Four steps to saving the Knicks from embarrassment

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Dear New York’s loyal,

It’s not time to panic. We’ve got plenty to look forward too. What I’ve done with this franchise should be recognized. I have opened my checkbooks just to provide all of you with a satisfying team. Although many are questioning me as an owner, I feel unappreciated. It is I that got us 54 wins just one season ago, and it is I that will bring you a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue….eventually. I hope all of you one day realize my impact on the New York Knicks franchise and stop questioning my decisions.

Yours truly,

James Dolan

Owner of the New York Knicks & Part-time blues singer

P.S. I hate you Shumpert.

Anyone else get that letter? Whether you did or not, there are a lot of problems with the 2013-14 New York Knicks, and believe it or not, there is one thing that James Dolan, metaphorically, said in that that that is true. It’s not time to panic. If you look at the rest of the Eastern Conference, you’ll realize that there are only two teams with a record above .500. Two teams. It’s not too late to turn things around at all. In the Knicks division alone, there isn’t a team with a winning percentage of even 41%. The Celtics, Sixers, Nets, and Raptors round out the rest of the Atlantic division with the Knicks. To write this team off against that competition is ridiculous.

But they’re in no way contenders even if they do figure out this mess. The Knicks problems range so far that there are more problems with the franchise than there are positives. However, I have proposed the following to perhaps fix this team:

1) Stop blaming Mike Woodson

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Mike Woodson took over the reigns of the Knicks in 2012 as interim manager after the dismissal of Mike D’antoni, and hasn’t looked back. As more of a hard nosed coach, Woodson developed strong father-like relationships with his players and the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Many would argue that the only reason the Knicks were that high in the standings was due to Woodson’s handling of the rotation and coaching in general. Since the earlier than anticipated exit of the playoffs versus the Indiana Pacers, things have changed. But that’s New York for you. “What have you done for me?” has become “What are you doing and going to do for me?”. The Knicks problems go way farther than their head coach, just ask Jeff Van Gundy.

2) Cut Chris Smith, Cole Aldrich, and Toure Murray

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Some of you are reading this and saying who? Exactly. Do you wanna know what the real problem is with the Knicks? It’s the lack of veteran leadership. There is no Kurt Thomas to tell Carmelo to stop forcing perimeter shots. There is no Jason Kidd to tell Iman Shumpert to shut up and play. There is no Rasheed Wallace to get in JR Smith’s face when he goes 3-of-18 from the field. A roster spot for Chris Smith on the Knicks’ D-League team would be inappropriate, never mind a spot on the NBA team. Neither Cole Aldrich nor Toure Murray have made an impact and this is what leads to number three.

3) Sign Jason Collins, Lamar Odom, and Leandro Barbosa.

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To make up for the loss of three no-name unproductive players, why not pick up three veterans with leadership qualities. Not only will they be able to control some of the team’s biggest egos, but they will at the same time provide quality minutes off the bench…something every team should have on their sideline. So yeah, sign these guys.

4) Don’t make an unnecessary trade to make up for Tyson Chandler’s injury absence but…

Take a deep breath Knick fans, consider trade packages at the trade deadline to ship Carmelo out of New York. Listen guys, he’s not returning, and at this point if you needed Stephen A. Smith to bring that piece of information to notice for you, you’re delusional. So why not try and swing a package together so we don’t get Lebron’d like Cleveland did. Here’s a trade proposal:

Sacramento receives:

Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton

New York receives:

Demarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, 2014 1st Round Pick, and 2016 1st Round Pick

No way, right? My question is why not? To say the Sacramento Kings are desperate to put some fans in their stands is an understatement. There is huge potential for Carmelo to be just a rest of the season rental for the Kings but who’s to say that Carmelo doesn’t end up loving it there. There is a lot less pressure in Sacramento than there is in New York. The money is also in Sacramento as they’d also be able to offer him that extra coveted year with the max contract. You do what you gotta do to land a superstar, end of discussion. But while there is no guaranteed extension with Melo, Iman Shumpert could still eventually prosper next to Ben Maclemore in the state of California with the Kings, and he’d be there for at least two more years assuming the Kings extended his final two-year team option at the end of his rookie contract. Giving up Demarcus Cousins is something the Kings have pondered since he joined the team so thinking that he’s untouchable due to his all-star potential is silly. Demarcus Cousins would have a chance to learn and mature under all-star center Tyson Chandler, while also potentially playing the four spot. On the Knicks side, what is most appealing to me is not the 2014 1st round pick, but the 2016 1st round pick. Think of what the Sacramento Kings roster would look like without Carmelo Anthony, say he bolted to the Lakers or another franchise. They would be a cellar team, and this would give the Knicks a fantastic pick in the 2016 NBA draft. The Knicks would be top heavy in their front court having two starting centers in their starting back court and then having Amar’e and Bargs on the bench fighting for minutes but it would be worth it. One pick, anywhere in this upcoming draft, a potential top-5 pick in the 2016 draft and Demarcus Cousins would be enough for me to pull the trigger.

What would you do?

Article by: Ryan Manley

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