2009 Report Card: Larry Hughes

Larry Hughes arrived in a midseason trade with Chicago. The Knicks were in dire need of a shooting guard precipitated by the Cuttino Mobley injury, and Hughes’ poisoned contract made him available. Back in 2005, Hughes was a highly sought after free agent, but he never lived up to his contract as LeBron’s sidekick, and Chicago fans soured on him quickly. In New York, he arrived with lesser expectations as fans were just happy that he had a normal beating heart.

Hughes has a reputation as a good defender and he seems above average to the eye. However 82games had the Knicks’ defense 4.2 points worse with him on the court. I’m inclined to give him a pass, and wait until next year to make a better judgment on his effectiveness.

On the other end of the court, there’s no doubt that Hughes was a huge detriment to the offense. His shooting efficiency numbers were atrocious: 44.8% eFG and 49.3% TS%. Basically his shooting was so bad, if it weren’t for Jared Jeffries he would be the worst among the Knick rotation players. Hughes’ ability to slash to the hoop has been diminished as witnessed by his shrinking free throw attempts (6.9 fta/36 in 2005 down to 3.5 last year). One thing he has improved on is his three point shot. Over the last 4 years, Hughes has averaged 35.6% from downtown.

Even at his peak, Hughes was never a good scorer. He’s had an eFG over 46% twice, and never has had his TS% go above 53%. At this stage he should be a deep option off the bench for defensive purposes, and be given limited opportunities on offense. A good litmus test for rookie Toney Douglas will be if he can supplant Hughes in D’Antoni’s rotation this season. Like Hughes, Douglas is a defensive specialist and you hope that he can put up better offensive numbers than Hughes.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Teamwork: 2
Rootability: 2
Performance/Expectations: 2

Grade: D+

Similarity Scores:

.000 Larry Hughes 2009 TOT 13.4 .515 .469 15.6 0.4 3.9 2.9 1.8 0.3 1.7
.060 Byron Scott 1992 LAL 15.5 .537 .485 16.4 1.0 4.2 3.0 1.4 0.4 1.6
.061 Bobby Phills 2000 CHH 14.6 .524 .499 16.6 0.7 3.1 3.4 1.8 0.3 2.1
.068 Robert Reid 1986 HOU 13.7 .506 .468 16.5 1.1 5.0 3.7 1.5 0.3 1.6
.080 Mike Woodson 1989 HOU 12 .503 .455 16.7 0.8 3.1 3.3 1.4 0.3 2.2
.083 Lindsey Hunter 2001 MIL 14.8 .500 .478 14.8 0.6 3.0 4.0 1.8 0.2 1.2
.086 Blue Edwards 1996 VAN 11.9 .498 .463 13.5 1.3 4.5 2.8 1.5 0.6 2.2
.092 Todd Day 2000 PHO 13.2 .524 .491 15.1 1.2 4.9 2.5 1.7 0.8 1.9
.097 George McCloud 1998 PHO 12.7 .507 .488 13.5 1.3 6.5 2.5 1.6 0.4 1.9
.098 Trent Tucker 1990 NYK 12.0 .518 .496 13.9 1.2 3.6 3.6 1.5 0.2 1.5
.102 Cuttino Mobley 2006 LAC 13.1 .519 .467 14.1 0.6 4.1 2.9 1.1 0.4 1.8

Byron Scott was still a starter at the same age, but a year later would be his last as a starter. The year 2000 was Bobby Phils last, and Todd Day played one more season. I mention these three, because they have the highest TS% of the group, and they barely had careers in their 30s. It’s hard to imagine Hughes sticking around for much longer.

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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).

55 thoughts to “2009 Report Card: Larry Hughes”

  1. “Hughes has a reputation as a good defender and he seems above average to the eye.”

    I must admit I fell in this category because there certainly were some games where it was nice for a change to see a Knick player play some good perimeter D and actually get deflections and steals on the man they were covering (not to mention actually cutting off his man when driving, a concept very foreign to all other Knick perimeter defenders). Also Hughes did have some big games on offense and was pretty clutch in the OT win in Detroit.

