2007 Knicks Preseason Roster Crunch

jon abbey Said:

Mike, can you do a piece on the roster situation? I read that Houston takes them to 20 guys, do we have a list of them somewhere? when do they have to cut that to 15, by opening night?

Sure thing Jon. And I do believe we have to cut the roster to 15 by opening day (or thereabouts), with only 12 suiting up each night. Up to 3 players can be inactive, with the option to send players to the NBDL. If a veteran player is on the inactive list, they usually make up a fake injury by throwing darts on an injury labeled dartboard.

Definites: 7

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College Yrs
32 Renaldo Balkman F 6-8 208 Jul. 14, 1984 South Carolina 1
11 Jamal Crawford G 6-5 200 Mar. 20, 1980 Michigan 7
34 Eddy Curry C 6-11 285 Dec. 5, 1982 Thornwood HS (IL) 6
42 David Lee F 6-9 240 Apr. 29, 1983 Florida 2
3 Stephon Marbury G 6-2 205 Feb. 20, 1977 Georgia Tech 11
50 Zach Randolph F 6-9 260 Jul. 16, 1981 Michigan State 6
23 Quentin Richardson G/F 6-6 235 Apr. 13, 1980 DePaul 7

Barring a trade these guys will be on the roster in November.

Probables: 3 (10)

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College Yrs
4 Nate Robinson G 5-9 180 31-May-84 Washington 2
5 Randolph Morris C/F 6-11 260 Jan. 2, 1986 Kentucky 1
25 Mardy Collins G 6-6 220 Aug. 4, 1984 Temple 1

I’d be hard to imagine one of these guys not making the team, but if I had to choose one of the three I could see Collins being the odd man out. Yes Isiah gave him the keys to the team at the end of the year, mostly because of a decimated lineup. The guy is a fine defender, but he can’t hit a jumpshot anywhere on the court. And while you can live with that at a few positions, point guard isn’t one of them. Personally I like Collins, and this team definitely needs a perimeter defender of his caliber. For how much we think NBA front offices are clueless about per minute stats and shooting percentages, I could see them evaluating Collins poorly.

Possibles: 3 (13)

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College Yrs
20 Jared Jeffries F 6-11 240 Nov. 25, 1981 Indiana 5
31 Malik Rose F 6-7 255 Nov. 23, 1974 Drexel 11
21 Wilson Chandler F 6-8 220 10-May-87 DePaul R

It’s not so much that I don’t think Chandler will be cut, but it’s possible that he ends up in the NBDL instead of the NBA. Remember when the Knicks drafted Sweetney and had too many PFs? Sweetney started the year in the developmental league, and Chandler may just find himself in a similar situation. Looking above, there are already 5 guys that can play SF/PF. Randolph and Lee should eat up all the minutes at power forward. At small forward you have Richardson, Balkman, Jeffries, and possibly Lee & Rose. Oh don’t forget that Isiah likes to play 3 guards every now and then. If Chandler does make the roster, he’ll likely see more time at the end of the bench.

Of course the other options are cutting Collins above or buying out either Jeffries or Rose. None of these are particularly easy pills for Isiah to swallow. Jeffries is too young and has 4 years left on his deal. On the other hand Rose is the only defensively minded power forward on the team, and he has 2 years on his contract as well. Of the three Rose is more likely to go, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. It seems that Isiah tends to buy out Knicks that he’s burned his bridges with, as opposed to ones that have outlived their usefulness.

On the Outside Looking In: 3 (16)

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College Yrs
2 Fred Jones G 6-2 225 Mar. 11, 1979 Oregon 5
1 Jared Jordan G 6-2 190 Oct. 14, 1984 Marist 1
35 Demetris Nichols G/F 6-8 215 Sep. 4, 1984 Syracuse R

The two rookies are intriguing. Considering that Isiah keeps them, both should play in the NBDL this year. Although if I had to choose one to make the team it would be Nichols. Having an outside shooter on the bench will be useful when teams zone it up on Curry/Randolph.

Isiah coached Mr. Jones from his days in Indiana. The problem is Indiana Jones couldn’t crack 20 min/g for a losing Portland team last year. Yes he’s athletic and can (supposedly) play defense. But I’d rather roll my dice with a younger more useful Mardy Collins.

Oh God Please No! 2 (18)

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College Yrs
13 Jerome James C 7-1 285 Nov. 17, 1975 Florida A&M 8
? Allan Houston G 6-6 205 4/2/1971 Tennesse 13

It’s time to cut Jerome James. Isiah inserted him into the starting lineup for a stretch last year & he still couldn’t manage to stay on the court for long. James only managed 272 minutes on the season. As for Allan Houston, he was most useful for the Knicks when the team had lots of talent at the other spots. If he’s serious about a comeback he should find a team that fits that description.

Who? 2 (20)

No Player Pos Ht Wt Born College Yrs
6 Walker Russell, Jr. G 6-1 170 Oct. 6, 1982 Jacksonville State R
26 Roderick Wilmont G 6-4 205 Jul. 28, 1983 Indiana R

Usually I’m pretty thorough with my research, however there is such a small chance that anyone other than the above makes the team that I won’t even bother with anyone this low on the depth chart.

Who makes the team?
How the roster shapes out depends on two things. The first is how badly Isiah thinks he needs a third center on the roster. Cato had that role and only saw 95 minutes total last season. With a roster this tight, that seems to be a luxury. The second factor is how Isiah feels about the NBDL. If he’d rather the rookies see action there instead of having front row seats to NBA games, then he might be more likely to play it conservative and stick with Rose & Jeffries.

Personally I would cut Jones, Rose, and James, keep Chandler on the roster, and put Nichols and Jordan in the development league until a few spots open up due to injury. I have a feeling that Isiah may do the same, but I wouldn’t be surprised if James is around as center insurance/team clown and Chandler is in the NBDL (in favor of Rose) until Quentin’s back acts up.

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

66 thoughts to “2007 Knicks Preseason Roster Crunch”

  1. KB–

    Thanks for sifting through this.

    “put Nichols and Jordan in the development league until a few spots open up due to injury.”

    Doesn’t the NBDL count against inactive spots? Since there is no injured reserve anymore, I don’t think injuries can open up a spot. Maybe they can. I guess I’m still a little confused. My source is a bit convuluted (my non-mathematical mind is having trouble figuring out…)


  2. Having seen Jordan up close last night, I see no possibility that he will be able to contribute anything at all for at least 3 or 4 years. There is no reason to keep him. Put him in the “Please No” column.

    If I had to bet, I would guess that Isiah cuts Jordan, Houston (not very warm statements about him over the last few days), and Nichols (out of spite, not reason, because of his refusal to go to Europe). Personally, I would prefer cutting James. Actually, I would prefer deporting him, but that’s not within Isiah’s power.

