Predicting the New York Knicks’ Final 15-Man Roster
Predicting Final 15-man Roster for the New York Knicks
During the 2013-14 season, the New York Knicks will be expected to win an NBA Championship for the first time since 1973, as in recent seasons the team has worked their way to become one of the powerhouses in the Eastern Conference. Since acquiring Carmelo Anthony midway through the 2010-11 season the Knicks have compiled three successive postseason appearances, with the team improving both their regular season win percentage and postseason win total in each year.
But while slow and simulated growth may be accepted in many basketball cities New York is not likely to allow another slow build in 2013-14. After all these are fans who boo their own players after one bad game and have gained a reputation in all sports of being unforgiving if championships are not delivered.
In order to accomplish this goal and satisfy fans, Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will have to convince Anthony, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and company to implement another dimension to complement their shooting ability. This is because the Knicks' reliance on shooting the ball to win games has come back to bite them in each of the last three seasons and is a bad bet to work in 2013-14.
Transforming the team will have to start in training camp, where these three key players will have to integrate themselves into new ideas and game plans as well as getting the team's supporting cast to buy in. Many of these supporting players have been brought in with the key idea that they will be able to provide an added dimension to the team that can translate well to postseason play, and getting the most out of these role players will be equally as important to the team's success as the star players' production.
With the transformation of the Knicks offense and the integration of their supporting cast into the altered offense proving to be key facets of the team's 2013-14 success, it will be crucial to figure out the role of each player for the upcoming season. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the 15 players who will be on the team's opening-day roster come opening night and identified each player's expected role within the team.
15. C.J. Leslie
Despite not being drafted in the 2013 NBA Draft there is no doubting the potential of C.J. Leslie. The 6-foot-9 205-pound forward has a huge 7-foot-2 wingspan but maintains exceptional athleticism and ball play for someone that tall and lanky. While Leslie may not play a lot in 2013 the Knicks will retain Leslie with the idea of him being a long term project, who could potentially develop into a star in the future.
14. Jeremy Tyler
Despite undergoing foot surgery in early September that will keep him out of action for eight to ten weeks Jeremy Tyler will make the New York Knicks roster as another player for the future. At 6-foot-10 250-pounds Tyler can play as a forward or center, and his 7-foot-5 wingspan and extreme athleticism make him a good fit for the current NBA that is extremely reliant on high tempo basketball. The 22 year old may not play much in 2013-14, but the Knicks will retain him as a player that has much more upside than keeping a veteran player with no future past the current season.
13. Cole Aldrich
After receiving only an invite to camp from the Knicks it is clear that Cole Aldrich will have to work his way onto the team's roster. Fortunately for Aldrich he is the only out and out center in camp besides Tyson Chandler, and as a result he will be retained with the role of playing secondary minutes.
12. Tim Hardaway Jr.
After being drafted in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Knicks it is almost a lock that Tim Hardaway Jr. will be on the team's opening night roster. Despite this assurance there are no such assurances about playing time, as Iman Shumpert and J.R. smith sit ahead of Hardaway on the depth chart for shooting guards. During the beginning of the season it is likely Hardaway will receive limited minutes, but given time to shine he will likely develop into a key member of the team's second unit throughout the season.
11. Beno Udrih
After losing Jason Kidd to retirement and a subsequent coaching role with the Brooklyn Nets the Knicks signed Beno Udrih as a veteran leader from the point guard position. The 31 year old Slovenian will likely play between 8-10 minutes per game and serve as a secondary option at point guard along to Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni.
10. Kenyon Martin
After watching Kenyon Martin provide much needed relief to the forwards corps late in the 2012-13 season the Knicks have brought the 35 year old back for another go-around. During the 2013-14 season Martin will serve as a key backup player at the power forward position and will likely pick up some starts if injuries occur up front.
9. Pablo Prigioni
Pablo Prigioni will serve as the team's primary backup behind Raymond Felton again in the 2013-14 season, and after a highly effective rookie season the Knicks will feel confident in his abilities to lead the secondary unit. The 36 year old Prigioni may not do anything exceptionally well, but when he is on the floor the Knicks will not see any dumb mistakes occur. As a result they will feel confident in giving Felton needed time on the bench.
8. Amar'e Stoudemire
Amar'e Stoudemire has continuously had knee issues since signing with the Knicks, and after having offseason knee surgery it appears these troubles are not over. The Knicks have said there is no timetable for the return of Stoudemire in 2013-14, and even when the power forward does return his minutes will likely be capped in the region of 25 minutes per game.
7. Metta World Peace
After being leaving the Los Angeles Lakers via the amnesty clause over the summer Metta World Peace was signed by the Knicks as an impact defensive player and secondary scorer. World Peace will likely play significant minutes throughout the season, and he could even start at small forward as the stopper of opposing teams' best offensive players. He could prove to be the best addition of the offseason for the Knicks.
6. J.R. Smith
After winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2012-13 the Knicks brought back J.R. Smith to again play a role as an impact scorer off the bench. Smith will be out at least the first five games after receiving a five game suspension as a result of testing positive for THC, but he could miss further time as a result of offseason knee surgery. When he does return expect Smith to come out and again be an extremely shooting guard off the bench.
5. Andrea Bargnani
During the off season Andrea Bargnani was acquired from the Toronto Raptors as an option off the bench at power forward and center. Even given this ability to come off of the bench it is possible that Bargnani will serve as the Knicks starting power forward and the team will move Carmelo Anthony to the position of small forward. Whatever role Bargnani serves the facts are that he will play north of 30 minutes per game in 2013-14.
4. Iman Shumpert
After looking great in his return from ACL surgery during the 2012-13 season it is clear that Iman Shumpert will be the Knicks starting shooting guard in 2013-14. Shumpert will provide great defense to a team that at times lacked defense acumen last season and will be relied upon to play close to 30 minutes per game throughout the season.
3. Raymond Felton
Raymond Felton will be back in 2013-14 as the starting point guard for the Knicks and will likely play close to 35 minutes per game throughout the season. While he is not considered one of the best point guards in the NBA it is hard to argue that Felton is a great distributor of the ball and will be an extremely important member of the Knicks this season.
2. Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler is back for his third season as the Knicks starting center where he provides exceptional defense in the paint. If he stays healthy it is a good bet that Chandler will be playing big minutes throughout the season and help provide the Knicks their only truly physical threat in the paint.
1. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony is entering his third full season with the Knicks and will again be looking to win the first NBA Championship of his career. After winning the scoring title in 2012-13 season there is no doubting Anthony's ability to score the ball, but playing tighter defense and relying on teammates more will be crucial to winning a championship in 2013-14 season.