The New York Knicks didn’t make a move at the NBA trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean they are completely finalized with their roster through the rest of the season.
They have already signed a new point guard, but don’t expect him to get a ton of playing time going forward as the rotation does appear to be pretty set. In fact, it might be too set in stone because Cam Reddish hasn’t found consistent playing time either.
Despite all that, Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar is saying the Knicks should still go after an old fan-favorite player, somebody who is also a two-time champion, to bolster their roster for the rest of the year. That player is JR Smith, a polarizing figure throughout his career, but a good player nonetheless.
It’s not just about bringing a former Knick back, there’s actually a reasoning behind it all. Here’s what Stinar had to say.
JR Smith to the Knicks
Smith is 36 years old and is enjoying life as a golfer in college at the moment, but he can likely provide something to an NBA team at this stage in his career.
As for what he can provide for the Knicks, Stinar argues that he’d help provide a spark to a team that is desperately searching for one.
“In 2013, he helped lead them to one of their best seasons in the last 20-years,” he writes. “He played three and a half seasons in New York, and was also a big fan-favorite. The Knicks are currently the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference with a 25-34 record. Right now, the team needs a spark, and Smith would be the perfect veteran (who also has two championship rings) to help inject life back into the franchise.”
It’s hard to argue with that point, but a 36-year-old might not be the answer the team is looking for. This was the argument for making a trade for Russell Westbrook, but the Knicks didn’t pull the trigger there either.
With the Knicks sitting at 25-34, it’s hard to imagine somebody who’s been out of the league for as long as Smith has been providing a meaningful spark, but it could be fun to see him play in the Garden again, and that’s pretty much all the team have going for them this season.
Is This Likely?
As of right now, it’s very hard to imagine a world where Smith is on the Knicks again this season, or even ever again. With the rotation being so hard to crack for even young players, it’s tough to see how Smith could make it as an older veteran.
Then again, Tom Thibodeau does like his veterans, so Smith could find himself playing 20 minutes a night if he did sign. All jokes aside, this seems more of a pipe dream for Knicks fans trying to find a way to salvage the season.
When the team comes back from the All Star Break, they can journey back on the road to relevancy this season, but it will definitely be an uphill battle.