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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ariza or Chandler

Alan Hahn wrote an interesting blog about whether the Trevor Ariza trade or the Eddy Curry trade hurt the Knicks more. Although Ariza has grown to be a starter for the Western favorite Lakers, Hahn says the traded draft picks for Curry were more damaging to the franchise. Throw in that Curry’s contract still hampers the team (and could cost them either Lee or Robinson) and it’s a no-brainer. But on the Ariza side Hahn adds:

Try not to dwell on what might’ve been, Fixers. Look instead at Wilson Chandler, who is very similar to Ariza but already possesses the jump shot Ariza has had to work to achieve, and understand why we make the point here at the Fix that the franchise needs to surround Wil and Danilo Gallinari with the right kind of veterans, the right kind of atmosphere.

In the broader view, having a young forward in Chandler does ease the loss of Ariza, especially when you consider that Francis’ contract (which turned into Randolph) is already freed up for 2010. However I disagree with Hahn’s notion that Chandler is “ahead” of Ariza at the same age. Compare their per-minute stats:

  Player G    MP   FGA  FG% 3PA  3P% FTA  FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV  PF  PTS  TS%
   Ariza 194 3659  9.7 .472 0.2 .160 4.6 .644 2.6 4.4 7.0 2.1 1.8 0.5 2.2 3.8 12.2 51.9
Chandler 117 3420 13.7 .433 3.6 .326 2.8 .762 1.4 4.7 6.0 2.1 0.9 1.0 1.7 3.5 15.1 50.8

Chandler does possess the jump shot that Ariza had to work on. At the same age, Ariza had no three point range at all. This year Trevor hit 31.9% of his threes, while not an ideal number, it is light years ahead of where he was 3 years ago. However Ariza’s rebounding, steals, and free throw attempts per minute dwarfs Chandler’s – all signs of better physical ability. In fact at the same age, Chandler’s ability to hit free throws and three point shots still doesn’t make him as efficient a shooter as Ariza, because of the imbalance in free throw attempts (at witnessed by their TS%).

The two are different sides of the same coin. Ariza was a slasher who had to develop an outside shot to become a more complete player. Meanwhile Chandler has an outside shot that took a few seasons for Ariza to develop, but to become a better overall player he needs to gain the ability to get to the line more often. In the paint Chandler often turns to spin moves and turn around jumpers instead of taking the ball to the hoop and drawing contact. But even if Chandler does gain this ability, he’ll still be a tad behind Ariza defensively. Trevor averaged 2.5 stl/36 this year, something that Chandler isn’t likely to ever do.

63 comments on “Ariza or Chandler

  1. Caleb

    Ariza is slightly ahead of Chandler at the same age – but more than that, he made a huge jump that hardly any players do. Chandler will probably keep improving, and have a decent career – probably starter-level – but Ariza improved more than 95 percent of the players in the league ever do.

    It’s usually total wishful thinking that your guy will go from having no jump shot, to a very good 3-pointer. Ariza did it.

    He was also a good on-ball defender from the very beginning – the first couple of years, it looked like he would stick in the league as a defensive specialist. It’s hard to see that kind of impact from Chandler.

    That said, giving up the #2 and #9 picks – not to mention the salary implications – makes the Curry trade worse, by far, far, far.

    Imagine, say, Brandon Roy and Noah on this team… or if it’s unlikely we would have gone for Roy, substitute Aldridge or Tyrus Thoams… and add that $11 million of cap room next summer. Yow.

  2. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Ariza is slightly ahead of Chandler at the same age – but more than that, he made a huge jump that hardly any players do. Chandler will probably keep improving, and have a decent career – probably starter-level – but Ariza improved more than 95 percent of the players in the league ever do.

    A lot of players develop jumpshots, off the top of my head Bowen, TJ Ford, David Lee, etc. Granted it’s not a given, but I think many players can learn to hit jumpers, even at a bad rate like Ariza. I think that’s why I like guys like Ariza/Balkman over Chandler. You can’t teach athletic ability, and former were superior in that respect to the latter.

  3. cgreene

    I think that what is missing in this discussion is how much easier the game is when you are playing with better players. And how it sort of makes the comparison moot. In a completely non empirical judgment it is simply much easier to play basketball with Kobe, Pau, a veteran like Fischer and so on. Take Ariza off that team and they are still the strong favorite to win the NBA championship. Take him off and add Chandler (for a whole season playing alongside the Lakers) and I am sorry but he looks as good as Ariza does now and the Lakers are no worse off3. All this talk about the Arizas and Balkmans and even David Lee gets us nowhere. None of these players is good enough to elevate their team to the even the next level. They are good role players who one can envision being a nice complimentary part to an excellent team. So there is no question that the Curry trade was much much much worse. Put Ariza, Balkman or Chandler or frankly all three on the Knicks and we are little to no better. These are not impact players. (But I do hope I am wrong about one of them and it ain’t Ariza or Balkman (-;

  4. jon abbey

    “In a completely non empirical judgment it is simply much easier to play basketball with Kobe, Pau, a veteran like Fisher and so on.”

    totally 100 percent agreed, and this is an aspect basketball numbers guys ignore too often. Orlando gave Ariza away also, there are a lot of players who could be good role players on a team with a superstar or two.

    and my answer to this question is still the non-drafting of Rondo and Bynum, especially with our continued gaping holes at PG and C.

  5. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    But the problem with that line of thinking is that teams (or teammates) don’t generally affect each other’s stats much.

    I agree 100% that Ariza is a better fit for the Lakers than Magic. The Magic have a great interior player with Dwight Howard, so Ariza’s contribution isn’t as needed as let’s say a Hedo Turkoglu – who can help Orlando’s offense. On the other hand the Lakers are playing Gasol at center and Kobe to orchestrate the offense, so having a lock down defender who can slash to the hoop is more helpful.

    It’s important to find guys that fit the team’s needs.

  6. Reebok1303

    “having a lock down defender who can slash to the hoop”

    Of course having superstars on a team can help others look better, but how sad is it that you can’t say this about ANY current Knick? (And yet another reason why giving away Balkman was such a maddening decision.)

    If I had to choose between Chandler and Ariza, I would definitely vote for Trevor.

    Sure Ariza is a “role player” in that he isn’t a high volume scorer or excellent three point shooter, but as Knicks fans who appreciate David Lee for his rebounding and offensive efficiency, and who couldn’t stand Jamal Crawford for his inefficient jump shooting and inability to get to the FT line (and terrible defense), we should know that a team needs more then big scorers to win, and that effective and efficient players, no matter what form they come in, are too important to give away.

    That being said, according to PER Ariza has been a starting level player since 06-07 and, while I’m not sure how to find his Win Score for last season, I know that during the 07-08 regular season he posted a 0.245(!) – which is well above average. And those numbers were posted without a very effective jump shot, which Trevor has continued to show he can and will improve.

    Now I’m not saying Chandler can’t and won’t improve – I actually think he has a chance to take a big step forward next year – but only a real homer could possibly pick Wilson over Chandler at this point.

  7. Z-man

    I think that the impact of leadership is also important to consider. Kobe, like many of the all-time greats, immediately elevates the expectations of the team to deep playoff contention. He puts tremendous pressure on guys to develop; on the other hand, his offensive greatness takes pressure off of the role players in 2 ways: he takes over games in crunch time, and draws defenders away leaving the Arizas with open shots and offensive rebounding opportunities. A slew of role players improved dramatically while playing with Jordan. KG and Pierce elevate the play of Celt role players; Kobe certainly accelerated Bynum’s development.

    On the other hand, the Knicks have zero leadership, zero. Who gets in Nate’s face after he loses his cool, or into Lee’s after he gets beat on D or makes a dumb pass in crunch time, or Chandler’s after he becomes passive?

    I disagree with the notion that Balkman and Ariza are superior athletically to Chandler. Wilson has made more than his share of eye-opening athletic plays and averaged double the blocks that Ariza did. He also played 3 positions defensively. I also think it is unfair to use a 1-rebound or 1.8 FTdifferential to conclude that Ariza “dwarfs” Chandler.

    I clearly remember Ariza from his Knick days and could not even imagine him at that time being able to handle the prominent role that Chandler had this season. Hindsight is 20-20, but I would have a much bigger problem with trading Chandler for whatever we got for Ariza than I did when we let Ariza go.

