Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dirk, The Daring (Cliche Slayer)

For those of you that are too young to remember the early days of video games, there’s a particular one that I thought would be relevant in my rant today. Dragon’s Lair came out in 1983, and it attempted to combine two of the emerging technologies of the day: laserdisc and video games. Laserdisc, when compared to the technology at the time, was the premier source of video display giving Dragon’s Lair a futuristic feel next to it’s sprite-based brethren. Additionally laserdisc was superior to VHS, which meant this game was probably better than the movies you watched at home on your own tv.

On the other hand the limitation of the computer hardware at the time meant that the game play suffered. Dragon’s Lair wasn’t able to animate new sequences, rather it just played pre-made ones. The gamer had to move the joystick in the right direction (at the right time) to proceed to the next frame, whereas the wrong selection would mean the game would play one of the (usually somewhat humorous) death sequences. So instead of an open form type of game (like Pacman) it was the arcade version of Choose Your Own Adventure.

The main protagonist of Dragon’s Lair is Dirk the Daring who is a tall and thin knight with a long face and a square jaw. Dirk’s job was to navigate a haunted castle, slay a dragon, and save the princess. Although you might think that I’m heading towards the easy analogy of Nowtizki’s namesake defeating the treacherous Miami Heat, that’s not at all why Dragon’s Lair came into my head today.

As a youth, Dragon’s Lair was a frustrating game to play. The reason being that there was only one correct way to play. For each scene you had to know and execute the exact timing of the sequence to survive. Unlike Pacman where you could take a wrong turn & live, Dragon’s Lair was much less forgiving. Often you’d die a hundred deaths at a particular scenario before you learned how to solve it by watching someone else. Learning technique from others was common in the early days of video games, but in Dragon’s Lair it was a must.

Often in sports it feels as if there is a similar rigid set of proverbs to help fans understand the game better. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to your local AM radio sports show, and you’ll be set straight on the proper way to view sports. Call in with your own unique perspective, and you’re likely to be insulted and laughed off the air. Many of these slogans have taken the original event and tossed aside much of the data for the shorter and simpler motto. Losing that context means the deeper understanding of history is lost to the cliche.

While these rules of thumb can help in a pinch, often they are taken for law, which can stunt rational discussion. However the Dallas Mavericks winning the 2011 title may have stomped all over some of these slogans.

  • “Stats are meaningless,” and “the game is won on the court not on paper.”
  • The Dallas Mavericks have used advanced stats to their advantage in the front office (Wayne Winston), with the head coach (Rick Carlisle), and even with the coaching staff (Roland Beech). Mark Cuban is such a believer in advanced stats that he chose his coach based on plus-minus numbers:

    This will merit a more complete post in the next couple of days, but it’s clear that there is a debate in stat geek circles about whether adjusted plus/minus is even relevant. Cuban is a big, big believer that it is, and he uses it as part of his evaluation of both players and coaches.

    He told the audience during one Q-and-A session that adjusted plus/minus was one reason he hired Rick Carlisle to coach Dallas. The numbers Dallas had (mostly courtesy of Wayne Winston) showed players improved their adjusted plus/minus after being traded to Carlisle-coached teams.

    Given that the Mavericks rely heavily on numerical analysis shows that proper statistics have a place in the league. As Cuban once noted about teams that don’t use statistical analysis: “There are times when another team puts five guys on the floor and you get excited.” In this case, the statistics were meaningful and directly impacted the series (see below).

  • “Coaches should go with the hot hand.”
  • Dallas’ coach Rick Carlisle inserted a cold-handed J.J. Barea into the starting lineup mid-series. In games 1-3, Barea shot a pitiful 5-23, but Carlisle’s stat-savvy team thought they had an advantage when he was in the game. The diminutive point guard started game 4, and shot a sizzling 16-32 (57.8% eFG%) the rest of the way. It’s been shown that coaches of professional sports teams tend to play conservative to a fault, so having a manager that will buck the trend can gain an advantage. Clearly a case where the cliche can hurt the team.

  • “You need 2-3 superstars to win a title.”
  • I thought this adage was debunked when Detroit won their last championship. Apparently the Pistons were not the proof that this was false, instead they were the exception that proved the rule. Probably the recent incarnations of the Celtics and Lakers with multiple All Stars helped remove the 2004 Pistons from memory.

    However it’s hard to apply the 2-3 superstar criteria to the 2011 Mavs. Sure Dirk is one of the best in the game, but who is the second star? Thirty eight year old Jason Kidd had a 14.4 PER in the regular season, and hasn’t been on an All-NBA team in 7 seasons. Shawn Marion hasn’t been an All Star in 4 years, and Tyson Chandler’s only hardware in 10 seasons is one year on the 2nd Defensive Team. Not to say that these players aren’t valuable, and in fact I’d say the opposite. However they aren’t “stars” by any definition.

    Additionally the Mavericks won the title against the most top heavy team in NBA history. LeBron and Wade are undoubtedly two of the game’s top 5 best players, and Bosh has been to the last 6 All Star games. Most championship teams feature multiple Hall of Fame level players, but it doesn’t mean that a team can’t win a title without being so overbalanced.

    Much like life, the NBA is a complex system. Narrowing it down to cliches attempts to turn it into a rigid game, much like Dragon’s Lair. However reality has shown that the game is too elaborate for a simplified five word statement.

    161 comments on “Dirk, The Daring (Cliche Slayer)

    1. DS

      I recommend everyone download the Dragon’s Lair iPhone app. Unlike the 80′s version you can keep playing until you win. It’s almost as entertaining as Angry Birds.

    2. DS

      “You need 2-3 superstars to win a title.”

      IMHO, this is an idiotic notion perpetuated by ESPN analysts. Remember the ’94 Rockets (granted the league was thin on “superstars” that year)? The ’99 Spurs (w/ an aging Admiral)?

      There is no reason why consistent play by guys like Jason Terry, Kidd, Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Horry, etc. can’t make up for the lack of a 2nd player who can put up 22 ppg, 10 rpg threat.

      Just so were clear Rasheed Wallace WAS a superstar in 2004, right?

    3. Count Zero

      I used to read Cuban’s blog all the time (more for his business insight than sports) and he is a big believer in statistical analysis. I remember many years ago when he got into a war of words with Sir Charles and he basically called him an idiot. Don’t remember which team it was specifically (probably the Suns), but Charles was arguing that the Mavs failed against them because of the way they defended the pick and roll. As I recall it was because they tried to “switch” against them.

      Cuban basically quoted detailed statistics on how many times they “switched”, how many times they “showed” and how many times they “went over” and the results for each of the three against that specific team. Then proceeded to do the same thing for a team that Charles said knew how to do it — I think it was the Spurs — defending the same two guys and showed how they did exactly the opposite of what Charles thought they did. In fact, they used the same strategy as the Mavs only switched a little more often.

      That’s the kind of guy I want running my basketball team. :)

    4. Nick C.

      @3 I think that’s why many get so heated: frankly they are too dumb to come up with that analysis and perhaps it reminds them that they may have sucked at math and resent that it really does matter in real life.

    5. Robert Silverman

      Dragon’s Lair! I too probably dumped a small fortune into that game trying to win it. Haven’t thought about that game in eons.

      That’s it…I’m writing a Carmelo Anthony piece that somehow relates to Space Ace. Something about the “Infanto-Ray”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsAtc0n8IgM

    6. Jim Cavan

      I agree that there isn’t one tried-and-true model of building a championship team. We’ve seen “Big Threes” do it (Boston in ’08, the 80s Celtic teams, the ’72 Lakers). We’ve seen Big 2.5s do it (The Spurs, the Rodman-era Bulls). We’ve seen the Big Twos do it (the first three Bulls teams, the Spurs in ’99). And everything in between. There’s a pretty good chance that the CBA could yield a scenario where compiling three max players is close to impossible, so it’s hard to say that that will be the definitive paradigm going forward. Although regardless of what happens, I doubt this is the last we’ll see of the Heat in the Finals.

      Rick Carlisle was an absolute maestro in this series. Granted, he had the benefit of a bona fide artiste in Dirk. But how he chose to use him and who he surrounded him with in key points of the game can’t be understated. We’re all astounded — and rightly so — with LeBron’s -22 for the series. But I think just as much credit needs to go to Carlisle for adjusting his lineups in a way that in many ways neutralized what LeBron does best. It might not always have been intended as such. But it worked.

      What does this mean for us? If we have a chance to land CP3, I don’t see how you let that opportunity pass by. He almost single-handedly took a team of border-line D-Leaguers, sans their leading scorer, past the Lakers. Him running the court with Amare, Melo, and two Brian Cardinals would be a tough, tough team to beat.

      Other than CP3, I wouldn’t put too much stock in running for a max player — even Dwight. We’ve seen plenty of Big Threes in the past, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen one with a CP3 caliber PG. Even if the new CBA precludes even the possibility of landing Paul, I hope whoever ends up running our front office at least takes heed of how Dallas went about constructing their team and sees it as a worthy alternative to simply going after max player X.

    7. TDM

      DS: I recommend everyone download the Dragon’s Lair iPhone app. Unlike the 80?s version you can keep playing until you win. It’s almost as entertaining as Angry Birds.

      I concur. I snagged it when iTunes was having a $0.99 sale. Good times.

      With regard to the topic at hand, I also agree that we need to scrap the Big 3 approach, unless (as J Cavan points out), CP3 falls into our lap. I’d be much happier seeing a well rounded team built around our 2 superstars than maxing out the Knicks future for something that provides no guarantees of a title.

    8. Ted Nelson

      Jim Cavan: If we have a chance to land CP3, I don’t see how you let that opportunity pass by.

      I don’t think they plan to… There is, however, a counter-argument. CP3 may have no cartilage in his knees (I’m not Dr., but Knicks would have access to better info presumably), and small PGs even with knee cartilage tend to hit a wall at 30-ish. I think CP3 might literally be the best PG ever (in terms of team-independent performance over the # of seasons he’s played… granted the NBA is stacked in PG’s favor right now), but there are legit questions about how much value he’ll provide over the life of his next contract.

      Jim Cavan: Other than CP3, I wouldn’t put too much stock in running for a max player — even Dwight.

      I think you are seriously, seriously undervaluing Dwight Howard. Why is PG such a more valuable position than C? How would adding a defensive C Howard’s caliber be a bad thing for a poor defensive team like the Knicks?

      Jim Cavan: I hope whoever ends up running our front office at least takes heed of how Dallas went about constructing their team and sees it as a worthy alternative to simply going after max player X.

      Part of it is circumstantial… Cuban wanted to meet with LeBron to the point he was enraged LeBron wouldn’t meet with them.

      The Mavs also have a $90 mill payroll with 4 players who made over $10 mill this season. They’ve always spent, and largely built this team through taking on max contracts dating back to Juwan Howard.

      I can see waiting on CP3/Howard… but I can also see the Knicks trying to spend on a solid C ASAP.

    9. Jim Cavan

      @8

      Point taken on Paul’s knees. I’m as concerned as anyone about how many miles they have left. However he did appear to be at least close to old form as soon as he shed those knee braces (“the size of Earl Boykins”, as Bill Simmons said). It would be a cryin’ shame if we never got to see him reach what he was a few years ago. But if we can get him for slightly less than whatever the max is set to be, I’d still take a CP3 at 85 or 90 percent over pretty much anyone but Deron Williams at this point. And yes, that includes Rose and Westbrook.

      re: Dwight, I think he’s a fantastic player. I’m just not sure how a front court of Amare, Melo, and D12 co-exist. Of course, if one of the former two end up being part of a deal for the latter, then that’s a different story. But it’s not a matter of the best PG necessarily being better than the best C. I’d maybe / probably take Shaq or even Olajuwon in their prime over CP3. D12 is a force, but while he showed improvement in his offensive game, he’s still pretty awkward and over reliant on moves to the basket that very often get him in trouble.

