How Phil Jackson is reshaping the Knicks

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Phil Jackson named Knicks president

Phil Jackson named Knicks president

Phil Jackson played for the Knicks when they won their last championship in 1973 and returned more than 40 years later as the team's president. Jackson, who coached in 13 NBA Finals and won a record 11 titles with the Bulls and Lakers, brought the Knicks credibility, the triangle offense and a plan to reshape them into a championship team.

Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Lamar Odom signs

April 16, 2014

Lamar Odom signs

Hoping that Lamar Odom would be able to assist Knicks players in learning the triangle offense while resurrecting his own career after some legal and personal issues, Jackson signed the former versatile forward, part of two championship teams with the Lakers, to a non-guaranteed deal.

AP

Mike Woodson fired

April 21, 2014

Mike Woodson fired

Five days after the Knicks finished with a disappointing 37-45 record, Jackson fired coach Mike Woodson and his entire staff. “The time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond,” Jackson said. In the 2012-13 season, Woodson guided the Knicks to 54 victories and their first playoff series win since 2000. But in the 2013-14 season, they lacked chemistry, executed poorly late in games and had repeated defensive breakdowns.

Jim McIsaac

Derek Fisher hired as head coach

June 10, 2014

Derek Fisher hired as head coach

After first choice Steve Kerr spurned his old coach and accepted the Golden State Warriors' coaching job, Jackson turned to another of his former players. Derek Fisher was a key contributor and leader on all five of Jackson’s championship teams with the Lakers. The NBA’s all-time leader in playoff games, Fisher knows the ins and outs of the triangle offense. As a recently retired guard, he can relate to the players and help recruit free agents, including former Thunder teammate Kevin Durant in 2016.

Richard T. Slattery

Phil’s first trade

June 25, 2014

Phil’s first trade

The Knicks acquired Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and two second-round picks from the Dallas Mavericks for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. Citing a need “to change some of the chemistry” and “bring in some character guys,” Jackson addressed a major weakness from last season by upgrading the point guard position with Calderon, a good decision-maker and shooter. Chandler struggled through injuries in 2013-14 and regressed after being named 2011-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Dalembert remains a good shot-blocker and help defender at center and Larkin is a quick, young point guard. The move left the Knicks with a surplus of guards, but Jackson promised to address that, which he did with subsequent moves.

AP

Phil’s first draft

June 26, 2014

Phil’s first draft

The Knicks had no picks in the 2014 draft until the Dallas deal the day before the draft gave them two. Jackson used those picks on forward Cleanthony Early at No. 34 and forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo of Greece at No. 51. Early spent four years in college -- the first two at Sullivan County CC and the last two at Wichita State -- and showed he can score. The Knicks call Antetokounmpo “Tenacious” and believe he can help them down the road with his defense and athleticism. The Knicks also acquired the draft rights to Louis Labeyrie of France with the 57th pick. He will stay overseas.

Andrew Theodorakis

Rambis named associate head coach

July 7, 2014

Rambis named associate head coach

Looking for an experienced coach to help Fisher, Jackson turned to Kurt Rambis, his old friend and former Lakers assistant. Rambis worked extensively with Fisher with the Lakers and has served as the head coach of the Lakers and Timberwolves.

AP

Odom waived

July 11, 2014

Odom waived

Jackson said Odom “was unable to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player” and cut him less than three months into the experiment. “It hurt,” Jackson said. “We really wanted him to have an opportunity. Just couldn’t kind of break free from what was going on and get back on the basketball court and work.”

AP

Aldrich re-signed

July 11, 2014

Aldrich re-signed

Cole Aldrich proved last season he is a serviceable big man and solid rebounder, and the Knicks needed additional size. So Jackson quickly filled Odom’s roster spot with Aldrich.

AP

Melo stays

July 13, 2014

Melo stays

After considering signing with the Bulls and Lakers, Carmelo Anthony decided to stay with the Knicks and be a part of Jackson’s vision to make them championship contenders. Jackson locked up the Knicks’ best player since Patrick Ewing with a five-year, $124-million contract. By taking less than a max deal allowed by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, Anthony gets a smaller increase in Year 2 than he could have received, giving the Knicks more room to sign other players in free agency in next summer.

