It’s Time for the Knicks to Start Over
The New York Knicks have been heading in the wrong direction for over a decade. Their last Finals appearance came in 1999 when they were an eight seed, and they haven’t won a championship since 1973. Phil Jackson is looking to come and change that, but it will take time. He’s had unmatched success in his coaching career, but now that Jackson has agreed to take over the Knicks basketball operations, it is evident this will be by far his toughest challenge yet.
The Knicks are a mess. They have no cap room and won’t be able to improve their roster much for another two years. The team tremendously overpaid players which wouldn’t have been a huge concern if the players they overpaid would have contributed positively to the team. Instead, the team is now stuck with a roster of players who do not work well together, and they have traded away their draft picks. The organization seems to think Carmelo Anthony is their savior and will bring them out of this mess, but he hasn’t been able to do much in New York which can be attributed to the lack of a team around him or the fact that he doesn’t pass the ball to any of the players on the team (that’s a different debate for a different day.)
Maybe the Knicks can re-sign Anthony, lure in Kevin Love, but then what? They won’t have much room after that to build a team from scratch that can win immediately. They haven’t and won’t be able to improve through the draft for another few years and overpaying free-agents hasn’t gone well for them in their recent past.
It may be time for the Knicks to blow this failed project apart and start from scratch. Let Anthony go to Chicago or wherever he chooses. Trade away and/or don’t re-sign the players on the current roster. None of the current players are signed past 2015. Jackson has a history of success, and it’s time for the Zen master to work some of his voodoo magic. Give him the freedom to build a team the way he believes it should be built, and there isn’t a better way to do that than by starting with a blank sheet. It’s time for the Knicks to stop trading away draft picks and start trading for draft picks. Build a team the conventional way. Draft young talent and build those picks around good free-agent signings, but let Jackson choose the free-agents he thinks he can build a team around.
Sure, Jackson could fail in his role and not be able to build a team in the masterful way he has been able to coach them for so many years, but even if he fails, they are back to where they are now.
Sports-Kings’ Pass the Pill Contributor Mark Pace @THEMarkPace.