New York Knicks have no current sense of direction

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

What direction are the New York Knicks taking right now?

Direction can be complex. When we grow up left vs right can be a troubling conundrum, for some adults it is still an issue. Some of us don’t know which turn to make, which way is left, which way is right. However, for the New York Knicks there seems to be no inkling of understanding direction. Let’s get into it:

Let’s rewind to Feb. 1, 2019, the day where the Knicks traded their 23-year-old All-Star. Prior to this trade, life seemed to make some sense for Knicks fans. Scott Perry and Steve Mills appeared to be the perfect management team that was finally putting the Knicks back into a stable position.

The Knicks were finally focused on building a young core, and weren’t trying to make crazy trades and signings that may make us good for one season. However the Porzingis trade veered the Knicks bus into oncoming traffic, there was a possibility of reaching safety, but a more likely result was a crash. Let’s unravel this metaphor.

The Porzingis trade changed the Knicks direction, they decided the right move was to trade their young star for cap space to go after players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, instead of focusing on developing their young core.

They risked a lot for their goals, 1) Draft Zion Williamson and 2) Sign major free agents. They missed on all these goals, once again putting the Knicks franchise in a state of disbelief and incoherence.

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After the Knicks missed out on all their goals and signed players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris, there was still a strange optimism surrounding the Knicks franchise.

The Knicks have some young pieces that made everyone excited, names including RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr. With that young core, the Knicks signed Julius Randle to a three-year, $62.3 million deal, another possible bright piece to add to the puzzle.

Knicks fans were sold on this plan, after such a disappointing off-season we were just hopeful, and I think that strangely brought out optimism. Either way the hope for this season for everyone (at least it seemed) was to develop the core, because either way you slice it they had some young nice pieces, nothing close to Porzingis, but there was hope.

However from the beginning of this season, this idea and direction of a rebuilding franchise, seems to have gone array. From opening night, when Kevin Knox didn’t start, to young players like Dennis Smith Jr., Alonzo Trier, and Knox getting almost no playing time the idea of development has been thrown out the window.

Veterans like Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson and others seem to have blocked any of these players from getting an acceptable amount of playing time, so what happened? Knicks fans continue to be promised a rebuild, and it’s fudged up every time, and this falls squarely on the hands of the owner, James Dolan.

All Dolan wants are wins, he doesn’t care how, but he wants his team to play well, to sell seats and make money. This is where the problem exists.

Perry and Mills had a clear direction and were doing a good job of implementing it, but the rebuild took too long for Dolan. So they went all-in on the 2019 offseason, and they struck out.

Then after a bad start this season, Dolan has threatened the jobs of the executives and David Fizdale, if he doesn’t see wins soon.

Now there is a conflict of interest, I believe that Fizdale understands the Knicks need to develop their young core, but because of the pressures, he is being forced to put the players on the court that give them the best chance of winning, which is not always the young players.

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Dolan is still unfortunately confused by direction. He doesn’t understand the needs of the Knicks, which is to have a solid rebuild. He is and will never be patient enough for the Knicks to be able to find success through their young core. Direction can be hard, but it should not be this hard.