There are multiple ways for NBA organizations to build their teams. They could build their roster through the NBA Draft, through free agency, or through making trades. In the past couple seasons, it’s been free agency for the Knicks.
It can be a great strategy; landing one big time player can turn around an organization. The thought of adding a superstar with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis could really elevate this team.
But the issues is, no free agents have signed with the New York Knicks.
Why is this?
Well for starters they stink, they consistently finish towards the bottom of the standings and miss the playoffs. Also, it doesn’t help that their ownership and front office in general, is a complete a mess.
We have seen the big names in free agency the past few summers pass on playing for the Knicks. Players such as Greg Monroe, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Durant.
They swing for the fences when going after premier players, but they always swing and miss. Seriously, when is the last time the Knicks landed a big time free agent?
It’s time to change their approach and start looking at the draft as a way to build their team. When you look at their 15 player roster, they only have one player on it that they actually drafted and that is Porzingis.
This is a serious problem, the draft is an opportunity to find a player that could be the organization’s foundation. The Knicks did this when they drafted Porzingis with the third pick of the 2015 NBA draft. But he isn’t enough, they must continue to attempt to find players like Porzingis by using the draft.
A Different Perspective
In all fairness, the Knicks have done a good job finding young players. But it’s not through drafting them, they got Willy Hernangomez through a trade. Then young players like Ron Baker, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, and Chasson Randle, who are all undrafted free agent signings.
Look at teams that drafted well over the past few years, a team like the Boston Celtics. They traded away players for draft picks and picked players like Avery Bradley, who is having a career year.
They also have drafted guys like Marcus Smart, Kyle Olynk, and Jaylen Brown. These are good young players that play their role well and with the addition of players like Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford over the years, they are now the second best team in the Eastern Conference.
Another example would be the Golden State Warriors. They drafted Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, who they got in the second round.
Just look at the success that this group has had. They have been to back to back NBA finals, winning in 2015. The Warriors won 73 games last season, which is an NBA record. Curry has won back to back MVP’s and was the first unanimous MVP in league history.
They drafted well and look at the success they are having. When you see the New York Knicks have just one player on the roster they drafted it’s mind blowing.
The Youth Movement
The Knicks can make themselves a more desirable place for free agents if they continue to draft players like Porzingis. As good as Anthony is, he is not the biggest selling piece to free agents.
This is simply because he is coming out of his prime soon, the selling point right now for a free agent to come to New York is to have the chance to play with a growing star in Porzingis.
And if the Knicks can add more young star players in the draft then it makes them more attractive to free agents to come play with.
How is this? It’s simple when you have good young talented players that are playing at a high level, potential free agents see this as a chance to join up with young players where they can compete for a title for a long time.
This certainly was the case for Lebron James when he returned to Cleveland. Yes, he wanted to go back and play at home, but let’s be real he saw the opportunity to play with the young players like Kyrie Irving and Tristian Thompson and knew he could compete with them for years to come.
It’s time for the New York Knicks to stop clinging on to the hope of landing a premier free agent. It hasn’t happened and will not happen unless they make themselves more attractive to them. A way to do that is drafting talented players.
Having just one guy on the roster that was drafted is terrible. Yes, there is no guarantee that drafting a player will work out, but the Knicks have a scouting department for a reason. It’s time for them to earn their money and find the gems in the draft.
This upcoming draft is loaded with talent and can be a great chance for the Knicks to find another franchise changing player.