Thursday's discussion of the need for more talent in the New York Knicks frontcourt may not have reached Donnie Walsh's desk, but it seems we are of a shared mind about the room for improvement. According to Peter Vecsey, the Knicks and Warriors reached agreement on a trade late yesterday that would send Al Harrington to the Knicks for Malik Rose. There's a league conference call this morning, on which the deal should be finalized.
If it goes through, it's a good move by the Knicks. Harrington, 28, is only signed through next season, so you're not adding a significant contract that will limit your chances at LeBron in 2010, and will help the team put up points until then. Harrington can score inside and outside, including a decent percentage from three, which creates the kind of space on offense that head coach Mike D'Antoni likes to exploit. He has fresher legs than Rose, who turns 34 on Sunday. Harrington doesn't turn the ball over much, another plus, and has experience playing center in a small Warrior lineup.
He's not a good rebounder, something the Knicks still need to address, nor a great defensive player, but it's clear where D'Antoni's priorities lie. He didn't get along with Don Nelson in Golden State, which should endear him to Knicks legend Patrick Ewing, and has bounced around the league a fair amount for a talented player. He only cost Rose, though, which is akin to trading a Buick for a Rolls that might have a little engine trouble from time to time.
Harrington, who Walsh drafted out of high school in Indiana, also gives the Knicks a lot of flexibility. When Jared Jeffries returns, they'll have a full complement of forwards and, perhaps, one too many. With David Lee's status for next year in question and Zach Randolph's stock rising with every double-double, the Harrington trade could be a precursor for another deal down the road.
That's a nice change from the Isiah Thomas era when trades were made to bring in big names, larger plan be damned. Harrington is a nice addition on the court who helps the team move down the road toward being a better team.