New York Knicks: Five realistic goals for rest of 2018-19

New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Dennis Smith Jr. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2. Settle on a point guard of the future

When the New York Knicks entered the 2018-19 season, Mudiay, Ntilikina and Trey Burke were all in the mix at point guard. All three started games, but Mudiay assumed control in November and never let go, until a shoulder injury struck in January.

Before that, the fourth-year guard was in the midst of a career year offensively. However, his defense left much to be desired, making his development on the other side of the ball mean less.

Ntilikina, as noted, has struggled mightily, thus limiting his chances as the future.

Enter the newcomer from the Mavericks, Dennis Smith Jr.

While only a four-game sample size, the North Carolina State product has delivered 19.3 points, 6.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds. It’s on just 40.9 percent shooting, but his performance as an aggressive, athletic player at point guard is fresh and he’s just 21. Ntilikina is one year younger but the inverse of Smith, and that’s an issue in this offensive-driven league.

Still, there are three players to jockey for this position, with two months to sort through the situation. Ntilikina and Smith are under contract for 2019-20, but Mudiay will hit restricted free agency. However much their statuses mean remains to be seen, but there’s also a chance none of them stick, as the Knicks can use the pair of 2017 draftees as trade bait.

If that’s the case, maybe there’s no point guard of the future on this roster. Until that happens, though, the Knicks should still act as they need to choose from this trio.