Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

3-on-2: Fisher, Melo and Phil’s Off the Court Triangle

Getty Images/ Charles Wenzelberg



So the Knicks have a new head coach, Derek Fisher, and it appears to be a pretty good hire, on paper. How do you ultimately think Fisher will unfold?

Robert: No idea. The whole “hiring a coach with zero actual experience” is a relatively recent trend. It worked out just fine for Hornacek and Kidd (after a few TPS-based bumps in the road) and Mark Jackson (clash of personalities with an Ayn Rand-loving dude like Lacob notwithstanding). I think Fish could certainly make for a fine clipboard-holder, but his success is going to largely depend on what the Zen Daddy does as a first-time Team Prez.

Look at Doc Rivers, another guy that went straight from the TV booth (or in this case, court) to the bench. He had a dandy first season with the Magic in ’99, dragging a team that was openly tanking, and whose best player was Darryl Armstrong to within inches of of a playoff berth.

He was considered nothing more than a pedestrian coach for years after that until Ubuntu showed up, and now he’s one of the best in the league. (I agree, he is a great coach now, but it took a lot of on-the-job training). If the Suns/Nets come crashing back to Earth next season, is Kidd/Hornacek still held in such high regard? Probably not. It’s a hoary cliche, but it is a player’s league, y’all.

Mike: Hiring a coach in the NBA is a crap shoot. D’Antoni was thought to be a good hire, but he didn’t work out here (or in L.A.). Larry Brown was thought to be a shoe-in, but that turned into a disaster. A few years back Thibodeau was the most desired “never-head-coached-before”, but now some Chicagoans are starting to sour on his lack of offensive production.

It seems that even established coaches have their ups and downs. Warren Spahn once said that he pitched for Casey Stengal “both before and after he was a genius.” So unless you’re getting the very best (Jackson, Popovich) roll the dice and hold on. It’s more likely that a team will be ruined by a bad coach, than over-produce due to a good coach, and it’s highly unlikely to come across a great coach. So if Fischer isn’t harmful to the team, I’ll take it.

Woj dropped another bomb Saturday morning, reporting that Carmelo Anthony is leaning towards leaving the Knicks. Chicago and Houston are considered to be the favorites to sign him. If you’re Melo, which route do you take? Should the fans be upset with him if he decides to leave?

Robert: I wrote a few things about that here. It really depends on what Melo wants. If New York really is the apple of his eye, he may be willing to wait out a rocky couple of seasons as the team retools (They never rebuild. Such a dirty word). If he wants to compete for a title now, then yeah. He’s packing his bags and looking at real estate listings in Texas and Illinois. The “What would I do if I was Melo” question is one I’m not remotely equipped to answer that question. I’m not a great, well-paid athlete. I don’t know what his priorities are in life outside the court, or if he’s just tired of dealing with traffic on the FDR/Holland Tunnel.

Should fans be upset? Again, I think yes, they certainly can feel that way. If I was 12 and Melo was my favorite player, seeing him leave would be heartbreaking. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that you have to be in grade school to react as such. But as a purely emotional response, if Melo’s a player you love–or even if you coldly/logically think retaining him is the Knicks best path to sustainable success–you’re gonna get mad. That’s a wholly understandable, justifiable thing.

“Should” implies that Carmelo Anthony owes fans something beyond playing as hard as he can for the Knicks while he is a Knick. Say what you will about his game, but there’s zero question in my mind that Melo busted his hump the last two seasons.

Saying fans “should” be upset smacks of ownership, as if rooting for/loving a player means that the player is obligated to repay that love in kind. or that they should make life decisions based on that love, and if they fail to do so, well then they’ve betrayed the fans, and are a person of low character. Greedy. Selfish. Egotistical. Another Spoiled Athlete. And on and on.

That’s a pantload of Angry Facebook Dad grumpery. Carmelo (shocker) is a human being. And like you and me, he’s got a job and he will do things to maximize his own personal happiness and/or profit at that job. Sometimes those decisions make us sad. Deal with it.

Carmelo Anthony opting out, as played by Tom Hanks.

