The 3 value contracts that are fueling the New York Knicks' terrific season

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers
New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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2) Deuce McBride

After appearing sparingly across his first two seasons, it seemed as though the former second round pick would be buried on the depth chart again in his third season. While McBride’s defense was held in high regard, his offensive struggles did not warrant any sort of consistent minutes in the Knicks crowded backcourt.

That all changed on December 30th, when the Knicks traded for OG Anunoby. Part of the package sent to the Raptors included Immanuel Quickley, the Knicks backup point guard and 6th man. This move opened up the door for McBride to enter the rotation in a consistent role. In a move that did not appear to be an accident, the Knicks announced an extension of McBride that very same day for 3 years / $13,000,000. 

It is safe to say that McBride has taken his opportunity and ran with it, rewarding the Knicks front offices faith in him in the process. In the 40 games since December 30th, McBride has averaged a very respectable 9.9 ppg, while maintaining his stellar defense over about 23 minutes of action per night. 

While a scoring increase was to be expected with an increase in playing time, how McBride is getting his points is not something that was anticipated. After shooting 25.0% and 29.9% from three in his first two seasons, McBride has been nothing short of a revelation from downtown this season. He is shooting over 40% from three for the season, maintaining his efficiency despite a dramatic increase in volume.

As mentioned, Deuce has now been a valuable rotation piece for the Knicks for a few months. However, in recent weeks, he has become nothing short of indispensable. Given the rash of injuries the Knicks have faced, as well as the overall ineffectiveness of trade deadline acquisitions Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanović, McBride has been thrown into the fire.

He has found himself starting games, closing games, and pretty much everything in between. Over the past four games, McBride has logged 47, 44, 48, and 43 minutes. Deuce posted a career high in a road win over the Warriors this past week, on a night he logged 47 minutes. He scored 29 points on 9/13 from the floor and 6/9 from deep, all while chasing around Steph Curry for most of the night.

Two games later, he played all 48 in a home win over the Nets, where he scored 26 points on 9/16 from the floor and 6/12 from three. McBride’s willingness to play 40+ minutes a night has made him a perfect match for coach Thibs, who has raved about Deuce all season. Even when the Knicks are whole and healthy, McBride has done enough to earn a rotation spot, even at the expense of some more established players.

The Knicks extending McBride just before he entered the rotation is looking like an incredible, savvy move. There is no chance that if they came to Deuce with that offer now, he would accept it, but the front office's proactiveness to extend it before he had the chance to break out is what separates the Knicks from most of the league.

Will Deuce ever be the player that Immanuel Quickley is? That remains to be seen. However, Quickley is likely heading for a contract worth north of $100 million this offseason, while the Knicks have Deuce locked up for the next few years for incredibly cheap.