Per Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD, the Knicks have expressed interest in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard.
The New York Knicks have expressed interest in Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour, according to source.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 13, 2013
Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minnesota also confirmed the report as well.
I’m sure Kahn is talking trade w/ lots of teams, but one for sure according to two league people: the #Knicks. Not sure of any particulars.
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) February 13, 2013
Any mutual interest that may exist between the Knicks and Timberwolves isn’t difficult to comprehend.
With Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton in the starting lineup, New York’s second-unit has just one point guard in Pablo Prigioni manning the second-unit. Ridnour would add some depth at the position and be more valuable a commodity come playoff time than the rookie Prigioni. Granted, he’s 35, but he has struggled at points during the season to grasp the flow of play at this level.
For Minnesota, its looking to move Ridnour and open things up in that traffic jam of a point guard rotation. As the NBA’s worst three-point shooting team, they could also you an additional threat from beyond the arc. Ridnour isn’t known for playing off the ball and is also shooting just over 32 percent from beyond the arc for the season, so he’s not the answer to the team’s current quandary.
But while it makes sense for the Knicks to target a backup point guard and for the Timberwolves to move Ridnour so they can open up their rotation, it’s going to be difficult for the two sides to come to an agreement.
Ridnour is making $4 million this season and while that normally wouldn’t be a hard figure to move. Under these circumstances, though, it is.
Assuming the Knicks don’t want to give up any of their key cogs (they won’t) they’ll have to give up roughly four players just to match Ridnour’s salary. Theoretically, they could deal Iman Shumpert, but that makes little sense considering Ridnour isn’t as talented a defender.
Steve Novak for Ridnour would work straight up as well, yet the former is still too important to New York’s cause. And no, I’m not kidding.
Novak is a regrettable defender, but he’s shooting 44.1 percent from beyond the arc this season. His impact has been limited because the team isn’t running him off enough curls, but it’s not going to be easy justifying the move of a sharpshooter when the Knicks are a team that spreads the floor and feasts off drive-and-kicks.
Minnesota is in need of a big man, and Marcus Camby’s salary would matchup nicely, but he’s been injured for almost the entire season, rendering his inclusion unlikely.
If anything, the Knicks would be looking at shipping out a combination of Ronnie Brewer, James White, Kurt Thomas and Prigioni just to land Ridnour. Whether New York is in dire need of another point guard or not, you don’t trade four players for a backup, even if just one of them is a rotation player.
Brewer and Thomas haven’t played much, but they’re great insurance policies. Much of the same can be said for White. And though Prigioni hasn’t been what you would call consistent, he has proved to be a valuable playmaker off the bench.
So don’t buy into any Ridnour to the Knicks talk too much. In fact, don’t buy into any trade rumors they’re linked to at all. And not just because Carmelo Anthony said so.
But because it’s near impossible for them to pull the trigger on a deal without disrupting their entire roster.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.