NBA Rumors: New York Knicks intend to be players in free agency in 2019

NBA New York Knicks Dave Fizdale (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
NBA New York Knicks Dave Fizdale (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks will be team that many free agents may end up taking a look at in the summer of 2019. Really? The Knicks? Yes, the New York Knicks will be looking to add a big name free agent next summer.

It has been a long time since the New York Knicks have been relevant in the NBA. The owner, James Dolan, is one of those owners that creates a situation where players don’t want to come to New York. The whole Phil Jackson experience was a unmitigated disaster.

New York is not a destination spot right now.

Not since the days of Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Charles Oakley have Knick fans had anything to really cheer about. The Knicks haven’t been deep in the playoffs in forever and next season won’t be any different.

However, New York might be able to come out of the dark in the summer of 2019.

Knick team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry have been pretty clear about how they plan to clean up the Knicks. Perry and Mills took over control of the Knicks last year.

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Mills and Perry told people that they would take two seasons to fix the infrastructure of this storied franchise.  As a result, management have not signed any player past the 2019-20 season.

These two guys also said that they would have a bucket of cash to lure one of the big free agents in 2019 to the biggest market in the NBA.

Easier said than done.

Being flexible with your teams cap is what each NBA team is after in the present day NBA, so the Knicks are no different than any other league franchise.

To clear up the cash a few things need to happen.

First, Knicks management, needs to decide what to do with Joakim Noah’s contract. Steve Mills and Scott Perry can use the stretch provision the NBA has to deal with the contract. The Knicks should be able to do this between now and next summer. At least, that is thought with Knick management.

The next bit of clearing money will be getting somebody to take Courtney Lee’s contract. Lee has roughly $25 million remaining on his deal. If that can happen, then the Knicks will be able to offer a max contract in the ballpark of $33 million.

The other part of this equation for the Knicks is convincing Kristaps Porzingis, the Unicorn, to not sign a new contract until next summer. Convincing Porzingis of this could be a bit of chore. Porzingis will be coming off an ACL injury and having an injured player put his future on hold could be a big task for Knick management.

The type of players that will be available is outstanding.

One of the players that gets mentioned most often with the Knicks is current Celtic point guard, Kyrie Irving.

Irving is from New Jersey and had the Knicks listed as one of his preferred destinations when he asked to be traded from Cleveland. It does make sense that Irving would have feelings about returning home to play. However, does he want to leave a loaded Boston Celtic team for a rebuild in New York?

That’ll be the question for Irving going through the season.

Other free agents include: Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Al Horford, Kemba Walker, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kris Middleton.

From that list you would have to believe Butler, Durant, Leonard, and probably Thompson would be the players that would be at the top of the list for New York.

Let’s not forget that the Knicks’ crosstown rival, the Brooklyn Nets, will be able to afford two max contracts. That creates an even bigger sense of urgency with the Knicks to clean up their money situation.

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It’s also known that Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler are close friends and want to play together. If things break down with Boston for Kyrie, does he talk with Butler about going to Brooklyn to play?

A ton of things have to happen between now and next summer. One thing is certain. The ew York Knicks will have the opportunity to be players next summers NBA free agency bonanza. It is up to Knicks to get themselves a superstar player and to become relevant again.