The Knicks were extremely active in picking up free agents for next season, though the players may not have been want the fans wanted to see.
Yes, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving -- the desired combo -- came to New York, but decided to sign with the Nets instead of the Knicks. With other top free agents like Jimmy Butler (Heat), Klay Thompson (Warriors), and Kemba Walker (Celtics) signing elsewhere, New York pivoted to lower-tier players and six signings ensued.
The best part about these deals is the Knicks not locking themselves into long-term money for these players, which means the focus will still be on developing the young core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox, and the other neophytes on the squad. At the same time, though, head coach David Fizdale gets a more competitive group to work with this season.
Here's what Knicks fans should know about the new faces in the locker room...
PF Julius Randle: Three-year, $63 million contract with team option in 2021
2018-19 Season Stats (Pelicans): 21.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.1 APG, 52.4 FG%, 30.6 MPG, 73 games
Randle, the former Kentucky standout, was the Knicks' top signing of the summer. He signed the biggest contract for the Knicks, but the team does hold that option in Year 3.
The seventh overall pick by the Lakers back in 2014, Randle's dominant college game didn't get the chance to transition to the NBA in his rookie season. A broken right tibia in the season opener ended his inaugural season, but he would bounce back in 2015. He averaged a double-double with 11.3 points and 10.2 rebounds in 81 games for Los Angeles that year.
However, Randle's time in LA wouldn't last. When Larry Nance Jr. came in, Randle started coming off the bench at power forward, and even played backup center when the Lakers went with their small lineup. Randle did excel when he got starts. He averaged 18.67 points and 9.1 boards in those 49 games, and he managed to put together a full 82-game season.
But the Knicks are looking for Randle to replicate what he produced last season in a new home with the Pelicans. Once again coming off the bench, Randle's game picked up with his 21.4 points per game. He was shooting the ball more, especially beyond the arc with 2.7 threes per game at a 34.4 percentage.
Obviously that can be worked on, but Randle looks long past that leg injury. And at 24 years old, there is a lot to be excited for if Randle can step up on the big stage of Madison Square Garden with the Knicks. He could very well be another young piece for the Knicks' rebuild, which is why he got the contract he signed.
PF Bobby Portis: Two-year, $31 million contract with 2020 team option
2018-19 Season Stats (Bulls/Wizards): 14.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 44.4 FG%, 27.4 MPG, 50 games
Another young talent, Portis began his career in Chicago with the Bulls in 2015 after going 22nd overall. He didn't play much of a role in his first two seasons, and he didn't help his cause in 2017 when he punched Nikola Mirotic in the face during practice when Mirotic charged at him. He was suspended eight games for giving him a concussion and face fractures.
But Portis didn't let that altercation affect his game. He dropped 21 points and collected 13 boards in his season debut that year, and began to show his first-round potential. He averaged 13.2 points that season on 47.1 percent shooting from the field. With his improved play, the Bulls decided to use him as a trade chip, and the Wizards came calling.
Portis had slightly better numbers in Washington last season, especially from beyond the arc with a 40.3 percent field goal percentage from that range. His jumper has improved since breaking into the league, and added minutes has shown more production overall. The 24-year-old has other power forward to work against, including Randle and Knox, but Fizdale will definitely get him some time to see where he fits in this lineup.
PF Taj Gibson: Two-year, $20 million contract with 2020 team option
2018-19 Season Stats (Timberwolves): 10.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 56.6 FG%, 24.1 MPG, 70 games
The Knicks have a very young lineup, but Gibson is brought in to not only balance that out. He will be playing some vital minutes to bang the boards and protect the rim.
Gibson, who was born in Brooklyn, is entering his 11th season in the NBA after spending the prime of his career in Chicago. He has playoff experience from those days, playing in 56 total games where he averaged eight points and 4.9 rebounds.
The South Carolina product was mainly a bench player in his career, but when he came over to Minnesota in 2017, he started all 82 games at power forward to compliment Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt. In his last two seasons with the T-Wolves, Gibson averaged 11.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in 152 games.
It will be interesting to see how Fizdale uses Gibson. At 6-foot-9, he hasn't played center yet in his career, but he could move to small forward is need be. Either way, Gibson's veteran mentality should be good for these young players to replicate throughout the year.
PG Elfrid Payton: Two-year, $16 million contract with 2020 team option
2018-19 Season Stats (Pelicans): 10.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.6 APG, 43.4 FG%, 29.8 MPG, 42 games
It was only right that Payton, a former Top 10 draft pick by the Magic back in 2014, returned to his native Louisiana last season with the Pelicans. But it wasn't the homecoming he probably hoped for.
Injuries plagued Payton from really taking off, playing in just 42 games all season. Backing up Jrue Holiday when he was healthy, the floor general averaged 10.6 points, but his jumpshot -- an area of concern so far through his NBA days -- didn't show any improvement. He shot just 31 percent from three and 43.4 percent overall.
Still, Payton's pass-first mentality at point guard saw a career-high 7.6 assists per game. It does help that Anthony Davis was on his side, but Payton has showcased the ability to make smart passes and set his teammates up. That will go a long way for him when it comes to playing time on the Knicks, with Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina at his position as well.
SG Wayne Elllington: Two-year, $16 million contract with 2020 team option
2018-19 Season Stats (Heat/Pistons): 10.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 40.3 FG%, 24.5 MPG, 53 games
The Knicks need some better shooters on their squad, and Ellington could be one of those men. A career 38 percent shooter from three, Ellington has bounced around the NBA with the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Lakers, Nets, Heat, and Pistons in that order. He has played solid minutes over that span (21.3 per game), and he has only gotten better by the year.
Ellington's best points total came with Miami in the 2017-18 season at 11.2 per game. And after starting the season with the Heat last season, he was traded to the Pistons where his numbers increased (12 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists).
He will be a depth option for the Knicks, but figure Fizdale allows Ellington to let it fly when he checks him in. He also averaged a steal per game last season, and we know how far defense goes for Fizdale's squad.
SG Reggie Bullock: Two-year, $21 million contract with 2020 team option
2018-19 Season Stats (Pistons/Lakers): 11.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 41.2 FG%, 29.8 MPG, 63 games
Last but not least, Bullock comes in as another solid shooter for the Knicks. The former Tar Heel didn't have the best start to his career after being traded twice and battling some back and hip injuries. But, once in Detroit, he finally started to display his potential.
Bullock shot a stellar 44.5 percent from three in the 2017-18 season that saw him average 11.3 points per game. But the Pistons used him as a trade chip last season as he was dropping 12.1 points per game with 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Moving on to the Lakers, that production dipped to 9.3 points over 19 games.
Like Ellington, Bullock has a shot to be a strong depth piece for the Knicks if he can show consistency in his jumper. The Knicks have a lot of shooters -- Damyean Dotson included -- so Bullock will have his competition for sure.