Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Booo?

Before the draft started, ESPN broadcasted videos of the potential draftees. When Danilo Gallinari was shown on the big screen, the MSG crowd erupted in a chorus of boos. An hour later the Knicks would draft Danilo Gallinari. Of course Knick fans greeted him with a second chorus of boos.

The dislike of Gallinari isn’t from anything the youngster has done. In fact most fans have never seen him play. Most Knicks fans knowledge of Gallinari is limited to what’s been reported about him and a few clips on YouTube. It’s safe to say that a majority of naysayers have never watched him play a single game. So why all the hate?

There are two simple reasons. The first is how the media has portrayed Gallinari. Leading up to the draft I read a lot of articles speculating on the Knicks’ pick. Most, if not all, depicted Danilo as an unathletic player who had family ties to Knick coach Mike D’Antoni. Vittorio Gallinari roomed with D’Antoni’s when the pair played in Italy. Although it was never mentioned specifically, the implication was that Gallinari wasn’t worth the 6th overall pick and only was on the Knicks radar due to nepotism.

But the reality is that Gallinari was thought to be a lottery pick even before D’Antoni was hired to coach New York. That Gallinari’s father played professionally should be a positive attribute. Children of athletes usually have the advantage of both genetics and round the clock coaching. Additionally Danilo’s high free throw rate shows him to be athletic enough to get to the rim.

The second reason is the failure of International picks over the last few years. Recent picks like Marco Belinelli, Yi Jianlian, Andrea Bargnani, Saer Sene, Oleksiy Pecherov, Yaroslav Korolev, Johan Petro haven’t exactly set the league on fire. And the Knicks have an especially bad track record with foreigners. Maciej Lampe barely survived in the NBA past his 21st birthday, and Frederick Weis is still the team’s biggest draft day blunder. The last Euro taken as high as Gallinari was his countryman Bargnani who went first overall to the Raptors 2 years ago. Bargnani has been such a failure, that the team traded its first rounder this year to replace him.

However Gallinari’s age 19 European season is superior to Bargnani’s. For instance Bargnani was a reserve (13.1MPG), while Gallinari was a starter (33.3MPG). Per 40 minutes Danilo scored more points (20.2 to 17.8), turned the ball over less (2.0 to 2.4), committed fewer fouls (3.1 to 6.2), and went to the foul line more often (7.6 to 4.1). He also shot better from downtown (38.1 to 35.2) and from the free throw line (83.5% to 59.5%). Even by Bargnani’s second season in Lega A, he still didn’t play as many minutes (23.5MPG) as Gallinari did as a 19 year old.

As with all draft picks, Gallinari may or may not have a fruitful NBA career. And like most draft picks it may take a season or two before we know which path he’s on. Considering his age and the Knicks depth at F (Richardson, Jeffries, Balkman, Chandler, Lee, Randolph, Rose) Danilo may start the season in the D-League. Luckily, Gallinari’s pedigree and statistical superiority to Bargnani should result in a brighter future.

65 comments on “Booo?

  1. lucca

    d league? a sixth pick on a team like this needs to be played… started if possible… and put on the fast track.

  2. David Crockett

    Two comments:

    1. I think the story about D’Antoni not liking the kid was also a huge part of the fan reaction. No one from NY to my knowledge ever refuted the story or even gave it the standard non-denial denial. If the kid was ever on their radar–which obviously he was–they owed him that much. By allowing the notion that D’Antoni doesn’t believe this kid can play (in a way that confirmed fans’ *worst* fears about heavily hyped Euroleague players) to become accepted wisdom they set the kid up for the fans’ reaction. And then just to add the cherry on top of the whole thing off, everyone involved (including Gallinari himself) has acknowledged that the kid doesn’t defend, ratcheting up the pressure even higher for his offense to translate.

    The “what if” game is always a dangerous one to play but I suspect that if Isiah let a story float unchallenged about how he didn’t like, say, Eric Gordon despite his long-standing friendship with Indiana’s AD–and then drafts Gordon–the fans (I think) would have let Gordon have it too.

