Going into the offseason, it’s no secret the New York Knicks are searching for a point-guard to fill the void left by Derrick Rose.
Before the start of last season, Rose — who was acquired by the Knicks via trade — eloquently stated the Knicks are thought of as a “super-team” like the Golden State Warriors. Rose’s comments showed supreme confidence in his teammates, but the signings of Brandon Jennings and Joakim Noah aren’t going to strike fear into opponents. Regardless, the additions of Jennings, Noah, and Courtney Lee should have been enough to help Rose and Carmelo Anthony lead New York back to prominence.
Unfortunately, the Knicks ended up being a “super-dud” and finished the season with a dismal 31-51 record.
Rose’s impact was minimal during his short stint as a Knick, and it’s hard to imagine Phil Jackson seriously considering to re-sign him.
Then again, these are the Knicks we’re talking about.
Throughout recent history, the Knicks have exemplified Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. Instead of switching it up and taking another path to glory — such as building through the draft — Knicks management has repeatedly signed past-their-prime veterans and expected the results to be different every season.
Like many executives before him, Jackson has adopted this same failed approach to no avail.
Granted, the expectations of the New York market is the reason why many, in the general manager hot-seat, feel the pressure to turn the Knicks into contenders overnight, but the fact of the matter is, if one method doesn’t work, try another method to reach the desired goal.
Re-signing Rose won’t help the Knicks reach the desired goal of becoming a consistently winning franchise. To reach the promised land, the Knicks need a point guard who can create offense for others, and this is an area Rose doesn’t excel in. Therefore, Jackson would be better off drafting a pass-first point guard, in the upcoming draft, or pursuing a pass-first point guard in free agency or a trade.
According to rumors, it seems like Jackson has been exploring ways to bring in a veteran pass-first point-guard through trade, and the latest rumor has been linking the Knicks to Ricky Rubio.
Rubio isn’t a name that’ll jump off the screen to fans,
but he may be the type of point-guard the Knicks need to jumpstart future progress. Unlike Rose, Rubio isn’t an past-his-prime veteran. Rubio is approaching his 7th season in the NBA, and he’s only 26 years old. In addition to not being an past-his-prime veteran, Rubio excels in using his court vision to create open shots for his teammates.
Last season, Rubio averaged 9.1 assists per game, which is more than double what Rose averaged last season with the Knicks.
Along with being a great facilitator of the rock, Rubio is a good defender, which is a vast improvement over Rose — who seemed to be allergic to defense throughout last season. Rubio is known as a risk taker who will play passing lanes and create steals — as evidenced by his 1.7 steals per game — and he’s also a good on-ball defender. His ability to defend would be a welcome addition to a Knicks team that allowed opposing point-guards to cut through their defense like butter.
Despite all the positive additions Rubio would bring to the Knicks, there are a few negatives.
The most glaring negative would be Rubio’s inability to knock down shots. Rose’s jumper also leaves a lot to be desired, but what separates him from Rubio is his ability to finish at the rim. Since Rubio isn’t a strong finisher at the rim, his brick laying is magnified more than Rose, but towards the end of the season, Rubio made strides in his scoring ability.
In the month of March, Rubio averaged 17.8 points per game on 47.2% shooting from the field and 43.9% shooting from three.
Overall, Rubio is the type of point-guard the Knicks should show interest in.
His ability to drop dimes would be great in a fast-paced offense — assuming Jeff Hornacek will implement his offense and use the triangle as a secondary offense — and his ability to guard opposing point-guards would be refreshing for a Knicks team that specializes in playing matador defense.
Ryan G. is also featured on iSportsWeb. Check out the original post here.