Morning Knicks 6/16: A 2021 Free Agent for Knicks Fans to Watch, WNBA's Plan to Start the Season, and More
-Knicks fans are surely excited for the NBA to return, but with the team not being invited, those who bleed orange and blue may want to find other reasons to watch. One player fans should keep tabs on is Indiana's Victor Oladipo. In an article about the NBA restart, ESPN's Tim Bontemps wrote that eyes will be on Oladipo in Orlando to see if he can fully recover from his quad injury and reach the All-NBA level he was at a few years ago. Bontemps spoke with one coach who said "If he proves he looks the part, you're gonna see teams like the Knicks, and other teams trying to build something, try to go get him."
Oladipo is a free agent in the summer of 2021, and in a loaded class, he may not be as coveted as some of the premier players. That could give the Knicks, who seem to get spurned by top free agents, a chance to focus on Oladipo while others may not. The Pacer guard had an incredible year in 2017-2018 when he made third team All-NBA, first team All-Defense, and Most Improved Player. If he can get back to where he was that season, Oladipo could be a perfect fit in New York.
-The WNBA has announced its plans to return. The league said it was going to have a 22-game regular season held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The WNBA is looking to have games start in late July like the NBA. You can read more about the WNBA's plan here. New York Liberty fans can breathe a sigh of relief. It looks like they'll get to see their team, as well as number one overall pick Sabrina Ionescu, in the near future.
-The 2020 offseason may be quieter than most. Could Carmelo Anthony returning to New York be the Knicks' big move? Melo is past the point of being a star, but he showed in Portland he can still contribute on a good team. SNY's Ian Begley spoke about Anthony in response to a mailbag question, saying "there's a pretty good chance that Carmelo and the Knicks have talks, at least, about a reunion." Leon Rose is Melo's former agent, and the connection could lead to a reunion. The key would be to make sure Anthony is a mentor for the young players on the team as opposed to one who could block their path to the court.