2020 All Star Game Thread

Let’s see if the Elam Ending adds any interest to the end of the game. Here is more on an idea that has always been catnip for basketball stats types.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bostonglobe.com/sports/celtics/2020/02/15/nba-not-closing-door-elam-ending/qzGsGGXnATO38mXCCYg6HK/story.html%3foutputType=amp

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356 thoughts to “2020 All Star Game Thread”

  1. Repost:

    Anyway, instead of talking about whether or not we should trade first round picks for a 35 year old making $40M, or about whether or not a guy who may be in Europe in two years was a good use of the 8th overall pick, or about whether or not the 17-38 Knicks should have a dismissive attitude towards “limited role players” (the kind the Nets assembled a team of before signing KD and Kyrie), maybe we can move on to some draft talk?

    If we don’t get a point guard with our first pick, Kira Lewis looks kind of interesting to me with one of our next two. He’s only 18 despite being a Sophomore and projects to be a pretty decent shooter. The statistical profile wasn’t all there as a Freshman but that was somehow his age 17 season and it still wasn’t all that bad. Also you ain’t gonna find the perfect prospect in this range.

    Looking at some tape, he seems pretty damn athletic for his size, and he’s plenty quick. Seems to give a damn on defense too. Any thoughts?

  2. Do people have a good website for scouting college players? Since DraftExpress got bought by ESPN, I’m not sure where to look

  3. Got no idea about Lewis but Halliburton is done for the season.

    The Stepien has draft coverage as well as nbadraft.net but you will have to ask the real draftniks….

  4. Russell signed to a contract that was just traded for one of the better picks moved in a long time. Where can I sign up for this dreaded fate?

    I think you know it’s disingenuous to imply Russell fetched that pick on his own. I’d estimate at 50% of the cost of that pick was absorbing Wiggins’ albatross.

    Look here’s the bottom line:

    1. What’s the best way to acquire a franchise player if you’re the Knicks? I used to be on board with tanking but now that gives you a 3-4% chance. Now it seems much easier to sign a free agent, but you need to not suck.

    2. If you want to not suck, are you willing to rent a player who doesn’t fit your timeline to help speed the process up?

    You’re not going to be able to definitively prove that it’s a bad strategy. It’s a strategy that you wouldn’t pursue but it’s a decent strategy and the odds are probably higher than 3-4%.

  5. I think you know it’s disingenuous to imply Russell fetched that pick on his own. I’d estimate at 50% of the cost of that pick was absorbing Wiggins’ albatross.

    I mean, maybe, but we know for a fact Russell’s contract had positive value. They were shopping him to multiple teams, including the one we spend too much time talking about. It’s just absurd to compare the acquisition of a 22 year old with two years remaining on his rookie deal to acquiring a 35 year old making $85M over the next two years. I don’t really know what more to say about that. One of these things is very much not like the other.

    1. What’s the best way to acquire a franchise player if you’re the Knicks? I used to be on board with tanking but now that gives you a 3-4% chance. Now it seems much easier to sign a free agent, but you need to not suck.

    2. If you want to not suck, are you willing to rent a player who doesn’t fit your timeline to help speed the process up?

    I’m not sure what you mean by “tanking” in this context. I’ve never called for intentionally throwing games or whatever.

    All I want is for our win total to reflect our young core. We screwed ourselves over in 2017 and 2018 because despite having exactly one intriguing young player on those rosters (Porzingis), we picked below teams with more impressive cores because Phil Jackson loved him some marginal wins.

    The Nets attracted free agents with players who would still be on their roster when those free agents joined. Ditto for the Clippers, though that’s a useless comparison because we have no Chris Pauls or Blake Griffins to trade. If we’re going to attract free agents, I want to do it the exact same way the Nets did. I don’t see what’s so crazy about that, I mean we know for a fact it worked. That means we can confirm it worked at least one more time than the “get a ton of wins from an old ass player and hope this fools free agents into thinking…

  6. Continued because the character counter is a damn liar:

    …you’re sustainably good” method.

  7. The Stepien is great. Tankathon works well as a kind of database of the relevant names that you can then do your own research on. Those are the main two sites I use for draft stuff.

  8. I saw a Knicks fan on twitter talking about RJ’s plus/minus in the rising stars game which says a lot about where we are as a franchise

  9. Anyone know anything about this Kendric Davis kid at SMU? He’s 21 and short but he’s been super productive.

    All the touted freshman seem to be not particularly productive, playing overseas, or hurt.

  10. Okongwu seems interesting to me. And Carey. But I like my bigs.

    Just eyeballing VCJ’s numbers I find it very hard to believe he is projected out of the lottery….

  11. All I want is for our win total to reflect our young core

    And I ceased agreeing with you after the lottery odds changed and the headline free agents all started going to mediocre teams in NY & LA. Now I would like to bring in 1-2 *good* vets (not Bobby Portis) a year on short term deals to supplement our young core while continuing to do all the proven rebuilding methods you espouse.

    That’s it.

  12. The Nets attracted free agents with players who would still be on their roster when those free agents joined.

    There’s 4 guys from that team still here. Two (Dinwiddie & Harris) were scrap heap pickups that Chris Paul would not preclude you from signing. Two (Allen & LeVert) were acquired with the kind of trades we would still be able to make with Chris Paul on the roster (him and all our rookies is barely 60% of the cap).

  13. Two (Allen & LeVert) were acquired with the kind of trades we would still be able to make with Chris Paul on the roster (him and all our rookies is barely 60% of the cap).

    No, we could not. Even if you renounce all of our cap holds (including Dotson and Trier) and waive all of our non-guranteeds (including Bullock), taking Chris Paul directly into cap space would leave us with just ~$7.4M in cap space remaining if you assume the cap holds for our pick and the Clippers’ pick where they currently stand (5 and 25). Seems you’re forgetting about one Dubious Handles.

    We would almost definitely miss out on the salary dump market with just $7.4M, and this involves doing what I think is some questionable stuff just to get there (getting rid of Trier’s small cap hold, waiving Bullock, arguably waiving Payton, etc.).

  14. If we insist on signing free agents and trying to be decent, here’s a path I’m not sold on but find somewhat more appealing than the Paul scenario:

    1. Renounce everyone on the team this year (I think we should see if Trier can be retained but it seems like that ship has sailed, so whatever)

    2. Waive every non-guranteed except Payton and Ellington

    3. Make all 3 draft picks and sign them to their deals (I’ll go with Hayes, Tyler Bey, and Devon Dotson as placeholders but doesn’t really matter)

    4. Give Christian Wood and Jerami Grant 4/$60M each (is this too high? Too low? I have no idea, seems right-ish for now)

    5. Try to use the remaining ~$10M in space to take on salary dumps, otherwise keep exploring the market for productive guys in the age range we just signed

    Go into 2020-2021 with:

    PG: Hayes/Payton/DSJ/Ntilikina/Dotson
    SG: Bullock/Barrett/Ntilikina/Dotson
    SF: Grant/Bey/Knox
    PF: Wood/Randle/Grant/Knox/Brazdeikis
    C: Mitch/Randle/filler center

    Could be decent-ish? Tough to say, would be watchable I think. Try to trade Bullock and/or Payton during the season for assets.

    Next season, bye bye Randle, bye bye Knox, bye bye Ntilikina. We’ve got Hayes, Barrett, Grant, Wood, Mitch, Devon Dotson, Bey, and Brazdeikis under contract with both our own pick and the Mavs’ pick to make and around $40-$45M in cap space.

  15. Alright… Now I just saw on Twitter that Silver is going to change the All Star MVP award to the Kobe Award… This is where the rape shit starts to come in to play imo.

    You just can’t. You can’t do that.

  16. Dammit, I’m reading r/nba and they’re saying it’s the best ASG ever, like a game of streetball? I suppose the Elam Ending just got itself some play.

    Gotta be win by 2, though. The ability to have teams trading FGs back and forth would be nail-biting entertainment.

  17. only caught the first half of the game…sounds like I should catch the second half…

    recorded el camino…getting ready to watch it now…I’m so excited…

  18. Since you’re just seeing it now, I’ll just say that Todd singing ‘Sharing the night together’ in the car is classic BB. To me it was like a big 2 part episode, tying up some loose ends from BB.

    At the end of season 4 of Better Call Saul, Jimmy McGill is officially reinstated as a lawyer and is now referring to himself as Saul Goodman. The Mike / Gustavo Fring / Salamanca stories are ramping up – I can’t wait for the new season starting next week. In Vince Gilligan I trust.

  19. “I definitely prefer Knicks garbage time over All Star Game intro …”

    As someone who had a black roommate in prep school from ’68-’70 and we had a steady diet of George Clinton funk, Curtis Mayfield and Issac Hayes playing along side CSN&Y and the Moody Blues, listening to the lame attempt of retards attempting poetry during the introductions forced me to turn it off…..

    Something like comparing Green Eggs and Ham to A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning……

  20. “Alright… Now I just saw on Twitter that Silver is going to change the All Star MVP award to the Kobe Award… This is where the rape shit starts to come in to play imo.

    You just can’t. You can’t do that.”

    No…. you can’t…. Better the MVP of the Summer League if they feel the need to do something eternally stupid…..

  21. >>>2. If you want to not suck, are you willing to rent a player who doesn’t fit your timeline to help speed the process up?<<<

    I wouldn't use the term "rent".

    I would ask this.

    Are you willing to put players into cap space that will improve your team in the short term in order to make you more attractive to premier free agents and possibly get your younger players needed playoff experience "and then get that cap space back later" even if they may not be productive for more than 3-4 years?

    Point being, that if you add a player on a different time line, you are not making a permanent negative move of some kind. You are trading some position in the draft now for other actual and potential benefits.

    Personally, I think it all depends on the actual age of the player, value of the contract, possibility of getting into the playoffs, quality and position of draft, probability of attracting a key free agent etc..

    There is NO MAGIC FORMULA.

    I simply think we should not automatically be dismissive of some 28-29 year old player on a 3-4 year contract because we are obsessed with our draft position. There are other things to consider besides draft position that imho we have tended to underrate here.

  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFMzq_rQFSo

    They neeeeeeeeed to do this in real games. Start with overtime periods, first to 15, win by 2. Can’t win on a FT, but made FTs over the limit would subtract 1 point from the other team (saw this on Reddit, love the idea). Figure out some system where fouling would be punitive enough to discourage it.

    There would never be a foul-and-pray/time-management ending ever again. Every OT game would be competitive basketball until the final shot. I’m so glad that it worked last night and the players gave us nearly the best-case scenario.

    There really is no downside.

    OMG NO SPOILERS ON BETTER CALL SAUL DAMMIT

  23. RE; the ASG – I was thinking towards the end of the 4th quarter how awesome it was that the best players on the planet were really getting into each other and there were no open shots or dunks. And it was kind of funny that the refs, who at All Star games typically just run up and down the court and call out of bounds, had to work pretty hard in the 4th quarter.

    Unfortunately, a lot of fouls and replays and by the end it kind of resembled the way too long and drawn out conclusion of a close NBA game. But definitely worth keeping the format.

  24. According to Berman, scouts are being told the top priority is to get a scoring pg in the draft. So LaMelo, Cole, Maxey maybe…? I guess there are lots of options, but any good ones?

  25. If we didn’t whiff on every pick from the last 3 years we could field a decent team. Why bother signing 30 year olds?

    Even with our firsts sucking, we landed Trier, Mitch, Dotson, Kornet. If we draft Mikal over Knox, we field a team with decent role players on cheap contracts.

    Elfrid
    Dotson/Frank/Trier
    Bridges/Dotson
    Randle
    Kornet (for spacing w/ Randle)/Mitch

  26. Posting this from a few threads back, because Strat pointing to the riskiness of building through draft is going to happen and he didn’t respond the first time:

    [Knox’s and Ntilikina’s] stories are not over yet, but they are just as much evidence for how hard it is to come up with the right player in the draft as are all of Hinkie’s failures at the very top of the draft. It’s not easy.

    This is absolute nonsense. Knox projected very poorly in pre-draft metrics and Ntilikina was a big fuckin’ black box. The Knicks took flyers on (1) a player who had performed poorly at Kentucky, had poor “measurables” re: athleticism, and had a good showing during a 3-on-3 and (2) a player who had played an astounding 1,046 minutes over 4 seasons in LNB Pro A and Euroleague.

    So you should qualify your statement with the following:

    [Knox’s and Ntilikina’s] stories are not over yet, but they are just as much evidence for how hard it is to come up with the right player in the draft if you are relying on extremely limited data, or ignoring any analysis that opposes your preconceptions about a player, as are all of Hinkie’s failures at the very top of the draft. It’s not easy when you are relying solely on gut feeling and professional scouting “expertise.”

    Virtually every thoughtful poster on this board saw Knox’s pre-draft profile and ran the other way. Would we have collectively selected the “right” player in their place? Not sure. But the Knicks made a pair of concrete decisions that have proved disastrous. This was not being unlucky — it was being bad.

    The Knicks didn’t expect to be this terrible after drafting Knox and Ntilikina. This was not intentional. We, however, did expect this to happen. And no one would argue that this — drafting relative unknowns, or despite poor projections, and riding them to sustained bottom-feeding — is the “correct” way to exploit the draft.

  27. >>>Point being, that if you add a player on a different time line, you are not making a permanent negative move of some kind. You are trading some position in the draft now for other actual and potential benefits.<<<

    And here I agree with you 100%. I think we differ vastly in how to execute the strategy, but I agree with this aspect of the Strat Team Building Philosophy.

    The idea that *every* player needs to be young strikes me as slavish devotion to an argument. You need a guy to come in and help players on the court and to pull us up out of the morass of LOL Knicks. Ideally he would be 24 and on a cheap contract but if you can't find that, to ignore an older player who can do the same thing is idealogical rigidity.

  28. I think with Knox, the team talked themselves into the fact that he was a late bloomer to explain away his stats. After all, he didn’t switch over from football to basketball until his junior year in high school. By that age, Doncic was already masterful at the game.

    Can he make up for that lost time now? I’m not sure. I would say surely not in the way the Knicks have tried to coach him up. He looks like a guy that still needs to do a lot of work on the fundamentals: dribble drills and such.

  29. Adam Zagoria is reporting Jay Wright to the Knicks is a strong possibility.

    That sure as hell beats Mark Jackson. I’d probably love that hire.

    ——————

    We’re looking at Cole Anthony, LaMelo Ball, and I pray Killian Hayes. Cole Anthony is a solid 3 years away from being good, LaMelo Ball could either be Shaun Livingston 2.0 or Michael Carter Williams, and Hayes is the only point guard in the lottery I can get myself excited about. I’m also seeing they want a shooter with the LAC pick. If Aaron Nesmith is available, we have to take him there. I’d much rather grab Obi Toppin and Aaron Nesmith this year and worry about a point guard next year. It doesn’t make sense to reach for a kid because of need.

  30. PG: Hayes/Payton/DSJ/Ntilikina/Dotson
    SG: Bullock/Barrett/Ntilikina/Dotson
    SF: Grant/Bey/Knox
    PF: Wood/Randle/Grant/Knox/Brazdeikis
    C: Mitch/Randle/filler center

    ^ If this is our team next year, what’s the KB consensus on wins?

    I’d guess that’s a 24 win team with a couple more years of LOL Knicks guaranteed while we spend entire seasons praying for our 14% ship to come in.

    Let’s trade two years of enhanced lottery odds for two years of being a real NBA team, and see what happens when we enter the free agent market when we’re not the laughing stock of the NBA. If the guy who can do that for us happens to be 35 not 25, so be it.

  31. PG: Paul, Halliburton
    SG: Bullock, Barrett
    SF: Harkless, Frank, Brazdeikis
    PF: Gallinari, Knox
    C: Robinson, Gibson, Wooten

    ^ Would that not be the best Knicks team of the last 20 years?

    Maybe it doesn’t win as many games as the 54 win team but I think the presence of younger players (perfectly slotted into limited roles until they mature) and the abundance of future picks makes it a better team in the larger picture.

    I can’t get my head around the idea that you wouldn’t be into that because **one** of the players is 35 years old. That more years of this shit is better.

  32. Yeah, for point guard, I’d rather grab a good vet because young pgs are slow to develop. Hayes seems like a good choice except for the turnovers, but maybe that can be fixed. I still like Haliburton, too, but he’s not a “scorer.” Lots of people like Maxey, and he might be a good fit next to RJ, but he can probably be had later in the draft?

    Whoever they pick, I’m sure it will be the wrong choice!

  33. Also, I’m convinced Chris Paul is aging like Steve Nash did. It’s a huge money commitment but because of his age we’d get him at a discount relative to his production and he’d do wonders for the development of Mitchell Robinson. There’s also the added benefit of having the current president of the NBPA on your roster to “revitalize the image of the brand” as far as stupid things like that go, but I’d pay Chris Paul $40M a year if it meant something like Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, and the LAC 2020 pick. I wouldn’t trade Dallas’ 2021 pick because that team is a Doncic injury away from picking in the top 10.

    For me, I identify Mitchell Robinson as a potential superstar and feel the same way about RJ Barrett. If you put CP3, Reggie Bullock, and Obi Toppin around those two with sprinklings of Taj Gibson and Mo Harkless, I think you’ve given both of those guys the spacing and infrastructure necessary to grow and develop. I hate our current approach of adding talent with no regards to cohesion and watching our prospects plateau at “could’ve been special.” Mitch and RJ deserve a chance, and CP3 for 2 years could be that chance. I’d do it so long as we don’t break the asset bank to do it.

  34. >>>if it meant something like Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, and the LAC 2020 pick<<<

    The trade value of Paul is really the great unknown here. You can make a good case that we should get a pick for acquiring him and a good case that it will cost a pick to acquire him. As much as I like him, I would not give up as much as you proposed here.

    The Clippers 1st is the only thing of value I would give up, and I'd be hesitant to do that.

    Randle should be able to net you some value in a trade (two seconds?), and I think even Smith can bring you in a 2nd rounder. Knox is currently garbage but I wouldn't throw him away so quickly.

  35. The idea that every player has to be young and on the same timeline is wrong because not every young player progresses at the same rate and not every old player declines at the same rate either.

    No one would argue that we should overpay for mediocre veterans. But a 28 year old NBA player could easily have 7 seasons of productive basketball ahead of him. You aren’t getting that player on the upswing as far as improvement but players don’t just fall off a cliff when they hit 30.

    You wouldn’t want to build your team around them completely, but if its a position of need, a good contract and it will help the younger players learn how to win and improve the team, we shouldn’t ignore the possibility of adding an older player simply because of their age. There are people on this site who wouldn’t sign a 28 year old because they are too old. That seems silly to me.

    Once you’re respectable, it becomes much easier to replace an aging player with another one and not overpay. Bad teams HAVE to overpay because they’re bad and you’re asking a veteran to join a bad team instead of a good one. There is a price for that.

