Biggest Pros and Cons of NY Knicks' 2013 Offseason Moves
Just when it looked like the New York Knicks were out of options, general manager Glen Grunwald found a way to bring in some interesting acquisitions.
The question is whether or not these acquisitions will all fit together. Each move the Knicks made this offseason seems to have a pro or a con to go with it.
With New York strapped for cash in a win-now situation, let's dive into the moves that general manager Glen Grunwald has made so far.
Pro: Without Money to Buy Talent, Knicks Get Valuable Toughness in World Peace
One of the common denominators amongst all the top teams is that they get the most out of the guys who get paid the least.
The Knicks didn't have the cap room to sign a better talent or the assets to make a trade. With only loose change left in its pockets, New York was able to use it to go out and fill a need.
He may not pack the offensive punch he used to, but Metta World Peace can impact a game without scoring. He's a bully in every area of the floor, whether it's defending the perimeter, cleaning the glass or finishing inside.
With Amar'e Stoudemire making more than $40 million over the next two seasons, the Knicks just don't have much room to work with. Squeezing in World Peace was a big-time move.
Con: Investing in J.R. Smith Long Term Is a Risky Play
This was a sticky situation from the get-go. J.R. Smith, who had just been coming off his most productive season as a pro, put his volatility on full display in the 2013 playoffs.
After getting tossed and suspended for throwing an elbow at Jason Terry, Smith went on to shoot 34-of-117 from the floor over his next eight games, six of which came against the Pacers in Round 2.
And with Smith the Knicks' No. 2 option, they never had a chance given how many shots he missed in volume.
But without any other free agents within reach, the Knicks had to bring him back. He gives them the best bang for the buck, and with Amar'e Stoudemire's health always in question, the Knicks needed that bang.
Grunwald gave him a three-year, $18 million deal with a player option for third year. Unfortunately, this came just days before Smith underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Though he's expected to be ready by the start of the season, it's a serious operation that takes three-to-four months to heal.
The Knicks don't exactly have the most glowing track record when it comes to investing in players with knee injuries. Allan Houston, Antonio Mcdyess and Stoudemire would all agree.
Pro: The Knicks' Identity Has Changed
With the addition of Metta World Peace, the Knicks' identity has changed.
Or they should at least believe it has.
Between World Peace, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Carmelo Anthony up front, this is now a really physical team. Even J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton bring a sense of fearlessness to this rotation.
The Knicks should embrace the same identity the early 1990s Knicks held with Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason and John Starks. They weren't the most talented group, but their toughness ultimately superseded their limitations as an offensive unit.
Without the talent to match up with a team like Miami, the Knicks might want to follow a similar blueprint.
Con: Addition of Bargnani Could Mean Less Time for Carmelo Anthony at the 4
With the addition of 7'0'' Andrea Bargnani, along with the return of Kenyon Martin, Carmelo Anthony might be forced to play extra minutes at the 3.
We've come to learn over the years that Anthony is a bigger mismatch when he plays against 4s. He's strong enough to bang with them inside and too elusive for them on the perimeter.
Not that I'm breaking news here, but the Knicks can't exactly afford for 'Melo to fall out of rhythm.
You have to wonder whether Bargnani was worth the risk of disrupting the offensive balance.
Pro: Knicks Turn 2 Expendable Players into on-Court Asset with Andrea Bargnani
Heading into the offseason, the Knicks really didn't have many options. They didn't have the cap space to go out and buy a higher-profile free agent. Iman Shumpert remained the only young asset that teams would want, but he's too important to the Knicks for them to include him in a deal.
Glen Grunwald found a way to turn Marcus Camby, who barely made a peep in his one year back with New York, and Steve Novak, who was inexplicably signed to a four-year deal, into a guy who had averaged between 15 points and 21 points per game from 2008-2012.
Injuries have hurt his credibility, but Andrea Bargnani is now 100 percent healthy and ready to roll.
Bargnani fell under the category of guys who desperately needed a change of scenery. He spent years as a top-two scoring option on a bad Toronto team, and it hindered his efficiency and consistency.
As a third or fourth option, Bargani's workload won't be nearly as heavy.
Knick fans should look at Bargnani as one more weapon in the arsenal they didn't previously have. With less responsibilities and a smaller role. Bargnani's deficiencies as a big man won't be as damaging.
Con: The Knicks Are Volatile
While each acquisition the Knicks brought in has his individual strengths, their weaknesses combined could be catastrophic.
Between Metta World Peace and J.R. Smith, the Knicks are vulnerable to implosion. This is a tough group, but it's certainly not disciplined.
Kenyon Martin hasn't exactly been known to keep his cool, while Tyson Chandler seems to have become increasingly more unstable.
Last season, it was J.R. Smith's flying elbow that nearly cost the Knicks in Round 1. However, his struggles upon returning carried right over into Round 2.
The Knicks are going to have to keep their heads on straight if they're serious about making a run.
Pro: Pablo Prigioni Brings Back High IQ, Calming Presence on the Floor
There's no doubt about it—the Knicks have a volatile core.
This is a group that can blow up if things aren't going well. Pablo Prigioni gives the Knicks a high-IQ facilitator who can add balance to the lineup.
With volume shooters like J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony on the floor at the same time, the Knicks need players like Prigioni to play between them. He's a ball mover who can shoot, pass and defend, and he doesn't cost very much.
He also provides a little flexibility, with the ability to run the point or play the 2.
In last year's playoffs, Prigioni shot 43 percent from downtown, added 1.3 steals and 3.2 assists playing 21 minutes a game. He's a mistake-free, disciplined player New York had to have back.
Con: Knicks Weren't Able to Add Immediate Contributor from the NBA Draft
At No. 24 overall, the Knicks didn't exactly have many options. But they had needs to fill, and the draft is a way to fill one without having to spend.
The Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway Jr. out of Michigan, but he doesn't help the Knicks' 2013-14 rotation.
With Pablo Prigioni, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert all ahead of him on the depth chart, Hardaway doesn't appear to have a role with this lineup.
Besides, as a streaky shooter who spends the majority of time on the perimeter, he doesn't offer anything the Knicks don't already have too much of.
Without a backup center or physical rebounding presence, the Knicks passed on the likes of Tony Mitchell out of North Texas and Jeff Withey from Kansas.
The draft is an opportunity for playoff teams to land a cheap contributor, and the Knicks weren't able to grab one.
Pro: Adding Bargnani and World Peace Gives New York Frontcourt Flexibility
Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace are both versatile frontcourt players who can allow the Knicks to mix and match.
They can play Bargnani at the 3, 4 or 5. He can back up Tyson Chandler at center, play the wing with Carmelo Anthony at the 4 or he can slide between Chandler and Melo.
World Peace can defend 2s, 3s and 4s, or play either wing position.
He can also take some of the pressure off 'Melo by defending opposing teams' top-scoring forwards. With LeBron James, Luol Deng, Paul Pierce and Paul George all lined up in the East, World Peace gives the Knicks an extra physical body to throw at them.
By adding this type of versatility, New York will have matchup options depending on who it's playing.