Earlimart Barron

“The universe opens up the door
and we go right in, it’s there, it’s new, it’s cool
it’s something we ain’t seen before”
–“Happy Alone”, by Earlimart

The Knicks signed Earl Barron on April 2nd which could have been misconstrued as a late April Fools Joke. At 28 years old Barron can hardly be considered a prospect. He went undrafted out of Memphis, played in Turkey, the NBDL and 3 anonymous seasons in Miami. However upon joining the Knicks Barron immediately found himself in D’Antoni’s rotation and due to The D’Antoni Rules™ #1 & #2, is seeing a lot of playing time.

I’m as shocked as anyone, especially how the Knicks coach has treated 7-footers in his New York tenure. Last year Cheikh Samb, Mouhamed Sene, Courtney Sims, and Jerome James totaled a mere 35 minutes on the season. So far in 3 games this year, Barron has played 91 minutes. That’s more than either Eddy Curry (62) or Darko Milicic (71). And to make things more bizarre, Barron is playing exceptionally well. The last is unfathomable, because his 3000 or so minutes in the NBDL and NBA indicated that he was unlikely to be a solid NBA player.

Granted I expect Barron’s numbers will eventually decline from their current sizzling level. I don’t expect that he all of a sudden turned into Moses Malone on the glass (13.1 reb/36) or gained a Nowitzki-esque jumper (54.3% eFG). Earl is shooting 70% from 16-23 feet, a rate that I think he’ll have trouble sustaining.

But in a season where there has been little to cheer about on the court, the Knicks look good with Barron on the floor. Perhaps it’s because he gives them their first legitimate center in years. Perhaps it’s a novelty, like when excitement was generated after they traded for McGrady, House, and Rodriguez. Perhaps he’s actually the right fit for D’Antoni’s scheme, one that could enhance his strengths and help mask his weaknesses. Maybe it’s because the Knicks are actually winning. For a team struggling to get to 30 wins, taking 2 of the last 3 will make that beer taste more refreshing. Whatever it is the team has gotten more pleasant to watch, and as a long time suffering Knick fan I’m going to enjoy the moment while it lasts.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

98 thoughts to “Earlimart Barron”

  1. Trivia: Who was the last Knick other than Barron and David Lee to average 14+ PPG and 11+ RPG over a 3 game span?

  2. DS

    Raw numbers or advanced stats? “14+” so if the player had an even 14, they don’t count. I this trivia or trivial?

    Ummm I have to say it was Jerrod Mustaf. Or maybe it was Herb Williams.

  3. From games 2-4 of the ’08-’09 season, Z-Bo averaged 24 ppg and 13.3 rpg in 34 mpg.

  4. So yeah, it’s Randolph. W/r/t Barron, I’ve been trying to think of comparable bigs – players who were minimal contributors, fell out of the league and then by playing in overseas/the D-League, managed to come back much better than before at age 28+.

    The only cat I can think of is Ike Austin, who was a scrub w/Utah and Philly only to return at 28 to put up a really good year for the Heat (13 ppg, 7 rpg in 30 mpg). Alas, he fell out of favor w/Riley after signing a big deal and bounced around the league after that.

    Can anyone else remember any examples?

  5. Robert,

    The great Jerome James, he of the 45.3 PER in 07-08. John Amaechi is another example. He only had one good season, though, and it wasn’t really that good. Tony Massenburg, but he was never good. Maceo Baston, but his career high was 405 minutes. Al Horford’s dad Tito did it, but he had 28 minutes and 0 pts in his comback. Amal McCaskill. So… not really anyone of note.

    I don’t think Barron will actually continue at this pace. Maybe his rebounding has improved, his scoring is passable, and he can be a back-up… that I can see.

    Can think of smaller guys like Anthony Parker, Charlie Bell, Maurice Evans, Will Bynum…

    Can think of plenty of guys who didn’t get their start in the NBA till their mid-to-late 20s. Some of those guys stunk their first couple years in the league and improved, or at least got minutes. Similar concept.

  6. Ted,

    The size factor is what makes it so rare. You’re right, there are plenty of wing players/guards that have come back at a late age, but 7-footers, if they can walk and chew gum at the same time, usually stick on NBA rosters because…well…there are so few humans 6’11” or greater.

    Another example (that I can’t believe I we forgot) is Anthony Mason (even though he was an undersized PF at 6’6″-7″), who spent a year or two in Turkey/the CBA after flopping w/the Nets and Nuggets.

  7. Bob Cook mentioned Mason in the last thread. He never missed a full season of NBA action (only 3 games in 90-91) and stuck with the Knicks at 25, though.

  8. Channing Frye was lucky not to be in the D-League, but I guess that doesn’t really count.

  9. UH OHHHHH, espn rumors just reported that Lebron’s “inner circle” is saying that he is leaning towards Cleveland more then ever. Really starting to look like we’re going to have to settle for B-Tier guy. Really wouldn’t mind a Johnson Gay lineup. I really think we’re not going to get anybody, including 2011. WHEN IS THE PAIN GOING TO END??????

  10. Really wouldn’t mind a Johnson Gay lineup.

    I sure would.

    I don’t know if I would want the Knicks to sign Gay period, let alone for whatever high price he’ll be making next season.

  11. Screw Lebron. Gay has as many championship rings as James, Bosh and Amare COMBINED.
    Seriously though, a restricted Gay makes the least sense of anything since he’s not amazing, we’ll have to overpay, and our 2 best players under contract for next year play his position.
    I’ll be fine with Bosh and other scraps.

  12. Definitely with Brian and ess-dog. Gay is hardly better than Chandler:


    Very similar players. Gay scores a bit more, has a better outside shot, and gets twice as many steals. Otherwise they’re almost the same guy.

    Here’s both in their 22 year old 3rd season in the NBA: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=chandwi01&y1=2010&p2=gayru01&y2=2009

  13. Signing Gay’Johnson is a fate worse than death. After the decade we have been through overpaying overrated scorers, it would be crazy if we ended up with those guys. Gay isn’t a good basketball player. The Grizzlies were terrible until Gasol and Randolph started going hog wild.

    Frankly, I would rather sign none of those guys, let Dolan pocket the dough, and see what goes down in 2011. It’s got to be Wade, James, or at the very least Bosh. Nobody else is worth signing.

  14. Bring in Bosh and Camby; this fixes the frontcourt. If you don’t like Camby, go for a similar defensive stopper at C. Sign Chris Paul in 2011.

    PG Chris Paul
    SG Wilson Chandler
    SF Danilo Gallinari
    PF Chris Bosh
    C Marcus Camby

    Bench: Toney Douglas, 2011 first rounder, etc.

    I like the look of that team.

  15. A gay johnson or lee johnson is what walshtoni is looking at according to espn.com, obviously I would rather have the lineup mentioned by JK 47, although I don’t see how that is the slightest bit realistic.

  16. Only problem with that plan is Chris Paul can’t become a free agent until 2012.

  17. I think that if we miss on the big two, then our #1 priority needs to be resigning Lee or signing Bosh. (I think the moves are about equal because while Bosh is a little better he will get more money) I want no part of a maxed out Johnson, an injury prone Boozer or an overrated Gay. I could live with Amare if we missed on both Bosh and Lee but I think if we want Lee we can have him. After that we should make smaller smart moves. I would love to sign Mike Miller, my guess is he gets something in the 3-5 million per range starting out.

    The point guards are very thin in this free agent class so honestly Sergio might be the most viable option if we can resign him cheap. Felton is not great and is looking at serious money and other than that I do not see any real upgrades.

    As for frontcourt defensive help I do not see alot of options in free agency either. I think Camby is too old and seriously on the decline and Hayward will stay in Dallas unless we overpay. Other than that some posible choices if they are cheap are Tyrus Thomas or Jermaine O’Neal. O’Neal is on the decline but if we can get him for less than 5 million starting he could still be a viable option off the bench. Thomas is young and a good defender but I have a feeling someone will overpay because people are still waiting for his potential. I think a really good under the radar option would be Amir Johnson I have always liked his game and as the first big off the bench he could be a great fit.

    I think the best way to upgrade our frontcourt or point guard position is through trade. Between Curry’s expiring and our cap space we might be able to get Okafor, Biedrins or Calderon. All three are making starter money (9+ million per) long term and all three saw their minutes and roles decrease this year.

  18. okay. all won’t be lost if we miss out on Wade and LeBron. We can always rob Detroit for Rip or Ben Gordon. Joe Dumars would probably spring for Eddy Curry and a 2nd round pick for Ben or Rip (more likely Rip). so that’s a starter caliber guy. And say we sign and trade David Lee to Minnesota for Jonny Flynn/Ramon Sessions and Kevin Love (Lee can get a fat contract considering the cap space the T’Wolves have). We get a PG and a forward/center there. And we still have money to sign a guy like Chris Bosh. Or say we don’t do a Eddy Curry for Rip/Ben Gordon. We can move him and Wilson Chandler to Philly for Iggy. I mean a roster that looks like this should be good:

    PG: Flynn
    SG: Igoudala
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Bosh
    C: K. Love
    7: Bill Walker
    8: Earl Barron

    I mean its better than our current roster. I think its stomachable. Nothing near this though:

    PG: Jason Williams
    SG: Anthony Morrow
    SF: LeBron James
    PF: Chris Bosh
    C: Marcus Camby
    6: Toney Douglas
    7: Wilson Chandler
    8: Bill Walker

    But hey, things just haven’t gone the Knicks way in decades.

  19. okay. all won’t be lost if we miss out on Wade and LeBron. We can always rob Detroit for Rip or Ben Gordon. Joe Dumars would probably spring for Eddy Curry and a 2nd round pick for Ben or Rip (more likely Rip). so that’s a starter caliber guy. And say we sign and trade David Lee to Minnesota for Jonny Flynn/Ramon Sessions and Kevin Love (Lee can get a fat contract considering the cap space the T’Wolves have). We get a PG and a forward/center there. And we still have money to sign a guy like Chris Bosh. Or say we don’t do a Eddy Curry for Rip/Ben Gordon. We can move him and Wilson Chandler to Philly for Iggy. I mean a roster that looks like this should be good:

    PG: Flynn
    SG: Igoudala/Ben Gordon
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Bosh
    C: K. Love
    7: Bill Walker
    8: Earl Barron

    I mean its better than our current roster. I think its stomachable. Nothing near this though:

    PG: Jason Williams
    SG: Anthony Morrow
    SF: LeBron James
    PF: Chris Bosh
    C: Marcus Camby
    6: Toney Douglas
    7: Wilson Chandler
    8: Bill Walker

    But hey, things just haven’t gone the Knicks way in decades.

  20. Ben,

    It’s an interesting question, whether Johnson or smaller deals is a better play. I could really go either way. Definitely depends who the smaller deals are. I like Johnson alright, though. He’s probably a max player, though obviously a 2nd or 3rd tier one. With the money Bargnani, Hedo, and Gordon got last offseason, though, Johnson should be able to get the max.

