Phil Jackson has stated in his last interview in Las Vegas that the guard-heavy New York Knicks needs some roster management. That’s right, the same guy that brought three guards from Dallas in the trade that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton away – that says a lot about his real intentions in making this trade happen. Tyson and Ray had to go for chemistry reasons, and the knicks got a pro PG in Jose Calderon in the process so it’s all good by my standards.
Now the team is stuck with a plethora of guards. Jose Calderon, Shane larkin, Wayne Ellington, JR Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert, Shannon Brown and Pablo Prigioni.
The PG position is pretty set up with Calderon, Prigioni and Larkin, but two of those shooting guards will probably have to go. The summer league has been a great opportunity for head coach Derek Fisher to evaluate these guys to see who is going to make the final cut. In the end of the day, Brown and Ellington will have to positively surprise everyone if they want to make it.
Added to that, the SF position is still uncertain, even though the team re-signed Carmelo Anthony. Jackson himself told reporters that draftees Cleanthony Early and Thanasis Antetoukounmpo are too green for the NBA and probably only one of them is going to make the regular season roster. In my opinion, Thanasis might see some time in the D-League. Lamar Odom was officially waived by the Knicks last week and Phil said he was disappointed that Lamar couldn’t leave his past behind. A versatile and cheap small forward, he could have added good depth at the three position, specially with his knowledge of the triangle offense.
Another guy that we saw last season, Jeremy Tyler is also not guaranteed, considering Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani are supposedly healthy at the 4 position and Cole Aldrich and Samuel Dalembert are set to be the two centers.
All in all, Jackson and GM Steve Mills (picture) have a lot of work to do in terms of adding complimentary pieces and getting rid of the excess to make the 2014-2015 Knicks roster a competitive and consistent team.