One of Bobby Marks' biggest team needs for Knicks is out of their control

Every fan wants this.
New York Knicks, Julius Randle
New York Knicks, Julius Randle / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Who knows what the New York Knicks will do this offseason? They might trade one (or more) of their draft picks, they might add another star to the roster, and they could sign Jalen Brunson to an extension. Those are just a few of the decisions the front office could make.

Bobby Marks' latest NBA offseason guide (subscription required) for ESPN laid out priorities for all 30 teams. The cap guru discussed the Knicks' financial situation and how looming decisions will affect it, such as Bojan Bogdanovic's partly guaranteed salary for 2024-25.

When Marks listed New York's needs, the first one is something every fan wants to see, but it's sort of out of the team's control. If you guessed 'health,' you're correct. The past season was derailed by injuries, starting with Mitchell Robinson's ankle injury in December. He returned at the end of the regular season but re-injured the same ankle in the postseason.

The Knicks entered the playoffs injured (Julius Randle was out), but that's when the injuries started to pile up even more. Bogdanovic injured his foot diving for a loose ball and underwent surgery, Robinson had a minor procedure on his ankle (many blame Joel Embiid), OG Anunoby injured his hamstring, Josh Hart had an abdominal strain, and Jalen Brunson fractured his hand in the last game of the season. The hits kept coming.

Bobby Marks lists 'health' as one of Knicks' biggest team needs

Many people blamed Tom Thibodeau for New York's injuries, even though they weren't his fault. The coach has a history of overusing his players and will never be able to escape Derrick Rose's torn ACL. Because of that, Thibs caught a lot of heat.

Monica McNutt, who works for MSG Networks and ESPN, had the best response to the criticism Thibodeau received.

When Thibs had no choice but to play Alec Burks in the playoffs, many said that if he had played more during the regular season, the starters wouldn't have gotten injured/been so tired. As Monica said, the problem with that argument is that Burks was unplayable after the trade, which wasn't the case in the postseason.

Injuries are the worst part of the game. Unfortunately, the Knicks dealt with too many to overcome. Even then, they managed to play seven games in the second round. If Anunoby hadn't gotten injured, maybe they would've advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. Let's not forget about Randle, either.

It's easy to play the 'what if' game. New York controlled what it could control. The next man-up mentality served the team well. Hopefully, next season, they won't have to worry about that. It's impossible to make it through a season without an injury, but having several key players injured is also unusual.

Please, 2024-25, bring good health!