ESPN: Adam Silver preps NBA players for challenges ahead

It sure sounds like we’re actually going to see a playoffs, but the crazier thing will be what the NBA looks like next season, money-wise. We’re probably looking at a CBA where everyone agrees to pro-rate salaries next season, with player taking sizable pay cuts.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver prepared players for a potentially grim landscape amid the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting there are no guarantees when fans could fully return to NBA arenas next season.

Silver said that 40% of the league’s revenue comes from money built around game nights in arenas.

“This could turn out to be the single greatest challenge of all our lives,” Silver told the players.

ESPN acquired an audio replay of the National Basketball Players Association call, which included executive director Michele Roberts, NBPA president Chris Paul and several players asking questions of the commissioner in an hour-long session.

The tone was respectful, but Silver was asked some hard questions about safety issues, return-to-play ideas, how future seasons would be impacted and the financial realities of future salary caps and basketball-related income. Silver said no decision on returning to play this season needs to be made in May, nor immediately into the start of June.

Silver said returning to play this season at one or two potential sites — including Orlando and Las Vegas — made the most sense, and that no decision on the league season needed to be made before June.

“There’s no point in adding risk for flying all of you city to city if there’s not going to be fans,” Silver said. “We think it would be safer to be in a single location, or two locations, to start.”

Silver allowed that there would need to be some restrictions in place at a single or two-site scenario, but he told players: “The goal isn’t to have you go to a market for two months to sit in hotel room.”

Silver expressed a desire that the NBA complete its season with a traditional playoff structure that includes seven-game series in each round of the playoffs, but he left open the possibility of play-in tournaments to accommodate more teams in a shortened season resumption. Silver also told players that the start of next season could be pushed until December, regardless of whether this season was completed or not.

Through it all, Silver reminded players that these were issues that needed to be collectively bargained with the NBPA. Among those issues, he said, included how future basketball-related income and salary caps would be impacted with massive decreases in revenue.

He flatly told players about the current Collective Bargaining Agreement: “The CBA was not built for extended pandemics.”

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441 thoughts to “ESPN: Adam Silver preps NBA players for challenges ahead”

  1. Dolan is supposedly a good businessman…. This is a one in a lifetime opportunity to take on payroll from desperate small market teams into their cap space for fungible assets.

    Where are the Mc Kinsey guys when we need them…….

  2. Hiring a capologist is a good sign…but yeah, having pre-existing available cap space will probably be a very good thing…

  3. The article says that the live gate and related income at the games is 40% of revenue. It’s remarkably hard to verify that number. That’s a lot more than I expected. If there are no spectators at games, that’s a big hit to the cap, although the players and owners could negotiate a smaller hit or average the hit over a number of years if they chose to do so.

  4. Nobody here has discussed what the impact of the virus will have on the salary cap these next couple of years. It probably works out for the Knicks. What about the teams that are at or close to the luxury tax threshhold? They’ll get screwed and be under huge cap pressures. The cap was supposed to be $115M. What if it dropt to $90M?

    First, what do you think the impact will be?

    Second, how would you construct the roster?

    The team I would start with in 2020 would included Robinson, Barrett, Ntilikina, Knox, Brazdekis and Randle plus the 3 rookies we’re about to draft. That’s 9 players mostly included because of their contracts. Total 2020 cost for that is $46M. How are you splitting the money for 5 more players and fitting into $45-55M (luxury tax)?

  5. If the cap is going to fall, by definition that means virtually all contracts negotiated under the old cap expectations are bad contracts. They were negotiated under the assumption of progressively higher salaries and caps going forward.

    To understand it, we could take this all the way back to the Courtney Lee discussion. When Lee was signed, the cap projections called for a significant rise over the next few years. That made Lee’s salary at the time (and loads of other contracts negotiated that same year) look fair on a relative basis. But then the cap did not rise as fast as expected. That’s why many of those contracts eventually became more burdensome. It wasn’t that they didn’t make sense at the time they were signed. It was that the salary structure did not rise as much as expected so they eventually were too high on a relative basis.

    IMO, the fair deals and bargains this year should be among free agents that will be negotiating under the assumption of difficult times for the NBA over the next couple of years. You may even be able to sign a very good player to long term contract that looks like a screaming bargain 3 years from now if prosperity returns to the NBA and the cap spikes up hard again.

    The worst contracts now will be the longer term ones negotiated previously under the assumption of continued growth/prosperity and much higher cap levels going forward.

    In other words, if you think CP3’s contract is bad now, it will be a lot worse if the cap falls.

    So the demands for compensation for taking on these bad contracts should RISE given you are taking on something that’s way more crippling to your own team’s progress than before.

  6. Since players aren’t likely to give back salary beyond a token amount, they will have to get creative, maybe shrinking the cap but having some exceptions, amnesty provisions, etc.

  7. But the CBA requires them to give back salary if actual revenue falls beneath projected revenue for the season. Theres an escrow taken from every paycheck to cover this contingency. But it’s only ten percent or so.

  8. If the escrow doesn’t cover the revenue gap then payers have to repay money. That was not conceived to happen under ordinary circumstances, but is a real possibility now.

  9. I have to assume the NBPA and the owners sit down for extended talks on adjusting the CBA to accommodate the players and the teams. Neither side foresaw this turn of events, so I have to imagine both sides will want to adjust the CBA in different ways. They may do some sort of easing again on the cap or implement some other plan.

  10. The differences between the cap projection and the actual cap during the years Lee was signed were minimal. His contract sucked because he played nearly identically to how he played prior to signing it. In other words, he didn’t get the age 31-34 boost that Phil Jackson was anticipating, and thus he was not worth $12M AAV. Sucks, but you can’t blame Phil Jackson for not knowing Lee wouldn’t get a lot better at age 31.

    Anyway, the smart thing to do would obviously be to offer to take on excess salaries from teams that are suddenly desperate to get off of them in exchange for assets.

    Apparently we are not allowed to talk about the smart thing to do, though, so uh, maybe we can get Chris Paul at a discount now!

  11. I think teams are worried a lot about revenue but aren’t going to make any decisions about players until they have better idea how bad it is.

  12. Apparently we are not allowed to talk about the smart thing to do, though, so uh, maybe we can get Chris Paul at a discount now!

    The issue is that there’s no trade-salary freedom. You have to match salaries. Trades now are for length of contract – not amount. Thing is, 2021-22 is the end of CP3’s contact. The last 2 years are at $41M & $44M – almost the entire amount of the buffer.

    The essence of the “what would you do?” question is about how you allocate $50M for 5 players?

    42-2-2-2-2
    25-15-8-7-5
    15-15-10-3-2
    10-10-10-10-10

  13. I agree with Strat about CP3’s contract. If the cap falls a lot it’s much more of a crusher. It’s hard to imagine a worthwhile deal for him in those circumstances.

  14. The issue is that there’s no trade-salary freedom. You have to match salaries. Trades now are for length of contract – not amount. Thing is, 2021-22 is the end of CP3’s contact. The last 2 years are at $41M & $44M – almost the entire amount of the buffer.

    If you have enough cap space to just absorb the whole contract, or the surplus compared to what you’re sending out, you can do that.

  15. Some teams that might want to unload salary are Houston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Golden State. Maybe we could trade for Dinwiddie and take him into cap space.

  16. The argument that Lee’s contract was only bad because it outpaced the cap increases is unbelievable. I honestly cannot believe that someone argues this in good faith. Holy shit.

  17. Let’s say the cap goes down 20% to something like $90 million and the luxury tax thresholds are slightly adjusted to account for the sudden change. Beyond that, would a modified amnesty provisions make sense? Or some kind of “salary sharing” provision. Take Chris Paul, for example. Suppose OKC could make a deal with the Knicks where they each pay 50% of his salary, but a significant percentage of it (say 80%) comes off of OKC’s cap and something like 60% of his salary goes on the Knicks cap. (I never liked when star players were waived and the entire benefit went to the player and capped out team who could sign him at the vet’s minimum.) This would result in Paul getting paid whatever his salary turns out to be, but only 80% of that is still in the NBA’s total bank of cap space.

    It’s a half-baked idea (and one that wink, wink advantages the Knicks) so I’m not really advocating for it, just brainstorming ways to give a reasonable amount of relief to unexpectedly capped out teams and not have it advantage already-good but capped-out teams on the acquisition side. Teams can decide to keep their players and be capped out/pay the tax, or relinquish the player and get lots of cap relief but with a “penalty” of dead cap space, while teams with cap space (mostly bad teams) have an advantage in acquiring these players.

  18. The argument that Lee’s contract was only bad because it outpaced the cap increases is unbelievable. I honestly cannot believe that someone argues this in good faith. Holy shit.

    To be clear, Strat is referring to a difference of roughly $5M in the total cap. A drop in the bucket that was barely even reported because of how inconsequential it was.

    In other words, he is saying that with a $107M cap, Lee’s salary would’ve had teams tripping over each other trying to trade us a first round pick for him, but with a $102M cap his salary made him the albatross he was.

    However even in the pretend world where this is somehow true, boy, it is not smart to sign contracts that completely collapse in the event that the salary cap projection is off by 4%!

  19. Z-man, one thing that would reasonable for the league to do would be some sort of cap and luxury tax averaging. They could, say, project revenue for the next two seasons and set the cap at the average of that. They might have to hold onto escrows for two years instead of one then. The players might agree to that because it would make for a better market this off season and the owners might like it because they would have two seasons instead of one to adjust to the new reality.

  20. Man, strat, you must be the only person on earth who thinks the Lee deal was reasonable in retrospect. I get your logic at the time, but in retrospect, there’s really no defending it. Chalk that one up as a win for the Phil detractors and let it go. He simply was never worth that money even for 2 years, let alone 4 guaranteed ones.

  21. With revenue hit hard, OKC may get desperate to dump CP3. Then its definitely worth looking into acquiring him because they may attach a crapload of their picks to dump him.

    Then again, lots of teams will be dumping players. There may be better deals with sufficient draft compensation

  22. You can’t decide your salary allocation until you know who is available

    You absolutely know who’s coming available both as UFA and RFAs. Trades are the wild cards and teams could resign someone. Or someone might just stop playing. But you can definitely look at the class and formulate a plan.

    I agree with Strat about CP3’s contract. If the cap falls a lot it’s much more of a crusher. It’s hard to imagine a worthwhile deal for him in those circumstances.

    It’s why I changed my mind on CP3. at $115M, instead of that $50M to deal with you have $75M using the baseline I laid out. So instead of pinning yourself into a 42-2-2-2-2 split. It becomes a 42-12-8-8-5 split. Very different.

    Another thing the virus might do if it impacts the cap, is it makes teams with cap space much more competitive in the FA market and that team will score many bargains. So having cap space will be the smart move.

  23. If the cap shrinks by that much, surely the notoriously tight-fisted Thunder would be willing to part with a couple picks to dump Paul?

  24. Here’s a “JK47 was wrong” post: I thought the Courtney Lee deal was okay at the time. It wasn’t. It just seemed less appalling compared to the Noah contract and Rose trade.

  25. “Apparently we are not allowed to talk about the smart thing to do, though, so uh, maybe we can get Chris Paul at a discount now!”

    Getting Paul MAY be the smart thing if enough assets are attached to him IF OKC is desperate enough with him and Adams at huge figures next year. OKC has 13 (yes 13) #1 picks coming in the next 7 years with Miami’s and 2 Clippers completely unprotected in the out years.

    If the Coronavirus thing lingers, with most 60 year olds and up being very cautious of being in large close groupings, MSG’s network ratings for games will go through the roof along with revenue to Dolan.

  26. Yeah it could definitely make sense to get Chris Paul if assets are coming our way. I’ve just seen this play too many times before.

    When the Bargnani and Rose trade grumblings first started, people here were mostly curious about what assets were coming our way to take on those awful contracts. Turned out we were the ones trading the assets.

    So I’ll believe that we’re actually being paid to take on a bloated contract when I see it.

  27. OKC adding picks to a CP3 trade changes the discussion.

    Two other considerations: This upcoming free agents market is pathetic. There is not much improvement to be found there. Also, next year’s free agent class is really good. Would a CP3 contract become an opportunity lost?

  28. Idk how connected he is, but Chad Ford is saying that the Knicks will do what it takes to get LaMelo in this draft.

    Edit: it’s just speculation on his part, sorry…

  29. I like LaMelo but not enough to move mountains to get him. If they use one of the Dallas picks and maybe a future 2nd rounder, I’d cringe but withhold judgment. Maybe even throw in Knox, although that’s clearly an overpay. But beyond that, definitely not.

    And I’d be fine if we passed on trading up. He’s got upside and some impressive non-scoring efficiency stats, but lots of question marks. But if he’s available when we draft, I’m taking him and not looking back. Only Wiseman offers the same level of upside at the top of the draft. I still think Wiseman’s going first when it’s all said and done, unless the Knicks pick first.

  30. I wouldn’t trade up for LaMelo or anyone in this draft class.

  31. Only Wiseman offers the same level of upside at the top of the draft. I still think Wiseman’s going first when it’s all said and done, unless the Knicks pick first.

    I think Wiseman is the most likely #1 pick, too. Some teams might go Edwards, though. One of those two.

  32. Wiseman would be a dangerous guy to pass on. He’s kind of like a KP-level prospect, some definite question marks, but just his measurables give him a high floor, maybe like a Nerlens Noel. It could wind up being like passing on Mitch, only worse because he actually proved he could dominate in the NCAA and there’s no one like Doncic or Young or JJJ in this draft.

  33. Because of revenue sharing, and the BRI being weighted toward smaller market teams, isn’t this pandemic basically going to effect every team equally, salary cap speaking? Does it really change the tune of, say, Paul to NY for assets that much?

  34. Because of revenue sharing, and the BRI being weighted toward smaller market teams, isn’t this pandemic basically going to effect every team equally, salary cap speaking? Does it really change the tune of, say, Paul to NY for assets that much?

    I think it all comes to whether players will have to accept proportionally lower salaries next season. I think it’s very likely that they will, and the salary cap will reflect that, so yeah, I don’t think it will change the math much on Paul’s deal. Like, if the cap goes down by X, I think Paul’s salary will likely go down by X, as well. This is a historic situation that I don’t think the Players Association is going to be able to argue that their salaries shouldn’t be lowered. I think it’s a near certainty that the players are going to have to accept substantial paycuts. It’s just a question of how large that pay cut will be. The owners will likely argue for a 40% paycut and they’ll probably settle somewhere like 25%.

  35. DW it’s a hard question to ponder without knowing how the cap will move relative to players’ current salaries. I mean, if the cap goes down 20%, will Paul make 20% less? If not, it would seem that it would be that much harder for OKC to move Paul, i.e. they would need to include that much more sweetener. Does anyone have any specifics on how current salaries might move relative to the cap?

  36. Obviously I was thinking the same thing Brian. I’m glad you’re wondering as well, makes me feel less uninformed about it! Thing is, it doesn’t work in the other direction…when the cap goes up, most salaries stay the same. The NBPA has a pretty good argument that the players salaries shouldn’t be reduced unless they are directly tied to the cap, since players with pre-existing contracts don’t benefit when it goes up, right?

  37. Paul becomes a very interesting case…CP3 is the president of the NBPA, and most of the player leadership have big contracts. Will they give back millions just so that teams can spread the money out on new contracts? Will tax-paying teams get relief when the cap drops?

  38. Obviously I was thinking the same thing Brian. I’m glad you’re wondering as well, makes me feel less uninformed about it! Thing is, it doesn’t work in the other direction…when the cap goes up, most salaries stay the same. The NBPA has a pretty good argument that the players salaries shouldn’t be reduced unless they are directly tied to the cap, since players with pre-existing contracts don’t benefit when it goes up, right?

    Oh, it’s definitely super sketchy, but with the historic nature of this situation, I think the players are just going to have to eat it. If the public doesn’t support the players during normal labor strife, can you imagine how little they would support the players for labor strife during a pandemic? It’s going to be terribly difficult to convince people of the unfairness of Chris Paul making $30 million next season instead of $40 million while Carmelo Anthony didn’t see his $24 million salary rise to $32 million when the cap went up dramatically, ya know?

  39. Maybe, but I guess I don’t have much faith in how much the NBPA cares about public perception, or that the public would side with billionaire owners in a battle over money. I think the owners will have a hard time keeping the players’ salaries in lock step with the cap. My guess is that there will be creative solutions that keep the actual salary decreases significantly less than the percentage decrease in the cap. But hey, who knows?.

  40. We’re already seeing Major League Baseball telling the players they won’t pay them their full salaries if they play games without fans. And MLBPA has a lot stronger union than the NBAPA, so if they agree to it, then it will be hard to imagine the NBAPA won’t, too.

  41. “Maybe, but I guess I don’t have much faith in how much the NBPA cares about public perception, or that the public would side with billionaire owners in a battle over money. I think the owners will have a hard time keeping the players’ salaries in lock step with the cap. My guess is that there will be creative solutions that keep the actual salary decreases significantly less than the percentage decrease in the cap. But hey, who knows?.”

    These owners didn’t get to be billionaires by taking pipe from their employees. They got rich by screwing their employees….. the owners aren’t going to subsidize a single quarter of player salaries.

  42. I don’t think that players are going to take a proportional cut and I don’t think the NBA owners are going to yield either. Money (greed) more than the virus will keep the NBA from restarting.

  43. I don’t think any players contractual salary for cap purpose changes if the cap goes down. Returning salary is done through an escrow mechanism. An escrow is set aside out of each players salary. If BRI is less than the estimated BRI used to set the cap for that year money goes back to the teams. If the actual BRI is higher than the projected BRI. The teams pay out more. So salaries are affected after a poor season, not before. If the BRI drop exceeds the escrow, players have to literally pay back salary. No one wants to do that. That’s why the escrow was set up. In this case, the escrow might not be enough, although players haven’t received all their salary yet and the league is likely to modify what remaining money they do receive in order to avoid paybacks. So Paul will receive less than his contract value for 2019-2020. But his contracted salary will be the same next year as he signed for. However, it is true that if his contracted salary is pegged as a percentage of the cap, not a specific dollar value, then it will go down, assuming the cap goes down. If that is the case, I think it’s even less likely OKC trades him. This case will affect very few players, so most high salaries will stay high and be bigger fractions of the cap.

  44. To summarize, it’s built into the CBA that player’s get less money if revenue falls short of expectations. That doesn’t change any player’s contractual rate of pay as far adding those salary numbers up for salary cap purposes even if the cap drops.

  45. It’s hard to believe that the collective bargaining agreements for both baseball and basketball do not contain language that at least arguably addresses circumstances like this and apportions the risk. ( In the recently abandoned sale of Victoria’s Secret contract that was abandoned, counsel for VS was prescient enough to have a provision that in effect said a pandemic is not a basis for negating the contract). That type of provision is at least a starting point in negotiations between the sides.
    btw, Our own James Dolan is among the elite business executives advising NYS’s governor on reopening.
    Edit- I see that Knickfan in NJ is aware of the provision addressing this.

  46. The NBA owners have a Force Majeure clause in the CBA that includes pandemics. They could blow the whole thing up if they really want to. Since they obviously don’t want to, the next step is to collectively bargain with the NBAPA to come up with a new arrangement for next season. Said arrangement will almost assuredly include players taking pay cuts.

  47. The key thing about the CBA is that it is, you know, a collective bargaining agreement. In other words, there’s nothing in it that can’t be collectively bargained out of it. So there’s no “they can’t do X” when it comes to collective bargaining.

  48. >The argument that Lee’s contract was only bad because it outpaced the cap increases is unbelievable. I honestly cannot believe that someone argues this in good faith. Holy shit.<

    1. Lee was a solid role player until got hurt last year and buried in our annual tanking extravaganza, but he played quite well again this year. He was even starting some games on a very good playoff team in Dallas for a great coach that used him well.

    2. It's a fact that some contracts negotiated that year turned out to be bad because teams were competing for and paying players a premium in free agency based on salary projections that never materialized. A salary that was supposed be x% of the cap in years 2, 3, 4 and look reasonable wound up being more than x% and being unattractive. That was a factor.

    Of course this requires that you value Lee correctly and understand that what we are seeing now is an extreme version of the same thing. The difference being both how extreme it is and that it impacts every contract and not just some that were negotiated in free agency in a single year based on assumptions from the league that were not met.

  49. >This case will affect very few players, so most high salaries will stay high and be bigger fractions of the cap.<

    That's the critical point.

    If CP3's salary winds up being a bigger fraction of the cap, then it will be even worse than it is now even if it's a lower number. So we should be compensated more for taking it on. I find it preposterous that some people in the media are saying we should give up assets to get him. That's despite me being in the minority here in thinking having a leader like that on the team does have some hard to measure value in building the work ethic, knowledge, and winning culture for our young players that we should want.

  50. The owners do have to work with the players union, but I think it will mostly be about what needs to be in place to resume play. They also should to agree on a projected BRI to set the salary cap. If there is a lot of uncertainty in the projected BRI, they may want increase the escrow amounts above 10%. That’s a lot of figuring out to do, but it doesn’t involve much renegotiation of the CBA.

  51. 1. Lee was a solid role player until got hurt last year

    Yeah, he was pretty average in both of his seasons with the Knicks. That’s the whole point. He got paid $12M a year to be average. That’s not a good contract.

    and buried in our annual tanking extravaganza

    Because, being 33 years old, he had no future on the team and had been hired by a since-departed POBO. Again, we’re appealing to being “respectable” rather than paying any attention to the win curve.

    but he played quite well again this year.

    It should come as no surprise that the same guy who says you can’t point to thousands of unproductive Ntilikina minutes as evidence of his badness uses 345 minutes of play, in which a 34-year-old player blows his career high 3PT% out of the water (a patently unsustainable 44.7%, against a 38.8% average) to make a point about “rebound years.”

    He was even starting some games on a very good playoff team in Dallas for a great coach that used him well.

    And in his starts, here’s how many minutes he played (rounded up or down).

    16
    6
    4
    17
    24
    29
    31
    22
    20

    Wowie! And in many of those games (I checked every one, just for you), the Mavs were missing Doncic, Curry, Finney-Smith, Brunson and/or Hardaway. So yeah, he was good enough to start for a six-minute stint. Or maybe the Mavs had no other option.

    But out of the 16,180 minutes the Mavs played last year, did you watch all 345 (2.1%) of Lee’s contributed MP?

  52. It’s worthwhile thinking about actual salary cap numbers. This year the salary cap is $109M. The league will obviously take in less than that and players and teams will share the pain of less income. Next season, BRI will certainly be down. Even if arena’s are open, there is certainly going to be an economic slump affecting attendance and people’s habits may also change and they may go to fewer live events. Given that arena’s may slowly open as the season goes on, I think it’s a fair guess that actual live gate related income will be down 40 or 50%. Given that live gate related income is 40% of BRI that means overall income will be down 16 to 20%. The cap should go down proportionally, which means it will be $87 to $92m, but be expected to go back to around $109M in the 2021 to 2022 season when things are hopefully back to normal.

