SPANISH HARLEM – With the New York Knicks recently spending like drunken sailors to obtain the services of Joakim Noah (4 Yrs/72 Million), Courtney Lee (4Yrs/48 Million) and Brandon Jennings (1Yr/5 Million). That’s a ton of booty to gamble away, yet that wasn’t the end of it… They also brought back Lance Thomas (4Yrs/27 Million) and last year’s 2nd round draft pick, Willy Hernangomez (the guy with one too many last names). But… Did The Knicks Free Agent Splurge Make Sense?
If you’re Phil Jackson it does. This is now the Zen Master’s team… there is no denying that. Jackson decided he didn’t want to wait any longer… wait for the new era of Porzingis and mold the team around his young star. As Phil went, so went the Knicks… to free agency; set with players that he and his staff felt would help them win now… and who also wanted to play for the Knicks. That component was not in the mix for some, as they couldn’t get a sit-down with Kevin Durant.
So, damning the torpedoes, Jackson & Co’s first move was to acquire Noah. His position (center) became a necessity after they traded Robin Lopez in the Derrick Rose deal. The price was steep for a player north of 30 and who has dealt with his fair share of injuries lately. But when you consider the contract that TIMOTHY MOZGOV got, I would say Noah got what he was worth. Hell, even the Courtney Lee deal the Garden brass hemorrhaged cash for was for double the salary Lee got last season… And the Brandon Jennings deal seems like a good pick up at 5 million – but he is also making his way back from an Achilles injury… that happened almost two years ago.
Is this all a gamble? Hell Yeah.
Can I see this team making the playoffs in a weak eastern conference? Yes.
Can I see this team, depleted by injuries, playing itself into the lottery? Yes.
But it won’t be too long before we get to see how that gamble plays out. If the team is healthy, you have a group that should compete for the playoffs. We know injuries will find a way to pop up during the season. But the tired and under-performing Knickerbockers are hoping – with Jim Dolan’s eyes crossed – these new mercenaries can play well through the reminder of their respective contracts.
But but let’s face it: not all signings work out… The right decision can become the wrong decision very fast. Good fortune can go sour in an eye-blink.
For now, though…
The Knicks are relevant again! Will they be any good? Will they start another dreadful cycle of being mediocre? Get back to me at this time next year and I’ll let you know my answer.
That’s it. Please lob your bombs or toss your Free Agent bricks below, and if you want to see related news, please read my article on the Derrick Rose trade, as well. Finally, please follow us on Twitter @MeetTheMatts & @BuddyDiaz19.