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So we didn’t get Stephen Curry. I’m not shocked.

Good things do not happen to the New York Knicks during the draft. In fact they rarely happen in general. Even when we make a good pick (see: Trevor Ariza), we somehow manage to botch it pretty badly in the end. The rare exception would be David Lee, and even he has been the talk of many recent trade rumors.

I’m curious as to whether or not this managerial incompetence will ever phase me as much as it had in years past; it has just become so commonplace at this point.

Over the last fifteen years the Knicks have retained exactly three draft picks for three seasons or more. Wilson Chandler is entering his third year with the team; David Lee, who as mentioned earlier, is the exception to Murphy’s Law; and Lavor Postell, who is now playing in Europe and was a waste of a contract.

This speaks volumes for a franchise that has claimed to be using the draft as a rebuilding mechanism. It is not even like we got good players in return for our traded picks. Perhaps this is because our picks were poorly made.

We passed on Rajon Rondo in 2006 when it was decided that Renaldo Balkman was a better choice.  Andrew Bynum and Danny Granger were still on the board when Channing Frye was picked in 2005.  And perhaps the most shameful choice in recent memory, outside of Frederick Weis (below) of course, was Mike Sweetney in 2003. All-Stars David West and Josh Howard were still available, as were Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa.

Fail. But I did promise it.

Our latest ingenius roster move brought Darko Milicic, one of the bigger busts in NBA history, to New York in exchange for Quentin Richardson, who at least is a viable offensive threat at times. I understand that it was an effort to clear cap space, but honestly we only have three or four players contracted after next year as is.

What happens if Lebron doesn’t leave Cleveland? What happens if Chris Bosh decides that Cleveland is where he wants to go too?

The Miami Heat seem to be willing to do anything that Dwyane Wade wants in order to re-sign him. Yao is not going to leave Houston. Manu Ginobili is comfortable in San Antonio. And if the Amare Stoudemire trade goes through with Golden State, it seems unlikely that they will let the talented big man go immediately.

Beyond that, the potential 2010 free agent list is full of a bunch of aging former-greats. Names like Tracey McGrady, Ray Allen, and Brad Miller will surely be tossed around, but none of them will provide enough of a boost to bring New York back to relevance in the NBA; especially with a revitalized Eastern Conference.

Though this is certainly a hum-drum, pessimistic stance on the Knicks’ future, it could very well be the reality. We have pooled all of our chips into the Lebron 2010 boat and are not looking back. And while I do commend the commitment to a move that would guarantee success, it would not be a bad idea to have a fall-back plan.

Management did appear to make a stride in this week’s draft. Jordan Hill has the potential to be a very good NBA player and Toney Douglass seems to be cut from the Jamal Crawford mold. But neither of the two are even close to ready to lead a franchise. If we fail to lure a major free agent next year, they will be expected to do so. This is what we call a problem.

This problem would be the same no matter who we picked on Thursday night. Stephen Curry, Ricky Rubio, any player with some offensive competence will fit in to Mike D’Antoni’s system. Everybody wants to play run-and-gun basketball.

The season is won and lost with depth. And the Knicks have none. There isn’t even a clear-cut starting five. Every player (excluding David Lee) is mediocre. Chris Duhon has flashes of good play, Wilson Chandler is streaky, Al Harrington is streakier, Galinari is a gimp, and everybody else falls into one of those three categories as well.

Hopefully the rookies help out, but I think that it is a terrible choice to invest the majority of our cap in expiring contracts. Yes, if anybody is worth the risk it is Lebron, but it is far too foggy a prospect to bank on.

This argument is far too late, seeing that we have already thrown all of our money at “players” like Darko. I just figured I would throw my “told-you-so” in before I was too late for that.

I leave you with my lasting image of Mr. Milicic.

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