Power Ranking Knicks' Roster Entering 2022-23 NBA SeasonSeptember 8, 2022
Power Ranking Knicks' Roster Entering 2022-23 NBA Season
With Donovan Mitchell off the trade block and onto Cleveland, the New York Knicks can put the 2022 NBA offseason behind them.
In less than two months, they'll tip off the 2022-23 campaign and begin to discover the effectiveness of their pulls from free agency and the degree of development with their young roster.
That makes this a perfect time for reflection, so let's assess the full roster—NBA contracts, not those of the two-way variety—by ranking every player based on ability, projected production and importance to this team.
The Bottom Tier
13. Cam Reddish
Reddish has youth (23) and theoretical three-and-D upside on his side, but he doesn't seem to factor into the franchise's long-term plans.
12. Miles McBride
It's tough to take anything away from McBride's rookie season, which spanned all of 372 minutes at the NBA level, but clearly he has to shoot better (29.6/25.0/66.7 slash) to force his way onto the floor.
11. Jericho Sims
Sims gets big pluses for his athleticism and activity level on the interior, but New York's crowded frontcourt muddles his 2022-23 outlook.
10. Derrick Rose
Rose will turn 34 before the season tips, which could further complicate his injury issues. That's a shame since the former MVP has been productive when healthy enough to play, most recently averaging 12.0 points (on 44.5/40.2/96.8 shooting) and 4.0 assists (against 1.5 turnovers) across the 636 minutes he logged last season.
9. Evan Fournier
This ranking is arguably unfairly low for Fournier, since he was brought in to stroke it from three and did exactly that (3.0 triples per game on 38.9 percent shooting). Still, his defensive deficiencies can be tough to stomach, and last season, his first in the Big Apple, was among his least effective as a playmaker.
The Middle Tier
8. Immanuel Quickley
Quickley is an energizer, and he's growing as a playmaker. He also doesn't seem like a natural table-setter, and he's yet to shoot above 40 percent from three in either of his first two NBA seasons.
7. Obi Toppin
There are two ways to assess Toppin's first two NBA seasons: You either cut him slack for being denied an opportunity to prove himself (career 14.3 minutes per game) or you fault him for being unable to carve out a bigger role. We're siding with the former here, as his per-36-minutes averages of 17 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 threes (per Basketball-Reference) suggest he has plenty more to offer if given the chance.
6. Quentin Grimes
This could be overly generous, as Grimes logged just 786 minutes before his rookie run was disrupted by injuries. That said, he seemed well on his way to living up to the hype around his shot-making (38.1 percent from three) and defense.
5. Isaiah Hartenstein
New York had enough center depth to not need to add Hartenstein in free agency, so the fact that it still gave him a two-year, $16 million shows clear belief in his ability. The optimism appears warranted, too, as he offers an intriguing mix of finishing, rebounding, shot-blocking, distributing and flashes of three-point shooting.
The Top Tier
4. Julius Randle
Randle encountered more downs than ups last season, and he'll probably never be confused for the league's most efficient player. Still, few players touch as many stat categories as the 6'8", 250-pounder can. Four players averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 2021-22: Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Randle.
3. Mitchell Robinson
Robinson perhaps remains more valuable in theory than reality, but he's closing that gap. Last season, he ranked among the 93rd percentile as a pick-and-roll screener, and he sliced a full 10 points off of his opponents' shooting rates within six feet of the basket, per NBA.com.
2. Jalen Brunson
While it's unclear whether Brunson will ever become the star the Knicks truly need, you can see why the front office badly wanted him onboard. In addition to averaging career bests of 16.3 points and 4.8 assists in 2021-22, he also posted a 50.2/37.3/84.0 shooting slash and posted his lowest ever turnover percentage (10.1, per Basketball-Reference).
1. RJ Barrett
It's easy to want more efficiency out of Barrett—especially when he provided it during the 2020-21 campaign—but it's even easier to forget he's all of 22 years old (and will be for the 2022-23 season's duration). That makes it all the more impressive to watch him average an even 20 points per contest while routinely accepting (and typically passing) New York's toughest defensive assignment on the perimeter.