    To even put it in the league with the Curry fiasco is ridiculous. The Curry trade set us back several years and may still prevent us from doing what we need to do in 2010. If we kept Ariza, he probably wouldn’t be as good without Kobe’s influence. If Chandler played with in an your face superstar like Kobe or KG I think he would eventually be better, and possibly much better than Ariza, even defensively.

  8. Reebok1303

    Now I’m not saying Chandler can’t and won’t improve – I actually think he has a chance to take a big step forward next year – but only a real homer could possibly pick CHANDLER over ARIZA at this point.

    Fixed.

  9. Z-man

    Now I’m not saying Chandler can’t and won’t improve – I actually think he has a chance to take a big step forward next year – but only a real homer could possibly pick CHANDLER over ARIZA at this point.
    Fixed.

    Chandler is not better than Ariza yet, but I believe he has more upside. My comment was about where they were at the same point in their respective careers and how playing with Kobe is a huge factor in Ariza’s rapid development, especially on offense.

    Another comment regarding athleticism, Ariza apparently has never blocked more than 2 shots in a game in his 5-year career. Chandler did so 6 times last year, and 3 times in his last 10 games. They are both 6’8” so height is not a factor. He’s certainly in the same league with Ariza and Balkman athletically. If anything, he has a problem with consistency and aggressiveness, not athleticism.

    Also, Chandler certainly held his own at 33 MPG this year. Ariza has never averaged more than 24.

  10. Owen

    Not sure quite why this is an either/or question. The both were bad mistakes. But Curry ranks up there as one of the biggest blunders of all time in the NBA. Not thinking about it too hard but I struggle off the top of my head to think of a worse mistake. Because we had an excellent sample to judge Curry, and it was pretty clear when we made that trade that he was a bad player who was unlikely to improve. And then we gave up great draft picks and killed our cap.

    Re Ariza – We always have these arguments about whether playing next to a star player helps you improve as a player. I still think it doesn’t. You always look better when you are on a winning team, whether you are a high quality role player like Ariza or a relatively mediocre like say, Mo Williams. It’s ridiculous to me that Williams, who is often touted as the decisive element in the Cavs improvement, despite the obvious fact that they were incredibly improved at the end of last season.

    Chandler has one more year to show his stuff as far as I am concerned. Right now, he isn’t half the player Ariza is, and that is playing next to Kobe or not.

    Chandler was exactly what I expected him to be this year. There was absolutely no improvement. Pretty much the same guy he was in summer league last year. The idea that this guy is a building block for the future is at this point, pretty implausible. But it happens, I fervently hope it does in this case…

  11. BigBlueAL

    Yeah I agree Z-Man, where do people get off saying Chandler isnt as athletic as Ariza or Balkman???? He may not be as aggressive as they are, but still this season besides the shot-blocking he has delivered some nasty facials on people, and it takes some pretty serious athleticism to make some of the spin moves and fadeaways he hits. Hey I loved when Ariza dunked on Ben Wallace when he played for the Knicks, but Chandler had a bunch of dunks this season that was just as exciting as that dunk was.

    Plus Chandler is much, much stronger physically than Ariza by a landslide. If you have read my comments in the past you should know I am a real big fan of Chandler, moreso than most people here. Considering this was basically his rookie season since he never played last season and played what only 2 years at college, I think his upside is tremendous. Plus I like how calm and cool he is, it is a nice contrast from the idiotic transgressions of players like Nate and Harrington with his stupid technicals.

    Chandler is an easy player to root for and I am looking forward to seeing him hopefully progress in the future.

    P.S. Another great point someone earlier brought up, good luck having either Ariza or especially Balkman have some of the offensive 4th quarters Chandler had this season to win the Knicks some games. Chandler has go-to guy potential, something Ariza and Balkman will NEVER have. I should be president of Wilson Chandler’s Fan Club huh….

  12. Owen

    Big Blue – Good luck with the fan club. I think I made a bet regarding Chandler’s ts% near the beginning of the year. And I would have won that bet if I am remembering correctly. I don’t see him ever posting a +55% ts% in his career. He basically has no offensive game other than streaky jumpshooting, at this point.

    I am adding Shannon Brown to the list of guys who suddenly looks like a stud, but nothing much has changed.

    And Ricky Rubio is coming out. I think that will make Caleb happy….

  13. BigBlueAL

    Big Blue – Good luck with the fan club. I think I made a bet regarding Chandler’s ts%. And I would have won that bet if I am remembering correctly. I don’t see him ever posting a 55%+ in his career. He basically has no offensive game other than streaky jumpshooting, at this point.
    I am adding Shannon Brown to the list of guys who suddenly looks like a stud, but nothing much has changed.
    And Ricky Rubio is coming out. I think that will make Caleb happy….

    I was obviously joking about the Fan Club. Although like I said he probably is my favorite player on the Knicks right now if only because he does have some cool highlights and looks like a good kid who doesnt make a fool of himself on the court like some of his teammates. Im all for hot-dogging and all if you are John Starks or Spree since they were on teams who won and were All-Star players (granted Starks’ All-Star birth in 1994 was a fluke but hey he was also an All-Star in the CBA!!) Plus Chandler is the only player on the team who actually blocks shots.

    My only thing is I get frustrated when people talk about how good some of these bench players are who play a handful of minutes a game but they get a steal, a few rebounds and some cheap, easy fast-break points and you project their stats and they look like All-Stars. I give Ariza credit for being able now to hit open 3’s and dunks since nobody on the opposing team gives a crap about him on offense since they are more worried about Kobe, Pau, Odem and Bynum. Plus Ariza still shoots his 3’s worse than Chandler, and Ariza’s 3’s are so wide-open its like shooting them during pre-game warmups.

    Look Chandler will never be an All-Star, but hey Coach D’Antoni likes him and at least Chandler, along with Gallo obviously who I actually really love, gives the Knicks a couple of young players whose upside looks like could be pretty good, something the Knicks havent had in awhile (although you could say David Lee obviously). Again there is no way in hell Balkman and Ariza can score the way Chandler does, plus Chandler does play some D and has the same physical attributes as those 2. So I dont see how anybody can say Ariza and Balkman are much better than Chandler, especially Balkman who is a foul machine whose offense is horrible at best.

    Anyway yeah Rubio would be great for the Knicks, but anybody know about this other 28 yo Spanish PG the Knicks might pickup????

  14. BigBlueAL

    TNT just showed a stat saying that teams that go up 2-0 in a best of 7 series go on to win the series 95% of the time. That seems to me to be a bit too high, but still if that is indeed true it makes the 1993 Conference Finals loss to the Bulls that much harder to get over.

    That series loss to the Bulls still hurts more than any playoff loss, even tougher than losing the Finals to Houston in 1994. Although the crime that was the loss to the Heat in 1997 is up there, if only because it deprived us of what wouldve been an incredible Conference Finals vs the Bulls. Maybe I was too naive and still am, but I honestly thought and still believe the Knicks that season couldve beaten the Bulls.

  15. BK

    I like Wilson, but a part of me thinks he is being pumped up for a possible trade — he is one of those guys that looks smooth even with all the flaws in his game, such that I suspect Walsh and D’Antoni are hoping to find someone who overvalues him as much as the announcing teams of various Knick opponents (“what a NICE player the Knicks have here” — how many times did you hear this over the course of the season?)

    At this point, you’d rather have Ariza, but I agree with Caleb that Trevor improved to an unusual degree. Not sure Wilson can do the same, which is why I like the idea of dealing him if we can get draft picks and/or unload an onerous contract.

    I enjoyed some aspects of Balkman’s tenure with the Knicks, but he was not a D’Antoni player, and he’s the worst choice of the 3 players being discussed here. The cultlike fascination with such a limited player in some circles (not referring to anyone here) has always seemed odd to me. I don’t miss him at all, and the fact that Dahntay Jones sees so much more playing time than Balkman in Denver is a testament to how wretched his offense is. Even a specialist like Bowen is capable of hitting a jumper.

  16. Z

    “both were bad mistakes. But Curry ranks up there as one of the biggest blunders of all time in the NBA.”

    Boy, I don’t know. Ariza begat Francis who begat Zach Randolph who begat a semi-dead guy and Tim Thomas who begat Larry Hughes. That is a vile downward spiral of exponential wretchedness . The only guy I’d even touch with a 10 foot pole on that list is the patriarch.