    In the end he is no different than someone like Harrington and the other players whose contract runs out after next season in terms of who cares what they do because they arent part of the future, although to be honest with the current roster he probably should start at SG and I think with a training camp under D’Antoni who knows he might have a decent season for the Knicks if given the minutes.

  2. I mention these three, because they have the highest TS% of the group, and they barely had careers in their 30s.

    Not for nothing, Mike, but I dunno if Phils is all that useful as a comparison, seeing as how his career ended because he died.

  3. I read somewhere that the plan was to have Grant Hill start at shooting guard. Even though Grant’s 37 and will probably break a leg by the 10th game, I like this idea better than starting a highly ineffective Hughes.

  4. Oh yeah if they sign Hill he will start at SG. I believe Isola or Berman said basically Hill and Chandler will start at the SG and SF with them being basically interchangeable at either position.

    I just meant if the roster stays as is w/o any new players acquired I wouldnt count out Hughes starting thats all. Not sure if Chandler can really start at SG, although I guess he could depending on matchups. But if Chandler starting at the SG means Gallinari starts at SF then by all means start Chandler at SG!!

  5. Nice post on Hughes.
    I think he played sound defense, but on a team as porouos as the Knicks were, introducing a new player into the scheme probably set even that defense back further. It feels impossible that they could be worse at D with him out there,but the stats don’t lie. (Well, they do sometimes, in my humble opinion).

    I was reading that he Knicks promised Hill a starting SF job, which Chandler likely to play the 2. I like that configuration; I just hope Chandler has been working on his jumper.

    I know there has been some criticism of the Knicks going after a 37 year old forward,but Grant Hill’s iinjury kept four years of mileage off his body. He doesn’t look like a 37 year old. He played an entire season last year, which is more than several younger Knicks could say. What that tells me is that his preparation and body awareness is fantastic, and the youn Knicks players can learn a thing or two about preparation. And at the end of the day, Hill and Chandler is better than Chandler and Q at the 3 and the 2. Huge upgrade,in my view.
    And finally, the Knicks would have a potential leader deserving of that stature.

    I’m a big fan.

    As for Larry Hughes, he has no future,except as an expiring.
    If we keep Nate, and this is looking possible now, then Hughes gets buried and is a possible fill in at point after Duhon, Chandler, Nate, and Douglas guard rotation, which is a hell of an upgrade over Marbury, Jones, Collins and Crawford.

    Hughes may become a malcontent at that point,which is when you send him home or dump his contract for a second rounder or something.

    So, I’m a big fan of the knicks landing Grant Hill!

  6. The frustrating thing about Hughes is that he seems to be in terrific shape and has very good athletic ability. He’s just ultimately not that good at basketball.

  7. I don’t think Gallo starts initially; they will probably keep his minutes down until his back is no longer a concern.

    I think the mindset re: Hughes will be to take what he gives you, i.e. give him a shot but bench him if he is not productive. Walsh and D’Antoni know that Hughes and Grant Hill (and JJ and Harrington?) are not part of the future, so they will be used to support the younger talent. Maybe Hughes playing for that one last contract will help.

    Grant Hill is a classy guy who has overcome a lot just to be in this position. He’s perfect for the “elder statesman” role and can still play some. I don’t see him playing more than 15-20 mpg, though. If he could focus on making Gallo and Chandler (and AH?) better players, that’s good enough for me.

  8. I don’t think Chandler is really a guard. He doesn’t handle the ball that well, is not a good enough shooter, and might not be quick enough to defend that position. If he gets 36 mpg, I see him for 24mpg at SF and 6mpg each as SG and PF, depending on the lineup. But he is definitely a SF by definition. A lot depends on whether we keep Nate. who should play big minutes, mostly at PG but definitely some at the 2.

    I’d rather see Harrington at SG, or better yet, not at all. Let Gallo and Chandler have most of the SF minutes.

    Botttom line is, Grant Hill will create a glut at SF (esp. if Jeffries is included; we theoretically have EC and Darko at C and Lee and Jordan Hill at PF) and a shortage at SG and PG. It is hard to figure out minutes at the SF position if we add Hill.

