When Mike D'Antoni quit (or was forced to resign) he actually left some residual effects behind, two of which are Jeremy Lin and Amare stoudemire.
STAT if you recall was a consolation prize, acquired during the summer free agent bonanza. In almost close particular order, teams had James, Wade, Bosh, STAT, Boozer, and Johnson on their radars. Although NY lost out on the first three they still had impetus to spend their long-awaited cap monies on someone, and STAT was a perfect fit for Mike's system.
Lin emerged just just as the ship scraped against an iceberg and was taking on water. Luckily D'Antoni had no "star" players to highlight during Lin's start thus leaving the little known Harvard Guard to shine on the big stage. It was important to note that Lin would need to learn how to coexist with two alpha-males healing up. When they did return, although Lin's role was reduced, there was some success. But who Lin was and what he meant was a tale of two teams. One needed him to lead, score, finish, flourish... the other needed him to facilitate and PLAY DEFENSE.
With D'Antoni gone, the roles of Lin and STAT have to be re-examined. We aren't in "save us now mode". We aren't in please STAT, sign here to justify our cap maneuvers mode.
We are in, we have a new, defensive minded, fundamentally sound coach mode. And we have the DPOY and a quasi-knock-down-shooter. (I would add Shump but until I see him better, he doesn't exist for trade purposes) Those two provide corner stones for a winning franchise while rendering Stat and Lin ancillary parts- more important to the old regime than the new.
Woody (if signed) should be allowed the same room for building and improvement as his predecessor, and these two are a) defensive liabilities (on a championship level contender) & b) injury prone (backs and knees equal no bueno) thus should be looked at as expendable under Woody. Add Laundry Folds in there as well.
Let's not fool ourselves on Lin or Stat, they are what they are and it is improtant to really gauge their value. Both show promise when at peak performance.
The only way to beat the Heat (which is what I assume we should be doing) is to fight fire with fire. Top level players MUST agree to structure their deals to maximize the roster. Of course STAT can no longer do this.
I propose going all "Lin", as in trade Lin if available. I'm interested incontention NOT entertainment. I say there are about 3 available players who could be paired with Melo to beat the Heat.
1. Chris Paul
2. Deron Williams
3. Dwight Howard
(No need to consider players like Durant or Kobe or anyone else not assumed to be leaving)
This means that if and only if the KNICKS can trade/sign and trade with an organization to pair Melo with one of the above, clear out some room for fillers, maybe draft picks...
We will continue to be fodder.
THE FORMULA IS SIMPLE YET COMPLEX.
1. A Knock-down-shooter (ala Kobe, Dirk, etc...)
2. A solid 1&5 (or 4) combination (Kidd/Chandler, Fisher/Bynum, Rondo/Garnot, Parker/Duncan, Shaq/Wade [I know Wade is a 2], etc...)
3. A solid bench
Note: We haven't had a star like Melo since the early 80's. Our last true star (A-level) during their prime was P. Ewing. We're not used to having a star wing player. We think that Lin can handle this but that's wishful thinking.
So, our only hope is to trade STAT. And to trade STAT we have to add any or all of: TC, Lin, TD, or Folds to entice such a trade.
It sounds reactionary (yet I'm calm), far-fetched, and almost impossible. The greater fool theory says its possible.
Pair any and all of STAT and whoever to get Woody and Melo a shot to beat the Heat by pairing him with an A-level star. I know, it sounds ridiculous at this point, but remember STAT and Lin shined within the D'Antoni system (the one with no defense). Melo shined under Woody coaching.
Any and everything MUST be done to free up cap room and add another legit star minus the question marks. Short of Durant, Rose, or a Rondo (who as of now are NOT available)
If we don't complete this we will be stuck standing without a chair. We made sacrifices that resulted in moves inspired by D'Antoni. Those moves have holes and inconsistencies. These three being available might be our only way to make up for mistakes...
DO YOU (WE) HAVE THE BALLS TO TRY THIS?