Last season, the New York Knicks felt that they had constructed a team capable of challenging the Heat and possibly winning the championship. The squad fell short, as they were eliminated in six games in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
It was clear that New York was a couple of pieces short of contending and matters worsened when veteran point guard Jason Kidd retired and then became their new rival as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. After a solid regular season, Kidd's numbers dropped significantly in the playoffs.
After a decent Game 1 performance against Boston in the first round, Kidd's numbers dropped significantly throughout the rest of the postseason. Kidd finished with a horrendous stat line, including an average of 0.9 points per game, 2.0 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game, via ESPN.
Kidd's presence was never really felt through statistics, however, as his impact stemmed from his knowledge and leadership. The Knicks have a veteran-laden team, but team chemistry is bound to suffer without the presence of the future Hall of Famer.
The Knicks also lost veteran Marcus Camby and sharp-shooting fan favorite Steve Novak in a trade with the Toronto Raptors for Andrea Bargnani. Chris Copeland is also gone, having bolted in free agency to the rival Pacers for a two year, $6 million contract.
New York managed to make some moves this offseason despite having little salary cap room to work with. Still, Executive Vice President and General Manager Glen Grunwald was very productive. After selecting Tim Hardaway Jr. with the 24th pick in the draft, he managed to re-sign J.R. Smith, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin in addition to trading for Bargnani and signing free agents Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih and young big man Jeremy Tyler.
The Knicks are hoping that the moves made by Grunwald will help them keep up in the top-heavy East and catapult the squad to contender status. Let's take a look at what to expect from each player on the New York roster.