      I just feel like, unless he seriously develops a total offensive menu of moves, teams will figure out ways to exploit his deficiencies often enough that making the Finals on a team where he’s the focal point will be a difficult proposition. Obviously if the stars align and he lands here, I’ll be thrilled. I just hope he arrives with Patrick — and Patrick offensive skillz — in tow.

      True, Cuban has always spent, and until… well… now, it’s always been a question as to how wisely he’s done so. In hindsight, the team he built is brilliant. If he loses in Round 1 to Portland? Not so much. Dolan is clearly willing to spend money — just not Mark Cuban money. Point being, I hope you’re right that the front office is giving equal merit to both the third star approach and the “Tyson Chandler” approach.

    10. Brian Cronin

      I was thinking the other day about that game that the Mavs played against the Knicks where we all weren’t even that concerned about the spanking that the Knicks got because the Mavs looked that good (the first game, not the Corey Brewer game). I thought about and it made me think, “Hey, maybe the Mavs really are just that good.” If it weren’t for Dirk’s injury, couldn’t they have gotten the best record in the NBA?

    11. Brian Cronin

      My new Sports Legends Revealed piece is up! It about USA Basketball. I think it is pretty interesting. You can check it out here.

    12. BigBlueAL

      Brian Cronin:
      My new Sports Legends Revealed piece is up! It about USA Basketball. I think it is pretty interesting. You can check it out here.

      Another GREAT article Brian. Great stuff.

    13. Jim Cavan

      Agreed — great read, Brian. Reminds me yet again how frightening Sabonis would’ve been had he been brought to the NBA sooner.

    14. CRJoe

      Jim Cavan: Other than CP3, I wouldn’t put too much stock in running for a max player — even Dwight. We’ve seen plenty of Big Threes in the past, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen one with a CP3 caliber PG.

      My thoughts exactly… I have been a long time opponent to the 3 stars system, but I do have to admit that Miami came extremely close… I mean a healthy Miller and maybe some contribution by one of those really tall guys they put in the middle of the paint (you know, the one’s they dare to call centers), and you have a brand new series…

      Lately I’ve been thinking that it shouldn’t be so difficult to snatch a few players to complement our Big 2… Haywood & Artest have reasonable contracts and are under-appreciated on their respective teams, throw in a Jonny Flynn and suddenly you have an All New York team… Wouldn’t mind seing those five giving hell to MIA…

    15. Brian Cronin

      Thanks, guys, glad you liked it.

      What do you think about the question about who would have been the NBA’s representatives if they were only allowed to send two players? Obviously Jordan would have been one in 1992 (my guess would be that no one player would go more than once) but who would they have sent with him? Magic? Bird? Ewing? Barkley? Pippen? How about 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008?

    16. BigBlueAL

      Brian Cronin:
      Thanks, guys, glad you liked it.

      What do you think about the question about who would have been the NBA’s representatives if they were only allowed to send two players? Obviously Jordan would have been one in 1992 (my guess would be that no one player would go more than once) but who would they have sent with him? Magic? Bird? Ewing? Barkley? Pippen? How about 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008?

      Jordan probably wouldve declined, hell he was the last player to commit to the Dream Team if I remember correctly. Dont think he wanted to play for that team and it took some convincing before he agreed to playing.

    17. Brian Cronin

      You don’t think he would have gotten off on the idea of being one of only two NBA players to represent the USA?

      But if not Jordan, then which two players?

      By the way, the 1992 team could have been pretty formidable even without NBA players. O’Neal, Laettner, Mourning, Penny, Webber, Rose, Hill, Kidd…other guys I can’t think of off the top of my head…

    18. André

      Charles Barkley was the best USA player in 1992 olimpics.
      He surely was the guy who was most interesed in the tournament.
      He was the one who praise Oscar Schmidt for what he did in 1987 against David Robison’s USA basketball team.

    19. Ted Nelson

      “I’m just not sure how a front court of Amare, Melo, and D12 co-exist.”

      The real overlap, I’d say, is with Amare and Dwight. To start, if they both play 35 MPG there’s about 37% of their minutes when they don’t have to be on the court together. Each would have to know his role, and D’Antoni would have to design plays to make sure they didn’t eat each other’s space too much. Maybe look at how Robinson and Duncan coexisted for inspiration.

      Even with all their turnover, the Knicks were the 7th in offensive efficiency last season. Offense isn’t their problem. Defense and rebounding are their problem.

      Jim Cavan: he’s still pretty awkward and over reliant on moves to the basket that very often get him in trouble.

      Which is why it would be great for him to no longer be the #1 interior scoring option, passing that role off to Amare… focusing on his strengths on defense, rebounding, and the easier looks he gets offensively… not needing to force the issue and cutting TOs.

      Jim Cavan: But it’s not a matter of the best PG necessarily being better than the best C.

      You said yes to CP3 and no to Dwight Howard. I was wondering why? If Dwight Howard hit free agency, called Dolan, said I want to be a Knick… you’d tell him no thanks? If there was an opportunity to trade for him while keeping the Big 2… you’d decline?

      Jim Cavan: on a team where he’s the focal point

      He’s not the focal point if Amare and Melo are on the court. Making the finals is always difficult, but he’s already done it.

    20. Ted Nelson

      Jim Cavan: Dolan is clearly willing to spend money — just not Mark Cuban money.

      That’s just not true, the Knicks had the highest payroll in the NBA for years. The Mavs payroll this season was $90 mill. In 05-06 (just picked a random year) the Knicks’ payroll was $126 mill.

      Jim Cavan: Point being, I hope you’re right that the front office is giving equal merit to both the third star approach and the “Tyson Chandler” approach.

      The interesting thing, to me, is that they might have to choose before all the info is available… Tyson Chandler and Samuel Dalembert are free agents this offseason. I don’t know that they can outspend Dallas (in a S&T) for Chandler, but if they may have to make a choice of one of these guys OR see about CP3/Dwight. Similar to the trade-offs waiting for 2010, but this time they’re at a different point in team building: “role players” would really help

      Dwight Howard would basically be the Tyson Chandler on steroids approach. It’s hard to imagine the Heat and Celtics not being susceptible to a two headed C (the Heat got beaten up by Chandler himself)… They might stop Amare alone, but will they ever have the bigmen to stop both? Doubt it. Even the Bulls… Boozer is a bum defensively and neither Noah nor Gibson has got much girth.

    21. d-mar

      Talking about Dwight Howard on the Knicks is a waste of mental energy. There’s absolutely no way he winds up in NY; he’s going to force his way out of Orlando, and they will trade him before his contract expires and look to get back serious talent or draft picks in return, neither of which the Knicks have (unless they’re willing to give up Amare) Howard will not insist on being traded only to the Knicks a la Melo, so the most likely destination is LA for Bynum and other pieces. That way Otis Smith can say that he at least got a potential All Star back for his franchise player. And the Nets can forget about it also, what do they have left to trade after the D-Will deal? Lopez? Not happening.

      Hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it.

    22. adrenaline98

      I would rather have D12 than CP3 any day of the week. Howard is a singular commodity in this league. There is replication of every player in every position except D12 and maybe LBJ.

      On a side note: This just in, DeShawn Stevenson, arrested for public intoxication, convicted child rapist, calls Heat classless.

      Anyone else find this hilarious?

    23. adrenaline98

      d-mar: Talking about Dwight Howard on the Knicks is a waste of mental energy. There’s absolutely no way he winds up in NY; he’s going to force his way out of Orlando, and they will trade him before his contract expires and look to get back serious talent or draft picks in return, neither of which the Knicks have (unless they’re willing to give up Amare) Howard will not insist on being traded only to the Knicks a la Melo, so the most likely destination is LA for Bynum and other pieces. That way Otis Smith can say that he at least got a potential All Star back for his franchise player. And the Nets can forget about it also, what do they have left to trade after the D-Will deal? Lopez? Not happening.Hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it.

      I love Melo, but trading his gargantuan extension for a new, less lucrative contract extension in D12 and then signing CP3 with the newly created cap space + the existing 2012 cap space would be the ideal teambuild. D12 + Amare + CP3 + Fields + Extra E should win the ring. I like Extra E’s defensive energy actually (he guarded Cs a lot), D12 would hide Amare’s defensive deficiency, or Amare may improve next to Howard (Amare is already a good interior help defender as evidenced by most of his weakside help blocks). Fields would have another year and CP3 is already a good defender.

      That would be the best deal for Orlando, IMO.

    24. Frank

      I think we can dream about trading Amare and Melo away but it just ain’t happenin’. Amare and Melo will be here for at least the next 3 seasons, so I think we should concentrate on whether to go for a big 3 or have a big 2 + as many useful parts as we can get.

      My inclination is to go for the big 3 only because both Paul and Howard have shown the ability to take very below average talent far into the playoffs – how would they do with 2 veritable stars at their side? – and because neither of them so obviously overlap with Amare and Melo (ie. to the degree that Lebron/Wade do). Choosing between them is hard only because the light is so blinding when you even get near those 2– like choosing between a brand new Bentley or Ferrari. I think whichever one is willing to come and is even remotely gettable would be perfectly fine with me.

    25. Frank

      Not surprisingly it looks like the Cavs are shopping Sessions and Baron Davis.

      http://dlvr.it/WSlK5

      Whenever the CBA will allow, would anyone here trade Turiaf for Sessions? Salaries are almost exact match. It’d leave us even thinner in the frontcourt.

    26. adrenaline98

      Ford’s latest mock has the Knicks passing on Markief Morris, Selby, Motiejunas, and Faried for Marshon Brooks. God I hope not.

      All of the above players are either as good (if not better) and fill needs, whether it’s PG or a Big that hustles/rebounds.

    27. flossy

      adrenaline98:
      Ford’s latest mock has the Knicks passing on Markief Morris, Selby, Motiejunas, and Faried for Marshon Brooks. God I hope not.

      All of the above players are either as good (if not better) and fill needs, whether it’s PG or a Big that hustles/rebounds.

      Yuck. I could not be less interested in Marshon Brooks. I’d be fine if we select a scoring guard (I’d pick Selby if I had my druthers), but please–let it be someone with some passing acumen who can be molded into a PG or at least doesn’t require the jaws of life to pry the ball out of his hands.

    28. Ted Nelson

      adrenaline98: I would rather have D12 than CP3 any day of the week. Howard is a singular commodity in this league.

      CP3 is pretty singular as well.

      I would be thrilled with either one, personally.

      adrenaline98: DeShawn Stevenson, arrested for public intoxication, convicted child rapist

      Child rapist? He was a child himself… a rookie straight out of HS.

      Frank: I think we can dream about trading Amare and Melo away but it just ain’t happenin’.

      Don’t you want to at least know who the new GM and/or President is/are before stating your speculation as fact there?

      Frank: both Paul and Howard have shown the ability to take very below average talent far into the playoffs

      That’s a crock. Orlando has not had below average talent, let alone “very below average.” NO maybe average… but probably not much below. CP3 has been to the 2nd round of the playoffs once, though.

      Frank: I think whichever one is willing to come and is even remotely gettable would be perfectly fine with me.

      That I agree with.

      Frank: would anyone here trade Turiaf for Sessions?

      Tough call.

    29. Jafa

      I am not in favor of Turiaf for Sessions. Turiaf is the only person on this roster that can play the center position competently, and Amare has been pining for us to get a defensive and rebounding big in every article and interview I have read/watched/heard. So trading away the only one we have so far would not be a good idea, especially when it does not net us a big man in return.

      Now, if you do the trade as a combination of moves that nets us a veteran center, then I’m all for it. Otherwise, your going to battle with Jerome Jordan, whoever we pick at #17 and Jared Jeffries in the middle. Yikes!

    30. Jim Cavan

      Hahn tweeting that the Knicks are looking into moving up in the draft, talking with Indiana (#15), among others. Interesting.

    31. adrenaline98

      Well, according to Ford, he did really well in the passing drills when he worked out for the Knicks, and that’s one of the main reasons why they are interested in him.

    32. Ted Nelson

      Jafa: Now, if you do the trade as a combination of moves that nets us a veteran center, then I’m all for it.

