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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2009 Draft Lottery

On Tuesday night the NBA will hold the lottery to set the order of the draft. With the 8th pick, the Knicks have a 2.8% chance of winning the top overall pick, and a 10% chance of being in the top 10. Wikipedia does a good job breaking down their odds. while ESPN features a lottery+mock draft simulator. For fun I counted how many times I would need to click for the Knicks to get into the top 3. New York got the #1 overall pick on my 9th try.

Seed Chances 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
1 250 .250 .215 .178 .357
2 199 .199 .188 .171 .319 .123
3 156 .156 .157 .156 .226 .265 .040
4 119 .119 .126 .133 .099 .351 .160 .012
5 88 .088 .097 .107 .261 .360 .084 .004
6 63 .063 .071 .081 .439 .305 .040 .001
7 43 .043 .049 .058 .599 .232 .018 .000
8 28 .028 .033 .039 .724 .168 .008 .000
9 17 .017 .020 .024 .813 .122 .004 .000
10 11 .011 .013 .016 .870 .089 .002 .000
11 8 .008 .009 .012 .907 .063 .001 .000
12 7 .007 .008 .010 .935 .039 .000
13 6 .006 .007 .009 .960 .018
14 5 .005 .006 .007 .982

83 comments on “2009 Draft Lottery

  1. Caleb

    So for people who don’t like addition… that’s a 6.1 percent chance of a top-2 pick, meaning Griffin or Rubio. A 10 percent chance at the top-3, which might conceivably land Rubio.

    Here are the seeds, just fyi:
    1. Sacramento
    2. Washington
    3. LA Clippers
    4. Oklahoma City
    5. Minnesota
    6. Memphis
    7. Golden State
    8. New York
    9. Toronto
    10. Milwaukee
    11. New Jersey
    12. Charlotte
    13. Indiana
    14. Phoenix (1.8 percent chance at top-3)

    I’m definitely with Malcolm Gladwell (and yes, Bill Simmons) that the lottery needs to tilt away from helping the very worst teams. It’s just not right to so blatantly reward incompetence. I know, the other pro leagues do it even worse – no lottery – but in basketball, the top picks have outsize importance. On average there’s a big gap between top picks, and even the mid-lottery. It doesn’t seem right that the worst-run teams have a huge leg up on getting that talent. This year might be a slight exception, since OKC and Washington aren’t really badly run – they have other reasons for being high in the lottery – but it’s a problem every year.

    Evening the odds between non-playoff teams would also eliminate tanking – I hate that every January or February I know it’s counterproductive for my team to win — fans shouldn’t be in that position. I might even support going a step or two further, like leveling the lottery odds for all teams not in the final eight or final four, or even all the teams in the league.

    The idea of no draft, all free agents, is also interesting…

  2. Caleb

    just read on the “Insider” that the Suns, Bucks, Nets and Pacers are DeJuan Blair fans. No mention of NY, if that means anything. Not surprised, but I guess I’ve been hoping…

  3. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    My solution to anti-tanking was to freeze the draft order (for non-playoff teams) at the All Star Break. This way teams will have ZERO incentive to lose games down the stretch. It would allow teams to implement new lineups, players, and strategies. Not that coaches would ever do such a thing. But also tanking would be limited to January, and who in their right mind who blow a game or two then? Or rather, fewer teams would be doing so. For instance this year even the Knicks had a playoff shot at that time.

    As for the draft being skewed, I think it’s a good for the league. Anything that leads to more parity, and having more fans think their team has a chance to win this year is a good thing.

    I hate the idea of a no-draft system, teams like the Lakers would be able to sustain a monopoly by always having the pick of the litter. It would be like the Premier League – with only a few teams having a real shot at the great players, and everyone else scurrying for scraps. Imagine LeBron, Kobe, and Howard all on the same team.

  4. Caleb

    Forgot about your January idea – that’s pretty good.

    “Anything that leads to more parity, and having more fans think their team has a chance to win this year is a good thing.”

    It’s a mixed bag. A lot of people think dynasties and superteams are good for fan interest. I think the NFL loses something by not having continuity of good teams (although the way they jigger the schedule is probably the biggest factor, IMO). At the same time, this is easy for me to say, being a New York fan who in the long run would probably see his team do well. A Kansas City Royal fan, or Memphis Grizzly fan, might feel otherwise.

    “teams like the Lakers would be able to sustain a monopoly by always having the pick of the litter. It would be like the Premier League – with only a few teams having a real shot at the great players…”

    Leaving aside whether that scenario is a good or bad thing, it would only play out if the salary cap were abolished as well. In general the rich would probably get richer, but salary aside I’m not sure every hotshot #1 pick wants to sign on as a 7th or 8th man, as opposed to being “THE Man” somewhere else.

    as far as the Los Angeles Kobe/LeBron/Howard team…. imagine them matching up in the finals against the New York Chris Paul/KG/KD/Bynum squad. Is that such a bad thing?

  5. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Simmons and Gladwell talk about the draft (among 20 other topics) and Simmons brings up a good point (his only) [link: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090513/part3

    “You also forget that every NBA player wants to live in either Southern California, New York, Phoenix or Florida. So unless you’re prepared to put all 30 teams in those four regions, we can’t dump the draft.”

    I have to say I agree.

    “as far as the Los Angeles Kobe/LeBron/Howard team…. imagine them matching up in the finals against the New York Chris Paul/KG/KD/Bynum squad. Is that such a bad thing?”

    It depends on where you live. But even for a New Yorker like myself it would be awful. I don’t think I would follow basketball if that were the case. Growing up I was a huge Yankees fan. I remember the late 70s, but the bulk of my fandom was in the 80s & 90s. They had some great players (Winfield, Mattingly, Henderson) but huge flaws as well. That first championship team in ’96 I was ecstatic. And then again in 1998. The team had clawed its way – building on farm talent and using veterans to fill in the blanks.

    But something happened to me as a fan. It seemed that New York was able to sign just about anyone they wanted. Every year the big free agents were heading to either the Yankees, or another rich team. Giambi. A-Rod. Sheffield. Brown. Matsui. It was like playing in a basketball tournament where 90% of the teams are made up of 10 year olds. The challenge was gone. The mid-90s Yankees were like any other franchise that finally hit its peak. The mid-00′s Yankees were like rooting for Halliburton. Honestly I don’t watch much baseball anymore.

    On the other hand I am a Jets fan as well. Like with the Yankees, the 80s & 90s were tough, and unfortunately they’ve never won a championship in my lifetime. They’ve been less successful, but yet I’m more drawn to them than the Yanks. It’s because the parity of the league. It’s the thought that any year Gang Green could have a breakout season, but yet there’s that feeling in my stomach that they won’t (especially after this draft).

    So if the NBA turned into MLB – where the Knicks could just about grab whoever they want, I would probably lose interest. And maybe I’m the minority.

