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SBM Sports: What to Do with the New York Knicks?


While the Knicks managed to delay the inevitable on Sunday with an 89-87 win over the Miami Heat, it’s obvious that this team needs work before it can be considered a championship contender.

The focus of the roster is on the two “superstars,” Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks paid a steep price for both players, who were supposed to lead them to wins, awards, success, championships, a Nobel Prize, etc. Instead, the Knicks are stuck with a 7th seed in the Playoffs, and down 3-1 to a team no one really thought they could beat. (I mean…come on, Knick fan, we can be honest about this).

That said, it’s time to think about what to do to shape this roster into a contender. Thankfully, I’m here to play General Manger. My qualifications include several Fantasy Basketball trophies. I know talent. Anyway, here are the Knicks realistic options for the future:

  1. Stand pat. Try to re-sign the team’s free agents and make a run with a healthy team:

This option leaves the Knicks essentially where they started the season. The difference is that now they run Mike Woodson’s offensive system instead of the point-guard-centric approach they used under Mike D’Antoni.

This option highlights the Knicks’ biggest problem: Amar’e and Carmelo aren’t a great basketball match. They’ll never be as good together as they could be apart. Amar’e is best working off of a strong guard while Carmelo is one of the league’s best one-on-one scorers. That just doesn’t add up.

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If the Knicks keep together the roster that they have now (and pray that no other kneecaps explode), they’ll end up right where they are: mediocre.

  1. Deal Stoudamire, run with Me-Lin-sanity:

Remember Linsanity? How much fun was that? In this scenario, the Knicks handed the offense to Carmelo and Jeremy Lin. The only problem is, like Amar’e and Carmelo, neither is at their best playing off the other. Lin used the pick and roll to become a global sensation this season. In theory, Carmelo could run the pick and roll with Lin, but he’s shown us over the past 8 seasons that he prefers the ball on the wing with his teammates spread on the opposite side of the court. Shucks.

Another issue here is what the Knicks could get if they trade Stoudemire. Will teams see him as an injury prone player who has regressed recently? Or will they see him as the MVP candidate from the beginning of last season? The risk associated with trading for Stoudemire will scare just about any team. That means they’d have to deal Amar’e for an unproven player or one with his own sets of issues. Basically, they are trading their high-mileage sedan for someone else’s. At least you know the problems with your car; no sense trading it for a lemon.

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Carmelo and Lin aren’t taking the Knicks to the Finals. Next!

  1. Deal Carmelo, make Lin and Stoudamire the new Nash and Stoudamire:

This makes more sense right away because you could certainly get more for Carmelo than Amar’e at this point. Also, Amar’e was a legitimate MVP candidate through the first half of last season (see above). Could he really have fallen off this badly in 18 months? It makes more sense for the Knicks to try and maximize the chance for Amar’e to succeed rather than trade him for a player that isn’t as good.

In this scenario, the Knicks trade Carmelo for a young, talented player and draft picks. Let’s say Eric Gordon of the New Orleans Hornets and one of the two top 14 picks the Hornets own in this year’s draft. Could a lineup featuring Lin, Gordon, Amar’e, Tyson, and Shumpert compete? I think so.

The primary weapon would be the pick and roll featuring Lin and Stoudemire. This worked to great effect earlier this season. Add Eric Gordon’s ability to shoot from outside and create his own shot, and you have a dangerous offense where almost anyone can succeed (except Jared Jefferies…never Jared Jefferies).

The defense would remain strong with Tyson Chandler as its anchor. Eric Gordon is a better defender than Carmelo, so anything he can add makes them even better than this past season. Don’t forget, the Knicks were pretty good this year on defense. Becoming even stronger on that side of the ball is a huge plus.

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Those are my thoughts. What do you think SBM Sports Fans? Is there anything that can get the Knicks over the hump? Actually, Knicks fans are pretty annoying and their team hasn’t won’t a ring since 1973…do the rest of us really want them winning a title?


  1. Great we have a Knicks hater writing for us, lol. Perfect. Dr J has a friend in you!

    You seemed hyped off the "Linsanity" like we all were. Here's the realistic POV.

    This team hasnt had the benefit of a FULL year together. Including traning camp and the like. in essence, the roster has been in flux for 5-6 seasons. Antoni (no D) was stubborn with his offense and really didnt want to modify it to focus on the Knicks strengths. Sure when you run 7 seconds or less and Bill Walker has the green light to YOLO at will, your team can look exciting. Championship contending, NO. Exciting yes!

