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Saturday, November 1, 2014

David Lee RFA Poll

Curious what y’all think…

{democracy:30}

43 comments on “David Lee RFA Poll

  1. BigBlueAL

    I wish there was an option where Lee fires his agent and hires one that lives in reality and realizes Lee aint getting 10 to 12 million per year anywhere. But you know Lee has put in alot of hard work in NY the past 4 years so he should be payed accordingly….

  2. Mike Kurylo Post author

    I agree with what jon abbey said in the last thread:

    remember how pissed Varejao was the year before last? he sat out half a season because Cleveland wouldn’t give him what he thought he was worth, then he signed a deal for a year and a half and said he’d leave after that. well, that year and a half is now up and he just resigned with the Cavs.

    So right now it seems like Lee is upset, and I’m inclined to choose the one year option. However I think Lee has one last shot to get a big contract and that’s in a sign & trade. But that seems unlikely. What team is going to cough up $10M + an expiring contract + young prospects? Chicago has been named, but the Knicks would probably prefer a center (Noah) and the Bulls would rather give up a tweener forward (Thomas, Deng?). The Knicks already have two young prospect that plays the same spot (Gallinari/Chandler) so it doesn’t make that much sense for them (unless they trade Chandler).

    I know that negotiating is a dance where there’s a lot of posturing, but ultimately I think both sides will realize Lee’s not getting $10M. Not this year. Not next year. I’m betting for a 5 year deal at around $42M ($8.5M per).

  3. jon abbey

    “I’m betting for a 5 year deal at around $42M ($8.5M per).”

    I think this is a lot more likely to happen next offseason, so I’d vote 1 year qualifying offer, unrestricted free agent, NY signs a big contract guy next year and then D-Lee signs on to be the second or third best player for a contract along the lines of what you’re saying.

  4. ess-dog

    I also voted for the multi-year deal, because even though we are trying to get Lee on the cheap, we value him more than anyone else out there. I mean, he wouldn’t have started in Portland anyway, so I can’t see him making more than 8mil/yr there. Who’s left that likes Lee? Sacto? They don’t seem to be spending ANY money. OKC’s being very picky with their money. Chicago? They sure aren’t trading Noah.
    See, if we’d drafted Jennings, then we could’ve done the Ty Thomas/Lee trade that everyone said should happen since last year but noooooooo Walsh had to take HILL. A guy who is way to similar to Thomas to have them both on the same team. Jennings, Chandler, Gallo, Thomas with Nate off the bench would’ve been a pretty athletic lineup.
    It’s kind of sad how arguably our best player can’t get a starting role on any other team. I think that’s what’s frustrating to all of us.

  5. Ted Nelson

    I went with signs one-year deal with Knicks. Seems like it will make everyone happy: Knicks get small cap hold next offseason and Lee gets a chance as an UFA. If Lee gets a fat offer next offseason he’s happy and the Knicks are happy not to pay him more than they think he’s worth. If he doesn’t then maybe he resigns as a deal the Knicks are happy with and he has to accept.

    Posters continue to call Lee and his reps nasty names for thinking he’s worth $10-12 million per season. Lee is probably not in the situation to get $10-12 mill per this offseason and may never be, but when similar and lesser players are signing deals for $10-12 mill per I keep scratching my head at all this name calling.

    Varejao’s a good example. Ben Gordon is, of course, a counter-example: he didn’t even give the Bulls a chance to match or beat Detroit’s offer. Everyone thought Gordon was completely crazy two years in a row for rejecting the deals he did from Chicago.

    “then we could’ve done the Ty Thomas/Lee trade that everyone said should happen since last year”

    Who is everyone??? Hopefully not Knicks fans…

    I don’t know that Hill is that similar to Ty Thomas, who is a mediocre rebounder, strong shot blocker, and inefficient scorer. Hill is a mediocre shot blocker, I’m praying he can rebound since it may be his most promising skill at the moment, and I hope he can score efficiently at a low volume early in his career (hope he at least tops Thomas’ 51% TS through three seasons).

    “It’s kind of sad how arguably our best player can’t get a starting role on any other team. I think that’s what’s frustrating to all of us.”

    I don’t think this is true. A few teams have reportedly made overtures towards Lee, but between his $12 mill asking price and the Knicks ability to match have turned away. Again, it’s the system. Feel like a broken record.

  6. ess-dog

    Tyrus Thomas wouldn’t be the best trade in the world, but it’s the best option I’ve heard thus far and I think he would be much better in D’Antoni’s system than Del Negros. I think if the Spurs really want to load up for another title run, they should go for Lee, giving us George Hill and the rights to that Brazilian forward. That’s a lineup that Lee would thrive in, and George Hill looks to have a really bright future.

    Also, it shouldn’t be that hard to get a top 16 pick for next year and any expiring player for equal value for Lee. Getting a draft pick back would be great. Although weren’t we offered the #5 for Lee in 2008 and we declined? How has his stock seemingly dropped since then? Because of his higher price tag combined with a sagging market?

