Detroit Pistons 104 – New York Knicks 114 – Half-season grades

Guys, rejoice. This might be the last time we’ll be over .500 until 2021-22 opening night, so let’s the warm feeling sink in for, like, twenty seconds before indulging in some precious self- and Thibs-loathing.

I mean, who would have guessed that at the 37 games mark we would have won nineteen games? I penciled the 2020-21 Knicks at 24 wins and even felt a bit optimistic, so even considering the “easy” stretch in February/early March I would have guessed 14 wins tops. Exceeding that total by 4 wins is sincerely impressive, and if falls squarely on the shoulders of a plethora of people, which go by these names: Randle, Julius; Thibodeau, Tom; Barrett, Rowan Jr.; the whole coaching staff; and so on until we get to Elfrid Payton who probably deserves some credit but will only get the brunt of my totally biased criticism.

Instead of recapping last night valiant but ultimately stolid effort (starters played big minutes, Thibs exhibited very little patience with the second unit, Julius had a monster game, Noel played great but has no hands on offense, Frank hit three threes in less time than it takes to warm up a hot pocket and then did nothing at all, Quickley sucked big time, Obi looked like a giddy japanese tourist doing that annoying thing where photograpical perspective gets used to give the illusion you’re the only thing impeding the Pisa tower’s ultimate crumble-down), I’d opt to assess people at the All-Star Game milestone, putting a few numbers here and there just to give a perfect Italian public employee impression: looking busy and saying mostly coherent things but secretly hoping that someone else does the real hard work so I can get my 11AM cappuccino.

Without further Bob McAdoo, here’s what I think of the 2020/21 season so far:

– Julius Randle: last year a diamond in the dough, this year a frigging basketball lean and mean machine, who gives you consistent star effort night in and night out and is shooting lights out from deep (seriously, 40.8% from three on 169 attempts is huge and doesn’t cry out for regression anymore – even if, yeah, let’s bank on the fact that at the end of season that percentage will be around 37%, which is still amazing). Last night I took personal offense at the Garden chanting “MVP” to Julius. MVP chants are acceptable only in three cases: 1) you are really an MVP candidate, which Julius is not, let’s be honest; 2) you’re a blossoming star in year 2-3 of your NBA experience and the crowd is giving you a nice confidence boost (I’m perfectly ok with Quickley getting MVP chants); 3) you’re sort of a folk hero because you can’t really play star-level basketball but give 110% effort on the court and deserve some happiness (I’d be perfectly ok with Taj Gibson getting MVP chants) or you’re a disgraced former highly touted project and you’re playing for once at the top of your and everybody else game (the Michael Beasley against Boston experience). Since Julius is none of those things, and has instead been a great pro and probably a top-30 player this year, those MVP chants are disrespectful. Appreciate him for his contributions and don’t expose him to post-ironic trivial affections displays, come on. Grade: A.

– RJ Barrett: it looked like all hope was lost with his first 10-ish games, where he couldn’t buy a bucket from deep apart from the first Indiana game, but how things have changed with him. We probably have to accept that his ceiling is somehow lower than it looked when he went to Duke, but a 44/35/73 shooting split isn’t so bad for a player still learning to zero-in on his spots on the court on offense. If I had to bet on his peak, right now I’d say left-handed prime Tyreke Evans who actually defends. It’s a nice thing to have in house at a kind of controlled cost. His .067 WS/48 is at least adequate for a buddying second year player. He has also displayed the very encouraging skill of not getting conditioned by a cold streak. Grade: B-.

– Immanuel Quickley: <drooling> *what the hell is this thing where I swear that I won’t fall irrationally in love with the next promising Knicks rookie and then I inevitably do so as soon as there’s a glimpse of talent in sight* <stops drooling> If the 2020 draft was held today, there’s no doubt that IQ wouldn’t last past the 8th pick, so we’re just keeping alive the tradition of the lower draft pick being our actual lottery pick and viceversa. Seriously, after LaMelo, Wiseman, Hali, Edwards, (maybe) Patrick Williams and (very maybe) Isaac Okoro who would ever not draft Quickley? Dude has a 0.6 VORP on a .500+ team as a rookie while shooting 39% from the field. That is some serious shit, because if he ever figures how to up his FG% to 42 with the same shot chart and doesn’t forget how to shoot freebies you really have a premium offensive weapon here. I would be very curious to see him in a starting role here and there, but some warts aren’t excisable from Thibs at all, so you take the cool record with the stupid decisions about young players. Grade: A- (for a rookie. Otherwise it would be a B-, I expected more from him on defense. Also, likely an A+ for Kenny Payne who, if I had to put money on the line, would bet was the insider who told Rose IQ was the guy once Maxey was off the table).

– Mitchell Robinson: it’s a bit weird to see that smoking hot babe who made your  sixteen year old head turn everytime she walked down the street becoming a still beautiful but less dazzling adult woman and to find out you like her even more for that. Getting older means learning that the trade-off between dependability and spectacularity always favors the former. I’m way less excited about Mitch than I was two years ago, but at the same time I have way more faith in him being an integral piece of our next playoff contender. He showed the ability to impact the game even when the numbers aren’t there, and opposing offenses look like they fear him more now than when he was a basketball Doc Ock lookalike. I still think it’s disturbing that he never employs anything but dunks and tip-ins on offense, but as long as Payton and Rose are our PGs it’s hard to blame him for sure. Anyway WS/48 and VORP still vouch for him, and the fact that he was able to withstand 28.8 MPG limping from injury to injury until his hand finally caved in confirms he’s a legit building block, even if he’s just Tyson Chandler redux. Grade: B.

– Elfrid Payton: look, it’s not his fault that his game is so ugly to watch. He’s a basketball player whose gifts are basically wasted in this era (and maybe previous eras as well? where would Payton be able to go in the handcheck era?) but who has found Thibs’ trust because… I honesly don’t know. Among regulars, he’s the one with the lowest WS/48 (.041, not that awful when you’re the worst of your team) and lowest VORP (-0.2. Guess who’s the other “regular” with a negative VORP) and so it looks like the dreaded eye test goes hand in hand with cold, cold numbers. His AST% is virtually the same as IQ’s and more than a little lower that Julius’ and Rose’s. He’s basically the basketball version of the owner’s son, so… he’s our James Dolan? I don’t understand. Thibs’ insistence in playing him above IQ or even – gulp – Rose is dumbfounding, but let’s chalk it up to Thibs being Thibs, let’s curse under our breath and move on. Grade: D-

– Obi Toppin: how is it possible that year after year after year our scouting department/GM staff commits the same mistake over and over again? If you ran a KB consensus before the draft, everyone would have posited that, well, Toppin wouldn’t have been the right choice for this team like, at all (and that was true for Knox, and so on). How dumb does a bball lifer to know way less than our roundtable of brilliant but unexperienced minds? Obi’s advanced numbers aren’t even that bad, and you wonder what would he deliver if given the chance to play at least 20mpg on a longer leash, but as soon as you catch him move on the court… something’s off. He’s got IQ’s totally opposite demeanor: he doesn’t look like he belongs and moves so awkwardly that it resembles that kid in seventh grade who had randomly located growth spurts so he always ended up banging his knees on the desk because he still isn’t used being 5″ taller. Even Obi’s shot is awkward (and all-around bad, 29% from three is Josh Smith territory). If I had to bet, he’ll follow Knox’s steps and be on the fringe by 2024. I would advise trading him, but I’m rooting for him because the effort is there and he looks like a great kid. Grade: C–

– Derrick Rose: ouch. It hurts to give DRose a grade, because I frankly hoped I would have never seen him again in a Knicks uniform, but alas, if Thibs could he probably would try to sign Kirk Hinrich to play point for us. I don’t dislike DRose as much as I thought I would, maybe because he’s shooting an unsustainable .455 from three and that buoys his mediocre offensive performances or maybe just because he’s better than Elf and, well, heavy rain is better than a tornado. Still looking for a starting PG one could root for, and hoping that he’s not resigned next year. Grade: C.

– Nerlens Noel: diuhvsvbasviuva abvfd vcaclbujavdfc adcdcvadfcd còl. Sorry, I’ve tried to write a sentence with the same technique Nerlens uses to grab the ball in the offensive sets. I really liked the Mitch-Nerlens tandem because while they are very similar in concept, but they also provide a nice change of pace from one another. Nerlens is less menacing in space on defense but has a majestic knack to stop fools at the rim (and swipe everything in sight like a drunk uncle participating a bit too enthusiastically at his nephew’s pinata party), so it’s not like opposing offenses can really game plan for both in the same exact way. Having him at that price has been a boon and I wish we would resign him for multiple years, assuming he doesn’t go space buffet on us one day or another. Grade: B.

– Reggiec Bullorks: after a hot start got derailed by an injury, Burks has been pretty meh. An offensively capable meh, but still meh. Bullock is meh since the dawn of time, save for the spare 5/7 from three game. They’re perfectly fungible and perfectly forsakeable. Grade: C- (but if we have to keep one, let it be Burks)

– Nick Fragilina: you really can’t bet on this horse. As much as Frank looks improved (while still being mostly made from intangibles and dreamy eyes), he was listed as questionable for yesterday. Obscillating between unusable and useless, you wish you could pencil him in for 12MPG but reality always breaks in exactly at the ecstatic peak of a reverie, exactly like a challenge called on a single point (like, Duane Casey, what the fuck? Who calls a challenge to negate an and-one in the second quarter? You ruined a beautiful fantasy and I hate you for that). Let’s trade the lad and set him and us free. I can’t bear to break my heart even once more. Grade: INC.

– Austin Rivers: the proverbial flash in the pan. Remember Quivers? Yeah, life goes on very fast. It’s amazing how his advanced statistical profile resembles Elf’s but one is totally dogged and the other one is thrust back in the starting five as soon as he becomes available. Grade: D-

– The coaching staff: solid B+. We’d like to see more flexibility, but you can’t argue with results.

Now that we’ve wrapped a winning half-season, let’s brace for what’s next and let’s hope we don’t execute one or more bad trades. See ya!

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Farfa

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

355 thoughts to “Detroit Pistons 104 – New York Knicks 114 – Half-season grades”

  1. My new nickname for RJ is “Barrettcuda”.

    Corny? Maybe.

    But deal with it.

    And I refuse to accept a ceiling on a budding 20 year whose made strides since his rookie season.

  2. “And I refuse to accept a ceiling on a budding 20 year whose made strides since his rookie season.”

    I hope I’m wrong, mind you :)

  3. Thanks for taking this on Farfa, pretty fair grades overall.

    You left off Burks, I’d probably give him the same grade as Bullock.

    I think a B- for RJ is fair, but I feel like he’s really turning a corner lately (fingers crossed of course) He just seems more relaxed, more comfortable in the offense. He picks his spots well, he’s a willing passer and of course the 3 point and foul shooting is improving. I also haven’t seen any of those dumb running floaters lately,

    The second half will be the test as we start to play some of the better teams, but I’m generally optimistic right now about our boy Rowan.

  4. I can easily see RJ taking over down the stretch on both ends in Game 7 of the 2025 Eastern Conference Finals. That’s his attainable ceiling, IMO.

  5. Fantastic Farfa, loved this.

    Rose has been lights out since arriving. Every off balance 19 footer is going in along with all those threes. Still not a fan but you can’t argue with the results.

    As for the FLAMETHROWER, it’s one of my favorite subplots of this surprisingly decent season of the show.

  6. Reposting from last thread:

    Hubert: Me, too. Hence the whole conversation about Beal the other day. Randle was the Batman. Beal is the Robin.

    A top 4 of Beal, Barrett, Randle, and Mitch; with IQ, Noel, a couple of the draft picks we keep, and random veterans on the bench is a really good team.

    And if you can use the remaining $20mm in cap space this summer to solve the starting PG problem, dare I say it… I think that team can win a chip when Barrett and Mitch come into their own while Beal and Randle are still 28/29 years old.

    IMO, that’s a better aspiration to pivot to than “go all out for a superstar.”

    If the Knicks decide to do that I would be disappointed, but not crushed. I just think it will take more to get it done than it is worth…but Beal is a second-tier superstar knocking on the door and if Thibs can get him to buy in to a defense-first approach (think Ray Allen) then filling in around them with the Burks’ and Bullocks of the world to build a true contender isn’t impossible. Difficult and unlikely, but not impossible.

    I would by far prefer to wait until after this year’s draft to even consider a major move that cost several picks and young players. It really isn’t that hard to land a valuable player in the teens…look at the Pistons with Bey and Stewart…or Mikal, or Clarke, or Precious, John Collins…in a reasonably deep draft, those kinds of guys are always available and easily identifiable. We don’t have to swing for the fences in this draft to land at least one, and maybe two or three good players.

    I made the mistake in the past of assuming that the draft picks didn’t mean much because we would probably have too good of a record for it to matter. No way I’m making that mistake again. Patience is the best way to go this early into a rebuild. Acquire a good core…THEN land a disgruntled star from a bad team.

  7. RJ is now shooting a respectable .350 from 3PT as a 20 year old. And that’s after a brutal cold stretch to open the season. He has ironed out the biggest flaw in his game pretty quickly I must say.

    He’s a hardworking, competitive, confident kid who plays hard on both ends. He has easily exceeded my expectations this season.

  8. RJ is already man strong before becoming an actual man.

    He could be real problematic if he straightens out that shot.

  9. Z-man:
    If the Knicks decide to do that I would be disappointed, but not crushed. I just think it will take more to get it done than it is worth…but Beal is a second-tier superstar knocking on the door and if Thibs can get him to buy in to a defense-first approach (think Ray Allen) then filling in around them with the Burks’ and Bullocks of the world to build a true contender isn’t impossible. Difficult and unlikely, but not impossible.

    I would by far prefer to wait until after this year’s draft to even consider a major move that cost several picks and young players. It really isn’t that hard to land a valuable player in the teens…look at the Pistons with Bey and Stewart…or Mikal, or Clarke, or Precious, John Collins…in a reasonably deep draft, those kinds of guys are always available and easily identifiable. We don’t have to swing for the fences in this draft to land at least one, and maybe two or three good players.

    I made the mistake in the past of assuming that the draft picks didn’t mean much because we would probably have too good of a record for it to matter. No way I’m making that mistake again. Patience is the best way to go this early into a rebuild. Acquire a good core…THEN land a disgruntled star from a bad team.

    There’s only one way this works: we have to get to Beal the way the Lakers, Clippers, and Nets got to AD, Kawhi, Kyrie, and KD. That stuff happens, and we set up our front office to do that.

    If Beal makes it known to the Wiz and the league that he wants to play for the Knicks, he can wield his opt out to ward off teams like Denver putting their best package on the table, and we can get him for a fair price.

    A fair price for Beal is that of a really good sidekick. There’s no reason James Harden and Anthony Davis should be the comparable packages for Beal.

  10. RJ Barrett: it looked like all hope was lost with his first 10-ish games, where he couldn’t buy a bucket from deep apart from the first Indiana game, but how things have changed with him. We probably have to accept that his ceiling is somehow lower than it looked when he went to Duke, but a 44/35/73 shooting split isn’t so bad for a player still learning to zero-in on his spots on the court on offense. If I had to bet on his peak, right now I’d say left-handed prime Tyreke Evans who actually defends. It’s a nice thing to have in house at a kind of controlled cost. His .067 WS/48 is at least adequate for a buddying second year player. He has also displayed the very encouraging skill of not getting conditioned by a cold streak. Grade: B-.

    I’m still on the more bullish side of RJ Barrett. Every NBA player works hard, but he seems to have that special, relentless work ethic that makes me confident he can become a very good shooter.

  11. Brian Cronin:
    Jerami Grant turning down the same money to be the #4 guy on a championship contender to be the #1 guy on the second-worst team in the league and then getting traded to a team where he would be the #4 guy on a championship contender is such a peak NBA thing.

    It’s good stuff, for sure. Grant was clearly betting on himself to become a “#1 option” type guy, right? Hitting free agency at 28 with a couple of high-volume seasons behind him. Behind Tatum, Kemba and Brown he’ll be lucky to score 10 a game.

    Here’s a question. We should all know by now that if we could redraft, we’d take Haliburton at #12 and get Quickley too. But if this were an expansion draft and you had the #1 pick to start a franchise, who would you choose?

  12. Ntilakilla:
    My new nickname for RJ is “Barrettcuda”.

    Corny? Maybe.

    But deal with it.

    And I refuse to accept a ceiling on a budding 20 year whose made strides since his rookie season.

    Maybe it’s time to ditch your Ntilikina homage, Raz, and become the Barretcuda yourself.

