5 Quick Ways To Fix The Knicks

For Phil Jackson and the Knicks the 2016-17 season has been a dub. The “Super Team” has been a complete disaster. Yet the Knicks for all their struggles have plenty of bright spots on the team. The euro treo, which consists of Porzings, Hernangomez and Kuzminskas have all played well. Youngsters like Randle and Baker have also shown promise.

The 2017-18 season doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time. If the Knicks front office can somehow get there act together they can turn their misfortunes around. So here are my top 5 moves the Knicks need to make next season.

1. Draft a guard, the Knicks own 3 draft picks in the upcoming draft. Given the recent struggles the club has encountered they should receive a pick anywhere from the 5th to 8th spot. With guards like Malik Monk, Smith JR and Frank Ntilikina out there the Knicks should be able to pluck an athletic guard to pair with KP.
dennis-smith-jr-2016-recruit-ftr-042715_1jzy0hjf3t8fu1hvgxr5sy1vaw
2. If the Knicks can somehow convince free agents to come to NY (Oakley vs Dolan) they need to sign defensive players. Players like Taj Gibson, George Hill , P.J. Tucker and Tony Allen are all quality defenders who can help the Knicks.
160785148-allen-630
3. Let Rose walk, the Knicks already have a one-dimensional player on their roster. They don’t need two, the Rose and Melo pairing was never going to work because both players only play on one side for the ball. Since the Knicks are stuck with Melo they would be wise to let Rose go.
derrick
4. Start giving KP more time at the 5. Porzingis has been lukewarm on the defensive end. Playing the 4 means the unicorn is guarding quicker more athletic forwards. In today’s era of small ball Porzingis is a certified center, and shouldn’t be forced guard these hybrid 4s. Also moving KP to the 5 spot allows him to guard the paint, which is something he excels at.
webnyk26s-web
5. Put an end to the Phil and Melo drama. Someone needs to intervene and get these two guys in a room. Remember before Phil called out Melo the Knicks were in the playoff picture. After the dust was settled the Knicks spiraled into chaos. For the sake of the 2017-18 season both player and president must come to a peaceful agreement.
image-2

KNICKS TANK

ds_x3g6210w-1

 

If you thought January wasn’t kind to the Cleveland Cavilers imagine the agony Carmelo and the Knicks went through in that same period of time.

Trade rumors ✔️
Opponents Game winning shot ✔️
4 OT game loses ✔️
Jealous ex coach taking shots  ✔️
5-12 record in January ✔️

What a time to be a Knicks fan, lost in all the chaos the Knicks have 3 draft picks in this years draft. Yes you read that correctly, for once the Knicks didn’t completely implode.

The rebuild is already on its way with young talent littered all over the roster. Players like Holiday, O’Quinn, Hernangomez, Kuzminskas and Baker are all 28 years old and younger.

Even if the Knicks decided not to tank, they should end up with a top 10 pick. ESPN has the Knicks drafting Miles Bridges with the 11th pick. The Michigan State freshman who stands at 6″7 and 230 pounds is the perfect combo forward for the Knicks.

However just imagine the possibilities if the Knicks were to draft a player like Kentucky SG Malik Monk or N.C. State PG Dennis Smith JR. Better yet imagine pairing one of those supreme athletes with Porzings and Hernangomez.

 

160915ukbballphotodaycb1961

Those scenarios can only become reality if the Knicks decide to trade away players like Carmelo, Lee and Rose. Perception and reality are two very powerful components when it comes to the Knicks.

The reality for the Knicks is the young players needs more minutes. It’s time for the Knicks to see what the young kids can do. Case in point the Knicks  rookie Spaniard has posted back to back double doubles, and has 5 double doubles this year. Jokiam has matched that total but has played a ton more minutes. Numbers don’t lie and they certainly don’t lie when it comes to Willy. He has posted averages of 11 PPG and 10 rebounds when he has played at least 20 minutes.

The perception is the Knicks should hold on to their vets and shoot for the playoffs, even though they are only 3 games ahead of the 76ers who own the 14th seed.

One more successful draft pick could elevate the Knicks from league wide laughing-stock to future contender. The difference, a few more ping pings in this years draft.

Finding a 3rd team

The New York Knicks have been in search of a 3rd team to facilitate a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to the Clippers. With the help of ESPN trade machine I found three teams that would help us complete this trade. *ESPN TRADE MACHINE DOES NOT INCLUDE DRAFT PICKS*

 

1.   76ers

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-4-47-57-pm

The Knicks would now own the second and fourth pick in the 2015 draft class, which should help them with their rebuild. Rivers and Stauskas would add some much-needed youth to the club as well.

Okafor- 11.2 PPG 4.8 TRB 1.0 AST

Rivers- 11.9 PPG 2.0 TRB 2.6 AST

Stauskas- 8.5 PPG 2.5 TRB 2.0 AST

2. Kings

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-4-31-55-pm

Adding Cauley-Stein would give the Knicks two players from the very deep draft of 2015. Rivers and Johnson would just be thrown in to match salaries, however they should add a punch to the Knicks bench.

