New York Knicks: The Eddy Curry trade lingers nearly 15 years later

New York Knicks, Eddy Curry (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
New York Knicks, Eddy Curry (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks acquired Eddy Curry in a 2005 trade that shaped the franchise for the next five years — still lingering in 2019.

There were questionable moves made by the New York Knicks, and then, there was the Eddy Curry trade of 2005, which brought a young piece from the Chicago Bulls to the Big Apple. It was a splash for president of basketball operations Isiah Thomas, who tried to add new faces to a sputtering franchise.

Instead, the Curry transaction is arguably the most ridiculed trade in recent Knicks infamy. It highlights the latest edition of Knicks Trade History.

What the Knicks traded

Acquiring Curry, a 22-year-old center at the time, took an arm and a leg for the Knicks, as the Bulls made him a top-five pick just four seasons beforehand. He averaged 16.1 points and 5.4 rebounds the year before the deal, which was not stellar for a player at his position, but New York paid anyway.

Jermaine Jackson, Mike Sweetney and Tim Thomas were the player part of the transaction. Jackson was inconsequential; Sweetney failed to impress as a top-10 pick in 2003; Thomas was a journeyman forward.

The heart of the deal came from the 2006 and 2007 first-round picks the Knicks gave up. Now, it may have come with the assumption of an improved record in these seasons to take the team outside the lottery, but that was not the case.

The 2006 pick became LaMarcus Aldridge at No. 2 overall, who remains a stalwart at power forward in the NBA. He has spent All-Star campaigns with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs and easily had the chance to become a Knick.

The 2007 pick fell just inside the top 10, with Joakim Noah landing in Chicago. Knicks fans might not remember him well, but years before this, the Florida product was a top frontcourt defender and a stalwart on playoff-caliber Bulls teams.

Two second-round picks were sent, which became Kyrylo Fesenko and Jon Brockman in the 2007 and 2009 drafts, respectively. They did not become more than bench depth.

What the Knicks acquired

Curry, of course, was the centerpiece of what the Knicks acquired in this blockbuster offseason.

Immediately, the Thomas-led front office gave the seven-footer a six-year contract; a length that does not exist in the modern-day NBA. It paid him up to eight figures by the end of the yearly structures, which proved to be too much for the then-smaller cap space in the mid-2000s.

Curry had one promising season, which came in 2006-07. He played 81 of 82 games and averaged 19.5 points and seven rebounds as a 24 year old. The Knicks still went 33-49, so this output mattered little by season’s end.

Injuries and weight issues poured in afterward. He only played 59 games in 2007-08 and just 10 more games with the organization over the next two seasons, which made his bloated salary stand out even more.

Curry actually played just 25 games over his final five NBA seasons, two of which came with the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. He was out of the league after the 2012-13 campaign.

Antonio Davis accompanied Curry to the Knicks but spent just 36 games with them in what became his final NBA season.

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The only positive from this deal was the 2007 first-round pick from the Bulls, which became Wilson Chandler. He spent three-plus seasons with the New York Knicks and seemed like a promising part of their future, until the Denver Nuggets acquired him in the 2011 Carmelo Anthony trade.