New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said his first season with the team has been “a project gone awry,” according to the New York Daily News.
He also said that the team will use free agency, not the draft, to rebuild and try to get back in the playoffs.
Earlier in the season, Jackson said that his experiment had “fallen fall flat on its face” and that watching this year’s squad gave the basketball gods “heartburn.”
New York is projected to have over $25 million to spend in free agency this summer.
"We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we're going to build our team on free agents," Jackson said, according to the New York Daily News. “We have 190 players or so that will be free agents.... That’s where our priority stands.”
Jackson took over the team last March and said that the team will make the playoffs, but the Knicks lost 36 of their first 41 games, including a franchise record 16-game losing streak. The Knicks then dealt guards Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January and agreed to a buyout with forward Amar'e Stoudemire. Stoudemire eventually signed with the Mavericks.
At 13-51, New York has the league’s worst record.
The Knicks have only four players that are signed for next season, including All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who is out for the season with a knee injury.
“They’re going to fill out a good part of our roster,” Jackson said. “We can’t bring in eight guys and expect them to play together. That’s not part of our plan. So there are going to be guys who are going to be really good team members that are participating on this team right now."
- Scooby Axson