A few weeks back I had a conversation with a friend about the Knicks. I said that they might be the only New York team that I want to see do well. The Jeremy Lin phenomenon proved how desperate the city is for a good basketball team that plays the game the right way. But now that the Knicks have been booted from the playoffs, it's time to look at some ways the team can improve. Here are a few ideas I had:
This whole 'Melo and Amar'e thing has failed, and its time for the Knicks (and in many ways the rest of the NBA) to stand up to their stars and make deals that the players might not like.
Stoudemire's value is not at its highest right now. His run-in with a fire extinguisher proved a poor moment in judgment, he has injury history, and he is owed $63 million over the next 3 years. The Knicks might have to pay some of the contract if they do trade him, but they have proven over the past decade that throwing money away is not something that bothers them.
My friend Tung asked if a Dwight Howard for Amar'e trade would make sense for both sides. After thinking about it, it does make some sense for a number of reasons.
1. The Knicks get a happy Dwight who gets to grow his brand in the largest market in the league.
2. The Knicks would have two superb defensive players under the basket in Chandler and Howard. Does anyone get to the basket against that Knicks team?
3. The Magic would get rid of a huge headache and receive a motivated Amar'e.
4. The Magic could move on from Dwight and build around Amar'e and their gritty core.
5. Amar'e would get to go home to Orlando.
Another deal that the Knicks could make would be to send Amare to Houston for Louis Scola and Kyle Lowry. (Jacober note: a very un-Daryl Morey-type move. Better to sell him to Brooklyn.)
This deal might be tough for Houston as they would lose two starters, including an up and coming point guard in Lowry. However, Lowry and Goran Dragic might not be able to co-exist in Houston. If the Rockets decide to sign Dragic, then Lowry becomes expendable. You could even throw in a guy like Toney Douglas so Houston gets a point guard in return.
Could you also try trading 'Melo somewhere? Sure, but I think of the two players, 'Melo is the one to build around considering the other pieces on the team. If they get Lin to come back, find another wing player and add another big man they should be on their way to being more competitive, in a meaningful way. Like winning a few playoffs series.
My next step could possibly put this team over the top…
Sign Steve Nash
With Jeremy Lin and Baron Davis both free agents, the Knicks have an opportunity (if they trade Amar'e) to bring in Steve Nash for one run at a championship.
The beauty of this move is the Knicks could potentially talk Jeremy Lin into staying and being the back-up. He could run the second unit as Nash's understudy, thereby learning from the best point guard of the past decade whose game is very similar to his own.
Nash was paid $11 million this season. How much will he want this time? Probably around the same. Is it worth over-paying Nash $20-24 million for two years? I think it is. It's cheaper than Stoudemire, and you have Lin as a possible long-term point guard and a short-term insurance policy.
Iman Shumpert, a raw player that is not attuned to running an offense, could be another option at point guard if Lin is lured away, but that would be a worst-case scenario.
Other free agents
If the Knicks do not make any deals they have nine players on the books for the 2012-13 season. Here is what the roster would look like:
Josh Harrellson (if they pick up team option)
Let's be honest, that roster needs a lot of work. I think the first four names on that list are good players, but the team will need depth at each position. Aside from Nash and Lin, I think there are some other guys they should target:
Playoff experience, youth with pretty high upside. He would require a 3.1 qualifying offer.
Energy and defense. A great pairing with Chandler. His desire to be a starter could stop this from ever happening though.
Coming off an injury. He's a restricted free agent, so an offer of 3.2 or 4 million could land him. He's good for 13-15 points a game, can shoot the 3, and will play good perimeter defense.
The Knicks need to do something drastic to compete with the Heat and the Bulls over the next 3-4 years. Even as a Celtics fan, there is something romantic about MSG and the history in that building. The excitement of some of those Celtics-Knicks games from last year's playoffs made me want more of that rivalry again. The Knicks need to deal Amar'e in order for that to happen, even if it means pissing off a star player in a star driven league.
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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