View Full Version : Knicks sign Baker
Baker finally signs with Knicks. Terms were not disclosed ... so we don't know if it was MLE or LLE money ... but one could speculate the move was tied to Mavs / Damp news. Knicks conceed & ink Baker asap:
08-18-2004, 07:07 PM
Zeke is really makin' them over.
Move of the offseason. Fortunately for Knick haters he just might be there best player. LOL.
08-18-2004, 08:57 PM
In a flash of genious, Cuban shows his cut-throat business sense.
Cuban leaks out through an employee that he has Dampier.
New York hears it, signs Baker and takes themselves out of the running.
Cuban, knowing that his only two competitors are New York and Atlanta renegotiates the deal and gets Dampier cheaper since Golden State is desperate. Dallas does not take on Evan Eschmeyer. The trade becomes a 2 for 2 affair so we don't take on more spots.
I like your style, EL. Gordon Gecko would be proud.
08-18-2004, 09:46 PM
I would never expect Cuban to be that stealthy, considering he is a guy who brings camera crews to DQ to watch him work and a guy who made his own reality show. EL, that would be cuban's best business move ever.... o wait, i think he made broadcast.com.
08-18-2004, 10:10 PM
Isiah Thomas has royally screwed Knicks for the next 5 -7 seasons.
08-18-2004, 10:33 PM
Vin agreed to that contract about two weeks ago. It was on ESPN's front and NBA pages.
True, but terms were never released.
In fact, there was dispute over the figures. If Baker signed anything above the LLE that takes the Knicks out of the running for Damp.
08-18-2004, 11:50 PM
Vin's agent announced 2 weeks ago that the NY Knicks could not sign Damp because Vin had agreed to terms for MLE money.
You're right, but there were published reports that Isiah disagreed.
Thomas said he has the MLE available. Baker's agent said "no he doesn't" ... confusing. Probably all posturing. Anyway it's mute now.
08-18-2004, 11:57 PM
Isaiah is a doofus. He let the cat slip out of the bag. I'm sure he has been working phone lines trying to give away some of his crap players in a last minute effort to get Damp.
The mid-level exception for Baker? He hasn't really been good since his 2nd year in Milwaukee. I think Zeke has been drinking at the same bar Baker goes to. Seriously, why would he have to pay that much to Baker. I can't see anyone else giving him more that a vet minimum slot. Yes he can play, but he may fall off the wagon any day and get suspended. My dad is an alcoholic and it is something that doesn't go away no matter how hard they work at it.
Isiah Thomas tried, but neither trade possibilities nor the midlevel salary exception nor the allure of New York City could put Erick Dampier in a Knicks uniform. So with Dampier on the verge of finding a new place to play, heading from the Golden State Warriors to the Dallas Mavericks yesterday, Thomas, the Knicks' president, settled on his backup plan for a backup center, re-signing Vin Baker.
Although Dampier may not have been the top priority for Thomas in a summer when he has flirted with players like Kobe Bryant and traded for guard Jamal Crawford, the acquisition of the 6-foot-11 Dampier, an eight-year veteran, would have been significant for the Knicks. Even though they have the highest payroll in the N.B.A., the Knicks still have only one true center - Nazr Mohammed - and he, like Baker, may be better suited to play power forward.
With Shaquille O'Neal now in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks could use more heft up front. Dampier, a true center with muscle, would have helped.
"It's difficult to acquire a quality big man in this league,'' Thomas said in a conference call yesterday. "We'll continue to try and do that. At the same time, speed does negate size. If we can get a fast enough team and a quick enough team, we'll be able to play against the plodders. At the same time, we still would welcome and look for a big presence. But I'm very happy with Nazr and Vin, and I'll emphasize again we made the playoffs with both those guys.''
But Baker had little to do with it, making little impact after joining the Knicks on March 12 and averaging 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 17 games. He was hardly the player he was in the past, when he was an All-Star and an Olympian.
Baker, who will turn 33 on Nov. 23, had a minor surgical procedure in the off-season to correct an irregular heartbeat. But with Dikembe Mutombo having departed to Chicago in the Crawford deal, Baker, who signed a two-year deal worth about $3.2 million a year, will be counted on to play behind Mohammed. That is unless Thomas can find a way to pull off a deal for a big man, a notion he did not dismiss.
"We'll always continue to try and upgrade our team,'' Thomas said. "The difficult process that we're trying to do is restructure our team and not necessarily lose for three years while trying to do it. We're trying to get younger and more athletic. We got to continue to keep getting better. I'll keep working hard this summer to try and make us better and see if there are other pieces that we can add to make our team better.''
Still, Thomas came up short in his efforts to acquire Dampier, unwilling to give up the sort of package that Dallas appears ready to surrender. The Knicks are convinced that the deal with Dallas is done; otherwise, they would have held off on signing Baker, hoping instead to use the midlevel exception for Dampier.
08-19-2004, 08:36 AM
I still think Thomas had agreed with Baker weeks ago and is just barking to appease the Knick fans. He had to know that he wasn't going to get Dampier.
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