The New York Knicks could have the most cap space of any team heading into NBA free agency.
Big decisions await the New York Knicks following their first playoff appearance in eight years.
New York’s playoff hopes were short-lived after getting knocked out by Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in just five games. But with an abundance of cap space to play with, the Knicks are looking at huge roster decisions this offseason and a massive opportunity to build around RJ Barrett and Julius Randle.
Let’s take a look at seven Knicks who are impending free agents this summer and whether or not they should be re-signed.
7. Frank Ntilikina
Drafted eighth overall in 2017, Frank Ntilikina was an unknown overseas product the Knicks saw promise in. With three years of development under his belt, Ntilikina struggled under the bright lights of the Big Apple this season. As the Knicks improved from bottom-dwellers to playoff-bound, Ntilikina saw his minutes cut in half and his production free-fall.
After starting 26 games in 2019-20, the point guard was moved to the bench and appeared in just 36 games in 2020-21. He shot under 36.7 percent from the floor and an abysmal 44.4 percent from the free-throw line.
With career lows in almost every statistical category this season, we’d be shocked if the Knicks brought Ntilikina back. He’s a restricted free agent, so they’ll have the option to match any offers from other teams if they extend him a qualifying offer. However, at this point, it’s time to declare Ntilikina a bust and move on.
Verdict: Let him walk
6. Elfrid Payton
Elfrid Payton started all 63 regular-season games he played this year in his second season as a Knick. His regular-season numbers weren’t terrible, but he faded in the most dramatic fashion come playoff time.
Tom Thibodeau pulled Payton from the Knicks’ starting lineup after Game 2, and he didn’t play another minute in the final three games of the series. If Payton’s 13 total minutes of playoff action are any indication of how the Knicks coaching staff views him, there’s almost no chance the nine-year NBA veteran will be back in New York next year.
Verdict: Let him walk