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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Breaking Down the Memphis Offer for Zach

According to multiple sources, the Memphis Grizzlies have put an offer on the table to the New York Knicks: Zach Randolph for Marko Jaric and Darko Milicic. From Memphis’ side, they would gain a scorer they sorely need since the departure of Pau Gasol. New York on the other hand would rid themselves of Randolph’s contract, and would be able to hand over the starting PF job to USA Select Team member David Lee. But how much does this help the Knicks in terms of future cap space?

In 2010, the year of multiple big free agents (LeBron, Wade, Bosh, etc.) Zach Randolph is scheduled to make $17.3M. Of the contracts they would be receiving, only Jaric would still be on the books for $7.6M. So the Knicks would shave off approximately $10M. According to Hoopshype, with Randolph the Knicks would be at about $45.5M. So one might assume saving $10M would bring them well below the cap which is currently set to $58.6M.

However Hoopshype doesn’t factor in players with team options, nor do they factor in players who get their contracts extended. If you add in Danilo Gallinari’s $3.3M, Wilson Chandler’s $2.1M, and this year’s #1 pick ($2M-$3M) the Knicks salaries creep up to $54M (with Randolph). Additionally the team may sign David Lee and Nate Robinson to contracts as opposed to letting them leave as unrestricted free agents. These two could well bring them in the $64M – $70M range.

So if the Knicks accept this trade now, they would be faced with a tough decision down the road. Option “A” would be to Let Lee and/or Nate walk in free agency without anything in return. This way they would definitely be in the range to grab a top free agent. But the team would be weaker and less palatable to free agents. Option “B” would be to accept the trade and resign Lee and/or Nate now in order to get them cheaper. Of course this would probably still put them over the top free agent limit in 2010. Option “C” would be to accept the trade and hope to trade one of the following players in the near future: Eddy Curry ($11.3M in 2010), Jared Jeffries ($6.9M), Marko Jaric ($7.6M), or Jamal Crawford ($10.1M). In this option, not being able to move one of these players could mean the loss of a free agent.

Donnie Walsh is also facing another dilemma. Is he getting enough in return for Zach Randolph? With Memphis’ cap situation, they could make the trade without offering Jaric. But obviously they gain fiscally by moving Marko’s contract. Walsh might be able to get the Grizzlies to accept an offer for just Darko or even to throw in something better (perhaps a future pick or one of their guards). If they hold onto Zach, the Knicks could get more in return from another team especially if his offensive numbers increase in D’Antoni’s offense. Additionally playoff bound teams may get more desperate to improve themselves as the season wears on.

If Walsh accepts this deal and lets Lee or Nate walk, he’d be getting little in return for these investments. However it could turn out that getting nothing for these players benefit the team the most if they are able to land a superstar player. That’s something New York has lacked since Ewing was in his prime in the mid-90s. Ironically getting the worse of these two deals, but improving the team greatly would be the opposite of Isiah Thomas’ modus operandi. Thomas was able to make every trade seem to be in his favor, but the team always ended up worse.

Personally I would take the deal, but I don’t think it’s a no-brainer. If he accepts, Walsh will have some tough decisions to make. In the present he’ll have added another player to an already crowded roster. There’s a reason no moves have been made yet, possibly to have leverage over a buyout of Marbury, Rose, and/or James. This trade could undermine any behind the scenes bargaining that’s already occurred. And in the future he’ll have to figure out what do if he can’t move a lesser Knick (Jaric/Jeffries) for a shorter contract to make cap space for Lee & Robinson.

[edited to reflect the #1 pick.]

150 comments on “Breaking Down the Memphis Offer for Zach

  1. Z

    Thanks for the breakdown, KB. My eyes get so big at the prospect of an actual trade offer in Walsh’s hand that I don’t stop to think about the rest of the chess pieces.

    There may be a better return for Randolph two years down the road, but I really don’t want to wait that long, or even half that long, or even a tenth of that long. I want to be able to watch and root for the Knicks again.

    With this offer I don’t see how we come out on the worse end of it. Even if we don’t have the cap space or the surrounding talent to entice a free-agent in 2010, at least we would’t have to watch Zach Randolph, the most vile symbol of the reckless Isiah Thomas regime, wear the Blue & Orange, corrupting the World’s Most Famous Arena with the World’s Most Despicable Players.

  2. latke

    Just a thought: If Lebron does decide to leave, don’t you think cleveland would realize this, and attempt to work out a sign and trade? Lebron is a guy who cares about his reputation, and if he decides to leave, it would be better to leave cleveland with some prospects, young players… Then the press would say something like, “Lebron is in his prime. Cleveland isn’t going to win it all. Maybe though with the players they’ve just acquired they will be able to build that team.” as opposed to, “Cleveland did all they could to keep lebron, but the endorsement money was too big for him to leave behind.”

    So if it’s a sign and trade, the knicks would not have to be as far under the cap. They could trade away $10 million in salary, and take back lebron on a new 20 million/year contract, and only be $10 million under the cap. Lebron would also get to have a larger and longer contract, because of that allows a player’s team to resign him for more $/time.

  3. mase

    If I’m Walsh i dont make this trade because of Jaric’s contract.
    Be patient Knick fans and lets wait for a better offer.

  4. TDM

    I’d take the deal and worry about the next move down the road. There are no guarantees that Randolph will have a good season and improve his trade value. Right now, it appears he’s worth Darko and Jaric, which isn’t that bad. One thing we do know if that Lee’s progress will be further inhibited by having to split time with Zach. And I don’t see Curry rebounding (no pun) from last season and improving his value with Zach on the roster. I’d rather have an offensively challenged, shot-blocker than Zach.

    Additionally, Darko is very young and has potential to improve – especially in a system like D’Antoni’s.

  5. Captain Merlin

    Another supreme benefit–the Darko-Marko Eastern Europeans in NY comedy sketch show to air after night games.

  6. ess-dog

    I agree with TDM,
    Zach was worth a broken-down Steve Francis (quickly bought out) and Channing Frye (8th or 9th man, career backup) last year at this time. If you look at it that way, this trade seems similar, actually a bit better as Jaric is serviceable unlike Francis. Darko probably has a slightly higher ceiling than Frye. Let’s do it!

  7. Z

    “Zach was worth a broken-down Steve Francis (quickly bought out) and Channing Frye (8th or 9th man, career backup) last year at this time.”

    Unfortunately, Randolph wasn’t worth a broken down Steve Francis and Channing Frye. He would have been a mistake to bring in, even if it was for a package of Mardy, James, and Jeffries. Portland should have had to pay with their over-flowage of youth to get rid of their albatross (now our albatross). It was highway robbery on their part (just as dumping him on the Griz would be robbery on our part!).

    Why wait for a team dumber than the Griz to come around? Take what you can get and run…

    Besides, having Gallinari salivate over his teammate’s wife for the next three years would at least offer a subplot to interest fans during the rebuilding process…

  8. BrianCronin

    Yeah, I’m in the “wait to see if you can get Jaric not included in the deal” camp, which I believe is exactly what Walsh is doing right now.

    That said, if they call his bluff, I guess I’d take this deal, too.

  9. Count Zero

    As presented, I say no. Randolph will continue to be a movable piece as the season progresses. Jaric will be totally un-moveable for the entire term of his contract. Without him in the mix, it’s a no-brainer but I really don’t want to be saddled with that piece of garbage.

  10. Ray

    LEts get that deal done. It would kind of be a breath of fesh air. I think Darko would give maxium effort and he probably would bond with Danillo. I dont know much about Jaric except that hes dating that supermodel. Maybe we can get a draft pic thrown in with the deal. I though a deal for Zach would always involve us getting a pick. Hope Donnie makes this happen.

  11. mase

    “… Jaric will be totally un-moveable for the entire term of his contract. Without him in the mix, it’s a no-brainer but I really don’t want to be saddled with that piece of garbage.”

    thats how i feel except its easier to buy out Jaric at $7M than zach at $17M.

  12. Italian Stallion

    Yeah, I’m in the “wait to see if you can get Jaric not included in the deal” camp, which I believe is exactly what Walsh is doing right now.
    That said, if they call his bluff, I guess I’d take this deal, too.

    I co sign to this one.

  13. foilfence

    Something I’m wondering about 2010:

    Can’t we just wait to resign Lee and Nate until after we get one of the big FAs?

    We have their bird rights anyway.

    So for example, if we max out the cap after Wade joins us then we can just go over the cap resigning Lee and Nate afterwards.

    I mean take a look at how long this Ben Gordon thing is going on to see how maybe we could wait a bit before extending Nate and Lee.

  14. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Something I’m wondering about 2010:

    Can’t we just wait to resign Lee and Nate until after we get one of the big FAs?

    We have their bird rights anyway.

    So for example, if we max out the cap after Wade joins us then we can just go over the cap resigning Lee and Nate afterwards.

    I mean take a look at how long this Ben Gordon thing is going on to see how maybe we could wait a bit before extending Nate and Lee.

    As an owner, you would need a verbal agreement from the player to not take any other offers. Ask the Cavalier (Boozer) & Clipper (Brand) front office how that usually turns out.

  15. BigBlueAL

    Id do this deal in a heartbeat. I actually think Milicic might be decent in D’Antoni’s system and Jaric at the least is a serviceable combo-guard.

    Honestly, lets just get rid of Zach any way possible….

  16. foilfence
    Something I’m wondering about 2010:
    Can’t we just wait to resign Lee and Nate until after we get one of the big FAs?
    We have their bird rights anyway.
    So for example, if we max out the cap after Wade joins us then we can just go over the cap resigning Lee and Nate afterwards.
    I mean take a look at how long this Ben Gordon thing is going on to see how maybe we could wait a bit before extending Nate and Lee.

    As an owner, you would need a verbal agreement from the player to not take any other offers. Ask the Cavalier (Boozer) & Clipper (Brand) front office how that usually turns out.

    The thing is, IIRC in Brand’s case the Clips didn’t want to match. And Cleveland had no cap room for Boozer.

    For Nate and Lee couldn’t we just match the offers since they’d still be restricted FAs?

  17. Thomas B.

    Something I’m wondering about 2010:
    Can’t we just wait to resign Lee and Nate until after we get one of the big FAs?
    We have their bird rights anyway.
    So for example, if we max out the cap after Wade joins us then we can just go over the cap resigning Lee and Nate afterwards.
    I mean take a look at how long this Ben Gordon thing is going on to see how maybe we could wait a bit before extending Nate and Lee.

    No, that wont work. Well not the way you want. You see Lee and Nate will still count against the Knicks cap until the Knicks relinquish their rights to the players. That would eat more of the cap room we would need to sign a Wade, LBJ, Bosh, ect. See this awesome cap website http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#29
    It is required reading for understanding the NBA salary cap.

    “Can a team sign all the free agents it wants (up to the cap limit) and THEN re-sign its own free agents using the Bird exception?

    Yes, but there’s a restriction. A team’s free agents continue to count as team salary (against the salary cap). This charge is called the “free agent amount.” So there may not be enough money under the cap to sign another team’s free agent, because the team’s own free agents are taking up all their cap room.”

