Due to limited cap space this offseason and a legion of young players on the roster, the New York Knicks must focus on the 2019 season if they have any hope of success.
If there’s anything to take away from the New York Knicks’ selections at the 2018 NBA Draft, it’s this: This team needs time in order to reach their full potential. No matter how you may feel regarding the Knicks passing on Michael Porter Jr. for Kevin Knox, Scott Perry and the rest of the front office must get some credit for sticking to their guns.
Reports before the 2018 NBA Draft indicated that Knox wowed the Knicks during a group workout. The word being bounced around Knox throughout the entire draft process was potential.
At only 18 years old (turns 19 in August), some teams were turned off by drafting someone like Knox, who may need a year or two in order to make an impression in the NBA. However, this “potential” and “upside” didn’t scare Scott.
This should give Knicks fans a real sense of how the front office views this current rebuild.
Along with Knox being drafted ninth overall, the Knicks also selected Mitchell Robinson with the 36th pick. Robinson bypassed his college career with Western Kentucky in order to focus solely on the 2018 NBA Draft.
This means that, while he too possesses massive talent, he’ll need at least a year to learn the ropes at the next level.
Barring Enes Kanter‘s decision to opt out of his $18.6 million contract, the Knicks will have very little cap space to work with in July. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks will only have their $8.4 million mid-level exception to sign an impact player in free agency.
Scott Perry has made this fact clear to the media, indicating that he doesn’t plan on making any big free agent splashes this offseason.
While this may upset some Knicks fans, it’s important to remember that this team isn’t built to win now anyway. The only star on the team, Kristaps Porzingis, is scheduled to miss nearly half of the 2018-19 season as he recovers from ACL surgery.
Like Perry has repeated to reporters, the team’s focus must be on 2019. At that time, the Knicks will have money to be real players in an exciting free agent class.
As we have seen with the New York Knicks through the years, cutting corners on rebuilds never works out as intended. Righting the ship for a franchise longing for their first title since 1973 should and will take time.
With buy-in from the organization, as well as their fans, the Knicks finally seem to be headed in the right direction.