Knicks Summer ’17: The Longest New York Minute Ever.

carmeloamareBy: Will Stevenson

“The Knicks are Tristan Thompson, and Scott Perry is Khloe Kardashian.”
… “it looks as if Scott Perry is Lane Kiffin’ing his way through the NBA management hierarchy.”

The New York Knicks have been abysmal by every stretch of the imagination for more than a decade. They went from a franchise that was neck and neck with he Chicago Bulls of the 90s, to a team that has done nothing but suffer through coaches, players and upper management since their loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the finals of the ’99 lockout season. The New York Franchise has been waiting for that one star, or stars to save them from their demise on the court, and have been searching for the right front office moves to rescue them from the incompetence of their owner, Jim Dolan. For the fanbase of the Knicks, they have been conditioned to look towards the future, and once that future arrives, they again condition themselves to look towards the future again.

So here we are, the Summer of ’17, and the Knicks have done it again. After another season of consistent disappointment and landing in the lottery, the Knicks had a golden, well golden’ish opportunity to actually get it right. Spoiler Alert: They didn’t.

  1. Get rid of Phil Jackson as soon as the season ended
  2. Trade Melo
  3. Don’t shell out money for Derrick Rose
  4. Trade up in the lottery, or draft a future point guard
  5. Do not sign any free agents that will clog up salary cap space
  6. Look for a veteran point guard on the free agent market
  7. Do not move any future first round picks
  8. Re-establish front office mindset towards building the future

Get rid of Phil Jackson:

The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson, but they waited until Phil had his turn in taking down the Knicks one last time. Not only did he devalue Carmelo once again, he put Kristaps Porzingis on the trade block right before the draft. He allegedly fell asleep during draft workouts, and continued to drill the notion of the Triangle as the offense for the upcoming season. The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson, but not before he was able to draft Ntilikina as an 18 year project instead of Dennis Smith Jr who has caught the eye of every GM during Summer League. The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson, but not before he was able to opt in for the final two years of his deal. Just a reminder: The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson.

Trade Melo

Melo is older, less explosive and still the focal point of the Knicks offense. Some want him to go, while others want him to stay. The Knicks brass has been trying to get rid of Melo for almost three years now, but nothing has come to fruition. You may notice Anthony has a NTC (no trade clause), given to him during his extension he signed. So, the Knicks decided to resign him, knowing he was aging, give him a NTC while knowing they wanted to get rid of him: Got it. The rumor mill has had Melo going to the Rockets for about a week now, but nobody wants Ryan Anderson. This is very similar to nobody wanting Kevin Love around draft night: See something similar here? None of these teams want an aging stretch-four that cannot guard his position, or any other positions to say the least. As of now it is Saturday, July 15th, and the Knicks have pulled back on their fervor to trade Melo. Go Knicks.

Don’t Shell Out Money For Derrick Rose

They didn’t, but they have done some Knickery in Free Agency.

Trade up in the lottery, or draft a future point guard

The Knicks could have traded up, but that would have cost them Prozingis or Hernangomez, to big men that have blossomed last season. The draft went as expected, but there were players on the board that seemed to give the Knicks a more immediate boost than Frank Ntilikina, notably Dennis Smith Jr. Look, we booed Phil when he drafted Porzingis, and even though he lucked into that decision, it has turned for the better. Maybe, just maybe this draft choice will be the same, in the future.

Do not sign any free agents that will clog up salary cap space

They almost made it, almost. We watched the Kings shell out money for veterans, the Knicks held tight. We watched the Nuggets and Clippers make sign and trades for 28 and over players, the Knicks held tight. We watched the Nets sign restricted free agents so other teams would bite, the Knicks held tight. We watched the Miami Heat resign their own free agents to multi-year deals, the Knicks held tight. Even as the Knicks did not have a President of Operations during Free Agency, nor could they wash their front office for David Griffin to bring in his own guys, the Knicks the did not do any Knickery as they did last offseason. The Knicks signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a 4yr 71 million offer sheet. A player they once drafted, then traded, then traded the guy they traded for him. That’s right, Knickery. They didn’t shell out money for Derrick Rose, they didn’t give long-term deals to JJ Reddick, Shabazz Muhammed, Gallinari, or make another Noah deal. The Knicks were doing it right for a week at the least. As usual, it did not last long. The Hawks did not match, of course, and now the Knicks are back to Knickery, again.

Look for a veteran point guard on the free agent market

They didn’t. They resigned Ron Baker.

Do not move any future first round picks

They haven’t, yet. There is still time with this possible Melo trade, or if they want to get rid of the Noah contract, or the Courtney Lee contract.

Re-establish front office mindset towards building the future

The Knicks are Tristan Thompson, and Scott Perry is Khloe Kardashian. Not only was Scott Perry part of the Sacramento Kings, he was only there for a few months. He was with the Orlando Magic before he joined the Kings. Perry goes from the Magic, a lottery team in disarray, to the Kings, a lottery team in disarray, to the Knicks, a lottery team in disarray. We already know the things that you can’t turn into a housewife, and it looks as if Scott Perry is Lane Kiffin’ing his way through the NBA management hierarchy. Now that Perry has arrived, the Melo trade talks have been put on pause, but that’s because Perry has a great track record of getting deals done. For the culture, Perry will report to Steve Mills who is in charge of the Tim Hardaway Jr. signing, so don’t anything to change.

