We continue with our look at profiling each New York Knicks player and where they rank on ESPN’s Top 500 list.
Up next on the countdown is newly signed point guard Jason Kidd, who clocks in at No. 157. An interesting note is that Kidd ranks higher on the list than projected starter Raymond Felton. After a 2012 season in which the future Hall of Famer averaged only 6.2 points and 5.5 assists while shooting only 36 percent from the floor, Kidd tumbled 98 spots from being ranked No. 49 in 2012.
Kidd should bring veteran leadership to the Knicks point guard spot, even coming off the bench. He’s still a great facilitator and decision maker, but one thing to note is that Kidd had a lower assist rate in 2012 than hyperactive shooter Monta Ellis, which isn’t a real good sign.
At his age, health will be a concern for the Knicks, but coming off the bench playing limited minutes could be good for him for a couple more seasons. Kidd initially wanted to sign with the Knicks to mentor Jeremy Lin, now he must do the same to Felton, even though Felton has been around for six years.
His PER is fading every year, down to a 13.11 last season, so he’s definitely not the productive player he once was. However Kidd will still add value to the Knicks simply by taking care of the ball, which will cut down on the Knicks turnover issues from a season ago. If Kidd comes off the Knicks’ bench and averages around eight points and six assists per 40 minutes, which should be fine.
However, his shooting could be an issue.
The Knicks don’t have a wealth of guys who can consistently knock down open jumpers and Kidd is a guy that must knock down open shots when he takes them. Opposing teams will dare him to beat them and in this offense, point guards get a lot of open looks from the outside. To prevent defenses from sagging down on the Knicks’ stars, a guy like Kidd will have to show that he can make teams pay for that.
That’s a big question mark as I don’t know if Kidd is capable of doing so at this point in his career.
However he adds quality depth off the bench and insurance in case Felton should go down.
Overall I’m not too excited about what Kidd can bring the Knicks as an individual, but I am excited about what he brings to the team in general. You can’t substitute for experience and that’s something Kidd certainly has. He’s a leader, which is something the Knicks lack and is still capable of doing some good things on the court.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.