The New York Knicks knew coming into the 2011-2012 season that they would have to bolster their point guard position in order to be a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference with teams like the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics.
When the Knicks extended Chauncey Billups before the lockout, it allowed for some time to improve at that position while they went out and drafted Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert, possibly to fill the void if Billups left following the 2011-2012 season.
That all changed when the Knicks decided to use their amnesty clause and waive Billups in order to bring in defensive standout Tyson Chandler to fill the center position.
Now it appears to be a scramble as the Knicks try to find someone fill the hole left by Billups, either to start or at the backup behind Toney Douglas—a young guard who has proven to be better suited for the two guard position than the point.
With a handful of guys still waiting to be signed, the Knicks have a number of ways they can go to fill that hole, but there is a notable gap between the top free agents and the rest of the pack.
Here’s a look at five point guards the Knicks should consider before heading into the regular season.
Word out of Cleveland is that young point guard Ramon Sessions is on the block with rookie Kyrie Irving settling in and prepared to be the point guard for the Cavaliers going forward.
Sessions is a point guard who could come on the cheap for a team in need, such as the Knicks, and presents some solid talent with potential for improvement.
Three teams,including the Knicks, showed interest during draft time, and with news coming out of the Cavs shopping Sessions, it’s likely the Knicks will look into acquiring the Cavs guard once again.
In 81 games for the Cavs last season, Sessions averages 13.3 points and 5.2 assists over 26.3 minutes per game.
With two years and just under $9 million left on his contract, Sessions could prove to be a valuable commodity to a team like the Knicks with little cap space.
The Utah Jazz backup point guard, Ronnie Price, could be an intriguing addition for the New York Knicks this offseason.
Price, 28, has never been a starting point guard in the NBA, but has put together a good career off the bench in his six seasons in the league.
Price doesn’t display an assortment of abilities nor will you ever find him as one of the top performers on any given night, but he brings the spark a team like the Knicks could need at times—even if it comes from courtside.
Price is considered a quiet-but-strong leader in the locker room. He works hard to prove himself valuable on the court and could be an important piece to creating a smooth chemistry for this newly-structured New York Knicks squad, if nothing else.
It’s telling when the Miami Heat do not need your services any longer, but Carlos Arroyo has proven to be a serviceable point guard in the NBA.
Arroyo is nothing flashy on offense and doesn’t bring a whole lot of presence on defense either, but he should excel better at the point than anyone else the Knicks currently have on roster.
With the signing of Mike Bibby, Arroyo would add a little more than Bibby as the Knicks are looking for a point guard who can push the ball up court and get it to the open man.
Carlos Arroyo is another cheap option for the Knicks who could provide all they need to succeed in the Eastern Conference with big scorers in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
If nothing more, Arroyo could be a good player off the bench—something the Knicks needed when Chauncey Billups went down with injury during the Knicks’ first round playoff matchup with the Boston Celtics.
With the signing of center Tyson Chandler, it’s uncertain whether the Knicks will have the money to sign Paul following the 2011-12 season, and currently do not have the pieces in place to trade for Paul without surrendering any of their prized stars—Amar’e Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony.
The addition of Chris Paul would almost certainly make the Knicks a championship contender, rounding out an already high-powered offensive onslaught with a good combination of defensive prowess on the part of Paul, Chandler and second-year guard Landry Fields.
Despite the failed trade that would have sent Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, this appears to be the least likely scenario for Melo and the Knicks at this time.
Reports are already swirling that the Knicks have targeted former Dallas Mavericks guard JJ Barea, and Knicks fans ought to be happy about it.
Barea broke out in the NBA Playoffs last season, proving to be a valuable asset in the Mavericks’ run to their first NBA Championship.
The Knicks haven’t had a player on their team with a ring in a very long time—adding Barea would give them two following the sign-and-trade for Chandler.
Barea has improved his scoring average every year in his five years in the NBA, and has shown to be a solid shooter off the bench, especially beyond the three-point line.
There’s no reason to believe he couldn’t start and be successful in D’Antoni’s offensive-minded scheme for the Knicks.
The Knicks have reportedly offered the point guard a two-year contract and Barea could sign any time now.