Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DJ Augustin is the Best Point Guard in the Draft

…according to Part Two of the Hollinger Draft Rater, posted this morning. 

Here are the links to Part 1, and another draft analysis that’s based on Berri’s win scores.  

76 comments on “DJ Augustin is the Best Point Guard in the Draft

  1. Ess-dog

    There is an ‘it’s too good to be true’ quality to Westbrook. Really, where are the college stats? They aren’t meaningless. I know he tested out well, but aside from that, we’re only basing our enthusiasm on one big game against Rose.
    I would still be all for a trade for Ford if we have anything Toronto wants. I wouldn’t even mind bringing in Hinrich if the price was right.
    Alexander at the 6 spot? Doesn’t seem out of the question now. It seems like a good pick not just because of the data, but because so many teams covet him at this point, we would immediately have a real trade option that someone might overspend on either before or after the pick is made.

  2. o_boogie

    Augustin kind of reminds me of Damon Stoudamire. If he can play up to that level as a pro, he would definitely be worth spending the 6th pick on.

  3. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    It’s interesting, because Doerr is lukewarm on Augustine:

    Despite the shift in Augustin’s stats with and without Durant, his PAWS/40 went relatively unchanged. Augustin still rates as an average point guard with a .4 PAWS/40 and not as the superstar prospect so many expect. Given this information, Win Scores is highly pessimistic of Augustin’s pro potential.

    and Weiland as well:

    Now before I close out in saying that DJ Augustin is overrated as a prospect and looks like he’ll be a disappointment, I want to mention something I wondered about when watching Eric Gordon play defense. I wonder if the Texas plan was for Augustin to rest on defense so he could be on the court for most of the game. I mean there’s a big difference between a player not playing hard on defense as part of an overall team strategy and the same player not playing defense because he’s simply not a very good defender. I’m not sure what Augustin’s situation was, but I thought I’d toss that out there. This doesn’t do a lot to change my opinion of Augustin though. The numbers say he simply isn’t at the same level as Rose, Chalmers and Lawson. I also prefer Westbrook based on his potential.

    Links:
    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/2008-Win-Scores-NBA-Draft-Preview-2932/
    http://www.hoopsanalyst.com/0708ew14.htm

  4. Caleb Post author

    It’s a little surprising that Gordon is (apparently) such a non-impact defender. He’s extremely quick, and strong for his size. Maybe coaching, or a fresh approach, would help. He’s still young enough to develop his game some.

  5. daaarn

    Augustin’s numbers are surprising, but Gordon’s, Randolph’s, and Westbrook’s are not IMO (I just don’t really like any of them). I hate to use statistics too much when judging players (since numbers can only explain so much), but in this case I’d have to agree w/ them. I still don’t advocate taking Augustin straight up at #6, but I’d consider trading down for him.

  6. T-PLan

    I don’t really see where a PG is the biggest need. Yeah, Jamal Crawford likes to throw up ducks, but he isn’t horrible and L’il Nate is solid too.

    They need big help elsewhere though, since Q is the only swing guy with any history of success. Seriously, Jared Jeffries? No way man!

    I saw updated mocks on RotoExperts, but they’re holding strong on Gordon and Randolph.

    FIRST UPDATED MOCK
    http://rotoexperts.com/content/view/168/79/

    SECOND UPDATED MOCK
    http://rotoexperts.com/content/view/166/79/

  7. JK47

    Out of all the names being bandied around, I like Gordon the least. Another chucker with highly questionable shot selection and another guy who needs the ball a lot to be effective. Oh, and he doesn’t play much defense either.

    Sounds like the prototypical Knick.

  8. TDM

    Just read Chad Ford. Saw this:

    “The latest buzz has the Knicks talking to Memphis about a deal that would send David Lee and the expiring contract of Malik Rose to Memphis for No. 5 and Cardinal.”

    I’m sorry, I was going to opine but I lost feeling in my head for a few minutes.

  9. Caleb Post author

    I saw that Chad Ford bit, too — I would assume he’s been talking to someone in Memphis who forgot that Isiah got fired.

  10. daaarn

    Yeah, just read the Ford article too. Ugh, that would be horrific if that trade actually happened. I can only imagine what the Garden crowd would be chanting then.

  11. miik

    At first I thought the above Chad Ford rumor was nuts, but thinking about it little more makes sense. Basically, you’re trading Lee (a solid rotation starter guy on a good team) for the 5th pick (a potential all-star, franchise type of player). And, you’re taking on one extra year of salary with Cardinal (who admittedly stinks, but at least can shoot the 3 when he’s not injured).

    Additionally, by most indications D’Antoni doesn’t sound like he’s in love with Lee’s game (because he lacks a jumper). With Lee in line for a big contract extension (probably something in the $6 to $8 mil a year over 5 years?) and with Walsh trying to keep cap space in 2010, the Knicks may as well get something for him before he has a bad year under D’Antoni. Trading Lee could actually be considered a cost-cutting move in the long run since the 5th pick would be getting paid less the Lee potentially would in 2010.