  3. nice, thanks, Mike! good breakdown.

    I agree with Marc that as of now, I’d think Isiah would cut Jordan, Houston and Nichols. of course, what makes no sense is that he went out of his way to acquire the two rookies after the rest of this roster was in place, same with Houston (although that didn’t cost anything except presumably taking some exhibition game minutes away from younger guys who could use them much more). I still think there has to be some kind of trade here, and that Isiah would want to keep both Nichols and Jordan (or why trade for them?) but the window for that is getting shorter.

  4. Z – Players sent to the NBDL definitly count againt the roster limit. If the Knicks sent two players to the NBDL (the maximum allowed) then they could only have 13 other players on the roster.

    KB – Good evaluation although since the NBDL counts against the roster limit I would put Chandler as a definite.

    I would say that Walker and Wilmont are out and that James, Houston, Nichols, Jordan, Jones and Rose will compete for the last three spots. There is a very small chance that Collins, Nate or Jeffries could get the boot but I would be shocked.

    Personally I would like to see Rose, Houston, and James get cut. Unless Houston really impresses then we should cut Jones instead.

  5. I would venture to say there is no way Allan Houston makes the team. Nor will Walker or Wilmont.

    In that case, two more players will be cut.

    My order of likelihood:
    – Jordan. Based on the early reviews: no way, at least not this year.

    – Nichols. The vibes aren’t good.

    – James. The people’s choice. But since Nichols isn’t setting the world on fire, not sure the Knicks are quite ready to eat this one.

    – Rose. Wouldn’t be a total shocker to see him get cut, as a favor to a nice guy, but he will be a significant trade asset next year, and a buyout is expensive.

    – Jones. Pretty unlikely he gets cut. Isiah likes him, he fills a need and has looked solid.

    – Collins. Similar skills to Jones, but can play the point where we’re very thin, and comes even cheaper.

    In the zone of near-total roster safety…
    – Jeffries. He could get the buyout ax next year, but if any big-ticket guy gets a golden parachute, it’s the other JJ.

    – Richardson. If the back problem is worse than we know…

    – Robinson. Talent-wise, I’d put him in the starting 5, but we have a lot of bodies at the same position and there’s always the fear he’ll have, or give someone, a nervous breakdown.

    – Morris. If James sticks around, and they think Morris will walk next year, I suppose there’s some infitesimal chance he’ll be cut.

    Everyone else is sticking, come hell or high water.

  6. So, let’s just say Q’s back goes out in Nov. and he’s out for the season. Does a roster spot open up, or does the team have to go with just 14 players? Same for if Houston hangs it up again weeks after making the team. Is there no way of keeping the rookies in the wings without the Europe option? If they are cut (and remain unsigned) are Jordan and Nichols still considered Knick “property”?

    Along the same lines, can Collins be cut? He’s under contract. Same with Nate. Don’t they need to be bought out (which needs to be a mutual agreement)? I guess Jones can be waived. Is this because he was acquired via a trade or because he’s in the final year of his contract? (What exactly is the difference between being waived and being cut?) (Sorry for all the questions but this is a gray area for me).

    Since Nichols, Jordan, and Houston (and Jones I guess) are unsigned, they seem like the logical four that are competing (since they are all similar perimeter players) for whatever roster spots are open (after a decision on James and Rose is made). If both Rose and James are bought out, that would mean three of the four would make the team. If only James is bought out then two of the four will make it. If no one is bought out, then one of the four.

    I guess Houston isn’t really competing against the others but against himself. If he shows he can still play, he’ll make it regardless of how great the others do.

    Basically I think James should obviously be bought out, but these things are easier said than done. Rose is valuable as an expiring contract in the near future, so he’ll probably have “back spasms” for the year. Houston is the wild card. If he shows he can still move, then Jones, Nichols, and Jordan are shit out of luck.

    “James, Houston, Nichols, Jordan, Jones and Rose will compete for the last three spots”

    If James is “competing” then he will lose. I think James is either in (because there’s nothing else to do with him) or he’s out (because he’s useless). He’s not playing his way onto the team.

  7. The Nichols/Jordan moves are definitely confusing if those are the guys that get cut. It should have been obvious that neither would compete for PT this year given our depth, so I figured Isaiah was planning on stashing them in the D league to see what happens. That would be a more worthwhile use of the roster spots than giving Big Snacks and Allan Houston seats at the end of the bench. Then again, we can’t operate on the assumption that IT has any rational plan for adding or subtracting players. And as for the need for a third center: we would be much better off starting two power forwards than one PF + JJ. So cut him already.

  8. yeah, I think the addition of Randolph makes James completely unnecessary. the only way he’s needed is if you have multiple simultaneous injuries to Randolph/Curry/Lee/Morris, and even then Rose can fill in some in an emergency.

  9. Jones has a guaranteed contract for about $3 million.

    Being cut and being waived are the same thing.

    It’s an interesting question – if you cut a guy, of course you still have to pay him, but can you replace him on the roster? I think so… but does anyone know for sure? It’s probably academic, because why would any player refuse a buyout, as long as their paid off the full amount, or close to it?

    It doesn’t look as though Europe is an option for any of the players, though if that’s because of some NBA roster deadline, or just because most European rosters are set at this point, I don’t know.

    As I understand it, the Knicks can’t hold onto the rights of Jordan, Nichols or any other player who doesn’t make the 15-man roster – unless, possibly, if those guys sit out a full year (due to injury or something)

  10. I’ve read this blog a bit but this is my first post. Let me first say that I’m hoping a solid move is made to alleviate some of the roster glut. But if not, heres my take:

    While most Knick fans would like to see veteran (Rose, James, Jefferies) buyouts its highly unlikely this season. There were two large buy-outs last season (Mo Taylor & Jalen Rose) and Dolan is (until further notice) on the hook for 11.6m to Anucha.

    Besides Rose’s contract will be a valuable asset this coming offseason during a good free agent market. (think sign and trade) And while I would keep a guy like Nichols over him, his defense against bigs may come in handy later.

    We all know James is a waste of space but I still don’t see Isaiah and Dolan paying him to go away. I do think Jeffries can be good but he needs regular PT to get his confidence back and that’s not gonna happen with the other SF’s on this squad. Maybe he can see some backup center min (?)

    Like Z said if H20 (or H7 now??) can show something he will make the squad. And judging by Isaiah’s preason rotation so far and comments to the press, Jones is a keeper.

    When it’s all said and done, I think Nichols, Jordan, and Morris will be cut.

    There is talk of Jordan to Europe so maybe we keep his rights. Morris if any of you have watched him doesn’t look NBA caliber. IMHO. I think Isaiah will cut his 800k way before he eats mutli-millions.

    Just my 2 cents………But hopefully there is a move because if it shakes out like how I’m feeling we’ve got waaaaaaaaaay too many guards on this squad!!

