The 2013-14 NBA season came and went, the Finals are upon us, and the Knicks missed the playoffs for the seventh time in the last decade. The previous sentence doesn’t amount to the massive train wreck they’ve been for the better part of the last 10 years.
With no picks in the upcoming draft, no coach, and Melodrama 2.0 rearing its ugly head, this summer’s not looking any better.
The draft pick situation, a comedic situation indeed
- 2014 first-round pick to Orlando.
- 2014 second-round pick to Houston.
- 2015 second-round pick to Houston.
- 2016 first-round pick, Denver has right to swap.
- 2016 first-round less favorable pick to Toronto.
- 2016 second-round pick to Sacramento (protected 31-37).
- 2017 second-round pick to Toronto.
So yeah, not a lot of draft picks in the next four years.
The no-coach dilemma
In a desperate move to sway Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks handed the keys of the basketball operations machine to Phil Jackson. The zen master came to town and the future started looking better for them. After a disappointing season where they had to let Mike Woodson go, a lot of names have been thrown around for the position but no clear candidate’s come forward. Who wouldn’t want to coach under the 11-time NBA champion?
Names like Steve Kerr started coming up just before he dropped the New York job (and drama) by taking over Mark Jackson in Golden State for a chance to coach one of the stronger and younger teams in the West. The pressure is far from what he’d have in New York, something he definitely considered on his first year as a coach. Rick Fox, Mark Jackson, Brian Shaw, and Derek Fisher are some other names linked to the opening.
Derek Fisher is looking like Jackson’s
first choice (of course, now that Steve Kerr chose the Warriors) and sources say the pair’s meeting soon to discuss the possibility of Fisher coaching under him. Derek Fisher was an active player in the league until Saturday so, as Phil Jackson knows, no one could talk to him directly about any positions because of the NBA’s tampering policies.
Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony’s able to opt-out of his contract this summer. It’s not clear if he will but rest assured this move would be another devastating blow for the Knicks. It’s been known that Phil Jackson has courted Melo and asked him to consider delaying free agency until 2015 but Melo’s decision is still unknown.
Influenced by his draft class colleague LeBron James‘ newest, and fourth straight, trip to the NBA Finals, he’s been adamant in stating that his decision’s based strictly on improving his winning chances. But with the team having $91 million in salaries committed for next season, the possibilities of adding a piece, any piece, and multiplying Melo’s chances of winning, are slim. He has the opportunity to improve his winning chances in a heart beat by playing the field and landing somewhere like Chicago or Houston.
On the upside, the Knicks have got only $12 million committed for the 2015-16 season so they should be OK if they convince Anthony on spending his 12th and 13th seasons in rebuilding mode.
It’s been 15 years since the Knicks got to The Finals the last time. They’ve won one playoff series since the year 2000. The past’s been rough to them, and the future’s not looking any brighter.