New York Knicks: Five times trades for star players were made

Carmelo Anthony James Dolan (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony James Dolan (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Stephon Marbury (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Stephon Marbury (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /


New York Knicks tradeHoward Eisley, Maciej Lampe, Antonio McDyess, Charlie Ward, Milos Vujanic, a 2004 first-round pick (Kirk Snyder) and a 2010 first-round pick (Gordon Hayward).

Phoenix Suns trade: Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski

The New York Knicks had a handful of interesting trades in the 2000s, especially under then-president of basketball operations, Isiah Thomas. Some brought in high-priced players that had question marks with their respective skill sets or were past their prime.

The outlier, Stephon Marbury, joined the Knicks via trade as a 26-year-old in the 2003-04 season. He and a washed up Penny Hardaway left the Phoenix Suns for long-time member Charlie Ward, Howard Eisley, Antonio McDyess and Maciej Lampe.

Two first-rounders were the kicker in this deal, which ultimately shaped it six years later.

Marbury was dynamic in his first one-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks, with 21.7 points and 8.1 assists in 2004-05 and a career-high 46.2 shooting percentage. He became the face of the franchise and led a group of Jamal Crawford, Kurt Thomas and Nazr Mohammed.

After that, Marbury’s numbers began to tumble by the year. He was efficient behind the arc, but points, assists and field goal percentage all took a hit as he reached age 30. The quick decline may have resulted from heavy minutes over a decade-plus of basketball (38.4 minutes per game from 1996-2007).

Marbury joined the Boston Celtics for 2008-09, but only played 23 games and never played in the NBA again after age 31. That didn’t stop his basketball success, as he went to China and became a legend.

Hardaway was already a shell of himself upon arrival, dealing with more injuries. He played just 83 games with the Knicks in parts of three seasons.

Most of the players New York sent found some time as role players, but Gordon Hayward became the standout piece of this deal. The Utah Jazz landed the Knicks’ 2010 first-round pick and selected their next face of the franchise, who became an All-Star in 2017.

This trade had short-term upside for the quick-fix Knicks, mortgaging part of their future in the process. Marbury played well, but the trade never brought a playoff series for the struggling franchise.