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Sunday, May 26, 2019

Chicago Bulls 105 – New York Knicks 113 – Game Recap

Well, well, well. Did anyone ever doubt we would end up winning this one? I mean, did you see beforehand the Bulls’ starting lineup? Three undrafted guys. A late first round-pick on his third team. A good center with a journeyman resume. If there ever was a blatant tank job, it was this one. Not that I blame them: it’s the right thing to do, just like it was the right thing to do to play our (mostly) young guys and be happy with any result.

In short: of course we did win this one. To be honest, I’m pretty amazed that we were able to let the Bulls mount a fake comeback of their own, letting them shave the deficit to a meager five points before putting the game in the fridge for good.

It wasn’t a good game to watch. The Knicks were hitting on all cylinders in the first half (even getting to a 28-point lead), but the atmosphere and the intensity were very similar to a glorified scrimmage against a varsity team. There are things that aren’t quantifiable, and one of them is the heaviness of the air inside of an arena when a game is played. You can’t gauge that heaviness in measurables, but you feel if it’s high or it’s low. Anyone who’s ever watched a game knows what I’m talking about. Well, this one was as heavy as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man right after having been defeated by the Ghostbusters. Fluffy, vanilla-white, strangely inconsequential. It looked like nobody was playing for something because, to be honest, nobody was playing for something (save for the guys on unguaranteed contracts for next year, but even then, the effort wasn’t enough to make up for the overall suckiness).

Final result notwithstanding, the script was pretty much the same as it has been in the last month (since Mudiay came back from his injury): the less Mud is involved in the offense, the better the ball moves. It’s just a shame that we’re left with zero PG on our roster apart from him thanks to a wide variety of injuries, since even Kadeem went down with a concussion and I guess will be questionable for Wednesday. I mean, who am I kidding, Fiz would play Mud anyway for at least 30 minutes, but right now he can just play the “who the hell should I play here instead?” card and nobody can hold him accountable for that.

Onto the notes for the game:

– Keep in mind that whatever will get written here has to be taken with a grain of salt, because when you play early April NBA basketball a lot of things are not reliable, but it’s so easy on the eyes seeing Mitch and Kornet play together. That’s not even on them as players, it’s more on them as specific molds: the rim running center, quick in space and able to cover the perimeter on defense, and the sharp shooting tall guy, with cinderblocks for feet but long enough to protect the rim up close. It wasn’t hard to figure that it could have worked, and I’d say early results are good. Maybe not real NBA good, but early April NBA good for sure.

– Kornet scored a career-high 24 points on just 11 shots, and added 6 rebounds and 3 blocks for good measure. Is he the third best player on the active roster right now? I think he is. I honestly hope they’ll keep him around, as a situational sharp shooting big good for 10 minutes per game he’s pretty good. He even had a monster jam in traffic, but then again, early April NBA. Or Fizdale magic, call it what you want.

– Tied for third best player on our active roster there is Damyean Dotson. who after a shooting slump came back strong and went on to score 18 points on 8 shots (6/7 from three), while adding to the table 6 boards and 6 assists. I swear, Dotson is a better distributor than that sorry excuse of a playmaker going by the name “Emmanuel”. I can’t still get if Dotson is a plus defender or merely an average one (I guess the latter), but for this season Dot’s play is one of few good notes.

– Our second best player is a sophomore 26-year fake point guard, who plays point guard much better than our nominal point guard. Kadeem Allen was somehow able to record a game-high +20 plus/minus in under 10 minutes of play, before the aforementioned concussion put him on the shelf for the remainder of the game. He also had 5 assists in those 9:46 of playing time and just one turnover.

– His PG buddy, instead, was a mess (strange, huh? But they fixed him for good!). The whole Knicks team went on to shoot 50% from the field tonight, including a stupendous 47.4% from three, and recorded 24 assists. Mudiay shot 33.3% (17 points on 21 shots), had 4 assists to 3 turnovers, and was able to post the second-worst plus/minus of the whole game, Bulls players included. For fuck’s sake, for all his improvements (which are certainly real) Mudiay is on pace to a .024 WS/48 season. Kadeem Allen stands as .101 (small sample size, I know, but come on). I think bringing back Mudiay is a borderline fireable offense, but I’m not even hoping to see him on another roster in August. I think resignation did set in, and we’ll have this useless waste of space as our backup (or, god forbid, starting) point guard for two more years. We shall see.

– I liked a bit DSJ in his Knicks time, but man, is he frail.

– Kevin Knox had a strange game. Numbers are goodish (19 points on 15 shots, 9 boards, 3 assists, 1 block in 40 minutes) but his impact on the game is almost null. Season’s almost over, at least, so we can look to improvements in summer league (or to draft day trades, I beg of you Perry). For now, be happy to know that Kevin is 14th in the all-time NYK list for most points scored in a rookie season, and a good bet to end 12th. If he improves a bit his shot selection, there’s even a chance he’ll have a better TS% in his rookie season than Willis Reed had in his. I can’t wrap my head around that thought (not that it means much, but really? Willis Reed shot .477 TS% in 64-65? Ouch).

– By the same logic, did you know that Frank Ntilikina had a better rookie TS% than Micheal Ray Richardson? Were players shooting with a blindfold on in the 20th century?

– I know you want me to wax poetic about Mitchell. I would, but I’m almost out of words and angry at the fact that this guy (with a quiet line of 14/10/4/3) was able to shot only 4 times in 33 minutes on the court. Much of that stems from the fact the Mudiay is an atrocious passer (unless it’s his drive and kick move he dusts off twice a game, just to revert back to dribble dribble dribble midrange jumpers for the rest of the game), but some of them has to be on the coaching staff. He’s sealing shorter guys in the low post, give him the ball! The man has a really cool touch around the rim. There was a possession where Dotson mistimed the pass for a lob, but Mitch was still able to catch it, move around Robin Lopez and score with a reverse left-handed bank layup. He has a feel for putting the ball in the basket from close, it’s not only power dunks. Also: I love when he blocks a jump shot and immediately recovers the basket to jumpstart the fastbreak. He did just that for his third block: a smothered Antonio Blakeney three turned into a rebound turned into an opportunity to run. Glorious.

– I’m a bit sad seeing his block% going down a bit. Right now it’s 10.6%, good for third ever in the NBA. And it went down in the last two games (when he had 4 and 3 blocks, respectively. Damn). I’m much more happy, instead, seeing his REB% go to respectable heights. For the season he’s at 16.8%, a far cry from his early season 12.2%. I never, never, never expected him to improve so much in that area. That REB% would be good for 20th in the League if he qualified for the leaderboard.

– Phoenix won a huge game for us last night. Right now we need to lose three more games (or Phoenix to win three, or any combo of Knicks losses and Suns wins than amounts to three) and we’ve locked the last spot. I’ve warmed a bit on the top 5 of the draft. Of course you’d like to pick Zion and immediately transform yourself into a playoff-hopeful team overnight, but I can see this team working out even with Morant, Culver, Clarke or (gasp!) Barrett. A DSJ-Dotson-Barrett-(TBD)-Mitch team would probably lose a lot of games again but it would be a fun team to watch.

