Grading free agency moves that the Knicks' division rivals made

The Atlantic Division has gotten stronger.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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New York Knicks fans have experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows in free agency. OG Anunoby re-signed before the official start of free agency thanks to the collective bargaining agreement, while Isaiah Hartenstein waited until Monday to make his decision.

The Knicks couldn't come close to the Thunder's three-year, $87 million contract. As tough as it was for Hartenstein to leave New York, he couldn't turn down that money. Although it was a crushing blow, fans suspected it was coming.

While teams will still make minor free-agency moves in the coming days, the biggest splashes already happened. The East got better, as did a few of New York's division rivals.

Grading how Knicks' rivals have fared with their free agency signings

Boston Celtics

Free agency moves

- C Luke Kornet returns on one-year deal

- C Neemias Queta returns on multi-year deal

- F Xavier Tillman Sr. returns on two-deal

After winning its 18th championship to surpass Los Angeles, Boston's got off to a hot offseason start. Derrick White signed a four-year extension and Jayson Tatum signed a massive five-year, $314 extension -- the largest in NBA history. As crucial as those moves are to the Celtics' future, let's evaluate what they've done in free agency.

Soon after free agency officially began on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Luke Kornet agreed to return to Boston on a one-year deal. The former Knick has been with the Celtics for the past two-and-a-half seasons and has become a solid backup center. With Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss the start of the season after undergoing leg surgery, Boston needed to bring Kornet back.

Along with Kornet, Neemias Queta and Xavier Tillman Sr. have agreed to deals to return to the Celtics. Neither played large roles during 2023-24, but that depth is important. Tillman Sr. posted three points, four rebounds, and two blocks in 11 minutes whlie defending Luka Doncic well during Game 3 of the NBA Finals, which could be a sign of what's to come for him next season.

Boston could re-sign free agent Oshae Brissett, which would leave Svi Mykhailiuk as the odd man out from the championship squad.

As much as Knicks fans despise it, the Celtics are well-positioned for the future. Brad Stevens said he didn't expect any major changes to the roster, and his actions have matched his words.

Grade: A