  9. this probably wont come off great but…. whats the problem with a lineup of PG, SF, SF, SF, C/PF. its just smallball. Chandler isnt a good shooter but her is about average and when he gets hot sometimes. Gallo is lights out. G.Hill can shoot very well from mid range. Defensively are the knicks any worse then last year? On top of that Maybe hill remembers what the PHX trainers taught him about staying healthy because those guys make miricales happen with thier rehabbing. Anyway despite my rambling I genuinely think SG is the least valuable position on the court (I played SG my entire life and still feel this way) Basically if your SF’s can shoot why have SG’s the SF tends to be taller and longer which makes up alot for speed.

  10. I was rooting for Hughes after initially being against the acquisition. After the first 3 games of awful shooting, he had a really nice stretch of about 7 or 8 games where I felt he earned his minutes. And as an individual defender, he was outstanding — unfortunately, he was on an island. I’m sure no one is inclined to re-watch the eye-straining 140-135 OT loss to the Clippers, but Hughes shut down 3 different players in that game, while the rest of the Knicks were practically waving capes as their men drove to the rim.

    Hughes was obviously overvalued after his time in Washington, but one thing that doesn’t get noted enough since he left there is his injury history. He’s not as good as his contract, but he’s not as bad as some say he is. He’s very fragile, though, and when he hid his toe injury from the coaches last year, it seemed to sour the coaches for good.

    I don’t think he’s a bad guy, but it’s arguable that his motivation was never the same after his brother passed away. And Mike is right, now that he’s lost the ability to drive with any effectiveness, he’s truly is as awful as his rep on offense (though I have fond memories of his 39 point game against Milwaukee) Decent role player who always produces a few defensive highlights a game, but he needs to work on getting in the best physical shape of his life if he wants to play beyond this year.

  11. I think it’s becoming clear D Lee’s value isn’t near $12mm per, at least not under current market conditions. Chris Andersen’s deal (I’m seeing 5y / $26mm) is helping to underscore this. Lee’s better but within a salary cap in place can anyone really argue he’s worth 2.5 x as much?

  12. A few thoughts —

    Love the Grant Hill move, especially if, as reported, the contract will be for either 1 year 5MM or 3 years 10MM. I’d actually prefer the 3 years to be honest, because at 3.3MM/year I think he’s a bargain even if he’s old and only plays 15 minutes/game.

    Even more than the money, I really appreciate the way the culture of the team is changing — away from an emphasis on very physically talented players with no D or basketball brains at all (Crawford, James, Z-Bo, Francis, Marbury, Curry) to players who just seem to know how to play even if they’re not the greatest physical specimens in the world (Duhon, Gallinari, Lee, hopefully Grant Hill) or at least think about defense (Jefferies, Hughes, Chandler). And I think Grant Hill would be a great mentor for our young guys — certainly a better influence than guys like Z-Bo or Crawford would have been *shudder*.

    Re: Hughes — he’s certainly better than anything else we have in terms of defense, but I can’t say I was blown away by his perimeter D. Even so, I’ll give him a pass for last season– he was basically buried on the bench in Chicago and hadn’t played in >1 month prior to being traded. Took him about a month just to get back in real basketball shape. I assume his 2 inch vertical and inability to dunk even at 6’6″ was due to that?

  13. Regarding Hughes, isn’t a 2 a bit high on the rootability factor? I am so indifferent to this guy. His saving grace is that he allowed us to jettison James, Thomas and Roberson.

    I was listening to Jason Kidd on the Dan Patrick show this morning on the way to work. IMO, Kidd was never going to take the Knicks offer. DP asked him how close he was to taking the Knicks offer. Kidd gave a very pc answer – that the chance to play at MSG with Walsh and Mike D would have been great. He said LBJ played no part in his decision. I wouldn’t fault him for choosing the Mavs even if the money were the same. He’s got maybe 3 good years left and Dallas is a contender.

    Kidd did say that he thinks G Hill will be playing for the Knicks next season.

