The New York Knicks enter the offseason missing the playoffs for their third consecutive season. It’s Phil Jackson’s third offseason and it’s time for him to make some major moves. Last season he drafted Kristaps Porzingis and signed Robin Lopez and Kyle O’Quinn. They bring value with an increased salary cap but aren’t enough to help Carmelo Anthony into the playoffs. To help Anthony’s cause, Jackson signed Jeff Hornacek as the Knicks new head coach. Expect the Knicks to take a lot of three-point shots. With no first-round pick and plenty of cap space, Jackson needs to build this team through free agency. His eleven rings should help in negotiations. Lets take a look at the offseason ahead for the Knicks.
SG Malik Beasley
The Knicks have been rumored to trade into the first-round. Jeff Hornacek expects Aaron Afflalo to opt out of his $8 million player option leaving a roster spot open for a bench shooter. Malik Beasley is the best shooter available in the middle of the first round. Beasley averaged 15.6 points per game shooting 38.7 percent from three last season. He can’t create shots for others but can create them for himself. His high energy is perfect for a bench role early in his career and his effort is perfect for Phil Jackson.
PG Mike Conley
Mike Conley is a defensive-minded point guard who was always undervalued because of all the great point guards in the Western Conference. He would be a regular All-Star in the East. Conley averaged 15.2 points ad 6.1 assists per game over 56 games last season due to an injured achilles. Once Conley went down, so did the Grizzlies. The Knicks need help on defense and need to sign a top-tier point guard. They can’t go another season with Jose Calderon starting at the point.
PG Rajon Rondo
If the Knicks don’t sign Conley, Rajon Rondo will be a Knick. He is a pass first point guard and led the NBA in assists with 11.7 per game. That also tied his career high. Rondo helped DeMarcus Cousins to his career best offensive season. Just imagine if Rondo played with a true scorer. Carmelo Anthony needs to recruit Rondo to the Knicks. The Knicks can’t pass on a point guard without any draft picks. Either Conley or Rondo will open Kevin Durant’s eyes.
SF Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is the best offensive player in NBA free agent market. He wants to play with established stars and win now. Durant and Anthony would put two of the NBA’s top-3 scorers on the same team. Add Porzingis and the Knicks have three guys over 6’8″ who can shoot. All three have the ability to score 20+ points per game. They just need to sign Conley or Rondo early in free agency. We all know Durant wants to play in the East.
SF Evan Turner
Evan Turner has revitalized his career with the Boston Celtics. Brad Stevens took Turner’s passing and rebounding skills and found his role in the NBA. In his two seasons in Boston, Turner posted career high’s in assists and averaged over six rebounds per game. Turner was the first man off one of the best benches in the NBA. His three-point game may be declining, but he shot a career high 48.2 percent from mid-range last season. New York needs to pay up or he will stay in Boston.
C Joakim Noah
Joakim Noah is an aggressive, defensive-minded center. There is an extremely low chance he returns to Chicago next season. Noah is coming off his career worst offensive season and averaged less than nine rebounds per game for the first time since 2010. He injured his shoulder and only played in 29 games. His playing days are far from over and he can still anchor a defense. Porzingis and Noah would rise among the leagues best and most versatile front courts. Trade Robin Lopez if Noah is available.