    2. I won’t speak for NY fans, because I didn’t outright boo, but even if Gallinari becomes the next Carmello Anthony I still have serious questions about that kind of offense-only player becoming a cornerstone 3-5 years from now. Of course, this may have been solely a case of taking the best player available rather than foreshadowing about the kind of roster Walsh wants to construct. As the opening salvo of the new Knicks era though, it was less than utterly inspiring.

    A third comment:

    As I said during the chat, I would have traded down and simply acknowledged that this draft is not the one for finding a building block player. Instead, this is a draft deep in quality role players. Although this draft did not necessarily feature the avalanche of trades I suspected, it had its fair share, and a move down was pretty feasible for Walsh if that’s what he wanted to do.

  3. David Crockett

    One more thing. When the kid signs his deal and puts on the blue and orange I’m rooting for him whole hog. I want him to do well.

    My criticism at this point, having never seen the kid play, is of Walsh.

  4. David Crockett

    From a Washington Post article (linked to at hoopshype.com):

    Grunfeld considered trades that would have moved the Wizards up or down in the first-round draft order Thursday night. A league source said Grunfeld dangled the 18th pick — as well as the conditional future first-round pick Washington has coming from Memphis because of the Juan Carlos Navarro trade — to teams that picked higher in the round. However, he found no takers.

    That’s pretty annoying to me.

  5. Italian Stallion

    Is this good news or bad news?

    >Walsh said he got a strong recommendation from former coach Isiah Thomas after a European scouting trip, citing Gallinari’s poise in crunch time at such a young age.

    “Basically at the end of games, they gave him the ball and he made the plays,” Walsh said. “For a guy that’s that big, that’s unusual.”<

  6. Z-man

    I think Gallinari was picked at the correct position. Had any of the players picked before him dropped, I would have been much more concerned. This opportunity may not come along for a while, so I think you have to roll the dice a bit. The NBA is a star’s league and if you trade down you are going to have trouble getting either the stars or the trade bait you need to get a star in a trade. That leaves free agency, which we have been so inept at I can’t even fathom landing a big fish that way. Walsh’s track record in the draft is pretty good, so I’m less cynical about staying put and picking his version of BPA.

    I am real curious as to whether if any of the 5 first picks had dropped whether Walsh would have gone for Gallinari, particularly Westbrook and Love. Has Walsh answered that question?

    DG’s being compared to the usual foriegners, but do I recall someone evoking the name Tom Chambers? That would be cool…

  7. ess-dog

    I would actually prefer a Lee for Crittendon trade. I think Critt has better full-court speed and ability to get to the hole than Conley. He would be better for Mike D. And lets be honest. A pg and Center are the hardest things to find in the NBA. PowerForwards, especially 6’9″ hustle players are a lot easier to find. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lee and would prefer he stay and Zach leaves, but that won’t happen. I would like to see a future team of Critt, Jamal (or an upgrade), Chandler, Gallinari, and Randolph (until we can find a real defensive athletic center.)

  8. Kikuchiyo

    The booing has very little to do with Gallinari and everything to do with two factors: one, Isiah, and, two, the all around boorishness of many NY fans. No one is in a good mood about the state of the Knicks, and unless Walsh pulled off a miracle, a 6th pick wasn’t going to change the fact that we are staring down a couple more dismal seasons. (At least Gallinari + D’Antoni looks like fun, if still a lot of losing.) Isiah poisoned the well.

    But the second fact is the frustrating negativity of New Yorkers, who seem to think they show “passion” by booing everything in sight: Ewing, Houston, Eli Manning, etc. Drives me nuts. I’ll be really annoyed if D’Antoni/Walsh/Gallinari are booed early in the season. But you had to know that ANY sixth pick was going to be booed. Especially since the Isiah era, it has become “humorous” to NY fans to show up drunk to the draft and boo lustily. Whatever, creeps.

    [Note: this is NOT directed at Knickerbloggers, who are generally even-handed with praise and blame.]

    Consider me a Rooster Rooter until I see reasons not to be one.

