When the Knicks’ signed Argentine point guard and Spanish league star Pablo Prigioni this summer, it was assumed he’d hold down the third string point guard slot. While he is still behind Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd on the depth chart, Prigioni could possibly find himself in the rotation early in the season.
The Knicks are currently shallow at shooting guard, with Iman Shumpert recovering from a torn ACL and Ronnie Brewer recovering from surgery on his meniscus. J.R. Smith will see a lot of time, but Smith has never been an effective player when he’s forced to play 35 or more minutes per game. James White, a former NBA player who’s returning from Italy to play for the Knicks on a one-year contract may be an option, but he’s still unproven.
Mike Woodson has suggested that Jason Kidd might play some two-guard for his size and shooting ability, which would leave Felton or Prigioni to play the point guard. With Felton already likely to log fairly heavy minutes, this may open the door for Prigioni to carve out a role with the Knicks. And given his style, it would certainly make sense to give him minutes.
Whether it’s Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak, or J.R. Smith, the Knicks are loaded with guys who like to score and finish a play. It could be dunking the ball, it could be shooting it – these players like to score. Prigioni is a classic point guard, a set-up man, according to the man himself:
“I’m not the type of player who wants to score all the time. I prefer that the team play good. I feel good when the team play good and teammates like to play with me because I get them the ball and I think about how they got to score.”
Prigioni was voted the best point guard in the Spanish ACB League, and also has experience running the Argentine national team where he’s played against NBA competition in the Olympics. While the NBA is a different game and Prigioni is still yet to play real NBA minutes, he still could play a valuable role for the Knicks this season.