After a disappointing 2022 campaign, Leon Rose’s staff essentially dedicated the following summer to acquiring Jalen Brunson, a solid floor general in the public’s eyes. He would fit well next to Julius Randle, who had struggled the past year but remained the Knicks’ centerpiece. Or so we thought.
It turned out New York didn’t pay Brunson $104 million just to help Randle. That’s not to say he didn’t make things much easier for the all-star power forward, but Brunson quickly became the team’s best player and only proved that to be truer over the course of the season.
During the regular season, Brunson averaged 24 points and 6 assists per game on 49% shooting from the field and 41% from behind the arc, exceeding his career highs in three of those categories. In the playoffs, Brunson stepped up once again, averaging 28 points per game in the postseason and finishing the year off with a heroic 41 points despite a loss.
Now, New York faces a similar situation to last offseason, only they’ll have to build around Brunson instead of Randle. Here are five players the Knicks must pursue if they hope to build a contender around their star point guard: