NBA Rumors: Stars looking at New York Knicks as destination franchise after their playoff push

The Knicks are heading in the right direction
The Knicks are heading in the right direction
Raunak Jaiswal

The New York Knicks have failed to attract the biggest stars in free agency for years now, but the latest NBA rumors suggest that this notion could change soon. The Knicks have returned to relevancy due to their performances in the 2020-21 season and that alone is seemingly causing a ripple effect.

The arrival of Tom Thibodeau has kickstarted a new era for the New York Knicks, who are currently seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference. As per NY Times' Marc Stein, the Knicks' resurgence has caught the eye of NBA stars who may be willing to give the franchise a shot in free agency. Stein wrote:

"There have been whispers for weeks that the Knicks’ flirtation with the East’s No. 4 seed has helped restore their reputation to the point that star players are finally prepared to consider them a destination franchise again."

The prospect of playing for the New York Knicks was previously very enticing. The big market, coupled with the allure of Madison Square Garden, was usually enough to convince stars to make the jump. But the decline in the quality of basketball in the mid-2010s and other organizational issues became too huge for marquee free agents to ignore.

NBA Rumors: Can the New York Knicks front office attract big names in the summer?

Things have seen an uptick since the appointment of former player agent Leon Rose as president of the New York Knicks in March last year. Rose made the important decision to hire Tom Thibodeau while bringing in Kenny Payne from Kentucky to serve as the assistant coach.

Leon Rose
Leon Rose

The New York Knicks were known for handing out bad contracts, but that hasn't been the case under Rose's tutelage. The Knicks have taken a measured approach and made low to mid-level trades that have helped the team's cause. They're yet to splash the money on a big name but this will allow the Knicks to operate with cap space worth $50 million in the upcoming offseason.

It's not just the monetary aspect where the New York Knicks enjoy an advantage. Thibodeau has helped establish a proper team culture in New York. The Knicks play hard-nosed basketball and teammates sacrifice for each other to achieve the main goal at the end of the day- winning games.

With both the tangibles and intangibles in play, expect the New York Knicks to finally be a force to reckon with in free agency. Don't be surprised if they end up bagging multiple stars in the upcoming offseason.

Also read: NBA Rumors: DeMar DeRozan wants Eastern Conference move with New York Knicks possibly in the mix

Edited by Raunak Jaiswal
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