2009 Report Card: Nate Robinson

When the mainstream claims a player has a breakout season, it’s usually due to an increase in a player’s minutes per game which inflates his per game stats (see Eddy Curry’s 2007 season). Nate Robinson did see an increase in his minutes and had career highs in just about every per game stat. However his per minute stats verify that 2009 was a career year. The Knicks’ guard had career bests in per minute points, assists, rebounds, steals, fouls, and free throw attempts.

2006 72 13.2 .407 3.4 .397 4.7 .752 1.3 2.6 3.9 3.4 1.4 2.7 4.7 15.6
2007 64 13.9 .434 5.7 .390 3.7 .777 1.5 2.6 4.0 2.4 1.3 1.9 4.2 17.1
2008 72 15.0 .423 5.6 .332 3.7 .786 1.0 3.3 4.2 4.1 1.1 2.0 3.6 17.5
2009 74 16.8 .437 6.3 .326 4.8 .841 1.6 3.1 4.7 4.9 1.5 2.3 3.4 20.7

Robinson has regressed from behind the arc posting his lowest seasonal percentage (32.6% 3p%), mostly due a stretch when he seemingly couldn’t buy a bucket. In December and January, Robinson was 37-175 (27.4%) from downtown. However his overall efficiency overcame this deficit with his ability to get to and convert from the line. In D’Antoni’s offense Robinson seemingly has carte blanche to go to the hoop, and he does with vigor. According to 82games, Robinson shot 59.6% eFG from “close”. Watching him, it’s amazing that the diminutive guard is able to score from inside so frequently and efficiently even with contact.

On the court Robinson has matured a little bit. His propensity to commit meaningless fouls has decreased, and D’Antoni keeps him from arguing with officials. Nate still has his eccentric theatrics, for example this season’s on the court Will Ferrell man-crush. It’s commonly thought that Robinson’s other big deficiency is his height. However teams didn’t exploit Robinson in this manner, as I rarely saw other guards post him up. Instead his true Achilles’ heel was revealed as he saw increased minutes this year: defending the pick and roll. Robinson goes under screens at a Jamal Crawford-esque rate, and frequently switches at ill opportune moments. At one point in the season Mike D’Antoni was visibly furious with Nate mid-game for his lack of effort on the defensive end. That Nate is unable to defend the pick and roll in a more physical manner is mind boggling, considering his football background.

Still all-in-all Nate was one of the more productive Knicks in 2009, and is worthy of a contract extension. His potent scoring is an asset alone, but Robinson contributes with passing, steals, and rebounds as well. He’ll probably always be a sixth man, partially due to his ability to create offense on his own with second team players. But it’s more likely that Nate will continue to come off the bench during his NBA career because of his lack of defense.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 5
Defense: 2
Teamwork: 2
Rootability: 4
Performance/Expectations: 5

Grade: B+

Similarity Scores:

.000 Nate Robinson 2009 NYK 18.9 .549 .498 20.7 1.6 4.7 4.9 1.5 0.1 2.3
.052 Eddie Johnson 1980 ATL 18.0 .538 .489 20.1 1.3 2.7 5.1 1.6 0.3 2.6
.060 Purvis Short 1982 GSW 18.8 .530 .491 22.1 2.5 5.4 4.2 1.3 0.2 2.5
.062 Michael Finley 1998 DAL 19.3 .522 .477 18.7 1.6 4.6 4.3 1.4 0.3 2.3
.077 Jason Terry 2002 ATL 19.2 .549 .500 18.2 0.5 3.3 5.4 1.7 0.2 2.2
.090 Brandon Roy 2009 POR 24.0 .573 .512 21.9 1.3 4.6 5.0 1.1 0.3 1.9
.096 Butch Carter 1983 IND 14.9 .549 .513 17.8 1.3 3.1 4.1 1.6 0.3 2.5
.100 Steve Smith 1994 MIA 17.2 .552 .499 17.5 2.0 4.6 5.1 1.1 0.5 2.6
.102 Jason Richardson 2005 GSW 19.0 .518 .492 20.6 1.7 5.6 3.7 1.4 0.4 2.2
.104 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf 1994 DEN 16.7 .521 .476 19.8 0.4 2.3 5.0 1.1 0.1 2.1
.109 Andre Iguodala 2008 PHI 19.0 .543 .495 18.1 0.9 5.0 4.3 1.9 0.5 2.4
.111 Mike Glenn 1980 NYK 16.6 .557 .519 19.8 0.9 3.0 3.8 1.6 0.3 1.7

Looking over Nate’s comparable players is a decent list of players. Some offensively focused and defensively challenged shooting guards like Finley, Terry, Smith, and Richardson. Interestingly, there is a lack of undersized guards, not a single player on this list is shorter than 6’1, and the average height is just over 6’4. Nate certainly plays like a taller player, especially with respect to his rebounding and scoring efficiency. Overall his list is impressive for a player that will spend his career coming off the bench.

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Mike Kurylo

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).

