The New York Knicks blew everybodyâ€™s minds last season with their rise to playoff contention, courtesy of head coach Tom Thibodeau and Julius Randle. Randle took a notable leap forward in his development, averaging 24.1 points, 6.0 assists, and shot .456 from the field. He also connected on a career-high .411% from 3-PT, a noticeable difference from his .277 mark in 2019.
The Knicks already have a star player, now they just need a superstar to take them to the next level and provide the firepower necessary to compete during the postseason. If you look over to the Brooklyn Nets, losing Kyrie Irving and deploying an injured James Harden simply wasnâ€™t enough, despite having arguably the best scorer of all time in Kevin Durant carrying the load. Teams ultimately need more than one star to make a run in the postseason, and the Knicks have the available funds to do so this August.
18-year veteran Reggie Miller detailed what the Knicks need to take that next step, and it starts with acquiring a superstar this off-season.
â€œTo me, I think they need a superstar,â€ Miller said Thursday afternoon. â€œFor instance, Iâ€™m just saying, if they wouldâ€™ve had a Damian Lillard along with a Julius Randle, thatâ€™s something where you can really say, OK, the Knicks are loaded and ready.
Hypothetically placing Damian Lillard on the Knicks is easier said than done, as President Leon Rose would have to part ways with significant draft capital and player personnel to even tease the Portland trailblazers into considering a deal.
â€œThey are a superstar away from really taking it to the next level.â€
While acquiring Lillard would require the Knicks to sell the farm, they do have a few alternative options they can target in free agency. For example, veteran Chris Paul will be available this summer, and Kyle Lowry is also expected to hit the open market.
Lowry signed a one-year, $30.5 million deal last season, and averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, and shot .436 from the field over 46 games. At 35 years old, heâ€™s undoubtedly getting up there in age but has earned six All-Star appearances over his last seven seasons. While the Knicks will likely go younger at point guard, Lowry might be intrigued by a one-year deal in the $25 million range, which could offer a solid stopgap for the Knicks, allowing them to draft a PG and develop him behind Lowry (possibly Tre Mann).
[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”bxggv1d6sv” question=”What do you think? ” opened=”0″]What do you think about the idea of signing Kyle Lowry or trading for Lillard? Comment here![/wpdiscuz-feedback]
â€œIâ€™m saying this year, what they did and how they played, how hard they played, they made the Knicks more attractive for a superstar,â€ Miller said, â€œ â€™cause the last few years, nobody wanted to come to New York and play there. Itâ€™s a little bit more attractive now if youâ€™re a superstar. Thereâ€™s a little bit of a building block now. And itâ€™s New York.â€
Knicks have potential interest in sharpshooter JJ Redick?
Another rumor that has bubbled to the surface is the Knicks’ potential interest in JJ Redick. With family in Brooklyn, Redick taking his talents to New York makes sense, but at 37 years old, he doesnâ€™t offer much aside from a sharpshooter off the bench. This past season, he only averaged 7.4 points over 44 games. The season prior, Redick averaged 15.3 points, shooting .453 from 3-PT, attempting 6.6 shots per game from range.
Redick would likely be a cheap shooter off the bench for New York, offering instantaneous scoring prowess and more efficiency from beyond the arc. While I would prefer the Knicks to go younger and sign a shooter on a multi-year deal, Redick could be a cheap, one-year player.
JJ Redick's market isn't going to be huge, but a handful of teams are expected to have interest.
Championship hopeful teams need elite shooting. Redick can still provide just that.
— Evan Massey (@massey_evan) June 24, 2021