Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Booed at The Prude: Iman Shumpert, Jorts, and the 2011 NBA Draft

A few weeks back, NBA TV ran footage of the entire first round of the 1990 Draft. The whole thing was frighteningly vintage, with 16-bit neon graphics, flat-billed tuques and renegade follicles flying around in a shameless, nostalgic blur. It was incredible. It was also a weird time for the NBA. The basketball world was still recovering from the tragic death of Hank Gathers. Derek Coleman was five solid years away from squandering his enormous talent. Rick Barry was, incredibly, still allowed in the broadcast booth — despite a rather remarkable racial twofer in the years previous (referring to Bill Russell’s smile as a “watermelon-eating grin” and christening a 1988 Slam Dunk Contest throw-down by Michael Jordan as the “Chinese Superman” – you know, because it “had a slant to it”). Oh, and Craig Sager wore matching black pants and a jacket. I know.

Up to that point, only four players had made the leap from high school to the Association. Of the 27 first round picks in the 1990 Draft, 25 were college seniors. (This year? Seven seniors, eight juniors, four sophomores, six freshmen, and five international players made up the first round roster.) It was also the last time the Knicks found themselves selecting at #17. Their pick? Kentucky’s Jerrod Mustaf. Yep, that Jerrod Mustaf.

Jerrod Mustaf. A.K.A. "Moore"

Flash forward one score and a year. Given the tenuous nature of the NBA’s current labor non-agreement, many would-be lottery picks – Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, and Harrison Barnes being the most high-profile examples – opted to wait out the storm and suit up another year at their respective schools. Even before Thursday night, there were only a handful of “sure things” (Kyrie Irving, Enes Kanter, Derek Williams, and David Kahn doing something silly) – a term which pertained more to which players would end up going in the top five than it did any confidence that this year’s crop would yield any future perennial All-Stars. As such, non-lottery teams found themselves staring up a wholly unsteady ladder, unsure as to which players – if any – would crash through the overhead rungs and into their laps.

In the weeks and months leading up to the actual Draft, theories as to who the Knicks would target with the 17th pick pretty much ran the gamut. Depending on your preference and perspective, all of them made sense: immediate impact players like Kenneth Faried, Chris Singleton, Nikola Vucevic, and Markief Morris filled pressing and obvious needs (defense, defense, rebounding, Russians, tattoos, and defense); while classic Bilasian “high athleticwingspanupsideability” guys like Bismack Biyombo, Josh Selby, Iman Shumpert, and Donatas Montiejunas allured as both possible phenom and potential trade chip. By last Monday, there even arose rumors that the Bockers were looking to trade up ahead of Golden State at #11, in a targeted effort to land BYU scoring monster and defensive [whatever the opposite of monster is] Jimmer Fredette. We’ll let you guess which of the three was the most terrifying prospect for Knick fans.

By Thursday morning, New York had kept with recent tradition in holding a series of last minute workouts (a select few, including Selby, Vucevic, Brooks, Darrius Morris and Jeremy Tyler, were making their second Manhattan go-around). All the while, the specter of Donnie Walsh’s final “big decisions” as General Manager loomed over Knick Nation as a kind of parting gift; however history would view his New York rescue mission – a mixed but worthy bag, by most accounts – he wasn’t going to botch this one. This time around, there would be no Jerrod Mustaf.

 

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Even though I’ve lived on the East Coast for going on a decade, and even though I’d visited The City many a time, I’d been to (i.e. through) New Jersey but  thrice; once to see .moe on New Year’s Eve in Asbury Park (the ticket was free, alright?), and the other two for a combined 120 minutes while driving from somewhere else entirely to somewhere else entirely. My knowledge of Newark, meanwhile, literally went no further than a) John Goodman was really pissed off when Jacob Rupert offered him the Bears Manager job in Babe; and b) Cory Booker is the mayor. I knew I was staying at the Holiday Inn near the airport. And I knew I had credentials to cover the Draft. Everything else, as they say, was just progress. Whatever that means.

The Prude, from my NBA-issued jetpack

I made sure to be a few hours early, if for no other reason than to be sure I didn’t miss anything. After walking through the wrong media door (great start), I grabbed my credentials and made my way to the main floor. Being my first Draft, I had nothing with which to compare the layout of The Prudential Center (from here on forward, “The Prude”). But everyone I talked to who’d been covering the thing for years seemed to agree that the setup was outstanding from top to bottom. As for the wisdom of holding the Draft in a city that by this time next year will no longer have an NBA franchise, that one’s lost on me.

Instead of sitting down, relaxing, and eating the free buffet dinner like a normal human being, I spent about an hour frantically looking for the elusive media seating chart, which exactly zero of the 30 or 35 people I asked recalled having seen. I finally tracked it down, realizing I’d walked past it at least a dozen times. I found out that the TrueHoop Network had its own row of seats no more than 60 feet from the stage.  As I again approached the floor, I noticed Jeff Van Gundy sitting by himself about four rows up in an empty fan section. “This is it,” I thought. “What better interview with which to gain a little pre-Draft perspective than our old friend JVG?” I went for it, making a beeline with my decade-old digital voice recorder in hand and completely empty. It was all Jeff’s. He could’ve whistled the Smurfs theme song, grabbed the recorder, and eaten it, and I wouldn’t have cared. Hell, I would’ve been honored. I was closing in, about forty feet away, when… his cell blew up. I think he must have seen me coming, because he answered it more quickly than I’ve ever seen a human being answer a phone.  Alas, it was not to be.

By the time I got myself situated, around 6:30, strange things were already afoot. Milwaukee, Sacramento and Charlotte had hours before consummated a truly orgiastic deal that would see the Bobcats send Stephen Jackson to the Bucks, and Charlotte move up to get their second top 10 pick (along with the ninth) at #7. Meanwhile, the Kings sent Beno Udrih to the Bucks (who gave them John Salmons in return), and moved down three spots to #10, where they eventually nabbed Jimmer Fredette. The Bucks then slid from #10 to #19, where they eventually grabbed Tennessee’s Tobias Harris. Got all that?

And then a whole bunch of other crazy stuff happened. Andre Miller went to Denver, former Knick Ray Felton found a new home in Portland, Rudy Fernandez got shipped to Dallas…. You should probably just read this recap. The important thing is that, by the time the clock struck seven and the ESPN theme sounded, DraftExpress and Chad Ford had the Bockers taking Iman Shumpert and Chris Singleton, respectively. “Cool!” I thought. “I really hope it’s that Singleton guy!”

The Draft started off as expected, with David Stern stepping in and out of frigid boo showers, and Kyrie Irving and Derek Williams going one-two. The first real shocker came when Cleveland tapped Texas forward Tristan Thompson with the fourth pick, which got us thinking we could be in store for one of the wilder Draft night rides in recent memory. Unfortunately, the rest of the round  followed a fairly conventional script, with only a few big names (Kawhi Leonard, the Morris twins, Josh Selby) falling further than expected. Still, with each Stern podium waddle, the Knicks found themselves looking at a pretty juicy menu of options. With Philadelphia on the clock at #16, the short list was basically down to three: Nikola Vucevic, Chris Singleton, and Iman Shumpert. The Sixers went with the 6’10” Vucevic, much to the chagrin of our friends over at PhilaDunkia. At that point, most — including many in the myriad Knick-heavy fan sections — assumed Singleton’s name would be called. It would be. Just not next.

The reaction to Shumpert’s selection inside The Prude was mixed. To put it mildly. Or very mildly. Or incorrectly. Amazingly, only Stern and digital LeBron bore a bigger brunt of the Knick faithful’s vocal venom than poor Iman. The other three TrueHoop bloggers stationed nearby couldn’t help but laugh, before genuinely trying to console me, as if my puppy had just been run over by a Hummer. Truth told, I would’ve preferred Singleton, or even Kenneth Faried. That said, I wasn’t mad, and I certainly didn’t think it was a bad decision. If anything, the few minutes I spent re-researching the uber-athletic Yellow Jacket – along with Donnie Walsh’s measured justification – convinced me the move was nothing more or less than a smart, safe pick in what many were calling the weakest Draft class in over  a decade. Fine. We’ll go with it.

David Stern, Iman Shumpert

There was only one thing immediately wrong with Shumpert’s selection: he wasn’t even there. Not as in “not in the green room”. Like, not in the building. Or the state. There was no Stern handshake, no ESPN interview, no… whatever these are. Worse yet, there was no press conference, and thus no interview opportunities. Up to that point, the M.O. had been for Player X to a) walk on stage; b) do a two minute interview in front of one of the fan seating sections, roughly twenty feet from where we were stationed; and c) be followed by a dozen or so reporters, bloggers, and other media types back to the press conference area for an old fashioned Q & A. All of which is pretty hard to do when you don’t show up. Apparently, he spent the night with his friends and family. Understandable. But no less disappointing.

Throughout the night, NBA staffers would walk around and pass out one or two-page printouts from each of the picks’ media sessions. They were churning them out at an impressive clip, actually – no more than 20 minutes after the player’s name had been called, there they were. I figured that, at the very least, maybe Shumpert would provide a cursory phone interview that could then be transcribed and handed out. Nope — didn’t even get that. Thankfully, the past few days have yielded enough to prove Shumpert is nothing if not excited by the prospects of playing at The World’s Most Famous next… at some point.

After the Shumpert pick, the focus — and concern — immediately shifted to Donnie Walsh pulling a few final rabbits out of his hat in the form of second rounders. Finally, after numerous oft-mentioned targets had been plucked (Justin Harper, Reggie Jackson, Darrius Morris, etc.), James Dolan dusted off his money printer, and the Knicks snagged Kentucky center (and Patches O’Hoolihan protege) Josh Harrelson at #45 from New Orleans. In an already weak draft that was particularly lacking in high-upside bigs, Harrellson was probably the best the Knicks could do. Whether that translates into a serviceable rebounder and / or foul machine remains to be seen. We do know he can hurt people with basketballs. So there’s that.

Intangibles

Beyond the stats (which Mike K. outlined nicely on Draft night), here’s what we know regarding Shumpert: He fills a need – a few of them, actually. If there’s any position (other than at center) where we needed depth, it’s in the backcourt. Being a classic combo guard, the Knicks could very well play Shumpert and Billups alongside one another for extended stretches, allowing Chauncey to guard the less threatening of the opposing team’s backcourt tandem, while Shumpert concentrates his efforts on locking down the Rondos, Walls, Roses, Westbrooks, and – it’s at least half-expected – Irvings and Knights of the league. He still has a long way to go to become an efficient and reliable offensive option , but that’s the beauty of this pick: he doesn’t have to be. At least not right away. He just hast to not be Mardy Collins. Which shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off.

As for Jorts (Not making this up: he got the nickname after wearing tight jean shorts… on a Kentucky recruiting visit!), as long as he can grab a couple boards, collect some put-backs and foul effectively, he’ll probably be good for 5-10 minutes off the bench. Meanwhile, his reputation as a high-energy, vocally-involved guy, combined with a palpable refusal to back down from anyone — no matter how athletically superior — could quickly make him a Garden fan favorite. At the very least, it should make for some interesting practice sessions.

 

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Given how awesomely chaotic, unpredictable, and exhausting the entire night had been, stepping outside the Prudential Center to fetch a cab back to my hotel was pretty much the last thing I wanted to deal with. I didn’t even know if Newark had cabs (I told you, I know nothing about this city). Come to find out, Newark does indeed have cabs. Lots of them. Flagging one down with relative ease, I hopped in the back seat and told the driver my destination. Lap top satchel in tow and garbed to the nines, he picked up pretty quickly on the fact that I’d been at the Draft. Against my better judgment, I told him I was a Knick blogger. Oops.

The guy proceeded to launch fangs first into a 45-second tirade about how horrible the Knicks had f-ed up; about who was really calling the shots; about how the hell the Knicks could’ve passed on Singleton. I agreed at points. I listened politely. Mostly, I clenched the inside door handle, concerned that he might suddenly careen violently into a highway median. That’s how upset he was. Eventually I talked him down. I explained that the kid filled a glaring need, gave us more depth at two positions, and would more than likely end up being a decision viewed a year from now in a much more positive light. I don’t know if I convinced him.

It was around 12:30 when we pulled into the hotel entrance. I tipped the driver, reminding him once more to hang in there. Stepping through the revolving door, I made my second fastest beeline of the night to the bar, certain that — unlike my Van Gundy fail — I had this one in the bag. On this night, mere miles from the sleepless lights of the old island itself, only a Manhattan would do: Seagram’s, straight up, pinch of cherry juice. I approached the sparsely populated counter and politely made my order, only to be told that they were no longer serving. Disappointed but understanding, I thanked her anyway, and turned to leave. “Wait,” she said. “You know you can take a beer up to your room if you want.” I wanted. Cashed and tipped out, I walked to the elevator, jelly legged and brew in hand.

Riding up to the third floor, the metaphor was undeniable: Like my Knicks, I’d gotten to the bar too late to get what I wanted. With my options seriously limited, I made the best, safest choice I could make (This year’s Draft was this year’s Draft, and Holiday Inn bars are, unfortunately, Holiday Inn bars — there’s only so much you can control). I could’ve asked for a Guinness, or a Shock Top. But I went with Sam Adams. If I’d gone either of the other two routes, I probably could’ve come up with equally rational explanations as to why. Did I enjoy my Sam as much as I would have a Manhattan? No. Did I enjoy it more than I would have a Shock Top or Guinness? Hard to say. But I enjoyed it as much as I could. I appreciated it. I was thankful to have it. With each crisp, full-bodied sip, my mind again and again slid to a final, fair refrain — a libation’s one-line lullaby: “this beer is not Jerrod Mustaf.”

166 comments on “Booed at The Prude: Iman Shumpert, Jorts, and the 2011 NBA Draft

  1. taggart4800

    Great piece that truly sums up the draft. No swinging for the fences but a good solid Sam Adams:) Brought a smile to my face.

  2. Frank O.

    I enjoyed this, Jim.

    Personally, I like the picks.
    Taking another forward, who we would have traded, but because we don’t have much else, we wouldn’t have gotten much, seemed superfluous.
    I’ll say it again, the Knicks get hammered when they have not gone after needs. This time they did…and they get hammered.
    I guess you damned if you do and damned if you don’t when you haven’t won a championship in 40+ years…

    I’m going to sit tight and read what everyone else has to say. I’ve got nothing else to add.

  3. Grymm

    When I was pouring over numbers for Faried, Shumpert, and Singleton, two players jumped out at me as comparisons to Faried which I haven’t seen brought up: Shawn Marion and Shelden Williams.

    Now Shawn is not a great comparison because he definitely more of a wing. He’s a plus defender on the arc and a better shooter than Williams/Fareid despite his form. But at an NBA “6′ 7″, he’s an excellent rebounder and played a decent amount of 4 for Phoenix. He excelled in the MDA offense largely through athletic ability (and then somehow developed a good 3pt stroke for a few years). Now did the Knicks see a guy in Faried who could run, jump, defend, rebound, and dunk? I guess not and Faried definitely doesn’t seem to have much outside game.

    Shelden was quite a solid college player and is also a pretty good rebounder. For 6 NBA teams, he hasn’t stuck. He’s a bigger body. He’s not a particularly good shooter though I should think better than Faried just by comparing FT%. Faried would be the best rebounder of the three and given Marion’s solid rebounding in the NBA, I would see no reason for him to do worse. However, maybe the Knicks found a little too much Shelden in him.

