Knicks Rumors: Latest Buzz on NY's 2020 NBA Draft, Free-Agency Priorities

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJune 2, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11: RJ Barrett #9 high fives his teammate, Julius Randle #30 during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 11, 2020 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

This offseason, the New York Knicks will have three draft picks—including two in the first round—and potentially a decent amount of cap space to make some impact free-agent signings.

Could that help them end their playoff drought and return to the postseason for the first time since 2013? Only time will tell, as New York continues to try to build a young core and turn around a franchise that has struggled for nearly a decade.

The decisions the Knicks make this offseason could determine whether they're successful in doing so, because they'll need more than just talented 19-year-old shooting guard RJ Barrett in order to be a competitive team for years to come.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, a source said "finding a forward who can knock down a shot—in the draft or free agency—is one item on the Knicks' list."

Julius Randle has struggled from the perimeter this season, shooting 27.7 percent from 3-point range, while Bobby Portis has a team option for the 2020-21 season worth $15.75 million which "opposing teams see as unlikely to be exercised," per Begley.

Those are reasons why New York could be in search of a forward to provide it a scoring boost. Begley listed Danilo Gallinari, Carmelo Anthony and Christian Wood as potential options for the Knicks to pursue through free agency, if they opt to go that route.

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Wood could be the best option among that group, as the 24-year-old power forward has averaged 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 62 games for the Detroit Pistons this season. He's mostly played off the bench, making only 12 starts, so perhaps he'd have interest in coming to New York if a starting role is available.

Gallinari has also played well this year, although he'll be 32 by the start of next season. His production hasn't slowed down, however, after averaging 19.2 points over 55 games for the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. He was drafted by the Knicks in 2008 and played three seasons for them.

Anthony wouldn't be a long-term answer, as he's 36 and getting closer to the end of his NBA career. He's still been a solid contributor for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 50 games, so perhaps a return to the Knicks (whom he played for from 2010-17) could work out.

New York will also have the draft to address its roster needs, and its top selection could end up being a top-five pick. The Knicks currently have the sixth-best odds of landing the No. 1 pick, so it's possible they could move up a few spots if they're fortunate at the draft lottery.

The Knicks need more than a forward, though, and it's possible they'll use their top draft pick to add a franchise point guard who they can pair with Barrett in the backcourt. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the top name on New York's draft board is LaMelo Ball, who is widely considered the best point guard in this year's class.

However, the Knicks may need to trade up to get Ball if they don't land a top-three pick at the draft lottery. Killian Hayes and Cole Anthony will be the top available point guards on the board after Ball is selected.

Whatever decisions the Knicks make during the draft and the free-agency period, it should be an interesting offseason to follow as they look to build the best roster to help them improve for the future.

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