The NBA Finals are far from over, but the Knicks are already looking to get ready for the 2012-2013 Season.
New York has multiple needs after a somewhat disappointing 2011-2012 campaign. The Knicks finished the year as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and lost to the Miami Heat in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
Legendary head coach Phil Jackson criticized the Knicks roster this past weekend in an interview on HBO's Real Sports.
They don't fit together well. Amare Stoudemire doesn't fit well with Carmelo (Anthony). Stoudemire's a really good player. But he's got to play in a certain system and a way. Carmelo has to be a better passer. And the ball can't stop every time it hits his hands. They need to have someone come in that can kind of blend that group together.
The Knicks don't have any room under the salary cap to sign free agents from other clubs, so they'll have to make improvements through the draft and trades. New York has much of its starting lineup in place, but the team will be looking to add some complimentary players.
In their first postseason game, Iman Shumpert tore the ACL in his left knee. The rookie underwent surgery in May and is scheduled to miss six to eight months because of the injury. Shumpert told the New York Post that the target date for his return is January.
The guard was one of the best rookies this past season. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team, averaging 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. He's also considered one of the better defenders in the league. Shumpert finished seventh in the league with 1.71 steals per contest.
Shumpert started more than half of the Knicks games, and New York will be without one of their best guards for, possibly, more than half of next season. The loss could force the team to take a guard with their only draft pick.
New York is without a first round selection. They have the 48th overall pick in this year's NBA Draft. The Knicks, however, won't be able to get a top flight guard in the middle of the second round.
Marquette shooting guard Darius Johnson-Odom is on the Knicks radar as a second round selection. William Buford from Ohio State could also go to New York.
Shumpert's return isn't the only question mark for the Knicks at the guard position. J.R. Smith can opt out of his contract and Jeremy Lin is a restricted free agent. New York's backup point guard, Baron Davis, also suffered an injury against the Heat. He's scheduled to miss about a year.
If Smith ends up signing a contract with another team, Landry Fields might be the only shooting guard on the Knicks roster when next season begins.
Unless the Knicks are willing to move one of their big stars, it will be hard for them to make a deal for a guard that can make a big impact next season. There were rumors during the season that they might trade Toney Douglas for a draft pick, but there have been no rumblings about a deal recently.
The 2012 NBA Draft will be held on June 28.