New York Knicks: The Complete 2021 Offseason Review

New York Knicks, Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
New York Knicks, Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks,
NY Knicks, DeMar DeRozan (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Knicks: Looking at the Chicago Bulls signings

Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas went all in this offseason. They only had a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft which they used to select Ayo Dosunmu, 38th overall. The Bulls instead focused on free agency by executing two sign-and-trade deals to acquire Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan. He not only doled out large contracts but traded serviceable veteran players and draft picks: one 1st round pick and three 2nd round picks to secure both players.

Chicago took a gamble and overpaid Lonzo Ball with the hopes he finally becomes the point guard he hasn’t been able to be in 4 seasons. The Bulls signed Ball for 4-years/$85M fully guaranteed, that is a lot for a player that only averages 1.2 free attempts a game.

DeMar DeRozan’s deal is larger, 3-years/$85M, that is $28M per season fully guaranteed. He will be 34 years old and making $30M in the final year of that contract. That is a lot to pay for a wing that can’t shoot from 3, handle the ball, and is not a great defender.

The Bulls have gone all-in in the hopes that their moves will convince Zach LaVine to resign. In the process, they have no more cap flexibility unless they trade one of their promising young players, Coby White or Patrick Williams. They also have no draft capital, when you consider they also traded two 1st round picks for Nikola Vucevic, a stretch center that is a liability on defense. There is a good chance that the Bulls regret these moves in a year and will be stuck with undesirable contracts and no draft picks to trade.

Now compare the Bulls’ moves with the Knicks. New York signed two proven veteran point guards for the same price per season combined that the Bulls are paying Lonzo Ball to prove he can run the point. The Knicks also signed a scoring wing in Fournier, but who has a more desirable skillset; outside shooting and play-making ability. He is also 3 years younger than DeRozan, and cost the Knicks $28M less, as only 3-years/$57.1M is guaranteed on Fournier’s contract. The Knicks were able to get better without sacrificing cap flexibility.