Given that Leon Rose is routinely tight-lipped about the franchise’s inner workings and long-term plans, anyone who writes a predictive text about the New York Knicks’ offseason plans is completing an exercise in futility.
Still, it’s a fun endeavor, given how crucial this offseason is in identifying the organization’s long-term goals.
What approach do you want the Knicks to take in long-term roster building?
I wrote a piece similar to this one at the start of the last offseason. I got some elements right (most of the free agents that would leave and the Evan Fournier and Nerlens Noel contract lengths minus the options), and some things I got very wrong (everything about the draft and that ridiculous Dame Lillard trade).
In many ways, predicting last year’s offseason was an easy task. The Knicks were coming off their best performance in essentially a decade. The correct move was to improve the core that was already in place.
They followed that season up, though, with a disappointing campaign. So, now the correct direction is uncertain and varies widely from fan to fan. One has to believe some similar debates are happening amongst the Knicks’ brain trust.
Julius Randle has gone from the King of New York to an absolute pariah according to a large swath of the fanbase. Tom Thibodeau’s heralded defensive brilliance in year one carried the team, but year two highlighted his offensive simplicity. RJ Barrett showed flashes of superstar potential and strings of shooting inefficiency.
Is Immanuel Quickley a starting-caliber point guard in the NBA? How many more minutes should Obi Toppin get? What does the team do with Fournier, Derrick Rose, and Kemba Walker? Does Cam Reddish have a long-term future in New York? Do the Knicks retain Mitchell Robinson, and at what cost?
Every question leads to more questions. Every tug of thread unravels more of the sweater.
This summer will be telling. Are the Knicks a franchise that wants to continue investing in the youth, are they trying to win now, or is the front office kicking the can down the road to land a superstar?