As a Knick fan it hurts. I remember when a young NY team was the 7th seed in the playoffs. As of right now, They have secured some cap space to lure two superstars in 2010. They did move in the right direction by getting rid of Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, Stephon Marbury, Jared Jefferies and bringing in expiring contracts. Here's what I believe the Knicks should plan to do in 2010. I will bring from the offseason to next season.
The Knicks have a ton of free agents. Al Harrington, Chris Duhon, Tracy McGrady, David Lee, Bill Walker, J.R. Giddens, Eddie House, Sergio Rodriguez, and Cuttino Mobley. The only one New York should bring back is All-Star David Lee. His 20 points and 11.4 rebounds might cost the Knicks a pretty penny. He would want between 10-12 million a year. If you can get the latter, good idea. If not, you can keep Lee's rights and look for a sign and trade. If the Knicks look to trade David Lee, I expect them to ask for a player and a 1st round pick for the 6'9" forward.
With a whole lot of cap space, the Knicks will build this team up. Donnie Walsh is a master of the signing. Walsh probably won't overpay David Lee and he has a good sense about who they need. This is where head coach Mike D'Antoni comes in, he knows what he needs to run his style of play. Other then the big superstars, here are 5 players I believe D'Antoni could target for his system
1. Travis Outlaw ( Los Angeles Clippers)- Outlaw has all the tools to be a good player in D'Antoni's system. He has good size, (6'9") can play the SG or SF position, and still be good on both sides of the floor.
3. Raymond Felton (Charlotte Bobcats) - He's been underrated since day one. Raymond Felton is one of the only PG who can actually thrive in a D'Antoni offense. Right now, he averages 12 points and about five assists. In a D'Antoni system? He can easily average 16 points and 11 assists because he passes well. He had 7.0, 7.4 and 6.7 assists in his last 3 seasons.
4. Nathan Jawai ( Minnesota Timberwolves) - The 23 year old center hasn't fit in the NBA yet. Since being drafted in 2008, Jawai has been sitting on the bench and getting little to no playing time. D'Antoni could use Jawai as his Center. At 6'10" he's a big who can get rebounds. He wouldn't have much to do but get garbage baskets, grab rebounds, and play defense
5. TJ Ford (Indiana Pacers )- Ford has a player option next season but if he declines, New York would have to be a team interested in him. Aside from this season, he was accountable for at least six assists per season. Imagine him in a run and gun offense.
If the Knicks pick up one (or more) of these players to help D'Antoni's eight man rotation, I would be interested to see what is next for the Knicks. I would love LeBron and Wade but if not, here are my Top three combinations I would love New York to add if LeBron or Wade won't be coming to Madison Square Garden.
1. Chris Bosh/Joe Johnson- Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson would be really scary. Bosh has the low post moves to average a 20-10 and Joe Johnson could not only be a scorer but as a passer.
2. Chris Bosh/Rudy Gay - Rudy Gay would be a great mixup for the Knicks. He's young could still grow into a number one option.
3. Amare Stoudemire/ Chris Bosh - Call me crazy, but Bosh and Stoudemire up front? Who's stopping that. This allows the Knicks to have a monster frontcourt and be able to score. This is the most unlikely but hey—we can dream right?
With no 1st round pick this year (Thanks Zeke!), The Knicks will have to buy a 1st round pick again. Projecting where? The 27-29 spots. If the Knicks pick up a 1st round pick, I expect them to look for a wing who can defend or a PG who can be a decent backup/potential starter down the road. Maybe James Anderson from Oklahoma State, Quincy Pondexter from Washington, or Marquis Gilstrap from Iowa State. With there 2nd round pick, I expect that PG position to be locked up with a solid backup. Sherron Collins (if there) would have to be the guy. He's a born leader for Kansas. If he's gone, I expect them to look at Russia's Alexey Shved. At 6'6", he's a Point Guard who's still growing. He has very good skills for his size and might be a potential project D'Antoni could look to work with.
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