  12. miik

    To continue my above thought, I wonder if you could even flip the #5 and #6 picks for Miami’s #2 pick and then draft Beasley (or less likely Rose). Not sure if Miami would do that, but they don’t seem very keen on Beasley. Maybe a possibility?

  13. Thomas B.

    TDM,

    Do not despair. This is the slowest part of the year for sports writers, they have to publish the trade rumors they overhear in the men’s room stall from the guy who once went bowling with the second cousin of the mechanic of the ex girlfirend of the FORMER Memphis Grizzlies director of concessions. If IT was still with us, I might be worried.
    —————

    Caleb,

    Do you think the Hollinger article would be helped or hurt by removing players from the equation that had their careers ended by injury (Jay Williams-Motorcycle, and Dujuan Wagner-Colitis)? We never really got to see what those players would be.

    One thing I did like in this article is that it touched on something I mentioned in a post about taking Westbrook over one of the projected bigs available (Randolph, Jordan, ect). I said that when picking between a marginal front court player and a marginal big, take the big because they tend to develop into players at a higher rate. What did J-Hova say:

    “However, the failure rate of players who rate this low isn’t as bad as it is for frontcourt players. Of the 30 point guards rated between 10.0 and 12.5, five (Nate Robinson, Jannero Pargo, Chris Duhon, Steve Blake and Luke Ridnour) became regular rotation players, while two others (Aaron Brooks and Ramon Sessions) seem to be well on their way, and another two (Travis Diener and Marcus Banks) can’t be ruled out. That said, for a player rated this low, the odds of failure are still far greater than the odds of success.”

    After reading part I, I would like to offically get off the Anthony Randolph band wagon. Knicks’ draft order should be Mayo, Love, Alexander, Augustine, Westbrook.

  14. TDM

    “Do you think the Hollinger article would be helped or hurt by removing players from the equation that had their careers ended by injury (Jay Williams-Motorcycle, and Dujuan Wagner-Colitis)? We never really got to see what those players would be.”

    What about the players who had their careers cut short by over-eating (Michael Sweetney)?

  15. Ess-dog

    Thomas B, I feel like I can agree with you on you’re draft order. I still have questions about Mayo, although he is my favorite of the combo guards this year. I think I have a case of StephonMarbury-itis when it comes to combo guards. In fact, very few teams have done well with a high-volume scoring combo guard historically. I guess what saves OJ is his lock-down defense and his ability to play the off guard position nicely if he fails at the point.
    I don’t know what it is, but Bayless’s game really scares me, even though on paper he seems like a good prospect. I just don’t think he’s going to pan out for some reason. Like a Salim Stoudamire.
    That Memphis trade is scary, but it would be fun to have 5 and 6. That would give us a lot of leverage for draft day trades and a chance to move fatty 1 and fatty 2. I like Lee, but I can’t say I’m totally against it. That would also give Memphis a really nice nucleus. I would include in the deal Chandler on our side and Lowry on their side so we could have a back up point guard for once. Cardinal, Randolph, Curry and Jerome James all on the same team? That’s an award-winning group of stiffs if I’ve ever seen one. They’d have to buy out someone, probably James at least.

  16. Thomas B.

    “What about the players who had their careers cut short by over-eating (Michael Sweetney)?”

    I am totally going to be fired. They have to know I’m not working now because nobody laughs this much while reading contracts.

  17. Plexxxx

    Ford once again has Gallinari going to the Knicks. Ugh, if this happens I may have to find another team to root for after 20+ mostly misery filled years.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2008/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=MockDraft-080623&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos1

    I imagine if they could pry the #5 pick away from Memphis they would try and put some kind of package together to either get a top 3 pick or make a run at an existing upper echelon player, Carmelo Anthony maybe?

    They can’t afford to mess this up, which is why I would steer clear of any of the International guys. If Beasley, Rose, Mayo, Westbrook or Bayless are all gone at 6, maybe dropping down and picking up Augustin would be the smartest thing to do.

  18. Thomas B.

    Ess-dog,

    “In fact, very few teams have done well with a high-volume scoring combo guard historically.”

    True. But when it works, it’s like hitting the powerball. Gilbert Arenas, Baron Davis, Monta Ellis…

    Then again, when it does not work…

  19. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Ford once again has Gallinari going to the Knicks. Ugh, if this happens I may have to find another team to root for after 20+ mostly misery filled years.”

    FWIW both Erich Doerr and Ed Weiland have Gallinari rated pretty high. Hollinger hasn’t weighed in on the *Lodigiano Legend, at least yet.

    “Lodigiano Legend” is a registered trademark of KnickerBlogger.Net. If the Knicks do take Danilo, I will have a full week in the summer to come up with better nicknames than “Italian Stallion.”

