NY Knicks: T.J. McConnell should be on the free agency radar

T.J. McConnell, NY Knicks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
T.J. McConnell, NY Knicks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With NBA Free Agency not too far away and the NY Knicks in need of a point guard, T.J. McConnell should definitely be on the Knicks’ radar. The 6-year veteran spent his last two seasons with the Indiana Pacers and has shown playmaking abilities and excellent defense.

NY Knicks: T.J. McConnell Should be on NY’s Radar During Free Agency

McConnell, similar to Lonzo Ball, is the type of point guard Tom Thibodeau wants, except he is going to cost a fraction of what Ball will demand. The Knicks have the cap flexibility to sign Ball, but with him being a restricted free agent, the Pelicans will always have the final say.

McConnell has already gained interest from the Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Pacers reportedly plan to “work hard” to re-sign McConnell. The Knicks would have competition, but they also have more cap space than every team in the NBA, so they can win any bidding match.

If the NY Knicks do not see a franchise point guard in any draft prospect they could acquire or cannot sign Lonzo Ball, McConnell could be a perfect bridge point guard to sign to a 2-year deal worth around 25 million.

Tom Thibodeau likes his point guards to play good defense and to facilitate the Ball, and T.J. McConnell has done both of those very well for the Pacers bench in the last two years.
McConnell could be what we all hoped Elfrid Payton would be when the Knicks signed him two years ago. McConnell led the NBA this year in steals and was second in steals per game, only behind Jimmy Butler.

Per 36 minutes, McConnell averages around 12 points and 9 assists per game while also getting 2.6 steals per game. Though he does not solve the Knicks’ lack of isolation scoring, he gives them a tough defender who can take some of the ball dominance pressure off of Julius Randle.

McConnell gives the Knicks something Payton struggled to provide also, which is a dangerous pick and roll game. McConnell has played with all-star big men in Joel Embiid and Domantas Sabonis, both heavily used in pick and roll sets.

There have been recent rumors that the Knicks look like the front runners for Collin Sexton. Even if the Knicks acquire Sexton they could still sign McConnell. Sexton has played both the point guard and shooting guard, so McConnell could rotate from starting point guard to a lead bench role depending on matchups.

McConnell is a point guard option the Knicks should target, and it seems as if he has gone unnoticed in the star hunting. Team president Leon Rose will need to look at more than just star players, and T.J. McConnell can fill a role that can help their stars succeed.

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