1 player New York must re-sign in 2023 NBA free agency – Fitnessnacks & Sports

    Will the New York Knicks be able to bounce back and make a run for the NBA playoffs during the 2023-24 season?

    New York ended its 2022-23 campaign with a record of 47-35, good enough for third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference. They defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games during the first round of the NBA playoffs before falling in six to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

    Despite 41 points from guard Jalen Brunson, who made 14 of his 22 shot attempts against Miami at the Kaseya Center, New York took a 4-point loss to the Heat during Game 6 of the team’s playoff series. Miami forward Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, while Heat center Bam Adebayo added on 23 points and nine rebounds.

    “Congratulations to the Heat, to the organization, to the coaching staff, Spo and Pat Riley and all their players,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said, via the Associated Press. “They played tough in this series and hats off to them. But I’m proud of our guys. There’s always disappointment in the end of the season and in the end, there’ll be one team standing. … Proud of the way this team worked all year.”

    The Knicks have five players listed on Spotrac’s list of 2023 free agents. Two players, guards Trevor Keels and Duane Washington Jr., are listed as restricted free agents on two-way deals. Guards Derrick Rose and Miles McBride are listed with club options, while guard Josh Hart is listed with a player option.

    Who should the Knicks bring back in the 2023 NBA Free Agency period? And will it be enough to push them back into playoff contention?

    Josh Hart

    Hart averaged 9.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game during the 2022-23 regular season. He played a valuable part in New York’s win over the Cavaliers in the playoffs, highlighted by a 17-point, 10-rebound performance in a Game 1 win at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

    “Big time. That’s what he does,” Brunson said of Hart. “Doesn’t matter that it’s a playoff game or preseason game or pickup. That’s how he plays.

    “He’s unreal.”

    Brunson recorded two double-doubles against the Heat, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds during Game 2 before earning 15 points and 12 boards in a 105-86 loss to Miami at the Kaseya Center.

    “It’s who he is,” Brunson told reporters after the Knicks’ Game 2 win over Miami, via the New York Post. “It’s in his DNA just making the right play at the right time, whether it’s getting an offensive rebound, defensive rebound, making the right pass, getting to the lane or knocking down the big shot. … I have the utmost confidence in him.”

    Should Hart either accept his player option or decline while staying on a more team-friendly contract for New York, Hart could be a reliable player for a Knicks team with a significant portion of its playoff roster still under contract.

    Brunson, forward Julius Randle, forward RJ Barrett, center Mitchell Robinson and guard Evan Fournier are among the players listed on Spotrac’s 2023-24 salary cap grid for New York.

    Fournier said he doesn’t expect the Knicks to bring him back on Saturday.

    “You know I’m not gonna be back,” Fournier said, via The Athletic Knicks beat writer Fred Katz. “There’s no way they’re gonna keep me. I would be very surprised if they do. So, we’ll see. It’s obviously not in my hands though.”

    Hart’s rebounding and ability to make the right plays for New York when they need it the most could make him a valuable part of the Knicks’ roster during hopeful playoff runs in the near future. He will be a needed player on the team should New York try to look for trade options for Fournier.

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