    And at the time of the Ariza trade we were already paying a “franchise” PG $20 mil. At least with Curry Isiah was bringing in a center– a position that had been hollow since the departure of Ewing.

    To answer Hahn’s question, I’d say the Ariza trade hurt more because 1 year of watching Zach Randolph play for the Knicks hurt more than thinking about all the things that could have been.

    The pain was tangible, and I still haven’t recovered from it.

  17. Reebok1303

    My only thing is I get frustrated when people talk about how good some of these bench players are who play a handful of minutes a game but they get a steal, a few rebounds and some cheap, easy fast-break points and you project their stats and they look like All-Stars.

    Why would you dislike this – Knicks fans were doing for years before Lee got serious playing time and it finally became obvious to the rest of the league what we already knew – that the guy was a very good player who was stuck on the bench for way too long. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve read Owen, Mike K., and some others on this board point out that players stats don’t change much per minute based on playing time, meaning that if you are a productive player you will remain productive, whether you average 10 minutes a game or 25 minutes a game. (I hope this is stated correctly – if not I apologize.) This is the same scenario that played out with Lee, and I see no reason why it wouldn’t be true for Ariza.

    Again there is no way in hell Balkman and Ariza can score the way Chandler does, plus Chandler does play some D and has the same physical attributes as those 2. So I dont see how anybody can say Ariza and Balkman are much better than Chandler, especially Balkman who is a foul machine whose offense is horrible at best.

    I’m not sure if you’re referring to me referencing him, but I only mentioned Balkman because he fit the mold of the “lock down defender” that Mike K. had mentioned earlier – I really wasn’t trying to compare him to the others in terms of production or potential.

    However, I still feel like Chandler is getting more leeway than he deserves because he often looks “smooth” and “athletic” and has some great highlight plays. To me, it all comes down to if he is a productive player and, statistically speaking, he’s actually pretty far from it. This is the same fact Knick’s fans bemoaned when dealing with Crawford. Sure he “looked” like a basketball player and he had some brilliant moments that could take your breath away, but in reality he was a below average player who was hurting his team.

    And that’s why I would take Ariza. He has less downside, plays very good defense, and is actually a productive player RIGHT NOW, whereas Chandler simply isn’t that good yet. Again, the only argument I can see in picking Chandler is his (possibly) greater potential, but for me it just isn’t enough.

    (Not trying to argue with you Big Blue, I just feel differently and I wanted to reply back.)

  18. jaysdatruth

    Hindsight is always 20-20. Of course everyone can look at the way things turned out now and say “wow that was the dumbest thing we couldve done by getting curry” what people dont realize however is when this trade took place curry was a force in the league. He had the best offensive numbers of any big in the league averging 20 plus. The knicks if any of you remember were in dire need of someone who could score in the paint, so honestly this was a no brainer. The knicks havent had anyone on there frontline who could give you 20 a night since ewing. At the time the trade made perfect sense, get someone already proven to help us downlow, instead of taking a chance at a big in the draft. I think we all learned our lesson about taking a chance on big man from the fredick weiss fisaco.

    I for one thought getting curry was a good idea especially after posting up good numbers his first year on the team. Now seeing this knick team play I can understand the frustration but lets be real here if the knicks had rondo and thomas or roy and naoh the knicks would still be aweful. The draft picks we lost on curry wouldnt have made the knicks a top contender so it really doesnt matter.

    The notion thats its easier for ariza to get off on a good team is way off. You couldnt be more wrong, its much harder because you have to first find your way into the rotation among a bunch of stars. Then get your rocks off by scoring off of kobe’s scraps. When you play with someone who dominates the offense as much as kobe does its hard to get your touches and shots in. On a bad team like the knicks, chandler has more freedom to make mistakes, and more opportunities to develop. also with the offense Mike D runs whose to say how good ariza would be had he still been ont he knicks. That offense is perfectly suited for ariza’s style of play.

  19. KnickfaninNJ

    Hindsight is always 20-20. Of course everyone can look at the way things turned out now and say “wow that was the dumbest thing we couldve done by getting curry” what people dont realize however is when this trade took place curry was a force in the league. He had the best offensive numbers of any big in the league averging 20 plus. The knicks if any of you remember were in dire need of someone who could score in the paint, so honestly this was a no brainer. The knicks havent had anyone on there frontline who could give you 20 a night since ewing. At the time the trade made perfect sense, get someone already proven to help us downlow, instead of taking a chance at a big in the draft. I think we all learned our lesson about taking a chance on big man from the fredick weiss fisaco.
    I for one thought getting curry was a good idea especially after posting up good numbers his first year on the team. Now seeing this knick team play I can understand the frustration but lets be real here if the knicks had rondo and thomas or roy and naoh the knicks would still be aweful. The draft picks we lost on curry wouldnt have made the knicks a top contender so it really doesnt matter.
    The notion thats its easier for ariza to get off on a good team is way off. You couldnt be more wrong, its much harder because you have to first find your way into the rotation among a bunch of stars. Then get your rocks off by scoring off of kobe’s scraps. When you play with someone who dominates the offense as much as kobe does its hard to get your touches and shots in. On a bad team like the knicks, chandler has more freedom to make mistakes, and more opportunities to develop. also with the offense Mike D runs whose to say how good ariza would be had he still been ont he knicks. That offense is perfectly suited for ariza’s style of play.

  20. BigBlueAL

    Nah Reebok its great this debate, I have no problems whatsoever with any of your view points, and I was just referring in general to alot of people here who love Balkman where I just dont see why really when compared to Chandler.

    I totally understand the praise of Ariza, I liked him alot when he was with the Knicks (although he really looked HORRIBLE under Larry Brown, but that was really all on Coach Brown) and believe the comparison of him and Chandler is a good one. Just not Balkman.

    One thing about Lee, the past 2 seasons he played 29 min/g so he really wasnt being that under used and he had already averaged a double-double before this season so it wasnt projecting or assuming that he would average a double-double if given enough playing time. Where as Ariza even this season only played 24 min/g and except for his 1 full season with Orlando where he averaged 22 min/g his other 3 seasons he averaged 17 twice and 15 the other season. I know about his PER and stats that an average fan doesnt understand nor look at, but again just looking at his basic stats he just looks like a nice role player where with Chandler, granted obvious he played more minutes and took way more shots, his stats look pretty good for a 2nd year late 1st-round pick. Again I admit I am not as knowledgeable about advanced stats in basketball as I am in baseball so I admit that doesnt help me at all in an argument like this when comparing these type of players. I guess I just have a hard time accepting that given an extra 10 minutes per game his numbers would increase dramatically and be as good as they project out over 36 minutes. Thats my beef I guess you can say with projecting out stats of players who play 15-20 mins/g because they look almost All-Star level when that happens but again I want to see them actually get those stats not just assume that is what would happen.

    Anyway look Chandler is still only 21 yo and just completed a pretty decent 2nd season and played his best basketball in April, and like I said it is irrelevant when evaluating his basketball skill but I just like the kid and the way he conducts himself on the court. Again I am no choir boy and LOVED the way the Knicks of the 90’s bullied teams and talked crap on the court, but they backed it up unlike Nate and Harrington who isnt as bad as Nate but I just cant forget his 2 T’s that cost the Knicks the games vs the Clippers.

    One thing I think we can all agree on as Knicks fans, if Chandler does remain with the team we all hope he does improve and will be rooting for him to hopefully fulfill his potential, whatever that may be….

    P.S. I promise I am ALOT smarter when it comes to debating baseball players/stats. Sorry if I come across a bit naive and uneducated when it comes to basketball numbers, but thats why I LOVE this site and try to read alot of Hollinger’s articles on ESPN to educate myself on this stuff. I never knew that basketball could be broken down this scientifically the way baseball is. Its great to see!!

  21. KnickfaninNJ

    I apologize for the last post, I am new to the forum and posted wrong by accident.

    What I wanted to say is twofold. One is that I agree with the posters who say the Curry trade wasn’t as bad a people think it was. At the time Thomas said that the draft picks in question were in a weak draft, and given the names people throw about as ones we could have had by using draft choices instead of trading for Curry, I agree. There were no superstars there, just quality guys who can start and contribute. So Thomas took a risk and tried for a quality center, something that is very hard to come by. I don’t think the trade was great at all, but it’s far from the worst trade of all time, as some people think. I am sure that if most of the posters to this forum thought about it they could think of more lopsided NBA trades that have occurred in the past. Also think about what a number ninr pick usually gets a team, bearing in mind the quality of the two number eight picks on the current Knicks (Hughes and Wilcox).