Mike: Wow, if I were ‘Melo? That’s tough. Because yes I’d love to be remembered as a guy who won a championship. And so as Robert suggested, packing his backs for Chicago or Texas is the right move.

But there are millions of reasons to stay in New York, and they’re all the same reason. Money. If I’m ‘Melo adding an extra 8 figures to my bank account for post-retirement enjoyment is completely rational. And basketball is just a game anyway. Am I really supposed to care about winning a championship vs. the benefit of my family? Oh and if I stay in New York, I’ll be seen as a hero. A noble knight in quest of bringing that highly desired championship to Gotham. A guy that didn’t turn his back on New York. And if I actually win one, and I’ll be in bronze in front of Penn Station.

Also who the heck wants to live in the Mid-West during the winter, or Texas at any time of year?

So if I stay in New York, it’s win-win, right?

Onto a happier a subject, the NBA Finals! The San Antonio Spurs are up 3-1 on the Miami Heat, which most, like myself, didn’t see coming. Let’s say the Spurs finish this at home in Game 5, who is your Finals MVP? Also, are you surprised with how this series has gone?

Robert: Can you give the MVP to an entire team? Or a coach? No? Poop.

Well, then my vote goes to Kawhi Leonard, who just turned twenty freaking two, by the way. It’s going to be fascinating to see if Leonard can continue to grow to a point where he’s carrying the offense a la Parker and Duncan before him, but he’s right there with Paul George in the “Who will be the next Scottie Pippen?” sweepstakes.

I said “Spurs in Six/Seven” before the series started, so winning in five isn’t that much of a shocker. Watching their Tiki-taka offense morph into something resembling the Godhead of basketball? Yeah, against this Heat defense…that’s not something I saw coming. But boy oh boy, has it been a mind-meltingly glorious spectacle to watch.

Mike:
I’m with Robert, Popovich. Oh wait you said Poop?

Kawhi Leonard is a good choice. Sure this way we can keep forgetting that Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili are on this team. Are they they greatest players in NBA history that everyone just overlooks? Is this the most overlooked team in history? Liking the Spurs must be like being Haley Joel Osment in the 6th sense. I can see things that no one else does.

Want to prove my point? Go to a bar and ask someone to name the best NBA teams of all time. They’ll undoubtedly say the Jordan Bulls, the Lakers (Magic or Shaq), the Celtics (Bird or Garnett), and the Heat (LeBron or Wade). You’ll probably get the Pistons or even the Rockets. No one ever says the Spurs. No one ever wonders if the one of the Spurs 5 championship teams could overtake Jordan, Magic, or Bird in their prime in seven games. No child has ever lost sleep over that.

This will be Duncan’s 5th championship, but for some reason his name sticks out like a sore thumb against Jordan’s swagger, Shaq’s brute strength, Magic’s smile, or Bird’s determination. How bad is it that I couldn’t even remember if Duncan/Robinson’s commercial was about lawn products or lemonade? [Hint: It's neither.]

105 comments on “3-on-2: Fisher, Melo and Phil’s Off the Court Triangle

  1. ephus

    What a great, lucid, insightful, cogent conversation! Nicely done.

    Are they they greatest players in NBA history that everyone just overlooks? Is this the most overlooked team in history? Liking the Spurs must be like being Haley Joel Osment in the 6th sense. I can see things that no one else does.

    Five reasons the Spurs get overlooked:

    5. They play in San Antonio. San Antonio ranks fourth for media buzz in Texas, behind Dallas, Houston and slacker-cool Austin. Because the Spurs are San Antonio’s only major league team, there is not an infrastructure of sports writers who pay attention everyday.

    4. They have not had consecutive championships. or even Finals appearances. The Spurs won in 1999, but they were not in the Finals in 1998 (Jazz v. Bulls (for second straight year)) or 2000 (Lakers (at the start of their 3 year run)). Their 2003 championship was again sandwiched by Lakers Finals’ appearances. Their 2005 championship was followed by the Mavericks facing the Heat in 2006. Their 2007 championship was followed by the Lakers making a three year run in the Finals. This is the only time they have had two straight Finals appearances.

