Knicks Didn't Know Williams Was Available

New York could still land him

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    Knicks president Donnie Walsh admitted this week that he didn't even know the Jazz were looking to trade Deron Williams, who eventually ended up with the Nets.

    "I didn’t know anything about it," Walsh said Thursday.

    Walsh said he probably should have thought about it because Jerry Sloan left as Utah's head coach. He added that it wasn't necessarily Sloan leaving that led to the exploration of a trade.

    "But the franchise could say, ‘OK, we’re going to go young now and start rebuilding,’" Walsh said.

    Walsh wouldn't go so far as to call it a lost opportunity.

    "Not really," Walsh said before adding, "I’m not going to comment on what I really thought … But I thought something.”

    The question is what the Knicks roster would have looked like with Williams in orange and blue instead of 34-year-old Chauncey Billups, who admitted previously that he wanted to end his career in his home state of Colorado.

    Almost as soon as the Carmelo Anthony trade was announced, media and fans wondered if Billups, an All-Star with championship experience, was the right fit in Mike D'Antoni's up-tempo offense.

    Ray Felton seemed to be growing into the role before he was shipped to the Nuggets. And Williams, regarded as one of the league's best young point guards, does up-tempo effortlessly.

    For now, the Knicks will have to make due with Billups. In general, that's not a bad consolation prize. Walsh said earlier this week that the team would consider picking up his $14.2 million option for next year, although there is still a chance that New York could be in the Deron Williams sweepstakes again in a few months.

    Williams declared that "the sky is the limit" during his introductory press conference with the Nets, before hedging on his future.

    "I can't really give assurance, I can't say I'll be there," Williams said. "It all depends on how next year goes and the type of people they bring into the organization."

    Williams has never been part of a losing team at any level and seems resigned to his fate of playing for the 17-40 New Jersey outfit.

    "It's going to be a tough year," Williams said. And when asked if this was an audition for the Nets organization, Williams smiled and pointed out that "they want to see what I have, too. It's an audition for both."