NBA Hall of Famer and TV commentator Charles Barkley has never been shy with his assessments, nor should he be given his occupation. However on Wednesday, while he was promoting a celebrity golf tournament, he took aim some pretty low hanging fruit, the New York Knicks. The franchise's president, Leon Rose is already feeling the heat for the roster he has assembled. Now it is clear that the basketball community's patience with Rose's plan is wearing thin.

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The NBA, as a league, is better when the New York teams, especially the Knicks, are playing well. TV ratings get better and it has an overall positive effect on the league. According to Stefon Bondy of nydailynews.com, Barkley said of the Knicks, “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 J.A.G.s as I call them. Just A Guy.”

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Barkley's indictment of Leon Rose's roster is exactly the way fans of the New York franchise feel. Last year's free agent signings Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier actually made the roster worse. The 4th seed in the East in 2021 dropped out of the playoffs completely in 2022.

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“They’re not better than guys on Atlanta, Orlando,” Bondy quoted Barkley. “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.” That's brutal but it is spot on. This franchise can't get out of it's own way when it comes to leadership.

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The NBA Draft is next Thursday, June 23rd. The New York Knicks will pick 11th. That should improve the talent level on the roster at one position. According to Bondy, the franchise wants to sign free agent guard Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks. That will be a tall task.

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Friend of The Drive, Steve Popper of newsday.com told us that the Knicks may try to make a trade for Donovan Mitchell, who isn't happy in Utah and is from New York. Again, who could Utah possibly want off of this roster? The Knicks have to move awful contracts signed by Leon Rose. I agree with what Sir Charles said, “[The Knicks] are not even close to being relevant right now.” And, I don't see them being good for a few years.

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