    I get not wanting to overpay for a few extra wins for a team with a lot of young players. But the lottery odds are flattened anyways and The Knicks have been so bad for so long, it might be in our interest to just be a decent team. Not a good one or a great one, but like a decent one that makes the playoffs consistently. Not being the laughingstock of the NBA would probably help us with attracting future free agents. I mean, once STAT joined us and we became a playoff team Melo and Chandler wanted to come here. People may balk at that but everyone loved Tyson and Melo was a peak all-star player. And that was off the backs of half a season of respectable basketball.

  36. Shouldn’t a team with one actual good player on their roster draft the best player available with every pick rather than draft the best scoring pg????

  37. Would that not be the best Knicks team of the last 20 years?

    I really don’t mean to be a pedant, but since the salary cap is what determines that contours of this entire discussion it’s kind of important to take it into account. If it didn’t exist, everything would be a lot different from the win curve, the value of draft picks, the merits of signing veterans, etc.

    You can see where I’m going with this. Even if we waive all the non-guaranteeds except Gibson/Bullock who you want to keep, renounce Trier/Dotson/Harkless, and somehow get rid of Randle (which might cost us an asset, so now we’re out that asset and whichever ones we’re trading for Paul), we’re down to $17M in space (assuming you trade the Clippers’ pick for Paul–blech) after you add Paul. That’s not going to be enough for Gallinari alone, forget Harkless and Wooten.

    Now, you can get rid of Gibson and have around $24M in space (again, assuming we’ve somehow taken care of our Julius Randle problem). That would probably be enough for Gallinari…but this Gallinari thing opens up a whole new can of worms. He’ll probably want, and deserves, at least 3/$60M. He’ll be 32 when next season starts. He has an extensive injury history. All of the sudden we’ve got nearly half the cap tied up in 32+ year olds with extensive injury histories, and we’re completely reliant on those guys to deliver us this “respectability.”

    Sounds Knicksy! I’ll stick with not doing any of this.

  38. >>And here I agree with you 100%. I think we differ vastly in how to execute the strategy, but I agree with this aspect of the Strat Team Building Philosophy.<<

    I doubt we disagree much on the execution either.

    I've defended certain moves in the past "after the fact" even though I was "opposed" to them at the time they were made, because I perceived an extremism in the opposite direction where anything less than an all out tank was practically considered insanity. I disagreed with that idea then and still do.

    When you are missing 2 fist round picks in the next 4 years, Chandler wants out, Felton is facing gun charges and is untradeable, JR Smith is untying shoelaces and rumored to be out getting stoned with Shumpert every night and is untradable, you are in a tough position to rebuild or tank because you have few assets and have to give away even more to move some of the bad contracts.

    I would have taken a different path than we took, but at that stage our Texas Hold'm hand was 7-2 off suit.

    There was no path that was good except folding the hand, but you aren't allowed to do that.

    IMO, there never was (and still isn't) a full appreciation for how horrid our position was at that time. There were no good moves. Even trading Melo (which I wanted to do), wasn't going to get us a top young player or very high lottery pick to work with. I wanted to trade Melo (something is better than nothing), but that something was not going turn us around and we'd still have a terrible asset position going forward to take advantage of the tank while we were horrible over the next few years.

    Original intent or not, being ranked 2nd in the year of Towns/KP was the best we could possibly hope for (that was a year we finally had a pick). We dropped to 4th in the lottery and got KP. That was a terrific outcome. But we continued to make a lot of mistakes in EXECUTION (not strategy) after that even though we've slowly improved the cap and draft position.

  39. I’d guess that’s a 24 win team with a couple more years of LOL Knicks guaranteed while we spend entire seasons praying for our 14% ship to come in.

    Well we’re currently on a 25 win pace so I would hope the addition of Wood and Grant and their respective .660 and .580 true shooting percentages on fairly high usage would not make us worse.

    I said at the outset that it still probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but at least in this scenario we’re not trying to fool anybody. We can legitimately tell free agents they’d be joining, not replacing, productive players. In this scenario those players are not 32 and 35.

    Again, if I were making the decisions we’d probably “sit around and draft” like the idiotic Grizzlies, Nets, Sixers, Lakers, and Bucks did. But if we’re going to spend money, I’m spending it on guys who aren’t potentially a day away from falling off a cliff.

  40. I would have taken a different path than we took, but at that stage our Texas Hold’m hand was 7-2 off suit.

    There was no path that was good except folding the hand, but you aren’t allowed to do that.

    Maybe, but to stick with this analogy Phil in his infinite wisdom LITERALLY went all in. Like, he signed the largest contract in the NBA at the time with a full no trade clause. He took a look at these woeful circumstances you’re describing and said “let’s stick with all of that.”

    What a buffoon.

  41. Gallo isn’t coming here. If we want Chris Paul we need to get picks for taking him, his contract is a negative value today and he’s at the age where he can fall off a cliff

  42. TNFH the team I described fits under the cap.

    I am operating under the assumption that Randle, Payton, and Smith can be traded. Ellington, Portis, and Trier are all waived.

    I estimated Gallo at his current $22 million salary, Harkless at the cost of the NBA mid-level, and Wooten on a minimum deal.

    Paul: $41mm
    Gallo: $22mm (estimated)
    Harkless: $9.5mm (estimated)
    Barrett: $8mm
    Noah: $6.5mm
    Frank: $6mm
    2020 pick: $6mm (estimated)
    Knox: $4.5mm
    Bullock: $4mm
    Mitch: $1.6mm
    Iggy: $1.5mm
    Wooten: $1mm

    Total: $111.5mm (salary cap at $115mm).

    You have to get a little creative to bring Taj back. You’d have to waive him and get him to agree to sign to the room exception. If he does, great. If not, who cares.

  43. DRed:
    Gallo isn’t coming here.If we want Chris Paul we need to get picks for taking him, his contract is a negative value today and he’s at the age where he can fall off a cliff

    I’d agree with this in a vacuum, but roster building does not happen in a vacuum. CP3 at $40M AAV is bad value because the only players making that money should be Luka, LeBron, Giannis, and Kawhi. At the same time, let’s say we trade CP3 for Randle, Knox, Smith Jr, and the LAC 2020 pick. Getting rid of Julius Randle is a win because now you can put a guy who can shoot and play defense there instead of running back, so you’re recouping some value on your roster. Also, let’s go with my preferred scenario and say we draft Obi Toppin, trade Randle and the scrubs for Chris Paul, and retain Reggie Bullock. If you’re starting five is CP3, Reggie Bullock, RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, and Mitchell Robinson, you might be paying $60-$65M for a cohesive starting five that will compete on both ends, and that’s worth it for me. Mitchell Robinson will have the spacing and point guard to thrive as the lynchpin of the offense, RJ Barrett will be able to attack off-balance defenses, Reggie Bullock won’t have to create for himself, and Obi Toppin comes in as a grown ass man who knows not to mess things up. When it’s time to pay the young guys, Chris Paul is gone and hopefully we were smart enough to take a point guard with one of our two 2021 1RPs so that they can start in 2022-2023.

    I’d trade for CP3 so long as:
    1) Julius Randle gets traded
    2) We don’t trade any of our own picks, the Dallas 2021 pick, RJ Barrett, or Mitchell Robinson.

  44. “a 28 year old NBA player could easily have 7 seasons of productive basketball ahead of him. You aren’t getting that player on the upswing as far as improvement but players don’t just fall off a cliff when they hit 30”

    Though it’s possible, i wouldn’t say “easily”. Of all active players in the league, there are only four 35 year olds playing to an above average ws48. There are seven 34 year olds, and seventeen 33 year olds. So the drop off is stark as a player enters his mid 30s.

  45. I keep forgetting to look up the definition of dull…

    if I were to guess though, the word statistics might be lurking in there somewhere…

    got 51 minutes left of el camino…it funny, I’m getting the same sensation I get when there’s only a few chapters left in a really good book…

    it’s like missing someone who’s standing right next to you…

  46. Hubert you didn’t address TNFH’s main point. The two guy’s you want to sign are old and also very very injury prone. If Chris Paul goes down for any amount of time we are going to suckkkkkkkk. That roster your put together our backup point guards are Barrett and Frank.

    We all are hoping Barrett takes a big leap but i wouldn’t hold my breath he is going to come back a knock down shooter next year…. Paul and Gallo at this point in their careers need to be taking secondary roles on competitive teams not the lead roles on a 40-45 win team….

  47. I wouldn’t sign Gallo but the CP3 trade makes a ton of sense, IMO. Also, we could just promote Kadeem Allen to the active roster and make him the primary back up to CP3. He’s played well in limited minutes and what’s the point of having a G League affiliate of we’re not going to use the decent players we end up grabbing?

    I think we should be focusing on adding good players in all phases of team building relative to opportunity cost. CP3 at $40M for the next two years makes sense so long as we only give up bums, Randle (who does not fit at all), and the 2020 Clippers pick. Gallo for 3 years doesn’t make sense to me, but Christian Wood, Jerami Grant, and Nerlens Noel would make sense on deals of that length. Using cap space for a back up PG would be nice. But it all has to make sense and be cohesive. I can get behind any plan so long as it results in cohesive basketball.

  48. If Chris Paul goes down for any amount of time we are going to suckkkkkkkk.

    So be it. We’ll be in the lottery. I’m ok with that risk bc that’s exactly where we’ve been for 20 years and where we’ll likely remain to be anyway.

  49. You aren’t getting that player on the upswing as far as improvement but players don’t just fall off a cliff when they hit 30.

    Here’s All-NBA selections by age from 2000 through 2018.

    Here’s WS (not WS48) by age from 1989-2019. This isn’t terribly useful, as we have number of player-age seasons as an unknown factor.

    BPM (relative) since 1980

    Here’s the most interesting one, to me. Magnitude of change in VORP from one age to the next.

    As you can see, you can expect precipitous declines starting at 29>>30. If you’re starting with a GOAT candidate like LeBron or CP, then you can absorb the lost production by surrounding them with other elite talent like AD or Harden. But if it’s the perfectly-average Marcus Morris, you are playing with fire, especially when you’re paying vet money to him.

  50. So many teams seem to be moving away from veterans and giving a shot to undrafted FAs and G-League guys, and that’s because it allows for efficient use of money.

    Strat’s darling Riley has benefited massively from Nunn, Robinson and Herro being somewhat productive when not much was expected of them at all. They’ve had depth despite the tons of bad contracts they had because they’re paying a combined 10 million for 5 pieces of their rotation Bam Adebayo, Derrick Jones Jr and these 3 guys, these guys are 5 out of the top 7 players in minutes per game for their team.

    I’m fine with trying to make the team better by bringing in veterans, I just want people to admit that this is also a crapshoot. There’s no guarantee the veterans will stay healthy, there’s no guarantee you’ll find the value in guys like Adebayo, the 14th overall pick in the Ntilikina draft, or even Robinson or Nunn.

  51. What exactly is this Chris Paul trade? I doubt we would give up picks for his contract, yet I doubt the Thunder would trade him unless they got a pick or two. And what contracts are they taking back? Randle/Payton and our failed draft picks? Sounds pretty unenticing. I’m going to guess they’d rather roll with the .192 WS/48 point guard and their solid vets, promising kids, and tons of draft picks.

  52. I think the best part about the Riley/Ujiri approach is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the win curve. You just have to be better than everyone else at identifying and developing talent. Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Pascal Siakim, OG Anunoby, Kendrick Nunn, and Chris Boucher are the type of players I hope we can identify. If you can add 3-4 of those types to an asset rich situation like ours (free agent money, location, surplus draft picks) you can put a contender together very quickly.

    I really hope Leon Rose is that guy. If on draft night Leon Rose is the POBO, Jay Wright is the coach, and Rich Cho or even Kevin Pritchard (long shot but he’s been smarter than the field forever and would probably love to take the GM job in New York) I’d feel good about our ability to build talent and winning culture.

  53. Yeah Bruno and let’s face it, teams like Miami, Dallas, Brooklyn, Toronto and SAS develop players way better than us. If Miami had MRob dude would be A Davis 2.0.

    It also means that I don’t know if the same strategy would work for us. Instead of throwing money at some stupid agent to run our team. Just throw all our money at everyone under Riley and try to replicate their system of developing talent. The stuff Bam is doing now is nothing like what he was doing in college, hell i bet they could turn Knox into a decent role player.

    Edit
    Massive beat me too it, but i don’t think Rose is that guy…

  54. I think Julius Randle, the Clippers pick, and a couple of flyers on failed draft picks Smith Jr and Knox would get it done. Julius Randle doesn’t fit here and the guys who invested in him will be gone. OKC is still a small market team and would probably want to save money if they’re not contending.

  55. I cannot believe we’re talking about giving up first rounders of any kind or year for Chris Paul’s age 35 and 36 supermax seasons. OKC asked for a million picks to take on his contract, even though they were getting out from Westbrook (2.1 BPM this year) and his horrrrrrrrible future AAV ($130M over 3). Why would we package anything of value for a guy who’s going to be retiring by the time any of our young players hits their prime?

  56. Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Pascal Siakim, OG Anunoby, Kendrick Nunn, and Chris Boucher are the type of players I hope we can identify. If you can add 3-4 of those types to an asset rich situation like ours (free agent money, location, surplus draft picks) you can put a contender together very quickly.

    I really hope Leon Rose is that guy.

    I don’t know why Leon Rose would be that guy. I don’t know why he would be the guy to have the skillset to find the next Tyler Herro or Chris Boucher. It seems like it’s not really very much related to his area of expertise. Pat Riley has been doing this shit for a long time, he’s been unearthing John Starkses and Anthony Masons and Tyler Herros for his whole adult life. And I’m gonna agree with Strat here: it’s because Pat Riley knows basketball, he knows what players are conducive to winning. He may not bat 1.000 all the time but he actually knows what he’s doing. He’s a legit great basketball mind.

    Leon Rose is an agent, he’s a guy who negotiates good deals for his clients. Somehow I doubt he’s going to be doing the gruntwork necessary to find these gems in the rough, and I also doubt he’s going to have some cutting edge analytics department or some Billy Beane-style methods of finding market inefficiencies. He was brought in here because James Dolan is a starfucker, and James Dolan wants stars.

    We passed on Chaim Bloom and went with Brodie Van Wagenen. Let’s see how that goinks.

  57. The hilarious thing about this conversation is we, who are on a 25 win pace, would be trading future assets to a team on a 49 win pace for the most win-now player imaginable. Is that really not enough of a sign that we’re the suckers in the room? The fact that the (very smart) team Chris Paul is successfully doing the “respectability” thing for right now doesn’t think it’s worth passing on future assets?

    The fact that we’re talking about trading picks for a 35 year old making $40M+ AAV in a season we’re going to win 25 or fewer games just shows the extent to which we’re beaten down as a fanbase. It really doesn’t have to be this way, guys! There are some exciting possibilities if we just don’t do anything extremely stupid like trade for Chris Paul.

    I’ll try this again: can we talk about which 3 prospects we want from this draft? I would much rather watch Tyrese Haliburton, Jahmi’us Ramsey, and Tyler Bey grow than watch Chris Paul pound the ball into the ground for 30 minutes a game so we can get 10 more wins we’ll use to try to fool free agents.

  58. Rose’s job was figuring out which “stars” were most marketable, and which ones he could turn into the most money via fees. If he gave a damn about production or value (and why would he?), he wouldn’t have taken on Bargnani, Jonny Flynn, Dajuan Wagner and Eddy Curry as clients.

  59. found it:

    “After several minutes of utterly dull conversation I began to think of her not as a woman but as a human, then not as a human but as an animal, then not as an animal but as a source of high-grade protein. “

  60. I mean really, if the idea is to lure free agents the best way to do that is with some sustained, patient competence that leads to good decision making and results in steady improvement from a core of players that has upside and can grow into something bigger.

    But fuck that. Clearly the Knicks are way too fucking stupid to ever achieve something like that. The last fumes of Chris Paul it is.

  61. Ah shit I just found out Cole Anthony is from NY we are soooooo drafting him even though he’s bad

  62. I’m fine with trying to make the team better by bringing in veterans, I just want people to admit that this is also a crapshoot.

    I definitely admit it’s a crapshoot. With a guy like Paul, I’m ok with all outcomes.

    If his age 35 season is like his age 34 season, we become a respectable team overnight.

    If he falls off a cliff, we’re in the lottery.

    The opportunity cost is being able to use the space to absorb picks. We’ve never shown a willingness to do that so I don’t think it’s a real cost. And this year there are not likely to be many of those trades available with the lack of free agents.

    In 2021 we can easily maneuver ourselves to make one of those trades even with Paul. And it’s not like just bc you have the space to do it you’ll find a partner. There’s a lot of competition for those trades. You might not be able to make one even if you have the space, so the opportunity cost is theoretical at best.

  63. we can get 10 more wins we’ll use to try to fool free agents.

    This is such a disingenuous representation of my argument.

    The goal is to go from laughingstock of the league to respectable team. I think Chris Paul can do that for you. That’s not “fooling free agents.”

    Also I admitted I’d be very hesitant to include a pick. I don’t know what his value is. You guys might be right and he comes with a pick.

  64. thenoblefacehumper:
    Ah shit I just found out Cole Anthony is from NY we are soooooo drafting him even though he’s bad

    Well, we had Greg, we had Carmelo, I guess it’s inevitable we go for the Anthony trifecta with Cole

  65. The opportunity cost is being able to use the space to absorb picks. We’ve never shown a willingness to do that so I don’t think it’s a real cost. And this year there are not likely to be many of those trades available with the lack of free agents.

    Aren’t we trading assets for him in this scenario? We know already that OKC isn’t attaching sweetener to dump him (and they shouldn’t, he’s been great). They’re looking for assets.

    So we’re looking at:

    1) The first rounder we trade for him
    2) The opportunity cost of taking on salary dumps
    3) The worsening of our own pick (forget the lottery odds, most of the time your pick is determined by your record alone anyway)
    4) The opportunity cost of the roster spot

    The benefits are entirely speculative and the risks are pretty damn high.

  66. Ah shit I just found out Cole Anthony is from NY we are soooooo drafting him even though he’s bad

    He’s not just from NY, his dad is Greg Anthony.

    NY GRIT
    NY TOUGH
    BLOOD IN THE WHATEVER

    I can already hear the wayward shots clanging off the rim.

  67. We know already that OKC isn’t attaching sweetener to dump him

    No, we don’t. We know that they weren’t looking to do that at the deadline in the middle of a season in which he’s playing great and they might make the 2nd round of the playoffs.

    This summer could be a completely different story, especially if he asks for the move.

  68. Another bad sign about the Chris Paul plan would be if OKC is willing to trade him at all.

    They are currently on pace for almost 50 wins and Paul is clearly their best player, they’ll make the playoffs and everyone outside of Gallinari is signed through next year or more. Even Steven Adams, who was rumored to be traded many times, stayed. If they want to trade him away next offseason, its gotta be because they either think he’s going to go down in value quite soon, or because they think they still have to build more to actually get to where they want to be right? Which means a smart NBA franchise who has seen pretty much only success in their entire existence in the NBA and is already very further along the path Hubert’s plan would take us down… thinks having extra assets is more important than keeping that plan in place. That would be a very bad sign if you ask me.