  14. In order to cut down on public drunkeness, the NYC legislator enacts regulations that limit the number of drinks a person can have at any bar to three. Bartenders faces heavy fines for allowing any patron to consume more than three drinks, so naturally they avoid serving more than three. One day long after the law is passed a guy walks into a bar and orders ten shots of whiskey for himself. The bartender pauses, takes a long look at the guy, then pours ten shots of whiskey. The other patrons-who tried in vain to purchase more than three drinks all night-were astonished.

    “Why did you serve him 10 shots?” they cried.

    The bartender calmly replies, “That’s Larry Hughes, he’s not going to make more than three of ten shots.”


  15. TDM, Richard Jefferson said Kidd was going to be playing for us next season. Hard to place much credence on what other players are saying these days.

    Mike’s grading scale is obviously his own, but I might take issue with the D grade — Hughes was productive on a team chasing a playoff spot, and had a hand in two key wins (Milwaukee and Detroit) as well as nearly giving us another win (which instead became the loss that killed the season to the Clippers). D players are (my opinion of course) guys like Wilcox that don’t get the system or, like Samb, are barely there except in garbage time.

    Also, are shots/possession tracked somewhere on this site? I would guess that Hughes’ numbers in this area are not as bad as his “gunner” rep would indicate. His AST% for last year was better than most everyone on the team apart from Duhon and Nate. He certainly passed the ball. Just limited in running the pick and roll (can throw the bounce pass, but is terrible with passes in the air/lobs to cutting big men). Then again, if a measure of teamwork is foregoing inefficient scoring opportunities, then yes, Hughes can justifiably be docked, even if he passed a fair amount.

    Just one more point (for fun): check out the comparative “selfishness” ratings for the respective Knicks. Hughes is very much in the middle:


  16. I think getting Hughes was the equivalent of the Yanks getting Eric Hinske, except in basketball there’s much more pressure on a rotation player than there is on a bench guy in baseball. They needed a guy who could keep it together on the court and take some pressure off others. I think, in that regard he did a good job. It wasn’t fair that the fans booed the heck out of him, or that the team relied on him on offense as much as they did. As was the case with Harrington, he was thrust into a larger role than he merited. We forget, that injuries and trades made a mess of the roster last year. I think there’s a role for Hughes where he can be productive. I just hope the team starts to develop an identity of some kind this year where journeymen vets aren’t asked to match production with the Paul Pierces and Joe Johnsons of the world. Hughes is pretty good IMHO, but almost every other teams’ starting 2 is better.

    Hopefully we see mostly Lee, Robinson, Gallinari, Chandler, and the two rookies next year. At least with those guys there’s some hope of upside we haven’t seen. Grant Hill is a special player and would be fun to see in a NYK uniform. If those guys come through then Hughes and Harrington round out what could be a good roster. Maybe Curry gives us something as well. Overall, it seems like we’re on the outside looking in at playoff time again, but I’ll still be watching. It could seriously hurt to watch Utah take our top five pick next June and then see Lebron sign with someone else. It’s hard being a Knick fan.

    Could someone update me on Gallo’s health situation. Anyone hear anything? That could be the key to the whole thing.

  17. Good assessment of Hughes. The grades look harsh, but I guess it’s fair.

    I would like to get Grant Hill for all of the reasons others have given, plus I’ve thought the Knicks could use a good passer on the wings for a while now (Hill’s assist rates have been low lately, but were high when he was in his prime).
    I don’t know how I feel about “showcasing” players to up their trade value (sends the wrong message, takes minutes from more deserving/ often younger players, and if they stink you might be exposing them more than anything), but my one concern at this point is that the Knicks are adding enough depth (if Hill signs, Lee and Nate resign, and the rookies are decent) that Curry and especially Jeffries can’t earn many minutes. As always, it’s up to Eddy to show up in shape. If he does I think he can get some minutes and D’Antoni could legitimately create some trade value with his efficient scoring. Jeffries might be tradable with 20 mpg or so as a defensive specialist on a team that plays better than people expect. I would really entertain putting Jeffries in the SG rotation, especially playing next to Nate and/or Douglas: he had his best years in Washington at the 2 next to Arenas.


