I've addressed this issue already, but the Knicks have slid from playoff contention a few weeks ago to a bad team now for 1 reason. There is a lone pervading reason that this team has continiously played poorly. It may be the coaches, or the players or the GM, but I will tell you that it the center.
Plain and simple. This team has not had a legitimate center on the court since Marcus Camby left. Eddy Curry by all accounts has not panned out, so I won't beat a dead horse. If you look at the stats of this team from this year, and the previous 2 seasons you will see something strikingly alarming.
They are outrebounded and are 4th from last in the league in being outrebounded by opponents at -3 RPG. And they are dead last in shot blocking for a 3rd or 4th straight season, with only 2.7 BPG. If you look at the teams that are leading in blocking shots, and rebounding, you will find the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, Spurs, Cavs, etc. In other words the good teams do these things, and the bad teams don't.
I can't blame D'antoni or Isaih Thomas before him for this, but wise up. The primary position for rebounding and shot blocking is the Center. He is the defensive backbone, where the PG is the offensive backbone. In the past 4 seasons this team has had Eddy Curry, Jarred Jeffries, Nazie Muhhamed, Jerome James, just a bad list of players. They can't play defense, and that is what makes a good center.
When you look at the draftable players in 2009,2010, and 2011 there are no good centers available. This team couldn't get a center even if they wanted, because college is producing some 6'9 guys and calling them centers. So what do you do?
I believe this team should resign Nate Robinson and D. Lee, and trade away April's draft pick for a center. All the good young centers were in this years draft with the Lopez brothers, Roy Hibbert, Koufas, Javelle Mcgee, and Deandre Jordan. This years draft pick will be somewhere between 9 and 13. Here's the plan:
TRADE THE DRAFT PICK IN A 3 WAY DEAL IF POSSIBLE. TRADE WITH THE CLIPPERS FOR DEANDRE JORDAN. JORDAN WAS A 2ND ROUND PICK BUT IS AVERAGING 4 PPG, 4RPG, AND 1 BPG, IN ONLY 13 MIN OF ACTION. HE IS UP AND COMING AND JUST NEEDS PLAYING TIME. HE IS A LEGITIMATE 7' CENTER THAT PLAYS LIKE A CENTER. THIS WILL ALLOW DAVID LEE TO MOVE BACK TO PF. TRADE NATE OR CHRIS DUHON FOR A 1ST ROUNDER, OR WHATEVER YOU CAN GET TO STAY UNDER THE CAP AND PICK UP ONE OF THE MANY TALENTED PG'S AT THE MID TO BACK END OF ROUND 1. YOU CAN PICK UP A PLAYER IN THE 15-30 RANGE SUCH AS STEPHAN CURRY, OR TY LAWSON, OR JRUE HOLLIDAY. THE NEWLY DRAFTED PG CAN BACK UP WHOEVER IS LEFT BETWEEN DUHON AND ROBINSON AND THE TEAM WONT MISS A BEAT.
Sorry I had to caps that, but it was important. This way when next season rolls around, this team is more well rounded. You have a center playing that is actually a center, not to mention athletic enough to run in an up tempo offense. But he can also block shots, grab rebounds, do all those intangible things to help you win games. And you can stay under the cap and get a more traditional PG. With a bunch of good PG's like Brandon Jennings and Teague, a very talented PG like Curry or Lawson may slip a little bit. Now the Knicks have a solid core of a C, PF, PG, SF to build around, and it hasn't affected the salary cap. I think this is a smart plan for the future, and since Jordan is only on the way up, it will only look better as the years go on.