Biggest Questions and Answers for NY Knicks This Offseason
The season is over for the New York Knicks and it’s time to start focusing on the important questions lying ahead in this offseason. The Knicks had their best season in over a decade and the next few months are going to be crucial if the team is to hold on to its Atlantic Division crown.
Now that the Knicks have proven they can get out of the first round in the playoffs, they have to show they can build on their success.
The Knicks don’t have a lot of cap space so they will have to expect other teams to outspend them. That’s an incentive for the Knicks to spend smartly rather than excessively.
Whether that’s a realistic option for the Knicks remains to be seen.
Who Should the Knicks Pick in the Draft?
Picking at No. 24 and with the oldest roster in the NBA, the Knicks can’t afford to waste this draft pick. The good news is that the next first rounder to put on a Knicks uniform will be joining a team that won 54 games last year and won’t be counted on to carry the team.
That being said, the Knicks should expect major contributions from their draft pick. New York should be looking for a big man to help Tyson Chandler or a backup point guard.
Considering how much trouble the Knicks had with the Pacers’ size and the amount of injuries Chandler has been plagued with along with his lack of offense in the playoffs, it would seem logical to go for a big man. If Jeff Withey from Kansas is still available, the Knicks should go for him.
What Is Amare’s Role Going to Be Next Season?
Amar’e has two years left on his contract and his agent says the power forward wants to have a bigger role next season.
That’s great because when you’re making about $20 million, you’re expected to carry the team.
If the Knicks could, I am sure they would ship Amar’e off, but his contract makes him a very unattractive option for other teams.
His injury problems are also a huge factor. Should he re-injure himself, the Knicks would benefit from pulling a Derrick Rose and not play him until they are absolutely sure that he is healthy.
The Knicks did just fine without him and they do not need Stoudemire unless he can provide major contributions to the team.
When Mike Woodson makes a decision on whether or not to play Stoudemire, he has to make a decision based on whether or not Amar’e can actually give the Knicks something.
Name recognition and salary has to take a backseat. There’s no shame in benching $20 million if it makes you a better team.
Who Should the Knicks Re-Sign?
This question could probably be rephrased as “who wants to take a pay cut to re-sign with the Knicks?”
The Knicks are over the cap and will have to count on some goodwill from their free agents to be able to keep them. Chris Copeland, Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith are all players that the Knicks would love to get back.
J.R. is the most interesting case because there were times during this season where he looked like he deserved a max contract.
Luckily for the Knicks, the Sixth Man of the Year-winner has said he wants to remain in the Big Apple, so there might be hope that he picks up his player option.
Although losing Prigioni, Martin and Copeland would be a blow to the Knicks, it would be nothing compared to losing Smith.
Who Should the Knicks Chase After in Free Agency?
Jared Zwerling of ESPN quotes a source saying “I don’t know if they will add a young big. Too much pressure to win now. Woody wants to win now an play vets.”
If that’s the case then the Knicks will likely select a guard or a forward who can shoot three-pointers in the draft and then find another veteran to fill the holes in the inside game.
While Rasheed Wallace was solid in the beginning of the season and Kenyon Martin was a nice addition, they both exhibited the problems that come with signing veterans: they get injured.
It would be much better for the Knicks to try to sign a point guard to keep the offense running for a few minutes while Raymond Felton takes a breather. Maybe Nate Robinson will make a return to New York?
Should the Knicks Fire Mike Woodson?
I wish I didn't have to include this question in here, but judging by the response on Twitter after the loss to the Pacers, some so-called Knicks fans need to be reminded what Woodson has done for this team.
He coached the oldest team in the NBA to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Knicks’ first playoff series win in 13 years. Before the season, few predicted that the Knicks would win the Atlantic Division, but Woodson proved them wrong.
And although Woodson may have been outcoached by Indiana's Frank Vogel, people must remember that he figured out how to run the offense with Felton and Jason Kidd on the court at the same time.
I don’t know if the Knicks are going to win a title under Woodson, but I know they are going to be fun to watch and be playoff contenders.
That’s something Knicks fans should appreciate considering how terrible the past decade has been for them.