Chat with Jared Zwerling
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, New York Knicks writer Jared Zwerling stops by to chat about the team.
Zwerling has covered the Knicks for ESPNNewYork since 2010. He is also an NBA contributor to ESPN.com. Prior to ESPN, Zwerling worked for Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and started his career with the NBA in 2004, upon graduating from New York University.
Send your questions now and join Zwerling Friday at noon ET!
Jared Zwerling (12:03 PM)
Let's get this chat going ...
Ed (Queens Village)
I know it's early to ask. Does Carmelo Anthony opt out next summer hoping for that one last big pay day in his career?
Jared Zwerling (12:07 PM)
Too early. But I think the Knicks' success next season will depend on that. He'll be turning 30 next year and he's going to be looking for the best situation to get to the Finals. His urge to win will be even greater with his past early playoff exits. But he's the core of the Knicks and it all depends on how they build around him.
Is there any truth to the Kevin Love trade rumors?
Jared Zwerling (12:09 PM)
The Knicks would have to trade Chandler and someone else to clear the space, but I don't think they're leaning that way. With Amare's uninsured and hefty contract, I don't see him going anywhere. I really see a sign-and-trade for a big name, like a Love or Paul, unlikely. I'd prefer Love, though, over Paul, to complement Melo, Smith and Shumpert's games down low.
charles (new york)
will JR sign without his brother being signed
Jared Zwerling (12:09 PM)
It's likely J.R. will re-sign, yes, regardless of Chris.
Do you think this roster could win a championship without major tweaks?
Jared Zwerling (12:11 PM)
The roster needs tweaks. They need a PG and a big. But it's also not just the roster; it's how Woodson manages the roster. That's really key for next season. He hurt the team against the playoffs with his poor offensive strategy and substitution patterns.
what are the names the knicks are looking to draft and what position?
Jared Zwerling (12:12 PM)
I'll be writing about this for tomorrow. I do have some insights. Stay tuned ...
It's amazing how the attitude about the Knicks has changed. They went from legit title contenders, to not even close. I really dont think this team is far off. Thoughts?
Jared Zwerling (12:14 PM)
The team needs some roster tweaks as I just said. They also need to develop Shump more on the ball; hope that Amare is good for 15, 20 minutes a game for his post-up play; develop a more creative and consistent offensive strategy; get a little younger in the backcourt and frontcourt; avoid long-term injuries, etc.
Do you think Amare'e will go back to shooting midrange and pick and roll in stead of post play? I think he should because he won't see many minutes with tyson and melo!
Jared Zwerling (12:15 PM)
He needs to be a post-up guy, whether he starts or not. The Knicks are lacking in that department.
charles (new york)
any chance Knicks go for the Mavs 13th pick that they don't want for cap reasons
Jared Zwerling (12:17 PM)
I don't think so. This draft doesn't ooze talent where the Knicks need to trade up. Keep in mind this: Woodson favors veterans. So I don't think the Knicks are rushing to trade up. They like a couple of guys in the later part of the draft, but I think they might draft the best available.
Should Amar'e have more minutes with Felton because they were so successful at it?
Jared Zwerling (12:17 PM)
Again, Amar'e needs to be a main post-up option. Besides Melo, who really plays more on the outside, the Knicks don't have a low-post threat. The pick-and-roll should be reserved for Chandler and Martin if he returns. You gotta balance out the offense.
Hey Jared,Who do you think are the Knicks top five choices for the draft and do you see them making a trade to move up in the draft?
Jared Zwerling (12:18 PM)
I'll get into some of this tomorrow in my pre-draft primer. Stay tuned ...
If Camby or Kidd or both retire, does it help the Knicks cap situation? And if not, can we get anything out of either on the court next year?
Jared Zwerling (12:21 PM)
Having any more room if Kidd and/or Camby retire is an iffy prospect. Even if they gave up 100 percent of their salary, which is doubtful, the Knicks would still be above the cap, so they wouldn't have cap room. However, they would likely get below the apron (the point $4 million over the tax line), which means they'd regain the full midlevel (about $5 million instead of $3 million) and the biannual (around $2 million). But if they spend those two: one, they could only spend up to the apron; and two, if they spend them, they would be hard-capped at the apron for the year (see the Bulls last season). Overall, it's unlikely the Knicks really have much room under the apron, if any at all. There wouldn't be much extra spending power.
