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There are no higher standards for a professional sports organization than those that are put on teams located in New York City. Each and every year, whether it is football, baseball, basketball or hockey, expectations are always championship-or-bust in “The City That Never Sleeps.”

However, you have to go back many years to find a time in which the New York Knicks were actually a real championship-esce threat in the NBA.

Since the start of the 2001-02 season, New York has made the playoffs just five times, winning just one playoff series in this span. In fact, the Knicks have had at least 40 wins in a season just three times since the start of the 2001-02 season and they still find themselves searching for answers as they prepare for the 2022-23 season.

Once again, as this seems to be the case every offseason heading into a new league year, the Knicks are one of the biggest question marks in the NBA.

Can Julius Randle rekindle some of his All-Star magic from a couple of seasons ago? Will RJ Barrett take the next step in his career? Is Tom Thibodeau on the “hot seat” for the Knicks?

These are just a few of the many questions the New York media is about to throw at the New York Knicks ahead of the start of the season and quite honestly, nobody has any of the answers yet.

The Knicks have a lot of work to do internally if they are to get back to the playoffs and be a competitive team all year long, yet what they did in the offseason may not bring much excitement to their loyal fanbase.


NBA Draft: Trevor Keels (42)

No matter when they are picking, the atmosphere when the New York Knicks are on the clock in the NBA Draft changes dramatically. From people laughing at the team’s failure in the draft through the years to hopeful fans praying that the Knicks select a certain player, mixed emotions always surround this franchise on draft night and this year was no different.

Entering the night with the 12th overall selection in the first-round, it appeared as if the Knicks had a chance to add another talented, high-potential prospect to their roster in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Well, the Knicks certainly selected this kind of prospect when they took Ousmane Dieng, a 6-foot-10 stretch forward out of France, but Dieng was not wearing a Knicks hat for very long.

Dieng was quickly dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for three first-round picks going back to New York, all of which are in 2023. The Knicks acquired Denver’s 2023 first-round pick (Top-14 protected), Detroit’s 2023 first-round pick (Top-18 protected) and Washington’s first-round pick (Top-14 protected).

Shortly after they dealt Ousmane Dieng to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New York Knicks acquired the rights to Jalen Duren, the 14th overall pick in this year’s draft and a player many called the best frontcourt talent in this draft class.

This gave Knicks fans something to cheer about momentarily until they were once again on the phones and New York executed a trade with the Detroit Pistons, sending Jalen Duren and Kemba Walker to Detroit in exchange for the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick with Top-4 protections. In order to acquire Duren from the Charlotte Hornets though, the Knicks had to trade four second-round picks and Denver’ 2023 first-round pick they received from Oklahoma City in the deal for Ousmane Dieng.

I know, it is very confusing, but the fact of the matter here is that the New York Knicks did not end up with a first-round pick in this year’s draft when all was said and done.

The only selection the Knicks made that they actually kept was Trevor Keels, who the team selected out of Duke with the No. 42 overall pick in the second-round.

Keels enters the league as a strong shooting guard that has a lot of work to do if he is to make a difference at the NBA level. Having the potential to be an impact player on the defensive-end of the floor though, he seems like a player that head coach Tom Thibodeau will end up liking a lot, much like Miles McBride, who was the team’s second-round pick a season ago.

Signing a two-way contract with the team after being drafted, Keels likely will not hold a big role in the Knicks plans for the 2022-23 season as they look to develop him further.

In terms of building for the future, this draft was a success from a front-office perspective seeing as the Knicks added two more first-round picks next year and one in 2025, but fans have expressed their disappointment in what occurred with New York on draft night.

The Knicks may have very well passed up on a golden opportunity to grab one of the better prospects in this draft class with both Ousmane Dieng and Jalen Duren.


Free Agency/Trades:

Re-Signed: Mitchell Robinson (4yr/60M), Jericho Sims (3yr/5.66M)

Additions: G Jalen Brunson (4yr/$104M), C Isaiah Hartenstein (2yr/$16M)

Departures: G Kemba Walker (Trade - DET), G/F Alec Burks (Trade - DET), C Nerlens Noel (Trade - DET)

Looking at what the New York Knicks accomplished in free agency, it is no surprise to see Jalen Brunson on their roster, as it seemed destined for him to go to New York since before the end of the season.

It is almost as if players talk amongst one another and teams talk to players of opposing teams throughout the season right?


Anyways, Brunson is definitely a strong addition for this franchise, especially since they have been in need of a true contributor and floor general at the point guard position for quite some time.

Maybe giving Brunson over $100 million over the next four seasons is a little bit of a stretch, but the Knicks got the guy they have had their eyes on for quite some time and that is all that matters at the end of the day.

In addition to signing Jalen Brunson, the Knicks also made an underrated move by bringing in Isaiah Hartenstein, who put together a very solid season with the Los Angeles Clippers last year serving as Ivica Zubac’s backup. Now in New York, Hartenstein will be Mitchell Robinson’s backup.

Ultimately, the moves the Knicks made in free agency and in trades set them up perfectly to possibly trade for All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell, who the Utah Jazz made available in trade talks this offseason.

Being from New York and already having connections to the Knicks, it seemed like a sure-thing that the Knicks were going to get a trade done with the Jazz, but then trade talks stalled and Mitchell ended up being dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers, a move that this franchise could wind up regretting for years to come.

The Knicks certainly have talented player with Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Jalen Brunson, Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson, Obi Toppin and others, but not adding that other All-Star talent to their roster this offseason will hurt them in the Eastern Conference this upcoming season, a conference in which all 15 teams have a real shot to make the playoffs or compete for a Play-In Tournament spot.


2022-23 Season Outlook:

The upcoming 2022-23 season for the New York Knicks will ultimately be defined by their lack of moves made in the offseason. In terms of finding immediate success, the Knicks did not better themselves in the 2022 NBA Draft and moving the likes of Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel in order to sign Jalen Brunson does not really seem like a massive step forward for this franchise.

Their bench still remains a question mark and the team’s overall success on the offensive-end of the floor is still highly questionable entering the new season.

A lot of pressure is going to be put on Julius Randle to have a great bounce-back season and a lot of pressure has been put on RJ Barrett now that the team signed him long-term to a four-year, $120 million extension.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau will absolutely be entering this year on the “hot seat,” as missing the playoffs will once again be viewed as a disappointment from within this organization.

However, Thibodeau has found success with what he has been given and with the Eastern Conference set to be much improved as mentioned before, the margin for error is very small for all 15 teams in this conference.

The Knicks still have a learning curve to cross and have way too many question marks surrounding them to be considered a real threat to claim a playoff spot.

None of the eight teams that made the playoffs in the East a season ago have regressed and with teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks still looking like better options on paper entering the season, it is hard to imagine right now that the New York Knicks have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs.