On June 25, the New York Knicks’ executives and fans left Madison Square Garden dejected about their inability to solve a glaring need at point guard through the draft. Two and a half months later, the same weakness remains.
When the Golden State Warriors nabbed Davidson College standout Stephen Curry with the eighth overall pick in the draft, every Knicks fan in attendance at the Washington Mutual Theater at MSG loudly jeered the selection, because they wanted Curry to play his home games in that same building.
The Knicks, who had the very next pick, were still able to add a talented player in former Arizona Wildcats forward Jordan Hill. But that was little consolation, since Curry was the ideal fit for head coach Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense. Though he’s not quite a Steve Nash-caliber distributor, the 23-year-old Curry is an adequate passer and can drain the rock with the best of them.
As it stands, the Knicks will enter the 2009-10 season with 27-year-old Chris Duhon playing the point for the second consecutive year. Duhon, drafted by the Bulls in the second-round out of Duke in 2004, has averaged 7.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in his career. However, his field goal percentage over five NBA seasons is a lowly 39.6 percent, further adding to Knicks fans’ angst over missing out on the sharpshooting Curry.
Meanwhile, behind Duhon, the Knicks’ backup point guard picture is even cloudier. Restricted free agent Nate Robinson is on the outs with owner James Dolan after making flippant comments about an arrest for driving without a license on Twitter. The two-time slam dunk contest champion may well return on a one-year deal, but his future with the organization is unclear.
In an effort to add some stability to the position, the Knicks signed former Celtics guard Gabe Pruitt last Friday. However, the 23-year-old USC product tarnished his reputation with the Celts after a DUI arrest in February, and has very limited NBA experience. Averaging about 7.5 minutes over 62 games in two seasons in Boston, Pruitt produced just two points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists a contest off the bench.
If Duhon and Pruitt are the only options at point guard for D’Antoni, the upcoming season figures to feature plenty more inefficiency on the offensive end of the floor for New York.
The Knicks may have a free-agent bonanza looming next summer, but they’ve done little to improve for the present.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP