Following the addition of six players and a couple draft picks this offseason, the Knicks are just about out of money. So far the team has done an admirable job of signing defensive contributors and role players that fit within its system.
Even with the full-on rebuild, New York still has a major need for another scorer that can shoot the deep ball. The team can opt to add another player using the $2.8 million salary cap exception and Alexey Shved has been rumored to be on the radar. The 6’6″ guard is a solid player but due to the lack of a three-point threat, the Knicks should be looking elsewhere, possibly at homegrown talent Ben Gordon.
Here are three reasons Phil Jackson could look to the Mount Vernon-product to bolster it’s offensive attack.
1. Instant Offense
Every team needs at least one hired-gunner and Ben Gordon could be just that for the Knicks. The veteran guard averages 15 points per game for his career and is able to score in bunches.
He can still create his own shot at 32 years old and is able to knock down mid-range jumpers or spot up threes. Shot selection can be an issue but you won’t find many other players with his offensive prowess at that price.
2. Three Point/ Clutch Shooting
Gordon is a 40% career shooter from downtown and has averaged 1.6 three point makes per game. Jose Calderon is the only other player on the Knicks roster that has a better shooting percentage from deep in the NBA.
Additionally, New York fans can tell you all about his clutch shooting. Ben has been somewhat of a Knick-killer over the years and he’s never afraid to take and make big shots. We all know President Phil Jackson doesn’t really believe in a heavy amount of three point attempts, but somebodies got to hit them.
3. Hometown kid
Ben Gordon was born in the United Kingdom but moved to Mount Vernon, New York shortly after. He led his Mount Vernon high school team to a NY State Basketball Championship in 2000 and went on to star at nearby University of Connecticut.
The Knicks targeted him in free agency a year or two ago but couldn’t reel him in. If the shooting guard signed to play in the Garden he’d surely have plenty of fans all over the area.
New York’s roster is just about finalized but as it stands, theres only one player on it that’s averaged at least 15 points a game or more in his career. Ben Gordon is a proven veteran scorer in the NBA and could absolutely provide that spark off the bench.
The Knicks would be smart to offer him the veteran’s minimum, although who knows if he’d accept. If not Phil Jackson and the front office could at least check in and see if the exception would work, or if they need to look elsewhere to improve the offense.