    My second point is that in the broader sense Hahn was right, Chandler is comparable to Ariza, even if you just judge by amount of debate on the topic in this forum. In the broad sense, they both are forwards who can score and play some defense, although they do it in different ways. This is always valuable in the NBA. The statistics at the top of the page compare them at the same age, but at that age, Ariza was in his third year in the league, while Chandler was in his second. Overall, I like Chandler a little better; not for any statistical reason, but because my sense is he works harder at improving his game than Ariza did when he was on the Knicks, so I expect more improvement in the next couple of years.

  22. ess-dog

    I don’t bemoan the loss of Ariza. He’s a nifty little player, but he’s repalcable. He probably has the most coveted job in the NBA right now. Yes, he is a starter, but he’s by far the most replaceable part for L.A. All he has to do is stay out of the stars way, defend his man and be at his spots on the floor, on the break or on the arc. Honestly, who knew he would develop any shot at all?
    And it’s still a mystery why Chandler doesn’t get to the rim as much or more than Ariza. Ariza’s longer, but Chandler can rise higher and is more nimble. We’ve all seen him make amazing drives to the hoop (I remember one past Pierce and KG for an easy layup off the dribble.) If he can hone the skill of creating contact off the drive (remember, he’s only 21) he could be very good. A lighter Josh Smith. The only problem is, I don’t know if you can just “learn” that type of ferocity… we’ll see.
    As for Curry, this says it all: He’s working out with a trainer this offseason. Why wasn’t he doing this the last 8 years??? When he heard that Mike D and SSOL offense was coming, didn’t it cross his mind to y’know, jog a little? I bet he can get that Marbury workout tape pretty cheap… While thinking about all this wants to make me throw up in my mouth a little bit, I am actually hoping that an in-shape Curry could help out somewhat and maybe make himself tradable (although I doubt very much that he will ever be tradable while he’s in NY.)

  23. Owen

    “To answer Hahn’s question, I’d say the Ariza trade hurt more because 1 year of watching Zach Randolph play for the Knicks hurt more than thinking about all the things that could have been.”

    It hurt more than watching Eddy Curry blunder his way to the second most turnovers in the league a couple of years ago? Really? I have to say, I respect that kind of profound dislike for Zach. But I still think the Curry trade was one of the worst in NBA history. Not enough of an NBA historian to say for sure though….

    “Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve read Owen, Mike K., and some others on this board point out that players stats don’t change much per minute based on playing time, meaning that if you are a productive player you will remain productive, whether you average 10 minutes a game or 25 minutes a game. (I hope this is stated correctly – if not I apologize.)”

    Correct

    Ariza had an unbelievable game last night btw. 13 points on six shots, 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and one turnover in 31.5 minutes. That’s about as good as it gets for a 13 point game from a small forward.

    Derrick Rose gets the Rookie of the year. It’s a future star award, and I am fine with it, but there were a lot of rookies out there who had equal impact.

  24. d-mar

    I agree with some of the posters above that there is WAY too much hindsight going on with the Curry deal. The big question to me is could Isiah have gotten lottery protection on those 2 picks? I think Paxson is on the record as saying he wouldn’t have made the deal with that condition, but most people in the league thought the Knicks could probably be a low level playoff team with Curry. Two years ago when Curry was putting up 20+ a night (granted he could never rebound or block shots) there wasn’t much talk about the worst deal in history. I think it comes down to a shrewder and less desperate GM (like Walsh) insisting on lottery protecting at least one of those 2 picks, that’s my biggest knock on the deal.

  25. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Boy, I don’t know. Ariza begat Francis who begat Zach Randolph who begat a semi-dead guy and Tim Thomas who begat Larry Hughes. That is a vile downward spiral of exponential wretchedness . The only guy I’d even touch with a 10 foot pole on that list is the patriarch.

    It’s Curry and it’s no contest. So we had to watch Zach for a year, we had to watch Curry for twice that. Bowling over people on the offensive end, allowing everyone in on the defensive end, with zero passing skills. On top of it for years I had to hear a good percentage Knick fans tout what a great player he was. At least Zach Randolph didn’t have a lot of fans.

    Oh and think of this – to get rid of Curry, we may have to package him with either Lee or Robinson. Which means he will have cost us three players (Noah, Thomas, and Lee/Robinson). That’s just the fly in the ointment.

    <

    Another comment regarding athleticism, Ariza apparently has never blocked more than 2 shots in a game in his 5-year career. Chandler did so 6 times last year, and 3 times in his last 10 games. They are both 6’8” so height is not a factor. He’s certainly in the same league with Ariza and Balkman athletically. If anything, he has a problem with consistency and aggressiveness, not athleticism.

    Yes Chandler is a better shot blocker, but I think 1 steal per 36 is more important than half a block. (And Ariza is even better at ball hawking now than at that age). But that still doesn’t excuse Chandler from all the other “athletic” stats.

    Yeah I agree Z-Man, where do people get off saying Chandler isnt as athletic as Ariza or Balkman???? He may not be as aggressive as they are, but still this season besides the shot-blocking he has delivered some nasty facials on people, and it takes some pretty serious athleticism to make some of the spin moves and fadeaways he hits. Hey I loved when Ariza dunked on Ben Wallace when he played for the Knicks, but Chandler had a bunch of dunks this season that was just as exciting as that dunk was.

    Plus Chandler is much, much stronger physically than Ariza by a landslide.

    Again if Chandler is stronger or has better athleticism, then why doesn’t it translate to on the court skills? There are lot of athletic players in the NBA that don’t know how to use their physical ability. If what you say about Chandler is true, then that’s even more troubling. Lots of players come into the league and are able to do the athletic things (steals, blocked shots, rebounding, free throw attempts), it’s the things like the three point line, passing, etc. that take time to learn.

    But I just don’t think Chandler is as athletic.

  26. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Hindsight is always 20-20. Of course everyone can look at the way things turned out now and say “wow that was the dumbest thing we couldve done by getting curry” what people dont realize however is when this trade took place curry was a force in the league. He had the best offensive numbers of any big in the league averging 20 plus. The knicks if any of you remember were in dire need of someone who could score in the paint, so honestly this was a no brainer. The knicks havent had anyone on there frontline who could give you 20 a night since ewing. At the time the trade made perfect sense, get someone already proven to help us downlow, instead of taking a chance at a big in the draft. I think we all learned our lesson about taking a chance on big man from the fredick weiss fisaco.

    Curry was not a force in the league, and back in 2005 I didn’t think he was better than Mike Sweetney. (http://www.knickerblogger.net/?p=295)

    The only way to like this deal is if physique is your only criteria on building a basketball team…. However it’s arguable whether or not Eddy is the better player on the court. They score at about the same rate, although Curry’s usage rate is higher. That could be because the offensively challenged Bulls leaned on Eddy, while the Knicks never featured Sweetney in the half court set. The turnover numbers and foul numbers are close enough to even out. However despite giving up 3 inches and 10 pounds, Sweetney’s rebounding numbers puts Curry to shame. Using John Hollinger’s rebounding rate, Sweetney ranked 20th last year in the league ahead of such luminaries as Yao Ming, Zach Randolph, Shawn Marion, and Elton Brand. In fact within the last year Isiah Thomas has traded two of the top 20, with Nazr Mohammed showing up at #11 on that list.

    If Knick fans are looking for a silver lining on this deal, it won’t be Curry’s defense. While Chicago was one of the top defensive teams last season, the Knicks didn’t get the defensive stalwart of the Bulls frontcourt. According to 82games.com, the Bulls were 3.3 points worse with Curry on the floor, although he did keep opposing centers in check with a 13.3 oPER. Last year those numbers were 2.7 and 13.8. Dan Rosenbaum rated Curry as the 5th worst defensive center in the league while Matt from Bulls Blog, now over at BlogABull.com, said Curry won’t help the “Knicks’ awful help defense.”

    Also from that article:

    “…while second rounder Trevor Ariza has flashed great potential. Nate Robinson dominated the summer league, and could be Isiah’s second steal in a row.”

