A look at potential Knickerbocker: Josh Jackson

Josh Jackson of Kansas may be one of the best all around players in this upcoming draft. He graduated high school ranked as the second best player in the country and attended University of Kansas where he averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. Josh Jackson lived up to his expectations on the court and played well all season long. He faced some off court issues however he didn’t get into too much trouble and his draft stock hasn’t been affected by the issues.

Throughout the season, Jackson showed he is an elite defender and great all around ball player. On the NBA level, a player who focuses on his defense is bound to be successful. If he could develop elite defensive skills like Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, he would for sure be a lock in for a top pick and almost certain to be a perennial all star. Whether he is doing the scoring or he’s guarding the team’s best player, Jackson has a lot of game and it would be interesting to see how long he’s available on the draft board.

There have been rumors that the Knicks will select Josh Jackson if available whether or not any of the top guards are still available. The Knicks need a point guard but Josh Jackson on the Knicks would be electrifying. The Knicks lack defense and Josh Jackson is all about defense. Knicks struggled all season long ranking 25th out of 30 in points allowed per game. Hopefully a player like Jackson could help alleviate that.

With bringing in Jackson though, one must assume the Knicks plan to move on from Carmelo Anthony who’s been with the team for almost six years. Things just haven’t went right for the Knicks and trading away Carmelo Anthony but bringing in Josh Jackson still gives them a weapon at the small forward position and allows the Knicks the rebuild for their future.

A look at potential Knickerbocker: De’Aaron Fox

Following a heart breaking loss to the No.1 seeded North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, it is safe to say that Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox will be a lock in for the NBA Lottery in this upcoming draft. All season long at Kentucky, Fox showed of his great skills.In college he averaged 16.7 points, 4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. He is a ready NBA prospect and has been acknowledged for great skills. He excels in his defense and picking apart defenses with his elite speed. Entering the NBA, he will already be one of the fastest players in the league. His only inconsistency is his shooting ability, from the 3pt range in particular.

While at Kentucky, Fox played hard and worked for a triple double by putting up 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 115-69 victory over Arizona State. Despite Kentucky’s history of elite players, this is only the second triple double in school history following Chris Mills in 1988. Fox was consistent all season long and steady showed improvement in areas which he didn’t excel in. During the NCAA tournament, Fox was Kentucky’s leading scorer, averaging 21.5 points per game. Throughout the season their leading score was the elite scorer/slasher Malik Monk. During the tournament Fox dominated the point position and led the Wildcats to a few victories. During the tournament against Lonzo Ball and the UCLA Bruins, Fox was able to manage 39 points and beat a team that had defeated the Wildcats during the regular season.

After the releases of various mock drafts, Fox is expected to be a top 10 pick and possibly a top 5 pick. In a draft class full go top guards, Fox stands as arguably as the third best guard behind Markelle Fultz of the Washington Huskies, and Lonzo Ball of the UCLA Bruins. The Knicks are projected to have the sixth pick in this year’s draft. If Fox is still available, it is possible the Knicks draft their point guard for the future. Fox can help create open shots for Kristaps Porzingis by attacking the basket utilizing his quickness. This pairing could give the Knicks a threat at the guard and forward positions.

A look at the 2017 NBA Free Agents

The New York Knicks obviously need to make some sort of changes to improve their roster. They are currently sitting in 12th place of the Eastern Conference and playoffs are out of the picture for them. In order to better their chances at a top pick in this upcoming draft, they must tank. Tanking occurs when a team knows and accepts the fact they’re out of the playoffs race and decide to secure a top lottery pick. The Knicks are doing just so. With the cap space increasing again this summer, the Knicks will have some money to make a few good moves.

Next season the Knicks should look to having a better roster after their summer moves. If the Knicks do not resign Derrick Rose, they have plus $20 Million to spend via free agency. That money can be used to fill the void at PG and increase their depth at other positions.

The 2017 draft class is filled with some great starters and key reserves. Players like Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague and many other key players will all be free agents this summer and the Knicks should make a move at as many of these players as possible.

The Knicks need help at a number of positions. If they can manage to successfully bring in free agents to NY and draft right, they may have a roster capable of making the playoffs net year. This season hasn’t been anything fans hoped for and its now the Knicks fourth consecutive losing season. Fans have no choice but to continue to believe the Knicks will make the right moves this summer regarding free agency and pray for a better season next year.

