With the New York Knicks preparing to make their first playoff appearance since 2013, the rumor mill is hard at work linking them to several offseason targets.
At 35-28 with just nine games to go, there’s no longer any question as to the validity of their resurgence.
But with the ceiling on this roster firmly set at a second-round exit at best, what’s next for New York?
It’s a question that will likely be answered in free agency this offseason. The Knicks will be operating with north of $50-million in cap space, a number that barring any substantial maneuvers will lead the NBA.
Expect any and all big names to be rumored to the Big Apple between now and Opening Night next season.
Duncan Robinson to New York?
In his latest piece for Bleacher Report, 5 NBA Free Agents Most Likely to Be Overpaid This Offseason, Dan Favale hand-picked five upcoming free agents in line for a big payday, and listed likely suitors.
Yes, the New York Knicks were linked to Lonzo Ball, but that isn’t news. They’ve been rumored as suitors for the 23-year old point guard dating back to the start of the season in 2020.
What was surprising, was to see the team mentioned next to one Miami Heat three-point marksman. That would be Duncan Robinson, who’ll be a restricted free agent this offseason.
The 27-year old wing is averaging 13 points this season and hitting 40 percent of his 8.5 three-point attempts.
Favale cited that same three-point shooting volume as the large reason to expect a team come calling with a lucrative, multi-year offer sheet:
Robinson’s 66.8 effective field-goal percentage when coming around screens ranks second among all players who have attempted at least 50 shots in those situations. Pinballing around the floor is going to earn him serious cash. Just two other players (minimum five appearances) are averaging four made three-pointers per game while hitting them at a 40-plus-percent clip over the past two seasons: Davis Bertans and Stephen Curry.
Now, it should be noted that the Miami Heat can match any offer sheet Robinson signs. But given their own star-studded aspirations, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them bite the bullet and let him walk.
And for a team like the Knicks whose offense has been up-and-down this season, finding some sort of consistency, especially from the three-point line should be a top priority this offseason.
Updated Knicks Playoff Odds
After their latest win over the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks are 35-28.
That’s good for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, three games back of the third-seed Milwaukee Bucks.
According to Five Thirty Eight’s forecast, their chances at making the playoffs have climbed to 89 percent.
But the website is still giving the team a less than one percent shot at making and/or winning the 2021 NBA Finals.
That number could increase if they retain homecourt going into the postseason.
New York’s currently got a game lead over the fifth-seed Atlanta Hawks and a two-game lead over both the sixth-seed Boston Celtics and the seventh-seed Miami Heat.
So it seems a playoff appearance is a near-lock for the Knicks, who’ve missed the cut in seven consecutive seasons.
However, what seed they end up entering in remains up in the air.
Tankathon.com has New York’s remaining schedule as the fourth-toughest in the entire NBA. Nine games to go.