Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni both probably did a little jig when word leaked out that the differences between Golden State Warriors forward Al Harrington and coach Don Nelson had become irreconcilable.
Walsh has familiarity and respect for Harrington from his days in Indiana, where he drafted him in the first round; while D'Antoni is simply starving from a malnourished Knicks roster sorely lacking the versatility and speed that could shift the offense into a higher gear. Harrington would represent a tremendous upgrade from the seven-foot human fire hydrant known as Eddy Curry.
Plus Harrington's contract expires before the magical year of 2010, so he's a hit in all departments on the Knicks end. But do they have anything that appeals to the Warriors?
Therein lies the rub. Theoretically, the circumstances seem perfect for these two teams to swap head cases; the Warriors are in need of a point guard, and Stephon Marbury has shown he's in good physical shape even if his mental sanity is permanently under question. While we've already laid out the case for Harrington fitting perfectly with the Knicks. Unfortunately, Starbury's contract is twice that of Harrington's making it a hassle to get both teams in line with salary cap regulations.
Another option that works financially is for the Knicks to deal Eddy Curry; his contract matches up with Harrington's. The problem there is the Warriors shockingly are not particularly compelled to add a fire hydrant to their rotation. Also, Curry is currently injured.
The deal the Warriors would like to make is for a legit player like David Lee. But that would make it a lateral move for the Knicks; one where they just get older, but not wiser.
Daily News sports writer Frank Isola has suggested a three-way deal with a team like the San Antonio Spurs. A contender that could make use of a big body, and a franchise with enough internal character that they could perhaps mold Curry into shape.
Of course, we know how difficult it is to mold fire hydrants, so it may very well be that these two teams who are perfectly matched for a deal, remain at an impasse.