The New York Knicks’ inability to put a viable NBA Championship contender has been compounding since Patrick Ewing stopped roaming the paint.

They play in the league’s biggest market. The city is steeped in basketball culture. Yet somehow, they’re never really in the mix.

By all accounts, they weren’t even close in 2021-22. In fact, they didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament. Now, they’ll spend this summer looking for ways to meaningful upgrade a mediocre roster.

It won’t necessarily be easy. The league’s top free agents project as unlikely to don the orange-and-blue in 2022-23. Still, there is potential for this club to get back into the playoffs next year.

All they need is a few marginal additions coupled with a better season from Julius Randle.

We don’t have much advice on the latter issue, but we can help with the former. Here are three realistic free agents the Knicks should pursue this summer.

 

Thaddeus Young

Last season, the New York Knicks went traditional at center. The minutes were mostly split between Nerleans Noel and Mitchell Robinson.

That’s fine. They’re both solid rotation players. Still, they both have limitations. Neither is a floor-spacer. Noel can survive defending in space, but he’s still optimal in drop coverage, where Robinson almost exclusively operates.