Jim McIsaac

Jason Smith signs

July 18, 2014

Jason Smith signs

Jackson added 7-footer Jason Smith, who brings toughness, rebounding and shot-blocking at power forward and center and adds depth up front. Smith can stretch the floor with his shooting and should fit well in the triangle offense.

Andrew Theodorakis

Acy, Outlaw added

Aug. 6, 2014

Acy, Outlaw added

Looking to clear up the logjam at shooting guard, balance the roster and add some veteran depth behind Carmelo Anthony at small forward, Jackson shipped Wayne Ellington and Jeremy Tyler to Sacramento for Travis Outlaw and Quincy Acy.

Andrew Theodorakis

Cleamons hired

Sept. 3, 2014

Cleamons hired

Jackson brought in Jim Cleamons, his old Knicks teammate and former assistant with the Bulls and Lakers, to help Derek Fisher in his transition to first-time coach. Cleamons has been a part of nine NBA championship teams as a coach and one as a player.

Allsport

Travis goes, Travis stays

Oct. 27, 2014

Travis goes, Travis stays

Undrafted rookie Travis Wear (UCLA) impressed Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher enough in training camp that instead of putting him on their D-League team, they traded forward Travis Outlaw to clear a roster spot for Wear. The Knicks sent Outlaw to the 76ers for Arnett Moultrie, and a 2019 second-round pick. The Sixers also got the option to swap 2018 second-round selections. The Knicks immediately waived Moultrie. They could have waived Outlaw outright and ate his $3 million. Instead, they saved about $1.9 million plus luxury-tax penalties in the move.

Jim McIsaac

Smith & Shump gone in salary dump

Jan. 5, 2015

Smith & Shump gone in salary dump

J.R. Smith, the enigmatic shooting guard with the checkered past, was traded to Cleveland along with Iman Shumpert in a three-team deal in which the Oklahoma City Thunder obtained Cavaliers shooting guard Dion Waiters and a protected first-round pick. The Knicks received Lance Thomas from Oklahoma City and Lou Amundson and Alex Kirk from Cleveland, plus a 2019 second-round draft pick. Dealing Smith frees up $6.4 million in salary cap space for next season. The Knicks also released Samuel Dalembert, saving the team $2 million.

Andrew Theodorakis

Langston Galloway sticks

Jan. 27, 2015

Langston Galloway sticks

The undrafted guard from St. Joe's started the season playing for the Westchester Knicks in the D-League, and after signing two 10-day deals, the Knicks inked Langston Galloway for the remainder of the season with a partial guarantee for 2015-16. Galloway impressed Jackson, Fisher and the coaching staff with his work ethic and intelligence, and is expected to be a part of the future.

Jim McIsaac

Stoudemire bought out

Feb. 16, 2015

Stoudemire bought out

Amar'e Stoudemire's four-and-a-half-year Knicks career came to an end over the All-Star break after the franchise granted his request for a buyout so he could play for a contender. Stoudemire signed with the Dallas Mavericks after clearing waivers. Stoudemire famously said, 'The Knicks are back,' after signing a five-year, $100-million deal in 2010. The six-time All-Star big man brought excitement and respectability back to the Knicks, putting up MVP numbers during his first season and helping them end a seven-year playoff drought. Injuries limited Stoudemire his final four seasons as a Knick. He played in 255 of a possible 365 games with the Knicks and averaged 17.3 points.

Jim McIsaac

Prigioni dealt for Shved, picks

Feb. 19, 2015

Prigioni dealt for Shved, picks

On a wild day of dealing at the trade deadline, Jackson made a minor move. The Knicks didn’t have the assets to get involved for some bigger names but believe they acquired some when they sent savvy veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni to Houston for 6-foot-6 guard Alexey Shved and the Rockets' 2017 and 2019 second-round picks. Jackson also shaved $290,000 of next year's payroll (Prigioni's partial guarantee). Shved, who will be a free agent in July, holds career averages of 6.7 points and 2.4 assists over 17.2 minutes over three seasons with the Minnesota, Philadelphia and Houston.

