Brooklyn Nets 116 – New York Knicks 109 – Game Recap

Oh, so you thought I wrote only when the Knicks won? Nah, if that was the case there’s a good chance I’d write again in mid-February. Sometimes I have a hour or so to allocate to Knicks writing, sometimes I don’t. This time I do, and it won’t be pretty.

I wish I knew who flipped the switch and what kind of switch it was, but since the last notch in the W column the Knicks have lost 4 straight (well whatever, we kinda expected the Knicks to be 5-7 or worse at this point) and have done so in a very dispiriting fashion. Don’t get fooled by the final score: the Knicks were down 18 with less than 3:30 to play in the fourth. It was a clear specimen of fake, belated and deflated comeback on the heels of the fact that the Nets had understandably checked out. Yeah, Durant got inserted back in the game with 17 seconds to go but I don’t think that counts as a moral victory: if you have a devastating offensive weapon who has to be accounted even 40 feet from the basket and who’s automatic from the stripe, you don’t even have him to break a sweat. You just deploy him in his sweet pajamas and just go along with it as you’re nonchalantly eating away your petit patisserie because it’s suddenly 300% easier to ensure the win. So yeah, no moral victories here.

And look, there’s not much to say about the game either: after a sloppy but well-fought first quarter, that saw the Knicks going down just by one at the buzzer (but only because Randle was hitting from the outside, and you know that’s kind of an outlier), the Nets pulled away because, well, the Knicks were characteristically shooting sideways and quite uncharacteristically – at least based on the first two weeks – defending like they were Abercrombie and Fitch models outside a store: they’re there to look qutie athletic and they’re more likely to step away as soon as you make a move to go inside. At the half, the combined shooting performance from the field of our starting guards and wings was 2 for 19.

During the third the two teams exchanged blows, only the Knicks were already down 16 so it was like watching a goblin and a dragon trading dice rolls hitting each other for 4HP every round: it’s clear who’s gonna win and it still looks like the dragon isn’t even trying while the goblin is laboring like hell just to put a dent on a marginal dragon scale. One sequence told the tale: Randle huffing and puffing and contorting for fifteen seconds and then jumping and gathering his legs like a shrimp interpretative dance and finally shooting just to hit a jumper, and ten seconds later Durant, effortless as ever, hit a midrange two with the same difficulty with which I hit the +30s button on NBA League Pass as soon as a shooting foul is whistled.

The fourth was exactly like the third until 3:30 to the end; the Knicks started eating away at the gap but it was clear that they wouldn’t go nowhere, it was just like those restoration plans that transform old, ugly suburb barracks into fake new, still ugly suburb condos.

In a word: meh.

Oh and I didn’t even touch the subject of the day: the Nets were depleted thanks to their dubious, at least to me, Harden trade. They were forced to play some guy named Reggie Perry 22 (goodish) minutes and paisà Chris Chiozza 24 minutes. KD was playing his first back to back in two years. Bruce Brown was their starting point guard. I mean, KD is playing like his injury almost never happened, but apart from him and Joe Harris everything else should have been jetsam and flotsam, but alas, they thoroughly dominated us.

The good, in haikus:

The energy gone
Still put on thirty points here
Gawd-fugly to watch

Ignored by his mates
He learned not to foul at last
I feel bad for him

The bad, in haikus:

What noise does it make
When your hard to love point guard
Hit nothing but rims?

Thibs gave him the nod
and HERE COMES AUSTIN RIVERS
Results are so bad

Boredom-sized bits:

– During the third quarter RJ experienced a scoring surge (he started 0-for-5 but ended the game 7-for-15), but amusingly enough it didn’t translate to team success. It’s almost like RJ scoring points have a 0 R-squared effect on how the team plays. That isn’t necessarily bad news, but his skills package still doesn’t make any sense with this roster. Still, a kinda good showing all in all by the sophomore: 20 points, 3 boards, 5 assists. Quite bad on defense, though.

– For such a supposedly capable shooter, Immanuel Quickley’s shot had a bad form from the arc. When he shoots from three it looks like he makes the ball roll up half his right palm and only then he releases it. That shot has a skinny kid at YMCA vibe. Not a totally bad performance per se, but since we need someone, sooner or later, to replace Payton at the helm, if only to preserve our collective sanity in watching a coherent offensive unit, this still won’t do. But it’s good to know the guy can score 19 in 22 minutes in just his 8th NBA game.

– What’s the matter playing (?) Obi 57 seconds? Was Obi dying to tell his grandchildren one day “hey you know what in my second NBA game I played against Kevin Durant”?

– Is Kevin Knox suddenly our best shooter? I can live all day with Knox shooting 6 corner threes per game. Everything else, eh.

– A very undervalued effect of putting on the court so many non-shooters is that when you can’t buy a bucket the overall intensity diminishes by a lot. You could see it in full effect during this game: the effort was never there. No momentum whatsoever, and so many botched defensive possessions. We direly need to shake things up and put more shooting in the starting five. I would try to see what happens putting IQ-token 2 guard-RJ-Knox-Mitch for long stretches. Not saying they should start. But I’d love for that unit to play consistently together, even swapping RJ with Randle if need be.

– Do you really like the Nets trade? I don’t know. Offensively speaking, they look like they have the most firepower anyone has ever had in 75 years of NBA. But I don’t like the characters and I don’t like the chemistry. I also don’t like giving up Jarrett Allen. I think Houston came out very well (not a fan of Dipo there but whatever), I think Indiana did good and I don’t know why Cleveland was the one to get Jarrett Allen but good for them. But if you ask me, unless Sean Marks pull a few championship specials and Steve Nash finds a way to stagger that Big 3, the Nets are due for a few ECF losses. At best. Now, if they flip Irving for some defensive talent…

– Thibs’ well-timed TOs are less a thing than before. Everything’s slipping these days. Body language is bad. Did something happen in the locker room? We were supposed to suck, but this can’t be just a reality check. Something must have been the decisive spark. But what was it?

So many questions, so little time. So much suckitude.

Until next!

 

 

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Farfa

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

183 thoughts to “Brooklyn Nets 116 – New York Knicks 109 – Game Recap”

  1. As always, super recap. Thanks for the nod to those of us still battling ogres and fire giants.

  2. Knox and Quickley definitely need to be on the floor more – there just is not enough shooting on this team, especially with Bullock and Burks both out.

    Quietly Knox is really having a pretty decent start to the year. TS 57% on ~17 usage which is a very far cry from his first two years. That stepback mid-ranger was pretty sweet as was the take to the hoop. Hopefully we are incubating someone who might be able to contribute to actual winning.

    Glad to see Quickley have a bounce back game. Felt a bit like the game was moving too fast for him the last couple. He has to shoot that 3 when he has a sliver of space.

    RJ honestly looks like ass out there shooting the ball. Even a few of his makes were basically lucky bounces, and some of his restricted area shots were prayers. I don’t know what to do about him at this point. I hope it’s a confidence thing but he might just not be good.

    Speaking of not good, can we just not play Elfrid Payton anymore? Maybe give Jared Harper a look-see? And what is up with Frank’s knee?

  3. The interesting thing about Knox is that it appears he’s not putting the ball on the floor trying to get to the basket as often as in previous years. That’s the opposite of what I expected. I figured that as he matured and got stronger he’d go to the basket more, finish better, draw more fouls, and rebound better. But he’s doing worse at all those things. He’s also not going to get many assists playing the way he is. It may just be noise, but it could be by design. Since he can shoot, maybe Thibs has made his role to just stand on the outside, create space, and be available for kickouts when Randle or Payton try to penetrate. I guess that’s all fine. I don’t care what his role is as long as he’s good at it, but I think he has more skill than just spot up shooting. Where he has to get better no matter what is on the boards. It’s not like there are a lot of rebounds available when Mitch and Randle are on the court, but the rest of the time he’s got to hit the boards better.

  4. I think they are really trying to simplify Knox’s role on offense. Stand behind 3 point line, shoot if ball comes to you. No more Kevin Knox as shot creator.

    If you look at his shot dashboard over the 2+ years of his career so far:
    Rookie year – ~36% catch and shoot, 48% of 2P assisted, 88% of 3P assisted
    Last year – 46% catch and shoot, 50.6% of 2P assisted, 92% of 3P assisted
    This year – 57% catch and shoot, 88% of 2P assisted, 100% of 3P assisted

    It’s really hard to find someone who has 90% of 2P assisted. Even dudes like Ryan Anderson were closer to 50%.

    But simplifying what he has to do has really improved his efficiency (at least so far). Pretty interesting.

  5. 15mpg of simplified offense for Knox is more or less the best way to get value from him. It’s bad return for a lottery pick but sunken cost yadda yadda

  6. Sometimes I have a hour or so to allocate to Knicks writing, sometimes I don’t. This time I do, and it won’t be pretty.

    The Knicks weren’t pretty, but your recap is. I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks

  7. I hear you guys, but I think he has more skill than just spot up shooting. Some of the other spot up shooters around the league literally can’t put the ball on the floor and create anything. His problem was being too weak to finish and very poor shot selection at times. Maybe this is just phase 1 of a multi phase plan over time, but I think at some point he should be doing more than standing around shooting 3s. For now I’ll take it. But he has to hit the boards harder.

  8. Even with Thibs on this team, I wonder how soon is too soon to go to the kids. This is not panic mode, but how soon is too soon to sell off the vets that are playing over the kids? 25 games? The kids we have are of good pedigree between draft position, and college experience. This situation feels alot like more of the same where we don’t really know what the kids are made of because we don’t have the patience to just let them play.

    Not suggesting that we let them play from jump, but for THIS SEASON, how soon is too soon to let RJ/Mitch/Knox/Ntilikina/Quickley/Iggy/Toppin/Harper/DSJ play 20+ minutes a game consistently? Well..RJ & Mitch play consistently, but shouldn’t we want to see what we have in a season of low expectations? We have cap space, so if we want to make a trade for an all star after the season, it would be easier to do so if the kids play well with the experience. Where exactly are Elfrid, Bullock, Burks, and Randle gonna lead us? Randle’s value will likely never be higher than it is now. So as soon as Obi’s all the way back, why not see what you can get for him? Get Burks healthy and give him 5 games to get back into the swing of things and move him while he’s hot. Send Elfrid to a playoff team that needs a vet PG- I’m sure he’ll waive his no trade. Keep Rivers, and maybe Bullock over Ntilikina if you have to and just coach em up. In a season like this, it is the perfect time to do that, wouldn’t you think?

  9. Something must have been the decisive spark. But what was it?

    Love you Farfa and a great recap overall but I don’t think we need to roll with the narrative silliness that something mysterious happened to this team. The offense has unsurprisingly sucked all season. They were winning games because other teams were shooting unsustainably poorly from 3 and now as it’s normalizing our defense is falling back to the pack and a team that was always extremely likely to be bad looks…bad. If the two weeks of cold opponent shooting had happened in the middle of the season hardly anybody would even have remarked on a short period where the team played marginally above expectations. There’s no mystery to be had here. Those who cared to look saw it coming in advance.

    Has anyone seen anything about Obi? I scanned through some news but didn’t see any explanation of his mysterious cameo. Seems like the most likely explanation is some kind of reinjury situation which would be terrible but there was no mention of it on the broadcast. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a guy play for <1 minute in the 2nd quarter as his only stint absent an injury. Surely if he was really available he would've at least gotten some 4th quarter run given the extended garbage time.

  10. thenamestsam:

    Has anyone seen anything about Obi? I scanned through some news but didn’t see any explanation of his mysterious cameo. Seems like the most likely explanation is some kind of reinjury situation which would be terrible but there was no mention of it on the broadcast. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a guy play for <1 minute in the 2nd quarter as his only stint absent an injury. Surely if he was really available he would've at least gotten some 4th quarter run given the extended garbage time.

    From Vorkunov:

    Obi Toppin played 57 seconds in 1st half & didn’t return. Tom Thibodeau said he wanted to get Toppin into the game after being cleared this morning but then didn’t like the matchups and pulled him.
    Thibs: “I was unsure if I was going to play him just because he hasn’t practiced.”

