Knicks Urged to Sign 2-Time NBA Champion & 4-Time All-Star Guard

Rajon Rondo, New York Knicks

Getty Rajon Rondo of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks to pass as Nic Claxton and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets defend.

This summer, the New York Knicks have gone about and made several intriguing moves, with their most noteworthy transaction coming in the form of free agency acquisition, Jalen Brunson.

To many, bringing the 25-year-old to New York has the potential to be a true high-reward type of move, with some going as far as to say that the signing was flat-out “tremendous.”

However, while Brunson is certainly a quality player who, at least on paper, automatically bolsters the club’s backcourt rotation, Leon Rose and company should still be open to the idea of continuing to stockpile the Knicks’ guard depth as we approach the 2022-23 campaign.

At least, that’s what Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar believes and, in his eyes, 2-time NBA Champion and former All-Star guard Rajon Rondo could be the ideal target for the Knickerbockers.

The Knicks did not have good point guard play last season, and while they signed Jalen Brunson, it’s never a bad idea to have extra depth at that position. Rondo is one of the best passers in the history of the NBA, and he is someone that can help everyone play better.

Even if he is not on the floor, he is a very smart veteran who can help as a mentor.

The Knicks have a young core, and they were the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference last season. Just one season earlier they had been the fourth seed in the east.

In addition, Rondo’s best years of his career came with the Boston Celtics. He made four All-Star Games, and won the 2008 NBA Championship with the franchise.

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau was also an assistant coach for the Celtics for some of Rondo’s tenure there.

Knicks Star Julius Randle Has Flourished With Established Guards

Having competent guard play is one of the most beneficial things a team in this modern era of basketball can have, and Knicks star Julius Randle is a prime example of the positive effects that can come with it.

While 2021-22 was widely viewed as a major let-down for both the franchise and the power forward, one could certainly make the argument that this was, in large, due to the team’s lack of established talents in their backcourt.

Throughout the season we saw New York’s guard position drop like flies as a result of a myriad of different injuries and health-related ailments, which forced coach Tom Thibodeau to experiment with his lineups.

As can be inferred from their sub-par 37-45 finish, said experiments proved to be rather unsuccessful.

Easily the biggest loss within their backcourt was veteran guard Derrick Rose, who went down in mid-December with an ankle injury that forced him out for the remainder of the year.

Though the Knicks were far from being a title contender prior to Rose being shelved, as they were just 12-16 up until this point, they were still a much better team when he was on the floor as proven by his top-ranked 2.3 box plus-minus rating and, along with this, Randle proved to be a much better player.

Without the former MVP in tow, the big man’s efficiency diminished considerably, especially in the shooting department where he converted on just 39.9% of his attempts from the field and 27.6% from deep.

With Rose by his side, however, Randle saw himself producing like his All-Star self, putting up stellar averages of 20.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists on 36% shooting from distance.

Of course, the point guard’s impact on Randle is not just an aspect of last season but, rather, their entire tenure together, as the 27-year-old boasts stellar averages of 23.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 39% shooting from deep in 60 total regular season games.

Considering the success that the 2021 All-NBA selection has seemed to have with an established point guard running alongside him, there’s reason to believe that Rajon Rondo, a 4-time All-Star and one of the greatest set-up artists of all time, could go on to benefit New York’s franchise centerpiece as well.

Knicks Seem To Be Focused On Bigger Moves

The New York Knicks reportedly are interested in addressing their backcourt depth this summer, but, unlike Stinar’s proposal for them to add another floor general, it appears that the front office is looking to bring on Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell.

According to an August 5 report by HoopsHype’s Michael A Scotto, the Knickerbockers recently discussed a 3-team deal involving the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers that, if executed, would send Mitchell to Manhattan.

“The proposed three-team trade scenario included Westbrook going to Utah and getting bought out. Utah would send Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks, a combination of two players, including Patrick Beverley and Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic or Malik Beasley to the Lakers, and the Jazz would receive significant draft pick compensation from the Knicks and Lakers. The Knicks also would’ve had to part with veteran salary filler(s), such as Derrick Rose to help make the salaries work.”

While the concept of such a blockbuster is incredibly entertaining, at the moment it would appear that it is far from becoming a reality as The Atheltic’s Tony Jones told the HoopsHype podcast in an August 5 episode that New York is unwilling to part ways with Rose.

“The Knicks don’t want to unload Derrick Rose. He’s long been a favorite of Tom Thibodeau. I know the Knicks want to hang onto him and Grimes. Those guys are priorities,” Jones said during the episode.

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