Charles Barkley gives realistic take on Knicks’ roster and future

Ah, one of the joys of the New York Knicks. Even when New York isn’t playing, the team is still brought up in conversation just because the Knicks are the Knicks. And what Charles Barkley had to say on Wednesday was true, but it was yet another reminder of how far New York has to go.

Barkley entered the league as a player 11 years after the Knicks won their most recent championship in 1973 and he retired in 2000. Since his retirement, New York has made it to the playoffs six times, and five of those instances resulted in first-round exits. So, as a spectator and analyst, Barkley hasn’t gotten to see much from the Knicks.

He currently works for NBA on TNT and recently said that when his contract is up in two years, he’s likely going to retire from television. If that’s the case, then Barkley will wrap up yet another career without New York enjoying any major success.

Right now, the Knicks’ measure of success is making it to the playoffs, even if their dreams come to an end in the first round. That’s what happened in 2020-21 and after making it through 2021-22 without even reaching the play-in tournament, the Knicks are back to square one. As for their future, Barkley isn’t a believer.

Charles Barkley gives his input on the direction of the New York Knicks

Barkley was asked about what New York needs to address this summer on a video call that was meant to promote the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, which is happening next month in South Lake Tahoe. And here’s what Barkley had to say about the beloved Knicks:

“How long do you think this video call is? We don’t have that much time to address all this. They’re not close. They’re not close at all. They only got about two to three guys who are NBA starters. The No. 1 thing they got to do is get talent. They got a bunch of JAGs as I call them. Just A Guy.

“They’re not better than guys on Atlanta, Orlando. There’s only probably three guys on that team that are NBA starters. So the No. 1 thing they got to do is get some talent. They got a lack of talent right now. And it’s really unfortunate because we need the Knicks to be competitive. And right now, they’re not competitive.”

Yikes. Leave it to Chuck to create a term like ‘JAG.’ He had to throw a couple of jokes in there, but he wasn’t wrong in what he said, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Barkley said himself that it’s “unfortunate” that the Knicks aren’t competitive, and he’s right, because the NBA is more fun when they’re relevant.

Remember how exciting it was when New York simply made the playoffs in 2021? The league needs more of that energy.

The Knicks have been linked to both Donovan Mitchell and Jalen Brunson, and landing one of those players would alter the state of the organization, but as for Mitchell, Barkley doesn’t think it’s realistic. He said that New York doesn’t “have a lot in the cupboard right now” to give up in exchange for the New York native.

Once again, he’s not wrong. Chuck also said that the Knicks haven’t drafted well, but since Leon Rose’s arrival, New York has had some pretty solid picks. And hopefully that continues with the 2022 NBA Draft later this month.

The Knicks have work that they need to do before they can make a believer out of Barkley. With what’s expected to be a busy offseason, New York will have the chance to make a splash before the start of 2022-23.