85 thoughts to “2009 Report Card: Nate Robinson”

  1. Nice work. Could Nate’s problem shooting be due to that hamstring problem he had during the season. To see what thisplayer’s value may be. It woul be nice since he is a restricted FA.

  2. This may be the only place you read this kind of take on Nate Robinson. He’s a quality sixth man, potentially a decent starter if he would put in the effort on defense. Efficient, and for the most part consistent offense doesn’t grow on trees. So people (e.g., Walshtoni) might want to think twice about running him out of town for nothing.

  3. Sorry, children climbing on me. I meant to say it would be nice to see a $$$ comp with similar players since that might help see Nate’s value.

  4. Dunno about rootability at a 4. Toward the end of the season there were many people who seemed to have gotten tired of watching his antics and utter lack of interest on defense. Admittedly me being one of them. Also there was the conspiracy theory going around that Nate wouldnt pass to Gallinari (although the 2 for team work I guess answers for that).

    Id say rootability at a 3, and even though I HATE Nate’s D and mentioned many times during the season his horrible D on the pick and roll his steals and rebounding does save him from a 1. A 2 on D was right on the mark. Cant knock his offense at all. Every rating right on the money for me except for rootability as mentioned earlier. Mike has proven to be a pretty fair grader!!

  5. Doing a $ comparison might not be worthwhile, considering eras, fa rules, number of fa availables, Isiah Thomas, etc. But should I ever have the time to get that in my db, I may try.

    It’s hard to make Nate’s rootability at a 3 considering the KryptoNate stuff made him a 6 in some people’s eyes.Also think about the children! :-)

  6. Except for that brutal stretch you mentioned, Nate had a great year on offense.

    What’s the order to these report cards?

  7. What Robinson has done for New York is beyond the stats of the game. Robinson (and you could make a case for David Lee as well) has kept New Yorkers somewhat interested into Basketball. Without those two, the Knicks wouldn’t have a player that defined them throughout the league. Now on the topic if Robinson will be back next season, I think it is very unlikely. Robinson is looking for a fairly large amount of money, which the Knicks could maybe give him, but he is also looking for a starting role. No way would D’antoni put Robinson of Duhon, any day.

  8. Would it be so wrong if we signed Nate and let him run the point with Duhon as the back-up. I know we usually have him coming off the bench but in reality he was always on the floor at the end of a close game. Be it in one of our blown lead losses or one of our crunch time wins. He is one of the few Knicks that can create offense on his own and we always have him coming off the bench. There were time when he carried the team offensively with clutch shot and big threes. If there were a better supporting cast around him he might cut his turnovers down and protect the ball better. He’s a better shooter than Duhon, better creater, better defensively, more athletic. Would it be so wrong?

  9. I have been a big advocate of Nate’s over the past 3 years, but my enthusiasm has waned recently. I feel that he has a ton of energy, but he really struggles to harness and channel it. At his size, he can’t afford to have fundamental flaws, e.g. defending the pick and roll. Yet his incessant complaining to the refs (no matter how obvious the call against the Knicks is) bugs me. He is so physically gifted that if he focused only on becoming a more polished player and making his teammates better, he could be a consistently dominant 6th man and game changer.

    I have mentioned a couple of times that I had a courtside seat for his most electrifying performance, when he scored 45 pts in an overtime loss to Portland in ’08. He played like an elite player that night and it didn’t seem like a fluke (e.g. like a Duhon 45 pt performance would.) If he could just bring his A-game consistently, he could be as dangerous offensively as any little man ever was. You might say that the biggest difference between him and a younger Iverson is consistency (even though Nate shoots better statistically, AI just had something extra); he can do just about everything that Iverson could do, just not night in and night out.

    Part of me feels he hasn’t had a breakout season yet. Playing on such bad teams (esp. in terms of leadership) has been detrimental to his development. If he sticks around with the Knicks this year, I would expect him to continue to improve as the team does, and vice versa. He is certainly worth every penny of the MLE. I just don’t think it will happen because I think D’Antoni and Walsh are fed up with him and would love to put together a cap-clearing package with JJ or EC.

  10. I think I’d like Nate a lot more if he was on a winning team for a change. On a losing team his antics are annoying. I think “rootability” is the key stat for him. For a lot of people he’s a 6, for others he’s a big fat zero.

    This season he climbed to about a 2 for me.

    But I wouldn’t mind seeing him stay with the Knicks, as I think that number would climb higher, once a winning team was out in place. He certainly brings a lot to the floor– stuff that nobody else brings. Wherever he goes, I think he’ll be in the league a long time and play in some important games.

  11. The one upside of the Jason Kidd rumors is that I think Kidd would be the perfect running mate for nate, a big pass first point, who can d up (badly, but whatever) on 2s so Nate can guard 1s (badly).

    Also, Nate was, for all intents and purposes, a starter last season, playing 30-35 minutes a game. And he would start/start like he did for us at least 5-10 teams in teh league, I think…

    I hope we sign him — he’s a nice piece on a good team, and when we become a good team again, I think he’ll be a nice piece for us, as long as we don’t pay him too much…

  12. Sheed to the Celtics for two years at the mid-level.

    Good move for him, I dunno if I love it for them. I mean, he’s nice KG insurance, but would you play him and KG together? I dunno, maybe you would, but I’d imagine that the crunch-time lineup will still be a three-guard lineup with KG and Perkins.

