New York is one of two states that can claim at least two teams in all four major sports across the United States. The New York metropolitan area has nine teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. For five of these franchises, the fuse has been lit on a possible blow-up of epic proportions as the Summer draws closer.
New York Knicks
Knick fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time. After years of ill-advised trades and draft picks, the Knicks were poised to win the NBA lottery. On the night of the draft lottery selection, Knick fans cheered when Lakers were announced as the fourth pick. Those cheers suddenly turned into cries as Knicks received the third pick, likely eliminating them from any chance of drafting Zion Williamson. However, the dropoff from the third pick to the fourth in potential talent is very steep.
The plan for the Knicks is to sign Kevin Durant and another max free agent such as Kyrie Irving or a player of that caliber. Durant, who is seemingly the crown jewel, was speculated to be coming to New York, according to a string of rumors online and on social media. However, speculation has shifted towards the Los Angeles Clippers as a landing spot, leaving Knick fans concerned. Without Durant, the Knicks likely will have a hard time convincing other stars to come to the city- especially with their recent history of chaos in the organization. That being said, players will likely come to the big apple, just not the superstars Knicks are coveting. Losing the first pick was a hit, but not getting Kevin Durant could be crippling to the fan base.
After a successful season and a playoff berth, Nets are looking to add a piece that will put them in the same tier as elite teams of the NBA Eastern Conference. The trade for all-star guard D’Angelo Russell showed the league why he was drafted second overall. With a big payday on the horizon, Russell was cited with marijuana possession at New York’s Laguardia airport. Most say this citation is not a big deal, but the Nets are looking at many free agents and are rumored to be targeting another point guard. This mashup can cause disorder within the organization and angst amongst fans.
New York Jets
The Jets recently fired their general manager, who spent over 100 million dollars on free agents this year, two weeks after the NFL Draft. The inside word was a power struggle between the new head coach and exiled general manager. This comes after the Giants were lauded for drafting Daniel Jones in this year’s draft and their dysfunction in regards long term plans. While the Jets drafted their future quarterback of the future last year, most believe the Giants are still looking for theirs. However, recent events serve as a reminder that the Jets are still dealing with continuous organizational flaws.
As we head into the Summer, Jets are poised to have some major movements. Head coach Adam Gase stated he would not have paid new running back Le’Veon Bell the money he is receiving. Bell has not participated in any of the off-season voluntary workouts, despite not playing in one game last year and joining a new team this year. Gase is coming off an unsuccessful run as the Miami Dolphins head coach and now is also serving as the interim general manager of the Jets. That’s a lot of power for a man who has done little in the NFL besides befriending Peyton Manning.
New York Giants
Things are not so sunny for the New York Giants coming into the summer. When teams draft a quarterback as high as the Giants did, they normally start from day one. However, incumbent quarterback Eli Manning is still listed as the starter. If Jones beats him out, the Giants will be scolded for paying Manning a 5 million dollar roster bonus to sit the bench. In addition, the Giants traded their maligned all world wide receiver, Odell Beckham. The Giants are doubting their future plans and as the summer moves on and as training camp starts, the talk will just get louder on their internal dysfunction.
New York Mets
The Mets are heading towards imploding their season. As a franchise, they always do enough to gain interest, but not usually enough to become a factor. Their inconsistent play will likely lead to the firing of their manager and a possible sell-off of tradable assets. Impending free agents like Zach Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard could be on the move as the trade deadline approaches.
Mets’ fans are a very fickle bunch that usually seem negative. The contract extension given to Jacob deGrom before the season was cheered by half the fan base and lauded by the others. The argument was his contract was not up and he is a 30-year-old coming off a historic season. After struggling this season, some Mets’ fans are now regretting the extension. The two top prospects in a pretty bare farm system were traded for an overpaid second basemen, who was suspended for PED’s last season. Edwin Diaz has struggled closing games of late and Robinson Cano is on the injury list after a lackluster first month and a half with the Mets.
All five of these fuses can be lit and blow up at any time. Things can get explosive in the New York sports scene this summer.