Free agency proved what everyone already knew. The big time free agents don’t want to play for the New York Knicks.
Why should they? The franchise hasn’t been truly relevant since the 1990s. Since 2000, they’ve only made the playoffs five times, the last coming in 2012-2013.
And, for the love of humanity, stop with the market size argument. New York hasn’t attracted a big time free agent in over a generation.
So what’s next? Since the Knicks can’t seem to win anything including the NBA Lottery and the hearts of superstars, they will have to build through good decisions. * Gasp *
There will be no shortcut for New York. They will need to look at teams like Brooklyn, Atlanta, Sacramento, etc. to understand how to develop a process to ensure long-term success.
It’s not going to come through glitzy press conferences. And, to be fair, the Los Angeles Lakers could’ve used this same advice until LeBron James arrived. The Lakers also found that they had to build the old fashion way. And, they to, weren’t too successful at it. They had just enough to convince the New Orleans Pelicans to trade them Anthony Davis. The Knicks don’t have enough to pay Lincoln Tunnel toll.
When you look at the Knicks they do have some room to grow. After losing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they didn’t go full-blown Knicksonian and handout a bunch of bad contracts. Other than Julius Randle, they have signed a several players to two year deals and with team having the option. That buys them time to 2020. This isn’t significant in way of asking what does the 2020 free agent class look like, it’s significant in player development and identifying reasonable longer-term answers in free agency.
They signed two players who can stretch the floor: Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock. Elfrid Payton is a 25 year old point guard and could eventually be one of the players who stick around past their initial deal. They only thing confusing is signing three players who seemingly do the same thing in Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson. The only reason to do this is if the Knicks think they can trade one around the deadline for a second round pick.
GM Scott Perry and head coach David Fizdale have come to the realization that going to the Knicks isn’t a shortcut to success. They are going to have to earn it. In 2019, selling New York City and Madison Square Garden to the current generation is like trying to sell them board games. If anything, selling your franchise in free agency is about an organizations ability to win not an outdated brand pitch.
Perry and Fizdale have two years to get it right. Two years to sell young players that the Knicks are a team you can you put your roots down in for more than a couple of years.