    Miller’s a good target, but I think he’ll be a popular MLE target among contenders. He already came out and said he’d love to play in Orlando again. Rumors are that Washington wants to bring him back, too. Lakers could use another shooter. Cavs always looking for shooters around LeBron. Etc.
    Miller should get the full MLE at least, and if the Knicks want to outbid the chance to win they might need to pay him more than the MLE. D’Antoni would seem like a great fit for Miller, but if the Knicks don’t bring in any big FAs their team is a tough sell: Miller hasn’t won 30 games since 5 years ago, he probably wants to win next year.
    Miller might not be that much worse than Joe Johnson.

    Camby’s scoring has been terrible this season, but he’s leading the NBA in rebound%. His blocks are still high, as are his steals. JO has a big edge in scoring, but is way behind in rebounding and blocks/steals.
    Not sure JO is going to take $5 mill to play on a losing team, and pretty damn sure he’s not going to take $5 mill to play on a losing team AND come off the bench. Maybe Walsh’s relationship with him comes into play (if they have one… and how does he feel about his man Isiah getting shitted on in NY?), but I have to think good teams with no Cs will be lined up for JO with their MLE.
    I would stay far away from Ty Thomas unless he’s really cheap. He can’t play the 5 defensively and he can’t play at all offensively. Not a bad player, but if the Knicks re-sign Lee I don’t think he would make much sense.
    Amir Johnson does seem like a good cheap option. Toronto’s not really in a position to let their top defender go, but I don’t know what they’ll do this offseason.

    The Curry contract could be the Knicks saving grace if they strike out in free agency. I like both Biedrins and Calderon. Okafor less.

    You also have to ask if the Knicks should just go for a couple of trade targets (using cap space and Curry) instead of the Joe Johnson route. Calderon, Lee, Biedrins plus Gallo, Chandler, Douglas, Walker plus a few other guys… Better than this year’s team, no?
    Don’t know what happened to Biedrins this season, but he’ll only be 24 next season.
    Calderon and D’Antoni could help each other out.

  21. The entire offseason will be determined by the draft lottery.

    (But Loathing, the Knicks don’t HAVE a lottery pick!)

    Yeah. I know. But 4 lottery teams already have crowded backcourts with players they’d LOVE to get rid of (and we’d want):
    Detroit (Rip)
    Minnesota (Rubio)
    Golden St. (Monta Ellis)
    LA Clips (Baron)

    Now, it’s pretty safe to say now that John Wall and Evan Turner are probably going to go 1/2 in the draft. Question is, who’s gonna get em?

    If any of the four aforementioned do, then here would be the idea:

    Wolves: Chandler for Rubio’s rights (Wolves get a better/cheaper alt. for Ryan Gomes).
    Others: Muscle ’em…Curry for the aforementioned. The other teams would love to have their nasty contracts come off after the ’11 season and get some extra wiggle room ($1-4 mil, depending on who).

    This happens, we got one hell of a backcourt, with Toney Douglas completing the rotation.

    We still got Gallo, with Walker backing him up.

    Re-sign Barron and Lee, sign Camby.

    Here’s your squad (if two of the aforementioned hit the jackpot):

    PG – Rubio
    SG – Ellis/Rip/Davis
    SF – Gallo
    PF – Lee
    C – Camby
    B – Douglas
    B – Walker
    B – Barron
    B – Second Round Pick
    B – Second Round Pick if Celtics meet their conditions.
    Now if my math is right, we’d STILL have enough to go after LeBron.

    Say everything falls wrong. New Jersey hit the lottery and Utah gets the second pick. Ok, draft is out the window. BUT…

    STILL re-sign Lee and Barron
    Sign Camby.

    Front court is done.

    Backcourt – Will be tougher. Might have a shot at Joe Johnson. Should be able to land J. Williams. I can deal with that…on one year deals.

    PG – Williams
    SG – Johnson
    SF – Gallo
    PF – Lee
    C – Camby
    B – Douglas
    Second Round Pick

    Ugh. Lottery or LeBron…is that what we’ve come down to? Scavenging?

  22. Massive,

    Some interesting thoughts.

    The Wolves can just sign Lee straight up if they had any interest in adding another PF, though, not sure why they would give up their 2 best young guys to do so.

    I don’t think Rip Hamilton has much of anything left and I’m not sure Dumars is ready to give up on Gordon yet (though I have no idea, he is known to write off mistakes quickly: see trading early 1st rounders Rodney White and Mateen Cleaves after their rookie seasons). Gordon is pretty overpaid, so he wouldn’t be first on my list. The Knicks don’t want to blow their hard won cap space by pulling an Isiah or Layden and overpaying a bunch of mediocre players.

    Depending on what Philly is looking for in return for Iggy, that’s definitely a possibility. On a good year there’s not much difference between Iggy and Joe Johnson in terms of production. He’s also maxed out, but at a lower rate than Johnson will likely get.

    There’s no easy answers, though, and you have to hope that the Knicks are ready to think outsie the box if need be and evaluate all possibilities.

  23. Massive – I also do not think Minnesota does that trade plus I do not think Lee would want to go to Minnesota. Iggy is an okay option but there are better fits for us in my opinion if we are going the trade for overpaid player route. I would also avoid any overpaid wings as they are usullly replacable and we already have talent there. I would only trade for overpaid PG’s or C’s as they are much harder to come by and we don’t really have a true starter at either position.

    Ted – Your idea to go after both Calderon and Biedrins is exactly what I would do. Here is my exact plan if I was in charge and we miss LeBron and Wade:

    Resign Lee and then trade a 2nd round pick straight up for Caldron. I think if Toronto loses Bosh and fails to do a S&T they will be looking at a huge hole and not enough cap room to really do anything. If they can move Calderon, who lost his starting job, they would have enough cap space to go after Amare or Boozer or any other max player they want. I think if we made that offer early before they’ve missed out on the market they might bite.

    Then after we get Calderon and Lee I would try to fill gaps with the rest of our cap space. I would say in a perfect world that would be Miller and Johnson. If we can get Lee for 12 million or less starting we should have enough to make very good offers to both of them.

    Then use Curry to get our bigman. Biedrins is by far the first choice. Okafor is the back up plan. After that I think we have a very competitive team in the East. Its not LeBron but its something.

  24. Why don’t we sign Amar’e and Camby. That seems like a really solid front court along with Gallo. Then we could use Lee and Curry’s deal, in a sign-and-trade for a PG like Baron Davis… or do we not have enough cap-space for that…

    Assuming we do:

    PG: Baron Davis
    SG: Wilson Chandler
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Amar’e
    C: Camby
    6: Toney Douglas
    7: Bill Walker

    that seems like a really good team to me, assuming gallo keeps developing.

  25. 1) camby looked good yesterday against the lakers.

    he can still fill a starting role for at leash one year. he is also a good passer. for me he is a keeper.

    2) hamilton would be great. he can defend, he’s smart, he’s a proven winner.

    3) dirk could still leave dallas…

    how about:


  26. Ben,

    -I like that plan.
    -Good point about overpaying wings. The one other thing I would consider is that if you don’t get an upgrade at PG, a wing like Joe Johnson or Iguodala takes ball handling and playmaking pressure off the PG spot and could even allow a Toney Douglas to play there maybe. So for me it would depend on the specifics.
    -Also a good point about Toronto clearing cap space.
    -I don’t like Okafor as a 5, but he’s certainly better than anything the Knicks have had there in a while.


    That would be an improvement, but I still think you’re a ways from contending for a title and you’ve now got two overpaid players. Davis in particular is more interested in directing movies or something than basketball.


    I agree Camby’s got a year or two left, but I think teams realize this and there will be a healthy amount of competition for him on the free agent market.

    I don’t like Hamilton. He’s not much of a defender, he just played on good defensive teams. His career TS% is .527. He’ll be 32 next season and has been in a tailspin for 2 seasons. The kicker, though, is that he’s going to be making $12.65 mill for three more seasons after this one… until his 34 year old season. I think he could have a bounce-back year next season. At $7 mill or something I would take the risk maybe, at almost 13 for 3 years I would prefer some of the free agents out there or probably an Andre Igoudala. I like Ben’s point about not overpaying for a wing, also.

    Dirk is owed $21.5 million next season. If he walks away from that I would assume it’s not going to be for a reasonable contract or a losing team. He’s either going to look for close to that much or he’s going to be looking for a long-term deal. He’s going to be 32 next season, so it’s quite a risk to pay him for 5 more seasons or something. He is a big shooter, so he may age well. Just don’t know if it’s how I would blow the cap space, if it’s even an option.

  27. I would agree that after LeBron, Wade & Bosh you have to be very careful. I think Stoudemire might… might… be worth a max deal, or close, but no one else. Joe Johnson, not even close.

    Keep in mind the Knicks could sign Stoudemire or Bosh and still keep Lee, with a few million left over. It will come down to timing – if LeBron doesn’t decide pretty quick, Knicks could easily be screwed by Lee taking the $ from someone else.

    If none of the big six – there are ways for the Knicks to reach playoff level without giving out ridiculous contracts

    1. Sign a center who can play defense. It would make a bigger impact on the Knicks than almost any team in the league. Camby would be great, although I doubt he’d want to finish his career in NY, instead of a title contender (assuming no LeBron – that ain’t the Knicks, in 2011). Brendan Haywood would be nice, but you might find yourself overpaying on a multi-year deal. So give Jermaine O’Neal a one-year deal for $7-8 million – heck, $10 million. Throw in $2 million guaranteed for 2011, if that’s what he needs. No long-term cap implication, it’s worth it.

    Or go the trade route – how about Chander to Orlando for Marcin Gortat & a pick? Or Gortat & JJ Redick? A one-for-two deal would help our pathetic depth, too. Not sure this is the right deal, but you might be able to use Chandler to fill a couple of holes.

    2. Value! Josh Childress wants to come back – plays D, rebounds and a TS% around 60, in Atlanta. You could sign him for @the mid-level. Atlanta can match, but no one here thinks they will.

    We could really use a playmaker at PG, especially if McGrady leaves, and Luke Ridnour would be a good fit. I bet he costs less than $5 million, maybe less than $4 million.

    3. more value! Shaun Livingston will probably have to play for @the minimum. A big guy and a playmaker – that’s your partner for Douglas, a smaller 2-guard and shooter. If the comeback falls apart, it’s only a million or two.

    4. Buy a draft pick! I’m sure we’ll try, anyway.

    5. Someone else’s trash, Group A – contracts that expire in 2011. There are guys whose teams might just give them away, so they don’t have to pay them. No stars, a lot of issues, but better than D-league callups for sure. TJ Ford and Mike Dunleavy come to mind. Michael Redd. Richard Jefferson. Sam Dalembert and Kenyon Martin, maybe.

