Knicks Overall Team Grade
If I didn't like Rautins so much from his days at Syracuse, this grade would easily be an F. Here is what I don't get: New York took two players in Rautins and Fields who most people did not think would be drafted. Why not either try to trade down to get them and maybe acquire cash or another pick rather than hold steady? Did the Knicks give Isiah Thomas a one-day contract as GM and not tell anyone? (Grade: D-)
38. Andy Rautins, SG, Syracuse
Here's the thing, I LOVED Rautins at Syracuse. He has an incredible basketball IQ and can shoot lights out. For a guy who most thought wouldn't get drafted, this is extremely high though as there are a lot better prospects out there. Still, he could be a valuable bench player in the NBA especially on a Knicks team that needs depth everywhere. (Pick Grade: Don't Get It)
39. Landry Fields, SF, Stanford
I'm confused. The Knicks just took two players who weren't on most people's mock drafts at all, including mine. I don't see Fields as anything more than a 12th guy on a roster, if that. There are a lot better prospects still on the board. (Pick Grade: HUH?)
2009-10 Season Summary:
As expected, it was another rough year for the Knicks franchise as they suffered through their ninth straight losing season. However, it was almost accepted by their front office and fan base, as the true season for the Knicks begins on July 1 when the free agency period begins.
Every single move the Knicks have made post-Isaiah Thomas has been geared to clear cap space so they could be a major player this offseason. That's why New York dealt their 2009 first-round pick Jordan Hill and a 2011 first-round pick to the Rockets just so Houston would take on Jared Jefferies' salary for next season. In the process, the Knicks acquired Tracy McGrady who was a free agent. New York now enters the offseason with only four players under contract next season and a boatload of cap space.
2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Eddy Curry/Ronny Turiaf/Tomfey Mozgov/Jerome Jordan
Knicks sign C Timofey Mozgov to 3-year, $9.7 million deal
Knicks sign F/C David Lee to 6-year, $80 million deal; trade Lee to Warriors for F Anthony Randolph, F/C Ronny Turiaf, and G/F Kelenna Azubuike
Knicks sign PF Amare Stoudemire to 5-year, $100 million deal
Knicks acquire C Jerome Jordan (44th pick) from Bucks for Cash Considerations
Knicks PG Sergio Rodriguez signs 3-year deal with Real Madrid
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Make it Count- So now that the Knicks pretty much punted on the past two seasons, they must make that acceptance of losing pay off this summer by landing two marquee free agents. The goal is prying LeBron James away from Cleveland. It is what every Knick fans want so much so that a New York City strip club recently announced that it would offer LeBron a free lifetime supply of lap dances if he signed with the Knicks. I am not making this up. The Knicks covet the King so badly that life-long fan Spike Lee was rooting for the Celtics for the first time ever, hoping they would eliminate the Cavs from the postseason thus increasing the likelihood of LeBron landing in the Big Apple.
The disappointment will be immense if LeBron does not come to New York, but all will not be lost. Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer and Rudy Gay will all be targeted as well, as the Knicks have enough cap space to sign two max free agents. Plus, emerging big man David Lee can still be re-signed as well. So it is needless to say this is the most important offseason in Knicks franchise history, even more so than when they won the draft lottery and the Patrick Ewing sweepstakes.
2. A point guard- Let's assume the Knicks land a marquee free-agent wing player and post player which seems like the most probable scenario. Since the class of free agent point guards is considered to be weak this offseason, New York will still need to find a true point guard to run the show. Second year player Toney Douglas is the only returning player who can assume that responsibility but is not ready to be that guy. Sergio Rodriguez could return if New York extends the qualifying offer but that is unlikely since they will want to free up as much cap space as possible this summer. So somehow, they need to bring in a starting point guard.
3. Depth- With only four players under contract, the likelihood of signing two max players, and a pair of second-round picks, that puts New York's roster at eight players for next season (and one of them is Eddy Curry who does not really count.) They will still have some money left over in cap space but it will be limited and must be spent wisely to add quality depth to the roster or re-sign some of their holdover player from this past season.