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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Don’t Expect David Stern to Void Thomas’s Contract

Look. I’m not happy Isiah is back either. It is impossible to imagine that anything he could possibly offer as a scout/consultant is not completely undermined by the ugliness of his tenure at the Garden and the manner of his departure. Nevertheless, you would do well to ignore the screeching hysteria coming from tabloid writers and radioheads trying desperately to fill the duller-than-usual August sports media deadzone. I see little basis for David Stern to void the contract between the Knicks and Isiah Thomas. He will likely do little more than shake his head in mock pity.

Update: I’m in Beantown for work, and what do I see on the TV at the bar? Reports now indicate that after “consulting” with the league office Thomas has declined the position citing conflict of interest with his coaching duties. Rarely have I been so pleased to be so completely wrong.

Isola quotes an anonymous Eastern Conference GM who provides what seems to be the emergent conventional wisdom:

“If the league lets this go through, it’s opening Pandora’s Box,” said one Eastern Conference GM. “If they allow it, then why wouldn’t teams go out and hire Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) or Tom Izzo and have them consult, too? The league has very strict and specific rules on when we can and can’t have contact with high school players or underclassmen. But Isiah can do that with his current college job and also working again for the Knicks? That’s got to be in violation of those rules.”

The short answer to the anonymous GM’s question is that nothing is stopping teams from hiring Coaches K, Izzo, et al. to consult other than willingness to pay. NY gets no competitive advantage hiring Thomas when other teams are free to hire their own consultants too. The NCAA has been clear that it does not oppose such deals. Perhaps those with a knowledge of contract law may yet point to something I missed, but the charge that consulting with a sitting college coach de facto violates league policy prohibiting contact with draft-ineligible players sounds flimsy. Lots of people play dual roles. Typically, they must be able to account for time spent in either role and demonstrate that they operate within the rules governing both. If someone charges them with specific violations he must prove them–not just assume them.

To wit, unless the WNBA’s bylaws are very different than the NBA’s, Thomas’s contract is not without precedent. The league has allowed University of Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summit to consult for the Washington Mystics specifically on the draft. As you are probably aware lots of Tennessee players get drafted.

I can see where the league might ask for clarifications or alterations, but I’d be shocked to see the deal voided on principle. Of course, stranger things have happened. Either way, once this chapter is over and done with we can get back to our search for the answer to the really important question. What makes the love between Dolan and Thomas so… undying? After the way she got thrown under the bus, I bet Isiah Thomas’s daughter would like to know too.

56 comments on “Don’t Expect David Stern to Void Thomas’s Contract

  1. Mike Kurylo

    OT: Knicks schedule released:

    http://www.nba.com/knicks/schedule/

    New York will get their first chance to boo the Heat on December 17th. Both Suns games are in January. Six back to backs in November. Unlike last year the end of the schedule seems pretty calm. From March 13-April 13 there are a lot of teams to beat up on (Indiana thrice, New Jersey twice, Philly, Toronto, Cleveland).

  2. Count Zero

    Interesting and you may be right, but…

    1) This isn’t a matter of contract law — it’s a matter of whether the league will allow it. They can ban such relationships as being detrimental to the League.

    2) I didn’t know about Pat Summit, but I guess my response to that is: Who cares about the WNBA?

    3) I agree with the GM — this is a Pandora’s box. If teams were to start doing this — EXCLUSIVE agreements with active college coaches — there is no way ethical behavior can be policed or maintained.

    This isn’t about Isiah or Dolan — although they’re both idiots — it’s about the essential integrity of the draft process.

  3. BigBlueAL

    Another thing I noticed about the schedule is that the Knicks are done with west-coast games in January. Pretty tough stretch of games to begin the season with though after the 1st game they play @ Boston, host Portland and Orlando then play @ Chicago. 2-3 would be an acceptable start to the season.

  4. Die_Hard_Knick_Fan

    Those first five games will be an interesting start to the Season. Portland has a good young team and Chicago has put together a nice squad.

    As far as the Isiah issue, I don’t care right now about it being an issue of ethics, I’m more concerned with the mind set of James Dolan. Isiah was a horrible team president and an even worse coach. He spent way to much money on mediocre talent, put the Knicks above the salary cap, and sexually harassed an MSG employee. He failed in every aspect of his job and the Knicks are welcoming him back?

  5. Die_Hard_Knick_Fan

    Even though Isiah isn’t coming back in a very big role, and also a non-public role, the fact that he is part of the Knicks organization in ANY role is absolutely absurd.

  6. Z-man

    Looks like league notwithstanding, Isiah is going to consult for the Knicks, even at the expense of his FIU job. At least, that’s a good assumption; hopefully it will not turn out that way and we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    The only concerns for me are: 1) how much decision-making power (either directly or indirectly) he will have, and 2) how Walsh’s ultimate authority is affected. If, as Isiah says, Walsh is fine with him being on board, then so be it. If not, and either his power or longevity are affected, that’s a problem. I am not moved much by the speculation of the press, especially after the LeBron BS-a-thon.

    Re: the schedule, I think a 5-5 start is a reasonable expectation. This team is brand new and very young and will take some time to gel. I would not be surprised if they start 1-4 and then go on 4-1 roll against the 5 weaker teams on the schedule and have some momentum going into the rest of the season. Now, if we either get CP3 or Melo before then, I might have to revisit this.

  7. BigBlueAL

    BTW the Roger Mason signing is now official.