    Addressing the point guard spot is looking scarier and scarier. There are no good free agent options until 2011 and we don’t have a draft pick next year. I like Sessions, but is he a good enough long term option? Maybe the belief in Knicks camp is that Tony Douglas is our pg of the future…

  7. nickatnight

    I’m not so sure Lee would get 10m-12m even if he was an unrestricted free agent. IMO if another team really thought he was worth say 11m, they would have taken at shot at him and hoped the Kincks didn’t match because of their 2010 goals. Personally, I don’t think the Knicks would have matched 12m or 11M and even 10M is debateable. From what I’ve read they are offering 7m-8m. That suggests 9m is doable.

    For evidence, look at the Portland and Milsap deal. Portland took at shot at a player that is arguably Lee’s equal when you consider age and playoff experience, but only offered him 8m. Was Utah so much less likely to match 8M for Milsap with a contract structured to make matching less likely than the Knicks would be to match Lee at 10m-12m. I think not.

    I think Portland thought Milsap was worth 8m and structured the contract to maximize their chances of getting him. I think they probably think Lee is worth a similar amount, but that the Knicks would match at that level. Otherwise, if they thought Lee was a better player, they could have offered 10M/11m, gotten the supposedly better player, and had an equal chance of getting him.

    I think Lee and his agent are misreading the fair values.

    You can always find other players that aren’t as good being paid more. But sometimes those players offer more unique skill or are generally overrated. Sometimes, money is loose or a team makes a mistake. I don’t think you can go into a negotiation assuming that teams are going to overrate you or overpay you. You go in asking for a little more than you are worth. If you get it, you laugh all the way to the bank. If not, you negotiate to what you really want and think you are worth.

  8. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    I wouldn’t mind taking a look at Tyrus Thomas, but given his career to date I would not give up Lee to do it. He’s known as unmotivated and underacheiving, that rarely changes.
    I don’t think his stock has declined since then. He’s just a restricted free agent. His asking price may be scaring teams off.
    I’m not scared at all about the Knicks PG spot. Duhon and Douglas is already the best they’ve looked there in a long time, and Sessions would be icing on the cake.

    nickatnight,

    I don’t think Lee will get 12, but I think 10 is possible. Not every team will do that and maybe not any, but if things work out I think it’s possible. Another strong season will only help his value. No team was rushing to pay Ben Gordon last offseason, but Detroit jumped on him this year.
    Millsap is one example, but Bargnani is another. Fair value is a very funny thing.
    Also, if the Knicks would match 9 mill per, would they really balk at 10?

    “I don’t think you can go into a negotiation assuming that teams are going to overrate you or overpay you. You go in asking for a little more than you are worth. If you get it, you laugh all the way to the bank. If not, you negotiate to what you really want and think you are worth.”

    If he wants 10 mill, then 12 mill is a little more than he’s worth. He’s also not in a position where he needs to rush into anything. The Knicks are still just sitting around waiting. By waiting himself Lee gets to see if any capped out teams want him and can make a good offer or if the Knicks eventually cave to at least 9, 10 mill per. He can also just wait until next offseason to see what he’s really worth on the open market. There’s just no rush.

  9. David Crockett

    at the start I figured Lee would either:

    a) sign a long-term deal (optimistic) when he figured out he couldn’t get value in this market, or
    b) sign the one-year tender with the whole thing playing out like Varajao, minus the holdout (most likely scenario)

    Donnie’s always had Lee by the you-know-whatsies. Realistically, the CBA is structured so that most restricteds stay put anyway. So, this isn’t really a surprise. Lee is also more valuable in NY than a number of places. But Lee has the misfortune of trying to get paid during the market correction of ownership dreams.

    I have my doubts about whether Lee will get the payday he’s asking for next year on the open market. At minimum, Lee’s going to have to wait on Carlos Boozer to set the market while taking one PF suitor away from him. Additionally, many teams have cut up the credit cards, hidden the checkbook, and are now checking the sofa cushions for spare change, all allegedly in preparation for the summer of LeBron. However, I suspect this newfound fiscal conservatism among most owners is also a soft form of collusion where owners–not even necessarily conspiratorially–are shrinking the NBA’s middle class. (One man’s collusion is another’s fiscal responsibility. So I’m not being judgmental here–just speculating.)

  10. ess-dog

    “I’m not scared at all about the Knicks PG spot. Duhon and Douglas is already the best they’ve looked there in a long time, and Sessions would be icing on the cake.”

    Well it doesn’t seem like anyone else is satisfied with Duhon. Plus he’s a free agent after this year. And it’s hard to be satisfied with Douglas after 5 average summer league games. Let’s see how he looks against real NBA players. You have a mediocre pg leaving after the year and aside from him all you have is a rookie 4 yr. combo guard that slipped to #29 in a weak draft? With 7 or 8 point guards drafted ahead of him?

    What team is WORSE off at the pg position?

  11. chris.afroman

    The Grizz. And maybe the Clips. Didn’t Baron shoot like 38% last year?
    We shoulda drafted Jennings…..Nothing against Hill, but I think Jennings can be the PG of the future. And he’s a MUCH better passer than a lot of people originally thought.

  12. Dan Panorama

    This Lee-Boozer talk has to be BS, right? It doesn’t seem to make any sense for Utah.

  13. Brian Cronin

    Agreed, Dan.

