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NATE ROBINSON AND KNICKS REACH $5MIL ONE-YEAR DEAL

Nate'S Back

As most of us expected, Nate Robinson will remain a Knick for at least one more year for an approximate price of $5 million ($5.8 Million,  the league average, would make more sense but the report says $5 mil).  According to Yahoo.comthe deal is expected to be finalized next week.  The reported agreement is more than the $2.9 million qualifying offer originally extended to Robinson.  According to the New York Times this deal will end the Knicks’ courtship with restricted free agent Ramon Sessions.

I doubt that the two are inextricably connected.  Regardless of Nate’s return, the Knicks are still looking for a point guard to replace (or phase out) Chris Duhon as the starting point guard.  Nate has shown an ability to play point for short periods but is clearly at his best as an off the bench spark plug who gives a second unit fire power and can control the tempo of the game.

Now that the Knicks have been spurned by Jason Kidd, Grant Hill and Andre Miller, they are focused on an improbable union with Ramon Sessions.   Ramon Sessions is the best bet remaining to run the offense, but it is highly likely that any offer the Knicks make to Sessions would be matched by the Bucks who just released Salim Stoudemire and Bruce Bowen, who is considering retirement, while picking up Hakim Warrick. The Bucks will need an experienced general to run its re-tooled team, which includes the addition of Amir Johnson,  until Brandon Jennings is ready to take over full time.  Luke Ridnour with his $6 million contract seems to be the odd man out eventually.

Notably, the New York Times reports that Robinson’s one year salary will not impact the 2010 plan, but that is not my understanding of the CBA.  Unless Robinson is traded at the end of the one year contract or his rights are renounced, as an unrestricted free agent Nate’s salary will count against the salary cap.  Assuming Nate’s contract is actually for the average NBA salary amount of $5.85 million, 150% of his contract  (or $8.78 million) would count against the salary cap. If his contract is below the average salary, 200% of the salary will count against the cap.

The Knicks claimed Jason Williams, 33, off waivers and have until August 6th to extend him an offer.  Reportedly the Knicks will give Williams a workout this week to determine whether they want to add the 6’1″, 190 lbs guard, known as “White Chocolate” for his stylistic ballhandling flair and confidence, to the unshaped guard corp.  Williams, who averaged 4.6 assists in the 2008-2009 season, before he retired the following year, can probably run the D’Antoni offense in short spurts and is seen as insurance should  the Bucks decide to match any offer the Knicks (or Clippers) extend to Sessions.

Except for Dolan’s penchant for serving the fans big name placebos to temporarily ease the pain of being a Knicks fan, any mention of Allen Iverson running the D’Antoni offense should be considered a joke.  The D’Antoni offense is predicated on ball movement — Allen Iverson’s game is not.  But since the season is projected to be another waste, why not bring in Iverson for entertainment value? Entertainment value is all a Iverson-Knicks union would have to offer.

Jump Balls. . . . Knicks Fix, the Newsday Knicks blog, has undergone remodeling.  The result is a user unfriendly interface which makes it difficult to follow the discussion.  Too bad.  While Alan Hahn’s love fest with his boss’ NYK President, Donnie Walsh, is bias at its most nauseating, the blog’s insights are entertaining and most often informative.  .  .  .Is Stephon Marbury a mad genius or Flava Flav’s heir apparent for the “Stephon-n-fetchit” Award. .  .


. . . Shaq has a response to Steph’s petroleum based throat lozenge

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August 2, 2009 - Posted by | Chris Duhon, James Dolan, Nate Robinson, Stephon Marbury | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

53 Comments »

  1. Nice Shiny New thread Lives,

    Do you get any impression that Kryptonate’s scryptofate may be a sign and trade prior to the trade deadline?

    I know that Nate has value as a player in the Knicks rotation coming off the bench to provide scoring and change of tempo against opposing teams. Do you believe he may be paired this season with a Jefferies, (More likely IMHO), or Curry, (Less Likely IMHO), to shead cap space while exchanging him and one of those two aformentioned names for a player or players in return whose contracts expire by 2010? Do you think that should sessions not be signed this summer by our Knicks, assuming the Bucks don’t match and retain him for the regular season, that the Knicks and Bucks can’t revisit a trade scenario for Sessions involving Nate or Jefferies?

    Some observations of the redesigned Knicks Fix:

    Hahn appears to be dropping off a test run for a 2012, hold the fort and hang in there placebo to his poor Fixer Knation… suggesting that 2012 is also a bonanza possibility for the “Ship be sinking” Knicks should either or both Deron Williams and Chris Paul excercise their ETOs.

    Hahn was also making an argument to offer Sessions a contact at half the MLE for a period of years leading to 2011 with an 8% annual increase with the option for Sessions to Opt out by the end of 2011, (Again alluding to the Placebo Summer of Williams and Paul) allowing Session might play the market should his value increase in [ ]’ontoni’s system and also allowing the Knicks to either match that offer or pursue Paul or Williams.

    Both subtopics in that Hahn thread IMHO reek of even more excuses and time bidding for Rip Van Donnie. The biggest sore spot about those koolaid fan boy geared arguments is that circumstances and needs for the Knicks might change by the newly suggested vaunted year of 2012- Chandler’s contact will be coming up and other needs may arise that don’t have Williams or Chandlers name on them.

    If 200″Nien!”- “the summer of bidding time” as a prequal to 2010 is indicative of anything, … it is that the ground upon which the Knicks Mgt. delayed Fantasy dream plans may not be the same or as solid or secure as the pillars the team is attempting to acquire to place upon that foundational groundwork. The future is uncertain, the only way to make it less so is to act now, prudently and measured off course. But Donnie, and his disciple Pide Piper Hahn appear to be preparing another series of excuses to justify half hearted to no efforts to sure up the teams foundation for the overlylauded Superstar pillars Mgt. believes they may acquire for dates in the not too distant future.

    Your thoughts Fanatics?

    Comment by orangeandblue1 | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • OBTW Here is the Hahn article I was reffering to:

      Give Sessions half the MLE

      Friday July 24, 2009 8:11 PM By Alan Hahn

      Sometimes I wonder if the thinking is that if a superstar like LBJ, Wayde, now even Paul or Williams in 2012 Geez is a sure thing then “logically” obtaining them is also a sure thing. A = B does not mean A = C Dammit!

