It was common knowledge that point guard Frank Ntilikina was not going to be ready to start in the NBA when the New York Knicks selected him eighth overall in the draft at the end of June.
With the team looking as though they will let Derrick Rose walk in free agency, the Knicks are still looking for a point guard to step in, start and provide some kind of mentorship for Ntilikina.
Both free agency and the trade market are providing some prospective options for the now Phil Jackson-less franchise. Here is the latest:
Knicks contact Rondo
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reported that the Knicks have reached out to free-agent veteran Rajon Rondo, but have yet to set up an actual meeting.
The 31-year-old spent last season with the Chicago Bulls, averaging 7.8 points and 6.7 rebounds within a team that experienced its fair share of dysfunction. However, drama seems to follow Rondo wherever he’s gone as he is the type of player that can quickly wear out his welcome.
Regardless, Rondo is a true facilitator, a pass-first point guard given his ability to shoot. He could do wonders for a Knicks offense that will definitely be centered around Kristaps Porzingis. It remains to be seen if Carmelo Anthony will join him next year.
He can also provide championship-winning experience stemming from his years with the Boston Celtics, which is something the Knicks roster has been devoid of for quite some time.
Celtics making Smart available
With the signing of Gordon Hayward, the Boston Celtics have to shed some money in order to fit his $128 million deal.
One of those names is point guard Marcus Smart, who has been offered to the Knicks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The combo guard averaged a career-high 10.6 points and 4.6 assists in just over 30 minutes per game last year, which was just his third in the NBA. The 23-year-old would get a prime chance at seeing even more minutes in New York.
However, like Rondo, Smart’s field-goal percentage is lacking and shouldn’t be depended on to take over a game scoring-wise.
It doesn’t seem like the Knicks are too interested, at least at the moment. The Celtics were looking for New York’s young center Willy Hernangomez in return, but the Knicks don’t seem keen on shipping him out of town.
Also a 23-year-old, Hernangomez showed that he can work well with Porzingis during his limited time on the floor, averaging 8.2 points and seven rebounds in just 18.4 minutes per game.
If Smart talks want to gain any more traction, Boston will have to revamp their demands.