New York Knicks management continues to let fans down

New York Knicks fans. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks fans. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks fans have been through some very disappointing offseasons. Our Andrew Elderbaum still has strong feelings on the many ugly past summers.

Howdy New York Knicks fans, it’s that time of year again. Time to get your hopes up about all the shiny new toys available in free agency, only to find a lump of coal, Jerome James, and Amare Stoudemire‘s wine bath under the tree. Be thankful though,  at least you’re not a Los Angeles Lakers fan.

So as we delve into what the Knicks should do, hope to do and what will happen, let’s start with the big rumor. Now I’m not one to speak unattributed stories as fact, that’s what Bill Simmons is for, but it sounds like Kevin Durant to New York is pretty much a done deal. As a first building block that’s a huge one, but he has to be part of a double signing.

Durant is not coming to NY to play with Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson. While an intriguing group with a ton of upside, they are not anywhere near a championship-caliber team. If I’m Durant, I need to see some new moves before I lock myself into that roster. An underrated aspect of his decision-making process is his current injury. While in no way career-altering Durant is 30, and after seeing what happened to Lebron James in Los Angeles, he may not want to risk his last few prime seasons on a wish and promise to improve the team around him.

So who is that second player? If I’m the Knicks, I am staying away from noted cartographer and sports psychologist Kyrie Irving. He already submarines two franchises, let’s not be the third. For me, Kemba Walker is the guy to go after. He is more willing to go into the second banana role, is from New York, and has shown more leadership in a challenging task than Irving ever has. He may be terrible defensively, but Kyrie is at least as bad if not worse.

With pieces one and two in place, the next decision is what to do with Knox, Smith Jr., and R.J. Barrett. Smith Jr. already struggled not being the focal point of the team in Dallas, so there has to be concern about how he would play coming off the bench in New York. Knox and Barrett fit together well offensively with Knox the shooter coming open as teams double Durant, and Barrett rumbling towards the hoop as a roll man. Defensively things could get ugly with those two on the floor as they both have a lot of development left on that side of the ball.

If you put one of them on the bench (maybe Knox as a heat check guy) and bring in a solid 3 and D wing (Trevor Ariza on a short-term deal?), then both can stay. You find a taker for Smith and maybe include a pick with him to sweeten the offer. That gives you a starting five of Robinson, Durant, Ariza, Barrett, and Walker. Knox, Smith(or pieces you get in a deal) Lance Thomas, Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier and Frank Ntilikina on the bench. Oh and as far as Anthony Davis? We already gutted the team once for Carmelo Anthony, so I’ll pass.

That team would need more size, and you would have to package two of the wings to get it. I would look to send Frankie to an organization for even a second-round pick and consider him a sunk cost. Move Smith Jr. and make a qualifying offer to bring back Emmanuel Mudiay as your back up point guard. I’d explore what it would take to bring in someone like Dewayne Dedmon as your backup big man. Now you’re looking at Robinson, Durant, Ariza, Walker, and Barrett. Knox, Dedmon, Thomas, Dotson, and Trier as your rotation pieces.

New York Knicks should trade the third overall pick. dark. Next

It would be contingent on getting Ariza and Dedmon cheap and finding takers for Ntilikina and Smith Jr., but it is doable. All that being said the Knicks are going to end up with Jimmy Butler and DeMarcus Cousins along with three lumps of coal.