Last week’s blockbuster trade involving the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Oklahoma City Thunder sent ripples around the NBA. Part of the trade involved New York cutting ties with two of its long-time guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith in exchange for Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk, and Lance Thomas. Amundson, Kirk, and Thomas were waived from the Knick’s roster immediately after the trade became official in an effort to shed unwanted salary commitments. By trading away Shumpert (a superb defender when healthy) and Smith (an inconsistent offensive threat), team president Phil Jackson has signified to Knicks fans that change is coming and that the organization is looking far beyond this disappointing season.
The Knicks win-loss record sits at an abysmal 5-35 at the near-halfway point of the season. To add salt to the wound, the team is currently on a 15 game losing streak, which is utterly embarrassing even for the Knicks. Given the team’s struggles so far this season, a couple recommendations should be considered by Jackson and his management team as soon as possible…
|Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (Credits to: theatlantic.com)|
1. Shut Carmelo Anthony Down for the Remainder of the Season
Anthony, the Knicks expensive star player has suffered through knee issues throughout the 2014-15 NBA season. Knicks management should rest Anthony to ensure he can tend to his ailing knee and bounce back stronger next season. The Knicks have truly nothing to play for as the team is far out of a playoff spot in the weaker Eastern conference and should view Anthony as more of a long-term investment than anything else right now. $124 million is a boatload of money to commit to a player who just turned 30 years of age and since this is only year one of Anthony’s five year contract, the Knicks should seek to protect their investment in an already lost season and develop other parts of the team’s roster.
2. Take a similar approach to the Boston Celtics; Avoid Delaying the Inevitable Rebuild to Come
The Celtics over the past few seasons have been stockpiling draft picks to add to their already impressive young nucleus of talent. Phil Jackson’s Knicks should take a similar approach by collecting draft picks and making every player (aside from Carmelo Anthony) expendable through trading. The sooner the Knicks realize that building through solely free agency simply doesn’t work the better; if the team’s $100 million signing of Amare Stoudemire is any indication, this team has had a rough go of it in free agency over the past few seasons and should learn from their mistakes. Last weeks trade is a good indicator for the Knicks that Jackson has truly cemented his place as the leader of this lowly franchise and has given up on the team’s current composition.