Reports: Knicks’ keep rim protector Nerlens Noel, floor spacer Alec Burks
Tom Thibodeau needs his rim protector — and the Knicks are keeping him. And they are keeping some shooting and secondary shot creation.
New York reportedly has reached a deal to keep Nerlens Noel, who anchored Thibodeau’s defense with 2.2 blocks a game last season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This was a deal the Knicks needed to make — rim protectors with Noel’s athleticism and that fit Thibodeau’s style are limited. This is a reasonable deal for Noel.
The Knicks are also keeping the hot-and-cold shooting — but often clutch — shooting of Alec Burks on a fair deal.
Free agent G Alec Burks has agreed to a three-year, $30M contract to stay with the New York Knicks, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 2, 2021
Burks reminded some Knicks fans of J.R. Smith on the court (without the Sunday day game mental no-shows) — his hot shooting kept them in some games, but he got shot them out of a couple as well. He averaged 12.7 points a game and shot 41.5% from 3 last season.
Burks proved a steal on the one-year, $6 million deal he signed a year ago. This is a more fair deal for both sides, but it keeps the shooting the Knicks need on the roster.
The Knicks came into free agency with more than $50 million in cap space. While these deals can eat into that space, if the actual signings come after the inking of a star — DeMar DeRozan has been mentioned — it doesn’t change much in New York’s hunt for a star.