    I personally like Shelden from a numbers perspective but he has consistently not been liked as much by NBA teams. I think Faried should fair better.

  4. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: Taking another forward, who we would have traded, but because we don’t have much else, we wouldn’t have gotten much, seemed superfluous.

    I like Shumpert, but I don’t see why they would have traded Faried. If Faried is as good as some people think, you use him as a back-up for 15-20 or so MPG as a rookie and then can look to trade him a year or two down the road if the trade value is there. People seem to expect rookies to step right in as stars who deserve/need tons of minutes… but that just rarely happens even with those who do go on to succeed. The idea of trading would be something like what the Spurs did with George Hill, though hopefully a rich-man’s version.
    Or just never trade him and use him as a back-up at the 3/4 or 4/5 depending on how he develops if you never get an offer you think is worth trading him for.

    Grymm: two players jumped out at me as comparisons to Faried which I haven’t seen brought up: Shawn Marion and Shelden Williams.

    I think that you make interesting points. And basically agree that the problem with comparisons is exactly Marion/Shelden though… He has this in common with that player, that in common with this player… which one is he going to be like? Marion, for example, took over 2 3PA/G as a college freshman and made 30%… his outside shot didn’t come out of nowhere.
    Every relevant 1st round prospect is going to share characteristics with NBA players… I think it’s dangerous to start thinking of any prospect as the next … instead of the first them. Statistical trends are very important, but I find comparing a prospect to one NBA player as precedent less so.

  5. nekk

    Jorts met with the media after the New York Liberty game and put the entire NBA on notice:

    “I’m going to protect my stars. Amar’e, Carmelo, if someone’s getting rough with them, I’m going to protect them. I’m going to make my presence felt. They’ll know I’m there.”

    got to love the Jorts!!

  6. Robert Silverman

    Good work, Jim.

    I too, am warming to Jorts. And I’ll reiterate the point I made a week ago: “Shumpert” sounds like some kind of obscure Jewish delicacy. Perhaps a variant of pickled herring.

  7. Nick C.

    @ 6 Jorts went on to say in the next sentence “I am just going to be a role player and be a banger inside.” What’s not to like about this guy.

  8. adrenaline98

    Man, I love these two already. They are both saying ALL the right things, saying ALL the things the Knicks need from both of them. Rather than saying cliches like “oh, I’ll be a hard worker, that’s what you’ll love about me,” they are being specific as all hell.

    Shumpert basically says he plans on being that defensive guy, we don’t need scorers, we got melo and Stat.

    Harrellson says he just want to bang inside and protect the stars, do the dirty work.

    I love specifics like that, they know exactly what they need to be doing, defense, rebounding, banging, dirty work. None of that “I plan on bringing energy.” Or “you’ll see me working hard every night.”

  9. d-mar

    Robert Silverman:
    Good work, Jim.

    I too, am warming to Jorts. And I’ll reiterate the point I made a week ago: “Shumpert” sounds like some kind of obscure Jewish delicacy. Perhaps a variant of pickled herring.

    Of course, if you go with the French pronunciation – “shum-pear”, maybe we have a fruit flavored champagne? (boooo!)

  10. flossy

    Where are you guys finding the Harrellson quotes?

    I’ll cop to assuming this guy was destined to be roster filler for our new D-League affiliate when I heard we drafted him, but… I’m starting to think Donnie’s parting gift to the Knicks might be another second round shocker who comes out of nowhere to massively overachieve as a rookie. Harrellson looks like your typical lumbering good and his wingspan/standing reach aren’t great, but he does have a 30″ standing vertical and according to DX (though I have to assume this is a typo) scored 9.20 (!) on the lane agility test…

    More impressive to me is that he played his way up from nothing into being a starter at a competitive program, and put up some great numbers in the process: 61% eFG, 12 rebs/40, and an eye-popping O-rtg of 130 (!!!!). That to me says that while he may not score much, he doesn’t often miss when he shoots and he is constantly doing all the little things that help his teammates score.

    Considering our center rotation right now is oft-injured career backup Ronny Turiaf and nobody else, Harrellson has a golden opportunity to actually earn some real minutes on a playoff team as a rookie. If he can rebound, foul hard when necessary, and set good picks he’ll be useful… if he can hit a 12-foot jumper and work the pick and roll a little bit he’ll be a god-send. If I’m Josh Harrellson, this is the summer I lock myself in a gym and don’t come out until I’ve carved a few points off my body fat percentage and become automatic from 10-15 feet.

  11. Z-man

    Reminds me a bit of Jeff Ruland, a wide-bodied big from the 1980′s. Look, if he can be Jeff Foster or Josh McRoberts, we can find minutes for him. Bring in Harper, Oak and Mase to give these two kids some man defense (and man-hood) lessons.

  12. CRJoe

    “combined with a palpable refusal to back down from anyone — no matter how athletically superior —”

    Just had a tremendous flahsback to Greg Ostertag… Harrelson reminds me a lot of the Big White Goofball… Am I the only more excited about Jerome Jordan than Harrelson???

  13. Grymm

    One thing I noticed about Harrellson – he had an offensive rebounding pct of 15.1 last season and a deffensive rebounding percentage of 18.9. I’m not familiar with the Kentucky system but was it his job just to stand under the hoop while they bombed outside shots? 15.1 is fantanstic and 18.9 is not very good (worse than Amare).

  14. KnickfaninNJ

    CRJoe,

    I would be happy to have reasons to get excited about Jerome Jordan, but from what I have seen in the forums it’s hard to thrilled. His summer league play last year (when he was already 23) was at a level that made the Knicks recommend he try to improve in Europe over the year. My impression in this forum is that he plays in a middle level European league with nice but unexceptional stats. He is 7ft tall, but for a guy whose role would be to defend and rebound his rebounding stats don’t seem outstanding. I really hope he did improve, because 7ft centers aren’t easy to come by. What are you’re reasons for optimism? I wou9ld love to be convinced.

  15. Frank

    since we’re past the NYK part of the summer and into the “I hope there’s a season in 11-12″ part of the summer, here’s a link to a really well written proposal for the CBA (as linked to by Zach Lowe @ SI) –

    http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/2011/06/the-cba-my-last-best-offer/

    despite the distasteful name of his website (i think it’s a reggie miller vs. nyk reference?) the dude seems to have his head on straight. it’s an interesting idea that could at least be the beginning of a solution.

  16. Frank O.

    Ted Nelson: I like Shumpert, but I don’t see why they would have traded Faried. If Faried is as good as some people think, you use him as a back-up for 15-20 or so MPG as a rookie and then can look to trade him a year or two down the road if the trade value is there. People seem to expect rookies to step right in as stars who deserve/need tons of minutes… but that just rarely happens even with those who do go on to succeed. The idea of trading would be something like what the Spurs did with George Hill, though hopefully a rich-man’s version.
    Or just never trade him and use him as a back-up at the 3/4 or 4/5 depending on how he develops if you never get an offer you think is worth trading him for.

    I was referencing Chris Singleton. Faried I think was behind Singleton on the knicks selection chart. Actually, I think he was ahead of Faried on everyone’s charts, but I can’t be certain.
    I suspect with the number of forwards the Knicks have, whatever forward they picked would have had little if any playing time, IMHO.
    That may be okay, but I suspect the real value of a person like Singleton or Faried would be on the open market, where the Knicks could use him to get a piece they need more.
    Again, it’s just speculation, but many teams late in the first round will pick best player available and use that person perhaps to fill a need, one way or another.

  17. CRJoe

    KnickfaninNJ: What are you’re reasons for optimism? I wou9ld love to be convinced.

    Well I find it weird that in this particular draft so many of the prospects came from overseas, some well appraised big men (Motiejunas, Bismack) played similar minutes as Jerome, albeit in stronger leagues, and yet we haven’t heard much about Jerome…

    Some of the qualities you can find in Bismack are in Jerome, neither played organized ball til a late age, both developed quickly from there, the wingspan and standing reach are similar, they have similar physical tools, although I do think Jerome carries his weight better, sorta like Amare seems so much more fit at 245 than say, Nick Collison, also the couple of inches Jerome has on Bismack can’t hurt (though I have always thought that reach & wingspan are more important than sheer height)…

    Of course Jerome’s ceiling is much lower, but in terms of what they can do stepping in and contributing right away, I don’t see Jerome far behind the likes of Vucevic or the Morrises…

  18. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: Just had a tremendous flahsback to Greg Ostertag… Harrelson reminds me a lot of the Big White Goofball…

    Ostertag was a solid NBA bigman who logged nearly 15,000 NBA minutes with an above average WS/48… if the Knicks just drafted a smaller Greg Ostertag in the 2nd round I’ll be thrilled.

    KnickfaninNJ: His summer league play last year (when he was already 23) was at a level that made the Knicks recommend he try to improve in Europe over the year

    Pretty sure this is inaccurate and he’d already agreed to go to Europe when they drafted him.

    A lot of people underestimate the level of competition in Europe. I get the impression that a lot of people think the worst player on an NBA roster would be a stud in Europe, but that’s not often the case. Role players with limited offensive games, for example, are often the same in Europe. If you’re going to be a star in the NBA, yeah you should be very, very good in Europe by 24 (Jordan’s age) or your chances are slim-to-none. Jerome Jordan was a 2nd rounder, though. He doesn’t have to be a star to be a solid acquisition. Here were his stats:

    Eurocup: 11 G, 14.1 MPG, TS% 70.1, 17.1 pts/36, 7.4 Reb/36, 1.8 Stl/36. 1.5 blk/36. 3.3 TO/36. 7.9 PF/36.
    Adriatic: 26 G, 14.7 MPG, TS% 75, 18.4 pts/36, 9.1 reb/36, 0.5 stl/36, 1.2 blk/36, 2.9 TO/36, 5.9 PF/36.

    So the guy is a walking foul and TO machine, but he’s also shown a lot of promise… he was flat out dominant scoring the ball and has alright peripheral stats. TOs might not be quite as much of a problem in a lower volume role with the Knicks, but fouls will probably keep his minutes limited short-term. Reason for cautious/tempered optimism I’d say.

  19. CRJoe

    Absolutely, I loved Ostertag, I mean 6 boards and a couple of blocks coming of the bench??? A great human being who got along with one of the greatest ego’s to ever play this sport??? Ostertag would hide a lot of the flaws in Amar’e's game, humbly and quietly… Just what the Knicks need…

  20. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.: Actually, I think he was ahead of Faried on everyone’s charts, but I can’t be certain.

    Come on… that’s pure speculation. You know for a fact that a lot of smart basketball people liked Faried a lot and that he went all of 4 picks later… jumping from there to EVERYONE liking Singleton better than Faried is based on nothing. It could be true, but it could be that everyone besides the Knicks and Wizards had Faried higher than Singleton… or even that the Knicks did and Walsh is blowing a smoke screen.

    If Walsh really thought Faried were as good as some other people do (and he publicly says he doesn’t) or that Singleton was better than Shumpert, I think he’d have taken the forward. I mean how many Fs do the Knicks really have outside of Amare and Melo? Bill Walker (1/2 F), Renaldo Balkman… that’s it. No other Fs under contract for next season. 9 players total under contract for next season right now.

    So, I don’t think Walsh had those guys ahead of Shumpert. My point is that if he did, I think he should have taken them. If he had taken them and they were as good as he thought, they would have found plenty of minutes.

    Whether you trade them on draft night before they play really depends on every other team’s perception of a players value relative to your perception of any player on the boards’ value. If someone offers you something you want more than the pick, you make the trade. I can’t think of any cases of teams taking mid-to-late 1sts and offering them around the league after the draft.

  21. Frank

    Ted Nelson: Come on… that’s pure speculation. You know for a fact that a lot of smart basketball people liked Faried a lot and that he went all of 4 picks later… jumping from there to EVERYONE liking Singleton better than Faried is based on nothing.

    Again — I agree with Ted!
    What’s interesting is all the group-think that goes on with the draft process. What happens is DraftExpress/NBADraft.net are constantly updating their rankings as time goes on, during the offseason etc. ESPN wanders in sometime nearer to the draft and essentially has the same list. Then all the players are sort of moved up and down a few slots, with some risers (like Shumpert) just based on hearsay.

    There is no real reason to think that after the first few guys in the draft that are obviously great, that draft boards for all the teams aren’t drastically different. We only think all the players are ranked in a certain way since all the mock draft boards basically have all the same guys in the same places.

    For instance, I remember the 2005 NBA draft pretty clearly – that was the Bogut/Marvin/CP3/DWill draft. Everyone was clear those guys were the top 4. Then Felton of all people got picked #5 and the draftniks were up in arms about what a reach it was – but if you look, he’s had a MUCH better career than the next 4 guys (Webster, Villaneuva, Frye, Diogu). The 10th pick, A. Bynum, was also considered a huge reach at the time. You have to go to pick 17 (Danny Granger) before you find a guy close to those 2 “reaches”.

    Every year there are risers and fallers, and I’m not sure that guys who “rise” at the “end” weren’t already high to begin with in the minds of the only people that matter – the GMs that are making the picks. The best is guys like Stephen A Smith who go crazy on the radio based on nothing. I doubt he’s even watched any of these guys play.

  22. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: some well appraised big men (Motiejunas, Bismack) played similar minutes as Jerome, albeit in stronger leagues, and yet we haven’t heard much about Jerome…

    I don’t know how important it is, but Motiejunas played almost twice the minutes Jerome did.

    Bismack is listed as 18, so Jerome is about 6 years older than him if you buy Bismack’s age (apparently he was using x-rays and stuff to verify his age medically).

    People also weren’t talking about Jerome Jordan because he’s already been drafted.

    Those fouls are probably going to really limit Jordan’s immediate contribution in the NBA. I’m still excited to see what he can do, I’m just not sure he can stay on the court long enough to contribute a ton short-term.

  23. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe:
    Also I have Jordan averaging double digit’s in rebounding per 36

    Here:
    http://www.eurobasket.com/player.asp?Cntry=SRB&PlayerID=105287

    And here:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/development_center_RSeCqfMS6FCcNRRz3LUS1M

    Not sure about where you got those stats Ted, everything is right except the boards… Maybe a bad conversion to /36 or something??? Not sure though, it’s hard to find accurate stats for the adriatic….

    Those stats were from draftexpress.com. Those might not be totally right, as they have 11 EuroCup games and the Eurocup website has 12.

    Here’s his EuroCup stats: http://www.eurocupbasketball.com/ulebcup/home/on-court/players/showplayer?pcode=002686

    It might be YOUR conversion to per 36. In EuroCup he had 33 rebounds in 172:44 minutes. 33/172.75 = 0.191027 * 36 = 6.877… so actually worse than the 11 games on DraftExpress.

  24. Ted Nelson

    Frank: We only think all the players are ranked in a certain way since all the mock draft boards basically have all the same guys in the same places.

    Frank: Every year there are risers and fallers, and I’m not sure that guys who “rise” at the “end” weren’t already high to begin with in the minds of the only people that matter – the GMs that are making the picks.

    Great points.