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • “Kryptonate’s scryptofate?”

      Nice phrase creation.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

      • There more insight in this place than any MSM controlled blog!

        That’s how we do Lives

        Comment by orangeandblue1 | August 2, 2009

      • Agreed with a virtual Big-UPs and lighter flick from Steady. Creative phraseology and BIG PUNs spark-up the blog.

        Steady as we scroll.
        OKFL

        Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009

    • O&B, PUP and DLT

      I am checking out the CBA and Larry Coon’s breakdown of the CBA and it seems, if I am reading this stuff correctly, that Nate cannot be traded, without his consent, until the end of his one year contract. He can be traded with his consent, but their are limitations and costs for Walsh, unless the contract has an option year that can be exercised.

      Nate cannot be traded without his consent since he is playing under a one-year contract (excluding any option year) and will have Larry Bird rights at the end of the season. Even with consent Nate cannot be traded for three months or until December 15th (whichever is later) after signing a contract as a free agent. (See Coon queries #80 #85 and CBA: Article VII, Section 8(b).)

      I need some help from IGM or Paul here because I do not understand why Walsh would not add an option year so that he does not lose the Bird Rights if he decides to trade Nate after on or about November 7th.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

      • A tunnel vision fixated individual loses sight of all the commonsensical in front of his very nose!

        Comment by orangeandblue1 | August 2, 2009

  2. Great post Lives. I’m very happy we resigned IMO
    our best player. Nate is pure HEART and should be
    a Knick until he retires. Also Good point about Iverson.
    This season is basically a wanton and willful act of
    avoiding the worst record in the league, so WHY not bring
    in AI for entertainment value? Perhaps we may fluke into
    a 8th seed spot with lights out three ball shooting by
    Nate,Gallinari, Almond, AI, and maybe even Von Wafer!!!!!!!
    What the Knicks lack in a half court defensive set could
    be hidden if they full court press, which we have the horses
    to do it with Jeffries, Nate, Chandler, Almond, AI, Duhon,
    and the two Rookies among others. At whatever COST..we must not deliver the #1 2010 draft pick to the awaiting Jazz! Is it really far fetched that AI could have a Career year here
    at the Mecca and provide some veteran leadership to a team that NO ONE EXPECTS to do much???

    Let me say this…FUGG LEE. Trade him and Mobley’s contract
    for a Body(we can waive) and a 2010 #1 pick! Bring on AI, Alomd, Wafer and lets light up the Garden from Downtown, as
    we sure as hell won’t be doing it in the PAINT!

    Comment by Peaceman | August 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. I just looked at Hahn’s blog for the first time in Months.
    What a mess! We will be Locked and Loaded come preseason.
    With the current Arsenal of bloggers here, it will only get
    better and better when Bronx & Harlem Md’s, Barf, Anti, GeorgeM, St George, Jaybee, Modi, African,Davonn and a few others from the psst find their way home.

    “Save me from those who have their minds set in steel.
    Steel by its nature is grey, unyielding, and barren….. Cold.

    ” INTRODUCTION TO PEACEMAN”
    ~ME~

    Don’t try to understand me!
    I function from different levels
    Over which even I have no control!
    Often self destructive
    But with a deep inner passion
    For the beauty in life

    A cosmic connection
    An ebbing and flowing
    Like the tides
    More Lunar in nature
    Than solar
    Receptive and sensitive
    Playing my life in the major keys
    While my inner symphony
    Is composed in the minor

    KNICKS NOW, KNICKS FOREVER!

    Comment by Peaceman | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Dag, Peaceman waxing introspectively poetic on us Fanatics. Pretty good, but please don’t go Stephon on us by creating some type of video show. On second thought, I might check out a few minutes of Peaceman TV watching the star “function from different levels. . .ebbing and flowing. . .playing [his] life in major keys/while[his]inner symphony is composed in the minor.”

      Yeah, I might check out a couple of minutes and then come back for the uni-bomber episode. LOL. Nuthin’ but love brohman. Nothin’ but love. Good stuff.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Lyrical and linked to the essence of Peaceman.
      Steady likes.
      OKFL

      Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009 | Reply

  4. Lives: You certainly pay attention to the latest on the web re: Knick basketball and often scoop the daily’s. Neither the Post, Daily News, Newsday nor the Times reports this latest info on N8. As much as I would like the Knicks to keep N8 for his energy and scoring, I fear your instinct is correct in assuming that he will be traded prior to the regular season, or even before training camp. Once again, Walsh’s first priority seems to be as much cap space as possible to entice Le Bon Savior. Cap space, however, can’t suit up in 09-10 and won’t impact the box score, unless you count DNP by GM’s decision.

    Peace: I like the excitement of the team you would put on the court for 09-10: lots of shooters and ball pressure, but without Lee, little rebounding. Certainly Curry and Milicic are not known to get after the ball the way Lee does. Gallo is much too fragile to bang inside the circle. The rookie Hill may one day be a solid rebounder, but does not have the body yet to bound with the best. If they can get a young big center/forward to pound the boards (McGee on the Wizards would be terrific) along with a number 1 draft choice, then by all means, I would sign and trade Lee in a heartbeat. Until then, Lee is needed.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • “Cap space, however, can’t suit up in 09-10 and won’t impact the box score, unless you count DNP by GM’s decision.” LOL. Truer words were never spoke in the blogiverse.

      Post-Up, check out my response above regarding trading Nate. He can’t be traded without his consent and not before some date in November, if the deal goes through as Yahoo suggests.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

  5. Lives,great post about N8.

    I too believe this will NOT stop Walsh from signing another PG.That NY Times writer must not follow the Knicks offen.Even with N8,the team needs someone to run the point with/without Duhon being a starter.

    N8 is a great fire-plug off the bench,we need that,he has a big heart and big passion for the game.Good signing if it holds up.

    Comment by DLTKnicks | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • DLT, I agree. Howard Beck is probably the best of the beats, but I have no idea what team he is covering on this one.

