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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2010 Report Card: Bill Walker

When the Knicks traded Nate Robinson in February, Eddie House was supposed to be the centerpiece while Walker and J.R. Giddens were throw-ins. However D’Antoni seemed to sour on House, and Walker found himself in the rotation. He ended up with more minutes (739) than House and Giddens combined.

Walker doesn’t average a lot of points (15.4 pts/36 in 2010), but his efficiency (64.9% ts%, 62.5% efg%) is through the roof for a small forward. Only 10 players 6-6 or shorter had a true shooting percentage of 60% or better last year, and no one other than Walker was north of 62%. According to HoopData, Walker attempts the bulk of his shots from behind the arc (50%) or at the rim (33.2%); he doesn’t take a lot of shots in between those areas. So far his career NBA three point shooting percentage is a sizzling 42.7%. Walker relies on his hops to take the action to the cup, including converting a fair share of alley-oops. He moves better without the ball, and doesn’t cough it up much (his turnovers per 36 minutes were a minuscule 1.3).

Unfortunately that’s where the superlatives concerning Walker end. Despite his physical ability, he a sub par rebounder and a poor defender. The former was somewhat surprising considering his strong glasswork in the D-League. The latter makes it understandable why a defensive-minded team like Boston let him go so easily. Walker struggled with keeping guys in front of him, but considering his quick first step on offense the lack of athleticism isn’t the problem. Perhaps he’s not accustomed to the speed at the highest level.

Ultimately, Bill Walker is exactly what the Knicks need. A cheap player that won’t cost them much in 2011 ($850k) while providing efficient scoring. He has some flaws that make him more suited to come off the bench. Yet he’s still young enough (22) to improve, and even if not, is worth more than he’s being paid. And that’s something I haven’t been able to say often about the Knicks.

Report Card (5 point scale):
Offense: 4
Defense: 1
Teamwork: 3
Rootability: 4
Performance/Expectations: 5

Final Grade: B+

Similarity Scores:

z-Sum FLName Year Tm PER TS eFG PTS ORB TRB AST STL BLK TOV
.000 Bill Walker 2010 TOT 14.6 64.9 62.5 15.4 0.7 4.1 1.9 1.1 0.1 1.3
.183 Josh Childress 2006 ATL 15.8 62.6 58.3 11.9 2.1 6.2 2.1 1.4 0.6 1.6
.190 Kevin Martin 2006 SAC 14.8 60.4 54.0 14.6 1.1 4.9 1.8 1.0 0.2 1.5
.297 Derek Smith 1984 SDC 14.0 59.1 54.7 16.7 1.5 4.7 2.3 0.9 0.6 2.2
.299 Michael Redd 2002 MIL 20.0 58.1 55.5 19.5 2.0 5.7 2.3 1.1 0.2 1.4
.348 Jeremy Richardson 2007 TOT 13.8 66.7 66.7 14.4 1.8 3.6 0.0 1.8 0.0 1.8
.361 Hassan Adams 2007 NJN 13.0 57.7 55.6 12.7 2.5 5.6 0.9 1.2 0.3 1.6
.369 Reggie Miller 1988 IND 14.0 58.0 53.7 16.1 1.9 3.7 2.6 1.0 0.4 2.0
.379 Andre Iguodala 2006 PHI 14.8 59.8 54.1 11.7 1.4 5.6 3.0 1.6 0.2 1.8
.387 Ronnie Brewer 2008 UTA 18.4 61.2 56.7 15.8 1.7 3.8 2.3 2.2 0.3 1.2
.396 Wally Szczerbiak 2000 MIN 15.4 57.1 53.2 14.0 1.5 4.5 3.3 1.0 0.4 1.4

For a guy that appeared to be a throw in to a trade, what an impressive list of comparables! It’s quicker to name the guys on his list that didn’t have good careers (Smith, Adams, Richardson) than to go through the positive ones. There is one big caveat however, none of these players are very comparable with Walker. The closest is about 3 standard deviations away. Considering how unique Walker is with regards to his scoring, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The question is whether he can keep up the same level of play. I’m dubious of his three point percentage remaining over 42%, but he shot 39.3% in the D-League so it should remain robust. Of course his defense and lack of non-scoring contribution will factor into his NBA future as well.

66 comments on “2010 Report Card: Bill Walker

  1. ess-dog

    I think the key to Walker are his knees. I think he has the raw natural talent and athleticism to bring his defense and rebounding up, and although he’s not a super heady player like a Grant Hill, I think he moves pretty well without the ball which is a big plus in this system. And D’Antoni clearly likes him. If he holds up, I have high hopes for him.
    I hate to be the guy to revisit the Rubio thing but…
    Say we give Chandler AND Gallo for the rights to Rubio (if we are positive he’ll come play asap) and the #23.
    It seems like a lot to give up, but if we’re getting Lebron, I think it would be worth it. It also frees up extra cap space by moving Chandler. Then we resign Lee at 10-11 mil. That leaves us roughly 9 mil to play with and 3 draft picks. We could replace Gallo’s shooting at the 2 with Morrow or for more money, Salmons, or even Ray Allen. Or if we prefer defense, go after Childress or Brewer.
    The center situation is still fuzzy. At #23 we can grab Alabi or in the 2nd round, Jerome Jordan who has impressed in workouts lately. Maybe Mahinmi is an option. Then we can spend the rest of our cash on a Kleiza or Amir Johnson type. So we’d have something like:

    Rubio
    Walker or Childress
    James
    Lee
    Alabi

    bench
    A.Johnson
    Walker or Childress
    Douglas
    Jerome Jordan
    Craig Brackins
    Curry?

    The other option is to just get Bosh at the 4 and not have the extra $$$ to fill out the rest of the team with… with Lee, maybe we can’t afford Amir Johnson as well, but possibly a cheaper option… you get the idea. Of course it’s all based on James coming, and that we don’t do a sign and trade, which maybe isn’t a big deal for LBJ anyway. He could sign a 3 year deal regardless of where he goes so the extra year could be moot.

  2. Jafa

    Ess-dog,

    I’m all for hypothetical trades and all, but the last thing I want to see again is the Knicks giving up on a young player and then he turns out being something special on another team (Ariza, Frye, Jordan Hill).

    I think we’ve done everything we could to convince LBJ to come here – cap space for him and another max guy of his choosing, good player friendly coach with a great offensive system, a good experience front office to make the right moves and build a winner, and tanking for 2 years to ensure that his year here will be a success (he will be praised for just getting us to the playoff, and anything beyond that will be just extra gravy).

    If that and New York is not enough then I don’t think trading Gallo and Chandler for Rubio will clinch it. Don’t get me wrong, I like Rubio, but I think Chandler + Gallo is greater than Rubio.

  3. Thomas B.

    Why do you people love Rubio so much? I just don’t get it. His jumper is weak. He defense is not great. Not a great finisher at the rim. Not all that strong, quick, or durable. You can find a player with just as many weaknesses with the 23 pick. Granted you might not find the upside but its too risky. I wonder how many points taken after 19 became All-Stars in the last 10 years. I’ll have to check.