It would be interesting to see which players can actually commit to the Knicks and the their triangle offense scheme. Many players have publicly made it known that they aren’t fans of the system. Jeff Teague of the Indiana Pacers actually said it makes it easier to contain Derrick Rose while the Knicks run the triangle. The system can easily be breached so the Knicks need ti either focus on players this summer who’ve played in the triangle before or anyone who’s willing to commit and work at their greatest effort to learn the triangle.

Former teammates in Spain reunited in the Big Apple

The New York Knicks have two big men in Kristaps Porzingis and Guillermo “Billy” Hernangomez who have been friends and teammates since they both played in Spain together. Kristaps Porzingis was selected by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and traded for Hernangomez’s draft rights from Philly. These two international players are very well acquainted and familiar with each other on the court.

Many people view this duo as the future of the New York Knicks as both have proven to be key figures to the Knicks rebuild. Kristaps Porzingis is a 7 foot 3 inches power forward with ball handles and a great shot. In his second NBA season he already is one of the top 7 footers at shooting three pointers. Hernangomez is great in the post and very efficient. He has the capability to put up a double double each game. He’s great at rebounding, defense, and has great footwork. All of these attributes help him in the paint when he’s touching the ball.

Kristaps and Guillermo’s relationship should only get stronger and they could in fact be key pieces to the Knicks rebuild. Both are young and no where near there peaks. All fans are hoping that these two are here to remain  and hope in the long run this would be beneficial to the team.

Derrick Rose’s future with New York Knicks

Drafted 1st overall in the 2008 NBA Draft, Derrick Rose has been an enigma since entering the NBA. He was drafted by his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls and quickly made a name for himself in the league. Averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 assists, and nearly 4 rebounds a game, Derrick Rose was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2008 followed by NBA MVP Award in his third NBA season. Derrick Rose is the youngest in NBA history to win the NBA MVP award.

Following his MVP season, Derrick Rose has since battled injuries and his relationship with the Bulls began to deteriorate. Season after season, Rose found himself missing games due to injuries and never being able to get that bounce back that he originally had. At the end of the 2015-2016 NBA season, Derrick Rose was traded from his hometown team to the New York Knicks in a package deal that allowed the Knicks to bring in him and Justin Holiday.

Entering this season, fans hoped the “Rose experiment” would pan out and he could be the point guard of a Knicks team that hasn’t seen a good point guard in years. Unfortunately thats not what this season has been. Knowing Derrick Rose wouldn’t be the MVP he once used to be, fans still hoped he would help the Knicks be able to make the playoffs. Looking at where the Knicks stand now, it is highly unlikely that they make the playoffs. They are almost a lock in to receive a top five draft pick.

With Derrick Rose’s guaranteed $20 Million contract, it would be best if the Knicks let him go and continue to rebuild around Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. If he stays, which many people still would like to see, including myself, he must be able to commit to the triangle offense. This is the offense that Phil Jackson wants to run in NY and the current players have had a hard time understanding this concept. The Knicks need to do whats best for the organization and if its the triangle offense they’re sticking to, then they must find players committed to running it.

The Call-Up

 

Chasson Randle first debuted with the New York Knicks during their 2016 Summer League competition in Orlando. Randle played extremely well throughout the summer and was a fan favorite. Most believed he was a lock in to make the final roster. However a late injury during the summer caused the Knicks to hold off on signing him to the official 15 man roster. They instead bought up Wichita State guard, Ron Baker. Randle went on to sign with the Knicks development team (Westchester Knicks) in the NBA D-League and played noticeably well following his injury. He was signed a 10-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers a partially guaranteed contract for the remainder of the season but was later waived to make space for their new additions following the trade deadline. With the waiving of point guard Brandon Jennings, the Knicks needed to fill that void. They finally gave Chasson Randle the call up fans have been waiting for.

In his first game playing more than garbage minutes, Chasson Randle seemed to take control of the game against the Orlando Magic. After starting the game off sluggish and falling behind early, the Knicks managed to find their energy and turned things around. The most interesting piece to take from this game, was that this is the first game the Knicks have won without Carmelo Anthony on the court since 2015. The game turned around for the Knicks due to the spark and effort from their bench. Led by Chasson Randle, the Knicks bench managed to get them back in the game and take the lead. Randle turned in 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. One of his assists came on an outlet pass to Mindaugas Kuzminskas leading to a nice highlight dunk.

