As the Knicks continue to surge toward playoffs it may be time to fill in that final roster for the home stretch and playoff run.

With the 2022-23 NBA season coming down to the wire and the New York Knicks surging up the Eastern Conference standings, It might be time to look for even more reinforcements for their playoff run. Head coach Tom Thibodeau is well-known for his airtight rotation, but the NBA playoffs are a different animal and you never know when your depth will come in handy. Currently, the Knicks have an open roster spot and it wouldn’t hurt to have a savvy vet with some playoff experience to secure up the bench if they’re ever needed. Let’s take a look at some players that are currently out there as the Knicks gear up for the postseason.

Let’s get one familiar name out of the way: the obvious nostalgic pick is Carmelo Anthony. The last few seasons have been a mystery as to why the former Knick great has struggled to find steady work. Anthony is still clearly an NBA-level talent. In 69 games last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony averaged 13.3 points a game and shot a very respectable 44.1% from the field. At his advanced basketball age, Melo’s veteran presence and experience can only be a positive for the up-and-coming Knicks. The future Hall-of-Famer should be able to provide scoring depth on the perimeter should Thibs ever call his number. There is also the added bonus of bringing back a beloved former player for what’s shaping up to be a fun closeout to an exciting regular season. 

To a name more recently linked to the Knicks, Serge Ibaka would offer New York a smart, defensive-minded big man for depth. Ibaka was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Indiana Pacers but was waived shortly after. New York remains deep at the center position with Mitchell Robinson, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Jericho Sims, but Ibaka is a quality veteran with plenty of playoff experience and is also an NBA champion. Even if he doesn’t slide into the rotation, Ibaka would offer a source of wisdom to the younger big men on the team as a three-time All-defensive player and two-time blocks leader. Still relatively young, the once-dominant “IBLAKA” certainly has some gas left in the tank. 

Before numerous injuries and early career immaturity issues hampered his career, Demarcus Cousins was the prototype for all the stretch big men you see today dominating the NBA. “Boogie” was an absolute machine at the heights of his powers and has posted a career double-double averaging 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Along with being a dominant scoring threat, Cousins was a solid passer and began to space the floor a little bit, further cementing his “unicorn” status as an inside-outside big man. At just 31 years old, Cousins could use a positive stint to get his career back on track, and in New York, under Tom Thibodeau could be ideal. 

New York Native, Eric Paschall started his career with the Golden State Warriors. In his first season in the NBA, it looked like the Warriors hit the jackpot in the second round of the draft in 2019; in 60 games with the Warriors, he averaged 14 points per game and was awarded all-rookie first-team honors. His last couple of seasons have been hamstrung by injuries and he’s yet to play a game this season after being waived right in the preseason by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Not only is Paschall a local kid, but he already has a connection to some current Knicks, he attended Villanova with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart and helped the Wildcats snag a national championship in 2018. 

The Knicks have turned things around as of late and playing excellent basketball but one thing they still lack sometimes is scoring from the wing position. Outside of RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes, the Knicks are pretty thin at the position. Even though it hasn’t hurt them yet, it’s important to have a full roster head into the playoffs because you never know what can happen. The free agent market for wing players is very slim pickings, but if the Knicks could get wacky and sign another New Yorker out there for the taking: Brooklyn’s very own, the infamous Lance Stephenson. At the very least it’ll be fun to watch and he’ll definitely cause some disruption, maybe untie a shoe or blow in someone’s ear. 

With the Knicks’ tight rotations even if they were to fill that final roster spot it’s very unlikely that a free agent added this late would see the court. But preparation is key; you never know what could happen in the heat of battle in the most important games. It would behoove the Knicks to have as many bodies as possible to be ready for the worst-case scenarios. The Knicks have a roster spot and are in the midst of a special run. Why not add one more player into the mix to either help for the long-term by adding another coach like Serge Ibaka, or, truly restore the feeling and return Anthony back to the Garden for a last hurrah? The options are slim, but the possibilities are endless. 

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