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.
According to reports, the Knicks will send Marcus Camby, Steve Novak and two draft picks — including their first-round pick in 2016 — North of the border in exchange for the 7-foot Bargnani, the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.
As of early Sunday evening, the trade hadn’t been finalized, with Novak’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, telling SNY.tv, “There’s nothing happening at the moment.” ESPNNewYork.com reported it could become official July 10.
Camby and Novak are certainly expendable parts, but the loss of the draft picks means the Knicks continue to plunder their future for a questionable present.
The Knicks — like the rival Brooklyn Nets, who just obtained Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry in a trade with the Boston Celtics — are going for it now.
Both teams are going for it in an Eastern Conference that has been dominated by LeBron James and the Miami Heat for the last three seasons, and the Heat show no signs of slowing down.
The Knicks’ window exists for the next two years, but after the 2014-15 season, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler are no longer under contract.
Anthony has a player option after next season and could opt to walk in 2014.
Beginning in 2015-16, the only Knicks under contract are Raymond Felton and, presumably, Tim Hardaway Jr., as Howard Beck of the New York Times pointed out.
Meantime, the Knicks are already without their first-round pick in the loaded 2014 Draft that will include Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon and other impact players. They dealt that away to Denver.
Now, they are reportedly also dealing a second-round pick next year.
Not only will they be unable to reap the benefits from those drafts — unless they get picks back via trades — but they also lose assets for possible future trades.
In the short term, the Knicks are adding a sometimes-injured, jump-shooting forward who averaged just 3.7 rebounds last season, setting a record for futility.
Bargnani’s addition could allow Anthony to return to his natural small forward spot, but didn’t the Knicks excel last season when Anthony played the four in a small lineup that included two point guards and a shooter?
Also, the Knicks next season will be paying $21.7 million to Stoudemire and $11 million to Bargnani. That’s $32.7 million for two guys who are allergic to rebounding.
One of them will come off the bench, and Stoudemire has already made it clear that he wants to start.
All of this puts a premium on Chandler returning to the form that saw him win the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2011-12.
Chandler was a shadow of himself in the playoffs.
In other housekeeping Sunday, the Knicks officially waived swingman James White and free agent J.R. Smith reportedly met with GM Glen Grunwald and head coach Mike Woodson to discuss his future, according to ESPNNewYork.com.
For now, the Knicks’ future lacks draft picks and is filled with uncertainty.
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.