Atlanta Hawks 112 – New York Knicks 123 – Not really a recap

Oh hey. I see you spent spare parts of some threads in the last ten days discussing about what is a rom-com and to decide if a movie falls squarely into the category or not. Well, I’d like you to bear with me.

You know that classic movie (but ultimately real life) situation where there’s a guy/girl who’s really close to you, who you know well because for a time you grew up with him/her, who is head over heels for you and wouldn’t want anything more from life that spend time with you and give you all of his attention and heart and caring, who some of your friends keep talking about because in the end everyone knows you’re destined to be together, but who you keep rejecting because s/he’s probably too much of a plain Jane for you and you just feel like s/he couldn’t ever surprise you, and what’s a love story if not a fucking disaster but chock-full of unexpected little joys? And you know how in the end people find themselves in weird predicaments and, like, give a shot to this poor guy/girl because, I don’t know, maybe they just need someone to take them across the shitty pond that’s been their life for the last few years, and they find that being with a stand up lad/lass who wears his/her heart on a sleeve and genuinely has your well-being as first priority isn’t that bad of a living?

Well.

Dear Knicks fans, let me introduce you the guy you met in seventh grade but, come on, he was just so basic and kinda boy-scouty: Tom Thibodeau.

***

“Oh dear god, why does he have to always let the toilet seat up?”

“Can she really eat every day the same BLT and nothing else? Is this obliviousness or is she that stubborn?”

“Fuck I hate going every sunday to my parents-in-law”

“But in the end this person makes me happy for now, so why should I second guess everything?”

***

You see, there’s something unsettling in seeing someone you give the keys to your heart not completely fuck up your life in some convolutedly stupid manner. I mean, the quirks will always be there. The befuddling choices. The letdowns. But we’re human, and that’s what we do. We disappoint people. The thing is, you fight and claw and gnaw until you find someone that among the disappointment genuinely cares for you.

If I had a dollar for every time I wrote “it’s still early” on Knickerblogger, I’d probably be 100+ dollars richer, but bear with me again. It’s still early, but there’s nothing not to like about the Derrick Rose acquisition for now (on purely basketball terms. I still have a super hard time solving the ethics conundrum of trying to root for someone who probably never understood the meaning of “consensual”). And I really, really don’t think many of us reacted to the Rose trade thinking that Thibs would not have screwed everything out of sheer commitment to his old pals. Well, guess what: Thibs didn’t screw us up. Rose and Quickley work fine together. I actually have more faith in Quickley after the Rose acquisition than before. And that’s a surprising development. Not as surprising as the day when Payton will finally move to the bench or to an entirely different team, or we stop playing the same guys together every single time, but…

***

“Dear, I found this old gramophone in that cabinet. Do you mind if I try to fix this and use it to play my old vynils?”

“(muttering under your breath) Yeah sure, as if I never tried to fix it before”

“What the hell, what’s this amazing music coming out of the basement?”

“I told you I would try to fix it. It was worth the try”. 

***

Ah, good Julius. It’s not the points. It’s not the threes. I mean, yes. It’s also that. But the really important part is the fact that 4 out of 5 nights, you know that good Julius will show up and you will have a star on the court. Not a superstar, mind you. 2020-21 Randle is, at best, a top-30 guy in the league. But top-30 is freaking good. Especially for a guy who, after last season, many of us would have traded for a bag of chips and a 1975 xeroxed, black and white Clyde Frazier trading card. Watching Julius last night you could have only come away from the game thinking that a) Julius was the only surefire all-star in both rosters and b) Randle would have found a way to win the game no matter what, a-la real stars in the League. This is a stunner. I hated Randle’s guts last season. Now I’d be heartbroken the day they’ll trade him. And his teammates just, like, genuinely like him. That’s the best endorsement that a team’s top dog can ever get. And how could you not credit Thibs and the coaching staff for that?

***

“Sometimes I look at her and wonder if I’m just settling down with a rando because I’m scared of being lonely”

“Dude, you’re crazy. You’re with her because your life has gotten unbelievably better since she’s around”

“That’s reassuring. But I still hear my inner voices. I’m unsettled”.

“So be it. But at least, at the very least, live in the moment. Enjoy what you two have. If it ever fades away, that way you won’t have regrets, at least”

***

Here’s a dirty secret. Not even once have I looked at Tankathon since the season began. I don’t care about losing. I don’t care about winning. I get angry watching Payton and Bullock play, but I’m kinda getting over it. I’m enjoying the season, and we’re 40% in. I still can’t shake the feeling that the other shoe’s gonna drop, but I can’t stop drowning into this entertainingly gritty fairy tale. This is what happens when you have your second fiddle being a no-nonsense, kinda inefficent guy who bullies his way as a living. When RJ scores 21, it gives you all the thrill you get from winning a bet on snail race. You’re happy and exhausted.

***

Is he the one?”

“I don’t think so. This feels too grounded, too logical, no butterflies in the stomach.”

“Well you know what? Maybe he’s the one. Because being the one is being the boring one. The bad breath in violet pijamas one. The squeeze my pimple one. Nobody shows this in the movies, and we’re brought to think that love is that intoxicating feeling you get when you know someone new. That’s not love. That’s falling in love. Love is boring. And you know what happens when you find it? You find that boring, well, is good because it’s enduring”

***

As much as I never looked at Tankathon, I also never felt ecstatic after a win this season. Maybe it’s the pandemic thing. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. Maybe it’s because sometimes I find myself bored to death even up by 15. But you know what? In a few years we’ll look back to the first months of the 2020-21 season, and we’ll be grateful. I couldn’t have asked for more from this. Especially because once in a while, and not that rarely even, you’ll have a Quickley eruption. A Toppin outrageous dunk. Two minutes of Noel defensive dominance. An Atlanta Hawks thorough beating.

Even boring, sometimes, is beautiful.

 

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

196 thoughts to “Atlanta Hawks 112 – New York Knicks 123 – Not really a recap”

  1. Howdy Farfa, i hope everything’s well for you! :) Still haven’t read the recap, but i bet it’s great… just wanted to thank you for the new thread, a fresh start for all is what’s needed! ;)

  2. I hear you, the world must evolve… we need 48h days! ;) And great cap, by the way, so good you had the time! :)

  3. “The squeeze my pimple one.”

    Is that a thing?

    I feel a lot like you Farfa. Can’t say I am not enjoying the effort and heart these guys have shown all year. Absolutely have to tip my cap to Thibs.

    Will there be fearful recriminations when losing a couple of games would have got us some guy who turns out to be the next superstar? Absolutely

    But I can’t complain. The defense is there. They are a fun team to watch. There are some good storylines, some good young players.

    So yeah, I absolutely will regret these wins later most likely but I am not regretting them yet.

  4. I wanted to tank this year, but I’m pretty satisfied with where we’re at. It’s not ideal, but we’re competing, the young guys are doing well and Randle has emerged as a genuine weapon. The concern with him was always his fit and how he needed a team built around him without being able to carry that team all the way, but if he can shoot anywhere near this well he’s a legit building block that should be able to fit with other pieces. We have cap space and excess picks going forward. Things are good in Knickland.

  5. I wanted to tank this year, but I’m pretty satisfied with where we’re at. It’s not ideal, but we’re competing, the young guys are doing well and Randle has emerged as a genuine weapon. The concern with him was always his fit and how he needed a team built around him without being able to carry that team all the ay, but if he can shoot anywhere near this well he’s a legit building block that should be able to fit with other pieces. We have cap space and excess picks going forward. Things are good in Knickland.

  6. Mike Honcho:
    I wanted to tank this year, but I’m pretty satisfied with where we’re at. It’s not ideal, but we’re competing, the young guys are doing well and Randle has emerged as a genuine weapon. The concern with him was always his fit and how he needed a team built around him without being able to carry that team all the ay, but if he can shoot anywhere near this well he’s a legit building block that should be able to fit with other pieces. We have cap space and excess picks going forward. Things are good in Knickland.

    You can say that again! Wait…
    :-)

  7. No lottery pick this year and then Julius Randle on a max or very near max contract between 2022-23 and 2026-27 being paid for a role you can’t really win with him in.

    Unfortunately, these are still the realities. Gonna enjoy whatever’s going on this year, but the hangover isn’t going to be pleasant.

  8. Dang, an awesome win and then a Farfa recap!?!!!! Is this what finally breaks KB out of its own personal timeloop?

    I check Tankathon for the sole reason of seeing where the Mavs place. With their recent hot streak it’s still not very interesting.

  9. Also, if the Celts lose a very losable game to the Nuggets tonight, then we’re in a virtual tie with them. Fuck tanking if we get to beat the Celts.

  10. fatherhood is better than i expected….

    awwww, that is so freaking cool DJ…yeah, i never planned on getting involved this deeply in any child’s life (i’m pretty convinced their mom kind of hustled me in to it 18 years or so ago), but, my life is soooooo much fuller for it…

    lot’s of ups and downs and self doubt involved, but there is no question it’s the most significant thing i’ve ever been involved in…

    the oldest stopped by with her guy yesterday with a bunch of laundry and a big appetite…they’re young and just starting out and were pretty hungry…i try hard to parent like ma did/does for me and make sure to feed them well and send them home with a bunch of food and whatever little things they might need…just keep pushing the unconditional love theme…

    it’s funny, to this day my mom still does that for me when i visit her…i always leave her house with food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper or something…

    i wish you all the strength and patience needed for the journey DJ…

  11. Great recap, Farfa! I’m still grappling with the rom-com stuff, but some questions can never be answered!

    cybersoze, loved that interview! What a terrific kid IQ seems to be. I love how he said that the current “bubble” isn’t different for him because that was his life before covid anyway!

    Someone compared this team to the Amare before the Melo trade team. That truly was a very lovable and rootable bunch. The difference for me is that back then we all kinda knew Amare’s knees were on borrowed time and that his contract wouldn’t age well. We also kinda knew that a franchise-killing trade was just around the corner. The Bradley Beal rumors give me a bit of ptsd about that, but it just seems more sustainable right now. strat said that we’re closer to being really good than we realize. I’m not there yet…the schedule seems to have been kind to us, but maybe it’s true. For example, on paper, Randle looks only marginally improved in terms of raw numbers, except for assist rate and a/to ratio. Even with his improved 3pt% it actually comes down to less than 1 3pt made per 36 on less than 1 more attempt. With FT% it’s 0.7 ft on 0.4 more attempts per 36. Yet his impact seems to have gone from a net negative to a huge net positive. That seems like a synergistic thing between him and Thibs…both guys deserve lots of credit.

  12. Early Bird:
    Also, if the Celts lose a very losable game to the Nuggets tonight, then we’re in a virtual tie with them. Fuck tanking if we get to beat the Celts.

    omg that would be insanely amazing…even if we finish the year within earshot of them I’d be doing cartwheels!

  13. When you were at Kentucky, your grandmother and aunt were famous for screaming “WHOOP! WHOOP!” at odd times during games. Have they been to a game? Do you even get to see your family under NBA protocols?

    I get to see them, but they haven’t been to a game yet. My aunt and my grandmother, they act like I scored 30 every game, so it’s just like college. But my mom is more the subtle one, she’s like, “You still stink if you go and play basketball, so you still need to shower,” or whatever. She’s like, “You ain’t nobody,” basically. My mom’s kind of the one that keeps me grinding. But yeah, my grandmother and aunt, if they let family in, there’s no question you’re going to hear them. And if there’s only 2000 people there, all you’re going to hear is my family. It’s their worldwide trademark. We’ll end up playing the Lakers, and LeBron will probably be like, “Who is that making all that noise?”

    hard not to like this young man…

    Things are good in Knickland.

