The Knicks' blockbuster trade of Kristaps Porzingis cleared the franchise enough salary cap space to pursue two max free agents this summer. Presumably, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to be two targets.
But with the roster head coach David Fizdale has now, he is trying to work on his players' versatility, because the Knicks could soon have an abundance of players at one position.
"That I'm trying to do with all of them is make them, to a certain extent, positionless,'' Fizdale said, according to the New York Post's Marc Berman. "Where it doesn't matter who they're out there with. That their skill set applies to whatever position they're playing. That's kind of how we're looking at it going forward."
For example, Durant and Knicks rookie Kevin Knox are both small forwards. And Irving is a point guard, as are Dennis Smith Jr., Emmanuel Mudiay and Frank Ntilikina.
And should the Knicks miss out on Zion Williamson in the NBA draft, it is possible they pick Murray State point guard Ja Morant, who recorded a triple-double in the NCAA tournament last week.
So while there could be several competitions for the Knicks' starting lineup next season depending on how free agency and the draft shake out, not sticking with specific position titles could benefit New York.
One reason: Fizdale would be able to rotate his lineups in such a way that he can afford to move around players for certain matchups on the floor. Fizdale could turn true point guards into combo guards, shooting guards into swingmen, etc.
I.e., Fizdale would be developing more hybrid players instead of specialized ones.
Of course, there are still a few months to go before New York's 2019-20 roster is set, and much can happen between now and when free agency begins on July 1.
In some ways, Fizdale is playing with what he has now, experimenting with various lineups and rotations. After all, Fizdale has used 25 different starting lineups this season.
And in others, he's already looking ahead. He recently said the Knicks' defense, which ranks 25th in the NBA with 114.4 points allowed per game, won't realize its potential until the roster is reshaped.
"Our defense won't really, really get to where it's at until we start to really fill in the gaps with the type of guys we think can take our defense to the next level," Fizdale said earlier this month. "Add maybe another forward defender or another perimeter defender that has a reputation for that. Those kind of guys are the ones that elevate your system to the next level."
Fizdale appears to be more focused on skill sets than exact positions on the court. Perhaps he'll adjust each player's roles depending on who the Knicks add in free agency.
Only time will tell.