The New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets are a combined 12-32. The Nets have lost three straight but still hold on to the eighth seed in the East. The Knicks have dropped 10 in a row and have the most losses in the NBA.
According to ESPN after a lost to the Nets; Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. got into an argument. Each player believes the other shoots too much and does not play defense. We already know Melo is the go-to scorer for the Knicks and Hardaway Jr does like to shoot when he’s in the game.
The Knicks also want to stop running the triangle offense. Let’s be honest it has not looked pretty. The Knicks don’t have the personnel to run that offense. When the ball touches Carmelo’s hands the ball stops. Amar’e Stoudemire has looked better this season but he’s not the post presences the Knicks need.
On Wednesday night the Knicks took on the Spurs without Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith missed the game for the Knicks. The Spurs still won by 14 points.
I still believe the Knicks are tanking because they own their first round pick this season. Their trade pieces Iman Shumpert J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr have been disappointing. Shumpert is averaging 9.5 ppg on 40% shooting.
Carmelo Anthony will continue to miss games throughout the season with his knee issue. He might have surgery on it and be out for an extended time. The Knicks need to lose to get a better pick.
The Knicks will have cap room next season with Stoudemire coming off the books. Most of the players will not be resigned so this team will look different. The Knicks need to sign smart players that can work in the triangle during free agency. If they can get a top five pick they need to go in the opposite direction from their free agency.
If they draft a point guard then they need to go after a big man like Marc Gasol in free agency. If they draft a big man there is no need to go after Gasol.
Last season the Nets were 10-21 and were able to turn things around to make it to the second round of the playoffs. Their team is different this season and at 8-12 the Nets might stumble out of the playoffs.
The Brooklyn Nets have the NBA’s most expensive trio at $58.7 million. It now seems that Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson are on the trading block.
The Nets have traded Andrei Kirilenko, Jorge Guiterrez and a 2020 second-round pick for Brandon Davies. The 76ers will have the right to swap second round picks with the Nets in 2018.
Unlike the Knicks the Nets do not own their draft pick this season. The Atlanta Hawks can swap picks with the Nets this season. In 2016, 2017 and 2018 their picks go to the Celtics. Even their second round picks will be sent to other teams or swapped. They won’t have their own draft pick until the 2019 season.
Deron Williams has two years remaining on a five-year deal. He is due $21 million next season and 22.3 million in 2016-17. Brook Lopez has one more season left on his contract which is a player option worth $16.7 million which Lopez will exercise considering all his injuries. Joe Johnson makes $23 million this year and $24 million next season.
It will be hard for the Nets to move all those contracts. If Lopez had good health they could move him but he’s missed games with a foot problem and back issues already. Williams has not played like an All-Star since he got to Brooklyn. Johnson can help a playoff team but he has a monster contract.
If the Nets are able to move any of those contracts they need to acquire draft picks. They gave up another one away in that Kirilenko trade.
At this point basketball in New York will be terrible for a while. The Knicks have a better chance at being good next season because they will have some cap room and at this rate a good trade pick. The Nets tried to spend big and win now but it hasn’t worked thus far. They will be a work in progress for a few years unless they overspend in free agency again.