Knicks president Donnie Walsh is getting high grades for Friday’s trades of Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, and Mardy Collins, because it clears cap space for 2010 when, well, you know by now. In the span of a few hours, Walsh undid enough of Isiah Thomas’s shortsighted moves that the Knicks are in position to offer a max contract to a certain Cavaliers superstar — and probably another good player or two — even if he doesn’t clear out any further bad contracts. (We’re looking at you, Eddy Curry.)
But Walsh’s moves may impact more than just the Knicks roster. See, presumed future-Knick LeBron James is friends with free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia from the days they were both in Cleveland. Sabathia, of course, is deciding — perhaps right this very second — which big-money contract to accept. And ESPN’s Buster Olney thinks that the idea that his buddy might be a Knick two years from now could help sway him to sign with the Yankees. (Olney says factors like these may serve as tiebreakers since Sabathia is the type to consider more than just money, though it certainly won't hurt that the Yankees will likely be offering the most cash, as well.) So now that Walsh has pretty much locked up James and Sabathia, perhaps he could get started on a plan to keep Brett Favre from retiring. After all, he'll need to have something to do between now and 2010.