Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 22, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: The Last Spots on the Roster go to Murry, Aldrich and…Chris Smith

So it’s Friday, traditionally considered a “slow news day.” If you’re running, for example, the government of the United States of America and you have an item of interest that you want to (or rather, have to) release, but you want to diminish the amount of attention it receives from the esteemed members of the Fourth Estate, you dump it on the world on a lazy Friday (preferably on the eve of a holiday) afternoon.

Because, you see, like the rest of us, the fine gentlemen and ladies who consider themselves journalists are also giddily eager to leave work as soon as humanly possible on this day (let alone hauling their bedraggled, possibly hung over carcasses into their fluorescent-lit, photo-and-ironic-toy-festooned sad little cubicles a Saturday) and would rather not crank up their Woodstein-y investigative juices up to a fever pitch just when they’re preparing to benumb themselves for 48-odd hours, barbecuing or spending time with a loved one or shopping for a nice new pair of slacks at Target or watching 300-kb men incur Dementia Pugilistica.

Basically, no one wants to either be forced to generate or feel some kind of moral imperative to consume 48-point font headlines screeching about corruption or the invasion/black ops bombing of a backwater third world hovel, when the vast portion of one’s cerebral cortex has shifted into put your feet up/kick back/consume beverages in totemic vessels with umbrellas mode

This too-long preamble is to let you know that our new lord and master of spreadsheets, Steve Mills, is aware of this practice, because the Knicks announced their final cuts a few minutes ago. Ready? Gird your loins, you may want to hide all the fire extinguishers and/or purchase an armored transport vehicle…

Sure. Murry totally deserved a spot. Yay Toure’! And I totally get keeping Aldrich over, say, Diogu. He is a legit center, if not a particularly skilled one, especially on the offensive end. You cannot teach altitude and whatnot, and he provides a credible presence on defense/the glass. Diogu could score, but he’s an undersized,  hustle-y/Tyler Hansbrough-y PF and given the makeup of the rest of the roster, that isn’t what this team needs. Aldrich also checks off the ‘upside’ box. There are not heaps of up to side to, but still.

And then there’s Chris Smith. No, he’s not good enough to be on an NBA roster. We’ve been hearing the nepotism chatter for awhile now, and yes, it does smack of all the gobsmackingly stupid, incestuous ways in which this so-called pro franchise has functioned for going on a decade plus. It also reaffirms all the paranoid musings about “CAA running the team” and/or Dolan having some kind of under-the-table deal w/the Smith family mafia clan in exchange for one of the two contracts that favorite son JR has signed over the past two offseasons.

Luckily for y’all, I studied at the Glenn Beck School of NBA Roster management (I majored in chalkboards). So here’s my thought: It doesn’t make keeping Smith any less of an atrocity, mind you, but it might make swallowing this fetid sack of derp a tad more palatable, like dousing a fecal fajita in hot sauce.

 

If the Knicks keep Smith past the 29th, he gets paid. Odds are, no one’s going to sign Tyler while he’s still wheeling around the practice facility on that one-knee scooter of his. When Tyler’s healthy, he rejoins the roster (or they pick up someone else of value who gets cut before Wednesday) and Lil Pipe either gets handed his pink slip or suffers a mysterious ‘injury’ of his own and maybe receives the Baron Davis I-get-to-be-part-of-the-team-but-no-one-really-knows-what-’work’-I-actually-do role.

All of this though, still stinks. Giving a player a nice sack of consolation prizes just because he’s someone’s brother is bound to piss off the rest of the roster (at least the rest that isn’t related to Chris). I know and you probably know that nepotism/favoritism plays a part in any workplace, but when it happens at your/my job, we get really, really angry. No one wants to think that decisions in life aren’t based on pure merit. Basketball (and all sports) are supposed to be a respite from all that — a place where you succeed or fail on your skills alone, where the rules are clear and enforced, and, at the end of the day, you know exactly who’s won and who’s lost. No vast, unending, indecipherable, morally ambiguous (let alone outright rigged/corrupt/fixed) shades of gray. It’s a number. I have more, I win.

Of course, that’s never wholly the case either. Roster spots are often determined by salary/draft pick status. It’s never a pure Rand-ian meritocracy, but this is such a shameless example, so plaintively obvious, it’s bound to raise everyone’s hackles.

So yeah, this isn’t good. But maybe in a few weeks, it’ll be slightly less not-good. Optimism!

UPDATE [5:48pm] Well, this tweet isn’t definitive, but it certainly doesn’t dispel the tinfoil hat speculation I outlined.

94 comments on “BREAKING NEWS: The Last Spots on the Roster go to Murry, Aldrich and…Chris Smith

  1. Frank

    makes you also wonder whether there is an under-the-table deal that Tyler doesn’t sign with anyone else too. some shenanigans here.

  2. Mike Kurylo

    Here are Chris Smiths’ stats for the summer league (not preseason, but summer league!):

    1-6
    4-15
    1-6
    0-5
    3-9

    He was 1-9 from downtown. In one game he had 6 turnovers. In no games did he score more than 10 points. All against inferior talent.

    I HEREBY DECREE THAT BASED ON THIS, NO KNICKERBLOGGER COMMENTER MAY USE THE ARGUMENT THAT THE KNICKS’ FRONT OFFICE CONSIDERS ADVANCED STATS IN THEIR EVALUATION OF PLAYERS.

    This proclamation will last at least one year. AT THE LEAST.

    You may carry on.

  3. sffrank1562

    Pathetic. That is why this team is going no where.
    Chris Smith? Why don’t they sign his dad as an advisor.
    They should have signed JJ Reddick, instead of the thug, brick throwing selfish JR.

