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Friday, October 31, 2014

Does T-Mac Make Sense For New York?

New York Post writer and Stephon Marbury aficionado Marc Berman penned an article titled “T-Mac or bust” in Sunday’s paper.

If the Knicks don’t get McGrady, the Jazz can start making reservations in May for a hotel in Secaucus for the NBA Draft Lottery.

Let’s be real. The current Knicks, 10 games under .500, aren’t making the playoffs without a big upgrade. How cool would it be if the Jazz, which own the Knicks’ first-round pick, had a sense of humor and put assistant coach Scott Layden on the Secaucus dais — a familiar spot during his woeful Knicks presidential term.

Now this isn’t an original idea by Berman; the thought of the Knicks acquiring McGrady has been floating around for some bit. I guess the better question is whether or not McGrady will help the Knicks. Based on his location and production, you can break down McGrady’s career into three stages: the teenager in Toronto, the centerpiece in Orlando, and the sidekick in Houston.

TEAM  PTS TS% 3P% AST  TO  
TOR  16.1 51% 28% 3.6 2.3 
ORL  25.7 54% 36% 4.7 2.4
HOU  22.3 51% 32% 5.5 2.5

McGrady’s scoring in Orlando was pretty good, as he averaged 25.7 pts/36 with a decent TS% of 54%. However outside of those years, T-Mac has been a high volume/low percentage scorer. There’s a clear downward trend in his shooting efficiency since 2003, and in the last 5 years McGrady has had a TS% over 50% only once, an awful rate for someone that shoots so often. On the other hand his assists have risen, so perhaps he’s been able to help the offense a little more over the years by distributing better.

If the Knicks did swing a deal with Houston, it begs the question “whose minutes would T-Mac take?” If you look at it from a positional standpoint (SG/SF), then either Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler would see a reduction in playing time. Gallo (TS% 58.6%) is shooting extremely well and even Wilson Chandler (52.5%) is a more efficient scorer than McGrady. In this situation the Knicks would be downgrading their production.

If you envision D’Antoni as someone who blurs the line with positions, then it’s possible for McGrady to supplant point guard Chris Duhon in the rotation. New York could go guard-less with McGrady, Chandler, Jeffries, Gallinari, and Lee. On defense the Knicks might have to use Jeffries on the opposing point guard, zone up, or even insert Nate Robinson in the lineup, now that it appears Nate’s willing to go over screens. On offense as long as McGrady didn’t dominate the action, he’d be an improvement over the anemic Duhon (TS% 47.4, 8.6 pts/36). Consequently such a tall lineup would give D’Antoni a lot of flexibility and might be problematic for some opponents.

In the right situation, McGrady could be an upgrade to the offense, perhaps a low usage situation could restore his efficiency to the NBA’s average. However the cost could be too high. Berman mentioned in his column that the Rockets are interested in something more than just swapping cap relief. For New York to give up a young player such as Hill or Douglas doesn’t make much sense for a team whose goal is the summer of 2010 (not the spring). Additionally the possibility that D’Antoni uses McGrady instead of anyone other than Duhon and the unlikelihood that T-Mac becomes more efficient (especially after another injury) makes it a less palatable deal for the Knicks.

The Knicks not might make the playoffs, but bringing in McGrady may not improve their chances all that much. T-Mac would be an upgrade over Duhon, but that speaks more about Duhon’s poor play. Point guard is clearly the team’s weakest link, and maybe they’d be better off swinging a small deal or sending Duhon to the bench in lieu of a Robinson/Douglas combo.

57 comments on “Does T-Mac Make Sense For New York?

  1. Nick C.

    Didn’t his inane article include some nonsense about “go to scorer.” LOL that Spurs game he must be thinking about where TMac scored about 15 points in the last few minutes must have been like 45 years and even more injuries ago. At this point in his career T-Mac is not far removed from being another Francis or Marbury. Sportswirters must have tenure or soem incredible union rules for thsi guy to keep a job.

  2. david

    I’m all in favor of getting T-Mac if it means shipping out Jeffries (which is what I imagine a deal would look like, Jeffries plus any combination of players on the roster (other than maybe Gallinari) that have salaries equal to 23M fro T-Mac).

    Let’s say the deal is something like Robinson (if he agrees because Houston wants to re-up), Jeffries, Cuttino Mobley and Jordan Hill (which I think works). For the rest of this season, I think T-Mac replaces Jeffries in the starting line-up, not Duhon. Chandler and Gallo move over one.

    This is probably an offensive upgrade, unless T-Mac takes shots away from Lee, Gallo and Chandler. WHich he probably will. But even so, probably net positive. But a defensive downgrade.

    But we’d be a little closer to being out from salary cap hell. Which would be well worth seeing Layden’s on the podium claiming the right to, I don’t know, Demarcus Cousins (the idea of them getting John Wall with our pick is too much to handle, particularly because of their unwillingess to give up the damn “jazz” monicker when they moved to Utah, which has to rank as first in the all-time greatest mismatches between places and names, right above the Lakers).

