Despite the hometown roots, Danny Green is not considering a New York Knicks arrival just yet in free agency.
The New York Knicks will have over $70 million in cap space to work with in free agency. Over half of it may go to Kevin Durant or another player on a maximum contract, but with few guaranteed salaries for 2019-20, other roster spots are necessary to fill.
Outside shooters and perimeter defenders are just two needs for the Knicks. In an NBA where two-way players are always coveted, the front office can find those talents in free agency.
Danny Green is one of them. He will hit free agency after the NBA Finals, as one of the top perimeter defenders and shooters available. While not a superstar, he fills a top role alongside the stars of any team he plays on.
The Long Island connection makes Green-to-the-Knicks speculation even stronger, but he has yet to think of his future, as told to Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“Last thing on our minds,’’ Green said. “We’re worried about winning some games and coming out with a ring would be nice. The [Knicks] reached out [in 2015] and sent a text. My deal [four-year, $40 million] was done so fast I was pretty much only talking to them. It happened so fast. I was barely a free agent. I knew we had a good crew coming back and felt I had a good chance of winning again.”
Rightfully so, Green does not need to think of a decision or consideration of New York, with his Toronto Raptors tied 1-1 with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. That trumps anything this summer.
Green might just be a domino to fall after the Knicks potentially sign a superstar, too. The roster is bare, as Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox are the most promising pieces currently contracted. The North Carolina product has always worked on playoff-caliber teams, including those San Antonio Spurs squads that made the NBA Finals in 2013 and 2014.
In fact, Green has not missed the postseason since his rookie year on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That experience adds to a young roster. Plus, New York needs anything resembling shooting and defense after the cellar-dwelling struggles of the 2018-19 season. 46.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent on three-pointers — Green’s numbers in Toronto — will do the trick.
It is if Green even leaves the Raptors, where he succeeded and, as noted, made the NBA Finals. Is a homecoming enough to break that? If Kawhi Leonard bolts for Los Angeles, potentially, which is one of the many dominos that can fall in a likely chaotic offseason.
Less than a month remains before the summer opens and the New York Knicks take their focus to free agency. So will players like Green, Durant and any other target for a team with room to maneuver.