    What you saw Sunday is how the Knicks should run. Melo starting off getting Stoudemire involved., Run the pick and roll with melo and stat. Have the PG set up plays and penetrate and kick out to melo. Too many times the PG will dominated the ball and just end up setting up the ISO-MELO anyway.

    It took losing a fight with a fire extinguisher for Stat to play tough. That hasnt been consistent all year.

    In the end, they should stand pat, resign Lin & Novak, get a backup PG and come back with a clear offensive scheme. That way they will be straight.

    PS the only thing more anoying than Knicks fans is everyone else who cares about what a supposed "irrelevant" teams fans say/do. NYC hate at its finest!

    StreetZ: home of the Superbowl Champ G-Men!
    My recent post [EVENTS] First Saturdays #AfterTheMuseum Cinco De Mayo Edition!

    1. I'm not a Knick Hater…I'm a Knick realist, lol. NY fans are just sensitive.

      The team did pretty well when Woodson took over, but I wonder if you can get a good read based on such a small number of games. I really believe that STAT and Melo can't do what they do best when they're on the floor together. Maybe bring Amar'e off the bench?

      1. LL says the man that call Knicks fans annoying…lmaoooo

        You have to have this for a full season. We still havent had that yet.

        Its basketball! Run plays, make sacrifices, and make it happen. period. Wade and LBJ are both wing players. They make it work because LBJ makes plays and bides his time. Thats what melo did in game 4 and needs to do that too. Only way he can ascend
        My recent post [EVENTS] First Saturdays #AfterTheMuseum Cinco De Mayo Edition!

        1. I love you guys. "Some of my best friends are Knick fans", lol. But you guys are annoying. It's what makes you guys fun to joke with.

          Your point is valid, but it ignores ego. LBJ basically said he came to Miami to not have to be the man all the time. You think STAT or Melo are wired like that? STAT had 9 shots in Game 3 and put his hand through glass, lol.

          They're both great, I think they can do it. BUT I'd like to see what a STAT, Lin, Eric Gordon line up could do. I prefer pick-and-roll ball over ISO though. Doesn't make me right of course.

  2. I agree with Streetz, Knick fans need to relax and just take their licks. I mean, blowing up a core and starting over worked so well for the LeBron era Cavs. With my Celtics aging, Derrick Rose on a 10 yr Adidas contract, and Dwight Howard seemingly gone, the Knicks can become a two seed in the East by default. Also no one would dare touch Amare’s contract and any team thats not contending and Melo is not going anywhere . The talent is there its just how they use it.

  3. Dudes have to remember, we're playing The Miami Heat. A team game dangerously close to winning the whole chip last year. They are a team that's been together longer than us and are bonded through the experience of going deep into the playoffs together.

    Add to all the that the fact that man for man, they're a more talented team, and it's easy to see how the series is 3-1.

    I'm happy with the current direction of the team and don't think we need to make major moves. I think Lin isn't as good as he played during the "Linsanity" run, that's an anomaly, but I do think he's good enough to be a starting point guard on a contending team. I think he should be good for 15 points and 7 assists a game for the next 7 or 8 years barring major injury. We definitely need a back up point guard for next year and there are a lot of decent options available. Dre Miller being my choice of the bunch. I think we should always be exploring opportunities to move Amare if possible as I think it's only a matter of time before he suffers a career ending injury, but in the meantime, I trust Woody to keep pushing him to improve on the defensive end of the floor. Barring injury, I think Tyson can be a quality center for us for the next 4-5 years. Lastly, I think Melo can be the cornerstone of the franchise for the next 4-5 years. To me, that's our window to really make noise. I want to stick with Mike Woodson, make the aforementioned tweaks and see how far we can go.

    Most importantly, I don't want to trade away any draft picks. I just want us to let this bubble for a while, make minor improvements where we can and see where this takes us. At this point, there isn't any one move we can make that's gonna make us that much better than we are now, so we just have to build organically, develop chemistry and ride it out while stockpiling draft picks.

    1. The Miami Heat don't have anything to do with the fact that the Knicks are the #7 seed in the East and the Sixers spent the entire half of the season after the all-star break tanking. The Knicks should own up to the fact that they just aren't a good enough team in the East. Even if they were healthy, the Knicks would not have been a Top 4 team in the East.

      Also, Lin has not shot at being 15 and 7 for the 7 years. That's just an egregious exaggeration. If he was to average that, he would be a Top 10 PG in the NBA. That's not going to happen, just be real. You have to at least give him 82 games before you anoint him.

      The Knicks can't get any better than they are right now, but they are also stuck with a lot of things. They need not go into another season hoping that this team is the answer though, it's not.

