7 New York Knicks who are as good as gone this summer

As the New York Knicks enter the official start of free agency, which players on the roster are as good as gone once the summer kicks off?
Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson and Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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No. 3: Precious Achiuwa

There was a time when it seemed very likely the New York Knicks would want to bring back Precious Achiuwa on a long-term deal.

He may have seemed like a throw-in to the OG Anunoby deal. The Raptors took back RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley and needed to add some salary to the trade, so Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa, both on expiring contracts, were added to the deal. Flynn was routed to the Pistons, scored 50 points in a game, and now is an unrestricted free agent looking for a new home.

Achiuwa, on the other hand, became a vital rotation piece for the Knicks in the playoffs after Mitchell Robinson and Julius Randle both went down; when Bojan Bogdanovic and OG Anunoby also went down, he became a big-minute starter. His defensive energy and switchability look like a great fit with a team playing versatile defenders like Anunoby, Mikal Bridges and Josh Hart at the forward positions.

The problem is that the Knicks probably can't afford Achiuwa. Unless the 24-year-old big man is willing to take a smaller deal on a 1+1 to get back on the market next season, the Knicks won't have the money under either tax apron to bring him back. Perhaps with Hartenstein leaving they could view Achiuwa as a plan B, but Tom Thibodeau would likely ask for a larger rim-protecting presence first. There is still plenty of uncertainty, but there is a very real chance that Achiuwa is gone.