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Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony’s disastrous final season in New York was marked by distrust and dysfunction. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at a crucial moment in the franchise’s history and how it brought the Knicks to where they are today.
It’s too early to say with any accuracy whom the Knicks will target in the draft, given that we don’t know how the pingpong balls will bounce. But in previous transactions, Perry has shown that he is open to acquiring the best talent available, regardless of position — after all, he dealt for Emmanuel Mudiay at the trade deadline with rookie Frank Ntilikina already on the roster, and he acquired a fourth center, Enes Kanter, in the Carmelo Anthony trade. So it wouldn’t be surprising if the Knicks took the best prospect available in late June.
With Porzingis expected to miss a good portion of the 2018-19 season, New York could have a high pick in the 2019 draft as well. Assuming Porzingis returns at full health, the Knicks have the opportunity to surround him with three lottery picks: Ntilikina and their 2018 and 2019 first-rounders.
The Knicks are well on their way to a fourth consecutive 50-loss season, so the idea that they’ll be competitive in the near future might seem absurd at this point. But in the wake of Porzingis’ injury, there is a clear path forward for New York. If management drafts well and Porzingis returns to pre-injury form, the Knicks should have a solid young core around the 7-foot-3 All-Star, one that could attract bigger-name free agents as well.
There are many variables at play, but New York could have at least $30 million in cap space in the summer of 2019 if the Knicks renounce the rights to all of their free agents that summer and remove all non-guaranteed money from their books (which are some big ifs).
Oakland has ample talent on offense, but it needs to continue to upgrade its defense. The Raiders’ run defense, particularly on the interior, needs substantial improvement. Vea is a Haloti Ngata-like talent.