1 Free Agent Sleeper The New York Knicks Should Target

New York Knicks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

One of the biggest goals for the New York Knicks this NBA offseason needs to be figuring out the direction they want to take the roster. When Leon Rose first took over the front office, it looked like this would be a rebuilding effort through the draft.

New York would cultivate and develop their young talent and see where things took them. Those draft picks would be supplemented with some veteran signings in free agency. It looked like they were on the right path, as the team made a surprise run to the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference during the 2020-21 season.

Excitement was growing around the team, as they were a fun group to watch. However, the success altered their timeline, as the front office dove headfirst into free agency. While the contracts they signed players to ensure they had some flexibility when it came to making trades, the results weren’t good.

The 2021-22 season was a step backward for the Knicks. A majority of their re-signings and free-agent acquisitions didn’t pan out. The point guard position remained a disaster as Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose didn’t provide the impact that the franchise had hoped they would.

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While Walker’s homecoming was a nice story, it was clear that he has lost a step or two because of the knee issues he has battled. Rose appeared in only 26 games himself, thrusting Alec Burks into a starting point guard role.

That is something that has to be avoided this upcoming season. New York needs to address the point guard position, finding someone that can stabilize the offense and help set the tone at the point of attack defensively.

That is why Tyus Jones is one sleeper free agent that the Knicks need to target. It will be a challenge to poach him away from the Memphis Grizzlies, but it is something that New York will have to attempt to pull off.

The biggest selling point that they have is playing time. In Memphis, Jones is locked into a backup role behind Ja Morant. In New York, he would likely take over as the team’s starting point guard.

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That is a role that the former Duke standout has thrived in when called upon. Tyus Jones has averaged 30.9 minutes per game as a starter, scoring 10.8 points to go along with 6.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game. What is most impressive is that his ball security remains nearly as elite.

Jones averages only 1.1 turnovers per game as a starter and 0.64 per game as a reserve. You cannot expect more from a starting point guard in terms of retaining possessions as Jones is elite in that sense.

That kind of game would fit well alongside scoring-minded players such as RJ Barrett and Julius Randle. They would no longer be relied upon to score and set up teammates, as Jones is an excellent table-setter. Evan Fournier would thrive with his 3-point shooting as well with a floor general the caliber of Jones in the lineup.

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That level of playmaking and getting teammates in position to score more than makes up for the lack of scoring punch he provides. However, he is not someone you can just leave open offensively. He is an improving 3-point shooter, knocking down 39 percent of his attempts this past season, and possesses a solid scoring arsenal from 16 feet and in. He is actually a better 3-point shooter than a mid-range shooter.

While a lot of fans are hoping the Knicks can land Jalen Brunson, that pursuit could prove difficult. Tyus Jones would be available for a fraction of the price and arguably be a better fit based on his strengths compared to Brunson’s.