    3. They make it look too easy. The Spurs offense generates open shots, straight line drives to the hoop and Duncan post-ups for bankers. None of the finishing plays look spectacular.

    2. They have been boring on purpose. Since Dennis Rodman torpedoed the early 90s Spurs, the team has tried not to make headlines. Even combustible characters like Stephen Jackson have largely been kept off of billboards. Scandals that would rip apart other teams (Tony Parker and Brent Barry) did not draw comments in public.

    1. The Spurs run counter to the dominant paradigm. They share the ball, when the sports media look for hero ball. They rest their starters. The sports media says you have to build through (1) lottery or (2) high-profile Free Agents. Spurs did neither.

  2. ephus

    On Carmelo Anthony, I expect to be buried in derp until he makes his decision. Everyone can find something to reinforce his pre-existing view.

  3. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    I’ve been buried in derp for my entire life, but I’m looking forward to winning slightly fewer games than last season with a “less talented” roster. Then we can all talk about what a great coach Fisher is and begin the five-year rebuild, Spurs-style.

  4. flossy

    Say what you will about his game, but there’s zero question in my mind that Melo busted his hump the last two seasons.

    Zing!

  5. flossy

    Assuming Melo leaves, and we don’t take on any contracts that extend beyond next season as part of any S&T, I wonder what Jackson/Fisher’s approach will be.

    On the one hand, expectations will be zilch and we’d be able to trot out some pretty tank-tastic lineups with Bargs, Felton, JR et al. still on board. Since we actually have our draft pick, sucking as much as possible would be the logical way to maximize one of the few assets we have left.

    On the other hand, part of Jackson’s whole thing is changing the culture of the organization, instilling a system that provides some structure to the offense and defense, and basically raising a head coach in his own image. Is the best way to kick off that process really to lose as many basketball games as possible? How do you instill a winning culture when you are literally trying to lose?

    I guess a lot depends on what, if anything, the Knicks get back in any potential sign and trade. But I can’t say I’m too enamored with the idea of going all-out to tank for a high pick in a draft that’s not supposed to be earth shattering anyway.

  6. JK47

    In my pipe dream of the 2014-2015 season, the Knicks find a way to sign-and-trade Melo for assets, dump the contracts of Felton and The Pipe, re-sign Cole Aldrich, move Tim Hardaway Jr. for a role player while his value is high, move Tyson Chandler for useful future pieces and just let all the bad contracts come off the books.

    If there are a few guys around who end up being part of the long-term plan– like Shump and the Cole train, great, they get a year to work on their triangle games. Fisher gets a year to get his feet wet too and the Knicks can lose 60 games and nobody will care. But next season is a punt, no matter what.

  7. ephus

    If the Rockets are interested in Carmelo Anthony, they will have a real interest in delaying Chandler Parsons from signing an offer sheet. The instant that Parsons signs an offer sheet, his cap hold will balloon from $2.9 million to the first year salary in his offer sheet. My guess is that the new figure will be between $8 and $10 million, so we are talking bout $5 – $7 million in cap space.

    Here are my conspiratorial questions of the day. Would Jeannie Buss have the Lakers offer Parsons a day 1 contract to try to fill the Rockets’ salary cap? If LA (or some other team) offered 4/40 on day 1, would Parsons hold off signing the offer sheet to allow the Rockets time to bring in Carmelo? Could the Knicks pressure the Rockets to give up more in a sign-and-trade because of the risk that the Rockets would lose their cap space?

    You can get to my blog by clicking on my name.

  8. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    Battier, preparing to join the scrum in Congress a little early…

  9. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    Notice how no one spends the whole game talking about how great Leonard will be once he learns how to shoot, finish lay-ups, etc.?

    That’s something about Shumpert we should have learned from.

  10. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    This is going to be a game where LeBron scores 50 on 30 shots and the media roasts him for not scoring 60.

  11. ephus

    The ABC crew missed everything on the Manu 3 point play that started the big run. One ref originally had Manu for the offensive foul for throwing an elbow at Rashard Lewis to clear space (He gave the distinctive triple tweet for offensive foul). He was overruled by the other refs, who had the block on R. Lewis, long before Manu hit Battier at the restricted area.

