Starter: Enes Kanter
Depth: Mitchell Robinson, Luke Kornet
At this point, we know what Enes Kanter brings to the table. On his best nights, he can take over a game offensively. Also on his best nights, he doesn’t get destroyed when he’s on the defensive end of the floor. Admittedly, he was better in that regard last season than he had been in previous seasons but calling him an offense-centric player would still be appropriate.
The issue with Kanter and his offense is that, because of his style of play, he’s hard to truly rely on to be a force offensively night in and night out. This is, even more, the case with Porzingis out of the lineup. When his fellow big man is on the floor with him, Porzingis can space the floor more and allow Kanter more room on the interior to work. Without him, that same level of space in the paint simply isn’t there.
You’ll also notice that Joakim Noah isn’t listed here, which is because it’s unlikely that he’s long with the team. Reports dating back several weeks indicate that the Knicks and the veteran big man will part ways either before the season tips off or very early in the season.
When Noah is gone, that will put the focus on rookie Mitchell Robinson. The 36th overall pick is a total wildcard entering the season after a tumultuous attempt to play in the college ranks ultimately ended with him sitting out an entire year before entering the draft. However, the potential is there and, as the Knicks look for future pieces to build with, Robinson has an opportunity to develop and put his name in that mix.