  11. Caleb if you cut a guy, you can replace him on the roster but his salary does not come off of the cap. The cutee’s salary will count towards the salary cap for the full length of the original contract.

    So in Jame’s case his salary would still count for the next 3 years. That’s why Houston’s contract was such a big deal. He wasn’t playing but his salary was taking up a big chunk of the cap for the last few years. It’s done now though.

    Your also right about keeping the rights to rookies. If we cut them from the roster we no longer hold their rights. But if they play overseas then we can retain their rights when they come back to the league.

  12. I think we only have the option of keeping the rights to rookies that play overseas if they haven’t already signed a contract. Haven’t Nichols and Jordan already signed?

    Speaking of which, why doesn’t Houston take another month or two to work out before he comes back? The big question is whether he can put up with the grind of the 82 game season. He should work out on his own until December when, because of injury, trade or player incompetence, a roster spot may open up. It’s clear that he wants to play locally to be near his family. Hopefully he’ll take the hint and bide his time.

  13. According to today’s AP story on AH:

    “Thomas all but guaranteed Fred Jones, acquired with Zach Randolph in the trade with Portland, would remain with the team.”

  14. Obviously, Russell and Wilmont are automatic outs. Next to them, I’d have to say that Jordan gets the ax along with Houston. That leaves the final cut to most likely be Nichols in my opinion (since Europe is out of the question apparently).

    I just don’t see Zeke buying out Jeffries (too soon &too much) or James (not yet anyway) this year, and the fact that he still has a job means he’ll probably use Rose’s contract as trade bait next year instead of trying to do something now.

  15. If a player is placed on waivers other teams can purchase him at his contract price. So I guess you cut players that don’t have guaranteed contracts and waive those that do. The difference seems to be that the waived players that are picked up can come off the salary book of the waiving team. Therefore, if there is a chance another team would want Jeffries or James they can be waived with their contracts possibly coming off the books at the same time (highly highly highly unlikely, bt theoretically possible, yes?). Otherwise, waiving players with guarenteed contracts is the same as buying them out at full price. Is this right? (Still trying to wrap my head around the process of trimming rosters…)

    Why would the GM deal for players that numerically had no shot of making the team? Seems that a trademark IT lateral move has been imminent for months, but when is it coming? I think that if all holds until the end of preseason, Isiah is going to have to finally own up to at least one terrible free agent signing and buy out Jerome James.

    Oh– a few more question: Can the Knicks pay Nichols to play in Europe? Can they pay him more than the NBA would allow him to make if he was playing for the Knicks? Has Jordan indicated he’d refuse to play in Europe as well? Can they play anywhere in Europe on any team? Would European teams even want them?

  16. Cut Jeffries (why do we need him with Balkman and Chandler?)
    Cut James (B-ball IQ and professionalism=0)
    Cut Jones (overachieving undersized scrub, poor man’s Nate, can’t shoot. Don’t want to hear about his D at 6’2″)
    Cut Collins (like him, but slow, poss injured; would rather give Nichols a shot to develop and like what I see out of Nate so far as a back-up PG)
    Keep Houson (immediately the best shoter on the team by far, zone-breaker when teams pack it down against EC and ZR 5-10 minutes per game, leadership)
    Keep Nichols (will learn from Allan, you can’t coach height)

    Bottom line, this team is already 10 deep and had options at all positions. Take some risks with the last 5 and dump the junk with no developmental potential, i.e. Jones, Jeffries and James. At least AH is 6’6″ with unlimited range, big game experience and something to offer younger players.

    come on, Jordan? get real. He’s a poor man’s dan dickau.

  17. I like what Z-man wrote but I differ on 2 moves – I think Isiah will keep Fred Jones (played like a champ vs. Tel Aviv) and cut Houston. I pray for cutting James (if he was 6′ 11″ – he would not be in he NBA) and Jeffries – 2 scrubs and 2 terrible free agent signings. And I am not impressed with Morris but he is Tim Duncan when compared to James.

  18. One thing that bugs me abut Isiah is that he loses sight of how important shooting is. He forgets that on his championship teams, just about everyone (save Dennis Rodman) could shoot/score consistently as well as play D. The Knicks have guys that are either inconsistent or have glaring weaknesses. Fred Jones is a perfect example of a limited player who Isiah will keep around because he likes him or he hustles or something, and will ignore that he has already proven he has no upside to look forward to. Any idiot knows this is not a championship team, so what is the point of keeping jones over a sharpshooter limited to 5-10 mpg or a 6’8″ poor man’s Glen Rice in DN? At least the latter 2 can stretch a defense in crunch tme.

  19. Lol, everyone excepting Rodman could shoot on the Pistons? Everyone other than Isaiah himself you must mean, who was nothing special in that department. Isaiah had a career ts% of 51.6% which is nothing spectacular. That’s 1.3% point worse than Marbury, and less than a percentage point better than Crawford. He had exactly one year in which his ts% was above 53%.

    He did other things well, and was a very good player, but he gets more credit than he deserves for the success of those Pistons teams.

    It’s a joke to be discussing Houston. The guy did not have a single year in the NBA when he was an above average shooting guard. Not one. He is quite possibly the most overrated, overpaid player in NBA history. We talk a lot about Layden, Thomas, mistakes made, etc. No mistake was bigger than the Allan Houston signing.

    This is one of my favorite Wages of Wins post. Its an old one on the difference between Houston and Reggie Miller.


  20. “he gets more credit than he deserves for the success of those Pistons teams.”

    just curious, were you around then, did you watch that team, or is that conclusion solely or largely drawn from stats? Isiah had a great supporting cast, but he was an incredible player, especially in big situations. that famous duel in the deciding game in the first round against NY in 1984, Isiah against Bernard King, in which Isiah scored 16 points in the last 93 seconds of regulation to force OT, is probably the game that made me fall in love with the NBA for life (or until Dolan knocks it out of me). also, that game he played on one leg against the Lakers in the Finals was remarkable, pure will and desire.


  21. Owen – There are a couple of problems with Berri’s assesment.

    First about rebounds – Just because Houston averages 1.5 rebounds per 48 minutes less than the average SG does not mean he costs his team 1.5 rebounds. If a better rebounder replaced Houston he would help the teams rebounding but not nearly to the extent that Berri supposes. When a player fails to grab a rebound it still has a chance to be rebounded by his teammate so if you replaced Houston with an average SG the Knicks rebounding would probably be better but not 1.5 rebounds per 48 minutes better.

    About the Turnovers – Berri only looks at gross turnovers per 48 minutes not turnover rate – so while Houston might average more turnovers per 48 minutes he also uses more possessions than the average SG. So if you replaced Houston with an average SG someone else on the Knicks would have to use up the possessions that Houston did not. The question is would they make up the 0.2 turnover difference, I would guess that they would but I cannot confirm because I do not know where to find stats for the average SG.