    6. Someone else’s trash, Group B – guys with longer contracts. Tricky, because a guy who makes the Knicks better in 2010-2011 can make them worse in 2011-2012 by taking up cap space that would better be spent on a free agent. This is a group to consider even if we DO sign free agents this summer – they could be a match for Curry’s contract: Andre Iguodala ($17+ million and don’t think the Sixers are giving him away for nothing – yet)… Biedrins or Calderon, as people were saying… Emeka Okafor, Chris Kaman, Baron Davis, Andre Miller…

    It’s a long way from LeBron and playing in June, but if you re-sign Lee, bring in O’Neal on a big one-year deal, add Childress, Ridnour and Shaun Livingston… find one or two productive bench guys out of Walker, Barron, guys like that – I think the team is over .500, without overpaying and with plenty of cap space for big FAs in 2011.

    I wouldn’t get hung up on particular players – this is just to say that it’s not a choice between a) giving $150 million to Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay, and b) winning 25 games and giving Houston a #5 pick.

  28. As far as other guys mentioned, I think Joe Johnson is a decent player but not really sniffing Iggy’s shoelaces.. I am an Iguodala fan. fwiw he is a top-10 player by WOW measures and in general I think he is very underrated. Not underpaid, though!

    I know Calderon has a lot of fans but Toronto has been better with him off the floor and he might be the worst PG defender in the league. I’ll pass.

    Hamilton, forget it.

    Mike Miller would be a decent get, although I prefer Childress.

  29. Devin Harris could be another name to throw out there if the Nets get Wall. I wouldn’t necessarily trade him just because I got Wall (consider using him as a caddy for Wall, though maybe his trade value declines ala Hinrich in that situation) and the Nets may or may not value for cap space, but another possible trade target for the Knicks. He’s only making 8-9 mill per through his 29 year old season.


    If you sign Amare/Bosh and also keep Lee I think you’re going to have diminishing returns. You’re going to have a terrible defensive frontline and two of your top scorers will play the same spot offensively. Maybe you could make an argument that they’re the most valuable assets you can get, and you can turn around and trade one mid-season… Seems like there should be better options, though.

    I like all your ideas, but names like Ridnour, Jermaine O’Neal, Shaun Livingston don’t really inspire confidence in me that the Knicks can make the playoffs next season. (Even though those are three names I like to varying extents and at different $.) I know you’re saying that it just takes the right mix, and I agree that it’s not Johnson/Gay or 25 wins. I’m just saying that it’s a bit of a crap shoot and will be a good test for Donnie Walsh, who has passed a lot of team building tests before.
    Then there’s the D’Antoni factor, where certain guys who may be the best values available might not fit his system. Ridnour and O’Neal do seem like good fits since both can shoot (which seems to be the #1 criteria), and Livingston to a lesser extent.

    Buying a draft pick is a good play, but first rounders count against your cap immediately… taking away a mill or so in cap space. Is there a limit on how much you can pay for a pick? (I feel like there is, but could be wrong.)

  30. “I think Joe Johnson is a decent player but not really sniffing Iggy’s shoelaces..”

    Based on what? I find that to be an overstatement. I also doubt Iggy is a top 10 player in WOW this season. His TS% is .535 and his TO% is 14. Maybe top 10 on the Sixers. I could definitely get on board with Iggy over Joe Johnson, I just don’t think the discrepancy is that much. This season Johnson is a much better offensive player, but worse defensively. This was a down year for Iggy, but I think Johnson is certainly a better player this season. I would agree there’s a good chance that changes next season, who knows though.
    Iggy is only due 12.3 mill next season. Taking on Brand seems like the most likely way for the Knicks get Iggy, though, and that would be an Isiah move.

    “I know Calderon has a lot of fans but Toronto has been better with him off the floor and he might be the worst PG defender in the league. I’ll pass.”

    They are +2.8 with him this season and this is easily his worst season since his rookie year. He’s had a positive +/- every single season besides his rookie season. What do you base the fact that they’re better without him on? They’re +2.8 with him and -1.1 with Jack: http://www.82games.com/0910/0910TOR.HTM
    Defensively he does stink, but I think the Knicks have to prioritize offense with D’Antoni as coach (without ignoring defense… aka get a bloody center, but an offensive PG would be nice). Calderon is bad enough defensively that I wouldn’t give up much to get him, but if you can get one of the better offensive PGs in the league for nothing but a 2nd rounder and $9 mill in cap space… not a bad play.

    “Mike Miller would be a decent get, although I prefer Childress.”

    I think that’s probably the case for me too. Miller has been playing on some bad teams, though, and seen his numbers fall. Can be bounce-back if he’s motivated? I don’t know. Maybe he’s over the hill or maybe it’s motivation/teammates. At 25 he was damn good. That’s the last time he was on a winning team: since then his teams have averaged between 23.25 and 23.75 wins (depending on how Washington finishes). Clearly not much of a leader, but could be a good complementary player if it’s motivation and not a decline in skill. Maybe he’s declined, though, and that’s part of why his teams have stunk so badly.

  31. You’re allowed to pay $3m for a pick.

    It’s true they land on the cap but assuming the pick is in the 20s it’s less than a million more than the roster charge – unless we are talking 2 max free agents it probably doesn’t matter.

    Stoudemire/Bosh + Lee would definitely create some defensive issues but I think the value is good enough that I would do it. Definitely Bosh, probably AS. I don’t think it would make the interior D any worse – those guys at center next to Lee, is better than Lee/Harrington or the combos we’ve had this year. Find a defensive-minded guy to play 15 or 20 minutes and you’d be ok.

    You are right – my point is that it’s possible to improve the team by finding a good fit, even if you don’t spend a lot of cash. In general, I think you go for talent over need, but the Knicks have a couple of glaring opportunites where you really get bang for the buck. As in, going from no center to a center who is even average on D. O’Neal is a pretty bad offensive player but very good on D. I’d say it’s worth 4 or 5 wins. 2-guard is another spot – Childress and Mike Miller might only be average NBA starters, but compared to Larry Hughes, Tracy McGrady and Bill Walker (at least now) they’re a solid upgrade, maybe 3 or 4 extra wins. Neither is a budget-buster.

    Of course, the remaining players (Gallo, Chandler, Douglas, Lee (if back), Walker)… all are young so you’d expect the team to be better, with an identical roster. The wildcard is Harrington, who in 2009-2010 was no worse than the 2nd or 3rd best player. Assuming Al is gone, I’m hoping the damage will be minimized since Chandler, Gallo & Lee can essentially soak up all his minutes.

    I like Devin Harris, too, but don’t think Nets will give him away, to anyone much less the Knicks. I’d give up Chandler, if the Nets threw in a pick.

  32. It’s really weird to me, for example, that on Minnesota Mike Miller was 12th in FGA/36 and Usage but 2nd in TS% by 50 percentage points. Mike Miller would have been 2nd or 1st in usage on that team were I coach. Rashad McCants took almost as many 3PA/36 as Mike Miller took FGA/36. Miller was #2 in ast%, but they needed to get him a lot more looks. It’s been the exact same story in Washington. Miller is being under-utilized as a scorer and over-utilized as a ball-handler/playmaker. His TO% has also bumped up significantly as a result.

    Josh Childress could be a great play for the Knicks, though. A way to solidify the wing rotation without overpaying, which Ben R pointed out would be a questionable use of resources. I wonder what he’ll command in salary…
    One way Atlanta would be much more likely to match, I assume, is should they lose Joe Johnson straight-up. As a budget conscious team they might even decide that if Johnson can get a max deal elsewhere they should just let him walk and replace him with Childress and hopefully some (major) improvement from Teague. Crawford could pick up a few more minutes, too, though I assume he’ll come back to earth next season. They could sign-and-trade Johnson and get an asset from that. Don’t know how Atlanta feels about keeping/paying Johnson. Certainly contenders usually keep their stars, especially contenders that have just gotten into contention after a long drought.

  33. Ted,

    at the halfway point of 2009-2010, WOW had Iguodala as the 12th most productive player in the league, behind LeBron James, Marcus Camby, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd, Zach Randolph, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul and Tim Duncan. (not in that order, though James was 1st).

    Not sure why I thought he was paid so much – at $12 mill I’d call him a bargain for sure.

    I am curious – why do you like Joe Johnson so much? I always thought he was pretty good but IMO never lived up to his current contract, much less getting those dollars as he enters the downslope of his career. I think players who are well-rounded – as Johnson is – tend to overrated, while players who are one- or two-dimensional – but great at those things – are underrated. The Hawks as you know have gotten better for six years straight but at this point I think Josh Smith & Horford are their top players.

    I am not totally sour on Calderon but with $9 million of cap space I think you can do a lot better – in 2011 if not now. I am a little surprised at his +/- ; my off-the-cuff comment that they got better was based on their one burst of good play this season, after Calderon went down. Thanks for setting it straight.

  34. Hey Ted you will love to hear this, D’Antoni said last night if David Lee re-signs with the Knicks he will have to play PF and needs to play next to a long, athletic big man. D’Antoni wants a real Center next season!!!! lol

  35. @Ted and Ben

    I only linked Minnesota because David Kahn has said that Al Jefferson and Kevin Love cannot co-exist on the same court. ESPN Insider said that a Kevin Love trade is almost inevitable at this point.

  36. Caleb,

    That’s interesting about AI2. One thing I wonder is how much the position adjustment for a 2 might help him. He can definitely play the 2, but I think he’s a natural 3 and don’t think he’d be a fit at the 2 for D’Antoni. He’s shooting an eFG% of .405 on 72% jumpers and last season he was at .388 on 64% jumpers. Someone like Joe Johnson is a true SG who brings a different offensive game: he is taking 80% jumpers this season and shooting an eFG% of .478. Last season he was at 80% .459. Iggy gets a good % of his shots assisted, and I think not playing with Andre Miller is hurting him. Since the Knicks are unlikely to have a great playmaking PG next season (maybe Calderon) and have Chandler as a slasher, Johnson seems like a more obvious fit.

