Knicks Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kelly Oubre Jr., Spencer Dinwiddie's Market

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IJune 25, 2021

Golden State Warriors guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) during an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The New York Knicks were one of the best stories of the 2020-21 NBA season, but that tale came to an abrupt end following a first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Rather than reflect on what was, there is likely to be a greater onus on New York's front office to build a more consistent and sustainable winner. That makes this offseason vital for the Knicks.

The loss to the Hawks made it clear the Knicks could use wing scoring and playmaking. New York was far too reliant on a 32-year-old Derrick Rose and a version of Julius Randle who hardly resembled the player he was in the regular season.

It would help New York to make a move or sign a bucket-getter capable of breaking defenders down off the dribble and getting to the rack. Is Kelly Oubre Jr. that guy?

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau is believed to have interest in bringing Oubre into the fold. Fischer added the Golden State Warriors hope to re-sign the veteran wing but also noted the Dubs might have an opportunity to orchestrate a sign-and-trade.

Oubre had a strange season with the Warriors. He got off to a woeful start from beyond the arc, missing his first 17 three-point attempts and shooting 7-of-51 from deep in the first 10 games of the season. However, he would turn the corner.

The 25-year-old was especially good in February, averaging 20.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 15 games while shooting more than 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from the arc. He took a step back in March, but averaged 16.4 points and shot over 36 percent from deep in April before suffering a small avulsion fracture in his left wrist that cost him the remainder of the season.

Oubre has good scoring upside as a guy who can get hot from the perimeter while having the ability to create for himself off the dribble. He also hunts offensive rebounds and put-back opportunities. Defense has traditionally been an issue, but one would assume Thibodeau could help Oubre get up to speed.

Will the Knicks even have the chance to sign Oubre or do enough to pique the Warriors' interest in a sign-and-trade? Fischer reported the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks are among the other teams expected to have interest in the Kansas product.


Change of Borough For Dinwiddie?   

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Another intriguing target for the Knicks could be former Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported Dinwiddie declined his $12.3 million player option and will hit the market as an unrestricted free agent. He could have a sizable market in free agency.

Dinwiddie missed nearly the entirety of the 2020-21 season after partially tearing his right ACL. However, as Winfield noted, he has since been cleared to return to basketball activities, and his skill set is likely to appeal to teams needing a playmaker in the backcourt.

The 28-year-old averaged 20.6 points, 6.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds with the Nets during the 2019-20 season, when he saw an extensive amount of time on the ball as a result of multiple injuries to Kyrie Irving.

Dinwiddie shot a little more than 30 percent from beyond the arc but knocked down a more respectable 37 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes, per NBA.com. Plus, the ability to consistently carve out driving lanes and either get to the foul line or make plays for teammates often seemed to supersede the shooting inefficiency.

He can be the kind of shot-creator and ball-handler the Knicks would show interest in. But would he come to the Big Apple?

Winfield reported Dinwiddie "wants the bag." Money shouldn't be a huge issue. The Knicks have close to $74 million in maximum possible cap space, per Spotrac. They figure to have funds to spend. 

Maybe Dinwiddie will be forced to at least consider the Knicks. Winfield reported the combo guard would like to play for one of his hometown teams, but each of the Lakers and Clippers would need a sign-and-trade to bring Dinwiddie into the fold. That is not an issue for New York.

Bobby Marks of ESPN suggested the Knicks might make the most sense for Dinwiddie depending on what happens with Kyle Lowry and Dennis Schroder. It's worth mentioning New York could try to do a sign-and-trade for restricted free agent Lonzo Ball after showing interest in Ball ahead of the deadline. Again, though, sign-and-trades can be complicated.

The Knicks might hope to sign a marquee free agent outright, while Dinwiddie could decide he can be a top piece for a team seemingly on the rise in the Eastern Conference.


All stats obtained via Basketball Reference unless otherwise noted.


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