New York Knicks 2004 Draft Preview
(Sports Network) – President of basketball operations Isiah Thomas has proved
that he can be creative when it comes to shaping the New York Knicks’ roster.
Thomas acquired point guard Stephon Marbury and swingman Anfernee Hardaway in
a blockbuster deal with the Phoenix Suns in January, and also traded Keith Van
Horn to Milwaukee in a three-team deal that saw the Knicks get Nazr Mohammed
from Atlanta and Tim Thomas from the Bucks. Thomas also fired head coach Don
Chaney and replaced him with Lenny Wilkens.
The 27-year-old Marbury gives the Knicks, who were swept in the first round of
the postseason by New Jersey, a franchise player who has brought excitement
back to the Big Apple. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.9 assists in 81 games
with the Suns and Knicks during the regular season.
New York decided forward/center Kurt Thomas had a future with the team, as the
Knicks signed the center to a lucrative multi-year contract extension. The 31-
year-old Kurt Thomas averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.3 boards in 80
games during the regular season.
Shooting guard Allan Houston missed 32 games with various injuries. If he
regains his health, Houston would team with Marbury to give the Knicks a solid
Mohammed and aging center Dikembe Mutombo are serviceable in the middle, while
forward Mike Sweetney played 42 games during his rookie campaign and should be
more productive in his second year in the league if he can stay healthy.
With Thomas calling the shots it would not be a surprise if the Knicks make a
move that makes draft day interesting and exciting for their fans. New York
does only have once selection, the 43rd overall pick.
Key Player(s): Shandon Anderson (guard), Anfernee Hardaway (forward/guard),
Allan Houston (guard), Stephon Marbury (guard), Nazr Mohammed (center),
Dikembe Mutombo (center), Mike Sweetney (forward), Kurt Thomas (center), Tim
Team Needs: Rebounding.
Draft picks: 2nd round (43rd overall).