New York Knicks: 2020 free agents to wait for if 2019 offseason fails

New York Knicks Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Browne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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DeMar DeRozan Spurs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DeMar DeRozan Spurs (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

DeMar DeRozan (Player Option)

Kawhi Leonard put up MVP-like numbers after the trade from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors, but the return for the former did not disappoint, either, with DeMar DeRozan‘s first change of address after nine NBA seasons.

DeRozan’s game does not scream “2019 basketball.” He profiles as a shooting guard, but is among the league leaders in two-point attempts and rarely steps behind the arc. The Raptors had him take more three-pointers in his final few years there, but Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich emphasized the strengths and not areas of long-needed development.

DeRozan finished a full season in San Antonio, and he has one more to go. By the 2020 offseason, though, he has a decision to make on a $27.73 million player option, which consumes his age 31 season. Hitting the open market earlier could secure his money through turning 34 years old.

If so, he will become one of the top free agents for the New York Knicks to target. He is not a long distance player, but someone efficient enough to rely on as a secondary option, as well as a playmaker after a career-high 6.2 assists per game in 2018-19.

This is an upgrade over what the Knicks currently have in place. Who knows what their shooting guard situation will look like after 2019-20, but if a hole remains, DeRozan is a capable player to fix it. Paying him into declining years is a concern, though, much like Jimmy Butler this July.