The NBA offseason is officially underway, with the free agency market open as of Monday night, and the New York Knicks have been the league’s most active team.
Leon Rose and the front office kicked things off by re-signing both sixth man Alec Burks to a three-year deal for $30-million, and big man Nerlens Noel to a three-year deal for $32-million.
New York wanted to bring a sense of continuity to next season, given that team chemistry played such a large role in their rise to a legitimate playoff team in the Eastern Conference.
But the Knicks still very clearly wanted to get better, which lead to their next signing, their first free agency splash in team history in quite some time.
Evan Fournier will join the New York Knicks on a four-year, $78-million deal.
And most notably, the fourth year is a team option.
The nine-year veteran averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 assists, three rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game last season.
New York Prioritized Shot Creation
After flaming out in the playoffs by way of a five-game series loss, otherwise known as a gentleman’s sweep, to the Atlanta Hawks, the New York Knicks knew they needed to upgrade on offense.
Their top-five defense held their own for the most part, outside of generational point guard talent Trae Young, but they scored just 97.5 points per game.
That’s good for the worst mark among all 16 playoff teams, per NBA.com.
So, enter Evan Fournier; a veteran scorer who’s a near master at creating his own shot, and knocked down 41% of his 6.7 attempts from behind-the-arc last season with the Celtics and the Magic.
The 28-year old will immediately slot into the starting lineup, and form a makeshift Big Three with young stud RJ Barrett and All-Star forward Julius Randle.
But the question remains as to who the New York Knicks will roll out in the starting point guard slot.
Who they signed after Evan Fournier may prove the answer.
Knicks Re-Sign Rose, Too
The New York Knicks re-signed veteran point guard, Derrick Rose, to a three-year deal for $43-million.
It may seem a slight overpay to some, but keep in mind that it was the 2011 MVP who was their leading scorer in that same playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, and the driving force behind their lone playoff win in Game Two.
After being traded to New York last season, Rose averaged 14.9 points and 4.2 assists over the last 35 games.
But is he a starter? Rose is going into his 13th season, and despite avoiding serious injuries over the last few seasons, isn’t regarded as a player who can play 30 minutes a night all season long.
And behind him, the Knicks don’t have any other “true point guard” options.
Immanuel Quickley and rookies Luca Vildoza and Miles McBride make up the rest of their rotation at the one slot.
None of those three are ready to be, nor have experience, as a starting point guard. Will New York roll the dice?