Can the Knicks trade themselves into a long-term Championship contender?
In the 2020-21 NBA season, the New York Knicks surprisingly finished the regular season as the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. Fans were excited to have the “easier” matchup against the Atlanta Hawks but the series ended fairly quickly with a 4-1 series defeat.
The Knicks were able to get two starters in Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier this offseason.
While those two players don’t address the abysmal defensive struggles in the playoffs, everyone can agree that they will be fine replacements for the loss of Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock.
But what is the ceiling for this Knicks team?
Conference Semi-finals at best? Can they compete with the Brooklyn Nets? The Milwaukee Bucks? Do they wait until RJ Barrett becomes a superstar?
Unless RJ Barrett becomes exponentially better and puts up superstar numbers, it seems like there will be a hard stop for the Knicks once they reach the playoffs.
So what constitutes a championship team?
Let’s take a small sample from the past couple of years.
- 2016 – Cleveland Cavaliers – Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love (2 generational players + 1 multi-allstar)
- 2017 – Golden State Warriors – Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green (2 generational players + 2 multi-allstars)
- 2018 – Golden State Warriors – Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green (2 generational players + 2 multi-allstars)
- 2019 – Toronto Raptors – Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam (1 generational player + 1 multi-allstar + future allstar)
- 2020 – Los Angeles Lakers – LeBron James, Anthony Davis (2 generational players)
- 2021 – Milwaukee Bucks – Giannis, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday (1 generational player + 2 multi-allstars)
All the championship teams included either a combination of 1 generational star + 2 multi-allstars or had two generational stars.
Well, it seems like we figured out the league. All you needed was to have generational talent on your team to win in this league.
So let’s take a look at some hypotheticals for the Knick’s roster to look like a championship team.