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NBA Free Agency: With No LeBron, Could Knicks Land Monta Ellis?

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After scheming for the past two years in preparation for the summer of 2010, the Knicks entered this summer with grandiose objectives. Visions of LeBron James adorning billboards throughout New York City, with the league's most famous young players playing in the world's most famous arena. Overnight, LeBron would transform the team into contenders and return them to relevance. This was the Master Plan.

Annnnd... That's probably not going to happen.

But could the Knicks land Golden State's whirling dervish of a combo guard, Monta Ellis? According to Marcus Thompson of the Contra-Costa Times, the Golden State Warriors are interested in acquiring the Knicks' free agent big man, David Lee, and willing to consider sign-and-trade offers. And especially given New York's recent signing of Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks aren't likely to have much interest in signing Lee for any other purpose than a sign-and-trade ... for Monta Ellis?

Over at AOL Fanhouse, Tom Ziller mulls over the possibility of Monta Ellis on the Knicks:

It seems to me Ellis is just about the best option out there for the Knicks.

Under the assumption James and Wade aren't NY-bound, there simply aren't many perimeter players worth big salaries left on the free agent market. The Knicks let Chris Duhon, Nate Robinson, Toney Douglas and Sergio Rodriguez run the offense last season. That's just not going to get it done. Ellis soaks up possessions and scores in bunches; he's a credible threat to drop 50 every night.

You could replace Ellis' name with Stoudemire's in that sentence and get away with it. Ellis is, in several ways, Stoudemire's guard doppelganger. Neither has a reputation for defensive work ethic. Neither will win a "best teammate" award any time soon. Neither are perfect. But these are scoring wizards, effective in transition and aggressive as all get-out. And they'd be playing for Mike Freakin' D'Antoni. Even if they don't win half their games, they'd be refilling Madison Square Garden with much-needed bombast.

Indeed, while that appraisal of Ellis owes to some embellishment—Ellis, the "credible threat to drop 50" has never scored 50 points in his career—it's true that if Ellis were unleashed in "Mike Freakin' D'Antoni's" system, the results could produce quite the offensive spectacle. And as Ziller points out at Fanhouse, in the absence of becoming an overnight contender on the strength of LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, any sort of entertainment in the world's most famous arena would be a step in the right direction for the Knicks.

That, and Monta Ellis as Amare's backcourt doppleganger is SUCH a good call. Just perfect.