The New York Knicks ended the 2015-16 season out of the playoffs for the third consecutive year. A 32 win season was an improvement from 17 a year ago. Now Phil Jackson enters this off season without a head coach, a first round draft pick, but he’s going to have plenty of cap space to work with. Last year Jackson missed out on big named free agents such as Greg Monroe (Milwaukee Bucks), LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), and DeAndre Jordan (Los Angles Clippers). Instead he settled with lower tier free agents in Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, and Derrick Williams. This summer Phil needs to make a splash to help the Knicks make the playoffs once again.
First order of business for Phil and company is to find the next head coach. The team fired Derek Fisher in late February and made Kurt Rambis the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Missing out on Tom Thibodeau (Minnesota Timberwolves), Scott Brooks (Washington Wizards), and Luke Walton (Los Angeles Lakers) Phil will have to look elsewhere for the new head coach. Recently he interviewed former Cleveland Cavalier coach David Blatt for the position, but no decision was made. Other potential candidates for the head coaching position are Mark Jackson, Kurt Rambis, Jeff Van Gundy, and Frank Vogel. If Phil wants to make fans happy and get this team back into the playoff picture then he should hire Frank Vogel who was let go on Thursday by the Indiana Pacers.
Second order of business is to find players that will help take the scoring load off of Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. The point guard position has been a problem the whole season for the Knicks as Jose Calderon showed he can’t be a starting point guard in the NBA anymore. Failing to acquire a point guard during the trade deadline the Knicks bought up D-League sensation Jimmer Fredette, but failed to see playing time and rookie Jerian Grant was on a short leash, but saw some playing time later in the year. The team signed point guard Tony Wroten whose recovering from a knee injury. Potential targets- Jeff Teague (Atlanta Hawks), Rajon Rondo (Sacramento Kings) and Mike Conley (Memphis Grizzlies).
The big named free agent this summer is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant whose going to be on every teams list. With about $30 million in salary cap the team can sign Durant to a max and pair him with Anthony and Porzingis. Another big named free agent is Toronto Raptors guard Demar Derozan who will also be asking for a max deal. Looking back, history hasn’t been on the teams side with trying to sign big named free agents as they failed to sign LeBron James back in 2010 and LaMarcus Aldridge last year. If the team misses out on these two Phil can look into bringing in role players. Potential targets- Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets), Evan Turner (Boston Celtics), and Kent Bazemore (Atlanta Hawks).