How The New York Knicks Can Be Competitive Next Season In Two Simple Steps (And One More For The Fans)
There are three major agenda items that the Knicks should accomplish this off-season.
Allow me to be honest for second…I have no idea why I am subjecting myself to this. The fact of the matter is that the New York Knicks are having the worst season in my lifetime with a 14-61 record, including a 9-27 record at the brand new renovated $1 billion Madison Square Garden. Damage control has started as team president Phil Jackson released a heartfelt letter to Knick season ticket holders asking for patience for a team that is fielding a lower level D-League team right now.
One of the major points from Jackson’s letter was that the Knicks will have $25 million in free agent money to throw around this summer. Add in a likely top-5 draft pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and the Knicks will look to both rebuild and re-load at the same time. While having cap space is a beautiful thing, it’s how you spend the money that is important. While having a high draft pick is a major key to help rejuvenate a team, you must select the right player for your team and your system. One wrong move and your franchise can be set back years.
There are three major agenda items that the Knicks should accomplish this off-season to be able to compete in the Eastern Conference…hell, even just the Atlantic Division. I believe these actions, if competed, can bring the New York Knicks to some semblance of relevancy as early as next season. I know it seems like I’m putting this plan on a high pedestal but I am talking about hitting a bunch of singles instead of swinging for the fences. Let’s start with the biggest thing I think the Knicks should do this off-season.
Trade Their High Draft Pick
I know a lot of you will disagree. There are some legitimate top-five picks is this year’s draft with a few cornerstone athletes that could be built around for years (Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell). The problem is that when you look at the Knicks roster, there are holes everywhere from the starting lineup to the 12th man on the bench. You can draft one player or you can get a few players.
Step 1 in the plan is to trade the pick that the Knicks will receive and attempt to get back appropriate value for that pick. Value for a high pick is a combination of a legitimate NBA starting player, one to two role players and that teams’ draft pick or picks. We are in the business of obtaining pieces and not just a piece. Drastic I know but drastic times calls for drastic measures and this move will set up the Knicks to be competitive in the 2015-2016. Next move…
Sign Al Jefferson
While many believe that the Knicks will go after Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Memphis loves Gasol and Gasol loves Memphis. The odds of the Knicks signing him are not high so why not go after a steady player like Jefferson. A career 17 point and nine rebound player, Jefferson will lock down the middle and help open the floor for Carmelo Anthony and the other shooters on the team. Jefferson is also armed with a good mid-range jumper, which will draw defenders from the basket and open up lanes to the basket.
Signing Jefferson will depend on whether or not he exercises his player option with the Charlotte Hornets which is 50/50 at best. The Hornets signed Jefferson to a three-year, $40 million contract two years ago so signing Jefferson will not break the bank, which leaves the Knicks with more money to find another piece to the puzzle. If Jefferson opts out, he NEEDS to be a Knick next season.
Lower Ticket Prices
This is by far not going to happen for the New York Knick franchise in James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden. However with the pain and suffering that the Knick fan has experienced during this season, those who hold season tickets deserve something for their trouble. Those who hold season tickets are not crying poor as the Knicks are at or near the top of the list for ticket prices in the NBA but they are not just going to keep putting their money in for a bad team year after year.
What I am proposing is a one-year price decrease on ticket prices for Knick home games. Season tickets and individual game tickets rates would be dropped down by 15 to 20 percent for the upcoming season as an olive branch to fans who had to sit and endure this abomination called the 2014-2015 New York Knicks season. Wishful thinking I know but a guy could dream right?
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