After they were eliminated by the Indiana Pacers Saturday night, the Knicks left a strange taste in the mouths of their fans. On one hand, the team had won their first playoff series in over 10 years, but on the other, they looked bad for a team with a ‘win now’ mindset.
Can this success carry on to next season? It’s tough to say. Kidd and Camby are still signed for two more years, so there’s money towards the cap right there, plus the team still has large sums to pay Melo, Tyson, Novak, and Amar’e. JR Smith is a free agent, and while he wants to “retire a Knick,” that’ll be hard if his asking price is high.
Say JR takes a pay cut. You’ll get Copeland back for cheap, and you still have Shumpert on his rookie deal. Raymond Felton’s deal isn’t horrible, which is a plus. After that, the makeup of this team is anyone’s guess.
Prigioni and Martin may very well retire, which leaves holes at the point, and an even deeper hole in the paint. New York desperately needs to draft a Center in the upcoming draft, but they’ll probably need to pick up another low-cost bigman in the offseason, in addition to a backup and third-string point guard (if Kidd decides to walk away).
So what can you hope for? You can pull for Jason Kidd to retire, Pablo to stay, and for the drafting Gorgui Dieng, for instance. Also, you need to pray the team is smart enough to let JR walk if he wants too much money. If he’s not expensive, you don’t mind the signing. But if he’s going to be the JR he was in the playoffs, and get the money he expected back in April, no thanks.
It’s way too early to make predictions about next season, but it might not be as sweet as 2013. Depending on what the team finds in free agency, and who retires, it could be a long year.