Get the best talent and design the system around them? Or, pick a system and get the best players you can to fit that system? It’s a long-standing debate not just in the NBA but throughout sports. Th
The Knicks are going with option No. 2. They are sticking with the triangle and getting players who can fit it.
That’s what Kurt Rambis — who will be with the Knicks in one capacity or another next season — said, as reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
“It shouldn’t be a balance (between finding players to fit a system and building a system around the players). It’s whatever decision you want to make,” Kurt Rambis said. “The decision with management is to get players who fit into the system. Neither way is wrong. It’s about your mindset and what you want to do. And I think the whole process has been to get players who we feel will fit into the system. No team stays pat except the exceptional teams. Everybody is trying to improve and find ways to get better. Naturally, we’ll be one of those teams.”
The Knicks seem committed to the triangle (which certainly impacts the coaching search, but that’s another discussion).
Triangle-friendly players are high IQ players who are good passers and can drain shots from the outside. Or, put another way, the kinds of players every smart team is looking for. Demand for those players will be high, and the market will be flush with cash this summer thanks to the new television deal kicking in (and the salary cap jumping by $23 million or so), which will make finding value a challenge.
There are rumors the Knicks have Memphis’ Mike Conley high on their target list as they need a point guard (although elite point guards have not loved the triangle). He’s a good get, but likely a max or near max guy. Certainly the Knicks will make a run at other top players (Kevin Durant fits in any system) but whether they can get those players to really listen is another issue.
It’s up for debate how well the triangle will work under modern NBA defensive rules that allow a zone, but put that argument aside right now — what the Knicks need is talent. More, younger talent. Athletes. The best guys they can get. Notice how teams such as the Spurs have adapted their system multiple times over the years to accommodate the best players they can get and highlight them? Just a thought I’m throwing out there.
It’s going to be an interesting summer in New York.