It is tempting to run with the Post's story this morning, of Chris Paul making a toast at Carmelo Anthony's wedding about him, the groom, and Amar'e Stoudemire making up their own Big Three, but we're not going to do that, because we're so exhausted and still a little demoralized from LeBron Watch that it's just too soon. (Go ahead, get excited all you'd like. We'll catch up later.) Instead, we'd like to take a look at the other players the Knicks agreed with over the weekend. Two more, guys. This is almost like an actual team now.
First off, the mystery man: Russian center Timofey Mozgov, or, as we've decided to call him, Tina-Fey Mozgov. He's seven-foot-one, athletic, tough, and has developed almost completely under the radar. Most teams didn't even know he was eligible to play in the States, but he and his agent specifically wanted him to play for Mike D'Antoni — and not for the Russian across the river.
"No, I didn't talk to him," Mozgov's agent, Bouna Ndiaye, said when asked if Prokhorov had tried to land Mozgov for the Nets. "I really focused on the Knicks. And I did not focus on the Nets because the Nets would take longer to rebuild. I liked Mike D'Antoni's system better than the Nets."
The deal appears to be for three years and $9 million, which is a great deal if he's a starter, an average deal if he gives the Knicks solid minutes, and a wretched deal if he's Frederic Weis. But he doesn't look like Frederic Weis to us.
More important — but less exotic — the Knicks signed point guard Raymond Felton to a two-year, $15 million deal. Felton is mainly known as the other point guard selected in the top five of the 2005 draft, after Deron Williams and Chris Paul. He's perfectly acceptable, a respected defender and floor general, not a spectacular scorer, penetrator, or shooter, but pretty much the perfect guy to hold down the fort until the Knicks can try for Paul or Williams. He also used to play for Dan D'Antoni, the Knicks assistant who looks just like his brother, but tubbier. (UPDATE: We're watching the Knicks Summer League game right now, and Dan D'Antoni appears to dropped an amount of weight roughly equivalent to three-quarters-of-an-Adam Morrison. Good job, Dan! Tubbier no longer!)
Also, some Knicks, current and/or hopeful, are playing in the summer league, including Bill Walker, Toney Douglas, and Andy Rautins.
So, what do the Knicks look like right now? Let's see (keeping in mind that the traditional PG/SG/SF/PF/C labels don't really apply anymore, particularly not with a D'Antoni team).
PG: Raymond Felton, Toney Douglas.
SG: Wilson Chandler, Kelenna Azubuike, Andy Rautins
SF: Danilo Gallinari, Bill Walker, Landry Fields
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph
C: Ronny Turiaf, Timofey Mozgov, Jerome Jordan, Eddy Curry, Earl Barron
Is that a playoff team? It's close. We think maybe not just quite yet. But it's close. And it's an actual team.