  20. jon abbey

    that Memphis deal sounds like it’s basically trading Lee for Love, I might be OK with that, or they could also turn around and move one of those picks to Portland for multiple assets (maybe including Travis Outlaw, who was my favorite player for the first part of last year until Monta Ellis passed him).

    I would not be OK with Gallinari, but I’ll be stunned if Walsh actually picks him.

  21. jon abbey

    I just think we need more of a sure thing, and I’d rather roll the dice with an American player, Westbrook or Alexander or even Augustin specifically, given the options.

    so nothing especially rational, mostly that I have a bias against most non-US players. on a related note, I thought it was interesting that Boston’s rotation was entirely made up of African-Americans, no foreigners, no white Americans (who I’m also usually biased against in terms of NBA players, Lee being a very rare exception along with Love).

  22. Owen

    Perhaps because we have so little to judge him on.

    And for me, the fact that Bargnani might have been the least productive player in the NBA last year is weighing heavily as I consider Gallinari. Probably wrong to associate the two, he may turn out completely differently, but it’s in the back of my head.

  23. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    If the Lee trade were to happen (and I trust the rumors at this stage – esp. ones that come via Chad Fraud about as much as UFO sightings), we’re going to have to go take shifts on suicide watch duty for poor, poor Owen.

  24. TDM

    The only reason I don’t want the Knicks to select Danilo Gallinari (anagram: Inlaid Anglo Liar)is that Isiah was banished abroad to scout him. I’d hate for him to think that the selection was based upon his research.

    p.s. – in full disclosure, I cheated on the anagram and used a website.

  25. Ess-dog

    I don’t think Gallinari would be the worst choice at 6, just not the best. First, is he a 3 or a 4? I don’t think he has the foot speed to guard say, T-Mac or Pierce based on the clips I’ve seen. I guess Alexander just seems to have more upside at the small forward position to me. I also think Gallinari could be taken at the 8 or 9 spots.
    That would really be a story if Westbrook went #4 to Seattle. What a crazy rise for a guy that averaged 12 and 5 last year in college.
    Toronto is looking for a 3-way trade partner so they can acquire Diaw from Phoenix. This seems easy to me. Send Chandler and Nate to Phoenix, Diaw goes to Toronto, and we get TJ Ford.

  26. Thomas B.

    “Why the Gallanari hate?” (For the record, I don’t hate him. I’m speculating here.)

    One reason is that we don’t know him. Has anyone seen him play other than a Youtube.com clip? A player with a better motor but less overall ability is Alexander, whom is held in high regard because we saw him play and we loved what we saw in the tourney.

    A second reason is Knick fans have been burned before. I think folks don’t like him because some people are still somewhat leery of imported players. The Knicks got burned on Frederic Weiss, ditto Orlando with Frannie V. People worry that is will take him 3 years to develop (would you expect less from a 19 year old?)

    Third reason: We think we need a great point or great post player to become an instant competitor. Case in point: we are so in love with a point prospect that we want to bring in a skinny unproven point that nearly lost his leg two years ago (Livingston).

    Four: Silly old stereotypes such as imports can’t play defense or they are not tough players. That is just dumb, I mean is anyone tougher than Manu?

    I can’t understand the hate because people would be ok with Anthony Randolph who plays the same position, even though Randolph is turnover prone, a poor shooter, super skinny, and shows a low BB IQ. Gallanari brings everything that Randolph doesn’t and yet…

  27. Thomas B.

    I will admit that I have a bias against players that suck. Hence, I like Lee and I do not like James.

  28. jon abbey

    “I can’t understand the hate because people would be ok with Anthony Randolph who plays the same position”

    I wouldn’t be OK with him either, for the record. again, Walsh shouldn’t have to go past Rose, Mayo, Beasley, Westbrook, Alexander, Augustin. at least one of those six will be available. I could also live with Bayless or Love, anyone else, I won’t be happy.

    FWIW, Randolph is down to 16 in Ford’s latest mock draft.

  29. o_boogie

    “FWIW both Erich Doerr and Ed Weiland have Gallinari rated pretty high. Hollinger hasn’t weighed in on the *Lodigiano Legend, at least yet.

    “Lodigiano Legend” is a registered trademark of KnickerBlogger.Net. If the Knicks do take Danilo, I will have a full week in the summer to come up with better nicknames than “Italian Stallion.””

    I gotta show a little love for Clyde on this one. We should call him the Napoli Neophyte.

  30. jon abbey

    “imports can’t play defense or they are not tough players. That is just dumb, I mean is anyone tougher than Manu?”

    I wouldn’t lump South Americans and Europeans in together on this. Manu, Varejao, Nocioni are all from Argentina or Brazil and are all pretty tough. what European players are there that are even adequate defenders, besides Kirilenko and maybe Pietrus?

