Knicks Need An “A” In Free Agency

So today the 2015 NBA free agency season begins. For the New York Knicks, this perhaps will be the most critical juncture of the Phil Jackson era. Originally the plan to rebuild the Knicks seemed to center around the draft and free agency. However with New York falling to the 4th pick during the draft lottery, the weight of the team’s future has shifted toward acquiring veterans. While it’s possible that Porzingis is the future of New York Basketball, from a strictly statistical perspective, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be a future top 10 player. Hence it reasons that for the Knicks, free agency is the more likely route to a winning franchise.

Many of the potential free agents are going to be unavailable to New York. LeBron James isn’t walking through those Garden doors (in a Knicks uniform). Neither are Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Tim Duncan, and Draymond Green, as all of these players are expected to stay with their current team. That leaves just few A-listers remaining for the rest of the NBA to divide.

And the Knicks really need an A-list free agent.

New York won only 17 games last year, their worst showing in franchise history. Right now the team has one star player that missed half of last season, a sophomore coach with questionable ability, a teenage lottery pick that may not be contributing much his first season, and a roster that arguably lacks another NBA caliber starter (ok maybe Jose Calderon — if they keep him).

Given the desperate need of the Knicks to make a splash in this free agency, there is one player they should be targeting: DeAndre Jordan.

I’m not really sure I need to make the case for Jordan on the Knicks. But if there are any questions, let me set all doubts aside. Jordan led the league in rebounds and field goal percentage for the last 2 years. He’s played 82 games in each of the last 3 seasons, and will only be 27 years old next year. The 6-11 center is one of the premier defenders in the league at a position where defense is key.

Perhaps Knick fans are worried about his offense. Sure his offensive repertoire is limited, and this might be a problem if the Knicks were centered around let’s say Danillo Gallinari or David Lee. But isn’t the upside of having Carmelo Anthony supposed to be the ripple effect that his shot creation gives the rest of the team? Last I checked, the Knicks offense was fine when Anthony was paired with Tyson Chandler, a player with nearly identical strengths and weaknesses. And I don’t buy the argument that Jordan wouldn’t fit the triangle offense. The Bulls excelled with Dennis Rodman, a player whose contributions were limited to assisted baskets around the hoop and scoring opportunities created off of offensive rebounds.

Now getting Jordan is another story. On one hand, it appears that the center has opened the door to leaving the Clippers. On the other, every team with the ability to land him will likely be giving him the same offer as New York. Dallas will offer him a job in his home state, with an established coach, a team that has success over the last 15 years, and an owner that is liked by the public. Or basically the exact opposite of the Knicks.

Although the Knicks do have Phil Jackson, Carmelo Anthony, and a lively cultural city that isn’t a suburb united under the guise of a metropolis. In all seriousness, this is what Knick fans have been led to believe. The bright lights of the Big Apple would appeal to the biggest stars of the league. Getting All-Star Carmelo Anthony, as opposed to merely an above-average scoring forward, was the key to open the door to those unreachable free agents. And Phil Jackson would be the vizier, the architect, the salesman, that would reel in the big fish. If New York can’t lure DeAndre to sign with them, then perhaps they’re paying Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson for attributes that don’t actually exist.

There may be many paths to a winning franchise for the Knicks. However I’m hard pressed to think of a better way than landing DeAndre Jordan to anchor the defense and compliment Carmelo Anthony.

Knicks Morning News (2015.07.01)

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  • [New York Times] Big Names, Big Markets in Pursuit as NBA Free Agency Opens (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:19:47 GMT)

    Big names, big bucks and big markets in pursuit.

  • [New York Times] AP Source: Anthony Davis, Pelicans Agree to Max Extension (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:49:41 GMT)

    Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed on a five-year extension worth more than $140 million.

  • [New York Times] The Best Free Agents Realistically Available (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:05:55 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan, Paul Millsap and Monta Ellis are among the N.B.A. free agents who could make an impact on another team.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Liberty Ends Drought Against Sky (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:43:46 GMT)

    Tina Charles scored a season-high 26 points to give the visiting Liberty their first victory over Chicago in three seasons.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Cavaliers Dole Out Offers (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:45:52 GMT)

    Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert all received qualifying offers as Cleveland indicated it wanted the players to return.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Think Big as Free Agency Is Set to Begin (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 01:57:48 GMT)

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  • [New York Times] Garden Hires New President From Agency With Knick Ties (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:05:15 GMT)

    David O’Connor was a longtime executive of the Creative Artists Agency, which represents Carmelo Anthony, as well as the Knicks executives Allan Houston and Mark Warkentien.

  • [New York Daily News] What are the odds? Knicks’ chances to land these free agents (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:03:21 GMT)

    The day Knicks fans have been waiting for, pointing to and dreaming of throughout the disaster of last season finally is upon us.

  • [New York Post] Spurs free agent Danny Green: I’d be ‘crazy’ not to meet with Knicks (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:26:54 -0400)

    Spurs free agent shooting guard Danny Green is back from vacation in Brazil and agreeable to a meeting with his hometown Knicks. Green, the Babylon, Long Island native, said just…

  • [New York Post] Knicks say Porzingis will play in summer league, but his brother’s not so sure (Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:00:50 -0400)

    It would be nothing short of a nightmare if their super-skinny European project Kristaps Porzingis is too injured to participate in the Knicks summer league that opens July 11 in…

  • NBA 2015 Free Agent Season Open Thread

    The offseason has officially begun!

    Use this thread to discuss all the deals that will come pouring out of the NBA as soon as free agency begins!

    Let’s hope that the Knicks get some good players!