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Saturday, November 1, 2014

2009 Summer League: Game 2 Recap

The game 2 results seemed a lot like game 1 on an individual level. Jordan Hill shot an identical 6-14 and Toney Douglas set up the offense with 10 assists, but had trouble scoring. Inexplicably Tskitishvili looks like an NBA player, this time scoring 12 points on 9 shots, hitting 4 of 8 from downtown. Morris Almond had a subpar shooting nite, but chipped in with 4 steals.

From what I saw, Hill just doesn’t like to take the ball to the hoop and prefers to resort to fall away hooks and turn around jumpers. He did have an alley-oop, but that was on a fast break when he had a clear path to the rim. Douglas reminds me of the Knicks current point guard Chris Duhon. Good at breaking down the defense and dishing the rock, but just can’t find his own shot.

Skita was on fire from downtown, but didn’t bring any intensity in the paint on either end. It was a Wang Zhi Zhi kind of effort. Considering he has played nearly a game’s worth of minutes over Sene (44 to 20) he has the inside track on a big man roster spot, should one open. Blake Ahearn has been disappointing. Granted he’s scored 18 points on 16 shots, but he’s only hit one of ten from downtown. At times he seems to be miscast as a point guard, often having trouble bringing the ball up the court or starting the offense from 30+ feet away. One saving grace has been ability to draw fouls, and he’s been automatic from the charity stripe (11-11).

What worried me the most is that the team was flat defensively. They allowed Detroit to score 30 in the opening quarter, and 29 in the final 10 minutes. Douglas and Hill were supposed to give the Knicks a boost on that end of the floor, but neither were able to hold the tide against Detroit’s summer league squad. Hill looked especially bad, and received this poor review from True Hoop’s Kevin Arnovitz:

Hill also seemed a little passive as a post defender, even against the likes of Trent Plaisted. Hill stayed in close proximity on defense to his assigned man, but rarely tried to knock his guy off his spot. In general, the closer Hill was to the basket, the less comfortable he was.

I know it’s silly to suggest summer league coaching suggestions, but where was Mouhamed Sene? New York needed some help in the paint, and Sene out rebounded Tskitishvili in less than half the minutes. Team results don’t matter much, but perhaps it would be better to team Hill, Almond, and Douglas with other players to see how they perform with different skillsets on the floor.

72 comments on “2009 Summer League: Game 2 Recap

  1. Frank

    bad signals from Curry — via SI.com:

    “Knicks president Donnie Walsh told SI.com that he asked Eddy Curry about playing in the summer league, but the veteran center didn’t feel he was in basketball shape yet after missing most of last season. Curry, who practiced with the Knicks last week before leaving Las Vegas on Monday, has dropped close to 30 pounds in the last two months to slim down to 328 pounds.
    “I think he feels like he has to lose another 20 [pounds] to be able to play,” Walsh said.
    Walsh added he was pleased with the way Curry looked after struggling with weight and conditioning problems last season.
    “I think he has progressed a great deal,” Walsh said. “He worked out with us and he looked really light on his feet. It’s not a specific weight he has to get to. When he loses fat and gets muscle, he’s going to lose weight but not as quickly as everyone might want him to. His [good] weight should be when he can go out there and keep up with our pace.””

    I really want Curry to play well, but I really think this is pretty pathetic. He is a professional athlete being paid north of $10M/year, and he needs to lose 50 pounds before he feels comfortable enough to step on the court?

    The more I think about it, the more all professional sports contracts should have some fitness clause, ie. Eddy Curry’s playing weight is about 300, so if he gets more than 20 lbs overweight he has to pay X number of dollars/week until he gets under that weight. Including offseason. I know some contracts have that, but don’t you think all of them should? For players like Jared Jefferies that’ll be easy, and I’m sure someone will cry foul that it’s unfair to the naturally fat people, but seriously — a professional athlete should be in shape all year-round.

  2. Dan Panorama

    I know weight was an issue with him before all this happened, but he’s had about as awful a year as an overpaid NBA player can have. I’m impressed with anyone who doesn’t have a nervous breakdown in these circumstances, let alone commits themselves to an all-out workout regimen in the offseason.

  3. Ted Nelson

    “Inexplicably Tskitishvili looks like an NBA player”

    It’s even more inexplicable since he plays on a sub-.500 team in the Spanish league, and doesn’t stand out. The one thing he can do, though, is shoot. He hit 44% of his 3s for Alta Gestion Fuenlabrada last season, and had an overall TS% of 59.5% (which isn’t as impressive in Spain as it would be in the NBA). He took a total of 20 FTAs vs. 186 FGAs, so expecting anything more than jump shooting is a reach. He grabbed 7 reb/36, which should fall if he gets back into the NBA. In a certain role maybe he can contribute.

    Would be nice to see what Sene can do, but I guess his not getting minutes is an indication.