  18. Thomas B.

    MOre info for you.

    Lee and Nate make below the NBA average salary, so coming of the fourth year of the rookie scale contract, the amount of salary that they would count against the cap BEFORE they are resigned or relinquished-meaning that they cannot be resigned by the Knicks for any amount of money-would be %300 of their fourth year salary.

    For Nate that would be 8.733 million
    For Lee that would be 8.046 million

    So you have to add those numbers into whatever you think the cap will be in 2010. Now I have the Knicks at $57 million in salary prior to to the start of the 2010/2011 season. That number assumes the Randolph deal with Jaric happens and no other deals occur. The 57 million is the salary of Curry, Crawford, Jaric, JJ, DG, WC, Free agents Nate and Lee. Mardy was mercifully dropped from the equation. That does not include the likely lottery pick we will add this June, so pencil in another 2-3 million putting the team at 60 million. We would have to relenquish Lee and Nate to offer LBJ a deal at about 20 million a year, which is barely more than he gets now.

    See, even if you make the Randolph deal you still dont have enough cap room to make it work. We are better off drafting well and cultivating young talent. We just cant do the quick fix. I know this is painful, but we should look to 2011/12 when Crawford, Curry, and Randoplh will be gone. If we still have Lee, Chandler, Gallo, Nate and a promising draft pick or two, we could go after a member of the 2011/12 class. That could be Kobe, Gasol, Greg Oden (RFA), Aldridge, Roy, Stoudamire, ect.

    I honestly think this is the real reason Donnie is holding the trade. Neither keeping or Trading Randolph is enough by itself to create the cap room to make a run at a top tier free agent.

    I vote for moving Randolph not with a free agent in mind but with team chemistry in mind. I just do not like his attitude, his defensive effort, or his selfish behaviors on offense. Free agents be damned, I just want him gone. Have Memphis throw in a conditional pick and I am good to go. Let just draft well and grow our home grown talent. That is how most of the top teams do it. Yeah the Celts are the exception, maybe the lakers to but they each got a top PF for peanuts. You cant count on that.

  19. Mr. Clean

    What it will come down to is if Walsh is Navy-tested enough to make the right move and if fans like Heri and Thall can hold on because its going to be a bumpy ride.

  20. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “We would have to relenquish Lee and Nate to offer LBJ a deal at about 20 million a year, which is barely more than he gets now.”

    But there is a max on how much a team can offer LeBron James in free agency. According to this chart (http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#11), LeBron’s max will probably be something around $16.5M (the current rate for a 7th year player) to maybe $18M by 2010. And you’re right, I forgot about this year’s #1 pick which will add about $3M to the mix.

    I think it’s feasible that the Knicks move one of their 2010+ contracts for a shorter deal in the future. Albeit that’s the risk you take when moving Randolph now. But then again, there’s little to no chance that any team will clear off $25M+ of 2010 contracts in one shot. Hence why I would take the deal now, so you have time to work on the others. Maybe instead of losing Lee/Robinson outright, the team can package one of them with Jaric/Jeffries/Curry for a prospect/draft pick & salary relief. They’d be sacrificing one to keep the other.

  21. Tike T'Antoni

    We can talk all we want about what the cap situation will be in 2010, but it’s just too far away. Three years ago, if I told you the Celtics would have KG AND Ray Allen AND an All-Star caliber young point guard to go along with Pierce, you would’ve assumed I was drunk at the keyboarsd.

    This is a chance to get rid of our worst contract. Forget Jaric, we can ditch him later. Pounce pounce pounce!

    As for “leverage” in terms of buying out Steph or James or Rose — I don’t see how we could ever get any. None of the three is ever going to see a contract above the veteran’s minimum from another team. And I’m sure others will be with me when I say I hope Dolan has to pay them every single dollar they’re owed.

  22. Danisrob

    As say we do it. I always thought we had planned on getting rid of another contract as well (Curry, Jefferies or Craw) so taking on Jaric isnt the end of the world.

  23. Ted Nelson

    I’m with Brian and Count Zero, there’s really no rush. (I was saying the same thing about the Randolph to the Clippers deal as well, of course.)
    Jaric is not servicable… he’s pretty much a Mardy Collins level player. The only way to move his contract would be to match salaries in a larger deal. Darko is also not servicable, and is not even a good defender as some are suggesting.
    I would really rather not have Randolph on the roster to start the season, but his production level and attitude problems are both pretty well established at this point. At 27 years old I’d say the only way his value dips is if he gets injured or arrested. Not getting minutes hurts the Knicks bargaining position, but probably not anyone’s perception of his value (could even help his value if he’s productive in a smaller role and the Knicks contend for the 8th seed).

    “We are better off drafting well and cultivating young talent. We just cant do the quick fix.”

    +

    “Just a thought: If Lebron does decide to leave, don’t you think cleveland would realize this, and attempt to work out a sign and trade?”

    =

    Beautiful.

    The Knicks have to make smart moves, build a good team, and look for “cap flexibility.”
    Does this deal satisfy those goals?

    Build a good team: Maybe. Unless playing for D’Antoni magically turns Darko and Marko into much better players than they have ever been, then this deal doesn’t directly make the Knicks a better team. Indirectly, Lee’s minutes might increase and everyone might play a more team-oriented game on both sides of the ball without Randolph around (“chemistry”). Of course, something to think about is that Serbian players are generally known (fairly or not) as underacheivers and their national team’s chemistry was so bad that half the players quit (I make it a point to ignore scandal, so I’m not sure what Marko and Darko’s respective involvements were).

    Cap flexibility: Yes, but is it the most cap flexibility they can get? This deal obviously provides some cap flexibility, but is there going to be another deal out there in the future better than Jaric’s horrendous contract? Walsh already turned down a lot more cap flexibility for Randolph from the Clippers, so maybe. Maybe if he gets creative he can devise a 3 or 4 team deal to get Ben Wallace or Larry Hughes or Al Harrington’s contract. Then again, maybe he takes this deal and then acquires one or two of those deals in moving the Knicks other contracts.
    (I’m rambling a bit, but maybe the Knicks could have kept Isiah as GM for the offseason and fooled the rest of the league into thinking they were really interested in Harrington, Hughes, or Wallace as “the missing piece.” They’re probably better off just cleaning up the organization and other GMs might have seen right through it anyway, but it just might have been crazy enough get the Knicks well under the cap in 2010.)

    Smart move? Maybe. I guess it’s up to Walsh’s better judgement to weigh all the variables and make the best decision he can. I’m really 50/50 on the deal. I don’t see any reason for him to rush, though, and think he has to do everything he can to get Jaric taken out of the deal: basically tell Memphis that this deal doesn’t make a real difference cap wise and makes the Knicks worse on the court, so they have to do something to sweeten it (i.e. Darko straight-up, Toine instead of Jaric, Buckner and a pick instead of Jaric,…).

  24. BrianCronin

    Regarding Jaric, I think it would be helpful to compile a list of players who have contracts around $7 million that are expiring in 2010 and, well, suck (or at least suck as bad as Jaric).

    I presume that’s what Walsh is doing, as he tries to decide whether Jaric actually is fungible at all – is there a player out there worse than him/about as good as him making about the same money with an expiring deal in 2010?

  25. Italian Stallion

    My feeling is that once a player is overpaid (like Randolph), the only deals available are typically other players that are also overpaid. The best you can usually do is take back players who are even more overpaid but for less years or equally overpaid players with similar length contracts but that fit the team better.

    I don’t think these transactions of overpaid players really have much to do with the quality of the players, just the quality of the players relative to their salaries.

    If we can somehow make this deal without including Jaric’s 3 year contract, it would become a terrific one for us.

    If we do it as suggested, it’s still OK because these players probably fit better than Zach (especially if Marbury is out) and at least one of the contracts will be off in 2 years.

  26. Italian Stallion

    Regarding Jaric, I think it would be helpful to compile a list of players who have contracts around $7 million that are expiring in 2010 and, well, suck (or at least suck as bad as Jaric).
    I presume that’s what Walsh is doing, as he tries to decide whether Jaric actually is fungible at all – is there a player out there worse than him/about as good as him making about the same money with an expiring deal in 2010?

    Exactly.

  27. Z-man

    Anybody feel that Darko is young enough to still have improvement potential? What is holding him back? Attitude/work ethic? Physical deficiencies? Bad fit on teams he has been on? He does have pretty decent rebound and block numbers, but if he has no potential for development I don’t think the cap room created is enough to justify the deal with all the potential implicatons and uncertainty of LeBron acquisition.

    Seems like Jaric is a real albatross in this deal. I would pass on this deal for now, waiting Memphis, etc. out until camp opens and Walsh/D’Antoni see what they actually have, and whether we can do it without Jaric involved. I mean, if we buy out Steph now to make a roster spot for a useless player with a longer contract like Jaric, I would not see the logic in that. Sadly, a healthy and motivated Steph is probably still the best all-around guard on the roster and has short-term upside with virtually no long-term downside.

    Optimisticlly, if nothing happens, Zach might be an unexpected asset in D’Antoni’s system. He is a pretty good defensive rebounder and doesn’t get up the court fast enough to be a primary offensive focus. I see Curry being a much bigger problem in this system because he neither rebounds well nor runs the floor. Are we not shopping Curry or is nobody interested? Or am I missing something in terms of his value in this system?

  28. z-man

    In short, the deal only makes sense to me if there is a reasonable expecation that Darko can blossom into a pretty good rotation player.

  29. doit

    I say make the deal. While getting rid of Randolph’s monster contract is well nigh impossible, I think getting rid of Jaric’s might be, if we pair it with a contract due to expire next year for a team who wants to make a run at the 2009 class. Jaric may have an awful contract, but if paired with Malik, we might be able to work something out with someone has one or two players with 2010 expiring contracts, and is interested in making a strategic play that, although tehre will be a lot of players available in 2010, there will be a lot of buyers, and space in 2009 is worth something.

    I just can’t see us getting rid of Randolph any other way. ANd this might be a good system for milcic, who can shoot when left alone, blocks shots decently and rebounds okay (despite being one of the more awkward and unathletic players in the nba, and someone who should not do anything other than spot up on offense);…

  30. Owen

    This is really sordid stuff. Here we are debating the relative merits of Darko, Marko, and Zebo. Dante should have added an extra circle to Hell. It will be pretty amazing if we end up trading Steve Francis and Channing Frye for Darko and Marko, with a year of Zach Randolph to spice things up. Talk about a shit sandwich.

    I don’t know what to think anymore. I have been hard on Donnie thus far, but he is in a truly unenviable position.

    Here is my Wins Produced analysis.

    I hate Zach Randolph. He is a defensive wasteland. But over the last two years the numbers indicate he has been an above average player, .132 and .143 WP48. You can argue that that this overstates his value, given that he probably deserves a larger share of the credit for his team’s defensive deficiencies. But still, I think it’s impossible to argue he is much the best player involved in this potential trade.

    On the downside, he takes minutes from David Lee, who is a much better player. He gets paid 17 million dollars. He is intolerable to watch. And given all that, it’s hard to see how Zebo could ever be part of a serious contender, at least on his current contract.

