Draft picks, free agency acquisitions and all other transactions contribute to make any team better. To say the least, these are key factors that can build – or break – teams who are looking to chase that elusive championship ring, or to just get off a slump and go up the ranking of their respective conferences.
However, having the best roster doesn’t guarantee a trophy, let alone a good record. We have seen number one draft picks turning out to be duds, and superstars unable to carry their teams due to lack of chemistry and/or firepower. They can only do so much, as they say.
They look good on paper, but when it comes to the real deal they, well, suck. Having the worst record doesn’t do you good, too, and the New York Knicks can attest to that. To make things worse, they traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in an effort to have enough salary cap to sign Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two of the most sought after players in this year’s free agency pool.
Their plan backfired, with “Durantula” and “Uncle Drew” signing with the Brooklyn Nets. It’s still New York, but it’s not New York. With a win-loss record of 17-65, the Knicks became the center of attention when fans and analysts though that they could also land Anthony Davis. Previous rumors said that New York was willing to trade RJ Barret, whom they picked third overall, to New Orleans in exchange for “Unibrow.”
The Pelicans will have Zion Williamson and Barrett playing together, just like what they did over at Duke. Had they acquired Davis, it would’ve been easy to lure in Durant and Irving. But then again, lady luck didn’t smile at the Knicks: Davis signed with the Lakers to join LeBron James. Los Angeles sent most of their young core to the Pelicans, who are also looking to exploit their youth and vigor this season.
New York should wake up from their nightmarish offseason decisions and make way for a new start. Alongside Barrett, the Knicks also signed Julius Randle, who is joining his third team in his young career. There’s also Kevin Knox and Mitch Robinson who played exceptionally well despite the team’s disappointing record.
The same can be said with the Charlotte Hornets. They traded their superstar, Kemba Walker, to the Boston Celtics. In return, Terry Rozier will suit for Buzz City. Let’s face it, though: Walker and Rozier are two different players. Walker has proved his worth, especially during crunch time, while Rozier is still making a name for himself.
Charlotte also had a consistent run in the Draft. They picked Michael Kidd-Gilchrist after Anthony Davis and before Bradley Beal. Adam Morrison underperformed, and so did Malik Monk.
New York and Charlotte should make it a priority to shake things up, not only in as a basketball team, but as a franchise. They need to make good decisions and have some sort of a clean slate, even if it means building everything from scratch. It’s never too late, but it will require some critical adjustments, especially in the front office.