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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Donnie Walsh Transaction Timeline

April 2, 2008: Walsh hired as President of the Knicks.

Supposedly at the insistence of commissioner David Stern, James Dolan hires Walsh to bring the Knicks from international laughingstock back to respectability. Walsh announces a Two Year plan: To restore cap flexibility while still trying to win as many games as possible.

April 18, 2008: Isiah Thomas “reassigned”.

Walsh had hired Isiah in 2000 to coach the Pacers. Reports were that Walsh liked Isiah and wanted him to stay as coach but new Pacer President Larry Bird wanted Isiah fired. There was no way Walsh and Isiah could co-exist. Unlike Lenny Wilken’s physical ejection from MSG, Walsh ushers Isiah out as quietly and respectfully as possible, letting him finish out the season as coach, then allowing him to stay with the team as a draft consultant. (Hmmm… treat others as you would want others to treat you, perhaps?)

May 5, 2008: Mike D’Antoni hired as Knicks coach.

Walsh convinces established winner Mike D’Antoni to choose the Knicks rebuilding job over the Bulls playoff-ready roster. Does so by spending Dolan’s money in a way that doesn’t effect the salary cap (4 years, $24 million). A few weeks later the Bulls win the lottery and select Derrick Rose while the Knicks officially begin their “Two Year Plan”.

June 26, 2008: Danilo Gallinari drafted.

Walsh reportedly wants Russell Westbrook who is off the board when the Knicks go on the clock. Instead he selects Italian 19 year old Danilo Gallinari, who D’Antoni has a relationship with dating from his days playing in Italy with Gallinari’s father. The rest of the lottery proceeds to be: Eric Gordon, Joe Alexander, D.J. Augustin, Brook Lopez, Jerryd Bayless, Jason Thompson, and Anthony Randolph.

July 9, 2008: Chris Duhon signed.

Walsh signs Duhon to be the starting PG, unofficially ending the Stephon Marbury era. D’Antoni says he has a system, he just needs an engine to run it. Declares Duhon to be the heir to the system that Steve Nash perfected.

July 28, 2008: Renaldo Balkman Traded.

Walsh makes his first trade, sending productive forward Renaldo Balkman to Denver for Bobby Jones, Taureen Green (the son of Knick legend Sidney Green), and a 2nd round pick. Jones and Green are waived several days later. The 2nd round draft pick becomes Landry Fields.

August 29, 2008: Frederic Weis traded for Patrick Ewing.

In a desperate attempt to grab positive headlines, Walsh brilliantly trades legendary draft bust Frederic Weis to the Nuggets for all-time great Patrick Ewing (‘s significantly less talented son, Patrick Ewing Jr.). Thus begins the second Ewing Era, which amounts to a series of flirtations and ultimate heartbreak for the Ewing family, as Walsh waives Jr. not once but twice over the next two years.

November 21, 2008: Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph traded.

In keeping with his stated long-range plan, Walsh trades Jamal Crawford to Golden State for Al Harrington. Reportedly, Walsh tells Golden State GM Chris Mullin he can have his choice of Isiah-disaster players (The “Big Four” of Eddy Curry, Jared Jeffries, Zach Randolph, and Jamal Crawford) for disgruntled Warrior Al Harrington. Mullin chooses Crawford. Several hours later Walsh trades Randolph, along with Mardy Collins, for Ex-Knick Tim Thomas and Ex-basketball player Cuttino Mobley.

This represents the first major day in the life of Donnie Walsh as Knick president. It puts in motion a plan to target the free agent class of 2010 and from here there is no going back. At the time of the trade, the “Big Four” were all deemed “untradable”. Randolph and Crawford were, apparently, the least “untradable” as they were not only traded by the Knicks, but within a year, both were traded again. It should be noted that the rate of return diminished even further, as Jamal Crawford was traded for a package of Acie Law and retiree Speedy Claxton, and Zach Randolph was traded for fellow Knick outcast Quentin Richardson (more on him later). It should also be noted that Jamal Crawford went on to win 6th man of the year in 2010 and Zach Randolph went on to become an All Star with the Grizzlies.

February 19, 2009: Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox Acquired.

In a trade day full of lateral moves, Walsh elects not to add any long-term contracts, instead trading Isiah blunders Jerome James and Malik Rose for Walsh blunders Larry Hughes and Chris Wilcox. Interestingly, Chris Wilcox had been traded earlier that week for Tyson Chandler, who failed his physical and was sent back to cash strapped New Orleans. Presumably the Hornets would have still been open to trading Wilcox for Chandler, if NY was willing to ignore the results of the physical (they had, after all, still gone through with the Cuttino Mobley trade, despite a physical revealing certain death should Mobley ever suit up for the Knicks). In the end, though, Walsh keeps to the long-term plan of not taking on contracts that run past 2010 (Chandler’s deal ran to 2011). Chandler, it should be noted, is a preeminent defending, rebounding, high-efficiency, low-usage big man—the kind of player that the Knicks current roster desperately needs.

It should also be noted that multiple reports indicated that Walsh turned down a trade offer from Sacramento that would have sent Nate Robinson and Big Four member Jared Jeffries to California in exchange for 2010 expiring contract Kenny Thomas. Walsh never confirmed this deal to have been on the table, so speculate as you will. But if Walsh did, in fact, turn it down, it should stand as a dark bruise on Donnie’s record.

February 24, 2009: Stephon Marbury waived.

With the trade deadline passing, and no takers for Marbury’s gargantuan expiring contract, Walsh officially washes his hands of Stephon Marbury and his morale damaging antics. Marbury had been benched—then banished—kept on the roster solely as trade-filler should a mega-deal arise. Walsh’s treatment of Marbury held true to Stern’s mandate that the Knicks stop being a circus and start being a basketball team.

June 25, 2009: Jordan Hill selected with the #8 pick; Tony Douglas selected with the #29 pick in the draft.

In a draft rich in PG prospects (Rubio, Flynn, Curry, Jennings, Holiday, Lawson, Teague, Maynor, Collison, Beaubois…) Walsh selects PF Jordan Hill with the #8 pick, much to the consternation of statistically inclined Knick fans.

Walsh also purchases the Laker’s first round pick for $3 million, again spending Dolan’s money in a way that doesn’t effect cap flexibility. With it he selects combo-guard Tony Douglas, soon to be the longest tenured Knick.

Walsh also trades Isiah-era hanger-on-er Quentin Richardson for Darko Milicic, acquiring a much needed big man. Milicic subsequently doesn’t play, making this a pointless move to discuss. It should be noted, though, that the move fit in to Walsh’s real long-term goal of acquiring all of the top 5 draft picks from the class of 2003. Interestingly, Pat Riley also attempted to do the same. Riley in the end beat Walsh 3 to 1, with Milicic the only one to not end the 2011 season on either the Knicks or the Heat.

September 25, 2009: David Lee and Nate Robinson signed to 1 year contracts.

Walsh avoids adding 2010 payroll by signing David Lee and Nate Robinson to one year deals, effectively making them both lame-duck Knicks.

February 18, 2010: Jared Jeffries traded. Nate Robinson traded.

The second landmark day for Walsh as Knick GM saw Walsh finally trade the untrabable Jared Jeffries. The price was steep, though, as it cost the Knicks rookie Jordan Hill and their 2012 first round draft pick. In exchange, the Knicks obtained faded star Tracy McGrady and Spanish rental Sergio Rodriguez. Neither proved productive as Knicks, but both expired in time for the summer of 2010.

That same day, Walsh made his first vertical move into 2010, acquiring cheap swing-man Bill Walker from the Celtics for soon-to-be-renounced Nate Robinson. Walker represented Walsh’s first acquired asset that would be retained for the “rebuilt” Knicks.

April 12, 2010: Earl Barron signed.

After swinging and missing in the D-League on players like Joe Crawford, Demetris Nichols, Courtney Simms, Saer Sene, and others, Walsh manages to pluck an NBA worthy talent. Barron puts up replacement level numbers (11 ppg, 11 rpg in 7 games). In the end, Barron’s league minimum salary is renounced in favor of cap space.

June 24, 2010: Andy Rautins, Landry Fields, and James Jordan drafted.

Armed with only 2nd round picks, Walsh drafts Andy Rautins (#38), Landry Fields (#39), and purchases James Jordan (#44), adding three minimum wage non-guaranteed contracts to help fill out a non-existent roster. Fields, not even on most teams’ draft boards, puts up a sensational rookie season, starting 81 games at SG and finishing third in his draft class in Rookie of the Year voting.

July 8, 2010: Amar’e Stoudemire signed.

Hoping to score two superstars in the free agent bonanza of 2010, Walsh lands his first, signing Amar’e Stoudemire to a 5 year, $99 million deal. Amar’e instantly becomes the best player since Patrick Ewing to wear a Knicks jersey.

July 9, 2010: LeBron makes his decision. David Lee traded.

In the single most important day for the Knicks franchise since May 14th, 1985, LeBron James chooses the Miami Heat over the Knicks, turning Donnie Walsh’s Two Year plan into a Four or Five year plan.

Minutes later Walsh trades fan favorite David Lee to Golden State for injured Kelenna Azubuike, Center Ronnie Turiaf, and intriguing prospect Anthony Randolph. Lee, already replaced at PF by newly acquired Amar’e Stoudemire, nets a hefty return in three rotation players.

July 12, 2010: Ray Felton signed.

With few PGs to choose from amongst the enormous pool of free agents, Walsh signs who he believes to be the best available engine for D’Antoni’s rebult Knicks, former #4 draft pick Ray Felton. Amid a mass frenzy that saw mediocre players maxed out, Felton signs for a reasonable 2 year, $14 Million.

July 13, 2010: Timofey Mozgov signed.

Needing to add size to the roster, Walsh signs unheralded Russian big man Timofey Mozgov to a 3 year, $9 million deal (parts of it partially guaranteed).

September 23, 2010: Shawne Williams signed.

In what seems like a favor to an old friend that had fallen on hard times, Walsh invites former Walsh lottery pick Shawne Williams to training camp. To the surprise of many, Williams beats out Patrick Ewing Jr. for the final roster spot, becoming the 15th man on the depth chart. By January, Williams will have worked his way into the rotation while leading the league in 3 point shooting.

February 22, 2011: Carmelo Anthony trade.

In what seems to have been the beginning of the end of Donnie Walsh in New York, Walsh caves after months of posturing, giving away every asset on the roster but the rookie Landry Fields. In the days leading up to the trade, the rabid, insatiable media speculated that James Dolan had taken over negotiations. Soon after speculation began that the disgraced Isiah Thomas was giving more input than Walsh. The suddenly embattled Walsh, already wheelchair ridden, insisted the trade was made by his own accord. Skeptics remained dubious.

The trade, which sent Danillo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, Ray Felton, a 2014 draft pick, Anthony Randolph, and Eddy Curry away and brought in Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and Corey Brewer, effectively purged the roster of the last of Isiah’s “Big Four”, Eddy Curry the only “untradable” that truly was untradable up to the very end.

February 28, 2011: Corey Brewer waived. Derrick Brown claimed off waivers.

With the Knicks falling to last in defensive efficiency after the trade, Walsh waives newly acquired defensive specialist Corey Brewer. In his place Derrick Brown is claimed. Brown goes on to play 88 minutes of garbage.

March 1, 2011: Jared Jeffries signed.

I a fitting swan song, the last transaction in Donnie Walsh’s Knicks career is the signing of Jared Jeffries. Yes, this is the same Jared Jeffries that cost Walsh two first round picks to trade just one year earlier. Finally paid what he is worth (league minimum) Jeffries goes on to drop the ball while trying to make a game winning lay up in game two of the Knicks’ four game sweep by the Celtics.

153 comments on “Donnie Walsh Transaction Timeline

  1. Nick C.

    Nice work. It seems odd that so many players that come in or are mentioned barely play. Be that as it may, the day before he came the Knicks were the laughingstock of the NBA and a punchline for would be comedians. In the wake of his departure the team is in some ways back to where it was again providing ample fodder for pundits and wags. Where oh where did those heady days of last winter go?

