The dawn of a new season is upon us. The mood around the Knicks seems to be a little different than it’s been in recent memory. The optimism may be a little misguided for the upcoming NBA season., but hey, everyone starts with a fresh slate this time of year. I think the East will probably shake out like this, barring any trades, and significant injuries (which always play a role), 10-15 can be interchanged in any order.
- 1) Boston Celtics
- 2) Philadelphia 76ers
- 3)Toronto Raptors
- 4) Milwaukee Bucks
- 5) Washington Wizards
- 6) Indiana Pacers
- 7) Miami Heat
- 8) Detroit Pistons
- 9) Cleveland Cavaliers
- 10 )New York Knicks
- 11) Chicago Bulls
- 12) Brooklyn Nets
- 13) Charlotte Hornets
- 14) Orlando Magic
- 15) Atlanta Hawks
The Knicks will enter camp with a 20 man roster after the inevitable release/buyout of Joakim Noah. That leaves them with a roster of 18, excluding Isaiah Hicks, and Allonzo Trier, who are both on 2-way contracts. The roster needs to be trimmed to 15 to open the season.
The most likely candidate to be released before the regular season is Jeff Coby who signed on Sept 21, for what I can only guess is to fill out the training camp roster. Kadeem Allen and Tyrius Walker are also prime candidates to be cut or assigned to the G-League. A dark horse candidate to be released is Ron Baker, who has not shown the talent to perform at a high level to deserve a spot on an NBA roster. They still need to add a center to fill out the opening night roster. The Knicks depth chart to open the season will probably look like this.
PG: Trey Burke, Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay
SG: Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr, Damyean Dotson, Ron Baker
SF: Kevin Knox, Mario Hezonja, Lance Thomas,
PF: Noah Vonleh, Luke Kornet,
C: Enes Canter, Mitchell Robinson, TBD
The big question for the inexperienced Knicks in training camp is who is going to develop into their #1 scoring option?? Tim Hardaway Jr is the logical choice, but he is too streaky to be counted on every night. Kevin Knox is another option, but he is a rookie, and shouldn’t be counted on to shoulder the burden of being the go-to guy. This is going to be a nightly concern for them for the 2018 season.
The other looming question is, can anyone on this team play consistent defense? The best defender on this team as currently constructed is Mitchell Robinson, but he is a rookie, and like Knox, will experience growing pains this season.
All in all, this is going to be a long season for these Knicks. The lottery is on the horizon. Bring on the 2019 draft! The Knicks are heading to the bottom of the NBA standings this year. Bring on 2019 Free agency!