  4. Brian Cronin

    They should have signed JJ Reddick, instead of the thug, brick throwing selfish JR.

    I think you’re being unfair to JR in that depiction of him. Beyond that, though, the Knicks did not have any cap room to sign anyone but JR Smith because JR signed using the Early Bird Rights. The Knicks could have only offered $3 million to anyone else and JJ Redick signed for a lot more than $3 million.

  5. Hubert

    Mike Kurylo:

    I HEREBY DECREE THAT BASED ON THIS, NO KNICKERBLOGGER COMMENTER MAY USE THE ARGUMENT THAT THE KNICKS’ FRONT OFFICE CONSIDERS ADVANCED STATS IN THEIR EVALUATION OF PLAYERS.

    In light of Steve Mills’ hiring being lauded as a move towards advanced stats, it’s kind of laughable.

    However, I don’t think you can fairly draw the conclusion you are asserting. That would imply that the Knicks gave him a roster spot on merit. In reality, they probably know he sucks but gave him the spot anyway.

  6. thenamestsam

    I said it a couple days ago and I’ll say it again: Lala Anthony is a sleeper for next year’s Knicks roster. Mark it down.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Here’s what needs to happen:

    Iman Shumpert has to join CAA.

    I don’t care what else happens.

    Absolutely. Get ‘er done, Shump!

  8. Brian Cronin

    Think about this. If it were not for Chris Smith’s injury, the Knicks never would have signed Cope last year.

    Soooo dumb.

  9. lavor postell

    Brian Cronin:
    Think about this. If it were not for Chris Smith’s injury, the Knicks never would have signed Cope last year.

    Soooo dumb.

    Then again maybe then copelands goes unfounded until the Knicks signed him this year…

  10. sffrank1562

    Being unfair to Smith. Seriously? The guys shoots consistent bricks, doesn’t play defense and is a convicted thug.
    Any questions? If not Reddick than maybe Mayo, but not Smith.

  11. Brian Cronin

    The Knicks had only $3 million to spend on free agents, including their own Prigs. They did not sign Smith with cap room. They signed him with Early Bird Rights, which allowed them to offer him the MLE. They could not have signed any other notable free agent guard for the $3 million of cap room they had. Not Mayo. Not Ellis. Not Redick. Not Martin. Not Webster. Not Jennings. No one. That point is a non-starter.

    And Smith is not a convicted “thug.” There is no such thing. That’s just your take on him.

  12. Robert Silverman Post author

    sffrank1562:
    Being unfair to Smith. Seriously? The guys shoots consistent bricks, doesn’t play defense and is a convicted thug.
    Any questions? If not Reddick than maybe Mayo, but not Smith.

    1. His defense is off an on, but it was markedly improved last year. He’s streaky, yes, but carried the team for stretches.

    2. They couldn’t sign Redick or Mayo or anyone making more than 1.7 mil a year, unless you’d prefer they dump Prigioni.

    3. You don’t like him as a player. I get that (and not liking his game is certainly a reasonable response to have), but he’s not a thug, convicted or otherwise. If you’d like to continue in the forum, try to avoid making moral judgments based on shot selection. It’s false and not welcome around here.

  13. Hubert

    sffrank1562:
    The guy…is a convicted thug.

    Convicted of what?

    This is getting tiresome.

    JR & Chris Smith are a couple of knuckleheads. JR is immature, Chris sucks at basketball.

    They’re not thugs, convicts, or anything negative in society.

  14. Z-man

    “All of this though, still stinks. Giving a player a nice sack of consolation prizes just because he’s someone’s brother is bound to piss off the rest of the roster (at least the rest that isn’t related to Chris). I know and you probably know that nepotism/favoritism plays a part in any workplace, but when it happens at your/my job, we get really, really angry. No one wants to think that decisions in life aren’t based on pure merit. Basketball (and all sports) are supposed to be a respite from all that — a place where you succeed or fail on your skills alone, where the rules are clear and enforced, and, at the end of the day, you know exactly who’s won and who’s lost. No vast, unending, indecipherable, morally ambiguous (let alone outright rigged/corrupt/fixed) shades of gray. It’s a number. I have more, I win.”

    I couldn’t disagree more in this particular case. It isn’t really nepotism because the spot did not have to be filled, nor is is denying anyone else an opportunity unless he is kept long term…and I expect that he will be cut shortly.

    Seriously, if this made the difference for signing LeBron instead of JR, would we be as outraged? Or would we be lauding this clever cap circumvention by the FO as a stroke of genius?

  15. Brian Cronin

    Funny quote from Evan Turner about the lack of a contract extension offer from Philly (obviously, as they clearly want no part of him moving forward):

    “I’m not a GM. I’m going to get money regardless.”

  16. Hubert

    Z-man:

    Seriously, if this made the difference for signing LeBron instead of JR, would we be as outraged? Or would we be lauding this clever cap circumvention by the FO as a stroke of genius?

    But that’s part of the problem. JR has gained a status in the organization that his play doesn’t deserve. He’s being treated like a star. He gets to shoot when he can’t shoot, he gets 4Q minutes in do-or-die playoff games instead of a red-hot Iman Shumpert evern when he isn’t paying attention to his man who just backdoored him another layup. He plays games hungover, and the owner wants to ship Shumpert out of town because he’s threatening to take time away from him. He self destructs in the playoffs, ruining a chance to make a title run, and he gets rewarded with the max contract we could give him AND a roster spot for his no-good brother.

    That’s the thing that is really ticking me off. JR Smith is the symbol of our ownership’s fucked up priorities. He should be the 6th man, in name and spirit, but we’re going to make him the 2nd. And if JR Smith is your #2 guy, you’re fucked.

