It's no secret that the Knicks desperately need help in the backcourt. And, it will be fascinating to see the direction they choose to go...
Phil Jackson recently said he won't chase and overpay a guard. The conventional wisdom says he's saving his money to one day acquire a legitimate superstar in his prime -- perhaps next offseason.
However, that plan may have changed with the Memphis Grizzlies reportedly set to hire Miami assistant David Fizdale to be their head coach, because it could make unrestricted free agent Mike Conley more likely to head elsewhere. And, the Knicks should be at the top of his list.
That said, former team scout Scott McGuire believes the Knicks should focus on developing their own talent, specifically Tony Wroten and Jerian Grant.
"I'm pro-Jeff Hornacek. He'll help all those guys if they listen," McGuire recently told the NY Post's Brian Lewis. "Grant from Notre Dame is a terrific ballplayer. What they did with the Hardaway trade was a great trade. He didn't play that much for a while, but he had more chances to learn and make mistakes, and as the season went on, he got better. As well as Tony [can play] individually, he has to become a facilitator for others for him to make the team more efficient."
I talked the other day about Wroten's ability to drive, and like McGuire astutely notes, he has to learn to facilitate, evident by his pass rate being under 20 percent for his career.
Triangle guards traditionally have to be able to shoot off the catch and rely on cutting to get drives, but this should change under Hornacek, who preferred to open the floor for his driving guards Eric Bledson, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, who utilized their quickness to attack defenses.
Grant and Wroten both possess this skill and should benefit from screens set up top by Robin Lopez, Kristaps Porzinigis and Carmelo Anthony. Porzingis and Grant showed instant chemistry in their first year together.
Bleacher Report's Howard Beck had a note Wednesday about the connection between Jackson and Bulls free agent center Joakim Noah and how there could be interest in bringing the New York native home. That would make other current players on the roster available for trade. Two drive-centric guards rumored to be available are Atlanta's Jeff Teague, who shares an agent with Porzingis, and Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, who was lost to a devastating knee injury last season.
Jackson could sign Rajon Rondo or hold tight and try to add another young player in the draft like Indiana's Yogi Ferrell, who sources say will be part of a very small pre-workout with the Knicks. Of course, keeping the lion's share of their cap space for next year's point guard class, which includes Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul (ETO), Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Teague, may not be the worst idea either.
Thankfully, regardless of the direction Jackson decides to go, hiring Hornacek should help improve the team's biggest weakness this year and help develop some very talented pieces already in house.