  4. Thomas B.

    Saw some nonsense about Curry for Arenas. We will be under the cap so we could take it on but that would eat about 4.5 million of the cap room we need. I didn’t mind Arenas to the Knicks when it was Curry and JJ to the Wiz. But now that JJ is gone, why give up 4.5 million in cap room?

  5. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    The issue with Rubio is that he’s not coming over this offseason. It’s highly unlikely. If he could play with LeBron it has to become more likely, but everything Rubio is saying is that he’ll be playing for Barca next season. He’s going out of his way to make that point, but just shaking off reporters’ questions. Another issue is the same one that people point to with Rose or Wade, both Rubio and James are primary playmakers. I don’t think it’s a problem, personally, but LeBron might not be too psyched to sign up for a tag team with a skinny young Spanish PG who probably won’t play in the NBA next season. Basically, it comes down to whether LeBron is a big Rubio fan…

    Good points Jafa. Only time will tell if Chandler + Gallo > Rubio, but otherwise it’s a good point that the Knicks have done what they can to get LeBron and now it’s up to him.

  6. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    I think we’ve done this dance before a few times…

    What is your opinion of Rubio based on? Do you watch a good amount of European basketball, or are you just going off of scouting reports, stereotypes, Olympics games, and youtube clips?

    “His jumper is weak.”

    FALSE. He hit 40% of his 3s in the ACB this season. He hit 43% last year. That assessment is based on what he did as a kid playing with men. If Chris Paul were playing in the NBA at 16, 17 what would his 3P% be? (When he was 20 he shot .282 from downtown.) Rubio is not a great jump shooter, but he’s also not bad.

    “He defense is not great.”

    ERRONEOUS. He was the ACB Defensive Player of the year as a PG. He’s probably not Gary Payton, but he’s also not Jose Calderon.

    “Not a great finisher at the rim.”

    True. I would actually say, my own opinion having watched a lot of both, that it’s easier to finish in the NBA than Europe. (Josh Childress and others who have actually played both call Europe a more physical game.) If you don’t actually finish in the NBA you go to the foul line. It’s actually getting the ball to the rim that’s the most difficult. And, again, being a teenager–Rubio TURNS TWENTY FIVE MONTHS FROM TOMORROW–playing with grown men is a bit of an excuse.

    “Not all that strong, quick, or durable.”

    Very quick. He’s only 19, so strength can come. Steve Nash is not a huge guy, yet he’s as good offensively as any PG in the NBA. He missed 1/3 of one season. In his other 3 full seasons he’s missed only 1 game.

    “You can find a player with just as many weaknesses with the 23 pick.”

    That’s total BS. Jason “White Choclate” Williams was the #7 pick in the draft for christ’s sake, and he had been kicked out of college for “drug use.” I cannot imagine that you’ve watched Rubio play much. Find me a player who had as much success as he has in Europe at such a young age and wasn’t an NBA star. I’m confident there isn’t one.

    You make Rubio sound like he has absolutely nothing going for him: can’t shoot, can’t finish, not quick, can’t defend, not durable, possibly a terrorist… What is he good at? Does he just stand in one spot and thread the needle with beautiful passes all game? The 6-3 Arvydus Sabonis? Somehow he took Sergio Rodriguez’ spot on the national team at like 17 years old and is the All-ACB PG at 19 years old.

  7. ess-dog

    Well, the trade would have to happen AFTER we sign Lebron….
    I just think in a D’Antoni offense, a playmaking pg is more important than not (see Steve Nash). And I think it would be hard for Rubio to turn down the chance to play with Lebron. Then you throw in an all-star pf, be it Lee or Bosh. The 3 pt shooting of Gallo can be made up by other players.
    Probably would never happen anyway. Problem is, an injury to one of your big three somewhat cripples you.

  8. Thomas B.

    Ted always ready with a book response.

    Where did you get that 40% number? I looked him up for 2009-2010 at Euro Leauge BB and found him shooting 35% on 3pfg% and 32% on 2pfgs. Tell me what you think of his mid range game? You know those shots taken between say 10-21 feet. Are you still impressed?

    Defensive player of the year in ACB basketball. Thats like being awarded “World’s thinnest blogger”.

    I never wrote that Rubio had nothing. I just acknowledged that his game has flaws. Too many flaws to pay the price people say we should pay to get him. If he had dropped to us in the draft, fine take him. But dont give up the farm for what he might be.

    I’ve watched a few of his games, maybe I just missed all his great performances. I thought he was great in the open court and transition, so-so in the half court sets, awful getting to the rim. I hated the low release point on his jumper even when he hit a couple of open threes. Great passer on the PNR. Poor finisher on the PNR. I doubted he could remain that open in the NBA. I fully expect that stronger points will expose him on defense. I did not see him blow past anyone playing him straight up. For all his passing talent, I thought he forced the action. He could have avoided turn overs had he not tried to make the fancy play.

    As for the boy playing with men comment: well its Euro Ball. Only in the Vatican would you find more men playing with boys. *Drum snare* Good night Catskills!

  9. Ted Nelson

    http://acb.com/stsacumjug.php?cod_jugador=BA5

    His ACB numbers, not Euroleague. You’re not going to find many 19 year olds who dominate Euroleague. You can xenophobically hate on European basketball all you want, but these guys are pros and a whole lot of them are borderline NBA players. A few are solid NBA players. (Which is why guys like Scola and Nocioni and Calderon can come over as veterans and do well in the NBA… why someone like Walter Hermann who struggles in the NBA is also struggling in Europe… any idea that Europe is WAY worse than the NBA is misguided. It is significantly worse, but these guys are still pros. NBA 10th men who are cast-off do not necessarily star in Europe.)

    Danilo Gallinari shot 32% on 3-pters in the Euroleague at 19 and 44% from a further 3-pt line as a 20 year old in the NBA… Danilo shot 78% on FTs and Rubio 89%. So if you only look at Euroleague numbers Ricky Rubio appears to be a much better shooter than Danilo Gallinari, and not too many people on this site are down on Danilo’s shooting. Pau did dominate at 19 for 6 games. He hasn’t done too badly in the NBA. I honestly am not aware of any other 19 year olds who dominated Euroleauge competition… would be interested to see if there are any. Manu shot 29% from 3 as a 23 year old, TWENTY THREE YEAR OLD, in the Euroleague and is a career .374 3pt shooter in the NBA. Ginobili had a 56.7 TS% in Euroleague at 23, Rubio’s at 19 was 56.2. Delfino shot 29% from 3 at 20 in the Euroleague and 34% at 21, career 36% in NBA.

    “Defensive player of the year in ACB basketball. Thats like being awarded “World’s thinnest blogger”.”