  14. yea that’s been the toughest thing so far… grandparents can’t help out yet and oh man do they ever want to… but in the meantime they’re laughing sinisterly at our struggles since we gave them so much shit growing up too…

    the whole symmetry and circle of life thing never gets more realer for me both in following basketball/sports on a daily/yearly basis and even starker once you see the eyes of your first born…. pretty powerful stuff….

    thanks for the encouragement…. it def takes a village and implicitly that’s means we all have a social contract to fulfill … just glad i can do my part to pay my dues back for being a bratty lil son…

  15. Really enjoyed this deep dive into why the Hawks aren’t better on offense.

    https://mikeprada.substack.com/p/trae-young-atlanta-hawks-offense

    “This leads us back to the elephant in the room: is Trae Young too selfish? From one perspective, this question is absurd. Young is second in the league in assists, and not because he gets a bunch of cheap ones. He possesses the deadly combination of spectacular court vision and remarkable biomechanics that allow him to look off help defenders from many different angles. He might also be the best lob passer in the league, which Collins will surely miss if his long-term future is elsewhere. (He didn’t sign a contract extension and periodically appears loosely in trade rumors).

    But for someone who can seemingly make any pass, Young sure has a habit of only seeking out the ones that directly lead to a shot.”

  16. E, all merc’d out:
    No lottery pick this year and then Julius Randle on a max or very near max contract between 2022-23 and 2026-27 being paid for a role you can’t really win with him in.

    Unfortunately, these are still the realities.Gonna enjoy whatever’s going on this year, but the hangover isn’t going to be pleasant.

    But, what is the flip side. The past few years, whether trying to tank or not, we were out of the playoffs immediately and God aweful to watch. Just wasted years. And after that we A. Have no luck with the ping pong balls and B. are shitty at drafting in the lottery. Go back to 2000…..we’ve had 2 top 5 picks and took Barrett and KP. OK. We’ve had 8 other top 10 picks and Gallo was the only good one, and that was at 6. David Lee and Mitch were probably our best deep grabs. we’ve made 35 picks in the last 20 years….I think we had 1 all star appearance as a knick. We can’t draft. The Philly tank was about shedding talent for picks….we haven’t had talent to trade. What would we be tanking for?

  17. But, what is the flip side. The past few years, whether trying to tank or not, we were out of the playoffs immediately and God aweful to watch. Just wasted years.

    Turning this into an either/or dilemma is disingenuous.

    A. Have no luck with the ping pong balls

    What the fuck is luck?

    and B. are shitty at drafting in the lottery. Go back to 2000…..we’ve had 2 top 5 picks and took Barrett and KP. OK. We’ve had 8 other top 10 picks and Gallo was the only good one, and that was at 6. David Lee and Mitch were probably our best deep grabs. we’ve made 35 picks in the last 20 years….I think we had 1 all star appearance as a knick. We can’t draft.

    Who is “we?”

    The Philly tank was about shedding talent for picks….we haven’t had talent to trade. What would we be tanking for?

    The Philly tank was about finding undervalued potential superstars in consecutive drafts during a short period of intense losing when the worst record had a 25% chance of a #1 overall pick and could fall no further than #4. You know why this made sense at the time? Because the Thunder had just drafted three superstar-level players in three consecutive drafts and had a Finals appearance on the backs of three guys playing on rookie contracts. How does this not make sense?

    If we have to go over it again:

    (1) The Hinkie tank method cannot be duplicated with the current lottery odds.
    (2) The Hinkie tank was largely undone by the mismanagement of draft and contract assets by Colangelo and Brand because they, like most front office managers, cannot handle the prospect of losing in the short-term to win in the long-term.
    (3) The guy who picked Vucevic at #16 in 2011 was not the guy who picked MCW at #11 in 2013 who was not the guy who picked Markelle Fultz at #1 in 2017 who was not the guy who picked Tyrese Maxey in 2020 at #21. The Knicks can say the same thing.

  18. djphan:
    yea that’s been the toughest thing so far… grandparents can’t help out yet and oh man do they ever want to… but in the meantime they’re laughing sinisterly at our struggles since we gave them so much shit growing up too…

    the whole symmetry and circle of life thing never gets more realer for me both in following basketball/sports on a daily/yearly basis and even starker once you see the eyes of your first born…. pretty powerful stuff….

    thanks for the encouragement…. it def takes a village and implicitly that’s means we all have a social contract to fulfill … just glad i can do my part to pay my dues back for being a bratty lil son…

    Of all the things I did in life, what I am proudest of is the way I raised my sons. They’re now in their early 30’s, successful in life, married (2 pandemic mini-monies) and doing well at work. I was involved with every aspect of them growing up, doing homework with them, going on school trips with them, coaching their little league and rec basketball teams. We were permissive but taught them to think and make the right decisions. We gave them freedom to make mistakes. That trust helped them a developed a sense of responsibility and ultimately helped them mature quicker than many of their peers.

    The only problem is that they grow up, move away and then you find their absence to be a hole in your life. Cherish these years as they are fleeting.

  19. Congrats on the baby djphan – although I am sure you will find the time you used to have doing draft evals and watching every single minute of NBA games — that is all gone my friend. But all 1000% worth it.

    Re: the adjusted lottery odds – I have to admit, I did not think the league went far enough with flattening the lottery odds, but between the play-in games and the flattened lottery, the amount of parity in the league is the highest I’ve seen in, well, forever. Right now there are only TWO teams who are more than 2 games out of the #10 seed.

  20. Beating the Celtics is definitely worth missing out on one lottery, although a top-5 pick in this draft is looking pretty golden (I was literally drooling over the Kuminga highlights.)

    Things are pretty sweet right now, but it’s good to remember that we are just a 2-game swing away from being in 9th place. Things can change quickly. But the Hawks win was a nice one because they are a legitimately talented playoff team; a good measuring stick, if you will.

    It would be wild if Rose added Drummond to this mix. Personally, I would rather look to upgrade the wing position, but I do think they will make one more move before the deadline, probably centered around Knox.

  21. From ESPN:The NBA has postponed the San Antonio Spurs’ next three games after four players on the team tested positive for COVID-19, the league announced Tuesday.

    The Charlotte Hornets, who played the Spurs on Sunday, are undergoing contact tracing and will have their next two games postponed, the NBA said.

    The Spurs have remained quarantined in Charlotte since Sunday’s game, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

    San Antonio’s affected games were scheduled for Wednesday at the Cleveland Cavaliers, Saturday at the New York Knicks and next Monday at the Indiana Pacers.

  22. No need to look longingly at Sacto boxscores anymore: Quickley now has a pretty solid lead on Hali in terms of BPM- 2.8 to 2.3. Offensively they’re almost equal- 3.0 for IQ, 2.9 for Haliburton. Of course we could have had both!

  23. The thing is, people who’ve advocated against a playoff push always use the line of thinking “what’s the point of missing a lotto pick just to get swept in the first round.”

    But where is it written that if we make the playoffs we’re getting “swept in the first round?” We could be the 5th seed when its all said and done. If we get the Pacers or Boston in the first round, we could win that series.

    If we win a series and take the second round to 6 or 7, that’s a pretty awesome outcome for a team who’s best player is 26.

  24. Z-man: cybersoze, loved that interview! What a terrific kid IQ seems to be

    Yeah, he’s a great kid, i think for a change we found gold in the draft.
    And i think it’s a common point between our core players, they’re all great guys and they’re hard workers. I like this a lot. Of course there’ll come a time when we’ll need to trade one of them to get (even) better, but if there was a way to win with Julius, RJ, IQ and Mitch, i’d keep them all.

  25. swiftandabundant:
    The thing is, people who’ve advocated against a playoff push always use the line of thinking “what’s the point of missing a lotto pick just to get swept in the first round.”

    But where is it written that if we make the playoffs we’re getting “swept in the first round?” We could be the 5th seed when its all said and done. If we get the Pacers or Boston in the first round, we could win that series.

    If we win a series and take the second round to 6 or 7, that’s a pretty awesome outcome for a team who’s best player is 26.

    There’s logic to both approaches. Seems like it’s pretty evenly balanced here on KB on the issue. At the end of the day, Thibs is going all in for wins no matter who the personnel is, and Leon is holding his cards close to the vest so we truly have no idea what will happen. So my thing is, the team is fun to watch right now, so no matter what your preference, enjoy the ride!

  26. “what’s the point of missing a lotto pick just to get swept in the first round.”

    Who says this?

    Not mad but what people like me have complained about for years is drafting 7-9 rather than 1-4.

    And also taking the wrong player in the middle of the lottery.

  27. I think the concern with getting swept in the first round is if that’s the realistic limit of what the team can do. For example, even if Phil’s atrocities in roster building had paid off, that wasn’t a good team and was never going to do much more than squeak in and get crushed by a legitimate team.

    Our current situation is different. We have cap space, young players and excess picks, some of which aren’t dependent on us sucking. This team making the playoffs would be a legitimate sign of improvement for a team which could easily be improved further. That’s very much not the worst outcome, especially with the classic Knicks dreck we’ve slogged through where the team tried to win now and couldn’t even pull that off. As I said earlier, things are good in Knicksland :)

  28. djphan: and even starker once you see the eyes of your first born…. pretty powerful stuff….

    Congrats, man! That’s awesome news! :)
    The moment i had my son in my arms i saw it plain and simple – “there’s not going to be another day like this, this is your peak”. And although it’s true, helping him to be whatever he wants to be, it’s also a great endeavour (i’m halfway through now).

  29. Farfa, I don’t have words to express how much I love your takes. Thank you. You’re a treasure.

    On a different note, since a lot of typing has gone into the importance of draft position over the year(s), this from an article in the Ringer:

    The draft always has been a gamble. For anyone selected outside the top three slots, the likelihood of making an All-Star team is less than 40 percent, according to research from Threes and Layups.

    and

    Between 1990 and 2010, players picked eighth spent an average of 10 seasons in the NBA. For the 16th pick, the average tenure was nine seasons.

    It doesn’t really say much, but data are data…

  30. Great ‘cap as usual!

    I have plenty of ambivalence about winning this season, but it’s pretty dissimilar to past seasons in which we’ve missed the high lottery while also not contending for a number of reasons:

    1) We aren’t even close to capped out, in fact we’re literally the most flexible team in the league. This means we can legitimately pursue a strategy of trying to impress free agents with wins, as opposed to in the past when people would say that’s what we were doing without addressing the minor detail of us not being able to do that mathematically.

    2) We are getting very little in the way of contributions from guys who are clearly “mercs.” We can argue all day and night about Randle, but him being signed for next season at a lower figure than he’d get on the open market alone distinguishes him from literally everyone else to whom we’ve applied the label.

    3) We have surplus draft picks, giving us far more trade options than we’ve ever had and/or more bites at the superstar apple via the draft (an interesting and to my knowledge unexplored question is whether quantity or quality of draft picks is more likely to lead to future team success, assuming it’s a binary).

    I will caveat all of this by saying that it is absolutely essential we do something productive with Randle e.g. trading him or signing him to a contract that doesn’t preclude us from contending (what that looks like is anyone’s guess). He’s obviously generating tons of these wins, so if we don’t capitalize on his newfound status as a positive asset in some way or another they will in fact retroactively become marginal wins.

  31. The key is that unlike in the last 20 years, we are long on 1st round picks, have no albatross contracts, have a good coach, and have a management team that seems to reasonably good at valuing assets in transactions. When a Heat team finishes 8th in the playoff hunt, their fans (all 200 of them) probably feel that Riley has something up his sleeve. I mean, think of where they were before the Butler trade, or even just after…yet it was Bam, Herro, and Duncan that gave them the boost. The current Toronto team has Siakam, VanVleet and Boucher. Denver has Jokic, Murray and Porter Jr. Utah has Mitchell and Gobert.

