One of the, if not the biggest, weakness on the New York Knicks roster is the point guard position. More than likely, Jeremy Lin will be re-signed and he'll be the starter on day one of next season. However, nothing is ever a done deal until the ink dries on a contract. There are certainly many options at the point guard position in free agency this off-season. For the sake of educating ourselves, lets assume Lin signs elsewhere and the Knicks are forced to sign someone else. These are their options.
The number one point guard option in free agency is obvious, Deron Williams is one of the best in the world. That being said, he will command a huge contract. If the Knicks were going to be contenders for his services they'd either have to work out a sign-and-trade for Amare Stoudemire, while Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler would have to voluntarily take pay cuts and re-work their deals. His addition would make the Knicks instant title contenders but their chances of adding him to the roster is highly unlikely. Deron holds a $17.8M player option.
The second best option on the market is Steve Nash. He's the ultimate floor general, an assist machine and he has history with Amare. Another positive is while he can easily demand the full Mid-Level Exception (MLE) or higher he has stated he'd be willing to accept the veteran minimum in order to join a title contender. The money issue aside, Nash is 38 years old and a poor defender. He's definitely not a long term solution. The ideal idea behind signing Nash would be to have him mentor Lin. Unfortunately, signing both is unlikely.
Probably the third best point guard option in free agency is Ramon Sessions. While a lot of fans around the NBA only learned about Sessions after he joined the Los Angeles Lakers, he's been a favorite of Knicks fans for a while. Sessions is 26 and is a ball of energy on the court. He's got speed, a knack for making plays and he's a willing learner. He's the type of player the Lakers need to keep. Sessions' game obviously has its flaws. During the playoffs Ty Lawson and Russell Westbrook schooled him. That being said, Sessions is improving and can be viewed as a long-term option. Sessions has a player option on his contract and it would be surprising if he didn't use it to remain by Kobe Bryant's side.
Mo Williams is probably the best option after Sessions. He's 29, he can score, pass and shoot from the outside and he has plenty of experience. Quite frankly, Mo is one of the most underrated point guards in the the league. That being said, Mo can be inconsistent and a streaky player. His attitude has also been an issue in the past. That being said, he's a good starter who could certainly improve the team. The plus side is, Mo also has experience coming off the bench and could always become the sixth man for the team if someone else were to emerge as the starter.
Andre Miller is another option. He's a leader, has experience, can shoot and pass. He's run both half court and fast break offenses. He's been one of the most underrated and under appreciated point guards during his time in the NBA. He's very efficient and productive. Last season Miller moved into 10th place on the NBA’s all-time career assist list. That being said, he's on the wrong side of 36. Although Miller's not the same player he once was he can still play and is still productive. It should also be noted that over the course of his 13-year NBA career he’s played in 1,044 of a possible 1,048 games. That's pretty incredible. Miller's not a long term option but a more than solid addition to a roster.
Jameer Nelson is an interesting option. He can play but is often disrespected by fans throughout the NBA. He's undersized and isn't considered a star. That being said, he's a pure point guard who knows how to play with a superstar and keep the main option happy. He isn't old but has plenty of experience. However, his health has been an issue in the past. He has a player option worth $7.8M.
Our old friend Chauncey Billups could also be an option. He's obviously a proven player who can pass and shoot. His best days are behind him but he's a born leader and certainly not afraid to take the last shot. The downside is he's 35 and injury prone at his point in his career. His experience playing with both Carmelo Anthony and Amare is a plus. However, his exit from New York certainly left a sour taste in his mouth. He's also much more of a half court player.
Raymond Felton may also be an option. He exited New York after enjoying the most success of his career. He wasn't happy, to say the least. That being said, his time as a Denver Nugget and Portland Trail Blazer didn't go as well as he expected it would and he may be willing to come back to the Knicks. He can pass, shoot and is a willing defender. He also had great chemistry with Amare during his time as a Knick. He's not an elite point guard, but he's a very effective player in the right system. He could be a cost effective option this off-season.
Goran Dragic is an interesting option. He's young, could be a long term option, is fast, can shoot and pass and had the opportunity to learn under Steve Nash in his days as a Phoenix Sun. Fortunately for him and unfortunately for teams eyeing him, he had a really good season last season for the Houston Rockets and they surely want to bring him back. It would be ideal to pair him with Lin and have two point guards with bright futures on the roster, but that's unlikely with his last season. However, if Lin were to leave Dragic could be an attractive option for the Knicks.
A great option if you are looking for a veteran point guard with life still in his game is Jason Kidd. He's had a great career and although it's nearing it's end he can still play. He's very well-rounded on the basketball court and can pass, shoot and play defense. Although he's 39 and slowed, he continues to contribute. Last season he averaged 5.5 assists, six points and four rebounds a game. He's likely more suited for a bench role at this point but could certainly start in the right situation.
Other options are Kirk Hinrich, Randy Foye, C.J. Watson, Delonte West, Jonny Flynn, Gilbert Arenas, Keyon Dooling, Derek Fisher and Leandro Barbosa.
There are also some restricted free agents that were not mentioned because quite frankly the Knicks aren't going to get into a negotiation war over a restricted free agent this off-season. However, things can always change and you never know what's going to happen in free agency so here's a few guys to keep in mind.
Restricted free agent options are Aaron Brooks, D.J. Augustin and Jerryd Bayless.
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