New York Knicks 2019-2020 Season OutlookOctober 2, 2019
By: Dave Furtado, Head Basketball Analyst
The next stop on our tour around the NBA, is none other than the city that never sleeps, New York City. This time around we’ll be breaking down the offseason that was for the New York Knicks.
Key Additions: Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington
Key Subtractions: Noah Vonleh, Ron Baker, Emmanuel Mudiay
Draft: R.J. Barrett, Iggy Brazdeikis
To say it was a tumultuous offseason for the Knicks would be a wild understatement. The team went into the summer expecting to get the number one pick and draft Zion Williamson. They also viewed themselves as favorites for superstar free agents Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. As we now know none of this happened. Instead the Knicks had to make the best of having the 3rd overall pick and missing out on their top two free agent targets. With that being said they had a solid offseason by their standards. The Knicks were able to make a plethora of solid mid level additions such as Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, and Reggie Bullock. Throw in Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, and Wayne Ellington and now you have a real NBA team, something the Knicks haven’t had in some time. Adding these veterans should provide some great leadership to an otherwise young and inexperienced team. Randle is coming off a career year with the Pelicans a year ago and should be able to anchor the front court for the Knicks, and Marcus Morris proved he could be a fringe starter over the last two seasons with the Celtics.
As far as losses go the biggest one for the Knicks came in the middle of last season when they dealt Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks. Other than that it was just some depth pieces walking out the door. Noah Vonleh and Emmanuel Mudiay aren’t game changing losses, especially when you see what New York was able to replace them with. Overall the additions in New York far outweigh their losses, making it somewhat of a win for the Knicks.
New York shined on draft night. They had the third overall pick and it was a no brainer to take Duke wing R.J. Barrett. Barrett can flat out play. He is long and super athletic and his game should translate extremely well to the NBA. There were some that believed Barrett was the most “pro ready” player in the draft. Only time will tell if the Knicks took the right player here, but fans can’t hammer the team for taking the chance on Barrett. The Knicks also were able to draft Michigan forward Iggy Brazdeikis in the second round. This is a fantastic selection by New York. Brazdeikis, a Lithuanian born player, was a standout for the Wolverines last season. He averaged 14.8 points per game on 46% shooting. While he isn’t a star now and likely won’t be, it is a fantastic addition to the bench for the Knicks. Brazdeikis will at the very least be a solid NBA rotation player, which is all you can ask for in the second round.
Final Outlook on the New York Knicks
The Knicks aren’t by any stretch of the imagination a playoff contender next year. In fact they’ll probably finish at the bottom of the conference. They missed out on their top three targets in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Zion Williamson. Despite this they did recover nicely and were able to piece together a productive offseason. Bringing in players like Morris, Randle, and Gibson should add some veteran leadership to a young core that the Knicks hope they can build around moving forward. With that being said, the Knicks are in for a long season and will likely finish with a record somewhere in the neighborhood of 22-60 missing the playoffs by a wide margin.