Jeremy Lin’s emergence was supposed to mean that the New York Knicks would be set at point guard for the foreseeable future. At the height of Linsanity, the prospect of bringing in another big name one-guard who could challenge him for playing time was considered blasphemy.
These days, however, it seems like all team management is doing is scouting potential veteran point guard options.
Beginning with the lack of chemistry between Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire and ending with the roster being about as deep as a puddle, New York has a lot of problems to address before the start of next season. One of the biggest problems, unquestionably, is what’s going to happen at point.
Lin, the team’s breakout star last year, suffered a knee injury in the second half of the season that nobody really knows how he’ll recover from. And even if he does get back to 100 percent, there are still questions regarding how much cap space he’ll cost the Knicks. Currently, management is working to figure out if Bird Rights are applicable in Lin’s case, and the end result of that will play a huge role in how much financial flexibility the team has going forward.
Beyond Lin, the cupboard is pretty bare. Baron Davis, last year’s point guard reserve from the moment he got back into game shape and right up until the second Lin got hurt, tore ligaments in his knee and may never play again. There are no other floor generals on the roster to speak of.
Hence the squad’s newfound, much-ballyhooed quest to bring in a big name point guard.
So, who is New York looking at? Per the New York Post’s Marc Berman:
The Knicks, in widening their search for a veteran point guard to be a tandem with Jeremy Lin, met last week with Pablo Prigioni, a 35-year-old on Argentina’s Olympic team.
Prigioni, who played last season in Spain for Unicaja Laboral, had a two-day visit and had dinner with Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald and coach Mike Woodson.
His Spanish team, a source said, is offering him a one-year deal. The Knicks likely would want him for either the $2 million lower exception or $1.4 million veteran’s minimum.
Prigioni aside, there have also been rumors about Steve Nash possibly coming over; however, Berman did his best to squash any glimmer of hope about that actually happening today:
One confidant of Steve Nash doubts the star point guard will truly give the Knicks any consideration even if they have their $5 millon mid-level exception, despite his remarks at a promotional appearance with Walt Frazier yesterday.
When asked later, Nash told ESPN, “The Knicks are a great franchise and I live in New York City [in the summer], so I’d definitely consider them if they were interested.”
The confidant said Nash doesn’t really believe the Knicks are close enough to a title to take less money and didn’t like how former coach Mike D’Antoni, his buddy from Phoenix, was treated. Nash will get offers for more than $5 million, especially from Phoenix.
Of course, the Nash talk may be moot anyway. If the union were to lose its Lin Bird Rights arbitration, the Knicks won’t have enough money to make him a legit offer in the first place.
Regardless of what eventually happens, it’s interesting to note where we are now compared to where we were at the height of Linsanity – when it looked like point guard concerns would be the least of New York's problems.
Stay tuned Knicks fans, it’s going to be an interesting summer.
(Kudos New York Post)