  9. jon abbey

    “do I recall someone evoking the name Tom Chambers? That would be cool…”

    NO, NO, NO. Chambers was a sieve on D, there’s a reason his teams never won anything.

    and yeah, of course I’ll be rooting for him, but this team is still a total disaster.

  10. George from Scottsdale

    Mike,I don’t think the fans booing of Gallinari has much at all to do with the kid and certainly not his heritage.It’s a visceral effect of a combination of factors.
    1/by all accounts Gallinari is a project;Fraschilla the “Euro guru”‘s direct quote was”4 years away, no superstar”;D’Antoni compared him to Boris Diaw, imagine the fans reaction if the Knicks drafted Diaw 6th!! While patience is required, 4 years “may” be pushing the envelop.
    2/when combined with the rumored Lee trade, an obvious fan favorite, rightfully so,the frustration mounts;if Lee is not a core player going forward-who is?dominant rebounder-top 20 per48,efficient offensively-44th per48 in the same range as Odom and Jamison,worker-look at his vastly improved FT% and a team player.
    3/no mention from Knicks hierarchy about improving the defense.
    A fourth factor may also have been the # of moves made by the Nets and Indiana,for example,while the Knicks modestly stuck to their draft selection.
    These factors all contribute to boo’s mistakenly directed at Gallinari.By the way, not only haven’t the fans seen the kid,neither did DW or MD,FF the author of the “project” comments did.
    Let’s give DW and MD our full support,and hope and pray its less than 4 years.Respectfully.

  11. ess-dog

    Baby steps…
    Baby steps across the room… baby steps out the door… baby down the hall…

  12. Z-man

    Jon,
    We certainly didn’t draft him for D, any defensive prowess is a bonus. I was talking about his skill package on O, i.e. being a tough inside-outside player. Obviously we all hope he becomes an all-time great, but if he can be as good as Chambers in his prime, I could live with that.

  13. Mulligan

    I’ve read that they throw lit cigarettes on the court in Italy when they’re pissed at the players. If that’s true, maybe this kid can handle New York.

  14. Jimmy Z

    What ever happened to the PG from Marist that we had briefly last year? I thought he went to Europe ans was pretty impressive. Is he worth bringing back for Summer league? He could still be our PG of the future. Also, could we get Markus or Sean Williams from the NETS? With Brooke Lopez in Sean Willims’ days seem numbered as with Markus Williams now that that they have Devin Harris. I don’t know what the NETS would want (hopefully ZBo but not likely).

  15. Ben R

    The reason I am disappionted is the widely accepted thought that he is a poor defender. Also I do not like my PF’s to play like SF’s.

    On top of that since we already have Balkman, Chandler and Lee, Gallinari spells the end to at least one of their Knick careers. I have made my opinion known about Lee, but I am also very optimistic about Chandler and Balkman and I would have liked to see us draft a player that is complimentary to them.

    My biggest concern is it shows Walsh and D’Antoni’s lack of confidence in Lee, Balkman and Chandler since we drafted a player that plays their position.

    Also all our team talked about was how much we needed a PG and instead of getting one we got a forward and now we still need one. Since Lee is our only asset and our management seems less than impressed with Lee, Gallinari might spell the end of Lee as a Knick since we still need to trade for a PG.

  16. George from Scottsdale

    Jimmy Z,all potentially good ideas,but the K’s roster is full, so Jared Jordan-the Marist kid who did play well in the Vegas league last year,wouldn’t find any room @the inn. The Nets are making cap space and want no more of Zach’s contract than the K’s.Moving Crawford,who has value and who is actually cheap,in NBA terms, combined with one of the donut brothers, makes more sense in both directions.

  17. Z

    The D-League!

    Playing on the Knicks is like playing on a D-League team against A-league competition. Isn’t that having his cake and eating it too?

  18. Brendan

    Putting on my Nets fan hat for a second, trust me, you want less than no part of Marcus Williams. Slow, seemingly disinterested, weight issues, not much of a defender, limited quickness, arguably declined from his rookie year… I mean, he’s a nice enough passer and can remember the plays and such, but I almost expect the Nets to keep him under the theory that he is what he looks like- a serviceable backup.

