An issue that became rather apparent during the playoffs is that the New York Knicks need some additional role player help. Not only did the team’s bench disappoint for the most part, but even some of the stars didn’t live up to their expectations.
In an offseason with some cap flexibility and plenty of assets, there’s a real chance fans could see the Knicks target some higher-tier role players to improve their odds of success in the playoffs. Stars are always nice, but role players and the consistency they bring can be very important as well.
If the Knicks decide to not make major moves, these three role players are low-cost and could make a big difference entering the 2023-24 season.
3 role players the Knicks should target in free agency this offseason
3. PF Trey Lyles
If the Knicks decide to move on from Obi Toppin, they could look to replace him with a player like Trey Lyles. He may not make exciting plays, but the consistency he brings on both sides of the ball alongside his floor spacing could be of use to the Knicks.
In 74 games this season, Lyles averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists while shooting 45.8% from the field and 36.3% from deep on 3.2 attempts. Those aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but Lyles would be a very nice and cheap replacement for Toppin if he is traded.
It’s hard to gauge how much Lyles could earn on an open market. While he has been making around $2.5 million the last two seasons, he has definitely surpassed that value with his play. It’s doubtful he will make more than $8 million, which would make it feasible for New York to sign him.
Lyles won’t change the game for the Knicks but he’d bring a more versatile skillset on both sides of the ball than Toppin. This sort of value signing while also getting a good return for Toppin in a trade could make a big difference for the Knicks next season.