    My basic attitude with Johnson is that if I were an NBA GM I wouldn’t max him out, but if Walsh did I wouldn’t be THAT upset. Would be a bit upset.
    If the Knicks add a strong guard like Johnson and a defensive C while retaining Lee, maybe they’re a playoff team next season? They’re already the 17th offense with Duhon stinking it up most of the season, so I think getting into the top 10 is realistically possible next season. Maybe a defensive center, a couple other changes, and consistency gets their defense into the top 20. Miami is #19 offense and #7 defense and a 45 win team in the East. Maybe the Knicks could be an inverse Miami.
    They could probably get more bang for their buck by splitting up the money they would give Johnson or maybe by waiting, but if they have a winning record for a few years I’ll be pretty psyched. Far from the optimal outcome, but an improvement. A couple more solid moves and maybe in a couple years they’ve got homecourt. Then again, you could argue Johnson isn’t a huge improvement on Crawford and the Knicks are right back where they’ve been. I can see that too.
    I don’t know if he’s actually earned his contract, but it’s worked out for Atlanta since they’ve been under-paying Horford and others at the same time and turned their franchise around. He rebounds well for a guard, he’s a playmaker, and he’s a decent scorer. Well-roundedness can be overrated and vice versa for one-dimensionalness. I agree. However, having a guy who is quite good at a bunch of things can be good too. You can sign a guy to the MLE any year. With a one-time shot at cap space–I assume it’ll be one-time after the Hill deal, but maybe not–I sort of feel like you might as well get more than a few MLE guys. I don’t think Amare makes too much sense if you keep Lee, and Johnson seems like the best guard after LeBron and Wade. Thus, Johnson. I could also see giving a Jermaine O’Neal or even a Shaquille O’Neal a big one year deal instead, but I doubt Walsh would actually go that way. How many other guys are out there and worth less than the MLE? Otherwise you can trade for someone else’s trash, but you’d have to see who teams are actively looking to give away.
    The mid-.530s TS% the last 3 years is troubling and you’d have to hope the Knicks can add/develop some offensive options that lower his usage and get him back to the mid-.550 TS% he’s had a couple of seasons. I like Johnson at a .560 TS% a lot more than at .530 since he takes a lot of shots.
    If there’s some sanity in the world maybe Manu’s contract sets/caps the market for Joe Johnson, but I sort of feel like the Hawks’ accent will set the market at a max level: “he is the leading scorer on a good team and therefore he is a max player.” If Walsh doesn’t know what TS% is, he’ll look at Johnson’s .456 FG% and think he’s the man.

    For the two seasons before this one I just don’t know how many better “true PGs” there were in the league than Calderon. He’s having a bad year, but you’d be trying to buy low and hope he bounces-back. The past two seasons he had an ast% above 40% and a TS% above .600. The only other player to do that during that stretch was Steve Nash (and Eddie Gill for 43 minutes last season). Only 11 player seasons over those two seasons were above 40 in ast%, 2 of them being Calderon. The others: Paul 2, Nash 2, Williams 2, Wade 1, Parker 1, Kidd 1.
    One thing I would note is that TJ Ford had an ast% over 40 in Toronto and below 30 since getting to Indiana. Toronto–with Bryan Colangelo as GM–probably plays a system that pumps up a PGs ast%… but oddly enough D’Antoni developed his system under Colangelo… so Calderon should be a natural for D’Antoni.
    He’s not my first choice, but I think they should look into him. If they’ve filled some other holes and need a PG he’s one of the better candidates given his demotion to 2nd string and what Ben pointed out about how if Bosh walks they might want the extra space.


    That is great news. I think D’Antoni and/or the team does a pretty decent job of communicating with fans. Sometimes it comes a while after the fact, but between his own TV show and news coverage we get a lot of info.

  37. “I could also see giving a Jermaine O’Neal or even a Shaquille O’Neal a big one year deal instead”

    By “big one year deal” I mean above market value, not as much as they’re making this year. Just mean overpay for a one year band-aid to try again in 2011.

  38. ive been thinking and i was wondering if the knicks would be better off going for 4 or 5 second tier players instead of two top players. the knicks need players and an overhaul wouldn’t be so bad.

  39. Just getting a ‘defensive big’ won’t be that easy. J. O’Neal would be adequate, but Zasa Pachulia makes almost 6 mil. What do you think O’Neal will want? I prefer Camby, but he could cost as much as 9 mil a year – a big commitment.
    I’m not sure what the Clips plan on doing w/ DeAndre Jordan, but it would be nice to steal him. Maybe even Kaman’s an option in a trade if we get Amare or Bosh. the Clips really have no SF to speak of… a Jordan for Chandler swap would be great for both teams.
    As for point guard, I’m really not sure. Depends on whether we get Lebron/Johnson. Seems like a strong passing point would be helpful… Ridnour? Maybe stick with Sergio and see if he can protect the ball better and really distribute as well as knock down his threes. He’s probably the best deal out of Calderon/Ridnour/anyone else at this point. And he’s young. TD could be the 3rd scoring guard – the Nate position, if you will.

  40. eric,

    Depends who the 2 players are and who the 4 or 5 players are.


    It’s not that easy, but it’s also not nearly as hard as the Knicks have made it look for the last decade.

    Zaza makes $4.75. I would call that a good deal for the Hawks. He was 24 and coming off a monster season (by his standards, but a very solid season overall). Pachulia was better last season than JO, but is has been worse this season. If so many teams didn’t have an eye on 2010 I wonder if Zaza wouldn’t have gotten the whole MLE last offseason.
    JO’s value depends on his priorities. He doesn’t have to work again if he doesn’t want to. Chances are he does, so he can sign for the MLE with a contender or probably get more money from a team with space. Then again maybe he gets a bit squeezed out of the market or just wants to play for x team even if it means the minimum. JO is having his best season in years (maybe ever by some measures) so it will be interesting to see what his value is: do teams think it’s an aberration or do they think that at 32 next season he’s still got a few more seasons like that in him? Only takes one team to buy into it and pay him, of course, if he’s looking for money.

    DeAndre Jordan is an interesting name. I wouldn’t give up Wilson Chandler for him (and I’m not a huge Chandler fan). He’s shown both the reasons he was hyped as a top 3 pick and the reasons he fell to the 2nd round since being drafted. There are flashes and strengths, but he’s hardly a defensive presence of any kind at this point. The Clipps are 5 points/100 poss worse defensively with him on the court and they’re the 23rd defense in the league to start with. Part of that’s Camby and Kaman, but if he’s maybe 11 points worse defensively than Kaman… not a good sign. He’s gotten worse since his rookie season, a sign he didn’t work hard in the offseason.

    -Rodriguez is only the best deal if he can actually make the rotation. If he’s not in the rotation it doesn’t matter how much money he makes. He’s never really stuck in a rotation for a whole season in his career. Real Madrid says they are going to make a run at him, and unless he and D’Antoni love each other I don’t see why he’d stay. Or I should say he will no longer be the best bargain should the Knicks decide to persuade him to stay.
    -Ridnour is having a career year. He’s not THAT much better than Duhon as a playmaker (29.7 ast% career compared to 26.8 for Duhon… Calderon is at 38 and Rodriguez 35.7). Don’t know what he’ll get. I assume Milwaukee might want to keep him around short-term at least as a caddy for Jennings. If he can repeat this year he’ll be a solid value at worse, but if he falls to his career #s… not so much. I doubt he can repeat, but maybe he at least comes close.
    -If Calderon is at ast% 40 and TS% .600 and the Knicks offense is humming, I would find it hard to say he’s not worth $9 mill. He’s one of the closest things to Nash in the NBA… Nash, by the way, is also pretty miserable defensively at this point.
    -I’m not too worried about PG. Not nearly as worried as most people seem to be. You can get a passable PG easily if you have other good pieces in place.

  41. I mean I count 7 or so NBA teams that have no defensive bigman to speak of (and I counted Ben Wallace as “no defensive bigman to speak of”). All the other teams have figured it out.

    Only 1 of those teams without a defensive bigman is a playoff team: the Suns, who are at 24th on defense and winning with offense. (Even they have Robin Lopez at least, but he’s still a work in progress.)

  42. My “no superstar” strategy would be this:

    One: sign Shaun Livingston to a one year deal 1-2mil/per
    Two: sign Anthony Morrow to a reasonable deal 2-3 yrs, 4-5mil/per
    Three: sign Josh McRoberts to a one year, 1-2mil/per
    Four: sign Earl Barron one year deal 1-2mil/per
    Five: give Marcus Landry the vet miniumum
    Draft – buy an additional 1st rounder (Mem, NJ, OKC) – take Daniel Orton, PF/C. 2nd rounders – Jarvis Varnado, PF/C, Alexei Shved PG/SG (stashed in Europe)

    Then you’re starting with a young, cheap rotation for next year of:

    PG Livingston/Douglas
    SG Morrow/Douglas
    SF Gallo/Chandler/Landry
    PF McRoberts/Chandler
    C Barron/Orton/Varnado

    Fill out the bench w/hungry D-leaguers – Rod Benson, Coby Karl, etc.

    Now your cap’s at about 32 million (20 mil under). You’ve got Curry’s expiring contract going away for 2011 and can facilitate trades (like the one where OKC picked up Eric Maynor for free this year).

    In 2011 you get Carmelo and move Chandler for a big.

  43. If that is the Knicks roster in 2010, D’Antoni will either quit or commit suicide. If he doesnt commit suicide I certainly will….

  44. I have no problem with “overpaying” for Joe Johnson. Rudy Gay hell no.

    That rotation you had wont even win as many games as this season’s Knicks team won which considering we will have to switch picks with the Rockets next year wont do us any good. I believe if the Knicks can sign Joe Johnson and Bosh they easily become a 50 win team in the East and considering they would be weakening the Hawks and the Celtics are on the decline could very well be the 3rd or 4th best team in the East. Of course the Heat pairing Wade with another max FA would have something to say about it but I dont see teams like the Bobcats or Bucks taking a big step up so again to me a JJ/Bosh signing would still be pretty huge.

    Now will re-signing Lee and signing Joe Johnson make a big difference?? I think it puts them in the playoffs and will depend on how they fill out the rest of the roster to see how good they can be. However I truly believe the wild card in this franchise is Gallo and how good he can/will become. His continued development and whatever his “ceiling” is will determine how good this team truly can be if they dont sign Lebron.

  45. A Johnson/Lee or Johnson/Bosh team could win 50, sure. But it’ll NEVER win a championship. Like you wrote – they’d be worse than Orlando, Cleveland (if LeBron stays), and possibly Miami (If they get Stoudamire to go with Wade).

    If you’re willing to settle for a consistent 1st/2nd round exit, so be it. I’d rather keep collecting assets and wait. Honestly, I think the roster I cobbled together would win more games than this year. You’d have athletes at every position, Gallo/Douglas/Walker would be a year better, you’d have Curry’s expiring as a chip (especially if CP3 becomes available) and STILL be 20 million under for 2011.

  46. Definitely the wild card of the off-season is Curry’s contract for sure. Thats something though that really is impossible to speculate on what trades could be made. At least we know who the FA’s are and how much money the Knicks will be able to spend so its easier to make guesses with the FA’s than what the Knicks can trade for with Curry’s contract although we certainly have our fantasies on what it could bring back.

    Thats why I said that Gallo is the wild card in this whole thing because if he becomes a borderline All-Star and is teamed with Johnson and Bosh lets say then you know what that trio surrounded by a decent supporting cast could one day maybe win it all. Ive said it before and will say it again I have no problem whatsoever with becoming a perennial 50 win team for the next few years because one of those years something like an injury or something else to the couple of teams ahead of them could mess up their season and the Knicks could be take advantage of it. Also they could have 1 season where everything clicks and they win 55 games lets say and maybe have a homecourt advantage for once and advance further than usual.

