Over the next several weeks, we’re going to be “scouting the enemy,” as we’ll be covering the outlook for the 29 other teams in the league ahead of the 2019-2020 season.
NEW YORK KNICKS
Former Grizzlies: Wayne Ellington, Coach David Fizdale
Offseason in review
Lets talk about the New York Knicks. It’s not a lot to talk about, but it is what it is. Their offseason was, and I mean this with all due respect, not ideal. Before the summer started the Knicks, for some odd reason, were confident that they were going to land not one, BUT TWO max free agents. To make matters even worse, they watched their top FA targets come to New York, but opt to play at the Barclay Center with the Nets over Madison Square Garden. Not only did they lose out on their targets, but they chose to play for your cross town rival in ther process as well. For the foreseeable future, they will have to watch Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant play in a Brooklyn Nets jersey. That’s tough.
However, it’s not ALL bad.
They did land the #1 high school prospect in the country from a year ago, R.J. Barrett. With him averaging 22.6 ppg in college at Duke, that's not a bad consolation prize right? His Summer League debut was one to forget, but he finished strong. He was the first player in Sumer League history to average 16ppg, 9rbs, and 5asts per game. His shooting continued to disappoint. However, that's something that can be tweaked.
Though they missed on their top tier FAs, they landed some solid players to suffice. Headlining their class is Julius Randle. He has improved his game every year since being in the league. He will have a major role on the team for the upcoming season. Honestly, they have more power forwards on their roster than anyone else in the league. Behind Randle, they also have Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, and Taj Gibson. Yup. Most power forwards on one roster in the league. They also signed Elfred Payton. Not sure he really fits with Dennis Smith Jr., but this is the same team that has five PFs on their roster. I wouldn't be surprised if they start all power forwards one game, just to flex their PFs stable.
Payton is a stat stuffer for sure. However, the fit is questionable. When it comes to the on court product, it’s no surprise that the Knicks will be lottery bound again this year. They have a few promising pieces like RJ, Mitchell Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr, but I don’t see them making a splash, or a run to the playoffs.
Memphis fans are very familiar with David Fizdale. As a former Grizz coach, most fans fell in love with him, and his attitude, from day one. However, towards the end, the fan base was divided on him. The organization eventually decided to move on from him during the 2017 season. From there, he was hired as the New York Knicks head coach in 2018. However, I fully expect James Dolan to fire our friend David Fizdale this year. Why? Just because. He’s James Dolan. He’s proven he does what he wants, and doesn’t really care how people feel about it.
This is going to be a tough season, and coaches rarely survive those kinds of seasons in this league. With that being said, the Knicks know they’re going to have a tough season this year. It’s all about building towards the future, and trying to preserve some financial stability fore the future. There are some quality free agents coming up in the next few years. Yes, they missed on them this Summer, but they’ll swing again in the upcoming Summers.
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to get a hit, because their fan base truly deserves it.