The Knicks will have a lot of time between now and the 2020 NBA Draft and free agency—both set to occur in October later this year.
While NBA players mull competing in the league’s restart of the 2019–20 season, planned for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, at the end of next month, the league has also set new dates for several items, including a transaction window for all 30 franchises before the resumption, the 2020 NBA Draft, and free agency.
First, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, a transaction window will be set for all 30 teams—not just the 22 invited to Orlando to resume the season—from Tuesday, June 23rd to the following Tuesday, June 30th. This period will not be for any trades or that kind of movement (the trade deadline passed last February). Instead, teams will have the ability to sign or waive players. Some free agents include former New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith and All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, among others.
This may apply to the Knicks due to the ability to sign two-way contracts and multi-year deals to extend into the 2020–21 season, if they so choose to do. At the moment, guard Kadeem Allen and forward Kenny Wooten, who finished third in the G League’s Defensive Player of the Year voting last week, possess the pair of two-way contracts for New York.
Second, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 2020 NBA Draft will now occur on October 16th (it was previously re-scheduled to October 15th). For all intents and purposes, the NBA Draft Lottery, where the Knicks will learn where they’re picking in the top 10, is set for August 25th. The early entry deadline for prospects is eight days before the lottery, on August 17th, and the early withdrawal date is October 6th.
The Knicks possess three picks in the 2020 NBA Draft—their lottery pick, currently with the sixth-best odds to win the top spot, the Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round selection, right now at no. 27, and the Charlotte Hornets’ second-round pick, at no. 38.
Last summer, the Knicks signed seven players, all but one agreed to multi-year deals with team options or partial guarantees in the second or third year of the contracts (the lone exception being Marcus Morris, an expiring contract in 2020, who was acquired by the Clippers for their pick). New York still has decisions to make about veterans on team options or partially guaranteed contracts such as point guard Elfrid Payton, wings Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock, and big men Taj Gibson and Bobby Portis. Power forward Julius Randle, the Knicks’ most expensive contract agreed to last offseason, has a fully guaranteed deal in 2020–21; the following season, however, is a team option.
There is still quite a hiatus for the Knicks, who were eliminated when they were not announced as one of the 22 NBA teams invited to Orlando to resume and play out the rest of the regular season and postseason. This may give more time for new team president Leon Rose, who has revamped the front office while retaining general manager Scott Perry, to continue to evaluate the franchise along with searching for a new head coach. The Knicks will not play competitive basketball (if what they did in 2019–20 was considered competitive) until, at least, December this year.
Between now and then, the franchise has a lot of soul searching to do along with decisions on remodeling the roster based on the counsel of new front-office additions and a pending new head coach.
UPDATE: 1:02 p.m. ET
Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony of ESPN are reporting that the early-entrant window for draft prospects, set for August 17th with the withdraw deadline October 6th, is still pending NBPA approval, the players’ union. This report is not official yet, with several hurdles, like the NCAA’s own deadline, still in place.