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The Knicks picked up Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox’s 2020-21 options

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Hooray for retaining young players on cost-controlled deals!

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Big news today! It shouldn’t have to be big news, quite frankly, but it is:

The Knicks did the damn thing already! Picking up Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox’s 2020-21 team options seemed like a foregone conclusion, but up until literally the moment the Knicks picked it up, there was rumblings that the Knicks may have declined Frank Ntilikina’s option.

Luckily, the Knicks decided against that! Ntilikina is far from perfect, but he’s shown in the preseason that maybe his strong play in the FIBA World Cup wasn’t a fluke. His shooting still needs to improve drastically, but he almost singlehandedly brought the Knicks back from the brink last Wednesday against the Hawks with his standout defense on Trae Young down the stretch. Seems like a worthwhile endeavor to at least see his rookie contract through.

As far as Knox and DSJ, again, not a huge surprise on either front. The front office and coaching staff are high on both. Not picking up any of these three players would’ve been a strange move for a front office that has preached patience and youth development since Scott Perry was hired.

The only reason for potentially turning down Ntilikina’s option was possibly to free up the $6-plus million in cap space, but considering most of the Knicks’ non-drafted roster are on one-year deals with a second-year option, they shouldn’t have any problem chasing a free agent if one comes up in next year’s class that intrigues them.

Make sure to check out Drew Steele’s Frank Ntilikina season preview and Mr. Benjamin Buckets’ DSJ and Knox previews.

Anyway, no more sweating about the young players! They’re all going to be here at least two more years.