The Spurs are non-toxic.
No, that’s not good enough. They’re anti-toxic.
The Spurs’ reputation is so strong, Scott Layden can work for them for only a single season, and the stench of his disastrous tenure with the Knicks is eradicated to the point he’s being considered for general-manger openings.
Before Isiah Thomas became the villain of New York, Layden put together a bad team with a horrific cap profile. Here’s a rundown of his mistakes from the Associated Press article when the Knicks fired him:
Thomas’ first task will be evaluating a roster with the league’s highest payroll and deciding whether any of those massive contracts can be moved in a trade.
Layden’s last major move was the four-team deal that sent Latrell Sprewell to Minnesota and brought Keith Van Horn to New York. The deal has appeared to favor the Timberwolves during the first two months of the season. Sprewell has averaged 17.2 points for Minnesota while Van Horn has struggled, averaging 14.8 points and getting benched for the fourth quarter of several recent games.Before the Van Horn trade, Layden’s biggest move came on draft night in 2002 when he sent Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson and the Knicks’ lottery pick to Denver for Antonio McDyess.McDyess fractured his kneecap in an exhibition game and missed the entire 2002-03 season, finally returning 11 games ago.
At the behest of Checketts, Layden traded franchise stalwart Patrick Ewing to Seattle in the summer of 2000, a move that ultimately contributed to the club’s current salary cap predicament.The contracts of Allan Houston, Van Horn, Howard Eisley and Shandon Anderson will take up almost all of the team’s salary cap space for the next three seasons, and the Knicks must decide after this season whether to invest in McDyess, who will be a free agent next summer.McDyess is one of six power forwards on the roster that Layden assembled, and the team lacks depth at the shooting guard and small forward positions. The Knicks have shown themselves to be especially vulnerable against younger, quicker teams.
Layden’s three picks from last June’s draft — Michael Sweetney, Maciej Lampe and Slavko Vranes — are all on the injured list. His most promising pick from the 2002 draft, Serbian point guard Milos Vujanic, elected to play in Europe after Layden failed to make him a lucrative enough offer when he was unsigned two summers ago.
Granted, Thomas compounded Layden’s errors and made new ones of his own, but New York’s undoing was a tag-team effort, and Layden laid the groundwork.
Either the Kings don’t know about Layden’s mess with the Knicks or are willing to overlook it. (Before coming to New York, he had a successful stint with the Jazz.)
Marc Stein of ESPN:
With knowing more, I could buy a Spurs assistant GM deserves a chance to be a GM. But Layden? He’ll need one heck of an interview.