The New York Knicks were the fourth seed in the East in 2020-21, but followed that up by missing the playoffs last year.
They were the heavy favorites to land Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz all offseason long, but the Cleveland Cavaliers slid in and got him.
But the Knicks have young talent on their roster and made it a point to retain some of it. They extended both RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson to four-year deals worth upwards of $120 million and $60 million, respectively. They also signed guard Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104 million deal.
Is that enough to propel them back to the playoffs? Team president Leon Rose seems to think so.
“We’re thrilled with where we are. Taking a look at the summer, we feel great about what transpired,” Rose told the MSG Network.
“We retained Mitchell Robinson. He’s a player who has developed the last few years and we feel very fortunate that we were able to keep him. We got the number one point guard in free agency this summer in Jalen Brunson. So we feel really good about the summer.”
Rose said one of the Knicks’ “main goals has been to create internal stability,” which they did by extending Barrett and Robinson.
But the Knicks did desire to pair up Brunson and Barrett with the newest Cavalier in Mitchell. Unfortunately for them, they felt the asking price was too high.
“We went through that process and at the end of the day we made a decision to stay put,” Rose said.
Mitchell even admitted he was “very close” to going back to his hometown.
The Knicks were the 11th seed in the East last year, missing the playoffs for the eighth time in the last nine years.
While improved on paper, the East is still a gauntlet, and the Knicks need to hope that other young talents like Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Obi Toppin, and others can continue to grow.