5 questions facing the Knicks this offseason


A look at five questions facing the Knicks this offseason.

1. Will Carmelo Anthony be back with the Knicks?

He has the final say because he has
(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

He has the final say because he has a no-trade clause, but all signs point to him waiving it for a chance to play for a contender and distance himself from Phil Jackson and the triangle offense. Anthony wanted to win a championship in New York, and he believed the ring master Jackson would help get him there. But it hasn't worked out that way and Jackson alienated Anthony by taking digs at him publicly and privately. The Knicks want to get younger and build around Kristaps Porzingis. Anthony sees the writing on the wall.

2. Should Phil Jackson return as president?

Other than drafting Porzingis and acquiring Willy Hernangomez,
(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Other than drafting Porzingis and acquiring Willy Hernangomez, Jackson has done little right. If he's back as expected -- owner James Dolan said he wouldn't fire Jackson -- he should let Jeff Hornacek coach the way he wants. Hornacek shouldn't have to run an offense he never ran before. He should be able to run what fits the personnel of his team. Jackson's insistence in running the triangle is hurting the Knicks and putting a wedge between the players and Hornacek, who seemingly has no power.

3. Is Kristaps Porzingis ready to be a prime-time player?

3. Is Porzingis ready to be a prime-time
(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

3. Is Porzingis ready to be a prime-time player? The Knicks want to build around Porzingis, but they should have done a better job of preparing him to become the focal point of the offense. He didn't get many opportunities to be the Knicks' go-to guy this season. When he got them, he didn't prove himself. Overall, the Knicks didn't run the offense through him enough or run plays for him. The 7-3 Porzingis needs to get stronger, be able to use his size in the post, play with more poise and develop a go-to shot or move. This will be a very important summer for him.



4. Who will be the Knicks starting point guard opening night?

If they get lucky in the NBA Draft
(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

If they get lucky in the NBA Draft Lottery, they could land one of the elite young point guards. Having one of them to grow with Porzingis would make for exciting times at the Garden. But the Knicks need a veteran leader, and Derrick Rose is unlikely to return. They probably would overpay for free agents Jrue Holiday or Jeff Teague, but there are no guarantees that either would take the money to play in the triangle and have the ball taken out of his hands. It might make more sense to trade for a point guard.

5. What's the one thing that has to change next season?

The defense. All the triangle talk covered up
(Credit: AP / Seth Wenig)

The defense. All the triangle talk covered up the Knicks' No. 1 problem. They were more concerned with scoring than stopping people. Hornacek has to take some responsibility for not pushing them harder on defense. He said the Knicks would "simplify" the defensive schemes next season. Players said it was too complicated. Associate head coach Kurt Rambis became defensive coordinator early in the season. but things never turned around. Players need to give more effort on defense or it could be a repeat of this season.

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