  17. ephus

    In the words of Jack Foley (as played by George Clooney) in Out of Sight:

    Jack Foley: Yeah, I got a problem: this is the dumbest f___in’ shakedown in the history of dumb shakedowns.

    I hope that my prior warnings all prove false and the Knicks do not pay any price from the league for this move. If the only bad thing that happens is that Chris Smith occupies the 15th roster spot, oh well. In fact, I now hope that the Knicks keep him on the team (but inactive) for the whole season so that it looks as good as possible.

  18. Z-man

    Hubert: But that’s part of the problem. JR has gained a status in the organization that his play doesn’t deserve. He’s being treated like a star. He gets to shoot when he can’t shoot, he gets 4Q minutes in do-or-die playoff games instead of a red-hot Iman Shumpert evern when he isn’t paying attention to his man who just backdoored him another layup. He plays games hungover, and the owner wants to ship Shumpert out of town because he’s threatening to take time away from him. He self destructs in the playoffs, ruining a chance to make a title run, and he gets rewarded with the max contract we could give him AND a roster spot for his no-good brother. That’s the thing that is really ticking me off. JR Smith is the symbol of our ownership’s fucked up priorities. He should be the 6th man, in name and spirit, but we’re going to make him the 2nd. And if JR Smith is your #2 guy, you’re fucked.

    That’s fine, and if you are against the signing on it’s face, these are all good reasons for it. On the other hand, it was Woodson’s call to hand the keys to JR, and he did actually get voted 6th man of the year by the NBA, not by Woodson. What is th going salary for that designation.

    My point is that this particular perq has no bearing on the big picture. Signing JR in the first place is the only question mark.

  19. Brian Cronin

    But that’s part of the problem. JR has gained a status in the organization that his play doesn’t deserve. He’s being treated like a star. He gets to shoot when he can’t shoot, he gets 4Q minutes in do-or-die playoff games instead of a red-hot Iman Shumpert evern when he isn’t paying attention to his man who just backdoored him another layup. He plays games hungover, and the owner wants to ship Shumpert out of town because he’s threatening to take time away from him. He self destructs in the playoffs, ruining a chance to make a title run, and he gets rewarded with the max contract we could give him AND a roster spot for his no-good brother.

    That’s the thing that is really ticking me off. JR Smith is the symbol of our ownership’s fucked up priorities. He should be the 6th man, in name and spirit, but we’re going to make him the 2nd. And if JR Smith is your #2 guy, you’re fucked.

    Yeah, if this move got the Knicks Lebron James, it’d be a shrewd move. It didn’t. It didn’t even get them JR Smith. The MLE from the Knicks was the best offer he received. In fact, he was specifically telling people during the offseason that he was going to leave if someone made him a better offer. It never came. The Knicks gave him the best offer he got and gave him the chance to play for the first coach who he ever liked in the NBA and gave him the chance to play in a big market and the Knicks then had to sweeten the deal? That’s the opposite of shrewd.

  20. massive

    Chris Smith’s presence on the roster is a problem because this roster is injury prone all around. That wouldn’t change with LeBron, but even so, here’s why it wouldn’t be that big of a problem:

    1) LeBron James.
    2) LeBron has the ability to make others around him better. So Chris Smith wouldn’t suck as much as he currently does.
    3) LeBron James seems like a guy who would use nepotism to bring in Daniel Gibson and not….Chris Smith. Melo used it to bring in Kenyon Martin and maybe JR Smith. JR Smith used it to bring in 1/2 Pipe.

    All in all, this is such a huge problem because it’s the worst case of nepotism since Ben Hansbrough. And it’s on an injury prone roster.

  21. Brian Cronin

    By the way, does this mean Leslie was cut? Or was he already on the team?

    Yeah, Leslie was cut. Doesn’t seem to be a great loss there, although it does make a lot of our draft day comments look kind of silly in retrospect. We all thought he was a steal.

  22. ephus

    JR Smith, as far as I know, was convicted of one offense in his life: Reckless driving for speeding through a stop sign which led to a crash that killed his passenger and close friend, Andre Bell. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4298594

    He has a couple of other speeding arrests.

    He also has a lot of tattoos.

    That does not make JR Smith a “thug”.

    As far as I know, he does not have the Tupac “THUG LIFE” tattoo anywhere on his body. Many people posting here act as if he does.

    So, I think this is a stupid move. I hope it does not have other negative consequences. But I want to distance myself as far as possible from people who decry JR Smith as a “thug”.

  23. Hubert

    Z-man: On the other hand, it was Woodson’s call to hand the keys to JR,

    But we honestly can’t even be confident in this. Woodson may not have been directly ordered to play JR over Shumpert, but I guarantee he knows JR has a better standing in the organization than he does so he feels pressure to start JR or let him close out games. JR is going to have too long a leash, and he will choke this team to death with it. And it might cost us Shumpert, who probably should be getting groomed to be the #2 guy on this team.

  24. johnno

    Mike Kurylo: I HEREBY DECREE THAT BASED ON THIS, NO KNICKERBLOGGER COMMENTER MAY USE THE ARGUMENT THAT THE KNICKS’ FRONT OFFICE CONSIDERS ADVANCED STATS IN THEIR EVALUATION OF PLAYERS.

    What’s this got to do with advanced stats? You can look at elementary/archaic/prehistoric stats to conclude that he put up lousy numbers.

  25. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: The Knicks gave him the best offer he got and gave him the chance to play for the first coach who he ever liked in the NBA and gave him the chance to play in a big market and the Knicks then had to sweeten the deal?

    And if ephus is right, they threw in a first round pick, just to be consistent.

