The New York Knicks got busy this summer, acquiring a multitude of new players. Highlighted by picking up Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, and Brandon Jennings in free agency, and Derrick Rose in a blockbuster trade. But are these additions really as good as advertised?
The Knicks have been a basketball atrocity for the last 3 seasons. Carmelo Anthony has proven again and again that he is not a leader on a winning team unless it is the Olympics, Phil Jackson is not a great GM, and instead of getting a proven coach to replace Derrick Fisher, Jackson selected Kurt Rambis and Jeff Hornaceck. But all of that was forgiven when Derrick Rose arrived in the Big Apple right? According to a lot of Knicks fans and uneducated NBA fans yes! Pencil the Knicks in the eastern conference finals for next season!
This team is a 6 or 7 seed in the east at best, I could even see them missing out on the playoffs, the east has gotten a lot better and the Knicks have not. Of course, they have a better roster than last season but that isn’t saying much. Outside of KristapsPorzingis and Carmelo Anthony the team was hurting for talent. So obviously they have improved, but so have a lot of other teams in the east.
Lets review the new acquisitions quickly:
Joakim Noah got a $72 million contract and averaged 4 points per game last season. 4 points! Yes, he was hampered by a couple of injuries and his role was decreased, but 4 points are 4 points. That is what the Knicks have to look forward to at the center position for the next 4 years, someone who is always injured and can’t score like he once could. Noah was a good player a few years ago but is not what he used to be
Courtney Lee is a solid shooter and a good defender. But is he really worth $50 million? I know with salary caps rising that everyone is getting more money but need I remind you that Dwyane Wade was still available at the same price, and Phil Jackson did not even attempt to sign Wade. Obviously, it is unlikely that Wade would play in New York, but at least give it a try! Courtney Lee is a solid rotation player but is not a difference maker by any stretch of the imagination.
Brandon Jennings is another player who used to be very good before injuries. After suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon he is not explosive like he used to be and showed no signs of improvement last season
And now Derrick Rose.The 2011 MVP.The amount in much he has digressed is a known fact, but some people think that he is just going to rejuvenate his career in New York. I will say this, out of all the new acquisitions he has the best chance to make an improvement, but he also has the best chance of getting a serious injury. It is sad to see what has happened with Rose over the course of the last 5 seasons, and he is a very unreliable player because of it. Not to mention he is completely delusional to think that people believe the Knicks are a “super team”. Props to Phil Jackson for making this move and taking a gamble, but it is a huge question mark whether it will pay off or not.
The Knicks improved this offseason, but it is a stretch to put them in the Eastern Conference Finals discussion. These new players are all past their prime and may have enough in them for a playoff run, but expect the Knicks to be sent home in 5 or 6 games in the first round of the playoffs. This team would be amazing if it was the 2010-2011 season, but it is not. This is the 2016-17 season and they are not a “super team” nor will they make any noise in the playoffs.