  27. Nick C.

    Aaaargh. Can we ever stop talking about Ariza and Balkman and concentrate on the players we have (even though they may be uninspiring at best). Its over and done with they are gone. Can we get over it. Its maddening that you can’t go a week without re-hashing this over and over and over and over its worse than going out with some girl who spends the whole time going on about her ex (well maybe not that bad but close).

  28. Caleb

    “I agree with some of the posters above that there is WAY too much hindsight going on with the Curry deal. The big question to me is could Isiah have gotten lottery protection on those 2 picks?”

    This is an interesting point… because the Curry trade did look better at the time, than he eventually did. So this is a reasonable question to ask. But IMO, the answer is: if Paxson wasn’t willing to protect the picks, IT should have told him to take a hike! Paxson had no leverage – the Bulls’ medical staff wouldn’t even clear Curry to play.

    It was telling, because this was Isiah’s downfall as a GM – he would decide which player he liked, and do anything to reel him in. There was no ceiling on what he would pay. I think it goes to his arrogance – he was so sure he was right, the worst-case scenario would never happen. (sound familiar these days?)

    So he’d decide that he likes Jared Jeffries, and instead of saying – ok, he’s worth $10 million, maybe a few more – he’d just pay the full mid-level. He did this again and again and again.

    In stark contrast, driving a bargain is Walsh’s strength. I don’t think Walsh is a fantastic talent evaluator, as far as finding hidden gems or forecasting which summer leaguer will be valuable.
    BUT – he never overpays. He’s patient. He squeezes some value from each deal. If the other team won’t bargain, he’s willing to walk away – Isiah never would. Walsh’s approach is less exciting than the genius who can spot talent at the #43 spot, but in the long it’s probably just as valuable.

  29. Z

    “It’s Curry and it’s no contest. So we had to watch Zach for a year, we had to watch Curry for twice that. Bowling over people on the offensive end, allowing everyone in on the defensive end, with zero passing skills. On top of it for years I had to hear a good percentage Knick fans tout what a great player he was. At least Zach Randolph didn’t have a lot of fans. Oh and think of this – to get rid of Curry, we may have to package him with either Lee or Robinson. Which means he will have cost us three players (Noah, Thomas, and Lee/Robinson). That’s just the fly in the ointment.”

    The Curry trade may have had worse implications than the Ariza trade (ie Ariza and Frye for Randolph) trade, but I understood the thinking at the time that the Knicks needed a center they could feed in the post on offense. Yes, Isiah overpaid for what he got, but the heart was in the right place.

    The Randolph trade, on the other hand, came at a time when the brightest spots in the Knicks universe were their emerging young PF (Lee) and the fact that salary relief was finally obtainable. Trading for Randolph crippled both those things, which I found inexcusable. Luckily, the damage has been minimized by erasing Randolph from the equation (yes, addition by subtraction). The lingering effects of the Curry trade may be felt for years to come, but I am much more willing to forgive a move that I found justifiable at the time. Isiah was trying to dig himself out of his own hole and only mired himself deeper in shit.

    If we are using hindsight to criticize trades, the Marbury trade could still end up one far worse than the Curry trade. Like the Curry trade, I understood Isiah’s desire to bring Marbury to the Knicks at the time and remind myself of that every time I criticize the weasel.

    However, when comparing the long-term damage of the two deals, the Marbury one could easily end up hurting more. Not only did McDyess recover from his injury and play productive ball for more years than Marbury, but the salary implications of taking on Marbury set back the rebuilding process for years. The Knicks could have been under the cap in 2007 (without any cap cutting moves) if Walsh had been hired in 2003 instead of Isiah. Instead we are struggling to get under the cap by 2010. And finally, the gift keeps on giving, as we still don’t know what player the Jazz will draft next summer with our (likely) lottery pick.

    Owen isn’t an NBA historian and neither am I, but off the top of my head there are several Knick trades in the past decade that compete heartily with the Curry trade for worst ever:

    1) Patrick Ewing for Glen Rice, Luc Lingley, and Travis Knight, (and the picks that became Eric Chenowith, Michael Wright, and Jamal Tinsley (which was traded before the draft)). (This trade also came a day after a failed trade that would have brought a much better package of players, if memory serves me right).

    2) Camby, Nene, and Mark Jackson for McDyess and Frank Williams.

    3) Marbury

    4) Francis

    5) Randolph

    Depressing…

  30. tastycakes

    Agreed there have been a seemingly never-ending string of bad deals in the Layden/Thomas era. Both GMs’ tenures can now be listed as among the worst GM jobs in basketball history.

    But the comparison of Ariza for Francis vs Curry for picks and role players is just no contest. I’d way rather have a mulligan on the Curry deal.

    Eddy Curry is near worthless as a basketball player. A big man who is constantly out of shape, plays zero defense, is a poor rebounder for his position, doesn’t seem to give a shit about the game, and has a heart condition that makes him untradeable, and logged about 12 minutes this year. And we paid how much for him? The key difference with the Francis trade is that Steve Francis was once a decent basketball player. Not that the trade wasn’t completely awful. My point is that Eddy Curry *never was any good at basketball*. “We needed a center?” Why? At what cost? We don’t know what would have happened with those picks we gave up, but wouldn’t you rather be a little bit more like the Baby Bulls right now?

    Why are we rehashing this? Oh yeah, venting can be fun :)

    Maybe this is the year we get lucky in the draft. Fingers crossed!

  31. Caleb

    Let the Rubio era begin. BRing back the guy who rigged the Ewing lottery. It’s time. C’mon, lucky dice..

  32. d-mar

    Let the Rubio era begin. BRing back the guy who rigged the Ewing lottery. It’s time. C’mon, lucky dice..

    Man how exciting would that be, “Rubio penetrates, dishes to Gallinari for the 3, it’s good!” We can dream, can’t we?

    Also, Caleb, you hit it right on the head as far as Isaiah’s MO. When he wanted a player, he would do anything to get him, and other GM’s knew this and took advantage of him. I forgot about Curry’s heart thing, which makes me agree with you that Paxson would have lottery protected at least one of the picks.

  33. Nick C.

    Whats up with this Carlos Cabeza? Is that just some nonsense the Post or News dreamed up to fill up some space yesterday?

  34. Z

    Let the Rubio era begin. BRing back the guy who rigged the Ewing lottery. It’s time. C’mon, lucky dice..

    Did David Stern ever leave?

  35. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Again I admit I am not as knowledgeable about advanced stats in basketball as I am in baseball so I admit that doesnt help me at all in an argument like this when comparing these type of players. I guess I just have a hard time accepting that given an extra 10 minutes per game his numbers would increase dramatically and be as good as they project out over 36 minutes. Thats my beef I guess you can say with projecting out stats of players who play 15-20 mins/g because they look almost All-Star level when that happens but again I want to see them actually get those stats not just assume that is what would happen.

    And that’s one of the core tenets of advanced stats which has been proven many times over. Since you understand advanced stats in baseball, imagine a player who only saw part time in his first few seasons but amassed 1000+ ABs. Unless he were a situational player (lefty masher) wouldn’t you expect him to have a similar OPS if he had 600 ABs over a full season? (barring aging, injuries, steroids, etc.) I can’t help but think of Johan Santana – who showed great numbers as a part time starter for a couple of seasons before the Twins gave him a chance.

    Coming from a baseball background, you’re probably equating a 15 mpg basketball player to a hitter with 150 ABs. But that analogy isn’t true. Baseball numbers fluctuate much more from game to game, whereas basketball is much more stable. Think of this way – players routinely hit .400 or better for a month. How often do you see a basketball player averaging 50 ppg (the basketball equivalent of hitting .400) for a month?

  36. ess-dog

    Even though I think Curry’s a worse player, I have to say that the Randolph trade is the one that stands out as being universally panned by everyone immediately. I think Zeke and Marbury were the only ones who liked that trade. I’m not sure why we didn’t go after Rashard Lewis instead… about the same price for a real player that would’ve fit better with Curry and Lee.

  37. BigBlueAL

    You know Mike you are right about my view of a role/bench player on an NBA team who only gets 15-20 mins/g and compare him to say a super utility bench player who gets 200 ab’s a season or so. I guess the thing is in baseball for alot of these players you can use their minor-league stats to project them out properly as well. If a player has less than stellar minor-league stats yet hits the crap out of the ball in the majors in limited AB’s you just chalk it up to small sample size. I probably do the same thing with NBA players to a fault.

