NY Knicks CAA Files: Unrestricted Free Agents Leon Rose might target

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
Meyers Leonard #0 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Unrestricted free agents with CAA connections: Meyers Leonard

Like Crabbe, Meyers Leonard is another CAA client represented by Aaron Mintz. Leonard is currently a member of the Miami Heat after spending his first 7 seasons with the Portland Trailblazers.

The 7-foot big man started 49 games for the Heat, alongside Bam Adebayo, before a sprained left ankle shut him down for 16 straight games leading into the shutdown. While playing for Miami, Leonard showcased his efficiency, shooting 52% from the field and 43% from three on 20 minutes/game.

Coach Erik Spoelstra’s encouraged Leonard to be more aggressive on the offensive end. His defense, while not known for the gaudy statlines like the premier bigs in the league, has been more than passable for the Heat.

Leonard’s coming off a 4-year, $41 million contract. Due to the contracting cap space because of COVID-19, the Heat might be judicious in doling out contracts to some of their free agents, including Leonard. This may be an opportunity for the Knicks to capitalize.

While definitely not a starting caliber center, Leonard’s steadiness on defense and ability to stretch the floor can pay dividends for the second unit. He’d be a more than adequate backup center to Mitchell Robinson. Additionally, it would be good to try to force the Miami Heat to overpay Leonard, or even outbid them in the same process. At the same time, New York will not want to significantly outbid other teams for Leonard, unless it’s for a short-term deal that will still generate enough cap flexibility for 2021 and beyond.