Knicks Urged to Pursue Polarizing Guard in Free Agency

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks

Getty Head coach Tom Thibodeau of the New York Knicks reacts.

The New York Knicks will look to add some extra firepower to their rotation after a surprise 2022-23 run that saw them take the eventual Eastern Conference kings in the Miami Heat to six games in the semifinals.

To Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, a worthwhile “sleeper” idea could be to pursue the likes of polarizing veteran guard, Patrick Beverley, in free agency.

“If Beverley just rediscovers his touch from range—33.9 percent the past two seasons, 39.3 percent the six previous campaigns—he could be a tone-setting defender who won’t dominate the basketball and will convert a lot of the clean looks he gets. Considering there aren’t many touches to go around in an offense featuring Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, that could be a valuable skill set to have,” Buckley wrote.

Despite his aforementioned argument for why a guy like Patrick Beverley could be a quality addition to this Knicks roster, he would paraphrase by noting that there are certainly risks with pursuing the veteran, particularly highlighting his struggles from this past season.

“His stats sagged across the board and left him shouldering one of the least-productive lines of his career: 6.2 points on 40/33.5/72.3 shooting and 2.9 assists in 27.1 minutes per night. Those numbers could mean one of two things. One, it’s possible he’s just cooked. His 35th birthday is coming in July, and you’ve surely heard all about Father Time’s unblemished record,” Buckley wrote.

Of course, as Buckley would mention, the hope for the Knicks would be that this lowly production was due to unfavorable environments (suited up for the Lakers during their lowly first half of the year and the Bulls who were rumored to have internal turmoil), which could play out in their favor from a financial perspective as his services would come at a lower cost.

Patrick Beverley has made a name for himself as being a nuisance for opposing players when on the defensive side of the ball, which would naturally be a desired attribute for the defensive-minded Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.

His career 3-point shooting percentage of 37.3% could also prove to be a luxury within New York’s rotation, especially when considering they ranked 19 in long-range percentage (35.4%) during the regular season and boasted a league-worst 29.2% clip during the playoffs.

Nets Wing Listed as Potential Target for Knicks

Should the Knicks be hell-bent on adding a new 3-and-D player to their rotation, aside from Patrick Beverley, one NBA executive believes Leon Rose and company could look across the east river to find a potential option to address this desire.

In a recent sit down with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney, an Eastern Conference GM deemed Brooklyn Nets veteran wing Dorian Finney-Smith as an intriguing option to pursue by means of the trade market.

“Maybe if they could swing a deal for Dorian Finney-Smith from the Nets, that would be a great fit for them on both sides of the ball, he is a really good 3-and-D guy, but the Nets don’t want to do anything to help the Knicks, of course,” the general manager told Deveney.

The Knicks struggled mightily with their long-range game and defensive efforts under the bright lights of the postseason, particularly during their second-round bout against the Heat where they converted on just 29.9% of their attempts from deep and boasted a middling defensive rating of 112.6.

Since 2019-20, Finney-Smith has shot at a highly efficient 37.7% clip from distance and has been a plus defender along the way.

Add these specific attributes to the fact that he has an established rapport with Knicks franchise cornerstone Jalen Brunson (teammates from 2018-2022 with the Dallas Mavericks), and there seems to be quite a bit of logic behind the executive tabbing the Nets forward as a possible option for New York this summer.

Damian Lillard Gushes Over Knicks Rivals

While some may be holding out hope that the Knicks could strike a deal for superstar guard Damian Lillard this offseason, the point guard himself is seemingly hinting that he’d prefer landing with New York’s rivals if he were to be dealt away from the Portland Trail Blazers this summer.

“Miami, obviously,” Lillard said during an interview with Showtime’s The Last Stand. “Miami is the obvious one, and Bam [Adebayo] is my dog. I think Miami is an obvious one. Brooklyn is another obvious one because Mikal Bridges is my dog too. And both have capable rosters.”

Despite continuing on by noting that he’s “made it clear” he wants to “have the opportunity to win in Portland, and right now, we’ve got an opportunity asset-wise to build a team that can compete,” as things currently stand the Heat hold the best odds of landing his services in a hypothetical trade, as per

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