When Phil Jackson took office up in the box seats of Madison Square Garden, we all figured that this team would be terrible. We didn’t know how bad, we just knew that there was a big chance that we would get a top-10 draft pick. As the season went along, that theory was proven right. 62 times. At the beginning of the season, Mr. Jackson said at that he felt that this team could make the playoffs, and boy was he wrong! As of Saturday, April 4, the team sits at 14-62, dead last in the Atlantic Division, as well as the Eastern Conference, and most importantly, the NBA. Many fans took this as an opportunity to praise Phil, however. They say that this was his plan all along, to put a terrible team out there on the court and then play the lottery, like the Knicks organization did 30 years ago.
It worked out then, why won’t it work out now? Along with the hope that we use this draft pick to get a player that will help bring us back to the promised land, the two big candidates, and by big I mean in how they’ve played and in size, are Duke’s Jahil Okafor, who has beaten up the ACC all season and brought his team to the Final Four, and Kentucky’s Karl Anthony-Towns, who has led Kentucky to a current record of 38-0, with no hint at stopping until they are crowned National Champions. The obvious thing to do is have Phil Jackson work his Zen-Master Magic and pick the better of the two prospects, develop him to play alongside Carmelo Anthony, and build a winning team around those two.
However, there is a “Plan B.” Phil cannot trade the draft pick before the draft, thanks to the handiwork of GM Steve Mills and his puppet master, owner James Dolan. With this out of the picture, the team would have to pick a player for a team and then trade the player afterwards. This opens up many, many opportunities, the biggest ones including trading the pick for players whose names include DeMarcus Cousins, Ty Lawson, and in extreme circumstances, Kevin Durant (99.9999999999% unlikely). There’s only 2 realistic options I would consider trading this godsend of a pick for; DeMarcus Cousins and Blake Griffin. DeMarcus Cousins has been rumored to be on the outs in Sacramento ever since he delayed the team’s signing of new coach George Karl and is a perfect fit for the Knicks’ triangle offense, as he is quite possibly the best passing big man in the league.
The other player, Blake Griffin, is a little tricky. While it is possible that they could pry him away, it would take more than the first pick. In any deal sprung with the Clippers, the Knicks would probably have to take on the overblown salary of Matt Barnes off the hands of the Clips, as well as probably giving up Tim Hardaway, Jr. Still, I would do this trade 99% of the time, because it’s Blake Griffin, the most exciting player in the league, who, just like Cousins, is a very good passing big man and would be a great fit for the triangle offense. So, you tell me: Would you trade the pick for a veteran whose already proved himself, or use the pick to get a rookie who may, or may not, become a very good player in this league.
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