  2. Thomas B.

    JEROME Jordan. Thanks TDM, I thought James sounded a bit off. Very nice work Z. Fun read. How would you grade the overall run? I’d give him a C+. He got us under the cap for the free agent bonanza, but he didn’t draft well or bring in more than three keepers (Fields, Douglas, Williams) in those years. He screwed up with lottery picks twice. Gallaniri pick was okay, but the Jordan Hill pick was just awful. We all hated it the moment it was made. The Jared trade was bad, and if he was going to give up too much, why not give up too much to move up in the draft to get Westbrook or Curry?

    Not keeping him may be one of the smartest thing Dolan has ever done.

  3. Z Post author

    Oops. Thanks TDM for pointing out that it is Jerome, not James, Jordan. (I knew it was one of Jerome James’ names and instead of looking it up I did eeny meeny miny mo…)

  4. ess-dog

    Well done Z. I guess it does look like a solid C+ after all. I guess years of Fs and Ds make this regime seem amazing. I suppose you could break things down even further:
    Cap management: A-
    Draft: D
    Free agency: B
    Trades: C
    Media management/professionalism: B

    I would like to get Pritchard in. Doubt it will happen but we could use some fresh blood. I like Warkentien but Pritchard would be better. And for those of you who say that former players make horrible GMs:

    “Pritchard was drafted by the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association as the 34th overall pick 1990. He had a six-year NBA career spanning five teams—the Warriors, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Miami Heat, and the Washington Bullets.”

  5. Ben R

    I agree with the C+ grade for Walsh but I do not agree that he was bad at drafts. The Hill pick was poor but he made a good pick the year before in Gallo, a good pick in Douglas and an outstanding pick in Fields.

    Plus with the Hill pick no one in the next 8 picks is much better. I personally hate Jennnings and think his shoot first attitude combined with no effieicncy is a franchise killer. We can all bitch about not getting Lawson (I really wanted him too) but he would have been a huge reach at #8, and blaming Walch for not trading down and getting him is a bit unfair.

  6. Frank

    I would be very happy if we drafted Marshon Brooks at 17, bought one of Chicago’s 1st’s for Nolan Smith, then bought 1-2 2nd rounders with an eye on a big like Keith Benson, Jon Leuer, JaJuan Johnson, etc.

    After watching Wade play in these playoffs, I’m feeling the need to have a super-athletic 2-guard type and am warming to Marshon Brooks. For lack of better stats to quantify “super-athletic”, Reb+St+blocks seem to be a reasonably good measure especially at the guard positions – his R+S+B are quite comparable to Dwyane Wade in college, and he has similar measurables and overall stats to Wade. His leaping ability is actually better as is his length, although on the limited film I’ve seen it doesn’t look like he plays as above the rim as Wade does. He does seem to have Wade’s knack for getting to the rim and ability to use various angles to get his shot off in traffic. Not that I expect him to be anywhere near Wade as an overall player, but averaging 25 ppg on 58.4% TS as the only real player on your team in the toughest conference in the NCAA is nothing to sneeze at.

    Nolan Smith would be great as a backup or potential future starter – so we go for the moon on the Brooks pick, then take a safer route with Smith. Then the 2nd round is a total tossup so getting anyone that would be a contributor would be great.

  7. ess-dog

    Idk, maybe a D was harsh for drafting but I wouldn’t go higher than a C. Gallo was about average for a #6 so far and I think the jury is still somewhat out on Fields although he’s clearly a home run for a #39 pick. Maybe a stand up triple.

    Again, with Nolan Smith it’s about immediate help vs. upside. A guy like Shumpert clearly has more “upside” and with his size, could play behind or next to Billups and could be great in transition. But will he ever reach his potential? It’s a tough call there.

  8. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: he didn’t draft well or bring in more than three keepers (Fields, Douglas, Williams)

    Amare and Melo are not keepers?

    I think he drafted well, actually. It would have been great to get Westbrook instead of Gallo or Curry instead of Hill, but short of speculation that perhaps multiple other GMs prefer the opinions of Donnie Walsh and his scouts to the opinions of themselves and their scouts… let’s just stick to the players he actually had a chance to draft.
    Who do you prefer to Gallo? There is no one who sticks out to me as “I would much rather have that guy than Gallo right now” picked after him.
    Who do you prefer to Hill? Lawson, probably Holiday. Who else? Look at the 8 guys drafted behind him. Look at his actual just-below-average production as an NBA big instead of your personal feelings towards him.
    Who should he have drafted instead of TD?
    Instead of Landry Fields?

    Thomas B.: if he was going to give up too much, why not give up too much to move up in the draft to get Westbrook or Curry?

    Because team don’t always want to trade away their high lottery picks no matter what you offer and LeBron is the best player on the planet.

    You are being totally ridiculous.

  9. Jim Cavan

    Nice synopsis. I stand by my B+ grade from earlier. I think reading this only reinforced the idea that this guy had a pretty monumental task, and an incredibly time-sensitive one at that. Sure he made some bad moves, but if a few things go our way with the draft and offseason moves and we end up a serious contender in the East, I think a lot of people shelling out the flak might be compelled to take another look at what Walsh did for the franchise.

    @8
    I’m not sure I’d go after Nolan Smith. If we’re going to buy a late first rounder for anyone, I’d like to see us take a flyer on Darrius Morris, who to me has much more upside. I think Smith is a fine player, and will probably end up being a serviceable rotation guy somewhere. But like a lot of Duke guards (coughChrisDuhoncough), I’m just not sure his abilities translate readily to the next level. He’s crafty, but not terribly quick. A good shooter, but not a great one.

  10. Frank

    Ted Nelson: Amare and Melo are not keepers?

    You are being totally ridiculous.

    So good to have Ted back.

    Re: the Westbrook/Curry/Gallo draft – I’m sort of surprised that Kahn didn’t trade down to us. No one in the world was going to take Jonny Flynn before our #8 pick, so he could have hustled us down for something/anything/$$$$ and the #8 for the #6 pick and still have gotten Rubio and Flynn (and Flynn for less $ as the #8 pick to boot). He probably could have asked for a lottery protected 1st (like maybe the 2012 pick that ended up going to HOU) +8 for the #5 or #6 and Walsh probably would’ve done it.

    Not sure if that’s a Kahn problem or a Walsh lack of foresight problem, because Walsh SHOULD have been worried that GSW might take Curry ahead of us.

  11. massive

    Isiah Thomas is a strong candidate for the Pistons’ coaching job. This is great news for us. No Jax or Zeke with the Knicks.

  12. Ted Nelson

    I’m not saying he did a great, amazing job in the draft… but looking at those drafts and saying “he didn’t draft well” seems totally ridiculous to me. Not in line with reality. I would probably agree with Cavan’s B+ overall grade, though that’s not steadfast of anything. B, B-… anywhere in there, A- even. Made some mistakes, but not many. Made some good calls, but not too many. It’s also still really early to evaluate these moves. If Landry Fields is maxed out in terms of development, for example, it’s a totally different situation than if his rookie season was a stepping stone to a much better career. Same for a Jerome Jordan, TD, Shawne Williams, even Rautins, and whoever is drafted #17 assuming that’s Walsh’s call still. Really, really premature to talk about how many “keepers” he brought in.

  13. Z Post author

    Thomas B.:
    How would you grade the overall run?I’d give him a C+.

    Since you asked:

    I’ve actually been a big supporter of Donnie’s since he came here, and despite some of the snarkiness this timeline was written with, I’d give him a B/B+. I think his Two Year Plan was, at the time, a good one. And I think he showed patience and commitment to it. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t yield as much as we all had hoped, but the idea was good and the execution was solid.

    I think that Walsh’s situation was obviously challenging. Not only did he inherit a broken franchise with little talent and humongous contracts on the payroll, but he also had three different “systems” he needed to work within the parameters of. 1) The Dolan system, 2) the D’Antoni system, and 3) the Karmic system of the Universe.

    The “Dolan System” isn’t a particularly well-defined system due to the cloud of secrecy that hangs over that aspect of the organization, but it seems to be to spend as much money as necessary to put the best product on the floor at that given moment. It also seems to involve appeasing Dolan’s personal wishes, which are derived through a combination of arrogance and bad judgment. It comes as no surprise that it would be difficult to rebuild a broken organization under this system, and I think Walsh did a good job “managing his owner” for most of his tenure.

    The “D’Antoni System” seemed to handicap the kind of players Walsh was willing to bring in. This was, of course, Walsh’s own doing when he hired D’Antoni, and D’Antoni’s system has proven results. Still, in rebuilding, it is usually best to try to collect as much talent as possible and let the system work itself out in the process, something Walsh decided not to do.

    Continued…

  14. Z Post author

    Finally, the Universe continued to punish the Knicks organization for the blasphemy of it’s prior regimes. The Knicks management had been so bad for so long that it required a lot of luck to turn it around in just two years. Sadly for Walsh, and all of the Knicks’ fans, there wasn’t much luck to be had. In his three drafts Walsh correctly identified the players he wanted, but because the ping-pong balls didn’t fall in his favor, he wasn’t able to draft most of them. Also, teams (rightfully) didn’t seem willing to assist in his rebuilding job, the way they have often assisted in the rebuilding of other teams (see Gasol, Pau; Garnett, K.; etc…). Finally, the Lee trade yielded assets that were supposed to help a lot more than they did. Instead of three rotation players, the trade turned out to only provide ½ of a rotation player. It was a good return that simply didn’t pay off as hoped.

    In the end, Walsh’s Two Year Plan went bust. Had the specter of 2010 not loomed so large, I think Walsh would have put together a pretty good team by now. But how could Walsh NOT have looked at 2010 and seen the quickest path to redemption? Let’s say Walsh had taken a Three Year Plan and ignored the LeBron-a-thon, instead compiling young assets and draft picks. What would we as Knicks’ fans think when LeBron leaves Cleveland to go to Miami? We’d have crucified him, believing that if the Knicks had just put themselves in the position to sign him that it would have been a done-deal and we’d be in the finals this year.

  15. Z Post author

    Following Ess Dog’s model, I’d break it down like this:

    Cap Management: B (I wish he had spent more of Dolan’s dough buying 2010 contracts (ie—Malik Rose for Kenny Thomas type trades in 2009)).

    Draft: B+ (Finding Field’s level value with the 39th pick says more than coming up one pick shy of Steph Curry).

    Free Agency: A (Can’t be blamed for not landing LeBron. In the aftermath of the decision he had the money to by two max contracts but wisely didn’t. Instead he broke the second one down piecemeal rather than overpaying a Joe Johnson/Rudy Gay type player).

    Trades: INC (Time will tell how the Carmelo trade pans out. Of the trades before that, though, I’d give him a C. He knew what the Jeffries (and Randolph) stakes were. They came up bust, and now he has to take his lumps for them. But the David Lee trade was a great one that infused fans with hope following the disappointment of The Decision).

    Media Management/Professionalism: A

  16. Thomas B.

    “Amare and Melo are not keepers?” Ted Nelson

    I am talking about the GM’s ability to find keepers in the rough, role players and such. Cheap low cost guys who fill a need.

    Amare is not a role player, and I’d count Amare as part of the cap management rather than a player pick up. Obvioulsy he is a keeper, but anyone with cap space could have signed him that was low hanging fruit. You dont need a shrewd eye for talent to select Amare.

    I think the jury is still out on Melo being a keeper–I do recall many posters proposing trades for him this off season. I hate to open that up again. But let’s say for arguments sake that he is a keeper. I think Walsh botched this one by giving up too much. He should have just waited and if Melo passed, so be it. You have the cap space to go for better fits in 2012. Again, in terms of shrewd moves, Carmelo was not a shrewed move. A keeper perhas, but not an example of a shrewd pick up.

    You really judge a GM on how he/she fills the holes. Walsh himself said in the presser that filling holes around the star players is very important. He had several chances to do that and he only made it work with three players (Williams, Douglas, Fields). Look at the other holes he filled two duds at the piont in Duhon and Felton, in fact Duhon was so bad he made Felton–who was somewhat bad– look really good. Never found even a serviceable big other than Barron, who was not kept. JJ (five thumbs, two left feet). He got good value for Lee, but how good id the value if the coach wont use it? Also, I think he could have gotten more for Randolph in a trade.

