The most efficient method of building a strong team this off-season is simple for the New York Knicks, don’t part ways with significant assets to acquire a player in a trade, but rather utilize available funds to bolster the team while approaching the draft with one impact prospect in mind. Simply put, the Knicks don’t have enough roster spots to field three more rookies as developmental projects, so pairing their selections together and targeting one in a trade-up would be a more beneficial move.
With that being said, President Leon Rose has $50+ million to work with this off-season in addition to his draft selections, meaning the Knicks can easily bolster their squad without selling the farm for a player like point guard Damian Lillard. As attractive as he is, if the front office has learned anything from the Carmelo Anthony trade, it is that one star player cannot win a championship alone. Even Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.
Some might make the argument that Lillard and Julius Randle together would equate a championship caliber team, but they would have little in terms of complementary pieces to work around them. Just look what the Brooklyn Nets accomplished spending money and not giving away valuable draft and personnel pieces.
However, I want to shift our attention over to the frontcourt where the Knicks had issues during the postseason due to a lack of physicality and offensive production. With Mitchell Robinson going down with a fractured foot, head coach Tom Thibodeau was forced to operate with Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson. While both big men played valiantly, they lacked in specific categories, notably on the offensive side.
Finding another solid center to play alongside Robinson should be a priority for New York this off-season, and one player that stands out is Jarrett Allen, who was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Cleveland Cavaliers last year.
According to Bobby Marks of ESPN:
Cleveland could let Allen shop for an offer sheet but unlike Capela, who entered a tough market with few options, Allen is likely to have plenty of suitors, ranging from Charlotte to New York and Toronto.
At 23 years old, Allen averaged 12.8 points, 10 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and connected on .618 of his shots from the field. At such a young age, Allen has plenty of quality basketball ahead of him, and with Robinson in the final year of his rookie deal, having two adequate options in the paint will give the Knicks plenty of value.
Clearly, it is necessary for a physical team that relies on defense to have two solid big men available, and guaranteeing Allen would stay for multiple years would give the Knicks a bit of comfort if Mitch doesn’t play to expectations this season.
I believe pairing these two together would be a tremendous addition for New York, solidifying their frontcourt alongside Julius Randle. With the work rate that Thibodeau commands, both players could average upwards of 25 minutes per game, keeping both fresh and fatigue-free as the latter portion of the season commences and intensity is turned up a few notches.
Of course, it ultimately boils down to price point, and I don’t believe Allen will command a massive payday, giving the Knicks a good opportunity to grab him off the market early.
What do you think about pairing Mitchell Robinson with Jarrett Allen? Comment below!