Cauley-Stein- 4.5 PPG 2.3 TRB 0.3 AST

Rivers- 11.9 PPG 2.0 TRB 2.6 AST

Johnson- 3.2 PPG 3.5 TRB 0.5 AST

3.  Bucks

screen-shot-2017-01-28-at-4-36-33-pm

The Bucks may be giving up a lot in this trade but they have been looking for guard improvement for the past two years. The Knicks add a low post threat in Monroe as well as Brogdon who has looked like a steal for the Bucks. Snell and Rivers add youth and defense to the club.

Monroe- 11.0 PPG 6.8 TRB 2.2 AST

Rivers- 11.9 PPG 2.0 TRB 2.6 AST

Snell- 8.1 PPG 3.4 TRB 1.3 AST

Brogdon- 9.1 PPG 2.7 TRB 4.1 AST

The divorce the Knicks need!!

The New York Knicks have the second worst record since Christmas Day at 3-13. Only the Brooklyn Nets have a worse record during that span. Keep in mind the Knicks employ a former MVP (who in all fairness has had his share of injury issues, but is having a bounce back season) and a 3 time Olympic gold medalist, 12 time all star in Carmelo Anthony. I haven’t mentioned “The Unicorn” who may be the best young talent in the league… So how did the Knicks crumble so quickly?

Look no further than Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson. Both Star player and team president are headed for a nasty divorce. The divorce isn’t hurting the Knicks as much as the custody battle (power struggle) both parties are involved in. Even Phil has given hints by sending coded messages through his long-time friend Charley Rosen. Now Melo has finally admitted that he may be open to the idea of a trade. So all the signs are there and the Knicks need a fresh start as badly as Melo needs one.

Which brings me to my next point, Jackson had the Knicks on the rebuilding path. Until he sold the farm for Derrick Rose. While Rose has had his moments, he is no more then an average point guard. Trading away a young talented PG in Grant and a defensive presence in Lopez (who’s contract is very team friendly compared to Noah’s) is not how you build a team. The Knicks can no longer subscribe to the idea of a quick rebuild.

In order for the Knicks to truly contend they must build around the promising future of their 7’3 unicorn. That mean Rose and Melo should be dealt for draft picks and young talent. The Knicks shouldn’t stop there, any player not named Porzings, Hernangomez  or Kuzminskas should be up for grabs.

Teams like Boston and the Bucks should be targeted since both teams have draft picks and young talent. Think something along the lines of Kris Middleton or Marcus Smart packaged with draft picks.

Last but not least Phil Jackson should also be shown the door. While he should be credited with acquiring Porzings and Hernangomez, he has also made some very bad moves. Giving Carmelo Anthony a no trade clause while he is exiting his prime was a huge mistake. Then signing Joakim Noah to a 74 million dollar deal when no other team was committing anything near that dollar amount can also be filed under “the Isaiah Thomas school of thought”.

As I have said previously the Knicks need a systemic upgrade. Until they make those changes they will forever be untangled in a cycle of perpetual mediocrity.

Why Joakim Noah is the most important player on the Knicks

35e0844500000578-3671008-image-m-20_1467437002338

 

The Knicks recent issues stem from a lack of defense and chemistry. Which, oddly enough was the reason the Knicks signed Joakim Noah. Noah has vastly underperformed this season. His 4 year 72 million dollar contract is beginning to look like one of the worse deals in the NBA. Noah simply looks like a dinosaur in today’s 3 point happy league. He can’t shoot the 3, he can’t defend the pick and role and his defense is below average.

Now this is just the on-court aspect of Noah’s game his intangibles were respected by the league. This is another area in which he has struggled. The Knicks locker room has imploded as of late, from Derricks disappearance to Melo’s 3 ejections the Knicks have no cohesion.

Yet something seems to have clicked in Joakim Noah over the last couple of games.  Over the last 11 games, Noah is averaging 8 PPG and 10.2 rebounds, while looking more active on the defensive side of the ball.  Noah had this to say about his recent play.

“I feel like I can still do better,” Noah said. “I feel like there’s another level that I want to get to and have to keep pushing and getting better.”

That other level that Joakim is talking about is unlocked when he plays his former team. Joakim is averaging 14 PPG and 12 rebounds against his former club.

Even his teammates noticed it,

“It was an accumulation of a lot,” Carmelo Anthony said of Noah’s fire. “I think he was excited to play the Bulls. You can tell he had a different mindset.”

“You could tell he was pumped,” Derrick Rose said. “He likes talking BS. I mean talking [expletive”

“Jo was on us all game, screaming,” Kyle O’Quinn said.

Now is this just a blip on a disastrous season or is the former all-star turning the corner?  For the Knicks sake let’s hope not. They need the old Joakim just as bad as we need the old Kanye.

Coach Jeff would be wise to run the offense thru Noah more. The Knicks don’t use Noah’s offensive talents the way they should. Noah’s assist ratio has gone down monthly, going from 48.4 in October to 16.0 in January. Noah was averaging 5 assists per game in October and is now averaging 1.6 assists in January. This has affected the club negatively as amounts of isolation sets has risen the ball movement has fallen.

