Just when you think the Knicks are finally on the right track. Heading in the right direction, finally doing a full rebuild the right way around young talented players acquired through the draft and developed in-house. Hanging on to their draft picks and being mindful of the salary cap in both the present and the future. Hire a level-headed GM in the front office and give them full autonomy. Yes, the KP injury hurts but this year was never supposed to be anything special. It was meant to focus on developing the young guys and taking a step in the right direction with the solid under 25 years old core they had. Then…
Charlotte is acquiring New York's Willy Hernangomez for Johnny O'Bryant and two future second-round picks, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2018
AND HERE WE FUCKING GO. This move stunned me for hours. When this first came across the Twittersphere I could not believe it, I mean it’s the Knicks, so I could, but no matter how much they do this type of stuff, it never gets any easier. The worst part about this and all terrible Knicks transactions over the years is that no one will have to answer for this. No one will have to justify it. Even if they are asked about it and challenged by the Knicks media, they will give some cookie cutter nondescript response about how “this was a move we thought was best for the team moving forward” or some bullshit along those lines and that will be it.
All day I’ve been trying to look at this from all angles and there simply isn’t any way to see it that ends in something positive for the Knicks. From a salary standpoint, Willy makes $1.5M, which is nothing. He’s locked up for the next two years at that price. An amazing contract for an All-Rookie first team. Why move him with that contract, because he asked to be traded? Who cares?
He wasn’t playing enough minutes? The only reason that was the case is because of Jeff Hornacek’s lack of confidence in Willy’s defense. The same issues that cause him to sit Kanter on the bench every 4th quarter. Kanter makes $18M.
Did they want to gain more assets? Well, they got two second-round picks, which, let’s be honest, are like poopy flavored lollipops in todays NBA. They’re at best throw ins to get a deal over the top.
Was it because there was on overload at Center with four guys and KP trying to take up minutes in the frontcourt? Noah will be eventually bought out and gone by this summer. O’Quinn will be traded Thursday or leave as a free agent this summer. Kanter, despite already making $18M might very well opt out and test his luck on the market under the new CBA rules. So whos left? Just Willy. But now he’s gone. They traded Willy when his value was the lowest. They sat him all year when they could have learned more about what they had before they dealt him. What was the downside? They lose more games and get a higher pick? Oh geez, what a tragedy. This was a move that should have waited for the offseason. On draft night they could have fetched a late first rounder if they really felt the need to deal him.
This problem started from the get go. The Knicks came out hot because of a heavy home schedukle at the beginning of the year and decided to play the veterans more in an effort to get into the playoffs and show they’re heading in the right direction. The problem is, they were a year too early in these hopes. Willy and Frank should have been getting close to starter minutes all year. This year was meant to develop the young talent. Let them succeed and let them fail. It’s all part of the learning proicess. It’s all part of becoming an All-star in this league and the Knicks failed in that aspect. They failed Willy, they failed the fans and they failed and are contunuing to fail the young core of players that should be the building blocks of this franchise.
Now one of those potential building blocks, a diamond in the rough second round pick is no longer there. All so they can hope to find another Willy Hernangomez in three years with one of those picks. My guess is though, one of those guys won’t be Krstaps Porzingis best friend.
Fuck this franchise.