Although there are four months left in the season, the Knicks are already thinking about next summer. Whatever progress the organization has made in developing a young base of talent, the team hopes to jump start that by signing one of the elite free agents who will hit the market on July 1.
Management has gotten an early start on the selling process, with coach David Fizdale saying this week that he believes the Knicks should be an attractive destination and are no longer viewed around the league as a poorly run club.
“What I think we’ve done together with (president) Steve Mills and (GM) Scott Perry and (owner) Mr. (James) Dolan and myself and all our staff, is we changed the perception of how we operate and treat each other and what’s important,” Fizdale said. “That’s the first step in getting people to come to New York. When they see we have a really tight ship, really take care of our guys, our guys get better and get a lot of attention.”
The Knicks will have several selling points to the free agent class of 2019, starting with the ability to free up enough cap room for a maximum contract. New York is on the edge of being able to offer a full max deal now with a little more than $78MM tied up in salary for 2019/20 against a projected cap of $109MM. Finding a taker for Courtney Lee‘s $12.76MM deal for next season would give the team plenty of breathing room.
Kristaps Porzingis may not play this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but he is expected to be fully healthy in time for next year’s training camp. A top free agent may be tempted to join Porzingis, who was in the middle of his first All-Star season when he was injured, plus a young core that includes Tim Hardaway Jr., Kevin Knox, Emmanuel Mudiay and Mitchell Robinson. New York also seems destined for a high lottery pick, occupying the fifth spot in our latest Reverse Standings.
The allure of playing in Madison Square Garden can also be pitched to free agents, along with the chance to turn around a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs or posted a winning record since the 2012/13 season.
We want to get your opinion on the situation in New York. Do you believe the Knicks can lure a top name in a group that will include Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and several others? Please leave your comments in the space below.
23 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Can The Knicks Land An Elite Free Agent?”
If the elite players are happy where hey are at, why would they take less money to play for franchises like the Knicks? Paul George was happy last summer and took the money over the Lakers.
Many would contend PG13 wanted all the money without the pressure. That’s neither here nor there. He’s balling in OKC but Lakers would be contenders right now with him
Pg13 could have just reupped with Indy if that was the case.
Not a chance. They could probably build a contender though trading for Wall and Love to pair with KCP. And instantly enter luxury tax territorry.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope? Did you really mean him or did you mean Porzingis?
Ive seen a few people reference the unicorn as KCP, was wondering if it was just auto correct from KP or if im missing something
I have typed KCP often though, my best friend is a Lakers fan so his name goes back n forth often as contract filler trades lol
Simple answer. No they can’t. Long answer, noooooooooooo they can’t. Big markets don’t matter as much as they use to. Lakers got LeBron purely for LA draw for career after basketball. NY, Chicago and other big markets never had a chance with him. NY has to build through draft and make smart trades/FA moves. Big market draw simply does not carry as much as it use to.
Having a coach like Fizdale doesn’t help either
Before the Knicks recruit any elite free agents they need a new owner. Owners set the tone for the franchise, and just because Dolan is being quiet doesn’t mean he’s not setting the tone behind the scenes.
I’m not sure the Knicks can in fact bring in a top FA for next season. This past game against the Nets. Dinnwittle stated after the game the Nets did not want to lose to the Knicks because the Knicks are the Knicks. Like the Knicks are still a joke around the league. If that is the way the league still sees the Knicks it will be in fact a long cold off season for the Knicks. The Knicks need a pure Point Guard or Point Forward that can dish 10 assists a game.I don’t see one coming out of the draft so one has to come in as a free agent.
The Knicks and other large market teams have been dubbed off limits by elite players in the NBA. NY, Chicago, Houston and LA have been largely ignored by the most sought after FAs for decades. This changed with LeBron going to LA to jump start his career in the movie industry. Other than that, it probably won’t change anytime soon since many players these days seem to avoid the spotlight and pressure that comes with playing in large markets like NY.