  25. KnickfaninNJ

    CRJoe and Ted,

    I guess I don’t know enough about Euro leagues to judge how right you guys are about their quality. I assumed a lesser league would have lesser players, but the stats Ted showed suggest there’s not as much difference as I thought. Also I forgot he started late in Basketball. He sounds a bit like Mozgov in that respect. So you guys are making me a little more hopeful. But, on the other hand, even if the Knicks had planned to stash him in Europe when they drafted him he had the chance to change their minds with his summer league play and that definitely didn’t happen.

  26. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: Oh I get it now, you have eurocup, the ULEB cup… I have euroleague, the turkish airlines league….

    Yeah, I’m not sure where Eurobasket is getting the Euroleague 4 games… Euroleague.net doesn’t have him or KK Hemofarm listed for 2010-11. Maybe some sort of play in tournament for ULEB teams to qualify for next season?
    Still 10 rebounds in 47 minutes (7.7/36), but it’s a really small sample to conclude much. 8 ORB and 2 DRB… probably not his long-term production. I get 9 Adriatic and 8 Serbian.

    KnickfaninNJ: I assumed a lesser league would have lesser players

    Yeah. Basically he played in two leagues. He played in the Adriatic league and the Eurocup league. Euroleague is theoretically the best competition in Europe. It’s the Champions’ League of bball. Best teams from each national league (basically Adriatic League in Jordan’s case) play there. Some people (Hollinger) feel that sort of competition is more accurate to judge talent. Makes sense, since it’s tougher. Issue is small sample sizes.

    Tough to say how a guy will translate from Europe. I doubt his fouls will disappear overnight. I’m 90% sure he’ll never have a TS% of 70 in any meaningful NBA sample, but efficient scoring and ok rebounding will hopefully continue. Rbding maybe not though. Blocks and steals are nice.

    KnickfaninNJ: even if the Knicks had planned to stash him in Europe when they drafted him he had the chance to change their minds with his summer league play and that definitely didn’t happen.

    Probably true. He’s a project. As you said, though, Cs are rare. And the Knicks don’t really have much at the position. Reasons to be optimistic, but cautiously so.

  27. Ted Nelson

    Ted Nelson: Basically he played in two leagues. He played in the Adriatic league and the Eurocup league. Euroleague is theoretically the best competition in Europe.

    Didn’t finish my thought there… Eurocup is like the B-League to Euroleague. Teams that barely don’t qualify for Euroleague basically. So a higher level overall than just about any national league (maybe not Spanish or another top national league, but maybe… more depth in Eurocup anyway, top firepower is in Euroleague though), but pretty substantially inferior to Euroleague.

    My point before, though, was that it’s not always easy to translate production between leagues. A great role player who doesn’t score much in NBA is not necessarily going to be a great scorer in Europe, though maybe he will be. The 15th man on an NBA roster might do something well enough to stand out in Europe (plenty of projects and total duds might not), but doesn’t necessarily mean all aspects of his game will stand out. And of course is depends what level he’s playing at in Europe. As you can see from Jordan’s Adriatic vs. Euroleague stats, though, stats don’t necessarily change dramatically from one level to the other. If they do it can just be sample size (Jordan’s almost 2 steals/36 in Eurocup probably are just small sample size, for example).

  28. CRJoe

    Euro ball translates rather well actually, with the ocasional exception of course…

    I remember when people were saying Childress never “adjusted” to Euro ball, and that he was a great off season pick up for the Suns…
    But the thing is Childress posted the same numbers in europe he had posted with Atlanta… I don’t think he would have fallen off so bad in Phoenix if it would have been understood he was just a small role player, who could provide some depth in the wing, instead Phoenix had way too high expectations for him and along the line I guess it had an effect in his confidence…

    One great issue is that players who come from europe usually do it at a very young age, so of course their stats are gonna develop along with their game… It’s a rare occurrence when a fully developed player crosses the pond, and yet Gary Neal is a good example… His shooting suffered just a little bit, but his 3pt % was the same, his assists numbers are pretty much the same, and the rebounding and scoring understandably drop, going from being a top offensive option to a bench contributor & from playing with Blair, Duncan, Mcdyess respectively… He also showed the same defensive instincts, though he wasn’t gambling so much to force steals ad turnovers, deferring a little bit more to the defensive system…

    Overall the Euroleague can be a good measuring stick for prospects… And yet the system is so different that is hard to find a piece that’s going to adjust… But when you do (Neal, Marc Gasol, Manu…), you have a jewel in your hands…

  29. ess-dog

    Ted,
    I feel like you read only half my post. I said I didn’t want to rip on the guy. As for Faried, the Rodman comparison was out there already and I was merely trying to look for other prototypes. And I do think Malik Rose as a comparison to Faried is fairly critical. I also explain the differences between any suggested comparison – clearly no two guys are exactly the same – and I said outright that Shumpert doesn’t really match up with anyone before him.

    Hughes seems to be the best comp. I’ve seen to Shumpert, which is reasonable for a 17 pick in a weak draft. Though I do realize they aren’t the same player.

    Look, I’m not against Shumpert as a prospect per se. He could be the most athletic guard prospect since Westbrook/Rose. He could be a starting wideout for the Jets. I’m just having a hard time reconciling there was or will ever be a quality NBA guard that shot between .385 and .406 over THREE collegiate seasons. It just feels like the elephant in the room to me. I mean Selby shot .373 in one year, but it’s reasonable to believe that he will raise that. I would just like to know about any NBA player that stuck in the league (besides Mardy) that shot at such low percentages in college. Especially as a junior. I think it is fair to be critical of this. If someone wants to show me some players with similar shooting stats from their 3rd college season that are thriving or have thrived in the NBA, please, enlighten me.

  30. James

    JJ Barea shot a low percentage all four years at Northeastern. He was a good free throw shooter like Shumpert so he showed some shooting touch but his FG percentage ranged from 38.5 to 41.9 and his 3 point percentage from 29 to 35. He mastered enough sets and shots like the floater and pull up three to have a huge impact for Dallas this season.

    Billups is another guy who shot a very low percentage at Colorado for his two seasons, oddly finishing at 41.3 overall from the field both years. He did show great shooting ability by hitting 40 percent from three his sophomore year while attempting more three pointers than two pointers and hitting mid-80s from the stripe. His early busthood was presaged by his low 40s field goal percentage on two pointers. The draft formulas would not have been kind to him and they would have been right for the early part of his career.

    Another comp for Shumpert could be Terrence Williams as both are 6’5 athletic combo guards with noted shooting difficulties in college. Williams has been doomed by his attitude more than anything else but even though the percentages don’t necessarily bear it out, his shooting has improved from his days at Louisville. He’s fallen in love with hitting outside shots that he’s morphed into a black hole when he was an unselfish playmaker in college.

  31. Z

    Jim– awesome. Seriously, the draft is fun and all, but these KB gonzo pieces transcend sports. Between Robert and John at the lottery and this, the 2011 draft will be permanently in my mind regardless of how Shumpert and Jorts (yuck) turn out…

    Re: Shump, thanks James for the Billups and Barea comps. I figured there were guys out there with similar college numbers that did okay in “the show”. I don’t even know where to start looking for them, though… Keep em coming if you find more!

  32. Doug

    ess-dog,

    The silver lining to Shumpy’s poor shooting %’s in college is that it appears to be because of shot selection, not a terrible jumper. If you watch a bunch of Georgia Tech highlights from last season, he takes a ton of Melo-style contested stepback jumpers. I blame this tendency on A) bad coaching and B) having to carry a bad offensive team.

  33. Spree8nyk8

    With regards to JJ, I heard somewhere else (not sure how accurate this is, but it came from a podcast with Alan Hahn) that part of the reason JJ did not get very much playing time was that some of those euroclub teams do not particularly try to give players in that situation a whole lot of burn. Due to the fact that they are probably only going to be with the team for maybe 1 season. So I kinda doubt that his sample size in europe is going to give a whole lot of info either way.

    Personally I was hoping we’d take Singleton, but I’m ok with Shumpert and I’m actually a little more excited about Jorts. I think he could really fit in well on this team. Maybe that’s overly optimistic, but I guess we’ll see down the road.

  34. Spree8nyk8

    As far as the CBA talks go I was talking with a couple of NBA fans the other day about it. And honestly I think what the NBA needs more than a hard cap or a salary rollback is to go to an NFL style contract where the bulk of the money is not guaranteed. A salary rollback does not prevent owners from turning around and giving out more bad contracts. A hard cap would make them spend money a little bit more wisely but it doesn’t handle situations like an Eddy Curry just eating himself out of shape. In the NFL a player can be on a huge contract and if things go in a bad direction for the team you can just cut him and not have the rest of that contract on your books. That would be great for the NBA. I think something like only having contracts guaranteed for the first 2 years maybe. I mean the bottom line is that in the NBA there are just so many instances where a player shows so much promise that there ends up being a team that ends up paying for the potential of the player and then having it not work out and then they are stuck with awful contracts. And in a hard cap you are going to really have a difficult time developing a middle class. You are gonna have max guys and min guys and the in between is going to be really tough to guage. If they had non guaranteed contracts teams would not be crushed by a bad contract. And while there should be some fiscal responsibility, I think there are some things that can be devastating to a team that are not always forseeable.

    Any ideas about what you would suggest if you were in the CBA negotiations? I’m really worried about these negotiations. Because unlike the NFL where they are basically arguing over splitting profited money you are actually talking about a league that has many teams losing money. So there is going to have to be some huge concessions from the player side, because I don’t think the owners will budge much on some of their issues. I think a small salary rollback and non guaranteed contracts…

  35. Nick C.

    Ted or whoever : Jerome Jordan averaged 7.4 and 9.1 rebounds/36? The 9.1 seems OK but 7.4 not so hot. I know the 7.4 was in 11 games but still. Were his college rebounding #s better? The BS/FG% stuff is nice but the rebounding not so enthusing.

    Whoever dug up the Barea et. al. college data good work at least we now see that Shumpert is not doomed to being inefficient for the rest of his life based on his college #s.

  36. CRJoe

    @42 But wouldn’t that screw teams in smaller markets??? Like if Boston & L.A. can constantly create new cap room just by cutting guys every other year, they would attract free agents easier than say Memphis & Indiana… Also early draft picks would just play 4 years in a developing team and then bolt to a big market, for instance what if Irving becomes Stockton 2.0 but in 4 years decides he wants to play in a bigger city, wouldn’t L.A. be able to just cut Luke Walton & Ron Artest and sign him???

  37. Frank

    Re: Shumpert’s shooting. Obviously it’d be better if his shooting #s were better but it’s not such a stretch for him to become acceptably efficient. As 50 other people have already said, he was the go-to guy on his team (a bad team) and maybe he’s not that kind of player, or at least not yet that kind of player.

    Consider that he shot just 28% from 3 point range on 175 attempts, almost 6 per game. Figure that with a good shooting coach and fewer contested shots, he can raise that to 35% (that is only a difference of 7 made 3 pointers over 100 3PA – not that crazy a jump). If he had shot 35% from 3 this past season, his TS% would be 55.6 and we wouldn’t be having these conversations.

    He needs to lock himself in a gym with Phil Weber (for however long they’re allowed to work together before this stupid lockout hits) and shoot 500 3′s per day – standstill, catch-and-shoot 3′s. No shots off the dribble, no pull-ups, no nothing until he learns to replicate his mechanics on a simple catch-and-shoot. This upcoming season should be all about him playing the Bruce Bowen role, with some time in practice learning how to run PnR correctly for 12-13. If I were D’Antoni, if I saw him settle for a pull-up or stepback jumper with enough time on the clock to get a better shot for himself or someone else, I’d just sit him down. He’ll learn better shot selection pretty quickly that way.

  38. Frank

    CRJoe:
    @42 But wouldn’t that screw teams in smaller markets??? Like if Boston & L.A. can constantly create new cap room just by cutting guys every other year, they would attract free agents easier than say Memphis & Indiana… Also early draft picks would just play 4 years in a developing team and then bolt to a big market, for instance what if Irving becomes Stockton 2.0 but in 4 years decides he wants to play in a bigger city, wouldn’t L.A. be able to just cut Luke Walton & Ron Artest and sign him???

    This is sort of similar to what that guy from the Pacers website was saying. I think his solution to that was to have the cut players’ salary fall off the cap, but it would still be included re: luxury tax considerations. So that could get really expensive after a while, even for the Lakers or Knicks.

    I really think that article I linked to above is worth reading a time or two. I sorta think the BRI% of 67% for all BRI > $4B is a bit much, but it’s a reasonable idea or at least a starting point. Give the players a smaller cut of BRI up to the point where the owners’ costs are covered, then let them enjoy a bigger portion of what they have the major role in creating – more and more revenue for the league.

    His ideas re: hard cap vs. BRI% are very interesting and make a lot of sense to me. Just like in the NFL, when revenues are very high, BRI% is what’s most important, not the pure existence of a “hard cap”. here is the link again:

    http://www.eightpointsnineseconds.com/2011/06/the-cba-my-last-best-offer/

  39. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: Euro ball translates rather well actually, with the ocasional exception of course…

    What are you basing that on? It’s been really difficult for NBA teams and analyst-journalists to predict the NBA success of young players from Europe… but I guess it’s easy for CRJoe. The best players in Europe like Luis Scola and Juan Carlos Navarro are clearly the best players in the NBA… how could I forget? I lived in Madrid for 5 years… so I’m not just speculating. I watched players go back and forth between NBA and Europe, and my observation was that things don’t always translate the way you’d think. Timo Mozgoz, for example, was a rebounding beast in Russia. He was awful as an NBA rookie at rebounding. The level of comp for bigs especially is much different.

    CRJoe: But the thing is Childress posted the same numbers in europe he had posted with Atlanta…

    Which “stats?” He’s a career 12.6 pts/36 scorer in NBA and scored 17 pts/36 in Euroleague. He scored 20 pts/36 in Greece.
    Childress struggled in Phoenix not just compared to Europe, but also compared to with the Hawks. He wasn’t asked to shoot anymore in Phoenix than Atlanta (less actually), but his efficiency and playmaking went down.

    By point is not that the stats don’t translate at all… just that it’s hard to know exactly what will translate exactly how.
    If you think Jerome Jordan will have a 70% TS% against NBA bigs because he did it against Adriatic and Eurocup bigs… ok. He will be the most efficient scorer in league history. Sounds good to me.

  40. KnickfaninNJ

    Spree8nyk8

    What I would suggest is that NBA teams share more revenue. The NFL shares TV revenue almost equally among teams which makes it much easier for small market teams to be profitable. But in the NBA the Knicks get a ton of money from MSG and don’t have to share much of it. This means that if you set player revenue low enough that all teams have a good chance to make money, some teams (the ones in big markets) will make money hand over fist and the players overall will get less than their fair share. On the other hand if the players and owners split revenue than the low revenue teams will be in a very difficult position because the cap will be too high for them.

    Of course it’s very difficult to get the rich teams to share more because the market value of their teams will go down then. But it should be done. It would make the NBA fairer and improve the chances of labor peace.

  41. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: I feel like you read only half my post.

    I read your post… but Faried is similar to a whole lot of guys before him and the only two you mentioned were the best rebounder of all-time… a HOFer… and the 3rd bigman on championship teams. By the same token I could compare Shumpert to Russell Westbrook and Tyreke Evans to say he’ll clearly be a ROY then one of the best PGs in the NBA.
    My point is just that you can make subjective comparisons say basically whatever you want them to say.

    ess-dog: I’m just having a hard time reconciling there was or will ever be a quality NBA guard that shot between .385 and .406 over THREE collegiate seasons.