    Utah can’t seriously be thinking of going long term with Lee and Millsap, so I think that’s all just talk for the sake of talk.

  14. BigBlueAL

    Did anybody read the interview with Al Harrington in the NY Post????

    God bless him because he really sounds like he is thrilled to be a Knick, but he sounds more delusional than Lee’s agent because he truly believes Donnie Walsh told him he will be a Knick after the summer of 2010 and that he sees himself as a great #2 player next to a superstar. Oh and that he will definitely be the starting PF for the Knicks next season.

    On a positive he is getting into better shape because he blames fatigue for him struggling in 4th quarters last season and that during the exit meetings D’Antoni told him he needs to pass more and his goal is to average 4-5 assists per game next season. Ill believe it when I see it….

  15. fespinal

    My belief is that the Knicks will sign him to the 1 year qualifier. If they do this next year they will retain his “Bird” rights which means they will have the cap space to sign a free agent and then go over the cap to sign David Lee.

  16. Z

    Yes. If Lee takes the BYC offer his cap hold is $6.7 mil. If he signs a one year deal for more than the BYC the cap hold would be between $9 and $12.5 mil, depending on what the amount of the 1 year deal is and the salary cap in 2010.

    If the Knicks want to sign a FA next summer he’d have to be renounced, which means the Knicks would lose his Bird rights (unless they move Jeffries/Curry, putting them far enough under the cap to sign a FA and retain Lee’s Bird Rights).

    He can be used in a sign and trade in 2010 even after being renounced, though, which is another option the Knicks can consider down the road if all that can be agreed to this summer is the one year deal.

  17. bselig

    cwod says:
    July 25, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Even with a one-year QO, won’t his cap hold number be really large anyway?

    —-

    I think his cap hold would be double the qualifier, or something like 5.7m. (http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q30) I’m assuming Walsh wants him to take the QO so he can maintain Bird Rights next year with the low cap hold, sign a great free agent, then re-sign Lee to the near-max contract he is worth. If Walsh is intending to sign Sessions, he is probably waiting for Lee to take the offer sheet, so as to make sure any Sessions deal doesn’t compromise the team’s ability to get a Lebron and keep Lee.

  18. bselig

    nickatnight says:
    July 25, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I think Portland thought Milsap was worth 8m and structured the contract to maximize their chances of getting him. I think they probably think Lee is worth a similar amount, but that the Knicks would match at that level. Otherwise, if they thought Lee was a better player, they could have offered 10M/11m, gotten the supposedly better player, and had an equal chance of getting him.

    —–

    Portland offered Millsap the contract they did because it was the maximum they could (minus a fifth year, which he possibly didn’t want.) If he were an unrestricted free agent, the Pistons probably would have signed him already. Same goes for Lee. Joe Dumars is smart enough to know teams tend not to let good players get away when they can avoid it. Who were the last big-money restricted free agents to be signed away from their teams? Okur, Boozer, and Arenas and 2004, who weren’t even really restricted due to league rules at the time? The only players signing above-mid-level offer sheets a team has chosen not match that I can think of are Andre Miller and Lamar Odom in 2003, both of whose rights were held by a non-franchise, the L.A. Clippers.

  19. ess-dog

    Ok, I think I get this now and want to change my vote to the 1-year offer. The problem is that NO team wants to mess with their 2010 cap space in order to save room for the top players in free agency. Bulls, OKC, whomever. It’s not that teams don’t love Lee or think he’s worth 10-12 mil, it’s just bad timing for him because teams want to max out their flexibility. Actually a 1 year deal might work out for him. He could probably make more $ next year as a team’s 5th or 6th option than as a team’s 2nd option this year. Plus, the market will probably rebound somewhat by next year.

  20. rohank

    It bothers me that Lee/his agent may think that Lee deserves 10-12 mil per year BECAUSE of all the hard work he’s put in during his 4 years SO FAR. No team should be paying players for past performance. They should be paying them how much they think their FUTURE performances will be worth. That’s why I like the way Walsh is running the ship now – I think he thinks the same way.

  21. nickatnight

    Why would Lee sign the qualifying offer if the Knicks are offering a one year deal at significantly more money?

    You never know if what’s being reported in the news is accurate, but I could swear I read that Walsh also offered him 6M-7m for one year.

    If I honestly and truly believed my value was between 10m-12m, I would have to consider that. He’d be taking a risk on injury, a subpar year, or that the market could be even worse next year. But if he improved further, then 10m-12m long term might be doable. That would be a major improvement over 8m plus/minus he could get now over several years

    bselig,

    I think you might also be overestimating the current values.

    If you think Portland would have offered Milsap more if they could and Detroit would have gobbled up Lee for even more than that if he was an UFA, then how do you explain the LA offer for Odom?

    IMO, it’s very clear that Odom is the best of the 3, he’s a key part of a championship team, but he’s looking at 9m-10m.

    Like I said, you can always find players that are getting more than you think they deserve, but they might NOT be getting more than many GMs thinks they are worth.

    I am making a subtile point here.

    We are stats oriented fans with views about the values that are not always the same as many GMs. Scorers, very big guys, and guys with unique skills sometimes get more.

