Thursday's NBA trade deadline came and went without even a whimper from the New York Knicks. The rumors surrounding Carmelo Anthony the past few weeks were ultimately wasted breath, as the team didn't even bother to put a reasonable deal together that might tempt Anthony to waive his no-trade clause.
Now that Melo is sticking around a little while longer, here are five things the Knicks can do to turn things around in advance of next season.
Adam HungerUSA TODAY Sports
Part ways with Phil Jackson
The fact that Phil Jackson won 11 titles as an NBA head coach, even though it can be argued that he often had the game's best players on his teams, is a remarkable career accomplishment. But that doesn't mean he knows anything about setting up a franchise for long-term success from a personnel standpoint, and now that we're three full seasons into his leadership campaign, the evidence supporting this claim is crystal clear.
Jackson, 71, has created needless controversies through the media, has made a series of poor personnel decisions, and has built a strained relationship with the franchise star. It's time to go with someone who operates more transparently, and can create a more positive overall culture -- even if the team is forced to start from scratch.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribuAP
Jeff Hornacek needs to go, too
Jeff Hornacek may be a fine head coach, but the job he's done with this Knicks team can only be described as underwhelming, at best. A new general manager needs to be able to hand-pick his head coach, and the two need to have a shared vision of how the roster should be constructed to properly utilize the talents of both players and coaches alike.
Jasen VinloveJasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Don't you dare re-sign Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but unless the Knicks can somehow convince an All-Star caliber free agent or two to come to New York this summer, they'll have no need for the veteran point guard's services, especially at what's sure to be a high asking price.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Attempt to find a trade for Melo that works for both sides
There was almost no chance that Carmelo Anthony would waive his no-trade clause in the middle of an NBA season. He forced his way to the Knicks six years ago because he wanted to live in New York, and he wasn't going to uproot his life so quickly to potentially go and play somewhere else.
A decision like this will take much more time, and both Anthony and the Knicks will have plenty of it when their season comes to an end April 12. Once there's been a chance to decompress, Melo and the front office should sit down to find out which teams he'd accept being traded to, and then it'll be up to the Knicks to get as many assets as possible in return as they attempt to make something work.
It won't be easy, and Anthony may just stick it out in New York one more year until his contract is up. But it's the quickest path to a rebuild for the reeling New York franchise.
Make every decision based on building around Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis is, without a doubt, the future face of the Knicks. But his growth is going to be stunted if the team continues to add veterans who will take up valuable possessions, and it's not worth it when the playoffs (or even a reasonable amount of victories) are nowhere in sight.
Every single one of New York's future decisions needs to be based on building the team with Porzingis at its centerpiece. Do that correctly, and one day, we may just see him holding the trophy that counts.