The New York Knicks are unable to go star chasing in free agency this summer, but team president Leon Rose can take a flyer on any one of these three players
Some of the NBA’s most well-run organizations have been successful by taking a chance on a player that another team has given up on. The New York Knicks have tried that strategy recently with no success.
The Knicks took a shot on lottery pick castoffs Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Noah Vonleh. Each player moved on at the end of their contracts with little to show for their collective tenures other than Hezonja’s Giannis Antetokounmpo step over and heroic block of LeBron James.
Dennis Smith Jr. has looked like he’d rather be anywhere but a basketball court this year. The only remaining player from the Kristaps Porzingis trade needs another change of scenery.
That doesn’t mean the New York Knicks should abandon this strategy during their rebuild.
The league has a history of talented players who didn’t succeed with their original team. We think of Kyle Lowry as one of the greatest Toronto Raptors of all time, and he is, but he had stints with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets before he found his way to Toronto.
Taking a flyer on a young free agent with upside is like making another draft pick. Except you probably only have to sign the free agent for one year.
The Knicks won’t find their elusive superstar in this offseason’s free agency pool. Like the rest of the league, they will have to wait until the star-laden summer of 2021 or until that hypothetical disgruntled star appears.
But new team president Leon Rose can still find help this year. I put together a list of three players the team should look at whenever the offseason comes around.