Knicks mailbag: This coach and this beginning 5 would result in playoff return

You ask, we reply. The Publish is fielding questions from readers about New York’s greatest professional sports activities groups and getting our beat writers to reply them in a collection of repeatedly printed mailbags. In at present’s installment: the Knicks.

If the Knicks wish to make the playoffs subsequent yr, what’s a possible finest beginning group after free company and the draft, together with the top coach? — Jean

Make no mistake. New president Leon Rose needs to interrupt the seven-year playoff drought subsequent season. Why shouldn’t that be the aim within the anemic Jap Convention?

Let’s begin with hiring Tom Thibodeau, who broke Minnesota’s 13-year playoff drought and is a confirmed winner.

Although this may be the lamest — and shortest — free company in historical past in late October, Rose nonetheless may make upgrades whereas protecting flexibility for 2021.

That is an alignment I can foresee, particularly if father Lavar Ball will get his method as we’ve reported right here a number of instances.

A beginning lineup of LaMelo Ball (level guard); RJ Barrett (capturing guard); Carmelo Anthony (small ahead); Christian Wooden (energy ahead) and Mitchell Robinson (middle) isn’t shabby, particularly if Ball is able to be the quarterback.

LaMelo Ball, Tom Thibodeau and Carmelo Anthony
LaMelo Ball, Tom Thibodeau and Carmelo AnthonyAP (2); Getty Photographs

The Bench 5 would function Frank Ntilikina (backup PG), Reggie Bullock (backup SG), Kevin Knox (backup SF), Julius Randle (backup PF) and Taj Gibson (backup C).

The Knicks are considered one of solely 4 groups with cap area they usually can add the up-and-coming Wooden, 24, with a large one-year deal — simply as they secured Bobby Portis.

The sense is Anthony needs to complete his profession in New York and he fell proper on the Knicks’ radar the second Rose accepted the presidency. There is no such thing as a larger fan of Anthony on the planet than Rose.

Melo might be on audition for Portland in the course of the Orlando restart. If he can take Knox beneath his wing — an enormous if — it may actually work out.

As for Randle transferring to the bench, a number of scouts are satisfied his future is as a sixth-man scorer on a playoff group. Randle has by no means made the playoffs.

Submit your Knicks inquiries to be answered in an upcoming mailbag

Why can’t this Knicks’ 10 seize a No. eight seed? This proposed group is healthier than Orlando’s.

(If) the Knicks transfer as much as the No. 1 total choose, I’d commerce it together with items to get a longtime star. Your ideas? — Tim

Though this draft is taken into account mediocre, I wouldn’t do it. I particularly wouldn’t do it if the established star is somebody like DeMar DeRozan. There might be a famous person or two popping out of this draft and Rose will depend on his mega-staff (the brand new scouts and outdated scouts) to determine whom they’re.

The Knicks have an excellent younger core with extra draft picks, so why are they all the time making an attempt to chase stars as an alternative of committing to the rebuild and growing the gamers? — Rashad

The Knicks would like to develop their younger gamers, however not sufficient of them have proven indicators of stardom. If the Knicks had an opportunity to package deal kids to internet a star, that’s the way you win titles. Rose gained’t hesitate to commerce Dennis Smith Jr., Ntilikina, Knox — all latest lottery picks — in a deal for a star. Not one of the trio has proven potential stardom. Rose talked about solely two “bedrock items’’ in Barrett and Robinson. Rose additionally stated Smith is “a particular expertise proper there,’’ but it surely gave the impression of he was trying to extend his commerce worth.

Why was Allonzo Trier buried on the bench for a lot of the season? He certainly ought to have been taking part in over (Wayne) Ellington, (Reggie) Bullock & (Dennis) Smith. Was it his extreme complaining about not getting fouls referred to as? — Theodore Cohen

Allonzo who? Trier was waived final month by the brand new regime so they may signal 15th man Theo Pinson. Rose doesn’t view Trier as a group participant or ok defender. He’s a one-trick pony as an isolation scorer. My concept is former president Steve Mills propped up the undrafted Trier as a rookie partly as a result of he thought Trier may very well be one other lure for Kevin Durant. KD was Trier’s mentor when he attended prep college in Oklahoma and Durant starred for OKC.

In your (latest reply) about Iggy (Brazdeikis) and different G-Leaguers, you say Rose didn’t get to see him play so there isn’t a attachment. Isn’t the aim to get good gamers on the roster? Why does it matter who introduced who into the group? — Anthony

In an ideal world, that ought to by no means be an element. However we dwell in a society the place front-office sorts search credit score. Rose has no attachment to Brazdeikis however GM Scott Perry does. Perry satisfied James Dolan to fork over $1 million to Sacramento to maneuver up within the second spherical to snare the Michigan southpaw sniper. That’s why I consider the Knicks will give Brazdeikis probabilities — so long as Perry is round. In Damyean Dotson’s case, he was a Phil Jackson draft choose. As a result of there’s no attachment to Rose or Perry, Dotson is pretty much as good as gone.

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