  4. I'm for option 1. The team just recently came from NOTHING to getting into the playoffs – way to soon to go crazy with trades. The team needs time to gel. There's way too many other teams with superstars that everyone said couldn't work, and they have definitely done better than the Knicks (though not necessarily champions).

  5. I like the Knicks – But I'm on the Heat bandwagon this year.
    And since I'm from Philly I'm glad to see the Sixers doing pretty good this year.

  6. Alright, Joe. Knicks fans are the best. They are no more annoying or delusional than other cities’ passionate fans. That being said, there is no 1 way to look at this. You dont make any trades unless its the right move. We are more of a win now mode vs rebuilding, but you still need to be careful about deals from a salary perspective (see the knicks mgmt from 2001-2008). Whether we trade anyone, try to get more draft picks or whatever..its gotta be a good deal.

    I dont think you trade carmelo to enhance amare’s game cause:

    1. Melo is a better player overall

    2. Amare hurt his back in the past 2 years

    3. Amare playing at his best depends on a pg

    4. Melo provides a type of scoring few other nba players provide.

    I just dont think moving melo is smart. He is a good rebounder at his position and has shown when he puts in defensive effort he aint half bad. I only move melo for a star.

    Id rather move Amare, but i dont think we can (contract is not poppin) plus i dont think we need to in order to win. Every1 needs to get together, play in training camp, have defined roles, and fight to win. Imagine fields starts sinking a few more threes? Or if toney douglas can be like he was at the end of last season? The talent is there…we just need to further develop chemistry and fade injuries and we’ll do better.

    Most ppl dont follow salary cap situations/rules like i do, but in short our off season is like this:

    JR Smith has a player option for 2.5milly. If he takes it, he will be a knick for at least 1 more year. If he declines it and goes to free agency we will most likely lose him to a higher bidder because our mid level exception money (or most of it) will go to keep Jeremy Lin (even though we have protections under the Arenas provision)… unless no other team tries to sign Lin to an offer sheet (either as a result of him not agreeing to sign with anyone else or other teams not wanting to deal with their salary caps being ‘on hold’ just so their bid gets bodied by ours anyway).

    Its likely that we will not have money for steve novak except the veterans min. It is widely believed that he will get better offers.

    Some ppl think we will not sign lin and try to offer the mid level exception to steve nash. Overall, i’m comfortable with Lin as the pg moving foward, although i am intrigued by nash. He’s old but he really hasnt slowed down much and he’s probably the best overall shooter in the nba (which will free up plenty space for melo/amare/tyson).

    I think our team can work well together..we just need to run the right plays. If we iso melo on one side, a skip pass to the opposite wing can ignite a p&r with Lin/Amare. Mix things up.. put melo in the low post w/ stat on the high, run some 2 man plays that way. There’s plenty we can do.. this season isnt a good indicator given the schedule/injuries.

    Next year we are set to have:


    Shumpert (dec 2012)








    2nd rd pick (i am scott machado from iona)

    Jerome jordan

    Jr smith?


    There may not be too much we can do that’ll be dynamic enough of a move to matter.. but you never know what will happen in the NBA when u start thinking of trade possibilities.


  7. Thanks for the thoughful input.

    I think Melo's 'type of scoring' doesn't give anyone else much to play off of. Iso-Melo with the option of a pick and roll on the opposite side sounds good in theory. The shot clock + the fact that all the defense will be on that opposite side (bc of the iso) makes it hard to pull off though. Balancing those two on offense is possible, I just don't see it. I agree Carmelo is a GREAT player, I just think he could be used for a piece that can match his offensive production, fit into the offense rather than derail it, and give the Knicks a first round pick. That, to me, is great flexibility.

    As far as potential roster moves, I think the Knicks need to lock up Lin + one of their shooters (JR Smiff or Novak). Basically because I don't see Toney Douglas becoming reliable.

    The Knicks can be successful next year, but do any Knick fans think they can compete for a title? Isn't that the point?

  8. Trading Melo isn't an option for the primary reason that we sent our starting 4 out to bring him here. He wants to be here, he's happy here and Dolan isn't the "eat crow" type of guy. Amar'e is pretty much untradeable too. Nobody wants his back end loaded salary with the decline in his play and back problems. But stranger things have happened in the NBA, who knows.

