The 2nd option, or should I say the lack of the 2nd option, plagued the Knicks all season. With their real 2nd option, Amar’e Stoudemire, out due to injury, the Knicks turned to J.R. Smith as their 2nd and only other offensive weapon. The only problem is that J.R. has proved that he not that type of player. This is another issue that held the Knicks back during the season as well as the playoffs. J.R. Smith is not a 2nd option, PERIOD! At best, he is a 3rd or 4th option. Who can the Knicks find out there to compete with J.R. or Shumpert (if J.R. stays) for the number 2 option? The only way to get a real 2nd option the Knicks will need to trade one of their own to get something of significance in return. Sounds like a tall task to fill, but here is an option that makes sense for both teams, based on certain circumstances.
Chandler and Novak for Pau Gasol: Assuming D12 leaves the L.A. Lakers, and I think he will, the Lakers will need to replace him. Pau does not fit the Lakers plans since MDA has taken over the team as head coach. Gasol would flourish in NY with whatever he has left and be the #2 option that Melo needs. He would be the best passer in the post since Patrick Ewing and would be the perfect alternative to Amar’e and his broken down body.
Pau Gasol himself has been injury riddled the last few years, but if you think about it, Stat and Pau can split some minutes and maybe max out at 24 minutes apiece. In some instances they can play on the same frontline together, stretching the floor with either player alternating as the jump shooter.
After this trade is completed, the Knicks will have a hole at the center position, which was filled admirably the last 2 years by Tyson. However, to add low post presence, a 2nd option, and offense, the Knicks must make sacrifices. With the gaping hole at center the New York Knicks have a few options. They can go with trio of Marcus Camby, Earl Barron and Stat as a platoon, or they can use their Taxpayer Mini Mid on a player like Samuel Dalembert. I think 2 years – 6 million, with the second year as a player option, might entice Sammy to climb aboard a winning team and be the starter with Camby and Barron as the 1,2,3 respectively.
In addition, the Knicks should re-sign Kenyon Martin to play PF/C for insurance and take a shot at Dejaun Blair at the vet’s minimum. This frontcourt is a solid upgrade from this year’s team with a mixture of youth and savvy aged veterans.
Lastly, Pau Gasol is in the final year of his contract at 19 million, which means at the trade deadline they can move him for additional talent or at the end of the 13/14 season the NY Knicks will have 19 million tumble off their cap. Not bad, not bad at all.