    On the other side of the ledger you have Marko and Darko.

    Jaric I think is actually a serviceable player. I don’t think he is a whole lot worse than Jamal Crawford, and I think he probably is better than Nate Robinson. He managed to post just below average WP numbers last year, which is better than Jamal and Nate. While his offensive numbers are abysmal, he can pass, steal, rebound, and avoid turnovers. And his rep is as a solid perimeter defender, something not seen in a New York guard since, well, I don’t even know.

    Like Randolph, he is the overpaid and undertalented player standing in the way of youger talent at his position.

    Darko is an enigma. After five years in the league, what you see is often what you are going to get for the foreseeable future. He may be the rare exception to the rule. He has shown some signs of competence, even brilliance. I can remember reading about a stretch of play he had in Orlando where he was way above average. But overall, there are few reasons for optimism.

    This chart sort of says it all.

    http://www.wagesofwins.com/darko0708-80.html

    Overall, and I hate to say this, but the trade makes sense for Memphis I think. Rebounding at the power forward position was a huge problem for them last year. Neither Darko or Gay could do it effectively. Randolph can definitely do it. He will probably be one of the leading rebounders in the league next year if the move is made. And he is not a declining asset. His value, such as it is, is probably at an all time low. It will only go up as his contract comes closer to expiring. Memphis should feel far more positive about its chances of unloading Zach than will be the case for us and Jaric.

    I want Zach gone. It would be awesome for my fantasy team (I have DLee) and I dislike him as a player. But on the basis of team wins, both in the short and long term, this feels basically like a lateral move with some emotional benefits.

    Will be interesting to see how it plays out….

  31. Dave

    Jaric is a deal breaker. The Knicks shouldn’t touch his contract and shouldn’t play him ahead of young players. He has no value, only a very bad contract that lasts three years. If the Grizzlies insisted on Marko they need to add something of value to the deal to even up the negative that Marko is.

    Darko is an interesting player. It’s not a great fit for him, and I think it needs to be a great fit in order to get the best out of him, but he’s a useful player.

    Darko does have a lot of untapped abilities but he needs someone to help him. He needs good minutes, consistent minutes, and he needs to play alongside experienced hard working veterans. Otherwise he’ll be frustratingly inconsistent and a disappointment. More than anything he needs a coach that believes in him and will let him work through his miscues on the court.

    The trade would actually make the Knicks better but I think they can get a better trade offer at another time so I’d pass.

  32. Dan Panorama

    “This is really sordid stuff. Here we are debating the relative merits of Darko, Marko, and Zebo. Dante should have added an extra circle to Hell.”

    Great analysis there, Owen.

    But since we are in the inferno, I really don’t see why we take this deal. Jaric’s contract is way too big a burden to accept for not much in return. Memphis needs Zach’s scoring and rebounding more than we need 10 million in cap room. If we pass on this trade, Randolph’s value will go up just because he is a known quantity and his contract will become more reasonable over time. Any deal that does not entirely clear space in 2010 is a lowball offer.

    On that note, what was so wrong with the Clippers deal?

  33. foilfence

    I vote for moving Randolph not with a free agent in mind but with team chemistry in mind. I just do not like his attitude, his defensive effort, or his selfish behaviors on offense. Free agents be damned, I just want him gone. Have Memphis throw in a conditional pick and I am good to go. Let just draft well and grow our home grown talent. That is how most of the top teams do it. Yeah the Celts are the exception, maybe the lakers to but they each got a top PF for peanuts. You cant count on that.

    Good point. And thanks for clarifying my Lee/Nate inquiries. I guess that was sort of a delusional plan XD.

    At any rate wouldn’t we be more appreciative of Jaric’s talents had we not have signed Duhon?

    Jaric is versatile for a euro. Can play some PG. I’m not saying the Duhon signing was bad but the two will probably be competing for the same scarce backup minutes for this team.

  34. Z-man

    If we could lose Curry instead of Zach, could Zach play center in a D’Antoni system, at least temporarily?

    I just don’t see any place for Curry in D’Antoni’s system, he will constantly be playing between the circles.

    I’m not sure how much this would impact cap considerations, but see some possible plusses:

    1. Lee gets more minutes at PF
    2. Zach is out of the offense unless he hustles upcourt; more likely he is making outlet passes off of rebounds and bringing up the rear
    3. Zach is a more versatile scorer than Curry and has more room to operate down low if we do get late in the clock (without Curry there)
    4. Zach can be unloaded when the right deal comes along, which isn’t this one.
    5. Curry, who embodies the single worst deal of the Isiah era, and whose game I hate even more than Z hates Zach’s, would be somewhere else.

  35. Brendan

    “If we pass on this trade, Randolph’s value will go up just because he is a known quantity and his contract will become more reasonable over time.”

    Let it be noted, this may very well be true; on the other hand, if Zbo throws things at teammates on the sidelines, or punches them in practice, or gets arrested/associated with a fight outside a strip club (all of which he has done), then any number of potential suitors may decide that his boards aren’t worth his attitude. Y’know, like how many Knicks fans and the Trailblazers organization have. To me, delaying this deal is the NBA equivalent of a post-oak bluff.

  36. Brian Cronin

    On that note, what was so wrong with the Clippers deal?

    If you believe Walsh (I tend not to), the Clippers deal required the Knicks to send a first rounder to the Clippers.

  37. Ess-dog

    “Are we not shopping Curry or is nobody interested?”

    I’m guessing it’s the latter. That being said, Curry pre-Zbo was a much more efficient scorer. Sure he does very little else, but with Lee starting, at least the fan base will be in a good mood.
    The Clips deal sucked. We just can’t give away any more 1st rounders. On that note, we should try to pry a 2nd or conditional first away from Memphis. Even if we can’t move Jaric right away, it’s likely we’ll move someone else by then (Jeffries, Nate, Curry, Q, or Crawford) so cap-wise, we’ll be ok. We need to build with draft picks. I don’t believe you can showcase bad seeds (Zach, Marbs.) Get them out asap, and showcase the other players you want to move.
    Indiana looked rough while exorcising their roster of bad seeds, and already they are putting together a nice young core.
    Pull the trigger Donnie!

  38. Latke

    Why we are shopping Randolph instead of Curry:

    D’Antoni likes curry. Although he doesn’t rebound or pass well, he DOES score quickly, which Randolph certainly does not. Randolph likes to back people down slowly, or face up and jab step, delay the offense, which is the opposite of what d’antoni likes. Curry’s strength is establishing good position with his big legs, and making one or two power moves and scoring. He scores fast, and in a D’antoni system, assuming curry gets his butt up the court, he will have the ball before the defense is set, and will face far fewer double teams, which are really his downfall. One on one, curry can dominate. We have seen that on the rare nights that he has faced single coverage.

    The second reason is that curry’s contract is half the size of randolph’s.

    The third reason is that, although curry is lazy on the court, his personality is also at least not perceived to be quite the cancer that Randolph is. While Randolph is selfish and lazy, Curry simply lacks focus (IE is just lazy).

    I think, on the contrary, Curry is MORE tradable than Randolph. He is younger, though not by much, his contract is smaller, and he doesn’t have the jailblazer stigma. The knicks just prefer to keep him.

    And as far as people saying we should not take this deal… If walsh knows that he’ll be able to move Randolph by, say, december, that he’ll be able to find another offer that’s as good as Memphis’s, then fine, hold out. But I definitely think Randolph has to be gone either before the season starts, or shortly after. Last season was proof that hte two cannot coexist. I don’t care who the coach is — they just share too many flaws. Every game that they are forced to play together is a detriment to the growth of our other players, because when they are in together, it just destroys the flow of the game.

  39. Thomas B.

    According to his blog, Jamal Crawford reads blog sites such as this one. Jamal, would you please ask Donnie to sign off on this deal. And if you can do anything to increase Curry’s value, that would be great too.
    —-

    I know this is very wishful thinking but maybe Darko turns into the player folks thought he would be when Detriot took him #2 overall? Maybe D’antoni puts him in the system that had everyone thinking he was the next big thing. I know, I know. This is in the same vein as..

    “Maybe Marbury will get it together this year.”
    “Maybe JC will go to the hole more this year.”
    “Maybe Curry will rebound this year.”
    “Maybe Collins wont suck so much this year.”
    “Maybe Q wont play this year.”
    “Maybe James will get in shape this year.”
    “Maybe Lee will start this year.”
    “Maybe Nate will grow up this year.”
    “Maybe Dolan will sell the team this year.”
    “Maybe Jared will stop shooting this year.”

    It is not a good sign when you have so many “maybes” on a team.

    Maybe we should call them the NY Maybes.

  40. Thomas B.

    Curry v. Randolph

    Latke,

    Dont forget Curry’s heart condition. I dont think it has been fully addressed. He never took that genetic test and he is an event away from the DL, retirement, or worse. I cant see a team taking him on when he cannot get insurance and when he does not rebound or block shots. For his advantages in youth and salary over Z, curry has never been 20/10 guy and his D is just as bad. I say perhaps worse than Z’s because defense from the center position more than the PF. The center has to protect the paint. It is great if you have a PF who will do it, but center is where it should occur. Furthermore, Z has a better offensive game than Curry. What does that say about Curry when the untradeable Z can get moved before Curry? It really underscores how bad the Curry deal was. No way should he make more than 6 mill a year on this current deal. He came of a no-show playoff with the fear of life threatening heart condition. Even for a 7 foot center who has..wait I’m laughing trying to picture this..the ability to do…snicker…a standing.. back..haha..flip. I’m sorry I just dont see it. I have said it before, Curry could’nt do a standing backflip if he was jacked into the Matrix!

  41. Z

    “Supposedly, Randolph is telling his friends he’s on his way to Memphis!”

    He hasn’t told me yet, so he clearly hasn’t told all his friends :)

    p.s.: Thomas, please stop referring to Randolph as “Z”. I take it very personally. Perhaps as revenge I’ll begin referring to Eddy Curry as “Thomas B.”

  42. Thomas B.

    Z,

    Sorry. Please don’t call Curry Thomas B. When I played ball, I was known to rebound and play defense. On the other hand, I could’nt really shoot or handle the ball that well. I was not a great free throw shooter. I had poor foot work. I didnt have the best conditioning. I picked up alot of fouls. Very low assists.

    Maybe you should call him Thomas B.

  43. Italian Stallion

    There’s a story suggesting that the hold up is that Memphis wants a #1 pick from us.

    At this point I think we should just kidnap Randolph and send him to Siberia. Then we can look for some kind of exception. ;-)

  44. Captain Merlin

    There’s a story suggesting that the hold up is that Memphis wants a #1 pick from us.
    At this point I think we should just kidnap Randolph and send him to Siberia. Then we can look for some kind of exception. ;-)

    Should the first part of this post be true, then I definitely agree with the second part…actually, I agree with the second part under any circumstances anyway. However, if they really are asking for a 1st rounder also, then this only furthers the notion that Walsh severely fucked up by not taking the Clips deal, as this would become just about the same deal as that (assuming they were in fact asking for a first as well), only with us ending up with about 8 million fewer dollars of cap space come the big year. This prospect makes my stomach turn a bit, and only furthers my disenchantment with Walsh & Co. so far. Again though, if the deal is just Zbo (not with a 1st) for the Rhyming Serbs, then I’d still take it–I am that fed up with him, and think it would do enough to the team’s chemistry and morale. Also, I just want to see Lee play for a change, and to hell with 8 million more, if that’s the price. The wait is on, compadres.