  31. Ess-dog

    I have a bias against players from Kazakhstan.
    - They are lazy and only interested in a “Sexy Time”.
    - They’ve never met a shot they didn’t think was “Niiiice!”
    - They’re not so popular in New York because of their “Running of the Jew” festival.

  32. Thomas B.

    “I wouldn’t be OK with him (Randolph)either”

    You seem to know what you are talking about (most of the time) so that does not suprise me. I was kinda intrigued by Randolph before the workout reports flowed in. But before the workouts I think folks were higher on Randolph than they were Gallanari. I can only think it is because he played overseas.

    Caleb, can you put together a analysis of the imported players and how they have performed over the last 6 years? We need to see the projected PERs and the actual PERs after three years in the NBA. If it’s not too much trouble, can you also compare the players to similar American players drafted in that years draft? Finally, place the players on a sliding scale based on their respective draft positions, age, and the number of years of professional international play prior to playing in the NBA including the Olympics. I expect your report by 6 pm.

  33. Thomas B.

    What European players are there that are even adequate defenders, besides Kirilenko and maybe Pietrus?

    Loul Deng maybe, he is from the UK.
    Jose Calderon is solid.
    Andris Biendris is a good shot blocker.

    Gee, thats not enough to field a team.

  34. Thomas B.

    p.s. – in full disclosure, I cheated on the anagram and used a website.

    Anagrams done the ol fashioned way:

    An ill load I rain or I’ll rain in a load ( he is going to score in buckets)

  35. tastycakes

    Lee for the 5 might not be terrible. I’m resigned to the fact that dude won’t be a Knick forever, and as much as I love him, it really is time to blow things up and try something totally different.

    I’d like to think we can do better than the 5, or at the very least, package him with Steph or one of the JJs or Curry or Randolph or even Crawford. Malik Rose is mostly taking up space as is. They say the Heat are looking to move the 2 if Rose is off the board. I’d take my chances on Beasley for Lee and the 5.

    Just realized we have no second rounders this year. That’s unfortunate; I want more dice to roll.

  36. Ray

    Ill take that D Lee trade off to get the 5 . Why not? Lets blow the team up and get some youth for the future. Maybe we can get a PG next year in the draft? Who knows? With a little creativity im sure we can work something out. We need to make some deal and get that pick for 2010 too. How bout a second rounder for this year? I wouldnt mind Joey Dorsey coming off the bench grabbing boards and blocking some shots. That would be great. Maybe would could get an overseas guy and stick him in the D-League. Hope on Thursday theres a lot of wheeling and dealing for us. Just so that things are fun. I still think Augustine is too short. Maybe some of the 19 year olds still have a chance of growing .

  37. TDM

    If were dumping Lee, we better be getting rid of at least one albatross. I wouldn’t even consider it unless (1) we were getting a pg back; and (2) were getting rid of Zach.

    Lee and Zach for Conley, Darko and the 5 sounds about right to me. We get a pg and a shotblocker. Package the 5 and 6 to get Beasley.

    Even with Navarro giving up on the NBA to sign with the spanish league, Memphis still has 3 quality pgs.

    Starting 5:

    Conley
    Craw
    Take your pick
    Beasley
    Darko

  38. TDM

    cwod, interesting read.

    Especially this part:

    “The Miami Herald is saying that some Miami Heat officials are already concerned about Mike D’Antoni’s enviable position with USA Basketball, which gives him private access to key potential free agents in that Class of 2010 which, as you know, includes LeBron James and Miami’s Dwyane Wade.

    Let the recruiting begin.”

  39. Danisrob

    “Lee and Zach for Conley, Darko and the 5 sounds about right to me. We get a pg and a shotblocker. Package the 5 and 6 to get Beasley.”

    Memphis would trade to shed salary not take on Zach and then Lee who will be looking for 6-8 million a year soon.

  40. Italian Stallion

    A few points:

    1. Most of us haven’t seen much of Gallinari, but he does have stats to evaluate from his Italian and European play. We can also say with 100% certainty that those leagues are BOTH BETTER than the NCAA. Once you realize that, you can begin to appreciate him better. It’s some of less tangible aspects of his ability that are suspect because we haven’t seen him against an NBA quality player. On the plus side, he supposedly has an extremely high basketball IQ because he played PG for a long time until he hit a growth spurt. On the downside, there are some question marks about his quickness and ability to guard NBA level players. On their own, the stats are extremely impressive when viewed in their proper light.

    2. IMO, the Lee trade (if it came to pass) would actually be a stroke of genius for NY.

    Before you start throwing stones (I do realize how popular he is in NY and especially on this blog), the bad contract the Knicks will get in return is a non-event because it expires before 2010.

    That is key!

    Basically the Knicks would be saying they are willing to take on a bad contract for awhile (a financial consideration not critical to the long term cap 2010 plans) in order to avoid the risk of having to sign Lee at an overvalued price tag when his contract is up and have cap troubles again as a result (which will almost certainly be the case), plus pick up huge trading flexibility with the #5 pick.