      I sort of assume it would go that way. Hard to go into the season with literally no legit C on your roster. If, hypothetically, the Cavs told you, though, we will trade you Sessions for Turiaf right now before the draft or otherwise we’re about to trade him to Team X for a 2nd rounder (or whatever)… you might not have time to line up the second half of the equation. Then *if you like the Turiaf-Sessions deal and want to make it* in the worst case you can do everything you can to get a veteran C via free agency (lots of options actually: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgents-11-12). Maybe just a Nazr on a minimum-type deal.

      Jim Cavan: Hahn tweeting that the Knicks are looking into moving up in the draft, talking with Indiana (#15), among others. Interesting.

      Definitely interesting… sounds like they’re eyeing someone if that’s true, no?

      I’m excited about the draft. I wasn’t that excited a couple weeks ago, since I thought it was a crappy draft class. I still think it is crappy, but there will have to be some intriguing names left at 17 based on there being more than 17 names that intrigue me overall. I’ve seen mocks with Bismack Biyombo and Donatas Motiejunas still on the board… Selby and Faried are on the board in most… some have Markeiff Morris, Jordan Hamilton, Chris Singleton, Klay Thompson, etc.

      If the Knicks don’t get a stud #17 (or more so 15), I’m pretty confident they’ll have passed one up… i.e. I think there should be talent on the board #17 and hope the Knicks take the right guy/get lucky.

    33. adrenaline98

      Ted Nelson: CP3 is pretty singular as well.I would be thrilled with either one, personally.Child rapist? He was a child himself… a rookie straight out of HS. Don’t you want to at least know who the new GM and/or President is/are before stating your speculation as fact there?That’s a crock. Orlando has not had below average talent, let alone “very below average.” NO maybe average… but probably not much below. CP3 has been to the 2nd round of the playoffs once, though. That I agree with. Tough call.

      Orlando has had good talent around them. NO, before West went down, wasn’t too bad either. That said, when I said Howard is a singular talent, I meant that you would be happy with either CP3 or DWill or DRose or JWall (future). With Howard, you would be happy with Howard and….no one else.

      He actually is the MOST VALUABLE (if you include value in a unique commodity) player in the league.

      That said, I agree with you and everyone else that if we had one or the other, I’d be incredibly happy.

    34. Ted Nelson

      Ted Nelson: Definitely interesting… sounds like they’re eyeing someone if that’s true, no?

      Or I guess they could think there’s a huge fall-off after the top 15 (or something like that) of their board and want to make sure they get one of those guy… any of those guys…

    35. ess-dog

      DX has Burks dropping to us now – that would definitely be great value. A lot of guys in this draft have potential. If Motiejunas, Hamilton, Burks, or Biyombo fall to us, we should be excited.

    36. adrenaline98

      I’d actually be most interested in Markieff Morris if we’re not going the three star route. We just need a 10/10/2 guy in the blocks. I’d take the size over the hustle in this case. Morris is 6’10 in sneakers with a decent outside shot, as compared to Faried.

    37. Jafa

      I’d rather have Makreiff Morris fall to us. Second choice would be Motiejunas. If not one of those two, go with a guard.

    38. Jafa

      adrenaline98:
      I’d actually be most interested in Markieff Morris if we’re not going the three star route. We just need a 10/10/2 guy in the blocks. I’d take the size over the hustle in this case. Morris is 6’10 in sneakers with a decent outside shot, as compared to Faried.

      Agree 100%.

    39. adrenaline98

      I love Motiejunas’ skillset. He is a more spry version of Gallo. And while his talent is undeniable, he is soft as all hell from what all the scouting report says. I think if we picked him up, it would be trade bait as he cannot start at C for us unless we’re sporting an incredibly poor rebounding/defensive frontcourt (hey isnt that what we’ve been doing anyway though?). I don’t know. I’m torn on him after seeing his youtube video.

      We’d only have the chance to pick one of them.

      As for guard, I wouldn’t mind taking Selby if we’re trying to grab CP3.

      If we do go with a big though, I’d love the Knicks to buy a late second rounder to see if Darius Morris would fall to them. This team needs everything but scoring and leadership.

    40. CRJoe

      adrenaline98: Orlando has had good talent around them

      Are you serious??? They went to the finals with a lineup of Hedo, Rashard, Courtney Lee… Giving significant minutes to Pietrus & Reddick…. None of those players would crack the starting five of Indiana, Philly or the Knicks… Aside from Jameer, who was injured for the entire playoffs, Dwight took Orlando to the finals by himself…

      And that’s what bothers me about the big three idea, even if we landed one of those 3 proven superstars (DWill, CP3 or Dwight), our team would still be incomplete, dependent on having all of their stars playing at a high level every night, and really thin in the bench…

    41. latke

      adrenaline98:
      I’d actually be most interested in Markieff Morris if we’re not going the three star route. We just need a 10/10/2 guy in the blocks. I’d take the size over the hustle in this case. Morris is 6’10 in sneakers with a decent outside shot, as compared to Faried.

      Morris is not a 10/10/2 guy. His best block season in college was 1.1 BPG (in about 25 mins). That’s about 1.6/36 minutes. Considering blocks tend to decline in the pros, I see him more as a 1 BPG guy. Perhaps he’s the next Kurt Thomas though (averaged over 2BPG in college, but fewer than 1 in the NBA even before ankle injuries). Morris to me is a low-risk, low-reward kind of player. He’ll 90% be a rotation player or 5th starter type, 5% bust, 5% one time all-star type player.

      It’s a shame we don’t know what the new CBA will be, because it would rely define the knicks draft strategy. If it’s very restrictive, then the Knicks have no choice but to go for a homerun pick like Selby. On the other hand, if it is not much different from the current CBA, maybe lowering contract years, increasing the luxury tax penalty, and adjusting older contracts so that they don’t overpenalize teams with big contracts already locked in, then they’d probably be wiser looking for a safe pick like Morris.

    42. Frank

      If the NYK are really thinking about jumping to 15 it means they’re worried that Philly is going to take their guy- which then means that they are targeting a big, since everyone and their mother has said that Philly is going to look for a big. So maybe that is Motiejunas, Biyombo if he drops, or Vucevic. I’d probably be happy with any of those although am sort of hoping they go for the modern-day Pippen- chris singleton. Wonder what the price would be. Indy might Be willing to do this since it looks like Jimmer is shooting up the draft boards.

    43. citizen

      adrenaline98:
      I’d actually be most interested in Markieff Morris if we’re not going the three star route. We just need a 10/10/2 guy in the blocks. I’d take the size over the hustle in this case. Morris is 6’10 in sneakers with a decent outside shot, as compared to Faried.

      Doesn’t Faried have much longer winspan and standing reach than Morris? Isn’t that a better measure of effective size than height itself?

    44. nicos

      citizen: Doesn’t Faried have much longer winspan and standing reach than Morris? Isn’t that a better measure of effective size than height itself?

      Reach and wingspan definitely help but so much of post defense is played with the body that I wouldn’t base my decision on it. Shawne Williams has a great wing span (7.3) and a solid standing reach of 8.8 but he had to get in such a crouch to body up to bigger guys that his reach was negated. Faried is certainly stronger than Williams but I think he’ll have some of the same issues. It looks to me that like Amar’e he carries his weight pretty high- really big through the chest, arms and shoulders but not a big lower body- that’s going to have an impact on his post defense, maybe not something he can’t overcome but something to think about. Morris looks to have a more traditional build for guarding bigs but Faried’s quickness and motor may make him the better bet. Still, if the Knicks are really looking to move up I doubt it’s for either one of these guys.

    45. massive

      I’m wondering if the next CBA gives teams an amnesty clause, would Portland cut ties with Brandon Roy? I remember reading something about the front office asking him to retire. And if they did, could we get him on some sort of supreme discount? I hear he’s a bit of a ball-hog, but I think D’Antoni’s system would get him enough shots, and playing with Billups, Melo, and Stat should keep him quiet. Of course if Portland cuts him, he could sign in Orlando, Chicago, and Dallas, but I think he would at least consider us with the thought in mind of creating a Big 4 (Roy/Melo/Stat/D12 or Paul/Roy/Melo/Stat) and really blowing teams out of the water. Just something to ponder, I guess.

    46. taggart4800

      I have had a LOT of free time lately and I have watched a LOT of video on Draft Express. As much as I hate to say it, because he does seem to have the same air of self assurance as Melo, Josh Selby looks to be incredible value for this draft and the spot he may be available. His game and confidence looks to be a long way ahead of the others that were at Impact and whilst he may not be on the Knicks long term I think he has the highest potential trade on value for another player.
      There are not a lot of players in this draft that look like they are going to have a major impact on a franchise, lets face it if a 6’6” C from Morehead St is getting burn then this class is hardly stellar.
      Selby though, with the bar of expectation for this draft set fairly low, could well be a franchise contributor. I am not talking super stardom, but more likely a guy who would easily command 10-13 mill in the future (were talking current CBA!).
      He could of course be a knuckle head, get arrested for public urination, start his own shoe company and call himself Selbury but for the risk is definitely worth it. I am usually against his style of person or player much in the same way I will probably never ‘like’ Melo rather than just appreciate him but we are not a roster built the same way as MDA’s Suns. We would be lying if we didn’t already have a few arrogant knuckle heads and another one might just fit in…

    47. taggart4800

      N.B More than anything he would give us options in trades involving him or not. He will undoubtedly already be better than TD and therefore makes the latter somewhat expendable.
      If both are kept though you have an instant and versatile backcourt quartet. Fields, Douglas and Selby can all play the 2 dependent on situation and opponent leaving us with this roster

      Billups
      Fields
      Melo
      Amare
      C

      Selby
      Douglas
      Williams
      Turiaf
      Walker
      Probably 2 2nd rounders
      Jerome Jordan
      FA
      FA

      For what its worth I see the Knicks making a move to try and acquire Vucevic at some point and additionally Greg Smith in the 2nd.

      But no matter because with that roster we are still 3 players short of a decent team and we will not be contending till 2012/13.

    48. taggart4800

      Great move by the Bobcats hiring Cho and if they can just sort out their branding, Uni’s and marketing they will be a respectable franchise

    49. flossy

      @48

      Couldn’t agree more about Selby. Moreover, I think our situation, where he wouldn’t be asked to start right away and would have a year of playing under Chauncey Billups, would be ideal for his development. I worry a bit about his shot selection, but I think he’d have to be a sociopath to refuse to pass the ball to Amar’e Stoudemire and his hometown friend, Carmelo Anthony. By all accounts he has extraordinary court vision when he’s looking to pass the ball, what he needs to learn how to do is run an offense and be a floor general. I usually get the heebie-jeebies from cocky, shoot-first PGs, but Selby has SO much upside that I think it would be worth the risk.

    50. flossy

      And, not for nothing, you never hear any complaints about Selby’s defense. There don’t seem to be a lot of true two-way players in this draft–I would like to pick one of them.

    51. ess-dog

      I can’t imagine we’re looking to move up to 15 to get Selby though. Our biggest need is a defensive big – maybe we’re hoping Biyombo or Thompson drop? If we can buy a late 1st for Selby, I’d be for that.

    52. Jim Cavan

      flossy: I worry a bit about his shot selection, but I think he’d have to be a sociopath to refuse to pass the ball to Amar’e Stoudemire and his hometown friend, Carmelo Anthony.

      That made me laugh.

      Not sure about Selby. All this talk about the Knicks moving up makes me believe they have someone specific in mind. And judging by where the mock drafts have Selby landing (well after #17, and seemingly slipping), I don’t know if it’s him. Who knows though, maybe we move up slightly, land an early to mid second rounder, and end up grabbing a Morris or Faried in the first and then Selby with the second? It’s odd that Selby keeps dropping though. Has anyone heard of his workouts being anything less than solid? Weird.

    53. Jafa

      If the reports are true that we are looking to move up, I don’t thinks its for a guard. Lots of guards will be available at 17 and after that (Minn’s pick at #20 and one of Chicago’s 1st rounders are for sale right now, and you can get the likes of Reggie Jackson, Selby, Darius Morris, Nolan Smith, Charles Jenkins and Iman Shumpert at those positions).