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Here’s a question. We should all know by now that if we could redraft, we’d take Haliburton at #12 and get Quickley too. But if this were an expansion draft and you had the #1 pick to start a franchise, who would you choose?

    did you just eat a brownie??

  14. When thinking about Beal we all need to look at what happened with Blake Griffin in Detroit. Trading for 2nd tier stars in their late 20s does not usually work out well. Beal isn’t even as good as Griffin was and while he will probably age better, 2nd tier stars are really dangerous to invest in because it doesn’t take much drop off before their contracts become a liability. Beal is going to get massively overpaid on his next contract which is bad enough if he’s already on your team but giving up real resources just to have the privilege to pay Beal $40-$50 million a year into his mid-thirties is lunacy. Unless Beal comes here for close to free, in which case you can have him play out his contract and then let him walk, he isn’t worth it. If we give up real assets for him then we will be too committed to letting him walk in two years. Beal might be good now but in 3-4 years Beal’s contract will be one of the worst in the league, why do we want to be the team holding the bag on an aging Bradley Beal?

  15. Beal is going to get massively overpaid on his next contract which is bad enough if he’s already on your team but giving up real resources just to have the privilege to pay Beal $40-$50 million a year into his mid-thirties is lunacy.

    Why do we always assume these crazy things?

    If someone wants to pay Bradley Beal $50 million fucking dollars, god bless.

    Sorry, I just don’t see teams lining up to do that.

    And I don’t think the Detroit comp holds water. They traded for a 2nd tier star and hoped he’d become a first tier star. We’d be trading for Beal to be exactly who he is: a second tier star supporting Julius Randle on a team with a top defense.

  16. It’s weird, we sit here and go: “bradley beal is definitely, obviously a second tier star” in one breath, and in the next breath we assume he will cost more to acquire than Anthony Davis and will be paid more than Kevin Durant.

    I know the market can be irrational, but the disconnect on this one is pretty wild.

    Maybe, just maybe, Bradley Beal is a second tier star who can be acquired for the cost of a second tier star and can be signed for the money a second tier star makes. Can we just kick the tires on that before we assume we have to gut the team and make him the highest paid player in NBA history??

  17. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s good stuff, for sure. Grant was clearly betting on himself to become a “#1 option” type guy, right? Hitting free agency at 28 with a couple of high-volume seasons behind him. Behind Tatum, Kemba and Brown he’ll be lucky to score 10 a game.

    Here’s a question. We should all know by now that if we could redraft, we’d take Haliburton at #12 and get Quickley too. But if this were an expansion draft and you had the #1 pick to start a franchise, who would you choose?

    With Kemba playing as bad as he is since the injury, wouldn’t Grant be the 3rd option on that team?

    Hubert: It’s weird, we sit here and go: “bradley beal is definitely, obviously a second tier star” in one breath, and in the next breath we assume he will cost more to acquire than Anthony Davis and will be paid more than Kevin Durant.

    Durant didn’t have to be traded, he was signed and traded to help out GSW but he could have signed with Brooklyn outright. Anthony Davis was traded for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, De’Andre Hunter, Josh Hart, and two first round picks. Nobody here has proposed a trade package anywhere close to that.

  18. Can’t believe we have a 22 year old wing who plays good defense and makes 62% of his 3 point shots and people are whining that he doesn’t rebound

  19. Bradley Beal is going to make $37 million in the last year of his current contract. He will probably still be playing very well at that point and his next contract will probably not be a salary cut. If you simply keep his raises consistent for another 4 years his contract ends around $48 million at age 33 or over $50 million at age 34 if he signs a 5-year deal. If we give up a boatload of resources then Beal will have us over a barrel and can probably play hardball when it comes to his next contract. There is no way we give up 3+ 1sts and a player or two and then simply let him walk in two years. Beal will know that and barring him getting injured or flaming out which will make the trade a failure for different reasons he will know we cannot risk him leaving and force us to back up the money truck. If we trade for Beal it will be the Carmelo contract situation all over again with a worse player.

  20. vincoug: Hubert: It’s weird, we sit here and go: “bradley beal is definitely, obviously a second tier star” in one breath, and in the next breath we assume he will cost more to acquire than Anthony Davis and will be paid more than Kevin Durant.

    Durant didn’t have to be traded, he was signed and traded to help out GSW but he could have signed with Brooklyn outright. Anthony Davis was traded for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, De’Andre Hunter, Josh Hart, and two first round picks. Nobody here has proposed a trade package anywhere close to that.

    Plus, Davis was 3 months from being a free agent, Beal is 2 1/2 years from being a free agent. Washington holds all the cards in the trade, and then once the trade happens Beal holds all the cards on his next contract.

  21. Hubert, I (and others here) think that you are basing your entire argument on the possibility that somehow Beal is going to be available for a discount, and then will sign a long-term deal for less than his absolute max. I just don’t see much likelihood that such a deal is going to happen. His perceived value is for sure higher than his actual value, and it seems that nearly all trades and contracts involving players of Beal’s caliber are “perceived value” deals. So sure, we can have the “at what price?” conversation, but ultimately it will almost surely involve a king’s ransom to get him and a max deal to retain him.

  22. Nobody here has proposed a trade package anywhere close to that.

    Literally every rebuttal has assumed we have to “gut the team” or “pay the motherlode”.

    Hubert, I (and others here) think that you are basing your entire argument on the possibility that somehow Beal is going to be available for a discount, and then will sign a long-term deal for less than his absolute max.

    I think he’s going to be available for his fair value. You guys, for some reason, think his fair value would be a discount.

  23. A cup of coffee and a Farfa recap is the perfect way to start a morning — thanks, F.

    I thought your Mitch analogy was pitch perfect, showing both wisdom and wit.

    I’ll go on record here (postmark it Jowles) that I think Obi will be a good basketball player — in two to three years. He feels like Knox redux at the moment, but there’s real talent in there. He’s just nowhere ready yet (not worth rehashing the pick itself, his age, etc.) and not getting much time to work it out. My big concern is defense — even if I’m right about his offensive potential being realized, he could be near unplayable due to his defense. However, he’s actually in the best possible place in that regard — playing for a hard-nosed, defense-first coach.

    So there, I’ve said it. In 2-3 years he’ll be something of an offensive force, and not a disaster on D.

  24. DRed:
    Can’t believe we have a 22 year old wing who plays good defense and makes 62% of his 3 point shots and people are whining that he doesn’t rebound

    sacre bleu (et orange)

  25. And yes… Bradley Beal’s absolute max is 5 years, $266 million from Washington; and 4 years, $198mm from another team. If I’m not mistaken, either of those figures would make him the highest paid player in NBA history.

    I think it’s crazy to think signing him for under those figures constitutes “getting him at a discount.”

  26. Raven – I completely agree on Obi. I don’t think he looks like a bust at this point I just think we are misusing him and he is having a hard time adjusting to a dramatically different role. I think if we weren’t going to give him a more substantial role then we should have sent him down to the g-league, because what we are doing right now is neither helping him or the team.

    I see a lot of skill around the rim, not just on dunks and he seems to have some passing chops. The shooting should continue to improve as well. The defense will eventually come, he isn’t lazy he’s just not very good right now, but if he keeps his effort up he will probably be solidly mediocre defensively in a year or two.

  27. Hubert:
    And yes… Bradley Beal’s absolute max is 5 years, $266 million from Washington; and 4 years, $198mm from another team. If I’m not mistaken, either of those figures would make him the highest paid player in NBA history.

    I think it’s crazy to think signing him for under those figures constitutes “getting him at a discount.”

    I think you are being pretty optimistic when it comes to the intelligence of the NBA when it comes to bad contracts. Hayward just signed for $120 million and he has never been as good or highly regarded as Beal, is not the same player since his injury and is a constant injury risk. Wall was the highest-paid player when he signed his extension, Harris signed for $150 million, Gobert just signed a $205 million extension. George just signed a $190 million extension, despite appearing to be on the decline and with an injury history.

    If Beal is healthy and keeps playing well, someone will offer Beal $200 million in two years. I don’t want to be anywhere near that so I would rather not have our team be the one weighing the traded assets and our 50 win season against the prospect of matching a terrible offer like that. The further we are from that mess the better.

  28. Hubert: Literally every rebuttal has assumed we have to “gut the team” or “pay the motherlode”.

    I think he’s going to be available for his fair value. You guys, for some reason, think his fair value would be a discount.

    We have like 5 actual, useful players on the team: Randle, RJ, Mitch, IQ, Rose, and Noel. Obi since he’s a rookie and the 8th pick has some trade value so include him. Rose and Noel have absolutely 0 trade value for a Washington team trading Beal, it makes literally 0 sense for us to trade Randle for Beal, and no one else on the team has any trade value so you have to put together a trade package out of RJ, Mitch, IQ, and Obi plus draft picks. I have no idea how you convince Washington to accept a package that doesn’t look like:

    A. RJ plus one of Mitch/IQ/Obi and multiple 1RP

    or

    B. All of Mitch/IQ/Obi and multiple 1RP.

  29. vincoug: With Kemba playing as bad as he is since the injury, wouldn’t Grant be the 3rd option on that team?

    I think that narrative is a bit overblown at this point. He’s slowly regressing and has a 2.1 OBPM for the year, with quite a few excellent games over the past weeks. The problem has been that when he is playing bad, the Celtics can’t overcome it. He’s only played 20 games this year and the Celtics have lost all of his five worst games by single-game BPM, e.g. they lost to LAL on 1/30 by one point when he shot 1-12 from the field. 4 points on 13 true shot attempts is basically spotting the other team 10 points, relative to what you’d expect from those attempts.

    I hate to try to set endpoints, but if the narrative says that his injury fucked him up, I’d say that his recent play should be pretty damn encouraging. He’s shooting .530 TS% for the year, whereas a few weeks ago he was deep in the .400s.

  30. I have no idea how you convince Washington to accept a package that doesn’t look like:

    You have to start looking around the league and ask who you’re competing against.

    You think Golden State is going to give up Weisman and the Wolves pick to have two Klay Thompsons?

    You think Denver is going to offer Michael Porter and 4 picks so Beal can opt out after one season and leave?

    You think the Pelicans are gonna pay Beal $50mm with Ingram and Zion looming?

    You think Washington wants Kristaps Porzingis?

    Keep going down the list. It doesn’t make as much sense as you think.

    We’re kinda lucky. Everyone’s made their move.

  31. Hubert: And yes… Bradley Beal’s absolute max is 5 years, $266 million from Washington; and 4 years, $198mm from another team. If I’m not mistaken, either of those figures would make him the highest paid player in NBA history.

    I think it’s crazy to think signing him for under those figures constitutes “getting him at a discount.”

    No way we can resign him at less than the max… other teams would just jump in. Perhaps we can get him without giving too much in terms of players currently in the team, because there aren’t many teams with the flexibility to absorb his contract and a few extra 1st rounders available. But less than the max? No way…

    Given the trade packages we are offering for Beal, I would rather offer them to GSW for Curry. They arent winning this year, and they have an enormous payroll… they might just call it quits and rebuild. And Curry, while 32, with that shooting stroke he will be good for a long time, even if he loses a step and cant rely on penetration.

  32. Owen:
    THCJ – I will take Luka

    Your pick

    Okay, I think you’re Jowlesing me, a la Alan’s either/or hypotheticals whose rules I cheekily ignore, and I deserve it.

    I’m talking the 2020 Draft. Luka is hands down the obvious pick if you’re starting a franchise right now.

    iserp: Given the trade packages we are offering for Beal, I would rather offer them to GSW for Curry. They arent winning this year, and they have an enormous payroll… they might just call it quits and rebuild. And Curry, while 32, with that shooting stroke he will be good for a long time, even if he loses a step and cant rely on penetration.

    Curry will retire a Dub unless they suddenly build another deep contender and he demands too much money in his twilight years.

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Okay, I think you’re Jowlesing me, a la Alan’s either/or hypotheticals whose rules I cheekily ignore, and I deserve it.

    I’m talking the 2020 Draft. Luka is hands down the obvious pick if you’re starting a franchise right now.

    Maybe Lamelo? I’d have to think about it more but that’s where my gut is leaning.

  34. pepper: the not through the Farfa lens

    That is some serious grading on a curve. I would imagine Z-Man would fire him for blatant grade inflation.

  35. No way we can resign him at less than the max

    ok, so today on KB…

    Julius Randle signing for 4 years, $106mm seems unlikely but possible.

    While Bradley Beal cannot be had for anything less than the biggest contract ever handed out in the sport of basketball.

    I swear, man, if you looked at these things outside whatever prism you’re looking through…

  36. You have to start looking around the league and ask who you’re competing against.

    You’re competing against “No.” As in, the Wizards don’t want to trade him and Beal doesn’t want to leave.

    I would love to see Beal on the team. But we can’t trade for him without gutting the team – because the Wiz don’t want to trade him, and he doesn’t want out.. That’s factorial.

  37. – Nerlens Noel: diuhvsvbasviuva abvfd vcaclbujavdfc adcdcvadfcd còl. Sorry, I’ve tried to write a sentence with the same technique Nerlens uses to grab the ball in the offensive sets.

    hilarious and true, Farfa

  38. Hubert: You think Golden State is going to give up Weisman and the Wolves pick to have two Klay Thompsons?

    They don’t even have one Klay Thompson at the moment and considering he’s had 2 major injuries back to back who knows what he’ll look like when he comes back. Yeah, I think they would seriously consider it and both the Minnesota pick and Wiseman are better assets then anything you’ve proposed.

    Hubert: You think Denver is going to offer Michael Porter and 4 picks so Beal can opt out after one season and leave?

    If Denver’s offering MPJr he’s a better player asset than anyone we can offer besides RJ. Denver wouldn’t even need to include 4 picks especially if we’re not.

    Hubert: You think Washington wants Kristaps Porzingis?

    You could sell him to the fans.

    Orlando could offer Aaron Gordon plus picks. Sacramento could do literally anything they’re so poorly run. Atlanta could offer John Collins plus picks. Minnesota could do anything since they’re desperate to keep KAT happy. And of course, Washington doesn’t have to trade Beal. They just went 8-3 and are only 3 games out of a guaranteed playoff spot and are 1.5 games out of the last play-in spot.

  39. rama is cautiously optimistic: I would love to see Beal on the team. But we can’t trade for him without gutting the team – because we’ve said it to each other so many times that it creates cognitive dissonance when facts that contradict this idea are presented to us. That’s factorial.

    ^ Fixed.

    Have a good weekend, friends. I’mma go get lit.

  40. Great read Farfa!

    I’d go a bit higher on RJ’s grade, probably B+ or A-. If you showed me his stat line at the halfway point before the season I would’ve been pretty damn ecstatic, and I wouldn’t have even known there was a stretch in there where he looked like a candidate to not get a second contract. I’m actually higher on him than I was while he was in college, but that just depends on how you felt about him in college (I was curious but skeptical). It’s tough for me to put a ceiling on him because he’s a pretty unique player, but as even a 35% 3PT shooter his role on a good team is much, much clearer. I like the stock!

    Hubert, you’re way off on this one. Beal is going to get the max or very close to it. He is leading the NBA in points per game (we could end the conversation there) and whoever trades for him will have given up a ton to do so. We also don’t know what his trade market will look like because Washington is not even shopping him as of now, but it’ll be way more robust than you’re anticipating.

    The fact that his max would make him the highest paid player in the NBA means nothing, that’s always just a matter of timing. At one point it was Mike Conley. Joe Johnson, Jermaine O’Neal, and Rashard Lewis were all pretty close at times. You know as well as everyone else the NBA is a wildly inefficient market sometimes, and the Beal situation is set up perfectly for those inefficiencies to converge.

  41. Damn, thenoblefacehumper, you beat me to it. I was literally just about to also point out (also in bold) that Beal is currently leading the NBA in points per game. He also fits perfectly on every team in the league and the Wizards don’t even have to trade him. The price to acquire him will be exorbitant.

  42. Beal’s price on the open market would be so high that I don’t think anyone would have a chance unless he makes a list of two or three teams and threatens to sit out.

  43. I believe that was SwiftandAbundant yelling “Champions in 2022!”

    Part of me can’t believe the Knicks have any fans that age but god bless them…

  44. Bradley Beal right now looks like DaVinci’s Salvator Mundi waiting for SaudArabs to take him home!

  45. Cranjis McBasketball
    @Tim_NBA
    Here’s an awesome example of where 3PT% isn’t a good indicator of 3-point talent.

    Barrett: 82nd percentile 3PT Shot Quality, 8th percentile 3PT Shot Making (difficulty adjusted proficiency)

    Porzingis: 4th percentile 3PT Shot Quality, 82nd percentile 3PT Shot Making

    Interesting stats.

    How much of this is good/poor shot selection?

