LaMarcus Aldridge could have chosen between the Knicks and the Spurs, among others. He had no reason to join the Knicks. Joining New York would saddle him with expectations of a deliverance for the team which would not come. The top players in this free agent market know they can’t lead a team from 17 to 50 wins. They know this because they know that they are not LeBron James. They know that in place of deliverance would be fan and media derision, and a perpetuation of the circus atmosphere this franchise has known for the last 15 years. And a constricted cap. And no lottery pick.
Simply having salary cap room is not enough, since many teams have it, and many players did not take it when the Knicks offered it. So what would have enticed luminaries to the Garden? How can the Knicks be the wheat in the future, and not the chaff? How about respectability? How about balance? How about direction?
Many desired a quick fix but this was always a very long shot. In fact even if the ideal scenarios had come to pass, the Knicks probably would be a ways off, because basketball teams need depth, too. So instead of lamenting the Knicks’ failure to land yet another savior, folks should be happy that the Knicks are learning how to stand, and walk.