The NBA schedule was released yesterday, and the Knicks open up with a pretty tough set of games. We start the season against the Bulls, and then go on to face the Cavs, Hornets and Wizards within the next week.
Other notable games include Christmas Day against the Wizards, the London game against the Bucks on January 15th and the final game of the season against Detroit on April 15th.
You can find the full schedule here.
The Knicks’ roster is essentially set after yesterday’s trade. We now have three players at every position, which is obviously where you want to be with a 15-man roster.
However, there are two relatively minor moves they could make before the season starts.
The first is quite controversial since it involves a fairly popular player, but I do think there is still a chance that Pablo Prigioni could be traded for a second round pick, to make room for Toure’ Murry.
Prigioni is the better player right now, but he’s only going to be around for a few more years and the combination of Murry and a second rounder is more valuable long-term. With Shane Larkin and Murry on the roster, I think there’s a good chance we could turn one of them into a worthy starter in the triangle in a few years when Jose Calderon gets older/leaves. We could also use Murry’s defense right now.
The other move is to make room for Kenyon Martin, which would probably mean getting rid of Travis Outlaw or Quincy Acy. This makes sense because, if healthy, we definitely need K-Mart’s defense, whereas Outlaw and Acy project to be reserves with Cleanthony Early and one of the three shooting guards we have likely to spend the most time at small forward.
In return we get Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw. The Kings already had the Knicks’ 2016 second round pick, but it was protected for picks 31-37. Now it’s unrestricted, but that’ only becomes relevant if the Knicks are one of the league’s bottom seven teams in 2015-16 (highly unlikely).
We didn’t need Ellington with all the guards we have, and Tyler was unlikely to make the roster after Jason Smith signed. We needed another small forward (Cleanthony Early was the only one we had), so it makes sense to bring in Acy and Outlaw.
Neither player is particularly good, but one will surely make the roster simply because we need a small forward. My prediction is that Outlaw (who is making $3 million) will make the team and Acy’s minimum contract will be waived.
There were rumors that Pablo Prigioni was going to be traded, but this probably ensures that that won’t be happening.
I don’t think it’s ideal, but something could be worked out if he’s willing to come to New York. The Knicks don’t necessarily have to run the triangle, I’m sure Jackson and Fisher’s expertise stretches much further than that.
However, since the Knicks are going to be running the triangle this season and already have a decent pass-first point guard in Calderon (who just so happens to be Spanish), the primary target in free agency will almost certainly be Marc Gasol.