    That’s a huge change. It’s conceivable that the union and the owners could agree to take the average of the two seasons for both seasons which would be a cap of $98 to $100 and put in place some mechanism for the escrows and such so that player income works out after two years instead of one as the correct percentage of BRI. I like this idea upon first glance, but there would be different effects on different parties. Teams that are hoping to spend big the summer after this coming one won’t like it. Teams that might get a huge tax bill this coming season might like it. Similarly, players who are negotiating this summer would like it and those who negotiating a year later won’t. Setting a higher cap this coming year than revenues justify will hit the pocketbook of many teams and owners may not like that. On balance, it’s probably going to be hard to get an agreement to such a compromise. So there is a real chance the salary cap will be around $90m for the coming season.

  53. The question I’m most interested in is: What will happen to the salaries of players already under contract, amd more specifically, how will they count towards the cap? I know that players might give back money if there are games missed, but that is irrelevant to the cap discussion when it comes to flexibility under the lower cap in 2020-21. It doesn’t matter nearly as much whether CP3 gets the same or less money in his bank account as is does whether his salary relative to the cap goes up or down.

    Put another way, if the cap goes down 20% next year, I can imagine a scenario where the CBA is adjusted so that Paul gets all of his money by some method (e.g. paying him the full amount over many years without it being on the cap in those years) but his salary on the $2020-21 cap is reduced by 20%. The NBA can then spread the underlying value of the deferred payments out when determining the cap in future years.

  54. Saying Courtney Lee’s contract wasn’t bad because the salary cap projection was off by 4.7% and only Phil Jackson knows the true power of Courtney Lee is one of the most hilarious things ever written here, so I for one encourage it.

    Backing it up by citing 345 minutes in a season in which Lee mostly racked up DNP-CDs is like Michelangelo putting the finishing touches on the Sistine Chapel.

    This, of course, requires believing that Courtney Lee’s contract would’ve been dynamite if it was just scaled down by 4.7%.

    Look, fine, he was an albatross at 4/$48M, but at 4/$45.7M? Holy shit, we could’ve traded him for Kawhi. The Raptors might’ve had to throw in Siakam.

    This might implicate the second prong of the argument though, which is that Phil Jackson had the correct evaluation of Courtney Lee and it was actually the other 29 GMs who simply did not understand just how much low-volume, average-efficiency scoring does for a team. Nor did they understand the absolutely essential nature of average perimeter defense.

    Please keep these coming. This is all-time stuff. Can we get an explainer on why Derrick Williams was actually an incredible signing, just to hold us over until the highly anticipated “Joakim Noah actually deserved more money” post comes out?

  55. Unlike many here that are wed to broken models and disproven ideas about tanking Toni Kukoc obviously understands basketball.

    https://nba.nbcsports.com/2020/05/10/toni-kukoc-kevin-durant-is-the-best-player-in-the-nba/

    “Basketball doesn’t require a playmaker anymore, somebody that you always look for that has to bring the ball up the floor. In this era, there’s so many players with multiple skills, that it’s almost a waste of time to look for the playmaker when someone can push the ball and get into the offense.

    “Plenty of times LeBron is mistaken as a point guard, which is awesome. Kevin Durant, to me in my personal opinion, is the best player in the NBA. He can easily bring the ball up the floor. That’s a style that the triangle offense allowed that any one of us could run the point or be a post person or fill the corners. It’s not requirement to have a point guard, you can have skill players with 3 or 4 guys on the same team playing multiple positions.”

    The triangle offense was ahead of its time in that way; it didn’t want or need a pure point guard — Derek Fisher thrived in the system, Gary Payton chaffed against it — it wanted versatile players. Scottie Pippen brought the ball up a lot. So did Kukoc and Jordan. It was situational, and the guards — Ron Harper, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, B.J. Armstrong, or whoever — had to be able to work off the ball.

  56. Derrick Williams was a meh signing in the context of a predictably failing overall strategy. He gave roughly $4.9 million worth of production for 1 year and then opted out and was signed by a much smarter POBO for the same money with Miami, making the dubious player option irrelevant. You can bash the deal by bringing up the opportunity cost thing, but consideration of that was never part of the overall strategy and was therefore irrelevant when evaluating the signing in retrospect. It was certainly not anywhere near as bad as either the Noah or Lee signings, so it makes little sense to bring it up in that context.

  57. Z-man, I expect the full value of the contract will count against the cap, no matter what the cap value is. For most players that salary number is hard coded into their contract. Maybe for Paul and a few others they are paid a fraction of the cap not a fixed value. Then maybe their cap hit will go down proportionally to the cap.

    I see no way the scenario in your second paragraph happens. The cap is not determined by player salaries. It’s determined by league income. And, in your scenario, a team’s cap is effectively raised (because less salary counts against it) at the same time that league and team revenue is going down a lot. It’s impossible for me to imagine the owners wanting to spend more when they have less.

  58. Let me paraphrase every Strat post for you:

    You’re not smart. You think you are, but you’re not. See this ex-player? He thinks this opinion, which I share. That’s not why I cherry-picked it to make an anti-analytics argument that has no actual math behind it. It’s because ex-player, like me, is right, as he knows basketball and, like me, only has good opinions on basketball, which is true because he played it at a high level, which, although I have not, is similar to my expertise because I see the game clearly, unlike you. Someday you will be less young and therefore smarter. 140-point system. Phil Jackson. Frank Ntilikina. Synergy. Playing the game the right way. QED.

  59. Seth Curry plays ahead of Lee.

    Dallas’s offense is geared towards maximizing Doncic’s ability to get to the rim where he can score, get fouled, or dish if he gets doubled. They want four 3 point shooters on the court with Doncic. They even purposely have KP taking shots from beyond his typical range just to maximize the space for Doncic (per Carlisle). Everything is geared to maximizing Doncic on offense because he is so efficient inside with space and can pass. Even defensively, they defer rebounds to him so he can bring the ball up quickly and get into the offense faster.

    Curry is one of the best 3 point shooters in the league. In the role of floor spacer he’s way better and more versatile than Lee, who is also very good and very smart in that role, but not on a par with Curry.

    For the season, the team was actually a little better with Lee on the court than Curry. More than likely, that was just noise though, but Lee was not a liability. He was as good as ever.

    The Curry contract is an excellent one. IMO, it’s a bargain. I wish we had Curry at that price, but we’d almost certainly overpay him, use him incorrectly, and weaken his “boxscore metrics”. Plus since he’s 29 and got 4 years he’s not on our win curve. lmfao

    Somehow even though Doncic is 20 and a few years away from learning how to play defense at all, Cuban correctly wants to get his young stars like KP and Doncic some playoff experience to accelerate their development under pressure.

    Dallas has been particularly well managed and coached the last 2 years. Both trading up to get Doncic, robbing us of KP, fixing and using Hardaway properly, getting Lee back in shape and making him productive again, signing Curry etc.. They are one piece and a couple of years of playoff experience away from making a lot of noise.

    We’ll probably still be tanking in 2 years and still crying that we just aren’t doing it right.

  60. >Let me paraphrase every Strat post for you:<

    It's more like most very serious fans that have been watching basketball closely for several decades know the qualities that win championships over and above the simplistic (have very good players that score efficiently and rebound etc…).

    The same is true for the many dozens of high basketball IQ players and great coaches that have been successful in this league.

    What you are looking for goes way beyond the boxscore. It includes DEFENSE, ball movement, player movement, mental toughness, experience under fire in the playoffs, scoring versatility (including post play at times), good spacing, etc…

    So basically, I am saying I am in favor of what has worked in the past and generally agree with those that have been successful doing those things and not what broken simplistic models say.

    I have not been successful at convincing most people here that stats in general are vital, but the models are badly broken. The game is way more complex than they can handle (sometimes the models are laughably wrong).

    Truly, I am wasting my time here because I know people are dug into their positions and don't want to accept that their favorite models suck or that I might be right or that the great coaches and players might be right . But I'm locked down and have nothing better to do with the tracks closed. :-)

  61. Strat, not everyone here shares THCJ’s opinion of you. I agree with you on many things, but not all. I don’t agree on Courtney Lee. I’ve noticed that some players look better on some teams than others. I think Lee is looking better now because of the team and system he is on. He wasn’t a useful player for the Knicks at his salary.

  62. Strat is a basketball genius and it’s a mere coincidence that on the rare occasions he’s made specific predictions they’ve all been laughably wrong!

  63. strat, it’s not that Lee is a bad player, it’s that he was grossly overpaid for his role and the strategy used to sign him was faulty. In the big scheme of things, Lee was much less of a problem than Noah or Rose or Melo or Hardaway Jr. It was just adding insult to injury. There was no reason to pay him that much for that long. We bid against ourselves, as we did for all of the players named above. Phil and Mills literally had no idea how to manage the cap, how to negotiate shrewdly, and how to construct a modern offense and defense. Sure, you see elements of Tex Winter’s model in many modern offenses, including the Spurs and Warriors, but Phil’s “how’s it goink” musings on the 3 point shot were pretty damning. At the end of the day, he sucked…maybe not as bad as Isiah, but way worse than even an average POBO. And anyone who blames it on Mills only diminishes Jackson further, the buck stopped with him and he never was known as the “I just quietly do what I’m told” type.

    OTOH, I agree more with you than with your main adversaries here on KP and how he was mis-utilized here and will thrive in Dallas. That trade is looking dumber by the minute. Still, it was Phil’s doing in building a terrible team around him and picking mediocre coaches and meddling with them.

  64. Fuck this part:

    So basically, I am saying I am in favor of what has worked in the past and generally agree with those that have been successful doing those things and not what broken simplistic models say.

    I dunno, I’m a stats guy, but I don’t use a “broken model” or a “simplistic model,” in fact I don’t use any model at all to analyze basketball statistics. I try to look at the numbers as a whole, and in context. I would bet many of the like-minded here would say the same. You have this cartoonish view of The People Who Are Almost Always Right™, like they (we?) just look at a guys BPM and decide whether or not he’s good.

    Maybe retire that particular broken down old nag of an argument. Take that ish out behind the barn and shoot it.

  65. When I heard Phil during one of his press conferences complain about KP taking too many 3pters I knew it was time for him to go.

    I’m not worried about the NBA and the players getting an agreement about the CBA, ever since Silver has taken over the NBA and the players union have gotten along very well. MLB on the other hand I’m not as confident about. There is alot of animosity between those 2 parties right now and with their new leadership the baseball players union is weaker than it has ever been and the owners are smelling blood in the water. Plus Rob Manfred seems awful, the complete opposite of Adam Silver.

  66. Also, what worked for teams in the 2000s would get blown the fuck out in the 2010s, so what’s your experience worth if you just keep pointing to the salad days of hand checks, midrange fadeaways and post-ups?

  67. Put another way, if the cap goes down 20% next year, I can imagine a scenario where the CBA is adjusted so that Paul gets all of his money by some method (e.g. paying him the full amount over many years without it being on the cap in those years) but his salary on the $2020-21 cap is reduced by 20%. The NBA can then spread the underlying value of the deferred payments out when determining the cap in future years.

    Sure, that’s the thing. With a CBA, any scenario is possible, so long as the players and the owners agree on it.

  68. “Also, what worked for teams in the 2000s would get blown the fuck out in the 2010s, so what’s your experience worth if you just keep pointing to the salad days of hand checks, midrange fadeaways and post-ups?”

    The Lowe Post made a pretty good point that rodman, jordan, pippen, kukoc and harper/kerr would make a pretty good small ball line-up and good luck not fouling out half the other team trying to stop jordan and pippen from slashing to the rim without hand checking and a large man patrolling the paint

  69. The Jordan Bulls, especially the second three-peat, really were more of a modern small ball team. That was almost assuredly why that team had its biggest problems with big teams. Shaq and the Magic beat the rusty Jordan Bulls in 1995 and the only Game 7s that the Bulls had during their championship runs were from the Ewing Knicks and the Smits Pacers. It would have been fascinating if the Bulls ever had to face the Olajuwon Rockets or the Robinson Spurs in the Finals.

    Look at the centers the Bulls faced in their six titles:

    1. Vlade Divac
    2. Kevin Duckworth
    3. Mark West/Oliver Miller
    4. Sam Perkins
    5. Greg Foster/Greg Ostertag
    6. Antoine Carr/Adam Keefe/Greg Foster/Greg Ostertag (with Carr playing the clutch minutes as a very small center)

    The Western Conference in the 1990s had three Hall of Fame centers, who each won multiple NBA Championships, but none of the three made it to the Finals in any of the years that the Bulls made it. Just an interesting fluke of fate (obviously, though, the Shaq Lakers were only starting to become really good during Jordan’s final year in Chicago, so perhaps they shouldn’t count, and Robinson’s second title was when he was practically a bench player. Not that the Robinson Spurs weren’t really good and might have given the Bulls problems, just keeping everything in context).

  70. Here’s a hint of how different the NBA was in the 1990s. Elden Campbell, all 6 feet 11 inches of him (and not 6 foot 11 the way that Jared Jeffries was 6 foot 11), started all of the 1996-97 season as a power forward alongside Shaquille O’Neal on the Lakers. What the what?!?

  71. Elden Campbell is 31st in career blocks and played 106 playoff games (according to Wikipedia.) Had a pretty solid career.

    Elden’s main claim to fame was being one of the few people would do a credible job of defending Shaq in the playoffs. He was that big. Which makes you wonder if the two of them together weren’t one of the biggest frontcourts in history.

    I can remember him quite well from his college days. That was probably the peak of my interest in the NCAAs. Still the leading scorer in Clemson history and still the best player on the only Clemson team to win an ACC title.

    He wasn’t a great pro. He goes down as a prototypical 95-05 stiff. But I wouldn’t never tell him that in person.

  72. Well, whenever you think of huge frontcourt, you have to remember how Patrick Ewing played power forward in his second season in the league.

  73. Yeah I’m pretty sure the Bulls would have dominated in any era. They were a pretty good team.

    The thing is…guys like Kerr, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen…the 3 point shooters of those days, would have had the green light to shoot WAY more three’s today and would have had more room to operate the shoot those three’s.

    Kerr, Jordan, Kukoc…all were decent to good 3 point shooters. Rodman would have been a monster small ball 5 in today’s game. I think they would have done all right.

    It is amazing to me the Bulls didn;t want to just keep it together. The next season was shortened because of the lock out, so that aging Bulls team probably would have been able to do one more title for a 4peat. OF course Phil wouldn’t have gone to The Lakers then but lets say Phil was coaching both teams, I think by 2000, The Shaq Kobe Lakers would have been able to beat the Bulls. Jordan looked pretty average when he made his comeback in 2001 with the Wiz. Still a great player in 98 but by 2000, I think that team would have been done. But I think 99 they would have had a real shot to win again with the season being shorter.

  74. ***Well, whenever you think of huge frontcourt, you have to remember how Patrick Ewing played power forward in his second season in the league.***

    Yeah. Sampson and Olajuwon too. The “twin towers” was a real fad for a few years.

  75. Sampson and Olajuwon were twigs compared to Shaq. I was really thinking more of pure mass. Who played center next to Ewing – Cartwright? I remember him as being really skinny with one of the strangest free throw motions ever.

    Ewing-Oakley-Mason definitely was pretty beeftastic.

  76. JK47:
    Fuck this part:

    I dunno, I’m a stats guy, but I don’t use a “broken model” or a “simplistic model,” in fact I don’t use any model at all to analyze basketball statistics. I try to look at the numbers as a whole, and in context. I would bet many of the like-minded here would say the same. You have this cartoonish view of The People Who Are Almost Always Right™, like they (we?) just look at a guys BPM and decide whether or not he’s good.

    Maybe retire that particular broken down old nag of an argument. Take that ish out behind the barn and shoot it.

    JK, if you are retiring arguments and playing judge, jury and executioner, doe this Strat gem deserve to live?

    “It’s not an eye-test thing just because it’s not from a box score, it’s based on statistical data easily acquired by extensive film analysis.”

  77. Strat is right about that. Are you just trolling him? Imagine you watched all of Bill Russell’s games and counted all his blocks and then claimed he was good at blocking shots. Would that be eye test? By your definition since blocks weren’t in box scores when he played, it must be an eye test result. Thus it couldn’t be anything you could use to evaluate him as a player.

  78. KnickfaninNJ:
    Strat is right about that.Are you just trolling him? Imagine you watched all of Bill Russell’s games and counted all his blocks and then claimed he was good at blocking shots. Would that be eye test? By your definition since blocks weren’t in box scores when he played, it must be an eye test result. Thus it couldn’t be anything you could use to evaluate him as a player.

    You do realize you would also need to count all of the blocked shots of every other player in every other game? Otherwise, how would you know that Bill was actually blocking more shots than his generational counterparts?

  79. KnickfaninNJ:
    Strat is right about that.Are you just trolling him? Imagine you watched all of Bill Russell’s games and counted all his blocks and then claimed he was good at blocking shots. Would that be eye test? By your definition since blocks weren’t in box scores when he played, it must be an eye test result. Thus it couldn’t be anything you could use to evaluate him as a player.

    Great post, NJ. NahNah’s idiotic comment was actually quoting me. Imagine, I had the temerity to conclude that Killian Hayes has struggled mightily dribbling and passing with his right hand, even though that is corroborated by every notable analyst e.g Schmitz, Perlman, based on film review. Even the most ardent stats geek with half a brain would concede the point about Hayes. Now if you want to debate on how insurmountable of an issue it is, fine, we can do that without being petty and foolish. NahNah doesn’t have that capacity.

  80. NahNah: You do realize you would also need to count all of the blocked shots of every other player in every other game? Otherwise, how would you know that Bill was actually blocking more shots than his generational counterparts?

    Right, every anecdotal report of Russell being a legendary shot-blocker should be dismissed as eye-test-based nonsense. I’m sure Darrell Imhoff was secretly just as good.


  81. You do realize you would also need to count all of the blocked shots of every other player in every other game? Otherwise, how would you know that Bill was actually blocking more shots than his generational counterparts?”

    If you wanted to compare him to other people you would have to at least count their blocks too, at for a sample of other players. You wouldn’t have to count blocks for every player. But if you just wanted to decide if his blocks had an impact on the games he was in you could just compare his block numbers to readily available box score stats.

  82. And sorry Z-man for attributing it to Strat. I’m so used to him being attacked for no stats I didn’t check the source.

  83. i’m enjoying the last dance…i’m not that partial to the subject matter and there are way too many painful reminders about how we fared against the bulls during that time, still an interesting sports doc…

    thank goodness espn has more sports stuff to go over recently – lots of talk about the new economic landscape of sports – particularly if 40% or so of the normal intake (fan attendance) is removed from the revenue stream…

    i’m sure cable providers are crying about it :)

    justin gaethje though, wow what a performance against a great opponent…khabib has a pretty solid looking coconut on top of his head, if someone can crack it though, it seems justin gaethje could be that guy…

  84. notice to self…don’t do drugs and type…i interrupt this regularly scheduled pause in this endless debate that’s been raging here for decades now – but, i need to move mister nurmagomedov massive neanderthal shaped skull (coconut) from the top of his head, to the much more appropriate top of in between his shoulders…

    alright then, my work here is done for the moment…back to the ‘bating boys…

  85. Box score shows specific things that players are usually chasing to do in order to raise their contracts.
    Eye test shows the significance and the exact circumstances of these numbers in the game and also the physical condition of the player, the way he moves, jumps, dribbles, passes, shoots, dunks, defends, traps, helps, communicates, reacts, feels as a member of a team.
    Are they both useful?
    Definitely.
    If i had to choose one of the two?
    I’d take the second.
    What can i say ?
    I prefer being a Peeping Tom Fan rather than an accountant one!

  86. Eye test shows the significance and the exact circumstances of these numbers

    What the fuck is happening to this board?

  87. The Honorable Cock Jowles: What the fuck is happening to this board?

    I know that you believe in the communistic stats but i believe that some are more significant than others.
    DrGarbage and MrClutch !
    :-)

  88. Maybe if you watched every single NBA game and made detailed observations about every single player on the floor and their heart, spunk, team spirit, chutzpah, physical condition, mojo, feel, and all that crap you’d have something. But since nobody does that, our beloved eye test more often than not is a simple way to say that players you already like are valuable. You like Frank Ntilikina, and feel like you need to praise him to make Phil Jackson seem competent? No problem! He scores well on the “plays the game the right way”-ometer, something you’d only understand if you were an eye test master, which presumably involves having watched the NBA a long ass time ago.

  89. Frank’s boxscore was so crappy at the start of the season that he should have been back to France and work at a restaurant instead of being a professional basketball player.
    Looks like he’s doing something right that most metrics can’t trace….

  90. Or did he sell his soul to the devil….
    …at the crossroads….
    [Slide guitar by Jimmy Dolan plays the Hoochie coochie man]

  91. Knew Your Nicks:
    Frank’s boxscore was so crappy at the start of the season that he should have been back to France and work at a restaurant instead of being a professionalbasketball player.
    Looks like he’s doing something right that most metrics can’t trace….

    Z-Man, this is called an … sorry, that was reflexive.

    Knew Your Nicks, this is called an appeal to authority. You are making an argument based on the authority of the management of the NYKnicks. That shit cray.

    Why are all of the boomers on this board so reliant on the eye-test? What happened when you turned 50? Did a Karen steal your brain?

  92. Or, alternatively, he’s performed very poorly but there’s not much opportunity cost for the terrible and talent-barren Knicks to keep giving him playing time on the off-chance he becomes a viable long-term rotation player.

  93. He scores well on the “plays the game the right way”-ometer

    which you could argue comes across in “win shares” (i have no idea how that’s measured, so most likely no argument coming from me on the subject) – i don’t think it’s any accident that mister frank trailed only: mitch, morris, no handle randle, taj, bobby p, elf and dot on the team in this key metric…

    yeah, frank talk all day baby…

  94. Did a Karen steal your brain?

    i am totally all over this reference – you’re talking about plankton’s karen – aren’t you???

    god, even old – i am still so cool…

  95. Just to clarify, we’re arguing if Courtney Lee’s 4.5 ppg in 14.4 mpg when he only played in a little over 1/3 of his team’s games this year retroactively justifies the shitty contract Phil Jackson gave him? You can put me down in the negative category there.

  96. JK47:
    Maybe if you watched every single NBA game and made detailed observations about every single player on the floor and their heart, spunk, team spirit, chutzpah, physical condition, mojo, feel, and all that crap you’d have something. But since nobody does that, our beloved eye test more often than not is a simple way to say that players you already like are valuable. You like Frank Ntilikina, and feel like you need to praise him to make Phil Jackson seem competent? No problem! He scores well on the “plays the game the right way”-ometer, something you’d only understand if you were an eye test master, which presumably involves having watched the NBA a long ass time ago.