      It would make more sense that we are looking to move up to snag a big, but whom? I think its between Makrieff Morris, Biyombo, Vucevic and Motiejunas.

    54. Ted Nelson

      adrenaline98: I meant that you would be happy with either CP3 or DWill or DRose or JWall (future). With Howard, you would be happy with Howard and….no one else.

      I understand what you’re saying. I just don’t totally agree. I think you’re underrating how much better CP3 is than those guys, and overrating how much better Howard is than every other bigman in the NBA. Though Cs are rarer and should age better on average.

      CRJoe: Are you serious??? They went to the finals with a lineup of Hedo, Rashard, Courtney Lee… Giving significant minutes to Pietrus & Reddick….

      Hedo has aged significantly since then, and you are seriously underrating Rashard Lewis if you don’t think he was a well above average NBA player at that time. Reddick and Pietrus are role players with well defined skills. Every finals team is going to have guys like that in their rotation.

      CRJoe: And that’s what bothers me about the big three idea, even if we landed one of those 3 proven superstars (DWill, CP3 or Dwight), our team would still be incomplete

      If CP3 or Dwight Howard were available to you, you would honestly turn it down because you’re rather try to sign a few guys to small deals to round out your roster? Good luck with that. The idea is not to compare it to perfection, but the next best alternative. You still have the MLE and draft picks to build around your core. There’s no right answer, but telling Dwight Howard “no thanks” would be a HUGE risk.

    55. Ted Nelson

      latke: It’s a shame we don’t know what the new CBA will be, because it would rely define the knicks draft strategy.

      Meh… I don’t think it should. I think you just take the BPA no matter what. It’s really hard to figure out who that is, obviously, but I think you weigh all the info you have and make a pick regardless of need. I don’t think the new CBA should have much to do with what prospect you think has the most value.

      citizen: Doesn’t Faried have much longer winspan and standing reach than Morris? Isn’t that a better measure of effective size than height itself?

      I have no idea what their actual measurements are or who is a better pick, but I totally agree that an argument that a guy should be taken because of his height alone is a weak argument.

      nicos: Reach and wingspan definitely help but so much of post defense is played with the body that I wouldn’t base my decision on it.

      Meh… Dennis Rodman was like 6-6… I wouldn’t put too much stock into height toe-to-head or body size at 22, 23. Put the kid in the weight room doing squats if you think he’s the better player. If he wants to be great he’ll get himself into the weight room. I just wouldn’t use body type as a factor in evaluating players… it’s a marginal concern: if there are two guys you rate very similarly maybe it comes into play. Icing on the cake, not an argument for why one guy is a better basketball prospect.

    56. CRJoe

      Ted Nelson: If CP3 or Dwight Howard were available to you, you would honestly turn it down because you’re rather try to sign a few guys to small deals to round out your roster? Good luck with that. The idea is not to compare it to perfection, but the next best alternative. You still have the MLE and draft picks to build around your core. There’s no right answer, but telling Dwight Howard “no thanks” would be a HUGE risk.

      Well that didn’t work out for MIA did it??? And they had a stronger big 3 than our possible big three with either of those guys… Also they had a better bench than we could possibly get, remember that Melo & Stat are in the books for almost the same as MIA 3…

      Also I know this entire thread has been about our current pick, but let’s face it, all of the guys we’ve mentioned as a possibility for us, even if me move up, will have to be an absolute home run of a pick, the talent pool in this draft is THAT weak…

      The other pick we have is for 2013, when 2 scenarios could happen, we either have a good pick, which means our team sucks and no late lottery pick is gonna change that, or we have a late pick or no pick at all due to a trade… We ain’t filling no holes with draft picks anytime soon…

    57. Ted Nelson

      CRJoe: Well that didn’t work out for MIA did it???

      Yeah it did… They won 58 games and made the NBA Finals.

      CRJoe: even if me move up, will have to be an absolute home run of a pick, the talent pool in this draft is THAT weak…

      Huh? What are your expectations? Every year you’d have to make a HR pick to get a star at #17.

      CRJoe: we have a late pick or no pick at all due to a trade…

      You can’t trade draft picks in consecutive drafts under this CBA.

      CRJoe: We ain’t filling no holes with draft picks anytime soon…

      No, you don’t think the Knicks will fill any holes with draft picks. Did you think Landry Fields would fill a hole? Did you think Ben Wallace could have been the guy to fill a hole when he went undrafted? There absolutely is a chance they do fill a hole, just like there’s a chance they don’t.

    58. Ted Nelson

      And again, CRJoe… if Dwight Howard came up to James Dolan as a free agent and said “I would like to sign with the NY Knicks” you would have Dolan tell him “no, thanks?”

    59. Frank

      Wow, Ted Nelson 2.0 and I agree on so many things!
      Even though Miami didn’t win the championship this year, they were still pretty awesome. IF DH12 or CP3 or DWill want to come here in 2012, I pretty much think we need to adjust whatever our plans to make that happen.

      Re: filling holes with draft picks – not sure what the new CBA will bring but this is where having Dolan is actually useful – always willing to throw around his $. Rumor has it that Minny wants to part with their #20 pick and that Chicago does too. THey’re probably looking for useful players but maybe they’d be willing to do it just for money (especially Minny). Going forward, buying late #1s and #2s will probably have to be the way we go.

    60. Ben R

      While I don’t believe that the 3 star system is the best way to build a championship contender I do think that you jump at the chance to get either Howard or Paul. They are both head and shoulders above Amare and Melo and two of the top 10 maybe top 5 players in the league. Unlike Melo and Amare I think they are players you do anything to get. There is no real lopsided trade or contract too big for either of those players. Amare + Fields – done, Melo + Billups – done, Amare + Melo – done. Any way to bring Paul or Howard in is a good move.

      You get a player like that you worry about making it fit afterwards.

      I would love to see us buy as many picks as possible but I doubt we do it. I think we’re still in cost saving mode because of our 2012 plan and do not think we’ll be bringing in multiple picks.

    61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Chris Paul
      Fields
      Carmelo
      Anyone
      Dwight Howard

      That team goes to the ECF for the next five years, and wins at least one Finals.

    62. Frank

      Ben R:

      I would love to see us buy as many picks as possible but I doubt we do it. I think we’re still in cost saving mode because of our 2012 plan and do not think we’ll be bringing in multiple picks.

      Thing is – late 1sts salary cap hit is essentially the same as a cap hold. For instance the last 5-6 picks of this year’s 1st round will make less than $1.1M for the entire guaranteed life of their contract, and <1M for the first 2 years. Late 1sts basically make as much as 4th or 5th year minimum salaried players. The only issue is that you're committed to them for 3 years.

    63. Garson

      I cant take any more of this Paul or Howard talk!

      In 2012 , Amare and Melo will be making roughly 40 Mil toghether. the other two players who have contracts are balkman and douglass. which brings it to aroung 43. Assuming that the cap stays the same at 58.. which is not likely… Paul , Howard and Deron would have to take a major cutback in their payday to make it work.

      The only other scenerio is them requesting a trade, but we all know after the melo fiasco , there will be no discounts.

    64. BigBlueAL

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Chris Paul
      Fields
      Carmelo
      Anyone
      Dwight Howard

      That team goes to the ECF for the next five years, and wins at least one Finals.

      Unfortunately only way to put that lineup together is in NBA2K11.

    65. Frank

      @65 – I agree it’s unlikely but hey, it’s the offseason, what else do we have to talk about?

      Anyway, it’s not as unrealistic financially as you might think. Chances are the max contract amount will be lower, maybe down to $13-14M, and on top of that, there may be salary rollbacks so maybe Amare and Melo will make less. Next summer we’ll probably be able to sell Balkman +$3M for a ham sandwich to clear his # off our cap, and TD’s cap # is tiny.

      Obviously without knowing what the CBA will be, this is all pure speculation. But again, there are no actual games to talk about so….

    66. Garson

      Frank: @65 – I agree it’s unlikely but hey, it’s the offseason, what else do we have to talk about?Anyway, it’s not as unrealistic financially as you might think. Chances are the max contract amount will be lower, maybe down to $13-14M, and on top of that, there may be salary rollbacks so maybe Amare and Melo will make less. Next summer we’ll probably be able to sell Balkman +$3M for a ham sandwich to clear his # off our cap, and TD’s cap # is tiny.Obviously without knowing what the CBA will be, this is all pure speculation. But again, there are no actual games to talk about so….

      True. Sorry to be the buzzkill… Just trying to be realistic.

      I would rather discuss other ways to fill the team with the money we have . Personally, i think Sessions could be a cheap fix at the PG spot longterm that would enable us to spend the rest of the dollars for a Chandler type center. Unfortunatly , most of those centers are available this summer putting us in a position of deciding weather were going in the all in for Paul route, or the spreading the wealth road.

    67. Jafa

      We need to stop chasing fantasies and start filling out our roster. Our stars are Melo and Amare. Love em or hate em, that is who we got for the next 3-4 years. So just fill up the rest of the roster and go to battle, and hopefully you get some lucky breaks and win a title. If not, start over again when those guys contracts expire. Either way, I’m sticking around to enjoy (or rue) the ride.

    68. ess-dog

      Yeah it seems like our only chance at CP3/Howard is a salary rollback + lower max. That wouldn’t seem to make sense after we just awarded Melo a 20 mil/year contract w/o flinching, but there aren’t a lot of other options. I think the players will have to commit to a hard cap, which will change the whole game and f__k us royally unless there is a salary rollback.

      Sounds like we’re now working out Biyombo aka the next Dwight Howard. If he fell to us and we also got a choice guard later in the 1st/early 2nd, I’d be quite happy.

    69. Jafa

      Chris Sheridan suing Peter Vecsey and New York Post over libel over a December 18th article that Vecsey wrote and the Post published:

      http://blogs.forbes.com/nathanvardi/2011/06/16/espn-basketball-reporter-sues-new-york-post-columnist-for-libel/

      “Vecsey’s article argued that the New York Knicks did not have a good chance of obtaining basketball player Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets and called Sheridan’s reporting the “latest fairy tale” derived from the “same fountains of misinformation that frequently play make-believe with ESPN’s Chris Sheridan.” Sheridan had reported on ESPN.com two days earlier that if Anthony were to be traded from the Nuggets, he would only agree to sign a contract extension if he was traded to the Knicks. Sheridan cited an anonymous source.

      Anthony was indeed traded to the Knicks in February, an event that Sheridan’s lawsuit humbly describes as “one of the most important stories in New York City basketball over the past forty (40) years.”

      Sheridan claims that Vecsey was motivated by his “historic malice towards Mr. Sheridan” and “fabricated an entirely false and sustained tirade against Mr. Sheridan.” Sheridan claims he demanded a retraction from Vecsey and the New York Post on April 7, but that they did not respond.”

      Let the war of the sub par reporters begin!

    70. ess-dog

      Excellent. Now if we can just get Isola and Berman sued, NYC will be in pretty good shape.

    71. Brian Cronin

      I wouldn’t put Sheridan in the same company of Vecsey. Sheridan annoys me sometimes, but he is much more professional than most of the Knick beat reporters (outside of our favorites, Hahn and Beck, of course).

      That said, a libel suit? For serious? Ridiculous move by Sheridan.

      That would be like an NBA player suing Charles Barkley for slandering them by calling them “soft.” It is an absurd case, and really strikes me as a misuse of process.

    72. Owen

      Agreed with the misuse of process.

      Very nice post Mike although I am a little too young for Dragon’s Lair. I think people who have been stumping for the idea that you can use statistical analysis of various stripes to understand basketball better have to be pretty excited about the Mavericks winning. It will be interesting to see whether other teams will start using stats more after seeing Cuban’s success….

    73. latke

      ess-dog: I think the players will have to commit to a hard cap, which will change the whole game and f__k us royally unless there is a salary rollback.

