Knicks Winners and Losers from 2022 NBA Free Agency

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2022

Knicks Winners and Losers from 2022 NBA Free Agency

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    It's already been a splashy summer for the New York Knicks, but it could get a lot splashier if they're ever able to broker a blockbuster trade for Donovan Mitchell.

    For now, though, they have had a productive 2022 NBA offseason even without a Mitchell megatrade.

    They potentially plugged a years-long hole at point guard by adding Jalen Brunson. They beefed up the interior by retaining Mitchell Robinson and signing Isaiah Hartenstein to back him up. They got younger by subtraction after splitting from Taj Gibson, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel.

    This was all a big step toward a potentially brighter tomorrow. It will take some time before we know for sure how much progress the Knicks made this summer, but we know enough now to spotlight a few winners and losers in free agency.

Winner: Jalen Brunson

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    Last offseason, Jalen Brunson could have locked himself into a four-year, $55.5 million extension with the Dallas Mavericks, but they never offered it, per ESPN's Tim MacMahon.

    The 25-year-old subsequently engineered the kind of breakout campaign that elevated him a few economic tiers.

    Once he put pen to paper on a new pact, it was a four-year, $104 million deal with the Knicks.

    Whether Brunson is worth that kind of money is a moot point, at least for this exercise. He more or less doubled his earnings in a single season. That's a massive victory.

    If he can earn his keep and make Knicks fans forget all the problems they have encountered at the point guard position, he could earn legendary status in the Big Apple.

Loser: Ryan Arcidiacono

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    For most free agents who haven't signed a deal yet, this is officially the time to worry.

    A few players aren't sweating like the rest. Collin Sexton, for instance, will get paid by someone, he just happens to be trapped in the thorns of restricted free agency at the moment.

    It's different for Ryan Arcidiacono. His next NBA payday isn't guaranteed. Just last season, it took him until January to find a big league deal, and even then, it started as a 10-day agreement with the Knicks.

    He isn't the worst option for a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency reserve, but he's also a 28-year-old lacking any standout skills. Maybe a win-now team seeks him out at some point for back-of-the-bench protection, but this league could move on without him.

Winner and Loser: Jericho Sims

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    While exercises like this are supposed to be straightforward, it gets complicated with a case like Jericho Sims.

    On the one hand, the 23-year-old spent last season on a two-way contract and scored a big league pact this summer. If everything breaks just right, the deal could last three years and pay him up to $5.7 million, per Spotrac. That is, objectively speaking, fantastic news for the bouncy big man.

    So, how could Sims also qualify as a summer loser?

    Well, only the first season of his contract is fully guaranteed, so it's possible the deal won't be nearly as long or as lucrative as it sounds. Plus, the Knicks hardly cleared him a path to playing time. Even with Noel and Gibson gone, Hartenstein should play a sizable role, while Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle and Obi Toppin are all still around.

    This summer could have gone a lot worse for Sims, but it could have been better, too.


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