      No doubt that I need some Nate to make this season worth viewing and paying attention to.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. ‘Lives’,

    The treadmill continues to rotate without going anywhere. This team will win a few games early when other teams are working on their rotations, and D‘Antoni is sticking with his 7-man system. Once the other teams get ready to play do not expect much from this bunch.

    FYI to those that are naïve. The commercial blogs never have, nor ever will be about discussions. It is strictly about hits. Discussions between bloggers increase the amount of monitoring, which is an expense and takes from the bottom-line.. Hits generate ad revenue, which contribute to the bottom line.

    BTW ’Lives, what is new with Knee-Deep, Isola and Berman’s blog.

    Peace & Blessings

    Comment by Statesman2 | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • States, I would guess that the vast majority of Fanatics are almost at your level on understanding the relationship between “commercial” blogs and the valuation of hits for ad sells.

      I think where the architects of the commercial blogs fail is understanding the connection between the “community” and the number of “hits.” Blogs are actually (as Steady put it) blogumunities which are sustained by the interaction or discussion. The easier it is to interact, the more likely that members of the community are liable to interact, the more they interact, the more hits a blog has from community members and those following the discussion.

      Statesman, in my travels I don’t frequent Isola’s blog unless something pops up in my RSS feed. I remember Isola as not really caring about his audience much. I’ll leave the KD jokes to Peace, but KD is still pushing out the material as he lies in the bed he created. Berman remains more interesting than the comments, which is really hard to do and says little about the blog. But I am due for a blogosphere trip in my neverending pursuit of Gullible’s Travels. Soon come.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

      • The Indie-blog LIVES and learned. The wayfarers can take credit for in-game LBEs (starring BARF Johnson), Chats, and a couple blogovations. More hits would come from a bloguminity. Don’t forget to break off Steady 1/43rd share when the BIGs come offering a buy-out LIVES.

        Steady as we scroll.
        OKFL

        Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009

      • “I’ll leave the KD jokes to Peace”

        OK…The Losing Culture is Changing at 2 Penn Plaza!
        LMAO..ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

        Comment by Peaceman | August 3, 2009

      • @Steady. . . .ROFLMAO

        O.K. I’m Audi.

        Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 3, 2009

  7. Thanks Gents,

    I think Nate is now officially my most favoritist Knick. He is really the only game changing player we have and he doesn’t get the fan respect (outside of the Garden and in the blogosphere) that he deserves. There is nothing wrong with a character who can, play and will play hard all the time. He will be the main reason to watch the Knicks this fall. Perhaps anticipating Gallo’s jumpers to go in may add some excitement during the games. At least that storyline is building to its predictable climax.

    Peace, I think Lee is the second best and most versatile player we have. He has been a good, loyal soldier through the Isiah Period and in the D’Antonizoid Era (yes, this new fangled “7seconds or mess” ball is a dying breed). For the most part, he has done whatever has been asked of him including playing Center and from time to time, when matched against some lumbering lumberjacks, he performed well. Lee has improved some aspect of his game every year. Now, if he is smart, which he is, he should get someone to teach him defense and foul management. He can use some of those fouls and stop being an observer on D. That would increase his value. He’s not soft, just malleable on D.

    Lee is learning that this is a business, but his agents, who are pretty experienced, know a little something, something too. His options are limited now, but another year in the D’Antoni system will be a different story. Does Walsh really want to be in the position where he loses both Lee and Robinson as unrestricted free agents next year, just to take a swing at not quite franchise-talent.

    If 2010 is more than a pipe dream, a baller would rather play with a good Knicks squad with David Lee as opposed to Gallinari or Harrington.

    I know some of you are chess players; Walsh is building himself into a nasty little hole for next year. His options (unless Curry’s value raises significantly) are going to be very limited and limiting. (He realizes that Curry is the key to his future which is why they are finally on Curry to make good and not to become a Jerome James).

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

  8. Jared Jordan Shifts Focus From NBA To Europe. Remember Jared? No, not the jeweler.

    Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Lives,

      I remember wher Isiah acquired him(J Jordan)thinking he could be the answer to our FUTURE PG problems.Well,here we are 2 years later looking for our PG of the future still.Maybe if Sessions comes abroad we can finally stop looking…….Or maybe Sessions will be this year’s Chris Duhon.Either way Walsh goes,JWill,Tinsley,Session or another,we are still looking.

      OBTW,I believe Walsh should look for a young up-n-comin’ PG.I didn’t believe Kidd at 37 was our answer,Miller was better at 33…….he needs to look at someone around 23,someone like Sessions or close to his type.And Build him into your system.

      Comment by DLTKnicks | August 2, 2009 | Reply

  9. Lives:
    Your supplement to the original post clarifies the N8 contract considerably. The only caveat and admittedly speculative concern I have is that the N8 deal may already include a sign and trade with another team–so that N8 cannot be traded from the team where he may be headed. Hopefully, the contract is exclusively with the Knicks, so that we have N8’s energy and enthusiam off the bench for at least a half-season and maybe the entire season; and one piece of the 09-10 puzzle would be in place.

    I also concur that the N8 contract should not impact a prospective move to acquire Sessions and retain Lee or at least get substantive return value in a sign and trade; the Knicks, of course, would have to initiate a Lee trade since there are no more teams under the cap. In that case the Knicks, in order to acquire value for Lee, may need to take on an expensive but expiring contract in order to match salary equivalents. Once again, I favor keeping Lee unless they can work out a deal too good to pass up. Perhaps Paul and IGM will weigh in as you suggest and add to the good stuff you have posted.

    Peaceman: “Knicks Now, Knicks Forever” would make a good bumper sticker, or at least a fine sub-slogan to the Knicks Fanatics blog heading. This blog is indeed heating up and sustains my Knick enthusiasm during the no hoop “dog days” of summer. The old-time bloggers Barf, St. George, the Bronx boys of Harlem and Maryland, Modi and others need to return soon and new bloggers made welcome to the fold. If you love the Knicks, become a Fanatic.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • PUP,
      See 11 below. This BUD’s for you.
      Steady
      OKFL

      Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009 | Reply

  10. Lives,

    Thanks! This Nate news slipped me by. Now are you absolutely sure of this?

