The New York Knicks are gearing up for what should be an eventful summer. With a surplus of cap space and a protected first round draft pick, things are starting to look up in the Big Apple.
While New York has their eyes on superstars and the number one pick, there’s more to a basketball team than the nucleus. Carmelo Anthony is a star, and even if the Knicks acquire another big name free agent and/or Jahlil Okafor, they still need nine other players on the roster.
Other than Carmelo Anthony, the only players under contract for New York in 2015 are Jose Calderon, Pablo Prigioni, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Cleanthony Early. The first two have also been actively shopped over the span of a month. Simply put, the Knicks role players should be significantly different next season.
Here are some good role players the Knicks could snatch up in free agency this offseason.
A former Knick, Robinson would be a nice addition as a spark plug off the bench. Despite his lack of size, Robinson has a high vertical, as well as infinite range when shooting. He is a very mercurial player, but he has the capability to change games with his spurts of energy and shooting. As a backup shooting guard or point guard, Robinson could be viable off the bench. He’s currently a free agent, and could prove to be valuable for the Knicks in coming seasons if signed.
Shipped away in the Anthony trade, Wilson Chandler once was a focal point of the Knicks future. The 27-year old out of St. Josephs has good size at 6’8”, and could be a perfect addition to the Knicks. Chandler has the size and frame to play small forward, which could allow Anthony to play in his preferred position, power forward.
Before being traded to the Nuggets in the 2010-11 season, Chandler was averaging 16.4 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game. Chandler’s 15.3 points per game for that season were and still are a career high. A versatile winger who can play 3-and-D, Chandler still has several good years left in him, and would be a superb addition to the squad.
A gritty small forward, Kyle Singler has exceeded a lot of expectations during his time in the NBA. After leading Duke to the national title in his junior year, Singler has career averages of 8.7 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game. At 26, he also has plenty of time left in his NBA career, and can play a big role off the bench for any team, contender or not. He can create offense for himself, which is a valuable trait in this league, and can play defense as well.
Williams is a dual-guard who is currently averaging 15.2 points per game for the Toronto Raptors. A very good shooter, Williams has a career average of 34% from beyond the three-point line. His versatility and “microwave” ability to heat up quickly, can be valuable to any team as a sixth man. If the Knicks acquired him, he could anchor a second unit that isn’t getting nearly enough attention in terms of future consideration.