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Yeah Curry got traded to the Knicks along with Antonio Davis for Tim Thomas and Mike Sweetney with a 1st round pick in '06, this is a good trade for both teams but the Knicks are in huge risk if Curry ain't healthy, Sweetney's gonna be an upgrade at power forward for the Bulls, I guess they're gonna move Chandler to center.


October 4, 2005

Bulls' Curry Is Traded to Knicks


CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 3 - In a bold attempt to accelerate the Knicks' rebuilding effort, the team president Isiah Thomas made his greatest gamble yet Monday night, striking a deal in principle to acquire center Eddy Curry from Chicago.

Curry has shown great promise but is also considered a great risk because of heart problems that compelled the Bulls to unload him.

The Knicks will send forwards Tim Thomas and Mike Sweetney, and a first-round pick in the 2006 draft, to the Bulls, according to an Eastern Conference team executive who had knowledge of the deal. The Knicks will receive Curry, the veteran forward Antonio Davis and possibly draft picks. For salary-cap purposes, the Knicks will also sign and immediately trade guard Jermaine Jackson to Chicago.

The team executive spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not final.

Curry has shown immense promise in four seasons since going directly from high school to the N.B.A. in 2001. At 6 feet 11 inches and 285 pounds, he is strong and athletic and is generally regarded as one of the most talented young big men in the league. Curry averaged 16.1 points and 5.4 rebounds - in just 28.7 minutes a game - last season.

Even if he improves only modestly, Curry will be the most talented center the Knicks have had since Patrick Ewing was in his prime.

But Curry has an enlarged heart and an irregular heartbeat that caused him to miss the final 13 games last season and the playoffs. Curry may have a condition that could prove fatal.

The Bulls were so concerned about that possibility that they insisted Curry take a DNA test to help rule out the condition. Curry refused, and the Bulls were prepared to bench him this season rather than risk having him collapse on the court.

Doctors who have examined Curry have offered conflicting opinions as to whether the test is necessary, and whether he is at risk.

But the Bulls remained steadfast.

"I would never put a player on the floor in a Chicago Bulls uniform if I didn't do everything in my power to find out all the information that was available," John Paxson, the Bulls' general manager, told reporters in Chicago on Monday. "You can debate genetic testing till you're blue in the face. But from what I know, from what I've learned over the last six months, that test could have helped us determine the best course of action."

That problem is now the Knicks' to bear. Although they clearly will not be requiring the DNA test, the Knicks must find a way to insure Curry's contract against any heart-related ailment that could prevent him from playing. Curry has been unable to acquire the standard disability insurance.

Knicks officials declined comment Monday night.

Precise details of the trade were still being worked out. The teams hoped to have the required conference call with league officials on Tuesday afternoon.

"It's a done deal," said Tim Thomas, who had the trade confirmed to him by his agent, Arn Tellem, on Monday afternoon.

The deal is contingent on all players passing their physical exams. Curry and Davis were expected to travel to New York on Tuesday for their exams. Tim Thomas said he and Sweetney would be boarding a flight to Chicago early Tuesday afternoon, not long after the Knicks complete their first training camp practice at the College of Charleston.

Curry was a restricted free agent this off-season, and was a top target of the Knicks, although they did not have the cap room to sign him outright. If the Bulls had not traded him, Curry would have been forced to accept the Bulls' qualifying offer of $5.14 million. But he probably would have spent the season on the bench.

Instead, Curry will sign a five-year deal, believed to be worth about $10 million in the first season, with Chicago, then be shipped to the Knicks. Curry will be reunited with guard Jamal Crawford, one of his best friends in the league. They were teammates for three years in Chicago.

"He's excited, man," Crawford said Monday night, minutes after talking to Curry on the telephone. "I'm excited. I can't wait to get started tomorrow."

Even before Curry's heart issues arose, Bulls officials had concerns about his work ethic and his weight. But Crawford said Curry would be a great asset to the Knicks, who have strung together four straight losing seasons.

"I've seen him play so well against people like Shaq and Yao Ming," said Crawford, calling Curry "a dominant low-post presence - someone that can get you 20 points and 10 rebounds and block shots."

"Just his presence down there, he's so athletic," Crawford added. "We're going to get the best out of him."