    On the next play, Battier got called for the offensive foul on Manu off the ball as he retaliated for Manu’s elbow.

    Spurs then launched a run that got them back in the game. Major early turning point.

  12. ephus

    Tim Duncan for executive of the year. He persuaded the Spurs to bring in Boris Diaw when he was waived in March 2012.

  13. Z-man

    Kawhi’s hands are freaky lookin’ in slow mo replay, like those aliens in War of the Worlds.

  14. Z-man

    Diaw is having a massive impact on this series. His body control is off the charts. Imagine if he was in shape!

  15. Z-man

    At some point it must have dawned on LeBron: “Wait, us winning this series depends heavily on a reanimated Rashard Lewis? We’re fucked!”

    If only they could get more high percentage shots for Birdman…

  16. DRed

    Diaw’s got 2 points. Are you trying to say you can be effective without scoring? #crazytalk

  17. ephus

    Diaw – effective without scoring.
    Parker – not effective without scoring tonight. Missed shots hurt.
    Pop – effective in getting Patty Mills into game and the ball into Manu’s hands.

    Any player in the Spurs rotation can be the hero on any given night.

  18. Z-man

    Wow, DRed, was that comment to support the “Chandler is great” argument? If you are actually trying to compare Diaw’s offensive talents to Chandler’s, there’s really no point in responding.

  19. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    Am I wrong for thinking that Tony Parker’s 2 points on 11 shots might not be the thing creating space for his teammates? Maybe it’s just me.

  20. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    You gotta feel bad for LeBron. He’s playing with a bunch of stiffs out there. He deserves a team like the Spurs.

  21. DRed

    Lebron has been magnificent. The rest of the Heat are awful. Riles needs to be ruthless this offseason.

  22. ephus

    It’s hard to be ruthless when Bosh and Wade both hold $20 million options this year and next year. Neither can be traded for positive value.

  23. Z-man

    Amazing when all 5 guys on the floor can score, pass, rebound and defend, wish we had a team like that…

  24. GoNyGoNYGo

    Why do I have the feeling that the good guys are champs? Congrats to the Spurs. That’s the model of a how a team should be built.

  25. d-mar

    Really a shame we don’t have Leonard, replace Melo with him and we’d be talking multiple titles

  26. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    I actually smiled and clapped when I heard that name. That guy really deserves it.

  27. ephus

    I wonder whether, when the dust settles, Lebron is going to want to go back to war with this roster. Could he strong arm his teammates into opting out and taking more cap friendly deals?
    Would he want Carmelo Anthony with that cap space? Does Eric Bledsoe make more sense?
    Could he decide to go to Dallas/Los Angeles/Houston/Atlanta/Washington?
    Could he just go back to Cleveland?

    I have no idea what is going to happen. We are going to find out in the next three weeks.

  28. JK47

    I would imagine this rather one-sided loss would pave the way for Melo to the Heat. It makes sense for everybody. Melo, rather than being fourth banana, gets to be the “guy who gets the Heat over the hump,” even though in reality that’s bullshit. The Heat have to now realize that Wade and Bosh aren’t max salary guys. Even with two rings in four years, they’ve underachieved.

    I don’t know if any of this even makes any sense because I’ve downed a lot of wine, but I just see Melo on the Heat next year. It’s a gut feeling kind of thing. Alrrright I’m ooouuuttt fjadlfdsjkheakjfug

  29. mokers

    Kawhi really was so good. Lebron just couldn’t drag the Heat over the finish line. The spurs can bring almost everybody back, but at the same time, they will only have Splitter (and I’m assuming a very deservedly well-paid Leonard) on the payroll for 2015-2016.

  30. Brian Cronin

    Wade and Bosh should probably not opt out

    Hehehe…”Okay, we opted out.” “Suckers! We’re not taking you back now!”

  31. ruruland

    Think he’s going to stay. Definitely not going to Houston.

    Also, idea that leaks in this situation are an intentional way to manipulate situation one way or another is silly.

