The excitement around the Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony along with Amare Stoudemire a year ago quickly vanished when it became obvious that their skill sets don’t exactly compliment each other. The Knicks finished last year 36-30, not exactly stellar numbers for a team with a payroll of more than $75 million a year and an offense that centers around one of the purest shooters in the league, namely Anthony. They won exactly one playoff game and Madison Square Garden dropped confetti like it was the US bicentennial.
New York fans respect one thing, winning. If the Knicks plan on winning a second playoff game in 2013 or, dare to dream, an actual playoff series, they needed to make some off-season moves. Losing Lin to the Rockets was definitely not the type of move they needed. Here is a list of potential players still available the Knicks could scoop to improve their team.
None of these guys are going to make an impact like a Steve Nash or Dwight Howard, but they could still acquire some toughness underneath and improve their second unit.
First up is Chris Andersen. This 6-foot-10 inch big man brings energy to the floor. He plays with intensity and although he’s not a massive offensive threat on the block or with a mid-range jumper, he can still leap, fight for rebounds, get his five points in dunks, and give the Knicks defensive strength. If you know nothing at all about “Birdman”Andersen, it’s that he loves to block shots.
The next potential acquisition is Kenyon Martin. Martin is a 34-year old NBA veteran. He might not have the same engine as Andersen, but as a bench player he really doesn’t need it. Martin, like Andersen, is a leaper and can still grab rebounds. But unlike Andersen, Martin brings offensive skills to the table too. Martin has a couple post-up moves where he can drop-step, hit a mid-range jumper, and occasionally even launch a long ball. Kenyon also looks like the an easy fit for a team with Marcus Camby and J.R. Smith, two of Martin’s former teammates in Denver.
The last real potential acquisition for New York is Lou Amundson. Amundson isn’t the household name as the Birdman or Martin, but he too brings a unique set of skills that could benefit New York. The Knicks don’t have the image of a tough team willing to dive for a lose ball. Amundson is the type of guy who can bring that sort of hustle to the floor. He’s a team-first guy who takes his minutes and gives 110 percent the entire time he’s on the floor. With a team with so many quasi prima donnas, a few blue-collar ballers would give them some of the toughness they lack.
The best the Knicks could hope for would be to acquire both Martin and Amundson. Unfortunately, this still leaves them markedly lacking compared to many of their Eastern Conference competition. Even with both of these additions, New York will be lucky to get out of the first round of the playoffs.