NBA free agency: 30 greatest free agent signings in NBA history

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks
NY Knicks (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Greatest free agency signings in NBA history: 17. Allan Houston- New York Knicks, 1996

If you imagined what a typical 1990s NBA wing would resemble — a player who wasn’t Michael Jordan but was still a prominent scorer — you’d probably come up with Allan Houston. The former All-Star is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to evaluating him.

He was a consistent 20 points per game scorer and unlike most wings not named Reggie Miller, he wasn’t afraid to take and make 3-pointers. However, his blind spots as a playmaker and his affinity for pull-up twos rather than getting to the charity stripe dulled his value.

Still, it’s safe to say that that the Knicks don’t regret signing Houston to be the successor to John Starks as the team’s starting shooting guard. The 11th overall pick in the 1993 draft showed some early promise in Detroit, but with Grant Hill seemingly set to carry the Pistons for the foreseeable future, he decided to step out of that long shadow and sign with the Knicks in 1996.

Despite the aforementioned shortcomings, Houston proved to be deadly with his step-back jumper and a handful of post moves, showing off a slightly more advanced skill set than his predecessor.

I could go through Houston’s per game production (18.5 ppg, .444/.399/.872 shooting line with New York) or even dissect his mediocre advanced numbers (15.1 PER, .101 WS/48), but it would probably be better to show you the moment that earned Houston a place in Knick fans’ icy hearts:

The less said about the final two years of Houston’s Knicks run — including the decision to hand him a six-year, $100.4 million deal knowing he was in decline, which led to the “Allan Houston Rule” or the amnesty provision — the better.