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  • Mamadou Tall

KNICKS TAPE: The Knicks are Legitimately Relevant Again

(Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta/ USA Today Sports)

In the world of sports there are franchises that are held in such high regard. The Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers, and Manchester United immediately come to mind. With the hype always at high for these teams, imagine what the energy is like when the competence and performances match the esteem. That's where the New York Knicks find themselves.

Yes. This is a piece praising the Knicks. After years of incompetence from the Knicks front office, it's refreshing to see the ship steered in the right direction, so here we are.

The New York Knicks are fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 33-22 record. After finishing last season as the fifth seed and falling short in the second round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat, the Knicks are on pace to outdo their efforts from last year. One can go as far as to say they are contenders for the Larry O'Brien trophy.

The New York Knicks are the deepest team in the NBA. Despite lacking the presence of a "bonafide superstar," the Knicks are one of the most complete team from top to the bottom. Their front office moves have catapulted them into this position, and it seems like they aren't close to being done.

(Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

The Knicks struck gold when identifying the talent that Jalen Brunson was. After playing an integral role in the Dallas Mavericks 2022 playoff run to the conference finals, no other team believed that Brunson was worth a massive contract. Shit, not even the Mavericks wanted to offer him an extension. Imagine the ridicule that came the Knicks way when they decided to sign Brunson, a 6'1 point guard, to a four-year $104 million contract. With hindsight, it's obvious that Brunson is worth every dollar. A first-time all-star this season, Brunson is putting up 27.5 points, 6.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds on 48-40-84 shooting splits. Brunson is continuously proving himself, and he might've been the signing of the 2022 offseason.

On top of securing Brunson, Leon Rose and the Knicks upper brass have made a killing in the trade market. The likes of Josh Hart and Donte Divencenzo have been pleasant revelations for the team. The two of them linking with Brunson to form a Villanova Wildcat trio (where the three won a national championship). The duo of Hart and Divencenzo doesn't even scratch the surface of the moves the Knicks front office pulled off.

OG Anunoby has been averaging 15.6 points as a Knick (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The trade that instantly catapulted the Knicks to the company of the legitimate contenders was the acquisition of two-way star OG Anunoby. Anunoby is the perfect plug-and- play piece for the team. Not only does OG bring elite defense, he is the perfect off-ball player on offense. His cuts and reliable shooting off the catch make him the ideal fit next to Brunson and Randle.

More recently, the Knicks managed to nab shooters Bogdan Bogdanovic and Alec Burkes from the Detroit Pistons during the trade deadline. A move that moves the needle more than the mainstream sports media is willing to give them credit for.

Leon Rose is cooking up a plan we are watching unfold. They have found the perfect synergy of preparing for present day contention and future contention. One more piece will surely take them over the top. The Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes might become a reality come the offseason. Who knows? For right now, the Knicks are the deepest team in the league. Defenders, shooters, and two all-stars; thats a contender if you ask me.

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