New York Knicks: Five takeaways from 2019 NBA free agency

New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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new york knicks
New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

What was learned from the New York Knicks’ moves in 2019 NBA free agency?

Free agency became an event for the New York Knicks. While the previous hints at a brighter summer never happened, they still signed players to fill the roster and improve it over a disastrous run from October to April.

Five players were given contracts; up to seven may become official if other circumstances transpire. They replaced all the outgoing players, none of whom were re-signed.

With a new-look roster and a reconstructed payroll, there are enough confirmed changes to make takeaways on for the Knicks’ 2019-20 season. Questions still exist, but the summer has offered future clarity.

What can be assessed from the past 10 days of NBA free agency for the Knicks? Let’s take a look:

5. Point guard is not settled

Point guard is the rotating door for the New York Knicks. Well, other positions have, as well, but this spot long featured different faces distributing the basketball. Trey Burke, Frank Ntilikina, Emmanuel Mudiay and Dennis Smith Jr. all held this role.

With the projected 2019-20 roster, Smith and new signing Elfrid Payton are the players to watch, but they must battle for the starting job in training camp. Ntilikina and two-way player Kadeem Allen are on the outside, looking in, for now.

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Given how head coach David Fizdale handled the starting lineup in his first season, Payton and Smith might alternate as the starter, potentially splitting minutes down the middle no matter who opens games. They both have cases to play and neither, historically, have played low enough to warrant benchings.

Payton provides defensive work and is an effective passer. Smith is athletic and flashes scoring upside in spurts. Neither player can shoot, though, which may decide who starts down the road.

2019-20 is an audition for either player to hold this job for the future, unless another point guard comes along. There is no frontrunner right now, so this will be one of New York’s most intriguing competitions to open the season.