Two max slots. That’s what we were told after the blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade. Two max slots and the first overall draft pick.
Fast forward to the week of the 2019 NBA draft and the New York Knicks plans have been completely shot into the sun. The entire NBA landscape changed overnight. Down is up and up is down.
But the offseason can be salvaged.
Here are 5 moves the New York Knicks need to make this summer:
1. Draft RJ Barrett (or whatever)
This appears to be a 3-player draft and the Knicks just snuck in with the third pick after having the worst record in franchise history. Fuck the draft lottery.
RJ Barrett was talked about being the best NBA prospect years before he even played at Duke and long before we all realized that if you shoot a 3-pointer from the top of the arch and Zion Williamson is in the locker room taking a piss, he is fast enough to sprint out there and block your shot before it even leaves your hands.
His playing style reminds me of DeMar DeRozan which uh, isn’t the highest ceiling ever but that’s still an All-Star caliber player that can get you buckets.
2. Throw Kevin Durant the Max
I’ve been wavering back and forth on this ever since Durant’s achilles slapped the hardwood like a Plumlee brother on Duke preparing to get beat off the dribble on defense.
But if we’re exploring the risk assessment of this acquisition, there really isn’t any.
KD won’t play next season which means RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox will get more of an opportunity to bloom and figure out their game and it puts the Knicks right back in the lottery so next summer the Knicks will have another top pick they can use as an asset to trade along with the Mavs picks they received when they traded away that rapist. When Durant returns, they’ll be able to make trades and build a title contender overnight.
Plus, even if Durant falls off a cliff athletically, what’s the harm of having him out there scoring 20 points in 30 minutes? Are the Knicks WORSE with Durant limping around? No. No, they are not.
3. Sign Julius Randle
Whether or not the Knicks sign Durant, they need to be smart with their money. Just because they have two max slots does not mean they need to splurge.
If Tobias Harris gets a max contract from the New York Knicks, I’m officially a Phoenix Suns fan. Jimmer SZN.
Randle is 24 years old and has gotten better every single season. He improved his 3-point shooting from 22% to 34%. My man might show up to training camp looking like the third Splash Brother.
The only problem is that he might demand more money than he’s worth and if I know the Knicks like I think I know the Knicks, they are going to give him whatever he wants but unlike previous years, again, he’s only 24.
His game would match perfectly with Mitch Robinson.
4. Swap point guards
Dennis Smith Jr is not it.
Remember everything I said about RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox developing this season? That won’t happen with Dennis Smith doing his best Russell Westbrook impression.
DSJ shot 28% from 3 last season on four shot attempts per night. He was bricking every single shot and continued to take every single shot. He’s only entering his third year and can obviously improve but if shoot-first is his mindset then chances are, it’ll only get worse from here.
Find out what you can get for Dennis Smith Jr.
Ricky Rubio made $13 million last season and he’s a free agent. That’s so affordable for the caliber of ball distributor you’d be signing.
Maybe you can steal draft picks from a team like Phoenix that is desperate for a point guard. Just get DSJ out of here.
(Not Kyrie Irving. This team does not need Kyrie cramping up and missing a month because he chose to drink yerba mate on the sidelines instead of water because it’s better for his chi.)
5. Give Mario Hezonja the Max
Bring back the King.