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May 27, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan
  (2:00 PM)

Good afternoon as we begin the longest stretch of the NBA season without any basketball: Four days of nothing until Game 1 of the finals. As I tweeted earlier, my pick is Dallas in 7. Detractors are welcome if their stated objections are family-friendly. And as always, all things Knicks are in play, including the draft, and today's update in the Knicks blog on ESPNNewYork on Jerome Jordan. Fire away ...

taylor (california)

if the knicks draft a center what role would jerome jordan play on next years roster with turiaf likely back on his player option?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:02 PM)

Presumably, Jordan and the draftee would fight it out for backup minutes. But with the Knicks, you never know. Twelve months ago nobody, and I mean nobody, would have predicted that Timofey Mozgov would be the opening night pivot.

T-Bone (New York, NY)

What's MSG's (specifically Dolan's) relationship like with Jeff Van Gundy? Would they ever accept him back? Would he ever WANT to be back? I think he's the best coaching option, outside of the unrealistic Phil Jackson scenario.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:05 PM)

Jeff burned his bridges when he left, and I do not think he would want to come back or the Dolans would have him back. As for the Jackson scenario, what seems unrealistic in the NBA can change very rapidly. If D'Antoni is not extended and then gets knocked out in the first round again, I think the Jackson scenario has to move into the plausible category. Watching the way he evaded the "last game" questions in his final Lakers news conference, I got the feeling he did not want to bring absolute finality to what he is calling the closure of his coaching career.

T-Bone (New York, NY)

I really like Landry Fields, but it became very clear that his style of play didn't fit the slower, isolation-based offense that the Knicks now seem to employee. My question - do you think it's smarter to trade him now, coming off a 1st Team all-NBA Rookie Team? Or would you keep him around, and risk watching his stock fall further?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:08 PM)

The hierarchy has maintained they plan to keep him and develop him, but I will repeat again that he is the Knicks' most valuable trade chip right now. If they can upgrade that position significantly either through a direct trade (unlikely given Fields' small salary) or via a trade in which they include Fields in order to move up from No. 17 in the draft, they have to consider it.

Amir (Houston)

Do you think James Dolan is willing to go over the salary cap to acquire CP3 and M. Gasol/T. Chandler? And Any chance we can get Wilson Chandler back on the Knicks next year?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:11 PM)

Cannot go over the salary cap this summer for players of that caliber, because there won't be enough cap space to sign any of those guys to the type of dollar deals they will be looking for. Best hope for free agency is that something resembling the mid-level remains in the new CBA, and the Knicks can use it to add a quality player on a one-year deal. (Important note: Under the current CBA, you can give a guy a mid-level contract for a minimum of three years, but only the first year needs to be guaranteed. That, my friends, is a cap loophole, and those tend to get closed when CBAs are renegotiated.)

doug c (wilmington nc)

do you think the knicks have a chance at buying a 2nd round pick? i like jordan williams looks like he could be a kendrick perkins type center.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:12 PM)

I think there is a very strong chance, because so many teams have so many extra picks (Lakers have 4) and would be willing to exchange them for cash. Last year, the Knicks bought No. 44 (J.Jordan) for $500,000. If the price of picks remains that low this June, I could see them trying to buy two or three, if not more.

Pete (work)

The Knicks have two of the top 15 players in the league right now. Rather than risk not improving to have a chance, just a chance, at getting CP3, Dwith Howard or D. Williams, why don't the Knicks spread some money around to improve their depth. After all, they only play with one ball at a time?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:16 PM)

The problem is they don't have the money to spend. All their flexibility money is tied up in Billups' contract, which is why they need to wait until the summer of '12 to make their next major move (unless one of the studs they are seeking tries to force a trade before then). And even if they strike out on Dwight/Deron/CP3, they will have better options available for retooling with complimentary pieces with the Billups money in the summer of '12. So although I understand Knicks fans don't want to hear it, they'll have to be patient when it comes to watching that roster grow to where the Knicks want it to be talent-wise.

Eric (NY, NY)

It seems like the 3-star/little depth blueprint is working just fine, as evidenced by Miami's success. That said, do you think this Heat run convinces Paul that he need to join forces with other stars to compete for a title? If so, what % chance do you give him of landing in NY? How confident are the Knicks in being able to get him? Is CAA pushing Paul to MSG behind the scenes?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:18 PM)

Right now, I would put the probability at 30 percent. As for the Knicks' confidence level, they want to see what the new rules look like first. Until they see the rules, they still do not know if it is a truly realistic possibility.

