Knicks Rumors: Would Free Agent Nate Robinson Be a Good Fit for New York?

Ciaran Gowan@@CiaranGowanContributor IIIJune 4, 2013

NEW YORK - MARCH 07:  Nate Robinson #4 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Charlotte Bobcats on March 7, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The New York Knicks are going to be on the lookout for a backup point guard this summer, and the answer to their problems could be former star Nate Robinson.

Following an impressive season with the Chicago Bulls, Robinson is set to hit the open market, and the Knicks could be one of his best potential suitors.

According to ESPN, Robinson would be open to a return to New York, and there may be mutual interest considering their need at the position.

Robinson's first choice would be to stay in Chicago, but with Derrick Rose returning next year, there may not be a spot for him.

Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague are already under contract as his backups, and a front office that has been wary of overspending in the past isn't going to waste money on a position they've already addressed.

That leaves New York free to pursue Robinson, and it might be a worthwhile venture, not just for old time's sake.

With Jason Kidd retiring, the Knicks' need for backup to Raymond Felton has increased, and in particular they should be looking for someone who can penetrate the lane the way Felton can.

One of the Knicks' biggest issues last season—especially in the playoffs—was that they didn't have anyone to consistently push the issue and play aggressive basketball as the second point guard. Luckily, Robinson is a player who does exactly that.

For his whole career, Robinson has been known as an energetic spark off the bench, and has grown into one of the league's strongest role players since leaving New York.

There were maturity issues during his first go round at Madison Square Garden, but he has since grown into a great teammate and a much better floor general during his time with the Bulls, and earlier the Boston Celtics.

Potentially, there could be a clash of styles with J.R. Smith if he's signed—both are considered to be shoot-first players—but Robinson has proven that he's capable of creating if that's what's needed from him. Based on his intensity in the postseason, his main focus is to win a championship.

Though he isn't great defensively, Robinson made huge strides under Tom Thibodeau and could continue on that path under Mike Woodson. He likes to gamble, and that will help the Knicks get kickstarted on fixing their fast-break offense.

New York was a very slow team last season, but a backcourt consisting of Felton, Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Robinson could potentially cause a lot of damage on both ends of the floor.

If he's re-signed, Pablo Prigioni will be able to play off the ball again, which we all know works well for the Knicks. He had a 16-2 record when starting there in the regular season.

There are other alternatives to Robinson—namely Will Bynum or Sebastian Telfair—but he is still one of the best players on the open market available for the role.

As a result, it may be hard to win a bidding war, but we already know that he's interested. The $3 million taxpayers' exception could do the trick, and it would be worth spending, because this is their biggest need of the offseason.

Elsewhere, they could address frontcourt depth in the draft, and fill out the rest of the roster with veteran's minimum contracts, along with re-signing key players like Smith, Prigioni, Kenyon Martin and Chris Copeland.

This is a good fit for both Robinson and New York, so it will be interesting to see how things play out over the course of the offseason. He was a fan favorite last time round, and coming back to compete for a title would be a great story.