New York Knicks Need To Consider Trading Pablo Prigioni

By Matt Constas
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

While the New York Knicks continue to configure and change their current roster, they have run into yet another roadblock. The Knicks are reportedly trying to find a trade for guard Wayne Ellington. Since teams aren’t biting, the Knicks might have to add another name — Pablo Prigioni.

The Knicks have a lot of depth at the guard position. Moving Ellington, who was a part of the trade with the Dallas Mavericks back in June, is their way of reducing their depth. Ellington is hard to move because of the reduced role he played last season in Dallas. He played in just 45 games and averaged a career-low eight minutes per game. He has had a reduced role despite being a 42 percent three-point shooter in those minutes.

With Ellington’s uncertain worth to a team’s roster, the Knicks would have to add someone else which will be apparently be Prigioni. Clearly, this won’t be a blockbuster trade. The Knicks would not be losing one of their star players nor would they receive anything special in return. Maybe losing Prigioni would hurt the Knicks in some ways.

Prigioni is old, but he brings some solid contributions to the Knicks on offense. He will be a good fit in Phil Jackson‘s triangle offense system because he is a pass-first player. He will be in the right spot at the right time, and when he gets open he is deadly from beyond the arc. Prigioni shot 46.4 percent from three last season which is something that has to catch the attention of everybody.

Prigioni isn’t the best defender, as we saw the likes of Kyrie Irving cross him up pretty badly last season, but he plays hard and will get a steal per game while playing less than 20 minutes. He also has a relationship with José Calderón. The two played together in Spain and had success. With Prigioni backing up his friend, that on-court chemistry that Jackson is trying to improve would have a better chance of happening. Prigioni and Calderón can also teach the young Shane Larkin the ropes of being a point guard in the NBA.

Saying the loss of Prigioni would completely change the landscape of the Knicks’ season for better or worse just wouldn’t make sense. With or without him they will probably be close to the same. Depending on the continuing progression of Larkin, Prigioni’s role could decrease in that way. Since more of the guards on the current roster play more of an off guard position, keeping all three wouldn’t really be too big of a deal either. Prigioni could help make some plays over the course of a game to put the Knicks in winning position. Maybe trading the Italian fan favorite wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

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