David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks Should Try to Trade for Jameer Nelson


On Monday night, the last place Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New York Knicks 101-98. Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson could help the Knicks make a playoff push this season.

The Knicks were tied with the Bucks at 98 with 19 seconds remaining in the game. Bucks’ point guard Brandon Knight made a 26-foot three-point shot with Knicks’ point guard Raymond Felton guarding him to propel the Bucks to a 101-98 victory.

Felton played poorly in the loss with three points, one of seven field goals made, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. His performance is the latest example of the Knicks’ point guards performing terribly this season.

Their effective field goal percentage that is adjusted for three-point shots, efg%, is 46.5 percent. The Knicks’ point guards’ efg% is a little more than two percent worse than the next worst on the team, 48.6 percent by shooting guards, according to 82games.com.

The Knicks’ point guards’ poor performance has not been limited to just the offensive end. They are terrible defenders as well, according to 82games.com.

The NBA average for a position’s offensive or defensive Performance Efficiency Rating, PER, is set to 15. Knight scoring 25 points on Monday night contributed to the Knicks’ point guards’ allowing opponents to have a PER of 17.2, according to 82games.com

This has contributed to the Knicks having an abysmal record of 19-29.

They are in third place in the Atlantic Division. They are seven games behind the division leading Toronto Raptors and one and a half games behind the eighth seed; Charlotte Bobcats.

The best way for the Knicks to improve their team is to upgrade at the point guard position. Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson would allow the Knicks to upgrade at that position.

Although Nelson’s statistics are worse than Felton, he is outperforming him this season. Nelson’s offensive performance has been much better than Felton, according to 82games.com.

Nelson’s offensive PER is more than three points higher than Felton’s; 14.5 to 11.4, according to 82games.com. This has contributed to Nelson averaging more points and assists than Felton this season.

Felton is superior to Nelson when their defensive performance is compared.

Felton’s defensive PER is a little less than a point higher than Nelson’s; 15.9 to 15.3. The problem for the Knicks has not been defense this season, but offense.

The Knicks rank 22nd in the NBA in points scored per game with 96.9. This has led to Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony having to take numerous shots to lead his team to victory.

They also rank 25th in assists per game with 20.2.

The Knicks are also strong on the defensive end.

They rank 11th in points allowed per game with 99.0. Knicks’ center Tyson Chandler has led a stout defense that has played better in the last month.

On Wednesday, Evan Dunlap of SBNation reported that Nelson is a likely NBA trade candidate. There are two problems for the Knicks in acquiring him.

The Magic have a primarily young team and the Knicks do not have any draft picks in the future. It is unknown what the Magic would want in return for Nelson.

The other problem is Nelson’s salary.

Nelson is scheduled to make $8.6 million this season and has a team option for $8 million next season, according to hoopshype.com. 

The Knicks’ salary cap is much higher than the accepted amount. This means that the Knicks have to pay additional money for exceeding the limit.

Knicks’ owner Jim Dolan has done this for years, so money is not a concern for him. Nelson is a proven veteran, but he is 31-years-old.

His good offensive advanced statistics does not mean he is a great shooter. His field goal percentage this season is an abysmal 39.2 percent, which is much worse than Felton’s 42.7 percent.

Nelson has missed the Magic’s last two games with a knee injury. Bleacher Report NBA Analyst Jared Zwerling tweeted that Nelson is hoping he can play on Wednesday.

Nelson has reached the NBA Finals as a member of the Magic. He could be the missing piece in the Knicks’ quest for another playoff run.

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Tags: Jameer Nelson NBA New York Knicks

  • wstaton29

    whats your point? To me they are just about the same.The knicks won’t get any better with Nelson. They need a much better point guard to run this team, a real floor general. They might want to give toure murray a shot just like they gave LIN a shot. Or trade everybody except Melo and Hardaway to turn this thing around some how.

    • Noah Weintraub

      They should consider trying to trade for him. That’s the point.