After winning 11 titles as a coach, in 2014 Phil Jackson signed a 5 year $60 million dollar deal with the New York Knicks to become the President of Basketball Operations. This seemed like a match made in heaven. One of the most successful figures the NBA has ever seen, returning to the mecca of basketball where he thrived as a player. However, this combination has led to more questions than answers about the future of the New York Knicks.
In all fairness, this marriage has had its positive moment. No that wasn’t a typo. Moment, as in one. Phil drafted The Unicorn, The 6God, 3-6-Latvia, better known as Kristaps Porzingis. And we’re done…
Every marriage has it’s bumps in the road, yet this one is more like a giant sinkhole. I’m not sure we have enough space on this blog to name them all, but here are just a few:
- Phil signed Joakim Noah to a 4 year $72 million dollar contract. This contract was a disaster the moment the ink dried and we are only one year in to it. Imagine the albatross around the Knicks neck in years 2, 3, and 4. YIKES! I’m glad that’s a them problem.
- Signing Carmelo Anthony on a five-year deal worth $124 million with a no-trade clause. The only problem with this deal is that he gave into Melo’s demands and added the no-trade clause. Now both sides are unhappy, and Melo will not agree to a trade unless it’s to a contender. That’s like being unhappily married, and telling your wife, I’ll only file for divorce if my next wife is really hot!
- Hiring Derek Fisher. Firing Derek Fisher. That was just all bad. Zero coaching experience, but he had knowledge running Phil’s antiquated triangle offense.
- Trading J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavs and for Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk, Lance Thomas and a 2nd round pick. Who? Who? And You’re Kidding Right?
Those are just some of the terrible decisions made by your $60 million dollar Zen-Master. The future continues to look bleak, but don’t you worry Knicks fan, I will fix the Knicks right now with 4 easy steps, and as a courtesy, I’ll even tweet this to Phil. I would send to James Dolan, but he knows better than to be on Twitter these days.
- Trade Carmelo the first day it is allowed in the offseason. Sit down with him discuss the 3-5 teams he may be interested in and trade him. At this point you will not get equal value for him, but you have to accept that and move on. I have seen more stable relationships on ’16 and Pregnant’. By trading Carmelo you can start building around the future of the franchise Kristaps Porzingis.
- Do not miss in the draft. This is a loaded NBA draft, and it will be hard to miss out on a future all-star caliber player. If the Knicks can select a high caliber guy like DeAaron Fox or Markelle Fultz in the draft, the future will look more promising than ever. This draft is so deep, there are opportunities to land a 2nd round gem as well. That could be a Dillion Brooks or Jordan Bell of Oregon, Josh Hart from Villanova, or possibly Grayson Allen from Duke. You can’t spell Knicks without KICK, Grayson.
- COACH THE DAMN TEAM PHIL! You want the triangle to be implemented so badly so why not do it yourself. I have many questions regarding his GM skills, or lack thereof, but his coaching acumen is unquestioned.
- Free Agency – here is who Phil and the Knicks should be targeting: First the unrealistic category which includes Blake Griffin, Gordon Hayward and CP3. The first minute of free agency Phil should call every one of these players and offer them a max contract. If the Knicks can land just one of these guys, it will speed the rebuild process up tremendously. Now the realistic targets that will make the Knicks respectable when they walk on the court are: Jrue Holliday, JJ Reddick, Shawn Livingston, Nerlens Noel, Andre Iguodala, and George Hill. None of these players will bring a title as “the guy” or even 2nd best guy in New York ,but it instantly makes the team better.
So Knicks fans, I know you don’t want to hear the phrase, ‘trust the process’ because the process has been going on since 1973 (the last time they won a championship). The Knicks can be fixed. The question is whether or not Phil Jackson is the right guy for the job.
Written by Aaron Ernest