Knicks/Nets Trade Deadline

Knicks fans are divided. There’s not much new about that, but there is always a new reason

why they can’t get along. Following the snoozefest of a trade deadline this past Thursday, some

are angry, some are indifferent, but the common factor is President Phil Jackson, who stood

firm behind his current roster ­­­ not that he had much of an option to.

On the one side, the angry Knicks fans who desperately wanted the Knicks to obtain a point

guard through a trade, are blaming Jackson for the lack of assets that were available on the

Knicks to make a substantial offer; of course, those lacking assets being the players that

Jackson signed in the offseason. The problem with this is that these same fans once praised

Jackson for acquiring the likes of Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn, Derrick Williams

and Kevin Seraphin, the reason being that unlike past moves, Jackson did not throw max

contracts at players that may not be worth it. Many said Jackson nailed the 2015 offseason, but

of course when things don’t pan out exactly the way fans want them to, things tend to get a little

controversial.

Some assets the Knicks do have are Carmelo Anthony (who has a no­trade clause, and

happens to be the star of the team), rookie Kristaps Porzingis (trading the golden key to unlock

the future would just be absurd), and perhaps if you look at his potential, point guard Jerian

Grant, who Jackson intelligently acquired from the Atlanta Hawks in the draft, in exchange for a

disappointing Tim Hardaway Jr. However, with Jackson’s peripheral vision focused on the future

of the franchise, giving up a quick and dynamic point guard that could develop into a star, was

not something Jackson was prepared to do.

Another asset Jackson made untouchable was the Knicks 2018 1st­round pick, and even the

not­so­thrilled Knicks fans have to commend him for that. After all, who better than the Knicks

knows the unfortunate fate of those who give up diamonds for a cubic zirconia? In 2013, the

Knicks acquired the 2006 1st­round pick, Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors, for a very

large sum of Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, two second­round picks, and

this year’s first round pick.

Throughout his short­stint with the Knicks, Bargnani was sidelined for the majority of both

seasons with injuries to his left elbow and calf muscles. Needless to say, his failed dunk attempt

popularly known as the Air­Bargnani, pretty much sums up the bust that trade will forever be

known as. With the Knicks sitting on the 12th seed of the Eastern Conference, unlikely to make

the playoffs, that 1st­round pick would have been a beautiful, beautiful thing to have in their

arsenal.

To add more salt to the wound, Bargnani’s name has been in headlines this past week, much

to Knicks fans horror. On Saturday afternoon, the Italian big man was waived by the Brooklyn

Nets, with whom he proved to be another disappointment. It was the first transaction made by

the Nets newly hired general manager Sean Marks. Marks, who was hired on the same day as

the trade deadline, filled multiple positions with the San Antonio Spurs, including director of

basketball operations, assistant coach and most recently assistant general manager. The hiring

may have been one of the smartest decisions the Nets have made in recent memory and Marks’

decision to waive Bargnani is of equal value. Marks intends to continue evaluating the roster

and the moves that need to be made in order to turn that failing franchise into a winning one.

So, the trade deadline was quiet for both the Knicks and the Nets, two teams that desperately

need makeovers if they’re ever going to become contenders, let alone competitors. Looking

towards the future, who knows what the offseason will bring, but all the fans hope it will either be

that one special piece, (Kevin Durant) or multiple pieces, that can put these New York teams

back on some sort of plateau.

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