NBA free agency is mere hours away. Here are a few thoughts on what the New York Knicks are going to be up to.
Jalen Brunson is a done deal and it’s a good one. Knicks haters (and some fans) are freaking out about this deal on Twitter. People love to hate the Knicks and therefore, they are going to react a certain way to any major move.
Good players make good money in the NBA. It’s as simple as that. When Jalen Brunson was dominating Donovan Mitchell’s Utah Jazz (without Luka Doncic) in the first round of the playoffs, everyone agreed that Brunson deserves a big contract. Now that the Knicks are giving it to him, everyone believes it’s a massive overpay. Mental gymnastics.
Brunson is going to be the around the 14th highest-paid point guard in the NBA. He’s well worth the money because he has the potential to be a top-10 point guard and a fringe All-Star.
Not to mention, the salary cap is reportedly going up by a significant margin, which means this deal is fine. The Knicks need good players and Brunson falls into that category.
We’re still waiting on a Julius Randle trade. All offseason long, I’ve advocated for a Julius Randle trade. I don’t think he’s a bad player and this isn’t a guy the Knicks should attach picks to move, but a change is needed. There’s no need to relitigate last season, but his defense was awful and his body language was worse. It’s best for everyone (including Obi Toppin) if Randle finds a new home.
Players I’ve been told more than once could be on the move (via trade): Deandre Ayton, Julius Randle, Cedi Osman, Eric Paschell, OG Anunoby. Visit https://t.co/07DB6szupr and follow us at @WireHoops for more #NBA all day every day.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) June 30, 2022
Initially, it looked like the Knicks were pushing for Dejounte Murray. Looping in a third team to take Randle could have made sense there, but obviously, that ship has sailed.
Trading Randle’s contract for a veteran wing on a shorter deal could provide New York with some flexibility down the line.
Mitchell Robinson’s deal will probably come with built-in safeguards. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is reporting that the Knicks are expected to give Robinson a four-year, $60 million deal. That’s a sizable number for a center, but let’s add some context to this.
The current regime tends to favor deals with built-in safeguards. It’s likely that the final year of this deal is a team option or part of that $60 million will come from incentives. Robinson has proven that he’s a very good center and a great defender, but he’s still a bit of a wild card.
The Leon Rose front office underwhelms in free agency. Ironically, the Rose brain trust struggles in free agency. The belief was that the connections and influence of Rose and William “Worldwide Wes” Wesley would be the bread and butter of this front office.
They had to attach picks to move Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel — all players signed in free agency last year.
For what it’s worth, Rose and company have done well in the draft (Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, to name a few). They have used the trade market to maintain flexibility and add first-round picks, but eventually, this front office will have to stop kicking the can down the road and commit to a plan.