New York Finally Has Point Guard
The New York Knicks were seemingly rejuvenated because of one free agent signing in the 2022 offseason, Jalen Brunson. When he signed with the Knicks, it headlined NBA news followed by tampering allegations, but it was worth it.
After making the playoffs in 2020-21, last season was a complete letdown, missing out on the p;ay-in tournament. The Knicks NBA playoffs odds heading into the 2022-23 season did not improve much, despite the Brunson signing.
However, they would become one of the hottest teams for NBA picks especially in the playoffs, winning a series against the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. The run would end for the fifth-seeded Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, losing to the Miami Heat in six games.
The roster is already starting to make a lot of sense around Brunson, with Julius Randle making his second All-Star Game and All-NBA team. RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Immanuel Quickley played a massive role in changing how Las Vegas odds looked at New York.
Trading for Josh Hart at the deadline made the Knicks a serious contender in the eyes of NBA betting, finally filling out the roster. There is not much work to do for NBA predictions, given that many of the critical pieces on the roster for 2023-24 are already in New York.
2022-23 Season Record: 47-35
Status of Coach: Tom Thibodeau, in the eyes of Knicks fans, he should be on the hot seat, but with two playoff appearances in three years, his job is safe.
Positions Of Need For the Knicks
- Consistent 3-point Threat
Possible Free Agency Plan
Most of the Knicks’ roster is already made up. Brunson is the starting point guard, with Quickly coming off the bench to back him up, playing well off or on the ball. That allows them to play together if the team needs an extra offensive boost.
The wing room has a lot of depth between Barrett, Hart, and Quentin Grimes. They kind of all do different things while remaining solid defenders. Barrett has a lot of upside of being a legit third option on offense if he could become more consistent. Hart is an all-around player and can do everything from rebounding, playmaking, to guarding the opponent’s best player. At the same time, Grimes is the primary perimeter defender who sometimes gets hot from three. The one question would be the lack of consistent shooting from three, which needs to be addressed in free agency.
While Randle is not a center, he is a big, usually working offensively in the post or spotting up from three. The actual centers are Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein, two players doing different things but are elite rebounders. Robinson is more of the defensive anchor, while Hartenstein offers more offensive versatility with his passing.
Evan Fournier is ready to move on from the Knicks: ‘I didn’t play this year, so why would you bring me back?’
“My season has been over for a very long time, actually. This officially is the end, but my season was over a long time ago…Obviously, there are gonna be changes and… pic.twitter.com/3qweQafmU7
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 13, 2023
That does not leave a lot of holes needing to be filled. The Knicks are also in a decent cap situation and will likely be even better when they can take off $30 million after moving away from the Evan Fournier and Derrick Rose contracts. That could open up space for New York to offer extensions to Quickly and Obi Toppin, whose rookie contracts end after 2023-24. Hart also has a player option, but all signs point to the Knicks extending him, having played such a crucial role in the end of the season.
After that, it is hard to think where the Knicks might go to find more consistent shooting, in a starter or bench player. That is mainly because, in theory, Fournier should fill that role, but he was benched due to his lack of defensive effort. New York should have the cap space to sign an elite shooter like Seth Curry, but what would be the point if Thibodeau benches him?
What might be the most logical free agent signing, which seems unlikely, is Gary Trent Jr. He would have to decline his $18 million player option with the Toronto Raptors. The Knicks could offer him a sizable contract, and Trent has shown to be active on the defensive end while shooting 38% from three for his career.
First Round Draft Picks
The Knicks have no picks in this draft.
Possible Draft Plan
Like the free agency plan, the Knicks do not need a rookie. For the most part, most of the vital roster spots are filled. They also already have some young talent in Quickly, Toppin, and Grimes, who are still on rookie deals. On top of that, Thibodeau is a coach with a reputation for not playing rookies. He likes his veterans and would instead use them rather than experiment with a rookie who makes defensive mistakes.