    I think I got this one right. He cleared the cap space. Now let a shrewd eye for talent fill in the holes.

  17. ess-dog

    Ha, you were a lot more generous than me Z. I guess I see a C as “average” and found him to be above average. Maybe he’s a B- overall instead, idk. Someone like Presti is an A, Prichard is probably a B+, etc.

    The problem is, no one in NY gets the usual rebuild period of 6-7 years, they get 2-3 years. Ideally, Walsh and D’Antoni would get 3 more years each. I get that he’s old, but that’s why he wanted to groom a candidate to replace him – to keep the focus of the operation in tact for as long a period as possible.

    I think now that we have our core, we just need to build on it as best as possible. Maybe Wark will take over and work to D’Antoni’s strengths just as Walsh did. Maybe we’ll get CP3 or if not maybe a Jameer Nelson, JaVale McGee, Gallo, Felton or Eric Gordon? Or maybe we’ll trade the Billups contract for someone else?

    We don’t have a great shot at reaching the Heat level, but we’ll at least be the Hawks for 3-5 years.

  18. TDM

    Thomas B. – “He got good value for Lee, but how good id the value if the coach wont use it?”

    He really didn’t get that much for David Lee. At the end of the day, it was basically Lee for Turiaf. As you pointed out, AR wasn’t used, but also, Kelenna never played. Putting aside for the moment that AR was the centerpiece of that trade, that is second time in which Donnie traded for a starting shooting guard (Azu and Mobley)that never donned a Knicks uni. Turiaf was a throw in to make the salaries match.

    I’d give Walsh a C+, maybe B- on a good day.

    On a separate note, is anyone else optimistic to see that Deron Williams is signing with Leon Rose? Looks like he’s intent on playing the market.

  19. Thomas B.

    Thomas B.: if he was going to give up too much, why not give up too much to move up in the draft to get Westbrook or Curry?

    Because team don’t always want to trade away their high lottery picks no matter what you offer and LeBron is the best player on the planet.

    You are being totally ridiculous. -Ted Nelson

    “being” ridiculous would indicate that there is a time when i am not ridiculous. I think we all know that never happens. Say it loud. I am ridiculous and proud!

    I never read anything that Donnie Walsh offered to move up to 4 to get Westbrook or offered anything to GS to move up for Curry. As far as I could tell he did not try. I blame him for not taking the right risks.

  20. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: I am talking about the GM’s ability to find keepers in the rough, role players and such. Cheap low cost guys who fill a need.

    I think your standards of judgement are ridiculous, though. Context is key.

    You have to consider for starters that he was unwilling to take on long-term contracts at first. He might not have actually liked Duhon much, for example, or expected a real NBA starter… just not been able to sign anyone else to a 2 year deal.

    Then you have to consider how young other guys are. TD, Fields, Rautins, Jordan, even Shawne Williams, Derrick Brown, etc… all those guys can continue to get better going forward… none was over 24 (B-R season terms) last season.
    I’m not assuming these guys will work out/improve, but you are assuming they are what they are.

    You also have to consider the context in terms of factors beyond Walsh’s control. He was brought in to get LeBron… a lot of that was beyond Walsh’s control and in LeBron’s. He made it known publicly, whether as a smoke screen or genuinely, that he would pick Westbrook and Curry, but they weren’t there.

    I don’t think he did a great job. But in the context I find your criticism over the top, especially regarding the draft.

    Thomas B.: You really judge a GM on how he/she fills the holes.

    And in the context of the opportunities they had. That he didn’t draft Tim Duncan instead of Jordan Hill, for example, isn’t really his fault.

  21. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: Walsh himself said in the presser that filling holes around the star players is very important. He had several chances to do that

    I disagree. He’s had Amare for all of 1 year. Prior to that he was in strict cap-cutting mode. He didn’t have many opportunities. That’s where I think you are being ridiculous. A lot of the “fill-in” guys he did bring in were traded away to make room for the pillars… Gallo, Felton, … same with guys he kept like Lee or WC.

    Again, he could not draft a player that wasn’t available instead of a TD or Fields or Hill or Gallo. Those guys look like good-to-great picks for who was available.

    He did get Bill Walker for Nate Robinson. He did draft Fields in the 2nd. He did draft TD practically in the 2nd with a pick he bought. He has 30 or so years of shrewd moves, and I think you’re being really unfair in judging him totally out of context based on the job he was brought in to do and opportunities he had.

  22. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: “being” ridiculous would indicate that there is a time when i am not ridiculous.

    I should say “unfair” then. “Inaccurate.”

    Thomas B.: I never read anything that Donnie Walsh offered to move up to 4 to get Westbrook or offered anything to GS to move up for Curry.

    Because you never read it in the paper?

    I never read that Donnie Walsh almost pulled off a trade of Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry straight-up for LeBron James, so I’m just going to assume that he did call Cleveland and almost get them to make that trade. Therefore, Walsh is clearly an incredible GM based on the almost trades that we never heard about.

    See why that doesn’t work?

  23. Frank

    All snarkiness aside – I think Donnie did a B to B- job. An A+ job would have been landing Lebron or Wade + Amare, drafting Ty Lawson, making that same David Lee trade but getting D’Antoni to somehow play AR more, and figuring out a way to get Steph Curry (I remain convinced there was a way to make a trade with Minny to jump GSW).

    What he did instead was draft passably, get Amare, and flip just about all of our current and future assets/flexibility for Melo and an aging Billups. Shawne, Fields, Walker are all nice finds. So he gets a B in my book. His book isn’t complete until after next summer though – because if his maneuvering lands us CP3, Deron, or Dwight, then it’s an A+ again.

  24. jon abbey

    see, this is what I hate about the Walsh regime. Chad Ford writes in his newest mock draft today:

    “GM Donnie Walsh has lost his job, but he’s still calling the shots for the Knicks on draft night. Expect Walsh to go out with a bang. The Knicks are essentially looking at five players right now — Klay Thompson, Fredette, Selby, Marshon Brooks and Kenneth Faried. ”

    note that there’s zero guesswork in that last sentence, because Walsh still tells reporters too much about his draft thinking when it easily can come back to bite him in the ass.

  25. Thomas B.

    Thomas B.: You really judge a GM on how he/she fills the holes.

    And in the context of the opportunities they had. That he didn’t draft Tim Duncan instead of Jordan Hill, for example, isn’t really his fault.-Ted Nelson

    So Jordan Hill and Tim Duncan are drafted 12 years apart and you tell me that *I* have a problem with context? Oooookaaaaaay then.

    Nice to have my stalker back from Oz. Are those flying monkeys still around or did they leave when the witch died?

  26. Ted Nelson

    jon abbey,

    A. You are assuming that other GMs give half a crap which prospects Walsh likes. That is a HUGE assumption. Without that assumption you’re got nothing. If Walsh says, I really like 5 guys who all project to go in the top 20-30 of the draft (17-25% of the expect top 20/1st round…) does not mean that some other GM will think he was an idiot for thinking Faried is the next Balkman and will now draft him #15 overall.

    B. It’s a media report. Since when is the MSM at all credible? Those could be the 5 guys the Knicks are having in for workouts first, so the author jumped to a conclusion. It would be Walsh’s secretary’s guess, and the reporter took it as fact. It could be a smokescreen Walsh has purposely linked hoping that some other prospect will fall to him or that no one will discover a hidden gem he covets.

  27. flossy

    jon abbey:
    note that there’s zero guesswork in that last sentence, because Walsh still tells reporters too much about his draft thinking when it easily can come back to bite him in the ass.

    Eh. A list of five prospects, bracketed by the caveats “essentially” and “right now”? Hardly seems like tipping his cap. And everyone listed has been projected in the late lottery to late first round. It’s not like he found some unknown prospect destined to set the world on fire but couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Anyone with an internet connection could have told you a while ago that the Knicks are interested in Fredette and Faried, for example.

  28. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: So Jordan Hill and Tim Duncan are drafted 12 years apart and you tell me that *I* have a problem with context?

    Tim Duncan was a symbol there…

    I still think you are being unfair to expect Walsh to make magic happen and influence the wills of other players, GMs, etc.

  29. ess-dog

    To be fair with the “tipping” and what not, I don’t think anyone had any idea that we were taking Landry in round 2. Granted, people aren’t as interested in round 2 picks, but still….

    I don’t have a problem with the Gallo pick but I don’t think anyone was a fan of the Jordan Hill pick. And frankly, I still don’t think he’s a bust, as it were. I think he could become a useful rotation player. I just think considering our NEEDS (yes I said it Ted) and the fact that Donnie was quoted as saying that he loved Ty Lawson, it might have been prudent to trade down from 8. I get that you can’t always trade up, but I think he could’ve traded down for Lawson/Holiday and gotten us another pick.

    I also think he could’ve made out better on the Jeffries deal.

    But I don’t want to nitpick the guy. I think it was great having him here and of course, we all would’ve preferred he stay on longer.

  30. adrenaline98

    Ted, you realize you’re making the same type of assumptions as jon abbey is, except yours is speculative. His has some proof, and I understand you’re questioning the correlation. That said, I don’t think either of us will ever know, but jon is certainly entitled to his opinion that he feels Walsh tips his hand too much.

    We certainly don’t have Curry or Westbrook to speak of. No one projected Westbrook, based on his college stats, to rise. During the early mocks, he was barely lottery bound. His college resume wasn’t impressive, and he played SG. So maybe it wasn’t Walsh’s interest that made Presti draft Westbrook, but maybe it was his interest that Presti took a look at Westbrook and decided to draft him.

    Either way, it’s certainly a possibility and we don’t know.

    Look at Mozgov’s ability/skillset. Walsh kept that pretty close to his vest. I believe more than the Knicks out of 29 teams could have used a backup big like him too. You seem hellbent on proving jon wrong moreso than just accepting his opinion.

  31. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson:

    Tim Duncan was a symbol there…

    I still think you are being unfair to expect Walsh to make magic happen and influence the wills of other players, GMs, etc.

    Well Ted, we can’t both be right especially when you refuse to agree with me so let’s just agree to disagree.

  32. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: Ted, you realize you’re making the same type of assumptions as jon abbey is, except yours is speculative.

    I honestly have no idea what you’re referring to.

    adrenaline98: His has some proof

    No he doesn’t. He has zero proof that the decisions of Sam Presti or GSW were in any way influenced by Walsh’s statements. Total 100% speculation.

    adrenaline98: maybe it was his interest that Presti took a look at Westbrook and decided to draft him.

    You really think OKC didn’t see Westbrook play in his 2 years at UCLA and suddenly got turned on to the best prospect at the most storied program in NCAA history by public statements made by Donnie Walsh? Presti is known for his drafting. This is the guy who convinced the Spurs to draft Parker despite everyone else in the org’s resistance. He picked up Ibaka. His draft resume is stacked.

    “Either way, it’s certainly a possibility and we don’t know.”

    I never said it wasn’t a possibility. My exact point was that we don’t know.

    “Look at Mozgov’s ability/skillset.”

    He was one of the best FA prospects in Europe… Other teams knew about him and didn’t need Walsh to let them know. You didn’t know about him, that doesn’t mean that European scouts didn’t. The guy is on Russia’s national team for christ’s sake.

    adrenaline98: You seem hellbent on proving jon wrong moreso than just accepting his opinion.

    Not proving him wrong… proving that it’s extremely unlikely that other teams did not know how they felt about two of the best prospects in…

  33. Thomas B.

    ess-dog:

    To be fair with the “tipping” and what not, I don’t think anyone had any idea that we were taking Landry in round 2. Granted, people aren’t as interested in round 2 picks, but still….

    I don’t have a problem with the Gallo pick but I don’t think anyone was a fan of the Jordan Hill pick. And frankly, I still don’t think he’s a bust, as it were. I think he could become a useful rotation player. I just think considering our NEEDS (yes I said it Ted) and the fact that Donnie was quoted as saying that he loved Ty Lawson, it might have been prudent to trade down from 8. I get that you can’t always trade up, but I think he could’ve traded down for Lawson/Holiday and gotten us another pick.

    I also think he could’ve made out better on the Jeffries deal.

    But I don’t want to nitpick the guy. I think it was great having him here and of course, we all would’ve preferred he stay on longer.

