Last season, the New York Knicks were one of the NBA’s feel-good stories, as they finished 41-31 and made the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
Although they lost in the first round of the playoffs, four games to one to the Atlanta Hawks, there was optimism, as the Knicks were finally not only a good team, but one with an identity.
They looked to have an even better roster this season, but the results didn’t follow.
New York finished under .500 and didn’t make the playoffs, and it finds itself again in the familiar situation of having many needs.
There are a couple of bright spots on the team, but the Knicks need to make a splash this offseason, and there are three players who could really help them next year.
1. Bradley Beal
Yes, the Knicks really need a point guard, but Bradley Beal will reportedly be a free agent this summer, and the Knicks do need star power, period.
Beal is just turning 29 years of age, and although he had a bit of a down year, he can supply the Knicks with the type of offensive punch they have long lacked.
New York finished 22nd in offensive rating this year, and even when they made the playoffs in 2021, they were just 23rd in that category.
The Washington Wizards star also put up 6.6 assists per game this year, showing that he can be a pretty good secondary ball-handler and facilitator.
2. Donovan Mitchell
He may not be a true point guard, but Donovan Mitchell does play the position, and he is an electrifying player, which would make him a good fit for Madison Square Garden.
Furthermore, Mitchell is originally from Elmsford, which is a suburb of New York City located in Westchester County, just minutes north of the Bronx.
After the Utah Jazz finished a disappointing season and lost their head coach Quin Snyder, there is speculation that Mitchell may want out.
If he does, the Knicks should put a full-court press to bring him home to the Tri-State Area.
He is a big-game player, and having averaged 5.3 assists a game this season, he can definitely help Julius Randle run the team’s offense.
— Mismatch (@MismatchSports) July 25, 2020
3. Jalen Brunson
This is probably New York’s most realistic option, especially since he has been linked to the team many times in recent days and weeks.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 21, 2022
Jalen Brunson is the son of Rick Brunson, who played a couple of seasons for the Knicks about two decades ago, and the younger Brunson will be a hot commodity in free agency this summer.
He averaged 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game this season while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from 3-point land, and in the playoffs, he boosted his scoring to 21.6 points a game.
The Knicks just need to make sure that if they do get Brunson, they don’t overpay him and run the risk of him not living up to his contract, just in case what he did in this year’s playoffs was a bit of a happy fluke.