NBA Free Agency 2012: Veterans Enough to Label Knicks Championship Contenders?

Jordan SpectorContributor IIIJuly 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06:  (L-R) Carmelo Anthony #7  and Amare Stoudemire #1 of the New York Knicks walk off the court after they won 89-87 against the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Knicks have made some interesting acquisitions this offseason, and all of them have one thing in common: they're 30 years of age or older.

Jason Kidd (39), Marcus Camby (38), James White (30), and Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni (35), are among the latest additions to New York's roster.

Some of these guys have at most two or three years left in the tank. Jim Dolan has displayed a "win now" mentality and believes this is the way to do it.

From the perspective of the Knicks' back office and from that of a fan, both can understand that these guys are not coming in to take away considerable minutes from the current starters or to give a huge boost on offense or defense.

They're here to provide leadership, and on every championship team a veteran presence is always an integral part of success.

If you look at the Miami Heat, of course it can be stated that without Lebron James and Dwyane Wade they could never have come close to winning in the finals. But we must not forget about other players, guys like Mike Miller and Shane Battier, who night in and night out gave it their all despite taking on lesser roles for the team. 

It is exactly what the Knicks envision with these pickups—a veteran group that's willing to embrace minimal roles in exchange for a ring.

Many will argue that Jason Kidd is hardly going to receive a "minimal" role for the Knicks, and some might even say the same for Camby.

But Jason Kidd is too old to play at the level he used to. Much like Baron Davis, another veteran the Knicks hoped would bring leadership to their team last year, Kidd will not be able to play more than 20-25 minutes a game.

After telling the media that he wants to play in crunch time, an understandable statement coming from a guy that led the Mavericks to a championship in 2011, Kidd also reminded them that he's not the same player he was during his days with the Nets. Sure he can still run a ball club, but not for a whole game.

While these acquisitions will help put the Knicks in a better position, it won't solve a fundamental issue that has plagued the team from the start.

That issue is the chemistry between Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.

Sometimes, NBA teams make roster decisions that don't pan out the way they want them to. And it seems that for the past two years, the Knicks have done just that, trying to force two puzzle pieces together that simply don't fit.

At this point, even a Jason Kidd is not enough to meld these two stars into a unified duo, and Jeremy Lin has not yet proven capable of doing so with only a couple of solid weeks under his belt.

Looking back at the beginning of free agency, there's a reason New York was so intent on bringing in Steve Nash. 

With a player like him, their chemistry problems might have finally been solved, as Nash could have endured starter minutes and become the mastermind of a once stagnant offense.  

But in the end, it was the Lakers who came out on top and the Knicks had to resort to plan B, Jason Kidd. 

While its not a bad option, it pails in comparison to Nash and is certainly not enough to propel New York to championship contention.

Whatever the Knicks add to their roster in the future will do nothing but complicate the aforementioned issues. The only solutions are to either find a guard of the same caliber as Nash or break up Stoudemire and Anthony, putting an end to a disappointing era.