Other details of the deal remained hazy. The Bulls initially wanted the Knicks to waive Davis so they could re-sign him. But the Knicks may now want to keep Davis.

The trade will not only bolster the Knicks' frontcourt, but it will also unclog the glut at several positions. With Tim Thomas gone, the Knicks can install Quentin Richardson, a new acquisition, as the starting small forward. Crawford, who could have been bumped from the starting lineup by Richardson, will probably remain as the starting shooting guard.

The Knicks also have Trevor Ariza, Allan Houston and Penny Hardaway to play those two positions.

Sweetney had the inside track to start at power forward. That job now could go to Davis, Maurice Taylor or Malik Rose. Jerome James, who was signed to a five-year, $30 million deal in July to start at center, will become a well-paid backup to Curry.

Tim Thomas, who came to the Knicks in a trade just 20 months ago, welcomed the trade. In fact, he requested one over the summer.

"I was trying to force it a little bit," said Thomas, who was the subject of trade speculation all last season. "I feel good about it."

Thomas has one year left on his contract, worth $14 million. Although the Bulls are expected to let him leave next summer, Thomas said he was seeking a contract extension and knew the Knicks would not offer one.

Sweetney was the Knicks' first-round pick, the ninth over all, in the 2003 draft. With Sweetney gone, Houston is the only player left from the roster that Isiah Thomas inherited when he took over as team president in December 2003.

The first-round draft pick the Knicks traded to Chicago may be lottery-protected. The pick will be the Knicks' own or one they acquired from the San Antonio Spurs when they dealt Nazr Mohammed last season, whichever is higher.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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Really, I should have done my research. I heard on TV last season about that shooting percentage, but I guess either I heard wrong, or they were wrong.

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The way teams win nowadays are inside-out. The Lakers won because Shaq was the main option, going for 40 and 20 nearly every finals game. Look at last season, Shaq leaves and the Lakers drop from NBA Finalists to last place, behind the Clippers, even. On the other hand, he brings the Heat to one game of the finals while being injured the entire playoffs, and only getting help from D-Wade, the rest of the team was pretty much useless. Now that they have a better supporting cast, Shaq will keep them in line and their eyes on the prize.

Not really. The two latest champions weren't exclusively inside-outside teams. People tend to think that the Spurs are an inside-outside team because Tim Duncan is their primary option. This isn't the case. The Spurs win because they space the floor well on offense and have very quick guards that can penetrate in Parker and Ginobli. They break down your defense so when you collapse on the penetrator, someone is standing on the outside with an open shot or Duncan is cutting towards the basket for a high percentage shot. If you don't collapse properly, Parker or Ginobli will get to the basket for an acrobatic layup. While Duncan plays well with his back to the basket and the Spurs do run post up plays for him, he also shoots that jump shot of his well, including the off-the-glass shot he takes, so the Spurs don't rely on having Duncan play with his back to the basket. One of their most used plays is having Duncan run out to set a pick for a guard and then flash to the paint as the defenders switch for an easy bucket or a jump shot from close range. The reason the Spurs are good is that they have variety in their offense and they play very very good team defense.

Detroit is certainly not an inside-outside team. While Rasheed can play well in the post, he's not the focus of their offense, neither is Ben Wallace. Detroit is run by their guards. Their guards, like the Spurs, are good at breaking down defenses with both penetration and with picks. Rasheed himself prefers to shoot and is often the recipient of wide open shots from Billups. Detroit also plays stiffling defense. These are the last three NBA champions...

Also, Shaq didn't only get help from Wade. Damon Jones, Eddie Jones, Dooling and Haslem all played pivotal roles... And to be accurate, Wade got help from Shaq, and those other players not the other way around. Wade carried the Heat through the playoffs last year averaging 8 points more and only 2 rebounds less than Shaq throughout the entire playoffs. Wade was the focus.

Also, you mentioned again that the Lakers dropped, but you have to acknowledge the fact that they totally changed their team. Only one starter returned from the previous year... that was Kobe. Entirely new offensive and defensive schemes and they were in the playoffs until their top 2 players got injured for extensive periods on top of injuries to other players. They lost their coach and changed schemes in the middle of the season. While the loss of Shaq can be attributed to the Lakers not being a championship calibur team last year, there were a number or reasons other than Shaq as to why they didn't make the playoffs. It's sort of disingenuous to attribute it soley to the loss of Shaq.

