Earlier this season, the Knicks had an issue of “too many guards” in the rotation which caused consternation within the fanbase. Behind Brunson was Immanuel Quickley, Donte DiVincenzo and Quentin Grimes fighting for minutes at the guard spot. Then the OG Anunoby trade happened, and Quickley’s removal from the roster opened up minutes for Grimes and playing time for Deuce McBride. Donte DiVincenzo solidified his role as the starting off guard and the Knicks went off to the best stretch of the season

Recently, the Knicks established another trade, but this most recent move may have partially undone the first. When all the players who are currently injured return to the rotation, the Knicks may end up even more congested than when the season began. The guard glut that existed may have minimized, but now Coach Thibs may be forced to remove a guard from the rotation in order for the best players to play. Here is the projected version of the Knicks rotation when everyone returns:

Looks fine until you realize that Precious Achiuwa, the current starting PF leading the league in minutes since January 30, is not listed. Precious has certainly played well enough to have earned a role, so how does Thibs resolve this issue? And beyond him, how does he get Precious in there and shorten the rotation down to less than 10 in time for the playoffs?


A playoff rotation of 9 players under this coach seems like a stretch, but if he does go down to 8, that means three rotation players would find themselves out of the lineup. Originally when they were acquired, I believed Alec Burks & Bojan Bogdonavic would join Josh Hart and Mitchell Robinson to spell the starters come playoff time. Their play since joining the Knicks, however, has given me pause. Would Thibs consider alternative options that would invalidate a trade that many considered a home run move? If Deuce continues to shoot well, could we see an 8 man rotation with Hart, Deuce and Mitch as the last 3 players? I don’t think it would be crazy to see Thibs go to a 9 player rotation, but still exclude both Burks and Bojan in favor of Precious Achiuwa. It’s a rotation that would be short on shooting, but the identity of the Knicks would be at it’s clearest.

If Thibs in the playoffs were to operate with both Burks & Bogdanovic in an Evan Fournier type role, it would be a clear announcement to the world that the trade was a complete failure. On the other hand, would anyone truly blame him if we got to April and Burks & Bojan didn’t clearly separate themselves from Deuce & Precious? The minutes situation for this team is definitely a storyline to watch moving forward.