Starter: Courtney Lee
Depth: Tim Hardaway Jr., Ron Baker
Fun fact, Tim Hardaway Jr. was the second leading scorer for the Knicks last season. Not so fun addendum to that fact, the guard put up his 17.5 points per game while shooting just 42.1 percent from the field and hitting on a meager 31.7 percent of his 3-point attempts. His lack of efficiency, despite his ability to go ballistic in terms of scoring at any moment, is why he currently can’t be relied on as a starter.
Having said that, it’s hard to say that Courtney Lee, who projects as the starting shooting guard, is a great option for this iteration of this team. He’s a much surer option, to be clear, but is that really what a bad New York roster needs? He’s efficient and has been a solid defender in his career, but he doesn’t move the needle a great deal.
Thus, we have a conundrum at this position entering the season that David Fizdale will have to figure out. Is it better for the future of the team to roll with a steady veteran like Lee more often than trying to continue to develop Hardaway?
Put simply, the latter option appears better given the state of this roster and team. Seeing Lee for 30 minutes per game isn’t going to offer much for the future of the franchise, which is what this season should be about, looking for pieces that fit moving forward.
As for Ron Baker, he’s far from spectacular but is a nice end-of-roster piece with his ability to give minutes at either guard position and play his role solidly, though likely never more than that.