    How much of this defensive coverage? (Rj isn’t very good we can leave him open)

    How much of this role (RJ taking a lot of corner 3s because he’s good at them vs KP taking a lot of shots from very deep to generate space for Doncic)?

  46. Can we please remember the very, very relevant fact that Beal himself has said, multiple times, pretty much every time he was asked about it, that he does not want to be traded? He’s said ir multiple times that he loves Washington and wants to stay.

    The Wizards have literally no reason to trade him for cheap, as his 2 year extension, agreed in 2019, hasn’t even kicked in yet. The very minimum I could see them accepting is a Jrue Holiday type of package, which was Bledsoe + 2 firsts + 2 swaps + Steven Adams going to New Orleans. Beal is a better player than Holiday and his value should be even higher because of his scoring and profile.

  47. I hate to try to set endpoints, but if the narrative says that his injury fucked him up, I’d say that his recent play should be pretty damn encouraging. He’s shooting .530 TS% for the year, whereas a few weeks ago he was deep in the .400s.

    People start with what they want to believe and then try to weave a tale to fit it.

    I hate the Celtics.
    Fvck Ainge
    Kemba sucks now
    Kemba’s contract sucks
    The Celtics are so screwed

    The reality is Kemba was terrific last year, had knee issues, had treatment, had no real camp or preseason, and is working his way back into shape. We don’t know the end of the story yet, but if you were looking at his stats from the beginning of the season and assuming that was the new post knee Kemba it was more wishful thinking than reality.

    Just about a week ago I said I wish we had the Celtic problems. You could see Kemba slowly working his way into shape, Smart was out, they lost players to Covid… etc.. Now they’ve won 4 in row and are slowly rounding into form.

  48. Just about a week ago I said I wish we had the Celtic problems. You could see Kemba slowly working his way into shape, Smart was out, they lost players to Covid… etc.. Now they’ve won 4 in row and are slowly rounding into form.

    It’s basically the same situation with Dallas. I’m not holding out much hope for a lottery pick this summer.

  49. Ainge could have hade Myles Turner and Doug McDermott on this team but he chose to instead have Tristan Thompson, so, yeah, Ainge is still not doing well this season. But sure, if Kemba gets healthy, that’ll help! I like Kemba.

  50. There talk about the Celts being interested in Vucevic. They’d have to give up a lot to get him, but he’d really help.

  51. Raven: That is some serious grading on a curve. I would imagine Z-Man would fire him for blatant grade inflation.

    Not in a COVID year, that’s pretty much par for the course!

  52. The Wizards have literally no reason to trade him for cheap, as his 2 year extension, agreed in 2019, hasn’t even kicked in yet. The very minimum I could see them accepting is a Jrue Holiday type of package, which was Bledsoe 2 firsts 2 swaps Steven Adams going to New Orleans. Beal is a better player than Holiday and his value should be even higher because of his scoring and profile.

    Beal has an opt out at the end of *next season*. He’s going to be able to call his shot this summer, and when he does he’ll be like Kawhi Leonard a couple years back: a one year rental who no one is breaking the bank for.

    Jrue Holliday is an irrelevant data point. Everyone knows the Bucks didn’t pay that price for Jrue, they paid that price to get a Giannis extension. New Orleans used the Paul George model to extract a superstar price for Jrue.

  53. Not in a COVID year, that’s pretty much par for the course!

    i got a parent/teacher thing on thursday – go curve :)

    actually, it seems like the school has taken the foot off the peddle a bit on assigning work tasks (thank you god)…fortunately he seems to have also figured things out a bit better and is doing a much better job at keeping up with his work (thank you again god)…

    it’s funny, i was having a discussion with their mom reference to vaccinating the kids – i wasn’t sure what the right thing was to do, turns out – there is no kid vaccine yet…i probably should have known that…

  54. There talk about the Celts being interested in Vucevic. They’d have to give up a lot to get him, but he’d really help.

    What could they possibly give up for it to make sense for Orlando, though?

  55. Beal is currently leading the NBA in points per game. He also fits perfectly on every team in the league and the Wizards don’t even have to trade him. The price to acquire him will be exorbitant.

  56. Z-man: but Beal is a second-tier superstar

    I’m sorry. This is a pet peeve. I simply cannot accept this oxymoron phrase.

    By definition, there is no such thing as a tier-2 Superstar. Just say star. You might debate who is in what tier, but your perennial all-stat, shoe-in, first ballot HOFer is your superstar.

    Lebron, Durant, Harden, Curry and Gianasis are examples of superstars. Beal, Randle, Sabonis, Simmons and Booker are stars.

  57. GoNYGoNYGo – Tired of Tanking: I’m sorry. This is a pet peeve. I simply cannot accept this oxymoron phrase.

    By definition, there is no such thing as a tier-2 Superstar.Just say star.You might debate who is in what tier, but your perennial all-stat, shoe-in, first ballot HOFer is your superstar.

    Lebron, Durant, Harden, Curry and Gianasis are examples of superstars. Beal, Randle, Sabonis, Simmons and Booker are stars.

    I have a pet peeve about pet peeves…

  58. i’m with ras (soon to be barrettcuda – you should be trade marking this stuff)…i’d like to see us take a shot on lonzo…

    i’m not sure what it might cost, really hard to imagine griffin letting him go cheap…even past the season i’m thinking it’ll be some kind of sign and trade deal…

    not sure exactly what ball’s annual average salary will be, but, the longer he keeps up his 3 point shooting, the more it’ll cost later…

    my thought is though – the next “big” piece we add, should be a point guard…

  59. i’m with ras (soon to be barrettcuda – you should be trade marking this stuff)…i’d like to see us take a shot on lonzo…

    Great minds…et cetera…et cetera…

  60. There talk about the Celts being interested in Vucevic. They’d have to give up a lot to get him, but he’d really help.

    What could they possibly give up for it to make sense for Orlando, though?

    It makes no sense for Orlando to keep Vuc, so a bunch of picks, maybe Pritchard, Marcus Smart, something like that

  61. ***I’m talking the 2020 Draft. Luka is hands down the obvious pick if you’re starting a franchise right now.***

    You’re probably right, but if I have the #2 pick I would happily take Zion. (And if I have the #1 and you want to trade down with me, I’d happily take Zion and a future 2nd rounder.)

  62. Z-man: I have a pet peeve about pet peeves…

    It’s just that the term “superstar” is tossed around too casually.

  63. Berman

    The Post also has learned the Knicks have had internal talks about their former center, Kyle O’Quinn, a Queens native. O’Quinn played sparingly for the 76ers last season, but got passed over in free agency in November. O’Quinn signed up with a team in Turkey, Fenerbahce, in January and has made 21 of 26 shots in seven games.

  64. Ainge could have hade Myles Turner and Doug McDermott on this team but he chose to instead have Tristan Thompson, so, yeah, Ainge is still not doing well this season. But sure, if Kemba gets healthy, that’ll help! I like Kemba.

    I remember a conversation on the forum after we traded McDermott where I said we should have kept a player like that as part of our rebuild. It wasn’t a popular view. I guess he was older than 20 at the time. ;-) We could probably still use his shooting off the bench.

    I’m not sure why Ainge didn’t pull the trigger on Turner.

    At one point I thought he was probably going to be a top C in the league, but from what I gather the Pacers have been open to moving on from him at times and he never really developed much past a certain point. There may be something going on with him we don’t know about.

  65. I don’t understand the fascination with Oladipo.

    He had 1 good year. It doesn’t matter whether you think it was a fluke year or he was just reaching his peak and then injuries set him back. He’s not that player right now.

  66. Deeefense:
    I don’t understand the fascination with Oladipo.

    He had 1 good year. It doesn’t matter whether you think it was a fluke year or he was just reaching his peak and then injuries set him back.He’s not that player right now.

    Why would we trade for a guy who is expiring unless assets come with it? That would be a head-scratcher from hell.

  67. These next 3 weeks will be nerve wracking. The FO has been very prudent thus far, even the Rose trade was fair value at worst…not my favorite deal but not an overpay. It would be so nice to wake up on March 26 without massive agita. Stay the course, Leon!

  68. Thoughts on the first half:
    1. How nice is is to have a POBO who keeps his mouth shut, holds his cards close to the vest, and doesn’t bid against himself?
    2. We can whine all we want about what we would do vs. what the front office did, or how we would coach vs. how Thibs is coaching, but the team is highly rootable and making some positive headlines for a change. That is very refreshing for me.
    3. Julius Randle may not be a superstar, but he is exactly what the Knicks needed right now…a blue collar, rise from the ashes, take on all comers and back down from nobody leader who produces every single night and leaves it all on the floor. The perfect NYC redemption story. You go, All-Star!
    4. Thibs…exactly as advertised. Heavy minutes for starters even in blowouts, preference for former Bulls and vets, never stops bellowing and grinding. And the wins keep coming and dispiriting blowout losses are few and far between. Dee-FENSE!
    5. RJ…maybe it was a 3-player draft after all. We’ll see. But for now, doing everything one could reasonably ask for after last season and the first few games of this one.
    6. IQ strikes like a bolt of lightning, then completely disappears, rinse, repeat…still looking like the steal of this year’s draft but lots of players picked before and after him showing signs, might wind up being an excellent draft class.
    7. Obi is unfortunately throwing a wet blanket on all the success we are having. His dad’s nickname was Dunker’s Delight. Obi’s should be Squinter’s Delight.
    8. Nerlens is the best $5 million the team has ever spent. I pity the fool who drives in for a dunk when Nerlens is waiting for him. His hands on offense bring out the religion in me, no one makes me yell “Jesus Christ!” more often.
    9. The mercs are fine with me. They play hard and I appreciate the grit.
    10. Fuck the Celtics! And fuck the Nets!

  69. The only reason to temper enthusiasm is to not get prematurely wrapped up in the win-now fervor. There’s a lot to be excited about, even if the second half shows some regression downward. This is easily the best Knicks season since 2012-13, and what’s better is that it doesn’t have anywhere to go but up, should smart decisions continue to be made. Toppin over Haliburton is a disappointment, but Quickley makes up for that. Barrett instead of Morant was a stroke of bad luck, but RJ is showing signs of growth and could be another DeRozan before long.

  70. If Barret is as good as Derozan that is a damn good outcome. It drives me crazy that people use that comp as an insult. Not saying you’re doing that jowles but others have before. It’s like drafting derozan would make RJ the best pick we’ve made since Ewing.

  71. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The only reason to temper enthusiasm is to not get prematurely wrapped up in the win-now fervor.

    If you mean in the sense that we shouldn’t make any win-now moves before the deadline, I couldn’t agree more. If you mean in the “don’t get too excited, we’re doing it with smoke and mirrors, we’re not really that good and are hurting our draft position by grinding out meaningless wins” I couldn’t disagree more.

  72. I’m so happy with this season so far. I think the respect we’re now getting makes up for a worse draft pick and you just never really know who you’re gonna get. We might draft really well with two picks later in the first round. It’s easy to say the higher the pick the more likely you draft a star but it seems like outside the top three if you pick in the top ten you are also very likely to swing for the fences and pick a bust like we did with Knox and Frank and maybe OBI. Later you can pick guys that other offices passed over for dumb reasons. Even the top three picks often turn into busts or overpaid average starters. The fact that we got two chances in this draft again is great. As long as we keep hitting on at least one of them we’re adding to the core with cheap young players.

  73. Yeah we should just sit tight. I’m not opposed to a move where we take on someone with our cap space or trade bullock or elf but really just staying out is the right move. The team has good chemistry and we’re kind of playing with house money.

  74. swiftandabundant:
    If Barret is as good as Derozan that is a damn good outcome. It drives me crazy that people use that comp as an insult. Not saying you’re doing that jowles but others have before. It’s like drafting derozan would make RJ the best pick we’ve made since Ewing.

    In one sense, this is completely true. In another, DeRozan’s complete lack of a 3-pt shot and some defensive/court awareness issues make that a less than ideal outcome. I’d gladly trade some of DeRozan’s midrange excellence for what RJ is doing from 3 and on D this year. If he can become DeRozan PLUS those things, that’s a legit max player.

  75. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Toppin over Haliburton is a disappointment

    It’s not just Haliburton, there were other good choices, especially in a trade down scenario. Will Obi turn out better than Deni? Vassell? Precious? Bey? Kira? Stewart? Maxey?

    The jury is still out, but in a re-draft I doubt that he goes in the top-15, maybe not in the top 20. I’ll give him one off-season before passing final judgment, but so far, not so good. And that’s not even to say that it was a bad pick on its face, he did have the stats to justify a mid-lottery selection…just that his weaknesses were pretty glaring and suggested that passing on him was a prudent thing.

  76. I understand Jowles’ comparison but we shouldn’t take it too literally because Barrettcuda is already a better 3 point shooter than DeRozan, the latter of whom is a relic of an already bygone era in the NBA’s history when shooting guards could achieve All-Star status without shooting the 3.

    Career 3PT%

    DeMar: 28.3%
    RJ: 33%

    That’s not a minor difference, especially when you consider that RJ has been improving from last year’s number to produce a 35% 3PT% this season. Of course, the larger problem is that the league continues to increase its 3PAs while either stabilizing or improving its average 3PT%. This year your average NBA game sees 12.8 3PA per game with teams shooting .368% from the floor – both are all time NBA highs. Had RJ been playing when DeMar was drafted he’s have been a perfectly average 3 point shooter already.

  77. Unfortunately for Obi, he plays a position behind our best player, so he’s always looking over his shoulder when he makes a mistake and expecting Thibs to put Randle back in. Even after a 5-0 run by the opposition.

    I think it would do him a world of good to play 30 minutes (or to know he’s going to play 30 minutes) so he can stop thinking and start playing. I don’t know how that would happen (unless God forbid Randle gets hurt) but right now he’s totally tentative and the first thing he does when he gets the ball is look for someone to hand off to.

    Free Obi!

  78. Honestly, I think it would do Obi some good to play in the G-League for a bit, but the bubble probably complicates things. He needs extended minutes and he just isn’t going to get them on Thibs’ watch. It sucks for his development to play in fear of making mistakes. In the G-League he could just play 30+ minutes a game against far better competition he ever faced in the NCAA.

  79. Barrettcuda:
    I understand Jowles’ comparison but we shouldn’t take it too literally because Barrettcuda is already a better 3 point shooter than DeRozan, the latter of whom is a relic of an already bygone era in the NBA’s history when shooting guards could achieve All-Star status without shooting the 3.

    Career 3PT%

    DeMar: 28.3%
    RJ: 33%

    That’s not a minor difference, especially when you consider that RJ has been improving from last year’s number to produce a 35% 3PT% this season. Of course, the larger problem is that the league continues to increase its 3PAs while either stabilizing or improving its average 3PT%. This year your average NBA game sees 12.8 3PA per game with teams shooting .368% from the floor – both are all time NBA highs. Had RJ been playing when DeMar was drafted he’s have been a perfectly average 3 point shooter already.

    It’s fair to point out that DeRozan came into the league in 2009 before the 3 was a prerequisite skill. Who knows whether he’d be better at them if he grew up in the same ecosystem that RJ grew up in? And I’m not sure we’re out of the woods yet with RJ’s 3-pt shooting. 123 attempts this year is still a very small sample, and his 20-42 stretch in his last 16 games is as unsustainable as his 3-24 in December. If he levels off at 35%, he’s still a below average 3-pt shooter as a scorer, and that might be comparable to what DeRozan would be if he was coming up now and focusing on 3’s the way players at all positions do today.

  80. Z-man:
    Honestly, I think it would do Obi some good to play in the G-League for a bit, but the bubble probably complicates things. He needs extended minutes and he just isn’t going to get them on Thibs’ watch. It sucks for his development to play in fear of making mistakes. In the G-League he could just play 30 minutes a game against far better competition he ever faced in the NCAA.

    I guess the Westchester Knicks have only one game left, so Obi will have to earn time in practice. Wasn’t gonna happen anyway, but I think it would have done him some good.

  81. RJ is only 20 and has made huge strides with the deep ball this season. He’s not at his ceiling when it comes to three point shooting.

    I would expect he’ll be better than league average in a couple of years.

  82. I think RJ Barrett is going to be a 10x All Star. By next year I think he’ll be a mid range technician and a reliable catch and shoot guy, and his passing out of pick and rolls will make him a 23/7/3 kinda guy with another jump in his shooting splits. My only question about RJ Barrett is if he will develop the handle necessary to make him a true 1B/2A guy. We’re in his age 20 season and there’s an argument to be made that he’s the 2nd most important player on a likely playoff team. Guys like RJ Barrett do not come around often, and we’re very lucky to have him.

  83. So based on the last couple of posts, I ask: would you trade RJ for Hali straight up? I’d lean yes on that one but would at least have to think about it, which wasn’t true after 10 games.