    I think if you want to judge the current market value for Lee, it is best to look at similar players. You may not learn as much by looking at Gordon, Bargnani, Artest, Ariza and others.

    The low end among similar PFs is Villanueva at 7m a year and the high end is Odom at around 9m-10m a year. Milsap got 8m. That would put Lee at 8.5m or 9M depending on if Odom gets 9m or 10m. I know I’m being repetitive, but I don’t understand the problem here. Does Lee really believe he’s solidly better than Odom? I know I don’t.

  22. bselig

    nickatnight says:
    July 26, 2009 at 1:21 am

    If you think Portland would have offered Milsap more if they could and Detroit would have gobbled up Lee for even more than that if he was an UFA, then how do you explain the LA offer for Odom?

    —–

    I explain the L.A. offer to Odom by the fact that L.A. has leverage: none of the few teams with cap space wanted Odom (or, in most of the cases, didn’t want any older player.) I’m not sure what that has to do with Millsap or Lee.

    ===========

    I think if you want to judge the current market value for Lee, it is best to look at similar players. You may not learn as much by looking at Gordon, Bargnani, Artest, Ariza and others.

    The low end among similar PFs is Villanueva at 7m a year and the high end is Odom at around 9m-10m a year. Milsap got 8m. That would put Lee at 8.5m or 9M depending on if Odom gets 9m or 10m.

    —–

    When it comes to the actual workings of free agency and who signs what contract, it’s not really about finding similar players, but similar free agents.

    Villanueva is not similar to Lee since CV was restricted and Lee is restricted. Odom is even less similar to Lee since LO is unrestricted and old and Lee is restricted and young.

    And your logic of placing Lee’s deserved (or likely?) salary doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, because it assumes either that those guys got the salaries they deserved or that Lee’s contract negotiations will focus mostly on what other players received.

    Millsap is getting grossly underpaid; his contract is a huge coup for the Jazz. And if you want to compare Lee to similar players, why did you disclude Bargnani, another big white? I’m guessing it’s because if Bargnani is worth 10m per, then Lee is worth 20m. You could also bring Elton Brand into the equation. He got 16m per coming of surgery that kept him out an entire season, and his first year of the new deal he didn’t play much and stunk when he did. So if he got 16m then Lee should get 45m per. Or Dejuan Blair signed for 1m per, so Lee should get 2-3m per. “He deserves this because this other guy got that” doesn’t get you anywhere.

    ========

    IMO, it’s very clear that Odom is the best of the 3, he’s a key part of a championship team, but he’s looking at 9m-10m.

    ——-

    I’d totally disagree that Odom is “very clear[ly]” the best of the three. Look at their Offensive and Defensive Ratings. Over the past few years, his offensive rating is worse than Lee’s and similar to Millsap’s. His defensive rating is better than Lee’s and similar to Millsap’s. That puts all three players at about the same level. I’d give some points to Millsap and Lee being younger, and therefor more likely to improve (as Odom did from his first few years in the league) and I’d also detract points from Millsap due to his higher foul rate, which could keep him from playing a lot of minutes, though Millsap deserves credit for playing more games per year. Odom loses a bunch points for being in his thirties for the length of any contract, and in his mid-thirties on a long contract’s tail end, while Lee would only enter his thirties (and still generally be in his prime) at the end of a long term deal. Millsap would remain in his twenties with a long contract.

    So I’d rate them pretty similarly for a 2-3 year deal, and Lee and Millsap well ahead of Odom for anything longer. With each having a got shot at pulling in 9-10 Win Shares per year, I’d say each is worth 10-13m a year. Maybe less for Odom, as age and being a bench player should lead to lower, and decreasing, production.

  23. Brian Cronin

    Odom would be making $13-14 million (he’s someone that OKC actually would open their checkbooks for) if he were the same age as Lee. Odom made almost $11 million a year six years ago.

    Now that teams are going to be paying him for his age 30+ years, he’s obviously going to get less money (and he’s still making comparable money to Lee).

    Lee is getting paid for his age 27+ years, so that’s why he would get more money than a 30-year-old Odom.

    I mean, Ben Gordon is obviously not better than Odom, right? But he’s getting paid $11 million because of his age (also 27 next year).

    It’s all about the situation the players are in, not the players themselves. Lee is a restricted free agent who other teams know the Knicks will match any reasonable offer on, therefore, he is not going to get an offer. It speaks only to the situation, not Lee’s “value” (whatever that may be).

    On another note, the cap hold for the QO would be triple the QO, by the by, not double, so it would be over $8 million.

  24. Ray

    Stop whining about Brandon Jennings. He cant shoot!!! He would have been horrible here. Defenses will give him space and he wont be able to knock the jumper down.

  25. ess-dog

    That was a weird story on Al, Big Blue. Makes you wonder if he will pull it together this year… he does has skill. I would like him to add aggressive rebounding to his game as well as passing. Him and Eddy would make the worst rebounding frontcourt in the league, hands down.
    Knicks working on 1 year 5 mil deal with Nate! Does that kill the Sessions hunt? If you add Sessions that would make 4 small guards. Unless you move Duhon. This Nate signing might set off some other stuff, look out…

  26. nickatnight

    belsig,

    What you seem to be arguing without realizing it is that a player’s market value is the amount of money he could recieve under absolutely optimal conditions. You sound like an agent. ;-)

    That’s what typically leads to players being overpaid.

