Now that the New York Knicks season has concluded, it’s time to look at who will they will target, whether that be with a trade or in free agency. There were a lot of positives from the Knicks this season; no one expected them to be the 4th seed in the East. However, if the Knicks want to legitimately compete for a championship, changes are going to have to be made.
This would be a best-case scenario for the Knicks. If Damian Lillard decides he wants out of Portland, the Knicks could be a potential destination for Lillard. It would take an abundance of draft picks and most definitely RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson for the Blazers to even consider the Knicks as an option. But, if there are no better offers, the Knicks could find themselves in for some luck, for once. Lillard would finally be that superstar player the Knicks have been lacking since Carmelo Anthony.
Free Agent Targets
In another best-case scenario for the Knicks here, Kawhi Leonard would also bring that superstar status to the Knicks. The benefit with Lenard is that the Knicks wouldn’t have to give up any assets, other than money, of course. While it is unlikely Leonard leaves the Clippers for the Knicks, considering Kawhi didn’t even give the Knicks a meeting in 2019, crazier things have happened. If the Clippers fall apart in round 2 and Kawhi thinks coming back to the weaker East would benefit his career, the Knicks will definitely be in the hunt.
A more realistic target, Ibaka would provide immediate stretch 5 abilities, something the Knicks lacked this year. Ibaka hasn’t played much for the Clippers this season and could very well want a bigger role elsewhere. With Mitchell Robinson’s injury woes and Taj Gibson unlikely to return, Ibaka would fit perfectly with the Knicks. And while his defense isn’t what it used to be, he is still a solid rim protector that can play along with Julius Randle.
Upgrading the point guard position is one of the Knicks’ biggest musts this offseason. Lonzo Ball might just be their best and most plausible target. The Pelicans did not give Ball an extension during the season, a sign that they might want to part ways with him. While Ball is a restricted free agent, if the Knicks throw enough money at him, the Pelicans are unlikely to match. Ball would be an immediate upgrade over Elfrid Payton and would allow Derrick Rose to slide back into his role as the 6th man (if he’s brought back). With his improved jump shot and superb passing abilities, Ball would be an excellent fit with the Knicks.
The Knick need all the help they can get at the guard position, and Lou Williams could be just what they’re looking for, and for cheap as well. A savvy veteran, Lou Will provides shot-making abilities the Knicks desperately need on their 2nd unit. The Knicks really struggled to score in the playoffs when teams locked in on defense, and Lou Williams, a 3-time 6th man of the year winner, is known for his scoring and would provide a huge boost.
The Knicks are also in need of more shooters. Like Ibaka, Robinson would space the floor, but Robinson is more of the 3 point specialist. Robinson had a bit of a down year this past year and the Heat could be looking to part ways with him. The Knicks could take a chance on Robinson, for the right price, and give him an opportunity to succeed.