REJOICE New York Knicks fans. After being traumatised for years on end, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. By no means are they back to their best, but NY made a wise investment for their future earlier this week locking David Fizdale down as their next head coach on a four-year deal. The first domino has fallen in the master plan to help the Knicks climb the standings and if they follow these six steps then there should be good times ahead.
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Step 1: Rid Themselves Of Joakim Noah
I’M just going to leave this here.
Step 2: Find Someone To Take On Enes Kanter’s Contract
ENES Kanter has a $18.6mil player option for the 2018-19 season and there is a 99.3% chance that he will pick up that option. He is a fine player and there is definitely merit to keeping him as a contributor for one more year. However, if they can remove Kanter from their books then they would have so much more financial flexibility. They still have Tim Hardaway on the books making over $50mil in the next three seasons, so ditching Kanter would be a savvy move. In today’s NBA market trading bad contracts seems to cost a first-rounder, but if Scott Perry can swindle a team into taking Kanter without sacrificing a first, that would be a HUGE win for New York.
Step 3: Use This First-Round Pick Wisely
THIS is a little vague. Using this pick wisely might not mean drafting the best player they can at No. 9, it could mean trading up or down to secure future assets. Outside of the top-tier in this draft class (Doncic, Ayton, Bagley and Porter), there doesn’t seem to be a franchise changing guy. They could move a few slots back in the draft and still land the likes of Miles Bridges in maybe one of the Clippers draft spots (12th or 13th). Packaging this pick with Kanter and moving back into the middle of the first round could also be on the cards. If they do keep the pick though then they really need to hit on a stud who can team up with Porzingis. Speaking of the Unicorn…
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Step 4: Give Kristaps Porzingis The Max
I understand that his ACL injury throws a dark cloud over the Knicks future and an injury of that magnitude to a young star is always a scary thought. We have seen players come back from ACL tear’s (see Jamal Crawford and Baron Davis) so all hope isn’t lost. Busted knee or not, Porzingis is a rare breed and is one of the best players you could build your franchise around in the entire league.
HE is eligible for a 5-year, $157 million dollar extension this offseason and he is worthy of the big payday. Apparently, Fizdale is planning on travelling to Latvia to speak with Porzingis, which is a smart move considering the Knicks don’t have the greatest relationship with their young star. If they can get on the same page and pay him the max it could do wonders for their future.
Step 5: Get LeBron To NYC
IF New York can pull this off then everything changes. I don’t think it will come to fruition, but with James’ pending free agency the Knicks could offer him a chance to call the Mecca home. Bron has always talked about his affection for NYC (join the club) and finishing his career with the Knicks would be an interesting storyline. For this to happen they need the other steps above to fall into line allowing them the cap space to chase ‘The King’. Coach Fizdale has a great relationship with LeBron after their time together in Miami so it might not be as farfetched to think the Knicks can land the biggest fish on the market.
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Step 6: Stick To The Timeline*
*If Step 5 falls through
AS I said above before chasing James is a bit of a pipe dream and in reality, they probably won’t land LeBron. if they don’t though they need to understand their current standing and roster construct. They have some young exciting prospects at the point guard spot and everyone knows about Porzingis’ talents. This roster with another touted free agent like Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins could be a playoff team, but the Knicks would be better off saving their salary cap space and letting their young guys develop.
NEW York isn’t aren’t winning a title in the next three seasons unless they get Bron, so allowing Porzingis to fully heal while adding some more youthful talent to their core is how they should attack the next few seasons. Most championship calibre teams are built through the draft and if they can land another star alongside Porzingis then New York may well and truly emerge from the gutter as a serious threat out East.
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