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In Depth Look at the Future of the New York Knicks
The start of the Phil Jackson era in New York has not gone exactly as planned. Currently the Knicks stand at an NBA worst 5-35, losing their last 15 games. It's safe to say the Zen Master had other ideas when he resigned Carmelo Anthony this past summer to a 5 year/124 million dollar deal. However, as bad as the Knicks have been this year there is reason for hope in New York. Diving into the finances of the Knicks shows us that the Knicks have plenty of resources in the near future.
The cap for the 2015-16 season is expected to rise to an estimated 66.5 million dollars. As of now the Knicks have around 34 million dollars guaranteed for next year. That will give the Knicks an estimated 32 million in cap space. This gives the Knicks plenty of room to revamp their roster for next year, with players like, Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragic and Al Jefferson available, they could afford to bring in a big free agent next summer to put next to Carmelo.
Currently having the worst record in the league gives the Knicks the greatest odds of wining the number 1 overall pick. The Knicks draft pick gem is their own 2015 first round pick. This pick will most likely turn into a top 5 pick in the draft, which would give the Knicks even more options with what direction the franchise could take. Other than the rights to their own 2015 first round pick the Knicks don't have the stockpile of picks that is typical with rebuilding teams (Celtics, 76ers). As of now they are owed Cleveland's 2019 second round pick. They also have the rights to their own first round pick in 2017, 2018, 2019 etc. The Knicks don't own their second round picks in, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019. The Knicks are also without their own 2016 first round pick, which Denver has the right to swap picks, in addition the Knicks owe whatever pick they have (Denver's or their own) to Toronto. So as of now the draft pick gem that the Knicks own is their own for this year.
The Knicks have plenty of assets for this summer to agressively reshape their roster. With around 32 million in cap and a potential top 5 pick the Knicks have plenty of options moving forward. They could take a look at how the Boston Celtics created their big 3 and won a championship in 2008 and try to copy their blueprint. Back then the Celtics came off a bad year where they had the number 5 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, they eventually traded that pick for Ray Allen, and then traded remaining assets for Kevin Garnett, pairing them with current star Paul Pierce. The Knicks could be in store for a similar summer. Carmelo Anthony would be their Paul Pierce, the Knicks will have a top 5 pick in the draft and potentially could trade that for a star caliber player, and use their cap space to sign a big time free agent forming their own big 3. This option gives the Knicks a star studded team that could be comparable to other super teams the NBA has formed. Another option for the Knicks would be to use their pick on a young prospect and keep him for the long term, and use their cap on either a max star, or multiple quality players. This option gives the Knicks a more well rounded team but not the super team that NBA teams are desperate to create.