    But there is also the closer debate. All stats gurus talk about how anybody can close so if you are dominant in the 7th or 8th you will be the same in the 9th but many, many times you see pitchers who just cant close. So if a player in a smaller bench role shines you automatically assume if he played starter’s minutes he would be great. But there are some players who the more they play do get their flaws exposed more no?? There has to be some examples of players who changed teams and were given a much bigger role and didnt pan out, which happens in baseball ALOT.

    Its good stuff though. Dont worry, Ill get a hang of “sabermetrics” NBA style soon enough….

  38. BK

    thats why I LOVE this site and try to read alot of Hollinger’s articles on ESPN to educate myself on this stuff. I never knew that basketball could be broken down this scientifically the way baseball is. Its great to see!!

    BigBlue, if you’re interested in wading around more of the arguments around the minutes/efficiency debate, the following links are an interesting and accessible way of understanding the debate a little better (they also reference Knickerblogger’s reseach on the subject). It’s important to read the comments, because some of them are as illuminating as the original articles in framing different viewpoints:

    http://ballhype.com/story/love_and_mathematics/

    http://ballhype.com/story/love_and_mathematics_pt_2_the_paul_millsap_quandary/

    Because these articles are nearly a couple of years old, some things are dated, and point to the risk of too rigid a reliance on certain statistics (notably, Ike Diogu was overvalued back then), but they’re a good read. Hollinger’s stuff on ESPN is good, but he has to pitch his commentary to a very broad audience, so it gets frustrating at times to see the leaps of logic some readers take with his information.

  39. Z-man

    <
    Another comment regarding athleticism, Ariza apparently has never blocked more than 2 shots in a game in his 5-year career. Chandler did so 6 times last year, and 3 times in his last 10 games. They are both 6?8” so height is not a factor. He’s certainly in the same league with Ariza and Balkman athletically. If anything, he has a problem with consistency and aggressiveness, not athleticism.

    Yes Chandler is a better shot blocker, but I think 1 steal per 36 is more important than half a block. (And Ariza is even better at ball hawking now than at that age). But that still doesn’t excuse Chandler from all the other “athletic” stats.

    I don’t know statistically how the value of a blocked shot compares to a steal. I suppose that you could argue that a steal is more valuable because it is by definition a turnover, whereas a blocked shot does not neccesarily mean a change in possession. However, I would argue that a blocked shot requires more athleticism than a steal, especially when a player does not pay for blocked shots with excessive fouls (a big problem for Balkman, but not for Chandler.)

    Again if Chandler is stronger or has better athleticism, then why doesn’t it translate to on the court skills? There are lot of athletic players in the NBA that don’t know how to use their physical ability. If what you say about Chandler is true, then that’s even more troubling. Lots of players come into the league and are able to do the athletic things (steals, blocked shots, rebounding, free throw attempts), it’s the things like the three point line, passing, etc. that take time to learn.
    But I just don’t think Chandler is as athletic.

    I don’t believe that getting free throw attempts is a pure measure of athleticism in that it can be learned as easily as(if not moreso than)3-point shooting. Clearly, Chandler has the athleticism and ball-handling skills to get to the rim, and the strength to post up. He would be well served to focus on foul-drawing technique during the off-season. Again, the FT differential between the 2 was 1.8 per 36, hardly a huge number. The rebounding differential was 1.0, which is also not a huge number either. All in all, the numbers don’t support the argument that Ariza was clearly superior athletically to Chandler at the same stage in their careers.

    BTW, I noticed that in the stats you posted above, Ariza had played nearly a full season more worth of games than Chandler, yet Chandler has nearly the same minutes. Do you think that is a wash or do we have to wait until Chandler has played 194 games to fairly compare?

  40. jaysdatruth
    Hindsight is always 20-20. Of course everyone can look at the way things turned out now and say “wow that was the dumbest thing we couldve done by getting curry” what people dont realize however is when this trade took place curry was a force in the league. He had the best offensive numbers of any big in the league averging 20 plus. The knicks if any of you remember were in dire need of someone who could score in the paint, so honestly this was a no brainer. The knicks havent had anyone on there frontline who could give you 20 a night since ewing. At the time the trade made perfect sense, get someone already proven to help us downlow, instead of taking a chance at a big in the draft. I think we all learned our lesson about taking a chance on big man from the fredick weiss fisaco.

    Curry was not a force in the league, and back in 2005 I didn’t think he was better than Mike Sweetney. I>

    Are you serious? curry averaged over 20 points a game!!!!! when is the last time the knicks had someone who could score in the paint? sweetney was useless on offense and basically someone who took up space. His production was non existant. At least curry could score. Yeah curry wasnt a good rebounder but neither was ewing early in his career. Ill tell you what curry could give you numbers when it came to scoring.

  41. nyk4ya

    Ariza is athletic and a great defender, and so is chandler. Ariza is has a natural knack for stealing the ball while chandler can block shots better than Ariza. The reason why I and other knicks fans think Chandler is better is Chandler’s ability to create his own shot. Chandlers ability to create his own shot is light years ahead of Arizas. If you take kobe off the team and say Ariza carry this team for a quater it will not happen. If you give that same responsibilty to Chandler he will get his more often than not.

  42. jon abbey

    Are you serious? curry averaged over 20 points a game!!!!! when is the last time the knicks had someone who could score in the paint? sweetney was useless on offense and basically someone who took up space. His production was non existant. At least curry could score. Yeah curry wasnt a good rebounder but neither was ewing early in his career. Ill tell you what curry could give you numbers when it came to scoring.

    is this thread from 2007? did you miss this season where he was too fat to get on the court, or last season where he sucked every time he got on it? even when he was a great post scorer, he was arguably a liability overall (something Owen helped me see the light on).

  43. ess-dog

    Well Stephen Curry’s entering the draft. It seems like everyone that can is entering this year (except Aldrich) maybe because it’s a weak year… now it seems like a pretty deep year. I would love to pick up another pick or two.

  44. cgreene
    Again I admit I am not as knowledgeable about advanced stats in basketball as I am in baseball so I admit that doesnt help me at all in an argument like this when comparing these type of players. I guess I just have a hard time accepting that given an extra 10 minutes per game his numbers would increase dramatically and be as good as they project out over 36 minutes. Thats my beef I guess you can say with projecting out stats of players who play 15-20 mins/g because they look almost All-Star level when that happens but again I want to see them actually get those stats not just assume that is what would happen.

    And that’s one of the core tenets of advanced stats which has been proven many times over. Since you understand advanced stats in baseball, imagine a player who only saw part time in his first few seasons but amassed 1000+ ABs. Unless he were a situational player (lefty masher) wouldn’t you expect him to have a similar OPS if he had 600 ABs over a full season? (barring aging, injuries, steroids, etc.) I can’t help but think of Johan Santana – who showed great numbers as a part time starter for a couple of seasons before the Twins gave him a chance.
    Coming from a baseball background, you’re probably equating a 15 mpg basketball player to a hitter with 150 ABs. But that analogy isn’t true. Baseball numbers fluctuate much more from game to game, whereas basketball is much more stable. Think of this way – players routinely hit .400 or better for a month. How often do you see a basketball player averaging 50 ppg (the basketball equivalent of hitting .400) for a month?

    Here is the main problem with the baseball vs basketball stat comparison. Baseball is an individual sport played within a team framework. When an individual is at the plate it is a one on one situation with minor “team” influences related to two things: (1) are there runners on base that will affect the situational strategy, (2) (and i am not a big believer in this) is there a player in the lineup behind the hitter at bat that truly affects the quality of pitches that the hitter sees. In basketball the outcome of each and every play is determined by multiple players not just the player who missed or made the shot. The level of pressure applied to defenses by a player of Kobe’s caliber directly affects the intensity of defense seen by Ariza when he touches the ball much more so than either of the two baseball criteria. So when the Knicks played this season and Chandler was on the court with Lee and Duhon and Harrington and Richardson or Jeffries, the reality was that Chandler was probably the Knicks 2nd best option behind Harrington as a player capable of applying direct pressure to the defense with the ball in his hands and therefore defenses were being designed to stop him and ultimately affect his efficiency because he is one of the keys to the opponent’s defensive strategy. Now were it, for example, Kobe or Lebron or, to a lesser extent, Kidd or Nash that was in charge of getting Wilson the ball in the appropriate place and controlling his development then one might see a player grow in efficiency like we have seen with Ariza. There is simply no question in my mind that this is true in basketball. And were Ariza on the Clippers or Warriors we would never even be discussing it. In fact, if one remembers actually Zach Randoplh was playing the best 11 games we had ever seen from him this year as a Knick and I think we all acknowledge that we would have won several more games and had real playoff potential with him on the roster this year making him more valuable than Ariza in a vacuum. Ariza would not have had that impact on this year’s Knicks. Ergo, THE CURRY TRADE WAS RIDICULOUSLY WORSE!!!!!