    Hitting doubles, triples and home runs in the draft…one or two a year, can drastically change a team’s fortunes without a single high pick. And to be fair, we did do a decent job with KP at #4 and RJ at #3…so a savvy GM/POBO could do wonders with our situation. It just remains to be seen if Leon Rose is the guy. If he set us back at #8, he certainly didn’t at #25…Quickley looks like one of those difference-makers in the category of the guys listed above (well maybe not Jokic…)

  32. we talk so much shit about drafting 8th and 9th every year but if we had just done what everyone reasonable poster thought we should do the last two years we’d have a top 6 right now of Halliburton, Quickley, Barrett, Bridges, Randle, and Mitch. I’d be pretty darn happy with that.

    So yeah, just win, baby. But for fuck’s sake get someone in here who can make better selections.

  33. thenoblefacehumper: I will caveat all of this by saying that it is absolutely essential we do something productive with Randle e.g. trading him or signing him to a contract that doesn’t preclude us from contending (what that looks like is anyone’s guess). He’s obviously generating tons of these wins, so if we don’t capitalize on his newfound status as a positive asset in some way or another they will in fact retroactively become marginal wins.

    Randle is so freaking intriguing right now. It’s a really good problem to have, but it is indeed a problem. I dunno, can he become a Jimmy Butler-level player on offense and at least decently versatile on D? If yes, you almost have to pay him. Very tough question.

  34. ***No need to look longingly at Sacto boxscores anymore: Quickley now has a pretty solid lead on Hali in terms of BPM- 2.8 to 2.3. Offensively they’re almost equal- 3.0 for IQ, 2.9 for Haliburton. Of course we could have had both!***

    If there is one thing I’ve learned from the KB Orthodoxy over the years, it’s to resist the fallacy of the small sample. But it seems like all too often posters don’t practice what they preach (as evidenced by a recent debate as to who is right or wrong about a rookie point guard who has played roughly 450 minutes in his career, all during an absurd season unlike any other). This isn’t new. I remember daily rookie updates here on guys like Ken Faried, Ty Lawson, and DeJuan Blair. These were guys that the KB board wanted desperately and the Knicks passed on. They all had sparkling rookie numbers, and every night someone would come on and pull their hair out over it. But, in the end, none would have made any difference to the fate of the New York Knicks. Hali vs Quick will be a fun and time consuming sideshow for a while, until they both prove themselves to be what they will likely turn out to be: likable, serviceable, but probably not terribly vital to a title team.

  35. The price for these not being marginal wins is Julius at effectively a max. Can you build an actual contender with that on your balance sheet? Not a 7th or 8th seed or really even a 6th or 5th — an actual contender. Right now they aren’t even close to that. They’re still not even a .500 team and even that is with Thibs raising minutes, slowing pace, cobbling together, not to mention the no fans in the stands, weird COVID absences and scheduling and all the rest. The Knicks are maxing out right now and they aren’t .500.

    It’s a very tough decision. I know where I come out on it, but I certainly concede that he’s making it a tougher decision. What we can’t do is persist in the fantasy that he’s going to sign long term for something like 25 because that is not happening. Unfortunately, Julius is a unique player and his production is generated uniquely. (If he wasn’t, the Knicks wouldn’t have gotten him at that number in the first place.) That happens sometimes.

    Julius basically washed out as a secondary option in LA and NO. He doesn’t want that and doesn’t see that as his place. That’s very hard, then, to take a risk on in NYC.

  36. One other note: it took an absolute Fresh Kills landfill-sized dumpster fire to finally rid the franchise of Mills. So if there was a silver lining to the Frank/Knox debacle, maybe if they drafted better players, Mills would still be calling the shots.

  37. What a delight to find a Farfa recap. Thank you. For the first time in a while we same to have a basis for rational hope/optimism ( as opposed to optimal hope/optimism, if such a thing exists), and as many have pointed a highly rootable team.
    congrats dj. no more profound a responsibility, nor rewarding an outcome than being a parent.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Warning Self-Indulgent boomer nostalgia, re CCNY winning both NCAA and NIT in 1950, the latter being more prestigious at that time. Irwin Dambrot was the captain of that CCNY team and the MVP in the NCAA. He lived in my hometown and was my first PBC coach. The dude was so self-effacing that he never mentioned his playing for CCNY. Dambrot emphasized fundies and made us dribble and shoot with our off-hand.
    My dad told me the backstory including the point-shaving scandal. That year, CCNY thrashed Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats 89-50. ( my rationalization for posting irrelevant boomer nostalgia).

  38. Of all the things I did in life, what I am proudest of is the way I raised my sons.

    that is such a cool thing to read…

    i was a pretty reluctant parent figure…i don’t think i’ve ever had a romantic relationship that lasted longer than a couple of years (i just really like doing my own thing a lot and it’s hard for me to stay connected to people)…so, once the getting freaky ends, i’m moving on…

    in this case though, i had started off as mom’s boyfriend, and progressed to part time baby sitter…forget parenting, i wasn’t even a decent baby sitter – i thought watching a child meant handing over some coloring books and turning on dora the explorer…

    one day though i walked in to the bathroom to see 3 year old god daughter sitting next to the toilet while flushing toilet paper down the drain (she had connected the paper from the holder and placed it inside the bowl)…by the time i showed up it was pretty clogged…she looked up at me and i didn’t even get mad…for some reason that was my moment of clarity…

    from that moment on we lived at the park and spent a bunch of time just hiking together…took about 4 or 5 years though to go from ma’s boyfriend, to baby sitter, to friend, to best friend, to god dad…

    the second god child i never expected or anticipated getting close to…although the dad never wanted to spend much time with his daughter, i was pretty sure he’d want to be close to his son, but circumstances and such…it was funny, from the time he could crawl god child two would come to me to hold him, and wouldn’t want to leave my side…

    god child three has a different dad, but, for whatever reason he’s chosen to not play a bigger role in the child’s life…i don’t dig too deep in to other folks lives (even my friends), but, when i found out his dad wasn’t making the effort to connect, assumed god dad duties for him also…just this last week we finally got him off his training wheels – felt good…

  39. I know we don’t talk much about all-star around here because, seriously, who gives a shit about the all-star game but I’m curious what the prevailing feeling is about Randle’s chances. My feeling has been that he’s a deserving candidate but it’s a surprisingly competitive field this year and when you start actually counting players it’s not that easy to find a spot for him. He’s 11th in the East in BPM, but there’s a lot of guys just below him, and many of them have more star-power than him, and probably are in some kind of context-neutral sense “better” than him, so it’s hard for me to feel too strongly one way or the other. But I see now some in the Knicks media-sphere are starting to push hard on the idea that he should absolutely make it (Macri had a rant about it I saw) so I’m curious what everyone thinks.

    It may not matter much in the end because I wouldn’t be too shocked if a lot of players find excuses to drop out this year so there could be a good market for injury replacements.

  40. The price for these not being marginal wins is Julius at effectively a max.

    Any idea what that number might be E?

    How many years?

    Would we make the offer this off-season?

  41. I think Julius gets a big bonus if he makes the ASG right?

    I wonder if that holds if he is a replacement.

    I think he is deserving and might get it just because he is in NYC

  42. Phatt, I’m not a CBA expert, other than in somewhat broad strokes, so I’m entirely sure whether an offer could be made this off-season. As it stands now, the Knicks have an option for a next year for something around $20. I’m pretty sure the exercise date on that is July 1. If I was Randle’s agent, I’d be thinking about going to the team, if not the press, and saying, “Hey, that’s not really a fair price, how about we forego the option and just do a new max deal.” But again, I’m not sure that’s allowed and I’m not even sure what if any Bird rights the Knicks would have on the new deal.

    If the Knicks just exercise the option and negotiate something at the end of next year, I can’t possibly seeing Julius taking less than Gordon Hayward took this last offseason (plus two years inflation). Hayward got 4/120. The equivalent for Julius with the fifth year and inflation would be something like 5/160. I’d be shocked if his initial demands weren’t for a max.

  43. Randle probably shouldn’t go to the all-star game but he’s played well enough that it wouldn’t be an outrage if he made it. The East is pretty talent rich this year.

    E we can still get two lottery picks this year.

  44. If the Knicks just exercise the option and negotiate something at the end of next year, I can’t possibly seeing Julius taking less than Gordon Hayward took this last offseason (plus two years inflation). Hayward got 4/120. The equivalent for Julius with the fifth year and inflation would be something like 5/160. I’d be shocked if his initial demands weren’t for a max.

    Baseball and following the yanks has me way apprehensive towards long contracts. For this type of performance he’s having: an annual salary between 28 to 32 million seems fair. Hopefully we can limit it to 4 years instead of 5. It is very hard to imagine him maintaining his 3 point %, but the rebounds and assists should stay there. I have no complaints with his defense this year.

    Now that I think of it, it’s been a while now since I can remember him spinning wildly in the lane.

    I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but I really liked Julius “running” the Lakers second unit years ago. They were a bad team, but, his passing reminded me of Draymond Green. Until this year though, I had never really considered Julius as a team leader.

    This year has been a remarkable evolution for him. Here’s All-Star Julius’ post game from yesterday.

  45. There’s 1.5 years for Randle’s #s to come back down to Earth or for us to trade him. I’m not going to worry about having a cost-controlled asset for the next 1.5 years. We don’t know where we’ll be at that point or what moves we’ll make between now and then, Randle might not be on the team anymore. Stop trying to make this out to be a problem.

  46. Randle is signed next year with a team option at 19,8 MIL (4 MIL guaranteed).

    If they want to extend him and the salary cap stays flat, for a player with Randle experience (7 through 9 years) that re-sign with his team, the max contract start at 32,7 MIL with 8% annual raises:

    Year 1 32,7 MIL
    Year 2 35,3 MIL
    Year 3 38 MIL
    Year 4 40,6 MIL

    Eventual Year 5 43,2 MIL

    A bit tooooooo much for my taste.

    If his agent want to scratch next year and sign a longer contract, he has to leave some significant money on the table,
    otherwise let him play the year at 19,8 MIL and re-evaluate after 2021-2022…

  47. I think there’s a silver lining to losing the Saturday game. This is the first extended break between games for the Knicks. They have 3 days off in a row. That means they will get in some practices late this week. It’s an opportunity to work out any issues and recharge the engines. On the other hand, this game moves into that second half, somewhere. You know that the NBA is going to take all those missed games and play them. The Knicks had been lucky with that up until now.

  48. Owen:
    Really enjoyed this deep dive into why the Hawks aren’t better on offense.

    https://mikeprada.substack.com/p/trae-young-atlanta-hawks-offense

    Very good read Owen.

    Some of the Xs and Os are “coach” level stuff that I’m never going to see or understand watching a game live, but I thought this was a critical part.

    But for someone who can seemingly make any pass, Young sure has a habit of only seeking out the ones that directly lead to a shot. Nearly 21 percent of his passes are assists, second only to (ironically) DeRozan. Whereas other great passers deliver the ball early in anticipation of the defense’s coverage, Young has a tendency to exhaust his scoring avenues and only then look to find a teammate. It’s as if he believes he has to draw the defense all the way to him before exploiting Atlanta’s numbers advantage.

    This is the kind of stuff I always talk about. When one guys dominates the ball too much dribbling trying to create his own shot, he can score a lot and get a lot of assists but still not be maximizing his teammates or the offense. To maximize things requires more purposeful ball and player movement.

