The New York Knicks are going through a major revamping process led by team president Phil Jackson. Since his arrival he traded for a long-term point guard in Jose Calderon, got rid of chemistry killers Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton and recruited a coaching staff of his liking to implement the much talked about triangle offense. The Knicks seem to be in way better shape than they were last season, but there is still a ways to go in order to transform the team into a real contender.
Currently the Knicks’ roster is still guard-heavy, something that could be a problem for the triangle offense which relies on big men able to pass the ball with precision and create their own plays in the paint — Shaquille O’Neal and Scottie Pippen both did that playing the triangle under Jackson. More specifically, the Knicks are in dire need of another small forward to bring depth to the roster. Carmelo Anthony was more efficient the past two seasons playing power forward in Mike Woodson‘s small ball lineup, and new head coach Derek Fisher could chose to do that too, at least in the beginning of the season. That pretty much leaves rookie Cleanthony Early as the team’s only small forward, but the kid is still too raw to be the starter. Yes, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith can also play the three, but they are undersized going against true SFs. And if Melo plays the three, then the team would have two non-dynamic players on the floor like Amar’e Stoudemire and Samuel Dalembert, neither of whom could spread the defense, shoot well from the perimeter or be efficient passers.
Here is where Michael Beasley could make all the difference.
The 6-foot-10 stretch four has a style similar to Anthony’s in terms of versatility at the forward position, although he is more physical and Anthony is more of an assassin from the perimeter.
After being drafted by the Miami Heat in 2008, Beasley had a great year, earning a All-Rookie First Team selection, but that was all. After many off-court problems and limited playing time he is back on the market, and I really think the Knicks should go after him for many reasons.
His potential is still high. He is not injured nor is really prone to further injuries. At 25, he is still young, eager to find his spot in the NBA and will surely work hard to get there now that his off-court problems seem to have come to an end. Last season he could have played more minutes and didn’t cause any troubles to the team, but Erik Spoelstra seemed to have lingering issues with him. More importantly, for the Knicks anyway, he would be the go to guy to take pressure off of Melo and introduce a little more dynamism to the team (much like Thanasis Antetokounmpo would do, but according to Phil Jackson, he still needs to learn how to play basketball). A great off-the-bench forward, Beasley could not only find his game again but also find in New York the place to call home. He could be the three while Anthony is the four. He could be the dynamic four passing from the post, and as far as identity is concerned, something about his persona just screams New York.
If the Knicks decide to acquire Beasley via some kind of deal, they could land the steal of the offseason in a cheap, talented and energetic player to help the team contend for years to come.