    Woj is still the best in the business and my guess would be it’s a Knicks source, not a Melo camp source, because that’s shut down.

  32. flossy

    Wade and Bosh just got a message on their LeBron app: “opt the fuck out or I will kill you in your sleep”

  33. Zanzibar

    If I’m LeBron, I head for Houston if Morey’s able to clear Asik/Lin contracts. Here’s their roster: LBJ/Howard/Harden/Parsons/Jones/Beverley/2.7m room exception. Wow! Not 1, not 2, not 3….

    If’ I’m Chicago, I offer Derrick Rose and two 2014 picks in a S&T for Lowry (11m/year). I use their 2015 Kings’ pick to clear Dunleavy/Snell contracts. I amnesty Boozer. I sign Melo (21m) and Mirotic (6m). Here’s roster: Melo/Noah/Lowry/Butler/Gibson/Mirotic/2.7m room exception. Wow!

    If I’m Phil Jackson after the above 2 scenarios, I announce a miraculous recovery and return to coaching for the Houston Rockets.

    If I’m a Knicks fan, I console myself that Riley feels as bad as I do, that is, until he signs Durant in 2016 once again leaving us a bleak future.

  34. Frank

    Amazing series by the Spurs – and to think we actually beat San Antonio in San Antonio this year!
    Like Spoelstra said – just exquisite basketball. I can’t remember ever seeing such a thorough evisceration of a team in the Finals – to win the 4 games all by >15 points is just nuts.

    I think there’s almost no way that Melo goes to Miami. There’s no doubt that Wade is on the steep downslope of his career, and that Bosh is sort of a mess, and that there literally is zero talent beyond the “big 3″. And if there’s anything the Finals showed us, it’s that the talent deficit after the big 3 (really after just Lebron and Bosh) was too great. He could take probably $4MM/year less than even reduced contract here, but still would be hoping that Wade doesn’t break down again and that Norris Cole can make a shot.

    I somehow don’t see Morey giving away assets for nothing to get Melo. Really don’t see it.

    A sign and trade with Chicago might be reasonable for both sides – but even so, if the Bulls have to give up Taj Gibson for zippo and either amnesty or trade Boozer too, they’d basically be relying Noah to stay healthy – fat chance.

    Dallas? Nowitzki will be great until he decides to stop playing, but Marion is old and they really don’t have any young talent there either other than Monta Ellis — and having Monta and Melo on the same team just doesn’t seem like a great fit, but what do I know?

    I think the sell job just got much easier for Phil – the 3 stars in SA make $30MM combined, and all 3 are probably better players and certainly are far more accomplished than Melo is. They win with sacrifice, with roster continuity, and with great team basketball. I like Melo and agree that he’s played as hard as ever the last couple years – but if I’m Phil I tell him that the culture of NYK basketball changes NOW, and if he doesn’t want in, then we don’t want him either.

  35. Frank

    And overall I like Spoelstra and begrudgingly give some credit to Riley – but there has been an alarming lack of player development there despite having a huge built-in advantage in terms of UDFAs and free agents in general. Where San Antonio is getting under the radar guys like Bellineli, Patty Mills, and Danny Green to play huge roles, pretty much every role player on the Heat has stalled or gotten worse since the Big 3 came together. Cole? worse. Chalmers? zero confidence. They’ve gotten literally zero from their draft picks since 2010 – Dexter Pittman, Jarvis Varnado, Dasean Butler (who?!?), Latavious Williams, and Cole. They had the 27th pick in the 2012 draft and traded it to Philly for a conditional 2014 first— which turned into a pumpkin (2 2nd round picks) which they then traded to Boston in a 3 way deal for Toney Douglas. Yes, they traded a late 1st round pick (which could have been Perry Jones, Jae Crowder, Draymond Green, or Khris Middleton) for Toney Douglas.

    It was a coup to get the big 3, but wow has Riley sh*t the bed since then.

  36. Frank

    And re: Melo to the Heat — why on God’s green earth would Udonis Haslem give up about $3.5MM in money that at this stage of his career will never come back, all so that Melo (who’s made about 4x as much as Haslem has not even counting endorsements), Wade, Bosh, and Lebron can earn a little more?

