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Beaten out for Curry, Knicks take Jordan Hill

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - In one of the wildest NBA drafts in recent history, filled with blockbuster trades and surprising moves, the Knicks were unable to join the party.

Their hopes of landing sharpshooting Davidson guard Stephen Curry were dashed at the last second last night when the Warriors, picking one spot before the Knicks, took him. So Donnie Walsh was left with Plan B and selected Arizona power forward Jordan Hill.

>> Click here for pictures of Jordan Hill

Mike D'Antoni admitted he was hoping for Curry. "I'm not going to lie to you and say no," he said. "Might be better if I lied to you." But he was thrilled the alternative was the 6-10 Hill, who D'Antoni says has similarities to the Suns' Amar'e Stoudemire.

"You do have favorites here and there, but I'm telling you, I'm thinking this could be lucky . . . he's 6-10 and can shoot and run the floor," D'Antoni said. "You just don't find those guys."

The Knicks also came away with Florida State point guard Toney Douglas, who had a strong pre-draft workout June 9 with the Knicks against Ty Lawson and Jonny Flynn. Douglas' rights were purchased from the Lakers, who selected him 29th.

Hill is a very raw but very athletic forward who has a nice shooting touch with good range for a big man. He also showed an ability to be a shot- blocker, which the Knicks lack.

"On a team that has a lot of open holes," Walsh said, "this will help."

It does offer some insurance for David Lee, a restricted free agent. Walsh said the pick "has nothing to do with David Lee," but Walsh could have some flexibility to use Lee as an asset in a possible sign-and-trade.

There were rumors percolating last night that the Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - were trying to work a trade with the Timberwolves to land the No. 5 pick, Ricky Rubio, but a source with knowledge of the Knicks' thinking said there was nothing in the works.

Walsh tried to move up to No. 5 earlier in the week, when the Wizards still owned it. Walsh even had Wilson Chandler on the table, but the Wizards opted to make a bigger deal with Minnesota. Despite all of the Rubio talk, the Knicks' target all along had been Curry, with Tyreke Evans, who went No. 4 to the Kings, as the second option. Once both were gone, Hill was next on their depth chart.

Walsh said he believes the Warriors, who traded Jamal Crawford to Atlanta for guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton, made this pick for another team. "There's a possibility that this pick won't stay with Golden State," Walsh said, "so we'll have to see."

According to multiple sources, Curry is likely to be included in a deal with the Suns that will send Stoudemire to the Warriors. The deal reportedly was contingent on a physical by Stoudemire, who has had eye and knee issues.

As the cost-cutting Suns continue to gut their roster - Shaquille O'Neal was sent to the Cavaliers yesterday - a source said the Knicks will closely monitor the Steve Nash situation. The Suns have a $13-million team option with Nash this season but want to sign him to an extension.

Nash, who will be a free agent next summer, has been open to the idea of reuniting with D'Antoni and coming to New York, where he resides in the offseason. He has said he wants to see what the Suns do to revamp the team before he agrees to an extension.

Curry, who had openly said he wanted to be a Knick, did not express disappointment. "I've moved past that," he said, "and I am willing to take the opportunity straight ahead."

Walsh did complete a previously reported trade that sent Quentin Richardson and cash considerations to the Grizzlies for 7-1 center Darko Milicic. Both have expiring contracts.

>> Click here for pictures of Jordan Hill

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