The Knicks need a solution to fix their puzzle of an organization. We have to be patient as well as the team itself. The goal should still be to win it all but it is also to learn and become a better team. Without proper guidance and structure then the team won't get very far to where it wants to be. Here are 5 suggestions for the Knicks in order to get back in track as well as some opinions that are voiced by the fans as well. These are just common things that can be seen from the Knicks whether you're a fan of them or not.
1. Develop the young talent.
This is one of the more obvious parts to this article. The Knicks have had a previous record of players only lasting a year or two until they're traded off to another team. It makes no sense to only scout a player for only 2 years or less than if you don't like the way they play then to just move them along. It takes time to develop a player, though some faster than others. I'd rather let the young talent develop into role players or even all stars. The Knicks are always so hungry and want to win right away and don't want to let their young players keep perfecting their craft. If you look back at the last couple of years, we've had multiple rookies end up on the all-rookie first team in the past. Let's take a look at them shall we?
- Landry Fields (Knicks declined to match offer sheet. Now a scout for the San Antonio Spurs).
- Iman Shumpert (Traded to Cavs. Now on the Kings)
- Tim Hardaway Jr. (Traded to Hawks. Re-signed with Knicks in 2017)
- Kristaps Porzingis (Still with Knicks)
- Willy Hernangomez (Traded to Hornets)
As you can see, the Knicks have a history of letting go talent and not being able to properly develop these young players. Not counting Porzingis, the Knicks tend to see their young players as trade chips due to their tendency to "try" and be in a win-now mind set. Though it never seems to really work out for the Knicks side. Lets take a look at the Golden State Warriors. Before they signed Kevin Durant, they were able to win a championship by keeping their core together as well as building through the draft. They had drafted Steph Curry (2009), Klay Thompson (2011) and Draymond Green (2012) and let them develop into all-stars (Some opinions may vary). Teams nowadays just want stars to play together in order to win the chip. Except not all of them work out the way they hope it'd be. Back to the point. The Knicks need to realize that they need to properly go into a rebuild mode and let their young players play and figure out which way they play best. Lastly, they shouldn't be scared to bring players down to the G-League in order for theme to get some experience in. If you're not going to allow them to play in the main rotation, you should at least let them play in the league below.
2. Head/Assistant Coaching
The second part I want to put into light is the coaching problem. The dynamic duo of Jeff Hornacek and Kurt Rambis has got to be one of the worst pairings in the NBA at the moment. The offense looks still and confused at times and the defense is just horrendous on the 3 pt-line. On offense, The Knicks are ranked 21st and 16th on defense. This core has been together for almost 2 years together and no changes have been made. The only thing done are broken promises. Also, at this point it seems that Hornacek is more prioritized to winning games rather than letting guys play. This in turn impacts the players. There are many other options at HC. Jeff Hornacek as proved that his system isn't working as well. When his rotations don't work he turns to random ones. He takes out players when they're in a rhythm and seems to favor others. Rambis has also shown that he doesn't have what it takes to help lead this team in the right direction.
I think it's time for a new change in coaching whether it come now or at the end of the season. We need those to clearly see what New York needs.
3. Make smart moves
Joakim Noah. Joakim Noah. Oh did I mention Joakim Noah and his $72 million contract? The Knicks gave a 4 year contract to a player who was "runner-up" to be the MVP of the league almost 4-5 years ago. As well as a "former" DPOY. This is one of the worst contracts in years for the NBA and the Knicks thought it'd be a good idea at the time. Now we're looking at it this year and all I can say is what were the Knicks thinking? This is a center who's rarely played and is at a leave of absence from the team due to a fight with the HC. The problem with Noah is that the NBA is constantly evolving and he just doesn't fit the scheme. A center who can't shoot, a former shell of what he use to be and can't hit free throws. There's just no place for that anymore.
Over-paying for players that you desperately want isn't a solution. It's a means to an end. Scout these players before you sign them. Be positive that they fit the scheme that you're going to run instead of jumping the gun and giving them a contract that doesn't match their playing. Let's take a look at some contracts.
- Joakim Noah ($72 Million - 4 Years). I won't even go into detail again.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. ($71 Million - 4 Years). THJ was a RFA and Atlanta could've matched an offer along with the Knicks except the Knicks might've offered too much. $55 million was more than enough to land him without Atlanta going to match the offer. Also, back to point one again. If you're just going to just re-sign him again in the future then maybe you should've have traded him in the first place and developed him in the first place.
- Courtney Lee ($48 Million - 4 Years). This was a good signing over shadowed by a bad contract. For an aging vet, we should've have to pay this much money in order to sign him.
With the NBA you never know what you'll get. Some players may have a good year and you'll sign him to an extension. Though I wouldn't give them a big contract after one good year. Re-signing good players is important as well. One move I regret the Knicks doing was letting Justin Holiday go into free agency and re-signing Ron Baker instead to a contract that suited Holiday much better.
Trading is an aspect of the NBA that you need to nail as well. You shouldn't settle for anything less than that player is worth. Vets are usually seen as trade chips and that's nothing out of the new but if you're giving up a good vet you should look for draft picks or young talent in return. That's how you can build your team to be set up in the future. Make sure what you're giving out is returned in equal value and don't go after the first trade you're given. With that said, don't blow up your team either for a big name in the NBA. *cough* Carmelo Anthony *cough* sorry I had an itch in my throat*
4. Commit to a system
When you see that Knicks, you see a team that has been disorganized for a long time (Other than the 2012-2013 season). The team has bounced back and forth from different systems that don't work with the players. We've switched from a system in where ISO was the most important part then to the coveted "Triangle Offense" which didn't match with the modern NBA. To the run and gun system from Hornacek. We've switched so much that our players aren't allowed the option to practice one system. Although it may be butting heads with what I said about the HC position. I feel like Hornacek has had enough time to show what he's made of and clearly he's not showing improvement.
Draft players that fit that system as well. The Knicks have had a bad history of drafting very poorly and that can be put on the scouting department of the team. Let's go more in depth with the players and learn the art of drafting right.
5. Bring the excitement back
New York City has always been a hard place to play, the fans will let you know when they're upset with something, the media will eat your heart out and the atmosphere is overwhelming. Stop with all the bad publicity and don't let James Dolan have a say in this team. Let the management who was hired do their job. Allow them to build this team to succeed in order for us to get to the post season once again. All the crazy dunks, all the buzzer beaters and the crazy plays are what this city want to see and are just an added bonus to watching the games. With that said, the fans of this city should also learn to appreciate the team more instead of berating them with every game that passes.
We have been waiting for a championship for a while but the fans need to be on board with this also. Just wait a bit longer and when we finally reach the top, it'll make it so much better. #KnicksWay