  3. ess-dog

    Well at least we can focus on the trade deadline and 2010 now. I’m starting to think a David Lee trade might be the way to go. I know he’s our best player, but maybe we could move him with Jeffries and/or get a good young player too. I just can’t stomach his awful defense any more. He couldn’t even slow down Brendan friggin’ Haywood. The only way to keep him is to pair him with a defensive minded big (I guess we’re trying to do that with Jeffries) but that would give us one of the slowest frontcourts in the league.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not enamored with Hill right now, but he’s showing some effort on defense.
    Maybe we can revisit Lee to Portland again? Maybe for Rudy and Outlaw. I don’t think they would bite on Jeffries. But maybe the Nate/Jeffries package to Boston could still happen? I think both players would approve these trades.
    We still need a point guard. I would like to see Douglas get more time, but barring that, maybe we could get Augustin on the cheap? Is there anyone in Europe we can bring over now?
    On 2010, if we lose on Wade and Lebron, should we go after Rudy Gay? I’m not huge fan but he’s more clutch that anything we have now. It’s going to be tough for Walshtoni to leave the 2010 table empty handed. We deserve something after this brutal year. I can’t imagine they go after Amare. But I wouldn’t totally mind watching a lineup like this:

    pg: Douglas
    sg: R. Fernandez/Chandler
    sf: R. Gay
    pf: Gallo
    c: Hill

    Probably not a playoff team right away, but it’s the right way to rebuild. Then we have a 2011 pick and cap space.

  4. KnickFan4Life

    I love how people still talk about T-Mac as some sort of savior or difference maker. The biggest thing T-Mac would do for the Knicks is facilitate more salary dumping. On the court he is extremely injury prone and yes let’s admit it, he has always been overrated as a player. Kobe he is not. He is a slightly more glorified, but more oft injured Vince Carter…even with T-Mac here Knicks would still probably not make playoffs…

  5. Robert Silverman

    The rumored DC deal nets the Rockets Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood (an underrated big). I don’t think our Jared Jeffries pu-pu platter can match up.

  6. Mike Kurylo Post author

    I don’t see why Lee would approve of a trade to anywhere outside of Cleveland or Los Angeles. He’s stated multiple times that he wants to stay in NY, and even if the team isn’t going to resign him, he’s the clear starter and putting up good numbers. Going anywhere other than a title contender hurts his off season value. Besides didn’t he already turn down going to Portland?

    As for the Knicks, I wouldn’t trade Lee to just get rid of Jeffries/Curry. In 1 year those two will be gone, so the Knicks would just be giving Lee away for free. Secondly David Lee can always be that kind of guy that is used in a trade for a disgruntled superstar (let’s say Chris Paul).

  7. jon abbey

    I think there’s zero chance of this happening, even Iverson was more likely.

    in unrelated news, Gallinari is on pace for 215 made 3 pointers, the Knicks team record is 217 by John Starks, so there’s something to watch for the rest of the season.

  8. ess-dog

    Yes, perhaps I’m overreacting on Lee. The team has so many fundamental problems though.
    Keeping Lee and Gallo in our lineup at the 4 and 3 respectively makes us a slow team- antithetical to the way D’Antoni coaches at his best. As a 5, Lee could be considered relatively speedy, but as we are presently constructed, Lee just cannot guard 5’s.
    Chandler is a quick, fast player for a 3, maybe average for a 2.
    I will not even mention Duhon (exit stage left.)
    Perhaps bringing in Lebron to play the 4 will improve team speed but leaves us with a tiny front line (Lebron and Lee.) That is, if we can even re-sign Lee (remains to be seen.) Bosh instead of Lee gives us extra height at the 5, but that would mean we have traded Curry = not happening. And all these free agent signings are not extremely likely anyway.
    I guess I’m just saying, I’m not going to be happy with the team as presently constructed – even minus all of the roster garbage (Al, Hughes, etc.) We need some sort of re-construction, not just the adding of a piece or two.
    Of course, a real point guard would help immensely, but this teeth-gnashing issue has been out there since the summer.

  9. david

    Mike — I think you’re right. How about Lee, Jeffries and Landry to Cleveland for Big Z, J.J. Hickson and a first round pick?

    Not sure we are getting value in this one, but we can resign Lee in the off-season as our number 2 free agent (along with LeBron?) Get out from under Jeffries and get a player for the medium term in Hickson. We’ll cut Z so they can have him back. Cleveland has been looking for a stretch 4 — Lee’s jumpshot almost makes him that. They would be favored over the Lakers with a Williams-West/Parker-LeBron-Lee-Shaq starting unit with Sideshow and the rest of that gang coming off the bench.

  10. ess-dog

    Or maybe after this summer, Gallo will be able to handle the 4? Switching w/ Bron when necessary? It’s a little dull, but really all we have to do is trade Jeffries w/ a sweetener. Nate and Hill are the only tradable/desirable players as “sweeteners” that we can afford to lose, and Nate most likely won’t leave b/c of Bird Rights, so if I were a betting man, I would look for a Jeffries/Hill trade. Is this a combo that Portland would take for expirings and maybe a draft pick?

  11. TDM

    I would hope that any trade the Knicks make brings back a draft pick(s). Memphis has three first rounders, and Minnesota has five picks (2 first / 3 second). That’s where I’d focus my attention.

    I agree that T-Mac won’t be an upgrade that would get the Knicks into the playoffs, and I’m not sure I’d like to give up on Jordan Hill or Toney yet (my understanding is that HOU has indicated that no deal will go thru unless one of those two are included). I think we have a pretty good read on who Chandler is. He’s replaceable, so I wouldn’t mind as much packaging him to get some cap relief.

    No way would I trade DLee, especially not to Cleveland. There’s no reason to give LBJ yet another reason to stay put.

    From Abbey: “in unrelated news, Gallinari is on pace for 215 made 3 pointers, the Knicks team record is 217 by John Starks, so there’s something to watch for the rest of the season”

    I read that Channing Frye has been selected to participate in the 3pt contest. No word yet on Gallo.

