The Knicks have the majority of their core returning from last year’s team that finished the regular season second in the Eastern Conference standings behind only the eventual champion Miami Heat.
But minutes or even positions won’t be guaranteed next year, because New York has added some key pieces this summer that the team hopes will take them deeper into the postseason.
That might explain Mike Woodson’s recent remarks.
From Ian Cutler of Newsday:
“That’s what we use camp for. I have no idea who’s going to start,” Woodson said. “Camp should be pretty competitive based on the talent, and that’s how it should be.”
Noticeably absent from that list of definite starters was Iman Shumpert, who started all 45 games he played in last season after returning midway through the year from an ACL injury suffered in the 2012 playoffs. Shumpert also started all 12 of the Knicks’ playoff games last season.
“You’ve got to go in and earn a spot,” Woodson said when asked about Shumpert’s status as a starter. “That’s how I look at it.”
The Knicks traded for Andrea Bargnani, signed Metta World Peace in free agency after he was waived with the amnesty provision by the Lakers, and signed veteran guard Beno Udrih, as well.
Those are all guys who should command substantial minutes, and even might force Woodson to use some unconventional lineups. Carmelo Anthony played the majority of last season at the power forward spot, and won the league scoring title while doing so. But a healthier Amar’e Stoudemire, along with Bargnani might force Anthony to play more of the three next season.
Woodson did say that three of his starters in Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Raymond Felton are locked in as of now. But given the changes to the roster, the other two spots appear to be completely up for grabs.