  45. Reebok1303

    Well Stephen Curry’s entering the draft. It seems like everyone that can is entering this year (except Aldrich) maybe because it’s a weak year… now it seems like a pretty deep year. I would love to pick up another pick or two.

    REALLY?

    Out of Chad Ford’s Top 12 prospects on his big board, Ed Davis (#4), Greg Monroe (#5), Willie Warren (#7), Al-Farouq Amin (#8), and Cole Aldrich (#12) are ALL headed back to school next year. And that’s not even counting two other lottery guys, Ty Lawson and Earl Clark, who haven’t declared yet (though they probably will).

    And the truth is, the talent drain could get more severe. Duke’s Gerald Henderson, North Carolina’s Ty Lawson and Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas have yet to declare for the draft. And at least one player who’s in, Ricky Rubio, could pull out of the draft if he can’t get a buyout worked out with his team in Spain.

    Meanwhile, a flood of less-enticing prospects like Jeff Teague, B.J. Mullens , Patrick Mills, DaJuan Summers, Damion James, Paul Harris, Dar Tucker, Luke Harangody and Jodie Meeks are taking advantage of the weakness of the draft and hoping to score a first-round slot and a guaranteed contract.

    What does all this mean?

    For this year’s draft, players drafted in the mid-to-late lottery will be players who would normally be drafted in the late first round of better drafts. That’s a bummer for teams like the Knicks and Pacers who are rebuilding and really need star power.

    And suddenly, next year’s draft looks much better. Add Davis, Monroe, Warren, Aminu and Aldrich to at least five elite high school players who look like they could make the jump after their college freshman season — Wall, Xavier Henry, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins and John Henson — and you’re looking at a pretty rich lottery.

    I don’t see how the Knicks could have gotten any more unlucky. Actually, if we could somehow trade our pick this year for the EXACT same pick next year, I would honestly consider it just because of the outrageous depth of top flight players in 2010. I mean, as much as I would like to see Curry or Jennings or other mid-lottery guys in NY, I would much rather have a player I feel has superstar potential.

  46. ess-dog
    Well Stephen Curry’s entering the draft. It seems like everyone that can is entering this year (except Aldrich) maybe because it’s a weak year… now it seems like a pretty deep year. I would love to pick up another pick or two.

    REALLY?
    Out of Chad Ford’s Top 12 prospects on his big board, Ed Davis (#4), Greg Monroe (#5), Willie Warren (#7), Al-Farouq Amin (#8), and Cole Aldrich (#12) are ALL headed back to school next year. And that’s not even counting two other lottery guys, Ty Lawson and Earl Clark, who haven’t declared yet (though they probably will).

    And the truth is, the talent drain could get more severe. Duke’s Gerald Henderson, North Carolina’s Ty Lawson and Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas have yet to declare for the draft. And at least one player who’s in, Ricky Rubio, could pull out of the draft if he can’t get a buyout worked out with his team in Spain.
    Meanwhile, a flood of less-enticing prospects like Jeff Teague, B.J. Mullens , Patrick Mills, DaJuan Summers, Damion James, Paul Harris, Dar Tucker, Luke Harangody and Jodie Meeks are taking advantage of the weakness of the draft and hoping to score a first-round slot and a guaranteed contract.
    What does all this mean?
    For this year’s draft, players drafted in the mid-to-late lottery will be players who would normally be drafted in the late first round of better drafts. That’s a bummer for teams like the Knicks and Pacers who are rebuilding and really need star power.
    And suddenly, next year’s draft looks much better. Add Davis, Monroe, Warren, Aminu and Aldrich to at least five elite high school players who look like they could make the jump after their college freshman season — Wall, Xavier Henry, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins and John Henson — and you’re looking at a pretty rich lottery.

    I don’t see how the Knicks could have gotten any more unlucky. Actually, if we could somehow trade our pick this year for the EXACT same pick next year, I would honestly consider it just because of the outrageous depth of top flight players in 2010. I mean, as much as I would like to see Curry or Jennings or other mid-lottery guys in NY, I would much rather have a player I feel has superstar potential.

    Monroe and Warren are definitely out?

  47. Owen

    CGreene – Chandler posted the same ts% in summer league. Again, his offensive game really has nothing to do with the players around him. 75% of his shots this season were jumpers. Unless Chandler dramtically improves his shooting percentages, there is no way he is ever going to be an elite scoring option. It’s as simple as that. A more plausible route to improved offensive efficiency is shooting the three ball more and better, or taking more foul shots. But Chandler hasn’t shown any kind of knack for that yet, something you generally see from a player pretty early.

    There are lots of exceptions though. Just off the top of my head, Kevin Martin jumped from 4.2 fta per 36 to 7.3 and then 9.4. If Chandler did something like that, that cause an immediate and drastic reevaluation of his calue.

    He may do that, but the odds are against it. Looking at Chandler do you see any reason to think he will suddenly turn into one of the best jumpshooters in the NBA? Or one of the best foul drawers?

    What Caleb said at the top of the thread is still the best comment on this thread in my book. You can reasonably compare Chandler and Ariza at the same age, although I think the comparison really favors the latter for a lot of reasons. But the key is pretty simple:

    “Ariza improved more than 95 percent of the players in the league ever do”

    Why that happened I don’t know. But in his first year in Orlando, pretty much out of nowhere, his ts% jumped to 56.7% and his peripherals improved as well. And that has continued in LA.

    That’t the kind of jump Chandler has to make, either to be a quality starter or an elite role player like Ariza.

    In other news, this looks very cool. Excited to check it out tonight…

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=2207

  48. ess-dog

    Wow, Chad’s draft board looks a lot uglier now. I’m glad we are at #8 and not #11 (James Johnson? yuck.) We are pegged for Curry now, which might not be a bad option at this point. If he’s gone, maybe Jennings or Tyreke Evans, although I am intrigued by DeRozan…

  49. Brian Cronin

    Man…looking at those older trades, the Ewing deal, the Camby deal and the Curry deal were all really bad sounding trades when they were made!

    Then got even worse after the fact.

    At least in the case of the Ewing deal, Ewing didn’t do anything after getting to Seattle.

  50. Z

    “Ariza improved more than 95 percent of the players in the league ever do”…Why that happened I don’t know.

    Maybe it was because of his teammates.

  51. Reebok1303
    “Ariza improved more than 95 percent of the players in the league ever do”…Why that happened I don’t know.

    Maybe it was because of his teammates.

    Yeah but who on the Magic made him such a better player, and how? He got limited playing time and isn’t the type of 3 point specialist that could thrive in of an offense predicated off of Howard drawing double teams and kicking it out to open shooters. But this is when he made the majority of his improvement – his rebounding rate, usage, and TS% all went up that year (his TS% jumped from 46% to 56%!) while his turnover % decreased.

    And it’s not like the Magic have a great veteran superstar or an experienced bench. And although they do have a superstar in Howard, he is currently under fire in some quarters for being too “nice” (read soft) to lead a team in the playoffs, ie. David Robinson, so its doubtful he was the one to lite a fire under Ariza and cause this dramatic change in his game.

  52. jaysdatruth
    Are you serious? curry averaged over 20 points a game!!!!! when is the last time the knicks had someone who could score in the paint? sweetney was useless on offense and basically someone who took up space. His production was non existant. At least curry could score. Yeah curry wasnt a good rebounder but neither was ewing early in his career. Ill tell you what curry could give you numbers when it came to scoring.

    is this thread from 2007? did you miss this season where he was too fat to get on the court, or last season where he sucked every time he got on it? even when he was a great post scorer, he was arguably a liability overall (something Owen helped me see the light on).

    jon abbey my point is the trade wasnt a bad idea at the time. Everyone’s saying that was the worst trade, and that thomas was stupid for giving up draft picks. What people are forgetting is Curry was a proven low post presence at the time of the trade. You rarely see big men score 20 plus and the ones that do are considered all stars. The only big men (im talking centers) doing that now are ming, howard and duncan, thats it. Of course we can all say now that it didnt work out for us but I thought it was a good decision at the time it was made. I also thought it was a good decision when he got to NY and got us 19 a game and then 20 the next season all the while playing in every game except one. No knick big man has ever averaged over 19 over a entire season since patrick ewing in 1996-97. So please stop with the worst trade in history nonsense.

