New York Knicks Offseason Moves 2019

Written by: Christian Jope
Updated October 14, 2022
13 min read

2018-2019 Knicks Performance

Head Coach: David Fizdale

Season Record: 17-65, 15th in the East

Most Frequent Starting Five (11 Games): (G) Emmanuel Mudiay – (G) Mario Hezojna – (G) Tim Hardaway Jr – (F) Noah Vonleh – (C) Enes Kanter

Top Performers

  • G Tim Hardaway Jr – 32.6 MPG | 19.1 PPG | 3.5 RPG | .347 3P%
  • G Emmanuel Mudiay – 27.2 MPG | 14.8 PPG | 3.9 APG | .446 FG%
  • G Dennis Smith – 28.6 MPG | 14.7 PPG | 5.4 APG | 1.3 APG


13 Dec 2018 – Converted (G) Allonzo Trier from a two-way contract to a regular contract. Waived (G) Ron Baker.

31 Jan 2019 – Traded (G) Trey Burke, (G) Tim Hardaway Jr., (G) Courtney Lee and (F-C) Kristaps Porziņģis to the Dallas Mavericks for (C) DeAndre Jordan, (G) Wesley Matthews, (G) Dennis Smith Jr., a 2021 first-round draft pick and a 2023 first-round draft pick.

7 Feb 2019 – Waived (C) Enes Kanter. Waived (G) Wesley Matthews.

The Good

A New York Block Party

Rookie center Mitchell Robinson was fourth in the league in total blocks and second in the league in blocks per game. For a center whose ability was questioned due to a season of not playing organized basketball, Robinson was one of the few bright spots for the Knicks.

Redemption at the Point

Dennis Smith Jr was released from his purgatory with the Dallas Mavericks and was awarded a new lease on life with the Knicks. While he didn’t spur them on to any significant performances, he found his form by contributing 14.7 points and 5.4 assists per game in his 21 games as a Knick.

Iso-Zo Joins the Battle!

Allonzo Trier started out the season as a two-way player, but his ability scoring the ball was commendable enough for the Knicks to release heady guard Ron Baker in his place. The discovery of Trier was a big victory for the Knicks scouting department.

The Bad

Consistency Not Found

Losing streaks were the pride of the New York Knicks in 2018-2019. They had an eight-game, six-game, and two five-game losing streaks going into the new year. Between January and February, they lost a shocking eighteen consecutive matches.

Times to Forget

It has now been six straight years that the New York Knicks have missed the playoffs. The so-called Mecca of basketball, has failed to see the post-season since they were led by Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith, and Amar’e Stoudemire.

The Knicks’ Draft Curse Continues

After one of the worst years in franchise history, the New York Knicks entered the 2019 NBA Draft with hopes of winning the number one overall pick and Zion Williamson. Instead, the new weighted odds system awarded them the third overall pick.

The Surprises

Super Mario

Mario Hezojna signed a $6.5 million deal with the Knicks in the summer of 2018. Expected to come in and be a threatening wing scorer after a career season with the Magic, injuries derailed his year and he was not offered a contract renewal at the end of the 2019 season.

Swing for the Fences

The Knicks took a huge risk when they selected Mitchell Robinson with the 36th overall pick in the 2018 draft. While he didn’t have a guaranteed contract at the time, the 7-1 center was coming off of a non-playing season. He rewarded the Knicks faith as he was selected for the 2019 NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

A School of Hard Knox

Kevin Knox looked to be the go-to scoring prospect the Knicks wanted when they selected him ninth overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. While he scored well, to the tune of 12.8 points per game, his lack of efficiency showed he has a long road to travel before he ranks as one of the league’s future stars.

2019 Knicks Draft Acquisitions

The Knicks ended the season with the worst record in the NBA. Where in past years it would have given them incredible odds to win the first overall pick, the new weighted odds system granted them a mere 14% chance at the top prize. They settled for the third overall pick.

With their two picks in the 2019 Draft (3rd overall, 36th overall), the Knicks selected one Canadian and traded to acquire another.

