The New York Knicks can potentially seek quality talents on one-year contracts if they want to eat up salary cap space, pending no superstars sign in free agency.
If the New York Knicks were the frontrunner to sign Kevin Durant in free agency, everything potentially changed in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Durant suffered an Achilles injury, which, if a rupture, takes him out for an extended period.
Maybe this was the only superstar New York had a chance to sign this summer. If so, it turns their offseason upside down, leaving them in a similar spot to the 2018 offseason, offering one-year contracts to players and waiting until next year instead.
It is not the most appealing situation, but this is possible, even if the Knicks sign Durant; he can sit the entire 2019-20 season, and the front office can play out the roster similarly to 2018, except with extra cap space.
Who can the Knicks hand short-term contracts to if they strike out in free agency? Let’s take a look:
5. DeAndre Jordan
Not exactly a new face, but someone to consider if the New York Knicks want stability in the frontcourt.
DeAndre Jordan arrived in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, when the Knicks set themselves up for a run at Durant at the time. An expiring contract made Jordan a viable player to acquire, allowing his near $23 million salary to expire at the 2018-19 season’s end.
This veteran center’s presence did not create more wins, but Mitchell Robinson‘s play spiked once this drastic roster change happened. Whether Jordan’s doing or not, it was helpful to have an experienced presence behind the rookie big man.
For at least one more season, the Knicks can have Jordan around, letting him play at a reduced salary, while splitting time with Robinson, who remains the starting center. Whether that works for the former Los Angeles Clipper is unknown, since he always starts.
Plus, another non-playoff team can give Jordan a starting job. Maybe the Los Angeles Lakers, who gave away their young center, Ivica Zubac.
Jordan makes sense for that one-year deal to consume cap space, but only if he plays behind Robinson. If willing, this can be a steady presence frontcourt presence off the bench in 20-to-25 minutes per game.