  69. Cole Anthony was raised mostly by his mom, whose name ” Crystal” is tattoed on his forearm. Pretty impressive woman from Motown, who became an associate at Paul Weiss and then left to produce movies ( Beautiful woman with impressive social skills). Unfortunately, she could neither teach him a good shooting stroke nor hire a shooting coach to tutor him. Then again Steve Nash couldn’t do the same for godson RJ.

  70. Imagine getting 4 first rounders to take on Chris Paul and then another 2 for getting rid of him at $44M AAV over 2 years. Presti should receive an ownership stake if he pulls that off.

  71. The naysayers for a Paul trade are making a good case. I don’t mind getting a veteran like him if he really makes us better and the deal is reasonable; but I would like to hear about players who want to play with him, because he apparently has been traded twice in the last few years because players didn’t want to play with him.

  72. If they want to trade him away next offseason, its gotta be because they either think he’s going to go down in value quite soon, or because they think they still have to build more to actually get to where they want to be right?

    I don’t think so. The guy admittedly makes way too much money. It makes perfect sense to not want to pay him $40mm/year at age 35 & 36 if you’re not the laughingstock of the NBA and desperate to change the direction of your franchise.

    Also they could just trade him bc he asks to be traded. That’s a benign reason.

  73. I don’t mind getting a veteran like him if he really makes us better

    You really want a $45M push toward 35 wins from a guy who’s maybe 3 years from retirement, don’t you?

    You are a smart person and yet you seem totally unable to imagine a roster that isn’t filled out with short-term gains. Hell, you’re more focused on his locker-room presence than the fact that he is the 2nd highest paid player in the league, has two more years left on his contract, has vocally shot down any thought of a buyout, and is about to turn 35 years old in the world’s most athletic basketball league. I really don’t understand why you want the things that you want. It makes no sense to me.

    I think Chris Paul is a top-3 all-time PG and I wouldn’t touch that contract unless I were looking for the last piece for my 65-win team.

  74. I want a watchable and decent team. It’s not championship or bust for me. That said, I have very mixed feelings about Paul both because other players don’t seem to like playing with him, even though he makes them better, and because of what you and other naysayers have said. So I’d want to get assets to take him rather than pay assets to get him. And I think getting assets to take him is a fair representation of his value around the league given his huge contract.

  75. They’re not giving the New York Knicks, the dumbest team in basketball, assets to take Chris Paul. That is not a thing.

  76. Yeah I don’t get it either. If they already had decent-level players, fine, sure, pay up for that next level, because then you’re a mid-playoff contender, and one more piece away or whatever. But wtf is Chris Paul gonna do with Frank, Knox, and RJ? I left out Mitch, because that would be Lob City 2.0 and would be fun. It ain’t worth no 45M though.

    Rather take our picks, get out of the basement, and make them claw their way up. Otherwise, you’re spinning your wheels for the millionth time.

  77. They’re not giving the New York Knicks, the dumbest team in basketball, assets to take Chris Paul. That is not a thing.

    I agree with Jowles, no ones going to give up picks to get that contract unless they are also getting something else decides Paul. But it’s not impossible OKC will trade him even given this. He could wear out his welcome there and they could net somebody in the draft or otherwise that they would rather play.

  78. If i were CP3 and had been traded to the Knicks i d start arranging my retirement/coaching career.

  79. Make him player coach like Bill Russell or Lenny Wilkens or Dave Debusschere and offer him an extra 5M/yr and see how fast he forces his way out of OKC. For 4M we can dump Portis, Payton, Ellington, Bullock and Taj’s salaries and Harkless expires.

  80. I want a watchable and decent team. It’s not championship or bust for me.

    Me either! I want a team that reasonably competes for the >7 seeds. Giving up assets for a guy who probably will have the worst single-season contract in the league in 2021-22 is not my idea of a good time, because it will be diametrically opposed to that goal.

    Again, I love Chris Paul the basketball player. This guy was absurdly good. But here are some of the players of the week during that season, in the year of our lord, 2008:

    Danny Granger
    Yao Ming
    Kevin Garnett
    Tracy McGrady
    LeBron James
    Dwight Howard
    Allen Iverson
    Tony Parker
    Stephen Jackson
    Josh Smith
    Brandon Roy
    Paul Pierce
    Joe Johnson
    Carmelo Anthony
    Chris Paul
    Chris Bosh
    Gerald Wallace
    Baron Davis
    Hedo Turkoglu
    Al Jefferson
    Brad Miller (seriously, this should be a trivia question)
    Andre Miller
    Amar’e Stoudemire
    Manu Ginobili
    Jason Richardson
    Antawn Jamison

    Of that list:

    Carmelo is on his vet’s min redemption tour, sporting a negative 14 net rating and hoping that the Blazers lose every other SF/PF on their roster so he doesn’t ride the pine come May. Dwight is a vet’s min, partially guaranteed until last month, playing surprisingly good minutes on a short leash off the bench. LeBron is an alien lifeform. And Chris Paul is still good but, again, making the 2nd-most money in the league, and that contract runs until the summer of 2022.

    Every other player on that list is out of the league.

    It is not Chris Paul’s (remarkably long) prime anymore.

  81. It is championship (eventually) or bust for me.

    I’ve been entertaining Hubert’s plan because well, he has an argument that the short term satisfaction of watching a better team could also come together with a plan for the future, where the team continues to look to get better. So it’s more interesting than just saying oh get vets and try to be better.

    The real discussion over Hubert’s plan is whether do you think the long term benefits of the plan are achievable and well, if they are desirable, if this is the way to do it. That’s where I disagree with him, because while I think long term success is achievable with this plan, I think it would take a couple of lucky breaks to do so and im fine with relying on that, but I’d rather rely on luck with a plan that involves much less risk.

    I watched the Knicks win 54 games and a playoff series, it was cool, but we’ve been watching the remains of how terribly botched the next steps of the plan were and it fucking sucks. I’d rather suffer a bit more now and get somewhere with a more reliable and sustainable plan.

  82. I want to clarify that a 6+ seed is the intermediate goal. If you want to sign a bunch of good vets to bloated contracts, you can have a 6-seed, and I don’t care for that. I want a 6-seed with flexibility to grow.

  83. If we spend two seasons as the 6 seed while RJ, Mitch, and the 7 players we draft in the next two seasons develop, by 2022 we’ll have a solid young core, enough cap space to sign any two players we want, and enough respectability for them to actually want to play here. That’s no short ceiling.

  84. Alright… Now I just saw on Twitter that Silver is going to change the All Star MVP award to the Kobe Award… This is where the rape shit starts to come in to play imo.

    I honestly believe some on here do not truly understand how much Kobe was loved in the NBA and worldwide. And that’s with most people (media, even Laker blog Silver Screen & Roll) acknowledging the rape case.

  85. I honestly believe some on here do not truly understand how much Kobe was loved in the NBA and worldwide. And that’s with most people (media, even Laker blog Silver Screen & Roll) acknowledging the rape case.

    We do understand how much Kobe was loved, and that’s the problem. We say things like “acknowledge the rape case” because we apparently need euphemisms for talking about a sex act with a stranger wherein Kobe drew the accuser’s blood, left bruises on her neck, and left this note, per the hospital’s examiner:

    “[The nurse] stated that there were several lacerations to the victim’s posterior fourchette or vaginal area, and two of those lacerations were approximately one centimeter in length,” testified Det. Winters. “And there were many, I believe, 2 millimeter lacerations. Too many to count… [The nurse] stated that the injuries were consistent with penetrating genital trauma. That it’s not consistent with consensual sex.”

    I know how many people loved Kobe. I just want to know how they feel about the woman he raped.

  86. The Thunder have 15 firsts (if I counted correctly) over the next 6 years. They can afford to give up a few to dump Paul’s contract.

    The thunder can then leverage their cap space and extra 1sts to build a highly competitive team quickly. I can definitely see them giving up picks.

  87. Yeah, I really didn’t feel good about the entire all star weekend being a never ending celebration for Kobe. I understand the league is looking to attract viewers and that’s the best way, and that the players have an incredibly high opinion of the guy, but I don’t feel comfortable at all with treating him like a role model after his death.

    Allow people the chance to improve from their mistakes, allow space for personal growth, allow people to grieve because of their own reasons… but I kept imagining the girl who was raped and her family hearing all the stuff about him being this perfect role model.

  88. The Honorable Cock Jowles: We do understand how much Kobe was loved, and that’s the problem. We say things like “acknowledge the rape case” because we apparently need euphemisms for talking about a sex act with a stranger wherein Kobe drew the accuser’s blood, left bruises on her neck, and left this note, per the hospital’s examiner:

    I know how many people loved Kobe. I just want to know how they feel about the woman he raped.

    Being here in LA, and working with nothing but Laker fans, I can tell you that while they aren’t apathetic to that woman (I’d like to know how she feels about his passing) they’ve forgiven him for what he did. I’m sure being arguably the best Laker ever (a common sentiment, not my personal opinion) has a lot to do with it, but they forgave him. And they buy into him maturing into a loving father of his daughters.

    I won’t go into my beliefs into forgiveness and atonement, but if I may ask this hypothetical:
    What if Kobe was a lifelong Knick, and brought us 5 NBA titles?

  89. The “champion or bust” thing is IMO a boogeyman meant to scare people with visions of eternal tanking. If you’re a top 7 or 8 team, and your key players aren’t all on the verge of serious decline, a couple breaks can swing you up into the upper echelon where you have a shot of a title… This means that championship or bust just means, at least in my book, be in the 1/4 of teams in the league.

    So unless you want a low upside team that’s settled into a routine of first round playoff blowout losses, you are championship or bust.

  90. Well, I didn’t root for Derrick Rose when he was with the Knicks and I don’t particularly root for Dotson to succeed here too. If Kobe had his career on the Knicks it would be much harder to deal with, but it frankly would take away some of the joy of the accomplishments for me. I can’t say I wouldn’t have been happy with the titles, there’s a whole team etc working on it, but I’d 100% rather someone like LeBron or Curry did it than Kobe. I understand you can’t expect a fan to root against his own team because of something a player has done, but I would definitely be in a hard position ethically.

  91. Do you honestly think that I would put my loyalty to a brand above her suffering? C’mon. I’ve been around here long enough. Winning basketball games is not atonement.

  92. “If we spend two seasons as the 6 seed”

    This is extremely optimistic. Paul is still good now, but he’s not as good as he was and he’s likely to decline and he’s been missing around 30 games a season due to injury since forever. He maybe makes the Knicks a 35 win team. I’d be astounded if that team ever made the playoffs. And what’s respectability anyway? A free agent who’s leaving doesn’t get you respectability. Forget Paul, it’s just silly and it’d likely end up being an embarrassing end to his career making the Knicks look even more pathetic.

    Forget the whole old vet free agent will make us good thing entirely. For every Marcus Morris there’s a bunch of Courtney Lee’s and Aaron Afflalo’s. We’ve done this before, it doesn’t work.

  93. cp3 is playing really well right now, I’d be very surprised if okc moved him…

    okc ain’t worried about chasing rings, they’re just trying to bring wins and a playoff appearance to their fans…

    I’ve heard tales of these games that actually take place after the season has ended…

  94. For every Marcus Morris there’s a bunch of Courtney Lee’s and Aaron Afflalo’s. We’ve done this before, it doesn’t work.

    Chris Paul, Courtney Lee, Aaron Afflalo, Marcus Morris. One of these guys is not like the others. We have never tried this before.

    Actually we have…. One time we took a high risk to acquire one of the 20 best players in the NBA to supplement a young core and bring respectability back to the team: Amar’e Stoudemire.

    Here the risk is higher bc of age but also lower bc of contract years.

  95. As to this 35 win nonsense, we’re on a 35 win pace now with Miller playing the vets. You’re essentially saying if we swapped Payton and Randle with Paul and Gallo that swap is worth zero wins. Great argument.

  96. Hubert:
    As to this 35 win nonsense, we’re on a 35 win pace now with Miller playing the vets. You’re essentially saying if we swapped Payton and Randle with Paul and Gallo that swap is worth zero wins. Great argument.

    To sign Gallo as as FA you have to cut every vet on the team and now you’re running this 30 games a year that Gallo and Paul miss:

    Dennis/???
    Bullock/Frank
    RJ/Ignas
    Knox/???
    Mitch/???

  97. Payton and Randle are the Knicks best players now that Morris is gone and Mitch gets no traction. You think they’ll still be on a 35 win pace without Morris? Paul and Gallo will likely miss around 30 regular season games each due to injuries, assuming their health doesn’t worsen. If they are worth a 50% win ratio that’s 25 wins. The rest of this shitty squad probably gets 10 of the other 30, or 35 wins. Or did you think you were going to magically get 82 regular season games out of Paul and Gallo? Great argument.

    And it’s the exact same fucking plan as Jackson had, and yes, everybody before and after. “Vets will get us there.” It never fucking works, it only causes problems, and that’s not going to change via the Chris Pauls of the NBA. You have to have some kind of competent core to build around, and you need to develop that before you get to the vet free agents. The core needs to be cheap and sustainable, vets are expensive and short term. Unless you’ve got LeBron and Davis arriving. Paul and Gallo are not LeBron and Davis.

  98. I don’t think most people celebrating Kobe’s life have “forgotten” about his past. They just have a different perspective. Whether I agree with it or not, I understand it. It’s kind of the American way.

  99. I’m not sure Miller’s playing at a thirty five win pace because now we don’t have Morris. So let’s say now we are on a thirty game pace. Our only players over 28 are Gibson and Ellington and nine players are twenty five years old or less. So we actually have a young team that’s twice as good as last year’s team. We also have more draft assets than we started the season with. On a lot of nights the team is actually fun to watch now. If someone had told me that would be the result of last summer’s work by our management and that Mills would be gone, I would have said yes, take it. So in the big picture, Knicks’ management did alright for a year.

  100. >>>To sign Gallo as as FA you have to cut every vet on the team<<<

    This is false. I showed you the math in this thread. Do your homework before you say it can't be done.

  101. I’ll try to characterize the disagreement as I see it as charitably as possible.

    Hubert thinks the general positive vibes (i.e. narrative, media coverage, etc.) surrounding the Nets and Clippers in 2018-2019 were essential in attracting the elite free agents they signed. To him, KD/Kyrie/PG/Kawhi’s decisions were less about the players they were joining and more about how they felt in a more general sense about the teams they were joining.

    He thinks we can recreate this kind of positive vibe with this Chris Paul/Gallinari moonshot. For the reasons others have pointed out I find this extremely dubious—I could just as easily see decline and/or injuries turning this plan into perfect lolknicks fodder—but Hubert is willing to take that (very, very big IMO) risk.

    Just about everyone else thinks those guys made their decision based on the players they’d be joining. So even though the Nets had to lose Russell to make it work, they still had Dinwiddie/LeVert/Allen/Harris/Kurucs. Ditto with the Clippers having to shed Gallinari and SGA while being able to keep Harrell/Shamet/Williams/Beverly (with the assets to get more).

    So to me and most other people, even if Chris Paul and Gallinari were able to propel us into the 8th seed or whatever (again, I find this doubtful but I digress), elite free agents would still ask themselves “which players would I be joining?” Since the answer would not be Chris Paul and Gallinari…it would all come back to our young core anyway, which would be more vast if we didn’t have to trade assets, roster spots, and minutes to add a 32 and 35 year old.

  102. >>I’m not sure Miller’s playing at a thirty five win pace because now we don’t have Morris.<<

    The loss of Morris certainly matters.

    But the idea that if Paul and Gallo are able to produce the seasons they're having now then next year we'd still be capped as a 35 win team is a joke.

    I acknowledged the risk. It's dishonest to deny the possibility of reward.

  103. Hubert: This is false. I showed you the math in this thread. Do your homework before you say it can’t be done.

    I did the math. But apparently you have us trading DSJR for cash, we’re trading away our own 2nd and LAC 1st (for CP3?), we don’t have to pay $1 million buyout for Ellington or Taj, and for some reason we’re re-signing Moe Harkless to an albatross?

    – We don’t have a backup C or PG
    – Knox, RJ & Frank is our bench unit

    When Galli & Paul miss 30 games:

    Frank/Rookie PG
    Bullock/RJ
    Harkless/Brazdeikis
    Knox/??? (Also Brazdeikis???)
    Mitch/Wooten

    CP3 & Gallinari better win 80% of the games they play, because this lineup is trash. And players definitely notice when Chris Paul leaves a team even if they’re generally bad at attribution of wins.

    But hey anytime you can bet on 2 players outperforming themselves on their last contract, go for it. You can’t just kick that to the curb.

  104. >>>Hubert thinks the general positive vibes (i.e. narrative, media coverage, etc.) surrounding the Nets and Clippers in 2018-2019 were essential in attracting the elite free agents they signed. To him, KD/Kyrie/PG/Kawhi’s decisions were less about the players they were joining and more about how they felt in a more general sense about the teams they were joining.<<<

    This isn't my argument at all.

    I'll lay it out point by point and feel free to disagree with any point you want, but don't recharacterize my argument.

    1. Hubert thinks free agents want to join teams in desirable markets but they will not do so if said teams are the laughingstock of the NBA. Ergo becoming respectable is a worthy goal bc we have an inherent advantage that teams like Memphis and OKC don't have.

    2. If you can't get Giannis or Durant or LeBron, shoot a level lower but make sure it's a short term deal. Instead of trying to go from the bottom to the top, go from the bottom to the mezzanine while maintaining the flexibility to go from mezzanine to the top.

    3. It is ABSOLUTELY about the players the free agents will be joining. This whole "bait and switch" thing you came up with is a straw man argument. All I said was that it's not necessary for EVERY player currently on the team to come back. Stars will come if you have to get rid of ONE guy to make room for them.

    4. It's about player development. We have talented young players. They're all being developed terribly in horrible environment. Acquiring the veterans slots these young guys into their correct roles and helps them develop into the players the next crop of free agents would join. It's not good for 19 and 20 year old NBA prospects to come in the league and have to carry the load that all stars carry. Stop making all these kids have to do everything, put them in limited roles that play to their strengths, and if they're good, players will want to join them.

    5. Chris Paul is a risk but one I would take at the right…

  105. They just have a different perspective.

    This is a kind way of saying, “They care more about his basketball prowess and overall celebrity than the overwhelmingly likely case that he violently raped a teenager.”

  106. >>> Whoever had us talking about trading for Chris Paul for days, please collect your winnings. They are large. <<<

    Hahaha. The formula was Boring All Star Break + President's Day Weekend + Hubert has a project that he's been trying to put off.

    Fortunately for y'all the games are coming back and the deadline is Thursday so this will all come to a merciful end.

