What Phil’s First Trade Means For The Knicks

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It wasn’t quite a NBA championship, but Phil Jackson once again proved to be a winner while striking a deal with the Dallas Mavericks. In the most Zen-like way, he managed to keep all parties involved as happy as possible.

Knicks fans are happy about dumping $18 million worth of useless salary and getting one of their targets from last year’s draft in return. They’re also happy about actually having something to do tomorrow night, when the 2014 draft takes place. We all know most of you will go to bed or find something else to watch before the second round starts anyway, but for those of you who stick around at least you’ll have somebody to boo this year!

Mark Cuban is happy to have Tyson Chandler, who, ironically, he has coveted since letting the big man walk during free agency in 2011, back where he belongs. Chandler is presumably happy about being reunited with an owner who is an infinite amount cooler than the one who rules in New York, and Raymond Felton is happy because Dallas will give him the freedom to shoot (and in the Mavs offense too!).

However, despite all the sunshine and rainbows surrounding Phil’s first major move, it looks like the losses could easily pile up over the next season or so. Even if you don’t care that Melo moves on to greener pastures, this move can’t give the Knicks favorable odds of keeping him, and when you factor in a head coach with no actual hands-on experience, you start to get the feeling that Jackson is in this for the long haul. It’s evident that Phil wants to break things before building them back up, and today’s trade is just the beginning of the process.

Still, it’s better to win twenty-something games with a youthful roster and your next first round pick than it is to win 37 times and miss the playoffs with league’s fourth-highest payroll. If it were up to me, the trio of Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Shane Larkin would play 48 minutes a night next season. The last time the Knicks had the opportunity to develop young talent, they shipped Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler out of town before enjoying the fruits of their labor. Things should be different this time around.

If you have more patience than the average New Yorker, the future is finally looking bright for the Knicks, and that’s not something that could’ve been said since the organization’s lust for “superstars” started prior to the summer of 2010. Phil might not be able to build Rome in a day, but even if it takes him two, he seems hell-bent on getting it done. For now, Knicks fans wouldn’t want anyone else doing the job.

 

Does the trade mean that Melo is on his way out? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!       

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2 thoughts on “What Phil’s First Trade Means For The Knicks

  1. Kevin

    I can understand your points, but the NBA is a superstar league. Now, we can debate what defines ‘superstar’ another time. However, look at any of the teams that have consistently won the past few seasons, and they usually have 1 superstar and other all-stars-Indiana would be the outlier there.

    My concern on this deal is taking back Calderon’s 3y contract, which will bite into next year’s cap room. I won’t be surprised if Calderon is shipped away before the end of the day. The other thing is: cap room is only worthwhile, if you can use it. Dallas has had a lot of cap room the past 2 seasons, and they couldn’t get anyone to come, eventhough everyone ‘supposedly’ views Cuban as a great owner to play for. I think he makes this trade because he simply wanted to spend some money this year, and then have even more roster flexibility next year, as both Felton and Chandler have expiring deals (Felton acuatlly has a <$4mm player option).

    I like the young trio you allude to. But, I don't beleive any of them will be the lead dog, on title contender. Shump has been here 3yrs now, and he's really failed to make consistent improvement, as an offensive player (even with the injury). Hardaway was a nice surprise and can shoot, but certainly needs to improve defensively, as well as being able to take the ball to the basket (in order to become a more reliable offensive threat). I'm not a Larkin fan. He's small, not a good shooter and a defensive liablity. However, he's young and might develop further, or might be able to be used in bringing another player, or higher draft pick. If he stays, his absolute upside, IMO, would be Darren Collison-a very nice player, but not the starting PG for a title team. So, this idea of having those 3 play 48 minutes doesn't appeal to me as much.

    As far as the players we 'shipped away'. What have they done? Would the team have been better with Chandler and Gallinari? They are 13-16ppg players. They don't rebound. They both shoot <42% and are weak defenders. It would have been nice to hang on to Mozgov, but while everyone made a big deal of that 20/20 game he had, late in the season, he's a 27yr old player who avergages 21mpg, because he's inconsistent.

    I would do all I can to keep 'Melo, but that's a different topic too. However, unless this team finds a bona-fide superstar, and at least another all-star, it won't matter. At least with 'Melo we know they have 1 of those pieces. If he walks, and we go with your plan, we are counting on Phil to find those pieces, and likely looking at another 2 weak years, at least.

    As a fan, I'm sick of waiting.

    Reply
  2. hard to say that the knicks have already started building. i understand the strategy of letting these overpaid starters go, but this team lost its scorer, ball-handler, and defensive centerpiece in the space of a week. i think it’s safe to say that the building comes later.
    any true knicks fan understands that this NEEDS to happen if the team is ever going to compete for a championship, but any true basketball fan realizes that the knicks competing for a championship is four or five years away at least.
    it’s tough not to get sad about that.

    Reply

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