  13. Great analysis. Defense and teamwork definitely need to improve. I agree on the 4 for rootability. Obviously it’s lower for a lot of people, but if you’re not watching Nate and Lee why are you watching the Knicks? I’m interested to see what eventually happens with Nate.

    Hadn’t heard about the Gallinari passing thing…

    David, I agree that Kidd would have made a lot of sense for the Knicks in several ways including with Nate, of course, financially it didn’t make too much sense for either side. He’s lost a step or two, but at one point Kidd was one of the best defensive guards in the world. That was on PGs, but at this point he’s probably better off guarding 2s. Dallas’ defense got 5.1 points per 100 possession better with him in the game, and he played mostly with undersized backcourt mates (mostly Terry… don’t know who guarded 2s and who 1s).

  14. The Gallinari passing thing was just something a few people here would mention during game threads. Actually I believe one of the beat writers blogged about it too (dont remember which one it was, mightve actually been a couple of them now that I remember).

    I think it was more frustration amongst the fans because it was during a stretch of games where Gallinari would play 10 to 15 minutes and only get a couple of shots if that much.

  15. Looks like Kidd to NY is now out of the question. Good news/bad news, I guess, because we don’t spend crazy money, but we’re running out of PG options that aren’t awful.

    I’m very divided on Nate, more than any other player on the team. His hot stretch was pretty amazing and made for an entertaining month or so where he carried us. On the other hand, I don’t hold out much hope for any significant improvement on defense — apart from his height, he reads screens as badly as anyone I’ve seen play, and his “help” defense is basically go for broke type gambles on steals.

    But what worries me most about Nate is how he seemed to drop a gear in the last month of the season, a few good games notwithstanding. Started settling more for long jumpers and seemed to tune out the coaching staff more. I’d like to see him be more consistent, rather than going through those crazy cold and hot spells.

    As far as not passing to Gallinari, I remember it was bad for a few games. But I don’t think it was a conscious thing — rather, Nate is very geared toward creating for himself, and tends to make passes to primary options out of plays when he has to pass. He’s not great at making reads and finding second or third options — which meant Gallo was the victim of neglect playing with Nate several times.

  16. Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that the Nate/Gallinari thing didn’t happen. It does sound vaguely familiar, and definitely sounds conceivable. Was just literally saying that I hadn’t heard, although maybe I had.

  17. Harrington didn’t pass to Gallinari either. It’s not personal. It’s just not in their programing…

  18. Is it possible that Nate’s per-minute numbers are artificially inflated by pace? Knicks went from 15th to 2nd in pace from 08 to 09.

  19. it still wouldn’t change his shooting% which is higher then it was (other then 3p%)

  20. Re: Gallo, I think part of it was perception. A lot of us probably wanted Gallo to get the ball and shoot every time down because of all the anticipation. I admit to being hypersensitive when he was out at the 3-pt line, especially after he made a few. I would give Nate a pass on that (no pun intended!)

  21. “Is it possible that Nate’s per-minute numbers are artificially inflated by pace? Knicks went from 15th to 2nd in pace from 08 to 09.”

    Taking the Knicks poss/g and dividing it by the league average (which I eyed at 91.8) – the team saw about 5% more possessions, dividing his per minute stats by that amount still give him career highs in those stats (makes his per min PF even better) except for FTA (4.6).

  22. If what some people are saying about Gallo is true, it is truly ridiculous. He wasn’t the sixth pick in the NBA Draft to just get ignored. The flashes of brilliance Gallo showed last year at some points were incredible. He had one 17 point game against the Hawks where every shot just seemed to fall. He’s a rookie and he needs the ball to learn, if he wasn’t getting it that’s ridiculous.

  23. I clearly remember a stretch where it seemed like Harrington and Nate would almost go out of their way not to pass to Gallinari even if he was wide open. I kind of doubt that there was anything intentional going on — more likely at least for Harrington that he just didn’t register that Gallo was there. Nate on the other hand does have reasonable court vision — not sure if he just wanted to shoot the ball himself or what.

    For me, Nate has a rootability of 5 for sure — how can you not like him? even so, I think he’s gone in a sign and trade or just straight on nonmatched offer —

  24. MK,

    I guess I was looking for something like this…

    but I guess 82games decided this was not a worthwhile venture, as it does not look like it has been update in 3 seasons.

    Is there a way to use advance stats to compare players and determine a “fair” salary? I understand that you can’t compare 2009 Nate to 1980 Eddie johnson in salary terms. But could the analysis filter similar players with the same number of years experience? Then instead of raw dollars compare what the player earned in terms of percentage of the total salary cap? That might somewhat reduce the era concerns.

    Of course even that has flaws as you can’t control for factors such as the economy-like with this year’s FA crop; availability (demand) for similar players; GM’s looking to save cap space for next year-as is the case this year; ect.