    The sad part is even if I'm right about Paul, there's no way we acquire him at the right price. JK47 pretty much nailed it when he said "They’re not giving the New York Knicks, the dumbest team in basketball, assets to take Chris Paul. That is not a thing." If we acquire Chris Paul, it will probably be for both Dallas picks, Frank, Knox, and a pick swap. And that totally defeats the purpose.

  107. This isn’t my argument at all.

    Hubert thinks free agents want to join teams in desirable markets but they will not do so if said teams are the laughingstock of the NBA. Ergo becoming respectable is a worthy goal bc we have an inherent advantage that teams like Memphis and OKC don’t have.

    This is…pretty much exactly how I summarized it. You think there’s a lot of value in not being “the laughingstock of the NBA” even if that’s overwhelmingly fueled by players who the free agents we’re trying to woo would not be joining.

    I think that these free agents would largely ignore this and ask “which players am I joining?” Acquiring Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari makes the answer to that question worse.

    It is ABSOLUTELY about the players the free agents will be joining. This whole “bait and switch” thing you came up with is a straw man argument. All I said was that it’s not necessary for EVERY player currently on the team to come back. Stars will come if you have to get rid of ONE guy to make room for them.

    I literally pointed out that the Nets and Clippers had to shed some important players to make it work. Guess what? The remaining players were still impressive enough to lure the guys they did. That would not be the case if you added Chris Paul and Gallinari to our roster that currently consists of exactly 2 interesting young players and traded assets to do so.

    4. It’s about player development. We have talented young players. They’re all being developed terribly in horrible environment.

    Somehow the Grizzlies, Nets, Clippers, etc. are able to make young players look good without spending $65M on free agents in the 32-35 age cohort. Hard for me to believe it’s so necessary! The key seems to be “draft good players,” i.e. not Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox.

    And yes, EB is right that you’re playing pretty fast and loose with…

  108. >>>Somehow the Grizzlies, Nets, Clippers, etc. are able to make young players look good without spending $65M on free agents in the 32-35 age cohort. Hard for me to believe it’s so necessary! The key seems to be “draft good players,” i.e. not Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox.<<<

    If we had Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson, this wouldn't be the path I'd choose.

    I'm playing the hand we have, not the hand I want. We didn't draft foundational players. We drafted RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Frank Ntilikina. Signing *one* older player isn't the thing standing between us and a "vast core of young players".

    There's some potentially nice role players here, though. We can't turn these kids into stars but we can turn them into Carais LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Joe Harris.

  109. I’m not a fan of the “Chris Paul will be de facto coach and give us better player development” angle. That seems like a load of unquantifiable bullshit to me.

  110. I tend to think there would be some value in putting at least a nominal number one option onto this team. Not only because there’s some value in not being the most embarrassing team in the league, but also because I think it’s often good for young player development to be in a situation where they can start in smaller roles and grow into more as they earn it. That’s been a hallmark of San Antonio’s player development machine over the last twenty years and you see the same thing in Toronto now. Knox and RJ have both been hurt I think by coming into terrible teams where they were asked to play way larger roles than they were ready for right away.

    On the other hand, I think you really want to get that guy without giving up much more than nominal assets for obvious win-curve related reasons which is the problem with CP3. OKC is set up nicely to do a Rockets-style slow pivot where they never bottom out and remain pretty competitive while still having extra picks to rebuild gradually through the draft or go star-hunting. I don’t see why they’d give away CP3 just to clear his salary. So along those lines allow me to bring up the name Demar Derozan. I’ve never been particularly a fan and I know most others here aren’t either but I think his market is going to be very depressed this summer if he ops out, SA may be looking to dump him if he opts in and he’s the kind of “floor raiser” offensively that could have some value to us I think. He will soak up a lot of possessions at decent efficiency and by all accounts he’s an extremely hard worker and good teammate as well. In terms of a “star” that could be had at a discount rate I think we could do worse.

  111. >>>I’m not a fan of the “Chris Paul will be de facto coach and give us better player development” angle.<<<

    Me neither. I haven't seen it presented here, though. To whom are you responding?

  112. If we had Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson, this wouldn’t be the path I’d choose.

    You forgot Brandon Clarke, ranked 12th among rookies in MP but #1 in VORP, WS, WS48, BPM, 3PT%, and TRB. Ranked 2nd in BPM and VORP on the Grizz, just a tenth of a point behind Valanciunas. Oh, and his leaguewide ranks:

    FG% 6th
    2PT% 4th
    TS% 4th
    eFG% 5th
    ORtg 6th

    And let’s not forget that he’s owed a total of $9.6M over the next three years, during which he will be ages 24, 25 and 26. It’s almost like… like… rookie contracts are real valuable… more valuable than most sub-max veteran contracts…

  113. 4. It’s about player development. We have talented young players. They’re all being developed terribly in horrible environment. Acquiring the veterans slots these young guys into their correct roles and helps them develop into the players the next crop of free agents would join.

    Isn’t this what the 2019-2020 Knicks were all about? Get some vets, that’ll help with player development.

    It didn’t seem to work.

  114. >>>Isn’t this what the 2019-2020 Knicks were all about? Get some vets, that’ll help with player development.

    It didn’t seem to work.<<<

    There's strategy and execution. I think it's fair to say we executed the strategy terribly, but that doesn't mean it was a terrible strategy.

    We've executed the "draft good players" strategy terribly, too, but no one is saying give up drafting players.

  115. Get some vets, that’ll help with player development.

    It didn’t seem to work.

    I’m not sure it didn’t work. Robinson is fouling less and it may have helped that he practices against better players, Knox is showing signs of improving on defense and Ntilikina is shooting more and finding places to shoot more often. Both of those could be a result of practices that are now at a more NBA like level. Knox seems to be shooting worse though. Frank showed signs of shooting better but seems to have regressed lately.

  116. Robinson is fouling less and it may have helped that he practices against better players, Knox is showing signs of improving on defense and Ntilikina is shooting more and finding places to shoot more often. Both of those could be a result of practices that are now at a more NBA like level.

    This is some next-level conjecture — virtually every new player reduces foul rate, improves defense, and increases shooting volume over their first few years. Assigning these improvements to practicing against a specific bunch of big-money, mediocre vets? C’mon.

    I’ll throw my own conjecture out there:

    Robinson is fouling less and it may have helped that he watches game tape and has now played against the same elite players in-game multiple times, Knox is, according to my eyetest, showing signs of improving from terrible to merely bad on defense and Ntilikina is shooting more and finding places to shoot more often. Both of those could be a result of tape study, individual training and conditioning drills that are no different from last year’s, but executed more often, by virtue of having more time to do them.

  117. Drafting good players seems to still be the easiest way out of this impasse.

    Again, an alternate timeline where we have Doncic/Young, and Brandon Clarke and Mitch is not some fairy tale. If we had done what 90% of this board has been begging for we’d already be basically done with the reboot.

  118. I’m always skeptical on the impact that veterans have on young players because it’s so impossible to quantify by any means. We have guys who were drafted in shit situations and developed really well, players drafted to teams full of veterans who never got going, etc. My uninformed guess is that it really varies so much with every situation, who’s the coach, how talented is the guy really, how dedicated he is, there’s so much stuff we can’t know.

    I do agree that there must be some positive impact about having a right system and the right veterans around, so I don’t think its worthless. I guess I just think players are more responsible for their own production than most people.

  119. We’ve executed the “draft good players” strategy terribly, too, but no one is saying give up drafting players.

    Big difference is that a, say, #30 pick costs about $9M over four years. Bobby Portis is making $15M this year alone, and his BPM would currently rank 11th among qualified rookies. Why bother?

  120. This is a kind way of saying, “They care more about his basketball prowess and overall celebrity than the overwhelmingly likely case that he violently raped a teenager.”

    No, it’s an objective way of saying, “they care more about the totality of his impact during his time on Earth before and after the incident than they did about his impact on that one night.” So many “American Heroes” have one or even many horrific acts and/or viewpoints attributed to them, including men who appear on our currency and have monuments built to them.

    There will always be plenty of people who raise the rape charge when the topic of Kobe comes up, maybe not as many as those who forgive and forget, but enough to make it an indelible part of his legacy. Some may feel that there is absolution in the way his life ended. All I’m saying is that I am not super judgmental about how people feel about Kobe.

  121. I don’t truly understand the Memphis love show. Their Pythag W-L is 25-29 as opposed to their true W-L of 28-26, and they are led by JV and Brandon Clarke in all advanced numbers. Ja Morant has been promising and exciting, but Jaren Jackson Jr is currently a worse rebounding version of Kristaps Porzingis and I rank him several notches below Mitchell Robinson as a prospect.

    Is it crazy to believe that we are one draft away (Obi Toppin and Aaron Nesmith) from having a better group than the Grizzlies? Also, I’d take Trae Young and John Collins ahead of the Memphis guys. Zion and Brandon Ingram? Doncic and Brunson? Again; 27 year old is a big part of what makes Memphis a good team. Ja Morant and JJJr get all the credit but unless Jaren Jackson Jr learns how to rebound that team isn’t exactly projecting to win 50 games in a year. Ja Morant would have to give you a Doncic level impact to make their current roster a contender.

  122. >>>Big difference is that a, say, #30 pick costs about $9M over four years. Bobby Portis is making $15M this year alone, and his BPM would currently rank 11th among qualified rookies. Why bother?<<<

    I'm with you.

    I'm willing to take a chance that Chris Paul can do at 35 what he's doing at 34. If he can, that's no Bobby Portis.

    NO ONE is trying to justify Bobby Portis and saying that's the way.

  123. They care more about his basketball prowess and overall celebrity

    they care more about the totality of his impact during his time on Earth before and after the incident

    we just said the same thing

  124. You really think we are only going to win three of our remaining twenty seven games?

    No, I’m saying that 1) if the team started the year with these players (i.e. without Morris Sr.) they’d have trouble getting to 20 wins and 2) Miller has benefitted from a relatively weak schedule since taking over…only 2 of the 13 wins have come against teams over .500 (Miami and Indiana). And that’s without tanking (or playing youth over vets, whatever.)

  125. Is it crazy to believe that we are one draft away (Obi Toppin and Aaron Nesmith) from having a better group than the Grizzlies?

    Absolutely yes.

    Also, I’d take Trae Young and John Collins ahead of the Memphis guys.

    The Hawks are 15-41 with the 29th-ranked SRS.

    Zion and Brandon Ingram?

    Oh, 100% I’d take those two over Ja, JJJ and Clarke.

    Doncic and Brunson?

    I’d take Doncic over any player in the league if I were starting a franchise from scratch today.

    Again; 27 year old is a big part of what makes Memphis a good team. Ja Morant and JJJr get all the credit but unless Jaren Jackson Jr learns how to rebound that team isn’t exactly projecting to win 50 games in a year. Ja Morant would have to give you a Doncic level impact to make their current roster a contender.

    I’ll tell you what I don’t like: trading for Dieng ($17.2M next year), Winslow ($13M) and Dion Waiters ($12.6M). Signing Tyus Jones to a $26M contract. An inexplicable $35M for Dillon Brooks through 2023.

    So yeah, I’m all aboard the Grizz rookie-contract train, but they also have a ton of overpaid roster filler themselves. They’re just going to be a fucking force if they manage to trade those contracts as expirings for a significant upgrade at wing. The fact that they pushed their chips in on Justice Winslow as their solution at SF is disconcerting.

  126. Not really, Jowles. I think his devotion as a father and his promotion of social causes go beyond his “basketball prowess and overall celebrity” but whatever, my point is that I don’t feel the least bit judgmental about how others view him.

  127. “Signing Tyus Jones to a $26M contract. An inexplicable $35M for Dillon Brooks through 2023… The fact that they pushed their chips in on Justice Winslow as their solution at SF is disconcerting.”

    Doesn’t the salary floor, along with the nature of the league, pretty much guarantee that teams are going to have some overpaid players on their roster?

    One of the best stories remains how the great Jerry West made a Brian Cardinal a rich man. (I bring that up because it’s awesome, and because it was with the Grizzlies that he made that move:)

  128. Is it crazy to believe that we are one draft away (Obi Toppin and Aaron Nesmith) from having a better group than the Grizzlies?

    Yes. But mileage may vary depending on how you see RJ as a prospect. I’d put money on Clarke, Ja, and JJJ having better careers.

  129. None of that will ever explain that Jaren Jackson Jr averages 4.7 rebounds a game for his career. Brandon Clarke is really good, and Ja Morant projects really well, too, but as a team? I am 100% out on Memphis. You can’t gloss over the Justise Winslow and Dillon Brooks moves. Jaren Jackson Jr is going to sign a big extension in 2021 and he will not be worth it. You wouldn’t like them half as much if Brandon Clarke wasn’t there, and there is nothing Memphis has done before or after to show that they were smart enough to continue to identify Brandon Clarke type guys again and again.

    So yeah, give me RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, 7 more 1RPs over the next 4 drafts and cap flexibility all day over what Memphis has. I’m not buying that they’re on the level of Denver, Miami, or Toronto as far as front offices go.

  130. Hubert, Let’s say you communed with God, and she/he/it told you that there was zero chance of a superstar free agent coming here. Ever. What would your strategy be?

  131. Jowles, of course it’s conjecture; that’s what we do here. But since lots of experienced NBA coaches seem to think it helps to have some experienced players on the team, it’s also conjecture to assert that it’s no benefit to have experienced players along with your young guys. To give a thought example, Frank actually commits quite a few fouls. If he had to defend Harden in practice don’t you think that would help in that regard?

  132. I am going to need someone to remove the spoon I have stuck into my eye….

    Also, I can feel Cole Anthony coming at us like an Onyeku Okongwu tomahawk dunk. I want no part of that guy.

  133. >>>I’m always skeptical on the impact that veterans have on young players because it’s so impossible to quantify by any means. We have guys who were drafted in shit situations and developed really well, players drafted to teams full of veterans who never got going, etc. My uninformed guess is that it really varies so much with every situation, who’s the coach, how talented is the guy really, how dedicated he is, there’s so much stuff we can’t know.<<<

    I'm really not making the "sprinkle veteran pixie dust" argument.

    Most of these kids are borderline prospects as it is. But they could develop into nice role players. So let them be role players now. Asking them to do things they can't do isn't helping.

    A PG of Chris Paul's caliber will do wonders for these kids on the court, in a way that is probably quantifiable. He's not here to coach them, he's here to pass them the ball in the right spot. I'm not bringing in a stretch 4 to be a mentor, I'm bringing one in to free up Mitch down low.

    Those are the things that will help them develop.

  134. I’m all for taking on Paul’s contract with assets attached. Since that’s not happening, why are we debating it, except as it being a potential part of a colossally dumb (i.e. Knicksey) strategy?

  135. why are we debating it

    Probably bc I have an assignment I’m desperately trying to avoid, there have been no games to discuss, and no one brought up food, music, or film.

    But alas, I really must focus now.

    I already know this is going to end up all Monkey’s Paw on me anyway. We’re going to acquire Chris Paul but at an exibortant price. And it won’t be to help the young players, it will be to lure Giannis.

  136. Acquiring players at exorbitant prices is something every Knick GM except Perry has done. It’s something that I really worry about.

  137. (i.e. Knicksey)

    What’s the proper adjectival form of Knicks to describe a thing being of or like the Knicks:

    Knicksy?
    Knick-like?
    Knicksian?
    Knickensian (like Dickensian)?
    Knixotic or Knicksotic (Like Quixotic)?
    Knicksey?

  138. Memphis hung onto Gasol and Conley way too long and then got lucky in the lottery. It’s no more complicated than that. They didn’t plan for anything and they got lucky. I’d much rather have ping pong luck than an ideologically pure “plan.”

  139. I’m thinking of changing my screen name to Knicksy Russell.

    Actually somebody else please do that because I’m too lazy to figure out how to change it. Whoever wants to be Knicksy Russell, it’s up for grabs

  140. latke, the optimal strategy to pursue if you don’t ever anticipate being able to sign a free agent is the one put forth by TNFH, Owen, Jowles, et al.

    I’ve been a proponent of that strategy for most of my time on the board here. Two things changed recently:

    1. The further randomization of the lottery odds.

    2. Superstar free agents behavior patterns shifted.

  141. JK47:
    I’m thinking of changing my screen name to Knicksy Russell.

    Actually somebody else please do that because I’m too lazy to figure out how to change it. Whoever wants to be Knicksy Russell, it’s up for grabs

    Go to top of the page, click on your avatar/default silhouette, then scroll down to nickname and change it.

  142. Brandon Clarke was not a lucky pick

    He’s not a 1 or 2 option or a guy you lose sleep over, either.

    All these things we belabor and argue about are moves at the margin. The NBA season doesn’t have much real action or movement and so we spend our time arguing about them and they’re the coin of the realm of fan discussion and airchair GMing, but at the end of the day they’re moves at the margin. Give me ping-pong luck and you can have Brandon Clarke. I’ll be way better off.

    Memphis did everything wrong, everything the “let’s build assets and sit around and draft” proponents would sniff at. They rode two aging veterans well past when they should have traded them and “rebuilt.” It was the equivalent of setting ping-pong balls on fire. They did everything wrong and they got lucky in the lottery. It’s really no more complicated than that. They didn’t pay for their sins against modern GMing intelligence, the Knicks did.

  143. E: He’s not a 1 or 2 option or a guy you lose sleep over, either.

    Brandon Clarke: your average 20 & 10 per 36 role player with a .674 TS% on 19.3 USG% rookie.

    RJ Barrett: marginally worse than Clarke with his .466 TS%, getting 16 & 6 per 36

    What are numbers even?!?

  144. He’s not a 1 or 2 option or a guy you lose sleep over, either.

    More factoids on Clarke:

    His top scoring games of the year: 27, 27, 25, 19, 18, 18, 18, 17, 17, 17, 16, despite not playing 27 minutes or more in any contest, while never fouling out. In fact, he has only had 3 or more fouls in 9 of 47 games.

    Our #3 overall pick has shot better than 50% in just 7 games (15% of games). Clarke has done it 32 times (71% of games). RJ’s top TS% performance so far was Dec. 17, in which he shot .817 on 23.2 USG%. Clarke has topped that number 10 times so far, with five games of an eFG% of 1.000 or higher.

    He takes a mere 2.6% of his shots from the midrange, with almost half of his shots coming at the rim (he shoots 77.5% on those shots).

    Points per 100, Grizzlies

    1 Jackson, 28.3
    2 Morant, 27.4
    3 Valanciunas, 26.6
    4 Clarke 26.3

    Any coach who is not gameplanning for the Grizzlies’ rookie sixth man is putting their team into a hole. Here’s how I see the rookie-contract years of Clarke:

    Year 1: “Yeah, but he’s just an older rookie, a scrappy sixth man. You don’t have to contain him.”
    Year 2: “Wow, this guy is the new Siakam. Frontrunner for MIP and everything. How did he fall so far in the draft?”
    Year 3: “Is All-Star Brandon Clarke a legit max player?”
    Year 4: “Wow, this max contract looks like a steal!”

