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By Charles R. Trimble III

With word leaking that a possible trade involving Toronto PG Kyle Lowry coming to New York for a package of Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace, Iman Shumpert or Tim Hardaway Jr., and/or a 2018 1st Rd draft pick all but agreed upon until being nixed by James Dolan, it brought back memories of some past moves that in hindsight should have been vetoed as well. Below we take a look back at the most egregious:

July 2003

An instant crowd favorite but a constant pain in the bosses rear-end resulted in the ill-advised trade of SG/SF Latrell Sprewell to the Minnesota Timberwolves for SF/PF Keith Van Horn. Although Van Horn actually showed some flashes of brilliance playing alongside Stephon Marbury, he was hastily traded away only a few months after arriving to New York while Sprewell enjoyed continued success leading the Timberwolves to their 1st and only conference final appearance in 2004.

June 2002

Instead of becoming Patrick Ewing’s successor Marcus Camby struggles with injuries prompting a trade that would send him, Mark Jackson and the 7th overall pick in the NBA Draft (NeNe) to Denver for injured perennial all-star Antonio McDyess. The trade became a complete failure when a not-so-fully recovered McDyess was reinjured during pre-season and ended only playing 18gms during his tenure as a Knicks averaging 7ppg, while Marcus Camby indeed blossomed into the kind of rim protector the Knicks had hoped for earning All-NBA Defensive honors from 2004-2008, as well as being named NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.

February 2006

The Knicks include surprise standout rookie Trevor Ariza, who was drafted in the 2nd rd, in a trade with Penny Hardaway’s expiring contract to Orlando for a clearly on the decline PG/SG Steve Francis who was a complete disaster in the backcourt with Stephon Marbury that some believed had the chance to be the modern-day, “Clyde & Pearl”. Well Francis would last only 68 gms over the course of two seasons averaging a whopping 11ppg while Ariza would go on to fulfill his promise by winning an NBA Championship as a member of the L.A. Lakers.

September 2000

Patrick Ewing, arguably in greatest player in franchise history is unceremoniously traded to Seattle along with his expiring contract for the trio of Travis Knight, Luc Longley and a washed up Glen Rice. Worst part was that the wise move would have been to let the Ewing contract expire allowing for a much smoother transition phrase instead of taking back almost 90M in long-term deals through 2004.

October 2005

Ridiculed then more for the uncertainty of his health (heart) rather than skill, the Knicks trade Tim Thomas and Michael Sweetney along with their 2006 1st rd pick, their 2007 & 2009 2nd rd picks and the right to swap 1st rd picks in the 2007 for C, Eddy Curry and (PF) Antonio Davis. After a decent start, 15.4ppg during his first three seasons, Curry, due to excessive weight gain, would only play 10 games over the next two seasons averaging a dismal 2.7ppg.

February 1990

Unhappy with his back-up role behind Mark Jackson, the Knicks trade a 23-yr old Rod Strickland to the San Antonio Spurs for 33-yr old PG, Maurice Cheeks, who was at the tail end of his career, while Strickland would go on to be one of the best PG’s of his era carving out a 17 yr career.

Sometimes the best trades are the ones not made! Patience is most cases can be a virtue.

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