  12. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, “inane” is the best word for these sportswriters like Berman who still look at T-Mac as though his acquisition would be anything but an attempt to dump salary.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, maybe T-Mac has miraculously healed from his injury and is now good again – but that’s not why you trade for T-Mac. You trade for T-Mac in the hopes of dumping Jeffries. If that doesn’t happen, you just flat out don’t do it.

  13. stratomatic

    The only reason to even consider getting McGrady is as a half season rental to clear some cap space (Jeffries). He’s close to done as a player and can’t contribute long term. So I would be opposed to any deal that includes any of our young core.

    I don’t quite understand the rush to get rid of Jeffries. It’s not that I love him as a player, but his deal will expire after next year anyway. So why give up a core player just so we can have some extra cap space in 2010 and then use it to get another young player. I’d rather wait until 2011, keep our core player, and then add another one in 2011.

    If the idea is to land Lebron and another max contract player I think that’s a pipedream.

    Neither Miami, Toronto, or Cleveland is going to allow their franchise player to walk for nothing. If they have any inkling at all that they may lose a bidding war, they are going to do a sign and trade. That eliminates the Knicks. Any sign and trade would totally gut the Knicks core and make it foolish for an elite player to come here.

    If we can trade Jeffries for an expiring deal or sweeten it with Nate, I’d be all for it because we aren’t going to resign Nate anyway.

    I also think that Chandler is being underrated right now (which is an amazing turn of events given that he was previously overrated). If you ask me, he’s been our second best player behind Lee since December. It’s as least debateable and close between him and Gallo.

    Chandler’s TS% is well below Gallo’s for the season, but Gallo started out in the low 60s and is starting to slip as teams have been adjusting defensively to his game. Chandler started in the 40s and has raised his to the low 50s as he got healthy. He hasn’t eliminated 3 pointers and lowered his points per 36 in order to increase his TS%. He has substituted high percentage drives and dunks, “raised his point per 36″ and increased his TS% all at the same time. That’s a huge turn of events. Without checking, I would guess there hasn’t been a huge difference in their respective TS% from December on. Willson has been in the mid 50s since then. Gallo may be between 1-3 points higher, but Chandler is scoring more per 36 and is playing the more consistent game because of his higher overall FG% over that time frame (another incredible fact given that he was so inconsisitent previously). Shooting is the last thing to improve (see Lee and loads of others). If Chandler adds an outside shot and learns to get to the foul line a little more over the next 2-3 years, he’s not going to be so easy to replace. He’s going to be a stud that can score 20 PP36 at reasonably efficient rates and defend multiple positions on the other end.

    Over the long haul, Gallo may become the better player because he’s a year younger and seems to have the better basketball IQ, but there’s only a year age difference and not much between them now based on the last 2 months of play when both were 100%. I wouldn’t be so anxious to get rid of Wilson now that it appears he’s finally on the verge of fulfilling the promise many saw in him as far back as his rookie season.

  14. Ted Nelson

    Mike,

    Good, thorough break down… but this is not even really worth discussing. Someone actually pays this Berman character to write this stuff?

    You touch on what package the Knicks would send Houston, and therein would lie a big part of the answer to the question of whose minutes he would take. The ONLY reason for the Knicks to pick up T-Mac would be as salary cap relief: trading Jeffries and/or Curry for him. You do make a good point that he might represent an upgrade over Duhon, but even if Houston would take Duhon in return you’d also have to include an Al Harrington and maybe more salary.

    Another question is whether T-Mac’s body can even handle half an NBA season.

  15. JK47

    “If the Knicks don’t get McGrady, the Jazz can start making reservations in May for a hotel in Secaucus for the NBA Draft Lottery.”

    Umm, who cares? I’d rather the Jazz have John Wall than the Nets. It is pretty irrelevant where the Utah Jazz end up drafting.

  16. Brian Cronin

    Neither Miami, Toronto, or Cleveland is going to allow their franchise player to walk for nothing. If they have any inkling at all that they may lose a bidding war, they are going to do a sign and trade. That eliminates the Knicks. Any sign and trade would totally gut the Knicks core and make it foolish for an elite player to come here.

    Sign and trades do not gut the team doing the trading.

    The last team to give up anything substantial in a sign and trade was Orlando in the Grant Hill sign and trade, and at the time, I assure you that Orlando did not consider Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins as substantial when they traded them (they were way wrong).

    Sign and trades are just what happens when a team realizes that the player is willing to leave for the other team without the sign and trade, and if that’s the case, why not just do a sign and trade and pick up some assets if you’re going to lose the player anyways?

  17. jon abbey

    “Neither Miami, Toronto, or Cleveland is going to allow their franchise player to walk for nothing. If they have any inkling at all that they may lose a bidding war, they are going to do a sign and trade.”

    the player has to agree to this for it to happen, for unrestricted free agents (as all three of those guys will be), and while it generally means they can get more money, this is going to be a unique summer in terms of free agents.

    the top guys want to try to win titles, I think that getting the most money possible will be a secondary concern for at least some of them.

  18. mase

    “As for the Knicks, I wouldn’t trade Lee to just get rid of Jeffries/Curry. In 1 year those two will be gone, so the Knicks would just be giving Lee away for free. Secondly David Lee can always be that kind of guy that is used in a trade for a disgruntled superstar (let’s say Chris Paul).”

    chris paul is not disgruntled…
    I dont get it, how would we be giving him away for free when we arent going to match other teams offers in the offseason?
    The reason we drafted Hill was to replace Lee. Lee will get a 5-yr deal somewhere else and then we will lose him for free.

