The New York Knicks are back….potentially.
Coach Tom Thibodeau has the Knicks playing inspiring basketball, which hasn’t been seen in quite some time.
They are currently on pace to appear in the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
They recently got to 21 wins which matches their win total from the previous season.
Thibodeau has them playing at a high level on defense, which is the Coach Thibs staple.
This season has been such a good story for them, including the play of their new all-star Julius Randle.
The narrative right now might be one of sweet innocence with how low the expectations were.
However, the expectations might have risen over the next couple of years with this pace.
This will lead to the front office having to make the right moves to insure a spot in the upper echelon of teams.
There are two moves that can be made in 2022 that puts this team in an unfamiliar spot; a contender.
Sign Big Name Free Agents
Yes, I know this is a running theme for the Knicks throughout their existence.
It is to land big names because they are New York City and play in Madison Square Garden.
The sell always seems so simple until the off-season fades and they do not have a big name acquisition on the roster unless it is one that is past their prime.
The biggest difference is the new head of that front office; former super agent Leon Rose.
Great story in the Post. "How Leon Rose Rebuilt The Knicks" https://t.co/lOiAy9K9FF
— Kazeem Famuyide 🍎 (@Kazeem) March 9, 2021
As president of the New York Knicks, Leon Rose has already delivered in his first season at the helm.
The Knicks finally have the right staff that can execute and acquire the talent they want.
Now to look forward to that 2022 free agent class and it can be a life changing one.
The Knicks are in prime position that off-season with potentially having $104.6 million dollars in cap space.
They have the opportunity to offer multiple max contracts and fill out a decent enough bench.
As to who they should target; we will have to see where the team is headed and if they already made a big move prior to free agency.
Trade for Karl-Anthony Towns
This is THE move to make for the New York Knicks in 2022.
You may be wondering why is KAT the important acquisition in order to compete and it is all because of Kentucky University.
“There’s a real fear in the league that the Knicks are going to become the Kentucky pipeline team”
“Devin Booker is a great example of that, right? Even though he's on a big deal now, at some point if he wanted to move out of there…”https://t.co/MkvO5pQUot
— Daily Knicks (@DailyKnicksFS) October 28, 2020
Kentucky is the school KAT played at for one season, but there is a fraternity of sorts with former members of the Wildcats.
That has now trickled into the NBA due to Leon Rose’s past job of being an agent.
He was the agent for KAT before taking the Knicks’ President position.
The main person behind all of this Kentucky talk is not Leon Rose, but it is the new Executive Vice President, William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley.
The Knicks brain trust of Scott Perry, World Wide Wes and Leon Rose courtside at Barclays pic.twitter.com/JHXv6vZqva
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 16, 2021
He has had a strong bond with Kentucky’s basketball coach, John Calipari, since the 80s.
Coach Cal has remained in touch with all of his former players and has developed a culture around this fraternity.
Worldwide Wes has been responsible for recruiting at Kentucky and that is coming full circle now with the Knicks.
The Knicks current roster has 5 former Wildcats and one of them being the previously mentioned, Julius Randle.
KAT has strong ties to Worldwide Wes and Leon Rose, which can lead to a reunion in the Big Apple.