  84. There’s no way I trade RJ Barrett, who has the potential to be a guy you build an offense around, for Tyrese Halliburton who looks like an elite role player. I don’t believe in Halliburton’s outlook as a high level shot creator and I think Barrett has that potential, so it’s an easy no for me.

  85. ***I think RJ Barrett is going to be a 10x All Star.***

    So 3 more than Tracy McGrady who played in his first asg at the age of 21 and was in the league for 15 years? That is a BOLD prediction for a guy that has a -VORP in his 3000 career minutes.

  86. Donnie Walsh:
    ***I think RJ Barrett is going to be a 10x All Star.***

    So 3 more than Tracy McGrady who played in his first asg at the age of 21 and was in the league for 15 years? That is a BOLD prediction for a guy that has a -VORP in his 3000 career minutes.

    Yes. T Mac also had a career derailed by major knee surgery, but I absolutely believe in Barrett all the way. He may not ever have the highs T Mac did in the regular season, but neither did Chris Bosh and that didn’t stop him from making 11 all star appearances.

  87. I also felt that way about Barrett since he was 17 years old so I don’t think I’m too affected by my obvious Knicks bias. I just see a two-way wing player who can take over games, and I’ve seen it for years.

  88. I think OBI is going to be fine in a year or two. It’s just that you aren’t supposed to draft 22 year old projects. If you are drafting a 22 year old, it’s supposed to be because he’s ready to contribute right now but slipped through the cracks because teams are looking for greater long term upside.

  89. Regarding trading for Bradley Beal, would it be relevant to look at how his teams have done? Because generally speaking, his teams have been under .500, but because it’s the East, the Wizards have been in the playoffs five times since 2012. They have never been anything like a contender and have never cracked 50 games. (They went 49-33 once.) So we give up some array of talent and picks so that we can pay more for Beal than anyone ever has, and become a contender…?

  90. Anthony Davis’ New Orleans teams had a winning record in two out of his six seasons there and then the Lakers traded a treasure trove of assets for him and then he won a title in his first season there.

  91. Anthony Davis also had the greatest NBA player of the 21st century playing alongside him on the Lakers.

  92. “If he levels off at 35%, he’s still a below average 3-pt shooter as a scorer, and that might be comparable to what DeRozan would be if he was coming up now and focusing on 3’s the way players at all positions do today.”

    It’s still probably not. How long has DeMar had to develop his 3 point shot as the league has increasingly specialized in it? 12 seasons? Despite this fact Rozan has been a sub-.300 3PT shooter in the last 1 years since Barrett came into the league. It’s just a whole other level of ineptitude that combines very few 3PAs with a very low 3PT%. Just to put it into further context, Rozan respectively took 0.2 and 0.6 3PAs per game his first two NBA seasons and still shot 25% and 9.6%. If these numbers were from the 1970s NBA, you might have a point but these are totals that well below the averages for the late 2000s for 2-guards.

  93. There’s only a few players who could make a team a winner virtually single-handedly. Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, LeBron, Jordan…most others needed at least a decent supporting cast.

  94. Barrettcuda:
    “If he levels off at 35%, he’s still a below average 3-pt shooter as a scorer, and that might be comparable to what DeRozan would be if he was coming up now and focusing on 3’s the way players at all positions do today.”

    It’s still probably not. How long has DeMar had to develop his 3 point shot as the league has increasingly specialized in it? 12 seasons? Despite this fact Rozan has been a sub-.300 3PT shooter in the last 1years since Barrett came into the league.It’s just a whole other level of ineptitude that combines very few 3PAs with a very low 3PT%. Just to put it into further context, Rozan respectively took 0.2 and 0.6 3PAs per game his first two NBA seasons and still shot 25% and 9.6%. If these numbers were from the 1970s NBA, you might have a point but these are totals that well below the averages for the late 2000s for 2-guards.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. Michael Jordan was a career 33% from 3. Isiah Thomas was 29%. Magic was 30%. Do you think that would be true if they were coming up today?

    And DeRozan is an 83% FT shooter and has been over 80% since age 21. There’s no reason to believe that he couldn’t have become at least a 35% shooter if it was an area of focus for him early in his career.

  95. We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. Michael Jordan was a career 33% from 3. Isiah Thomas was 29%. Magic was 30%. Do you think that would be true if they were coming up today?

    You know where I stand on this. I think even Bill Russell would have learned to shoot from the outside had he been doing it since he was a kid like guys these days.

  96. Yeah, I’m not sure what to do with Obi. He’s been bad but not like Kevin Knox bad. He’s scored inside pretty efficiently, and I kind of like his shot selection (if he’s going to make it in the NBA he’s going to need to shoot 3s), but he really doesn’t seem to fit our offense at all. From what I’ve seen he’d be better on a team that was getting out and running. I still don’t get why we were so dead set on drafting him

  97. Brian Cronin: You know where I stand on this. I think even Bill Russell would have learned to shoot from the outside had he been doing it since he was a kid like guys these days.

    And it’s not as if they were allowed to by coaches when they were coming up. It’s only recently that high school and college basketball started playing moneyball. And it was also the case that future NBA players like DeRozan could score in the paint or midrange at will against their peers so didn’t need to focus on the 3. I get that DeRozan is in that gray area…Curry, Harden and Green are from his draft class. But who knows whether he would have developed differently if he played for a guy like D’Antoni early on.

  98. “Michael Jordan was a career 33% from 3. Isiah Thomas was 29%. Magic was 30%. Do you think that would be true if they were coming up today?”

    I am not doubting that a player can improve upon their 3PT% should they work on it. In fact, my entire defense of RJ’s game presupposes this very point since I am arguing that he has already made some legitimate strides. So, I agree we’ve seen it before and are seeing it now.

    I am saying that DeMar still hasn’t done so after 12 years of playing in a league whose reliance on the 3 ball has greatly increased before his very eyes and that this makes any comparison of his offensive game to RJ’s far better 3 point shooting skills misleading.

    As I said before, you could maybe make the argument that players of a bygone era never developed their 3 point shooting skills because of the time they came of age in, but DeMar was always a piss poor 3 pt. shooter – even by the standards the 2000s when he came into the NBA. When Michael Jordan came into the NBA in 84-85 the average 3 PT% was .282. When DeMar came into the NBA the average was .355. It’s apples and oranges.

  99. There’s no reason to believe that DeRozan ever took 3’s seriously. It seems like he was starting to in Toronto, and then after the trade to SA he went back to extreme low volume. Honestly, I don’t really like the RJ to DeRozan comparison anyway, and I think it’s been forced on RJ but the “even if he can’t shoot 3’s he can still be valuable” crowd. Their bodies, games and approaches are quite different. That said, I still think RJ has lots to prove with the 3-ball, let’s see how the second half of the season goes now that teams know they can’t leave him open.

  100. Agree, the comparison between the two is faulty because while both may be subpar 3 point shooting 2-guards the level to which one is worse than the other relative to the rest of the league is so extreme that it deprives any other similairites in their games of substance. But I get what Jowles’s main point since DeMar is kind of the gold standard for how to exist and thrive as a subpar 3 point shooting SG in a 3 point shooting league. I just wanted to point out that RJ is already making some impressive gains close to mediocrity from the 3 stripe.

  101. Barrett vs Haliburton. Been mulling that one all day (not a whole lot happening here…). With early returns on both, I think Haliburton could become something akin to a combination of a (very) poor man’s Klay and a skinny Draymond. Essentially a critical #4 glue guy on a championship team. Possible all-star, but could be right on the outside of the bubble looking in throughout his career.

    RJ is harder, even with two years of information. He might become a #3 on a championship team. Occasional all-star (but not 10… more like a Randle level all-star). Might not hit that level, but I can squint and see it.

    As a fan I might like having Haliburton more because I just love his cerebral game. But as a GM I’d probably take RJ.

  102. The one thing to really like about about RJ is that he’s already a plus wing defender as a 20 year old NBA sophmore. DRPM has him as 9th best in the league right now among shooting guards.

  103. Every time you jabronis change your usernames it makes it that much harder for me to search for your dumbest expressed opinions

  104. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Every time you jabronis change your usernames it makes it that much harder for me to search for your dumbest expressed opinions

    Good strategy, so they are (a little) less dumb than you’ve imagined :P

  105. Someone talked about Vucevic being on the trade block, and i found this gem:
    Could Porzingis, another player, and a pick or two be enough to woo the Magic into a deal?
    KP’s value is free-falling, when he was on the Knicks it’d probably be Vucevic AND PICKS for Porzingis, not the other way around.

  106. cybersoze:
    Someone talked about Vucevic being on the trade block, and i found this gem:
    Could Porzingis, another player, and a pick or two be enough to woo the Magic into a deal?
    KP’s value is free-falling, when he was on the Knicks it’d probably be Vucevic AND PICKS for Porzingis, not the other way around.

    I think injury has played a big part in that, but even so, Vuc is overrated.

  107. cybersoze: Good strategy, so they are (a little) less dumb than you’ve imagined :P

    Joke’s on them — I just now hold the presumption they’re changing it to avoid well-earned derision

  108. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Joke’s on them — I just now hold the presumption they’re changing it to avoid well-earned derision

    I’m probably going to change my username here before too long, since you can only use a Talladega Nights reference so long before feeling like the kind of person that move makes fun of, so if you want to create a dossier on my various stupidities now would be the time haha.

  109. since you can only use a Talladega Nights reference so long before feeling like the kind of person that move makes fun of

    I remember when Community hit its stride at some point in Season 2 and Britta transitioned from “straight man’s straight-man love interest” to “ridiculously clueless faux SJW” and regularly exclaimed “a doiiiii” without a hint of irony, given her expressed political views, and how funny I thought it was, realizing very quickly but not quickly enough that no one, not even my best friend, roommate and telepathically linked bedfellow Lady Jowles herself would be able to tell that I were in reality lampooning the kind of person I appeared to be upon its utterance

  110. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Every time you jabronis change your usernames it makes it that much harder for me to search for your dumbest expressed opinions

    All you have to do is ask and any honest poster will tell you.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I remember when Community hit its stride at some point in Season 2 and Britta transitioned from “straight man’s straight-man love interest” to “ridiculously clueless faux SJW” and regularly exclaimed “a doiiiii” without a hint of irony, given her expressed political views, and how funny I thought it was, realizing very quickly but not quickly enough that no one, not even my best friend, roommate and telepathically linked bedfellow Lady Jowles herself would be able to tell that I were in reality lampooning the kind of person I appeared to be upon its utterance

    There are levels of mockery that are externally indistinguishable from acting like a dumbass, and that’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way more than once haha.

  112. If I had to choose between Dallas and Orlando I’d take Dallas easily. Orlando is a fucking wasteland.

  113. Orlando is a great city. Actually it’s more like a big town. Guaranteed lightening shows during the year. Plus, it’s only about 50 minutes from Cocoa beach.

    Dallas is located in Texas. Enough said about that.

  114. I was in a long term relationship with a woman from Dallas once. While it’s not the kind of place anyone would be like “hey, let’s go to Dallas this weekend”, it’s surprisingly nice if you’re there.

  115. swiftandabundant:
    I’ve never been to Dallas but it is a much bigger city at least, the biggest in Texas.

    Houston is nearly twice as populated as Dallas. San Antonio is also larger.

  116. Embiid and Simmons probably won’t play tonight because they were around a barber who tested positive later. So things are going great for this utterly misconceived all star game.

  117. Dallas or Orlando… wotta conundrum!

    Let’s see… both cities are beholden to troglodyte governors navigating the ships of their respective states onto the shoals of permanent dysfunction. Advantage: Neither

    Dallas is home to intolerable numbers of Cowboy partisans… one of the lowest known life forms in the entire sports ecosystem. Advantage: Orlando

    Dallas is in a state that boasts a rich cultural history which includes the blues, Tex-Mex music & food as well as some of the world’s best barbecue. Orlando is home to Disney World, Jimmy Buffet and Florida Man. Huge Advantage: Dallas

    Overall edge: Dallas

  118. I wonder what will happen when Texas shifts from red to purple to blue in the next decade or two. Clearly it is virtually impossible for Republicans to win the presidency without Texas. Will that cause a radicalization of congressional politics to alter the electoral system so that gerrymandered state legislatures will overturn the popular vote in their states? Seems like we were pretty close to that this time around…

  119. Facts I did not know until just now:

    Dallas voted 60% Dem, 34% Republican in the last election.
    Orlando voted 59.8% Dem, 35% Republican.

    (edit: their respective counties, that is)

  120. swiftandabundant:
    San Antonio is larger than Dallas?

    If you include Fort Worth I thought Dallas was the biggest but it’s definitely bigger than Orlando.

    True, although Orlando has so many visitors at any one time it seems bigger than it is.

  121. Will that cause a radicalization of congressional politics to alter the electoral system so that gerrymandered state legislatures will overturn the popular vote in their states?

    Red state legislators seen to be doing all they can now to try to limit voting as much as possible. What they are trying to attempt in Arizona is crazy.

  122. There’s some culture in Dallas. You have the whole Deep Ellum district which has some good restaurants and music venues, and there’s always a bit of a music scene there because lots of musicians move to Dallas after going through the music program at nearby Denton, another place that has some culture. Plus barbecue.

    Orlando is all Disney, humidity and mosquitoes. Redeeming qualities are few.

  123. Yeah the only people I know who’ve moved to Orlando are entertainment people who did so for job reasons. None of them particularly liked it either.

    I guess overall Texas is just a much more interesting place to live than Florida so I’d take Dallas over Orlando. But neither are NYC which was my original point. KP at one point was about to be the face of the franchise in one of the greatest cities in the world. Now he’s possibly being shopped to go to Orlando.

  124. There are levels of mockery that are externally indistinguishable from acting like a dumbass, and that’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way more than once haha.

    Tangentially related, a buddy once told me that you shouldn’t argue with a crazy person, because from a distance, you can’t tell who’s who. And that’s why I rarely debate Z-man anymore.

    (In reality, it’s clear that I’ve chosen to hold onto those words while ignoring them entirely in practice)

  125. Whoa, when did SGA get this good? I have not paid much attention to OKC and didn’t realize he was almost single-handedly carrying that team. God dammit.

  126. The Honorable Cock Jowles: And that’s why I rarely debate Z-man anymore.

    The Z-man of today is not the Z-man of the AnteBargnani era (still crazy, but whatever), and the Jowles of today can finally shave and has a better half to mellow him out (not to mention continual access to herbal sedatives) so we generally have less to debate about.

  127. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Whoa, when did SGA get this good? I have not paid much attention to OKC and didn’t realize he was almost single-handedly carrying that team. God dammit.

    Well, it’s never brought up much but yesterday’s RJ vs. DeRozan chat had me looking up a few things and I forgot completely that DeRozan was drafted one spot after Jordan Hill…what’s funny is that all the pining back then was about passing over Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings!

  128. Z-man: Well, it’s never brought up much but yesterday’s RJ vs. DeRozan chat had me looking up a few things and I forgot completely that DeRozan was drafted one spot after Jordan Hill…what’s funny is that all the pining back then was about passing over Ty Lawson and Brandon Jennings!

    I never understood the Jennings hyps but Lawson was a pretty damned good basketball player. No one here could have known that he was going to wreck his career with alcoholism.

  129. vincoug: I never understood the Jennings hyps but Lawson was a pretty damned good basketball player.No one here could have known that he was going to wreck his career with alcoholism.

    Sure. My point is more about DeRozan being an afterthought, even though he turned out to be a very valuable player, esp. compared to Jordan Hill.

  130. I was in Dallas on business one time and went to Fort Worth to kill some time. I wound up in a section where you could literally film an old western movie without changing thing. I saw tumbleweeds blowing through the streets and a bar with swinging doors of the type that drunks get thrown through in the movies. It was hysterical. All cowboys in town. I kept waiting for Doc Holiday to walk up to me and say “Why Strat, You Look Like Somebody Just Walked Over Your Grave.” or “I Have Two Guns, One For Each Of You.”

  131. and the Jowles of today can finally shave

    Jowles trivia bit: could not grow a presentable beard until age 32

  132. ORLANDO!?! We talking about ORLANDO?

    Dallas has 8 million people in it, at least the whole metroplex. It’s a huge city. Lot going on according to my friends who live there.

    Orlando I have been too and I never want to go back.

    This All-Star game is dumb and I am not going to watch.

  133. Dallas has 8 million people in it, at least the whole metroplex.

    You make that sound like a good thing Owen.