    Finally, I guess what I am asking for is more of an advanced GM thing rather than an advanced stats thing.

    What would I. Thomas have offered Nate and Lee by now? Hmmm… I say Nate 6 years 55 million, Lee traded JJ for Elton Brand. Or is that giving him too much credit?

  25. In my opinion, Nate has maxed out his potential. He is J.R. Smith, only 7 inches shorter. If there were ever a time to trade Nate, that time is now. There have been rumblings that as many as 5 teams are interested in him (ORL and LAL being 2 of them), but I haven’t heard any numbers tossed around yet. Any chance for a sign and trade with one of these interested teams? Farmar from the Lakers, or Fernandez from Portland?

    On another note, previously it was reported that Washington may be interested in marbury. Guess not. Washington Times reporting:
    “One player the Wizards are not even considering, however, is Stephon Marbury. Despite reports that Washington is a favorite to land the guard, who wants a reunion with Flip Saunders, I’m told the interest is only one-sided, and Washington isn’t considering adding any more guards to what is an already crowded back court.”

  26. An article came out a little while ago on “Sactown Royalty” about whether the Kings should try to sign Lee or Robinson.


    The conclusion is no to both, though the author loves Lee (just not at $10 mil/year). The interesting thing about the piece, though, is that in the comments section there seems to be universal negativity toward Robinson. I was surprised, considering Nate ranks so highly in “rootability” and his price isn’t going to be all that high.

  27. Interesting tidbit from the associated press about the Knicks bidding power that could come into play in securing David Lee (or scaring off potential bidders) and why the Knicks were able to make a three year bid on Kidd:

    “I have a little leeway that will leave me in good position for next year,” Walsh told the Associated Press. “I know what it is, but do not talk much about it.”

    I wonder what this could be? I also wonder if Walsh isn’t just trying to scare of bidders, to be honest.

  28. Also makes we wonder if Walsh wasn’t using Kidd as a way to scare off bidders.
    Folks keep saying by talking to the Knicks, Kidd was using the Knicks.
    I’m beginning to wonder if Walsh also wasn’t using Kidd to show anyone bidding on Lee that, hey, we have a little reserve to get Lee if we need it.
    If a team makes an offer on Lee and the Knicks have until next week to match, the other team could lose out on other players while waiting, and the Knicks could very well match.
    This is the part of Walsh I like.

  29. “… by talking to the Knicks, Kidd was using the Knicks. I’m beginning to wonder if Walsh also wasn’t using Kidd to show anyone bidding on Lee that, hey, we have a little reserve to get Lee if we need it.”

    That, and getting a week’s worth of coverage on how the Knicks are a serious FA destination, and aggressively looking to get better.

    This is what I mean by “Kabuki.”

  30. this is totally not even close to on topic. But the orlando summer league is playing right now and the announcers are hilarious.

  31. I agree with the grade. It’s been said before, but this past year’s Knicks were far, far more watchable than in previous years. It’s not just D’Antoni, either. Nate was a big reason I kept watching because I knew that with him there was always a chance the Knicks could come back from a deficit. In other words, Nate is a classic sixth man, offering a visible spark of energy to the team and, some days, a glimpse at greatness. I don’t even think about his “antics” or his height. I just see the ball go in a lot when he’s out there, and I appreciate his spirit.

    It’s heresy to bring this up, but he reminds in many ways of Starks. And, like Starks, it might be a mistake to envision him as a long-term starter. (okay, okay, Starks had some good starting years, but you know what I mean.)

    We may have seen the last of Nate (and I agree that we shouldn’t go on the hook for too much $$ for him), but I’ve been very glad to watch him play. I’m crossing my fingers that we can keep him.

  32. What are chances that Lee plays for the qualifying offer and leaves after next season by the way? Worked for Ben Gordon. That would not be a good scenario for Knicks.

  33. “What are chances that Lee plays for the qualifying offer and leaves after next season by the way? Worked for Ben Gordon. That would not be a good scenario for Knicks.”

    Good scenario, except for the “leaves after next season” part. If the Knicks deal with Lee now, they can either lock him up for cheaper, or use their restricted FA leverage to get compensation. Ben Gordon went to Detroit and the Bulls got nothing but a roster spot out of it.

    The Knicks have a lot of control at this point. The only real concern is if Oklahoma offers him tons of $$, which I’m still uncomfortable with at this point. Any other scenario should at least get the Knicks SOME sort of compensation, and ideally ends with a reasonably priced long term deal to stay in NY.

  34. Oops– sorry cgreene. I just realized you wrote that it “would NOT be a good scenario for the Knicks.” I agree. I think they should either lock him up or trade him this week.

  35. Two seasons ago I took my dad to the Celts game at the Garden Jan. 21, 2008 as a belated Christmas gift. He is an extremely casual Knick fan nowadays. He roots for them, but doesn’t go out of his way to watch the games. He’s turned his attention to football and baseball.

