Fred VanVleet to New York Knicks rumors are heating up

New York Knicks, Fred Van Fleet

There’s no question that the New York Knicks need an improved team composed of established veterans and rising youth, but drawing interest from quality players has been a struggle the past few years. While they did manage to land Marcus Morris and Julius Randle in free agency last year, they both failed to elevate the state of the franchise, as Morris was traded away, and Randle became more of a problem than a solution.

Incomes Leon Rose, the new general manager and head negotiator for the Knicks. His connections around the league with big-name players should prove to be helpful, but we’ve heard this story before with Phil Jackson. The hope is that Tom Thibodeau is the right coach for the job, and whatever players they do draw to the “The Mecca” fit into his system like a glove.

One free agent, the Knicks, are reportedly looking at this offseason is Fred VanVleet, who has been a menace for the Raptors.

According to Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News:

The Raptors are the betting favorites to re-sign VanVleet, but his free agency is unrestricted and the Knicks, according to sources, are among the other teams with interest. If they don’t pull the trigger on a Chris Paul trade, it certainly makes sense for the cap-loaded Knicks.

The Knicks have also been in talks with Oklahoma regarding a potential trade for Chris Paul, but his bloated contract and age don’t make him very appealing. The Knicks aren’t in a position to win now, so trading for a player making over $40 million per season isn’t a developmental move.
VanVleet is a better option, as the Knicks have the cash to splash, and he’s only 26 years old. Ultimately, the Raptor is a solid player to build around. He won’t be cheap, though.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks stated that VanVleet could be valued between $25-30 million per season:

“One team told me last week that they think he’s going to get between $25 million and $30 million per season,” said Marks on The Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast.

Last year with Toronto, VanVleet averaged 17.6 points and hauled in 3.4 defensive rebounds per game. This was his best statistical season, and while his numbers don’t necessarily scream offensive efficiency, he’s a well-rounded player who does plenty of things at an above-average level. His action on the offensive side of the ball has only increased, and his efficiency from the floor has remained consistent, which only attests to his quality.

Fred is also a solid defender and passer, which should excite the Knicks. Far too often, the Knicks have signed one-way players that simply can’t hold up their value on both ends of the court. A player like VanVleet will do that, which is why the rumors are continuing to bubble.

New York Knicks: Is Fred VanVleet worth $22M per year?

New York Knicks, Fred Van Fleet

A big market bereft of a star point guard, the New York Knicks have everything except winning to lure one, whether in the free-agent market or via trade.

With a proven coach in Tom Thibodeau and a huge cap space, the Knicks are ready to make a big splash. The 22-million dollar question now is will Fred VanVleet be worth it?

One day after Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star point guard Chris Paul was linked to New York, a new rumor has emerged: the Knicks are expected to offer VanVleet a huge payday worth $22 million in annual salary.

VanVleet is coming off a career season as he continued his stellar rise since popping into NBA consciousness during the Toronto Raptors’ title run last year. As a full-time starter this season, the undrafted guard from Wichita State has averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 steals, all career-highs. He shot just a shade under 40 percent from the deep. He’s also led the league in deflections with 4.2 per game, making him a coveted two-way player at the backcourt.

While the 26-year old guard has limitations, as shown in the Boston Celtics series, his basketball peak is still ahead of him.  He could come in right away as the no.1 option in a reconstructed Knicks offense or could go no.2 behind RJ Barrett.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported earlier that league executives believe that Malcolm Brogdon’s four-year, 85-million deal he got last summer will set the market for VanVleet.  And that’s within the range of the Knicks’ rumored offer.

But in an event that other top-tier free agents like Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Boston Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz’s Mike Conley opting in, and New Orleans Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram re-signing, VanVleet could emerge as the top free agent in the market thereby setting up a bidding war for his services.

Back in December, when the NBA market was still healthy, ESPN’s Bobby Marks said that VanVleet was valued by one team between $25-$30 million per season.

“One team told me last week that they think he’s going to get between $25 million and $30 million per season,” said Marks on The Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Podcast.

Should it become a full-blown bidding war, the Knicks have the most money to spend. But they are going to face competition against the Detroit Pistons, who, like them, have the cap space and coach Dwane Casey, VanVleet’s former coach in Toronto. The Phoenix Suns, who have emerged as one of the rising powers in the West, will also be in the mix while the Raptors can offer him not only the nostalgia of their historic title run but also the winning stability under Masai Ujiri’s leadership.

Online sportsbooks have the Raptors as the favorite to retain VanVleet’s services with -250 odds.  Any other team has +170 odds of landing him in the offseason.

One NBA agent who I spoke with believes VanVleet would stay in Toronto.

“I’d say no (on VanVleet coming to New York). I think Toronto keeps him,” the NBA agent told Empire Sports Media.