Why you guys keep saying LBJ moved to LA for Hollywood? As far as the truth goes he moved to put Bronny through the best High School in the country, the best program of basketball, it was for family reasons mainly, but also playing for the Lakers as a star is something unique, as the best franchise in league history (Celtics too) it is an honor & a privilege for a superstar to play in there, though clearly LA is a better place to live than Boston, you know beaches, weather, lifestyle…
When has anything you stated mattered? LeBron and numerous other elite players have turned down the Lakers before. Many of them live there, but none of them wanted to play in LA. And if you don’t see the timing of LeBron signing with LA and his production company’s pending projects in Hollywood as anything more than coincidental, you’re delusional.
remember when charles oakley was arrested while watching a game – players don’t forget
Yea they threw the cuddliest player in NBA history out of a game lol. Charles Oakley would smack his momma down to the ground if she drove to the hoop on him.
Players have spurned the Knicks for decades, Oakley has nothing to do with it.
KD is going to the Knicks
The Knicks, like many other teams, can land a premier FA if the following exists when the time comes to pursue a big name:
– Good young talent who continues to improve
– A steady coaching staff and front office
– The lure of the City/Organization
– Money to spend
– Flexibility to spend more in the upcoming years
Knicks young talent doesn’t look great right now outside of Zinger, but I think there is potential in Robinson and Trier. Knox I question, and Frank looks like a candidate for trade before the whole league gives up on him. A top pick would hopefully help as well.
I am happy with the front office (unless Dolan starts to menace again as usual), though Fizdale worries me a bit. It sounds like he has vocal support from some legendary players (Wade, Bron), but they know him as an Assistant and not a head coach.
NYC can can have a lure if the other items fall into place. Bron went to LA for the post career entertainment industry, and NYC can offer a lot of post career options as well.
They’ll have money to spend this offseason, but once Zinger is extended, it will be difficult to carve out a lot of money with Hardaway’s deal still on the books for two more years.
To draw a big FA based on talent this offseason, a trade for a star now may be necessary. I hate the idea of Wall, but inevitably, there will be someone else available at some point in the season. If they can’t swing a deal, I think a premium FA is out of reach, and the more likely course of action may be two quality FA’s like Rozier and WCS. A group of Rozier, Hardaway/draft pick, Knox/draft pick, Zinger and WCS with some quality depth (Knox or Hardaway off the bench, Robinson, Trier, fill in FA’s), and the Knicks can at least return to some level of prominence.
Yeah ok, this is all true in some alternate reality you’ve created.
No. They can’t. They’ll have to settle for 2nd tier players whose contracts will look terrible in a couple of years. The cycle will never end.
The Knicks always have been, and always will be, an attractive destination for elite players. People who think otherwise, are just ignorant of history and thus forced to, or otherwise content to, use the last couple of sound bites as defining “the past” and also deeming it prologue.
Like any team, two things have to be present for them to get elite FAs. First, there has to be an elite FA that’s truly out there willing to move teams. RARE. Second, the team needs to have the cap space to sign that FA in that year. EXTREMELY RARE. But generally, when those have aligned, the Knicks have generally gotten what they wanted. Yes, what they’ve wanted. I mean it’s pretty clear they haven’t wanted the right thing on most occasions. But the real issue is they haven’t had significant cap space in all but a few years since the 1980s. Same thing with trade assets, which is a whole different but similar story and pre-dates NBA free agency.
An unattractive destination would bleed players. The Knicks not only don’t do that, they are probably the only team in the NBA that has never lost an elite player that they wanted to keep. Even guys they torture like Melo never ask out.
Dolan is a non-factor. He has screwed up the team in the past with impatience and desire to be a decision maker himself, like ironically trading for star (who isn’t much of one) ahead of a FA period where they would have cap space. But he really doesn’t care nearly as much about the team as he did in the Cablevision days, at least relative to his other endeavors. I expect him to sell most of his interest in the team in the next 5 years. People don’t really understand why Jackson was fired when he was. It wasn’t about Dolan wanting to impose his will on the team’s direction. The opposite. Dolan didn’t care that Jackson was running the draft (already fired in effect) or when Mills decided to signed player or hire a GM. Dolan didn’t even interview Perry or meet him until months after his hiring.