The New York Knicks will be looking to upgrade the team this offseason. They could have up to $50M in cap space to make it happen.
That $50M the New York Knicks would have can be reached by declining team options and releasing players on non-guaranteed deals. If so, there’s definitely going to be some holes on the roster that can be filled by top role players.
However, the Knicks should be careful with their money. They don’t want to overspend and have nothing left for the star-studded 2021 offseason that includes Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Paul George. Here are three modest free agents that the Knicks would benefit from signing.
Joe Harris, Brooklyn Nets
28-year-old sharpshooter Joe Harris became a solid starter with the Nets, but his time in Brooklyn may be coming to a close. If the Nets decide to chase a third star in free agency, they might not have enough cap space left to pay Harris. The New York Knicks can and should offer more.
Harris is one of the best long-range shooters in the league, and his incredible consistency stands out. He’s shot over 41 percent from deep in each of the past three seasons. His fit alongside RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson would be perfect, as the Knicks’ young duo would thrive with increased spacing.
Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns
The New York Knicks will likely cut ties with Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis, opening up $20M of the previously mentioned $50M. With Mitchell Robinson expected to start, the team would have a hole to fill at backup center.
Aron Baynes has been a solid role player on multiple playoff teams, contributing to deep postseason runs with both the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics. This year, the Suns were 19-23 with him and 7-16 without him. He clearly affects winning basketball.
The New Zealand native is known for his tough screens and stout defense. Baynes has also begun to evolve his offense in order to fit into the modern NBA, as he’s hit 35 percent of his threes over the past two seasons.
With G League highlight machine Kenny Wooten expected to make the jump to the NBA next year, the Knicks would be wise to pair him alongside a veteran center who can provide tough defense and space the floor. Baynes fits the bill.
Marcus Morris, Los Angeles Clippers
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The Knicks made the wise decision to deal away Marcus Morris at the trade deadline. The Clippers essentially gave up a late first-round pick and an early second-round pick for 12 games of his services. With the 30-year-old on the market once more, a return to New York would work for both sides.
Morris is a tough competitor who is respected throughout the league. He embodies the mindset of old-school Knicks basketball. Morris averaged a career-high 20 points per game and shot 44 percent from deep in the blue and orange while coming through in the clutch on multiple occasions. By all accounts, he was also a solid guy in the locker room as well.
With rumors swirling about the potential of a Julius Randle trade, the team might have an opening at the starting power forward position. Morris should be the top of the list should they pull the trigger on Randle.