Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sources: Tentative agreement with Knicks
By Chris Forsberg
LOS ANGELES -- Nate Robinson appears one step closer to being a member of the Boston Celtics.
League sources told ESPN’s Chris Sheridan Thursday that the Celtics and Knicks have agreed to a tentative deadline day swap that should bring the three-time dunk champion to Boston as part of a five-player deal that sends guard Eddie House to New York.
According to the sources, Boston receives Robinson and an unidentified second player in exchange for House and second-year players J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker.
Given Robinson’s status as a base-year compensation player, Boston and New York have negotiated for much of the past three days trying find a way to make salaries line up.
It’s unclear whether the second player coming from New York could be a player received by the Knicks during the team’s active deadline pursuits, or a third team, all of which leaves the deal very much tentative.
House practiced with the Celtics Wednesday, but openly acknowledged that he expected to be dealt before Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline.
"I was talking with my agent and there's a strong possibility that I'll be traded [Thursday] to New York," said House. "With that being said, I've always had a bond with these guys. I love playing with [the Celtics], but at the end of the day, it's a business. The Celtics feel like they're a better team with the guy they're trying to get. I gotta move on, that's what it is.
"At the end of the day, you can't control it. It's out of my hands -- it's never been in my hands. Wherever I go, if I go to New York, I'll play two months, try to play real strong basketball, get some wins with those guys, and make a good account for me for free agency."
House was a fan favorite for his high energy and perimeter shooting, but he's struggled this season, connecting on 64 of 167 3-pointers (40.1 percent) through 50 games. If Tuesday's visit to Sacramento was his final contest in green, he went out with a bang by scoring 12 points with a quartet of triples in a 95-92 triumph.
Robinson, a first-round pick (21st overall) of the Phoenix Suns in the 2005 draft, has spent his entire five-year career with the Knicks. He's averaging 13.2 points and 3.7 assists per game this season, but has appeared in only 30 contests after falling out of favor in New York. He was held out of Wednesday night's game with flu-like symptoms.
Robinson’s post to his verified Twitter account seem to suggest a deal is near. He wrote this morning: “This is a sad day for me as well but I have tears of joy ... Thanks to my fans.”
A three-time slam-dunk contest champion, Robinson will be expected to provide a different sort of offensive outburst than House off the bench, but he's also a high-energy guy and, while designated a point guard, he's known more for scoring the ball than distributing it.
Giddens, a former first-round pick (30th overall), and Walker, chosen in the second round (47th overall), were end-of-the-bench players used sparingly in Doc Rivers’ hermetic rotation.
Giddens appeared in 21 games this season (27 for his career), including one start, scoring a total of 24 points. Walker appeared in eight games this season (37 for his career), scoring only eight points.