  6. Ted Nelson

    “It doesn’t seem right that the worst-run teams have a huge leg up on getting that talent.”

    The worst run teams trade their unprotected lottery picks for Eddy Curry, which gives them two huge legs but not much talent…

    ———————————————————————

    I would think more along the lines of the Champions League than the Premier league. With no salary cap or draft there’s no way that, say, Recreativo Huelva is going to compete with Real Madrid in La Liga. However, Spanish soccer has little incentive to flatten the playing field. In fact, their incentive is to create super-teams to represent Spain in the Champions League. Outside of Germany and maybe some other examples, there’s not much emphasis on parity in national leagues. Buying players from their old teams, no salary cap, no max salary… things are pretty heavily tilted towards the rich teams. I’m not necessarily for all free agents, though, I like the draft and don’t see it going away.

    The two parts of European football that I would love to see the NBA adopt are youth development and dropping the bottom two teams to a B league.

    An NBA youth development system would probably look more like Major League Baseball than European soccer: drafting kids at 18+, not developing kids from the age of 5 or 7. Keep in place a salary cap complete with a max salary, and youth development alone should create more parity. Much the same way small-market teams in the MLB with good farm systems do well, except that in this case those teams would not be forced to lose their prize young players (thanks to the salary cap and max salary). The ultimate goal would be to reward well run teams.

    Dropping the worst two teams in the league to a B league eliminates tanking, unless teams are willing to fight for #3 at the risk of being relegated to a much less profitable B League next season. Taking the monopoly aspect out of American sports in favor of a competitive market would be amazing. Not exactly sure how the draft would work… could just hold the draft among next season’s teams (28 who remain in A League, plus 2 best teams from B League who will be bumped up), probably flattening the odds of winning the lottery somehow.

  7. Caleb

    Well, consider them the Miami Paul/Wade/Bynum squad. Just saying there is something to be said for truly great teams battling it out.

    Your Yankees example is interesting. The 00s teams are a good example of how unlimited budgets are NOT a guarantee of success. On the other hand, basketball is different, in that the best team really does win. That’s why abolishing the draft wouldn’t work without a salary cap structure like the existing one. (obviously, the salary slots for each draft spot wouldn’t exist in the same form. Probably something like, each team is allotted a $4 million “rookie exception” to sign one or more new players. Ensuing years would limit raises, FAs would still be restricted, etc.)

    I’m not sure I’m actually for it – but I don’t hate the idea. I’d be fine with a more limited change, a la leveling the lottery odds.

    p.s. I also started as a baseball fan (the Reggie Jackson teams) and have sort of lost touch with it. But I think it’s more a) the games are too frickin’ long — in the 70s they were the length of basketball games today; b) subtly, the steroid stuff… even more than basketball a lot of the best baseball arguments are about statistics, and the #s have lost some meaning.

  8. Caleb

    p.p.s. A good argument for keeping the draft is what Simmons threw out – it maintains about 80 percent of the interest in the league, for the May – June season. I would counter that the interest would be just as big if not bigger, if teams were all angling for the same college prospects via free agency.

  9. Caleb

    Maybe the best way to improve the league would be to simply eliminate about 6 teams. I know, it will never happen. But a lot of energy and engineering goes into maintaining the viability of a few awful teams/markets… if all that were scrapped, I think well over 20 teams could stand on their own, in a total free-market system.

    Dump the Grizzlies, Clippers, Nets, Bobcats, Bucks and maybe the Pacers. All the other teams could be financially competitive, at least if you let a few franchises move.

    The short-term level of play would get a boost from distributing the extra talent, but more important would be the future – those teams wouldn’t be sucking resources (like draftees) from teams they might actually help.

  10. Z

    “[Rooting for] the mid-00’s Yankees was like rooting for Halliburton.”

    Awesome line (perfectly sums up my own defection from that franchise).

    As for the draft, it doesn’t seem like a broken system to me so why try to fix it? There have only been a few times when the flaw of the lottery has been exploited (Tim Duncan’s year and the Magic getting the #1 pick 2 years in a row come to mind). Most of the time it is bad teams trying to rebuild and most of them get a chance to.

    The lottery system absolutely does not reward poorly run franchises. It hasn’t helped the Clippers. It hasn’t helped the Knicks since 1985. What it does is give fans something to root for in the face of their team being poorly run. Personally, I find the Knicks (sadly) much more exciting from May-September than I do October-April.

    Contraction would be good. Salary cap restructuring would be good. Luxury tax elimination would be good. But the draft seems okay to me.

  11. cgreene

    The Yankees comparison is a bit off. I am a big Yankees fan but dislike the current team and management philosophy of always landing the biggest free agent star with no regard to personality/chemistry. If they brought in players that we liked (CC Sabathia) and less that we didnt (Kevin Brown, ARod, Carl Pavano) we would like them more. There is plenty of homegrown talent on the Yankees still. Mike, you mention the 80′s Yanks teams as more likable. Really? Winfield and Kingman and Jack Clark and all the other home run hitters that they bought and yet never won? The philosophy was the same. You were just younger and naive about it. Come on. The bottom line is that the personality of the players and the chemistry of the team is what makes one want to root for them. If you had to choose between Kobe and LeBron as players that you want to like and root for most would choose LeBron. He is not trying to be an MJ copy cat and he has his own identity and his teammates like him. If you had to choose between the Knicks landing their own star in the draft who made the Knicks a contender or signing someone else’s star you would choose to have your own home grown. (Rad Mike Vaccaro’s article in The Post from yesterday) I thought Simmons was right when he talked about how the league is better when there is more consistent hierarchy. I think parity is the downfall of football. Teams lack identity. No one knows who plays for whom. It is much more difficult to achieve all time great status.

  12. Caleb

    Z, I think you’re missing my point, which is that the lottery works as intended, but that’s a BAD thing. Winning high picks hasn’t helped the Clippers et al, while huring the league by making it harder for good rookies to land with good teams.

    I would say the league is much better for Tim Duncan landing with the Spurs, creating a foil for the Lakers , than if he’d landed with the Clips and played on a bunch of 45-win, 1st-round losers. Kevin Garnett in Minnesota=boring. Kevin Garnett in Boston = interesting.

  13. Ted Nelson

    cgreene,

    It’s my impression that the NFL is wildly popular, not sure that parity is hurting. I hate the way they manipulate the schedule to help bad teams and hurt good ones, but it’s nice to know that your team can go from 1-15 to 11-5 in a single year. NBA fans often have to wait a decade for their team to turn around.

  14. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “p.s. I also started as a baseball fan (the Reggie Jackson teams) and have sort of lost touch with it. But I think it’s more a) the games are too frickin’ long — in the 70s they were the length of basketball games today; b) subtly, the steroid stuff… even more than basketball a lot of the best baseball arguments are about statistics, and the #s have lost some meaning.”