    In case you are interested since the Knicks schedule on their website doesnt have the national TV listings yet I will list the 4 games on TNT. I count 7 games on ESPN but those games can be changed while the TNT games to my knowledge cant be changed. MSG is carrying 78 games so the 4 they are not are the TNT games since those are exclusive broadcasts. Also the Knicks will be on NBATV a decent amount of times too for those who dont live in NY and dont buy League Pass. I dont live in NY but always buy League Pass :-)

    Thursday Nov 4th 8 pm @ Chicago Bulls
    Thursday Dec 30th 7 pm @ Orlando Magic
    Thursday Jan 27th 8 pm vs Miami Heat
    Tuesday Apr 12th 8 pm vs Chicago Bulls

  8. Z-man

    November will be a telling month. The schedule is pretty soft, 9 road games vs. non-elite teams and eight home games, although 2 back-to-backs out west in 5 days. Anything less than 10-7, we are headed for a below .500 season. The most telling early game might be game 5 in Chicago. We are likely 1-3 at that point, so that game can make the difference between a respectable, promising start and a ruinous skid circa. 2009.

  9. massive

    The last time D’Antoni had a fairly talented roster in NY (Duhon/Crawford/Q-Rich/Randolph/Lee), we were hovering above .500, right? I think we had the 6th seed until the trade. I think we have a better roster this year, so I’m hoping we do as well back then in a more talented EC.

  10. David Crockett

    Count Zero: Interesting and you may be right, but…1) This isn’t a matter of contract law — it’s a matter of whether the league will allow it. They can ban such relationships as being detrimental to the League.2) I didn’t know about Pat Summit, but I guess my response to that is: Who cares about the WNBA?3) I agree with the GM — this is a Pandora’s box. If teams were to start doing this — EXCLUSIVE agreements with active college coaches — there is no way ethical behavior can be policed or maintained.
    This isn’t about Isiah or Dolan — although they’re both idiots — it’s about the essential integrity of the draft process.  

    Although I may agree with you in spirit Count Zero, the process matters more than you imply. The NBA may have the power to void the contract via a best interests clause, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the owners would not care for that level of scrutiny in hiring consultants. It’s not clear that this issue rises to a “best interests” level. Isiah’s role does not provide NY with any obvious advantage unless he directly advises draft ineligible players on NY’s behalf. We’re no more sure that Tom Izzo isn’t doing that for the Pistons than that Isiah did it for the Knicks.

    As for the Summit precedent, as far as I know the WNBA remains an NBA property. So it stands to reason that it operates under the NBA’s bylaws. If the NBA thought this kind of arrangement ran against the spirit of the bylaws I doubt they’d have allowed it.

    As for the integrity of the draft process, every year underclassmen decide whether to enter the draft. In virtually every case the student says “after consulting with my family, my coach, and God blah, blah, blah…” The coach just as often says, “after consulting with my sources in the league, I just felt that blah, blah, blah.” There is little reason to believe that college coaches are not talking to friends and acquaintances around the league about draft ineligible players off the record. Isiah’s contract, from where I’m sitting, doesn’t really move the needle on that problem one way or the other.

  11. Kikuchiyo

    I know that many of you have mixed feelings at best about Bill Simmons (I’m a fan–loved the Book of Basketball), but the latest podcast with Steve Kerr has some interesting moments regarding Amar’e.

    The Good. Although Simmons tries to get Kerr to describe Amar’e as a talented knucklehead like Artest or Rodman, Kerr says no way, arguing that Amar’e truly blossomed into a leader this past year and had always been a very hard worker.

    The Bad. Kerr says he agreed with Sarver that they couldn’t commit the full max contract to Amar’e because of the knees. He sounds truly doubtful that Amar’e will be anything but a bad contract after two or three good years.

    Podcast can be found here:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index

    I’m choosing to forget about the Isiah news until we find out if it really means anythings.

  12. Robert Silverman

    My method of choice is, every time I read or hear someone say the name “Isiah Thomas” or “Zeke” or even just “Isiah”, I whack myself on the head with a ball-peen hammer. I then forget that Dolan ever rehired him.

    Plus, the pain reminds me what it’s been like to watch Knick games over the last 10 years or so.

    If any Knickerblogger-backers out there would care to give this a shot, when you attempt the maneuver, please tell your co-workers/family/friends you’re “Silverman-ing” yourself.

    Gracias

  13. carlhil2

    So, I. Thomas is the reason that my Knicks have not won a “ring” since the early thirties, never mind that the G.M. BEFORE Thomas, the “great” Scott Layden, who the “glorified fans”, aka sports radio talk show hosts never mentions how baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad he was, no, the Knicks, after years of winning championships and dominating the league, handed the keys to “Zeke” and he crashed, now i know!

  14. carlhil2

    carlhil2: So, I. Thomas is the reason that my Knicks have not won a “ring” since the early seventies, never mind that the G.M. BEFORE Thomas, the “great” Scott Layden, who the “glorified fans”, aka sports radio talk show hosts never mentions how baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad he was, no, the Knicks, after years of winning championships and dominating the league, handed the keys to “Zeke” and he crashed, now i know!  

    had to fix that[seventies, not thirties, even though it seems that long]

  15. BigBlueAL

    carlhil2: So, I. Thomas is the reason that my Knicks have not won a “ring” since the early thirties, never mind that the G.M. BEFORE Thomas, the “great” Scott Layden, who the “glorified fans”, aka sports radio talk show hosts never mentions how baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad he was, no, the Knicks, after years of winning championships and dominating the league, handed the keys to “Zeke” and he crashed, now i know!  

    Not only did the team he presided over suck, he was also embroiled in a freaking sexual harassment suit that cost MSG over 11 million dollars to settle. Isiah was a disgrace to the Knicks and MSG both on and off the court.

