The 2010-11 season was the start of something great for New York fans: another sports franchise that can dominate for years.
New York missed out on signing King James, but still made a big splash by signing power forward Amar'e Stoudemire. While he could have taken them to playoff contention alone, the trade for Carmelo Anthony gave them a second star.
Stoudemire and Anthony were unsuccessful in their short time together, being swept by the Boston Celtics. This isn't the worst thing in the world; it just proves that New York has some work to do.
New York should look at options to give them the best longevity, and for that I will leave names like Steve Nash out.
Most experts have the mindset that the Knicks will look to land another star, while some tend to think adding valuable role players is the way to go.
Either way, let's look at some possible stars who could don the blue and orange.
Point guard Chris Paul seems to be a likely favorite to land in New York, and for good reason.
Yes, he is one of the best ball handlers in the NBA, but that might not be his best feature. Paul is also a lockdown defender who would be a much-needed addition for the shaky New York defense.
Paul has averaged an impressive 2.4 steals in his career, which is on pace to be one of the greatest averages of all-time. He is a good rebounding point guard and is always a threat for a triple-double.
Landing on three All-Defensive Teams thus far in his career, Paul is likely to add more as long as he stays healthy.
Offensively, Paul is a wizard. The only concern with that would be sharing between three stars, but Paul is known for his crafty passes and great teamwork.
He will get you 15 points per game, and with Melo and Amar'e to dish to, he could match that in assists.
If CP3 decides to enter free agency in 2012, many teams will covet the All-Star guard, but the Knicks have the pieces that would most likely lead him to a championship.
Trading for Paul could be difficult considering New York traded most of their role players to acquire Melo. Many other teams like the Orlando Magic could be a much more appealing trade, considering they will push to keep Dwight Howard.
Paul will make any team a contender, and could be the championship piece for the Knicks.
Not the biggest star in the NBA, but possibly the best free agent in 2011, Marc Gasol will give you a big, physical frame and could be a immediate solution to New York's lack of defense.
Gasol averaged a career high in blocks last season, and although his statistics fell a bit, he still looks to be improving overall.
He still has questions when it comes to athletic ability and conditioning, but great when it comes to fundamentals. Gasol would likely slow the Knicks offense down, but would be a solid defender with a lot of potential.
Maybe the best thing for the offensive attack of the Knicks would be the fact that Gasol wouldn't demand many shots. Gasol has always been valuable when it comes to offensive rebounds, and can often thrive off of second-chance opportunities.
The big Spaniard is restricted in free agency and might be a hard player to bid on. However, a sign-and-trade could be an option to give Memphis another key role player. Not only would that help the surging Grizzlies, but it could free more cap space for New York to bolster their bench.
Like I said earlier, Gasol isn't the biggest star in the NBA, but he could open up many options for New York to build a contender.
Why not just make your offense that much better if people complain about defense? It's maybe not the best theory in the world, but New York would unquestionably have the best offense in the NBA.
Another 2012 free agent, Deron Williams is a 20-10 type of player who would be a true asset to New York. He is a true floor general and arguably the best point guard in the league.
Williams has improved on his shooting range and ability and will always be a great teammate in close games. Cutting down on his turnovers would be huge for the Knicks, but he will have a lot of help surrounding him.
He will play hard defense, but still isn't in the top tier in defensive point guards in the NBA. Williams lacks great lateral quickness and doesn't create many turnovers, but will still play solid one-on-one defense against some of the better guards.
If New York wanted to create a true offensive superpower, Williams could be the choice. However, they would be much better off searching for a better defensive option.
New York would have to scrape together players and cash, but could get it done depending on what Atlanta was looking for. The Hawks have a few bad contracts right now and could be looking to get some relief for other options.
Smith is one of the most versatile players in the NBA today and would give the New York an intense defender. He is a stat sheet filler and is effective on either end of the court.
He spreads the floor well, and has some of the nastiest finishes in the league every season. He creates trouble for any player he guards and can guard virtually any position.
Smith is a valuable rebounder and has the leaping ability to challenge any shot at the basket. Smith is the youngest player in NBA history to record 1,000 blocks and could still bud into an All-Star player.
On the contrary, Smith would bring one major downfall to New York.
With the Knicks not having a true center, odds are Amar'e would have to step up and fill the position. Although Stoudemire is capable of playing the 5-spot, New York would be better off looking for a defensive-minded center instead.
Smith is just 6'9" and would be better suited guarding some of the elite forwards in the league. If it wasn't for that aspect, he could fit perfectly in New York.
If you consider defense to be the weakness of the New York Knicks, why not grab the three-time Defensive Player of the Year? Dwight Howard is a star that would fit well in the bright lights of a big city, and no city is bigger than New York.
The duo of Stoudemire and Howard could form one of the most dominate big men pairs in history. Many consider Amar'e to be a weak defender, but with Howard as the centerpiece down low Stoudemire could still contribute with his athleticism.
Howard can dominate the paint both offensively and defensively, but could possibly become the third scoring option on a stacked squad.
While not having the greatest range, Howard could tend to clog up the middle in New York. Luckily for him, Amar'e can spread the floor quite well along with being dangerous in the post.
Howard is a freak athlete and can run the floor well along side Melo and Amar'e. He is a top-notch rebounder and shot blocker, and will make any defense elite.
While many will question Howard's outspoken personality, he is one of the most charismatic and hardest-working players in the league.
Being so young, it's uncertain if Howard would want to go anywhere in which he wasn't the unquestionable No. 1 option. He would have to sacrifice a lot of touches and even more financially, but it could be his best option to win now.
Howard is capable of leading a team to championship dreams and could decide to have a team built around him elsewhere. New Yorkers should still keep dreaming big, and by big I mean the best center in the NBA.
New York is a team that can win now, but still needs work. I stated often defense is a need for the Knicks, and it should be the first priority.
Many other players would fit well in New York and they don't have to necessarily be stars. Gaining key role players like Shane Battier or Samuel Dalembert can plug holes for the Knicks and give them a true chance at winning.
Other stars not on this list are major possibility. Players like Andrew Bynum or Kevin Love are soon to be free agents, but would bring concerns in certain areas.
You could always go with Nene Hilario or even Greg Oden, but they are not legitimate stars in the NBA. They would be nice to have, but would most likely draw contracts that aren't on par compared to their contributions.
If they do acquire another star, it will likely limit the options available to create a worthy bench. Depth is a big issue in the NBA, and it is often teams with a valuable bench that makes the playoff runs.
There are pros and cons of signing a big-name player, but I truly think New York should just add key role players instead.
Like my article? Disagree? Leave a comment and let's discuss. Thanks for reading!