    Big caveat I know, however, if you don’t mind a little humidity and a few thousand mosquitos Orlando has much better weather and more kicked back type people (most of the women walk around with little to no clothing during the summer – which I will reference as a big positive). The merits of Florida’s primary school system aside (there are some really not so smart people there) – the fact that a large number of Floridians are New York transplants makes for a decent social environment.

    Plus, you have Spring Training there too. Granted it’s not Tampa, St. Petersburg or anything, but Orlando also isn’t bone dry with really cold weather like Dallas. Sure, geographically not much going on in the Orlando area, but they do have a nice lake downtown – especially compared to Dallas, which if you’ve ever spent time in north Texas, is one ugly place.

  134. Man, I never thought Dallas, TX would be the thing that brought out the animal in Geo.

    Have you been there lately? It’s had such a massive influx of young people the last 10 years that it’s pretty much like every other city in the monoculture now.

    Orlando, though. Sheesh. That’s a subculture I want nothing to do with. There’s no there there.

  135. I don’t see the point of living in Florida if you aren’t on the coast. Orlando is a place to visit, not to live. But I lived a year in Houston and have no desire to go back to Texas for any reason. Either way, KP would be a long way from a Euro-friendly cosmopolitan city.

  136. I doubt Blake Griffin is going to make much of an impact but the NBA could really use a waiver wire system.

  137. Man, I never thought Dallas, TX would be the thing that brought out the animal in Geo.

    I used to drive back and forth around the country a lot when I was younger, occasionally that included driving along I10/I20. Texas is one of the few spots I’ve ever gotten a ticket in.

    I once went to a job interview in some small town east of Dallas. The job was at a chicken processing plant. The whole town smelt like wet chicken.

    I lived in Oklahoma for a while and used to drive down towards Dallas to party. The landscape is pretty unremarkable around Orlando, but at least it’s green, and has grass and trees.

    I’ve heard Austin and San Antonio are nice cities. The Fort Worth-Dallas-Arlington metropolis is just like a much less cool Los Angeles area.

  138. Hubert:
    I doubt Blake Griffin is going to make much of an impact but the NBA could really use a waiver wire system.

    The NBA does have a waiver wire system, that’s how we picked up Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak back then. No one was going to pick up Griffin on waivers because you have to pick up the contract; hell, I doubt any team even has enough cap space to be able to pick him on waivers.

  139. just on brisket tacos alone ….dallas wins out over orlando…

    with Orlando…how does the saying go…”there is no there…there”….

  140. I am, and have always been, Ephus. I embrace my bad takes. For example, I thought Phil Jackson would lead the Knicks back to the playoffs. I was wrong.

    RJ Barrett: There is a lot of room between where he is right now and being an All-Star. He could be the third best player in the 2019 draft without ever making the ASG.

    Bradley Beal: if he reaches free agency healthy and continues to put up these numbers, he will get multiple offers at the maximum contract he can receive. That does not mean he is on the same level as LeBron/Curry/Giannis. It means that the Max salary rules seriously depress the $ that MVP-level players receive. If Giannis is worth $65M per season and Beal is worth $45M, both will get $45M.

    Randle: He has seriously outperformed his contract, which I thought was an overpay. The arcane rules on extensions mean that (if he continues at this level and the Knicks make the playoffs) Randle will have to decide this summer between playing out his contact (1yr/$20M) and being eligible for a 5 yr/$210M megadeal in 2022 OR locking in a 4 year/$118M extension this summer. His most preferred option might be to have the Knicks agree to waive him before June 28 and sign a new 5 year deal with NY this summer. He could take a small discount off of the 30% Max (maybe 5 years/$180M).

  141. Thank you, Captain Pedantic.

    The NBA could really use some sort of system that prevents players who clear waivers from being able to bolster the best teams in the league.

    In the absence of that, maybe something as simple as making any player who clears waivers not playoff eligible.

  142. On the Jerami Grant to Boston rumors: Boston would not need to send any salary back to Detroit because of the Gordon Hayward trade exception. They could fit under the $138M hard cap (triggered by signing Thompson to the full Mid-Level Exception). Boston has all of their 1st Round picks, so they could send multiple picks for Grant. Grant for 2021 & 2023 First Round picks (top four protected) seems fair. Odds are that those picks would be well outside of the lottery both years.

    If they got Grant and Marcus Smart gets healthy, the Celtics would return to having one of the best defensive squads.

  143. Hubert:
    Thank you, Captain Pedantic.

    The NBA could really use some sort of system that prevents players who clear waivers from being able to bolster the best teams in the league.

    In the absence of that, maybe something as simple as making any player who clears waivers not playoff eligible.

    Why would anyone want that? It hurts the players, the teams, and the fans. And the way the NBA waiver wire works is how it works in every league.

  144. I used to post as EB, but switched to Early Bird when I began posting more to (1) be a little more memorable and (2) help others distinguish between me and the following posters: Eb, eb, er, and, of course, E.

    Yes, those are all actual handles and presumably different posters. I believe we existed simultaneously.

    No, I don’t know why so many of us had similar monikers.

  145. On Frank Ntilikina: He is very good as a 3&D wing. He is NOT a point guard. On defense, he does so many things right. He does two things wrong. 1. He dies on screens too easily. 2. He does not grab defensive rebounds. The big question is whether the Knicks will make the $8M qualifying offer to make Frank a restricted free agent this summer. I would bring him back for up to 3 years/$20M. I would also put him in the rotation ahead of Bullock (start Burks).

    Elfrid Payton is a point guard, he just is not very good. He gets the Knicks into their offense and gets into the paint. He does not convert well once he gets into the paint and he does not command attention when he is on the perimeter. If the Knicks could get a meaningful 2nd round pick (or a first by taking back big 2020-21 salary or small 2021-22 salary), I would make that deal.

  146. On Blake Griffin to Brooklyn: I doubt that he is going to move the needle. The Nets need defense more than offense. I would not be surprised if Claxton gets more time than Griffin (during the regular season).

    If Durant is not healthy during the playoffs, Blake could take some minutes at the 4.

  147. Obi was robbed in the final but the most egregious decision was not giving Stanley a 50 on his first dunk

  148. everyone who is watching the Meghan Markle interview seems a lot more excited than those of us watching the all star game.

  149. I am, and have always been, Ephus.

    And yet, you have some super secret site hyperlinked to your name. The mystery of Ephus grows.

  150. everyone who is watching the Meghan Markle interview seems a lot more excited than those of us watching the all star game.

    I gotta be honest, I don’t really get the whole fascination with the royal family. They don’t even have real jobs do they?

    They really seem less interesting than your typical youtuber.

  151. Captain Fantastic: I gotta be honest, I don’t really get the whole fascination with the royal family. They don’t even have real jobs do they?

    They really seem less interesting than your typical youtuber.

    geo to KB: “Look at me. I am the Captain.”

  152. MLB has the only decent All-Star game cause at least it resembles a normal game, NBA All-Star game has been a joke for awhile now.

  153. I gotta be honest, I don’t really get the whole fascination with the royal family.

    right? we fought two wars to get away from those clowns.

  154. I have a recurring fantasy about telling the Queen I won’t bow or curtsy to her.

    Dame, I am impressed.

  155. BigBlueAL:
    MLB has the only decent All-Star game cause at least it resembles a normal game, NBA All-Star game has been a joke for awhile now.

    I remember when the teams played real hard in the ’60s and ’70s. Those games were pretty awesome!

  156. geo to KB: “Look at me. I am the Captain.”

    We’ve thrown in the towel too many times
    Out for the count and when we’re down
    Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
    From the end of the world to your town

    It is a new Knickerbocker day. No more throwing in the towel. Captain Fantastic is here now.

    Not to be confused though with Captain Jack, which will simply get you high tonight. No, Captain Fantastic is taking us to the playoffs.

  157. ephus:
    Randle: He has seriously outperformed his contract, which I thought was an overpay. The arcane rules on extensions mean that (if he continues at this level and the Knicks make the playoffs) Randle will have to decide this summer between playing out his contact (1yr/$20M) and being eligible for a 5 yr/$210M megadeal in 2022 OR locking in a 4 year/$118M extension this summer.His most preferred option might be to have the Knicks agree to waive him before June 28 and sign a new 5 year deal with NY this summer.He could take a small discount off of the 30% Max (maybe 5 years/$180M).

    Where did you get your “4 year/$118M extension”? I posted on some threads ago that it would be 4 years and 106M based on a Bobby Marks tweet, and i think he’s never wrong about finance stuff.

    Waive Randle (to resign him, which i’m almost sure it’s not allowed)? And you think he’ll clear waivers making only 20M and playing like this (all star)? That’s insane!

  158. I placed a long post before this last one, explaining my handle, but i guess one (or several) words got the post banned. It doesn’t even appear in moderation, it just vanished. How cool? Am i the first one to get this? :D

    Well, the words i suspect are h*cker, pris*n, susp*nded… but now you all will be guessing what it was all about, because i’m not going to write such a long text again… :P

  159. Vorkunov wrote about a Randle extension in the Athletic today:

    https://theathletic.com/2433597/2021/03/08/can-the-knicks-lock-up-julius-randle-heres-what-an-extension-might-look-like/?source=user_shared_article

    For those without a subscription, it confirms that Randle’s two options are a $106mm extension or wait til 2022 to test free agency.

    I think it’s a close call. There is ample reason for Randle to want to lock in security at the height of his value.

  160. Hubert:
    Vorkunov wrote about a Randle extension in the Athletic today:

    https://theathletic.com/2433597/2021/03/08/can-the-knicks-lock-up-julius-randle-heres-what-an-extension-might-look-like/?source=user_shared_article

    For those without a subscription, it confirms that Randle’s two options are a $106mm extension or wait til 2022 to test free agency.

    I think it’s a close call. There is ample reason for Randle to want to lock in security at the height of his value.

    I’d absolutely sign Randle to that extension. I think he’s much more likely to want to bet on himself for the bigger free agent deal.

  161. 1. He dies on screens too easily.

    Frank does something on screens that seems intentional. When he gets screened and knows he can’t stay in front of the player he doesn’t chase after him and try to stay in front. He often slides straight down towards the basket and tries to cut off the angle. I guess that gives away a pull up mid range shot because he allows temporary space, but a lot of the time when they screen him it looks like a hot mess and then the player gets nothing because Frank cut him off or he got help.

    Also, in defense of him, one of the reasons he gets screened so often is because they are trying to get him off whoever he is guarding. That’s usually a good scorer. They aren’t targeting him to get him in isolation like they do with other players. All that said, the really quick guards are as tough for him as they are for everyone else.

  162. Alan: I’d absolutely sign Randle to that extension. I think he’s much more likely to want to bet on himself for the bigger free agent deal.

    Agreed. We’re talking potentially over $100 million. If I were his agent, it would be a hard no.

  163. I can’t see Randle signing that extension. It’s just too small a raise given how much he’s blown up this year and how much all-star status is typically valued. He was nearly a $20M a year player when he hadn’t even established himself as a starter in the league, now he has that all-star tag on him and he becomes a $24M a year player in the first year of his new deal? He has to be thinking this is *the* big deal he’s going to sign in his career, taking him through the entirety of his prime and I have to think he’s going to (rightly) try to milk it for all it’s worth.

  164. ***I, for one, think the criticism of Frank dying on screens is overblown.***

    Danny Trejo hold the record. He has died on screen 64 times.

    Frank’s not there yet. But, then again, he’s only 22.

  165. But if he gets injured, he would get nothing. He did miss his entire rookie year because of a leg injury.

    Not saying that makes him injury prone cause he’s been injury free since then (knock on wood) but that experience at the start of his career might make him more risk averse. If he has a serious injury next season, which is always a possibility for any player, he would potentially lose out on 100 million guaranteed money.

    I just find it hard to think the Knicks and Randle can’t come to agreement that’s good for everyone. We took a chance on him and put him in this place to succeed in the first place. He loves it here and loves Thibs and is experiencing the first real success of his NBA career. Its hard for me to think he’s gonna be a complete hard ass and want the absolute 5 year max or else he walks. Surely there’s something in between everyone can agree on.

  166. swiftandabundant:
    Randle had definitely established himself as a starter before coming to The Knicks. He started for NO and The Lakers.

    He started off and on for both teams. 49 starts out of 82 and 49 out of 73 his last two seasons before joining the Knicks and that’s on teams that won 33 and 35 games respectively. If you’re only a sometimes starter on below .500 teams I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he hadn’t established himself as a starter in the league.

    Anyway it’s not that important a distinction really, my point was his status has massively increased from then to now and I don’t think there’s any disputing that.

  167. swiftandabundant: I just find it hard to think the Knicks and Randle can’t come to agreement that’s good for everyone. We took a chance on him and put him in this place to succeed in the first place. He loves it here and loves Thibs and is experiencing the first real success of his NBA career. Its hard for me to think he’s gonna be a complete hard ass and want the absolute 5 year max or else he walks. Surely there’s something in between everyone can agree on.

    There’s a gaping chasm between 4/$106mill and a 5-year supermax. He’d be dumber than a post to accept the former. If he doesn’t, then it becomes about what the free agency market looks like. He may not get the full max, but if you think he’s going to accept a low-ball offer just because he’s thankful for the opportunity and loves NY, you are way outside the bounds of rational punditry.

  168. Donnie Walsh:
    ***I, for one, think the criticism of Frank dying on screens is overblown.***

    Danny Trejo hold the record. He has died on screen 64 times.

    Frank’s not there yet. But, then again, he’s only 22.

    Yeah, but what was Trejo’s wingspan?

  169. Z-man: Agreed. We’re talking potentially over $100 million. If I were his agent, it would be a hard no.

    I doubt Randle’s agent would underestimate the risk like you are.

    Randle’s got to look at guys like Isaiah Thomas who peaked at the same age and failed to parlay their best year into anything.

    $106mm in the bag vs a chance at $220mm that comes with the risk of getting nothing… that’s a pretty significant bet. Especially when you lead the league in minutes and play for a coach who breaks players in half.

    I don’t know why anyone would assume that Randle’s risk tolerance is so high. Maybe he’s a gambler, maybe he wants the bird in the hand.

  170. Re: Julius Randle, he’d be wise to take the money on the table now because there’s no way the Knicks move forward beyond this season with Julius Randle as their #1 option. They consistently flirt with the idea of guys like Beal, LaVine, Westbrook, CP3, Ball, and Oladipo because they know we need more and the minute we land a guy like that Randle’s USG rate is in trouble. I don’t know if Julius Randle can demand a max contract if he goes from 23/11/5 to 21/10/3 for example, and that’s assuming he stays healthy. He should take the 4yr/106M extension and the Knicks should give it to him. 5 years at $127M is a lot to turn down, and he may be eligible for more if he makes an All-NBA team. Take the money and don’t look back, Julius.

  171. I just read the article, it would be great to sign Randle to that extension but I would think he’d rather become a free agent. But if he’s willing to sign for that extension the Knicks should offer it to him on the spot.

  172. I just find it hard to think the Knicks and Randle can’t come to agreement that’s good for everyone. We took a chance on him and put him in this place to succeed in the first place. He loves it here and loves Thibs and is experiencing the first real success of his NBA career. Its hard for me to think he’s gonna be a complete hard ass and want the absolute 5 year max or else he walks. Surely there’s something in between everyone can agree on.

    Honestly, if his agent has this perspective, he should be fired on the spot. If Randle has this perspective, he’s been taking way too much psilocybin.

  173. For Randle, it would basically be the Rod Tidwell dilemma, minus the animus bc the Knicks are acting in good faith by offering the most they can.

    There’s as big a difference between $100mm and $200mm as there is between $100mm and a one year “prove it” deal coming off a bad injury. I think for the average athlete, that’s a 50/50 choice.

    It would certainly make all the times Thibs puts him back in a 20 point blowout with 5 minutes left a little more excruciating for the Randle family.

  174. Randle has banked what, 80 million dollars so far before taxes and everything else? I suspect he’ll be ok if he never signs another contract. Passing on an extra 100 million and the chance to dictate your own destiny seems unlikely.

  175. We should definitely offer Randle that deal. I’d say it’s like 80/20 he turns it down, but I wouldn’t say it’s fait accompli. As unique as he is, he is still a big at the end of the day and the current market for bigs might spook him. There are also plenty of horror stories out there when it comes to guys turning down a lot of guaranteed money, including that of our very own Nerlens Noel.

    If he doesn’t sign it, we’ll have to think long and hard about what to do with him at next season’s deadline. I’ve maintained it’s silly to call him a “merc” because he’s signed for next year, is young, and looks to have genuinely improved. However, if we either sign him to a ridiculous deal that nearly precludes us from contending or let him walk for nothing, well, he kind of retroactively becomes a merc.

