This is the dilemma of every Knicks fan with any sense of hope who is always wrestling with an equal appreciation of history: You hear that Kemba Walker is available, that the Charlotte Hornets are thinking of trading the electric guard who cut his basketball teeth in The Bronx, starred at Harlem’s Rice High (RIP, sigh), led Connecticut to a national title in 2011 and made his first NBA All-Star team last year. You hear that, and it is impossible not to get your imagination whirring: What it would be like to match the 27-year-old point guard with Kristaps Porzingis, a Special-K pairing that sure sounds like it could be an awfully secure foundation for the Knicks — to say nothing of what it could mean for their fading-by-the-hour playoff hopes this year. You hear that, you imagine that, and the impulse is this: Get it done. Figure out what you have to figure out. Just get it done. And that’s when reality rudely interrupts those daydreams, because it isn’t necessarily that you don’t trust Steve Mills and Scott Perry with making an important transaction that will impact the team’s future … it’s, well, you probably don’t trust anybody at this point. The name “Bargnani” still gives you night shivers. You still remember that in order to procure the services of Eddy Curry, the Knicks sent away future No. 1 draft choices used on LaMarcus Aldridge (just typing that can make you furious) and Joakim Noah (the non-calcified version). If you’re old enough, perhaps you remember the pick that ultimately yielded Scottie Pippen in 1987 originally belonged to the Knicks, before they dealt it away in a trade in which the centerpiece was … anybody? Gerald Henderson (who played a total of 74 games as a Knick). So you’re gun-shy because … well, who wouldn’t be? One of the few positive things about Phil Jackson’s tenure is he didn’t exile any No. 1s in quick-fix deals. And if the Knicks’ own tortured history isn’t enough, all they need to do is look across the river at the permanent purgatory the Nets built for themselves. Here’s the thing, though. It would be nice to be able to build a team organically, through the draft, using your own smarts and savvy to build a playoff roster. The Warriors, after all, built their championship core by drafting Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green between 2009-2012. But the 76ers have collected high draft picks like they’re baseball cards every year since 2013, and for their troubles they are life-and-death for the No. 8 seed in the East.
Knicks hesitant to engage in talks with Hornets about Walker
New York Post | Jan 20