  16. HellAtlantic

    i think this is a case of the media overstating news to generate more buzz. i like IT as a talent evaluator. i also like him as a sort of liaison for the Knicks on recruiting free agents. i rather IT try to recruit Paul/Melo than Walsh. Walsh tried to recruit Lebron/Wade/Bosh in a wheelchair with a cast on this neck!!!! the most important free agent class in history and we trot out a quasi-cripple! yet no one has a problem with that. IT is a much better ambassodor for the Knicks to accompany Walsh. i doubt his role would even extend to that – i truly think he’s just going to be a talent evaluator/glorified scout. #2 best drafting GM in a few decades has input on my team? give him a seat at the table. with our potential to have some pretty draft picks in some pretty crappy positions (either with no 1st rounders or swapping 1st rounders with other teams) we need to get the most out of those picks.

  17. rama

    carlhil2 – since you seem to be an Isaiah apologist, please enlighten us as to his successes with the Knicks.

    No one’s saying Layden was good – he was as bad as Zeke in running the team, just not as spectacularly, publicly bad. Many posters here shudder to think of the days of Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson, Witherspoon, Doleac, Nailon, Othella Harrington, Lavor Postell, and Travis Knight – that’s a team that compares favorably (in the sense of being a total freaking disaster) with Marbury, Francis, Q, Z-Bo, Curry, Jerome James, Jared Jeffries…gah, stop me before I kill myself. It’s been ten years of misery.

    But compare that to the 90s, where our misery stemmed from not the players but the playoffs – 4 blocks; 2-18; finger roll; brawl – and you see it’s a list of moments of being on the threshold of greatness and not achieving it. You don’t have to go back to the 70s (never mind the 30s!!) to see that at one point someone knew what they were doing putting together the team.

    Now, we again have someone who knows what they’re doing putting together a team. Donnie Walsh isn’t perfect, but without question he is doing a far better than mediocre job. So yeah, when one of the two guys who nearly destroyed the franchise is edging closer to the driver’s wheel again, every passenger in the car is screaming in terror.

  18. DS

    “Nevertheless, you would do well to ignore the screeching hysteria coming from tabloid writers.”
    – Thanks David, this is exactly how I feel.

    “The short answer to the anonymous GM’s question is that nothing is stopping teams from hiring Coaches K, Izzo, et al. to consult other than willingness to pay.”
    – Right. To make a Coach K. shift his focus and/or his loyalties (even to a small extent) from #1 his program and #2 And what his players and former players do with their lives after college basketball to a professional team would be extremely difficult. Isiah not so much.

    Also, remember when Donnie Walsh was hired as Knicks president and Isiah was “demoted” and not fired. Why weren’t the media and fans doing back flips then about how Isiah was going to continue to destroy the organization?

  19. Ted Nelson

    HellAtlantic: has a problem with that. IT is a much better amb

    I just don’t see how any half-way intelligent NBA player could respect Isiah Thomas after his tenure with the Knicks. I find it a racist ploy at best if the Knicks think Isiah will carry favor with NBA stars simply because of his skin tone, upbringing, and playing career. He completely disgraced himself as Knicks President, whether it was his asinine moves and general incompetence, a trend of sexual harassment from he and Stephon Marbury, getting in a fist-fight with Marbury on a plane… It continued after his tenure when he tried to kill himself and then blamed the incident on his daughter.

    I find it really hard to believe LeBron, Wade, Melo, or Chris Paul… all of whom seem to have some smarts… is going to care what Isiah Thomas has to say: the guy is a joke, a laughing stock, the punch line of thousands of jokes. No one who knows anything about the NBA can take the guy seriously at this point. Whether he’s in a wheelchair or not Donnie Walsh is a respected executive in this league who can lean on decades of success and professionalism for credibility. If the Knicks want to gain credibility with free agents, there are a thousand people they could hire more qualified than Isiah Thomas.

    Walsh was also certainly not the reason the Knicks missed out on the Big 3. They clearly intended to play together all along and Pat Riley is only 4 years younger than Walsh. Walshtoni had no problem attracting their next free agent targets: Amare, Timo, and Raymond Felton.

  20. Ted Nelson

    “Why weren’t the media and fans doing back flips then about how Isiah was going to continue to destroy the organization? ”

    People weren’t thrilled about it and were worried about what his role would be. It was a financial issue, though. Isiah was owed a lot of money. The obvious answer is also simply that people were relieved to see Isiah dethroned.

  21. danvt

    HellAtlantic: the most important free agent class in history and we trot out a quasi-cripple! yet no one has a problem with that. IT is a much better ambassodor for the Knicks to accompany Walsh.

    You reveal a shocking level of prejudice with this comment. Perhaps, you should join the Tea Party movement, though this assertion might be a little right wing for them. Also, you’re dead wrong on Isiah. He’s poison. He’s an emotional “quasi-cripple”.

  22. Nick C.

    I agree with Ted (quite ballsy to come right out and say it about the pigmentation). Another point is Chris Paul really going to come to the NYK b/c he used to idolize Isiah. I mean seriously that’s what he is going to base such a decision on????? Yet to hear the various talking heads like John Feinstein they think this is a basis to bring him back….I don’t know if I can stand a couple more years of “if he brigns in CP3 then its worth it” much less “Layden was worse” “he is a great drafter” “great judge of talent” etc.

  23. Z

    HellAtlantic: best drafting GM in a few decades has input on my team? give him a seat at the table. with our potential to have some pretty draft picks in some pretty crappy positions (either with no 1st rounders or swapping 1st rounders with other teams) we need to get the most out of those picks.  

    Teams trade draft picks to unload poisonous contracts all the time. I’d gladly give up the picks if it means keeping Isiah out of the Garden.