    Sean Williams might actually be available- Lawrence Frank spent most of the second half of last year pulling him from games early or not playing him at all, and generally seemed to hate him in an almost personal way. He’s ridiculously athletic and seems to work hard, but outside of the blocks he’s really bad defensively. Bit of a highlight reel player, but he should gain consistency. Getting him would probably require a draft pick and/or eating a bad contract, however.

  19. jon abbey

    “if he can be as good as Chambers in his prime, I could live with that.”

    OK, but that is not a player that helps you win games. Zach Randolph puts up lots of numbers also.

  20. ess-dog

    I like what the Pacers, Blazers, and Sonics did. The Bucks improved, but why RJ and Alexander? A trade might be forthcoming there.
    I actually don’t think Jersey improved all that much. Kristic is underrated and Lopez is overrated.

  21. caleb

    Miami had by far the best night — they got the best player, and a steal in Chalmers at 30-whatever. Of course it’s easy to do well when you pick #2. Blazers had a pretty good night, as usual. Weird trades at the end… would have been better off packaging multiple players for a good one, before the draft.

    Also, can we stop talking about Rod Thorn as if he’s a genius? He’s screwed up as many deals as he’s made good ones. Vince Carter re-signing… and he’s just lucky Kenyon didn’t take the $80 million.

    In other news…
    If Grunfeld really offered #18 and a future first for our #6, yeah, Dave — I wish we’d done it. But it’s hard to say how real that is.

    As for stocking up on forwards — or Milwaukee trading for Jefferson and then taking Alexander — the smart GMs know that you take the best player, you don’t worry about duplication and you sort it out later. I don’t take it as showing a lack of confidence in Lee, Balkman or Chandler (or even Randolph for that matter). For all the angst here, we don’t know the first thing about what Walsh-toni thinks about the current players. Maybe summer league will give a little hint…

  22. Ben R

    Speaking of Milwaukee, with the Jefferson trade they seem to be building for winning now. I think we should revisit Randolph to Milwaukee.

    Randolph for Gadzuric and Mason.

    That gives them a starting five of:

    Williams
    Redd
    Jefferson
    Randolph
    Bogut

    Do you think they might be tempted?

  23. bud

    Another reason is that in this draft there were some future studs, like Eric “buckets” Gordon, taken behind Galinari.

    I don’t think there’s any chance he starts in the D-League. He’ll be up, hopefully getting meaningful minutes.

    Personally I’m excited about his addition, because as you said, no-one knows what kind of player he’ll turn out to be.

    The Rooster may be the best nickname since The Waiter.

  24. Nick

    Ben, I could be off but that might be one of the worst defensive teams in the league if not worse.

  25. Ben R

    It would be pretty rough but Randolph is no worse than Yi or Villanuava on defense and at least he would improve their rebounding.

    I think Randolph is terrible and I do not see him actually helping any team but I am not sure if everyone has realized that so maybe we can get them to take him.

    On paper he seems to complete their team nicely so I can dream. Also it would not cost them that much money because Gadzuric’s contract is as long as Randolph’s and by getting rid of Mason it would clear room behind Jefferson for Alexander’s minutes.

  26. jon abbey

    “I think Randolph is terrible and I do not see him actually helping any team but I am not sure if everyone has realized that”

    I think everyone except Isiah realized it before last season, which was why Portland got so little back for him.

  27. Ray

    Gallinari is going to e all right. Dont worry about that kid. The fire that he has will drive him to be the best he can. If we have to go as far back as to compare him to Tom Chambers then hes like no one in the league today and im fine with that. This year he will learn the ropes and do somthings to upset us and other things to make us go wow…so be prepared to take the good with the bad. Also , i dont think Walsh is done dealing. He going to hold his valuable pieces til the right time and then come February who knows what will happen cuz thats when everyone is for sale. I do hope we find a quality guy in the Summer League . Maybe some kind of defensive big man.