      IMO the way the CBA is set up now it gives big market teams the equivalent of high interest rate credit cards. “Sure,” it says, “go ahead and overpay a player with the MLE. There are a dozen other teams looking for a player at that exact salary, so you are never getting a bargain. Nevermind that it will prevent you from getting cap space to actually sign a useful player. Go on and overpay your current roster. There’s no way you’ll have cap space now, so you HAVE to resign your guys, even if they are overrated.”

      Smart teams avoid these traps (just as smart people avoid high interest rate credit cards), but IMO as long as Dolan is running the show, the Knicks will never be smart. Better that the NBA institute a more idiot-proof system that demands that teams build through the draft and doesn’t allow them to overpay mediocre players (or at least allows them to escape those contracts).

    74. d-mar

      I heard Sheridan on ESPN yesterday talking about how the owners are seeking a rollback of total player salaries from 2.1 billion to something around 1.4 billion. How is there any possibility that we won’t see an extended lockout based on that negotiating position? I know the players will come to the realization that they have to give something back, but 33% of their current salary? Or even 20 or 25%? I know this kind of thing recently happened in the NHL, but the NBA is not the NHL. Can someone better educated than myself on the mysteries of the CBA explain how a deal will ever get made?

    75. BigBlueAL

      d-mar:
      I heard Sheridan on ESPN yesterday talking about how the owners are seeking a rollback of total player salaries from 2.1 billion to something around 1.4 billion. How is there any possibility that we won’t see an extended lockout based on that negotiating position? I know the players will come to the realization that they have to give something back, but 33% of their current salary? Or even 20 or 25%? I know this kind of thing recently happened in the NHL, but the NBA is not the NHL. Can someone better educated than myself on the mysteries of the CBA explain how a deal will ever get made?

      Thats why everyone is assuming this will be just like the 1998-1999 lockout and not be resolved until January unfortunately.

    76. massive

      I think the owners are asking for something illegal. You’ve guaranteed these players the money, and now you’re trying to put them out of work for an extended period of time because they don’t want to give back the money that you guaranteed? I can see the players agreeing to partially guaranteed contracts and lower max salaries, but these billionaire owners asking the players to give back 33% of their guaranteed money is poor business practice, and I don’t see how that can be legal.

    77. Z

      latke: IMO the way the CBA is set up now it gives big market teams the equivalent of high interest rate credit cards. “Sure,” it says, “go ahead and overpay a player with the MLE. There are a dozen other teams looking for a player at that exact salary, so you are never getting a bargain. Nevermind that it will prevent you from getting cap space to actually sign a useful player. Go on and overpay your current roster. There’s no way you’ll have cap space now, so you HAVE to resign your guys, even if they are overrated.”

      Smart teams avoid these traps (just as smart people avoid high interest rate credit cards), but IMO as long as Dolan is running the show, the Knicks will never be smart. Better that the NBA institute a more idiot-proof system that demands that teams build through the draft and doesn’t allow them to overpay mediocre players (or at least allows them to escape those contracts).

      It’s comments like these that make this site great.

    78. taggart4800

      I just get the feeling there is little point in trying to move up 2 spots in the draft with a trade unless you are just acquiring the pick and keeping you’re own.
      Obviously it could be that the Knicks just want that position but I have a feeling that there could be a little tree shaking going on here to try and get a lottery team to bite on a trade.
      Alternatively if we sent our pick and TD to Indy is that too much or enough for Roy Hibbert?
      I personally would love to see Vucevic or Biyombo if we pick a big in the first, Im just not a Morris twins fan. But if we could purchase two early 2nd rounders I would be very keen to take Jeremy Tyler and Selby.

    79. Brian Cronin

      Well, not anything, but yeah, if the Union comes to an agreement that their share of the NBA income should be less than what it currently is (which they almost certainly will agree to – it is just a question of how much less), then there is nothing wrong with them making that change to their agreement with the owners and retroactively applying it to their current salaries. The players currently get 58% of the league revenue. I don’t see how that possibly cannot shrink in any new agreement.

      Perhaps more notable, though, will be an agreement to allow for some revenue-sharing between teams. The idea that the Knicks could still make money while having the highest payroll in the league for years while also putting out one of the worst on-the-court products, while teams like the Hornets have trouble making money with a playoff team is a ridiculous way to run a professional sports league in 2011.

    80. Z-man

      I have a feeling both Tyler and Selby are gone by the end of the first.

      I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on JaJuan in the 2nd.

      This is really a tough draft!

    81. Brian Cronin

      I am irked that I am going to see a play on Thursday night so I will miss the draft! Methinks that my wife’s phone will be checked constantly. ;)

    82. taggart4800

      @84 Yeah I like the idea of JaJuan.

      With regards to the current CBA, does that 58% share of BRI get given to the players on top of their salaries?? Or do they get paid from that 58%

    83. taggart4800

      I just can’t see the league letting this get to a situation where we end up losing games. Not with the popularity of the league as it is at the moment.
      I am purely speculating here, although if I were Berman this would be confirmed by a source, that the league are playing extreme hard ball to knock the players down as much as they can between now and October. I would predict that we see a resolution in time for games to commence at the very latest in November.

    84. ess-dog

      Brian Cronin:
      Well, not anything, but yeah, if the Union comes to an agreement that their share of the NBA income should be less than what it currently is (which they almost certainly will agree to – it is just a question of how much less), then there is nothing wrong with them making that change to their agreement with the owners and retroactively applying it to their current salaries. The players currently get 58% of the league revenue. I don’t see how that possibly cannot shrink in any new agreement.

      Perhaps more notable, though, will be an agreement to allow for some revenue-sharing between teams. The idea that the Knicks could still make money while having the highest payroll in the league for years while also putting out one of the worst on-the-court products, while teams like the Hornets have trouble making money with a playoff team is a ridiculous way to run a professional sports league in 2011.

      Conversely, maybe a city like New Orleans can’t support a team and the enterprise needs to be moved? I think even if we contracted the league by two teams (and maybe moved one or two teams) the league would be so much healthier, including the D-league.

      Also, I agree that rollback is really unfair, but it is the easiest way to rally the health of the league. It’s hard to blame the owners/league for the failing economy. It’s a residual impact that needs to be dealt with. Also, certain team might just have bad business plans. That is not the fault of the players or the rest of the league.

    85. ess-dog

      Also, I watched some of the draft workouts last night on espn. They had the power forwards going. I have to say I was most impressed with Markieff Morris. He looked very active, yet had kind of a “man-strength” that other players didn’t. His post defense was tough and his stroke is really nice for a big or anyone for that matter. You could tell he had strong fundamentals (didn’t float on his jumper, had well defined post moves, got good position in the post) where other players didn’t. It would be nice if he was a little taller/longer but he’s a total package, something between Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas.
      JaJuan Johnson looks fairly skilled, but he could practically be a small forward. He’s rail thin and doesn’t seem to like contact.
      Faried was interesting to watch. His post defense did not look good to me. When he was defending the wing, he looked good, very active, but Markieff had his way with him deep in the post. On the other side of the ball, Faried was awful working in the post, fumbling the ball or shooting bricks. I have no doubt he can rebound and get easy putbacks, but his jumper/post moves are pretty bad. I can’t see us picking him at 17, even though he would be a great bench/energy guy.

    86. Jafa

      Totally agree ess-dog. I want Markieff @ 17 if he is still on the board. If not, I’ll take Vucevic (again if he’s still on the board).

    87. Frank

      From Hoopsworld:

      “Chicago’s 28 and 30: Word is the Bulls would rather sell off their draft picks than use them. They are going through the motions on the draft but do not be surprised if both picks belong to someone else before the draft is said and done.”

      Not sure if they would sell to an eastern conference rival, but if so, we should try and jump on that. Show me Singleton, Tyler, and Shumpert out of this draft and I’ll be very happy. Or Selby. Or Vucevic.

    88. d-mar

      From Real GM:

      “The next Reggie could be Washington State’s 6-foot-7 shooting guard Klay Thompson, who for weeks the Knicks felt wouldn’t be around at 17, but now feel there’s a chance.

      Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh had told confidants for weeks Thompson reminded him of Miller as they are both 6-7, lithe, silky smooth from the perimeter and grew up in Southern Califorina, both playing in the Pac-10. Sure enough Thompson said Wednesday the Knicks president told him the same thing”

      If you go with Jon Abbey’s Russell Westbrook angle, Donnie Walsh just blew any chance of Thompson being available at 17.

    89. CRJoe

      Ted Nelson:
      And again, CRJoe… if Dwight Howard came up to James Dolan as a free agent and said “I would like to sign with the NY Knicks” you would have Dolan tell him “no, thanks?”

      What I’m saying is that by 2012, when Howard becomes a free agent… We should have a defensive minded, great rebounding center, a fast paced, pass first point guard (who can at least keep up with his man on D), a low usage wingman who is a lockdown defender, and no cap space at all… So I would have Dolan tell him “Sure, for the league minimum, that’s all we’ve got”…

    90. Tony Pena

      Markieff looks like the best pick at 17. If not I would go for straight upside: Shumpert, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Tyler, Selby. Everyone else looks like a reach at 17.

    91. Frank

      CRJoe: What I’m saying is that by 2012, when Howard becomes a free agent… We should have a defensive minded, great rebounding center, a fast paced, pass first point guard (who can at least keep up with his man on D), a low usage wingman who is a lockdown defender, and no cap space at all… So I would have Dolan tell him “Sure, for the league minimum, that’s all we’ve got”…

      I’m not sure how to tell you this, but…. you’re nuts. Or living in fantasy land. =)

    92. Frank O.

      This is not a phrase you see often on ESPN:

      “…ruminating on where Jimmer Fredette will land in the draft is the remora hanging on to the Great White Shark that is the impending lockout.”
      Well played, young man.

    93. Tony Pena

      “Remora hanging on to the Great White Shark…” hahaha, I gets my learning on here at Knickerblogger. I can’t believe that a lockout is a real possibility. I thought it wouldn’t happen in the NFL. You would think that these millionaires and billionares would have some type of foresight… Guess they’re rich more by chance than anything else. Meanwhile I’m supposed to keep my credit and pay all my taxes!

    94. New Guy

      The best big 3 possible is Paul, Melo, Howard. There’s no overlap. Paul makes the fringe players better offensively. Howard makes the fringe players better defensively. Melo handles the scoring load and crunch time. I love Amar’e and it would be cruel to jettison him but for that troika, and only that troika, I’d do it. I think it’s possible, too. Hell we could trade Amar’e for draft picks and role players after the season and just sign the two outright.

    95. Garson

      Pending the CBA outcome… and our salary cap issues… Our best chance on imporving our team after we are maxed out will be mid level exeptions and veterans minimim players..

      As we saw after last seasons trade deadline… The most popular destination for those players seemed to be the heat (although didnt work to well for Bibby who forfeited around 7Mil to try and get himself a ring)

      Given the fiasco and hatred we just witnessed towards the Heat… I would think players would shy away from wanting to be a part of that? First of all, it didnt seem like they were having any fun whatsover , the bench didnt look unified and there was so many negative vibes.

      Hopefully next season and the following ones, we can be the destination to be.

    96. adrenaline98

      The question you gotta ask yourself is: Melo has had the ball in his hands his whole career. In clutch situations, in offensive sets, in iso sets. A big chunk of his style is that he initiates an offense (though his assist totals are low). He’s a scorer. How would he fit well with Paul? I’d prefer Amare, Howard, CP3 any day of the week to Melo, and those of you here know how much I love Melo. Melo and Amare work better in my opinion when they are surrounded by VERY SOLID role players. Players like Shane Battier, Joakim Noah, Tony Allen. Basically, gritty defensive specialists who get their points unconventially.

    97. CRJoe

      Frank: I’m not sure how to tell you this, but…. you’re nuts. Or living in fantasy land. =)

      And no one is nuts in believing that Howard or Paul are gonna leave money on the table for a team that would never be as competitive as the Heat???

    98. adrenaline98

      So Klay Thompson reminds Walsh of being Reggie Miller. I’d say that greatly increases his odds of being picked.

