NBA Future Rankings 25. New York Knicks
*Photo via USA Today
After many frustrating years, new team president, Phil Jackson, finally appears to have a plan in place to rebuild the New York Knicks. After ending up with the second best lottery odds, the Knicks were bumped out of the top three and were slotted fourth in the 2015 NBA draft. The selection of Kristaps Porzingis was met with a parade of boos from New York faithful. He isn’t the win-now answer fans and the previous NY executives have been chasing after, but Porzingis provided the most upside for a roster void of talent. With a frail 220-pound frame, the seven-foot Porzingis will need to add weight. Good thing he’s in New York, because there is nothing quite like New York pizza and street meat. He displayed the potential to be a solid defender and an outstanding offensive player during the Las Vegas summer league. With more experience, the 19 year old will develop into a very good NBA player.
The Knicks made another fantastic move on draft night by acquiring rights to Jerian Grant for Tim Hardaway Jr. Being able to get a first round pick for Hardaway was a major score for New York. Grant is a great athlete with solid size for a point guard. In the summer league, Grant has shown that he possesses excellent court vision and will be New York’s future lead guard.
*Photo via NY Post
The allure of New York, once again, failed to reel in a big fish in free agency. The Knicks did however; built the structure of a team. The additions of players like the mascot slayer Robin Lopez (4YR/$54MM), “Black Boy Fly,”Arron Afflalo (2YR/$16MM), and Kyle O’Quinn (4YR/$16MM) illustrate the organization’s commitment to developing a strong defensive unit. Being able to showcase a gritty and competitive team next season could go great lengths in convincing future star free agents to join the Knicks, who will once again have enough cap space for max level free agents.
After many years of carelessly trading away draft picks, next season will be the last year New York is without its first round pick. The keys to the Knicks future will be how Carmelo Anthony (4YR/$101.5MM) plays as he ages (he is now 31 years old) and returns from knee surgery, the development of their young players, and their success in future free agencies. Things are finally looking up for the Knicks.
Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, NBA.com, ESPN.com
Salary cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com, Hoopshype.com, Basketballinsiders.com
Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com