If you’re the Knicks and you have an indication that LeBron James is leaning another way, you shift your focus to realistic targets and you don’t look back. If the order of the Knicks recruiting trips is an indication of the priority they’re attaching to particular players, and the latest rumors are accurate, the Knicks two main acquisitions this summer could be Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire.
In the past I’ve been down on both of them but when you stack the chips, if you came away with two all stars who’ve played on 60 win teams for your coach, you’re off to a pretty good start.
If Danilo Galliarni continues his ascent to stardom and Toney Douglas providing some toughness, the Knicks have a solid core to build around.
The Knicks could also try to trade for another point guard. Add Tony Parker, Darren Collison, or Chris Paul/Emeka Okafor to the mix and the Knicks would really be on their way to, in my opinion, contention depending on whether Bosh joins Wade or LeBron.
There is also the indication that Joe Johnson would be “willing” to take less than the max to play for the Knicks. I think that’s just his ego talking because he knows he can’t get the max, but the Knicks would pay him a dollar more than their closest competitor. I have to think Amare won’t take less than his max which is incidentally more than Bosh’s, Wade’s or LeBron’s since Amare has more years than any of them. If he moves at all it’ll be to a figure that matches those guys’ salaries.
Figure if those guys add up to $30 million the Knicks would still have between $4-$5 million to chase another piece. Not sure Ray Allen is coming for that cheap but a shooter like Kyle Korver, JJ Redick, Anthony Morrow, or Mike Miller could probably be convinced.
A lot of folks on Twitter seem disappointed by the developments and think that at best the team will win 40-something games. I understand that many fans had their hopes up for LeBron but I think that by the time the summer is over the Knicks will have a roster that can compete for a trip to the finals.