Howard (Bayside, NY)

If the knicks draft a PG in the upcoming draft, would they have a need to sign a CP3 or D-will? Or would it be better to look for a big man in the draft or a sign and trade for a Marc Gasol type player? What is the Knicks "biggest need" a PG or C?Your Thoughts

Chris Sheridan
  (2:21 PM)

If they draft a PG, it would give them a chip to use in a CPaul trade. (The Nets will NOT trade Deron Williams to them). But their biggest need? IMO, that is a center. I am a believer that they can get a lot of mileage out of Billups in his final high-salaried season. The guy was playing great before he got hurt, and I believe we are seeing with Jason Kidd that high-mileage point guards can be exceptionally valuable in the postseason.

hvino (b)

Is it me or would an amnesty clause not help NY at all? We have 3 big contracts (one of which we chose to pick up the option) so we wouldn't cut any of them. It seems like it would have to be wasted on Balkman's $1.6 mil contract while other teams get to cut Arenas, Baron, Roy? etc...The only benefit for NY's side I see is getting one of those players as a cheap FA.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:24 PM)

If that $1.675 due to Balkman got the Knicks to a point where they could make a max offer, it would be incredibly valuable to them. Yes, it would be more beneficial from a financial standpoint to other teams, but from a cap-planning standpoint it could put the Knicks over the hump.

taylor (california)

have you heard anything about why its taken so long for the walsh deal to be finalized? it seems like a done deal except for the announcement to the media to make it official

Chris Sheridan
  (2:25 PM)

What I have been hearing is that the ball is in Donnie's court. He, however, is giving absolutely no clues as to what the holdup might be.

Anthony (NYC)

AHHH! No drafting for need!! Best player available. That means Josh Selby if he's there.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:28 PM)

Remember something, Anthony: There is a need to have a viable trade chip to throw into a CP3 trade offer, and the Hornets would want a PG in return. So if CP3 is the ultimate target, then you draft for the Hornets' needs as much as your own. And in that scenario, Selby is a fine fit. Also, if he pans out and CP3/Deron cannot be acquired, the fallback is already on the roster. So it is not just an immediate roster need, it is a need draft in terms of acquiring an asset that could be used in that type of a blockbuster.

Nick (Hell's Kitchen, NY)

Do you know the difference between Miami's Bog 3 and what the Knicks want to do with Chris Paul? Miami's got the 2 best 2 way players in the game, and the 3 of them, ALL took pay cuts, so they can fill some holes with decent role players. In NY, Melo and Amar'e got maxed out. and if Paul comes here at a max salary, the Knicks will only be able to afford Shawne williams types.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:33 PM)

That is true, Nick, but the one thing the Knicks would have going for them is that there are a lot of veteran players who would go year-to-year with the Knicks at minimum money in order to have the opportunity to play in New York. Also, Turiaf will have Bird rights when his deal is up in 2012, so he could either be re-signed or used in a sign-and-trade deal to bring back a little more quality than a minimum player. Turiaf is the type of guy who, when healthy, could give the Knicks almost exactly what Haslem gives to the Heat.

Anthony (NYC)

Can Selby be as good as Ellis / Eric Gordan? Same exact measureables. Started out as a great shooter (before getting hurt) and is EXTREMELY explosive.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:35 PM)

The reviews on Selby have been terrific, but you are setting the bar pretty high, Anthony. Both of the players you mentioned were good enough to represent Team USA last summer in Turkey. Selby has a long way to go to reach that echelon, and his shooting numbers from college are a realistic cause for concern.

Jordan (Columbus)

Still think the Amare signing was bad for the Knicks?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:37 PM)

I still think missing out on LeBron was bad for the Knicks, though their Plan B worked out quite well.

@BrettHunterS (New York)

Who would you say is the player on the market, whether it be the draft, trade or free agency who the Knicks ultimately want most?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:40 PM)

By "on the market" I take it you mean not under contract for next season, and within the Knicks' means. So with that qualifier, I would say it is Grant Hill. If they could get their mitts on ANYBODY who is out there this summer, I would say it would be Nene. But he is waaaay out of their price range.

Jon (NYC)

Chad Ford is projecting that the Knicks will draft Josh Selby at 17. Does this mean Toney Douglas is a goner?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:41 PM)

Not at all. Since the Knicks are comfortable using both Douglas and Billups off the ball, there would be room for all three to be in the rotation -- even D'Antoni's short rotation.