  26. Hubert

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, Leslie was cut. Doesn’t seem to be a great loss there, although it does make a lot of our draft day comments look kind of silly in retrospect. We all thought he was a steal.

    Damn you Kevin Udwary for making me feel connected to CJ Leslie!!!!

  27. Brian Cronin

    And if ephus is right, they threw in a first round pick, just to be consistent.

    Hilarious point!

  28. ephus

    Hubert: And if ephus is right, they threw in a first round pick, just to be consistent.

    As a Knick fan, I really hope that I was wrong and that Stern/Silver pay no attention to this contract.

  29. thenamestsam

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, if this move got the Knicks Lebron James, it’d be a shrewd move. It didn’t. It didn’t even get them JR Smith. The MLE from the Knicks was the best offer he received. In fact, he was specifically telling people during the offseason that he was going to leave if someone made him a better offer. It never came. The Knicks gave him the best offer he got and gave him the chance to play for the first coach who he ever liked in the NBA and gave him the chance to play in a big market and the Knicks then had to sweeten the deal? That’s the opposite of shrewd.

    So much of this. I actually love me some JR, but the Knicks don’t owe him shit. How the Knicks studied the current ledger they have open with JR and came to the conclusion that they owe him something is beyond me. He has been given the kid glove treatment from Day 1 and they’re paying him more than anyone else offered him. And he has been far from on his best behavior since coming here. So what exactly are the Knicks repaying him for?

    Obviously it’s just the 15th roster spot and in the grand course of this season this is a small deal. Yes, they might have found the next Lin or Copeland with that spot. But far more likely they would have found the next James White. But I do think it’s indicative of a lot of flaws in the organization, and if it ends up costing them a 1st round pick…that’s a whole different cup of tea.

  30. Brian Cronin

    As a Knick fan, I really hope that I was wrong and that Stern/Silver pay no attention to this contract.

    I do think they sure as hell better keep him on the roster for the whole season if they want to avoid the league looking at them too closely.

  31. BigBlueAL

    We really need Wednesday night to get here so instead of talking about stupid roster moves we can talk about an opening night win vs the Bucks and looking forward to playing in Chicago Halloween night.

  32. er

    BigBlueAL:
    We really need Wednesday night to get here so instead of talking about stupid roster moves we can talk about an opening night win vs the Bucks and looking forward to playing in Chicago Halloween night.

    Amen Al this has been the longest offseason ever

  33. BigBlueAL

    er: Amen Al this has been the longest offseason ever

    Especially with the Yankees missing the playoffs and the Giants being awful lol.

  34. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Giants are only three games out! 8-8 could make the playoffs! :)

    At this point they are better off getting a top 5 pick and taking Clowney or one of the best offensive linemen (Bruce Mathews’ son is one of them Ive read).

  35. ruruland

    Robert Silverman: 1. His defense is off an on, but it was markedly improved last year. He’s streaky, yes, but carried the team for stretches.

    2. They couldn’t sign Redick or Mayo or anyone making more than 1.7 mil a year, unless you’d prefer they dump Prigioni.

    3. You don’t like him as a player. I get that (and not liking his game is certainly a reasonable response to have), but he’s not a thug, convicted or otherwise. If you’d like to continue in the forum, try to avoid making moral judgments based on shot selection. It’s false and not welcome around here.

    +1

  36. ruruland

    ephus:
    JR Smith, as far as I know, was convicted of one offense in his life:Reckless driving for speeding through a stop sign which led to a crash that killed his passenger and close friend, Andre Bell. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4298594

    He has a couple of other speeding arrests.

    He also has a lot of tattoos.

    That does not make JR Smith a “thug”.

    As far as I know, he does not have the Tupac “THUG LIFE” tattoo anywhere on his body.Many people posting here act as if he does.

    So, I think this is a stupid move.I hope it does not have other negative consequences.But I want to distance myself as far as possible from people who decry JR Smith as a “thug”.

    +1

  37. BigBlueAL

    Marc Stein just tweeted:

    “Proposed deal will send Gortat, Shannon Brown and Kendall Marshall to Wizards and Suns on course to receive Emeka Okafor & at least one pick”

    Interesting move for the Wizards. I like it for them.

  38. mokers

    I was glad that they signed Aldrich and Murry. Both young with some upside, Murry with a lot more obviously. Both willing to play defense.

    Chris Smith, wow. I like the theory that he is holding a spot until Tyler gets here. Ironically, Tyler’s agent has a prior example in Chris Smith if he is wondering whether the knicks will make good on signing his client once he is rehabbed from injury.

    I’m guessing (hoping) they offered Diogu the 15th spot but he passed hoping to get some playing time somewhere. Probably would have kept Leslie and seen if playing time in Erie could have told us a little more, but overall not a huge loss. Of the rest of the people fighting over the 15th spot, I don’t think we are going to miss them. Again, this is all predicated on being able to get Tyler on the roster when he is healthy.

  39. Robert Silverman Post author

    Z-man: That’s fine, and if you are against the signing on it’s face, these are all good reasons for it. On the other hand, it was Woodson’s call to hand the keys to JR, and he did actually get voted 6th man of the year by the NBA, not by Woodson. What is th going salary for that designation.

    My point is that this particular perq has no bearing on the big picture. Signing JR in the first place is the only question mark.

    It’s not just the one ‘perk’, it’s yet another move by a franchise that fritters away things like 2nd round draft picks or sticking a player option on say, Copeland’s contract, just in case he makes good. That isn’t what smart organizations do (which yes, by now we should be all-too aware that this isn’t a smart org). 99 percent of these little things probably won’t pay off. Odds are Jeremy Tyler (even if he is resigned in the speculative back-room deal I outline above) won’t make a jot of difference.

