Filling Out the New York Knicks Roster
As Double G Sports’ own Kahlil Thomas pointed out two weeks ago, Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks have quietly had themselves a very nice offseason. While they didn’t acquire the stars many fans were hoping for throughout the regular season, the players that were added bring depth to a team that desperately lacked legitimate NBA talent. It remains to be seen whether the new players will bring immediate success to New York, but we can definitely look forward to a seemingly more competitive product on the Madison Square Garden floor in 2015-16.
However, there’s still work to be done.
As it currently stands the Knicks have nine guaranteed contracts on their roster: Carmelo Anthony, Robin Lopez, Aaron Afflalo, Jose Calderon, Derrick Williams, Kyle O’Quinn, Louis Amundson, Lance Thomas, and Cleanthony Early. That number will rise to eleven once first-round draft picks Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant are signed. And let’s not forget the partially guaranteed contracts of Langston Galloway and Ricky Ledo; Galloway is surely a lock to make the team while Ledo is likely to fight for a spot with Thanasis Antetekounmpo, although the latter may not be under team control for much longer.
Training camp starts in September, so Jackson won’t be in any rush to fill out the rest of the roster. But there are still some holes that definitely need to be addressed, namely a perimeter shooter and a veteran post player. Who should be considered?
Calderon, Afflalo and “Me7o” — yes, that’s really how he refers to himself — are arguably the Knicks’ best shooters. They also project to be starters, which leaves the bench lacking a solid scoring threat. I’d like Dorell Wright in this spot; he’s not afraid of letting it fly from deep and can play decent enough defense to start at small forward, effectively moving Anthony to the power forward spot.
Lopez is the only true center New York has. O’Quinn and Amundson can fill in on occasion, but neither is a good long-term option should Lopez go down for an extended period. Alex Kirk and Maurice Ndour impressed in summer league, and lesser free agents like Kevin Seraphin and Jeff Withey would bring a strong defensive presence to the Knicks.
All in all, the Knicks roster as it stands is vastly improved from last season … albeit ever so slightly. Jackson has taken the time to fill some major holes in the roster and he realizes the job is far from completed. Even though the remaining moves that need to be made won’t be sexy, they will be necessary for this team to make the jump to playoff contender.