07-06-2008, 08:51 PM
Status: Comb over
Join Date: Jan 2008
| | Duhon Is Added, Signaling End for Marbury
July 5, 2008 |
By HOWARD BECK
Chris Duhon has agreed to a two-year deal with the Knicks, paving the way for the franchise to cut ties with Stephon Marbury, their troublesome starting point guard.
Whether Marbury will be traded, bought out of his contract or simply waived is yet to be determined. But people with close ties to Donnie Walsh, the team president, and Coach Mike D’Antoni consider Marbury’s departure a near certainty.
Those briefed on the matter spoke anonymously because the discussions were private, and because the subject has apparently not been broached with Marbury.
But the Knicks’ intentions were evident in their recruiting of Duhon. As part of his sales pitch, Walsh all but offered him the job as starting point guard.
Kevin Bradbury, Duhon’s agent, said, “For Chris, the opportunity to be a starting point guard, to have the opportunity to be the starting point guard for the Knicks, to play in New York and to play in D’Antoni’s system” was too good to pass up.
The decision was made Thursday, after Duhon spoke with Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, who, like Duhon, is represented by Bill Duffy Associates. Nash had only modest success before joining the Suns, then became a two-time most valuable player under D’Antoni.
“Steve said so many great things about D’Antoni and what D’Antoni did for his career,” Bradbury said.
Even before signing Duhon, the Knicks had resolved that they could not move forward while Marbury was still in the locker room. In their brief time with the franchise, Walsh and D’Antoni have learned how incredibly unpopular Marbury is with his teammates.
Duhon, who chose the Knicks over Orlando, will sign for the midlevel salary-cap exception, which is expected to be close to $6 million for the coming season. His two-year deal could be worth $11 million to $12 million.
Precise figures cannot be set until Wednesday, after the league completes its salary-cap calculations and lifts its annual moratorium on deals. The Knicks are not permitted to comment until then.
Duhon, a second-round pick by Chicago in 2004, spent his first four N.B.A. seasons with the Bulls, averaging 6.9 points and 4.5 assists, mostly as a backup. Although he started 159 of 300 games, the bulk of his starts (73) came in his rookie season.
A solid ball handler and distributor, Duhon averaged 4.0 assists and only 1.08 turnovers last season; he was ranked sixth among guards in assists per turnover (3.7). He is a dedicated defender, a quality that has been sorely lacking in the Knicks’ point guards for several years.
Duhon also has the quickness and the intelligence to thrive in D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense. Although he is not a great shooter over all, he is reliable from 3-point range and will be surrounded by scorers.
He plans to join several Knicks veterans for an informal minicamp in Las Vegas next week, coinciding with the annual summer league.
By limiting Duhon to a two-year deal, Walsh also avoided adding salary beyond 2010. The Knicks are hoping to clear salary-cap space that year, when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh could all be free agents.
D’Antoni has told friends that the Knicks are much better than their 23-59 record last season indicated and that team chemistry was the greatest problem. Cutting ties with Marbury is viewed as a critical first step in changing a losing culture.
For all of Marbury’s talent, the Knicks have not had a winning record since he joined the team in January 2004. He has played for five head coaches in four seasons and famously clashed with the last two, Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. As team president, Thomas acquired Marbury in a blockbuster trade. They considered each other close friends. But their relationship soured in November and derailed the Knicks’ season.
With training camp three months away, nothing is expected to happen immediately. The Knicks will probably attempt to trade Marbury, although it may be nearly impossible, given his checkered reputation and his contract. He is owed $22 million next season, the final year of his deal. If trade attempts fail, Walsh is expected to propose a buyout. It would be costly, but James L. Dolan, the Madison Square Garden chairman, has said that Walsh has authority to improve the team however he sees fit.
Signing Duhon was a small step, but a high priority. Glen Grunwald, a senior vice president for the Knicks, called Bradbury as soon as the rules permitted, just after midnight Monday. D’Antoni met with Duhon the next day.
“It’s a big vote of confidence in Chris, knowing how hard they came after him,” Bradbury said.
He said Walsh also left Duhon with an encouraging thought: “I hope that when this deal’s up that we’ll be together for a long, long time.”
Sorry if you like Marbury, but all I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish.
07-08-2008, 02:50 PM
Status: My President is BLACK
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Trinidad,Ivy City Death Capital
Should be a good fit,,Duhon is a solid PG plays good tough D,,and doesnt turn the ball over too much,
__________________ Rampage Jackson: so who we got here Jason Wheaton and how u say this this guys last name ,,,??
Krazy Horse: i dunno i didnt graduate from High School
Rampage: Me neither
Krazy Horse: i can read Joey,,, Al-ver-jor-no
Rampage: yea yea Joey Alverdoodoo
'Page and Krazyhorse=greatest commentary team EVER lol HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! "I got owned by Lefthookstcrook and GSP - I Couldn't andle der riddum!"
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