    Agreed. Both of these had profound effects as well.

    “Maybe the best way to improve the league would be to simply eliminate about 6 teams. I know, it will never happen. But a lot of energy and engineering goes into maintaining the viability of a few awful teams/markets… if all that were scrapped, I think well over 20 teams could stand on their own, in a total free-market system.”

    Yeah, but why would you want this? It’s basically MLB vs NFL. And I think it’s clear which league has a better functioning model.

    I agree with David’s minor league idea. I’m hoping the NBA is going towards a minor league model with the D-League, scrap the age limit (or drop it to 17 or 18), extend the draft a few rounds, and put in a draft salary cap (by age). What I mean by a salary cap by age is that if you’re 18 years old, you would make less for the next 3-4 years than a 22 year old drafted in the same spot. How interesting would trades be if you could include guys from your minor league, or if 2nd (or 3rd) round picks were actually valuable?

    As for the B-League – that’s tough logistically. Basically you have to have them play against NBA teams, because no team is going to lose a year’s worth of revenue. So right away you have to eliminate divisions and go back to conferences (hooray). This is because in theory you could lose 2+ teams from the same division – which would be quite unfair when making brackets. So you have:

    16 playoff teams
    14 non-playoff teams
    2+ B-League

    At the end of the year, the 2 worst teams go to the B-League, while the best 2 B-League go back to the NBA. For the draft, you would take the 14 worst NBA teams (non -playoff + B-League graduates) and put them in a draft lottery. Then the rest of the B-League/demoted teams. Then the regular NBA teams.

    I think it would work – but good luck selling that to the commish, owners, and common fans. (And you’ll know there’ll be guys calling this “European” style, which is a four letter word these days).

  15. Z

    But it wasn’t boring for the T-Wolves to have Garnet. And Garnet actually liked playing in Minnesota. You have to balance the league as sport vs the league as entertainment. Parity is a good thing for both.

    As for Duncan: In the 1997 draft the Celtics were the real worst team in the league. The Spurs had tanked after David Robinson got hurt and got rewarded. It was an unfortunate exploitation of the spirit of the lottery. If the Celtics had gotten Duncan, we could have had Lakers vs. Celtics in the NBA finals for years, just like the golden days.

  16. Ike

    how about a lotto within the lotto which guarantees one lotto team not with one of the 3 or 5 worst records gets into the top 3 of every draft?

    i could see this possibly incentivizing winning over tanking a little more for teams who won’t be as bad as the usual top 5 worst teams who seem to be the same far too often (minn, memphis, clippers) and help teams like the knicks and other middle lotto teams to have a better shot at getting a franchise talent of which we know is more likely with being in the top 3-5 in most drafts.

  17. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “If they brought in players that we liked (CC Sabathia) and less that we didnt (Kevin Brown, ARod, Carl Pavano) we would like them more. There is plenty of homegrown talent on the Yankees still. Mike, you mention the 80’s Yanks teams as more likable. Really? Winfield and Kingman and Jack Clark and all the other home run hitters that they bought and yet never won? The philosophy was the same. You were just younger and naive about it. Come on.”

    The 80s version of Arod was George Brett (or Mike Schmidt or Cal Ripken), not Dave Kingman. The 80s Yankees seemed to get good-not great players on their tail end (Clark, Kingman, Baylor, Candelaria) of their career. The 00 Yankees got some of the best names of the era (Arod, Giambi, Randy Johnson, Sheffield, Clemens, Mussina, Kevin Brown). If I were building an all-90s/00s team those players would be on it. If I were building an all-80s teams, there wouldn’t be many of the Yankee signees on there. That’s the difference.

  18. jon abbey

    “Yeah, but why would you want this? It’s basically MLB vs NFL. And I think it’s clear which league has a better functioning model.”

    assuming you mean the NFL, I have to disagree. the hard cap makes it virtually impossible to keep teams together, which is a real shame since the short careers of players would do that to an extent anyway. if what you’re looking for in a professional sport is almost every team having a chance at the start of the year and a lot of parity, then the NFL is your formula to follow, but what interests me about professional sports is true greatness, in an individual or a team, and that’s much harder to come by in the NFL.

  19. Count Zero

    “If I were building an all-90s/00s team those players would be on it. If I were building an all-80s teams, there wouldn’t be many of the Yankee signees on there. That’s the difference.”

    Selective memory on your part. Dave Winfield was probably the greatest athlete in MLB at that time and was closer to the A-Rod of that era than Brett.

    Some free agents who played for the Yankees in the 80s: Winfield, Phil Neikro, Rickey Henderson (the greatest leadoff hitter of all time), Tommy John, Goose Gossage, Ken Griffey, etc., etc.

    You were probably a lot younger and a lot less concerned with baseball salaries at that time. But trust me — George was every bit King George in the 1980s.

  20. BK

    I know this turned into a more general discussion of what makes for a better league model, but as a fan who watches too many games (78 of the Knicks’ 82 this year, plus almost every playoff game so far and numerous regular season games of other teams), I’d love to see a shorter regular season in the NBA. 70 games tops. That along with contraction would make me happier as a fan.

    It would never happen, of course. But the fact that some leading players are even talking about being willing to take less money for a shorter regular season tells you what the long season does for the abiliity of the league to produce a quality product that sustains interest, and competes with NFL and MLB.

    A return to a best of five format for the first round might be good as well, as the playoffs feel a little padded in the first round (like Tuesday nights with 4 playoff games).

    I am with the “few dominant teams” camp. I lost interest in the NFL when the parity reached levels where I felt mediocrity was being codified into the structure of the league. But I agree that baseball has its own issues with the Yankees-Mets-RedSox-etc arms race.

  21. Z-man

    My problem is not with the draft, but with the salary cap as presently structured. I should not be so extraordinarily difficult for a team to rebuild itself after a few years of bad management. Does it really help the league to have the Knicks (and before them, the Celtics) be doormats for decades, even though the franchises have the money to turn themselves around and the entire league benefits when they are doing well?

    The problem I see is with the inability of a team to shed a lousy contract from its cap. In other words, you should be able to release a player and continue to pay his salary without having it count against your cap. So if the Knicks released Curry, another team could sign him with a minimal cap hit, the Knicks would get the cap room, and Curry would get his money and perhaps a setting where he is more wanted.

    Sure, this gives the big market teams an advantage in that they can afford to erase mistakes, while small market teams couldn’t eat these bad contracts. Maybe that’s where a luxury tax would best apply, or some kind of incentive for these cut players to get signed by small market teams. If Memphis could pick up Eddy for 2 million, while the Knicks get cap relief even though they are still paying Curry’s contract balance, is that such a bad thing for the league?

    I like the draft lottery because a “franchise ” player means more in basketball than in any other sport, and it serves the league to have these players start their careers off with the downtrodden franchises. After a few years, they can take the free agent route, or with some changes to the cap structure, get traded to stronger teams for the right price.

