As we lead up to the draft, and in all of my dealings with the NBA, I fear that I may steer too close to the Hinkie Machine and the Sixers in general. In 2015, I’ve done my best to spread the love, but I’ve also included deep dives into the Sixers (the team I personally follow) and the Mavericks (the team I used to follow). Not since the insanity that was two consecutive Knicks posts following the JR Smith-Iman Shumpert trade have I taken a deep dive into another team’s thoughts and landscape.
Given the knowledge I learned writing those Knicks posts, the relevant position the Knicks have stumbled into, and the fact that one of my best friends in this world roots for the Knicks, well let’s do the unthinkable. Let’s, again, talk about the damn Knickerbockers.
And let’s do so with said friend. Colin is a native New Yorker (sort of) who was quoted in that trade recap and contributed to the Drunken Lotto preview. (He was also supposed to be involved with the All-Handsome Team, but he was too busy inventing protons or something he calls “graduate school.”)
So let’s crack open his brain, rub the crystal ball, and look into the future. The Knicks are in possibly the most interesting slot in the entire draft. They have nearly endless options picking fourth. And their track record recently is…murky, to say the least.
We’ll look at each potential future Knick and look at where their career might go. That means the best and worst case scenario for each, and being that this is the Knicks, expect a few more worst cases than best.
Shane: AHAHAHAHAHA YOU AREN’T GETTING TOWNS
Colin: Who is this?
Shane: It’s noted Knicks fan and best player in the draft Karl-Anthony Towns. What’s the opposite of “Future Knick”? It’s not like KAT is a former Knick, he’s a “Never Knick”.
Shane: Okafor’s best case lives somewhere between Patrick Ewing and Al Jefferson, which is a very big place to live. He has such specific skills and flaws. His offensive game is polished. His defense stinks. He’s huge. He’s only 19. Surprisingly for a guy with such a defined game, it’s hard to tell how he fits at the next level. Will his post moves, which were effective against teenagers, work against the DeMarcus Cousinses of the world? If they do, and he plays defense, he can be REALLY good.
Colin: Brook Lopez. He’s a third option on a good team. I’m off on Okafor. Justise Winslow was the best (read: most handsome) player on Duke last season.
Shane: His worst case is that he stays a little doughy, never plays defense, and the small-ball obsessed NBA makes him into a thing of the past.
Colin: I agree that’s his worst case – if he goes to any team other than the Knicks. If he ends up on the Knicks, then in two years TMZ will release photos of him wearing women’s underwear or something.
Colin – He becomes a New York basketball legend and starts hooking up with Harriet the Spy, just like Danilo Gallinari.
Unlike Danilo, he stays in New York, never gets traded as part of a package for someone who dresses like this, and moves on to bigger and better private eyes. (Side note: Who is the hottest female detective in fictional history? I think Helen Mirren played a female detective at some point. Were Rizzoli and Isles detectives or like, chefs or something? Would you eat anything those two prepared? Follow-up column? Helen Mirren is so damn talented).
Shane: In all of fictional history? The top three have to be Sarah Marshall, Rizzoli/Isles (which ever one is Angie Harmon), and Angela Lansbury.
I honestly think his best case scenario is something like a poor man’s James Harden. Picture Harden without an outside shot.
Colin: I forgot about Angela Lansbury!
Colin: I don’t see anything happening but the best case scenario described above. He has a great jawline.
Shane: If his jawline isn’t able to lead him to super stardom, I think he’s athletic enough to stay in the league. His floor is in the Gerald Henderson mold, which is not the worst thing in the world.
Shane: Willie has been described as a Renaissance Man. His best case involves not only becoming the quicker, more versatile Tyson Chandler/DeAndre Jordan type (which in 2015 sounds pretty damn useful), but also using the Big Apple to his advantage. Maybe he’ll rap. Maybe he’ll join an improv troupe. Maybe he’ll hop onto broadway.
Colin: The Nuggets got two first-rounders for Timofey Mozgov and Phil was only able to turn Tyson into Jose Calderon (old), Shane Larkin (bad), Samuel Dalembert (woof), and two second rounders. (Editor’s Note: The Knicks also acquired “Not Having Raymond “Fat Tupac” Felton on Their Team” which is a very valued asset). How is that possible? Why does anyone trust Phil? James Dolan is the worst. They are going to re-sign Amar’e to the max this summer and I’m going to start telling myself that wine baths have superpowers. Isiah is back at MSG now working for the Liberty even though he’s a misogynist. By the way, have you seen that Chinese play about Marbury? I’ve only seen grainy cellphone videos, but I think I might buy a ticket to China and become part of the production team or something. Start traveling with the troupe. The dance numbers look glorious – also, I saw Marbury lose his handle while dribbling at one point during the third act, which is so perfect that I can’t even. What were we talking about?
Shane: I think we were talking about Willie Cauley-Stein but like most Knicks seasons, that went off the rails in a big way. Do people even know that Stephon Marbury is starring in and producing a play about his life in China? Do my readers watch Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel??
Shane: The Renaissance man thing is scary, considering the last person who the media pointed to New York due to its cultural scene: Nnamdi Asomugha.
That ended with Nnamdi eating lunch alone in his car, which now that I’ve reminded myself of that outcome, I’m going to do myself.
Colin: Instead of Broadway, he takes his Renaissance Man act to China and starts working the lighting for the Marbury play. He does so very poorly.
Shane: A lower middle class man’s John Wall
Shane: A cripplingly in-debt and homeless man’s John Wall
Colin: Yep – especially if he never learns how to shoot.
Shane: Let’s pretend that Russell does slip to the Knicks, in the “Sixers pick Porzingis/Philly sports radio hosts begin to plot Sam Hinkie’s murder” scenario.
I think Derek Fisher might actually be able to coach a young guard to some success, but not in the broken version of the Triangle he tried to install and certainly not alongside a ballstopper like Melo. I’m not just being mean to our resident Knicks fan here. I actually think Russell’s best case if he’s drafted by the Knicks is a few up and down years, followed by a trade or free agent signing in new situation and then he makes the leap to being a top 15 point guard.
Colin: He puts up 14 ppg, 6 ast, and 5 reb in his second season while playing next to a rejuvenated Melo (and Greg Monroe). The Knicks also have Kevin Durant, and they are surprisingly mediocre defensively. HBO brings back The Wire for 8 more seasons. Someone invents a way to make everything run on garbage. Scientists declare pizza a vitamin. I stop getting sunburnt so easily.
Shane: Basically what I just described above, minus the fresh start and second chance. The Knicks stench is like greyscale in Game of Thrones: You do not want to touch it, lest you too become affected.
Colin: He plays poorly and leaves the Knicks. Pizza continues to be pizza. I keep needing to wear SPF mayonnaise.
Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at PalestraBack.com. He has also contributed to SALTMoney.org and ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain.
Colin went to college with Shane and is an optimistic Knicks fan. He’s a wonderful dancer.
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