In a poll conducted to rate and rank the front office decision makers of all 30 NBA teams on ESPN.com, the New York Knicks ranked towards the bottom of the NBA, coming in 21st of the 30 NBA franchises. Frankly, I’m surprised the Knicks were ranked that high.
Granted, this poll was supposed to account for the short and long term effectiveness that the pollsters believed the front office personnel would have on the team, on a scale from one to ten, with the Knicks brass garnering a 4.67 ranking. I have little doubt the addition of Phil Jackson to the Knicks decision making process skewed some of those polled to rank the Knicks a bit higher. Otherwise there’s no way you could rate the Knicks as high as 21st.
This team has underperformed immensely, that much is not up for debate, winning only 33 of 76 games so far this season after winning 54 games a year ago. The Knicks have the second highest payroll in all of basketball (via Sportrac.com) and are barely edging the Atlanta Hawks, the 24th highest paid roster, for the East’s 8th playoff spot. That kind of payroll should bring you a much better position in the standings.
In the short term the Knicks are in serious trouble. Their best player, Carmelo Anthony, is nearly assured to opt-out of his contract at season’s end; if he resigns with New York the team will have too little money to sign any impact player in the off-season to help the team next year, if he signs elsewhere the Knicks will have lost a premier scorer without recouping anything for him. Neither scenario is optimal.
The long term outlook is brighter, if the Knicks can make good free agent decisions. After next season the tremendous contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Andrea Bargnani all come of the teams books, freeing up space to bring in talent to compliment Anthony should he remain a Knick.
A serious issue for the franchise going forward however, is their lack of draft picks. According to RealGM.com, the Knicks have already traded away seven draft picks between 2014 and 2017. The cheapest way to rebuild and maintain a strong franchise is through the draft. The Knicks front office will simply not have the opportunity to do so in the coming years. If this regime is to succeed it will have to make excellent decisions with the few draft picks they do have.
Tags: New York Knicks