    You watch a lot of ACB basketball? That’s a pretty ignorant response. As I said, Josh Childress has said European basketball is MORE PHYSICAL than NBA basketball. AK-47, Varajao, Ginobilli, Oberto, Rasho, Batum, Pietrus, Bruce Bowen, PJ Brown, Anthony Mason… guys come over from Europe and are good/great defenders in the NBA. ACB is the second best national league in the world. There is defensive talent, and like in the NBA it’s more common for a C to be considered a top defender.
    Like I said: Rubio’s not Payton, but he’s a solid defender for a 19 year old. These awards are as subjective in Spain as in the NBA, but it’s hard to be named the best defensive player in the league at 18 reagradlessly. Let alone as a PG.
    If physical strength is your only criteria for 19 year old PG prospects I’m not sure what to say. Mardy Collins is a big boy, but I’m not too psyched about him as an NBA PG. If you walk into a bar around me chances are 75% of the guys in there could kick Steve Nash’s ass, but he’s still a great PG. The NBA is no longer geared towards physical guard play. Hasn’t been for a while.

    “As for the boy playing with men comment: well its Euro Ball. Only in the Vatican would you find more men playing with boys.”

    Do you know ANYTHING about European basketball? Anything at all? Teenagers can PLAY with the men, but rarely does their production stand-out. Few are even starters or solid rotation guys. Rarely are they All-ACB type performers. Rarely do they play very well in Euroleague.
    The challenge remains on the table: show me a guy who had as much success as Rubio before his 20th birthday in Europe, came to the US, and wasn’t a high quality NBA player. That person may exist, but I haven’t seen them. I would honestly be interested to see if they exist.

    “I never wrote that Rubio had nothing.”

    You criticized every aspect of his game besides passing and rebounding. And if you have no strength or quickness and are not durable… you’re not going to have much luck at either when you’re 6-3. Yet somehow Rubio is a good rebounder for a guard and maybe the best playmaker in Europe at 19 years old…

    “He could have avoided turn overs had he not tried to make the fancy play.”

    Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash all have/had career TO% around 20. That is ridiculously high. I guess they could have forced the action less and avoided TOs, too, but forcing the action worked out ok for them.

    I can’t tell you what you saw or didn’t see, but also keep in mind that he’s 19 years old (if you were watching him this season). Keep in mind that he plays on what is currently the Yankees of European basketball. He plays with the best teammates in Europe. Danilo, on the other hand, played on a bad Euroleague team. Besides the fact that he’s a scorer, it behooved him to carry the scoring load for his team whereas Rubio would be an idiot if he tried to outshine JCN, Pete Mickeal, Lorbek, Terence Morris, Jaka Lakovic… He had to let them shoulder the scoring load, he would be benched if he tried to show them up. Yet he still managed to be recognized as one of the top players on that team.
    Again, it’s not easy to get to the rim in Europe. It’s a different game. Less athletic and more physical (probably due in part to the relative lack of athleticism compared to the NBA…). The NBA is currently designed for quick players to penetrate, Europe is not.
    Shawn Marion and other NBA players have awkward shooting motions, if the ball goes in it goes in.

    I’m not saying Rubio is the next Chris Paul, just that picking him in the top 5 was totally justified in my opinion.

  10. TDM

    @8 – Remember to tip your waitress, try the veal.

    Personally, I’d trade Chandler + ? for Rubio, but not Chandler + Gallo. If the Knicks get LBJ, the Knicks three best players will all be SFs. I also don’t see Chandler as the Knicks’ long term answer playing out of position at SG.

    Has anyone given any thought to Shawn Livingston (UFA) at the point? IMO, he was incredible last year for the Wizards, and now that they have the first pick of the draft, it seems unlikely that they will be bidding for his services with Arenas back in the fold. I have concerns about his health, but for the veterans minimum, I think he has real value.

    His last 7 games of the season for the Wiz, he averaged 16 pts, 6.7 ast, 3.4 rbs.

  11. Ted Nelson

    Danilo’s Euroleague TS% at 19 was 55.7, by the way.

    Another big difference between Europe and NBA is that it’s far less individualistic in Europe. You don’t see the iso plays and sort of breaking down the defense as much as in the NBA. It’s more about moving the ball and shooting well. Closer 3-pt line allows you to pack in a little more defensively. Less space than in the NBA. More zone defenses.

    I should also correct myself and say that Europe IS WAY worse than the NBA, but what I’m trying to say is more that there is an overlap. The idea that every NBA players is better than every European player in misguided. In a few years a lot of current NBA players (mostly the ones who fail to some extent or another… and maybe a few who get better contracts in Europe) will be in Europe and they’ll have varying levels of success over there.
    To throw another example out there of stars in Europe who were rotation players in the NBA: Linas Kleiza went from NBA to Europe and his TS% only jumper from 56% career in NBA to 59% in Euroeleague 09-10. He had a season where he was 58.5% in Denver. His 3p% was 34% NBA and 35% Euroleague. Childress was a 36% NBA 3pt shooter and hit 33% in Euroleague this season(playing with Kleiza on the same team, actually) and 16% last season. His career NBA TS% was .599 and in Euroleague this season it was .591 this season and 51.7% lasr season. He only averaged 8.8 ppg in Euroleague last season, he had a tough transition. Those guys are both in the primes of their careers. They haven’t found it easy to score much more efficiently in Europe.

  12. ess-dog

    Let’s not overrate Chandler here. He is probably worth your average 15-18 pick at this point. Don’t get me wrong he’s solid, but on a contender, he won’t be starting. He probably wouldn’t even start on the T-wolves after that trade. They would probably go with a Cousins/Love/Gallo/Brewer/Flynn then flip Jefferson and Brewer and or Flynn. Who knows?
    I just think the Gallo/Bron thing is a bit of a problem since they are both small forwards. As has been stated, Bron COULD play pf in our system, but would he want to? Gallo could probably play the 2 but not the 4. Maybe Bron and Gallo would switch on defense…
    I guess we can worry about that after Bron signs on the dotted line.

  13. Ted Nelson

    ” I looked him up for 2009-2010 at Euro Leauge BB and found him shooting 35% on 3pfg% and 32% on 2pfgs.”

    http://www.euroleague.net/competition/players/showplayer?seasoncode=E2009&pcode=LFW

    That’s incorrect anyway, it was 38% on 2s. Still bad (I said it was true he’s not a good finisher, he lives at the FT line though), but his TS% still came in at 56%. Since I doubt either of us has access to his shot distribution it’s hard to talk about his mid-range game. The European 3pt line is FIBA standards, so midrange shots are rarer. There’s even less incentive to shoot from midrange in Europe than the NBA because you can gain an extra point with an even closer shot. Guards typically take 50% of their shots from 3.
    With that 38% you’re talking about 55 shots total. That’s like 2 games worth of shots for Kobe. The sample size we’re look at is too small. If he makes 3 of those misses we’re talking 44% 2pt shooter and he doesn’t look nearly as bad. You might also notice that in the Final Four, the toughest comp, he stepped his game up against European powerhouses and had a TS% of 64% in those 2 games. But, you know, the guy has nothing going for him and should have been picked in the 20s.

    “Are you still impressed?”

    I am still very impressed.
    If we sit here and pick apart the weaknesses of every prospect we’ll never find one we like. There were voices in the media saying Melo or Darko should be picked ahead of LeBron. Opinion was fairly split on whether Dwight Howard or Emeka Okafor should go #1. Chris Paul fell to #4. MJ to #3. Every prospect has their faults. I’m very impressed with Rubio’s strengths and potential. Doesn’t mean he’ll fully reach it.

