In the latest edition of New York Knicks Rumors, we will look into the missing piece that could make the Knicks contenders in the Eastern Conference this season. With Kristaps Porzingis making a huge leap and Tim Hardaway Jr. providing perimeter scoring, the Knicks just need someone to run the offense. Jarrett Jack and Frank Ntilikina are not getting the job done during shared minutes and it might be best if they look for a full-time facilitator like Elfrid Payton.
According to Fansided, the Magic could let Payton walk after this season. It’s rumored that the Magic will wait until after the 2017 season and then do an assessment of his play. If the Magic should continue their slide down the standings, the Knicks should offer a package to the Magic before the season gets away from them.
What the Knicks need from the lead position is a player who’s capable of setting teammates up. While Jack is a 12-year veteran, he’s been mostly a scoring option off the bench throughout his career. For the Knicks this season, he’s been asked to be something he’s not. Jack is averaging 6.8 points and six assists on 44 percent shooting. Ntilikina, however, has averaged 5.9 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 36 percent from the floor. It’s clear that the Knicks are in desperate need of a reliable point guard.
Payton does not fit into any conversations in which the likes of Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and the elite point guards are mentioned. However, what he does provide is leadership. His job in Orlando is not to score 30 points per game, but to help his teammates put up those numbers. For the season, Payton has averaged 12.6 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 51 percent from the floor.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) December 24, 2017
Payton will fit right in with the Knicks offense. Aaron Gordon is a high-scoring power forward much like Porzingis and Enes Kanter is a banger in the post, much like Nikola Vucevic. As for the wing players, Hardaway is the perimeter threat for the New York Knicks just as Evan Fournier is for the Magic.
What the Knicks can offer is Ntilikina and Kyle O’Quinn for a player the Magic may no longer want anyway. Payton is not the known as a scorer, couple that with his awful free-throw shooting and the Magic not being able to field a winning season, and the Knicks could walk away with a steal.
It’s not all about the scoring for a point guard. For every Damian Lillard and Westbrook, there’s a Rajon Rondo and Payton.