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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