The New York Knicks have a lot of questions to answer this offseason after they decided to stand pat at the trade deadline after being linked to several different moves.
After signing Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier before the season began, the idea was that the Knicks would be able to compete for a playoff spot yet again, but that hasn’t proven to be the case and they’re closer to getting the number one pick than repeating their success from last year.
Now that Walker is removed from the rotation yet again, New York is once again searching for their point guard, but they have some other positions to look at as well.
Center Mitchell Robinson and the Knicks were unable to come to terms on a contract extension, and it’s looking like he’ll be hitting free agency once the season concludes. If he left, that’d be a big blow to the resurgent big man after he missed a good chunk of the year with an injury.
If Robinson does decide to walk in free agency, the Knicks will have to immediately search for a replacement as they are now questions swirling around Nerlens Noel’s health, Taj Gibson’s age and Jericho Sims’s readiness.
SNY’s David Vertsberger floats the idea of looking at Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton as a possibility.
He was also somebody who was looking for a long-term solution with the Suns, but the two were not able to reach an agreement and now there’s a chance he could look elsewhere to play next season.
“Ayton is a former first-overall pick and the defensive anchor of the contending Phoenix Suns, who have refused to sign him to a max extension,” writes Vertsberger. “This leaves the door open for ginormous outside offers this summer, which Phoenix is expected to, but can’t be assured, to match.”
Ayton is not only a dominant force around the rim, but he has a bit more offensive game than Robinson does at their respective stages of their careers. Something that could work in the Knicks’ favor is the resistances the Suns could have in matching an offer considering they didn’t hand out the supermax deal when they could.
“If the Knicks like their intel on Ayton, a sound defender who can impact the game offensively as well, they can throw an offer sheet his way in hopes the Suns don’t want to swallow that cost,” Vertsberger says.
Lots of Options
The Knicks will have plenty of different paths to take in the offseason when it comes down to it.
Bringing Robinson back is still certainly an option for the team, but it’s something the center has been deflecting questions about, instead referring reporters to talk to his agent.
A lot of things can change between now and the end of the season, so Robinson might not be as out of the door as he seems right now. There are a lot of positions the Knicks will have to look at in the offseason, and the top priority will certainly be finding out who the point guard of the future is.