The New York Knicks need to make some upgrades this offseason and that especially applies to the point guard position. This has been a position of need for them for decades, and this offseason could be their best chance yet at solving the problem.
There are many names on the market, and the latest addition is Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. That seems like an unlikely possibility as the Knicks don’t seem to be a built for adding a superstar talent like Irving, but stranger things have happened.
Perhaps a more realistic option, and someone an Eastern Conference executive has actually linked them to, is current Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier.
Rozier to NY
“There’s still interest there in Terry Rozier,” said the exec. “He has played well in his role there obviously but the Hornets want to give LaMelo the ball more, let him run the show completely and get pieces that feed off him. He’s ready for that. They want a better defensive presence, a 3-and-D guy next to him so there’s an opportunity to make a move on him.”
On paper it seems like the Knicks don’t have anything they’d like to offer to bring in a big contract like that. Instead, New York would rather give up assets to get a big name instead of a complementary piece, but they do have one big chip to offer.
In the event that Mitchell Robinson decides to jump ship, they could dangle him in a sign-and-trade deal and use him as a swap for Rozier.
“The Hornets want a big man badly and the Knicks could go sign-and-trade for Mitchell Robinson,” said the exec. “That’s the best deal for both sides, really.”
Is Robinson Leaving?
As of right now, it’s difficult to know what the plan is for Robinson. He’s an important part of the Knicks, but he’s had difficulty staying on the floor.
When he’s on the court, he’s a dominant shot blocker and can protect the rim quite well, but he also finds himself dealing with injuries with way more regularity than the Knicks would like.
If he did leave, New York has some insurance policies with Nerlens Noel, Taj Gibson and Jericho Sims. Robinson is due for a pay raise, so either the Knicks give him that money, they let him walk for nothing, or they get something back in a sign and trade.
This Rozier deal could end up being a big move for them, but there’s no guarantee that happens. An anonymous exec spoke earlier this month about how it seemed like Robinson would return.
“But they will want to see how things go with Robinson, he is a candidate for a sign-and-trade if that is the direction they go, then you will want to keep Noel,” said the exec. “But it looks like Robinson will stay put so the Knicks could do something with Noel, he is a good candidate if you need a backup big guy.”
There are a lot of paths the Knicks could take, so it’ll be interesting to see what they decide upon.