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
Dante Exum, New York Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Knicks: Dante Exum

A former 5th overall pick (2014), Dante Exum is generally considered to be a bust. The Australian was drafted to be the point guard of the future for the Utah Jazz. Fast forward six years and Exum has fallen to the fringes of NBA rotation player.

Exum, much like Hart, is not known for being a plus defender. Certainly not in the way a talent like Bradley is. However, he emerged as a key defender as a member of the rebuilding Cavs over the past two seasons.

Reports began to emerge that he was finding his footing as a defender during his inaugural season with the club. By the 2021 season, Exum’s defense received public praise as it became his chief contribution to the young squad.

If the Thibodeau factor were applied, there would be a clear path toward the 6’6″ guard becoming a key stopper on the 2021 New York Knicks. His combination of size and length would give the staff a logical replacement for the recently departed Frank Ntilikina.

Honorable Mentions: Ronda Hollis-Jefferson and Wesley Matthews

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