    They could then package either the #5 or #6 to move Zach.

    They could draft Alexander and a guard.

    They could fill some other combination of needs at low rookie salaries with 2 picks.

    This move will be wildly unpopular with many Knicks fans, but it would a move of spectacular genius!!!

    Lee is going to cost a fortune to keep and he’s probably not going to be the worth the price. So getting #5 and all that trading flexibility would be a monumental improvement both financially and in terms of trade flexibility.

  41. oboogie

    trading malik rose for cardinal (in the deal suggested by chad ford) is a waste of an expiring contract. they are about even in value and both expire before 2010. we have nothing to gain. if we are going to sling lee, we need to do it with curry or z-bo or james or crawford since they all expire after 2010. that would maximize the value of having to move our blue chip trade piece.

    as suggested above, if we could get conley or crittenton or lowry in return, that would make it more worth making such a deal.

    id hate to see lee go, being the only bright spot of the isiah era, but ive always been about buy low sell high. lee may not do so well under d’antoni and that could hurt his potential tradability down the road.

    i am very excited to see what walsh will do draft night. it seems like he is being very secretive, yet you know he is working all the angles.

  42. caleb

    If you’re like me and believe that Lee is about the 50th best player in the league, that’s about what you’d expect from a #5 pick. The pick is more volatile, but at the same time you are saving money. I’m a big Lee fan, and I’m not crazy about the options at #5, but that’s not a crazy trade idea. I’m already on record pushing a Lee for Conley swap — IMO Conley is a better prospect than any guard in this draft except Rose, and not far behind him, either.

    I found this comment interesting, because you hear a lot of comments like it:
    “by most indications D’Antoni doesn’t sound like he’s in love with Lee’s game (because he lacks a jumper).”

    D’Antoni found plenty of minutes for Stephen Hunter, Brian Skinner and Shaq, none of whom could even tell you what a jump shot is. Mike D. is also a big fan of Diaw, who’s one of the worst shooters in the league at his position. Grant Hill didn’t lose any minutes under Mike, either.

    The only things you can really say about D’Antoni’s “style” is that he has an extremely aggressive offensive philosophy, and always finds a way to put his best players on the floor. It’ll be fascinating to see how he organizes this very different group of players he’s been handed in New York.

  43. caleb

    p.s. I think that Jared Jeffries & Lee together make exactly as much as Cardinal, give a few thousand dollars.

  44. jon abbey

    yeah, Lee for Conley would be cool, and hopefully we could grab Love at 6 then. we’d really have to grab some kind of defensive big man then, but we pretty much do anyway.

  45. tdm

    Unless I’m missing something, Lee for Conley straight-up won’t work, salary wise. Other pieces or picks need to be included like the 5th pick, since Knicks would probably want to sign Lee to an extension before trading him.

    Then, the Knicks could take Love and Westbrook, trade up or down or both.

  46. Ray

    Yeah, Walsh has been pretty quiet. I hopes hes working those lines. Theres got to be some quality deal we can make. We certainly have the pieces to do it so why not now? I cant wait til’ the draft.

  47. caleb

    “Lee for Conley straight-up won’t work, salary wise. Other pieces or picks need to be included like the 5th pick”

    I was considering this part of the previously mentioned Lee + Rose (or Jeffries) plus Conley + Cardinal idea. I think that works, salary-wise — if not, it’s easy to tweak.

    When a team is over the cap, trades need to be within 25% plus $100,000. Picks don’t count for salary-matching purposes.

    The trade seems unlikely, though. All else aside, Memphis looks like priority #1, 2 and 3 is saving money. Then again, there was that Monta Ellis rumor…

  48. Ess-dog

    Ouch, no love on the Borat jokes. Guess I won’t quit my day job…
    If we grab the #5 I could see Gallinari and Augustin being a good pair. I think maybe you play Gallinari at PF though. Then you start Augustin, Marbury, Chandler, Gallinari, and some other guy at Center. Maybe trade someone else for Joey Dorsey. Craw, Balkman and Nate off the bench. Sit Curry and Zach til their contracts expire.
    I know, I’m dreaming. More likely we package Zach with the 5th pick to Sacto for dead weight and the 11th pick. Or to Indy for Tinsley, garbage and their pick.
    Here’s a question I like to ask every couple weeks: would ANYONE trade for Curry?

  49. Ess-dog

    Also… if you’re Miami, would you trade Beasley and Blount for Lee, Curry, and the #6 pick (either OJ, Westbrook, or Augustin)? Maybe replace Curry with Q or Jeffries…

  50. Ricky

    I really don’t understand how anyone can support getting rid of David Lee unless there’s substantial cap space to be made. I believe he was far and away the top Knick in terms of Win Shares — no doubt a crude metric, but still! I know that this has been discussed ad nauseam on this board, but unless it’s Kobe for D. Lee straight up (wink wink, Owen), it’s not a sell in my eyes. 2009 will not be the Knicks’ year. Let’s just accept it and let the Layden/Isiah contracts run their grotesque courses until that beautiful word becomes a reality: “expiring.”

