The New York Knicks are a club flush with young and raw talents just waiting for their opportunity to shine. According to Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, one, in particular, could finally land a coveted larger role on a direct divisional rival.
In a recent piece, Buckley listed 24-year-old center Jericho Sims as a “top trade target” for the Boston Celtics heading into the offseason and believes that a move from the Big Apple to Beantown could be beneficial in a myriad of ways.
“The New York Knicks are loaded at center, which hasn’t allowed Sims to fully spread his wings. Still, the opportunities he’s found over his first two seasons have allowed him to flash promising potential as a low-maintenance rim-runner. He’s a career 75.8 percent shooter with per-36-minutes averages of 10.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks, per Basketball Reference. His game doesn’t have a ton of layers to it, but he wouldn’t need many to fill a helpful backup role behind Al Horford and Robert Williams III. And should Sims show more growth going forward—he’s only 24 years old—he could fill a more prominent role when Horford makes that proverbial trek into the sunset,” Buckley wrote.
Despite seeing inconsistent action throughout his two years with the Knicks, Jericho Sims has still proven to be an extremely athletic and quality low post presence.
This past season, when receiving 20-29 minutes of play, the pivot posted per-game averages of 5.3 points and 7.0 rebounds while boasting an incredibly efficient true shooting percentage of 73.9%.
Torrey Craig an Option for Knicks
Though Zach Buckley was seen discussing players that could theoretically depart from the Knicks this coming summer, an anonymous Eastern Conference Executive informed Heavy on Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney that New York’s front office could look to add on a few new players to their roster, with Phoenix Suns wing, Torrey Craig, be deemed a possible free agency option.
“They will have some room to work, money-wise, because they have a full MLE,” The executive told Deveney. “Someone like Torrey Craig in Phoenix, he is a solid 3-and-D guy, a veteran they can afford who would not use the full MLE.”
Though the Knicks may already have $175 million in committed salary heading into the 2023-24 campaign, they’ll be able to pursue players on the open market this offseason with their Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, which holds a worth of around $12.2 million.
In the east executive’s eyes, dangling this luxury in the direction of Torrey Craig could prove to be well worth it for New York.
Through 74 games played this past season, the Suns’ veteran posted a sound stat line of 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 39.5% from beyond the arc.
Kristaps Porzingis Gushes Over Knicks Amid Reunion Rumors
In recent weeks, the rumor mill has been churning, with one noteworthy rumbling being the concept of a possible reunion between the Knicks and their former franchise big man, Kristaps Porzingis.
As Newsday’s Steve Popper has attested, the 27-year-old could be an entertaining asset to have within New York’s frontcourt and believes that considering the “New front office, new coach, no ties to the hopes and dreams that he once carried in New York and the bridges burned on both sides,” the bad blood between the two parties may now be considered nonexistent.
Though the likelihood of such a scenario taking place seems to be quite slim at this point in time, regarding the relationship aspect between Porzingis and the franchise, the big man all but quelled any suspicions of there being lingering hard feelings, as he was seen gushing over his former employers during a June 1 appearance on the Ariel Helwani Show.
“That was like my first love, the city of New York. Playing in [Madison Square Garden], so of course I have not the best feeling when I get so much hate but, as I said, [the relationship is] better. Of course, I can understand now how the fans could feel that way or how they viewed me at that time and then I asked for a trade and I get painted as the villain. But it is what it is,” Kristaps Porzingis said.
Porzingis would also be asked in a follow-up question if he has any regrets about how things played out during his time with the Knicks, to which he responded: “No, not about my time there. I enjoyed every minute so much playing in New York. Nothing but great memories from there.”
Coming off his first full season as a member of the Washington Wizards, the former All-Star put forth one of his best seasons in the NBA as he posted impressive per-game averages of 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.5 blocks while shooting a highly efficient 49.8% from the field and 38.5% from deep.