The rebuilding New York Knicks need assets, and they are reportedly willing to take on a separate expensive contract if that is what it takes.
According to Ian Begley of SNY, the Knicks—who could have more than $60 million in cap room this offseason depending on their decisions with the contract options for Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson and Reggie Bullock—"are open to using their cap space to take on undesirable contracts" if it means getting an additional draft pick or valuable young player in a trade.
The Knicks have the Nos. 8, 27 and 38 picks in the upcoming 2020 draft.
There is plenty of financial uncertainty around the league following the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and teams do not yet know what the luxury tax line will be for the 2020-21 campaign.
Those looking to avoid the tax will surely be intrigued by New York's willingness to take on salary, which could help the Knicks land an asset.
"Entering the 2019 offseason, Knicks officials had said they weren't interested in using their sizeable cap space to acquire an unwanted contract and a draft pick because they didn't want to acquire a player who didn't want to be with the organization," Begley wrote.
However, new team president Leon Rose could take a different approach.
The team also hired Tom Thibodeau as head coach and is looking to establish a winning culture that has been missing of late. New York has not made the playoffs since the 2012-13 campaign and is coming off three straight seasons with less than 30 wins.
There are some pieces to build around in RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, and the draft represents an opportunity to add more pieces. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman projected them to trade the No. 8 pick to the Boston Celtics for the Nos. 14 and 26 picks, as well as Tremont Waters, in his latest mock draft.
That would follow with the idea the Knicks are attempting to add as many young assets as they can with the hopes of building a long-term contender instead of a fringe one in 2020-21.