Ever since Scott Perry stepped foot into the front office for the New York Knicks, he’s largely made the safe moves. Perry most importantly hasn’t done anything irresponsible that would handicap the franchise. However, he also hadn’t made any moves establishing his fingerprints on the franchise. That all changed a few weeks ago with the now infamous trade of Kristaps Porzingis. Perry had cleaned up everything the previous regime had done, now, the franchise is heading in the direction of his vision. While people love to clown the Knicks for everything in the past, this front office is different and amongst a season full of losses, there’s a lot to be excited about moving forward.
Knicks Front Office Excelling, What Comes Next?
It’s difficult to judge the rookie class completely within the first year. However, the Knicks were a team that certainly did well. Drafting Kevin Knox and getting a steal in Mitchell Robinson. Not just that, the front office added Allonzo Trier as an undrafted free agent and he’s having one of, if not the best-undrafted rookie season ever. The front office crushed last year’s draft and these three look like important pieces moving forward.
Not only was the draft a large success, but the Knicks G league team in Westchester has been developing players remarkably. Agents with guards seeking an opportunity are attempting to send their players to the Knicks developmental squad because of this success. Recently, Kadeem Allen and John Jenkins have come up to the big league squad and produced right away, with Allen, in particular, looking like a natural fit. Luke Kornet has also filled in nicely as the only center that can really stretch a defense. While not all these players will be part of the future, the success the Knicks have had developing players like this doesn’t go unnoticed. The franchise is quickly changing its reputation as one that hasn’t done well with player development.
With 24 games left to play, the Knicks focus is continuing to get the young players minutes. They must stay the course in evaluating the fit of these players on the roster moving forward. Additional players like Dennis Smith Jr, Damyean Dotson, and Frank Ntilikina likely have roles for the team going forward. The Porzingis trade opened up over $70 million in cap space, making the Knicks major players in upcoming free agency. The Knicks are linked to players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Landing one or both would change the franchise instantly.
Not to forget, the Knicks likely have a top three pick coming in this year’s draft. This can serve as a valuable asset in a potential Anthony Davis trade. The expectation is that the Knicks will land a major player this summer. Anthony Davis listed the Knicks in his top four destinations, further proving the Knicks are an attractive destination. Even if the Knicks do miss out on potential max players, there are plenty of options remaining. In addition to the cap space available, the Knicks have seven first-round draft picks in the next five years. The cap space can be used to overpay guys on one-year deals to prove themselves. The Knicks can roll over the cap space to the next year for other max players.
Whatever happens, the front office has a sense of direction and many avenues in which to construct a team. There are two main ways to build franchises in the NBA, through the draft and free agency. The Knicks luckily can utilize both methods. It’s up to Scott Perry to take advantage of the flexibility he created and make the Knicks perennial playoff contender for years to come.
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