Jim McIsaac

Knicks draft Porzingis, acquire Grant

June 25, 2015

Knicks draft Porzingis, acquire Grant

After the worst season in franchise history, the Knicks ended up with the fourth pick in the NBA Draft and Jackson didn't go for any of the players many deemed to be more ready to help now (i.e., Emmanuel Mudiay, Justise Winslow, Frank Kaminsky or Willie Cauley-Stein). Instead, Jackson chose the player many NBA executives and scouts believe has the most upside: 19-year Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis. A good athlete and shooter, Porzingis is 7-foot-3 and his body is still developing. Jackson called Porzingis 'an eye-opening athlete and player.' Porzingis has said often he wants to show he's not another 'soft European.' Jackson seemed to nab the more ready player later in the draft when he traded Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Hawks for the 19th selection that he used on guard Jerian Grant. The Notre Dame senior has good genes: his father Harvey and uncle Horace played in the NBA, and his younger brother Jerami plays for the Sixers. In a separate move, Jackson traded two future second-round picks for the draft rights to the No. 35 pick, Spanish center Guillermo Hernangomez, who will stay in Europe.

Mike Stobe

The big fella

July 9, 2015

The big fella

All season long, the word was Greg Monroe would be the Knicks’ big free-agent signing. But he chose the Bucks, and the Knicks turned their attention to the most active, defensive-minded big man available to them: Robin Lopez. They gave Lopez, twin brother of Nets center Brook Lopez, a four-year, $54-million deal. It was reached July 3 and signed when the NBA moratorium was lifted. Derek Fisher described the 7-foot Lopez as 'one of the best centers in the game in terms of anchoring the middle of the floor.'

Getty Images

Versatile wing

July 9, 2015

Versatile wing

Arron Afflalo was the first player the Knicks reached an agreement with in free agency. The well-traveled guard said he canceled all other interviews after meeting with the Knicks. He wanted to try and help the Knicks turn things around and reunite with his old Denver teammate, Carmelo Anthony. Afflalo inked a two-year, $16-million deal on July 9. The second year is a player option. He’s a versatile wing player whose strength is guarding multiple positions and he also can hit threes.

AP

Deal for Derrick

July 9, 2015

Deal for Derrick

The same day the Knicks secured Lopez, they landed forward Derrick Williams. He has been a disappointment since being taken second in the 2011 draft. But the Knicks hope they can provide a little more stability than Williams had in Minnesota and Sacramento, which had three different head coaches last season. They envision Williams playing both forward positions for them and being effective in the triangle. He signed a two-year, $10-million deal on July 9. The second year is a player option.

AP

Coming home

July 9, 2015

Coming home

Looking for more versatility and defense, the Knicks acquired Queens native Kyle O’Quinn in a Fourth of July sign-and-trade that became official July 9. O’Quinn signed a four-year, $16-million pact, and the Orlando Magic received cash and the right to swap 2019 second-round picks. The burly 6-foot-10 forward-center showed he can be effective in limited action – he’s averaged 13.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes in three NBA seasons. The Knicks hope those numbers prove out in what will be a bigger role for O’Quinn.

Getty Images

Lance & Lou

July 10, 2015

Lance & Lou

Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson were acquired in the J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert three-team trade in January, were waived, brought back on 10-day contracts and ultimately signed for the rest of the season. The two showed the professionalism and selflessness that Jackson and Fisher are always talking about, and were brought back to provide depth, defense and stability for a team that has undergone many changes. Andrea Bargnani, Shane Larkin, Cole Aldrich, Jason Smith, Quincy Acy signed with other NBA teams and Alexey Shved is playing overseas now.

Jim McIsaac

Shooter Sasha signs

Aug. 7, 2015

Shooter Sasha signs

Jackson reached into his past and signed former Laker Sasha Vujacic. The veteran shooting guard was brought in to help the Knicks’ players with the triangle offense. Vujacic played five-plus seasons under Jackson and three-plus with Derek Fisher, and was part of NBA championship teams in 2009 and 2010. Vujacic plays with a lot of energy and is pesky defender who annoys opposing players. He averaged 5.6 points and shot 37.1 percent from three-point range with the Lakers and Nets before playing overseas the past four years.