According to The Athletic’s Blake Murphy, there’s a scenario wherein the Raptors can sign VanVleet to a staggered four-year, $70-million deal while maintaining their cap flexibility for 2021.  It remains to be seen if VanVleet is willing to run it back with the Raptors on a discount, or he’ll bet on himself and go where the money is regardless of the situation.

“I’m a free agent, so I think about it every day. Basketball is pretty easy for me, so I can separate that when I’m on the court. It doesn’t affect the way I play, or the way I approach my professionalism every day. But, sure, Coronavirus gave me a new perspective on life and I’d like to think I already had a good perspective, but definitely put things in perspective,” said VanVleet after losing the series to the Celtics.

“So I’ll wait and see how free agency plays out, but at the end of the day, I’m not writing a cheque to myself, so I’ve just gotta wait and see what happens, and I’ll feel better about the year that I had. I wish it would have ended with a championship, but that didn’t happen for us,” he added. 
VanVleet waited for so long for this big moment to arrive.  It took him long years to rise from being undrafted to a marquee free agent, but he’s also one bad decision away from falling hard.
The Knicks can aggressively go after him, but sometimes making a splash on a marquee free agent without a solid team in place could make unwarranted expectations and make such a contract an albatross.
VanVleet and the Knicks have big decisions to make.

Report: New York Knicks ‘really want’ Justin Holiday

New York Knicks, Justin Holiday

Another day, and another New York Knicks rumor: they’re interested in Justin Holiday.

J. Michael of the IndyStar reports that Holiday “really wanted” to return to the Pacers but is now “sour” on the team’s standing. Furthermore, Michael says that the Knicks “really want” Holiday, a free agent this offseason.

Holiday appeared in 73 games, six of which he started, for the Indiana Pacers this season. He averaged 8.3 points per game while shooting a career-best 40.5 percent from beyond the arc. Holiday started two games in the Pacers’ first-round series matchup with the Miami Heat; the Pacers were swept. For his career, the wing is averaging 8.1 points per game while shooting 36.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Holiday, 31, played for the Knicks in the 2016-17 NBA season, appearing in 82 games, four of which he started. He came to the Knicks in the 2016 blockbuster trade that sent point guard Derrick Rose to the Big Apple. New York traded guards Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant and center Robin Lopez to Chicago.

The Knicks’ current wing/forward rotation includes RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Kevin Knox.

The Knicks could have upwards of $40 million in cap space this offseason depending on what they do with the team options they hold on multiple veteran players, including Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington and Bobby Portis. They also hold three picks in the upcoming NBA Draft: their own first (8) and second-rounder (38) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round pick (27).

New York has revamped its coaching staff under team president Leon Rose, hiring former Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau to patrol the sidelines. Kenny Payne, Johnnie Bryant, Andy Greer, Dice Yoshimoto, and former Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will be assistants under Thibodeau.

The Knicks have also been linked to Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet and Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans.

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

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).

Why the New York Knicks should pursue Fred VanVleet

New York Knicks, Fred Van Fleet

The New York Knicks are in for a big offseason.

In the meantime, the Knicks are still looking for a new head coach, and are looking to add some talent to the roster. For example, Fred VanVleet can be a perfect addition to the team — he is a free agent this summer. If the Knicks sign VanVleet, they won’t have to worry about the point guard positions for a while. Why? Because VanVleet has proven to the world that he can be a great point guard, and also be a team leader. Ultimately, he did all of this with Toronto last year and won a championship.

VanVleet isn’t afraid of the big stage

Fred VanVleet has made a name for himself over the past two seasons, especially when the Raptors made the finals. To emphasize, VanVleet had the daunting task of guarding Steph Curry, the best point guard in the league.

As you can see, VanVleet isn’t afraid of anyone. He played Curry extremely well in the finals. Also, VanVleet hit some clutch shots in the finals and in the eastern conference finals too. I like the way he plays, he’s a scrappy player who is willing to do the dirty work. Also, he isn’t afraid of shooting the ball and catching defenders off guard with a crossover. Overall, I think VanVleet could handle the MSG crowd and the fans. I think he’s made for New York.

Fred had his best offensive performance in 2019, posting 17.6 points per game over 48 contests. In addition, he averaged 6.6 assists per game.

What VanVleet will do for the Knicks

If the Knicks can sign VanVleet this offseason, I think he can change the culture of Knicks Basketball. In Toronto, he was a  motivator and a vocal player which is something the Knicks need. A good point guard often has intangible traits that point toward leadership and control. The Knicks don’t have someone like that. Overall, if the Knicks don’t draft a point guard, they seriously should sign VanVleet. Notably, VanVleet has playoff and NBA finals experience. The Knicks need to make a change to this team and fast. Why not start with singing Fred VanVleet?