Jan 17, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford (11) puts up a shot over New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. The Los Angeles Clippers won 109-94. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks: Zen Master Era Upon Us

As of June 7, the New York Knicks’ offseason was looking bleak, at most.

With no draft picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, failing to get a coach on board and pushing superstar/only hope Carmelo Anthony into unrestricted free-agency, the Phil Jackson experiment was looking as an unprecedented failure.

Until Wednesday.

The Knicks agreed to send what’s left of Tyson Chandler‘s and Raymond Felton’s contracts to the Dallas Mavericks for Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks (34th and 51st) in Thursday’s draft.

By agreeing to the previous trade, the Mavericks have officially entered “Win Now Zone.”

Three years removed from an NBA championship, Mark Cuban’s giving it another go. Dirk Nowitzki‘s retirement rearing its ugly head, Tyson Chandler’s defensive presence might be just what they need to meet the ultimate goal. They’re clearly at loss by taking on Raymond Felton’s “talent” but they got the defensive piece they’ve been missing in Chandler.

This is a no-brainer, the Knicks just won this trade by a landslide. They got rid of a huge amount of money and Raymond Felton (although not that huge since they sent Felton’s two-years and $7.7 million and got Jose Calderon’s four years and $21.9 million). They’re starting to look as the Knicks we’ve come to loathe and love at the same time. This is going great.

They also lost an eight points-nine rebounds and $14 million guy in Chandler and whatever’s left of the defensive presence that took the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship.

Knicks 1, Mavs 0.

Now, most of the Knicks’ troubles are still going on:

  • Carmelo Anthnoy’s meeting with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks once free-agency starts as of July 1.
  • They still have to deal with this:

  • Andrea Bargnani’s owed $12 million in the upcoming season; Amar’e Stoudemire’s owed $24 million. This is by far the worst/most expensive frontcourt in the league. Congratulations, Knicks.
  • Their starting five’s (even with Melo) not even close to turning them into contenders.

This is merely an introduction to what the Zen Master’s able to do once he gets behind the desk. He completely “blindsided” the Mavericks by selling a 14-year veteran in Tyson Chandler and getting rid of one of the worst contracts in the league in Raymond Felton (he’s due $4 million, basically he’s being overpaid by every dollar).

The offseason’s clearly not about “what they can get” as much as “how can they keep Carmelo.” The team and organization have had trouble with the second part. Their effort’s to keep Melo at any cost. Of course, surrounding him with the right personnel might give them an edge.

They’d have to get something in the draft. We’ve been previously talking about what the draft had for some teams in the league. We couldn’t do this for N.Y. since they had no picks … until now.

Who should the Knicks target with the 34th and 51st picks in the Draft?

1. Glenn Robinson III: SF, Michigan

At 20 years old, he’s got a long way to go. He’s a good defender so, if the Knicks develop him the way he should be, they could quickly replace the defensive hole left by Tyson Chandler.

He’s a very effective shooter; once Melo re-signs with the Knicks they’d be one of the deadliest of duos in the East.

2.Thanasis Antetokounmpo: SF, Delaware 87ers.

You might remember his brother, “The Greek Freak,” who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. This guy’s a little different.

Thanasis has got a mean jumper, he shot a staggering 56 percent from the field in the 2013-14 season. He’s got enough strength to draw the contact and still finish the shot. He’s got a mad first step.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Give him space and he’ll burn you with his jumper. Get too close and he’ll slash you in the attack.

3. C.J. Wilcox: SG, Washington.

Anything you get that could potentially take minutes of off J.R. Smith‘s hands is a great idea.

A defensive liability with a great ceiling on the offensive side. The Knicks sure could use a scorer as Wilcox, they ranked 20th in the league in points per game.

Carmelo Anthony won’t be replaced by a rookie. The latest trade won’t be enough to persuade/convince Melo the franchise’s back atop the East.

The Knicks still have a ton of work to do if they want to keep the superstar. They can only hope Carmelo gets the idea, they’d throw the sink at every possible angle if it means keeping him. He’s still the king of New York.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Phil Jackson

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