Jeremy Lin Carmelo Anthony
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

There are several former New York Knicks, including Carmelo Anthony, who can rejoin the team during this summer’s NBA festivities.

When you’ve been as bad as the New York Knicks have been over the past couple seasons, naturally, a lot of players come and go.

Whether it comes in the form of aging stars, solid role players who had no business with a tanking franchise or end of the bench guys who never had their potential fully realized, the roster is always in turmoil. This also means that every free agency, fans see former Knicks on the market, looking to acquire bigger and better contracts.

But finally, the Knicks have all the money (and optimism) in the world. So, today, we are going to look at some former Knicks’ that could make an even more dramatic LeBron homecoming in free agency.

Derrick Rose

In his sole season with the Timberwolves, Derrick Rose averaged 18 points and 4.3 assists per game on 48/37/85 shooting splits. A stupendous year. No one knows the highs and lows of the NBA better than Rose. From league MVP to a torn ACL, to a season warranting Sixth Man of the Year interest, Derrick would bring leadership to a group of young, potential-ridden guards.

And yes, I know Rose’s time with the Knicks didn’t go so great. But that was a different era. That was during the “Carmelo Anthony vs. Phil Jackson” standoff.

Now, both Melo (for now) and Phil are gone. The team is filled with young talent and free agency will hopefully bring some playoff buzz. Plus, it’s not like Derrick was bad in his time with New York. Other than his improvement from behind the arc, his numbers were almost identical to this season (18 ppg on 57/21/86 splits).

All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t mind the team paying a luxury for a player that’s proven he can run an offense as well as bring veteran leadership to a locker room full of 20-year-olds. Also, this is, of course, assuming the Knicks miss out on every star free agent they are hoping to acquire.

Projected Contract: 2 years/$25 million

DeAndre Jordan

As of July 1, 2019, DeAndre Jordan is officially a former Knick. So yes, I’m playing the technicality card. But for real, it’s likely tough for most NBA fans to recall that Jordan was ever even a Knick.

The unanimous decision was that he was simply a victim of a mid-season trade and would be gone by July. But during his 19 game stretch with New York, Jordan seemed to fit in quite nicely. He averaged 10.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game on 63.4% shooting from the field.

DeAndre also seemed to take on a sort of “big brother-little brother” relationship with Mitchell Robinson. The former second-round pick and rookie center played exceptionally well post Jordan arrival, proving that he can hold down the post on a long-term basis.

Plus, if the Knicks finish free agency and have some leftover money to spend, why not go back to Jordan for a short-term deal. He seems to have helped with Robinson’s development and is still a great glass cleaner as well as a defensive anchor. Personally, if the Knicks can snag Jordan on a one or two-year deal for $10 million or less per year, I think it’d be a steal.

New York Knicks

Projected Contract: 2 years/$18 million

Jeremy Lin

Why not? Social media would go crazy if the Knicks signed Jeremy Lin. It would be the ultimate PR move. There would be the initial excitement of when he signed and then anytime he had a good game, the “Linsanity is back” hype would start rolling in.

Besides, post-Linsanity Jeremy Lin has fared quite well in the league. Over his nine-year career, Lin has averaged 11.6 points and 4.3 assists per game on 43% shooting from the field and 34% on threes. That would be very solid production for a second unit guy.

Now, the only issue is that the Knicks already have four point guards. But two are entering free agency (Kadeem Allen, Emmanuel Mudiay) and one (Frank Ntilikina) could be shipped out this summer. So this move is very dependent on what happens with the other three guards this offseason.

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is no longer a rotation player. His defense is just absolutely horrendous. But hey, if the offense needs a spark, he’s a better option than Jimmer Fredette. Maybe a better option than Isaiah Thomas. But also, maybe not.

Melo can give you 13 points consistently off the bench if he gets 25-plus minutes per game. But it’s going to be a very inefficient 13 points and he’s also going to cost you 12 points on defense. So basically, in a consistent role, Carmelo can bring the Knicks an inefficient one point per game.

Not ideal.

But if the Knicks are looking to fill roster spots and Carmelo is willing to accept a role that won’t give him minutes every night, then sure. As far as “end of the bench” guys go, he’ll at least serve a purpose on nights when the team’s shooting sub 40%.

Projected Contract: 1 year/$2.3 Million

Oh, and one other note: Obviously, the Knicks aren’t going to sign all of these players. Both Lin and Rose aren’t going to be brought on, but one or the other could. As for Melo, he works for any variation.

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