Let’s turn the clock back. At the beginning of 2019, Knicks fan knew Kevin Durant was set to be a free agent, Kyrie Irving was on the outs in Boston, and Zion Williamson was dominating the NCAA. There was a thought that maybe all three were set to join in the Big Apple when July 1st happened but they needed […]
Let’s turn the clock back. At the beginning of 2019, Knicks fan knew Kevin Durant was set to be a free agent, Kyrie Irving was on the outs in Boston, and Zion Williamson was dominating the NCAA. There was a thought that maybe all three were set to join in the Big Apple when July 1st happened but they needed to clear some cap space.
The idea was almost a reality when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas. They were clearing cap space to cash in big in the offseason and they were tanking in hopes to lock up the number one overall draft pick.
They ended the year with the worst record at 17-65 and were in the running for the #1 pick. Then the lottery happened and they ended up with the #3 pick.
Fans were devastated but in the end, RJ Barrett was looked at to be the guy. He is no Zion but we forget that before the 2018-19 season began, Barrett was looked at to be the #1 overall selection. Still, Zion is a generational talent and would will no doubt dominate the NBA right away. That being said, I am excited to see RJ Barrett in a Knicks uniform. He did struggle a bit in the NBA Summer League, which included averaging 2.8 turnovers per game but he just turned pro and it is way to early say, “HE IS A BUST. KNICKS ARE DOOMED!!”
Rookies struggle to adjust to the pro game and it’ll likely happen for Barrett. That being said, give him a few weeks and he’ll be an immediate bright spot for the Knicks.
As for free agency. Yes, it was heartbreaking to see Kevin Durant sign with a team 20 minutes away from Madison Square Garden but is it really a bad thing?
Durant suffered a torn Achillies during Game 5 of the NBA Finals and will likely miss the entire 2019-2020 season. Say he comes back for the 2020-2021 season, Durant will be 32 by then. Achillies injuries take a while to recover and we won’t know for a while if he can be the same player we saw when he was on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors. Given the Knick’s history when it comes to free agency, this was a high risk for the struggling that may not have paid off in the long run. As an NBA fan, I hope to see Durant in his full form but as a contradiction, the Knicks might have made the right move here.
Looking at the free agency period outside of Durant, I give the franchise a lot of credit for not hitting the panic button and sign a B level free agent to a max deal that may not have deserved it. They signed guys like Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington for example to lower-level contracts, and outside of Randle, those guys will likely come off the bench and bring a nice veteran presence in the locker room.
I will be doing more in-depth previews of all the NBA teams heading into the season so I’ll keep the Knicks one brief. The Durant injury was something you cannot control. Injuries happen but credit to the Knicks for not hitting the panic button and signing a boatload of free agents to just plug into the lineup and hope they can compete for a playoff spot.
Develop the younger guys (Barret, Mitch Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox), keep the veterans to solidify the bench, and hope the lottery falls in your favor in 2020.
Just a little recap of how I feel about the Knicks offseason. It was not pretty now but it may have been in their favor for the long haul.