    I agree that Houston was extremely overpaid but I think he was clearly an above average SG.

  22. Just trying to clarify the roster situation as I see it in terms of the rookies, Houston, guaranteed contracts, etc…

    Nichols, as a 2nd round pick, does not have a guaranteed contract. Like Houston, Wilmot, Russel Jr., and Jordan can be cut without any ramification for the team. Nichols and Jordan were 2nd round draft choices. Therefore, they must be offered a contract by the team or they are free to sign with any other team. If they are offered a contract and refuse to sign, the Knicks retain their rights for 1 year.

    Everyone else is guaranteed, which is the big issue, since that’s 16 players when the league maximum is 15. So the Knicks are forced to waive one player with a guaranteed contract and pay whatever buyout they can arrange. The NBDL does not change this, as players sent to the NBDL are still part of the 15 man roster. There is also no longer an injured list, simply an inactive list, so teams no longer need fake injuries to keep players off the active roster.

    Thomas has already implied that he would keep Jones, which means that someone who was on the team last year has to be cut. Obviously, most of the knick fan world is praying it’s James, who is a waste at 3 years, $18 mil.

    There are two issues with waiving James. One, it’s a lot of $ to eat, even if they negotiate a smaller buyout. Two, he is currently injured, and you can’t waive an injured player. That’s how Starks got on the team in the first place. It might be that this only applies to free agents, and not your own players, but I’m not sure.

    Jeffries contract is also probably too long to cut. 4 years $24 mil.

    The logical choice financially is Jones or Rose. However Jones can contribute and is an expiring contract which has value later in the season. Rose is a solid leader, etc…

    I can’t see Thomas cutting one of the young guys. Nate might be the only possibility.

    That’s where they stand. Unless Thomas pulls of a last minute trade before the regular season starts, you would think logically that either Jones, Rose, James, or Jeffries will be gone.

  23. Hmmm, yes, you know my friday and saturday night posts can be a bit, ahem, intemperate. But I think I stand by my conclusions.

    I did see Isaiah play a lot, but I was young enough that I didn’t watch very critically. Post 88 I watched a lot of games, most games that were televised actually. And, I think the numbers, overall, tell the correct story. Isaiah was a good player, but not a great scorer. Tou simply can’t be a great scorer with a ts$ below 52%. He was definitely an above average point guard. but he was a long way from being the kind of rare talent that you would really call truly great, like Jordan, Bird, Magic, Shaq, Duncan, Garnett, etc. 85-86 was also by far his best year. He was great that year, much better than he was any year after that.

    I think in general, the highest scoring player on a team gets the most credit. And Isiah was on a great team, a team which had a lot of good players, and also better players than him. Both Laimbeer and Rodman were much much higher above the average for their positionx, statistically, than he was.

    But it is totally out of leftfield to slam him as a player – although I do see a link between how he played, taking a lot of shots at a very ordinary efficiency, and a lot of the acquisitions he has made.

    Ben – We have been through this before. I don’t see how you can look at that chart and say those differences don’t matter. 1.5 less rebounds is a lot. .8 steals is a lot. Houston was 20% below the average for his position in rebounding, and more in steals. This kind of difference definitely does translate on the court to the other team getting more possessions and the Knicks getting less. The turnovers difference is relatively small. My latest thinking on this is that usage is actually kind of baked in to the numbers in a sense. He gets credit for the extra points he scores through the extra shots he takes, so you set that against his increased turnovers.

    I wouldn’t say Houston was turnover prone, he wasn’t, but that was also not a huge strength of his game. His Tor was not all that low I don’t think. It was certainly much higher than Miller’s.

    I think its extremely easy to make the case that Houston was below average. He is sort of like Curry. Good scorer, but not good at anything else, and dramatically worse than average in several important categories. I also never thought he was a very good defender. Growing up I had (we all had) the privilege of watching the greatest defensive team of all time, and watching Allan Houston in the years which followed, it was a pretty glaring difference.

    Houston in his first three years on the Knicks didn’t crack 53% ts%. That’s pretty amazing given his reputation as an efficient scorer.

  24. Owen,

    I have been watching Knicks b-ball since the Walt Bellamy days and was aq season ticket holder for 20 years (gave them up for $$$ reasons). I hate Isiah personally (zero character) but he is definitely an all time great whose numbers cant quantify how great he was. He could have easily averaged 30 a night but was a consummate team player who made everyone else better. No one could guard him one on one him and he rarely missed in the clutch. The player currently most like him is probably Iverson but Isiah had a much higher B-ball IQ. John Stockton found out how good Isiah after the Dream Team controversy when Ike went out of his way to light JS up, totally humiliating him. (Karl Malone responded to the exposing of his meal ticket in the next meeting of Jazz-Pistons by laying in wait until Isiah drove the lane and using a forearm shiver to knock Isiah’s head into the paint , nearly killing him.)

    You guys that quote the numbers in comparing players, be careful. Steph couldn’t hold Ike’s jock and anyone who saw both play know this is true.

    As to Houston, there is no doubt that he was never as good as Reggi Miller, an all-time assasin and borderline halll of famer. Yet Reggie was still useful even after his game was well into decline and could probably still be on the right team with the right role (Ask the Celtics). Allan would strictly be a role player who could stretch a defense to open up the post in crunch time and make teams pay for double teaming EC and ZR, or even JC and Steph in the last second isolation play. Since he would be happy even with a limited role, why not see if he has enough left to fill it? The only two players on the team with a good enough stroke to be considered for this role are Demetrius and Nate, but they have nowhere near the shooting touch of Houston. Unless you want Eddy Curry to take that big three, he did hit that one in was it the last game last year?

    If it is clear that Allan has nothing left, simply cut him. Let’s take a good look, though. I mean, geez, we’re talking Fred Jones, Demetrius Nichols, Jerome James, Jared Jordan, Jared Jeffries etc. here.

    As for the $$$ repercussions of cutting James or Jefferies, since when does Dolan care about money? Hopefully some kind of hole-filling trade (or even draft picks) can rid us of these guys but if not, eat the $$ like we did with Jalen (I think?)

  25. And then there were 19…


    NEW YORK, October 13, 2007 ? New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Isiah Thomas announced today that guard Roderick Wilmont has been waived.

    Wilmont, 6-4, 205-pounds, was signed as a free agent on Oct. 1 and appeared in one preseason game for New York.

    The preseason roster is now at 19.

  26. If Thomas wants to keep the third center (as insurance), then he should get rid of his first mistake, Marbury, and let the younger PG’s develop.
    Let Marbury go to Europe now (on a buyout).
    Or is Thomas afraid to find out that even after Marbury is bought out, no other NBA team will even want to pick him up for the veteran’s minimum?

