Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are the only point guards in the New York Knicks roster with guaranteed contracts next season. Both would greatly benefit from having a third playmaker on the team.
The Knicks are one player shy from completing its 15-man roster for the 2016-17 season. Handing the final spot to a point guard would be the most rational option. Rose and Jennings are still working themselves up from serious injuries. A setback to one or both of them would be a PR disaster for Phil Jackson as well as the whole Knicks organization.
As a contingency plan, the Knicks can sign either Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole. The former Miami Heat teammates know what it takes to be vital contributors on a super team. The two won back-to-back championships as the main and backup facilitators to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen.
Basketball Insiders indicated that Cole would be a better fit in New York. At 27 years old, the former Cleveland State standout is in the prime years of his career.
On the other hand, Chalmers is the arguably the top point guard left in free agency, but his effectiveness is currently in doubt. He just recovered from an Achilles tear which he suffered in March. Factor in Rose and Jennings’ questionable durability, the idea of signing a third enigmatic point guard may not bode well with Knicks fans.
After five months of rehabbing, Chalmers was recently cleared by doctors to play basketball again. The 30-year-old Alaska native is never short on confidence. He will be needing it as he tries to revive his NBA career.
“Finally cleared to get back on the court. This been a long ass 5 months man,” Chalmers said on Twitter. “But we don’t kill u make u stronger.”
NBA training camp will start in late September. All teams should have a complete roster by then. The Knicks signed combo guards Chasson Randle and Ron Baker to partially-guaranteed contracts after they played for the team during this year’s Las Vegas Summer League. One of them might earn the final roster spot. Who knows what Phil Jackson is thinking.