5 star players Knicks could actually sign in 2021 free agency

New York Knicks

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The New York Knicks could splurge on one of these top players this free agency to cement their place as a winning team in the East.

It started out as a whisper, just barely discernible across slowly filled-in seats at Madison Square Garden. Late Monday night, it turned into an uproar as crowds of fans started to feel something they haven’t felt in a long time. Even though the Phoenix Suns beat the New York Knicks that night, snapping their nine-game winning streak, it stayed. It stayed in between rows of folding seats with the fans who lingered behind.

It was hope.

The Knicks are back.

As the current No.4 seed in the East, the New York Knicks have every reason to believe they will make the playoffs this season. They’ve maintained a 34-28 record and have their highest winning percentage of the last eight years (0.548). The last time their percentage was this high, they made a run all the way to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

So there’s a lot to hope for after all. What’s even more promising for the long-term is that star players may start to consider the Knicks to be destination franchise again.

With just $49.8 million in committed salary for their roster so far, the Knicks are poised to be one of the leaders in salary cap space this summer. If money’s not enough, they also have two first-round draft picks for 2021. New York will be looking for at least one star to support Julius Randle, who has defied all odds to be this good, but more importantly, they’ll want to replace current dud Elfrid Payton who is just…not good.

Who should New York choose in the 2021 free agency? These are five talented playmakers who could make the Knicks one of the longest-lasting competitors in the East.

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