  14. Thomas B.

    “You can xenophobically hate on European basketball all you want, but these guys are pros and a whole lot of them are borderline NBA players.”

    Wow, you just do not see when someone is having some fun with you do you? I like the use of xenophobically. I think it is the longest word ever typed here. I’m not a xenophob, I just dont think Euro ball is known for its defense. I think Gallinari bucks the trend. I do like Gallinari even if he was a teenaged Euro baller.

    @10 TDM
    “@8 – Remember to tip your waitress, try the veal.”

    Now there is someone who can tell when I’m just having some fun.

  15. Ted Nelson

    I got that it was a joke. I just hope that you realize that Rubio has been very special in Europe. I don’t find it particularly funny because I don’t find it particularly true. The teenagers are usually riding the bench on the good teams (I’m sure there’s a punch-line there too…).

    I wasn’t trying to be offensive with xenophob or call you a racist, that’s just the best way I know how to describe looking down on things outside your own country (nationalistic perhaps, but there’s also a built in connotation there). It’s totally normal to look down on European basketball, and there’s a good reason to look down a bit. I just feel it often goes too far. I think all the Euroleague TS%s of solid NBA players that I listed shows something.

    Gallo bucks which trend?

  16. Thomas B.

    “Defensive player of the year in ACB basketball. Thats like being awarded “World’s thinnest blogger”.”

    You watch a lot of ACB basketball? That’s a pretty ignorant response.”

    Wow, you didnt like ANY of my jokes. Is this keyboard on? *Drum snare* But seriously take my draft pick..please. *Drum snare*.

    “Since I doubt either of us has access to his shot distribution it’s hard to talk about his mid-range game.”

    True i just threw the mid range out there based on the two times I saw him play. I did wonder if you would go looking for it and you did.

    Okay big finish!

    Everybody sing, you know the words.

    You say Ginobli, I say Tskitishvili
    You say Calderon, I say Jaric
    Ginobli, Tskitishvili
    Calderon, Jaric
    Lets call the whole thing off!

  17. Thomas B.

    “Gallo bucks which trend?”

    The trend of “oh hey lets draft this Euro teen because he will be the next Dirk.” Like Tskitishvilli and that guy the Clipers wasnt a pick on a few years back. That French dude we drafted that VC jumped over oh and Darko–not quite a “next Dirk”–but a young unproven Euro talent that was all about “potential.” I know it seems like i’m picking on the Euro talent, but I am not. It is more about age and experience than anything. PG is one of the toughest positions to play in the NBA. I have not seen enough from Rubio to justify the talent we have to move to get him in a trade.

    I have a good idea of what I have in Chandler and Gallo, I’m not on board to trade that for what Rubio might be.

  18. Ted Nelson

    In all seriousness, I don’t believe Tskita has even appeared in a single Euroleague game. He played in the Italian league at 18 (for D’Antoni) and finished the season 11th in points scored and 12th in rebounds on the roster. Even though he shot 34.5% from 3, that was 10th on the team (D’Antoni even loved the 3 in Italy). He was truly a head scratcher at #5, truly picked on potential alone. He was one of the worst guys on his team (granted at 18). Rubio is one of the best.

    Jaric was 22 before he appeared in the Euroleague (Rubio will not be 22 until the 2012-13 season). Jaric’s TS% was 53.4 that season. At 23 it was 54.5. Manu was clearly better in Europe, but not THAT much. Quickness has REALLY set them apart in the NBA. I feel that Rubio has good quickness and a great handle. That translates well to the NBA, which is really a different game than Europe.

    ———————————————————-

    Gallo bucks the trend, Rubio has performed as well at the same age… what’s all the fuss about with Rubio he should have been picked in the 20s? I’m not saying you trade Danilo AND Chandler for Rubio. I’m honestly not sure if I would trade Gallo for him or not straight up. I haven’t seen enough from Gallo to say he’s better than Rubio, but at the same time I have seen enough to think he could be a very good NBA scorer in a couple of years (if he improves a lot). If he doesn’t develop Gallo also might be a rich man’s Kyle Korver. Chandler I don’t think is anything special. He finally played pretty well defensively this season and his TS% has risen every season. You know you have a guy whose going to work hard and a guy who can play in the NBA. I can’t say we know much more than that.

  19. Ted Nelson

    I’m also not saying you DON’T trade Danilo and Chandler for Rubio if you’re Walshtoni and a. you’re not high on Danilo/Chandler’s ability to develop and b. you’ve scouted Rubio extensively and feel he’s worth it.

  20. massive

    Just wondering. Say, Utah drafts Greg Monroe, who can play the 5. Do you think they move him to start at PF and keep Okur at the center? Or do they start Millsap and Okur? Seems problematic to me, but then again they don’t have to draft Monroe. They would probably take Aminu instead, if he’s still on the board, because Aminu’s athleticism along with D-Will’s passing and AK’s defense along with Millsap and Okur down-low would be a pretty solid team in the West. I know that pick is no longer of our concern, but it could end up with Okur being the odd man out. We need a center, right?

    About the whole Rubio for Chandler & Gallo thing. I wouldn’t do this unless LeBron is in town for sure. It gives us a promising, young PG and we would have the best player in the world. But this deal is essentially the number 5 pick for the number 6 and 23, and you’ve seen what the number 6 and 23 can do in the NBA, and both are already productive. I’m sure Rubio will at least be very a solid NBA PG for years, but I’m afraid Gallo becomes a perennial all-star and Will becomes a 18 ppg player for his career. Plus who knows if one of Rubio’s main reasons for not wanting to play in the NBA yet is because Minnesota drafted him? Say he says this, that puts us in a better position than now. I wouldn’t make that trade yet, especially considering we won’t be here until 2011-2012. Could you imagine if we land Wade and Bosh this offseason, and then land Rubio for only Chandler next offseason? All while having the money to land a max guy that same summer? That’s nuts, a Rubio/Wade/Gallo/Bosh/some lucky center team would win 60+ games a year.

    Greg Oden…you think he’ll stay healthy now that he’s sharing a front-court with 3-4 other guys? I’d like to see what he can do this season. If the guy stayed healthy, he was going to the All-Star Game this year as a starter. Hell, if he was healthy, the same way everybody is talking about LeBron and Durant, they’d probably be talking about Oden and Howard. Too bad he probably won’t reach his potential. But if the guy manages to stay healthy, he’ll be worth around the 9 million a year we’d probably have to offer to get him.

  21. Loathing

    Here’s a crazy thought: If we sign LeBron, how about making HIM the PG? Turn him into Magic?

    *ducks in a corner waiting for the eventual barrage*

  22. Brian Cronin

    Has anyone given any thought to Shawn Livingston (UFA) at the point?

    I did, I did! During the draft thread.

  23. Brian Cronin

    By the way, how could Gallo not play the four with Lebron? He played the four last season.

  24. Ted Nelson

    “Here’s a crazy thought: If we sign LeBron, how about making HIM the PG? Turn him into Magic?”

