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No resolution between Walsh and Nate's agent

New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson (2) talks

New York Knicks guard Nate Robinson (2) talks to teammate Eddy Curry, who is out with an injury, as they sit on the bench during the Knicks' 93-84 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. (December 7, 2009) Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Donnie Walsh on Monday spoke with Nate Robinson's agent, Aaron Goodwin, who on Saturday asked that Robinson be traded if he remains out of Mike D'Antoni's rotation.

Neither would comment on the discussion. Goodwin would say only that there was "no resolution" to the situation.

Earlier in the day, as he watched Robinson and the Knicks practice at the MSG Training Center, Walsh reiterated that with the team playing well (seven wins in the last 10 games), "the rotation's working and there's a reason not to break it up right now."

Robinson said before Sunday's win over Charlotte, his ninth straight DNP, that he wants to remain a Knick as long as he is playing.

Though Walsh said he will "find out what's available," Robinson's only way out of this situation might involve a buyout. The ebullient 5-9 guard is a two-time Slam Dunk champion whose jersey ranked No. 8 in sales among NBA players last season, but he is not exactly in demand among NBA general managers. And there are other complications to trading his one-year salary.

The first is the $1-million bonus written into the contract if the team makes the playoffs. Most contending teams might view this as an unnecessary added expense, and as one NBA GM said, "Everyone is looking to save money right now."

Robinson's salary is $4 million. But his trade value, according to the CBA's base-year compensation rules, is $2 million. So the Knicks, by rule of the CBA, could take back only as much as 125 percent of Robinson's trade value (about $2.5 million) and the team that trades for him still would have to absorb a salary-cap hit of $4 million.

The most likely resolution would be for Goodwin to approach Walsh about a buyout of the $4-million contract. The settlement, of course, would have to be a number the Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - would be willing to swallow (read: far less than the total amount). To date, Robinson has been paid a little more than $1.3 million this season, which leaves the remaining $2.7 million up for negotiation.

Robinson likely would accept a buyout only if he already had an offer from another team, as Stephon Marbury did last February when he agreed to a buyout before signing with the Celtics. The minimum salary for a player of Robinson's experience (five years) is an affordable $959,111.

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