The first issue of the Knicks this offseason is figuring out how to keep Carmelo Anthony in an orange and blue jersey. Carmelo has verbally said that he will opt out his contract this summer to test free agency. This is not good news at all for the Knicks. Anthony is one of the best scorers in the NBA and cannot just just be allowed to walk away, at least not without any compensation. Anthony said he considers winning a championship the main priority, and didn’t sound too sure of returning to New York at his exit interview. “I want to come back. I also want to win,” said Anthony.
New York’s next issue is deciding what to do with head coach, Mike Brown. Although all of those things went against Woodson early on in which he could not control. Amare Stoudemire was on constant minute restrictions, and J.R. Smith returned to the team from a suspension and knee injury from the offseason. And don’t forget about Andrea Bargnani injuring his elbow and missing the last half of the season and Tyson Chandler who broke his leg in the first quarter of the season. The fact is though, the players that could play did not always listen to Woodson. “There were times when we didn’t quite buy into it and as a result of that, we lost games,” said Amare Stoudemire couple of days ago.
If the Knicks let go of Woodson where will they go from there? Steve Kerr has been mention as candidate, but he has never been a coach and was average at best as a general manager for the Phoenix Suns. It’s too bad Brian Shaw was hired as the head coach by the Denver Nuggets last season, Jackson would probably love to hire him to run the Knicks.
The Knicks last issue is basically the most important, what to do with the roster? The Knicks have three to four players sucking up cap space. The first is Anthony, but the second is Stoudemire. Stoudemire has missed so many games the last couple years, but really started to perform well and dominate in the last month and a half of the season. His cap number is just over $23 million for next season if he exercises his player option. New York has got to find a way to convince Stoudemire to take a pay cut to add more talent to the roster so they can win. If not, the Knicks are just going to be stuck with him.
They next person underperforming their contract is Bargnani. He did not play all that good before he injured his shooting elbow in the middle of the season and never returned. They simply might have to trade him, or flat out amnesty his contract. There is no way he can stay on the Knicks roster with a contract just under $12 million.
Tyson Chandler also needs to be looked at. He is getting paid almost $15 million next season for a center who cannot score and isn’t as dominant defensively as before. There is no way he can stay on the roster for that amount of money when all he does is rebound and block shots at times. he might have to go.
The Knicks need a dominant point guard more than anything else. The play of their starter Raymond Felton just hasn’t bee good enough. At times he looks sleep out their, like he is too tired to play. There are days he doesn’t enough, and on most nights he doesn’t defend well at all. He also has a pending illegal gun possession charge that could give him jail time. New York needs a floor general desperately. Since the Knicks don’t have any draft picks this summer, they just might need to think about starting Iman Shumpert at point guard, and starting Smith at shooting guard. Shumpert isn’t quite the shooter or ball handler Felton is, but at least we know he will not be dominated offensively by point guards.
The Knicks have talent, just most of the players getting paid the high numbers not being worth it. I am one of the few that believes Smith is worth his salary, and shouldn’t be traded due to his ability to take over games and good chemistry with Anthony. We will see what moves Jackson will make this summer, or at least what moves he will be allowed by his boss and team owner, Mike Dolan.