Forever Incapable of Rebuilding, NY Knicks Strike out Looking at Trade Deadline

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The trade deadline has passed and nothing has changed for the New York Knicks.

Carmelo Anthony is still in New York. So are Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Brandon Jennings and Kyle O’Quinn. Ricky Rubio isn’t bringing his pass-first ways to Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are what they were yesterday: a scuffling team with a mostly bare cupboard, a franchise with a potential stud but seemingly unsure of how to best move forward.

At 23-34, and with the league’s sixth-worst defense and seventh-worst point differential, the Knicks have little chance to creep back into the playoff picture—even in the lowly Eastern Conference, where they trail the eighth-placed Detroit Pistons by four games.

There are three ways to react when a season goes awry: You can try to plug your holes, which is almost always a slippery endeavor. You can sell off parts to improve your future position, which is typically the smartest thing to do. Or you can foolishly keep all your cards, sit back and wait to see what happens.

The Knicks, for some reason, chose the last one.

There were moves to make, too.

Maybe now wasn’t the right time to trade Anthony (though perhaps things could have been different if team president Phil Jackson ever had an open and candid conversation with his star about the future, something which Anthony has told reporters multiple times has never happened).

But there’s no reason for Brandon Jennings, Kyle O’Quinn and Derrick Rose to still be on the roster today. You can even make a case that the Knicks should have pulled the trigger on something involving Courtney Lee.

Brandon Jennings, Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Kyle O’QuinnMike Stobe/Getty Images

O’Quinn is a productive reserve big man (15.1 PTS 13.1 REB, 3.2 BLK per 36 minutes, via Basketball Reference) on a team-friendly contract (signed for $8.3 million over two years with a player option on the second year) with no spot in New York given the emergence of Willy Hernangomez. He is not part of the Knicks’ future. Even acquiring a second-round pick for him would have been the savvy move.

Then there are Jennings and Rose. Both will be free agents this summer, and both are unlikely to re-sign. Keeping them on the roster means the Knicks will now enter the offseason with around $25 million in cap room, enough to chase a big-time free agent.

Who might that free agent be? Well, that’s the problem and why the Knicks made a mistake when playing hardball with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves were…