This season was not pretty for the New York Knickerbockers. The team went 4-18 under head coach David Fizdale to start the season before they parted ways with him. Next, they brought in former Westchester Knicks coach Mike Miller as interim head coach. Under Miller, they achieved 21 wins. At the trade deadline, the Knicks finally fired Steve Mills and brought in Leon Rose as the team president. Though Rose didn’t get to see very many games due to the pandemic, there are many improvements he needs to make. The team had the worst floor spacing in the league, played with no intensity on defense, and were very inconsistent overall. With those struggles in mind, here are five potential free agents targets the New York Knicks may go after to help alleviate the bad play.
Christian Wood, Power Forward
For the right price, Christian Wood would be a good acquisition. After Andre Drummond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wood made the most of his opportunity. The 6’10 power forward averaged 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game. Wood is a stretch four, so he would also help with the floor spacing problem. Bringing in Wood would create driving lanes for R.J. Barrett and more space for Mitchell Robinson in the paint.
Fred VanVleet, Point Guard
Without overpaying, Fred VanVleet would be a very handy acquisition for the Knickerbockers. VanVleet is a guy that has improved his game every year. The 2019-20 season has been his best campaign so far. The 6’0” point guard averaged 18 points and 7 assists per game for the Raptors. He shot 41% from the field, 39% from three, and 85% from the free-throw line. VanVleet has tremendous ability to create his shot and space the floor. He’s also a solid playmaker and can play at the shooting guard spot. This would give new coach Tom Thibodeau several lineup options. VanVleet can start at point Guard alongside a traditional shooting Guard, or at shooting guard next to someone like Frank Ntilikina, who Thibs wants to work with.
D.J. Augustin, Point Guard
D.J. Augustin would bring veteran leadership, consistency, and shooting to the table for the New York Knicks. The 6’0” point guard is an NBA journeyman. He’s played for eight teams in 13 seasons. Augustin has been credited by several teammates, including Markelle Fultz, about being a great locker room presence. He’s been known for showing young players how to be professional and take care of their bodies. Augustin has been through it all in his career. He’s been cut, released, traded, started, and has came off the bench.
Augustin’s NBA experience could help guys like Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, two young guards who have seen many struggles early on in their careers. This season, Augustin’s averages have dipped, but he still shot over 40% on catch-and-shoot threes. Augustin plays at his own pace which leads to making fewer mistakes. He would be a positive presence for the young Knicks’ guards.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Small Forward
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hasn’t been known for his scoring. The 6’7” small forward is a proven pesky defender and is very versatile in that area. The defense is one of The New York Knicks’ greatest concerns so MKG would be a huge help. Something to note though is that Kidd-Gilchrist has fallen out of NBA rotations due to how limited he is on offense. He lost playing time on both the Charlotte Bobcats and the Chicago Bulls. Though Kidd-Gilchrist hasn’t been able to find minutes in the rotation, he could be a player worth giving minutes to for his defense.
Davis Bertans, Power Forward
The New York Knickerbockers were the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA, finishing dead last in the league in three-point field goals per game. The 6’10” power forward Davis Bertans is one of the best stretch bigs around and can help his teammates improve. Bertans would mesh well with R.J. Barrett, who thrives at finishing around the rim. He would also fit with Mitchell Robinson, who is a skilled rebounder and can create second-chance opportunities. This would also create more shots for Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina. Both of which have struggled on offense and haven’t played with confidence.
The Knickerbockers have had many struggles, and have many holes to fill on the roster. Though none of these players are stars like the fans want, these player acquisitions would be very solid for the Knicks and would fill some gaping holes.