Restricted Access

Written by Nicholas McGowan

The New York Knicks continue to explore their options when looking to upgrade the current roster. The laughable trade proposal for Kevin love had no shot of being accepted but it at least shows us that Phil Jackson is still looking to make improvements. There is certainly room for improvement as we inch closer to the start of the season. In particular there are two restricted free agents that would make a whole lot of sense on the Knicks roster. The first of these free agents is the disgruntled power forward/center Greg Monroe. Monroe averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, shot 65% from the free throw line, shot just under 50%, and averaged around 1 steal and .6 blocks a game. Monroe has expressed his interest in leaving a crowed Detroit frontline that includes young and talented center Andre Drummond and the highly paid and overrated Josh Smith who apparently has the full support of Stan van Gundy. The other restricted free agent is point guard Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns. Bledsoe really came into his own last year as he made the jump from role player to starter. Despite only playing in 43 games due to an injury Bledsoe looked like a polished starter as he averaged 17.7 points, 5.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and shot a respectable 35.7% from three. Bledsoe is certainly a better option than any of our current point guards. He doesn’t have the three point shooting or knowledge that Jose Calderon possess but he has defense agility needed to stay with John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, and the other point guards of the East. The Knicks will have to give up quite the package to acquire Bledsoe seeing that the Suns have said they will match any offer. Monroe on the other hand should be easier to obtain. Let’s take a look at what it cost the Knicks and how Monroe and Bledsoe would fit into New York’s system. Continue reading

The Next Knicks

The Next Knicks

Written By Nicholas McGowan

            Now is the time to stand up and applaud Phil Jackson (if you haven’t already), for the heist he pulled off yesterday in the trade with the Dallas Mavericks. Phil Jackson shipped out the 14 million dollar contract of Tyson Chandler and the multiyear deal Raymond Felton still had remaining. The Knicks received from the Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon, backup shooting guard Wayne Ellington, starting center Samuel Dalambert, promising young point guard Shane Larkin, and two second draft picks in tonight’s draft. With the Knicks actually making smart moves and getting back draft picks, its time start being proud of the fact that for one day we are not the laughing stock of the NBA when it comes to trades. (Player contracts are another story, but at least we are improving in one area). The Knicks come out of this deal looking to go younger and looking to get rid of big contracts. Expect that trend to continue as the offseason progresses. Could we possibly see a J.R. Smith trade tonight instead of a Shumpert trade? Could we possibly see Jose Calderon be traded one day after we acquired him? A lot of new possibilities have emerged with this trade. I would expect the Knicks draft strategy to deviate after yesterday’s deal, so with that said let us take a look at who the Knicks might target in the second round and look at the chance that the Knicks still trade into the first round.

 Point Guards:

Before the trade I had the Knicks trading up to the 21st spot with the OKC Thunder to draft Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis. Trading Shumpert for Ennis would be a good move in my book and would welcome the addition of pass first point guard that has great court vision and plays defense. Yet with the addition of Shane Larkin and Jose Calderon the Knicks might draft a point guard with their later pick. The Knicks might target Louisville guard Russ Smith. Smith is a talented 3-point shooter, decent defender, and a good value for a late second round pick. I would hope the Knicks could find a way to trade Jose Calderon but if they don’t having Larkin and Calderon going forward would be an upgrade over Toure Murray and Raymond Felton.

 Shooting Guards:

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Acquiring those Draft Picks

Written by Nicholas McGowan

Acquiring those Draft Picks

The New York Knicks are not going to be a contender next year to win a championship, they probably will not be a good team either, for those reasons the Knicks’ plan moving forward is to rebuild next year. With a first round draft pick paired with tons of money to spend in free agency, the Knicks have an opportunity this year to further help their cause in 2015. Phil Jackson recently spoke about buying a draft pick, how high that draft pick will be is still yet to be determined, but adding a young player to this roster will help. The Knicks do not draft as bad as believed, we just trade away our picks every year. Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. have been great first round pickups, Toure Murray is drawing interest from the Bulls, Warriors, and the Nets. Let us not also forget that the Knicks found Jeremy Lin and made him into a 3 year 25 million dollar man. Adding a young player would be great. This young player has the potential to be a factor in our rebuilding process next year. Let us take a look at where the Knicks might be able to acquire a draft round pick, for both straight up cash considerations and for perhaps trading a player for a pick.

Darryl Morey the Houston Rockets general manager, recently on ESPN radio compared this years draft to that of 2003 and 2005. The draft at the top is similar to that of 2003 yet the depth is more comparable to 2005. Looking at the 2003, 2005, Continue reading