  11. Max: From Vorkunov:

    Obi Toppin played 57 seconds in 1st half & didn’t return. Tom Thibodeau said he wanted to get Toppin into the game after being cleared this morning but then didn’t like the matchups and pulled him.
    Thibs: “I was unsure if I was going to play him just because he hasn’t practiced.”

    Thanks. I got to assume that any talk of “matchups” is total nonsense in a game where half the guys on the floor for the Nets at any given time were end of bench types but at least it doesn’t sound like it was a physical issue.

  12. knox was always destined to be a 3pt specialist since he’s failed to improve at literally anything since his horrid rookie year.. i mean the results for him trying to create something for himself is just very awkward and that was always the case… it also is representative of the fact that he literally cannot do anything else at a level that is competent for either the SF or PF positions….

    we are scraping the bottom of the barrel with him… this is what it looks like…

  13. I watched the whole game from start to finish. Usually when its a blow out like that I’ll turn it off sometime in the third quarter (after my wife starts grumbling). But I watched till the end. I was actually encouraged by a lot of things. The second quarter was bad but I think there are positives in the long run.

    Randle is playing great. The problems that brings up (keep him/trade him) are good problems for us to have.

    RJ finally showed some life in the 3rd quarter. I think part of the problem is he’s shooting more 3’s with Burks being out and that is not his game.

    Quickley was good. He needs more minutes (cut back on Elf).

    Knox was good. He should get consistent bench minutes going forward.

    Totes, I tend to agree with you except with Randle. I don’t think we should move him this year. Everyone is so focused on the 2021 draft and how good it is but there will be future drafts with future good players and right now Randle is our best player so why not keep him at least till next year. If he’s playing like this in a year, he’s just as tradeable then and maybe by then we really know what we have in Toppin. Its not a crime to let a top ten pick come off the bench for their rookie year.

    But Elf and Burks….I’d look to move them when you can. And I would REALLY cut back on Elf’s minutes unless he just has it going. You can live with RJ bricking shots and RJ should still start. But when both of them are clanking it just demoralizes the team.

    But I appreciated that they fought back in the second half and the youngsters were decent. Mitch continues to show he’s a capable starter and hopefully the offense expands eventually. But I’m actually kind of hopeful about things. I think we could bounce back after last night. We just need dudes to be healthy bc Thibs needs options. RJ, Mitch and Randle will get minutes no matter what. But everyone else should be played based on how good they are playing in that game.

  14. Thx Farfa! Your context always makes the losses more bearable.

    Eye test stuff and narrative silliness:

    Body language is bad. Did something happen in the locker room? We were supposed to suck, but this can’t be just a reality check. Something must have been the decisive spark. But what was it?

    Totally agree the mood seems off (more than just the pain of losing). Our guys look like they’re disappointing an impatient father. Even with clearly inferior talent, the Knicks’ coaching mantra is often “If you just do what I say, we SHOULD win this game.” Maybe b/c it’s New York. Maybe b/c Triangle-ego, and so on. But this attitude always leads to “We lost this game because you didn’t do what I said,” which is a terrible idea to put in the heads of younger, inferior players. Most would be served better by “Kevin Durant was gonna beat us, anyway, so let’s just focus on getting you better.” It’s a subtle but important difference. I’m curious to see if Thibs has that nuance in him.

    As mentioned above, “Simple Knox” seems to get that this year. Maybe Thibs put it in his head, “Stand out of the way. Hit your shot. And repeat.” Since Knox seems to be an “insecure bad player” type, as compared to, say, Mudiay’s “confident bad player” type, he might need exactly that structure. Baby steps. With more confidence, he might improve.

    IMO Frank might benefit from the same clarity, “Stand out of the way. Lock down the other team’s best player. And repeat.” MitchRob might like this too. Dennis Rodman was exactly this kind of “insecure bad player” who bloomed b/c, “Stand out of the way. Get the rebound. And repeat.”

  15. On second thought, maybe we keep both Bullock and Ntilikina once Burks gets back and see what we can get for Randle, Elfrid, and Burks. Swift- I totally get the keep Randle option, and I won’t be mad if we keep him. But here’s what’s against him as a Knick:
    1. By his own standards, he is playing out of his mind this season. Anyone can improve and breakout, but betting on Randle to keep up with this trajectory isn’t a good bet- but not so bad of a bet where it’s a bad idea to keep him. I’m only saying see what you can get. Maybe it’s picks, maybe it’s a player and a pick. My preference would be a player and a pick so that Obi wouldn’t have to do so much heavy lifting in year 1.
    2. You don’t draft Obi at 8 for him to be a backup. At some point he’s gonna have to get starters minutes at the 4, or it really is a wasted pick.

    I definitely don’t want us to make those moves this very minute, but at some point I’d like to see how a rotation of Mitch/Obi/RJ/Bullock/Quickley/Rivers/Knox/Ntilikina/Noel/Iggy develops before it’s too late. You can even throw DSJ or Harper in there should Ntilikina get hurt again. I mean can we see what they can do with some real run before we move on from some of those guys?

  16. If Knox is ever going to be an average/average+ player he’ll probably have to figure out how to get to the rim and score but he’s been so awful I would be fine with him spending the year shooting 3s if he can shoot them well, that’s at least something to build on.

  17. Mitch, I thought, actually shot the ball into the hoop at some point in the game. But I searched through the tape and couldn’t find it.

    He’s literally one of the all-time great rim runners in the history of the game. But someone needs to unlock other parts of his offensive game. There has to be more there.

    I’d love to know more about Halliburton so far. Does he not play any defense? So far, he has been exactly the player I thought he would be, basically a slightly smaller Kevin Martin with less scoring and more assists. What’s the knock on him at this point because I continue to have strong feelings when I open the Kings boxscore.

    Also, thank you for the excellent cap!

  18. I can live with Knox and Quickley taking 12-14 threes a game combined if they could hit around 38-40%,
    same thing with Rivers, Burks and Frank.

    On the other hand, with our centers’ limited range Payton, Barrett and Randle are close to unplayable together, you can’t have a decent or even mediocre offense with 3,5/4 non shooters on the field.

    I really feel for Randle, there are moments (yesterday first half for instance) when he carries all the weight of the offense on his shoulders and he’s “forced to force”.

    I hope, but strongly doubt, that Thibs’ll cut Payton minutes.

    I’d rather trade Noel than Burks. Except for some short burst he’s been underwhelming, the defense suffers a lot when he subs for Mitch, usually with a lots of Oreb for the other team (even ignoring the eye test the team is -15,4 in points differential when he’s in).

  19. The question for Knox is…can Thibs and the developmental staff improve his all-around game enough to salvage a NBA rotation player in time for his extension? Or at least to the point where he has some trade value? I think the latter is a better goal than the former. 21yo 6’9″ guys with beautiful strokes from 3 are eye candy for opposing GMs. His value must already be much higher than it was going into the year. Keep that up!

  20. Frank: Speaking of not good, can we just not play Elfrid Payton anymore? Maybe give Jared Harper a look-see? And what is up with Frank’s knee?

    Payton is a lot worse than he was last year and he wasn’t exactly great then either. But I think this has to be on Thibs. Payton is putting up career highs in FGA/game and Usage% with a career low in assists. That has to be by design, I can’t imagine that he’s decided to play like this on his own and not because the coaches have told him to. Plus, Thibs’ success in Chicago was with a ball dominant, scoring PG running the team.

  21. I mean you have to start somewhere-he was bad at everything last year, so if you get him shooting well and taking good shots then you can start to build off that. If teams start worrying about his shooting he can start putting the ball on the floor more.

  22. Randle is relatively young, but I could see him breaking down at some point during the season. He’s putting out so much effort being the primary play maker ( and last night he was guarding Durant), you can see how exhausted he is by the end of the game.

    I know there’s literally no one else on the team that can create their own shot, but at some point Thibs has to cut down on Randle’s minutes.

  23. d-mar:
    Randle is relatively young, but I could see him breaking down at some point during the season. He’s putting out so much effort being the primary play maker ( and last night he was guarding Durant), you can see how exhausted he is by the end of the game.

    I know there’s literally no one else on the team that can create their own shot, but at some point Thibs has to cut down on Randle’s minutes.

    You would think that after what he did to Luol Deng, who was completely broken down and probably should have been out of the league by 30, he’d have learned his lesson but apparently not.

  24. vincoug: Payton is a lot worse than he was last year and he wasn’t exactly great then either.But I think this has to be on Thibs.Payton is putting up career highs in FGA/game and Usage% with a career low in assists.That has to be by design, I can’t imagine that he’s decided to play like this on his own and not because the coaches have told him to.Plus, Thibs’ success in Chicago was with a ball dominant, scoring PG running the team.

    Coming into this team fresh and concluding that “One of the answers to turn this thing around is to lean even MORE on Elfrid Payton” is truly the stuff of farce.

    *****************You would think that after what he did to Luol Deng, who was completely broken down and probably should have been out of the league by 30, he’d have learned his lesson but apparently not.***************

    Not sure I ever wrote it out loud but coming into the year I actually chalked that “He plays people too much” stuff up to people trying to just cast aspersions for aspersions’ sake. Wow, was that completely wrong. He’s actually done it *more* with the Knicks. It’s borderline psychotic.

  25. I dunno, I don’t really see 37 mpg as a big deal for a 26yo rugged player in great shape. He’s only played over 40 mpg 3 times, and not on the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Not to mention that he’s healthy and just had 9 months off.

    RJ is another story, but more due to pampering than wearing him out. Seems like bricking one shot after another has no effect on his pt.

  26. Totes, I go back and forth. If a good trade is out there for Randle, I’m not against pulling the trigger. I just don’t know if I would do it for a Morris type deal (one late first rounder). He’s playing better than Morris was last year, has team control for next year and is 5 years younger.

    Randle himself was the 7th pick and lost his rookie year bc he broke his leg. I don’t fully agree that he is playing out his mind right now. He’s been close to a 20/10 guy since about his 3rd season. He’s shooting like 34 percent from 3. Its not like he’s hitting 40 percent from 3. He’s doing everything that is within his wheelhouse, he’s just doing it a bit better/more efficiently and passing well to up his assist numbers. He’s basically playing this year like the guy Perry/Mills were hoping he would be last year. I chalk it up to a better coach, him wanting to prove himself and Elf being healthy (as bad as Elf is, not having him to start last year hurt since there were no other PG options – frank and DSJ don’t count!)

    I think he’s just reaching his peak and its a pretty damn good peak. Probably the best player we’ve had production wise since Melo first got here. Considering we didn’t give up anything to get him, I think keeping him should be on the table.

    Put it this way, a certain segment of the fan base will always push for trading any older player who is decent for a pick since we aren’t that good idea. But Randle is young enough to be part of a starting 5 for the next 4 or 5 years. He is not the reason we’ve lost games. Its our guard play, specifically our starting PG. Why take a step back when we should just figure out a way to improve our starting PG somehow.

    If the losses really start to pile up, that’s a different story. But I would at least hold out till we see if Quickly can take more minutes from Elf and what happens once Burks is back.

  27. Z-man:
    I dunno, I don’t really see 37 mpg as a big deal for a 26yo rugged player in great shape. He’s only played over 40 mpg 3 times, and not on the 2nd game of a back-to-back. Not to mention that he’s healthy and just had 9 months off.

    RJ is another story, but more due to pampering than wearing him out. Seems like bricking one shot after another has no effect on his pt.

    Yeah but Randle’s 37 mpg are not like other players’. He’s involved in every single possession and has to work incredibly hard to score. And usually guards one of the best players on the opposing team. To me he looks exhausted

  28. I think I’ve found a decent proxy for the concept of “hollow numbers” or “empty calories.” That proxy is the delta between the superficial value of the numbers a guy puts up and the actual value he would have if you put him on the trading market. That delta with Randle is simply gargantuan. His numbers actually kinda sorta say “26 year old All-Star,” but his value on the market is nothing close to that. Why? Because he can only give you the “value” of his numbers in an extremely limited context — as a player a bad team leans on because they have to lean on him.

    Him as a leading man initiator is not the stuff of winning basketball, pure and simple. (Again, maybe you can squint and envision a role he can play on a winner, but that question is so far away from current reality that it’s barely worth discussion.) It’s still a dilemma because he doesn’t have much trade value but it’s still tough to have to suffer through basketball that isn’t really aimed at winning in any serious sense.

