When Kristaps Porzingis went down clutching his left knee in gruesome pain, Knicks fans collectively held their breath. Of course, hours later our nightmares became a reality, as an MRI revealed Zinger in fact tore his ACL. The injury destroyed the morale around the team and brought a shocking reality to the doom this franchise has unfortunately become accustomed to recently. That has to be one of the worst nights in Knicks regular season history that we will certainly remember for a long time.
This is it. This is the end. Kristaps Porzingis suffers knee injury after dunking on Giannis Antetokounmpo, carried to locker room. pic.twitter.com/fqQK5TTbDy
— Sherwob Holmes (@World_Wide_Wob) February 7, 2018
The Knicks fell to 23-32 in blowout fashion Tuesday night, which was amplified by injuries to Tim Hardaway, whose spirit already left the building after Giannis jumped over him for a vociferous dunk, and a bloody Enes Kanter, who needed oral surgery today. The boggling first move immediately following the Porzingis injury by GM Scott Perry was shipping a disgruntled Willy Hernangomez to Charlotte for Johnny O’Bryant, who was waived, and two second round picks in 2020 and 2021.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 7, 2018
Executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry have some major decisions ahead with an injured star, who will be a restricted free agent after next season. Do they still give him the max extension prior to Kristaps proving he can still be the centerpiece of a franchise? Does he retain a coach who is clearly flawed and losing the team? This is one of the worst crunch time execution Knick teams I’ve ever seen.
With not many attractive assets and very little cap room this summer, Perry has his work cut out for him to make this organization a contender once again. The first order of business, setting the franchise in the right direction with the trade deadline Thursday afternoon.
It sounds like the Knicks finally realized they are not heading to the post-season and are going to finally commit to developing their young talent in the final 27 games, as G-Leaguers Luke Kornet and Isaiah Hicks have been called up.
Here are three potential trades the Knicks should make to jumpstart the rebuilding process, while tanking for a better pick, which could be a blessing in disguise (If Zinger 100% recovers).
Trade 1. Joakim Noah, Jarrett Jack and Chicago’s 2018 2nd round pick to Orlando for Bismack Biyombo and Elfrid Payton
The Knicks need to do whatever they can to get Noah out of NYC. Biyombo’s similarly poorly structured contract makes him a good swap candidate for Joakim. Payton is an interesting prospect who the Magic may not bring back after this season. Current GM Scott Perry was a part of the team that moved up to select Elfrid 10th overall back in 2014. He would bring much needed stability and athleticism to the point guard position.
Trade 2. Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas to Cleveland for Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye
Cleveland needs to shake things up at the deadline and everyone knows they are dangling the adequate package of Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye’s expiring contract. Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas are both solid two-way players, who fit the mold of unselfish shooters that are versatile enough to play beside LeBron. NYK earns $7 million in relief for this off-season and only has Iman’s $10 mill on the books for flexibility in 2018.
Trade 3. Kyle O’Quinn and Doug McDermott to Golden State for Nick Young, Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw
What better thank you gift for a player than to be shipped to the eventual champs. It’s your lucky day Kyle O’Quinn and Doug McDermott. The move gives the Knicks $4 million in cap relief this summer and we get Swaggy P in the Garden! That will sell some tickets the rest of the season, damn it! The deal also gives the tanking Bockers a look at potential rotation players for the future in Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw, who are still on expiring rookie deals.