Believe it or not, the Mets and Yankees are heading up north within the next two weeks, which means basketball season is nearing an end. With the New York Knicks already out of playoff contention, what do they have to play for in the final 15 games?
Well, they have a lot to play for with a big offseason coming.
Nobody on the team likes losing. Nobody. The players play hard day in and day out, they don’t care about tanking to get Zion Williamson, they want to win now, so they can have a job next year, whether it is with the Knicks or another team. If the younger players can scrape together a few a wins through the last stretch of the season, I’m sure the players would be happy with their performance, on the other hand, the front office might be voting against wins.
The New York Knicks are in a good and bad spot for the No. 1 pick:
The Knicks are in prime position to land a top pick in the draft. With the new draft lottery rules, even though the Knicks(or the team with the worst record) will finish last, they only have a 14 percent chance at getting a top pick, and could slide all the way down to fifth. If the Knicks young core pulls out a couple wins, the front office could be upset because it could cost them a chance at Zion, R.J. Barrett, or Ja Morant.
The Knicks also want to finish the season strong to showcase the young talent on the team to potential free agents. If the Knicks can finish strong, while it might mean a slightly lower draft pick, can show potential free agents (Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) that the Knicks have a young core that has potential to help bring a championship back to New York.
Another important thing the Knicks need to do is see which current players could be back with the team next season. Do players like Mario Hezonja or Emmanuel Mudiay have a future with the team? My guess(and hope) for both those players is no. The Knicks have too many point guards, especially if Irving comes to New York. Another question is if Frank Ntilikina can come back this season and showcase himself to either Scott Perry or another front office for a potential trade.
There is a lot at stake for the Knicks through the final 15 games. It could determine the direction of not only the players but the franchise’s direction.