    That’s one of my criticisms of Doncic, Kyrie and some others. Yes, they pile up points efficiently (as does Young). Yes, they pile up assists (as does Young). But both try to force shot creation to score first and only then move the ball if there’s nothing there (though they throw up some trash too) . Purposeful player and ball movement can get better shots and a more efficient overall offense even if the #1 option’s numbers go down a little. That’s what separates Pop and Phil and handful of other coaches from the pack. They get that purposeful team oriented movement.

  49. So a team that’s been together for 30 games, has the lowest payroll in the NBA, is the 4th youngest team in the league and has two first round picks next year has “maxed” out apparently.

  50. Can the Knicks extend Randle this offseason, to be started in 2022-23?

    Can the Knicks rip up the option year and start an extension next year?

    Do they have Bird rights in either scenario?

    Julius might not really want to play next year at that number. He could agitate. No idea whether he would agitate, but the question is whether he could.

  51. I think someone said the last person to average over 20 points, over 10 rebounds, and over 40% shooting from 3 was Larry Bird. Randle is in good company,

  52. E, all merc’d out:
    Can the Knicks extend Randle this offseason, to be started in 2022-23?

    Can the Knicks rip up the option year and start an extension next year?

    Do they have Bird rights in either scenario?

    Julius might not really want to play next year at that number.He could agitate.No idea whether he would agitate, but the question is whether he could.

    Randle can do whatever he wants, he’s still under contract.

  53. E, all merc’d out:
    Can the Knicks extend Randle this offseason, to be started in 2022-23?

    Can the Knicks rip up the option year and start an extension next year?

    Do they have Bird rights in either scenario?

    Julius might not really want to play next year at that number.He could agitate.No idea whether he would agitate, but the question is whether he could.

    From what I read the answer to the first two question is “yes” (there have been cases of both types in recent years, example of case #1 is the Beal’s extension).

    Regarding Bird Rights, we’ll get Early Bird Right on him at the end of this years (2 years with a team needed) and Full Bird Right at the end of next year (3 years with a team needed).

  54. is geo Phatt Gandalf?

    howdy jowles, si senor…just felt like a change…was interested to see how my “voice” and its reception here might change with a different look…also was curious to see whom might follow the change – some people are really tuned in to different folk’s syntax and we have some posters here that are just crazy perceptive…

    oh yeah, and i got a couple of those “gandalf” church wardens (long stemmed pipes) delivered…gave one to a good buddy at work whom i can’t thank enough for making my life easier (he’s sympathetic to a pause for the cause)…well, the other i’ve been using to get my rocks off – moonrocks that is :)

    my bong and big hitting days are past…still eat, tincture, vape, and puff, but i like the more subtle serene pipe smoking vibe…goes great with a good book…

    i hope you and the missus are staying healthy and happy…thought about you both when the god daughter and her guy was over…teamwork makes the dream work…for some partnering up really seems to take the whole life experience thing to the next level…finding someone whom is both lover and best friend while also willing to work towards the common good of both seems really special…

  55. There’s 1.5 years for Randle’s #s to come back down to Earth or for us to trade him. I’m not going to worry about having a cost-controlled asset for the next 1.5 years. We don’t know where we’ll be at that point or what moves we’ll make between now and then, Randle might not be on the team anymore. Stop trying to make this out to be a problem.

    This is the correct take. We don’t have any less team control over him than we do over Mitch, who no one would regard as a “merc.” This is not even remotely urgent until next year’s deadline.

    Can the Knicks extend Randle this offseason, to be started in 2022-23?

    Can the Knicks rip up the option year and start an extension next year?

    Do they have Bird rights in either scenario?

    Julius might not really want to play next year at that number. He could agitate. No idea whether he would agitate, but the question is whether he could.

    They can pick up his option and extend him starting in 2022-2023. There’s no precedent for a scenario in which they turn down his option only to sign him to a more expensive 2021-2022 deal, and he won’t agitate for as much.

    If they don’t extend him they’d have his Bird Rights in the summer of 2022 but they wouldn’t be terribly valuable because his cap hold would be really high, like possibly higher than his eventual AAV.

  56. The Geo name change, and so many others that happen, make me even prouder of The Noble Face Humper for keeping his name.

    Hump on!!!!!

    :-)

    Listened to Draymond and I have to say, while I am definitely supportive of the players, I am not quite sure I totally get his complaint. The teams pay the players and not the other way around.

    If a player gets hurt right before the trade it hurts the team without helping the player much that I can tell.

    NBA Twitter seemed to like Dray’s remarks and it’s not that I don’t like them but they kind of went over my head I guess.

  57. thenoblefacehumper: There’s no precedent for a scenario in which they turn down his option only to sign him to a more expensive 2021-2022 deal, and he won’t agitate for as much.

    There’s precedent for that. Off the top of my head, Cleveland released Boozer from his rookie contract to resign him to a much larger one before he bolted for Utah.

    thenoblefacehumper: If they don’t extend him they’d have his Bird Rights in the summer of 2022 but they wouldn’t be terribly valuable because his cap hold would be really high, like possibly higher than his eventual AAV.

    I don’t think his cap hold would be that high, I believe it would be similar to what he made in the last year of his contract.

  58. It’s pretty rough going right now trying to be a contrarian…basically you just have to speculate on all the bad stuff that COULD happen and extrapolate from there. Bridge Over River Kwai…that thing is gonna blow up.

    Reality is, as some have said, that we have just about the youngest, cheapest team in the league, with a good amount of draft picks, plenty of cap space, and roughly 18 months to make moves to position the team to compete for years to come. This young, cheap, flexible team is playing the best D in the association (more or less), and at least publicly is saying all the right things about wanting to play together, be there for each other, etc. The breakout surprise rookie isn’t letting it go to his head but is wisely turning the focus on everyone else, including eagerly advocating for the team leader — a 26-year-old who is one of the top 50 players (or better) in the NBA — to make his first All-Star team.

    Would I have drafted Toppin? No. Am I eager to root for Derek Rose? No. Is Thibs smart about playing his best players more than they should play? No.

    But come on, did you not have a big smile on your face as they took control of the Hawks game down the stretch? Did you not fist pump when RJ – RJ! – made two crucial 3s? Or when our neophyte made his? Or when Noel sent back attempt after attempt? I sure did.

    As vincoug said in the previous thread, what if we had just one more player, like we somehow picked up Beal for Burks, Bullock, and two #1s? Not very likely, obviously, but if you don’t think this team is appealing, I dunno what to say:

    IQ
    Beal
    RJ
    Randle
    Mitch

    I mean, we’re a .500 team right now. Add one more really good player and this is a team with serious potential. The question is how to add that one player without gutting the roster.

  59. I understood Draymond’s point that players get bad press for saying they want to get traded but owner’s don’t get bad press for saying they want to trade someone but I didn’t understand his complaint about Drummond not being played. If Drummond is going to a new team, it’s not bad for him to be rested and healthy when he gets there.

    I will say that I’m having a hard time figuring out which team would want Drummond and if Drummond is noticing that too he’s unlikely to be happy about not being wanted.

  60. Randle’s cap hold will be 150% of the last year of his contract. I’m not sure how they count unlikely incentives, but it puts him at $31.05M ($20.7M*1.5) with incentives.

    An 8 year vet max for this year is $32,742,000. Assuming the cap goes up, that number should be further below a max contract slot.

    If things change and we go all in, then being under the max will matter because we can sign other contracts to fill up our salary and still sign Randle to the max if that’s the number he wants. Again, only in the case we go all-in so that the Randle contract $s don’t matter much.

  61. thenoblefacehumper: If they don’t extend him they’d have his Bird Rights in the summer of 2022 but they wouldn’t be terribly valuable because his cap hold would be really high, like possibly higher than his eventual AAV.

    I don’t think his cap hold would be that high, I believe it would be similar to what he made in the last year of his contract.

    Bird player: 190% of previous salary (if below average) or 150% (if above average).
    As Randle’s salary is above average, the cap hold will be 150% of his 2021-22 salary (19.8M), which is 29.7M

  62. There’s precedent for that. Off the top of my head, Cleveland released Boozer from his rookie contract to resign him to a much larger one before he bolted for Utah.

    I don’t know anything about this situation but rookie contracts are very different from $20M player options.

    If things change and we go all in, then being under the max will matter because we can sign other contracts to fill up our salary and still sign Randle to the max if that’s the number he wants. Again, only in the case we go all-in so that the Randle contract $s don’t matter much.

    Randle’s actual max in 2022 will be in the neighborhood of 5/$211M for an AAV of ~$42M, but despite some apocalyptic predictions I highly doubt he gets it or even close to it. That would cut against the very clear trend of big men compensation being depressed by the market flood outside of extraordinary cases like Gobert, AD, etc.

    So I don’t think his cap hold of $31Mish will do much for us because I think it’s right around the AAV he’d be looking for in the unlikely event he keeps up his current level of play.

  63. They can pick up his option and extend him starting in 2022-2023. There’s no precedent for a scenario in which they turn down his option only to sign him to a more expensive 2021-2022 deal, and he won’t agitate for as much.

    If they don’t extend him they’d have his Bird Rights in the summer of 2022 but they wouldn’t be terribly valuable because his cap hold would be really high, like possibly higher than his eventual AAV.

    They could pickup the option and then re-nogotiate the contract with an extension that allows to raise the contract even for the “current” (2021-2022) season just as the 76ers did with Covington 4 years ago (raising his season’s payment from 1,57 M to over 15 M).

    https://www.nba.com/news/report-philadelphia-76ers-robert-covington-agree-4-year-extension

    Obviously you need to have cap space “in the season” to do that.

    But you’re right that the norm is what you described, to finish the “old” contract and start the extension the next season.

    P.S.
    Maybe they need to do a similar thing with Mitch, I don’t know if he’ll be happy to play next year at 1,8 MIL (the value of the team option), maybe he’ll search an extension too.

  64. Early Bird: If things change and we go all in, then being under the max will matter because we can sign other contracts to fill up our salary and still sign Randle to the max if that’s the number he wants. Again, only in the case we go all-in so that the Randle contract $s don’t matter much.

    You beat me to Randle’s cap hold. I don’t think they count the unlikely incentives, so the number should be 29.7M.
    As for the max for Randle, i don’t think he’s a max player, and was on the “that can’t happen” camp, but you’re right, if we go all in then maxing Randle could even be a good move, because would give us more flexibility if we wanted to trade him (above the cap teams can only get back 125% of the salary they ship out).

  65. They could pickup the option and then re-nogotiate the contract with an extension that allows to raise the contract even for the “current” (2021-2022) season just as the 76ers did with Covington 4 years ago (raising his season’s payment from 1,57 M to over 15 M).

    Oh yeah I mean the option exists, I’ve just literally never heard of it outside of the context of the extension replacing rookie-scale/2nd round/UDFA deals that are truly perilous for players to play under. Randle is making $20M next season, which was widely perceived as an overpay prior to the last 28 games. This is simply not going to be a thing.

  66. You beat me to Randle’s cap hold. I don’t think they count the unlikely incentives, so the number should be 29.7M.

    This is what I have too, so maybe it’ll be a minor help if he winds up signing for $31-$32M but generally I don’t see his Bird Rights being particularly relevant. If they want to keep him the cap hold will prevent them from doing a decent amount of other stuff (they would still have a full max slot and some change, the exact amount depending on where their draft picks land), and if they don’t they’ll renounce it.

  67. thenoblefacehumper: Oh yeah I mean the option exists, I’ve just literally never heard of it outside of the context of the extension replacing rookie-scale/2nd round/UDFA deals that are truly perilous for players to play under. Randle is making $20M next season, which was widely perceived as an overpay prior to the last 28 games. This is simply not going to be a thing.

