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How To Fix the Knicks

Carmelo Anthony
Here is a quick list of a couple of teams with a lower payroll than the Knicks: Indiana, Miami, Houston, Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers all teams with better records than New York, who sits at 17-27 and 10th in the Eastern Conference as of January 26th. Even in the lowly Eastern Conference (the 3rd place team, Atlanta, would be out of the playoffs in the Western Conference) the Knicks have been a source of just terrible basketball. How do you fix a team that has the second-highest payroll in the NBA but is 10 games under .500?

The talent on New York's roster just doesn't work together. At all. There isn't any denying that there is a ton of talent on it. Carmelo Anthony is still a player that can put up 30 any game, Tyson Chandler is one of the best centers in the league when healthy and New York also has some promising young players in Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway. As good as Carmelo is and even though he is extremely important to this offense, New York should feel fine if he opts out of his contract this next offseason. Carmelo is never going to lead a team to a NBA title if he is the first option on it. He always needs the ball in his hands and can take teams out of the game if he isn't on his game. The Knicks can't take the next step with J.R. Smith on their roster either. J.R. Smith is terrible and he is just a poisonous player on this roster. Smith can wow you at times with his fantastic scoring potential but he can also take his team out of games with some of the shots he takes. Both Carmelo and Smith need the ball to be effective and they don't work well together at all. The Knicks are paying Smith 5.5 million for at least one more season (he has a player option for the 2015-2016 season). The unfortunate thing is that he isn't very moveable and the Knicks will likely want a lot in return if they do try to trade him. Amar'e Stoudemire has turned out to be a terrible signing for the Knicks, who were hoping he would be a good consolation prize after missing out on LeBron. Stoudemire hasn't started one game for the Knicks this year and is averaging 9.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Stoudemire is getting 21 million this year and will be getting 23 million next year if he doesn't opt out his contract this offseason. He has always been a risk because he is always injury prone and isn't the type of player that can lead a team. Those three are huge issues; New York can't afford to have all three on their roster next year to be contenders. I actually like a lot of players on this roster. Tyson Chandler has only played in 19 games this year but has managed to be a solid option when healthy. Having a dominant center in the paint is a staple of a contender and Chandler can easily bring that to a team. Shumpert and Hardaway are the two bright spots on this team but both of their minutes are being sucked up by Smith or 'Melo. Hardaway, a rookie from Michigan, isn't anything you can build around but he is a sharpshooter who is a lot smarter than some of these players on this roster. Shumpert is extremely athletic and extremely durable (Shump has played in all 43 of the Knicks' games this year and has started them as well). His durability and athleticism has made him an attractive name on the trade market and there have been some rumors of the Knicks trying to deal him. If New York were to trade him they better get something in return, he has the potential to turn into a fantastic all-around shooting guard, who also has the versatility to spend time at other positions. The rest of this roster is pretty much filled with role players who do all add something but not much. An issue for New York this year is injuries have forced them to push these guys into their starting lineup which hasn't worked. Raymond Felton is a solid starter but he turns the ball over a lot at times and has a PER or Player Efficiency Rating of 11.6 (by comparison, Kevin Durant's is an impressive 31 this season). Metta World Peace is just a plain of waste of money he doesn't really bring anything to this team.

New York may be heading towards a long and painful rebuild. The good news is that this offseason could be the right time to start with how talented the 2014 NBA Draft Pool is. New York currently doesn't hold a 2014 pick they gave it away to the Nuggets, but they could gain one in a deal. Even a late first rounder could help with how deep this class is. New York needs to start to blow this roster up now, it could save them from years of weak teams. They have a number of players that a contender would want to help them take the next step.

View Knicks 2013-2014 roster here

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