    I think tipping is BS too. Teams spend months evaluating/scouting players then on draft day they notice a GM wink at a entrant so they drop everything else and draft that guy? Sheesh that is a scary thought. ” I heard Walsh likes him, so drop everything we did to get to this point and draft the guy Walsh likes.” Why couldnt Walsh have used that to get GS to take Jordan Hill or Tim Duncan or whoever was in the 2009 draft?

  34. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: Well Ted, we can’t both be right especially when you refuse to agree with me so let’s just agree to disagree.

    We can both be right when we’re judging completely different things. I am trying to judge Walsh on the job he was assigned and the opportunities that presented themselves. Absolute terms vs. relative terms.

    I agree with you based on what you’re judging. Walsh did not do an amazing job in an absolute sense. What I am arguing with you is that judging him in absolute terms is inferior to relative terms.

    He signed Duhon, and you criticize that move. In absolute terms Duhon stunk. In relative terms, though, who else was he going to sign to play PG for two years? Is it possible he even signed Duhon hoping he would stink and the Knicks might get a high enough pick to take someone better than, say, Jordan Hill? Possible.

    You say he drafted poorly because he didn’t get big-time studs… but who did you want him to take in terms of who was actually available?

  35. Count de Pennies

    What’s with all the love around here for Kevin Pritchard?

    I’ve put this question out there twice already… and still have no takers. I have even compiled a list of some of KP’s more underwhelming transactions which I’ve posted on earlier threads. In the interests of brevity, I won’t bother to cut and paste it again but here’s a link in case anyone is interested:

    http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-to-hold-media-conference-call-with-walsh-today-at-130pm/#comment-330803

    Seriously, I’m just not getting the continued veneration of Pritchard. His overall body of work just does not look any better than Walsh’s. I’m still waiting for one of this site’s resident KP advocates to step up and make their case.

  36. Frank

    I have to sort of agree with Ted here although as usual his manner of disagreeing with others sometimes raises the temperature of an exchange which is probably not worth all this fuss-

    I highly doubt that any public statements by an NBA GM have any bearing on who another GM drafts. They have entire scouting departments and spend weeks/months watching film, conducting interviews, etc. Most of what’s being thrown around in the media is all smokescreen anyway. Depending on what sources you read, we’ve been connected to Markieff Morris, Faried, Motiejunas, Singleton, Brooks, Selby, Jimmer, Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris, Darius Morris, Nolan Smith, Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Tyler, etc. etc, otherwise known as 1/2 the draft-eligible players.

    If anything, showing your hand before the draft seems like it would make a team ahead of you try to overpay to move up to get your guy. But that hasn’t happened either.

  37. Frank

    sorry, make that “If anything, showing your hand before the draft seems like it would make a team ahead of you try to __get you__ to overpay to move up to get your guy. But that hasn’t happened either.

  38. Jafa

    I heard the Knicks are interested in Kyrie Irving. If he drops to 17, the Knicks will definitely pick him. Other GMs better take note and grab him before Walsh does…

  39. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson:

    We can both be right when we’re judging completely different things. I am trying to judge Walsh on the job he was assigned and the opportunities that presented themselves. Absolute terms vs. relative terms.

    I agree with you based on what you’re judging. Walsh did not do an amazing job in an absolute sense. What I am arguing with you is that judging him in absolute terms is inferior to relative terms.

    He signed Duhon, and you criticize that move. In absolute terms Duhon stunk. In relative terms, though, who else was he going to sign to play PG for two years? Is it possible he even signed Duhon hoping he would stink and the Knicks might get a high enough pick to take someone better than, say, Jordan Hill? Possible.

    You say he drafted poorly because he didn’t get big-time studs… but who did you want him to take in terms of who was actually available?

    Absolute terms? Dude, right now you make me want to grab a bottle of Absolut and come to terms with why I keep reading your responses. :-) Welcome back

  40. Thomas B.

    Count de Pennies:

    What’s with all the love around here for Kevin Pritchard?

    I’ve put this question out there twice already… and still have no takers. I have even compiled a list of some of KP’s more underwhelming transactions which I’ve posted on earlier threads. In the interests of brevity, I won’t bother to cut and paste it again but here’s a link in case anyone is interested:

    http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-to-hold-media-conference-call-with-walsh-today-at-130pm/#comment-330803

    Seriously, I’m just not getting the continued veneration of Pritchard.

    I only like Pritchard because jon abbey tipped me off.

  41. Ted Nelson

    Count de Pennies: What’s with all the love around here for Kevin Pritchard?

    He built a strong team in Portland that’s been hit with an unusual rash on injuries. His draft record is very strong. I read through your critique, and I disagree. Getting Roy over Foye is a HUGE move. Aldridge was a strong pick. That has been the base of a 50 win WC team. I don’t know what more you expect. You have to judge GMs in context. Who should be have taken instead of Rudy? He got the pick for nothing and got what you yourself call an average NBA player on a rookie deal. That’s a solid move. Taking high risk European projects with bought picks is also a shrewd move.

    Being a good GM is not just about lucking into a #1 overall pick when Tim Duncan is available or signing LeBron James. I challenge you to find me what you consider to be good and great GMs if you are not impressed with Pritchard’s work in Portland.

    Count de Pennies: His overall body of work just does not look any better than Walsh’s.

    Not many GM’s do… Walsh is one of the most successful GMs of the past several decades… in NBA history really. I’m not sure what you’re expecting here. No one is perfect and makes nothing but right decisions. Again, show me the GMs you think are great and I’m sure I can poke a hundred holes in their resumes.

  42. iserp

    For anyone saying we should have traded down in the Jordan Hill draft. We were still expecting Curry to fall in our hands, we weren’t going to trade that pick before the draft. And if we wanted to trade down AFTER the draft, we should pick the consensus pick, which was Jordan Hill, who is a big in a draft with few bigs, which helps trading him.

  43. adrenaline98

    I only like Pritchard because Ted Nelson supports a Pritchard hiring. Saying otherwise might blow up the server this site is hosted on.

  44. ess-dog

    I’m still really pissed that Donnie didn’t trade Bill Walker for Blake Griffin. I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that Sterling was in love with Walker. I was even willing to give up Rautins in the deal and maybe even a future 2nd rounder. I must’ve typed “Get it done Donnie!” about a million times that week.

  45. latke

    If I was Walsh, and my plan was 2010 or bust, here’s what I would have done:

    1) Do not sign Duhon. Instead, buy a second rounder or bring up a d-leaguer, and let that player run the point. Buy out Harrington post-trade. These two moves alone likely would have resulted in about 6 fewer wins. As for Q-Rich, perhaps he was tradable for maybe a 2nd rounder and an expiring contract. If not, buy him out.

    2) Trade Lee midseason 08/09. Walsh knew he was shooting for 2010. He knew he couldn’t pay Lee. Why hang on to him? His value only went down the closer he got to expiring. Why not package him with Jeffries for a future first round pick or two? I imagine he easily could have netted 2 mid-firsts for that kind of package and taken back a 2010 expiring contract of a worse player. Alternatively, he could bribe another team into taking Curry by giving them Lee for free.

    3) Combined, these two deal would have left the Knicks with one of the worst if not the worst record in the NBA. Result? Well, the top 4 picks in 2009 were Griffin, Thabeet, Harden, and Evans. That’s a 75% chance of getting a damn good player. Instead, we drafted Jordan Hill. Coveting Rubio and Curry, Walsh could have traded down a 2nd pick for Minnesota’s 5th and 6th picks.

    4) I think the Robinson trade was smart. A small example of what the knicks should have been doing on a larger scale: trade their competent players for younger players or picks.

    This leaves the knicks with ample assets to either go all in for 2010 the right way — perhaps package the mid-1st picks from the Lee trade to move Curry. Additionally, they have in a best case scenario Gallinari, along with Rubio and Curry or else Blake Griffin in addition to Bill Walker. They also have about as much cap space as Miami. That’s a much more attractive destination than Miami.

    That said, this just wouldn’t happen in NYC, because they will never commit to being awful. It makes it almost impossible to build a winning team.

  46. Brian Cronin

    I’m torn on the David Lee thing. I guess it really depends on how willing you think the Knicks were to keep Lee. If they knew, without a doubt, that they were going to move forward without Lee, then yeah, they should have dealt him way earlier (in a deal to dump Jeffries – hell, they could have likely dumped Jeffries and Curry if they were giving a team David Lee with a year left under his rookie contract).

    But I think they realistically felt that there were scenarios where Lee would have stayed a Knick in 2010-11 (remember, they had some leeway with Lee’s cap-hold where they could have signed a Max player and then one other player for…I forget, $6-7 million, I believe, and then re-signed Lee for the contract he ended up getting from Golden State), so I guess I can’t blame them for not giving away such an asset.

    What I can blame them for, though, is not playing the main piece they dealt Lee for, but I dunno if Walsh can be blamed for that (is that his responsibility? I really don’t know).

  47. Owen

    “You say he drafted poorly because he didn’t get big-time studs… but who did you want him to take in terms of who was actually available?”

    Lawson and to a lesser extent Blair. That’s who we wanted him to take, Jon especially. I think having a young cheap and productive Lawson in the fold would have made a big difference.

  48. Brian Cronin

    I still think it is hilarious that we had that chat during that particular draft, because we were all so adamant that the Knicks take Lawson and Blair.

  49. Z Post author

    Yeah, reading through that thread is pretty awesome. Jon was seriously irate. And he still carries it with him, almost 2 years later. He actually wrote at the time: “I’m fed up, and I can’t just shake off what I think was a dreadful choke job by Walsh on a hugely important night. now that may change after July 1, but as of now, I’m disappointed and disgusted.”

    I’m not sure drafting Lawson instead of Hill would have changed LeBron’s mind, as Jon has alluded to over the years, but there is an understandable frustration. We needed a PG. There were a lot of good PGs out there. It was a case where drafting for need SHOULD have trumped BPA in my opinion.

    @51 Interesting alternate universe. Those are good moves that probably should have been made if they could have been. But the stated goal of Walsh was to cut salary while still winning as many games as possible. It was a mistake, but not Walsh’s. Dolan demanded it, I’m quite sure.

  50. jon abbey

    there was no margin for error. Isiah left us in such a hole, and the LeBron situation was a once in a generation chance. Walsh knew he was coming into an extremely difficult situation (even if Dolan was totally hands off) and that he’d be ultimately judged by whether he got LeBron or not. so he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, and that 2009 draft was just butchered.

    the part that really bothered/bothers me is that theoretically NY is not just a hoops town above all other sports (when given the chance), but NY loves and appreciates quality PGs above all other positions. as a native New Yorker and a lifelong basketball junkie, Walsh should have known this as well as anyone, and when confronted with a situation where need and best player/s available dovetailed so perfectly, and with a choice of a handful of major potential PGs (Lawson, Holliday, Collison, Jennings), he choked bigtime.

  51. BigBlueAL

    I still think they were so sure Steph Curry was gonna be there draft pick, especially once he reached Golden St right before the Knicks picked since absolutely nobody had him going there, that the Knicks panicked a bit.

    Although I had read alot of buzz before that draft that if Curry was gone and Hill was still there he would be their choice. I still remember that night when the T’Wolves didnt pick Curry I was so excited since I figured no way Golden St takes him. Sigh.

  52. Brian Cronin

    Oh yeah, Hill was the consensus pick there, no doubt.

    The problem here is that we all knew that the consensus pick was not a good one. Not that Hill is a bad player, just that he had little chance of being a breakout talent, and at #8, you’re usually hoping for at least a guy who had a chance at being a breakout talent, ya know?

    I still can’t believe Minnesota took two freakin’ point guards back-to-back. And of the three they drafted, the only one who has excelled in the NBA is the one they drafted for another team.

  53. BigBlueAL

    I just re-read that draft’s thread, classic stuff!!!

    At least I was right when I called out Mike for saying TD’s ceiling was Mardy Collins lol.

  54. Mike Kurylo

    TDM:
    “Armed with only 2nd round picks, Walsh . . . purchases James Jordan (#44)”

    Looks like we may get to see Jerome Jordan next season.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/development_center_RSeCqfMS6FCcNRRz3LUS1M?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=

    Whenever you think I’m being too negative on the Knicks, think about the converse. For instance this comment (about Jerome Jordan), from the above link in the Post.