  19. cgreene

    ESPN reporting that Celtics interested in trading Ray Allen and his expiring $18M.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/dailydime/_/page/dime-100131/daily-dime

    I propose a package of Nate, Jeffries and Harrington for Allen and another small piece. Celtics get 3 serviceable players that can easily make up for Allen’s production and keep them in contention in the East.

    Knicks get a great shooter for the rest of the year who is a cagey veteran that can teach Wil, Gallo et al a little something and, most importantly, they move Jeffries off the cap. No one is going to give the Celtics any great young talent or high picks for Ray Allen at this point.

    Anyone with me?

  20. Thomas B.

    In other Pipe Dream news, I found this note on the unrequited loveof many a poster here, Ricky Rubio.

    http://blogs.hoopshype.com/blogs/sierra/2010/02/01/unselfish-to-a-fault/

    Seems he is playing his position vert well (management, ball distribution) but not scoring or shooting well. Hmmm don’t the Knicks already have a pg that…oh nevermind. One plus is at least his team is winning.

    Nice article Mike. Thanks for the numbers. I agree that a TMac trade is more about who we send away than what we get back. Send Curry (ha) or JJ with Harrington, then great do it. Send Chandler or Gallinari then no thanks.

    Duhon is the player that most contributes to the struggles on the team. But the team defense is a big problem as well.

  21. Ted Nelson

    “On 2010, if we lose on Wade and Lebron, should we go after Rudy Gay?”
    LORD NO. Gay would be “clutch” in much the same way that Jamal Crawford is: stink all game and then make a buzzer beater that your team only needs because you stunk all game. He’s the 4th best player on Memphis, and Hasheem Thabeet will probably be better in a year or two. His TS% is 52.7% this season, which is right at his career mark (52.8%). And the only thing he does is score and not turn the ball over. At the right price, sure, but that price is maybe $7 mm per, and that eats into the Knicks cap space which is probably a more valuable asset going forward.

    To me a better plan B is to go after some Mike Miller types on one or two year deals.

    “I can’t imagine they go after Amare.”
    I can imagine them going for either Amare or Johnson since both played for D’Antoni, but who knows.

    “As for the Knicks, I wouldn’t trade Lee to just get rid of Jeffries/Curry. In 1 year those two will be gone, so the Knicks would just be giving Lee away for free.”
    The hope would be that you’re giving away Lee for LeBron/Wade/Bosh… multiple titles, etc. At least you would be giving him away in hopes of that.

    “Keeping Lee and Gallo in our lineup at the 4 and 3 respectively makes us a slow team- antithetical to the way D’Antoni coaches at his best.”
    I don’t think that’s true. Both are quite skilled for their position. Lee’s rebounding, outlet passing, finishing, and much improved playmaking skills make him a potentially solid offensive bigman for a running team. Gallo is slow, but he has solid ball-handling and finishing skills and can hit the three.

    “Bosh instead of Lee gives us extra height at the 5, but that would mean we have traded Curry = not happening.”
    The Knicks can get two max players by moving Jeffries and I think by just buying out Curry at 50%. Certainly by buying out Curry and moving Chandler or Hill.

    “How about Lee, Jeffries and Landry to Cleveland for Big Z, J.J. Hickson and a first round pick?”
    Depends if you think LeBron is more likely to leave Cleveland if he wins a title or comes very close again… If you think he’s more likely to leave if Cleveland doesn’t even make the Finals, then why help them out? I would say that you do not help them out, period.

    “They would be favored over the Lakers”
    I would still favor the Lakers. Their frontline is just too much. As much hype as Kobe gets, the Lakers’ frontline is why they’re so good.

    “I would hope that any trade the Knicks make brings back a draft pick(s).”
    A first rounder eats cap space even if you do not sign the player.

    “Any sign and trade would totally gut the Knicks core and make it foolish for an elite player to come here.”
    The FREE agent has the leverage in this situation, not his former team. I disagree with Jon Abbey a bit on how much of a pay cut LeBron and co might be willing to take, but I do think LeBron at least has made it clear that winning is the most important thing. If he loses $10 mill to sign away from Cleveland he can easily make that up by winning multiple titles or the exposure of NYC… let alone both. The Knicks biggest leverage in adding a LeBron is 1. NYC and 2. the ability to pair him with a Wade or at least Bosh. If it’s Wade, you’re talking about two of the top five (maybe top 2 or 3) players in the world on the same team… If they don’t win multiple titles Walsh will have failed miserably to surround them with anything resembling NBA talent. It is a pipedream, but it’s sucj a HUGE dream that I have no problem with making the strategic decision to go out on a limb for it.

    “Gallo started out in the low 60s and is starting to slip as teams have been adjusting defensively to his game.”
    He’s missing plenty of wide open shots, so I don’t know if it’s more adjustments or just a shooting slump.

    I agree that Wilson Chandler has played a lot better recently than before. Still, it’s a relatively short stretch, and the reason he is somewhat easy to replace is because athletic 6-8 scorering wings are relatively abundant. Every year there’s a couple in the mid-first and often one in the 2nd round. If he gets a second contract for anything over $7 mm per, he might go right back to being overrated. He’s also done it over a relatively short period–1/4 of a season–if we went on Duhon’s first 1/2 of last season we’d view him a lot differently. Basically, I agree WC is a valuable asset, I just think it’s worth exploring his value in trades. Sometimes the most valuable thing to do with an asset is sell high.

