The New York Knicks are hoping that a regime change can help bring playoff basketball back to Madison Square Garden. Scott Perry entered his first NBA draft as the Knicks GM. Perry hired David Fizdale to be the new Knicks head coach, and together are looking to surround Kristaps Porzingis with more talent. Their first joint-hire was Kentucky swingman Kevin Knox.
Here’s a look at the Knicks roster so far. Players listed in italics are free agents so there are no guarantees they will be on the Knicks roster next season. UFA stands for Unrestricted Free Agent, RFA means Restricted Free Agent and PO represents Player Option.
Knicks Roster & Projected Starting Lineup for 2018
C- Enes Kanter (PO), Kyle O’Quinn (UFA), Luke Kornet (RFA), Mitchell Robinson, Joakim Noah
PF- Kristaps Porzingis, Michael Beasley (UFA), Isaiah Hicks
SF- Kevin Knox, Lance Thomas, Troy Williams
SG- Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Ron Baker (PO), Damyean Dotson
PG- Frank Ntilikina, Jarrett Jack (UFA), Trey Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay
Knicks Projected Cap Space: -$8.25 Million
There are a couple current contracts that are keeping the Knicks from having cap space. According to Real GM, the Knicks are projected to be over the cap by $8,355,365 next season. Enes Kanter will make $18.6 million next season unless he opts out, which is unlikely give his high salary number.
Joakim Noah is still on the books for $18.53 million next season. Tim Hardaway Jr. is set to make $17.3 million next season. These contracts explain why the Knicks do not have cap space despite not having success on the court. The Knicks are one of the most storied franchises in the league, but the organization has been unable to become relevant in the NBA again. Porzingis is their building block, but even his status for next season is up in the air as he recovers from injury. Perry spoke about their approach to free agency on the In the Key podcast (via Ian Begley).
“Every year we’ll keep our antennas up but what we’re really setting ourselves up (for is) the following summer,” Perry noted on the podcast. “Just based on when I came in here in terms of cap space availability, we’re not going to be a team with a whole lot of cap space this summer. So we’ll be looking for some shorter term, maybe veteran players who can help some of our younger guys for this season and really preparing and gearing up for free agency in the summer of (2019) and (2020) here that will be our first opportunity to have the type of cap space that can hopefully make a difference in your roster and going out to get one of the top tier free agents.
Knox’s addition gives the Knicks another young and athletic player to build around. Despite the boos of the home crowd, with Knox, Porzingis and Ntilikina on board ,the Knicks are starting to build a clear identity.