    “That will do for me. Welcome to our Jamaican Dirk. Not in year 1, but the 7 footer from Dallas did also take some time and a lot of hard training to reach that level.”

    Perfectly reasonable for Jerome Jordan to play like Dirk Nowitzki, but of course don’t expect that in year 1!

  55. massive

    That is an insanely terrible deal for the Knicks. You’re trading away all of our cap space, taking back a terrible contract, and giving up the best player (if not the best two players) in the entire deal for Eric Bledsoe and Andre Igoudala? How does Elton Brand even fit with the Knicks next to Amar’e? I would hate that trade so much.

  56. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    Oh yeah, Hill was the consensus pick there, no doubt.

    The problem here is that we all knew that the consensus pick was not a good one. Not that Hill is a bad player, just that he had little chance of being a breakout talent, and at #8, you’re usually hoping for at least a guy who had a chance at being a breakout talent, ya know?

    I wonder whether the reason we’re hearing mostly about backcourt players is because the bigs in this draft really suck and would be 2nd rounders in any other draft. Naturally it’s in ESPN/SI/etc.’s interest to pump up these guys as much as they can to make the draft look more exciting — I mean, is Vucevic the next coming of Michael Doleac or Eric Montross? Or is he actually good? My guess is that he’s more Doleac than good. Doleac by the way had really surprisingly awesome stats as a college player – 24 pts, 10 reb, 2blocks per 40, TS 59%, shot 40% from 3 point range.

    Anyway, if that’s how the FO sees the bigs in this draft, and they figure that signing Earl Barron, Sean Williams, Chris Johnson, etc. would be cheaper without long commitments, then I’m all for drafting a small high-risk/high-reward player at #17.

    Meanwhile, would anyone here trade TD to the Lakers for their 2012 #1, all 3 of their 2011 2nds, and filler (Caracter, Ebanks etc.)? I feel like LA would do it – TD could be the missing piece of the puzzle for them, and it’s unlikely any of those draft picks would be meaningful for them. And from our point of view, I like TD and all but if we end up drafting a combo guard or PG at #17 that we really like, then TD becomes a little expendable – if we can turn him into 4-5 players we should do it.

  57. tastycakes

    IMO, Walsh had the Knicks really well positioned before the Melo trade. A deep bench filled with cheap and useful players. Cap space coming down the road. Some draft picks in the back pocket. You know, enough to swing a mega-deal. Which he did.

    So your feelings about the ‘bockers today are going to come down to whether or not you believe Melo is a first-tier superstar who will elevate us into contention. I think it was pretty clear, watching the playoffs, that when you have guys like Jeffries and Bill Walker logging crunch time minutes, you’re going to have major problems even if your top dogs are elite players, so we’re going to have to wait and see.

    My personal feeling is that I’d rather have seen those assets magically turn into Deron Williams or Chris Paul or Dwight Howard — not that any of that was necessarily going to happen. I think a lot of folks here held onto similar dreams.

    Still, the Knicks are better off today than they were 5 years ago, no question. The coming season should produce some entertaining basketball, and I think we have a chance to win 50 games and maybe get out of the first round. Long term, hey, as long as Amar’e and Melo stay healthy, we have some pretty good trade assets in those two guys if things don’t totally gel. Billups comes off the books next year.

    Feeling optimistic today. Our two best players are still on the young side of their primes. The Mavs have had Dirk for how many years now, and are only taking their second shot at a title, but if you were a Mavs fan for the past 12 years, you’d be pretty happy with the overall body of work. We’ve got some kind of foundation and some kind of flexibility, and that’s OK in my book.

  58. Ted Nelson

    latke, I think you make some good points about tanking. I don’t think your Lee point is fair, though. Some speculation on my part, but… Lee’s value was pretty low when Walsh came in and was apparently not all that much higher after one season with D’Antoni, since no team even made him an offer. Obviously it’s not that simple since he was a RFA, but his value grew with move time under D’Antoni. We all saw his value from the start, but I don’t think less statistically inclined people did.
    Also, Walsh might have been told not to tank just as easily as he might have not done it on purpose. Dolan may have even told him that if the Knicks finished under a certain level he was fired. Total 100% speculation by me, but just saying it’s a possibility.

    Owen: Lawson and to a lesser extent Blair. That’s who we wanted him to take, Jon especially. I think having a young cheap and productive Lawson in the fold would have made a big difference.

    I was on the same page at the time, but I think that sort of proves my point… there were 2 guys available who we thought/think were better picks. No GM is perfect. Comparing them to perfection is unfair. You can say he didn’t make the right pick without saying he made the wrong pick.
    I don’t know if Lawson would be a Knick anymore between the T-Mac and Melo trades. He might. They might have a few more assets in terms of holding onto a future 1sts or two by including Lawson instead of someone else… but Hill’s trade value wasn’t based entirely on 1/2 a season of rookie results and neither would Lawson’s have been. I think it would be a somewhat marginal difference.

  59. Ted Nelson

    Z: It was a case where drafting for need SHOULD have trumped BPA in my opinion.

    The Knicks didn’t and don’t still need a defensive big? That’s a much bigger need, IMO, than PG. PG is the easiest position in the NBA to fill competently. Not that I think need is relevant.

    jon abbey: there was no margin for error.

    Ridiculous standard to hold anyone to. You are not perfect in obvious. It has nothing to do with whether you did a good or bad job.

    jon abbey: judged by whether he got LeBron or not.

    You honestly think LeBron would have thought to himself… “Wade or Lawson???… hmmm….. tough call… I mean I told my two All-Star friends that we’d all play together and win lots of ‘ships… but Lawson is such an above-average young 6 foot PG… I mean he’s almost really good… the Knicks traded him to Houston to clear room to sign me and one buddy… maybe they are the right choice?”

    jon abbey: that 2009 draft was just butchered.

    Because he didn’t make the exact right pick? Hill has been a barely below average young PF by both PER and WP/48… and he’s only 24. Not taking the exact right guy through 2 seasons of their careers doesn’t mean you butchered the draft by any means.

    jon abbey: he choked bigtime.

    Because PG is not the easiest position to fill and the Knicks don’t need a ton of help on their front-line? Good points Jon.

  60. Frank

    Speaking of “The Decision”, it always blows my mind to think about how relatively unknown/average people/players may have completely changed the course of the NBA. Imagine if David Kahn had decided not to absorb Michael Beasley into his empty cap space — no big 3. Or if Danny Ferry hadn’t deemed JJ Hickson untradeable and sent him + others to PHX for Amare instead of trading for Antawn Jamison and Shaq – maybe Cleveland wins the championship. Seriously- the trade was going to be Amare for Hickson and Ilgauskas. Cleveland’s starting lineup would have been Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Lebron, Amare, and Varejao – that team would have beaten Boston.

    Or if Delonte West doesn’t sleep with Lebron’s mom.

    Anyway, no one wants to trade TD to the Lakers for many picks and players?

  61. Tony Pena

    Taking some time off from reading about the Zone of Silence in Mexico to harp a little more on GMs influencing other GMs. So everyone is saying that scouting departments work totally oblivious to what other scouting departments are doing? That Johnny from N.C. doesn’t know who his friend across town Casey is looking at? I have a hard time believing that. There’s always guys who move up the draftboards. Probably mostly on good workouts and film, but there has to be some general consensus, some buzz that each player builds that might make a team request a second workout. Walsh saying he likes a guy is not going to influence any successful or self-respecting GM, but in the preliminary process it might point them towards the right direction. My thing is whatever the case, shut-your-trap. I remember Walsh specifically gushing about Westbrook, and D’antoni getting red in the face when asked about Curry. (Kahn taking two PG’s in a row was a killer though). But, oh well. I haven’t really read anything that sounds legit this year, and I hope it stays that way.

  62. Ted Nelson

    Frank: TD becomes a little expendable – if we can turn him into 4-5 players we should do it.

    I don’t think the expected returns from a very late 1st rounder and 3 2nd rounders is as good as TD… so I would not do it. I would trade him certainly, but for a hopeful playoff team without their 2012 first to rely on a rookie combo-guard they drafted #17, possibly sell low on TD after a disappointing sophomore campaign, and in return get what’s likely to be one of the very last picks in the 1st a year later to go with 3 2nds in one of the worst looking drafts in recent memory knowing 2nds rarely ever turn into NBA players… I would want more. At least a 1st from a team that’s not likely to win 55+ games. Or just wait till after the season to get the Lakers’ pick then. No need to help them out.

    tastycakes: So your feelings about the ‘bockers today are going to come down to whether or not you believe Melo is a first-tier superstar who will elevate us into contention.

    This is a very good point. People are using Walsh’s statements that filling in the holes is the important part against him since the holes are open right now… but what he might really have been saying is that filling in the holes is the easy part and he’s already done the hard part. You might never win a ring with the Amare/Melo core… but you can make some deep playoff runs with a strong “supporting cast.” Knicks can use Billups to get one more big-money player (whether CP3 or just a Igoudala sort) and then use the MLE, draft, trades, and plain luck to find some other pieces along with Fields, TD, etc.

  63. Frank

    Ted Nelson: I don’t think the expected returns from a very late 1st rounder and 3 2nd rounders is as good as TD… so I would not do it. I would trade him certainly, but for a hopeful playoff team without their 2012 first to rely on a rookie combo-guard they drafted #17, possibly sell low on TD after a disappointing sophomore campaign, and in return get what’s likely to be one of the very last picks in the 1st a year later to go with 3 2nds in one of the worst looking drafts in recent memory knowing 2nds rarely ever turn into NBA players… I would want more.

    Fair points – but then what about, say, the Lakers 2013 or 2014 1st – doubt we could get in unprotected, but maybe even with light protection (ie. protected in top 10). Lakers are in win-now mode, and my guess is that as 2013-2014 approaches and Kobe reaches age 35+, they will not be nearly as good in what will still be a stacked western conference.

  64. ess-dog

    Latke,

    I think there’s a lot of Monday morning QBing here. For instance, no one really knew the big three had interest in playing together. We knew that guys clearly wanted to team up post-Celtics big 3, but we didn’t really know who, where, why. There was a lot of speculation that Boozer or Amare would join Wade at the time.

    We wanted to keep Lee the all-star and Gallo the young gunner as attractive pieces for other free agents. Clearly your idea is better now, but what if we’d cleared 3 max spots and didn’t get LBJ/Wade/Bosh anyway? Then we’d be even more decimated than we are now. We might have something like a Curry/Amare combo (Melo would be in NJ or traded for Curry) and a few more pics, but probably not that much better off.

    But yeah I would’ve ultimately been for trading Lee and getting high draft picks/good young players. The A. Randolph thing was so upsetting to me. I mean if he wasn’t that good we should’ve tried for another trade that involved draft picks. He was coming off a serious injury and expectations were too high. Plus he really does play Amare’s position. I think it’s fair to criticize Walsh for that trade (although it was exciting to get AR at the time) and/or not flipping Randolph earlier.

    And people rarely tank in the NBA, even though it would clearly benefit a team to get a top 3 pick. I remember being so pissed at those last 4 or 5 games that Zeke won to bump us down to 6 in the lottery. For no real reason!

  65. ess-dog

    Toney Douglas would be perfect in Phil’s triangle but are they still going to run it? If so, I would give up at least this and next year’s 1sts for him if I were the Lakers.

  66. Frank

    Interesting article from Brian Windhorst at the Heat Index re: Lebron:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post?id=8625

    LBJ really HAS looked tired during the 4th, and it makes you wonder a little about how long he can play at his current level in the NBA. He’s played a total of about 29000 minutes in his career already even at age 26, which is roughly 10.4 regular seasons (figuring 35 min/game x 80 games played). And he is running/jumping/chasing at about 270 lbs – that’s a lot of wear and tear, as compared to guys we think of as similar HOF-level players like Jordan (210 lbs), Wade (220 lbs) and Kobe (205 lbs). His body type is similar to Karl Malone, who played something like 60000 minutes in his career, but Malone never had to play perimeter defense and chase guys around forever (not to mention he was a total freak of nature). It’d be interesting to see how many non-post players were able to play at such a high level at this weight and for how long.