  145. Z-man:
    I’m all for taking on Paul’s contract with assets attached. Since that’s not happening, why are we debating it, except as it being a potential part of a colossally dumb (i.e. Knicksey) strategy?

    I totally agree with this. Giving up anything of value for Paul this offseason would remind me of the Mets trade for Cano and Diaz, where they gave up two blue chip prospects. Nausea inducing.

    If OKC somehow got a hard-on for Randle and wanted him in such a deal okay, but we’d need a pick or two back. Not happening.

    Any opinions on Jay Wright? Pipe dream?

  146. I believe Wright has made it clear he is not interested, by saying he loves it at Villanova.

    Long shot, imo.

  147. They rode two aging veterans well past when they should have traded them and “rebuilt.”

    They flipped a 31y.o. Mike Conley, making $32 million a year for Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, the No. 23 pick in the 2019 Draft, and a protected 2020 first-round pick. Seems pretty good to me!

    What would do you think the haul would look like if the Grizz traded Conley at the ‘right time’?

    He’s not a 1 or 2 option or a guy you lose sleep over, either.

    His production says otherwise. Dunce argument.

  148. There is a brand of big man that gets overrated by a lot of all-in-one metrics due to diminishing returns on defensive rebounds, limitations, etc. One of the reasons I like BPM is it seems to do a better job than the others at sussing those kinds of guys out.

    But my god, Brandon Clarke does NOT fall within that category and anyone suggesting he does is neglecting both the eye-test and the stats. Jowles covered the main points so I won’t belabor them, but the guy scores at a pretty damn substantial volume (20+ PTS/36) with a .674 TS%. I thought that was supposed to excuse you from any “the statz lie” arguments. He’s also a legit impact defender who can guard just about everyone on the court at least competently.

    Re: Memphis more generally, yes they got lucky, yes they held onto Conley and Gasol a little longer than was optimal (probably some non-basketball related pressure there), but even putting aside the luck factor they’ve made a slew of great moves just in the last two years:

    -Drafting Dillon Brooks 45th overall
    -Getting De’Anthony Melton and two more picks just for taking on Josh Jackson’s salary (Jackson himself is playing well in the G-League)
    -The Iguodala salary dump, and then parlaying that into a flyer on Winslow too
    -Drafting Clarke 21st overall

    Sign me up for this brand of “nothing special” please.

  149. It seems like everyone in the “build through the draft” camp has a tendency to accentuate the risk of every plan that isn’t theirs while being fairly charitable about the risks in their own. The draft is a minefield of low probability outcomes and we’re not exactly deft drivers.

    The Grizzlies had a 4% chance of landing Ja. There is a 60% chance that a star would be available at 2 (per 82games.com). And picks in the late first round have a 6% chance of being as good as Brandon Clarke (ibid).

    We’re talking about a plan with a 99.99856% chance of not working out the way it did, and you guys are all in on it as a repeatable feat.

  150. howdy early bird…more noun than adjective, but, first thing to mind: Knickshit…which generally is made up of: bullshit, dumbshit, and dipshits…

    to really be in to this Knickshit – one might just have to also be onsomeshit…

  151. Hubert:
    It seems like everyone in the “build through the draft” camp has a tendency to accentuate the risk of every plan that isn’t theirs while being fairly charitable about the risks in their own.The draft is a minefield of low probability outcomes and we’re not exactly deft drivers.

    The Grizzlies had a 4% chance of landing Ja.There is a 60% chance that a star would be available at 2 (per 82games.com).And picks in the late first round have a 6% chance of being as good as Brandon Clarke (ibid).

    We’re talking about a plan with a 99.99856% chance of not working out the way it did, and you guys are all in on it as a repeatable feat.

    This is not how statistics works.

  152. geo:
    howdy early bird…more noun than adjective, but, first thing to mind: Knickshit…which generally is made up of: bullshit, dumbshit, and dipshits…

    to really be in to this Knickshit – one might just have to also be onsomeshit…

    Lol, geo you’re awesome

  153. >>>>The draft is a minefield of low probability outcomes and we’re not exactly deft drivers.>>>>

    Yeah, it’s an iterative process. The chance of any individual pick working out and the chance of the strategy working out in the long term are not the same thing.

  154. They flipped a 31y.o. Mike Conley, making $32 million a year for Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, the No. 23 pick in the 2019 Draft, and a protected 2020 first-round pick. Seems pretty good to me!

    After he led them to a bunch of ping-pong snatching, meaningless wins. If the Knicks had had Memphis’s roster management the last three years and wound up with the 9th pick last year, this board would be crucifying them.

  155. His production says otherwise. Dunce argument.

    No, it says exactly that. He plays backup minutes, probably against mostly backup players. He’s 23, significantly older than the typical guy in his draft class.

    He will never be a frontline 1/2 option on a good team. He’s a nice player, a good value at his draft slot, I like him. He’s not an archetype for any philosophy or any approach.

  156. RE: projecting 35 wins for a Paul/Gallo team being dishonest,

    Paul has played ~52 games every recent season. Gallo about the same. Everybody else on that roster is.. not good. My math is. 500 for the games with Paul and Gallo. .333 for the games without. I feel like that’s fair. It’s certainly not dishonest, and you’re certainly not getting full seasons of either of them.

    And it’s unclear that FAs have changed any behavior since The Decision. They want to join teams they can turn into contenders, you’re right about that. But it’s about being transformative themselves or joining a team they can elevate, not respectability.

  157. I’m not sure it didn’t work. Robinson is fouling less and it may have helped that he practices against better players, Knox is showing signs of improving on defense and Ntilikina is shooting more and finding places to shoot more often. Both of those could be a result of practices that are now at a more NBA like level. Knox seems to be shooting worse though. Frank showed signs of shooting better but seems to have regressed lately.

    I missed this earlier but:

    1) Mitch’s PF/36 have gone from 5.7 to 5.3. Is that what spending $55M on useless free agents bought us?

    2) The Ntilikina part is the opposite of the truth–he’s taking a career low 9.8 FGAs/36, has the lowest USG% of his career, and is still somehow managing a .479 TS%. Special levels of offensive ineptitude.

    3) The Knox part is subjective I guess, but I sure as hell ain’t seeing it.

  158. Re: Memphis more generally, yes they got lucky, yes they held onto Conley and Gasol a little longer than was optimal

    Exactly, so there’s no need to take any systemic or philosophical lessons from their experience. It’s non-repeatable noise.

    slew of great moves just in the last two years:

    -Drafting Dillon Brooks 45th overall
    -Getting De’Anthony Melton and two more picks just for taking on Josh Jackson’s salary (Jackson himself is playing well in the G-League)
    -The Iguodala salary dump, and then parlaying that into a flyer on Winslow too
    -Drafting Clarke 21st overall

    These are “great moves” in a narrow, niche, armchair GM sense. But they remain move at the margins. The moves that really matter are the ones that get you 1 and 2 options. The Knicks made a great move in drafting Mitch, they’re still in the doldrums. They didn’t have the luck that gets you a Ja or a Zion. (They also made an excellent pick with Porzingis and they sold him for pennies on the dollar, but there’s no need to rehash all that again. It was a massive mistake and the max contract they would have given him wouldn’t be crowding out any other move, including one for a 1 or 2. The quest for a pristine balance sheet is another ideological armchair GM thing. The Knicks have a pristine balance sheet. They also suck, bad.)

  159. >>>The chance of any individual pick working out and the chance of the strategy working out in the long term are not the same thing.<<<

    Of course but the chances of it not working are still very high. It's impossible to quantify the probability of acquiring a superstar free agent but in the current environment it strikes me as a significantly easier path.

  160. Brandon Clarke gets a lot of clean up buckets and hustle buckets. There’s a lot there to like; he’s like a two-way David Lee. He was a great pick that everybody should have seen coming based on his college numbers, but Memphis sure as hell doesn’t all of a sudden deserve credit for being smarter than everybody.

    I guess the lesson for the Knicks is just be competent and things will break right for you eventually. Not doing immensely dumb things can get you to respectability in this league, but you have to put yourself in position to get lucky. If Memphis doesn’t land Ja Morant, they probably still have Mike Conley and are kicking themselves for passing on Trae Young for a worse rebounding version of Kristaps Porzingis.

  161. Anyone on here arguing the Brandon Clarke is not a better prospect than RJ Barrett at this point is being intellectually dishonest. It’s really just a fact. And I am an RJ stan.

  162. Of course but the chances of it not working are still very high. It’s impossible to quantify the probability of acquiring a superstar free agent but in the current environment it strikes me as a significantly easier path.

    The Knicks have picked 3, 4, 8, and 9 in the last five drafts. Their return was right around expected value and an argument can even be made that it was above expected value. At absolute worst, it was marginally below expected value (but it really wasn’t).

    They still stink, mostly because they traded the 4 pick for pennies on the dollar. Even if that was a good trade — it wasn’t, but let’s pretend it was — it just points out the unaddressed risk of the “sit around and draft” idea, that the first-in rookies will want to bail before the team gets any good. If they sit around and draft, they’ll face the same thing with Barrett.

  163. Anyone on here arguing the Brandon Clarke is not a better prospect than RJ Barrett at this point is being intellectually dishonest. It’s really just a fact. And I am an RJ stan.

    No, it’s not a fact and it’s not intellectually dishonest. He’s four years older than Barrett.

  164. >>>>It’s impossible to quantify the probability of acquiring a superstar free agent but in the current environment it strikes me as a significantly easier path.<<<< Well, it is impossible to quantify. I will give you that.

  165. Hubert:
    >>>This is not how statistics works.<<<

    Funny, but wrong.

    Clarke was available at picks 1-21. That’s not a 6% chance of drafting him.

    Almost everyone on this board knew he’d be good, you’re acting as though it were a complete crapshoot whether he would be good. It’s not, you need to account for that.

    Even though Morant was drafted #2, there have been superstars drafted at other positions in the draft. You need to factor in the likelihood of selecting a superstar at any number of different draft positions.

    The Knicks don’t need to replicate exactly drafting 2 & 21. No one is advocating for that. They do need to evaluate talent better and find ways of drafting the Clarkes

  166. The Knicks have picked 3, 4, 8, and 9 in the last five drafts. Their return was right around expected value and an argument can even be made that it was above expected value.

    72 players have a usage rate of 15% or below this season. Frank Ntilikina’s TS% is 64th among them.

    Expand it to include Knox’s 17.8% usage rate, and 148 players meet the mark with our boys Knoxie and Frankie ranking 135th and 137th among them.

    We are not in the same country as “expected value” for these picks.

  167. TNFH,

    My eye test impression was considerably different than your stats, do I looked them up. You are correct about Robinson’s foul rate, but for Ntilikina, basketball-reference shows he’s taking about the same number of shots per 36, which I did not expect but isn’t a decline and making more of his two pointers and thus scoring slightly more per 36 minutes. It’s not what I expected, but it’s basically the same as his first two years. That’s disappointing for me, but it is what it is. Now he’s playing two guard more, so expect his scoring and usage numbers to get worse.

  168. We are not in the same country as “expected value” for these picks.

    In aggregate, yeah, we are. You have a distorted view of the picks’ expected value because you look back at what’s already happened and see all the people below the pick that were picked (and because you’re seeing 21 year old guys’ careers as being done.) You only get to pick one and you have to project what kind of pros the players will be. Every team has misses; it’s the nature of the beast. History proves it definitively. There’s no way around it.

  169. The Knicks don’t need to replicate exactly drafting 2 & 21. No one is advocating for that. They do need to evaluate talent better and find ways of drafting the Clarkes

    They drafted Mitchell Robinson, who is better than Clarke. They DO draft the Clarkes. They still stink, because drafting the Clarkes doesn’t in itself move the needle much.

  170. My eye test impression was considerably different than your stats, do I looked them up. You are correct about Robinson’s foul rate, but for Ntilikina, basketball-reference shows he’s taking about the same number of shots per 36, which I did not expect but isn’t a decline and making more of his two pointers and thus scoring slightly more per 36 minutes. It’s not what I expected, but it’s basically the same as his first two years. That’s disappointing for me, but it is what it is. Now he’s playing two guard more, so expect his scoring and usage numbers to get worse.

    Dude.

    Ntilikina FGA/36 in 2017-2018: 10.6

    Ntilikina FGA/36 in 2018-2019: 11.2

    Ntilikina FGA/36 in 2019-2020: 9.8

  171. >>>Clarke was available at picks 1-21. That’s not a 6% chance of drafting him.<<<

    There is a low probability of a player like Clarke being available with the 21st pick.

  172. These are “great moves” in a narrow, niche, armchair GM sense. But they remain move at the margins. The moves that really matter are the ones that get you 1 and 2 options.

    So it’s preferable to acquire #1 and #2 options over role players? Groundbreaking stuff.

    Drafting a rookie as good as Clarke isn’t ‘marginal’ at all.

    They also made an excellent pick with Porzingis and they sold him for pennies on the dollar, but there’s no need to rehash all that again. It was a massive mistake and the max contract they would have given him wouldn’t be crowding out any other move, including one for a 1 or 2.

    Problem is that the Knicks would need to pay both a #1 AND a #2 in that scenario. The injury prone guy with the .537 TS% ain’t either.

  173. There’s not a logical consistency.

    If someone presents the following argument to one of you:

    “We tried tanking, it didn’t work, we ended up with Knox and Ntilikina”, you will correctly point out all the ways we could have executed the strategy better.

    But if I say we should try signing good veterans, the same people will say “we did that and how did Aaron Afflalo and Bobby Portis work out?”, as if the only way to execute the strategy is with shitty veterans that no one ever wanted.

    Similarly, Owen will point out that drafting is an iterative process and you need more chances at it. But so is free agency. You don’t give up on it because you got rejected any more than you give up on the draft because you got stuck with RJ Barrett.

  174. Drafting a rookie as good as Clarke isn’t ‘marginal’ at all.

    Yeah. It is. Just like drafting a rookie as good as Mitch was marginal.

    How much did Mitch move the needle? We all watch the team, right? He didn’t move the needle much. The other teams are trying to improve, too, and it’s a very competitive business.

    Problem is that the Knicks would need to pay both a #1 AND a #2 in that scenario. The injury prone guy with the .537 TS% ain’t either.

    Yeah, actually he is. He’s the 2 option and a very valuable piece of a really good young team. We all know he’s actually playing in the NBA this year and he has a role, right? So what’s the suggestion — ignore the actual role he’s playing in the actual NBA in favor of obsessing over his TS%? Rick Carlisle isn’t obsessing over his TS% and the Dallas Mavericks are actually playing games … but we should? Not quite sure about that one.

    There’s no need to pay a number one until you get him. Porzingis’s $27 million salary isn’t going to remotely stop you from getting one. Constantly sucking with an eccentric owner will though.

  175. No one is suggesting not drafting or not drafting well. That’s a straw man. Signing free agents or acquiring top-grade young veterans doesn’t mean you stop drafting.

  176. Imagine the Knicks traded Barrett for the 8, 17 and 35, flipped the 8 to a schmuck who thinks Reddish is a future star for a mid-teens pick and a future 1RP or a pair of pick swaps/contigent 2RPs and ended up with Clarke and like four other picks out of it. Would we be worse off than having one of the league’s worst shooting wings at $9M a year over 4, and almost certainly needing to pay him big money at age 22 in an extension, whether he’s good or not?

  177. Yes, Barrett has far more potential to be a needle mover than the guys at those picks. Championship teams aren’t built from scratch from moves at the margin. I’m not going to be wavered by a 23 year old playing 22 minutes a game. Not happening. If it turns out Barrett doesn’t hit that potential, well, that’s the risk of the game. It’s a worthwhile risk to take.

    I don’t see any evidence that the board even has the patience for a sit around and draft strategy. Seeing finished products in 19 and 21 year olds is no way to go about armchair GMing.

    I don’t have any problem “overpaying” guys either; the object of the game isn’t to maintain a pristine balance sheet. Broken record, but the Knicks have one and they suck tailpipe royally. There’s no credit to be given the front office for the balance sheet. That’s not the object of their job. It’s a potential path to an end, one of many. It’s no more than that. It’s certainly not an end in itself. They’d be in far better shape if they’d “overpayed” Porzingis, though I admit that doesn’t account for the effective option they gave themselves on KD/Kyrie by trading him. I do blame them for not having accurate intelligence on their chances to get KD/Kyrie. That’s their job.

  178. If Clarke were a Knick, he would play 35 MPG and be the hands-down favorite for ROY (less Zion hype). But since Barrett plays for the shite team, he gets the bUt hE pLaYs aGaInSt StArTerS boost.

  179. TNFH, if you should decide to get into criminal defense after law school, please take notes from Hubert. That, or make sure there’s other, more important work that you’d rather do later.

    E, I admire your ability to stick to your guns, even if it happens to be one of those faulty drugstore squirts with a crack through the middle of the water tank. This is like a 10/10 on the JR Smith irrational confidence scale, and I for one can not wait to see how it plays out

  180. “It’s impossible to quantify the probability of acquiring a superstar free agent but in the current environment it strikes me as a significantly easier path.”

    It’s not either or it’s that setting your team up with that as the goal is just as risky as drafting but has worse long term outcomes in general because you’re generally overpaying for production that’s just going to disappear when you can end up with a solid cheap core via the draft and overlooked udfas ect. Like, Giannis plus scrubs isn’t an attractive plan to Giannis because he knows from experience he needs more than that to win it all. But that’s the team we’d be selling him in your scenario.

  181. If Clarke were a Knick he would have taken more than 50 3PA, which for sure would have lowered that pretty 42%, and he would be rotting on the bench behind Bobby Portis and Julius Randle.

    Brandon Clarke is still a good player, but you’re probably going to see an uptick in your efficiency when your point guard situation isn’t Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina. Let’s not take for granted just how bad the Knicks’ roster is; RJ Barrett has a long way to go, but he’s probably losing 50-60 points on his TS% by being on this Knicks roster.

  182. What exactly is the Brandon Clarke argument supporting? You’ve brought him up twice now apropos of nothing. The guy is incredible and I would love to have him.

  183. I have no idea what point they’re trying to make with Brandon Clarke. Is he a nice player? Yes, he is. Is he excellent value at 21? Yes, he is. Does that change the expected value of the 21st pick in the draft going forward? No, it does not. Would I have liked to have traded down from 3 if I could get him? No, I would not.

    He’s a nice player, I like him. I’ve said that. He’s not a 1 option, he’s not a 2 option, he’s never going to be a 1 or 2 option. He’s not a needle mover. Would I like to have him as one of my key role players? Sure.

    Brandon Clarke was a good pick at 21. Great. Next.

  184. If Clarke were a Knick, he would play 35 MPG and be the hands-down favorite for ROY (less Zion hype). But since Barrett plays for the shite team, he gets the bUt hE pLaYs aGaInSt StArTerS boost.

    No, he wouldn’t be, just like Mitch wouldn’t have been last year if he’d played 35 MPG. I can explain why, but it would be like the fifth time I’ve explained it.