    Kendrick Perkins destroyed the Knicks in the paint for 22 points in the first half (24 total). The only time he got excited and left his seat was when Nate flew down the court on a fast break and dunked it with some flair. The whole Garden really came to life, despite being behind and hopelessly chasing the whole game.

    That is one of the powers of Nate Robinson: call it “Get Your Ass Off Your Chair”-ity (I’ll let Jay Bilas use that if he likes next draft). Casual fans get drawn to players like him (and highlight shows love him).

    And now, as he has improved, he’s almost bringing equal parts excitement and performance.

    Another note on that game, at one point the Knicks tried to feature David Lee in the post in a terrible Isiah set offense. He turned it over and then put up a bad shot. My dad incredulously said, “This kid doesn’t have any post-up game. Why are they throwing it in to him?” David Lee is the opposite of Nate in the casual fans, the ones who want to see a killer crossover, daunting low post move or high flying block, will not get it from him. They will get some solid dunks though.

    Sometimes I think GM’s (or owners) can be too focused on what they think fans will think. Hence, get Zach Randolph, don’t wait for David Lee.

  36. Lee could take the qualifing offer, or he could sign a deal with an opt out in 3 years for around 7 mill per, become an unrestricted FA in 2012 and hope that there are more teams with big money to spend by then. Let’s just say Knicks get a few star FAs next July and the team plays really well. Would not his contributions to a winning club make him more a more attractive FA in 2012?

    I cant see OKC offering a ton of money to Lee, but Charlie V. getting 8 million per does concern me. I’d say Lee should be making more than Charlie. On the other hand, Dumars might have overpaid. And why did Dumars not offer that to Lee? Lee seems closer to theDetriot style forward than CV, at least to me. I don’t know why he didnt start there.

  37. Charlie V. got less than 8 million, right?

    He’s closer to $6 million, no?

  38. “And why did Dumars not offer that to Lee? Lee seems closer to the Detroit style forward than CV, at least to me. I don’t know why he didnt start there.”

    Because the UFAs are trumping the RFAs this offseason by a wide margin. I believe Gortat’s the only RFA who has verbally agreed to a deal. GMs appear to be going for the sure thing instead of rolling the dice on their cap space for a better quality restricted FA (Yes, I believe David Lee > Charlie V for Detroit as well)

  39. “Charlie V. got less than 8 million, right?”

    Terms haven’t been disclosed, since the contract can’t be signed until the moratorium ends, but reports are that it is between $35 and $40 mil for 5 years, for a yearly average of $7 to $8 million.

    The reason Detroit offered to Villanueva and not Lee, I think, is because Villanueva was unrestricted and the Pistons wanted to get their shopping done early.

    The Bucks not only screwed themselves when they didn’t offer Villanueva a BYC contract, they screwed Lee too, who probably would have been sought by the Pistons if all things were equal.

    Why the Bucks let Villanueva become unrestricted is a real mystery. At the very worst it would have cost them about $3 million, and that was only if Villanueva couldn’t get offers from anyone else.

    Maybe they are really smart and could see where the FA pieces lay and that if Millsap, Lee, and Villanueva were all RFA, there was a good chance they would have been stuck with shelling out $3 mil for a player they really didn’t want. That’s pretty brave GMing though. Its unusual that NBA teams make decisions with such foresight and fiscal responsibility. If that is the new norm, then we should lock up Lee cheap now while we can!

  40. The rumors that Portland is chasing Odom instead of Lee are bogus. They have 9M to spend and could offer the whole nut to Lee. That is the sweet spot IMO, on whether to match or not. If Portland doesn’t come knocking, Lee may have to accept whatever the Knicks are offering.

    If Lee were to accept the Knicks’ QO instead of an extension, he would be making a big mistake. Teams are not bidding up his price this off-season (which has less talent in play than next). Should he accept the QO and wait until next season, he could be had for much less – especially if Curry and Gallo come back healthy and take some of his minutes, not to mention Darko. Lee’s numbers are not going to get better than they were this year.

  41. Sorry to be off topic, but guess who just showed up on Boston’s Orlando Summer League Roster?

    Mike Sweetney, that’s who!

  42. See KB’s post above. My only question is how much he resembles tractor traylor?

  43. It’s unlikely that Lee would take his QO because it’s so low. More likely, he would push for a fair (in Donnie’s terms) contract, about 7-8 mil for as short a time as possible (3 yrs?) Hey it’s a tough break, with the recession and all. It’s not our fault that Dumars overpaid for the 3rd best player on a crap team and a guy that didn’t even get another offer from his own team!! Seriously, just now I’m wondering, what the HELL did Dumars just do??? That team might even be worse than the one with A.I. and ‘Sheed, probably more like equal. He could’ve at least been a little thriftier considering the decrepitude of Motown. Considering the expectations are higher in Detroit, how would you feel if Donnie did something similar? It’s good to recognize how far we’ve come since the Zeke days…
    As far as Nate goes, 5.5 should be a good deal for him, considering what we offered Kidd (maybe this was Donnie’s reasoning behind Kidd, to set a price…) Nate is a very useful player as a 6th man. It’s tempting to move him with a contract too. I just don’t see a lot of good deals for him where we get back a useful player, specifically a guard since that’s what we really need.
    I would be happy getting Nate for 5.5 and Lee for 8.5. Do you think we could steal Jarret Jack for 2.5 at the end of the signing period? He could take some quality minutes from Duhon at the point and he lit us up at the Garden last year… he would be a bargain.

