The New York Knicks have to be dreaming with the roster moves that they have made during this abbreviated NBA offseason. They have certainly been one of the more active teams this offseason; they have added players, subtracted players, and been involved in various trade rumors. Most notably, they’ve had a reserved spot in last place of the Chris Paul race–to their detriment.
It seems like every move that the Knicks have made this offseason has been made in a hollow effort to acquire the services of Mr. Paul. If they were to get Chris Paul, as I’ve stated before, it would have to be through free agency. It wouldn’t make sense for the Hornets to trade Paul to the Knicks because of their lack of talented assets and picks.
First, let me start of with the move of acquiring Tyson Chandler. There has been an underlying assumption that Chris Paul wanted to play with Tyson Chandler again. We all remember the magic that these guys had in New Orleans when Chris Paul came in second for MVP voting. With that floating out in the rumor mill, many teams were vying for the services of Chandler.
Many teams need that defensive presence in the paint that Chandler can offer you; however, because of the Finals Chandler’s services would require a vast overpayment. That overpayment is exactly what the New York Knicks did. Jim Dolan could probably be heard somewhere laughing hysterically; the Knicks signed Tyson Chandler to a 4 year, 58 million dollar deal.
Now, we all know that the Knicks are inept defensively. Mike D’antoni certainly is incompetent when it comes to coaching the defensive side of the ball. Over and over we hear that Mike doesn’t coach defense, he doesn’t worry about his players getting back. He only worries about them getting a bucket and pushing the ball; this is why defensive assistant Mike Woodson was hired. Yes, I get that. My gripe is that Chandler is a guy who can’t score on offense without a point guard to put him in position to do so. He also has never made an all star appearance, has had health issues, and is going to be 29 next season. He’s been in the league for 10 years and in basketball years that’s a lot. You don’t dump 58 million into a guy’s lap for this. If I were you all, I’d look forward to the next lockout because of deals like this.
This is not the only blunder that the Knicks have made this offseason. In addition to the signing of Tyson Chandler, the Knicks have also made Chauncey Billups their amnesty contract. For those who don’t know, when you amnesty a player you still must pay their contract but it doesn’t count against your teams salary cap. Then the player is going to be bid upon on waivers by teams in the NBA. If the player clears waivers then they are allowed to become an unrestricted free agent. When Billups heard about this news he was infuriated. Its right here on ESPN New York. I can’t blame Billups in this situation. The Knicks totally undermined him as soon as he was brought over in the Chris Paul deal.
“From the first day I got there, it was always about who was going to be the next point guard, without giving me a real chance. I get it, but at the same time my track record speaks for itself. Give me a real chance to prove I can be that guy. The whole deal with Denver was about Melo, and that’s understandable. He’s a young star in the league. But at the same time, I don’t think the Knicks valued what else they got in the deal.” -Chauncey Billups
They amnestied Billups so that they could bring in Chandler; I think that was the Knicks biggest mistake. Their best playmaker on the roster is now Carmelo Anthony. We all know how much of a black hole Anthony is. He rarely passes the ball and when he does it isn’t always the best shot for his teammates. That’s what Chauncey Billups brought to the table. He wasn’t the pure point guard type but he knew how to be the point guard of that offense. Anthony is a small forward. When he is your best initiator on offense that is a problem.
D’antoni has come out and said that Toney Douglas could be their point guard. Don’t get me wrong, Douglas is a good player. We have to be real though, he’s a combo guard that should be nothing more than your 6th man off of the bench. They’ve also brought in Mike Bibby who is another option at the point position. Bibby has never really been the main option as a ball handler though. Early in his career he would’ve been a more viable option but he hasn’t been able to score double digits in points since 2008. He is a questionable defender at best and doesn’t really bring anything else to the table. Do you really want to give him the keys to the high priced Ferrari that is the New York Knicks? If I’m the Knicks I have to have a better option in mind.
The Knicks roster doens’t look like it will mesh anytime soon. Carmelo and Amare have to learn how to play together and share shots in that front court; good luck with that. Those guys have always been two shot eaters for their whole careers. It also seems that they are having trouble determining who’s team it is. I think that will get in the way of the Knicks before it helps. It shouldn’t matter who’s team it is; as long as you’re winning no one will care. That’s no way to run a team that is vying for a championship. New York needs to settle their problems before they ever thing of even competing for the Larry O’Brien.
Knicks fans, please don’t hate me for this. I love your franchise and I want it to return to greatness. I would love to see the Knicks back into the finals; the problem is that they have been floundering around trying to build a franchise on the fly with free agents. I don’t like the team that is currently constructed and I don’t like the new “Big 3” in New York.
Michael Sykes is a writer for the SportsBlogMovement. Follow us on twitter. Use the Hashtag.