Coming off a 32-50 season, the New York Knicks need to make serious changes to their roster to compete in the NBA’s Eastern Conference next season. These struggles in New York revolve around the team’s need for a respectable point guard, as the production from that position in the last season was putrid. Now, without a draft pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Knicks may look into obtaining a point guard through a trade this summer. Unsurprisingly, one name that has already popped up in trade rumors is Darren Collison of the Sacramento Kings.
Before getting into why Collison makes sense for New York, it is important to look at what the Knicks had going into the season. New York had recently traded for the No. 19 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Jerian Grant, a four-year college player who seemed fit to step in on day one and make an impact. However, that did not turn out to be the case, as Grant struggled mightily on the court in his rookie season. In the end, he averaged only 12.1 points per and 5.0 assists per 36 minutes on 39.4 percent from the field. His three-point shooting continues to be a concern, and he shot only 22.0 percent on 100 attempts from behind the arc.
Still, given Grant’s inefficiency, it was odd to see him rarely on the court this year given the state of New York’s point guard position and the state of the Knicks as a whole. Grant averaged only 16.6 minutes per game and received only six starts all season. His lack of playing time is centered around the need to win now for Carmelo Anthony, but that hope may come at the cost of developing Grant into a respectable guard.
With Grant playing so little, New York went with veteran Jose Calderon for much of the season as their starting point guard. However, Calderon failed to produce respectable numbers, posting only 9.7 points and 5.3 assists per 36 minutes. His shooting was impressive as always, but he it is clear that he is much more suited as a bench player at this point in his career.
Given the lack of production at the position, the Knicks have keyed in on Collison as a potential target. If New York can land Collison in a trade, the Knicks could still have enough flexibility to make a free agent deal in the offseason, as well, according to ESPN.
“Do the Knicks have the pieces to deal for Collison, scheduled to make $5.2 million next season? That’s unclear. But if they can, such a transaction would probably leave the club with enough money to spend on another starting-caliber free agent.”
Last season, Collison averaged 14.0 points and 4.3 assists per game with the Kings. Per ESPN, those numbers increased to 15.5 points and 6.7 assists in starts, demonstrating that Collison has the ability to start if needed. Of course, Collison would immediately be pushed into the starting lineup if he traded to the Knicks.
If New York can trade for Collison, who has an extremely appealing contract as it stands right now, the Knicks can also make a splash in free agency. Names like Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, and Nicolas Batum top the list of free agents this summer, but those players with that are most likely a pipe dream. However, with New York’s appealing market, attracting other notable players can still be possible if the Knicks can maintain a solid financial situation.
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