    Not crazy at all. Offensively he’ll more than likely handle a lot of the playmaking duties no matter what happens and where he’s playing. A lot of us think the Knicks can get away with Douglas at PG (assuming he continues to shoot and defend well/develops his game) if LeBron comes even though Douglas is not much of a playmaker. Where D’Antoni would (hypothetically) generally put LeBron defensively is more of a question and depends a lot on who his hypothetical teammates are.

    Livingston is definitely someone to look at depending on what price he commands.

    Massive,

    Okur’s a thought/possibility. If Utah lets Boozer walk and drafts a big guy, I don’t know that they make any core player available right away (maybe Koufos… who might fetch a 2nd rounder… and just let Fesenko walk). Even if they love the guy they draft, he can take Boozer’s minutes and it’s tough to count too much on a rookie stepping in and producing if you have title aspirations.
    You hear a lot of rumors they might look to ditch AK since he makes so much $. Only has one year left… maybe he’s not part of the long-term plan and/or they want to keep Boozer so they just save some $, but they may just suck it for one season if they think they’re a championship contender. Okur only has two years left. A lot could also depend on what they think of Kyrylo Fesenko (a free agent) and Kosta Koufos.
    If they’re looking to draft for need, I imagine they take a SG like James Anderson… Wes Matthews/CJ Miles appears to be their weakest spot on paper. I don’t advocate drafting for need, but some teams seem to do so.

    I agree that Oden can be an All-Star if he stays healthy. The thing is that when he hits free agency after next season… if he hasn’t stayed healthy that’s another nail in the couffin… and if he has and is an All-Star Center in his early 20s Portland is not letting him walk… So I guess the Knicks best hope of getting him is that he’s hurt again next seson, at which point he becomes a even more of a health risk. If he misses a good portion of next season even I will declare him Sam Bowie II, and I’ve been on his side for years.

  25. massive

    Ted,

    I would say the Knicks’ best hope for him would be him being healthy all season, but coming off the bench for Marcus Camby. Sort of like the Rudy Gay scenario in that they like him, but will under no circumstances overpay him. If they think that 9 mil a year is too much, I say we take the risk. I’d love to see Bosh/Stoudemire/Lee paired up with a healthy Oden. It would be hell for opposing teams. You’re probably right, though. If he’s healthy Portland will lock him up, they’d be foolish to do otherwise in this Center-starved league.

  26. JK47

    LeBron and Gallo could co-exist, even if both of them would be considered small forwards. LeBron plays in the paint a lot of the time, while Gallo hangs out on the perimeter. No problem there. On defense it’s not really problematic either, since LeBron can generally guard any player on the floor except C’s.

  27. massive

    I think LeBron and Gallo wouldn’t be a problem on offense, but on defense, Gallo would be guarding the 3, LeBron the 4, but the 5? There’s the real problem.

  28. JK47

    LeBron can realistically guard 2′s, 3′s and 4′s. The Knicks are still going to need a quality defender near the basket, and that’s going to be a tricky piece to add, no doubt about that.

  29. DS

    ESPN New York had a column yesterday that speculated about deals the Knicks could make in exchange for Curry’s expiring. They mentioned Okafor (my first choice), Biedrins, and Calderon.
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/39/who-wants-eddy-curry

    I think Okafor would alleviate a lot of concerns that we have about the Knicks’ interior D! Agreed?? Unfortunately, the Hornets may not have much incentive to dump him this summer.

    BTW, Ted –
    MSG stock is down 7% so far today. If you are confident it’s going up I think today’s the day to buy.

  30. ess-dog

    OK OK no Rubio… you all have convinced me that Douglas is the perfect fit next to Lebron (aside fom Steph Curry.)
    It looks like Dallas is making a play too. With Dirk, Kidd, Terry and Haywood, they would have a lot to offer, short term anyway.
    Finding a real center will be hard, but I’m guessing D’Antoni doesn’t want a traditional center anyway. If you go with Douglas, Lebron and Gallo as your perimeter, that still gives you a pretty fast team. Depending on what we do at the 4 (did you know Rudy Gay is 6’9″? he could be a 4 under D’Antoni) I could see coach wanting someone like Tyrus or Amir Johnson as a center. I’m not saying that is what he should do, but I can see that happening. As much as I like Lee, I think coach will want someone that can push the pace a bit more like Amare at the 4. Hell, a lineup of Douglas, Childress/Brewer, Lebron, Gallo, Bosh could work just fine under D’Antoni as long as we get the foul calls. Not sure if we have the $$ for that lineup, but you get the idea.
    I’m really starting to feel the anti-NY sentiment in the league/media now… that must mean we have a real legitimate shot at becoming pretty good next year. Having gone through all the hard times will make it that much sweeter.

  31. iserp

    “I’m really starting to feel the anti-NY sentiment in the league/media now… that must mean we have a real legitimate shot at becoming pretty good next year. Having gone through all the hard times will make it that much sweeter.”

    I’d say it is because everyone is tired of hearing about us. And you can see people are starting to hate on Lebron too (not me, that i hated him before this season….). I watched an iverson interview not so along that warned Lebron that the media can turn him into the bad guy fast. And if he bolts, it could happen really fast.

    I think we put too much importance on height for a C. Dwight Howard isn’t exactly the tallest guy out there, but he is the DPOY. I think Ty Thomas could be a great C if he put focus on it, but i am worried about him becoming another head case.

    BTW, Hollinger put his Draft Rater up, and it loves Greivis Vasquez and Jeff Foote. It would be nice if he is right, since we could pick them.

  32. d-mar

    On the topic of anti-NY sentiment around the media: Chris Broussard on ESPN.com ranks the Knicks “a distant third” behind Chicago and Cleveland in terms of their chances of signing LeBron. And this is a guy who used to be the Knicks beat writer for the NY Times. Must have been an ugly split.

  33. massive

    So according to ESPN Rumor Central, the Grizzlies are will to trade both their 25 & 28 picks. Picks that could turn into Kevin Seraphin and Willy Warren. Do we trade. But our two picks could be Lance Stephenson and Jerome Jordan, who impressed at the combine (or so I’ve read somewhere). It would be interesting to see what Memphis wants. It would be great if we could trade Bill Walker for the 25 and buy the 28. Then we’d have 4 picks in this “deep draft.”

  34. TDM

    @24 & 25 – re Oden: I think the best hope for Oden at this point is to have a resurgence like McDyess after he left the Knicks. He got healthy and was a solid role player with an occassional exceptional game, but not an All-Star. I would love to see him prove me wrong and have a HOF career, but I’m overly skeptical at this point.

    Re trading Curry – between Emeka and Biedrins, I think I’d take Biedrins because his deal is smaller and he appears to be a better rebounder, passer and shotblocker than Emeka. That said, I’d be content with either.

    There are some rumors being floated that Philly is looking to trade the #2, but the price is taking Brand as well. He has 3/50M remaining I believe. Is there any package of Curry + that would make it worhwhile for both teams? Although Wall would likely be gone, the Knicks could take Turner or trade down a few spots and take Cousins.

