8. Jordan Hill, PF, Arizona
This is a best case scenario considering how the top seven played out. David Lee is a restricted free agent and could be gone, so Hill is a potential replacement at the four. (Pick Grade: Love It)
29. Toney Douglas, G, Florida State
This pick is going to the Knicks who were said to be targeting Douglas or Jack McClinton. Douglas is solid on both ends and New York has a need for a point guard. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
Knicks re-sign PF David Lee
Knicks re-sign PG Nate Robinson
Knicks sign SG Sun Yue
Knicks sign PG Gabe Pruitt
Knicks sign PG Jason Williams
Pistons sign PF Chris Wilcox
Knicks receive player option from PF Al Harrington
Knicks acquire C Darko Milicic from Grizzlies for G/F Quentin Richardson
Knicks acquire No. 29 from Lakers for $3 million
2008-09 Season Summary:
Year one of the Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh Project was somewhat impressive. In one season Walsh, the Knicks' president of basketball operations, expunged Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, Steve Francis, and Tim Thomas from the roster and added the likes of Larry Hughes and Al Harrington. As New York continues rebuilding from the train wreck that was the Isaiah Thomas era, these moves were made to free up cap room for the 2010 off-season when several franchise-caliber players will be available. Despite not making the playoffs yet again, there were some bright lights on Broadway. David Lee was among the league leaders in double-doubles. Al Harrington also produced solid numbers. Despite being one of the most visible franchises in the NBA, the Knicks have spent most of this decade in or near the basement. However, it appears they are finally taking the right steps towards re-building.
2009-10 Projected Depth Chart:
C: David Lee/Eddy Curry/Darko Milicic
PF: Jordan Hill/Al Harrington/Jared Jeffries
SF: Wilson Chandler/Danilo Gallinari
SG: Larry Hughes/Toney Douglas/Sun Yue
PG: Chris Duhon/Nate Robinson/Gabe Pruitt
NBA Free Agents:
2009-10 Team Salary: Approximately $69.8 million
2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Stay the Course - Every move the Knicks have made this past year has been to clear cap space for the much-anticipated 2010 off-season and making a run at LeBron, D-Wade, or Chris Bosh. While it would be beneficial for the Knicks to improve their roster this off-season, they will not sacrifice any financial flexibility for next summer, a tactic Isaiah Thomas was unfamiliar with.
2. A go-to guy - In recent years the Knicks resembled a fantasy basketball team: lots of quality names on the roster, but no actual team concept. This lack of chemistry hurt them the most late in games when a "closer" was needed. Al Harrington seems the closest to becoming that guy.
3. An intimidating big man - Eddy Curry had off-the-court issues galore last season and played in just three games this past season. Plus, he doesn't fit in Mike D'Antoni's run-and-gun style of offense. David Lee is a solid post player, but fits more naturally at the four than at center.
4. Keeping David Lee - He's a fan favorite, but also a restricted free agent in the final year of his rookie contract. If the Knicks want to keep him a part of their immediate future, they'll likely have to outspend teams like the Grizzlies and Thunder who could use a low post player.
5. A consistent point guard - Chris Duhon was steady during most of the regular season, but began to drift towards the end. He's shown more leadership in Gotham than he did in the Chi, but is certainly not in the league's elite class of floor generals. The Knicks have a solid back-up in Nate Robinson, but his tendency to be a shoot-first point guard doesn't make him ideal floor leader either.