This summer will determine whether this ranking is far too high or laughably low. For the time being, that means it should be just perfect.
The’Bockers are nearly a blank canvas. The Kristaps Porzingis deadline bargain erased most of long-term obligations. Their greatest guaranteed salary for next season is Frank Ntilikina’s $4.9 million. No dream is too large for the Knicks right now. As Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale broke down, it’s not impossible to discover a scenario where Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis all call Madison Square Garden home next year.
Is it possible? Not in the least. But when the Knicks have their built-in marketplace advantages, and plenty of cap room and a decent shot at securing the No. 1 pick, that’s an army of assets most clubs will struggle to match.
There’s also an underground floor to consider.
Cap distance may not imply Irving and/or Durant. Maybe it’s Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton. Perhaps it’s not any one. Given the revamped lottery chances, the Knicks might wind up drafting fifth or fourth. So, rather than Zion Williamson (and a possible path to Davis), possibly the draft haul is only Cam Reddish or Jarrett Culver.
New York already has some youth set up, although its potential remains in flux. While Mitchell Robinson looks ahead of schedule and Allonzo Trier was a tremendous surprise, Kevin Knox looks predictably raw. Additionally, Dennis Smith Jr. is far from a sure thing, also Ntilikina’s outlook is cloudy at best.
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