Offseason Preview: New York Knicks
New York Knicks (32-50)
*Photo via Huffington Post
When you live in NY, sometimes you find yourself complaining about all of the bad opposed to the good that’s here. Taxes. Late buses. Congested streets. Not enough spaces. If you’re a New York Knicks fan, they just add to your long list of problems. The Knicks finished 32-50, their usual irrelevant selves, and just added yet another year of futile basketball in the Mecca of BASKETBALL. Despite the lowlights, there were some highlights. President of basketball operations, Phil Jackson, hit the lottery in the 2015 NBA Draft, selecting Kristaps Porzingis 4th overall, much to the disdain of New York, the critics and so called basketball enthusiasts. Today, Porzingis, KP, Godzingis, whatever you like to call him has converted those naysayers into fans, especially that one kid who cried at the draft with his selection. The Latvian native finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting, averaging 14.3 ppg, 7.3 assists and 1.9 blocks a game,. As well, He leap frogged Arron Afflalo as the second primary option on offense behind Carmelo Anthony. In Anthony, Porzingis and Robin Lopez, the Knicks possess a legitimate frontcourt that can score and defend, but the lack of talent on the bench and in the backcourt served as the Knicks biggest weakness and requires a serious Tony Stark upgrade.
Restricted – Langston Galloway, Cleanthony Early
Options – Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Tony Wroten Jr.
Unrestricted – Lance Thomas, Kevin Seraphin, Louis Amundson, Sasha Vujacic
Who Leaves, Who Stays
*Photo via Getty Images
Reports surfaced earlier this season that Afflalo had a problem with his role on the Knicks, going from a starter to riding the bench, and as long as Kurt Rambis is on this staff, I highly doubt Afflalo will be back for an encore. Lance Thomas improved greatly last season, becoming a steady outside shooter from three while guarding the opposing team’s best player. The Knicks see him as a glue guy so it’s possible he can return. Kevin Seraphin had some moments off the bench for the Knicks, scoring in spurts but this is a take it or leave it kind of situation, so the Knicks can go either way. Same narrative applies to Sasha Vujacic and Louis Amundson. After starting the season on fire, Langston Galloway fizzled out to end the year as teams adjusted. Despite his struggles, Galloway is a nice player who plays on both ends and if the Knicks don’t match any of the offers that I’m sure he will receive, he will be gone.
*Photo via Comeback
Everybody knows the Knicks need a point guard. Jose Calderon just doesn’t have the speed to compete with the young, athletic speedsters on the perimeter that occupy the NBA today. It’s why, according to ESPN.com’s Ian Begley, that the Knicks are having internal discussions on trading for Chicago Bulls guard, Derrick Rose. The Knicks don’t have the assets to acquire Rose, so I don’t know why he’s a target of discussion but it doesn’t hurt to try. Add shooting guard to the shopping list. Harrison Barnes and Kent Bazemore are two names the Knicks are looking at to add depth to this spot. Barnes isn’t enjoying the most spectacular NBA Finals currently, so it remains to be seen if his max-contract desires will drop and Bazemore, without a doubt is looking to earn north of the $2 million he earned last season. Despite Barnes struggles in the finals, he will bring postseason experience at 24 years-old as well as a wing that can get his own shot and defend. Bazemore will do the same at a faster pace, especially on offense. Having some depth in the front court wouldn’t hurt either.
*Photo via Getty Images
Mike Conley – Would make the Knicks a playoff contender but will come with a big payday and a risk after coming back from a season-ending Achilles injury.
Harrison Barnes – Defense, size, scoring ability, experience and potential are all things the Knicks need more of
Kevin Durant – Would be fun, wouldn’t it?
Evan Turner – Versatility
DeMar DeRozan - Keep Dreaming