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Top 3 Questions Facing The Knicks Going Into 23-24.

Since the Leon Rose regime began in the Big Apple, the goal and message were clear. He is here to recruit stars to New York and make it a destination franchise. While the top-tier superstar transaction hasn’t taken place yet, he did get a star in Jalen Brunson. We didn’t know it at first, maybe some did, but Brunson is now a star for the Knicks on a 104 million dollar deal that descends on value yearly. One year from the contract being signed and it already looks like one of the best value contracts in recent history.

So they have the first star in the door, now how do Leon Rose and company go forward? The front office has shown patience at every step and hasn’t looked to overpay for a Star that isn’t a perfect fit. Going into this season there are 3 clear questions facing this organization that will need to be answered sooner than later.

How Great Can Jalen Brunson Be?

Right now it seems as if Jalen Brunson is directly in his prime, coming off a season averaging 24/3/6 on 49/42/83 splits. Fresh off of a round Two Miami series where he displayed he can be an offensive engine on a legitimate playoff team averaging 31 ppg, the question is can he be even better? Maybe this isn’t even his prime yet, and if that were the case it changes even more plans for the Knicks going forward if they see him as a legitimate number One option on a championship-contending team.

At 26 years old, and only in his Second season of running the show in New York there are definitely ways for him to improve and fully become a bonafide Superstar. The Knicks are in a win-win situation with Brunson. If he stays around the same level of production he is a borderline all-star-level player for years to come, or he takes another leap to Superstardom and shows he can take this team to heights it hasn’t seen this century. Either way, New York can not be any happier with the player they signed last offseason as he stabilized a franchise that was in need of it after a tumultuous 2021-2022 season.

The Value Of New York’s Young Assets

It’s the league’s worst-kept secret, the Knicks have been star-hunting for multiple offseasons now. The path to acquiring that Superstar seems more likely through the path of trade over free agency as the landscape regarding stars reaching and testing true free agency has changed dramatically in the last decade.

With that being said, if the Knicks are going to make a major trade the value of their young assets is vital to the progress of that taking place. With Stars such as Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell "still" lurking there will be many opportunities for the Knicks to cash their chips in for a Major Prize.

Between Quentin Grimes who has shown flashes of being an elite 3 and D guard in the future, Immanuel Quickley off of a 6th MOY runner-up season, and fifth-year player but still only 23 years old R.J Barrett the Knicks have multiple youngsters that could entice teams. Barrett might have the most star upside as he has blips where he looks like an all-star Two-way wing of the future, while Grimes and Quickley have shown their ability to prosper in their roles.

With six possible first-round picks in the next two years paired with their players, the Knicks already have a ton to offer teams that are looking to reset their franchises. The question is how other teams value the Knicks' young players and what can they hold on to. If one of Quickley, Grimes, or Barrett were to make a massive leap and show star potential in the future this would go a long way towards landing a big piece here in New York.

How Does Julius Randle Fit Into The Knicks Future?

Two All NBA selections in Three years and Julius Randle still has many questions regarding his role on this team in the future. Coming off a spectacular Regular Season last year Randle once again fizzled out in the Playoffs for the second time in his tenure year, averaging 17/8/4 on inefficient shooting and lackadaisical defensive effort throughout the playoffs. While there can be a case that his soon-to-be surgically repaired ankle hindered his performance, there are still questions regarding his abilities in the playoffs.

Randle is an insanely gifted shotmaker for his size, still only 28 years old and on a fairly valued contract with three years remaining with about 83 million dollars remaining(Player Option for the Third Year), That being said, a decision needs to be made on if he can be a main piece on a team trying to contend for a Championship.

If the Knicks were to acquire a superstar would Randle be ok with being a number three on a team next to Brunson and whichever star they acquire? If the Knicks do not believe he could be that piece, is there a way to move off of him and return equal value of some sort for him?

Going into his Fifth season in New York, Julius has had many ups and downs with the team and with the fanbase as well. Either the Knicks are going all in on the core of Brunson and Randle and building around it, or use Randle to gather better pieces that could fit Brunson and the rest of the squad going forward. Whichever decision New York's front office makes it will have massive implications on the future of the franchise.


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1 Comment

Aug 14, 2023

Great article.

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