<
>

Opening Tip: How to save this season?

2/13/2014

Carmelo Anthony certainly didn’t see this coming.

If you asked him back in September to predict the Knicks' record at the break, he wouldn't have guessed, "20-32."

“If somebody would have told us that before the season, I’d have put any amount of money that they were lying,” Anthony said.

But that’s the reality that the Knicks face right now.

So pretend for a minute that you are team president and GM Steve Mills. What would you do to try to save this lost season?

Here are a few options:

1. Fire head coach Mike Woodson: The team has performed well below expectations, so few would argue with the decision. But the problem is: who takes over?

Can Herb Williams help the Knicks climb out of their current hole? What about Allan Houston? Is there any established coach out there willing to take the job who can right the ship for the Knicks?

2. Make a trade to upgrade the supporting cast: There are rumblings that the Knicks have tried to re-engage Denver in a Kenneth Faried-for-Iman Shumpert transaction. The Knicks have also showed interest in Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, who will be a free agent this summer. Can Lowry or Faried move the needle for the Knicks? If not, is there anyone available on the market who can dramatically change the trajectory of this season?

3. Trade Carmelo: This isn’t going to happen unless Anthony tells the Knicks that he won’t re-sign with them over the summer. If he does tell them he's leaving, It would be interesting to see what the Knicks could get back in a deal involving Anthony. But trading Anthony -- even for an expiring contract -- wouldn’t change the cap situation much for this summer.

If both Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani remain on the roster (as expected), the Knicks payroll would be over the projected salary cap line of $62.9M even without Carmelo, as Justin Page from ESPN Stats & Info notes here in a great breakdown of the implications of Anthony’s free agency.

So those are your options. If you’re Mills, what do you choose?

Up now: Ohm Youngmisuk says that Mills is the one guy who can save the Knicks’ season.

Carmelo won’t be able to enjoy his All Star break thanks to the Knicks’ loss to the Kings on Wednesday.

What’s next: The Knicks have five days off before returning to the court on Tuesday to play the Grizzlies.

Question: If you’re Steve Mills, what do you do to try and save this season?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.