  24. Frank

    Ted Nelson:
    I just don’t see how any half-way intelligent NBA player could respect Isiah Thomas after his tenure with the Knicks. I find it a racist ploy at best if the Knicks think Isiah will carry favor with NBA stars simply because of his skin tone, upbringing, and playing career. He completely disgraced himself as Knicks President, whether it was his asinine moves and general incompetence, a trend of sexual harassment from he and Stephon Marbury, getting in a fist-fight with Marbury on a plane… It continued after his tenure when he tried to kill himself and then blamed the incident on his daughter.
    I find it really hard to believe LeBron, Wade, Melo, or Chris Paul… all of whom seem to have some smarts… is going to care what Isiah Thomas has to say: the guy is a joke, a laughing stock, the punch line of thousands of jokes. No one who knows anything about the NBA can take the guy seriously at this point. Whether he’s in a wheelchair or not Donnie Walsh is a respected executive in this league who can lean on decades of success and professionalism for credibility. If the Knicks want to gain credibility with free agents, there are a thousand people they could hire more qualified than Isiah Thomas.
    Walsh was also certainly not the reason the Knicks missed out on the Big 3. They clearly intended to play together all along and Pat Riley is only 4 years younger than Walsh. Walshtoni had no problem attracting their next free agent targets: Amare, Timo, and Raymond Felton.  

    Ted – I personally agree with you re: Isiah but it is entirely possible that NBA players don’t. These guys live in a totally different world and are essentially a different species than your average joe (us). It is entirely possible they think Isiah got the shaft here by Anucha and the courts, that the media turned on Isiah and blamed everything on him etc.etc. Some (certainly not all) of these guys have been worshipped since they were middle-schoolers, have had people clean up their messes over and over again, and after all these years, they feel like everyone else is the problem if something goes wrong. I’m not saying they DO feel that way, but it is possible that they do. Objectively they know the name, probably have seen his highlights, and probably identify with him. I don’t know – it’s hard to put myself into the mind of one of these superstars.

    I still think Isiah has some dirt on Dolan and that’s why he’s back.

  25. Z

    Reports said that Isiah was involved in the recruiting process because he was the only garden employee with a championship ring. Miami had Riley and his 7 rings, Chicago Paxon and his 3 rings. Meanwhile NY sent the “Ringless Wonders”: Walsh, D’Antoni, and Houston. Since LeBron proved that winning championships was all he cared about, sending Isiah in wasn’t the most unfounded hail-mary ever thrown. But it has opened a can of worms that makes Knick fans very nervous.

  26. Sandy

    Z, that doesn’t real hold water. How does Sending Isiah, who got his ring (rings?) back in the late 80’s and early 90’s have anything to do with the current Knicks organization. I would hope these players would be smart enough to evaluate the current position of a franchise than take the word of a failed ex Knick GM who has torched everything he touched since his playing days…

  27. Garson

    I think past players influence is at a minimal in the generation. Case in point… Jordan , the most influential basketball player in the history of the game, cannot get players to Charlotte, Actually we just got Felton on a steal of a deal.

  28. adrenaline98

    Can we just have the NBA institute a policy that Isiah Thomas simply is not allowed to work for the Knicks. Ever. Again. The amount of damage he can do to a franchise is just astounding when Dolan’s wallet is open. Stern should simply do this to protect the NY market for the league.

  29. supernova

    Sorry to go off topic, but there is an interesting trade in the works according to ESPN:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5455472

    Basically the trade breaks down to this:

    -New Orleans receives Trevor Ariza frrom Houston
    -Indiana Pacers receive Darren Collison and James Posey from New Orleans
    -New Jersey Nets receives Troy Murphy from the Pacers
    -Houston receives Courtney Lee from New Jersey

    I believe the real winner would be the Pacers in that trade getting both a good, young, point guard in Collison, and also filling a glaring need.

  30. Count Zero

    College coaches starting to weigh in…

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2010/08/krzyzewski-boeheim-join-chorus-questioning-isiah-thomas-job-with-knicks/1

    “I don’t understand why it would be legal either way, from the college standpoint or from the NBA,” said Boeheim, one of Coach K’s assistants on Team USA. “It seems like a conflict. You’re coaching kids and recommending them to pro guys. Well, if a pro guy comes in and asks about a kid and you’re a consultant to a different team, you wouldn’t be able to do that. You wouldn’t be able to help that kid.”

    I think they have to force Isiah to give up the FIU job. Personally, I can’t believe the NCAA dumped this in Stern’s lap by abdicating responsibility on it. They are truly a useless organization.

  31. Nick C.

    I find it hard to believe FIU went along, but then again hiring him was probably a publicity move to begin with so this is just part of the job.

  32. massive

    OT: 4-Team trade; Troy Murphy to the Nets, Trevor Ariza to the Hornets, Darren Collison to the Pacers, Courtney Lee to the Rockets.

    The Hornets are also trading Julian Wright to the Raptors for Marco Belinelli. I hope this blows up in New Orleans’ face.

  33. adrenaline98

    I don’t see how a move like this would appease Paul. It seems highly illogical to trade an up-and-coming star in the likes of Collison for just Ariza, who will never be anything but a role player. Surely, they could get more value for him.

  34. Ted Nelson

    “The Hornets are also trading Julian Wright to the Raptors for Marco Belinelli. I hope this blows up in New Orleans’ face.”

    If Julian Wright blows up in Toronto, that’s also bad news for the Knicks. In a very immediate and tangible way. Toronto might be competing with the Knicks for the playoffs and was pretty weak on the wings. I don’t think Belinelli will ever do too much (though spot-up shooting next to CP3 is pretty easy), but Ariza should be a solid addition for NO.

    supernova: Sorry to go off topic, but there is an interesting trade in the works according to ESPN:http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5455472Basically the trade breaks down to this:-New Orleans receives Trevor Ariza frrom Houston
    -Indiana Pacers receive Darren Collison and James Posey from New Orleans
    -New Jersey Nets receives Troy Murphy from the Pacers
    -Houston receives Courtney Lee from New Jersey

    I believe the real winner would be the Pacers in that trade getting both a good, young, point guard in Collison, and also filling a glaring need.  