    Z-Man, quick question, is JK a troll for writing this?

    Because I made this argument to you, and you called me a troll. How do you distinguish JK’s writing above and my writing in this post below?

    http://knickerblogger.net/sny-com-2-trade-packages-knicks-could-use-to-land-thunder-pg-chris-paul/#comment-697377

  97. If you’re too dumb to figure out the difference, that’s on you. And if JK has a problem with my posts, he can speak for himself.

  98. NahNah: Z-Man, this is called an … sorry, that was reflexive.

    Knew Your Nicks, this is called an appeal to authority. You are making an argument based on the authority of the management of the NYKnicks. That shit cray.

    Why are all of the boomers on this board so reliant on the eye-test? What happened when you turned 50? Did a Karen steal your brain?

    Not 50yet.
    44 but feel like 18!
    If you check the threads of the games you’ll see encouraging reports on Frank’s game from those who’ve watched the games and mocking on Frank’s historically crappy stats from those who didn’t watched them but only read the box score.
    There was something lost in translation back then.
    It’s called “impact”.

  99. Remember in here before the Ntilikina draft that many of the “draft experts/tank lovers” were waiting for the Knicks to draft Frank and also were craving for it!
    I wasn’t among them.
    Don’t have a sentimental attachment to Frank or any commitment to defend Phil Jackson or my basketball “prophecies”.
    But when i see a guy playing smart and selfless winning basketball and giving his 100% in every second while trying to improve his skills and his game approach can’t help but embrace it and say…..FuK the Stats! This kid deserves a chance.

  100. Z-man:
    If you’re too dumb to figure out the difference, that’s on you. And if JK has a problem with my posts, he can speak for himself.

    Don’t you work in education? That’s a super depressing attitude. You ARE Edward Rooney. Be careful with that bad knee.

    And I did spot the difference. It’s called – the source. To which you employed, the ad hominem.

  101. Knew Your Nicks:
    But when i see a guy playing smart and selfless winning basketball

    Winning basketball?!?!?!?!? Well slap my ass and call me Sally.

    Winning basketball?!?!?!?!? Winning basketball?!?!?!?!?

    This team doesn’t win. What the EFFFF are you talking about?

  102. NahNah: Winning basketball?!?!?!?!? Well slap my ass and call me Sally.

    Winning basketball?!?!?!?!?Winning basketball?!?!?!?!?

    This team doesn’t win. What the EFFFF are you talking about?

    His other team won during the summer….
    Remember FRA-USA ?
    The game with the Covid-friends-players !

  103. Knew Your Nicks: His other team won during the summer….
    Remember FRA-USA ?
    The game with the Covid-friends-players !

    Remember Sally ?
    Staoooouuuuut !!!

  104. Knew Your Nicks: His other team won during the summer….
    Remember FRA-USA ?
    The game with the Covid-friends-players !

    When in doubt, go international.

    Something I often remind my clients when US legal compliance is too burdensome. /s.

  105. NahNah: When in doubt, go international.

    Something I often remind my clients when US legal compliance is too burdensome. /s.

    He played against NBA players again.
    But with better teammates.
    Bball is a team sport.
    Even Jordan needed Pippen & co to win.

  106. Knew Your Nicks: He played against NBA players again.
    But with better teammates.
    Bball is a team sport.
    Even Jordan needed Pippen & co to win.

    Fair point. If you take that 97 bulls team and replace MJ with Frank, then maybe, I could see how ….

    Winning basketball?!?!?!?!? Well slap my ass and call me Sally.

    Winning basketball?!?!?!?!? Winning basketball?!?!?!?!?

    This team doesn’t win. What the EFFFF are you talking about?

  107. NahNah: Fair point. If you take that 97 bulls team and replace MJ with Frank, then maybe, I could see how ….

    Much more than fair!
    And let’s remind to all our frank-friends that:
    1. The competition of the game was NBA level.
    2. The importance was HUGE – A Knockout game against the team that is not permitted to lose in bball.
    3. Frank erased Kemba.
    4 & came up with 5 clutch points.

  108. I can get you on a flight coming BACK from Chicago. Does that help?

    Hi, I’m Earth. Have we met?

    I don’t think so.

  109. NahNah:
    I can get you on a flight coming BACK from Chicago. Does that help?

    Hi, I’m Earth. Have we met?

    I don’t think so.

    And if you replace Frank with Jordan on this season’s Knicks team you have 3chips in your pocket.
    Got it Sally ?

  110. As bored as I sometimes am during this lockdown, I really don’t think I’d spend any time watching the NBA playoffs. How much production value are they going to have to pump in to a Nets Raptors game in an empty arena in order to make it more interesting than cleaning my closet?

    Granted, I’d have to make a mess out of my closet, because I cleaned and organized the fuck out of all of them within three days of the shut down. But even that seems like a better use of my time.

    Maybe if it gets to Lakers Clippers and it’s raining outside.

  111. ***As bored as I sometimes am during this lockdown, I really don’t think I’d spend any time watching the NBA playoffs.***

    Well, we don’t all have hot neighbors, so the NBA playoffs may have to do.

  112. I’m not sure we can talk about winning basketball and the Knick’s in the same sentence, but if you ask if Frank plays winning basketball, I think his plus minus is one thing to look at. He was something like third on the team in that respect. That’s pretty good.

  113. I wonder how many more times we’ll have to discuss why

    (1) raw +/- is a useless stat
    (2) shooting efficiency is an enormous part of a player’s value or lack thereof
    (3) being 3rd in a meaningless statistic on the league’s 26th-ranked SRS team says virtually nothing about winning basketball

  114. Let’s start working on some fundamental truths so we can skip past shitty arguments.

    I heretofore propose The Ten Postulates of KB.

    Postulate 7: Thou shall not quote raw plus-minus, for thy is a noisy statistic.

    The rest to come.

  115. (1) raw +/- is a useless stat
    (2) shooting efficiency is an enormous part of a player’s value or lack thereof

    So only offense matters to winning basketball?

  116. Checkmate atheists!

    Yes, the offense is more important in today’s NBA.

    Yes, the defense is still important too. Please tell me all about Frank’s prolific rebounding, block, and steal rates.

  117. Y’all really need to chill with the Ntilikina defense stuff. He’s definitely a good defender, but christ the way he’s talked about you here would think he’s the love child of Ben Wallace and Dennis Rodman.

    When he was on the floor this year the Knicks DRtg was 111.1. That would’ve been 19th in the league.

    That is:

    1) certainly an improvement from 23rd, which is where they finished overall. He was a much, much better defender than DSJ et al.

    2) so god damned far from what would be needed to justify his putrid offense I can’t even believe we have to have this conversation.

    Obviously it’s not fair to put this all on Ntilikina as one member of 5 man lineups, but his entire theory of the case revolves around being worth the enormous offense/defense tradeoff associated with playing one of the worst offensive players in the NBA. That requires a much heftier defensive contribution than “takes the Knicks from very bad to pretty bad.”

    It’s so exhausting to talk about this dude, who will probably be overseas soon, all the time when there are, like, 50+ things that will be more important to the future of the Knicks. The stakes of the “Is Ntilikina a non-NBA player or will he be a workable 10th man” debate are just not that high. For that reason I should probably just stop engaging altogether, but the way his supporters insist their support is predicated on their Enhanced Basketball IQ or whatever is pretty damn annoying.

    He is not good, even his best-case scenarios are not that good, and we’d all be better served spending this time talking about, say, Allonzo Trier’s restricted free agency instead.

  118. Trier is like the anti-Frank. He’s as good on offense and bad on defense as Frank is good on defense and bad on offense.

    For the record, I don’t think either is a good player. But I do object to it being implied that shooting efficiency is all you need to know when evaluating a player.

  119. Is +/- completely useless?

    I always thought it was meaningless in one game or in a short span of games but over the course of a season or career, it could be useful in determining if a player has a positive impact on his team or not.

    I know that it can be determined a lot by who you play with, but its not like Frank has been starting games with Lebron and Curry and therefore benefits from them giving him a positive plus/minus.

    Is its a completely useless stat?

  120. Just like aspects of offense take time to develop, so do aspects of defense. Frank has become an excellent FT shooter at age 21 so according to some theory his 3-pt shooting should follow. On defense, he’s showing some very advanced skills but still has lapses and some technical things to work on. It’s way too early to conclude that he’ll “probably be overseas soon.” He should be thought of as a late first in this year’s draft who got drafted too high too soon and for the wrong NBA position. Jury is still very much out on him.

    And this comes from the most vocal detractor at draft time 2017. I would lobby for drafting him in the late first round now as a legit 3-and-D prospect. I doubt very much that he will be out of the league unless it’s about money. He seems to be on a Shump-ish trajectory.

  121. but his entire theory of the case revolves around being worth the enormous offense/defense tradeoff associated with playing one of the worst offensive players in the NBA.

    That may be a fair assessment of what Strat thinks, so I get where you’re coming from.

    But Strat isn’t emblematic of everyone in Camp Ntilikina. I don’t think his defense is worth playing him at his level of offense. But I do believe, adamantly, that his defense is worth giving him the full 4 years of his rookie contract to see if he can improve on offense.

    I’m also more forgiving than those of you guys who seem to think all minutes played are equal. I believe the predictive value of 4,000 minutes played before a player should be in the NBA is minimal, if not worthless. And Frank, clearly, was not good enough to be in the NBA at age 19 or 20. His age 21 season was marginal, but it would have been ok for a rookie.

  122. Frank has become an excellent FT shooter at age 21 so according to some theory his 3-pt shooting should follow.

    Touché.

  123. @swiftandabundant,

    Is /- completely useless?

    I always thought it was meaningless in one game or in a short span of games but over the course of a season or career, it could be useful in determining if a player has a positive impact on his team or not.

    I know that it can be determined a lot by who you play with, but its not like Frank has been starting games with Lebron and Curry and therefore benefits from them giving him a positive plus/minus.

    Is its a completely useless stat?

    Effectively yes
    Here’s a quote from an article on RAPM which helps give you an idea of how meaningless plus-minus stats are in evaluating NBA players. Keep in mind that these error margins are significantly better than raw-plus minus which is meaningless over any sample size. (source)

    Since we are working with a Gaussian distribution, we can compute the test for comparison… we obtain a test-statistic of approximately 0.05; which has a ridiculously high p-value. This indicates the difference between first and fiftieth is not discernible. That’s right… being the top in RAPM is effectively meaningless from a statistical stand-point. And that’s the rub; RAPM is not an effective tool to significantly measure the impact of a player. It’s just a tool to rank guys and hope no one notices all the pitfalls along the way.

    And it’s this primary reason that three-year RAPM becomes popular. In this case, the error variation drives down a bit, but the same problems exist. In fact, the tails will start to separate, but the middle of the pack still looks the same. For one team (over the years), I showed them that players between 100 and 300 were nearly identical.

  124. I think Brian’s brought this up before but I have to ask, what’s a good case scenario for Ntilikina’s career? Are we spilling so much virtual ink on a guy that’s probably maxes out as a 7th man on a good team?

  125. vincoug:
    I think Brian’s brought this up before but I have to ask, what’s a good case scenario for Ntilikina’s career?Are we spilling so much virtual ink on a guy that’s probably maxes out as a 7th man on a good team?

    He’s polarizing because of KB’s huge range of projected outcomes relative to draft position…from abject bust to quality starter. The debate now is more about his ceiling relative to his putrid offensive production, and whether his defensive rep is hype or real. Funny how my position (which has been relatively consistent) has shifted from the low end to the more optimistic side of the spectrum as the consensus has shifted towards pessimism. He definitely showed some improvement in some areas this year, so it’s all about whether his improvement accelerates, stalls, or is a small-sample illusion.

  126. Almost no one still believes that he was a good pick in retrospect, now it’s all about does he have any value going forward.

  127. Watching Frank, does it LOOK like he will improve on the offensive side of things anytime soon? No? And he’s a point guard? Ok.
    What’s his ceiling? Defensive specialist 2-guard who can knock down a 3 but can’t right now. Ok…

  128. But I do object to it being implied that shooting efficiency is all you need to know when evaluating a player.

    Cool, no one said that or anything close to it.

    Now, is it the factor that has been demonstrated to correlate most strongly with winning? Yes, and that’s not an opinion. So I’m not going to lecture anyone who takes it into account more strongly than anything else when evaluating a player. That seems eminently sensible, actually.

    Is +/- completely useless?

    Completely and utterly. Next Question.

    Frank has become an excellent FT shooter at age 21 so according to some theory his 3-pt shooting should follow.

    I’m not ready to say he’s an excellent FT shooter because he had a nice 59 attempt stretch. It’s difficult to get a gauge on his progress from the FT line because he gets there with almost comic infrequency.

    Also, that’s not the theory. The theory you’re referring to is purely NCAA/overseas –> NBA based and has strong statistical backing. I have no idea if anything similar exists once a player is already in the NBA.

    I don’t think his defense is worth playing him at his level of offense. But I do believe, adamantly, that his defense is worth giving him the full 4 years of his rookie contract to see if he can improve on offense.

    I’ve said plenty of times: as long as we’re bad, let him try to figure it out. The actual questions come into play once he hits free agency and/or we ever start to not suck.

    Are we spilling so much virtual ink on a guy that’s probably maxes out as a 7th man on a good team?

    Yes. This is what I was saying earlier. If the most rosy-eyed optimists are correct, he’ll be a 15 MPG guy.

    Except maybe Strat. If he’s correct he’ll be better than Kawhi Leonard.

  129. Case 1: Frank’s improvement last year as real + doesn’t improve
    Frank is effectively Iman Shumpert. In other words, he’s a player you really wish didn’t start but has some value off the bench or in certain matchups where shutting down a single player is really valuable, e.g., James Harden.

    Case 2: Frank’s Improvement is Real + Improves his TS% to the .520-.540 range
    Frank could be an acceptable starter on the wing or solid backup PG

    Case: 3 Frank’s Improvement Fake + No Improvement
    Frank is a perpetual bench warmer as the 3rd guard in the rotation or he’s out of the league.

    *Part of this evaluation depends on how you rate Frank’s defense. At times Frank looks superhuman, but there’s no reason to think he’ll ever play at that level consistently. Few, if any, wings make that level of impact consistently. You can blame his groin or explain it by matchup, but variation is a part of basketball and it makes more sense to assume his play will continue this way as it does for most players.

  130. This is what I was saying earlier. If the most rosy-eyed optimists are correct, he’ll be a 15 MPG guy.

    Except maybe Strat. If he’s correct he’ll be better than Kawhi Leonard.

    You say you’re not making a determination until he reaches free agency and then you say this?

    I think his age 19 and 20 season didn’t tell me anything about him other than the fact that he wasn’t ready to play in the NBA. You think it entitles you to make definitive claims about his potential. This is why there are rational people in Camp Ntilikina. It doesn’t make sense to make these kinds of determinations about a 21 year international prospect.

    I, and others, are not prepared to say there is no way this kid can’t be a starter on a good team. It’s too early. You, and others, want to insist the case is already closed. You’ve seen enough.

    Strat aside, those are the camps.

  131. I don’t agree that plus minus is useless (although I have no idea idea about RAPM, since the adjustments involved in generating RAPM from straight PM aren’t well described). I do agree that plus minus is very noisy, but there’s only so much noise; it’s not infinite noise. . Consider Frank and DSJ. Frank’s on/off per 100 possessions is +4.8. DSJ’s is -12.5. Does that mean Frank is a good player? No, It only indicates he is better than DSJ this season. But that is still a real result. The difference is too big to be just noise.

    I agree that Frank isn’t good yet, but unlike most people here I think he was a reasonable pick for where he was drafted. He’s likely to stick around the NBA as a role player or maybe better. Even though there were better players drafted later, it’s still a reasonable outcome for where he was drafted.

  132. thenoblefacehumper: Are we spilling so much virtual ink on a guy that’s probably maxes out as a 7th man on a good team?

    Yes. This is what I was saying earlier. If the most rosy-eyed optimists are correct, he’ll be a 15 MPG guy.

    This is total hyperbole.

  133. Raw +/- in basketball is mostly noise. I can’t think of a more context-dependent statistic in all of sports.

    I feel like it’s 1993 and I’m arguing with people about why slugging percentage and on base percentage are more important than RBIs.

  134. JK47
    Raw +/- in basketball is mostly noise. I can’t think of a more context-dependent statistic in all of sports.
    I feel like it’s 1993 and I’m arguing with people about why slugging percentage and on base percentage are more important than RBIs.

    For some reason BABIP for pitchers comes to mind. I always think of Tom Glavine his first season with the Mets giving up flyball double to centerfield after flyball double to centerfield after al those years with Andruw Jones and how they went out and got Mike Cameron the next season and his results improved.

  135. You say you’re not making a determination until he reaches free agency and then you say this?

    There’s no contradiction here. We might as well play him as long as we’re bad and he’s signed, but he has given us no reason to keep him in mind when it comes to roster building.

    In other words, we should stop and think about how a potential free agency signing, and maybe even draft pick to some extent, fits with Mitchell Robinson.

    We should not in any way, shape, or form take this into account with regards to Frank Ntilikina. Would anyone even dispute this?

    To be clear, that hardly makes him unique on this roster. Some people seem to disagree though, if I’m not mistaken, so I guess it needs to be said.

  136. KnickfaninNJ: I don’t agree that plus minus is useless (although I have no idea idea about RAPM, since the adjustments involved in generating RAPM from straight PM aren’t well described). I do agree that plus minus is very noisy, but there’s only so much noise; it’s not infinite noise. . Consider Frank and DSJ. Frank’s on/off per 100 possessions is +4.8. DSJ’s is -12.5. Does that mean Frank is a good player? No, It only indicates he is better than DSJ this season. But that is still a real result. The difference is too big to be just noise.

    I agree that Frank isn’t good yet, but unlike most people here I think he was a reasonable pick for where he was drafted. He’s likely to stick around the NBA as a role player or maybe better. Even though there were better players drafted later, it’s still a reasonable outcome for where he was drafted.

    You’re wrong.

    Raw +/- or on-off fails to account for teammates or opposition skewing the numbers. Based on the on-off numbers of DSJr and Frank, we can conclude any of the following:
    – Frank is better than DSJr
    – DSJr is better than Frank, but played with worse teammates
    – DSJr is better than Frank, but played against tougher opposition
    – DSJr is better than Frank, but random variance led Frank to outperform DSJr over this stretch
    – Some combination of the above that leads to a better on-off

    To account for teammates and opposition statisticians can use Adjusted Plus-Minus (APM). Due to the large variance of APM, these numbers are effectively meaningless, the variance isn’t infinite but a finite number large enough to render any distinction irrelevant.

    To reduce the error created by APM, we use RAPM.

    Source: https://squared2020

  137. I agree that Frank isn’t good yet, but unlike most people here I think he was a reasonable pick for where he was drafted.

    Yeah, gotta call it a win when the 8th overall pick in a draft is 50th in WS48, 49th in BPM, and 55th in VORP, all out of 56 NBA players, in that same draft class.

    I know, I know, the field of statistics is a conspiracy against Frank Ntilikina.

  138. KnickfaninNJ:

    I agree that Frank isn’t good yet, but unlike most people here I think he was a reasonable pick for where he was drafted.He’s likely to stick around the NBA as a role player or maybe better. Even though there were better players drafted later, it’s still a reasonable outcome for where he was drafted.

    Are you being serious???? Frank wouldn’t be a reasonable pick for his outcome if he was drafted in the 2nd rd let alone the 8th freaking pick in the entire draft.

  139. Imagine you could put Frank back into the draft pool, right now. Teams would have another chance to sign him to a rookie-scale contract.

    Do you think he’d go in the 1st round? I don’t.

    Imagine the bar for a top-10 pick being set at “I think he’ll stick around.” Jesus, our standards are low.

  140. ***Yeah, gotta call it a win when the 8th overall pick in a draft is 50th in WS48, 49th in BPM, and 55th in VORP, all out of 56 NBA players, in that same draft class. I know, I know, the field of statistics is a conspiracy against Frank Ntilikina.***

    The conspiracy doesn’t end there. He doesn’t even fare much better in the defensive stats.

    I wonder if the good people at GrizzliesBlogger.net spend a lot of virtual ink debating the value of Dillon Brooks, the ONLY guy in that draft to be statistically worse than Frank so far.

  141. with the most scrutinized end of the bench player in the history of the nba…. it’s very easy to mistake variance with improvement….

    and if you’re being honest with yourself…. these aren’t meaningful improvements…

    he’s the most babied knick of all time….

  142. Imagine the bar for a top-10 pick being set at “I think he’ll stick around.” Jesus, our standards are low.

    A third of picks at his draft position don’t stick around. So yes, my standards are low. And Point guards are known to develop slowly, so I wasn’t expecting him to be good for three years.

  143. As I’ve said all along, Frank is a consistent 3-pt shot away from being a decent 21yo 3-and-d wing prospect. He was a horrific 18yo lottery pick, but would be a nice late round 1 flyer in this shitty draft. I get that DW thinks his D is a mirage but I’ll have to respectfully disagree with that. We’ll see.

  144. I wonder if the good people at GrizzliesBlogger.net spend a lot of virtual ink debating the value of Dillon Brooks, the ONLY guy in that draft to be statistically worse than Frank so far.

    Ironically enough, I think Brooks is a much better example of the kind of player who gets underrated by all-in-ones thank Frank.

    He’s definitely bad, but if you try to argue that his one standout skill–hitting a high volume of threes at an above average rate–is so essential it comes with some extra, intangible-ish value I won’t think you’re crazy.

    I mean, it’s a better argument than “the stats just can’t capture the way Frank plays the game the right way” or whatever, anyway.

  145. NJ the list of good NBA PGs who came into the league unable to dribble, pass and shoot is very short. He’ll either make as a 3-n-D utility player or will be out of the league.

  146. Z-man: Funny how my position (which has been relatively consistent) has shifted from the low end to the more optimistic side of the spectrum as the consensus has shifted towards pessimism. He definitely showed some improvement in some areas this year, so it’s all about whether his improvement accelerates, stalls, or is a small-sample illusion.

    The reason you changed your position on Frank is that you rely on the eye test, which is fine, but just acknowledge that point. To change your position IN FAVOR OF Frank after all of the minutes he has played in the NBA is a pure eye-tastic position. To suggest he “definitely showed some improvement” is not supported by the stats. That’s the funny part. Because you are on a stats blog. Talking about your optical receptors. And I know, it’s true that you have to be able to read this screen to participate in the conversation, so I guess everything is an eye-test. Let’s get reductive with it.

  147. How about Berman writing today about how the NBA may do a play-in tourney for the 8th seed with teams 9th thru 12th getting a shot. Knicks are 12th in the East right now!!

