New York Knicks: Predicting free agents that will re-sign, but way too early

New York Knicks Emmanuel Mudiay (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Emmanuel Mudiay (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Lance Thomas (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Lance Thomas

Lance Thomas also owns an expensive contract, but provides leadership for this young group and may not be a candidate to go for Allonzo Trier. That doesn’t factor his 2019-20 status, which will rightfully remain in doubt.

Thomas signed a four-year, $27 million deal with the New York Knicks in 2016. It was plenty for a role player and occasional starter more known for defense than scoring the basketball. However, the final year of this deal was unguaranteed for $7.58 million.

Since re-signing, Thomas has averaged 4.7 points on 38.6 percent shooting in 19.1 minutes per game. All coaches he’s played rewarded him with starts, but eventually changed the lineup, due to the aforementioned flaws.

In 2018-19, Thomas opened the season as a starter, but drifted to the bench after five games. He averaged just 3.9 points on 34.1 percent shooting, before undergoing knee surgery.

Well, after these numbers, and with New York’s quest for cap space, Thomas’ money not being picked up seems likely. That doesn’t mean he can’t return, but on a smaller contract, potentially the veteran’s minimum.

If the Knicks need a low-cost defensive stopper, Thomas can be their guy at the end of the bench. He may not always play, but still provides leadership and the ability to guard a variety of positions.

Prediction: Thomas re-signs, but on a smaller contract