    It’s not common, but you don’t seem to be looking for comparisons. Just saying there aren’t any.

    There’s a guy on the Knicks who shot .413 for two college seasons: Chauncey Billups.

    FG% is not a real stat though… it counts 2 and 3 points as the same thing and just ignores FTs. Billups was actually a 58% TS% in college. Westbook, though, might have had a high FG%, but his TS% of 53.8 (51 f, 54 s) is more in line with Shumpert’s. Rondo’s sophomore TS% of 53 is close to Shumpert’s Jr mark of 52.

    2 seasons are not 3, but we don’t know what Billups or Westbrook would have done as Jrs. They did struggle as NBA rookies. Tyreke Evans only had one season at a 53.5 TS%, but it’s not like he’s been efficient in the NBA. You have late bloomers like Landry Fields whose TS% was under 47.5% his f and s seasons.

    So, Shumpert’s TS% isn’t that out of line with a few of the best case guys he’s compared to. If we want to be as strict with comparisons as you imply, Terrence Williams doesn’t work cause his TS% past 50 as a Sr. Dooling had 55% TS% as a freshman.

  42. Grymm

    Let’s not rough up Mozgov’s rebounding too much. I don’t think he’s even played 1000 pro minutes total. He was a 7′ 1″ crapshoot coming out of Russia and is still a 7′ 1″ crapshoot bouncing around the NBA. I do remember him being the only guy on the Knicks who could actually box out.

  43. Ted Nelson

    James: JJ Barea shot a low percentage all four years at Northeastern.

    Good call James. Barea’s TS% was between 50-53% at Northeastern for four years, 53 actually being freshman. Jamal Crawford 51% as freshman. Raja Bell didn’t break 51.4% till FIU, as a 4th year transfer against whatever comp FIU plays.

    And another problem, ess-dog, with going so strictly by grade is that different guys are different ages in different grade. Shumpert was a 20 yr old Jr. Tyreke Evans was a 19 yr old Fr. Some guys break out as 21 yr old Jrs or 22 year old Srs.

    Spree8nyk8: JJ did not get very much playing time was that some of those euroclub teams do not particularly try to give players in that situation a whole lot of burn

    Averaging 8 fouls/36 in a league where 5 fouls ejects you makes it hard to play too many minutes too, though… I mean I think you have a point. He was young, raw, learning their system, and gone soon… There is plenty of player movement in Europe, though, so it’s not just about being there 1 year.

    Nick C.: Ted or whoever : Jerome Jordan averaged 7.4 and 9.1 rebounds/36? The 9.1 seems OK but 7.4 not so hot.

    He was knocked for being soft, but he was good for 11 reb/36 in college. At Tulsa, though.

    Frank: If he had shot 35% from 3 this past season, his TS% would be 55.6 and we wouldn’t be having these conversations.

    True. And he did shoot 33% from 3 as a sophomore and I think it was 31.7% as a freshman. The extra 3s seemed to lower his 3p%.

  44. Ted Nelson

    Grymm: Let’s not rough up Mozgov’s rebounding too much. I don’t think he’s even played 1000 pro minutes total

    Yeah, I actually don’t know where I was looking. His reb% was mediocre, but not terrible. I was looking at the wrong numbers. Robin Lopez type #, though, and CRJoe thinks he’s an awful rebounder.

  45. Jafa

    Ted Nelson,

    Please do us all a favor and post an original idea. All you seem to do is quote what others say and dissect and disprove their ideas using any advanced stat metric you can get your hands on. I come to this site for great Knicks info, news and ideas. I love that posters back up their ideas with stats. Due to you vast knowledge base, you could enhance this site if you just quit critiquing everything anybody says and actually offer up something original for others to critique.

    With that said, here’s an original idea:

    Hornets losing Aaron Gray to free agency:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/27/hornets-lose-another-big-man-gray-to-become-free-agent/

    Should we go after him? He made $1.1 million last year, so I don’t think he would be as expensive as the other big man options out there.

    Plus, this move, coupled with David West’s and Carl Landry’s free agency may expedite Chris Paul’s departure, Melo style. So do we stay the course of building a big 3 (which means no significant free agent acquisitions this year) or do we start to build out the rest of our team (would love to see us at least offer DeAndre Jordan a contract and force the Clippers to pay big money to match)?

  46. Frank

    via theknicksblog.com – looks like our NYK were trying to draft Jeremy Tyler at #40, but GSW jumped us to #39. So I guess we can stop killing the FO for not being active enough.

  47. ess-dog

    Billups and Barea are both interesting comps in terms of offense. I was looking at defense first- perimeter players that had excellent steals/game stats – and those two don’t really qualify, although Billups turned himself into a worthy defender. I still don’t like the Evans comp but Westbrook makes some sense – “bad” jumpshooters who excel on defense. Westbrook went to the line even less than Shumpert and managed – through his athleticism – to really improve there.
    Just from what I’ve seen, Shumpert looks to be more of a jumpshooter, although he got a “fair” amount of trips to the line his senior year in roughly 5 and a half. I will be pleased as punch if he turns into an excellent defender who can pass and hit the open three.
    I see why he was picked. He could make an excellent swingman complement to Melo because of his ability to guard 1s, 2s and 3s. It’s hard to quantify perimeter defense in the NBA, but I would think Shumpert could be top notch based on his athleticism and his attitude in his interview. As long as he can hold his own on offense – not turn the ball over, find the open man, and eventually hit the open jumper – then it’s a winning pick.
    Honestly I probably would’ve went with either Motiejunas, Faried or maybe Singleton before Shumpert, but with an eye for trade value for a veteran player. But I’m not down on this pick. It’s a need pick but I think there’s a lot of value there, he just needs grooming.

  48. New Guy

    Well, they did get beat to the punch by a team that was more active, so are you sure we can’t kill them on it?

    Not that I care.

    Random question: what does anyone think on the possible return of Wilson Chandler? With Denver drafting a younger, cheaper version of him in Jordan Hamilton, and with Afflalo and Nene bigger priorities, I don’t think they really care for him. And it’s not like he’ll be commanding huge attention in the FA market. I think a palatable deal could be offered and accepted, and Denver may not match it. (Assuming, of course, the CBA allows us enough cap room to make the offer).

    Thoughts? He’d provide good cover for both Melo and Amare, with Shumbert (hopefully) rotating with Fields and Billups. Gives us Turiaf, Harrellson, Jordan (maybe) to be three-headed center. Williams and Walker waiting in the wings. Sounds like a fair rotation to me. Just add Chris Paul in a year :)

  49. Frank

    @57 – I’d love to see Ill Will back here but naturally it’ll all depend on the CBA. If we can sign him to a reasonable deal (ie. 3 years, 6M per) and still have enough room to go after CP3, then I love it.

  50. CRJoe

    Ted Nelson: Yeah, I actually don’t know where I was looking. His reb% was mediocre, but not terrible. I was looking at the wrong numbers. Robin Lopez type #, though, and CRJoe thinks he’s an awful rebounder.

    Mozgov actually is a better rebounder than Lopez, who is awful… Mozgov posted 2 more percentage points than Lopez, and ranked 20 spots ahead in TRB% among players who played at least 10 min per game…
    Lopez was a worse rebounder than Yi Jianlian, Mike Miller, Matt Barnes…
    Hell if you look at Mozgov’s Denver stats, he has a respectable 14.9% TRB, that’s a mark that Lopez has never achieved, not even in the only season in which he wasn’t awful…

  51. Grymm

    I wouldn’t sign Wilson Chandler. I like the guy, but how much value does he really have to the Knicks as built?
    1. He’s a guy with a bunch of minutes played so he’s a known quantity around the league. He’s played pretty well so up until now contract values would dictate he should do pretty well in free agency.
    2. Anything you spend on WC comes directly out of your find a center, find a permanent point guard budget.
    3. He’d be backing up 2 guys who in the most important of games are going to log 40+ minutes.

    Dalembert is not a spectacular player, but he’d add more to the team. Now do Dalembert and WC fall into similar price ranges? I don’t know. WC is a decent wing but Dalembert was 12.2reb, 2.1blk, and 4.2pf (doh) per 36 last year. Besides, how much would it be to bring back Shawne Williams who fills the WC role?

  52. Mike Kurylo

    Ted Nelson:

    Those fouls are probably going to really limit Jordan’s immediate contribution in the NBA. I’m still excited to see what he can do, I’m just not sure he can stay on the court long enough to contribute a ton short-term.

    I agree. Remember that Mozgov was a foul machine & that hurt his ability to stay on the floor. Although my studies have found that low-minute bigs tend to foul at a higher rate (my guess don’t necessarily worry about fouling out when you’re only seeing 20 mins a game, so they can be more agressive). However if a center racks up 2 fouls in 3 minutes, he’ll likely get yanked.

  53. CRJoe

    Grymm: 2. Anything you spend on WC comes directly out of your find a center, find a permanent point guard budget.
    3. He’d be backing up 2 guys who in the most important of games are going to log 40+ minutes.

    Yeah those are the two things that bother me the most about bringing back Chandler… Even if he’d agreed to come back on a one year deal like David Lee (and assuming than Denver doesn’t match the offer), we would still have to sacrifice some assets to get him, so he would end up consuming minutes that should go to a more AmareMelo complimentary talent…

    I’d love Dalembert but I think he might draw a lot of attention in free agency, I even like Gray better, he was a monster rebounder in the limited minutes he played (13mpg 19+ %trb), and has done it for two consecutive seasons… We might have to settle for a much more humble option, you guys think Kwame’s season was a one-of-a-kind deal???

  54. Ted Nelson

    Frank: via theknicksblog.com – looks like our NYK were trying to draft Jeremy Tyler at #40, but GSW jumped us to #39. So I guess we can stop killing the FO for not being active enough.

    Interesting. They did work him out a second time just before the draft I believe.
    That’s the sort of luck we were talking about before the draft: Tyler is better long-term and it was bad luck, Harrellson is better long-term and it was good luck.

    ess-dog: Westbrook went to the line even less than Shumpert and managed – through his athleticism – to really improve there.
    Just from what I’ve seen, Shumpert looks to be more of a jumpshooter

    This is an interesting point because Ben Howland has a reputation for limiting his players’ individual performance with a rigid system. Westbrook may have been asked to play away from his strengths at UCLA, and maybe the same was true at GTech for Shumpert. Knicks have a huge advantage over us here, because they can actually ask the player about it and watch more game tape than us to see it.

    New Guy: what does anyone think on the possible return of Wilson Chandler?

    Depends on two things: price and whether the Knicks want to load up for free agency or a trade/re-build with smaller names. I definitely see what you’re saying about possible value there. I think Denver either re-signs him or releases his rights in all likelihood, though. They’ve got a ton of cap space, so they can re-sign Nene, Afflalo, WC, and/or JR Smith in all likelihood if that’s what they want to do. Or they can send out signals they will do that, and maybe get Aff and WC on QOs for a year. If they go for out-of-house FAs or trades, they probably…

  55. Ted Nelson

    Frank: If we can sign him to a reasonable deal (ie. 3 years, 6M per)

    Sounds like a dream to me… His QO is 3 mill.

    CRJoe: Mozgov actually is a better rebounder than Lopez, who is awful… Mozgov posted 2 more percentage points than Lopez

    Lopez is at 12.9 on his career and Timo was at 13.2 last season. That’s 3 tenths of a percentage point, not 2 percentage points.

    CRJoe: Lopez was a worse rebounder than Yi Jianlian, Mike Miller, Matt Barnes…

    Yi gets 8 reb/36 on his career, so that’s no insult. Miller had an abnormal 1/2 season. His career reb% is 9. Matt Barnes is a strong rebounder for a wing who gets 7.5/36 on his career.

    CRJoe: Hell if you look at Mozgov’s Denver stats, he has a respectable 14.9% TRB

    Do you know what someone is referring to when they you’re looking at a small sample. Everything we’re looking at here are small samples, but Timo played 66 minutes in Denver. That’s two games for a starter. It’s completely irrelevant what his stats were in 66 minutes… no predictive power at all.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Grymm: 2. Anything you spend on WC comes directly out of your find a center, find a permanent point guard budget.

    I agree that you have to look at price, but I think the question is *if* WC comes cheap. I highly doubt WC will get as much money annually as Dalembert even if he gets a fat long-term deal. Who knows, though?

    If you get WC at a really good $ value, he can actually help you in your quest for a long-term C or PG. You can trade him in a package, for a similar PG/C, or even for a draft pick. Things don’t have to happen so linearly as only signing or drafting guys who fill an immediate need. If you get good value, you can move pieces around later.

    CRJoe: I even like Gray better

    I would take a flyer on Gray, but long-ish term it’s more questionable.

    CRJoe: you guys think Kwame’s season was a one-of-a-kind deal?

    Pretty similar to his 2008-9 besides the TOs being cut. Same with 2009-10 besides TOs and shots falling (namely FTs) even. Would take a flyer there, but heard there was interest from a team I can’t remember which. One important question might be what if anything Larry Brown and/or Silas and/or whoever did to get his TOs down.

    Mike Kurylo: Although my studies have found that low-minute bigs tend to foul at a higher rate

    Yeah, that’s true. Could/should reduce it, but maybe not enough to be the aggressive defensive presence we’d all love to have.

  57. CRJoe

    Lopez was an awful 12.6 last season, over his 3 years he only had one year when he was better than Mozgov, also you have always mentioned how difficult it is to compare career stats with rookie stats, so how about Lopez rookie stats, when he posted a ridiculous 11% trb against Mozgov’s 13.2…

    Also if you’re criticizing small samples why talk about Lopez career stats??? He’s missed at least 15 games in all of his three years, and in his one good season he missed more than thirty games, he’s missed 30% of his possible games throughout his career…

    And come on, I’m not even trying to defend Mozgov’s rebounding skills, he’s meh at best… But YI JIANLIAN!? REALLY!? And Barnes… Do you realize that you just said that a 7 foot center is worse than a 6’7″ backup wingman, who has never posted better numbers than Mozgov, and yet that isn’ bad??? How can you honestly defend that???

  58. CRJoe

    Ted Nelson: but heard there was interest from a team I can’t remember which.

    I had read it was Toronto’s… And since they picked up Jonas I guess they could use a big body to get them through the next couple of seasons, also they have more than 10 mill in cap…

  59. Frank

    I like the idea of resigning Wilson Chandler at a *cheap* contract because he’s already shown himself to be (in no particular order) 1) a good locker room guy, 2) a versatile and at least passable defender of 2, 3, 4s, 3) a respectable threat from the arc, which improves spacing, and 4) already familiar with the system. The more defensive flexibility you have on the floor, the less you need to worry if you are forced into switches, or playing zone, etc. He was the closest thing we had to the Shawn Marion-type of player that did so well for SSOL in PHX.

    He sorta sucked in Denver – hopefully that will bring his market value down to a place where it is reasonable for us to even consider signing him.

  60. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: Lopez was an awful 12.6 last season, over his 3 years he only had one year when he was better than Mozgov

    12.6 vs. 12.9 is a marginal difference in the first place, but especially over 3 partial seasons. I believe that means that he grabs 3 less out of every thousand rebound chances.

