Sigh, the New York Knicks. A topic that always brings pain and heartbreak to my psyche. I was once a New York Knicks fan several years back. However, one day I realized there’s no hope for the New York Knicks. Not with James Dolan at the helm. Even though there’s a looming free agency with some top free agents coming this summer and the Knicks have the third overall pick in the NBA draft, the future for New York doesn’t seem so bright. With Mr. Dolan having recently allowed Phil Jackson blacklist Carmelo Anthony and kicking Charles Oakley out the garden at one point in time, plus all the other travesties that occurred within the past 20 years ever since Dolan took over the New York Knicks. These include the signing of Isiah Thomas as head coach, the mash-up Stephon Marbury, Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry, and the list goes on. New York Knicks fans have faith through and through. The New York Knicks have been a laughing stock in the NBA since Patrick Ewing retired and haven’t made the playoffs more than 6 times in 20 years.
This is true loyalty, potentially loyalty to a fault. But those are true fans right there. Through the dark days, they stay solid and root for their team. Because they know one day the team will reach the Glory Days. The Glory Days of the 1970s when they won those two championships. The Glory Days of the 1990s with Patrick Ewing almost let them to a championship. All hope seems to be put into this one off-season, New York Knicks fans were adamant in their faith to get the number one overall pick this season. The very season where the Knicks stunk up the garden again. This time with some young talent that seems to have promise. Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier a surprising undrafted rookie, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina to a certain extent if he develops right. Plus cap space so they can sign a marquee free agent such as Kevin Durant, or Kyrie Irving, or Jimmy Butler, or another big name. And even though they slipped to the number three pick they have the potential of drafting a player that could be a game-changer for them.
RJ Barrett, the Canadian consensus best player in the draft when they first started the college season last year, could go to number three. And he could be the Cornerstone for a new regime, or he could be traded in a package to be sent to acquire Anthony Davis for the next season. So the New York Knicks have options, but this doesn’t always bore good fruit. I’m not being pessimistic, I’m being realistic. With the front office being uncertain of what they’re doing especially with training Porzingis, their Marquee big man, the big man of their future. With him coming out saying that he didn’t like the direction the team was going in and there was a lot of confusion between everybody, who would want to play in New York? Well in the garden to be exact.
The real question is who wouldn’t want to play in the garden? The garden is the Mecca of basketball, the biggest stage. The best players come to play and show their skills in the garden. This is where you make your name. You know all the greats to come and show out. We all remember the Double Nickel that Michael Jordan dropped on the Knicks. So many stories, so many Legends of come from this Arena. The world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. Who wouldn’t want to play for this team? If I were Kevin Durant I wouldn’t hesitate, I get to reshape the team how I see fit potentially. I get to play with a young player who could bloom into a superstar, bring another Superstar along with me. And bring back New York Knicks basketball. That right there would be the greatest mark on anyone’s Legacy. I believe the future is bright for the New York Knicks, however, they have to make these next few moves in the off-season very strategically and without hesitation.
Here are potential events that can occur for New York this off-season.
- The Jackpot
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sign with the Knicks, New York trades the number three overall pick with Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr, Mitchell Robinson, maybe even Allonzo Trier to the New Orleans Pelican for Anthony Davis. These three stars could be the key to bring New York back to the promised land. With arguably the best player in the world, the next best player in the world and the greatest finisher under the rim we’ve ever seen, New York basketball would be so spectacular. There will be sellouts and box office records set every single home game. Who wouldn’t come to these games?
- The contingency
New York signs Jimmy Butler and DeMarcus Cousins and builds with the young core that they have. Say New York doesn’t get Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the off-season, those two seem like a package deal. The next best thing could be Butler and Cousins. These are two players you can build with and with RJ Barrett you have a great young core along with him that can help make a pretty good push in Eastern Conference. Or you could trade the young players for some Shooters and a good point guard to facilitate the two.
- The rebuild
The New York Knicks don’t get any free agents in free agency, draft RJ Barrett and begin to build with a new young core. With a young promising coach and David Fizdale at the helm of some young thoroughbreds running up and down the court in Madison Square Garden. That’s exciting. No, it’s not a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, players that have already established themselves, but these are young players that are exciting. Dennis Smith Jr is a high flyer, Mitchell Robinson is a hungry shot-blocker, RJ Barrett could be a superstar. Who says you need Marquee free agents when you’ve already got a young core that you can build with?
- Another homebody
In this scenario, Kemba Walker comes home to New York. Maybe he brings a free agent with him, say, DeMarcus Cousins, or Jimmy Butler, maybe even Klay Thompson might come up to the Garden. Then you got Razzle Dazzle of the Kyrie-light potentially. With RJ Barrett, then you trade Dennis Smith Jr for a shooter. Kevin Knox grows into a defensive tweener. Another Hometown hero comes back to bring Knicks basketball back on the map. Maybe this time he’ll be more successful than Carmelo Anthony or Stephon Marbury. Hopefully.
- Davis comes but…
The Knicks trade away their young assets and get Anthony Davis, then they sign Kemba Walker. With the remaining cap space to sign some veterans that can space the floor for the team and New York Knicks basketball is exciting, but not championship-contending. This is a scenario where they don’t get superstars from free agency but they do get a superstar that can work with. However, it’s just New Orleans all over again in a bigger market for Davis.
These are five scenarios that I came up with in my head, there are so many more that could come out of this free agency. Only time will tell. There’s so much uncertainty, so much anxiety at this moment in time for Knicks fans. Everything could go right, everything could go wrong. For New York, you never know.
However, even through all the dysfunction in the falling out from so many different great regimes, this looks like the time for New York basketball to come back on the map. For Knicks fans to finally be proud of a team, to root for something. Even if they don’t get a marquee free agent in free agency, they still have young talent that they can build around.
New York Knicks fans, even though you missed out on getting Zion Williamson in this draft, you have a potential Superstar you can draft and build with. Even though you may miss out on Kevin Durant, or Kyrie Irving, or even Jimmy Butler, you can sign other pieces such as Shooters and a point guard to build with RJ Barrett. Some mentors for their big men like Mitchell Robinson. You have a young nucleus that can bring you to the promised land in the next four to five years if you play your cards right. Do not sign any free agents that will limit the growth of your young players.
So New York Knicks fans, there is something to cheer for this year. This is a process, and even though you have no patience, now is the time for it. Now is the time to know your new young nucleus, just in case you don’t get those big free-agents that you’re hoping for. RJ Barrett looks like he’s ready for this town, and you should all embrace him. Make him want to be here, make the rest of your young core want to be here because the future is bright in New York. You all deserve something good to come out from this and it will. Management has put this team in a great position this off-season. Now execution must occur. So use that good faith you have in the New York Knicks and put everything you got into it. For this is your time New York Knicks fans. New York basketball is back, I’m declaring it now.