The New York Knicks are arguably the most disappointing team in the league this year. Coming off a 54-win season in which they earned the Eastern conference’s two-seed, New York was expected to, once again, be in the upper echelon of the conference. Yet, 28 games into the season and they are tied for the East’s fourth-worst record at 9-19, along with the Brooklyn Nets.
Despite their struggles, the front office remains confident about their future. Not only do the Knicks believe they will retain Carmelo Anthony this offseason, but also think they will sign another star or two to compliment Anthony to make themselves a legitimate championship contender.
“They’re one confident bunch,” a league executive told Brian Windhorst this week. “To listen to them, they expect to have Carmelo re-signed and have another star with him in another year. They’re so sure about it you’d think they already know what will happen.”
The Knicks’ first plan of attack is to acquire guard Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics. While Rondo may hit the free agency market in 2015, New York hopes to move quicker than that. They want the four-time All-Star to demand a trade to New York either later this season or next summer, similar to what Anthony did in 2011 as a member of the Denver Nuggets.
Despite the rumors, the Celtics have denied their intent to part ways with Rondo. If the plan fails, the Knicks will go after other high-profiled players. By the time free agency in 2015 arrives, New York intends to go after the following players with their expected large salary-cap space: Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert, Tony Parker or Rondo. As Windhorst points out, LeBron James may even become a free agent that summer as well.
While owner James Dolan did state ”I think this team can win a championship,” in an interview with the New York Post last month, it seems as though the Knicks are very much in play to make their latest splash onto the free agency market.