New York Knicks 2022/2023 Season Preview
The New York Knicks missed the Play-In Tournament last season, finishing 6 games back from the 10th seed after a disappointing campaign. Following their trend in recent years, however, they have made sound off-season moves which they hope will help them climb up the standings in 2022/2023.
The biggest change is undoubtedly the addition of guard Jalen Brunson. Signing a four-year, $104m deal at the start of free agency, the former Maverick figures as delivering the team with a significant upgrade as a lead ball-handler and scorer compared to last season. Should the Knicks qualify, he also proved he can deliver in the post-season, posting a host of great Playoff performances against the Jazz last season, including a 41 point explosion without Luka Doncic on the floor. The contract numbers shocked some, but with new TV money not far away, this deal could look like a bargain in a couple of years if Brunson can deliver on his promise.
Another notable addition is big man Isiah Hartenstein. A name some fans may not put much weight into, Hartenstein fought his way into the last spot of the Clippers roster last season and quickly became part of some of their most damaging line-ups. With a unique skill-set, Hartenstein can catch lobs, protect the rim, find teammates from the high post with precise passes and even showcased an ability to hit shots from deep as he became an integral part of LA’s rotation. Clippers fans (myself included) are devastated to lose him, and Knicks fans should be comforted knowing they have a ready-made replacement if Mitch Robinson misses any time due to injuries.
Jalen Brunson (left) poses with Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibedeau for the Knicks. Credit: si.com
There are some solid pieces across this roster, in addition to Hartenstein, Robinson and Brunson. RJ Barrett, despite being inefficient at times, started to really show his potential last season. Obi Toppin flashed brilliance in short spurts within games and showed he can be a momentum changer on offense, particularly in transition, and Quentin Grimes also looked good in patches.
Round out this roster with Julius Randle, who had a down season last year after making his All-Star debut the season prior, and youngster Cam Reddish, who still shows enormous potential despite failing to get a decent run with injury at any stage in his four-year career, and the Knicks have reason to be optimistic.
New York was been the butt of all jokes for a good two decades, but have shown they are capable of sound management over their roster and cap space in recent years. Brunson’s deal at over $100m for the next four seasons may seem like an over-pay to some, but I believe it will be perceived as a relative bargain years from now. There are a lot of potentially good pieces on this roster, whether they reach their potential this season, or at all, is yet to be seen.
Ceiling: 7th seed
Floor: 11th seed