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Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Free Agency Roundup (Thus Far)

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome to the Knickerblogger free agency roundtable! Whilst we wait for the Melo-choly Dane to make up his so-called mind, we’ll chat about where things stand. Our lovely and talented contestants are Angus Crawford, Robert Silverman, Dan Litvin, Chase Thomas and Taylor Armosino. Let’s delve!

The Knicks’ primary vehicle for adding talent to the roster in this free agency window is the Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, scheduled to carry a first-year salary of $3.28M in 2014-15, per Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ. Given that the market is flooded with teams hoarding cap space, who should be on the Knicks’ shortlist for the mini-MLE?

Angus Crawford: The starriest name of all to be tenuously linked to the Knicks is Pau Gasol, a former disciple of Phil who would have to be amenable to a discount in the range of $15M per year, in order to call Manhattan home. Patty Mills was a nice thought before his injury news broke, but that was never likely to eventuate. I’d take a long look at Hornets forward Josh McRoberts, who’d be receiving a slight raise on his 2014 salary with the taxpayer’s MLE. He functions as one of the league’s premier passing forwards, and could slot nicely into the triangle alongside any number of players. McRoberts canned a career-high 105 threes at an above-average rate this past season, too, adding versatility and a few extra lineup options.

Robert Silverman: Obviosuly, Gasol would be a great get, but he’s going to get better offers from teams that are closer to contending, like Oklahoma City, Miami, and Chicago. I’ve always been a big McBob fan, and it’s not just because he looks like a super-sized Charlie Day, and adding a shotblocker/interior defender with upside like Ekpe Udoh has some appeal. Then again, unless it’s a player of Pau’s caliber that’s willing to take a seriously below market value deal, I would prefer the Knicks hoarded their 2015 cap space, especially since they just took a Calderon-sized, 5 million dollar bite out of it (Jose’s contract minus what they would have spent on Felton) in the Chandler trade. 

Dan Litvin: The Knicks aren’t taxpayers anymore. Moreover, I think they’re far enough under the apron that they can use the full MLE. While this would hard cap them, it would open up some options. I’m not sure exactly who the Knicks should target, but I think that while the Chandler trade may have improved the team overall, I do think they need some more defense up front. I kind of like the idea of Pau Gasol, although he’s not the player he once was, and I’m leery of handing out too much cash heading into next summer and the summer after that.

Chase Thomas: Steve Blake is the first name that comes to mind here. Yes, the Knicks traded for Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin, but the team could really use a point guard familiar with the Triangle, and Blake fits that bill.  Pau Gasol would be taking a big pay cut, but he’s obviously another very intriguing target for the Knicks. Vince Carter, Francisco Garcia, Danny Granger, Thabo Sefolosha and Emeka Okafor round out my not-so-short list.

Taylor Armosino: As a team that needs to be adding cheap role players that can contribute for multiple seasons, it’d be smart for the Knicks to look towards younger free agents who might be willing to sign multi-year deals that include either team options or qualifying offers. Such free agents include Ekpe Udoh, Al-Farouq Aminu, Lavoy Allen, DaJuan Blair and Jimmer Fredette. Of that group, Aminu, Blair and Udoh intrigue me the most. I like Josh McRoberts as well.

Rank the following criteria for prospective additions to the roster, in order of importance: youth, fit for the triangle offense, positional need, cost, ability. 

AC: Youth, ability, triangle fit, cost, need, in that order. The Knicks’ need to start fermenting young talent in-house has been long overdue, and is even more pressing with the grim outlook for the upcoming season. I expect that the autonomy brought in by operating an independent D-League franchise will help to cultivate this process. Heck, even a “nothing” move like purchasing the rights to the 57th pick in last week’s draft–French center Louis Labeyrie who, by all accounts, is likely to never appear in the NBA–is a positive development. You may as well utilize every available avenue to find potential contributors.

RS: This is a transition year, regardless of what happens with Melo. Like I said above, one year deals for borderline talent are going to weigh more heavily than a few WARP’s. Take risks on more Jeremy Tyler/Toure’ Murry types. Roll the dice on two year contracts (with the 2nd year a team option) and see if you can pick up a developing talent for cheap.

DL: Keeping in mind that while this year, the Knicks can make the playoffs (if they keep Melo), it’s still a transitional year–a bridge into the next two seasons–I’d rank it this way: cost, length of contract (had to add that in), followed by some balance of the rest.

CT: Cost, ability, youth, fit for the triangle, positional need.

TA: Obviously all are important, but I’d go: 1. Ability (especially defensive), 2a. Triangle fit, 2b. Youth, 4. Cost, 5. Positional need.

How do you assess the value of creating an extra roster spot via either A) negotiating a buyout with one of the Knicks players holding an expiring contract (Bargnani, Stoudemire, Dalembert, Ellington etc.), or B) utilizing the stretch provision for the remaining two years and $12,382,125 on J.R. Smith’s contract?

AC: I raised the idea of stretching Smith’s contract last week, a move that would pry open nearly $4M in additional wiggle room next summer, if kicked into gear before the start of 2014-15. Smith’s cap figure would be reduced to approximately $2,476,425 if the Knicks’ front office elected to go down that path, though the notion of paying for his services through to the end of 2019 isn’t particularly enticing. At very least, it’s worth considering, but I don’t anticipate it’ll happen. Instead, the Knicks currently have eight (!!!) guards attached to their roster–if you include Murry and Shannon Brown–so a small exodus on that front is more likely.

RS: I wouldn’t stretch anyone on the roster, including J.R. Look at the contracts that guys that can catch and shoot are getting. 19 million for Jodie Meeks from the Pistons? Orlando dumped  4.5 million in Ben Gordon’s lap because… I have no idea why. Given this kind of inflation, you can find a taker for Smith’s contract if need be. Or, hey, there’s even a chance that he might thrive in the Triangle. If you want to buyout Bargs and/or STAT, because the team’s in full rebuild mode, sure. Then again, if you’re tanking, giving heavy minutes to ‘Drea and Amar’e at PF/C would work quite nicely in that regard.

DL: On J.R., I wouldn’t stretch him. Salaries for wings appear to be engaged in an inflationary frenzy. Ben Gordon just got $4.5M. Jodie Meeks got 3 years/$21 million. I’m not the biggest J.R. fan, but if he was a free agent this season he’d be commanding at least what he’s being paid on his current deal and probably more. That’s significant because he has an opt-out after this year and I think he’s likely to use it to try to get a long term deal. With respect to the first part of your question, I think if the Knicks can identify someone they’d rather have, then sure, buyout or waive someone they don’t need (Bargs, I’m looking in your general direction.)

CT: Utilizing the stretch provision would probably be the better option of the two.

TA: If I wanted the Knicks to be good, I’d say they should work to buy out Bargnani, and probably Stoudemire as well. That said, if Carmelo Anthony walks, I want the Knicks in full tanking mode. Play Bargnani 47 minutes a game next to Stoudemire and give up 4000 points a game. It’s the smart thing to do.

Earlier this week, the Knicks declined to extend a qualifying offer to Toure’ Murry, making him an unrestricted free agent. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported, however, that they are still interested in retaining the second year guard. Should the Knicks move to re-sign Murry?

