As always seems to be the case, the New York Knicks are at the heart of the NBA offseason. From their pursuit of high-profile names to their activity in the trade market, there has been no shortage of news pertaining to the Knickerbockers.
The question is, what's the latest buzz coming out of New York City?
The Knicks have already made their mark on the offseason, trading Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, Quentin Richardson and three draft picks to the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. According to Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York, the deal has been finalized.
New York will now move forward with a frontcourt of scoring champion Carmelo Anthony, former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, six-time All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire and former No. 1 pick Andrea Bargnani.
As much of a blockbuster deal as that may have been, the Knicks aren't done with their offseason activity. In fact, New York could be in the market for multiple notable names as the summer continues.
So who are they and what are the Knicks' chances looking like?
Tony Allen on the Radar
According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the New York Knicks are looking to sign shooting guard Tony Allen. New York's selling point is that it can give Allen its mini mid-level exception of $3 million, but potentially make Allen more money through local marketing campaigns.
Don't hold your breath.
Spears reports that Allen is inclined to re-sign with the Memphis Grizzlies, who share mutual interest. Per Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Allen has gone as far as saying that he wants to retire with the Grizzlies.
All signs point toward the Knicks failing to execute this signing.
With that being said, it's far from surprising to hear that the Knicks, a defensive-minded team, are interested in Allen. Not only was he a member of the All-Defensive first team, but he also received more votes than any other player.
Unfortunately, the Knicks have an uphill battle to get the deal done.
Knicks Want Monta Ellis
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the New York Knicks are interested in acquiring unrestricted free agent Monta Ellis. This news comes after Ellis turned down a two-year, $24.8 million extension offer from the Milwaukee Bucks.
Unless the Knicks can scrape up a deal in the range of $12.4 million—spoiler alert: They won't be able to.
Berger reports that the Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs are all in the market for Ellis' services. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports that the Atlanta Hawks are also in on the hunt, while Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News relays the Dallas Mavericks' interest.
In other words, the Knicks have some competition.
In late May, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported that Carmelo Anthony wants the Knicks to add another scorer. For that reason, their targeting Ellis should come as no surprise due to his reputation as an offensive force.
With that being said, Ellis would need to take a drastic pay cut to play in New York.
What About J.R. Smith?
The New York Knicks have made two powerful moves over the past two days, trading for Andrea Bargnani and drafting shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. While the additions have improved their short-term and long-term future, we'd be remiss to ignore one critical question.
What about J.R. Smith?
Smith won the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year award, posting averages of 18.1 points, 5.3 rebounds. 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. During the postseason, however, Smith fell apart and shot 28.9 percent during the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Even still, Smith would like to return to New York.
The contracts signed by J.J. Redick and Kevin Martin are similar to what J.R. Smith can get from the Knicks.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 3, 2013
J.R. would re-sign with the Knicks if the money is comparable. Also being courted by Pistons, Mavs, Bucks, Rockets and Bobcats.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) July 3, 2013
For those unfamiliar, that's roughly $7 million per year.
Knicks fans can complain about Smith's inconsistency all they'd like, but take him away, and the Knicks have quite the one-dimensional perimeter. Carmelo Anthony may be the scoring champion, but Smith's disappearing act in the postseason proved one thing.
Without Smith scoring, the Knicks' perimeter falls apart and they simply will not survive the playoffs.