    Marbury is not a team player.

  27. It’s pretty off topic. I didn’t say Isiah wasn’t good, I said he wasn’t a great scorer. It’s not really possible to argue that point. His Ts% is simply too low. But I do think he is an alltime great on the shoulder of better teammates, not on statistics. Steve Nash and Jason Kidd are much better than Isiah by the numbers.

    As for Houston. take a look and send him home as fast as possible….

  28. As to the forward positions, MR is a great guy, and I would love to see him as the coach now.

    But he does not have the athleticism or speed of Renaldo Balkman, Wilson Chandler, or DN, and he is under-sized as a PF, and lacks the outside shooting ability of WC or DN. I watched all the Summer League games and WC and DN can really play. In large part, they are the reason the Knicks went 5-0.

    Play them with RB and Nate, and they will run circles around any other team in the Atlantic Division. They could even play 4 against 5, although I think ZR and EC should be given a chance to play too. But those first 4 guys are exciting and fun to watch.

    Lastly, Randolph Morris was very effective in the Summer League. He has very strong upside potential. I agree that Jerome James would hardly ever play on this time, even if he were healthy.
    It is only Zeke’s pride and ego that keep JJ from being bought-out now; either way Dolan is paying for a player (JJ ) that does not play. At best, he is virtually a bookend at the end of the bench.

    Summary: Buy-out Marbuy, Jerome James, and MR, and keep the younger players. But let MR coach.

  29. Due to the bad publciity from the sexual harassment suit, it’s been speculated Kobe wants nothing to do with New York. Thanks Isiah. You’ve done it again!

  30. you can’t just assess players on their own with no context, I don’t think Detroit wins any titles if they have Nash instead of Isiah (Kidd is more likely).

    “Due to the bad publciity from the sexual harassment suit, it?s been speculated Kobe wants nothing to do with New York. Thanks Isiah. You?ve done it again!”

    oh, come on. Kobe wasn’t coming to NY under pretty much any circumstances, what an absurd post.

    I’m going to “speculate” that Kobe was 100 percent planning on forcing his way to the Knicks until reading this thread. Thanks Ewing. You’ve done it again!

  31. if I’m given complete GM/coach power right now, let me take a shot at making the best of this overstuffed mess.

    getting down to 15 players: release Russell, Jordan (assuming the reports of him being nowhere near ready are correct) and Houston, buy out James.

    starters: Randolph, Lee, Balkman, Q, Crawford.

    off the bench: Curry, Collins, Nate, Chandler, Morris, Nichols, Jones.

    inactive: Marbury (I think I’d just pay him to sit home like Francis last year, and try to deal him after this season once his contract is in its last year), Jeffries, Rose.

    I’d like to see that team play 30-40 games and see what they could do, certainly a lot more palatable than watching Steph’s putrid decision making for another year.

  32. If I ran the zoo…

    I think I’d trade Nate, Jones, and any 1 veteran for any single body I can get for that price. It’s a lateral move, but it would clear space and can’t really hurt. Then, of course, I’d buy out James. That way we can either keep Jordan or release him in favor of Houston.

  33. I’d like to see Nate get a shot as a 20 minute a game guy coming off the bench. if he can keep improving his D, I think he can be a competent role player.

  34. “I?d like to see Nate get a shot as a 20 minute a game guy coming off the bench.”

    Definitely. If he is on the team, this is how he should be used. It’s not that I want to see him go. Realistically, there are not a lot of players on the roster that other teams would even want for nothing in return. I think Nate has a market since he is a marketable player from an individual standpoint. I do think he is a liability because of his size and his “me against the world” mentality, but I would certainly rather keep him on the team than most of the vets. Still, even though he can, and likely will, be a “competent role player”, I don’t think he fits into any significant long range plans with the team and since we have the very real short term goal of trimming the roster down, I think I’d rather keep the four rookies. Jordan seems like the perfect 15th man– someone who’ll never play, but could be useful down the line (of course, we basically have a team full of perfect 15th men to choose from to fill the one slot…)

  35. Jon – Nate has actually averaged more than 20 minutes a game for the last two years, something which sort of surprised me when I checked it. So I think you can be fairly certain your wish will be fulfilled.

    The enthusiasm for Nichols, Chanlder, Jordan, and Morris is sort of surprising to me. They have done nothing to get excited about. Robinson has proven himself to be a below average but certainly serviceable player against real NBA competition. It’s anybody’s guess at this point what the rookies will do, and usually they disappoint. I prefer the known quantity.

    I will say I was happy to see Chandler pull a trick out of Lee’s bag against Maccabi, with his five rebounds in ten minutes. Lee has only notched
    11 rebounds in 56 minutes, which is vaguely discomfiting for me, although 9-12 fg, 14-16 ft numbers is effing good.

  36. I definately came into this discussion a little bit late, but i definately feel like some of the above comments are really trashing steph. I know he’s a flawed player, but I’ve argued before on this site, and will continue to do so, that he’s a good player for the Knicks. When he’s on the floor the offense doesn’t seem as frantic, and the knicks more closely resemble a good basketball team. Steph will always have his flaws, and that contract (well at least for the next two years), but coinsidering there’s nothing we can do about the contract now, he really should be given credit for the things he does do for the team. If nothing else, I at least feel comfortable with his ability to get to the free throw line at any time.

  37. Adam – I agree with that. I don’t think getting rid of Marbury will help us on the court. He is still better than Robinson, certainly much better than Collins, and was better than Crawford last year. Not saying a lot there, he isn’t all that good, but still our best alternative….

  38. “The enthusiasm for Nichols, Chanlder, Jordan, and Morris is sort of surprising to me. They have done nothing to get excited about.”

    Honestly, simply the fact that they were all selected by Isiah is reason to be excited about them. For all of his flaws personally and professionally, I can’t think of a dud among any of his picks (certainly since coming to NY). First round, second round, it doesn’t matter, he’s able to find players to be excited about, and he’s done it too consistently for it to be dumb luck. Based on Isiah’s track record, you’d think at least one of the four will significant in the league. Probably more if given the chance. Which ones will it be? I don’t know. That’s why I’d prefer to keep them all, especially knowing we have useless lugs filling up roster spots as it is.

  39. I guess that Morris, of the four, inspires the least excitement, based on the fact that he was the only player available at the time of his selection. That makes him irrelevant to the conversation. Still, he’s tall, so as long as he can move, he’s useful.

  40. “The enthusiasm for Nichols, Chanlder, Jordan, and Morris is sort of surprising to me. They have done nothing to get excited about. Robinson has proven himself to be a below average but certainly serviceable player against real NBA competition. It?s anybody?s guess at this point what the rookies will do, and usually they disappoint. I prefer the known quantity.”

