New York Knicks: Can Allonzo Trier be the J.R. Smith of 2012-13?

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

With the New York Knicks seemingly headed into the abyss after missing out on superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who both took their talents across the Brooklyn Bridge, several younger players will need to step up.

Despite walking away without the two dynamic players, the Knicks still managed to walk away with a decent offseason haul including Marcus Morris and Julius Randle. While they’re no Durant and Irving, they’re quality players in their own respect. The logic behind the signings is clear — win now and let the younger players compete for playing time.

For options like Allonzo Trier, it could mean more bench-warming, however, with the 23-year-old being an effective scorer, it’s safe to say he will be a part of the solution in 2019-20.

Can Allonzo Trier be the JR Smith of 2012-13?

The year Smith won the 6th man of the year award, he averaged 33.2 minutes per game, 18.1 points per game, and had a field goal percentage of .422. His incredible campaign off the bench helped the Knicks reach the playoffs. While Trier’s stats didn’t look anything like that last season, it was only his rookie year, so there’s plenty of time for him to reach his potential and make an impact.

Trier averaged 22.8 minutes in 2018, racking up 10.9 points per game and had an impressive .394 three-point percentage on 51 attempts. Those numbers should see an increase next season, but they could also decrease with the elevated talent and additional pieces the Knicks have added to the roster. It’s more than possible his minutes decrease with theoretically sees his production fall off.

However, there’s no doubt he can rise to the occasion and be a frequent flyer on the court that produces over the course of a game, similar to how Smith did it back in 2012. The question is, can the smaller shooting guard improve his defense to a point where he can be trusted on both sides of the ball.