    Seems to work for every team.
    -Rockets are losing talent, but washing their hands of what turned into a mistake with Ariza in the wrong role… nice salary dump while getting a youngwing to compete for the rotation.
    -Hornets get a slashing wing and perimeter defender for a redundant piece. Only question is what else they could have had for him.
    -Nets get talent. Which is what they need.
    -Indiana gets PG, though they give up the best player in the trade, give up big for small, and possibly could have gotten more with Murphy’s huge expiring. It also means that unless Paul George steps up at the 4, Tyler Hansbrough or Dunleavy Jr. is their starting 4: they may have plugged their hole at the 1 while simultaneously creating one at the 4.

  35. Caleb

    That seems like a really unusual trade that could actually help all four teams (aiming at different goals, of course).

    For New Orleans, it’s about dumping Posey’s long and awful contract. I like Collison, but I definitely don’t see a future star, just a solid starter. Not to mention, a guy who will never get enough burn sitting on the bench behind Chris Paul. Getting Ariza to boot makes it a no-brainer.

    Rockets swap Ariza for Lee, getting a similar player, maybe not quite as proven but much, much cheaper.

    Indiana gets the PG they’ve been jonesing for. The price is high, but they were probably losing Murphy for nothing next summer. If nothing else, they saved a lot of money.

    Nets get Murphy for Courtney Lee. A lot more money, a lot more talent.

  36. Caleb

    I would agree with Ted that if anything, Indiana gets the worst of it. They might have gotten more for Murphy, in the end. And, Collison isn’t THAT special – Pacers might have been too desperate for their own good. Why not just take TJ Ford out of mothballs?

    On the other hand, Collison is a bird in hand – they don’t have to wait to have their solid young PG. And I don’t think teams would have given up THAT much for Murphy, when they could sign him outright next summer.

    I’d still rate it a 5 or 6 for Indy, scale of 10.

  37. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98: I don’t see how a move like this would appease Paul. It seems highly illogical to trade an up-and-coming star in the likes of Collison for just Ariza, who will never be anything but a role player. Surely, they could get more value for him.  

    Maybe they could have gotten more for Collison (I have no idea what else was offered), but what gives you the impression that Collison’s “an up-and-coming star?” He was above average as a rookie, which is a good sign, but I don’t see realistic “star” potential.

    Thornton was better last season and would seem to fit better next to CP3 as a SG: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=collida01&y1=2010&p2=thornma01&y2=2010

    Ariza didn’t play much his 22 year old season, but he wasn’t necessarily worse at 22 than Collison (some would argue much better, in fact):
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=arizatr01&y1=2008&p2=collida01&y2=2010

  38. HellAtlantic

    wait, so IT’s 2 rings don’t count, but Riley – who won the majority of his rings back in the 80s, and Paxson – who won his rings hopping aboard the Michael Jordan Bus – they’re rings mean more? i want IT on a recruiting trip cuz he can talk the lingo, he’s one of them, and he can say “NYK are a VERY loyal franchise. they gave Allan Houston a job as an executive, Clyde Frazier a job as a commentator, Herb Williams a job as an assistant coach, and hired me as a consultant after we parted ways.” that means a lot to players.

    Z: Reports said that Isiah was involved in the recruiting process because he was the only garden employee with a championship ring. Miami had Riley and his 7 rings, Chicago Paxon and his 3 rings. Meanwhile NY sent the “Ringless Wonders”: Walsh, D’Antoni, and Houston. Since LeBron proved that winning championships was all he cared about, sending Isiah in wasn’t the most unfounded hail-mary ever thrown. But it has opened a can of worms that makes Knick fans very nervous.  (Quote)

  39. Z-man

    Check out Collison’s post-All Star break shooting stats, they are hugely impressive. Considering that as a rookie PG, he stepped in for an injured all-time great and did a more than respectable job, I’d say his 22yo season was significantly better than Ariza’s. I also would say that his second half stats support the notion that he could be a budding star. He basically put up 19 and 9 as a starter. He certainly compares reasonably well to higher profile rookie PGs like Jennings, Curry and Lawson:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=collida01&y1=2010&p2=curryst01&y2=2010&p3=jennibr01&y3=2010&p4=lawsoty01&y4=2010

  40. ess-dog

    It’s probably a good trade for Indy. They want one of their kids to step up and win the pf spot anyway. Maybe psycho T goes nuts this year? At least they can sell “promise” to those fans. Collison, Rush/Stephenson, Granger/George, Hansbrough/George, Hibbert/Foster. There’s a little talent there. They could be better than Toronto this year.
    As for NO, they get a starter for a guy who won’t start and lose a crummy contract, not bad. Ariza’s pretty good. He’s better than Chandler but w/o the “upside” of a younger player like Gallo or Randolph. I’m not sure they could’ve done that much better with Collison and a bad contract. Paul/Thornton/Ariza/West/Okafor is solid. Don’t really love the Wright trade, but they could use another shooter.
    I would prefer Collison to Felton, but I guess we would’ve had to give up too much to get that done. My biggest fear going into the season is that Felton will continue to be pure mediocrity. I hope he proves me wrong.