    If they dont sign Lebron which lets face it dont think will happen their goal should be to build a team that will at least win 50 games a season for the next few years and take your chances that in the future a trade here or there and one season could be their breakthrough and a title could happen. Give me 9 seasons in a row of at least the 2nd round of the playoffs like the 1992-2000 Knicks did and I guarantee you at least a couple of those seasons will result in a trip to the Conference Finals and even the NBA Finals where who knows what can happen.

  47. @BBA, I agree with what you’ve said. However, I think it’s probably more likely that we get Amar’e and Joe Johnson, rather than Bosh and Johnson. Both those guys played for D’Antoni in Phoenix, so I could easily see them coming to play for him here. However, that rotation wasnt good enough to win. I think we’d have to keep Lee, and add Amar’e and Joe Johnson all at ~$10 mill/year deals. I don’t know if that would work with numbers, but let’s say we then draft Jarvis Varnardo/shot blocking center X in the second round and sign a veteran PG (Jason Williams?) for the Mid-Level Exception… we’ve got a great team:

    PG: Jason Williams / Toney Douglas
    SG: Joe Johnson
    SF: Gallo
    PF: DLee
    C: Bosh

    Chandler and Walker rounding out the rotation. Or maybe we trade Chandler for a younger PG. Is Minnesota still willing to trade Rubio? that might work really well…

  48. From my understanding the Knicks will not have a mid-level exemption this off-season, only teams with no cap space are given a mid-level exemption to use if they want. From everything Ive read D’Antoni is not a big fan of Amar’e at all.

    My dream scenario if they dont sign Lebron is Joe Johnson, Bosh and Camby. Problem is dunno how the hell they could pull that off.

  49. @48

    The other problem with that is there will be competition for those players.
    -Livingston is starting for Washington and playing pretty well. He could be a solid back-court mate for Gilbert Arenas. They probably want him back, not to mention other teams who have noticed his play. It’s hard to fly too far under the radar when you’re a 6-7 PG who was the #4 overall pick in the draft.
    -Morrow plays 30 mpg for GS. I have no idea what’s going on with that organization, but they might not let him walk for a few mill. This is the same organization that had the chance to get cap space and instead threw long-term money at Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggettte.
    -Denver is not going to let Melo walk without putting up a fight. Your chances of signing him in 2011 aren’t significantly better than signing LeBron in 2010. I understand that Melo is just a symbol of cap flexibility, but without their own draft picks the next two years the Knicks might never benefit from that flexibility. The Thunder got Eric Maynor with their cap space, and Eric Maynor is playing like total crap for the Thunder.
    -Assuming those guys will be available in the draft is tough. Your chances of hitting on a late first/early 2nd are just not that great. And, to buy that first rounder you have to take on salary which it’s unlikely the Knicks do BEFORE they know what LeBron is going to do.

    I like your thinking and I hope the Knicks explore this route to see who they can get cheap, but I’m just pointing out that to get the cheap players who are actually desirable you will likely end up bidding against other teams (especially their old teams) and then suddenly they’re not as cheap as they were. If they’re all on one-year deals that doesn’t really matter, but their old team can offer them a 2 or 3 year deal and then you have to seriously overpay on a 1 year to get them.

    “A Johnson/Lee or Johnson/Bosh team could win 50, sure. But it’ll NEVER win a championship.”

    The Knicks have made the playoffs once in the last 9 seasons. Perennial playoff team would be a huge improvement.
    After mortgaging the franchises future for free agency 2010 I don’t think Walsh will come up empty handed. Realistically, they’re probably going to spend their cap space now.
    You aren’t stuck with Johnson/Lee or Johnson/Bosh forever. That’s a starting point. You can continue to improve your roster after that. It’s not like the Knicks will have a lottery pick the next 3 drafts anyway, which takes away a huge incentive of “rebuilding” the young/cheap way. As BBA points out, they would still have Curry to trade and their young guys may develop further. They can also be traded. Some of the $1-2 mill signings you suggest would still be possible once the Knicks are capped out with the veteran’s minimum (Livingston is a veteran I think, the others I don’t know… not sure how many years experience that is). The Knicks would still have their 2nd rounders (unless they lose them in a sign-and-trade).
    There’s no promise that either Johnson or Bosh or even Lee will sign with the Knicks anyway. I just think the possibility of getting into the playoffs and building from there isn’t so bad. If the Knicks win 50 games next season I will shit myself out of pure joy.

    “Honestly, I think the roster I cobbled together would win more games than this year.”

    That’s not saying much in the first place. I sort of doubt it, though. Two of the three best players from this year are gone–Lee and Harrington. They are replaced by a one-dimensional scoring guard (Morrow), a guy who has more than half a season twice (Livingston), a career D-Leaguer (Barron), and a guy whose D-League PER was 11.2 (McRoberts). Chances are pretty good that would be the worst team in the NBA. You might find some real diamonds in the rough (mostly Livingston and McRoberts and maybe someone Donnie drafts), but even then your ceiling is 30 wins.

    “I’d rather keep collecting assets and wait.”

    When you don’t have your 1st round pick for the next 3 drafts it’s hard to collect assets.

  50. And, Robert, how many Championships are you going to win with Carmelo Anthony??? I like Melo, but waiting around for an extra year because Carmelo Anthony is better than Bosh and Joe Johnson is just not realistic. Melo is worse than Bosh this season. He’s not that much better than Joe Johnson. Not sure if he’s better than David Lee. The two players I would wait around for are FAs in 2012: Howard and Paul. That’s a lot of waiting. Plus Paul’s knees might be toast anyway and it’s not easy to envision Howard leaving Orlando.

  51. And yeah, there’s no way in the world that the Wizards let Livingston go without a fight.

    For a team that is trying to sell “the future,” Livingston, their first rounder this year and maybe Blatche are all they have to “sell” to their fans next year, so I don’t see them letting him go.

    He’d be a fine pickup for pretty much any team, though, as he seems pretty much all the way back, health-wise. And a healthy Livingston is quite a matchup problem for most teams in the NBA – a quick, 6-7 point guard.

  52. With his health history, I don’t think Livingston will be that hard a “get.” I mean, I don’t know if he’s worth the gamble even at $3-4 million.

  53. The other problem with Livingston is he’s a TO waiting to happen. The injuries are a concern, whether or not it’s worth the risk depends on the individual franchise. What are their alternatives? (In other words, what is the opportunity cost of signing him?)

    Blair did fall all the way to the mid-2nd round based on medical risk with the knees… so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see teams not touch Livingston with a 10 foot pole, I guess. Depends what their medical experts tell them. OKC–which rejected a seemingly healthy Tyson Chandler on medical risk–did sign Livingston to more than a year deal, so you’d think their doctors cleared him. Granted, it was a small deal and they eventually just cut him.

    The Wiz have a TON of cap space, so it depends what they plan to/ can do with it. They’ve only got 5-7 players under contract next season (team option on Josh Howard and player option for Quinton Ross). They could go out and overpay a couple Rudy Gay’s (or keep Howard), but if Livingston has impressed the organization they may well bring him back next season. Unless they do well in free agency they’re going to stink next season whether Livingston gets hurt or not, so if they like him why not bring back a cheap complement for Arenas with strong upside potential? The guy is only 24 (25 in Sept.) and if he’s healthy can be a solid NBA rotation player. They might have little in the way of opportunity cost.
    On the other hand, maybe if they draft Wall/Turner and bring back Foye they have no need for Livingston.

    Other teams may be less willing to take the risk since they may have less risky alternatives and haven’t gotten as much of a first hand look at Livingston (assuming he’s impressed the Wiz with that up close look). Maybe a capped out team to which money is not a concern that has no better options with the MLE? (Dallas if they’ve got nothing better with the MLE… Kidd is not getting younger and Livingston might complement Terry and more importantly Beaubois.)

    Minnesota is the other team that comes to mind. Good amount of cap space, but few free agents are likely to go there. They need talent and might take risks for the chance to get it. They want to play Flynn with a PG apparently since they drafted him with Rubio. Livingston may be a better fit next to Flynn than Sessions in some regards. All 3 could form the back-court rotation.
    They are also a candidate to draft Wall or Turner, though.

    A few other teams you could make a case for, but a less obvious one. Maybe a team/coach that he played for previously liked him and feels he’s finally healthy.

    PG crop in both free agency and the draft is pretty thin, which might help Livingston.

  54. It’s easy for us to throw around names and numbers – hey, what’s a million dollars between friends… I’m just saying that in general NBA teams don’t throw multi-year guaranteed contracts to players with no full-time NBA starting experience and a devastating knee injury history.

    I think you make a reasonable case for potential landing spots but all these teams are thinking of Livingston as filler, with potential upside — not, this guy is gonna fill my hole at starting PG. Ramon Sessions, healthy and coming off two strong seasons as a part-time starter, got about $20 million — Livingston won’t get half that, and I’m guessing it’s $5 million or less over 2-3 years. I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see him playing for the minimum, although with so many teams having cap space I think that someone will bump up the bidding.

    I don’t think we’ll see Rubio in Minnesota next year, but from what I read he is only helping his stock in Spain this year – I’m sure Minnesota would trade him in the right deal but it will take a lot more than Wilson Chandler.

    Chandler for Sessions on the other hand, might be realistic…

    Do you think it would be a good fallback plan, if we whiff on the big FAs? It’s not a great market for FA point guards – the best are probably Felton, Ridnour, our own Sergio… or Nate Robinson! JJ Barea, Jamaal Tinsley… I’m probably forgetting someone. I could see San Antonio trading Tony Parker, but don’t think we have what it takes unless it’s Gallo and when you consider salary I don’t think that’s such a good idea. Kirk Hinrich might still be available. Mike Conley. TJ Ford is probably available for free if we’re willing to pay him.

  55. I’m with Caleb re: Livingston.
    Re: Zasa, my mistake he’s around 5 mil – a pretty good deal if we can pry him loose, and he’s young. I just meant he seems like a better “deal” than J. O’Neal will be this summer, but who knows? He is a Walsh guy, after all.
    It’s definitely a problem that we are looking at other teams’ “3rd big” while our star player is sort of viewed as a 3rd big (basing this on Portland’s interest the previous summer.)
    I think Barron *could* be an adequate 3rd big. Lee’s an adequate starter at pf…. now all we need is Dwight Howard, lol.
    Hey, don’t forget we still have Mr. Stay Puft himself on the team next year. Is it too late for him to become a “franchise center”?
    But yeah, Ted’s right about pg’s. It’s the one position where and aged veteran is almost preferred. If the rest of the lineup is potent, a Derek Fisher type is all you need. Someone like Sergio has more potential for the future than someone like an Alston or Jason Williams, but the older guys will help you more now.
    Re: Johnson, I think he’s worth roughly the max if you look at the market. Who’s better at the 2 guard spot besides Kobe and Wade? I think he’s pretty even with Roy. Is 4th best at your position a max contract? It’s close. He’s a 6’8″ player that can handle the ball like a point guard and score in a variety of ways and I would say his defense is “above average”. You do have to start somewhere. A core of Johnson/Gallo/Lee is pretty nice. He would afford you to play TD at the point, and you could spend the rest of your cap on a center.
    I doubt Johnson leaves anyway. He’s on a top 5 team right now, seems to like his coach and currently has a better supporting cast than we could offer. Maybe the idea of playing with Gallo and Bosh would lure him, but I’m not even sure about that.
    I think Bosh is our best shot since the Raptors suck. Maybe Wade since the Heat suck too but they have cap space. Worst case scenario, LBJ stays, Johnson stays, Amare stays put, Bosh goes to Miami to hang with Wade, Boozer goes to Chicago, Lee goes to Utah or OKC.

