While J.R. Smith’s role as sixth man of the Knicks is all but defined as he plays with the reserves in scrimmages during training camp, there are still plenty of players fighting for potential playing time as they look to break into the rotation.
One of those players, of course, is Argentine guard Pablo Prigioni. After emerging as an international star in Europe, the 35 year old will officially become the oldest rookie in NBA history this season when he looks to embark on a new journey.
After signing with New York for the league’s minimum contract, it’s safe to say Prigioni is willing to make sacrifices to play in the league. With Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd already in the fold, the Argentinian stands as the Knicks’ third string point guard on paper.
But with so much depth on the roster, comes an endless amount of different lineup opportunities for the coaching staff to roll out. Though Ronnie Brewer is expected to be ready to go by opening night, it’s unknown how conditioned he’ll be coming off of a knee injury. Iman Shumpert is also still expected to be sidelined until January.
Two injuries to a couple of shooting guards may in fact open up more minutes for Prigioni. Ranking amongst the more notable three-point shooters of all-time, floor general Jason Kidd is expected to log some time minutes at the two-guard position this season. After averaging over 17 points per game during his first stint in a Knicks uniform, Felton is another point guard who still likes to score.
But Prigioni is the more pure floor general. He has tremendous court vision and thrives when finding his teammates and distributing the ball. Shifting other point guards to the shooting guard position will create a spot for Prigioni, and a crucial one at that.
Of course, the 35 year old will have to take some to formally adjust to the tempo of NBA competition, but what better way to do so than actually playing alongside a fellow point guard? What’s more, as Prigioni learns the NBA game, the game will also need some time to familiarize with him too. Throwing him into the fray right off the bat, the guard may be able to catch many opponents by surprise.
The overall versatility of this Knickerbocker squad from A to Z will lead to a bevy of different units hitting the hardwood for the team. With so many possibilities, Prigioni certainly stands a chance to make a certain impact off the pine for his new squad.