    As I always do, I will point out the age of these guys…

    Robinson 23 years, 5 months
    Nichols 23 years, 1 month
    Jordan 23 years
    Morris 21 years, 9 months
    Chandler 20 years, 5 months

    When you factor in age, Chandler is a big wildcard – he could turn into a star, or nothing at all. Morris, especially being 6’11, will stick on rosters for years. As for the rest, Nate has proven himself to be at least a pretty good offensive player who plays no defense, and Nichols and Jordan will be lucky to have NBA careers at all. Remember… they are no younger (i.e. no more “upside”) than many players who are already NBA starting material)

    Renaldo Balkman 23 years, 3 months
    Mardy Collins 23 years, 2 months
    David Lee 24 years, 6 months
    Eddy Curry 24 years, 10 months
    Zach Randolph 26 years, 3 months
    Jared Jeffries 25 years, 11 months

  41. Caleb– I don’t think age is the only factor to upside. Players with 4 years of college ball under their belt don’t necessarily have less professional upside than 18 year olds. I think that age is less important than, say, height, and for all the age Nate has on his side, he’ll never make up for the fact he’s 5’9″ with it.

  42. “I don?t think age is the only factor to upside. Players with 4 years of college ball under their belt don?t necessarily have less professional upside than 18 year olds..”

    I respectfully disagree. I think age is, overwhelmingly, the biggest factor in upside. The occasional Mike Sweetney aside, career progressions are quite predictable.

    “I think that age is less important than, say, height, and for all the age Nate has on his side, he?ll never make up for the fact he?s 5?9? with it.”

    Being 5’9 is obviously a limitation. But, Nate has a body of work, and his height is already factored into the results. In part because he is only 5’9, Nate is a terrible defender, and despite being only 5’9, he is already the most efficient scorer in the Knick backcourt.

    My point isnt’t that Nate is a future superstar (though I think he is likely to improve some). Age 23 is closer to being a finished product than most people think — it is hard to find a star player who wasn’t already an above-average NBA performer by age 22 or 23. My point was the flipside — that anyone struggling to make a roster at 23 (i.e. Nichols, Jordan) has very little hope of ever being more than a benchwarmer. Caveat: it is hard to say this definitively based solely on college stats, summer league, 2 preseason games and a handful of short press reports. It may be that those two guys will actually be decent players when they get in a real NBA game – but at this point, there’s no reason to think so.

  43. “anyone struggling to make a roster at 23 (i.e. Nichols, Jordan) has very little hope of ever being more than a benchwarmer.”

    In fairness, the major reason they are struggling to make an NBA roster is because of the likes of Jerome James, Malik Rose, and Jerod Jeffries. It is not about upside, but rather a complete lack of space due to a glut of overpaid, non-performing debris that can’t be moved.

    That said, yes, you are right that 23 seems to be a cut off age for determining that “what you see is what you are going to get” with NBA talent these days. Still, there are some exceptions (Bowen and Nash off the top of my head (Houston too, didn’t become an all-star caliber until his 30’s).

    I’m not saying I believe Jordan and Nichols are going to be Nash and Bowen respectively. But I feel more comfortable speaking in NBA years (i.e. years in league) than in absolute years. I think playing four years at a great college program with a great coach can benefit players and if we hold them to the “Number 23” rule, good players will be passed over in favor of younger, flashier, more annoying players who don’t understand the game very well.

    Rather than saying that 23 is the consentual point to declare a player’s worth, isn’t there any factual support for making that point three years in the league? It seems more rational to me, especially since good players are productive well into their thirties.

  44. “I feel more comfortable speaking in NBA years (i.e. years in league) than in absolute years.”

    I can’t cite any full studies (there aren’t any that I know of) but I’m not convinced.

    It’s a lot riskier to predict the career path of an 18- or 19- year old, than a 4-year college player. But I the track record of high school players jumping to the NBA is amazingly good. Every year you hear moans about how greedy GMs are ignoring an award-winning college senior like Shane Battier or Jameer Nelson, and then a few years later you look up and see — gee, those guys were picked in about the right spot (#6 and #19, respectively). Or look at Adam Morrison; everyone agreed he was lottery pick (even if #3 seemed high), but ignored that he was already older than guys who could already play in the NBA. (See what happens to Al Thornton this year, or Yi)

    If you’re talking draft strategy, there’s a complication. Just because guys with “upside” WILL be good, doesn’t mean they ARE good as teenagers – they never are. So you might be better off taking a pretty good player at age 22, than a future HOF’er at age 18, when he’ll contribute very little the first few years.

    But if you’re talking about career progression, it’s a pretty simple picture. No one is an above average NBA player at 17 or 18. Kobe was awful as a rookie. So was Jermaine O’Neal and Tracy McGrady.

    Only future superstars flirt with being average when they’re 19 or 20 – like Kevin Garnett, or Shaq.

    But ALL superstars were good NBA players by age 21 or 22, whether they’re college seniors (like Tim Duncan) or 4-year NBA vets. There might be an adjustment period of a few months, but that’s about it.

    There are semi-exceptions, like the two you point out, but even there, Bowen is unusual in a lot of ways (odd style, good 3-point shooter but can’t throw a FT in the ocean, barely lost a step at age 37), and Nash was actually a good player at 23 – he just couldn’t get PT, playing behind Marbury and then Kidd.

    A lot of “late-blooming” is explained by chronological age. Jermaine O’Neal was only 17 when he hit the league. By the time he “exploded” (mostly with more PT, not so much per-minute improvement) he was 21 and 22. If he had spent those first three years in college, I believe he would have looked good right away.

  45. “In fairness, the major reason they are struggling to make an NBA roster is because of the likes of Jerome James, Malik Rose, and Jerod Jeffries.”

    In the case of Nichols and Jordan, this may be true – no one has seen them play against real NBA competition. BUT I’d argue if they were more than future role players (at best) they wouldn’t have lasted 4 years in college.

    It would be tough to name 15 2nd round picks (out of hundreds in the last 10 years) who became above-average NBA starters. There are always exceptions, but I’m not gonna get carried away by summer league. Chandler (age 20), on the other hand, is at least worth some daydreams…

  46. p.s. I was lazy saying Nash played behind marbury & Kidd… his rookie year 96-97 he was backing up Kevin Johnson, who had a great year, and in 97-98 he played behind both Johnson and Kidd.

    Nash was a solid player at age 23, 41 percent 3-point shooter, solid assist totals despite playing a lot of 2-guard… but it’s also true that he was a late bloomer and got much better around age 27.

  47. Berri has an post on what he calls the “potential drug.”


    His dready but accurate (I think) conclusion is:

    “Although dreaming about potential is fun, a stroll down memory lane suggests that many of the players we think have ?potential? today are going to be tomorrow?s journeymen and has-beens.”

