Time for change: New York Knicks’ Offseason roster plans

New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks 2013 – 2014 campaign was a difficult one to say the least. The Knicks’ season long struggles resulted in a mediocre 37- 45 record which failed in comparison with their 54 – 28 record from only a year ago. As a result, the Knicks missed the playoffs for the first time in three years and their superstar Carmelo Anthony was forced to the watch the playoffs from home for the first time in his 11-year career.

The Knicks capped it off by firing head coach Mike Woodson after the conclusion of the season. Now with a head coaching vacancy, superstar Carmelo Anthony now an unrestricted free agent and legend Phil Jackson leading the way, the Knicks will now assess how they will be constructed moving forward.

The number one priority should be Carmelo Anthony. Despite speculation that Anthony will opt to leave the Knicks this summer to join Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, or Los Angeles Lakers, at this point all signs are indicating that he will re-sign with the Knicks. Anthony is the face of the franchise and despite the Knicks’ team struggles this year, Carmelo statically had the best season of his professional career. Therefore, the Knicks must do everything in their power to retain him.

Amar’e Stoudemire  is coming off a bounce back season in 2013-14 and is entering the last year of his massive $100 million deal. At this point, the Knicks should explore every option they have to dump his contract and clear cap space for the summer of 2015 to sign a superstar to play alongside Carmelo such as Kevin Love.

Andrea Bargnani has an $11.5 million expiring contract. The Knicks’ experiment with Andrea Bargnani was an utter failure and Phil Jackson will look to cut ties with the former number one overall draft pick.

Tyson Chandler is heading into the final year of his contract. There is no question that the former All-Star can still compete at a high level but with his age and contract due to expire at season’s end it may be in the Knicks’ best interest to trade him for assets, such as draft picks or rising stars to prepare for the 2015 – 2016 campaign.

The Knicks will not go to great lengths to retain a reserve in Cole Aldrich but he may find himself back with the Knicks this training camp competing for a final roster spot.

Shannon Brown is a role player but he is also a great defender who has played in Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. His defense and experience will most likely earn him a final roster spot with the Knicks this upcoming season.

This season has been a disaster for Knicks point guard Raymond Felton. After being charged with possession of a firearm and struggling to produce on the court. The Knicks will explore every opportunity to dump his contract and rightfully so.

The Knicks’ star rookie, Tim Hardaway Jr., was a bright spot this season as fans marveled at his great scoring abilities. There is no doubt that he will be retained barring a blockbuster trade.

An often inured veteran, if Kenyon Martin proves that he can stay healthy he should be retained this upcoming season.

New York Knicks Basketball

Phil Jackson

Toure Murry’s development this past season did not go as planned and will most likely be let go; the Knicks have more pressing issues.

Lamar  Odom was signed on the last day of the season as the Knicks will try and capture lightning in a bottle. He is familiar with Phil Jackson’s coaching style but in order for him to stay he must prove that he can get himself back into basketball shape.

Pablo Prigioni is a savvy point guard with high basketball IQ. He will most likely be retained as a backup point guard.

Considered one of the best perimeter defensive guards in the game Iman Shumpert should be retained despite his offensive struggles.

J.R. Smith had an inconsistent season but then again inconsistent is J.R. Smith’s middle name. Despite his flaws the former sixth man of the year has great scoring ability and he proved that towards the ending of this season. J.R. should be retained because the Knicks need a scorer who can complement Carmelo. Just be ready to watch J.R. Smith continue to chuck up threes next season even if they don’t all go in.

Jeremy Tyler is a young athletic center who seems to have much potential. If he is not traded and the Knicks have a need at backup center, then he will most likely be retained.

  • Great Article

    Great article overall, well written and an enjoyable read.
    I agree with you too, I think Melo will stay. He’s had a great season and I certainly hope he stays with the Knicks.

  • Mohammed

    Good perspective. Think too many bad contracts will leave the Knicks in the gutter again in 2014-2015. Phil’s true test will be 2015. There’s only so much he can do this upcoming season.

  • danuman

    I think you have great potential in writing about sports, but you may want to employ someone to edit and proofread your work, for the time being.

    The Knicks will have a difficult time moving most of the bad contracts on their roster, especially Bargnani and Stoudemire. Even Chandler’s value has dropped as his injury woes have returned in force. Phil Jackson should keep who he can while targeting reachable guys in free agency that can fill a role, and basically avoid bidding against themselves on Carmelo Anthony. In 2015 the Knicks will have much more flexibility, with or without him.

  • tdh

    “all signs” point to Melo staying? Which sign was that? Melo declaring he will opt out and test free agency, saying he wants to win above all other priorities after a losing season (with the Knicks) – even money not being top priority (NY’s biggest 100% confirmed selling point in retaining him this off-season), or that he does not want to hear about 2015 from teams (2015 is when the Knicks will have some reasonable flexibility and be able to do a lot of things to keep him happy). “All signs” point to NYK needing to be nervous about NYK losing him and the price they paid for him. NYK chose to not trade him at the deadline which was a gamble. If Melo does not need S&T, then they get nothing back if he leaves after the huge price they paid to obtain him. If he does work with NY in a S&T, then NYK are still in a weak position because they are forced into being told what team to trade with and will be limited in what they can get back from that team. It is still best probability he stays because the likely teams that give him better supporting talent would either need to clear cap space at a level that Melo will accept (less) or they would need to work a S&T or series of trades which is hardly something any team would begin to do unless Melo verbally committed to sign an extension and wanted to be there first which can’t happen until July 1st. The lack of that movement is the only reason staying is the highest probability. Phil making a big deal about Kerr being his friend and the best coaching option for him, then losing him to GS was a major failure. If he can’t get a coach he wants (coach salaries are not controlled by the CBA limitations) then how is he going to recruit major free agent players to come that are not his friends already, have CBA pay and trade limitations, and require to be convinced to come to this team? That failure looked really bad. Derek Fisher has no experience coaching, and Stan Van Gundy is already gone. They are down to Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and then random college coaches, along with first time coaches like Derek Fisher to convince Melo to stay? The better options there like Mark Jackson and JVG don’t have experience with the offense of Phil Jackson (hyped Triangle Offense), so they lose that if they go for experience. Or, they go for no experience coaching, but experience with the Phil Jackson system. Either way, it is half-solution to the problem at this point. Kerr would have raised the fewest red flags of the bunch, but that ship has sailed. NYK can’t trade for a coach under contract unless they have something that team wants. They have no picks until 2018, and most of their contracts that are desirable elsewhere are the ones they want to keep. I would not want to be walking into this situation with the responsibility of retaining Carmelo. NO signs point to him staying – yet.