As tempting as it is to go for the marquee free agent, maybe it’s better for the New York Knicks to wait until 2017.
Modern day free agency is a chaotic spending spree by each team trying to help their team. On July 1, at 12 a.m., players can officially sign the dotted line with a new squad. Every year, a host of free agents hit the market, and teams line up trying to convince them to come and help their team.
This year’s crop just happens to be led by one of the best players in the game: Kevin Durant.
Durant is an athletic freak, standing at 6’10 with a near 7’5″ wingspan, and fluidity like a guard. After being drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder (then the Seattle SuperSonics) in 2007, he has played with some spectacular teams of mostly homegrown talent.
In 2008 the Thunder drafted Russel Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, and in 2009 they drafted James Harden. Together, they made the NBA Finals in 2012, but haven’t made it back since.
This past year, Durant and Co. were up 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals over the Golden State Warriors, and blew it. All that losing has to start piling up at some point, and frustration may have finally come to a head.
Durant will be meeting with various teams to discuss if he should come and play for them. One of the teams he is deciding if he should meet with is the Knicks.
Now, the Knicks are in an odd position; they are neither fully rebuilding, nor can they go on a title run seeing as they have only five players currently under contract. There’s an understandable desire to try and go after the biggest names on the market, be it Durant, DeRozen, or any of the other names on the market. Yet, what we’re not taking into account is the cost.
While having a player like Durant on your team would be amazing, there is more to consider. For example; With the recent acquisition of Derrick Rose, would too many players who are ball-dominant coexist? Would adding him hurt the growth of your budding superstar and future of the franchise Kristaps Porzingis?
What team would you even put around him after spending most of your money?
These are questions that people constantly gloss over specifically because of the level of talent a player like Durant brings to a team. While the Knicks need to add more players to the team, maybe patience is the optimum word to use for this year.
Trying to make the playoffs is a good goal to have, and is definitely where the team wants to end up this year, but with just five players on their roster now, going after such an expensive talent will hamper their team.
They would be better off signing role players to fill out the roster and build a cohesive unit, and try to make a splash in 2017.
With players like Russel Westbrook, Blake Griffin, and more hitting the open market in 2017, it would make more sense to build the foundation of a playoff team now, and go for a championship next year.
New York is not typically known to be a patient city, and the desire to win here is palpable, but teams need to be molded and shaped, not just thrown together.
If the Knicks want to be more more than a team that had a good season, then faded into obscurity, they must exercise their patience in free agency and walk rather than run.