    “Unless Robinson is traded at the end of the one year contract or his rights are renounced, as an unrestricted free agent Nate’s salary will count against the salary cap. Assuming Nate’s contract is actually for the average NBA salary amount of $5.85 million, 150% of his contract (or $8.78 million) would count against the salary cap. If his contract is below the average salary, 200% of the salary will count against the cap.”

    If Nate counts against the cap in 2010, then why sign him to just a one year deal? That doesn’t compute right to me. Now if he doesn’t count toward the cap in 2010, then this is a great signing and the under-the-table deal has probably been worked out.

    Comment by MODI | August 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Modi, I am only as sure about it as the comments by Nate’s agent expressing certainty about Nate staying put and the Yahoo.com, New York Times report cited in the post.

      Regarding Nate’s salary, the CBA is structured to prevent teams from taking advantage of player’s via one year contracts. (i.e. they cannot be traded without their consent/a sign and trade is different in that the contract is based upon an immediate trade scenario) Consequently, Nate’s contract although it is reportedly one year has a hold on a spot for the following year at a higher pre-set salary. The Knicks can get rid of that hold by renouncing Nate’s rights or trading him with his consent. I think ultimately he is trade bait. Otherwise, he is outta here for nada as an unrestricted free agent unless the Knicks want to work a sign and trade.

      As I see it, the Knicks will need to work some serious Math Magic to create a good team just on cap space alone in 2010.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • BTW, it’s great to read you. I hope you are having a magnificent summer. I will make it my business to come and check out the ForceMDs this fall. I’ll conjure up some business excuse to hop the Aceala. . . .or I’ll come without an excuse. . . . Give you loved ones LIVES best wishes.

      Steady, when are you shipping out?

      I’m out for the day. Probably won’t peek in because I know I’ll get stuck in a convo. Gotta go to the bakery and make some bread to feed the family with. My wife said “Woman can not LIVES by blogging alone.” I said “Yes dear. I wasn’t blogging, just talking to some friends about blogging.”

      See you in the later alleygators.

      KEEP HOPE ALIVE. NYKFL

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 3, 2009 | Reply

      • No Acela Lives… we’re in a recession!!!

        I think that King Lives can downgrade to coach for at least one trip…

        PS: summer going well, but no time to write anything since I started new job 6 weeks ago. It will calm down after the summer… by training camp, I’ll be a regular “Fanatic”

        Comment by MODI | August 3, 2009

      • I thought the ACELA was coach. LOL.

        Didn’t Cooley promise a LIMO or something like that.

        Man, we are thrilled to have you with us. Your work remains legend as does your man-love for Starscary, I mean Starbury. Don’t feel bad, even Peace loves him some Morris Almond and African still faints when E-City rolls into the room.

        Glad to have you home. I extend the same offer that I have to other Fanatics, but I really hope you take me up on it. LOL. If you have anything to say and you want to post it, please let me know. We would also love to add your Gravatar to the Commenters section if you desire. Clearly by looking under States’ and Steady’s Gravatars, you don’t really need to write anything. You could be like them and just stand at the sidebar and look good.

        Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 4, 2009

  11. I co-sign vociferously.

    Steady
    OKFL

    Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009 | Reply

  12. Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:44 am EDT

    Knicks close to signing guard Ramon SessionsIt’s looking pretty good that 23-year-old Milwaukee Bucks restricted free agent point guard Ramon Sessions(notes) will be a member of the New York Knicks soon enough.

    Sessions could accept the Knicks offer today or tomorrow, according to the New York Post. Unless, of course, the Los Angeles Clippers come through with some sort of sweet offer. The Clips have apparently been tugging at the sleeve of Sessions as well, particularly since it waived guard Mike Taylor(notes).

    What the Knicks have going for it is that the team can make Sessions a starter and he can make himself a star in New York if he can help lead this team out of the nasty spot it’s been in for years.

    New York is still going to look at free agent guard Jason William as well, but the Sessions deal isn’t contingent on that one at all. Guess this means the team has given up on signing Allen Iverson(notes) for a one-year deal.

    Source: New York Post

    Comment by Peaceman | August 3, 2009 | Reply

  13. Fanatics,

    Is it me or is this Sessions romance getting boring?

    …….Come on Walsh,make the offer already and let’s get on with other business.Remember,…..other business…Lee,N8…..trying to win a championship,..teaching the team defense….2010 plan B,C and D?

    Comment by DLTKnicks | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Boring DLT. Mos’ def BORING.
      Steady
      OKFL

      Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009 | Reply

  14. Steady and DLT:

    Walsh’s sense of time predates the creation of mechanical watchmaking or even hour-glass vessels filled with sand. He
    is closer to the paleolithic era in which time is measured by solar or lunar events which eclipse any present sense of urgency. In Walsh’s universe, the month of July 2010 is the moment of creation, when Le Bon Jesus may cometh as savior. Until then there is no rush. Time is of no essence and all Knick life stands still.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Prince,

      We should name him “Turtle”.

      Comment by DLTKnicks | August 3, 2009 | Reply

  15. The NBA’s biggest problem? Way too many overpaid players
    By Mike McGraw | Daily Herald Columnist

    Last week’s big-man trade of Tyson Chandler for Emeka Okafor might have seemed random when it came to the players involved.
    But the deal was built around salaries.
    Chandler has two more years and $24.6 million left on the contract he originally signed with the Bulls in 2005.
    Okafor has five years and $62.7 million remaining, which means Charlotte shaved nearly $40 million in future salary commitments by making the deal with New Orleans.
    The Hornets, meanwhile, trimmed a few million off next year’s luxury-tax bill, since Okafor will make less this season. So each side saved money in some way.

