The New York Knicks, at 12-50, have the worst record in the NBA. This is good news because they have the inside track on the 1st pick in the top-heavy 2015 draft this June. That could mean a franchise player in Jahlil Okafor of Duke, Karl Anthony Towns of Kentucky, or D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State. Finally! The Knicks will start rebuilding, instead of being stuck in the middle for the last decade!
Naturally, there’s chatter that the Knicks are inquiring about trading their No. 1 pick.
That’s so Knicks.
And naturally, it makes zero sense. The argument that “let’s bring in veterans and chase a title” is mind-numbingly stupid and backward. It’s why the Knicks have been in purgatory for over a decade. The NBA formula isn’t difficult: Hit rock bottom, acquire picks, draft a star, or trade the picks for a star.
Why can’t the Knicks do this? They should have done this last summer by not retaining Carmelo Anthony. They’d be 12-50 without him. Instead, his massive salary will be on the books for years to come. So now Knicks ownership is supposedly going to consider giving away their draft pick in exchange for someone like DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings.
You probably haven’t been paying attention to the dysfunctional Kings – why would you? – but they’re once again near the cellar in the West. Cousins though, is playing well. He’s improving rapidly, has dialed back the crazy, and for the second season in a row he’ll rank in the Top 10 among PER. He’s putting up 23.4 ppg, 12.1 rpg and 1.6 blocks per game.
No, the Knicks shouldn’t trade for him. That puts them right back where they started — two guys good enough to win 42-48 games, get to the playoffs, but without the roster to make any sort of run in the East. Maybe they win a round. Two seems unlikely. To top it all off, they’ll be good enough to miss the lottery. Who needs that?
Trading for Cousins would rob the team of any youth to build around and develop. I’d much rather team the team find a suitor for ‘Melo (good luck!) and then take one of the “Big 3” in the draft, have cap room to sign nice role players – see what the Hawks have done – and then go back into the lottery next year to bring on another talented young player.
[Ed. Yes, the Knicks have a 2016 1st round pick. The Nuggets have the option to swap with the Knicks, but they’re in full tear-down mode themselves, and are likely to be worse than New York.]
Stop acting like rebuilding is a bad word, Knicks.