  29. I’m still not convinced that there’s going to be that much of a market for Randle. He’s a very good player the way he’s playing right now, but his skills are all based around having the ball in his hands and every good team already has guys with those skills who are better than him. And it’s good teams who are typically looking to give up draft assets to add talent. He could help lots of teams in a bench role but in order for him to be someone teams are going to target at the deadline he needs to someone they think can help their best 5 I think and he’s an awkward fit on most teams. In contrast Morris, for example, was someone pretty much every contending team could’ve used last year.

    The only match I really like is Dallas who could do James Johnson plus some draft equity and where I think Porzingis is the perfect frontcourt foil for Randle so that he could also close games regularly for them. But even there Randle would be playing a pretty different role than he is here and they might prefer more of a big wing than a true big for that slot. Do people have other trade destinations in mind or just a vague sense that he should have value?

  30. You would think that after what he did to Luol Deng, who was completely broken down and probably should have been out of the league by 30, he’d have learned his lesson but apparently not.

    The interesting thing about Deng is that he really dropped off in terms of play from 2014 on — it’s convenient to say it’s because of all the minutes he played 2010-2013 but he also was out for a while with viral meningitis and complications thereof in May of 2013. It’s entirely possible that the meningitis fried his brain somewhat and that that, and not (just) the minutes played was responsible for his deterioration.

    These guys are the 99.9999th percentile of athletes in the world. My guess is it only takes a little bit of neurologic decline to go from NBA all-star to barely hanging on in the league.

  31. E, I just think that’s the wrong way to think about it. Of course a good player on a bad team is not going to be the same number one option on a better team.

    When Chris Bosh was on The Raptors, they were a first round playoff team at best and I don’t even think they made the playoffs his final year there. When he went to Miami, did he remain the number one option? No, because he was on a better team with Lebron and Dwade. So he had less usage and a smaller role. But he was still instrumental in them being a good team. Morris didn’t assume the role of the number one option on The Clippers after he got traded there bc that team had Kawhi and Paul George.

    Your argument really just boils down to “if he’s on The Knicks, he must not be very good” and its the same logical fallacy that argues “Well this player must not be good because he signed here and not somewhere else.”

    In general the better a team is, the less wiggle room they’re going to have to take on a player in a trade unless they do something like what Brooklyn did yesterday. Brooklyn ain’t an option for Randle now because of what they did yesterday. Doesn’t mean they still couldn’t use him or wouldn’t have looked to get him if Harden went to the 76er’s.

    Fellow lottery dwellers are going to be less likely to trade for Randle for the same reason a big chunk of our fans wants to trade him. So the number of teams that would theoretically want him is going to be small and each one has their own unique roster and salary cap situation.

  32. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Coming into this team fresh and concluding that “One of the answers to turn this thing around is to lean even MORE on Elfrid Payton” is truly the stuff of farce.

    It’s basically what he’s done his entire career. In Chicago it was Derrick Rose and Nate Robinson, in Minnesota it was Wiggins even though KAT was and is a massively superior player. Thibs being set in his ways and unwilling to change is one of the reasons most of us didn’t want to hire him.

    swiftandabundant: I think he’s just reaching his peak and its a pretty damn good peak. Probably the best player we’ve had production wise since Melo first got here. Considering we didn’t give up anything to get him, I think keeping him should be on the table.

    So a couple of questions on this. How good is he actually playing. He’s absolutely dominating the ball and playing a ton of minutes and the advanced stats say that he’s good not great. Is that worth keeping around for a while? Also, how scalable is Randle’s game? He clearly can’t be the best player on a contender and I highly doubt he can be the 2nd best player either. If he ends up being a third option how badly does that affect his game? Randle kind of feels like a guy who’s at his best with the ball in his hands and isn’t really effective if he’s not the primary option but a team that uses Randle as the primary option is, almost by definition, not a contender.

  33. And yes, I think it will be hard to find the right team for Randle which is another reason to hold on to him. Maybe next year there is the perfect playoff team that would take him. The roster situations for every team change constantly. He might also be easier to trade in the off season when teams are making larger changes to their roster and not just tinkering around the edges for playoff pushes.

  34. Every team in the NBA from good to bad would have loved to have gotten their hands on Raptor Bosh and would have given up a nice stash of assets for the privilege. That’s nothing like the case with Randle. You could imagine an extremely valuable 2/3 role for Bosh and you can’t remotely do the same with Randle. That’s the difference.

    It speaks volumes that educated and dedicated fans can scour the league to find a trading partner that makes sense for Randle and it’s so surpassingly difficult.

  35. thenamestsam:
    I’m still not convinced that there’s going to be that much of a market for Randle. He’s a very good player the way he’s playing right now, but his skills are all based around having the ball in his hands and every good team already has guys with those skills who are better than him. And it’s good teams who are typically looking to give up draft assets to add talent. He could help lots of teams in a bench role but in order for him to be someone teams are going to target at the deadline he needs to someone they think can help their best 5 I think and he’s an awkward fit on most teams. In contrast Morris, for example, was someone pretty much every contending team could’ve used last year.

    The only match I really like is Dallas who could do James Johnson plus some draft equity and where I think Porzingis is the perfect frontcourt foil for Randle so that he could also close games regularly for them. But even there Randle would be playing a pretty different role than he is here and they might prefer more of a big wing than a true big for that slot. Do people have other trade destinations in mind or just a vague sense that he should have value?

    I think you’ve got to be looking at dumb, poorly managed team. So, I’d be targeting Sacramento and Cleveland first.

  36. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Every team in the NBA from good to bad would have loved to have gotten their hands on Raptor Bosh and would have given up a nice stash of assets for the privilege.That’s nothing like the case with Randle. You could imagine an extremely valuable 2/3 role for Bosh and you can’t remotely do the same with Randle.That’s the difference.

    It speaks volumes that educated and dedicated fans can scour the league to find a trading partner that makes sense for Randle and it’s so surpassingly difficult.

    This is total conjecture. You have absolutely no idea who thinks what of Randle.

  37. Him as a leading man initiator is not the stuff of winning basketball, pure and simple. (Again, maybe you can squint and envision a role he can play on a winner, but that question is so far away from current reality that it’s barely worth discussion.)

    I bet if there were better basketball players on the Knicks Julius could do exactly what he’s been doing this season and he’d be playing winning basketball on a winning basketball team. He probably would be doing it right now if RJ and Elfrid could shoot

  38. No genuine contender will have interest in Randle barring something insane and unethical to root for like an AD injury. Others have said it–if you’re contending you already have players who can do what he does better than him, and asking him to take a more limited role after trading assets for him doesn’t make sense because you can find productive low usage bigs very easily.

    The only hope is that a team trying to make the playoffs, or make a little more noise in the playoffs, has some interest. The Hornets, Magic, etc. I’m still skeptical that he’ll have value unless he becomes a consistent three point shooter out of nowhere.

    We should trade him for assets if the unlikely opportunity arises because the opportunity is unlikely to arise all that often and no one has a clear idea of what his role on the next good Knicks team looks like. He’s a very talented, skilled player who sadly finds himself playing in the NBA era worst suited for him.

  39. DRed: I bet if there were better basketball players on the Knicks Julius could do exactly what he’s been doing this season and he’d be playing winning basketball on a winning basketball team.He probably would be doing it right now if RJ and Elfrid could shoot

    That’s not fair. Guys like AD, Love, and KAT played winning basketball without talent around them. Oh, wait…

  40. So a couple of questions on this. How good is he actually playing. He’s absolutely dominating the ball and playing a ton of minutes and the advanced stats say that he’s good not great. Is that worth keeping around for a while?

    RJ, Randle and Payton are basically a 3 headed monster when it comes to who is using our offensive possessions. Randle is first, but not by a lot, and he’s the only one of the 3 who has been scoring efficiently. He’s a useful player if he can maintain this level of production, but I don’t think he’s been anything special.

  41. Randle has a 27% usage. He’s our best player with a usage above 11.1% by far. A lot of teams could use a $19mill player with his level of production.

    He’s not worth a lot more than that, but at his current cost, I disagree that contending teams wouldn’t be interested in him.

  42. DRed: I bet if there were better basketball players on the Knicks Julius could do exactly what he’s been doing this season and he’d be playing winning basketball on a winning basketball team. He probably would be doing it right now if RJ and Elfrid could shoot

    If RJ could shoot, I’d want the ball in his hands and not Julius’s, without question. Even as it stands now, there’s a reasonable argument to be made that RJ should be playing a bunch of the point forward Julius is playing. He’s better in the pick and roll, as good a slasher, a better passer with better vision of the whole floor, and not as prone to abject idiocy and turnovers.

    This kind of makes the point, really. He only has his current role because RJ can’t shoot. If RJ could shoot, there would be a better person for his current role. That’s why there isn’t a lot of interest in him out there, and wasn’t a lot of interest in him in free agency in 2019.

  43. Randle is shooting at absolutely unsustainable levels from 10 feet to the three point line: .529 from 10 to 16, .577 (!) from 16 out to the three. And he’s taking a career low number of shots at the rim. And point Randle not only comes with a lot of turnovers but his kick outs are a little less accurate than you’d like- too often guys have to reset before they shoot which leads to more passed up threes from the guys who might actually make them. I’d certainly trade him for a decent first and really, you should trade him for any first if you can get it.

    That said, it would be nice to see Randle 2.0 with actual spacing. The fact that he’s played this well seeing the constant doubles- he gets a superstar level of attention from the other team because the cupboard is so bare- and a lot of zone is amazing. The spacing is comically bad with the starters and while Quivers provides a little better spacing those two have absolutely zero gravity in terms of moving the defense. Obviously the mid-range numbers are going to come down but maybe he could make a lot of that up with normal spacing. He’s working harder on defense- he didn’t slow KD down much but really tried- and though he’s still sub-optimal there he hasn’t been awful. I love to see guys who are clearly busting their asses succeed and any success story on this team should be savored. So savor it while it lasts but if a solid deal arises thank him and move on.

  44. Z-man: He’s not worth a lot more than that, but at his current cost, I disagree that contending teams wouldn’t be interested in him.

    I made this point earlier but people who believe in his value seem to speak a lot more in generality than in specifics about teams where he makes sense. Other than Dallas which I brought up earlier I’m curious what other teams specifically are you looking at and thinking he makes sense?

  45. i don’t think randle has a tiny market… utah has a very clear need for someone like randle and probably the ideal partner… bogdanovic + one or two firsts gets that done easily… i think orlando could have some uses for randle… miami possibly…. and then you have some teams that are dependent on where they are in the playoff hunt.. charlotte being a prime example right now…. and also golden state…

    is it a huge market? no… but if all you want is one first for randle… i think that’s very very doable… multiple firsts might be tricky but with everyone’s willingness to go in i think you can find someone willing to do say fuck it and do it…

  46. I’d guess a lot of teams could use Randle, I haven’t bothered going through each and every team to find out though.

    The only real issue is whether you can make the salaries work and if they have assets worthy of the trade.

    Pretty sure Randle has shown the ability to put up efficient offense even without being the primary ball handler, so I’m not really sure what the concern is. The only real concern is if there’s too many teams dedicated to 3pt shooting and those teams don’t trust Randle’s shot. Several teams will almost certainly take the risk though if they don’t think their current team has enough oomph to push them into contention.

  47. Yeah I mean there are lots of good players who have been on bad teams. We can add to that list Booker for example.

    I always think its funny when people throw out the “he can’t be the best or second best player on a contender” argument when talking about The Knicks. We haven’t been to the playoffs in 7 years and have been god awful for most of that stretch and you’re worried about us topping out as a second round playoff team?

    We should be so lucky!

    That doesn’t mean go all in on a team with a hard cap as a playoff team and not much else. But build a good team with someone like Randle as a main piece and leave some possibility for improvement through the draft, free agency or trades (ie, no super over paid contracts for aging vets on the decline) and see what happens. It all falls back for me to this idea that a lot of people would rather suck and dream of some process like result where we have 4 or 5 elite prospects who are all 20 years old than actually build a good team. Not trying to get in a process argument here but just pointing out. Randle is playing well and he’s still young. If this is what he’s capable of doing, he’s capable of this for the next 4 or 5 years. Are we really trying to look that much further out than that anyways? I mean shit in 5 years RJ and Mitch will be 26 and our future draft picks will all be in their early 20’s. Its easier to maintain a good team than it is to build one from the ground up.