  28. caleb

    Minnesota was great — give McHale credit. He came away with Love, the 3rd best player, IMO — and cleared some salary cap room in the process. Also, I had never heard of the guy they took at the top of the 2nd round, but I found a few smart people saying that he really tore up the Euro-competition this year — sounds like a legit beast in a few years when his contract situation clears up.

    I think Mareese Speights is terrific, so of course I liked Philly’s draft.

    On the flip side — Charlotte had 9 & 20 and came away with DJ Augustin and Alexis Abinca, or whatever his name is. I’m not as down on Augustin as some, but 9 is a bit high – and that’s totally throwing away your #20.

    And Seattle — I think 4 is a real reach for Westbrook. Over the last two drafts, they could have come away with a frontline of Durant, Love & Noah — instead those picks are Durant, Green and Westbrook. Doesn’t look good. Also, the dude from the Congo at 24 — that’s just trying to show off, when Darrell Arthur is still on the board.

    Bottom line — we don’t know who drafted well, until they actually play ball for a couple of years. But I’m very skeptical about that dude in Seattle…

  29. caleb

    Ben, I think you have the right idea with Milwaukee… but in reality, if Randolph can be dealt, I think will be a mid-season situation — some team’s starting C or PF goes down, and they are desperate to stay in the playoff hunt… so they take a flyer on Randolph.

    I could actually see a desperate team like Dallas or Denver get themselves in that situation — unfortunately, Dallas doesn’t really have the contracts to make it work (except Dampier, whose deal runs even longer).

    In the back of my mind, I wonder if Walsh isn’t looking more towards the summer of 2011… his track record in Indy was more about building incrementally, not clearing cap space and going for the big score.

    I know – we’re desperate — but think of it this way: no team with LeBron has ever won an NBA title!

  30. caleb

    Oh – one more draft winner: Boston.

    When you don’t really need anything, that’s how you do it — swing for the fences. Some people thought GIddens was a lottery talent, and Walker was seen as a top 5 before he got hurt. Now, odds are that Giddens will end up in jail and Walker’s knees won’t hold up — but at 30 & 47, that’s incredible upside, with no downside.

    I also like Mbah a Moute at 37 – would have been a great pick in the 20s for a good playoff team needing athleticism and defense — like Utah,

  31. jon abbey

    someone should start a thread about ideas for our midcap, or have we been burned too often on that also?

    JR Smith is going to be way out of our price range, what do you guys think about going hard after Udrih?

  32. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “OK, but that is not a player that helps you win games. Zach Randolph puts up lots of numbers also.”

    Yeah this is what I don’t get. Randolph doesn’t really have good stats. As I said in another thread, other than rebounding he’s not a good player. He can score a lot of points, but does it very inefficiently. Randolph can rebound and do NOTHING else. He doesn’t put up good numbers.

  33. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Yeah I would have preferred the Knicks to trade down and grab a future first. But honestly there’s not a whole lot I like at #18. I guess I would have taken Chalmers, but at #6 it’s hard to see who is going to fall where. I guess if I made that deal, I would have cried when Speights, Hibbert, and Bayless went off the board when they did.

    The other question is how protected that draft pick was. Look at the Marbury deal, with the right kind of protection it could take a half dozen years to see that pick result in something.

  34. Ben R

    jon – I think the way to get JR Smith is to see if Denver would be willing to do a sign and trade for Crawford. Crawford fits more with their win now situation and his ball handling would take some of the point guard duties off Iverson’s back.

    Also if they wanted they could throw in Atkins or Hunter and save a little money.

    As for Udrih he does not seem like a great facilitator. He averaged less than 5 assits per 36 this season and has only exceeded 5 assists per 36 once in his career.

    I would rather make a stop gap move like trading Rose’s expiring for Watson or if they won’t do that Ridnour. They both expire before 2010 and Seattle does not seem high on either one. Then we would have two seasons with an adaquate point guard so we can take our time finding the long term solution. That way we can avoid something we might regret like Lee for Felton or a 5 year mle contract to someone who does not really deserve it.

