After years of going star-hunting in free agency, the New York Knicks have been taking a different approach—one that offers minimal risk moving forward.
For years, the New York Knicks have been chided for handing out massive contracts to players who don’t deserve it. Guys like Allan Houston and Eddy Curry have been paid much more than they were worth, and it came back to bite the Knicks every time.
Now, under the regime of Steve Mills and Scott Perry, New York has been taking a different approach, acquiring players who bring along minimal risk, but still have the potential to be valuable assets to the right team.
While the jury is still out on Mudiay after only 22 games, Burke thrived for the Knicks, averaging 12.8 points and 4.7 assists in just 21.8 minutes a night.
Now, the former Michigan product has a legitimate shot at being the starting point guard on opening night.
Despite the perceived lack of talent from these two free agent signings, both have flashed potential at one point or another.
Hezonja averaged 14.0 points and 5.6 rebounds during the 30 starts he received with the Orlando Magic in 2017-18. Vonleh put up 10.9 points and 12.8 rebounds per 36 minutes this past year while suiting up for the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls.
This is not to guarantee success for either of the two, but it’s to showcase the potential they still have at just 23 and 22 years of age, respectively.
For all the talent that clearly resides within these two youngsters, the Knicks got them both on one-year deals—allowing for little to no financial constraints moving forward.
The beauty of these deals, though, is that if either one proves capable of on-court production, New York can simply re-sign a now proven commodity to a long-term deal.
If not, then once they enter the free agent market on July 1, 2019, the organization can simply let them walk and sign elsewhere.
The Knicks have always been ones to chase after the big names on the free agent market and give superstar money to guys that are anything but.
It’s refreshing to see the New York Knicks taking a new approach—one that could provide plenty of reward moving forward, but won’t crater them if it doesn’t.