New York Knicks: Under-the-radar point guard free agents to target

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Michael Carter-Williams

Carter-Williams is unlike any other name on this list. William’s entered the league as a highly touted prospect out of Syracuse, landing 10th overall to the Philadelphia 76ers.

In his rookie year, Carter-Williams averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game and received NBA Rookie of the Year honors. Since then his career has taken a downward spiral, featuring tenures with the Bucks, Bulls, Hornets, Rockets and most recently the Magic.

The Knicks won’t sign Carter-Williams for the player that he was with the 76ers, that player is long gone, but for what he brought to the table as a member for the Orlando Magic. He signed with the Magic at the back end of 2018-19 after their backup point guard, Isaiah Briscoe, was lost for the rest of the season due to injury.

In Carter-Williams’ 12 games with the Magic, the team went 10-2, while he averaged 18 minutes, 5.4 points, 4.1 assists, and 4.8 rebounds, but his most important contribution would come on the defensive side of the ball. Steve Clifford, Magic’s head coach called the veteran guard one of the best perimeter defenders he’s ever coached:

The Knicks ranked 26th in defensive rating this past season and could use all the help they can get from that side of the ball. Carter-Williams would cost nothing more than the veteran’s minimum and there are several other signs pointing to the potential pairing.

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Knicks head coach David Fizdale has already taken on several restoration projects at point guard (Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina) and Carter-Williams can also come in and fill in for Noah Vonlah, who was a defensive specialist that did a little bit of everything. Vonlah is most likely leaving the Knicks for a larger paycheck than the team can offer but they can bring in the perfect replacement for only a fraction of the price.