With the season over one quarter through, how have the New York Knicks’ potential 2020 free agents performed?
Much was made of the New York Knicks’ 2019 free agency. Nearly six months later, it has produced just a 7-22 record, placing the team near the bottom of the NBA standings for yet another season.
However, the Knicks have a payroll-clearing offseason ahead. Up to eight players can depart, freeing the salary cap for other moves. How have these potential free agents played through the season’s first 29 games, though? Let’s take a look:
- Marcus Morris ($15 million): New York’s best player so far, Morris has done everything to upgrade his value, including a stellar 46.6 percent on 3-pointers. He should have midseason trade value, pending the Knicks can find a team to match his salary.
- Bobby Portis ($15 million): On a team option for 2020-21, Portis’ moments have been sporadic, but he’s only averaging 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
- Taj Gibson ($9.8 million): Starting ahead of Mitchell Robinson, Taj Gibson has offered a veteran presence on the frontline. He has a team option worth over $10 million for next season.
- Elfrid Payton ($8 million): Payton owns a partial guarantee for 2020-21. It makes sense for the Knicks to retain some cap flexibility for the 2020 offseason, but if he continues to play well as the primary point guard, perhaps this regime, if it stays, brings him back on the fully guaranteed $8 million.
- Wayne Ellington ($7.8 million): Ellington has a team option for next season, but his paltry shooting numbers have deterred that potentially being exercised.
- Reggie Bullock ($4 million): Bullock has a partial guarantee for next season, but he has yet to play due to recovery from fusion surgery. He should be back soon, however, which will help determine his future.
- Allonzo Trier ($3.5 million): 12 months ago, Trier looked like a long-term piece for the Knicks. Now, under two different coaches, the second-year guard can’t find a consistent role off the bench. He is a potential trade candidate, or someone to leave via restricted free agency next summer.
- Damyean Dotson ($1.6 million): Dotson has maintained a role for most of the season, and he will also enter restricted free agency in late June.
Which players will improve their value for the rest of the season? Can players like Ellington and Trier dig themselves out of their respective situations?