Stephon Marbury's arbitration hearing with the Knicks regarding the team's $400,000 fine for his alleged refusal to suit up earlier this year is set for Tuesday, but Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that Marbury will meet face to face with Donnie Walsh (hopefully on a bench with a camera rolling) one last time before the hearing in hopes of finally reaching a resolution -- and perhaps even a buyout.
Why should we believe that Marbury and Walsh might finally reach an accord? Because for the first time all year, there's a legitimate deadline in place: if Marbury isn't placed on waivers by this coming Sunday, he won't be eligible to appear on the postseason roster of any other team.
According to Berman, Marbury has offered to give back $1 million as well as drop his appeal of the $400,000 fine if he's bought out in time to be eligible for the playoffs with another team. Marbury is set to make $20.8 million this year, and with 55 games already in the books, he's already been paid $13.95 million. By offering to give up $1.4 million of the roughly $6.8 million he's still owed, he's essentially giving the Knicks a coupon worth 20 percent off.
It's a drop in the bucket when you consider the team's entire payroll and luxury tax bill, but still, money is money, and in this economy it doesn't make sense to throw $1.4 million into the wind simply for sake of a grudge -- especially considering Marbury is expected to sign with a contender and not one of the bottom-feeders teams currently standing between New York and the playoffs.