Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Like Minnesota, the New York Knicks are another team that could creep into the playoffs. They are four games behind Atlanta for the eighth seed and are currently riding a seven-game winning streak. In all honesty, the timing couldn't be better.
New York made waves by bringing in the Zen Master, Phil Jackson, as the new team president. Jackson's first order of business will be compelling superstar Carmelo Anthony, who can opt out of his contract this summer, to stick around in the Big Apple.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, Houston and Chicago are expected to make runs at 'Melo this summer. However, Wojnarowski offered up this quote in the piece:
"He'll give New York every option," one source with knowledge of Anthony's plans told Yahoo! Sports. "But he has options and he's going to explore them all."
If Jackson convinces Anthony to stay, the next task is trying to fix a Knicks team that went from 54 wins a year ago to 28 wins this season. According to New York Post's Marc Berman, guard/forward Iman Shumpert appears to be in the team's immediate plans.
"Now Shumpert appears to have a legitimate future with Phil Jackson's Knicks," Berman writes. "According to a league source, Jackson is a fan of Shumpert."
Shumpert is the kind of talent the Knicks need around 'Melo. He's a fine defender that is coming along on the offensive end. Another intriguing piece is rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., who is averaging 10 points per game and shooting 37 percent from downtown.
The big thing for Jackson will be removing some of the dead weight. The $23.4 million left on the final year of Amare Stoudemire's contract is the closest thing to immovable. The team must also find a way to make viable role players out of Ray Felton and J.R. Smith as well as get Tyson Chandler to return to form.
New York also needs to find a coach, if it decides to move on from Mike Woodson.
The Knicks invested $60 million in Jackson to be their savior. Whether he's staying or going, the turnaround starts with Carmelo Anthony.