New York Knicks: 5 Under-the-Radar Free Agents to target this summer

Cameron Payne, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Cameron Payne, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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New York Knicks
Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Knicks will be looking to improve their roster through free agency this offseason.

Leon Rose and the Knicks front office will be eager to address the weaknesses exposed in the 5-game loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The team desperately needs to improve at point guard and have to find more consistent shooting and scoring if they are to compete more seriously in next year’s postseason.

The New York Knicks could make some valuable additions in free agency

The 2021 offseason will not provide a loaded free agent class by any means — the biggest names — if we assume Kawhi Leonard will not be available — are all aging veterans like Chris Paul, Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, DeMar Derozan, and Victor Oladipo. Though several of those players can still contribute at a high level, they will be expensive and will not provide much longevity for a franchise looking to build a long-term blueprint.

It is entirely possible the Knicks will target at least one of those guys — Paul, Conley, or Lowry, in particular, would be welcome additions; however, there are also cheaper and younger options that would prolong short-term salary cap flexibility and act as potential building blocks going forward.

Unless Kawhi leaves the Clippers, there will be no players in this years’ free agency class that can be relied upon to carry a roster to a title — certainly not the Knicks roster. The goal should be to improve the roster itself, so that when New York does acquire a superstar or two — and this could be soon — they are in the best possible position to win championships. I can name multiple teams — including the one we all hate in Brooklyn — that have pulled this off in textbook fashion. Well, it’s the New York Knicks’ turn.

The following five players may not all wow with their statistical output nor even start. These are guys the Knicks can get on very cheap contracts. They have shown real flashes of quality and are low-risk high-reward signings that would minimally improve the team’s deficiencies in the short term and could be a lot more with proper coaching and growth.