  148. there’s a whole host of nba players who are on the fringe of nba rosters every year and if they ever had one nba skill they would have a career….

    this is not some unique thing to frank… he’s one of those guys… i just find it amazing that it’s still a hot topic after 3 seasons of this crap….

  149. Hubert: That may be a fair assessment of what Strat thinks, so I get where you’re coming from. But Strat isn’t emblematic of everyone in Camp Ntilikina.

    Eh hem, but actually, and I hate to be THAT guy (jk lulz it’s my favorite person to be), Strat is the paradigm and very much, emblematic of Camp Ntilikina. You and the Z have become Stratalites. Those who reject/buck/deny the “statistical norm” without nary, you know, like, a sound statistical reason.

    Take a look around. No quality poster on this board is touching Camp Ntilikina with a ten-foot pole. Which, in a cruel twist of irony, would be just the device, the ten-foot pole that is, that Frank would need to bring on the court to make the impact on defense to justify his offense. No, it’s not lost on me that once Frank develops that banging curry/luca step-back corner three-ball, he won’t need the pole. So the pole is temporary.

  150. How about Berman writing today about how the NBA may do a play-in tourney for the 8th seed with teams 9th thru 12th getting a shot. Knicks are 12th in the East right now!!

    It would be high-larious if that one win over the Hawks put them into the play-in tournament and then they won their way through to the title.

  151. How about Berman writing today about how the NBA may do a play-in tourney for the 8th seed with teams 9th thru 12th getting a shot. Knicks are 12th in the East right now!!

    that would be interesting – go knicks :)…hopefully there’s a relatively safe way to start up again this season…a whole lot of “stuff” to work out though prior to that…

  152. According to a 2019 Samford University research on the last 20 nba champions (which I’m unable to link)….
    The
    Conclusion
    Is that…
    The quality of a team’s defense heavily influences its ability to win games and championships, but certain aspects of defense are more important than others. In particular, teams hoping to win the NBA title should focus more on minimizing their opponents’ point totals and field goal percentages and less on forcing turnovers and securing defensive rebounds. Thus, a more accurate version of Bear Bryant’s quote might be “Parts of defense win championships,” at least in the context of professional basketball.

    In other words:
    There’s a serious possibility for D specialist Frank to go to a serious contender once he figures out how to play/strengthen his body while we sit here for other 20 years talking how to perfect the lost high art of tanking.

  153. Knew Your Nicks:
    In particular, teams hoping to win the NBA title should focus more on minimizing their opponents’ point totals and field goal percentages and less on forcing turnovers and securing defensive rebounds.

    (Scene) In MSG HQ.

    Dolan: I’m going to get right to the point. It has come to my attention that you and Fisher focused on maximizing our opponents’ point totals on the court. Is that correct?
    Phil: Who said that?
    Dolan: Mills did.
    Phil: Was that wrong? Should I have not done that? I tell you I gotta plead ignorance on this thing because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started here that that sort of thing was frowned upon, you know, cause I’ve worked in a lot of front offices and I tell you people do that all the time.
    Dolan: You’re fired.
    Phil: Well you didn’t have to say it like that.

  154. NahNah: The reason you changed your position on Frank is that you rely on the eye test, which is fine, but just acknowledge that point. To change your position IN FAVOR OF Frank after all of the minutes he has played in the NBA is a pure eye-tastic position. To suggest he “definitely showed some improvement” is not supported by the stats. That’s the funny part. Because you are on a stats blog. Talking about your optical receptors. And I know, it’s true that you have to be able to read this screen to participate in the conversation, so I guess everything is an eye-test. Let’s get reductive with it.

    So long as what I am is nothing close to whatever the hell you are, I’m good with that.

  155. Z-man: So long as what I am is nothing close to whatever the hell you are, I’m good with that.

    Smart. Sure. No problem.

  156. What’s the “win curve” ?
    I read it in here from time to time but don’t know exactly what it is.
    Is it a team building strategy as i imagine or just a folklore legend like the monster of Loch Ness ?
    Anyone ? In a few words ?

  157. I don’t hate you or anyone else here. I just find your posting of late to be tedious and petty.

  158. Z-man:
    I don’t hate you or anyone else here. I just find your posting of late to be tedious and petty.

    +1
    Yeah man. You seem like a nice guy NahNah but your posts show lack of sleep or lack of sex.
    Your posts lately have become even worse than Jowles’ or JK47’s which is very concerning!
    I’d suggest you 3 all watch some Frank highlights and redefine the meaning of ‘a basketball fan’s life’! ;-D

  159. Z-man:
    Jowles and JK47 evoke lots of colorful adjectives…tedious and petty are not among them.

    I know.
    Just teasing them!

  160. Z-man: Guilty as charged. Oh wait…

    I know….me too!
    Maybe they are common Knicks fan attributes.
    They just have different levels of deficiency.
    NahNah broke the record this week!

  161. Yes, I do this crazy thing on a stats blog – I ask people to make statistics based arguments. And when people instead use an eye-test argument, I call them out for it, time and again. So, yes, it’s tiresome (i.e. tedious) having to knock down the same lame eye-test arguments. And yes, I often focus on the underlying (i.e. petty) postulates that allow you to arrive at some truly dubious conclusions, e.g. the PHIL-FRANK-STRAT triumvirate of winning, left-handed horse-racing basketball mixed in a syringe of injectable Lysol.

  162. teams hoping to win the NBA title should focus more on minimizing their opponents’ point totals

    Weightlifters who want to win gold medals should focus on lifting heavier weights than their opponents.

    There, I solved weightlifting

  163. Ok Z-man.
    Start counting Hayes dribbles with the left and with the right hand.
    How much time will it take ?

    And i will try to find a computer guy to emulate the 97 bulls with Frank instead of Jordan and give me the results.

    Let’s do it!
    After all we’re on a stats blog!

  164. Knew Your Nicks:
    Ok Z-man.
    Start counting Hayes dribbles with the left and with the right hand.
    How much time will it take ?

    Lots of time. Because once you are done counting Hayes’s dribbles, you need to count the dribbles of all of his contemporaries. Then, once you have all the dribble counting data (fancy word for numbers), you have to PEMDAS (we will stick with basic algebra, calculus lessons start tomorrow, it’s getting late) the data to find out if there is any meaningful correlation between ambidextrous dribbling and passing/scoring. Cool project actually.

  165. JK47: Weightlifters who want to win gold medals should focus on lifting heavier weights than their opponents.

    There, I solved weightlifting

    Sorry to spoil it but you can actually win gold medals in weightlifting by lifting the same or even less weights than your opponents!

    In case of a tie the athlete who weights less than his opponent who lifted the same weights wins.
    If the 2 athletes lifted the same weights and weight the same then the winner is the one who lifted the weights with the earlier attempt from the 3 that they have.

    There are 2 moves and 3 categories that give 3 gold medals.
    1 for each move and 1 for the total.
    You can lift the same weights as your opponent and win the gold medal of the one move(as above) and also lift less kilos than the first athlete (who’s total is lesser than yours) of the other move but win the total (cause of strategy) and get another gold medal.

  166. Oh gee, turns out I completely oversimplified something. Here, let me try again.

    teams hoping to win the NBA title should focus more on minimizing their opponents’ point totals

    Teams hoping to win the World Series should focus on preventing their opponents from scoring runs.

    How’d I do? I’m not sure, but I think I just proved David Eckstein was an awesome player somehow.

  167. teams hoping to win the NBA title should focus more on minimizing their opponents’ point totals and field goal percentages and less on forcing turnovers and securing defensive rebounds.

    How about concentrating less on stealing the ball or wait for the missed open shot and more on making the opponent take the toughest shot possible ?

  168. Knew Your Nicks:
    teams hoping to win the NBA title should focus more on minimizing their opponents’ point totals and field goal percentages and less on forcing turnovers and securing defensive rebounds.

    How about concentrating less on stealing the ball or wait for the missed open shot and more on making the opponent take the toughest shot possible ?

    And now ask yourself:
    Why Frank is being considered as elite defender without grabbing boards or without even being a super thief ?
    Maybe because he plays D the best way possible ? The way every coach really prefers ?

  169. From the dictionary:

    Winning Basketball – The way Michael Jordan and Frank Ntilikina play the game.
    ;-D

  170. Those who reject/buck/deny the “statistical norm” without nary, you know, like, a sound statistical reason.

    There’s a very sound statistical reason and I stated it above.

  171. NahNah: No quality poster on this board is touching Camp Ntilikina with a ten-foot pole. Which, in a cruel twist of irony, would be just the device, the ten-foot pole that is, that Frank would need to bring on the court to make the impact on defense to justify his offense.

    You have severe reading comprehension issues.

  172. Z-man: So long as what I am is nothing close to whatever the hell you are, I’m good with that.

    Jewish?

    Z-man doesn’t hate like that

    Wait, what?

  173. If you want to make the argument “consensus among scouts is that player X is underrated by statistics and has impact beyond the boxscore,” okay maybe I’ll listen to that. Maybe. Scouts break down NBA tape and spend lots of time doing it.

    Some rando on the internet? Sorry, but your eye test is worthless and I will just go ahead and ignore it. Because you’re not an expert. You might think you are because you are very full of yourself, but you’re not.

  174. To pivot from Cabin Fever: The Thread and back to basketball, Jacob Goldstein (creator of PIPM) just posted his updated draft model (which also includes how this class stacks up against others). You can find it here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/133nbtV9vtuENXfUNUWJtHAuSe0Pm2wuS0vp_mKihc4Q/edit?usp=drivesdk

    Some interesting things: LaMelo at 1, which, considering that multiple models have him at #1, is forcing me to up my estimation of him. It’s possible that the models may be overrating him, in the way they overrated his brother (yes, I realize I was extremely pro-Lonzo come draft time a few years ago), but I think these things are generally fairly reliable, so I guess I wouldn’t hate a LaMelo pick. Hali at 2, Ant Man at 5, Hayes at 8, Wiseman at 10 (!) RJ Hampton being that high is surprising to me as well.

    In general, the models like this draft class–not as much as the last two drafts, but also not nearly as bad as what the general consensus is (i.e. an historically weak draft). Per usual, the Knicks are very bad with lots of picks, so that’s a good thing, I guess.

  175. I’m curious what people think about Halliburton.

    His shooting stats are nice but he’s got that funky form. Watching his highlights on youtube, I liked what I saw. But I thought of this site when I read the comments cause there were all sorts of people saying “oh he won’t be good in the NBA because of his funky shot.”

    It got me thinking about all the Frank arguments people get on here. The eye test people will say “his shot will improve, he’s got good form.” But the numbers don’t lie (so far) with Frank.

    Is the same true for a guy like Halliburton? Who has an unusual form but is putting up good shooting percentages?

  176. John Hollinger’s list of players he’d feel good about drafting also has LaMelo at 1. He also has Edwards at number 2, acknowledging that he has a high bust probability, but also that he and LaMelo have an upside that nobody else in the draft comes close to. He actually seems highest on Okongwu, but ranks him fourth because “today’s game doesn’t value bigs as much.” He has Cole Anthony way down at 18, and suggests his upside is as a bench guy.

  177. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    To pivot from Cabin Fever: The Thread and back to basketball, Jacob Goldstein (creator of PIPM) just posted his updated draft model (which also includes how this class stacks up against others). You can find it here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/133nbtV9vtuENXfUNUWJtHAuSe0Pm2wuS0vp_mKihc4Q/edit?usp=drivesdk

    Some interesting things: LaMelo at 1, which, considering that multiple models have him at #1, is forcing me to up my estimation of him. It’s possible that the models may be overrating him, in the way they overrated his brother (yes, I realize I was extremely pro-Lonzo come draft time a few years ago), but I think these things are generally fairly reliable, so I guess I wouldn’t hate a LaMelo pick. Hali at 2, Ant Man at 5, Hayes at 8, Wiseman at 10 (!) RJ Hampton being that high is surprising to me as well.

    In general, the models like this draft class–not as much as the last two drafts, but also not nearly as bad as whatthe general consensus is (i.e. an historically weak draft). Per usual, the Knicks are very bad with lots of picks, so that’s a good thing, I guess.

    Lol, Cole Anthony at 41 right behind Kira Lewis. Guess my late first projection was still overly optimistic

  178. alsep73: He has Cole Anthony way down at 18, and suggests his upside is as a bench guy.

    Early Bird: Lol, Cole Anthony at 41 right behind Kira Lewis. Guess my late first projection was still overly optimistic

    Translation: It is a certainty that we are drafting Cole Anthony.

  179. I’m always curious about methodology. But even with terrible efficiency LaMelo’s passing and rebounding is elite.

    The other issue is LaMelo’s godawful defense which Stepien placed in the 3rd %ile. His PnR shooting D in 0%ile. The model probably doesn’t account for that.

  180. These models have to be underrating James Wiseman. He put up Zion-like numbers in his very brief college career. Sure, small sample size, but what did he do that did not seem sustainable?

  181. Listen, I count myself as a ‘realistic’ Frank fan. Outside of Mitch, he’s my favorite player on the team. Why ‘realistic’? Because I know why I like him, he’s selfless, smart, defense-heavy, has a great family back-history I can relate to, and shows enough flash.
    But his most realistic outcome is defensive specialist that can knock down 3’s at about 34%. I’m optimistic that he can learn how to drive, get some free throws, and become more of a consistent shooter. But I’m not holding my breath.
    You can’t be an advanced-stats guy and not agree.

  182. Z-man:
    These models have to be underrating James Wiseman. He put up Zion-like numbers in his very brief college career. Sure, small sample size, but what did he do that did not seem sustainable?

    There’s probably something in the model that accounts for competition. The first two games were against awful teams. Not much can be gleaned when you literally double your opponent’s score.

    Outside the model, even against the 1 good team the tallest opponent was like 6’9″.

  183. Hollinger also looked at Wiseman’s high school numbers (he says there’s some predictive value in AAU stats, “believe it or not”), and said that in both high school and college, his defensive play and rebounding numbers were underwhelming given his size/talent advantage over the competition. “In Wiseman’s case, despite his size he didn’t dominate the way you’d expect, especially on the glass.”

  184. Zion piled up stats against weaker teams too. Remember his Canada tour? And against the one good team (Oregon) he put up 14 and 12 on excellent efficiency in 22 minutes.

    And you would expect that a player might take a game or two to adjust to college competition. Wiseman came in and dominated from day 1. Sure, only until day 3, but still…

    If he were 6’9″ I could see the hesitation. But at 7’1″ with elite athleticism and a crazy wingspan, and a .putting up a 434 WS48 on a .760 TS and a 13.6 block% right out of the box? I don’t see how any model could objectively rate nine players in this draft above him.

  185. I’ve said it before, but I like me some Haliburton. Tall, rangy, quick, great vision, and shoots the lights out. Good steal and rebound numbers too. My only concern is whether the funky shot’s low trajectory will lead to getting it slapped back in his face at the next level. I don’t think of it as ‘broken,’ like Lonzo’s was — they both looked weird, but Tyrese’s actually go in. He seems to be coming into the NBA where Lonzo is just getting to (as in Lonzo is only now learning how to make the round thing go through the circular thing). I haven’t seen enough of his game to know if he’s as good a floor general as Lonzo seems to be, but high assists and low turnovers suggest he has the overall chops. I’d take him over LaMelo in a heartbeat.

  186. alsep73: “In Wiseman’s case, despite his size he didn’t dominate the way you’d expect, especially on the glass.”

    He averaged 18.6 rebounds per 40 in his 3 college games, including a 21.8% OREB% (Zion’s was 12.7). WTF is Hollinger talking about?

  187. Raven:
    I’ve said it before, but I like me some Haliburton. Tall, rangy, quick, great vision, and shoots the lights out. Good steal and rebound numbers too. My only concern is whether the funky shot’s low trajectory will lead to getting it slapped back in his face at the next level. I don’t think of it as ‘broken,’ like Lonzo’s was — they both looked weird, but Tyrese’s actually go in. He seems to be coming into the NBA where Lonzo is just getting to (as in Lonzo is only now learning how to make the round thing go through the circular thing). I haven’t seen enough of his game to know if he’s as good a floor general as Lonzo seems to be, but high assists and low turnovers suggest he has the overall chops. I’d take him over LaMelo in a heartbeat.

    I don’t see a problem with his shot at all, He has a quick set-up and release and puts nice arc on the ball. He also launches comfortably from well beyond the NBA arc. He’s a very nice prospect. I would be OK with taking him over Edwards or Okongwu.

  188. Wiseman played against teams that finished in the middle of the MEAC and Horizon conferences. Those are bad teams even within a bad conference.

    Zion put up 28 pts against Kentucky game 1 and continued to dominate for another 32 games.

  189. Z-man: He averaged 18.6 rebounds per 40 in his 3 college games, including a 21.8% OREB% (Zion’s was 12.7). WTF is Hollinger talking about?

    He’s pretty clearly talking about HS as mentioned. When a sample is too small you look for more data. Wiseman was underwhelming in HS, so you use that info to help inform your opinion. When you play 33 games in college you use less of the HS data, when you play 3 games you rely on it pretty heavily.

  190. The Knicksiest thing would be — despite the likelihood of the #7 pick, a slot overtly chased by the front office, itself a chasm of stupidity bore toward hell by the most hideous dumb fucks known to the sporting world, filled with some of the most brain-dead executives of all the brain-dead corporate executives out there, worthless to the point that their salaries might be considered theft in some jurisdictions, so devoid of talent and ability that it hurts my fucking head to imagine how they could be even fucking dumber and more incompetent than they are and have been, especially being paid millions to be, year after year, among the biggest fucking losers imaginable, but wearing $5,000 suits — to somehow jump up to a top-3 pick and use it to pick Cole Anthony. So it has to happen.

    I hope James Dolan reads this: fuck you, you incompetent, talentless, tone-deaf silver-spoon fuck.

  191. Deeply appreciate the link that got us talking about something that actually matters, Silky.

    Here’s another model, that I tend to think has historically done well, with LaMelo at #1.

    There’s probably a bit of a Lonzo-effect with regards to the scheme being set up for him to get rebounds, etc. but I would be happy to have Lonzo right now, and will be happy if we draft Ball. Z-Man will be very happy to see LaMelo at #1 via this model until he sees who’s #2 ;)

    These models have to be underrating James Wiseman. He put up Zion-like numbers in his very brief college career. Sure, small sample size, but what did he do that did not seem sustainable?

    Wiseman’s college numbers are completely useless. South Carolina State was 11-18 in the MEAC. UIC was 18-17 in the Horizon, which is apparently an NCAA conference that exists. Oregon had a real team and, what do you know, that was Wiseman’s most pedestrian game.

    As insane as it seems, the AAU numbers really do seem to have some NBA correlation. It’s one of the reasons I identified Mitch as a potential value pick prior to the 2018 draft.

    Between the over saturation of bigs on the market, center being the one position we can credibly claim to have filled, and Wiseman’s projections I want nothing to do with him.

    Okongwu on the other hand could be worth it depending on where we pick.

    Both models identify Ramsey as a good target with the Clippers pick. Bet he moves up closer to the draft, sadly.

  192. If the Knicks draft Haliburton, they’ll have to re-hire Don Chaney to coach him.

  193. Wiseman, Halliburton or Obi Toppn would be fine. Obi reminds me of a young Larry Johnson with the post-up game paired with explosive dunking. If Halliburton is not the pick then they should select Kira Lewis Jr. later in the draft. Precious Achiuwa will probably be gone. Jahmi’us Ramsey has the 3 point percentage (42.6%) that you look for, but his consistency is a concern.

  194. Hali’s main issue isn’t his funky shot, it’s his anemic free throw rate (only 18.4% in college! LaMelo’s is very bad at 23%, and Hayes’ is slightly below average at 31% for reference.) He checks every other box, but low ftr is a big red flag for a PG, and idk if he can play SG, where ftr is also really important (he has the height at least…)

  195. thenoblefacehumper: There’s probably a bit of a Lonzo-effect with regards to the scheme being set up for him to get rebounds, etc. but I would be happy to have Lonzo right now, and will be happy if we draft Ball. Z-Man will be very happy to see LaMelo at #1 via this model until he sees who’s #2 ;)

    I will be more excited than happy. When I watched the video of Schmitz sitting with LaMelo and analyzing his game film, I got a queasy feeling about him. Think about the fact that his brother went the traditional route via UCLA, while LaMelo got into trouble for shoplifting, was stashed away first in Lithuania and then in Australia. Based on stats, talent and measurables, he’s clearly the consensus #1 pick by these models and many scouting models. But he’s far from the sure thing that Doncic was.

    I’ve made my position on Hayes clear, so will demur here. Suffice it to say, I’d be beyond disappointed if we took him anywhere in the top 10.

    thenoblefacehumper: Wiseman’s college numbers are completely useless. South Carolina State was 11-18 in the MEAC. UIC was 18-17 in the Horizon, which is apparently an NCAA conference that exists. Oregon had a real team and, what do you know, that was Wiseman’s most pedestrian game.

    But even his most pedestrian game was 25 points and 20 rebounds per 40 on sky-high efficiency. Sure, it’s too small of a sample to hang your hat on, but we’re talking about an elite athlete. Why would anyone suspect that the rebounding, dunking and shot-blocking won’t translate? He also has very good mechanics from the line, so there’s no reason to believe that his 70% from there was a fluke.

    Sure, there’s risk. But there’s not anyone without at least as much risk to be picked above him. He’s already pretty good as is.

  196. It’s probably 90% or better that Wiseman goes in the top 5, regardless of what we think of him or what the model says. Heck, he’s certainly a reasonable bet to go #1. Just based on his high floor alone, can’t even imagine him lasting past the top 3.

    At worst, he rebounds, blocks shots, dunks and shoots FTs, maybe a Mo Bamba-level project. That’s not a terrible floor. At best, he’s a more athletic Joel Embiid.

    Although I brought it up just to compare rebounding in relation to Hollinger’s quote, Zion is not really a great comparison for Wiseman. Embiid is a much better comp. Look at Embiid’s college game log. He also played his first 3 games against 2 bad and 1 good team and his stats weren’t nearly as impressive. Same for KAT and JJJ. Now sure, they could be an illusion, but it’s hard to ignore the measurables and how easily his game translated to the next level. I mean, I could see ranking guys like KAT, JJJ and even Bamba, Ayton and Bagley above him…but Okongwu?

  197. What every scout and draft analyst I’ve seen on Twitter has to say about Wiseman’s negative is 1. his defensive fundamentals are not really there despite the blocks, 2. and, more importantly, that his load up for jumps is really slow. That’s a big issue in the NBA that gets masked in college, one that people don’t really talk about. His athleticism won’t translate into the NBA in the way Okongwu’s will, because of the load-up issues. Also, he has a very traditional playstyle–no 3’s in sight and his offensive game is less polished than other traditional centers like Okafor and Ayton at the time of draft (he’s better on D than both of those prospects, however). Okongwu by comparison is a human pogo stick with an insane second jump and great defensive fundamentals, and so projects to be a terrific rim running center, something that fits much better into the modern NBA.