    I was reading today that they plan on extending Woodson's contract, which is a step in the right direction. With Baron Davis officially out, we'll come back with a healthy Jeremy Lin at the point and can pick up a younger, cheap free agent PG (assuming and prayerfully we don't re-sign Bibby) There's quite a few decent PGs that are unrestricted this year, so now would be a good time to lock 1 up on a 3-4 yr deal. Jr Smith already said he plans to test the FA pool this summer, so hopefully the Knicks cough up whatever it'll take to keep him. Everyone else (maybe excl. Landry Field) just needs more time on the floor together to develop chemistry and know their roles in the plays drawn up. Sometimes they've just looked really lost out here and defaulted the rock to Melo and watched him work. Because roster wise, as KWords said, the talent is there.
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  9. I just think too much has been put into this Big Three mentality. It has only worked once and the following year a team with a Superstar player and two All-Star caliber players came and won the chip over the Big Three. The Big Three in Miami went to the Finals and lost to a team with a Superstar player and two All-Star caliber players. The Knicks were trying to assemble this Big Three and it seemed like it was a good idea, but it was really a fad. They should find a way to get rid of Amare and build around Melo… Genuinely let Melo be Melo and be the Superstar that he can be.

    The pieces around Melo right now are average and inconsistent, except for Chandler. Knicks fans were starting to wise up to Landry this year, he was hot, he's decent, but he's not reliable enough to get them to the championship as a role player. Knicks should work on strengthening pieces through trading/free agency until they can get to a consistent 50 win team. Then they can roll the dice… until then, this team is just not good enough. There's no hate in that, it's just being honest.

    Re: Amare —

    The Knicks have to come to grip with losing out with so much physicality and PF stats with him on the court. He's been the same for the last two seasons. They need someone who can rebound, defend, and be a consistent scorer. Most PFs in the game dominate the offensive boards and get points that way. Amare can't jump anymore. He's a liability that's worth sitting down, buying him out or persuading him to retire. Think about if the Knicks had Favors or Cousins in that position. They'd have something that could rely on in there, right now, nothing but constant disappointment. Amare's emotion only takes you so far.

  10. Looks like Miami is bringin the Heat…… "the Heat ousted the shorthanded Knicks 106-94 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.
    The Heat won the series 4-1, and will meet Indiana in the East semifinals starting Sunday in Miami."
    Go Bron, Go Bron, Go Wade Go Wade…………………………..*smile*

    1. Thank you for checking out the post and contributing.

      I must say this comment made me throwup on my keyboard, though. You owe me $17.

  11. Another great piece Joe! The Knicks 'should' be fine. The knicks are going to resign Lin for all of their mid level exception of around $5 million. They will probably sign Novak or Fields with their bi-annual exception.

    The rest of the Knicks success will come from Amare and Melo. Trading Amare is not an option beccause NO ONE is taking on that contract…HAVE YOU SEEN AMARE'S MEDICAL REPORT…Amare has more red marks than my 4th grade report card so the knicks need to embrass Amare and have him and Melo get on the same page. Phil Jackson is not coming to save the day because he is not high on the Knicks team so don't look for him to save the Knicks. Nash wont come because the Knicks don't have the $$$ for him and it has been reported that is Nash is going to play for the veteran minimum, Miami is his preferred destination.

    1. Amare and Melo need to become the best recruiters the game has ever seen and try to bring over talented players for cheap. i.e. Sammy Dalembert (NY needs a Haitian in the building), Delonte West, DeShawn Stevenson, Michael Redd, Sam Young, Antawn Jamison, Reggie Evans, Marcus Camby, Omer Asik; defensive minded players with a splash of scoring!

      I am far from a Knick fan but all this Knick hating has gone too far. Melo is great on the basketball but the Knicks success will be based on his off the court actions. Amare and Melo need to set up their agenda for July 1st (1st day of free agency).

  12. Knicks just gotta find the right pieces. I like the Knick squad they had with Felton and Gallinari. Melo should have stayed in Denver. Melo and Amare saw Bron and Wade start to put the pieces together so I guess they thought they could do the same thing (I think they forgot they are NOT Bron and Wade haha). Chandler was a big pick up too, but I would have stayed in Dallas. Hopefully, Lin will stay healthy and he will def get better. Knicks need to pick up Kendall Marshall if they want a TRU PG who loves to see everybody else on his team shine. If Landry Fields is a 2 guard, he needs to start playing like it or find an actual pure shooter. When they got Chandler they should have tried to get Jason Terry, but Terry is true blue to the Mavericks. Knicks fans are the best fans because no matter how much they suck at times, Knicks gonna stand by their team. Management needs to realize that doesn't mean just put anybody on a team because they have loyal fans. If the name of the game is keeping those seats full, start winning more games and winning playoff series.


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