    And I also think Riley is too smart to re-sign Wade to a long-term deal as part of trying make a big 4. If anyone deserves to go riding into the sunset after his deal expires next year, it’s Wade.

  37. Hubert

    I think the sell job just got much easier for Phil – the 3 stars in SA make $30MM combined, and all 3 are probably better players and certainly are far more accomplished than Melo is. They win with sacrifice, with roster continuity, and with great team basketball. I like Melo and agree that he’s played as hard as ever the last couple years – but if I’m Phil I tell him that the culture of NYK basketball changes NOW, and if he doesn’t want in, then we don’t want him either.

    1. I think you’re absolutely right.

    2. I think Melo is still too thick to buy it.

    The culture will change here, I feel confident about that. But it will change without Melo. And I’m Ok with that.

    I very much like the idea of trading with the Bulls. From where I stand, giving them Melo would fetch assets AND taking Boozer’s contract is worth an asset in and of itself. Is it crazy to think we could fetch Mirotic, Butler, and one of their two picks in this year’s draft for Melo and taking Boozer’s contract?

    Considering how happy that would make me, I’m assuming it’s optimistic. But I believe they would be able to keep Taj Gibson in that scenario, and it saves them having to pay Boozer or amnesty them. For a famously cheap owner, that’s a plus.

    Anyway, trading Melo to Chicago is my new favorite possible outcome of this offseason.

  38. Nick C.

    Don’t you think the failure to have anyone develop or improve, is more to do with Spoelstra and the other players?

  39. Frank

    Anyway, trading Melo to Chicago is my new favorite possible outcome of this offseason.

    I still prefer Melo coming back on a Pierce-like contract (ie. say 18MM/year or even up to 20MM/year would be pretty fair for both sides) because I DO think that would benefit us in the 2015 FA market for multiple reasons — 1) we already have a cornerstone of sorts; 2) it would establish the precedent of sacrifice which would/should apply to everyone on the team.

    Short of that, though — hell yeah I would do Melo to Chicago for Butler, Boozer, Mirotic, and even just one 1st. I’d probably even do it replacing either Butler or Mirotic with Chicago’s other 1st.

  40. Hubert

    Also, my favorite juxtaposition of the basketball cognoscenti:

    Narrative 1: Let’s celebrate the Spurs because teamwork is great!!!
    Narrative 2: Let’s crucify LeBron because he passes the ball to his teammates too much!!!

    Idiots.

    I hope LeBron somehow finds his way to San Antonio to replace Duncan so all these narratives can collapse on themselves.

  41. Frank

    If we could somehow get Jimmy Butler I’d be fine to trade Shump to OKC for that 1st round pick deal everyone was talking about before.

  42. Zanzibar

    Is it crazy to think we could fetch Mirotic, Butler, and one of their two picks in this year’s draft for Melo and taking Boozer’s contract?

    Yes it is. (1) Mirotic has stated he only wants to play for Bulls (2) Melo wouldn’t want to go to a depleted roster (3) Most important I calculated Chicago could offer Melo 18.8m/year keeping Taj/Butler.

    That said, I have a feeling Melo is fixated on Chicago, probably cause he likes Thibs and wants to stay in the ECF. It is in Melo’s and Chicago’s interest, however, to acquire Melo via trade versus outright signing because (1) Bulls avoid paying Boozer’s amnestied salary (2) Chicago could offer Melo more money (3) Bulls have 5m mle available to sign Mirotic (4) Melo would not suffer major PR hit if he leaves NYK and Knicks receive nothing in return.

    I think the final deal would be: Boozer/Dunleavy/Three 1st round picks/maybe Snell for Melo. Unless Melo fancies a Miami Big 4 at 14.8m/ year, I think that Chicago deal is most likely.

  43. Hubert

    Short of that, though — hell yeah I would do Melo to Chicago for Butler, Boozer, Mirotic, and even just one 1st. I’d probably even do it replacing either Butler or Mirotic with Chicago’s other 1st.

