From post game to post game we here at the Swag have state the obvious and the not so the obvious. This is my blog and covering the Knicks my entire life I have witnessed many ups and downs, but with the promising year the Knicks had in 12.13, and now the disappointment of this year so far, I am really down on this team, management and the overall chemistry of the roster.
Who are the Knicks? What are they made of? Are they just not that good as a team as they think they should be? Should they blow the whole thing up? Wow, these are all the questions that everyone around the world is asking me. To be blunt, I am not sure what to do or just sit tight and wait it out.
Trading Melo will net the Knicks much-needed draft picks and a chance to rebuild in 2015, which is a not a long time away in basketball years. However, trading Melo for two first round picks and role players that expire in 2015 is like playing with a loaded gun. Losing Melo for the next one and a half years will assure the Knicks a horrible record. This year the Knicks have no picks. Their traded pick in 2014 is unprotected, so even if the Knicks are the worst team in the league record wise, they have no chance to grab Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, and Dante Exum. This is a complete bummer and typical in Knicks nation.
If they trade Melo they can probably get 2 first rounder’s spread over 3 years. This will allow them to grab someone else’s first rounder this year, have their own next year, and have the 2nd first rounder from the Melo trade for the 3rd year. That will give them 3 first rounder’s 3 years in a row, which is unheard of in Knicks land.
First rounder’s are not guaranteed to produce, but to build the team properly is the way to go, especially since they will have 2 max contracts available in 2015 with 3 first rounder’s over the next three years. That is a good position to be in as an organization. The question is now will the Knicks management do the right thing with those picks and free agency decisions? So far they have proven they cannot make those correct decisions.
Not trading Melo is the safest thing to do, but to convince Melo to stay after he opts out at the end of this year might be a hard sell if they stink. The Knicks will not have cap flexibility until the end of the 2015 season when around 47 million comes off the cap. This is big money but in the mean time the Knicks will have to tread water with only minor deals in their bag. What minor deal you say?
Minor Moves Could Help?
Dealing Shump is the obvious option. Is it a shame because Shump had and still does have a ton of promise, but he seems broken by the Knicks mismanagement of him the last 2 years. From Woody to Dolan and the re-signing of J.R. Smith, the Knicks have handled Shump all wrong. In order for Shump to become the player he is desired to be he must get 32+ minutes a game at the SG, no questions asked. Let him grow. With J.R. breathing down his neck and the constant barrage of criticism from Woody, Shump is in a no win situation. If he does not get the playing time then they should just trade him away for a PF, PG or legit Center.
Adding a legit PG needs to happen immediately. Felton is not getting it done and Pablo is so reluctant to shoot it drives me nuts. Beno, who is out of shape, is a great role player on a championship team, but this team is not there yet.
At PF the aging Amar’e is a tough one to talk about. Stat is not the same player after all the injuries, and his defense is so bad that having him on the court makes no sense at this time. His offense is also lacking as he gets blocked, travels and turns the ball over too many times to count. The Amar’e reclamation is not working and things need to change. Where ate you Jeremy Tyler? Yea, Jeremy does not solve the problem, but I think it is time to look at younger players moving forward.
At the Center position the Knicks had no viable option with Tyson out. When training camp broke and no back up center to cover the often-injured Chandler, Cole was given the job. Cole Aldrich has seen little action, and I do not understand why Woody cannot give him 10 minutes or so to gage what he can do. Instead he goes small with Kenyon and Barg’s at the Center, which is not working.
To rebuild this team this year and the next off-season will be very difficult unless they can unload Amar’e, Felton, Shump and maybe Tyson for some younger talent or better combinations of players to give them more chemistry as a unit. I am not sure the Knicks management has the capability to makes big changes now and in the off-season, so I expect the dark days to continue until Woody gets fired.
In the end, the Knicks have two choices: Trade Melo or not to trade Melo, that is the question.
It makes sense to trade him so the Knicks can build a real team from the ground up, but doling so forfeits the Knicks from contention for the next 2 years at least and does not guarantee them a chance at a superstar in the 2015 free agency period.
Many decisions need to be made from today until then. If I was in charge I could make these decision, but unfortunately for Knicks nation I am not. Sit tight Knicks land, we are in for a bumpy ride.