  45. Captain Merlin

    Were it to be a pick from after phoenix or whoever it is who has the rights collects theirs (top 22 protected this year I believe), then sure, I’d be game for that…otherwise, no.

  46. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think the Knicks are in a position to trade first rounders, even if it means getting rid of Z-Bo.

    If I’m Walsh, I have to have confidence that some sort of reasonable (for the Knicks, that is) trade for Randolph will present itself (one could easily argue the D/Marko trade would be one), and more likely than not, if he shows an unwillingness to trade a first rounder, then I think a trade will present itself before November (I think it is becoming clear that Walsh feels the same way about Z-Bo as we do, in the sense that if possible, he’d prefer not to start the season with him).

  47. foliveri

    Could the Knicks trade Lee or Nate or both for draft picks?

    If this is permitted, then the Knicks could get something back, and shed themselves of those contracts down the road. Lord knows, picks would help.
    Personally, I would prefer they hold onto Lee. I think Nate’s ceiling is much lower than Lee’s. Nate’s size is a problem and his athleticism will eventually diminish with age. This, of course, is debatable.

    But I think the Knicks need to shed themselves of Zach for cap space, clubhouse chemistry, and because he hurts the Knicks’ flow on the floor. I also don’t think he’s a very good player, 20-10 notwithstanding.

    I also like that the Knicks are holding out for young talent for the draft pick they reportedly would have to give up to make this deal work. That’s not an outlandish request.

  48. Brian Cronin

    Okay, after reading articles from a few different places on the subject, here is what I think is a likely timeline:

    1. Walsh says, “Hey, would you guys take Randolph for Darko?”

    2. Memphis says, “Sure, for Darko and Marko. If you want that deal, then consider it done.”

    3. Walsh says, “I’d really prefer it just be Darko.”

    4. Memphis says, “Okay, but if so, then you have to throw in a first rounder.”

    5. Walsh says, “If I’m going to throw in a first rounder, then you should give me more than just Darko, you should give me Darko and either A. One of your good young players (Lowry, Crittenton or maybe even Warrick) or B. Antoine Walker”

    6. Stalemate

    The only thing I am unsure about is whether Memphis is seriously saying (and if Walsh is seriously considering) “D/Marko and a first rounder.” “Darko and a first rounder or D/Marko” seems to make more sense to me, as I could see the Knicks doing either Darko and a first rounder or D/Marko, and I really can’t see them even considering D/Marko and a first rounder, even if they got back a young player on top of it.

  49. TDM

    In his blog, Alan Hahn is confirming that rumor that Memphis wants a first rounder:

    “The latest I’m hearing on the Zach Randolph-to-Memphis talks is that the Grizzlies want a first-round pick from the Knicks. Getting a bit greedy, no? Donnie has countered by saying if he’s giving up a first-rounder, he wants something more back with Darko Milicic and Marko Jaric.”

    What other pieces could Memphis throw into the deal? With the exception of Conley and Mayo, I don’t see any other pieces on the Griz roster that I would value as worth a first round pick. And, I don’t see Memphis giving up either of those two. If the Griz would take another one of our contracts off our hands (Q or Jeffries), then I would at least consider the deal. I really think this is a deal breaker – Zbo and a 1st for Darko and Jaric is ridiculous.

    How about Darko, Jaric and Lowry for Zbo, Jeffries and a 1st? I’m still on the fence because Lowry is solid, but not worth a first rounder, even considering they’d be taking Jeffries off our hands.

  50. Captain Merlin

    Ah, here we go again, disappointedly degenerating from talking about a serious proposal into speculating on items that will never come to be. I’m starting to think this deal has grown to complex for it to ever happen…probably about time to start hunting for Zbo’s next victim er..home

  51. Dan Panorama

    A draft pick? When we’re uniformly expected to be in the lottery this year and most likely 2009-2010 as well? Come on, this deal stinks to high heaven and throwing in a former late first-rounder like Javaris Crittenton or Kyle Lowry isn’t going to change that. Plus we still would have to take on the lousy Jaric contract. I hope Walsh isn’t too over-eager to dump Randolph that he would cut a deal like this.

  52. Z-man

    If we learned anything from the Curry deal, it is to not give up first round picks frivolously.

    Especially when the probability is high that the pick will be a lottery-type pick. Such a pick is a highly valuable commodity in future trades, not to mention could land a franchise player in and of itself.

    In all my years as a Knick fan (40+) I cant recall a single trade of a first round pick that was worth it, although I can recall several that were disasters (does Juwan Oldham ring a bell?)

    Darko alone for Zach and a 1st rounder is intriguing, but I personally would rather be temporarily stuck with Jaric than lose the pick. (in essence, I am saying that Jaric is not worth a first rounder, even the last pick in the round). Darko + Marco for Zach + 1st rounder is a deal that has Isiah written all over it.

  53. Z

    Thomas B. suggested a few months ago that the earliest pick the Knickk can legally trade is in 2012. I haven’t heard any secondary verification of this, but his explanation at the time made sense (July 18, 2008 “Knicks Sign Roberson” Thread).

    If 2012 is the earliest pick that can be traded, there is really no reason not to include it in a Randolph package. If we are still in the lottery in 2012 Walsh will have long been fired and the Knick fan base will be down to the Dolan family, a few folks in Staten Island, and jon abbey…

    I mean, 2012? Come on.

    President Palin could be running for re-election that summer. Will we really care who Memphis is drafting with our pick?

  54. Brendan

    If I’m understanding the timelines right, Zbo to the Clips foundered on a demand for a 1st; now Zbo to Memphis is foundering on the same issue. It suggests to me that it’s entirely possible that the generally accepted bribe for dealing with Randolph is, at this point, a lottery pick- so if you’re of the belief that giving one of those up is unacceptable (which is entirely reasonable), it points to the Knicks being stuck with the guy for at least this year and probably several more.

    Throw in some of the cap issues related to current player retention which blogger highlighted, and it looks at this moment at least as though the Knicks are an even longer reclamation project than we might have thought. Most moves which would clear cap space would cripple the roster, most moves which would clear the bad players would cripple the future, most moves to improve the talent level would cripple the cap….

  55. foliveri

    I’m going to say it’s worth giving up a (2012) first rounder to get cap healthy.
    This is another case of adding by subtracting.
    I believe the Knicks get better with Lee on the floor and Zach gone, while adding Darko and “Marko.”
    I think worrying about a 2012 draft pick is a little much. Z is correct: if the Knicks are in the lottery in 2012 still, there are far greater concerns than having lost that pick in a trade.
    If all goes well, by 2010, the Knicks might have been in shape to land Lebron or one of the other impressive free agents.
    It’s also entirely possible that some of these supposed free agents may not be free agents…

    What I’m getting at is the further out you go, the more impossible it becomes to project.

    Get rid of Zach while you can. Three months ago, I’m not sure anyone on this board had a realistic hope that the Knicks would get anything worth their while for Zach.
    The reason the Knicks are in this position is that they have been making deals with the handicap of being over the cap.
    This is not a political argument. Being over the cap has crippled this organization.

  56. Brian Cronin

    1. The current asking price for getting rid of Randolph does seem to be a draft pick, but that’s only because every team out there presumes Walsh is desperate to get rid of Z-Bo. I bet dollars to donuts that if he holds steady, the insistence to get a Knicks first rounder will go away.

    2. Yes, the Knicks can’t trade another first round draft pick until 2012, but they can do one of those “you have the option of swapping draft picks with us” deals.

  57. Thomas B.

    Z,

    I think the reasoning behind my statement that the earliest pick the knicks can legally trade is correct. True it has not been confirmed but if you look at the NBA’s rules on trading draft picks you can confirm it for yourself. No team may go two consecutive year without drafting in the first round. SInce Utah get either our 2009 or 2010, the earliest we can trade is 2012 because if Utah takes the 2010 pick, then we would violate NBA rules by not picking in the 2011. The only way around this is to give Utah our 2009 pick, which would clear us to trade the 2011; or we would secure an additional first round pick in either the 2009, or 2010. That would free us to trade the pick in the year following the year that Utah does take our pick (2009 or 2010). Yeah, confusing is it not? Thank for remembering me.

    That said, I do not think we trade a pick to move Zach. I say we draft well, develop young talent and look to either move Zach next year, when his two remaining years are easier to deal, or keep him until he Curry and Crawford come off the books. Then we go out and get a Stoudamire or Oden or Durant with the gobs of cap room we will have then. I know it is hard to imagine three more years of Zach and Curry but if it gets us the chance to build a Lakeresq dynasty team, then I can stand three more years of Zach and Curry.

    Draft picks are the life’s blood of rebuilding teams. Draft picks and cap room. With a little time we can have both. We survived the last 8 years of horrid play, whats 3 more if it can give us 4-5 years of contention?

  58. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Trading or swapping a first round pick isn’t worth it, unless Memphis is offering Mike Conley. And even then I’m not sure if I would do it.

    I think Brian Cronin is right with his assessment. The two teams are playing tennis trying to get more out of the deal. I know some people are frustrated by this, and are anxious to have a deal done. But my guess is that Walsh is sticking to his guns. I mean if this were Isiah as the GM trying to make this deal, is there any doubt that we would have accepted a lesser offer already? (Memphis would probably have the right to swap firsts until Patrick Ewing Jr’s HOF nomination).

    If I’m assuming correctly, I have to give Walsh credit for sticking it out and not taking the first offer given to him. I’m fine with a deal not being done, because it likely means that Walsh is trying to get more, or at worst trying not to screw his own team over.

  59. foliveri

    Mike K.:
    This is not the first offer for Zach, right?
    The first offer was from the Clips offering a second rounder and cap relief for Zach, right?

  60. Nobcentral

    I don’t get it. They’re going to have to reup Nate Robinson and David Lee WITH or WITHOUT Zach Randolph. It’s inevitable. To me, the choice is real simple. Of course they should save the $10 million and dump the bloated contract by a guy who can’t win, is a cancer, and will never fit in with D’antoni’s run and gun. I’d trade the guy for a sixer of Milwaukee’s best and a bag of chips.

  61. Heri

    IF Milicic has potential, will he be able to average a 20&10 in two different seasons or 17&10 like last season? Zach can, has and will do it again.

    Milicics\’ potential doesn\’t come close to Zachs\’ reality, this is why Walsh hasn\’t pulled the triger. Milicic isn\’t the right trade for Zach, wait for a first round pick as can happen. If a first round pick doesn\’t happen down the line, then trade Zach for any Milicic type player.

  62. Brian Cronin

    Right.

