Were the New York Knicks right to withhold max contract from Kevin Durant?

New York Knicks

As one of the best players in recent memory in the NBA, a torn Achilles shouldn’t have even been factored into the decision to pursue Kevin Durant for the New York Knicks this offseason. Modern medicine is good enough to see torn Achilles and ACL’s recover to 100%, but owner James Dolan figured he’d save himself some cash…so it seems.

The Knicks, once again, have played themselves, finding themselves with several second-tier free agents instead of premium talent. At the very least, bringing in Durant could have persuaded others to come to the Mecca of basketball as well.

While Julius Randle, 24, is a solid young power forward that will help the Knicks over the next three seasons, he’s no Durant. However, the other side of the story is still a positive one.

The New York Knicks are still headed in the right direction:

While the Knicks didn’t convince any superstars to join the ranks, they’re still on a good path moving forward with a ton of youth on the team and a potential star in RJ Barrett.

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622552″ order=”desc”]

As we dive into the roster — Kevin Knox, Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier, Dennis Smith Jr., there’s plenty to be excited about. The issue simply presents itself as time. Waiting for the youth to blossom into veteran talent is the cost of building through the draft and failing to bring in proven players that can influence the team now.

It’s not what Knicks fans want to hear or wait for, as another failing to address vital additions to the team costs us more of our lives to watch a struggling franchise. Dolan, the unanimous winner for the most hated owner, will remain seated in his current position, which guarantees more issues.

Hopefully, the likes of Scott Perry and Steve Mills can mask the deficiencies and extract the success we are all so hungry for.

New York Knicks: Kevin Durant is the perfect mentor for RJ Barrett

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The general consensus is that New York Knicks third-overall pick RJ Barrett will be a foundational building block for the future of the organization. He’s a player that can develop into a potential superstar, but it will take some time for him to get there.

That’s why the Knicks must do whatever it takes to sign Durant, the absolute perfect player to help Barrett reach his potential. The experience, success, and all-around dominance of Durant’s game is something most youth players try to mimic, but while his injury will likely keep him out for some if not all of the 2019-20 season, there’s still value to be extracted.

The Knicks can still put Durant to work even if he’s sitting on the bench collecting $30+ million next season — he can be Barrett’s mentor. Having one of the best players in the NBA to help develop your top pick is something most organizations dream of, and it can be a reality, the hardest part will be convincing him to come to New York.

What will be the New York Knicks sales pitch?

I assume the executives will not only have to show Durant the best night of his life off the court but to also convince the superstar that their current team is ready to win. If he misses all of next season and returns after, there has to be a belief that the team will be in a position to compete for playoff contention.

[su_posts template=”templates/teaser-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622552″ order=”desc”]

Two years of experience for players like Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Damyeon Dotson, Allonzo Trier, and a year for Barrett should put them in a position to succeed. That should be the primary pitch, along with the guarantee that they will address the point guard position with an above-average talent and retain DeAndre Jordan, Durant’s good friend.

Given the Brooklyn Nets don’t blow Durant out of the water with their plan, that should be enough to sway him towards the Knicks and Madison Square Garden.

The New York Knicks starting point guard is…

The New York Knicks have many decisions to make this off-season. One thing that Coach Fizdale needs to look at is the shooting guard position.

The Knicks need a scorer. After trading away Tim Hardaway Jr., the Knicks did not have a consistent shooting guard.

Many players have played that position.  Daymean Dotson, Allonzo Trier and Kadeem Allen are labeled as shooting guards on the roster.

With that being said, who should start the season in that position?

Coach Fizdale appears to have fallen in love with Kadeem Allen.  Allen played well for the Knicks after being called up from Westchester.  He can score, is aggressive and also provide defensive support.

Dotson can score as well and provides even better defensive coverage than Allen.  Trier is probably the best pure scorer of the three, but his defense is not as good as the other two.

However, with the Knicks lacking scorers with their current lineup, Trier might be to be the guy to start the season in the shooting guard role.

Frank Ntilikina could also be consider, however, he needs to take a giant leap on the offensive side.

The Knicks will most likely be juggling with this position again all season until they find the correct player.  Any of the four Knicks mentioned can be the consistent shooting guard.  It all depends on who wants to be the best two-way shooting guard.

How The New York Knicks Should Utilize Allonzo Trier Moving Forward

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

It’s becoming more obvious that the New York Knicks are in dire need of a true point guard, as Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina seem to be more projects than legitimate options at the position. That’s not to say Ntilikina can’t emerge as the starter in the future, but his offensive abilities have held him back considerably thus far in his career. His defense on the other hand is superb and has earned notice throughout the league.

Alternative PG options for the New York Knicks:

One alterative the Knicks have tested at point guard is Allonzo Trier, aka Iso Zo. The young shooter has emerged as a stellar player off the bench and often has bursts of high-caliber play. Being that he’s just a rookie it’s going to take some time for him to become consistent, especially since he’s an undrafted player. Moving forward, head coach David Fizdale might be smart to utilize him as a rotational piece that can influence the game at certain points.

Trier’s defense isn’t anything to write home about, but his offensive production has been impressive – shooting nearly 50% from the field and 40% from beyond the arch. He’s averaging a healthy 11 points per-game, while his defensive capabilities lag behind. Additionally, Trier managed about two assists per-game, which rules out the idea of him being a point guard, or a player than can pass effectively.

How I view Trier moving forward:

Personally, I see Trier being a sixth-man type of player. Similar to that of JR Smith a few years back – a guy that can come off the bench, get hot, and give the Knicks some breathing room in close games.

That’s not to say he can’t be a legitimate starter, but his lack of size limits his potential in the NBA considerably.