5 Point Guards the New York Knicks Should Target in NBA Free Agency
5 Point Guards the New York Knicks Should Target This Offseason
The New York Knicks need to find a way to keep Carmelo Anthony in New York. The only way to do that is to convince him that he will have a chance to win next season. He shouldn't have to wait until 2015 when the Knicks have more cap room to sign a big free agent or two. What the Knicks need more than anything is a starting point guard who can complement Anthony. It's getting redundant, but it's a fact that can't be stressed enough.
Raymond Felton has been atrocious all season, and if the Knicks could kick him to the curb tomorrow, they would. But he's still signed until 2015 when he can engage his option through the 2015-16 season. Not only is Felton a selfish point guard, but he can only make around 40 percent of the shots he takes. He can't drive to the basket the way he used to, and he's not taking defenders off of outside shooters. Pablo Prigioni has been an adequate backup point guard, but at 36 years of age, he's over the hill at this point. He's playing more minutes than he should but is valuable off the bench.
Shooting guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have underachieved and hurt the team this season with their poor play. Neither guy can string together more than two field goals in a row. Shumpert was a defensive presence two years ago as a rookie, but this season it looks as though he forgot how to get in a shooter's face. Both Smith and Shumpert will be back with the team next year, regrettably for the Knicks.
If the Knicks had a superstar point guard, they'd be a top-five team in the Eastern Conference. Even if they had a decent point guard who could get the ball to open shooters, they'd be better off than they are right now. New York's first priority is luring Carmelo Anthony to a long-term deal. The only way to do so is to assure him he will have some more help than he did this season. There are plenty of inexpensive point guards out there this summer, and the Knicks need to spend their money wisely because they don't have much to spend. Here are the top-five point guards New York can afford and should target this offseason.
5. Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless is making $3.13 million this season with the Boston Celtics. He's an affordable, unrestricted free agent who can shoot three-pointers and drive to the basket. Bayless has shown promise in his young career but is underachieving this season. He's scoring 8.6 PPG while averaging only 2.6 APG. Bayless is a last resort if the Knicks can't get anyone else.
4. Darren Collison
The Knicks were in talks to trade for Darren Collison just before this year's trade deadline. Collison is a small 6-foot guard shooting 47 percent from the field this season with the Los Angeles Clippers. He's averaging 10.6 PPG and 3.6 APG. Collison doesn't turn the ball over, and with scorers around him in the Knicks lineup, he could rack up 8.0 APG if they sign him. Collison is making just under $2 million this season and has a player option for next year. The Knicks should be able to easily sign him if he opts out.
3. Kyle Lowry
Kyle Lowry would flourish in the New York Knicks' system. Also the center of trade speculation this season, Lowry can score around the rim and distributes the ball like a premier point guard. He's averaging 16.8 PPG, 7.7 APG and 4.5 RPG. The Toronto Raptors are paying Lowry $6.2 million this season. As an unrestricted free agent, Lowry will be costly. If the Knicks can either trade expiring contracts or maneuver some money, they can possibly sign Lowry to a multiyear deal. He is the ideal point guard for New York.
2. Ramon Sessions
Ramon Sessions is averaging 10.7 PPG and 3.7 APG with the Milwaukee Bucks this season. Sessions isn't playing poorly considering he's on the worst team in the NBA. He is making $5 million this season and is an unrestricted free agent. I like how he fits with the Knicks as he can shoot from the perimeter as well as find open shooters. Lowry is a much better player than Sessions, but the Knicks have a better chance of affording Sessions than Lowry.
1. D.J. Augustin
For cost and value reasons, D.J. Augustin has more of a chance of playing as a New York Knick next season than the four other players mentioned. Augustin is making $755.46k with the Chicago Bulls this season. Augustin is averaging 11.6 PPG and 4.5 APG. He gets to the basket and shoots 91 percent from the free throw line. He's an unselfish point guard who can connect on a few three-pointers every game. Augustin can do anything asked of him and is a versatile guard the Knicks could definitely benefit from. He won't cost much either. If the Knicks can't find a way to afford Kyle Lowry or Ramon Sessions, I think D.J. Augustin is their best option.
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