The New York Knicks have the worst record in the NBA, meaning the Knicks have a good chance at ending up with the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. Even if they don’t get the No. 1 pick, New York is sure to have a high pick, which could be used on a franchise-changing talent.
However, the Knicks will also have a boatload of cap space, and president Phil Jackson said free agency will be the main priority in the offseason, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
“We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents,” Jackson said Thursday morning after the Knicks held shootaround at UCLA before their 101-94 win against the Los Angeles Lakers. “A hundred and ninety players or so are going to be free agents. Not half the league, but like a third of the league is going to be free agents. So that’s where our priority stands.”
This truly is a huge offseason for Jackson and the Knicks. While this season has been a disaster on the court, getting that draft pick to go along with what’s expected to be at least $25 million in cap space could lead to a rather quick rebuild. New York could also try and accelerate that rebuild even more by trading its top pick for a more proven star, although it would have to be a slam-dunk deal to pull the trigger.
Carmelo Anthony will be 31 in May and will be coming off knee surgery next season, so Jackson knows time is running short on Anthony’s prime. Now we just have to see if Jackson can put the right pieces around the aging Anthony to turn the Knicks into a title contender.