If Phil Jackson was never fired: 2018 Free Agency
Iman Shumpert opts into Player Option
Despite his disdain for Phil Jackson, Iman Shumpert hashes things out with the team president who traded him in 2014. Iman exercises his $11 million player option for the 2018-19 season.
As a result, the Knicks enter 2018 NBA free agency with $25.3 million in cap room. Their primary motive will be to surround Doncic with talent and preserve cap flexibility for the 2019 offseason when Lance Thomas and Iman Shumpert’s deals expire.
Knicks sign Nerlens Noel
The Knicks desperately need rim protection, and with the center market weak, they ink Nerlens Noel to a two year, $7 million deal. The former 6th overall pick only played 30 games last season for the Mavericks and did not have much of a market outside of the Knicks and Thunder. The Thunder offered Noel 2 years, $4 million, but Noel accepts the Knicks’ offer, including a player option for the 2nd year. Noel will likely earn the starting spot for his defense and is a good lob partner for Doncic, if healthy.
Knicks sign Glenn Robinson III
The Knicks sign Glenn Robinson III to a two year, $10 million deal, with a team option on the second year. Robinson provides some added wing depth behind Jaylen Brown and Josh Jackson. Robinson only played 23 games for the Pacers last season, but he gives the Knicks a versatile defender and an athletic wing at age 25.
Knicks sign Ed Davis
The Knicks sign big man Ed Davis to a one year, $6 million deal. With Noel’s health a question, and the youth of Jarred Vanderbilt, the Knicks sign the veteran big to play both center and power forward. Davis has a nose for the ball and provides experience to a young and inexperienced front court.
Knicks sign Jarrett Jack
Jarrett Jack spent the past season in the G League, hoping to get called up to an NBA squad. He had signed a few ten-day contracts but never stuck with an NBA team. Phil signs Jack as a second coach to provide Doncic advice about running an NBA team in his rookie season.
Phil Jackson brings back Sasha Vujacic to another one-year, minimum deal to be a triangle teacher. The Knicks also bring back Luke Kornet on a two-way contract and demote Jaron Blossomgame to a two-way deal as well.
Knicks use stretch provision on Joakim Noah
Before the season starts, the Knicks use the stretch provision on Joakim Noah. He gets paid the $18 million on his third year, and the money on his fourth year is spread out through three years. After being suspended 20 games for PED use, Noah has fallen out of favor in New York’s front office.
Knicks Depth Chart (*Denotes Two-Way Contract)
PG: Luka Doncic, Frank Ntilikina, Jarrett Jack
SG: Jaylen Brown, Courtney Lee, Damyean Dotson, Sasha Vujacic
SF: Josh Jackson, Glenn Robinson III, Iman Shumpert
PF: Lance Thomas, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jaron Blossomgame*, Luke Kornet*
C: Nerlens Noel, Willy Hernangomez, Ed Davis