Does it even matter that the New York Knicks drafted Tim Hardaway, Jr. or anyone else for that matter, last night? The reason I ask is because there was a monumental shift of power in the Atlantic Division. With the Brooklyn Nets acquiring Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry from the Boston Celtics, it seems that any move short of pulling off a trade to land LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard is insignificant. With the Celtics in rebuilding mode, I hate to admit it but the BK Nets-NY Knicks rivalry just got really real with the exchange between division foes.
The Nets dropped their weakest links (Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans, and Reggie Evans), reloaded (with Deron Williams, Brooke Lopez, and Joe Johnson), and delivered a deathblow to the Knicks by trading for Pierce, Garnett, and Terry. With this power move, which also includes giving away three first round draft picks, one in 2014, ’16, and ’18, the Nets gesture screams that they’re playing for now. With their newly built team filled with wisdom, leadership, and toughness, all polite ways of saying old heads, the Nets are taking a worthwhile gamble. I’m not saying the Miami Heat need to watch their throne, but the Nets are most definitely more of a threat than they were this past season.
Don’t get me wrong, my reaction to tonight’s move isn’t a knock against Hardaway. For the first time in forever, I’m actually not mad at what the Knicks did. I can even overlook that he’s the offspring of one of the most hated Knicks rivals of all time. We have so many needs, and acquiring a 6’6 wingman, who can shoot, slash, and rebound is one of them. His role is even more vital if we lose JR Smith’s off the bench scoring. During Hardaway’s junior year at Michigan (go blue!) he averaged 14.5 points and 4.7 rebounds on a team that was considered the best in the nation at one point. Yet, with all of that upside to Hardaway’s game, it’s still not enough to combat the Nets’ moves.
NBA Draft night is all about acquisitions. And when you do the math, the Knicks acquired Tim Hardaway, Jr., while the Nets acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Duke’s Mason Plumlee. Pound for pound, the Nets undoubtedly have the edge. So what started out as a not so bad night for the Knicks, eventually resulted in me reluctantly admitting that we’ve probably lost our footing atop the Atlantic Division.
The good news is, I have faith in our GM Glen Grunwald. Even though I doubted him at first, he turned me into a believer. Last season, he made magic happen. The Nets have revealed their hand. The stage has been reset and now it’s our move. Grunwald, I’m anxiously awaiting your next act. You’re on the clock!