    It’s hard to get a read on Lee’s value based on one signing. I mean Bargnani’s extension would make Lee, what, a $40 million dollar per year player? Seriously, though, Andersen is 5 years older, much more limited offensively (usage rate of 13 vs. 19), has only had 2 good NBA seasons… not to mention that he was suspended for 2 years (I’m very impressed with how he reacted to the suspension, but it still makes him a liability). I don’t know what Lee is really “worth,” but I think he would be able to get $10 mill per if everything had broken his way.

  18. “Hughes is pretty good IMHO, but almost every other teams’ starting 2 is better.”

    Doesn’t that make him “bad” then?

  19. “Hughes is pretty good IMHO, but almost every other teams’ starting 2 is better.”

    Doesn’t that make him “bad” then? -ess-dog

    No. It just means he is below average. Much like his TS%. Rimshot!

  20. This whole dynamic with RFAs is so interesting to me. Teams with cap space want to sign Lee but they know that we’ll match unless they (over)pay >10 mill. But then a lot of these teams have their own players come up for free agency next year, and they know that if they use up all their cap room on Lee, we’ll have cap room post-2010 and they won’t, so we can then raid their roster for their FAs, forcing them to either let the FAs go or bust into luxury tax territory (especially with the lower cap). On top of that, we can wait, what is it, a week or two to decide whether or not to match, and while we do that, other targets for their FA money may be signed away. Interesting chess match.

    I think Lee has sort of gotten unlucky with the timing of his free agency. not only does he have to deal with that dynamic above, but even if he rolls the dice and signs the qualifying offer to become an UFA next year, the cap is dropping and less teams will have any cap room. (not to mention he might be the 8th best UFA next year) All in all, it looks like Lee will be on the Knicks next year barring a sign and trade — either signing the qualifying offer or a very reasonable, possibly below-market longer-term deal.

    Another interesting possibility given the dropping cap is the possibility that all these top tier FAs that are actually signed through 2011 but can opt out after the 09-10 season may just finish out their big money contracts through 2011 and hope that the cap rises and there is more money out there for them for the next contract– impressive list:

    Amare Stoudamire (owed 17.7 million in 10/11)
    LeBron James (owed 17.2 million in 10/11)
    Dwayne Wade (owed 17.0 million in 10/11)
    Chris Bosh (owed 17.1 million in 10/11)
    Dirk Nowitzki (owed $21.5 million in 10/11)
    Josh Howard (owed $11.8 million in 10/11)
    Tyson Chandler (owed $12.8 million in 10/11

    Not to mention all the players from the 2006 draft class will be UFAs after 2011 unless signed to an extension prior…

    If I were Walsh I’d offer Lee something like 5 years/35-38 million or 2 years/18 million. If he takes the 1st offer we are getting him probably at a below-market rate. If he takes the 2nd one, then we preserve post-2011 cap room (while zeroing out the chance for 2 max FAs in 2010, which is probably a zero chance anyway given the falling cap). As far as I can tell, we will have large amounts of cap room in 2011 when Curry and Jefferies come off the cap (although we’ll have to deal with Chandler) regardless of who we sign in 2010 — that $$ could be used on one of the very tasty names above.

  21. Ted,
    You’re right with the disparities you point out. It’s definitely not an apples-apples comparison. My point is more that every time a young big man signs a relatively modest contract it nudges the market lower, even if only marginally.

    What do people think about Grant Hill defensively?

  22. Yeah, also, a player’s actual value is not necessarily the same as the perception of their value from one or more GMs (who actually determine their market value). The NBA free agency market is not a competitive market, so it doesn’t necessarily result in a player signing for “fair” market value. The system is rigged to keep any decent player on his own team, but more often than not it backfires when teams overpay to keep their own guys or severely overpay to steal another team’s guy.
    The Raps probably gave Bargnani all that money thinking he’s ready for a breakout season and will be a bargain compared to what he would have gotten, or maybe Bosh likes Bargnani so they decided to lock him up as leverage on Bosh… Birdman was going to have a hard time getting more than the MLE anywhere, let alone until he’s 35, and might even have been willing to take less to stay in a stable situation that he likes in Denver. Lee’s lost a lot of leverage this offseason, so I’m interested to see what he does with the cards he has… (No matter what happens I can’t feel too bad for a guy who is looking at making at least $6 mill a year.)

