Ranking Knicks free agents who are most deserving of a new contract

NY Knicks (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
NY Knicks (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
New York Knicks, Leon Rose (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks enter the 2021 NBA offseason with 9 impending free agents, which is a lot.

Mitchell Robinson can technically become a free agent and bring the total to 10, but it’s extremely unlikely that the team would turn down his $1.5 million club option.

As the Knicks look to improve upon this season and further vault themselves into the conversation for contention, they will definitely be looking for upgrades throughout the roster. However, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with mostly running it back with a team that was the Eastern Conferences’ 4th seed and did so without several games from Robinson and Derrick Rose.

The Knicks have to figure out who they’re bringing back

The Knicks free agents and the candidates for this ranking are Rose, Alec Burks, Theo Pinson, Frank Ntilikina, Reggie Bullock, Nerlens Noel, and Taj Gibson.

Each of these players has made contributions to the Knicks winning record and culture in a number of areas such as reliable depth and injury insurance, sparkplug play off the bench, and on-court and locker room leadership.

Notice I only listed 7 players. This is because Elfrid Payton and Jared Harper will not be featured in this ranking. I don’t believe the Knicks will or should consider bringing these two players back in favor of the others (if they will consider them at all), or in favor of all other NBA free agents. Harper, when he wasn’t in the G-League, was at the end of the bench all season long. He simply hasn’t seen the playing time necessary to prove he should be resigned beyond getting another two-way contract.

Payton on the other hand has played hundreds of more minutes than necessary to prove he should be banned from New York State, maybe even the entire Northeastern region of the United States of America.

Therefore, here are the 7 Knicks free agents who have earned the opportunity to return next season, ranked from least to most deserving.