    So does that mean it was wildly optimistic on my behalf?

    I mean, how else does Chicago plan on getting Melo? I believe the only other option is amnestying boozer, giving Gibson away for free, and signing Melo outright. Which, frankly, makes more sense for basketball reasons. But here’s where we hope their cheapness comes into play.

  44. Hubert

    (2) Melo wouldn’t want to go to a depleted roster

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  45. Hubert

    (I’m not laughing at you, Zanzibar, I just can’t think of any other reaction to the idea that now, suddenly, Melo would have the foresight to not want the team acquiring him to give up too much to get him.)

  46. Hubert

    But in all seriousness, losing Mirotic and a draft pick doesn’t exactly deplete Chicago’s roster.

    The only subtraction would be Butler, but in the other scenario they are subtracting Gibson.

  47. Zanzibar

    But in all seriousness, losing Mirotic and a draft pick doesn’t exactly deplete Chicago’s roster. The only subtraction would be Butler, but in the other scenario they are subtracting Gibson.

    If my calculations are correct, they don’t have to lose Mirotic/Butler/Gibson because they could sign Melo for 18.8m outright. However, only the 2.7m room exception would be available to sign Mirotic this season; next year they could offer 5m mle. And I’ve read multiple sources saying Mirotic is only interested in the Bulls and that the GM is high on him and won’t trade him.

  48. Frank

    Re: Mirotic saying he only wants to play for the Bulls – that feels very much like standard agent-speak for “don’t even try trading me to Milwaukee because I’m fine with just staying in Europe”. Pretty sure of all NBA destinations he would be ok playing in NYC for Phil Jackson.

    And in a potential Boozer/Butler+ picks deal, the Bulls would still have Derrick Rose, Snell, Melo, Gibson, Noah and maybe even Mirotic.

    One can imagine even expanding the deal so that Chicago gets “more talent” — something like Melo + JR for Boozer, Butler, Dunleavy, Snell, and Brewer + a first.

    We would get out from under JR’s contract and brain, and CHI could field a starting 5 of Rose, JR, Melo, Gibson, and Noah, and still possibly bring over Mirotic and have a first round pick + mini- or full MLE (if Mirotic doesnt take it) to fill out the roster. And we would gain the priceless experience of seeing Bargnani, Amare, and Boozer all on the court at the same time.

  49. Farfa

    I don’t think there could really be a single human being on the planet wanting to play “only” for the Bulls and never considering the Knicks a possibility. We are New York. And now we also have Phil. I think that when someone says he wants to play “only” for the Bulls, he’s really saying: I want to play for the Bulls but, well, if the Lakers come a-callin’… or the Celtics… or the Heat… or the Knicks… (in short, Mirotic is just saying to Minnesota, Milwaukee, Sacramento etc. not to bother trading for him.

  50. Zanzibar

    Melo’s mindset is surely different at this stage. Butler is key to that team and there’s no way he would want to swap Butler for JR. Regarding Mirotic, this has been going on for sometime and the GM and he have cultivated a relationship. Plus Melo would not want the Bulls to include him in any deal if they don’t have to. And they don’t have to so long as Melo is willing to sign outright for 18.8m. The Knicks would then have to take the 3 draft picks and maybe Snell or risk losing Melo for nothing.

  51. Hubert

    One can imagine even expanding the deal so that Chicago gets “more talent” — something like Melo + JR for Boozer, Butler, Dunleavy, Snell, and Brewer + a first.

    JR is a minus in any deal. The second you include him you take less back.

    If we just get Mirotic and a pick in this year’s first round for Melo, I’d be happy with that. We really don’t have any leverage.

  52. Hubert

    I’m actually curious how prepared the Knicks’ front office would be if they acquired a pick in this year’s draft as part of a Melo trade. I mean, who is scouting for Phil? Is Phil going to be any good at drafting? Are we still using Steve Mills’ people?

  53. Farfa

    I prefer Chicago to New York any day of the week.

