8. The New York Knicks sign Chris Childs over Kenny Anderson in 1996
The 1990s were a kind time for the New York Knicks. It seemed as if they were in the mix to compete for an NBA championship every season, getting within one win of capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy twice.
In 1996, they fell out of the playoffs in the second round at the hands of the 72-10 Chicago Bulls and entered the offseason looking to improve their roster. As part of the process, they signed two-year veteran point guard Chris Childs from the New Jersey Nets to a six-year, $24 million contract. Today that may not seem like a ton of money, but a $4 million annual salary was a decent chunk of change back then.
Childs spent four-and-a-half seasons with the Knicks from 1996 to 2001, appearing in 303 total games. He averaged just 6.5 points and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 41.7% from the field and 35.8% from distance during his Knicks tenure.
In February of 2001, Childs was traded to the Toronto Raptors along with a first-round pick in exchange for Muggsy Bogues and Mark Jackson.
His most notable moment as a Knick came when he got into a dust-up with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant in 2000.
To pour more salt into the wound, New York could’ve landed 25-year-old point guard Kenny Anderson the same summer. They were clearly okay with opening the checkbook — paying Childs the $24 million — and could’ve gotten Anderson for just $3 million more.
Anderson’s career after 1996 wasn’t overly impressive. He averaged 17.5 points and 7.1 assists in the first year of his new contract, but after that, his numbers dropped significantly. Nonetheless, the Knicks may have been able to get over the championship hump by adding Anderson over Childs in 1996.