The New York Knicks are in big trouble. While they did finally secure David Lee and Nate Robinson for the upcoming year, they've also completely failed to make a discernible splash this offseason. Instead of taking advantage of their nearly endless funds in a weak economy where no other buyers existed, the Knicks sat on their hands in the name of signing two max free agents in 2010.
I've got news for you Knickerbockers, it could just be a dream. Most marquee free agents end up staying put. LeBron probably isn't coming. Bosh probably isn't coming. Wade probably won't come either. Sure maybe you'll land Amar'e Stoudamire and another tier two All-Star, but it's not like $30 million in cap space is going to buy you a championship quality team when Danilo Gallinari, Jordan Hill, and Wilson Chandler are the only other semi-effective players on the roster. The Knicks needed to solidify their roster this season, but didn't get it done.
And here's some more bad news for you, this season your team is probably lottery bound, and you're not even going to have the pick. For a little more Knicks bashing, as well as some positive points, come on over the jump.
I'll make this quick. The Knicks really don't look all that different this season. They're still saddled with overpaid, non-impact players like Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, Eddy Curry, and Chris Duhon. Adding the former Grizzly Darko Milicic, another overpaid role player who thinks he's a star, has basically been their only move this offseason outside of the draft. Nate Robinson and David Lee are very effective in their roles, but aren't good enough to carry a team to the playoffs. If Al Harrington is your leading scorer, something is very wrong.
The Knicks picked up a few lukewarm bodies in the draft, selecting Jordan Hill and Toney Douglass in the first round. Douglass can score but is undersized and has limited potential. On the flip side Jordan Hill has enormous athletic talents, but definitely isn't ready to be much more than an energy guy at this point. These two were decent choices, but the Knicks already have enough more effective players to fill the minutes at their positions.
If this team is going to make any noise this season, it will be behind their promising forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari. Chandler played inconsistently last season, but was occasionally fantastic and has a bright future. Danilo Gallinari is more of an unknown; the Knicks claim he is a superstar in the making, but he's always been too injured to show his talent. If the Knicks want to win this season, he absolutely has to show up and take shots from the inefficient Al Harrington.
"Mike D'Antoni snapped this photo of Danilo Gallinari before he fled the training center."
Breakout: Wilson Chandler- As much as I wanted to put Dano in this slot, Chandler is more experienced and will probably also be available in the final rounds of your draft. If he can rebound better and become a little more assertive in making sure he gets his touches in D'Antoni's up-tempo offense, Chandler will be a steal in the late rounds. That being said getting minutes is going to be a concern, because the Knicks are deep at with similar quality of talent at the forward position.
Bust: David Lee- ESPN ranks David Lee as the 8th best power forward, and 28th best player overall. I know what Lee can do, and I watched him do just that last season. The problem is that Lee just doesn't give you enough to warrant selection in the end of the third round. He is a couple category monster, and the player rater doesn't lie, but you'll need to work hard to craft a team that compensates for his serious lack of scoring and blocks.
Useful: Al Harrington, Nate Robinson- Ranked 50th and 111th, respectively, both of these guys are solid options if you need scoring and three's. I wouldn't pull the trigger on Harrington because I'm not sure the minutes will be there this season, but Robinson is still one of the most valuable sixth-men in fantasy, and would probably be a steal this late in the draft.
My Prediction: 30-52 (ESPN: 32-50) The Knicks are a bad team saddled with big contracts and small contributions. I don't see them as significantly improved from last season, and they might have been a little lucky to win 32 games last season. I've taken away a few wins to account for improvements in the rest of the East, as well as make up for the fact that they were better before their trades last season.
Poasting and Toasting is your home for New York Knicks coverage.