As important as the decision on Wednesday is to the New York Knicks chances of retaining point guard Jeremy Lin, the decision on who the backup point guard will be in 2013 is just as big.
Names such as Raymond Felton, Gary Neal, Derek Fisher and others make sense, one guy that is unlikely to be an option is Atlanta Hawks’ guard Kirk Hinrich.
ESPN’s Jared Zwerling reported via Twitter that sources say that Hinrich won’t be willing to sign for the veterans minimum. That alone likely makes him too expensive for New York.
A source close to Kirk Hinrich said he would be a good fit for #Knicks but not a prospect due to limited funds. Won’t play at the vet’s min.
— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) June 12, 2012
Hinrich would be a pretty solid fit coming off the Knicks bench as a guy that takes values the basketball, can run an offense and make some shots. That’s all the Knicks really need from their backup floor general.
The nine-year vet is coming off two down seasons in Atlanta where he fought injuries most of the time, but he’s still a guy who has averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 assists throughout his NBA career. In addition Hinrich has a near 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ration which would make him a valuable asset.
But similar to Hinrich, I expect the Knicks to run into problems signing a legitimate backup for Lin. When you don’t have much to offer salary-wise, players just aren’t going to be overly interested.
Even worse, if the arbritrator doesn’t rule in favor of the Players’ Union during Wednesday’s hearing on waived players Bird rights, things could get very ugly. It will be interesting to see the caliber of point guard the Knicks may have to settle for.
However, Hinrich is one guy that might not be an option.