Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Knicks’ Walsh Plans to Work the Phones; Tyreke Evans Takes Over as Kings Down Knicks in OT
NEW YORK — Knicks President Donnie Walsh isn’t headed to Dallas for All-Star weekend.
Instead, Walsh plans to stay home in New York and work the phones in the days leading up to the Feb. 18 trade deadline.
“Going to the All-Star Game, it’s so big now. You have a better chance of talking to GMs of other teams if you’re using the telephone,” Walsh said before Tyreke Evans scored a team-high 27 points as the Sacramento Kings beat the Knicks, 118-114, in OT at MSG. “It used to be that we were all in the same hotel and we would meet each other all the time. I can’t find them when I go to the All-Star Game.”
Walsh reiterated his long-held position that he is open to any trades that would improve the Knicks (19-31) while also allowing them to maintain salary-cap flexibility for the free agent class of 2010 that includes LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. That means he will trade expiring contracts for expiring contracts.
“It’s a real simple strategy. If you can get a good player, it doesn’t hurt you in the summer and it helps you, you consider it,” Walsh said. “Depending on who you have to give up.”
The Knicks have six players with expiring contracts and desperately need a point guard to help spell Chris Duhon.
“You guys are telling me that’s what I should be doing so I’ll take that under consideration,” Walsh joked.
Walsh said he believed “some good players will be available,” but he doubted the Knicks would be able to trade for any impact players like Tracy McGrady, Amar’e Stoudemire or Bosh.
“You’re not going to probably be able to trade for them,” he said in general.
Some clubs could opt to trade 2010 prospective free agents like Bosh before the deadline, but Walsh said such trades would be generated by the clubs themselves.
“I don’t expect players of that caliber to be traded because the home team wants to keep them. If they decide they can’t keep them, then they’re going to reach out and try to make trades,” he said.
And Walsh would take those phone calls.
“Obviously, yeah,” he said.
NATE QUESTIONABLE FOR DUNK CONTESTNate Robinson, the defending champion in the Slam Dunk Contest, said he would decide after the game whether his injured groin will allow him to participate or not.
“We’ll see after the game,” Robinson said.
Robinson said his primary focus was on helping the Knicks make the playoffs. They entered the night 4 1/2 games out of the final spot, with several teams ahead of them.
“If he was hurt and it would hurt him to go into the Dunk Contest, then I would want to know that,” Walsh said. “Normally it’s a big honor to be invited. He’s a defending champion so I would like to see him be able to go but I also want to use him for the rest of the year, so I think that shows responsibility to the team [if he stays home].”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.