  176. If you’re thinking about Randle’s risk tolerance it’s worth saying that by the end of next year he’ll have ~$80M in career earnings. Obviously we don’t know his exact financial situation but if he’s made any kind of smart decisions at all his family should be pretty much comfortably set for life either way. That makes it a lot easier to bet on yourself and why for a lot of these guys I think the money becomes as much about status as anything – there was a nice tidbit in the the Vorkunov piece about there already being 38 players signed to more money for the 22-23 season than Randle would be paid under that extension. And that’s before the deals that will be signed in the next couple offseasons. Randle surely sees himself as befitting a higher status than that given the all-star nod.

  177. Owen:
    Randle has banked what, 80 million dollars so far before taxes and everything else? I suspect he’ll be ok if he never signs another contract. Passing on an extra 100 million and the chance to dictate your own destiny seems unlikely.

    He’ll have banked $80mm when this contract is over. I know that seems like he never needs to worry about money again but honestly we have no idea how much money he blew when he was young, how he’s managed his finances, and what his personal goals are.

    I’m telling you, as someone who works with these athletes from time to time, there’s almost no way in hell Julius Randle feels like he’s earned all he needs and he’s playing with house money at this point. These guys rarely think like that.

  178. I just find it hard to think the Knicks and Randle can’t come to agreement that’s good for everyone.

    But that still requires him to wait until free agency after next season. As Vorkunov details in that piece, $106 mm is the absolute max the Knicks can pay him after this season. Or, it is unless they decline his option for next year. Which I feel like they would only do if they can get him to sign a very team-friendly deal.

  179. Yeah, I think it’s more like 95% that he turns it down. Totally agree with Jowles, and even guys like Hayward, Kawhi and George got paid after they suffered catastrophic injuries. Given that Randle is one of the most rugged and durable guys in the league since he broke his leg and healed completely, you have to be terrible at risk assessment to worry that he’s not only might get injured, but that the injury would preclude a contract in the future somewhere in the area of what he’s making right now. No agent in his right mind would tell him to take the “safe” route.

    That said, here’s to hoping that Randle is dumb enough to extend, though!

  180. One thing people don’t think about when looking at salaries is that they’re are also a lot of other expenses these guys have to pay besides just the taxes.

    The agent gets 10 to 15 percent of that salary.

    If they have a manager, they get 10 percent. Then they might pay salaries for other people (Publicist/PR person, personal trainer, maybe a personal chef, security, personal assistant, etc). Not that every NBA player has all of these extra expenses but they do have more than just their taxes to worry about.

  181. I’m not saying Randle would take the lowball 4 year offer but I also think we shouldn’t assume he would only take the highest 5 year offer out from us or go to another team.

    First of all, no other team can offer him 5 years after next season. No one. So that right there gives us a leg up if we want to wait until next season to give him the max 5 years.

    Just for comparison sake, if we gave him 5 years at 27 million, another team would have to give him 4 years at 33.75 million to match that salary.

    Also, he has to move. I know that seems like a small thing but its not nothing. Also, its NYC. His profile has been raised so much this year being an all star here. And he likes the situation/coach and team. All of that counts.

    Its not the same as cold hard cash but it does matter. He could take a 4 year offer at more money and end up on a worse team that then can’t trade him bc his salary is too big. Those things matter.

  182. No one is saying he is going to be offered the full max…only that he will test the market. What he ultimately winds up with is surely up for debate, I’m guessing at least in the mid-high $30’s AAV for the length of the contract. Put another way, the floor is around $40 mill more over 4 years than he would get by extending early at 4/$106 mill. Now, is it possible he gets the full max or close to it ($40-45 mill AAV?) Most definitely.

  183. Paul George and Gordon Hayward both suffered devastating injuries in the first year of 4 year deals. They had three years to earn their next contract.

    Kawhi is in rarified air that Julius will never approach. The fall back option for guys like Kawhi if they get injured is a one year max with a player option for year two… or a max contract in Brooklyn.

    All I’m just saying there’s two potential $100mm swings in either direction, each of which is about as likely. It’s not an easy choice. There is not an agent on the planet that would be as reckless with their client’s livelihood as Z-Man would be.

  184. Isn’t there an insurance policy he could buy to guarantee he’d get at least some of the money in case of injury?

    I mean if he’s risking $100M, maybe he can pay $1-2M in insurance fees, and get back $50M if there’s no contract at all for him after next year. That would make the risk much smaller and if he ends up earning the $100M extra, from 100 to 200, all he risked is 1-2%.

    I’m sure Hubert would be able to quantify this much better than I can.

  185. Hubert: and if he waits there’s two potential $100mm swings in either direction

    The swing in the low direction is extremely low probability, the swing in the high direction is very high probability. The most likely “bad” outcome (if he suffers an ACL or something like that) is that he’ll earn close to what he’s making now. George and Hayward make that case for him…they came back to make big money and he’s 10X as rugged as either of those guys. Comparing him to Isaiah Thomas is silly.

  186. Hubert: They had three years to earn their next contract.

    And do you really think that Hayward is no longer an extreme injury risk at his age? Randle is 26 years old, Hayward is 30, already injured, and still is not what he was before his injury…and a team was willing to pay $35 million for 4 years. You don’t think Randle could earn $26.5 million at age 27-28 even after an injury?

  187. To follow up on Alan’s point, to really complete the picture and the options, someone needs to lay out the exact timeline, the max the Knicks can offer if he becomes a free agent this summer and the max another team can offer him this summer.

    So it’s basically:

    1. Drop-dead date for Knicks to exercise option.
    2. Date he would become a free agent if option not exercised.
    3. Max in years and dollars the Knicks could offer him (also taking into account the $4M they owe him on the partial guarantee).
    4. Max in years and dollars other teams could offer him (ditto).

  188. >>> The swing in the low direction is extremely low probability, the swing in the high direction is very high probability. The most likely “bad” outcome (if he suffers an ACL or something like that) is that he’ll earn close to what he’s making now. George and Hayward make that case for him…they came back to make big money and he’s 10X as rugged as either of those guys. Comparing him to Isaiah Thomas is silly. <<<

    How exactly did you calculate the probability of Randle getting injured and determine it to be "low"?

    And how exactly did you calculate the probability of Randle repeating his career year (including a never-seen-before surge in 3P% that could go away as quickly as it showed up) and determine it to be "high"?

    Comparing him to Isaiah Thomas is "silly" but comparing him to guys who had THREE YEARS to rebuild their value makes perfect sense?

    RUBBISH.

  189. >>> You don’t think Randle could earn $26.5 million at age 27-28 even after an injury? <<<

    Absolutely not. It would take at least one season of him proving himself on an MLE-type deal. And if he can't prove himself, his next contract would be the vet min.

  190. Assuming it’s even offered, I highly, highly doubt Julius is going to take that offer. It’s way under the market value I’m sure he has in his head and as Hubert said, NBA players do not think in terms of how much money they already have, the “chance” the Knicks afforded him, or any of that. Nor does their union, who will be strongly discouraging Julius from taking this offer — again, if it’s even offered.

  191. Gordon Hayward shredded his ankle as badly as it can be shredded, never fully recovered, and got a contract for 30M per last summer. Julius ain’t taking 25.

  192. What kind of contracts do All Star 32 yr old power forwards get these days? He could in theory still be making monster money then… I guess if he goes with the 5 max year deal, he could STILL make monster money at 33… This feels to me like it leans toward the $200M+ deal… Chances he gets a career ending injury are “I really don’t want to say it for fear of jinx” … So if he gambles on himself, gets hurt, he rehabs, and he can still get a $100-$200M deal a year or 2 later… It’s been done before… Isaiah Thomas is one example of the downside here… but there’s more examples of neutral to upside…

  193. Another thing: Randle doesn’t even need get injured. One season where his 3P% reverts to the mean would seriously fuck up his next contract, too.

  194. He’ll have banked $80mm when this contract is over. I know that seems like he never needs to worry about money again but honestly we have no idea how much money he blew when he was young, how he’s managed his finances, and what his personal goals are.

    I know it seems crazy to rubes like us, but (and not responding but adding to Hubert here) there is a vast difference between $35M (which is probably his take-home career earnings, after taxes and commissions) and $135M (assuming he would take home $100M from a supermax over five years).

    It seems obscene to claim such a difference — and it is, in a sense — but if paid out all at once, that extra $100M in the bank is worth $480M over 25 years at a reasonable 6.5% rate of return. Assuming 2.5% inflation over that time, that’s realized earnings of $300M.

    Would anyone here turn that extra $100M down over some momentary warm and fuzzies from Jimmy Straight Shot, Scott Perry and Tom Thibodeau?

    He’s going to take every dollar offered to him, and be smart to do so.

  195. We’re so used to seeing superstars like Durant and LeBron bet on themselves that we think it’s a normal thing to do. But it really isn’t.

    Think about it: every NBA player who’s been drafted since 1997 has had the opportunity to bet on themselves after their rookie contract by taking a short term deal. Not one has.

    These guys need to get to a certain level of rich before they take huge bets on themselves. That’s what will drive Randle’s decision. None of us know where he is on that scale so I don’t know why anyone is purporting to know how he’ll react to a $106mm extension. It’s a good opportunity for him to cash in on a career year, and I think it will get strong consideration.

  196. Think about it: every NBA player who’s been drafted since 1997 has had the opportunity to bet on themselves after their rookie contract by taking a short term deal. Not one has.

    Except… Noel, right?

  197. Without looking, can anyone name another team that Monroe played for, aside from Detroit and Milwaukee?

  198. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Without looking, can anyone name another team that Monroe played for, aside from Detroit and Milwaukee?

    I couldn’t name one so I looked it up and learned he’s totally out of the NBA and hasn’t played on an NBA team for 2 years now. He was in EuroLeague on the Munich and Moscow teams but got waived from Moscow a few months ago.

  199. Was that the year we signed RoLo instead? I’ve lost track of our many free agent disappointments and lucky misses.

  200. There’s no option on Randle’s contract, the 2021-22 season is only 4M guaranteed. So we can’t decline a option and re-sign him, we’d have to waive him and that will not happen because another team can pick him on waivers.

  201. So the only thing the Knicks can do is offer him the aforementioned extension 106M/4y, which they should do obviously. He probably doesn’t accept it, and then we have next year to know better what to do.

  202. Alan:
    Remember when we were mad we didn’t sign Greg Monroe that one offseason?

    Who’s “we” because I wasn’t mad we didn’t sign Monroe.

  203. I’m already looking forward to a couple of years from now when Hubert predictably plays the “you’re misrepresenting me” card after being hilariously wrong for the billionth time…

  204. I saw some Terry Rozier rumors and was surprised to see his numbers are pretty solid.

    I still hope we don’t trade for him, though.

  205. Who’s “we” because I wasn’t mad we didn’t sign Monroe.

    I didn’t want him, but I still thought it was funny how Phil couldn’t even land Greg freakin’ Monroe. The whole offseason was based on this intricate plan to get LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe to each take less than the max to come triangle up some wins and said plan didn’t get past midnight on the first day teams could speak to players.

  206. >>> I’m already looking forward to a couple of years from now when Hubert predictably plays the “you’re misrepresenting me” card after being hilariously wrong for the billionth time… <<<

    My record when it's me vs the entire blog is at least .500. Which is not bad considering my positions are often very contrary to entrenched narratives.

  207. Hubert:
    >>> I’m already looking forward to a couple of years from now when Hubert predictably plays the “you’re misrepresenting me” card after being hilariously wrong for the billionth time… <<<

    My record when it’s me vs the entire blog is at least .500.

    Does that include the times you gave yourself a pass because you were misrepresented? Like in two years when Julius signs a near-max deal, when you say “well I never said he would definitely take $106 million, only that it was a strong possibility and financially justifiable? Of course you never admit that it was a stupid proposition with at best a tiny chance of occurring. You are a cop-out artist extraordinaire. But that’s cool, I’m still looking forward to drinks at The Pointe this summer.

  208. Brian Cronin: I didn’t want him, but I still thought it was funny how Phil couldn’t even land Greg freakin’ Monroe. The whole offseason was based on this intricate plan to get LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Monroe to each take less than the max to come triangle up some wins and said plan didn’t get past midnight on the first day teams could speak to players.

    I believe I was with you, Brian…would have to check to be sure but pretty sure I was out on Monroe, less sure about LMA but recall not liking him as a max player at all.

  209. >>> when you say “well I never said he would definitely take $106 million, only that it was a strong possibility and financially justifiable? <<<

    I don't get it. You seem to understand the my position is "it's a strong offer, and I think he'll give it serious consideration."

    So how would I be hilariously wrong if he considers it and says no?

  210. Z-man: Does that include the times you gave yourself a pass because you were misrepresented? Like in two years when Julius signs a near-max deal, when you say “well I never said he would definitely take $106 million, only that it was a strong possibility and financially justifiable? Of course you never admit that it was a stupid proposition with at best a tiny chance of occurring. You are a cop-out artist extraordinaire.

    This is so weird.

    Like, you seem to understand my position is merely “that will be a strong offer that merits serious consideration.”

    And then you act like if he considers it and says no, I’m “hilariously wrong.”

  211. LOL I love how the surefire way to get Brian to participate in a discussion he’s been lurking in is to mention a Phil Jackson era decision. It always gets his hackles up.

  212. Z-man: I’m already looking forward to a couple of years from now when Hubert predictably plays the “you’re misrepresenting me” card after being hilariously wrong for the billionth time…

    so aggro

    Hubert: My record when it’s me vs the entire blog is at least .500. Which is not bad considering my positions are often very contrary to entrenched narratives.

    but also… I… don’t think you’re batting over .500 there

  213. cybersoze
    March 8, 2021 at 6:25 am
    I placed a long post before this last one, explaining my handle

    I’m sorry to hear your post got ate by the internet. Hopefully if you have the chance, and desire :), you can write it out somewhere and copy it on to the post comment box here. I’m interested to hear the story of your moniker and what it means to you.

  214. LOL I love how the surefire way to get Brian to participate in a discussion he’s been lurking in is to mention a Phil Jackson era decision. It always gets his hackles up.

    We all have our triggers. One of the most fun things about staying here for so long is figuring out what triggers whom; and, then occasionally, and quietly doing little test fires.

  215. Hubert: Like, you seem to understand my position is merely “that will be a strong offer that merits serious consideration.”

    But what is the test for whether or not it was seriously considered? How can you possibly determine that in retrospect if he turns it down? THAT’S what’s weird. You blather away in support of a contrarian position and yet it’s clear that you won’t take responsibility for being dead wrong no matter how things turn out.

    Tell you what, let’s boil it down to results. Will he sign for 4/$106 or will he hold out for and receive a better offer? Take your fucking pick, you can’t have it both ways. I’m saying he holds out for more. If he doesn’t, I’ll take my medicine. If you can’t do that, you are just spouting a bunch of nothing.

  216. Hubert: None of us know where he is on that scale so I don’t know why anyone is purporting to know how he’ll react to a $106mm extension. It’s a good opportunity for him to cash in on a career year, and I think it will get strong consideration.

    I think the issue is that he’s worth the max based on his play this year. He’s not really cashing in on anything. Even if Randle regresses significantly for the remainder of this season and all next year, he’ll still likely find a team willing to pay at least $25M for him.

    To think he’ll make less than the $23.76M he’d make under the extension means (1) he needs to suffer a year long injury next year, and (2) the injury is an uncommon, difficult to fix injury that scares teams off.

    For instance, KP missed 1.5 years and Dallas still signed him to the 5yr max. So not only would Randle need to miss a season, but he’d need to miss a season with an unusual injury.

    That’s an unlikely scenario.

  217. Z-man: But what is the test for whether or not it was seriously considered? How can you possibly determine that in retrospect if he turns it down? THAT’S what’s weird. You blather away in support of a contrarian position and yet it’s clear that you won’t take responsibility for being dead wrong no matter how things turn out.

    It’s crazy, right. It’s as if I’m just having a conversation, and not getting into a pissing contest.

    Who does that?

  218. Hubert: It’s crazy, right. It’s as if I’m just having a conversation, and not getting into a pissing contest. Who would do that?

    This is pretty much straight out of z-man’s hook them into an argument playbook. I wouldn’t sweat it.

  219. Early Bird: This is pretty much straight out of z-man’s hook them into an argument playbook. I wouldn’t sweat it.

    I guess you missed the part where Hubert referred to the fact that he often takes “positions” contrary to the entire board…as he is doing here (but not really, since his position is as hedged as a position could possibly be)…and is proud of his record. Whatever. Hubert would never sweat it…just blather, rinse, repeat…

  220. Z-man: I guess you missed the part where Hubert referred to the fact that he often takes “positions” contrary tothe entire board…as he is doing here (but not really, since his position is as hedged as a position could possibly be)…and is proud of his record. Whatever. Hubert would never sweat it…just blather, rinse, repeat…

    I don’t take positions to be contrary to the board. I take the positions I believe. Sometimes they’re just so far out there that everyone disagrees with me. I don’t know what kind of record I have because I’m not keeping score but I know I win a few and I lose a few.