    It’s the bigger picture that people are pointing to. That if you operate in this matter, you can’t win.

  40. Robert Silverman Post author

    Or look at the trade that just went down. What if you don’t trade for Bargs, and save that package of picks and contract filler for Marcin Gortat. That’s my point. Short sighted thinking, panic moves will eventually be a team’s downfall. (Which again, is about as breaking news-y a revelation w/r/t this team as “Sun rises in East!/Dog bites man!”)

  41. cypesnyk4life

    Hubert: But that’s part of the problem.JR has gained a status in the organization that his play doesn’t deserve.He’s being treated like a star.He gets to shoot when he can’t shoot, he gets 4Q minutes in do-or-die playoff games instead of a red-hot Iman Shumpert evern when he isn’t paying attention to his man who just backdoored him another layup.He plays games hungover, and the owner wants to ship Shumpert out of town because he’s threatening to take time away from him. He self destructs in the playoffs, ruining a chance to make a title run, and he gets rewarded with the max contract we could give him AND a roster spot for his no-good brother.

    That’s the thing that is really ticking me off.JR Smith is the symbol of our ownership’s fucked up priorities.He should be the 6th man, in name and spirit, but we’re going to make him the 2nd.And if JR Smith is your #2 guy, you’re fucked.

    1st of all wats up zman I been on this site for a minute just this offseason I logged in and I love this site u agree wit u alot which proves ur a real knicks fan! Im really gettin tired of the way woody treats shump! If he gave shump the same freedom he gives jr smokealot! Im convinced shump would be borderline all star if learns to finish at the rim.I really feel dolan doesnt like shump.if they trade him I would really consider givin up on them! HES OUR BEST DRAFT PICK IN 20YEARS! Woodson coaches like he scared to piss off dolan, melo,&mr smoke alot! I like our team alot I think we have the most talent since our finals run and I TRULY BELIEVE WE CAN WIN IT ALL! IF WE PLAY D

  42. alsep73

    Woodson is saying they cut Tyler because they needed healthy bodies, and that they hope to bring him back when he’s ready to play. If Half Pipe is just hanging around until then, it’s still an aggravating decision that makes the whole organization look bad, but I can deal. But if Tyler leaves, and/or if they are going to cut *Aldrich* when Tyler’s ready… grr…

  43. Jack Bauer

    First they fire Grunwald after a productive offseason. Then they sign Lil’ Pipe who has no business making an NBA roster. BRUTAL. It is really becoming difficult to root for this team after all of these inexplicable bone headed moves by ownership.

  44. DRed

    On the plus side, Toure seems like a nice end of bench player. He’s young and may turn into a useful player on the cheap. Aldrich is exactly what we needed. A healthy young bigman who can bang and rebound for 10-12 minutes a night while Tyson rests. As for half pipe, it just is yet another reminder that the team is owned and run by a fucking moron. When healthy and sober, JR is a perfectly adequate shooting guard. Why we treat him like he’s Dennis Rodman can only be explained by remembering that we are owned and run by a fucking moron.

  45. Owen

    +1

    Seriously, why not buy low on Gortat?

    Robert Silverman:
    Or look at the trade that just went down. What if you don’t trade for Bargs, and save that package of picks and contract filler for Marcin Gortat. That’s my point. Short sighted thinking, panic moves will eventually be a team’s downfall. (Which again, is about as breaking news-y a revelation w/r/t this team as “Sun rises in East!/Dog bites man!”)

  46. SeeWhyDee77

    So wait..they’re gonna give an unproductive guard with no NBA potential guaranteed money over a legit big (which we need ) with NBA potential just because he’s rehabbing and on his way back? Furthermore, Tyler projects as at the very least a good rebounder as does Aldrich..isn’t that what the team needs?? More than a below average guard?? Sometimes I wish I could shut off my loyal gene..

  47. Kahnzy

    SeeWhyDee77:
    Sometimes I wish I could shut off my loyal gene..

    Been trying to do that for the past 10+ years…no luck so far. My happiness between Sept and June is inextricably linked to this team; love ‘em or hate ‘em.

  48. SeeWhyDee77

    Don’t we have enough guards on the roster?? We didn’t really need Murry but he showed up and showed out so we had to retain that asset. He may end up making JR or TH2 expendable which gives us another asset to use to make the team better since we don’t have alotta tradeable pieces on the roster. But Smith? No use whatsoever!

  49. danvt

    Chill out y’all. I predict big things for Chris Smith! Welcome to NYK, baby. Meanwhile, I likes my Coleekins and the plus 20 the other night. And Murry is this years Cope.

    I think Smith is the same as keeping the roster spot open, and, if Tyler’s gone they can use the contract as a chip for someone else, like humble Bob diagramed. They probably weren’t really blown away by anyone, any more than Chris. Maybe it’s more of an indictment of the rest of the camp guys. I mean TOR and MIL’s scrubs have been killing these guys.

    Maybe, cutting Chris and keeping the roster spot open would have seemed disrespectful to JR, but I have a hard time believing that this is simple nepotism. Please, not everything is proof that Isaiah is lurking. It’s OK, Bob. He’s gone now…he’s gone. Go back to sleep, bubby. It was just a bad dream.

    That being said, IN THE GAMES, he was outplayed by a couple of folks who were cut. Diogu was better as was Powell (both bigs so not exactly analogous).

  50. Kevin Udwary

    Hubert: Damn you Kevin Udwary for making me feel connected to CJ Leslie!!!!

    Glad I didn’t wait a week to write that article! We may see him again in D-league. I like that we kept Aldrich, at least.

  51. EB

    Say what y’all want about JR but he has put up some astoundingly efficient seasons in the past. If we can take the ball out of his hands a bit more then he could have superstar like efficiency.