– Bron, can you insist to bring Fizdale to Los Angeles? I want to see this team coached by Mike Miller. The Westchester one, of course, not the shoe-losing, three-bomb abusing one.

Let’s prepare to get our asses handed to us in Orlando on Wednesday for good! See you soon.

 

 

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112 comments on “Chicago Bulls 105 – New York Knicks 113 – Game Recap

  1. cgreene

    So is it kind of a 5 player draft right now?
    Zion
    Morant
    Culver/Barrett/Clarke

    I mean we would be pretty happy w any of those at this point yes?

  2. Owen

    Great cap! Agree on all points but especially on Mudiay and Mitch. At least they have come to their senses and are giving the latter his thirty minutes. He does slow down a bit in extended minutes. Not sure his conditioning is quite there. But he is tremendous in any gear.

  3. Nick C.

    I had assumed the Westchester coach Mike Miller was the former player. I have been educated.

  4. alsep73

    I know we are all skeptical of the head coach, and with good reason, but this is a very interesting passage from a new story in the athletic by Moke Hamilton:

    With respect to Fizdale, the recurring theme revolving around the favor he’s earned among the NBA’s player fraternity is his authenticity and transparency. According to more than one current Knick, the almost universal affinity his players have for him is a result of his equitable treatment of his players and his never getting into the habit of telling anyone what they want to hear.

    When Ed Davis helped sell Vonleh on entrusting Fizdale to give him the opportunity to rejuvenate his career, Davis, who never played for the head coach, had come to believe in him based mostly on what he’d heard. That’s indicative of how highly the coach is regarded.

  5. nicos

    Since coming off of the ankle injury Mitch’s per 36 numbers: 15pts, 13rbs, 5 blocks, 1 steal, and 5.5 fouls with a .713 TS%. At 20 he’s basically been peak Tyson Chandler with lots more blocks. If he’s not the starting center next year something is very, very wrong.

  6. Farfa Post author

    The crazy thing about Mitch’s rebounding is that, save for the 20 rebound game after a point where it was crystal clear that he could get to the record stat, he’s leaving quite a few boards on the table for his teammates, as if he’s just happy that his team gets the board. He’s sort of the anti-Westbrook in that regard.

  7. DRed

    Sometimes I think about the Dunc’d on podcast nerds saying that DSJ was the best prospect on the Knicks and get mad

  8. DS

    Since coming off of the ankle injury Mitch’s per 36 numbers: 15pts, 13rbs, 5 blocks, 1 steal, and 5.5 fouls with a .713 TS%. At 20 he’s basically been peak Tyson Chandler with lots more blocks. If he’s not the starting center next year something is very, very wrong.

    He actually turned 21 yesterday! According to Knicks Film School, he was actually in the gym, working on his game, not at the bar.

  9. nicos

    Sometimes I think about the Dunc’d on podcast nerds saying that DSJ was the best prospect on the Knicks and get mad

    I had to watch the Bulls broadcast last night (I live in Chicago) and there were multiple plays by Mitch where Stacy King literally said wow and extolled his virtues but that didn’t stop him from saying that the Knicks don’t really have any young guys that you could build around like LaVine or Markkanen. He also compared Knox to Durant multiple times so anything he says can be taken with a giant grain of salt.

  10. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    So is it kind of a 5 player draft right now?
    Zion
    Morant
    Culver/Barrett/Clarke

    I mean we would be pretty happy w any of those at this point yes?

    Barrett is lowest on my list, as he has the greatest possibility of being a Harrison Barnes/Evan Turner/DeMar Derozan-type player.

    Here are their best seasons per BPM, career BPM, and career earnings.

    Barnes, career $107M
    2014-15 1.1 BPM
    career -1.4 BPM

    DeRozan, career $176M
    2017-18 1.8 BPM
    career -0.5 BPM

    Turner, career $98M
    2015-16 -0.7 BPM
    career -2.0 BPM

    These are trap players. R.J. Barrett is a trap player.

    Reddish is going to bounce around the league. I could see his team giving up on him after a year or two and trading him as part of a package for other young underachievers (like a Zach LaVine, Jabari Parker, Mudiay, Smith Jr., Kris Dunn, Porzingis trade).

    I see Barrett as more of a Wiggins. I don’t think he’ll be as bad as Wiggins (very few are), but the reluctance to see a player like Barrett as a sunk cost (provided he underachieves in the NBA like he did at Duke) is seemingly ubiquitous in the NBA.

    I think Barrett, barring injury, will have a 10-year career at minimum. As I’ve shown in the past, high lottery picks stick around in the league no matter how bad they are; it’s extremely rare to see someone like Bennett or Thomas Robinson or Hasheem Thabeet, guys taken at the top of the draft who are gone before they hit 25.

    But I don’t think he’ll ever be a top-tier wing. Yet there will be times when he goes 25-5-5 on 19 shots and people will lose their shit about his upside.

  11. Hubert

    I mean, imagine a lineup where you have to face Harper, Judge, Stanton, Machado, in the middle, then add Gleyber, Andujar, Sanchez, Voit, etc. You basically have the Houston Rockets of MLB. Don’t forget their bullpen, and in the playoffs your rotation shrinks. You get 4/5 good innings out of Tanaka, Sev, and Happ/CC/(insert prospect here)/(trade for a starter)/whoever, and you’ve got a team that can win any of the next 4-7 the World Series.

    OR! Imagine not paying the luxury tax! YAY!

    They are going to pay so dearly for this winter (just like they paid for last winter, when they were obsessed with getting under the luxury tax and so arrogant that they thought a novice could manage this team better than Girardi).

  12. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Sometimes I think about the Dunc’d on podcast nerds saying that DSJ was the best prospect on the Knicks and get mad

    Today I listened to Ryan Russillo tell Zach Lowe that every Wizards’ W belonged to Brad Beal and every L belonged to the rest of the team, this during Russillo’s argument that Beal is an All-NBAer. Then he said that the Celtics would be a better team without Kyrie on the roster. Why? Gut feeling. Dude gets paid for opinions like this.

  13. d-mar

    Just for yuks, I went back and compared Jayson Tatum’s one year at Duke to RJ Barrett’s:

    Tatum BPM 7.3 TS% .566 Reb. 7.3 Assists 2.1

    Barrett BPM 7.6 TS% .532 Reb. 7.6 Assist 4.3

    So pretty similar seasons, except Tatum shot better and Barrett piled up more assists.

    But I’m with Jowles on Barrett, he has a slightly better version of Wiggins written all over him.

  14. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The risk with Brandon Clarke is that you get a guy who’s outmatched against NBA frontcourts and never puts together an outside shot that makes him a credible wing.

    The risk with Barrett is the same as the above, but that you pay that guy a max because “common sense” and “upside.”