    I agree, it will not be a problem.

  68. thenoblefacehumper: Randle’s actual max in 2022 will be in the neighborhood of 5/$211M for an AAV of ~$42M,

    I get 5yrs for $192M based on this year’s max salary schedule. He’s an 8 yr vet at the end of 2022 and gets 8% increases each year. Should be ~$38.5M per year. Did you use the 10 year vet max?

    Entirely possible I screwed up instead of you, just trying to figure out where we diverge

  69. I know a lot of people wanted him out, but i think Scott Perry does a good job structuring the contracts. Mitch’s contract was amazing for us. And Randle’s contract is the same, with the option in the third year, we have 2 seasons in which Randle is in a contract year. Before Scott Perry we granted no-trade clauses for no reason, had a lot of player option contracts, and stuff like that. Since he joined us, all contracts are in favor of the club and not the player.

  70. well, now i just feel selfish and silly – thanks owen :P

    for the sake of conformity and continuity – i will now resume my previous role…

    to be honest, i was kinda having a tough time with all the semi-relevant grammar stuff…

  71. I was wondering where geo was the last few days. Anyways, I am not good at picking up on these things.

  72. geo:
    well, now i just feel silly and selfish – thanks owen :P

    for the sake of conformity and continuity – i will now resume my previous role as geo…

    que the “welcome back kotter” theme song…

  73. I think the whole “youngest team in the league” is a bit overblown. A lot of our youngest players are either out of the rotation completely (Knox, Ntilikina, Brazdeikis, Harper, Pinson, DSJr before the trade) or are terrible so far (Obi); and our 8 oldest players are all regular parts of the rotation except for Austin Rivers and he was replaced by an even older player, Derrick Rose.

  74. I get 5yrs for $192M based on this year’s max salary schedule. He’s an 8 yr vet at the end of 2022 and gets 8% increases each year. Should be ~$38.5M per year. Did you use the 10 year vet max?

    Actually I did screw up but I think it’s higher than $192M because the salary cap is projected to be higher for 2022-2023 than it is now. I believe the number is $201M…but if you really want to get apocalyptic I just realized he’ll be eligible for the DPE of $235M.

  75. A weekend report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Mitchell Robinson would undergo surgery on his fractured right hand, but the injured center is getting one more consultation on Tuesday before making a final decision on that procedure, says Berman.

    A question for our sports medicine experts: does this delay in deciding if it’s surgery or not adds to the 4-6 weeks Mitch was expected to be out?

  76. no you can only renegotiate contracts that were least 4 years after the 3rd anniversary of the original signing, which applied to covington but not to randle.

    if the knicks want to extend randle after presumably guaranteeing his 3rd year this summer they can do so starting at a max of $24m (120pct of final yr) and 8 pct raises for 4 yrs. unless he makes all nba this yr, in which case (bc he has never been traded) they can make him a designated veteran extension and actually go over his normal 30pct max up to 35pct of the cap for 5 additional years.

  77. thenoblefacehumper: Actually I did screw up but I think it’s higher than $192M because the salary cap is projected to be higher for 2022-2023 than it is now. I believe the number is $201M…but if you really want to get apocalyptic I just realized he’ll be eligible for the DPE of $235M.

    Oof, yeah the designated player extension is a no-no for Randle (or really anyone).

    Yeah, I’ve used the current max numbers because I’m guessing the projections are a little more up in the air with Covid. But the $201M is probably a better projection.

    But looks like we’re on the same page. I always worry until ptmilo comes in and sets me straight, lol

  78. cybersoze: A question for our sports medicine experts: does this delay in deciding if it’s surgery or not adds to the 4-6 weeks Mitch was expected to be out?

    I would guess they are evaluating whether it can heal faster or just as fast with no surgery…but I would say the 4-6 still holds if he gets the surgery…but i am not an expert

  79. geo: i will now resume my previous role

    I liked Gandalf and knew it was you (well it was easy, you said it to djphan :D), but…
    …welcome back, geo!!! (whoosh) (bang) (whizz)*

    * – it’s fireworks! :P

  80. cybersoze: A question for our sports medicine experts: does this delay in deciding if it’s surgery or not adds to the 4-6 weeks Mitch was expected to be out?

    I’m not an expert, but I don’t think so…it’s probably more about surgical technique vs. surgery or not. There are several surgical options available with different implements, depending on the nature of the break. My guess is that the time frame still applies, although 6 weeks sounds more realistic.

  81. I don’t think anything in the $40mill AAV area is a value signing. A hayward-level deal, maybe in the low 30’s sounds palatable.

    Geez, imagine having this discussion 3 months ago….heads would have exploded

  82. ptmilo: if the knicks want to extend randle after presumably guaranteeing his 3rd year this summer they can do so starting at a max of $24m (120pct of final yr) and 8 pct raises for 4 yrs.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting 120% from. I think you’re talking about the non-Bird exception and the max we’d be able to offer him then but that would only be the case if we were over the cap. We’ll be under barring any unexpected trades. Plus, the non-Bird exception is if a player has been on the team for only 1 year. Randle’s already in his 2nd year so he would qualify for the early Bird exception which is 130% this summer and full Bird rights next summer. And again, it really only comes into play if we’re above the cap.

  83. vincoug: I’m not sure where you’re getting 120% from. I think you’re talking about the non-Bird exception and the max we’d be able to offer him then but that would only be the case if we were over the cap. We’ll be under barring any unexpected trades. Plus, the non-Bird exception is if a player has been on the team for only 1 year. Randle’s already in his 2nd year so he would qualify for the early Bird exception which is 130% this summer and full Bird rights next summer. And again, it really only comes into play if we’re above the cap.

    ptmilo is talking about the max for an extension, you can only go up 120% via extension. You’re talking about Randle becoming a FA, and your numbers look right for that

  84. Early Bird: ptmilo is talking about the max for an extension, you can only go up 120% via extension. You’re talking about Randle becoming a FA, and your numbers look right for that

    Ah, ok I see what you’re talking about. Can’t imagine that Randle would agree to that though.

  85. Z-man:
    Anyone notice that our old friend WHG is in the Pels’ rotation?

    I saw that…after watching him play…can’t understand why..

  86. fun game between new orleans and memphis, a lot of really good young players…

    I was doubtful grayson allen would see much time on the court in the nba, I was wrong…I just didn’t think he had enough skill or size to compete…

    is julius playing better than ingram now?

    it’s funny how having a team with julius, RJ, mitch and now quik has me a lot less jealous of these teams with great young players…

    although only one of the nop or grizz will have 12 wins after tonight :)

  87. someone above mentioned that despite having one of the youngest rosters in the league, our actual rotation players aren’t really that young…

    that sounds kind of true…just thinking though that of the 10 regular rotation players we’re still probably averaging around 25 years old…

    Edit: was fun game…

  88. The backlash to the initial Zion hype may have led to a situation in which he’s now underrated. 20 year olds aren’t really supposed to be completely and utterly unstoppable.

  89. I think Monty MAY be doing a very good job of developing Zion. It seemed that to start the season he told him to just try to score in the paint and focus on defense. Now he’s slowly expanding him as a distributor too. Unlock Doncic, who got the keys to the team day 1, the young Pelicans seem to actually have a long term development plan. (What?!)

  90. geo:
    someone above mentioned that despite having one of the youngest rosters in the league, our actual rotation players aren’t really that young…

    that sounds kind of true…just thinking though that of the 10 regular rotation players we’re still probably averaging around 25 years old…

    Edit: was fun game…

    Our core of IQ, RJ, Randle, & Mitch is 21, 20, 26, 22.

    They all play significant minutes when healthy.

    On average that’s 22.25.

    The only players significantly older than 25 in our rotation are Rose, Bullock, & Burks.

    Even Payton & Noel are 26 for a little longer.

    Obi is 23.

    That’s our whole rotation.

    We average 25.4yo with Rose, ~24.6yo for the 9 without Rose.

    So you’re right on.

    But the important part to me is the core average age of 22.25.

  91. julius randle, josh hart, kyle kuzma, lonzo ball, zubac (can’t remember his first name) – that’s not luck, that’s some really good scouting going on in laker land…

  92. zion is turning out to be the superior version of blake griffin… a lot of people forget but blake griffin also had a similarly unstoppable college career with regular sportscenter highlights.. only he didn’t really have zion’s defensive #s…. it’s sort of weird that we haven’t seen zion being seemingly everywhere on the court like he was at duke but i think with some healthy years and a couple offseasons we could see that….

  93. ***wow, both the pels and grizz are playing defense like it’s an all-star game…***

    Every team plays defense against Zion like it’s an all star game. Over the past few weeks he’s had games of 10-14, 12-16, 12-14, 12-18, 14-15, and today’s 13-16.

  94. Anyone notice that our old friend WHG is in the Pels’ rotation?

    They seem to somehow have three centers in the rotation. That’s weird.

  95. geo:
    julius randle, josh hart, kyle kuzma, lonzo ball, zubac (can’t remember his first name) – that’s not luck, that’s some really good scouting going on in laker land…

    Randle and Ball were the 7th and 2nd overall picks in the draft and were pretty well regarded prospects so it’s hard to give them much credit for those picks (and Ball’s been a disappointment). Kuzma I guess is good for a guy picked at the end of the 1st but isn’t anything more than a JAG.

  96. Z-man:
    Anyone notice that our old friend WHG is in the Pels’ rotation?

    No idea what his defense is like, but his boxscore looks as pretty as ever.

  97. Donnie Walsh:
    ***wow, both the pels and grizz are playing defense like it’s an all-star game…***

    Every team plays defense against Zion like it’s an all star game. Over the past few weeks he’s had games of 10-14, 12-16, 12-14, 12-18, 14-15, and today’s 13-16.

    Zion’s really just that good, he had pretty similar numbers last year as well, like a third of his games he shot over 70% from the field. He’s got otherworldly athleticism and body control and it really makes him nearly unstoppable at the rim.

  98. Early Bird: No idea what his defense is like, but his boxscore looks as pretty as ever.

    I definitely did notice. He really can’t play defense.

    Just watched Palm Springs. Those of you interested in that Groundhog Day conversation should check it out if you have Hulu.

  99. ***I think Monty MAY be doing a very good job of developing Zion.***

    Oops, I meant SVG… (I get the young, up-and-coming western teams confused sometimes) (especially the ones with coaches that are one degree of separation from the 90s Knicks)

  100. just finishing up the knicks/hawks game from last night – 2 things really stand out:
    >6:11 to go in the 4th and the camera is square on RJ saying fuck after an air ball on the other end

    > this is the most committed to the game of basketball that I’ve ever seen derrick rose play

  101. 2 other things: RJ looked sharp in yesterday’s post game with the small black hoops (I think they were hoops) and that jacket he was wearing…RJ bringing the style…

    quik can quit with that ‘ice in the vein’ 3 point celebration…

    it makes me think of harvey keitel in The Bad Lieutenant…beautiful grim film…

  102. I just listened to both Derrick Rose and Obi Toppin being interviewed after the Tuesday practice. One thing is clear, the Knicks traded away a bust and a late 2nd round pick and got back a point guard and an assistant head coach.

  103. The other day, when we talked about Blake Griffin’s buyout, i forgot that DET could use the strecht provision on next year’s money. The most reliable source i follow is Bobby Marks, and he did the math.

    Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42:
    If Griffin is bought out after the deadline, Detroit does not escape a cap charge for 2021/22.