    Frank,

    While I was dissapointed to hear Hill say he’s out of shape, I’m encouraged just to hear Curry talk about getting in shape (I agree that it’s pathetic, but it’s just reality). I don’t think there is much precedent of 26 year olds guaranteed to make over $20 mill over the next two years playing in summer league. It would be a good opportunity for Curry to get on the court after a year off, but it would also serve Walsh’s interests by increasing his trade value if he gets up and down the court and beats up on D-League bigmen. The same people who thought Bellineli was going to be some incredible NBA player after being unimpressive in Italy would be hailing Curry as if he were Shaq.

  4. Nick C.

    On contracts you would think in a fair world they could just send you home w/o pay, sort of like if you showed up to work drunk or something. But of course Curry and James can be athletes get and stay out of shape and draw every penny of their salary.

  5. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Nick C. – FWIW not sure if the real world is any different. I’ve seen my fair share of people who can hold onto jobs under the worst circumstances. Maybe not in your mom & pop store, but even in companies as small as 25-50 workers some people get away with crazy stuff. And half the time boneheads move up the ladder faster than people that actually do the work. Being a President of an NBA franchise is a real world job, and look at what we’ve had over the last decade, how obvious it was that they were incompetent, and how long it took for them to be fired.

  6. Nick C.

    Not that you have pointed it out all I have to do is look around or think about past co-workers to realize the truth in your point. Curry I just don’t get, which is worse the weight or the no sneakers. Thankfully this regime plans as if he doesn’t exist so no big loss.

  7. Olbrannon

    I am a bit surprised I must say that Toney Douglas has had two games like that. I believe it to be a speed adjustment and his timing is just a tad off. Tony doesn’t really have form problems. He’s a natural. It will all come together.
    With Thornton his sophomore year FSU would have been awesome. Toney broke his ankle at seasons end. didn’t even make the NCAA after that Though they did beat Duke
    His junior year FSU was 4 guard offense about all he did was feed others though he still had double figures. Not much inside game on the team that year Reed at 6′ 9 and 225 maybe? and Echefu also 6′ 9 and maybe 210
    This year they had an inside game but they were really raw. Toney pulled them all together. Scheduled extra practices…went over film on and on.
    This guy brings his lunch pail. And he loves to play. He won’t sit long and New York is going to love him. May not all happen this year. But it will.

  8. zsmart3

    I agree with Eddy’s mental health being the most important factor, second only to his weight. If he can trim down to the 298-300 range and develop those back-to-the bucket, dominant moves and explosive finishes he showed flashes of in 2007 (when he was a reputable all-star consideration), I think he can be a fixture down low.

    Hill does need to take issues into his own hands more around the paint. If he kicks the habit of falling away and goes hard to the cup and crashes the boards more, he may prove profitable as a pick. I like Douglas’ game. Yes, like Duhon he can’t exactly create his own shot or shred the defense. I’d say the 11 dimes-no turnovers against Marcus Will could be a harbinger of things to come and that’s why the Knicks didn’t go guns-a-blazin’ to get Rubio.

    Also curious about why the Knicks want to regain Tim Thomas, who had a disaster 2004-05 campaign before ressurecting his career in LA. He seems to me as another 6-10 guy who can shoot but won’t go to the cup or crash the boards. Not what we need.

    And is nate really going to take the fat paycheck over the waters? It would certainly appear so, as Olympiakos seems to never run out of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    here’s a story on it….

    http://zsmart.blogspot.com/2009/07/nate-great-release-to-greece.html

  9. Ted Nelson

    “Also curious about why the Knicks want to regain Tim Thomas”

    He’s played pretty well for D’Antoni in two separate stints. The Knicks need talent, and at the veterans minimum Tim Thomas is about as much talent as a lottery team can hope for.

  10. nickatnight

    The thing that scares me is that the Knicks may pick up guys like Tim Thomas and Morris Almond and I think both could probably contribute to the Knicks, not just make the team. Yet both are rejects from other teams. So what does that say about our roster?

  11. zsmart3

    I imagine your speaking of the 2k3-2k4 season and the first round flameout to NJ in the playoffs where he and exiled guard Frank Williams were the only guys who showed toughness…..

    As far as last year, he was good but is he really what the Knicks are looking for? I think as a team that finished first in points surrendered, an interior presence who can alter and block shots and pound the boards would be more of a highly-sought prospect for 2k9-2k10.

  12. zsmart3

    As for JHILL, 6-for-14 back-to-back nights, I can live with that…But I guy like Boozehound (and granted, Berman could be blowing some smoke up our ass on this one….) would pay immediate dividends. Not only can he score at will and create his own shot, score on putbacks, executive an arsenal of postup moves and emerge as one of the top offense rebounders in the league…

    The one knock on JHIll is the same knock on Duhon (did u see how much weight he gained at the recent celebrity golf tourney?!?!) he likes to get twisted and his antics at the nba draft are pretty indicative of this,

    http://zsmart.blogspot.com/2009/07/i-like-nightlife-baby.html

  13. Brian Cronin

    I don’t mind Tim Thomas at the veteran’s minimum.

