While the New York Knicks are looking to win now in the 2023-24 NBA season, they also have the building blocks to be competitive for several years to come.
How the Knicks’ Foundation and Future Stack Up Across the League
ESPN ranked all 30 NBA teams on their projected on-court success for the next three seasons and placed the Knicks at No. 8 overall, justifying their placement by saying:
“New York has collected future draft picks to add a disgruntled superstar via trade to a core built largely from within. That patient strategy, along with Tom Thibodeau getting the most out of the roster, lifted the Knicks’ management score nine spots,” Kevin Pelton noted.
The rankings factored in rosters, management, cap space, market, and draft capital in their ordering of each team. As it stands, the Knicks have nine first-round draft picks in the next two seasons combined, allowing them to go after top talent in the classes of 2024 and 2025.
New York’s current roster features a bonafide 25 PPG scorer in Julius Randle and a proven point guard in Jalen Brunson, who produced the third-highest assist-to-turnover ratio (2.95) among all players that averaged 20-plus points in 2023.
The Knicks’ defense finished in the top five in several statistical categories, anchored by rim protection from Mitchell Robinson. The franchise has high hopes for the ascension of RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes.
They have the ingredients on paper to make a dark-horse run to the Finals and are tied to several superstars in trade rumors, including reigning MVP Joel Embiid and All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
- Knicks’ defense blitzed in ugly 133-123 road loss to the Celtics
- Knicks unlikely to land star player this season
- Knicks’ roster construction reportedly causing frustration from those close to the organization
General Manager Leon Rose Has Turned the Knicks Franchise Around
Since Leon Rose became general manager of the Knicks in March of 2020, he has engineered a roster that has made two playoff appearances in three years, breaking a seven-year postseason drought. Rose also brought in Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau and drafted center Jericho Sims as a steal in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft at No. 58 overall.
The Knicks have the market, bright lights, defensive makeup, and talent to contend now and bring in a superstar to give them that final added boost. Save Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein, all of the Knicks’ core rotational players are inked until 2025-26 and New York’s $125 million in contracts, including Evan Fournier’s $19 million price tag, prime them to make moves in free agency.
Placed above the Knicks were the Boston Celtics (No. 1), Milwaukee Bucks (No. 6), and Miami Heat (No. 7) in the Eastern Conference, while the defending champion Denver Nuggets (No. 2), Oklahoma City Thunder (No. 3), Memphis Grizzlies (No. 4) and Golden State Warriors (No. 5) outpaced them among Western Conference franchises.