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Kevin Durant’s Choice: The NBA Does It Again

 

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By Will Stevenson

So that happened. Lance Stephenson is in talks on a possible return to the Pacers… I digress.

Kevin Durant broke the internet yesterday. There I was, waking up out of my slumber, lighter in one hand ready to light up my black and mild, but then I had a second thought; I should check the net to see what KD’s decision was. Now before I go into that, I never thought there ever was a decision to make. I just figured he would reup with OKC for one more year and go out in style with Russell Westbrook before the empire of OKC would begin to crumble into the abyss. For some strange reason, I bought into all of the noise that was pumped through the airwaves for the past few weeks. KD isn’t going to leave Russ when all they were so close to finals just a weeks ago, and there’s no way he would choose a team like the Warriors that sent them packing after their Game 7 loss.

“Kevin Durant has decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors.”

We did not see that coming but we should have. One of my favorite shows to listen to on ESPN Radio is the Dan Lebetard Show with Stugotz, and a few years ago as Lebron was approaching the end in Miami, Stugotz had hilariously laid out the “Phases” on why Lebron would leave.

1. Mike Miller being released

2. Friends aren’t allowed in management like in Cleveland (first go around)
3. Could not stay overnight at a party Chris Paul was having during a road trip
4. Dwayne Wade breaking down
5. Having to play in the post
6. Still having a home in Akron

Now, these things sound amateur to most, but Stugotz was right, he left Miami to return to Cleveland. Now if we could go back just for a second, we might see that Kevin Durant was going to leave OKC.

1. Ibaka over Harden
2. Small Town
3. Losing in the Conf. Finals year after year
4. It was just him and Russ
5. Losing a 3-1 lead to the Warriors
6. Signing Kanter to a Max Deal

Now, I think we are surprised because we thought Kevin Durant was different, we thought he was one of us. We saw KD quietly sign his extension and mocking Lebron back in 2010, we saw the tweets that claimed he was all about competition, but that was years ago. Durant has been in the league for nine seasons. With that foot injury last season, there’s no guarantee that the chance to win a title will always be there. He and Russ were up against it every single season while the salary cap minimized their chances to gain pieces. Competition is all fine when you are 24 or 25, but once you’re coming up on 10 years in the league, some things have to change. With the cap skyrocketing this offseason, it felt certain Durant would return to the Thunder for one more year to battle it out one last time, but we were wrong. Durant had to choose between doing this all over again or stepping out for a new challenge that would increase his chances at a championship ring. Why not? The Thunder had an opportunity of a lifetime against the Warriors and they let it slip away, just like Lebron and the Cavs against Boston. Lebron was tired of losing while being so close, and I assume Durant was feeling the same way. Now Lebron didn’t have a Westbrook, but if Westbrook wasn’t going to stick around in OKC after next year then why should he stick around. Durant went through two coaches, Scot Brooks and Billy Donovan, and we can all say there wan’t much of a difference between the two teams: KD iso, KD high post, KD pull up… Russ Iso, Russ mid-range jumper, Russ fastbreak, Russ pull-up contested-3pt. Maybe that was part of his decision. He literally watched a team with less stars beat him with team basketball. Durant had front row seats to one of the best offenses we’ve seen in this era; the ball movement, off the ball movement, switching, cutting, wide open shots, everything. Durant had Russ to pass to, and that was about it, and that was the problem; He had to go to a team that was an all-around team.

Sometimes you need a change, and sometimes you just want to have fun. We always claim basketball is just a game and loaded teams aren’t what we want, but it is what we watch. We hate loaded teams so much that we started cheering for Lebron just to see the Warriors lose. We talk about “ringzzzzzzzz” and daface every player of importance and call them chokers among other names until they get that championship, and even then we still discuss the immediate “status” of that championship. Did we not just go through this with Lebron? Who are we to be objective about our athletes?

Go ahead Durant, do your thing. I’m glad you did what you did and when you did it. With the cap going up, you had a chance to go anywhere in the league and you made your choice. I won’t devalue your abilities as a player or your stature as a man. You are not weak, you are not soft. We forget about Michael Jordan before the triangle and Phil. We forget Stockton and Malone are not revered. We forget Dominique Wilkins played for the Clippers. We forget Clyde Drexler left the Blazers to win with the Rockets. We forget Barkley and Pippen went to the Rockets but never won with them. We forget Garry Payton won with Miami. We forget Karl Malone chased a ring with the Lakers. We forget Kobe was going to be trade to the Bulls for Ben Gordon, Lou Deng and some picks. We forget David Stern nixed a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers to restore the Kobe, again. We forget David West took a 10 million dollar pay cut to join Spurs and did not win a title. We forget KG and Ray Allen were traded to the Celtics to help Paul Pierce. We forget Ray Allen jumped ship to play for the Heat. We forget Pierce and Garnett jumped a sinking ship in Boston to play for the Brooklyn Nets, failing miserably. We forget Shaq chased a ring in Cleveland.

I guess all of these guys are weak. Bunch of Ring-Chasers.

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