  48. Randle won’t keep up his current production, but he’s currently outproducing a lot of max contract players.

    Max contracts start at ~$25M with most at $30M and several at $40M.

    Randle is extremely valuable because he can fit onto a team without them dumping an insane amount of salary.

  49. djphan: is it a huge market? no… but if all you want is one first for randle… i think that’s very very doable… multiple firsts might be tricky but with everyone’s willingness to go in i think you can find someone willing to do say fuck it and do it…

      

    The question is can you get a decent first- something in the teens/low 20s that conveys in the next year or two? And given how much Randle makes you’re probably going to have to take on salary beyond this year- how much and how sunk is that money (is it going to a guy you’re going waive or never play)? I’m up for an all-out tank so I’d trade him for expiring contracts just to insure more losses. Still, if he keeps playing like this I’ll be shocked if the Knicks trade him. Seriously shocked.

  50. Then name a team where you think Randle would fit and give a best guess at what they’d be willing to give up to get him. My guess is that if you actually go through this exercise, you’ll find that a bunch of his value is theoretical at best, and more likely mostly tautological — “of course he has a lot of value, he’s playing really well.”

  51. i don’t think randle has a tiny market… utah has a very clear need for someone like randle and probably the ideal partner… bogdanovic + one or two firsts gets that done easily… i think orlando could have some uses for randle… miami possibly…. and then you have some teams that are dependent on where they are in the playoff hunt.. charlotte being a prime example right now…. and also golden state…

    I appreciate you for being willing to actually bring concrete ideas rather than vague statements of value.

    Utah I like; that one makes sense to me and Bogdanovic being so bad this year gives them the matching salary.

    Orlando is 23rd in net rating and have tons of injuries. They’re sellers not buyers.

    Miami I don’t love the fit with Bam and I think Riley is still aiming higher than this.

    Charlotte I guess I could see it for Zeller’s deal. I would never make this kind of move if I were them but they’ve often chased weak playoff seeds so I buy it.

    Golden State is looking for upgrades on the wing; Wiseman, Green, Paschall is pretty decent front-court wise. Even Looney has been fine this year. It would have to be Oubre for Randle as the main construction and as terrible as Oubre has been that leaves them hopelessly thin on the wing.

  52. frank frank frank frank…frank frank frank frank…frank frank frank frank…

    well, we’ve dipped down to a .417 winning percentage…i’m saying we hold the line this friday against the cavs, who’ve now lost at least 3 in a row themselves…

    time for thibs to shake things up a little, which is gonna be a tough without burks, bullocks, and to a much lesser degree frank, at his disposal…

    i predict we climb up off the floor for at least the game on friday…

    i need another knicks win badly, we started winning so much – i foolishly deleted all five wins from this year from the dvr…i just was overcome with confidence and happy fingers that the winning would continue, somewhat at least…

    a little in game comeback here or there will no longer suffice…i need the full monty, anything less than a win just won’t sate my desire…

    win win win win…win win win win…win win win win…

  53. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Then name a team where you think Randle would fit and give a best guess at what they’d be willing to give up to get him.My guess is that if you actually go through this exercise, you’ll find that a bunch of his value is theoretical at best, and more likely mostly tautological — “of course he has a lot of value, he’s playing really well.”

    It’s a dumb exercise because as I said you have no idea what opposing GMs are thinking and how they value his production. Do you really think he has any less value than Marcus Morris did? He’s not as good of a 3pt shooter but he’s a much better rebounder, passer and ball handler and as good of a defender. He’s also younger, less of a hothead and signed for another year at a good price. Even next year as an expiring he’s good value.

  54. Golden State is actually a nice fit for Randle next to Wiseman and with Draymond getting old. I doubt they’ll give up their MIN lottery pick for him, though. Maybe a sign-and-trade after the season makes more sense, depending on his price tag. On a value contract, he’d be fine to sign long term. Then we could even start looking at Obi trades, since those two obviously can’t play together.

    On another topic, I sure hope Thibs lowers RJ’s minutes, or at least staggers him with Elfrid more. There are plenty of things to try: Start Knox and move RJ to SG for a bit, have RJ come off the bench, or start a different PG — any PG (it’s crazy that our only options are a rookie non-PG, DSJ, or G-Leaguer Harper, though.)

  55. I guess Boston, Miami, Washington, Utah, Phoenix, Portland, Minnesota, San Antonio could use Randle. What would they be willing to give up? Sincerely, no idea. You have to match salaries to trade him and that gets tricky and you could start looking for 3rd teams as partners … but he would fit into Hayward’s exception in Boston. Ainge is stingy but I think that we could get a future 1st for him at least.

  56. I don’t know, I’m not going to post all the specifics, but I messed around with ESPN’s trade machine and it’s pretty easy to move Randle to about 10 different teams. No idea what those teams are thinking or not thinking. Also not entirely sure who has what draft pick.

    But trading Randle is easy if we want to do so.

    I’ll give one example, Houston could chase a playoff seed with Wall/Oladipo/Randle/Wood

    We could do Randle for Exum/Tucker/random small contract/draft picks

    We could also trade Randle for Oladipo + picks if Oladipo turns into his usual shitty self.

    There’s a lot of teams that would benefit from Randle over their current PF and it’s not too hard to move Randle’s contract. The real holdup is if we want to move him.

  57. If his value is Oubre and a protected 1 — and that probably is close — that pretty much rests the case. The listed proposals are meh guys like Bogie 2, Oubre, Zeller, etc., and maybe a protected 1. Kind of seals the matter.

  58. No way I do a sign and trade of Randle to Golden State!

    The last time we did that Golden State started their road to being a dynasty. People say drafting Curry, Thompson and Green was what started that but don’t believe the fake news. Is was the sign and trade for David Lee that got them going.

    And for us, it started us down the ultimately futile STAT/Melo era.

    So no. I will not support us trading our star PF to Golden state for their current version of Ronny Turiaf, Anthony What’s His name and Azubuike.

  59. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    If his value is Oubre and a protected 1 — and that probably is close — that pretty much rests the case.The listed proposals are meh guys like Bogie 2, Oubre, Zeller, etc., and maybe a protected 1.Kind of seals the matter.

    If you’re not planning on keeping Randle long-term, getting a pick out of him is better than letting him walk.

  60. ess-dog:
    Anthony Randolph… I was SO high on him.

    I wonder if us getting Mitch is some sort of karmic reward for Anthony Randolph breaking all our hearts so many years ago.

  61. Here’s a list of teams that could potentially want Randle:

    Miami
    Dallas
    Spurs
    Houston
    GSW
    Suns
    Denver
    Utah
    Bucks if Lopez looks done
    Hornets
    Cleveland
    Kings
    Orlando

    Pretty sure you can make a trade work with the majority of them

  62. I’m in the camp that Randle is almost certainly movable, potentially even for two assets depending on how desperate pseudo-contenders get as the season passes along. I also agree Houston might be a buyer, since 1) Fertitta is a verifiable idiot and 2) a massive cheapskate, so Randle being productive on a cheap-ish contract might sucker him into floating us a couple picks so he can feel better about his tenure by putting out a decently-competitive Rockets team.

    Whether or not we should keep him is another question, but I don’t think the RJ/Randle/Mitch trio will ever be truly competitive unless one or more them can consistently shoot threes, so I’m fine with dumping Randle at what is likely the peak of his value. There’s a similar, coldly logical argument to made about RJ as well, but I’m enough of a homer to prefer keeping him over Randle and hoping he can improve with better spacing around him.

  63. Talking about RJ, are we (collective KBloggers) willing to put him in a package for Beal?
    Just asking, just taking the temperature on our beloved high lottery pick…

  64. Mike Honcho: I also agree Houston might be a buyer, since 1) Fertitta is a verifiable idiot and 2) a massive cheapskate, so Randle being productive on a cheap-ish contract might sucker him into floating us a couple picks so he can feel better about his tenure by putting out a decently-competitive Rockets team.

    I just don’t see the justification for the Oladipo trade unless they’re trying to make the playoffs this year.

    Oladipo is gone after this year and Levert is signed for 3 years. Not a huge Levert fan, but gotta think he’s better than Oladipo at this point anyway.

  65. It’s understandable,
    but my question is just about RJ, last year he was absolutely untouchable, except maybe for AD, no matter the package…
    I’d like to weight how much our perception as changed about him…

    My answer is yes, I hope he’ll become a star with the Knicks, but I’m willing to put him in if the deal is fair, he’s not untouchable anymore for a player in Beal’s tier (young-ish star in, or close to, his prime, not expiring).

  66. Mike Honcho: If you’re not planning on keeping Randle long-term, getting a pick out of him is better than letting him walk.

    Oh, yeah, no question. It just kind of sucks that the real market value of the Knicks’ “best” player is so low.

    I’d include RJ in a package for Beal if the package otherwise made sense. I think they should make a hard run at Beal. Again, imperfect, but they need to start building at least some sensible positive momentum. Getting him three years ago obviously would have been better.

  67. If Washington is considering him the equivalent of a first round pick in the package then yeah. I’d trade RJ for a top 20 pick in this draft right now without question. He’s due almost 20m over the next two years and I see too many bad outcomes for him.

  68. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    If his value is Oubre and a protected 1 — and that probably is close — that pretty much rests the case.The listed proposals are meh guys like Bogie 2, Oubre, Zeller, etc., and maybe a protected 1.Kind of seals the matter.

    If you trade Randle for Oubre, you probably try to flip Oubre for another pick or find a third team who salary dumps to the Knicks. In theory that trade should turn into two 1sts.

    Minnesota’s pick becomes unprotected in 2022 if it doesn’t convert in 2021 (and there’s a lot of good outcomes in this draft outside of 1-3).

    GSW may also be willing to throw in a couple 2nds.

  69. I’m not against bringing in Beal, but you need a plan to fit a 3rd or 4th superstar in with him and Randle. We have the money, but there don’t look to be any superstars available this upcoming FA unless someone opts out that we don’t expect to opt-out. The only remote possibility is Kawhi if the Clippers go up in flames in the playoffs again. But I think he just likes southern Cali.

    I’d consider throwing money at Dinwiddie, but that’s a pretty weak big 3. If you do, you could probably sign one more good player though.

    Maybe KD gets sick of Harden & Kyrie’s shit and comes here in 2 years. That’s all I got.

  70. The problem with Beal is that half the rest of the league is going to be after him too so unless we’re willing to do a Nets-style all our picks type deal (which makes no sense given the quality of our current team) I don’t understand how we can ever get in the mix. The Sixers are probably going to offer Simmons for Beal. How are we ever going to get in the mix with that?

  71. I think the Knicks hurt Randle’s value a lot last year by asking him to do too much on a team that was poorly constructed for his skillset. That said, I think he’s gone long way towards not only restoring that value but possibly even enhancing it. I’m sure the fact that he’s in great shape, passing way better out of double teams, and working hard on defense has been noticed around the league. The only difference between him and an actual “star” player is sustaining it longer and keeping his 3p% in the 35% range. Sure, we still get a couple of boneheaded TOs per game, but some of that would decline if he was used as a 2nd or 3rd option on a team with a real PG.

    I’m not smart enough to know what we could get for him, but I’ve been saying since last he’s a good player in a bad situation. I think more people are going to be aware of that now than after last year’s debacle. If we could ever get a sharp shooting PG that could take some of the pressure off him there’s no reason we shouldn’t keep him unless Obi breaks out and looks like a better fit or a very good deal is available.

  72. ess-dog:
    Anthony Randolph… I was SO high on him.

    So was I.

    I think one of the problems was Randolph was “high” a lot. lol

    He just never seemed to get the attitude and work ethic all together to reach his potential.

