The Knicks are probably going to be bad again next season.
They’re the NBA’s oldest non-playoff team, and they don’t have much flexibility to improve. They don’t have their 2014 first-round pick (or second-round pick or 2015 second-round pick or 2016 first-round pick for that matter). They’re short on other tradable assets, with only Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert carrying much value. Their best player, Carmelo Anthony, is a free agent, and if he leaves, they won’t have cap room.
It’s a dire situation not even Phil Jackson can repair in a year.
Patience is optimal – but not for Tyson Chandler.
Chandler, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“I definitely don’t want to waste another season,’’ Chandler said before the Knicks faced the Nets Tuesday at Barclays Center. “I don’t want to waste this season. I’m not into wasting seasons. Your time is too short in this league and I want to win a championship, another one. I’m not into wasting seasons.’’
Asked if the Jackson’s plan was more about the future than present: “I’ll cross that bridge when it gets to that point. I hope it’s not that situation.
“That’s decision isn’t going to be in my hands,’’ Chandler added.
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Perhaps, Chandler would be useful in a trade. His expiring contract and ability to play at a high level should make him intriguing to several teams around the league.
If the Knicks can find an available star before 2015 free agency, they could use Chandler’s expiring deal to facilitate a trade. Often teams trading stars want the fresh start Chandler’s ending contract would provide.
Or maybe the Knicks could trade Chandler for a lesser player on an expiring contract plus a sweetener (like a draft pick or solid young player). That wouldn’t cut, at least much, into the Knicks 2015 cap room.
Most likely, the Knicks will keep Chandler and let his contract expire. I understand why he wants a better situation – as he said, careers are short – but he might not have the option. That’s the exchange he made when signing a four-year, $47 million contract.