Jim McIsaac

Fisher out, Rambis in

Feb. 8, 2016

Fisher out, Rambis in

After the Knicks' ninth loss in 10 games, Jackson decided to fire his first coaching hire, and he relieved Fisher of his duties. The Knicks were 23-31 at the time. Jackson promoted associate head coach Kurt Rambis to interim head coach. 'It's time for us to make a change, turn this team around and move forward and get some wins and keep going down the road we started here at the beginning of the year,' Jackson said. The Knicks got off to a better-than-expected start and were 22-22 before the skid that ultimately led to Fisher's dismissal. Fisher was let go after 136 games and a 40-96 record in 1 1/2 season as Knicks coach. He left with the second-lowest winning percentage (.294) in franchise history ahead of only Larry Brown (.280). Jackson credited Fisher for the way he 'moved the team forward.' But Jackson made it seem as if Fisher was trying to distance himself from being 'Phil's protégé.' Jackson said he brought in experienced assistants Rambis and Jim Cleamons to help Fisher, and noted that the first-time coach didn't take advantage of that. After firing Fisher, Jackson turned to his close friend and staunch triangle supporter to take over as interim coach. Rambis won eight NBA championships as an NBA player, assistant coach and executive — all with the Lakers and four while Jackson was head coach. Jackson hired Rambis as associate head coach to help Fisher's transition from player to coach and entrusted him for the final 28 games of the regular season. 'Kurt, he has a lot of games under his belt,' Jackson said. 'He knows the game. He has been around it for 30-something years as a basketball player and coach, he has been on championship teams both as a player and coach, he has a tremendous amount of experience.' Rambis compiled a 56-145 record (.279) as coach of the Timberwolves and Lakers.

Jim McIsaac

Hornacek hired

June 2, 2016

Hornacek hired

Jeff Hornacek didn't expect to get an interview with the Knicks, let alone get the job to be their coach. But Hornacek was the surprising choice over several candidates, including Jackson’s close friend and confidant Kurt Rambis, who went 9-19 to end the 2015-16 season as interim coach. Hornacek, the former Suns coach, is neither a Jackson disciple nor someone who ran or ever really played in the triangle offense. But Jackson entrusted Hornacek to guide the team in hopes of ending a three-year playoff drought. Hornacek, a former sharpshooting guard, comes from an impressive coaching tree, having played for Cotton Fitzsimmons and Jerry Sloan. Hornacek also spent half a season coaching under Sloan in Utah. Hornacek was 101-112 in 2 1/2 seasons with the Suns, and finished second in Coach of the Year voting after guiding them to a 48-34 mark in 2013-14. Hornacek played fast and small in Phoenix. He used two-point guard sets, relied on drive-and-kicks, pick-and-rolls and a heavy dose of three-point shooting. With the Knicks, Hornacek is expected to mix that style in with the triangle offense. Rambis remained on the bench, reprising the role he had under Derek Fisher: associate head coach.

Andrew Theodorakis

The Rose Garden

June 22, 2016

The Rose Garden

The Knicks' longtime search for a dynamic, explosive point guard led Jackson to his old stomping grounds. The Knicks acquired former Rookie of the Year and MVP Derrick Rose from the Chicago Bulls in a blockbuster deal the day before the NBA Draft. Phil Jackson said he felt the need to have a decisive attack guard. The point guard position has been a weakness for the Knicks for years, but they hope that changed with the move for Rose. They sent Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez and Jerian Grant to Chicago for Rose, backup guard Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick. Rose is a three-time All-Star with career averages of 19.7 points and 6.2 assists. Of course, there are concerns. Rose has been injury-plagued since his 2010-11 MVP season. Multiple knee surgeries contributed to Rose missing 228 games over the past five seasons. But he feels strong and he believes he can return to being an elite guard again. Rose, 27, only has one year left on his contract so there's low risk for the Knicks. If Rose plays well and stays healthy, he could be a long-term solution. In the release announcing the Rose trade, the Knicks revealed they waived Tony Wroten, who never played a game for them.