    If we believe the first rumor (Cap room and a second rounder for Z-Bo), then yeah, Walsh screwed the pooch.

    If we believe the second rumor (Cap room and a second rounder for Z-Bo and a first rounder), then Walsh made a wise but difficult decision to turn it down. However, if he proceeds to take Darko/Marko for Z-Bo and a first rounder, then he will have screwed the pooch.

    That’s a major reason why I think the first rounder is a non-starter. If a first rounder’s involvement was the sticking point in a much better deal with the Clippers, why would it suddenly not be a problem in a less attractive deal from Memphis?

    And yes, I realize I just said that the idea of LA asking for a first rounder may be a fake rumor, but if it was a fake rumor, it was a fake rumor started by Walsh to make himself look better, so he certainly wouldn’t start a fake rumor like that (“I couldn’t make the deal! They wanted a first rounder!”) only to then take the Darko/Marko for Z-Bo/1st rounder deal.

  63. doitithink

    Nobcentral –

    That’s not the question. I think the question is more like “Would you trade Zach Randolph for a for a sixer of Milwaukee’s best and a bag of chips if that bag of chips was owed $7M a year through 2011?”

    (Btw, in that scenario, Darko’s definitely the Milwaukee’s Best. You can sort convince yourself that he’s/it’s not going to be that bad (it’s a hot day; he can still shoot) all evidence to the contrary, but then it turns out, in fact, to be even worse than you thought…)

    Still, I’m in the “Do it, I think” category. My guess is that we can pair Marko with one of 2009 expiring contracts to get 2010 relief in a way we couldn’t with Randolph. And getting Lee, Galinari and chandler PT has to be priority number 2, after getting cap space.

    If we could get Lowry or Crittendon, I’d throw in a 2012 first rounder….

  64. b

    it’s a good deal for memphis.

    they get a guy, who although abysmally overpaid, can play the game at an nba level.

    this is chris wallace, so i have to bet on failure rather than success, but any semi-competent gm should be able to turn randolph into something better than darko milicic (a poor man’s nesterovic, well, not there just yet) and marko jaric.

    i don’t see why we do this deal.

  65. Captain Merlin

    IF Milicic has potential, will he be able to average a 20&10 in two different seasons or 17&10 like last season? Zach can, has and will do it again.
    Milicics\’ potential doesn\’t come close to Zachs\’ reality, this is why Walsh hasn\’t pulled the triger.

    Comments like this make me want to vomit my own left kidney up, because they only acknowledge the efficacy of a player by his “glory stats,” failing to acknowledge other meaningful stats, as well as other intrinsic, not numerically quantifiable attributes. Notably how Zbo is a 300 pound malevolent, aggressive, HUNGRY tumor who is bound to travel the league eating up all the various teams’ good chemistry, ability on the floor, cap space, and lunch buffets, leaving rancid ick everywhere he touches. This, not even touching on the damage he does to the fanbase’s morale and the faith they have in the franchise…all this at the cost of 17 points and 10 rebounds a game. Zbo sickens me to such a degree that I am even unable to produce a coherent rant about why his effect is so. Blagghhhh.

  66. TDM

    “If we could get Lowry or Crittendon, I’d throw in a 2012 first rounder….”

    I don’t know that I would. Lowry and Crittendon are known commodities – neither is worth a first round pick, even a low first rounder.

  67. Captain Merlin

    “If we could get Lowry or Crittendon, I’d throw in a 2012 first rounder….”
    I don’t know that I would. Lowry and Crittendon are known commodities – neither is worth a first round pick, even a low first rounder.

    That deal might tempt me, but only if I were feeling particularly optimistic about our chances to land a bigtimer in 2010, and have a core of decent–read: not malevolent bastards like Zbo et al.–fellows around for him, so that the pick would be around 20 or so.

  68. Italian Stallion

    If someone has the insights required to estimate the current fair market value of Zbo (salary wise), we can calculate how much above that we are going to pay him over the next 3 years.

    IMHO, we then have to take back some combination of overpaid players (one or more) that represent equal value. If the values don’t work out properly, then perhaps a draft pick must be included.

    I am with Brian C on this.

    Taking the two Memphis players makes some sense. Taking both players and giving up a pick is lunacy! Personally, I would rather just throw in the towel on this one rather than give up a pick even if it’s combined with just one player.

  69. Ray

    Absolutely not. We cannot afford to give up picks MEmphis is trying to rob us blind. As much as i want to see Zach go I say we stay patient and wait for more teams to be exposed of thier weaknesses. Around playoff time we can make some great deals to teams that have needs. Its just a matter of us being patient. I mean really, whats the rush. We are all waiting for the season to start in a sort of WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN mode. So what is the rush?

  70. Brian Cronin

    Generally, I agree, Ray, but I also think that there is a lot to be said for getting rid of Z-Bo before the season starts, so he won’t even have a chance to taint the Knicks’ season.

    Not for a draft pick, of course, but still, I understand why the urgency is there.

  71. caleb

    No reason to give up the pick to move Zach. Patience, all.

    btw, Darko’s no great shakes but he’s . still younger than Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins or Patrick Ewing, Jr…. and less than two years older than Wilson Chandler. He could still be a decent, 7-foot player.

  72. Captain Merlin

    The pick really is the dealbreaker for me. Zbo for the rhyming Serb collective would be golden.

    Interesting trade proposal.
    Any cute Knicks fans in here?

    Sums up the general state of affairs pretty well, no?

  73. Owen

    “If someone has the insights required to estimate the current fair market value of Zbo (salary wise), we can calculate how much above that we are going to pay him over the next 3 years.”

    A win produced by a player is worth 1.67 million. (total salary pool (or revenue, not sure) divided by available wins).

    According to the Wages of Wins, Zach produced 6.7 wins in 07-08, so his production was worth roughly 11.189 million. He was paid 13.3. So he was overpaid by about 2 million. That at least is how it looks when I calculate it. Of course, his salary is going up a lot, and his production isn’t. It’s going to get worse, much worse, for any team that employs him.

    Eddy Curry, fwiw, was the fifth most overpaid player in the NBA by this analysis.

    For some of the details….

    http://dberri.wordpress.com/2008/05/18/the-most-overpaid-in-the-nba-in-2007-08/

  74. Mike P.

    2 Mike K.: why do you rely so much on Nate, undersized point guard who cant play point guard, and Lee, who is just a role player, nothing more. I think both are very tradeable assets who should be included in any trade that can help clear some salaries.

  75. bobbo

    You keep forgetting one thing: Suppose Darko Milicic finally fulfills his potential or at least continues to develop defensively, which has always been his forte. Suppose he becomes an integral part of a winning team. He is barely 23 years old. He is an athletic seven-footer. It is entirely possible.

    If he does, do you think the Knicks are going to get him go for nothing and more importantly, do you think the free agent target (Lebron or anyone not a power forward or center) will want the Knicks let him for nothing? Of course not. And how much would a 25 year old seven footer who plays defense command? Check with Andrew Bogut’s agent. He has a number for you.

    A discussion that ignores that while debating whether to re-sign psycho circus act Nate Robinson is pure silliness.

    I continue to contend the Nets had the right idea, focusing on stockpiling young big men. Odds are that two or more of their five bigs ages 20-23 (Boone, Williams, Yi, Lopez, Anderson) will develop into bona fide NBA big men by 2010. All of them will still be on their rookie contracts in 2010. Lebron (et al) know that a couple of good big men are critical to his game succeeding.

  76. Captain Merlin

    2 Mike K.: why do you rely so much on Nate, undersized point guard who cant play point guard, and Lee, who is just a role player, nothing more. I think both are very tradeable assets who should be included in any trade that can help clear some salaries.

    To dump two of the only bright spots of the last few years of dim and musty hell at this point, when the hopes are that things may be turning around, would be tragic for both the fans of the players and the players themselves. Also, the fact that both, particularly Lee, are capable players–perhaps even as starters–cannot be understated. Lee and Robinson are neither so hopeless as some of their overpaid bigname compatriots nor as inept as Mardy and those in the futureless ranks. Also, I just enjoy Lee as a player, so seeing him go in order to gain an extra few mil in cap space would be a severe blow to my fanhood, and just not worth it.

  77. Isiah Watch

    The Knicks can’t be trading away a future first rounder. And like others have said if they do make this trade and throw in a future first rounder then the Knicks made a big snafu by not trading Zach Randolph to the Clippers.

    The Clippers did get Camby back for the 2nd rounder so it’s not impossible that the Knicks could have made that trade with out sacrificing a future 1st rounder.

    I think that if Memphis holds fast to the insistence that a future first rounder be given as well the Knicks should pass.

    By the way if the Knicks take on Jaric and Milicic, while getting rid of only Zach Randolph, that creates even more of a roster glut, and Ewing Jr will have 0 chance of making the team unless they intend on buying out Jaric?

  78. Thomas B.

    Trading or swapping a first round pick isn’t worth it, unless Memphis is offering Mike Conley. And even then I’m not sure if I would do it.

    I don’t know about that Mike. Conley could be as strong a PG prospect as anyone in the next two drafts outside of perhaps Rubio and Brandon Jennings. Since we have no clue as to whether we can get either of them, i say we take it. If Memphis is even offering, which I doubt.

    I think Brian Cronin is right with his assessment. The two teams are playing tennis trying to get more out of the deal. I know some people are frustrated by this, and are anxious to have a deal done. But my guess is that Walsh is sticking to his guns. I mean if this were Isiah as the GM trying to make this deal, is there any doubt that we would have accepted a lesser offer already?

    We could do a right to swap picks deal but we cant even do that until 2011. I think after getting burned on that with Eddy Curry and the second overall pick-Lamarcus Aldridge-we should be wary of those deals. I would consider a swap of picks if the swap was conditional. Lets say, top 5 picks are protected from a swap in the event that Memphis does not pick in the top 10. I dont want to give up a lottery pick again. Not even to get rid of Zach.
    Donnie is right to just wait this thing out.

  79. Ted Nelson

    Why so many references to the “fan base’s morale” as something Donnie Walsh should consider? Nothing will raise my morale more than a good team.

    It’s a terrible trade at this point. I wouldn’t mind giving up a 1st if it made the team better and/or made a significant dent in the cap, but this deal is for 2 BAD players and only puts the Knicks at the cap in 2010 (yes, they can make other moves, but in bargaining with Memphis I would say screw you guys you are doing nothing for me but taking Zach Randolph off my hands). Giving up a first rounder would make it a downright bad deal.
    I can’t help but think that Darko having been a #2 overall pick and everyone’s belief that he’ll magically sprout wings and start flying around the court like a unicorn under D’Antoni is seriously overinflating his value. I mean this was Chris Wallace’s big free agent signing just last offseason, so he’s probably not dying to admit he screwed up. I just hope Donnie’s not in the “Darko is still a great prospect and is a good defender” camp (although I have a feeling he is somewhat in that camp, and am almost certain that Mike D’Antoni is in his ear every day trying to get Darko…).

    “I’m going to say it’s worth giving up a (2012) first rounder to get cap healthy.”

