It appears last night's hideous loss to the Bulls will be the last hurrah for that version of the New York Knicks, as general manager Donnie Walsh is reportedly on the verge of sending Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, rookie Jordan Hill and some picks to Houston for Tracy McGrady and Nate Robinson to the Celtics for Eddie House and a second-rounder.
Walsh is reportedly also considering deals that would send Al Harrington to the Bulls for Al Harrington and Darko Milicic (you forgot he was a member of the Knicks, didn't you?) to the T-Wolves for Brian Cardinal.
The motivation behind the proposed moves is clear - Walsh is looking to rid the team of several malcontents and volume scorers and spend the last two months of the season developing players who may be part of the team after this summer. The two most obvious beneficiaries are Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler - but you're only getting one of those guys in a trade.
Toney Douglas, on the other hand, is just .4 percent owned.
Now, McGrady probably won't show much of the explosiveness he had during his heyday - but don't forget, he's always been an excellent passer, and a bum knee won't hurt his court vision or playmaking ability. Using T-Mac as a "point forward" would give the Knicks the option to use Douglas at point guard more often, in place of the ineffective Chris Duhon. Douglas is a high-energy player and a good defender, but isn't a great floor leader just yet. With McGrady on the floor, he might not need to be. He could be worth a look, particularly in deeper leagues.
This column will be published about 20 hours before the NBA trade deadline, February 18 at 3pm ET. Obviously, there's a strong possibility of a landscape-changing trade that we haven't anticipated. Keep an eye on The Opening Tip blog for updates and analysis of trades as they happen.
The most popular adds in ESPN NBA.com leagues this week:
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who will typically be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers. The third batch of players will be guys I've mentioned in previous columns that still seem to be available in a lot of leagues and worth a look.
All "percent owned" stats are taken from ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.
Al Thornton (31.4% owned) - Thornton is reportedly headed to D.C. as part of a three-way trade that will send Antawn Jamison to Cleveland. It's not clear where he'll fit in the Wizards' rotation - they seem fairly well stocked at the wings with Mike Miller and Josh Howard - but the Wizards are taking on salary for next season to get him, which tells me they plan on using him.
Martell Webster (12.2% owned) - With Brandon Roy's hamstring acting up and Travis Outlaw headed to the Clippers as part of the Camby deal, Webster could be a much larger part of Portland's offense over the next few weeks.
Andray Blatche (5.7% owned) and JaVale McGee (0.5% owned) - With Brendan Haywood gone and Drew Gooden set to follow him out the door, look for both the Wizards' young big men to to have more significant roles.