Grading the Knicks’ offseason moves

obi toppin, knicks
Apr 5, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin (1) drives against Indiana Pacers forward Jordan Nwora (13) during the first half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have maintained a low profile during this offseason, with just a single trade and free-agent signing under their belt. However, these seemingly minor moves may pack a significant punch for the team’s future trajectory.

Here’s an evaluation of the Knicks’ offseason activities so far:

Grading the Donte DiVincenzo Signing: B

The four-year, $50 million contract for former Warriors guard Donte DiVincenzo during the offseason seemed an inevitable move, given his fitting role within the team and his Villanova ties with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart.

DiVincenzo’s addition undeniably enhances the Knicks’ spacing, credited to his impressive 39% three-point shooting record from the previous season. Moreover, his defensive prowess provides much-needed depth in the backcourt, given his ability to guard both point and shooting guards effectively, regardless of whether he starts or plays from the bench.

While the DiVincenzo signing may not have been a dire necessity, given the team’s more pressing needs in the wing area, his addition is set to make the Knicks a significantly stronger team.

Evaluating the Obi Toppin Trade: C+

The Knicks wrapped up the ongoing Obi Toppin saga earlier this offseason by trading him to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for two second-round picks.

Although the trade was met with mixed reactions from the fanbase, some felt that the Knicks had let go of a valuable player for an inconsequential return. Despite this, given Toppin’s limited playing time reducing his value, securing any draft capital at all can be seen as a success. Relocating Toppin, who now stands to enjoy a more substantial role with the Pacers, was a mutually beneficial decision.

Rating the Decision on Josh Hart’s Contract Option: A

Retaining Josh Hart for the upcoming season by having him exercise his $12.9 million player option was another anticipated move by the Knicks this offseason.

The team and Hart are expected to negotiate a contract extension, potentially around the four-year, $75 million mark. Keeping Hart on the team aligns with the Knicks’ long-term championship aspirations. His immediate impact was felt after he joined the team at the last trade deadline, contributing significantly to their second-round appearance. His shooting percentages and rebounding efforts have also proved invaluable.

Concluding Remarks on the Knicks’ Offseason Moves

Even without high-profile signings or blockbuster trades, the Knicks have made calculated decisions this offseason. These measured moves seem to prioritize asset protection for future growth over reckless trading, demonstrating their thoughtful strategy for the long haul.

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