The Knicks missed out on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker in 2019 free agency, but maybe 2021 could be their year to become a title contender.

By Khadrice Rollins
July 01, 2019

There's always next year in New York.

Or in the case of the Knicks, 2021.

That's the year Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News pointed to when discussing how the squad has structured its cap space through the start of free agency.

Because in 2021, there is a new big-name target for fans to dream about coming to save the franchise.

Yup.

We're going to spend another two years doing this all again if Giannis doesn't sign a supermax extension next offseason when the Bucks can offer him the biggest contract in NBA history.

It's not the worst approach by the Knicks. They've spent a fair amount of time just hoping they land the biggest free agent on the market so why not start prepping for the reigning MVP after missing out on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and (likely) Kawhi Leonard this offseason?

Because it's how you end up spending an entire season telling fans to just wait for the summer and pray some player wants to become a bigger folk hero than Willis Reed. It's not a great way to become a contender.

The Lakers landed LeBron James last year and still missed the postseason because they couldn't properly construct a playoff team even with one of the greatest players ever. Sure there were injuries that also slowed them down, but that's a thing that happens to every team in sports. And it's something bad franchises particularly have trouble overcoming.

And even with LeBron and now Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, the Lakers still have major questions and are once again banking on free agency to fix what they couldn't repair in the draft over years.

But they at least have a history of success to bank on when convincing people there is a reason to come to the Lakers even though the last six seasons only the Knicks have had a worse record.

New York, on the other hand, is just selling people a potential storybook scenario where some random superstar gets elevated to G.O.A.T. status because you have to be in G.O.A.T. contention if you make the Knicks respectable finally.

Carmelo Anthony signed up for the challenge a few years back but was then forced out of town when the situation around him crumpled and the team failed to build a real contender around him. And after trading Kristaps Porzingis in anticipation of getting two max players in free agency, the team has been left with some decent role players and RJ Barrett.

Barrett wants to be in New York. And maybe he will get the chance to turn this team around. Or maybe he'll be the next All-Star pushed away from the team in hopes of a brighter future being right around the corner.

Either way, if waiting out for 2021 is actually the plan to become a title contender, the Knicks and their fans might be waiting until forever for that parade.

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