alec burks knicks
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are bringing back two key pieces of last year’s surprising run to the playoffs — Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel.

The New York Knicks are working quickly in free agency. With lightning-quick speed, the Knicks have already reached agreements with Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel. Burks and Noel are both coming back to the Knicks on three-year deals worth $30 million and $32 million, respectively.

Knicks president Leon Rose knows what he wants. Keeping together part of last year’s core group seems like a priority for the Knicks.

Burks and Noel were two key bench pieces all year long. Although both were forced into bigger roles due to injuries in the playoffs, these two are perfect off the bench. New York’s strong second unit was a key to the 2020-21 success.

Burks is a dynamic guard who can bring a scoring lift on or off the ball. He averaged 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 42/42/86 shooting splits.

Meanwhile, Noel is a defensive anchor who can protect the rim for Tom Thibodeau’s defense. He finished the year with a career-high 2.2 blocks per game. Noel was third in the league in blocked shots, only trailing Myles Turner and Rudy Gobert.

It’s also worth noting that both players are signing reasonable contracts that could be moved in the event of a star hitting the trade block. The Knicks are signing these two guys because they can help them on the court, but it doesn’t hurt to have flexibility.

Check out ESNY’s Knicks free agency tracker for all the latest Knicks roster news.