Aaron [via mobile]
Any chance we can get cp3
Jared Zwerling (12:23 PM)
I doubt it. Basically, the Knicks would have to trade Amar'e (to get under the cap to take on Paul's contract), and do the Clippers really want him with his roughly $22 million contract, bad knees and uninsured contract? Not to mention, the Clippers have solid frontcourt depth. Amar'e is simply untradeable in my book.
Alex (Chicago, IL)
Jared, please tell me we everything will be okay. That we will somehow trade Chandler and Shumpert to Minnesota for Kevin Love. That somehow David Stern fall of a sudden has sympathy for the Knicks and gives them one more get out of jail free card (amnesty) and we release amare and sign CP3. Please tell me that after suffering for a decade, that the team is on the way up, and well not on the way down like I fear. Also, realistically what moves do you see the Knicks making this summer? What types of players can we get for that $3 million mini-mid-level?
Jared Zwerling (12:26 PM)
Shump's future is big. I wouldn't trade him. He's a special breed you NEED in the playoffs. As for Chandler, if he gets healthy this offseason, he'll be great next season as he's been. He's the anchor for many of the things the Knicks do. I wouldn't trade those two for Love. As for CP3, in a nutshell, unlikely. As for an amnesty, the Knicks don't have one. They used it on Billups. I could see a sign-and-trade happening, but I just don't see it for a big-name player. The Knicks need a PG (perhaps through the draft) and a big who can post, rebound, defend, and bring hustle and energy to the game (perhaps using that midlevel exception). They also have veteran's minimum contracts.
Amar'e is the only legitimate pick and roll finisher. Without him Felton and Melo resort to midrange Js. Why not us him in pick and roll more to get something out of him? Also how well do you think Tyson will rebound next season when he puts the weight he lost back on? Hibbert absoiltely abused him..
Jared Zwerling (12:27 PM)
His game needs to be on the post now. Did you not see how well he played during the regular season? Transitioning to that role was exactly what the team needed. Some pick-and-rolls, yes; but more on the block.
Chris (Athens, GA)
I appreciate the chats this season. Great work. What would you do with the Knicks? Seems like options are pretty limited...
Jared Zwerling (12:28 PM)
Thanks Chris. See some of my previous responses. It's been a hot topic in the chat. Let me know if you have a follow-up question.
Best case & worst case scenario with the latest Melo injury?
Jared Zwerling (12:29 PM)
Well, if he does have surgery (which has not been determined), he should be back in time for the start of the season. The time is on his side.
After our performance against Indiana do you see Woodson continuing the small ball, Melo at the 4 approach next season?
Jared Zwerling (12:32 PM)
It's a great question and I think it was answered this season with Melo winning the scoring title and the Knicks winning 54 games. I think Woodson would like to build on that, regardless of the opponent. The key is the surrounding frontcourt depth. Woodson needs more big-man cards in his deck next season.
Dino (Rochester, NY)
What are the odds that Woody is GONE next season??
Jared Zwerling (12:32 PM)
Larry Sanders is the most underrated defensive big in the league, making under $2 Mil for the next 2 years. Any way the Knicks could entice the Bucks into trading him?
Jared Zwerling (12:35 PM)
I really like Sanders (as does everyone else), but with the Bucks making the playoffs this season and him being a big part of that success, I don't think they'll part ways with him. He's signed through next season. As far as bigs possibly in that $2 to $4 million price range, I like Dante Cunningham (team option, though), Al-Farouq Aminu, J.J. Hickson, Jason Maxiell, Andray Blatche, Lou Amundson and Earl Barron.
Martin (New York, NY)
Jared, do you think Woodson is the right coach? He got outcoached by Vogel in the last series, and I feel like he hasn't taken enough blame for team's failure to make the ECF.
Jared Zwerling (12:37 PM)
I thought he had a fabulous regular season, considering all the injuries he faced, but he got out-coached in the playoffs not mixing things up enough offensively, making some head-scratching substitutions, etc. He can be stubborn at times, but he's got to be better adjusting when it matters most. He's usually great drawing up plays out of timeouts, but that needs to be consistent for an entire playoff game.
which big men are the knicks looking to sign? i think we need hustle players like reggie evans or tiago splitter to come in and set screens and grab rebounds
Jared Zwerling (12:37 PM)
Agreed with you there. I just mentioned a few guys I like in one of my previous responses.
Can you see NY going after guys like Korver, Millsap or Big Al? What is realistic in your mind free agent wise?
