NBA Free Agency 2012: Why Knicks Are Insane to Pursue More over-the-Hill Vets
Over the course of the past three decades, the New York Knicks have basically embodied front-office dysfunction.
Not surprisingly, they have won exactly zero NBA titles during that time and only reached the NBA Finals twice.
So what exactly are they doing wrong?
It appears that they have basically followed the New York Yankees' example of flinging as much money as possible at all of their problems.
There are two glaring differences between these two franchises in how they do this.
The Yankees sign players that are still in their prime, and they supplement those moves with a solid core of young, home-grown talent.
They also seem to have some semblance of a plan in most instances.
The Knicks, on the other hand, either bring in stars that are not congruent with their current roster or with any type of basic model for winning, or they bring in aging stars that should be viewed as complimentary pieces for a title contender.
Well, it appears that the Knicks are doubling-down on the latter.
According to an NBC Sports, the Knicks plan to go after veteran free-agent shooters this off-season.
Their primary choices appear to be Ray Allen, Jason Terry and O.J. Mayo.
There are a few glaring problems with this line of logic.
Allen and Terry are over-the-hill shooting guards that offer very little else these days besides the ability to score from the perimeter.
Neither can defend, penetrate or even pass with great verve anymore.
Mayo still is athletic and in his prime, but he also can't defend a lick.
Ignoring the problem
The Knicks were bounced from the playoffs very quickly, so they should have had some time to watch the rest of the playoffs.
In doing so, they need to recognize the fundamental reason that most of the teams that had long playoff runs were able to succeed.
One, they had a dynamic offensive game that did not rely exclusively on perimeter jump shots.
Two, they had athleticism on the wings.
And three, they could defend.
The Knicks lack all of these components.
Without Jeremy Lin, their offense was completely dysfunctional, and adding another jump shooter won't fix that.mThey need penetration, low post scoring, and athletic wings.
Defensively, the Knicks were a mess, and adding more players that can't defend won't help that.
They already have to make up for terrible defenders Carmelo Anthony and Amare' Stoudemire, and none of the above players are going to do this.
In fact, they actually represent downgrades in that regard.
Not a good fit
At this point of their careers, Allen and Terry need to be sixth men on athletic, young teams.
Minnesota showed that they could compete before Ricky Rubio went down, and they could use a veteran leader that can shoot the lights out.
The same goes for Oklahoma City, who showed a real lack of offensive spark without Durant or Westbrook on the floor. Even Brooklyn could use a spot up shooter to stretch the floor.
But New York doesn't need another re-tread.
They have shown the ability recently to draft good players, and they need to continue on this path.
They have started to build a nice nucleus, and they should be patient in adding pieces to supplement those players.
Another Landry Fields or Iman Shumpert could go a long way in building up this floundering franchise, and could provide a strong base.
New York should take a page out of the Thunder's playbook, not out of their own.
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