Knicks should be cautious when considering deals for their draft pick

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

The Knicks are sure to have a busy and action-packed offseason this summer, and the NBA Draft is likely to be the first major domino in all that follows.

Of course, while New York may have the opportunity to select a player that can help Carmelo Anthony and Co. change the fortunes of the franchise, they could also deal the pick in exchange for a proven quality talent who can help even more right away instead.

The Knicks have become, unfortunately, notorious over the last few years for trading away worthwhile draft picks without a concern for the longterm effect. This seemingly makes this summer’s lottery pick all the more valuable to the team’s future.

Still, NBA executives suggested to Newsday that the team should, nevertheless, consider and keep all options open.

“They’re going to get a very nice draft pick,” an Eastern Conference official said. “The decisions they have to make is do they take that draft pick and try to multiply it into different assets or keep the pick? You have to look at that option.”

Historical-Kevin-Love

“They could try to trade it for Kevin Durant,” one NBA executive said. “Or maybe Kevin Love. Cleveland probably would do that.”

Trading the pick for a player of Durant’s magnitude and caliber (and still evident potential) is certainly worth it. He, too, can right the Knicks’ ship in the ideal direction rather quickly. Dealing the pick for any top-five player in the NBA (though they’re not likely to be obtainable) should be considered a no-brainer.

Love, however, holds a player option for next season. Should he opt-out, he’ll obviously become a free agent. Should he opt-in, the Cavaliers may be inclined to deal him following an underwhelming season.

In essence, the Knicks shouldn’t buy the cow if they can get the milk for free.

Recruiting Love in free agency is reasonable. Trading away the team’s draft pick, when similarly quality players will be obtainable this summer, is not a sensible thing to do. The NBA Draft obviously comes first, so the Knicks will need to make an initial gamble either way — they can keep the pick and hope free agents will be receptive to their pitches, or trade it away in exchange for a proven talent, under the belief that recruiting free agents will be a difficult thing to do.

Either way, New York should proceed with caution.


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Goran Dragic will opt for free agency, consider every offer

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

Before he was traded from the Suns to the Heat, guard Goran Dragic was expected to be a likely top target of the Knicks this coming summer.

Following the trade, some began to suggest that Dragic would be content enough to stay under the sunny skies of South Beach for the long haul.

The Heat, like the Knicks, missed the playoffs this season. Chris Bosh, currently, on blood thinners, is expected to return for training camp, but that remains to be seen. Dwyane Wade is getting older, and of course, LeBron James no longer resides in town.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings

Depending on how Phil Jackson begins his team’s offseason with the NBA Draft, etc., could the Knicks boast a brighter future than Miami when it’s time to recruit Dragic?

Only time will tell, but for now, Dragic has confirmed that he’ll at the very least, opt-out of his current deal and become a free agent.

Currently holding his Bird Rights, the Heat have the luxury of offering Dragic a five-year contract. The Knicks can only offer four. Still, New York’s cap space and willingness to spend may be enough to give them an edge over the home team. Of course, Jackson will have to be careful with regard to overpaying (too much) for free agents, but the fact of the matter is that cap space and money is a huge asset. The Knicks will obviously be able to throw more of it around than most teams this summer. That’s a selling point.

Paying more for a player than another team isn’t necessarily overvaluing said player, should the Knicks need him that much more. Reeling in talented free agents like Dragic is imperative to the team turning things around. There aren’t too many players to develop, and even if there were, the Knicks can’t afford to sit around and wait for that to happen as Carmelo Anthony’s clock continues to tick.


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NBA: New York Knicks at Boston Celtics

Carmelo second-guessed decision to sign with Knicks

Carmelo Anthony revealed that earlier this season, he second-guessed his decision to sign with the Knicks (Berman, April 16).

Anthony, who agreed to a five-year deal worth $124 million this past July, said that he tried to avoid thinking about regrets but that it crept into his mind.

“As a human being, those thoughts definitely come into play,” Anthony said. “You sit down at night and think: ‘Did I really make the right decision?’ There was one point in the season I was like, it was just cloudy. I didn’t have any clarity, and I was second-guessing what I did and the decision I made. After that it was smooth sailing.”

While Anthony second-guessed his decision, he said that he’s now reinvigorated and “ready to prove everybody wrong.” Anthony also said that he’s ready to assist the Knicks this summer during free agency.

“During free agency, if the front office says, ‘Melo, we want you to talk to these guys and come along with us,’ I will,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day it comes back to me. If I can play a big part of the help and build this team, I’d do it.”

After playing through pain for the majority of the season, Anthony underwent season-ending surgery on his left knee on February 19, with the recovery time expected to be four to six months.


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Reggie Jackson and Greg Monroe give Knicks something to think about

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

In Wednesday night’s loss to the Pistons, two of the Knicks’ potential targets this summer strutted their stuff in hopes of giving Phil Jackson something to think about.

Reggie Jackson led the way in his team’s 112-90 victory, pouring in 24 points and dishing out 11 assists to an otherwise subpar Pistons’ offense.

When Jackson was traded from the Thunder to Detroit, many believed he would break out as the offensive juggernaut he’s shown the potential to be. While his 17.6 points per game have been a modest average, he’s further embraced more of a floor general role. He’s enhanced Detroit’s offensive flow and has gotten more of his teammates involved than initially expected. His 9.2 assists per contest is proving him to be a more versatile guard, someone who can impact the game in others ways than simply scoring the ball.

As far as Monroe goes, he had a rather quiet night, adding just 10 points and all but two rebounds in the win. Perhaps a more likely and reasonable target for the Knicks than Jackson, the big man showed good mobility and fancy footwork around the basket on Wednesday. He knows how to use his body, evade defenders inside, and get to the free-throw line effectively. It’d be interesting to see what he’d be able to do on the Knicks and in the triangle as a more centralized figure in the offense itself.

Jackson and Monroe both figure to be likely options that the Knicks will, at the very least, explore contacting in free agency. After all, the team is in a position to offer each youngster more than most teams.


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