Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek spoke to reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post, about the importance of balancing short-term and long-term priorities. While the Knicks remain in the playoff picture, Hornacek would be hesitant to mortgage the team’s future in favor of pursuing a postseason run this season.
“If we’re looking at just trying to make the playoffs, I would say we have a team if we all stay healthy we have a shot at it,’’ Hornacek said. “As far as a rebuild, I haven’t talked about that. We’re trying to get that system in and working, gotten better the last couple of weeks, we’re trying to build on that. If it ends up being a rebuild, we’ll work on that. If it’s the same team we’ll work on that.”
Aside from trading Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks have options to improve the team around the February 23rd deadline. Berman suggests Brandon Jennings or Derrick Rose could be in play, provided the Knicks receive draft picks in return. Hornacek is in the first year of a three-year pact with the Knicks, and wants his team to be well-positioned for a bounce-back 2017/18 campaign.
“We have to understand we have to try to develop something for the long term. If we’re just skipping steps just to get in the playoffs, that would be great for this year, then what do you do next year? We want to try to combine those two,” Hornacek said. “We still feel we can get into the playoffs, which it was in the beginning of the year. We had to see if they were going to mesh as a group. At times it looks pretty good. There’s other times it hasn’t. We’re struggling with that consistency.”