  56. “I’m guessing it’s $5 million or less over 2-3 years.”

    Yeah, I think that’s very reasonable as a high end (unless some Al Davis like crackpot owner is in love with Livingston… maybe Sterling wants him back? Maybe Dolan watched him last night and loves him?). I was thinking PART of the MLE, though I’m not sure I ever stated that. (But that’s also where guys can end up getting overpaid ala Duhon: we want the guy, they want the guy, what’s the difference of a couple mill to ensure we get him? Isiah even overpaid for Crawford and Curry when no one else wanted them.)
    The original figure thrown out there was 1 year 1-2 million. I don’t think that’s out of the question either: if Washington fills its backcourt through any combo of draft, free agency (Joe Johnson or a cheaper option), re-signing it’s own (Foye, Mike Miller) then it’s a lot more of a crap shoot who may or may not sign Livingston. But I think that’s the low end. I think he’s showing enough and has enough upside to get a little something.

    (There are a lot of salary cap dollars out there this offseason, but there are also a lot of free agents. Some players will probably get lost in the shuffle, no? If the available free agents actually outnumber the dollars maybe there will actually be downward pressure on the salaries of free agents who aren’t seen as elite and not as much free spending as we assume?)

    Along with not paying risky players on long-term deals, NBA teams also have a history of overpaying early lottery picks who haven’t reached their potential but still have upside. Mostly those are bigmen, but Livingston is huge for his position. Felton is tiny and he’s looking to get overpaid, although he’s never played less than 78 games.

  57. Ted,

    You’re right about my undervaluing the potential salaries of the guys I named, esp. Livingston.

    Here’s the thing. Worst case scenario – Wade stays and Stoudamire joins him. Johnson stays w/Atlanta. LBJ stays. Bosh goes to Chicago to play w/Rose. Lee gets a kajillion rubles thrown at him by NJ and goes there. What do you do?

    I’m not a Rudy Gay fan. Camby is a great complimentary piece to a contender but certainly not a centerpiece at age 37. Ginobili already re-upped.

    Who do you give all our precious cap space to in that case? Walsh kind of HAS to find underpriced assets similiar to what I described above and wait on 2011 — whether that’s for Melo or CP3 or whomever, right?

  58. I would be glad to take a shot at Livingston, on the cheap – especially since he fills a need, in terms of backcourt size, defense and playmaking.

    I don’t think there’s any conceivable way to put Johnson in the same class as Brandon Roy, or Ginobili.

    IMO he’s not dramatically better than a lot of others. His TS% is 32nd in the league among shooting guards… he’s an above average rebounder, but it’s not dramatic – Nate Robinson’s rebound rate was higher last year. he’s a pretty good passer. Pretty good defender. Etc.

    Even if you want to call him the 5th best SG, or a top-30 player in the league, I don’t think that warrants a max deal, especially since you’ll be paying him up to age 33 or so.

    JJ does get bonus points for playing huge minutes, unlike Manu, and being able to handle a high volume on offense. He’s like an innings-eater pitcher in baseball – saves the bullpen, papers over a thing bench. But as he hits his 30s I expect those minutes to come down.

    Like a lot of people here I would be upset to see him get a max deal (from us), or even $12-13 million. But no, I don’t think it would be an Eddy Curry-level fiasco.

    And yes, I DO think someone – Atlanta or not – will give him that max deal.

  59. Walsh has to find undervalued assets regardless….

    But let’s say we whiff… there’s no reason to carry $20 million in cap space when you can spend it on one-year “overpaid” deals for guys like O’Neal or Camby, or decent-value mid-level types like Childress, Mike Miller, various PGs, etc. Or Al Harrington.

    If we hadn’t traded or swapped all our draft picks there would be a silver lining to sucking, but as things stand…

  60. Caleb,

    Agree on Rubio. The only way they give him away is if ownership/finance is breathing down Kahn’s neck to win some games now and his job is in jeopardy. Considering how long they let McHale run their team, I hope that’s not the case.

    The way Sessions has played this season the Knicks should even be able to get a pick along with Sessions. Sessions makes $2 mill more than Chandler, of course, and a pick would add another mill. So that would be a deal for after striking out in free agency. At that point you might have to look for a future pick if Minni likes who they drafted #16 and #24 with Charlotte and Utah’s picks. And assuming Minni likes Chandler.

    Ford or Calderon probably the most attractive trade names. Only way I would want Ford is if the cap is filled up in 2010 and even with Curry expiring there’s not much more than the MLE in 2011. Then maybe he’s as good as it gets for Curry if other teams aren’t desperate to ditch their high paid players. Maybe that’s a little harsh since Ford will only be 27 next year and could regain his 07-08 form under D’Antoni.


    Agree with everything, except I would add that the *could* regarding Barron is a big one. Then again, maybe not if this rebounding dominance continues.

    JO is actually killing it scoring for Miami this year and is their #2 player, but it’s because his jump shots are finally falling. The guy is a weak shooter who loves to settle for jumpers, and this season they’re falling at a high rate. No way he duplicates that next season, though you could hope he’s at least improved his jumper a bit. He shot jumpers decently (for him) after getting to Miami last season, too, so maybe it’s the system or playing with Wade or something. If it’s a one or two year deal I think the Knicks could do worse. I wouldn’t be too pumped, though, and the papers would kill Walsh for being a homer. He and Lee might not work too well together, either, as you don’t really want either settling for jumpers. I think it will be way too tempting for D’Antoni to force Lee to take too many outside shots or to allow JO to take all the outside shots he wants. That’s why I favor a low usage C like Biedrins, but even then D’Antoni might force Lee outside too much. Bosh is a slightly better shooter and scorer then Lee, but he’s probably have the same problem. D’Antoni may say he wants to play two bigmen, but I still have a really hard time believing it.

  61. Or think of it this way…

    Say we miss out on the other star FAs… re-sign Lee and a PG (Rodriguez, Ridnour, whoever)… and have $16 million left. Are we better signing Joe Johnson? Or $10 million for a center like O’Neal, and splitting the rest?

    Either way, I think that team has a good chance to squeak into the playoffs.

    But I think a defensive-minded center would make a bigger impact on the Knicks, even if he isn’t as “good” or as valuable, in a vacuum.

    Plus, you would not be stuck with a five-year mega-contract, for a marginal max player.

  62. Ted, I would agree – any of those PG trades would be AFTER the big free agent rush – assuming we’re left empty-handed. I like the TJ Ford idea because it costs us nothing but money. His deal ends next summer, I think. (if not, forget I said anything)

    Not sure I like Chandler for Sessions – I am warming up to Chandler – but it’s worth a look.

    I like Biedrins a lot, too, but no sensible GM would trade him. With the Warriors, who the hell knows?

    O’Neal I think you need to look at the defensive end of the court… IMO that trumps any potential issues with the offense. Obviously to the extent he takes shots away from Lee or Gallo, it’s a minus.

  63. Yeah, Johnson is a tough call. If you go w/ the Ridnour/Chandler/Gallo/Lee/O’Neal lineup, then you have 17 mil next year for Melo if you want him. Yes you wait a year, but Melo is clearly the better buy than Johnson.
    Problem is, I don’t see that lineup winning more than 35 games tops next year. Could lead to massive riots on 8th Ave.

  64. “Problem is, I don’t see that lineup winning more than 35 games tops next year”

    Not to be a homer, but I think you are being pessimistic… THIS team is winning 30, and last year 32, with a doughnut hole in the middle of the D. O’Neal I think would get us into the top 20 on defense. And then you’ve got Gallo, Chandler and Douglas on the upside…

    Barring major injury, I’d say that team wins 35-45, depending on the quality of the filler.

    Plus, IF it were a one-year deal, you’d have room for 2 max players in 2011, via trade or free agency.

    JO or Camby might take a year if you overpay, $10-12 million…

  65. Robert,

    Yeah, if you’ve struck out in free agency I think those are good names to look at. If you have a shot at Bosh/Lee and Johnson, though, then it’s more complicated. Maybe not totally clear, but upgrading the backcourt could go a long way after the way Duhon played. The 50 wins thrown around earlier is optimistic (hence my reference to defecating myself if they do it), but Eastern Conference playoffs aren’t that exclusive a club.
    The names you mention and the names Caleb mentions are a good place to look if the Knicks miss on the big free agents. I just don’t think you can count on them coming SO cheaply or that they’d be very good as a team. I could be wrong on both counts, though.


    Yeah, Johnson is sort of a poor man’s Roy at best.
    I’m more and more bearish on him–which I was to begin with but started to convince myself to be more bullish as I thought it more likely maybe the Knicks sign him. I do think that replacing Duhon with him and Harrington with a solid 5 could make the Knicks a .500 team and get the ball rolling.

  66. Well you can look at it this way. The Knicks have 3 slots to get 3 almost max players (or two and some filler) in 2010-11. We have to hope that these 2 or 3 guys plus Gallo, TD and Chandler get us some winning years through, what is it, 2013 when we get our own draft pick again? So in 2013 you get picks again (plus a lower one in 2011.) So that’s around 5 years after 2013 where you can possibly rebuild a team through the draft if you make huge mistakes with your cap $$ in 2010-11. Maybe you get Amare and he goes down, and then plays much worse. Or get Gay and he’s just not very good. That’s it, that’s all you’ve got until you start making picks again in 2013. Of course, some of those guys will start to come off around 2015-16, so you’ll have some of your cap space back then.
    Thinking about it this way, if you strike out on James and Wade and maybe Bosh, it probably is better to save the cash for a run at Howard in 2012, maybe get CP3 along the way if you can get a few smart, tradable pick ups, and buy some draft picks.

  67. Hollinger just wrote an article on players who are on lottery-bound teams who have played well in the past 2 months, or “garbage time” as he calls it. He mentions Sergio, Walker and TD, it is Insider but I will post what he wrote for those 3 players (was hoping he wouldve mentioned Gallo too):

    “I’ve been a big fan of Rodriguez since he came to Portland in 2006-07. In his extended playing time with the Knicks, he has showcased a few of his prominent weaknesses (he tends to pound it, is a poor defender and has a weak outside shot), but he has showed enough playmaking skill to merit playing time anyway. Rodriguez needs to play in an up-tempo system rather than a walk-it-up outfit, but his numbers in New York prove his talent. He’s shooting 49.4 percent with the Knicks, and that combined with his always-stellar assist ratio (this will be his fourth straight season above 30) make him a solid backup, at worst. Best of all, the free agent-to-be is still only 23 years old, so he could improve.”

