In this two-part series, I will analyze the additions that the New York Knicks have made during this off-season. I will break down each player, what they can do for the Knicks, and what I expect them to do this upcoming season.
In this particular article, I will focus on the guards that the Knicks have added to their roster for the 2012-13 season. To keep it more balanced, I will analyze James White next week with the forwards as he will be playing the small forward position for the Knicks as well as the two guard.
J-Kidd was once a superstar; a player that people paid to see. He was arguably the most exciting point guard in the NBA with his passing and savvy. Now, Kidd at 38 years old might not be able to do what he used to, but still has some tricks up his sleeves. Kidd will be a big upgrade defensively at the point guard spot over all the players the team used at point guard last season.
With his size, he can guard both the point guard and shooting guard positions. He also gives the Knicks a consistent three-point shooting threat and will help spread the floor. I expect Jason Kidd to play about 25 minutes a game and contribute greatly on both ends of the court.
Felton will be involved in the new Knicks point guard rotation with Kidd and Pablo Prigioni. Felton, who thrived in the Mike D’Antoni system in his short time as a New York Knick, is returning in much different circumstances.
Felton’s talents are not as well suited for the current offensive system in comparison to the one that D’Antoni ran. Felton is still a good addition. If he can get in better shape and show glimpses of who he once was in his first stint in New York, he will become a fan favorite once again. I expect Felton to be the starting point guard or at least get starter minutes.
Ronnie Brewer has been the best quiet pickup for the Knicks this offseason. Brewer is a proven defender and athlete that can give the Knicks another versatile defender. Brewer played an integral part in the successes of the Chicago Bulls and fits in perfectly with what the Knicks are looking to do this upcoming season on the defensive end. I expect Brewer to start and fill in the minutes of Iman Shumpert while he is still recovering, which will allow J.R. Smith to return to his more suited role of a sixth man.
Prigioni showed some good things in the Olympics for the Argentine squad. At 35 years old, Prigioni is going to be the oldest rookie in NBA history. That is why Prigioni is not a project player, but a guy who must step in and contribute right away. Prigioni is nicknamed “The Maestro” because of the way he can control a game with his game management, ball handling and passing skills. While I don’t expect to see too much of him on the court this year, if he gets an opportunity, he will impress.
Smith was signed from the summer league roster and will hope to compete against Prigioni for that 3rd string point guard spot. More than that, Smith will just be competing to make the Knicks roster. Smith, who did not seem overly impressive in summer league ball, may thank nepotism as his brother is current Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith. Chris is currently the 15th man on the roster, and I don’t expect to see him on the court anytime soon, unless there is an injury to one of the guards.