Saturday, June 30, 2007

Zach Randolph- Part II

The Sixers never made a move for him, but the New York Knicks did--and it seems like Portland wanted to do the deal for the reasons discussed in my previous Zach Randolph post. The trade was Steve Francis and Channing Frye for Randolph, Dan Dickau, and Fred Jones.

From Portland's perspective, the benefits are pretty straight-forward: more playing time for their young frontcourt tandem and future salary cap relief. According to sources cited by ESPN, Portland is planning to buy-out Francis' contract and make him a free agent this summer. Portland also gets Channing Frye who had a stellar rookie season, even if he did have a bit of a sophomore slump this past season. I'm not sure how he fits into Portland's future, but at the very least he gives them a nice bargaining chip for a future trade.

As for New York's end of the trade, I'm cautiously optimistic that it can work for them. As a Sixer's fan this makes me unhappy, but I guess they've been suffering for awhile. Best case scenario, the Knicks can run an offense similar to the old Spurs offense with Duncan and Robinson. Post the ball on one side of the floor, and then, if nothing is open, swing the ball and immediately post the other player on the opposite block. Having two legitimate post players is a huge boon to a team because it's really hard to double the second post man. To mix things up, the Knicks can also run foul-line pick-and-pops using Randolph (the way the Spurs used to run them with Robinson) since he has pretty good touch from out there (at least, that's my recollection--I haven't actually seen him play recently). However, the Spurs analogy only goes so far since Duncan and Robinson were also two of the best defenders and rebounders in the NBA. Randolph can certainly rebound, but I don't think either he or Curry have ever been confused with good defenders.

The one thing I'm not sure about from the Knicks end is where does this leave David Lee? He played great last year for them, but with Randolph and Curry taking the bulk of the minutes at the four and five positions, I'm not sure where he's going to find the playing time this season. I guess we'll need to wait and see.

No comments: