Perhaps in an ideal world, the Knicks will successfully target and sign Mike Conley this summer, helping them reel in the stud point guard they have lacked for many seasons.
But star players have been known to spurn the Knicks before. Because the team hasn't established itself as a legitimate playoff contender under Phil Jackson's guidance, the situation may not be as appealing as one would hope. Instead, prospective free agents could strategically use the interest from a big market team like New York to scare other teams into offering more lucrative and longer contracts instead. And a talented player like Conley should have plenty of suitors.
Thus, the Knicks will have to keep their options open. During the NBA Finals, the team has had an opportunity to get a look at someone who might represent a decent consolation prize.
As Kyrie Irving continues to soar and take center stage for the Cavaliers against the Warriors, backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova has seen his minutes decrease a bit during this series. Still, there's reason to be intrigued with the forthcoming free agent.
An absolute defense hound, Dellavedova pesters opposing ball-handlers like no other. He's been known to apply pressure, and shot a very respectable career-high of 41 percent from long range this past season. While not quite the most traditional floor general, the young gun still managed to dish out 4.4 assists coming off the bench.
The Knicks will be looking for a point guard to help bridge the gap between Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant this offseason. If a talented enough floor general is acquired who allows New York to not only supplement Calderon, but replace him completely, then so be it. There's a good chance Dellavedova could help them do that, but then again, Calderon's veteran know-how would still be valuable if the Knicks can afford all three guards next season.
Dellavedova is 25 years old, which is a bit younger than the type of player New York is hoping to target. Still, he boasts valuable experience. Playing alongside star players and personalities has certainly helped him mature. What's more, he's not only competed in the NBA Finals the last two seasons, but also played a big role last season while stepping in for the injured Irving. Needless to say, he's been exposed to the big stage.
If Conley slips away and the Knicks are forced to explore other options, Dellavedova may be worth reeling in at the right price.