After consecutive seasons ending with first round playoff losses, the New York Knicks are left with many questions regarding their current roster. Will they re-sign restricted free agents Jeremy Lin, Steve Novak, and Landry Fields? Is J.R. Smith going to pick up his player option or will he opt out? Who is going to end up at the starting guard spots next season?
It is very likely that the Knicks will re-sign Lin and Novak because both are productive players and fan favorites. Lin, based on his stellar play before he injured his knee, should end up starting at point guard alongside the established frontcourt of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemaire, and Tyson Chandler.
Familiarity helps, and Carmelo Anthony hopes that the Knicks management will keep the current team together in order to maintain team chemistry.
We have to build some consistency up here in New York, Anthony said. I think coming into camp if you can have a group of guys that's known for playing with each other, that's been around guys, been around each other for a long period of time, you start building from there, you start getting used to each other.
New York Knick Head Coach Mike Woodson was interviewed on the Michael Kay Show and made it clear that the organization plans to re-sign Jeremy Lin. Woodson also noted that Lin is still their starting point guard. Right now, he is our starting point guard, without a doubt, said Woodson.
The starting spot at shooting guard remains up for grabs. Rookie sensation Iman Shumpert successfully played point and shooting guard last season, establishing himself as a speedy lockdown defender. Shumpert's second season in the league will be hampered by the fact that he will likely miss all of training camp and potentially some of the games after tearing his ACL in the first round of the playoffs. Competing for the same spot is also Landry Fields, who possesses a high basketball IQ and strong set of intangibles.
New York Knick shooting guard J.R. Smith has a player option, in which he can accept and receive $2.44 million. When asked about the option, Smith expressed interest in staying with the team. If all things are equal, I'm staying, said Smith.
If the Knicks choose not re-sign their restricted free agents, they can compete for unrestricted free agent point guards Steve Nash and Raymond Felton. This would be a risky move considering teams such Chicago, Brooklyn, Portland, and Phoenix are chasing after them as well.
If Nash chooses to leave Phoenix he will look to head to a title contender. A Knick starting lineup of Nash, Shumpert, Anthony, Stoudemaire, and Chandler could easily boost them past the first round of the playoffs. This has the potential to be a deadly starting lineup, but is not a realistic scenario due to the Knicks's lack of cap space.
Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams is most likely leaving, unless the Nets can manage to bring over Dwight Howard without giving up key assets. It is unlikely the Knicks will land Williams because his contract far exceeds their salary cap. The all-star point guard is rumored to have the most interest in joining forces with Dirk Nowitzki and