The New York Knicks made a lot of moves this offseason, and while most of the fanbase would agree that they made improvements, the team is still left with a few difficult decisions.
For example, the signing of Kemba Walker leaves the team with a decision of whether to start him or Derrick Rose. Both players have well-known injury histories, and Walker didn’t even play on back-to-backs last season.
On top of the big question mark at point guard, the team will also have a decision to make following the signing of Evan Fournier.
At least the team doesn’t have to deal with a plethora of power forwards this season.
Potential Starting Lineup
The only spot that appears to be an absolute lock is Julius Randle at power forward. He’s coming off his first All-Star selection and he took home the Most Improved Player award. Randle is the centerpiece the team is building around, so he’s a lock for the starting lineup.
From there, things get a bit trickier. A recent Bleacher Report article took a stab at the lineup and came away with this:
- PG: Kemba Walker
- SG: RJ Barrett
- SF: Evan Fournier
- PF: Julius Randle
- C: Mitchell Robinson
That’s a fair guess to make and it very well could be the case. Over the past several seasons, Rose has transitioned into the role of 6th man, so it’d make sense for Walker to start over him.
Robinson, when healthy, has shown he deserves to be the start. He has set some lofty goals for himself in the upcoming season, and the best way for him to reach them will be to start.
What To Do With New Signings
Fournier is an interesting one because he could provide immediate firepower off the bench, or he could be paired with Barrett in the starting lineup. This would mean Immanuel Quickley would be relegated to the bench, despite the departure of Reggie Bullock opening a starting spot up for him.
Obi Toppin appears to be an odd man out here, and his biggest struggle is the fact he plays the same position as Randle. He could fit into a lineup as a small-ball center, but that’d be the only way he cracks a starting lineup. It’s highly unlikely the team would ever roll that out to start a game, but stranger things have happened.
Basically, it seems like it’ll come down to what the team wants to do at shooting guard and small forward. The rest of the spots appear to be set, but there’s still a lot of time between now and the start of the season.
Fournier has experience coming off the bench and starting, and the same goes for Rose. It’s easy to envision both of them being successful in either role, so the Knicks can’t really go wrong with what they decide. Fortunately, a starting lineup can change at any given time, so it’s not like the same lineup you see at the start of the season will be the same at the end.