A three-part plan to fix the Knicks

The field I teach in is conflict resolution, so, as you may guess, I get a lot of readers who write in asking me if I could solve all of the Knicks' problems.

My reply? Middle East peace might be possible … making the Knicks good, not so easy.

As I wrote in my blog, Isiah Thomas' problem is that he's intent on always getting the best individual talent in the deal, no matter what it costs. He showed this again in his acquisition of Steve Francis.

One problem with this approach is that the Knicks need role players to fit around their so-called stars.

If the Knicks are going to win, they'll have to get rid of some of the egos and actually make a trade or two where the goal is chemistry and role, not scoring.

Given that Isiah just dealt away his best trading chip, Penny Hardaway, it won't be easy to fix the team overnight.

But, for what it's worth, here's what I'd do. It won't win the Knicks a championship, but it could make them respectable.

Step 1:

Turn around and trade either Francis or Stephon Marbury. (Francis can be re-traded immediately as long as he's traded by himself.) I think Marbury is a better player, but perhaps Larry Brown has had enough of him, and I'm sure Marbury has had enough of Larry.

Could they move either guy? It wouldn't be easy. Neither is much of a hot commodity now.

But I wonder about the Lakers. Clearly, the idea that they were after Francis is coming from somewhere. If they were after Francis, wouldn't Marbury be an even better fit? And, if it's true they are no longer high on Lamar Odom, which is what just about every GM in the league that I talk to believes, then there's a deal there.

Here's the deal:

The Lakers send Odom to New York; Kwame Brown and Smush Parker to Atlanta; and Devean George, Stanislav Medvedenko and Laron Profit to Utah.