Noah was always going to be the X-factor on this team. From his defensive intensity to his vocal leadership, he is an important player. The Knicks have struggled recently but it will be interesting to see how they perform now that Noah is playing better.

Harrison Barnes the knicks Savior?

Nigeria v United States - USA Basketball ShowcaseThe New York Knicks are going into the new year on a sour note. Having lost nine out of 10 games and falling out of the playoff picture altogether. It may be time for the Knicks to make a trade. As I looked around the league I found one very interesting proposal that might benefit both the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks.

The Dallas Mavericks are in a very similar situation to the Knicks, they may want to take a different turn and trade away players for assets. In this particular deal I want to focus my attention on Harrison Barnes. Harrison Barnes is just the type of player of the Knicks need in order to compete for a playoff seed this year. He competes on both offense and defense of sides of the ball and always adds some championship experience.
Barnes is having a career year putting up 20 PPG 5.4 Rebounds and 1.4 assist per game. If you take a closer look at his numbers you might even be more impressed. Barnes is shooting 47% from the field and 36% from 3.
However it’s the defensive side of the ball as well chemistry where the Knicks struggle. Which is an area where Barnes excels, here’s a quick passage from grantland.com on Barnes and what he meant to GoldenState.
“Barnes gets it, and Golden State’s coaches say he has never complained — not once — about his touches. Barnes was perhaps the most famous high school player in the nation five years ago, the next Kobe, and he’s squeezed himself into a role in which he uses only about 15 percent of Golden State’s possessions — a tiny number we’d normally associate with a limited role player. “It just may not be in the cards for me to create more here,” Barnes says, “but I can do it, and maybe this season there will be more opportunities.”
This is just the type of player the Knicks need a selfless 3-D player who can also drive to the rim. Given the lack of cohesion Barnes will be an excellent fit on the Knicks.  What would the Mavericks ask for in return for such an extraordinary player?
With the help of 2K17 I’ll put together a package that the Dallas Mavericks excepted in the simulation.
Knicks Recieve:
Harrison Barnes
Seth Curry
Justin Anderson
2022 2nd round pick
Mavericks Recieve:
Kile O’Quinn
Lance Thomas
Courtney Lee
2019 first round pick
2020 second round pick
While the Knicks have been burned before when dealing draft picks building around a young and exciting core of Porzingis and Barnes is a very compelling offer. Not to mention the additions of Seth who is shooting 39% from 3. Justin Anderson is an up and coming 3-d player who may develop over time. One can only hope the Knicks can turn it around and make a playoff run while also building towards the future.
The Mavericks, on the other hand get a chance to rebuild for the future. Acquiring young talent like O’Quinn and Lance Thomas help excel their rebuild or give them more assists to be used in another deal. Courtney Lee adds a veteran who is shooting the light out this season. It’s a very good haul for a player in Barnes who has never even been an all-star.
Making moves like this are what the better teams in the league do. Think of the Spurs when they traded George Hill for Leonard. They were able to transition from Duncan to Leonard effortlessly. Which is what the Knicks can only hope to do with the Carmelo/Porzingis transition.

Thabo to the Knicks?

58301a632fcd4ba8892531d9eb26b43f-web
The New York Knicks are entering the New Year on a sour note. Losing four  five games in a row and falling out of the playoff picture. While the offense has remained solid the defense has been terrible. Coach Hornacek has blasted the Knicks for a lack of effort.

“We got to have an effort like we did, all-out 48 minutes of playing hard,” he said. “You should come in this locker room after the game and be dead tired. That’s the way it should be. If you come in the locker room and you’re not huffing and puffing and tired, then you didn’t play hard enough.”
Phil Jackson would be wise to look at the trade market and bring in some more defensive intensity. One player that comes to mind is Thabo Sefolosha, according to Bleacher Report the Hawks are shopping their defensive specialist.
Many Knicks fans might cringe at the very idea of adding Sefolosha after his run in with Melo ( Melo was ejected after taking a swing at Sefolosha while fighting for a rebound) but hear me out.
According to stats.nba.com Thabo is holding opposing players to 37% shooting from beyond 15 feet. All things considered, those are some good numbers especially since Thabo is guarding the most difficult defensive assignment on a nightly basis. From 3 Thabo is holding his opponent to 35% (which about league average). He is also averaging 1.9 steals per game.
The following is a passage from HoopsHabit.com on just how important Thabo Sefolosha is to the Hawks.

“Atlanta’s recent success can be directly attributed to the rise of their defense; and perhaps the biggest reason for the defensive uptick this season is Thabo Sefolosha.

Yes, Thabo Sefolosha: the Hawks reserve wing known less for his offense and more for his defensive acumen. Sefolosha may in fact be Atlanta’s most important player — especially as the playoffs approach.

To put into perspective how important Sefolosha is to the Atlanta Hawks, last season the team went 43-9 with him on the court. Without Sefolosha, the Hawks went 17-13.”        – Jonathan Savitske of Hoops Habit

Any player that is willing to go head to head with Carmelo Anthony is a player who will no lack in the intensity department. These are the types of players the Knicks need to add on their roster if they hope to make the playoffs. With Phil Jackson clearly in win now mode lets hope he holds no punches when it comes to the trade market.