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The Knicks have enough point guards going into training camp for an entire starting lineup, with the addition of veteran Jarrett Jack leaving the team with five point guards on the roster. That means a few things.
For one, if anybody gets hurt or is ineffective, they have options. Having options and depth is never really a bad thing. This also means we're going to see times where the Knicks go with two true point guards in the backcourt at the same time off the bench. Let's take a look at the five point guards on the roster and what each of them will bring to the table in the 2017-2018 season.
The rookie is as big of a mystery as it will get in the backcourt. We have barely seen him play at all and he's only 19. He's also playing a different style of basketball and it's going to take him a few years to really get it going. At 6'6 with a 7-foot wingspan, Ntilikina is one of the guys we will see play the two as well. The Knicks are going to need him to have success defensively, where he'll be able to cover the point and shooting guard. There will be some growing pains with him, but expect him to become a fan favorite as the season goes on and he plays around 20 minutes per game.
Speaking of fan favorites, Baker instantly became one the moment he stepped on the court at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks loved him so much that he was signed a two-year, $8.9 million deal in the offseason. Baker the three-point maker will likely be doing a lot of that this season. While he only averaged 4 PPG last season in 16 MPG, expect his numbers to go up now that he has 52 games under his belt. Baker is another guy who will probably see some time at shooting guard as he is not the Knicks best ball handler.
With 10 years under his belt, Sessions will be one of the leaders in the Knicks' backcourt this season off the bench. Sessions has been a quality point guard off the bench his entire career. In his 663 career games, he's only started 142 of them, so he knows his role. Sessions is a guy who will most often play strictly point guard. He's too undersized to play the two and he's also not a shooter. While he's averaged double figures in points most of his career, he's dipped into single digits the past three seasons. Sessions should see around 15-to-18 MPG and be a strong veteran presence to lead the youth with his experience and his ability to pass the ball.
I love the addition of Jack if he can stay healthy. That's a big 'if' after the last few seasons. He played 34 total games the past two seasons after a few major right knee injuries. With a dozen years of NBA experience, Jack brings a lot to the table and plenty of different experiences. Eight teams in that time frame is a lot, and Jack has been consistent wherever he has gone. He's always had the ability to score and consistently knock down mid-range jumpers. He's also an 85 percent career free-throw shooter. If Jack stays on the court, there is no reason Jeff Hornacek shouldn't play him 20 MPG or more and have him play both the one and two.
Randle is the odd man out here, but on most teams he could probably be third on the depth chart. The Knicks just have too many point guards here for Randle to make the roster. He only played 18 games with the Knicks last season and showed signs that he can be a solid point guard off the bench, but he's got to get more minutes in and that will come in the G League with the Westchester Knicks. Randle may see minutes with the New York Knicks if they lose one or two of the above guys to injuries.
Essentially, it should be four point guards on the roster on opening night. Three of the four should see some time at shooting guard as well, but look for Hornacek to mix-and-match with these guys and see what works best. There are a lot of questions to be answered, and most of them start with their rookie French guard.
How well or poorly Ntilikina plays will determine the minutes the other guys will get. If healthy, Jack is probably the most talented point guard offensively of all of them.