One of the most anticipated events of the summer is nearly here — free agency. The New York Knicks won’t make as big of a splash as they did last year by signing Jalen Brunson but will have the opportunity to add some much-needed shooting to the roster.
The 2023 free agency class isn’t particularly notable but that doesn’t change the fact that there are several players that the Knicks should be interested in. Whether it be players coming from a division rival or players that have connections to Tom Thibodeau, New York has options.
Before diving into players that the Knicks should be interested in, let’s take a look at New York’s free agents.
Which New York Knicks players will be free agents in 2023 offseason?
The Knicks’ biggest priority entering free agency should be signing Josh Hart to a new contract. He has a $12.96 million player option for 2023-24 that he said he will decline to become an unrestricted free agent, but he made it clear that staying in New York would be “ideal” for him. After trading for him ahead of the February deadline, all signs are pointing toward Hart signing with the Knicks.
Along with Hart, Derrick Rose ($15.6 million) and Miles McBride ($1.8 million) each have club options, meaning that if the Knicks decline them, they’ll become free agents. Fans should expect New York to decline Rose’s option and exercise McBride’s option. Rose was removed from Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, so regardless of how much the Knicks like him, it would be absurd to pay him nearly $16 million next season.
Then there’s Trevor Keels, the Knicks’ 2022 second-round, and Duane Washington Jr., who will both be restricted free agents. Keels spent the majority of the 2022-23 season in Westchester with the Knicks’ G League affiliate. He was briefly a free agent in March after his 10-day contract was up, but shortly after he was signed to another two-way contract.
A few weeks after Washington was waived by Phoenix at the beginning of February, New York signed him to a two-way contract.
What are the Knicks’ biggest free agency needs?
As mentioned, New York needs to add shooting to the roster this summer. The Knicks posted the 19th-worst three-point percentage in the regular season and then followed that up by shooting a disastrous 29.2% in the playoffs.
Yes, Evan Fournier, the player that set the Knicks’ single-season record for made three-pointers in 2021-22 is still on the roster, but he’ll most likely be traded this offseason.
Outside of signing Josh Hart, New York could look to players like Seth Curry, Gary Trent Jr., and even Donte DiVincenzo. Trent has an $18.6 million player option for 2023-24 that he’ll have to make a decision on by June 29. DiVincenzo has a $4.7 million player option that he’s expected to opt out of while Curry will be an unrestricted free agent. Unsurprisingly, Curry will be a hot name on the market.
Chris Paul will be another top name in free agency if he’s waived by the Suns, but there are multiple reasons why he wouldn’t be a good fit in New York.
A series of small moves in free agency could pay off big-time for a Knicks team that made a push to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. New York is closer to being a contender than many imagined, so this offseason could be when Leon Rose seizes the moment to push the Knicks to the next level. Adding deep threats in free agency would be one way to elevate an already promising squad.