    This a market in which players are FAs, UFAs, the salary cap changes, economic conditions change, players have very common skills, unique skills, a player may be peaking or declining, GMs and coaches value players differently than stats geeks like us etc….

    Over and above the fundamentals, there are other issues that can lead to inflated salaries. For example, a player might be perceived as a key piece that can take a team over the top, keep a championship team at the top, be used as a marketing tool etc…
    So sometimes premiums are paid.

    I see no way to guage the “current” values except to look at what is being offered to similar players THIS YEAR and to try to adjust for the slight differences in ability and other factors.

    I don’t think it’s correct to look at contracts like Brand or Zach Randolph etc.. because those guys are obviously preposterously overpaid in THIS environment and were probably overpaid in any environment.

    In don’t think it’s correct to argue that other teams don’t have cap space, don’t want player “X”, that team “Y” has the upper hand in negotiations etc..

    That is to simply to state that market conditions are not the same as they were.

    It’s kind of like saying two years ago my house was worth 850K, some guy bought a similar house for 1M etc… so I should get similar numbers now. The problem is that right now money is tight, people are afraid, two houses in the neighboorhood are in foreclosure etc…

    It sucks for Lee, but’s it’s a buyers market for houses and players.

    The only player I see that you might be able to bring in to support the case for Lee getting more than 9m in this environment is Bargnani.

    Personally, I think Bargnani is being overpaid. I think it is explainable, but it was a mistake. Right or wrong, Colangelo has always been extremely high on Bargnani. He is also trying to keep Bosh. So to keep Bosh, he seems willing to overpay to get good players to commit to the team and encourage Bosh to resign also. That doesn’t mean he’s not making a huge mistake with the Hedo and Bargnani deals. Bosh may leave anyway and Toronto may not be any good despite the Hedo deal.

    I can see how Lee and his agent could point to the Bargnani deal as evidence of his value, but I can’t see how Walsh or other teams would take it serious as to what they would be willing to pay to get him because they understand the uniqueness of what Colangelo is trying to do.

    On Odom, I just have one thought.

    This is the way Odom is perceived.

    Odom was a key piece to a championship team with 3-4 good years left that possesses very versatile skills (inside and outside shooting, passing, rebounding) that are proven under championship pressure. He produces well despite playing behind very productive players like Bryant and Gasol who are the focus of the offense and also does well on the boards despite the presense of Gasol and Bynum.

    That’s not the way people see Lee.

    As stats geeks we are entitled to think Lee is similar or even better, but IMO that’s a whole different ball of wax to what GMs think and what his market value is.

    I guess at this point, as fans, we need to hope the Knicks resign Lee regardless of what we each of us personally think is fair.

    I am hoping he signs long for between 8-9 million because I think he’s very good, important to the team, that’s fair in this market, and it won’t damage 2010 too much even if the cap comes down some more.

  27. Brian Cronin

    You know what’s one of the fascinating subplots to this whole Lee thing?

    Just how pathetic the news coverage of it all has been.

    The headlines bear little resemblance to what the actual news is that they’re reporting, based on who is doing the writing. The same exact interview by Lee results in “Lee likely to be a Knick” on one site and “Lee likely to be traded” on another.

    It’s fascinating (and kinda sad, but still fascinating).

  28. Ted Nelson

    “What team is WORSE off at the pg position?”

    What position are the Knicks better off at? Without resigning Lee and Nate I count…. oh…. none. Maybe SF, but given how Chandler and Danilo played (or didn’t play in the latter case) last season that’s dubious.

    I just don’t see why everyone is so focused on one position when the Knicks generally have a bad team.

  29. Z-man

    “I just don’t see why everyone is so focused on one position when the Knicks generally have a bad team.”

    I’m not so sure I would come to the conclusion that we generally have a bad team just yet. We have among the most unproven teams considering our youth and the recovery status of Curry and Gallo, and therefore the potential to be a pretty bad team. On the other hand, we also have the potential to be a pretty good team if everything goes somewhat according to plan, meaning:

    Curry contributes at C in a meaningful way

    Gallo plays 20-30 healthy mpg at SF

    Chandler marginally improves his offensive skills and splits time at SF and SG

    Toney is NBA ready at backup PG

    Hill steadily improves and becomes at least a rotation player by mid-season if not earlier

    Darko plays hard and well in a contract year and a better opportunity and system for him

    Almond becomes the next Von Wafer, or at least a 3-pt threat for 10 mpg

    Hughes either improves or is traded or phased out

    Duhon, Harrington, Nate, Lee and Jeffries do what they normally do but in more sharply defined roles, e.g Lee at PF more than C, Duhon getting less minutes.

    I think it’s pretty clear that we are either going to re-sign Lee and Nate for at least next year or sign-and-trade them for something that improves our team or at least makes us no worse.

