This Knicks offseason can go in many different directions.
New York has more than $70 million in cap space and motivation to land star players. There is cautious optimism about landing Kevin Durant in free agency. For argument's sake, let's say the Knicks sign Durant, another max player like Kyrie Irving, and don't trade for a star player like Anthony Davis.
In that scenario, young players like Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett -- New York's presumptive pick at No. 3 -- would be vital parts of the club's future.
Without knowing the other three players on the floor, it's tough to predict how successful Knox and Barrett would be in lineups together. But a small sampling of scouts revealed reasons for Knicks fans to be optimistic about a Knox-Barrett pairing.
Here are truncated observations from three scouts on how the two wings may fit together:
"I think (a Barrett-Knox pairing is) fine. Kevin's not really a slasher. I think he kind of wants to catch the ball and shoot it a little more than he wants to catch the ball and put it on the deck and get to the hoop. (Knox was 68th in drives per game among the 107 players to play at least 28 minutes per game last season, per NBA.com). I do think RJ Barrett wants to get to the hoop. That's one of the things I love about him. That's why I think they would work well together."
Bryan Oringher, former Wizards video coordinator and advanced scout with the Hawks and Raptors (who has a great written and video breakdown of Barrett)
"RJ and Knox complement each other relatively well. I think they both fit that 2/3 mold where they can guard either wing and play in a scheme that allows them to switch onto 1s and 4s at times. What Barrett brings that Knox doesn't have is the ability to be a secondary creator. Kind of like an Evan Fournier - Barrett can play out of high PNR, make the right read.
"I think Knox is more like another guy drafted last year - Kevin Huerter. He'll be able to handle the ball a tiny bit, but he's mostly a spot-up shooter, come off some screens. He has a decent stroke that just needs to be honed a ton more. I think Barrett would do well though as the more ball-dominant guy and can get Knox a lot of shots. The fit isn't perfect in that both are really raw, have a long way to go on their handles, shots, and other aspects of their games. And I think their success is obviously contingent on which potential stars they play with and how much they can 'ease' into their roles, potentially off the bench. Both are so young and raw. Also, I don't think either are near outstanding defenders and the Knicks' defense could continue to struggle if they're playing the majority of minutes at the wings."
"In today's NBA, RJ can play 1-4. So there's no reason it won't work well on offense. Barrett has always played with talent around him and been great. Nobody is gonna slow that kid down…. I think you really want to get Barrett going downhill. He's almost impossible to stop in the lane and that can create opportunities for Kevin. The questions are on defense, of course. Both have the frame to be able to defend. It's just a matter of learning to do it at the NBA level."