    Like so many industries, economics are troubling the NBA, and many observers expect another lockout in 2011 when the current collective-bargaining agreement expires.
    I’d say the biggest issues the league needs to solve are keeping the games affordable and evening the playing field for small-market teams.
    But the fundamental problem in the NBA right now is simply too many players who are wildly overpaid and locked into guaranteed contracts.
    That’s why teams make so many personnel decisions based on money.
    With that in mind, let’s rank the worst NBA contracts currently on the books:

    1. Gilbert Arenas, Wizards (5 years, $96.3 million): Washington forgot the Grant Hill Rule – never foist a massive contract on someone who can’t walk. Arenas has played in 15 games the past two seasons.
    2. Elton Brand, Sixers (4 years, $66 million): This seemed like a good idea at the time, but Brand has played in just 37 games the past two years because of injuries.
    3. Eddy Curry, Knicks (2 years, $21.7 million): Thanks to this contract, the former Bulls center may prevent New York’s dream of chasing two major free agents in 2010.
    4. Marko Jaric, Grizzlies (2 years, $14.7 million): This guy averaged 2.6 points last season. And that was before he married supermodel Adriana Lima.
    5. Tracy McGrady, Rockets (1 year, $23.3 million): He will be the league’s highest-paid player this season. I still laugh at how ex-Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy congratulated McGrady on TV last spring for winning his first career playoff series. Of course, T-Mac was hurt and didn’t play a second.
    6. Andrei Kirilenko, Jazz (2 years, $33 million): Utah might not be so eager to unload Carlos Boozer if it hadn’t rushed to give Kirilenko a ridiculous deal in 2004.
    7. Peja Stojakovic, Hornets (2 years, $29.5 million): This is a classic NBA mistake, bidding wildly for a free agent when there is no serious competition. Ben Gordon and the Pistons might be Exhibit B.
    8. DeSagana Diop, Bobcats (4 years, $26.8 million): Dallas has a history of overpaying for mediocre big men, but the Mavs managed to unload this deal. Diop averaged 2.3 points and 3.6 rebounds last season.
    9. (tie) Mike Dunleavy (2 years, $20.2 million) and Troy Murphy (2 years, $23 million), Pacers: As they finish up huge contracts, this pair has combined to play 1,048 games without ever making the playoffs.
    10. Beno Udrih, Kings (4 years, $27.8 million): Might have been the league’s worst starting player last season.
    11. Bobby Simmons, Nets (1 year, $10.6 million): Hopefully, the former DePaul star will spend some of this money in his hometown.
    12. Corey Maggette, Warriors (4 years, $39.7 million): Golden State felt it had to do something last year after losing Baron Davis unexpectedly. Signing another shoot-first perimeter player wasn’t it.
    13. Michael Redd, Bucks (2 years, $35.3 million): Milwaukee realized too late this is too much for a one-dimensional player.
    14. Jerome James, Bulls (1 year, $6.6 million): Signing the massive center to a five-year deal in 2005 wasn’t even Isiah Thomas’ worst move as Knicks GM.
    15. Brian Cardinal, T-Wolves (1 year, $6.8 million): A source swears the league distributed a memo last year warning teams that signing players to a full-term midlevel exception usually turns out bad. It was titled The Cardinal Rule, I’m pretty sure.
    Honorable mention: Dan Gadzuric, Bucks (2 years, $14 million); Jermaine O’Neal, Heat (1 year $22.9 million), Etan Thomas, Thunder (1 year, $7.4 million), Sam Dalembert, Sixers (2 years, $23.6 million), Jason Maxiell, Pistons (4 years, $20 million).

    Peace & Blessings

    Comment by Statesman2 | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • S2,

      At least we only have 2 on the overpriced list.

      Comment by DLTKnicks | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • States,
      You may recall when the blogger Steady unfurled the “Veil of Hypocrates”. The concept was used to describe the penchant of many MSMs to deny or ridicule professional athletes and the money they make. BFD. Away from the blogosphere, you know ROI, TVM, OC, IRR, Sunk Cost, etc. etc., bla-zeh, bla-zeh, Yada, Yada. You know what’s good.
      What Mike Mac failed to mention in his exposé is one small word: INSURANCE. The Tin Man in NY may be the exception in his top 5 among players not covered by INSURANCE.[And my solemn prayer is that E-Sity LIVES a healthy and productive life selling dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals (urban or otherwise) if he can’t muster the desire/drive/passion to use his God-given ASSets/abilities.] Each one of the scenarios presented can be defended by the GM or his apologist(s). As an example, we know what happened with JJ Snacks here in NY. We know that Dunleavy and []’Anfony are Guard Killas. Most pointedly, ALL FANATICS KNOW that Bob is trina flip the Cats so he must bring down the salaries/cash commitments to a respectable level debt/value ratio.
      Steadily amused and entertained by these MSM analyses that come based on envy-green-tinted lenses as hindsight with rose-colored foresight lenses.

      Steady blogin.
      OFKL

      Comment by Steady | August 3, 2009 | Reply

      • Steady.

        It is almost time for a revised edition of acronym definitions. Please provide info or your latest creations, renditions or offerings, including ROI, TVM, OC, IRR, Sunk Cost.

        Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 4, 2009

      • Lives,
        Noticed that the acronyms “Sunk in” to States to whom this reply was addressed. Them sum ECON 101 terms bruh–Our bleoved New York Knickerbockers are engaged in some Wall Street EconomeTRICKS and the blogger S2 may have a bead on their Return on Investment, Fanatics know the Time Value of Money, the Admin knows the Operating Cost of this fine house where Love of the Knicks LIVES, where the Internal Rate of Return for one more African post is greater than the cost of subscribing to WordPress which is a Sunk Cost–it’s already paid by the allowance from Mrs. Lives and the Peaceman Avatar commissions.

        Steady blogin,
        OKFL

        Comment by Steady | August 5, 2009

  16. New York Signing Williams to Trade Him?
    Posted: 8/3/2009 7:43:00 PM
    Source: Ken Berger of CBSsports.com

    The Knicks have until Thursday to negotiate exclusively with ex-Clipper Jason Williams, who has decided to end his retirement. By claiming Williams on waivers, the Knicks acquired the Clippers’ exclusive negotiating rights. But a person with direct knowledge of the Knicks’ plans said they intend to trade Williams if they can reach agreement with him on a contract. Since they acquired his rights by claiming him on waivers, the Knicks wouldn’t have to wait the customary three months to trade him. It’s a risk-free way to acquire another minor asset without incurring any cost. This is a significant change in approach for the Knicks, who have spent the past decade or so acquiring minor assets at extraordinary cost.

