Eddy Curry picked up his $11.2M option for 2010-11 which is hardly a surprise. The fact that he did so well before the June 30 deadline, as CBA guru Larry Coon first reported via Twitter on Tuesday, has sent some of you into a frenzy. UPDATE: I was told by a person of intelligence that Curry did not actually pick up the option on Tuesday, but that he had picked it up well before then. It just had not gone reported.
As Coon said, the official opt-in not only locks Curry into the payroll for next season, it also makes him trade-able before July 1. But before you start matching salaries and dreaming of a blockbuster on Draft Night, hit the pause button and remind yourself that this is a player who has 10 GP in the last two seasons. His value, even as an expiring contract, is nil to 29 other teams. But to the Knicks, as I said in this previous post, he still can be valuable.
And consider the motivation behind Curry's decision to pick-up the option early could be for his own finances. Let's not forget this is a player who is going through some major money problems. Only last month he was ordered by a Manhattan court to pay $1.2 million in debt. Curry argued in court that he already had over $200K in wages garnished and couldn't afford to make $75K payments on a loan he took out. It's an embarrassing situation for a player who signed a megamillion contract at a very young age and has lost almost all of it. I'm just speculating here, but if he is working out a settlement, Curry may have needed to lock in his 2010-11 salary to satisfy the agreement.
Bottom line is despite rumors of possible buyouts (know this: Curry won't take a penny less than his full salary, so why would the Knicks agree to that?), there are plenty of indications that Eddy will be a member of the Knicks through the offseason and, quite possibly, to start the coming season. Talented bigs aren't easy to come by and if you plan on being a playoff team, you still need someone who can score on the post and draw fouls. Curry is 27 and can't afford to mail it in anymore. He literally can't afford to sit out another season. And Mike D'Antoni, with two years left on his own contract, can't afford to leave a talented player to rot on the bench.
Quite frankly, the Knicks can't afford to see another player thrive after he's been dumped from New York.
* * *
* - As I report in Wednesday's Newsday, Tony Parker maintains a strong interest in joining the Knicks via trade, but an NBA source told me that the Spurs are not engaging in talks involving Parker at this time. Another source said the Knicks have been in touch with the Hornets about Chris Paul, as we have told you about, but that was about six weeks ago and the Hornets remain in an unsettled ownership situation.
The story also explains why there may be a lot of talk involving the Knicks and possibly moving up in the draft, but there may be little to no action on that front.
* - Neil Best engaged the cast of Grown Ups in a conversation about - who else? - LeBron James. The responses weren't entirely typical, but the story is still worth a readbecause Neil took this one for the team rather than leave me to do it. The Fix has long been a fan of the WatchDog.