When the Knicks 2010-11 season ended with the expected loss to the Celtics, Donnie Walsh, who made the Knicks credible again after the Isiah Thomas lean years, had to begin planning the next step in the return to basketball glory at Madison Square Garden.
He has spiced up the roster with two young superstars Carmelo & Stoudemire, and now has to find the players who could put them into contention in the coming years against the new hierarchy of the league, the superstar laden Miami Heats, who just made the Celtics look their age, Oklahoma City, Chicago and Dallas. Should he make a play for the “Superman” center Dwight Howard or the much needed point guard to feed the scorers. That could be Chris Paul or Deron Williams.
It would have been difficult to obtain one or two of these star players, in the best of scenarios, but with the unexpected sweep of the Lakers, a fierce foe enters the competition. The Lakers biggest need is at point guard, because Derek Fisher cannot compete with all the young, quick players in the league. Dwight Howard is also an attractive option for the Lakers and a Bynum for Howard trade has been on the rumor mill for months now.
The Lakers do have a talented duo in Gasol & Bynum, but the emergence of Howard into the free agent market is too attractive to let pass, and they can use one of their duo as trade bait. The LA market has always called for a superstar, and, with an aging Kobe, a young Howard could be that guy for many years.
So the duel begins. May both the Knicks and Lakers have some success in the competition, for the NBA does need strong, attractive basketball teams in both New York and Los Angeles.