The Athletic NBA writer believes Knicks shouldn't overpay for free agent point guard -

The Athletic NBA writer believes Knicks shouldn’t overpay for free agent point guard

The New York Knicks have their sights set on Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson in free agency. And reportedly, if the Knicks aren’t able to sign him, Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones is the backup option.

But John Hollinger, a senior NBA writer for The Athletic, believes that New York should tread lightly in free agency.

Brunson would come at a large sum for the Knicks as he’s expected to make around $20 million a year if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Even though Jones would come at a lower price, Hollinger thinks that a short-term solution would be better for New York.

It feels like at this point the Knicks are undoubtedly going to make some sort of move, whether it be in free agency or via a trade. But what if they were to sign a point guard whose last name isn’t Brunson? Or Jones?

Should the New York Knicks look for a short-term PG answer in free agency?

There are plenty of New York fans who feel as if Immanuel Quickley should be the team’s next starting point guard, especially given the way that he played to end 2021-22. He finished the season with two triple-double performances within a week.

However, it’s clear that the front office has other interests, though. But Hollinger explained why pursuing a high-cost option like Brunson, or even Jones, might not be the best idea (subscription required).

But given New York’s scenario with its cap and its roster, the best move might be more of a short-term Band-Aid than a long-term answer, especially if Brunson is out of the picture. Both John Wall and Eric Bledsoe are likely to be bought out of their deals this offseason. Wall, in particular, would be an intriguing answer for New York on a one-year deal for the mid-level exception. Given the low cost, this might be better than shooting assets out the door for solutions that don’t raise the long-term ceiling.

He has a point because there’s the possibility that overpaying for Brunson could end up being a bad decision, but that’s the same for any decision that’s ever been made. If the Knicks sign him and make it past the first round of the playoffs, it’d be a huge win.

In the case that Brunson isn’t worth the $20 million annually that he’s expected to receive, Hollinger believes that players like John Wall or Eric Bledsoe would be better short-term options.

He could end up being right, but the main risk with Wall is that he’s 31-years-old, has suffered tough injuries, and hasn’t played in a game since Apr. 23, 2021. New York could sign him to a one-year deal, but would he not be another version of Derrick Rose?

It might seem like the “safe” option, but would it help to move the needle for the Knicks? The thing is that one won’t know until it happens. New York has had one playoff appearance in the past nine seasons, so something is going to have to change.

That could mean creating cap space to sign Brunson, or opting for Quickley as the starter (and Hollinger isn’t sure that Quickley is ready to take on that responsibility).

The latter doesn’t seem like the option that the Knicks are going for, so while Hollinger thinks that the front office should consider a short-term solution, New York seems poised to go big or go home. Will it end up paying off?

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