Leon Rose has been conservative about spending since taking over as president of the Knicks, but he’s ready to put the team’s more than $50MM in cap space to good use, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. New York has more money available than anyone heading into free agency, and the primary target will be a new point guard.
The dream scenario for Rose is to land his former CAA client, Chris Paul, who declined his $44.2MM player option on Sunday. The Knicks are one of two teams that can offer Paul $123MM over three seasons, but there are indications that he prefers to stay in Phoenix after leading the Suns to the NBA Finals.
New York is also interested in Kyle Lowry, who reportedly is leaning toward the Heat, but the Knicks can offer a starting salary up to $39MM, which is more than he could get in Miami. However, Berman notes that would limit the team’s other options, such as finding a scoring wing like Evan Fournier, Duncan Robinson, Norman Powell or Kelly Oubre.
The most likely option may be Dennis Schröder, who won’t be staying in L.A. now that the Lakers have Russell Westbrook. The Knicks scouted Schröder extensively this week, Berman adds, to make sure he’s a good fit for Tom Thibodeau’s system.
There’s more from New York:
- The free agency process will provide an indication of how much the Knicks value Derrick Rose, notes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Rose played an important role after being acquired from the Pistons at midseason, but a rival team told Begley that some members of New York’s front office want to let him get other offers on the free agent market before making one of their own.
- The Knicks traded down before drafting Quentin Grimes, but they knew they couldn’t go lower than the 25th pick, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Kelvin Sampson, Grimes’ college coach at Houston, talked to New York general manager Scott Perry during the draft and says the Nuggets were ready to take Grimes at No. 26 if had still been available.
- Second-round pick Rokas Jokubaitis is expected to spend another year overseas before joining the Knicks, Berman adds in a separate story. The Lithuanian guard will join Barcelona after playing the past three seasons for Zalgiris. New York is already looking at four potential rookies on its roster next season, and Jokubaitis is on board with the plan, according to Donatas Urbonas of BasketNews.