AP/Mary Altaffer

Noah York

July 1, 2016

Noah York

After acquiring a point guard the week before free agency, Jackson set his sights on addressing the hole in the middle. It didn’t take long for Rose’s former Bulls teammate Joakim Noah to agree to play for the Knicks. On the first day of the free-agent negotiation period, Noah, a New York native, and the Knicks came to terms on a four-year, $72-million deal. The contract was signed July 8. Noah said he dreamed of playing for the Knicks since he was 5 years old. A two-time All-Star and the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Noah brings an intensity and passion to the Knicks that they’ve sorely been lacking. Selfless and hard-nosed, Noah has averaged 9.3 points and 9.4 rebounds in his career. He’s also a tremendous passing big man, which is important in the triangle offense. Injuries have slowed Noah the last few years. He had knee surgery in 2014 and shoulder surgery in 2016, and played only 29 games last season. He hopes he can stay healthy because it hurts him more not to play.

James Escher

Starting shooter secured

July 2, 2016

Starting shooter secured

The Knicks needed a shooting guard to round out their starting five and got one in the versatile Courtney Lee. The well-traveled veteran agreed to a four-year, $48-million deal on the second day of free agency. He signed the deal July 8. Lee, a 6-5 guard, has averaged 9.6 points while shooting 45 percent from the field over eight seasons. He's also solid on the other end of the floor, giving the Knicks someone who can help their perimeter defense. The Knicks are Lee's seventh team in nine seasons. He's a career 38.4-percent shoooter from three-point range, and has shot above 40 percent from deep four times.

James Escher

Jennings joins Knicks

July 4, 2016

Jennings joins Knicks

The Knicks created some fireworks on the Fourth of July, keeping one player and landing another that they had interest in for years. Brandon Jennings had been on the Knicks’ radar since the 2009 draft. They passed on him for Jordan Hill, later tried to acquire him in trades, and finally locked up the high-scoring guard on a one-year, $5-million deal. The Knicks also brought back Lance Thomas, a glue guy who has improved his overall game, on a four-year deal. Both will be key players coming off the bench. In Jennings, the Knicks got a 26-year-old guard who averaged at least 15.4 points his first 5½ seasons in the league. A ruptured Achilles tendon has limited Jennings the past season and a half, but he says he’s 100 percent now. Both deals were signed July 8.

AP/Julie Jacobson

International flavor

July 5, 2016

International flavor

On the same day, the Knicks came to terms with Willy Hernangomez, Kristaps Porzingis’ former teammate, and Lithuanian combo forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas. Hernangomez was the Knicks’ second-round pick in 2015, but the 6-10 center spent the season with ACB power Real Madrid after playing two seasons with Porzingis with Sevilla. The Knicks hope both can help them this season off the bench. Hernangomez is a skilled big man and Kuzminskas is an athletic forward with good ballhandling skills and passing ability. The Knicks need forward depth. Both deals were signed July 8.

Getty Images

Backup big man

July 8, 2016

Backup big man

The Knicks needed a backup center who would play physical inside and do a lot of the dirty work and believe former Duke center Marshall Plumlee will fill that role. The 23-year-old Plumlee, whose brothers Miles and Mason play in the NBA, is a high-energy, tough-nosed player who will hustle, rebound and set screens. Plumlee has been sworn in as an Army officer and plans a military career when his playing days are over.

AP/John Raoux

Sasha returns, Ndour signs

July 14, 2016

Sasha returns, Ndour signs

The Knicks brought back veteran guard Sasha Vujacic, who averaged 4.9 points while shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range last season. With just four guards on the roster, the Knicks needed more depth in the backcourt and only had minimum contacts to offer free agents. Vujacic, 32, can play both guard positions and is well-versed in the triangle offense, which the Knicks will continue to run under Jeff Hornacek with some tweaks to accommodate his desire to play up-tempo and mix in some pick-and-roll sets. In 25 starts last season, Vujacic shot 38 percent from three and scored 7.8 points. The Knicks also inked Maurice Ndour, an athletic wing who impressed them during the 2015 Las Vegas Summer League. He has the body and length to be a good defender, can run the floor and be a slasher, but he needs time to develop. He spent last season with Real Madrid and averaged 2.1 points and 1.6 rebounds over 9.1 minutes in 18 games. Jackson has talked about wanting to build stability, but he has overhauled the roster each summer. Also not returning from last season’s team are Arron Afflalo, Langston Galloway and Derrick Williams.

AP/John Locher

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