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this New York Knicks A new point guard is needed.
Unless, of course, the answer to this decades-long question is already on the roster.
While New York is expected to “aggressively pursue” Jalen Brunson in free agency, according to B/R Jack Fisher, there are many potential Plan B alternatives worth exploring. That’s assuming Brunson should carry the Plan A status to the summer.
Let’s discuss the idea of going all-in on the 25-year-old before examining other potential options.
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In conclusion, yes, with some caveats.
Brunson would be the Knicks’ best option at this position in years, but he’s not the type of star on a max contract. It was his breakout season, and he still averaged just 16.3 points and 4.8 assists per game. These numbers are good. They are just not very good.
While he only has four seasons to show that he has plenty of room to grow, his upcoming 26th birthday (August 31) could limit his ceiling.
In other words, New York should be careful not to just write a blank check.The problem is that this type of pursuit might be needed to get him from Dallas Mavericks– may not even be enough.
A source close to Dallas Mavericks Governor Mark Cuban told Mark Berman of New York Post Dallas would be “shocked” if they didn’t re-sign Brunson. ESPN’s previous coverage Tim McMahon Saying the Mavericks “have no intention of working together in a potential sign-and-trade scenario,” the Knicks will almost certainly need to bring Villanova’s product to Gotham City.
The interest in Brunson makes sense because if he arrives at the right price, the Knicks may finally find their missing piece of the puzzle. However, given how complicated the pursuit can be, and the fact that if the Mavericks put their money where their mouth is, he won’t be looking for a real possibility to change the landscape, New York should at least consider all options.
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If Brunson doesn’t show up, the Knicks have several potential directions to take.
One option Fischer offers is to Utah Jazz Point guard Mike Conley.
The 34-year-old was brutal in the Jazz’s first-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but until then, he seemed as consistent as ever. His 13.7 points were his lowest in a decade, but he still more than tripled on 40.8 percent from long range and 1.7 turnovers with 5.3 assists.
The problem is owed to him $22.7 million For next season, according to Spotrac, his production won’t be able to match his salary level. Knicks fans might argue that the same is true for Evan Fournier, who Fisher speculates might be a good fit for Conley’s trade, though adding a 29-year-old, 6-foot-7 sharpshooter to the roster might be more difficult 6-year-olds are more prone to aging ‘1’ point guards with significant defensive issues.
The Knicks could drop a notch in free agency and push for someone like Tyus Jones, an energetic (albeit diminutive) defender and expert decision maker (4.4 assists, 0.6 turnovers). However, since New York’s top shooters Julius Randle and RJ Barrett are not knockdown shooters, “Bocks need to be true believers in Jones’ shooting percentage (career-high 39%), and it should be noted that, Their hit rate is low (2.8 attempts per game).
If the draft lottery goes in New York’s favor, maybe it will grab the top-four pick over Purdue’s Jaden Ivey. If the Knicks see Barrett as their long-term core, prioritizing talent like Ivey could help adjust their playmaking schedule.
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Referring to the possibility of Conley’s pursuit, Fisher noted that “some New York staff would prefer to look inside and give second-year guard Emmanuel Quickley a serious chance to become the team’s starting point guard.”
Is this optimism wishful thinking, or could these employees be making a difference?
Not to take the escape route here, but I’d say it depends on what the Knicks are trying to build. If they want a pass-first point guard in the traditional sense, Quickley isn’t that player.As his career has proven, he is programmed to score, not pass every 36 minutes Averaged 19.1 points and 4.8 assists per game.
However, if New York thinks it can squeeze enough passing out of the rest of its players (namely Randle and Barrett), Quickley is well-suited to both shooting guard and secondary playmaker roles. He’s soft on his thrower, appears to be shooting at least average from three (36.5 percent for his career), and has enough ball-handling to throw defenders off the dribble.
It would make sense if the Knicks wanted Quickley to take a look.To hedge that investment, though, it might make sense to sign another point guard this summer, whether it’s Jones as a backup for minutes or something like G League IgniteDyson Daniels keeps the ball moving, defends on the perimeter, and has enough height (6’8”) to share the floor with Quickley.