    Hey, Zach, what do you know about Devon Austin’s tryout?

  14. zsmart3

    I believe he may have a shot…..Not certain though, as I would have to ask a certain source over there. I think he will take a route similar to the one another white plains native, Torey Thomas took…Get a good tryout but end up going over the waters for the green…Did u watch devon play in college?

  15. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I watched him in college, and I never would have thought he’d even get a tryout with an NBA team, so that was pretty cool news to hear.

  16. jon abbey

    Utah is matching Portland’s offer for Millsap:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4334968

    so what’s Portland’s next move? similar offer to D-Lee? go after Odom (this is what they should do from a basketball perspective, but Pritchard has been overly cautious about bringing in guys with perceived attitudes since our hero Z-Bo left town)? take advantage of Utah’s need to dump Boozer quickly, and end up with Hinrich in a three way deal?

  17. Brian Cronin

    I think Portland would love to do the third choice on your list, Jon, but I don’t think Chicago seems willing to do it right now unless Portland throws in Bayless.

    I’d freakin’ love to see the Blazers sign Lee to an offer sheet, though, as the Knicks would almost certainly match (and that would take the Knicks out any signing and trading, as well).

  18. cgreene

    If Portland makes the same offer (4/$32M) to Lee he cannot / will not sign it. Donnie would go nuts because that is about what he is offering and the agent is saying they want $10M-$12M per. That wouldn’t make any sense.

  19. Brian Cronin

    True, cgreene, but Portland can offer up to $9.5 million per year, and that I could see Lee possibly accepting.

    But yeah, if they offered him the same as Millsap, he wouldn’t take it.

    Luckily for the Knicks, as well, all the sort of “poison pills” that Portland tried to put into the deal to stop Utah from matching wouldn’t apply to the Knicks, because while you can frontload the contract, the annual salary increase limit would keep them from making year two ginormous to make the Knicks stay away (and the Blazers don’t have enough cap room to front load the first two years in a way to keep the Knicks from matching).

  20. d-mar

    Re: Boozer – Utah is highly motivated for the Knicks NOT to make the playoffs, as they have our unprotected 2010 pick. There’s no way he’s coming to NY

  21. Z

    “so what’s Portland’s next move?…Go after Odom (this is what they should do from a basketball perspective, but Pritchard has been overly cautious about bringing in guys with perceived attitudes since our hero Z-Bo left town)?”

    Jon– I agree, Portland could use a player like Odom more than a player like Lee/Millsap. What exactly is the issue with Pritchard and Odom?

    Everyone in LA loves Odom. The LA media thinks he’s the best thing since Tidwell. He’s very laid back (like Randolph, I guess) to the point where is seems stoned out of his mind in every interview, but I can’t think of any players that he’s had run-ins with (his current teammates all like him).

    His work ethic isn’t good and he eats sour patch kids for breakfast on game days, but his production is solid. I can’t understand why Portland wouldn’t target him. Certainly at this point they should!

  22. Z

    “Re: Boozer – Utah is highly motivated for the Knicks NOT to make the playoffs, as they have our unprotected 2010 pick. There’s no way he’s coming to NY”

    I think the Jazz would rather save $12 million than worry about a freebie draft pick 12 months from now.

  23. BigBlueAL

    Not when that freebie draft pick is most likely a lottery pick. Looks like Boozer will go to Miami or Chicago from what Ive read.

  24. Brian Cronin

    Lee apparently made an interesting, if fairly futile, overture to the Knicks that he would structure his contract so that he would make less money in 2010-11 to help the Knicks’ cap space.

    It would be a nice gesture but the ways things work, it really doesn’t help the Knicks that much.

    The only way you can restructure the back end of contracts dramatically is to go down, as there is a cap on how much you can go up from year to year (this is why the Knicks are pretty much safe from any Portland maneuvering).

    So Lee’s suggestion is that he get a big payment in Year 1, takes a big pay cut in Year 2 then gets raises for the rest of the contract.

    However, Lee still wants to basically average $10-12 million dollars, so for him to get to that average in the later years of the contract, he really can’t lower his 2010-11 salary that much.

    He could do $14 million, $6 million, $7 million, $8.5 million, $9.75 million but that would only come out to about $9 million per year on average and he wants more than that, so to do so, he couldn’t take his contract down to much less than $7 million in 2010-11, and that’s not really much of a help to the Knicks.

    I suppose it is sort of nice that he’s trying to make it look like he cares about the Knicks’ cap room!

