WHAT I WOULD DO: Shop the expiring contracts (of 05-06) of Tim Thomas and Fredo Hardaway and couple them with Sweetney, Ariza, picks to find an impact player under the age of 28. If this is not possible then sit on the contracts and see if anyone wants them before the trading deadline in the 05-06 season. If a deal cannot be made that adds a quality young player or potentially a high 1st round pick then just let the contracts expire. If the the 1st rounder isn't traded in a deal to acquire a young impact player then select for talent, not need. If the best player available is a point guard then select that point guard. I actually wouldn't mind seeing what Marbury could do playing a combo guard role. See who is available with the mid-level and offer them the full exception if warranted. ONLY DEAL EXPIRING CONTRACTS/YOUNG PLAYERS/PICKS FOR BETTER YOUNG PLAYERS/PICKS. Using this process I think it will be possible to rebuild and make a run at the the 6th-8th seeds at the same time.
WHAT I THINK HAPPENS: The Knicks jump on the 1st decent offer for the expiring contracts, and include Sweetney/Ariza/picks if the other GM is shrewd enough to hold out for them. The player/s that the Knicks take on have some issue/s relating to their makeup/contract/injury that explains why they were dealt in the 1st place. If the Knicks hang on to their lotto pick, they will select on need rather than talent, potentially (this is up in the air though because Isiah has shown a solid, if erratic drafting record) ending up with a big man that turns into a bust. The MLE will be used, but it might not be for a player that helps the Knicks and they just end up with another dead money contract.
I would advocate a run at Artest using expiring contracts/Sweetney/Ariza. Makeup questions aside, he brings the type of personality that can reinvigorate Knicks basketball and give them one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.