This offseason, the Knicks drafted their point guard of the future in Frank Ntilikina and signed a veteran leader in Ramon Sessions to eat up some remaining minutes and act as a stop gap until the youngster really develops. The opportunity for Ron Baker to become more versatile and play the one is also there, but he’s much better suited as someone who plays off the ball.
As the team continues to add up their point guard equation, more depth could be a valuable asset. With training camp steadily approaching, Ian Begley reports that some in the organization view the likes of Jarrett Jack and Trey Burke as potential future additions.
A twelve year NBA veteran, Jack would undoubtedly provide this team with a much needed veteran presence at the point guard position. He’s a leader and a highly respected guy in NBA locker rooms. He’s unfortunately battled injuries, a torn ACL and knee issues among them, that have limited his contributions as of late. Appearing in just 34 games over the last two seasons, it’s unknown whether or not he’ll be able to serve as the same quality player again. The 33 year old might not be willing to take a chance and play merely on a training camp contract this fall. Still, given the adversities he’s faced recently, it may not be in the Knicks’ best interests to give him a guaranteed contract until he can prove himself ready and able. Having said that, New York signed Lou Amundson late last fall and subsequently cut him following camp — they paid him a fully guaranteed salary for about a month of service. Perhaps Jack is worth taking a similar chance on.
As far as Burke is concerned, there’s much more flexibility there. At 24 years old, he’s not the steady veteran presence that Jack is, but he still has plenty of talent. A consistent double-digit scorer with the Jazz from 2013-16, Burke was relegated to a much lesser role, appearing in 64 games and averaging just 5 points with the Wizards last season. Burke has the potential to score in bunches and casually run the floor on occasion as well. For whatever reason, interest in him has been scarce this offseason. Upon looking for an NBA spot, it hasn’t proven to be above Burke to compete in free agent workouts featuring G-League athletes who do not boast the kind of experience he does. There’s no doubt he is willing to grind.
Whereas Jack would seemingly require a full guarantee, perhaps Burke would be open to signing a training camp contract this late in the game. Given the avenues he’s explored thus far, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him be open to signing on as an affiliate player in Westchester there after. Of course, there’s a good chance he gets signed sooner than most other prospects, but this would at least give the Knicks more flexibility going forward.
In any event, last season proved that the Knicks can never have too much depth at the point guard spot. They’re currently looking at the right types of players.