  23. Okay, so it turns out that the Raptors are not interested in Stackhouse’s $2 million, but are trying to get another team with cap room to take Stackhouse (with Dallas kicking in the $2 million).

    That makes a lot more sense – I couldn’t understand why the Raptors were involved in that deal before that bit of news.

  24. Looks like Stack is going to Memphis and Marion to Dallas. IF the deal goes through, I wonder who will start for Dallas between Josh Howard and Marion. Marion brings more rebounding and defense, but Howard brings more offense. Either way, it would give Dallas great depth, along with Kidd and presumably Gortat.


  25. TDM,

    I would seriously consider starting Howard AND Marion, presuming you want Terry coming off the bench.

  26. It’s interesting, it truly is going to be a WOW all star team in Dallas next year….

  27. Just read a John Hollinger tweet saying the Blazers may now make a run at Millsap by offering a 5 yr deal between either 46 or 53 million depending if they renounce the rights to a couple of players.

  28. Holy crap, Anderson Freakin’ Varejao just scored 6 years/50 million. No wonder Lee thinks he’s worth so much.

  29. Yeah, this market must be driving Lee absolutely bonkers.

    The knowledge that he could easily be making so many millions under basically any other scenario than this exact one (restricted free agent with a team that is willing to match pretty much any reasonable offer, but with a team that is also unwilling to just shell out the money for him like every other team does for their young players because they are trying to save up money for next season) has got to be extremely galling.

  30. And yeah, Al, I read that on HoopsWorld, too – apparently they like Millsap a bit more because

    A. They don’t think Utah will match


    B. Millsap apparently is willing to remain a bench player, while Lee has been “demanding” a starting job wherever he would go.

  31. If you were David Lee, would you just take the QO and hope to score big next off-season?? Im not being sarcastic or anything just looking at it from his point of view what do you think he should do??

  32. It’s maddening, Al, that’s what it is. I can’t even imagine what’s going through his mind.

    If you want to maximize the possible profits, then yeah, taking the QO would be the best way to go, but with the cap possibly dropping by millions of dollars and the multitude of good free agents available, the market might not be there (it almost surely will, but who knows?). When you add in the possibility of injury or regression of skills, the uncertainty might drive him mad.

    So if you just want a “good” offer for a team you like, then wait for the Knicks to up their offer a bit – I find it hard to believe that the Knicks wouldn’t give him 5 years/$40 million if push came to shove.

    And I, personally, would go for the 5 years/$40 million, but boy, it’d be tough seeing all those dollars given to inferior players.

  33. If the Knicks have a full roster of healthy players, unlike last season, Lee’s numbers will regress. Not to mention the addition of Hill and Darko will take some minutes. Couple that with all of the talent available next season, and the risk of injury, Lee would be a fool to take the QO. Even if the Knicks are only offering $6-7M per, Lee should take it if it is for 3+ years. Unfortunately, if he outperforms his deal, he can always demand a trade to try to get the Knicks to renegotiate down the road. The cap will remain flat next year at best, and several more talented PFs will be available after this season. If I were Lee and the Knicks were only offering a 2 year deal, then I think I would roll the dice.

  34. Lee’s numbers could regress significantly and still be a better bet for big money than, say, Varejao.

  35. let’s not go nuts, Lee is a non-factor on D (being generous) and Varejao is a superb defender, I believe he’s led the league in charges taken at least once. Lee did lead the league in blocked shots, but those were his own… :)

  36. I knew I was being too specific!

    When I say that he would “still be a better bet for big money,” I don’t mean that he would be a better player. Heck, you could argue Lee’s barely better than Verejao right now.

    However, we all know numbers talk in the NBA (whether they should or not), and Lee’s 16 points and 11.7 rebounds are a “better bet for big money” than Verejao’s 8.6 and 7.2, so he could actually see a noticeable drop in his numbers and still be a “better bet for big money” next offseason.

  37. Varejao’s deal is 6 yrs, 42.5 guaranteed. That’s 7 mill per, which Lee could probably sign for right now. The extra 7.5 mill is for incentives, so if Varejao gets hurt or regresses there is some protection for the team, and if he gets better they have him locked in for a reasonable salary or can trade him.

    That is a deal the Knicks would absolutely match and would probably not be great for Lee.

    5 years 40 mill is sounding about right for Lee. Millsap is younger and a better defender, and not necessarily an inferior player.

    If Utah makes the same offer to Lee, I wonder if Walsh matches. I would say probably no.

  38. It looks like Marion is getting 5 years @ 40 mil. Amazing. Lee should at least get that. Maybe OKC will still step up? I don’t see Portland making a move. If Lee ends up with less than 9 mil a year, that should be the motivation he needs to work on his D.

  39. “If Utah makes the same offer to Lee, I wonder if Walsh matches. I would say probably no.”

    do you mean Portland?

  40. I dont think his numbers will drop because he always produces. If your big man puts up numbers you keep him in the game. Only reason to take him out is if he is not playing the D that we need for him or to give him a rest. I expect his numbers to be consistent as they always have been.

  41. The Knicks should consider using Lee or Robinson in a sign and trade. The team needs a starting PG and SG more than needs a PF and backup combo guard after this draft. They can get away with using Harrington at PF now that they have Milcic at C. By the end of the season, Hill will be Lee’s replacement. He was an efficient scorer before last year when they asked him for more on the offensive end. He can rebound, actually block shots, and already shoot from the outside if given a free look. His upside is better than Lee’s even if we lose something in the short term.

  42. ess dog and thomas b

    “Hughes is pretty good IMHO, but almost every other teams’ starting 2 is better.”

    Doesn’t that make him “bad” then?

    It doesn’t make him bad, it just means he shouldn’t be a starter. I made this clear. If you guys don’t get the point of a post, does that make you bad readers?

  43. “If you guys don’t get the point of a post, does that make you bad readers?”

    Me no understand.

  44. Huges is a below average SG and must be replaced. The sooner the better. Everything I read about the proposed Grant Hill trade suggests that Hill will be the starting SF and Chandler will be moved to SG. IMO Chandler doesn’t handle or shoot well enough to have that role even with Hill on the court. That’s what he was supposed to be working on this summer until he had surgery. I’m not sure how that’s going to work because I don’t think he’s going to have much time to improve in the off season. I’m still holding out hope that he’s part of trade that brings Rubio here.

  45. “If you guys don’t get the point of a post, does that make you bad readers?”

    “Me no understand.”

    It’s only worth posting if people take the time to read your post and pay you the respect of taking the post seriously. I felt like I added something to the conversation. If people only take time to talk to other regulars at this site, fine, I’ll talk to my wife. Just don’t assume that anyone who doesn’t live here doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  46. Ha, hey Danvt sorry, meant no disrespect, I just thought the last sentence sounded kind of funny.
    It’s like saying “Hey, that girl is pretty hot despite being the ugliest girl in the bar.”
    Hughes’ value is his giant expiring contract- I’m sure D’Antoni will have him ride out the season on the bench if he thinks he can win more games that way.

  47. “The Knicks should consider using Lee or Robinson in a sign and trade.”

    They should certainly consider it, but my guess is that next offseason will probably be the time to use them in a sign-and-trade. Just the other way around. A max FA would have to take less money and a year less to sign outright with the Knicks over his former team, whereas if his team knows it’s losing the guy there’s probably a certain level of talent that would convince them to sign-and-trade him.

    “The team needs a starting PG and SG more than needs a PF and backup combo guard after this draft.”

    Projecting draft picks based on potential is a very dangerous thing. Sure, everyone loves Toney Douglas and he might even do really well in Summer League action, but objectively the odds are against a 29 pick becoming a good NBA player. Same goes for a #8 pick, but to a lesser extent. I would at least hedge my bets.

    Duhon is an adequate starter, and I don’t know that they would get an obvious upgrade in a sign-and-trade… Would a team really give up an established starting-level player in a sign-and-trade? A good one?

