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Newsday: Francis Trade Potentially Long-Term Play for Garnett

Greg Logan writes in Newsday that getting Steve Francis--who isn't the kind of defender Larry Brown normally likes--might be part of a longer term effort to have lots of chess pieces to move for Minnesota's Kevin Garnett:

One NBA general manager said Thomas sold Knicks owner James Dolan on a strategy to stockpile as many marketable assets as possible to make a play for Garnett, who has grown increasingly restless with the Timberwolves, who now might be ready to consider trading him.

Brown is said to have favored trading Hardaway's contract to Portland for center Theo Ratliff and small forward Darius Miles to fill the Knicks' need for more defense, rebounding and shot-blocking. But Thomas gambled on Francis, a strategy that could blow up in his face if Minnesota refuses to trade Garnett.