As the 2019-2020 NBA regular season comes to a close a few months later than it typically would, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Knicks are once again on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs. The Knicks finished the season with a record of 21-45 (.318), their best win percentage since 2017-2018. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2013 but the 2020-2021 NBA season could end that drought.
The Knicks are full of young talent thanks to years of finishing near the bottom of the league and scooping up high draft picks. With another lottery pick coming up in the 2020 NBA Draft (which will be in October), the Knicks will add another top talent. Whether that pick ends up being someone like LaMelo Ball or Tyrese Haliburton, they will join a young and talented team that could finally help turn this franchise around and make them a contender again.
- Knicks Odds to Win NBA Title: +25000
- Knicks Odds to Win Eastern Conference: +19000
*Odds From FanDuel Sportsbook
Knicks Odds Analysis
The Knicks will enter the offseason prior to the 2020-2021 NBA with the most cap space in the NBA. That, added with the sixth pick in the upcoming draft gives this team yet another offseason full of hope. However, Knicks’ fans have endured this kind of hope and promise in the past with little to no improvement year after year for the past six or seven seasons.
Rumors of elite talents in the NBA possibly heading to New York to play on the world’s biggest stage at Madison Square Garden are once again circulating. Whether or not the trigger gets pulled is another thing. However, a move to acquire one or two elite players could be all this team needs to finally get over the playoff hurdle and put the franchise back on the map.
Until the current NBA season ends, we won’t know what the Knicks’ odds are for next season. It is likely they will be near the bottom of the Eastern Conference yet again in terms of projections (barring something drastic). With powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics still leading the wast in the East, the Knicks will have some major odds for both Eastern Conference winner as well as NBA Finals winner.
For any Knicks futures bets, it would be best to sit on them until we see just how long the offseason is during this pandemic and what exactly the Knicks do to improve in that time. A sixth pick in the draft won’t be enough to help this team out in just one year. New York will need to make some other offseason moves to acquire some big-name players if they want to compete during the 2020-2021 season. So until they make those moves (if they make those moves), it is best to hold on to your money when it comes to betting Knicks’ futures.
Knicks Strengths and Weaknesses
- Young Talent
- Cap Space
- Solid Bench
- No Elite Player
- Unclear Backcourt
New York Knicks Prediction
A prediction on how the Knicks perform next season will depend heavily on what exactly they do between now and the start of the 2020-2021 season. If New York can acquire some major offseason talent, then they could be a contender for a playoff spot and possibly make some noise. However, if they sit back on what they have and make only minor moves to go along with their sixth overall pick, then we can expect another .300 something wins percentage season.
Having said that, we should expect the Knicks to make some big splashes this offseason despite rumors of doing so in the past have come up short. It may be naive to expect this offseason to be any different but let’s assume for the best.
Assuming the Knicks do indeed add some big names this offseason, a realistic expectation would be somewhere in the range of a .500 season, give or take a handful of games. The only way we could realistically expect the Knicks to compete with the powerhouses of the Eastern Conference is if they shock the NBA world and somehow bring in multiple giants like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
Any playoff appearance in 2020-2021 would be a major step forward for a franchise like the Knicks, especially with all of the young talents they possess. Going from a .318 win percentage season to the top of the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals winner is about as unlikely as you can expect in the NBA. However, with a major offseason move or two, the Knicks could find themselves fighting for the playoffs near the end of next season.
2020-2021 Prediction: 42-40, #7 Seed
1. Will the Knicks Make the Playoffs in 2020-2021?
This will all depend on what the Knicks do in the upcoming offseason. If they can make some key acquisitions to add some veteran talent to go along with their young talent than yes, the Knicks could be a playoff contender. Otherwise, another long season in New York could be just around the corner.
2. What Do the Knicks Need to Do This Offseason to Make the Playoffs in 2020-2021?
Aside from making a good draft pick in October, the Knicks need to spend some money and bring in some elite talent. There will be a number of elite players on the move this offseason and the Knicks need to make sure they acquire at least one of those players.
3. Who Could the Knicks Look to Add in 2020-2021?
The 2020 free-agent class isn’t as talented as the previous season’s free agency pool but there could still be some big names available for the Knicks. Players like Fred VanVleet, Joe Harris, Montrezl Harrell, DeMar DeRozan, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Gordan Hayward, Brandon Ingram, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and possibly even Anthony Davis (although unlikely) could be available this offseason.
4. Could the Knicks Win the Title in 2020-2021?
Realistically, no. It would take a major overhaul for the Knicks to be able to compete with the league’s elite teams next season. Unless the young talent on this team overperforms exponentially and the Knicks add two elite talents like Anthony Davis or Kevin Durant, the Knicks will not be competing for a title next season.
5. How Many Games Will the Knicks win in 2020-2021?
A realistic ceiling for the Knicks in 2020-2021 would be about 45-50 wins. However, only if they make some critical offseason moves. Otherwise, the realistic floor for this team is another season with a win percentage of around .350. The safe bet would be to expect around a 40-42 win season, giving them a shot at the seventh or eighth seed in the East.
6. Who is the Knicks Best Player?
At the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season, the Knicks’ best player is arguably Julius Randle. He led the team in points per game (19.5), rebounds (9.7), assists (3.1), and minutes (32.5). The 2020-2021 season will be Randle’s seventh in the league and his second with the Knicks as he appears to be in the prime of his career.