  48. Owen, that link only takes you to an unenlightening chart – which also makes evident that the three best players in the 1995 lottery were the 3 youngest.

    I’ve seen other Berri articles which faltered in only analyzing the rookie season – as I wrote earlier, that means you compare a 19 year-old’s rookie year with a 22-year-old’s rookie year, with a resultant misleading conclusion.

  49. Caleb– well reasoned and well presented.

    I’d like to add to the case of keeping Jordan and Nichols despite your strong argument.

    “It would be tough to name 15 2nd round picks (out of hundreds in the last 10 years) who became above-average NBA starters.”

    If there are going to be worthwhile finds in the second round, I trust Isiah to find them. Plus, if Nichols’ Hep. C caused him to fall out of the first round (and he is negative), then he is exempt from the argument.

    Is it possible, too, that point guards are exempt from the age 23 rule? PG is a sophisticated, mature position that combines natural skills with savvy, inteligence, and experience. Therefore, a player like Jordan could have more upside than a guy like Nate, despite their ages.

    “I?d argue if they were more than future role players (at best) they wouldn?t have lasted 4 years in college.”

    I don’t know anything about either guy. I’ve never seen them in my life. But, there could other reasons to stay in school (besides the idealistic reason of education of course). Houston was the son of a coach. Frye was loyal. The Florida guys stayed in school to be part of an all time great team. Marist is not exactly a powerhouse, but Syracuse is an A level program and to penalize Nichols simply for not leaving it early overlooks a lot.

    “you hear moans about how greedy GMs are ignoring an award-winning college senior like Shane Battier or Jameer Nelson, and then a few years later you look up and see ? gee, those guys were picked in about the right spot.”

    Battier was picked behind Kwame (only because Kwame was 18). Battier’s a solid role player. Kwame’s only worth is his expiring contract.

    I know from past discussions you are high on Andrew Bynum for the same reasons discussed here. If you were Isiah in 2005 I take it you’d have selected Bynum with the 8th pick over Frye. Time will prove which player will contribute more, but if Frye’s sophmore slump was an anomaly and Bynum sucks as bad as Kobe says, that case stands to dispute your age over X argument.

    “ALL superstars were good NBA players by age 21 or 22”

    Neither Jordan nor Nichols will be a superstar. Neither will Nate. I still think that I’d rather see a deal made to clear room (and Nate is expendable and desirable to others (maybe)), than to see the rookies cut.

  50. ah…

    The article makes a different point than I expected – a point on which I completely agree. Which is: lots of players get “potential” fanfare, and we talk about the lottery as if there are 12 or 14 stars available in each draft, when in fact there are only a handful of players, at most, in each draft who turn out to be impact players.

    My own bonus point: virtually none of them are 4-year seniors who last into the second round.

  51. “I?d like to add to the case of keeping Jordan and Nichols despite your strong argument.”

    If I’m looking for a no-D scoring machine, I’d rather bet on the semi-proven Mr. Robinson….

    But I’d be more than happy to keep Nichols and even Jordan while cutting James, Jeffries, Houston, Rose or Crawford… and maybe Collins or Q (sorry, don’t trust that back for a minute).

  52. “a player like Jordan could have more upside than a guy like Nate, despite their ages.”

    I’m the resident Nate Robinson fan, but I don’t see him as a point guard at all – more an undersized 2-guard (on offense), a la Barbosa or Vinnie Johnson. I am definitely intrigued by Jordan, though I’ve never seen him play. If he’s really a playmaking PG, he would be the only one on our roster.

    “I know from past discussions you are high on Andrew Bynum for the same reasons discussed here. If you were Isiah in 2005 I take it you?d have selected Bynum with the 8th pick over Frye. Time will prove which player will contribute more, but if Frye?s sophmore slump was an anomaly and Bynum sucks as bad as Kobe says, that case stands to dispute your age over X argument.”

    I won’t claim 20/20 hindsight; #8 seemed awfully high for Bynum, who unlike Kwame or Garnett wasn’t even mentioned as a potential draftee until a few weeks before the draft. But statistically, Bynum is already a decent NBA player at age 19, so yes, I do think he has an all-star future in 2 or 3 years.

    But I don’t blame Kobe for being PO’d… what does he care about 2010-2011, when he could be running with Jason Kidd right now?

    “Battier was picked behind Kwame (only because Kwame was 18). Battier?s a solid role player. Kwame?s only worth is his expiring contract.”

    Sure, Kwame shows the risk of picking young players. So does Eddy Curry, IMHO… but here are some of the other players in that draft:
    – Tyson Chandler
    – Pau Gasol
    – Gilbert Arenas (probably the best 2nd rounder ever)
    – Tony Parker (19 his rookie year)
    – Zach Randolph
    – Joe Johnson
    – Richard Jefferson
    – Jason Richardson

    So I’d say #6 was actually a reach for Shane B. (who I like, btw) Other people might prefer Curry or Sam Dalembert, too.

  53. several comments

    first of all on the Nichols problem, Thomas apparently had an agreement with N’s agent at the time to go to Europe for a year. Unfortunately N got delusions of competance in the summer league, not realizing he was playing with most of the sixty draft choices a leavening of young vets and about 2/3 undrafted free agents. The Knicks had one of the few starting five’s with all draftees or vets, most of the rest of the teams were made up of lower level players. N thought he was better than he was, and fired his agent, partially creating the roster problem. Jordan is a true point, and would be at least a good 10 minute a game guy running a fast break offence with a movement half court. He is a truly gifted passer, and needs to gain strength as well as get used to the nba skill level. Could be very good, or may end up as one blogger on another site said, an excellent college point playing in Europe. Only time will tell, and its worth the gamble…

    N made have made his bed and could get cut even though he would be worthwhile as a developmental prospect, he can shoot, and that is not a common talent in the NBA, but he vastly underestimated his need for development.

    Several bloggers have suggested cutting three bigs(jj,jj and rose, some have added morris to the list.) As several teams have shown, no matter how good your points and wings are, you cannot play unless your bigs are at least ok, size matters in the nba, examples include nets, washington etc, even phoenix. Also includes olympic team which had duncan playing center and getting beat up(also needed outside shooters and maturity)

    You need four preferably five bigs. Bigs mature late, and morris could be a reasonable backup. Chandler can play pf but only if there is a real big covering the larger centers In the interum, Jeffries can play against small bigs, but with curry being questionable, need either rose or james, my preference is rose, cutting james. He has tendinitis, no ability to teach youngsters and has a lazy bend. but it is coaches choice.

    Finally, I have no comment on the Houston problem. He was a very good, not great player in the Knicks good years and for several years when Ewing slowed down had the offence run through him. Until we know what he has left, comments have no value. For the team it would be best to retain youth, for him, I hope he can play.