    Ex: If he gives back $20M, the Pistons will be charged:

    20/21: $31.9M

    21/22: $23.8M (but can stretch over 3 seasons- $7.9M)

    Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42:
    The most (money-bag emoji) a player has given back in a buyout:

    1. Bison Dele (DET)- $31.7M
    2. Larry Sanders (MIL)- $21.9M
    3. Derek Fisher (UTH)- $20.6M
    4. Shawn Kemp (POR)- $18.7M
    5. Deron Williams (BKN)- $16M

    If a Blake Griffin trade does not materialize by 3/25, he will be owed $51.5M.

    And although this is about Blake, who in hell is Bison Dele and how come DET was able to convince him to give up that much money!? :O

  104. There is zero possibility that Leon Rose agrees to rip up the 3rd year of Randle’s contract just to give him a max contract. That makes literally negative sense, and I don’t imagine even Randle’s agent would even bother to ask for it. What reason would Rose have to do that?

    FOs may rip up the last year of “underpaid” stars in order to secure their services for longer, but that would be to get a discount on the future years or to avoid unrestricted free agency – ie. keep matching rights in restricted FA (ie. the decision about what to do with Mitch at the end of this year, or what the Nuggets did with Jokic). Julius will be an unrestricted FA if the Knicks rip up the last year of his contract or if he plays through to the end of next season – zero reason to rip up the contract.

    There is always so much righteous angst on this blog – we really do not need to add more made up angst.

    Assuming no major drop-off or major injury, I think it is a given that Randle’s 21-22 option is picked up by the Knicks. There is zero chance of a trade this season. As to what to do with him thereafter — if he plays well enough that we are worried another team will give him a full max, then this is a good problem to have. Agree with others that it’s hard to find a sub-Lebron/Giannis/Durant-level PF that has gotten the full max like that. This is where Wes/Kenny Payne/Leon Rose will make their salaries. But this is a problem for 15 months from now.

    And yes – Zion is ridiculous. He and Redick playing off each other — great combo. Too bad neither can defend.

  105. cybersoze:

    And although this is about Blake, who in hell is Bison Dele and how come DET was able to convince him to give up that much money!? :O

    You may have known him as Brian Williams.
    He was one of a (strange) kind, talented but unreliable, retired young (DET didn’t convince him, it was all his choice, he wants to get out of basketball) and his life ended tragically…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bison_Dele

  106. Max: You may have known him as Brian Williams.
    He was one of a (strange) kind, talented but unreliable, retired young (DET didn’t convince him, it was all his choice, he wants to get out of basketball) and his life ended tragically…

    What a tragic story! :(

  107. The guys at the Cavs blog – King James Gospel – on FanSided think this “Andre Drummond trade with Knicks would be win-win

    That involved Drummond being sent to New York in exchange for Nerlens Noel, Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox.

    What do you guys think? After this last Noel game, that i liked a lot, i’m still weighing if i’d do this.

  108. cybersoze:
    The guys at the Cavs blog – King James Gospel – on FanSided think this “Andre Drummond trade with Knicks would be win-win

    What do you guys think? After this last Noel game, that i liked a lot, i’m still weighing if i’d do this.

    He’s a FA after this season. If we trade Noel, it doesn’t solve the problem of not having 3 centers.

  109. Saw one trade idea that had us getting Drummond and a 2RP with Burks, Frank, and Bullock going to Dallas and Knox going to Cleveland. Seems like a lot for a half-year rental. Maybe if we kept Burks instead of Rivers. But even then, I don’t think that moves the needle much. Plus, why help Dallas?

  110. GoNYGoNYGo – Tired of Tanking: He’s a FA after this season.If we trade Noel, it doesn’t solve the problem of not having 3 centers.

    The reasoning behind the Knicks doing this would be that Drummond is a much better C than Noel, and could probably get the starting job, with Mitch as the backup, giving us a stronger lineup to fight for the playoffs and even to get to the 2nd round.

  111. Is Drummond a much better C than Noel? He definitely can do a lot more stuff, but most of that translates into pretty low efficiency offense, and I like Noel better as a defensive player. Drummond also for sure seems to want to start (it seems like the reason they made the decision to sit him was related to getting Allen into the starting lineup) and would expect to play a lot, sidelining Mitch. If all they wanted was the flotsam young players and Noel you have to think about it (since your forced decision point on those young players is rapidly approaching) but I think I’d probably pass.

  112. Drummond doesn’t seem right for us. If there’s an asset attached, sure…or if he is waived, why not. But I could see him being really helpful to lots of teams.

  113. I think Drummond is good. Mitch is going to be out until April, at least. If the Knicks can sign Drummond to a 2-year fair contract, it’s worth it. Not a max deal. Since the odds of that happening are zilch, I would rather make sure that we have a better option than Randle at the 5 when we’re running low on centers. To that end, signing a big off the street is a better option. Take Tyson Chandler out of mothballs.

    After much thought, I think we ride this pony until the finish line. They’re fun to watch.

    The big fix has been Derrick Rose. Going back to free agency, my horror about the team was that there were no point guards on the team that were even rated POOR. Our point guards were AWFUL. Nobody knew about IQ and the discussion was about DS Jr or Frank running the team. With Rose and Quickley we have two GOOD point guards and Payton has elevated his game from POOR to FAIR.

    Since we would need to clear a roster spot for a center, if we can deal Frank and/or Knox for a draft pick, that would make the most sense. Or, trade Frank for a center rotting on the bench for another team.

    I’m fine with Noel in the starting lineup.

  114. What if we get involved in a Drummond Trade but end up with Lowry

    Knicks Get-Lowry

    Raptors get-Drummond/Payton or rivers(need to make the money work)

    Cavs get-Knox/Frank/Future 2nd

  115. I’m much more interested in Lowry on a short (1-3 years, and preferably 2) free agent deal in the offseason. He’d definitely work wonders for this team right now, but Toronto would want actual value for him. If it’s just the pu pu platter of Knox, Frank, and a couple of seconds, fine. But anything real and I’d rather wait, and let this team sink or swim with what they have. Either we get a fun run to the playoffs, or we get a lottery pick. If we make the play-in game and lose, we kind of get both.

  116. Agreed.

    Alan,

    My wife and I listened to the first 4 episodes of Too Long Didnt Watch during a mini road trip to go skiing. We absolutely loved it! Thank you for the entertainment! We were thinking for future episodes where neither of us have seen the show to maybe also watch the 1st and last episode before we listen.

    Alan:
    I’m much more interested in Lowry on a short (1-3 years, and preferably 2) free agent deal in the offseason. He’d definitely work wonders for this team right now, but Toronto would want actual value for him. If it’s just the pu pu platter of Knox, Frank, and a couple of seconds, fine. But anything real and I’d rather wait, and let this team sink or swim with what they have. Either we get a fun run to the playoffs, or we get a lottery pick. If we make the play-in game and lose, we kind of get both.

  117. Yes, of course it would be stupid of Rose to rip up Randle’s option and do an extension, but that doesn’t mean Randle wouldn’t want him to.

    If the Knicks exercise the option, Julius will be playing next year at significantly less than his perceived value. Players usually blanch and hiss at that kind of thing. Oftentimes, that can be recipe for dissention, unhappiness, trending all the way up to disaster.

  118. My wife and I listened to the first 4 episodes of Too Long Didnt Watch during a mini road trip to go skiing. We absolutely loved it! Thank you for the entertainment! We were thinking for future episodes where neither of us have seen the show to maybe also watch the 1st and last episode before we listen.

    Thanks! It’s been cool hearing that people are listening to the episodes about shows they haven’t seen. We worried people might pick and choose.

  119. I gave a hunch that it’s no accident Noel is backing up Mitch. I think the Knicks brain trust thinks having a shot blocking defensive center is the way to go to get a well structured team. If they think that way, they are going to be skeptical of Drummond.

  120. Myles Powell going off yet again for Westchester. I wonder what we can do to secure him to a contract before some other team comes calling. Pinson provides minimal value as a player but is also clearly Mr. Locker Room Guy. Does Jared Harper get Wally Pipp’ed? Does the team just hold off until Frank and/or Knox get shipped out at the deadline? (Or, if nobody will trade for Frank, would they cut him post-deadline?)

  121. @Alan and @BaM: Yeah, Lowry is also my preference for our long drought at PG. He would be amazing for 2 or 3 years more. But at what price will he come?

  122. cybersoze:
    @Alan and @BaM: Yeah, Lowry is also my preference for our long drought at PG. He would be amazing for 2 or 3 years more. But at what price will he come?

    Honestly, given the state of the 2021 FA class, I wouldn’t mind giving Lowry a wildly overpriced 1-2 year deal. He’d do wonders for guys like Barrett and Mitch and even Randle, and by the time his contract is up, in theory either Quickley or one of our 2021 draft picks has established himself as the new starting PG.

  123. And, by the way, i never got over the failed trade with TOR for Lowry. Dolan is God awful at basketball related stuff (and at several other stuff also, but let’s not get into it :P).
    I think i hold that (failed) trade against Dolan more than the Melo debacle.

  124. Alan: Honestly, given the state of the 2021 FA class, I wouldn’t mind giving Lowry a wildly overpriced 1-2 year deal. He’d do wonders for guys like Barrett and Mitch and even Randle, and by the time his contract is up, in theory either Quickley or one of our 2021 draft picks has established himself as the new starting PG.

    Sign me in to this. ;)

    PG/SG rotation for next year: (starters) Lowry and Quickley , (backups) our two 1st RP , (3rd stringers) Powell and ?

  125. Yes, of course it would be stupid of Rose to rip up Randle’s option and do an extension, but that doesn’t mean Randle wouldn’t want him to.

    If the Knicks exercise the option, Julius will be playing next year at significantly less than his perceived value. Players usually blanch and hiss at that kind of thing. Oftentimes, that can be recipe for dissention, unhappiness, trending all the way up to disaster.

    I can pretty much guarantee you this will just not be a thing. Randle will not regard playing for $20M as untenable anymore than Luka Doncic regards playing this season for $8M as untenable. He signed the contract because he was comfortable playing the next 3 seasons for $20M AAV, there is no precedent for a player simply getting a raise on a guaranteed year outside of rookie-scale etc. deals.

  126. Honestly, given the state of the 2021 FA class, I wouldn’t mind giving Lowry a wildly overpriced 1-2 year deal. He’d do wonders for guys like Barrett and Mitch and even Randle, and by the time his contract is up, in theory either Quickley or one of our 2021 draft picks has established himself as the new starting PG.

    I agree with you substantively but for me it would have to be 1 year, because the 2022 class is pretty strong and also I will not apologize for thinking we should leave room for KAT.

  127. Rookie scale guys know there’s no alternative. I’m sure a lot of them are chafing about it, to boot, but there’s nothing to agitate about nonetheless.

    He’s probably been pissed at the contract from day one and that’s serving as massive motivation. I wouldn’t conclude he’s been “comfortable” with it in the least.

  128. He’s probably been pissed at the contract from day one

    Until 29 games ago it was regarded as a foregone conclusion that the option would be declined! Steph freakin’ Curry won MVP unanimously making $11M AAV and no one talked about this, because it is not a thing. There are enough real ways we could screw things up, we don’t have to invent fake ways.

  129. Lowry is 35 years old and shorter point guards with lots of miles on their bodies can abruptly fall off a cliff. I’d be okay with signing him to a short-term deal but it’s definitely a risk to go longer if there is competition, which there will likely be.

    I’m convinced that KAT isn’t coming under any circumstances short of firing Thibs, but keeping cap space available for unforeseen opportunities is a good move.

  130. I’m with tnfh on the Randle deal. I doubt that he’s pissed, and there’s no reason to believe that he is. And even if he is, so what? At the end of the day, he’s not going to bitch and moan his way into forcing a premature reworking of his deal.