  22. Ray

    If we stay at 8 then we can definitely get a point guard at that spot but if by luck we are able to pick higher then we need to take the best available player on the board. Then that might give us some room to make some moves. Lets see what happens.

  23. Z

    “The problem I see is with the inability of a team to shed a lousy contract from its cap.”

    You make a good point. The league did something similar to what you suggest a few years ago with the “Allen Houston Rule”. That one-time provision allowed teams to waive undesirable contracts to gain luxury tax relief. I’m not sure if there is too much harm in broadening it to allow salary cap relief as well. Maybe the new CBA can include this provision with some regularity, say, one contract every three years.

    They can call in the “Eddy Curry Rule”.

    And under it the Knicks can waive Jarred Jeffries.

  24. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “The problem I see is with the inability of a team to shed a lousy contract from its cap.”

    Agreed: http://www.knickerblogger.net/?p=1554


    BTW One thing to think about tonight – would getting the #1 overall pick mean the end of David Lee in a Knick uniform? Maybe not next year, but you’d think that it would hamper his long term chances of staying with the team. Unless you think that D’Antoni would keep a Lee/Griffin (6-10) backcourt. Not that it’s out of the question, but Griffin doesn’t appear to be a good shot blocker (1.2 blk/36 in college). That would really hamper the team defensively.

    Could the Knicks getting the #1 pick mean less bargaining power for Lee in July? He’d certainly have a tougher case to make if the Knicks PF of the future is Blake Griffin.

  25. ess-dog

    I’ve thought about this, and I can see Lee and Griffin coexisting. True the shot blocking will suffer, but the rebounding will be tremendous! And if we can get two guards that can play perimeter D (say Sessions and oh maybe, D-Wade) I think it could work.

  26. Z

    “Would getting the #1 overall pick mean the end of David Lee in a Knick uniform?”

    Boy, what a great problem to have!

    If lightning strikes and Knicks get the #1, they can trade down to #2 and draft Rubio. (Is Rubio officially in yet?).

  27. Z-man

    Yeah, Mike, I don’t think the players go for the non-guaranteed scenario (NFL-like) but I can’t understand why there isn’t a way to have a cap based on current salaries of current players on the roster. In other words, if the Knicks cut a Marbury, 1) he gets paid his full salary by the Knicks, 2) he is free to sign for another team for whatever they want to pay him (w/ or w/o a max is not much of an issue,) and 3) the entire salary (or a high % of it with a residual serving as a penalty, or full relief but a luxury tax paid to the league) comes off the cap. Another option is to depreciate the cut player’s salary.

    Say we did this with Curry. We get cap relief, another team benefits by picking up a servicable player on the cheap, Curry still gets all of his money at the Knick’s expense, and the NBA gets a quicker turnaround on a big-market franchise.

    The one thing about the NFL I don’t like is the complete lack of continuity on a team. Wholesale roster turnover would not be good for the NBA, where I believe the player recognition is higher and a 3-5 player nucleus is a positive.

  28. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Yeah, Mike, I don’t think the players go for the non-guaranteed scenario (NFL-like) but I can’t understand why there isn’t a way to have a cap based on current salaries of current players on the roster. In other words, if the Knicks cut a Marbury, 1) he gets paid his full salary by the Knicks, 2) he is free to sign for another team for whatever they want to pay him (w/ or w/o a max is not much of an issue,) and 3) the entire salary (or a high % of it with a residual serving as a penalty, or full relief but a luxury tax paid to the league) comes off the cap. Another option is to depreciate the cut player’s salary.”

    Two things would happen here. The first is there would be a disparity between the rich/poor teams. Teams like the Knicks would be able to erase their mistakes with a simple cut, but a team like Sacramento wouldn’t have that option. So you create an imbalance. On top of it teams like New York could pay for such a service. Don’t want your overpaid player? Trade him to us with a draft pick & we’ll cut him.

    But other than the competitive imbalance, this would circumvent the purpose of the salary cap. The cap was intended so that the owners are making a nice profit. If you allow teams to go over it without serious penalty, just about every team will do it. Fans of every team will want them to “just cut that bum”. It’s an arms race game waiting to happen – a situation where it’s best for everyone individually to do what’s worst for everyone collectively. And when you have a situation like that, the owners stand to lose big time. The owners institute a cap to save them from themselves.

  29. Ted Nelson

    “The problem I see is with the inability of a team to shed a lousy contract from its cap.”

    Teams know the stakes when they sign a player to a sizable contract. To allow poorly run franchises to make mistakes and then get “take-backs” would be to spit in the faces of the well-run franchises. I’m looking for a league where good management is rewarded, not punished.
    ——————————————————————–

    There are some significant differences between pro football and pro basketball that I think make the discussion of roster continuity in the NFL pretty irrelevant here:
    -life-cycle of players
    -replacability of players
    -importance of system
    -size of roster

  30. Z-man

    Agreed, but couldn’t those “cut bums” become low-cost assets for other teams? Steph and Curry are not “bums” as much as they are grossly overpaid. Perhaps a rule stating that cut players could only be signed by disadvantaged teams. Or a stipulation that the player could not be cut (with cap relief) for, say, 2 years after initial signing or trade. I know I’m grasping, but there has to be a reasonable middle ground somewhere.

  31. Z

    “To allow poorly run franchises to make mistakes and then get “take-backs” would be to spit in the faces of the well-run franchises.”

    But aren’t teams with poor general managers spitting in the face of the fans? Why should fans be punished for bad management?

    I totally understand your rational, as a fan of a league, to not want to let poorly run teams off the hook for their poor decisions. But most fans are fans of teams, not the league as a whole. Why make regional fans, who just want to see their city’s team compete, be the ones who are ultimately punished?

    I feel like there is common ground that can make everyone happy. The Allan Houston Rule was agreed to by owners and players in the last CBA. Seems like making that a recurring “take back” every few years may make some sense. (That way teams can take risks, factoring in their one mulligan per cycle).

  32. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    I agree with Z. It’s not like my proposed CBA changes would reward bad teams. With these changes, Isiah Thomas and Scott Layden wouldn’t be able to build a winner in a thousand years. The current CBA punishes bad teams for years after the incompetent GM has left. Isiah has been gone a year now, and as Knick fans we’re going to have to live through another losing season before we even have a chance to become a playoff contender.

    Well run teams already have their rewards of extra fandom, playoff revenue, apparel sales, and championships. Why stack the deck in their favor?

  33. Ben R

    I think the way to balance Z-man’s idea with the desire to protect small franchises and owners from themselves is maybe limit teams to cutting just one player from their cap per season. On top of that only players that have been on a team for say two full seasons are able to be cut so rich teams cannot sell their cap relief.