  44. Jack would be a good pickup, he can play the 1 and 2. Was Sweetney that big at GTown b/c I saw him in the Big East Tournament and he looked like a lean beast. Maybe it was just the seat.

  45. entertainment is what drives all sports! any local YMCA game has good basketball being played every night.

    nate is entertainment! NY is lucky to have him. the stat sheet was really a pleasure to read because i didn’t realize he was that incredible as an overall player.

    what a crock to give nate a 4 on rootability!! in all my years as a knick fan i have never rooted for a player as much as i root for nate.

    like him or not he deserves a 5 on rootability! the knicks would be crazy to let this rare jewel to leave.

  46. I’ve noticed a split here in that many of the poster’s like Nate’s scoring but worry about other things. I am not sure if he will ever be good at the pick and roll, but I think there are mitigating factors for many of the other worries, and I describe them below:

    One worry is that he tends to try to score, rather than pass and isn’t a good enough passer to play the point. But remember that he played scoring guard, not point guard, in college. This means he has to learn a lot. I have noticed that he has improved considerably, not just in the number of assists he got, but also in his willingness to pass and in whom he passed to. This didn’t help his assist numbers as much as you might think because often he would pass to someone who was wide open, but that person was the man on the Knicks second team that the other team didn’t worry so much about guarding, and who often missed the shot. Nate clearly works very hard and I am sure he is going to improve on this.

    Another worry is that in the late stages of the season Nate’s scoring seemed to drop. I think this happened after he had a monster game and scored 33 points, 15 assists, many rebounds or something like that. It seemed like the league noticed this and decided they couldn’t treat him like a novelty act, because other teams started to put two tall guys in the way of his drives, forcing him to pass. I think they also started to put better defenders on him when he was defended one on one. Hughes and Duhon weren’t doing enough to make other teams pay for this. It’s very good for the Knicks to have an offensive threat that other teams respect that much.

    As for gambling too much on defense, I think he was following D’Antoni’s lead on that one, who had challenged Nate to get more steals.

    Finally, I don’t remember Nate not passing to Gallinari any more than the rest of the team did. I think that because of his back, Gallinari probably couldn’t practice much and the team wasn’t used to looking for him.

    If there is one place I would like to see Nate getting better, it’s on running pick and rolls, and in learning to drive in a way that takes a defender off of someone who is a real scoring threat, instead of just off of the weakest scorer on floor for the Knicks.

  47. I see CV getting anywhere from 6.5 per to nearly 8 so who knows, but whatever it is Lee should get more. I forgot CV and Ben were unrestricted. But was the demand for CV so high that Dumars couldn’t try for Lee first? Seems there are alot of guys who are similar to CV out there…not many Lees to go around.

    I don’t think Nate and Al froze out Gallo; they never pass to anybody.

  48. Detroit not only went after two UFAs, but two UFAs for whom they had competition. Had they waited around to see if the Knicks matched for Lee or Utah matched for Millsap, they probably miss out on Gordon period: couldn’t sign both since the 8 mill left after Gordon would probably be matched by Knicks/Jazz, and while they’re waiting Gordon probably takes 10 or 11 mill per from Chicago. Villanueva is probably a Cav while they wait to see if NY/Utah match.
    They were also able to get a G and a PF. If they give 10 mill per to a PF (Lee or Millsap) who do they sign with the rest of their money? Gortat would be one choice, guard wise Nate or Kidd? I don’t really like this way of thinking, but I see it. Every team with cap space was in such a rush to blow it, which amazes me. Saw that Hollinger had an article making that point today.

    I agree with ess-dog on Nate. If a can’t miss deal comes along then pull and sign-and-trade. If someone offers him a ridiculous contract, which only Portland and OKC can theoretically do at this point, then let him walk. But can the Knicks really afford to let one of their best players walk at a reasonable price?
    Also like the Jack idea. Once some of the most attractive MLE guys gut signed, the Knicks could do something similar to what they did for Duhon and make an above market value offer for a guy to take a one year deal. Like giving someone like Jack the whole MLE, or close. Money isn’t really an object, their payrolls at its lowest point in like 85 years, and they preserve 2010 cap space while getting a useful player for the 2009/10 season.

    I don’t see Lee taking the QO (3 mill) when the Knicks reportedly have offered 4 years 32 mill or something. It would just be such a gamble to leave 5 mill on the table for next season, 29 mill overall. What if he blows out his knee tomorrow? If he feels cheated go the 2 or 3 year deal with a year or two of player options that people have mentioned.

    “Was Sweetney that big at GTown b/c I saw him in the Big East Tournament and he looked like a lean beast. Maybe it was just the seat.”

