By Alex Lamport on June 6, 2014
Forget five fixes -- the New York Knicks could use an adjustment just about everywhere on the roster. Phil Jackson has a lot of work cut out for him, but he has to start somewhere. Here are the most important things he needs to do this offseason.
Here’s a shocker -- the Knicks don’t have any draft picks this year. Jackson has already talked publicly about trying to weave his way into this year’s loaded NBA Draft, and if he can make it happen he definitely should. They probably can’t get any talent like Andrew Wiggins or Aaron Gordon, but it’s the best way for a salary cap-confined team like New York to add a useful player. The issue is finding a player on the current roster to trade.
If Jackson wants to groom a former player into a head coach, that’s fine. But how about instead of throwing him right into the fire, you hire him as an assistant coach and give the car keys to someone who has done it before? I can think of two good candidates who are analyzing the NBA Finals on TV right now. Fisher has terrific potential as a coach, but it would be wise to give him a little time to learn.
I’ll refrain from a food joke this time, but honestly it should already be implied. Felton was definitively the worst starting point guard in the league last season. It’s gotten so bad that many Knicks fans view him potentially getting his contract voided because of gun possession charges as a best-case scenario. Even if he comes back in shape next season, you can’t have that sort of vibe in your locker room.
If the Knicks have the slightest indication that Anthony wants to leave, be proactive and trade him. It might be smarter to trade him either way. There are a couple of teams (cough, Houston, cough, Chicago, cough) who would give up a king’s ransom to get him. And even if it’s not the perfect deal, it’s better to get something in exchange for Melo than nothing.
Even if they do everything perfectly this offseason, next year will still probably be a rebuilding year. But on the bright side, all of their salary cap catastrophes come off the books after one more season. If they can just bite the bullet this year, Jackson can try his luck with free agency in the summer of 2015. It’s really all there is to do.
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