The chances of Stephen Curry lighting up the Garden more than once or twice a year are pretty dim. Several sources are reporting that the Wizards and Timberwolves agreed on a deal that would send the fifth pick in the draft to Minnesota as part of a deal bringing Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington.
What the T-Wolves plan to do with those picks is unclear. Some think they may try to move up even higher for a shot at Spanish phenom Ricky Rubio, but there's also a sense that they want two lottery picks. One of those will almost certainly be a point guard, which means that nearly every pick after the Clippers take Blake Griffin could result in Stephen Curry coming off the board. Unless the Knicks leapfrog the Wolves, which seems unlikely since they couldn't or wouldn't get a deal done for the fifth pick, they can't guarantee themselves a chance at bringing Curry to New York.
What does that mean for Thursday night? You can't totally rule out some kind of trade, either for player(s) or another first-round pick, but it's pretty likely they'll grab a point guard with the eighth pick. Jrue Holliday of UCLA, Jonny Flynn of Syracuse or Brandon Jennings, who played in Italy rather than in college last season, all fit the bill, although none of them come with the name recognition and resume that Curry would bring to the team.
That doesn't mean they'd turn out to be worse choices. There's a crapshoot element to every draft pick, and Holliday and Jennings each have their supporters. What may bear watching is the fact that the Wolves now have four first rounders, so they may want to get rid of their 18th pick to keep their team from looking like a frat house. Donnie Walsh's protege David Kahn runs the T-Wolves these days, and may want to pay back his mentor for outfoxing him on the fifth pick.
That may be the wisest choice in the end. With no first-round pick next year, this draft is a big opportunity for the Knicks to get better without adding significant salary. Doing so would help pave the way for the rest of this offseason, as well as the great 2010 push which, as Walsh has been fond of reminding, is what everything is about in the first place.