The Knicks have made inquiries to other teams about acquiring a low-cost backup point guard to preserve the starter Raymond Felton, according to two N.B.A. executives with knowledge of the organization’s discussions. The Knicks are looking at players whose contracts expire at the end of the season in order to keep their salary-cap space for the summer. They are willing to part with Bill Walker, according to the executives.
From Big C to Tommy Dee, bloggers around the Knicks’ stratosphere have responded to this rumor in stride.
With so many things going right for the Knicks, it’s likely no big changes are imminent. Nevertheless, the team could certainly use an extra floor general to run the second unit.
Raymond Felton is a big upgrade at his position to Chris Duhon, whom although he had nice pick and roll chemistry with David Lee, was overexerted towards the end of both of his seasons as a Knick. He burnt out early, thus weakening the Knicks during crucial times of the season.
That is exactly why it would be smart for the Knicks to find a backup to spell Felton throughout the season. At that same time, it needs to be someone who can keep the pace and not allow the team to feel the absence of Felton as he sits.
In addition to sharing the floor with Felton, Toney Douglas has filled in at point guard off the bench. However, his style handling the ball is a much slower pace and the Knicks often lose a step with him in charge. Douglas is more skilled as a scoring in bunches type guard, often complementary to a player like Felton.
The Knicks are preparing to look elsewhere, and are apparently willing to part with Bill Walker (certainly due to the recent play of Shawne Williams) in order to do so. Ironically enough, however, many of the Knicks’ top options will likely come from the free agent market.
Former Nets guard Marcus Williams and the recently waived (by Memphis) Acie Law are both younger, cheaper options for the Knicks to consider. Both have potential, but are yet to really prove themselves in the NBA.
The team would be smarter to go the veteran route, assuring themselves of a smarter and more experienced player to control the game while Felton stays fresh throughout the rest of the season.
Two of the top veteran free agent point guards also both happen to local products who have expressed interest in playing for the Knicks.
During July’s free agent hoopla, NYC hoop legend Rafer “Skip to My Lou” Alston told SNY’s Zagsblog that he would enjoy being the point guard to balance the Knicks’ fully packed offensive attack.
Amityville’s own, Mike James, also reiterated his interest in returning home to push the break in Coach D’Antoni’s system when he sat down with yours truly for an interview with Knicks Journal this past May.