    I think it is fair to say that PG is a position of paramount concern, especially given D’Antoni’s system, which depends even more heavily on that position. Assuming we sign Lee, we are stronger and more balanced up front than we have been in years, at least on paper. Duhon is at best a below average starter at PG. Douglas is a total crap shoot. Nate is probably not the answer there either. So even in the best case scenario, we will not be very good at this critical position unless there is a trade or if something unexpected happens e.g. Douglas excels or Nate transforms his mindset (he has the tools to be an above average PG.)

    That being said, I would agree that PG may not be our most pressing need. I think that SG is a much bigger question mark right now. Hughes is only fair, Nate is undersized, Chandler is more of a pure SF and Gallo is probably not quick enough. Almond is intriguing, but also a crap shoot. A very good SG can make up for deficiencies at PG. You could make the argument that we should have drafted a SG (Derozan?) at #8.

  30. Ted Nelson

    What position are the Knicks significantly better at than PG? If they resign Nate they go three deep at the position, with two of their 4 (or so) best players there plus their Summer League MVP (unless that’s Skita).
    If they resign Lee I would say PF, otherwise maybe SF.

    (Without any player movement) Even if every single thing goes as well as possible the Knicks are probably a bit over .500, which means they are pretty bad because chances are every single thing won’t go right.

    I wouldn’t really compare Douglas to Almond in terms of crap shoots. Almond has had two seasons in the league and done nothing. We’ve got nothing to judge Douglas on. With Almond the most likely outcome is that he’ll stink, with Douglas the most likely outcome is whatever you thought of him before the draft + Summer League.

    “You could make the argument that we should have drafted a SG (Derozan?) at #8.”

    I would definitely not argue that, unless you think DeRozan was the best prospect available. Why draft for need, especially on a mediocre, rebuilding team?

  31. Z-man

    Going in to the season, I would say we are discernably better at SF and PF than at PG. I’m not as big on Duhon as some here. I thought that the league adjusted to the Duhon/Lee pick and roll and forced Duhon to do other things, exposing his flaws. I am optimistic about Douglas, but until he proves he can shoot and defend at the NBA level, he is a total crap shoot. He was the Knick MVP in summer league, but what does that mean given how bad our winless summer league team was?

    Almond probably won’t be a rotation player, but he definitely can shoot. That is the only edge he has on Douglas, but an important one.

    Hindsight is 20-20, but DeRozan might be the guy down the road we regret not taking, especially if Hill doesn’t develop. He was very impressive in summer league. I agree that you draft the best prospect available, and I don’t think Hill was obviously a better prospect than DeRozan.

  32. Ted Nelson

    “what does that mean given how bad our winless summer league team was?”

    It means that he was more impressive than Hill, who is one representative of the PF position.

    I don’t think Duhon is great or even good, but he’s decent and that’s more than the Knicks can really expect out of 1/2 their SGs and 100% of their Cs.

    Nate resigning is what would make PG a strength for the Knicks, IMO. He’ll probably play most of his minutes at the 2, but he’s there to play PG should Duhon or Douglas go down.

    SF depends a lot on Danilo’s back. Chandler was no better than Duhon last season. You do have Harrington there as well, don’t know if he’ll play SF or PF or both. Last season he played almost exclusively at the 4 and 5.

    With Lee I think 4 is definitely the Knicks best position. Lee’s their best player, Harrington is one of their best 3 or 4 players, and they just took Hill in the top 10 of the draft.

    The sample size is tiny, but Almond has shot the ball terribly in the NBA. Douglas’ biggest strengths in college were shooting and defense.

    I feel like DeRozan is the kind of guy who will shine in Summer League. He’s athletic and all he does is score. I don’t think there’s any doubt he’ll look like an NBA player in a few seasons, and he may even become a high volume scorer. The question is whether he’ll ever score efficiently or do anything else. If he’s out on the court and scoring a lot of points his team is probably looking at shelling out big bucks on a young player who shows some signs of being great, but also some signs of being mediocre. So you may end up either overpaying hoping he continues to improve or losing him before he actually does improve.
    Jennings is another guy who was born to play in the Summer League, although he was pretty impressive to me since I was really wondering what to expect.

  33. Z-man

    “It means that he was more impressive than Hill, who is one representative of the PF position.”

    Despite the difference in summer league play (and I thought it was more marginal than glaring) we are most likely counting on Douglas far more than on Hill. If we sign Lee, he will play 35-40 mpg at PF, with Hill, Harrington and Jeffries (or the C’s and SF’s) there to back him up. If Hill doesn’t play much or at all next year, it isn’t that big of a deal, other than the embarrassment of drafting him at #8.

    Douglas, on the other hand, is penciled in as our main back-up at PG based on zero NBA experience, behind Duhon, who is not good to begin with. Douglas’ summer league was promising, but hardly spectacular, and that was against retreads and rookies, and at age 23. In particular, he did not look as good at either of his biggest strengths in college (shooting and defense) as he did at ball-handling and passing. I am optimistic about him, but as a GM I would definitely want a better plan B than Nate unless we shore up the SG position.

    “Nate resigning is what would make PG a strength for the Knicks, IMO. He’ll probably play most of his minutes at the 2, but he’s there to play PG should Duhon or Douglas go down.”