    “A throw-in to the Nate Robinson trade, Walker has taken over as the Knicks’ small forward in the wake of Wilson Chandler’s injury and showed enough promise that the Knicks likely will try very hard to pick up his $854,389 option for next season, even if it makes a slight dent in their precious trove of salary-cap space. Walker’s impressive instincts as a scorer are his best assets, as evidenced by a 53.2 percent mark from the floor and an average of 16.4 points per 40 minutes. Surprisingly, he’s taken half his attempts from beyond the arc and drained 41.5 percent, supplementing his attack-the-rim game. He’s only 22 and probably could do more if he sought to play off the dribble more, as his usage rate is still very low. Regardless, after battling his way back from multiple knee injuries, he’s clearly an NBA-caliber player.”

    “New York’s other long-term keeper (well, unless it trades him to create enough space to keep Walker and still sign two max free agents), Douglas is that rarest of rarities with the Knicks — a player who defends as though it actually matters to him. Douglas’ intensity at that end is his greatest asset, but he’s also been better than advertised running the offense. Although his instincts are as a scorer rather than a passer, his 17.8 points per 40 minutes and solid 57.2 true shooting percentage are signals that he can be an effective offensive player. Like his brethren on this list, he’s stepped up his game since March 1, averaging double figures while cranking up what had been a paltry assist rate.”

  68. @68,

    I pretty much agree. I do think the improvement in the backcourt from signing Johnson could be just as big for the Knicks as an improvement in the front-court, though. Duhon was terrible and Chandler was out of position. Having an actual NBA backcourt would be a revelation.
    Defensively signing a JO would be huge for the Knicks, but offsenively I fear he’ll regress and D’Antoni’s head will explode if he tries to effectively use both Lee and JO.
    Offensively the Knicks have the personnel to get into the top 10 with a few tweaks. There’s a balancing act, but sometimes I think it’s better to just go for it on one side of the ball if you can be 20-25 on the other. I just think maybe you try to balance offense and defense with a mish-mash of personnel who stink on one side or the other and you just end up being bad on both sides.


    Ford has a player option for next season at $8.5 mill. He could opt out if he hates being the only black guy on the Pacers enough, but chances are he exercises it. O’Brien is probably one of the worst coaches in the NBA for Ford–O’Brien is the one who encouraged Antoine Walker to lead the NBA in 3PA–so I don’t put TOO much stock in his #s in Indy. Still, his career high TS% is .533. Calderon is a really efficient scorer and isn’t THAT much worse defensively than Ford. Ford is better defensively, but still not good.

    That’s why I would also look for a pick from that deal, maybe 2.

    Biedrins stunk it up this season and Nelson cut his minutes by 7. You never know what will happen, but that smells like he’s not happy and they’re not happy with him.

    Also to the extent that he forces Lee out to the perimeter more. I guess my biggest resistance to that is just that I am not convinced D’Antoni is the right guy to coach that team. He’d have to prove it to me.
    Camby might be a better play, because JO loves to shoot the ball. I don’t see JO’s ego taking too much of a backseat offensively. Camby doesn’t need to shoot and passes well. Biedrins doesn’t need to shoot and scores efficiently and runs the floor. Both are 10x better rebounders than JO.

    The long-term contract for Joe Johnson I do see as negative.


    Melo is better than Joe Johnson, but not that much: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=anthoca01&y1=2010&p2=johnsjo02&y2=2010
    Both are overrated a bit since they are the leading scorers on good teams. (This season is the 2nd highest WS/48 and highest PER of Melo’s career, by the way. So it’s not that this is a down year for him.)

  69. Ok – here’s another shot at a No LBJ, JJ, Bosh, Wade, Lee, Stat team:

    1. Sign Camby to a 3-yr. 30 mil deal
    Looking at his numbers, I’ve decided he’s really undervalued. Yeah, he’ll be 39 at the end of his contract, but he’s been incredibly consistent since leaving NY (natch). His WP/48 is at around .440, making him the 2nd best player in the league behind LBJ. Yes, Berri’s metrics overvalue rebounding, but it’s impressive nonetheless. You’re definitely going to be overpaying at the end, but for the next 2 years, Camby’d be worth it.

    2. Make this trade w/GS.
    NY Trades
    Wilson Chandler & their 2nd (post-draft)
    GS Trades
    Anthony Randolph
    Randolph still got a huge upside and they may be dead set on holding on to Randolph, but you never know what GS will do

    3. Sign Mike Miller to a one year, 8 million dollar deal.
    This is a bit of wishful thinking as far as getting him for 1 yr goes, but you’re overpaying for that one year of service. That said, Miller’s been consistently underrated.

    4. Hold on to Barron and Walker.
    5. Pick up a PG in the draft. Sherron Collins may be there in the 2nd but I’d target Greivis Vasquez

    Now your rotation is:

    PG Douglas/Vasquez
    SG Miller/Walker
    SF Gallo/Walker
    PF Randolph
    C Camby/Barron

    Again, fill out the roster w/D-League guys. MD’A only plays 8 anyway, so it’s not as big a deal.

    You’re about 8-10 million under the cap w/this team and you’ve got Curry coming off in 2011 along w/Miller, giving them plenty of flexibility


  70. If Camby’s “too old” I’d offer the same deal to Brendan Haywood. Though Dallas/Cuban will probably lock him up early.

  71. $10 million a year for Brendan Haywood… now we are getting a little carried away…

  72. @73 ess-dog,

    Maybe you sign LeBron and he reveals that he’s an alien sent from another planet to test earth’s basketball skills, is unimpressed, and returning to his home planet. At some point the Knicks have to pay some players; although, I’m not for throwing money at just anybody. At the very least they can sign some guys to short-term deals and still try to field a competitive team. If no FAs will sign in 2010, why are Howard and Paul going to jump on board after two more seasons of losing?

    My problem is still that it seems D’Antoni needs top offensive talent to win, and top offensive talent is overvalued more often than it’s undervalued (this has been a pet peeve for me since they hired him, and maybe I’m wrong). A more versatile or less entrenched coach might be better. Some coaches would be able to take a bunch of scrubby players who try hard and actually coach them. Like Scott Skiles or Jeff Van Gundy or a bunch of other NBA coaches. I just have no faith D’Antoni can do that. He actively comes out and says his job is not to teach players.

    @74 BBA,

    Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to have those guys mentioned.

    Rodriguez hasn’t impressed me too much, so I think Hollinger is playing favorites or tooting his own horn based on previous projections of Rodriguez’s greatness. (Or there are not many candidates.) His TO% on the Knicks is almost as high as his ast%. He is scoring at a really high efficiency, but that’s not sustainable. Hollinger’s own magic stat–PER–puts him at solidly below average on the Knicks: 13.4. The last sentence about him only being 23 is true, though. I think he has a bright future, but I think the next few years at least are in Spain.

    He’s right that Walker’s strength is scoring. Maybe his ability to guard guys who are a foot taller is a strength, but maybe it’s a circus act that hurts the team. Hopefully the cap figures come in at some number where the Knicks can keep him and make 2 max offers still.

    I would not trade Douglas to keep Walker. Unless what you got for Douglas was great.

    @76 Robert,

    Camby might be a good fit since he doesn’t shoot much but he passes well. Giving that old a guy that much money is a risk, but I’d probably take it too. I would probably give it to Camby before Haywood.

    Put me down as doubting GS does that.

    We discussed Mike Miller a lot yesterday. Caleb has convinced me that Childress is preferable to Miller. I’m not sure 8 mill is overpaying Miller by much. I’d expect him to get offers for the whole mid-level which might be getting close to 8 mill at this point?

  73. My big question is how much better is Joe Johnson than Jamal Crawford, who I’m pretty sure most all of us were glad to see go.

    This Year:


    Or how about Nate Robinson, another player alot of us were not that sad to see leave.

    This Year:


    Johnson is a better defender (though not a game changer), has better size at the two, and has played alot more minutes both last year and for his career than Jamal and Nate, so he is a better player. But looking at those numbers make me question just how much better. Since most of us wouldn’t want Jamal or Nate on our teams even at 5-6 million per how is Johnson worth three times that when he is no better offensively and not a gmae changer on defense.

    I would argue that Johnson might not even be a huge upgrade over Chandler who is as good or better on defense and has even better size at the two.

    Last Season:

    Chandler is not as volume of a scorer but considering Johnson is less effficient than Gallo, Douglas or Walker, and also less efficient than Lee, Boozer, Bosh or Amare (hopefully we will have one of them next year) is shooting less necessarily a bad thing. So that really leaves passing as the only large advantage Johnson has over Chandler and is 2.5 assists more per 36 really worth giving Johnson a max deal?

    Also Chandler is 22 and still improving while Johnson is 28 and will soon start his decline.

    Signing Johnson to a max deal would be repeating the Allan Houston mistake all over again. You do not sign wings to max deals unless they are superstars. Johnson is not.

  74. That’s a lot better Robert. I don’t see GS doing that deal though. Weren’t they offering him for gallo at one point? Plus, there most productive player, Magette, plays the sf right? If he opts out, I would take a look at Azubuike…
    Camby? Sure why not. It’s true interior defense would really help this team.

  75. Actually – looking at the comparison, I’d rather re-sign Jamal Crawford than go all-in for Joe Johnson.

    Even if he gets the 6th man award, you could probably get Jamal for a third of what you’d pay Johnson (total years & dollars), especially if Atlanta maxes out paying Johnson

    And I loves me some Jamal Crawford (irrationally so, I know)

  76. I have big concerns about Camby. He is 37 and is going to seriously start breaking down soon. Maybe it will be a gradual decline but I think a serious dropoff or injury is very possible. I think he is only worth signing one year at a time and only if he is the final piece needed.

    I also have concerns about O’Neal’s attitude and also his age, he is starting to break down.

    No more washed up aging all-stars.

    Better to go after someone like Amir Johnson, or make a trade for Biedrins or Okafor.

  77. Maybe we can trade up to #26 w/ Memphis (Walker and a 2nd rounder?) and grab Larry Sanders. He’s 6’10” but dude’s got a 7’7″ wingspan…

  78. @80 Ben,

    I’ve been pointing out the similarity between Johnson and Crawford quite a bit. Johnson is a good deal better, though. This is one freak year for Crawford, if he does it again we can talk. Johnson’s career numbers are a bit stilted because he was bad his first 3 seasons, but still led the league in minutes his 3rd year. Since then he’s been consistently better than Crawford until this season. Crawford has been pretty consistently mediocre from year 2 through this year.

