First (though these deals happened so close together, its hard to claim a "First")--The Knicks acquired Al Harrington from the Golden State Warriors, giving up Jamal Crawford in the process. On paper, at least, this seems like an odd move--Jamal had been playing pretty well so far this year. Al's numbers are fine, as far as they go. I guess we can only assume that this was a positional move--that the Knicks have plenty of other guards that they love to play that will fill the role of Crawford's departure (ha!), or possibly a move to get their salary numbers down (Crawford is in the middle of a 7-year, $56 million deal; Harrington's ends just when The Era of Super Free Agency begins--2010).
(To be fair, D'Antoni had nothing but effusive praise for Harrington, and how he fits into his game plan)
With a new frontcourt player in hand, the Knicks then turned around their Double-Double guy in Zach Randolph. Just a couple of days ago, the Knicks GM was saying that as expensive as Randolph is, he wasn't sure he could move him when he's playing as well as he is. We know the answer to that question now. But Randolph is crazy-expensive. He's making almost $15 mil this year, and scheduled to make $16 next year, over $17 the year after.
The Knicks sent him and guard Mardy Collins to The Clippers for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas--a couple of veterans they will almost surely shed as quickly as possible. LA. Times writer Lisa Dillman quotes Mobley in a way that suggests he isn't very happy about this news. Hey remember when getting traded from the Clippers to the Knicks would have felt like a heaven-sent miracle for anyone on that squad? Poor Knicks--now people react to you like this:
"I'm a little upset," said Mobley, in a voice barely above a whisper. "It was a surprise. I mean, I liked our team. I didn't give up on our team. I don't know what the owner was thinking, and don't know what anyone was thinking."
The Knicks do seem to have a plan and they are willing to pretty much give up everything good about this year to make it happen in 2010. That takes a kind of patience that neither the Knicks or the New York media are famous for having. Should be hilariously sad to watch--like when a clown dies.