    Wasn’t huge (in the bad way), never had much of any run-jump athleticism.

  49. “Every team with cap space was in such a rush to blow it, which amazes me.”

    Oklahoma has yet to make any public offers. Proof that not everyone buys what’s available. Some actually wait until they are buying what they want.

    Or they may just not be in a hurry because they are targeting restricted FAs, which would suck for us…

    “Lebron told Ariza he’s not leaving Cleveland”

    I think he was saying that, like Phil Jackson, he’s only playing in home games…

  50. obviously Ariza didn’t believe LeBron, who can sign a contract now if he really wants…

  51. I saw an article mentioning that Ariza was wavering on his offer from Houston. I’m just speculating, but maybe Cleveland is still in the hunt, explaining why LBJ would be telling Ariza what he wants to hear.

  52. Nice game for the APBRmetricians yesterday. The Celtics routed Utah 87-56. Sweetney hurt his hamstring, but grabbed 5 boards in 15 mins, blocked 2 shots, and had 2 steals. Meanwhile Fazekas shot 5-10 with 3 bombs (65% eFG) grabbed 5 boards in 21 mins. Most interesting thing about the boxscore is this line:

    Biggest Lead Celtics 34, JAZZ 2


  53. i think the derrick brown on the jazz team thing is laughable. I dont really see summer league as an advantage for your team. I am not sure on the rules but players just invited to a summer league team are not under contract are they? Like cant other teams scout players or is there a rule about priority. (I am speaking of the undrafted/retread players mainly)

  54. Another Salary Cap FAQ tidbit that I just stumbled upon:

    “Teams cannot trade players…for one year after exercising the right of first refusal to keep a restricted free agent.”

    In the years’ worth of discussions on this site as to whether the Knicks should re-sign Lee or not it’s been proposed that the Knicks could sign him and trade him for cap space before 2010 if necessary.

    If the Knicks match an offersheet this month, though, they actually can’t trade him until mid-July next year. Since the 2010 feeding frenzy is set to begin at 12:01 am on July 1st, matching a Lee offer this summer could truly hamper the Knicks abilities in 2010.

    It may not be all that big of a stumbling block, since a player can be traded within one year if he consents to the trade and it is not to the team that initially signed him to an offer sheet. Still, it would handcuff the Knicks to a degree, and there is no guarantee that they would in fact be able to trade Lee’s contract for 2010 cap space.

    Just something else to consider as we watch Walsh wade through a very complicated, very important decision on Lee.

  55. Rumors have the Mavs and Raptors working on a sign-and-trade with Marion and Stackhouse involved. Stackhouse, apparently, has a non-guaranteed contract (only $2 of the $7 mil is guaranteed).

    My question is this: Is there a site that denotes how much of a player’s contract is guaranteed? It would be interesting to know this stuff, since presumably Mobley’s contract is competing with these non-guaranteed expirings when it comes to trades with financially strapped teams.

    It seemed to me that Mobley’s contract is a real asset, but if there are lots of players like Stackhouse and Pavlovic with non-guaranteed contracts, then Mobley’s insured expiring isn’t as attractive as I once thought.

  56. Z,

    ShamSports and HoopsHype both have good listings of all salaries – you can see what’s not guaranteed.

    Short version is that there aren’t a lot of unguaranteed contracts. Mobley’s situation, with a potential $8 million in savings (if reports are true) is about the biggest one I know of. (Until Yao retires!)

  57. Z,

    Interesting point about not being able to trade players for a year after matching an offer sheet, I wasn’t aware of that. If the Knicks can trade Lee in a deal that he consents to, then they can trade him especially if the Knicks are on course for another 20-30 win season and they move him to a playoff team in a decent city. The Knicks can resign Lee AND have cap space in 2010. Plus, in July of next year Lee could be great sign-and-trade bait, since getting a LeBron, Wade, Bosh level guy to take a pay-cut will be hard (and they can get more money and years from their own team). Of course, getting their team to help them leave will also be hard.
    Not being able to trade Lee to the team that signs him to an offer sheet actually works to the Knicks advantage, providing leverage to force a sign-and-trade.

    I don’t know about the non-guaranteed thing. I assume that there aren’t too many big non-guaranteed contracts out there attached to guys you’d rather cut then pay, but maybe I’m wrong. We have been hearing Pavlovic and Stackhouse in a lot of trade rumors for a while, so you’d assume someone else in the same boat would also be mentioned in trade rumors… Got to be somewhere on the web you can find out, though.

  58. I suspect, like last year, we’re going to see some early season salary dumping by the Knicks.
    But I have a feeling Nate could be a sign-and-trade casualty soon and Lee will stay. I also think the Knicks will get Grant Hill. they can offer more than anyone else with interest, but the celts can dangle a ring.
    Is Sessions still in the mix?

  59. Caleb– thanks for the sites. Hoopshype doesn’t denote non-guaranteed contracts. Shamsports does, but doesn’t say how much is guaranteed, if any.

