The New York Knicks’ season came to an unfortunate end last night. They lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs 4 games to 1. I was honestly surprised at how non-competitive this series turned out to be. In addition, I was surprised to see how little impact Julius Randle and RJ Barrett seemed to have on the series. The Hawks played excellent defense on the Knicks two most important players. The New York Knicks will be watching the rest of the playoffs from their couch, but Leon Rose’s job is just getting started. What do the New York Knicks need to do this offseason? Let’s break it down.
Re-Sign Julius Randle
Julius Randle finished his second season of a 3-year contract with the New York Knicks. This season was by far his best of his career. He averaged a double-double this season with over 24 ppg and 10 rpg. He took home the NBA’s Most Improved Player award this season as he catapulted the Knicks into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. In addition, Randle has already expressed interest in staying here long term. He is on the record saying he wants to retire as a Knick. He has proven he can be the go-to guy on the floor and he should be paid as such.
Re-Sign Derrick Rose and Let Elfrid Payton Walk
Next, I want to see the Knicks re-sign Derrick Rose. In addition to bringing back Rose, they need to cut ties with Elfrid Payton. Not only were fans calling for Payton to be benched, but also the Knicks commentators started to question why he was in the lineup every night. Rose was the Knicks best player in this series and earned the starting role after game 2. However, the Knicks point guard rotation seemed to get out of whack after Payton no longer got his 6 minutes of cardiJulu o a night. The Knicks need to bring back Rose and make him the starting PG. Furthermore, they need to ensure that Immanuel Quickley still gets at least 20 minutes a night.
Target and Acquire a bonafide Star
Julius Randle became an unexpected star for the Knicks. However, if you look at all of the good teams out there, they all have at least two bonafide stars. Chris Paul is planning to decline his $44 million option and hit the open market. Paul and the Knicks have been rumored to be a match ever since he played for the Hornets. Maybe the two can finally make it happen. There aren’t many star players out there on the free agent market this offseason. Chris Paul an Kawhi would be the two most coveted players (if Kawhi declines his player option). The Knicks best option might be through the trade market.
The New York Knicks offseason is starting later than we expected but sooner than we hoped. It was a magical season at MSG and the real work starts now. Despite this team being very good and a lot of fun to watch, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to truly compete for a championship. Re-signing Julius Randle and Derrick Rose is an excellent start. Leon Rose then needs to target and acquire a second star to go with Julius Randle and play alongside RJ Barrett. This team is young, super athletic, and has a lot of promise. The Knicks are back and the fun is just beginning.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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