RJ Barrett – Duke – Canada – New York Knicks, 1st Rd (3rd Pick, 3rd Overall)

Season Age College Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 18 DUKE 38 35.3 22.6 7.6 4.3 .454 .308

While New York didn’t acquire the star they dreamed of in Zion Williamson, their prize at third overall is still one of the nation’s top prospects. Canadian RJ Barrett is savvy beyond his years on the court. While his shooting is still something to develop, he’s a capable point-forward that fills the NBA’s current stylistic trends.

Ignas Brazdeikis – Michigan – Canada – Sacramento Kings, 2nd Rd (17th Pick, 47th Overall)

Season Age College Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 20 MICHIGAN 37 29.6 14.8 5.4 0.8 .462 .392

A strong tournament showing allowed Brazdeikis’ stock to shoot up during the scouting process. A gritty small forward with an ice hockey enforcers mentality, Brazdeikis also has the shooting ability to fit into the modern NBA and the Knicks’ new offense. His defense is still suspect, but the Knicks’ lack of potential success provides time for growth.


The New York Knicks are in a developmental stage, particularly in their backcourt. While Dennis Smith Jr seems to be their future at point guard, the pairing of Barrett and Brazdeikis are a young SG-SF combo to challenge their current roster.

Barrett will be expected to contribute immediately as a scorer and secondary playmaker for the Knicks. He will be a rookie of the year candidate from the outset.

Less expectation will be on the shoulders of Brazdeikis, who will have the task of maintaining his three-point consistency and improving his defensive ability. He will surely split time with their G-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks.

2019 New York Knicks Offseason Acquisitions

While the New York Knicks struck out in free agency, they’ve filled their roster with some capable role players on short term contracts. To say the Knicks are bunkering down for the next big free agent pool would be an understatement.

(F) Julius Randle – 3 Years/$63 million

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 24 NOP 73 30.6 21.4 8.7 3.1 .524 .344

The Knicks failed to recruit Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving, who instead chose to ply their trade across the pond with state rivals the Brooklyn Nets. They did, however, acquire talented big man Julius Randle from the New Orleans Pelicans.

Randle had a career year with the Pelicans last season, showing off his diverse offensive game in the absence of Anthony Davis. He will be the go-to player for the Knicks offensively, while his defense will have to improve if he hopes to lead his side to success.

(F) Taj Gibson – 2 Years/$20 Million

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 33 MIN 70 24.1 10.8 6.5 1.2 .566 .324

Veteran forward Taj Gibson will be a calming piece for the upstart New York Knicks. Surrounded by players almost ten years his junior, Gibson will be looked upon as the vocal and physical role model for their side.

Despite being 33 years old, Gibson was incredibly effective for the Timberwolves last season – providing a reliable 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. While his effectiveness is sure to drop-off as he ages, Gibson’s contributions in moderation will be valued.

(F) Bobby Portis – 2 Years/$31 Million

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 23 CHI-WAS 50 27.4 14.2 8.1 1.4 .444 .393

Issues regarding maturity and attitude have plagued the young career of Bobby Portis. Fortunately for him, his abilities on the court are enough for teams to provide the hot-headed forward a new opportunity.

Portis has shown himself to be a rich-mans Patrick Patterson, with the ability to defend on the wing as well as score inside and out. He came to life for the lowly Washington Wizards and looks to continue his ascent with the Knicks. He’ll be sharing minutes with Randle, which will surely develop interestingly.

(G) Elfrid Payton – 2 Years/$16 Million

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 24 NOP 42 29.8 10.6 5.2 7.6 .434 .314

Point Guard Elfrid Payton has always been an apt playmaker and finisher at the rim. Unfortunately, his shooting maintained its negative consistency throughout his career. He will be playing second to Dennis Smith Jr in the point guard rotation, offering playmaking and defensive intensity off of the bench.

(G) Wayne Ellington – 2 Years/$16 Million

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 31 MIA-DET 53 24.5 10.3 2.0 1.4 .403 .371

It is no secret what the Knicks were looking for when they signed Wayne Ellington this offseason. Ellington is a marksman from range, who shoots above the league average on almost eight three-point attempts per game. While $8 million may seem steep for a one-dimensional player, the possible reward of his shooting is worth the risk.