  15. djphan

    i don’t think the fear of paying someone the max is a real risk…. if he’s the better player you pick him and ask questions later… those are completely different decision points…

    barrett’s quite a bit better than wiggins and barnes… namely his 2p efficiency on incredible volume and his passing ability… the passing ability is quite rare for a SF in particular…

    that doesn’t mean he will be better… barrett has his own set of risks.. and you can look to josh jackson for what that could look like… but he’s a fair athlete with some good ball skills that should give him a wide enough skillset to make something of himself…. guys like wiggins and barnes were basically doa….

    barrett’s not tatum though…. tatum was a much safer and better prospect despite what bpm says…

  16. geo

    I read somewhere that ryan russillo was dating cari champion…that pretty much puts him above reproach in my book…

    and, no I don’t have a healthy/unhealthy fixation on miss champion…okay, maybe a little…

  17. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    i don’t think the fear of paying someone the max is a real risk…. if he’s the better player you pick him and ask questions later… those are completely different decision points…

    But there’s a problem with this kind of logic. If you’re picking the better player, it’s Clarke right now. Hands down, it’s Clarke. I don’t think anyone can argue otherwise.

    If you’re arguing that Barrett is a better prospect, that’s fine. (I disagree, but there are some basketballish words that can be put together to make this case.) But that could be the same narrative in 4 years when he’s up for an extension but performing like a Harrison Barnes: “He’s not that productive, but still the better prospect, long-term; therefore, you should sign the better player, which, to my mind, is the better prospect.”

  18. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Barrett is a good defender, though, isn’t that the feeling? Again, haven’t watched much, so don’t know myself.

    I did watch the clip of Clarke, Jowles, and yes, he looks good in it…but how much of what he was doing is going to play against bigger, stronger guys? There were a few boards and inside shots that simply won’t be there in the NBA. That said, his instincts were great; he’s clearly a player. But I do agree that he’ll need an outside shot to be anything above average in the pros.

    Of course, we’ve had a couple of years of anything BUT average, so it would be a welcome change…just not what I am hoping for after a year of futility. Zion and Ja will move the needle on their teams, the others I don’t know. And after last year’s draft…that hurts.

  19. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    He actually turned 21 yesterday! According to Knicks Film School, he was actually in the gym, working on his game, not at the bar.

    +1

    One article said a reporter asked if he was going to buy a drink for himself now that it was legal, and he said that could wait until after the season, he had basketball work to do.

  20. djphan

    ok let’s make a distinction… clarke is the better than barrett this year against the set of college opponents they faced… that does not mean that clarke is the better player… because the better player will perform against top competition… that means the nba… which is basically the question the nba draft asks each team…

    it is very possible for upper classmen to exploit college basketball competition in a way that will not succeed in the pro’s… that does not mean they are a better player unless you also want to make the argument that kaminsky was also a better player than embiid was….

  21. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I fail to see how Barrett failing to exploit the dearth of NCAA talent bodes well for him as a pro…

  22. nicos

    It’s a tough call- Barrett’s 18, Clarke is 22. Barrett’s age 18 season was certainly better than Clarke’s age 19 season and close to Clarke’s age 20 season. But Clarke made a gigantic leap after sitting out a year- a leap so big you can’t just chalk it up to age. If Clarke was 6’10 and weighed 235 I’d go with him and not worry about it but that’s not the case. He’s really undersized for a guy that can’t shoot from distance or put the ball on the floor. I think he’ll wind up a Faried type of guy- productive but with some caveats. That’s better than Wiggins or DeRozen (if you’re paying him a max deal) but I’m not sure if that’s a great return for a pick in the 3-5 range. If Barrett can add a genuinely good three point shot (like 38% +) I think he can be a really good player. If his shot stays where it is now he’s going to be Evan Turner. Push comes to shove I’d take Barrett especially given the fact that Mitch is already doing everything you’d hope for Clarke to do and is a year and a half younger.

  23. cgreene

    The thing that really intrigues me about Barrett is his playmaking ability as a passer. The Knicks badly badly need players with good court vision and passing instincts. And he did that on a Duke team with terrible outside shooting. I’m torn on him. What do we think of Culver?

  24. Owen

    Clarke seems to be an excellent defender, something no one has ever accused Faried of being.

    I suspect it will be one of those cases where all the people who like Barrett and Clarke will continue to do so through their NBA career….

  25. djphan

    ppl would have a much better opinion of barrett if a) he wasn’t the consensus #1 coming in AND b)the consensus #1 turned out to be his teammate….

    i’m not even barrett’s biggest fan… not by a longshot.. i was before conference play but then his steal rates plummeted… which may have to do with a heavy minutes load but nevertheless doesn’t look all that great for him… i have him sliding a bit also but he should not be any worse than #5…

    but brandon clarke should not be ahead of him…. i’m not saying it’s impossible for clarke to wind up being better than barrett but while barrett has some questions about his game… clarke has much larger and a lot more questions about his…. and if you subscribe to the upside theory of the draft… are we really arguing that clarke’s upside is higher than barrett’s?

  26. nicos

    Clarke seems to be an excellent defender, something no one has ever accused Faried of being.

    Faried was a good shot blocker in college (not as good as Clarke but pretty good- 2.7 blocks per 40 vs. 4.4 for Clarke) and a much better rebounder than Clarke. In the NBA Faried is both undersized and remains pretty clueless when put in pnr’s. Clarke does seem like a better bet on the defensive end but there’s really nobody in college that runs anywhere close to an NBA level pnr so who knows how much better he’ll be once he gets to the pros.

  27. dtrickey

    Draft is obviously a crap shot, but the problem in recent years (especially with the Knicks) is that unless FO’s are picking in the top 2 or 3, everyone wants to swing for the fences on a prospect based on potential (i.e. Frank and Knox picks). IMO there doesn’t seem to be enough focus on picking (for lack of better words) “known commodities”. The talk on Barrett seems to be what he can potentially do and that he will be a good player if he does X,Y,Z; whereas everything I have read on Clarke seems to be what he does well already. On that basis is Clarke not the safer pick? If we aren’t picking number 1, I would rather see us take the known commodity/safe pick than swing for the fences again.

  28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ppl would have a much better opinion of barrett if a) he wasn’t the consensus #1 coming in AND b)the consensus #1 turned out to be his teammate….

    And the flip side is that Barrett should have had an easier time playing next to a guy who demanded double-teaming at every possible opportunity.

    are we really arguing that clarke’s upside is higher than barrett’s?

    I’m not arguing that, although I think it’s just as feasible that Clarke turns into a good jump shooter as Barrett does.

    Here’s a before-and-after on Clarke’s jumper.

    First video is from SJSU.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c4v1IXxhxg

    Shots at :44 and 1:00.

    Now look at his jumper at Gonzaga.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kCT1AMFAtM&t=1m38s

    If that doesn’t scream coachable, nothing does. And you can’t attribute that to age. That’s age PLUS training.

