Before Game 5 between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, I had the opportunity to catch up with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. During our brief conversation, I asked him to grade the Knicks overall performance on the season, and to also give his opinion about what the team’s offseason priorities should include as they look to improve. Per ususal, Stephen A. didn’t hold back. Watch the video to hear his response.
Whoa. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t surprised to hear him say that everyone can be shipped to another team, no exceptions. Although I do agree that the Knicks must undergo a major roster overhaul to improve next season, I don’t agree that no one is safe. Carmelo Anthony is definitely the foundation of the team, and the Knicks need to focus on surrounding him with talent that complement his game. Beyond that, the only other player I definitely would like to return is Iman Shumpert. But I also understand he’s probably our best bargaining chip and we might have to lose him in exchange for some much needed upgrades at other positions.
Regardless, as I mentioned, and to which Stephen A. agreed, Knicks GM, Glen Grunwald, is going to have a very difficult task this summer. The Knicks salary cap situation is a complete nightmare and will only become more complicated once the new luxury tax fines begin next season. Looking ahead, the Knicks already have $57 million tied up among Melo ($21.6 mil), Amar’e Stoudemire ($21.4 mil), and Tyson Chandler ($14.1 mil). Without any roster changes, the team is already capped out at $76 million. It’s still unknown what the 2013-2014 salary cap will be, but if you base it on the $70.3 million that teams had to work with this season, it’s clear that Grunwald will once again be forced to get creative in order for the Knicks’ season to continue well into June. Let the roster shakeup commence!
Do you agree with Stephen A. and think it’s important to explore trading everyone, Melo included, or are the Knicks better off than we think?