There has been reports by Marc Stein that the New York Knicks are trying to deal shooting guard Wayne Ellington. To make that happen, though, the front office is open to including veteran point guard Pablo Prigioni in the deal as it has been difficult to move Ellington alone. So the Knicks are trying to open more roster spots, but for what?
Besides the fact that it would hurt to see Prigioni leave New York, I don’t think the potential deal would be a great move for the team. After waiving Shannon Brown and not re-signing Toure Murry, the Knicks are not a guard-heavy roster anymore. Dealing Prigioni would mean one less point guard, and while Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin can handle it, the problem would be losing a beloved veteran who is a great locker room guy and who would fit perfectly in the triangle.
Such a move would give the Knicks a forward-heavy roster. After adding Jason Smith, getting Samuel Dalembert in a trade and re-signing Cole Aldrich, I thought the team would be good at the power forward/center position, specially with Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani being healthy. However, there is one spot where they might want to add another piece — small forward.
Cleanthony Early is still a bit raw to back up Carmelo Anthony. The rookie is not as strong physically and therefore can’t really create mismatches like Melo does. His post game is also not strong and will continue to be that way against power forwards and centers in the NBA, so the only realistic explanation for trading two more guards would be to add another small forward.
If this is what they have planned, it could help the team in running the triangle, which needs big players, off-ball movement and spot-up shooting to succeed. I don’t like it, though.
Whoever the Knicks would acquire in the rumored deal is not going to be a big star, but likely someone with an expiring contract who the Knicks could use for the year and dump after the season to go after names like Rajon Rondo and Marc Gasol. Could that be Phil Jackson‘s plan? Perhaps, but it’s hard to see such a move working out for New York going into 2014-15.