Grading the Knicks’ potential free agent targets

With the off-season soon approaching, the New York Knicks have already begun their search for new acquisitions. This new and exciting Knicks team will surely draw the attention of several bigger NBA players. The front office needs to take advantage of this interest and bring in some valuable pieces. Here are the rumored players New York will target and if they make sense to make a push for.

1. Dennis Schroder

Knicks Grade: A-

The Knicks are in need of a point guard. Elfrid Payton has struggled throughout the season and hasn’t brought enough to the table. While Derrick Rose has been fantastic off the bench, it might make more sense to leave him at the 6th man who can be used to keep the energy up and support the younger players off the bench. Dennis Schroder, however, can come into New York and fit perfectly into this gritty side. His high-intensity, tough guard embodies this Knicks team who has managed to secure the fourth seed in the East. In Los Angeles, he’s backed up Lebron James and Anthony Davis well, averaging 15 points and just under six assists. He can occupy a higher role in the Big Apple and can undoubtedly bring the Knicks to the next level.

However, the German 27-year-old is asking for just around $20M yearly, which may be too much for the Knicks. While Schroeder is certainly a good consistent guard, his asking price is still. quite high.

2. Lonzo Ball

Knicks Grade: B+

Lonzo Ball has gone through a rough patch in New Orleans. While there’s clear potential, he has struggled to shine next to some of the NBA brightest stars in Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. The eldest Ball brother is a good playmaker and better defender. He could fit very well into Tom Thibodeau’s system and shine in the Mecca. Additionally, at only 23 years old, there’s still lots of time to mold him into a star. Lonzo Ball was heavily linked with the Knicks before the trade deadline in March, he could finally sign pen to paper this summer.

3. Kyle Lowry

Knicks Grade: B

Kyle Lowry could be a potential option for the Knicks at the point guard spot next year. He’s had a season of ups and downs with Toronto and may be looking for a way out this summer. The 35-year-old guard has averaged 17 points and 7 assists for the Raptors this year and could offer similar numbers for New York next season. He could potentially take a significant pay-cut this summer and the Knicks could make an offer. He offers playoff experience as he’s been to the eight different times. There’s a lot of upside to Kyle Lowry if he can play at his consistently high level.

4. DeMar DeRozan

Knicks Grade: C+

Demar DeRozan is coming off a strong season with the Spurs. He’s averaged 21 points and seven assists with little support in San Antonio. He’s dragged a mediocre team to the play-in tournament although the playoffs likely don’t await them. He isn’t a liability defensively and can offer some veteran experience. So why does he have such a low grade?

DeRozan ultimately doesn’t fit with the Knicks. He’s a very poor 3 point shooter at 25% and likely won’t do well as the second or third option on a team. This Knicks team has spent the season letting Julius Randle toy with opposing teams defenses or driving into the paint, only to throw the ball out for an open three for another player. While this was shaken up a bit with the arrival of Derrick Rose in February, this seems to have been the go-to move for the Knicks. The 31-year-old forward simply won’t succeed in New York and shouldn’t be aggressively pursued by the Knicks.

The playoffs begin in about a week from now. This will be key in seeing who deserves to stay with the Knicks and who’s time has run out.

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