This off-season, the New York Knicks are set with the significant task of freeing up substantial salary space to allow for additional acquisitions. The team needs upgrades, be it a big star to pair with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle or key depth pieces.
Expected Trades and Savings
The Knicks are projected to trade Evan Fournier, which would save them $18.8 million on his salary. This move would facilitate the extension of Josh Hart’s contract and allocate funds toward acquiring a player like Donte DiVincenzo, another Villanova standout who spent his last season with the Golden State Warriors.
Farewell to Derrick Rose
In an expected move, the Knicks opened up a further $15.6 million by rejecting Derrick Rose’s team option on Saturday, bidding farewell to one of the team’s most beloved players.
“Rose was beloved by (head coach Tom Thibodeau) and the organization, had a diminished role on the court but was a pro throughout his benching, a voice in the locker room, and this will give him a chance to explore available opportunities,” Popper tweeted.
Rose’s Impactful Presence
Although Rose didn’t play a significant part in the team’s 2022-23 season, making only 27 appearances and averaging 5.6 points per game, he previously played in 26 games two seasons ago, averaging 12 points and shooting .445 from the field.
Beyond his playing role, Rose made a significant impact off the bench as a key locker-room presence and leader. Essentially serving in a player/coach role for New York, he was a voice of reason and a catalyst for growth amidst a young squad.
Out of respect, the Knicks decided to give Rose the opportunity to explore possibilities elsewhere, be it as a player or a coach. The club is likely to reinvest the saved salary into other contract extensions they need to manage.