    The problem with Chandler at the 2 is that he can’t hand the ball or make many plays for others. If you’ve got Steve Nash (or Jose Calderon) at PG you can put a zero playmaker at SG. If you’ve got Chris Duhon or Toney Douglas there it’s a lot less advisable. It’s fair to say Chandler is a better defender than Johnson, but he gives up a lot more offensively.

    Johnson is at a mid-.530 TS%, but he’s spiked to the mid-.550s twice in his career.

    Johnson is a poor value at a max deal, but I also don’t think he’s as bad a player as you make him out to be. The argument for him is not that we really want him, but that he may be better than nothing/cobbling together a bunch of scrubby guys making $6 million who are “undervalued.”

    @82 Robert,

    That would be great if Crawford were a free agent. He’s not. That’s why the Knicks traded him.
    There’s about a .0001% chance he repeats this season again, though.

    @83 Ben,

    Next season will be Camby’s 36 year old season. He’ll turn 37 at the end of the season.
    At 36-38 Karl Malone was one of the best players in the NBA, his PER didn’t drop below 20 till he was 40 and went to the Lakers. Kareem’s PER was over 20 his 36-38 years too. David Robinson–he of the ailing back–averaged a PER of about 19 his 36 and 37 year old seasons. Same with Robert Parish. Same with Shaq for 36-37 (he’s in his 37 year old season). Hakeem averaged a PER of around 20, but missed significant time his 37 and 38 year old season. Detlef Schrempf was still solid at 36, though he fell off at 37 and was done at 38. Horace Grant was still doing it at 36. Sabonis was still good at 36 and 38 despite moving like the tin man. Dikembe, Clifford Robinson, PJ Brown, Kurt Thomas, Charles Oakley, Antonio Davis. Many declined but they still help solid value from 36-38. Dikembe actually improved from 36 to 37 and then again from 37 to 38.
    10 mill per for 3 years is really pushing it for Camby, but I do think he can remain a valuable player for 3 more years. I probably wouldn’t be the one to give him that much and I doubt he’ll end up getting that much for that long. (Maybe Portland wants to keep him around and since they’re capped out they overpay, but with Joel and Oden returning minutes would be tight.)

    Jermaine O’Neal had one of the best seasons of his career and is only 31. I doubt he repeats that season, but he’s not showing signs of breaking down. He WAS broken down and has at least temporarily revived himself.

    I would prefer Biedrins, too, but you have to convince GS to trade a good center who just turned 24 two weeks ago. And you don’t have much to offer. Trading Okafor also guts NO in the middle, and I’m not crazy about him at the 5 anyway.
    Amir Johnson is a possibility.

    I wouldn’t swear off aging All-Stars as a rule just because you’ve been. It’s situational. If those guys get lost in the shuffle and no one offers them deals maybe they’re actually values.

  79. You know what’s funny? Earl Barron’s PER has been almost exactly the same in his time with the Knicks as Jordan Hill’s has been in his time with the Rockets… roughly 16.

  80. Barron’s is based largely on a really high rebound rate that there’s not much indication he can sustain, though. His career D-League reb% entering the season was 14.2, his NBA high was 13.3, and he’s at 20.7 for the Knicks. Maybe he’s improved or he’s just applying himself finally, but to go from a below-average rebounder for the better part of 6 seasons to suddenly among the best in the league would be remarkable and maybe unprecedented. Hill has also done it over almost twice as many minutes, though the sample size is small in both cases.

  81. Ted – Johnson is better than Crawford but even over the last five years the difference has not been huge. Crawford has actually had a higher TS% in 3 of the last 5 seasons.

    Per 36 minutes over the last five seasons:
    19.5 pts 5.0 asts 3.9 rebs 54.0% TS%
    18.2 pts 4.1 asts 2.9 rebs 54.2% TS%

  82. Ian Mahinmi is another (potentially good) cheap big who might be available. Particularly if San Antonio brings Tiago Splitter over. They’d have Duncan, McDyess, Blair, Bonner AND Splitter — not much room/reason to hold on to Mahinmi

  83. i honestly think we can flat out a lottery team for one or two of their assets, namely Minnesota or Detroit, or maybe even Indiana. Indiana to me is a bit interesting. Say we can do a S&T for David Lee (assuming we sign Bosh/Stoudemire) for Roy Hibbert and T.J. Ford. Roy Hibbert gets you a young, defensive 5 and T.J. gets you an expiring deal and a solid PG in D’Antoni’s offense. This same offense made Chris Duhon look pretty decent last year, then again him and David Lee were really clicking on the P&R. Also, I’ve read from ESPN that Indiana is looking to do a S&T this summer to find talent to place around Danny Granger. David Lee gets his money and security, New York gets a PG and a C. the only thing that worries me here, is the development of Roy Hibbert, D’Antoni can polish him on offense, but I’m not sure if he can really harness the capabilities of Hibbert’s defensive game (he is from queens, by the way). But its something nice to think about. Maybe we can even steal Brandon Rush if they draft Evan Turner. And quite honestly, Evan Turner, Danny Granger, and David Lee sounds scary.

    Now say we sign Stodemire and put him next to Hibbert. This should solve our front court problems. Plus the addition of of the backcourt sounds okay.

    PG: Ford
    SG: Rush
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Stoudemire
    C: Hibbert

    plus the bench has guys like Wilson Chandler, Bill Walker, Toney Douglas, and 2 2nd round picks. maybe even Earl Barron.

    I honestly don’t like the Joe Johnson thing too much. JJ’s don’t work out for New York. Jared Jeffries, Jerome James? That’s enough for me to be afraid of JJs, besides i think signing Joe Johnson is a mistake. Quite honestly, he’s nothing too special for us to spend more than 10 mil a year on a 3yr deal.

    Or maybe, just maybe. some team like Washington will be dumb enough to trade their lottery pick, and we might be able to pick them up. I mean Washington traded away what could’ve been Brandon Jennings or Stephen Curry for Mike Miller and Randy Foye. Was it worth it? No.

    But in all honesty, i think the roster can’t be improved without trading Eddy Curry for a larger contract. So Iggy or Ben Gordon should be on their way, sadly, but hey. I think Iggy and Ben Gordon are heading upwards, while Johnson has already peaked/heading downwards. And i hate that Brandon Rush option

  84. Indiana would give us TJ Ford for nothing…

    So tell me again why we are trading David Lee for Roy Hibbert.. ?

  85. Because this year’s FA crop and draft class is weak on PGs, I say our priority should be to try and solidify our front court. If we can use our cap space to go after a good C and PF combo to go with Gallo, I honestly think we’ll have one of the best front courts in the league. We should use one of our second rounders on a PG. I would prefer an experienced PG who knows how to run a team, and is not a scorer (we have that in Toney Douglas). It seems like the only good options would be Vaquez and Collins, not great but some one like Collins could be great… Big shot maker, winningest player in Kansas history. I really don’t see getting a Luke Ridnour to be ideal. I don’t think some body like that would make a significant enough impact to warrant spending money that we could use on the frontcourt. Maybe the best rout would be to trade for a PG. I do think we need a good PG to max D’Antoni’s system, but signing one of the available guys just doesn’t seem like the right move to me… Thoughts?

  86. Yikes. Adding 3/5 of Indiana’s starting lineup (one of the few teams worse than us) doesn’t seem like the answer. I somewhat agree with you SJK, although as we’ve been discussing, there is no amazing option for a true defensive center (Camby is the closest you’ve got.) I’ve been lobbying (sort of) for a frontcourt signing – basically taking the best options out there – of Bosh and Lee. Like Ted says, if you can do nothing else, maximize your offense, and Gallo, Bosh and Lee would give you 3 guys that can do so many things on the offensive side. Then you can stick with Sergio/TD and/or add Collins or make a small trade (Sessions?)
    1-Sessions/Sergio/TD/Collins (not all)
    3-Gallo/Walker/2nd rounder
    4-Bosh/2nd rounder

    If we keep Barron, that’s an 8 man rotation right there, not including the rookies that we know Coach D. never plays anyway.

    Not a championship team, but a good start.

  87. @91 Robert,

    Mahinmi would be a great player to take a shot on. There’s got to be some reason Poppovich hates him, but he has been a beast in the D-League and all 173 minutes of NBA action he’s gotten in 3 years… haha. I know he’s got some talent ahead of him, but not enough to justify not playing him with the numbers he’s put up in a very small sample. This year their frontcourt depth improved considerable with McDyess and Blair, but the previous two years it wasn’t great. He must be a real ass or something.

    @92 massive,

    In the best case Hibbert and Ford could be a solid improvement at those spots. I’m not really thrilled with trading David Lee for those two, though, and Caleb is probably right that they’ll give Ford away… they’ve started Earl Watson over him. It would also take Indiana being the front-runner to sign Lee (given that he’s a white American Klan Master Bird is probably dying to get him, so very possible… they’ve got Murphy and Hansbrough at the 4, though). In that case I would take Hibbert of anyone who might be available in a s&t on their roster and also Ford if the cap space can’t be better used elsewhere.
    Brandon Rush has stunk his first two seasons (yet still averaged 2100 minutes for some reason, that reason mostly being that Dahntey Jones and Luther Head aren’t much better). If he’s in the NBA in 5 years I’d be very surprised.

    @94 SJK,

    Just depends on the specifics. A PF/C combo would be great, but depends on what players: how good are they, how much do they cost, how do they complement each other, and will D’Antoni actually play them or will Bill Walker be the PF by week 2 of the season?

  88. @96 myself,

    “In that case I would take Hibbert of anyone who might be available in a s&t on their roster and also Ford if the cap space can’t be better used elsewhere.”

    Scratch that, would have to take Ford, huh? They can’t take on more salary than they send out since they’re over the cap. If they really want Lee you’ve pretty much got them by the balls, though, since they’re capped out. Would get some picks out of them and pull a reverse Isiah (aka a Paxson).

    @95 ess-dog,

    Good point about 3/5 of Indy; although they actually do have 3 more wins than the Knicks… going for the 3 win improvement in 2011 to get back to 2009 form, typical Knicks style!!!

    At first I thought you were referring to MARDY Collins… haha.

    If LeBron and Wade pass, Bosh AND Lee could be the best way to go from a value/asset accumulation point of view. I don’t know how they would play together. As long as they don’t cannibalize each other too much you could trade one of the them later on. Depending on who he’s looking to sign with, maybe a s&t for Lee will be one of the best ways for the Knicks to proceed on a non-LeBron path. Instead of dangling nother but cap space in a trade you’re dangling an All-Star PF. Would take the stars aligning as far as who wants to offer him the best deal/where he wants to go/their cap situation/the assets they’re willing to include in the trade.

  89. Technical question (that I should probably know the answer)..

    If Walsh trades Lee for, say, a 2020 2nd round pick… he gets an $11 million trade exception (or whatever Lee signs for).

    Can the Knicks sign their two max free agents…. then bring in a THIRD star with the trade exception? Can they use the trade exception to go over the cap? It seems like quite a loophole but I don’t see an obvious rule to prevent it.

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