  41. adrenaline98

    Z-man: Check out Collison’s post-All Star break shooting stats, they are hugely impressive. Considering that as a rookie PG, he stepped in for an injured all-time great and did a more than respectable job, I’d say his 22yo season was significantly better than Ariza’s. I also would say that his second half stats support the notion that he could be a budding star. He basically put up 19 and 9 as a starter. He certainly compares reasonably well to higher profile rookie PGs like Jennings, Curry and Lawson:http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=collida01&y1=2010&p2=curryst01&y2=2010&p3=jennibr01&y3=2010&p4=lawsoty01&y4=2010  (Quote)

    Exactly. To those that questioned my post, the position is a highly sought after position by any team hoping to compete in this guard’s league. Collison had pretty good stats for a rook when he got the playing. No, he’s not a Chris Paul, but I don’t think anyone disagrees that he’s a better talent and prospect than Ariza. Everyone knows what Ariza’s game is now. He’s pretty much a good role player. No doubt that he has value, but he isn’t a second ‘star.’ Was it redundant that NO had two PGs that were capable of being a starting PG? Definately. I just think they settled too early because they think this thinking outside of the box strategy to swing trades will somehow appease Paul. Ariza is a tradeable asset for certain. Any team that has pieces during the trade deadline and is set for a deep playoff run can use his services. But still, how does this move appease Paul, is what I don’t understand.

    Is Bellinelli the other piece that he’s supposed to be excited over? And seriously? Ariza is better than Chandler? Ariza’s a much better roleplayer when he plays within the scheme of things, like on Lakers, than he is as a complimentary piece. Look at his splits with the Lakers and with the Rockets last year, when he was looking at a supposedly more prominent role. His numbers were horrible. Chandler’s a third year guy, 2 years younger, and has similar numbers. His shooting is his weakness, but Ariza also had a lack of a good 3 for the first few years in the league. They have near identical PERs, and Chandler has a better TS%. Maybe a Turiaf + Chandler deal for Posey and Collison would have made just as much, if not more sense for NO. Collison is still on a rookie scale contract and Posey comes off in 2012 anyway when Paul is an FA. Turiaf was on for next year for Melo anyway. It’s almost the same money combined as Ariza.

  42. adrenaline98

    Ted Nelson: Maybe they could have gotten more for Collison (I have no idea what else was offered), but what gives you the impression that Collison’s “an up-and-coming star?” He was above average as a rookie, which is a good sign, but I don’t see realistic “star” potential. Thornton was better last season and would seem to fit better next to CP3 as a SG: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=collida01&y1=2010&p2=thornma01&y2=2010Ariza didn’t play much his 22 year old season, but he wasn’t necessarily worse at 22 than Collison (some would argue much better, in fact):http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=arizatr01&y1=2008&p2=collida01&y2=2010  (Quote)

    Different positions in my opinion Ted. A PG with similar statistics is more valuable than a wing in my opinion. There are lots of wings in this league. Hell, the Knicks had how many last year? I think Ariza, after his season in Houston, should be filed under the “broken mid level exception” category.

  43. Z-man

    I still am optimistic about Felton, not that he will be a star, but that he will be a good transitory 2-year player for us at worst. He compares favorably with the workmanlike PGs of the 90’s, Ward, Harper and Rivers. Here is a copmrison of Felton’s last year with the best Knick years of the three I mentioned:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=feltora01&y1=2010&p2=wardch01&y2=1998&p3=riverdo01&y3=1993&p4=harpede01&y4=1996

    This guy is not, I repeat, not Chris Duhon. He will not be the issue for us. If Gallo, Randolph, Chandler, and th others do their thing, Felton will be fine.

  44. Ted Nelson

    ” I’d say his 22yo season was significantly better than Ariza’s.”

    Based on what? Their stats are very similar, but Collison was significantly better? Win Shares actually says that Ariza was over twice as good as Collison. Ariza’s 2nd half shooting with the Lakers was also a huge jump up: .594 TS%.

    adrenaline98,

    There are tons of good PGs in the league. How many teams around the league don’t have a solid PG? The Knicks are perennially one of the only ones.

    I think you are selling Ariza short based on one bad season after a few good ones (not only in LA, but also Orlando). And, again, I think you are overly optimistic if you say that Collison is a “second star” on a contender. He’s a solid player, but I disagree with using the word “star” with him. To me there are only so many “stars” in the league. If all it takes to be a “star” is to be a solid all-around player then the word loses its meaning to me.
    What makes Collison a “star” and Ariza not if their stats are very similar?

    “This guy is not, I repeat, not Chris Duhon. He will not be the issue for us. If Gallo, Randolph, Chandler, and th others do their thing, Felton will be fine.”

    This isn’t the 90s and Felton isn’t necessarily a better offensive player than Duhon: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=feltora01&y1=2010&p2=duhonch01&y2=2010
    One of the reasons I don’t like Felton is that he actually reminds me a lot of the Duhon signing: he’s only a short term solution… he’s only making $7 mill per… his play will improve under D’Antoni… he’s got great college pedigree with links to the Knicks… Heard all the same things when Duhon signed. If Felton plays to his career scoring numbers of .493 TS% and 21.1 usage rate… he absolutely will be the problem. He takes a lot of shots and doesn’t score a lot of points.

  45. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    With all of the changes implemented by the NBA to change the methods of scoring (zone, hand-checking, etc.), why hasn’t anyone come up with an year-adjusted TS%?

