by Brett Edwards
To the surprise of, well, no one, the Knicks made a deal before tomorrow's deadline by sending Penny Hardaway and Trevor Ariza to Orlando for Steve Francis. What is surprising though is that Isiah Thomas seems to have actually pulled off a deal that will help his team. Ariza had stopped getting any playing time from Larry Brown, and Hardaway has only played 4 games this season. It is unlikely Penny will even play for the Magic this season, his expiring contract was simply included in the deal to make the salaries match.
This of course creates a very crowded backcourt in New York. With two shoot first ball handlers in Francis and Marbury, shots will be at a premium. Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson are also going to be vying for minutes, which makes you wonder if one of the other Knick guards will be dealt before tomorrow's 3pm EST deadline.