    This is exactly my point: this deal won’t make the Knicks cap healthy; therefore, it is not worth giving up a future pick. Getting Otis Thorpe seemed worth a far off pick to Memphis, but they were still a terrible team for years and it meant they missed out on Melo, Bosh, and Wade.

    As Brian points out, right now the Knicks are in a poor bargaining position as everyone (logically) assumes they can’t go into the season with the Curry/Randolph frontcourt in tact. Seeing as this season’s win total isn’t terribly important, I don’t mind it if they go into the season with the frontcourt from hell and show people that they’re not at all desperate to move Randolph. Especially because it’s not like they’ll get much better after the deal, and might actually get worse.

    I think Walsh has played a terrible hand thus far: announcing his plan to be under the cap in 2010 while at the same time hiring a “win-now” coach, prematurely giving away an asset in Balkman, and now letting it be known that he has no use for Zach Randolph. He just seems to be painting himself into corners and trying to do everything at once. At least he’s not getting too impatient, and potentially adding two solid rotation players in Duhon and Gallinari while also presumably opening up some minutes for Lee and getting Crawford to play under control could be enough to get the team turned around.

    re: Curry

    I think Curry’s a much better fit than Randolph offensively.

    Dave,

    I’m sort of interested in why you say Memphis isn’t a good fit for Darko… Iavaroni was D’Antoni’s “offensive coordinator” in Phoenix, and while he’s having no success he’s supposedly trying to run a similar system. He may not be head coaching material and maybe D’Antoni just gets through to Darko, but I tend to think that everyone (including Darko) is really overrating the effect D’Antoni will have on Darko.
    He seems to be a very unmotivated guy, and even if there’s a honeymoon period (as there was when he escaped Detroit for Orlando) he’s likely to become unhappy again after a few months. I’d honestly say you’re better off just trying to get through to Zach Randolph. Maybe they’re due, but it seems the last thing the Knicks need is a prayer of a talented, unmotivated, underacheiving player.
    As far as veterans, he was surrounded by them in Detroit and couldn’t crack the rotation…
    Maybe he’s been learning throughout his career and just hiding it, but I have to assume he’s seriously behind on the learning curve. Something that even decent players like Crawford, Marbury, Randolph, and Curry never recover from. Darko has been downright bad over his career.

  80. Bob Cook

    Lots of fun reading all this although I wish Captain Merlin could open up and express his real feelings about Randolph.

    What about this, though. Darko is a tall person of some ability and maybe even potential and he blocks shots here and there. What would signing him indicate about the Curry situation? Would he be a pure backup? What James was supposed to be if his feet worked. Or, if he becomes our center, does that not render Curry superfluous? Two seasons ago, Curry was making strides and was thought to be (a) a big concern to whoever played us and (b) a borderline all star. “Borderline” means you could mention “Curry” and “All Star” without engendering gales of laughter. Last season, Curry not only regressed but was serially benched by IT in favor of, wait for it, Z-Bo. And people would say, “well he can’t share the floor with Z-Bo.” Can he share it with Darko? Will he be asked to? Is he gone, baby gone, as well? (Teams have been known to overpay for centers) Is Bill Clinton dating again? These are big questions.

  81. jon abbey

    no way NY gives up a first round in this deal unless Conley comes back (which also won’t happen), I wouldn’t worry about that.

    and as for the roster glut, if we get Darko and Marko, we can cut James and Mardy (or even Marbury).

  82. Owen

    “Two seasons ago, Curry was making strides and was thought to be (a) a big concern to whoever played us and (b) a borderline all star. “Borderline” means you could mention “Curry” and “All Star” without engendering gales of laughter.”

    Ahh, yes, I remember those days fondly.

    Jon, that bottle of Cristal is still on offer this year, just fyi…

  83. jon abbey

    Curry was the best one-on-one post scorer in the league the season before last, hard as that may be to remember.

    Owen, I think you’re pretty safe with that one.

  84. Thomas B.

    I agreee with Mr. Abbey. You people want to get cap healthy, then just wait until Crawford, Zach, and Curry are in the last year of their deals. It make no sense to get cap healthy if at the same time you trade away your chances to get the young cheap players that KEEP you cap healthy. So you want to sell draft picks to be cap healthy, for what? So you can have LBJ and 11 ex D-league players? Is 5 consecutive 2nd round ousters really much better than what we have now? Because thats what you get with LBJ and 11 bums.

    It is not even a sure thing that a top tier free agent will come here. The teams who own the player’s bird rights can always offer more than the Knicks becuase we can offer that extra year. And why would Wade or Bosh or LBJ leave a team if we have no young propects on our team.

    I’m not the GM-thank God- but here is what I would do:

    1. Dump Zach, if and only if it will not cost us young talent. SO that means I would add Collins to the Memphis trade, he not talented. If I cant move Zach without losing a draft pick then I just keep him. Each passing season he will be easier to trade. Or just keep him until he expires along with Crawford, and Curry, then I can create some real cap room to go after the restricted free agents of the 2007 draft or the free agents of the 2006 draft.

    1a. Dump Curry. It does not help to move Zach, at least not interms of true cap flexability, if you are still wasting 11 million on Curry.

    2. I resign Nate and Lee for reasonable contracts in the 6-8 million range because we need talented players who are not grossly overpaid.

    3. We make the best draft picks we can in 2009 and 2011. And we try like hell to make sure Utah does not get a lottery pick in 2010.

    We have to build the right way. It makes no sense to create cap space if you have to sacrifice the young talent to do it. We are not in win now mode, we need to truly rebuild. Rebuilding is something the Knicks have not embraced since Cablevision came along. Sending a pick to get rid of Randolph is just as bad as sending picks to get Shandon Anderson and Moochie Norris. The mess we are in right now is a DIRECT result of undervaluing draft picks. Layden did and to a lesser extent so did Thomas. We can not repeat the mistakes of the past GMs.

  85. Thomas B.

    I would not mind losing one draft pick but with a pick going to Utah in 2010, most likely, we cant give up a 2012. You can not lose two picks in four years and get into contention. Ask atl.

  86. TDM

    From Hoopsworld.com:

    “Memphis Has Demands: So here is the latest on the Knicks and Grizzlies trade talks. The Grizzlies have agreed to the frame work of a deal that would send Darko Milicic and Marko Jaric to the Knicks in exchange for Zach Randolph and a future first round draft pick. The Knicks are reported to have countered with Zach Randolph and cash going to Memphis. Memphis seems interested in the deal, but is pushing hard for a future first round draft pick. The Knicks have made it clear that the only way they’d send out a future first, is if they got a promising young player in return. The Grizz reportedly put Javaris Crittenton on the table; the Knicks seem luke warm on JCritt. It’s been suggested by sources close to the Knicks talks, that the Knicks would send a protected future first if it returned Hakim Warrick or Kyle Lowry. The Grizzlies seem less than interested in that combination. League sources contend this deal is squarely in the Knicks hands, and that neither side has put a timetable on this deal. Both teams would like to resolve their business before training camps open, meaning this thing could drag on for several more days.”

    I still say no dice to a deal where the Knicks are giving up a protected first rounder for Crittendon, Warrick or Lowry. I like the idea of Zach and cash to Memphis, but does that mean we still have to take Darko/Marko?

  87. b

    why trade a player whose value can only rise barring injury? the remaining dollars and days on his contract will go down, his play likely will be better under d’antoni than it was last season when he played for the worst coach in the league, and the trade deadline, when teams actually need players, may be the best time to deal a fading star like randolph (the nets did very well for jason kidd last season).

    giving up a first for two scrubs and mediocre young player? no.

  88. Mel

    I thought Curry’s biggest problem with the Zach addition was his own personality . Whereas Randolph is strong willed , and in my opinion overly confident in his abilities , Curry is the opposite , he doesn’t get a a touch for a few trips down the court he loses his confidence and when he finally gets the ball , he rushes or makes a dumb decision , passes out when he shouldn’t , tries to face up and outquick someone who is quicker than him or bully past someone stronger and usually puts up a forced shot or simply turns the ball over and goes into a funk.

    Curry is weak minded but in 2006-07 the whole team was behind him force feeding him the ball , Crawford especially .

    But with Zach the team had another option , plus Zach took opportunities in and outside of the offense , for the most part lowering Curry’s touches/confidence…Randolph can miss 10 shots in a row and he’ll launch another one like the previous 10 never happened.

    For me the addition of marko and darko is more like getting channing frye back someone who is on the passive side who will do what he is told , space the floor for curry but be a better rebounder/shotblocker/defender than frye was/is….and marko is just a decent albeit overpaid for relative contributions bench player

    Darko is not a center he is just an oversized power forward. And when you watch him play it was very clear Larry Brown was right about him from the beginning , he needs to focus on his defense and rebounding , his shooting touch is not where a person can really say he has offensive star potential, nor does he have really explosive athletic ability, but he is 7’1 he can move and block shots, he is a decent rebounder, there is alot of potential there to be much better.

    As long as he tries on defense and gets out of curry’s way down low , the knicks may be able to have 2 productive players in the post for once and guys who compliment each other…and as physically talented as both guys are the potential for both to get better playing against each other in practice is a definite possibility.

  89. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Lots of fun reading all this although I wish Captain Merlin could open up and express his real feelings about Randolph.

    What about this, though. Darko is a tall person of some ability and maybe even potential and he blocks shots here and there. What would signing him indicate about the Curry situation? Would he be a pure backup? What James was supposed to be if his feet worked. Or, if he becomes our center, does that not render Curry superfluous? Two seasons ago, Curry was making strides and was thought to be (a) a big concern to whoever played us and (b) a borderline all star. “Borderline” means you could mention “Curry” and “All Star” without engendering gales of laughter. Last season, Curry not only regressed but was serially benched by IT in favor of, wait for it, Z-Bo. And people would say, “well he can’t share the floor with Z-Bo.” Can he share it with Darko? Will he be asked to? Is he gone, baby gone, as well? (Teams have been known to overpay for centers) Is Bill Clinton dating again? These are big questions.

    Curry improved 2 years ago? That’s news to me. I just thought his per-game stats were inflated because he saw more court times.

    Unless of course you think that reducing your PF/min constitutes a big improvement (at the cost of BLK/min).

  90. TDM

    “For me the addition of marko and darko is more like getting channing frye back someone who is on the passive side who will do what he is told , space the floor for curry but be a better rebounder/shotblocker/defender than frye was/is”

    Mel – I agreed with most of what you said with the exception that Darko is passive like Frye. I always saw Frye as a creampuff, however, Darko really seems to play with a chip on his shoulder. I think that is something that is necessary in any defense-minded big man. In fact, if Curry had that mean streak, he could be a beast in the mold of Dwight Howard. As you pointed out, however, Curry lacks confidence.

  91. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Curry was the best one-on-one post scorer in the league the season before last, hard as that may be to remember.

    Was that the year they outlawed passing from the post and offensive charging?

    And what does that actually mean? Can I say that 4 years ago Stephon Marbury was the best point guard pick-n-roll scorer?

  92. Owen

    “In fact, if Curry had that mean streak, he could be a beast in the mold of Dwight Howard.”

