Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterUpon opting to re-sign with the Knicks earlier this month, it was clear that Carmelo Anthony had been sold on Phil Jackson’s vision to build a championship contender in the Big Apple.
And although by the summer of 2015, New York is poised to have the flexibility necessary to target other quality players to put alongside him, the goal of Jackson and Derek Fisher is still to build around the star in hopes of creating a winning squad. Anthony will lead the charge as the team continues to surround him with talent. He’ll be the star of the show, and in the heart of New York City, it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll have to compete for stage time with another big name or two.
Clearly, the Knicks aren’t exactly in the Kevin Love race, and though the likes of Kevin Durant and LeBron James stand to be free agents in 2016, one has to wonder if James’ recent return to Cleveland will slow down or otherwise put an end to the forming of super-teams going forward.
Alas, New York will continue to re-frame its roster in the years to come. Proving to have quite a few tricks up his sleeve already, Jackson is sure to continue surprising everyone as he aims to do so.
But in the meantime, Anthony and the Knicks hope to remain competitive. And although the team will assumedly have to play the waiting game a bit, Jackson actually began bridging the gap to an extent by acquiring Jose Calderon.
There’s a good chance that the point guard will be able to handle the pressures of serving as Anthony’s right-hand man this coming season.
No, Calderon won’t be one to drop twenty points per night. He isn’t exactly the second superstar the Big Apple craves, nor is he a defender that will put fear into forthcoming opponents.
But what he does do successfully, he does quite well.
Calderon is one of the best floor generals in the game. A veteran of international competition as well, he plays intelligently and knows how and when to make the right plays at the right times. When he isn’t dishing out efficient dimes, the 32 year old likes to take a step back and nail the long ball, and/or better yet, draw fouls while penetrating to the basket.
The point guard can undoubtedly score in transition and runs the floor well, despite not going out of his way to look for his own offense. Instead, he stands to create. Though Calderon isn’t one to fill up the stat-sheet, the key for the Knicks will be his ability to get others involved.
Last season, New York had plenty of players who could create their own offense. Unfortunately, there was no coach on the floor to instruct his teammates and show them who to turn to, and when. Calderon can be that individual.
Calderon is someone who can direct the traffic and hit his teammates in the right spots. This will make things much easier for everyone all around. It’ll bring out the best in them. The likes of Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani, etc. could all stand to have bounce-back years as they look to lean on another quality leader for guidance.
The Knicks have made a handful of changes to the roster thus far, and it could be argued that there should be more on the horizon before the season begins. Still, the acquisition of Calderon could be one that dictates how far the team ultimately goes this coming season. Some of the same players that struggled mightily last year may start to feel positive vibes and reap the benefits of having a new floor general running the show.