New York Knicks: What the veterans need to do to stay in 2020-21

Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Elfrid Payton, New York Knicks (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks president Leon Rose. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Several New York Knicks veterans are playing for a job with the team in 2020-21. EWB takes at what they need to do to stick around.

The New York Knicks new President of Basketball Operations, Leon Rose, has lots of decisions to make come this summer. He’ll have to choose his general manager, his head coach, and which players from this year’s team will stay or go. The Knicks have been a disaster this season, currently owning a record of 19-42.

With aspirations of making a run for the NBA playoffs this season, the Knicks added multiple seasoned veterans over the summer. They still can’t win at least a third of their games. Because of the poor showing this season, sweeping changes to the roster are expected.

The New York Knicks signed seven free agents Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington, Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, Reggie Bullock, and Marcus Morris (who was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers for Moe Harkless and draft picks) this past offseason. They were all over the age of 25 and in the league for at least four seasons.

New York’s previous front office regime of President Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry felt adding a bunch of mid-level veterans to a developing young core would jumpstart the younger players’ development. They were very wrong as the Knicks record shows.

Mills and Perry also gave each of these free agents, except for Randle, either one-year deals (Morris, now Harkless, whose contract also expires after this season) or two-year deals with only $1M guaranteed for 2020-21 (Payton, Ellington, Gibson, Portis, Bullock). The Knicks gave Randle a three-year deal, but the last year of his deal is only partially guaranteed as well. Rose will have all the power to decide who stays and who goes without much financial burden.

Though the majority of these veterans have disappointed this season, some have shown the ability to be a positive presence both on the court and in the locker room. This doesn’t mean they will definitely be back, but some of the vets have a better chance to stay than others.

There is still about a month left in the season, so these veterans still have the opportunity to prove they should stick around. Let’s take a look at where each stands.

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