The Knicks will enter the offseason with upwards of $20 million in cap space to pursue free agents, and with the likely departure of Carmelo Anthony, New York will certainly have some holes to fill.
One potential target is Washington's Otto Porter, who averaged 13.4 points on 51.6 percent shooting to go with 6.4 rebounds, all career-highs, and 1.5 assists in 80 games this season. Porter also showed his ability to shoot from long range by going 43.4 percent from the three-point line, another career-best.
Many believe Porter, who is a restricted free agent, will sign a max contract this summer, which could be worth up to $128.2 million over five years.
Another potential Knicks' targert is Chicago's Michael Carter-Williams, who will also be a restricted free agent.
Carter-Williams had a down year this season, averaging 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 18.8 minutes, while shooting a career-low 36.6 percent from the field. He appeared in just 45 games for the Bulls.
In only four years in the NBA, the 25-year old guard has played on three different teams. In the fourth and final year of his rookie contract this season, Carter-Williams earned $3.18 million.
Oklahoma City's Andre Roberson is a third restricted free agent the Knicks could potentially decide to pursue this summer. Roberson averaged 6.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 79 games for the Thunder, while adding 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
The defensive specialist made just $2.18 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season.
The Knicks' season is over and they're watching from home as the NBA postseason continues. But with their eyes already on improving next season, offseason scouting efforts are undeniably in full swing. With Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez representing front court cornerstones, the team can focus on filling other positional voids.
There are quite a few prospective free agents coming up in the clutch during playoff action. As New York continues to evaluate their options, the Wizards' Otto Porter should be at the top of their list.
The swingman represents much of what the Knicks hope to be moving forward. Still just 23 years old, the former third overall pick has his whole career ahead of him. His youthful energy would provide New York with exactly the type of injection of life they need. Porter's athletic as hell and fortunately for the Knicks, he's lengthy, quick, and can defend multiple positions. This season, the team saw him give Carmelo Anthony great difficulty on multiple occasions. From day one, they'd acquire a very fundamentally sound defender. On offense, Porter has upside to continue exploring. He most recently turned up quite the unique outing, scoring 17 points on just 3 of 4 from the field, in Washington's game five win over the Hawks. Porter was aggressive, cashing in at the charity stripe all night long.
The Knicks will have upwards toward $20 million in cap space this summer, and Porter may dictate just as high of a salary based on the market and his restricted status. His services will certainly be on the pricey side, but if New York does want to target a more high profile free agent in the offseason, he'd be a smart target for many reasons. He'd also be a great replacement for the likely departing Anthony.
Porter will be an expensive target if the Knicks want to go that route, but they'll have cheaper and more underrated options as well. Likely to nab a top point guard prospect in the draft, the organization may only have to look for depth at that position during free agency. With that in mind, Michael Carter-Williams may be a good under the radar acquisition.
Carter-Williams has become an afterthought in the Bulls this postseason, but that could very well work out in New York's favor. The former NBA Rookie of the Year has had to battle injuries over his career, but did average 11.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.5 steals back in 2015-16. The Knicks could offer him playing time and a chance at redemption as he complements their forthcoming draft pick. In turn, there's a good chance he could be had at a relatively cheap rate.
In addition to youth, defensive prowess is also something New York will be on the lookout for this summer. Despite his team's playoff defeat, Andre Roberson did play decent defense on MVP candidate James Harden. He's known for his physicality, attitude, and gritty play. He proved to be a playoff liability at the free-throw line, but much like Porter, Roberson also showed the Knicks what he was made of while matching up well with Anthony this season. Roberson is used to being part of contending teams, but New York is likely to have more more to offer than those squads and could really benefit from his defense.