New York Knicks: 5 Offseason Moves They Should Have Made
The summer of 2012 has been a successful one for the New York Knicks, as they've built a deep bench that will act as a very solid supporting cast for their big three.
Almost every need the Knicks had heading into the offseason has been filled to some extent, and the roster is undeniably better than it was back when the 2011-12 season opened on Christmas Day.
Despite all this, the offseason hasn't quite been perfect, and there are few moves that the Knicks could have made to improve the roster even further.
Drafted Drew Gordon
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Instead of: Drafting Kostas Papanikolaou out of Greece
To be frank, the Knicks' pick of Kostas Papanikolaou at the 2012 Draft was nothing short of a waste.
The draft class was a pretty deep one, and as a result, there were plenty of players left on the board who could have helped the Knicks out in the upcoming season, but instead, they went with a player who won't join the team until 2013 at the earliest.
As it turns out, Papanikolaou won't be joining the team at all, as he was used as a throw-in in the trade that brought Raymond Felton back to New York.
The trade probably would have gone through whether Papanikolaou was included or not, so the Knicks would have been better advised to draft someone who could contribute to the team right away.
Right now, the Knicks are in need of a backup power forward, and, almost ironically, Drew Gordon of New Mexico—who was still available when the Knicks picked—would be a perfect fit.
Gordon is a fantastic rebounder and a solid defender who would have brought some added youth to a Knicks' bench that features the aging Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas behind Amar'e Stoudemire.
The Knicks will be able to get by with Camby and Thomas, but it would definitely be a nice luxury to have Gordon on the back end of the roster, too.
Picked Up Scott Machado and Hollis Thompson
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Instead of: Leaving it until September to sign undrafted free agents
As a result of there being so much talent in this year's draft, there were a number of surprising players who found themselves without a team on June 29th.
With only one pick available to them in the draft, the Knicks were expected to take advantage of these players hitting free agency, but it seemed that they were never really interested in bringing in any undrafted talent.
The return of the Summer League would have been a great opportunity for the Knicks to assess some of these players, but instead, the Knicks fielded a pretty poor squad, with the only standout being former Belgian league star Chris Copeland.
Here in September, the Knicks have brought in a few undrafted players to compete for a roster spot in camp, but most are unlikely to have any real shot.
Had the Knicks not let them sign for other teams, Scott Machado and Hollis Thompson are two players who could have provided genuine competition at the back end of the roster, and in the case of Machado, even challenge for a place in the rotation.
Machado was considered to be one of the best pure point guards in the draft, and had the Knicks picked him up and tested him in the Summer League, they may have been able to use the mid-level exception on someone other than Jason Kidd.
Offered Jeremy Lin a Contract
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Instead of: Letting him negotiate an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets
The Jeremy Lin saga was the focus of the offseason for the Knicks and it left the front office in quite a dilemma as to whether or not to bring back their new star.
Since he was only a waiver wire pickup, the Knicks weren't as protective with Lin as most teams are with their young stars, leaving other teams with the opportunity to offer the point guard a contract that would make little financial sense for the Knicks to match.
Had the Knicks gone about things a little differently, though, they may have been able to keep the price down on Lin, and kept a player who could have been a big part of their future.
What the Knicks decided to do was to let the market set Lin's value rather than offering him a contract straight up, which led to Houston offering that infamous three-year, $25 million contract.
Offering him a contract first could have led him to sign for less money, and take a "hometown discount" for the team that gave him his opportunity to shine.
As it stands, the Knicks are fine at the point guard spot, but bringing back Lin would have been nice, considering the impact he had on the team last season.
Also, having Lin under wraps would have meant that the Knicks wouldn't have had to go after both Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, which would have left them with either the mid-level exception or some sign-and-trade bait available for use elsewhere.
Gone for Kenyon Martin with the Mid-Level Exception
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Instead of: Spending the mid-level on Jason Kidd
Had the Knicks either signed Scott Machado or kept Jeremy Lin (or both!), they would have been left with the opportunity to use the mid-level exception on a need other than that of the point guard position.
Jason Kidd was definitely a nice signing for $3 million, but the Knicks are also in need of a power forward on their bench and they may have gotten the best of both worlds by doing things this way.
As a former teammate of quite a few ex-Nuggets on this Knicks roster, Kenyon Martin would be a great fit for the Knicks bench, but it appears he's adamant that he should be paid more than the veteran's minimum.
Again, the Knicks are hardly in a bad situation with what they've done, but the roster could have been a little more well-rounded had they used that mid-level on someone other than Kidd and brought in a point guard another way.
Taken a Flier on Ryan Gomes
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Instead of: Going with James White as the third small forward on the roster
With Carmelo Anthony leading the way and sharpshooter Steve Novak backing him up, the position of small forward is hardly one of weakness for the Knicks.
That said, a third small forward is still important, and if Mike Woodson wants to bring anything into the game that isn't outside shooting when Melo is off the floor, that extra guy could even earn a place in the rotation.
At the moment, James White is slated to be the third small forward on the depth chart, even despite a poor outing at the 2012 Summer League.
Recently amnestied Ryan Gomes would be a nice upgrade over White, and he would be in the Knicks' price range, considering that he's also going to be receiving checks from the Clippers this season.
There doesn't appear to be any interest in Gomes from New York, but he could definitely add to the Knicks' depth, even if he's not a particularly big name.