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107 - Grooming Kristaps Shouldn't Be THIS Hard: 2017-18 New York Knicks Preview

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Hardwood Knocks

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Carmelo Anthony is gone, which means the New Yorks are...doing what exactly?

We're not quite sure.

In order to find the answer, or something resembling an answer, we turn to James Marceda (@NBAInjuryR3port), the host of the Locked on Knicks podcast. 

The Knicks, as he notes, are in this weird territory after dealing Melo but also giving $71 million to Tim Hardaway Jr. While most think they should tank, the importance of competing for something special during Kristaps Porzingis' third year in the league cannot be overstated.

No one's saying the Knicks will contend for a playoff berth. They won't. And if, for some reason, they end up entering the Eastern Conference's postseason picture, they should trade their way out of it.

But, at the same time, they need to see if Porzingis is good enough to carry a group of also-rans past the tanking horizon. That seems counterintuitive, knowing the Knicks need young prospects and the NBA's lottery format is set to change by 2019, but if he doesn't help them forge a discernible identity or show he has the skill set and durability to be The Guy, New York is in heaps of trouble.

Balancing this with roster-wide development is no doubt a tough task, though—particularly for the Knicks. Willy Hernangomez has already been displaced from the starting lineup, and Frank Ntilikina figures to be deployed sparingly. Does head coach Jeff Hornacek have the green light to prioritize the kiddies over the veterans? And will he? Or will this Knicks season be like so many others: pointless and painful?

As always, be sure to subscribe to and rate Hardwood Knocks on iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher and BlogTalkRadio. And as 50 Cent's biopic suggests: Follow Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey), Dan Favale (@danfavale), the show (@HardwoodKnocks) and NBA Math (@NBA_Math) on Twitter or die trying.

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