AC: Murry had fleeting moments last season before being banished to Mike Woodson’s doghouse. I think he’s deserving of a bigger shot than the 373 minutes of (mostly) garbage time that he was dealt in his rookie campaign. He played double figure minutes on only four occasions after February 1, and two of those arrived at the very tail end of the season. The concern is that the salary cap juggling that led to the Knicks rescind the QO–and the expected interest from rival teams–might just price them out of the Murry market.

RS: Maybe. I could be wrong about this (HELP! LAWYER! LARRY COON!), but I think if the Knicks had extended the QO for Toure’, it would’ve come out of the funds they have to spend as part of the mid-level exemption. Is that right? I think it’s right.

(Checks math) Got it. Murry’s deal would have come out of the mid-level but only if they are playing in the match this afternoon, and then they would have had to move their clothes down onto the lower peg immediately after lunch, before the Knicks wrote their letter home, if Phil Jackson is not getting his hair cut, unless J.R. has got a younger brother who is going out this weekend as the guest of another boy, in which case, collect his note before lunch, put it in the Knicks’ letter after Phil’s had his hair cut, and make sure Steve Mills moves their clothes down onto the lower peg for them.

But I could be wrong about all that, especially the haircut. Yeah, I’d like them to re-up Toure’ on another non-guaranteed deal.

DL: Not sure. I know a lot of people really like Toure’. I do like his moxie and hustle, but his playmaking and shooting seem wanting (caveat: eye test here). The Knicks already have Calderon, Larkin and Prigs. I wouldn’t mind adding Toure’ back to the mix but he likely wouldn’t see a lot of action. Moving on may be best for him too.

CT: Murry was a surprising bright spot for the Knicks backcourt last season, but with Jose Calderon, Pablo Prigioni and Shane Larkin in the backcourt re-signing Murry probably isn’t necessary. The Knicks will probably sign one more rotational point guard, but it should probably be somebody familiar with the Triangle, like Steve Blake, who Phil spoke very highly of in LA.

TA: Murry showed some nice promise as a possible 3rd point guard that can play some defense. However, he struggled offensively and doesn’t look to have a ton of upside there. I don’t think he moves the needle much. I’m indifferent.

Pick one: re-signing Carmelo Anthony to the maximum available contract (five years, $129M), or pursuing a sign-and-trade scenario with one of Anthony’s suitors.

AC: Ugh, that fifth year. Carmelo Anthony would be 35 years old at the conclusion of said max contract, making the price tag all the more burdensome. There has been talk of a “bidding war” among his suitors, setting up a juicy S&T competition for the Knicks. One problem with that: Melo himself would have to be receptive to the idea of joining any two of those teams. A max contract is just too much and stretches over too many years, at this point. In this hypothetical, I’d gauge the availability of other teams’ assets, whether it be current players (i.e. Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons), future picks, or stashed prospects.

RS: Bye Melo.

DL: I am NOT a big fan of resigning Carmelo to a max deal, that will pay him close to $30,000,000 as he approaches his 35th birthday. While the cap is projected to go up, his salary will escalate by an even higher percentage, and will likely consume the same proportion of the cap throughout the length of the deal. While it’s probably not impossible to build in this context, there’s no question that having one player consume so much of your available spend will create challenges.I don’t think it would be the end of the world, by any means, to retain a player of Carmelo’s caliber. But I can definitely see the appeal in bottoming out, landing a top pick, and restructuring from scratch.

CT: This is tough, but I’d probably re-sign Melo the max rather than take one of the sign-and-trade options that’s been thrown out there. Sure, the Harden for Melo possibility is intriguing but I don’t think that’s realistic because Morey has wanted three stars all along and Melo would be the final piece to the puzzle. In a perfect world, Melo re-signs for less than the max, but that’s probably not going to happen, so the next best thing is probably to just re-sign him at the max and try to make a splash next summer when Bargs and Amar’e come off the books.

TA: Literally every single other possible scenario is preferable to re-signing Anthony to a mega-max deal. Even something lousy like taking back Carlos Boozer’s expiring and a bunch of second round picks would be better than having Anthony make $29.2M at age 35. There will be better free agents available in 2015 and ’16. Anthony fits nicely in the triangle, but he’s just not worth a mega-max contract.

122 comments on “A Free Agency Roundup (Thus Far)

  1. ephus

    On Tour’e Murry, the Knicks would had to use money from the MLE (or mini-MLE) or BAE to make the Qualifying Offer. The could not use Non-Bird rights because the ceiling on the Non-Bird exemption (120% of prior year’s salary or 120% of veteran’s minimum) was below the floor for the QO (125% of prior year’s salary or $200k over veteran’s minimum).

  2. chrisk06811

    I’d love to see a sign and trade for melo. I’d prefer to see him gone than to stay at the max. I’d want more than a few 2nds and boozer back, though, and I’d think chicago would have to do that. The only way this goes down is if melo informs them he’s only going there if there is a S&T, which would give us leverage.

    My JR thought…..if Melo is gone….he will get his favorite thing….shots!! lots and lots of shots! That could mean happy JR. Maybe Phil gets thru to him? Anyway, a month of happy JR makes his contract very attractive to other teams in a trade. Like we did w/ Zack Randolph a few years ago.

    I dont’ see us getting Gasol. I’d like McRoberts though.

  3. SJK

    From Woj’s twitter: Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA · 35m
    A conversation that Carmelo Anthony had been pursuing in recent days, sources tell Yahoo: With Pau Gasol, about playing together w/ Knicks.

    Obviously nothing concrete here, but Gasol to NYK isn’t a complete pipe-dream

  4. DRed

    Pau Gasol, for super cheap-fuck it. Is he the answer? Hell no. 33 year old big men who have declined 4 straight seasons don’t suddenly get better

  5. SJK

    He would be play on the mini-MLE. Not the answer but a good role player for sure. Plus signing him means we might actually have some chance with Marc next year.

  6. SJK

    He would be playing on the mini-MLE. Not the answer but a good role player for sure. Plus signing him means we might actually have some chance with Marc next year.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Of course Gasol would be a fine signee if he takes the mini-MLE, but when good teams are offering him the MLE (plus other teams will offer him even more), why take the mini-MLE? I mean, the Spurs would give him the MLE! The Spurs!!!

    However, if Melo is trying to convince Gasol to come to New York for the mini-MLE, doesn’t that suggest that perhaps Melo will also take less money than normal? Come on, Melo, shock me and re-sign for a discount! I believed in you!!

  8. Brian Cronin

    I love that Kobe didn’t even show up for the meeting with Melo. Good for him. It was a total joke.

  9. Frank

    Pau Gasol, for super cheap-fuck it. Is he the answer? Hell no. 33 year old big men who have declined 4 straight seasons don’t suddenly get better

    You know, if averaging 17.4 points, 9.7 reb, 3.8 assists, and 1.8 blocks per 36 is declining, I’d still sign up for that. Yes, his TS has been poor(er) since 2011-12, but maybe that’s what happens when you change his shot distribution from 70% of shots in the paint to 60% in the paint, and try to turn him into a stretch 4, with a subsequent decrease in free throw rate from ~40% to 30%.

    Will he ever be the Pau of 2007-2010? Probably not. But he’s a smart guy who’s still 7 feet, passes well, and knows the Triangle. At the mini-MLE it’s an absolute no-brainer.

    A starting lineup of Dalembert, Pau, Melo, JR (or Shump) and Calderon with JR/Shump, Amare, Prigioni, and THJ off the bench should challenge for the Atlantic, especially if Lamar Odom can give us anything.

