Monday, January 17, 2011
Knicks think they can get picks
By Chris Sheridan
NEW YORK -- Knicks president Donnie Walsh remains confident he can obtain a No. 1 draft pick in a trade, and maybe even a second one.
"I could probably get more than one, but I'm not going to say how many," Walsh said Monday morning prior to the Knicks' game against Phoenix. "But I'm confident I can get a first-round pick."
The statement was a jump from Walsh's previous comments regarding what is currently available to the Knicks on the trade market, and it is certain to move the needle in the unending Carmelo Anthony trade watch.
The Knicks remain Anthony's preferred destination, but the Nuggets would still prefer to do a trade with the New Jersey Nets because of the bundle of assets the Nets are willing to relinquish.
Walsh did not comment specifically on Anthony, but his disclosure that he could "probably" acquire more than one first-round pick was an indication that the Knicks have the means to put together a trade package that bears a little more resemblance to what the Nuggets are seeking if they decide to trade Anthony.
ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard has reported that one of the players the Knicks could exchange for a No. 1 is Anthony Randolph, who has appeared in only 14 of the Knicks' 39 games.
Walsh met with Randolph's agent, Bill Duffy, on Friday night for a status update.
"He wants to know what the plan is. I've dealt with Billy for 20 years, I had his first client, Antonio Davis. He's never pushy. I always work things out with Billy and his clients. Always," Walsh said. "He just wanted to know what's happening, so I told him."
Randolph has seen only 13 total minutes of playing time over the Knicks' past 20 games.
"He's a great talent, he's very young -- he's 21 and that's never put in the equation," Walsh said. "Obviously he needs to learn how to use his talent in an NBA game in an efficient way. Nobody's got a crystal ball how good he'll be and all that. We think he'll be good."
Walsh also provided updates on the status of two Knicks who have not yet appeared in a game this season.
Eddy Curry has been scrimmaging with the team for two weeks and has lost enough weight that "I don't think it's a real hindrance to him," Walsh said. "He's getting closer than he's been."
Also, Walsh said it remains a mystery whether shooting guard Kelenna Azubuike, acquired along with Ronny Turiaf and Randolph in the sign-and-trade deal that sent David Lee to Golden State last July, will be able to return from knee surgery he underwent 14 months ago to repair a torn patella tendon.
"He's gotten a lot better, but it's a question of when he can play at the speed they're playing at today," Walsh said. "The question is whether he can do it, and he thinks he can do it."
Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN.com and ESPNNewYork.com.