Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Knicks have had so many low points over the last 20 years that it's hard to rank them. But what happened on Sunday is near the top of the list.
It would have been understandable if they missed out on Kevin Durant because he decided to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors, who could have offered a five-year, $221 million max contract.
But the Knicks lost Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, the supposed junior varsity in town that also landed Kyrie Irving.
They cleared cap space with the trade of Kristaps Porzingis because they were going after top free agents. And on the first night of free agency, they ended up with Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson.
Position overlap aside, these signings are understandable for a team coming off of a 17-win season. But the Knicks -- with the Porzingis trade and the decision to waive-and-stretch Joakim Noah -- clearly felt that they were going to add at least one star this summer.
That's not going to happen. And the fact that their top two targets throughout the season picked the cross-town rival Nets should cause owner James Dolan and team president Steve Mills to self reflect.
Durant and Irving clearly wanted to play in New York City, but they chose to play with the Nets instead of the premier team in the league's biggest market. That's a problem Dolan and Mills need to identify and address.
We won't immediately know the reasons behind Irving and Durant's decisions, but any neutral observer can see the Nets' infrastructure, coaching and management are superior to the Knicks'. Is that what led Irving and Durant to Brooklyn instead of the Knicks? We'll find out more in the coming days.
But the idea that the Knicks traded Porzingis, who wanted out of New York, to create cap space this summer and didn't add a star with that space? That's troubling.
Can the Knicks eventually turn that cap space into significant talent? It's possible. But if Porzingis returns to his All-Star form and helps Dallas contend in the Western Conference while the Knicks fail to add significant talent with the cap space/draft picks acquired in the trade, the Porzingis deal will be one that defines Mills' tenure in New York.