  10. Zanzibar

    From Woj’s twitter: Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA · 35m
    A conversation that Carmelo Anthony had been pursuing in recent days, sources tell Yahoo: With Pau Gasol, about playing together w/ Knicks.

    Wow, how does one interpret this? The most likely is that Melo is staying and has begun recruiting. On the other hand, maybe Melo has determined that Knicks don’t have enough and is leaning to Chicago, but if Pau were to join the Knicks, that would be enough for him to stay.

  11. Farfa

    @13

    Don’t know. Long time ago, I had completely lost my head for a girl. She asked me more than once to marry her, but never seriously, since the day after she would say “yeah, but I was kinda joking” (she wasn’t. She was just crazy as fuck).

    I believe I’m gonna marry another girl in 2016.

  12. nicos

    Pau is really a 5 now- you can’t play him alongside Dalembert or the Knicks will be playing 3 on 5 on defense for the first 8 seconds of every play. Sign Pau (if that’s even really an option which I doubt), waive Dalembert and resign Cole makes the most sense to me.

  13. sugarslim5

    It looks like money will keep Melo in New York after all, so I wasn’t completely incorrect that he would’ve left otherwise.

  14. SJK

    Pau at the 4 vs at the 5 is entirely dependent on our match-ups. Obviously he can’t play the 4 against Miami, but most of the other teams in the East play with bigger line-ups (“the East is big, man”) against which Pau would do fine i.e. Pacers and David West, Chicago and Gibson, Washington and Nene, and Toronto and Amir Johnson.

    I don’t see Gasol having a problem with any of those guys and since he can play the 5, he gives us a certain degree of positional flexibility as well, especially on offense. A 4-5 combo of Melo and Gasol obviously can’t play big minutes because of the defensive issues, but could light it up in the triangle for 15 mins a night.

  15. JK47

    Thabo Sefolosha to the Hawks, so cross off another potentially intriguing signing for the Heat. They’re now down to kicking the tires on Anthony Morrow and Marvin Williams.

    The Knicks, meanwhile, are apparently interested in WP48 darling Jordan Hill, who would be a very nice pickup. Hill has blossomed into a very fine player, a good two-way player who rebounds like a fiend. I’d much rather have Hill than Pau Gasol, even with Gasol’s knowledge of the triangle. If Jackson can get Hill for the mini-MLE that is an absolute steal.

    Play Jordan Hill 30 minutes a game and I guarantee he averages a double-double with good defense and good offensive efficiency.

  16. Brian Cronin

    Jordan Hill likely can’t play 30 minutes a game, which is why he might be available for the mini-MLE.

    As for the Heat, the thing is that all they really need is the MLE and the BAE and they’ll be fine. The problem for them was that they couldn’t add anyone significant. So all they really needed to do was get it so that they could spend more than the vet minimum and they’ll be able to field a better bench and a better bench is all they really need. Their bench was soooooooooo bad. Anthony Morrow and Marvin Williams would be huge for them. Shawn Marion would be a godsend. Riley’s approach last year was “We’re good, I’ll just sign projects who might pay off. I don’t need to sign anyone actually good.” They could have had Shaun Livingston. They could have had Alan Anderson. They could have had Jodie Meeks. There was so much available talent out there.

  17. JK47

    Anthony Morrow and Marvin Williams are okay players, but if this is how it pans out, the Heat are making all lateral moves. Shabazz Napier will basically replace Mario Chalmers and could end up being a downgrade. Morrow would presumably take on the Ray Allen role, and that’s probably a push. If they get Shawn Marion for the vet min– a big if– he takes the Shane Battier role. I guess a 36 year old Shawn Marion is an upgrade over a 35 year old Shane Battier, but not by much. That leaves Marvin Williams as their big upgrade, and that’s assuming they sign Morrow, Marion, and Marvin Williams.

    Sure, they won the East last year and they’d probably be favored to win the East again, but they would be not be much better than the 54-win team that got run out of the building in the Finals last year.

  18. Z-man

    Does anyone know of a calculator (like a mortgage calculator) where you could plug in random box score data and a WS or WP value pops out? I would love to see whether it was possible for a team to lose by 40 points and have more Win Shares or Wins Produced than the other team. If not, is anyone ambitious enough to design an excel spreadsheet based on the formulas?

  19. JK47

    The Lakers were giving Hill something near starters’ minutes near the end of the season and he was flat out beasting. In his last 15 games he averaged 27.1 minutes and averaged 15.9 points on .568 shooting (!) with 9.9 boards per game and 1.4 blocks.

    30 minutes a game might be pushing it, but even if you get 20-25 MPG out of him he’s a really valuable piece.

  20. Brian Cronin

    Oh, I agree that Hill would be a good signing, I’m just saying that he is one of those rare examples of a guy whose minutes can’t really be extrapolated (like most other players can) because he literally can’t play big minutes physically.

  21. d-mar

    D Red, can you enlighten me as to your infatuation with Cole Aldrich? Not trying to be snarky or anything, but you bring him up in practically every thread, and your latest comment is that he is a way better player than Pau Gasol.

    What exactly have you seen that causes you to rhapsodize about this guy?

  22. Z-man

    Re: Cole, Jordan Hill, et. al., why aren the Morey’s, Presti’s, and Popovich’s of the world all over these guys?

  23. JK47

    At this point you have to look at Cole Aldrich’s career numbers and conclude he can play. The sample size is slowly but surely getting less small.

    He has now played 1033 NBA minutes, and has put up .586 TS% and very solid rebounding numbers– 11.6 rebounds per 36 minutes. Oh yeah, also 2.6 blocks per 36. Detractors will say, “yeah, but he also averages 5.3 fouls per 36,” but if you gave him more minutes he would have to worry about his fouls and probably wouldn’t foul so much. He’s also a career .779 free throw shooter. If his production were to dip a little bit because he was playing more minutes, he’d still be a rotation-caliber center.

    It’s not a fluke. The guy can play. In my opinion he is a case where the eye test completely fails. He doesn’t look very athletic or graceful out there, but he uses his size and strength to rip down rebounds and get easy buckets.

  24. JK47

    I’m guessing somebody will give Jordan Hill a contract above the mini-MLE. The production is just too much to ignore, even if he’s a bench player. I’m hoping and praying he doesn’t go to Miami, because he’d be a GREAT fit for them.

  25. Zanzibar

    As for the Heat, the thing is that all they really need is the MLE and the BAE and they’ll be fine. The problem for them was that they couldn’t add anyone significant.

    I think it’s more than that. Wade is a part-time player in the regular season which means someone needs to step as a shot creator in his absence. Bron increasingly had to play that role last season which mentally and physically exhausted him. That’s why imo Riley’s gotta land a Lowry or Pau or Isaiah T., not just role players. He may or may not have enough money to make that happen since we don’t know what Bosh/Wade have agreed to accept. Since Lowry negotiations seemed to have fizzled near the end, I’m guessing he’s got up to 10m plus the 2.7m room (which will go to Haslem). There’s still time but it’s looking bleaker and bleaker.

  26. Brian Cronin

    You would have to think Haslem would get the room in that scenario, but what if he somehow accepted the vet minimum with a wink wink nudge nudge offer that they’d make the money up after he retired with a front office job? You know that guy wants to retire a Heat and then work for them for the rest of his career.

