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What the Knicks should do when the lockout ends…

Oct 11, 2011, 4:00 PM EST

New York Knicks v Miami Heat Getty Images

This is the latest installment of PBT’s series of “What your team should do when the lockout ends.” Up next is the Miami Heat. You can also check out our thoughts on other NBA teams here as we work our way through all 30 squads.

Last season: Quite the wild ride for ye old Knickerbockers last season. They started out gangbusters, and truth be told, their team before the trade was a lot more fun. Felton figured out how to run with Stoudemire, Gallo was a firecracker, Wilson Chandler was this odd piece sticking out of the side like an extra Lego piece, and they were a team of emotion, style, and fallible fun. Just what a Knicks team should be.

Naturally, that got blown to Kingdom Come.

Dolan listened to Isiah, and Melo was bought for a King’s ransom. The core was detonated and Mike D’Antoni looked down at his team’s roster sheet one morning and found that he had an aging, non-distributor point guard, two players who both like to work in ISO sets and need the ball about 25 percent of the time if not more, and Shaun Williams is now a starter. May God have Mercy on his soul.

The Knicks had some big wins with Melo, most notably against the Heat. They played well enough to make it into the playoffs which was a big step forward and might not have happened if the previous core had continued to slide. But there was an innocence lost. Regardless of that, Melo made a huge appearance in the playoffs, but without Billups and Stoudemire due to injuries, they couldn’t get it done. Plus, you know, Jared Jeffries.

It was a good season. Not a great one, but a good one, and the start of something special in New York.

Since last we saw the Knicks: Since over $50 million of their salary is locked up in three players, it’s not like there’s a lot of wiggle room. But the Knicks have seen some changes. They have some supporting cast members and bench scrubs cleared off the books. But the biggest changes are up top. Donnie Walsh stepped down as the Big Guy but remains as a consultant. Mike Woodson has joined Mike D’Antoni’s staff as a defensive assistant.

And Isiah Thomas continues to hover. Waiting. Watching. Ready for the moment to strike and return to where he feels he belongs. But seriously, he’s just friends with James Dolan. Just friends.

When the lockout ends, the Knicks need to…

One of the biggest problems with the NBA and its management is that it rarely adheres to a plan 100 percent. It mixes ideologies. Say you’re a rebuilding team, and a veteran sub-star comes available. Teams will throw money and assets to acquire the player, despite it having no real place in the overall design of the team. Similarly, the question is not whether the Knicks will try to do too much at once, it’s how badly they will.

The Knicks have two distinct goals. Provide supporting role players for Melo and Stoudemire (and Billups, if that’s your cup of tea), and obtain a third superstar (Chris Paul, if your cup of tea is called “Isiah’s special blend”). Now, even under the most imaginative of circumstances, the odds of the Knicks having much room after the new cap is put in place are pretty slim. But there will be room somehow someway to add Chris Paul, should he make good on his little toast a year ago.

If that’s what they want to do, however, they have to pay for it, and not just in dollars. They have to not go hog wild in free agency. That means no J.R. Smith, no Wilson Chandler, no… I’ve run out of Nuggets in China, but you get my point. If you want to make room for Paul, you have to clear some more space. It’s just like 2009-2010, only you’ll still probably make the playoffs.

On the flip side, if you want the team to go forward in the playoffs immediately, you have to go forward. Ronnie Turiaf is not going to average a double double. Boris Diaw isn’t walking through that door (mostly because he can’t fit, but still). Toney Douglas has to improve, and if not, the Knicks need a distributor playmaker. Ramon Sessions works well in that capacity. There are options.

The Knicks have all the promise in the world and two superstars. If they get Chris Paul (or Deron Williams, or Dwight Howard) in 2012, they’ll have changed the landscape in the biggest way since the CBA and before that the Heat. They’ll also probably be in violation of about fifteen different degrees of collusion, but still. It’ll be exciting. The Knicks have enough to compete next year, but whether they compete for 2012 or 2013 is the question.

  1. blueintown - Oct 11, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    There, guy who is always crying about them not doing the Knicks. You happy?

    • MTArider - Oct 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM

      God forbid I’d want him to write about my team. Am I happy he wrote something? Yes. Did he realy say anything? No. Kurt basically wrote a bio on the current state of the Knicks and gave no real “This is what they should do” in a “This is what they should do” article. So this was a bust.

  2. darealrandolph - Oct 11, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    New York Knicks soon to be champs for all u haters
    chris paul is on his way to broadway after da cba is resolved

  3. darealrandolph - Oct 11, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Melo,Amare,Cp3= New york knicks champs
    u heard, watch da throne dallas mavericks and da rest of the leauge

  4. theycallmejov - Oct 12, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    FYI. It’s Isaiah Thomas. Smh.

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 12, 2011 at 4:39 AM

      No jov, he was talking about Isiah Thomas. Former Detriot Piston PG from the ’80s and ’90s. Not Isaiah Thomas, new rookie PG from the Sacromento Kings. Check the spelling. SMDH

  5. premiumpit - Oct 12, 2011 at 2:35 AM

    When the knicks start to get a good team together a lockout happens. wtf. And they need to play some damn defense. The nba needs to get a deal done already. And lets go Knicks.

  6. blueintown - Oct 12, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    Clearly you guys are all upset about not being able to beat the Bulls in the 90’s. It’s over. Let it go.

  7. darealrandolph - Oct 12, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Either we get Chris Paul or we bring back Raymond Felton .
    let go New York Knicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. jjpileggi - Nov 27, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Seems like the best course is to keep the Free Agent powder dry for this year and see what can be done with Melo, STAT, Billups, and some role players. In a short season with limited camp and limited FA period, anything can happen, including some bad contracts. Sit tight, give D’Antoni some time and let Woodson install some defensive schemes.

    John Pileggi

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