    He’s still a good prospect, but idk, I think top 3 consideration is unwarranted especially if you weigh toward the AAU sample

  198. Think about the fact that his brother went the traditional route via UCLA, while LaMelo got into trouble for shoplifting,

    He didn’t. His non-prospect brother LiAngelo did.

    Sure, there’s risk. But there’s not anyone without at least as much risk to be picked above him. He’s already pretty good as is.

    The difference is positional scarcity. A big with risk can become near-useless very quickly (see Okafor, Jahlil). They pretty much have to be spot-on to justify a high draft pick. A guard/wing with risk has a much wider range of outcomes.

    Hali’s main issue isn’t his funky shot, it’s his anemic free throw rate (only 18.4% in college! LaMelo’s is very bad at 23%, and Hayes’ is slightly below average at 31% for reference.) He checks every other box, but low ftr is a big red flag for a PG, and idk if he can play SG, where ftr is also really important (he has the height at least…)

    Yeah, this is the concern with Haliburton and it also makes it hard to tell what to make of his 3PT% because the FT% sample is so tiny. Even Lonzo’s was significantly higher.

    At the end of the day, the reality of this draft is such that we’re going to pick a flawed player. I can live with that flaw being Haliburton’s FTr as opposed to Cole Anthony’s…basketball playing ability.

  199. thenoblefacehumper: He didn’t. His non-prospect brother LiAngelo did.

    Oops, I stand corrected. Still, the route he took seems odd, considering his brother’s success in college and how it translated to being #2 in the draft.

    thenoblefacehumper: The difference is positional scarcity. A big with risk can become near-useless very quickly (see Okafor, Jahlil). They pretty much have to be spot-on to justify a high draft pick. A guard/wing with risk has a much wider range of outcomes.

    Okafor had some very serious concerns about his interior and perimeter defense, and his overall athleticism while in college…and about his size (he was nowhere near the 7′ he was billed as.). He was thought of as an offensive force based on elite low-post moves. Totally different profile than Wiseman on both ends. I think a better comparison on the low end would be Nerlens Noel or Mo Bamba. Not exact matches, but both hyped more for D, with the O being all upside.

    But yeah, there’s risk….just like with PG prospects w/o elite size, handle and athleticism. They’re a dime a dozen too.

  200. Okafor had some very serious concerns about his interior and perimeter defense, and his overall athleticism while in college…and about his size (he was nowhere near the 7? he was billed as.). He was thought of as an offensive force based on elite low-post moves. Totally different profile than Wiseman on both ends.

    I wasn’t comparing them as players, just making the general point that bigs really have to knock it out of the park to justify a big investment in them (whether it’s a high pick or a large contract).

    When you look around the league, how many true bigs would you be happy with if you got them with a high pick and/or signed them to a large contract? Using a kind of “I know it when I see it” test to define “big” because height doesn’t work so well (encompasses Giannis), I see:

    Definitely:
    AD
    KAT
    Jokic
    Embiid

    Probably:
    Gobert
    Bam
    Sabonis
    Collins

    Meh, maybe:
    Mitch
    Harrell
    Allen

    I’m probably missing some guys here and there (and didn’t really know what to do with guys who at one time would’ve made it e.g. Gasol, Love) but it’s a pretty short list.

    To be clear I’m not saying we should never acquire a big ever again, I’m just saying the standard for them is very high in an era where you can get Kyle O’Quinn for the league minimum every year.

  201. I think you’re leaving a lot of guys off the list that should be on it…Ayton, Capela, JJJ, KP, JV, Drummond, Whiteside, Vucevic, Adams…all are guys whose production/potential is hardly available at the minimum. It’s an educated guess, of course, but who of our combined list do you see Wiseman as most comparable to, based on Wiseman’s elite size and athleticism and what he did in his 3 college games? That’s what it comes down to. If it’s Embiid and KAT, that’s a franchise-altering player. If it’s Gobert or Mitch or Allen or Jaxon Hayes, that’s an extremely valuable asset on both ends. There’s a HUGE gap between those guys and the run-of-the-mill guys like KOQ or Portis or Vonleh. That seems like more of a risk for Okongwu.

    But sure, if you think he’s Robert Williams, i.e. a guy who is likely available in the 20’s or lower, I see your point. I just don’t see that, even with the small sample.

  202. That “long load” on the jump is interesting. It’s classic scout mumbo-jumbo but it does describe something that is really important. For instance, the way Mitch gets off the floor, at his height, is absolutely outstanding. He barely has to bend and he gets off the floor to his very high apex extremely quickly. His second jump is amazing also for a guy of his frame. He’s really explosive in a way that you more generally seen from rounder shorter power types like Barkley or Blake Griffin. He is super fast end to end too, like a deer.

    i don’t think I would let a “long load” affect where I draft Wiseman but it’s an interesting thing to think about and try to quantify. I think even a three game sample probably means something when you are that utterly dominant. Also, he got pulled from that Oregon game for fouls but was on his way to putting up a great line in his pedestrian game. If Edwards is an acceptable risk he has to be too.

    Also, a “long load” is an apt description for my Knicks fandom the last 20 years.

  203. Owen, I agree that this seems to be a case of overanalysis. If his long load was a problem, he wouldn’t have put up the crazy numbers for offensive rebounding and shot blocking right off the bat, even against shorter opponents. The dude was raking all over the place.

    Mitch is a freak, so just about everyone is going to come up short in comparing jumping ability. Whiteside is a pretty uncanny shot-blocker, Myles Turner is really good. too.

    But a legit 7′ with a 7’6″ wingspan makes up for a lot of that. Gobert isn’t the most springy guy in the world. He also would come in at something like 240lbs, not the beanpole that KP was as a rookie.

  204. Derek Harper is predicting “multiple titles” for the Mavs duo of Doncic and Porzingis, and says they can co-exist, just like Magic and Kareem and Bird and McHale.

    I’m predicting multiple titles for the Bucks also, I think the big 2 of Giannis and Brook Lopez will figure it out.

  205. Don’t take my skepticism of Wiseman as not wanting to draft him. I’d be okay with drafting him almost anywhere in this draft. I put him behind others because I don’t think a C has the same value it once did, plus we already have Mitch.

  206. Early Bird:
    Don’t take my skepticism of Wiseman as not wanting to draft him. I’d be okay with drafting him almost anywhere in this draft. I put him behind others because I don’t think a C has the same value it once did, plus we already have Mitch.

    I get that…if anyone stood out head and shoulders relative to his position I’d agree. He just seems to have the most positional upside and the least downside of anyone at the top of this particular draft. I could see passing on him in the top 3, but not at #7. No way.

  207. After reading Hollinger’s list I’m beginning to get intrigued by Devin Vassell. Looks like he could be a strong 3 and D SG.

  208. BigBlueAL: After reading Hollinger’s list I’m beginning to get intrigued by Devin Vassell. Looks like he could be a strong 3 and D SG.

    We already have one…

  209. Meaning that when you have the opportunity to draft him you pass first?

  210. Z-man: I get that…if anyone stood out head and shoulders relative to his position I’d agree. He just seems to have the most positional upside and the least downside of anyone at the top of this particular draft. I could see passing on him in the top 3, but not at #7. No way.

    Realistically, Haliburton could be available at #7 and I’d take him over Wiseman. I’d also hesitate to take Wiseman over Hayes, even though I know you don’t like Hayes. I think there’s a lot of uncertainty in a 3 game sample, even against strong competition let alone the MEACs & Horizons. Plenty of players have managed to string together a three game hot streak. To me, Wiseman’s floor is still pretty low and much more likely than playing anywhere near Embiid’s level.

  211. Yeah, there’s probably just as much disagreement among GMs as there is among KB posters. This draft is really tough. It’s almost a disadvantage being in the top 3, you have to deal with the pressure of passing over the chalk picks (LaMelo, Edwards and Wiseman are at the top of the weak consensus.) Then there’s a ready-to-go guy like Toppin, he might make the most hay in years 1 and 2 while the 19yo’s struggle as they typically do. OTOH, if you went with Precious at #5, would it be considered a reach? Especially if there’s no combine? So maybe there’s more flexibility there…

    And we have to wait until September maybe? Damn.

  212. re: lamelo – i’m still not sold on him despite some of these models liking him… the aussie league is something but it’s still not a good league…. and i’m a stickler for 2p fg% and it’s a big red flag here…. especially for a tall pg type…. obviously everything else in the ed weiland numbers look good so i think he’s going to be alright in a lonzo ball kind of way… he passes well and contributes elsewhere…. but scoring is likely going to be a major issue… and if you can’t score then you don’t really have good upside…. it’s the same issues as his brother…. and if he has to retool his jumpshot then it’s an even bigger risk….

    re: wiseman – yes his hs numbers are not impressive and yes eybl league stats are somewhat informative… but college games trumps whatever you do in high school…. you shouldn’t throw it all away… but what he was able to do in the little time he showed was impressive…. that should be weighed more than what he did in eybl because it’s recent and it’s better comp….

    re: haliburton – i like haliburton but there is real risk with that shot… pg’s do have to do a lot of shooting off the dribble and it’s not a shot that lends itself to that well…. there are also concerns about his dribble drive game…. he’s a decent prospect all in all but there’s definitely warts here as there are with everyone else in this draft…

  213. Halliburton
    Wiseman
    Ball
    Anyone but Cole Anthony
    Cole Anthony

    That’s my big board.

  214. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Halliburton
    Wiseman
    Ball
    Anyone but Cole Anthony
    Cole Anthony

    That’s my big board.

    Well that cements it. Can’t wait to run out a smallball lineup of Frank, Cole, Dennis, RJ and Knox….

  215. The Knicks need a floor spacing shooter that can make plays and defend at least adequately. I haven’t seen Haliburton play a minute of basketball, but on the basic stats, it looks like he fits the profile. I’d defer to people that have watched him play a lot to evaluate his skills (especially on defense), but a lot of the other players being mentioned clearly can’t shoot a lick. A non shooter is the last thing we need on a team with Randle. Robinson, RJ, and Frank. All 4 of those guys are better than their stats, but not in various combinations together. We need to move on from Randle (even though he’s a good ball player on the right team), move RJ to SF, add a shooter at SG, add a stretch PF, and see what develops at PG.

  216. Remember “Bomb Squad” posters? MSG can start printing new ones with that five called “The Bricklayer’s Union” with them in overalls holding trowels and mortarboards…

  217. I do remember the Bomb Squad. I had that poster up on my wall. That is basically my first Knicks memory actually.

  218. Remember “Bomb Squad” posters? MSG can start printing new ones with that five called “The Bricklayer’s Union” with them in overalls holding trowels and mortarboards…

    I love it. If we’re number one on defense and number thirty on offense, do we make the playoffs?

  219. I am curious about the hate on Cole Anthony. Not that I’m an expert on the kids coming out of college, but he looks like a good fit. But I’m eager to hear the concerns – aside from someone’s rankings.

  220. I hate so many drafting terms, like ‘athleticism’ and ‘size’ that I always like to condense the mocks to something useful and manageable in my head. I mean, you can usually condense most NBA players to a blurb (Kanter=pointz/rebounding, stat-stuffing buffoon).
    What I can gather is:

    1- Halliburton: Excellent passing, shooting, and penetrating, decent defender. Not ‘athletic’ so no one cares about him- I hope he falls to us so bad.
    In no order:
    Edwards: Great passer, good jumpshot, bad catch and shoot, mediocre shooting numbers
    LaMelo: Unbelievable passer, poor shooter and defender. WTF. (he’s like that other Ball kid)
    Hayes: French and small sample alert. Good passer and defender, poor shooting numbers no matter what they say. (D’Angelo Russell with better defense)
    Wiseman: Excellent efficiency, Rim-running block- chasing big, ok defender.
    Obi: Facilitating dunker, bad defender. Very athletic so we talk about him. Good shooting, but small sample.
    Cole: Dennis Smith Jr Jr
    Vassell- Excellent 3, excellent D. Should be higher, but ‘not quick,’ ‘not athletic’ bs. Sounds like a Danny Green
    Okongwu- big with great around the basket efficiency and great defender. no jumpshot.

    Feel free to shoot me down, because I am very far from a draft guru like some of you guys. Would love if you guys added/modified

  221. Z-Man what’s that model?

    I’ve kind of gotten around to Morey’s thinking on bigs. They’re usually not creating enough value that you can’t get most of in the minimum salary pile. I mean, we hit on Mitch, and Jokic/Embiid are great. But I’d rather have a shooting player of that caliber.

    I don’t think I would draft a non-Zion level big in the top ten. Wiseman is great, but even if he reaches his potential, wouldn’t a guard like Halliburton create so much more value?

  222. Cole Anthony’s college numbers are so bad the Knicks almost have to draft him. It’s hard to do anything other than scream BUST!!! when you see a lottery pick who barely cleared 50% ts% and who barely rated above average per WS/48.

    I know big men are easy to find in the modern NBA. But I don’t think a Cole Anthony substitute is ever going to be hard to find. In the last 30 years, Steph Curry is basically the only dynamic high usage point guard who led a title team. Maybe put Dwyane Wade in there if you want but the truth is you can usually find a cheap Derek Fisher type to fill that spot.

    Drafting Cole because we haven’t had a decent young point guard in NYC in 25 years just seems like the dumbest thing we could possibly do.

  223. I am holding the Bomb Squad T Shirt that they gave out at a game in 1990 IN MY HAND RIGHT NOW. I’ve moved, maybe, 20 times since that day, but for some reason it’s stayed with me, in my box of “childhood stuff”. It’s got a few holes in it now, and it’s tinted a bit orange, but you can still tell who-is-who. But I haven’t looked at it since I’ve discovered BR, and, honestly, Frank Ntilikina would fit right into The Bomb Squad:

    Tucker: 38%
    Wilkins: 31%
    Jackson: 26%
    Newman: 31%
    Strickland: 28%
    *
    Ntilikina: 32%

    Also’ the thing I didn’t realize was that Kiki Vendeweghe wasn’t even in the Bomb Squad, which is weird because he was the ONLY person the msg crowd used to actually get excited to see shoot a 3 pointer. And he shot 53% that year! Wtf.

  224. Yeah, I think Halliburton is my guy too.

    I almost feel like its more important for The Knicks to not draft a bust and draft a useful NBA player than it is for The Knicks to draft a superstar. Especially with this year’s draft being such a crap shoot and where we are most likely to pick in the draft. Even missing out on dudes like Donovan, Fox, Doncic, Trae Young…if we’d just picked competent NBA players instead of Frank and Knox we’d be in a much better position.

    Of course you want to draft stars but not picking a bust is huge. A decent young player who is cost controlled is still a high value player.

    Plus Halliburton does address some specific things we desperately need, specifically 3 point shooting and I think he would slot nicely next to RJ if we move RJ to the 3.

  225. Re: Morey and bigs, his is not the only winning model. The key is that if you are going to spend money at the 5, it has to be on a player that is multi-dimensional in some way. You don’t want to tie up big bucks in a Tyson Chandler or a Mitch…Just keep drafting/signing lesser versions of those guys e.g. Wooten, KOQ to fill that role. They’re not the same, but the drop-off is probably not enough to negate the cap flexibility. Beyond the obvious superstars like Giannis and AD, max-salary (or even 8-figure) bigs need to either be facilitators, floor-stretchers or truly dominant on one end and at least average on the other end to justify the salary in today’s perimeter-oriented game.

    That’s the deal with Wiseman…he might develop offensively into a max-worthy player, or he might be a guy that is just ok and can be replaced more cheaply than the $10 mill he would get paid at #1 on his rookie-scale contract. I think he’s worth the risk because at worst, teams will continue to value him based on being a #1 pick and having upside…in a way, similar to KP, or Bargs, or Darko…where he will be worth more than he produces because he LOOKS the part of a superstar. By that, I mean that he doesn’t look raw compared to, say, Okongwu…the FT shooting, two-way finishing and fade-away jumpers look promising right now and will likely continue to look promising for the next 3 years even if they don’t develop.

  226. PS I mean the current version of Mitch. If he becomes at least as proficient on offense as, say Gobert, he’s worth the 8 figures. If he stretches it out to 3 at a 36% clip on decent value, he’s worth a max contract. But his current production is not max-level or anything close to it, considering what wins in today’s NBA.

  227. Owen:
    I know big men are easy to find in the modern NBA. But I don’t think a Cole Anthony substitute is ever going to be hard to find. In the last 30 years, Steph Curry is basically the only dynamic high usage point guard who led a title team. Maybe put Dwyane Wade in there if you want but the truth is you can usually find a cheap Derek Fisher type to fill that spot.

    Tony Parker feels disrespected, and so does Chuancey Billups.

    Both were pieces of great teams playing great D, but they were also unquestionably the offensive engines for those teams.

  228. Tony Parker was a solid player but I think his career 51% ts% in the playoffs tells the story that he was more of a place-filler than people realize. Duncan was a better player offensively and of course one of the GOATs defensively. Manu was also a much better offensive player. 57.6% career playoff ts% and half a point less per 36. So too needless to say was Kawhi.

    Obviously Parker still a legend. I met a guy who grew up in France and played junior pro basketball at a high level there. He said when he was 16-17 Tony Parker joined his team, aged like 13 at the time. Ran circles around everyone else.

    Billups was another very good player, probably better than Parker. Put up gaudy numbers in playoffs. I love him but I don’t think he was anyone’s idea of a singular offensive superstar. Wasn’t even the leading scorer. That team didn’t need to be an offensive juggernaut with all the defensive firepower it had.

  229. I’m also on board with Mr. .611 TS% Haliburton.

    That’s pretty rare air for a sophomore guard, even with his middling usage. If he can become a savvier defender and improve his athleticism, he would be an ideal fit with RJ. I’d be fine with LaMelo if we move up, but otherwise, Hali makes the most sense.

  230. My first two hot-takes of the day:

    Wiseman could be the next Joel Embid, but he could also be the next Kwame Brown.

    I feel better about Haliburton after watching some tape of Shawn Marion shooting. Funky but accurate push-shots CAN be an effective NBA tool…

  231. Donnie Walsh:
    I am holding the Bomb Squad T Shirt that they gave out at a game in 1990 IN MY HAND RIGHT NOW. I’ve moved, maybe, 20 times since that day, but for some reason it’s stayed with me, in my box of “childhood stuff”. It’s got a few holes in it now, and it’s tinted a bit orange, but you can still tell who-is-who. But I haven’t looked at it since I’ve discovered BR, and, honestly, Frank Ntilikina would fit right into The Bomb Squad:

    Tucker: 38%
    Wilkins: 31%
    Jackson: 26%
    Newman: 31%
    Strickland: 28%
    *
    Ntilikina: 32%

    Also’ the thing I didn’t realize was that Kiki Vendeweghe wasn’t even in the Bomb Squad, which is weird because he was the ONLY person the msg crowd used to actually get excited to see shoot a 3 pointer. And he shot 53% that year! Wtf.

    Kiki wasn’t on the bomb squad because he was acquired midway thru the 1989 season, the original bomb squad poster was created I believe earlier that season. Pitino left after that season too so in 1990 they really didn’t embrace that style as much.

  232. When was the last time a championship team was led by its center?

    Anyways this team is missing so much talent that it’s gonna be best player available. I’m saying grade on a curve because getting a big that’s not Anthony Davis isn’t getting you far. Even he didn’t get his team as far as an evenly- ranked guard would. Who is worth as many dollars as Davis ? Curry? Isn’t Curry the better value? I don’t know. (I’m not shitting on AD, he’s a great player and I’d send the Melo package for him. All I’m saying is… between a big with a rank of 95, and a guard with the same rank, the guard is driving the modern NBA team much further)

  233. Center is a bit of narrow filter. Duncan and Shaq certainly won a few titles. You could say Kobe was the leader of some of those teams and Kawhi certainly was for the last Spurs title but Big Men have done pretty ok lately. Shaq was with the Heat for their frst title too but in the Robin role. The Pistons won one with Billups but also the Wallaces as detailed above. Dirk won one with one of the great playoff runs ever. KG was pretty essential to the Celtics title. Hakeem won 2.

    And I’d also argue that Kevin Durant is not a center but he’s definitely a big man also. I will make the same argument when Giannis wins one.

    I do think Steph really stands alone as a legitimately small guard who was the backbone of a title where guys like Stockton or Paul or Iverson fell short. Isaiah is the other one you might put in that category but i will go to my grave before giving him the lion’s share of the credit for those Pistons wins.

  234. wetbandit:
    When was the last time a championship team was led by its center?

    Anyways this team is missing so much talent that it’s gonna be best player available. I’m saying grade on a curve because getting a big that’s not Anthony Davis isn’t getting you far. Even he didn’t get his team as far as an evenly- ranked guard would. Who is worth as many dollars as Davis ? Curry? Isn’t Curry the better value? I don’t know. (I’m not shitting on AD, he’s a great player and I’d send the Melo package for him. All I’m saying is… between a big with a rank of 95, and a guard with the same rank, the guard is driving the modern NBA team much further)

    This is a weird argument to have, as there have been so few championship teams of late, but it depends what you mean by “led” and “center”. Why not just say a “dominant big” who was paid a significant portion of the cap and was essential to winning?

    LAL: Shaq, Gasol
    SAS: Duncan
    DAL: Dirk, Chandler
    BOS: Garnett
    GSW: Durant
    MIA: Shaq, Bosh

    I mean, is it a waste of cap space to pay KAT or Embiid or Gobert or Jokic (or, heh heh, KP) big money? Or to draft them as part of a championship vision? If the obvious Curry isn’t available (and he was far from obvious) then why is it more risky to invest in the center position? Is Trae Young more likely to win you a championship than Jaren Jackson Jr.?

    (Just saw Owen’s post, great minds think alike!)

  235. My point, and it’s not even fully formed yet, And I’m not sure if I believe it yet, it’s just an idea is– A traditional center who is superb at his role – efficient inside scoring and rebounding- is not as valuable as a guard who is superb at his job. Of all the centers in the league right now, name the top five- something like Jokic, Embiid… Gobert… Towns? Aldridge? I dunno, whoever. Name the top five point guards. A little tough but ok, say it’s Curry, Kyrie, Lillard (Is harden a 2 now?)… I dunno, let’s say Chris Paul and Harden. Other than Jokic who is a point-center if there ever was one, and has added value largely because of non-center talents, I’d rather have the PG to start a team with. Same is probably true of other positions. I can be wrong, and please let me know of any holes in my story.

    Shooting is just so damn important now, I’m not so sure that a non-superstar big man moves the needle enough.

  236. Jaren Jackson is a shooting 4 who hits 40% from 3 at 6 attempts a game. He’s not a good rebounder. He’s not a real center.

