As the NBA offseason continues, so do rumors of San Antonio Spurs’ guard Tony Parker being traded to the New York Knicks and once again, another rumor has raised its ugly head courtesy of Eva Longoria-Parker. No matter what Parker says publicly, like a Justin Timberlake song, the rumors just won’t go away.
For a New York Knicks fan perspective, I recently sat down with fellow Bloguin NBA blogger LIVES from Knicks Fanatics Blog to discuss the possibility of Parker as a member of the Knicks. Here is what he had to say.
Jason: What is the local New York media reporting on the Parker trade rumors?
LIVES: Of course the response is mixed depending on who and what you read. Some fans seem excited about a possible trade because we would see more of Eva Longoria-Parker in celebrity row.
Seriously, Tony Parker is a very good player even at age of 28 but he is not very high on any New Yorker’s priority list which right now includes 1) Carmelo Anthony, 2) the development of the Knicks’ youngsters, 3) giving Raymond Felton a chance to boom or bust, 4) Chris Paul, 5) building an invisible electric fence around MSG synchronized to Isiah Thomas’ body 5) Carmelo Anthony (yes, again) and then somewhere down the line, Tony Parker. After being burned by LeDecision, Knicks fans are only willing to invest emotionally in huge developments as far as it concerns other team’s players. They know that fulfillment of those emotional hopes will cost big in terms of losing a little of our youth, perhaps Danilo Gallinari and/or Wilson Chandler, but they want to be competitive with other teams like the Heat for years to come. Tony Parker with a salary of $13.5 Million at the age of 28 is actually too high for our blood for someone who New Yorkers don’t see as a big time game changer like Chris Paul who is seen as a physically stronger and more dynamic 25 year-old.
What is your sense of how seriously we should take these rumors?
If this drama was an opera, I would characterize it somewhere between soap and falsetto.
In other words, I have no idea, but without a third team involved the Knicks could not possibly trade for Carmelo Anthony and Tony Parker at the same time. The way I read the rumor in the New York Post where it seems to have gained its momentum is that someone overheard Eva talking about her husband wanting to come to New York. I don’t recall the last time a desperate housewife’s whispering desire dictated whether a team would be forced to make a trade.
How are Knicks fans reacting to the possibility of Parker coming to New York?
Mixed, but not really that excited. Right now on KnicksFanaticsblog.com, no one is really talking about it. If Isiah Thomas had a hand in getting him to New York, it would be a big discussion, probably not in TP’s favor.
How do you think the addition of Parker will affect the Knicks’ chances of competing for the top spot in the East?
Tony Parker is a quality guard with a championship pedigree. He knows how to play the game and he plays hard. He is a known commodity but it really depends on the system, who the Knicks have around him and how much D’Antoni is willing to rely on him. If Raymond Felton is not going anywhere, which he isn’t at this point, then there is the possibility for a fractured lockerroom. If the Knicks have Parker, Anthony and Stoudemire that is a formidable threesome with the possibility of some outstanding ball from Anthony Randolph, Rony Turiaf and Kelenna Azuibuke. I’m assuming such great fortune would cost us Gallinari and/or Chandler. Such a roster would certainly have MSG rocking and the fans excited. However, Parker and Studdy (Stoudamire) won’t get the fans that much more excited and hopeful than Felton and Studdy. After the LeBron fiasco, fans are willing to look at the long view which extends our ability to contend beyond Parker’s projected shelf life.
Assuming the trade rumors are true, how do you personally feel about adding Parker to the roster? Is he the best option for the Knicks or do you think they should pursue other options?
There are always a lot of options out there, but they mean little without a plan to construct the team. So far it seems that the Knicks are stumbling into their design as opposed to pre-planning and preparing for it other than creating cap space. So much of what we can do depends on the willingness of someone to take on Curry’s contract. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we have been unable to place any intrinsic value on Curry himself by playing him, but anyone who wants to compete in the free agency market or wants more cap space to build their team over time will eventually take Curry off our hands, but who will take it and give us quality in return.
The other problem we have is that other teams are very competitive in the free agency market and have been very savvy in creating cap space even up to the free agency deadline. For months, New York writers were bragging about how much more cap space the Knicks had than everyone else and at the last moment teams like Chicago and Miami were becoming bigger players, plus they already had a foundation to attract good players. If Stoudemire stays healthy and Anthony Randolph develops they improve our chances of attracting top talent that chooses to come to New York when they are able to make the choice. Right now those who claim they want to come to New York don’t have the choice. Right now the power is in the hand of the team owners in Denver, San Antonio and New Orleans and they have the choice to deal with those who have something more to bring to the table. Curry’s contract, a couple of young players and a distant draft pick may not be enough for the big moves we want to make.
Tony Parker is a good option but not the best and not essential. I would rather wait until he hits free agency and see who is out there and whether we can get his numbers in terms of years of service or money down. $13.5 million plus per year for five years? I don’t think so.
Thanks to LIVES for taking time out to join this Q&A. For everything Knicks, checkout his site Knicks Fanatics Blog!