July 12, 2010
All things considered, the New York Knicks have had a good offseason. Sure, they didn't get LeBron James(notes), but that's true of 28 other teams as well. Furthermore, Amar'e Stoudemire(notes), Raymond Felton(notes), Anthony Randolph(notes), Kelenna Azubuike(notes) and Ronny Turiaf(notes) are legit NBA players, which is more than can be said for a lot of the Knicks' roster in the past few years. However, it's hard to justify playing dead for two seasons to acquire those five guys. And that's what makes the Knicks' new plan, which is really their old plan, so funny.
Just like in the past two seasons, the Knicks' approach will be two-pronged — cap space and new management. It seems the money part is already figured out. From the New York Post's Marc Berman:
As reported exclusively in yesterday's Post, the Knicks' insistence on no more than two guaranteed years for Felton at $15.8 million has given them the cap-space flexibility to offer one maximum contract for 2011 and another one for 2012, Knicks president Donnie Walsh told The Post yesterday.
OK, fine. Clearing cap space is effective even if you don't get one of the best players in the league with that money. That's what the Knicks have done the past two seasons and they'll definitely be better next year. But I'm guessing New Yorkers would prefer trying to win championships rather than another two years of being told they have money to chase free agents. Nonetheless, the Knicks clearing cap space after clearing cap space for two years is only the second funniest part of their plan.
The funniest part is who might take over in the front office. From ESPN's Chris Broussard:
A reunion between Isiah Thomas and the New York Knicks is possible, according to Donnie Walsh.
Walsh, the Knicks' president, said Thomas will be on his list of candidates if he is given the go-ahead to hire a general manager.
"With other people, yes, Isiah would be under consideration from me," Walsh said in a telephone interview Saturday. "But that's a situation the owner would have to be involved in."
Walsh said he hasn't hired a general manager for financial reasons. If Knicks owner James Dolan allows it, he said he will eventually do so. [...]
There is little question that Dolan would be willing to consider rehiring Thomas, who served as the club's president and eventually head coach for 4½ years. The two have maintained a close relationship since Thomas was fired by the Knicks in April 2008."
Really? I mean, REALLY? Isiah Thomas "would be under consideration" for another NBA job? And that job would be with the Knicks? The New York Knicks? This is a serious case of the laugh attacks that I am suffering from right now.
Maybe my memory is a little cloudy regarding Thomas' first term as head of the Knicks, but I vaguely recall the Knicks being a terrible basketball team who was even more poorly run with much scandal in the front office which was run by Isiah Thomas who made bad trade after bad trade and then signed bad free agents to horrible contracts. I could be mistaken, but I think that's his legacy. Oh, that and the requisite mention that he has a good eye for college talent. Cool considerations, Donnie Walsh.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess. Or even better — if it's only kind of broke and on the mend, make it a little worse so that you have something to fix. It's not a great saying, but I think it applies here.