    Here are the non-guaranteed contracts over $1 million in 2009 for those interested: Bowen (Bucks, $4.1); Atkins (Thunder, $3.5); Buckner (Grizzlies, $4); Nash (Suns, $13).

    More interesting, though, is the list of 2010 non-guaranteed contracts which includes Dooling, Gomes, Najara, J. Jones, and D. West. also on the list is Erick Dampier, which I read is completely non-guaranteed ($13 million) in 2010.

    I’d read the Mavs were looking to move Dampier now that they have Gortat. I thought they were fooling themselves that someone would actually take Dampier and the $25 million owed on him off their hands. Obviously, that rediculous Dampier contract is not as rediculous as I thought.

  60. The Pistons hired John Kuester to be their coach.

    Not for nothing, but so far this offseason, of the four new head coaches, all four are joining teams that fired black head coaches last season, and only one of the four is black.

    That leaves in the NBA:

    Eddie Jordan
    Alvin Gentry
    Lionel Hollins
    Mike Woodson
    Mike Brown
    Nate McMillan
    Byron Scott

    Seven black coaches out of thirty teams?

    That’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when 22 of the 30 NBA teams are coached by white guys. Soon, I suppose, it will be 21, as Minnesota seems to be leaning towards Mark Jackson, but who knows?

  61. Brian, It does seem to defy oddsputting it mildly. Although I can’t imagine Avery Johnson not coaching somewhere this year or next.

  62. “That’s a pretty sorry state of affairs when 22 of the 30 NBA teams are coached by white guys.”

    Spoelstra is half Filipino, so it would be 21.5… Jay Triano is a Canadian, but hey, I guess all whiteys are the same.

  63. Yeah, I was counting Spoelstra – where I did err was saying “22 out of 30,” when I should have said “21 out of 30 NBA teams are coached by white guys with one team without a coach right now.”

  64. Avery supposedly could have had the Detroit job if he hadn’t insisted on four years (Kuester accepted two), so the white/black thing isn’t entirely, ahem, black and white. :)

  65. Hey, why would Toronto sign and trade Marion for Stackhouse?

    There’s got to be something I’m missing, but it seems like they’d be making a deal just for, what, the right to pay Stackhouse $2 million?

  66. Also, Grant Hill claims that the Knicks were going to acquire him in 2000 for Patrick Ewing.

    Does anyone else remember that as being the case?

    I don’t recall that rumor at all.

    The only other rumor at the time that I remember was the three-way deal that would have landed Vin Baker and Glen Rice in New York for Ewing.

  67. the cap for next season has been set at $57.7 million, down about a million from last season.

  68. Oh, duh!

    It didn’t even occur to me that I should have mentioned the new cap figure. Thanks, Jon!

    So yeah, I was pretty pleased to see it only fall to $57.7 million. The NBA must feel pretty darn lucky to have locked in that TV deal when they did.

    And cwod, wow, $10 million per for Bargnani? David Lee is in such a weird position, comparatively. He knows he could beat that money on the open market next year, but would you risk the uncertainty of injury, etc? I don’t know if I would. If the Knicks would give him five years/$40 million, I think I would probably take it if I was Lee at this point.

  69. Just read a couple of articles and it seems like Lee’s agent is getting frustrated. The report of him saying Lee is looking for 12 mil per year has annoyed the crap out of him. Also said he wished that the Knicks wouldve re-signed him already since they are the only team that can outright sign him and hoped Lee wouldve been signed by now along with continuing saying that a sign-and-trade will be very difficult to pull off. Looks like Donnie Walsh is playing hardball and is either winning or really pissing off Lee’s agent. I cant imagine Lee takes the qualifying offer from everything Ive read but you never know.

    Either way I still hope soon enough that Lee re-signs and we can finally put this subject to rest….

  70. That sounds about right, cav0011.

    It’s ridiculous, but also sounds about right.

    I guess no more ridiculous than Dumars’ bizarre moves this past year or so – it’s all for PR purposes, Colangelo to show that the draft pick was smart and Dumars to show that the Billups deal was for a reason.

  71. might there be a trade exception generated for Toronto in that Marion/Stackhouse deal also?

    and this is huge news:

    “Wednesday, NBA teams also received tentative projections from the league warning that the cap is estimated to drop to somewhere between $50.4 million and $53.6 million for the 2010-11 season.”

    it would be great if Caleb reran the numbers in light of this new info.

  72. I was under the impression that Lee had a 4 year / $32M offer on the table from the Knicks right now and had not accepted. DW should invite Lee’s agent to the negotiating table today and hammer it out. Don’t want to piss him off into taking the QO. That would not be helpful especially in light of the new 2010-2011 cap.

  73. What’s the point of having a salary cap that everyone’s over?

    “it’s all for PR purposes, Colangelo to show that the draft pick was smart and Dumars to show that the Billups deal was for a reason.”

    Wins will do a lot more for a GM’s job security than PR, so I think it’s more likely that Colangelo really believes that he made the right pick and that Dumars was just following through on the plan that he started by moving Billups.

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