  25. JohnAnthny

    Perhaps a little off topic but heres my thoughts with the State of Eddy Curry and the Knicks.

    Eddy Curry at last report weighed 328lbs. Donnie Walsh was quoted as saying, “Eddie knows hes got to lose 20-30 lbs.”…and the context was that was just to play ball as a productive NBA player and expect time on the floor. Now I know that body weight alone isnt the finale determining factor in a players conditioning but here is what needs to happen if Eddy wants to play this year.

    Eddy does need to be around 300lbs (+/- 5).This will allow him to beat his man down the floor on DEFENSE. Thats right, DEFENSE. Eddy has got to be back to grab all the rebounds which takes us to what needs to be his primary focus. REBOUNDING. He needs to forget about scoring and make a commitment to grabbing rebounds. What does that mean? Its a four step process. First and foremost is to pay attention and be on alert for shots going up. Second, once said shot is released Eddy has to find the body of the player in the area where he knows the shot will come off. Third, use his huge frame to box out the player so only he can get the rebound. Finally, Fourth of all he must attack the ball coming off the basket and GRAB the REBOUND.

    Now it may sound like a lot to grasp. If your having trouble comprehending exactly how to be an animal on the glass, ..read it again.

    So, I believe if Eddy comes into camp in good shape and DECIDES to focus on defense and rebounding the club will have much more success and Eddy’s scoring (which he and every other player want) wont suffer one bit. In fact, Eddy may learn that being an animal on the glass and playing defense and running the floor can be just as fun as being the go to scorer. Now, mind you if he does take on this mindset scoring 15 a game would come easy for him. After all, hes a player with offensive skills.

    I apologized if I rambled. I hope you learned something and most importantly, I hope you are reading Eddy!

    Love my Knicks
    Lets Get’em New York

  26. Ted Nelson

    I agree that Odom would make a lot of sense for the Blazers. They’re already the best offense in the league, and he probably doesn’t hurt them there. He would improve a mediocre defense (13th).

    “Yet both are rejects from other teams. So what does that say about our roster?”

    Plenty of solid/useful players get “rejected” by teams to one extent or another, especially young unproven guys like Almond and aging guys like Thomas (last time TT went to Chicago they just asked him not to bother showing up, so this was sort of a step up…). They’d both be end of the rotation guys at best, anyway, offering some spot up shooting. Thomas is especially not a bad guy at the end of your bench. I don’t know if we’re talking much about Almond if the Knicks aren’t so thin at the 2 position. He’s somewhat intriguing though.

    “emerge as one of the top offense rebounders in the league…”

    Boozer???

    “I think as a team that finished first in points surrendered”

    They also played the second fastest pace in the league. The Knicks were a bad defensive team last season, but only the 8th worst defense in terms of points allowed per possession.
    Also, it doesn’t matter if you win by holding the other team to less points or by scoring more than them: if you win you’re necessarily doing both.

    A defensive presence would be nice, but in the absence of one emerging is it better to sign a guy who is a “defender” but can’t really play like Sene or is washed up, or to just get a guy who has been a useful role player for D’Antoni twice before? I might be looking at Ben Wallace, Oberto, and some other low-cost guys (Rasho, Mikki, Udoka, Aaron Gray, Ryan Hollins, Desmond Mason, Jason/Jarron Collins, Bogans, Foyle, Ratliff, undrafted FAs and D-Leaguers), but I don’t know that the Knicks can actually sign anyone at the vet’s min who will help as much in the short term as Tim Thomas. (I mean there’s probably someone, especially an unheralded undrafted FA or something, but no one jumps out at me.)

    I don’t really mind them focusing on offense: they’re going to have a hard time cracking the top 20 defensively, but they could easily be in the top half of the league offensively and maybe even crack the top 10 (finished 17th last season). A team like Charlotte was able to win 35 games as the 7th best defense and 27th best offense in the NBA, so maybe the Knicks could contend for the 8 seed by finishing 9th or so offensively while remaining 23rd defensively. In just under 1/2 a season with the Knicks last season Thomas put up a 60% TS% and 42% 3P%, if he can come close to that then he’d help the team.

  27. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, a word on “rejected players.”

    Remember when Bruce Bowen was cut by the Bulls? I remember being pissed off that, due to a fluke in their records (for a single day the Knicks were a half game ahead of the Miami Heat, and that happened to be the day that Bruce Bowen was on waivers), the Heat claimed him ahead of the Knicks.

    Bowen was being rejected by a terrible Bulls team, but he was still a valuable player, right?