  46. adrenaline98

    Ted Nelson: ” I’d say his 22yo season was significantly better than Ariza’s.”Based on what? Their stats are very similar, but Collison was significantly better? Win Shares actually says that Ariza was over twice as good as Collison. Ariza’s 2nd half shooting with the Lakers was also a huge jump up: .594 TS%. adrenaline98,There are tons of good PGs in the league. How many teams around the league don’t have a solid PG? The Knicks are perennially one of the only ones.I think you are selling Ariza short based on one bad season after a few good ones (not only in LA, but also Orlando). And, again, I think you are overly optimistic if you say that Collison is a “second star” on a contender. He’s a solid player, but I disagree with using the word “star” with him. To me there are only so many “stars” in the league. If all it takes to be a “star” is to be a solid all-around player then the word loses its meaning to me.What makes Collison a “star” and Ariza not if their stats are very similar? “This guy is not, I repeat, not Chris Duhon. He will not be the issue for us. If Gallo, Randolph, Chandler, and th others do their thing, Felton will be fine.”This isn’t the 90s and Felton isn’t necessarily a better offensive player than Duhon: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=feltora01&y1=2010&p2=duhonch01&y2=2010One of the reasons I don’t like Felton is that he actually reminds me a lot of the Duhon signing: he’s only a short term solution… he’s only making $7 mill per… his play will improve under D’Antoni… he’s got great college pedigree with links to the Knicks… Heard all the same things when Duhon signed. If Felton plays to his career scoring numbers of .493 TS% and 21.1 usage rate… he absolutely will be the problem. He takes a lot of shots and doesn’t score a lot of points.  (Quote)

    Ok, maybe I am overly optimistic that Collison would be a second true star. I think he has all-star potential, and would be an excellent starting point on a contending team that didn’t have a solid PG. That may be more of a realistic look at him. I think under the D’Antoni system, he may end up being that all-star.

    I’ve never been that impressed with Ariza. Like I said in the previous post, he’s a solid role player when playing a role on a contending team. You pointed out both LA and Orlando. My point is that he’s a decent spot up shooter, a good slasher/floor runner, and a decent defender. The way the ESPN reporters made it sound like is that they now have that key ingredient to keep Chris Paul around! That’s total horse hockey as Ariza has never proven to be anything more than a role player. I also kind of disagree on the Duhon and Felton comparison. I agree with some of your historical and statistical points, but the main difference between the two is their athleticism, and that’s not really categorized. I think Felton can much better use his athletic talent in the D’Antoni system than Duhon could. He runs faster, jumps higher, gets to the hole better. And my hope is that he gets into a pass first mentality like Duhon did. My feeling on Felton is that next year, he either breaks out, or simply becomes pedestrian for the rest of his career.

  47. Ted Nelson

    -Ariza
    Decent defender seems like an understatement to me. That’s why he’s on the court. That’s where most of his value comes from. He’s not one of the best in the league, maybe, but he’s a good defender.

    Ariza will guard the other team’s best wing scorer for NO. He’ll play with Peja, Thornton, and maybe Belinelli and/or Pondexter as well as David West and maybe Brackins so he won’t be asked to carry too much of a scoring or outside shooting load. Chris Paul will be feeding him the ball. He’ll be 25 next season.

    He’s certainly not a “star,” but should be a good rotation player on a team that should be over .500 in the Western Conference. I certainly expect a bounce-back season given his historical performance.

    The problem with keeping Collison for NO was that he was likely to lose value playing behind Chris Paul and possibly Marcus Thornton. His assist numbers might have fallen if he were on the court with Paul a decent number of minutes. His overall play might have suffered in a role he wasn’t comfortable with. His overall play might suffer period if his rookie season was an aberration. His track record may have been too short to have great trade value, but holding him may not have increased his trade value.

    -Felton
    Athleticism that doesn’t show up statistically seems pretty useless. Felton’s superior basketball athleticism should be/is reflected in his ability to make the passes and score the points a less athletic player cannot. To excel on defense. To some extent it is reflected in these ways. Felton is a strong defender. He’s a better playmaker than Duhon, probably a bit above average for an NBA PG. The guy is just horrifically awful at putting the ball in the basket. While he is a good defender, to me Felton’s playmaking is not enough to make up for that (as Jason Kidd’s was, for example).
    I’m not upset by the signing (contract is far more reasonable than I feared), I’m just not that excited either.

  48. adrenaline98

    @Ted, regarding Felton…I agree it hasn’t shown up statistically. But I am projecting here. I’m projecting based on D’Antoni’s system as compared to that with LB. I’m not saying what IS, I’m saying what I think WILL be. And that potential could not have been said about Duhon. Duhon seems like a really really poor man’s Steve Nash. He had no athletic prowess and barely any slashing ability. When his shot didn’t fall, he became utterly useless. I’m saying this won’t be the case with Felton, and that in itself has some value, that will be reflected statistically in the coming season.

    Shot clock usage Secs. Att. eFG% Ast’d Blk’d Pts
    0-10 18% .688 10% 0% 0.5
    11-15 26% .630 14% 0% 0.6
    16-20 28% .380 22% 20% 0.4
    21+ 28% .180 25% 8% 0.2
    Crunch 56% .280 23% 14% 0.6

    That’s Felton’s statistics with shooting. Everyone knows LB is notorius for playing a slow steady pace. He took the majority of his shots with no time left on the clock, and posted a dismal .180. He should fall much more into the first and second tier under SSOL and hopefully, that will translate into a more efficient shooter/scorer.

    Agree on not being that excited about Felton individually. I am excited about Felton, Amar’e, Randolph, Azu, etc all combined though.

  49. Nick C.

    That’s freaky .630+ 0-15 seconds and no bettet than .380 after. Intuition, which research usually proves wrong or not completely true, is that this is common.

  50. adrenaline98

    Well yea Nick, it’s obvious as the shot clock winds down, the shots are tougher to come by. Usually, a good defensive team will make the opposing team work for their shots. And a slow paced offensive team, like the Bobcats, tend to drag the shotclock for their sets. You can see most of his assists don’t even come until the later parts of the shot clock. If he can’t find that open man or shooter, he’s forced to take bad shots. With a huge portion (56%) coming from late in the clock, it’s no surprise his EFG/TS% is lower than average.

