The Knicks may have the answer to their point guard question on the roster
The NBA offseason is always a entertaining circus act to follow along with it. Seemingly every summer there are at least a couple massive trades that go down along with the draft and the standard free agency chaos. The New York Knicks figure to be right back in the middle of that somewhat controlled chaos after a 41-31 season that saw them get back to the postseason for the first time in eight years.
Point guard is the looming question mark for the Knicks after a year that saw Elfrid Payton start the large majority of games at the one spot. Payton struggled to even be average and with Derrick Rose a free agent, New York needs to figure things out.
Damian Lillard has been brought up as a trade possibility while Lonzo Ball has been rumored since the trade deadline during the regular season (he’s now a restricted free agent). One outcome that nobody has brought up, the Knicks may have the answer to their point guard question on the roster.
Luca Vildoza is playing for the Argentine National Team as they look to roll into the Tokyo Olympics. Vildoza was quietly signed at the end of the regular season for the Knicks with the move made as a look ahead to 2021.
There were no plans for Vildoza to join the team and play in the postseason and because of that, many have forgotten that the Knicks ever made the move.
It’s a possibility that Vildoza could answer a lot of the questions for the Knicks at the lead guard position.
At 6-foot-3, Vildoza has great size for the one spot and what may have Tom Thibodeau giddy is that Vildoza excels on the defensive end. He’s a pest against opposing guards and is super crafty at prying the ball away.
While Knicks fans and the Knicks themselves may be looking for an offensive minded guard, Vildoza offers a lot on the end of the court, too.
Vildoza is really good as the ball handler in the pick-and-roll, something the Knicks struggled to get going with any consistency in their playoff series against the Hawks. While Vildoza isn’t the type, or at least hasn’t been, to shoot the ball a ton, he’s consistent from three-point range at 36% and presents far more of a threat to pull the trigger from beyond the arc compared to options like Payton and Frank Ntilikina that the Knicks used last year.
New York’s focus this offseason will be not only looking at the point guard position but figuring out what kind of point guard they’d prefer to have for their system. Derrick Rose is a free agent and while almost everyone would want him back, it’s not a foregone conclusion that he will return to the Knicks. Alec Burks is also a free agent and was great for the Knicks off the bench last season. There could me mutual interest in him returning. Payton will hit the market as well and there isn’t a scenario in the world that would make sense for New York to bring him back. Point is, the Knicks have a done of question marks but one potential answer on the roster.
The odds of Vildoza taking over and being an all-star caliber point guard may not be great. But Vildoza could be a consistent, solid point guard that plays a major part in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation. Questions and excitement and rumors will continue with names like Lillard, Ball and others being linked to the Knicks, one solution might already be in a Knicks uniform.