New York Knicks: What Do We Do Now?

Lance PaukerCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2010

NEW YORK - MAY 13:  New head coach of the New York Knicks Mike D'Antoni (L) speaks to the media as team president Donnie Walsh (R) looks on during a press conference on May 13, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. 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 Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

LeGone, but not forgotten.

This attitude may be filtering through the minds of many Knicks fans as a result of the post-LeBron fallout. After dumping cap faster than a high maintenance girlfriend, they could not land their desired target. The Big Apple was ultimately turned down by the King. And on national television, he made sure it was in embarrassing fashion.

LeBron to Knicks: “Sorry, but I’m out of you’re league.”

LeBron never wanted a serious relationship with the New York, and Knicks fans are at a complete loss to understand why. “We are perfect for each other,” says the diehard Knicks fan. “We were meant to be, and our marriage would have the hardware to prove it.”

Its tough not to harp on the devastating news, but inaction is not an option. The rejection may sting now, but the Knicks cannot afford to crawl into a hole of despair. The team must respond quickly and swiftly. In other words, they need to find their “rebound chick.”

As demonstrated by the LeBron mania, Knicks fans are just dying to fall in love with the team again. The Knicks must rekindle this fire, and here’s how.


1. Do Not Get Rid Of Donnie Walsh

There have been several rumors that Donnie Walsh will step down, and writers all across the country are calling for his dismissal. Truth be told, Donnie Walsh is undoubtedly the best thing that has happened to the Knicks since Isaiah drafted David Lee.

Yep, that’s right. Isaiah actually did something that helped the Knicks.

Walsh may have failed in his ultimate goal of landing LeBron, but he deserves all the credit for making this once far-fetched dream a hopeful possibility. His amazing magic tricks performed on NY’s behemoth of a payroll is something straight out of Hogwarts, and he has consistently showed the ability to pull off some rather genius trades. The Tracy McGrady deal this past season demonstrated his knack for putting his team where they wanted to be, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to translate that gift into acquiring quality players.

More importantly, Walsh has the right attitude—a winning attitude.  He has tremendous pride, something that is paramount to building a successful organization from the top down. Walsh’s “decision” not to watch LeBron’s soap opera demonstrates that he has very low tolerance for games, gimmics, and distractions. Walsh is only concerned about basketball, and thus will build a team focused solely on winning.

Although it has received a decent amount of backlash, the David Lee trade may very well prove to be a great move for the Knicks. At 20 years old, Anthony Randolph has a huge upside, and could develop nicely under the guidance of Amar’e Stoudemire. Guard Kelenna Azibuke and forward Ronnie Turiaf, the other two players acquired in the deal, have put up decently consistent numbers and could contribute nicely off the bench. More importantly, both players are on the final year of their contracts. Is it too early to say Free Agency 2011? I think not.

It is no secret that Walsh has not been the most adept drafter (cough, Jordan Hill). However, the Knicks should not be building their future around a bunch of projects. For one, Knicks fans need results, and they need them now. I’m not arguing that a quick fix is the best strategy here, but five more years of rebuilding could very well put the franchise in a hole that they cannot dig out of.


2. Get a good point guard, which will guarantee Carmelo Anthony in 2011.

The Steve Nash/Amar’e Stoudemire combination down in Phoenix was a lethal one. If the Knicks could acquire a solid point guard, the sky is the limit with this team. The talk has been centered around former Oregon standout Luke Ridnour and Bobcat point guard Raymond Felton. While both of these players would certainly be serviceable—and a huge step up from a work-in-progress in Toney Douglass they do not have that “it” factor. They will not instill fear in opposing defenses. Although they may help bolster next season’s win total, they will not make MSG a place “where amazing happens.”

The Knicks need to make a cannonball size splash. Chris Paul, who has only two years remaining on his contract, has expressed dissatisfaction with New Orleans. Paul’s value is extremely high, and the Hornets would probably be able to get the most value from him RIGHT NOW. Although the Hornets have stated that they would like to keep Paul, it may be more prudent to get the most out of him now rather than letting him walk, as it seems highly unlikely that he will sign an extension.

The Knicks should make it a point to make ANYONE on their roster (bold and underline Eddy Curry’s expiring contract) available for CP3. Paul is arguably the best point guard in the league, and him and Amar’e alone could easily make the Knicks a contender. Not to mention, Carmelo Anthony’s 2011 “decision,” provided the expected cap room, would be a no brainer. A super team of Amar’e, Carmelo, and Chris Paul would cause nightmares for camp WaBrosh.

Tony Parker is another solid option here, but it is likely that he would be unable to provide the long term gains of Paul. Although he is only 27, Parker entered the league at 19. The three time NBA champion is no stranger to injuries, and the wear and tear of the 82 game season is bound to catch up to him at some point or another.

However, it is important to mention that with Tony Parker, comes Eva Longoria. The marketing possibilities with these two are endless.


3. Get JJ Redick

This one may sound slightly ridiculous, but it would be a great move for the Knicks, and here’s why:

Redick proved himself last year as a solid role player on a star-studded Orlando Magic team last season, averaging 9.6 ppg, 1.9 apg, while shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc. As a restricted free agent, his services have been sought after by a number of teams, most notably the Chicago Bulls.

As a Knick, Redick would be an outstanding sixth man, who could sub in for Chandler at the two or Gallinari at the three. A Danilo/Redick combo could be lethal with a penetrating point guard, as the players would be able to stretch opposing defenses more than silly putty.

More importantly, Redick is the kind of player whose contributions don’t always show up in the stat book. He has tremendous hustle, and a strong desire to win. Although he is certainly not a star, Redick proved in the Boston series that he has the ability to make everyone around him better, be it through his high basketball IQ, considerable shooting ability, or strong fundamentals. Through the first four games of the conference finals, Redick's plus/minus rating, a statistic used to determine how well a team is doing when a certain player is on the floor, was an astounding plus-20. Vince Carter, who started over Redick at the time, compiled an abysmal minus-22.

Most importantly, JJ Redick’s jersey would prove to be an instant hit, and would certainly instill some hype and buzz around the potentially lifeless Knicks.


The moral of the story here is that the Knick’s shouldn’t be wistfully staring through their rearview, wondering what if. Knicks fans, take all those super imposed pictures of James in a Knicks jersey and burn them. Things never worked out between us, and they never will. LeBron is LeGone, and its time to move on.