There was a time in the regular season where Knicks fans had there hopes high, especially after securing the Atlantic East. With the Knicks on a role and with Melo and sixth man of year winner J.R Smith playing at a somewhat consistent high level there was a high peak in confidence on the Knicks side. Although most times not one nor two players can really lead a team to a Championship title by themselves. For the Knicks to be seen as a serious contender for the title, there needs to be a few changes taken place on the roster.
Here are what I believe are what the Knicks need to be serious title contenders:
First off, the Knicks right now have the highest average for the age of players at 32.7 years. You see why the team struggles with so many injuries. Even though they have many experienced veterans they do not have enough youthful and vigorous athletes to help the team out when the old men on the court get hurt or over exhausted. Not saying having older players is a bad thing but, they need to acquire some new youthful talent and not to keep going for the over 30 year olds.
2.) Another Pure Shooter
Although Melo was the 2012-2013 scoring champ he can not carry the team on his back every game, especially considering how long the NBA season is. Players need rest and they need someone who will pick up the slack in the scoring if they are having an off shooting game. Also with Novak having a questionable second half to his season, they might not be saved by Mr. Novocaine next season.
There are some potential possibilities some more likely than others:
First choice which would be the easiest to acquire would be Monta Ellis. Ellis held a 41.6 FG% while scoring 19.1 PPG last season. He is fresh off his contract becoming a free agent this summer. He is coming off a decent one year run with the Bucks making it to the playoffs but, getting swept by the Heat in the first round. Ellis is only 27 years old and may be chasing dreams of a shot at the title, a shot he may not get if he continued on the Bucks. With him being the perfect age, having experience in NBA, and being able to put up points, this might be a perfect choice for the Knicks to go after.
Second choice would be the immaculate Klay Thompson. This might be a farfetched idea but, we all have seen what Klay had produced in the playoffs and this kids only 23 years old. He has much room for improvement and he is making his way to being his own Stephan Curry. This kid can drop threes on threes. This is exactly what the Knicks have been all about last season. Being explosive from beyond the arch has given them much success in acquiring wins. It doesn’t see likely though that the Warriors would want to trade their scoring prodige, at least not yet. If they somehow were able to acquire Klay he would be a huge asset to the Knicks.
3.) Point Guard Replacement
As we all know the great Jason Kidd has retired and although he may not have been a huge scoring threat he was a leader and a pass executor for the Knicks. Now of course Raymond Felton had a pretty good year at the point guard position but, every team needs a back up point back just like an NFL team needs a back up quaterback. The Knicks need a player who can bring the same quality of passing that Felton brings to the table.
There’s 2 good options for the Knicks:
Jose Calderon: Calderon is an 8 year NBA veteran point guard who last played for the Pistons. He has career average 10.1 ppg and 7.2 apg and has yet to resign with the Pistons. He plays similar to Kidd in that he is a pass first player which will suite well with Carmelo Anthony. Currently a unrestricted Free agent.
Jarret Jack: For those of you who watched the playoffs we all notice the big impact Jack had coming off the bench. He brought versatility and a scoring threat while showing off great speed and ball control. Yes, this may be another Warrior and they will want to resign him most likely but he is also a unrestricted free agent as well. Jack averaged 12.9 ppg and 5.6 apg last season as a Warrior. He would be a great replacement for Kidd.
If the Knicks were to acquire some of these players and be able to score big in the draft this year with some good youthful talent then maybe their run in the playoffs will not be cut as short as it did this year. These are key areas though that they must work on which may take time to execute but, are essential for the long run.