Fortunately for Knicks fans, the 2014-15 season is almost at a close. After a horrific season, the Knicks have the greatest chance to land the number one pick in the NBA lottery selection next month. The vision of the Knicks getting the number one overall pick has been in Knicks’ fans heads since November. Alas, a team that has embraced losing for six months, is finally ready to win.
If only it were that simple.
Derek Fisher reported to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk that he thinks “the Knicks will turn around quickly.” He nonchalantly explained that the Knicks have lost 21 games determined by 6 points or less this season. “We can go from 15 to 63 if we really want to. But that is up to us,” Fisher concluded.
Remaining positive as a head coach after a hideous season like this has got to be challenging within itself. But saying the Knicks can win up to 63 games if they wanted to, and rationalizing it by explaining some of the games the Knicks lost this season were close, frankly just doesn’t cut it. The Knicks lost that many close games because they showed no capabilities of coming up clutch. The Knicks are extremely far from a team showing the potential to come up big in key moments, even with an expected healthy Carmelo Anthony next season. Maybe Fisher is also forgetting the Knicks lost 42 games this season that weren’t close.
It’s basically impossible for the Knicks not to improve next season if they decide they’re going to try to win. But saying the Knicks will win 63 games next season is the definition of a fantasy land. The Knicks are going to get a high draft pick. Provided the questionable NBA lottery system doesn’t alter expectations, the Knicks are going to get the first overall pick.
The Knicks will be able to draft an up-and-coming star with a very high ceiling. Among the most discussed are Jahlil Okafor of Duke, Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky and D’Angelo Russell of Ohio St. If the Knicks embrace the idea of a defensive anchor that can provide scoring on the other end, Okafor will be tough to pass up on, especially after leading Duke to the title.
There are rumors the Knicks have received phone calls from other teams interested in arranging a trade for the Knicks’ upcoming draft pick. Due to the Knicks’ hungry fans, desperate for any form of lengthy success, it’s conceivable the Knicks will hear out their options and consider a trade that would allow them to make an immediate impact. Unless the Knicks are able to accomplish a blockbuster trade, this would be a very poor option for them as a team. Odds are the Knicks would not be able to get enough for their trade to be worth it. The potential of a player like Okafor is just too much to pass up on.
The Knicks will have $30 million in cap space for the off season. Many are saying the Knicks will be making big signings and acquiring many free agents for the 2015-16 season. The Knicks will certainly try to acquire talent and see who’s willing to come to New York. But that’s just the thing, who would want to play in New York after seeing such a train wreck?
In 1985 the Knicks had a hideous reputation and they selected Patrick Ewing first overall to restore it. Ewing brought back the Knicks pride and fight while giving New Yorkers something to cheer about. Thirty years later, the Knicks have an opportunity to do something very similar with a player like Okafor. Trading a pick of that severity would be borderline insanity.