1) What are fair expectations for the Knicks this season?
This is obviously a reasonable question. Last season, Phil Jackson asserted that he believed the Knicks would make the playoffs and win over 40 games. 17 wins later, and the team clearly fell way short of that mark. Because of such struggles, New York will need to do much more than simply double their win total if they want to compete for a playoff spot this time around. With a healthy Carmelo Anthony and a revamped yet bolstered roster, this shouldn't be totally out of the question in the weaker Eastern Conference.
2) Does Phil Jackson plan on serving out the remainder of his contract?
There's been plenty of speculation that Phil Jackson will depart the Big Apple before the five-year, $60 million contract he initially signed expires. Should New York start to play well, Jackson will be credited with improving the roster and sparking a potential turnaround. This would likely motivate him to continue to stay the course, and at least oversee things through the summer of 2016.
However, should the Knicks struggle early on, there's a good chance Jackson will resist the urge to fire his hand-picked coach in Derek Fisher and opt to fall on the sword himself. And while Jackson has helped the Knicks get into better position financially with regard to the salary cap, continuing to lose will be considered a failure on his part. All of the transition toward the triangle offense will have been for nothing.
Jackson has said previously that Steve Mills will be his eventual successor, but that doesn't make much sense, considering Mills was stripped of his President title upon Jackson'a arrival. Help was needed.
3) What kind of impact will Kristaps Porzingis make? How soon?
Ideally, the Knicks aren't looking to rush the development of number four overall pick Kristaps Porzingis. Still, the pressure is on for them to succeed as a team, and the prized draft selection (whomever that turned out to be) was expected to be a big part of that. Drafting Porzingis doesn't align with remaining competitive in the short-term while Carmelo Anthony is in town. How long will it take for Porzingis to adjust and come into his own? Have the Knicks bolstered their front-court and the overall roster enough to play well in the meantime and still exercise patience with the young gun? That remains to be seen.