Kristaps Porzingis tore his ACL late in February of last season, which didn’t leave him any time to completely recover heading into this year. Porzingis is expected to return in the second half of the season, although the Knicks have no reason to rush him back. Porzingis will likely see limited minutes when returning, and you have to say he will not be 100% normal until next season. This opens up the door for the Knicks to get a look at some of the youth and role players they added in over the offseason. Porzingis is just 23, and is still the future of the franchise.
The Knicks went out and brought in Trey Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay last season, after drafting Frank Ntilikina. Early on in preseason we have seen three different starting point guards, which makes it look like he will be doing some rotating this season. Ntilikina was drafted eighth overall in 2017, so the Knicks have invested highly in him. They do have Tim Hardaway Jr at shooting guard, and the three guards mentioned above have also been suggested as backup roles at this position. Burke showed he could provide at that role last season, and overall Burke and Mudiay should continue to enjoy the new scenery.
Kevin Knox was a freshman who played at the University of Kentucky last season, and is only 19 years old. He dominated the Summer League, and is the guy to get some run because of the Porzingis injury. Sure, Knox will have some struggles with efficiency at times, but just look at his age. Knox was taken ninth overall, and his frame gave scouts a lot to like for his upside moving forward. The Knicks potentially have a huge star for the future with Knox, and his rookie year will be an actual heavy dose of usage to showcase his worth.
We still have a lot of youth and a lot of sample sizes to look at for the future of the roster, but the Knicks landing David Fizdale is a huge add for the franchise. Fizdale is a young analytics based coach who is in the main haul for rebuilding but also once the Knicks get things straightened out. Fizdale will have a chance to mold the younger players for the Knicks, which is something he wasn’t able to do in Memphis. He won 43 games in Memphis, then was shockingly fired the year after. Fizdale will have a longer leash in New York.
The Knicks have added some bench depth to their roster over the offseason, and a lot of it is coming on one year prove it deals. Noah Vonleh is one of them, who struggled to gain any relevance in Portland. He played a little bit in Chicago last season, averaging 5 and 5 in 16 minutes. Mario Hezonja was picked up on a one year deal from Orlando, and you are looking at a former top five pick who didn’t pan out in Orlando. He has flashed some upside in spot starts, and will have the opportunity for minutes in New York.