    On top of that, the following players were all undrafted:

    Darrell Armstrong
    Chucky Atkins
    Raja Bell
    Bruce Bowen
    Jose Calderon
    Anthony Carter
    Chris Childs
    Marquis Daniels
    Udonis Haslem
    Chuck Hayes
    Troy Hudson
    Mike James
    Brad Miller
    Andres Nocioni
    Bo Outlaw
    Kevin Ollie
    Fabricio Oberto
    John Starks
    Ben Wallace

    That’s a whole lot of talented players who ended up making a lot of money in the NBA who were passed up by every team in the NBA at one point.

    So Almond and Thomas might be terrible, but I don’t think being rejected by another NBA team necessarily means anything.

  28. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “Yet both are rejects from other teams. So what does that say about our roster?”

    We rejected Trevor Ariza and Von Wafer, and both were on playoff teams last year. Ben Wallace & Chauncey Billups bounced around a few teams before being recognized as among the best at their position. Sometimes it takes a while for a team to realize what they have or for the player to find a fit that works for them.

  29. Z

    “He could do $14 million, $6 million, $7 million, $8.5 million, $9.75 million but that would only come out to about $9 million per year on average and he wants more than that, so to do so, he couldn’t take his contract down to much less than $7 million in 2010-11, and that’s not really much of a help to the Knicks.”

    Can he make $50 million, $1 million, $1.25 million, $1.6 million, $2 million, $2.5 million?

  30. Ted Nelson

    Z,

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think so… max salary.

    Brian and Mike,

    I’m with you guys that being discarded by one or more teams doesn’t mean you can’t play (see post #28), but in fairness to nickatnight’s point not many of the guys listed are comparable to Tim Thomas or Morris Almond. Both were 1st rounders, have never played in Europe, and Tim Thomas has been in the league 12 seasons.
    I would compare Thomas to the other vets who have been acquired to match salaries and then cut. I can’t think of one who is completely comparable to Thomas, but those kind of guys catch on with contenders all the time and make their rotations (not that the Knicks are contenders, just that they contribute even on good teams). Thomas did it himself in Phoenix, Drew Gooden did it last season in SA…
    Almond is more comparable to the undrafted FA types, but only to ones who spent 2 seasons in the NBA on the same team and showed no signs of life. I can’t think of any completely comparable guys who went on to NBA success, but can think of plenty of sharp-shooters who took a little while to get settled (I can also think of plenty of 1st round picks who never made it in the NBA, though…).

  31. Brian Cronin

    Can he make $50 million, $1 million, $1.25 million, $1.6 million, $2 million, $2.5 million?

    Ha!

    That’d be hilarious.

    But sadly, no, there is a cap on how much a player coming off his rookie contract can be paid in the first year of his contract (there’s a cap on how much any player can be paid, but there are specifically different amounts depending on how long you’ve been in the league) – I honestly don’t know what that number is offhand, but it’s well short of $20 million, let alone $50 million.

  32. Brian Cronin

    Ted beat me to it re: the max salary!

    And yeah, Ted, I have no problem with “I don’t think Tim Thomas and Morris Almond will be any good,” I just take slight issue with the statement “Yet both are rejects from other teams. So what does that say about our roster?”

    Just slight, though. ;)

  33. Frank O.

    Yeah, I didn’t believe that story when I saw it anyway. They’d have to be bankrupt to trade him.
    The best young point in basketball.

    You know, I love Lee. Would love it if the Knicks keep him.
    But even if they keep him I’m not sure this is a 40-win team. That leads me to wonder what’s the dif if the Knicks lose him? I mean we’re talking about a piece on a weak team.

    Now, if Curry suddenly emerges at 300 lbs and suddenly has legs for defense…and Darko plays some defense and runs the floor like I suspect he can in an offense in which he can be productive…and Duhon isn’t required to run 40 minutes a night…and Douglas becomes a competent back up…and Gallinari becomes a primary shooter/passer/defender many think he can be…and Chandler becomes an effective shooter/slasher and hits the boards…
    Well, this could be an outstanding year without Lee or Nate.

    And the Knicks are in a better position in 2010.

    But a hell of a lot of things have to go right.

  34. Frank O.

    One thing I’m a little surprised about this board though, myself included, is the lack of conversation about Gallinari.
    Because at the heart of it, he has the talent to be a game changer, a real star.
    I realize his back is suspect. But he’s the best shooter the Knicks have, has excellent ball-handling skills, is very young (meaning he’ll get thicker and stronger), can break down a defender, and has a high basketball IQ.

    This year we’ll see how willful he is, which will determine whether he’s just a nice piece or a star.

    Gallinari could be the difference between 35 wins and maybe 45 wins, in my humble view.

  35. jon abbey

    I think we all love his potential, but he’s not playing in the Summer League, so there’s not too much to talk about. he’s probably the closest thing we have to a franchise player right now (including D-Lee, who we may not have much longer), which is both mildly exciting and reasonably sad.

  36. Ted Nelson

    Anthony Parker could be a good precedent for Almond; although, it took him 6 seasons in Europe.