    “They can get away with using Harrington at PF now that they have Milcic at C.”

    A team with a frontcourt of Milicic and Harrington… is that really a good thing? Not that the Knicks will necessarily be good with Nate and Lee, but they were/are the team’s two best players. Unless a really attractive sign-and-trade came along, I would take my chances that a core of Lee, Nate, Danilo, Hill, Douglas, and Chandler would offer enough intrigue and sign-and-trade bait to land a big FA fish or, preferably, two next offseason. Or just develop into a good core with some other additions.

  48. danvt,

    Why you calling me out ? I was responding to ess-dog’s question. My point was that Larry isn’t bad, but he is still far below the average SG in the league. Below average does not mean bad per se.

    I didnt even read your post if that makes you feel better.

  49. “Unless a really attractive sign-and-trade came along, ”

    Yes of course. You don’t trade above average players just to be active. There’s no need to rush anything until we get to see Hill and Douglas in action. You also want to get good value and make sure you have all the bases covered. But there’s a glut at forward now and it will get bigger if we sign Grant Hill. Something has to give eventually.

    At the same time we also have long term needs at PG and SG.

    It won’t be difficult to upgrade the SG position over Hughes as soon as someone is available.

    While Duhon is about average, I don’t think he’s the long term solution. I’m still thinking in terms Rubio at PG because I don’t think that situation is settled yet. Starting Duhon and giving Rubio time to develop would make me a happy camper, but you have to give something up to get something.

  50. “If Utah makes the same offer to Lee, I wonder if Walsh matches. I would say probably no.”

    do you mean Portland?

    Yes, Jon, sorry! Not that the team matters that much from the Knicks perspective. I meant that offer would be over their cut-off.

  51. Thanks Ess Dog,
    But my point was that Larry is best utilized off the bench, not as a starter. So, yes, if the girls at the bar are all NBA starters, he’s the ugly one, and in no way hot.

    Now, if you want to tell me that he’s no good, even off the bench, then I can roll with that. That would be responding to the substance of my post. I don’t need to be right, just understood.

    Thomas B,
    I love your posts and have great respect for what you bring, but, if you don’t read it don’t quote it.

    I’m a martyr for correcting people who misunderstand my posts and write flippant replies?

  52. I would love to see that Knicks get Rubio, but I don’t think it’s very realistic. Kahn has said that he’s keeping Rubio unless someone blows him away… A lot of people might disagree, but I believe the guy. If Kahn thinks Rubio was the second best player in the draft and maybe the best passing PG prospect since Kidd and if he doesn’t feel any pressure to move him, then I don’t think the Knicks have much that would entice him. And then on the other hand, I don’t know what Rubio’s status is at this point, but do the Knicks really give up 2 or 3 of the few assets they have for a guy who might not play for them this season?

    I don’t think Duhon is a “long-term answer,” but I’m not nearly as concerned about him short term as a lot of the guys on the roster. I don’t see many sign-and-trade scenarios where you get a PG or SG of the future… Maybe you get back an unproven prospect you like a lot who isn’t playing well or playing at all in his current situation, but there’s a lot of downside risk there. Maybe you get a solid veteran, but either he’s a one year rental or he’s got to be worth eating 2010 cap space. Without looking back at all the sign-and-trades over the years, my gut is that teams are unwilling to give up much in sign-and-trades: picks, young prospects, and contracts of worthless players. I guess we would have to talk about specific examples.

    At this point, as a 32 win team, I don’t think the Knicks can be too picky about where there talent is: they just need talent period. They don’t need to shuffle pieces around to balance the roster, they need to infuse talent. Since Lee and Nate were the team’s best players last season, the chances are higher that they’d end up with lesser talent in return, rather than greater talent. Would all depend on the exact deal, of course.

    To clear the glut at forward, Al Harrington might be my first choice to trade. He’s a productive veteran with an expiring deal… I think the Knicks would have a better chance at a talent upgrade by trading Wilson Chandler for a SG than Lee/Nate… who knows though, depends how you expect WC to develop.

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