    When Nate plays PG, he’s not playing SG, which further dilutes that already thin position. Beyond that, nobody else on the team is even remotely qualified to play PG. If we could trade some of our forward largesse for a decent SG, I’d feel better about Nate sliding over to PG for extended minutes.

    “SF depends a lot on Danilo’s back. Chandler was no better than Duhon last season.”

    Chandler, in his second season (Duhon’s 5th) at age 21 Duhon was 26), was required to play major minutes (33 mpg to Duhon’s 36) at multiple positions (Duhon only played PG) , and was certainly at least decent. My sense was that his natural position is SF, and that he will surpass Duhon next year in a more stable and suitable role. He and Gallo are both question marks, but until D’antoni and Walsh find out what they can really do (or can’t do) they probably aren’t going anywhere. I personally think they have way more upside at SF than Duhon and Douglas have at PG.

    D’Antoni has been clear that he needs an “engine” at PG to make his system go, which is probably why there is all the interest at that one position despite weaknesses at other positions, that and the PG availability in the FA market.

  34. Ted Nelson

    I’m not saying the Knicks have the greatest PG situation in the NBA, just that I’m not as worried about it as a lot of people seem to be. As far as the original question of which teams are worse off at PG than the Knicks, some possibilities for 2009-10 depending on how things develop: Philly, OKC, Minnesota, Memphis, Miami (little depth, although they can always slide Wade over), Detroit, Sacramento, Golden State, Milwaukee (contingent on Sessions resigning), Charlotte, Atlanta (Johnson can handle the ball, though), and the Clippers. That’s a third of the league that MIGHT (under realistic circumstances, not all their PGs getting hurt or something) be worse off there than the Knicks. Probably at least a few of those teams end up worse off than the Knicks, others are stretches.

    I’m pretty comfortable if they put Douglas out there behind Duhon. Might as well kick the tires on a 23 year old rookie to see if he’s got a future in the league. You can take the lack of shooting/defense in summer league as a negative, but it can also be viewed as a positive: he played well in the areas we had questions about, and his strengths should come around at least to some extent. Summer League at least made it look like he can bring the ball up the court for 15-20 mpg. If necessary/ advantageous, throw Nate a few minutes at PG and Duhon is down to reasonable minutes.

    Hill may have a hard time finding minutes. I’m interested to see if Curry and Jeffries are force-fed minutes to increase trade value. I wouldn’t mind that strategy if it gets them traded, especially since a slow starts and relatively strong finish will give the Knicks momentum going into the offseason (of course a slow start might mean they remain unmovable). If they’re not and D’Antoni is strictly putting the guys out there who he wants, then Hill should be able to get minutes if he’s any good, maybe not too many.

    I agree completely that Nate should spend his time at the 2, where the Knicks have little else. If Duhon/Douglas gets injured or Douglas isn’t up to the task, though, Nate can slide over, leaving Hughes, Chandler, Jeffries, maybe an Almond and/or Wafer, and maybe even Douglas at the 2. Not ideal, but doable.

    Chandler’s had two seasons in the league at this point and just hasn’t impressed me. Certainly I’m hoping that he continues to improve significantly and expect some improvement at worst, but I’m just not sure he’ll ever be a player I want in my rotation. He’s capable of it, but has to completely change his game and mindset. It’s not a matter of working on developing a few new skills, if he continues to shoot 75% jumpers he will never be good.
    Plenty of people play multiple positions, and Chandler will likely be asked to do so again. Duhon may also improve next season, with experience in D’Antoni’s system.
    I would also say there’s more upside at the 3, although I’m tempted to say that Douglas has more upside than Chandler, if only because he’s an unknown quantity. Gallo’s got to have the most upside on the team (by a large margin in my estimation).

    Mixed feelings on D’Antoni’s insistence on his system… It’s good that he knows what he wants, and if he gets it he’s proven he can win. As someone who is sort of sitting on the fence between solidly good and great coach, he may have to get a little more flexible. If his success depends on having Steve Nash at PG… I mean most coaches can win with a Steve Nash (especially with all the talent he’s had besides him in Phoenix).

  35. Z-man

    I think you are being very rough on Chandler. He only just turned 22 and certainly improved in a number of areas last year. Sure he needs to go to the basket more and more aggressively, but I don’t see why you think that can’t be developed. He certainly has the tools to do so and his work ethic has not been a question yet. I also think he deserves some slack because teams generally packed it in with zone defenses against the Knicks due to our lack of outside shooting. I also think Chandler is a pretty good defensive player and might become excellent, especially at SF. We will have to agree to disagree about his potential. Nash, for example, wasn’t much of a player until he was in the league 4 years at age 26 and only Nostradamus could have predicted he would become a 2-time league MVP based on his performance at age 22. And while he played very well for Dallas in his last years there(also with some pretty good players), his career really took off under D’Antoni. So I have to give D’Antoni some benefit of the doubt in valuing Chandler and in not seeing the current PGs as amenable to his vision for the team. Clearly he would have loved to have either Rubio or Curry running the show. He apparently didn’t see what he was looking for in the other available PGs either, e.g Lawson, Holiday, Jennings.