    I think this would create a balance between the desire to reward well run small franchises and not unjustly punish the fans of poorly run teams.

  34. Caleb

    Allowing teams to eliminate players’ salary by cutting them (even while paying the player) isn’t a technicality — it’s abolishing the cap. You’re at the cap, you want to sign LeBron, just cut $20 million worth of players and sign him.

    Total abolition of the cap would be a mistake — it would be worse than baseball, because talent is less evenly distributed.

    But – I would like to see a more flexible cap; there are just too many hurdles to player movement. It’s bad for the league when fans have to wait years for their GMs to make a move, and it’s bad for the league when 95 percent of trade talks are focused on “expiring contracts.”

    Possible solutions include…
    - shorter contracts. Players don’t like them because their total take will go down, as owners “waste” less on long-term, white elephant deals. But given the economy, owners have more leverage, so I expect the next CBA to cut a year, maybe two, from the max-length deals.

    - a softer cap (maybe a “super-max” exception, one player with unlimited salary… or maybe no cap at all, but a stiffer luxury tax)

    - change draft rules, so decently-run teams have a shot at impact rookies.

    Changes 1 & 3 favor the owners, giving management more flexibility. I don’t have any sympathy for owners making bad business decisions and losing money, but when the decisions cripple the franchise, it’s bad for their fans and the league overall. What would induce players to accept these concessions? Maybe #2 — or just a cash payoff, raising the cap by increasing the players’ percentage. If the players’ overall share stays the same, they might accept this… especially if the CBA sells out the rookies (draftees aren’t voting union members!) by restricting their salaries or years even more than they are now.

    Owners might accept lower total profits (a lower percentage of revenues) if it gets them more flexibility, in the form of shorter contracts.

  35. cgreene

    “Perhaps a rule stating that cut players could only be signed by disadvantaged teams.” This already exists in some sports in the form of putting a player on waivers where teams with the worst record on up have the first opportunity to claim a player.

    “It’s an arms race game waiting to happen – a situation where it’s best for everyone individually to do what’s worst for everyone collectively.” This is not true. Were the teams that cut players like Steph or Curry forced, in addition to paying the salary of that player plus providing a new team the opportunity to pick that player up at the player’s true value creating more of a true marketplace for players (actually similar to what banks are trying to do to erase the bad assets on their books and create true value for them), to pay a “cut and dump” tax that would be money shared by the league’s smaller market teams it would provide additional fiscal parity and another disincentive.

    “But other than the competitive imbalance, this would circumvent the purpose of the salary cap. The cap was intended so that the owners are making a nice profit.” Although I agree with this, it is not sold to the fan this way. The purpose of the cap is to maintain fiscal responsibility and create fiscal parity so more teams can compete and the CBA and specifically Bird Rights were definitely intended for fan interest. The above “cut and dump” scenario would maintain the spirit of this.

  36. Ted Nelson

    re: B-League/European system

    I’ll start by saying that I understand what I’m advocating is very unlikely to happen. Let me give a fairly in-depth explanation of my proposal and some of its ramifications, though.

    I don’t understand how in a country where free markets are supposedly valued to the such a large extent, we allow one of our most prized institutions–professional sports–to be monopolized…

    Most Americans are, understandably, unfamiliar with the set-up of European professional sports (I’m not familiar with all the intricacies myself). I apologize to those who are familiar with the system, but here’s a brief description. Let’s take Spanish pro basketball. There are several different leagues or divisions under the Spanish Basketball Federation: the ACB is the top league, followed by the LEB, followed by leagues with progressively lower competition levels including semi-pro and under-18 teams. Each season the worst two teams from a division are demoted to the next lower division, while they are replaced by the best two teams from that lower division. (Other aspects of European pro sports make for little parity in national leagues and don’t particularly appeal to me for American sports, but I think this one aspect could be imported without the others.)

    Changing the system would mean that instead of a club of billionaires running pro basketball in the US, free market competition would enter the picture. I would suggest maybe a two or three division set-up to start–depending on how much interest is out there–and then maybe further expansion. Perhaps no promotions/demotions would take place for a couple of years, if a significant talent gap between the worst NBA teams and the best B-League teams was projected. I would keep the salary cap and max salary, maybe in a slightly altered form to include lower divisions (presumably with lower caps) and other new factors introduced by the new system. I’d like to see the amateur draft kept for the top division, although it could be tricky.

    Any business-person/people, high net-worth individual(s), or basketball lover(s) could try to put together a team, starting out in a lower division. Lower division teams might come from second-cities large enough to support a professional basketball team, but supposedly not an NBA franchise (San Diego, San Jose, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Seattle, current D-League locations…). Or they might provide competition in large markets, preventing ineptly managed teams from holding monopoly power in these cities. The market would decide where an NBA franchise can profitably be located, rather than the billionaire club.

    The result would be a system where the best run teams rise to the top, while poorly run teams are no longer able to thrive thanks to anti-competitive measures and their monopoly power. The emphasis would be put on competing on the court, as well as operating as an efficient business. Bad teams would fall and unprofitable organizations would fold, replaced by better teams and organizations.

    Free agent players would have a wider variety of options. A Ricky Davis or Stephon Marbury kind of veteran would have the choice between an end of the rotation spot on an NBA team or a starring role of B-League team. The market (and maybe a CBA/salary cap) would determine which role is more handsomely
    A de facto minor league would evolve, where second round/undrafted talent can start at a lower division and move to a higher division through free agency/trade, if not with his team. The same development process would exist for refs, coaches, GMs, even business models/practices.

    Fans would have more variety and more control. In the NY area you might primarily be a Knicks fan, but also root for your local lower division team in Queens, Newark, Stamford, etc. whose games are a lot more affordable to attend. If you lose all faith in Knicks management, maybe Spike Lee has gone out and started an upstart franchise coached by John Starks, playing hard, and rising up to the NBA level fast. As fans start switching their allegiances, Dolan has to put-up, shut-up, or sell the team to someone who can bring it back to prominence.
    Fans in smaller markets would have a reason to care about professional basketball, which might increase the sports overall popularity.
    We could really make a difference with how you choose to spend our fan dollars.

  37. Ted Nelson

    Z, Mike, et. al.

    The solution I’ve outlined above is pretty radical, but I think it solves the problem of punishing poorly run organizations without punishing fans. The free market is the best way to accomplish this. I would stop short of a totally free market for the sake of parity and on-court competition, but injecting some of the benefits of a free market would be in the best interest of the fan. The NBA would never, ever go for this, and I think it would have to be imposed on them from Washington. Possibly through the judicial system, as they are extremely anti-competitive.

    Since (unfortunately) my changes aren’t going to happen, I think Ben R’s solution is decent: cut a max of one player per season, who must have been on the team for a given period. Throw in cgreene’s dumping-penalty and we might have something.