  29. djphan

    ppl talk like that because of their age… they both have shown pretty good things at the college level… except barrett at age 19 is more meaningful than what clarke has shown at age 23…

    to put it in perspective… since college bpm is pretty popular here… here’s the list of senior big men who pop up on the bpm top 100 leaderboard since 2010…

    justin jackson
    seth tuttle
    aj hammons
    brice johnson
    cameron jackson
    ethan happ
    tariq owens
    frank kaminsky
    daniel ochefu
    jeff withey
    draymond green

    the list goes 34 deep in terms of seniors altogether…. but more importantly you should take a look at the freshmen year numbers for each on this list… it looks pretty eerily similar to clarke’s…

    the list of freshmen?

    steven adams
    zhaire smith
    marcus smart
    jaxson hayes
    lonzo ball
    cody zeller
    wendell carter
    nerlens noel
    joel embiid
    jaren jackson
    karl anthony towns
    anthony davis
    zion williamson

    i am not claiming that bpm tells you much because it’s obviously missing a whole lot of other successful freshmen… but it should be obvious… and intuitive… that it’s much better to be filling up the box score as a freshmen than as a senior… and if you’re senior year is the only time you distinguished yourself… well.. you’re not going to have much underclassmen to beat up in the pro’s….

    and that’s the danger with clarke… that he has a very high likelihood of being zip… on top of the fact that nobody has any real idea on what he’ll be able to do in the pro’s…. is he going to be dunking with any near frequency? are all these hook shots going to translate at all? can he rely on his two dribble spin move exclusively?

    we don’t know… but if the past is any indicator… it very likely is gonna be a no….

  30. ptmilo

    westbrook has an outside shot at a 20-20-20 game.

    djphan, can you give me your best comp for barrett’s upside case?

  31. nicos

    Now look at his jumper at Gonzaga.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kCT1AMFAtM&t=1m38s

    If that doesn’t scream coachable, nothing does. And you can’t attribute that to age. That’s age PLUS training.

    Come on- he was 4-15 from 3 for the season. You can’t tell me that a 6’8″ 22 year old with NBA aspirations hasn’t spent a fair amount of time working on a three pointer (esp. given that he sat out an entire season) and it’s still non-existent.

    One of my issues with Barrett is that he’s been a high profile guy for a couple of years and had access to the best training you could possibly get and while his ball skills and passing were definitely advanced, his shot still left a lot to be desired. He’s athletic but not a freak athlete so unless he can shoot and shoot well his ceiling is lower than you’d expect from a guy who was touted #1 coming into the season.

    Still, if I’m guessing which guy will make improvements I’m going with the 18 year old.

  32. DRed

    If you look at non-centers who block shots like Clarke in the NBA-there really are not many. I ran a search for forwards and forward/centers who averaged 2.5 blocks and a steal per 36 (and if we’re looking at Clarke’s best case those seem like reasonably conservative numbers) it’s only happened a few dozen times in the 3 point era. The best rough analogue seems to be someone like Andrei Kirilenko

  33. Grocer

    I’m not sure if that’s a great return for a pick in the 3-5 range

    In general I’d agree with you but in this particular draft it may well be a good return.

  34. JK47

    You really shouldn’t draft for need when you’re a shit-ass team like the Knicks but we are utterly barren at the wing position. Barrett’s offensive game looks very clunky and I don’t really care for the bully-ball style he plays but he is a pretty good playmaker on the wing and it seems like he should be able to guard a few different positions as a switchable guy.

    Culver looks like the better player to me honestly, he just seems smoother and right out of the box he should be a better defender.

  35. djphan

    re: barrett’s upside – i haven’t actually given that too much thought but here goes…

    we haven’t really seen a SF who both has and been given the opportunity to… handle the ball as much as he has…. so there’s not going to be many comp’s to begin with…. and those that have are not great comps… like ben simmons.. lamar odom.. grant hill (altho culver compares favorably to hill)…

    jalen rose is something of a reasonable case for barrett…. and almost mirror situations… second best player on a great freshmen team…. questionable shot selection… inconsistent shot…

    rose did actually play pg in college though…. and was probably ill suited for SF in the pro’s.. he was never that much of an athlete… barrett has scored better and boards better and it’s clear he’ll be a much more truer SF and can match up better on both sides…

    so i would say barrett has about 50% of rose in him…. but there’s also a chance that he’s something like a bernard king…. probably not either but in between rose and king is a pretty good player….

    that not exactly sexy but i very rarely project anyone to be perennial allstars…..

  36. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    If RJ Barrett was an 80% free throw shooter, which is likely where he’ll end up around as a pro, nobody would hate him and we’d be falling over ourselves to draft him. I’m probably leaning Culver over Barrett right now, but that is all based on tape. Their numbers are very close and I’d be happy with either guy.

    Brandon Clarke’s NBA viability is tied directly to his wingspan. If he’s something like 6’8” with a 7’ wingspan, then you’re hoping to get a more bouncy Draymond Green. That comparison isn’t perfect, though, because Draymond shot 38% from 3 on 4.4 3PA/40 as a senior and Brandon Clarke took 15 3PA all year. Draymond is also a facilitator that Clarke hasn’t shown he can be, but the athleticism and defense give him a shot to carve out a role as a small ball center in the right system. Brandon Clarke could be anywhere from Lance Thomas to Landry Fields to Draymond Green. Clarke’s ceiling is something like a version of Draymond Green that doesn’t initiate offense but instead kills you with his off ball instincts. If he can’t shoot threes and doesn’t have an impressive wingspan, he’s Lance Thomas without a jump shot.

  37. Hubert

    If RJ Barrett was an 80% free throw shooter, which is likely where he’ll end up around as a pro, nobody would hate him and we’d be falling over ourselves to draft him.

    Why is a 66% FT shooter likely to end up an 80% FT shooter?

  38. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Because that 66% FT shooter is an 18 year old who is likely to improve every aspect of his game, and literally everybody who gets around his training regiment will stress that his free throw shooting is the first thing he will need to improve. There’s almost no way he’s a 66% free throw shooter in the pros.

  39. Frank

    Re: Clarke – the dude just knows how to play especially on the defensive end, although of course being 22 does lower his upside compared to 18-19 year olds. If you get him in workouts and he can really shoot it, then I guess I’d be ok with him at #5. Trouble is, if he can’t shoot outside of 18 feet, it’d be tough to play him with Mitch — he’d really be a small ball 5.

    I have this sinking feeling that this is a 4 player draft and we’ll fall to #5.

    Re: the Wiggins/Barrett comparison — I don’t really see it. Wiggins is hyperathletic but doesn’t know how to use it. Barrett is more craft/strength than crazy athleticism. Wiggins’s issue has always been lack of competitiveness and willingness to disappear, whereas Barrett’s motor by all accounts is crazy high.

    I dunno. How about we just win the lottery and take Zion.

  40. lavor postell

    Clarke is extremely comparable to Siakam. He’s an inch shorter and 15 lbs lighter. That matters, but in terms of production and age at time of drafting (22 for Siakam vs. 23 for Clarke) the similarities are quite stunning.

    https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/brandon-clarke-1.html
    https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/pascal-siakam-1.html

    I brought this same comparison up earlier in the season, and watching Clarke the remainder of the season has driven that home for me. He actually has a superior assist rate to Siakam in college and the FT shooting in their final seasons is comparable.

