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.
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.