  185. Today is the day I learned that a guy with a .674 TS% on 19.3 USG% who also defends several positions well and pulls down 9.5 rebounds per 36 and who is on a rookie scale contract until age 27 is “not a needle mover.”

    I mean, somebody has to be the worst poster here, right? We can’t all be the Globetrotters, you need some Generals mixed in there too or there’s no context.

  186. Today is the day I learned that a guy with a .674 TS% on 19.3 USG% who also defends several positions well and pulls down 9.5 rebounds per 36 and who is on a rookie scale contract until age 27 is “not a needle mover.”

    Probably something you should have learned a long time ago. I certainly did. There’s a reason some people are “role players,” and they’re generally easy to identify. I’ve been able to identify them since I was like 14.

    His contract is irrelevant to whether he’s a needle mover. Analyzing basketball and GMing better really necessitates understanding this. He’s excellent value, but that’s an entirely different question than whether he’s a needle mover. And I’ll repeat it — the object of the game is not a pristine balance sheet and it’s not never overpaying anyone and it’s not ensuring that every player on the roster is a bargain.

  187. This whole “we got what should be expected out of the 8th and 9th picks” with Knox and Ntilikina is frankly the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard and it’s so factually untrue that honestly there’s no point in engaging it. Teams trade superstars for first round picks and you’re telling they’re fine with getting Kevin fucking Knox level of production out of these picks?

    The Knicks simply drafted two busts and then followed it up with being unlucky and dropping to third and potentially drafting another one. None of those guys, outside of maybe Barrett, were close to consensus picks and a lot of intelligent people here predicted they were bad picks and what do you know? They were bad picks. I’m still hopeful Barrett has potential and I don’t see a reason to get rid of the other 2 until their contracts expire, but I won’t expect anything.

  188. His contract is irrelevant to whether he’s a needle mover.

    BRO! CLARKE MOVES THAT NEEDLE MORE THAN A COMPASS IN THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE!

  189. As best I can tell, I think you just threw Clarke out there bc you knew someone would bite and then you could beat up on whoever did.

    Guys like Brandon Clarke are great and we should absolutely draft them whenever possible. Signing one or two good veterans (not Bobby Portis) doesn’t mean you can’t get Brandon Clarke.

    Hell, signing a good veteran in Marcus Morris is the reason we have a chance to draft a Brandon Clarke this year and a Nikola Jokic next year. That was the one guy they executed the strategy well with.

  190. This conversation reminds me of the ones THCJ used to have about Kenneth Faried. He was similar in college to Clarke, older than your average top prospect like Clarke, went #22 like Clarke, and played his first 1000 NBA minutes almost exactly like Clarke.

    Faried was a good player, especially during his rookie deal years, but, all-in-all, he was never a franchise cornerstone, despite all the virtual ink spilled about him on this site.

    That said, Clarke looks really really good.

  191. There’s pretty good data on the quality of player you can expect from the draft depending on the pick range. Of course, some of it subjective because people might disagree on the quality of certain players and definitions. But ballpark wise, it’s good enough for the sake of discussion. This one might be dated because we are drafting younger and young players now and that’s probably changing the probabilities a little. but it’s at least data.

    https://www.82games.com/nbadraftpicks.htm

    I looks like we were better than 50-50 to get a star caliber player by their definition from at least one of the 8th and 9th pick. My definition of star player is a LOT higher that theirs though.

    To me, a star player is a #1 or #2 scoring option on a very good team that’s not a major liability on defense or that is so spectacular on offense you can live with the liability on defense. If he’s a plus defender, you can live with a little less on offense. If he’s a plus on both sides you have a very serious player.

    So far Knox has been terrible on both sides of the ball and looks like he might not even be a rotation player on a good team, but he also came into the league extremely immature physically. Even his former coach said it was going to take a few years for him to blossom. So you give him and time and see. But going in, the consensus here was not happy with the pick (myself included). So what has happened so far hasn’t been surprising,

    I’m still on the Frank train. He’s a net negative player and an obvious liability on offense, but as a plus defender that came in as an offensive project I still think he has a chance to become a very valuable piece on a very good team even if he’s not going to become a legit star player by my definition.

    I’d say we didn’t do great with out picks, but you don’t get too many stars by my definition in that area.

  192. Clarke is probably already a better player than Faried ever was because Clarke plays some nice defense, and can guard multiple positions competently.

  193. As best I can tell, I think you just threw Clarke out there bc you knew someone would bite and then you could beat up on whoever did.

    And then declare “victory,” lol.

    No one even “bit,” for that matter. I didn’t say a single bad word about Clarke. I said he wasn’t a needle mover, which he isn’t — but that doesn’t mean by any stretch that he’s bad and I said like five times I think he’s a nice player who was a good pick at 21.

    And it’s kind of amazing that an even more Clarkeian version of Clarke has been on the Knicks for a year and a half, didn’t move the needle, and no one even notices it. It’s like we’re supposed to believe the fantasy version of these guys and not the actual version right in front of our eyes. THE KNICKS HAVE A PURER VERSION OF BRANDON CLARKE ALREADY ON THEIR TEAM.

    Seinfeld fans might recognize this as the Knicks version of George wanting Neil’s girlfriend, being blind to the fact that he’s got her, and still bemoaning the fact that he’s not Neil.

  194. I am the needle mover!
    (Ala Jojo)

    Our 3 young lottery picks may not have the ‘Wow from the first sight’ or the ‘stat marvels’ attributes but I’ll give them that eye test observation of mine:
    They all seem to me as high character kids.
    Is that enough to succeed in the NBA ?
    Definitely not.
    But its a great foundational start.
    Hard Work & Health can do the rest.

  195. You realize Clarke pretty much doubles Mitch’s USG%, so his insanely efficient game has twice the impact? Do you know how USG% works? As a rookie, Clarke’s USG% is virtually identical to Marcus Morris’s career USG%. So did Morris have an impact on the Knicks’s offense?

    Clarke has been significantly better than Mitch so far. Even with all his blocks, Mitch’s defensive value is largely theoretical.

    You can’t just look at the draft as a random crapshoot. Sometimes it is, but drafting Knox over Bridges is just dumb. Memphis trading for pick 21 wasn’t random, they knew Clarke was available and grabbed him. They traded Darius Bazley and a future 2nd. That’s not a 6% chance. That’s a 100% chance of Drafting a guy whose worst projection is a useful roleplayer.

  196. I would love to have Clarke on my team, but I’m not so sure some of what he’s doing right now is sustainable. He was a poor 3 point and FT shooter in college and was drafted at age 22. Suddenly, at age 23 he’s one of the best 3 point shooters in the league and close to 80% from the FT line. I’m not buying it. He may have improved, but not by that much. If you are buying it, then stop being so down on a guy like Frank at age 21. He plays terrific defense, impacts the game on that side some nights, and is younger than Clarke was when he graduated. So maybe he has a huge leap left in him too.

    Most likely, Clarke is not going to sustain what he’s doing now (possibly not even close) and Frank has more improvement in the tank than Clarke from here.

    I don’t mean to compare them. I am making a point about how to think about them. These stats are just a snapshot. They probably don’t reflect the next 5 years.

  197. Is “needle mover” the new ruff rydah?

    This is incredible to watch play out in real time. Like, Clarke actually PASSES the pointzzzz test and he’s getting dismissed specifically because he has good efficiency stats. It’s one of the more remarkable hills I’ve ever seen a poster die on, and we used to have a guy who argued the Knicks were bad because of Clyde’s announcing!

  198. Yeah, let’s retire needle mover forever and ever please.

    Everybody in the world agrees that the mega superstars are the sky high usage, crazy efficiency guys, the LeBrons, Giannis or Doncic’s of the world. We all know Clarke is not that guy. Who cares? He’s a very very productive young player on a very cheap contract that is already providing great value. Accumulating value in terms of production all over the court is precisely what makes a good team. It’s not that hard.

  199. Everybody in the world agrees that the mega superstars are the sky high usage, crazy efficiency guys, the LeBrons, Giannis or Doncic’s of the world. We all know Clarke is not that guy.

    There are a bunch of guys outside the tiny mega superstar group who are in a different category than Clarke by virtue of among other things, their usage. It goes beyond that, but that’s a start. The Brandon Clarkes of the world are literally incapable of getting enough shots off to hit the usage levels of the players in the different category. To be a needle mover in my eyes, you almost have to be in that other category, though it’s not a hard and fast rule. The argument begins when we get deeper into the different category, and that’s where the TS% cult loses its way.

    ,Who cares?

    Not sure why caring about that question as opposed to a bunch of others is somehow out of bounds, but the answer is that I care and a bunch of basketball people care. As to the Knicks, it’s a misdiagnosis to say their fundamental problems lie in not getting Brandon Clarke, so it’s a category error. Category errors on Knicks fan blogs aren’t exactly great.

    Accumulating value in terms of production all over the court is precisely what makes a good team.

    Nah, what makes a good team is acquiring good 1 and 2 options and then building around them. Brandon Clarke’s a good guy for that, but it’s a secondary or tertiary concern to 2020 Knicks fans. No one’s even arguing over Brandon Clarke; to the extent there’s even a disagreement, it’s with the obsession over these marginal moves that have nothing to do with the Knicks’ predicament. There are much more on point things to lose sleep over; in fact, the paltry return on an actual young 2 option the Knicks had and squandered would be one.

  200. >>Yeah, actually he is. He’s the 2 option and a very valuable piece of a really good young team. We all know he’s actually playing in the NBA this year and he has a role, right? So what’s the suggestion — ignore the actual role he’s playing in the actual NBA in favor of obsessing over his TS%? Rick Carlisle isn’t obsessing over his TS% .<<

    E,

    You are wasting your time.

    I consistently use to say that the reason KP was not rebounding well was partly strength and partly role and that he was likely to be a much better rebounder as he got stronger, could hold his position in the paint, and didn't get stripped as much. I was mostly ignored because, you know, "stats". What you see and logic don't count at all. Well, he got stronger, Carlisle asked him to rebound more, and now he's a much better rebounder than he was. He may or may not improve further depending on how much C he plays and whether they would rather have Doncic get the 50-50 rebounds to get the ball in his hands faster, but I was right.

    I said that he could improve his TS% with a simple change to his shot distribution and shot selection (which was absolutely terrible in NY). Carlisle HAS changed his shot distribution correctly, but his TS% remained poor because the layoff was impacting his shooting from everywhere, including the FT line. But of course missing a season and half didn't matter lmao. (ask Oladipo if his much shorter layoff mattered). Now it's February and he's supposed to be in his "mister November decline", but he's playing the best basketball of his life over the last 6-7 games and his TS is rising to reflect that. His shooting is returning to more normalized level but with better short selection and distribution than in NY. I don't know what his exact normalized TS% is now or will be in 2-3 years if he remains healthy, but it was freaking obvious he was a much better player than given credit for here and by BPM.

  201. Nah, what makes a good team is acquiring good 1 and 2 options and then building around them.

    So, like, the 37-18 Clippers, who acquired Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and then put pieces around them. Or the 38-16 Celtics, who signed Kemba Walker and then added Tatum, Smart, Brown, Theis et al. in the draft. Or the 35-19 Heat, who signed Jimmy Butler and then… well, you get the point, here.

  202. E,

    I agree with everything you are saying,

    Stats are the “way, light and truth”, but all these “single number” models are terrible. The game requires an informed analysis and understanding of what’s contributing to the underlying stats and the team winning/losing. Those models are terrible at that.

  203. So, like, the 37-18 Clippers, who acquired Paul George and Kawhi Leonard and then put pieces around them. Or the 38-16 Celtics, who signed Kemba Walker and then added Tatum, Smart, Brown, Theis et al. in the draft. Or the 35-19 Heat, who signed Jimmy Butler and then… well, you get the point, here.

    It makes my point, which wasn’t literally temporal. Nobody gives a shit about the Clippers’ role players ex-Kawhi and George. Once you get Kawhi and George, it’s better that they’re there and not some alternatives, but the whole thing revolves around Kawhi and George.

  204. Stats are the “way, light and truth”, but all these “single number” models are terrible.

    If used wrongly, they’re a danger to all living creatures.

  205. All the Knicks need now are a bonafide #1* and #2*, like they had in 2016-2017 w/ Melo and KP. Remember how good that team was, when we had not one but TWO needle spinners?

    *As defined by the ‘E’ Needle Movement Scale™

  206. Now E and strat join forces to shit on everything this blog has done in the last decade because of personal biases! This is the high level analysis I come here for.

    I promise I’ll try only one more thing: ts% is just not “one of those unholy stats”, it’s literally just a measure of how many shots a player converts from all the shots he takes. If you can’t understand that basketball is still a game based on making more shots than your opponent and would rather hang on to your esoteric metaphysical version of talent evaluation, you’re welcome, but the problem is definitely not the statistic. Ok I’m done sorry.

  207. I think “needle mover” was a sexist insult back in Shakespeare’s day. Kind of like “p***y” today:

    “What, wilt weep’st again? Thou woman, thou needle mover!”

    :-)

  208. This is like having an argument about on-base percentage in 2004 and some idiot telling you it’s a fake stat and the only stat that matters is the size of David Eckstein’s heart

  209. How about signing CP3 for vet’s minimum and then trading him to Mem for Clarke?
    Is this fantasy-needlespinning enough for you ?

  210. “This is like having an argument about on-base percentage in 2004 and some idiot telling you it’s a fake stat and the only stat that matters is the size of David Eckstein’s heart”

    that’s funny…and true..

    if fucking tom thibodeau (pronounced like “doh” Homer simpson style” is our next coach…I am done…

  211. Said it before & I’ll say it once more:
    KP is a special player.
    Put me on the ‘old school-eye-fuckstats-team’ on that one.

  212. Said it before & I’ll say it once more:
    KP is a special player.
    Put me on the ‘old school-eye-fuckstats-team’ on that one.

    liking kp doesn’t get you thrown out of the number humper club. pretty sure i like kp more than consensus here and my spreadsheets shine real pretty. i remember when strat gave a lecture on how markkanen was a better rookie than kp and defended phil for wanting to replace kp with lauri. it’s not the putatively contrarian takes that gets the hot sauce thrown at you. it’s the bloviating. in every coffee shop on the planet there’s a guy who read rothbard and so now he and murray are the only people who understand what a bank is. all in one stats are flawed! banks don’t lend out deposits!

  213. “I promise I’ll try only one more thing: ts% is just not “one of those unholy stats”, it’s literally just a measure of how many shots a player converts from all the shots he takes.”

    Yeah, it’s gone from ‘BPM or whatever doesn’t capture the intangibles’ to ‘the four factors are misleading and wrong.’ And now someone will accuse me of fraudulently misquoting them.

    Do other people’s browsers sport the auto block quoting thing? Mine doesn’t and I’m too lazy to do it I guess. I’m using Vivaldi, for reference.

  214. What’s funny to me is that if you’re not biased towards KP based out of loyalty or just this attachment remaining because he was a Knick, he’s not really even an old school eye test guy right? Like, if you ignore every statistic involved about him and just watch the game in an “old school” manner, he’s just a soft 7’3″ dude who won’t bang inside and would rather play a finesse game instead of leveraging his best physical asset, his height. He’s a 7’3″ guy who gets guarded in the post by 6’4″ Marcus Smart, which would be a laughing matter in the 80s, and he would get destroyed in 20 games by the physicality of the old Knicks or Pistons or Celtics teams.

    Yeah his shot is pretty and he has skills with the ball 7’3″ guys don’t have, but that’s all “new school bullshit that’s killing the game”, isn’t it? It’s kinda hilarious to think about it.

  215. Macri had a great trivia question. Since 2010, Melo has obviously appeared in the most games for the Knicks. But who is second?

  216. ***Resest to Random***

    always wanted to watch tropic thunder to see tom cruise’s performance…

    I remember years ago hearing he was in the movie, and it totally surprised me…I’ve tried a few times before to make it through the movie – but, the whole thing pretty much just annoys the hell out of me…

    finally I must be bored or high enough to soldier through, just hit the flo rida – apple bottom jeans scene with tom doing his thing…

    it was totally worth the hour and a half or so lost out of my life…

    and, my big takeaway from el camino – Spolier Alert –
    I want more el camino

    guess I’ll have to settle for some better call saul in a week…

  217. I would go for Lance too, maybe its Amare? Or THJ? It can’t be Jeffries because it’s post 2010, and I think Felton, JR and Tyson didn’t stay for enough years.

  218. “if you ignore every statistic involved about him and just watch the game in an “old school” manner, he’s just a soft 7’3? dude who won’t bang inside and would rather play a finesse game instead of leveraging his best physical asset, his height. He’s a 7’3? guy who gets guarded in the post by 6’4? Marcus Smart, which would be a laughing matter in the 80s, and he would get destroyed in 20 games by the physicality of the old Knicks or Pistons or Celtics teams.”

    Like a 7’3” Charles Smith?

  219. not looking it up, but, it sure felt like I’ve watched about a 1,000 knick games with lance thomas in them…

    Lance is somehow correct.

    ptmilo is correct that STAT passes him if you count playoff games (hence his “technically”).

  220. Tbh when i see BPM, Vorp, efg, gti,cia,fbi, s&m and csi stats in here i don’t pay much attention.
    I don’t have a ‘problem’ Only with the All in One stats. I do have also with the old ones.
    They definitely help and give a pretty good idea of a player BUT many times are misleading.

    If you give me the option to judge a player by checking his analytic stats and his box score OR watch his game I’d take the second w/o hesitation.
    It’s not that I’m smarter from the others.
    It’s just My Way of seeing/understanding things and predicting the future.
    I get info from body language, face expression and things that can’t be shown in stats like effort, enthusiasm, speed, toughness, team spirit among others
    Am i always right?
    Definitely not.
    Who is tho ?

  221. As for KPs eye test as I’ve also said again before….
    He looked shit this season at a few games i had watched BUT his Knicks/Latvian National Team performances leave Promises for a special career.
    Will he ever be a Top 5 or a Top 10 player ?
    Right now seems tough to impossible but would you bet your life that he won’t ?
    Me not…

  222. “Misleading stats”

    Pick the better coach:

    Steve Kerr: 3 Chips – Record:334W 131L (71,6%) and (73,3%)on the playoffs

    Doc Rivers 1Chip – Record: 931W 676L (57,9%) and (50,3%) on the playoffs

  223. He’s gone full Eckstein. Never go full Eckstein.

    hey now, I just heard that line tonight in the movie…what the hecks :)

  224. Team spirit, humanitarianism and universal consciousness !!!!

    Can’t find this stuff in the box score!
    ;-)

  225. BPM 2019-2020:

    1. Giannis Antetokounmpo • MIL 12.0
    2. Luka Don?i? • DAL 11.4
    3. James Harden • HOU 9.3
    4. Nikola Joki? • DEN 8.4
    5. LeBron James • LAL 8.2
    6. Karl-Anthony Towns • MIN 8.2
    7. Anthony Davis • LAL 7.1
    8. Kawhi Leonard • LAC 7.1
    9. Damian Lillard • POR 6.6
    10. Jimmy Butler • MIA 5.3
    11. Mitchell Robinson • NYK 5.3

    Kin of a pretty fair top 10, No???