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Alonzo Mourning had a few good games when Shaq didn't play in the playoffs, I think it's important to have a good inside game yes, that's what the Lakers were lacking last year, as great of a player Kobe Bryant is he ain't playing center, you need to have a dominant center to compete, especially in the Western Conference, in the East you could sort of win games without having one but you need to have a strong one to get to the Finals, there's only a handful of them in the East like Jermaine O'neal, Shaq, and the Wallaces, that's why they're teams did so well last year. btw, you can't use injuries as an exuse, every team has them.

You don't need to have a dominant center specifically to compete. You need to have a good front court. The Spurs don't have a dominant center. Duncan plays the 4 for the majority of the time and Mohammed is far from dominant. Dallas, Sacramento, Seattle, Memphis and Phoenix all have good front courts, but none of their centers can be considered dominant. Even Houston doesn't have a dominant center. Yao is good, but he's far too passive to be dominant, both on offense and on defense. The Wolves have a decent front court with Garnett and Olowokandi, but they missed the playoffs entirely. To compete in the West, you need to have solid front court players who can play good defense and can score and rebound, but they don't necessarily have to be dominant. At the same time, it is vital that a team have perimeter players who can penetrate, who have good range on their shot, and who can set other players up to score while maintaining their contribution to the offense. Not too many true big men can create their own shot. They often need to be fed by perimeter players when they get into position. There are a few unique players like Duncan, Rasheed Wallace, Jermaine O'Neal, and Amare who can create their own shots on occasion, and these teams will usually be sucessful, but excellent perimeter players are just as vital as big men in getting teams to the playoffs and into the Finals, both in the East and in the West. Incidentally, someone name me the dominant big man that got the Nets to the finals 2 years in a row... While big men are important, perimeter players are just as important, and are often called on to do the most on a team.

Also, I'm not using injuries as an excuse. I'm pointing out that they are a contributing factor as to why the Lakers didn't play and finish as well as they could have last year. They lost their top two scorers for significant periods after already undergoing a major transition in personel and losing their head coach and changing their style of play midway through the season. Hardly any team undergoes that sort of confluence of events and goes on to do well. It's not an excuse. It's part of the reason.

Also, I don't think anyone's really commented on the article itself...

By the way, Houston just picked up Rafer Alston from Toronto in exchange for Mike James.

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Yeah, Rafer Alston had too many problems with coach Sam Mitchell, this was bound to happen. True, you don't need a dominant center, but more accurately, you need an inside presence, like Tim Duncan, who is actually a power forward. The point that I was trying to make was that having a dominant inside player makes it that much easier, and while the Lakers demise is not solely placed on the loss of Shaq, it surely was the major factor. It will be interesting to see how they are this year with Phil Jackson back, I am ready for the season to start now.

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Kenyon Martin was the dominant force for the Nets for 2 years in a row when they went to the Finals, he's not a center but he's still a great frontcourt presence, they clearly didn't play the same last year without him either.

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It will be interesting to see how the Nets do this year, with Kidd, Jefferson, and Carter together for a whole season, but they are still lacking an inside prescence.

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Kenyon Martin was the dominant force for the Nets for 2 years in a row when they went to the Finals, he's not a center but he's still a great frontcourt presence, they clearly didn't play the same last year without him either.

Kenyon Martin is a good player, but he wasn't a dominant force... I think we're throwing around the word dominant too much. Here are his lines...



73 73 34.3 .463 .224 .678 1.5 3.8 5.3 2.6 1.23 1.66 2.36 3.60 14.9



77 77 34.1 .470 .209 .653 2.1 6.2 8.3 2.4 1.27 .91 2.49 3.80 16.7

While those are good lines, they are far from dominant.

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Yeah, Martin wasn't a dominating force, like Shaq, Garnett, or Duncan, but he is a good player, he is very solid defensively, someone I would definitely want on my team, very tenacious.

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It isn't fair to just look at his stats. Stats don't account for On court presence. But yea I'll agree with you, He wasn't this amazing monster. But still did his part to help his team win,

Yeah, I just wanted to point out that he wasn't dominant.

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