David Fizdale Confident Knicks Can Do Well In Free Agency

During a rare, wide-ranging interview earlier this week, Knicks owner James Dolan voiced confidence that the team would enjoy a successful summer in recruiting top tier free agents.

“Yes, I do think that. I think we offer a pretty good situation for [to acquire free agents],” he said on The Michael Kay Show. “One is a lot of them love New York, a bunch of them live in New York in the offseason. They know the team, they know [head coach David Fizdale] really well, they know [president Steve Mills] and [GM Scott Perry]. Players want to go to a winner and they want to get paid. We’re definitely going to pay them. We think with them combined and the kids we’ve got today, we can build a winning team.”

Thus far, the rebuilding Knicks sit in the NBA’s cellar, owning a league-worst record of 13-56. However, the organization has pointed toward its young assets, such as Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson — in addition to the city of New York — as enticing reasons for free agents to consider the team as a destination.

Fizdale echoed Dolan’s comments, citing player development and chatter around the league.

“Well, the beauty of it, the thing that I always — as much as I love you guys — I try to have my baseline on people that are having to make decisions around the league when they look at our team,” Fizdale said, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “All of the feedback that we’ve gotten is young kids have gotten better, our guys compete their butts off. We set ourselves up big-time for a great future and that’s what I’m listening to when I talk to my friends around the league and the feedback that I’m getting.”

The Knicks are expected to be serious players for Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and others. It’s still far from a certainty that New York will sign any of those impending free agents and Fizdale said he remains focused on finishing the season strong.

“Well, since we’ve been here, I’m hoping that’s the case, that the relationships and what we’re building here will attract people,” Fizdale said. “But right now I’m so far away from that, guys, I’m like in a darkroom right now with these guys. I’ve got a lot of things I’m trying to clean up and teach these young guys. Free agency for me is like millions of miles away.”

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