It’s been 46 days since the Knicks’ 2022-2023 season came to an end and 15 days since the offseason began for the entire NBA as the NBA Finals came to an end.
It’s been a relatively quiet offseason for New York so far, with draft night going by without the team acquiring a pick and new acquisitions being limited to a couple of two-way signings.
However, the Knickerbockers have made some solid steps to moving forward this offseason and will look to make more soon.
Forty-six days into the Knicks offseason, let’s look at where things stand and what could come next.
A Draft Night Without a Pick
The Knicks did not make a pick in last Thursday’s draft as they opted not to make a trade to acquire a pick in the first or second round. New York made the decision to trade out of the first round last year, and the Mavericks were able to retain the Knicks’ original first-round pick as they secured a top-ten draft position.
While New York did not make a pick, they still added to the roster on draft night.
On draft night, the Knicks signed Jacob Toppin, brother of former Knicks first-round draft pick Obi Toppin, to a two-way contract. The 23-year-old forward out of Kentucky went undrafted but is coming off a breakout year in a final year in college. His college career included a one-year stint with Rhode Island, followed by three years with Kentucky. In his final year, Jacob averaged 12.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game, all significantly higher than his stats from his previous years.
Whether he ends up playing alongside his brother or not, the younger Toppin brother should be a welcome addition to the Knicks.
Another Two-Way Deal
Shortly after the first signing, the Knicks also signed 19-year-old undrafted guard Jaylen Martin out of Overtime Elite to a two-way contract. Martin averaged 14.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game in his 2022-2023 season.
With this signing, the Knicks will now have to decide the future of Trevor Keels or Duane Washington. Martin is a solid pickup and will hopefully make another good addition to the squad.
Rose a Free Agent
The Knicks declined the team option of Derrick Rose worth 15.6 million, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 34-year-old veteran was traded to the Knicks in the fairytale 2020-2021 shortened season, where he was a leader for a young New York team that broke the playoff drought. However, after the Knicks’ 10-13 start in the 2022-2023 season, he was cut out of the rotation and saw almost no paying time for the rest of the season.
After this recent news, Rose will likely find a new home as his career winds down, as he will turn 35 before next season. He will certainly be missed by New Yorkers and hopefully finds a new home where he can have some more playing time in his final years in the league.
Drama Between Obi and Thibs
In the past week, audio was leaked on Twitter of an altercation between Obi Toppin and head coach Tom Thibodeau after the Knicks’ game 4 loss to the Miami Heat. In the audio, you can hear the third-year Knick confronting Thibodeau and airing his frustration about decisions by the coach in the loss.
This leak comes simultaneously as many reports are coming out that Obi has been unhappy in New York in the past season and would likely prefer a change of scenery. There have been reports that the Knicks and Obi will try to make it work to start next season, but if the two sides can’t work things out, it’s possible the Knicks’ former first-round draft pick could be moved.
Zion to New York?
One name that has been consistently linked to New York for a while now is Zion Williamson. The former first-overall draft pick has been reported to prefer a trade and specifically would like to come to the Mecca.
According to multiple sources, Zion and his camp reportedly prefer a change of scenery, specifically in New York.
— NBATradeReport (@NBATradeReport) June 14, 2023
It was previously reported that the Pelicans would field trade calls through the NBA Draft and were looking to trade him by then. Draft day has come and gone, and Zion, for the time, has remained put in New Orleans. However, the Pelicans forward still likely wants to be moved, and New York is one of his top destinations.
Without a doubt, Leon Rose should be calling the Pelicans about Zion, and it’ll be interesting to see if the big man will play half of his games at the World’s Most Famous Arena next year.
46 down, 113 to go
It’s been an interesting offseason for the Knicks so far, albeit a bit uneventful. Despite not making a pick, they signed a couple of undrafted players to two-way deals on draft night. The team will likely say goodbye to a few players, and there’s been some drama within the squad.
As usual, trade rumors have brewed throughout the league, and many of them have taken residence in New York. With 113 days left in the offseason, it’ll certainly be enthralling to see what the Knicks do to continue to move forward.
It’s been an eventful couple of weeks across the league with a few wild trades; it’s only a matter of time before the Knickerbockers join in.