    Yes, and if Plaxico Burress had that mean streak he could be Usain Bolt.

    And if I had that mean streak I would swim like Michael Phelps.

    In all seriousness, it’s an interesting question how much of the success of a basketball player is psychological and how much is physiological.

    I lean towards the physiological, although certainly they both matter. When you look at the greatest players to play the game, I think it’s physical gifts that seperate most of them from the pack. I think you can definitely say that for Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Shaq, MJ, Lebron, Hakeem, David Robinson, and certainly Dwight Howard. There are plenty of counter examples, but the best players usually have physical gifts of height, strength, quickness, stamina, resistance to injury etc that separate them.

    D-Ho is probably the best athlete in the NBA, at least in the sense that his combination of strength, height, stamina and leaping ability are the most unusual relative to the average. Lebron is right up there with him.

    Curry can do a backflip and what not, but he is not in the same league as a guy like Howard in terms of athleticism, which is why he doesn’t deserve to be in the NBA.

  93. jon abbey

    “Was that the year they outlawed passing from the post and offensive charging?

    And what does that actually mean? Can I say that 4 years ago Stephon Marbury was the best point guard pick-n-roll scorer?”

    scoring, Mike, I said scoring. it means that he scored more points in the paint than any other player in the league (and it wasn’t even close, as I recall), and that virtually no one in the league could stop him one on one.

  94. Brian Cronin

    Not for nothing, but if it was a lottery-protected pick (and it seems that the pick comes with some restrictions), I might be more willing to deal.

    I would still be unwilling to deal, but at least I like the fact that Walsh (and Memphis, apparently) aren’t even considering the notion of an unprotected first round pick.

    Thank heaven for small favors, I suppose.

    I like the earlier post about how the Knicks need to get a good big man, while they already have one of the better big men in the league in David Lee. It’s everywhere else that the Knicks have problems.

  95. Brian Cronin

    Point guard:
    Duhon
    Lowry

    Shooting guard:
    Crawford
    Marbury
    Robinson
    Jaric
    Roberson

    Small forward:
    Chandler
    Gallinari
    Richardson

    Power forward:
    Lee
    Jeffries
    Rose

    Center:
    Curry
    Milicic

    Cuts being:
    Collins
    James
    Ewing Jr./Marbury

    If it is Warrick in the deal, then take out Lowry and put in Warrick.

    If it is neither, then Ewing Jr. can come back on to the roster.

  96. Dave

    Ted,

    This comes down to a difference of opinion, I’ve read a few of your comments on this and you clearly don’t rate Darko Milicic as a defensive player. I do, I think he’s a good defensive player who could be a very good defensive player in the right situation. I’ve seen a large number of games where he’s been a game changing defensive player and I think he can be a quality anchor on a good defensive squad.

    From a coaching standpoint the only thing I’d like to see is someone who’ll let him play through his mistakes and inconsistencies. I believe he’ll come out the other side as a very good player. Needs patience. I don’t think anything else from a coaching standpoint really matters for Darko. Just minutes, consistent minutes.

    Actually, not wait, one other thing I’d like to see, and that’s for his coach to make him the defensive anchor and lead rebounder and tell him he’s not to trouble himself over the rest. Just let the rest of the game fall where it falls. The reason is below.

    The biggest issue for Darko is confidence. He doesn’t have it and you can regularly see the difference in his body language before he endures his ups and downs. He needs to be put in situations where he can be successful, and as a rebounder/defender he can be successful. As an offensive player he’s mainly a failure.

    As for the offense, I don’t think D’Antoni’s offense is a good fit. At best it’s a mediocre fit, but that might be optimistic. Darko isn’t much good on the screen and roll, doesn’t have a jump shot, and his movement off the ball is limited. He’s not going to be heavily involved with any offense so the difference between a D’Antoni or others isn’t that significant.

    I’m not sure D’Antoni is a good coach for Darko. I’m not sure he’ll be patient enough and he has two other bigs in Curry and Lee so impatience could mess Darko up. I’m not against the fit, but it’s not a good fit either. From a Darko standpoint, I’d rather see him elsewhere, I think there are better homes (teams/coaches) for him.

    For the record, I think Darko would do best in a heavily scripted offense like Utah. His best talent offensively is his passing which is slightly above average for a center and is his only consistent skill offensively. He sets solid screens off the ball also. When he has his confidence running high he has a decent post game (the 12ppg variety) with a nice go-to lefty hook. When he doesn’t have his confidence high, he’s a train wreck as a scorer/shooter who’s touches should be limited.

    As for Detroit, if Darko was still there he’d be their starting center today. He didn’t play during his time there because they had better talent ahead of him.

    ————————

    In other words I’d like an NBA coach to copy his national team’s coach. One coach has proven to get through to him and get quality out of him. Consistent minutes, consistent role, limit his offensive responsibilities, only give him duties he can succeed doing and let his confidence grow. As his confidence grows more and more came out of him. I think an NBA coach can get the same out of him.

    I also thought playing alongside a player like Igor Rakocevic was good for him. A bloody thirsty hard as nails killer. I thought his toughness helped spark Darko on the national squad. Rakocevic was also a gifted scorer and leader which again limited Darko’s responsibilities and allowed Darko to follow him. Reduced the pressure and left Darko in a position where he could succeed (defensive anchor, rebounder).

    ————————

    Memphis was a bad fit for him because nearly everything he did ended up being meaningless. He plays good defense and then his perimeter players allow everyone to run down the middle of the lane. Box out well, and then he has no other big to help him on the backboards and his team loses the rebound. He was losing on every level and it was killing his confidence. His actually started the season in good form and was making a huge difference on the backboards (team rebounding wise) and defensively, but things kept getting worse around him and with that he went back inside his own head and collapsed.

    Mentally he’s a very weak individual and is reliant on being in a good situation with good teammates (especially gifted offensive players to reduce his involvement) and to play for a coach who believes in him and won’t screw him around.

    In terms of talent, solid starter material (like a Kendrick Perkins) is how I’d regard his potential. Not much in the ways of skill development, more mental development. He’ll need time. If things went really well maybe he could be more but I wouldn’t be acquiring him with the expectation of more.

  97. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Was that the year they outlawed passing from the post and offensive charging?

    And what does that actually mean? Can I say that 4 years ago Stephon Marbury was the best point guard pick-n-roll scorer?”

    scoring, Mike, I said scoring. it means that he scored more points in the paint than any other player in the league (and it wasn’t even close, as I recall), and that virtually no one in the league could stop him one on one.

    My comment was probably a bit on the snarky side, but I still think it’s a leap to call Curry unstoppable. I believe that Curry did score the most points in the paint that season, however his lack of passing and propensity to bowl over defenders made him prone to flopping and double teams.

    That said, I look forward to what Curry will do in D’Antoni’s offense. Unlike most people, I think he’s pretty fast up court for a center (certainly faster than Zach Randolph). I hope the Knicks will put Curry in more positions where defenses can’t react with doubles (7 seconds) or even get him the ball in better positions. I also hope that the guards learn how to get the ball in the post properly.

  98. Thomas B.

    That’s old news. Are there any gay Knicks fans in here?

    We are all in a long term, love/hate relationship with the Knicks.

  99. jon abbey

    “My comment was probably a bit on the snarky side, but I still think it’s a leap to call Curry unstoppable. I believe that Curry did score the most points in the paint that season, however his lack of passing and propensity to bowl over defenders made him prone to flopping and double teams.”

    there wasn’t much flopping against him that year (much more the year before), he was the single most unstoppable post player in the league in single coverage, hard as it may be to believe or remember at this point. we all know all of the caveats, but he abused almost anyone who tried to guard him one on one that year (Yao Ming is the only real exception I can remember).

    anyway, I’m not saying he’s a good player, he seemed to regress in a big way last year. but he was a force in 2006-2007, at least until the doubleteams came.

  100. dave crockett

    That’s old news. Are there any gay Knicks fans in here?

    Are you insane? Hell no. There is no gaiety in Knickville. We’re all damn near suicidal, or haven’t you actually been reading this blog.

  101. Captain Merlin

    In addition to lacking any sort of option other than shooting from inside, I believe that during that year Curry, though scoring a lot in the paint scored atrociously few points outside of it. That ought to also be considered when dubbing him as being the most dominant in the paint scorer that year–he had nowhere else to even try, whereas others with superior ability and range didn’t need to camp out so much and thus did not have quite the statistical inflation.

    That’s old news. Are there any gay Knicks fans in here?

    First people in search of cute fans, now someone in search of gay fans, what’s next, someone looking for Stephon Marbury fans? BADUMP-CHA! Thank you.

    But seriously, I was unaware that this board doubled as a date/friend finder type o’ place. Any half blind Peruvian dwarf Knicks fans in here?

  102. Captain Merlin

    “We are all in a long term, love/hate relationship with the Knicks.”
    lol. r u single?

    While I do not have any problem with anyone’s sexual preferences and such, I’d rather it if this board remained without pickups and questions of that nature floating around. It’s rather discomfiting, but of greater concern, it disrupts the concentration of my misery on this team and throws a wrench into the general stream of depression, anger, and self pity.

  103. Thomas B.

    “We are all in a long term, love/hate relationship with the Knicks.”
    lol. r u single?

    Flattered, but spoken for.

    As I said, my heart belongs to the Knicks.

  104. Italian Stallion

    “My comment was probably a bit on the snarky side, but I still think it’s a leap to call Curry unstoppable. I believe that Curry did score the most points in the paint that season, however his lack of passing and propensity to bowl over defenders made him prone to flopping and double teams.”
    there wasn’t much flopping against him that year (much more the year before), he was the single most unstoppable post player in the league in single coverage, hard as it may be to believe or remember at this point. we all know all of the caveats, but he abused almost anyone who tried to guard him one on one that year (Yao Ming is the only real exception I can remember).
    anyway, I’m not saying he’s a good player, he seemed to regress in a big way last year. but he was a force in 2006-2007, at least until the doubleteams came.

    I agree.

    Two seasons ago Curry looked about the same as the year before during the first few weeks (mediocre). However after a few weeks he started getting very dominant in the paint and was averaging more than 20 PPG with a very high FG%. Then the double and trip teams started coming. That caused some problems for him, but he maintained a solid PPG and FG% and his average slowly rose to close to 20 PPG by year end after the slow start.

    Going into last year, I though the #1 priority was getting a great outside shooter to draw people away from him. Instead we got Randolph. All that did was take touches and shots away from him and put them into the hands of a less efficient scorer. Then once his confidence went, the whole thing really spiraled down for him. However, IMHO, he can easily recover his best form if the Knicks give him touches and minutes (and he stays out of Burger King).

    I agree on all the downsides to his game (lack of defense, rebounds, consistent effort, conditioning, shot blocking etc…) I also don’t know how he’ll fit into a fast D’Antoni style game. However, I’m pretty sure that it would be possible for some team to use him very effectively if they had the right pieces to make up for his limitations.

