The Knicks’ plan to create a contender overnight last summer by signing LeBron James didn’t exactly work out, but by signing Amar’e Stoudemire and trading for Carmelo Anthony, they’re creeping closer to that goal.
New York will be an exciting offensive team now, and with two of the league’s 10 All Star starters, they’re capable of beating anyone. But the Knicks aren’t among the NBA’s alpha dogs just yet.
To get there, the Knicks will probably have to wait until next summer when Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Dwight Howard could hit free agency.
The new labour deal could throw a wrench into the Knicks’ chances of landing one of them at the price they’d like, but New York will make every effort to complete its own Big Three to match up against Miami for the next half decade.
It’s a possibility that Paul himself predicted last summer at ‘Melo’s wedding, and now it appears more likely than ever to come to fruition.
The problem is that the Knicks will only be able to add one of them.
Howard would complete a huge front line and give the Knicks a much-needed defensive stopper to aid what right now is a porous defensive squad. But that still leaves the Knicks without a distributor (assuming the Knicks decline their team option on Chauncey Billups after the season).
Paul seems to be the most eager to join the Knicks, but his balky knees make him a major risk. He is a strong defender, but by himself Paul isn’t enough to save the Knicks’ defence.
Williams doesn’t come with the health risks of Paul, but its difficult to say how he’s viewed by other teams after what happened with Jerry Sloan two weeks ago. He’s also a weaker defender than Paul, and hasn’t shown the same desire to play in New York.
The Knicks have plenty of time to determine their priorities and to prepare their pitches for next summer, but they’d better pick the right guy if they want to complete their superstar team and compete with Miami.
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