    Comment by DLTKnicks | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • DLT,
      Sensible if true. Still, liking the way the MSMs picked up on the joke between Peaceman and Steady when it was recommended that Peacemen use his connects to get The Professor from And-1 to sign a make good contract like the one being offered to White Chocolate.

      Steady blogin,
      OKFL

      Comment by Steady | August 4, 2009 | Reply

      • ……That’s why Steady is my mentor.

        Steady as it goes!

        Comment by DLTKnicks | August 4, 2009

  17. DLT:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but would not Knicks have to offer Williams the minimum NBA veteran contract (2.7 million)
    if they sign him? If they sign him with the intent of trading him, do they know that someone else wants him? He is only worth signing if he is usuable as a player or as part of a trade package.

    Comment by Post-up Prince | August 3, 2009 | Reply

    • Prince,

      I Copied this from the Post this morning.

      “If the Knicks get him for the one-year, veteran’s minimum ($1.9 million) or biannual exception ($2.9 million), they likely are through with Robinson. But they are not looking for Williams to be razzle dazzle, just a steady, high-tempo point man lessening the burden on Chris Duhon.”

      …..As far as him being tradable.The Knicks were among a few teams bidding for Williams rights.Maybe Walsh has a team in mind to make a trade,or maybe he is bargaining against N8.????? Who know what’s in Walsh’s head.

      Comment by DLTKnicks | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  18. Knicks: Sessions Makes Sense In New York
    By: Tommy Beer Last Updated: 8/4/09 8:11 AM ET

    Let’s tackle the obvious question first: Donnie Walsh’s seemingly solitary mission since taking over in New York has been clearing the maximum amount of cap space possible in order to have enough money to lure at least one superstar free-agents from the much ballyhooed FA Class of 2010 – So why would he burn some of that cash this summer by signing someone to a multi-year contract?

    The answer is multifaceted, so let’s dig in:

    First and foremost, as those who have read this space over the past few years are well aware, I have always been a staunch advocate of clearing as much cap room as humanly possible in time for the free-agent frenzy that will commence at midnight on July 1st, 2010. Isiah should have had the foresight to start preparing once LeBron, Wade and Bosh all signed their truncated extensions in the summer of 2006. But because he didn’t, Walsh had a nightmarish mess to clean up when he took over in Gotham. And thus far, he has done an exemplary job. He moved the “unmovable” contract of Zach Randolph, lopping over $17 million off the 2010 books. A he also cleared another $10 million in 2010 funny money by trading Jamal Crawford.

    In addition, Walsh should be commended for being as patient as he has been in dealing with restricted free-agents David Lee and Nate Robinson. As Lee and Robinson have found out the hard way, the economic downturn has had a profound effect on the spending habits of NBA general managers across the land. Moreover, Nate and D Lee’s ‘restricted’ status gives Walsh a decided advantage in all negotiations. While Mark Bartlestein (Lee’s agent) and others would prefer Walsh pick up the pace, Donnie is doing the right thing and taking his time. Again, he is bargaining from a position of power.

    So, while Donnie would obviously still love to move the contracts of Eddy Curry (owed $11.2 million) and Jared Jefferies ($6.8 million) – especially with the cap projected to shrink a great deal next summer – he has done a solid job of carving out a healthy amount of money to throw at a free-agent next July.

    But another problem remains: Donnie needs to be able to convince a cream-of-the-crop free agent (cough…. LeBron…cough) that he has more to offer than a max contract and the bright lights of Broadway. And this is where Ramon Sessions factors in.

    Originally, the plan called for Walsh to gut the roster completely and snag a big time free agent early in July (preferably, a King whose last name is James) and allow said superstar to recruit other free agents and build a roster thusly. However, a monkey wrench was thrown in the Knicks plans when the economy tanked and the salary cap started shirking faster than Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds after he stopped juicing. So, like a team that calls the right play but sees the defense is set up to stop it, it’s time to call an audible.

    Making sure you get Ramon Sessions locked into a long-term contract as soon as possible is now the Knicks best move.

    *****

    Am I saying Sessions is a sure thing? No.

    Are there reasons to be concerned that Sessions is not the perfect fit? Absolutely…

    But, the fact of the matter is that Sessions, although somewhat of a gamble, is too good to pass up – for two reasons: First, the kid is extremely talented. Physically (at 6’3″ & 200 pounds), he has the size and strength you are looking for in a lead guard. And he has been a PG his whole life; no converted shooting guard here…

    And while Sessions is just 23 years of age and has limited NBA experience, he has already shown he has the skills to be remarkably productive. Sessions was drafted in the second round (56th overall) by the Bucks in the 2007 draft, and did not make his NBA debut until mid-March of 2008. But once he got the chance to shine, he made the most of it. He started the final seven games for the Bucks during that rookie season – and during that seven-game stretch, he averaged over 13 points, 13 assists and 5.6 rebounds per contest. That summer, the Bucks traded away incumbent starter Mo Williams, but replaced him with Luke Ridnour, with whom Sessions split time last year.

    Last season, Sessions proved his brief rookie campaign was no fluke. He was a solid contributor all season long in 2008-2009, keeping an undermanned Bucks team – playing much of the season without Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut – in the playoff hunt up until April. Sessions started 39 games last year for Milwaukee, averaging 15.1 PPG, 7.6 assists, 4.2 boards, and 1.3 steals as a starter.

    And when Sessions really gets it going – he can be flat-out unstoppable. Witness the 44-points he hung on the Pistons back in February. Or the second-to-last game of the season during the 2007-2008 campaign when he dished out 24 dimes (and chipped in 20 points and 8 boards) versus the Chicago Bulls. Ramon set a franchise record for assists in that game – and also recorded the franchise’s first point-assist 20/20 effort.

    Now, combine Sessions raw talent and undeniable skill-set with Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense and you understand why Coach Mike D is pushing Walsh to bring Ramon to New York. It could be a lethal combination, as Sessions would have the opportunity to potentially post some ridiculous numbers.

