Centers: Dwight Howard, Joakim Noah,Pau Gasol, Hassan Whiteside, Al Jefferson, Bismack Biyombo, Roy Hibbert

The Knicks didn’t get Rose for free; they had to part ways with their consistent big man, Robin Lopez. Unless Phil Jackson and Jeff Hornacek plan to move Porzingis to the center full-time, New York will need to add a bonafide rim protector to the paint.

C Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

  • 30 years old
  • Averaged 13.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks in 2015-16
  • Three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year

ESPN.com’s Ian Begley reports New York is one of several destinations free agent center Dwight Howard would consider. Howard, however, declined a $23.2 million player option in Houston.

It is unclear if Knicks president Phil Jackson is interested in bringing on the former three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Howard averaged 13.7 points on only 8.5 field goal attempts per game, both career-lows since his rookie season.

If there is interest, Howard’s asking price may be too high.

C Joakim Noah, Houston Rockets

  • 31 years old
  • Averaged 4.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and one block in 2015-16
  • 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
  • Played only 29 games before dislocating shoulder

Begley also reported New York has discussed reuniting Rose with Joakim Noah, a New York native who has a relationship with Anthony. Noah earned $13.4 million in salary last season in Chicago.

The former Defensive Player of the Year shot at a .383 clip from the field last season, the worst among all centers to play more than 13 minutes per game, per Basketball-Reference. Because of his New York City roots and relationship with Rose, Noah may be the most likely option at center.

Noah turns 32 in February. He will likely command a similar salary and stability with his next contract.

PF/C Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls

  • 35 years old
  • Averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks in 2015-16
  • Won two championships under Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers (2008-09, 2009-10)

Pau Gasol is a Jackson favorite available on the market this summer.

Gasol, 35, had a statistically better season than both Howard and Noah in Chicago last year. Opponents shot 46.3 percent when attacking Pau Gasol at the rim, a lower percentage than both Noah (.524) and Howard (.497).

The belief is the 2015 All-NBA Second Team selection will look to sign with a contender. However, the allure of reuniting with Jackson and grooming a young European talent in Porzingis will force Gasol to give New York a serious look.

Other free agent big men include Hassan Whiteside, Bismack Biyombo, Al Jefferson and Roy Hibbert. Miami will likely offer Whiteside a max contract to retain his services, and after an impressive playoff performance.

Biyombo fits the profile of the athletic, rim-protecting centers Hornacek liked in Phoenix (see Tyson Chandler, Miles Plumlee), but he is due a major pay raise after an impressive playoff performance in Toronto.