One of the Knicksâ€™ biggest acquisitions this summer has been point guard Kemba Walker. The 2020-21 season was littered with inadequate point guard play, but the Knicks added a few reliable options who can elevate the roster.
Pairing Kemba with Derrick Rose should offer the team a great combination. Neither are capable of being relied on for an entire season, but creating a balancing act that helps mitigate fatigue and injury is how management will likely strategize the position. In addition, they also have Immanuel Quickley, who has been playing PG during the Summer League, and rookie Miles McBride, who had a stellar performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
McBride finished with 22 points, shooting 78% from the field and hitting all sox 3-PT attempts. He also picked up five assists and seven rebounds, showcasing his athleticism and quality defense.
Another youngster who has performed well is Obi Toppin. The Dayton product is averaging 36.1 minutes per game in Las Vegas, posting 21 points per, shooting 41.4% from the field. Logging 9.3 rebounds per contest, Toppin has a +/- of 4.
Along with Quickley, Toppin is experiencing solid growth and progress, but he also indicated the impact Kemba will have on the team next season, hopefully elevating the team.
â€œHaving Kemba come to the team is amazing,â€™â€™ Toppin said, per Marc Berman of the NY Post. â€œGreat player. Iâ€™ve watched him as long as heâ€™s been playing since he left UConn. Having an opportunity to play with him is going to be amazing.”
The Knicks now have a roster filled with talent and depth. Quickley, who is averaging 24 points per game during Summer League play, will optimally come off the bench. They also have Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and rookies Quentin Grimes, Jericho Sims, and Rokas Jokubaitis.
â€œWe have so many different weapons,â€™â€™ Toppin said. â€œWe have him who can score, Derrick [Rose] who can score, Jules [Julius Randle], RJ [Barrett], Quick [Immanuel Quickley]. So many different people who can put the ball in the hoop. At the same time, our main focus is defense. Whatever we do on the defensive side will determine our offense.â€™â€™
For a team that secured the 4th Seed in the Eastern Conference with weaknesses at multiple positions, a fantastic head coach like Tom Thibodeau and players to help mitigate fatigue during a long season will hopefully contribute toward an even more successful year. Adding Evan Fournier and Walker provides plenty of additional scoring prowess, and with RJ Barrett expected to take a step forward, the sky is the limit for this young Knicks team.