  51. Thomas B.

    “Ouch No love on the Borat joke.”

    Everyone please tell Ess-dog his joke make funny. If he not success as comedian, he will be execute. Your joke make a funny, HIGH-FIVE.

  52. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, it’s tough logic to grasp (I know I had a tough time with it when I first heard the rumor), but I guess Lee for the #5 really is about equal value for Lee’s talents.

    Lee’s awesome, but the #5 pick is awesome, as well.

    I don’t buy Lee being traded because D’Antoni doesn’t like him, but I can see him being traded simply because the Knicks want to have two picks, and #5 and 6 could probably net them at least two good young players, and if they’re really lucky, it could get them Westbrook and Alexander.

    And if the goal is just to get a free agent to come to the team in 2010, having Westbrook and Alexander is probably as valuable as having David Lee and Alexander/Bayless/Gallinari.

    Not more valuable, so this is certainly not a gimme move, but as valuable, so I can just about convince myself that the trade, as currently constituted, would work.

    Make it Lee/Rose for Conley/Cardinal and I’m totally on board.

  53. Brian Cronin

    I really don’t understand how anyone can support getting rid of David Lee unless there’s substantial cap space to be made. I believe he was far and away the top Knick in terms of Win Shares — no doubt a crude metric, but still! I know that this has been discussed ad nauseam on this board, but unless it’s Kobe for D. Lee straight up (wink wink, Owen), it’s not a sell in my eyes. 2009 will not be the Knicks’ year. Let’s just accept it and let the Layden/Isiah contracts run their grotesque courses until that beautiful word becomes a reality: “expiring.”

    Again, I think you’re underestimating how valuable a #5 pick is.

    Jason Richardson is a very good player and all he netted was the #9 pick. Ray Allen got the Sonics the #5 pick.

    The #5 pick is quite valuable.

    Lee was definitely the Knicks’ best player, but the Knicks were not a very good team.

    I love the guy, and I personally don’t want to trade him for the #5, but I’ll admit that it’s probably about fair value for Lee.

  54. GiantKnickFan420

    I agree with Cronin. I love Lee, but he is limited in his upside and ability. He is effective, but the contract issue is a valid one. Id take the 5,6 and see what we can get, maybe we can get a really good player or just draft 2 “potential” franchise players. I would go for Bayless/Love or keep the fifth pick and trade the other. But having those 2 picks gives us a ton of flexibility and more importantly leverage if we wanted to force a team to take on a jeffries contract or something..
    Keeping Lee this yr wouldnt be terrible either where we can trade him at the deadline if Walsh/Dantoni dont plan on resigning him long term.

  55. daaarn

    I misread the original rumor thinking we’d have to give up Lee and #6 for #5 (in which case it would not be worth it). Generally, I’d prefer not to trade such a fan favorite as Lee (those seem to be pretty hard to come by in the last couple of years), but if we could get #5 in addition to our #6, I think it could be worth it, depending on who we get of course. Some posters have suggested getting Love with one of the proposed picks and I’d be down with that. At the very least, it wouldn’t be a downgrade and think of the marketing possibilities w/ all the I LOVE NY merchandise they could peddle.

  56. Ted Nelson

    On the one hand, I don’t think the chances of getting 2 players better than Lee at 5 and 6 are that great; on the other, he chances of getting at least one player significantly better than Lee (i.e. really good) would basically double. So, I don’t really know where I stand…

    How about 5 and 6 for #2??? That’s a lot to give up, but is getting a sure thing impact player like Beasley worth it??? I think that’s a tough call… Basically Lee and #5 for Beasley: a couple of weeks ago I would have rejected it, but it’s sort of tempting.

    Caleb and Brian, why so high on Conley?

  57. Brian Cronin

    Ted, Conley came out as a Freshman, so if he came out in the draft this year instead of last, I think he’d be a Top Four pick easy (obviously, since he was #4 last year, he was smart to come out when he did).

    He is a good defender with great court vision. He also has a great assist ratio – tops among all rookies.

    I think he basically gives you most of the same things Westbrook gives you, only better (and he’s only one year older than Westbrook).

  58. Brian Cronin

    By the by, I personally wouldn’t do the proposed trade. Just noting that the deal as proposed sounds like a fair trade.

  59. Ted Nelson

    Yeah, Conley had a solid rookie year for a 20 year old PG. I never saw him play last season, though, so I was just wondering. I guess Conley’s less risky than this season’s #5 with similar upside. I wouldn’t call either Lee for #5 or Conley a no-brainer, but definitely worth thinking about.

  60. Ricky

    “I misread the original rumor thinking we’d have to give up Lee and #6 for #5 (in which case it would not be worth it).”

