The New York Knicks are in the market for a new point guard. What is the best way for team president Leon Rose to find that player?
The NBA Draft has been the main tool for franchises to put together a squad that can give them the best chance to win it all. Proof of this is the Golden State Warriors, which became the latest NBA dynasty thanks to its draft-night performances.
However, not every draft class has All-Star potential players. Therefore, free agency turns into the best way to go in order to get the talent that teams need to strengthen their roster.
The New York Knicks definitely need some of those players. As we all know, everything went as wrong as it could for New York in 2019.
Then, it couldn´t get any of the top players available in free agency, turning what could’ve been the beginning of a new era into another disappointing season.
With that in mind, what is the best way to go for the Knickerbockers during the next offseason?
The Draft should be the first option for every team, but this year, experts agree that the 2020 prospects class isn’t as good as at pas events. Although there are talented players, they might not have what it takes to take the Knicks to the next level.
There are a lot of mock drafts that target LaMelo Ball as the first New York Knicks selection for the upcoming draft, but there are also concerns about him. Ball plays for the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL, and his team is ninth of nine teams in a league that’s not even amongst the top-5 around the world.
Furthermore, focusing exclusively on Ball’s statistics removes the context of the level of competition he’s playing at.
Another thing that should be considered is LaVar Ball’s impact. The atmosphere that he created seemingly hurt Lonzo Ball, who faced immediate superstar expectations because of his father conducting the hype train.
Another player who has been attached to the Knicks is Cole Anthony, son of former New York Knick Greg Anthony. However, there’s a debate as to whether or not he’s one of the top 10 prospects this year.
As such, it’s fair to believe that the hype of Anthony to the Knicks is based solely on the team’s need for a point guard. The main concern about Anthony is his decision making, a skill that’s essential for a player at his position.
The Knicks can choose Ball or Anthony if they really think one of them can be the answer they are looking for, but they shouldn´t bring one of them to the Big Apple just because there isn’t a better option.
In fact: There is a better option, only not at the draft, but in the free agency.
Of all the players New York could target, Fred VanVleet is the one who makes the most sense. VanVleet is about to become an unrestricted free agent, so the Knicks wouldn’t have to give anything away to the Raptors in order to acquire him.
Furthermore, VanVleet’s attributes are exactly what the Knicks need. He’s just 26 years old and already has four years of experience in the NBA. He’s shown that he’s an unselfish player, which suggests that he wouldn’t have a problem becoming the commander of the offense.
He’s also a tough defender who was a key player for the Raptors during their run NBA Championship in 2019.
The reasons to pursue VanVleet are extensive.
It’s true that in every decision a franchise makes there is some kind of risk. It’s also true that some options are less risky than others, and in this case, that option is Fred VanVleet.
However, the chance to bring VanVleet to the Big Apple doesn’t depend only on what the Knicks want. The Raptors may want to retain their NBA Finals hero, and he might want to stay there too.
Since players like him aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, however, the New York Knicks shouldn’t hesitate to try to sign the guy who can be the answer at a position of need.