  131. I think people way overthink if a player who is playing really well is now pissed that they’re underpaid.

    I mean, if its Mitch making one million dollars, sure. But at the time Randle signed his deal with us, it was the most amount of money he’d ever made and it wasn’t like he got lowballed at the time with his deal. He signed a perfectly reasonable deal for where he was at that time in his career. Now he’s gotten better and he should expect a longer contract with more money after this one is done. But that doesn’t mean he’s now “pissed” that he’s being underpaid when he’s making 20 million a year. He could retire after next year and his family three generations out won’t have to ever worry about money. Plus, why would he be pissed when he’s finally on a decent team, might make the playoffs, is getting national recognition for being a winning player for the first time in his career>

  132. I’d totally forgotten about Bison Dele. I recall reading about it at the time that his brother, who probably murdered all three of them, died. Amazing how it’s been 18 years.

    Sure, make a play for Lonzo Ball. What to give up, though?

  133. Z-man: Lowry is 35 years old and shorter point guards with lots of miles on their bodies can abruptly fall off a cliff. I’d be okay with signing him to a short-term deal but it’s definitely a risk to go longer if there is competition, which there will likely be.

    Lowry might fall off a cliff, but he’s a very good shooter and I never thought of him as overly-reliant on athleticism. So I’d hazard to guess he has a bit more of a shelf life. But at 35 there’s really not much runway for players not named Vince Carter

  134. Lowry is 34. And you know who has 35? The Point God! And he doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Same for Lebron, how come he is this good at his age (36)? I think players are being more careful with their bodies and because of that they’re having longer careers. I’d sign Lowry in a heartbeat to a 3 year contract.

  135. And i add that it would be a much more enjoyable journey to watch Lowry fade, than it was to watch Melo fade. So there’s that.

  136. Yeah, I’m not a hard no on Lowry, just concerned. If they do it, it wouldn’t be in the category of disastrous, just possibly short-sighted.

  137. ***Drummond doesn’t seem right for us. If there’s an asset attached, sure…***

    Due to the fact that he’s never played in a game worth watching, I have never seen Drummond play basketball. So I may need someone to explain to me how a guy who has been either first or second in rebounding every year for the past six years has zero trade value? I remember being surprised when Detroit traded him for just a crappy 2nd rounder… and now Cleveland is regretting that trade?

    I get that he may have some liabilities that aren’t accurately captured in traditional boxscore, but look down the list of the top rebounders every year and they all were valued by the league. He’s not that expensive (32nd highest paid, making about as much as KP, Hayward, Porter jr, and DeRozan, all of whom had demonstrable trade value on their current contracts), he’s not that old (27), he’s not that one dimensional (he can rebound like Rodman and score like Smits), he’s not chronically injured, and he’s not a toxic personality as far as I can tell (didn’t he play an extra year on his rookie deal in Detroit before signing his extension to accommodate management with their cap situation?). I kind of understand how we, as nerdy Knick fans, wouldn’t want to trade assets for him at this juncture. But has the league changed so much that front offices don’t care about counting stats and gaudy numbers anymore? I find that so hard to believe.

  138. i’d be really surprised if lowry leaves toronto, at 35 next year – i’d pass…

    i’m pretty sure lonzo ball wants to come to new york next year…now that we’re no longer a joke winning wise – i think we’ll have a much easier time going forward attracting quality free agents…

    at this point i’d lean towards not giving up any significant asset to trade for another player…

  139. Y’all really want to shove that marshmallow all the way down your gullets eh

    Fuck and fucking absolutely fucking no on Drummond, Lowry and whoever else Twitter is trying to make happen this morning. Jesus Christ JUST STARE AT THE MARSHMALLOW SO YOU CAN FUCKING HAVE ANOTHER ONE AS WELL

  140. DW, Drummond is sort of a dinosaur. Beyond rebounding and pure shot-blocking, he kind of gums up the works in the current style of NBA game. He’s just not the type of player who is valued as a big-3 type player in the current style of NBA play. He doesn’t defend in space, or score all that efficiently when he has to create shots. He’s a terrible FT shooter and has no perimeter game at all. Value-wise, he’s sort of a different flavor of Enes Kanter…probably worth more than that but also a liability against well-coached smaller lineups.

    At a contract in the teens, he could probably be hugely valuable to a team vulnerable to size…maybe the Celts, Mavs (lolKP). Even then, you would probably be better off spending the money on shooting and living with a Nerlens Noel/Dwight Howard/JaVale McGee-type.

  141. Drummond would fit perfectly next to Randle, two high usage post players who you run your offense through.

    Hard pass

  142. Jowles, I’m not talking about trading for Lowry. I’m talking about signing him this summer as a free agent. We get two marshmallows that way.

  143. We win a couple of games in a row and everyone loses their minds.

    Drummond!? Come on! He would be the third best center on our team, gets in the way of Randle and costs us both assets and a decent amount of money.

    Lowry wouldn’t be much better. If he was free and on a cheap contract, sure, but he is 34 and clearly starting to decline. The odds he doesn’t drop off a cliff next year are probably 50/50.

    Where is the rush? We aren’t going anywhere this year, why give up real assets, even marginal ones, for players that move the future needle zero and in Drummonds case might not even make us better now.

    Every move we do needs to be forward looking, either makes us better in three years or if not at least doesn’t make us worse. Trading even one future win for anything this year is a mistake. We are playing well but we are not a great team and we need to keep our focus firmly planted a couple years down the road.

    Winning this year is gravy. The goal needs to be player development and the collection of assets that help us down the road. I would love to make the playoffs but not at the expense of the future. We need to find more minutes for our young players not bring in mediocre or old, overpaid vets.

  144. I still worry about Lonzo’s shooting. Plus, Thibs seems to like scorers at the lead guard spot. Definitely a huge upgrade over Elf. He’s literally just Elf, but better at everything.

    Don’t know why we’d want Drummond when we can keep both Mitch & Noel for less. They’ve anchored a top NBA defense this year and earned whatever $$$ we pay them for the next 4-5 years.

    If CP3 opts out for some crazy reason (tampering) do we throw 2yrs & 80M at him for the hell of it? Probably not, but if we’re looking at Lowry why not him or Conley.

    My bet is actually on Dinwiddie opting out & us overpaying him.

  145. The Nets and the Suns combined for 252 points and just 16 turnovers total.

    The Nets were over 50% from the field, 20-40 from three, and 14-15 from the line.

    The Suns were 55% from the field, 43% from three, and made 12 foul shots.

    That’s a lot of not a lot of defense.

  146. Jowles, I’m not talking about trading for Lowry. I’m talking about signing him this summer as a free agent. We get two marshmallows that way.

    Okay, that’s better. But he’s still so old. I know I don’t need to convince you that the age curve looks real bad for guys at 35 and beyond. Lowry can’t even be counted on to be a “win-now” piece. Once he starts slipping off the cliff, he’s done for.

    As for Drummond, did anyone post this?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/lki28p/oc_andre_drummond_is_the_worst_high_usage/

    Watch that video and tell me you want Andre Drummond. He is a VERY different player than the lob-masher he came into the league as. His 36.5% dunk rate as a rookie led to a vociferous argument on this board over his historic rookie year. Literally no one who was on Team Drummond for those arguments should be anymore — he’s down to 12.9% this year. Why? Click the link I posted and watch the video. Seriously, if you are thinking that Drummond would be a positive on this team, click the link and watch the video. Click it. Stop typing and click.

  147. ***Fuck and fucking absolutely fucking no on Drummond***

    See, now this is kind of what has been confusing me lately. Like I said, I haven’t seen Drummond play. Everything I learned about him, I learned from this:

    “Andre Drummond put up maybe the best season for a rookie center in league history… barring injury he’s on track to be the next Dwight Howard… it is entirely possible that Drummond is more productive at 20 MPG than Lillard at 40 MPG.” -The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Now, I get everything that Z-Man explained. The league has changed and he hasn’t evolved with it. But the slowest folks to evolve with the league are the GMs of shitty franchises. Given Drummonds age, health, and production, it just seems weird that everyone, from Jowles to James Dolan, is in agreement that he is, in fact, not good.

    (Edit: haha, I see Jowles has invoked his 2013 musings. Every time I hear Drummond’s name, it’s literally what pops into my mind every time. He was so… passionate. (Perhaps I see another romcom is in the making:)

  148. really really good players’s tend to age well.. sometimes they do fall off a cliff esp when they change teams but i’m not sure if ppl realize how good lowry is… and still is….

    it would be a gamble…. and it might be expensive… but if you want a pg there isn’t much of a market for the next year or two… unless you’re ok with rose at pg which some folks might want…. but there are opportunities to do better…. lowry is just one of the better ones out of a lot of not so great choices…

  149. I mean, we’re a .500 team right now. Add one more really good player and this is a team with serious potential. The question is how to add that one player without gutting the roster.

    That’s the 64K question, but to answer it you first have to get past the tank and draft mentality.

    1. You have view draft picks as an asset with intrinsic value likely to net you a player with “x” productivity depending on what pick it is. You can’t cherry pick and look at players that you “woulda, coulda, or shoulda” drafted in the past or might draft in the future. A pick has intrinsic value and what happens after that is mostly random gibberish.

    Once you get to that stage, you are free trade one or more picks for players that have more intrinsic value than
    you are giving up.

    2. The next fallacy to overcome is that 1 + 1 = 2. It’s not in basketball. Two good role players that generate “X” wins each are not equal to one star player that generates 2x wins. It’s a star league. You need 2-3 star players to contend depending on how good they actually are. If you have that 2x player, you can always find another X player to slot next to him, Good role players are WAY easier to find or draft than stars. So its OK to give up a couple of very good role players and a couple first round picks to get a star as long as he’s actually a star.

    IMO, we need to try to move a couple of first round picks in a trade to land a star or at the very least combine our excess picks to move way up in the draft to get a player that we love.

  150. IMO, Drummond is very overrated and overpaid. He’s neither a terrific offensive or defensive player. His big claim to fame is rebounding, but to some extent rebounding a role thing. I don’t think he adds nearly as much value as you would intuitively think just because he gets so many of them. Other players on the team could get many of the rebounds he gets if he was out and it was their job to do it instead.

  151. Donnie Walsh: (Edit: haha, I see Jowles has invoked his 2013 musings. Every time I hear Drummond’s name, it’s literally what pops into my mind every time. He was so… passionate. (Perhaps I see another romcom is in the making:)

    Yeah, I really didn’t see the three-point revolution coming. I thought it would be like bunting or going for it on 4th Down. I knew it was an unexploited strategy, although not as enormous a potential advantage as it could have been (I didn’t know guys would get so good at shooting so fast).

    Imagine being told after the summer of 2016 that hyper-efficient paint-dwelling centers would, with some exception (to Shaq’s dismay), become vet’s minimum players: Mahinmi at $64M, Noah at $72M, Miles Plumlee at $52M, Mosgov at $64M. And then, of course, the Whitesides of the world. We all knew that these were horrific overpays, but the bottoming out of the center market was as surprising to me as Steph Curry jacking up 200 more threes than any other player, and making so many that it changed the way the game was played for almost all teams not run by Phil Jackson.

    I was dead wrong about Drummond, and I think it’s because he tried, ironically, to become what Dwight Howard aspired to, and failed to become: a back-to-the-basket, post-roasting old-school big. I think that he would be paid far less had he stayed in his lane, but would also be something quite a bit closer to a winning basketball player. He most certainly is not that anymore.