  38. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    The cut & dump tax would be an incentive, but wouldn’t necessarily prevent teams from doing it. Recently New York had a team salary of almost two and a half times that of the cap. So obviously some teams would be able and willing to pay for that. While others can not. That’s an imbalance.

    I think shorter contracts (or shorter guaranteed contracts) is the key to a better NBA from all perspectives (except for the Marburys, Francises, Randolphs etc.). With shorter contracts teams will have to allow for larger contracts (right now a player can earn 10.5% increase each year, so forcing shorter contracts would mean less earning power). But in the end this will allow teams to take risks on players without risking a half decade of their future.

  39. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I don’t understand how in a country where free markets are supposedly valued to the such a large extent, we allow one of our most prized institutions–professional sports–to be monopolized…”

    Are you saying American ideology is inconsistent? :-D

  40. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Ted – with the European system, doesn’t it make it easier for a few rich teams to dominate? Yes if this system was implemented today, perhaps Dolan’s Knicks would be eliminated in lieu of Spike Lee’s Mo Better Blues. But let’s say this was instituted in the mid-90s. New York would simply have so much cash that they would be able to sign anyone. And just about any player would want to sign with New York. The Knicks could simply have purchased/outbid LeBron James from Cleveland. Actually Cleveland probably would have never had a chance to get LeBron – New York, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Boston would have been all over him from high school.

    That’s my problem with that system. If you’re in a big market with a winning team, success seems to perpetuate itself. The best players want to play for one of those teams. The rich teams want the best players. Hence the small market teams never have a chance. Sayonara San Antonio’s dynasty. Dasvidanya Detroit Bad Boys II. Ciao Cleveland. You’re history Utah. (couldn’t think of one with a U :-)

    And if you’re a fan of the small market team good luck. Imagine how rich Donald Sterling would be by selling off every half-decent player he has. Imagine your small market team getting a good young talented player, only to use him as bait for some big team. Fans of the Red Bulls know what I’m talking about (Jozy Altidore).

  41. Ted Nelson

    Mike,

    Yes, definitely. In Europe the rich teams dominate.

    My proposal is sort of a “back of the napkin” hair-brained scheme I’ve just thought up, but I would try to keep a salary cap (reformed or unreformed), max salary, and likely an amateur/foreign draft for 18-22 year olds in place (maybe only for 18 year olds… anyone undrafted in round 1 as an 18 year old would be a free agent). I don’t want to implement all parts of the European sports system, just the part where a given number of teams are promoted/demoted based on performance. Ending up with a hybrid model that takes what’s best for the fans from both systems: parity and on-court competition from the US, and competition among clubs from Europe.

    You would inherently favor the Division A (top division) teams with an amateur draft in which only they can participate, but I somehow see that as acceptable. It’s not a perfect system, but I think it would be better for everyone involved (fans, players, coaches, society at large) besides current owners (who currently enjoy a monopoly).

  42. Ted Nelson

    Strong teams might not have to worry about the possibility of demotion for decades at a time. But weaker teams would have every incentive not to tank, because tanking = demotion = huge loss in revenue.

    The chances of some Hoosiers story of starting a division 4 team that eventually unseats an established NBA franchise is pretty unlikely, although the incentive is there for investors and hoopsfans alike. In the end I’d expect more movement on the margins. For example, maybe the people of Seattle band together to start the Seattle Starbucks with the mission of getting back into the NBA and kicking OKC’s butt.

  43. 2010

    come on! daddy needs a new PG

    i love the excitement of draft lotto night

    wow, i havent been on the site for a while, i like the new look mike

  44. Z-man

    MF-er, the curse continues… how long must we pay for the Ewing fix?

    What happened to the Kings, did Chris Webber call a time-out?

  45. BigBlueAL

    Well with the luck the Knicks have had recently at least they dont wind up picking Griffin or Rubio and have them blow their knee out or something in pre-season. Im actually now on the Steph Curry bandwagon, hoping they select him.

    BTW Mike c’mon no need to take a shot at Allan Houston like that!! He is my 2nd fave Knick ever behind Ewing and even if he only had one skill as you say that skill was amazing (shooting im assuming). Although to be honest he was an excellent scorer period, his offense was alot more than just shooting. Also he was a 2-time All-Star and started on the 2000 USA team that won the Gold!!

    Anyway imagine if OKC wouldve won the lottery, helluva young core they wouldve had!! Actually even picking 3rd I assume Thabeet would be the pick so a nice piece to add to the young core.

  46. Caleb

    Does Ricky Rubio really want to play in Memphis? Seriously… I’m no insider but I can easily see him waiting another year, given these results. I guess he can get Marc Gasol on the phone… but Paul and Juan Carlos Navarro were definitely singing the Memphis blues.

    If he goes the draft just gets weaker and weaker.

    Get ready for some wild cards…

    As for the Clips… this is the point I was making higher up in the thread. Why should their pathetic management be rewarded like this? Is there another team that doesn’t deserve Griffin MORE? Does anyone think this will propel them to contention in a few years? Isn’t it more likely that he wallows on a .500 team for the next 5 years? Wouldn’t that be a bad result for NBA fans in general?

  47. daaarn

    “As for the Clips… this is the point I was making higher up in the thread. Why should their pathetic management be rewarded like this? Is there another team that doesn’t deserve Griffin MORE? Does anyone think this will propel them to contention in a few years? Isn’t it more likely that he wallows on a .500 team for the next 5 years? Wouldn’t that be a bad result for NBA fans in general?”

    Yeah, I almost feel sorry for Griffin, but then I’m reminded he’ll be a multimillionaire so tough luck for him. He’ll just have to learn to live with being young, rich, and living in LA for a couple years till he can escape for greener bball pastures.

    That being said, I too have jumped on the SCurry bandwagon. At the very least, I think he should be able to replicate Nate’s scoring numbers eventually, so that’s definitely not a bad thing IMO. After all, this draft class is pretty low on potential all-star quality players so anyone that can contribute routinely is fine by me.

  48. Brian Cronin

    Man, what the heck do the Clippers do with this pick?

    Griffin is far and away the best possible pick, but the team is already stacked with untradeable power forwards/centers (except Camby, of course).

    But they have to take Griffin, right?

    It’d be hilarious if Rubio pulled out of the draft.

  49. jon abbey

    Curry or Lawson, I’ll be happy either way.

    as if the Z-Bo deal wasn’t dreadfully bad enough for LA already, this makes it decidedly worse. that’s the guy you want tutoring Blake Griffin for two years, too funny.

    Chad Ford has Memphis taking Thabeet second, Rubio to OKC at 3. Rubio/Westbrook/Durant/Green, that’s a nice core.

  50. BigBlueAL

    Ive seen Lawson fall in alot of mock draft into the early 20′s. #8 would be way too high to take Lawson.

  51. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “It’d be hilarious if Rubio pulled out of the draft.”

