Knicks Draft Sets Team On Positive Course For Future
The New York Knicks and success in the NBA Draft aren’t exactly synonymous given the team’s history when tasked with making a selection in the first round. But they made a great choice with the third overall pick in the 2019 Draft when they selected RJ Barrett out of Duke.
With that decision made, the Knicks are setting themselves up on a positive course in the future, at a pivotal point in the history of one of the league’s most iconic franchises.
Barrett up for the challenge
RJ Barrett is from Canada originally but has a love for the Knicks that has endured for quite some time. Given that the Knicks’ current mission is to get back to their glory days at the top of the Eastern Conference, drafting someone like Barrett who is going to have an appreciation for their history is something that should greatly benefit the team going forward.
More importantly, though, the Knicks grabbed the best player available in the draft at the time of their selection. Barrett was a dynamic guard during his time at Duke, often playing as well as Zion Williamson despite Williamson’s physical advantages and the hype that he received over Barrett during their freshman seasons. Barrett will play a key role early on as a Knick, due to the team’s deficiency at the guard and small forward positions.
That kind of trial by fire would be daunting to many players, but having just survived the crucible that is playing for a Duke team that experienced so much media attention, Barrett should be up for the challenge. And the excitement that playing for his favorite NBA team provides should only make him more energized out on the floor.
A new, patient approach
Heading into the NBA Finals, the Knicks’ strategy was to win right away. They had big plans to bring in big name free agents like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But Durant’s injury has seemingly slowed down the team’s plans to rebuild in a hurry, with the team now pushing a more patient approach to getting back to the top of the NBA mountain. This comes in spite of the media proclaiming that the Knicks will have failed if they don’t bring in any big names this summer.
This has slowed down momentum surrounding the team in the short term, with online sports betting sites very much downgrading the team’s prospects of winning a championship. But you don’t win championships at the betting window, and the Knicks seem content to build the team on their terms for the first time in a long time. That approach can only spell good things going forward.
As a result of this new approach, the Knicks should maintain plenty of salary cap flexibility to allow them to pounce during a more favorable free agent market. And while they wait for worthy free agents, they will be able to develop Barrett and fellow young star Kevin Knox, who impressed during his rookie campaign last season.
Just like the Knicks and a positive Draft experience aren’t typically synonymous, the Knicks and optimism are two terms that are finally becoming linked to one another again to the delight of Knicks fans everywhere.