Examining Knicks’ free agency options during 2023-24 offseason

The Knicks don’t have much money to work with in free agency this summer. At the moment, they’ll have the $12.2 non-taxpayer mid-level exception and the $4.5 million biannual exception at their disposal.

Twelve million dollars isn’t going to fetch much on the open market.

The Knicks also currently have 11 players under contract next season who played meaningful minutes in 2022-23. This assumes that, as expected, the Knicks exercise the team option on Miles McBride’s contract, decline the team option on Derrick Rose’s contract and move Evan Fournier in a trade.

As things currently stand, the Knicks don’t have an open rotation spot for a potential free agent. Obviously, that could all change with a multi-player trade, but at the moment, the Knicks’ free-agency options are limited.

With that in mind, here’s a look at a few potential ones for New York this summer:

G Chris Paul

Paul has a team option for 2023-24 on his contract. The Suns are reportedly considering moving on from Paul via trade, the waive-and-stretch provision or an outright waive.

If Paul hits the open market, it’s reasonable to assume that he will consider the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers since he has a home in LA.

So where do the Knicks fit in? New York had interest in trading for Paul in the 2020 offseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder ultimately sent Paul to the Suns. Paul wanted to be in Phoenix to remain close enough to home. He thought about coming to New York but reportedly wasn’t interested in playing in an empty Madison Square Garden amid COVID restrictions.

Obviously, the Garden isn’t empty anymore. And the same people running the team in 2020 are in charge now, but Paul and the Knicks aren’t an obvious fit at this point.

The Hall of Fame guard would need to accept a significant pay cut to come to New York and the Knicks would have to move one of the guards in their rotation to make it work.

Paul has been connected to the Knicks often in the past. But there are several factors in the way of New York and Paul agreeing to terms this summer.

PF Kristaps Porzingis

Porzingis has a $33.8 million player-option for next season. The only way he’d turn the option down is if he had high enough confidence that another long-term offer was coming.

The Knicks don’t have the cap space to sign Porzingis, so they’d need to add him via sign-and-trade with Washington.

The big man is coming off of a resurgent year with the Wizards, averaging 23.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on 49.8 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent from behind the arc.

Porzingis would help the Knicks spread the floor for Brunson, RJ Barrett and Julius Randle (though Randle or Barrett would presumably be in the trade).

Any sign-and-trade for Porzingis would also likely include Mitchell Robinson if the Knicks withheld Barrett or Randle from the deal.

The prospect of bringing Porzingis back to New York on a long-term deal may look good on paper, but it would be a significant commitment for the Knicks, and it doesn’t seem like a path they’d go down at this time.

Seth Curry

G Seth Curry

Curry would give the Knicks some needed perimeter shooting. He hit 40 percent of his threes for Brooklyn last season.

With the $12 million exception, the Knicks could certainly make a competitive offer for Curry. (That exception can be split among multiple players and can be used for deals as long as four years in length).

F Torrey Craig

If the Knicks want to add a defender who can knock down threes, Craig would be a fit. As a Suns reserve, he averaged 7.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while knocking down 39.5 percent of his 3-point shots.

But just like the other players listed above, the Knicks would need to find a spot in the rotation for Craig. As the roster sits now, they don’t have one.

G Alec Burks

We know Tom Thibodeau loves Burks’ versatility. The veteran has a team option in Detroit for 2023-24. Logic says that option will be declined. So Burks will be available. And he remains respected by the organization. But he’s probably going to get interest from teams with available rotation spots.

G Ryan Arcidiacono

The Knicks had to part with Arcidiacono to execute the Josh Hart trade. Thibodeau always spoke highly of Arcidiacono, who was a college teammate of Brunson’s. Thibodeau liked the way Arcidiacono approached his craft.

The young players currently on non-guaranteed deals will be given the chance to earn roster spots in Summer League. If there is a roster spot open heading into training camp, no one would be surprised if the Knicks used it to bring Arcidiacono back.

Don’t sign anyone

The Knicks could also decide to keep their mid-level exception this summer. Under the new CBA, the non-tax payer mid-level exception can be used as a trade exception in 2024-25.

Using the exception for a trade in 2024-25 could be more beneficial to the Knicks than using it on a player this summer, as The Athletic’s Fred Katz notes.

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