  237. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLZedhbG5bI

    Great video on JJJ.

    In today’s game, the elite scoring guard and wing are far more important than an elite center on the offensive end. On defense, it’s the other way (and until the dunk is banned, rim protection will be more important than perimeter defense, even in the era of the deep ball).

  238. Is the elite rim-protecting center better than the versatile Green switchable big? Not mutually exclusive I guess.

  239. If what you mainly want a center for is rim protecting and rebounding , you can get a minimum salary big man, and spend your money on a guard/wing.

    Basically if you had $15 to build your team with draft picks, spend your $5 on a good shooter and use your singles on a competent big.

  240. you all are making it sound as though we may not have gotten such great value from using taj and bobby p at the 5…

  241. And I’d also argue that Kevin Durant is not a center but he’s definitely a big man also. I will make the same argument when Giannis wins one.

    KD weighs like 150 lbs…he ain’t a big man…just tall…giannis, that’s a big dude…

    fun fact – they actually have pretty much the same exact height and weight…once again – the numbers lie…

  242. At the end of the day, really good basketball players are really valuable no matter what the position. You shouldn’t chase a position in the draft. Just draft the guy with the best chance of being a really good basketball player. If it’s a tie, fine, go with the position of more perceived value.

  243. Owen, is Jordan not a dynamic high usage guard of the past 30 years? He won 6 out of the last 30 championships without anything resembling g a dominant big, and add that to your aforementioned Curry and that is 3 more. And pretty much all the other 20 championship teams in that span won with superstar guards too. (Wade, Ginobili, Kobe, Drexler, etc). In fact, the only teams that won rings without superstar guards were Olajuwon’s first Rocket team and Dirk’s Mavs. (Billups and Irving are debatable superstars of their title teams).

    Seems better to invest in a guard than a big over the past 30 years to me.

  244. I’m with wetbandit. Here are some bigs’ production this year (per-36 PTS/TRB/BLK rounder) and their contracts:

    Ivica Zubac: 16-14-2, .642 TS%, 4/$28M

    Javale McGee: 15-13-3, .655 TS%, 2/$8M

    Dwight Howard: 14-14-2, .696 TS%, minimum

    Dwight Powell: 13-8-1, .677. TS%, 4/$37M

    Enes Kanter: 17-16-2, .594 TS%, 2/$10M

    And then you have guys like KOQ and Ed Davis, who posted incredibly productive seasons recently, couldn’t parlay them into any real money, and are now riding the pine as “break in case of emergency” bigs for contenders.

    Contrast this with the fact that Fred Van Vleet is staring down a max contract!

    These are almost replacement level bigs in today’s game. So if you’re spending a high pick and/or max contract on a big, he has to be a lot better than all of these guys. That’s very, very difficult. Not impossible, but you basically have to either be a generational offensive talent (KAT, Jokic), a true defensive ace (Gobert), or a combination of the two.

    I mean how much better is #1 overall pick and likely future max contract recipient DeAndre Ayton than this group?

  245. Well, what I said was the Steph Curry was the only small guard who could indisputably be called the primary cause of a championship. All those other guys are big guards, SG who could have played SF.

    Curry is actually listed taller than I realized. It says he is 6’3 which I assume is accurate. He was so slight when he won his first title (he’s not really anymore) that I think I have always mentally rounded down.

    Billups is also 6’3. I made the case that he wasn’t the primary mover in that Detroit championship the way Curry certainly was. He was also physically a much bigger guard, more of a power point, in a way that was very useful, especially given his free throw shooting ability.

    Obviously this is some bar stool conversation type stuff here but my basic point, and I have made it before, is that I don’t see a whole lot of examples of teams that were led to titles by guys 6’3 and under. Forget the positions, having highly skilled and very big people is important in the NBA and there are a lot of great small guards who never got over the hump as the centerpiece of the team like Stockton, Nash, Kidd (he did but Dirk), Paul, Iverson, and, I don’t know, KJ, Mark Price, Gary Payton (did win one at 37), etc.

    I mean, who are the greatest point guards who were legitimately the best players on their championship teams? Magic? 6’8. Walt Frazier? 6’4 in the 70’s?

    Even the Big O, who was 6’5, didn’t win one until a guy named Kareem came along.

    Bob Cousy I think started the idea but I think if we had some real numbers we’d know who was actually carrying the weight on those Celtics teams.

  246. The Lakers have LeBron and AD on max salaries.(who are pretty big guys BTW) so they can’t afford to spend $ on a C. So sure, JaVale is a good bargain, as he was in GS. So is Dwight Howard. But so is Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.

    Zubac is a nice value big on a team with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard taking up most of the cap. But so is Lou Williams and Landry Shamet.

    Powell is nice value for the Mavs, where KP and soon Doncic will be taking up the majority of the cap. But he’s pretty close to $10Mil and Finney-Smith and Seth Curry are making less but holding down the guard spot.

    You can cover any position with decent role players if you have stars at other positions. Including at C.

  247. I think it’s strange to believe that the difference between championship players and regular players is 2 or 3 marginal inches of vertical genetic coding.

    There is so much that factors into winning a championship. Heck, you point to Nash, but it was league suspensions that denied him his championship run than his height.

    The obvious historic model for winning is two stars: one big and one small. Now, with a changing league dynamic the big is debatable and the small is not.

  248. Donnie Walsh: The obvious historic model for winning is two stars: one big and one small. Now, with a changing league dynamic the big is debatable and the small is not.

    Well, it depends on what you mean by “big” and “small” and who they are in relation to the cap.

    Who was the “small” on the Miami Heatles? Wade? Prime Wade is easily a 3 in a small lineup in today’s game.

    Who was the “big” for the Jordan Bulls? Rodman? Grant? Who was the “small?” Jordan?

    Who was the “small” for the big-3 Celts?

    Who was the “small” for the Magic Lakers?

    Who was the “small” for the Dirk Mavs?

    I mean, there’s so many ways to configure a championship team. If anything, what they have in common is greatness at multiple positions, and an anchor “savant” player. It doesn’t matter whether that player is 6’1″ Isiah or 6’3″ Steph or 6’6″ Jordan or 6’8″ LeBron or 6’10” Dirk or 7′ Duncan. You can fill in the blanks regardless of what you’re missing if you have those guys. And in nearly all cases, at least one of those guys was drafted by the championship team. And this goes for all the teams than were championship caliber but just missed.

  249. The two best teams in the NBA this year do not really have a marquee small in the traditional sense. Both are certainly capable of winning a championship. Middleton is 6’7″ and not much of a ball handler or passer. LeBron is some unquantifiable kind of life form. Both teams win games as much with their size as anything else.

  250. I thought I was being annoyingly redundant but you’re missing my point. I don’t care about height here. What I’m saying is, unless you’re a HOF type center or PF, or your skills are outside the 4/5 mold, what you’re bringing these days isn’t as valuable as shooting is.
    So if you show me Wiseman, and tell me he’s a superb basketball player, and I have the #1 pick, I’m thinking to myself, this guy isn’t getting me that many more wins than a replacement level center to justify the pick. I would take a Halliburton.
    Now you’re also talking about big guys, like LeBron and Dirk leading their teams to championships. Their value isn’t in big man attributes. Dirk was a shooter, LeBron a facilitating freight train. Also, the NBA is a different sport now so what’s history of the point guard position got to do with anything.
    Also, Wade is 6’3”.

  251. Yes the best teams have the best players. And those HOF type players – I’m assuming you’re talking about LeBron, Giannis, Kawhi, maybe Harden- none of those guys are bigs. They’re certainly tall and strong, but they’re not Patrick Ewing’s.

  252. A “small” is somebody who handles the ball, penetrates, shoots from the outside. Traditionally that was a guard. Nowadays, that person can be 6’10”, 6’11”, or even 7+’. Not sure why people are defining anything based on height anymore. The important thing is role.

    I said earlier there are too many factors that go into creating a championship team. But the clear route to contention, aside from lucking into a LeBron/Freak/Jokic/Doncic/Zion type, is to try to get your best players to fill the two most important roles: “PG” and “big”, for lack of any better terms here in 2020.

  253. wetbandit: So if you show me Wiseman, and tell me he’s a superb basketball player, and I have the #1 pick, I’m thinking to myself, this guy isn’t getting me that many more wins than a replacement level center to justify the pick. I would take a Halliburton.

    But Halliburton might wind up being an average or even below average PG or wing, and those guys are a dime a dozen too. Think Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock. That guy’s not getting you a bunch of wins either, and can be replaced by a 7-figure player if you have dominant bigs. Are you arguing that Embiid, KAT or Jokic don’t get you more wins than a replacement-level C? Do you think Patrick Ewing would have enough value over a replacement-level center to draft over Halliburton if he were in this draft? (I bring up Patrick because something about Wiseman reminds me of him, maybe the turnaround jumper.)

    It comes down whether you believe in Wiseman is going to be just good or great. I see way more potential for greatness than I do with Haliburton or Hayes, and a very high floor.

  254. Wade played bigger than the 6’4″ he is listed at in b-r, just like Durant plays smaller than the 6’10” he is listed at.

  255. I was just watching LJ’s four-point play and man, I don’t even know how you can bitch about the continuation call. Was it an iffy call? Sure, but it’s an iffy call you see all the time. Like, the Hubert Davis foul, that was unusual (I think it was still a foul on Pippen, but it was called a lot less back then, so it was a more unusual situation). But the continuation on LJ’s shot was normal. Power forwards just don’t typically hit threes when fouled that far away from the basket (and yes, LJ as a “big man” was a bit of a oxymoron).

  256. But Halliburton might wind up being an average or even below average PG or wing, and those guys are a dime a dozen too. Think Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock.

    This is the point. Guards available for the equivalent of rookie scale deals look like Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock. They’re mostly terrible. The baseline for a guard/wing draft pick to return value to his team is to be better than Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock.

    The baseline for a big draft pick to return value is to be better than McGee, KOQ, etc. It’s much, much harder. These guys are good players!

  257. Bulls fans love to trot out the Hubert Davis call, but conveniently forget the ridiculous Greg Anthony blocking foul that sent Scottie Pippen to the line with 1:30 left in that game. Hubie Brown’s reaction to the call on TV mirrored every Knicks fan’s reaction.

  258. But Halliburton might wind up being an average or even below average PG or wing, and those guys are a dime a dozen too. Think Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock. That guy’s not getting you a bunch of wins either, and can be replaced by a 7-figure player if you have dominant bigs. Are you arguing that Embiid, KAT or Jokic don’t get you more wins than a replacement-level C? Do you think Patrick Ewing would have enough value over a replacement-level center to draft over Halliburton if he were in this draft? (I bring up Patrick because something about Wiseman reminds me of him, maybe the turnaround jumper.)

    It comes down whether you believe in Wiseman is going to be just good or great. I see way more potential for greatness than I do with Haliburton or Hayes, and a very high floor..

    Sorry, I don’t think I wrote what I did about Wiseman correctly. I meant to say, if he isn’t a HOF caliber player, he’s not a good value at the top of the draft. But I did specifically mention Jokic etc, many many times, to say that YES you could get extreme value from a center, but only in certain cases- genius center-skills (Embiid), and genius point-center skills (Jokic). But it is very, very difficult to find a difference maker in a center over a replacement level player (especially one that would justify his cost!). Maybe even in a traditional, nonshooting power forward, too.

    As Donnie said, we’re talking about ROLE, not size.

    That’s why for me, a guy like Wiseman who is excellent at defense, efficient around the basket offense, and rebounding, with not much else, has a lot less shine than a guy who can efficiently shoot and pass from the outside. I’m not talking about big/small, guard/center, talking about roles.

    That’s why at first we loved the upside of Porzingis so much. A 7 footer who can play center, defend at the rim, AND shoot the 3?! Wow!

  259. I don’t think arguing that a top ten draft pick might just turn out to be average is a good argument. The hope is that any draft pick you make, especially one in the top 10 or 5, will turn out to be an above average player.

    If that is the outlook you take, that he might just end up being average…then there is literally no point to taking any player in the draft who isn’t a sure fire star.

  260. Steve Nash may have been hard done by but it’s still a fact he never made it out of the West.

    Look, obviously you need a few great players and then a couple good or very good players to win a title. It’s a team sport. I just don’t see much evidence that the game has actually changed that much to favor the small guard Trae Young types who seem to be our target in this draft. Halliburton, Hayes, and Cole Anthony all seem to me to have top end outcomes that look like, I don’t know, George Hill or Darren Collison. That’s not a bad outcome but they project as, at best, complementary pieces on a great team.

    We aren’t in the Jurassic Era where Mikan, Petit, Wilt, Russell, and Kareem dominated. But their replacement is the power wing like Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, Kawhi, Durant, Giannis, and Luka. It’s not in my mind likely that the Steph Curry lite small guard who can hit threes and distribute is taking over.

    We are living in a world where the Lakers might win the title running out lineups of Lebron, AD, and McGee/Howard. Or the Bucks will win with a 6’11 250 point guard who can’t shoot threes. And the Luka/Porzingis duo seems like it might be on deck after that.

    I guess really what I am trying to say is that, uh, size matters.

  261. Not my point. My point is that big centers who aren’t HOF-level don’t give you as much value as an equally skilled guard/wing.

    Would you rather start your team with Embiid or Harden?

    I’m not comparing guards to centers, but guards/wings to centers.

    I’m saying you lose a few points on my draft board just for being a traditional center. Sure, I’d take Shaq or Ewing #1 this year, but that’s because they’re so good.

  262. thenoblefacehumper: This is the point. Guards available for the equivalent of rookie scale deals look like Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock. They’re mostly terrible. The baseline for a guard/wing draft pick to return value to his team is to be better than Wayne Ellington or Reggie Bullock.

    The baseline for a big draft pick to return value is to be better than McGee, KOQ, etc. It’s much, much harder. These guys are good players!

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another is to look at the probability of getting an impact player in the draft based on the size of the player. Just a quick eyeballing of drafts since 2012 suggests that the majority of productive players, especially in the lottery were bigs or larger wings, and most guards were average or worse. The odds of swinging and missing on a guard in the lottery seem much higher, A team like ours can’t afford another swing and miss.

    It’s true that excellent guards are scarce. But that makes finding one in the top of the draft that much harder.

  263. I think excellent guards are pretty rare too. So rare you are unlikely to draft the next one. To me, it seems like the caretaker pg model has worked for most teams. You can win with Mario Chalmers as your pg.

    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/web-exclusives-jay-as-stephen-a-smith/n13528

    You can win with Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Fleet too, (if the entire opposition goes down with injury), but it helps to have Leonard, Gasol, Ibaka, Siakam, and Danny Green around.

    I think Okongwu is still my guy but i could see Wiseman turning out to be a pretty valuable big, maybe on the order of a Steven Adams. Which seems a pretty good outcome from this draft.

  264. That’s one way of looking at it. Another is to look at the probability of getting an impact player in the draft based on the size of the player. Just a quick eyeballing of drafts since 2012 suggests that the majority of productive players, especially in the lottery were bigs or larger wings, and most guards were average or worse.

    This is a fair take. I guess it just depends on what you mean by “impact player.” Bigs in the draft are almost assuredly safer picks.

    Going back to Ayton, his numbers are pretty damn solid to the point where you would think he definitely qualifies as an impact player. On the other hand, how much better is he than the guys I listed you can get for virtually free (and the list wasn’t exhaustive)?

    Is he still an impact player if ~80% of his impact could’ve been easily replicated with a cheap contract, and the Suns were free to use that pick on a riskier proposition?

    Another example: Vernon Carey Jr. is a stone cold lock to be more productive than a lot of guys drafted ahead of him, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he shouldn’t be picked low if teams feel they can replicate his production without using a valuable pick to attain it.

  265. I think the recent dominance of GSW with two of the best 3 point shooters in the history of the game in the same back court, both at their peak at the same time, has kind of skewed people’s thinking a bit.

    GSW are an anomaly. I’m not trying to say the era of shooting more 3’s is going to end soon or anything like that, but the chance to build a team with a back court that includes not 1 but 2 of the best 3 point shooters ever….that’s an extremely rare and difficult task. Trying to copy that formula is maybe a fool’s errand.

  266. We aren’t in the Jurassic Era where Mikan, Petit, Wilt, Russell, and Kareem dominated. But their replacement is the power wing like Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, Kawhi, Durant, Giannis, and Luka. It’s not in my mind likely that the Steph Curry lite small guard who can hit threes and distribute is taking over.

    To be clear, I am not saying we should specifically target small guards. I guess “big” is kind of a useless term when Giannis Antetokounmpo exists, so I’ll rephrase and say it’s probably wise to dock a player a few draft slots if he projects to derive the overwhelming majority of his value from some combination of:

    -Medium usage scoring volume
    -Rebounds
    -High scoring efficiency
    -To some extent blocks, but this is where it can get interesting because bigs who are legitimately good defenders still have tons of value and aren’t easy to find

    These skills are definitely important, but it’s pretty easy to find guys with them without using a lottery pick.

  267. Trying to copy that formula is maybe a fool’s errand.

    Which is why the Mavs and Rockets, each with 300 3PA (just under 5 per game) more than the #3 team, had the #1 offense in league history, and the #2 offense this season, respectively.

    The math is just not in your favor on this. Obviously you need people to make the shots, but the Mavs just set the all-time record for most efficient offense in league history OF ALL-TIME IN NBA HISTORY with the following players shooting >100 threes:

    Luka Doncic (a sickly 31.8%)
    Tim Hardaway
    Kristaps Porzingis
    Seth Curry
    Maxi Kleber
    Dorian Finney-Smith
    Justin Jackson
    Jalen Brunson
    Delon Wright

    They may have a Curry on the list, but aside from Doncic, who I believe will finish his career as a top-5 all-time offensive player, there’s no Steph or Klay. Just a mega-star who can’t really shoot yet, backed up by solid role players who are blowing up the record book by hitting 37% of their threes instead of, say, 50% of their twos.

    The West is going to have a major problem if Doncic suddenly becomes even a 35% shooter from behind the arc. They will blow other teams out of the water and he’ll be doing the Curry 4th quarter routine from the bench, ready to torch fatigued opponents in the playoffs.

  268. Yeah, only time will tell if Curry is a harbinger of things to come or just a very unique figure in NBA history.

  269. Thing is, some of the guys you listed are sort of exceptions. McGee and Howard are both known head cases who are fine on a team with LeBron or Durant but kind of poisonous otherwise, and they’d be making more money if they weren’t poisonous. We have first hand experience re: how vastly overrated Kanter is.

    Ayton is 21 years old and has ample room for improvement. I agree he wasn’t worth picking at #1. The question is, who was the better pick, him or Trae Young? Right now it’s Trae by a landslide. One-way PGs are more valuable than one-way C’s. Ayton is looking more like Kanter than Embiid.

    And that’s the rub. Is Trae more valuable than, say, Bam? Or JJJ? I guess, but I’d be thrilled with either of the other two.

  270. ***I guess really what I am trying to say is that, uh, size matters.***

    Ow “Mike Woodson” en.

  271. Jowles, do you think this trend will continue forever then, simply because of the math being in a team’s favor if the shoot so many 3’s and hit them at a decent clip? Or is there a counter that is coming somewhere down the line? If so, what would that counter be?

  272. Two things to be clear about:
    – Again, not advocating guards>centers, but rather that everyone else>traditional centers
    – Unless the center is a superstar.
    – I am saying if you have two draftees with a 2k rating of 90, one a traditional center and one a traditional wing/guard, I would absolutely take the wing/guard.

    1. Look at the top players in the game:
    Giannis, Kawhi, Durant, and LeBron are arguably the best players in the sport right now. All tall wings. Behind those guys, you’ve got Anthony Davis, who may be a jump shooting PF/center (only 35% of his shots at 0-3), and guards like Curry, Harden, Doncic, Lillard, with Jokic, a point-center somewhere in there. Notice the lack of a traditional center.
    If you made a list of the top 20 NBA players, how many are centers? Three? Jokic, Gobert… you count AD?

    2. Look at the top teams in the league:
    Bucks: Brook Lopez $3M, best player: Giannis
    LAL: Dwight Howard $2.5M, best players: LeBron, AD
    LAC: Montrezl Harrell $6M, best players: Kawhi… Paul George
    TOR: Marc Gasol $25M, best players: Siakam, Lowry.. Gasol played 900min
    BOS: Enes Kanter, $2M, best players: Tatum, Kemba, Hayward
    DEN: Jokic, $27M, best player: Jokic.
    (GSW of last year: no center)

    Notice the distinct paucity of centers? I could add in Davis (is he a PF or C now?) – it seems tall mobile forwards and guards are best. As stated before, Jokic is a point-center, and Davis is a shooting center.

    3 Look at the top draft picks from 2012-2018:
    How many top-5 picked centers can you say are stars: (AD?), Embiid, KAT
    How many top-5 picked guards: Beal, Oladipo?, D’angelo Russell, Ben Simmons, Fox, Ball?, Doncic, Young

    I have to go now, so I can’t do wings, but I assume that’s the largest group, or at least similar to guards.

    My point is, the NBA has changed, and when you need to efficiently get to a certain amount of points, centers are offensively limited, so value has shifted. I’d rather have an above average guard/wing than center. I’d also rather have positions 1-3/4 shooting as many shots from 3 at replacement level than have the center hoist 2’s, even at above avg efficiency. Value for a center is just not there above replacement level

  273. I have no fucking idea. If I knew that, I’d hope that I wouldn’t be sitting at a keyboard getting paid zero dollars to have thoughts on basketball.

    I think we’re looking at what baseball is looking at: a permanent change to the way the game is played, as the rules currently exist. They had to fuck with their baseballs to get the product that they wanted. The NBA could widen the floor, which would make the corner three more difficult, which could lead to even more motion and dribble penetration.

    I think the most currently-visible rule change possible is the Elam Ending, but that would just lead to games with more basketball plays, rather than the insufferable game of keepaway that close games turn into. Wouldn’t do anything to strategy. I get so frustrated with “traditionalists” on this one; the game totally transforms to a near-unwatchable product during tight games, which is the opposite of what you’d want to happen.

  274. I would actually posit- not sure – that maaaybe having replacement level 1-5 positions, with a D’Antoni coach having a center not doing much on offense than grab rebounds and everyone shooting from 3 and 0-3 ft at replacement level, would probably make the playoffs.

  275. Yeah, I have to say, it’s depressing how obviously well the Mavs are using Porzingis compared to whatever it was the Knicks were doing.

    He went from 21.1 2-pointers and 7.3 3-pointers in 2017-18 with NYK to 13.6 2-pointers and 10.9 3-pointers in 2019-20 with the Mavs.

    I’m not saying he’s an offensive powerhouse now, but the change has led to a significant improvement. Of course, some of that was due to Doncic’s “gravity” — in other words, having a terrific passer/penetrator that has a legit space-the-floor system around him.

