Knicks looking for ‘prime-aged veterans’ to complete roster

julius randle, knicks
May 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) and Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) look on during a free-throw attempt in the fourth quarter during game four of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Kaseya Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have set their sights on significant roster improvements this off-season, kicking off with the acquisition of Donte DiVincenzo, formerly of the Golden State Warriors.

DiVincenzo is a valuable addition to the rotation, capable of not only starting but also fulfilling an essential role as a primary shooting guard. In the 2022 season, the 26-year-old averaged 9.4 points per game, with a shooting average of .435% from the field, including .397 from beyond the arc. His contributions also included a .574 effective field goal rate, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.

DiVincenzo’s arrival will undoubtedly enhance the Knicks’ roster and upgrade their long-range shooting capabilities. However, the team still lacks a third star to join forces with Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson. A defensively adept, scoring wing player would greatly bolster their roster.

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Chasing Star Talent

Securing star-level talent to expand the championship window is easier said than done. Nevertheless, the Knicks are well-positioned to make a run, seemingly needing just one more key player to complete their roster.

According to recent reports, the Knicks are searching for “prime-aged players” to significantly enhance their roster, particularly for postseason play where efficient scoring and late-game defense are crucial.

“League sources told The Athletic that New York has contacted multiple rival front offices this offseason with a similar objective. The Knicks have built packages around their promising young players to target prime-aged veterans they believe would help the current roster. If they flipped one of their 20-something guards for a versatile wing, that would change the context of the DiVincenzo signing, too.”

Assessing Current Guards: Too Many?

The Knicks’ roster boasts an abundance of guards, including RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, and the newly signed DiVincenzo.

Barrett, who averaged 19.6 points per game last season, is expected to significantly improve his scoring efficiency and defensive prowess. Quickley, in the final year of his rookie deal, was instrumental behind Brunson, averaging nearly 15 points per game. Grimes, with an average of 11.3 points per game, is expected to increase his aggression and defensive standing.

Trading one of their guards could solve the issue of crowded minutes and allow the team to address another position of need. The recent trade of Obi Toppin to the Indiana Pacers has left a vacancy behind Julius Randle at power forward, and the Knicks could use an additional player in that position.

Given that the front office considered trading Quickley last summer, they might leverage his final rookie deal year to acquire a more prominent player or additional draft capital. With only a few weeks remaining to make decisions, the Knicks will need to act swiftly to avoid missing out on prime opportunities.