    The crazy thing is that Thomas is very much still in play for Miami, due to Sacramento being weird.

  27. dtrickey

    I gotta agree with the Cole love being floated around. I think he’s shown enough in his limited minutes that he can play. Correct me If I am wrong too, but didn’t he win DPOY while at Kansas? I could be wrong, but regardless what level you play at, good defensive skills usually transfer pretty well to the NBA. Whilst his offensive game needs a little polish and he’s not super athletic, he’s definitely got some solid go to moves in the post. Considering the Knicks are a little hard up for cash, I say why not. Get him on the cheap and and get him a bigger role in the rotation. Can’t be any worse than Dalembert right?

  28. DRed

    Cole is young, productive, cheap, and goofy as fuck. What’s not to love? He’s a fun guy to root for.

    Pau was one of my favorite players, but all signs point to him reaching the end. Sure, it could all be Mike Dantoni’s fault his WS fell drastically 4 years running, but let’s be real. This team sucked last year. Pau is doing nothing to change that even if he improves a lot next year. On the mini-MLE, like I said, hes fine. Help install some triangle and stuff. But reupping on Melo and adding a fading star sure ain’t the right way forward.

  29. stratomatic

    The more I think about it, the more I think the best thing for ALL concerned is Melo telling Chicago he wants to go there, but their offer is not enough. That might put a S&T in motion that would be acceptable to Phil, Chicago and Melo (even Melo must have learned that gutting a team is a bad idea).

    What that deal could be, is problematical now.

    When the Bulls had those 2 picks it would have been a lot easier, but I’m not so sure Phil is going value McDermott as highly as the Bulls. If he does, maybe Boozer, McDermott, Butler, and something else will get it done. His dislike of Boozer may just be posturing. I mean lets face it, even if does dislike him, it’s only one year and we aren’t contending next year anyway. It’s kind of irrelevant.

    The reason I think this is the smart move for NY is because there are no superstars walking through that door next year either. Yea, we can get a lot better with that space, but there are no superstars. I don’t think we are going to be in a position to be serious contenders with Melo next year either. Perhaps VERY good, but not serious. So I think the right thing to do is start rebuilding from scratch with young players, draft picks, and whatever veterans we can get to play on short contracts just so we don’t get embarrassed. Then you take a shot at Durant. It’s unlikely, but if we have the space and a lot of assets, it’s our best bet (long shot that it is).

    For Melo, if he really wants to win, he will have an excellent chance in Chicago. He’s not going to win in NY this year and probably not next year either. So WTF? When you are already rich, take the 4 years, stay in shape, and hopefully you get another decent contract at 34. Maybe even write in an opt out so you can get extended after 3 years.

    It’s a win win win.

  30. mokers

    The Cole love comes because there were a number of people last year who thought that the team lost a lot of rebounding and defense when Tyson was off the floor. Instead of depending on a 38 year old Kenyon Martin for big minutes, we were looking what was available based on what the Knicks could give (vet min). Cole was good at defense and rebounding and was only 24 when we signed him. Cole might not be a starter but for a team that did not have enough defense and rebounding he could have helped.

  31. Brian Cronin

    And Mike liked him enough that he even had a poll question about him at the beginning of the year! I bet the under. I think I was right (I honestly don’t know how it shook out).

  32. Z-man

    I would be reluctant to take back Boozer without at least 2 really good young pieces (e.g Butler, Mirotic, McDermott) and a couple of unprotected 1st round picks. Let them amnesty Boozer if they want Melo so badly.

  33. nicos

    He has now played 1033 NBA minutes, and has put up .586 TS% and very solid rebounding numbers– 11.6 rebounds per 36 minutes. Oh yeah, also 2.6 blocks per 36. Detractors will say, “yeah, but he also averages 5.3 fouls per 36,” but if you gave him more minutes he would have to worry about his fouls and probably wouldn’t foul so much. He’s also a career .779 free throw shooter. If his production were to dip a little bit because he was playing more minutes, he’d still be a rotation-caliber center.

    The biggest issue with Cole is his truly terrible turnover rate- 20.3 for his career. I actually thought he passed the ball okay last year but if you can’t catch the ball that doesn’t really matter. He does enough else well that he’s still definitely worth keeping around and in most systems he’d probably be a solid, if unspectacular starter- I’m not sure he’s a great fit in the triangle though. But if you can re-sign him at around 2 or 2.5 per year I really can’t see why you wouldn’t.

  34. stratomatic

    In your scenario, wouldn’t Mirotic be the centerpiece of the deal?

    Brian,

    I’m totally fishing. I’m not sure what it would take. I read that the Bulls don’t want to give Mirotic up either. As long as we come away with 2 or more good young assets I won’t cry. We gave up more for him, but we probably overpaid.

  35. lavor postell

    Not everybody we sign needs to be some high upside 20 year old. We actually have plenty of youth on this team next year as we are currently constructed. Shumpert, THJ, Early, Larkin, Thanasis and perhaps Aldrich. It’s not like Phil is ignoring youth. Also for a guy on the decline who apparently is about to fall off a cliff Pau is getting a lot of love from pretty smart organizations like the Spurs, Thunder and Heat.

    Also Aldrich is on our summer league roster. There’s a good chance he still ends up back with the Knicks next year, because of our dumbass coach last year who wouldn’t play him despite being extremely productive. If we can sign him up again then we have his Bird rights for next summer. Maybe that will be one good thing Woodson did for us.

    The Bulls have to sign-and-trade for Melo if they want to have any exceptions to sign guys for the MLE and BAE. If they sign him outright it’s the room exception and vet min. plus they’ll have to convince Melo to sign for $17-18m. They’ll also have to give up Butler, Snell, Dunleavy and Randolph to get there. He’s not going to sign there outright because it really sucks for both the Bulls and Melo.

  36. Brian Cronin

    He’s also not going to sign there outright because he’s re-signing here. ;)

  37. stratomatic

    Pau is a good idea if you are already a serious contender and you think he could be the missing piece for a serious run next year. He’s perfect for the Thunder. Perkins is terrible. They need an upgrade at C and they also need scoring. Pau could play C. He’d immediately also become a solid consistent 3rd scoring option, rebound, and make plays.

    He also makes sense in Miami and San Antonio.

    In NY, by the time we are ready for a serious run he will definitely be on his way out.

  38. Brian Cronin

    Unless he brings in his brother next year! A Melo and Gasols front court would be good.

  39. lavor postell

    I agree he’s not likely to be a piece when we may actually be able to contend, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sign him. If we re-sign Melo we’re obviously not going to be tanking next season. If we’re trying to be a good team Pau can help with that, split minutes with STAT and help to limit both of their minues, help install the Triangle and ensure Bargnani only gets limited run. If he gets hurt that sucks, but playing for a guy he doesn’t hate in a system he thrived in may miraculously see him play 60+ games next season.

  40. Zanzibar

    He’s not going to sign there outright because it really sucks for both the Bulls and Melo.

    I agree but Melo has to make this judgment: if I tell NYK I want to go to Chicago and am willing to sign outright but would prefer a S&T, would Knicks call his bluff? I mean Chicago would probably give Mirotic/McDermott OR Butler/Snell/2 first-round picks since they’d likely be getting back JR (4th in league in catch-and-shoot% which fits Rose/Melo offense)/Dalembert (Noah backup)/Prigs plus then have 5m mle/2m bae). Could Phil walk away from that? You know Chicago would put the deal out there all over the media.

