If the Knicks are able to land Donte DiVincenzo or a comparable player in free agency, they still would need to create at least one rotation opening for coach Tom Thibodeau to go next season with a nine-man group, his preferred format.
Those dominoes clearly can fall in many directions this summer, depending on whether team president Leon Rose also is able to swing a significant trade for an established star.
Before any trades are executed, the addition of DiVincenzo or another free-agent shooter — such as Seth Curry, Bruce Brown or Joe Ingles — would give the Knicks a glut of wings, alongside incumbents RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, Immanuel Quickley and, presumably, Josh Hart.
If Hart does not exercise his $12.9 million option by the deadline of 5 p.m. Thursday, which was pushed back from Saturday by mutual agreement, the Knicks can re-sign him as a free agent.
An additional free-agent signing also would give the Knicks 10 players for nine rotation spots as they further explore the trade market.
And that’s not counting Miles McBride, who also faces a Thursday deadline on his $1.84 million team option, or Jericho Sims, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Obviously, that logjam would be instantly alleviated if multiple existing players are included, along with first-round draft picks and Evan Fourner’s expiring contract as salary filler, in a trade for a star player such as Paul George, Zion Williamson, Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns or perhaps even reigning MVP Joel Embiid, depending on whether James Harden decides to re-sign with the 76ers.
The Raptors’ OG Anunoby, another past trade target of the Knicks, notably has switched agents to CAA, Rose’s former company.
Some combination of Barrett, Grimes, Quickley and Obi Toppin — or even two-time All-NBA power forward Julius Randle — could be packaged in any potential deals.
If a trade of that magnitude is not consummated, the Knicks also could deal Toppin and play either Barrett or Hart as the power forward on the second unit.
Thibodeau went that route when Randle missed the final fives games of the regular season and Game 1 of the second round of the playoffs against the Heat with an ankle injury that required offseason arthroscopic surgery.
DiVincenzo, a former NCAA champion teammate of Hart’s and Jalen Brunson’s at Villanova, is considered a strong fit for the Knicks after he averaged 9.4 points and shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range in 72 games (36 starts) last season for the Warriors.
The former first-round pick of the Bucks (17th overall in 2018) declined his $4.7 million player option on Tuesday to become an unrestricted free agent.
Daniel Marks, a former Milwaukee scout during DiVincenzo’s three-plus seasons with the Bucks, told The Post’s Zach Braziller on Tuesday that the 6-foot-4 guard has “always been a winner.” DiVincenzo was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2018 Final Four after he set an NCAA record for the most points scored by a non-starter, 46 in the Wildcats’ two games.
“He was part of two national titles at Villanova, won a championship with us with the Bucks. He knows what it takes to win,” Marks said. “He’s not a guy that’s going to color outside the lines. He can defend multiple positions. He plays his ass off. He’s a really good rebounder for a guard.
“He can handle the ball some, he can play in the pick-and-roll. You can play him up in the lineup to guard bigger guys. He’s tough. … He would fit, I think, well. He would give them another tough, hard-nosed player.”