The most important thing for the Knicks next season will be giving their young guys some experience.
The Knicks have a very young team with guys such as Barrett, Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Mitchell Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr. and a couple of others, on the roster. All of those guys except Barrett have been in the league for a year or two, but they still haven’t gotten much experience quite yet in the NBA.
With that, the Knicks have an opportunity to give these young guys quality minutes year-round seeing that making the playoffs isn’t a very realistic expectation. That being said, we could see the Knicks give guys like Barrett, Knox and others quality minutes late in games, where if they were on a better, more experienced team, they might not get those minutes.
The best way to get experience is to do, and the Knicks have the chance to give their young guys just that. The Knicks starting lineup will likely look a little something like this:
PG: Dennis Smith Jr.
SG: RJ Barrett
SF: Kevin Knox
PF: Julius Randle
C: Mitchell Robinson
This entire starting lineup except for Julius Randle who has been in the NBA for five seasons now has five seasons of experience. Smith has been in the NBA for three years, Barrett is a rookie, and both Knox and Robinson are going into their second seasons in the NBA.
That being said, this would likely give the Knicks one of the youngest, if not the youngest starting five in the NBA. This wouldn’t be a good thing in most cases because it would likely mean that the team isn’t going to be useful (which is true), but it’s a good thing because the Knicks have a chance to see what their future may look like.
RJ Barrett will likely be a Rookie of the Year candidate, so allowing him to start and get quality minutes and experience will only be a positive for the Knicks.
The Knicks have a serious chance to build for their future by giving these young players experience which will, in turn, provide them with a shot at our next realistic expectation for the Knicks.