When Derrick Rose said the New York Knicks have “big plans” for this upcoming offseason, PG Kendrick Nunn wasn’t that exact player that came to mind regarding a massive spending spree. However, if the Knicks elect to go with a more cost-efficient, potential-based move, Nunn would fit the bill perfectly.
Of course, the big names of Chris Paul and Damian Lillard remain at the top of the totem pole for New York, but there is a chance neither will desire a move to the Big Apple, so President Leon Rose must have backup options in place in case things fall through. Aside from Paul, Lillard, and Nunn, options like Lonzo Ball and Devonte’ Graham also remain in the fold.
The Knicks were heavily connected to Ball prior to the 2021 trade deadline, acquiring Derrick Rose instead, who had a phenomenal season and turned back the clock quite a bit. Nonetheless, the organization has about $60-75 million in open funds to operate with this off-season, meaning they can afford a big name if that is what they desire.
Let’s take a look at what Nunn would offer the Knicks if they elected to go that route, vastly different than spending $40 million per season on Paul or Lillard.
“Nunn, per sources, is among the guards who have been on the Knicks’ radar as they consider their offseason plans. Nunn shot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc on nearly six attempts per game this season and shot it remarkably well in the second half of the season. One member of an opposing organization analyzing the market drew a comparison between the 25-year-old Nunn and Terry Rozier, who averaged nine points per game in his last season with the Celtics before signing a three-year, $56 million deal with Charlotte. Rozier’s role increased. His production also increased. The opposing team thought Nunn, who averaged 14.6 points per game last year, could follow a similar path if his opportunities increased.”
What would Kendrick Nunn bring to the Knicks?
There is reason to believe that Nunn could make upwards of $15 million per season, having earned just $1.7 million last year with Miami. Averaging 14.6 points per game, seeing his points total decrease by .7, he was more efficient with the basketball in his hands, shooting .381 from beyond the arc and a .485 field-goal percentage. His downward trend of offensive production was more of a mirage, as he was shooting more efficiently from the field but simply taking fewer shots. Whether he was asked to play more defense, Nunn proved to be an efficient shooter but was also phenomenal from the free-throw line, hitting .933% of his shots.
He’s not the player that Paul or Lillard would bring to The Mecca, but he is a 25-year-old point guard with a ton of potential that can’t be overlooked. Increasing his earnings by nearly 4X might be a bit optimistic for a player who hasn’t truly broken out yet, but if the Knicks signed him to a long-term deal, they could be getting a steal for the future.