As another NBA chapter nears, it’s time for our season previews. So about those Knicks…
Expected Conference Ranking: 11th
Best Move of the Offseason: Give the Knicks some credit. Think of all the big names that they could have hired to replace Phil Jackson. John Calipari is just itching to ruin another New York team. Kobe Bryant spends like 11 minutes per week on his Muse Cage videos. He’s got time. Barack Obama doesn’t have a job right now.
But the Knicks chose to hire an ascendant executive from another team with glowing reviews from anyone who will talk about him. Scott Perry seems like a sensible executive who will build the Knicks with the sort of prudence and respectability that has been lacking since… Red Holzman? Congratulations, it only took you 40 years to catch up to the rest of the league!
Worst Move of the Offseason: Oh sweet Jesus. They took the French Ron Harper over the next Russell Westbrook in the draft. They paid Tim Hardaway Jr. $22 million more over the next four years than Tim Hardaway Sr. made in his entire career. And, neither of them are even the best Hardaway ever. Ron Baker will make $9 million over the next two years to act relatable at meet and greets with season ticket holders and write children’s books.
But none of this is worse than the Swedish standoff between Carmelo Anthony and the team. Neither side wants the other around. Neither side is doing anything about this. This is ridiculous. Just trade him to Houston for Ryan Anderson and a first-round pick. The team with Hardaway and Joakim Noah doesn’t have the right to claim fiscal responsibility.
The Knicks can’t tank properly if Anthony is on the team. He’s too good. They’ll win up with the eighth pick once again and draft another French version of a 90’s role player. This draft is so strong at the top, all they need to do is set Anthony on a piece of drift wood and cut him loose onto the Hudson and they’ll add a potential All-Star next June. The Knicks won’t have cap flexibility until The Rock’s first Presidential term anyway. Might as well make lemonade out of the horrible contracts Phil Jackson and Steve Mills left behind.
Their Offense: Speaking of reasons Anthony shouldn’t be on this team, he and Derrick Rose spent the entire offseason one-upping each other in the field of freezing out Kristaps Porziņģis. “Oh, you dribbled for 19 seconds, Derrick? Watch me jab-step for seven seconds AFTER the shot clock expires.” Rose has thankfully been banished to Cleveland. Anthony is still here. So we’ll get a healthy dose Porziņģis in the corner. We’ll get more mid-range jumpers from Anthony. Their point guard is younger than Kylie Jenner.
Their Defense: Courtney Lee is here. That’s about the only positive I can see unless they let Noah wear a mech suit.
Their Bench: The one fun unit this Knicks team can produce happens on the Tuesday nights against Charlotte Anthony doesn’t feel like playing. That’s when Porziņģis can mess around with his European buddies Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangómez and something approaching chemistry exists. Those are the rare moments you forget that these are the Knicks. Then Hardaway somehow attempts a three-pointer from the bench and you remember again.
Best Case Scenario: Anthony is a Rocket at some point soon and they can add another star youngster.
Worst Case Scenario: The East is so terrible that they end up with the 12th pick, then trade it for Luol Deng.