It’s no secret that the Knicks have been one of the laughing stocks of the league for the last couple of years. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2013. They don’t have a winning culture yet refuse to participate in a true rebuild. Even though the Knicks are the least successful of the big market teams, very few big market teams are good at rebuilding. With so much young wasted talent on these big teams, why is this the case, and do they care?
Big Market Teams Suck At Rebuilding
Don’t Utilize Draft Picks
Since 2010, the Knicks have had eleven All-Star selections. Only one of those players was drafted by the Knicks. That player was Kristaps Porzingis who was traded a year later. The Knicks currently have only four players on their roster that they took in the first round.
The Knicks aren’t the only team who have fallen victim to this. When the Clippers wanted to become a contender they ended up selling off five first-round picks in the Paul George trade. The Lakers also fell victim to this after giving up three first-round picks in the Anthony Davis trade.
Give Up On Young Talent
Speaking of the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers are also known for giving up on young talent way too quickly. A list of former All-Stars including D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram all resided on the Lakers before reaching their peak. The Nets also flipped Russell in order to become a contender. They also ended up trading Jarrett Allen who also became an All-Star.
Even when these young players are on these teams, they don’t get the minutes they deserve. The Lakers focused much more on the Kobe Bryant retirement tour than on developing young talent. Tom Thibodeau is also known for not playing his young players on the Knicks. It’s understandable to not play inexperienced players when competing but it’s necessary to develop future talent. It’s why a team like the Warriors is in such a good place. They didn’t need to go all in and get rid of their young pieces to win.
Should They Care?
The end goal of every NBA season is to be the team hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. If your team wins the ring then nothing else should matter. On the other hand, it is fun to be good for the long run. When the Lakers went all in for Davis they immediately when on a championship run. That was an amazing feeling for a season before they started to fall well short of expectations. Just two years later the Lakers can’t even make the playoffs.
When a team learns the process of rebuilding and developing talent, they build culture. It’s why teams like the Spurs, the Heat, and the Warriors have been consistently good over the last decade. Other big market teams have come accustomed to the belief that their culture is to clear cap space and hope a star can save them. If big market teams hope to not become the failures of the league, they need to prioritize defining a better culture or embrace being the jokes of the league.