The list is long when it comes to finding embarrassing moves the New York Knicks have made in their history. Having employed guys like Isiah Thomas, Larry Brown and having an owner like James Dolan can be very helpful in that regard and were many of the reasons why players like Allan Houston, Travis Knight and a lot more were given huge contracts that were unjustifiable. Feuds, suspensions and a lot of drama included in this list will help you find an overview over all these bad moves that the Knicks are still regretting.
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15 TRADING FOR ROSE AND SIGNING NOAH
Trading for Rose and signing Noah never made a lot of sense. Sure, fans are drawing into the arena while hearing those names and the jerseys are getting sold out. Business wise, this made sense. But the NBA is not only a business, it is a sport, too.
So, does it make sense from the basketball standpoint?
No, it does not - absolutely not. Both players do not match the playing style and are way beyond their prime, as fans are used to them being more injured than actually playing. Rose has his good games here and there but that does not guarantee you anything in the NBA. You are not going to win anything with those players. And what is it all about in the end? Right, winning the Championship. And that is the problem here.
The only good thing is that the Knicks did not give away big players in order to obtain Rose. They traded away Robin Lopez, their 2017 second round pick and Jerian Grant. So nothing too much.
14 TRAVIS KNIGHT
Not the most famous person that comes to one's mind while imagining this list but he still has earned his place on it. The front office took on his contract, signed in 1996 which guaranteed this guy an $11 million deal per 3 years in New York which was a lot of money back then, in a trade that would sent Patrick Ewing to Seattle.
While playing in New York, Knight never averaged more than 2 points as a bench player and was just another mistaken move the Knicks made around the millenium years and was bought out of his contract in his last year which earned him over $4 Million for doing what? Right, nothing.
13 LARRY BROWN
Hiring Larry Brown is still a mystery for most of the fans in New York as well as for most people that follow the NBA. Of course, he still might be a good coach but he was also known as not really being an easy character and would sometimes start feuds with his own players. And when you have players like Stephon Marbury on your roster you might have to think twice if that can really work out for both parties. Yet, the Knickerbockers wanted to try it and came to the conclusion that it was a complete disaster. Finishing the season 23-59 as one of the worst seasons ever in the history of the franchise and starting feuds with several players on his roster, he was fired just after that and it was the right thing to do.
12 GIVING MELO MAX MONEY
Why didn't the Knicks trade Melo as he still had worth during the 13-14 season and start a new real rebuild with Kristaps Porzingis? Well, that is a pretty good question I suppose. Several franchises were very interested in signing him (Chicago for example) and they all had pretty good things to offer.
The Knicks thought it was a good idea to give him his max money that is still guaranteeing him $124 million over 5 years. Phil wanted a franchise player to build around even though he was already in decline and it was not sure if he would fit in with the way Phil Jackson likes to play.
You can tell that it does not really work out and the Knicks would have been better off if they would have gotten into full rebuild mode and building around their new and young star Porzingis. Right now the Knicks are a complete mediocre team in the East with no real mentality and specific way of playing the game. Well, Phil Jax is trying to force them to play the triangle which is absolutely not working out for them because it is way too old fashioned and especially not suitable for an iso-player like Melo.
11 TRADING FOR ANTONIO MCDYESS
Wow, what a trade the Knicks did back then just to get him. In order to obtain his playing rights, the front office decided to give away Mark Jackson, Marcus Camby and the draft rights to Nenê, the 7th overall pick. Even though he sat out the entire season before due to an injury in his knee. Yet, many were still happy about that until he injured himself again in his knee while he was playing there for over one minute. After 18 games they figured they might want to get rid of him and traded him to Phoenix. Definitely not a glorious move.
10 SIGNING FREDERIC WEIS
Frederic Weis, the center that is mostly known as being the guy Vince Carter completely destroyed while dunking all over him in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. That says it all. Picking him with the 15th overall pick during the 1999 NBA draft, made many Knicks fans very angry. (well, okay that is nothing new)
Why were they so angry? Because they wanted to see the hometown hero Ron Artest getting drafted. And they would have been better off drafting him rather than Weis, who actually never signed with the Knicks and never even played a minute for them. Until now, he never played for any NBA team. Great job, New York.
9 AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE'S CONTRACT
Signing Amar'e Stoudemire was surely one of the most questionable moves in Knicks' history. Coming from Phoenix already known as an injury prone player the Knicks still thought it would be good to get him. Sure, he had a huge potential back then and showed glimpses of it also in his playing time in New York were he was dominating offensively like no other.
Unfortunately it would not work out since he would go on and injure himself several times while playing there. The only good thing was that he was a free agent but that's already about it. Paying him almost $100 million over 5 years even though he already had injured himself often in Phoenix, is just a really bad move.
8 SIGNING STEVE FRANCIS
Being known as a flashy scorer and dunker, Francis arrival in New York was welcomed with much confidence under Knicks fans. That he was also known as being injury prone would not be considered and well ignored. Well ignored until he had a reocurring injury in his knees and was therefore very limited in his playing time and only averaging 11.3 points a game. He would then be traded after not even one full season to the Memphis Grizzlies. To make this move look worse, the Knicks gave up Trevor Ariza and Penny Hardaway for the playing rights of Francis.
