Dec 28, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks players huddle before the start of their game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Knicks 115-100. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
That’s where we are at this point and time. After Phil Jackson failed to get one of his closer friends to coach the New York Knicks, rumors are circulating that Jackson told point guard Raymond Felton that he will be traded.
By itself this trade would indicate nothing about starting over.
Felton had a horrible year and is facing a potential trial sometime over the summer on an illegal gun charge. The thing is, there have also been rumors this year of Jackson looking to deal Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Andrea Bargnani.
While Chandler still has some value, STAT, Bargnani, and Felton do not. So if Phil is really looking to trade these guys he has to be looking to get young talent and picks in return. Since three of the four potential traded Knicks are expiring contracts (Felton has a player option for 2015-16, which is basically guaranteed to be picked up at this point) trading these guys could prolong the Knicks quest for cap space rather than expedite it.
When you add in the fact that guys like Derek Fisher, who is still playing, and Kurt Rambis, who went 32-132 with the Minnesota Timberwolves in two seasons, are the realistic candidates to coach the Knicks, things don’t look too bright on Broadway for the immediate future.
There are rumors of Mark Jackson coming to New York but by all accounts Phil would rather have a coach who wants to run the triangle and its unknown if Mark would be willing to acquiesce.
So thus far we have four Knicks being traded (though only one important to future success), a coaching search that has a current player and a coach whose record is 100 games under .500, and a superstar free agent who has made it known he wants to win now.
Where does all of this leave Carmelo Anthony? Well rumor has it that when Phil and Melo met for dinner a couple of weeks ago Jackson aggressively sold Anthony on Steve Kerr as a coach and how it would work out, as if Phil needed more embarrassment about Kerr picking the Warriors.
Now Phil is going to ask Anthony to play for a team whose coach may be a current backup point guard in the playoffs and who may deal four of its players this summer. Call it a hunch but I would bet Chicago and Houston are looking mighty fine at the moment.
There is also the report that James Dolan didn’t really help the Knicks chances of landing Kerr.
Kerr reportedly wasn’t thrilled about the idea of being Dolan’s coach if Anthony left. Kerr spoke to people around the organization and decided it wasn’t a good idea. So if Phil Jackson’s good friend was scared away by Dolan despite all of Jackson’s alleged autonomy, why would other coveted free agents, coaching or otherwise come here?
This all points to Phil blowing this roster up by trading expiring contracts and offering Anthony a discounted contract he knows Melo won’t accept.
The wild card in this of course is Dolan. If Anthony leaves and Jackson opts to rebuild, how long will Dolan tolerate that?
Many saw Jackson lasting no more than three years in New York but with an unpredictable owner like Dolan who knows if that is too long or too short.