Last year the New York Knicks gutted their team to trade for Carmelo Anthony. They entered the off-season very thin in depth. The Knicks Drafted PG/SG Iman Shumpert in the first round and made a trade with New Orleans to Draft PF/C Josh Harrelson. They then added Tyson Chandler in a sign and trade with the Dallas Mavericks. In Free Agency they added PG Mike Bibby and PG Baron Davis. When Iman Shumpert was injured on the opening day match up the Knicks added PG Jeremy Lin for depth and we all know how that move has turned out for the Knicks. Today the Knicks have added SG J.R. Smith.
The Knicks will have to cut a player to add Smith, and we can be pretty certain that PF Ronaldo Balkman will be shown the door. This brings the roster to 3 Centers (Tyson Chandler, Josh Harrelson, Jerome Jordan) 4 Forwards (Amare' Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Jared Jeffries, Steve Novak) and 8 Guards (Jeremey Lin, Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert, Toney Douglas, Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, J.R. Smith, Billy Walker). This will create some very interesting line-ups for Coach Mike D'Antoni to draw up.
Walker, Shumpert, and Fields have all seen time at Small Forward, so it will be interesting to see how the Knicks line up during certain situations. To give you an idea of the possibilities I will give you the starting line up and back ups as is, then three examples of substitutions once everyone gets healthy. Starting Line up: C Chandler, PF Stoudemire, SF Anthony, SG Fields, PG Lin. Off the bench: C Jeffries, PF Novak, SF Walker, SG Shumpert, PG Bibby. Once healthy: C Harrelson, PF Jeffries, SF Novak, SG Shumpert, PG Davis. Possibility #1 C Harrelson, PF Jeffries, SF Shumpert, SG Smith, PG Davis. Possiblity #2 C Jordan, PF Harrelson, SF Jeffries, SG Smith, PG Davis. Possiblity #3 Start Smith over fields with the back ups as: C Jeffries, PF Harrelson, SF Fields, SG Shumpert, PG Davis.
Again things can get very interesting. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Knicks make a trade to get some more size off of the bench. Right now their only big Men are Chandler, Stoudemire, Jeffries, Jordan and the injured Harrelson. Jordan is still raw and Harrelson and Jeffries are better suited for the PF position. The Knicks could also trade for a Draft pick seeing as how they are still in a desperate situation from the trades of GMs past. Grunwald has done an amazing job filling up this roster for now, so I hope that he does rid himself of some of the dead weight and bring in a pick to add some young talent for the future.
From last year to now who would have thought that the Knicks would be one of the deepest teams in the League? Whether you think the team is ready to compete for a Championship now or not one thing is undeniable......the future looks bright.