The New York Knicks have plenty of hopes in the future of their starting point guard position. Yet, their draft depends on two veterans.
New York Knicks brass are preparing for the possibility of taking a point guard with the eighth pick in this month’s 2017 NBA Draft. The only problem in moving forward with those plans are the unresolved issues in deciding which veteran point guard to bring into the fold. Ricky Rubio and Derrick Rose hold the key to New York’s plans at the No. 8 spot as each have been on team president Phil Jackson‘s radar for starting roles next season.
Rose, the incumbent of the two, will be hitting the free agent market and may draw interest from several teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota currently has Rubio under contract, but has been openly interested in acquiring Rose since the trade deadline back in February. New York has shown rumored interest in the Spain native, creating a buzz among if whether New York feels truly compelled to take a point guard with the No. 8 selection.
Let’s take a look at each veteran option for the Knicks in regards to their point guard situation this off season.
Derrick Rose played most of the season in New York at a high level compared to his past two seasons in Chicago. Although he did run into off the court distractions, he was still an upgrade at the position and delivered in his role as a penetrating point guard. The 28-year-old former MVP averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 64 games, showing growth in the triangle offense.
The knock on Rose, howeverm is the constant fear of injury as he went down with a meniscus tear in his knee as the season concluded. The harsh reality regarding Rose’s durability did not turn off Jackson, who spoke highly of him during his infamous season-ending press conference back in April.
“He enjoyed playing here even with the losses, which of course surprises us because he’s been on some very successful teams, But he wants to redeem himself as a player. Which I like that attitude. I like who Derrick represents as himself. He’s very direct about taking on a big challenge.”
Ricky Rubio seemed like the odd man out after Minnesota drafted Kris Dunn in last year’s first round, but has quickly reminded the league of his greatness. Rubio’s chemistry with young stars Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns was electric as all three players averaged over 20 points per game throughout the season. The 26-year-old dazzled fans in Minnesota with a strong year orchestrating the offense, posting averages of 11.1 points, 9.1 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 75 games.
The problem facing Rubio has always been his aggressiveness as a scorer since he is a natural ball-sharing point guard that prefers passing. Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau has been used to more penetrating type of point guards going back to his days with Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Dunn fits the overall scheme of the offense and is still being groomed to be the point guard of the future. In an interview back in February before the trade deadline, Rubio made it very clear his stance on possibly being moved soon.
“I want to win, We’ll see. It’s not my call. I have two years left here and they make the calls.”
The Knicks are still going to be battling with the Wolves for the services of both players as a trade is the only way to bring over Rubio, while free agent Rose can take any offer from his old coach Thibodeau for a reunion.
If either veteran ends up in New York then it would be less likely we see names like De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina walk across the Barclays Center stage holding a Knicks jersey.