  67. Count de Pennies

    @ 45

    A good response, Ted. However, I have to take issue with your assertion that Pritchard’s “draft record is very strong.” In his three years at the helm, he’s had one great draft (’06 in which he nabbed Roy and Aldridge) and two mediocre ones. Obviously, ’07 would have looked a lot better had Oden remained healthy. But I certainly don’t fault him for making that pick. As I’ve already said, every other GM in the NBA likely would’ve made the same pick.

    In short, Pritchard – as most GMs – has had his fair share of hits and misses. I think this adds credence to your larger point that fans tend to hold the GMs of the teams they root for to some mythical, impossible-to-reach, standard. Imagine if the Sonics had won the lottery in 2007 and Portland had landed the second pick. Presti would now be getting roasted for selecting Oden and Pritchard would probably still be in Portland, stealing Presti’s thunder (bad pun intended) Luck certainly is a huge factor in many of the outcomes that we fans often ascribe to either the brilliance or incompetence of the GM in question.

    The main reason I asked the Pritchard question to begin with is not because I dislike Pritchard, per se. I was merely responding to what I saw as a certain level of cognitive dissonance hereabouts in which Walsh’s reign with the Knicks was being dismissed as mediocre while Pritchard was being trumpeted as some sort of panacea. As you pointed out in your response, it’s not that difficult to look at any GM and “poke a hundred holes in their resumes.” Having already seen Walsh’s tenure with the Knicks deconstructed to a fare-thee-well, I decided to apply the same rigorous scrutiny to Pritchard. Having done so, I’d like to think I made the case that his record of achievement in Portland was scarcely better than Walsh’s in NYC This is especially true when you consider the resources KP had to work with (numerous lottery picks) versus the enormous handicaps that Walsh was faced with when he signed…

  68. chrisk06811

    I’d prefer to see the Knicks trade for a late first rounder and draft me. The advantages:
    -I shoot better than Jarred Jeffries
    -I look good in a suit. D’antoni don’t play us rookies anyway.
    -I’d be a great interview, you guys will love me. Already, you know I do what I do
    -I can’t play D, but who cares…..SSOL baby!!!!
    -The garden would go nuts for me, at the end of a blowout, to come in for 2 minutes and dribble the ball off my feet

    Jafa: Apparently Nolan Smith has an advanced degree in Mike D’ offense: http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/5285/nolan-smith-has-a-knicks-advanced-degreeShould we purchase one of Chicago’s late 1st rounders (they are reportedly trying to sell one) and get him? If we could do that, it may open up our options with who we pick at 17.

  69. Jim Cavan

    Dan Panorama:
    I have an essay up on Donnie Walsh and Isiah today at the Rumpus:

    http://therumpus.net/2011/06/j-donald-walsh-jr-a-tribute/

    Would love to hear from you guys on it after suffering through the whole thing together all these years…..sometimes I still can’t believe some of the articles from 2005-2006 when I read them.

    Great article! I especially enjoyed the political analogy. Really, you can almost look at Isiah as Bush, Dolan as the American people, and Walsh as Obama. Dolan fell in love with Isiah’s everyman way and blue collar ethic as a player, looking past his obvious… how do I put this… criminal stupidity? After a few terms, and with the nation / team in shambles, Dolan / the American people finally came to grips with what they let happen, and “voted” for “change”. Like Barry O., Walsh wasn’t / hasn’t been perfect — far from it. But when you compare him to what came before, you realize it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

    This ends the political portion of the program.

  70. Ted Nelson

    Count de Pennies re: Pritchard’s draft record:

    I think you have to evaluate draft picks relative to who was available… you can also trade picks but that’s a lot of speculation on fans’ parts.

    2006
    He was assistant GM but given credit not only for drafting Roy, but for first trading Telfair for the #7 pick to even be in that position.

    2007
    -Oden: agreed… bad luck on a risk most saw as worth taking. Obviously looking bad in hindsight, but solid enough pick.
    -McRoberts: Marc Gasol and Ramon Sessions were both on the board still, but for a 2nd rounder McRoberts has been alright… bouncing around the league.

    2008
    -Bayless has been an average player. Better than Rush and a bunch of other guys available. Maybe guilty of drafting for need a little here with a lot of good bigs available. Jack was redundant with Miller.
    -He also got Batum for Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey… great move. Did trade away Asik for a future 2nd after picking him.

    2009
    -I lived in Spain for 4+ years, and thought Claver was an excellent pick. He showed a lot of promise, especially in a 1st round series against Real Madrid before that draft.
    -Just about every GM passed on DeJuan Blair.

    He also traded Zach Randolph to the Knicks for what amounted to Frye, James Jones, and Rudy Fernandez.

    His offer to Hedo makes more sense when you consider that it was the last year they’d have cap space since extensions were about to kick in. He signed Andre Miller eventually, who has been a solid enough signing.

    He’s creative. He seems to have a good eye for talent. He didn’t make any catastrophic mistakes that were obvious at the time.

  71. Ted Nelson

    Count de Pennies: Having done so, I’d like to think I made the case that his record of achievement in Portland was scarcely better than Walsh’s in NYC This is especially true when you consider the resources KP had to work with (numerous lottery picks) versus the enormous handicaps that Walsh was faced with when he signed…

    Pretty much agree. It’s all about context for me. I would point out that Pritchard only had two lottery picks, and one has spent his career on the IR. He got the Roy lottery pick and the Bayless lottery picks through trades… plus he did inherit Zach Randolph and Darius Miles himself. I would also point out, of course, that Walsh did a lot right too. I think Walsh did a good job. I agree with you that people who are criticizing Walsh need to look at it in context instead of comparing him to perfection.

  72. Shad0wF0x

    @67

    Was it just really Amar’e for Hickson and Ilgauskas? Seriously? Hickson is a good player but really.

  73. Frank

    Not to mention Z was going to be waived by PHX and resigned by Cleveland. So Ferry basically turned down Amare for JJ Hickson straight up. Not sure why he should ever be considered for another GM job after that, even though Hickson is a pretty good player.

  74. Jim Cavan

    If anyone’s looking for a hearty chuckle, Posting & Toasting has a pretty hysterical report card up for Renaldo Balkman. My boss really can’t figure out how I can laugh looking at spreadsheets.

  75. flossy

    Heh, remember when Anthony Randolph was the centerpiece of an almost-consummated trade that would have sent Amar’e to the Warriors?

    Hickson, Randolph… if I were Amar’e I’d be a little pissed about the caliber of player I’ve been almost-traded for.

  76. Thomas B.

    BigBlueAL:

    I still think they were so sure Steph Curry was gonna be there draft pick, especially once he reached Golden St right before the Knicks picked since absolutely nobody had him going there, that the Knicks panicked a bit.

    Although I had read alot of buzz before that draft that if Curry was gone and Hill was still there he would be their choice. I still remember that night when the T’Wolves didnt pick Curry I was so excited since I figured no way Golden St takes him. Sigh.

    I felt the same way on draft night. When Minny passed on Curry, I thought. “Great! Golden State takes Hill and we get the player I’ve wanted since the lottery results came out.” Then Golden State takes Curry, Walsh takes Hill, and but for the fact that the only rope in the house was just a bit too short for a decent noose, here I am telling you the story of that night.

  77. Frank

    flossy:
    Heh, remember when Anthony Randolph was the centerpiece of an almost-consummated trade that would have sent Amar’e to the Warriors?

    Hickson, Randolph… if I were Amar’e I’d be a little pissed about the caliber of player I’ve been almost-traded for.

    Or maybe the GMs know something we don’t!

    One interesting thing coming out of the draft workouts is how many people are saying they really want to play for the Knicks. Charles Jenkins today: “This is the workout everyone told me I need to do my best at. This is where everyone wants me to be.”

    Some of that is just good PR on the draftees’ part, but I don’t imagine many of them are saying that when they go to charlotte, milwaukee, etc.

    The buzz is back.

  78. Jafa

    “Like the deposed dictator who haunts his former citizens from exile, Thomas still lingers.”

    Classic line. Great article Dan.

  79. Jafa

    Flossy: “Heh, remember when Anthony Randolph was the centerpiece of an almost-consummated trade that would have sent Amar’e to the Warriors? Hickson, Randolph… if I were Amar’e I’d be a little pissed about the caliber of player I’ve been almost-traded for.”

    Frank: “Or maybe the GMs know something we don’t!”

    Come on Frank, your smarter than that. Those GMs, especially the Cavs one, was dumb for turning down that trade (assuming it went down the way we think it did).

    Assuming Amare’s knees make him retire early this season, Danny Ferry still would have gotten 1 and 1/2 years of Amare in his prime. Maybe the Cavs win it all in 2010. It that happens, Danny Ferry is elevated to Joe Dumars status for making a great in-season trade that leads to a championship for his team. He would still have his job and would be the envy of other GMs.

    Even if the team came up short in the Finals, one would think LeBron would reason that he now had All Star caliber help and resign with Cleveland. Amare would probably resign as well to play with the best player in the league and keep terrorizing teams with the LeBron/Amare pick-n-roll. Danny Ferry would still have his job and vets would flock to play with those guys they way they did to Miami and Boston.

    If the events went down the way we think they did, the Danny Ferry made a huge mistake that not only cost him his job, but will probably block him out of other job opportunities in the immediate future.

  80. d-mar

    Watching these Finals, I often think about our current team and whether guys like Amare and Melo would “rise to the occasion” and play the in your face, hard nosed, take no prisoners defense that we’ve seen both Miami and Dallas exhibit this entire series. (and I understand that in order to even get to that point, they’d have to do it in the earlier rounds.) I know the knee jerk reaction is to point to Amare’s failings on the pick and roll and Melo’s reputation as a below average defender and throw up your hands. I used to defend SSOL and point to the year when the Suns would have gone to the Finals if not for Horry’s hip check, but I really believe that the defense we’ve seen in the last 2 Finals is the norm for what’s required to win a championship, no exceptions. (and yes, I get that the Knicks current roster as currently construed isn’t getting to the Finals anytime soon, just speculating assuming we add key pieces)

    Can a defensive coordinator (Lawrence Frank, perhaps?) bring that defensive intensity to this Knicks squad? I guess we’ll find out next year.

  81. rohank

    @67 and @89:

    I brought this up with a friend I was watching the Finals with the other day. One of the biggest unheralded “What-ifs” in recent NBA history is Robert Horry’s hip-check of Steve Nash. It’s been argued everywhere that if it were not for Horry’s antics, the Suns would have made it to the 2007 NBA finals, where they would have played………….the CAVS. The Cavs were swept by the spurs, but against the suns, it might have been a much closer affair, and Cleveland might even have won!!! And if the Cavs had won, LeBron may have signed an extension and never left, and never decides to team up with Bosh and Wade.

    ROBERT HORRY CONSTRUCTED THE CURRENT HEAT TEAM!!!!!!!

    Dun-Dun-Duh!!!!!

  82. Frank

    @88 – I was just being tongue-in-cheek – obviously not making that trade was just horrible for Cleveland. The worst possible outcome for Cleveland if they DID make that trade would be that Lebron and Amare both walked or sign-traded themselves away after the 09-10 season. They could have basically had an empty roster from which to rebuild with infinite flexibility — and if they went the sign/trade route (ie. with the Knicks getting Amare and Lebron still going to MIA), they would have probably netted picks, trade exceptions, and/or young players. They probably would not have won fewer games than they did this year, and still would have had the #1 picks they have now.

    @89 – I would be 100000000% behind hiring Lawrence Frank as a D-coordinator. And unless Frank gets hired as a head coach somewhere, I can’t think of a job that would raise his profile any more than this one — being in NYC and also walking into a situation where even creating an average defense would make you look amazing. I think the hire would have to come from the FO though – I can’t imagine D’Antoni hiring such a high-profile guy (who’s been to 2 NBA finals as a HC no less).

