After many spent Thanksgiving giving thanks with their family and loved ones, attention then shifts to Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the season of giving. The two psuedo-holidays are for consumers to score valuable discount deals. In that light, who from the Knicks' 15 man roster are their best discount deals?
In most American professional leagues, young labor is the greatest value in market inefficiency. On a fixed rookie contract, Porzingis gives the Knicks their most valuable asset-- for now. In a few years, he'll be on a max contract, hopefully in a Knicks' uniform.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. This season, Porzingis is on the books for just $4.5 million, which is $2 million less than Lance Thomas.
Porzingis, who Enes Kanter dubbed the King of New York, has taken a leap this season. He's averaging career highs essentially across the board. He's fourth in the league in points, at 27.3 per game, and leads the league in blocks, at 2.3 per game.
The King of New York he is, Porzingis was made to be a star in this city. The plays that leave fans and media alike speechless are becoming as quotidian as they are magical. He's helped rejuvenate Madison Square Garden amid some dark years, escorting a period of great, true hope to fans for the first time since the beginning of the Carmelo Anthony era.
What a different world this could have been, too. If Phil Jackson was able to execute a draft day trade as initially ntended, Porzingis would be elsewhere. If Porzingis' agent made him available to the 76ers for workouts, they may have drafted him. Or, if both Porzingis and Jahlil Okafor had been available when the Knicks made their selection, it's more than likely the Knicks would have taken the latter, who the 76ers can't even give away as they've failed in desperate attempts to trade him.
As every front office in the league knew the cap was rising in recent year, some opulent contracts were handed out. There was an excess of money, and many of the deals signed in the years after when O'Quinn inked his deal with the Knicks in the summer of 2015 didn't represent value. Timofey Mozgov got paid to the tune of four years, $64 million in 2016. That Mozgov deal looks funny at first glance, then chuckles quickly vanish from Knicks fans as they are all too familiar with the albatross that is Joakim Noah's four-year $72 million deal.
All things considered, O'Quinn's contract continues to look better and better. He was signed to a four-year $16 million contract, and he is currently in the third season of that arrangement.
O'Quinn has been a steady rotation piece for the Knicks on discount. He's the type of player that'd thrive as the backup center for a playoff bound team. O'Quinn is a well-rounded player: he improves the defense when he steps on the floor, is adept on the boards and is even averaging more than two assists per game this season to go along with 5.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in just 16 minutes per game.
In mid-September when the Knicks signed Jarrett Jack, there was little furor, little expectation and little commitment. It was just a one-year, non-guaranteed, veteran minimum contract for the 34-year-old.
Jack wasn't meant to be a starter, he was meant to be third string behind assumed starter Ramon Sessions and point guard of the future Frank Ntilikina. It didn't take long for Jack to knock Sessions out of the rotation completely.
At 5.7 points and 5.9 assists per game, Jack's stats don't exactly pop off the page. But his infectious pass-first ethos as well as veteran intangibles he brings to the court makes his value too amorphous to be rigidly defined by box score numerics.
The Knicks were 0-3 in their first three games with Jack either not playing or coming off the bench. Then, Jack was given the start in their fourth game. Since then, the Knicks are 10-5.