Knicks Rumors: NYK 'Likely' to Sign 2020 Free Agents to Short-Term Contracts

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 9, 2020

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 06:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) New York Knicks president Leon Rose watches his team play against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden on March 06, 2020 in New York City. The Thunder defeated the Knicks 126-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The New York Knicks ushered in a new front-office era when they hired CAA agent Leon Rose as their new president.

Rose officially jumped on board in March, and not much is known about how he plans to reshape a team that has had losing records each year since 2013-14. That's in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a now two-month season suspension.

However, Marc Berman of the New York Post provided a glimpse as to what Rose may do next offseason.

"Short of adding [Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul] or another star via blockbuster, signing 2020 free agents on short-term deals—as Mills and GM Scott Perry did last summer—looks likely," Berman wrote.

Berman noted the lack of star talent in the 2020 free-agent class may force the Knicks to look to trade for a star instead, and/or focus on the 2021 group.

Berman also mentioned that the Knicks could have interest in Paul, who can decline a 2021-22 player option. Per Berman, Paul was Rose's "favorite client."

He also mentioned Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, who is a New Jersey native. But Berman said that if the Knicks hire head coach Tom Thibodeau (Towns' former coach in Minnesota), that will become less likely as that pair has a "mutual distaste" for each other.

Regardless of what Rose decides to do, he has some significant work cut out for him. The top-heavy East contains six teams with 60 percent win rates or better, and all of them are stockpiled with young, All-Star level talent.

The Knicks sat at 21-45 when the season was suspended March 11, and they're a mismatched group of veterans and young players who haven't been able to mesh particularly well this year. Many are talented players in their own right who could thrive elsewhere, but the team's chemistry has not been evident as the new-look Knicks started 4-18 before firing head coach David Fizdale.

But New York does have No. 3 overall draft pick R.J. Barrett, who has shown why he was picked that high in spurts. He's only 19 years old and has All-Star potential. 

The Knicks also have a budding defensive star in 22-year-old Mitchell Robinson, a masterful shot-blocker who does a good job patrolling the paint.

Still, much more work needs to be done to get the Knicks back into the postseason.