  35. Ess-dog

    Well you’ve got to say the 2 most questionable picks in the top 10 were Westbrook at 4 and Gallinari at 6. But neither was outrageous I guess.
    What about Sacto taking Jason Thompson @ 12? Ridiculous. And G.S. taking Randolph who’s the same player as B. Wright who they took last year?? Charlotte and Washington made fool picks…

    The Love trade looked good. They’re front line will be pretty soft on D but they can just feed the post all day. But Memphis looks good with OJ and Arthur and Marc Gasol now on board. They’ve got a lot of guards, but where should they upgrade at?

    As far as Randolph goes, we’ve just got to bite the bullet for a year, maybe a year and a half, and up his value. We need to let Steph run out too. Then we can add a piece if we want. Really we just need to trade one (or 2) or our bigs for another guard, even if it’s a 3rd stringer.

    Would anyone trade Randolph for Hughes?

    It’s a bad contract, but at least we would have another guard instead of the glut we now have at PF… and Hughes actually plays D sometimes… and Chi needs post scoring… Then we could let Nate walk or trade him first, and have Jamal come off the bench.

  36. jon abbey

    ” I think the way to get JR Smith is to see if Denver would be willing to do a sign and trade for Crawford. Crawford fits more with their win now situation and his ball handling would take some of the point guard duties off Iverson’s back.

    Also if they wanted they could throw in Atkins or Hunter and save a little money.

    As for Udrih he does not seem like a great facilitator. He averaged less than 5 assits per 36 this season and has only exceeded 5 assists per 36 once in his career.

    I would rather make a stop gap move like trading Rose’s expiring for Watson or if they won’t do that Ridnour. They both expire before 2010 and Seattle does not seem high on either one. Then we would have two seasons with an adequate point guard so we can take our time finding the long term solution. That way we can avoid something we might regret like Lee for Felton or a 5 year mle contract to someone who does not really deserve it.”

    that’s a good post, I’m down with all of that. put Ben R in charge!

  37. Ess-dog

    Do you think if we took on Hughes from the Bulls they would throw in a young’n like Tyrus Thomas or Selfolosha? Does switching Randolph for Hughes kill our chances for Lebron? Or we could take Hinrich and Gooden and Selfolosha for Randolph and Balkman. It just seems like the 2 teams fit each others needs well.
    I think the Bulls will try a sign and trade for Brand first, then Jamison second, but if those don’t work out, then we have a shot.
    The JR Smith trade is intriguing but can JR really handle starters minutes night in and night out? Crawford ate a lot of minutes for us last year, that’s the only reason I’m hesitant to trade him. And he could flourish in Mike D’s system. We really do need a back up point too because who knows how Steph will hold up mentally as well as physically.

  38. Thomas B.

    You know what, my avatar looks just like me. Wow!

    Well the Gallanari boos were not quite deserved. Yes he did play in the European league, and we havent seen him play. But you boo a draft pick when you dont get the best guy available. I think the Knicks got the best guy available. I think fans would have booed just as loud if we had taken Eric Gordon.

  39. Z-man

    Why is there no talk about trading Steph’s expiring contract for another point guard?

    By the way, Tom Chambers was a far superior player to Zach Randolph, and to say that he was not a winning player is unfair. He was a key player on a number of 50+ win teams and had an inside-outside game, went to the free throw line often and shot over 80% from the line for 10 straight years. He played in 108 playoff games. In 88-89 he averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 4 assists in 12 games. I could live with that kind of career from Gallinari.

  40. David Crockett

    A bit off topic but not worthy of a new post, a juicy quote from today’s Daily News (Isola) about Starbury:

    Reports of Stephon Marbury’s rigorous summer training sessions have failed to impress at least one of his teammates.

    “It’s the same story every year,” says one veteran Knick. “He’s doing this, he’s doing that, he’s running hills, he’s lifting weights. And then on the first day of training camp he can’t even finish some of the drills.”

    Link: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2008/06/28/2008-06-28_stephon_marbury_seems_unfit_for_knicks.html

    Now, I don’t know who the source is here but wouldn’t it be the best thing EVER if it were Jerome James? It would be the textbook definition of irony.

