The Warriors dynasty won’t last forever. On the heels of rumors that Draymond Green may leave, could the New York Knicks be in play in 2020?
Despite the lack of any immediate success on the basketball court, the New York Knicks have found themselves in the rumor mill for top-tier free agents in both, 2019 and 2020.
Thus far, everyone has heard of the Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler rumblings. Pipe dream or not, superstar Kevin Durant has even seen his name attached to the orange and blue as well. But not too many people are talking about Draymond Green and his free-agency decision in 2020.
Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated recently wrote a piece on Green’s days in the Bay Area being numbered.
In short, it’s simple math. You can’t max-out everyone. Stephen Curry is signed long-term. There have been reported conversations about an extension for Klay Thompson, and most people believe that the Warriors will do whatever they can to make sure Durant stays.
This leaves Green as the odd man out.
Sharp’s article mentions that the Warriors would consider dealing the Michigan-State product prior to the last year of his deal in order to get some type of respectable return.
Sharp includes the Knicks among other teams as part of a large-market franchise list that could be in play for Green. Yet, the Knicks would be wise to wait until Green hits free agency rather than give up current or future prospects. Luckily, the front office seems to be staunch in their approach of developing draft picks and not settling for short-term fixes.
Regardless, let’s review some of the reasons Green to the Knicks will continue to pick up more traction and briefly address the three-time All-Star’s fit on the Knicks.
Amidst the reconstruction of the Knicks franchise’s public image, president Scott Perry has been quietly going about making the Knickerbockers an attractive destination for free agents.
Putting aside the allure and bright lights of NYC, Perry has staked his reputation on building relationships and taking a genuine interest in the player, both on and off the court.
Luckily for the Knicks, Perry is a childhood friend of Green’s agent, B.J. Armstrong. Malika Andrews (formerly) of the New York Times wrote that Armstrong remembers Perry fondly as an organizer of Detroit’s local hoops’ scene. Looking forward to 2020 it’s quite possible that Armstrong may be looking for an executive with Perry’s demeanor, reputation, and communication skills for his client.
Perry also received an invite to Armstrong’s podcast, “In the Key with B.J. Armstrong & Gerald Brown,” where the trio discussed the Knicks’ future, changes in the NBA, and evaluating talent. At the end of the of conversation, Armstrong called himself “a fan of the Knicks.” Let’s hope Green will be one as well.
To say that Green is a character is an understatement. Green’s vocal, larger-than-life, and sometime in your face personality is tailor-made for New York basketball.
It just seems like an easy fit to visualize Green blocking a shot and energizing the Garden crowd. There’s no question that Green is one of the more visible athletes in the NBA, but it’s also possible that his skills are somewhat overshadowed by Curry, Thompson, and Durant.
Green has certainly heard the doubters that diminish his body of work with the Warriors and those that question whether he would have the same effect on another team. This would be his chance to prove them wrong.
Even though Green would still not be the most talented or best player on the roster, he would hold a similar role that he has on the Warriors. Being the “most important player” and emotional leader for a team that lacks playmaking, versatile defenders, and a true leader is paramount.
Furthermore, winning in New York has no equal. Green could certainly help his case for the Hall of Fame by coming to New York, winning, and being that proverbial swiss-army knife that can put up a triple-double on any given night.
Green, amongst other accolades, is one of the most versatile forwards in the game. The Knicks, despite drafting Kevin Knox and playing Tim Hardaway Jr. out of position for most of last season, still need another forward.
Jackson Hoy of the Stepien writes that Knox’s best position is a stretch-four. At Kentucky, Knox struggled to defend smaller guards and wings and he was rarely given the chance to take power forwards off the dribble. Likewise, Hardaway Jr., a natural shooting guard, played most of his 57 games during the 2017-2018 season at the three spot.
If Kristaps Porzingis can shift his thoughts on the center position, a potential front-court of Green, Knox, and Porzingis would be a nightmare for opposing teams.
Back in 2017, Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report gave Green a playmaking rating of 105.52 the highest of any power forward in the game and behind only LeBron James, Chris Paul, James Harden, and Ricky Rubio.
Even if Frank Ntilikina is still the point guard for the Knicks, Green is a tremendous passer and more than capable of having the offense run through him.
Unfortunately, as reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN, Green will most likely look to cash-in during free-agency as he reportedly sacrificed money on his previous deal so that the Warriors could sign Durant.
In the end, I would prefer that the Knicks not sign Green to a max-contract at the age of 30 in 2020. The Knicks will need to hope that Green is looking to separate himself from Golden State and that Perry can somehow finesse a discount from his old friend Armstrong.
Yet, the table is set for Green to bring his championship experience and leadership to the Knicks. Don’t be surprised if this story continues to gain legs in the future.