  22. DS

    I say all bets are off until this summer. It’s time to lay in the DW made for another few months; Randolph and Crawford could have gotten us a few more wins but we traded them ASA friggin’ P. In turns out they weren’t as hard to unload as we once thought (as they were traded once each since the Knicks unloaded them) but we didn’t care; we wanted them gone by 2010 no matter what.

    As far as McGrady goes; the Knicks are not going to get a former MVP candidate w/ a huge expiring contract w/o giving up SOMETHING. The Rockets’ Morey is arguably the best GM in basketball. He’s not about to take on Jeffries or Curry just to scratch T-Mac off of his roster before this summer.

  23. Ted Nelson

    “If he loses $10 mill to sign away from Cleveland he can easily make that up by winning multiple titles or the exposure of NYC… let alone both.”

    I meant something like $10 mm over the course of 5 years… not $10 mm per, just to be clear.

    “The last team to give up anything substantial in a sign and trade was Orlando in the Grant Hill sign and trade, and at the time, I assure you that Orlando did not consider Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins as substantial when they traded them (they were way wrong).”

    Remember when that one team gave up two unprotected first round picks (one a swap in fairness) to sign-and-trade for their franchise center?

    “chris paul is not disgruntled…”

    He’s not thoroughly disgruntled, or at least hasn’t expressed those feelings publicly, but he plays for one of the most dysfunctional organizations in the NBA… one that cares a lot less about winning than finances… and has publicly been upset at some of their moves. He may not be begging to leave NO, but when the chance arises I wouldn’t be surprised if he took less money to leave for a good/great situation. If NO sees that coming they’ll trade him before offseason 2012, but not that much before.

    “Seems he is playing his position vert well (management, ball distribution) but not scoring or shooting well.”

    First of all, comparing Rubio and Duhon… Rubio has amazing vision/playmaking skills and is a penetrator, while Chris Duhon is as close to Charlie Ward as it gets in today’s NBA.

    The bad shooting part is false anyway. He is shooting very well in Spain, and has a TS% of 61% in Euroleague. His 2 pt shooting in Euroleague is only 8/21… so that’s probably where this misinformation started.
    He’s a beast and will be an All-Star in the NBA.

  24. Brian Cronin

    Remember when that one team gave up two unprotected first round picks (one a swap in fairness) to sign-and-trade for their franchise center?

    Sorry, I should have been clearer.

    The Curry deal was when he was a restricted free agent, so the Bulls held all the cards there. Sign and trades for unrestricted free agents are a good deal different, and I should have been clearer that I was just talking about unrestricted free agent sign and trades.

  25. KnickFan4Life

    I now think we should trade Lee but it might not get done until the offseason where everything is laid out on the table. There will definitely be a market for Lee and the Knicks would be stupid not to get some good value back for him. I like Lee a lot but I don’t think he is worth major money.

  26. stratomatic

    Brian and Jon,

    We may have to agree to disagree on this one.

    1. It would bad enough for Cleveland if Lebron left, but to leave them empty handed might devastate the franchise permanently. He knows that, the league knows that, and IMO he’s not going to do it. Under the unlikely scenario that he wants to leave, he will tell management and they will work on a sign and trade. At that point there’s going to be enough interest around the league from the other prime cities that a deal that’s better than the Knicks could possibly offer is all but certain. Even if NY is his first choice, the Knicks have no depth and no pick for 2010. They can’t offer anything of value without gutting the core of the team. So if he leaves, he’ll wind up in one of the other major cities where he’ll also be happy and have a better chance of winning.

    2. Toronto is already supposedly weighing the risks of Bosh leaving and considering a sign and trade for him now in order to preserve what they’ve built to this point.

    3. Miami is not going to have to do a sign and trade because they have the cap space to add a FA to satisfy Wade.

    The only teams that would willingly allow a superstar to leave for nothing or accept trashy expiring contracts, some draft picks etc… in a sign and trade would be a team that is in desperate financial condition and wants to eliminate salary and rebuild from scratch. Otherwise the competition for that player will be stiff enough to create a deal that includes some good players. Neither Toronto, Miami, or Cleveland wants to do a total rebuild. They have been spending, building, and positioning themselves to win soon.

    I hope I am wrong, but estimate the probabilities of the Knicks langing any of either Wade, Bosh, or Lebron at less than 5%. Two of them is comical. We are going to land a second tier guy like the Pistons did this year, but hopefully not make the same mistake by overpaying.

  27. Brian Cronin

    stratomatic, it would not matter what Cleveland wants! If Lebron wants to leave (or Bosh leaving Toronto, or Wade leaving Miami), they can not do anything about it.

    Grant Hill leaving Detroit devastated the Pistons, as well (at the time), but they still did a sign and trade for two bench players and some cash (granted, the bench players both turned out to be valuable players for the Pistons, but that wasn’t the thinking at the time).

    Toronto was devastated when McGrady left, but they still did a sign and trade for a draft pick.

  28. ess-dog

    There should be a “compensatory” pick for a situation where a max free agent leaves a team empty handed.
    And Ted, if Curry accepts a buyout for 50% of his 2010 salary, I’ll build you a nice big snowman in hell.

  29. DS

    “Grant Hill leaving Detroit devastated the Pistons.”

    I thought the Pistons got Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, and arguably won that sign-and-trade because of Hill’s injuries.