    99. BigBlueAL

      Even before Walsh’s next Reggie Miller quotes Ive read a few mock drafts that had Thompson going before the Knicks pick.

    100. Frank

      CRJoe: And no one is nuts in believing that Howard or Paul are gonna leave money on the table for a team that would never be as competitive as the Heat???

      LOL first of all you’re nuts to think that in 1 year we’ll have a defensive-minded big man, a new pass-first PG, and a low-usage lock-down defender. Second, it’s nuts to think that we wouldn’t have a fire sale on any and all non-Amare/Melo players to get Dwight Howard to not have to sign for the minimum. Second, you have no idea what the CBA will bring. For all we know the max contract will be $12M and there will be a 25% salary rollback on old salaries, and there’ll be a hard cap at $50M. Which means Melo and Amare would get 16M each, Howard/Paul $12M, and we round out the roster for the other 6M.

      And I’m not the one who first suggested the NY big 3 – it was CP3. So if he wants to make it happen, he can…

    101. adrenaline98

      CRJoe: And no one is nuts in believing that Howard or Paul are gonna leave money on the table for a team that would never be as competitive as the Heat???

      There’s also the endorsement money that comes from playing in NYC if your name isn’t LeBron James. Who else saw these big name sponsors hooking up with Melo and Amare Stoudemire when they were in Denver and Phoenix, respectively?

      This is exactly why Bosh was so against taking less money at the outset of the big 3 decisions. He knows he won’t make it back in endorsements in a place like Miami, or Cleveland. I give the Knicks a solid shot at landing a CP3 or Howard if either of them actually wants to come here, with or without S&Ts.

    102. BigBlueAL

      If anything Melo joining the Knicks has made him more popular on Twitter, has basically doubled his amount of followers since joining the Knicks lol.

    103. massive

      So Chad Ford was on 1050 Radio about an hour ago. I took notes, and here’s what he had to say:
      -Trade talk should pick up significantly over the next few days leading up to the draft.

      -T’Wolves want to add veterans, will move the pick for right deal.

      -Knicks believe Fredette will be gone by 12, want to move into GS’s #11 spot.

      -Highly doubt that Jimmer Fredette will be a bust. Great crossover, great strength, great range. Ford believes he should be a Top 10 pick. 2nd quickest lateral speed of any player in the draft.

      -Kyrie Irving isn’t John Wall or Chris Paul. More like Mo Williams (sounds like he’s underselling Irving IMO). Doesn’t do anything exceptionally well, but has no holes in his game. Solid player in NBA for years.

      -Draft is very weak. No franchise player in the draft this year. Better draft from 10-17 than in the Top 10.

      -Spoke about Kemba Walker improving every year. Has NBA quickness, can score, was a pass first PG in the first 2 years at UCONN.

      - He thinks the likelihood of the Knicks moving up isn’t huge because the Knicks don’t necessarily have the assets to move up. Ford believes that the Knicks only have Fields, Douglas, and the #17 pick, and he says that isn’t a great package for a team to want to move up. They hope Klay Thompson would be there, but Ford is convinced he won’t be there. The Knicks are looking at Marshon Brooks, Markieff Morris, and Nikola Vucevic at #17.

    104. citizen

      adrenaline98: There’s also the endorsement money that comes from playing in NYC if your name isn’t LeBron James. Who else saw these big name sponsors hooking up with Melo and Amare Stoudemire when they were in Denver and Phoenix, respectively?

      This is exactly why Bosh was so against taking less money at the outset of the big 3 decisions. He knows he won’t make it back in endorsements in a place like Miami, or Cleveland. I give the Knicks a solid shot at landing a CP3 or Howard if either of them actually wants to come here, with or without S&Ts.

      But don’t forget about state income tax differentials, which make NY a relatively unattractive place to work…the profit calculation is not as simple as it might appear

    105. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Dave Berri just posted PAWS40 for all draftees.

      http://dberri.wordpress.com/

      Surprise! Faried is by far the best prospect in the draft, according to that metric. (And last year, it predicted Fields as being one of the best in the draft.)

    106. Frank

      @THCJ – to be fair, you should also indicate the other guys that Berri’s metrics thought would be great pros from last year’s drafts based on his PAWS40 rankings: http://dberri.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/aboveaverage2010draft.jpg
      1) Damion James
      2) Demarcus Cousins
      3) Cole Aldrich
      4) Evan Turner
      5) Jarvis Varnado
      6) Ed Davis
      7) Hassan Whiteside
      8) Wesley Johnson
      9) Luke Babbitt
      10) Quincy Pondexter
      11) Larry Sanders
      12) Al-Farouq Aminu
      13) Landry Fields
      14) Gordon Hayward
      15) James Anderson
      Notables – #22 was Paul George (drafted 10th, should have been drafted higher), #28 was Greg Monroe (drafted 7th, appropriately so).

      And from 2009: http://www.wagesofwins.com/PAWS40Draft09.html

      1) Dejuan Blair
      2) Blake Griffin
      3) Ty Lawson
      4) the immortal Ahmad Nivins
      5) the similarly immortal Lester Hudson
      6) super-awesome Hasheem Thabeet
      7) Jon BROCKMAN!
      8) Terrence Williams
      9) Stephen Curry
      10) Nick Calathes
      11) Marcus Thornton
      12) Demarre Carroll
      13) Robert Dozier?
      14) Goran Suton
      15) Tyler Hansbrough
      16) Jermaine Taylor
      17) Wayne Ellington
      18) Danny Green
      19) Jeff Pendergraph
      20) Eric Maynor

      Notables: James Harden #23, Jordan Hill #28, Jrue Holiday #30, Darren Collison #27, Taj Gibson #22, Toney Douglas #36, Tyreke Evans #32.

      Dunno. Looks like a total crapshoot to me, stat guru or no. So I’m not sure whether Faried being #1 means he’ll be Damion Jones or Dejuan Blair. I’m sort of hoping for better out of the #1 ranked player in the draft.

    107. adrenaline98

      Bismack Biyombo stock falling according to Ford. If he drops to 17, I’d take him over Markieff Morris. He’s more raw but has a lot more athleticism and has played professionally in Europe. I think he’d be better in the long run, a bigger Faried.

    108. JK47

      If the Knicks really are excited about Biyombo, that would definitely represent a change in direction away from SSOL, since at this point in time the guy cannot throw it in the ocean. He may be even more inept than Kenneth Faried on offense, which is saying something.

      He does seem to be like a deluxe version of Faried– similar skill set, character and motor, but younger, longer and with more upside.

    109. Z-man

      @112, excellent points, Frank. I think the PAWS40 is probably more valuable when drafting late and looking for a sleeper e.g. Fields. As to where Fields winds up relative to that draft, it remains to be seen. He could wind up not being in the top-20 when all is said and done. Certainly a home run at 39, though!

      That said, Blair would have been a good pick @ 17 or later in 2009, and I actually liked him with our mid-Lottery pick. Faried probably has more upside than Blair (more athletic, better attitude and work ethic) but he probably isn’t the answer for us.

    110. CRJoe

      Frank: LOL first of all you’re nuts to think that in 1 year we’ll have a defensive-minded big man, a new pass-first PG, and a low-usage lock-down defender.

      Why??? I already mentioned one scenario where we could have such a roster & there’s a ton of other options… The warriors are moving Biedrins for nothing, Varejao’s contract is a burden in the rebuilding Cavs, Denver is not gonna resign Afflalo, Minny has a variety of point guards & an incoming Ricky Rubio, Cleveland has Sessions & is probably gonna pick Irving, Anhony Parker, Tayshaun Prince and Shane Battier are all under appreciated free agents…
      This is a realistic posibility, not like burning down the house to create a much weaker team than Miami… Even if another superstar does take less money to share the spotlight in a flawed team…

    111. Frank

      CRJoe: Why??? I already mentioned one scenario where we could have such a roster & there’s a ton of other options… The warriors are moving Biedrins for nothing, Varejao’s contract is a burden in the rebuilding Cavs, Denver is not gonna resign Afflalo, Minny has a variety of point guards & an incoming Ricky Rubio, Cleveland has Sessions & is probably gonna pick Irving, Anhony Parker, Tayshaun Prince and Shane Battier are all under appreciated free agents…
      This is a realistic posibility, not like burning down the house to create a much weaker team than Miami… Even if another superstar does take less money to share the spotlight in a flawed team…

      Right… and we would get these guys with what cap space and what assets again?

    112. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I still don’t see how Faried is not the perfect complement to this team. Fields and Faried: low volume, high rebounding players. Carmelo and Amar’e: high volume scorers, probably not around the basket enough to be a threat on the offensive glass.

      Add Chris Paul and watch them score 110 a game. I don’t see how anyone but Faried should be on the radar.

    113. art vandelay

      Personally, I feel as though Singleton, if still on the board at 17 (this is dubious I know), would be the perfect compromise between someone very offensively-challenged who may not be a perfect fit for SSOL (e.g. Faried) and a high-volume gunner like Jimmer who would not give us the wing defender we desperately will need to guard the likes of Wade, LBJ, Rose, etc.

      Singleton can get out on the break, is arguably the best wing defender in the draft, can get on on the break and score in transition, possibly even better post defender than Faried, can board some and also hit a spot-up jumper when necessary. I just see him as a good blend of what we need defensively while not representing a departure from SSOL in the event D’antoni is around after the upcoming season.

    114. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      I still don’t see how Faried is not the perfect complement to this team. Fields and Faried: low volume, high rebounding players. Carmelo and Amar’e: high volume scorers, probably not around the basket enough to be a threat on the offensive glass.

      Add Chris Paul and watch them score 110 a game. I don’t see how anyone but Faried should be on the radar.

      He might be a good complement, but perfect? He has no offensive game at all, and will not necessarily be a good interior defender at the NBA level. Is he another Balkman, or more like Rodman? I wouldn’t mind the pick if we can roll the dice later in the first/early 2nd on a Shumpert, Harper or Tyler. I really, really like Shumpert.

    115. CRJoe

      Frank: Right… and we would get these guys with what cap space and what assets again?

      Send Billups to retire in Denver, Denver can send Felton to say Utah, and Utah can send us Harris & a pick to Denver… Bang, just like that enough room to send TD to Memphis for a sign-and-trade of Battier… Dallas has it’s title, they’re gonna try to get younger and more flexible without blowing up the team… Send whoever we get in the draft & Turiaf’s expiring for Haywood… There you go… a much better team than Amar’e, Melo, Howard, Allen Iverson & Jason Williams…

    116. Robert Silverman

      Z-man: I really, really like Shumpert.

      “Shumpert” sounds like an obscure Jewish delicacy — a pickled herring of some kind

    117. JK47

      I’m with Jowles– I really like Faried and I think he’d make us a better team. Low-usage rebounding monster who can leap out of the building and plays with great passion? I think we could use a dude like that.

      The only question I have about him is his ability to play NBA-quality interior defense. If Biyombo is available I think you’d have to consider him, but I’d be very happy with either of those two players.

    118. taggart4800

      Faried is not Dejuan Blair 2.0 and he is certainly no Rodman. I completely agree that we need his hustle and rebounding but he is just simply not the right fit. Jowles I must admit you are usually frustratingly very accurate with a lot of the things you say but this time I fail to see how Faried is perfect. Where would you play him? He is not big enough for a C and would get bullied in the paint and the main reason for drafting a big is to protect the health of our $100 million dollar investment by stopping him from having to bang inside. Our two ‘Stars’ are PF and SF and even if he were to split his minutes between the two he would be an offensively challenged player on an offensively challenged unit. Like someone said, in that role is he any better than Balkman?

    119. Garson

      When Jeffries was in the game last year teams tended to leave him open to double or clog the lane… That is my only fear with faried. If he can display even a turiaf type offensive game, I’m all in, but that is yet to be seen.