  221. Hubert: I don’t take positions to be contrary to the board. I take the positions I believe. Sometimes they’re just so far out there that everyone disagrees with me. I don’t know what kind of record I have because I’m not keeping score but I know I win a few and I lose a few.

    And I have no problem with you taking any positions you believe in. But if they are highly controversial, expect controversy.

  222. We are literally debating if a bird in the hand ($100mm today) is worth two in the bush ($200mm in a year) that might fly away. I don’t think either position is very controversial.

  223. ***Fun fact: Bob Myers has drafted exactly one player (out of 13) with a positive career BPM. ***

    He may not have technically drafted them, but Jordan Bell (whom he purchased on draft night) and Chris Boucher (whom he signed as an undrafted FA) both have positive career BPM. (Also, he has only made two first round picks during that span I think.)

  224. I was probably the only Randle fan on the forum before this year started and even I’m not convinced he’s as good as he’s showing so far this year. I just knew he was better than he showed last year. On the right team his TS% could probably remain close to .60 even if his 3p% falls, but I’m still not buying that he’s .40 3 point shooter. He’s obviously outplaying his current contract this year, but I’d be hesitant to assume this is entirely sustainable.

  225. NetsTown:
    I mean, how much money does a person need anyway?

    Enough to be invited on every network that agrees with your politics so you can express your opinion on subjects that have nothing to do with your own expertise or how you got rich but everyone takes your policy recommendations seriously anyway.

  226. It’s funny that intelligent, thoughtful things like brainstorming, conversing, throwing out ideas for exploration, thinking out loud have been repurposed as vices by internet culture.

  227. I was probably the only Randle fan on the forum before this year started

    Julius used to do a little of what he’s doing now (without the 3 point shooting numbers) running the second unit of the Lakers. He was initiating the offense much like Draymond was doing at the time for the Warriors.

    I was happy when we signed both Julius and Elf, whom I thought could potentially be a starting guard (I didn’t realize just how poor a shooter he was). Last year though starting off with Fizdale was just such a disaster.

  228. Captain Fantastic: Julius used to do a little of what he’s doing now (without the 3 point shooting numbers) running the second unit of the Lakers. He was initiating the offense much like Draymond was doing at the time for the Warriors.
    I was happy when we signed both Julius and Elf, whom I thought could potentially be a starting guard (I didn’t realize just how poor a shooter he was). Last year though starting off with Fizdale was just such a disaster.

    Yeah, I’ve been in the “we have to give Payton more time” camp. He’s had moments in his career where he looked like he could still be a very good player but he kept getting derailed by injuries. So I wanted to see more, but he still hasn’t put it all together this year.

  229. Deeefense:
    I was probably the only Randle fan on the forum before this year started and even I’m not convinced he’s as good as he’s showing so far this year.I just knew he was better than he showed last year. On the right team his TS% couldprobably remain close to .60 even if his 3p% falls, but I’m still not buying that he’s .40 3 point shooter. He’s obviously outplaying his current contract this year, but I’d be hesitant to assume this is entirely sustainable.

    I was with you on Randle, but there weren’t many of us. I definitely didn’t see this coming.

    I don’t think the 40% 3pt shooting is sustainable, but the improved passing, defense, and around 35% shooting might be.

    Randle probably isn’t giving you surplus value at $30M. But there’s $10M of wiggle room between his current contract and the max. He’d easily be worth $25M even after some regression. He may even offset his 3p% drop by getting to the basket more often playing for a team that isn’t dead last in offense.

  230. ahahahahahahhahahahah the things you miss in haste

    Also, wait… geo capitalizes shit now?

  231. ptmilo:
    are we just gonna ignore that geo called it bed bath and body works

    Best “The Simpsons” store sign ever (for a gun shop):

    Blood Bath and Beyond

  232. God, I hope Elon Musk terraforms Mars in time for me to get the hell off this planet. It’s becoming apparent to me that evolution is a two way street and we are heading in the wrong direction.

    Ha, too funny Strat – my first thought also went to Darwin and evolution. Yep, the older I et, the less connected to the rest of my fellow human beings I feel. It’s like some of them are a completely different species altogether.

  233. Hubert:
    We are literally debating if a bird in the hand ($100mm today) is worth two in the bush ($200mm in a year) that might fly away. I don’t think either position is very controversial.

    But that’s not what we’re debating, is it? We’re debating which path the Randle camp will take. It’s beyond obvious that he is going to cash in on a career year and an all-star appearance in the beginning of his prime. Is there risk? Of course! But the risk is so relatively small (and I believe that insurance under such circumstances is a thing, but either way) that 99 players out of 100 are going to cash in. It’s one thing for you to say “That’s not what I would do!” and another to say “It’s a reasonably likely outcome.” Let me save you the suspense. It isn’t.

  234. Geo’s change in syntax is messing with me.

    I like being Captain Fantastic. It just sounds cool. I see there is actually a movie titled Captain Fantastic; but, I was thinking of Elton and Bernie’s captain. I’m not sure exactly how the brown dirt cowboy bit fits in, unless that’s just elton before the fame – this verse seems to explain things a bit:
    While little dirt cowboys turned brown in their saddles
    Sweet chocolate biscuits and red rosy apples in summer
    For it’s hay make and “Hey mom, do the papers say anything good
    Are there chances in life for little dirt cowboys
    Should I make my way out of my home in the woods”

    I don’t know – in some ways maybe looking to get the same vibe I had when I first stopped lurking and actually participating in conversations. I kind of enjoy the feeling of being anonymous. Unfortunately I’m just too loud and excitable to stay hidden for very long.

    I’ll switch back to geo once the games start again.

  235. I believe I was with you, Brian…would have to check to be sure but pretty sure I was out on Monroe, less sure about LMA but recall not liking him as a max player at all.

    I don’t think any of us even got to the point of debating whether Aldridge was worth a max because we all knew that there was no way that Aldridge was coming here. It was ludicrous that Phil was even planning things around that being a possibility.

  236. Captain Fantastic: I like being Captain Fantastic.

    I believe it was a British kid’s game. There was also a recurring British TV skit in the 1960s called Captain Fantastic, might have had Eric Idle in it. Also seems to mean the male genitalia in some circles.

  237. But the album and lyrics were all about Elton and Bernie’s (non-sexual) love for each other.

    Now someone get me the hell out of this worm hole…

  238. I see a parallel btwn Randle/Obi and Vucevic/Bamba; didn’t Orlando draft Bamba to eventually replace Vuc but Vuc started to ball his ass off so they held onto him? It’s like “yeah we just drafted your eventual replacement” and the placeholder says, “Oh word? Watch this…”

    Self plug: Netflix’s Last Chance U Basketball drops midnight on Wednesday (basically tomorroe night). In the 8 episodes, I’m told I’m in it… in one scene… maybe two :-)

    Gonna be a busy week.

  239. Ah, okay – so Bernie is the Brown Dirt Cowboy. That makes sense.

    What got me thinking of it in relation to the site though was the whole thought about not “giving up/throwing in the towel”. For myself, it’s a song about perseverance – which, as a Knick fan is pretty darn essential.

  240. Raven:
    But the album and lyrics were all about Elton and Bernie’s (non-sexual) love for each other.

    Now someone get me the hell out of this worm hole…

    I was nine when that came out….listened to that album until it got worn down…album cover art was pretty cool…

    I have a few digital versions of it…there is like a collectors/remastered version I have where it is the studio and then the full concert plus some bonus tracks…peak john/taupin..although rock of the westies was good…it was downhill from there for awhile…till elton sobered up…

  241. Self plug: Netflix’s Last Chance U Basketball drops midnight on Wednesday (basically tomorrow night). In the 8 episodes, I’m told I’m in it… in one scene… maybe two :-)

    You got me feeling almost famous Cdiggy – congrats :)

  242. I like being Captain Fantastic. It just sounds cool.

    Then don’t change it. I’m with you, i think it’s a very cool handle. ;)

    I see there is actually a movie titled Captain Fantastic

    And to cut the story short my explanation of the “cybersoze” handle was exactly this… it’s based on a movie, some people might already have guessed it, but i’ll explain it. On the movie “The Usual Suspects” (1995) there’s a character named Keyser Soze, and with the popularity of ICQ and AOL Messenger, i started to use an adaptation of that name with Cyber instead of Keyser. And that’s it, nothing much, just that i use it since 1997 and so it’s highly unlikely that i change my handle (this was answering ephus and others saying that they won’t change their handles because they can take the [Jowles] heat). :D
    And then i googled cybersoze and started talking about that, like an old man that can’t cut his stories short. :P

  243. The Infamous Cdiggy: Self plug: Netflix’s Last Chance U Basketball drops midnight on Wednesday (basically tomorroe night). In the 8 episodes, I’m told I’m in it… in one scene… maybe two :-)

    That’s awesome, man. I hope it’s a huge success. And when i watch it, i’ll try to guess who you are. ;)

  244. Captain Fantastic the movie was pretty good, about a dad who raises his 6 kids completely off the grid. Viggo Mortenson was excellent (as usual)

  245. d-mar:
    Captain Fantastic the movie was pretty good, about a dad who raises his 6 kids completely off the grid. Viggo Mortenson was excellent (as usual)

    I wanted to watch that movie but never got around to it. Mortenson needs to be in more stuff.

    I’m pretty indifferent to people changing handles. That said, geo is a classic. But do what makes you happy, not the board

  246. I would be shocked if ephus were ever wrong enough for me to blockquote years after the fact

  247. I read the reviews on the movie, seems like a good film if the premise interests you.

    Viggo really surprised me with Eastern Promises. Hildago though is my favorite film with him in it.

  248. ***I would be shocked if ephus were ever wrong enough for me to blockquote years after the fact***

    “Now is a good time to be a Knicks fan.” -ephus, c. 2013

  249. ephus and ptmilo are like immanuel quickley from the line…the misses are few and far between…

  250. Ok…
    Let me throw a brain fart too since it’s a dead period!

    Signing Randle for more than 30M per year seems ‘almost ok’ right after his ASG appearance.
    I’d call it pretty risky tho from a team’s POV.
    The only way to justify that sum of money is by staying healthy and by keeping his game at this high level for a long period of time.
    If he goes into slumps before his next contract it won’t be easy for a team to max him and feel good about it.
    Bargain, Fair and Albatross contracts are not that far from each other.(crappy ending, i know…sorry about that last sentence!)

  251. Only 7 PF are getting more than 30M per year
    GreekFreak-45,6M
    AD-38M
    Bam-32,6M
    Tatum-32,6M
    KP-31,6M
    Siakam-34M
    Love-30M
    Some of them don’t look very sexy right now…

  252. Captain Fantastic:
    I read the reviews on the movie, seems like a good film if the premise interests you.

    Viggo really surprised me with Eastern Promises. Hildago though is my favorite film with him in it.

    not quite as good as eastern promises…History of Violence…Ed Harris is sprinkled in there…

  253. Whether we should pay Randle $30+ AAV is a different question than will he get paid. My feeling is that he will, either by us or by someone else. Discussing whether he’s worth that kind of money from us is legit. But wishcasting that he gives us a hometown discount by signing early out of fear of injury is a waste of time. Obviously if he offers that it would be a no-brainer to jump on it….which is precisely why he won’t do it. His current market value as a 26yo all-star on the rise is well beyond $26.5 AAV.

  254. Domantas signed a 4yrs75M contract in 2020.(18.725.000 AAV)
    while
    Tobias signed a 5yrs180M contract in 2019.
    (36.000.000 AAV)
    so let’s not be certain about Julius next contract yet.
    I think that the Last few months before signing his new contract would be more crucial than his whole career so if he manages to be in Top Shape then he’ll get paid.
    Otherwise he would have to “pull an Elton Brand”!

  255. And to cut the story short my explanation of the “cybersoze” handle was exactly this… it’s based on a movie

    Oh man, I was kind of hoping like you was some kind of low key cyber criminal – maybe a bad guy, but not a bad person. You know, like the girl with the dragon tattoo.

  256. Sabonis was 23 and coming off of a rookie deal during which he was rarely even a starter. He still signed a longer term extension deal than Julius for around the same money and became an all-star after signing it. Timing is everything! He is now getting significantly underpaid. If he keeps playing like he has he will get paid on his next contract at age 27, just like Julius is going to.

  257. Let’s not forget tho that 3 months ago Julius was “secretly” on the trade block without much success (per rumours and Obi’s draft pick choice) while nowadays is having a career peak that it’s not easy to bet that it will be forever!
    (Although not easy to bet against it also!)
    If i were Randle I’d bust my ass for the megamax too but if my hot streak wasn’t sustainable i wouldn’t say easily No to the Nyk extension.
    Times are tricky…

  258. Reference Julius’ next contract:
    – I think the Knicks have been under the cap (a good bit) since at least since Phil got here. Imagine that, number one valued basketball franchise in the world – and we’ve been spending like we’re OKC, using a much worst talent acquisition model.
    – Julius had a serious issue (tibia stress fracture) his very first NBA game. Sort of a “freak” accident, still.
    – The extension is some nice money, but, smart move is to play another year, get five years and a higher annual salary.
    – Based on his family and their input, I’d say there’s at least a 20% chance Aaron Mintz doesn’t get his wish for a five year deal.
    – Based on the fact that Aaron Mintz of Creative Artists Agency is representing Julius, who knows what the fuck might really happen.

    Who knows, maybe Julius gets a lifetime membership to the Straight Shot(s) and takes the extension.

    Julius’ favorite things.

  259. Sure, if Julius’ play regresses or if he develops an injury of significance, the whole equation changes. One myth that keeps recurring is that Julius’ “improvement” is based on 3pt shooting, which is volatile and might regress back to his career mean. I will continue to make the point that his 40.8% 3pt% has had only a negligible effect on his overall production, that his TS% is actually down from his two pre-Knicks years, and that his statistical improvement is almost entirely due to 1) his higher AST% and 2) his improved all-in-one defensive metrics. It is likely that even if his 3pt% regresses to a more sustainable 36%, he could make up for it by getting his 2pt% back where it was in the two years before he got here. There is no reason to believe that he will start passing less and start defending more poorly due to some statistical regression.

    I also think that the perception is that Julius has matured as a leader. Someone had said that Thibs is trying to bring out the Jimmy Butler in Randle and it seems to be working…he’s busting his ass on both sides of the floor in big minutes, playing intelligently and unselfishly, and becoming a go-to player down the stretch of tight games. His teammates all seem to look up to him and he is coming across as a high-character guy. Those are underrated selling points.

  260. Awesome name, geo. I was never really an Elton John “fan,” but Captain Fantastic was one of my first ever vinyl albums and I played it a lot in about a maybe four month stretch about a year after its release. By the time the Cars and the Police and the Clash came out 2-3 years later, I was long past it and into what I guess would be early new wave/college radio which then begat alternative/indie, and the only non-ironic musical residue of the Captain Fantastic time would be probably the first two Boston albums which I still like.

    I obviously had no clue at age 11 but maybe 25 years later or so, the topic somehow came up with some friends while drunk/high and the realization that the album (and the title track) were pretty “gay” hit. (*) It remained out of mind until I was hitting golf balls at Chelsea Piers a couple years ago and had the irresistible, kind of out of nowhere urge to put “Tower of Babel” on my headphones, the “Sodom meet Gomorrah/Cain meet Abel” lyrics having been apparently permanently seared into my impressionable brain. (Invent a pill that can have the brain have the permanent power of recall in the way that we can recall things from ages 11-13 and you’ll be wildly rich.)

    (*) Notwithstanding the wokesters’ attempted revision of actual history, those years were very open about “those things,” if current times had invented the Village People, they’d be celebrating each other and telling each other how great they are for the next 50 years. And obviously disco.

  261. He’s not taking the 106. It’s not entirely inconceivable, it’s like maybe a 2% chance. I’d need 25-1 or more to take the “yes,” so whatever chance that equals is my prediction.

  262. It’s a very good story, by the way. Lots of details about how these guys do — and don’t — work together, conversations on draft night (particularly regarding the Quickley pick, which we all argued for so long), how Rose manages tension between Thibs’ win-now instincts and Brock Aller’s desire to rebuild, etc. Weirdly no discussion of where Scott Perry fits into things, but otherwise, by far the most detail we’ve gotten about this front office, even if much of it is anonymously sourced.

