The New York Knicks have been one of the most talked about teams in the NBA rumor mill so far this offseason, and that will not change in the coming weeks. Phil Jackson is looking to take the Knicks back to being championship contenders and he is well on his way to doing just that.
Derrick Rose was acquired from the Chicago Bulls earlier this afternoon and there are rumblings that a top free agent could be interested in signing with the Knicks this offseason.
According to a report from Ian Begley of ESPN, Dwight Howard is interested in signing with the Knicks. That report came before Rose was acquired by New York, which could boost Howard’s interest even more.
Last season with the Houston Rockets, it became clear that Howard needed to leave town. His relationship with James Harden fell apart even more and he was not being used properly. Mike D’Antoni was hired to be the Rockets’ new head coach, but Howard wasn’t interested in sticking around and giving it another chance.
New York is a piece or two away from serious contention in the Eastern Conference with the move to acquire Rose. Carmelo Anthony is still one of the top scorers in the NBA and will finally have some help. If Howard signed with the Knicks, they would be a very difficult team to beat.
Howard may not be the dominant defensive rim protector that he once was, but he would be an upgrade over what the Knicks were working with last season. Robin Lopez is headed to Chicago in the Rose deal, which would open up a hole in the middle of the Knicks’ defense that Howard could fill perfectly.
If the Knicks are able to sign Howard, it would make them one of the most entertaining teams to watch. There is no guarantee that New York would be able to make that big three work, but there is a chance that if the three players meshed well they could be a title contender.
At 30-years-old, Howard still has a few seasons left playing in his prime. It sounds like whoever signs him this offseason will give him a maximum contract over the next three or four years. He could settle for a two-year deal in order to get one more big deal before the end of his career.
Assuming he finds the right landing spot with a team that uses him correctly, there is nothing holding him back from returning to star form.
Jackson will have to be very aggressive this offseason if he wants the Knicks to have a chance at a title next season. Rose was the first sign that he will do whatever it takes to build a contender and signing Howard would be another. New York is just a piece or two away and Howard could be that missing piece.
Do you think the New York Knicks should sign Dwight Howard in free agency this offseason? Would he be the missing piece that powers them back to championship contention? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by AP Photo/John Bazemore]