    CRJoe: so how about Lopez rookie stats, when he posted a ridiculous 11% trb against Mozgov’s 13.2…

    11% vs. 13% in that small a sample is probably meaningless.

    The reason I am discussing Timo’s rebounding in the first place is because you claimed European stats translate really well to NBA and it was one example. Before you claimed Robin Lopez is an awful rebounder… based on the samples we have he’s as good as Timo. Your points are inconsistent. I’m not trying to make definitive statements based on these small sample, I’m just saying that you are inconsistent. You laud one guy with a reb% of 13 and you bash another.

  61. Z

    Mike Kurylo: My studies have found that low-minute bigs tend to foul at a higher rate (my guess don’t necessarily worry about fouling out when you’re only seeing 20 mins a game, so they can be more agressive).

    My guess is that refs are required to call fouls on 2nd string centers the second they step on the floor. It’s a hold over rule from the 1990s when all the great centers would beat the crap out of each other on every possession. In the interest of TV ratings the Jeff Turners, Duane Causwells, Eric Leckners, and Herb Williams of the world amassed the fouls rather than the Ewings, Shaqs, Robinsons, and Olajuwons.

  62. John Kenney

    Personally I don’t even understand why WC is even being discussed.. I mean, I’d like to sign David West to a veteran’s minimum contract, but it isn’t gonna happen. And why would WC agree to come back to the Knicks- for a below market price- so he can possibly get traded again? Makes no sense to me. He hated leaving the first time. I expect him to be on the Nets.

  63. Grymm

    Denver is putting together quite a team. Affalo (TS .620), Galinari (TS .597), Lawson (TS .593), and Nene (TS .657). Then, you have a team that’s very efficient on offense and needs help on the boards so you draft Kenneth Faried to replace Martin. You can play big with Birdman and a couple of spare 7footers. Andre Miller is quite solid and they have a couple other draft picks.

  64. nicos

    Ted Nelson: If you get WC at a really good $ value, he can actually help you in your quest for a long-term C or PG. You can trade him in a package, for a similar PG/C, or even for a draft pick. Things don’t have to happen so linearly as only signing or drafting guys who fill an immediate need. If you get good value, you can move pieces around later.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the new CBA impacts this- while having a guy who outperforms his contract is always going to have value I think the owners want to get out from under paying guys like Chandler 7m+ a year just as much as they want to be able to get rid of underperforming max type guys. If guaranteed contracts disappear there’s good chance you’re going to see those “middle class” players turned into carpetbaggers and the more of those guys that are available the less value having a guy like Chandler, even on a reasonable contract, is going to have.

  65. CRJoe

    @69 But if (and that’s a huge if) we get Chandler to become our Marion, doesn’t that mean that we’d have to use Amar’e primarily as a center???

    @70 Had you read what I posted, you’d see I wasn’t trying to defend Mozgov’s rebounding skills… I was saying Timo’s a bad rebounder, but Lopez is even worse… Guess your reading comprehension skills aren’t as sharp either…

  66. ess-dog

    John Kenney:
    Personally I don’t even understand why WC is even being discussed.. I mean, I’d like to sign David West to a veteran’s minimum contract, but it isn’t gonna happen. And why would WC agree to come back to the Knicks- for a below market price- so he can possibly get traded again? Makes no sense to me. He hated leaving the first time. I expect him to be on the Nets.

    I was also thinking that NJ made a lot of sense for WC. They like to overpay mediocre forwards but they can’t keep Harris and get WC right?

  67. New Guy

    John Kenney:
    Personally I don’t even understand why WC is even being discussed..

    I brought him up because I think there is a chance that in the labor market after this CBA role players might actually get paid what role players deserve to make. Haven’t you noticed all these guys picking up their one year options? Turiaf, for instance, opted for a one year 4 mil deal rather than opt out. Indicates to me he doesn’t think he can get close to a multi-year deal next year worth $4 million annually. So if his range is $2-3 mil, could be Chandler’s looking at multi-year deals in the $4-6 million range, which is quite palatable for us.

  68. New Guy

    Just a thought, anyway. Got nothing to look forward to for a while.

    Speaking of thoughts, who else would be pissed off beyond imagination if the NBA (as rumored) gives every team an amnesty deal to erase one player from their cap? This is exactly what we needed for 10 years, and NOW they’re talking about it? I think it would offer massive competitive advantage to teams like Orlando, Washington, Portland, etc.

    Sorry, that was random.

  69. Z

    New Guy:
    Speaking of thoughts, who else would be pissed off beyond imagination if the NBA (as rumored) gives every team an amnesty deal to erase one player from their cap? This is exactly what we needed for 10 years, and NOW they’re talking about it? I think it would offer massive competitive advantage to teams like Orlando, Washington, Portland, etc…

    Yeah. They can call it the “Gilbert Arenas rule” and Orlando can use it to waive Hedo Turkoglu.

  70. Grymm

    It all depends on the cap structure. I don’t care how many millions of Dolan Dollars Marbury and Curry wasted. I would care if somehow an amnesty lead to a bunch of teams having cash under whatever cap is in place to pursue players that previously they would have not been a position to.

  71. flossy

    I like Wilson Chandler, but Wilson Chandler on the Knicks mean Amar’e Stoudemire at center (or Wilson Chandler stuck on the bench, not playing enough to earn his keep).

    Now, it is true that we were at our most effective last season with a 4/5 line-up of Chandler and Amar’e, but based on all the chatter about how urgently we need to find a center it just doesn’t sound like Amar’e is willing to put up with that arrangement any more. And frankly, now that Melo and Chauncey have slowed down the pace of our offense a bit, I don’t think the small-ball line-up will present the same competitive advantage as it did with true SSOL… at least not enough to make up for the massive defensive deficiencies of Amar’e at center.

  72. New Guy

    Grymm:
    I would care if somehow an amnesty lead to a bunch of teams having cash under whatever cap is in place to pursue players that previously they would have not been a position to.

    That’s what they’re talking about. I was listening to Simmons and Chad Ford’s podcast and they said it was almost a given. Awfully unfair competitive advantage.

  73. Ted Nelson

    John Kenney: Personally I don’t even understand why WC is even being discussed.

    Hard to know exactly how GMs around the league and Denver in particular (a well known stat savvy team) value WC. He’s definitely got his strengths and a bit of a track record now, but he’s a wing with a career 13.5 PER and 0.061 WS/48 on his career… 14.6 and 0.079 last season. He’s not a particularly special player, though he’s still a solid contributor with the chance to keep improving. He took a step forward with the Knicks this season, but then fell apart in Denver. Basically all his success comes under D’Antoni, so teams might see him as a system guy. His defense definitely helps him, but overall there are dozens of athletic wings with profiles similar to his. So… the idea is that if he falls through the cracks of free agency maybe he’s a good value.

    I’m not even a David West fan, but comparing the two seems silly to me. His career PER is 19 and his career WS/48 is .131… though playing with CP3 helps both of those and especially the WS.

    At the end of the day I doubt WC is going to be a great bargain, because I don’t think he’s that great a player. Just a thought. Not ideal to have him as a back-up, but brings some defense and shooting and athleticism and is a D’Antoni fav.

    nicos: I think the owners want to get out from under paying guys like Chandler 7m+ a year

    At $7 mill per I don’t want anything to do with Chandler. That’s a bad value to me. I’m more thinking if he falls through the cracks. He’s a below average offensive NBA player and I don’t think he’s that far above on defense.

    I don’t know how the CBA would possibly stop teams from paying guys middle of the road salaries, though.

  74. Ted Nelson

    CRJoe: I was saying Timo’s a bad rebounder, but Lopez is even worse… Guess your reading comprehension skills aren’t as sharp either…

    And I was saying that contradicts your point about the ease of translating stats from Europe. Timo killed it on the boards in European competition.

    New Guy: there is a chance that in the labor market after this CBA role players might actually get paid what role players deserve to make

    How is the CBA going to accomplish this? The cap is rumored to be $62 mill. How are they going to manage to segregates players into “role players” who can’t make more than a certain amount and “stars” who get paid a ton, while paying $62 mill per team? I mean maybe they will, I just don’t see how.

    New Guy: Speaking of thoughts, who else would be pissed off beyond imagination if the NBA (as rumored) gives every team an amnesty deal to erase one player from their cap?

    They did that with the last CBA negotiations, and the Knicks used it on Jerome Williams as I remember. It was called the “Houston Rule” by people at the time since they thought it was meant to allow the Knicks to get out from under the Houston deal as I remember, but they used it on JYD instead.

    flossy: I like Wilson Chandler, but Wilson Chandler on the Knicks mean Amar’e Stoudemire at center (or Wilson Chandler stuck on the bench, not playing enough to earn his keep).

    There’s like 24 MPG that Amare or Melo is on the bench. So Amare wouldn’t have to be at C much for WC to get his 30 MPG.

  75. Ted Nelson

    New Guy: That’s what they’re talking about. I was listening to Simmons and Chad Ford’s podcast and they said it was almost a given. Awfully unfair competitive advantage.

    I would not take a word Bill Simmons says seriously. Guy is a joke.

    It happened last time, so it sort of makes sense for people to speculate that it will happen this time. As I say above, it’s already happened and the Knicks decided Jerome Williams was the guy to use it on.

  76. nicos

    New Guy: Speaking of thoughts, who else would be pissed off beyond imagination if the NBA (as rumored) gives every team an amnesty deal to erase one player from their cap? This is exactly what we needed for 10 years, and NOW they’re talking about it? I think it would offer massive competitive advantage to teams like Orlando, Washington, Portland, etc.

    Well, there’s a chance that after the new CBA that both Amar’e and Melo’s contracts will look comparatively bad enough that the Knicks might want to jettison one of them. Also, from what I’ve read it might not have to be used until 2014 so if Amar’e's knees do deteriorate the Knicks could use it then. NYC is always going to be a pretty attractive destination so I think in the long run anything that encourages player movement will probably help more than hurt.

  77. nicos

    Ted Nelson: I don’t know how the CBA would possibly stop teams from paying guys middle of the road salaries, though.

    I could be wrong but I think those are the guys who’ll get killed if guaranteed contracts go by the wayside- guys whose salaries are big enough that dumping them will have a positive impact on the bottom line (and clear cap space which will be even more valuable with a hard cap) but who are fairly replaceable. As you pointed out, when the Knicks had a chance to cut anybody they chose Jerome Williams- a very replaceable guy making 7m+.

  78. Ted Nelson

    nicos: I could be wrong but I think those are the guys who’ll get killed if guaranteed contracts go by the wayside

    Ok, I see what you’re saying. Last thing I heard non-guaranteed contracts had been taken off the table… but I guess those kinds of rumors are useless and it’s not like I follow them too closely. Everything I’ve been hearing is that they’re looking to end this without a strike/lock-out, though, and I have to guess players would throw a shit-fit over guaranteed contracts.

  79. Ted Nelson

    An amnesty clause to cut one guy to wipe him off the cap and non-guaranteed contracts are very different things… so we’ll have to see which if either happens.

  80. Brian Cronin

    It happened last time, so it sort of makes sense for people to speculate that it will happen this time. As I say above, it’s already happened and the Knicks decided Jerome Williams was the guy to use it on.

    What they are talking about here (and I agree that I find it incredibly hard to believe it would actually happen) is different from what happened back then. That time was just wiping the salary off of your luxury tax payments. The player’s salary still counted to your cap, you just wouldn’t have to pay luxury tax payments for being over the cap by that player’s salary. The Knicks chose Jerome Williams because insurance was going to cover most of Houston’s salary due to his retirement from injuries.

    Here, they’re apparently talking about being able to remove a player from your cap, which would be huge for a lot of teams. I doubt it will happen, though.

  81. Spree8nyk8

    CRJoe:
    @42 But wouldn’t that screw teams in smaller markets??? Like if Boston & L.A. can constantly create new cap room just by cutting guys every other year,

    Well I would think if teams got a reputation for constantly cutting players like they were disposable then they would have a hard time getting people to sign with them. And the system can be fine tuned, maybe make it to where you can only cut x amount of contracts per year, or a certain % counts against your books for that year. That can be worked out to be fair.

    If you think about it a Hard cap is gonna screw those teams too, bc going past what other teams can offer is really the only leverage smaller market teams would have. Or maybe they do the franchise tag with the non garunteed contracts. That would give them at least and extra year. I mean the bottom line is that the real max deals in the NBA are not whats hurting teams, it’s the eddy currys and deals that end up like that. Those contracts need to be insecure so that teams don’t get buried by them. It should help to boost the middle class of the league and you would see more of a bell curve on salaries (that is off the cuff it just seems logical, I have no proof that it’s true, but in my head it seems right).

  82. latke

    ess-dog:
    Interesting piece by Berri:

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/second-guessing-the-knicks/

    Thoughts?

    Basically what he’s saying is that a core of Fields, Lee, and Balkman is better than a core of Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka… You be the judge.

    All metrics have problems, but Berri’s has a problem with low volume, high efficiency scorers that get a lot of rebounds, a category that those three knicks fit squarely into (Lee, even in 2010 had a lower usage rate than Harrington and Robinson). He undervalues the importance of guys who can disrupt defenses.

    I hate to discount him because I think it’s important to recognize that Lee was a helluva a lot more valuable a player than Robinson or Harrington even before he became a better scorer. I think a lot of people, despite the fact that they’ve erased it from their memory, would have made an argument to the contrary a couple years ago. That said, sure the knicks would have gotten a lot of rebounds, but those to, to a lesser extent than possessions, are a limited commodity. Not all missed shots can be rebounded, after all. Berri takes this important point to way too far of an extreme. It’s almost like he’s trying to sell books or something…

  83. taggart4800

    I really like the idea of bringing Chandler back. He was a big part of the team that the staff seemed to like and he brings more versatility. We have a roster that is lacking depth and to bring in a player that can play numerous positions for a coach that plays with a short rotation seems to make great sense to me.
    High character guy that can hit the 3, cut to the basket, play D at 3 positions and knows the system…. Not a lot to disagree with IMO.
    But obviously the right price is key, we can’t afford to count ourselves out of the Chris Paul/Howard stakes.

  84. New Guy

    Ted Nelson:
    They did that with the last CBA negotiations, and the Knicks used it on Jerome Williams as I remember. It was called the “Houston Rule” by people at the time since they thought it was meant to allow the Knicks to get out from under the Houston deal as I remember, but they used it on JYD instead.

    Under the Houston rule a player’s salary still counted towards the cap, it was just the luxury tax towards which it didn’t count. What’s being discussed now would allow teams to cut a guy completely and not have him count towards the cap.

  85. Z-man

    I’ve always liked WC and would welcome him back at the right price. Maybe a similar deal to Felton’s?

    I am not a fan of going for broke with Chris Paul, his knees really worry me. On the other hand, I would break the bank for Howard, but honestly, is there any chance of that happening? It would be like the LeBron thing all over again, probably resulting in us getting jilted again.

    I like Dallas’ blueprint much more than the Heat’s, in other words, go for good complementary players at this point. Marc Gasol, Iggy, guys like that.

  86. New Guy

    I don’t know how much of a blueprint Dallas really laid out. That kind of team wins a championship once in a while and usually only when a more star laden team self destructs (like the 04 Lakers to the Pistons, and this year’s Heat). The “blueprint”, to me, seems like “put together a solid team, get the right matchups, and hope a more talented team lays an egg in the final.”

