Best and Worst Off Seasons of Knicks in past 20yrs
First the Worst
Key Move: Ewing is traded to Seatle in a 3 team trade that brings us Glen Rice and Luc Longley
The question kept getting asked "were The Knicks better w/out Ewing" and we would find out. First game that season Theo Ratlif bullied his way inside against our skinny frontline (Luc Longley was injured opening night) which served as a symbol for our future without Patrick
Glen Rice would last just one season and Luc Longley less than that! The ultimate return of the trade was Howard Eisley Shandon Anderson and enough cap to sign Clarence Weatherspoon.
So began our playoff drought and fall from Grace
Key Acqusitions:Jerome James & Eddy Curry
Classic Isiah here baby! Isiah gets gassed off a 12 pt 6 reb showing by Jermome James against a Center-less Kings team and hurt Tim Duncan and signs Jerome Jordan to a full MLE deal. This would have been considered an instant epic fail if Isiah had not brought in Larry Brown to coach which filled the Garden w/ Optimism beyond belief.
Then takes what he feels is a calculated risk by dealing 2 lottery picks for Eddy Curry (one being a number 2 pick, the highest since Ewing's draft).
Outcome: Curry had a season when he flirted w the All Star team, but never came close to that ever again and you can't help but wonder if his contract was not on the books what Donnie Walsh would have been able to do.
Jerome James became a staple of the bench, was an eye sore for Knicks fans and never came to camp in shape once (even the season after his new contract).
Key Acqusition: Jared Jefferies
Isiah was on a roll! This move was to sign a player who was supposed to be a lock down perimeter defender for us at the SF position while being a vocal leader in the locker room as Isiah considered him "someone who could balance the plane ride". Isiah gives his own version of a "poison pill" contract which makes Jefferies untradable and as a result we did not have a pick in this past draft (seven years later) just to get rid of the contract.
Jared Jefferies got injured in a preseason game, and when he did play looked worst on offensive than expected (and the expectaions were pretty low). The next season Isiah trades for Zach Randolph and Jared Jefferies goes from the glue to the team to glued to the bench!!! Best moment was his tough guy moment trying to rush Carmelo Anthony!
Now the Best in reverse order!
Acqusitions:Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton,Marcus Camby,Kurt Thomas,Ronie Brewer.
No need for a big splash, The Knicks just needed to build around a pretty impressive core of players in Melo,Stat and Chandler. They did so by adding defensive minded players which will quickly wash the taste of Dantoni ball out of the mouths of fans. No more 110-112 games, probably will see the return to mid to lo 80 games with more post and fewere 3's.
Letting Lin go will be the debate for the next 3 years, but the Knicks Front Office stayed focus and made moves that maybe helped fans see a vision that they have for our team.
Side note: I'm a huge Felton supporter
Acqusitions: Amare Stoudamire Raymond Felton Anthony Randloph Timofey Mozgov Ronnie Tariaf and drafting Landry Feilds
This summer signified the end of the worst era of Knicks basketball ever! After losing out on Lebron James and DWade The Knicks and players like Dirk deciding to stay home with their current rosters The Knicks took the best player on the market...and that player turned out to be just what we needed, simply a new ray of hope about the direction of our franchise.
Donnie also brought in some young talent w/ short contracts that allowed for flexability down the road.
Feilds was considered a top 3 rookie after being drafted mid Second Round.
Result: Stat was an All Star Game starter. Felton flirted heavily with becoming an All Star and Stat was All NBA. Feilds was All NBA Rookie.
Now Mozgov,Felton and Randolph were alll ultimatley dealt for Melo, but nonetheless made up a core of solid additions that off season.
Key Acqusitoins: Larry Johnson,Allan Houston, Chris Childs.
This is close to number 1, this is the biggest influx of talent Ewing had ever seen! LJ served as another bonafied All Star on the roster who would take a lot of the scoring pressure of Ewing, Houston would be that consistient shooter (love Starks but he defined streak shooter) that The Knicks had needed for years.
This could have been the best off season ever...but we could have signed Tim Hardaway instead of Childs! This would have no doubt brought a title to Pat (even w The Bulls in the midst of their second 3peat
That's 3-4 NBA Hall of Famers!
End result: Knicks did not fade into mediocrity, but stayed relavent in a time when The Bulls were running through teams and we would be the only team to beat them each of the 3 years they won a title and one of the only teams to beat them twice in a season! Just imagine if we had Tim Hardaway!
Key Acqusitons:Latrell Sprewell and Marcus Camby
The loss of Oakley and Starks really hurt a lot of fans, especially considering the slow start of both Spree and Camby...but come playoff time these were our 2 best players! Spree defended and finished like Starks 3 years prior and Camby rebounded and blocked at a pace that soon had me (Oak's biggest fan) extremely satisfied. The Knicks got two players in their prime for 2 a little past it!
High Risk High Reward move on both trades that played out for the better!
Results:Instant return to The Finals! First Number 8 to knock off a number 1. And Championship Contender for the next 2 seasons! Added to one the most talented and deepest teams in Knick history.