After team president Phil Jackson expressed his desire to re-sign New York’s younger players, the Knicks could be out of the running for big-name free agents this offseason. Metro decided to take an early look at what the Knicks’ starting lineup could look like next season after the 2017 NBA draft lottery Tuesday night revealed that New York will choose eighth:
PG- Dennis Smith
Derrick Rose will likely sign elsewhere during free agency this summer, which means the Knicks must be proactive in finding their next floor general.
With Jackson’s strategy, that leaves the team’s best option of getting a point guard through the NBA draft.
I have point guard Dennis Smith out of NC State getting picked by the Knicks with the No. 8 pick of the draft. He’s agile, has solid vision and is not afraid to slash to the basket when passing lanes are closed down.
SG- Courtney Lee
While his numbers weren’t flashy, Courtney Lee’s output was as consistent as his previous seasons in the league.
He is not going to carry an offense on his own, but in a system with Porzingis, he won’t have to. As long as he shoots around 40 percent from three-point range and can add 10-to-15 points per night, the final three years of his four-year, $48 million contract won’t look so bad.
SF- Jae Crowder
This is where my predictions might be lofty, but there is a possibility that the Knicks can acquire Jay Crowder from the Boston Celtics if they deal Carmelo Anthony to Beantown.
Jackson has been high on the small forward for the past few years and his perimeter defense would be a major addition. While Boston might be sitting pretty as they acquired the No. 1 pick on Tuesday night while preparing for the Eastern Conference finals, adding Anthony with the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and either Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball could make the Celtics a superteam.
PF- Kristaps Porzingis
What can I write about Porzingis that you don’t already know?
The Latvian will be the face of the franchise upon Anthony’s departure and should be the main offensive focal point.
After all, he is a unicorn.
C- Willy Hernangomez
The injured Joakim Noah will also be suspended for the first 12 games of the 2017-18 season, which will provide Hernangomez with a golden opportunity to step in and prove that he can be a starter in the NBA.
He showed a ton of promise last season, averaging 8.2 points and seven rebounds in just 18.4 minutes per game. The 22-year-old coexists well with Porzingis and could create an imposing frontcourt in the future.