  52. Kahnzy

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always play Charlotte whenever we’re feeling bad about this team?

  53. EB

    Kahnzy:
    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could always play Charlotte whenever we’re feeling bad about this team?

    Maybe we can inflate Chris Smith’s trade value by only playing him against the Bobcats…

  54. er

    The Knicks are rediculously deep. It was actually jarring to see the full team in the first half.

    OT did anyone else hysterically laugh when breen and Clyde didn’t even mention lil Smith

  55. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Mike Kurylo: I HEREBY DECREE THAT BASED ON THIS, NO KNICKERBLOGGER COMMENTER MAY USE THE ARGUMENT THAT THE KNICKS’ FRONT OFFICE CONSIDERS ADVANCED STATS IN THEIR EVALUATION OF PLAYERS.

    This proclamation will last at least one year. AT THE LEAST.

    You may carry on.

      

    BUT DAVE BERRI’S STUDY ON PPG AND SALARY IS, LIKE, YEARS OLD. THERE’S NO WAY THEY’RE CONTINUING TO BE SO STUPID.

  56. Z-man

    Robert Silverman: It’s not just the one ‘perk’, it’s yet another move by a franchise that fritters away things like 2nd round draft picks or sticking a player option on say, Copeland’s contract, just in case he makes good. That isn’t what smart organizations do (which yes, by now we should be all-too aware that this isn’t a smart org). 99 percent of these little things probably won’t pay off. Odds are Jeremy Tyler (even if he is resigned in the speculative back-room deal I outline above) won’t make a jot of difference.

    It’s the bigger picture that people are pointing to. That if you operate in this matter, you can’t win.

    But shouldn’t each move be judged in and of itself? And currently, aren’t we a 54-win team that has possibly improved despite zero cap room? Or are we going to keep living in the past?

    This is a nothing move. If any other theam had done the same thing, we wouldn’t take any notice.

  57. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: possibly improved

    You can’t be serious, Z-man. Jason Kidd shot 70% TS for the first 20 games of the season. There is no way that the 3PT shooting survives this offseason. It’s going to be terrible.

  58. Z-man

    3-pt shooting is only one aspect of the game, and is often fool’s gold. We’ve gotten younger and deeper. We are starting the season with a completely healthy team. Let’s see what happens before passing judgment.

  59. Owen

    You know, watching this really brings me back around to the skeptical view of our chances this season.

  60. BigBlueAL

    I dont give a crap about pre-season but that was a pretty embarrassing finish. Im sure this site will be fun to read for the next few days after this game :-)

  61. BigBlueAL

    Im trying to stay positive about Bargs but I just dont see it. He is not worth playing on this team.

    The best starting lineup the Knicks used last season is still available to them in Prigs-Felton-Shump-Melo-Chandler. That is still their best lineup. Off the bench you still have JR, K-Mart and Amar’e. Udrih is an improvement over 2nd half Kidd. MWP replaces Novak/Cope and is certainly a huge upgrade defensively although obviously he is not as good a shooter. THJR and Murry seem like huge improvements over White who started a decent amount of games last season. Bargs is irrelevant unless both KMart and Amar’e are hurt. Hell they have Aldrich now who is better than any true backup C they had last season.

    There is no reason for this team not to win over 50 games again. Force-feeding Bargs is going to be annoying as hell to watch because he isnt a stretch PF/C since he doesnt seem to embrace that role. He wants to post-up and shoot midrange jumpers or ISO and drive. In the 4th quarter twice he was wide open from 3 as his man went to double Melo and he cut to the rim where Chandler was already. Melo wound up driving into a congested lane thanks to both bigs being there. Bargs finally spotted up in the end but hesitated and instead of shooting the 3 passed it up to Shump who also hesitated and missed when he finally shot a contested 3.

    Stick to last season’s formula and the results I believe will be the same (if not 54 wins still at least 50 wins). But for now it doesnt seem like they will be starting out that way. It might take a slow start for Woodson to go back to what worked last season.

    Still cant wait for Wed and the regular season to start. Should be a fascinating season to watch.

  62. ruruland

    Owen:
    You know, watching this really brings me back around to the skeptical view of our chances this season.

    Back?

    DRed, Owen, Jowles dominating right now.

  63. Owen

    I mean the really pessimistic/skeptical view of this team is that we win 35 games. That’s the WOW spin off site view anyway, the Box Score Geek. I don’t buy that. I still think we win 45-50.

    My basic skepticism isn’t about the players really. It’s about the continuing pattern of idiotic decision making by MSG. And it’s about the dubious wisdom of tying our franchise’s future to a third tier star like Melo entering his decline phase.

    But watching Bargnani, it does makes you wonder if it’s possible, if they play him 2000 minutes, for us to miss the playoffs this year. He is that bad. Seriously, how is he being paid 11 million per? It’s nuts.

    And I don’t know if I trust the Knicks right now to bury him on the bench….

    ruruland: Back?

    DRed, Owen, Jowles dominating right now.

  64. Robert Silverman Post author

    Z-man: But shouldn’t each move be judged in and of itself? And currently, aren’t we a 54-win team that has possibly improved despite zero cap room? Or are we going to keep living in the past?

    This is a nothing move. If any other theam had done the same thing, we wouldn’t take any notice.

    No. There is no activity that requires strategic thinking — from Wall St. to the military to chess to tiddly winks — in which you can evaluate the merits of a single more outside of the context of an overall approach.

    Like I said, they probably won’t lose much (if anything) keeping Half Pipe around, but that doesn’t mean it’s not indicative of a shady, collusive way of doing business. No one in their right mind thinks Chris Smith is a Knick because of his skills on the court. He’s only here to please JR/CAA. If JR were LeBron, okay, maybe. But he’s not.

