Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterAny time a team trades an NBA All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year Award recipient and an All-NBA Defensive Team member all in one, some would assume they’re sure to suffer some sort of loss.
But by trading Tyson Chandler, the Knicks not only upgraded the point guard position, but also received a much-needed injection of youth. Each acquired asset allows Phil Jackson & Co. to continue setting a strong foundation for the future.
And as New York aims to rebuild (or otherwise retool, rather) perhaps building blocks for the future are simply what they need. Without cap flexibility until next summer, it would appear unlikely that the Knicks make other drastic changes to the roster, or better yet, have the assets necessary to reel in another marquee star via trade.
With that in mind, the 2014-15 season would stand to be a transitional period for the team as they wait for what’s to come.
Just don’t tell Carmelo Anthony that.
Upon choosing to re-sign with the Knicks for the next five years, the star forward has his sights set on competing for a championship. How far off the team is from doing so remains to be seen, but Anthony doesn’t believe the team has that far to go.
“I don’t think we’re that far away,” he recently told ESPN.com. “People use ‘rebuilding’ too loosely.”
Pablo Prigioni also asserted recently that he was in favor of the team’s offseason moves and believes they’ll have a chance to win this coming season.
Despite trading a big man of Chandler’s caliber, the Knicks have been able to improve in other areas. What’s more, for the money, it could be argued that a player like Samuel Dalembert could give the team more of the same, nonetheless.
After watching New York attempt to navigate (or fail to, rather) through turbulent times last season, one could say that they’ve actually made improvements upon the roster. They’ve advanced in some areas, bringing in a small handful of quality players. In the respective cases of Chandler and Raymond Felton, sometimes “addition by subtraction” helps a team immensely as well.
In addition, the team is sure to have a revitalized outlook on the upcoming season as well. There’s reason to be optimistic. Phil Jackson brings with him a championship pedigree, and frankly, so does first-time head coach Derek Fisher. Though each one is otherwise unproven in their new respective fields, they both know what it takes to win.
Perhaps such a mentality will be infectious across the board for other members of the squad. Plenty of people (including Knicks’ legend and NBA Hall of Famer Earl Monroe), have asserted that the Knicks haven’t been (or currently aren’t) that far away from making noise, at least in the Eastern Conference. Anthony is now included in that group.
The roster looks decent, but then again, perhaps didn’t look so bad last season, either. The talent is there. Nevertheless, just as poorly as Mike Woodson led the squad last season, that’s how much of a world of difference (in a positive direction, of course) having a new voice in the locker room (Coach Fisher) could make for New York.