New York Knicks: Five reasons to love 2019 NBA free agency signings

(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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new york knicks
New York Knicks (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks made seven signings in 2019 NBA free agency. What are reasons for fans to love what the team did this summer?

The New York Knicks may have struck out on free agency’s top players, but they walked out with a chunk of the players available on the open market, given their cap space and roster room to make changes for the 2019-20 NBA season.

There was $70 million to spend, and the Knicks used it on seven players, whether for veterans or younger talents in their mid 20s. They joined the team’s 2019 NBA draft picks, RJ Barrett and Ignas Brazdeikis, as the offseason additions.

Free agency is settled now, especially with August already underway. The Knicks’ changes are set, and fans have reasons to appreciate the moves made for the upcoming campaign.

5. This is already a more talented roster

The 2018-19 NBA season was miserable for the New York Knicks. Sure, it was expected after the team called it a “developmental” year last fall, but it became an historically bad run for them, with an 18-game losing streak lowlighting a 17-65 record, that tied the 2014-15 franchise low.

As a result, all of New York’s pending free agents were let go in the offseason: Billy Garrett, DeAndre Jordan, Emmanuel Mudiay, Henry Ellenson, John Jenkins, Lance Thomas, Luke Kornet, Mario Hezonja and Noah Vonleh.

Everyone either left for other destinations or remain free agents.

While those players bring their own skillsets, the Knicks found more experienced, and talented, upgrades, including using Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson to replace Jordan, Kornet and Vonleh in the frontcourt. Randle and Portis are more well-rounded offensive players while Gibson is a steady backup who has playoff experience.

The backcourt was also bulked up by adding Wayne Ellington and Elfrid Payton, and they either have starting experience or are NBA veterans of different situations.

Marcus Morris was a bonus for the Knicks after he reneged the San Antonio Spurs earlier in July. He handles most frontcourt spots well and has a game tailored to the modern-day NBA for big men.

Together, these pieces should bring New York above their dreaded record from 2018-19. It may not position them for the postseason, but playing more competitive basketball will go a long way towards establishing a culture that sheds the negative light of recent years.