The Knicks’ offseason keeps looking better.
New York is signing Kemba Walker after the guard makes a late entrance to 2021 free agency. Derrick Rose (three years, $43 million), Nerlens Noel (three years, $32 million) and Alec Burks (three years, $30 million) also have team options in the final season of their contracts.
Ryan McDonough of Audacy Sports:
Kemba Walker will sign a 2 year contract with the Knicks in the $8-9 million range, per league sources.
New York also has Team Options for the final seasons on the Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Derrick Rose contracts (in addition to Evan Fournier’s, as was previously reported)
— Ryan McDonough (@McDNBA) August 4, 2021
The overall understanding of the Knicks’ offseason hasn’t changed. They’re locking into a solid team with a relatively high floor and relatively moderate ceiling.
But there’s a significant difference between guaranteeing Rose, Noel and Burks for just two years rather than three. That comes with much more flexibility.
Of course, Fournier isn’t the big star the Knicks covet. Even if – maybe especially if – New York returns to the playoffs next season, its ambition will increase.
Re-signing Rose, Noel and Burks helps the Knicks remain competitive in the short-term. Giving all three team options in the third season could help the Knicks transition into whatever comes next.