    Shot clock usage Secs. Att. eFG% Ast’d Blk’d Pts
    0-10 42% .614 11% 2% 6.3
    11-15 32% .558 12% 5% 4.4
    16-20 17% .512 12% 1% 2.1
    21+ 9% .506 10% 3% 1.1
    Crunch 25% .510 11% 2% 3.2

    That’s Nash’s. I’m certainly not sayign we’re getting a better shooter than Nash, but it’s a lot more even, and rarely is Nash taking the last shot.

    Secs. Att. eFG% Ast’d Blk’d Pts
    0-10 44% .487 47% 5% 2.9
    11-15 32% .503 46% 3% 2.2
    16-20 15% .419 57% 1% 0.9
    21+ 8% .368 70% 3% 0.4
    Crunch 24% .401 61% 2% 1.3

    Above is Duhon’s. Even with taking the majority of his shots within the SSOL, he has a horrible eFG.

    Credit goes to 82games.com. I’m sure a lot of the more hardcore/advanced stats people on here use them.

  51. Ted Nelson

    “I’m projecting based on D’Antoni’s system as compared to that with LB.”

    Felton’s played less than 1/2 his career for Larry Brown, though. 40%

    “I’m projecting based on D’Antoni’s system as compared to that with LB.”

    A lot of people thought Duhon would get better under D’Antoni. And for the first season he did. He’s a good shooter and an average passer. People made the same arguments about him moving from Skiles’ system to D’Antoni’s.

    “That’s Felton’s statistics with shooting.”

    That’s one season. He’s played 5 seasons in the NBA. 1 season isn’t really a great sample size, especially when there are 4 other season of evidence to consider:
    http://www.82games.com/0809/08CHA2.HTM
    http://www.82games.com/0708/07CHA3E.HTM
    http://www.82games.com/0607/06CHA2E.HTM
    http://www.82games.com/0506/05CHA2E.HTM

    The same relationship does not hold in any other season. I’ve also never seen any research on whether efficiency by time on the shot clock is or is not consistent or projectable.

    Maybe Felton suddenly blossoms for D’Antoni, there just isn’t much evidence of coaches and systems having a huge impact on player stats. Minutes and role can.

  52. adrenaline98

    Ted Nelson: “I’m projecting based on D’Antoni’s system as compared to that with LB.”Felton’s played less than 1/2 his career for Larry Brown, though. 40%“I’m projecting based on D’Antoni’s system as compared to that with LB.”A lot of people thought Duhon would get better under D’Antoni. And for the first season he did. He’s a good shooter and an average passer. People made the same arguments about him moving from Skiles’ system to D’Antoni’s. “That’s Felton’s statistics with shooting.”That’s one season. He’s played 5 seasons in the NBA. 1 season isn’t really a great sample size, especially when there are 4 other season of evidence to consider:http://www.82games.com/0809/08CHA2.HTMhttp://www.82games.com/0708/07CHA3E.HTMhttp://www.82games.com/0607/06CHA2E.HTMhttp://www.82games.com/0506/05CHA2E.HTMThe same relationship does not hold in any other season. I’ve also never seen any research on whether efficiency by time on the shot clock is or is not consistent or projectable. Maybe Felton suddenly blossoms for D’Antoni, there just isn’t much evidence of coaches and systems having a huge impact on player stats. Minutes and role can.  (Quote)

    Well, it’s not that small of a sample size. Sure, it’s not as big as 5 seasons. But if you’re going to include his rookie years and sophmore years, the same arguments can be made of a lot of players that they improve. Superstars improve tremendously by their second or third and even their fourth year. But we all know Felton’s not a superstar. I took his latest season because it shows his improvement in shooting. If anything, last season showed that he CAN hit an open jumper, or gets out on the break a lot. With Brown’s system, I somehow don’t think he runs a lot of breaks.

    I don’t know, it’s fun debating these statistics, but I guess only time will tell. I’m merely arguing that he has improved as a shooter (as compared to his previous seasons) and that his shooting last year is not entirely accurate of his shooting because of the extremely high number of shots that came with the shot clock winding down. You can make a case that the first 7 seconds is usually fast break, but after that, it seems like the offense is just starting, and he got an open look/drive off a PnR, all positives in D’Antoni’s system too. Look, I’ve no doubt that Felton isn’t a sharpshooter. I’m merely saying he has more value than Duhon (and we both agree on this). I only disagreed with just looking at their advanced statistical production because I felt like his athleticism (speed, quickness) would translate very well in D’Antoni’s system because not only could he distribute (which you agreed was better than Duhons) but he could also finish around the rim.

  53. Ted Nelson

    adrenaline98,

    One season is a small sample. Every player has season to season variation in their production. With Felton there is no trend to suggest he shoots better early in the shot clock. Out of 5 seasons it’s only happened once. Maybe he has actually changed his game, but in his 5th season and late 20s it’s at least as likely it was a fluke/non-repeatable.

    “If anything, last season showed that he CAN hit an open jumper, or gets out on the break a lot. With Brown’s system, I somehow don’t think he runs a lot of breaks.”

    Felton’s eFG% on inside shots actually improved a lot more last season than his jumper.

    “I’m merely arguing that he has improved as a shooter”

    You can’t say that he’s improved until he does it again. He may have improved and he may have had a fluke season. His jumper didn’t really improve, it was his inside shot.
    Would you argue that Luke Ridnour suddenly learned how to score a basketball last season, or that he had a fluke season?

    “You can make a case that the first 7 seconds is usually fast break, but after that, it seems like the offense is just starting, and he got an open look/drive off a PnR, all positives in D’Antoni’s system too. ”

    Again, he did this one year out of 5. In some other season his eFG% early in the shot clock was absolutely miserable.

    If Felton plays to his career scoring numbers he’s going to be a lead weight on the offense. That’s not much better than Duhon. Duhon was absolutely atrocious last season, but Felton has been one of the worst starting PGs in the NBA on his career.

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