The New York Knicks have bordered on silence during the 2018 period of free agency, but David Fizdale expects big moves in 2019.
The New York Knicks entered the 2018 period of free agency with a warning for fans: It will be quiet on the home front. New York had minimal cap space, player options that impacted its flexibility, and a long-term vision to preserve cap space for 2019.
While that may be underwhelming in the short-term, head coach David Fizdale believes that big things are on the horizon for the orange and blue.
New York has utilized the 2018 period of free agency to add quality up-and-coming players to the roster. That includes former Orlando Magic forward Mario Hezonja and the re-signing of big men Isaiah Hicks and Luke Kornet.
According to Al Iannazzone of Newsday, Fizdale believes that the Knicks’ patience has put the pieces in place to make a max-level splash in free agency in 2019.
"“Scott and Steve have done an incredible job of lining it up so that we’re in a position next summer to make moves,” Fizdale said. “I just feel like with the relationships we’ve built and our approach to the game and our view of players and the way we view guys and the way we treat guys and the culture we want to build, I really think we’re going to find somebody who fits the bill.“As we get our culture in place, [Kristaps Porzingis] gets healthy, we start moving into next summer, I really feel like we’ll have the bricks in place to make some big moves.”"
That may be an optimistic take about the future of the Knicks, but they’re in the process of creating the space to make a significant move in a calendar year’s time.
New York will need to make other moves in order to clear max-level space, but it’s a realistic possibility. Amongst the rumored decisions, the Knicks could use the stretch provision on Joakim Noah‘s contract, trade Courtney Lee, and let Lance Thomas walk in 2019.
There are other options to consider, but the bottom line is that New York will have an opportunity to create the space to sign a star in free agency.
Thankfully for Scott Perry and Steve Mills, that opportunity can be created during an offseason that will see All-NBA and All-Star level players flood the market.
Perennial All-Stars such as Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Love, Klay Thompson, and Kemba Walker will all be eligible for free agency. The same can be said about the likes of Harrison Barnes, Eric Bledsoe, Tobias Harris, and Khris Middleton.
There’s no possible way to guarantee that the Knicks will succeed in signing one of those players, but they should have the opportunity to do so.
The New York Knicks could have a long season ahead of them, but they’re going to be significant players come the 2019 period of free agency.