Despite having Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith Jr. in their backcourt, rumors are circulating the New York Knicks are planning to search upgrades at the point guard position in the 2020 NBA offseason. In the past months, there have been speculations that the Knicks would be targeting Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul in the trade market. However, with his age, massive contract, and deteriorating performance, most people believe that trading for Paul doesn’t make much sense for the Knicks.
According to Michael Pina of SB Nation, adding Paul to their roster isn’t “ideal” for the Knicks. If they really want to improve their point guard position, Pina believes that the Knicks are better off targeting a younger floor general like Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors in the 2020 NBA free agency.
“But, assuming new Knicks president Leon Rose won’t be able to help himself, throwing a bag of cash at Fred VanVleet wouldn’t be the most reckless deviation from that plan,” Pina wrote. “VanVleet is 26. He oozes confidence, has a ring to back it up, and will be the most coveted point guard in this free-agent class. VanVleet won’t turn the Knicks around because he is not Zeus. But this could be the type of signing that catalyzes the dawn of progress for an organization that could do so, so, so much worse.”
VanVleet may not be the legitimate NBA superstar that the Knicks are dreaming of adding to their roster, but he would still be an incredible addition to their team. The 26-year-old point guard would undeniably be an upgrade over the likes of Payton, Ntilikina, and Smith Jr., giving the Knicks a floor general with championship experience. The potential acquisition of VanVleet won’t turn the Knicks into an instant title contender, but he would boost their performance on both ends of the floor and make them a more competitive team in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Aside from his ability to make plays for his teammates, VanVleet is also a lockdown defender and efficient three-point shooter. This season, he is averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.9 steals while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from beyond the arc.
As of now, VanVleet hasn’t shown any sign that he’s no longer happy with the Raptors, but he would definitely be intrigued by the idea of playing for an NBA team that could assure him of a significant role on the offensive end of the floor and more playing time. If Knicks President of Basketball Operations Leon Rose offers him a lucrative contract, it’s not hard to see VanVleet leaving Toronto to start a new journey in New York this summer.