Key Additions: Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih
Key Departures: Steve Novak, Chris Copeland
The New York Knicks are coming off yet another season of sky high expectations which they once again failed to live up to. Early in the season people were talking about the Knicks as the team with the best chance to knock off the Heat and about Carmelo Anthony's case to be MVP. By the time the playoffs rolled around the question was who would be healthy, if Melo would finish in the top three in MVP voting, and if the Knicks could make it out of the first round. Overall last season was Anthony's most successful to date. He shot the ball well from the perimeter, in fact he did the best in his career converting 37.9% of his triple attempts. His added success from distance could have been partially a function of his increased willingness to take the ball to the hole. Carmelo made it the line at a higher rate last season than ever before in his career. Unfortunately it was not enough to allow the Knicks to make the strides many hoped they would.
It would be natural for a team with such a star talent to be thinking adding some pieces could be all they need to make it to the promised land. The problem for the New York Knicks is they are capped out and saddled with the untradeable mess which is Amare Stoudemire's contract. Stoudemire has been a disastrous signing for the Knicks. His health has been a constant issue as he has missed part of all his seasons with New York. Worse even than his health is the obvious inability of Melo and Amare to fit their games together. Sometimes it is no ones fault and the play styles just do not mesh. All the people that doubted the wisdom of that pairing have been completely validated.
The future of the Knicks this season leaves little reason to think that there will be significant steps taken forward. Adding Bargnani is not really anything to be excited about as he is scarcely an above replacement value player. With the departure of both Novak and Copeland the New York will lose much of what made them such a high powered offense and gave them the ability to stay with better teams. Additionally the Knicks offense last season was not a sustainable thing as several players had numbers way above their career averages and should fall back to something nearer to their norm. The Knicks were an offense first team and if that decreases they have no amazing defense to fall back on. The addition of World Peace may help their defense to some extent but his abilities at this point in his career are not what they once were. This season looks to be a very disappointing for New York Knicks fans and next season Carmelo will be one of the biggest free agents on the market.