The New York Knicks entered this offseason with over $50 million in cap room to sign some big free agents but it feels as if they underwhelmed. They may not be done spending but have already locked up a majority of their cap space on four players.
Derrick Rose (three years, $43 million), Nerlens Noel (three years, $32 million), Alec Burks (three years, $30 million), and Evan Fournier (four years, $78 million) have reportedly agreed to deals with New York. The aforementioned four players are going to make roughly $54 million next season.
The common theme in all of these contracts is that they’re for three years. Fournier’s is four but could end up being three because the fourth year is a player option. Since the contracts are all three seasons, one would question why. Well, there are some pretty big free agents in 2024 when these contracts are up. It would make space on the roster for some of these names to be added.
Possible 2024 Free Agents (Player Options)
The big names that fans would focus on are Clippers guard Paul George and Trailblazers star Damian Lillard. George and Lillard are projected to earn north of $44 million that season. George might stay in Los Angeles but there have been rumors about Lillard’s desire to play with the Knicks if he leaves Portland.
Lillard hasn’t been able to get far in the playoffs with the Blazers and he won’t want to waste his prime there if change doesn’t occur. If Lillard were to don the orange and blue, he wouldn’t just be an asset on the floor. Lillard is one of the top ten players in the league so he’d automatically make the Knicks a destination, similar to how LeBron James has recruited players to Los Angeles.
Jrue Holiday also has a player option but it sure looks like he loves being in Milwaukee with Giannis Antetokounmpo.
2024 Unrestricted Free Agents
There are some free agents who seem like long shots to be a Knick come 2024. Klay Thompson falls into the category of players who spend their entire career somewhere. Khris Middleton has found a home with Giannis. Devin Booker is on track to be an all-time Suns great. Gordon Hayward signed with Charlotte instead of New York last offseason.
However, there are some notable free agents who could fit in a Knick uniform. Tobias Harris doesn’t have a championship yet and would only be 32 when he hits the market. Harris went to high school in Brookville, which is just over 40 minutes from Madison Square Garden.
Pascal Siakam will be 30 years old and might end up like Kyle Lowry–a player Toronto doesn’t want to keep paying. Karl-Anthony Towns, who was born in New Jersey, will be 28 and likely wouldn’t stay in Minnesota if they don’t put some help around him. C.J. McCollum is the #2 option in Portland but if New York is truly contending in 2024, he might fit in as a third or fourth option for Tom Thibodeau.
Buddy Hield is already in trade talks in Sacramento and would be cheaper than someone like McCollum or Thompson.
Other Free Agents
Here are some other names projected to hit the market in 2024 as unrestricted free agents:
Kemba Walker (PG): Age 34
Kristaps Porzingis (PF): Age 29
Jaylen Brown (SG): Age 27
Fred VanVleet (PG): Age 30
Draymond Green (PF): Age 34
Joe Harris (SG): Age 33
Domantas Sabonis (PF): Age 28
These are just some of the notable names available in 2024. Rose, Noel, Burks, and (possibly) Fournier’s deals will be up at the end of the 2023-2024 season so the Knicks’ moves could shape up to put them in position to add a few of these players.
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