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New Year’s Wishes for the New York Knicks

23 December 2015: Cleveland Cavaliers Forward LeBron James (23) looks to make a lay up contested by New York Knicks Forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the game between the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Oh. (Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire)
Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire

As the calendar changes to 2016, many people across America are making their New Year’s resolutions as they prepare to be better next year. If you haven’t seen, our own Andrew Bailey suggested a few resolutions for NBA players too.

He made sure to include the cream of the crop when it comes to NBA talent, giving suggestions for a handful of the league’s superstars. He didn’t forget some of the more promising rookies either. He touched on Kristaps Porzingis, but other than that the New York Knicks didn’t get a chance to hear any resolutions.

Everybody in the Knicks organization can be left to make their own resolutions if they choose. I will, in the meantime, employ a different New Year’s activity less rooted in tradition–making New Year’s wishes. There isn’t a tremendous difference, both probably have the same chance of coming through, but if the wishes don’t come true it’s somehow less disappointing.

In the spirit of not wanting to be disappointed, here are a few thing I wish would come true for the Knicks in 2016.

Wish #1: Let the young guys play

These are wishes, so technically a championship, Steph Curry being traded to New York for Lou Amundson, and Adam Silver magically returning their first-round pick to them free of charge were all technically in the cards. However, for the sake of not being disappointed in 2016, I decided to focus on attainability.

Letting the young guys play is not only an attainable wish for the 2016 version of the 2015-16 Knicks, there actually isn’t much of an excuse or argument against it. This team might be more competitive than people thought they would be, but they aren’t good enough that every game needs to be coached like it is life or death. Porzingis playing 19 minutes isn’t enough.

It doesn’t make me feel better that the Knicks beat the Pistons; Knicks fans want to see the kids play. There have been too many occasions where he has a game where he barely gets in. If he needed a day off, I’d rather him in street clothes than coming in to play shortened minutes when he never gets into a flow, or worse gets into a flow and doesn’t get the chance to realize it.

It isn’t just Porzingis either, Jerian Grant’s actually the biggest victim. He can’t find consistent playing time at all. He has struggled, but neither Jose Calderon nor Sasha Vujacic provide anything so priceless in value that Derek Fisher can’t find minutes for Grant. Between DNP’s and maddening cameos, either his growth is being stunted or Fisher is saving us from being extremely disappointed in our other first-round pick.

Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas haven’t been treated quite as egregiously, they’ve seen their minutes extended and pulled back based on how well they were playing. There is still some issue over Kyle O’Quinn’s playing time, even if Robin Lopez looked good in his 38 minutes against the Pistons. O’Quinn might not need to get 24 minutes a game, but some consistency would be nice, even if that doesn’t mean 10 minutes in every game but at least fans should have some semblance of an idea of when he will enter the game.

Wish #2: Keep the core intact

Not asking for much here, since there isn’t exactly a core worth anything to anybody. Porzingis is going to be off the table, while the trio of Grant, Galloway, and Thomas don’t have enough value that a team would try to trade for them. Really this wish is for Carmelo Anthony, and yes, I am prepared for blowback here.

Some Knicks fans are probably already sick of having Anthony around, and without a real chance of winning in the East with LeBron at the top of his game it makes sense to go full rebuild. Not to mention some Knicks fans think that Carmelo will never win anything anyway–but not in the logical sense where “the Knicks stinks and he is getting old,” in the “Melo is overrated and genetically inclined to lose since winning a national championship as a freshman at Syracuse.”

Nov. 23, 2015 - Miami, FL, USA - New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony tries to pass the defense of Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside during the fourth quarter on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami (Photo by Hector Gabino/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

Nov. 23, 2015 – Miami, FL, USA – New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony tries to pass the defense of Miami Heat’s Hassan Whiteside during the fourth quarter on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami (Photo by Hector Gabino/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

The point is that for as much as some fans don’t want him, the other 29 NBA teams generally don’t either, at least not as a central superstar. At 31 years old, he isn’t going to be the best player on a championship team. If a team does decide he is worth trading for, it is likely in order to make a run at the title and they wouldn’t want to mortgage all of their assets to make a deal. Even if future first-round picks are in the mix, those aren’t as valuable when the team is expecting to be contending for a title, and young players that can contribute immediately might not be on the table.

This wish is to keep Melo around, not because he is the future of the Knicks, but because he is more valuable in New York than he is anywhere else. Trading him for equal value would be fine, whether it means bringing in a decent draft pick or a high-level rotation player that complements Porzingis, but I just don’t see that deal becoming a possibility.

Wish #3: More wishes

That was an easy one. This is where I can ask for Steph Curry and free draft picks and all that since I already have the two easy ones banked. Wait, that isn’t allowed? Fine.

Wish #3: Beat the Bulls

Not every time forever, just on New Year’s Day. This would be something that isn’t extremely likely, but still an attainable New Year’s wish. Maybe it would have been better to take a shot at something bigger and better, but starting 2016 with a win would be a nice short-term goal that would put a smile on my face. Even if for only a day, before getting Atlanta, Atlanta, Miami, and San Antonio in a four-game stretch, it would be nice to say the Knicks are 1-0 for the year.

Plus, at Today’s Fastbreak, it sometimes feels like everyone is a Bulls fan, and it would be nice to knock the city of Chicago down a peg.

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