(G-F) Reggie Bullock – 2 Years/$21 Million

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 27 DET-LAL 63 29.8 11.3 2.7 2.0 .412 .377

Once an impressive grinder on the court, Bullock’s recent injury proneness has led to a slight deterioration in his overall game. At his best, Bullock is a capable Three-and-D player in the league. The Knicks will surely expect him to contribute and get over his injuries to warrant his $21 million salary.

(G) Kadeem Allen – Two-Way Contract

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 26 WES 39 31.8 15.3 5.4 6.3 .451 .425
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Kadeem Allen is a hard-charging combo guard that might add some prospective firepower to the New York Knicks’ backcourt. He performed well with the Westchester Knicks last season and impressed in limited minutes while with their senior club. He has another year to lock down a position.

Knicks Training Camp Additions

(F) V.J. King – Exhibit 10

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 20 Louisville 32 13.7 3.9 3.0 0.6 .367 .114

VJ King is an energy forward that the Knicks hope can be a good utility player for their side. He doesn’t shoot the ball well but has good energy all over the court.

(G) Amir Hinton – Exhibit 10

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 20 Shaw 29 29.8 29.4 4.9 4.0 .488 .340

A combo-guard with fantastic size and scoring ability, Hinton is a refined ball-handler who thrives when making offensive plays. He is a streaky shooter but already has the offensive ability that the Knicks need.

(G) Lamar Peters – Exhibit 10

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 20 Mississippi State 34 30.0 12.0 2.0 5.2 .398 .386

Lamar Peters is an interesting point guard prospect that improved greatly over his time with Mississippi State. With more usage, came more production. The Knicks hope that they can foster his growth into a capable guard prospect.

(F) Kenny Wooten – Exhibit 10

Season Age Team Games MP PTS REB AST FG% 3P%
18-19 20 Oregon 34 24.0 6.3 4.8 0.6 .589 .000

An athletic marvel for the NCAA and the NBA. Wooten certainly has the physical profile, but can he develop his perimeter game to suit the Knicks’ needs? At the moment he is between positions but bet on him to find his niche quickly.

Expected Depth Chart for the NY Knicks

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Dennis Smith Jr RJ Barrett Kevin Knox Julius Randle Mitchell Robinson
Elfrid Payton Reggie Bullock Marcus Morris Bobby Portis Taj Gibson
Frank Ntilikina Wayne Ellington Damyean Dotson Ignas Brazdeikis Kenny Wooten
Kadeem Allen Amir Hinton Allonzo Trier
Lamar Peters VJ King

New York Knicks 2019-2020 Season Expectations

It is difficult to envision what the Knicks intend in this upcoming season. They missed all of the league’s biggest free agents this summer but signed some interesting if not unproven pieces for the next two to three years.

Considering $103 million comes off of their books in 2021, it is clear that this short term play will attract the ’21 class of free agents into The Big Apple – LeBron James, Paul George, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

For now, the Knicks are still in rebuilding mode. However with much more interesting pieces than they had to begin last season. A playoff push is not expected for the New York Knicks.

Regular Season Win Totals for the New York Knicks

Sportsbook Over




DraftKings -122 +100

Future bets favor the New York Knicks to improve on their 17 win-total from last season.

The Knicks are currently favored to win over 27.5 games during the 2019-2020 season.

With an overhauled roster, their ability to adapt to each other from the tip will be key to their success.

New York Knicks Odds to Win the 2019-2020 Eastern Conference

Sportsbook New York Knicks
DraftKings +20000

While the New York Knicks have a better outlook than in seasons past, they still don’t project to be strong enough to challenge for the Eastern Conference crown.

Current odds project them to be in the bottom tier of the Eastern Conference. Future bets don’t favor the Knicks in the East. They currently own the worst odds to win the East, tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

New York Knicks Odds to Win the 2019-2020 NBA Championship

Sportsbook New York Knicks
DraftKings +25000

New York Knicks’ future bets and future odds project them as non-contenders for the NBA Championship.

While they aren’t in the absolute bottom tier of future odds to win the NBA Championship – those positions are held by the Hornets, Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Suns, and Wizards – the Knicks are nowhere near heavily favored.

While they’ve improved, the Knicks still expect to be a developing team in the Eastern Conference and the NBA.

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Christian Jope

NBA Betting Analyst

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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Nationality: Canadian
Education: Bachelor of Arts (Applied Economics)
Favourite Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
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