How far away (or how close) are the Knicks from becoming a contender?

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Any 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.

USATSI_7855769_110579513_lowresAnd 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.




591 comments
clyde69
clyde69

TKB overrates Shumpert and JR Smith.Shump can not make 2 pt FGs and his D is not more than average.JR is a headcase with low BB IQ.Both need to be gone by 2015/16.

Sign Wes Matthews and Millsap in FA

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

Jerry Zgoda: Re: Anthony Bennett pulled from Toronto pro-am by agent...If anyone would know a Love trade nears, it's Jeff Schwartz, who reps both players Twitter @JerryZgoda -

KnicksMaybeThisYear
KnicksMaybeThisYear

One thing that concerned me about Shump, is that he wasn't able to advantage of having slower players guard him. He needs to work on his quickness.

He's not overrated defensively, he has great hands and is strong enough to not require help guarding must postups.

He needs to add some quickness and speed.

He should work as a cutter but needs to start finishing strong.

With his knee now healed, his jumper should improve.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

IanBegley Ian Begley
Hearing: ex-Knick Metta World Peace is close to agreeing to terms with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.


Seems as Phil declined Mettas interest...good for Phil...he has shown just because players have played for him before, he doesn't give them special preference or anything, but willing to give them a shot if he thinks they are worth it.  Odom,brown,metta are examples of this....I even think the rumor of Phil going after Blake were flase as well...everybody feels the zen.

jax13
jax13

If we are talking about shump, absolutely players can have interests outside of hoop. Your main focus should be getting better at your weaknesses at your chosen profession. Players have a shorter window to make money n need to cash in at early ages. It's great that shump signed with Adidas, raps (maybe), likes the spotlite, travels etc but what got him noticed was being an nba player. He has not gotten better as a player in his short career so far.

We are in year three, a contract year, we are still talking about potential n talent with shump. We should be talking about how good his defense is and how he has improved in some aspects of offense but we don't. I know he had a bad knee injury but he has had time to work past that.

If you are a professional basketball player, you stay in shape and work on your game. Offense is the easiest thing to practice n he still makes me nervous leading or finishing a fast break or just finishing around the rim.

That Texas road trip seems lifetimes ago but where did that shump go?

i can't see my name

Iobcity1
Iobcity1

This is crazy. Now according to some here, players are not allow to have a personal life and hobbies. They better have a basketball with them 24/7 and do nothing else. They can't even have a girlfriend, lol.

The internet is the social life man. Everything you do will be viewed on the internet. People really need to calm down a little.

KnowLedge
KnowLedge

"I grew up watching the Bullets/Wizards. I grew up taking the train to that arena, all the time, to watch Georgetown, the Bullets, the Washington Mystics. That whole city is a part of me. It's in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family and playing there, but I love Oklahoma City, too." 


The Lebron inspiration, Wiz better clear cap for him by then

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

No one has talked about Robin Lopez as being a free agent target in 2015. If Gasol isn't around, he would be a reasonable option.

knickstape
knickstape

people may not like shump, but on his own he doesn't have that much value so unless you're packaging him for a big name player there no reason to move him. can always wait until the deadline and hope his values up

Marvel_
Marvel_

Calderon /Larkin/ Prigs

JR/ Timmy /Ellington

Melo /Early /Beasly

Bargs /Amare /Tyler

Smith /Sammy /Cole



No room for shump .Package him for an upgrade or a future first.


Sign Beasley.


If you dont like tyler or move his contract, sign Brand.


Thanasis. d-deague or europe.

danewyorkr
danewyorkr

1 Tyson Chandler is not a bum like some fans are positive he is and believe me he will be missed but I like the trade. But having him guard point guards is no way the appropriate way to use him or any other center.

2 Shumpert is an elite defensive player. If there is a legit defensive scheme and not the BS we ran last year I know Shumpert will shine.

3 only a fool would not take into consideration the fact that if you continuously switch in your defensive scheme that It will have a negative impact on your team's defense.

