The Knicks have been looking to revamp the point guard position all season and as Thursday’s trade deadline approached, they were still active in doing so, even as their efforts came up short.
They’ve been pushing to make a deal for D’Angelo Russell from the Warriors, though Golden State has been paring off salaries—the team has dumped Willie Cauley-Stein, Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III in recent weeks—that have made the team more willing to hang on to Russell and look to trade him again in the offseason.
Heavy.com sources question whether the Knicks have been truly committed to getting Russell anyway.
A package built around Frank Ntilikina, Bobby Portis and another player has not even registered with the Warriors.
“There’s not much to take seriously there,” one source said of the Warriors’ view on the Knicks’ offering. “It’s hard to say if the Knicks are involved because they want Russell or because they want to show their owner and their fans they’re doing something. It’s not serious at this point.”
Aaron Holiday on the Knicks’ List
Now, according to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, the Knicks have also been talking about Aaron Holiday of the Pacers. Holiday is the youngest brother of Justin and Jrue Holiday, each of whom has done time on the league’s rumor mill in their NBA careers.
Holiday is in his second season, averaging 10.2 points and 3.5 assists in 23.3 minutes per game. He has made 42.0 percent of his 3-pointers.
But with the addition of Malcolm Brogdon in free agency and the return of guard Victor Oladipo from an injury, Holiday has seen his spot in the rotation diminish. He’s still a valued asset around the league, though, and the Pistons could look to swap him while he still has that value.
The Pacers asking price for Holiday is a first-round pick. That might prove to be too steep for New York.
NBA Draft to be Packed with Point Guards
The Knicks do have the option of simply waiting until this year’s draft to find their next point guard.
For some within the franchise, the belief is that the point guard of the future is not currently with the team. New York is 15-36, and with little pressure to win now, they can giving ample time and opportunity to rookie R.J. Barrett both as a scorer and a ballhandler. Barrett has been injured but is expected back soon. The Knicks are not going to get a whole lot better this year, but that will pay off in June.
When the draft comes around, the Knicks will find one of two things: either the No. 1 pick and a shot at James Wiseman or the point guard of the future.
LaMelo Ball, coming off a shortened season in Australia, will be on the board in June. So will Cole Anthony, son of New Yorker Greg Anthony.
One scout told Heavy.com that Anthony would be the ideal fit—though his injury and the poor showing of his Tar Heels this season is a red flag.
“He was at Oak Hill (for prep school) last year and they did not have a great year and you always have to question that when you are looking at point guards,” the scout said. “But he can play off the ball and that makes a nice combination with Barrett, who needs the ball a lot, too. He plays with a lot of speed and power and getting Anthony and Barrett out in transition, that’s a great, great combo. That’d be a fun young team.”