  152. meant to get to this earlier but here’s obi’s 200 minute deep dive …

    The Good – 2p fg% – .630

    he’s buoyed by a really good .714 near the rim and 2p fg% closely mirrors what he did in college (.688 )… so that’s good… some of the scoring athleticism carried over since he lapped the field with 107 dunks which comes out to 28% of his shots ( 2x the rate that zion at 14%) ..in the pros so far its 16% (zion at 16%)… this is sort of why he was an okish prospect… he could score down low and do it efficiently… he just needs someone to get him the ball to get him in those situations… his assisted fg% is 62% which is actually on the low-normal side for a big… he probably should be higher in the 70% range as we can all see that he gets really ahead of himself sometimes with the ball….

    but who knows… he had a really good postmove in the washington game… where he just couldn’t do it before earlier in the year… that’s progress… and he needs to continue that….

    The Bad – 3PAr – 43% FTr – .12

    a lot of people might disagree on this since they seem to think that obi NEEDS to shoots 3s in order to be effective in the pro’s… and i would disagree… here’s the list of frontcourt players with 3PAr > 30% and FTr <.15 in their first two years

    Eddie Griffin
    Josh Harrelson
    Meyers Leonard
    Justin Hamilton
    Mo Bamba
    Bruno Caboclo
    Justin Patton
    Zach Collins
    Bol Bol
    Isaac Humphries

    it boggles the mind that a dude who was known for dunking more than zion is deciding to play like meyers leonard…

    I left off someone from that list and it's Domantas Sabonis… a lot of folks forget but he was pretty terrible as a rookie… shooting too many 3s was part of it. ever since then indiana refocused his game into the paint area where he was strong in college and he's turned himself into quite a good player….

    i think a similar refocus could be good for obi.. given his age he doesn't have…

  153. That’s a great video Jowles. I certainly remember your captaincy of Team Drummond well, times do change.

    I do think that Drummond is salvageable to a degree, but it would take a hard-ass coach, some star player-leaders getting on his ass, and some financial/playing time humbling to do it. He’s played on some really shitty teams for some really bad coaches lately and has been raking in the $$$ w/o needing to change.

    Maybe a Zach Randolph (a big stretch, Zach was never as bad )/Dwight Howard-type reclamation project situation would work….even Nerlens is sort of a reclamation project if you think of the paycheck he turned down…at that price, sure, kick the tires and see if Thibs can bellow him into playing smarter and harder. But anything more than a one-year low-cost commitment is essentially throwing money away.

  154. The Honorable Cock Jowles: As for Drummond, did anyone post this?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/lki28p/oc_andre_drummond_is_the_worst_high_usage/

    Just for fun I looked to see who was the worst in the NBA in TS added and Drummond came in 6th. Anyone care to guess who’s worse. There’s a tie at the top and at least one (if not both) should be pretty obvious. #3 was a surprise because I wouldn’t have guessed he took enough shots to make the list but #4 and #5 should be all too familiar.

  155. IMO, we need to try to move a couple of first round picks in a trade to land a star or at the very least combine our excess picks to move way up in the draft to get a player that we love.

    We know you think this, but it’s much easier to say in the abstract than to name a specific transaction you would like to make. Beal, for example, would cost way, way more than “a couple of first round picks” and is more of an all-star than a superstar. That price might get you in the neighborhood for LaVine, but he’ll be a free agent in 2022 and would absolutely not make us a contender on his own. Would you trade two first rounders for him?

    No one disagrees with the idea that first-round picks should be on the table for the right opportunity. Repeating that ad nauseam without identifying the right opportunity does not add a lot to the discussion.

  156. Thanks for the dive into the Obi pool, DJ. I was hoping someone would do that (too lazy here, but certainly curious). Interesting take on where he should go, too.

  157. Well, for his first two years Drummond was like the 2nd best player in the league according to WP48, now they are quite less regarded by bpm. After those first two years, Drummond started shooting the ball in addition to dunking the ball and its WP48 went down a bit.

    I think it was a bad idea to expand Drummonds role beyond dunks, but then you need a very good PG to make him a offensive threat (which might be a precautionary tale about Mitch’s role). Given that his defense is also suspect, i dont think he is worth the trouble for any serious team nowadays.

  158. Drummond is way worse than either of our bigs. I wouldn’t trade Nerlens Noel for him straight up if they made the same salary.

    A big with a .474 eFG% is not really helping you win games.

  159. Yeah, no way I want Drummond, especially if it costs us Burks AND Bullock. Not that those two are untouchable and they are not in our plans long term but for the current team this year, they are two of our better 3 point shooters and in our rotation.

    If we want to make another move, finding a way to get an upgrade over Elf is the way to go. Lonzo would be an interesting option bc he’s young and could potentially be someone we bring back to add to our young core.

    Or do a rental in Lowry or something like that. Something that is similar to the Rose deal. Just tinker. Drummond feels like too big of a move right now.

  160. JK47:
    Drummond is way worse than either of our bigs. I wouldn’t trade Nerlens Noel for him straight up if they made the same salary.

    A big with a .474 eFG% is not really helping you win games.

    Maybe I’m just finding it hard to believe that a player with his physical profile can’t be coached up at age 27. I’d like to see him on a good team with a good coach and some accountability before passing final judgment. I don’t think he’s Ainge’s kind of player, but it might not be a bad use of their trade exception. They definitely need size and have 3 ball-dominant starters and Marcus Smart to get into a locker room rumble with him if he continues with his stupid ways. As purely a garbage-collecting, lob-catching rim protector, he might help them with their interior issues.

  161. When you already have Noel and Mitch on value deals, and the thing you need most is 2-way shooters, you sure don’t need Drummond.

  162. some teams in college football are starting to really take advantage of going for it on 4th down…army has used the strategy of ‘3 yards and a cloud of dust’, while going on 4th fairly consistently outside their own 40 with 3 yards or fewer to go…kind of like tampa bay with their shift years ago – if you lack resources or overall athletic ability on your roster – you have to find different ways to “game” the game…

    kind of like thibs and the knicks have done this year…everyone is going full offense – focus on defense…

    was listening to one of the away broadcast’s announcers (i think it was drew gooden) keep commenting on how our offense reminded him of when he played…

  163. djphan: it’s Domantas Sabonis… ever since then indiana refocused his game into the paint area where he was strong in college and he’s turned himself into quite a good player…. i think a similar refocus could be good for obi..

    I agree Sabonis is a good player, but a PF that doesn’t shoot 3’s is a problem, unless you have a guy like TNFH wants – KAT – a stretch-5. And because having a stretch-5 isn’t an easy thing to do, i wouldn’t go that road with Obi.

  164. Hey Jowles, i don’t want Lowry because of twitter, it’s just that i like him a lot and i think he has at least 2 more good years in him. But if you don’t agree, what do you propose for PG? I also like Lonzo, but then i don’t know what other options we’ll have.

  165. Phatt Gandalf is Big Chiefin’:
    oh yeah, and i got a couple of those “gandalf” church wardens (long stemmed pipes) delivered…gave one to a good buddy at work whom i can’t thank enough for making my life easier (he’s sympathetic to a pause for the cause)…well, the other i’ve been using to get my rocks off – moonrocks that is :)

    my bong and big hitting days are past…still eat, tincture, vape, and puff, but i like the more subtle serene pipe smoking vibe…goes great with a good book…

    Love the new handle and the embracing of the Gandalf lifestyle. Enjoy the reading.

  166. I’m not too worried about Obi’s 3 pt shot. I think in time with less and better attempts he will be a fine outside shooter. But over the next few seasons his attempts should be 2-3 per 36 at most.

    I think Sabonis is an interesting comp. In OKC Sabonis was not a central part of the offense and had to live off of Westbrook’s scraps and was woefully misused. Since no plays were ever ran for him, he was often the 4th or 5th option and was forced to the perimeter where he took too many threes because there were so few other opportunities in the offense.

    That sounds very much like what is happening with Obi. The next time they run an actual play for him might be the first time. He mainly just floats on the perimeter and occasionally gets to set a pick. Whenever he actually touches the ball he often forces a shot since it might be 4-5 more trips down the floor before he touches it again. Combine that with a very short leash and you have a player that never has any chance to find a rhythm.

    We are criminally misusing Obi and every game driving down his value. Even now with Mitch out he cannot get any real time on the court. When we were up 20 against Houston and Washington, Randle still came in 3 minutes into the 4th and played most of the quarter while our other bench players got extended time. How in the world is Taj Gibson getting more time? It’s truly coaching negligence.

  167. I agree Sabonis is a good player, but a PF that doesn’t shoot 3’s is a problem, unless you have a guy like TNFH wants – KAT – a stretch-5. And because having a stretch-5 isn’t an easy thing to do, i wouldn’t go that road with Obi.

    to clarify… obi doesn’t necessarily need to stop shooting 3s completely… but for a guy who’s shooting 70% at the line.. shot about that in college…. shooting more shots from 3 than at the rim is doing the defense’s job for them…

    it’d be another story if he was a good shooter… say over 80% at the line and shooting at least 30 some odd % … but he’s clearly shooting what is a bad shot for him… that’s the problem….

    that’s why i brought up sabonis.. he was never a 3pt shooter either in college… yet he was jacking them up because it was the trendy thing to do and it wasn’t working… so he stopped and he just went back to what he did best.. which is pretty good… and obi’s doing pretty good stuff in 2p territory.. he just needs to do that more…

  168. Apropos to the initial article, once again, let’s hear it for Farfa, who continues to weave his word magic.

  169. Alan:
    Platitudes and all that, but Randle does not come across in this very likable NY Times profile like a guy unhappy to be outplaying his current contract.

    “It’d be amazing, man,” Randle said. “You put in a lot of work and sacrifice and dedication to your craft. So for you to receive those accolades or whatever it may be and be recognized as such would be a great feeling.”
    Randle paused slightly.
    “And especially as a Knick.”

    I think except E here at KB, there’s probably noone else talking about this unhappy Randle that will derail our season! :D

  170. djphan: to clarify… obi doesn’t necessarily need to stop shooting 3s completely… but for a guy who’s shooting 70% at the line.. shot about that in college…. shooting more shots from 3 than at the rim is doing the defense’s job for them…

    You’re right there, he’s shooting more 3’s than he should, but to stop it completely like Sabonis isn’t the way also, maybe somewhere in between.

  171. I liked these two a lot:

    #we’re brought to think that love is that intoxicating feeling you get when you know someone new. That’s not love. That’s falling in love. Love is boring. And you know what happens when you find it? You find that boring, well, is good because it’s enduring”#

    #We gave them freedom to make mistakes.#

  172. ***“You put in a lot of work and sacrifice and dedication to your craft. So for you to receive those accolades or whatever it may be and be recognized as such would be a great feeling.”
    Randle paused slightly.
    “And especially as a Knick.”***

    Isn’t Randle flirting with .500 for the first time in his 7 year, 12,000 minute career? I would think that he’d be plenty happy in NY at the moment. (They’re strangely functional at the moment too: no drama at MSG, no booing fans, no Daily News reporters, no Dolan anywhere to be seen…)

  173. Donnie Walsh: no Dolan anywhere to be seen…

    That’s the best part! ;) Maybe we’re doing so well because the players don’t have to endure Dolan’s shitty blues on the plane back home! :D

  174. We are criminally misusing Obi and every game driving down his value. Even now with Mitch out he cannot get any real time on the court. When we were up 20 against Houston and Washington, Randle still came in 3 minutes into the 4th and played most of the quarter while our other bench players got extended time. How in the world is Taj Gibson getting more time? It’s truly coaching negligence.

    The wins were so awesome that it was hard to care too much, but, well, yeah, very odd usage of Obi in those games. Notice how when he finally got the garbage time against Houston, he was used extensively!

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