New York Ponders Point Guards
It’s been a quiet offseason for the New York Knicks. The team made one personnel move (trading Quentin Richarsdon for Milicic) and they failed to nab any of the big names during the draft (Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas). Restricted free agents David Lee and Nate Robisnon have hung in limbo while just about every available first and second tier players have settled on their 2010 home. But perhaps this silence might change in the coming days. New York is flirting with both Jamaal Tinsley and Ramon Sessions, and they recently claimed Jason Williams off of waivers. So how do these players stack up? I’ll invoke similarity scores to see what kind of players we might expect.
|.096||Vinny Del Negro||1999||MIL||12.3||.481||.446||9.3||0.5||3.4||5.7||1.1||0.1||1.8||32.0|
Jason Williams last played two years ago so I used his 2008 stats for comparable players, and Rafer Alston couldn’t be more similar. Both are flashy passing, meager scoring, three point chuckers. At 34 years of age, you’d have to question why the Knicks are pursuing Williams. Perhaps they’re not happy with Douglas as the backup point guard, because it’s hard to imagine Williams signing to sit on the bench as the third quarterback. Granted they could do worse off the bench, but J-Dub offers a lot of attributes the Knicks don’t need. He’s three point happy, but his success rate is below average (32.5%). He doesn’t score a lot (13.1 pts/36) and is allergic to the free throw line. His FTM/FGA (.15) is lower than Wilson Chandler’s (.16). It’s not an ideal fit, but I guess the team could do much worse like…
There’s a lot of similarity between Tinsley and Williams. Both have been out of the league for a bit and both are inefficient scorers. However Tinsley is much worse in multiple areas. Most prominent is his poor efficiency (Tinsley’s 47.4 TS%, Williams 50.3% TS%), his dreadful three point rate (30.7% to Williams’ 32.5%), and his high turnover rate (3.2 to/36 to Williams’ 2.6). Just look at this list compared to the one above, and it’s clear Tinsley is a poor option. The Knicks would be better off with an NBDL player, or maybe someone off the street.
At only 22 years of age, Sessions obviously has the most upside. There are some good point guards on that list, and a few that never met their potential. On thing to notice is that Sessions is among the best of the group with regards to turnovers, shooting efficiency, and rebounding. Even if he doesn’t learn to shoot threes, he’s likely to continue to contribute in those areas.
He should fit in with New York’s current roster and would compliment Duhon well, perhaps like a change of pace running back (I’m thinking Thomas Jones and Leon Washington). And I can’t help to think he would be good for years to come as well. Granted you want to space the floor with a player like LeBron James, but you also need someone to take the scoring pressure off his shoulders. With the Knicks in need of cheap players to build around, Sessions could solidify a young core (Sessions, Chandler, Gallinari, Hill, Douglas, hopefully Lee, and possibly Nate). The million dollar question is how much Sessions worth, and will Milwaukee match?