There are less than three weeks to go until the NBA Trade Deadline, which is on Thursday, February 23 and currently, the New York Knicks are the 10th best team in the Eastern Conference.
They are also a game and a half out of the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, which might give fans hope that the Knicks could make a run to the postseason. While that seems like a great notion for Knicks fans to have, there’s a harsh reality to face:
The Knicks are not a playoff team and haven’t been for over a month.
At 22-29, the record might not seem like it’s terrible. But if you look at their record since losing to the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden, they were 14-10 and since then, are 8-19. That’s not playoff basketball.
In the month of January, the Knicks went 5-12, which is again, not playoff basketball. At home, they went 2-6; again, not playoff basketball. And yet, fans question why Carmelo Anthony is involved in several trade rumors that involve the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers. Why?
Simple, the Knicks ARE NOT a playoff team. This team hasn’t been a playoff team since they won 54 games in the 2012-2013 season and made it to the semi-finals of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Since then, three straight playoff-less seasons and with the way this current season is going, the Knicks are headed for their fourth.
So what should the Knicks do when February 23 rolls around? Simple, sell. Sell off the roster.
Carmelo Anthony? Trade him.
Derrick Rose? Trade him.
Brandon Jennings? Trade him.
Joakim Noah? If you can find a team willing to take on the remainder of his four-year deal, trade him.
Courtney Lee? Trade him.
In fact, anyone not named Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez should be made available because Phil Jackson needs to hit the reset button on this franchise, again. He tried to do a quick fix this off-season by poorly constructing a team he thought could make the playoffs.
But then the wheels fell off and the team got bad really quick. Now, they’re struggling to be relevant in the NBA. The Knicks should stop fighting and accept their reality, which is the NBA Lottery for the 2017 NBA Draft.
Because Jackson hasn’t been dumb enough to squander away this year’s first-round pick, the Knicks have their first round pick in June and they should try to get at least another one, which Anthony and maybe even Rose could land them in potential trades with contending teams.
The sooner the Knicks face reality on what this season is and do what’s needed, the better off the franchise will be for the future, which is rebuilding for the future and building around Porzingis and now, Hernangomez, who in recent time, has quickly developed into a solid center and playmaker for the Knicks.
While nobody wants to admit a season is doomed at the mid-way point, it has to be said and has to be done. The Knicks have to start thinking ahead and do what’s needed.
Push the reset button, Zen Master. You have three weeks to do what’s right and what is necessary for the Knicks future.