There is no worse position in basketball than to be mediocre. You lack the hope of a potential NBA Championship, and you can't pin your hopes on snagging a top three pick in the draft.
The Knicks could find themselves firmly planted in that sort of territory if they don't get lucky in the Lottery and end up in that 6-8 pick range. Long term, they might be unable to climb the standings for a playoff bid and too stubborn to sink the ship altogether.
So what can we do to fix the Knicks in NBA 2K17? It might be time for a full-on rebuild.
Trade Carmelo Anthony
This isn't an easy proposition. Carmelo Anthony has two years left on his deal after this season, each paying in excess of 25 million dollars -- assuming he doesn't use his early-termination option after the 2017/18 season. At just an 84 overall and declining returns (plus a no-trade clause), Anthony may fetch little more than a draft pick or two, while you take on salary in return. It's important to approach this trade situation at the right time, even if that means re-playing through the 2016-2017 season in your franchise. Best-case scenario, you wind up finding a Timberwolves-like deal, trading Anthony to a championship contender and grabbing an early first or a budding star in return.
One thing that you should avoid is dealing Anthony for a similarly talented player. It could be a chemistry issue, but the fact of the matter is this: the New York Knicks just aren't talented enough. Behind Porzingis and Anthony, there's not even close to enough there. Another superstar isn't going to fix the problem, especially when you would just need to re-negotiate a contract in a year or two, anyway.
Build Around Kristaps Porzingis
When the Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis in 2015 with the fourth-overall pick in the draft, nobody quite knew what his ceiling was. Even now, it's hard to tell what the 7-foot-3 power forward (and maybe future center) can become as a player. At an incredible 85 overall at just 21 years of age, there's not many better players to build around than Porzingis.
Going back to the earlier point, finding a point guard that can help develop Porzingis should be priority number one. There are too few available via trade, so targeting one in the draft is likely your best route. If not, you may be able to snag someone like Goran Dragic if you put the right deal together, but that age timeline might not line up. Another possibility is Eric Bledsoe, who the Suns might be willing to move due to a potential clog in the backcourt. If you start from step one, don't be afraid to give up Rose, who is still rated as one of the league's better guards at an 82 overall.
Give Yourself Some Cap Space
This one is important. The New York Knicks are one of the NBA's most prestigious teams and they are in a very lucrative market. In an effort to patch together a playoff team, they spent money extremely unwisely this past offseason. If you can get rid of Carmelo (Rose only has a year left, so trade him if you can, but it's not a long-term concern), you might be in a fantastic position to bring in a star in 2018 after you've been able to put some younger talent around Porzingis.
With both of those 20-plus million dollar contracts gone, you can focus on ridding yourself of Noah, who may have been the worst signing of 2016 (getting anything for him would be a minor miracle). With Kyle O'Quinn and Willy Hernangómez, you'll have plenty of frontcourt to tie with Porzingis. But again, Noah has a massive contract for a player who is more of a role player than anything, so see what you can do to get the contract off the books. Courtney Lee is the final piece here to potentially move. He didn't necessarily sign an awful contract, but he just doesn't fit the timeline.
Focus On The Future
It may sound redundant at this point, but the Knicks have zero hopes of being a contender right now. Next year is just as unlikely. Give yourself a workable deadline, like 2018, to build the foundation for the next great New York Knicks team. They have benefited from some decent draft picks in the last couple of years, so make sure to see what you have in that youth. There are enough assets available that you can foster some hope in the otherwise tragic recent history of the New York Knicks.