2010 NBA Draft: Will the Knicks Fill Their Point Guard Void?

Shane DePutronCorrespondent IJune 24, 2010

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18:  Armon Johnson #23 of the Nevada Wolf Pack shoots over Tre'Von Willis #33 of the UNLV Rebels during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center on November 18, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 88-75.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The unique offense run by New York Knicks’ head coach Mike D’Antoni heavily relies upon solid point guard play.

Over the past two seasons, Chris Duhon has attempted to fill this important role.

However, as an average, half-court oriented point, he was never exactly suited for that position. Nevertheless, Duhon’s contract is up, and he will likely not be returning for the 2010-11 season.

Currently, Toney Douglas is the only lead guard on the Knicks roster. He showed some flashes of brilliance last season, yet they were too few for him to be seriously considered as next season’s starter.

Therefore, the Knicks have a glaring void at the point that must be addressed.

Lately, it has come to light that the Knicks covet Nevada point guard Armon Johnson.

As he will likely be selected before New York has an opportunity to draft (the Knicks currently have the 38th and 39th picks), there has been talk of trading up a few spots.

I am all for this, for Johnson could turn into a nice NBA player. However, the Knicks should be careful when considering any potential trades.

They ought to be warned against breaking up their young core of Douglas, Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler, and, even more so, against compromising their financial flexibility.

The Knicks can always attempt to draft a PG with their later selections—although it would probably be a player of lesser quality, as Greivis Vasquez, Mikhail Torrance, and Sherron Collins will likely be available.

Still, Willie Warren, Terrico White, Eric Bledsoe, and maybe even Johnson could possibly slip to No. 38.

Nevertheless, it is not necessary for the Knicks to draft a point guard. They should simply draft the best player available at both of their slots, in an attempt to fill their depleted roster.

New York can always acquire a starting-quality point through free agency or trades.

The Knicks have been mentioned as a potential destination for Chris Paul, although they have few bargaining chips that would convince the Hornets to move their All-Star player.

Jose Calderon is a proven lead guard who is on the trading block and would be worth pursuing.

Additionally, two other interesting trade targets would be Ty Lawson and Darren Collison, who both had impressive rookie seasons making them intriguing point guard possibilities.

Another few PG's are available in Raymond Felton (UFA), Randy Foye (RFA), Shawn Livingston (UFA), Steve Blake (UFA), and TJ Ford, who will probably be bought out or traded by the Pacers.

But consequently, some of these options may not necessarily be of the quality desired by New York.

Recent reports state that Kirk Hinrich will be traded from the Bulls to the Wizards, along with the 17th pick, in the draft in a salary dump.

So as of now, Washington will have three point guards in Hinrich, John Wall, and Gilbert Arenas. Therefore, it is likely that they will try to move one of the three—and that one won’t be Wall.

Consequently, the Knicks could have a chance to pursue Hinrich or Arenas, but both have large contracts which would be risky for New York to absorb.

All in all, the Knicks need not rush themselves into acquiring a point guard. There are a lot of them to be had around the league, so NY should wait until they can acquire one for the right price.

And if none of that works out, they can just keep their fingers crossed for LeBron.