Updated 12:10 AM EST, Tue, Jan 26, 2021

New York Knicks Roster, Rumors, and Trade Updates: Can Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson Rekindle the Magic for a 2014-15 Playoff Run?

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As an unrestricted free agent, Carmelo Anthony had his pick of the litter.

He could have joined Derrick Rose in Chicago to form a dangerous one-two tandem, though Rose's health would jeopardize any success.

There was also a Kobe Bryant-less meeting in Los Angeles which may have swayed Anthony into heading west, possibly becoming the face of Lakers basketball once 'the Black Mamba' retires.

In the end, Anthony chose New York -- his home since 2010 -- and it wasn't necessarily for the money, though the Knicks offered about $30 million more than anyone else could have.

"I am a New York Knick at heart," Anthony said in a July 13 press release. "I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams."

Jackson couldn't do much once he signed on to become team president in mid-March. Players clashed with Mike Woodson, injuries depleted the roster, and off-the-court issues took focus away from a bigger prize. It led to their first missed playoff appearance since 2009-10.

To field a winning team, the 'Zen Master' brought in head coach Derek Fisher and associate head coach Kurt Rambis. There will be changes. The Knicks may not land an immediate postseason berth, but having Jackson and Fisher sets them up for success.

Aside from instilling the triangle offense, New York's biggest challenge will be in getting rid of excess baggage.

Last month, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton were traded to Dallas as part of a six-player trade. In exchange, the Knicks acquired starting point guard Jose Calderon and center Samuel Dalembert, saving $3 million on their already extended salary cap.

Either way, the Knicks win with Felton's departure. The troubled guard was sentenced to 500 hours community service and a $5,000 fine on Wednesday following his arrest on a gun charge last February.

Jackson also parted with Shannon Brown, who averaged 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game in split time with New York and San Antonio.

Power forward/center Jason Smith signed a one-year, $3.3 million contract earlier this month.

With Dalembert's arrival and Andrea Bargnani likely to start, Amar'e Stoudemire may be the big man out. The oft-injured center is owed $23.4 million despite playing 21 games and averaging only 13 points per the last two years.

However unlikely it is, trading Stoudemire would free up space for a DeAndre Jordan to take his place. They could also opt to bring in a proven shooter like Rajon Rondo, who wore out his welcome in Boston.

Other expendables include Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert, Shane Larkin, and J.R. Smith.

Above all, getting rid of Smith would signify a culture shock; a shifting of the guard to Jackson and Fisher's no-nonsense style of play.

Smith's on-court behavior led to decreased minutes and multiple fines. He's the guy Metta World Peace -- yes that Metta World Peace -- would replace if rumors are to be believed.

If anyone can be thanked for New York's newfound sense of optimism, it can be Jackson.

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