There have been rumblings of the New York Knicks being interested in Delonte West for the last two seasons. In fact, they've even monitored his play in the D-League to watch his progress. Could the Knicks turn to West as they search for price-effective guard depth?
The truth is, there haven't been any recent rumblings of the New York Knicks looking into Delonte West. However, they had in the recent past and while they're looking for inexpensive guard depth it would make sense they'd give him a look. After all, he is a very skilled guard who can run the point, score and play some very good defense. His problem is his personality.
All of that being said, there have been reports of a momentum behind the Knicks attempt to sign Bobby Brown. If that signing goes through it may knock the Knicks out of the market for West.
The Knicks are still seriously thinking about keeping Toure Murry on their roster even if they end up signing Brown. They'll wait to see how Murry performs of course but it seems like his ability to play both guard positions and defend could give him one of the final roster spots.
That being said, there's something to be said for Murry getting a D-League contract where he can start and learn the system through a lot of playing time as compared to sitting at the end of the bench and relying on practice time to show his skills. The Knicks could choose to go that way with Murry and fill that roster spot with another guard like West.
“I had tears in my eyes watching games this past year—not because I’m bipolar, but because I’m sitting at home and miss the game” West says. “When my agent calls, I’m going to be on the next flight. Not to be cocky, but some teams that are trying to win are one guard away, one guy that can make a couple great plays away from going to the Finals.
“Well, I’m right here,” he continues. “Y’all know it and I know it.”
The Knicks could be that team that gives him his chance. After all, with their limited resources the Knicks need to take advantage of whatever talent they can get. West is definitely one of the most skilled players that could be signed for the veteran's minimum. That being said, his skill has never been the problem.
“He could definitely provide depth at guard for a contender,” says one NBA scout who asked to remain anonymous.
Those same people, though, also offer doubts. “Talent isn’t the question,” says the scout. “It comes down to whether or not he’s worth the potential off-court headache.”
Those potential problems are a concern for any team. However, the Knicks in particular have J.R. Smith and Metta World Peace to worry about. Smith is coming off the best season in his career, and although it's clear he returned to some of his partying ways towards the end of the season, his performance clearly suffered from it.
Having to return with the doubts over his poor performance and after having surgery on his knee he's much more likely to returned focused than he is reckless.
Now, it's very likely that World Peace will be on his best behavior. Not only is he returning home but he's also looking at New York as one of his last stops in the NBA. He's not going to go out of his way to screw that up.
Perhaps that means the addition of West would be less worrisome. Then again, one could argue that his presence could push Smith and World Peace over the edge and lose focus on basketball. The bottom line is, that's up to the Knicks front office to decide. However, the skill and hunger is there. Perhaps West could instead join the Knicks and help push them over the edge and beyond the second round.