    Could we have done that with Elfrid, DSJ, RJ, Allen, or anyone else? Not as well, but definitely.

  276. Thing is, some of the guys you listed are sort of exceptions. McGee and Howard are both known head cases who are fine on a team with LeBron or Durant but kind of poisonous otherwise, and they’d be making more money if they weren’t poisonous. We have first hand experience re: how vastly overrated Kanter is.

    How about Nerlens Noel, putting up 15-10-3-2 with a .714 TS% on his second consecutive minimum contract (FWIW this seems insane to me and some team should try to snag him for 4/$15M or something)?

    Daniel Theis at 2/$10M?

    Richaun Holmes at 2/$10M?

    Hell, Marqueese freakin’ Chriss is putting up 16-11-2 with a .605 TS% on a minimum contract! He might get a rise in free agency, but probably not a big one.

    It’s just not terribly difficult to find quality traditional big play. The guys who distinguish themselves tend to have something else going for them, e.g. JJJ’s shooting and defensive potential and Bam’s passing.

  277. The best guards and wings became more valuable as teams came to understand the value of spacing, 3 point shooting, and dribble penetration. 3 point shooting slowly improved and the extra spacing made it much easier for those same players to penetrate off the dribble. Plus, back in the old days even decapitation wasn’t necessarily a flagrant foul. Now breathing on Harden is a foul in the regular season.

    The penetration used to also often come via the big man in the post who would get double teamed and then pass out to whoever was open. The value of that play still exists for certain matchups, but there aren’t many players like Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, Wilt, McHale, Barkley etc.. that can make a good enough living down there to make it dominant part of the game anymore. So now the idea is to stretch the Cs out to the 3 point line,

    Personally, I think game was massively better when there was more post play because it made for more interesting matchups and different team styles. I think the game is boring as all hell at times now. So much so I wish a Shaq or Kareem would appear and so dominate inside it would force teams to rethink the stretch 5 even if he’s getting burned a bit outside. That’s the basic problem. Even if the big man is efficient on lower volume, he’s often getting burned so badly from the outside and on the P&R, the net of the matchup is bad.

    Maybe they need to change the rules. 5 seconds instead of 3 seconds or a narrower key might do the trick.

  278. “That’s the basic problem. Even if the big man is efficient, he’s often getting burned so badly from the outside and on the P&R, the net of the matchup is bad. Maybe they need to change the rules. 5 seconds instead of 3 seconds or a narrower key might do the trick.”

    Imagine Kanter with 5 seconds in the paint or with a narrower key. Instead of scoring 20 per 36 he might score closer to 30 per 36. Then you can look past all the times the team gets burned by stretch 5s taking him away from the basket or all the P&Rs that switch him onto players he can’t defend that torch him. The math changes and suddenly he goes from liability against certain matchups to an asset.

    Imagine Robinson with 5 seconds or narrower lane. Who needs for him to expand his game a little so he can become a more consistent option on offense when he’s dominating in the paint so consistently.

  279. My crazy off-the-wall never-going-to-happen crackpot fix would be to make 2’s worth 3 points and 3’s worth 4 points. It shrinks the gap between them enough to make 3 point shots not the default best option while not also making them worthless. Of course, that would never, ever happen for many, many reasons.

  280. So much so I wish a Shaq or Kareem would appear and so dominate inside it would force teams to rethink the stretch 5 even if he’s getting burned a bit outside.

    I understand what you’re saying, but Giannis is basically Shaq with a dribble-drive. He’s almost unfair despite playing in the most competitive basketball league on earth, just as Shaq was. But he’s somehow more valuable than Shaq would be, as he is an adept passer surrounded by shooters (Shaq was a flashy-good passer, but it’s not the same at all). I just don’t think that a back-to-the-basket version of Giannis would somehow dominate more. Part of Giannis’s cheat code is that he doesn’t have to back a guy down, and he can guard literally anyone in the league (except Boban, of course). That’s hyper-valuable in today’s NBA.

    Come to think of it, Boban is probably the most dominant traditional big that we’ve seen since Yao or Shaq, but on account of his enormous size and inflexibility, he’s relegated to a bench role.

    And on the topic of the league changing, check this out.

    Here are the top earners in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

    Garnett PF/C
    O’Neal C
    Mourning C
    Juwan Howard PF
    Pippen SF
    Malone PF
    Rasheed Wallace PF
    Mutombo C
    Payton PG
    Kemp PF/C
    Olajuwon C
    Ewing C
    Robinson C

    And now:

    Curry PG
    Westbrook PG
    Paul PG
    Durant SF
    Harden PG
    Wall PG
    LeBron Point Forward
    Lowry PG
    Griffin (lol) PF
    George SF/PF

    Pretty crazy how much things have changed.

  281. Mike, can you imagine?

    James Harden smashes the single game scoring record, having scored 134 points last night as the Houston Rockets defeat The OKC Thunder 304 to 298.

  282. But there’s lots of league average or better guards (relative to their position) that are making low 7 figures too. And many others who are found outside the lottery, including in the 2nd round and as undrafted free agents.

    If you are saying “don’t draft a guy in the lottery whose most likely outcome is a traditional 1-way big” I agree. There has to be some special upside beyond “project” speculation. That’s certainly the case with Wiseman. I would get passing on him based on scouting reports (e.g. Stepien is lukewarm on him) and concerns about IQ. Smart basketball players are always preferable to not-so-smart ones, all else being even. You would have to be sold that Wiseman is on an elite track to prefer him over an equally talented but iffy guard prospect, say, LaMelo. But I’m not buying that if he turns out “just average” for his position, it’s any more disappointing than drafting a “just average” guard or wing in the lottery. Theis and Noel are putting up nice stats in limited roles but so is Brad Wanamaker and Jalen Brunson and Hamadou Diallo and Terrence Davis and Kendrick Nunn, etc. etc.

  283. swiftandabundant:
    Mike, can you imagine?

    James Harden smashes the single game scoring record, having scored 134 points last night as the Houston Rockets defeat The OKC Thunder 304 to 298.

    It wouldn’t be that big a difference, but yeah invalidating all prior scoring records is one of the many reasons it would never fly.

  284. https://theathletic.com/1807318/2020/05/14/absolute-hell-landry-fields-on-his-mysterious-and-ill-fated-raptors-tenure/?source=user_shared_article

    Sad, and somewhat scary, story about one of my all time favorite Knicks (leave me alone I was born in ’95). I’m glad he made his money and is doing well now, but this seems like an awful thing to go through.

    Didn’t even know he’s now the GM of the Spurs’ G-League affiliate. Would probably be the best GM we’ve had in decades.

  285. Can we all agree that the Knicks should draft BPA, regardless of whether that’s a 7’5″ behemoth or a 5’11” sharpshooter?

  286. Theis and Noel are putting up nice stats in limited roles but so is Brad Wanamaker and Jalen Brunson and Hamadou Diallo and Terrence Davis and Kendrick Nunn, etc. etc.

    Noel WS48: .225

    Theis WS48: .205
    ———————————–
    Wanamaker WS48: .108

    Brunson WS48: .108

    Diallo WS48: .014 (this was a weird example, he is decidedly not putting up nice stats in a limited role)

    Nunn WS48: .064

    Davis WS48: .133 (don’t love this example either because I think he has more potential than the rest of this group, but point stands)

    What’s more, Brunson and Wanamaker are able to parlay their averageness into serious roles on contending teams. Bigs with WS48s in the .100 range ain’t sniffing that. Also, I bet Brunson gets a pretty nice second contract.

    The crop of guards available on the cheap is simply not nearly productive as the crop of bigs available on the cheap.

  287. Can we all agree that the Knicks should draft BPA, regardless of whether that’s a 7’5? behemoth or a 5’11” sharpshooter?

    Depends how you define BPA. The point I’m trying to make is that a guard/wing who can put up .150 WS48 by being good at traditional guard/wing skills sure seems more valuable than a big who can put up .200+ by being good at traditional big skills.

    If BPA = “will bring most value to the team” then yeah I’m on board, but if it means “most productive in a vacuum,” probably not.

  288. Diallo was a bad example, read it as .104, sorry.

    That said, I think “production” is hard to compare between positions. You’d have a hard time convincing me that Theis, Kanter and Williams, with their gaudy WS48’s, are nowhere near as productive (or responsible for winning) as Kemba, Tatum and Brown. I mean, do you really think that Joel Embiid replacing Daniel Theis/Enes Kanter would be a wash? WS48 says yes, and also that Jokic wouldn’t make much difference.

    If the argument is that a journeyman big can ride on the coattails of a bunch of skilled guards and wings, I would counter that a journeyman guard can ride on the coattails of a bunch of skilled wings and bigs, or a journeyman wing can ride on the coattails of a bunch of skilled guards and bigs. Milwaukee is paying $12 mill to Brook Lopez and $1mill to George Hill. Would they be better if they paid $1 mill to Nerlens Noel and $12 mill to Patrick Beverley?

    I also think Noel might finally get paid on his next contract.

  289. thenoblefacehumper: If BPA = “will bring most value to the team” then yeah I’m on board, but if it means “most productive in a vacuum,” probably not.

    That’s part of it, too. There’s still enough old-school folks out there who overvalue bigs who show at least a bit of versatility. Look at the contract Horford signed. Look at the way teams still drafted big over small in the last couple of drafts. You could probably still get valuable assets in return for Bagley III or Ayton, even though they both seem lacking in versatility. A lackluster guard/wing is a harder sell in a trade.

  290. I mean, do you really think that Joel Embiid replacing Daniel Theis/Enes Kanter would be a wash? WS48 says yes, and also that Jokic wouldn’t make much difference.

    I don’t think any of these things are true, namely because I don’t think WS48 does a good job of incorporating defense or the benefits accrued from higher scoring volume.

    Having said that, if Embiid were to go down for a few games the Sixers could survive much more easily with Theis/Kanter than the Celtics could if Kemba went down and they had to replace him with a guard in the same price range as Theis/Kanter. I mean I can’t even think of a guard that fits that description…we’re in Tim Frazier land.

    I don’t know exactly what to attribute it to, but I think it’s objectively true that there are a lot more productive bigs in the NBA right now than productive guards.

    Milwaukee is paying $12 mill to Brook Lopez and $1mill to George Hill. Would they be better if they paid $1 mill to Nerlens Noel and $12 mill to Patrick Beverley?

    They are paying $9.5M to George Hill, and that’s coming off a bad season at age 33. It’s also probably one of the better guard value contracts in the entire league (not counting rookie scales and maxes).

    I also think Noel might finally get paid on his next contract.

    Even if he does, it’ll be a fraction of what Fred VanVleet, who is of a similar age and objectively less productive, will get.

    There’s still enough old-school folks out there who overvalue bigs who show at least a bit of versatility.

    The point I’m making doesn’t apply to a lot of these guys. Bigs whose skills are limited to what you might call traditional big skills are easily available to everyone, and I would avoid Wiseman because I think this applies to him.

    If you’re talking about a big who can shoot, pass, has an enormous defensive impact, etc. it’s an entirely different…

  291. Different conversation.

    I love this website, but my biggest pet peeve with it is the character counter is just slightly off.

    I should add that it would be fair to say this opinion conflicts with me being somewhat high on Okongwu, but I think he has a decent chance at overcoming this phenomenon because he might be that good defensively, and I don’t think him becoming a 3PT shooter is out of the question (both the stats and scouting consensus are mixed on this).

    I’d still take him below some of the guards I think he’ll be “better” than, e.g. I’d probably take Haliburton over him.

  292. You have my pledge, Judge Jowles.

    fun fact:
    when i first started following knickerblogger (whenever that was) i was sure whenever i read jowles’ words that this was the man writing them…who in real life was phantly roy bean jr

    long live judge jowles…

    “A good and faithful judge ever prefers the honorable to the expedient.”

  293. Hey, there’s still huge value in a center who defends the rim to a high level, look at Gobert.

    I need some help with this-

    If we say that a wing’s TS.150 is more valuable than a center’s TS.190, why is that ? How does that square with efficiency being higher the more 3s you shoot? Would a team rather feed Mitchell Robinson more than Steph Curry since he has a higher true shooting percentage, and is this more efficient?

  294. How’s this explanation: It’s easier to score close to the basket than far away, assuming you are guarded by someone your own size?

  295. >I understand what you’re saying, but Giannis is basically Shaq with a dribble-drive. He’s almost unfair despite playing in the most competitive basketball league on earth, just as Shaq was. >

    I love Giannis as much as anyone, but a couple of teams demonstrated that if you pack the paint you can at least slow him down. That’s more or less why he’s trying to expand his game out to the 3 point line.

    Zeus and Apollo couldn’t slow Shaq down in his prime if they double teamed him.

    I more or less agree on everything else you said.

    Before the league shifted to pace and space I was a huge D’Antoni fan. I wanted more running, 3 point shooting and P&R. But now that “everyone” is doing it, man do miss Kareem. Shaq, Hakeem, McHale etc.. I liked really good post play and inside out basketball. I’m certain it can still be done effectively, but only with very skilled big men that actually work on that instead of making 3s. Sooner or later someone will come along and change the game again.

  296. >Would a team rather feed Mitchell Robinson more than Steph Curry since he has a higher true shooting percentage, and is this more efficient?<

    The problem is that reality sometimes interferes with our wishful thinking.

    Defenses are trying to stop whatever a player does well. Since Robinson is only good around the basket at this stage, a smart coach with a good defensive team will focus on taking away those lobs and offensive rebounds to slow him down. That's a lot easier than trying to slow down Curry. Curry can pummel you from anywhere on the court including well beyond the arc. He can score off the dribble, off the pass, going left, going right etc.. And if you take some of that away he'll drive to the basket, finish, and pummel you that way. He's a freaking magician. The only success anyone has had with him is getting very physical in the playoffs. Sometimes you can slow him down a little, but good luck trying. It's that efficient versatility that to a large extend accounts for the different usage. A very good team can stop Robinson. A great team will have tough time slowing Curry down.

  297. I love Giannis as much as anyone, but a couple of teams demonstrated that if you pack the paint you can at least slow him down. That’s more or less why he’s trying to expand his game out to the 3 point line.

    This is true, and especially true in this era, but for a very limited number of games. And as poorly as Giannis played over those six games (.518 TS%, in large part due to his Shaq-like 35-60 from the charity stripe), I still lay the blame more squarely on Eric Bledsoe for their series loss. 61 points on 68 FGA and 21 FTA is just unacceptable in a Conference Finals. He and Mirotic combined to shoot 11-60 from behind the arc. Keep in mind that the Bucks traded four 2nd rounders to get Mirotic midseason, and he laid an epic egg when it mattered most.

    My point is that if Mirotic and Bledsoe merely shoot 33% from three, and clustered in those three close losses, maybe we’re talking about Giannis’s 40 PPG on .600 TS% in crushing the short-handed Warriors en route to his first FMVP. Obviously he gets some blame for that series, but an outsized share due to his stature.

    Zeus and Apollo couldn’t slow Shaq down in his prime if they double teamed him.

    Zeus and Apollo, maybe not. Duncan and Robinson? For sure.

    Or maybe Malone and Stockton? Or maybe more accurately, Greg Foster and Greg Ostertag, who combined to shoot 19-29 at the C position for 41 points over those four games?

    If anything, it’s proof that even a superstar can’t win shit if your role players suck. And they sucked horribly in both of those series.

  298. You’re saying the high TS% is tempered by low field goal attempts. Isn’t that on the same continuum as the five Tyson Chandlers argument? Some say volume doesn’t affect efficiency?

  299. The Honorable Cock Jowles: If anything, it’s proof that even a superstar can’t win shit if your role players suck. And they sucked horribly in both of those series.

    Well, Bill Russell wouldn’t let them suck.

  300. Too lazy on a late Friday to do it, but ‘the whole game has changed irrevocably’ along with ‘BPA’ discussions makes me really want to go back and look at say the last five drafts for the Knicks and see what the team would look like if they had just picked whoever had the best 3-pt% on reasonable volume among, oh say, the ten or so potential draftees available to them (so if we picked 3rd, choose the best 3-pt shooter between whoever was slotted for 3rd to whoever was slotted for 13th [to avoid drafting 3rd some slow, one-dimensional shot-maker who might have actually gone 50th]). Would we be demonstratively better? I mean, it can’t be worse than 3-on-3…

  301. Raven, I think every one of us wanted someone other than Knox. What a monumental blunder.

    Hopefully he’ll improve…I think I saw a little Giannis in his game…

  302. Re: drafting, bottom line is, if you can’t shoot the 3 in today’s NBA, it’s like having trouble with the curve. You better make up for it, and that’s a tall order. I mean, how valuable in today’s NBA is a guard who can’t shoot the 3? They have to be elite in something else, maybe more than one thing, otherwise you’re throwing away a pick on them.

  303. Halliburton deserves a good, long look, even at #1. His shooting is pretty uncanny. And I wouldn’t be shocked if Nesmith sneaks into the lottery.

  304. Jowles, i posted that clip the other day.

    Also, great story on Fields. His collapse was always a real mystery to me. He was good in an unorthodox way when he was in New York. I certainly loved him.

    He also is coming for David Lee in the Who Married Best Grand Prix.

  305. I injected myself with Windex a couple weeks back. Still coming down from the rush.

  306. I distinctly remember that first offseason when the Knicks set out to fix Landry’s shot… what a disaster. He was a good albeit slow-release shooter from three before that staff got ahold of him. Sigh, we sure know how to wreck talent around here…

  307. A crazy thing for me is that I believe that there is a decent chance that the Melo trade could have been done with Fields in Gallo’s place and the Knicks didn’t want to do it. Dolan’s Razor, man, Dolan’s Razor.

  308. The Brooklyn Nets guard is trying to put his basketball future in the hands of the masses. He has started a GoFundMewith the hope of reaching roughly $24,632,630 which “will allow the fan base to determine” the next team he plays for.

    that is some really weird shit…I don’t know, maybe it’s a genius way of raising some charity money…

    is dinwiddie really looking at an annual salary above 20 million…

  309. I loved Fields, as much for his off court play as his on court. The Landry and Andy show was awesome. One episode he went speed dating. I still laugh at it sometimes. (I never really forgave jonabbey for turning on him like he did).

  310. Yeah, Landry Fields was an incredibly charming guy. He’s one of the rare examples where the hot model who married him was probably playing out of her league.

  311. https://theathletic.com/1808864/2020/05/13/hollingers-nba-draft-top-20-plus-sleepers-the-guys-id-be-willing-to-bet-on/

    This had been mentioned earlier but I just got around to reading it (on account of having just finished 1L).

    Broad takeaways without giving away too much: Hollinger is a big Hayes fan and thinks the left-handed dominant thing is overstated, is high on Okongwu and relatively low on Wiseman, is much higher on Toppin than me, hates Cole Anthony, and thinks both Paul Reed and Devon Dotson would be fantastic targets for us with the Clippers’ pick.

    One tidbit that some of us will find hilarious, while others will, uh, not:

    I watched Maledon play in France a year ago on a scouting trip with the Grizzlies and thought he compared favorably with Frank Ntilikina at the same age – a long-armed combo guard who could defend, shoot a little and make the right play, but with a bit more wiggle and playmaking than Frankie Smokes. Maledon was also just 17 at the time, a year away from being draft-eligible.

    That’s damning with faint praise, of course — Ntilikina isn’t good — and it’s worse because Maledon showed roughly zero improvement this season.

  312. I can’t imagine how scary and frustrating that situation must’ve been for Fields. As a plus 3PT shooter, he was basically the kind of player 30 teams are constantly looking for these days. Instead he was out of the league in his 20s.

    Still, I’m glad he landed very much on his feet and wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him rise through the front office ranks quickly. I hope against all odds he winds up back with us in that capacity.

  313. > And as poorly as Giannis played over those six games (.518 TS%, in large part due to his Shaq-like 35-60 from the charity stripe), I still lay the blame more squarely on Eric Bledsoe for their series loss. 61 points on 68 FGA and 21 FTA is just unacceptable in a Conference Finals. He and Mirotic combined to shoot 11-60 from behind the arc<

    I agree 100%. Certainly if the other Bucks were hitting their 3s it would have helped generate needed space for Gainnis. It wasn't all his fault.

    This gets to another of my "old school" views that you'll probably reject,

    In the past, people around the league thought you couldn't win the championship shooting a lot of 3s because great defenses could slow you down and force you to beat them other ways and because the pressure of the playoffs tended to tighten the average player up a bit and lower their efficiency and consistency from 3.

    At the time, I think they were probably right,

    What I think happened eventually was that players got better at 3 point shooting.

    Then the Warriors came along. That's a team with 2 and then 3 of the greatest 3 point shooters of all time. They dominated. So everyone wanted to copy that model.

    However, I think it's possible we overshot.

    IMO, the old timers WERE correct that if all you bring to the table at an elite level is 3s, teams can take that away. They were also correct that playoff pressure in a really tough series (especially the finals) tends to tighten players up and impact 3 point shooting more than dumping ball into the paint.

    I don't think blowups like the Bucks or the Rockets a couple of years ago were a totally random accident. I think there are great shooters that can handle the pressure and get the job done and there are other players that can't. The latter sometimes totally fall apart under extreme pressure. If your team is very dependent on the 3, you better have guys like Curry, Durant, Thompson etc.. that have proved they can handle…

  314. I was a huge Fields fan also.

    I loved that Knicks team with Gallo, Fields, Chandler etc… Even though I wasn’t in favor of signing Amare (I probably would have just kept David Lee), that was a fun team until the Melo trade.

    Looking back on it now, I realize my bitterness about blowing that team up impacted my thinking about Melo as a player. He was a lot better than I gave him credit for back then. He still wouldn’t be high on the list of players I’d want on my team (even at his peak) because I like ball movement, defense, and high basketball IQs, but he was very good at his best.

  315. thenoblefacehumper: Broad takeaways without giving away too much: Hollinger is a big Hayes fan and thinks the left-handed dominant thing is overstated,

    Interesting, I don’t suscribe so can’t see his reasoning, can you post it?

    My qualm with Hayes’s right hand is that he doesn’t use it at all beyond a positional 1-dribble move and that when he brings the ball up he invariably migrates to the left side of the floor. When he catches on the right side corner area, he doesn’t have a baseline move.

    I could let that go in a wing like RJ, but not in a PG. For me, ball handling is something that doesn’t develop much. I have kids in my middle school that are already super-proficient in both directions…not because they’ve practiced more but because they just “have it.” Fore me, it’s an absolute “must have” for a lead guard.

    Finishing with one’s off-hand is more salvageable. Lots of guys improve in that area with dedicated practice. Lots of PGs figure out a way to work around it. Jeremy Lin is an example of a guy who had a weak left hand but much more pronounced in finishing than dribbling and passing. Even so, once the league figured that out, Linsanity was history. Hayes will be forced right by NBA defenders until he shows proficiency there, and that step-back that works for Harden is not gonna work for him.

