The NY Knicks have had themselves quite an impressive offseason thus far, what with the fact that they managed to re-sign some key of their key players from last year’s successful run while also bringing on new talents such as Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker to shore up some of the weaker spots within the rotation.
That said, despite their bevy of transactions, the team is still certainly not without flaws.
Two years ago, New York’s biggest problem was, well, everything, while last season it was a consensus vote that the team’s point guard play was their major issue.
Now, as things currently stand, with a little over two months to go till tip-off to the 2021-22 campaign, one could still point to quite a few glaring concerns within the team’s rotation. For the folks at Bleacher Report, it is their belief that the biggest problem for the Knickerbockers is at their center position and, more specifically, their lack of a floor-spacing big.
Though writer Greg Swartz acknowledges that the pairing of both Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel (one of the players in which the NY Knicks re-upped with this offseason) is one of the better tandems in the association at the position in terms of defensive ability, their inability to stretch the floor on the offensive end of the ball could make the team struggle in the scoring department, especially if Julius Randle reverts back to his pre-All-Star 3-point shooting self:
Robinson’s average shot distance was just 1.3 feet, while Noel stretched his average range out to 3.7 feet.
If Julius Randle can maintain his 41.1 percent three-point mark from a season ago, Robinson and Noel’s lack of spacing may not matter. If Randle regresses to his average from before 2020-21 (29.5 percent), the Knicks may have spacing issues.
Now, of course, this is all based on mere hypotheticals, for Randle looks to have turned a corner for the better in his career while the signings of Walker (36 percent career 3-point shooter), Alec Burks (37 percent career 3-point shooter), and Fournier (38 percent career 3-point shooter) all should help better space the floor, in today’s NBA having a floor-spacing big is a huge plus.
Though there may not be many household names available at the moment that fit this mold (be it in free agency or in trade circuit), the NY Knicks should still strongly consider scouring the markets in pursuit of a stretch center and, in the coming days, there could be more specific names listed who could prove to be viable options that the team should target.