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Reports: Knicks’ keep rim protector Nerlens Noel, floor spacer Alec Burks

Boston Celtics v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Nerlens Noel #3 of the New York Knicks celebrates after the game against the Boston Celtics on May 16, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

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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.

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.