Let’s make it clear. I’m a HUGE Knicks fan and I mean huge. That’s why it hurts deep inside to say this has been THEE worst season I ever endured in my Knicks life and that’s saying quite a lot. From Anthony Mason passing(R.I.P Mase) to the Knicks as a team playing like a rec team to the former Knick players (Shumpert, JR Smith and Tyson Chandler) having remarkable success on their current teams since traded. I still find it hard to believe that this is the worst recond the Knicks had in it’s entire franchise going back to 1946. 1946! My Grandma was just 9 years old….Anyway, while this is record wise the worst Knicks team ever, their is some optimism to look forward to this offseason and the future.
So let’s take a look at their record right now.
Right now, they’re 14-61. Atrocious right? While it is a bad look, statistically they have the best chance to get the #1 pick. A pick this team haven’t seen in about 30 years. Even though they have the best chance to get #1, it’s not guaranteed. At the very worst, they could end up with the #4 pick. Fortunately in this draft class, there is about 4 prospects to choose from that have high potential on their side(Okafor, Karl Towns, Russell and Mudiay). Personally, I want Okafor because I think his skillset caters to the Triangle and I bought into how great he is in the post but in the end, all 4 are worthy of a pick.
Then comes free agency, the hard part. Right now, the only players that are under contract for next year is Carmelo, Calderon, Hardaway and Early. Knicks would have around 20-23 million to play around with. If they can find a way to get rid of Calderon’s contract, that would free the Knicks of $7 mill but I don’t think they will find much suitors. With only 4 players on contract and with just about the millions in the mid 20s, it will be tough to round out the team. I would like them to keep Acy, Galloway, Amundson, and Thomas. They also have their 2nd round pick, Thanasis in the D-League so I suspect they will add him to the roster in the offseason. That would round out to 10 players on the roster in total including the draft pick. Now I must be realistic with myself. The chances of Gasol and Aldridge leaving their respective teams are slim so the Knicks drafting a big between Okafor and Towns is important. Depending on who they draft they can open themselves to different options. Draft Okafor, you would need a good rebounder and pretty good defender since Okafor is not quite strong in those categories at least in the short term. Amir Johnson is a guy that fill that role. Would be tough to pull him from Toronto since he’s the heart and soul of that team but with a good enough offer that might change his mind. Draft Karl Towns, you would want good scoring option at the PF spot. While Karls has the potential to be that #2 option to Melo, I would want him to ease into that roll than to put him in that spot immediately. Greg Monroe would be a nice option. He can score in the post and have enough space for hi on the floor since Karl is capable of making a midrange shot. Another route they can go is move Karl to the PF spot and get a well rounded center thats capable of scoring off putbacks and play great defense and can also rebound for 30+ mins a game. Robin Lopez and Omer Asik both fit that roll perfectly.
I also think they need to improve their SG situation. While Hardaway is a effective shooter, he lacks in other areas. It would be best to bring him off the bench. Originally, I wanted the Knicks to go after Wesley Matthews hard but due to his recent injury, I’m not so sure anymore. He’s still on my radar but not at #1 like before. Before I say who I would want ultimitaley, I need to be realistic again because as a Knicks fan, you have to repeatedly tell yourself that. Also, there is quite a number of RFA so that also doesn’t help. That said, I would want them to throw the full max, if possible, at Jimmy Butler. Butler has having a breakout year and improved a lot. I have him as my Most Improved Player of the year. Chicago is a cheap franchise when it comes to money and they have their own woes going on (Rose future and coaching situation). Throwing a full max at Butler could throw them off and try to call their bluff but their probably going to end up matching anyways. Ok I got my unrealistic scenario out of the way. Now a SG I think the Knicks should pay attention to is Danny Green. Not only is he a great shooter, he can also defend his position well and you could move him to the 3 when Melo goes to the bench. Other options include Gerald Green and Aaron Affalo.
In the end, as soon as Knicks last game is played, Knicks could start the clock on coming up with their plans for the offseason. Hopefully they can put together a playoff team come next season so us Knicks fans can stop being so depressed. Make the playoffs next season and go from there. More good news is the cap will go up substantially after 2016 and have even more cap space to add on to the team. As I always say when it comes to Knicks, “Hope for the best. Expect the worse”. I can only PHil makes me completely forget that quote and be fully optimistic for the future.