  35. JK47

    As much as I love Evan Turner’s game, I would think the price for extracting the #2 pick from Philly would be too high. Three years of a max-contract, badly declining Elton Brand… No thanks.

    I do like the idea of Okafor, who is durable and consistent. A Douglas/LeBron/Gallo/Bosh/Okafor lineup is one I would salivate over.

  36. massive

    I’m not too sure about Elton Brand either. He was great until he put on a 76ers jersey, but if that’s just him being old and out of shape, it would suck. If being back in his home state makes a difference and motivates to his stature from two years ago, I’d say do it. This moves us brings us a serviceable starter, a ROY candidate, the best player in the NBA, and still leaves us room to make a lopsided trade. I think us getting Brand though, might help us land Bosh. We give them a PF like Brand who could fit nicely next to Bargnani, but i think they’d want Turner too. If we just trade Brand for Bosh straight-up, we have Evan Turner, Chris Bosh and Gallo. Then, we can either trade for either Emeka Okafor, Andris Biedrins, or Tony Parker. Biedrins is the most likely, and not a bad choice.

    And I think there’s still money for LeBron lying around. So we LeBron and Bosh tearing the league up, with Turner and Gallo improving for the next 6 years. There is no way the league let’s this happen;

    PG: Evan Turner
    SG: LeBron James
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Chris Bosh
    C: Andris Biedrins

  37. TDM

    I said @37: “I think I’d take Biedrins because his deal is smaller and he appears to be a better rebounder, passer and shotblocker than Emeka.”

    I was wrrr- wrroo- wrrr-oonng! Damn that was hard. Turns out over their respective careers, Emeka has a slight advantage in blocking shots. Furthermore, although Biedrins if 4 years younger than Emeka, he has apparently had more trouble staying healthy. In only 2 of his 6 seasons has he been able to log more than 2000 minutes. Emeka in comparison has logged over 2300 minutes in 5 of his 6 seasons. I found this shocking because I’ve always thought of Emeka as injury prone. I guess my opinion was tainted by his early career.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=okafoem01&y1=2010&p2=biedran01&y2=2010

  38. ess-dog

    Good for Dirk. Maybe he’s finally tiring of Cuban’s assinine antics. Now he would be a great fit in Chicago. Whatever happens, it’s good news to have more quality fa’s out there.
    Re: the sixers, it’s tempting. Cousins will be a beast and he’s the kind of a-hole every great team needs (Perkins,artest etc.). But then you’re stuck with Brand. Douglas, James, Gallo, Brand, Cousins would be a tough team. You could then sign Lee over the cap I believe and start him and bring Brand off the bench. Or try and move enough salary to still do Bosh in a sign and trade. It leaves us young at pg and center, but that was basically the Celtic blueprint. Ultimately, it probably isn’t worth it though.

  39. ess-dog

    This of course is assuming that the sixers take curry in the deal. It could be their only offer.

  40. JK47

    Cousins is a tantalizing prospect, but he’s also high-risk. For starters, he’s a lard ass. Very high body fat percentage for a guy who is so young. And I love the hard-nosed style of play, but he seems a little crazy– like Rasheed Wallace-level crazy. He sulks and complains about calls constantly. He’s an intense guy but sometimes that can work against you.

    He could become a real impact player but I think there’s also a good chance he could eat himself out of the league and/or ruin a team’s chemistry. I would rather have Evan Turner and his diverse skill set with that #2 pick, but I will admit Cousins could become a beast in the NBA– sort of a shorter, fatter, nastier Dwight Howard.

  41. Loathing

    Any chance on making that sixer trade a 3 way, sending Brand to Toronto for Bosh and filling out the rest around that?

  42. massive

    @45,

    “but I will admit Cousins could become a beast in the NBA- sort of like a shorter, fatter, nastier Dwight Howard.”

    Both Cousins and Howard are listed at 6′ 11″. He does have the makings of another fat boy, though.

    @46,

    Bosh wouldn’t agree to that. His list was New York, Chicago, Los Angeles (Lakers, not Clippers), Miami, and Toronto. Not sure he’ll settle for Philly, wouldn’t be a bad place for him though.

  43. Robert Silverman

    Why would Toronto take Brand’s godawful contract and rapidly declining game for Bosh? If they’re gonna do a sign & trade, it’s going to be for young assets/pics

  44. Loathing

    right. Brand is filler. Add the #2 pick, Walker, Williams and the Knicks’ #2s.

  45. Z

    “Big game for A’mare, he sure played like a max player tonight.”

    A lot of people here at KB have been down on Amare, saying he is overrated. At the beginning of the playoffs one poster who shall remain nameless (Caleb) wrote:

    “when the Phoenix/Portland series is done, I don’t think there will be many people (on THIS website) lobbying for Amare over David Lee.”

    So, just out of curiosity, are statmeisters still down on Amare, or is he proving his critics wrong with his playoff performance? Just wondering, because he seems, off paper, to be playing pretty well.

  46. massive

    Man, I hope Amar’e doesn’t go to Miami. As a matter of fact, I think Miami should be the most worried about having to max out Rudy Gay and Boozer, at least if Wade leaves them high and dry for us or Chicago. I mean at least we have young, talented players and a ticket to next year’s free agency signings. Miami without Wade is a lot worse than Minnesota or New Jersey. If he’s gone, they will be screwed, badly.

  47. kaine

    Biedrins is way better than Okafur.
    Okafur doesn’t have the head to be a great player.

    to win in today nba you still need a big frontline.

    a biedrins-lee-gallo-lbj-douglas…it’s not dantonish, but will work.

  48. JK47

    I wouldn’t say Biedrins is “way better.” I like Biedrins’ game, and he is also younger than Okafor, but his durability is a question mark. He missed 1/4 of the 2008-2009 season and over half of last season. He’s a more efficient scorer than Okafor, but the rest of their numbers are very similar.

    On a per-minute basis Biedrins is the more effective player, but Okafor goes out there for 82 games every year, and that has to count for something. I’d be happy with either player, because either guy would really help our nonexistent frontline defense.

  49. kaine

    maybe Okafur is a better fit in the system

    Biedrins for me is a stronger presence in defense, but I agree that durability is a concern.

    If we get one of them I will be happy though

  50. massive

    I may be crazy, but if taking on Elton Brand’s contract means the number 2 pick, I say do it. Evan Turner can play 4 positions and is going to be big in this league. Brand didn’t start to stink until Philly, maybe its the contract. But I think if we put him around more talent than there was in Philly under Mike and Walsh, he’ll produce for us. That, or send him to Toronto for Bosh (if Bosh says he wants to be here, and they need a big body).

    But so much can go wrong here, which is where I see why anybody would be shaky to take this deal. Evan Turner could turn up a bust, something I don’t see coming, and Elton Brand could turn into Eddy Curry. A move like can this can either make Walsh brilliant, or Isiah Thomas 2.0. But in essence, we would only be giving up Eddy Curry’s deal. Nothing too valuable, considering a) Melo will be working out an extension with Denver this summer, b) Caron Butler couldn’t put Dallas over the top, c) Tim Duncan is old and loves the Spurs (can’t blame him), and d) Parker too loves the Spurs. Pretty much the whole free agent class, except for the 07 draft class, guys who should get locked-up long term this summer.

