This may seem like a harsh or unfair question, but it is one that every New York Knicks fan should be asking themselves. Many teams have retooled this summer and are ready to come back next year in an attempt to force their way into contention. This trend has been more in the Western Conference than the East, but either way the ramifications of these new dynamics will be league-wide. With so many teams coming back significantly improved next season one really has to wonder what the Knicks are going to do.
Many want to accuse Kevin Durant or LeBron James of creating the super team dynamic. While this isn’t entirely accurate, they have showed that the formula can work. The most notable example is the Golden State Warriors, who won 73 games without Durant the year prior, nearly sweeping every team they went up against during the playoffs before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 finals. Durant led the Warriors to a championship in his first season with the team.
Since the season ended, a slew of trades and signings occurred that mirrored that same formula. Gordon Hayward joined Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford in Boston. Paul George was shipped to Oklahoma City to help out League MVP Russell Westbrook. The Timberwolves became a potential super team with the acquisitions of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague. They join Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins under the direction of defensive enthusiast Tom Thibodeau. The most notable transaction is the addition of floor general Chris Paul to MVP runner-up James Harden and the Houston Rockets, who are in the process of trying to take Carmelo Anthony out of the Garden. While teams around the League have made every attempt at getting better, the Knicks have made some questionable decisions.
Round and Round we Go
At the very beginning of the offseason, the Knicks parted ways with Phil Jackson. That may have been their only truly brilliant move thus far. Since then, the Knicks have continued their trend of overpaying players. They signed Tim Hardaway Jr to a $71 million offer sheet and gave Ron Baker nearly $9 million over two years. Currently lacking a starting-caliber point guard, the Knicks have allowed their own free-agent Derrick Rose to meet with other teams. Rajon Rondo, another potential option signed with the New Orleans Pelicans. All this is occurring as the Knicks entertain trade talks with the Cavaliers, Rockets, and Portland Trailblazers regarding Anthony. If you factor this all in, it seems unlikely that the Knicks will truly be able to compete against these rebuilt teams next season.
With potentially no Carmelo Anthony, no Derrick Rose, and very few impact players remaining for the Knicks to choose from, fans may have to prepare for the worst next season. They can pin their hopes on Kristaps Porzingis, Frank Ntilikina and Hardaway, but the chances of them forcing their way into the playoff picture without a solid veteran to guide them seem slim. For now it’s a wait-and-see, but Knicks fans currently don’t have much to look forward to as the season draws near.