New York Knicks Five Takeaways From First Half Of Season

2 of 6

Jan 19, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) celebrates a three-point basket in the first quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

-Roster Transformation Starts Now

Phil Jackson has said numerous times that he wants to change the culture of the Knicks. One way to do that is to change the roster, which he has done much sooner, and more swiftly, than people could have imagined.

Jackson started the roster teardown in the summer when he moved Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Dallas Mavericks for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and two second round draft picks. Later on he traded for Travis Outlaw and Quincy Acy from the Sacramento Kings for Ellington and Jeremy Tyler.

Jackson said he would give his team through Christmas to evaluate who is picking things up and who isn’t, and he stood by that making a big in-season trade. He continued to tear down the roster just two weeks ago, realizing that the Knicks season was lost, moving Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade that also involved the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was a white-flag waiving of sorts for the Knicks, as they made a trade based solely on salary relief.

The move gives the Knicks more salary cap space for this summer, and opened up a couple of roster spots to evaluate some younger players that were on waivers or in the D-League. They may have one keeper in former Westchester Knicks guard Langston Galloway. He was one of three players to receive 10-day contracts with the Knicks, along with Louis Amundson and Lance Thomas.

Next: Franchise In The Doldrums