Thirteen months after he last played in a regular season game, Stephon Marbury was finally waived by the Knicks on Monday after agreeing to a buyout earlier in the day. It's not clear just how much money Marbury left on the table (Frank Isola of the New York Daily News suggests at least $2 million) but the breakup should leave both sides happy.
Nothing will change for the Knicks on the court (Marbury has been barred from having contact with the team since Dec. 1), but at least owner James Dolan can save a few bucks. As for Marbury, he's now free to start rebuilding his image.
Because the Knicks released him before March 1, he's eligible for the playoffs should he latch on with a contender, which, if you believe the rumors, will almost certainly happen.
Marbury has been linked with the Celtics since January, and the Miami Heat are believed to have interest as well. While many teams will be scared off by Marbury's reputation, both the Celtics and Heat have dominant superstars who should be able to keep Marbury's ego in check in the locker room. It's a calculated risk, but one worth taking.
The irony, of course, is that if Marbury signs with the Celtics and the Knicks sneak into the playoffs, there's a good chance they'll meet in the first round. This was likely one reason why the Knicks were so reluctant to buyout Marbury in the first place, although anyone who thinks that Marbury would be the difference in that series hasn't been watching much basketball.