New York Knicks: 4 free agents to avoid this offseason

Carmelo Anthony, Knicks. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Jan 20, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) dribbles in the second quarter against Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose (25) at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

3) Free agents for the Knicks to avoid: Derrick Jones Jr.

After winning the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in what seemed like ages ago, the Miami Heat forward is set to hit unrestricted free agency. At just 23 years old, he seems like an ideal candidate for a Knicks team that has prioritized youth in the past. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Similar to Montrezl Harrell, Derrick Jones Jr.’s Achilles heel has been shooting. He shot 28% from three last year, equivalent to his career average. He also struggles heavily with shot creation, constantly relying on others to set him up.

This is a major reason why he was essentially a non-factor in the playoffs, averaging just 6.4 minutes per game and playing in just 15 out of 21 contests.

It’s also fair to question how well he would do on a team that isn’t as expertly-constructed as the Heat. In Miami, he was able to play alongside multiple All-Stars (Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler) as well as numerous shooting threats (Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro).

Jones Jr. has become a solid wing defender, but his offensive arsenal is strictly limited to dunking. With such a similar profile to Mitchell Robinson, it’s fair to assume that the two likely won’t fit well on the same team.

With his low age and highlight-worthy dunks, front offices will probably opt to overpay for his services and hope that his offense can improve. The Knicks would be wise to spend money in order to fill another need instead of giving up too much for a non-shooting bench player.