The New York Knicks are a complete mess nowadays, and hiring Phil Jackson hasn’t brought anything but trouble to The Big Apple, making it one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the Association.
On one hand, you have the Carmelo Anthony issue, a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP if they want to create some chemistry in the locker room while also giving Melo a way out to finally compete for a championship.
On the other hand, they should just amnesty Joakim Noah and let him walk, as the suspended veteran provided absolutely nothing to the Knicks during his first season at MSG, and Kristaps Porzingis should just move to the center spot while Willy Hernangomez backs him up.
And finally, they should just stop it with the so-called triangle offense they pretend to run but don’t actually do, so they can finally develop a system that actually works for the personnel they currently have on their roster. Besides, they need to add some depth and quality players to the squad if they want to compete, so we’re going to name the top 5 players that could actually help them improve.
5. Blake Griffin (5% chance to sign with the Knicks)
Ok, this one’s definitely a long shot, but let’s take a look at it. Griffin is definitely opting out of the last year of his deal with the Los Angeles Clippers and get a lot of money elsewhere. While there are a lot of rumors that state that the Oklahoma native would be quite interested in joining forces with Russell Westbrook and play for the Thunder, he would still have a very rocky path to the NBA Finals in the West.
And that’s where the Knicks could be a great fit for Griffin, considering they could get some quality players (maybe even some of his current teammates like JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford) in exchange for Carmelo, and Porzingis and Griffin would be an amazing duo in the paint while significantly boosting his chances to thrive in a weaker Eastern Conference while also signing a max deal to play for them.
4. Paul Millsap (25% chance to sign with the Knicks)
If (when) the Knicks trade Carmelo, they can bring in several role players to provide a lot of help from the bench and vastly improve the current roster, and if they manage to pull off that move, they could try and lure Millsap, handing him a big paycheck and most likely overpaying for a veteran reaching the sunset of his career.
Still, Millsap would represent a big improvement of their current roster, even if he’s only able to play at the best of his ability for the next couple of years, and he’s proven to be one of the best power forwards in the East, so he could be in a win-win situation, earning a lot of cash while staying in the East instead of trying his luck in the dogfight the West has become.
3. Andre Iguodala (25% chance to sign with the Knicks)
This would also be very unlikely, but Phil Jackson and the Knicks are pretty certain that they need to chase only All-Star caliber talent if they want to make this mediocre franchise rise again from its ashes, and signing the veteran guard/forward would be a huge step in the right direction with his outstanding defense and his versatile offensive repertoire.
Andre has proven that he can embrace a substitute role with the Golden State Warriors and has already won a ring with them as well as the Finals MVP, but he could once again be the go-to-guy if he winds up signing for the Knicks while also getting way more money that he could get if he decides to stay put in the Bay.
2. Tony Allen (45% chance to sign with the Knicks)
Tony Allen would be a great boost for a much-needed lousy Knicks defense even if he’s a complete non-factor on the offensive end, but obviously, they’ll need to bring in some firepower as well to balance the lack of points the “Grindfather” will bring along with his pesky and crafty defensive ability.
If they actually land Allen, they could thrive pairing him with Courtney Lee to become their stoppers while Porzingis keeps improving as a rim protector, bringing a lot of heart, courage and competitive spirit to the Madison Square Garden as they expected Joakim Noah to when they signed him.
1. Patty Mills (65% chance to sign with the Knicks)
The San Antonio Spurs backup point guard is on the verge of a crucial offseason in his career, as Tony Parker’s future is still uncertain and he’s definitely thrived under Popovich’s tutelage, flourishing as a great offensive player off the bench and as a 6th Man of the Year candidate while his minutes keep rising and Pop keeps cutting and trading other backup point guards.
Mills is definitely comfortable with the Spurs but they can’t give him a lot of money if they want to pair Kawhi Leonard with another All-Star caliber player, so he could either stay put in Texas or chase the cash and get a $10+ million deal with the Knicks, providing a lot of energy and three-point shooting to Hornacek’s squad.