The New York Knicks are set to enter free agency with about $30 million in cap space and plenty of roster spots to fill. Right now, the Knicks’ roster consists of Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyle O’Quinn, and Justin Holiday. Phil Jackson will certainly have his work cut out for him this summer.
First, you can forget about Kevin Durant. He isn’t coming to Madison Square Garden. The same goes for Al Horford. Those two will seek teams better geared to win now even though the Knicks can offer them max deals. There are rumors already circulating that Joakim Noah is set to ink a deal with the Knicks for $18 million per year. That is almost half of the Knicks’ cap and would take them out of the running for other major free agents. That price may be a little off though and Noah might be had for less than that. Then again, free agency being what it is, he could sign for a lot more.
If Noah is healthy, he missed all but 27 games last year due to injury, then he could be an excellent addition to the Knicks’ roster. They still plan on running the triangle in some form and last season Robin Lopez flourished in the Knicks’ system. Noah could have even more success in the Knicks’ system but he has to stay healthy.
The Knicks need a starting shooting guard as well. If they are reportedly giving Noah anywhere close to $18 million per then they won’t have much to spend at shooting guard. They could go for a mid-level option such as Courtney Lee. He would be affordable and give the Knicks some defense and some shooting ability from beyond the arc. Nic Batum and Kent Bazemore would be great fits for the Knicks as well but they likely will stay put in Charlotte and Atlanta respectively.
It would be a major coup for Jackson and the Knicks to leave the free agent market with any two of Noah, Pau Gasol, Jamal Crawford, Lee, Batum, Bazemore, and Evan Turner. Jackson might need to get creative but this is why he is paid as well as he is. The time for the Knicks to take the next step is now and the free agent market will play a massive role in that progression.