    However, this isn’t to suggest that there isn’t some cause for concern. One weakness in Ramon’s game is his inability to knock down shots from behind-the-arc. Sessions shot 17% from three-point land last season. He has made a total of nine three-pointers in his entire career (96 games.) D’Antoni’s offense prefers a PG that can knock down the open shot from distance when defenses sag.

    Nonetheless, Sessions is definitely worth the gamble – especially when considering the alternatives… The potential alternatives – or the lack thereof – are alarming. The Knicks current starter, Chris Duhon, had a fine season last year, but wore down noticeably in the second half. D’Antoni and the Knicks view him more as a platoon player than a PG that can handle the responsibilities on a full-time basis. Nate Robinson, while a gifted scorer, is a shooting guard trapped in a 5’7″ body and his future is New York is extremely cloudy at the moment.

    Right from the start of the free-agency period, when Walsh and company made a hard push at 36-year old Jason Kidd, up until their recent flirtation with Andre Miller, it has been made obvious that the Knicks brass wants to upgrade the point guard position. And in case you needed ironclad proof, they just placed a waiver claim on the formerly retired and washed-up Jason Williams.

    And this desire for point-guard improvement implores us to note that although the Class of 2010 may be the greatest free agent class in the history of professional sports – it is weak in one position: yup, you guessed it, point guard. Especially now that Steve Nash has agreed to an extension with the Suns – there may not be a single quality free-agent PG to bid on. Check out the list. Which GM would be ecstatic to land a 34-year old Rafer Alston? Ironically, Chris Duhon may be one of the best FA’s pure point guards on the market (assuming the Bobcats lock up Raymond Felton). Walsh is obviously aware of this fact, and it certainly played a part in his aggressive pursuit of Jason Kidd – despite the lack of tread left on Kidd’s tires.

    Which brings up back to one of our original assertions – Walsh needs to manufacture a roster with some attractive assets. And, as the league rules continue to favor penetrating guards, it is essentially imperative that team have a solid lead guard in order to compete at a high level. Adding Sessions to a talented core of Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and new additions Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas – would definitely be a step in the right direction. (All six of those players listed are 23 or younger)

    *****

    So, now that we have established that Sessions would look good in blue and orange, we have two more quick questions to answer: 1) Does Donnie have to bite the bullet and offer the full MLE for five years? 2) Considering that Sessions is a restricted free agent, will the Bucks match the offer sheet?

    1) As of this moment, the Knicks have yet to officially offer Sessions a contract. They have been going back-and-fourth for the better part of a week now. Multiple reports have indicated an offer is forthcoming, possibly within hours. But how much will Walsh offer? Obviously he’d like to add Sessions while still maintaining the max amount of 2010 cap space possible – but also making the total amount large enough to discourage Milwaukee from matching it. It is a fine line he has to walk. Donnie probably wouldn’t have a problem paying Ramon the full mid-level exception this season, the issue is that first-year will impact the 2010 cap hit. What Walsh will likely do is structure the deal in such a fashion as to minimize Sessions’ 2010-2011 annual salary.

    Since Walsh would be signing another team’s free agent, the maximum annual increase/decrease factored into the contract would be 8%. So, let’s assume he feels the need to offer Sessions the max amount possible that first season – the full MLE – approximately $5.85 million. In this scenario, he would offer the full MLE for the 2009-2010 season, and then cut the 2010-2011 season salary by the maximum allowable amount, 8%, which would mean Sessions’ 2010 cap hit would be $5.4 million. Then, Walsh would include 8% increases for each of the following three seasons.

    Here the breakdown:

    1st YEAR (2009-2010) = $5,854,000
    2nd YEAR (2010-2011) =$5,385,680 (Max 8% decrease)
    3rd YEAR (2011-2012) = $5,816,534 (Max 8% increase)
    4th YEAR (2012-2013) = $6,281,857 (Max 8% increase)
    5th YEAR (2013-2014) = $6,784,406 (Max 8% increase)

    Sum Total = $30,122,477
    Average Annual Salary = $6,024,495

    Now, would that be something Sessions and his agent would agree to? We don’t know. But it is likely the best offer he’ll receive (The Clippers are interested but they have big money committed to starting PG Baron Davis and also just traded for Sebastian Telfair.)

    So, let’s answer our second question: Would the Bucks match? Answer: probably not. The Bucks are flush against the luxury tax threshold after signing free-agent forward Hakim Warrick to a one-year deal last week. (Again, Walsh’s patience paid off…) Thus, matching Sessions would extremely costly. For instance, if the Knicks offered the full MLE, and Milwaukee matched, they would have to pay Sessions nearly $5.9 million, then another nearly $5.9 million in tax penalty. Are the Bucks really going to shell out almost $12 million annually for a point guard when they already have the serviceable Luke Ridnour (a Scott Skiles favorite) AND first-round pick Brandon Jennings waiting in the wings?

    Lastly, if the Knicks wanted to roll the dice, they could offer Sessions a deal starting at less that the full MLE. For instance, let’s say they offered him $5 million next season, and used the same decrease-then-increase (“V” shaped) construct. This would not only save plenty of money in the long-run, but also minimize the impact on their spending cash next summer. Here is the breakdown with a starting salary of $5 million:

    1st YEAR (2009-2010) = $5,000,000
    2nd YEAR (2010-2011) = $4,600,000 (Max 8% decrease)
    3rd YEAR (2011-2012) = $4,968,000 (Max 8% increase)
    4th YEAR (2012-2013) = $5,365,440 (Max 8% increase)
    5th YEAR (2013-2014) = $5,794,675 (Max 8% increase)

    Sum Total = $25,728,115
    Average Annual Salary = $5,145,623

    While it would be less of a sting for Milwaukee finically if they were to match, it would still be surprising if they agreed to pay that much to end up with three point guards on their roster. And obviously Sessions and his agent would have to agree to such a contract. But New York remains Sessions’ ideal situation both monetarily and professionally, as he would immediately be installed the starter.

    Stay tuned – we could have our answer sooner rather than later…

    Comment by DLTKnicks | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  19. NBA AM: Free Agents For Sale?
    By: Steve Kyler Last Updated: 8/4/09 8:30 AM ET

    The Latest: Free agency is really slowing down and while there are some named players still talking. Most of the action this week has involved the second and third tier free agents. Ryan Hollins and Shelden Williams both agreed to deals yesterday and if those two players don’t embody second and third tier not sure who does. Today we’ll run through the latest news and notes on the key free agents left on the board and where things stand with those players.