    Jon Abbey pretty much hits it on the head. I would throw “potential” before franchise player, though. At this point he’s certainly not as good a player as Lee. That might change this season, and it might not.

    As far as letting Lee go… there’s no clear cut answer, of course, but Lee is a good piece period. On a good team or a bad team. The risk in letting him walk to create cap space for 2010 is well documented, since bigtime FAs rarely leave home and especially not to join terrible teams. If you don’t get a franchise player cap space can still be valuable, but you’re basically looking for good young “role players.” Lee is pretty young and plays his role very well. So, if you can get him for a reasonable price, then I think you do it. At market value or below Lee gives you basically as much cap flexibility as cap space. Of course, Lee wants 50% more than what the Knicks think is fair market value, so I don’t know what will happen. The only chance of Lee walking this offseason is to Europe or in a sign-and-trade, so my guess is that he takes the QO this offseason and the two sides dance again next offseason.

    Curry and Darko should be playing a different position than Lee, and they really are huge ifs. I suspect that even if both plays the absolute best basketball he is capable of, they’ll still both be average players. Lee should be at the 4, where Hill and Harrington are his comp. I’m not sure how this would be an outstanding year without Nate and Lee, when you don’t think it can be even a mediocre year with them…

  37. BigBlueAL

    Interesting tweet by John Thorpe:

    Jordan Hill is going to look much better when surrounded by better players. Trust me. The spacing and passing will help him a great deal.

  38. nickatnight

    “We rejected Trevor Ariza and Von Wafer, and both were on playoff teams last year. Ben Wallace & Chauncey Billups bounced around a few teams before being recognized as among the best at their position. Sometimes it takes a while for a team to realize what they have or for the player to find a fit that works for them.”

    I understand and agree with your perspective, but in this case Thomas is not young player. He’s been around the league forever, everyone knows his game, and he’s probably declining.

    Almond fits with your examples a lot better because he hasn’t had a lot of playing time and is still pretty young. But he’s never been much of a statistical hidden gem. He doesn’t do much other than shoot. Of course, we could always use a good shooter.

  39. nickatnight

    I will note one thing about Gallinari that doesn’t get mentioned much.

    The Knicks played .500 ball in the 28 games he played in. I think he also had the best +/- on the team. One or the other alone might not mean much because of the very small sample and his limited playing time, but together they are more encouraging. They kind of reinforce each other.

  40. cwod

    I keep seeing Sessions rumors popping up. Is there anything we can offer MIL in a sign-and-trade?

  41. ess-dog

    Sessions for Chandler seems like a pretty even trade. Both players logged heavy minutes for the first time last year with mixed results. Both showed great potential but statistically, ended up at roughly average for their positions.

    I like Sessions because I think he would do better in an up tempo offense, he’s quick and can get to the rim and finish, and he doesn’t turn the ball over. Yes his 3pt shooting is terrible, but he can work on that. I think he was easily the best player on the Bucks last year.

    It depends on whether you want to gamble with Chandler or Sessions. If you trade Chandler, you better be damn sure that Gallo’s back is 100%. I don’t think I would move lee for him and I don’t think they’d want Nate. Maybe they would take an expiring contract, but I think they want talent in return for Sessions.

  42. jon abbey

    2009 Summer League: Game 3 Recap

    the team looked lousy, and we’ve grown bored. :)

  43. cwod

    Hill seems like he’ll be an okay rebounder, but he doesn’t look so great in any other aspect of the game.

  44. Brian Cronin

    According to Yahoo, Walsh made Lee a 5-year offer. Of course, this being Walsh, he also had to add “but we may pull it in a week if he does not accept it.”

    What do you folks think?

    In other FA news, Earl Watson to Indy and Marquis Daniels to the Celtics. That’s a good pick-up for the Celts.

  45. jon abbey

    no talk about how Hill was close to a triple double yesterday? 16 points, 9 boards, and, um, 9 fouls. :)

  46. JoMo

    While it’s often said that Summer League is virtually worthless for evaluating talent (roberson being a worthy example), I think a lot can be taken out of the knick’s 2009 roster from what we’ve seen.

    The most glaring thing I’ve noticed in 4 games is exactly how raw Jordan Hill is. David Thorpe is talking about how “once he’s surrounded by good players with proper spacing he’ll be a beast,” but I mean I really can’t see that, not now anyway. Whereas a lot of the guys in this league clearly have been playing basketball for some time and show a wide array of moves with which they are confident to assert on opposition, I think Hill really looks pretty lost in terms of his role. Yes, he can rebound, but his offensive game looks like that of an 8th grader who was just taught his first go-to move (unsurprising considering his amount of basketball training). I am holding out a good deal of hope though, because I firmly believe that a player with the ability and desire to learn and grow, especially one with his physical tools, can evolve really rapidly with professional coaching. And that i think is definitely evident if he truly didnt start playing basketball until his sophmore (?) year of high school. Also, I think the Amaré comparisons are unwarranted – he certainly lacks the same degree of ridiculous athleticism, and semblance of the kind of player he wants to be, that amaré had at 20 years old.

