In a perfect world, the New York Knicks would land a young point guard this off-season with plenty of developmental potential left to unfold. Looking at the organization and the coaching personnel at their disposal, the Knicks should feel good that whatever player they end up signing this off-season will be maximized by their staff.
Ultimately, Tom Thibodeau and his assistants did a phenomenal job extracting the most value out of players like Julius Randle and RJ Barrett. The majority of the players on the roster saw an uptick in multiple categories, including defensive efficiency and three-point percentage. With that being the case, the front office should be thinking long-term instead of a short-term solution that could command substantial money.
The Knicks have a unique opportunity to target two point guards this free agency, which would not only shore up a weak spot on the roster but offer a long-term solution in the process.
The Knicks could look to retain Derrick Rose and target Lonzo Ball in free agency:
In this scenario, the Knicks elect to target Lonzo Ball and retain Derrick Rose. Ball saw nice progression this past year, averaging a career-high 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.8 rebounds. He connected on .414 of his shots from the field and nearly 38% from downtown over 8.3 times per game. If he can improve his defensive work rate, he could be a star player for the Knicks, and there is no secret that LaVar Ball desires his sons to play at MSG.
Ever since his inception into the NBA, Ball has been expected to carry a heavy weight on offense — he had the highest usage rate of his career at 20.5% this year.
Adding another effective scorer who can operate as a pick-and-roll guard and catch-and-shoot option would benefit Julius Randle tremendously, taking pressure and attention away from him. Considering what the Knicks had last year to work with in Elfrid Payton as one of their primary players, upgrading to Ball would give them a fantastic back-court with depth at PG.
Extending Rose on a one-year deal would give them a mentor for Ball and a familiar face that understands Tom Thibodeauâ€™s demands on defense. Both would earn a fair share of playing time, as D-Rose simply canâ€™t handle a full season’s workload at his age and degradation.
One of the most exciting benefits that Lonzo would bring to New York is his ability as a facilitator. Considering the New Orleans Pelicans have Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram in their starting five, Ball had one goal in mind, feeding them the rock. With a team that focuses on getting the ball to Randle and spreading to the perimeters for three-point shots, Ball’s vision would likely be an essential piece of their future success.
Thereâ€™s no question that Lonzo would be a more price-effective option compared to Chris Paul, and they could depend on him as a long-term solution at his age, 23.
What are your thoughts on signing both Rose and Ball? Comment below!