Just as it seemed the point guard position for the New York Knicks looked promising, Kemba Walker has been benched.
Walker, who may have been rightfully demoted, losing his starting job this early to be replaced by Alec Burks, was not on my 2021-22 Knicks bingo card.
Now, I could have seen Derrick Rose becoming the starter if he played himself into the role as he did in the 2021 playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, but Alec Burks replacing him is a shock.
This is no knock against Burks, however. Burks leads the Knicks in 3 Point Percentage at 45% while being critical in many Knick wins. It’s more that I do not see Burks as a point guard.
Coach Thibodeau is going with Burks, though over guys such as Rose or second-year standout Immanuel Quickley. Thibs likes experienced players, and Rose is clearly in a great spot coming off the bench, so this does make some sense.
Now the Knicks have long-term replacements for the starting point guard this season, whether it is a guy currently on the Knicks or a buyout candidate like John Wall, who’s been linked to NY recently.
I do not see Wall joining the Knicks at all, however. The Knicks will not trade for that contract, and if Wall gets bought out of his contract with the Houston Rockets, he will probably join a team that has a better chance of winning the NBA Finals than the Knicks.
This really leaves the trio of Alec Burks, Immanuel Quickley, or Derrick Rose to become the Knicks’ full-time starting point guard for the remainder of the season.
Each of these three guys have their own abilities making them good options but also maybe not the ideal starting point guard. One thing can be said though, none of these guys have been as inefficient as Kemba Walker has been.
The other option is the Knicks run a point guard-by-committee style, where they switch between Burks, Rose, and Quickley based on who works best in certain matchups.
Lastly, for all the Deuce McBride fans out there, it’s not happening. Thibs does not give rookies big minutes, and McBride is not ready yet. Anyway, let’s get into it.