  30. stratomatic

    Brian,

    “stratomatic, it would not matter what Cleveland wants! If Lebron wants to leave (or Bosh leaving Toronto, or Wade leaving Miami), they can not do anything about it.”

    I agree. I understand the different dynamics of UFA vs RFA.

    I think you are overestimating the appeal of playing in NY relative to some other cities and overestimating Lebron’s willingness to destroy his home town franchise after they treated him so well.

    There are other attractive cities to play in that could offer more and still have more left over than the Knicks have now. To choose NY he would have to maximize the damage to Cleveland and reduce his chances of winning relative to some other cities. That seems irrational to me on both counts.

    I predict Lebron remains a Cav (by far the most likely) or winds up somewhere other than N.Y. and the Cavs get something of reasonable value in return.

    I predict Wade stays in Miami and they sign a FA.

    I predict Bosh either stays in Toronto or gets moved in a sign and trade that sends a quality player to Toronto.

    You can have the last word and we’ll see where they all wind up.

  31. Brian Cronin

    I thought the Pistons got Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, and arguably won that sign-and-trade because of Hill’s injuries.

    Yes. Note the use of “at the time.” ;)

  32. Brian Cronin

    You can say “they won’t leave their teams.”

    Fine.

    Heck, I agree that the odds are that they won’t.

    But if they do leave, “Make sure my old team is not devastated” is nowhere in the vicinity of “important things to take into consideration when leaving.” Heck, I would put it below “having to find a new dry cleaner.”

    No departing free agent in the history of the NBA has ever negotiated their new deal with “taking care of the team I’m leaving” in mind.

  33. Ted Nelson

    Brian,

    I agree with your point about s&ts. I would say, though, that no other team (including Chicago) wanted to give Curry such a large uninsured contract, so Chicago didn’t hold many cards… Isiah just got bluffed by Paxson.

    stratomatic,

    It’s all speculation at this point. No one can say for sure what will happen. You have valid points, but there are also plenty of valid points on the other side.

    “I hope I am wrong, but estimate the probabilities of the Knicks langing any of either Wade, Bosh, or Lebron at less than 5%. Two of them is comical”

    I think two is almost more likely than one. The big 3 might take less money for two reasons: 1. winning and 2. more exposure. NYK can offer both if they bring in two of the Big 3. The Knicks aren’t far from having the cap room to get two guys straight up. At that point a FA can force his old team’s hand into a s&t. If they manage to negotiate well enough to keep Lee and Nate’s rights and still get two sign-and-trades (basically, if two of the big 3 call each other up at the start of free agency and say “let’s play together in NY”) then the Knicks can offer something of value to those teams and still have a decent team. Basically, a core of LeBron and Wade/Bosh gets you really close to having a contender on its own. Throw in a couple shooters like Gallo and Douglas plus a defensive bigman and you are decidedly a contender.

    One thing I cannot agree with you on is the power you are assigning the old team in a sign-and-trade. If the FA decides to leave via sign-and-trade then there’s a 90% chance that they will decide the destination and leave the old team to get what they can. This is why old teams have so little leverage in s&ts. LeBron is not going to give Cleveland a list of 5 teams he MIGHT consider maybe possibly playing for and then nicely ask them to see which is the best deal for them. He is going to decide where HE is going to play. If he’s so concerned about the Cavs organization, then he’s probably not leaving.

    You talk about “other major markets,” but what other markets are as major as NYC? I count 1: LA. Even LA is not NY. Maybe Chicago is as big to Wade (from there) and LeBron (a midwesterner). Maybe Bosh, a Texan, sees a Texas market as ideal. Some cities like Miami are nice, but just not comparable. The Marlins can barely field a baseball team in Miami. With Tiger Woods in PR hell, LeBron could sign one new endorsement that easily makes up for the difference between re-signing in Cleveland and signing in NYC. If LeBron comes to NY he will easily replace Tiger as the highest paid athlete in the world. Along with winning a title, being a billionaire is among LeBron’s stated goals. He can do that in Cleveland or Chicago, but he WILL do it in NYC.

    Are there any precedents of max players being signed-and-traded for quality players?

  34. Ted Nelson

    Another point I have to raise is the LeBron and Wade are in a class by themselves in terms of FAs. Staying in Miami and adding a new FA buddy like Boozer, Amare, or even Bosh is just not comparable to playing with LeBron. And staying in Cleveland or taking a s&t to whatever other “major” market is not comparable to playing with Wade. The first situation makes you a contender that’s still going to have a hard time getting past LAL, Orlando, and whoever LeBron/Wade is playing for. Pairing LeBron and Wade almost makes you the favorite the minute pen hits paper. Veteran FAs would flock in to sign minimum deals and form the supporting cast and the Knicks (if they lucked into this situation) would almost definitely still have one or two of Gallo/Chandler/Hill/Douglas/Lee/Nate.

    That’s not to say that they will sign together (not that likely) or even that it’s necessarily preferable for them. Especially Wade would have to decide between being the man or the second man. If winning and making money are their two biggest goals, though, they should try to end up together in NYC. That’s why I see it as possible, if unlikely.

  35. mariopatire

    if we get tmac its gunna be for jeffries and chandler most likely so theres ur answer to whos spot in the rotation hes takin and Al Harrington would also start

  36. Brian Cronin

    Really, the best news for the Knicks was the rumors of the cap not dropping substantially.

    If the cap only goes down to $55 or $56 million, the Knicks would have nearly $30 million available – $36 million available if they traded Jeffries.

    Come on, NBA revenue!!!

