Baron Davis—who started 14 games last season—will be need to rehab for at least 12 months after tearing his MCL and ACL. Mike Bibby is now a free agent, and Toney Douglas fell out of the rotation after a dreadful season.
The Knicks first need to re-sign Lin before they can worry about who his backup will be, but that should be taken care of quickly, as team general manager Glen Grunwald told Newsday he doesn’t see a scenario where the Knicks don’t bring Lin back to New York.
Here are five great choices of point guards who can be Lin’s backup next season.
Derek Fisher will turn 38 this summer, but he has stated he has no interest in retiring any time soon.
This news has not come from any reliable source, but the New York Post is already reporting that Fisher may be the answer at backup point guard for the Knicks next season. Fisher was even asked about the possibility of joining the Knicks during the playoffs this year, but downplayed that situation, stating,
“I can’t accurately answer that question. I don’t know where I’ll be emotionally after this series is over. But my plan is for sure to play after this season. I’m not going to retire after this year. I feel great physically and definitely looking forward to playing after these two weeks.’’
Fisher would bring a veteran presence to the Knicks’ locker room. Something that they desperately need, since only one player on the current roster—Tyson Chandler—has ever played in the NBA Finals.
Kidd has stated his preference is to return to the Mavericks, but is also open to coming to New York. He claims he hasn’t really thought about it much yet, but did tell the New York Post this,
“It’s a possibility, I wouldn’t rule that out, to come back here to New York to finish my career out. I want to win a championship so we’ll see what happens.’’
The Knicks could really use Kidd’s 18 years of NBA experience to teach Lin how to become a Hall of Fame point guard in this league.
Williams is more of a scoring point guard than a distributor, but that may be exactly what the Knicks need, with J.R. Smith expected to opt-out of his contract with the Knicks as well.
Williams also has tons of experience coming off the bench. Last season he didn’t start one game the entire season, but still led the team in scoring with 14.9 points per game.
Williams’ stellar season earned him second place in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year. If he could bring that kind of play to the Knicks’ bench next season, they will be a very hard team to defend at all times.
Raymond Felton only played for the Knicks for a little over half of a season, but put up the best numbers of his career—17.1 points, 9.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game—in his 54 games with the team.
Now that he’s a free agent, Felton has stated, “the ideal system for [him] would be similar to the fast-paced style the New York Knicks used when [he] was with the team two years ago.”
If he would be willing to accept a MLE contract, the Knicks must use theirs to bring Felton back to the Big Apple. He would be an excellent backup point guard for Lin, but would also be successful playing alongside Lin as the off-guard.
Steve Nash would most likely never agree to be a backup to a youngin like Lin or accept the MLE contract that is the maximum amount of money the Knicks could offer him...but if he would, he would definitely be the best choice to come off the bench for Lin.
Nash has been linked to the Knicks for awhile now, ever since former coach Mike D’Antoni took over as coach of the Knicks and Amar’e Stoudemire left the Suns for the Knicks during free agency two years ago.
Nash still has a lot left in the tank. Even at 38 years old, he is still one of the best shooters and distributors in the NBA. This season, he posted 10.7 assists per game, good for second in the league and the seventh time in the last eight seasons he’s averaged over 10 assists per game. The last time Nash didn’t finish top three in the league in assists was the 2002-2003 season.
Nash claims he is “completely open” to bringing his talents to New York, but it still should be a long shot for them to convince him to take a pay cut and a lesser role next season. If he does swallow his pride though, an NBA championship may be in his future.