On ESPN’s draft mix present Friday, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned the franchise seeks to “add taking pictures — not simply 3s, however off the dribble as properly, wings and guys who can shoot.’’
The Knicks additionally desperately want a place to begin guard, and that’s going to occur in free company — with near $60 million in cap area — or in a blockbuster commerce.
In reality, that deal may happen on draft night time July 29, with the Knicks giving up three of their 4 draft picks (19, 21, 32, 58). Thibodeau not solely talked about “buying and selling up’’ however “buying and selling out’’ of the draft.
When the season ended June 2 towards Atlanta within the first spherical, start line guard Elfrid Payton was bounced from the rotation, Frank Ntilikina was glued to the bench, and Derrick Rose was gimpy on a sore knee.
In different phrases, the Knicks’ point-guard state of affairs was a whole mess. Here’s their PG pathways for a greater future:
Their point-guard pie within the sky. All eyes are on whether or not the Blazers gamble on rookie coach Chauncey Billups or rent a strong veteran offensive mastermind, Mike D’Antoni. If it’s Billups, the hypothesis may ramp up the Blazers are beginning anew and the disgruntled Lillard may go on the block. The Knicks, who employed Lillard’s Oakland mentor Johnnie Bryant as an assistant, are able to ship the Blazers at the very least three future first-round picks — maybe on draft night time.
Sail Spencer Dinwiddie throughout the East River
Full of persona, the combo guard spent 5 years trolling Knicks fans from Brooklyn. It sounded extra like jealousy due to the eye the Manhattan franchise deserves. A 2019-20 All-Star, Dinwiddie is a slight danger coming off an ACL tear at age 28. The Knicks have curiosity and can’t think about the combo guard not desirous to regale within the Garden highlight and stick it to his former staff. Dinwiddie, who averaged 20.6 factors and 6.7 assists in 2019-20, is extra shooter than playmaker — however that may very well be as good as a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge on a sunny day.
Monitor Jalen Brunson
Let’s get it out of the way in which: Knicks president Leon Rose loves the son of his first shopper, ex-Knick Rick Brunson. Rose thinks Brunson is a professional beginning, playmaking level guard. Now it’s as much as Dallas’ new coach, Jason Kidd, to resolve if Brunson, a second-round select of Villanova, is the man to construct round and lock in long run. The Mavericks will train his staff possibility for subsequent season and can provide him an extension. If Kidd lowballs him, Brunson will decline and the Mavericks can be compelled to commerce him, in any other case danger shedding Brunson to 2022 free company. The Knicks have Brunson on their radar. Thibodeau is a giant fan of the lefty quarterback. Rick Brunson was on all of Thibodeau’s prior teaching staffs.
Wait out the Phoenix PG puzzle
Chris Paul stunned many by telling associates not too long ago he’ll decide out of his $44 million remaining yr and search one other two-year deal at age 36. It’s laborious to think about the Suns not doing all the things to deliver him again on a two-year bundle — whether or not they win the title this season or not. Meanwhile, Cameron Payne, 26, confirmed loads of playmaking potential as Paul’s stand-in and can be a free agent. It may very well be very Knicks-like to overpay a participant who has not confirmed himself as a full-time starter.
Deliver a proposal sheet to Lonzo Ball — and his father
Ball, the No. 2 decide of the 2017 draft, is a restricted free agent, however the Pelicans won’t match a proposal sheet that begins at $19 million. Making Zion Williamson glad is their prime precedence, although, and it’s been reported they like enjoying collectively. Ball is a pass-first level guard the Knicks want, and he improved his 3-point taking pictures (37.8 %) however has by no means carried out towards a playoff protection. Leon Rose is aware of Lavar from their previous when CAA repped the Balls. The father’s eccentricities should not a difficulty. Sources consider Lavar, a former Jets tight finish on the follow squad, needs all his sons on Broadway, and the Knicks are on Lonzo’s radar.
“He can take the ball out of [Julius] Randle’s palms and he’s improved his taking pictures,’’ an NBA scout mentioned.
Trade for Kemba Walker with market worth at all-time low
Unless determined, the Knicks probably received’t make the leap for Walker after Brad Stevens confirmed precisely how he feels about his present recreation, unloading him to Oklahoma City in his first transfer as president of basketball operations. Knicks GM Scott Perry didn’t see Walker as a max participant as a 2019 free agent. The knee-impaired Bronx native seemed shot within the playoffs — at age 31 with two years and $73 million left on his deal.
Trade for Ben Simmons with market worth heading to all-time low
Though the 76ers informed his agent Rich Paul they are going to deconstruct him and never commerce Simmons, a sweeping provide would in all probability change staff president Daryl Morey’s thoughts.
Even if he’s a playmaker, defender and superior athlete who can end robust, scouts say it’s powerful to have a max contract on the roster if he’s unable to be on the court docket at closing time due to his taking pictures yips. The Knicks want extra perimeter taking pictures — not much less.
“If the Knicks want a place to begin guard, he’s not that man,’’ one NBA scout mentioned. “For him to be efficient offensively, he wants the ball, and it conflicts with Randle. I’d say not an excellent match.’’
The former LSU stud simply completed the primary season of a five-year, $175 million pact that would quickly be seen as untradeable.
“Simmons is a tough one,’’ an assistant GM said. “I still think he is a good player. But it’s hard when your max guy isn’t willing to shoot the ball in the fourth quarter. Or you have to take him out of the game at the two-minute mark so the other team can’t foul him.”
Sign Kyle Lowry to a two-year max deal — with staff possibility
In the previous, sources say Lowry — a Philadelphia man who performed at Villanova — needed to be a Knick. He’s 35, an NBA champion and nonetheless can deliver shotmaking and playmaking. Don’t low cost Lowry re-signing except the Raptors draft Gonzaga level guard Jalen Suggs. One league government mentioned giving greater than a one-year assure at max cash makes for a danger at age 35. “He’s higher fitted to a title contender — and that’s not the Knicks,’’ one personnel man mentioned.
Take the plunge on Dennis Schroder
He is likely to be extra suited as a backup level guard at this stage — in the identical vein of Derrick Rose. The German turned down an $84 million extension, so he needs the large bucks. The Post reported in April he’s on the Knicks’ radar.
“I like Schroeder however don’t like him working the staff as No. 1 level guard,’’ an NBA scout mentioned. “I query his management and taking pictures.’’
Schroder is a Thibodeau-type defender.
The present ensemble
Payton is gone. Ntilikina probably is, too, as he seems to be to extend his free-agent worth on Team France within the Olympics. Thibodeau will push for a Derrick Rose return on the proper worth, however new signee Luca Vildoza was added as backup PG insurance coverage. Vildoza will get to indicate Knicks followers his price on the Olympic for Argentina.