This is typically the time of the year where us Knicks fans are doing two things. Trying to figure out the top of the draft to see who we get after the lottery balls fuck us and we get the 8th pick and making photoshops convincing us that a star is coming. Not here my friends. Not this year. The plan is different and the plan is simple. Because of that, for the first time in my life, I'm excited about the Knicks offseason.
That's right. In Leon we trust. In World Wide Wes we trust. In Thibs and Kenny Payne we trust. You see, the Knicks have actually made smart moves and it's going to start paying off. Yeah, they lost to the Hawks in the playoffs. Totally get that sucked and I wrote about that. We're onto the offseason here where the plan is simple. Just a reminder the Knicks are going to have roughly $60 million in cap space and two first round draft picks. THAT'S NOT BAD.
Step 1 - Find a lead guard
This is the biggest thing right now. Elf was clearly not the answer considering, you know, he got benched in the playoffs. Rose showed up and played over his head. He's made to be a guy coming off the bench as a spark with IQ now. That's his role. Just need to find someone that can control the offense, play with Randle, make some shots. Hmm, I know just the guy.
Yeah that's right. This is the guy I want the most from the free agent class. Lonzo is a good defender, a good shooter and a damn good player. Add him to a core with a bunch of guys under 26 and let's start cooking. I said it before and I'll say it again. The plan is to be the Nuggets, not the Nets. The Nuggets landed Jokic and Murray in the draft. They surrounded them with the right signings and then hit with someone like Monte Morris in the 2nd round (looking at you IQ, late 1st rounder). They got lucky when MPJ fell to them. That's the plan. I've given up hope on the Durant, Kyrie, Harden or the LeBron, AD combos. Might get one. But until then build a core that is young and can grow. Lonzo is step 1.
Step 2 - Re-sign Randle to an extension
This should actually be step 1. I want Julius Randle to be a Knick. I'm not going to freak out because of one bad playoff series. Shit happens. Look at what he did over the course of the entire year and tell me you don't want him to be a Knick. I'll angrily yell at you via words on a computer. Is he a superstar? No. Can he be a number 2 on a successful team? Absolutely. Now the question is going to be what do you offer him. He says he wants to be a Knick so just work with him. Don't start at the max and save some money. You can still pay him a ton of money and lock him up long term. That's the plan.
Step 3 - Shooters
Look, it's no secret the Knicks struggle shooting the ball. Whether it's through the draft or through free agency you gotta add shooters. Let me throw out some names here that can fill that need on the wing. Duncan Robinson, Gary Trent and Norman Powell. Get me one of those guys with Lonzo and we're off to something. Three guys that can shoot the ball. Guys that can play on the wing and spread the floor for RJ and Randle drives.
Step 4 - Draft night
The Knicks are going to have two picks in the late teens/early 20s. You can package these for something, but let's assume we work no trades here. Get me Chris Duarte from Oregon. He's a bigger guard that can shoot the ball, handle it a little and fit in nicely next to RJ and Quickley and whatever lead guard they have. I want Chris Duarte. Also target Franz Wagner from Michigan, Isaiah Jackson from Kentucky, Ayo Dosunmnu, Cam Thomas from LSU. I don't think these guys falls but Kai Jones from Texas and James Bouknight from UConn are dream scenarios too.
Step 5 - Fuck it, photoshop
I will not get excited about Dame. I will not get excited about Dame. I will not get excited about Dame. Please trade for Dame.