    Additionally, while Clarke hasn’t shown 3P range he is shooting 52.8% on 2Pt Js with just 44.6% of those being assisted.

    But let’s add some numbers to this argument. Brandon Clarke has now taken 261 2-point jumpers in his career. He has made 119 of them, and 70 of them are unassisted. Those are fairly incredible numbers for a college PF/C.

    To put them in perspective, Jordan Bell, a player to whom Clarke will almost certainly be compared, made 51 2-point jumpers of any kind in his entire 3 year career. Clarke has only played two-and-a-half so far. It’s one of the many ways which Clarke makes the college version of Bell, a player I loved, look almost like a poor man’s version of himself.

    https://www.thestepien.com/2019/01/18/draft-notes-easy-case-brandon-clarke/

    That goes into a lot more than just his shooting.

    Similar to Siakam I think his ball handling is an obvious plus for his position and with the increasingly uptempo and spread out nature of the NBA game, I believe will be a plus value skill for him at the next level.

    I prefer him to RJ if only because I think his defensive aptitude gives him a baseline we haven’t seen from RJ yet. The upside argument given the age difference is genuine, but I’m not entirely swayed by it which is why I still have Clarke over RJ on my board.

  41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I really hope we pick #1 so we never have to talk about R.J. Barrett’s upside again. But I’m also looking forward to watching Clarke turn into Lance Thomas, who had a .106 WS48 as a 4th-year player at Duke, good for last on his own team that year. Again I remind you that Brandon Clarke is tied with Anthony Davis (18.7) for the highest single-season BPM on record (>1000 MP). Not “last on his own team.” Drop it to 800 and he’s only 2nd to Zion.

    If Clarke has a career like Lance Thomas’, I will delete my account here. The only similarity between Thomas and Clarke is that they’re both about 6’8″ and have functional limbs. I will delete my account. Bookmark it.

  42. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    There’s one major difference between Barrett and all the negative comparisons. If you don’t respect my opinion on it, maybe you’ll respect this guy’s opinion.

    Steve Nash
    Verified account
    @SteveNash
    RJ Barrett (*yes, is my godson) is a next level playmaker at his age, 18, and size. Makes every read/pass. This is one skill that is easier in many respects due to the rules at the nba level but so damn valuable. Blown away at the reads and deliveries he made repetatively.”

  43. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Clarke is extremely comparable to Siakam. He’s an inch shorter and 15 lbs lighter. That matters, but in terms of production and age at time of drafting (22 for Siakam vs. 23 for Clarke) the similarities are quite stunning.

    If Clark is comparable to Siakam, maybe he should be the #1 pick. :-)

    Siakim is an emerging superstar. If he can expand his offense just a little more in the next couple of years, he’ll be one of the best players in the NBA.

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If you don’t respect my opinion on it, maybe you’ll respect this guy’s opinion.

    (*yes, is my godson)

  45. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Clarke will be 22 during the draft, by the way. His birthday is in September.

  46. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Siakim shot 14.3% from the 3 point line at age 22 (17.6% in college before that). He improved to 22% last year and is now at 35.5% at age 24. If he came out of collage at 19 and we drafted him, he’d be playing for the Spurs now. :-)

  47. Farfa Post author

    If I had to guess Clarke’s floor, it would be current John Collins. If you ask me, that’s a fine #5 pick.

  48. Farfa Post author

    If he came out of collage at 19 and we drafted him, he’d be playing for the Spurs now. :-)

    I can’t wait to see what happens to Frank as soon as we ditch him. I’m fully prepared to move on, but I think there’s a non-zero chance that he turns out to be a good if marginal contributor on winning teams. Say some sort of Trenton Hassell or Adrian Griffin.

  49. djphan

    ive heard the siakam comps… and i dont think thats very apt for clarke… siakam first off didnt pick up a basketball until he was 16… siakam also has a 7ft 3 wingspan… and while we dont have official measurements… clarke is going to be way short of that….

    its very hard to make the argument clarke’s some raw prospect… that is mainly to cover for the fact that he will likely need to make large changes to his game in the pros…. for a big his age… thats not very likely…

  50. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Owen, thanks for the link. I loved those teams. Reminds me why I’m still a Knick fan, despite everything.

    And I remembered that Pat wasn’t in good shape because he was the player rep in the negotiations, which led to all those injuries that ultimately kept him out of the Finals, but I forgot he already had his contract. How awesome that he took it all so seriously when he had nothing at stake personally. I really admire that guy – again, despite everything.

  51. nicos

    Clarke’s floor is current John Collins? Then what’s his ceiling? Giannis? If you really think that then you should take him at 2 and probably consider him at one. Collins’ age 19 season (soph) was much better than Clarke’s (freshman) and as good if not better than Clarke’s age 20 season. Collins is already a beast on the offensive end but struggles on defense. Clarke should be a good defender as long as he plays the 4 but whether his offense will translate is debatable.

  52. Farfa Post author

    I think Clarke has a very limited range between his floor and his ceiling. So yes, I feel like his floor is very high, and at most his ceiling is jumpy, non passing-savvy Draymond Green.

  53. lavor postell

    Clarke will be 22 during the draft, by the way. His birthday is in September.

    Got it. So Clarke is 7 months older than Siakam. Not even that massive of a difference, especially not at that age.

  54. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I can’t wait to see what happens to Frank as soon as we ditch him. I’m fully prepared to move on, but I think there’s a non-zero chance that he turns out to be a good if marginal contributor on winning teams. Say some sort of Trenton Hassell or Adrian Griffin.

    It could go either way.

    It won’t matter here though. As long as the focus is on models like BPM, WS48, PER, etc.. that don’t capture the value of individual defense, ability to switch, making the right pass, and just generally keeping the ball moving, they are unlikely to give him credit for his contribution to the team.

    Even if he improves his 3p shot and is only asked to space the floor he’s unlikely to pile up big boxscore stats. The team will just be better when he’s on the court and the credit to will accrue to other players.

  55. Owen

    Siakam doesn’t seem a natural comp for Clarke at all. Siakam looks like he was made in a basketball laboratory. Extremely long and rangy with real wing skills. I see Clarke as a far more conventional PF type without much of a SF aspect to his game. I see the similarity in height and in the pattern of production but don’t know that i see them having similar outcomes.

    At least we all agree on Mitch and Zion….