  83. Brian Cronin

    The Cavs were swept by the spurs, but against the suns, it might have been a much closer affair

    I don’t think they matched up well against either team. If you remember the series, it basically was a matter of the Cavs knowing they could only guard one of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. They chose Duncan and Parker torched them the entire series (winning Finals MVP, which I always thought was a bit of a joke – the guy had great numbers, but only because the other team specifically chose to not let Tim Duncan score by constantly doubling and tripling him – obviously the losing team had its own idea of who was most valuable). Similarly, if they chose Amar’e, Nash would have just torched them.

  84. Brian Cronin

    Man, if you want to marvel at how good Lebron James is/was, look at the starting lineup of the Cavaliers in the 2007 NBA Finals…

    PG Larry Hughes (Boobie Gibson would take over later in the series)
    SG Sasha Pavlovic
    SF LeBron James
    PF Drew Gooden
    C Zydrunas Ilgauskas

    Are you kidding me with that starting lineup? In the NBA Finals!!!

  85. ess-dog

    Jafa:
    Chris Sheridan thinks the Knicks will pick Nikola Vujacic.If he is not there, they will pick Klay Thompson with the third option being Lucas Nogueira.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/knicks/post/_/id/5321/defenders-the-focus-in-knicks-latest-draft-workouts

    I have no problem with the first two, but I don’t think they will be there at 17 (Klay may be the first SG picked in the draft).But isn’t Lucas supposed to be a project?

    I’m pretty torn on Vucevic. He has pretty good win shares (equal to Markieff Morris) but he just looks kind of tenative and a little awkward in game footage. He clearly has an outside shot but how good of an outside shot? He hit around .320 from three – not bad, especially for a big, but not awesome. He has great size and length but will he be effective in the NBA? I don’t know if he’s as agile as Mozgov but he seems to be craftier. He averaged 10 plus rebounds a game, no small feat. I would say his ceiling is Ryan Anderson and his basement is Darko. Probably not a starter but a good 3rd big.

    I think Thompson will be gone. Nogueira as a pick would totally flummox me. One thing I like about him though is that he has every vowel in his last name. Who else can say that?

  86. latke

    I like Nogueira. If I had a dollar for every time someone on this site mentioned an interest in Deandre Jordan or Javale McGee, I would be a rich man, and that IMO is what you’ll get with Noguiera. His first year, he might not be great, but he already has huge length and athleticism, so I see no reason why he can’t quickly (as in within a year or so) adapt into a role similar to at least Deandre Jordan’s.

  87. Owen

    It’s flat out crazy that Mark Jackson is going to be an NBA coach next season. And if they end up swapping Ellis for Iggy he might look like a genius too if you believe adjusted +/-.

    God he says some moronic stuff….

  88. Jafa

    Owen:
    It’s flat out crazy that Mark Jackson is going to be an NBA coach next season. And if they end up swapping Ellis for Iggy he might look like a genius too if you believe adjusted +/-.

    God he says some moronic stuff….

    I know Owen. Its tough because we only have two choices: watch the game on mute or listen to JVG’s good analysis while trying to filter out the stuff that Mark Jackson says.

  89. Jafa

    ess-dog: “I think Thompson will be gone. Nogueira as a pick would totally flummox me. One thing I like about him though is that he has every vowel in his last name. Who else can say that?”

    That is hilarious and true at the same time.

  90. d-mar

    Jafa: I know Owen.Its tough because we only have two choices: watch the game on mute or listen to JVG’s good analysis while trying to filter out the stuff that Mark Jackson says.

    An example of Jackson’s idiocy, commenting on Carlisle leaving Dirk on the bench: “Dirk needs to be in the game so they can send this series back to Miami” Um, Mark, the series goes back to Miami no matter what happens tonight.

  91. Owen

    Well, there are the blatantly moronic things that he says. But it goes beyond that. There is something philosophically offensive about his utter disregard for the role of a chance in a sporting event. His entire style is based on, to use a basic statistical concept, forecasting the past. He tries to make himself look intelligent by constantly explaining, with highly aggressive certitude, why whatever just happened had to have happened exactly as it happened, despite the fact that it just as easily could have happened in an entirely different way.

    It’s something like that anyway. I want to say it’s Pangolossian but I’ll be honest, I don’t know if that reference is right or not. Hard for me to put my finger on quite what it is. I am sort of surprised some insanely clever Office or Deadspin or Free Darko writer hasn’t done it already…

  92. Owen

    That didn’t go like I thought it would.

    This is really going to give the Lebron haters something to talk about. I’ll feel obligated to defend him, although it’s pretty hard right now. This game is going to put a real dent in his reputation I think. Another nearly scoreless fourth quarter and completely outplayed by Jason Terry, who I think got supremely lucky with some of those makes, but they all count…

  93. Caleb

    the “LeBron is shrinking” stuff is way overplayed, but at a certain point you have to wonder. Line up the numbers and he’s Jordanesque. But can you actually imagine Jordan having two games like that in a row? (even if he had Dwyane Wade on his team).

    It sort of reminds me of Barry Bonds hitting about .150 in the playoffs for five years straight. Of course it could have just been coincidence; there was one year (a steroid year, of course) that he hit about .600 with a pile of home runs.

  94. Z-man

    Jason Terry had an MVP-type last five minutes. In my mind, no matter what LeBron does in games 6 and 7, he should no longer be mentioned in the same breath with Jordan, at least not now. I saw just about every Jordan finals game, and he never had 2 fourth quarters like these two, never.

    It will be interesting to see how serious Wade’s injury is.

    PS Bosh missed 2 monster FTs, hope that stays in his head.

  95. Z Post author

    Did I see “ex-Knick” Brian Cardinal out there??

    Boy, between Cardinal and Brewer, the Mavs have 2 players on their playoff roster that were waived by the Knicks before playing a single minute… Glad to see the Knicks are making an impact, even if it’s just their Sloppy Seconds (thirds?).

  96. BigBlueAL

    Z:
    Did I see “ex-Knick” Brian Cardinal out there??

    Boy, between Cardinal and Brewer, the Mavs have 2 players on their playoff roster that were waived by the Knicks before playing a single minute… Glad to see the Knicks are making an impact, even if it’s just their Sloppy Seconds (thirds?).

    I dont think Brewer has gotten a minute of playing time in the NBA Finals.

  97. Z Post author

    BigBlueAL:
    LeBron with the most useless triple-double ever????

    He almost had a quintuple-double in his elimination game to the Celtics last year (27, 19, 10, 9 TOs)…

  98. massive

    Miami losing had to do more with Miami centering their offense around Wade in the 4th quarter. LeBron’s responsibility in the 4th was to bring it up court, pass it to Wade, and get out of his way. Wade is a good scorer, but doesn’t do much else on offense to maximize his teammates’ skills, thereby minimizing his team’s chance at converting a basket. I think they should have ran the offense through LeBron. LeBron is everything Wade is with much better court vision, so he likely would have hit a cutting Wade, an open Mike Miller, or he could have dumped it off to Bosh, etc.

    Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are going through the same thing Westbrook and Durant went through IMO. The lesser player wants to take over, and is freezing out the better player. To me, it’s unfair that Dwyane Wade gets to dominate the ball to a detriment, but all of the onus goes to LeBron for the loss. If LeBron had the ball and pulled a “Derrick Rose in Game 5,” okay. But the Heat were clearly running the offense through Wade, so I think he deserves to shoulder some of the blame.

  99. massive

    And I honestly can’t stand Dwyane Wade on court. When I watch him play, it’s clear to me that he’s more interested in looking good than making the right play. He doesn’t pass the ball unless an assist is guaranteed, and he’s always looking to score. Dwyane Wade makes the cool play, not the right play.

  100. Caleb

    I don’t know that Wade is less of an offensive player than LeBron… just a hair.. LeBron’s advantages are on the boards, as a passer and on D.

    Aside from psyche problems (that I don’t totally discount), the problem is what everyone predicted… even if you have the two best players, at least scorers, in the league… there’s only one ball! It’s literally impossible for each to do what he does best, at the same time. 1 + 1 < 2.

    on the other end of the spectrum: Tyson Chandler. About 98 percent of his value has nothing to do with having the ball, ever. Trade Bosh for Chandler and the Heat would win 75 games.

  101. BigBlueAL

    Wade had 8 assists tonight. For his career his Ast% is 33.3, Lebron’s is 34.2. Not exactly that big a difference between them in terms of their passing skills.

  102. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Owen,

    His style of analysis is teleological. And it’s completely f___ing ridiculous.

  103. Brian Cronin

    Among the dumb things Jackson had to say was something after Terry’s big three to tie the game. “That‘s why you have Jason Terry in the game!”

    Huh? When is he ever not in the game with under three minutes to go in a close game?

    Owen’s point about how he looks at what happens and then predicts it is quite astute – he totally does do that.

  104. Z-man

    I hate the Heat, but Wade is f’in’ great. He was absolutely a monster when the Heat won the championship, and he is the Heat’s MVP so far this finals. I think he is closer to Jordan than LeBron is. Don’t get the criticism at all.

  105. MKinLA

    Another thing about Jackson that kills me: his repetition of those stupid catch-phrases. Imagine how uncomfortable JvG and Breen are as they go to commercial and Jackson’s repeating that stupid “He’s playing pool… three ball, corner pocket” line for the 8,967th time. I squirm with embarrassment, and I don’t even work with him.

  106. Ted Nelson

    massive,

    I agree that Wade deserves some blame in that loss, definitely. Had he played better… they might have won.
    However, I think you go too far. He just scores? Guy is a very good passer and for a SG rebounds well, not to mention his defense. Not the GOAT or anything, but about a complete a SG as you’re ever going to find.

    Caleb,

    I agree that Chandler would be a better fit than Bosh and generally that there’s a lot to do with basketball that doesn’t require the ball in your hands (the vast majority of the game, I’d even say). I don’t think, however, that necessarily implies diminishing returns for LeBron and Wade. Both guys can bring the ball up, score efficiently off the dribble, pass very well, shoot at least solidly, defend a different position… If they play off each other and don’t get stuck on one guy having to be the #1 and one guy having to be the #2 at a given moment in time… I think they can (and usually do) have increasing returns. Just my 2 cents, but it might take a more imaginative offensive tactition than Spoelstra.

  107. adrenaline98

    Z: He almost had a quintuple-double in his elimination game to the Celtics last year (27, 19, 10, 9 TOs)…

    That’s what you call a cripple double.

  108. adrenaline98

    Z: He almost had a quintuple-double in his elimination game to the Celtics last year (27, 19, 10, 9 TOs)…

    That’s called a cripple duoble.

  109. adrenaline98

    Sorry for above double post, site’s frames are all messed up. Reading that Shumpert’s workout went well. If he doesn’t get picked in the first round, we probably should look into picking him up in the second round. His height is a huge asset for a PG and he’s got the handles. He went 17-25 on the 3 point drill for the Knicks.

    http://www.newyorkpost.com/p/sports/knicks/singleton_lights_knick_eyes_P4vr5V44Ve8LYaT5zUnIVM

    Post did a reviewon those 3 in case someone missed it. I wouldn’t be opposed to Singleton either as a wing defender. 6’9, has experience with Team USA defending the likes of Durant. Projected to be a lockdown defender.

  110. Frank

    as much as I can’t stand Jackson as a commentator, he definitely was right about one thing last night. There’s no way Ian Mahinmi can be on the court in the 4th quarter of a 2-2 series. I know the Mavs are sort of stuck without Haywood, but Mahinmi is just a foul magnet – 8 fouls in 16 total minutes this series, with only 2 rebounds and no blocks to go with them. Check out the Mahinmi vs. Heat #s on stats cube:

    http://www.nba.com/statscube/team-vs-player.html#Heat-vs-Ian-Mahinmi|1610612748,101133;season=p

    Obviously a small sample (16 minutes) but Miami’s offensive rating with Mahinmi ON the court is 138.5. THey’re shooting better rebounding better, assisting better, everything better with him on the court. Their eFG with Mahinmi on court is 69.1 and TS 73.4, and they shoot more than double the free throws per minute when he is on the court.

    I know Mahinmi has been the subject of some love on this site, but he really looks bad and should be nailed to the bench in this series.

    Re: Wade – Not sure what Massive is talking about in @115. Wade is an amazing passer and both he and LBJ threw some really awesome passes in the 4th quarter.