Jared Zwerling (12:41 PM)
With Millsap and Big Al, you're talking about two expensive players. They're not in the Knicks' budget. As for Korver, I really like him. He would improve the Knicks' offensive flow and spacing for sure. But he had a solid season and his value will be in the $5, $6 million range again. He's another expensive guy. The Knicks would really have to make a sign-and-trade involving two players likely to get any expensive player from a team with cap space. The question is: What real tradeable assets do the Knicks have besides Shumpert? Novak could be in some trade conversations this summer. He's still one of the best shooters in the game. We'll see.
charles (new york)
K.Humphries and R.Evans for T.Chandler works on the trade machine but would you do it?
Jared Zwerling (12:42 PM)
No. The Knicks need the reigning Defensive Player of the Year back and playing well. The Knicks are going to make sure Chandler comes back with a vengeance after his poor playoffs showing.
you really think Melo would bolt if he does opt out? Melo will not be signed by another team to a max deal at age 30. He is more valuable to the Knicks than to any other team. I do not think Melo wants to burn a bridge in NYC by leaving.
Jared Zwerling (12:44 PM)
I never said that. I don't think he does, but he'll weigh his options. Another poor playoff exit would, I think, make him further evaluate things.
Would you think a team under the cap like a Charlotte, Detroit, Sacramento would take a chance on Amare just to give their franchise a name on their squad?
Jared Zwerling (12:45 PM)
No, I don't think so. They want to build up with as many young and promising players as possible. Amar'e is not in that "young and promising" category.
Colin (Sanibel, FL)
Obviously CP3 and D12 are max contract players. Josh Smith wants a max contract. The Knicks have one mini-mid-level exception for a little over $3. Even guys like Bledsoe, Milsap, Jack and Korver seem out of our price range. What can we get for $3 million and what should we want?
Jared Zwerling (12:46 PM)
A big will likely be their focus. I could see them going after a point guard in the draft. But they'll be also monitoring Chris Smith's development this summer. He could be in the rotation next season if he looks good. But he's got a ways to go.
I think we've come to the point where JR can't be relied upon as the 2nd scorer to Melo. Anyone out there they can get to help out?
Jared Zwerling (12:50 PM)
I agree and disagree with that statement. His regular season proved he's a great second scorer, and he will continue to be that. But he HAS to improve on defense and keeping his focus consistent. He has lapses when he misses shots. He's got to be always locked in. If he returns to the Knicks, I expect another great season from him. But the Knicks' offense needs to adjust where he's scoring more off the ball, without holding it too long. The offense needs more flow and continuity. In fact, Shumpert said earlier this week "there were too many dead possessions." I also think Shump's development will be key this summer. He could be a 15 points per game guy next season. He mostly needs to work on his midrange game. He has a huge upside.
Should Knicks draft a post player? Let Amar'e do what he was so effective at his whole career!
Jared Zwerling (12:52 PM)
Which post players in the draft are going to jump in and play well? None to me. There is a bit more talent at point guard in this year's draft. Also, knowing Woodson, he definitely doesn't want a rookie big.
do u see the knicks buying out camby or jason kidd to create a little more cap space to sign better talent?
Jared Zwerling (12:53 PM)
Kidd suggested to the team he wants to return, so I don't see that changing. And Camby still wants to play. So I really don't see that happening either.
Do you see the Knicks making any blockbuster moves during the offseason? Or do you think we are more likely to fill smaller gaps and work with what we have now?
Jared Zwerling (12:54 PM)
Smaller gaps considering they have limited financial flexibility. I'm not saying a sign-and-trade is unlikely; I'm just saying I don't see a blockbuster one.
Chris (Cape Cod)
Any chance they could get Gasol and Hill for Camby, Amare, and Novak (last 2 better fit with D'An) if they take back Duhon contract?
Jared Zwerling (12:56 PM)
With any trade for Gasol, I think Chandler would have to be considered in that because of D'Antoni's connection to him. But, again, the Knicks are sticking by Chandler.
charles (new york)
Tyson for his size is rarely in good rebounding position which is why he tips the ball out instead of grabbing it and he gets boxed out and gives up a lot of offensive rebounds so with Melo at the 4 kills us on the defensive end Tyson need a good true 4 to help him..your thoughts?
Jared Zwerling (1:00 PM)
That's why the Knicks' emphasis is frontcourt depth. I think Woodson likes Melo at the 4, based on his and the team's success this season, but the key is who's behind Chandler and Melo. I think Sheed and Thomas would've really helped in the playofs. Now the Knicks need to get guys like that back -- but younger.
Jared Zwerling (1:01 PM)
Guys, thanks for your time, as well as your insights and questions all season! We'll continue chatting for sure. In the meantime, hit me on Twitter @JaredZwerling ... Talk to you soon!
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