As the Knicks begin to explore different offseason possibilities and aim to improve the team a bit, superstar Carmelo Anthony apparently has some of his own ideas as to what his offseason agenda would be.
The Brooklyn native reportedly hopes the Knicks will look to add a stronger second scoring option to back him up and/or provide the latter part of a one-two offensive punch for New York.
Is this past season's NBA scoring champion justified in his mindset? Does he need more help?
Between "Sixth Man of the Year" J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton (behind Anthony), one would have to think the Knicks would be able to get all of the scoring they need. The talent is undeniably there in the Big Apple to do so.
Though things may look rather excellent on paper, whether or not everyone begins to pull their weight offensively is another. It's been said again and again early on that Knicks' General Manager Glen Grunwald will need to get creative with his wheeling and dealing this summer to help the Knicks improve without much financial flexibility. What other options does New York have? Can they make major changes if need be?
The Knicks may be more inclined to do everything they can to reel Smith back in next season, simply because they can't afford any of the better available options. The swingman would certainly be a worthy enough second offensive option (as he often was this past season), if only he was consistent. He admittedly has his own bouts of hot/cold streaks. Smith fizzled out by the middle of the postseason, leaving Anthony to carry the team on his back.
With regard to Felton, perhaps the key is encouraging and making it clear to the point guard that he needs to be more aggressive. He played well this season, but often seemed more concerned with attempting to get teammates involved who simply could not deliver at all times (i.e. Tyson Chandler). If Felton is told in no uncertain terms that he needs to be the aggressor and look for his shot, perhaps he'll be able to step up and the fill part (if not all) of the void.
Of course, the Knicks are left with not many other options because of the $100 million man, Amar'e Stoudemire, sitting on their bench. Playing so many minutes proved to be a problem for STAT this season as he struggled to stay healthy. That said, if he can nevertheless get to a point where he's healthy, reliable, and ready to go come training camp, Coach Mike Woodson shouldn't hold the big man's previous absence(s) against him. Frankly, following their premature postseason exit, the Knicks could use a change, let alone an injection of life. In the 29 games he did appear off the bench last season, Stoudemire was very effective as a member of the second unit.
If he can step in to provide such a notable boost once again, the Knicks should do everything they can to utilize that. Who knows, he could even soon emerge to mesh well with the starters. What other options does New York have? What do they have to lose?
Anthony may be desperate for some extra help, but perhaps the most likely options to step in and provide some offensively are those already in the Knicks' locker room.