The New York Knicks were eliminated by the Miami Heat for an unceremonious end to their season. While the Knicks lost in the 2nd round, this season was a step in the right direction. New York signed Jalen Brunson last offseason, and he proved to be an elite guard.
In the regular season, Brunson averaged 24 points per game, along with 3.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He shot 49.1 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from three. The 26-year-old guard is the building block for the future of the Knicks.
Outside of Brunson is where it gets complicated for New York. Julius Randle had a great regular season, earning All-NBA third-team honors. However, Randle struggled in the playoffs, and some have called for him to be traded. Stephen A Smith is one who likes the idea of moving Randle this offseason.
RJ Barrett is another player that is in trade rumors. Barrett was inconsistent during the playoff run, and with his contract, New York could look to trade him. This offseason will be filled with many difficult decisions for the Knicks as they build around Brunson. They will want to improve upon this season and become a contender in the Eastern Conference. Making some trades and re-signing guys like Josh Hart will help, but they will also need to make some additions in free agency.
With that said, here are three early NBA free agency targets for the Knicks in the 2023 offseason.
3. Guard Lonnie Walker IV
Lonnie Walker IV has proven to be a great professional this season. Walker IV had a good regular season for the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 11.7 points per game. He shot 44.8 percent from the floor and 36.5 percent from downtown.
Walker IV was having a good season as a starter for the Lakers. However, at the trade deadline, Walker IV fell out of the rotation entirely after Los Angeles overhauled their roster. While this was tough, Walker IV never complained and kept a stay-ready mentality. His number was then called in Game 4 of the 2nd round against the Golden State Warriors to play pivotal minutes. Walker IV stepped up and scored all of his 15 points in the 4th quarter to help the Lakers win.
He will be a free agent this offseason and would be a good fit for New York. He can play well on both sides of the ball and would bring more scoring for the Knicks. New York’s offense struggled in the playoffs and could use another scoring punch. Walker IV could fill that role while still providing quality defense.
Donte DiVincenzo had a good season with the Golden State Warriors and has a player option heading into next season. If DiVincenzo declines his player option, the Knicks should be in the mix to sign him. DiVincenzo is a quality two-way guard and would fit well in New York.
DiVincenzo averaged 9.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game this season. He shot 43.5 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from behind the arc. DiVincenzo’s ability to play defense and shoot the ball would make him a great role player for the Knicks.
1. Forward Trey Lyles
Trey Lyles would be a quality stretch four to bring in. Lyles is also a solid defender and would be a good power forward off the bench. Lyles averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds this season, shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 36.3 percent from three. He was a quality role player for the Sacramento Kings this season and had two big games against the Warriors in their first-round matchup.
The 27-year-old should be of interest to New York as they try to add depth to their rotation.
New York has a ton of decisions to make this offseason as they try to become a contender in the Eastern Conference. These additions would give them more depth in their rotation. With a few trades to go along with these signings, the Knicks could be in a position to contend in the East next season.
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Courtesy : https://clutchpoints.com/knicks-3-early-nba-free-agency-targets-in-2023-offseason