After what could be deemed their worst loss of the season Monday night to the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks must come to grips with reality.
The bottom line is that this Knicks team is no closer to contending for a championship than I am to becoming the New York Yankees Opening Day starter.
That being said, Knicks general manager Steve Mills and owner James Dolan must come up with a plan for the future.
With the NBA Trade Deadline a mere couple of weeks away, Mills and Dolan (or should I just say Dolan) must decide exactly how they want to handle things.
The smart move would be to blow things up and plan for the future for once.
There is an opportunity to stockpile draft picks and young players that can become the core of the Knicks future for years. While it is the plan that makes the most sense, it is also a plan that Dolan will unlikely commit to.
There’s only one current player wearing blue and orange that should be deemed untouchable at the moment and it is not Carmelo Anthony. That honor should go to rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., who has star potential written all over him.
Looking at next season, if the Knicks stand pat, they won’t be able to make the necessary improvements to contend.
While it does make sense for the Knicks to save cap room for the summer of 2015, does anyone have any faith in the Knicks’ front office to not screw that up?
No, the smart move is to plan for the future and do so in a big way.
For a change the Knicks have to opportunity to do so.
Anthony could net a couple of draft picks and a couple of young players in a deal.
Tyson Chandler could net a young player or expiring contract and a pick in a deal.
Iman Shumpert could net a pick.
At this point I will take anything that anyone would give me for Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith. And if someone would be foolish enough to take on Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrea Bargnani‘s contracts, move them for whatever you can get as well.
Making a deal to improve this current team is next to impossible being they have no picks to trade, have very little trade assets and their entire roster is made up of max salaries and minimum contracts.
By not planning for the future now, the Knicks will continue to tread down a bad path.
At the top of the list, they risk losing Melo for nothing. If that happens, the Knicks one chip they have that could help them seriously rebuild in a hurry would be gone. If Anthony doesn’t commit to the Knicks by February 20, he has to be moved.
Then there is Chandler, who I would hate to see go. But Chandler is starting to show some age and as our Richard Bertin looked at yesterday, his production is starting to decline in a big way.
It makes little sense to hold onto either guy.
Then there is the fact that by standing pat the Knicks will still have a major hole at the point guard in Felton heading into next season.
They are already over the cap heading into next year and won’t be able to upgrade in free agency. The draft? Forget about it as the Knicks won’t be on the clock again until the first round in 2015 as the Knicks likely won’t get their second round pick from Sacramento this year as it is protected for selections 31-55 , which is where the Kings will likely end up.
If Dolan does not plan for the future now and then add to it in 2015, he is doing not only the Knicks but their fan base a disservice.
However at the end of the day don’t expect Dolan and his lackey to do the smart thing as they will continue to hold onto the delusion that this team is a championship contender.
By keeping that mindset, the Knicks and their fans will continue to pay the price for years to come.