NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Targeting Rajon Rondo This Summer
After a disappointing season in which the New York Knicks won only 32 games, the team will certainly look to bolster their roster this summer. Over this past season, the point guard position was a disaster for the Knicks. Because of this, free agent Rajon Rondo is a likely target for New York.
.@RajonRondo: 20% of passes led to points this season. That was 3rd in the league, behind @russwest44 & @CP3. pic.twitter.com/WiCC7SVhG6
— Pete Newmann (@petenewmann) June 11, 2016
Over this past season, the Knicks’ point guards struggled to give New York any type of significant production. Jose Calderon, 34, started 72 games for New York, but he can no longer be counted upon as a starting point guard at this stage in his career. Although Calderon finished this season shooting 41.4 percent from behind the arc, the Knicks need a creator to take his place in the starting lineup.
Behind Calderon, Jerian Grant was not given much of a chance in his rookie season. Despite the lack of options on New York’s roster, Grant started only six games and averaged only 12.1 points and 5.0 assists per 36 minutes. His efficiency was abysmal, as he shot 52.1 percent mark from within feet of the basket according to Basketball-Reference. Overall, he shot 39.4 percent from the field, a definite cause for concern for the Knicks.
Now, with a hole at the point guard position that must be addressed, New York will look to free agency this summer to explore their best options. Of course, Rondo makes sense for the Knicks, especially if New York focuses on him early in free agency.
According to SportsNet New York, newly hired head coach Jeff Hornacek is expecting his team to make a push to upgrade the backcourt this summer.
“I think the backcourt probably needs a little bit of work. You have a young point guard Jerian [Grant] and an older point guard in Jose [Calderon]. We talked about if we can get a little bit older, maybe a 28-year-old guy that’s got maybe some more juice to push the ball down the court. Jose does a nice job of throwing it ahead. But if someone can break guys down and Jerian might get to that point in another year or two and he’s working on the game.”
#Knicks: Could Rajon Rondo Be A Fit? https://t.co/YGeg3N5iuj — @ColbyG33 via @HoopsHabit pic.twitter.com/22iOHUPrb5
— HoopsHabit (@HoopsHabit) June 8, 2016
Rondo makes sense in New York with Hornacek at the helm, as the new Knicks head coach is expected to run a more modern offense in the upcoming season. This past season, New York was one of the slowest teams in the NBA, coming in at No. 24 in pace. Speeding up the tempo will likely be something Hornacek focuses on in his first season, given the style his previous team, Phoenix Suns, played. In Hornacek’s last full season as head coach, his Suns team finished No. 3 in pace. Similarly, Rondo’s Sacramento Kings were the fastest team in the NBA this season in terms of pace, and he is fully capable of helping the Knicks pick up the tempo next season.
Ultimately, New York will have to upgrade their roster this summer to please Carmelo Anthony, who is already 32 years old. Anthony may be getting disgruntled with the Knicks, given the state of the organization and his dwindling timetable. However, Rondo has the skills to change Anthony’s feelings and keep him content in New York. Rondo, who was No. 3 in the NBA in assist percentage this past season according to Basketball-Reference, certainly boasts the passing ability that would make it easier for Anthony to score. Over the past two seasons, Anthony’s true shooting percentage has dropped, and Rondo’s ability to create open jumpers with his penetration skills and court vision could help revive his efficiency. In the end, the Knicks will likely sign a free agent point guard this summer, and Rondo is a plausible option for New York.
[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]