Now that the New York Knicks’ season is over, all eyes have shifted over to the important offseason where the team will look to build on their strong season.
The Knicks greatly exceeded their expectations and even managed to secure home-court advantage in the first round, meaning the season was a success regardless of how it ended.
However, the honeymoon period can only last so long and the Knicks will have to upgrade the roster in a big way, and one of the ways they can do that is by moving up in the draft.
Since they made the playoffs this year, having a high draft pick isn’t something the team can rely on, which is actually a good thing for many fans.
Despite this fact, the Knicks might look to move up into the lottery for an opportunity to get a key rotation piece.
Knicks Could Move Up
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks could deal some of their late picks in the draft for the chance to move up.
The Knicks have two first rounders (19 and 21) to go along with two second rounders (32 and 58), and the team could bundle a group of them together to move up.
This isn’t uncommon, and with this year’s draft being viewed as deep, the Knicks could find a decent rotation piece buried there.
Berman also notes that Thibodeau doesn’t want too many prospects on the team, and with the team as young as it is already, the Knicks likely won’t want to load up too much on young talent.
Luckily, there is a lot of cap space available that the Knicks could fill with veterans. They have even been linked to several big names already.
Big Offseason Coming
The Knicks took a risk in the last offseason by loading up on veterans all signed to 1-year contracts.
Now, the issue is that the players who outperformed those deals will now be looking for longer contracts. The Knicks will have to pick and choose who to bring back, and outside of Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock, it’s really up in the air.
Point guard Elfrid Payton will likely be leaving in the offseason, but he could also be joined by a pivotal piece in Nerlens Noel.
The team could look to upgrade the roster by going for home runs such as landing a name like Damian Lillard, or they could go the route they went this year by signing a bunch of role players to 1-year deals.
In the matchup against the Hawks, it was shown that Julius Randle will need some more help if the Knicks want to advance far into the playoffs. With Randle neutralized in the series, it was tough for the team to find another player to step up on a consistent basis.
A name like Damian Lillard would obviously be a huge upgrade, but is that actually possible for the Knicks to do? If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the NBA, it’s that what seems impossible is never that way. If both sides want this to happen, they’ll find a way.