The New York Knicks will be in the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2013. While Tom Thibodeau and the roster are focused on making a playoff runs, it seems the front office is already thinking about NBA free agency.
When the offseason kicks off, the Knicks could have upwards of $60 million in cap space. After years of being rejected by the top free agents, largely due to the state of the organization, New York could finally be in a position to land impact talent from the open market.
It’s not the greatest timing for a franchise to have tons of money to spend. Kawhi Leonard leads the top NBA free agents, but he’ll be signing a contract extension with the Los Angeles Clippers. Chris Paul will likely exercise his $44 million player option and the Atlanta Hawks can match any offer John Collins receives.
But the Knicks could still be aggressive this summer, looking for the pieces to help put their current roster over the top to become a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.
New York Knicks top free-agent targets
According to SportsNet New York’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have point guards Dennis Schroder, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry are on their radar this summer.
New York’s interest in Ball isn’t surprising. He was on the team’s radar before the NBA trade deadline and the 23-year-old guard is interested in playing at Madison Square Garden. Ball is a restricted free agent and reportedly seeking $20-plus and it’s unlikely the Pelicans would match a large offer.
Ball would be a strong facilitator for the Knicks, finding ways to feed the ball to Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. With the former No. 2 pick in the starting lineup, Immanuel Quickley could thrive as the Knicks’ sixth man.
Lowry might be the most attractive target if the Knicks are in win-now mode. He’ll be 36 next March and has taken a step back, but he is still averaging 17.2 points and 7.3 assists per game. Lowry is also a quality defender and his playoff experience would be a huge boost for the Knicks’ young roster.
Schroder might be a backup plan for New York. If the franchise can’t acquire Damian Lillard or fails to sign one of the top guards, the 27-year-old Los Angeles Lakers guard makes sense. He’s not a difference-maker, but he can be a quality rotational player for a playoff team and he might like the opportunity to play at MSG.