    Kinda, but not really. Memphis has the #2 pick – do they take another point guard? They finally got rid of Lowry to give the job to Conley. They could do that and trade Conley, they could trade the pick, or they can reach for Thabeet. I don’t know if any of those options are enviable.

  52. Conor

    Sorry to jump into this late; but if the draft was abolished (not going to happen anyway) I don’t think you would see all the talent congregate in a few cities. As long as you keep the cap, I don’t think you would see all of the top rookies go to the same teams; they’d want to get paid and they’d also likely want to be the guy for their team.

    On the Yankees point

    “The 00 Yankees got some of the best names of the era (Arod, Giambi, Randy Johnson, Sheffield, Clemens, Mussina, Kevin Brown).”

    Just have to disagree a little bit. The Yankees certainly got a few of these guys when they were past their prime and/or not as a free agent (though I suppose you could argue they were salary dumps.) The Yankees didn’t always sign the big time free agents; they didn’t sign A-Rod when he hit the market the first time. (They only signed him after they traded for him) When the Yankees signed Sheff, the big FA OF at the time was Vlad, who they didn’t sign. The Yankees traded for a 39 year old Kevin Brown, who wasn’t all that good for them. They traded for a 41 year old Randy Johnson who had one pretty good year (which included bombing in the playoffs) and a not so good year (which also included bombing in the playoffs). The first time the Yankees got Clemens in 99 he was good for them, but they paid him what, like 18 million to give them 100 league average innings in 07?

    Most of the big free agent signings the Yankees made didn’t really work out all that much. A big part of this is the fact that you usually don’t see guys hit free agency until close to age 30, and at that point most players are on the downside of their career, so those long term contracts don’t often work out.

    P.S. Are we really gonna take Steph Curry?

  53. ess-dog

    I think Curry is there for us at #8. Minny could take him at 5 but they really need a swingman and there is a very slim chance G.S. could take him at 7 but they really need a true point of a big man.
    I think we take Curry which will make it very unlikely we go after Sessions. I think we should make a play for Birdman since Lee could use some frontcourt help. It’d be nice if we could trade Nate to Chicago for junk and the #15 where we scoop up Blair, but I’m just dreaming.
    A team with Blair and Curry would be great fun to watch.

  54. jon abbey

    “Ive seen Lawson fall in alot of mock draft into the early 20’s. #8 would be way too high to take Lawson.”

    who cares what mock drafts say? we want players who are going to be good, the draft certainly isn’t a science. I want Curry or Lawson, and would be happy with either.

    and let’s see where Lawson actually goes, I’ll be surprised if it’s below 15…

  55. jon abbey

    also, I spent this whole period last year arguing for Westbrook and having people tell me he was an overdraft at our position, only to see him climb the boards and end up going before we even picked.

  56. Dan Panorama

    Good point, Jon — just like last year, draft board will be completely different after the combine and this year;s PG situation is completely all over the place. Anyone among the Curry, Lawson, Flynn, Evans, Holiday group could easily catch fire like Westbrook and shoot as far as into the top 5 and we likely won’t have a clear picture until right before draft day.

  57. TDM

    Gotta go with Jon – he was dead on with Westbrook last season. I personally like DeRozan or Harden, but would be happy with Curry.

    If the Griz take Rubio, I think the Wolves will try to package a couple of their 3 first rounders to move up to grab Thabeet. He would be a perfect fit for Minnesota and would allow Al Jefferson to switch over to his natural PF position. It would probably take the 6 and 18 to move up to 3; then, they would still have the 28 to grab a pg.

    I don’t think Ty Lawson would fall below 13. I think the Pacers will take whoever is available between Lawson and Flynn. The Nets at 11 could go for Lawson if they don’t choose a PF.

  58. ess-dog

    I don’t think Memphis will take Rubio because they don’t want to pay the 8 mil to his Italian team, but if they do, should we make a play for Conley? All we have to offer is Lee, but I don’t know if it’s worth it.

  59. d-mar

    I was hoping against hope we’d somehow move into the top 3, but once picks 14-9 went according to plan, I knew we had no chance. I still find it really hard to swallow that the Bulls got the #1 with a 1.7% chance last year, that’s exactly the kind of flat out luck our franchise needed this year.

    I think some are really undervaluing Lawson, I guess because of his size. I think he will be a very solid NBA PG a la Jameer Nelson, which I believe justifies a top 10 pick.

  60. Caleb

    NBA rules don’t let Memphis pay the buyout. I really have a hard time seeing Rubio pay $8 million for the privilege of being drafted by the NBA’s worst or second-worst franchise. If he can’t cut a deal for a trade, he could stay in Europe another year.

    I’d like to be contrarian but have to agree that Lawson and Curry would be good picks. Lawson was a lottery prospect, pass-first point guard his first two years but this year improved his shooting and scoring to the point where the #s are ridiculous. His game is perfect for the modern NBA, where quick little PGs can flourish. I only worry about the durability.

    James Harden reminds me a lot of Eric Gordon – lot of hype, then the backlash “not athletic, not consistent, yada yada” – but they are pretty similar players. Size, style, everything. Harden gets to the line almost twice as often as the other top guards, a lot like Gordon did in college. At #8 in this draft, would be a good value if he slips.

    Jrue Holliday is interesting – a year ago, would probably have been a top-5 pick out of H.S. – but his #s at UCLA really weren’t good. You could say the same about Earl Clark – huge potential, in theory, but didn’t produce at that elite level. But young enough, and productive ENOUGH, that you could imagine him blowing up. Clark reminds me some of Anthony Randolph.

    Some of the other super-athletic prospects look like busts in waiting. I’m thinking of Demar DeRozan and Tyreke Evans, although Evans looks a bit better. At least he rebounds and plays defense. He’ll be a straight 2-guard in the pros, so I don’t worry that he can’t play the point. Terence Williams actually put up terrific numbers as a swingman – I’d pick him top-20, maybe late lottery, no question.

    I won’t rehash my Thabeet and Blair opinions, but I guess I’d be ok with either at #8. Blair, more. If we could trade down and grab him later, fantastic.

    Here are the teams with multiple picks. Maybe there’s one to spare:
    Minnesota: 6, 18, 28
    Memphis: 2, 27
    OKC: 3, 25
    Sacramento: 4, 23
    Chicago: 16, 26

  61. Conor

    Not that anyone cares, but I am softening a bit on Curry. Mainly because one of my friends who is usually wrong about the NBA doesn’t like him, so I figure he can’t be that bad. Certainly, we’ll know he can knock down 3′s. I am guessing if we draft Curry, that probably closes the door on Nate? Unless they think Steph can handle major minutes at the 1. I know he shifted there last year, but this ain’t the Southern conference.

    Like Blair a lot. He’s gonna be a player.

