The New York Knicks had an eventful off-season. Maybe it wasn’t on the level of “#HELLOBROOKLYN, WE’VE REBUILT OUR TEAM INTO THE 2012 FIRST ROUND KNOCKOUT BOSTON CELTICS”…but it was active nonetheless. Considering training camp is rapidly approaching, let’s take a quick run through the good, the bad and the ugly of the Knicks off-season.
Cheap Labor! - The Knicks were able to sign Metta Ron Artest World Peace until further name change occurs and #BENO Udrih to extremely friendly contracts. Both are valuable veteran pieces who will immediately boost the Knicks depth and rotation. Those two additions serve as the backbone of the argument on why the Knicks have an overall better team than last year’s 54 win squad.
Continuity - The Knicks top ten rotation players in the playoffs last season were Ray Felton, Iman Shumpert, Pablo Prigioni, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin, Amare Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Chris Copeland and JR Smith. Eight of those ten players are back and considering Kidd went scoreless in his 1,284 minutes as a Knick, they should be able to survive without him. It is no fun losing Copeland but you can’t keep everybody.
Some Young People - Tim Hardaway Jr. Jeremy Tyler. CJ Leslie. Look at all that shiny new youth at the end of the Knicks bench. Hardaway may even get some rotation work while JR Smith is recovering from off-season surgery. There is never any harm in developing younger players instead of letting James White and Rasheed Wallace in a suit take up your last roster spots.
#SHUMP - He’s had first full off-season as a professional, which should pay dividends this year.
Early Rumblings of ‘Melo Leaving - This will be a season long storyline that you will become AMAZINGLY sick of sooner rather than later. The chirping started this off-season with a flurry of articles, quotes, questions and anything that could possibly link Anthony to Los Angeles being peddled out there.
The Bargnani Debate - Knicks Twitter has been bitterly divided between categorizing this as the worst trade in NBA history or a potentially smart move that could pay dividends this season. Overall, I wouldn’t say it was the savviest transaction ever made but it was far from the disaster some made it out to be. Bargnani will probably be the Knicks 8th or 9th man and it cost them the corpse of Marcus Camby, a declining Steve Novak and yes the painfully included draft picks. Not great. But not a train wreck.
Amare’s Knees Are A Year Older - Not much you can do about that one….oh well.
JR Smith’s Knee - Something about the Knicks and knee injuries never makes you feel too good. Let’s hope Smith is back in the first month or so of the season and we aren’t still discussing his injury status when 2014 rolls around.
JR Smith’s Failed Drug Test - This news dropped mid-article. Never a dull moment! Smith is suspended five games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. JOY!
JR Smith’s Hair Choices - GAH!
JR Smith’s Armored Truck - Nothing good can come of this.