A very busy offseason for the New York Knicks got even busier when the Knicks came to terms with Spanish League guard Pablo Prigioni on a one-year deal, likely for the rookie’s minimum, according to Jared Zwerling at ESPN New York.
Prigioni, though 35-years-old and without NBA experience, was a very good move by Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald.
After watching the point-guard carousel a season ago that featured Toney Douglas, Iman Shumpert, Jeremy Lin, Mike Bibby and Baron Davis, the need for a third point guard was evident, even with the signing of Jason Kidd and the upcoming re-signing of Lin.
One negative is that the Knicks added more age in Prigioni after already adding a 40-year-old Kidd and a 38-year-old Marcus Camby. However, the biggest thing about this move is that it is an extremely low-risk, high-reward type of signing. With no money to spend, Grunwald needed to make a move like this to acquire depth, and that's exactly what he did.
Prigioni will be third on the depth chart entering training camp and adds another veteran to lend a hand in maturing Lin.
He has talent and has spent most of his professional career playing in the Spanish league. Prigioni hails from Argentina, where he plays with the national team for the Olympics and in other international tournaments.
This previous season, the 6’3″ point guard averaged 7.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game in about 28 minutes per game. He may be losing a step, but Prigioni is still considered one of the best play-making point guards in all of Spain. He once was considered the best, according to Walter Szczerbiak, the former U.S. Spanish League ambassador (via Marc Berman, New York Post).
He's not particularly explosive, especially at his age. But he does possess a quick first step and is a strong finisher at the basket, particularly with his right hand.
Though he isn't a very accurate three-point shooter, he can hit an open three-pointer and appears to be dangerous if a defender goes under a screen.
In terms of his play-making abilities (considered his best asset), Prigioni is accurate setting shooters up on curls, hitting the roll man in pick-and-rolls or driving and dishing.
That's all the Knicks need in a point guard.
He won't likely see a ton of minutes in the Knicks lineup, but he's a guy that should be able to come in and make plays for the Knicks at both ends of the floor.
The Knicks have a very small window to "go for it," and adding as much talent as they can puts the franchise in a better position to do exactly that.
If Prigioni doesn't work out, there's no real loss for the Knicks.
But if he does, he makes the Knicks deeper and gives them just another weapon off the bench.
He's definitely a player worth rolling the dice on. In 2013, the Lin-Kidd-Prigioni point guard tandem should prove to be much more productive than the Lin-Bibby-Davis one that proceeded them.