Knicks acquire Rose, first-round pick for Davis

Updated: February 3, 2006, 10:45 PM ET
Associated Press

Jalen Rose

Antonio Davis

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors finally traded Jalen Rose on Friday, sending him to the New York Knicks for forward Antonio Davis.

The Knicks also received a first-round draft pick and an undisclosed amount of cash from the Raptors in a deal involving dismal teams who played each other Friday night in Toronto.

Rose and Davis did not play in the game -- Knicks coach Larry Brown thought it would be unfair to throw Rose into action immediately. He sat on New York's bench wearing a suit during the Raptors' 104-90 victory.

John Hollinger's Trade Breakdown
If there's a player who is the antithesis of what Knicks coach Larry Brown is about, it's Jalen Rose. Brown likes his players mentally tough and defensive-minded; Rose is completely offensive-minded and bristles at the slightest suggestion that he might no longer be a star. The two were paired briefly in Indiana and mixed about as well as peanut butter and tacos. Brown grew incensed by Rose's defensive lapses and banished him to the pine, and Rose got upset.

Oddly enough, this pattern later repeated itself when Rose played for Thomas in Indiana, which is why I didn't expect to see Rose turn up in New York.

Incidentally, Antonio Davis, now a Raptor for the second time, may agree to a buyout with Toronto, and if so one imagines he'll eventually land back home in Chicago.

• See Holllinger's complete column

"He's exactly what we need," Brown said before the game. "I think it's a no-brainer. I haven't seen a drop-off in his game. We don't have enough ball-handlers, guys that have experience back there."

Brown, who coached Rose for one season with the Indiana Pacers, said Rose will start at small forward for the Knicks.

Rose's name was mentioned in trade rumors all season, but he had been difficult to deal because he is making $15.7 million this season and he has an option at $16.9 million next season.

Still, the Knicks have long been interested in him, even though they already have the NBA's highest payroll. And they couldn't wait much longer to make a move after losing four straight and nine of 10 to fall behind Toronto into last place in the Atlantic Division.

"I can't wait to play in front of the many Knicks fans, friends and family in the NYC area and very much look forward to being a part of the Knicks organization," Rose said in a statement. "Ask any athlete. One of his dreams is to play in New York wearing a Knick uniform. It's also always been a dream of mine."

New York's Stephon Marbury welcomed the trade.

"This will definitely help. He plays with toughness and he knows how to play," Marbury said.

The Knicks' slide began with a 129-103 loss to Toronto on Jan. 15 when Rose showcased his ability to post up smaller forwards by scoring a season-high 31 points.

Davis' contract expires after this season, and the Raptors get some needed salary-cap relief by parting ways with Rose.

It's the second time the veteran forwards have been involved in the same trade. Davis spent 4 seasons in Toronto before the Raptors traded him to Chicago in 2003.

The pick the Raptors sent to New York originally belonged to Denver and is not lottery protected. The Knicks, who had given up their first-round pick last offseason in a trade with the Bulls for Eddy Curry and Davis, also own San Antonio's first-round pick.

Interim Raptors general manager Wayne Embry made the deal just more than a week after the team fired GM Rob Babcock.

Embry said the teams had been talking about the trade for the last month.

The trade gives Toronto at least $10 million in salary cap room this summer and a better shot of resigning guard Mike James, who is expected to opt out of his contract.

The Raptors will also attempt to sign forward Chris Bosh to a long-term extension this summer.

"Cap room is very important to a franchise that's in transition," Embry said. "It's much easier to build because it gives you a lot of flexibility."

The trade came a day after Davis' wife, Kendra, was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly throwing a cup of coffee at a woman during a traffic dispute last fall.

Antonio Davis served a five-game suspension last month for climbing into the stands after his wife got into a confrontation with a fan in Chicago.

It is the first trade the Knicks have made since president Isiah Thomas was sued for sexual harassment by a former team employee.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press