  37. mariopatire

    we should look to acquire a pg … im a tmac fan and also a knicks fan but will is better then tmac as of right now and jared jeffries is actually playin good rite now. hes bettin hitting threes the past couple games and always plays good d. if we trade these guys it should be for a capable starting point whos an upgrade over duhon

  38. cgreene

    So I would never really do this but I brought up the concept of LeBron telling Clevleland he wants an s&t to the Knicks several months ago on this blog and it was met with crickets at best and guffaws at worst if memory serves. LeBron actually can move towards achieving a certain level of power and fame never accorded an athlete before by shaping the destinies of 2 franchises and saving the fate of his beloved Cleveland with this scenario. Makes complete sense.

    Mike, Brian – is there a way for me to search my comments?? The only reason I care is because this was a very unorthodox concept (as we can see based on the comments) at the time and being a Knicks fan offers very little enjoyment so getting some props on the blog would make me feel… well… better than a Knicks win at this point.

  39. Z

    “Randolph and Crawford…turns out they weren’t as hard to unload as we once thought (as they were traded once each since the Knicks unloaded them).”

    Harrington is more useful than Acie Law & Speedy Claxton, and Randolph was traded for Quentin Richardson (who couldn’t exactly be traded for Randolph at the time).

    (And before anyone says Randolph has more value now than he had as a Knick, keep in mind David Lee was coming off the bench because Randolph was here. It was an either/or situation and Walsh bet on the right horse.)

    “If NO sees that coming they’ll trade [Paul] before offseason 2012, but not that much before.”

    Why is it that some reports have Paul’s contract expiring in 2011 and some have it ending in 2012?

    “Come on, NBA revenue!!!”

    Haha. That’s true. We can all do our part to help the Knicks sign LeBron by buying all the stupid NBA crap we can from now until July 1st.

  40. BigBlueAL

    Chris Duhon is Chris Childs w/o the defense. Charlie Ward was actually a decent offensive player and put up a couple of a seasons with PER’s close to 16 and a career PER of just under 14 with a TS% of 53 which isnt great but is better than Duhon’s career marks of 11.5 and 52 which are almost identical to that of Chris Childs.

    Again biggest difference though with Duhon and those 2 (plus Greg Anthony, Doc Rivers and Derek Harper) was that all those average PG’s could all at least defend opposing PG’s and defend them very well. Thats been to me the biggest disappointment with Duhon is that he is so bad at defending opposing PG’s that D’Antoni has to throw out junk defenses and defensive matchups to cover up the fact he has 2 PG’s (along with Nate) that cant cover opposing PG’s to save their lives and the 2 guards they have who can cover opposing PG’s (Hughes and TD) cant run an offense to save their lives.

  41. DS

    “Word around the league is that Gallo makes the 3pt contest” He’ll score a perfect 30 like me as Glen Rice in NBA Live ’98.

    “Harrington is more useful than Acie Law & Speedy Claxton, and Randolph was traded for Quentin Richardson (who couldn’t exactly be traded for Randolph at the time).”

    I was making the point that (1) the Knicks would have gotten more wins with Jamal and Zach (2) we thought the Warriors and Clippers were CRAZY to take those two in exchange expiring contracts at the time but both of those teams were able to unload them and even still, we’re happy to be rid of them because all we should worry about is cap space this summer and not winning games before then. By the way, has anyone mentioned that if the Jazz get Jon Wall, it will hurt, but since the pick is already gone, it would keep him out of the East!

  42. Brian Cronin

    If you’re Utah, and you just got Wall, what would you do with Williams? Try to play the two together?

  43. BigBlueAL

    BTW, I dream of the Knicks signing Lebron, but if they somehow sign BOTH Lebron and Wade I might truly faint….

  44. Ted Nelson

    Good point on Crawford/Randolph, Z. Harrington is infinitely better than Claxton/Law. I see your point, DS, but I also think it’s important to note that the other teams didn’t get the same value (Crawford and maybe Randolph too) and/or the circumstances were different (Randolph). I still think the Warriors and Clippers were crazy to take them, which both may have realized this offseason when they unloaded them, but clearly Atlanta and Memphis don’t appear to be crazy since their circumstances are a lot different.

    On Hoopshype Paul can’t opt out till 2012. I think the 2011 was just overanxious hype, but maybe I’m wrong.

    BBA, I think another big difference between those guys and Duhon is that they played in different eras. In the slow-it-down, grind-it-out, physical 90s Duhon might have been a better offender by feeding the post and hitting open 3s and better defender because he’d be allowed to get away with more, and in today’s game a spot-up shooting/ no penetration PG with a defensive style that was/is more physical than quick (Ward) probably would not have as much success as in the 90s.

    Interesting question Brian. As amazing as Wall is, do you nix an All-Star for a prospect? I probably play them together for at least a year to hedge my bets. On the one hand maybe Wall fails to meet the hype (or at least is better off with less responsibility his first season), so unless someone blows you away why trade Williams? If you wanted to go in the other direction, it’s pretty unlikely you get equal value compared to Wall’s upside. Maybe you get a better fit, though. I would probably entertain dealing the #1 pick for Bynum if I were Utah.
    It’s probably not going to happen, though. This is a case where we can literally know the probability based on where the Knicks finish (vs. the LeBron lottery).
    Someone did mention that it’s better to have Wall in the west either earlier this thread or in a previous one.

    On the draft, if Sherron Collins falls to the Knicks in the 2nd round I’d be ecstatic. I sort of doubt he lasts long into the 2nd, but I have my fingers crossed.