    120. Frank

      CRJoe: Send Billups to retire in Denver, Denver can send Felton to say Utah, and Utah can send us Harris & a pick to Denver… Bang, just like that enough room to send TD to Memphis for a sign-and-trade of Battier… Dallas has it’s title, they’re gonna try to get younger and more flexible without blowing up the team… Send whoever we get in the draft & Turiaf’s expiring for Haywood… There you go… a much better team than Amar’e, Melo, Howard, Allen Iverson & Jason Williams…

      I think getting Howard or Paul to sign a vet’s minimum is probably more likely than this convoluted plan. There are such things called rules re: salary matching on trades which actually need to be followed before trades can happen. And do the other teams get a choice in your plan or must they trade their players to make sure the NYK are better off? Sorry, don’t mean to be a dick but even suggesting a path that requires 4 other teams to make bad trades is probably not worth the time spent typing. Or my time replying.

      Re Faried- I think there are side benefits other than rebounding to him- I’m sure therearent stats to quantify this but I feel like when one guy is playing his butt off it rubs off on others. I just really wish he were 2inches taller and 30 lbs heavier. I guess if he were then he’d be a lottery pick and we wouldn’t have a shot at him.

    121. Frank

      There’s definitely been a lot of talk about the NYK trading up, but I can’t imagine we have assets to make it happen, unless we’re trading away TD or Fields. I have mixed feelings about both those guys, but at least with TD we have 2 seasons’ worth of data showing that this guy is a real NBA player – that’s a pretty big risk unless you love the guy you’re trading up for. Fields naturally has his promoters and detractors – I tend to be in the latter camp, but certainly he has room for improvement so I’d like to see him stay.

      Presuming we keep our #17 pick, I’d naturally love it if a big like Biyombo fell to us, but that just doesn’t feel like it’s going to happen. I don’t think Markieff Morris will get past Philly at 16, which leaves us really with only Vucevic as a real big (or maybe Motiejunas I guess, but when your best comp is a defensively challenged big like Bargnani, that can’t be good for this team). What’s left is a pseudo-big like Faried, and a bunch of PG/SG types like Marshon Brooks or Iman Shumpert, and Chris Singleton if he somehow fell (which I doubt). I’d honestly be happy with any of those, but would probably opt for guys like Singleton and Shumpert. I feel like both these guys can be taught the corner 3 (esp Shumpert whose FT% makes it seem like he can probably be mechanically tweaked to succeed from 3) – and they would both bring a defensive intensity that this team hasn’t seen for a while. Imagine TD and Shumpert hounding the ball – that would be awesome to see.

    122. bockadoo

      Frank – Singleton and Shumpert would be nice. I have a good feeling about this draft. There’s a bunch of good, solid role players in our range and into the range where we might buy one or two. I’ve been a big Faried guy from the beginning, but after watching him at the combine, I don’t know – he could barely catch the ball, let alone make a decent move in the post. I’m trying to stay loyal to him, but…Singleton is 2-3 inches taller, has at least some offense to his game, and looks more versatile defensively. Singleton takes Lebron and Shumpert takes Wade. Marshon Brooks is still a good option to balance out the offense though. I read or heard something about Tim Grover – the big time trainer from Chicago – said Brooks reminded him of Kobe… I hope we don’t trade TD for Jonny Flynn. TD will keep getting better and we need his defense.

    123. Ben R

      Faried would be a solid pick but I agree that he is not a true bigman. Watching him in college he fronted in the post almost exclusively which made for a lot of steals but he also got beat inside an awful lot. Overall I still think he is going to be a solid NBA player but I see a lot more Jerome Williams than Dennis Rodman. He will be a solid tweener forward off the bench but not someone who can spend much time at center.

      Most drafts have either Biyombo, Burks, Markieff Morris, or Jimmer falling to us. If any of them end up slipping I think one of them would be the best pick. In that order actually.

    124. CRJoe

      Frank:
      even suggesting a path that requires 4 other teams to make bad trades is probably not worth the time spent typing. Or my time replying.

      While the other path being either NOH or Orlando doing a franchise destroying trade or Howard or Paul doing a career ending move??? That’s the path you’re clinging to???

      If either of those guys is going to take a salary cut to play somewhere… Why play next to a 30 year old Amar’e (and his 30 year old surgically reconstructed knees) and Melo???? Why not go to the Thunder who will have the same or more cap room??? Why wouldn’t the Magic trade Howard to Chicago for Boozer & Noah, a better package than anything that Knicks can put together???

      Am I the only one who sees this idea as delusional???

    125. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man: He might be a good complement, but perfect? He has no offensive game at all, and will not necessarily be a good interior defender at the NBA level. Is he another Balkman, or more like Rodman?I wouldn’t mind the pick if we can roll the dice later in the first/early 2nd on a Shumpert, Harper or Tyler.I really, really like Shumpert.

      His eFG% for 2010-11: .623

      That’s not a lack of an offensive game. That’s turning solid “scrappy” play into points. Like I’ve said with Tyson Chandler (who, as Berri and others have noted, may have been more deserving of the Finals MVP, aside from the fun Dirk/flu narrative), it doesn’t matter that he has “no offensive game.” Offensive rebounds convert to points. There’s no denying that. And even if he’s undersized, he has huge arms, has an outstanding leap, and would at least accrue FTA, which, despite his poor free throw shooting, contribute to the win (putting them in the bonus, loosening the defensive due to foul trouble, etc.). Plus, he only averaged about 3.3 PF/36, which is outstanding for a 6’7″ PF.

      There’s no reason not to like the kid, and at #17, I’d rather have a sure-thing sixth-man than another Andrea Bargnani who looks like a winner due to his “offensive game” but has the stats of a career NBDLer.

    126. Ben R

      I think we need to move forward and make choices for this team that have nothing to do with Paul and Howard. We need to bring in the best players we can get and move Billups valuable expiring contract to make that happen. If Howard or Paul become truly availiable we need to try and get them but we need to move this team forward and stop clinging to the dream of a top 5 player in a Knicks uniform. We put this team on hold for two years to miss out on LeBron we shouldn’t put this team on hold again, wasting one of the few truly elite seasons Amare has left waiting for a savior that will probably never come.

      End of the day if we are trading for Paul or Howard we have the assets because we have Amare and Melo to trade. Billups expiring, Fields and a bunch of spare parts will not bring in a player of Paul or Howard’s caliber.

      Let’s make this team as good as possible right now. What about Billups for Biedrins and the #11 pick. I think GS might do that just to save 25 million dollars.

    127. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Seems like Amar’e's elite seasons are behind him. Maybe bringing in Nash would help.

    128. Z-man

      Faried’s stats were playing center in a 2nd division college conference, and his attempts per 40 trended down. Blair had a similarly high eFG% and TS% at PITT, in a much tougher conference, and shooting at a much higher rate. Blair has since seen his TS% dip in each of his first two years. He couldn’t match up at all vs. the Griz in the playoffs, and they have two bigs in Gasol and Zach who can’t jump. There is clearly a point where wingspan and standing reach don’t seem to translate vs. playoff caliber bigs.

      Tyson Chandler is a legit 7-footer, and though his standing reach is only 2 inches higher and they have similar verticals, his eyes are over 5 inches higher than Faried’s. Chandler was also measured at age 18 and might have measured better in some categories at Faried’s age.

      There’s going to be a legit NBA playoff team starter available at 17 and I just don’t think it’s Faried. I would rather gamble on a guy with more upside and a more well rounded game and established position.

    129. Z-man

      I do agree that Faried is a sure thing as an NBA rotation player, though, and a possible all-star if he develops, although I think that is highly unlikely.

    130. latke

      Z: It’s comments like these that make this site great.

      Thanks Z… I think. I’m cynical. I know.

      CRJoe:

      Why play next to a 30 year old Amar’e (and his 30 year old surgically reconstructed knees) and Melo???? Why not go to the Thunder who will have the same or more cap room??? Why wouldn’t the Magic trade Howard to Chicago for Boozer & Noah, a better package than anything that Knicks can put together???

      Am I the only one who sees this idea as delusional???

      The Chicago deal is entirely possible — much more likely than NY, unless of course as Ben R suggested the knicks offer carmelo or stoudemire for Howard. Amare/Fields/Turiaf for Ryan Anderson and Howard? Or, as the Knicks have Chauncey’s huge contract, Orlando might be even more interested in, say, Amare, Chauncey, Turiaf for Howard, Arenas, and maybe Ryan Anderson as well. If Howard is leaving, you have to figure Orlando getting out of Arenas’ contract is a top priority.

      IMO it’s nuts that any of these teams are too dumb to accept reality. If your guy doesn’t sign an extension, and your team is not a contender, he’s leaving. Regardless, teams continue to allow their stars to get to free agency, so nothing prevents that from happening again.

      As far as OKC goes, so far they haven’t shown a willingness to go over the cap, and once they resign westbrook and pick up Harden’s option, they’ll be up around $50 million. The knicks will be at $41 million. More likely that they offer westbrook up for either howard or paul, an offer which IMO trumps anything NY or Chicago would offer. Maybe it’s equal to offering Carmelo.

    131. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Z-man:
      Faried’s stats were playing center in a 2nd division college conference, and his attempts per 40 trended down.Blair had a similarly high eFG% and TS% at PITT, in a much tougher conference, and shooting at a much higher rate. Blair has since seen his TS% dip in each of his first two years.He couldn’t match up at all vs. the Griz in the playoffs, and they have two bigs in Gasol and Zach who can’t jump. There is clearly a point where wingspan and standing reach don’t seem to translate vs. playoff caliber bigs.

      Tyson Chandler is a legit 7-footer, and though his standing reach is only 2 inches higher and they have similar verticals, his eyes are over 5 inches higher than Faried’s.Chandler was also measured at age 18 and might have measured better in some categories at Faried’s age.

      There’s going to be a legit NBA playoff team starter available at 17 and I just don’t think it’s Faried.I would rather gamble on a guy with more upside and a more well rounded game and established position.

      DeJuan Blair was a second-round pick! Come on! Yes, he tailed off a bit, but at $700k a year, how could you lose?

      You know what upside is? Something made up by scouts to sound more knowledgeable than they are. It’s the Moneyball principle, time and time again. The stats say that Faried is more likely than most to be an outstanding basketball player. The eye-test (or the measurements, what have you) says otherwise. Who do you have?

      I’ve got the stats. I’d rather “gamble” on a proven rebounding machine (and the whole mid-major nonsense is ridiculous; D-1 basketball is competitive as hell; ask Davidson, George Mason, Butler, et al.) than take some guy who’s got “upside” just because he’s athletic but still hasn’t learned how to be a good basketball player yet. Faried is good at basketball, say the stats. That’s enough for me.

    132. art vandelay

      I don’t know what the rest of you think, but I would not be onboard with a TD for Johnny Flynn straight up trade, as rumored. I think we will have myriad options in this draft (either with 17th pick or by purchasing late first/early second round pick(s)) or via free agency to bolster our backup PG position with someone serviceable without giving up an asset like TD who, while he will never be a PG, spreads the court with his outside shooting and is currently our only proven scorer off the bench, our only strong defensive guard on the squad, and played decently last season despite being banged up the entire year.

    133. Jim Cavan

      @139

      Agreed. I like the idea of bringing in Flynn, but not for TD. Unless we get something additional in return, like their 20th and Anthony Randolph. Just kidding. Or am I?

      For all his faults, Douglas has improved every year. He may never be a great decision-maker, but his defense and shooting alone warrant keeping him around for at least another year. If there’s another, less risky way to get Flynn, I’d be all for it (I truly do still think the kid could be a very good NBA point guard), but pulling the trigger for TD alone would be a bad move.

      As for the Draft: the closer it gets, the more I feel torn. I personally think a lot of crazy stuff is going to happen between the first pick and wherever we end up. In a weak class like this with a deficit of sure things, teams in the 8-15 slots might be apt to take risks they otherwise wouldn’t in a stronger class. I tend to agree with THCJ et. al. in that Faried, for all his limitations, wouldn’t be a dumb pick. That doesn’t mean it would necessarily be a smart pick in the long term, but I’d be cool with it. Of course, that’s assuming we’re still at 17.

