As Derrick Rose sat out much of the second half of Tuesday night's game against the Heat, it was easy to see just how thin the Knicks are spread at point guard, with only Brandon Jennings to turn to next.
This was a cause for concern during training camp, when New York opted to let Chasson Randle go. The thought that they could be without 50 percent of their point guard depth exposes quite a weakness.
Where do the Knicks go from here?
To further explore Randle and other quality up and coming players like him, they can turn to the D-League talent pool. There are plenty of youngsters grinding away. From Ray McCallum and Xavier Mumford, to the likes of Quinn Cook and Briante Weber, the list of intriguing floor generals goes on. Randle is obviously part of that list as well. He might make even more sense, especially given the fact that the Knicks have developed him dating back to NBA Summer League and he's learning the team's system even further in Westchester.
New York had similar success turning to Langston Galloway two years ago. For further validation, all the Knicks have to do is examine the makeup of the Heat team they faced on Tuesday night. Tyler Johnson and Rodney McGruder both came up through the Miami affiliated Sioux Falls Skyforce. Hassan Whiteside was the first D-League alum to sign a maximum NBA contract, and the rest of Miami's roster is sprinkled with minor league alumni.
Their scouting department has been terrific in finding diamonds in the rough, but the foresight to keep development a priority has been even better. They see things through and take chances on the players they like, helping them flourish and providing opportunities to shine on the NBA level thereafter.
The Knicks could learn a thing or two from their recent opponent, but they're on the right track. Though Justin Holiday and Lance Thomas didn't come up through their system, both are very hungry players who understand the grind and are more experienced and subsequently prepared due to D-League experience. The team valued patience when signing the 27-year-old Mindaguas Kuzmiskas, who spent years and years overseas before deeming himself ready for the NBA stage.
When looking at talented players to help fill out their roster, the Knicks will be smart to continue tapping into the talent available from the D-League. The experience and dedicated attention from respective staffs these players earn is often much more valuable than the chance to waste away at the end of an NBA bench. Such an opportunity prepares them to contribute sooner at the big league level. Perhaps that's why letting Randle go initially wasn't such a bad move after all.
But now it's time to reconsider. With Randle and other intriguing options available, New York needs to bolster its point guard depth. The roster is currently full, but looking Randle's way and letting a player like Maurice Ndour go may be the best move to help balance the roster a bit more at this point.