  41. Jon Abbey

    “Tom Chambers was a far superior player to Zach Randolph, and to say that he was not a winning player is unfair. He was a key player on a number of 50+ win teams and had an inside-outside game, went to the free throw line often and shot over 80% from the line for 10 straight years. He played in 108 playoff games. In 88-89 he averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 4 assists in 12 games. I could live with that kind of career from Gallinari.”

    maybe a touch unfair, but these numbers overestimate the case. the 108 playoff games include quite a few where he was a limited role player towards the end of his career, and not a very good one at that (over the last 45 of those 108, he played under 20 minutes a game and shot under 40 percent). but the main point was that he also gave back most or all of those points on the defensive end, which is where the Z-Bo comparison comes in.

  42. Ted Nelson

    Wait, DC, you wish the Knicks had traded #6 for #18 and a conditional first. Memphis’ chances aren’t great, but are the Knicks really in a position to pass up a very good player (Danilo) for a *possibly* higher draft pick in a few years? Am I missing something?

    —————————————————————-

    From what I’ve read in the mainstream press Danilo comes across as an unathletic jump shooter and possibly a good passer. Less mainstream media and “draftniks” seem more positive on him. So, basically, I see why someone who only watches sportscenter and reads a mainstream paper booed.

    After watching some video of him the image of a terribly unathletic jumpshooter seems ridiculous. His athleticism may be below average by NBA standards, but he’s also not a stiff. To go with as good an outside stroke as any prospect in the draft he also took the ball to the basket almost at will against Europe’s best. This is sort of like saying that Russell Westbrook took the ball to the hole at will against college’s finest: it doesn’t mean he’ll get to the basket at will in the NBA, but it does mean he’ll get to the basket.

    The thing that really makes me optimistic about this selection, though, is that he was regarded as one of the best players in one of the top professional leagues… at 19 years old and even before that. He also stood out in the Euroleague last season. European prospects seem to be some huge mystery to NBA execs, but by and large if a player is that good at 19 he’s gone on to NBA success.

    I think some of the mystery about European prospects comes from the fact that stars like Dirk and Tony Parker came over to the league at 19/20 without much of a track record so NBA execs figured any tall athletic European with a jumper could be the next Dirk. The vast majority of “Eurobusts” barely got off the bench for their teams in Europe before coming over to the NBA. If you look at someone like Pau, he was already a star in Spain before coming over to the NBA at 21. Guys like Kukoc, Manu, Sabonis… they were already the best players in Europe before coming over in their mid-20s (Manu, Kukoc), early 30s (Sabonis). More recently, very good European vets like Anthony Parker and Luis Scola have come over and been solid NBA players. Juan Carlos Navarro wasn’t an NBA success, but he wasn’t terrible. The quick, undersized SG just seems to be something that works in Europe but not the NBA (unless you’re as athletic, talented, and determined as Allen Iverson, Nate Robinson, etc.).

    Historically, it seems if you can’t play in Europe you’ve got almost no chance of being able to play in the NBA, but if you stand out on the court in Europe you’ve got a good chance of doing at least alright in the NBA. Because Danilo was only 19 last season I have a hard time saying whether he’ll be more Kukoc or Scola, but I think he’ll be a solid NBA player and was as good a risk at #6 as anyone on the board.

    (I plan on trying out a more in depth statistical analysis of the issue.)

    ———————————————————-

    “Well you’ve got to say the 2 most questionable picks in the top 10 were Westbrook at 4 and Gallinari at 6. But neither was outrageous I guess.”

    I’d say the two most questionable picks in the top 10 were Eric Gordon and DJ Augustin. I think they’ll both be NBA players, I just wonder if they were the best available players. Maybe Westbrook as well, but his defense gives him an edge over the other 2 in my mind. (I’m torn on Augustin, really, but I just think that with Lopez and Bayless on the board I wouldn’t have taken the chance.)

