Knicks Offseason Mock 2.0: 3-step plan to solving the point guard position

New York Knicks, NYK

The New York Knicks saw everything they needed last season after they acquired Derrick Rose from the Detroit Pistons at the trade deadline. At 32 years old, Rose is still capable of running an offense with solid court vision and scoring prowess. While his athleticism has taken a turn for the worse as injuries and father time have taken hold, Rose still averaged 15 points, 4.2 assists, and shot 49% from the field this past season with New York.

One of the most surprising factors that Rose brought to the table was 41% shooting from downtown over 2.6 attempts per game. While he doesn’t offer effective volume shooting, he was one of the only reasons the Knicks reached the postseason, let alone snagging the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference.

With the organization projected to have $50+ million available in funds, they have the money to retain Rose and add a few complementary pieces, further bolstering the roster through the draft.

Solving the point guard position for the Knicks:

Step 1: Retain Derrick Rose

As stated above, relying on Rose is something the Knicks can feel content with based on his performance in 2020. He isn’t going to produce 20+ points per game, and if he hovers around 25 minutes on average per night, they can mitigate fatigue and save him for the playoffs when they’ll need him to turn it up a notch.

The question is, who can management rely on to supplement Derrick and give him the slack he requires to play at a quality level over the course of an entire season?

Step 2: Draft a young point guard

Depending on the route management wants to go, they have a few options they can tailor to their style. If they want a more defensive player, Davion Mitchell out of Baylor would be a perfect choice but would likely require the Knicks to package their first-round picks together to move up. Alternatively, scoring point guards like Tre Mann or Sharife Cooper could be more appropriate.

Rose offers far more offensively than defensively, so Mitchell could be an ideal choice given his potential on offense but elite defense right out of the gate.

Step 3: Utilize Luca Vildoza as a two-way guard

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention the four-year contract Argentinian native Luca Vildoza signed with the Knicks prior to the postseason this past year.

Vildoza is currently in Las Vegas training for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and he could be the perfect two-way guard to complement RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. The Knicks don’t necessarily need him to be a ball-dominant PG, but he can travel into space and utilize his court vision to facilitate while also playing off Rose and Co.

With smooth shooting mechanics and basketball intelligence, Vildoza can likely fill a shooting guard role as well as earn minutes as the starting PG. Expecting him to be a focal point in his first season of NBA action might be a bit optimistic, so giving him a bit of cushion to adapt is a more efficient strategy.

Overall, this approach gives the Knicks a veteran with experience in Rose, young prospects to develop in Mitchell/Mann/Cooper, and a foreign player to adapt as the season progresses. You can never have enough depth at point guard, and this idea gives the Knicks potential with the inclusion of immediate impact.

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