Fellow Knicks fans, do you remember the trade that brought Andrea Bargnani to New York? Oh, I bet you do.
Since that nightmare of a trade, which sent multiple picks and players to Toronto for an all-time scrub, Knicks fans have been pleading with the front office to not trade another first round pick, and with good reason.
The NBA, more than any league in major American sports, has become fueled by the excitement and spending during free agency. However, despite that fact, building a young core through the draft is still proving to be the most effective path to earning some bling. Yes, it’s true that it takes a little luck to end up with a drafted core such as the holy Warriors have assembled in Oakland (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green), but it’s impossible to get lucky in the draft without any picks.
The Warriors are most definitely the cream of the crop when it comes to drafted talent, but they aren’t alone. The Lakers and Timberwolves are two teams on the rise who have made their recent draft picks count. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins have formed quite the duo already, while Minnesota was also able to swap two more of their homegrown players for a certified monster in Jimmy Butler. Meanwhile, in L.A., not only does the youthful trio of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle have plenty of promise, but their potential has big-time players intrigued by a free agency move to Staples Center.
The Knicks franchise is a turd inside of a trash bag inside of a dumpster. That’s just a fact. However, until the cadaver that is Joakim Noah plays out his contract, there is no upside with this roster. Sure, the team could go out and sign an Eric Bledsoe type in a season or two, but unless what you wish for from your Knicks is a low playoff seed and a first-round exit, that shouldn’t entice you all that much. As Knicks fans, we’ve witnessed plenty of first-round exits recently.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is overpaid, and Joakim Noah shouldn’t even be getting paid. The fact that those two are going to be with the Knicks for the next 3-4 years means we’re taking the damn L. But if taking the damn L means not being able to spend money on another overpaid bust while we earn a top-10 draft pick for a few years in a row, then this misery just might help the Knicks in the long run.
The next three NBA seasons will be dominated by the Warriors, with the Celtics possibly chiming in out of the East. While they dominate, the Knicks will be drafting young players to add to Kristaps Porzingis, building a core that will hopefully attract marquee free agents by the time at least Joakim Noah, and maybe Tim Hardaway Jr are gone.
It was only six years ago that the Knicks finished as the sixth seed, only to get embarrassed in the first round by the Celtics, who swept them with ease. A year later, Amar’e Stoudemire was so excited to be a member of the seventh seeded team that he punched a fire extinguisher in the midst of another awful first round series. If you’re a Knicks fan, and those are the years you want to bring back, so be it. Personally, I’d much rather build a young roster in hopes of a bright future, one that if we’re lucky enough, could bring a title to the Garden for the first time in 44 years.
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