  73. If RJ was hitting 3s at the same rate as last year we’d all be very happy with his overall progress.

    We know that what he’s doing now is some kind of terrible downside aberration. The question is whether last year’s 32% was some kind of upside aberration and the truth is somewhere in between or whether he’ll eventually start rolling and hitting 3s at above a 30% clip the rest of the way .

  74. I wonder if RJ is destined to become an inverted KP, where he sucks ass the first few months of the season then perks up in the back half of the season to give us a little hope for the next season.

    (This is not a serious observation, keep your filthy facts and logical rebuttals away from me you maniacs.)

  75. I think trading Randle for a single pick would be crazy. If he keeps playing like this he’ll probably be an all star this season. Is he worse than Jrue Holiday? Look what Holiday commanded in a trade. Is he worse than Gordon Hayward was when Boston acquired him? If Randle had these stats on another team we would be salivating to get him.

  76. Knick fan not in NJ:
    I think trading Randle for a single pick would be crazy.If he keeps playing like this he’ll probably be an all star this season.Is he worse than Jrue Holiday?Look what Holiday commanded in a trade. Is he worse than Gordon Hayward was when Boston acquired him? If Randle had these stats on another team we would be salivating to get him.

    Would you prefer to get nothing and let him walk? Or are you wanting to keep him long term? If you’re not wanting to keep him long term, getting a pick back for him is a much better outcome than letting him walk for nothing.

  77. That isn’t meant to be antagonistic, btw. If you genuinely feel Randle can be an important part of a strong playoff team, getting one pick back is a meager return. As I mentioned earlier, I think the Randle/RJ/Mitch trio is doomed unless one of them learns to shoot threes efficiently, so I’m fine with auctioning off Randle at what is likely to be the peak of his value for a pick or two (RJ should probably also be expendable but I really would love to have another home-grown player). I’d also be cool with swapping him for a younger player like John Collins, or as a part of a trade for Beal provided we didn’t give up too much else.

  78. Would you prefer to get nothing and let him walk? Or are you wanting to keep him long term? If you’re not wanting to keep him long term, getting a pick back for him is a much better outcome than letting him walk for nothing.

    Losing him for nothing is not something I want. But I don’t want to trade him for too little either. And keeping him long term is on the table for me too, depending on the price. I just made the point that one pick in return is lower than his value. Why aren’t you addressing that?

  79. Deeefense:
    If RJ was hitting 3s at the same rate as last year we’d all be very happy with his overall progress.

    It’s important to remember that he’s playing a lot more minutes so the rebounding and assist #s aren’t quite as impressive as they look. Both nice, especially given the drop in turnovers but he sure as heck doesn’t look like a game-changing rebounder or passer so, yeah, encouraging but not exciting. Here’s the really scary number for RJ: .551 0-3 after shooting an already not great .561 last year. If he can’t finish he’ll be nothing but a disappointment- that he’s actually solidly worse than last year wipes out any gains he’s made for me.

  80. I think trading Randle for a single pick would be crazy. If he keeps playing like this he’ll probably be an all star this season. Is he worse than Jrue Holiday? Look what Holiday commanded in a trade. Is he worse than Gordon Hayward was when Boston acquired him? If Randle had these stats on another team we would be salivating to get him.

    I think you need to define “worse” in this context. Is he “worse” at basketball in some nebulous fashion? Maybe not. Is his skillset much, much easier to find than that of either of those guys? Almost definitely.

    What Randle brings to the table when he’s at his best is high usage + medium-to-high efficiency scoring, rebounding, and playmaking that’s well above average for a big. Defensively he can hang to some extent at the 4, but pretty much tanks you at the 5, while offensively you basically see the opposite effect (his best position is the 5).

    When you put it all together, the only thing he really has over the glut of bigs available on the cheap every offseason (e.g. OAKOAK Enes Kanter) is his playmaking. It’s a very legitimate skill he has over that group, but it’s also the skill least likely to be utilized by a good team because they almost certainly have playmakers they prefer to Julius Randle.

    Since he’s not really a PNR player and thus most of his baskets are unassisted, teams also likely have concerns about what he does to the “flow” of their offense even if the results are there (you can quibble about how legitimate this is but it’s something teams seem to care about).

    Like I said, the only teams I could see being interested are teams who realistically shouldn’t be buying. In other words, we need someone to do something dumb. That’s what makes it kind of tough to predict.

  81. Losing him for nothing is not something I want. But I don’t want to trade him for too little either.

    I will never, ever understand this. You said it about Morris too. Is it just, like, a point of pride?

  82. Despite Randle’s stats are pretty impressive (at least for a knicks player!) If the team continues to suck then his trade value would not be much…
    Team success upgrades any player’s value.
    Teams are not dumb.
    They are looking for winning players.
    Not ballhogstatfillers.

  83. TNFH, it’s my judgement of his market value. If we trade good players for too little, we will never get better. I don’t understand why you think wanting to get good value in trades is just pride.

    In your other post you make the point that Holiday plays a position of more value than Morris does. That is reasonable. But it’s a long way between the Holiday haul and one middling or late first round pick.

    We clearly need better guard play and guards who can shoot threes. I would argue that if we got that and kept Robinson and Randle, we would have a decent team. I don’t know how to get that, but I do know that the Knicks brain trust doesn’t seem callable of getting that in the draft, short of a miraculously high pick. Trading Randle for a single pick that won’t get us good guard play will make us worse, not better.

  84. I think we can sum up by saying that what to do with a Randle playing like an all-star on a value contract is a good problem to have.

  85. One thing not mentioned (at least in this thread) is that I think it would be close to a crime to dump Randle for whatever before we have a clue what we have in Obi. Not entirely true — if there was a Beal deal that wasn’t too onerous but involved Randle (and I don’t see it) I’d probably consider it. But the thought of Knox manning the four full-time brings back ‘eat what you kill’ PTSD and makes my stomach roil.

  86. Forgive me if this has been discussed here already, but I got to thinking today: why doesn’t the NBA publicly vaccinate all 400 or so rostered NBA players and then just send them out to play? I understand that 20 year old men in top physical condition are last in line for the vaccine. But in the case of the NBA, which is obviously struggling to make this season work and perpetuate their billion dollar industry, it seems that this is a great chance to show people that vaccine works. It could serve as a full-season PSA, and save the season, and, considering they are basically giving unclaimed vaccines away at the end of the day to anybody who wants them so they don’t expire (at least they are doing this in the city that I live in), it seems not only possible, but desirable for all sides. Especially since we are talking about so few doses, and for such a high-profile subgroup.

    Sorry, just wanted to post that here, because you guys are smart and come from all fields, and always have good responses. Back to discussing Randle trades and Anthony Randolph now!

    (ps, Anthony Randolph is one of the few blights on the Knickerblogger hive-mind record. We are batting somewhere around .950 over the 13 years I’ve been tuning in here. But, man, that guy came with such a great stat sheet, and when we got him for D Lee we couldn’t believe our good fortune, and then he played a few minutes of basketball and the eye-test took over, and it was the biggest cock-block in KB history. Dude would just throw basic cross court passes into the 16th row for no reason. All those hits that looked like line-drives in the box score in Golden State must have been a bunch of bloop singles and uncalled errors. He was terrible.)

  87. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

    It’s not let him walk for nothing or trade him and accept less than he’s worth.

    Signing someone to a new contract is not an unbreakable marriage certificate. We are free to consider what Randle adds to the team now, what we need, what we could get in a trade now, how much we think is a fair price for another contract, sign him, and then always change our mind and trade him later. The key is not overpaying.

  88. Knick fan not in NJ: Losing him for nothing is not something I want.But I don’t want to trade him for too little either. And keeping him long term is on the table for me too, depending on the price. I just made the point that one pick in return is lower than his value.Why aren’t you addressing that?

    I did address it. I would rather have something rather than nothing, even if that something isn’t an especially amazing return in a vacuum relative to my perceived value of Randle.

  89. nicos: Here’s the really scary number for RJ: .551 0-3 after shooting an already not great .561 last year. If he can’t finish he’ll be nothing but a disappointment- that he’s actually solidly worse than last year wipes out any gains he’s made for me.

    This gets back to my point since last season. Players that do their best work around the rim will be way more efficient in space. That’s why teams like Dallas (and every Lebron team) have tended to try to surround Doncic and Lebron with shooters. That’s so they can get to the rim easier without help coming or a wall of defenders in the area waiting. Obviously, I’m not trying to compare guys like Randle and RJ to great players like Doncic and James, but we have C that can’t do anything but dunk, a PF who does he best work around the rim, a SG/SF that can make a 3 pointer in the ocean, and some of the worst shooting PGs in the entre NBA. At the margin it’s hurting the efficiency of all of them. When we have a more balanced team we’ll get a better feel for what RJ can do. Then you hope his game keeps growing. He’s only 20 .

  90. Traditional Knicks Stats (so far) that made me go ….Fuuuuuuck Me Hard!

    Don’t Panic (yet) just for fun!

    RJ: 18,5% on 3ps (10/54)
    Mitch: 8/17FTs (47,1%)
    ARivers: 230min 0 FTs

  91. FIX IT FELIX’S PLAN to fix it…at least for the moment anyways…

    starting lineup:
    quick
    RJ
    knox 2.0 – ha
    julius
    mitch

    off the bench:
    rivers
    obi
    taj

    spot duty for elf and noel…honestly, at this point – i trust taj to make a shot more than just about anyone else on the floor right now…

    never thought i’d be so excited to see reggie bullock out on the court…

  92. TNFH, it’s my judgement of his market value. If we trade good players for too little, we will never get better. I don’t understand why you think wanting to get good value in trades is just pride.

    But if the market doesn’t agree with your judgment of his market value, your judgment of his market value is wrong by definition. So if we didn’t trade him, it would mean we didn’t trade him for his market value as it actually existed. Additionally, you still haven’t explained why it’s per se bad to trade someone for less than his “market value” if the alternative is getting nothing for him. I mean, nothing is also below his market value, and by more than a late-first or something, no?

    As for re-signing Randle, sure, there’s a price for everyone that could make sense. The problem is we’re seeing what a team with Randle as its best player looks like–we’ll probably be a bottom 5 team in the league this season. So we’d need a plan to get at least 2-3 players better than Randle while he’s here. Will he sign a contract that makes that easy? How much of his skillset is gettable at a much lower cost?

    My answer to these questions is “probably not” and “in the range of 75%,” so for that reason I think the most prudent move is to trade him if the opportunity arises (I still don’t think it will).

  93. I think the opportunity will be there (maybe not for much more than a late first and a decent player) and I just fear they won’t take it because they have control of him through next season.

  94. Burks(66,7%), Frank(55,6%) and Obi(42,9%) are 3 of our 4 most efficient 3p shooters so far (along with ARivers 44,4%) and they are all Out.
    Knox who looks on fire from the 3p is at 41,7% and IQ who’s main fame is as a 3p specialist is at 29,2%.
    Expect this team to be much better in the near future after the return of our 3p-pistoleros and the possible progress from 3 by IQ and KKII.

  95. .551 0-3 after shooting an already not great .561 last year. If he can’t finish he’ll be nothing but a disappointment- that he’s actually solidly worse than last year wipes out any gains he’s made for me.

    That’s definitely not good, but we’re also talking a small enough sample that if 4 shots had rolled in he’d be at 60% and we’d be saying his improved finishing at the rim is a great sign.

    Randle will have some value at least as a way for teams to make money disappear, so even if he winds up falling off we should be able to do something with him.

  96. If our shooters start making their shots and the team returns to wins pointforward’s Randle’s trade value will possibly rise.

  97. this is a good draft to get a late rd first rd pick… and i think that’s probably all you could expect for randle… he’s doing good this year but this level is still not something you would trade multiple firsts for unless there’s someone desperate… and randle is probably AT LEAST third in line for someone doing a desperation type of deal (beal.. drummond)…

    a late first rd pick this year could net a really really good player… it’s a pretty deep draft…. so i wouldn’t be ashamed getting that kind of return for him…..

  98. a late first rd pick this year could net a really really good player… it’s a pretty deep draft…. so i wouldn’t be ashamed getting that kind of return for him…..

    Agreed.

