New York Knicks: 3 defense-first guards left on the free agent market

Avery Bradley, New York Knicks. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)
Avery Bradley, New York Knicks. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks, Leon Rose
New York Knicks, Leon Rose (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New York Knicks‘ 2021 free agency period has received mixed results from analysts and fans. On one hand, the franchise was able to bolster their depth by adding a number of defensive-minded, familiar, pieces. They also managed to add talented players to address their biggest postseason liability: shot creation. The addition of guards Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier should provide the offense with a noticeably high ceiling.

New York Knicks: The issues remaining

On the downside, the club was unable to add a bonafide star to the fold. While Walker is a four-time All-Star with an array of impressive highlights as the leader of the Hornets, injury concerns have caused his career to take a stark downturn since he departed Charlotte.

Before Fournier’s Olympic outburst, his NBA career had also taken a downturn after being traded from Orlando to Boston during last season’s trade deadline. Both are talented players. But both carry question marks.

The potential scoring output by Walker and Fournier is interesting, neither are known of their defensive abilities. It will be quite interesting to see how they mesh with a Knicks franchise whose identity is based on their stellar team defense.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau is known for his ability to help any player unlock their defensive potential. When you factor in a rotation that also includes Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks, this particular backcourt will test this ability more than any other.

While the majority of the marquee free agents have found homes, there are still at least three helpful free agents currently remain on the market. New York would be wise to consider adding one of these wing defenders to the fold.