So glad Woodson is history

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

The real issue for the SG position is simply a matter of too few minutes for too many players. JR, Shump, and THJ averaged over 82 minutes per game. There really is no need for three quality players, especially with Early and Ellington onboard. Phil will go with with a big lineup and use Melo at the three, based on his teams in LA and Chicago. Sounds like if Phil can upgrade someone somewhere, Shump and or JR will be dealt.


jax13
jax13

You never heard a peep about Bowen having an attitude, off the court stuff, or complaining about a coach or anything like that. Bowen played for the heat n then pop.

Shump gets a head coach like fish n Phil jax in charge n there are rumblings about attitude with shump. I would have bet money that Phil n fish would love shump n be raving about him but you don't hear a peep about him.

I know these reports can be bs n fabricated but there has been many things out there the last few years on shump. I think he has potential and I see the comparison to Bowen but his head is not right n he seems to be more interested in other things besides bball.

Shump seemed to act like he was owed something when had a real promising rookie year. It seemed to happen the second he signed with Adidas n started complaining about having to play summer ball in year two.....

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

Why would Philly make that deal? If Phil could have dumped STAT and JR for a 2018 1st and Young, it would have happened already.

Jon Leech
Jon Leech

@Knicksgirl35  that's the thing with rose what made him great was that extra half of step he had and he really needed to be going all out full bore 110% and to me I would be worried cause players like him are the players that can easily get hurt as we have seen

johneco
johneco

@danewyorkr  Exactly!  Get players with a low team-D awareness, and then switch on every play so everyone is totally lost all the time.  Great strategy.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic Depends how you look at it though.

At his size, JR can (and has) play the 2 and 3 perfectly fine.

If Shump had a better handle and a solid 3 ball, he actually bring the ball up, but as it stands, he can't do much more than defend.

This is a gig Timmy can do instead, since he has a consistent 3 ball.

Offensively, Shumpert seems to be the odd man out, but because of his athleticism and size, he can also play the 3 for certain stretches under certain circumstances and rotations and schemes.

Larkin still has a lot to prove on both ends (I don't put too much stock in SL). and will battle it out with Prigs to see who's the first PG off the bench.

danewyorkr
danewyorkr

I say sign him, if you can give Odom a chance then why not him?

danewyorkr
danewyorkr

@jax13 dont know if this is true but any normal human would have a negative attitude if they have been rumored to be traded two years in a row. Also Bowen or any player with half a brain knows better not to mess with Popovic and a great organization like the Spurs. The Knicks are one of the worse organizations in sports so believe me Shump was not the only player with a negative attitude when you had Woody and the idiots in the FO running the show. Phil may have to trade him(shump) anyway and thats only because he is the most coveted.

jax13
jax13

Also don't forget, shump defense took a huge step back last season. It had a lot to do with the knee but he made fundamental, basic mistakes n looked lost at times.

billysuede
billysuede

@Mel Brown that may be true, dude though you have to admit that the bow tie didn't become a player until pops got a hold of him and surrounded with the big three. 

knickstape
knickstape

@Mel Brown every team needs a shump type player who can be put on the other teams best player. the problem people have with shump is he seemed to have so much potential his rookie year and has been getting worse offensively every year IMO


also don't think he's as good as bruce bowen, 

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Mel Brown I'm with you on the Bruce Bowen projection. I've been making the same comparison for a while.

That said, Shump needs to shoot a lot better and be a lot more consistent defensively if he wants to fill such a role, because he wasn't even able to do it on a losing team.

Bowen was fundamental on a legacy.

David Rivera
David Rivera

@Knicks_Fanatic I think Philly would love to have Stat for 1 year to mentor all those young bigs. They may even sign him back at a lower rate.


Iobcity1
Iobcity1

You have no clue whatsoever that it interfered with Shumps game lol.

