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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2. The frontcourt becomes its own battle

The frontcourt signings for the New York Knicks started with Julius Randle. That filled their need next to Mitchell Robinson and complete the starting lineup — seemingly.

Taj Gibson followed and signed on for two years, $20 million, with a team option for 2020-21. He became the projected top backup and a veteran presence for the locker room, something Lance Thomas previously filled.

Bobby Portis continued the free-agent charge, signing a two-year, $31 million deal, with a team option for the second season. He most recently started for the Washington Wizards, so that and the price made this an eye-opening acquisition.

Now, with the Knicks adding Marcus Morris, that only muddies the frontcourt’s look.

Fizdale has combinations to work with, but a potential playing-time fiasco on his hands. He has these players and Kevin Knox, who arguably fits better as a stretch four than a typical three, to cipher through. Only a few of them can start, and there are limited bench minutes after that, along with the backcourt additions.

So, like the point guards, figuring out the frontcourt depth chart will become another training camp and preseason battle, likely stretching into the regular season. Someone may sit outside the rotation, too, despite making good money.

The quality of options is better for Fizdale to work with, rather than fringe NBA players with skill-set limitations. Deciding where they stand will not happen overnight, so it could be another year of open competition for the Knicks.