    Mitch isn’t a needle mover not because he isn’t terrific…. he is has to make up for the sheer suckitude of Knox. Frank, Barrett Fizdale et. al. There’s a lot of inertia working against MR.

    I am wondering if there is way to project the Knick’s record without MR the past season and a half?????

  226. The dilemma with KP has always been about improvement and health. Most would agree that he’s not a max player at his current annual level of production. However, most would also agree that if he keeps his rebounding and blocking where it is and shoots at a .600TS% he’s worth the max. Personally, I fall into the “he will eventually become a “minimal” max player unless he gets hurt again” camp. Not a $40+ million guy, but will earn what he’s getting paid at the end of his current contract, and he can be moved for significant assets for its entire length.

  227. “…The dilemma with KP has always been about improvement and health. Most would agree that he’s not a max player at his current annual level of production. However, most would also agree that if he keeps his rebounding and blocking where it is and shoots at a .600TS% he’s worth the max. Personally, I fall into the “he will eventually become a “minimal” max player unless he gets hurt again” camp. Not a $40+ million guy, but will earn what he’s getting paid at the end of his current contract, and he can be moved for significant assets for its entire length.”

    All true. Adding his recent very hot play just coincidentally comes after a 21 day layoff. If his TS% is .683 in games 75-82 like it has been in February everyone will tip their cap to him…… but I’m taking the under til proven differently….. you know the definition of insanity…. something…..something.

  228. “Team spirit. This dude is talking about team spirit.”

    It really feels to me like we are having our own little “the alt-right takes over” kind of moment, down to the science doesn’t matter thing, the inability to argue fairly or to acknowledge any contrary argument, etc. This website has been built on trying to discuss sophisticated ways of understanding basketball better, and now we’re relegated to having to defend the very existence of statistical models in the first place against “team spirit” arguments.

    I’m just glad it’s still a fairly small community so we can still have high level discussions occasionally.

  229. It really feels to me like we are having our own little “the alt-right takes over” kind of moment, down to the science doesn’t matter thing, the inability to argue fairly or to acknowledge any contrary argument, etc. This website has been built on trying to discuss sophisticated ways of understanding basketball better, and now we’re relegated to having to defend the very existence of statistical models in the first place against “team spirit” arguments.

    It really is a little concerning. We’ve long had reasonable debates about the value of all-in-ones, interaction effects, etc.

    This new generation of contrarians is different. They are denying some of the most clearly established principles of the game of basketball such as “it is bad to miss shots and good to make shots.”

    I don’t think TS% itself has ever been questioned here as an important metric because, as you mentioned earlier, what it measures is so simple and so clearly important to one’s understanding of the game. Again, we’ve had disagreements over how significant it is at low vs high shot volumes and things like that, but never about the utility of measuring shooting efficiency in general.

    Now we have folks saying things like “this TS% stuff doesn’t matter.” I guess I’ll meekly point out that the top 10 teams in terms of TS% rank as follows:

    Bucks
    Jazz
    Heat
    Mavs
    Lakers
    Rockets
    Thunder
    Raptors
    Celtics
    Clippers

    Notice how they’re all…good? I dunno, seems like “putting the ball in the basket at a good rate” matters!

  230. Also, some of the arguments we’ve been having recently about draft picks and “needle movers” are similarly kooky.

    Are all-star games an acceptable measure of productivity, now that WS48, BPM, and the dreaded TS% are off limits? Because a full 25% of the players in this year’s all-star game were picked 24th or below (Lowry, Siakam, Gobert, Butler, Middleton, and Jokic).

  231. Now we have folks saying things like “this TS% stuff doesn’t matter.”

    Nope — no one said that, or anything close to that. TS% is a great metric, highly worthwhile. It matters significantly.

    That said, it isn’t remotely dispositive and frequently misused.

    It really feels to me like we are having our own little “the alt-right takes over” kind of moment, down to the science doesn’t matter thing, the inability to argue fairly or to acknowledge any contrary argument, etc.

    That’s probably referring to me at least in part and to the degree it is, I’d suggest going back and reviewing what I actually said about Brandon Clarke and TS%, as opposed to what it’s imagined I said.

    “Team spirit. This dude is talking about team spirit.”

    So was the board, at length, when it talked about Carmelo Anthony’s obvious lack thereof. It might not have used that very term, but the concept was the same. He was lacking badly in it, so much so that it was impossible for either of his teams to acquire the top-grade running mate he obviously needed. His temper tantrum over Jeremy Lin was one of the biggest lacks of “team spirit” you’ll ever see.

  232. Because a full 25% of the players in this year’s all-star game were picked 24th or below (Lowry, Siakam, Gobert, Butler, Middleton, and Jokic).

    Great, so there’s something like a 6 in 252 chance of drafting an all-star between 24 and 41. (14 drafts between Lowry and now, 18 picks between 24 and 41, where Jokic was taken.)

    2.4%. That’s the definition of a crapshoot.

  233. Nope — no one said that, or anything close to that. TS% is a great metric, highly worthwhile. It matters significantly.

    What you said was “The WS/48 and high TS% stuff doesn’t translate in anywhere near the way its adherents think.”

    People can come to their own conclusions about how I characterized it. I’m fine with it.

    That’s probably referring to me at least in part and to the degree it is, I’d suggest going back and reviewing what I actually said about Brandon Clarke and TS%, as opposed to what it’s imagined I said.

    Okay.

    “…drafting the Clarkes doesn’t in itself move the needle much.”

    “He’s not a needle mover.”

  234. They are denying some of the most clearly established principles of the game of basketball such as “it is bad to miss shots and good to make shots.”

    No one’s come close to denying this either. Your imagination and persecution complex are running wild today.

    It’s good to make shots. It’s bad to be limited offensively.

  235. What you said was “The WS/48 and high TS% stuff doesn’t translate in anywhere near the way its adherents think.”

    Both those statements are 100% true. TS% is a very useful metric. It still doesn’t translate in anywhere near the way its adherents think.

    “…drafting the Clarkes doesn’t in itself move the needle much.”

    “He’s not a needle mover.”

    Both of those are true and acknowledge every pro-Clarke argument.

  236. Great, so there’s something like a 6 in 252 chance of drafting an all-star between 24 and 41. (14 drafts between Lowry and now, 18 picks between 24 and 41, where Jokic was taken.)

    2.4%. That’s the definition of a crapshoot.

    If you limit the definition of a successful pick to “selected for the 2020 all-star game,” this is a great point.

  237. Again, we’ve had disagreements over how significant it is at low vs high shot volumes and things like that, but never about the utility of measuring shooting efficiency in general.

    There isn’t the hint of a disagreement over the utility of measuring shooting efficiency. It has to be done and it’s a very useful measurement.

  238. Personally, I fall into the “he will eventually become a “minimal” max player unless he gets hurt again” camp. Not a $40 million guy, but will earn what he’s getting paid at the end of his current contract, and he can be moved for significant assets for its entire length.

    Hard to see what the argument’s about then, other than the group being an argumentative bunch, which is perfectly fine. Dennis Smith, Jr. and two 1s in the 20s is not even close to an adequate return on the player described here. It’s pennies on the dollar.

    There are a couple complicating variables at work here — the de facto option on KD/Kyrie that the trade accomplished being one — but generally speaking, when you trade a top 15-20 asset at age 23 who you spent a high lottery pick for, and you get back a terrible point guard and two future 1s in the 20s, you’ve set yourself back tremendously, and that’s exactly where the Knicks are. The (relatively) pristine balance sheet doesn’t change that in the least.

  239. Most times stats agree with the eye test.

    Not always.

    That’s where ‘The eye of Thundera’ takes control and shows the limitations and the misleading of the stats.

    For example lowering your TS% while trying to hit a long buzzer beater or while your teamate is giving you the ball on the last sec is crap.
    You’re actually trying to help your team grab any opportunity to score but the box score shows that you just missed a shot.
    And doesn’t show that your teammate fuk you up….

  240. is not even close to an adequate return on the player described here.

    Right, because it’s an imagined player. Invented. Fabricated. Dreamt up by fanboys who refuse to believe that a guy with a career .535 TS% shooter is not an elite scorer.

  241. And the TS% of Mitchell Robinson doesn’t get hit by getting the ball with four seconds on the shot clock and having to go one-on-one to try to salvage the possession. The greatest players can get the ball in that situation and still be very effective. A lot of players can’t even get shots off in that situation.

  242. That’s where ‘The eye of Thundera’ takes control and shows the limitations and the misleading of the stats.

    Or it probably means that your eyetest is bogus, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

    And the TS% of Mitchell Robinson doesn’t get hit by getting the ball with four seconds on the shot clock and having to go one-on-one to try to salvage the possession. The greatest players can get the ball in that situation and still be very effective. A lot of players can’t even get shots off in that situation.

    Please tell me this is ruruland and he has moved on to Porzingis as the vanguard of the “his teammates make him less efficient by forcing him to take last-second shots” argument.

    We literally had this argument in 2012 like 80 times.

  243. Right, because it’s an imagined player. Invented. Fabricated. Dreamt up by fanboys who refuse to believe that a guy with a career .535 TS% shooter is not an elite scorer.

    Nope. Sorry, much as you want it to be, this isn’t a situation where 25 guys on Knickerblogger are right and the entire rest of the NBA is wrong.

    It was a terrible, awful trade. Dallas is ecstatic to have made it, almost the entire rest of the NBA wondered why the Knicks panicked and didn’t shop him at the time, and the Knicks are a million billion miles away because of the paltry return they got on a top 15-20 asset. People can keep bleating away about TS% all they want and it doesn’t change any of this. No organization is so haphazard with valuable assets as the Knicks were. It was a pathetic, incompetent display of GMing and management.

    He’s a 2 option on a really good young team, deployed that way by a really good coach. Meanwhile the Knicks are continuing to search in vain for a legitimate 2 option. This is why things like drafting Brandon Clarke are pooh-pooed as marginal, non-needle movers. They’re irrelevant to the problems at hand. Category error.

  244. E is the king of doublethink, he’s not worth arguing with.

    He keeps comparing Clarke’s 20% USG to Mitch’s 13%.

    20=13.
    Frank=starter, but also future 9th man.
    We don’t disagree about TS%, but also we do.

  245. Where is the screen setting on the stats ?
    The constant movement on the offense ?
    The fast return on transition D ?
    The right spacing ?
    The ball movement ?
    The ball hogging ?
    The pressing D ?
    The traps that lead to TOs ?

  246. The KP situation is exactly why some of us scoff at the misuse of TS%. In KP’s TS%, the majority KB contingent has not in fact found the secret to the basketball universe everyone else is too stupid to see and yet persist in the conceit that they have. And then they prattle on an on about Brandon Clarke, as if the Knicks having Brandon Clarke would somehow make up for such a disastrous squandering of a high-category asset.

  247. https://stats.nba.com/players/shots-shotclock/?Season=2019-20&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&ShotClockRange=4-0%20Very%20Late&sort=FGA&dir=1&PerMode=Totals

    Also, here’s the data, pal. He ranks 100th (out of 462 active players) in FGA with less than 4 seconds, and 39th in eFG% on those shots, just after Evan Fournier and before Jrue Holiday.

    Remarkably, just 6.8% of his shots come during this time, ranking 146th of 169 players who have taken >30 during this time.

    So frankly, dude, you just made all that shit up.

  248. A lot of players can’t even get shots off in that situation.

    Do you know who leads the league in FGA during a shot-clock crunch? Noted world-beater Devonte Graham (119 FGA). Do you know who takes the higher % of his shots during this time? Noted world-beater Jevon Carter (24.5%) who shoots a ridiculous .568 eFG% on those shots. He’s followed by perennial All-NBA candidates Reggie Jackson (20.7%) and Dennis Smith Jr (18.2%).

    So is Dennis Smith Jr. elite because he gets shots off?

    Also, you’re gonna hate this, but re: eFG%, Brandon Clarke ranks 6th of 169 players who have taken >30 shots with the shot clock <4s.

  249. Oh my god, you’re gonna hate this triple post:

    Nine Dallas players have taken >20 FGA with <4s on the clock. Porzingis ranks 9th in shot frequency.

    Every other rotation player on the Mavs takes more late-clock shots as a proportion of their overall shots than Porzingis.

    TAKE THE L

  250. Do you know who leads the league in FGA during a shot-clock crunch?

    That’s not the situation I was talking about, which should be obvious from what I wrote. Happening to shoot the ball with under four seconds left is not the same as getting the ball with four seconds left on the shot clock and having to go one-on-one to salvage the possession.

    What’s the difference? Well, any fair-minded reader should know, but I’ll explain anyway. A bunch of guys move the ball around nicely, it goes to Devonte Graham wide open in the corner with 3 seconds on the shot clock. He shoots it.

    Instead of that, imagine the ball being passed at the elbow to a closely-guarded Mitchell Robinson with four seconds left on the shot clock. And then imagine it being passed to LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant, or Michael Jordan.

    Difference is obvious, right? My eyes see it easily. If yours don’t, we’re kind of back in Manohla Dargis, movie critic, territory. And guess what? I’m a Rangers half-season ticket holder, too, and I can tell a good hockey player from a crappy one with my eyes — and so can a lot of my fellow fans. The Corsi numbers are nice, but they’re not dispositive either.

  251. >>>but generally speaking, when you trade a top 15-20 asset at age 23 who you spent a high lottery pick for, and you get back a terrible point guard and two future 1s in the 20s, you’ve set yourself back tremendously,<<<

    This doesn't come close to capturing the full return, though. Everything you get, every year, with the $30mm of cap space you're not giving to KP counts, too.

    Last year, for instance, there is no last minute Marcus Morris signing if we have KP on a max, meaning there is no LAC 1st, Det 2nd, and Sanon. So you can add all those assets to the haul.

    And we have the chance to do something with it again this year.

    (Also there is no way in hell KP was a top 15-20 asset no matter how many times you say it.)

  252. See? This is the shit I’m talking about. In my opinion, on the key aspects of the recent wave of anti intellectualism is Solipsism running rampant, the idea that everything that comes from outside a person’s own mind is unsure and therefore everything that doesn’t confirm my own personal ideas is irrelevant as it is potentially false as a principle. The main issue with solipsism, aside from the fact that it is just plain stupid to think about it in 2020, is that it creates circular, tautological arguments that cannot be argued against, because if you accept the person’s premise you also have to accept the terms of discussion (everything I can’t figure out by my own mind is unsure), which literally kills any sort of potential discussion because one side will never allow the other to present a potentially valid argument.

    So yeah, this is all pointless and it’s really sad to me.

  253. Oh my god, you’re gonna hate this triple post:

    Nine Dallas players have taken >20 FGA with <4s on the clock. Porzingis ranks 9th in shot frequency.

    I never mentioned Porzingis and the four second scenario. What in the world are you even talking about?

  254. That’s not the situation I was talking about, which should be obvious from what I wrote. Happening to shoot the ball with under four seconds left is not the same as getting the ball with four seconds left on the shot clock and having to go one-on-one to salvage the possession.

    How many more times are you going to move the goalposts today?

  255. See? This is the shit I’m talking about. In my opinion, on the key aspects of the recent wave of anti intellectualism is Solipsism running rampant, the idea that everything that comes from outside a person’s own mind is unsure and therefore everything that doesn’t confirm my own personal ideas is irrelevant as it is potentially false as a principle. The main issue with solipsism, aside from the fact that it is just plain stupid to think about it in 2020, is that it creates circular, tautological arguments that cannot be argued against, because if you accept the person’s premise you also have to accept the terms of discussion (everything I can’t figure out by my own mind is unsure), which literally kills any sort of potential discussion because one side will never allow the other to present a potentially valid argument.

    This is just internet navel-gazing that has nothing to do with basketball.

  256. E: I never mentioned Porzingis and the four second scenario. What in the world are you even talking about?

    Are you trying to gaslight me, sophist?

  257. How many more times are you going to move the goalposts today?

    Don’t blame me for your mischaracterization of what I said.

    Your data doesn’t cover the point I made. That’s not my fault. I’m able to tell the difference between Michael Jordan getting the ball with two seconds left against the Cavs in the playoffs with half the Cavs team guarding him, and Devonte Graham shooting an open three with two seconds left on the shot clock after a teammate penetrated and kicked. If you can’t, not my problem.

  258. >>>and therefore everything that doesn’t confirm my own personal ideas is irrelevant as it is potentially false as a principle<<<

    This strikes me as something that both the Strat/E camp and the the Jowles group is equally culpable of.

    Yesterday's counterargument, for instance, was essentially "we can't sign one veteran because draft picks rule, Brandon Clarke is great, and Bobby Portis sucks." And then everyone patted themselves on the back for a job well done.

    Granted some people like you focused only on the risk of acquiring a 35 year old, but largely the conversation was about trying to take an argument from me that was neither a 0 nor a 1, and recharacterizing it into a 0 in order to extol the virtues of 1.

  259. Doubting that any so-called “evidence” will have any sway but:
    Devonte Graham takes mostly off the dribble 3-pointers (80th percentile in terms of percent that are unassisted). Just saying. He’s not really a catch and shoot guy.

  260. I tried to post a comment about the Mt. Rushmore of KB trolls but it wouldn’t go through the spam filter. Maybe if I spell them backwards:

    sufurgod
    buer
    ekul niatpac
    E

    ahhh, there it it

  261. It’s a shame we’re not a baseball blog because this Astros stuff is riveting. Even LeBron is weighing in now.

  262. This strikes me as something that both the Strat/E camp and the the Jowles group is equally culpable of.

    the needle on the dumbness seismograph just bounced off the scroll

  263. Yeah Hubert, you know I respect you and I engage just fine with you, but when it comes down to this permanent brand of neutrality you lose me.

    You can’t sincerely have read this particular discussion with E and think “both sides are the same”, nazis and antifa are both violent bla bla bla. Come on. There’s a very, very clear difference in the way the arguments are presented and the way the discussion unfolds. It’s very obvious who’s derailing discussion and leading it towards a lower level argument every time, while arguing philosophy is internet navel-gazing. Please.

  264. Also Hubert, Clarke came up because you said this:

    If we had Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson, this wouldn’t be the path I’d choose.

    I’m playing the hand we have, not the hand I want. We didn’t draft foundational players.

    Am I wrong for assuming, from the above, that Jackson was one of those foundational players that would have led you to a different strategy? Clarke came up because (1) he is absolutely one of their foundational players and (2) his rights were had with what’s commonly referred to as a throwaway pick — one we would apparently have no problem giving up for supermax, mid-thirties Chris Paul.

