Knicks’ Veterans: Who will be around next season?

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Elfrid Payton #6 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2020 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks roster will have plenty of new faces next season. As they seem destined for a bottom-5 finish, management will need to decide who is an asset and who is expendable. While much has been made of the younger Knicks players and their futures, who among the veterans should be with the team next season?

Elfrid Payton

Elf has been a streaky player for the Knicks. His play has been consistent with the rest of his career to this point. He’s a terrific playmaker who can run an offense, but his shooting ability and inconsistencies make him more suited to be a complementary player, not a team’s starting point guard. That said, Elfrid’s ability to create for others is a valuable asset, and he should remain with the team next season.

Bobby Portis

Portis has been a mainstay in the Knicks’ rotation all season long. Portis can stretch the floor and be an effective rebounder. He also tends to lose focus on offense. A lot of his lousy shot decisions and dribbling around have cost the Knicks numerous possessions throughout the season. Portis is currently the 2nd highest paid Knick at 15.75 million going into next season, expect the team to decline their club option and let Portis walk in free agency.

Taj Gibson

At 35 years old, Gibson is nearing the end of his career. A role player for most of his career, teammates have constantly raved about his leadership. Having a selfless veteran like Gibson has been a nice presence for the Knicks young players, but will he be around next season?

Gibson’s cap hit of 9.45 million next season may seem like too much, but I believe there will be a mutual understanding between Gibson and the Knicks that reduces his playing time but keeps him on the team to remain a leader.

Wayne Ellington

Ellington’s role as a shooter off of the bench has been consistent all season. While he hasn’t been a frequently talked about player, he still carries a 9 million dollar cap hit next season. However, his contract is only guaranteed 1 million before June 28th. I would expect the Knicks to negotiate a buyout or try and allow a team to claim him off of waivers.

Maurice Harkless

Recently acquired from the Clippers, many have enjoyed Moe’s defensive mindset. Harkless will be a free agent this offseason, and it’s hard to imagine the team bringing him back. He will likely command a contract around 10 million per season, and the Knicks would be better suited to allocate his minutes to younger players.