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Knicks' free-agent priorities

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson looks on

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson looks on during the first half of a game against the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden on Friday, March 27, 2015. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Knicks took the first steps toward remodeling their roster on Thursday when they drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft, then acquired the rights to No. 19 selection Jerian Grant in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr.

But, as anyone who watched the Knicks play last season knows, there's plenty of work left to do to make this team competitive -- even in the weaker Eastern Conference. Here's a look at the Knicks' three-biggest priorities this offseason, which begins in earnest at midnight.

Frontcourt presence

Carmelo Anthony presumably will be healthy by the time the season starts, but he could use some help up front.

Max-contract candidates in free agency such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe will be in the mix, and perhaps DeAndre Jordan if the Knicks can accept his offensive deficiencies. Marc Gasol would be ideal, but he's a long shot.

Cheaper options include Robin Lopez, Ed Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu and perhaps even a returning Tyson Chandler. These players would contribute more on the defensive end than on offense.

Two-way shooting guard

Hardaway could score, but was a sieve at the other end. He had to go, but he leaves a void in the starting lineup at two-guard.

The perfect solution here is Danny Green. He's a Long Island product with a proven track record in the NBA Finals. He can shoot lights-out from beyond the arc, and he's a plus-defender. He'll have tons of suitors, but he's worth pursuing. Wesley Matthews, who is coming off a torn ACL, is a bargain alternative.

Khris Middleton is younger than Green and Matthews, but his status as a restricted free agent will make him harder to pry free from the Bucks.

Vocal leader

Someone needs to fill this role, and the only two veterans currently in the fold -- Melo and José Calderón -- don't fit the mold.

All signs point to David West being the target here. He surprisingly opted out with the Pacers and the Knicks reportedly are circling the frontcourt standout and former All-Star.

Outside of a trade, West is the only option.


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