    Right, so did I. Lee for the #5 straight up would probably be an excellent move. I’m not too enamored to know that Lee is and likely will always be a role player. The Knicks could land a HOF-caliber player at #5.

  61. Owen

    “The Knicks could land a HOF-caliber player at #5.”

    I would say Lee has more chance of ending up in the Hall of Fame than the number 5 pick this year. But then again. 3 of the last 12 picks at 5 probably will end up in the Hall (Allen, Garnett, Wade)

    That said, Lee straight up for the 5 is not a good idea, put me on record….

  62. tdm

    I agree with Owen on this one, however as stated above, if we could wrangle Conley away as well as the 5 pick, I’d seriously consider it. I’d even consider it if Crittendon (sp?) was included.

  63. TDM

    I take that back re Crittendon. I just checked his stats – they are crappier than remembered.

  64. danvt

    When Isiah traded for Curry he cemented the roster for the next three years by giving up the picks. So, we all (or morons like me) thought, OK, we have our trio of 1st rounders, Robinson, Lee, and Frye. We have Marbury and Crawford. Now we have our big man. Let’s get a coach who can mold them. Well, no coach could do it. It’s time to un-cement the roster.

    Love for Lee! Westbrook at 6. Maybe someone would take both for a higher pick, or a good veteran, or a lower pick and one of our crappy coach and cap killers. If it takes Lee to break this roster loose let’s do it. Lee’s good but he doesn’t even command a single team much less a double team a lot of the time and people go around him on defense.

  65. Dave

    If Kevin Love is on the board I’m all for trading David Lee for the fifth pick. If he isn’t I don’t care, I’m neutral, do whatever you feel like. You either get a guard or a potential guy who could turn into anything or nothing.

    I’d also trade David Lee for Mike Conley. Conley is a pure floor general and a gifted passer. He’s a great penetrator and has excellent handle. He’s an ideal option for D’Antoni offensively. Conley plays solid defense which should only improve in time. He’s got incredibly quick hands which should make him a great thief in this league. His jump shot is solid and developing.

    Conley is a better point guard both in the present and potential than everyone in this draft not named Derrick Rose.

    I’d rather Conley than the fifth pick although if Love is on the board that’s a very close call.

  66. Ted Nelson

    “Conley is a … gifted passer.”

    Assists aren’t a perfect measure of passing ability, but they’re the best one at my disposal and wouldn’t suggest he’s a “gifted” passer. 5.8 ast/36 compared to a truly gifted passer like Jason Kidd’s 8.2 as a 21 year old rookie or the 8.7 that TJ Ford dished out as a 20 year old rookie. Adequate and maybe even good, yes; “gifted,” no.

    “He’s got incredibly quick hands which should make him a great thief in this league.”

    Also not bourne out statistically. (Manu, for example, has averaged 2 stls/36 over his career and 2.4 as a rookie, while Conley averaged 1.1 last season. That’s slightly less than Crawford and Marbury at 1.2. Maybe he doesn’t jump passing lanes and get burned as often as those two… Still stls/min tend to decline with age, although they might rise slightly after his rookie year, especially if he was still suffering from the injury). Again, solid, but nothing special.

    Conley should be a solid starting PG and probably (very likely) better than Livingston (who I was supporting), but I don’t know if he’s a real difference maker at the NBA level and the Knicks would give up a lot more than for Livingston if there was a chance to acquire Conley (which I doubt there is). Not sure how many teams would trade, say, the 15th best PF in the league for the 15th or even 10th best PG… This is compounded by the fact that Lee is already that good, while Conley’s POTENTIAL is to be that good.

  67. Dave

    Hey Ted,

    I wrote “he should become a great thief” not that he is a great thief. He’s not making enough use of his talents defensively. My point was that he has great lateral quickness and very quick hands, he also has good anticipation and timing and should become a great thief. He isn’t right now. He’s shown he has the talent in college and those talents are still on display in pros albeit inconsistently, nothing has changed from that standpoint but the end result isn’t there yet. I think we’ll see the end result given time.

    ……………..

    Conley is a gifted passer. He’s also a pure floor general. I’ll offer up two examples from this season.

    These are just two stories, not conclusive evidence, I just wanted to share them.

    Memphis were playing Sacramento, Kings missed a shot, defensive rebound, outlet to Conley who was 20 feet away from his rim in the center of the court. Hawes and Darko were at the top of the key, Darko leaked out and about three feet of distance between the two and closing in on the three point line on the other end of the court. About four feet to the right of Hawes was another Sacramento defender. Conley caught the ball, one dribble, saw he couldn’t get the pass over the top, dipped to his right and threw a one handed bounce pass off the dribble 60 feet in between the two Sacramento defenders right to Darko on the move for the layup. It was beautiful. I had to re-watch that close to 25 times before I get back to the rest of the game. It was the best pass I saw all season.