    134. CRJoe

      Ben R:
      I think we need to move forward and make choices for this team that have nothing to do with Paul and Howard. We need to bring in the best players we can get…

      Thank you… This is exactly what I’ve been saying all along… There’s quite a few teams who are willing to unload good players for next to nothing due to the new CBA, we could even get a reasonable (6-8 millions) long-term contract in exchange for Billups and clear a little bit of space to sign a Battier or Prince…

      latke: IMO it’s nuts that any of these teams are too dumb to accept reality. If your guy doesn’t sign an extension, and your team is not a contender, he’s leaving. Regardless, teams continue to allow their stars to get to free agency, so nothing prevents that from happening again.

      I guess that’s one restriction they’re looking with the new CBA isn’t it??? I read somewhere that if a player wanted to play for a new team, even if it was a sign & trade, they could only opt for a shorter deal with 2-3% yearly increases… So it discourages free agency…

      art vandelay:
      I don’t know what the rest of you think, but I would not be onboard with a TD for Johnny Flynn straight up trade, as rumored.

      I don’t know if it’s because he was an Orangeman but I really like Flynn, I see great potential in him, he really never bounced back from his hip surgery but this extended vacation should get him to his rookie season form… I don’t think he’ll be a superstar, but he I see him as a potential serviceable starter, who can run the point and be a third option to Amar’e and Melo…

    135. flossy

      Ugh, Jonny Flynn sucks. He’s an injury-prone, pint-size turnover machine who can’t shoot or defend guards who are a lot bigger and stronger than him (which is virtually all of them). And for all of TD’s issues running an offense I think Flynn is only a marginal improvement in that respect as well. A straight-up trade of the two would be a bad move. Now, if they threw in the #20 pick and we turned it into someone like Josh Selby… I could live it it, I guess.

    136. Frank

      CRJoe:
      Am I the only one who sees this idea as delusional???

      LOL – it’s all delusional – just different degrees of crazy. And whatever the CBA turns out to be changes everything. If they trade S&T rules that could make players going to FA much more likely, which would totally change the situation.

      @THCJ – re: Faried I hear what you’re saying about his stats, and that rebounding tends to carry over well to the NBA. Only thing is that he is a much different physical specimen than the people that Dean Oliver etc. compared him to, except maybe Kersey (who seems like a totally different player if you look at his stats – with a career-high rebound rate of 14 and a career-high of 9.3 reb/36). Far be it for me to disagree with Dean Oliver – but it just seems weird to compare a guy with no offensive game and who is 6’6″ to guys like McDyess and Olajuwon.

      What we NEED most is a defensive CENTER — not just a rebounder. We need a guy who can cover the guys that overpower Amare so that Amare doesn’t get stuck in foul trouble in the 2nd quarter and beaten up by the end of the season. Say what you will about Faried – he is NOT a center, and would most likely be used in an Amare/Faried/Melo frontline – which could be an epically bad defensive frontcourt (minus rebounding).

      If we’re going BPA – then the home run shots like Marshon Brooks, Selby, and Shumpert seem likely.

      @144 – Vucevic looks good to me too – I think the ? is whether he is athletic enough for his stats to carry forward. He sure looks good in his workout videos though.

      This whole week is going to be torture. I remember my internal highs and lows when it looked like we were going to get Stephen Curry in 2009. What a downer that was.

    137. ess-dog

      I like Vucevic. I rank him right there, maybe just a shade below Markeiff Morris. He rebounds and can shoot with distance. Hell, he led the PAC10 in rebounding the last two years. No small feat. He’s kind of Brook Lopezy, hopefully a better defender.

    138. taggart4800

      @144 No. Definitely not.He is a massive sleeper in this draft and the perfect C for the knicks in my opinion. BIG body that will take up space in the paint on D and open it up with his shooting on the other end. Mozgov had nowhere near his polish and he had a defensive impact last season.

    139. Frank

      Regarding all the jonny Flynn rumors- no way would I trade a guy who has shown a lot more ability at the pro level on a better contract for a guy who has been a complete bust. Now of course Flynn was totally miscast In the triangle, and he was highly regarded coming out of college, but I feel like he could probably be had for less.

      Not sure how a Flynn/Douglas trade would work in terms of salaries either. Flynn makes 3+M and TD makes just over 1. Hahn just tweeted that this thing is unlikely- I’d tend to believe him.

    140. Frank

      I think we’ll be choosing between Vucevic, Brooks, and Tyler at #17. I think Faried is good but I just can’t imagine walsh’s last draft for an offensive minded coach being Faried.

      Tyler has sort of been under the radar the last few weeks. He probably has the highest ceiling out of any big man not named Kanter. Wouldn’t be surprised or unhappy if he ended up being the pick. Apparently he’s coming tomorrow for a second look along with a buch of others.

    141. BigBlueAL

      Glad Im not the only person. Its official, at this moment my wish is to draft Vucevic :-)

    142. latke

      Frank: What we NEED most is a defensive CENTER — not just a rebounder. We need a guy who can cover the guys that overpower Amare so that Amare doesn’t get stuck in foul trouble in the 2nd quarter and beaten up by the end of the season.

      Starting centers on playoff teams (by reg. season record): Joakim Noah, Tim Duncan, Joel Anthony, Andrew Bynum, Tyson Chandler, Glenn Davis/Jermaine O’Neal, Kendrick Perkins, Dwight Howard, Nene, Lamarcus Aldridge, Emeka Okafor, Marc Gasol, Al Horford, Roy Hibbert

      Of those guys, who are the interior offensive threats (not counting their offensive rebounding)? Duncan is old and on the decline… Bynum I suppose counts, Howard of course, and Gasol as well. Aldridge and Horford are scorers but neither are power players. Roy Hibbert is bad. That leaves let’s say 4.5 dangerous centers out of 15.

      The real problem the knicks have had has been with rebounding and defense. We need a shot blocker who can cover up some defensive errors and rebound the ball. When we play howard, we can just keep a couple big bodies around — guys who are fat enough to push these guys out of the paint. I think just as Jeffries (basically a small forward, even if he’s taller) vastly improved our defense, Faried has the potential, if he can continue to rebound and block shots, to do the same.

      Re: Flynn vs. Douglas — Flynn is 3 years younger. He’s been in the league 2 years. His first, he was healthy. I don’t think that constitutes the label of “injury plagued.” He’s also been on an awful team with no go to offensive player, so that could certainly contribute to the turnover issues. I still wouldn’t do the swap, but i don’t think it’s as lopsided as it seems.

    143. Frank

      @151- I guess let me rephrase- we need someone that can keep the Amir Johnsons of the world from getting a new career high every time they play us. Anyone regardless of their offensive threatening-ness that was guarded by Amare established a new career high. So we need someone that we can use to hide Amare, which means someone that can credibly guard the other team’s best interior threat. To me that means someone who has enough beef to deal with 4s and 5s.

      Or the easy thing would be if AMARE JUST PLAYED DEFENSE. Or if we had a coherent defensive plan EVER.

    144. ess-dog

      I think by any measurement, Markeiff Morris had a great junior year. Vucevic had a good year too, but isn’t as good a shooter as Morris and probably a worse post defender. I can’t imagine we take a project like Tyler. He won’t help this year. I don’t feel good about Brooks or most of the guards. Burks isn’t a need, but he would be a good pick if he’s there. Hamilton is dropping like a rock, but I still think he could be pretty good.

    145. Frank

      Would anyone here trade TD, Walker, Balkman , and cash for Flynn and the 20th pick? That would work under the current cap rules. Walker is a FA after this year anyway, and even though he has some upside I don’t imagine we would be bringing him back.

      That way we could draft a 2 and a big. Then buy a 2nd rounder or two and draft a couple more flyers.

    146. latke

      @Frank, Good point. If you expand it out to all post up threats, it’s harder to make my argument. If you think about it though, Amir Johnson might be a good comparison player for Faried. I can see him having problems with noncenters like Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol, but I think against Amir Johnson, Lebron, even up to guys like KG who aren’t that weighty, he could be a good solution.

      As far as the trade you suggested, that sounds cool. Flynn for just Walker would be nice as well. These mocks are so random. The two guys I hoped for in the late 1st early 2nd — Noguiera and Reggie Jackson — had jumped into the teens on DX and are now not even projected to go in the 1st round.

    147. Z-man

      The Honorable Cock Jowles: DeJuan Blair was a second-round pick! Come on! Yes, he tailed off a bit, but at $700k a year, how could you lose?

      You know what upside is? Something made up by scouts to sound more knowledgeable than they are. It’s the Moneyball principle, time and time again. The stats say that Faried is more likely than most to be an outstanding basketball player. The eye-test (or the measurements, what have you) says otherwise. Who do you have?

      I’ve got the stats. I’d rather “gamble” on a proven rebounding machine (and the whole mid-major nonsense is ridiculous; D-1 basketball is competitive as hell; ask Davidson, George Mason, Butler, et al.) than take some guy who’s got “upside” just because he’s athletic but still hasn’t learned how to be a good basketball player yet. Faried is good at basketball, say the stats. That’s enough for me.

      You never answered Frank @112 regarding the validity of PAWS40 over the past two drafts.

      Re: Blair, he slipped to the 2nd round because of his knees and work ethic/attitude. As it turns out, he was a steal in the 2nd round, and would have been a solid late-first round pick, but in hindsight just OK at #17 (I would currently put at least 17 players from that draft ahead of him, including some with much lower PAWS40 scores (e.g. Harden, Taj Gibson) or no reliable stats/scores (Beaubois). If you drafted Blair at #17 based you the same “stats”, you missed out on Collison, Lawson, Teague, etc.

    148. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      @ 112

      I don’t see how that list is supposed to disprove the efficacy of PAWS40 as a predictive tool. I’ll respond to the second list, primarily:

      -Blair would start on several NBA teams, and has been a great player for where he was drafted. I would not have advocated for him at #17 with…

      -Lawson on the table. He’s performed exceptionally well, and I anticipate him taking his game to the next level with 3000+ minutes next season.

      -Blake Griffin was a sure-thing. PAWS40 only echoed the consensus.

      -Ahmad Nivins was exceptionally good in college. He has not played in the NBA. Is that supposed to prove that he would have been a bad NBA player? Case in point: Nick Fazekas is still in the NBDL, and Bargnani got a contract extension despite being one of the worst starters in the NBA. So Fazekas must be worse than Bargnani, right? Let’s not forget that top-level NBA executives have given Jerome James a $30M contract. Charlie Villanueva got a huge one, too. And that big white dude on Orlando who used to be in Toronto.

      -Lester Hudson has played 200 minutes in the NBA. That’s about 5-7 games of starter’s minutes. Not indicative of anything.

      -Thabeet, aside from being unable to shoot the ball at any reasonable volume, averaged 9 points and 10 rebounds per 36 at a fairly good TS% his rookie year (fell off a cliff for some reason the next year). He had a strong rookie season and then was dismissed for some reason. I have no idea why. Dude averaged 4 blocks/36 as a rookie.

      -Jon Brockman has a higher career WS/48 (1300 MP) than Juwan Howard. Your exclamation point does nothing to detract from his success on the court. Maybe not be carried by the ESPN hype machine, but…

      -Terence Williams sucks.

      -Stephen Curry would have been a good #2 pick.

      Etc., etc. I don’t see how any point has been made here. Jrue Holiday’s not very good (low TS%, below-average WS/48). Jordan Hill sucks. I don’t see much of an argument here.

    149. cgreene

      Long time no post.

      Wouldn’t Igoudala really be a great 3rd piece (if we aren’t in the realistic market for D12, CP3)? Great defender and distributor and complimentary player to Stat and Melo. He runs the floor and pushes the ball and can act as a primary ball handler at times for SSoL.

      Billups, Fields, Walker and the 17 pick for Iggy? Does Philly bite?

      Turn out a lineup of:
      TD
      Iggy
      Melo
      Stat
      Turiaf

      The only issues are he can’t shoot the 3 (TD spreads the floor in that lineup) and we remain awfully thin upfront.

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