The trade deadline has come and gone and pretty much every team in the NBA failed to improve their team for the stretch run.
That includes the New York Knicks, who in order to compete for a championship, needed to make an impact addition.
Since there weren’t many big names out there on the market, I’m pointing to J.J. Redick, who the Orlando Magic eventually dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Doron Lamb, Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih and a 2012 second-round pick.
The Knicks could have done much better than offer up three mediocre talents that the Magic eventually settled for.
Of course that would have cost them Iman Shumpert, which would have been tough, but in this case I feel it would have helped the Knicks a great deal to have gone after Redick more aggressively.
Here’s a look at five reasons why the Knicks needed to make a move for Redick or someone else at the deadline.
1. Their window is short: Looking at the Knicks roster as it is constructed right now, their window to compete for a championship is about a two year one, including this season. It makes a lot of sense to go for it now and be in win-now mode than to roll the dice with what the Knicks currently have. I’m not a big fan of his, but Redick would have been an upgrade at the 2 at both ends of the floor. He’s a better player than Shumpert right now and if the goal is winning than a move should have been made.
Also consider the fact that Shumpert is the only player on the roster under the age of 27. Is he really a guy to build around in the future? That’s debatable. As much as I like Shump, he’s a guy coming off a knee injury, doesn’t have a polished offense game and his defense is regressing. Unfortunately Redick does a lot more for this team right now than Shump does.
2. It’s not working: After beginning the season 19-6, the Knicks are only 13-13 over the span of their past 26 games. That’s a large sample size. There is nothing to suggest that this team is capable of competing for a championship right now. However by adding another talented player they might be able to turn things around. Are the Knicks the mediocre team that we have seen the past 26 games during the past 26 or the dominant team we saw the past 25? That seemed like a long time ago and a small shakeup could have helped ignite things.
3. Shooting: Contrary to belief, the Knicks have not been good offensive team as of late. Redick’s 15.1 points, 4.4 assists and 45 percent field goal percentage would have helped a ton. Just look at the Knicks current starters. Shump is shooting an atrocious 32.1 percent from the floor and only 36.4 percent from behind the arc. Jason Kidd, after a nice start, is down to an abysmal 38.9 percent from the floor. Even worse, Kidd is shooting 19.4 percent from the floor in February and is hitting only 16 percent of his three-point attempts, but he is still taking four per game.
The Knicks are getting nothing from their shooting guard and small forward spots, which puts all of the scoring pressure on Carmelo Anthony, who blindly went to management and asked them not to move Shumpert.
Looking at the Knicks perceived scoring depth, Raymond Felton is only shooting 40 percent from the floor and J.R. Smith has fallen under the 40 percent clip. For a team that shoots as many three’s as the Knicks do, the current roster is not a good recipe for winning.
4. Defense: Saying the perimeter defense isn’t good would be an understatement. Shump is playing out of position and he hasn’t been resembling the dominant perimeter defender that we saw a season ago. Redick is a solid defensive guard and at 28, has younger legs than some of the guys the Knicks run out there. There’s not a big drop off defensively from Shumpert to Redick.
5. Ability to re-sign Redick: Redick has transformed himself into a very good NBA player, one who the Knicks would have had the advantage of re-signing if they would have made the move. The Knicks are already over the tax line, so giving Redick a three-year deal while he is playing his best basketball of his career wouldn’t have been the worst idea. He wouldn’t get a max deal, but the opportunity to add a talented and gritty player for the next three years is something that makes sense, especially since the Knicks window to win is so small.
There’s the chance that we are overvaluing Shumpert right now as we don’t know exactly how good he will be in the upcoming years. The more he struggles, the more his value goes down.
There was an opportunity here to do something with Shumpert to improve the Knicks chances at winning, but unfortunately the Knicks didn’t explore the opportunity.
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