The New York Knicks have been an absolute rollercoaster ride as of late. With Phil Jackson making some questionable statements and proposed trade rumors, Knick fans have had a wild offseason so far.
The Knicks star player is Carmelo Anthony. Carmelo being a former scoring champion, has been the face of the franchise since 2011 when he came over in a trade with Denver; Carmelo brought the Knicks to the playoffs in his first three seasons at the Garden earning him a 5 year deal worth over 100 million. He has been an all star 10 times, selected to the All-NBA team 6 times, and a 4 time Olympic medalist.
The only thing that Phil Jackson has done correctly since becoming the President of the team, was drafting Kristaps Porzingis. Even though Porzingis fell into the Knicks lap at #4 leaving them with no choice to draft him, it was a great move by Jackson. Kristaps Porzingis is now the future of the Knicks. The 7’3 Power Forward is a jack of all trades. His play style has been compared to Mavericks future hall of fame forward Dirk Nowitzki. His play style can be projected better than Dirk’s though. Unlike Dirk, Porzingis can jump out of the gym. In his first two seasons, he has made highlight reel dunks, blocks, and legendary put backs. He is labeled as a generational type of player.
Phil Jackson’s decision making has been highly questionable. His named Derek Fisher Head Coach of the Knicks after just one year out of playing in the NBA. Fisher being that young is a questionable decision. Jackson’s next move was to trade JR Smith and Iman Shumpert (two very big pieces to the Knicks) for Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk, Lance Thomas and a 2019 second round pick.
Shumpert and Smith thrived in Cleveland, becoming key pieces to the Cavaliers first ever NBA championship, go figure. Lance Thomas is the only player who remains on the Knicks from that deal. Next up he signed a center in Joakim Noah who is injury prone and 31 years old at the time of the signing. With Noah being out of his prime, Phil Jackson handed him a 4 year 72 million dollar contract. With the Knicks this season Noah averaged 5 points per game and 8.8 rebounds a game before suffering a season ending injury. If that is worth 72 million dollars than I guess Phil Jackson is a genius we just don’t understand.
In 2017, Phil Jackson absolutely crushed Melo’s trade value. He put him on the trade block and bashed his name. All sorts of controversy broke out. He was quoted saying that “Carmelo Anthony should not be on the Knicks anymore,” causing a ton of chaos. Selling out your star player and auctioning him off to teams is possibly the worst thing to do for a franchise. Although Carmelo has had his ups and downs, he has been a great leader in New York and does not deserve to be treated the way Phil Jackson treats him.
The final straw with Jackson for Knick fans was his latest rumors on trading Kristaps Porzingis. He attempted to trade him for a ton of picks and a starter. Trading Porzingis would be the biggest mistake in Knicks history. Some say Jackson wanted to trade Porzingis due to KP’s decision to skip exit meetings. If that was the case, why wasn’t Derrick Rose traded when he went AWOL, skipping a game? Since Phil Jackson took over in 2014, Knicks are the only team that has not drafted a freshman, sophomore or junior. Maybe if he received these picks he would have selected a younger player. All in all, you do not attempt to trade a player like Porzingis. The fans love him, he loves New York, and he is a freak athlete player.
With the 8th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected point guard Frank Ntilikina out of France. The selection of Frank has driven many Knicks fans crazy. Most fans would have been satisfied by North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. or Kentucky guard Malik Monk. It has people thinking Phil Jackson wants to destroy the organization. What people do not see, Frank has a crazy upside. He is a 6’5 point guard who can attack the rim well and shoot behind the arc. He is known to be a gym rat. The 18 year old is not well known due to his decision to play basketball in France instead of college. His 7-foot wingspan is tremendous for a point guard. Scouts have given him rave reviews being that he can play both sides of the ball.
With the 44th pick, the Knicks selected Damyeon Dotson. The shooting guard can shoot the hell out of the ball. He averaged over 17 a game this season at Houston. Dotson worked out with NBA All-Star James Harden over the offseason. Harden is known to be one of the NBA’s best scorers. Hopefully Dotson picked up a few pointers from Harden. With the 58th pick, the Knicks took Serbian point guard Ognjen Jaramaz, who will play at the Orlando summer league, but won’t be on their regular-season roster. This pick is questionable. Did Phil Jackson basically waste the pick? If this kid isn’t going to be on the roster why draft him? Although Jaramaz is unlikely to play for the Knicks, he was the 2016 defensive player of the year. The potential out of the Knicks draft selections is out of this world. But all three selections were risks. No one truly knows how good Frank Ntilikina will be. Damyeon Dotson has had previous off the court issues which the Knicks do not need whatsoever. Ognjen Jaramaz is unlikely to play for the Knicks for 1-3 years, which some can deem to be a waste of a draft selection.
As a Knicks fan, do not expect the 2017-2018 season to be “the year.” The Knicks are most definitely in the rebuilding process. Expect Phil Jackson to finally get his wish and dump off Carmelo Anthony. This will make them one of the younger teams in the NBA. If Kristaps Porzingis gets traded, Phil Jackson needs to go. It seems that the Knicks will never win as long as the “Zen-Master” is apart of the franchise. He has done nothing but butcher draft picks and make horrific signings. The fans don’t like him, the players don’t like him and Knicks legends don’t even like him. It’s time to get Phil out of the Garden, his time is done here. A report from ESPN stated that Jackson was “sleeping during an NBA draft workout.” That is absolutely pathetic and unnacceptable.
Pending any signings or trades, the starting lineup is looking like:
Frank Ntilikina: PG
Courtney Lee: SG
Carmelo Anthony: SF
Kristaps Porzingis: PF
Willy Hernangomez: C
6th Man: Justin Holiday (if signed back)
If you want to join in on some true Knicks misery, watch Stephen A. Smith’s passionate rant representing for the most pissed off Knicks fans.