That media machine is at it again with speculation that point guard Brandon Jennings is a target of the New York Knicks. Is it worth going after the lefty?
By David Hong
The New York Knicks are trying to improve upon their inconsistent, 23rd ranked offense in the league.
They are looking at several players, and one of them (thanks to the media machine out there) is Detroit Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings, via Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Point guard has been a problem for the Knicks all season with the inconsistent play of Jose Calderon and the slow development of rookie Jerian Grant.
Jennings can possibly solve that problem. He is a talented but erratic player at times, and he’s had an injury riddled 2015-2016 season so far. He just recently returned from an achilles injury and has played two games so far, averaging seven points on 39% shooting from the field in 19 minutes per game.
There’s no doubt, when healthy Jennings can be a huge spark-plug on the floor with his play-making ability.
His best season came in 2011-2012 when he averaged 19.1 points, 5.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds. He is still only 26 years old and with him currently backing up Reggie Jackson at the point guard spot, he could be dealt to a team in need of a starting point guard. The Knicks should definitely be on that list as they have struggled to find a true playmaker all year, which could attest to their sluggish offensive play at times, despite having Carmelo Anthony and rookie Kristaps Porzingis out there.
However, there are some red flags to the thought of Jennings.
We all know what Jennings can do offensively in how well he can score and create offense for both himself and his teammates, but he does have a questionable shot selection and can be erratic with his shooting at times. He’s a career 35% from three point land but only 39% from the field career wise.
The Knicks previously had a similar erratic like scorer in J.R. Smith, who they traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. We don’t know how Coach Derek Fisher could deal with another similar like player in Jennings.
There could also be the chemistry issue too. Jennings is a shoot-first player, meaning there’d be some worries if there would be enough shots available for himself, Melo and Porzingis.
Then there is the injury factor with Jennings just coming back and his slow development so far. Jennings did tell David Mayo of MLive on Thursday that he is getting closer to normal.
“My body’s feeling better now every day,” Jennings told Mayo. “I don’t have to really put heat packs on my legs, or anything like that anymore.”
If Jennings can be close to full strength he will definitely be a big upgrade over Calderon and Grant at point guard. Jennings can penetrate off the dribble unlike Calderon and can create his own shot. He can also dish it when he has to. He is also much more experienced than Grant and Grant is not yet ready to be a starter. He will provide more scoring punch than either Calderon or Grant and would take pressure off Melo and Porzingis.
Plus Jennings would be a free agent after this season so the asking price should be reasonable and it won’t affect the Knicks financially.
If the Knicks want to go to the playoffs they’ll need to acquire a proven point guard (Brandon Jennings) who will clearly improve this position over the players the Knicks currently throw out there.