  51. JK47

    Why would the 76ers be so eager to get under the cap? I would think Evan Turner, a possible franchise player, would be worth a lot more than whatever cap space would be gained in the 2011 offseason. Brand’s contract is bad, but not so bad I would be willing to lose the rights to a very versatile, cost-controlled guy like Turner.

    It seems to make much more sense to try to make it work with Brand for a year or two, then in year three of that terrible contract he becomes an expiring and thus an asset. Evan Turner to the Knicks is a fantasy; there is no possible way it is going to happen.

  52. stratomatic

    Z,

    IMO Amare is a better player than Lee. That becomes clearer if you discount the early part of the season when he was still adjusting to issues with his eyes and recovering his condition.

    But the question remains is he better by enough to pay him the max when you can get Lee for a few million dollars less?

    In my opinion (and I give this kind of thing endless thought) it depends whether Lee is going to be your second best player or third/fourth best player.

    If you already have two studs, then I think you are usually better off taking the slightly inferior player for less money and getting good value (Lee). If you only have one stud, then I think you have to try to get a second one even if you have to overpay just a little because you need to get as much talent as you can get in the top couple of spots.

    I think we face the same issue with Bosh.

    In most cases I would WAY rather have Lee for 10.5m-13m than Bosh at the max, but if James comes and we only have room for one other big contract right now, I’d rather take Bosh than Lee + an extra few million to get a role player.

    Of course if we can convince Lebron to come with Lee instead of Bosh and be patient, then we could use the savings + Curry’s contract to bring in another high level player later on. But that may be a lot to ask.

  53. stratomatic

    With all the talk about a sign and trade for Bosh, can someone explain to me why James would come to NY under that scenario?

    The “story” goes that the Knicks can sign and trade Lee to the Raptors and they would be willing to sign and trade Bosh to the Knicks. That way Bosh gets an extra year and the extra money he wants and the Raps get a very good player in return. I can buy that much as a possibility.

    However, doesn’t that leave Bosh making more money than James unless we also do a sign and trade with the Cavs?

    What can we offer to the Cavs that would prompt them to say yes to a sign and trade instead of simply accepting all the cap room to make independent moves later?

    If the Cavs say no (which I think would be reasonable unless they actually get some kind of value back), would James be willing to play for less than Bosh?

    We have no first round picks left unless you want to go out to 2014 (can’t trade 2013 because we traded 2012) and don’t have any other players we want to move other than perhaps Chandler.

  54. greatscott

    Keep in mind Lee is still improving. If he does what he says he will this off-season he can be better than A’mare if he isn’t already right now and at less money.

  55. Ted Nelson

    @60

    The Knicks can make a sign-and-trade with Cleveland without sending back any salary at all since they will be far enough under the cap. The Magic just sent a 2nd rounder or something to s&t for Lewis. If the Cavs know LeBron is gone they might take Wilson Chandler to at least have another wing player to compete with Parker and Moon for minutes. Douglas, Gallo, 2 2nd rounders this year, involving a 3rd team to take Curry’s expiring deal are all possibilities… No one wants to trade Gallo (probably including LeBron), but if that’s the only thing standing between the Knicks and a LeBron/Bosh core… doubt it’s an issue.

    The Cavs are over 46 million in cap space if LeBron leaves. That’s with 9 players, so I believe there are 3 roster holds on top of that. At 47.5 mill I’m not sure Cleveland can offer a FA much more than the MLE, if anything.

    It would be pretty marginally less than Bosh. something like 3-5 million over the first 5 years and then the Knicks could resign LeBron long-term as soon as he becomes eligible for an extension. With endorsements there’s little doubt LeBron could be taking home significantly more income than Bosh. He had little say in the matter, I suppose, but LeBron made 4.2 mill less than Shaq this season… I assume that the answer is yes, LeBron would play for marginally less than Bosh (or Wade) if he surveys his options and decides that playing in NYC with Bosh is his favorite option.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Bosh also might come over without a s&t if he knows he’s coming to be LeBron’s wingman.

    “I would say the Knicks’ best hope for him would be him being healthy all season, but coming off the bench for Marcus Camby.”

    If he’s healthy all season I doubt Portland lets him go. Even if Camby is their #1 center all season, the guy is approaching 40 and would only have one more year on his deal at that point. They could try to make a big splash in free agency 2011, but the way he played early this season I don’t think Portland lets him go after a healthy season. Portland’s owner, Paul Allen, was Bill Gates’ partner starting microsoft and is one of the richest men in the world. Unless they want to make a play for Melo or another free agent(s) or a trade for Chris Paul, I don’t think money will be an issue in retaining Oden. They already overpaid Aldridge.

    “I think Okafor would alleviate a lot of concerns that we have about the Knicks’ interior D! Agreed??”

    I’m not a fan of Okafor at the 5. I would probably take Biedrins over him. Okafor has been overmatched this season in NO, and I think he was better off at the 4 in Charlotte. Okafor also has a bad back, makes significantly more money, and is 4 years older than Biedrins. It really comes down to which team, if either, wants to dump one.

    “(did you know Rudy Gay is 6?9?? he could be a 4 under D’Antoni)”

    I’m not sure that Gay is an improvement over Chandler. If they made the exact same amount of money, I’m not sure I’d take Gay over Chandler. And I’m not a huge Chandler fan…

    ” Hell, a lineup of Douglas, Childress/Brewer, Lebron, Gallo, Bosh could work just fine under D’Antoni as long as we get the foul calls. Not sure if we have the $$ for that lineup, but you get the idea.”

    Until they run into a frontcourt like Boston’s or LA’s in the playoffs, yeah. They’d win 60 games and be unlikely to win a title, in my opinion.
    Don’t think the Knicks could sign LeBron and Bosh and still have anything to go for Childress/Brewer. Could try to sign-and-trade Douglas, Chandler, AND Walker or something maybe to make salaries work after capped out.

    “I think we put too much importance on height for a C. Dwight Howard isn’t exactly the tallest guy out there, but he is the DPOY.”

    In pre-game Howard stands next to Patrick Ewing and appears to be the same height to me.
    I don’t think you should put too much emphasis on straight height, but interior talent is very valuable. To me if you have a PF at C and a SF at PF you’re going to be vulnerable in the more physical playoffs (compared to regular season), unless those two players are uniquely talented. Tyrus Thomas, for example, would be giving up 35-70+ pounds along with a few inches to the guy he’s guarding every night. That’s tough to overcome against the more talented bigs.

  57. Ted Nelson

    I would not call Brand’s game declining. He had a better 09-10 than 08-09. His game dropped off a cliff, but he actually came back and had an average 09-10. He’s one of the most overpaid guys in the leauge–no argument from me there–but I think the word “declining” is a mischaracterization: there’s no indication that it’s a downward trend at this point. Maybe he’s leveled off at this point. Maybe he’s fully healthy next season and actually plays better than this season.

