Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Would Do Well to Find the Right Point Guard

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Would Do Well to Find the Right Point Guard

Article excerpt

As teams study every angle of the hopeful players eligible for Thursday's NBA Draft, the Knicks are left with a gaping hole to fill and almost no hope of finding it among the prospects.

When Jason Kidd opted for retirement, and less than two weeks later cemented the decision by becoming head coach of the Nets, the Knicks lost -- on paper -- a backup point guard. But Kidd, as he has been throughout his playing career, was so much more.

It may not have been the plan when the Knicks signed him last summer, but Kidd started 48 games, a dozen in place of Raymond Felton when Felton's hand was banged up, and the rest beside Felton at shooting guard. But wherever he was -- point guard, shooting guard, small forward, starter or bench piece -- Kidd was a coach on the court, the leader and brains of the team.

So when the Knicks search for a replacement -- and they need one with Pablo Prigioni a free agent, which leaves Felton as the lone sure thing at point guard -- they know they may find someone with more speed or with a steadier shot. But they can't replace what Kidd provided.

Nets general manager Billy King, who landed Kidd as coach, spoke Monday of the hunt for point guards, noting, "You look for leadership. You're looking for a guy you think can run the floor and lead. Guys who have the quickness to ... can they run pick-and- rolls? Do they have vision on the court when they are running pick- and-rolls? Are they more of a scoring point guard, or a pass-first point guard?"

It's rare to find a player like Kidd, who, as he likes to joke, didn't come in the league as a scorer, and didn't leave that way, either. The draft features a handful of point guards who are expected to be first-round picks, and many will be gone before the Knicks pick at No. 24.

Michigan's Trey Burke, Lehigh's C.J. …

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