With the NBA draft lottery in the rearview mirror for Knicks fans, there's little for the anxious masses to look forward to until the draft in late June. This period is sure to be filled with trade machine playing, cap number crunching and rumor mill surfing.
In the meantime, there's plenty for New York faithful to tune into in the playoffs. Besides the terrific basketball, many key players still battling it out in the conference finals could don the blue and orange come next season. Here are the impending free agents to watch as this postseason winds down.
At this point, it's looking like Leonard is likely to be a Clipper, with re-upping with the Raptors being another possibility. There's been little word tying him to the Knicks, so this may just be window shopping for Knicks fans.
Green is a terrific get as a veteran swingman to play alongside one or two star players. Pairing him with Kevin Durant has the makings for a sturdy defensive perimeter, with Green spreading the floor on offense. He's held his own all postseason, proving once again his dependability in the biggest games. He may be a package deal with Leonard, having a history with him dating back to their San Antonio days.
Another role player the Knicks can target, Mirotic has had a couple of impressive postseasons in a row. He can spread the floor from the four position and would give a potential star a nice third or fourth scoring option.
Middleton has proven his worth as a No. 2 option both in the regular and postseason. He's shooting 44 percent from deep these playoffs, scoring over 17 points per game to aid Giannis Antetokounmpo in leading this Bucks team to the conference finals. Whether he's worth maxing is another question; he'd make a solid consolation prize, but may not be worth such a large chunk of New York's cap room.
All signs point to Thompson remaining with the Warriors. If anything changes, he's someone the Knicks should absolutely target. Look no further than what he's been able to do with Durant out due to injury.
The Knicks have found their young stud at the center position, and even his ideal veteran mentor. There doesn't seem to be a realistic route for the Knicks to sign Cousins, at least on a decent deal, nor should they be. If this is their idea of a consolation prize, especially coming off two injuries, the Knicks are better off continuing their youth movement.
Durant may not return until the NBA Finals, but he's shown time and time again that his skills are titillating to the Knicks fanbase. There's not much left to say about his game; he's arguably the league's best player and the clear No. 1 choice for New York come July. If for some reason there are still those on the fence, his Finals performance will provide another fresh batch of evidence.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Seth Curry and Rodney Hood
Portland has three role players the Knicks should look to secure no matter how they do with the stars, so long as the price is right. Aminu is a versatile forward that can bring defense to any lineup. Curry is a serious 3-point threat and an improving guard. And Hood has erupted in these playoffs, showing shades of his pre-injury self. All could easily slide into a starting role as helpful fourth or fifth best players.