    There is no question that players of Clarke’s caliber can’t be had with an early-20s pick all of the time, largely because players like Clarke — incredible production, deflated draft slot due to age/upside — don’t come around very often, and they’re certainly not as glaringly awesome as Clarke was last year. Memphis made a smart pick; at least a dozen teams that preceded them with draft picks could use a player like him, and were wrong to pass him up, or better, flip their pick for Clarke plus more assets. (Basically anyone who picked after #2.)

    One of the reasons I harp on the Clarke debacle is because of how obvious the pick was, and how badly all of the teams from #3 through #21 fucked it up. Appeal to the authority of NBA decision-makers? Brandon Clarke. Twenty-something draft picks are throwaways, trade-sweetener for aged supermax vets? Brandon Clarke.

  265. Can you imagine if this were Heatblogger and we had to debate the Jimmy Butler acquisition?

    That’s really a perfect example of what we are trying to discuss. Strip out Chris Paul’s age, contract, injury issues, putative decline (although he is still pretty good.) Is it a good idea to sign a late prime guy like Butler and add him to a team that has Bam and some young pieces of uncertain value?

    Is that derailing a rebuild? Cashing in too early? Or are you no less likely to reach your long term goal of winning a chip if you take a detour to being the 10th best team in the NBA?

    I get the argument.

    I don’t know, just thinking about what a horrific shit show being a Knicks fan has been over the last 4 years, well it’s enraging. To end up with Frank, Knox, and Barrett, due to idiocy and bad luck, when we could have had Luke/Trae or Zion/Morant, is just so so frustrating.

    I know there is more than one way to run an NBA team. I get it.

    I just wish the Knicks had executed on the hard rebuild properly so we wouldn’t have to have the discussion.

  266. I was wrong about the Butler trade. He’s played very well, back to being a top-15 player. Thought he would go there and collect a paycheck.

  267. Oaktrees: Christ, I’m seeing a lot of Thibs talk on twitter

    I’ve also seen a good amount of ‘Knicks interested in a scoring PG like LaMelo Ball.’ That’s truly horrifying

  268. Mark Jackson and Cole Anthony seem inevitable.

    I’m not too hopeful about the Leon Rose/Steve Stoute era. It hasn’t even started yet and it’s already quite Knicksy. LaMelo Ball seems like a bit better of a prospect than Cole Anthony, so the Razor says Anthony will be a Knick.

    He has a .482 TS% in college which makes him seem like a great fit here. I’ve been told that shooting a lot and missing all the fucking time is not really much to worry about and what really matters is team spirit and being a 1 option so maybe it will work out okay.

  269. “Can you imagine if this were Heatblogger and we had to debate the Jimmy Butler acquisition? That’s really a perfect example of what we are trying to discuss. Strip out Chris Paul’s age, contract, injury issues, putative decline (although he is still pretty good.) Is it a good idea to sign a late prime guy like Butler”

    We sort of started this discussion back when Butler put the Knicks on his preferred destination list out of Minnesota. (I remember being the Hubert of that thread, which I still stand by:)

    https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-jimmy-butler-steve-mills-scott-perry/

  270. Thank you Owen for asking the first legitimately interesting question on here in days.

    Given that the Heat seem firmly really-good-but-not-great, I’m pretty surprised they didn’t go all in and do whatever it took to acquire Gallinari. They were apparently close but couldn’t agree on an extension. I guess Riley always wants to maintain the flexibility needed for a the next elite free agent, and understandably so, but his current squad is making a run and isn’t exactly getting any younger.

    Anyway, between Bam taking the next step, Robinson being highly productive mostly out of nowhere, Dragic having a bit of a throwback year, and unexpected decentness from Nunn/Herro, there have been a good amount of unforeseeable positive developments for the Heat this season. Given that, I could see a scenario where the Butler acquisition is pretty divisive on Heatblogger at the time it was made with a lot of us thinking we should’ve long since tore everything down and rebuilt.

    Even with all of that, the Heat are on a 53 win pace, so whether or not you consider that good enough to truly go all in (and they’re pretty deeply leveraged right now) is a good litmus test of sorts. Of course, the wrinkle is they still have a lot of cap flexibility so it’s a little short of being truly “all in” on a 53 win tram.

    The boring answer is if I knew we had a front office like theirs and could thus continue to find productive players, if not movers of the needle, on the UDFA/flyer market, I’d probably be all good with it. With our guys? Probably not.

  271. There may be no clearer crash course of destinies than the New York Knicks and Cole Anthony. There are like 1,000 reasons it’s definitely happening. I’m at the point where I’m trying not to look into Hayes/Okongwu etc. too much because it’s pointless.

  272. I think I would be happy, but concerned, as a Heat fan. I would be ecstatic that Bam is becoming a great player, I would be happy that Jimmy is engaged and still at his physical peak, and I would be very happy that the team found value in a lot of unexpected places and still has future flexibility.

    I would be concerned that despite all this, the Heat might still be the 5th team in the east, 4th at best, and that the Celtics and the Bucks aren’t going away in the next couple of years. I would be concerned whether Jimmy’s efficient scoring will hold up in the playoffs, when he gets less fouls called on him, and I would be concerned about the under .500 away road record, specially considering they’ll be playing one series at most with home court advantage, maybe no series at all if the Sixers make a post ASB run.

    So yeah, I guess I would be happy if I was a Heat fan, mostly because I would have far more confidence in our front office than I have on the Knicks, but I would be concerned that this team’s ceiling might be the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers.

  273. I’m okay with where I stood on the Butler question :

    I’m honestly more sympathetic to Donnie’s view than others. The fact of the matter is Phil Jackson’s tenure almost certainly dropped our title chances within the next 7 seasons or so to 0%. It’s not even any individual move he made (though those were bad too)–he just decided to sit on his ass for 3 years while our most direct competitors realized that bad teams should be in asset hoarding mode.

    Having said that, I still wouldn’t say this nihilism justifies a Butler trade. He’s legitimately one of my favorite players in the league, and you better believe I’m sympathetic to his grievances about Andrew Wiggins, but as usual it would be badly misaligned with our win curve. Who knows, maybe we nail a pick that changes everything soon. Butler would make that a lot less likely.

    It’s important to remember the Heat were mostly just adding Butler to a 39 win team (losing Richardson’s meh production and replacing Whiteside’s minutes with Bam’s better minutes). We were debating adding him to a team that had just won 29 games and had lost some of the decent, meaningless vets that won some of those for us (KOQ, Kanter, Beasley).

  274. You can’t sincerely have read this particular discussion with E and think “both sides are the same”,

    I don’t. But I think some (not all) on both sides were trying to turn the argument into one inside their head, and responding to one thing with points about something else. Jowles has a much more reasonable argument going on in his head than E does, I’ll grant you that (no offense, E).

  275. ‘Team Spirit’ can’t be taught.
    You either have it or not.
    Lance had it. Melo not.
    Thankfully for us Frank has it at an enormous amount !
    It has to do with priorities.
    Its Team First and Your Ego second.
    Its not rocket science.

  276. i understand the money and their ages aren’t the same, but, what Owen says about the heat situation sounds pretty much on point…

    it certainly does seem like whatever direction we (the knicks) choose to go in will end up with us getting not only lost, but beaten and bruised along the way…

  277. >Ok new thread< Brian can do the honors. Look what I spawned! Knicks don't play for another two days so hopefully we can discuss that Thibs rumor being squashed btw now and then. On a totally different note, Erling Haaland, who I discussed a few weeks back as the kind of acquisition that savvy organizations like Dortmund make, and who I cleverly comped to Zion Williamson, has been on an otherworldly, historic tear. Signed for a paltry 20 million Euro, he has now scored 10 goals for two different teams in the Champions League this season after notching two more yesterday against PSG. He also has 8 goals in 5 Bundesliga appearances, including several where he didn't even start. Here is the NYT piece today. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/18/sports/soccer/dortmund-psg-haaland.html

    He was also clocked running a 6.64 60 meter dash during the game, which apparently is only .30 off the world sprint record for that distance and only .10 off the Norwegian record.

    https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-toe-poke/story/4055995/erling-haalands-stunning-champions-league-goal-stats-dortmund-striker-has-scored-more-than-barcelona

    So maybe while DRed is running the Knicks I can go run Arsenal.

  278. If forced with the dilemma of Thibs vs. Mark Jackson as the new HC, I’d go with Thibs all the way and hope he’s had some time to self-reflect and mellow out just a bit.

    Hopefully it does not come down to just those two. It might be “fun” to see Thibs try to get some of these guys to play consistent defense.

  279. Isn’t there a reason that the picks/players (Herro and Butler on the Heat for instance) achieve above expectations and the Knicks players (RJ and Randle) achieve below? The Knicks have complete and total organizational rot. That is not changing with Leon and Steve. This team is a decade from being good. Not 2-5 years. Happy Hump Day.

  280. Re Mark Jackson

    You wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore on national broadcasts, so there would be a silver lining.

  281. Brandon Clarke-already 23 years of age, a guy who is a role player because he doesn’t move the needle, and you can tell he’s not a needle mover because he’s obviously a role player. Averages 20.4 points per 36 minutes.

    Kristaps Porzingis-still only 24, the second option on a great offense, a guy who moves the needle. A needle mover, some would say. Averages 21.7 points per 36 minutes.

    Seems like they’re pretty similar in terms of offensive impact. . .but Kristaps takes about 4 more shots, and those shots are what we can obviously call needle moving shots. Could Brandon Clarke be able to figure out how to squeeze 1.3 points out of 4 more FGAs? Obviously not, he’s a role player. And that’s why he doesn’t move the needle.

    Q.E.D.

  282. The Knicks have complete and total organizational rot. That is not changing with Leon and Steve. This team is a decade from being good. Not 2-5 years.

    sadly that whole “lipstick on a pig” joke reads way to close to the truth for our team…it’s almost like you’d have to really work hard at being this bad for so many years…

    it’s good to read some excellent suggestions from within this site, but, also kind of sad to realize that most likely our team will head in the exact opposite direction of success…

  283. the funny thing about clarke (6′ 8″, 210 lbs) is that he doesn’t really look that physically imposing out on the court from the power forward position…great motor, high basketball IQ…

    i’m having trouble though on honing in on what defensive stats i should be looking at to see how he’s doing on that side of the ball…

    how is he doing on defense?

  284. Owen you cannot run Arsenal. Watching them languish in the mid table after years of St Totteringham’s Day brings me too much joy. No one can save them.

  285. >>>sadly that whole “lipstick on a pig” joke reads way to close to the truth for our team…it’s almost like you’d have to really work hard at being this bad for so many years…<<<

    It is kind of cute that we come up with all these elaborate scenarios and multiyear plans while they're probably sitting there at Penn Plaza going: "Ok, guys, how about this: Tom Thibodeau, LaMelo Ball, and trade three picks for Bradley Beal! Who's with me?"

  286. sadly, that ain’t a stretch either cuz it’s the same fools who believe branding and player “relationships” with free agents are the cure for all…the same folks whom targeted the youngest guys in the draft 3 years running…the same folks who bought off on bringing in a bunch of one-year deals for key rotation players…

    nothing screams “i have no idea what i’m doing” than having seven players on your team playing for their next contract…

    i haven’t checked, but, i’d be really surprised if there’s another team in the league that’s rotated through as many coaches as us over the last five years or so…it’s like rooting for bizarro knicks…

    earth to dolan: you are fucking up…

  287. I get LaMelo has his flaws, but IMO we could do worse than picking him if we fall in the mid-lottery. Shooting is still a concern, but watching him play in the NBL this year he definitely showed improvement in his mechanics as the season went on. For a teenager he also has a pretty high IQ and sees the Court really well. He had solid rebounding and assist numbers (8.7 Reb and 7.9 asst per 36 with an assist to TO ratio of 2.73) in the NBL and showed he can score (albeit the efficiency is a working progress).

    Providing he is on the roster, you could start Frank at the 2 with LaMelo to cover up some holes on defence. Could also contribute off the bench if we still have Payton as well.

  288. dtrickey:
    I get LaMelo has his flaws, but IMO we could do worse than picking him if we fall in the mid-lottery. Shooting is still a concern, but watching him play in the NBL this year he definitely showed improvement in his mechanics as the season went on. For ateenager he also has a pretty high IQ and sees the Court really well. He had solid rebounding and assist numbers (8.7 Reb and 7.9 asst per 36 with an assist to TO ratio of 2.73) in the NBL and showed he can score (albeit the efficiency is a working progress).

    Providing he is on the roster, you could start Frank at the 2 with LaMelo to cover up someholes on defence. Could also contribute off the bench if we still have Payton as well.

    LaMelo seems like a slightly better rebounding and, somehow, worse shooting PG than Payton. My real issue is LaMelo being described as scoring PG when he’s clearly terrible at scoring.

    From most mock drafts he won’t be available past the first few picks. In theory NBA teams would be smart, but that’s crazy

  289. God I hate defending Porzingis but if we’re really comparing Zinger to Clarke don’t you think its worth mentioning that Clarke averages 5.7 rebounds a game and 0.8 blocks a game while Porzingis averages 9.1 rebounds a game and 1.8 blocks a game?

  290. teaching the stationary pivot:

    so, any thoughts on fury-wilder II?

    really enjoy fury’s personality…it’s weird watching someone that big dance around the ring so gracefully, guy’s got a big heart too…

    however, deontay wilder is like drago version 5.0…dude was just made for putting other human beings to sleep, and – he can take a serious punch…

    i imagine he can be out-pointed like fury did the first time (not counting those knock downs, which, ummm, do most definitely count) – but, it’s just near impossible to avoid his right hand for thirty-six whole minutes…that right hand packs some serious sominex…

  291. A lawsuit filed by Charles Oakley against New York Knicks owner James Dolan and Madison Square Garden has been dismissed by a federal judge.

    “This case has had the feel of a public relations campaign,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan wrote in his decision to dismiss, “with the parties seemingly more interested in the court of public opinion than the merits of their legal arguments.”

    try being a knicks fan – then you will truly appreciate the full hilarity of it all…

  292. LaMelo seems like a slightly better rebounding and, somehow, worse shooting PG than Payton. My real issue is LaMelo being described as scoring PG when he’s clearly terrible at scoring.

    From most mock drafts he won’t be available past the first few picks. In theory NBA teams would be smart, but that’s crazy

    I think what kills his scoring most is his 3pt% numbers. At the start of the season his shot was a mess, but (and apologies for eye test talk) as the season went on you could definitely see a change in his mechanics. With his length and size, he can get to the rim with ease, but yeah the efficiency is still definitely a red flag. I have seen mocks where he goes consistently in the top 3, but I think he would be a solid pick if he falls outside of the top 5. Not sure if this makes sense, but I think with LaMelo he is better at more things than what he is bad at, it’s just the things he is bad at are all mostly in the scoring efficiency department which kills his stock.

  293. “God I hate defending Porzingis but if we’re really comparing Zinger to Clarke don’t you think its worth mentioning that Clarke averages 5.7 rebounds a game and 0.8 blocks a game while Porzingis averages 9.1 rebounds a game and 1.8 blocks a game?”

    It’s not worth mentioning because Clarke averages 9.5 rebounds per 36 and 1.4 block, while KP’s averages only go to 10.7 and 2.2 adjusted. If you think 1 rebound and 1 block are worth a whole .140 ts% (not a typo, that’s how much better Clarke’s ts% is), then I guess it’s worth mentioning, but I really wouldn’t.

  294. thenoblefacehumper
    February 19, 2020 at 1:59 pm
    “I’m okay with where I stood on the Butler question “

    But where do you stand on the nihilism question?

  295. Yeah, Clarke actually has a higher rebound rate than our favorite Zingis this year, 13.9 to 13.

    And it is Clarke’s first year in the league. He is old but it’s still a transition.

    Edit: Scratch that. Porzingis is higher. That’s Zinger’s career rate. Still not that far off.

  296. nihilism isn’t a philosophy…it’s simply a symptom of depression…the next cheerful nihilist, will be the first…

  297. dtrickey: I think what kills his scoring most is his 3pt% numbers. At the start of the season his shot was a mess, but (and apologies for eye test talk) as the season went on you could definitely see a change in his mechanics. With his length and size, he can get to the rim with ease, but yeah the efficiency is still definitely a red flag. I have seen mocks where he goes consistently in the top 3, but I think he would be a solid pick if he falls outside of the top 5. Not sure if this makes sense, but I think with LaMelo he is better at more things than what he is bad at, it’s just the things he is bad at are all mostly in the scoring efficiency department which kills his stock.

    I don’t hate LaMelo as a prospect, I do hate him in the top 5. I’d feel differently if his scoring were more efficient or reports on his defense were better. At 6’7″ or whatever, and by all accounts fairly athletic, LaMelo should play better defense.

    Also pairing RJ and LaMelo is a head scratcher unless we’ve already given up on RJ. I’m also unsure how Australian stats convert to the NBA. So that’s another question mark for me.

  298. so, any thoughts on fury-wilder II?

    Resident boxing fan here.

    You’re exactly right, Fury-Wilder II will be a lot like the first one, it’s a race against the clock. Fury will win just about every round but can he avoid Wilder’s eraser of a right hand for 36 minutes?

    Fury’s new trainer Javon “Sugarhill” Steward (the son of legendary Emmanuel Steward) is saying that Fury is going to be coming in heavier for this fight, like around 270, and he is doing so to be “stronger.” I call bullshit on this. If Fury comes in at 270 it will be because his ass didn’t train hard enough. That’s one of the things you have to factor in– Fury does not always bring his A game. He was a svelte 256 in the first fight and he was quick and nimble, If he’s at like 275 for this one I think Wilder will catch him.

    I’ve been a diehard fan of the sport for 40+ years and I never miss a big fight, and I have to say I think Wilder is the hardest single punch puncher I have ever seen. He is like a heavyweight version of the welterweight version of Tommy Hearns, he just gets unbelievable torque on that right hand. Unlike Hearns who was a very well-rounded fighter Wilder just does the one thing but that one thing is usually enough.

  299. geo:
    so, are you thinking wilder by k.o?

    early maybe (before the 5th)?

    I would think later than that. Even a fat Tyson Fury is still a hard guy to hit clean. If he’s fat though he’ll tire sooner.

    Wilder KO’s fat Fury around round 9-10. In-shape Fury probably wins a decision. The weigh-in will be interesting.

  300. that’s a good point on the weight…just looking at fury it’ll be hard to tell…he’s got one of them endomorph physiques…

    i can totally sympathize…it’s simply nature’s curse, and the fact that i have strong urges that include the consumption of little chocolate donuts – has zero to do with the situation…i mean who doesn’t sleep better with a few chocolate donuts and a glass of milk in them before bedtime…

    checked the vegas odds and wilder is only a slight favorite…

    i don’t know, i was thinking wilder by around the 7th, but, who knows, maybe fury can dance – or even knock wilder out…it’s a fight, and weird shit can always happen…

    you mention hearns, and that’s a nice comparison…the thing that struck me when i first saw wilder was just how wide his stance is (power)…i’ve been stuck on mma for a while, and the whole time when i watch him box i can only think – just kick his fucking left leg…

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