While no one should expect that the sage and calculated Donnie Walsh will cover his eyes and throw cash at whoever walks through the door, it is likely the Knicks will be extremely aggressive this summer in an effort to build a contending roster, with or without LeBron James. It may not come via free agency, either. According to several sources, the Spurs may be downplaying trade rumors involving Tony Parker, but they are clearly ready to consider moves. The franchise committed to Manu Ginobili and have George Hill as a built-in replacement, which has made Parker expendable. But at what cost?
The Knicks would love to get a deal done before July 1 as an attention-grabber for free agents, but it might take the rights to David Lee in a sign-and-trade to get the Spurs talking. If thatís the case, it couldnít happen until after July 1, because, as a one-year contract player, Lee canít be signed to an extension.
Parker is an obvious target. His offensive skills, which are very close to Steve Nash (though Parker gets to the rim much better than Nash), make him a perfect fit for Mike DíAntoniís system. Heís not the passer that Nash is, but Parker can be a very effective pick-and-roll player and then the Knicks would need to target a big man in free agency who would fit well with Parker, such as Amaríe Stoudemire, Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer. And with that extra room the Knicks could also still be aggressive and go after Joe Johnson, who would form a dynamic backcourt with Parker (just as he would in Chicago with Derrick Rose), or, at a more affordable number, target restricted free agent Rudy Gay. Hey, if LeBron doesnít come to the Knicks, the Knicks are gonna need to find someone to guard him because if you plan on being in the playoffs, you have to plan on beating LeBron.