  56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    its very hard to make the argument clarke’s some raw prospect… that is mainly to cover for the fact that he will likely need to make large changes to his game in the pros…. for a big his age… thats not very likely…

    Did you miss the links last thread where he completely overhauled his jump shot form? He looks like a completely different player between his 2nd season at SJSU and Gonzaga. At SJSU he had one of the worst-looking motions I’ve seen: the ball is literally behind his right ear, his non-shooting elbow is across his face and elevated over his shooting elbow, to say nothing of the release time. The only positive is the launch angle — definitely no Draymond Green line drives out of him.

    https://youtu.be/_c4v1IXxhxg?t=40

    And at Gonzaga:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kCT1AMFAtM&t=1m38s

    ” for a big his age… thats not very likely…”

  57. thenoblefacehumper

    making the right pass, and just generally keeping the ball moving

    The nerds don’t appreciate the art of passing the ball to another player on the wing and running to a corner, hoping the ball doesn’t swing back to you. Forcing your offense to essentially play 4-on-5 raises the confidence of those 4 players in a way that box score models can’t capture. This will all become clear when Frank Ntilikina plays 2,000 minutes for a 60 win Spurs team, which is a real thing that is definitely going to happen.

  58. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    If you don’t respect my opinion on it, maybe you’ll respect this guy’s opinion.

    (*yes, is my godson)

    Even if we grant that Nash is seeing some of this with rose colored glasses, one of the greatest play makers in the history of the sport is telling us this kid is a very good play maker. That’s a difference between him and the mediocre players he’s being compared to.

    If Harrison Barnes was getting 5 assists a night, would he be viewed differently?

    I’d rate Barnes about average as a defender.

    Does Barrett have the potential to be better defender?

    I’m not making the case for selecting him above Zion or Morant, but if we selected him 3rd I’d be fine with the selection. I’d feel like we got a team oriented two-way player that could be very good in 5-6 years assuming we are willing to pay him before he proves it. :-)

  59. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    @64

    I can see you are an astute observer. Of what, I have no idea. :-)

    I’d say his value is more apparent analyzing on/off data and then taking it another step to the lineup data to see what is actually happening when he’s on the court.

  60. Grocer

    RJ Barrett (*yes, is my godson) is a next level playmaker at his age, 18, and size. Makes every read/pass.

    In the context of failing to get the ball to Zion every possible possession, this is not really that impressive even were it to be true. Don’t care about those reads/passes to Duke’s other players. Also? Those passes were helped a fuckton by Zion pulling doubles constantly and other teams not respecting the rest of the team. Barrett is a solid passer, but he’s most definitely not shown any ‘next level’ ability. He might be the pick at five, but that’s only because this draft is very shallow.

  61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Even if we grant that Nash is seeing some of this with rose colored glasses, one of the greatest play makers in the history of the sport is telling us this kid is a very good play maker.

    Jason Kidd was a horrific head coach. Mark Jackson was the same. Magic Johnson is largely responsible for the first no-LeBron playoffs since 2004. Playing the game and evaluating talent are completely different skills. You’d think there’d be a lot of crossover, but alas–

    I don’t have this year’s rookie-scale numbers (only percentages), so we can look at last year’s numbers to see why Nash might praise his godson.

    If Barrett had been eligible for the 2018 draft and had been picked #2 (his preseason big board position), he would have stood to make $36M over the course of his contract. If he had slid behind, say, Morant and Culver, the number drops to $29M at #4.

    That is a big deal, no? If a member of my extended family were depending on public perception to gain an extra $7M over four years, you bet your ass I’d say what I had to to help him or her out.

    If Harrison Barnes was getting 5 assists a night, would he be viewed differently?

    If my auntie had bollocks, would she be my uncle?

  62. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I’d say his value is more apparent analyzing on/off data and then taking it another step to the lineup data to see what is actually happening when he’s on the court.

    I’m slowly coming around to the view that boxscore models have some value and get you into the ballpark for many players, but for certain skills and combinations of skills it’s so woefully bad it’s like anti value.

    I think Wayne Winston’s line up style analysis is better if you are willing to do a lot of work looking at large samples, small samples, and make some subjective judgments about player fit and other factors.

    I’m SUPER interested in some of the stuff Dean Oliver is still doing publicly, but it’s hard to have a conversation with him on Twitter even though he’s very generous and explains some of the data.

  63. DRed

    haha, yeah, RJ was obviously not making the right read all those times he took shots instead of getting the ball to the much better offensive player.

  64. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Jason Kidd was a horrific head coach. Mark Jackson was the same. Magic Johnson is largely responsible for the first no-LeBron playoffs since 2004. Playing the game and evaluating talent are completely different skills. You’d think there’d be a lot of crossover, but alas–

    I agree, but there’s a massive difference between coaching and overall player evaluation and recognizing that a player is making the right passes effectively.

    If my auntie had bollocks, would she be my uncle?

    The difference being that Barrett averaged 4.9 assists per 40 at Duke and flashed brilliant passing skills in the tournament. There’s evidence he’s going to be a much better play maker than Barnes aside from Nash’s seal of approval.

  65. Grocer

    I’d rate Barnes about average as a defender.

    Why would you do that? There’s no reason to. He’s not. He’s not horrible, but he’s def below average.

    Does Barrett have the potential to be better defender?

    Maybe! His college numbers are a little better. I’d expect him to be at least average, though I wonder if he can effectively guard NBA stretch 4’s. But to use the comparison that would make him a Harrison Barnes that defends better, shoots far worse, and passes a little better. Not exactly the makings of an effective NBA PF there. Why the hell is Barrett being compared to Harrison Barnes? Because Barrett will probably be over-rated and over-payed?

  66. djphan

    jumpshots have had a history of being reworked successfully… bad shooters.. like blake and amare…. and kawhi have turned into really good shooters…

    if the question was just about his ability to hit a jumpshot then i would be a lot more optimistic about him… i’ve made the argument for dennis smith.. justise winslow… and a slew of prospects… not having a great jumpshot isn’t all that big of a deal….

    but the question with clarke is a lot more than that… is he going to be a PF/C? well he’d be pretty small for the position and no he doesn’t have the wingspan to make up for that lack of length and girth…. over 60% of his shots come at the rim in college…. that’s very unlikely to continue…

    i honestly don’t see john collins in clarke…. collins was a lot more fluid and he had superior length and athleticism… he was never really caught in awkward positions when he got challenged by length… that’s not really the case with clarke…. clarke looks a lot like tyler hansborough out there…. and while clarke might be better than hansborough…. he’s most certainly not like collins….

  67. Farfa Post author

    much better play maker than Barnes

    Henry Ellenson is a better play maker than Barnes.

  68. Grocer

    Every once in a while I’m flipping through Basketball-Reference, as you do, and I catch myself thinking “Which team is ‘TOT’? Why isn’t there a link to them?”

  69. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Why would you do that? There’s no reason to. He’s not. He’s not horrible, but he’s def below average.

    I looked at multiple years of defensive on/off data, some line up data, and then separately the NBA real plus/minus at ESPN (which I don’t trust anymore but still look at). All were ball park break even. I don’t get to watch him play every day, but if you are convinced he’s a negative defender, I’m willing to accept it. That just means that there’s an even better chance that Barrett is a better prospect.

  70. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I’m still on the fence about Clarke because I haven’t seen enough, but if we pick 1-4, I think we are in good shape as far as landing a very good prospect goes.

