Pretty big news coming from New York, where Howard Beck of the Times reports that the Knicks have appointed former Magic general manager John Gabriel "the director of pro scouting and free agency, a newly created position." Beck continues:
Gabriel’s primary duty will be evaluating current N.B.A. players, with an eye toward future trades and free-agent signings.
Yeah, Knicks fans should be excited. John Gabriel gutted the Magic's roster in a hurry, clearing enough cap space for the team to sign both Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady to maximum-level contracts during the summer of 1999. Imagine if Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas were free agents in the same summer. Now imagine the same team having enough money to sign them both. That's what Gabriel did.
Granted, he made his share of mistakes. His draft record, like that of every Magic G.M., is poor. But if there's anyone who can find a way to get the Knicks' books in the black, it's Gabriel. And there's no question whom the Knicks will target with their free-agency dollars in 2010: King LeBron James.
Be afraid, Cavaliers fans. Be very afraid.