  43. ben bow

    personally i think that was the best draft pick we could make. perform the simple trade of lee for mike conley, and we have a strong team.
    1.conley/nate
    2.jamal/nate
    3.chandler/balkman
    4.gallinari/z-randolf
    5.curry/z-randolf

    that is a talented team.
    we would have a core of conley, nate, gallinari, and next years high draft pick.

  44. Italians against Gallinari

    The booing was not directed at Danilo, more over at Walsh and D’Antoni.
    This kid may be a solid player in the future, but it’s hard for me to wrap my head around how another offense-first, smallish forward that is defensively challenged was the best way to use the #6 pick. The Knicks already have a glut of players who fit that general description.

  45. Count Zero

    Honestly, the more film I see of the kid…the more I hear him talk to the press…the better I feel about this pick (and I didn’t feel that bad to begin with). The Italian interview where he tells the guy (paraphrasing): “I remember watching all the highlight reels of my Dad playing, and the one thing that strikes me is how he always seemed to win the big games. I know that can’t be true – he must have lost sometimes. But it seems like he always won.” I like his focus.

    The kid looks like a scorer and a team player. D’Antoni could use the former and we could all use the latter. The real wisdom / stupidity of this pick will depend upon what moves follow…can we dump Marbury and add a legit PG? Can we dump Randolph? Curry?

    I think if you just get rid of Starbury and Randolph, this team will improve by sheer cohesiveness. I think a jolt of “big foreign kid who hates losing” is just what the doctor ordered and will be infectious among some other guys on this team…once the bad influences are gone.

  46. cwod

    I hope Duhon would rather have a shot at starting, putting up some numbers in an uptempo system, and then cashing in later, instead of backing up Nelson.

  47. TDM

    If Duhon signs with the Magic, the Knicks can get the scraps, Arroyo, which isn’t that bad of an option either. At this point, I’d take either one.

  48. Dave

    Duhon would be a great pickup for the Magic

    Arroyo is someone to be avoided. He’s another self-absorbed point guard who forgets about his teammates. He also dominates the ball.

  49. jon abbey

    yeah, not a fan of Arroyo. Dooling would be better than him, but I’m not sure either of those guys helps much.

    Duhon would have been nice, but you’re pretty hamstrung when you refuse to sign guys for more than two years.

  50. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, when the other team is better AND offers more money, you gotta figure that they’re going to get the player.

  51. Frank

    I know in general Marbury is a bit of a cancer, but does anyone actually think Chris Duhon or Carlos Arroyo is better than Marbury is? When healthy and motivated, I think Marbury is much better than those two. I know history doesn’t support this, but my feeling is that with D’Antoni at the helm and with Marbury knowing that Nash was a 2-time MVP playing in that system, he might just be okay. And then we don’t have to waste money on backup PGs and shove them into a starting role.

  52. caleb

    Off-topic, I noticed that Randolph Morris is practicing with the Celtics, getting ready for summer league.

    re: gravatars… mine shows up when I’m using Explorer, but not Safari… if anyone else has had that issue.

    And – does anyone else think the NBA backing the Sonics’ move is very short-sighted? We all know the reason Stern and most owners support it: if no team ever moves, it takes the teeth out of the blackmail threat: “build us a new arena or we’ll move.”

    But on the other side of the self-interest scale, isn’t Oklahoma City utterly, totally destined for failure? Memphis is a black hole? No fans, fire-sale trades, players don’t want to go there. New Orleans– love the place, but now that half the population is gone, I don’t see the franchise surviving Chris Paul’s departure, which seems inevitable within the decade, at least. And Charlotte — another city which seems like it really can’t support a team. Isn’t it a problem for the league to have three truly dead-end franchise cities? Why go into another, even worse situation? Isn’t that bad for business?

    THe only owner I know who opposed the move is Mark Cuban, and you can say he has extra incentive, given the Dallas market. Do the other owners know something the fans don’t, as far as the long-term business plan? Or is it just the courtesy of the insider’s club, to not stand in the way?

  53. caleb

    I take that back re: gravatars — just showed up via Safari. It only took three days! With explorer, it took about 12 hours, like other people said.

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