Before we talk about who should be drafted, or who should be cut or re-signed, we should know what the blueprint is for the New York Knicks going forward.
The New York Knicks need leadership that puts an end to the cloak and dagger politics, smoke and mirrors press releases, and the rumors from unnamed sources that were the stock and trade of the previous odd-ministration.
A clearly defined policy statement outlining responsibilities, and the direction the team will take in terms of culture, identity, and style of play, should be publicized. Every aspect of the MSG organization should be in alignment with this master plan.
As fans, most of our opinions are guess work. Practice habits, disputes, and team infractions are all kept from us. We go by what we value in the game and what we see on the court. When fans disagree, the disagreements are based on these two factors.
Here is an outline of how the 2020-21 New York Knicks should look.
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First, players must play as hard on one end of the floor as on the other. Second, unselfishness and ball movement is a priority. Third, the stat that matters most is wins.
With these in mind, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Allonzo Trier, and Wayne Ellington should not return. Certainly, some team would give a late first-round draft pick, or an early No. 2, for Randle’s production.
Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson, Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, Taj Gibson, and RJ Barrett are keepers. Reggie Bullock is contract worthy.
Kevin Knox was a multi-year project, according to John Calipari. He is a far better player this year, and he is still a project. Since he was probably the worst per-minute player in the NBA as a rookie, his turnaround has been gratifying.
Iggy Bradzeikis is an unknown, and Dennis Smith Jr. is a shooting guard in a point guard’s body. It is doubtful any team would give up more value than these guys represent to the Knicks, so they are keepers.
The roster would be Robinson, Payton, Ntilikina, Dotson, RJ, Knox, Bradzeikis, Smith.
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The 2020 NBA Draft must follow the same guidelines: High-character guys who play hard on both ends of the floor.