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, Frank Ntilikina
NY Knicks, Frank Ntilikina (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks: #7 Frank Ntilikina (Restricted Free Agent)

While most of the New York Knicks fanbase has come around to stan the French Prince, I’m sure there are those of you that may see him making this list and question his presence on it. After all, I have him last, and I love Frank Ntilikina.

However, I can be realistic and still admit that Frank’s role on the team going forward would be a limited one. I think Ntilikina can see 10-15 minutes a night for any team and have a positive impact, but the likelihood of that happening for a player entering their fifth year who hasn’t had much of a role on the Knicks in about two years is very low.

That being said, I still think a team will be willing to offer him a contract and give him the chance to see rotation minutes from time to time. At the very least, Ntilikina has shown signs that he can be a player who can slide in barring injury and give decent minutes. I believe the Knicks should be that team.

One of New York’s biggest needs is perimeter defense. Yes, the Knicks had a top defense and did well all season long in defending the three-point line, but the roster lacks players who are strong individual defenders outside the paint. Ntilikina’s greatest strength is his defense, he’s secretly one of the best players in the league at his position on that end and even outside his position. Despite the fact that the Knicks will keep trying to upgrade at point guard, Ntilikina’s ability to defend multiple positions means they can use him when need be. He will certainly be on a very cheap contract, meaning he can still add value beyond his contract without needing too many minutes to do so. He won’t take minutes away from a more talented or important guard of wing. Lastly, he may finally be a reliable shooter, as he finished the season shooting 47.9% from three and 48.6% on catch and shoot treys.

NY Knicks: #6 Theo Pinson (Restricted Free Agent)

Yes, it is more important for the Knicks to retain Theo Pinson than Ntilikina.

I know I just said Ntilikina can get spot minutes, and now I’m saying a player who only sees minutes in garbage time is more worthy of a new contract. But, as Knicks fans have come to learn, Pinson is one hell of a teammate.

Losing Ntilikina would be a disappointment for many fans, but it wouldn’t be harmful to the team. Pinson wouldn’t be a loss of talent, but would undoubtedly be a loss of leadership, energy, and morale. Pinson’s glowing smile and endless enthusiasm are some of the biggest reasons for the Knicks culture revolution. Pinson doesn’t need particular skills or even playing time to leave his mark.

He is beloved by all of his teammates and coaches. He is the ultimate supporter of everything surrounding Madison Square Garden. He might as well be sitting in the nosebleeds during games helping hype the crowd. He’s the embodiment of a fan, and gets paid for it. Every team needs a  Theo Pinson type, and the Knicks should be ashamed if they were to not keep him, especially when he comes at such a small price.