This latest New York Knicks Roundtable looks at the team’s head-scratching signing of the offseason.
Free agency wrapped up long ago for the New York Knicks, with seven players arriving from the open market to improve the team and take them past a miserable record from 2018-19. The outlook is different, but did each of these signings mark a positive development for the upcoming season?
The latest roundtable sees the Daily Knicks staff analyze the most head-scratching signing of the summer:
Jayson Kleinman: I would say Marcus Morris. He causes a bit of a headache for the rotation. He is a player who received big minutes for the Celtics at forward, but the Knicks have guys who to give minutes at either forward spot to (Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett), and he potentially eats into their time. But, he will be a great trade piece by the deadline, if he is putting up numbers.
Matt Budkofsky: Elfrid Payton was signed after the initial wave of free agency, and I am sure how he fits onto this roster. The Knicks backcourt is already crowded between Dennis Smith Jr, Allonzo Trier, Damyean Dotson, Wayne Ellington, Frank Ntilikina and now RJ Barrett, with so much competition minutes will be hard to come by. Payton is joining his fourth team in three seasons, so it will be interesting to see what kind of role he earns.
Teresa Powe: Wayne Ellington is in his 10th season and the Knicks will be his ninth team. As he is coming off his best season, he should be useful for mentoring the young shooting guards, Damyean Dotson, Allonzo Trier and RJ Barrett.
Anirudh Subramanian: The most head-scratching move is the number forwards the New York Knicks signed: Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis and Julius Randle. Plus, the Knicks already have Mitchell Robinson and Kevin Knox. How is David Fizdale going to get minutes for all of them? They should have signed one fewer player from that group.
Michael Petreski: Again, another toss-up. It is between Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson. If the Knicks intend to go youth movement and develop their players you need veteran presence, but giving a multi-year, eight-figure contract is a bit of a shocker only because it does not fit the team’s plans.
Rhys Smith: Looking at all the players the Knicks signed in a vacuum, I actually like all of them to a certain degree — they are either young prospects with upside or serviceable veterans who are good contributors and can mentor the team’s young nucleus.
The biggest head-scratcher is how many forwards they signed, which will take minutes away from Kevin Knox and potentially even Mitchell Robinson, who they should be focused on developing into potential stars.
Eric Gonzalez: I did not think there was a head-scratching signing, except I believe the Knicks could do without Reggie Bullock. They have similar players already on the roster who can do similar things and won’t miss six months to recover from neck surgery. Players like Dameyon Dotson and Wayne Ellington should fit that role perfectly.
Rob Wolkenbrod: Giving Reggie Bullock a roster spot, even after the injury detection, was questionable. It left the Knicks without flexibility because they have a full 15-man roster of guaranteed contracts for next season. They have to trade or waive someone, which will impact the payroll, to create space if necessary.