The Knicks Patience vs. Win Now Dilemma

“People want something that’s going to be sustainable. That to me is what’s important. And patience, if you’re going to build something the right way that’s going to be sustainable long term, you can’t cut corners.” - Scott Perry 10/6/17

"Jim has given us the room to be patient, which is not something that's been common in this organization. Patient hasn't been one of our biggest attributes here. He's given us the room to be patient to develop players, develop a culture within the organization. All we can ask is for fans to look at the plan we laid out last year and we are going to be consistent with [it]. Judge us on that." Steve Mills 4/13/18




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It is clear that the Knicks are incapable of patience evident by their lack of sticking to a rebuilding plan. The idea of building a "culture" is simply an illusion for any new coach or GM. The Knicks culture has been established the day James Dolan took over as chairman of Madison Square Garden back in 1999: a "win now" culture.

The Knicks used Porzingis as a trade asset to incentivize the Mavericks to take on Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr.'s contracts. The Knicks drafted Hardaway Jr., traded him for Jerian Grant, resigned him for $71 Million, and then traded away his terrible contract by packaging their franchise player. Those asinine decisions define the Knicks.

Clearly Porzingis was unhappy with the franchise, and it seemed that a trade was inevitable, but the Knicks had an opportunity to weigh their options instead of pulling the trigger with such urgency.

Despite being the worst NBA franchise since 2001, the future does not look all bad. The Knicks will have $74 million in cap room this offseason and will be able to take on two max players. They will also have a 14% chance at getting Zion if they finish in with a top 3 worst record plus the luxury of having all of their draft picks and two first rounders from the Mavericks.

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I don't need to go into depth on the historical level of talent the Knicks could bid on this free agency. Durant, Kawhi and Kyrie are the top 3 free agents this offseason, but let's go over a likely scenario where the Knicks are unable to land that level of talent: should they sign the next best guy to max money instead?

This is an issue the Knicks have had the past 2 decades; the word "patience". If the Knicks strike out on Durant/Kyrie/Kawhi, then history shows that they are very likely to sign a borderline all-star like Khris Middleton or Tobias Harris (the kind of player that should be the 2nd/3rd best player on a winning team) to max money.

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The real test of the Knicks' patience will be determined by how they handle free agency. The worst thing that the Knicks can do is commit their finances to a team that will be an 8 seed for the foreseeable future.

I am a firm believer that their best course of action is to continue building through the draft, and sign the heavy hitters once their young core is able to contend for a playoff position.

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See you all this offseason. Until then, let's pour one out for my homie KP/Zinger/Godzingis/Three 6 Latvia/The Unicorn. After his ACL injury, he may never be the same player again , but the idea of KP and Doncic together is frightening.

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