The free agent hunt is already on for the New York Knicks, and head coach David Fizdale is one of the main persuaders trying to make the case for the blue and orange.
Fizdale joined ESPN's "The Jump" on Monday to talk about what makes the Knicks an attractive free agency destination, and he admits he likes the plan team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry have put together.
"[We're having] a lot of conversations, a lot of angles that we're trying to make sure that we show guys when they come in," Fizdale said. "I think we've got a lot of positive things to show. [GM] Scott Perry and [president] Steve Mills have done a heck of a job laying this thing out. We've got the most cap space. We have seven picks over five years, which means whoever we do get, we can continue to build around them, and I think that's a great position to be in. We did all that in a course of a year and we laid down our culture, so I'm really excited about where we're at."
Despite going 17-65 for the league's worst record this season, the Knicks still made moves in their rebuild plan. The one that shocked many was their trade deadline transaction to send Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks to clear up two max slots for this upcoming free agency class. The Knicks may also land the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NBA Draft, which would likely see Zion Williamson donning the Knicks' threads in 2019.
The last part is obviously hypothetical, but Fizdale and the Knicks have the ability to lure some of the top free agents if they sell the team correctly. A revamped culture has been one of Fizdale's main goals since taking the job, and he believes it has already changed. The Knicks may not have been winning, but the young players on the team like Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, and Damyean Dotson have shown they can compete with some of the NBA's best.
However, there are some that believe Knicks owner James Dolan could turn some free agents off. He made headlines after video caught him banning a fan for telling him to sell the team during a home game. Jay Williams also went public saying he doesn't want to see Williamson in a Knicks jersey because he doesn't trust Dolan to handle another top talent.
Dolan wasn't able to corral LeBron James or Dwyane Wade back in 2010, but the long-time owner told "The Michael Kay Show" earlier that he has already heard from players and reps that interest in New York is certainly there.
It will still be up to the Knicks to make the right pitch, and Fizdale knows they can do it. After all, he was easily persuaded to take the job in the first place.
"The one reason I wanted to go to the New York Knicks is because it's the New York Knicks," Fizdale said. "I liked that expectation. I wanted to be somewhere where people wanted to win and expected to win. And that really drew mde to the whole situation, especially after sitting with Steve and Scott and the plan that they laid out. So right away that's the thing that I embraced."
So the Knicks are all geared up to go after the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and others in the coming months. The goal has always been to fill those max slots and return the Knicks to a consistent playoff contender. That hasn't been the case over about two decades, but Fizdale and the rest of the front office is giving their all to change that.
They hope that dedication will bring the right people to "The Mecca."
"I think that we want the type of people that embrace those situations," he said. "So I think going into free agency, like I said, we've got a lot of good things that we can show and how this is going to be a different deal going forward with the Knicks. I think we're going to end up doing some good things."