Whichever way you look at it, this season has been a success for the New York Knicks, regardless of if they progress to the Eastern Conference Finals or not.
However, once the off-season begins, New York’s front office will need to build on their team’s success if they plan to keep propelling the Knicks toward championship contention.
“Should the Raptors veer into a rebuild, the Knicks should flood their phone lines with trade offers for two-way standout O.G. Anunoby,” Buckley wrote. “He might be the league’s best perimeter defender, and his offensive game is in a perpetual state of evolution…He’d be their best defender out of the gate, and he’d give this group more flexibility on offense with his shot-making and budding creation skills.”
This season, Anunoby participated in 67 games for the Raptors, producing a statline of 16.8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting 47.6% from the field and 38.7% from three-point range. Furthermore, at just 25 years old, Anunoby is at the start of his prime years, which would fit the Knicks’ timeline perfectly.
Donovan Mitchell Could End up With Knicks in 2025
According to Jason Lloyd of The Atheltic, rumors around the NBA suggest that Donovan Mitchell will eventually become a New York Knick after missing out on joining the team last season when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Mitchell didn’t choose Cleveland. He was sent here when he thought he was going to New York. Mitchell has been a model teammate during his time here. Nevertheless, talk has persisted in league circles throughout this season that he will indeed go to New York at his first opportunity. The Cavs knew the score when they made the deal and now they’re in a difficult spot. Mitchell has two years of team control remaining before a player option year,” Lloyd wrote.
Mitchell’s current contract runs until 2025, with an additional year as a player option. However, if the All-Star guard wants to join the Knicks, he will have the opportunity to do so in just two more seasons.
Tom Thibodeau Wants a ‘Team First’ Mentality
When speaking to the media following the Knicks game two victory over the Miami Heat, he addressed why he benched RJ Barrett down the stretch, noting how he wants his roster to have a ‘team first’ mentality.
“You’re doing the things that you think are going to help you win the game at the end, and they’re tough decisions,” Thibodeau said. “And so you have –we’re asking everyone — to sacrifice and put the team first. So sometimes, it’s just the way the defense is unfolding. The way [the Heat] were shooting the threes, I thought we had to contain the ball and get back to people. So the group in there gave us the best chance of doing it.”
The Knicks will face the Heat in game three of their second-round series on Saturday, May 6.