  41. mokers

    I like Larkin. I think his big problem coming out of college was not just height, but short arms (I think the shortest standing reach at the combine or something). He was a pretty good shooter in college, so hopefully a decent chance he improves upon his shooting numbers from last year. He was awesome in PnR, and trailed only Trey Burke in PPP in college.

    I am not necessarily against Pau, but I don’t think we should count on him for 36 minutes a game. I think if he plays 24-28 he would be good. Even if he could only play 10 minute a game, if those are 10 fewer minutes that Bargnani would play, it would be worth it.

  42. JK47

    I’m just in awe of that scouting tape of Mirotic. Everybody knows he’s a great shooter, but it’s some of the other stuff that’s even more impressive. He’s not just adequate at attacking the rim– he is deadly. He is incredibly quick for a guy who is 6’10″; with his length, speed, balance and craftiness he is able to get to the hole really, really fast. I think he’s a small forward/power forward hybrid in the NBA. He certainly has the shooting range to play some small forward, and he is far from slow. He moves his feet well on defense and is regarded as a good team defender, and I think there’s a good chance he would be able to hold his own against most NBA small forwards on the defensive end.

    The only knocks on Mirotic are that he’s not a great leaper and he doesn’t have great upper body strength, so he’s a pedestrian rebounder. He could definitely add some upper body strength but he’s not going to be a big-time rebounder for a power forward in the NBA. But the rest of his game is extremely impressive.

  43. lavor postell

    @Zanzibar

    I don’t know but I wouldn’t want to get into a stare down with Phil Jackson. I don’t think he’s too worried about the NY media or fans to be honest. Melo on the other hand strikes me as somebody very worried by public perception. If Phil declines a S&T and Melo walks to Chicago the fans and press are going to excoriate Melo, because of how this situations has been set up. I think Phil has played his hand beautifully here.

  44. ephus

    I would be happy for Cole Aldrich to be on the Knicks next season and I do not think it is going to take much. Knicks can offer him 20% above the veteran’s minimum using their Non-Bird Rights. Since he will be a 5th year veteran, he can get 1.3 million. Knicks could also give him a player option for 1.4 million for next year. If he performs above that contract, he can opt out and the Knicks would hold his Early Bird Rights.

    I think he would probably only get the veteran’s minimum elsewhere. Even if he could get the BAE, the two year guarantee from the Knicks would be equal to the BAE.

  45. Z-man

    Pau at less than $6 mill per is a steal. I don’t get why people think he’s over the hill. He’s a talented, smart 7-footer who put up very decent stats last year on a god-awful team. He knows the right way to play the game, like Diaw and Duncan. If we had the cap room, I wouldn’t offer him more than $10 mill per for 3 years, but for less than that, he’s good value. He’s not a 40yo Jason Kidd playing against lightning-quick PGs and SGs.

    And to compare him to Cole is really a joke. Aldrich is a borderline D-leaguer, literally a dime a dozen. I like the guy and hope we keep him at the vet’s minimum, but to offer any more than that is not a good move.

  46. Z-man

    I watched the tape on Mirotic and saw a couple of troubling things. He seemed to go left every single time he shoots off the dribble or out of the post, and the guys he was beating off the dribble really seemed like euro-stiffs.. He plays below the rim. He takes a long time to set his feet on his shot. But certainly, I’d be happy to get him back in a sign and trade.

  47. stratomatic

    Z-Man & Lavor,

    I don’t disagree with either of you on Gasol. If you can get him for 3.3M, that’s a steal. I just don’t think you can write off his falling efficiency to D’Antoni using him incorrectly. MDA used him at C also. He’s had a series of injuries over the last few years and is slowing down.

    So if you want him for some filler for the next couple of years and to help attract Marc, that’s fine, but I don’t think we are going to get to the promised land accumulating guys in their early 30s on their way down. It’s a younger, faster, more athletic, better shooting league than it used to be. It still works for the the Spurs because they are so darn deep, they keep coming at you.

  48. JK47

    He knows the right way to play the game, like Diaw and Duncan. If we had the cap room, I wouldn’t offer him more than $10 mill per for 3 years, but for less than that, he’s good value. He’s not a 40yo Jason Kidd playing against lightning-quick PGs and SGs.

    The most the Knicks can give Gasol is the $3.2M taxpayer exception, and if he is willing to take that OF COURSE you sign him. If Gasol comes here for $3.2M we should all be turning cartwheels. He’ll only be 34, he’s still a good rebounder, he’s an expert at playing in the triangle and he would probably be able to get his TS% a bit higher by cutting down on his usage and not taking so many stretch-4 type jump shots. Instead he’d be getting most of his looks on the block, where he is more comfortable.

    I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but it’s a freakin’ miracle if Pau Gasol comes here for $3.2M.

  49. DRed

    I would MUCH, MUCH rather root for Cole than hate on Bargs. I’d like nothing more than to have a team good enough next year that I can root for Bargs to do Bargs things when he comes in at the end of big victories.

  50. Zanzibar

    If Phil declines a S&T and Melo walks to Chicago the fans and press are going to excoriate Melo, because of how this situations has been set up. I think Phil has played his hand beautifully here.

    Phil’s still in the honeymoon stage. Right now, if fans were in an elevator and Phil walked in but faced away from the doors, everyone would turn and face away also. But that could end very fast and walking away from a haul arguably better than what the Nuggets got 4 years ago could be devastating to his reputation. I don’t think fans would blame Melo at all. They would if Melo walked to Houston/Miami/Mavs/Phoenix and Knicks received nothing.

  51. Z-man

    strat, I agree that it’s likely that Pau will never be who he once was. High b-ball IQ, though, and well-suited for the triangle. Might help an intelligent young player develop.

  52. JK47

    Pau’s best years all came in the triangle, playing for Phil Jackson. Granted, those years also coincided with what is an athlete’s usual prime, but the difference between Gasol in the triangle and Gasol not in the triangle is pretty striking. He was above .200 WS48 every year he played for Phil; in any other system his career high is .184. When Mike Brown took over his WS48 immediately dropped 70 points, then when D’Antoni took over it fell off the cliff.

    He’s probably never getting back to the .200 level again but he can play better than he did as the square peg in the round hole in SSOL.

  53. johnno

    Re: Mirotic’s scouting video — I have no idea how good he is but I remember seeing Jan Veseley’s scouting tape and he looked awesome. Maybe Mirotic is great but I’m skeptical of highlight reels.

  54. Donnie Walsh

    Mirotic sounds like the Italian we had in NY before our current one. (The one I wish we hadn’t traded for MMM)

  55. Mars

    Knicks summer league roster:

    45 Cole Aldrich C 
    43 Thanasis Antetokounmpo F 
    26 Shannon Brown G 
    17 Cleanthony Early F 
    14 Langston Galloway G 
    5 Tim Hardaway Jr. G 
    40 Jordan Henriquez C 
    25 Zane Johnson G 
    0 Shane Larkin G 
    50 Cameron Moore F 
    35 Will Sheehey F 
    6 Brandon Triche G 
    4 Jeremy Tyler F 
    55 Jordan Vandenberg C

  56. BigBlueAL

    Sounds like Lebron’s agent this week met with the Suns, Mavs, Rockets and Cavs. Reportedly next week the top 3 teams will meet with both Lebron and his agent. Pretty interesting.