    No one’s “Living in the past”. They’re looking at a pattern of behavior by a poorly run team and seeing it repeated right now, in the present.

  65. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: You can’t be serious, Z-man. Jason Kidd shot 70% TS for the first 20 games of the season. There is no way that the 3PT shooting survives this offseason. It’s going to be terrible.

    You can’t be serious that losing a guy who shot .351 from three on the season is going to ruin the Knicks’ three point shooting- whatever he shot in November and December he more than gave back the rest of the way. Of guys who hit more than 50 threes he was the worst shooter on the team. Losing Novak’s shooting is huge, losing Kidd’s shooting may well be addition by subtraction.

  66. Brian Cronin

    Im trying to stay positive about Bargs but I just dont see it. He is not worth playing on this team.

    The best starting lineup the Knicks used last season is still available to them in Prigs-Felton-Shump-Melo-Chandler. That is still their best lineup. Off the bench you still have JR, K-Mart and Amar’e. Udrih is an improvement over 2nd half Kidd. MWP replaces Novak/Cope and is certainly a huge upgrade defensively although obviously he is not as good a shooter. THJR and Murry seem like huge improvements over White who started a decent amount of games last season. Bargs is irrelevant unless both KMart and Amar’e are hurt. Hell they have Aldrich now who is better than any true backup C they had last season.

    There is no reason for this team not to win over 50 games again. Force-feeding Bargs is going to be annoying as hell to watch because he isnt a stretch PF/C since he doesnt seem to embrace that role. He wants to post-up and shoot midrange jumpers or ISO and drive. In the 4th quarter twice he was wide open from 3 as his man went to double Melo and he cut to the rim where Chandler was already. Melo wound up driving into a congested lane thanks to both bigs being there. Bargs finally spotted up in the end but hesitated and instead of shooting the 3 passed it up to Shump who also hesitated and missed when he finally shot a contested 3.

    Stick to last season’s formula and the results I believe will be the same (if not 54 wins still at least 50 wins). But for now it doesnt seem like they will be starting out that way. It might take a slow start for Woodson to go back to what worked last season.

    Still cant wait for Wed and the regular season to start. Should be a fascinating season to watch.

    The preseason means nothing. That said, I do agree that they shouldn’t start Bargs until he earns minutes by showing he can do the things they want him to do. I, too, think that they’d be better off with using either the aforementioned Felton/Prigs/Shump/Melo/Chandler lineup or a Felton/Shump/Artest/Melo/Chandler lineup. And if Bargs proves he deserves more minutes, awesome. But the idea of just forcing the square peg into the round hole of the roster doesn’t make sense to me. Make him a round peg first and then play him. And if he never becomes a round peg, don’t play him. They have more than enough talent to cover for him.

  67. Z-man

    Robert Silverman: No. There is no activity that requires strategic thinking — from Wall St. to the military to chess to tiddly winks — in which you can evaluate the merits of a single more outside of the context of an overall approach.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree here. To me, every move stands on its own as either good for the franchise/fan, bad for the franchise/fan or irrelevant to the franchise’s/fan’s fortunes. This move falls into the irrelevant category. The only thing that matters to me is whether JR was worth keeping for the cap-counting salary..that is, unless the league deems that the cap circumvention was illegal and the Knicks are sanctioned.

    Robert Silverman: He’s only here to please JR/CAA. If JR were LeBron, okay, maybe. But he’s not.

    To me, this is a double standard. Even though you qualify your answer with “maybe,” that your thinking would change in the slightest suggests that there is nothing wrong with the deal in and of itself. But, whatever, not the first time we see things differently.

  68. danvt

    Reading this thread makes me want to cancel comcast. It’s funny, the cynical folks actually are in complete accord with the Steve Kerr’s and other mainstream analysts who are predicting 5th place. Congrat’s you guys, all your advanced stats have brought you around to an extremely conventional point of view.

    To me, the K’s problem is that they seem to be constantly playing catchup. Last night we get the first game action for Amar’e, JR and Kenyon. Of course, the team is going to be inconsistent until they’re integrated. The EXTREMELY good news, though, is that those guys played and played pretty well. Put a healthy Amar’e into your spreadsheet fellas and maybe you can predict a season where we win more games than we lose.

    I know it’s NYK but there’s been extreme handwringing around here since freaking July. Bargnani, is just one player. Chris Smith won’t see the court. Woodson has been experimenting a little. Guys have been working themselves into a rhythm. Let’s play a regular season game, better still, ten regular season games before we jump ship on their chances. Until then I’m going to try to see evidence for a successful season as well as reasons to worry.

  69. Robert Silverman Post author

    Z-man: We’ll have to agree to disagree here. To me, every move stands on its own as either good for the franchise/fan, bad for the franchise/fan or irrelevant to the franchise’s/fan’s fortunes. This move falls into the irrelevant category. The only thing that matters to me is whether JR was worth keeping for the cap-counting salary..that is, unless the league deems that the cap circumvention was illegal and the Knicks are sanctioned.

    To me, this is a double standard. Even though you qualify your answer with “maybe,” that your thinking would change in the slightest suggests that there is nothing wrong with the deal in and of itself. But, whatever, not the first time we see things differently.

    No, it’s not a double-standard. it means if we were keeping a star player, I’d hold my nose and say it’s a sleazy deal but I’d stomach it b/c it’s LeBron James. This happens in the NBA (and all kinds of businesses). Heck, David Wingate was a Knick for a season or two simply b/c he was Patrick Ewing’s buddy. That wasn’t really kosher, but it’s Patrick Freaking Ewing, so you try to ignore the unseemliness.