    I’ve noted before that I have been actually in on Randle throughout most of his career (right up until his first year with the Knicks just being so bad), and now that he is sort of kind of putting together, I feel bad that I really just want to move on without him, but I just don’t see him working out as a major part of this team in the future and so I’d rather just take the first rounder and try someone else out. A first rounder in a good draft is a nice result for the Randle experience. We’re literally one year removed from him being an actively negative asset (last season, the Knicks were considering pairing him with a first round pick for Terry fucking Rozier!).

  99. Deeefense: nicos: Here’s the really scary number for RJ: .551 0-3 after shooting an already not great .561 last year. If he can’t finish he’ll be nothing but a disappointment- that he’s actually solidly worse than last year wipes out any gains he’s made for me.
    This gets back to my point since last season. Players that do their best work around the rim will be way more efficient in space. That’s why teams like Dallas (and every Lebron team) have tended to try to surround Doncic and Lebron with shooters. That’s so they can get to the rim easier without help coming or a wall of defenders in the area waiting. Obviously, I’m not trying to compare guys like Randle and RJ to great players like Doncic and James, but we have C that can’t do anything but dunk, a PF who does he best work around the rim, a SG/SF that can make a 3 pointer in the ocean, and some of the worst shooting PGs in the entre NBA. At the margin it’s hurting the efficiency of all of them. When we have a more balanced team we’ll get a better feel for what RJ can do. Then you hope his game keeps growing. He’s only 20 .

    No amount of spacing issues can excuse .551. If you look at the guys you’d think of as comps- wings for whom getting to rim is a big part of their games- they almost all start out at .600 and have career averages that are .625+. Wiggins comes in at .655 as a 19 year old. Brad Beal who you wouldn’t think of as a finisher comes in at .595 as a 19 year old and has been over .600 ever since. DeRozen, Batum, Iggy, go down the list and that .551 looks disastrous. The only guy I found who struggled to finish at that level and turned it around was Oladipo who started worse than RJ for his first few years and had a couple of very good years at the basket before getting injured (and his numbers this year are bad). Payton’s career average at the rim is .585. Nuff said.

  100. Z- I was confused as well. I think they believe it will be a public relations nightmare to jump the queue for the vaccine. I read that somewhere and it makes sense. They are hardly essential workers

    Also, just turned on the Rockets game at halftime and Shaq says “i asked Chuck why isn’t Demarcus starting? Well, I didn’t know who this Christian Wood(s) guy was, I’m sorry, but he can play.”

    Just made me laugh. I mean, I definitely don’t know who half the guys in the NBA are this year but Wood seems like someone you should have heard about.

  101. I did find one current wing who managed a hall of fame career based mostly on his offense while struggling to finish at the rim without making it up from the three point line or with playmaking. Any guesses who this mid-range master might be?

  102. nicos:
    I did find one current wing who managed a hall of fame career based mostly on his offense while struggling to finish at the rim without making it up from the three point line or with playmaking. Any guesses who this mid-range master might be?

    Is it one Carmelo Anthony?

  103. thenoblefacehumper: But if the market doesn’t agree with your judgment of his market value, your judgment of his market value is wrong by definition. So if we didn’t trade him, it would mean we didn’t trade him for his market value as it actually existed. Additionally, you still haven’t explained why it’s per se bad to trade someone for less than his “market value” if the alternative is getting nothing for him. I mean, nothing is also below his market value, and by more than a late-first or something, no?

    As for re-signing Randle, sure, there’s a price for everyone that could make sense. The problem is we’re seeing what a team with Randle as its best player looks like–we’ll probably be a bottom 5 team in the league this season. So we’d need a plan to get at least 2-3 players better than Randle while he’s here. Will he sign a contract that makes that easy? How much of his skillset is gettable at a much lower cost?

    My answer to these questions is “probably not” and “in the range of 75%,” so for that reason I think the most prudent move is to trade him if the opportunity arises (I still don’t think it will).

    I didn’t want to trade Morris for too little, but was happy with what we got in the end. Randle is more complicated because he’s much younger and he’s performing better (at least so far this season). The implicit logic of your posts is that there is little or no chance we will get more than a first round pick for him. I think we agree to disagree on this.

    Unlike many here, I am not sure I want to trade him. Most people seem firm that we should trade him. I do agree that a high scoring, iso type player is not the first place I would want to spend resources, but he’s still a very useful player if we can put good pieces around. Like most players, whether we want to keep him depends on the price.

  104. Knew Your Nicks:
    Burks(66,7%), Frank(55,6%) and Obi(42,9%) are 3 of our 4 most efficient 3p shooters so far (along with ARivers 44,4%) and they are all Out.
    Knox who looks on fire from the 3p is at 41,7% and IQ who’s main fame is as a 3p specialist is at 29,2%.
    Expect this team to be much better in the near future after the return of our 3p-pistoleros and the possible progress from 3 by IQ and KKII.

    Frank Pistolero Ntillikina?

    I kinda like it. Sounds like a Mafia enforcer.

  105. Seriously how the hell did Christian Wood sign for what he did? Hard to argue Randle’s contract is an asset in light of that.

  106. I always got Gen X vibes from you

    i take it you have not yet heard THCJ sweetly serenading Doug Chu…that’ll totally throw off any preconceptions you may have regarding jowles…quite the eclectic fellow…

    oh yeah, if you’re interested in selling or loaning me a few years Doug Chu, let’s work that out man :)

  107. Seriously how the hell did Christian Wood sign for what he did? Hard to argue Randle’s contract is an asset in light of that.

    How about the Pistons not wanting him and then signing worse bigs than him?

  108. Brian Cronin: Agreed.

    I’ve noted before that I have been actually in on Randle throughout most of his career (right up until his first year with the Knicks just being so bad), and now that he is sort of kind of putting together, I feel bad that I really just want to move on without him, but I just don’t see him working out as a major part of this team in the future and so I’d rather just take the first rounder and try someone else out. A first rounder in a good draft is a nice result for the Randle experience. We’re literally one year removed from him being an actively negative asset (last season, the Knicks were considering pairing him with a first round pick for Terry fucking Rozier!).

    Rozier has actually been pretty good this year!

  109. The 2021 NY Jets: The Fast and the Furious!

    The Jets are signing Vin Diesel, er, Robert Saleh as the new HC!

  110. oh no — I saw a clip of Ariel Pink getting interviewed on Tucker Carlson. Prayers up for our boy JK47.

  111. Doug Chu:
    oh no — I saw a clip of Ariel Pink getting interviewed on Tucker Carlson. Prayers up for our boy JK47.

    An ex-girlfriend/bandmate just accused him of physical/emotional abuse as well. Not good.

  112. An ex-girlfriend/bandmate just accused him of physical/emotional abuse as well. Not good.

    The bizarre Trump fixation and the abuse allegations go hand in hand I think. The situation with his ex has been quite nasty for a long while, there have been lawsuits and requests for restraining orders and dueling allegations from both of them over the course of the last year or so. And they’ve been broken up for something like three years. I’ve had two separate people describe the whole mess as “fucking high school.” Which seems kind of apt.

    I’m not excusing his behavior in the least or judging whose side of the story is more true. But he said it pretty clearly on Tucker tonight: he was drawn to Trump because Trump is against “cancel culture.” Which is… let’s be honest, a dumb reason. There is no politician that could ever possibly have any control over “cancel culture.” It’s a phenomenon onto itself. Basically just don’t do or say shit that ruins your brand and you won’t get canceled. That’s pretty much the best you can do. Donald Trump or Joe Biden being president is not going to have any effect on cancel culture.

    Ariel did at least state that he believes the election was fair, and that Biden’s win was legitimate. And that he really has no problem with Biden as president. Which is not a surprise to me: Ariel doesn’t care about politics. He doesn’t see much difference between Trump and Biden. This was all about his resentment of “woke” culture. Strange hill to die on, but in the context of his personal life and the drama surrounding it all, I can at least make *some* sense of it.

  113. About Christian Wood.

    I was campaigning, even here, for him since he was a G-League standout years ago and could only get summer league invitations and 10 days contracts.

    He had a hard life and there has been maturity issue with him since high school.

    He went to three HS, in the last one he was teammate with an italian guy that now plays for our National Team.
    He said that Wood, a couple of years younger than the other players, was absolutely the most talented, but someday he simply disappear from the team (and the school).

    Then he went to UNLV, a well known haven for difficult players since the Tarkanian’s days. Let’s say that he wasn’t immune to Vegas’ temptations.

    He was so sure to be a first round pick that he booked a lounge at Caesar’s Palace for 60 people for the night of the draft.
    He went undrafted and the same night his sweetheart dump him with a text message (what a coincidence uh?).

    Four G-League team, a chinese one and six NBA organizations later, including Phila in the Hinkie’s days and Milwaukee under Budenholzer, recently Kirk Goldsberry (former Spurs front office, now ESPN analyst) told Windhorst that:

    “Coming out of college the book on him was full of red flags on non basketball issue, that’s why he went undrafted. The Pistons had their reasons to not even try to keep him, they just don’t want to talk about them. I hope that maybe the kid is finally putting his things together.”

    In Houston it looks like he’s been okay off the field, while displaying his huge basketball talent (and sometimes his lacks of experience at this level).

    He’s 25 now, with a good contract and the security that dozens of millions could give you.

    I really hope he’s able to get over the hump, find a balance in his life and happiness playing basketball.

    He could be one of the happier story of this season.

  114. Thank god the Knicks didn’t try to sign him, though, because Randle was already locked in and they drafted Toppin, so who needed Christian Wood?

  115. Who needed James Harden?

    That’s interesting about Wood, I kind of knew there were some issues there but not the details.

    Good game for Keldon Johnson. Seems like a solid player.

  116. Randle is ISO heavy but averages 6.8 assists this season, tied for 11th in the league and that’s with bricklayers RJ and Elf playing with him in the starting lineup.

    I just don’t think we should trade him unless a good deal comes along and a late first rounder for him would not be a good deal. Our focus should be on improving our PG, not on removing our best player. Randle with good shooters is a playoff team and a playoff tram with a collection of young players and all it’s first round picks going forward is a good place to be. Worry about becoming elite once you’ve achieved being good.

  117. Keldon Johnson in the last two games has looked like the last one in the string of nuggets unearthed by the Spurs, maybe not a star but def a solid rotation player.

    And Vassell played well too… so it’s absolutely incredible that the Spurs lost to the Rockets without Wall, Gordon and Oladipo (my personal fave Christian 27-15-3 BLK had something to do with that)…

    Some rookies are finally showing something, while this strange season is providing young second and third year players a chance to show their mettle (see Milton, Shake).

  118. I think the classic Knicks anti-endowment effect (i.e. when we assume something has no value because the knicks have it) is high in the anti-Randle trade camp.

    Keep it simple: he’s a good player on a good contract having an excellent season, and he’s not a rental. He’ll likely be the best upgrade available for many teams (not everyone can pay the price or has matching salaries for Beal).

    It’s inconceivable that, at a time when Jrue Holliday is worth Smaug’s pot of gold, we would not be able to get multiple quality assets in a trade.

  119. One idea off the top of my head is the Spurs. Randle for Aldridge saves them $14mm and swaps a 34 year old forward for a 26 year old version. A trade like that would definitely return some capital. I don’t know if it’s Devin Vassell, but it’s more than a late first.

  120. Hubert, that’s a good point on Aldridge and the money saved (if it works). Although Randle doesn’t seem like the Spurs type.

    Look, we will see. I think I said it already but I believe anyone who trades for Randle will be disappointed and if we can get real assets back for him, I don’t think we will ever regret it.

    Julius Randle is not the future.

    I have no interest in Bradley Beal being the future either.

  121. Keep it simple: he’s a good player on a good contract having an excellent season, and he’s not a rental. He’ll likely be the best upgrade available for many teams (not everyone can pay the price or has matching salaries for Beal).

    Macri’s newsletter today delves into Randle’s trade value and mirrors a lot of the points made yesterday. Without giving away too much, this formula just doesn’t apply due to the particularities of Randle’s game.

    He absolutely needs the ball to be impactful offensively, meaning if you trade for him you’re taking the ball from players you already have to some degree. You’re also giving away a ton defensively in basically any lineup you put him into (either that, or you have to carefully construct a lineup around Julius Randle). No contender wants to do either of those things.

