After a rock solid offensive year that saw the New York Knicks jump to the third most efficient offensive team in the NBA, they couldn’t score in the postseason. The Knicks averaged 100 points per game in the 2012-13 campaign, yet in the playoffs, managed merely 88.6 points per game. The intense defense of the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers locked up New York’s spread pick-and-roll attack and denied the swing-swing-shoot method that got them so many open threes. To compound their offensive problems, Carmelo Anthony played through a torn labrum, J.R. Smith went cold at the wrong time and played with fluid in his knees, Raymond Felton dropped off from his hot start, and Amar’e Stoudemire was still recovering from knee surgery.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, a source has said that Carmelo Anthony would like the Knicks to be active in trying to find a second scorer to accompany him and put the Knicks in title contention.
Anthony came into the season claiming that he didn’t want to score 30 points a night to help the Knicks win games. What resulted, however, was an over-reliance on Anthony to delivery 30 points a night to get wins. He led the NBA in scoring at 28.7 points per game. According to the report, Anthony doesn’t see J.R. Smith as a reliable secondary scoring option (he’s not wrong) and Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t the same player anymore given his age and injury history.
Exactly who the Knicks would add this summer, though, to help Anthony is a bit confusing. Their loaded salary situation leaves no room to sign major additions. GM Glen Grunwald has said the Knicks will be aggressive and creative this summer, but wants to keep the Knicks’ core together.
There are big names on the market, sure. Dwight Howard and Chris Paul; secondary stars like Josh Smith, David West, Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis; and potentially beneficial players like O.J. Mayo, Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, etc. However, those players will all likely field big salaries or stay with their current teams. The Knicks have traded just about every draft pick until 2020, and they can’t do a sign-and-trade unless they’re willing to part with important players like Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, or maybe even Raymond Felton. It seems unlikely that anyone would trade for Stoudemire at this point.
Anthony has insisted he won’t interfere with the Knicks’ summer plans unless called upon. He’s never outright claimed to want more scoring on the team, but if this source is correct, it shows that this season could be important to Anthony’s future with the team. He needs more help.