For many months now, we have been talking about "2010" and how the Knicks total rebuilding would be a failure if they don't get LeBron James or Dwayne Wade. Well, I'm not sure that is really true. And oviously, I don't think any NBA fan really cares what the Knicks will be doing next year, it will be in 2010 when the real action begins.
What the Knicks need is to win games, and to win games you need team-oriented players. This means no Al Harrington, Nate Robinson, Larry Hughes, etc. David Lee is the type of player they need, a energy guy who brings it every single game. And that all starts next offseason.
I will take you through what will happen if the New York Knicks aren't able to obtain the "superstar" free agents:
Their current roster is just a mess, with their most valueable player being Wilson Chandler. Yet, people are talking about them becoming a playoff team in at least a year. How?
First off, let's say PF David Lee has resigned with the Knicks.
Well, then it all starts with a minor trade that could potentially become a huge deal for the Knicks in the future. They will trade PG Nate Robinson and F Jared Jeffries for F Brian Cardinal, PG Bobby Brown, and SG/SF Damien Wilkins. This will much needed cap space and possibly some depth for this upcoming year. Nate Robinson was a fan-favorite, but he just wasn't helping to win games. And you HAVE to get PG Ramon Sessions signed to contract! Mike D'Antoni needs that PG that can control the game and get teammates involved, and that's Sessions.
This will only give them 5 players under contract past 2010, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Toney Douglas, Jordan Hill, and the $11 million of Eddy Curry (which is basically untradeable).
And since the Knicks don't have their 1st Round Pick next year, Utah will be receiving a really good player in the draft. And because of that, most of New York's work will be made in free agency. One name that stands out is SG Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks. He can be their "big signing" of the offseason, although not many people think of him as a leader on a great team. He is extremely underated and is definately the type of player the Knicks need right now.
Another name that could really help them but is not recognized enough is C Brendan Haywood. Although he was injured most of last season, Haywood averaged 10.6 PPG and 7.2 RPG in 07-08, and he could really impress those fans at MSG.
And finally, the last piece to the puzzle would be backup G Roger Mason Jr., who would provide New York with explosive scoring off the bench, especially beyond the 3 point line. Along with some rookies and minimum salary players, the depth should look something like this:
C - Brendan Haywood, Eddy Curry
PF - David Lee, Jordan Hill
SF - Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari
SG - Joe Johnson, Roger Mason
PG - Ramon Sessions, Toney Douglas
This should definately be good enough for a playoff bid, and the good thing about this team is that they didn't use all of their potential cap space since they didn't get 2 big name free agents, instead, they got a star and surrounded him with very good role players.
The point of this blog was to prove that, even without signing any big name players, the Knicks can become a really young, exciting, good team in 2010, and beyond that. And not to forget, after 2010, Curry's contract will expire, so that's another $12 million they can throw at a really good big man, or just enough to sign all the players that were under rookie contracts.