Knicks is expected to add versatile 19-year-old PG “alongside RJ Barrett.”

Kemba Walker, New York Knicks


Kemba Walker, New York Knicks

Point Guards and the New York Knicks are like a Cinderella story – always looking for the owner of a glass slipper. Unfortunately, for the last half decade, if not more, almost every watch that has passed Maddison Square Garden has come up short.

Throughout this season we’ve seen Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose, Miles McBride and Immanuel Quickley take turns leading offense, with mixed results. But with the Knicks’ sudden resurgence late in the season (they fell 12-7 on March 1), it’s clear that the team’s best chance of returning to the postseason lies with its young players.

Quickley has proven to be a viable combo guard and McBride has shown future potential while Obi Toppin and RJ Barrett are the team’s future stars. And now, with another chance to win the NBA draft lottery, the Knicks have an opportunity to finally solve their point guard conundrum for the foreseeable future.

In a recent draft played by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Knicks picked TyTy Washington of Kentucky with the 12th pick of the draft. Though the rookie guard does not possess elite athletics, he projects to be a high-level playmaker with perimeter scorer advantages, which could place him well alongside high-level play finishers like Barrett and Topin.

Who is TyTy Washington

Washington is a unique view from Kentucky. A six-foot-tall guard who averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in his freshman season at the collegiate level and averaged 45.1% from the field and 35% from deep in 31 games lap.

“He sees all the ground and can make any pass, whether it’s a lob, a dish-to-cutter or a kick-out. A deadly midrange scorer who makes 52.5 percent of his floaters and 43 percent of his dribbling jumper 2s. He has all the moves he needs to become a strong 3-point shooter with side steps and stepbacks, despite only doing 30.4 percent of dribble jumper 3s in Kentucky,” O’Connor noted in his scouting report.

Washington could easily slip into the team’s first or second unit as a rookie and develop on the fly. With such good sense of the offensive side of the ground, the Knicks would have their playmaker intact for the start of next season, which could allow Toppin and Barrett to continue their development as goalscorers and off-ball threats.

However, due to the limited athleticism of the Kentucky product, he doesn’t project out of goal as a senior full-back, and given head coach Tom Thibodeau’s penchant for prioritizing defensively solid players, there’s no guarantee Washington will get the minutes he needs himself to develop into the point guard of the future in New York.

Walker is unlikely to be back in New York next season

Kemba Walker was an unfortunate casualty of the Knicks season. The former All-Star guard has been on the decline since knee problems derailed his time with the Boston Celtics, and now, with limited burst and a suspect three-point shot, Walker will likely be looking for his third team in as many years.

What we’ve seen from Walker this season has always been part of the risk. Walker is no longer one of the faster guards in the league and is unable to reliably improve his shots. Walker is a shadow of the Guardians who dominated the NBA while he was with the Charlotte Hornets, and his “Iron Man” nickname has also become a thing of the past.

Now the Knicks will look to leave a player they thought could be a smart recovery project to add some points to an already impressive defensive lineup.

And just like that, New York is returning to the drawing board and looking to the blueprint for some cost-controlled high-upside talent, as it’s become clear this is the best path forward for the Knicks in seasons to come. Knicks is expected to add versatile 19-year-old PG “alongside RJ Barrett.”

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