    “re Oden: I think the best hope for Oden at this point is to have a resurgence like McDyess after he left the Knicks. He got healthy and was a solid role player with an occassional exceptional game, but not an All-Star. I would love to see him prove me wrong and have a HOF career, but I’m overly skeptical at this point.”

    Big difference there is that McDyess was 30 when he got healthy in Detroit. Oden will be 23 next season. McDyess was also someone who rellied a lot on his athleticism to become a star in the first place. He was largely an inefficient scorer and mediocre rebounder. He mostly scored a lot of points on bad teams (except his one season in Phoenix, which is still his career year… having both Jason Kidd AND Steve Nash on the team might have helped his scoring efficiency a bit to what is his career high for a full season…). Oden’s game is about size, defense, rebounding, and efficient scoring close to the basket. He was never going to win many foot races or agility drills, I don’t think.

    “There are some rumors being floated that Philly is looking to trade the #2, but the price is taking Brand as well.”

    Problem is that this would have to happen BEFORE free agency. If the Knicks are skeptical of their chances of getting LeBron and love someone #2, maybe it makes sense. To spend all this energy going for LeBron and then pull out at the last minute… would be a PR nightmare. If the Sixers take back Curry, maybe. If the Sixers somehow took nothing but Curry for Brand/#2 the Knicks could offer LeBron a core of LeBron-Lee-Gallo-Cousins/Turner/Favors… I don’t know if an unproven rookie is going to convince LeBron to come though…

    “I would think the price for extracting the #2 pick from Philly would be too high. Three years of a max-contract, badly declining Elton Brand… No thanks.”

    If this weren’t the greatest FA year ever, I may disagree. You are basically paying Brand + #2 a combined $23 million. If Turner or Cousins or Favors or Johnson is a legitmate max $ player, think of it as paying him max $ and Brand the $5 mill per #2 contract. If the #2 pick is a bust… you’re an Isiah level idiot for making that deal even before considering the LeBron ramifications…

    “I do like the idea of Okafor, who is durable and consistent”

    I feel like Okafor is badly overmatched at C. He had a mediocre year in NO, not worth his contract. Then again, a healthy Chris Paul might help Okafor’s offense tremendously. His defense at C appeared to be below average, though. He’s been very durable for 3 seasons, but his first 3 seasons he missed a ton of time. He’s also 28 already next season, which isn’t old but also isn’t young.

    “Furthermore, although Biedrins if 4 years younger than Emeka, he has apparently had more trouble staying healthy. In only 2 of his 6 seasons has he been able to log more than 2000 minutes. Emeka in comparison has logged over 2300 minutes in 5 of his 6 seasons.”

    I don’t know anything about Biedrins health, so it may be a problem. Fouls also limit his minutes when he is healthy. I don’t think it’s obvious you take Biedrins over Okafor, but I don’t think it’s as obvious in the other direction as conventional wisdom perscribes.

    “Douglas, James, Gallo, Brand, Cousins would be a tough team. You could then sign Lee over the cap I believe and start him and bring Brand off the bench.”

    You’d have to renounce Lee to take back Brand, #2, and sign LeBron. Not even sure the Knicks could take back Brand and #2 (Thabeet made just shy of $5 mill this season) and still sign LeBron. Also not sure LeBron signs hoping that an unproven rookie makes it.

    I think the Sixers might get other offers for #2. Capped out teams can also compete with the Curry offer. They cannot compete with a straight up immediate salary dump, though.

    “Evan Turner can play 4 positions and is going to be big in this league. Brand didn’t start to stink until Philly”

    Kwame Brown was going to be big in this league, too. Eddy Curry is big in this league, but in the wrong sense of the word… Being a top 5 pick is a guarantee of nothing. I like Turner and Cousins and Favors all as prospects, but you have to realize that the opportunity cost of trading for one of them is likely a chance to sign LeBron.

    “But in essence, we would only be giving up Eddy Curry’s deal.”

    I doubt it. Again, capped out teams can make a play if the Knicks insist on including Curry. A rich capped out team with an expiring or a few reasonable contracts Philly would like can beat the Eddy Curry straigh-up offer. Even Eddy Curry for Brand/#2 would eat about $12 mill in cap space.

    “Why would the 76ers be so eager to get under the cap?”

    I don’t know, but that’s the rumor out there right now. They might be looking for more than cap space to do it. A young player or two perhaps. They may just be exploring their options. Their ownership/finance department may have told them cut $20 mill off of next year’s payroll. The rumor may be 100% false. No idea.

  58. Ted Nelson

    @52

    Amare is a great scorer. Overall one of the best in the NBA if not the best. For a team like the Knicks without another top scorer, I might take Amare over Lee. Bosh has been as good a scorer as Amare this season and carried good/very good offenses on his back multiple times in an NBA season. It becomes a little tougher there, and it might come down to what you think about them both defensively. Bosh is a better rebounder and playmaker than Amare, but probably more likely not to repeat his 09-10 scoring.

    The two big question marks with Amare, besides doing little outside of scoring most nights, are #1 What can he do without Steve Nash passing him the ball? and #2 How will he age if he loses some athleticism? (He’ll be 28 next season so a 6 year deal wouldn’t end till he’s 33.)

    @59

    I would take it further than just $. If Lee is your #3 or #4 guy, he can rebound, pass, and score efficiently without having plays called for him. If Amare is your #3 or 4 scoring option, what else is he doing out there? Nothing. He’s a straight scorer.

    “In most cases I would WAY rather have Lee for 10.5m-13m than Bosh at the max, but if James comes and we only have room for one other big contract right now, I’d rather take Bosh than Lee + an extra few million to get a role player.”

    The difference between $13 mill and the max does not cost you a role player, at least not if you’re a team willing to go into the luxury tax. Clearly the Knicks are. Every season you’re capped out you have the MLE (at least under this CBA). At $7 mill per, you’re losing less than that by signing a max guy instead of a $13 million guy. Knicks might lose out on a $3-7 mill player in year 1, but they can turn around and sign someone for the MLE in 2011.

    “Of course if we can convince Lebron to come with Lee instead of Bosh and be patient, then we could use the savings + Curry’s contract to bring in another high level player later on.”

    Possible.

  59. stratomatic

    @65

    “I would take it further than just $. If Lee is your #3 or #4 guy, he can rebound, pass, and score efficiently without having plays called for him. If Amare is your #3 or 4 scoring option, what else is he doing out there? Nothing. He’s a straight scorer.”

    The point I was making is that many people feel that Amare and Bosh are clearly legitimate #2 scoring options on a championship caliber team with either Lebron or Wade, but feel that Lee may not be. So if you spend a lot of money on Lee and he’s your theoretical 3rd option, you still need a #2.

    Point being that even if Lee is the better “value” at the salaries because of the other things he does as well or better, strategically it might not be the correct move to sign him and start searching for a legit #2 you can add at a later date because it could be difficult to find that player and make the salaries work.

    I suppose the internal debate at the Knicks (and ultimately with Lebron) will be can Lee be the #2 guy and can you afford to pay a #3 what Lee will command (even if he’s a good value) and still make eveything work.

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