The New York Knicks are looking to build on their recent postseason success this summer after winning their first playoff series since 2013. The front office will certainly be looking to re-sign Josh Hart first and foremost, as the do-it-all forward brought tremendous energy to the team after the trade deadline and helped spur their playoff run.
After the Hart situation is taken care of, New York should attempt to explore modest upgrades to the rest of the rotation if there aren’t any intriguing star players available to trade. More specifically, role players that have documented postseason success.
There’s no better place to look for these types of players than the NBA Finals, with the Denver Nuggets facing off against the Miami Heat. Both teams have obviously been successful due to their stars stepping up as well as excellent coaching, but they’ve also been supported by top-notch play from their entire postseason rotation.
Miami and Denver will both have a fair amount of players hitting free agency this summer, and there’s a good chance that they’ll have to let a few walk. If that happens, here are three players that New York should try to sign.
3 free agents the Knicks could steal from both NBA Finals teams
3: Jeff Green
Despite Hart’s free agency, the one Knick whose future in the Big Apple is the murkiest happens to be Obi Toppin. While the 25-year-old didn’t have a bad year and even produced some postseason highlights, he’ll be hitting restricted free agency next summer without any real avenue to a larger role with Julius Randle still in town.
Instead of waiting until next year to watch him walk for nothing, the front office could attempt to trade him and recoup some value for a player that likely won’t stay in New York long-term regardless.
The Knicks could replace him by adding a cheap veteran, which is where Nuggets forward Jeff Green comes in. The journeyman has spent well over a decade in the association, one of only two active players to have worn a Seattle Supersonics jersey.
He’ll have over 100 postseason games logged by the time the Finals are over, starting in 23 of them.
Green averaged 7.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for Denver this year, shooting 49% from the field. He only hit 29% of his threes, but he connected on 36% of his triples from 2019-22 so this seems more like an aberration than the norm.
He’ll be 37 years old at the start of next season, although he’s remained an above-average defender who’s also capable of incredible feats of athleticism.
Green would be a much cheaper replacement for Toppin in the event of Obi’s departure, and his postseason track record combined with his ability to still be productive in his late 30s would both be a major boost to the Knicks’ bench.