One of the biggest narratives in New York this summer is the impending free agency of fan-favorite, Kyle O’Quinn. The Queens native has embellished Knicks culture and has revived the mindset so desperately missing in New York. Every year he’s shown something new as a player and brought more and more to the table as he worked towards becoming a quality starter in the league. Being stuck behind Enes Kanter, he’s been one of the best backups in the entire association and has slid into the starting 5 and played equally as well as Kanter
What He Brings to the Team:
O’Quinn has been a member of the Knicks for 3 seasons now and has improved as a player in each of the three. His minutes, points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage and free throw percentage all improved. Kyle has shown to be an energizer and a gifted passer for a big man, developing a rapport with Former Knicks Doug McDermott on baseline backdoor cuts. He sets strong screens, protects the paint and plays the role as our enforcer. He showed a great touch in mid-range throughout the year and has a soft touch at 15 feet. In April he began shooting more jumpers and even extended his range to deep, shooting 50% from February to the end of the season on 16 attempts. Kyle also has a great relationship with his teammates and is seen as one of the biggest pranksters on the team.
Role for the Future:
Kyle is only 28 Years old and show’s he still can improve as a player on both ends. The effort he’s put into working on his body in order to take his game to the next level shows the front office that he’s exactly the kind of high-effort player needed to establish a locker room culture. His intensity would go a long way in influencing the young guys to play defense and play within the system. O’Quinn was a proven winner in college, carrying his Norfolk State team to the NCAA tournament, upsetting number 2 seeded Missouri in the first round. Being a local kid, he knows what it takes to win in New York, and he has been committed wholeheartedly to the team throughout his Knicks tenure. Kyle also boasted a 3.2 Net Rating, third among Knicks rotation players. Showing that his teammates play better when sharing the court with him. All in all, Kyle has been a great rotation player throughout his tenure in New York, with the future looking equally as bright.
Upcoming Free Agency:
O’Quinn has a player option this offseason, general consensus is that he will opt-out and test the market. For a big with as well of a rounded skill-set as Kyle, he would probably be looking upwards of 8 million dollars a year for production and minutes on whatever team he looks to sign with. He’s expressed interest in remaining in New York and if Enes Kanter opts out, there’s no reason to not sign Kyle as the starting center for 2018. Somewhere between 8-10 million dollars per year for 4 years carries straight through his prime and keeps him under team control for a reasonable price. If his jump-shot continues to improve, this could possibly become a bargain for a player who wants to play under the bright lights in the Garden.