New York Knicks: 8 Items on Offseason Agenda
They have already made headlines by removing the interim tag for coach Mike Woodson and signing him to a multi-year contract. This all came after speculation that the Knicks could be targeting 11-time champion coach Phil Jackson.
There is no shortage to the rumors surrounding the Knickerbockers this summer. Here is a look at eight things that are sure to be on their offseason agenda.
Bring Back Jeremy Lin
June 13 has become perhaps the biggest day of the offseason for the New York Knicks, as it is when the union's hearing on Early Bird Rights of waived players will take place.
If the arbitrator rules in favor of the union, then the Knicks will be able to retain Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak without burning their mid-level exception of up to $5 million.
If the arbitrator does not rule in favor of the union, however, then Novak is probably not going to be in New York next season, and it becomes significantly harder to bring back Lin and sign other free agents.
Regardless of the decision on June 13, the Knicks should make it their top priority to lock up Lin. Mike Woodson recently put his faith in the 23-year-old Lin, calling him their "starting point guard."
The fact of the matter is Lin put up almost 15 points a game in just his first full year playing in the NBA, and he has a bright future in front of him. While the turnovers are no doubt a concern, Linsanity took the Big Apple by storm last winter, and it is something New Yorkers will want to see for years to come.
Bring Back Steve Novak
The other important part of the June 13 Bird Rights hearing, Steve Novak is not quite the icon Jeremy Lin is, but he was still an important part of the Knicks' success this season.
Knicks fans got very fond of seeing the "Discount Double-Check" thrown up after seeing Novak hit a three, which happened a league-leading 47.8 percent of the time.
He did a great job of spreading the floor for New York's playmakers and formed a good tandem with Lin when they were on the floor together.
While there is a good chance that Novak leaves the team if the Bird Rights deal doesn't go the Knicks' way, he was definitely an important asset to the team this season and deserves to get a chance to don the blue and orange again in 2012-2013.
Bring Back Landry Fields
Another free agent for the 2012 offseason, Landry Fields should be priority No. 2 for the Knicks right behind Jeremy Lin.
Fields was probably the most versatile player on New York's roster, providing good slashing ability to the basket, good vision on the fast break, rebounding skills from a 6'7" guard and above-average defense.
Fields averaged 8.8 points per game while grabbing 4.2 rebounds and dishing out 2.6 assists during the regular season.
While he continued to struggle from behind the arc, Fields will be even more important with the injury to Iman Shumpert. He's a player the Knicks need to have back for the 2012-2013 season.
Sign Another Point Guard
Jeremy Lin is definitely the go-to guy at the point guard position for the Knicks, but they are going to have to go out and sign a veteran guy to head the point along with him.
The best-case scenario for the Knicks would be for Lin to retain his Early Bird Rights and for them to use their mid-level exception on Steve Nash.
Nash quietly had an outstanding year leading the Phoenix Suns at age 38, averaging 12.5 points per game and 10.2 assists.
He would serve as the perfect mentor for Lin, as they play a similar style of basketball and Super Lintendo was often compared to Nash during the season.
While Nash would be the best pick for the job, the Knicks might not be able to sign him and would have to look elsewhere. Other options include former Knicks guard Raymond Felton, who is coming off a down year, or Andre Miller of the Denver Nuggets.
Find a Useful Player in the Draft
The Knicks did a great job of drafting Iman Shumpert last year, as he turned into a defensive superstar who was also very effective on the offensive side of the ball as well.
However, New York doesn't have the luxury of a first-round pick for the 2012 draft, and they don't select until pick No. 48.
Some of the prospects that have been linked to New York are Iona PG Scott Machado, Ohio State SG William Buford, Kentucky SG Darius Miller, Xavier PG Tu Holloway, Alabama PF JaMychal Green and Cincinnati PF Yancy Gates.
A sleeper pick whom I believe the Knicks should consider taking if he is on the board is Campbell forward Eric Griffin. He averaged 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a senior.
Take one look at these dunks. You can't tell me you wouldn't want to see this guy playing in Madison Square Garden in the near future.
Shop Amar'e Stoudemire
I am not saying that the Knicks need to trade Amar'e Stoudemire, but it couldn't hurt to throw his name around and see what comes back if you're GM Glen Grunwald.
New York would have to take on another big contract in return, but they could be able to acquire several pieces to put around Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler that could really help this team.
Amar'e didn't earn himself any fans with his left hook to the fire extinguisher act that caused him to miss Game 3 of the Heat Series. It has become all too clear that there is only room for one superstar here, and it has become Carmelo's team.
Try to Sign Lamar Odom
At the expense of throwing a Kardashian twist to the Madison Square Garden scene, the Knicks should really make an effort to go out and sign Lamar Odom.
He has already said himself that the Knicks would be his top choice, and it seems as if the two would make perfect sense on the court.
In New York, Odom's ability to pass, shoot, rebound and play solid defense all from a 6'10" power forward would be the perfect guy for coach Mike Woodson to have come off the bench.
A motivated Lamar Odom is still one of the more versatile players in the NBA, and GM Glen Grunwald should make him a priority on his offseason agenda.
Take a Look at Dwight Howard
This should easily be one of the last things on the Knicks' offseason agenda, but taking a look at a possible Dwight Howard trade is something to consider if you're Glen Grunwald.
Howard would be open to playing in New York, and if he were to team up with Carmelo Anthony, they could be an unstoppable low-post force.
On the other side, they could also become just as ineffective as Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire currently are for the Knicks.
It would take a lot of talent and money for the Knicks to make this happen, and I don't think the picture above is something we will ever see in reality.
Yet the idea of Dwight Howard as a New York Knick is an intriguing idea that could put the Knicks as legitimate favorites to win the Eastern Conference.