Former Knicks in NBA Playoffs: Desirable Players
5) Carmelo Anthony
Many Knicks fans are hoping for a reunion with Carmelo Anthony this offseason. If he accepts a new role as a veteran who can provide instant offense and shooting along the wing, he could find himself playing for his former agent Leon Rose.
Melo spent some time out of the NBA before finding a safe landing spot with Portland. He showed in the team’s play-in game that he still has some magic left in his shot, sinking a crucial three-pointer in the closing seconds to help eliminate the Grizzlies.
4) Doug McDermott
I always liked Doug McDermott when he was with the Knicks. He surprised me with his effort on defense and he gave the team a legitimate catch-and-shooter on offense. This season, McDermott continues to make a living shooting 42.5% off the catch. He also ranks among the league’s very best in scoring off screens: his 1.154 PPP puts him in the 87th percentile in that category, according to Synergy data.
Overall, the 28-year-old forward is shooting 48.8% from the field and his 43.5% accuracy from downtown ranked fifth in the NBA this season. Yes, the Knicks would love some of that shooting on their roster. Funny enough, it’s McDermott who you hear the least about in people talking about former Knicks in the playoffs.
3) Marcus Morris
Here’s one former Knick you can’t pull out the jokes in criticizing the Knicks for parting ways. After stealing Marcus Morris from San Antonio last summer, the Knicks used his expiring contract to acquire an added first round pick (27th overall) in the upcoming draft. While Morris was in New York, he played above expectations, and it’s not entirely impossible that he could find his way back in the offseason.
As a veteran forward who adds toughness on defense and can knock down a three, he remains a solid piece on either a young or contending team.
2) Danilo Gallinari
Speculation has already started about the former New York lottery pick finding his way back to Madison Square Garden next season. Gallinari will be a free agent this offseason and the Knicks are in desperate need of the kind of shooting he provides from the forward position.
While he is a bit more limited in his ability to play small forward, he provides a stretch four who can nicely balance out Mitchell Robinson’s role as an interior player.
1) Kristaps Porzingis
I know there are some Knicks fans who would be happy to leave Kristaps Porzingis in the bubble, no matter how efficient the Dallas offense looks with him playing alongside Luka Doncic. But the fact remains, the Knicks took a huge gamble in trading a potential franchise player for cap space and draft picks—do I need to mention Dennis Smith Jr. was part of this deal?
Knowing what we know today, based on how things turned out in free agency, even with the future draft picks attached, there’s no way Leon Rose would do the same deal Steve Mills authorized while he was still president of the team.
History aside, if you are simply mocking former Knicks players to add back to New York’s roster, Porzingis is hands down the top pick.