The Knicks franchise is in turmoil as the Team President Phil Jackson seems to have a problem with the two best players currently on the roster. He has actively been trying to get rid of one of the best players in the generation, Carmelo Anthony saying that he is not part of the solution.
The other dominate player that he has issues with Kristaps Porzingis who skipped his exit meetings at the end of the season due to disappointment in the front office. Also in my opinion I thought he did it to respect Carmelo and stick up for one of the best offensive players in NBA history.
Carmelo is not a player that can lead a team to the finals anymore, and well he proved that he may have never been that good in a league that he always played in with the King. However, even at this point in his career he is good enough to be the second option on a legitimate playoff team, or the first option on a mid level team.
Unfortunately for Carmelo he has never been surrounded by the proper talent to make a legitimate run at the title in New York. The best talent that he has been surrounded with was an aged and injury prone Amar’e Stoudemire, a streaky J.R Smith and Tyson Chandler. That team was short lived and underperformed, not that it really mattered because that was the time that the Heat ruled the east.
Now the Knicks have a young superstar in the making in Porzingis and a still very good Carmelo with the ability to score with the best of them. The Knicks were one of the worst teams in the games last year and they have cap space and a high draft pick, which could lead to a quick rebuild if done correctly.
The Knicks will have Carmelo Anthony for two more seasons and could reportedly get Derrick Rose for a pay cut and they have the 8th overall draft pick in a draft that is stockpiled with talent. Now if the Knicks do resign Rose for a pay cut which would probably be for around 12-18 million a year, what should they do in the draft?
At pick number 8 the Knicks miss out on the top tier players but are still in place to get the uber talented Malik Monk, who is expected to be the best guard in the draft to run Phil Jacksons triangle offense and is a player who can score. He is not the only guard the Knicks are eyeing, they are looking at the French professional Frank Ntilikina who is projected as the player with the most upside in the draft.
Those two players can play PG and SG, so if Rose were to return either player could play at the same time as him and the starting lineup for the Knicks could be pretty potent. PG Rose SG Monk/Ntilikina SF Melo PF Porzingis C O’Quinn.
With that lineup could the Knicks win right away? I would have to say no, because I don’t think anyone on that team, even the head coach wants to run the triangle offense. Also the Knicks do not have the greatest bench, but it would be an improved team over last season, and if they moved on from the triangle offense they may actually compete for the playoffs.
That is the most likely outcome tonight and this offseason. There are some different things that I would personally like to see happen tonight, both will not happen unless Phil Jackson reads this and thinks I am a genius.
One is to find a way to trade up to draft Jayson Tatum out of Duke, who I believe is THE best player in the draft. Also he reminds me offensively of none other than the Knicks Carmelo Anthony, and if you read their draft profiles they are eerily similar. So, I am assuming that drafting a player that emulates someone already on the team would be helpful as he could learn from a player who is one of the best ever and has a similar skill set.
With Tatum and maybe Rose the starting lineup would be PG Rose SG Lee SF Tatum PF Anthony C Porzingis, which really would be scary. I don’t know what the Knicks could offer to get the 4th or 5th pick besides Porzingis or future first rounders, all of which would be mistakes. Bottom line, if the Knicks can get Tatum without breaking the bank, they better.
The other thing I would like to see is not practical, nor a good move past next season is for the Knicks to get Lamarcus Aldridge. The former star has not lived up to his contract in San Antonio and is looking for a way out and a quick fix could occur in New York if they were to get Aldridge. He may not be the star he was in Portland, but he would benefit from playing with another top tier big man in Kristaps, Carmelo, and if they can afford him still, Derrick Rose.
The issue with this is in two years another rebuild would be necessary as Carmelo and Lamarcus would be in their mid 30’s with no contract and the only great player left would be Porzingis. This is because the 8th pick in this years draft would have to be traded to acquire Lamarcus, but take a look at their possible lineup. PG Rose SG Lee SF Carmelo PF Aldridge C Porzingis. That is powerful, but short lived and has 3 players past their prime.
We will not have to wait much longer to see what Phil will do with the Knicks as the draft is tonight, and most people know what will happen in the draft. We will have to wait and see what the Knicks want to do with their 20+ million dollars in free cap room, Derrick Rose, or someone else.
One last message I have for Phil Jackson is, please draft Frank Mason, he is the most underrated player in the draft just because he is small. I have watched him play and I know he has the drive to succeed much like Isaiah Thomas, but instead of being 29 he is 23. Phil you can make him into anything that you want him to be for your offense and will be an All Star at the expense of a second round pick.
Imagine you have 3 pieces for the future, all that you hand picked, and you will eventually have the cap space to make a move or two to put this team over the top and the lineup could look like this. Don’t forget in two years Lebron may not be the unbeatable force that he is and the Warriors will have disbanded. PG Mason SG Ntilikina/Monk SF Big signing PF Porzingis C Big signing. It could be interesting…