  263. Lol, thibs wanted to trade RJ and Mitch, I can’t believe he failed as a GM

    Yeah, some of those ancedotes are great, and others are scary as hell. I’m not sure this whole Team of Rivals front office setup is the healthiest thing long-term. But for the moment, it seems like Rose is largely keeping Thibs (win now at all costs) and Aller (accumulate long-term assets, even if it hurts this year’s team) in balance, and Thibs clearly changed his tune on Mitch, RJ, and Randle once he actually got to work with them.

  264. Fascinating article, thanks for posting Alan. Obviously we’re having a season way above expectations and that colors how everything in there is perceived but man there is a lot of scary shit in that article. All the Worldwide Wes stuff is frankly nightmare-ish; it’s fantastic that he was right about Quickley but nothing in there makes you believe in the process at all. The proof is always going to be in the pudding and so far it’s hard to quibble with the results but the picture the article paints is not at all a rosy (Rose-y?) one. It’s easy to imagine the alternate universe where Quickley and the team has struggled a bit and this article was framed as an inside look at the Knicks totally dysfunctional front office – you’d only have to change about 50 words in the story total.

  265. That article is equal parts fascinating, terrifying, and encouraging. I have no idea how to feel after reading it, but everyone here should read it. Weitzman is a great reporter, so this isn’t Berman-esque water carrying.

    You can definitely put a point on the board for the crowd saying the Quickley pick was not the result of a great process. Thibs’ instincts might be even worse than the Thibs-skeptics thought, but they also seem reasonably counterbalanced within the front office.

    The whole set up seems unorthodox and perhaps combustible, but, uh, so far so good?

  266. “There’s no rebuilding or long term with Thibs,” a former colleague said.

    There was never any doubt.

    Nothing wrong with creative tension but it’s an unsustainable setup, doomed to crash and burn. Eventually there will be a “him or me” moment and Rose will have to decide. Can’t remotely see Thibs playing nice in the sandbox for too long.

    From a fan’s perspective, good performance on the court means Thibs gains more power at the roundtable and nothing could be worse for the franchise than that.

  267. I do not love the process, and Wes in particular seems super troubling. He was incredibly right about Quickley, but otherwise seems extremely tunnel visioned. The Kevin Knox anecdote wanted me to tear what’s left of my hair out, as did the bit where he was pushing for Nick Richards to be taken with our late first-rounder.

    Thibs respects Rose enough that this may be a situation where he grumbles about Aller but does his job, anyway. Or this could all come to a boil way faster than it should for a brand-new group. Rose seems to be going for some kind of Team of Rivals approach, like Lincoln, and… yeah. Toppin aside, the results have been very good so far, though. And if Randle is for real as a number 2 guy, that changes the calculus on a whole lot of things.

  268. Lol Tom Thibodeau called Brock Aller “Hinkie,” and that makes me smile from ear to ear. I may be looking at this from Knicks’ colored glasses, but having Aller, Wes, Perrin, and Thibs together under Rose feels like a perfect match. Thibs, like the article says, can coach an NBA win out of a D3 roster. Aller can turn anything into value, Perrin is an excellent scout, and Wesley has access to information that other guys in the industry can’t get because of his ability to leverage relationships.

    We absolutely need a new thread to discuss all of this.

  269. At times, meetings with Thibodeau and Aller grew heated. Thibodeau would even mock Aller and call him “Hinkie” (a reference to Sam Hinkie, architect of the Philadelphia 76ers “Process”).

    Hadn’t even gotten to this part before I wrote the above. Yikes.

  270. Tom Thibodeau can’t work effectively with other people; it’s now abundantly clear. We all knew or strongly suspected Derrick Rose was a bone Rose threw Thibs because things were going well on the court. (Wes got Quickley, now Thibs gets Rose ….)

    That kind of thing can’t be sustained.

  271. I disagree that the Quickley pick was not a result of great process:

    1) The team had identified a guy they loved in Quickley, and they were picking between him and Pritchard.
    2) The team had intel that Boston loved Quickley and would have taken him at 26. The other guy we liked, Pritchard, is now a Boston Celtic via the 26th pick.
    3) Brock Aller was working the phones all day and had the Wolves deal in place.

    Aller had it right; you can get your man by leveraging your intel against everyone else’s and picking up assets while getting your guy. It’s the same thing Ainge did when we traded down to 3 to take Tatum and said afterwards “this is the guy we would have taken 1st overall anyway.”

    I think Wesley was right about Boston, because Miami did the same thing to them over UK product Tyler Herro (Herro went 13th and Boston was picking 14th). They wanted Herro in 2019 and it sounds like they wanted Quickley in 2020. I don’t think there was an issue with the process. They got their guy and picked up assets while doing so. Guys are going to bang the table for their favorites; that’s not uncommon. At the end of the day, Hinkie and The Brain made the right decision.

  272. Scott Perry is pretty clearly a non-factor at this point, relegated to G-League scouting and lobbing spitballs through Berman.

  273. Hard to imagine that Aller isn’t the primary source for the article. Thibs and Wes sort of get damned with faint praise, not one mention of Perry but lot’s of Aller, details about Aller that could come only from him. So if it is Aller, and he did it on his own, we just got more combustible. Unless he was acting under the orders of Rose to combat the Berman/Perry axis.

    Either way, not a great look.

  274. I do not love the process, and Wes in particular seems super troubling. He was incredibly right about Quickley, but otherwise seems extremely tunnel visioned.

    Agreed. It strikes me as great result/worrisome process. In fact, it seems like the same process is what caused the knicks to focus on Obi and miss a gem in Halliburton.

    It seems like in both cases we overweighted intel based on how close we were to the source. In the case of IQ, having sources proved immensely valuable. In the case of Toppin, it led to a blown lottery pick. The overall picture presents a case where we’re beholden to how good the players closest to Rose and Wes happen to be.

  275. It’s a comical process that will work only by accident. NBA talent is so discrete and influential that you can at least theoretically walk yourself ass-backward into a good or even great team, so all is not hopeless. But I’d prefer the Knicks just one time to have a normal, placid, and functional front office so as not to be competing one-armed and one-eyed with the dual-armed and dual-eyed NBA front offices.

    “YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO CONCRETE JUNGLE WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE OF BECAUSE THAT WAS KEVIN KNOX’S WORKOUT TUNE!!!” That oughta have Greg Popovich and Danny Ainge and Sean Marks quaking in their boots.

  276. I started the day not knowing who Brock Aller is and now he’s clearly one of the most important people in my life.

  277. From ESPN:

    Over the first 42 minutes of the game, each team would have the chance to attempt 20 shots from beyond the arc that would count for three points. Once an offense runs out of those 20 attempts, it can keep shooting from behind the line, but each subsequent make would count for only two points — until the 6:00 mark of the fourth quarter, when attempts would once again worth three points until the game is over. The 3-ball is still the most reliable and entertaining way for teams to mount comebacks at all levels of basketball, so it’s smart to showcase them at the game’s most dramatic moments.

    Under these rules, an offense would need to be strategic and selective with its 3s. Use up all your attempts before halftime and you’ll have trouble keeping the opposing defense honest. Leaving a shooter open in the corner is far less punitive when it costs only two points. Every impulse attempt used by Antetokounmpo is one fewer for Bryn Forbes (45.6%) or Khris Middleton (43.6%). For the first time in years, offenses would be forced to truly discriminate between good, average and bad 3-point looks.

    This sounds like an interesting approach to deal with the onslaught of 3s, and make smarts even more important in the NBA.

  278. btw how rich is Thibodeau using the word Hinkie as an insult? You tried his job, Tom, and you were awful at it.

  279. Most disturbing part of the article for me–the mention of Thibs wanting to trade Randle and Mitch. Not the fact he wanted to trade them, but the mention of it. Stuff like that should not leak out if the FO is functioning well. I may need to re-examine my belief that the culture is changing…

  280. He wanted to trade Barrett, too.

    The amount the culture can really, truly change is unfortunately circumscribed because the culture is still led by the bluesman whose band is finally on the cusp of breaking through the vaunted 900 YouTube subscriber barrier.

  281. BernieEarnie:
    Most disturbing part of the article for me–the mention of Thibs wanting to trade Randle and Mitch.Not the fact he wanted to trade them, but the mention of it.Stuff like that should not leak out if the FO is functioning well.I may need to re-examine my belief that the culture is changing…

    Yeah the Randle thing was walked back later in the article, but still weird for someone to leak that.

    I’m fine with everything about the process other than the leaky ship. Dudes are going to push for what they want. That is why you have Leon Rose – to decide which course is the right course. Seems to be going ok right now. But ominous to have specific details and stories given how tightlipped Rose’s FO has been so far. Weitzman has a very very high-level source.

    E, all merc’d out: But I’d prefer the Knicks just one time to have a normal, placid, and functional front office so as not to be competing one-armed and one-eyed with the dual-armed and dual-eyed NBA front offices.

    The Jay-Z thing is weird but honestly I am sure this stuff goes on all the time – just doesn’t get leaked.

    In terms of actual on-court stuff – grabbing Evan Fournier seems a low-risk medium reward solution that’ll cost less than the impending disaster that is Oladipo. we need more playmaking in the backcourt, and a higher volume scorer than Reggie Bullock in the starting lineup. Fournier is like a rich man’s Alec Burks – would be a reasonable target…

  282. At least we now know Brock Aller is a certified Knickerblogger plant. His presence alone is more of a reason for optimism than any past regime provided. If he’s ever let go, that’s when we’ll know to lose all hope.

  283. thenoblefacehumper:
    At least we now know Brock Aller is a certified Knickerblogger plant. His presence alone is more of a reason for optimism than any past regime provided. If he’s ever let go, that’s when we’ll know to lose all hope.

    I posted a comment about this but it’s stuck in moderation. I didn’t know who he was this morning, and now he’s one of the most important people in my life. I want to assign him a security detail, make sure he gets a covid vaccine, maybe even start a go fund me for an annual bonus.

  284. Hubert: I posted a comment about this but it’s stuck in moderation. I didn’t know who he was this morning, and now he’s one of the most important people in my life. I want to assign him a security detail, make sure he gets a covid vaccine, maybe even start a go fund me for an annual bonus.

    What’s most encouraging is that Brock Aller was Leon Rose’s first hire. Before he brought on Wes, Perrin, or Thibodeau he grabbed up Brock Aller. That’s huge, and we see why.

  285. Yeah, Aller is a real nice hire. Wish they’d just normalize things and make him the normal GM with normal functions, powers, and responsibilities.

  286. I would not be surprised in the slightest to see Aller get the title once Perry’s contract is up after this season.

  287. And what about the weird tidbit about Wes taking off his shirt during a Zoom call? Probably not a big deal but for an organization with a history of executive level sexual harassment scandal it raised my hackles a little bit. Lets keep all our clothes on during work meetings folks. This is a very easy rule of thumb to abide by.

  288. Thought the ‘in-the-room’ description was interesting (fumbling the iphone with 10 seconds to spare). Seems the leak was in the room then, to be able to describe it so specifically. It’s probably not hard to find out who was there (I agree some fingers in the story already point toward Aller, which wouldn’t be a smart move on the part of someone who otherwise seems very smart and who we need to stay put…).

  289. The Rose article reminded me of what I’ve read about the Clinton administration. Clinton would run long meetings where he’d let his advisors duke
    it out and when everyone’d said their piece he’d make a decision.

    Random mental association aside, Brock Aller’s role both encourages and concerns me. On the positive side, we have basically have a KB champion in Rose’s inner circle and one of the most important people in the organization. On the negative side, he could be forced out of things go south. It sounds like it’s been at least 2 on 1 between him and Thibs/Worldwide Wes. I would feel more comfortable if Aller were the sole GM to Rose’s PBO and couldn’t get overruled. However, overall it’s an objective improvement over what we’ve had before.

  290. Is Edible Arrangments still a thing during covid? Let’s send Aller a fruit basket or a jamon iberico sampler or something.

  291. IMO, so far this is almost a dream team in management. That article reinforced my view.

    You need people in the organization that understand basketball, people that understand cap issues and the values well, people that can scout and find hidden talent, people that have a good relationship with agents and players, and someone that knows enough to listen to his experts, commands their respect, and makes good decisions based on all the input. One person can’t do it all.

    It appears we finally have all of that.

    IMO, the criticism of Thibs based on that article is idiotic. It’s more “hater” garbage.

    Thibs job is to win games, report to management what the team needs, develop what he has in the mean time, and maximize the output. That’s it. If you ask any coach he’s always going to give you a list of things to make the team better and win more games now. Then it’s on the management to decide if there are any deals or players that fit what the coach says we need that make sense from a long term cap management and asset use perspective.

    Coming in Thibs should have said we need a PG that can penetrate and shoot, a PF that can stretch the floor, and more shooting in general. Then it was on them to try to upgrade the team in those ways (which they really didn’t do other than Quickley).

    It has been our good fortune that Randle came into camp in great shape, Thibs warned up to him, and he’s been stretching the floor better. So one problem went away.

    Later, we obviously needed another PG and more scoring off the bench because DSjr and Frank were not the answer. So he asked for Rose because he’s BOTH. They looked at the cost and said fine. That’s exactly what they should have done. It had no impact on the long term but made us better. And on and on you go trying to add better shooters, finally finding our starting PG, developing the players we have, and looking for a way to add another star etc..

  292. I don’t think Wesley and Aller are on opposite sides of the fence. Actually, the article states that Aller and Wesley became friends back when Wesley lived in Detroit, so I don’t know where that comes from. Thibs feels like the only win-now mind amongst Wesley/Perrin (the scouting and relationship guys) and Aller/Rose (the strategy and long term sustainability guys). If anything, they brought on Thibs to specifically buy them time on the long term stuff because he can literally win with anything you give him. He wanted a bunch of guys we didn’t get even though we could afford, and after we’d determined Smith Jr didn’t belong to the long term success of the team, we flipped him for a harmless Thibodeau guy.

    Maybe now that we know what we have in the building more or less, they would feel more comfortable building for the present as we seem to have long-term keepers in Barrett, Quickley, and Randle. But I don’t think Aller is being drowned out when he was the first guy Leon Rose hired and has obviously leaned on most.

  293. An open question is whether Rose will learn from his (or his FO team’s) mistakes. Let’s not forget that he’s a rookie executive who seems like a quick study and might learn in short order whose judgment to trust the most in each category of decision-making, e.g. drafting…I don’t see a reason to draw any conclusions about the future based on the article beyond that.

  294. IMO, the criticism of Thibs based on that article is idiotic. It’s more “hater” garbage.

    That’s an odd conclusion.

  295. I read the article and as far as Thibs, my takeaway was that I’m glad he’s not the GM and I can see why being coach and GM in Minny didn’t work out for him.

    But that absolutely does not mean he doesn’t get along well with others or is going to be a problem. He’s a passionate dude who cares deeply about winning as a coach. That means he’s going to advocate for getting players he thinks will help him do that. That doesn’t mean he’s going to sulk or throw a hissy fit if he doesn’t get his way. These are all high level dudes who are all going to have strong opinions about stuff and often disagree with each other. You can have passionate debates over things and at the end of the day still be fine with the people you work with.

  296. I think when the coach is insulting the smartest guy in the room by calling him one of the smartest GM’s the sport has ever seen, that is… suboptimal.

    That story shows how quickly and easily the situation can turn into another Chicago. When it comes to player personnel decisions, Thibs is short sighted, unrelenting, and stupid.

    He will test Leon Rose’s relationship management skills to the greatest degree possible.

  297. The interesting thing is really who leaked all these stories and why. And Yaron Weitzman is not usually tied so much to the Knicks in terms of having inside sources.

    The team seems to have a “great culture” where everyone is perceived to be swimming in the same direction. So who benefits from lobbing this grenade into the discourse?

  298. Thibs appears for all the world like one of those gym rat dudes who can’t deal with “management types” at all. Not a lot of charm, not a lot of guile, not a lot of politics. He’s a non-commissioned sergeant type through and through and if he wasn’t really, really good at the coaching part of his job, he would have without question topped out as a lead assistant coach. It took him way longer than his ability to get his shot and it was heading toward him not getting another one, and he’s pretty lucky he got back in.

    We’ll see how it goes. I haven’t been optimistic and I’m still not optimistic. I’m a little more optimistic today than yesterday that he won’t have the requisite pull to strip-mine the roster, but we’ll see.

  299. The interesting thing is really who leaked all these stories and why. And Yaron Weitzman is not usually tied so much to the Knicks in terms of having inside sources.

    The team seems to have a “great culture” where everyone is perceived to be swimming in the same direction. So who benefits from lobbing this grenade into the discourse?

    I wouldn’t assume a sinister leak.

    $5 says it’s a combination of sources as varied as “the assistant who set up the zoom call” and “the man at the catering station during the draft room.”

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