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What Knicks should do this offseason to contend in 2015

The New York Knicks and contention are two words that don’t belong in the same sentence. New York has been an absolute joke for the better part of 15 years, something that has devastated one of the best basketball fan bases in the world. However, there is potentially some light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

The Knicks got jobbed in the NBA Draft Lottery, getting the offseason off to a terrible start. New York was supposed to finish second according to the mathematics of the event, only to see its team pick up the fourth pick. With any realistic chance of getting Duke’s Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns out the window, the Knicks have to hope for a great consolation prize.

Considering their abundance of needs, the Knicks would do well to either get Justise Winslow or D’Angelo Russell. Winslow is a do-it-all forward who can easily slot in as a small forward while playing some power forward. Winslow has the athletic ability to score on the drive and along the perimeter, while being a top-notch defender. Think of Winslow as a Scottie Pippen-type.

Russell is a tremendous talent at the point guard position who stormed onto the college scene as a freshman with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Russell is a lethal scorer with solid court vision, something New York has lacked at the point guard position since Mark Jackson. Seriously, go back and look at who has played point for the Knicks since the 1990’s. It’s brutal.

The Knicks also have the cap room to make significant upgrades in free agency, something general manager Phil Jackson undoubtedly has his eyes on. The major targets would be Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol. Love has stated his hopes of staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but could leave if the team decided to commit big dollars to Tristan Thompson instead. Aldridge is rumored to want a return to his home state of Texas, putting large smiles across the faces of all three teams from the Lonestar state. Gasol appears happy in Memphis, but big dollars and bright lights in Manhattan could sway the former Defensive Player of the Year.

Ultimately, New York has to be smart about its spending. Don’t get desperate. If the Knicks can’t land one of those big three, think about planning for the future while drafting well and getting a true star. New York hasn’t drafted a star and cultivated him since getting Patrick Ewing in 1985 with the first-overall pick in the first-ever lottery. It’s time for that to change.

Jackson has a chance to turn around this dying franchise. He simply has to be patient, and realize that patience and restraint can be his best friends.

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