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Could Gilbert Arenas Help the New York Knicks?

December 31st, 2013 at 12:30 PM
By Matt Agne

There was a time, not too long ago, when Gilbert Arenas was one of the very best players in the NBA. Known as "Agent Zero", he could seemingly do whatever he wanted with the ball in his hands. Since the incident that jettisoned him from Washington, Arenas' career hasn't been the same. However, Arenas has skills and with the Knicks struggling at the point guard position it seems like there may be a place for Arenas in New York. He thinks so. Could Arenas have a future with the New York Knicks?

'Gilbert Arenas Pregame' photo (c) 2006, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It was last January when Knicks 101 suggested the New York Knicks sign Gilbert Arenas. There's very little doubt that Arenas is more of a scorer than a passer. That being said, he's actually a skilled passer. That being said, he could clearly add to the Knicks scoring punch.

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report reports Arenas is planning an NBA comeback.

Arenas, who hasn't played at the NBA level since 2011-12 when he appeared in 17 games for the Memphis Grizzlies, spoke with Bleacher Report in promotion of Zya, an interactive musical game from Music Mastermind.

While discussing his involvement with Zya, Arenas also spoke of a potential NBA return next season. The high-scoring guard played for 11 years in the Association, more than seven of which were spent with the Washington Wizards. After brief stints with the Orlando Magic and Grizzlies, he has since stepped away, surfacing only to work out at the Los Angeles Lakers facility this past offseason.

Gilbert Arenas: Yeah, right now I'm just developing apps. Next summer, I'm going to train really hard and then try to make a team. I'm going to try to come back.

During the interview Bleacher Report asked what Arenas could offer NBA teams.

B/R: What would you tell NBA teams about what you can still bring to the table?

GA: I would rather just show them. All they would have to do is give me an opportunity to perform in front of them. You know, I'm a gamer. I work hard. If I'm going to come to your team, or try out for your team, I'm going to give you my all. That's what I did [when I played].

If you take away the last few years, from my last year in Washington, and you think about my career, there was nothing but hard work. I was in the gym three or four times a day, working on my skills. If we lost a game, and I thought I played bad, I'm staying in the gym to keep shooting. That's what I did. That's what I was known for: I was a gym rat.

I made a mistake, and that's what we all do.

Who could Arenas help? Does he have any teams in mind?

B/R: Do you think there is any NBA team in particular right now that could really use you and what you would bring?

GA: I know the Knicks—I've watched them. They need a lot of help; they need scoring. 'Melo [Carmelo Anthony] needs an outlet. Someone who can just put the ball in the basket and take the pressure off him.

So lets get right, Arenas believes the Knicks need a second scorer to take the pressure off Carmelo Anthony? Where have we heard that before?

Now, would Arenas have to be a starter? Not necessarily, he could very well play a scoring role off the bench if he's put in the right system. However, putting him in a starting role might not be the craziest thing either. It's not ideal, but it can work. 

We've seen with teams like the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat how point guards who have shooting guard skills can thrive in the role traditionally used for a facilitator. Could replacing an out of shape and often hurt Raymond Felton with Arenas actually improve the Knicks?

That's debatable. What isn't is that Arenas is a superior scorer and defender as compared to Felton. What also isn't debatable is that the Knicks need to improve their point guard play. 

Felton isn't the worst player in the world. However, NBA evaluators are eventually going to have to come around to the fact that he's a low-end starter who could be a very high-end reserve. That doesn't mean that Felton needs to be traded but it does mean that if the Knicks are ever going to improve he needs to start coming off the bench.

Could Arenas be the guy to send Felton to the bench? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe he's just another scorer for the bench. Either way, he's a cheap player who brings a lot of talent to the table. He's a high bang-for-your-buck player. Now he needs a contract.

'Gilbert Arenas' photo (c) 2006, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Tags: Basketball, Carmelo Anthony, Gilbert Arenas, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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