What’s The Knicks Next Move?

Promising signs?

The mood amongst Knicks fans has certainly improved in recent days. The signing of Jalen Brunson & Isaiah Hartenstein as well as resigning Mitchell Robinson to a multi-year deal has done nothing but lift fans’ spirits. Although there are some questioning about whether Brunson will be able to live up to his 4-year $104 million contract, it should be believed that these moves are a clear statement of intent from the organization. They want to compete. Given how competitive the Eastern conference is, the Knicks may not be there yet. However, it’s clear that the front office is trying to construct a more competitive roster around RJ Barrett. Overall posing the question of ‘What is the Knicks next move?’ to fans.

Knicks Free Agency

After signing Brunson and Hartenstein, the Knicks have met the cap and possess $5.2 million in a room exception to spend on other free agents. From this, one can see that their dealings in free agency are likely over, in terms of signing team-changing talent. Thus, the avenue of signing free agents to aid the team is unlikely to be explored.

Going back to Brunson, Fred Katz has reported that the Knicks are currently under investigation and will likely face punishment for tampering concerning their agreement with the guard. Although it seems bizarre that they would face punishment for simply freeing up cap space and meeting with a player before another team, the NBA has the final say and that must be respected. As a result of this, the Knicks may lose one of their vast multitude of picks. Optimists would label this an inconsequential outcome for the price of acquiring talent on the level of Brunson.

Trades For The Knicks to Explore

Given last season’s frustrations, many fans would be eager for further roster alteration in preparation for the coming season. Most would be quick to throw Julius Randle and Evan Fournier into these discussions. Despite his disappointing seasons last year, it would be unwise for the Knicks to engage in any trade talk with Randle. With the addition of Jalen Brunson, the Knicks now have another skilled scorer and ball-handler on their roster. This could lead to a bounce-back year from Randle as teams will be less likely to utilize double-teams on the forward and ball-handling duties being shared more evenly between Randle, Barrett, and Brunson, taking offensive pressure off the incumbents.

When looking at Fournier, fans may be quick to criticize his $18 million annual salary. However, he broke the Knicks franchise record for threes in a season with 241. One could argue he still has a large role to play as the teams best shooter and will be effective in providing space for his teammates, given he is such a threat from range. However, there are stronger arguments suggesting he should indeed be traded. Given that he takes up roughly 14% of the Knicks cap space, one could argue that this money could be better utilized elsewhere.

Reddish or Fournier?

Furthermore, the limbo that Quentin Grimes and Cam Reddish currently find themselves in means that they would likely only get garbage-time minutes if Fournier is kept in the rotation. Thus, having both Fournier and Reddish on the roster come the start of the season seems unlikely. With this in mind, the likeliest move the Knicks will make is either moving on from Fournier or Reddish. It seems illogical for the Knicks to hold onto a piece like Reddish and then not play him. Given Reddish cost Kevin Knox and a protected first-round pick, it would be illogical to let him leave so early into his Knicks career. With this in mind, it would make more sense for the front office to move on from Fournier.




What We Know About The Knicks

What fans know is that the Knicks summer league begins on Friday. Obviously, not one of us has a crystal ball where we could see their next move. The certainty we have is that Knicks basketball is back in the very foreseeable future.

With the roster as a whole, an effective 10-man rotation has been created (assuming the Knicks move on from Fournier). With Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes and Jalen Brunson, the Knicks have a strong set of guards. RJ Barrett, Cameron Reddish, Obi Toppin, and Julius Randle will be the forwards. The line-up will be anchored by a strong center tandem of Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein. This grants situational minutes to  Jericho Sims, further facilitating his development (particularly as Robinson so often struggles to stay healthy.


Final Remarks

To conclude, the Knicks limited cap space has made there be very little room for further maneuver within free agency. Despite this, there will likely be a trade involving either Reddish or Fournier. Despite free-agent acquisitions being off the table, Knicks basketball could be viewed with a ray of hope, unlike their city neighbors!

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