  71. abk

    Interesting shot chart numbers here (link: https://twitter.com/Ben_Pfeifer_/status/1112869084268355584), showing prospect shooting %s from the NBA 3-point line:

    Poole-47/112 (41.96%)
    Edwards-82/238 (34.45%)
    White-45/117 (38.46%)
    RJ-29/106 (27.36%)
    Reddish-48/144 (33.33%)
    Culver-22/65 (33.85%)
    Okeke-28/74 (37.84%)
    Hunter-21/37 (56.76%)
    NAW-39/97 (40.21%)
    Jerome-39/90 (43.33%)
    Zion-8/27 (29.63%)
    Brazdeikis-26/57 (45.61%)
    Romeo-25/90 (27.78%)
    Herro-31/92 (33.70%)
    Washington-19/39 (48.72)

  72. Grocer

    That just means that there’s an even better chance that Barrett is a better prospect.

    Seems reasonable that Barrett is a better defensive prospect and will be a better passer, but he’s a worse shooter in every dimension and it’s not like Barnes is an especially good shooter. I don’t understand the comparison at all. Anyway, Barrett is a super one-sided player – his defense doesn’t make up for his bad shooting and his passing is not particularly indicative of good decision making in the context of the team he was on. A pass first 4 with no shot but who plays solid defense isn’t all that good of a prospect, particularly when you’d be paying him a lot by taking him early.

  73. abk

    Small sample sizes of course, so adjust accordingly. However, players who come out looking better than their regular numbers in terms of having great range would be Coby White, De’Andre Hunter, Brazdeikis, Alexander-Walker, Ty Jerome, and PJ Washington.

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It’s always so weird to me.

    Player A struggles to put the ball in the hole: “I’m not concerned about that. His form is good and he has elite athleticism to be more efficient against more-talented defenders.”

    Player B is exceptional at putting the ball in the hole: “I doubt he’ll be able to do that in the future fantasy world I’ve constructed with my words.”

  75. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    A pass first 4 with no shot but who plays solid defense isn’t all that good of a prospect, particularly when you’d be paying him a lot by taking him early.

    Speaking of paying a lot, I wonder if that will be a driver on trading down? If we really do need to make cap space for a couple max FA, once way to do it — if you don’t get picks 1/2, where there is certain value — is to take your #4 pick, for instance, and trade down with only a minimal additional return.

    Not saying it will happen, just realized it could be a factor beyond trying to gain any Ainge-like future advantage.

  76. Grocer

    Speaking of paying a lot, I wonder if that will be a driver on trading down?

    I would trade down, if reasonably possible, with the 4 or 5 pick for just this reason. It’s not obvious there’s a prospect available then that’s worth the money.

  77. Hubert

    I don’t have a strong opinion about Barrett vs Clark but I’m 1,000% sure Mills and Perry would prefer Barrett.

  78. swiftandabundant

    I’m being 100 percent serious when I say this. I had a dream last night that we won the lottery, drafted Zion and also signed KD and Kyrie in free agency.

  79. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Barrett will be playing the 3, not the 4, in the NBA. What you’re relying on in his case is 1. improving his shooting from distance (basically a coin flip–he’s already a good 2 point shooter albeit with a dodgy free throw percentage) and 2. that his strength/finesse translate to the NBA game reasonably well (seems likely). If only the latter, you have an NBA SF who can handle the ball as a secondary, sometimes primary playmaker who plays decent defense and gets to the line but doesn’t space the floor particularly well or and never sniffs 60 TS%. That’s a pretty good but not great player, and probably looks like DeMar DeRozan, who I see a lot of in Barrett. You may not like that, but DeRozan is a plus player as it stands. However, he is exactly the kind of player who stands to be overpaid on his second contract, just like DeRozan was. A median outcome of DeMar Derozan with the third, fourth, or fifth pick is a little disappointing but not horrible when the draft is this weak.

    Clarke, on the other hand, I think actually has more variance than Barrett, because his age really is a confounding factor. Of course, he’s posting absurd numbers–far better numbers than a lot of other seniors that eventually turned into draft busts. But succeeding with Draymond Green’s physical profile is an extremely rare thing, and Draymond without elite passing isn’t really anything to write home about. That said, getting an undersized Ed Davis with better assists/steals/blocks numbers at 5 (which is kind of what I’m expecting with Clarke) really isn’t so bad in a weak draft, especially when you consider that he’ll likely be underpaid going into his next contract. But Barrett’s theoretical upside if he learns to shoot the 3 along with what I take to be less volatility in his outcome range trumps the fact that he’ll likely be an overpay in contract 2, especially when I consider how bare our cupboard is in terms of projectible NBA talent

  80. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m being 100 percent serious when I say this. I had a dream last night that we won the lottery, drafted Zion and also signed KD and Kyrie in free agency.

    And then the NBA rescinded the Porzingis trade, he comes back to NY and starts shooting like peak Dirk with a mean streak on the defensive side. And Ntilikina develops a 50% shot from the corner and makes a top-3 finish in DPOY voting after watching some Coach Nick vids on Youtube. I had the same dream, and also I was on a near-fatal dose of mescaline.

  81. DRed

    Barrett’s got an interesting profile. He shot 53% from 2 point range and only around 30% from 3 but he also shot lots of 3s. Usually with these middling volume scorers they’re inefficient because they don’t shoot enough 3s, not because they shoot too many. He seems like a guy to draft if you’re confident in your player development, because if you can get him to pass a bit more and develop his 3 point shot you’re looking at a very good offensive wing. (I have no real idea about his defense, but his boxscore stats suggest at least an ability to play passable defense)

  82. chrisconley

    Don’t know if RJs shooting improves or not. Maybe. My biggest concern is that all season, when the game was on the line in crunch time, he would often put his head down, dribble into heavy traffic, and take a terrible shot. CBBR doesn’t have clutch stats do they? I’d love to see his TS in close games with less than 2 (or 5 or whatever) min left. He often makes nice passes, and had that one put back game-winner off the Zion FT miss, but he definitely has a headstrong jacker mentality in crunch time. Which Knicks management no doubt loves. 0% chance they draft Clarke with RJ on the board so this discussion is kind of moot.

  83. Hubert

    He seems like a guy to draft if you’re confident in your player development, because if you can get him to pass a bit more and develop his 3 point shot you’re looking at a very good offensive wing.

    If you squint, you can see real potential in a Barrett-Knox forward pairing. Of course, without squinting, you can see how unlikely it is they’ll reach that potential. But whatever.

  84. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    Player A struggles to put the ball in the hole: “I’m not concerned about that. His form is good and he has elite athleticism to be more efficient against more-talented defenders.”

    Player B is exceptional at putting the ball in the hole: “I doubt he’ll be able to do that in the future fantasy world I’ve constructed with my words.”

    The game is complex.

    You have to ask what a player’s role is now, how much of what he does now is role vs basketball IQ, what role could you put him in to improve his efficiency, would that benefit or hurt the TEAM, does he have the skills now to expand his role and maintain his efficiency, does he have the innate talent to expand his role in time and maintain his efficiency, does he have the talent and work ethic to get even better at the things he already does etc..