  57. alsep73

    So if Phoenix is really a player for LeBron, and LeBron really wants to go there with Melo, what could we get from the Suns in a sign and trade? They can’t sign both to outright max deals. And would such a package be better than Mirotic, etc from the Bulls?

    I know it’s a pipe dream, but fun to talk about while we wait for shoes to start dropping.

  58. alsep73

    Meanwhile, everyone is reporting that Knicks have offered Melo the max: 5/129. Guess that’s that with that…

  59. BigBlueAL

    Hilarious how Twitter is blowing up now because writers are reporting that Phil offered Melo the max. How it this surprising?? Listen to Phil’s comments, he specifically says Melo previously offered not to take the max. He never said the Knicks wouldnt offer it to him.

  60. BigBlueAL

    I agree with what some of the writers are tweeting, Melo will take like 120 instead of the 129 (maybe 110 or 115) and they will portray it as he took less than the max yet he still gets a shitload of money.

  61. lavor postell

    I agree with what some of the writers are tweeting, Melo will take like 120 instead of the 129 (maybe 110 or 115) and they will portray it as he took less than the max yet he still gets a shitload of money.

    Yep. I think 115 will be the number. I think Frank has outlined multiple times how to structure this so the lowest cap hit is in 2015.

  62. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, max in year 1, 7.5% decrease in year 2, then 7.5% raises in years 3-5. I think it comes out to $119 million.

  63. ephus

    Here is how the numbers could work, if Melo took maximum money in 2014-15 and then gave the maximum discount to clear cap space in 2015-16:

    2014-15: 22.5 million
    2015-16: 20.8 million
    2016-17: 22.5 million
    2017-18: 24.2 million
    2018-19: 25.9 million
    Total: $114.9 million

    Through the first four seasons, the total pay would be $90 million. That is $6 million less than the maximum 4 year/$96 million he could make from another team.

    Over the five season life of the contract, Melo would give up $14 million off of the $129 million he could make if he took max money and max raises each year from the Knicks.

  64. DRed

    Look, we can still build a good team if we’re smart/lucky, but that is a fucking albatross of a contract.

  65. ephus

    I made an addition mistake. Total value of the package would be $115.9, and the total discount off of the mega max package would be $13 million.

  66. DRed

    Nothing says smart deal like outbidding everyone else by 40 million dollars. Is Phil Jackson Brian Cashman in disguise?

  67. ephus

    My preference would be that Melo signs a 5 year/103 million contract structured 20/18.5/20/21.5/23.

    I really don’t care how much he makes in 2018-19. I want him to leave the Knicks more salary cap space in 2015-16.

    If the CBA gets re-opened in 2017, it is highly likely that there will be a new amnesty available in 2018-19.

  68. BigBlueAL

    Well apparently the Lakers offered Melo the full max so thats what 97m?? So the Knicks wouldnt be outbidding the next highest bidder by 40m :-)

  69. dtrickey

    To be honest I’m not too surprised by the deal. Heck maybe we’re all tight arses ha ha. It would have been great to offer less than what’s been speculated about for flexibility, but I think we forget how good Melo has been. Yes there’s some flaws to his game, but he’s easily one of the best scorers in franchise history and arguably in the top 2-3 scorers in the league. You can’t expect to get guys like that for a can of coke and a packet of chips (although he could take that for 5 years and still be wealthier than what this collective board would be combined in a lifetime) . Plus he’s injury history hasn’t been too bad (sans the shoulder hiccup last off-season) to justify giving him the 5 years (see Stoudemire, Amare). His ability certainly justifies the offer, the question probably remains whether the current roster situation and flexibility justifies the offer, but I’ll leave that for others to decide.

    I think as long as the deal is structured in a way that he’s giving a discount in 15-16 we should have a bit of wiggle room. Wait and see until actual details emerge.

  70. Z-man

    Wow, BBA, you ain’t no math major! 129-97=32. And that’s 5 years vs. 4. So pro-rated, the difference is more like $15-20 mill, assuming that Melo would be worth $13-18 million in the fifth year.

  71. DRed

    So offer Melo what the Lakers did, and let him walk if he doesn’t want to take it. It’s still too much, but it’s better negotiating.

  72. BigBlueAL

    Hey Z-man I didnt graduate from college but I did earn 38 credits at F.I.U. so I might be dumb but not that dumb lol.

  73. Donnie Walsh

    Knicks offered Allan Houston $40 million more than any other offer. It’s a big part of what we do here.

  74. flossy

    I don’t care if Melo’s salary dips next year, I just want it to start low enough (like 19 mil?) so that we’re under the apron when he resigns and can S&T for Gasol (rather than just pray he takes the MMLE which is well below market value).

    2014: $19 mil
    2015: $20.5
    2016: $22.3
    2017: $24
    2018: $25.8

    That’s 5 years, $111.6 mil. The last two years could be ETO and player options, too, so that after 3 years he can either extend if things are going well or bail if they aren’t. I think that’s an entirely fair contract, and going into next year with Calderon instead of Felton and Pau/Dalembert instead of Chandler (plus an infusion of youth) would be enough to make me want to start making molds for Phil Jackson’s bronze statue.

  75. Z-man

    FWIW, I think you are one of the smartest and sanest posters on this board. :-)

    I’m not a big fan of Melo at close to the max, and kinda hoped for a lopsidfed sing-and-trade, but as a fanbois extraordinairre, if this goes down I’ll still root as hard as ever for the team and see the world through Melo-colored glasses.

  76. DRed

    Melo is not one of the top 2-3 scorers in the league. Top scorers combine elite usage with elite efficiency. Melo doesn’t. It’s astounding to me that people still don’t get that. He’s become a good offensive player, but he’s 30 and we’re going to be paying him like he’s one of the top 2-3 players in the league when he’s not even one of the top 2-3 guys at what he’s best at (high volume scoring). If we offered him anything near the max it’s a dumb contract. It doesn’t cripple the team, but overpaying for players after a year you didn’t even make the playoffs, in a shit conference, is just a dumb move. There’s 0 chance Melo earns that much money, and we have so many holes it’s not smart to tie up that much money for a guy who won’t be worth it.

  77. yellowboy90

    Sorry to ask again but does anyone know if the knicks can use their $3.6 TPE in a S&T where they would send cash to the other team?

  78. Donnie Walsh

    There is 0 difference between $129 and $111 as far as the Knicks chances of building a contender are concerned.

    Either they get lucky and gold falls into their lap, or they are fucked.

    With Melo on board for $20+ million per, they might as well go ahead and trade for Josh Smith and Tyreke Evans. Go all is as championship pretenders.

  79. JK47

    Yeah, there’s no way to justify that contract except in nebulous terms like “he’ll attract other stars.”

    My main problem with Melo is that he’s a one-way player, and one-way players are poor cornerstones to build around. The guy has been a minus defender his entire career, and anybody who sees that changing over the next 5 years is a lot more optimistic than I am. I guess you can hide him if you get enough good defenders around him, but a max contract player should be awesome on both sides of the ball.

  80. yellowboy90

    BigBlueAL July 4, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Hey Z-man I didnt graduate from college but I did earn 38 credits at F.I.U. so I might be dumb but not that dumb lol.