  105. Thomas B.

    A person does not come to a site dedicated to team sports talk to announces very personal details about their life unless they are looking for attention. Anyone who has a problem with it should ignore it. Once the person sees that they will not be acknowledged they will go elsewhere. I should not have encouraged the discourse with my own playful banter. So, unless Zach Randolph is dating Thall, I don’t see how any of that is relevenat.

  106. jon abbey

    “Just a note on the Curry dominance discussion, he was second in the league in turnovers in 06-07….”

    yes, the vast majority of which came AFTER HE WAS DOUBLED. again, not a good player, but one of the best few in the league at this one thing, at least that year.

  107. Ben R

    If we run a very active offense with lots of ball movement, like D’Antoni likes to do, then we can get Curry touches and shots before the doubles come and before he has to pass out of it. If we can do that Curry’s turnovers should drop to at least his Chicago levels, which were average for a scoring center, or maybe even a bit better then in Chicago.

    Our offense the last three years only highlighted Curry’s lack of composure once he gets doubled and tripled. He needs an offense that moves, not stands around watching him get hounded by the defense. He runs the floor well and most players that can bang with him down low will not be able to keep up with him if we play fast.

    He has lots of problems with his game but with Lee next to him picking up the rebounding slack and a well designed offense helping with his turnovers then two of Curry’s biggest weaknesses are under control. He needs to improve his free throw shooting but even at his poor FT percentage he scores at a much higher overall efficency than average. So then the only huge weakness, and it is huge, is his poor defensive play.

    Long term, unless Curry really thrives under D’Antoni, I do not see him as our best bet at Center but he is unquestionably better than Randolph. We need to move Randolph very soon and then next summer we can take a look at moving Crawford and Curry, two players who I expect to do well under D’Antoni and have positive trade value next year. Both are too poor defensively and not quite good enough offensively to build around.

    As for moving Randolph I would not throw in a future first but I think in the right trade Nate might be a great deal sweetener. Moving him will also save us having to resign him thus eliminating two cap burdens in one trade.

  108. Caleb

    For what it’s worth… the straight-up version of the trade, Randolph for Jaric & Milicic, would be enough to actually put the Knicks under the cap in 2010.

    This was the situation as of June

    From the 2010-2011 roster, you can subtract Balkman ($3,027,000) and the difference between Randolph & Jaric salaries ($9,683,333)… and the Knicks would have committed @$56.38 million… against a projected cap of @$62 million. They’d still have to fill six roster slots, but with minimum salary guys (or close) they’d still be under by a million or two.

    Obviously, that’s not far enough to sign a real free agent, but it’s close to striking range. The next biggest savings could come from dumping Curry, Crawford or Jeffries, or not re-signing Lee. (you can guess which moves I’d try for).

    You could save even more by waiting on a Randolph trade and not taking back a Jaric… but at this point I’d hedge my bets. Not to mention, on top of the salary dump you get Darko – he’s only 22 and IMO as valuable as, say, a 20-25 first-round pick.

  109. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Two seasons ago Curry looked about the same as the year before during the first few weeks (mediocre). However after a few weeks he started getting very dominant in the paint and was averaging more than 20 PPG with a very high FG%. Then the double and trip teams started coming. That caused some problems for him, but he maintained a solid PPG and FG% and his average slowly rose to close to 20 PPG by year end after the slow start.

    Are we really using per game stats to justify Curry’s improvement? Curry didn’t improve in 2007, with the exception of reducing his fouls/min (at the expense of blk/min). Here are his per-minute stats over the last 4 years:

    YEAR eFG% .TS% AST TO. PTS
    2005 .583 .538 0.7 3.2 20.2
    2006 .604 .563 0.4 3.5 18.9
    2007 .603 .576 0.9 3.7 19.9
    2008 .578 .546 0.8 3.7 18.4

    Is 2007 really a breakout year? Year to year the stats are just about the same.

  110. Italian Stallion
    Two seasons ago Curry looked about the same as the year before during the first few weeks (mediocre). However after a few weeks he started getting very dominant in the paint and was averaging more than 20 PPG with a very high FG%. Then the double and trip teams started coming. That caused some problems for him, but he maintained a solid PPG and FG% and his average slowly rose to close to 20 PPG by year end after the slow start.

    Are we really using per game stats to justify Curry’s improvement? Curry didn’t improve in 2007, with the exception of reducing his fouls/min (at the expense of blk/min). Here are his per-minute stats over the last 4 years:YEAR eFG% .TS% AST TO. PTS
    2005 .583 .538 0.7 3.2 20.2
    2006 .604 .563 0.4 3.5 18.9
    2007 .603 .576 0.9 3.7 19.9
    2008 .578 .546 0.8 3.7 18.4
    Is 2007 really a breakout year? Year to year the stats are just about the same.

    Mike,

    I agree with you. The improvement in 2007 wasn’t nearly as good as it looked and the deterioration in 2008 wasn’t nearly as bad.

    But this is a case where I think you have to refine the analysis of 2007 a little further. He got off to what I recall was a mediocre start and then started playing much better several weeks into the season. It was then that he started to draw double and tiple teams because he was scoring over 20 points (on a high FG%) almost every night.

    So you could say his stats in 2007 were similar to other seasons “despite” the slow start and being doubled and tripled when his game stepped up a bit. I don’t recall him getting doubled and tripled much before that or last year.

    The real problem in 2007 was that the Knicks had difficulty taking advantage of the potential upside of Curry drawing doubles. He didn’t pass out of it effectively (often turned it over instead). Even when he did, the Knicks were a bunch of bricklayers from the outside. That made it harder to keep the defense honest.

  111. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Just a note on the Curry dominance discussion, he was second in the league in turnovers in 06-07….”

    yes, the vast majority of which came AFTER HE WAS DOUBLED. again, not a good player, but one of the best few in the league at this one thing, at least that year.

    I have the analogy for this. Eddy Curry is like a hitter that can crush any fastball, but can’t hit anything else. Also he’s not a good fielder or base runner. He’s like the Rob Deer (Pete Incaviglia?) of the NBA.

  112. TDM

    I think Curry did have a breakout year in 2007. He became the focal point of the offense, scoring at least 20 points a game for most of the season and in 10 games in a row. Granted, he was a turnover machine. However, that was also the year that Isiah used 20 different lineups. Perhaps if there was some consistency in the rotation, Curry’s stats would have been more impressive in 2007. I also remember him dominating Dwight Howard, Andrew Bogut, and many other bigs in the league that year. Eddy Curry was the story for the season – he was the player other teams worried about stopping when they played the Knicks. Last season, Curry was a shell of the player from 2007.

  113. Ben R

    Mike K – I agree that Curry is not a great player but at least he has a strength that D’Antoni can work with, unlike Randolph who along with being a mess defensively is at best average offensivly.

    Also in your chart Curry’s turnovers in 2008 are 3.0 per 36 not 3.7.

    So looking at the chart I believe that in a good system, which Curry has not had in NY, Curry could very easily get his turnovers around or even slightly better than his career best which is about a 15% rate and 3.0 per 36 which he had in both 2004 and 2008, combine that with him returning to the form he had the two previous years with a TS% over 60% and you have a player who offensively is a great asset. If he can score 20 points with 3 turnovers and a better than 60% TS% I think it is awful hard to say that he is not a very good offensive player.

    The step forward in 2007 was Curry’s ability to play ten more minutes without his stats declining. I know most players do better with more minutes but Curry prior to 2007 stuggled with fouls, conditioning and consistancy when given more minutes.

    2003 – 19.4 minutes – 58.5% EFG% – 60.7% TS%
    2004 – 29.5 minutes – 48.7% EFG% – 53.8% TS%
    2005 – 28.7 minutes – 53.8% EFG% – 58.3% TS%
    2006 – 25.9 minutes – 56.3% EFG% – 60.4% TS%
    2007 – 35.2 minutes – 57.6% EFG% – 60.3% TS%

    As you can see from the chart his increase in minutes between 2003 and 2004 really hurt his efficiency and until 2007 his minutes actually decreased. So I believe that the ability to play more minutes was actually a breakthrough for Curry.

    Overall I think Curry’s defensive shortcomings will always hold him back and make him an at best average starting center but average overall is alot better than Randolph who overall is way below average.

  114. TDM

    Here’s an interesting (and quite funny) article from the Memphis Commercial Appeal pleading with the Griz to pass on the Randolph trade. Quite an amusing assessment of Zbo.

    Here’s a clip from the article:
    “Sources close to the negotiations say that the deal can’t go through until Knicks president Donnie Walsh and Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni stop high-fiving each other long enough to complete the paperwork.

    Or maybe the Knicks do not want to appear too eager. Although, why wouldn’t they be eager to get rid of a fat, shoot-first power forward who destroys locker rooms, disdains defense, regularly shows up in police reports and will make $48 million over the next three years?”

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/sep/10/dont-do-it/

  115. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    TDM – The article is hysterical! At the bottom is the person’s phone number “To reach Geoff Calkins, call him at …” Anyone want to do an interview? (“Hi I’m a commenter at KnickerBlogger.Net – I’m not a writer, but I have my own avatar – Anyhoo I was wondering what you really think of Zach Randolph?”)

    He plays way too loose with the facts like: “So the Knicks called the Grizzlies. Because what other team were they going to call?

    The Clippers already said “no.” The Knicks knew they couldn’t foist a guy like Randolph off on a credible franchise.”

    Everyone knows the Clippers aren’t a credible franchise!

    Actually from the rumors we heard, Donnie refused the deal (whether you believe in the 1st round pick being part of the offer or not).

  116. Thomas B.
    “Just a note on the Curry dominance discussion, he was second in the league in turnovers in 06-07….”
    yes, the vast majority of which came AFTER HE WAS DOUBLED. again, not a good player, but one of the best few in the league at this one thing, at least that year.

    I have the analogy for this. Eddy Curry is like a hitter that can crush any fastball, but can’t hit anything else. Also he’s not a good fielder or base runner. He’s like the Rob Deer (Pete Incaviglia?) of the NBA.

    Or Pedro Cerano from Major League. Maybe Curry hasnt made the right offerings to Jo-Bu.

  117. TDM

    “Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come. ”

    Pedro Cerano, 1989

  118. Thomas B.

    “Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come. ”
    Pedro Cerano, 1989

    Ha! I should have known you would find a way to outdo me.

  119. Thomas B.

    Here’s an interesting (and quite funny) article from the Memphis Commercial Appeal pleading with the Griz to pass on the Randolph trade. Quite an amusing assessment of Zbo.
    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/sep/10/dont-do-it/

    Best line in the article is at the end. “To reach Geoff Calkins, call him at 529-2364 or e-mail calkins@commercialappeal.com” I considered calling until I noticed that no area code listed. That is just awesome. They dont even bother to include the area code because they know no person outside the distribution area of the Commercial Appeal, which is about 14 city blocks, would care to comment. They dont even worry that the folks in Memphis would tie up the phone line. They know nobody cares. Jeez, you dont see a number by Mike Lupica’s articles. Only a despreate lonely person would stoop so low.

    To reach Thomas B., call 585-2213 or email at ThomasB@fauxnews.com

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