So much to do, so little money to work with: That is the New York Knicks situation for this off-season.
What do they do then?
Well, the franchise needs to focus and chose their priorities very carefully. The point guard position seems to be the priority as far as upgrading the roster is concerned and Patty Mills seems to be their guy!
The 25 year old out of Australia might not be the most athletic PG in the league, he is not the faster or most creative in the league, but he is a free agent this summer and boy is he a good fit for the Knicks.
Having played for Coach Gregg Poppovich for so long he knows everything there is to know about system basketball, something we know is going to be implemented in the team next year, and that alone is an improvement, but there’s so much more going on for him.
Defensively, he is as pesky and annoying as Pablo Prigioni, being able to defend the perimeter like any guard in the league. Offensively he is way more creative and way more competent running pick and rolls and making everyone around him better than any of the three point guards the Knicks have today. A true point guard, he showed all the skills you want for the position.
Can he handle the pressure in New York City?
Well, if the NBA Finals aren’t pressure enough, I don’t know what is. Patty Mills put up great clutch performances during the finals, with great team play and amazing sharpshooting from downtown. A guard so successful has got to want more attention brought to him. New York would be a perfect fit for that.
Can the Knicks afford him?
That’s what brings it all together. Being a back up for Tony Parker, Mills cannot possibly demand more than the mini mid level exception, something that the Knicks can cover without crippling themselves for the 2015 off-season bonanza. The argument that the Spurs might not want to let him leave is not strong, considering San Antonio has a talented and younger PG in Cory Joseph on their roster that is supposed to be on the team for a few years and has shown a lot of potential as well. Letting Mills leave would not hurt them that much.
So, bringing Mills in would be a win win situation. He can wait a year of tanking, while mastering the triangle and learning the ways of New York until 2015 when the big fish will come to NYC; and the Knicks will get a major cornerstone for the future roster, having a competent and young floor general to lead the troopsfor years to come.