Donnie Walsh struck out in the 2009 NBA Draft by taking Jordan Hill over the plethora of point guards available. However, trade rumors are surfacing as of late that Walsh is attempting to acquire one of the point guards he did not take in that draft.
That point guard is Jonny Flynn.
Whether or not Flynn is the answer for the Knicks has yet to be determined since he has yet to perform well enough to make him worthy of being a sixth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
The player the Timberwolves would like back for him would be Knicks combo guard Toney Douglas. Douglas has become a fan favorite due to his abilities to defend the perimeter and knock down open three-pointers.
Although Douglas has played well in the aforementioned areas, he has struggled to transition to a true point guard, which is what the team ultimately needs. The Knicks' main objective now must be to surround Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony with players who can collaborate with them and help the team reach its goal of winning an NBA Championship.
For the short time Flynn has been in the NBA, he has been entirely enigmatic. The Knicks can only hope that a change of scenery will help the young, charismatic guard bring his game to a level that made him worthy of a top-10 selection back in 2009.
Flynn's combination of quickness, strength and athleticism make driving to the rim the strength in his game.
Unfortunately, he is only six-feet tall, so coming into the NBA, guards are obviously bigger, stronger and faster than those he faced in his college days at Syracuse—which could be a reason why he has struggled.
It is also important to note that Flynn only played 53 games last year after coming back from hip surgery, which is not something you want to hear about a point guard who is only six feet tall and whose strength is going to the hoop.
Since Douglas is coming off shoulder surgery himself, the injuries somewhat cancel themselves out. Flynn's tremendous work ethic should help him recover quickly from hip surgery more than a year later since he is only 22 years old.
The best-case scenario for the Knicks in this area is Flynn becomes the type of shifty point guard J.J. Barea is, but with better passing ability. This is entirely possible since both have great passion, and their quickness can make them a nuisance for the defense to chase around.
Although Flynn has a long way to go to prove he is the type of offensive pest Barea is, the comparison makes sense since Flynn would likely play a role very similar to Barea's as a back-up point guard.
While Flynn got drafted as high as he did for his ability to drive to the rim, as well as being a great locker room guy and having great energy for the game, his shooting efficiency needs a lot of work.
His first two years in the league, Flynn averaged 41.7 percent and 36.5 percent from field goal range, while shooting a marginal 35.8 percent and 31 percent from three-point range, respectively. He must also work on knocking down his free throws at at least 80 percent. Since driving to the hoop is his specialty, he will likely go to the line often when he isn't kicking the ball out to the open man.
While a point guard who doesn't shoot well could be a problem in Mike D'Antoni's offense, Flynn will likely be taking more three-pointers and working on his shot more since D'Antoni is so offense-oriented, so it is entirely possible he improves greatly in this area, especially considering his great work ethic.
While Douglas has become a solid three-point shooter under D'Antoni, Flynn will ultimately fit better since the team will have enough players to score and will need Flynn to do more distributing.
As previously mentioned, Douglas hits three-pointers and plays better defense, but his decision-making on the offensive end has been problematic, to say the least.
Flynn's assist-to-turnover ratio from his first season was atrocious.
He dished out 4.4 APG while committing 2.9 turnovers per game!
Although Douglas only committed around one turnover per game, it is important to note that he is more of a scoring guard and had the likes of 'Melo and Amar'e to pass to, while Flynn had Kevin Love and that's really it.
Douglas also received more minutes and was given the time needed to work out some of his problems handling the point guard position, offensively. Obviously though he has proven that even with a heavy increase in minutes, he is not capable of being the Knicks' point guard of the future.
If Flynn is given some room to make mistakes with the Knicks, he could tremendously improve in this area; not to mention he will have STAT and 'Melo to pass to, who will convert more shots and as a result, up his assist numbers.
The one area where the Knicks would clearly miss Douglas would be on defense.
Douglas brings to the table defensive tenacity, while Flynn is really nothing more than a pedestrian defender.
Douglas is currently the Knicks' best defensive perimeter player. If the team does in fact make this trade, they will be even worse defensively, and there isn't much further down the ladder they can go since they finished 28th in points allowed, giving up 105.73 per game.
Although D'Antoni's system has become widely known as all offense and no defense, the Knicks will have to learn to play defense as a collective unit since they do not have any lock-down defenders.
Contrary to D'Antoni's belief, defense wins championships, and whether or not he ends up being the coach of the team, they will have to play defense to compete with the elite teams in the league—even more so if they expect to win a NBA Championship.
When determining how well Flynn would play in New York, two methods could be used.
You can look at the statistical evidence previously given, which tells you Flynn will be a bust, or you can look beyond the stat sheet, realize he is only 22 years old and see him as full of potential instead of marked as a failure.
Flynn is likely to become a back-up point guard for the Knicks since the team still has its sights set on Chris Paul or another elite floor general to run the show at Madison Square Garden. Flynn has the talent and heart to become more than just an afterthought of his draft class. Plus he has one of the best mentors in the game, Chauncey Billups, to help him establish himself as a well-rounded NBA point guard.
While no one doubts his charismatic personality will mesh well with the Knicks and the city of New York, plenty doubt his performance on the court will be anything as equally substantial. But with a new home and a more talented team, Flynn will work hard to become one of the highly-acclaimed point guards to come out of the 2009 NBA Draft class and help the Knicks get another step closer toward winning an NBA title.