    Morris, in contrast, was one of the best shooters in the league at the time he was traded and is an above-average, switchable defender. There’s basically no team he couldn’t slide into seamlessly.

    This all means Randle having trade value depends on a team trading for him that probably should not be doing so. There aren’t too many sucker front offices left so I’m skeptical that happens.

  122. JK, I watched the Ariel Pink interview with lowlife dirtbag TC. I totally get how painful it must be for you to reckon with this. Yet another example of how Trump has forced us to examine who we really are and where we really stand. Our families and friendships have all been indelibly exposed and altered, and I think we are all feeling a sense of loss that was unimaginable just a few years back.

    I’m watching David Brooks right now, and despite his revulsion at Trumpism he thinks the Republican party is actually in a strong position right now and will do well in the midterms, noting strong(er) support among working class whites, Asians and Hispanics.

  123. A promising-ish side note in Vorkunov’s column today, which is otherwise looking at danger signs for the Knicks’ defense:

    Although he was out, Toppin’s NBA education continued. Toppin, who was the No. 8 pick in the 2020 draft, sits next to Kenny Payne in the assigned seating on the Knicks bench (there’s now assigned seating as part of the new NBA COVID-19 protocols), who talks to him throughout games, asking what he saw on plays and giving his advice.

    But Toppin did some work on his own, too, while he was out, watching film and trying to adjust to playing in the league at a different pace.

    “One of the main things was knowing my pace to a game and knowing when to be fast, when to slow down, when to examine the court,” Toppin said. “I learned to play at the same pace that I was playing when I was in college. Slow down and basically just go with the flow. Don’t be out there rushing and doing things that I’m not 100 percent good at. Know my strengths and just dominate at those things every single game.”

    Payne is the big man whisperer, though we’ll see how much the literal whispering does versus being able to work with a prospect like Obi on the court.

  124. I am not sure how good Toppin will be in the NBA but he is very well spoken about basketball (and life.) It wouldn’t surprise me to see him end up a coach after his career ends.

  125. I don’t think any of us should hold our breath waiting for a Randle trade. I think it’s very likely that he’s here next year. I also think that he is going to gradually improve defensively and continue to become a better all-around player. If this happens, his max trade value may be either during the off-season or before the 2022 trade deadline. The good news is that at this level of play, it’s a no-brainer to pick up his option rather than have a $4 mill dead cap hit.

  126. If Obi fails, it won’t be for lack of trying. Like many prospects these days, his success is in large part dependent on the 3pt shot being for real. The stiff hips are worrisome on D, but he’s definitely got some skills, pretty good footwork, and some passing ability. He really needs to work on his lower body.

  127. Basically just don’t do or say shit that ruins your brand and you won’t get canceled.

    I agree with this completely, but it misses the point of why some people are against cancel culture (probably Ariel included).

    One reason is that there’s often a double standard for who gets cancelled and who gets forgiven. It sometimes depends on which side of the aisle you are on. There’s a political undertone to it that goes beyond what was said or done.

    Another reason is that the “cancelers” are sometimes looking at things that were said or done decades ago when the world was different, those people were less mature and more ignorant etc… People change as they mature and learn. We’ve all said some dumb shit decades ago.

    The standard used to be if you broke the law with what you said, you were in legal trouble. If you didn’t break the law but expressed an opinion that society as a whole found repugnant or ignorant there was a price to pay and you were called out hoping to enlighten you. People tried to shape the society with discussion and reason instead of censorship and career destruction – which is basically a threat to shut up or be destroyed. There’s an arrogance and anti freedom undertone to the whole thing that some people find repugnant even when they agree with the cancelers. They probably want to cancel the cancelers even when they agree with them. lol

    Matthew McGaughey seems like a nice guy overall. He’s a fairly religious Christian and lately has started talking about the downsides of cancel culture and why we should behave in a more Christian way when it comes to forgiveness. Articles immediately started coming out attacking him. You don’t have to agree with his religious beliefs or his views on cancel culture. But is it really necessary to bring out the attack dogs and try to destroy him?

  128. I haven’t watched Obi’s college game film, but did his three-point shots at Dayton look as weird and moonshot-y as they dd in the season opener? Several of those went in, but none of them looked good doing so.

  129. I don’t know how we got to the point where we think suddenly NBA teams don’t want to give up assets for a player bc he needs the ball in his hands to be effective.

    I understand your point, TNFH, but you’re ignoring the fact that contending teams overlook that problem constantly. If Dame Lillard’s agent is calling Neil Oshey every day telling him to get help for his star, trading for Randle is gonna get the job done. They’re not going to complain that the fit isn’t perfect.

  130. Alan:
    I haven’t watched Obi’s college game film, but did his three-point shots at Dayton look as weird and moonshot-y as they dd in the season opener? Several of those went in, but none of them looked good doing so.

    Yeah, Knox’s ultra-arching shots looks natural, Obi’s moonshots look random and forced (in that game at least).

    On the other hand Payton’s linedrives looks PG-13 material…

  131. Can we please cancel the cancel culture conversation before you guys have to ban another member for arguing with you too much?

  132. a lot of obi’s 3pt attempts so far have been questionable shot selection wise…. while in college he was usually catch and shoot which meant he was usually wide open… what we’ve seen so far have generally not been that….

    his play speed was usually at fast fwd but he was definitely more controlled so payne’s advise is spot on… everything i hear about payne now and during his time at kentucky makes me feel very comfortable with him on the staff….

  133. I understand your point, TNFH, but you’re ignoring the fact that contending teams overlook that problem constantly. If Dame Lillard’s agent is calling Neil Oshey every day telling him to get help for his star, trading for Randle is gonna get the job done. They’re not going to complain that the fit isn’t perfect.

    As someone who falls on the skeptical end of the spectrum on Randle’s value I do think this is an important point. Ultimately the NBA market in both trades and free agency doesn’t resemble a perfect market in any way. With only thirty potential buyers/sellers and very complicated incentive structures, weird things happen all the time. Nobody would ever argue that “fair value” for Jrue was Bledsoe, George Hill, 3 firsts, 2 swaps, whatever the exact particulars ended up being. The Bucks were in a weird, unique situation and you get a weird, unique trade.

    I still suspect that Randle’s lack of simple plug and play utility will limit the number of bidders on him, but you don’t necessarily need a large number of bidders to get great value for him. You just need one team in the right situation.

  134. There’s a not-so-subtle irony to this so-called “cancel culture”: it is a direct derivative of capitalism, and yet the people that tend to hate it the most are those that worship at the alter of the free-market.

    (Also, ask Al Franken about the alleged double standard and see if he agrees with you).

  135. For the sake of maybe shifting the discussion away from Randle, lets assume the Knicks do want to keep him.

    What would be your next moves as GM if you were going to keep Randle until at least next season?

  136. Yeah, the Republican Party isn’t really too much about the free market these days, a fact which hasn’t dawned on many many people.

    I have been surprised, since I rarely win any arguments with my conservative friends, but the argument that “there is no legal obligation to associate in any way with people committing treason,” has proved surprisingly effective.

    Who would have thought?

  137. Thanks, Jowles. I was just about to go on a rant about white male privilege and how it was once about “I’m gay” or “I’m black and have something to say” (or even “I’m a woman and have something to say”) but you captured it perfectly with those images. And in deference to Hubert I’ll just leave it there.

  138. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Oh, word?

    You can always count on Strat to bring the big facts.

    You are talking about an entirely different level of thing.

    In a democracy the idea is to create a better society through education, winning peoples hearts and minds with reasoned discussion and information, peaceful demonstration to bring attention to a problem, etc.. and then voting.

    It’s another to destroy people’s lives, businesses, and careers because they disagree with your politics, happen to be very religious, told a politically incorrect joke 30 years ago, or disagree with the consensus on an issue etc…

    I recently saw an example of a Nobel Prize winning scientist from Stanford that was using data analysis to argue that lockdowns were probably causing more long term harm than good in the pandemic. He and another woman also used data and complex mathematics to argue that herd immunity would probably be reached sooner than our worst fears. Rather than simply arguing the data and science, a bunch of scientists threatened to not attend a huge conference he was appearing at as a keynote speaker. In other words, we disagree with them. Therefore they must be boycotted and destroyed. What kind of horseshit is that? It doesn’t matter who is right. Well it does, but on another level. If they are wrong, make the case. Don’t try to destroy their careers and reputations because they disagree with the consensus. But that’s the kind of stuff that’s going on that people object to. They don’t object to pointing out injustices and mistakes.

  139. Ok, Strat.

    You worry about the academics, I will worry about the fact that people tried to murder elected officials, including the sitting Vice President of the party they support. And overturn the result of the election.

  140. Owen:
    Ok, Strat.

    You worry about the academics, I will worry about the fact that people tried to murder elected officials, including the sitting Vice President of the party they support.

    If I ever said anything defending violence against elected officials as a means of accomplishing anything, you’d be making a good point. On the contrary, I’m all for arresting, prosecuting, and convicting (when appropriate) anyone that engages in illegal behavior no matter what the cause for their violence or other illegal activity,

    I don’t know Ariel Pink, but I think this looks like a case of misguided admiration of a generally “bad person” (Trump) who may have held some political views he agreed with. I mean, I think Trump is a total scumbag but I agree with him on a few things (like trade, not getting involved militarily as much overseas, improving relations with Russia, and worrying about the rise of China’s military). I think calling Pink out and pointing out the flaws in his thinking and why it was idiotic to attend a rally about stealing the election would have sufficed . I don’t think it was necessary to destroy his life due to his ignorance.

  141. Great recap, Farfa, as always. Only one remark, i fell asleep in the 2nd half and the next day when i look at the score i felt kind of happy that it wasn’t a blowout, but then you took away that little moment of happiness (“Don’t get fooled by the final score: the Knicks were down 18 with less than 3:30 to play in the fourth.”)! ;P

  142. “I don’t think it was necessary to destroy his life due to his ignorance.”

    A lot of people’s lives have been destroyed for a lot less.

  143. Deeefense: I recently saw an example of a Nobel Prize winning scientist from Stanford that was using data analysis to argue that lockdowns were probably causing more long term harm than good in the pandemic. He and another woman also used data and complex mathematics to argue that herd immunity would probably be reached sooner than our worst fears. Rather than simply arguing the data and science, a bunch of scientists threatened to not attend a huge conference he was appearing at as a keynote speaker. In other words, we disagree with them. Therefore they must be boycotted and destroyed. What kind of horseshit is that? It doesn’t matter who is right. Well it does, but on another level. If they are wrong, make the case. Don’t try to destroy their careers and reputations because they disagree with the consensus. But that’s the kind of stuff that’s going on that people object to. They don’t object to pointing out injustices and mistakes.

    You know what’s worse than cancel culture? Giving dipshits like Scott Atlas a forum to spout b.s. in the middle of a pandemic. Do you really think the public needs to hear a debate between the 99% of scientists who believe in climate change and the 1% (either funded by Koch or just nuts) who deny it? The right will find/pay scientists who’ll say all kinds of b.s. to score political points and to try to make it appear there’s a debate in the scientific community when there really isn’t. I’m not sure about the incident you’re referring to but generally speaking most of the “cancelling” done by the scientific community hardly seems like it’s being done just to score political points.

  144. JK47: This was all about his resentment of “woke” culture. Strange hill to die on, but in the context of his personal life and the drama surrounding it all, I can at least make *some* sense of it.

    JK, i’m a fairly recent poster, so i shouldn’t be talking about personal stuff, but i follow this blog for so long that i view you guys as friends by now (too bad i live in Portugal and can’t show up to the gatherings that sometimes happened between KB posters). I think your friend looks like he’s dumb about politics (and doesn’t know the effect of political actions, even protests and all) and when i saw the video of the day of the rally he looked very immature (no matter the age, there’s people that are going to be immature all their life). He clearly doesn’t strike me as a Trump supporter, it’s most likely what he said, being against such overwhelmingly movement of “cancel culture”. I think i get why he feels that way, and by now he probably regrets being at the rally. To me, i think your friend needs you, i have friends like Ariel, people that are dumb at parts of their lives and/or immature, and my “duty” as a friend is to try to guide them to better decisions, better actions, and so on. Probably everyone here on the board has at least one friend like Ariel, someone we like to be with, and do stuff with, but we don’t agree politicaly, on how we view life, etc.
    Of course, when people have views and/or actions that we find unexcusable, then we’ll lose a friend. Only you can know how you feel about this, and if that’s the case. To me didn’t feel like it.

