The New York Knicks are back in the market for a player to fill their final roster spot. They've discussed the likes of Tim Frazier, Ray McCallum and Tony Wroten. Clearly the front office is looking for a point, which makes sense: Their point guards suck.
But would it really make sense to pick up a point guard? The Knicks already have a first-rounder manning that position in Jerian Grant ... or he would be manning that position, if he ever played. Kurt Rambis rarely used Jimmer Fredette during his 10-day contract, and still managed to keep Grant on the bench the majority of the time; honestly, I'm almost impressed by the kind of rotation gymnastics required to do that. If they pick up a Wroten or a McCallum, that player will either never get off the bench, or he'll take valuable minutes away from Grant.
Let us, instead, imagine a different path. What if the Knicks simply re-signed Thanasis Antetokounmpo?
I should begin with a caveat: I have still have illogically strong feelings for young Thanasis. I love the way he has adjusted his game in his second season in Westchester -- transitioning into a role player for a quality D-League club, taking fewer shots and focusing on getting to the basket.
So long as he stays away from those above-the-break threes, he's perfectly fine. And he still hustles his ass off on defense. The Knicks would appear to have enough good-to-crappy wing players, but when you consider the need to scale down Carmelo Anthony's minutes (We can hope, right?) and Rambis' habit of giving Kristaps Porzingis more minutes at center, they could always use one more.
I am under no illusions here: I'm almost certainly wrong in my evaluation, Thanasis probably won't make it as an NBA player, and this could very well be his last season with the Knicks organization. Even if he never plays another minute, he could still provide something valuable to the team, and to fans. Thanasis gives a shit. Shit, he probably gives too much of a shit. He's already proven himself to be an elite bench celebrator:
No one has ever been more excited to be down 2 https://t.co/PSRJYdXpgO— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) February 6, 2016
And there is legitimate joy in watching him get on the floor at the end of blowouts, dunking at hustling after fellow scrubs. Thanasis's 10-day stint was a hell of a lot more fun than Jimmer Fredette's.
This team is in need of a jolt of positive energy. The players look like they want to cry, the fans can barely stay away during the games. Instead of adding another soon-to-be-disappointed veteran to that mix, let's bring back to one guy who seemed legitimately excited to be here, and let him live out his dream, however fleeting.
Let's bring back Thanasis!