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Ideal Potential Free Agent for NY Knicks at Every Position

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson shoots over New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. The Pacers defeated the Knicks 117-89. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Frank CesareContributor IIAugust 2, 2016

The New York Knicks possess a broken roster that needs to be addressed immediately for the franchise to rise to the top of the Eastern Conference. 

Although it may seem like an arduous challenge due to their lack of salary cap space, there are plenty of soon-to-be free agents that can impact the team positively if pursued. 

Let's take a look at the players available that could potentially put New York on a winning path. 

 

Point Guard

Eric Bledsoe and Kyle Lowry are the two most talented 1's on the market, but it isn't very likely that either of them sign with the Knicks seeing as they'll command more money than NY can allocate. Sure, a sign-and-trade could be arranged, but if that conclusion can't be reached, the Knicks would be best off luring Shaun Livingston away from the Brooklyn Nets.

BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 12: Shaun Livingston #14 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2014 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. NOTE
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Livingston is a skilled passer and competent defender that would be an immediate upgrade over Raymond Felton. His wingspan and length next to Iman Shumpert would give NY one of the better defensive backcourts in the league. 

The biggest knock on Livingston has been his inability to stay healthy in previous seasons, but this year, the 6'7" point guard played a career high 76 games for Brooklyn.

 

Shooting Guard

Without a doubt, Lance Stephenson is the best shooting guard on the market. The drawback to signing him, however, is his maturity level and whether or not he could continue to develop in his hometown. 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 20:  Lance Stephenson #1 of the Indiana Pacers celebrates after making a basket against the Miami Heat during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 20, 2014 in Indian
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

NY won't be able to sign Born Ready outright, but a sign-and-trade could be arranged. Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani might be enough to bring Stephenson to the big apple. 

To some, it may seem like a sideways move to trade Shump, but Lance has displayed his passion and all-around game emphatically this season. Shumpert could eventually develop into a more competent scorer, but it's unlikely he becomes the playmaker that Stephenson has been for the Indiana Pacers

If Stephenson can keep his head on straight, he's a must have. NY currently does not possess anyone on the roster with Lance's motor and his heart could light a fire under his perspective teammates who were stung by complacency and a lack of enthusiasm.

 

Small Forward

If Vince Carter decides to part ways with the Dallas Mavericks, the Knicks ought to pursue him to help bolster its bench. 

Lance Murphey/Associated Press

Even at 37-years-old, Carter is still a productive player that can occasionally change the course of a game. His performance in Game 5 of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs—when he scored 28 points and shot 7-of-9 from the three point line—showed that he could still rise up and keep his team competitive.

Despite Dallas coming up short in that game and the series, Carter played with a kind of hunger that hadn't been seen in a long time. Since he's made over $161,663,315, via Basketball-Reference.com, throughout the course of his career, Carter could be had for around the veteran's minimum. If that's the case, he would be a steal coming off the bench for NY. 

 

Power Forward

You could never have too much rebounding and signing DeJuan Blair would remedy some of NY's front court problems.

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 28:  DeJuan Blair #45 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during play against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on April 28, 2014 in Dallas, Te
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Although he is a little undersized and has a history of knee issues, he's a gritty player who loves to crash the glass.

The Knicks need more defensive-minded players on the roster that aren't afraid of throwing their weight around, and Blair fits that mold. 

If he could be signed on the cheap, he'd be the kind of player that can change the culture in the locker room. Blair is the antithesis of soft, and bringing in a bruiser like him off the bench would be a great compliment to some of the finesse players currently on the roster. 

 

Center

Out of all the 5's on the market, Pau Gasol makes the most sense due to his connection with Phil Jackson. 

If NY does hire a head coach that wants to run the triangle offense, a skilled veteran like Gasol will be needed to help facilitate the transition. 

He may not be the stud he was in years past, but Gasol can still contribute on a daily basis. His passing and low post scoring abilities would benefit the flow of NY's offense and its consistency. 

Without a true scorer down-low, the Knicks were forced to rely too heavily on low percentage shots from the perimeter. Having someone like Gasol—who can be fed the ball on the block and either make a move and score, or find the open man to kick out to—would correct some of NY's flaws offensively. 

Signing Pau on the cheap would give the Knicks more depth up front in addition to veteran leadership that knows what it takes to win a ring in the NBA

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Each of these aforementioned athletes would transform the NY Knicks and lead them closer to the promised land—just as long as Carmelo Anthony re-signs with the organization. 

Without any cap space this offseason Jackson will have to be creative to rebuild the franchise, but there are plenty of skilled players available that can help revitalize basketball in New York City. 

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