The New York KnicksÂ front office needs to have one thought in mind regarding the point guard position, a long-term solution. Stop-gap players simply donâ€™t offer the same value as building blocks that play into a strategy fit for a franchise.
Over the past few seasons, the Knicks have relied on one year contract to fill voids in the roster, but it is time they build with young talent on long-term deals made through free agency and not lavish trades. Dealing players and draft selections have bit the Knicks in the butt in the past, and with plenty of money to allocate this off-season and youth players preparing to take a step forward, they have the catalysts to spur another postseason run in 2021.
The Knicks can solve the point guard position with two long-term solutions:
In this scenario, President Leon Rose aims for consistency and chemistry over a longer period of time. While veteran Derrick Rose could be a solution in that category, it is unlikely he signs a contract worth more than two years, which could pose a problem for New York, who wants a long-term solution and a player they can build around for the future.
Sign Lonzo Ball in free agency:
The first step in this idea is signing Lonzo Ball, who is only 23 years old and had the best year of his career in 2020. Averaging nearly 15 points, he also posted 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and shot 41% from the field. Over 8.3 times per game from range, he hit on 38%, showcasing gradual growth in the category ever since his inception into the NBA during the 2017-18 season.
While some may not favor signing Ball, he is an adequate defender with plenty of untapped potential that Tom Thibodeau could exercise. Increasing his shooting efficiency and utilizing his phenomenal facilitator vision, he might be a perfect player to pair with Julius Randle on a max contract. He could feed him the ball efficiently and also hoist affective shots up from downtown.
The Knicks can’t only rely on Lonzo, though, as he played 31.8 minutes per game last season and appeared in 55 games, so they will need a solid reserve to help mitigate fatigue.
Draft Davion Mitchell:
The second piece of the puzzle is drafting Davion Mitchell, which would require the Knicks to pair their first-round selections together and move up in the draft. Mitchell averaged 14 points this past season, 5.5 assists, and shot 51% from the field. In addition, he was a 45% three-point shooter, over 4.7 attempts per game.
The development Mitchell showed with his point production last year proved that he is worth taking a flyer on an early first round. The most attractive part of Davionâ€˜s game is his defensive prowess, featuring a relentless motor and fantastic frame. As a solid pick-and-roll defender, his high intensity and fundamentals stand out frequently. He would be an instant impact player on defense for the Knicks, which fits Thibâ€™s bill to perfection.
Pairing an elite defender straight out of college with Ball would allow the Baylor product to refine his offensive game in short spurts, which would be beneficial long-term. This will completely overhaul a weak point in the roster, injecting an established player and a high upside rookie without overwhelming the roster with inexperience.
What do you think of this idea, signing ball and drafting Mitchell? Comment below!