  45. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    I just actually read the Rubio article. It’s fair enough. However, the one problem I have is the statistical analysis of Hoopshype founder Jorge Sierra and the analyst he cites. He points to FG% instead of more accurate measures of scoring efficiency like eFG% and TS%. Rubio is shooting the 3 very well both in Spain and Euroleague (44% and 39%, respectively). He also gets to the FT line often in both leagues. The distinction between FG% and TS% (62% Spain, 61% Euroleague) is huge and points to Rubio’s true improvement and potential. Part of that improvement from Joventut is undoubtedly playing on a much more talented team, but I think it’s a very positive sign and a great growth experience for Rubio. Playing with JCN and Mickeal, by the way, is about the European equivalent of playing with Wade and Kobe or something. Those guys are both stud, veteran scorers in Europe.

    Sierra does a good job of pointing out that Rubio plays on one of the top 4 most talented teams in Europe and is only 19… his role is not as a scorer so the low volume is not that troubling. It would be a mistake for him to assert himself scoring on Barca, a bit comparable comparable to Bynum taking a backseat in LA. The scoring efficiency is a really encouraging sign for me. Rubio is probably not going to be a bigtime scorer in the NBA, but if he can be really efficient at a medium-high volume to go along with his playmaking and defense he’s going to be a very good NBA player.

  46. DS

    “BTW, I dream of the Knicks signing Lebron…”

    The Knicks have a wonderful pitch to make to LeBron:

    – LeBron wants to be the first billionaire athlete. He doesn’t want to be just another Kobe or even another Jordan.
    * In NY, he can play for a coach with a system that allows him to SHINE, SHINE, SHINE at any position 1-5 while stuffing his stats year after year, and allowing him to chase single game, single season, and career records.
    * NYC is the best stage he can ask for and it would add some spice to his image. It’s important that LeBron comes from Ohio and that the city hasn’t gotten a championship in decade. BUT, Clark Kent needed to leave Smallville to become Superman in Metropolis.

    – The team will have money to spend and the city has the most allure to attract new free agents, all things being equal. Gallo can at the very least shoot the lights out and has vast potential, Lee is a beast at the 4 or 5.

    What’s Cleveland’s pitch??

  47. Brian Cronin

    Their pitch is:

    Global icons don’t need to be in New York or Los Angeles anymore – you used to need to be in a big city to get attention from the world, but not anymore.

    We currently have the best record in the NBA. We went to a NBA championship three years ago (and who knows what they can pitch to him after this year – “We won a title” maybe). If you want to win a title, you can win one here – and a lot faster then you would be in position to win one in New York.

    We can pay you the most money.

  48. jon abbey

    FWIW, I have an article I’m working on for here (my first ever!) about LeBron, NY, this summer, and what I think Walsh should try to do.

    if LeBron leaves Cleveland, they aren’t going to win a title for a long time, whether or not he agrees to a sign and trade. they had SEVEN YEARS to try to build around him, and the best they could do was Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao (although admittedly Boozer screwed them over). if they don’t win it all this year, it’s back to the laughingstock of the league for them.

  49. Garson

    I hear your pitch about staying in Clevland however teaming Gallo, Lee and Chandler with LBJ can match or beat the squad he currently has. without LBJ , the Knicks beat the Cavs hands down.

    AND… if he does come he understands that Jeffries and Curry will free up money for possibly Paul ( dont have the list of 2011 FA’s ).

    I dont think the team factor is the clincher… i think its the loyalty card which might be too stong of a pull (although the yankee hats are promosing for us in that department)

  50. Z

    “On the draft, if Sherron Collins falls to the Knicks in the 2nd round I’d be ecstatic. I sort of doubt he lasts long into the 2nd, but I have my fingers crossed.”

    Remember, the Knicks have the Clipper’s 2nd round pick too, which could end up being a few spots better than ours.

  51. Ted Nelson

    Brian,

    Good points, but I hope LeBron is smart enough to see that once both Z and Shaq either retire or have to be carted onto the court Cleveland loses a lot of production and size that they will be hard pressed to replace. Varajao is good and Hickson is promising, but neither is a true center. Finding a quality true center when you’re capped out and have low picks is tough.

    Jon,

    I think Cleveland has done a pretty good job building around LeBron outside of the Larry Hughes debacle. They’ve got the best record in the league. They are a top team on both sides of the ball. As much as LeBron carries their #6 offense, I would find it hard to believe that his impact on their #4 defense in nearly as big. If they hadn’t blown their load on Hughes they could have gotten a second star and be a lot better, but they’re doing alright.
    A big problem for the Cavs going forward would be that if LeBron leaves Shaq would walk and maybe Z walks or retires. Their two strongest positions would probably become their two weakest. Ferry has done a decent job, though, and I don’t think Cleveland would fall off the map. They’d have plenty of cap space if LeBron leaves to add enough talent (like $17-25 mill depending on where the cap is) to stay in the playoffs.

    Z,

    The Knicks have Denver’s 2nd round pick, I don’t know about the Clippers’.

  52. Z

    “The Knicks have Denver’s 2nd round pick, I don’t know about the Clippers’”.

    Since Denver has two 2nd round picks (one is the Clippers’ pick from the Camby trade), the Knicks get whichever is better.

  53. Ted Nelson

    I hope that is the case. At the moment NBADraft.net has Toronto getting the Clippers pick from a Hassan Adams deal and the Knicks with the Nuggets pick, but DraftExpress has it your way. I think you are right.

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