Jarrett Jack isn't supposed to be having the season he has generated so far, but the Knicks are not complaining in the slightest.
Per NBA rules, Jack had his $2.1 veteran minimum fully guaranteed on Sunday as the non-guaranteed label officially came off it. The day was made even sweeter for Jack when he hit the game-winning shot -- a floater at 31 seconds to play -- against the Mavericks.
Jack has surprised many this season with his level of play, especially since coming off of a couple knee surgeries. The Knicks' GM, Scott Perry, signed Jack to his non-guaranteed deal even though team president, Steve Mills, nabbed Ramon Sessions prior to Perry's hire. But Perry was on Jack before he joined the Knicks as he wanted to sign him with the Kings before his departure.
The 12-year veteran didn't look to be the answer, though, as he struggled during the preseason. But, after getting a shot in the starting lineup following an 0-3 start with Sessions running the point, Jack proved he could run the Knicks' offense. It has impressed all, including the man who signed him.
"Jarrett has been a leader for the Knicks on and off the court," Perry told The Post's Marc Berman. "He's a valuable member of this team and we look forward to him continuing his successful play the remainder of the season."
Now, Jack may not be the best defensive player as the Mavericks' Dennis Smith Jr. scored most of his points Sunday night while he was guarding him. However, it is Jack's knack for scoring at the position and veteran leadership that keeps him in the game, and allows him to hit shots like the one in the fourth quarter.
Head coach Jeff Hornacek has stated rookie PG Frank Ntilikina may get a chance to start down the road, but Jack will continue to hold the position he has fought hard to obtain this season.
"When we brought him in, it was how will his knee respond," Hornacek said. "Having the surgery recently, coming back from that, Jarrett's worked hard to get himself in great shape. The knee hasn't bothered him much - occasionally here and there. He's helped bring veteran leadership to our young guys. Earlier in the season he was able to direct traffic offensively, telling guys where to go all the time until they really learned it well. He's been a good veteran leader that way.''
In 38 games this season, Jack has totaled 7.3 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in 26.4 minutes per game.