Chris (NY)

It seemed like the wind fell out of Amare's sails when Carmelo showed up. Is it just a case of compensating for the bigger scoring threat, or would you call it a coaching failure (not keeping Amare motivated).

Chris Sheridan
  (2:43 PM)

I would say there is a learning curve when two players of that caliber team up, and the Knicks had to begin experiencing that learning curve late in the season. I do not believe Amare ever lost his motivation. In fact, on the day of the first pre-playoff practice, he was in the gym 3 1/2 hours early.

Jon (NYC)

What do you think of Chad Ford's projection that the Knicks are going to take Josh Selby at 17? He's typically a pretty good sense of which direction the Knicks are leaning...what does this mean for Toney Douglas?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:45 PM)

Personally, I think the Suns will take Selby at No. 13.

Harry (Babylon, NY)

Regardless of how much the Knicks (or the rest of the East) might possibly improve this offseason, has Miami positioned itself to continually improve and remain #1 for as long as James, Wade & Bosh are in their prime?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:47 PM)

Miami has established itself as a beast that'll be a tough out for five straight years. So get used to it.

Paul (Minn)

NY faded the longer the team was together. Was that attributable to teams learning how to play them, and maybe a sign of things to come if they do not add pieces?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:48 PM)

NY faded because of injuries, especially the Game 1 fall that knocked Billups out of the Celtics series.

GoKnicks (NYC)

I hear that Oden, and Yao are available. Are those some names that we can roll the dice on at a cheap price?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:50 PM)

Oden will be restricted if the Blazers make him a qualifying offer, which is one of the first things Chad Buchanan is going to have to decide on if he remains at the helm through the end of June. Yao is unrestricted, and there are so many hands in his wallet that I cannot see him taking a one-year deal for below-market value if there is a realistic possibility he has a couple more years left.

Rey (Syracuse)

Do you think the Knicks will try to recruit Michael Redd this offseason? I think he's being overlooked due to his injuries, so the Knicks can maybe acquire him for a bargain. When he recovers, I think he's a perfect fit for Dantoni's offense.

Chris Sheridan
  (2:52 PM)

I agree wholeheartedly, Rey. And remember, D'Antoni had him with the Beijing Olympic team, so there is already a comfort level between the two. He is the consummate low-risk, high-reward type of player who could fill a major need for them. Obviously, they need shooting. And the chances of them retaining Shawne Williams are not all that strong, because Williams likely earned himself a multi-year deal with his play last season. The Knicks will only want to bring him back on a one-year.

GoKnicks (NYC)

I've been wondering why the Knicks decided to pick up Billups option when they could have used that money to go after Gasol and get a mid-level point to hold us over till 2012. Wishful thinking on my part? Your thoughts

Chris Sheridan
  (2:54 PM)

Gasol will be a restricted f.a., so you would be sacrificing Billups on the possibility, not the certainty, of getting Gasol. Just too much risk there. Also, they would be below the cap and thus would not have the mid-level available.

Tommy (Highland Park NJ)

Can you run down the people on the roster that you think will and wont be back next year?

Chris Sheridan
  (2:58 PM)

Under contract: Anthony, Stoudemire, Billups, Douglas, Turiaf, Fields, Walker, Balkman and Rautins (and the No. 17 pick). Jeffries and A.Carter I could see coming back on one-year deals. I beliuve we have seen the last of Shawne and Shelden Williams, Roger Mason and Derrick Brown.

Michael (New York)

Do you believe Carmelo Anthony about the Knicks already being a 50+ win basketball team or do they need one more piece in order for this to occur?

Chris Sheridan
  (3:00 PM)

I think they are a 48-52 win team as presently constructed. If they added G.Hill, M.Redd and K.Thomas, I would say they are approaching 55-win territory.

John (Greenwich)

Chris, what are you thoughts on Kenneth Farried? We obviously need rebounding but he is undersized...

Chris Sheridan
  (3:01 PM)

That is the connundrum, because he is too small to play alongside Stoudemire against a majority of opponents.

Chris Sheridan
  (3:04 PM)

That is a wrap for this week, folks. Enjoy the long weekend, and check in with the Knicks blog next week when I will take a look at the wing players the Knicks will be considering in the draft. I also have a piece in the works on Earl Monroe and his championship ring that will be running during the finals. Follow me on Twitter (@CSheridanESPN) and I will link to it when it is published. I spent some time with the Pearl at his office on Monday, and the guy has some fantastic stories to tell. Over and out.