As the New York Knicks sit and watch the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and the Los Angeles Lakers stack talent, they’re just waiting. In 2019, the Knicks will have their chance to sit at the table with the big boys.
While teams are trying to keep up with the Golden State Warriors and their All-Star starting five, the Knicks may be the next Super Team that no one is talking about.
It all begins in the summer of 2019 with Kristaps Porzingis. If the Knicks and Porzingis can reach a new deal, that will be the first domino to fall. Their next order of business will be to make a move for Kyrie Irving.
According to reports that hit the surface Wednesday, Jimmy Butler informed the Minnesota Timberwolves he wants to be traded. Just like any superstar, he gave his current team a short list of organizations he would love to play for. Luckily for the New York Knicks, they were one of the three teams.
In order for this group to come together, the Knicks or should I say players will have to make a huge sacrifice. For one, Porzingis will not be able to sign a max deal. And the same goes for Irving. With Kanter’s contract coming off the books in 2019, the Knicks would have the cap space for Irving and Porzingis but with Butler now being thrown into the picture, that changes the financial landscape.
Now, if all parties are willing to do what the Warriors and the LeBron James and Dwyane Wade-led Miami Heat were able to do, then this could be the start of something special. The Knicks have suffered through a terrible marriage and divorce with Carmelo Anthony, the constant injuries to Porzingis, and the coaching and GM change. However, with three bold signings, all that nonsense can be put behind them.
Imagine a lineup that features the ball-handling of Irving to pair with the two-way presence of Butler while watching the brilliant post and perimeter play of Porzingis. The New York Knicks would easily become one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Will it be enough to challenge the Sixers and Celtics? Maybe. But that all depends on the smaller moves that must be done to fill out their roster.
Much like the Heat and the Warriors before them, the role players must be willing to know and do their role. Where would the those Heat teams be without Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem? How many rings would the Warriors have without Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston? The Knicks must shuffle through their roster and make the necessary additions and subtractions.
Their first order of business will be Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. While Kanter will be a free agent in 2019, the Knicks will be forced to look elsewhere for a Center. Kanter is set to take home $18 million in 2018 and there is no way the Knicks will be able to retain his services while adding their new core.
Here are a few numbers the Knicks will have to consider before making any major plans. While the Warriors, Rockets, and Celtics are winning. They are doing so play paying at least three players close to $20 million each. Yes, this is NYC where the Knicks are still a huge draw but are they willing to throw all their eggs in one basket and pray they can rely on three players with past injury concerns?
Even with a special rate deal, the Knicks will have to cough up close to $75 million just for three players. And that’s not even factoring in the $18 million that will be passed out to Timmy. Is James Dolan really willing to bet the house that Porzingis, Butler, and Irving will stay healthy enough to make a run? But what if they are?
If it all comes together, the Knicks could have the next Super Team. By this time, the Rockets will be asking what happened and why the Chris Paul and James Harden duo failed. The Warriors may be forced to trade Klay Thompson and the only teams the Knicks will have to contend with will be the Lakers and Sixers.
The future could be bright for the New York Knicks. It all begins in the summer of 2019.