New York Knicks ‘all in’ on Fred VanVleet this offseason (Report)

Feb 21, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) warms up before playing the Phoenix Suns at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks could have upwards of $40 million in cap space this offseason, which heavily depends on what they do with the 2020-21 team options they hold on multiple players. A soon-to-be free agent who has been linked and has yet again been connected to the Knicks is Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.

According to Jonathan Macri of Knicks Film School, some members of the Knicks front office are “all in” on signing VanVleet.

According to a league source with knowledge of the Knicks thinking, some members of New York’s front office are “all in” on VanVleet as a free agent target, feeling that he is the best available player on the market. Despite speculation that the front office is not looking to add any long term money to the books, the source said they are planning on being involved in the sweepstakes for the combo guard this October.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Monday that the Knicks are one of a handful of teams expected to pursue the guard this offseason.

VanVleet is in his first year as a full-time starter. Across 54 regular season games he averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from beyond the arc.

The Wichita State product averaged 21.3 points, 7.8 assists, four rebounds and 1.3 steals per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 55.9 percent from beyond the arc in the Raptors’ first-round series sweep of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks’ point guard depth chart includes 22-year-olds Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. and the recently acquired Jared Harper, who spent most of the 2019-20 season in the NBA G-League. Veteran Elfrid Payton has an $8 million team option for the 2020-21 NBA season.

The Knicks own three draft picks in the upcoming NBA Draft: their own first and second rounder (8, 38) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ first rounder (27).

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