The New York Knicks have been one of the worst teams in the National Basketball Association over the past couple of years. The last time the Knicks made the playoffs was in the 2012-2013 season when they finished with a 54-28. New York finished first in their division and second in the conference before losing to the Indiana Pacers in the Conference Semifinals.
Since the 2012-2013 season, the Knicks haven’t had more than 37 wins in a season and have had a handful of coaches as well. The Knicks have made several changes to their team this offseason in order to change the culture in New York with a new head coach and coaching staff as well as letting Steve Mills and Scott Perry run the team as they choose. I will be talking about the culture change in New York, the dynamic of the team going forward, and where the Knicks are headed in the future.
The New York Knicks decided to go in a different direction this offseason in order to better the team for the future. The Knicks knew this was going to be a rebuilding year with their draft picks, young players, and Kristaps Porzingis possibly missing the season as he recovers from his torn ACL last season. The Knicks hired David Fizdale as their new head coach after an extensive search with the front office interviewing between 8-12 candidates. David Fizdale uses to be the assistant coach on the Miami Heat during their four straight runs to the Finals with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Fizdale brought in a whole new coaching staff with him to New York which includes Jed Buechler, Kaleb Canales, Royal Ivey, Keith Smart, and Pat Sullivan.
David Fizdale tried to hire a coaching staff around player development and holding players accountable which is key for the New York Knicks this year. The New York Knicks aced their draft this season with Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson as well as signing Alonzo Trier as an undrafted rookie right after the draft. During the offseason, the Knicks decided to go young and sign guys to one-year deals who are on prove it deals that haven’t worked out with their previous teams. The Knicks know this is a rebuilding year and if they stay under the cap this season then next offseason they can go after a superstar player to pair with Porzingis and the young core on the Knicks.
Dynamic Going Forward
There is a buzz around the New York Knicks this season that hasn’t been around the team the past 3-5 seasons. The fans and basketball experts around the world have been talking about the Knicks and the way they are looking towards the future the right way. The Knicks and the coaching staff knew what kind of year this was going to be coming into the season with not having Kristaps and having the youngest team in the league. With their draft picks of Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson and their free agent signings of Alonzo Trier, Mario Hezonja, and Noah Vonleh.
The Knicks also have returning players who will have a huge impact on the future with Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke, Damyean Dotson, and Tim Hardaway Jr. The New York Knicks have had an eventful season this year only being nine games into the season with a 3-6 record. The Knicks have played playoff caliber teams and teams who are in the Championship contender category and have played them extremely well, with taking leads into the fourth quarter which is impressive from the youngest team in the league. The Knicks have gotten tremendous play from their rookies, free agent signings, and young players. The fact that nobody is guaranteed a starting spot and everyone will have to work for everything is why they have been very competitive this season.
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David Fizdale has stressed since taking over as head coach that s season. The Knicks have already made changes to their starting lineup this season which was Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr, Frank Ntilikina, Lance Thomas, and Enes Kanter to start the season. Fizdale made some changes to the starting lineup after their fifth game of the season by moving Frank to the starting point guard, replacing Burke with Damyean Dotson, replacing Lance Thomas with Noah Vonleh, and replacing Enes Kanter with Mitchell Robinson. David Fizdale has stated several times this offseason and season that this season is about player development and starting young players to give them a chance to show what they have for the future.
Future of the New York Knicks
The New York Knicks franchise is in a great situation for the future with the young core and having one of the premier players in the league coming back from injury next season in Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks have set themselves up for possibly two max players in free agency next offseason with the stretch and waive on Joakim Noah and may be looking to move the contracts of Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr at the deadline this season.
The Knicks won’t talk extension with Porzingis until next offseason when they can sign a max free agent and also resign Porzingis to a long-term deal. There are a bunch of free agents next year that the Knicks could go after to make them a possible contender in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks will most likely have a top 10 pick in the draft next season as this is a rebuilding year which is fine as next years draft class is loaded with prospects. With the new culture change in New York and their young core of Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Alonzo Trier, Noah Vonleh, and Kristaps Porzingis will attract free agents to the Knicks in order to make a run to the playoffs as well as a possible championship.