Knicks evaluating Wilson Chandler's progress, still working on deal for Portland's Rudy Fernandez
BY FRANK ISOLA
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Wednesday, October 6th 2010, 4:00 AM
PARIS - Despite the overcast morning, the Knicks players and coaching staff stood in front of the Eiffel Tower Tuesday for a memorable team picture. Amar'e Stoudemire said he will give the photo to his son, while Raymond Felton said it is a keepsake for his family to cherish for generations.
"These guys have seen stuff that they may never do in their own life," Mike D'Antoni said. "It's got to be enriching to a certain degree."
The Knicks conclude their European trip with a game against Minnesota tonight and then depart for New York Thursday. The journey through Milan and Paris has been a good bonding experience for the Knicks, who added 10 new faces during the offseason.
Tuesday, players poked fun at one another as they stood in the mud to pose for a photo that could be outdated before the end of the month. With Carmelo Anthony's future in Denver unresolved, the Knicks remain in the hunt for one of the NBA's elite players.
Donnie Walsh is confident he can acquire a first-round pick to include in a deal for Anthony but the Knicks president still might not have enough assets to convince Denver to trade its franchise player. The Nuggets remain hopeful that they can convince Anthony to sign an extension.
Meanwhile, Walsh would have a chance to pry Rudy Fernandez away from Portland with a first-round pick. The questions the Knicks had concerning Wilson Chandler's recovery from offseason surgery are one reason why the club has explored the possibility of acquiring Fernandez, the disgruntled shooting guard who is in camp with the Trail Blazers after threatening to return to Spain.
How well Chandler progresses during the preseason will determine whether the Knicks revisit talks with the Blazers. According to a team source, Walsh tested the waters last month by offering Portland two future second-round picks in addition to one of the two players the Knicks picked in the second round in June - Andy Rautins or Landry Fields.
The Blazers rejected the deal and have summarily turned down trade offers from Boston and Chicago as well. Chandler, entering his fourth season, is one of the Knicks' more versatile players but is better suited to play small forward. Fernandez is a natural shooting guard with better range who could flourish in D'Antoni's system.
Plus, Fernandez is still on his rookie contract, and adding him would not affect the Knicks' salary-cap situation. Chandler, however, is in his contract year.
In Milan, D'Antoni felt that Chandler was slightly behind his teammates in terms of conditioning. That's understandable considering that Chandler had surgery on his ankle and groin over the summer and began running at full speed only three weeks ago.
But Chandler looked strong in the preseason opener against Armani Jeans Milano, scoring 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting in 22 minutes. Chandler remains one of the Knicks' most unassuming players off the court and more valuable players on it. Walsh admires Chandler for his toughness and his ability to defend several positions.
Chandler's name comes up regularly in trade discussions, and Portland is divided on whether it would accept him in a deal for Fernandez. The Blazers would be more willing to swap Fernandez for a first-round pick and a player, possibly reserve guard Bill Walker.
discovery69 wrote:So the story can come out on why Rudy went from being excited about coming to Portland and then having a melt down on press day....
Rich Cho had a deal agreed upon with Chicago and Rudy's agent passed the good news to Rudy back in Europe.
Chicago agreed to give up their 2011 1st round pick and either the rights to Utah or Phoenix 2011 second round pick.
So Cho took the proposal of having Rudy traded over the weekend before the start of Fall Camp to Paul Allen.
Paul turned down the offer and said he could buy a low 1st pick for $3M. Allen wants more for Rudy and told Cho to come up with a better offer.
Rudy totally disappointed after hearing he wasn't going to be traded decided to have a melt down on press day.
"Rudy wishes to go home," he said. "His personal situation got worse. This change of mind has been produced in four months. His personal situation has been getting worse. There are things that I cannot say publicly, personal situations, that have been getting worse."
Billy wrote:At some point though, I have to worry about how much time the Rudy situation is taking away from Cho pursuing other deals. I am sure that he's making plenty of calls on other things, but every minute spent on trying to get some piece of scrap for Rudy is one less minute spent on getting a legit big man to help the Blazers early this year, or to find Roy his Robin (or batman?).
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