The New York Knicks were on track to miss the playoffs yet again when the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended earlier this month. And while some reports have been suggesting that the organization should prioritize All-Star-caliber targets such as Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder, recent rumors have also pointed to the Knicks chasing after free-agent role players in the 2020 offseason, including shooters such as Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets and Alec Burks of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Citing a report from SportsNet New York, Bleacher Report wrote on Monday that there are people within the Knicks organization who believe that shooting should be a top priority during the 2020 free agency period. This, as noted, would be in order to complement last year’s No. 3 overall draft pick, R.J. Barrett. But since Damyean Dotson — a reliable “three-and-D” reserve with a career three-point shooting percentage of 36.1 percent — has been linked to multiple teams in recent days, Bleacher Report suggested Harris and Burks as two possible offseason targets.
In addition, Bleacher Report also quoted former Knicks head coach David Fizdale, who said in a recent ESPN Radio interview that outside shooting is a common weakness among the team’s point guards — Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith Jr. He also mentioned second-year center Mitchell Robinson as another player who could benefit from the presence of additional shooters on the Knicks roster.
“[I]f you have a super talent like Mitchell — and I think Mitchell can end up being one of the best centers over the next 10 years — you have to have a guy coming off that pick and if you have to fight over that pick and roll.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 20, 2019
As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Harris has been a steady contributor for the Nets since joining the team in 2016, having led the NBA in the 2018-19 season with a 47.2 percent clip from three-point range. This season, he is averaging 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists as Brooklyn’s starting small forward, while also shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Burks was posting career-best numbers for the Golden State Warriors before he was moved to the Sixers ahead of the February 6 trade deadline. According to Basketball-Reference, he has posted averages of 10.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 11 games for Philadelphia thus far. While he is shooting just 32.7 percent from three with the Sixers, recent seasons have seen him take substantially more shots from long range than he did early in his career.
Although Bleacher Report stressed that the Knicks are likely to address their subpar outside shooting by signing a “second-tier” free agent like the aforementioned players, the outlet cautioned that Harris is reportedly “eager” to re-sign with the Nets in the coming offseason, per rumors from the New York Post.