  62. Ray

    Im still not sold on Blair. Not that I dont like him but for us at the 8th pick Im taking Curry. If we do in fact get Curry its going to be so much fun to watch. The kid is just a good player. Good character. Great feel good story. Its would just be fun. Im also hearing that number of teams are looking to deal or sell their late first rounders. New Orleans, OKC, Portland. I think the Knicks need to buy up some of these picks and we would be able to build depth. Getting the extra first rounder this year would make me forget about us not having a pick in next years draft. Although, I still think we need to address that situation. Hopefully Donnie is staying active on the lines because I know Sam Presti will be . Theres no reason he should be able to swing some deals and we cant.

  63. Frank

    I’m sort of caught up in the Stephen Curry mystique but these numbers make me a little nervous:

    Season GP MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG RPG BPG SPG
    2005-2006 36 37.1 26.8 47.0 42.1 86.3 2.6 2.0 0.1 1.4

    Season GP MPG PPG FG% 3FG% FT% APG RPG BPG SPG
    2008-2009 34 33.7 28.7 45.4 38.7 87.6 5.6 4.4 0.2 2.5

    Top season is JJ Redick who came out with a lot of the same scouting reports as Curry but with scarily similar numbers playing in a MUCH better conference. Bottom season is Curry. Granted, Redick probably wasn’t getting triple-teamed every possession. They’re about the same size (actually Redick is bigger). I guess maybe Curry has a better handle?

    I think if Walshtoni’s plan is to draft him to play PG then it’s a good pick — he’d be no worse a defender than Nash — although I don’t know at all if he has the same court vision and passing ability as Nash. But if he’s planning to play him at the 2… we got problems.

    Or maybe the plan is to recruit as many of Lebron’s favorites to NYC as possible (CC Sabathia, Curry, etc.)…

    Here’s to hoping that Orlando takes down Cleveland!

  64. Ted Nelson

    I can see your point, Frank. Their TS%s are also somewhat similar, besides Curry’s sophmore season when his was 64.4.

    The level of play probably offsets this a little, but Curry’s “peripheral stats” (assists, rebounds, steals) are not at all comparable to Redick’s. These are often used as a proxy for on-court athleticism. Redick is sort of a borderline NBA player with one NBA skill (outside shooting) and a good basketball IQ, but mediocre athleticism. If Curry can shoot like Redick plus has the athleticism/skill to run the point at least part time, be a more versatile scorer, defend PGs, and rebound alright for his size I think he’ll be a decent NBA player. Similar to the type of guards LeBron loves: Mo Williams, Delonte West, Daniel Gibson…

    My biggest concern with Curry is how long it will take him to adjust to the NBA. He’s not an amazing athlete by NBA standards and coming from a lower level of competition (although facing triple-teams might offset that). Hopefully he can come in behind Duhon, Hughes, etc. as a rookie and hit the NBA three, then develop the rest of his game over time. Nash would obviously be the best case, but a sort of less athletic Barbosa/Nate wouldn’t be bad.

  65. TDM

    Caleb – looks like your speculation that Rubio wouldn’t want to play for Memphis is correct. For what its worth, I also read that the Clips are open to trading out of the first spot – and – Chicago is looking to trade Tyrus.

    From DraftExpress:

    “From what people around the league are saying, Rubio’s camp may already be sending out feelers indicating that he’s not interested in the least bit in playing in Memphis.

    “Rubio doesn’t want to go to Memphis, and he especially does not want to pay money out of his own pocket with that huge buyout for the honor of doing so. Fegan [Rubio’s agent] wants him in L.A., and if he can’t have him there, he wants him in Sacramento. Definitely not Oklahoma City. “

    Unlike Griffin or Hasheem Thabeet, who don’t really have any choice where they will play next season if a team decides to play hardball, Rubio has a reasonably attractive alternative option at his disposal—returning to Spain.

    “He’ll pull out if he doesn’t like what he’s hearing,” the NBA source tells us. “Or he can stay in and force the Grizzlies to call his bluff—would they really take him knowing that he may never come over? That’s one way to get him to fall to three.”

    Fegan is already highly experienced in these matters, having unsuccessfully attempted to navigate fellow client Yi Jianlian towards the team of his choice in the 2007 draft, only to see Milwaukee foil his plans and pick him anyway. This time, though, he has a lot more leverage, as Rubio would likely have no problem staying in Badalona for another year or two or more if push came to shove. His buyout after all, is yet to be resolved, which in this case may actually be an advantage.

    The Grizzlies are clearly aware of the politics surrounding their pick, but do not appear to be in any rush to make any decisions. “We’ll talk about all those things when they come up,” their General Manager Chris Wallace told us. “Right now we’re still in evaluation mode. We haven’t had any conversations with him [Rubio] or anyone else in his camp.”

    Wallace shared that he will be headed out to Spain this weekend to watch Rubio compete in game three of the ACB playoffs, where Joventut will try to advance to the semifinals with a road win over Real Madrid. “I sent someone out there last week to watch him in the playoffs just in case we were able to move up,” Wallace told us. “He’s hardly a sleeper and he hasn’t been very difficult to track. We feel very comfortable with what we know about him right now.”

    When asked whether Mike Conley’s status as Memphis’ tentative starter will deter the Grizzlies from selecting another point guard, Wallace indicated that that won’t be a factor. “We’re not in a position to be drafting for need. We’re going to go after the biggest talent available, whether that’s a big man or a point guard or whatever.”

    What might make the most sense on paper would be for the Clippers and Grizzlies to work out a trade in which Memphis could take Griffin and Los Angeles would get Rubio. For that to happen, Memphis would have to part with one of their core assets, likely Rudy Gay. Obviously we’ll have to stay tuned, because as John Hollinger correctly indicated in his latest column last night’s lottery left more questions than answers for the teams drafting in the top 5.
    ____________________________________________________

  66. Z

    With some help from Rubio and his agent maybe we could swing a deal:

    Chandler, Q, and the #8 for Marko and the #2

    or

    Lee and #8 for Darko and #2

    or

    Harrington, Chandler, Jeffries, and #8 for Darko and Marko and the #2

    It’s probably worth taking on salary (Jaric) to get a top-pick. Deal him later, or just wait until 2011 while Rubio develops. Anything to get a franchise player at this point…

  67. daaarn

    Hell, it’s worth taking on Jaric just so we can get Adriana Lima in a courtside seat lol. But yeah, I can’t wait for the day when the Grizzlies move again. Seattle deserves to have a team again.

  68. ess-dog

    I would say our chances of getting Wade/Lebron are a combined %10 at this point. Therefore I propose this trade:

    NYK gets:
    Gerald Wallace, Sean May, #12 pick

    Charlotte gets:
    Eddy Curry, Wilson Chandler, #8 pick

    Charlotte picks S. Curry, we pick Flynn/Maynor/Lawson

    We can still sign Lee and a big free agent in 2010, but still have a hole at shooting guard for another year.

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