With all of the NY Knicks free agency rumors and hoopla surrounding the team this offseason, it’s easy to forget that they have some decisions to make on players of their own.
Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks, and Reggie Bullock are all hitting unrestricted free agency, and New York is going to have to figure out what to do with some key players from last year’s roster.
While everyone seems to be confident that Derrick Rose will be back, the conversations around the other 3 players aren’t quite as supportive.
NY Knicks: Why re-signing Reggie Bullock could be important
No one expects New York to run back the same roster they had last season. This is a team loaded with cap space, draft picks, and young talent – improving their roster this offseason will be critical for keeping up the success they started in 2020-21.
While the team will likely pursue some of the top free agent talent, it doesn’t mean they can’t make minor transactions as well. Re-signing their veteran wing, Reggie Bullock, could be a worthwhile investment.
After the success he had last season, the expectation for Bullock is that he can get close to the veteran mid-level exception – worth between 9-10 million annually.
Bullock is no franchise player, but NBA teams are always hungry to add complementary players with his skillset. Bullock is the quintessential “3&D” role player, and I fully expect him to get a 2-3 year deal at 10 million per year.
Luckily for the NY Knicks, they have his Early Bird Rights – meaning, they can go over the cap to sign him. New York can still pursue top-tier talent, offer them large contracts, and sign Bullock to the level of contract he will likely demand.
Outside of Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock played the most consistent, heavy-responsibility role for the NY Knicks in 2020-21.
Bullock played nearly every game and averaged 30 minutes per game and was a huge leader for New York. He posted the 2nd highest defensive real plus/minus of any small forward in the league. He was consistently guard opposing teams’ best wings.
His 41% 3-point shooting and 45% shooting from the corner (a huge part of the Knicks’ offense) is a fantastic asset to have on offense. Not only that, Bullock’s role is extremely flexible.
No one, including Bullock himself, is expecting him to be a franchise cornerstone. As a matter of fact, after watching the series against the Atlanta Hawks, you could say Bullock needs a role with less ball-handling responsibility.
Bullock is a spot-up shooter. He’s a nice piece to have around your best players. New York can even add a more dynamic player on the wing while still bringing Bullock back, potentially in a large bench role.
His veteran presence and familiarity with the team’s system would be great to have back for next season. You can never have enough 3&D players on the perimeter, and Bullock proved his worth last season. The NY Knicks could be wise to bring him back again.