    Douglas on the other hand, definitely knows his game – how to penetrate the defense, how to set up other players, how to create his own shot. It reeks of practice and repetition, something that certainly cant be said for Hill. “Solid” pickup at 29, and should provide a lot of serviceable minutes behind Duhon (or sessions?). People were raving about his defense, but if it were so good then I would expect him to be tearing it up against summer league players.

  47. ess-dog

    This is going to be a tough year. I would like to have 2 average starters at each position going in, trade the dead weight at the all-star break, and then see where we are a year from now.
    pg: Duhon, Sessions, sg: Hughes, Almond, sf: Gallo, Harrington, pf: Lee, Hill, c: Curry, Darko.
    Yes, D’Antoni will have to run 10 players this year (or more) depending on trades, just to showcase people and get the rooks some run. I’m assuming Lee comes back and he will be a lot more effective playing less minutes. Hopefully we can play Curry enough to trade him at the break, and hopefully we can trade Jeffries asap, because I don’t see any pt for him. We will probably have to play Harrington and Hughes some (Harrington could be an effective 6th man, stepping in for Nate.)
    I would love to do the Chandler for Sessions swap and let Duhon prep Sessions for the starting job in 2010. Harrington can move over to the backup 3 to help clear the glut at the 4. Hill will get about 15 min a game at the 4. Darko and Curry can basically fight it out for the center spot and Hill could see a little time there.
    That’s the only way I can make heads or tails of this roster. Douglas could get very limited minutes at both guard spots, maybe more if we don’t get another pg like Sessions.
    If we could get Wade and Bosh in 2010, that would fill our gaping holes at the sg and the c spots, but this doens’t seem likely.

  48. nickatnight

    Anyone besides me wish that Isiah did the drafting this year?

    I suppose Douglas is fine as a backup PG for the #29th pick, but I don’t see anything to get excited about.

    IMO, Hill is dreadful for a #8 pick. At best he’s going to wind up being a 15 and 10 guy, but he’s more likely to wind up a below average 10 and 8 guy. It’s not so much that those numbers are dreadful. Lee has fine career with numbers similar to those. The difference is that Lee gets his points around the basket and scores efficiently. He’s also a good free throw shooter. Hill gets a lot of his points via the mid range game and will be much less efficient. He’s also not a very good free throw shooter.

    Ideally, I’d love if Lee had Hill’s mid range game or vice versa, but then either would be an efficient 20 and 10 guy and we wouldn’t be worried about giving him 12 million.

  49. jon abbey

    I highly doubt we’re getting Sessions, although if we did, I’d consider this offseason a major success.

    and, yeah, Isiah almost definitely would have done a better job drafting, I still can’t believe how badly Walsh botched it. LAWSON AND BLAIR, goddammit.

  50. Brian Cronin

    I love ESPN “breaking” headline, where Bucher reports that Yao Ming might miss all of next season!

    If it had been “Yao Ming will miss next season,” then sure, rock on, Bucher, you got a scoop! But a report saying what we all knew back in June?

    Seriously, Bucher?

  51. Brian Cronin

    I just can’t believe the Knicks have a front office who thinks that Jordan Hill is a great prospect.

    I find it difficult to wrap my head around that concept – Gallinari, I got. Heck, Douglas I disagree with, as well, (BLAIR, goddammit, indeed), but I at least get it.

    Hill?

    I don’t get what they see in this guy.

    I hope to be proven wrong.

  52. BigBlueAL

    Damn everyone hates Jordan Hill already. Christ he wasnt that bad during the Summer League and you can see his potential. I know we all wanted a great pick at #8 but it didnt happen and nobody the Knicks and us fans really wanted fell to #8.

    At least Hill should be better than Sweetney and Channing Frye!!!!

  53. Ted Nelson

    Interesting that Isiah passed up Sessions late in the 2nd in favor of Demetris Nichols, yet the consensus is that Sessions is a basketball-god and Isiah should still be doing the Knicks drafting…

    I wasn’t thrilled with Hill, but the next 5 guys drafted were DeRozan, Jennings, Terrence Williams, Henderson, and Hansbrough. My biggest beef was probably not trading down where a lot of guys represented value for where they were picked and Walsh could have also gotten another asset(s), but given the next 5 guys drafted I’m not too upset.

  54. Z

    “Damn everyone hates Jordan Hill already. Christ he wasnt that bad during the Summer League and you can see his potential.”