    I don’t know why but as I was reading your post I thought you would say ICDC. lol.

  81. JK47

    Here’s an idea for the Knicks new slogan:

    NEW YORK KNICKS: BECAUSE 2020 ISN’T THAT FAR AWAY WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT

  82. DRed

    JK, he’s not even that good on offense. And he’s probably entering his decline phase. We better get swaggy p at this point

  83. JK47

    JK, he’s not even that good on offense.

    I agree totally.

    And he’s probably entering his decline phase.

    There’s no “probably” about it.

    We better get swaggy p at this point

    It won’t be that long before Melo decides he’s not really feeling the triangle and runs everybody associated with it out of town, so we should probably stock up on “good” iso guys.

  84. JK47

    I must say some of you guys really love being miserable lol.

    I’m just kinda joking really. Melo for the Mega Max was the one thing we all didn’t want… well, most of us anyway. I’m dismayed but at the same time I’m trying to have a sense of humor about it and hope for the best.

    And hey– he hasn’t actually signed the thing yet! Maybe he’s gonna surprise us all and do like ruru said and give us the big discount after all! Ahem.

  85. Brian Cronin

    We spent the last four months all detailing how this was the worst case scenario, so when it actually happens, it’d be weirder to me if people weren’t pissed off.

    That said, there is still the chance that he’ll surprise us!

  86. er

    KB: the site where Melo is not that good on offense despite scoring 62 points in a game. And jimmy butler is not terrible on offense. Despite shooting 38%

  87. JK47

    ZOMG HE SCORED 62 ONE TIME JAX BETTER FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GIVE HIM MORE THAN THE MEGA MAX

  88. Brian Cronin

    By the way, if Melo doesn’t surprise us and he just signs for the mega max, then that’s just a bad job by Phil Jackson. Melo’s Melo – can’t blame him for taking the mega max (I mean, okay, you can blame him for talking about taking a discount and then not taking one, but if we’ve learned anything these past few years is that Melo just doesn’t know how to express himself, so we should probably ignore everything he says), but if Jackson thinks that this is the best move, then that’s on him (in a bad way). Not only that, but if he doesn’t get Melo to take a real discount (and I’m not talking some PR bullshit like Melo taking $125 million instead of $129 million) then what the heck good is this guy’s “charisma”?

    There’s obviously still a lot of time for Jackson to come out of this looking like a genius – all Melo has to do is give the Knicks a real discount. I’m okay with 5 years/$116 million – if he can get that, that’s a real victory (even though 5 years/$105 million would be a real victory).

  89. er

    @103 yea cuz I mentioned a contract……

    @104 depending on the cap increases in the next 3 years 20 million a year could be the equivalent of a 15 mill contract now , especially if he negotiates the decrease next year

  90. Brian Cronin

    Noah, by the way, is telling friends that the Bulls just didn’t have enough to offer Melo. So it really does seem like it’s a matter of what kind of deal he takes from New York. I again feel dumb for ever wavering in the slightest bit that Melo was returning.

  91. DRed

    62 points! That was an awesome, awesome game. I loved every moment of it. Unfortunately for us, Melo’s played 789 other regukar season games, and most of them haven’t gone as well. I wouldn’t think, on this site, that I’d have to point out the incredible stupidity of using a one game sample to evaluate a player’s likely production, but apparently I do. It’s really stupid.

    Like Brian says, maybe he’ll surprise is. Phil is one of the 3 or 4 finest coaches in NBA history, and Mike Woodson is not. If Melo hadn’t played so many minutes I bet he would have been even better last year, so maybe we’ve got a 2-3 year window to make something happen with a few savvy moves. Hell, we had a legit contender only 2 years ago when Melo didn’t even play that well. We’ve just handicapped ourselves, though, for no good basketball reason I can see.

  92. BigBlueAL

    Obviously the fact that Melo scored 62 in a game is not that important. I mean Tony Delk and Willie Burton have scored 50 pts in a game. But seriously its one thing to say Melo doesnt deserve the megamax and that he isnt obviously a top 2 or 3 player which is obviously true but then to say he isnt that good on offense I mean c’mon.

    I mean dont get me wrong, the crazy exaggerations people use here is what for me makes this site a blast and fun to read. But Ive seen people call Melo inefficient because he has a TS% of 56% then turnaround and defend a player they like who others call not that good on offense by saying they arent that bad because they have a TS% of 54%. EVERYBODY on this site cherry picks stats and use certain numbers and stats when its convenient to their point, I get that. But shit I still dont quite get the extreme measures some people here go to criticizing a player as good as Melo is and yes Melo is a very damn good basketball player.

    Does he deserve 129m over the next 5 years?? Of course not!! We all know that. But it still doesnt mean he sucks and is an average player. You have franchises like Houston and Dallas who are known for being very smart, analytically driven front offices who are begging Melo to join their team. Granted they arent offering him 129m over 5yrs but they also sure as hell aint offering him 60m over 5yrs either.

    I cant wait until this deal becomes official, this site will be even more depressed than the day the Knicks declined to match Lin’s contract lol.

  93. Donnie Walsh

    I must say some of you guys really love being miserable lol.

    Not me. If I loved being miserable, I’d be thrilled with Melo at the max until 2019!

    the Bulls just didn’t have enough to offer Melo

    I guess winning really isn’t all that important to him afterall….

    Ruruland, O Ruruland, wherefore art thou, Ruruland?

  94. DRed

    So the contact Lin got was stupid, but the Rockets are smart, therefore Melo is really good?

    I think Melo had become a good player. He was our best player last year. But different teams have different needs. What’s good for Dallas, a team taking one last shot, might not be good for the Knicks. If I was running a team like Houston, that was both very good and under a lot of pressure to win soon I could see why it would make sense to overpay Melo. We sucked last year. We need a rebuild. Massively overpaying Melo makes it much harder to do that.

  95. BigBlueAL

    I never said Lin’s contract was stupid, I was pissed the Knicks didnt match it. I was just referring to the hysteria on this site the days after they declined to match the contract. You had people here swearing on the bible they were done with the Knicks lol.

    You know Im not that serious when it comes to this stuff, I have my opinions but I certainly dont get offended or pissed when others here disagree. Ive said it many times (jon abbey used to tease me about it lol) that regardless of how bad this team is and the stupid decisions they make Im a Knicks fan for life and nothing will ever change that. I know its not necessarily the smartest or sanest viewpoint to take but it helps me let go of the anger and frustration alot quicker and easier lol. It used to help being a Yankee fan because they would give me the exact opposite experiences as a fan (plus baseball is technically my favorite sport, hell the blue in BBA stands for umpire which is something I do in my spare time to make extra cash) but this season they are frustrating me as much as the Knicks do. The Melo drama has actually been a nice distraction to actually watching the Yankees on the field lol.

  96. JK47

    It depends on what you mean by “not that good on offense.” Sure, he’s a pretty good offensive player– he was 10th in the league in offensive Win Shares this season.

    Problem is, that’s probably his absolute peak. He had 8.1 offensive Win Shares this season, but most seasons of his career he has been in the 5-6 offensive Win Share range, which is really not so great especially in light of his rather slight defensive contributions. So as long as Melo stays at his absolute peak, sure, it’s not fair to say that he’s “not that good on offense,” I admit. If he slides very much though, he’s a pretty awful value on a max contract.