    I mean, down 9 pts in the 4Q of game 4, the Mavs didn’t have much of a blueprint until LeBron went AWOL.

  87. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: What they are talking about here (and I agree that I find it incredibly hard to believe it would actually happen) is different from what happened back then.

    Interesting. Forgot it was just off luxury taxes. Yeah, I still doubt anything radical happens given the NBA’s continued insistence that there’s no lock-out or strike coming. A one time rule maybe… but I have a really, really hard time seeing the union letting teams cut players almost as they please.

    Spree8nyk8: I mean the bottom line is that the real max deals in the NBA are not whats hurting teams, it’s the eddy currys and deals that end up like that.
    Those contracts need to be insecure so that teams don’t get buried by them.

    Or teams just need to not be so dumb as to enter into them in the first place. Eddy Curry already had worked hard to earn a reputation as a bum… yet Isiah Thomas still felt he was a “franchise center.”

    latke: He undervalues the importance of guys who can disrupt defenses.

    As well as guys who play defense.

    Z-man: Maybe a similar deal to Felton’s?

    I think that’s way too much for WC. He’s an average wing player. Shawne Williams isn’t much worse, and probably comes at a fraction of the price. Maybe a 1 year deal for $7.5 for WC, probably not multiple.

  88. Tony Pena

    I don’t buy that whole ‘Dallas didn’t win, Miami collapsed thing’. Truth is they overwhelmed every playoff team they played. Their blueprint is nothing pioneering- their collection of talent was simply more than whatever team they played had. So their 1(Dirk) +.75 (Terry?) + .75 + .5 + .5 etc. was more than Miami’s 1+1+ .7+ .25+ .25 etc. (I do think James Jones loss was huge though). Add terrific coaching and there you go.

    The Knicks should do the same: Collect talent. Granted for a championship talent also needs to compliment itself.

  89. Ted Nelson

    Tony Pena: I don’t buy that whole ‘Dallas didn’t win, Miami collapsed thing’.

    Yeah, I’m with you. Dallas was a heck of a team. It’s easier to have a great team with multiple great players… but not necessary.

    Tony Pena: The Knicks should do the same: Collect talent.

    Agreed. And collect talent at good value. Having good players on cheap deals is never going to be a problem. Don’t have the cap room for CP3/Howard? If you’ve got valuable assets whose worth exceeds their salary you’ve got a good shot at a s&t so long as the player has some leverage with other teams being able to sign them outright.

  90. Tony Pena

    WC would be awesome, plays the 2, 3, 4 and is familiar with the system. I think Grant Hill will make our starting 5 look legit championship-contending. Look at least. Reggie Evans is somebody I would like too, good rebounder, decent offense, tough.

  91. Garson

    There have been whispers of the return of Kurt Thomas.

    I think we would hit the jackpot with him.

    What he offers.
    1. Veteran Leadership
    2. Gritty , old school mentality which can carry over to the youngens.
    3. His decent midrange shot , which is still there , gives him more time on the floor being that he can space out the court.
    4. Sold backup role for Amare, and center remained to be named.
    5. He would become our top lowpost defender … not saying much, but an asset.
    6. Hes Cheap!
    7. Hes Mean.

  92. flossy

    I think everyone is forgetting that it took Dallas years and years of adding and subtracting complimentary pieces around Dirk before they finally found the right combination of players and won a ring. I highly, highly doubt the Knicks fan base (or owner, who is the only fan that matters) has the patience to tinker around the margins for the next five years or so hoping that the right role players will put us over the top. Not as long as there is always another free agent superstar on the horizon…

    More of an issue is that Dallas put their team together by going waaaaay over the salary cap by any means necessary. Obviously Dolan is willing to spend to win, but it remains to be seen whether what Cuban did will even be possible under the upcoming CBA.

  93. Z

    Brian Cronin: That time was just wiping the salary off of your luxury tax payments. The player’s salary still counted to your cap, you just wouldn’t have to pay luxury tax payments for being over the cap by that player’s salary. The Knicks chose Jerome Williams because insurance was going to cover most of Houston’s salary due to his retirement from injuries.

    I know you’re right about this, Brian, but it doesn’t seem to make sense at all. Even though Houston’s salary was being picked up by insurance, they still had to pay luxury tax on it. What was the benefit of paying tax on Houston’s gargantuan contract but not on JYD’s reasonable contract (especially as JYD was actually able to play decent minutes and contribute)? Any chance you can explain it further (maybe an unsung Knicks history :)?

  94. flossy

    Re: Kurt Thomas… why not? Veteran defensive-minded frontcourt depth would be welcomed. Bonus points for being a karmic throwback to the last era in which the Knicks didn’t suck.

  95. Ted Nelson

    flossy: I think everyone is forgetting that it took Dallas years and years of adding and subtracting complimentary pieces around Dirk before they finally found the right combination of players and won a ring.

    I’m not forgetting that, but what’s the alternative? Signing LeBron James would be awesome… but the Knicks tried that. They might try to sign Howard or Paul. It might work. It might not. If it doesn’t, you want the Knicks to just be mediocre rather than adding talent around Melo and Amare or what? Just let Chauncey Billups leave and keep signing league minimum guys to fill in the rotation for 5 years? Sell draft picks after taking them (since have to take one every two years) so as not to take on their salaries?

    Knicks fans are not patient enough to build a good team, but they’re patient enough to constantly wait till a THIRD “superstar” signs with them while they get knocked out of the first round every year?

    I think you are forgetting that the Mavericks have been a good playoff team for years. Only one team can win a ring. Just like the NBA is not so dichotomous between superstars and mere mortals, it’s also not just one great champion and a bunch of losers who are all equal. Watching a great playoff team battle year after year is very rewarding for its fans. Better than watching a lottery team lose every night.

    I also think you are misinterpreting their model through too much emphasis on “superstars” vs. everyone else. They just added talent where they could. Sometimes that has meant overpaying, sometimes finding value. People are talking about recent Dallas anyway, not the last 10 years.

    As I said before, adding good value is not going to hurt you from getting Howard or CP3. You can trade for them mid-season if you’ve got enough firepower and their team thinks they’re walking, or you can s&t for them next offseason. It’s not…

  96. Tony Pena

    I def cosign on Kurt Thomas, a decent backup PF seems to be our biggest hole on paer right now.

    Flossy, very true on the years it took Dallas to put it all together. But I think it was more of a chemistry thing. They’ve had talent on multiple positions and on the bench for a while now. The last two years however they’ve done particularly well on trades and drafts. I think the Rudy Fernandez deal this year was excellent. You don’t have to do it by overspending tho, look at OKC… I just think it’s a great argument vs the Boston/Miami/Lakers ‘Big three’ route. Hey maybe we can create our own, ‘Big 2 + deep bench’.

  97. Grymm

    I agree with 104. Dallas was far up there in pay roll. Put it this way – they lost a marginal all star small forward and had another one sitting on the bench to replace him. They had a ton of depth and more all star appearances than the Heat (29 to 21). The difference being Kidd and Marion are definitely on the backsides of their careers. I think it would be a tough model to emulate without a few years to work with. The Knicks are closer in build to the Heat than Mavericks.

    I do think though that you always have to have a few young prospects in the system – especially players you get cheap (draft picks, international FAs) who could potential develop into decent/average players who you can use or trade. We need a few more Mozgovs.

  98. KnickfaninNJ

    flossy,

    I am not sure Knick fans would be impatient with the Dallas path, I think it’s more the Knick owner would be too impatient. Having a number of consecutive seasons of quality basketball and playoff appearances, would make me happy not impatient. Of course I would want more, but it would be a considerable improvement and the Garden would be selling out every game.

    On the Berri stuff, I think he accurately reflects the fact that the Knicks have basically drafted pretty well under Thomas and Walsh. I haven’t been in favor of all the trades that were made; but overall the team isn’t worse now and we were able to get Carmelo because of our quality drafting in the past. But I also think Berri’s stats over value quality role players. I think that both from looking at the values he assigns but also because his stats assume a players production is independent of what the coach does with him and the players around him. This just isn’t true. A quality role player with good scoring stats typically scores when he is open. A quality star with good scoring stats typically scores with the other team’s best defender on him. You can’t put the role player in the star’s position and expect him to perform like the star. In the team Berri shows, the scoring leaders would probably be split among Lee, Gallinari and Chandler. I think most teams could get away with man to man defense on each of them. Gallinari might get a lot better than this, but otherwise this would make the Berri team pretty mediocre.

  99. Tony Pena

    One more thing about the payroll thing. It’s what I say to my Met friends, I’m not going to apologize for playing within the rules. If the sport allows you to spend more than other teams and thereby puts you in a competitive advantage, you do it, it’s not charity. Just try to do it smart, ala Sam Presti, not Isaiah Thomas. Btw, I loved the Josh Harrelson pick once I read up about him, but I was thinking that being able to buy a pick is exactly one of these ridiculous advantages.

  100. Ted Nelson

    KnickfaninNJ: I am not sure Knick fans would be impatient with the Dallas path, I think it’s more the Knick owner would be too impatient.

    I’m with you as far as selling out the Garden… but I don’t understand all this “impatience” stuff. Dolan wants to sell tickets and put a winning product on the floor. He wants the revenues from going deeper into the playoffs. If Howard and CP3 spurn the Knicks… the Heat path is going to take years and years of first round exits to emulate.

    I think the problem is defining the Heat path vs. the Mavs path and people are mostly talking past each other. The Heat path involves stripping everything you’ve got to make room for big names. The Mavs path involves putting the best product you can on the floor and always looking for talent wherever it’s available.

    KnickfaninNJ: You can’t put the role player in the star’s position and expect him to perform like the star.

    I disagree with your definition of “role player” and “star.” By star you seem to mean “high volume scorer” and by role player you seem to mean “low volume scorer.” One of Berri’s great points is that the line is not so distinct. That a low volume scorer who scores efficiently and brings other skills to the table (D, passing, rebounding, etc.) can be more valuable to a team than a high volume scorer who scores inefficiently and has big holes in his game. That a Tyson Chandler, for example, can be more valuable than a Jerry Stackhouse or Allen Iverson, for example. In a playground pick-up games maybe you take the scorer, but the NBA isn’t a pick-up game.

  101. adrenaline98

    I don’t think they will implement a full guarantee or non-guaranteed. Like the NFL, I believe they will take the middle road. The NFL is full of non-guaranteed but that’s because there are so many roles in an NFL game and the majority (outside of QBs) are ROLE PLAYERS. Even if you have a star cornerback, his backup is a roleplayer, comes in for certain sets and reads. His contract is non-guaranteed. However, the star corner’s contract is PARTIALLY guaranteed, essentially, his signing bonus.

    This is how I view a Chandler type of player. He is essentially a great roleplayer (a jack of all trades kind of) but is not that star QB who is guaranteed 50 mil out of his 80 mil contract. He is likely to be signed to a 4 year 36 million deal, essentially, with 20 of it guaranteed over the 4 year period, and the Knicks are free to cut him whenever, and save the remaining 4 mil/year.

    If this happens, the NBA will see a lot more parity and flexibility, and older players making 12-14 mil, like Paul Pierce next year, may be cut. The bad part about this is fan loyalty. NBA fans, more than NFL/NHL fans care about their stars because of how visible they are without gear. They are recognizable faces on the street and on the court. I’d be able to recognize Chauncey/Amare/Carmelo before I even recgonize Mark Sanchez. I’m not sure how they will deal with this part. The NFL is watched for the sport, and the NBA is watched for the stars. Perhaps the one exception was Favre, but after winning the Superbowl, Favre is in Packer fans’ distant memories.

  102. New Guy

    I don’t mean to denigrate Dallas, but if you ask me what their blueprint was, I’d say it was “throw up enough shit and hope some of it sticks.” They sold Nash too short, bought Kidd too late. For a big man they took a flier on Bradley (fail), Mbenga (fail), Dampier (fail), Diop (fail), Podkolzin (fail), Haywood (fail), and finally hit the jackpot with Chandler. The players they were banking on got injured and players they didn’t want to have to play big roles played big roles and played them well. Oh, and they got an absolutely all-time performance from their best player. How do you emulate that? I fully respect what they did, but they did not lay down a blueprint.

  103. Z

    Re: “the Dallas model”

    Seems like Dallas managed to pull off what the Knicks had tried during the 1990s– to surround their one superstar with enough talent to win the championship. Dirk is their Ewing, Terry their Starks, Kidd their Harper, Butler their Chris Mills, etc…

    I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with this model. It takes a fair amount of luck to get a championship out of it (the ’94 Rockets had luck with it, the 1994 Knicks didn’t), but clearly it can happen. The key seems to be that the greater the one superstar, then less luck is needed.

  104. Grymm

    A quality role player with good scoring stats typically scores when he is open. A quality star with good scoring stats typically scores with the other team’s best defender on him. You can’t put the role player in the star’s position and expect him to perform like the star. In the team Berri shows, the scoring leaders would probably be split among Lee, Gallinari and Chandler. I think most teams could get away with man to man defense on each of them. Gallinari might get a lot better than this, but otherwise this would make the Berri team pretty mediocre.

    I think the key to the Berry philosophy/evaluation is that the best basketball is played without ever having to shoot against an opponent’s best defender. It looks like players last year averaged about a shot every 3 min. That means each starter only needs to take ~11/12 shots to cover their output. Depending on the opposing team, you shift who takes which shots, but it should even out and you aim for the best shots you can. Of course Berry has a ton of other stuff rolled in. As far as offensive efficiency goes, we’ll see how it works out with Denver this year.

  105. KnickfaninNJ

    Ted,

    by impatience on the part of an owner I mean his tendency to trade the future for the present. This desire on the part of Dolan has overall made the Knicks less watchable, not more. One thing Berri’s table doesn’t mention, but is in the favor off Berri’s case is that if the Knicks had just kept those players they would also own all their draft picks in the future. I do think the current team has more potential than the one in the table, but the loss of draft picks is a big loss.

    For definition of star and role player, I think you are right, I was mentally defining a star as a good scorer. That isn’t totally fair of me. But I wasn’t thinking necessarily of those taking a high volume of shots, more of those with a good TS% despite being known scorers. And you are right, there is no hard line dividing a star and a role player. But I do think that players who are defended less intensely will be more efficient scorers. So if you just assess efficiency in a stat, you have some bias in favor of those players other NBA teams have less respect for. To give an example, Fields was the go to guy on his team and one the teams that Stanford played had to respect. So I am not surprised his PAWS rating successfully predicted good things in the NBA. This seems to be the case for Shumpert too, so I am hopeful for him. But Faried high PAWS might be because it comes mostly from rebounding and in close scoring in a league where he was mostly playing against shorter guys. So it will be interesting to see how he does in Denver.

  106. Grymm

    Haddadi is very large. He’s only played about 530 min across 3 seasons, rebounded well, and kept his fouls under 3 per 36. His shooting % look a little spastic but the sample sizes are pretty small. He remains a very large man. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone gave him a little more change for a chance to see if he could be a backup center rather than 3rd string. Mozgov is pulling ~$3M/season. Then again, I haven’t watched him play that I remember or know anything of his injury history.

  107. KnickfaninNJ

    I think most of Mozgov’s $3M was so he could pay his buyout from his Russian club. He had to pay some of it because NBA rules don’t let the teams pay more than a certain amount. He certainly didn’t get to keep all of it. so it might not be a fair free market value for an inexperienced very big man.