    I couldn’t disagree more w/your “individual moves devoid of context” thinking, but okay, let’s look at the bigger picture, assuming that yes, this was necessary to keep JR (that’s a big if, but let’s grant you that).

    One — what’s the effect on the rest of the locker room? Do they resent the authority given to to JR, who, as valuable as he’s been, isn’t the most reliable cat in the league. Does it piss people off that better players — Tyler, Diogu — were let go? Does it make them feel that that the only things that matter on the Knicks are who knows/likes whom?

    Two — the Knicks look like they’re slaves to CAA to the rest of the league and the NBA might still investigate/punish them for these shenanigans.

    And so on, Is all…

  70. Z-man

    Robert Silverman: No, it’s not a double-standard. it means if we were keeping a star player, I’d hold my nose and say it’s a sleazy deal but I’d stomach it b/c it’s LeBron James. This happens in the NBA (and all kinds of businesses). Heck, David Wingate was a Knick for a season or two simply b/c he was Patrick Ewing’s buddy. That wasn’t really kosher, but it’s Patrick Freaking Ewing, so you try to ignore the unseemliness.

    We obviously have different definitions of double standard. Having one standard for LeBron or Ewing and one for JR meets mine.

    Robert Silverman: One — what’s the effect on the rest of the locker room? Do they resent the authority given to to JR, who, as valuable as he’s been, isn’t the most reliable cat in the league. Does it piss people off that better players — Tyler, Diogu — were let go? Does it make them feel that that the only things that matter on the Knicks are who knows/likes whom?

    Has anyone in the locker room complained or are you just imposing your own values on the locker room? And why was there less concern with the effect on the locker room that matching Lin might have had?

    Robert Silverman: Two — the Knicks look like they’re slaves to CAA to the rest of the league and the NBA might still investigate/punish them for these shenanigans.

    I can’t really imagine anyone thinking that Dolan is a slave to anything but his own ego. If anything, I think it looks like Dolan thinks it’s good business…perhaps stupidly, but certainly not meekly.

  71. flossy

    Z-man: And why was there less concern with the effect on the locker room that matching Lin might have had?

    Seriously? Jeremy Lin was coming off one of the most amazing and unprecedented runs of phenomenal play by a first-time starter in the history of the NBA. Chris Smith isn’t fit to start on most D-League teams and plainly doesn’t belong in the NBA, period.

  72. Robert Silverman Post author

    1. Z-man, I said, “it’d still be sleazy w/r/t Lebron/Ewing.” That’s not a double standard, that’s one standard. Period. The practice is icky whether you hold your nose because it’s a necessary evil. You seem to think it is for JR Smith. The facts don’t really support that argument belief, but regardless, that doesn’t mean you can accuse the person you disagree w/of having a double standard. It simply isn’t the case.

    2. Yes, no one’s publicly complained. Players NEVER talk about jealousies/grievances that go on in the locker room. That’s why when Melo/JR talked about Lin’s contract it was so shocking/unprecedented. So the fact that they haven’t said anything about Chris Smith is the norm. They might have a problem w/it, they might not. We have no idea.

    3. Regardless of what Dolan “thinks”, the appearance is that CAA runs the Knicks. That’s not good for anyone except CAA. Say the Knicks are trying to sign a big FA in two years that isn’t a CAA client. What’s that player and his agent going to think? You can also ignore the fact that the league might not take kindly to this kind of activity.

    My larger point is that they’re incurring a lot of risks for very little reward. It all might turn out fine and none of the bad things I’ve described might happen. Even so, when you constantly take these unnecessary risks, you eventually get burned. It’s a zero-sum game over the long haul.

    You’re certainly free to shrug off all of these things, but it seems to me you’re using a lot of straw man arguments/intellectual dishonesty to do so. But hey, that’s your prerogative.

  73. Z-man

    Robert Silverman: My larger point is that they’re incurring a lot of risks for very little reward. It all might turn out fine and none of the bad things I’ve described might happen. Even so, when you constantly take these unnecessary risks, you eventually get burned. It’s a zero-sum game over the long haul.

    Why say with such conviction that it is a zero sum game? What evidence do you have that this a high-risk, low-reward move?

    Robert Silverman: You’re certainly free to shrug off all of these things, but it seems to me you’re using a lot of straw man arguments/intellectual dishonesty to do so. But hey, that’s your prerogative.

    (Quote)

    I’m sorry you found it necessary to employ the phrase “intellectually dishonest,” especially since everything you said about the locker room, or the possible impact of Dolan’s relationship with CAA having a negative impact on future FA signings is conjecture. I simply don’t see the need for all the hyperbole, and yes, in the grand scheme of Dolan’s machinations, this one is easy for me to shrug off.

  74. Robert Silverman Post author

    Z-man:
    Robert Silverman: My larger point is that they’re incurring a lot of risks for very little reward. It all might turn out fine and none of the bad things I’ve described might happen. Even so, when you constantly take these unnecessary risks, you eventually get burned. It’s a zero-sum game over the long haul.

    Why say with such conviction that it is a zero sum game? What evidence do you have that this a high-risk, low-reward move?

    Well, here’s Zach Lowe saying pretty much the same thing I have for the last three comments.

    https://twitter.com/ZachLowe_NBA/status/394089823901732865

    https://twitter.com/ZachLowe_NBA/status/394091248698421248

    That sums it up far more succinctly than I did. If you can’t understand that I’m not sure what else to say.

  75. BigHebrew

    Knicks will NEVER win, for 3 reasons:]
    1. Dolan
    2. Woofy (Yes, Woofy…ie Woof Tickets, Old School)
    3. NBA is RIGGED

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