KnicksMaybeThisYear
KnicksMaybeThisYear

I think you're thinking of Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez is a very different player, has played well for the blazers. I would rather have Asik if I can't get Gasol at the center spot

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@Mel Brown @Knicks_Fanatic 

Of course, but by what criteria do you determine the best? All three players have their strengths and weaknesses. None of them truly stand out above the others.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@VerySilentJay 

I don't see Phil going to small ball lineups as frequently as Woody. Shump started at the 3 and Melo was put at the 4 frequently. Phil didn't resign Aldrich, use the MLE on Jason Smith and trade for Dalembert to go small. Plus, he is high on Bargnani and we still have STAT. There just aren't enough minutes.

clyde69
clyde69

@VerySilentJay  Correct about Shump.JR is a headcase and should be traded before 2015/16.

johneco
johneco

@danewyorkr  Peak Odom was a great hard working player on the court, who developed an offcourt problem that took him down.

Beasley has never put it together on the court in the NBA.  Plus he has off court problems. 

Not the same thing. 

Iobcity1
Iobcity1

Dallas.

Elite coach- Carlisle.

Jameer

Monta

Parsons

Dirk

Tyson.

Nice squad

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieTKB @Knicks_Fanatic 

Well, if Phil can send out STAT, JR, and Bargnani in a deal moving $44 million in salary out and getting back only $27 million, putting us under the luxury tax limit, plus Love and Martin, he will be Executive of the Year.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Knicks_Fanatic @VerySilentJay I agree, I don't see too many small lineups in the future but we do have 2 players that can guard the 1, 2, and 3 and can bring the ball up the floor.


Imo, it's abundantly clear that Phil is positioning for a trade inbolving 1 or 2 of our guards.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Mel Brown He's gotta be stronger mentally though.

He seems to believe he's better than he is (hence the constant report about Shump not being happy about his role in the team, or how he wanted more minutes at the 1, et al) when the truth is that the real question is: who the f!ck is Iman Shumpert??


He has too much to prove to have such a demeanor.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Mel Brown @VerySilentJay He's supposed to be evoliving, not regressing.

He had a solid rookie season. After that, he's been inconsistent. mostly declining, and has not shown signs of the improvement a player of his upside should have.

C0P0
C0P0

You misspelled JR.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@jimm120 @VerySilentJay Oh, no doubt, it was a team effort to suck. You can't do it all by yourself, no doubt, and it's hard to pick up the slack when most of your backcourt teammates are ridiculously bad defensively.

Yet...

Personally, I'm not putting his struggles on injury. 

At all.

If we're going with that, then JR's injury hampered him until there was 1 month left in the season....


Switching is a part of the game. The Knicks did it more because the coach gave the green light to do it freely, and the laizer players abused of it, which often led Tyson and Melo to guard the perimeter.


There's no way Shump walks away without blame. They were all lazy, they all lacked the hustle.

I've never seen a team struggle so much with simple screens, yer it seems one screen was enough to destroy the Knicks.


Overall, Shump was just inconsistent, as he has been in the past.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@stillmatic Ask Steve Nash. I still remember that knee in the goodies bieing called an "offensive foul".


Those were the last days or hard nosed D.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@OLDKNICK3 @VerySilentJay @Mel Brown Imo, Shump can be a very solid middle class player, but he acts and carries himself like a top tier one.

Mistake number one, and probably the one that has limited him (alongside long injuries.

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@Mel Brown @VerySilentJay His movement off the ball, both offensively and defensively, lacked the smarts or intensity a had that first year.

His ability to finish around the basket and in traffic took a step back. In his first season he was solid in the open floor and attacking. This hasn't been the case since his rookie season. His 3 ball is borderline sad for a SG.

His turnover numbers probably increased (don't have them in front of me but it wouldn't surprise me if they were worse).

His scoring output....well, we all know how that was. He easily could've been a 10+ & 4 guy.

Instead, he became a 6 & 2 starter. 

Daniel Nguyen
Daniel Nguyen

@Mel Brown @VerySilentJay Would we rather have Avery Bradley? Or Bradley Beal? Derrick Rose already looks faster doesn't he? Maybe we should only compare Shump to someone like Michael Beasley, Jimmy Butler, or Tony Allen.