    As I’m sure lots of people do, too. I didn’t want to say that New York is better than Chicago (I don’t really know, I’ve only been to NY, Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco); I just wanted to say that I can’t believe someone wants to play “only” for the Bulls. In the NBA, there are always at least five destinations who are well regarded by anyone, and New York will always be one of them.

  54. Hubert

    I prefer Chicago to New York any day of the week.

    Call me old fashioned, but I like real pizza and not dodging bullets.

  55. lavor postell

    On Chicago signing Melo outright:

    In this first scenario, the Bulls would basically be clearing the decks. Boozer would be amnestied, all the free agents and exceptions would be renounced, and Dunleavy, Snell, Smith and the first-rounders would be dumped. The Bulls would also agree with Mirotic to delay coming over for another year. This would leave the Bulls with a roster of only Rose, Noah, Gibson and Butler. When factoring in Rip Hamilton’s cap charge and the rest of the incomplete roster charges, the Bulls would have $17 million in cap space (with bonuses met).

    http://www.blogabull.com/2014/5/23/5743578/carmelo-anthony-free-agency-trade-bulls-offseason-2014

    At that point it makes a lot more sense to agree to a sign-and-trade for Melo. We have to remember that Jerry Reinsdorf would never in a million years amnesty Boozer if he could find a scenario in which a team was willing to take on that kind of money at the cost of assets you’re likely going to have to give up anways. If Melo wants to go to the Bulls we should tell him to opt-in and agree to an extension with the Bulls before the trade and send him to the Bulls for Boozer, Dunleavy, both firsts this year and the rights to Mirotic. If you can’t pull Mirotic then I think you try to get Butler and move him or Shump for further assets before the trade deadline.

  56. lavor postell

    As I’m sure lots of people do, too. I didn’t want to say that New York is better than Chicago (I don’t really know, I’ve only been to NY, Las Vegas, LA and San Francisco)

    I’m very comfortable saying that New York is better than Chicago in every single aspect of living in a big city other than eating hot dogs, which is fine because I’ll take a good halal cart or a slice of NY pizza over a hot dog any day of the week. The only city I’ve been too that I think I can even compare to New York with everything it offers is London.

    Chicago in the summertime is beautiful.

  57. Zanzibar

    @Lavor Here are my calculations using 2014 Sham sports figures: Noah/Butler/Rose/Gibson/Hamilton total 41.4m. There would be 6 empty roster slots when Melo signs so that’s a 3m cap hold. 63.2 minus 44.4 = 18.8m. Of course, I presume all which is stated to clear other contracts in the quote you cited would also occur.

    While not optimal, we would have 4 1st round picks in the next 2 seasons. I’d offer Chandler/Prigs/THJ in exchange for OKCs #21 and #28 picks/Perkins/Collison/Thabeet. If OKC balks, we could scale it back to 1 pick only keeping THJ. We then have 5 or 6 first-round picks.

  58. lavor postell

    @Zanzibar your calculations may be right, but Reinsdorf isn’t amnestying Boozer if he can trade him and only give up assets he’d likely have to give up anyways. I like your proposed trade ideas btw. I’d be very much on board with that, though I still would prefer to keeping Melo on a discount, which seems unlikely right now.

  59. JK47

    Taking on Boozer’s contract is the leverage the Knicks would have over the Bulls. I think many franchises would just happily pay the amnesty but Reinsdorf is a known cheapskate. I know these franchises are worth billions of dollars and all, but any Melo sign-and-trade that involves Boozer is tantamount to sending the Bulls Carmelo Anthony plus $16.8M. That actually does give the Knicks a bit of leverage if the Bulls really do want Melo.

    There would be something of a lovely symmetry in a sign-and-trade of Melo to the Bulls that results in the Knicks getting back a bunch of assets. Melo would once again find himself on a thin roster where the other stars are a defensive-oriented center and a volume scorer with major injury questions. Derrick Rose is only 25, but he has played only 49 games over the last three seasons, and has been pretty bad in those 49 games– .517 TS%. Rose also has a whopper of a contract at $21M per that runs through 2017. That contract is quickly becoming one of the worst in the NBA. So, Melo should feel right at home on the Bulls, except for the fact that Thibs will force him to play defense.

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