7 TRADING FOR EDDY CURRY
Let's start with the whole story here. The Bulls wanted him to take on a test which should clearify if his heart and overall health is in good or great condition to play in the NBA which Curry refused to take on. So the New York Knicks thought it would be a good idea to trade for him even after this incident and were sending Mike Sweetney, Tim Thomas, and Jermaine Jackson and their 2006 first round pick to Chicago. Well, great idea New York. As we all know, the Knicks finished the season in 2005-06 historically bad (23-59) and did not even own their pick now. But that is not even everything. Curry was playing really bad and would not even nearly justify anything that the Knicks brought up to get him.
6 SIGNING JEROME JAMES
Signing him to a 5 year and $30 million deal was one of the worst moves in the Isiah Thomas years and that means something since Isiah had surely a whole bible full of bad players and decisions to show.
James had ONE pretty good season but guess what? It was his contract year. Surprise. Once he signed this deal stated above he showed up to the training camp completely out of shape and would not really care about his career anymore. He even got suspended because of that but that could not change a thing.
Just to have some numbers to compare: he was averaging 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in his first season as a Knick. Enough said.
5 STEPHON MARBURY
Well, Stephon Marbury was another mistake the Knicks made and it would cost them several nerves and their patience. Having as many character issues as Marbury has had over his career, he of course translated this into the Knicks' team.
However, the Knicks gave him a huge contract (of course) worth an unbelievably $90 Million over 5 years. But that is not enough. He then started an open feud with his coach Larry Brown over the whole season which would go public and led to Brown's firing in the end and a disastrous team record. (23-59) As Brown was finally replaced by Isiah Thomas they first got along pretty decent until he wanted to reduce his role and put him on the bench. Marbury did not accepted it and went on to blackmail Thomas in public. In the end Thomas was also fired as he could not improve the Knicks and led them to an 33-49 record and was replaced by D'Antoni who finally banned Marbury from the team.
4 SIGNING ALLAN HOUSTON
Signing Allan Houston to a contract worth $100 Million over 6 years definitely deserves his spot on this list. Okay, he had been an All-Star for two consecutive years, okay, he was a great shooter. But just imagine that: he was 30 years old while signing this fully guaranteed contract that made him the highest paid player at that time in 2001. You can tell that Ex-GM Scott did a terrible job while providing him with this contract until he turns 36! Unsurprisingly, his body just gave up at some point and he was forced to announce his retirement.
3 NOT WAITING FOR MELO
What if the Knicks would not have been that impatient at that time? They definitely would have had a much much better look at making the playoffs and starting a serious run. But they weren't so they traded for Camelo Anthony even though he would have been a free agent during the next summer. To make it even more embarrassing - Melo clearly said that he would love to play in New York and for the Knicks since this is his hometown and dream since he was a kid. All New York had to do was to wait until the summer and sign him. However, they did not do it and traded for him in 2011 which involved three teams and unbelievably 12 players that switched teams back then. The most important players the Knicks got were a washed up Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer and Carmelo. But more importantly. What did the Knickerbockers give away? Well, first off they send Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Raymond Felton to Denver. But that was of course not everything. They also sent their 2014 first round pick and two second rounders to the Nuggets. Denver had absolutely no leverage at all during this time and the Knicks still gave up so much just to land Melo half a year in advance.
2 THE ANDREA BARGNANI TRADE
What did the Knicks do over this specific summer? During the 2013 NBA offseason they decided to trade for Andrea Bargnani, the 2006 first overall pick and one of the biggest busts in NBA history. However, the Knicks thought that he would be a great fit next to Carmelo and Tyson Chandler. Being a so called stretch four, (but not really - he was hitting a remarkable 41.5% from the field and about 30% from three) he should help open up the court for drives. That he is an absolute defensive and rebounding liablity was not regarded at all in the front office.
But what did the Knicks give up in order to get him is the question?
Well, way to much. The Knicks traded Marcus Camby, Steve Novak, their 2016 first round pick and two future second-round picks.
A first round pick just to get Andrea Bargnani?
I mean just imagine what could have been. The first round pick could have been a great addition to their new talented big man and up and coming franchise player, Kristaps Porzingis! But yeah, rather dump that pick to get him. I said this before but this was one of the worst moves ever and Masai Ujiri (GM, Raptors) did a fabulous job on this one while stealing everything out of the Knicks' pockets to ship Andrea Bargnani. A player who stood in the books with $23 Million per year at that time.
Congratulations, New York Knicks.
1 ISIAH THOMAS
Hiring Isiah Thomas was undoubtedly THE worst move the Knicks did over the last years. Giving him a position as a coach as well as a president was as bad as it could possibly get. Not only did he sign washed up players to unbelievably huge contracts, no, he was in addition to that a historically bad coach and is going down as one of the worst coaches in Knicks' history.
That shows the 2005-06 season which the Knicks finished with the highest payroll all over the NBA and with the second worst record overall! Okay, Larry Brown was the coach back then and Thomas was "only" the president but it is still unbelievable, right? Even more unbelievable that they thought it would be smart to make him the coach of that team after this season, also.
He also ruined the near future of the Knicks since he threw in first round picks in almost every trade he did back then which put the Knicks back for multiple years. In the end, he finished his last season as a coach and president with 59 losses. His overall win percentage as a Knick was .341 which makes him the 5th worst in their respective history. Definitely earned the number one spot on this list.
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