The New York Knicks have been rather dull this free agency period — and that’s a good thing. They didn’t throw too much money at a former All-Star coming off an injury or make any cap-destroying trades for aging superstars. They made solid signings with Austin Rivers and Nerlens Noel. They drafted well with Obi Toppin and worked on building a foundation. All of this is smart, it takes patience to build something right.
That’s not going to stop the rumors around the Knicks.
One continuing rumor is they will trade for Victor Oladipo, getting the former All-NBA wing out of Indiana. But the front office is divided about that, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post.
According to sources, Knicks GM Scott Perry, who drafted Oladipo when with Orlando, would like to explore that avenue, but Knicks president Leon Rose is less eager. Oladipo has yet to return to elite form since knee surgery nearly two years ago.
According to sources, Oladipo is not as available as he might have been over the summer. He quickly has forged a strong relationship with Pacers new coach Nate Bjorkgren, but the 2019 All-Star is in the final year of his contract.
There are more than a few teams around the league keeping their eye on Oladipo, but they all want to see him on the court before committing after the way he played last season.
The good thing about the Knicks trading for Oladipo would be he is in the final year of his contract — if he can’t return close to form following his injuries, New York can walk away no harm done (save for whatever the Knicks traded to land him). Also, there were earlier reports he wanted out of Indiana, although that may be changing.
The Knicks would be wise to build slowly, let Tom Thibodeau develop players, and then see where they stand at the trade deadline and offseason. The time is coming for the Knicks to use the power of their brand and the New York market to lure superstar players, but they are not there yet.