  97. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I’ve stuck with this team through the Scott Layden years and the Isiah years (and the early 80s stuff when I was a kid, as well, but those were flukey bad teams, not like the ineptness of the Layden/Isiah years), so I can certainly stick with them through yet another terrible decision. It’s a no-brainer not to give Melo the max, but just like their last no-brainer with matching Lin’s offer sheet, the Knicks tend to have no brains when it comes to no-brainers. But just like I hoped that Dolan would come to his senses at the last moment with Lin, I’ll hope that Melo somehow bails the Knicks out of their own dumb offer by signing for a real discount.

    It can happen! Come on, Melo!

    I feel like an MC Hammer fan circa 1990 – “Please, Melo, don’t hurt ‘em!”

  98. lavor postell

    If I were the Rockets and my team ranked 2nd in offensive efficiency last year the last thing I’d be focused on was a player who’s elite skill is getting buckets. Sure they had some struggles at the end of games last year, but that was because of McHale’s Woodson-esque offensive game plan of ISO-Harden. Even smart guys get blinded by star names. Morey’s damn smart, but he also loves going after big names and showing everybody how Dork Elvis is cool enough to land a Big 3.

    At least the rumors of them going after Bosh make sense since he fills a need for them at the 4. Bosh-Howard would easily be the best 4-5 combination in the league and if Howard gets into foul trouble Bosh can easily fill in at the 5. Maybe this is the guy Houston should have been trying to land the entire time instead of chasing after Melo.

    Melo at the mega max isn’t anybody’s ideal. I think he’s going to leave a bit on the table so he can show everybody how he’s a team player and get that positive PR. I figure something like 5 years, $110-115m is where he ends up and with the cap projected to keep going up who knows how bad it will be.

    I’m an optimist. Sue me.

  99. Brian Cronin

    Melo at the mega max isn’t anybody’s ideal. I think he’s going to leave a bit on the table so he can show everybody how he’s a team player and get that positive PR. I figure something like 5 years, $110-115m is where he ends up and with the cap projected to keep going up who knows how bad it will be

    That’s the hope. That’s the only realistic hope.

    The only other hopes are the slightly less real “Lebron James will come here in 2015!” or “Kevin Durant will come here in 2016 at a discount!” Of the two, the former is closer to being real than the latter.

    By the way, here’s the crazy thing with the Durant pipe dream that makes it even more of a pipe dream than just the general “odds are he isn’t coming here.” In order to be able to sign Durant in 2016, they’d have to have cap room (shocking statement, I know). But to have cap room in 2016, they couldn’t have signed any significant free agents in 2015. If they didn’t sign any significant free agents in 2015, then they’d be punting 2015-16 on top of 2014-15. So suddenly you’d be punting the first two years of Melo’s deal, i.e. “the only two years that he’ll likely be worth the money he’ll be making.” So I think Durant is more or less out of the question for that reason. Punting one year is sort of fair, but not two.

  100. Brian Cronin

    I think “punting” might be too strong of a word, though, as I think Jackson, Fisher and Rambis will be enough of an improvement on Woodson (did he even have a real top assistant?) that next year’s team will compete for the playoffs. Once Melo signs, Jackson will be pushing hard to improve the team in the short term. So 2014-15 might actually be sort of kind of fun to watch. Maybe these guys will all work really well with the Triangle. Shump and Calderon look like good Triangle pieces. Maybe THJ just needs a real coach to help him. Maybe Larkin’s rookie woes were injury related. Hell, I think the Triangle might even be able to get some modicum of production out of Bargs (he was bizarrely good at long range twos last season). I am actually sort of kind of optimistic about 2014-15. It certainly can’t suck any worse than 2013-14.

  101. lavor postell

    @BC

    Well if they don’t land the guys they want in 2015 maybe you just overpay mid-tier guys not getting the AAV they want on offers on 1-year deals so that you’re still competitive and then go after Durant in 2016. Also like you said if Lebron does this 2 year deal with an opt out after the first year then I don’t think anybody will care about Durant or that we are paying Melo the max.

    I also don’t think that’s the only hope. The other hope is that the Triangle does for Melo what it did for Pau and Odom with the Lakers and maximize his strengths and limit his weaknesses. My basic understanding of the Triangle leads me to believe he should get a lot of clean looks from the elbows and wing, both areas he is excellent at in catch and shoot situations.

    Again I’m an optimist.

  102. lavor postell

    I think “punting” might be too strong of a word, though, as I think Jackson, Fisher and Rambis will be enough of an improvement on Woodson (did he even have a real top assistant?) that next year’s team will compete for the playoffs. Once Melo signs, Jackson will be pushing hard to improve the team in the short term. So 2014-15 might actually be sort of kind of fun to watch. Maybe these guys will all work really well with the Triangle. Shump and Calderon look like good Triangle pieces. Maybe THJ just needs a real coach to help him. Maybe Larkin’s rookie woes were injury related. Hell, I think the Triangle might even be able to get some modicum of production out of Bargs (he was bizarrely good at long range twos last season). I am actually sort of kind of optimistic about 2014-15. It certainly can’t suck any worse than 2013-14.

    I like the spirit of this post. You’re right. There is no way it can suck worse than 13-14.

  103. Farfa

    By the way, if Melo doesn’t surprise us and he just signs for the mega max, then that’s just a bad job by Phil Jackson.

    Oh yes. If Melo Mega Max does happen (yes, Melo Mega Max is really catchy. Don’t remember who coined this term, but shout out to you, kind sir) then Phil will have kinda half-botched the first two important tasks he had to do. Yes, he did good in the Chandler trade, and I’m still sorta in awe of getting two second rounders, but come on… Dallas unloaded on us a possibly heavy contract in Calderon, so it’s only fair we got something more (I mean, good job, but it’s not like Phil traded two nickels for a dollar… more 90 cents for a dollar).

    Why, why, why in the hell are we offering a mega max to Anthony? Whyyyyyyyy! Every sane man on this board and then some (for example, guys at Posting and Toasting) feels the same way, so why can’t the front-office come to the same conclusion? Sometimes I think we’re hopeless.

  104. Farfa

    Yes, you should want Carmelo Anthony from Forum Blue & Gold.

    Jowles, in your spare time you should take your talents to Venice and Malibu and show some of ‘em how delusional they are (I’m not ironic or sarcastic or whatsoever. I’m dreaming of a world where Jowles embarks on a one-man campaign in Lakers’ land to bash every Kobe fanatic).

  105. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    My professional activities almost permanently took me to the greater L.A. area, so I’m pretty sure I would have gotten jumped very quickly. Growing up in NY, I’m surprised I didn’t get threatened more often when I said that Jeter was a terrible defensive SS and probably belonged as a DH. This board is not the first time I’ve heard, “Do you even watch the games?”

    It’s looking more and more like Portland is my next career destination, so I’ll be sure to get my “20-FOOT FADEAWAY FROM LAMARCUS, RIMS OUT, REPEAT” t-shirt ready.

    The other possibility right now is Philadelphia, which would be basketball heaven right about now.

  106. Aten

    @23:

    I’m not sure if you’re serious or if this has been answered already, but as to your question, for even a model with far less explanatory power than WP measurably possesses, for a team to win the metric but lose the game by 40 points would be a multiple, multiple sigma event.

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