The New York Knicks face a challenging off-season, aiming to bring about significant changes and add star power to enhance their prospects for the 2024 playoffs.
This year’s postseason elimination was largely due to underwhelming performances from Julius Randle and supporting players, highlighting the Knicks’ need for another star to complement Jalen Brunson. Ideally, this player would excel in high-stakes situations and offer top-tier defense.
While Joel Embiid has been mentioned as a potential solution, DeMar DeRozan could emerge as a top contender due to his impressive defensive abilities and outstanding scoring statistics over the past decade. A six-time All-Star, the 33-year-old forward featured in 74 games in the recent season, averaging 36.2 minutes — the highest since the 2013–14 season.
According to Ian Begley of The Putback, if DeRozan prefers to take his talents to New York, a deal could come together.
The Knicks would be getting an elite talent in DeMar DeRozan:
DeRozan recorded an average of 24.5 points this season, achieving a field goal percentage of .504 and a three-point shooting percentage of .324. Although not renowned for his three-point shooting, DeRozan excels at scoring in the paint and from the elbow.
In order to secure DeRozan, who is in the final year of his contract worth $28.6 million, the Knicks might have to part ways with Julius Randle or RJ Barrett. The reality is that DeRozan surpasses both in terms of skill by a considerable margin.
In the playoffs, DeRozan has had 15 appearances where he scored between 30 and 39 points and 20 instances where he scored between 20 and 29 points.
The fact is, DeRozan is a top-tier scorer who would significantly improve the Knicks’ efficiency in the paint and provide them with another formidable shooter for clutch moments.
The Miami Heat’s double-team strategy against Jalen Brunson in the recent playoffs emphasized the need for Coach Tom Thibodeau to have another assertive scorer who can command attention. Miami simply did not respect Randle’s capabilities and demanded that he step up, a challenge to which he did not rise, failing to offer quality defense or perform under pressure.
Nonetheless, at 33, DeRozan could be nearing a decline in performance due to his advancing age. Despite this, there’s no doubt that he’s delivered several years of top-class performance, including back-to-back All-Star appearances. Some might argue that DeRozan, like fine wine, is only getting better.