Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: faced with the prospect of a rebuild, the Knicks are apparently thinking about taking a short-term approach rather than a long-term one. Head coach Derek Fisher said on Sunday that the presence of 30-year-old Carmelo Anthony may change their window of trying to contend.
Interesting thoughts from Fisher on how to build #Knicks. Acknowledges that having Carmelo, 30, may force them to think in shorter terms.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 1, 2015
It’s understandable to not want to waste the tail end of Anthony’s prime, but it’s also a wrongheaded approach for a variety of reasons.
First of all, there’s no short-term rebuild strategy that’s going to make them title contenders. The Knicks will have a glut of cap space this summer, but all signs point to a repeat of their 2010 offseason, when they cleared away a ton of space to go after the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. After they struck out on those names, they gave a five-year, $100 million contract to Amar’e Stoudemire, the next-best available guy, whom the Suns didn’t re-sign because of two bad knees. We know how that has worked out for the Knicks.
This summer feels similar. It’s highly unlikely that the two premier free agents, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol, will leave Portland and Memphis respectively, and if they did, it wouldn’t be for a rebuilding Knicks team. So New York will be forced to decide if they think DeAndre Jordan is worth a max deal, or if Greg Monroe is worth a max deal, and so on. And how many of those players really move the needle with regards to title contention for a team with the roster of the Knicks?
Fisher’s comments are frustrating because in less than a year, team president Phil Jackson has done a good job setting up a true rebuild. He’s gotten rid of most of the Knicks’ long-term money and accumulated draft picks. They’ll land a top-tier player in the lottery this year. If there’s ever been a time to be patient, it’s now. But it sounds like they aren’t leaning that way.