No, not winning. I said “again,” thereby implying they’re plotting a free-agency coup of epic and unrealistic proportions.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Knicks are hoping Rajon Rondo will force a trade to New York before 2015. If all else fails, they’ll snag him in free agency come 2015. Or if that fails, they’ll land one or two other superstars:
It’s not in free agency in 2015 but later this season or next summer when he comes back from a torn ACL. The Knicks are hoping Rondo will be interested in making a maneuver similar to what Anthony did back in 2011 and eventually try to force a trade to the Knicks, sources said.
The Celtics have consistently denied they want to trade Rondo. But once this trade deadline passes, and it isn’t clear if he will even play before February, Rondo will have only one guaranteed season left on his contract. Like with Anthony when he applied pressure to the Denver Nuggets by threatening to leave in free agency, the Knicks wonder if Rondo will be able to have a say in where he might be traded if the Celtics end up fearful he’ll leave in free agency.
That may seem contrived, yes, but this isn’t a made-up scenario. It is a genuine option. You have to give the Knicks this: It has worked before.
If that fails — and who knows how Rondo will mesh with this Celtics team, it could work well and he could want to stay — the Knicks fully believe they will get one or two of the following in free agency in 2015 when they expect to have large salary-cap space: Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker or Rondo when his contract is up. Under certain circumstances, James himself could be a free agent again that summer.
I just…I mean…I can’t anymore. I just can’t.
Years ago, like 10 or so, long before I entered this beautiful business, this plan would’ve made me excited. That’s the goal of these half-baked schemes, right? To get people excited?
Well, I’m not 13 or 14 or however old I was when I remained ignorant and unaware of terms and phrases like “salary cap,” “luxury tax,” “plausibility” and “self-medicating Dolans.”
See for the casual fan, who doesn’t pay attention to the intricate nuances of collective bargaining agreements, this sounds great. “Two of Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker or Rajon Rondo? Hot freakin’ damn. Sign me up! I can’t WAIT for 2015! Four-decade long championship drought be damned! NBA Finals here we come!”
Oh how I miss those days. The good ol’ days, where I could be fooled into thinking the Knicks actually had a chance in hell of making good on their proposed plans. Or be tricked into believing their plan made sense at all.
New York is all about broken promises (see LeBron James in 2010). And when the Knicks make good on their pacts (see Carmelo Anthony), they typically overpay (see Carmelo Anthony again) or find a way to muck it up (see Carmelo Anthony once more).
Fact is, there’s very little chance the Knicks pull off the type of coup their angling for. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, since they’ll have the ability to wipe their books nearly clean come 2015, save for ‘Melo’s (probably) steep contract. But even if it does come true, are the Knicks chasing the right players?
Gasol, Aldridge and Parker aren’t exactly young. The latter will be 33 when he goes to sign his next contract and Gasol is now a 7-footer with an injury history. Love’s a flashy name, but if you haven’t noticed, ‘Melo is best served as a stretch forward, which is exactly what Love is. Conflicting messages much?
Then there’s Rondo, who I’m torn on. The Knicks need a playmaker, but do they need one who cannot shoot? Remember, Anthony needs to dominate the ball at points, and is best surrounded by shooters. Rondo is not a shooter.
Hibbert seems nice, but the Indiana Pacers would sooner sign Danny Granger to a max contract this summer than let Hibbert walk.
Dreaming is nice. And it can be fun. So long as it’s the right dream. New York usually has the wrong vision, one that they go on to execute poorly. Think about that.
From where I’m standing, there best play is to see how this summer plays out, then go from there. Who knows, LeBron could simply opt in for another year with the Miami Heat, making him a free in 2015.
And who are the Knicks to pass on an opportunity to sign King James and Hibbert and Rondo and Love and purple-horned unicorns and the Monstars from Space Jam?
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.