Spurs veteran Parker has Knicks on wish list

The date that remains circled on every Knicks calendar from 2 Penn Plaza in Manhattan to the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh is July 1, which suggests that there shouldn't be much happening before then.

The Knicks have explored a few options, including Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who has told confidants that he would like to be traded if San Antonio goes with George Hill as the starter. Parker is in New York Wednesday to be part of Steve Nash's annual "Showdown in Chinatown" event, which includes a soccer game among NBA players and soccer stars at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side at 6 p.m.

Parker has the Knicks high on his wish list, according to a source close to him, but a team source told Newsday that the Spurs have thus far shown no interest in engaging in trade discussions. Parker has one year left on his contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Another big name the Knicks have been monitoring is Hornets All-Star Chris Paul, but so far the team has had no indication that Paul is available.

With a bare-bones roster that has just four players under guaranteed contracts for next season, the Knicks could boost their appearance to prospective free agents by adding a high-profile veteran player before July 1. In 2007, the Celtics acquired Ray Allen on draft night and it was believed to be the key to convincing Kevin Garnett to accept a trade from the Timberwolves to the Celtics a few weeks later. But the Knicks appear to be holding firm with their plan to offer two max contracts to stars such as LeBron James and Chris Bosh (among others) and don't want to compromise any salary-cap space before July 1.

With that in mind, the Knicks aren't likely to package their two second-round picks to move up in the draft or even buy a first-rounder like they did last year when they acquired the rights to the 29th overall pick (Toney Douglas) from the Lakers for $3 million. The Knicks have, however, done due diligence to check the market price for a late first-rounder.

The Knicks always are mentioned as a candidate to buy a first-rounder because they are a deep-pocketed franchise and teams rely on their inclusion to drive up the price. But it isn't so much the money it would cost to buy the pick as the potential cap space it would take up.

Curry exercises option.

Eddy Curry picked up his contract option for next season. The 7-foot center, who appeared in a total of 10 games in the last two seasons because of injury and conditioning issues and will earn $11.2 million next year. This makes him eligible for a trade on draft night, but according to a person with knowledge of the situation, Curry is not likely to be moved any time soon.

The Dolan family owns

controlling interests in the Knicks, Rangers, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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