New York Knicks (2008/09 Record: 32-50)
Additions: Jordan Hill (Rookie), Darko Milicic
Losses: Chris Wilcox
There isn’t too much to say about the 2009/10 Knickerbockers. The roster is essentially the same as are the problems this team had last year: limited production out of the point, small forward and center positions, and poor team defence. Why would prehistoric GM Donnie Walsh continue with basically the same roster that gave New York just 32 wins last season? The answer is 2010 cap space.
Half of the players on the Knicks have contracts that are expiring next season, which should free up $26 million in cap space. As it currently stands only rookie Jordan Hill, sophomore forward Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Toney Douglas, Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry will be under contract next year, and Walsh would murder Spike Lee to get Jeffries, Curry and the $18 million owing to the two off the team’s books.
New York has put all its chips into the Lebron-Wade 2010 sweepstakes and it’s going to impact the Knicks’ season in some way. With half the team playing for a big pay day this team will not end the season with 32 wins. Either the Knicks will see their common interest ($$$) in playing together like the 04/05 Sonics and put up a win total in the mid-40s or everyone is going to look out for his own stats and the team will fail to gel.
I’m betting on the latter.
The Knicks are too young a team to realize their common interest in playing as a cohesive unit. New York coach Mike D’Antoni possesses a strong personality who has the full support of the front office and will have no problem benching a player for any length of time should they fail to fit into his style of play (as Eddie Curry and Stephon Marbury found out last season) but he can’t take on half the team and expect a positive result. Besides, management is already looking towards July 1, 2010 when the free agent bonanza begins, and will have no problem letting the drama, and losses, mount throughout the season.
Predicted 2009/10 Record: 25-57