  108. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: I don’t think they will implement a full guarantee or non-guaranteed. Like the NFL, I believe they will take the middle road.

    I personally doubt the union would go for that. What are they getting in return? It’s a negotiation… the owners can’t get something for nothing. Could be something the owners are giving them, but if I’m a player I’m not agreeing to non-guaranteed contracts.

    New Guy: if you ask me what their blueprint was, I’d say it was “throw up enough shit and hope some of it sticks.”

    If you look at any team over a long enough period you’re going to be able to say the same thing. You are mentioning guys they signed as 3rd Cs and #20+ draft picks failing as insults… You’re missing all the good moves they made, and highlighting all the bad and mediocre ones. I could do that for literally any team and make it sound as bad or in most cases worse.

    Z: Seems like Dallas managed to pull off what the Knicks had tried during the 1990s– to surround their one superstar with enough talent to win the championship.

    I find that to be an oversimplification… everyone is either a superstar or an “other.” Misses 99% of the story.

  109. Ted Nelson

    KnickfaninNJ: by impatience on the part of an owner I mean his tendency to trade the future for the present.

    I know he does that and I agree it’s hurt them at various times (though hopefully not with Melo/Billups), but I don’t see how that fits more with the Miami model than Dallas… Miami requires the patience to put off the present to sign big stars in the future. Dallas involves just collecting talent now.

  110. bob cook

    For a “2011 draft” thread, we sure spent a lot of time on Mozgov. Funny that he was Denver’s final demand and then they proceed to leave him entirely on the bench. Anyhow, I will introduce a new issue: the two Landrys. Through 50 games, Fields was consensus rookie of the year runner up to Griffin and accordingly, arguably the best 2nd round pick of all time. Then through 30 games he was…disappointing. Whutup? Well there’s the famous and real “rookie wall” but also the team was remade after the Melo deal and Landry was conceivably the lost piece. It seems tho, that most Knick pundits now consider him a bench guy and there’s been talk that he’s a nice guy to back up Shumpert. I see this as the “what have you done for me lately” syndrome and believe in Landry #1. A monster rebounder at the two (and don’t we need boards), a Havlicek type slasher, a late bloomer in college (means BIG upside) and clearly a team/character guy. And if he improves at anything like the David Lee rate, no one will put him on the bench. I envision that he’s busting his hump to get ready for 2012 and he will be a key part of a team which wins 55 games.

  111. SeeWhyDee77

    y’kno…lookin at some Shumpert highlights..an I kno they tend to be biased, but I think we can all be a little excited about this kid. Firstly, he is long limbed and athletic. He has a real chance at being a great defender becuz of his quickness, awareness and length. Secondly, I think D’Antoni is right. His poor shooting percentage seems 2 be a result of shot selection. His jumper has nearly perfect form. It almost resembles h20′s jumper. Textbook. If he can improve his decision making, he will be a great addition to the lineup. Considerin that he’s likely 2 get quite a few open j’s, I expect his percentage to go way up. Maybe I’m not so upset about passing on Singleton now.

  112. CRJoe

    @122
    But what’s wrong with putting him on the bench??? Even if he improves… Say we do get a decent center we can use as a starter, and Amar’e recovers from last year’s performance on the boards (worst of his career), with Melo in the mix the starting lineup would be far better than the second unit in rebounding… So why don’t send Landry to the bench to help out a potential Turiaf, Shawnee, Bill Walker frontcourt???
    As you point out he is also a pretty good slasher, and given the opportunity to play as the second or third offensive option in the second unit, he could easily average double digits from the bench for us…
    IMHO Shumpert is not a good player, I don’t see him getting a ton of minutes, I don’t like him, I hope I’m wrong, but that’s just how I see it… Still I wouldn’t mind letting the kid develop by placing him in the starting lineup, next to Melo, Billups, Amar’e; with absolutely no pressure to score & handle the ball, and let the more mature, NBA proven Fields lead the bench…

  113. daJudge

    I really enjoyed reading the posts concerning the two models. What a great blog! Wish I had more time to digest and comment (sometimes I feel guilty about not researching enough before commenting—wow). One thing about the so- called Dallas model that wasn’t mentioned is that Dirk has stayed relatively healthy. If Dirk got hurt, the Dallas model might be a bust. They might stink in the West. Ted Nelson was reflecting on the merits of a team that might not win the championship, but would be a perennial deep playoff team. I concur and would love a team like that. However, w/o Dirk, IMO, the Mavs would not be a deep playoff team, role players notwithstanding. Anyway, I hope the Knicks focus on the three excellent player model and sign CP3. I suppose that will depend on the CBA.

  114. kaine

    It took years to win it all for dallas. true.
    but in those years, they won at least 50 games per season, sometimes 60+, and went to the finals once. clearly they made some right choiches. the model is: sign good players…the moment will come.
    the model is not “gamble all the way to win now”
    just because it happpened to boston doensn’t mean it will always happen: there is just one leprechaun

  115. Z-man

    daJudge:
    I really enjoyed reading the posts concerning the two models.What a great blog!Wish I had more time to digest and comment (sometimes I feel guilty about not researching enough before commenting—wow).One thing about the so- called Dallas model that wasn’t mentioned is that Dirk has stayed relatively healthy.If Dirk got hurt, the Dallas model might be a bust.They might stink in the West.Ted Nelson was reflecting on the merits ofa team that might not win the championship, but would be a perennial deep playoff team.I concur and would love a team like that.However, w/o Dirk, IMO, the Mavs would not be a deep playoff team, role players notwithstanding. Anyway, I hope the Knicks focus on the three excellent player model and sign CP3.I suppose that will depend on the CBA.

    First, I agree that this is a great blog in terms of the level of discussion. I read the articles on TKB and P&T daily, but rarely read the comments (and never comment myself). Some recent returns and departures here have elevated the level of discussion as well. Ted is ever active yet more restrained than in the past (at least for now, hope it keeps up!)

    I really liked the team we had before the Melo trade and thought we gave up 2 pieces too much (Moz and a draft pick, e.g.) but understand that the “star” model is a valid approach. I just don’t think that a third star is necessary, and with the salary cap, it might even be detrimental. Plus, for me, it is much more fun to root for a deep, well-rounded team with great leadership and ‘the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts” feel. Dallas was much more fun to root for than Miami for that reason, hate for Miami aside.

    Maybe Chauncey and Amare can do the leadership thing with this team next year.

  116. Brian Cronin

    I love the idea of Billups not liking the idea of the Knicks upgrading over…him.

  117. Tony Pena

    #130, lol. One slightly related, probably insignificant, but interesting bit- Shumpert got congratulatory tweets from Melo and Stat; Norris Cole, still waiting…

  118. Frank

    TDM:
    Knicks extended a Qualifying Offer to Derrick Brown yesterday.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nba/1605/derrick-brown

    Wondering what this means for Extra E.Possibly retaining DB as a trade asset?

    I have a feeling Extra E will be in NYK Blue and orange for a long time – NYK gave him a chance and he flourished under D’Antoni. Walsh leaving probably hurts that a little but he’s even said that he wants to stay in NY long-term. Hopefully we can give him something like what the old bi-annual exception used to be ($2M or so). I think he deserves more than the vet’s minimum.

    Re: the multi-star approach – I think it all depends on where the hard cap comes in (I am sort of believing that hard cap is coming) and what max contracts will be (if they exist with hard cap). If the hard cap is $65M and they cut the max contract to $12M, then SuperFriends will become the rule. If hard cap is $55M and max contracts stay at 17-18M, then will be impossible to field a whole team.

  119. Frank

    Meanwhile – someone higher on this thread mentioned a Larry Hughes-Shumpert comparison — looking at career stats, this might be the most spot-on comparison. Good ballhandler, can play point in a pinch, pretty crappy long-range shooter, good defender, roughly same height (although Shumpert’s got Hughes by 40+ lbs). Hughes played in this league 11 years and was doomed by his shot selection – but the rest of his game was pretty respectable. He was also stuck on teams which let him keep shooting — hopefully with Melo and Amare here, there won’t be enough shots for Iman to be like that.

  120. adrenaline98

    Ted, that part IS the negotiation. The owners actually want a pure hardcap with non-guaranteed contracts.

    What will eventually happen is that players will lose paychecks, career time, and equity. LeBron James is a nobody without basketball. Who do you think wins this ‘negotiation’ in the long run? The players know they have to settle for a lot of concessions. Fisher just talks tough.

    In other news, Nene is now a UFA. Never had a career reb/36 over 10. Great TS%, efficient down low. I think a Chandler would be better use of our capspace. He’s also an UFA.

  121. adrenaline98

    Frank: Meanwhile – someone higher on this thread mentioned a Larry Hughes-Shumpert comparison — looking at career stats, this might be the most spot-on comparison. Good ballhandler, can play point in a pinch, pretty crappy long-range shooter, good defender, roughly same height (although Shumpert’s got Hughes by 40+ lbs). Hughes played in this league 11 years and was doomed by his shot selection – but the rest of his game was pretty respectable. He was also stuck on teams which let him keep shooting — hopefully with Melo and Amare here, there won’t be enough shots for Iman to be like that.

    Let’s also not forget the fact that Hughes was highly volatile, uncoachable a lot of times, and clashed with players/coaches. Shump is actually a lot more athletic. His ceiling is much higher than Hughes. Whether he achieves it is a different story.

  122. flossy

    adrenaline98: In other news, Nene is now a UFA. Never had a career reb/36 over 10. Great TS%, efficient down low. I think a Chandler would be better use of our capspace. He’s also an UFA.

    In other news… we have no capspace.

  123. adrenaline98

    Blazers gave QO to Oden this morning. Was looking up his salary. Dude’s made 19 million for 1 season (82 games played). Haha

  124. ess-dog

    I think it’s kind of bs that the owners want a hard cap. I mean, they don’t HAVE to cap their teams out. No one’s forcing anybody to give Drew Gooden 6 mil a year for 5 years.

    I think they should keep the cap exactly the same. The cap isn’t the issue as much as the contracts. Maybe they should limit years on the midlevel contract and/or extend rookie contracts by a year. Lower the max and the midlevel a bit. A salary rollback is lame, but maybe a league wide 10% rollback would at least give teams some breathing room.

    Teams just need to not suck so much and realize that maybe you could just bring a rookie or an undrafted guy in to do what Drew Gooden does. I have no sympathy for a team like Milwaukee. What the hell were they thinking last year?

  125. Grymm

    I’m not sure of the exact structure, but I think the players get 57% of the BRI regardless. Now if that comes out to $2160M and and player salaries drops to $2000M, what happens to the $160M? Is it reinbursed to the players based on their salary? Does it go to a union fund?

    Also, if you own a franchise and your primary goal is to win, and you know the Lakers are going to spend as much as they can, the system kind of makes you choose winning vs. profitability. Teams other than the 2001-2010 Knicks generally were able to correlate payroll with wins (absent extreme value rookie contracts).

    Either way, opening day is not for months so I see no reason either side is really in a rush to get this done.

  126. Frank

    Really amazing – this Casspi for Hickson trade. To think – the Cavs could basically have had Amare Stoudemire for JJ Hickson (+ Big Z who was going to be cut and resign with the Cavs anyway) and instead they’re getting Casspi and a lottery-protected pick. That is just horrible GM-ing.

    I like the trade for Sac-Town though – Jimmer/Evans/Salmons/Hickson/Cousins is not that bad a starting lineup. Probably not enough shooting though.

  127. Tony Pena

    #142- Not only that, wasn’t Hickson the reason they didn’t want to pick Derrick Williams with the #1? It would’ve been so much better if they would’ve went Williams 1, Knight/Walker/Iving 4… IMHO.

    James Jones opted out. I would take a flyer on him. Better than Billie Walker I think, if only by so much.

  128. DS

    Frank: Jimmer/Evans/Salmons/Hickson/Cousins is not that bad a starting lineup.

    Yes it is. On paper, it looks pretty good but I imagine it to be a mess on the floor.

    Otherwise, I agree w/ you completely. Maybe the Kings’ pick is unprotected in 2013? Otherwise, it’s a head scratcher.

    Most importantly, do the Knicks make a deal for Jason Thompson?? Dalembert?

  129. Grymm

    I don’t really like that lineup. Jimmer is going to be an unknown quantity at the point but most seem to think his defense is going to be an issue. Evans dropped off last year. Salmons is coming off 2 poor shooting years in the last 3. Cousins has attitude issues.

    I would steal Jason Thompson from that squad though.

  130. adrenaline98

    @140, you are thinking of the hardcap as a ways to prevent owners from splurging. This isn’t why they want a hardcap. Hardcaps encourage smart management and parity. In fact, they force it. The problem with the NBA is that, while it has more stars than ever before, they don’t have enough stars. The NBA is a star driven league. Take away LeBron James from the Cavs, there’s your result. Take away D-Rose or D12, look at what that will be. Take away Joe Flacco, and the Ravens will still be pretty good. The turnaround on an NFL team is extremely high. You can’t turn around 4 starters on an NBA team and expect them to be good next year.

    So while caps force parity (at least payroll parity, which usually translates to team parity), it doesn’t in the NBA. There are only 2handfuls of players that truly make a huge difference in wins and in driving ticket sales. I don’t think they’ve thought this part through when pushing a hardcap.

    So suppose the roster landscape of the NBA remains the same. The NJ Nets, lets say, must reach 55 million this upcoming year, with a hardcap of 65 million. Who are they going to fill that with? Bad middle of the road contracts to players like James Jones.

    That’s the only way to reach 55 million because no current stars in free agency. Fine, so they sign a bunch of mediocre players at salaries that are overpriced. How do they get out of it next year? Non-guaranteed contracts. James Jones may get his 5 mil this year, and will be cut next year so they can sign the likes of D12, for example. It’s typically why a hardcap goes with partially guaranteed deals.

    It gives all of the power to the owners, limited only by the ceiling, to build the exact team that they want and allows them to use an eraser to get rid of mistakes.

  131. adrenaline98

    Also, the NBA and the NFL are in totally different leagues. NFL teams make money EVERY year, TONS of it. There is the owners’ incentive to bargain with the players and keep it rolling. The NBA owners are losing money. If the players do not budge, I don’t see a season happening. Why play a season to lose money? For the fans? The players will hurt a lot faster than the owners and they will be the only ones hurting. In fact, the owners are no longer losing money, they are winning by not playing this season (unless they get their demands). I don’t blame the owners at all. In fact, I side with the owners.

    I don’t run a business to lose money, neither should they. The owners have all the power here. They will dictate the terms. You can see few of them care more about the season. As much of an arrogant douche Dolan is, he cares about winning, he wants the Knicks to succeed, and the Knicks make money. Cuban just cares about winning even if he loses money to do it. But there are the Sterlings and Leonsis’ of the world who care about making money.

  132. Ben R

    I am very much against non-guaranteed contracts. The players do most of the work and have all of the talent why should they be totally at the mercy of the owners. We should not structure a system that is unfair to the players that provide all the talent.

    I say if you want to protect owners from themselves limit contract length to 3 years. On top of that maybe allow teams to buyout one player they signed, every other year, paying them but then removing the contract from the cap. This way teams can erase their own mistakes but not take money from the players and not allow rich teams to trade and then cut other teams mistakes.