    He is strikingly similar to another former #8 pick and (now officially) former Knick, Chris Wilcox. Anyone know Wilcox’s summer league stats off hand?!? Wilcox was good enough for one year to get a Malik Rose like contract. Not biggest bust at the 8 slot, but definitely Knick fans were shooting higher…

  55. Brian Cronin

    I think we should have a headline for “Pistons sign Knick Power Forward” and have after the fold that it’s Chris Wilcox.

    By the by, $6 million for two years is more than I thought Wilcox would get, so good on him.

  56. Ted Nelson

    I would hardly call the similarity between Hill and Wilcox striking. Wilcox was an inefficient scorer in college, and there are constantly allegations of motivational issues swirling around him.

    At $3 mill per I think the Pistons got a good bargain, though. Wilcox will only be 27 next season. Not too often you get a big guy in his prime with his production for $3 mill per: .560 TS%, 15.4 pts/36, and 14.2 reb-rate career. Maybe if you pick up an under-the-radar vet from Europe…
    Of course, Detroit is also eating Oberto’s salary this season.
    I’m wondering if the Piston’s culture is strong enough as this point to absorb a bunch of guys with attitude question marks. Dumars seems to be going down a similar path as Walsh did at the end of his time in Indy and Thorn has done recently in NJ, and ignoring attitude all together.

    BTW, interesting that the rumors were that Layden was enamored with Wilcox with the #7 pick in 2002. As Knicks fans we always tend to fantasize about no McDyess trade and a Camby and Amare/Nene front court of Caron Butler on the wing for the past 7 seasons, but in reality the Knicks probably would have taken Wilcox and then grossly overpaid him when his contract was up.

  57. Mike Kurylo Post author

    2009 Summer League: Game 3 Recap

    the team looked lousy, and we’ve grown bored. :)

    Sorry folks, been real busy, trying to catch up to games on the PVR. It’d help if the Knicks actually played well or won a game. Also would help if they took more than a single night off. I have an idea for the summer league games, I’m keeping them all – and may do some breakdowns on them.

  58. cwod

    Jordan Hill wasn’t too impressive to me. Assuming he gets into better shape for the season, I think he could be a nice energy/rebounder guy off the bench. You know, like everyone said about David Lee, except this time it’s actually true. Hill’s mid-range game is kind of overrated, as mid-range games from PFs often are.

    Not exactly what I hoped for from #8, but the end of the lottery is always a weird place.

  59. Frank

    I was also not that impressed by Hill, but really, I think we are getting bent out of shape by a couple of summer league games. What I see is a guy who has a great motor and will be a good-excellent rebounder in this league. He also clearly is quite athletic and improved so much in a few years at Arizona that you’d have to think his ceiling is way above where his game is now. He was always going to be a little bit of a project, and I’d be surprised if he averaged more than 15 min/game this year, but that’s fine. If he’s still just a project in 2 years, I’d be more worried.

    Who I have been reasonably impressed with is Skita — anyone here not think he’s got a roster spot pretty much guaranteed at this point? Granted it’s summer league but the shots he is hitting are basically the shots he would be shooting in a real game (mostly uncontested 3’s). A small 5 game sample but if my math is right, we’re talking a TS% of 65.7, 18.6 points/40, 2.4 blocks/40. 62 points on 41 shots is pretty good for anyone in any league.

  60. ess-dog

    Just to put things in perspective, Joakim Noah averaged 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 pts in his first year, and everyone here were willing to trade Lee midseason for him. If Hill can roughly put up those numbers while averaging 20 minutes and be efficient about it, I’d be relatively pleased. I don’t think he’ll ever be Amare, but he already looks better than Wilcox. I wish he was a better shotblocker, but maybe he’ll improve in that area. He’s about a 1.3 bpg player but we need him to be a 2 bpg player. Like I said, I would’ve liked to take a swing at Jennings, but at #8, Hill’s a pretty average pick, not good or bad.
    The Bucks board on RealGM is pretty funny re: us offering Sessions the midlevel. They want us to take back Gadzuric. And while there is a great deal of love for Sessions, many are convinced that Jennings is the 2nd coming. And it surprised me how universally loved Bogut is by the fans. They see him as their best player hands down. I guess he did school Lee a few times last year, but he hardly seems like a franchise player to me.

  61. Mike Kurylo Post author

    “Just to put things in perspective, Joakim Noah averaged 5.5 rebounds and 6.5 pts in his first year, and everyone here were willing to trade Lee midseason for him.”

    9.8 reb/36 & 11.5 pts/36, and consider that the rebounding jumped to 11.3 with 2.0 blk/36 and a 59.4% ts% last year…

  62. ess-dog

    Right. I have a hard time imagining Hill being as efficient as Noah or Lee for that matter. I want to see how he is on the pick and roll and how well he passes out of the post while playing with good players before I judge too harshly. One thing that Hill can do already is finish off the fast break, but you need to play DEFENSE to be able to start the fast break… sigh…

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