Why the Knicks Weren’t Sad to Lose the Gordon Hayward Sweepstakesby Ben Fadden November 22, 2020 0 comments
Additionally, they cleared out about $35-$40 million in their payroll before free agency. That allowed them to partake in Hayward’s free agency sweepstakes. It was reported the Knicks had a good shot at getting the former All-Star on a two-year deal. Unfortunately, his market expanded and the Hornets gave him double the number of guaranteed years.
But, the Knicks shouldn’t be sad about losing out on Hayward. After all, there will be plenty of opportunities to bring in talent in free agency next offseason.
Many options in 2021’s free-agent market
The big-name free agent after next season that might come to mind is Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, but there’s a solid chance he won’t even get to free agency due to his ability to sign a super-max extension this offseason. The dream for New York is to see LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George opt-out of their current contracts, as they have player options following the 2020-1021 NBA season.
Even if they aren’t a part of the 2021 free agent class, there are still a number of names that the Knicks could go after such as Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gobert, and Andre Drummond.
Victor Oladipo, who reportedly told Knicks players during games last year that he wanted to be traded, is also scheduled to hit the open market. J.J. Redick could be another appealing free agent New York could be interested in, as he is known as one of the best three-point shooters of this generation.
Who the Knicks Still Have
New York brought back Elfrid Payton over the weekend on a one-year, $5 million deal, but he isn’t a long-term option. Their other point guard, Frank Ntilikina, is going to be an unrestricted free agent and it’s expected that the Knicks either won’t bring him back or will use him as a fallback option–especially when they will have the opportunity to bring an elite point guard like Oladipo, DeRozan, or Conley to Madison Square Garden.
It isn’t the end of the world that the Knicks decided not to overpay for Hayward and instead opted to keep their financial flexibility in the event of a possible trade for a star player this year or to take advantage of the free-agent market next offseason.
Good things come to those who wait…
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