New York Knicks : Ready To Win Now Or Poised For Future?

Matt DacherCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 28:  Al Harrington #7 of the New York Knicks celebrates a basket with teammate Wilson Chandler #21 against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Everyone talks about the 2010 NBA free agent market as if it will be the greatest of all classes ever. With the likes of Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, and of course Lebron James up for grabs, the potential to rebuild a team from the bottom up is unparalleled. Yet, a certain amount of this hype surrounds Lebron James' possible acquisition by the New York Knicks. He is already the most marketable man on the face of the earth and he plays in Cleveland for gods sake. Yet, do the Knicks really need him? The answer is no. If the Knicks are able to retain their core of David Lee, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, and Al Harrington, they have the potential to be a winning team. As it stands now, they have a consistent double-double threat in David Lee (a player once again snubbed from the All-Star game) who at this point in the season is averaging almost 20 pts a game and almost 11.5 rebounds. Yet, he is only 6 ft 9'. If the Knicks could add a dominant center such as Yao Ming or even an All-Star on the backend of his careers such as or Zydrunas Ilgauskas, it would push David Lee to the power forward position (his natural position) where he can utilize the post moves he has developed and still allow him to shoot his solid 10-12 ft jump shoot that has become increasingly reliable. At the SF position, you have the perennially improving Danilo Galinari who is turning into a dead eye 3-point shooter putting up an incredible 40.2% from beyond the arc. Keep in mind, he stands at a solid 6 ft 10' maybe even 6 ft 11' and at the ripe young age of 20 years old, he stands to grow even more during his tenure with the Knicks over the next few years. By retaining Wilson Chandler and Al Harrington (both solid 3-pt shooters and post players), it allows for the high tempo offense of Mike D'Antoni to flourish allowing for quick substitutions and quick refreshing of the players. Between Galinari, Harrington, and Chandler, they are averagin almost 45 points a game and almost 15 rebounds. If the Knicks are able to do a roation between them to keep them fresh, those stats are more inclined to rise. Chris Duhon, is a solid point guard who will consistently give you 5-10 assists per game (he is currently averaging 6.5 apg). He can score when neccesary, averaging almost 10 points per game and shooting an above average 35% from beyond the arc. The X factor for the Knicks is a dominant shooting guard or point guard who can control the game at the neccesary tempo set by D'Antoni, yet would also be able to take over and put the Knicks over the top at the end of games. With the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and Joe Johnson most likely out of the picture (near guarantees that they resign with their hometown teams), that leaves several options for the Knicks. The most attractive are those options of aging superstars who can still perform at high levels, yet would not command as much as others will, to perform at the same level. Prospects for the Knicks could be anyone from Ray Allen to Tracy McGrady to Michael Redd or even Allen Iverson. Each of these players while injury prone yes, could be huge additions if they can remain healthy and perform at even 75% of their prime. When you look at the Knicks roster now, you do not see neccesarily a championship team. With the addition of say Ilgauskas and Allen, the Knicks can go deep into the playoffs with a lineup boasting 4 perennial All-Stars. The Knicks are not built to win this season or maybe even the next one. But, adding two stars at lower cost and given two years to develop, the Knicks will be a contending beast in the east.