Minus the subtraction of Obi Toppin and the addition of Donte DiVincenzo, New York’s roster is the same as last season. Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein have a full year of being a Knick under their belts, and although Josh Hart arrived in February, it feels like he’s around for far longer.
It won’t take long for DiVincenzo to get acclimated, and he can thank his Villanova connection for that. That trio already has a championship connection that dates back to the 2017 NCAA national title game.
Starpower isn’t always enough to push a team to the NBA Finals. The Suns were considered title favorites after they traded for Kevin Durant at the deadline, but the Nuggets hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy in June. Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. are a core that’s been together since 2018. Even when injuries held down Denver, the organization remained patient, and it ended up paying off.
Some fans have criticized the front office for not making a big move during the offseason, but because the right star wasn’t available, New York rightfully decided to run it back. It helps the Knicks are coming off their first second-round playoff appearance in a decade, and that experience will help to guide New York in 2023-24.