We’re coming to the hump day point of the NBA season and the New York Knicks are anything but good. They’re not a playoff team like our unicorn Kristaps Porzingis would like them to be prior to the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline. The Knicks are instead a mediocre basketball team that can’t play on the road, can’t play defense, and can’t stop shimmying.
With the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline looming — February 8th to be precise — Porzingis would like the Knickerbockers to make a move for a thick slab of veteran leadership to make a playoff push, but that’s not what the team needs right now.
Porzingis said that he needs playoff experience and would like to add players that have such experience sooner rather than later, which is fair. Playoff experience for Porzingis would be nice, especially with him up for a contract extension after this season. Making the playoffs would give him more incentive to stay, even though the Knicks will be able to offer him the most dollar dollar bills to retain him (as long as his dogmatic brother-agent comes to his senses). Janis Porzingis recently came out and said that his talented younger brother would like to remain in New York, which is a good sign (for now).
Kristaps Porzingis on why it’s important for he and his teammates to make the playoffs and why tanking can’t be part of a player’s mindset: pic.twitter.com/ggRvSTS9pC
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 30, 2018
However, the Knicks do not need to make the playoffs this season. The Knicks, currently in tenth place in the dreadful Eastern Conference, have fallen 3.5 games behind 8th place Philadelphia, while the ninth place Detroit Pistons just traded for Blake Griffin, confirming their commitment to a playoff push. That mega-trade really did not bode well for our Knickerbockers.
Blake Griffin’s greatest performance as a Clipper was probably this Austin Rivers impression 😂 pic.twitter.com/JzSWN6vSm2
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 30, 2018
So, with the East getting stronger, I really don’t see the Knicks having a legitimate chance this season to make the playoffs or grab significant talent at the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline. Trading for more veterans with short or expiring contracts would be a bonehead move by new General Manager Scott Perry, who seems anything but a bonehead. Dare I say, trust the process. And then cringe.
As for the upcoming 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, the Knicks have to be sellers. They need to get rid of whoever they can and get picks or youth for those players. Easier said than done, but it’s a bullet they need to bite and chew. Teams around the league have been contacting the Knicks about players such as Courtney Lee, Enes Kanter, Willy Hernangomez, Kyle O’Quinn, and Frank Ntilikina. But Frank isn’t going anywhere (I hope) so don’t worry.
— Hard Knicks Life Podcast (@HardKnicksLife) January 15, 2018
Lee and Jarrett Jack are technically the veterans for this team and this has only helped them get slightly better as a unit, even though Lee is having the best season of his career. Jack has regressed tremendously and should be pushed to third string to let Frank and Trey Burke be the point guards of focus. Frank has also regressed thanks to a decrease in minutes because Burke has been playing so well. But, Frank is the future, not Burke. He needs minutes to grow.
But back to the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline. If the Knicks were to get any decent prospects or first or second round picks for any of the players I mentioned above, mainly Lee, Kanter or O’Quinn, you take that deal and run like the Dickens. Kanter is the interesting piece here. Yes, he’s our double-double machine, but he doesn’t play the crucial minutes down the stretch that we need. I think Willy can do that at a cheaper price. I think Perry has something up his sleeve and should show his stuff by February 8 at 3pm. Don’t trade Hernangomez, but instead make him part of the youth rebuild.
Perry needs to sit down with our beloved unicorn and explain to him what he wants to do with the Knicks going forward because it is not about the playoffs this season, it’s about the future. Hopefully Porzingis will be able to understand that because it all begins with him. Perry has to sell Porzingis on the future and what he will build with him, Hardaway Jr., Frank, Willy, and whoever they can draft or obtain for those players who are on the trading block.
As for that bum Joakim Noah, I don’t even want to get into it. There’s no team dumb enough to take on that idiotic $72 million contract. Thanks Phil. The Knicks have to either bite the bullet and ride this out or just buy him out (not as appealing given the amount of money left). We’re stuck with him and his hoodie/sport, coat/sweatpants combo sitting behind the bench.
Everyone got that friend who hovers like this when you at the bar ordering drinks pic.twitter.com/WENEe7JktS
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 13, 2017
So as for the state of the Knicks at the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, there’s still a lot of work to be done to put a competitive playoff-worthy team on the floor. It ain’t happening this season, but we have the pieces in place to make the future bright and watchable.
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Cover photo h/t @enes_kanter