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The Knicks Stumbled Last Season. Here’s How They Can Recover.

  • July 06, 2022

To complement that core, the Knicks need consistent shooting around them. They already have someone who can help with that in Evan Fournier, who shot 38.9 percent from deep last year. Quickley didn’t shoot well last year, but in his rookie year, he also shot 38.9 percent from 3.

Rose, who was injured for much of last season, also should be able to help. With the Knicks, Rose has been a surprisingly good shooter and another body to help break down defenses. At 33, and with a lengthy injury history, he likely can’t be the sixth man off the bench, but his return will be a welcome sight for the team. There is a world in which a closing lineup of Randle, Barrett, Brunson, Fournier and Rose is extremely difficult to defend.

There is some light beyond this year — some being the operative word. The Knicks have a pile of first-round draft picks in coming years, including picks from Dallas, Washington and Detroit. Next year, the Knicks could have four first-round picks. Several of the picks have conditions, which lowers their value. And if the Knicks keep being OK but not great, their own draft picks most likely would fall in the mid-to-late first round, which also reduces their value.

But having a stockpile of picks is better than having none, and the Knicks could use some of them in a trade instead of holding them to select intriguing prospects. The agreement to sign Brunson to a major deal suggests the Knicks are trying to win now. Leon Rose rarely speaks publicly, so the Knicks’ broader strategy is unclear.

The Knicks were one of the worst teams in the league for years, but they still have the core pieces that helped them secure home-court advantage in the playoffs just two seasons ago. The Knicks are not a superteam, but in today’s N.B.A., that might be OK.

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