  36. Ted Nelson

    I really don’t think I’m being that tough on Chandler. Here’s a list of players’ seasons from 1985 to Present in which a forward between 6-6 and 6-10 under the age of 22 had a TS% under .530, a reb-rate under 11, an assist rate under 11, and a TO-rate under 12:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&type=per_minute&per_minute_base=36&year_min=1986&year_max=2009&season_start=1&season_end=2&age_min=18&age_max=22&height_min=78&height_max=82&lg_id=NBA&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&qual=&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=lt&c1val=.530&c2stat=trb_pct&c2comp=lt&c2val=11&c3stat=ast_pct&c3comp=lt&c3val=11&c4stat=tov_pct&c4comp=lt&c4val=12&order_by=per

    A bunch of them had/are having long careers, and a few had a couple good years in their mid-20s. The only ones I would say were particularly good are Peja and Glen Rice. In both cases it was his rookie year and he turned around and had a much better sophomore year. Both were among the best shooters in the league in their day, I just don’t see Chandler’s shot developing THAT much after two seasons in the league. Could happen, but would be an outlier. Also telling that theoretically his shot may have to develop THAT much for him to be good.
    Korver’s been a decent role player, but already had the 3 pt shot from day 1. Tracy Murray was a good 3 pt shooter on his career as well, and he developed a deadly 3 by his 2nd season.

    The thing that really sticks out is the lack of good athletes and presence of fairly one-dimensional jump-shooters. That’s what concerns me the most about Chandler: he’s a good athlete but doesn’t seem to use his athletic ability at all, he’s in love with his jumper but he has a mediocre jumper. I guess you could turn it around as a positive and say that if he starts tapping his athleticism he can be good.

    Chandler is also the only guy to appear twice. Some of the guys only came into the league at 22, and might have been on the list at 23 as well. The rest improved their games or were out of the league.

    (Substituted blk% >= 1.5 in place of ast-rate. Some of the same guys: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&type=per_minute&per_minute_base=36&year_min=1986&year_max=2009&season_start=1&season_end=2&age_min=18&age_max=22&height_min=78&height_max=82&lg_id=NBA&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=F&qual=&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=lt&c1val=.530&c2stat=trb_pct&c2comp=lt&c2val=11&c3stat=blk_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=1.5&c4stat=tov_pct&c4comp=lt&c4val=12&order_by=per)

    “I also think he deserves some slack because teams generally packed it in with zone defenses against the Knicks due to our lack of outside shooting.”

    Knicks were mediocre from 3 point range, 20th. Plenty of wings with much better stats than Chandler (Harrington on his own team, not to mention the wings on the 10 teams that shot worse than Knicks from 3) could use the same excuse.

    “I also think Chandler is a pretty good defensive player and might become excellent, especially at SF.”

    He blocks shots well at the 3 (not incredibly, mind you), but he’s only solid defensively at this point.
    Thing that really bugs me here is that Balkman was a much better man defender, better shot blocker, better stealer, better rebounder, and more efficient scorer. I’m not saying Balkman is the end-all or answer to make the Knicks a good team, but they let a good player go to develop a bad player…

    “Nash, for example, wasn’t much of a player until he was in the league 4 years at age 26 and only Nostradamus could have predicted he would become a 2-time league MVP based on his performance at age 22.”

    Nash is a pretty bad example for several reasons.
    -First, he’s clearly the exception in some regards and not the rule. Bruce Bowen was ignored coming out of college, but that doesn’t mean I can make the argument that every mid-major player in the country is the next Bruce Bowen.
    -He was Jason Kidd’s back-up his first two seasons. Made it a little hard to see daylight, and as a result he played some SG.
    -Nash was already a very, very good shooter and fairly efficient scorer early on. His assist-rate was almost 30 as a rookie, but he played more off the ball his 2nd season so his assist rate fell to 25. Wouldn’t have taken Nostradamus to figure out that he’d be valuable in the right role, although I agree it would have to figure out how good he’d be.
    Nash v. Chandler, first two seasons.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=nashst01&y1=1998&p2=chandwi01&y2=2009

    “And while he played very well for Dallas in his last years there(also with some pretty good players), his career really took off under D’Antoni.”

    Whoa there tiger. Nash was already one of the best PGs in the NBA in Dallas. He ran the best offensive team EVER up until that point. He got better under D’Antoni but he was very good previously.
    Nash through end of Dallas career: http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=nashst01&y1=2004

    “So I have to give D’Antoni some benefit of the doubt in valuing Chandler and in not seeing the current PGs as amenable to his vision for the team. Clearly he would have loved to have either Rubio or Curry running the show. He apparently didn’t see what he was looking for in the other available PGs either, e.g Lawson, Holiday, Jennings.”

    Coaches, even good ones, generally make terrible GMs… I’ve never spoken to D’Antoni, though, so I have no idea what he thinks about those players. He clearly liked Duhon and Nate enough to ride with them all season, and hasn’t protested the drafting of Douglas. I think he values Chandler’s potential, as do all Knicks fans. I just think that people who are really high on Chandler are more likely to be disappointed than not.

    I don’t think Duhon/Douglas is anyone’s vision of PG heaven, the position is just not really a concern to me given the state of the Knicks.

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