Which players on the Knicks roster will be a part of their regular rotation, and what will their roles be?
PG Jalen Brunson
SG Evan Fournier
SF RJ Barrett
PF Julius Randle
C Mitchell Robinson
DEEP BENCH – VETERANS
DEEP BENCH – DEVELOPING YOUTH
LIKELY TO BE WAIVED
Who will be starting alongside Jalen Brunson in the backcourt? On paper, Evan Fournier seems to make the most sense. He has the size, the experience, and the shooting ability. But Fournier historically hasn’t proven to have much of an impact with regards to helping his team secure more victories. Given that and what may be more of a priority to find a long-term solution, it wouldn’t be surprising to see either Immanuel Quickley or Quentin Grimes be given the chance to start. Another possibility is to pair old Duke teammates Cam Reddish and RJ Barrett together at the wings. Unfortunately for Reddish, coach Tom Thibodeau did not seem to think very highly of Reddish and barely played him after he was acquired in trade. It’s more likely that things go the other way for Reddish, that instead of working his way into the starting lineup he might find himself on his way out of the league.
The other major question is at power forward. What is Julius Randle’s future with the team. It doesn’t seem viable to keep both Randle and Obi Toppin; at some point they may have to make a choice. If they can’t move Randle at his salary but they also can’t find minutes for Toppin, it might make sense to move Toppin and attempt to fill other holes on the roster. It’s difficult to imagine that both players will still be on the Knicks roster at this time next year.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The Knicks have a stable of young guards who are all interesting prospects. Trevor Keels is the youngest; given Thibodeau’s track record he probably won’t play much at all this year. Miles McBride was in a similar position during his rookie year last year, totaling just 372 minutes all season. With Brunson now in the fold and both Quickley and Grimes returning, minutes will even be harder to come by.
Mitchell Robinson has been consistently productive but newly acquired Isaiah Hartenstein may have more upside. It will be interesting to see how the Knicks divide up their minutes at center and if they will keep it similar from game to game or adjust based on matchups. Both players are efficient shooters who make good use of their limited opportunities to score.