The Knicks drafted Duke’s RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and have promising young assets.
New York is determined to entice free agents this summer.
The Knicks are reportedly in pursuit of big names like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and are focused on retaining players who are committed to building toward success.
“We’re going to do everything we can to try to attract free agents, as long as they’re the guys that buy into what we’re trying to do as an organization,” team president Steve Mills told The Undefeated on Tuesday.
While New York has two max slots that could be filled by All-Star caliber players, Mills insists this was not the initial plan.
“Our plan wasn’t to create $70 million in room to go after free agents this summer,” Mills said. “Our plan was to organically build this team through teamwork, drafting well, getting high-character guys that want to compete. The (salary cap) space was a byproduct of that. If the right guys are there for us, great, because we still have all the young pieces and draft picks to move forward.
“And if they’re not, we’re going to keep building our plan, drafting our guys, playing well and potentially being trade partners. We feel really good about where we are going.”
The Knicks drafted Duke’s RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and have promising young assets in Kevin Knox, Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson. But they traded away star big man Kristaps Porzingis in February and missed out on a chance to land Anthony Davis, who has reportedly been moved to the Lakers.
New York finished with a league-worst 17-65 record last season and wasn’t able to land top prospect Zion Williamson, so failure to upgrade its roster could lead to more suffering in 2019-20.
Durant and Irving are reportedly interested in teaming up and the Nets are in contention to land the duo. Nevertheless, the Knicks are looking for players with drive who want to bring glory back to Madison Square Garden.
“The opportunity to put a banner in that building? You’re not a competitor if you don’t want that,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said.