    Wade looks like Jordan and Lebron looks much more like Pippen in this series. Of course it was reversed in the MIA-CHI series. Dunno – I think Lebron looks tired at the ends of games, like he has no lift in his legs. It’s rare that you see him so unable to get to the hoop. Marion is not the Matrix Marion from his PHX days when he could shut down just about anyone.

  111. Shad0wF0x

    “It depends on which team drafts me — I could be a scorer, but if a team needs me to just rebound and hustle and defend, I’ll do that.” – Chris Singleton

    I’ve never seen him play (save for highlight reels) but If statement reflects his attitude, I like this kid.

  112. ess-dog

    Shad0wF0x:
    “It depends on which team drafts me — I could be a scorer, but if a team needs me to just rebound and hustle and defend, I’ll do that.” – Chris Singleton

    I’ve never seen him play (save for highlight reels) but If statement reflects his attitude, I like this kid.

    His TS% is Jeffries-esque. And like Jeffries, he doesn’t finish well at the basket. He has a jump shot with some range but can’t create off the dribble. Basically his offense is an average jumper and that’s it. His win shares are not impressive. Defense is important, but it would be nice if he could do something else as well.

    I sort of like the idea of Shumpert if he can handle the ball and pass well. I can see us trading out of 17 at this point – up or down.

  113. adrenaline98

    Yes, I too like big point guards, which is why Shumpert/Morris are both candidates I like to see trying out. That said, I hope we can buy a late first rounder and 2 2nd rounders. While the draft isn’t deep in terms of lottery talent, it does have a lot of intriguing prospects that can fit Knick needs. At least, this year looking at the draft board and our team, I’m not thinking “man we gotta hit it big with a superstar because this team lacks goto players” like I have in the past. That in itself is a relief to see us be able to make picks that both fill a need and BPA.

    I wouldn’t be unhappy if we spent the 17th pick on a player like Selby as a high risk high reward type of player, and then used 3 other (1 late first rounder, 2 second rounders) picks to draft on need/fill rotation/immediate help type of players.

  114. JK47

    I’m not really too excited about Singleton. Good wing defenders are not guys who come at a premium– you can trade for a guy like Singleton. I guess if NYK does draft him, it would show more of a commitment to fielding a defensive team, but I think he’s not really great value at 17.

  115. adrenaline98

    Yea, we can trade for guys like Singleton, like Corey Brewer, elite wing defender of the NY Kni…oh wait.

  116. Owen

    Right, teleological, that’s it. One of those words, like solipsism, I could never quite get my head around.

    I agree about Chandler. He gets pretty short thrift.

  117. d-mar

    The optimist in me wants to believe that if this series goes 7 games, which appears likely, and continues to generate massive TV ratings (I heard one commentator say today that a game 7 might do an 18.0-20.0, which is NFL playoff level) that the 2 sides in the labor negotiations will realize that their sport is peaking right now and they need to avoid a lockout at all costs.

    Of course, the pessimist in me says that they’re so far apart that a lockout is inevitable, no matter what happens in the Finals.

  118. Shad0wF0x

    TS% comparable to Jeffries? That’s such a turn off.

    How about Shumpert? From that article I get

    - 6’6″
    - Plays defense
    - Hits 3s. 17/25 if I’m not mistaken

    I kinda feel that this team needs a Bruce Bowen like player.

    In any case, I hope that we can get 2-3 serviceable players from this draft and that Jerome Jordan can log at least 20 minutes of effective play.

  119. art vandelay

    This notion stated above that we could/should have entirely decimated the roster a la Miami pre-”decision” by jettisoning Lee and others for 1st round picks was never a viable alternative nor would it have worked. Every team with cap space at the time, with the exception of Miami, clearly believed, incorrectly, that Lebron was going to rationally evaluate each team’s roster and business opportunities, etc. in his final decision. What we didn’t know and didn’t come to light until later on, was that he had made up his mind already (likely months, even years ago) to play with superfriends Wade and Bosh (who likely just jumped on the bandwagon). Since Miami already had Wade on the team, I am sure Riley was pretty plugged into this, which explains why his roster had exactly ONE player on it if I recall correctly (Chalmers) prior to absorbing the contracts of the Big 3. That is an incredible risk for a team to take in retrospect. If they had struck out, they would have indubitably had the worst team in the history of the league, the likely equivalent of a near d-league team….and struggled just to fill out the roster…I don’t think Riley takes this enormous risk unless he has a pretty good idea he is netting those big 3, or at least 2 of the 3.

    The Knicks at the time still believed they had to tempt Lebron with a semi-decent roster, and so didn’t want to completely annihilate it…and had they (like by trading Lee and others for future first round picks), they would have wound up likely worse off currently than Cleveland since it appears now that Lebron was never coming to NY.

  120. latke

    art, I think that’s sort of true, but on the other hand, the decisions I posted aren’t all that radical. Walsh knew he was going to have to get rid of at least Jeffries’ contract, and I’m sure he was very eager to ditch Curry’s as well. If he truly believed that LBJ was interested in having a strong surrounding roster, then why did he only sign Lee to a 1 year deal? From everything I read at the time, Lee was eager to play for New York and could have been signed to a longer deal for $7-8 million a year. I think the much more important factor, as others have pointed out, was that Dolan and Walsh and perhaps MDA had an agreement that they would really try to get wins.

    And it wasn’t only the heat who wiped clean their roster. The Nets shipped out Vince Carter for expirings (also swapping Courtney Lee and Ryan Anderson in the deal) as well as sending Najera (who admittedly wasn’t much of a sacrifice) out for nothing. The Bulls traded Tyrus Thomas, Kirk Hinrich, and John Salmons for junk just to clean salary. They didn’t need to do this — just moving Salmons gave them enough space to sign a player to a max deal. Clearly they believed that having space for more than one max player was important.

  121. ess-dog

    I’ve convinced myself that the pick with be either Brooks or Selby. I think we’ll try for Vucevic with a later pick but probably end up with Leuer or Johnson.

  122. Brian Cronin

    Alrighty then:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/10/report-monta-ellis-no-fan-of-david-lee

    Monta Ellis was already a pretty good example of what kind of player not to be in the modern NBA, but he looks worse and worse as time goes by. Besides the fact that his game is practically the epitome of overrated (inefficient volume scorer who doesn’t give you much on defense), Steph Curry and David Lee are two of the most likeable guys in the NBA, and Ellis can’t get along with either one of them. David Lee got along with Stephon Marbury, for cying out loud!

  123. bockadoo

    If Selby’s best case is Monta Ellis (playing wise – not attitude stuff), why would we consider him? We are a “forward centric” team, and need complimentary guys, not small, ball dominant combo guards. We need catch and shoot guys, rebounders, passers, defenders. Klay Thompson, Brooks, Faried, Singleton, Darius Morris, Fredette, Vucevic…all would fill one of those roles. Seems to me the quality of players doesn’t change much from our pick through the middle of the second round. We should be able to get 2-3 guys who can get into our rotation.

  124. massive

    @140, I’d say Selby’s absolute best case is Russell Westbrook, but a better shooting version. Basically, Selby can be one hell of a player if he reaches his potential. Also, Selby is definitely a good catch and shoot guy. From what I’ve seen of him at Kansas, he’s great at the catch and shoot. He’s also a stout defender. At the least, he’ll be another 3 point shooter in the rotation, which is never bad in D’Antoni’s offense.

  125. ess-dog

    massive:
    @140, I’d say Selby’s absolute best case is Russell Westbrook, but a better shooting version. Basically, Selby can be one hell of a player if he reaches his potential. Also, Selby is definitely a good catch and shoot guy. From what I’ve seen of him at Kansas, he’s great at the catch and shoot. He’s also a stout defender. At the least, he’ll be another 3 point shooter in the rotation, which is never bad in D’Antoni’s offense.

    His 3PT% was fairly good last year – .362% – but unfortunately his FG% was almost the same.
    But I agree, his worst case scenario could be as a shortish catch and shoot guy. His release is pretty quick. I would assume he would end up closer to Barbosa than Westbrook.
    Jenkins in the 2nd round is not the athlete that Selby is, but he has a very good mid-range game to go with his 3pt shooting that Selby doesn’t have. It would be nice to have a guard that can shoot the midrange jumper for once.
    We’re either going to go big, then small or small, then big. Chad Ford says that Selby didn’t impress that much and the Knicks are bringing him in for a 2nd time to get a better feel for what he can do. Of course, a 2nd workout could be a good thing for Selby, who knows…

  126. adrenaline98

    Selby’s different than the other candidates right now. Dude has elite speed and athleticism. It means his ceiling is much higher. Like massive said, he could be a complete steal, as in Best player available in the whole draft that went unnoticed. I wouldn’t mind if we drafted like:

    Selby with 17th pick
    Tyler/Morris/Jenkins/Vucevic/JaJuan Johnson or anyone projected currently at 17 with 2-3 other picks. Someone’s got to fall. Having elite athleticism on the team right now is vital I think. Vucevic is the exception, but he does have a good track record and he is a legit 7′. A lot of people passed on Marc Gasol too, a skilled but kind of lumbering big man. But athleticism impresses most quickly and other GMs are immediately fascinated by their ceilings, a la Anthony Randolph. Maybe that will get the Hornets to bite on a Paul trade.

  127. bockadoo

    @141-143 – I just think we already have TD in the role Shelby MIGHT fill. He is a proven commodity and will get better, more consistent as he gets older (like Jose’ Reyes on Mets). If we go purely for upside, Tyler or Noguira (sp?) – a BIG with upside, which is something we need more, makes more sense to me. I still like Faried though. We have all skill guys, no grit and hustle, dirty work types that all winning teams have. A guy that doesn’t need the ball. We are building a TEAM here, not a collection of talent. We don’t need any more stars, other than a star point guard – someone who makes other guys better. This draft should be used for rotation role players.

  128. adrenaline98

    That’s why people are suggesting going for a homerun with the 17th pick. We may need that asset to land that star point guard.

  129. taggart4800

    As of this precise moment I am unconcerned with the Dallas victory costing us a 3rd star as some have suggested, actually like the idea. What I am concerned with is enjoying his ear to ear smile and deep sense of satisfaction over LeBron having to eat humble pie. If you put yourself up there to be shot at then you better be prepared and I don’t think they were. LeBron and Wade looked tight in the 4th and gave up far too early on the game. They were massively under coached and no-one wanted to step on toes, the coach or one of he Big 2 should have said ‘Ego’s aside, heres the ball go win us the game’ to either LeBron or Wade. They looked scared to close it out and guess what they, were soo capped out they coudn’t afford to employ decent jump shooters.

    If I am feeling his satisfied with a Heat loss , I can only begin to imagine how many thousand times more satisfying it must feel as a Cavs or Mavs fan.

  130. Caleb

    Maybe it happened when one of the ESPN columnists said the Mavs’ second best player was, um, not sure yet…
    but I think we can officially call Tyson Chandler the most underrated player in the NBA.

    By the way… I don’t know if this is a typo in the box score, but LeBron -24 in 41 minutes, while Wade is +3 in 40? How is that possible?

  131. d-mar

    Jason Terry had an unbelievable series, making huge shot after huge shot, and tonight when Dirk was off he carried the load for the 1st half. Forget 6th Man award, that guy is a bonafide All Star.

    I think LeBron should demand a trade and take his talents to LA.

  132. Doug

    It’s entirely possible Chris Paul watched this game and thought to himself “there’s no way me, Melo, and STAT could fuck things up that badly.”

  133. Z-man

    Loved the outcome big time! Yeah, Terry was the X-factor in this series on both ends. JJ Barea was a close second. I give Chandler less credit because he had nobody to go against at the C except Chris Bush. Matrix was goofy as usual but very effectie in spurts.

    For a habitual big-mouth, thought Cuban was relatively classy throughout this series, and the trophy thing was a nice gesture.

    Feel really good for Dirk and Kidd, two all-time greats and class acts. They deserved this.

  134. JK47

    LeBron played scared, no question about it. How many times did he drive to the hole, only to pass to a lesser player? He didn’t want to get blamed for the Heat losing, but in the end he will be blamed for the Heat losing. 18 points in 6 fourth quarters. Pretty weak.

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