Even if the New York Knicks were flush with cap space to go after a big-time free agent this offseason, they shouldn’t. Big contracts are the last thing they need.
The New York Knicks have June 29 circled on their calendar. That’s the day that both Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn will have big decisions to make. The domino effect from those decisions will have major implications for the Knicks salary cap going forward.
O’Quinn will decide whether he opts-in to a player option worth $4,256,250, while Kanter’s player option is for $18,622,514. In total, if both players opt-out, the Knicks may have over $22 million to spend.
Even if those dominoes fall into place, the Knicks should put their collective feet on the brakes. If the Knicks genuinely want to be set up for the long haul, they need to exercise caution and stay away from big contracts.
Another reason this mindset is preferred is that Kristaps Porzingis will most likely miss a significant portion of the 2018-19 season.
With KP out, there is no reason to clog the salary cap with any big contracts. Until Porzingis is back and you can clearly evaluate how any newly signed players mesh with the unicorn on the court, it just doesn’t make sense to spend big.
That doesn’t mean the Knicks should stay away from free agency completely. There are a number of role players available, guys who won’t break the bank and could make the team better in both the short-and-long term.