  133. cgreene

    Ben R:
    I am very much against non-guaranteed contracts. The players do most of the work and have all of the talent why should they be totally at the mercy of the owners. We should not structure a system that is unfair to the players that provide all the talent.

    I say if you want to protect owners from themselves limit contract length to 3 years. On top of that maybe allow teams to buyout one player they signed, every other year, paying them but then removing the contract from the cap. This way teams can erase their own mistakes but not take money from the players and not allow rich teams to trade and then cut other teams mistakes.

    I agree. The players are also never going to budge on the totally non guaranteed deals. 3 years of 5 or 4 years of 6 maybe. Also there should be injury exceptions. The problem with giving owners too many outs like injuries and buyouts or cuts that dont count against the cap is that it gives too much favor to the richer teams. The problem with the owners here is they are trying to solve 3 problems (1) over compensated players who cant contribute, (2) competitive imbalance towards larger markets/ richer teams AND (3) Player leverage over movement. The incentives on those issues do not align making the puzzle unsolvable unless they are willing to give on (1) or (2). (3) is less important.

  134. Shad0wF0x

    @147

    In that case, I think the NBA should just downsize the numbers of teams in the league and get rid of teams like the Clippers and Wizards. Sterling can go screw himself.

  135. adrenaline98

    Why do you think even LeBron (albeit stupidly) said he supported contraction? Do you really think he doesn’t know what the word means? He must have thought we are dumb to believe his retraction. The NBA is a system where stars rule. The problem is # of stars. The only way to supplant that is by this softcap system. You don’t want rich teams to go balls out like the Yankees (because that would ruin this league). But you want to give them some kind of competitive advantage. Miami has 3 superstars, the only way Dallas won this year is because their payroll is about 90 million and they have a lot of high quality role players, players like Terry and Chandler, and Barea. The problem with this system is when rich teams (like the Lakers) get a hold of 2 superstars in Bryant and Gasol, then exceed the cap like hell adding role players. This is eventually what will happen with Miami if they keep the current system. Arison is willing to pay more because winning pays for itself and/or some owners just want to win regardless of the price.

    Ideally, the NBA would be best if only superstars made max money, and everyone else has a much lower scale. You could put together 1 star, 8 solid rotation and role players, and beat that 3 superstar team who has to go with really poor minimum salary players in order to maintain their superstars. The Heat would have LBJ, Wade, Bosh, and 12 other scrubs. The Knicks would have Amare, Melo, 5 solid role players, and 8 sort of scrubs. The Mavs would have Dirk, 8 solid role players, and 6 scrubs, so on and so forth.

    The problem, obviously, is categorizing these superstars. Until you can do that highly effectively, it’s an imperfect system. But a hardcap makes a lot less sense than a softcap.

  136. adrenaline98

    Ben R: I am very much against non-guaranteed contracts. The players do most of the work and have all of the talent why should they be totally at the mercy of the owners. We should not structure a system that is unfair to the players that provide all the talent. I say if you want to protect owners from themselves limit contract length to 3 years. On top of that maybe allow teams to buyout one player they signed, every other year, paying them but then removing the contract from the cap. This way teams can erase their own mistakes but not take money from the players and not allow rich teams to trade and then cut other teams mistakes.

    This is a mistake. LeBron James is the most talented player in the world, and if there were no owners, no one would know, because he’d be playing on a blacktop in Cleveland OH. The owners are as important as the players. They provide a gigantic venue where these skills are displayed.

    Bad contracts are also not only given to scrub players. Bad contracts also include, for example, Grant Hills injury riddled career in Orlando. Was he some scrub? Could they foresee all of the infections arising in his ankles in year 2? Was McDyess a terrible player with a terrible contract? It’s about dollars and cents, and when you’re losing money and forced to pay an employee his due, you will demand that the CBA be changed.

    Also, it’s not non-guaranteed deals so much as partially guaranteed deals. I actually think that will be a positive in the NBA. It will allow teams with good managerial talent to compete every year instead of basing it on injury luck. It will also eliminate “Contract Year” performances.

  137. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: Ted, that part IS the negotiation. The owners actually want a pure hardcap with non-guaranteed contracts.

    That’s not how it works, though. The starting point is the status quo. The owners can’t just say we want to change everything and royally screw you players over… That’s why the players have a union in the first place. If the owners want to screw them around they just don’t play. Who is going to watch the Chicago Bulls to see recycled ex-NBA scabs like Mateen Cleaves instead of Derrick Rose? How much are they paying for the privilege of watching scrubs? The players have leverage, just like the owners do. That’s why they have to give something to get something. Maybe the owners have more leverage right now for some reason, but that doesn’t mean they can totally screw the players without giving them something. I don’t know what the players could want besides more money. Max salary would have to go up or the owners would have to guarantee the players a larger part of the pot… or there’s going to be a lock-out.

    It’s especially unlikely to work for guys who already have contracts. They have legal contracts stating that their team has to pay them… guaranteed. Why are they giving that up?

    adrenaline98: What will eventually happen is that players will lose paychecks, career time, and equity.

    And the owners will lose even more money…

  138. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: This is a mistake. LeBron James is the most talented player in the world, and if there were no owners, no one would know, because he’d be playing on a blacktop in Cleveland OH.

    Where are you getting this crap from? Why on earth are you so pro-owner. LeBron could start his own damn basketball team… The LeBron Akron Globetrotters. I could start a team in Cleveland and sign LeBron to play your team in New York and someone else’s team in Boston. Who owns the teams is irrelevant.

  139. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: It’s about dollars and cents, and when you’re losing money and forced to pay an employee his due, you will demand that the CBA be changed.

    The current terms have been collectively bargained over decades… why do the owners suddenly have so much leverage now that they never had before to radically re-write the entire system. Change can certainly happen slowly, and that usually comes in a give-and-take manner. Or radical change can happen too, but that takes a radical change in leverage. When the courts ruled players could become free agents, for example, that radically changed things and gave the players more leverage.

  140. nicos

    adrenaline98: This is a mistake. LeBron James is the most talented player in the world, and if there were no owners, no one would know, because he’d be playing on a blacktop in Cleveland OH. The owners are as important as the players. They provide a gigantic venue where these skills are displayed.

    Not the best example as LBJ was on the cover of Sports Illustrated before he’d played a minute in the NBA- The guy’s high school games were televised. Cleveland started selling out games the minute they won the lottery. LBJ wouldn’t be making anywhere near what he makes now if the NBA didn’t exist but he would have been a huge college star and certainly a well-known athlete with or without the NBA. And at the end of the day, while the NBA has done a great job marketing the game (at least post-1980), the NBA exists because people like basketball- not the other way around.
    Also- I do agree that the owners should have a reasonable shot at turning a profit though I don’t think that the players should have to subsidize franchises in markets the clearly won’t support them like New Orleans- skewing all players salaries down to point that those teams become profitable seems unfair.
    Was the last CBA too player-friendly? Yes. Changes need to be made but asking the players to accept what amounts to a 10 year salary freeze is clearly not a good faith offer- The owners wanted a lock-out and now they’ve got it.

  141. citizen

    Regarding bargaining power, I wouldn’t go so far as Ted’s view that the owners are basically irrelevant – starting an NBA team/league costs a lot of initial investment in creating the type of infrastructure and culture/knowledge among the public – look at all the folded sports leagues over the years. But I also disagree with adrenaline98′s completely pro-owner stance.

    As Ted points out, collective bargaining has taken place for decades in the NBA. We need to examine CHANGES in the owner-player bargaining power balance throughout the years. I see two trends in favor of the players, one short-term and one long-term. First, the short-term: the current economic downswing is actually a bargaining ADVANTAGE for the players since the owners are actually at economic risk of lockout due to the decreased performance of their other businesses. Some owners might be losing money now, but they would lose even more money in a lockout. Second, the long-term: there is more global labor mobility for players than ever before. Other than the ABA period, there has never really been an alternative for players. Now, the global popularity for the sport means that even middling NBA players can probably ride out the lockout by playing in Europe or even China à la Marbury (haha) and make a comfortable salary until an agreement is reached.

    Again, it is CHANGES in the balance of bargaining power that matter when we talk about the CBA, not assumptions made in a temporal vacuum.

  142. adrenaline98

    Too many people to reply to, but Ted, no, you can’t start your own team. Nor can you fly your players around to play against my team. We have no capital. We have no arena. We have no way of assuring any fans of anything at our imaginary arena. We have no security detail, we have no concession stands. You are being incredibly simplistic if you think we can just put together national teams in our backyards and fund something as large as the NBA while attracting fans. It does matter who owns the team. Look at some teams with crappy owners. There aren’t many people on this planet who can be an owner of a professional sports team.

    I am pro business. I am not pro owner. I believe both entities are entitled to earning a profit or salary.

    And seriously? I wish I had a 10 year salary freeze of $7 million per on average. If the owners are raking in the cash like the NFL, I would be pro players, as I am, in regards to the NFL.

    I’m also looking at it from the point of view that certain things the owners are asking for benefit us as a fan also. There is something simply wrong with paying $100 million to someone who is injured/fat/unmotivated. This is what a guaranteed contract is. Even bringing handguns into the locker room doesn’t negate a contract. As I said, I am not looking for non-guaranteed deals. I am looking for partially guaranteed deals, as a fan.

  143. Ted Nelson

    citizen: I wouldn’t go so far as Ted’s view that the owners are basically irrelevant

    I didn’t mean the owners are irrelevant (or really that the league is irrelevant), just who the owners are. If Bill Gates owned the Blazers instead of Paul Allen… who cares? If the ABA had put the NBA out of business and it was called the ABA instead of NBA… who cares?

    The owners do have bargaining power because they have monopoly power, but my point is just that without the players there’s no league. People would watch LeBron James whoever owned the team, people would not pay as much to watch a D-League team just because Arison owned it and they played in Miami.

    citizen: starting an NBA team/league costs a lot of initial investment in creating the type of infrastructure and culture/knowledge among the public

    Yeah, but that’s a process. Anyone could pull it off with some smarts if they were in the right place at the right time. Donald Sterling and James Dolan own NBA teams…

  144. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: There is something simply wrong with paying $100 million to someone who is injured/fat/unmotivated.

    How is it any less wrong that Sterling bought an NBA team for like a mill (more with inflation, but still…) and now even though he’s been 90% incompetent and not made much effort to win… it’s worth hundreds of times that even adjusted for inflation?

    How is it fair that Dolan inherited a team from daddy to be incompetent with?

    I see no moral argument that players are ripping off the owners. The owners are freaking monopoly-holders. The NBA should probably be illegal in a capitalist society. Have a more competitive system where scum like Dolan get beaten out by stronger competitors instead of protecting the status quo.

    adrenaline98: Ted, no, you can’t start your own team. Nor can you fly your players around to play against my team. We have no capital. We have no arena.

    Speak for your self buddy. Raising capital is part of my job. And if not me then rich non-owners like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could sure as hell start teams.

    Many arenas are built with public $ and leased by teams.

    My point isn’t so much that I would buy a team today anyway, but that if no NBA existed LeBron and I could start a team against similar teams and eventually an NBA-level league would emerge. Nothing special about the guys who own teams now. Again, though, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, some Saudi Princes… they could do it tomorrow.

    adrenaline98: I am pro business. I am not pro owner. I believe both entities are entitled to earning a profit or salary.

    ? Huh? You are pro monopoly and for repressing the labor…

  145. nicos

    Well, I’d agree if the owners had put a rigorous profit sharing plan in place in their offer rather than placing the entire onus of making a team like NO profitable on the players. And, while there is some chance for the players to make more if certain revenue thresholds are met- a ten year salary freeze (esp. with a new TV contract in a few years) is ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous when the owners are never going to open their books so the Players Assoc. can get an honest accounting of what the revenues actually were.
    I think a three year max on guaranteed contracts is fair (though I’s also say that if the owners have the right to unilaterally decide to terminate a contract then the player should have that right as well) and I’m actually okay with the flex/hard cap as long as at some point it can increase if revenues increase. But I’m not a fan of how the owners are going about their business.

  146. Ted Nelson

    … supply? NBA is not a free-market business. It’s a monopoly. If you are a capitalist and in favor of free markets, you’d be strongly anti-owner. You’d want self-entitled pricks like Dolan to lose out to people who actually have some sense how to run a business.

    adrenaline98: And seriously? I wish I had a 10 year salary freeze of $7 million per on average. If the owners are raking in the cash like the NFL, I would be pro players, as I am, in regards to the NFL.

    That’s not a valid argument. The market says those players are worth that much. Tell David Stern you’d do his job for free, so he shouldn’t be paid… it doesn’t work that way in a capitalist society. Just cause you would do something you are not qualified to do for less money than someone else, doesn’t mean they should get paid more. If there were LeBron James’ on every playground… his skills would not be so valuable and he’s be paid less.

  147. Jim Cavan Post author

    Oh man, this is getting good. You guys should continue this on the new lockout thread.

  148. adrenaline98

    Your logic makes no sense, Ted. I never said there aren’t any other people on this planet who have the capital for owning a team. I said there are a limited number of people. Just because Bill Gates CAN own the Portland Trailblazers, it doesn’t mean he WILL or WANTS to own the Portland Trailblazers.

    What part of the two comparisons don’t make sense for you? NFL owners are making an assload of money and tryign to rape the players for more. I am against this.

    NBA owners are losing money and are trying to take more money back from the players in order to profit. I am for this, unless the accounting is so shady and outrageous. Of course, we can’t see their books.

    Did you just also claim you can raise the capital to fund an NBA team? Well, would you?

    I am not just pro owner. I believe the revenue sharing should be much higher between ownership. Markets like LA, Chicago, and NY clearly have larger TV contracts, but I also believe it would not be enough to cover the gap that the owners are claiming right now. Am I communist now too?

  149. Ted Nelson

    My logic makes no sense?

    adrenaline98: I said there are a limited number of people.

    Whenever franchises come up for sale, I always hear about multiple bidders. That would indicate that there is more demand for franchises than supply.

    My logic, though, is that the NBA grew up over decades. Guys like Dr. Jerry Buss, for example, were not ridiculously rich billionaires from the way I’ve heard it. They bought their franchises dirt cheap in a different era, and their fortunes grew with the league’s and the world economy’s really. Does it matter that Jerry Buss owns the Lakers and not some Dr. named Berry Juss? Not really. It does matter than LeBron James is insanely talented at basketball. It does matter than Dwight Howard is 6’11″ and not 5’11″. The D-League makes less money than the NBA not necessarily because it has inferior owners, but because the competition is inferior and the large market are already monopolized.

    adrenaline98: NBA owners are losing money and are trying to take more money back from the players in order to profit.

    They claim to be losing money. That doesn’t mean they really are. NFL players also claim that NFL owners are under-reporting profits through creative accounting. This isn’t unique.

    adrenaline98: Did you just also claim you can raise the capital to fund an NBA team?

    A. I said that *if the NBA did not exist* I could start a team.
    B. If a team were up for sale I and I could make a compelling argument to investors that I could offer them a good return on investment… why not?

  150. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: Am I communist now too?

    You claimed to be “pro-business.” Pro-business usually means pro-competition, pro-market. The NBA is a cartel… the opposite of pro-competition. It discourages competition and rewards failure. Again, my logic is weak?

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