By Max Marcilla
At Murray State, Isaiah Canaan was a tremendous scorer at the guard position. He averaged 22.4 points per game, while doing it efficiently at 43% shooting. While Canaan is projected to go in the late part of the first round, the Knicks may want to look at him with the 24th overall pick. Here is why.
Depth- With Jason Kidd retiring and taking over the Head Coaching job of the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks are left with 2 point guards on the roster, Raymond Felton and possibly Pablo Prigioni. Prigioni is probably going to return to the Knicks this upcoming season, but no one expects him to be a long-term piece to the puzzle. Raymond Felton is a solid player, but maybe not starter worthy in a conference that is dominated by great point guards, such as Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams. While Isaiah Canaan may not be the immediate answer to the point guard dilemma, his scoring abilities could be the catalyst that anoints him the starting point guard role in the near future.
Control of the Game- One of the big plus’ in Canaan’s game is his ability to run a fast offense, with his best skills being his speed and his quickness with the ball. The Knicks struggled in the series with Indiana in controlling the tempo and forcing Indiana to go smaller to match-up with the Knicks. If Canaan can continue to score in the NBA like he did at Murray State, then teams will definitely have to put a quick guard on him to stop him, leaving big men open for good looks.
Melo’s Sidekick- Carmelo Anthony cannot lead a team all by himself. No one can. LeBron James, the reigning MVP couldn’t do it in Cleveland, and since uniting with D-Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, he has had tremendous success. The Knicks have been exploring second options for scoring, and with J.R Smith’s return questionable (and even if he does return, who knows how consistent he will be) Canaan could fit in to that role. Not only would it take the load off of Melo, but it would also relieve Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni, as often times they tried to be better scorers then they actually are.
Odds are that Canaan will be available at the 24th pick, but a lot of people are wondering if the Knicks would go for a guard or a big man, such as Gorgei Dieng. If the Knicks do decide to go with a point guard, Canaan is without a doubt an option.