    There was another game it was his first game back from injury. Conley missed a lot of time early in the season which hurts any rookie, especially a guard, especially a point guard. The Grizzlies were playing San Antonio that night. They’re playing the first quarter, Rudy Gay has been making his leap to top dog on the team for two months at this point. That night he’s being selfish and breaking several plays, he isn’t even looking to pass the ball after he catches it. Nobody else on the Grizzlies can get good touches. Gay is losing the game for Memphis with his selfish ways. None of the veterans say anything or do anything. Now remember, this is one of Conley’s first games in the pros (and first since coming back from injury) and Rudy Gay is being anointed the new Franchise player for Memphis. Well the young point guard sees what’s happening and stops passing Rudy the ball for a few minutes to teach him a lesson, starts running the offense through Pau Gasol (who has Oberto on him) and suddenly Memphis starts pulling back in the game. It works beautifully. Rudy did a better of job of sharing the ball for the rest of the game until Conley was benched despite being the most effective guard on the court. That was impressive to me. That’s a point guard who knows his business. Who has great instincts and understands how to run the team. Unfortunately Pau Gasol was traded shortly after that and Memphis had no other offensive options for Conley to lead, from then it was give Rudy the ball and get out of the way offense my Memphis.

    As for the rest of that Spurs game – Conley had 6 points, 3 dimes, 3 rebounds in 20 minutes. Nothing special but in the 20 minutes he played the Grizzlies were largely competitive and it was the only time in the game were the Grizzlies actually had ball movement. The rest of the game they were getting blown out. Conley also played the best defense on Tony Parker of any Grizzly.

    I watched a fair few Conley games this season – he’s the only reason I’d go out of my way to watch a Memphis game – and every single game he’d do something that was very impressive. Quiet, sneak up on you type of moves but very good stuff. I’ve seen him throw all types of passes and I definitely believe him to be a gifted passer.

  68. Dave

    I got another two stories ….

    There was another game, it was in Boston. Rajon Rondo was the man Conley was matched up with. Rondo had just toyed with Rafer Alston the night before going for 13 points, 9 dimes, 5 boards and making Rafer look like an old man. Rondo’s quickness killed Rafer all night.

    Well anyway …. Conley comes in and he has a quiet but effective game. He puts up 10 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds in 35 minutes. Not great production by any stretch. But all night long he’s the reason why Memphis are able to push the tempo and get good shots for Rudy Gay and Mike Miller. He’s also the reason why Boston was incapable of doing the same. Conley’s quickness and defensive ability frustrated Rondo all night long. Rondo finished with 4 points, 1 assist and 6 turnovers for the game. He completely took Rondo out of the rhythm of the game.

    There was another game late in the season where Memphis were playing Portland. James Jones was red hot and hit 6 straight threes. Frye got hot and started dropping a few jumpers. Portland won fairly handidly. One player stood out for Memphis because he refused to give up and he caused them problems throughout. The Blazers commentators were saying stuff along the lines – if he had somebody out there with him this would be a ballgame – Portland are up 15-20 points at the time. Conley finished the game with 13 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. I mentioned the rebounds for a reason because in the first half Channing Frye was flexing his muscle and beating up the Grizzlies on the boards. Not a great sign for Memphis. Iavaroni was going ballistic. He laid into his team in the first half and appearantly had another go at them at halftime. He wanted his guards to go in and help out the bigs because they were being hopelessly outplayed. Conley stood up and fulfilled the orders. He finds out what’s necessary to win and tries to do exactly that.

  69. Dave

    Conley both delighted and irritated me as a rookie. He was too passive and should have been more aggressive. I don’t think he’s realized how much better he is than everyone else on the court.

    There was one problem in particular that tops my list in Conley’s rookie season and that’s finishing in traffic. He had trouble getting his shot off and needs to work on improving some floaters and other types of shots to give himself some options (he had an oddly low number of shot attempts at the 6-10 feet range). He shot only 49% inside the paint on what was mostly layups. Not a good enough percentage. Also bears mentioning over his last 10 games he shot 59% on those same shots which indicates he’s most likely learning. Those numbers have a lot in common with Rondo’s rookie season also, it’s also where Rondo got a huge bump on his shooting percentages his sophomore campaign (48% overall as a rook to 54% as a soph).

    …………….

    Got off track, passive play. The fact that his play was passive worries me greatly. It doesn’t convince me he’ll ever become the star of a team but if you want a point guard who knows how to run a team, who’s a weapon and will help his team win. Conley will do that and he’ll do it very well. He is a floor general and he will help talented players get more out of their abilities by getting the ball in the right spots at the right time. He will push the ball and create some easy layups and he will push the ball to get his team into the halfcourt quickly. He will penetrate and create some havoc (not as much as he should) and he can be a good drive and kick point guard (again not doing it as much as he should). He can hit some open jump shots also. His defense was slightly above average as a rookie but I can see him improving as he gets more experience.

    Conley is the type of guard you want running your team.

Comments are closed.