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New York Knicks Backup Point Guard Market Coming into Focus

December 8th, 2011 at 12:00 PM
By Matt Agne

One of the positions the New York Knicks are looking to fill is their backup point guard position. While the Knicks appreciate the heart shown by combo guard Toney Douglas in the playoffs despite being injured to the point he needed off-season surgery on his shoulder, the team wants insurance at that key position. Keeping in mind they are looking for a player to take a one year deal, the market is beginning to take shape.

While the Knicks have Douglas, the other guards are young and inexperienced. Landry Fields had a rookie year that exceeded expectations but playing the point guard position is not an option. Beyond Douglas and Fields, the Knicks also have second year player Andy Rautins, who got very little playing time during his rookie year. Rautins is a player with great three point range and experience as a point guard for the Canadian National Team but doesn't seem to have the coaching staff's confidence.

That leaves just rookie Iman Shumpert. The former Georgia Tech product is a defensive minded player who has the body of a shooting guard but that the Knicks are hoping to develop into a point guard. However, the Knicks coaching staff knows that he's not ready to lead the team for a significant amount of time if current starter Chauncey Billups were to go down with an injury.

Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com reports via his Twitter account that a few of the Knicks options have found work elsewhere.

Unrestricted free agent T.J. Ford is leaning toward signing with the San Antonio Spurs, according to league source.

Ford was a possibility because of his connection with former Knicks President Donnie Walsh.

Roger Mason Jr. is leaning toward signing with the Washington Wizards, according to league source.

Mason was on the Knicks roster last season and didn't really get playing time till the end of the season. Despite previously saying he had unfinished business in New York and that he wanted to return to the team, he either found a better opportunity for playing time or more money with the Wizards.

Sebastian Telfair is leaning toward signing with the Phoenix Suns, according to a league source.

Telfair was a favorite of Mike and Dan D'Antoni. He's a New Yorker and cousin of former Knicks' point guard Stephon Marbury.

However, the Knicks do have a very serviceable point guard who is interested in playing in New York. Jared Zwerling of ESPN.com reports Renaldo Balkman's Team Puerto Rico teammate Carlos Arroyo is interested in becoming his teammate in New York as well.

"I love New York," Arroyo told ESPNNewYork.com. "It would be a great situation for me — aside from being the largest Puerto Rican population in the U.S. (laughs). I have a great relationship with Chauncey, Melo and Amare, especially with Chauncey since we played together in Detroit [from 2004 to '06]." 

Arroyo has nine years of NBA experience. He has played for a host of NBA teams: Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. Add to that he has international experience playing for the Puerto Rican National Team. He's also played professionally in Puerto Rico, Spain and Israel.

Arroyo is not only friends with Balkman but is also former teammates with Billups from their Detroit Pistons days. From a marketability standpoint, the large Puerto Rican population in New York is a plus. Carlos was playing well for the Heat before being traded to the Celtics. There is no reason Arroyo couldn't come in and give the Knicks a very solid 12-15 minutes off the bench and give the guard core another experienced veteran.

Tags: Andy Rautins, Basketball, Carlos Arroyo, Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Renaldo Balkman, Toney Douglas

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