Posted: Friday July 15, 2005 2:59PM; Updated: Friday July 15, 2005 9:44PM
The best thing would be to continue moving forward as if incumbent Herb Williams will remain in the position next season. They can't afford to repeat the experience of the Cavaliers, who spent two months in vain waiting for Brown to arrive as their team president, because the Knicks need to assume that Brown won't be coming to New York. Williams has been making an effort toward moving forward by courting Paul Westphal as a potential assistant coach.
Whether Brown stays with Detroit or leaves, there is a good chance that his ever-wandering eye will seek a lucrative administrative position, because he's spent the past year telling friends that he would like to get out of coaching in order to run a team. If he is unable to salvage his relationship in Cleveland and take over as team president of the Cavaliers, don't be surprised if he sidelines himself for several months while seeking another front office over which he can preside.
But if Brown becomes available and decides that he wants to coach the Knicks, they should hire him -- even if the cost is $10 million per year. His misdeeds in Detroit should have no bearing on his future in New York. As a short-term genius, Brown would be the perfect solution to a franchise that lives for the moment. He would instantly transform the Knicks into a playoff team and fill the Garden with energy. People will naturally predict disaster in his relationship with point guard Stephon Marbury, who has made a career of producing All-Star stats without ever winning a playoff series. But Brown has forged productive relationships with every kind of guard from Chauncey Billups to Allen Iverson, and he would find a way to help Marbury succeed in New York.
Brown's arrival would help fans to take a new perspective on the Knicks. Eight of their current players are 25 or younger, and they are poised to enter the summer of 2007 with only one max player -- Marbury (albeit at a ridiculous salary that will climb to $20.1 million in '07-08). Team president Isiah Thomas is expected to waive Allan Houston for the amnesty tax relief that was granted in the league's new labor agreement and let the expiring contracts of Penny Hardaway, Tim Thomas and Maurice Taylor come off his cap over the next two years -- unless he can net All-Star talent by trading one of those contracts to a team seeking cap relief.
An obvious target Thomas might take a run at would be Phoenix forward Shawn Marion, whose remaining deal for four years and $63 million could become prohibitive if the Suns retain Joe Johnson and re-sign Amare Stoudemire to max deals. By sending Kurt Thomas to Phoenix last month for Quentin Richardson, Thomas essentially supplied the Suns with Marion's replacement at power forward. If the Suns are intent on wiping Marion off their books, trading him to New York prior to the February deadline for the expiring $14 million contract of Tim Thomas would be a logical move.
The Celtics find their type
Why did the Boston Celtics agree to a reported five-year, $15 million free-agent contract for backup Nets forward Brian Scalabrine? One big factor was the wiring of Scalabrine's brain.