The art of a team rebuild in sports is one of the most difficult and strenuous tasks
that a front office can take on, especially in the largest market in the country.
Many fans in New York (including myself) are growing angry, and impatient,
with the stagnant and lackadaisical nature of the front office and the direction they
have taken the team in.
The main source of anger from Knicks fans stems from
the fact that the front office managed to find a weird balance between overpaying
their ‘Plan B’ players once the max contract players chose other destinations and
picking up any and every lottery pick that hasn’t worked out in the last 5 years
(see Emmanuel Mudiay, Dennis Smith Jr, Noah Vonleh, Mario Hezonja, Elfrid
If the Knicks players will improve this season, the best NBA betting odds may be
worth backing on the spreads. The odds are always greatly affected by the
different parameters in the game. Sometimes it’s the players state of mind or skill,
and sometimes odds are even affected by a smallest change like change of
uniform and many other reasons are also in that list. That’s why it is so important
to look for the most professional odds if you want to place a bet.
So what is the end goal? Where is this team heading? Many were incredibly
confused this offseason when the Knicks (after swinging and missing on Kevin
Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kawhi Leonard) signed three Power Forwards for a
combined $130 million (in total salary, not for the year). For a team that has been
searching for a lead guard to head the offense for the better part of the last decade,
that is a confusing move to say the least. It seems as though the front office is
simply picking up any player they like and figuring out a place to put them later.
This kind of general consensus among fans allowed other signings to go under the
The Knicks have quietly built a very deep roster. While it is not a very exciting roster (headlined by Julius Randle) there is far more depth at every position in the backcourt than there has been in years for a team desperately needing stability. Going through the positions, the depth chart goes as follows.
PG: Dennis Smith Jr
SG: RJ Barrett
SF: Kevin Knox
Marcus Morris Sr.
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson
Starting with the backcourt, Elfrid Payton behind Dennis Smith Jr ensures that we have a starting caliber player running our bench unit, which was a HUGE problem last year. At SG, RJ Barrett should win the job (as he should being the number 3 overall pick), and he has a lot of support behind him with the veteran presence of Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington. Also, the pure scoring mentality help from Iso-Zo himself should be beneficial. The Small Forward position has gotten stronger with the addition of Marcus Morris. His tenacity gives Knicks fans flashbacks to when management signed Kenyon Martin, Rasheed Wallace, and even Kurt Thomas to strengthen the frontcourt to help out Melo and Stoudemire. At the moment, Kevin Knox is undersized at the three and while lanky guys can survive in the NBA, having a veteran with a physical and defensive presence adds another element of depth to this bench.
The frontcourt this year is centered around the development of Mitchell Robinson, and management did a good job of surrounding him with veteran big men with different skill sets. Taj Gibson has a lot of experience in low post defense and pick and roll offense, Bobby Portis has learned how to expand his range and work on low post jumpers, and the idea of Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle doing strength and conditioning training just sounds explosive. While the names and faces on this team may not put fans in the seats at first, it is important to know that this year’s roster is better and more talented than the last. Even though these signings aren’t progressive enough for a rebuild that has been happening for the last five years, it’s a move that we haven’t seen the front office make yet — going for depth.
New York won 17 games last year, and given that the front office hasn’t added a proven franchise star, it is peculiar to say the least that the Knicks are listed at a win total of 27.5 this year. Why the sudden increase? Well, maybe the Vegas insiders see what I see, which is a team led by a second year coach with a point to prove and a roster of undervalued lottery picks who feel that they weren’t able to show their true talent on their first impression. It also helps that New York is a city where its fans and franchise are hungry to rise from the cellar and make noise. With the season fast-approaching, we will see make-or-break scenarios come about for all the players on one-year option ‘prove it’ deals and for the front office carrying millions of fans on its shoulders. Let’s make the Mecca the center of basketball again!