    People can come on here and take all the trash they want about curry but the facts Contradict all that. Curry came in and averaged more points then any knick center not name patrick ewing in almost three decades.

  53. Brian Cronin

    The Curry trade was bad then, too.

    In fact, the Knicks were “lucky” enough that the only thing of value that they lost were the two picks (which were quite valuable). Sweetney, at the time, looked like a decent player, while Curry, well, did not.

    Curry just looked like a guy with massive physical capabilities, and not much to go with said physical skills.

  54. Z

    The Curry trade would have looked better if the Knicks had ever won more than 33 games with him. The trade was a “win now” move, which is fine, as long as you actually “win now” with the move. The Knicks, at the time, were more than one high scoring center away from contending. They had no defensive players to play alongside Curry (Malik Rose was the only defender on the roster (they had just traded Kurt Thomas and waived Jerome Williams, their two best defenders from the previous year)).

    Mortgaging the future to contend is one thing. Larry Brown made winning hard, of course, but even without Brown, Eddy “The Untouchable Franchise Player” Curry average less than 30 wins.

    Brian and Owen are right. It was a bad trade at the time and even worse in retrospect.

    But the Ewing trade, Brian, was the one that set us on the path to destruction salary cap wise. The trade that made Curry, Marbury, Crawford, and Randolph possible. It all started with Ewing and it has taken over a decade to fix and we’re still not there yet– winning 32 games, not winning a playoff game since the year he left, and still way over the cap…

  55. ess-dog

    The Curry trade was bad then, too.
    In fact, the Knicks were “lucky” enough that the only thing of value that they lost were the two picks (which were quite valuable). Sweetney, at the time, looked like a decent player, while Curry, well, did not.
    Curry just looked like a guy with massive physical capabilities, and not much to go with said physical skills.

    You know, my instinct was to be very anti-Curry trade, but when you look back to the 04-05 season, a 22 yr old Eddy Curry helped the Bulls get a 4th seed and 47 wins. They lost to the Wiz in the playoffs, and it seemed that was due to Eddy being out w/ injury.
    While I do think not lottery protecting those picks (couldn’t he have protected 1 at least?) was the major flaw of that trade, a lot of the onus has to be on Eddy just being way out of shape and not listening to coaches. It’s too bad Larry Brown didn’t work out because his strict discipline seems like it would’ve been a good fit for Eddy. I think if Steph was never on that team, things could’ve worked out better for Larry and Curry. He really does have a lot of physical talent under all that flab. Don’t underestimate how his screwed up home situation has probably hurt him too. Maybe he can work out some stuff this offseason?

  56. Ted Nelson

    Ariza played about as well under Brian Hill and Isiah Thomas as with the Lakers. His struggles in Orlando were isolated to 07-08 and largely linked to Stan Van Gundy’s 4-1 offense (similar to his struggles under Larry Brown, which make it very fair to call him a “role player” who might not thrive in every system or playing for every coach). The arguments that Kobe/Gasol/Jax/etc are behind Ariza’s development are bogus. Considering that he entered the league as a scrawny 19 year old after his freshman season I don’t think his improvement has been at all out of the ordinary. He was clearly an NBA player as a rookie and he’s established that fact now, I’m certainly not at all surprised by his improvement.

    I’ll take all of the above as far as which move hurt the Knicks most: Ariza, Curry, Rondo/Bynum… Any one of those moves/non-moves would make the Knicks a better team right now.

    I would put Chandler in the same league with Ariza and Balkman athletically. However, the athleticism that matters isn’t the ability to make one or two highlight reel plays a game, but the ability to lock-down a player every possession. Ariza and Balkman have shown a lot more of that than Chandler.

    Chandler is a very mediocre player on both sides of the ball. Blocking a shot a game alone doesn’t make you a good defender just as shooting 33% on 3s alone doesn’t make you a good scorer, let alone a good offensive player. Chandler’s still got upside, but his improvement from last season was nothing exceptional. To call him a scorer at this point is ridiculous: 15.6 pts/36 on the 2nd fastest team in the NBA at a TS% of .515… Check out Ariza’s 06-07 season and tell me he can’t score like Chandler.

    The 2nd round of every draft and all major European leagues are full of players who can make the amazing play or explode for a 30 point night at the NBA level. Being able to do it consistently is what separates good NBA players. Chandler is certainly capable, but we’ll have to see if he can put it together.

    I don’t really want to get into another Balkman debate, but he had a good season in limited minutes while Chandler had a bad season is extensive minutes… my opinion on the matter hasn’t really changed.

  57. Ted Nelson

    I can’t claim to be part of the group, but there were many voices on this website calling the Curry deal a disaster even at the time it was made.

    Carlos Cabezas? My gut is no way. He’s a solid but unspectacular player in Spain and the Euroleague, I have a feeling he would be next season’s Anthony Robertson (the guy the Knicks committed to prematurely who never plays). There are forwards on his own team who pass the ball better than he does, he’s used primarily for defense and ball control on Spain’s national team. Scores the ball efficiently in the Spanish league, but he’s pretty slow. I don’t think his game would translate at all, but maybe I’m wrong. (Check out easyasacb.wordpress.com for some advanced stats on the 06-07 season of Spain’s ACB league and 7 games of 07-08). There are a decent sized list of guards I would sign from the ACB before Cabezas, but I don’t know what their contract statuses are.

  58. jaysdatruth

    The Curry trade was bad then, too.
    In fact, the Knicks were “lucky” enough that the only thing of value that they lost were the two picks (which were quite valuable). Sweetney, at the time, looked like a decent player, while Curry, well, did not.
    Curry just looked like a guy with massive physical capabilities, and not much to go with said physical skills.

    You are on crack! sweetney didnt look anywhere near a decent player. Curry put up numbers while he was with the bulls and the knicks (int he begining). He helped lead the bulls to the playoffs for the first time in years..My main qustion here is why are you all ignoring the fact that he averaged 20 points a freakin game for the 06-07 season? led the team in scoring and proved that he was worth the risk. Curry was no bum. I could think of many trades worst then this where the knicks gave away big time talent and got nothing in return. in this scenerio they got someone who gets you 20 plus a night.

  59. jaysdatruth

    Another thing that s brothering me is the fact that people are assuming had they not pulled the trigger on curry they would’ve had roy, or tyus Thomas. This is the same team who made first round draft selection of fredick weis, mardy Collins, danilo and balkman. Horrible picks so my guess is they would’ve wasted that pick on selden williams.

  60. BigBlueAL

    Another thing that s brothering me is the fact that people are assuming had they not pulled the trigger on curry they would’ve had roy, or tyus Thomas. This is the same team who made first round draft selection of fredick weis, mardy Collins, danilo and balkman. Horrible picks so my guess is they would’ve wasted that pick on selden williams.

    You really are beginning to annoy me with your Eddy Curry comments. First stop saying Curry averaged over 20 pts/g, his best season with the Knicks he averaged 19.5 pts/g. In his other 3 seasons he hasnt averaged over 13.6 pts/g. Even if he did somehow manage to average over 20 pts/g, which again he never has come close to doing, a Center needs to you know rebound and block shots, something which Curry is among the worst, if not the worst, Center in the NBA in doing so.

    Also how can you talk about the Knicks wouldnt have drafted well in those picks they gave to the Bulls when they were picks #2 and 9 and you are talking about Frederick Weis who was #15 and was made back in 19freaking99 when Isiah (thankfully) was nowhere near this franchise, then talk about actual Isiah Thomas picks who were made late in the 1st round. Also lumping in Gallinari in that group, really????

    Giving up 2 1st round picks and not lottery protecting them for a Center who only scores and showed even in his best days in Chicago where his best scoring avg was 16.1 pts/g, again nowhere near being over 20, that he couldnt rebound or block was easily one of the worst trades this franchise has ever made.

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