Knicks: If Not Durant, Cool, They're Other Free Agents

If the Knicks don't get Kevin Durant, it's all good. It's not like getting Durant is the only way that'll make the Knicks championship contenders ... Well, maybe it is.


But I don't think the Knicks need to get Durant. With Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and now Derrick Rose, the Knicks now have to build around those three. Don't necessary have to build a four-man team.

Now, the Knicks need a center, a shooting guard and couple of veterans. Depth is the key to winning a title. If the Knicks, hopefully, have a healthy Rose, they really don't need another star. Rose, Melo and Porzingis, should be it's own Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett -- or LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Why spend $21 million on one player when the Knicks can get two or possibly three players with that money. And if you look at that Knicks roster right, they need more than just a max player.

So besides Durant, there's other free agent fish in the sea.

JEREMY LIN
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5celkyBoOw]

The Knicks are gonna need a backup point-guard, with Rose starting and having major injury issues through the years, you gotta have backup. And why not Lin?

I was interested in bringing in Lin before the Rose trade. I had the idea of a Lin and Rajon Rondo backcourt. But with Rose here, I think Lin should be still considered.

Jeremy Lin has even stated how he would be "open" to coming back to the Knicks, but also said the word "unlikely" that there'd be be a reunion, after the Rose trade.

Sounds like Lin wants to start at point-guard, but I feel he'd be open (like the word he used) to being Rose's backup or maybe a guard next to Rose as a shooting guard. Or maybe Rose can take the role as the shooting guard from time-to-time and let Lin be the point-guard.

JOE JOHNSON

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffYuP6z1coI]

I've always wanted him to pair with Melo in New York.

Johnson could be a second scorer and veteran player for the Knicks. In the 2010 offseason, the Knicks were really interested in signing him so he can team with Amare Stoudemire -- but he ended up signing with the Atlanta Hawks.

To me, Johnson is the prototypical player to play on a team that already has a star, but needs another scorer. Basically, he's a Pippen player.

Again, he could be more of veteran player for the Knicks, since he's gotten older. But he's clutch player, has played big games in the playoffs, likes to take the big shot and he's playing New York already, when he was with the Brooklyn Nets. So this city isn't new to him.

HARRISON BARNES

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDHZkPwEu5w]

A restricted free agent, but Golden State Warriors might let him walk.

Barnes didn't have a great end to the NBA Finals, but I'll give him a past. At 24-years-old he's got a full career ahead of him and maybe signing with the Knicks, without being overshadowed by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, he can feel like the Knicks are -- kinda -- his own team.

Barnes can certainly take it to the basket; an excellent finisher in the paint. He can have two, three defenders on him in the paint and can still score or take it home with a dunk.

With Porzingis and Barnes, that's a nice future tandem for the Knicks. Like I said, Barnes can have his own stage in New York instead Golden State where it's taken by Curry. Barnes can shine under the triangle; you never know.

You know who Barnes reminds me of -- Michael Finley.

Would love to have Barnes on the Knicks, but I still think Golden State will end up re-signing him.

JAMAL CRAWFORD

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePeSNiIhd_Q]

The 36-year-old former Knickerbocker has expressed interest in coming back to the Knicks.

To me, Crawford is a role player. A player who can come off the bench and score, and most likely be a veteran guy who can teach the young.

Ever since that 2012-13 season when the Knicks made the playoffs, I understood how having vets on your team was important. Especially when the team has players like Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby.

I don't know if Crawford has still anything left in the tank, but I'd give him a one year contract.

MANU GINOBILI
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd4liHVRo2M]

Here's a name you don't hear.

The San Antonio Spurs will pickup Ginobili's $2.9 million option for next season. Leaving Spurs fans wondering if he'll retire.

But how about if he doesn't. How about Ginobili try something different, at this age of 38. Why not sign with the Knicks and become veteran/teacher for Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis. How to calm those players down in a big moment, where Ginobili has been in so many. And most importantly teach these guys how to win.

Maybe Ginobili can be what Jason Kidd was to the Knicks, a couple of years ago.

If I'm Phil Jackson, I'm making a personal call to Ginobili.

I rather sign Ginobili than Crawford, because Ginobili can score from anywhere and he's got championship pedigree.

NICOLAS BATUM

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dS4i6J2UxI8]

Talk about a free agent player that's perfect for the triangle: great outside shooter and can pass the ball in the post. Fundamentally sound.

Batum is perfect for the Knicks. Since their postseason appearance in the 2012-13 season, they lacked outside shooters. The Knicks use to have J.R. Smith, Steve Novak, Pablo Prigioni; role players who came off the bench who consistently drained three-point shots. The Knicks have missed that in the past couple of seasons.

Batum just looks like a former Phil Jackson player, from his championship teams.

If the Knicks can ink him to a deal, he could become an important player. This might sound crazy, but a Batum signing can be smarter than a Durant signing. With Batum, he knows his role on the team and combine him with Melo, Porzingis and Rose, he becomes more effective. With Durant, there's a chance were it could be a messy situation on who gets the ball.

This player is a must-get for the Knicks.

JOAKIM NOAH

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xpvwvfkiHQ]

It almost feels like the Knicks have a quiet agreement already, with Noah. That's how mutual the reports have been between the two parties.

You know, today I saw Yelena Noah. Joakim Noah's sister. I've actually saw her twice, in Brooklyn, where I'm from. The first time I saw her was last summer. And I told her how I'd love to have her brother (Joakim) on the Knicks. She replied: "Oh, I hope so!" Then today I saw her again for the second time in my life and told her, 'I've been hearing Noah might be coming here' and she said, "that's what they're saying!".

So...basically...I got nothing for you! Got no sources! But all I know is that Noah's sister is ridiculously beautiful and that Joakim Noah could possibly be on his way to the New York Knicks.

The thing about Noah is, how healthy is he and can he still be as effective like his past seasons. This is a player who lost his job last season, but did injury himself by dislocating his shoulder.

I rather Noah, than someone like Dwight Howard. Noah fits so perfectly with a player like Melo, whose a predominant scorer. Noah is not ask to score the ball, like Howard will. Noah's strictly a defender.

Another thing I like about him, if he is effective, he's gonna be great; not just because of what he can do at defense, but the heart, soul and attitude he'll bring to the Knicks. I can already imagine him having a big game where he has several blocks and offensive boards, and there's gonna be a moment where he roars/yells when he gets fired up after a big play and Madison Square Garden is gonna go nuts. He could end up becoming a favorite.

Like Rose, Noah is gonna have something to prove in New York -- is he signs with the Knicks.