  145. oh yeah, dj lemahieu signing back with the yanks…whew, you met aficionados were starting to get me a little anxious with your chatter…

    six years is a little long of a contract for a 32 year old, but, I’m about 90 million times more certain he’ll age better than ellesbury did or how stanton will age…

  146. I do think there are aspects to “cancel culture” that sometimes go too far and I am not a fan of internet mob justice. I’ve actually read a lot of interesting articles about it.

    What I find frustrating, though, is that a lot conservatives who rail against it think its all bad. I’m sorry but there are people who need to be cancelled sometimes. And the left is far more concerned about that line and where to draw it than the right portrays them to be. I feel like every week I’m listening to a discussion on NPR about cancel culture and when it goes to far but a lot of people on the right act like everyone on the left is just waiting to cancel anyone over the slightest misstep. And I think there is a huge difference between some people on twitter going off on a celebrity for a day or two and saying they should be cancelled cause they did something they don’t like and someone ACTUALLY being cancelled.

  147. swiftandabundant: And I think there is a huge difference between some people on twitter going off on a celebrity for a day or two and saying they should be cancelled cause they did something they don’t like and someone ACTUALLY being cancelled.

    This is a big part of the myth of cancel culture to me. For all the talk you hear from people like Strat about “destroy[ing] people’s lives, businesses, and careers” in the vast majority of the cases where “cancel culture” gets invoked it ends up being more of a case of “facing criticism” than having your “life destroyed”. Has Ariel Pink’s life, or even career, been “destroyed”? No; not in any vaguely meaningful sense of the word. He lost some fans, maybe some friends too. He seems to have gained at least one fan in Tucker Carlson, probably he gained quite a few more as well. For someone who I’ve been told is in the process of being “cancelled” he seems to be more in the public eye than maybe ever before. His words and actions have had consequences (many negative; some, potentially positive), but lets not exaggerate the extent of those consequences for effect.

  148. I understand your point, TNFH, but you’re ignoring the fact that contending teams overlook that problem constantly. If Dame Lillard’s agent is calling Neil Oshey every day telling him to get help for his star, trading for Randle is gonna get the job done. They’re not going to complain that the fit isn’t perfect.

    Ultimately the NBA market in both trades and free agency doesn’t resemble a perfect market in any way. With only thirty potential buyers/sellers and very complicated incentive structures, weird things happen all the time.

    This is my point though. I can’t confidently say there will be a market for Randle, because if a team trades assets for Randle they’re almost certainly doing something kind of stupid (or at least not aligned with the goal of eventually contending).

    That might happen! It’s just not close to a sure thing a la Morris, for whom it was clear there would be a market as long as we were trading him. Contending teams trading their late firsts for switchable shooters are acting rationally. It’s hard to project a trade knowing from the get-go that one of the teams would be acting against their own interests.

  149. Yeah, if your life depends on your fans paying you for your music, and you alienate those fans, your life may be ruined. But, come on, it’s not the consumer’s job to protect the brand. That is capitalism 101.

    (And, in nba news, the Rockets really are the Knicks of the South now: their owner nixed the trade for Simmons because he didn’t want to deal with Morey. Regardless what you think of Simmons, that is bad process…)

  150. It’s another to destroy people’s lives, businesses, and careers because they disagree with your politics, happen to be very religious, told a politically incorrect joke 30 years ago, or disagree with the consensus on an issue etc…

    It’s not easy to come up with examples of people who have genuinely experienced this as a result of “cancel culture,” but when I rack my brain Colin Kaepernick certainly comes to mind. Most other examples involve someone…facing criticism for their belief, action, or whatever else.

    In any event, it’s unclear to me what conservatives think the solution to this alleged problem should be. Should Ariel Pink’s label be forced by the government to continue working with him even if they’ve deemed doing so to be economically inefficient? The Kaepernick example actually involved anti-competitive behavior (collusion) that free market enthusiasts should detest, but most others seem to involve institutions acting in what they perceive to be their best interests.

  151. I think there is a huge difference between some people on twitter going off on a celebrity for a day or two and saying they should be cancelled cause they did something they don’t like and someone ACTUALLY being cancelled.

    Yeah, this is kind of what I’m talking about in terms of examples. Strat may have heard on Fox News that, say, Chris Pratt was “canceled.” What actually happened is that a lot of people criticized his views on Twitter and there’s zero indication he’ll suffer any kind of material consequences. If the solution is to not allow criticism of someone else’s beliefs…boy, that seems to be out of scale with the alleged problem.

  152. I also think that we should remember that the whole “cancelling” thing really gained steam with #metoo and applied to guys like Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, etc. These are men who clearly were harassing and assaulting women/young boys…not just one instance but dozens of case for each one of them.

    And for what it’s worth Louis CK still tours and still makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing stand up despite dropping his pants and jerking off in front of dozens of unsuspecting women who did not ask for that. He’s “cancelled” only in the sense that he probably won’t ever have a tv show again and won’t be invited on certain talk shows, etc…but I know many stand up’s who would kill to have Louis CK’s post cancelled comedy career.

  153. There was one thing Ariel said in that interview that revealed a profound sense of “not getting it.” He said that people are piling on them because they’re “sore winners.”

    The whole episode that this is revolving around is the “Stop The Steal” rally, which was maybe the most epic display of “sore loser” behavior in the history of civilization, and I’m not even exaggerating. We’re being sore winners because these dumb assholes are refusing to accept the results, committing violence and inundating us with The Big Lie every goddamn day.

    This wasn’t a case of “I supported Trump and I got canceled.” It was a case of “I’m helping promote The Big Lie and I got canceled.”

  154. just watched the AP segment with carlson…only saw a 1:34 clip of the interview…don’t know his past too well, but, seemed like a fairly sympathetic figure who’s just realized the amount of shit they’ve stepped in…that is some really crappy luck to have the LA court stuff come out at the same time as the riot…

    dude’s 42, plenty of time to live forward…hopefully those close can give what support they can and advise him to just pass time and try to stay healthy…focus on surviving the moment and live and learn…

    tough time right now to be clearly and publicly associated with either side – no matter where you might stand: someone(s) is/are coming after to you for retribution…

  155. JK47:
    There was one thing Ariel said in that interview that revealed a profound sense of “not getting it.” He said that people are piling on them because they’re “sore winners.”

    The whole episode that this is revolving around is the “Stop The Steal” rally, which was maybe the most epic display of “sore loser” behavior in the history of civilization, and I’m not even exaggerating. We’re being sore winners because these dumb assholes are refusing to accept the results, committing violence and inundating us with The Big Lie every goddamn day.

    This wasn’t a case of “I supported Trump and I got canceled.” It was a case of “I’m helping promote The Big Lie and I got canceled.”

    Wow, I didn’t see the interview, but the “sore winners” remarks seems amazingly clueless. What does one do with that kind of logic? As many of you have pointed out, there is so much irony to all the cancel culture gripes.

    I’ve got a brother, estranged father, and mother in law all in on Trump. My wife is pretty stressed about her mother and all her FB garbage. My other brother and I have been increasingly vocal on FB…we’re just really sick of all this and are not letting the lies go unchallenged.

    What does one due in the face of all the ignorance and such. “Ride out to meet it,” as Aragorn says.
    :-)

  156. And, in nba news, the Rockets really are the Knicks of the South now: their owner nixed the trade for Simmons because he didn’t want to deal with Morey.

    Ha! I was thinking in the back of my mind that might’ve been the reason. But honestly, I think they probably took the best trade. As we are seeing with RJ, it’s probably not a great idea to build around a guy that can’t shoot.

  157. Ha! I was thinking in the back of my mind that might’ve been the reason. But honestly, I think they probably took the best trade. As we are seeing with RJ, it’s probably not a great idea to build around a guy that can’t shoot.

    The thing about Simmons is he really is so god damn good at everything else (I haven’t watched enough this year to have a smart opinion as to why his numbers are down but seems like small sample size theater) I would probably take the risk and build around him. You could probably approach the playoffs with literally him and Burks/Bullock/Rivers.

    RJ’s problem he’s solid at most non-shooting things but nowhere near Simmons level at, well, any of them. So he needs the jumper to succeed, there’s no way around it. He’s not intriguing enough without it to construct a team around him. That’s why I don’t understand why people take him so strongly into account when talking about who to draft, etc. We should probably see if he’s any good first.

  158. NBA considering allowing teams to have a third two-way player for this season, presumably to help deal with outbreak situations. Not that Thibs would play anybody else in a non-blowout, but is there anybody on one of the Exhibit 10 deals you’d like to see bumped up a contract grade?

  159. Simmons might be the best perimeter defender in the league and along with Giannis probably the best player in transition. I have a feeling the Sixers will miss him far more than they think they will. I would have traded him for Harden but there aren’t a whole lot of other guys I’d swap him for. I wonder what Philly would get for Embiid- I don’t think the difference between them is as great as most think and I think you’d get a lot more in return if they have to be split up.

  160. We may have a shot at our 6th win tonight with both Garland and Sexton out. Uncertain if Drummond plays.

  161. Yes, I am excited to hear Tucker’s mea culpa on Kap.

    The Cavs have a bunch of players missing tonight, and it’s basically all their guards, so we will likely lose by 30

    I saw somewhere, maybe here, that Fertitta refused Simmons because he didn’t want to deal with Morey. That is crazy.

  162. Strat will tell you that Kaepernick lost his job because he was a bad player, but that Blaine Gabbert kept getting a million chances to play QB in the NFL because Blaine Gabbert is not a bad player.

    All while lamenting “cancel culture.”

  163. I don’t think it’s so crazy…

    Tilman Fertitta has made Houston the Knicks West and he’s a cheapskate. I don’t want him as my team owner.

    But…
    Daryl Morey resign, publicly saying that the reasons were “I want to stay with my family, I need to take a year off the business”. He has no reason to say that, he could have gone “no comment”.
    Two weeks later he signs with the 76ers (I know, he’s an East Coast guy, he’ll work closer to home, but if you need a year off you’re so spent that you want to step away from the daily stress).
    He was, clearly, showing the finger to Fertitta, as many in the media pointed out.

    If you were Fertitta don’t you feel teased?
    Are we living in a robot world when human emotions don’t exist anymore?
    I don’t think Fertitta has become “World’s Richest Restaurateur” (Forbes) turning the other cheek.

    Why help Morey win a title (Harden is better than Simmons and better suited to play with Embiid)?

    And the Brooklyn offer was a good one.

  164. what is the actual source of this story that fertitta turned down a philly trade bc he didn’t want to deal w morey?

  165. ptmilo:
    what is the actual source of this story that fertitta turned down a philly trade bc he didn’t want to deal w morey?

    I wasn’t the “starter” on the subject, my point is about “it isn’t crazy if is true”, but it looks like one of the source was Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (not my favorite source).

    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/james-harden-trade-rockets-owner-tilman-fertitta-refused-to-send-all-star-to-daryl-moreys-76ers-per-report/

  166. Yahoo’s Chris Haynes: “I was told that Tilman Fertitta — the Houston Rockets owner — was just adamant that they not make a deal with Philly, obviously with Daryl Morey being the GM over there now.”

  167. there’s some research in spatial awareness as it ties to eye movement… i actually had a conversation awhile back with a guy who runs a company who tracks eye movement for learning and sports…. basically the faster the eye reacts the better the athlete.. across all sports… also acts as a signal in academics especially at young ages…

    that has some tie-ins to what that dude is talking about… scouts like talking about ‘wiggle’… well it’s more the ability to assess your surroundings in a really short amount of time and then have your body respond appropriately…

    teams are already on it but our understanding of it is just sort of starting… but it’s an interesting topic ….

  168. I listened to two separate podcasts with Fogel, the director of The Dissodent. He was on Preet. Just listening to him talk about it really messed me up.

    I have been struggling to bring myself to watch it.

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