I live in Chicago but was born and raised in NYC (Bronx). Have been a Knicks fan for quite some time (>40 years).
I feel I have to communicate my thoughts on the big trade that happened yesterday.
Initially I was shocked with the rest of Knick Nation. I couldn’t believe the news.
But then several things came to mind:
1. KP wanted out. This was my fear as the Knicks’ mission this year was to develop their youth. But really they did this aimlessly, and as you put it, without structure. No person in their right mind who wants to win a championship soon would want to hang around for the winning time to be ripe.
2. KP was a prima donna. As much as I was intrigued by KP’s talents, I never saw him as a superstar. He simply was not at that level yet. Instead he demonstrated himself as someone who had won a few championships. Although KP is a unique talent in the NBA, I never want to hear my star player skipping out on an exit interview or saying to the media or fans that “I’m tired” after a stretch of games (he said this last season, did he not?). Sorry but have you heard any other bonified star in this league say “I’m tired” after playing a stretch of games or at least admitting it? Would KD or Kyrie or Giannis say that?
3. KP is still injured. Or most people would say “damaged goods”. Whatever value we all think he had, it was inflated. Here Mark Cuban is actually the one taking the big risk.
4. Cap space. Most people are arguing: big deal the Knicks have cap space, who is going to play here now that KP is gone? Well, here we have to look on the bright side. If no further deals are made (see point 5 below), we have to trust in Fizdale’s ability to develop the youth. We now not only have cap space but also rotation space (no Tim Hardaway Jr taking millions of shots, no Trey Burke thinking he is at Rucker Park) to develop Dotson, Frank, and others). Also, Marc yelled “who would want to play with Dennis Smith Jr? But isn’t he LeBron-endorsed? This trade also brings us a big veteran presence (DeAndre Jordan) to help our rookie bigs (Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet) learn the proper skills of defense rather than from Enes Kanter (he’s next on the trade block).
5. Don’t underestimate Scott Perry. Here is where I have my biggest trust. I believe the rapidity of this blockbuster trade was not only because Perry needed to deal swiftly with KP, but there is a secondary intention: I believe Perry is hungry after AD. The only way to move seriously to the table and get a seat with the Pelicans is to have some assets (multiple first rounders). I foresee a move dealing Kanter, maybe Mitchell Robinson, and/or Dennis Smith Jr., and two first round picks for AD.
All in all, we have to think that if KP wanted out (and we heard the rumblings weeks ago), that Perry/Mills had no problems cutting ties. Why would I want a disgruntled player around my team? Lastly, this is not 2010: back then the Knicks shackled themselves by obtaining an established star while mortgaging the future and limiting their financial capacity. This time they traded an injured, not yet proven commodity for more assets and flexibility in their future.