Summer of 2010 and Beyond

J.T. AxelrodContributor IMarch 5, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 14: Dwight Howard #12 of the Eastern Conference reacts as LeBron James #23 dunks against the Western Conference during the second half of the NBA All-Star Game, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at Cowboys Stadium on February 14, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. The Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 141-139 in regulation. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Knicks. The ultimate risk takers. I've rooted for them since before I was even born, I've seen the worst this franchise can do. Putting all their money into the hope that star players want to come to New York. Many people, including myself at times, have been critical of this strategy. The more i look at it, the more I agree with it. The possible scenarios that could happen are:

Attract the stars

In this scenario, the Knicks sign either Lebron or Wade. To compliment whoever they get, they will also get either Chris Bosh, or Carlos Boozer and David Lee. In the Lebron vs. Wade debate, it is clear that Lebron is the prefered option. Whoever they would get, they would have to compliment them with a big man. Chris Bosh would be ideal, but he is also going to be asking for a max deal. Based on his performance this year, Boozer would be a cheaper alternative. The only issue that arises is that a combination of Lebron and Boozer would be unlikely because of the way Boozer ditched Lebron in Cleveland. If they got Boozer at a lower rate than Bosh, it could be possible to also bring Lee back. As a result of this, the Knicks would become one of the leagues best teams for the next decade, resulting in a championship or two. Probability: 35%


In this scenario, the Knicks fail to get Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. They end up getting Boozer and Joe Johnson. The combination of these players would result in the 6th seed until the end of these players' contracts. It would not be a championship caliber team. Also in this scenario, Lee decides he is worth more than what we want to pay him and leaves. An even worse scenario is that we cannot get Joe Johnson, so Donnie ends up giving Rudy Gay a 10+ Million deal. Probability: 20%

Build a core, look forward to 2011 Free Agency

Let's say Donnie realizes that it would be stupid to overpay for a player who won't allow them to become into one of the league's best teams. Let's say he also strikes out on Lebron and Wade. Maybe he could get just Chris Bosh. The team would improve a good deal in the next year, but still would be a borderline playoff team. Having not used a large portion of our cap, in addition to Eddy Curry coming off the books, the Knicks would again have enough money to offer a max contract and another 10+ million to spend. This is where things get crazy. The options are endless here. The main free agents, who the Knicks would consider pursuing, going into 2011 would be:

Restricted: Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Aaron Brooks, and Kevin Durant

Unrestricted: Mo Williams, Caron Butler, Carmelo Anthony, Shane Battier, Troy Murphy, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan.

Out of this bunch, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are the names that stick out the most. Yes, Durant is restricted. But I can still dream about seeing him in New York blue and orange. The most realistic possibility is Carmelo. He has strongly suggested that he wants out of Denver. He is one of the most explosive players on earth. The one downfall of this idea is the brawl that occured on 12/16/2006. The reason i feel this would not be much of an issue is that almost none of the personnel are still here from that day. In addition to getting Carmelo at the max, they would have about 10 million to spare. The most realistic options would be a combination of Caron Butler, Shane Battier, and Troy Murphy. The reason Battier is on this list is that I believe Donnie would find it very valuable that Battier makes everyone around him better. He would be able to be gotten for around 2-3.5 million, because he will be reduced to more of a role player. I think Troy Murphy, as the best stretch 4 in the league, or Caron Butler, an athletic freak who would be great for D'Antoni's system, would also go to New York.Either of these players would greatly benefit from the exposure of New York and D'Antoni's system. I think it would be very difficult to convince both of these guys to play, but either one of them would make a great addition to the team.

If this scenario occured, the Knicks' team would have a starting 5 of: Bosh, Carmelo, Butler or Murphy, Danilo Gallinari, and a cheeper point guard pick up in one of the next two offseasons (T.J. Ford? Acie Law? J.J. Barea? Steve Blake?). This starting 5 would be up with the most elite in the league. Possibility: 44%

What is the other 1% you ask?

The Dream Team

An article by ESPN suggested that maybe players would take significantly less to play together, and win championships. The potential roster that could arise from this would be like no roster ever assembled.Over the next two years, the roster could look like:

Starting 5:Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Marcus Camby

Bench: Ray Allen, Danilo Gallinari, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Steve Blake, Brendan Haywood

If you are a Knicks fan, that 1% chance is what keeps you going every day.

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