    David Lee: It’s starting to look like David Lee won’t get his big payday, and sources close to the situation say he is crushed by how the market has treated him. His agent Mark Bartelstein has a small handful of teams that would gladly pay David the $10 million per season he’s seeking, but it would require a sign and trade and the Knicks just won’t take on the salary.

    The Knicks are rumored to have a $7 million one-year offer on the table and it looks like that may be the best deal David’s camp gets. There is hope that either Memphis or Oklahoma City will do David a favor and make an offer at least putting New York on the clock to match, but neither team seems overly interested in Lee’s services, leaving him as one of the biggest names left in limbo.
    The smart money says he’ll take the Knicks one-year offer and hit unrestricted free agency again next summer when he’ll be free to talk to any team he chooses and the Knicks may be more open to a longer term deal once they know where things stand in 2010.

    Ramon Sessions: Ramon Sessions on the other hand may get his long term deal. The Knicks and Sessions have been exchanging “proposals” and could get an offer sheet signed this week.
    Word is the deal will not be for the full median exception, rather a deal starting around $4.5 million. The Milwaukee Bucks retain the right to match any offers Sessions receives and the Bucks are playing their intensions pretty close to the vest. The belief is the Bucks will not match an offer over $4 million as that would put them into the NBA Luxury Tax, however the Bucks are not handcuffed by the Tax until the trade deadline, so matching Sessions is not out of the question because of the Tax today.
    The LA Clippers were rumored to be in the mix and sources close to the situation say the Clippers interest is not that high and that Sessions’ camp is likely leveraging talks with the Clippers to get Ramon the best deal possible.

    Nate Robinson: The New York Knicks are playing an interesting game of chicken with Nate Robinson. The word is that Nate has a one-year $5 million offer on the table and has not accepted it.
    The Knicks this week picked up Jason Williams off of waivers from the Clippers, giving them until Thursday to ink a deal with the 33-year old point guard who will work out for the team today. If the Knicks and Williams can reach a deal, Robinson’s $5 million may disappear.
    Robinson flirted with the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors neither were willing to go long term for Robinson. The Orlando Magic got the sales pitch from Robinson’s agent Aaron Goodwin, but the Magic opted for Matt Barnes.
    Robinson received a 2-year $10 million offer from Olympiacos in Greece but turned that deal down. The Knicks Qualifying Offer is $2.9 million for next season, so it’s not like Nate is out of a job next season, he too may have to warm up to the idea that his payday is 11 months away.

    Comment by DLTKnicks | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  20. The latest from Hahn

    Nate ‘just waiting’
    10:03 AM By Alan Hahn

    Longtime NBA writer Gary Washburn caught up with Nate Robinson at an all-star game in Seattle on Sunday and wrote about it for Fanhouse.com.

    Robinson has remained mostly silent throughout the offseason, but did briefly discuss his unresolved restricted free agency situation with the Knicks, his future with New York and the offer from Greece with Washburn.

    * – “I don’t even know, I’m just waiting,” he said Sunday when asked if he would sign with Olympiakos. “I’m just basically waiting, that’s all I can do right now. I am just waiting, just taking my time and being patient.”

    * – When asked his preference, Greece or the NBA, Robinson said: “I just want to play basketball.”

    Despite some reports a week back that Robinson was on the verge of accepting a one-year deal from the Knicks, the 5-9 dynamo remains unsigned and, considering the investigation into just about every guard available — Jamaal Tinsley, Jason Williams, Ramon Sessions (forget Allen Iverson) — it doesn’t appear re-signing him is a top priority. That doesn’t mean the Knicks won’t wind up inking him to a one-year deal, but if they do, clearly it is because the team had no other alternatives.

    This has to be somewhat humbling to Robinson, who had a career year statistics-wise in Mike D’Antoni’s system but his effervescent (and often grating) personality was also an annoyance. No one puts in more work than Robinson, who on practice days often went back to the gym at night to work on his shooting. But the concern is that as much as he loves to play and is passionate about the game, he also was seen and heard cracking jokes immediately after losses and had a class-clown persona that disrupted the focus of the team.

    Williams is at the MSG Training Center today for a workout and a sit-down with Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni. Williams could be viewed as a bargain veteran backup at the veterans minimum of $1.2M (the Knicks have exclusive negotiating rights until Thursday) or, at the very most, the bi-annual exception of $1.99M.

    Ramon Sessions still remains a target and talks will continue with his representation, which is pushing for the full MLE. That would be a five-year deal for $32.39M.The Knicks want to give a little less that the full MLE, but they have to be careful. As I reported today, I’m told the Bucks will likely match anything in the affordable range (between $2M to $3M per). The Bucks would view that as a good contract for a third guard (Brandon Jennings is their guy, I’m told) and Sessions would be very tradeable at that number.

    So far, I haven’t heard about any sign-and-trade talks the Knicks might have had with the Bucks for Sessions. But it seems the Knicks might want to move a player — likely Nate — to bring in a Sessions and a Williams or Tinsley.

    Comment by DLTKnicks | August 4, 2009 | Reply

    • Very interesting. The week is almost over and hopefully the speculation will end.

      I may have written this before, but Knicks management is not projecting well to other NBA players by the way they treat their homegrown talent during free agency negotiations and their star talent when the honeymoon turns into sour-lunacy. I doubt that even Tman would join the Knicks just for money and the potential to get an additional endorsement offer or two. They are just in business man, superstar players are a business man.

      Comment by livesinnewjersey | August 4, 2009 | Reply

      • Thus fueling speculations about crash and burn. Maybe they will become the Liberty of NY to completely white-wash the Knickerbocker name.

        Just blogin,
        Steady

        Comment by Steady | August 5, 2009

  21. Lives, I’ll definitely take you up on the writing offer when things settle down.

    now I will have to pick a gravatar first, and it may take me a minute to choose the right one!

    Comment by MODI | August 4, 2009 | Reply


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