This game was the first where Chasson Randle was able to play and truly run the point. At Stanford University, where he is the all-time scoring leader, he played in a system that ran the triangle offense. His understanding and capability to run the system showed when he was on the court with the Knicks as they have been running the triangle to the liking of Phil Jackson much more now. Randle showed that he can man the point and utilize the triangle offense to win basketball games. The Knicks have been struggling as team to grasp the concept behind the triangle offense however, if Randle continues to show he can run that offense then he may be the one for the job.

 

 

Knicks to rebuild in 2017 Draft

With a review of the current New York Knicks’ season and where they stand amongst other teams in their conference and overall as a whole team,it would be best if the Knicks try to secure themselves a top lottery pick in this upcoming draft. A draft class loaded with talent and noticeably receiving a lot more attention than prior draft classes, The New York Knicks should continue rebuilding their roster around their two key pieces. The 2017 NBA draft has received attention similar to the class of 2003 led by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. These players were top of their class and have all had great careers thus far. The Knicks need an upgrade or depth at every position especially the Point Guard position. This year’s projected top picks are mostly Point Guards. De’Aaron Fox, Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith Jr., Markelle Fultz and Malik Monk (Combo Guards), and Frank Ntilikina, a top international prospect from France. These are all guards who the Knicks could possibly rely on to be their point guard of the future. Pairing a young guard with Kristaps Porzinigis and allowing them to develop together would be beneficial to the team and could potentially attract more players to the Knicks in the long run.

Year of “The Unicorn”

The New York Knicks ended the 2014-2015 season with a disappointing 17 total wins. That landed them the number four draft pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. With players on the board like Justice Winslow, Stanley Johnson, Devin Booker and some other notable players, one would expect the Knicks to land one of these top college players. Instead, Knicks Team President, Phil Jackson selected Kristaps Porzignis. Born in Latvia, standing at seven feet , three inches tall and playing professionally for a team in Spain. As he walked to the stage on draft night he faced a puzzled New York City crowd and their “boos.” Kristaps quickly pleased the crowd from the jump. In his rookie season, Kristaps performed at levels unmatched. He was the first NBA history to score one thousand points, make seventy five 3-pointers, grab over five hundred rebounds and have over one hundred blocks. His great work went noticed by some of the game’s best players. Kevin Durant referred to Kristaps Porzingis as a “basketball unicorn.” Porzingis finished his rookie season second in voting for NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

In his second season, people wonder if it’s the “year of the unicorn.” Kristaps Porzingis has continued to play well all season despite some injuries. He continues to emphasize on getting better as a player and collectively as a team with the New York Knicks. He’s one of the few players in the NBA who have their best friend on the their team. The Knicks this offseason made the moves necessary to bring in Spanish big man Guillermo “Willy” Hernangomez. With this addition, during their play time together, you see Kristaps Porzinigis is completely comfortable. A player he is familiar with will only continue to help him grow which he has consistently shown he’s willing to do. Kristaps Porzingis is currently averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. All of his numbers except rebounds per game have seen increases since last season. He was recently ranked sixth in NBA Top 25 under 25 list and is representing the New York Knicks this weekend at All-Star Weekend.

New Knicks, Old Knicks

The NBA’s most valuable franchise, The New York Knicks are currently in a season filled with events. Nothing new for the franchise and almost reality tv worthy! Each season, the Knicks look to add new players and get rid of some of the old. Prior to the start of this 2016-2017 season, The New York Knicks traded away Jose, Calderon, Jerian Grant, and Robin Lopez to the Chicago Bulls for Justin Holiday, and Derrick Rose, a former NBA MVP, and Rookie of the Year Award winner. They later went on to pursue Rose’s teammate via free agency, Joakim Noah, a NY native. They also added Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings. The new additions to the Knicks roster had many fans excited and even some felt like this may be the year for the Knicks to make a statement. Prior to December, the Knicks were winning and perhaps looking to lock in the standings for a playoff spot. However, they have since ran into a series of unfortunate events. From injures, to trade rumors, Derrick Rose disappearing for a game, front office conflicts, media, and losing a majority of their recent games, it is now a struggle to get back into the winning column. Though the Knicks added so many new and valuable players, it still seems to be the same old Knicks. They have yet found the key to success and who knows how this season will end. As a fan, all you could hope for is that the “New Knicks” find a way to separate themselves from the “Old Knicks.”