In the span of a season, the New York Knicks and especially their upper management have done more to damage their brand than anyone this side of Isaiah Thomas with a few too many cocktails in him. Between alienating former Knicks greats (the Charles Oakley incident) to the current crop of stars (Carmelo Anthony is all but being shoved out of town, while the future of the franchise, Kristaps Porzingis is not happy about any of it). Add to that the terrible free agent signings (a washed up Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose are helping no one at this point) and Dolan, Jackson and company have botched this season about as much as they possibly could without taking a bulldozer to Madison Square Garden.
Let’s look to the future, because it can’t all be doom and gloom, right? Porzingis is still here, and while he may be unhappy with the direction the Knicks are heading (we all are buddy, trust me) he is still a part of the team and if he wants to make the most money in his career, he’ll stay with New York through at least his second contract. Plus, there’s the draft coming up in a few months, and New York should have a top ten pick, after having no picks last year. A high quality rookie in a deep draft could vault the Knicks back up to at least middle of the road status until they can find some pieces to build around the young guns like Porzingis and Hernangomez and their (hopefully) rookie of the year candidate. With Derrick Rose’s monster cap hit coming off the books after this year, as well as (most likely) Carmelo Anthony’s as well, the Knicks could be well positioned to pry a couple good free agents to the city that never sleeps. If they can find a way to unload Noah’s contract as well, they would really be set up well for the future financially. Phil has done very little right in his tenure in New York, but one thing he did was that he doesn’t have a lot of high priced guys hanging around just taking up space and cap-room.
Of course, as a Knicks fan, we’re putting our faith in a system and a couple guys in Jackson and Dolan that don’t exactly have the best track record as of late. Free agents aren’t flocking to New York, and with the collective bargaining agreement further rewarding players for staying with the team that drafted them, it could be awhile before the Knicks are good again. By that time, Phil, Carmelo, and maybe even Porzingis will be just a memory of a dark period in Knicks basketball history. Of course Dolan will remain, much to our collective chagrin.