New York Knicks' Do or Die: Five Priorities for Donnie Walsh This Offseason
All I can say is since the trade that brought Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups to New York, the Knicks have been all over the place.
In Carmelo's debut, the Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks on an electric night at the Garden. However, they lost to the Cavs two nights later. In fact, they've lost to Cleveland twice since acquiring Melo.
After the game against the Cavs, the Knicks headed to Miami to play the Heat and what do you know? They beat them.
My point is, the Knicks have been very inconsistant with Carmelo. To me, it's pretty understandable considering Carmelo and Chauncey had to make a big transition to the Garden and learn Mike D'Antoni's offense.
However, the team is very inconsistant on defense as well, and that is their biggest need heading into the 2011 offseason.
Here's five things that Knicks president Donnie Walsh needs to bring to the team this summer.
Sign a True Shooting Guard to Back Up Landry Fields
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The Knicks have plenty of offense with Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudamire.
Landry Fields is having an outstanding rookie season, however, he doesn't have a true shooting guard to back him up when he's on the bench.
Toney Douglas has been Fields' back up for most of the season and he's been very inconsistant, but at times, he's very good. I look at him more as a scoring point guard and not a shooting guard because he's only 6'2".
This is where a guy like Anthony Parker comes into play. Parker is 6'6" and would be a great fit for Mike D'Antoni's offense.
He's a great three point shooter and a quality defensive player. His size and strength would be great for this team.
Another good thing is that he's not expensive, meaning he's not the kind of player who will make $5 million a season.
The new collective bargaining agreement isn't going to be a good thing for the Knicks because of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudamire's contracts.
An offer to a guy like Anthony Parker for two to three years worth about $3 million a season would be a nice offer to play alongside Carmelo and Amar'e.
Draft a Good Point Guard in This Year's Draft
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One of the Knicks' biggest needs is a back up point guard. In this year's draft, the Knicks will most likely wind up with a mid-first round pick. My guess is, the No. 16 or No. 17 pick sounds right.
If Nolan Smith is still available, the Knicks need to draft him. He would be a perfect fit in the offense because of his 3-point shooting skills, and he runs the floor very well.
Smith and Chauncey Billups would be a great combination. Billups can be a mentor to Smith and turn him into a great player, and maybe the point guard of the future for the Knicks if they miss out on Chris Paul.
Here are a few other available point guards in this year's draft that would be good for the Knicks:
Shelvin Mack (Butler)
Reggie Jackson (Boston College)
Demetri McCamey (Illinois)
Sign a Defensive Minded Center
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Tyson Chandler is a guy the Knicks need to make an offer to this summer.
He's one of the most aggressive centers in the league who knows how to rebound and play defense. Not to mention, he's also not a bad offensive player.
His low post defense would be a huge factor, and he would be able to guard top centers and power forwards in the Eastern Conference such as Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, and Kevin Garnett.
The point is, the Knicks need defense more than anything right now, and Tyson Chandler is the best option for the team this summer. Donnie Walsh needs to make him an offer.
Other centers who would be good fits for the Knicks:
Marc Gasol (Memphis)
Kendrick Perkins (Oklahoma City)
Greg Oden (Portland)
Bring over Jerome Jordan from Overseas
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Jerome Jordan was drafted No. 44 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in last year's draft. Then he was traded to the Knicks for cash considerations.
After playing in the summer league with the Knicks, he left to play overseas and joined a Serbian team.
In his 2007-08 season with Tulsa, he finished second in rebounding, first in field goal percentage, and first in blocked shots in Conference USA.
His 21 blocks in the Conference USA tournament set a new tournament record. In the 2008-09 season, he again finished second in rebounding, and first in field goal percentage and blocked shots.
The Knicks still retain his rights, and they need to bring him back for next season. A front court of Jordan, Amar'e Stoudamire, and another center free agent signing would be scary in the Eastern Conference.
Decline Chauncey Billups' Option, Then Re-Sign Him for a Cheaper Price
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When Chauncey Billups first came to the Knicks after the trade, he played outstanding basketball. He averaged nearly 20 points per game.
Ever since he got hurt against the Magic, he's been in a huge slump. However, the Knicks need to keep him.
His contract currently holds an option for next season which is worth about $13 million. Personally, I think it's too much money to pay a guy who's getting to a point in his career where he won't be as effective.
However, he's a great leader and the Knicks need veteran leadership on this team. He's still a good player, just not who he used to be.
The new collective bargaining agreement may turn out as a bad thing for the Knicks, and re-signing Chauncey Billups to a one-year deal worth about $6 or $7 million would be the right way to go.