The summer of 2010 will prove to be momentous for the New York Knickerbocker franchise no matter what the outcome is. With only 4 players under contract beyond this season (Danilo
, Ill Will
, Toney and Fat Eddy
), the Knicks have 8 spots to fill before the next season starts.
I haven't heard, read, or seen anyone claim that LeBron James isn't the Knicks top priority once the free agency period begins. Seeing #6 in a Knicks uniform would completely change everything for everyone, it might even alter the way the earth's axis is tilted or whether some model in Nolita finally understands the difference between baseball and basketball. HOW CRAZY WOULD THAT BE!
The problem is that there is a high possibility that LeBronathan will NOT come to the Knicks and stay in Cleveland. Not only will this mean that there won't be worldwide tsunami's due to extreme weather conditions resulting from the change in Earth's tides because of a different gravitational pull with the moon, it also means that models in Nolita will still think Derek Jeter is soooo much better than Michael Jordan at scoring touchdowns.
If the Knicks organization doesn't land LeBroski than they will be faced with immense pressure from a Madison Square Garden Executive luxury suites sales team and an extremely indignant fan base.
Donnie Walsh may not have a more viable option than to offer the 2nd best free agent available, Dwyane Wade, a monster max contract. Many Knicks fans will like this move and to be honest, they should. The Knicks haven't had a player of his caliber since Patrick Ewing.
But the title of this article is Why the Knicks Should NOT Sign Dwyane Wade. Here are 5 reasons that led me to believe that Wade is not a great long-term fit.
1) A future with persistent injury problems -
This is the most frightening and disconcerting reason. I love the way that Wade plays the game. He dives after loose balls as much as anyone, isn't afraid of drawing contact, and is generally balls deep in every possession, The question lies, though: Can he sustain this style of play for the next 3, 5, or 7 years? No matter how good a guy keeps himself in shape, once you hit the 27-28 year old threshold you cannot play like Dwyane does without frequently getting injured. It's impossible. He has a history of injuries too, only playing 50 games in the '07 and '08 seasons due to shoulder and knee issues. Would you make an investment in a car used in a demolition derby? What if this car was able to dunk on Yao Ming? What if you bought a T-Mobile Sidekick
as a result of these high flying antics?
2) Can't hit the trey - In an offensive system like Mike D'Antoni's, it is crucial for both guard positions to be able to consistently knock down 3 point shots. Wade shoots a paltry 28% from behind the arc in his career and he still launched well over 3 a game in this past season. Certainly it is feasible to think that a player could improve his shooting percentage over time, but Wade has basically shot around 30% during his 7 year career.
3) The Heat haven't exceeded 1st round since 2006 - Yes, I am aware that Dwyane was a complete beast in 2006 when he lead his team to the NBA championship and was crowned the Finals MVP. He had a nice set of teammates on the hardwood with him, much better then what will likely be on the Knicks' roster on the next 2 or 3 years. He had a still-dominant Shaq, future Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton, an in-his-prime Jason Williams, a playoff-proven James Posey, and a 3-time-all-star in Antoine Walker. With the 2010 Knicks he will have a still-fat Eddy Curry, a not-in-his-prime Toney Douglas, a not-playoff-proven Danilo Gallinari, and a 0-time-all-star Bill Walker. The bottom line is that with a cast of teammates over the last 3 years that many would consider to be better than the Knicks, the Miami Heat have lost in the 1st round twice, and didn't make the playoffs once. Although winning 42 games would be an improvement for the Knicks, our goal is to not only make the playoffs but to do some damage once we get there.
4) Not as clutch as you think
- Have I seen Wade make game winning shots? Have I seen him steal the ball at the end of the game and go ahead to score the game winning points? Yes. Does he do it as consistently when the game on the line and the ball is in his hand? Not according to the stats. 82games.com
has a nifty way to determine how clutch a player is by compiling every players stats in the 4th quarter or overtime with less than 5 minutes left when neither team is up by more
then 5 points. When looking at the +/- averages
for Wade during the 2008-09 season and then sorting by the 5th or 6th column, you will see that Wade isn't even in the top 50 whereas basically every other top player is. He is also right up there is in turnovers committed.
5) The quickness won't always be there - The last reason isn't as easy to quantify as some of the others but it is something that I believe happens with every NBA player once they reach their late 20's - They slow down. They don't have the step they once did. Some of the past and present NBA greats developed their game by relying on their jumpers and high basketball IQ's to carry them once young defenders were capable of staying in front of them. The thing is, will Dwyane ever have a devastating jumper? Does he already have an exceptional basketball IQ? You could argue either way. One thing you can't argue is that he is one of current great players now solely because of superior athletic ability. Once he can't fly by his defenders anymore and slice through zones, will he still be able to evolve to offset his diminishing skill set?
As a life long Knicks fan who has toiled in misery these last 10 years I don't deserve the right to be selective. I am a hypocrite. I'd be happy with Dwyane Wade if Lebrontosaurus and Chris Bosh weren't around. It would be worth the risk that all 5 of the reasons above present. But these are all things that any team should be considering when signing Dwyane Wade to a long term contract.
Are my reasons valid? Is there another concern about Wade that I missed? Please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading. Follow NYsportSpace on Twitter