    BTW, I have been watching the knicks since the carl braun sweetwater clifton era and was in the stands for bill bradley’s debut.

    Lived through the 100 point wilt explosion and the willis reed championships. Have some optimism about this club, feel they need one more very good to near great player, they have a lot of top 15 guys at their position and great depth, but no real dominator.

  54. about how the roster works, you have 13-15 guys, minimum is 13, can have up to 15 under contract. with the exception below, there is no longer an injury list, only an inactive list. If all three of your guys on inactive list are injured, as determined by your AND league’s mds, AND you get a fourth injured guy the league can give you an extra injury spot. With that exception all contracted players you have control of count against the 15, injured, developmental etc. Only exception is if a draftee doesn’t sign you have unique rights to him for a year and can sign him after a year with a european or other (SAY

  55. I would be really surprised if Fred Jones gets cut. He plays hard, can shoot a little and can match up with big guard/small forwards like Dwayne Wade… Something no one else on this bloated, overpaid roster can do. I think that randolph morris should be sent to the d-league, if thats possible? I think the roster will be
    2.z. randolph
    with the last spot leaning towards J. James but possibly Allan houston. For some reason I don’t see Isiah cutting James, even though he should be cut because Isiah probably doesn’t like the fact that there is no true center if Curry misses games at some point during the season. Also, James is due to make 18million more dollars over the next 3 years. I think Isiah should just cut him because he’ll probably use the combination of Lee/Randolph a lot when Curry is sitting. James will probably just rot on the bench like last year. But you may want to hold onto him for the final half of his contract year.

  56. First off I think Battier was easily worth the 6th pick and was the best wingman in that draft. Better than Johnson, Richardson or Jefferson.

    I think it is very true about age and potential being linked. While there are many 4 year college players that became superstars like Boozer and Duncan most if not all of those players were pretty good their rookie year and did not have to fight for a roster spot.

    So if Nichols or Jordan get cut we are not missing out on that much. They might very well become solid NBA players but if they fail to make the team, solid is about as much as they could ever hope for.

    With all that said I would like to keep them both because while I do not know what we will get from them I know we will get below average basketball from both Rose and James. We only need five big men and they are Curry, Morris, Randolph, Lee and Jeffries. Plus Balkman and Chandler can play the 4 in a pinch, so we have no need to keep ineffective ones. If Houston makes the team, which I highly doubt, then we should cut whoever shows less out of Nichols or Jordan because neither of them will play much anyway. If they both impress then we should cut Jones because with Houston on the team he won’t play anyway.

  57. AGREE for the most part with victor, but he makes the mistake that lots of others on this post have made, if you send a guy to d league he must still remain on your roster to keep control of him and he still counts against your roster max of 15. IF YOU RELEASE HIM TO SEND HIM TO D LEAGUE AFTER HE HAS SIGNED A CONTRACT, YOU LOOSE HIM

  58. “Remember when the Knicks drafted Sweetney and had too many PFs? Sweetney started the year in the developmental league, and Chandler may just find himself in a similar situation.”

    nba teams couldn’t send their players to the d-league back in 2003, that phenomenon started maybe two years ago.

  59. Marbury, Nate, Crawford, Collins, Q-Rich, Jeffries, Balkman, Chandler, Randolph, Lee, Rose, and Curry are all definites due to their contracts. That leaves 3 spots.

    Contrary to what has been written here, Rose will NOT be a valuable trade asset next year. Teams do not look for 8 million dollar players they won’t use when looking for S/T. They look for rotation players. They are better off letting a player walk than to add a crap player’s salary for a year. Maybe this makes sense in video games where the money is fake, but it won’t fly in reality.

    Isiah and the team likes Rose who is the lockerroom leader and good example to the younger bigs. I wouldn’t bother buying him out until next year as he still provides some use. Let’s be honest, none of these guys on the bubble is going to be an impact player, better to carry a veteran with an impact behind the scenes than an unproven rookie who doesn’t know the NBA grind.

    Mardy Collins isn’t really a candidate to get cut as he’s an ultra cheap first rounder, they can keep him another three years for dirt cheap.

    Fred Jones I’ve considered a lock to make the team since he got here, despite his expiring contract. He’s a rotation player in this league, and the Isiah connection doesn’t exactly hurt. So really, it’s been two spots this whole time.

    Morris is talked up as a second first rounder for the Knicks, he was never really a canidate to get cut either. They need a backup center as Jerome James doesn’t cut it. So really, it’s been one spot.

    Jerome James also has a long term deal but his injury puts him in a potential buyout position. Still, it’s unlikey to happen this year. There never has been an open roster spot.

    Still, the Knicks had nothing to lose in inviting these guys to camp, you never know what will happen 3 months down the line. Even Jordan, who basically replaced Dickau, whou would have been cut anyway.

  60. “Contrary to what has been written here, Rose will NOT be a valuable trade asset next year. Teams do not look for 8 million dollar players they won?t use when looking for S/T. They look for rotation players. They are better off letting a player walk than to add a crap player?s salary for a year. Maybe this makes sense in video games where the money is fake, but it won?t fly in reality.”

    this really isn’t true, two of many examples to the contrary are Antonio Davis to Toronto and Penny Hardaway to Orlando, both of whom were making in the $15 million range at the time and whose careers were done.

  61. and Jerome James has got to go, he wasn’t even competent when he was healthy and now it looks like he’s going to be out for another year or so.

  62. “Antonio Davis to Toronto and Penny Hardaway to Orlando, both of whom were making in the $15 million range at the time and whose careers were done.”

    True but both were in the final year so their worthlessness was only for a matter of months. Malik has 2 years left on his contract so he really isn’t much of an asset for another year and a half. Is it worth keeping him on the team for that? It wasn’t worth it for Mo Taylor or Jalen Rose and they were both already in their walk years.

    It seems that come Feb. 2009, if we need an expiring contract to get a trade done, Marbury’s $20 million will be more than enough. Rose’s $8 mil. is chump change.

    Therefore, unless we love what Malik brings to the locker room (which this site doesn’t, since his grade was an F) I think he should be considered a candidate to be bought out in favor of the younger guys.

    But, of course, all buyout discussions must begin with Jerome James.

    If Nichols gets cut and becomes the next Reggie Miller, Isiah will forever be known as the guy who burned Dolan’s money for 4 years then refused buy out Jerome James. I’m not saying Nichols will be Reggie, but it’s almost worth dumping James as a security measure against it.

    Hell, even if Nichols becomes the next Tracy Murray fans will not forgive Isiah’s stubborness…

  63. jon ab wrote: “I’m going to “speculate” that Kobe was 100 percent planning on forcing his way to the Knicks until reading this thread. Thanks Ewing. You’ve done it again!”

    It wasn’t 100%, pinhead. It did come out that Kobe did have NY as one of the top 3 teams he would go to.

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