How Will New York Knicks Replace Jason Kidd?
How New York Knicks Will Fill Jason Kidd Void
As the seconds ticked down on the New York Knicks' season in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers, we had an idea that the clock was also ticking down on the career of point guard Jason Kidd
Kidd, 40, retired Monday after a stellar 19 years in the NBA, ones that have surely reserved him a spot in the Hall of Fame. General Manager Glen Grunwald is now tasked with finding a player to take his place on the Knicks' roster. This, despite what people might believe, will not be an easy task in the slightest.
Remember, Kidd brought a wealth of knowledge to the Knicks' locker room. He was another coach on the floor, as he was constantly in the ears of fellow point guard Raymond Felton and superstar Carmelo Anthony, showing them tricks of the trade and how to be leaders. Not only that, he made the hustle plays such as deflections and tie-ups that do not necessarily show up on the score-sheet but help a team win. That will be impossible to replicate. Even though he failed to score a point in the final 10 games of the postseason, Kidd still played a major role in New York's blistering start to the 2012-13 season and their first Atlantic Division title since 1994.
Clearly, re-signing guard Pablo Prigioni is a bigger priority for the Knicks as a result of Kidd's retirement. However, Grunwald also needs to find a reserve guard to take Kidd’s spot, whether it be via trade, free agency, or the draft.
Here are five potential options:
5. Nate Robinson
"Nate The Great" was a fan favorite who had an up and down tenure with the Knicks for the first four-and-a-half years of his career. He had flashes of unconsciousness from the field while also making bone-headed statements and plays on the court. Despite that, the 5-foot-9 slam-dunk champion came into his own in this year's postseason with the Chicago Bulls, filling in for injured guards Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose by averaging 16.3 points-per-game in 33.7 minutes-per-game. Even though he comes with baggage from a previous stint with the Knicks and might be out of their price range, he could still provide Kidd's energy while providing the scoring touch that Kidd lacked in his last 10 games.
4. Will Bynum
Bynum put up nice numbers for an awful Pistons team this season (9.8 points per game on 47 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds per game). He made $3.25 million this year, so he would have to accept a pay-cut in order to sign with the Knicks. The question is whether they would place enough value on Bynum to sign him to a multi-year deal using their mini mid-level exception. Also worth noting is that the Knicks might have to split the mini mid-level exception to re-sign Prigioni and Chris Copeland, who emerged as a legitimate scoring threat at times during the regular season and at the end of the postseason.
3. Aaron Brooks
Because his contract is not guaranteed for next season, the Houston Rockets might choose to move him or cut him as they continue to clear up cap space in their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Brooks averaged 7.1 points on 45 percent shooting and 2.2 assists per game in limited minutes for the Sacramento Kings and the Rockets this season. He has a $2.5 million option, so it is unclear if he would agree to a veteran's minimum contract. The Knicks are unlikely to use their mini mid-level exception to bring Brooks in.
2. Shane Larkin
A sophomore out of the University of Miami, Larkin wowed personnel people with his athleticism at the Chicago combine. He might not be available by the time the Knicks get to pick at #24. Many draft experts predict Larkin will go before then. If he does slip down to there, the Knicks would be adding a quick player with solid shooting range who sees the floor well and has active hands on defense. However, at 6 feet and 171 pounds, Larkin is a bit undersized, which could be an issue in the NBA.
1. Isaiah Canaan
Like Larkin, Canaan, a senior from Murray State, is a solid shooter. He also is a strong, physical player who has a 6-foot-5 wingspan, which should benefit him on defense.
Canaan is projected to be a late first-round pick and could possibly be available for the Knicks. His height (6-feet like Larkin) could be an issue at the next level as well.