Knicks’ new lineup could be counteracted by 76ers’ latest free-agency signing

Jan 27, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles against Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks can only watch as the Philadelphia 76ers exercise all the room in the world to re-tool their roster around their new All-Star big three. A recent addition of theirs is as good as it can get for their franchise.

Knicks have to watch out for Caleb Martin & 76ers forwards next season

Caleb Martin, Heat, Celtics, Knicks, 76ers
Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The 76ers signed veteran forward Caleb Martin to a four-year, $32 million deal on Saturday. Martin provides Philadelphia with a sizable high-end three-and-d option that could also give the Knicks fits in 2024-25.

Martin is a very unique player. The 6-5 wingman does not boast a peripheral that necessarily sticks out off of the stat sheet, but that takes nothing away from his game. He took away 0.7 steals per game in 2023-24 and connected on 34.9 percent of his three-point looks, making 1.3 per game.

The Nevada product does a few things exceptionally well. For one, he stays ready on the perimeter and is a reliable catch-and-shoot marksman. Secondly, Martin plays hounding on-ball defense in a very deceptive and effortless manner. He is able to switch one through four and can make life difficult for wings like Mikal Bridges and OG Anunoby should they face-off next season.

How does the Martin signing counteract the Knicks’ forward-heavy lineup?

Jan 23, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) talks to New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks will have to watch out for a slasher in Martin who can also pull up off of one or two dribbles for midrange jumpers. It takes laying eyes on Martin to know just how good of a player he is. The North Carolina native serves as the perfect counter to the Knicks’ combo-forward heavy lineup they currently have cooking up in the Big Apple.

The 76ers will also have the luxury of deciding whether or not to bring Martin off the bench and let Kelly Oubre Jr. run with the first team or if they should allow Oubre Jr. to contend for the 2024-25 Sixth Man of the Year award as a scorer off their bench.

New York is in a position where they need a true big man to hold Joel Embiid down low. They have the tools to stymie Paul George and Oubre Jr., but the addition of Martin makes things interesting, to say the least.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: