If fans of the New York Knicks thought their 2016-17 was a mess then their offseason was a total disaster. However, things may have finally turned a corner with the firing or mutual parting of ways between Phil Jackson and the Knicks. With that daily ESPN headline taken care of the Knicks can now look toward the future. Carmelo Anthony should stay put. And the same can be said for Kristaps Porzingis which leaves us with a bigger question. Who should the Knicks bring in to help get this team back to the playoffs? My choice is Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe is not a Free Agent but the Knicks should take advantage of the Phoenix Suns crowded backcourt.
With the Suns looking to move forward with a younger roster, Bledsoe, Tyson Chandler, and Brandon Knight have been mentioned in trade talks since the deadline last season. This is the opportunity the Knicks have waited for. Their current starter at SG, Courtney Lee is not worth the $11.7M he’s making. Lee was lost in the shuffle and even his nose for the ball on the defensive end took a beating. If the Knicks are serious about climbing the Eastern Conference ladder, they must offer something to the Suns.
Last season, the Suns shelved Bledsoe to see what their younger players like Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis could do. And to everyone’s surprise– the young backcourt did rather well.
An offer of Lee and Kyle O’Quinn should be enough to get the Suns to part with Bledsoe. It will hurt to see the hustle and rebounding in which O’Quinn provides but the scoring that Bledsoe will give the Knicks on the perimeter will more than offset the loss. In 66 games for the Suns last season, Bledsoe averaged 21 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds on 43 percent shooting. That’s the production the Knicks need.
In order for Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis to lead the Knicks back into the top half of the Conference, they need a player to bail them out when the defense begins to collapse. Bledsoe is not only a deadly player on the perimeter but possesses the skills to get to the rim. Who was the last Knicks player to average over 6 assists per game?
Think about the offensive possibilities with a core of Bledsoe, Anthony, and Porzingis.
Anthony has been called a ball hog his entire career but when has he actually played for a team that had capable scorers to take the load off his shoulders? Jackson tried but he brought in role player who still managed to defer to Carmelo. Pozringis is next up but he himself has to become more assertive with the ball. With Jackson gone and Jeff Hornacek free to run is uptempo offense, the Knicks could easily have 3 players average over 20 points per game.
It all starts with a phone call to the Suns.