This is a tough offseason for the New York Knicks. They are neither rebuilding nor competing. The toughest pill to swallow, though, is that they have no draft pick to speak of after gaining so much in the NBA Draft last year with rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis.
The Knicks need more building blocks to put around star Carmelo Anthony.
Make no doubt about it, this is still Melo’s team. Like him or not, he is a superstar and is the best chance the Knicks have of making it back to the playoffs. Without any draft picks, the only answer is to look to trades and free agency in hopes of finding a few missing pieces.
With the cap rising the next two years this shouldn’t be a problem.
The goal for this season isn’t to rebuild, but that doesn’t necessarily mean championship or bust. A good comparison would be the Atlanta Hawks or the Toronto Raptors, seeing as both teams have had a competitive and well-balanced team the past few seasons.
Now this won’t mean the Knicks will be favorites for a title, but it will give them best shot they have within the three-year window remaining on Anthony’s Deal
Now lets make a few things clear before we embark on this hypothetical journey: 1) Melo is NOT getting traded, its not happening and the compensation in return will never match his worth. 2) we are only filling needs here, the Knicks aren’t signing the best available player if it doesn’t make sense for the team as a whole.
In other words, Kevin Durant, Demar Derozen, and Dwight Howard are off the table. With that being established, lets begin.
Starting off with arguably the most controversial player in free agency, Rajon Rondo is hotly debated among Knick fans. At 30 years old, he still can be an All-Star caliber talent for a team that’s desperate for a point guard. He can also be a major headache.
Rondo averaged 11.7 assists per game last season, which is an incredible stat. Yet, watching him play, he very often tried to pad his stats rather than making the smart play.
His jump shot leaves a lot to be desired, but to his credit, he has improved that part of his game. He has also, at times, quit on his coach and teammates. So why would the Knicks consider signing him?
With an up-tempo offense under new head coach Jeff Hornacek, he would thrive with arguably the best front court in the game in a pick-and-roll setting.
With only three years left on Melo’s deal, the time is now to swing for the fences and try to make a go of it in a weak conference. Giving Rondo a short deal on a talented team should be enough to keep his interest. Having him understand that it’s not his team is a different story.
He’s the best point guard on the market, and if the Knicks are hoping to compete, he’s their best shot.
Moving on to anther need, the New York Knicks are in desperate need of a spot-up shooter. They were hoping to find that in Arron Afflalo, but his inconsistent play caused turmoil between he and interim head coach Kurt Rambis, causing many to believe that he will opt out of his deal and test the free agent waters
If this happens, Nicolas Batum is the answer.
The 27-year-old had an incredible bounce-back year in Charlotte after a disappointing end to his years in Portland. He averaged 14.9 points per game and 5.8 assists per game. Sliding him over to shooting guard would give the Knicks a bigger, yet faster, and more versatile starting lineup than they’ve had in years.
With its bench is a bit sparse, New York could use use a dynamic player and a rim protector who will ensure that when Robin Lopez sits, they wont lose their defensive tenacity. That leads us to:
The past few seasons have been disappointing for Jeff Green, to say the least. After averaging just about 17 points per game while on the Boston Celtics, he combined for 11.7 points the past two seasons combined.
His value has dropped dramatically, but then again so has his price.
Green is still under 30 years old, can still get hot at times, and has the perfect size and speed for the new offense the Knicks are implementing. As a bench player, he will also have less minutes and pressure then he would feel in starting in the lineup. That would hopefully help his scoring in the process.
Now all they need is a center with the defensive tenacity that Lopez has. Someone who is hungry for a chance to win, yet has never gotten to the promised land.
There is nobody who brings more tenacity and a killer mentality to the court than Joakim Noah…other than Robin Lopez. Noah constantly gives every ounce of effort possible when he plays, even though injuries have plagued him these past few seasons.
The man is a defensive and rebounding machine, bringing a fire for the game the Knicks are sorely lacking.
Seeing as his production has declined the past two seasons it shouldn’t be a problem convincing him that his body would be better served coming off the bench. The biggest selling point though is the fact he was actually born in New York.
On a bench containing Jerian Grant, Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas, Kyle O’quinn, and the potential addition of Jeff Green, the Knicks wouldhavea many pieces to play with and would be able to keep a fast yet defensive game no matter who is on the floor.
Who do you think about these options? Who do you think the Knicks should go after in free agency or through trades? Let us know!