    There are no easy answers to these questions. There are only educated guesses.

    But it’s not just about efficiency now.

  85. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    @91

    The way I look at it, unless you are drafting the rare super freak, you are going to be able to shoot some holes in virtually every 18-19 year old player coming out of college.

    Some holes are worse than others.

    To me, “can’t shoot the 3″ is one of the least concerning even if we are talking about a guard or wing. A lot of players correct that in time. So if a player looks solid in every other way I’m fine with the risk that he may never improve enough to be a complete player on offense. There’s a pretty good chance he will.

    I’d way rather have that risk than he’s really good except….

    1. he’s very undersized at the NBA level
    2. he has a low basketball IQ
    3. he’s way to slow to defend NBA level athletes
    4. he’s recovering from a major injury issue
    5. he has emotional problems

    Some things can be fixed. Some, not so much.

    No matter who we draft, there are going to be some holes and risks.

  86. kevin5318

    @96 The fact that people are still trying to convince themselves that Trae Young is challenging Doncic for ROY says otherwise. Most people like Ayton more I think as well.

  87. ptmilo

    no i mean the 2019 draft, i’ve moved on from silly backward looking hypotheticals to concrete windshield fantasy

  88. gransoporro

    Barrett’s got an interesting profile. He shot 53% from 2 point range and only around 30% from 3 but he also shot lots of 3s. Usually with these middling volume scorers they’re inefficient because they don’t shoot enough 3s, not because they shoot too many. He seems like a guy to draft if you’re confident in your player development, because if you can get him to pass a bit more and develop his 3 point shot you’re looking at a very good offensive wing. (I have no real idea about his defense, but his boxscore stats suggest at least an ability to play passable defense)

    I saw a lot of RJ, been based in the area. He has a sweet handle and finishes well near the rim. His 2p% comes from there. His jumpshot is not that good, like his FT. He shoots a lot because he is “the one who can create his shot” off the dribble starting from the 3 point line. His assist rate reflects his ball handling ability. And the fact that passing the ball to a non-doubled Zion was like putting money in the bank.

    He is a deceptively good rebounder, even in traffic, and he is quite strong for his frame.

    Defense: I did not like the Duke team defense; there was a lot of ball watching. RJ loses his man frequently (so does Zion, but he recovers much quicker). The ball watching may have a lot to do with it. He does not give up, though, and at this level he may recover. Not sure at NBA level. At least he has a positive attitude.
    He is a good on ball defender and his help defense is decent to OK.

    When I see him I think about DeRozan. I think he is a long 2 rather than a 3. If he is the BPA, OK. But in the top 3 I would prefer the Knicks to draft someone else. He is better than Knox, though.

    And stay away from Reddish. No matter what.

  89. Farfa Post author

    if Mitch could enter this draft right now he is consensus 2 overall right?

    In terms of BPA, no doubt about it. The Suns would still draft Morant and the Bulls Culver/Barrett, though.

  90. Ben R

    The big questions around Clarke have nothing to do with his numbers which are amazing. The problem is he is 4 years older than Barrett and also played in a mid-major conference so you have to put a small asterisk next to his numbers because he got a lot of them playing the BYU’s, Portland’s and Pacific’s of the world.

    Add to that his size and questionable jump shot and there are reasons to give pause. I still like him and will not be mad if we take him 4th but to say he is for sure better than Barrett is absurd. I personally would put him 5th behind Zion, Morant, Culver, and Barrett in that order.

  91. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Anybody rational would have Mitch at #2 in this draft zero question. You could even start talking to me about #1 given his productivity to date in year 1. Id still take Zion tho.

  92. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m happy to argue about Barrett vs. Clarke, even if it seems obvious to me that Clarke is a safer bet to be a productive NBA player, especially in his first contract, and therefore a safer evaluation to be made when he’s 26 and getting ready for an extension. (I mentioned this yesterday and Silky improved the argument today.) This is not without value to me, as I don’t want to see the Knicks get capped out again with faux-max players. If 23 is still too young to decide whether a player is going to hit age 25-28 as a superstar, I really don’t want to pay 25% plus Bird raises for the privilege.

  93. djphan

    rj does… probably more often than ideal…. put himself into positions that he can’t get out of… efficiently at least….

    that’s the risk with him… he did get a lot better at it as the season wore on so there’s some hope that he’s able to adjust his game…. but if he doesn’t learn then he’s probably going to disappoint… and disappoint by a lot…

  94. Grocer

    Derozan is not Barrett’s median comparison, he’s the reasonable best case scenario. And that’s a great pick, if we were picking him at 10 or something but it’s kinda shitty at 5, or worse, 3. If big time volume shooter at more or less league average efficiency is his best case, his likely outcome is pretty fucking horrible. A slightly more versatile Knox? Yeah, sign me the fuck up.

  95. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @106

    DeMar DeRozan had way worse stats in college than Barrett did in their respective one-and-done years. Barrett looks to be the better passer, rebounder, and shooter (he’s probably better at shooting the 3 than DeRozan is today, tbqh–not that either of them are good at that). But I doubt he’ll be quite as good as DeRozan is at getting to the line. DeMar is very clearly his median outcome (i.e. above average passing, rebounding, from the 2/3 position but merely average efficiency). And if Barrett learns how to shoot league average from distance he’s going to be a very good player–way better than DeMar–unless he’s horrible on defense. People are really underselling him here because of chucker-induced PTSD. I still have him only at 4, however, because I’m really not sure if he’s going to figure out how to shoot from range, hence the DeRozan median comparison. And again, in a horrible draft like this one looks to be, DeMar is not a horrible outcome, given our current assessment of where this draft is at. That said, I’ll be disappointed if we drop below #2, because I think Ja is a tier above everyone other than Zion, who himself is a tier above Ja.

  96. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    God damn, Mitch is good and would be good on any team. I am so glad that a team like the Warriors or Raptors weren’t savvy enough to pick him up at the end of the 1st.

  97. Grocer

    @ 108
    FG% / 2pt% / 3pt% / FT% / eFG% / TS%
    Derozan: .523 / .562 / .167 / .646 / .531 / .555
    Barrett: .454 / .529 / .308 / .665 / .506 / .532

    Derozan took a total of 6 threes, likely just heaves but I don’t have the breakdown for that. His FTr was .401. Barrett took 73 threes and had a respectable FTr of .319 (and almost twice as many shots over all), but one of these guys was clearly a better shooter than the other and it is not Barrett.

  98. Grocer

    Breen being out at dinner with Steve Clifford when Clifford had his heart attack is just, man. Those two guys mean there’s more than one reason to watch these games.

    EDIT: Clyde and Breen. Steve Clifford is not a reason to watch this game.

  99. Jack Bauer

    “If you squint, you can see real potential in a Barrett-Knox forward pairing.”

    I do see it, but only when I’m on a near fatal dose of mescaline

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