Rumor out of Canada in the Globe and Mail has the Knicks interested in picking up Jalen Rose in exchange for Anfernee Hardaway. The Raptors would be interested in the deal since Hardaway's maximum contract would come off the books at the end of this season. Then Toronto could use that salary-cap space during the offseason to become a major player in free agency. While Rose could help the Knicks, however, it's doubtful they would make the deal since it would cost them about $35 million next season. Rose would get the $16.9 million owed on his contract and the Knicks would have to pay the dollar-for-dollar penalty for being over the luxury-tax threshold . . .
Rose, meanwhile, is becoming frustrated with his diminishing role with the Raptors. He recently went scoreless in a game for the first time in 551 contests. How has he dealt with his lack of playing time and the Raptors' poor start? "I've just been doing a lot of praying," he told the Toronto Sun. "A lot of praying and a lot of shutting up." . . .
Some may have wondered why the Nuggets used their full mid-level exception on signing point guard Earl Watson during the offseason when the team already had a pair of solid point guards in Andre Miller and Earl Boykins. Watson, in fact, didn't even play for George Karl's squad in seven of the first eight games — despite his five-year, $29 million deal. Still, the Nuggets may end up looking brilliant in this whole thing. They now can dangle a quality point guard as trade bait to help fill a need — although Watson won't be eligible to be traded until Dec. 15. Ex-Ute Miller, in fact, may be the guy to go. Boykins, who is a bargain for his $2.75 million salary and is the unlikeliest to be shopped, according to the Rocky Mountain News . . .
Stephon Marbury, who once called himself the best point guard in the NBA, is willing to switch positions, according to the New York Daily News. Marbury has informed new Knicks coach Larry Brown that he can contribute more to the team by moving to shooting guard. While he'd be undersized at the position, it has worked in the past with the 76ers Allen Iverson. The biggest problem with that switch, however, is that Marbury is the only proven point guard on the Knicks' roster . . .
George Karl has been around the NBA almost as much as Larry Brown — although without as much postseason success. But Karl, the Nuggets coach, says he understands why Brown wanted to coach the Knicks. "The best place to win a game is in the Garden," said Karl referring, of course, to Madison Square. "(New York) seems to have a love and passion for the game that very few cities have . . . Part of me would love to coach the Knicks someday." . . .
Former Utah Valley State guard Ronnie Price scored his first-ever NBA points against the Jazz this week. He scored four points on 2-for-2 shooting with a rebound and an assist in six minutes of garbage time. Price had played in two previous games, but had failed to score in either one of them . . .
Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles is placing the blame for his team's woes on his own shoulders. According to the Chicago Tribune, Skiles says he is failing as the Bulls' coach. "Our overall defensive effort just is not acceptable for us to win," he said. . . .
Kevin Garnett made some interesting comments about Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale with TNT cameras rolling this week. Garnett was critical of the way McHale handled the firing of Flip Saunders last season. After Saunders was fired, McHale coached the rest of the season. "If I wanted to coach, I'd be coaching right now," McHale told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I took the responsibility of the team last year. The way we were playing, I didn't think it was fair to put it on anybody else, the assistant coaches." Dwane Casey, formerly an assistant in Seattle, is Minnesota's head coach this season. . . .
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, worried that he had been overplaying star Manu Ginobili, who is recovering from a thigh injury, signed a new player this week. Alex Scales, a 6-2 shooter from the University of Oregon has played professionally in Italy, China, South Korea and the CBA, but has never gotten his NBA chance — in a real game — until now. . . .
Fred Hoiberg credits getting rejected for life insurance for possibly saving his life. The Timberwolves shooting guard had a standard insurance exam that led to a diagnosis of an enlarged aortic root that led to open-heart surgery that led to the pacemaker that is now in his chest. Hoiberg is not currently playing, but he hasn't ruled out a comeback. He considers himself lucky in a year in which Hawks center Jason Collier and ex-Ute and 49ers lineman Thomas Herrion died of heart-related ailments.