The NBA trading deadline, Gothamist's second favorite day of the year, was yesterday (our favorite day of the year has been well documented), and since you can't spell "trade deadline" without I.T., Knicks GM Isiah Thomas made not one, but two highly questionable deals in response to other moves made by Philadelphia and Boston. The first sent Nazr Mohammed, New York's only true center, and back up PG Jamison Brewer to San Antonio for malik Rose and a first round pick from the Spurs in 2006. The second deal sent little used Vin Baker and Moochie Norris to Houston for Maurice Taylor and first round draft pick in next year's draft that originally belonged to the Phoenix Suns.
Forget for a second that Isiah just added another $20 million in salaries after this year with the addition of Taylor and Rose. By trading away his only true center, and helping the Spurs beef up their frontline, the Knicks roster now consists of one point guard (two if you count Jamal Crawford), three shooting guards, two small forwards, five power forwards and Bruno Sundov. In fact, the little used Sundov is the only player on the roster taller than Tim Thomas. As Peter Vescey rightfully opined today, remember when Isiah said that getting Mohammed was they key to the three way trade that sent Keith Van Horn out and also brought in Tim Thomas. And how does this affect the playing time of Mike Sweetney?
Yes, getting two draft picks in the deals was nice, but given the state of the Spurs and Suns franchises, those picks figure to be at the very end of the first round. There are usually some hidden gems late in the NBA draft (as Isiah proved last year by selecting Trevor Ariza in the second round), but his margin for error will be razor thin.
The Knicks took down a depleted Philadelphia 76ers team last night by a 113-101 margin with Kurt Thomas playing center. He didn't sound to happy about the prospect of finishing the season manning the middle for the Knicks. he told the Post "I've never been a big fan of it. My real position is power forward." Tim Thomas started there and had his best game of the season, with a team high 27 points. The Knicks will need more performances like that from Thomas in order to keep up with the new and improved Celtics and Sixers. New York's record currently stands at 22-33 with 27 games to play.