    Now this is based on what I know right now. If he goes to workouts and shows development, or to a combine and kills it in the athletic testing (like Harden did) then I would take second look. But right now, I see a non-athletic wing with great court vision who can whip a pass with his left and who might develop into a better-than-average 3-pt shooter even though he has sucked at it for a long time. He will not be a good defender, will not get to the line much, and turns the ball over a lot even with his left hand. That’s not a…

  316. 3. Killian Hayes, PG/SG, Ulm
    An unknown quantity for most American fans, Hayes is a French lefty who isn’t a knock-down shooter (29.4 percent from 3) but has an extremely high skill level in terms of being able to execute complex moves like step-backs, side steps and pull-ups out of pick-and-rolls. Hayes has never shot well from the perimeter and has a funky push shot, but he has a history of shooting extremely well from the free-throw line (87.6 percent). One hopes that will translate to 3s as he gets older. Although he’s big for a point guard, he can run pick-and-roll all day and make the right delivery more often than not.

    Hayes is still very young — like Ball and Edwards, he won’t turn 19 until this summer — and had a good season in a decent league. Ulm played in the Eurocup, not the Euroleague, and the German League isn’t quite as good as Spain’s, but it’s not bad.

    Where Hayes falls short, and it’s something I saw in person a year ago at Basketball Without Borders, is having the zip to just cook a player off the dribble from a standstill and then finish over length at the rim. He struggles to gain separation off the bounce, which is one reason he has to rely on herky-jerky start-stops, step-backs and other complex skills, and depends a lot on pull-ups rather than lay-ups. Even his close-in finishes are difficult, contested makes. Again, that’s German League athleticism, so you can see how some are concerned about what happens against far more athletic players over here.

    Hayes is also extremely left-hand dominant, which is a concern of some scouts and not of some others. I tend to be in the latter camp — John Stockton had a 20-year career as an all-time great NBA point guard and took maybe four dribbles with his left hand — but I could see how overplays could become a problem for him.

  317. Read several of those lines above and it sounds very reminiscent of D’Angelo Russell, but Hayes offers more on the defensive end. Although he’s not a super athlete, Hayes has decent lateral quickness and great anticipation, and has posted high rates of steals and blocks in a competitive league (and without a cheating LaMelo style to get them).

    Hayes’s combination of age, skill level, and free-throw accuracy offer an upside despite his meh athleticism. Additionally, an on-ball guard who defends two positions solidly is one of the most valuable player archetypes to have. I have Ball and Edwards rated higher because of their home-run upside, but Hayes could easily have a better career than either of them. For me, he’s the third-best value proposition on this board.

  318. I loved Landry just like everyone else here. However, I soured on him well before most here, I’d have to go back and check but I believe it was after he was totally useless in his first playoff stint. The bloom was off the rose long before he hurt his elbow. Jon Abbey and me were very down on him by year 2 and took a lot of shit for it.

  319. I won’t post all of Okongwu but its quite glowing.

    “Okongwu was awesome as a freshman and the only reason I don’t have him higher is that today’s game doesn’t value bigs as much. He still might be undervalued here. Relative to his position he’s arguably the best player in this draft, and in particular would seem to be an outstanding fit with the Golden State Warriors.”

  320. I like Okongwu a lot…massive potential. Still, what I sad about the 3 above applies. Is he special enough to overcome that?

  321. What Hollinger goes on to say is that Okongwu produced like very few freshman big men have. He is in elite company Anthony Davis, DeAndre Ayton, Cody Zeller and Towns.

    So it’s potential but with a lot of data behind it.

    His filter: Let’s get into the details. Since 2011-12, five major conference NCAA freshman have had a PER north of 30 and shot better than 70 percent from the line, an important indicator that they had enough skill to be something besides a ‘90s beast-ball 5 in the pros.

  322. Owen: John Stockton had a 20-year career as an all-time great NBA point guard and took maybe four dribbles with his left hand

    I’m not a Hollinger fan, and ridiculously dumb statements like this don’t make me any more of one. Not only is it an utter distortion of the truth about Stockton, it says that “Hey, an all-time great PG did it so it’s not a big deal!”

    Owen: Additionally, an on-ball guard who defends two positions solidly is one of the most valuable player archetypes to have.

    There isn’t any evidence to suggest that this is true about Hayes. If anything, scouting reports state that he has trouble staying in front of quicker guards and is not a plus athelete, suggesting that he can be overmatched by NBA 2’s and 3’s. If you are drafting him expecting him to be anything but a mediocre defender at any position, you are going to be very disappointed beyond passing-lane steals. But at least there aren’t many quick PGs in the NBA!

    At best, you’re hoping for a D’Angelo Russell-type. It’s a reasonable thing to hope for as a ceiling, but I’m not optimistic about that outcome. But hey, you never know!

  323. Right now my top players to consider in the top 7 are, in no particular order: Okongwu, Haliburton, LaMelo, Edwards, Wiseman, Toppin, Precious. I’m not completely out on Okoro, Cole or Killian, and still looking carefully at Lewis, Nesmith, Vassell and others. but would be fine with any of the top 7. Lamelo, Haliburton and Okongwu are probably my top 3, although Wiseman and Edwards would excite me if we took them there. Precious and Toppin would only be 6 and 7 in my rankings.

  324. How’s your eyesight? I hear that Trump suggested it for curing presbyopia…

    I’m not sure. I keep seeing headlines about another Inspector General fired late on a Friday night, which can’t be true because this is America and that kind of brazen corruption doesn’t happen here. Must be something wrong with my vision still.

  325. On this day in 1999 Allan Houston hit the game winning shot to beat the Heat in Game 5. I remember when that shot went in running around my house screaming like crazy. When was the last game winning shot a Knick has made that was exciting, the 2 buzzer beaters JR Smith hit during the 2012-13 season? If not that season then definitely the season before when Lin hit the game winner in Toronto.

  326. Maybe the tip in by David Lee with a tenth of two of a second remaining? It wasn’t an important game, but it was still exciting.

  327. The Good News: There will almost certainly be an impact player still in the draft no matter where we pick
    The Bad News: We’re going to draft Cole Anthony over all of them

  328. ***I loved Landry just like everyone else here. However, I soured on him well before most here, I’d have to go back and check but I believe it was after he was totally useless in his first playoff stint. The bloom was off the rose long before he hurt his elbow. Jon Abbey and me were very down on him by year 2 and took a lot of shit for it.***

    The Fields honeymoon ended pretty abruptly, but the playoffs wasn’t it. Billups froze him out for some bizarre reason. Fields and Amar’e had had a great moving game together that worked well all season and Billups came in and quashed that pretty fast. I was at game 1 in Boston and it was clear Billups wanted nothing to do with anything Fields was trying to do.

    Oh well. At least Billups got amnestied, and jonabbey got banned. Not sure how you managed to get off without retribution, Z-Man.

  329. Dolan’s Razor sez that Cole Anthony will be, to our collective relief, drafted a slot before our pick, and turn into a perennial all-star.

  330. Fields shot terribly from three point land in his sophomore season, so he was already coming off a terrible shooting season before he got injured. But then he got injured before we could see which version of Fields was the real one – the guy who shot great in season 1 or the guy who shot terribly in season 2.

    Even shooting terribly, Fields was a decent player because of his other skills (Fields was an excellent wing defender and it was the combination of him and Shump on the wing and Chandler in the middle that made that Knick team so good defensively), but yes, obviously any real upside would have to have come from him shooting better and when he lost the ability to shoot period, then his career was over. And it’s one of those really unanswerable questions as to which one was the real Fields – the guy who shot great in his rookie season or the guy who shot terribly in his second season.

  331. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Dolan’s Razor sez that Cole Anthony will be, to our collective relief, drafted a slot before our pick, and turn into a perennial all-star.

    Nah, Cole Anthony will suck for the Knicks, like we expect. But they would’ve drafted Haliburton who gets drafted one spot earlier and goes on to be Steph Curry 2.0.

    Every other team would have been happy to let Haliburton fall to the Knicks until the Knicks started raving about Haliburton’s shot during a private workout.

    On the other hand, Cole Anthony will kill his 3 v 3 workout.

  332. Fields was very limited offensively in NY right from the start. He was having some early success because we were playing that run and gun wide open D’Antoni style. He was getting transition baskets, wide open looks from 3, and even some easy put backs because he was a pretty good rebounder, He had a lot of energy and fit what we were doing,

    Things changed when we traded for Melo. We transitioned to a somewhat different offense. Also, scouts eventually figured him out. Teams started taking away the things he did fairly well. Make him dribble before shooting, keep him off the offensive boards etc..

    Like all young players, it would have been on him to expand his game, improve his off hand, improve his ability to score off the dribble etc..

    He never really got to that stage over time because he got hurt. So we’ll never know whether he would have been an extremely limited role player at the end of the bench or something more over time.

  333. Charlie Rosen with some truth bombs about how Melo refused to play in the triangle and poisoned KP’s thinking on the subject. KP liked the triangle. He even made one favorable public comment about it (which was reported at the time), and Melo privately went off on him (also reported later) and continued the mutiny.

    Melo’s resume includes refusing to listen to George Karl, Mike D’Antoni, and Phil Jackson. lol

    How many rings and COY awards does it take for a guy to listen to the coach and at least try what he’s saying?

  334. The more I look at the prospects the more I think it’s unlikely the Knicks are going to get the kind of PG they are looking for out of this draft (not that I agree that with them about what we need from the PG position).

    It makes no sense to force a selection for a mediocre PG prospect or to pick up another mediocre PG in free agency when the team has so many other obvious needs like a SG and PF that can space the floor. We are probably going to be bad again next year. So who cares if Payton and Frank are still running the offense next year? I want to give both more time anyway. What we want to come away with from this draft is another cornerstone piece that fits with Robinson/Barrett. That means we need a young knockdown shooter that plays either PG, SG/SF or PF. It doesn’t matter which role we fill first. Just get the best player that shoots.

  335. Wow, Charley Rosen must think any GM who would give Carmelo Anthony the largest contract in the NBA is a huge dumbass!

  336. You can’t have your PJ cake and eat it too. Either Phil takes the L for not getting through to Melo, or Phil takes the L for the MMM contract.

  337. You can’t have your PJ cake and eat it too. Either Phil takes the L for not getting through to Melo, or Phil takes the L for the MMM contract.

    You gotta admit, Phil had no reason to believe Melo was going to play the same way in his 12th season as he did in his first 11. He was totally blindsided.

  338. Charlie Rosen:Phil Jackson::Sean Hannity:Donald Trump

    This, with the exception that no one on Earth gives a shit what Charley Rosen says while that’s tragically not the case with Hannity :(

  339. >Charlie Rosen:Phil Jackson::Sean Hannity:Donald Trump<

    I'll have to disagree.

    Phil is one of the greatest basketball minds in the history of the sport. He believes in the same sound basketball principles also used by Pop and Kerr even now. They have a LOT rings among them to prove it. No one ever said that about any corrupt politician or corrupt member of the media on either side of the political spectrum (which basically covers them all).

    The article itself was fair. Rosen criticized both of Phil's coaching selections. I think things probably would have been a little different if we got Kerr because at least they would have been on the same page. Kerr has incorporated many of the same principles and plays in GS.

    I think everyone associated with Phil has said in hindsight that signing Melo was a mistake. It wasn't necessarily because of his talent/skill or potential fit at the time of the signing (before his injury and surgery reduced his game), but because after having dealt with Jordan, Pippen, Kobe/Shaq, Rodman, Metta etc.. he incorrectly assumed he could handle Melo and get him to buy in too. He didn't realize how stubborn and self centered Melo was. Those other guys wanted to win first. Melo wanted to be the star first. That was a clear L. He should have asked MDA and Karl. lol

  340. ***everyone associated with Phil has said in hindsight that signing Melo was a mistake***

    Yeah, we’ll everybody here said it with foresight. And in-the-moment-sight. Hell, even ruruland knew the contract was a bad idea at the time. But Phil and his great basketball mind had “everyone associated” with him believing in his genius. Until it wasn’t genius. Oof.

  341. Until Charley Rosen writes that Phil was a terrible GM and should own every disastrous decision he made without passing the buck, he is as much of a mindless shill as Hannity.

    When Phil was hired, most of us felt that there was at least hope that his “great basketball mind” would be great enough to know his own limitations. From his very first move to his very last, he demonstrated nothing but contempt for modern methods of team-building, player valuation, and cap management. The “How’s it goink?” quote reeked of a refusal to acknowledge how different the game is today than it was in the MJ/Kobe/Shaq days, and how that difference was critical to every management decision. There’s not a single decision he made as a GM that one would consider to have been “inspired by a great basketball mind.” Not his signings, not his drafting, not his trades, not his hires. He was a total failure and a total embarrassment.

    How an intelligent guy like Strat can continue to sugar-coat the big, steaming pile of shit that was the Phil era is mind-boggling.

  342. ***How an intelligent guy like Strat can continue to sugar-coat the big, steaming pile of shit that was the Phil era is mind-boggling.***

    I have a feeling that if everybody here said Phil was great, he’d argue Phil was garbage.

    ***When Phil was hired, most of us felt that there was at least hope that his “great basketball mind” would be great enough to know his own limitations.***

    For me, the hope with Phil Jackson coming in was that his “genius” (ie, his rings) would make Dolan sit back and allow for a proper rebuild. He was supposed to tell Dolan “we can’t build around Carmelo, we need to let him go”, but instead he MMMed him, and the mythical rebuild was over before it even began.

  343. Look guys, Phil Jackson is a basketball genius, but that doesn’t mean he can fairly be expected to have the same level of foresight on basketball related matters as various musicians, middle school principals, and college freshman who post online under the moniker “thenoblefacehumper.”

  344. Nothing says “great basketball mind” more than trying to build a championship team around the decline phase of the 2010’s answer to Mark Aguirre because you believe your outdated pet offensive system is going to turn him into an elite player. That takes the kind of infinite hippie wisdom that’s hard for a regular layperson to understand and takes many years of observing horse racing before you can comprehend the brilliance of it.

  345. I still have okwongu #1…. i don’t think PER has any kind of translation effects so i’m a bit dubious of hollinger’s claims if he’s citing that…. but many big men come in just as raw as okongwu has…. he has offensive game… and while bigs are valued less these days… he’s not just an average big…. he should be a really good one and that’s generally worth a high lotto pick….

    the risk is that he’s not… that he’s just your average big… but that still has immense value and that’s the floor for him…. the question is whether he could play with mitch…. and i think it’s worth it to find out….

  346. To be fair Melo had only played about eleven billion minutes in the NBA before Phil took the job so there was no way to really know whether he had the talent or temperament to be a truly great player.

  347. Can we refer to this as “the Strat macro?” It’s not quite copypasta but close enough.

  348. The funny part is Melo’s 2 best seasons of his career with the Knicks occurred partly because he embraced shooting alot more 3pters which is something D’Antoni encouraged Melo to do when he first got to NY.

  349. Yeah, we’ll everybody here said it with foresight. And in-the-moment-sight. Hell, even ruruland knew the contract was a bad idea at the time. But Phil and his great basketball mind had “everyone associated” with him believing in his genius. Until it wasn’t genius. Oof.

    That, more than anything, really shows you how obvious of a fuck-up it was, that even ruruland was disappointed in it at the time. ruruland!

  350. Remember when ruruland insisted that he would take a discount? Ahahahahahahhahahah

  351. And then ruru said he’d leave forever if Melo didn’t give a discount, and he sort of did leave, except when he’d come back to post some other dumb thing then we’d all be like “didn’t you say you were going to leave” and then he’d leave again

  352. You have to give him credit, though, that he didn’t try to say that the, what, $2 million Melo took off the deal in year 2 did not count as the discount he was talking about.

  353. He tried to sell it as if he had some kind of secret back channel info but really it was just a fantasy he had concocted in his mind.

    It was a really strange obsession. Like you know there is a hard drive somewhere filled with ruru/Melo fan fiction where they go off and solve crimes and shit

  354. One thing I remember thinking at the time of the MMM was that unlike the Amare signing, Melo would retain significant trade value for the life of his contract, if only based on perception…at least, enough that we wouldn’t have to use assets to unload him. At least that part turned out okay…you might say that we fleeced Presti on that one, right?

  355. Amazingly, Presti then got Dennis Schroder for Melo and a lottery protected future first! Even when that guy loses, he wins!

  356. I think it’s fair to say that Rose has inherited the single most healthy situation for rebuilding of any GM since Isiah…surplus draft picks, no albatross contracts, oodles of potential cap space, a couple of interesting young pieces…

    It isn’t possible that he could fuck this opportunity up more than his long list of predecessors going back to the ’70s would have, is it?

  357. i barely have any memories of melo at all…time, drugs, head trauma and life seem to erode away a lot of the bad and boring,…

    I remember back in the 90’s I used to get all emotionally wound up by sports…not necessarily in a positive way…lots of anger…by 2010 or so I just took the knicks for the farce they are…gave up on the giants a few years later…

    man, if it wasn’t for the yanks – fandom would be a pretty grim situation for me…I love the new york yankees :)

    with the knicks i still get suckered in every once in a while to some false hope, but, I’m mostly amused and numb to it…

    I’ll say this for phil, I appreciated him trying to get higher character guys on the roster…obviously he didn’t hit on all his choices, but, our roster and locker room seems to have improved in that regard…

    it’s funny, the thing I most remember about melo though is the shit way phil treated him…that was total bullshit…phil was a disaster as a front office leader…i was impressed with the way melo handled himself…

    although I also remember hating the way he held the ball, swiped with his hands instead of moving his feet, and wouldn’t get more assists each game, set more screens…I swear it looked like he had the ability to pass, set his teammates up better…he was just so fixated on scoring the ball himself…

    I admired his determination at times, but, he sucked on defense and it’s just more fun to watch the ball move around on offense…

    I was always more of a stoudamire fan, he played a role and was a good finisher…like fields though his body just couldn’t hold up to that level of physical stress…not a lot of folks can…

    if nothing else, young mister knox shows up for work just about every day…RJ and mitch are holding up pretty well too…

    someone already said it, but yeah, there’s no way thibs doesn’t grind frank’s groin to dust…he’ll look really good – for about a month…

  358. https://twitter.com/nyknicks/status/1262110643663978496?s=20

    Today in 1995 Ewing hits the game-winner vs Indiana to win Game 5 and keep the series alive. Of course alot of fans are commenting that too bad he couldn’t do the same at the end of Game 7. People probably don’t remember that Ewing could barely move around that series, his left leg has a long sleeve on it cause his calf was bothering him. He struggled that series, including this game before hitting this shot. But check out what he did in Games 6 and 7: 25 and 15 with 2 blks and 3 asts on 9 for 15 shooting, 29 and 14 with 4 blks and 5 asts on 12 for 23 shooting. He did struggle from the FT line shooting a combined 12 for 19 but yeah when it mattered most even at less than 100% Ewing showed up like he always did. This narrative of him not being clutch is so annoying.

  359. Oh, I want to fucking dunk on ruruland right now.

    http://knickerblogger.net/the-last-of-the-melo-hicans/#comment-367693

    This is a GOOD ONE.

    ruruland says that Carmelo will outplay the third-year James Harden down the stretch (just after the ASB).

    Owen says, “Uh, haha, what?”

    ruruland gives a point-by-point breakdown of why Melo’s finna break OUT. I’ll save you the bullshit and truncate, you can click the link if you’re curious. Spacing, synergy, point guards, unselfishness, weakside opportunities, NO MORE ISO-ONLY OFFENSE HAHAHAHAHA.

    James Harden, post-ASB: .677 TS%, 17 PPG, 126 ORtg.

    Carmelo Anthony: .546 TS%, 23.7 PPG, 112 ORtg.

    PRETTY CLOSE.

  360. Geo, your comments above are borderline offensive. Please don’t say that Phil brought in high character players. Two of those players had serious sexual assault allegations against them.

  361. Well other than those two guys and the other guy who tried to punch the coach he did pretty good

  362. If only Leon Rose would read through some of these archives. It’s basically a rutter for how to navigate it smoothly in NY. Every major move dating back to Marbury is not only debated, but with the exception of a few vocal outliers like ruru, the consensus almost always ends in remarkable prescience. Bobby N can curse the Greek Chorus, but this team would be so much better if the KB Greek Chorus was POBO of the Knicks.

  363. Ewing’s 94 Game 7 against Pacers was tremendous. 24 pts, 22 rbs, 7 ast and 5 blocks and the go ahead putback which is forever etched in my memory.

  364. I peaked in 2012.

    “Seriously name 10 players in the NBA that are better than Carmelo Anthony and don’t gimme the advanced crap, otherwise even TC is better than Melo.”

    Periodically this board fills up with people who just can’t believe all “the advanced crap” and who love to tell all the people who do what idiots we are. And then, when all their absurd, stat defying predictions don’t pan out they drift off into the darkness. That’s what’s going to happen here. Eventually, all the people who think Melo really and truly is an All-NBA player (under the right circumstances, with a great point guard, with a stable of marksmen who can stretch the floor, with a solid interior defender behind him, etc etc etc) will finally realize they can’t plausibly pretend he is anymore.

    Also, Donnie, great use of the word rutter.

  365. CaptainB:
    Ewing’s 94 Game 7 against Pacers was tremendous. 24 pts, 22 rbs, 7 ast and 5 blocks and the go ahead putback which is forever etched in my memory.

    Yeah my thing is though he hit so many big shots in the playoffs people dont remember. Heck I didnt even remember them until I rewatched those games.

    In 1992 he hits the shot that sends Game 3 vs Detroit into OT the Knicks win. Game 1 vs the Bulls might be his best game ever including hitting a shot with under a minute left that basically is the game winner. In 1993 he hits game winning shots vs Indiana in Game 1 and in OT vs Charlotte in Game 2. 1994 he hits what wouldve been the game winner in Game 3 vs NJ but they hit 2 FTs to steal the game right after. The famous Kukoc game winner was preceded by not just Ewing hitting the shot that tied the game but he scored I believe the last 6 pts in a row to tie that game. This is not even considering what he did with a mediocre Knicks team in the 1990 playoffs, almost single-handedly leading the comeback from down 0-2. The one game they won vs the eventual champion Pistons in the 2nd rd Ewing scored his playoff career high 45.

    Even as a broken down old man in 2000 we all remember the dunk at the end of Game 7 but he hit the shot that sent Game 3 into OT before Anthony Carter hit that illegal game winner. I mean look what old man Ewing did in Game 5 1999 and Game 7 2000 vs Alonzo Mourning: 22 and 11, 20 and 10. I will always be Ewing’s biggest supporter and I won’t apologize for that lol.

  366. Melo didn’t perform to the level I guess his reputation deserved or whatever but in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons he was pretty damn freaking good. It’s OK to admit that while Melo might be overrated he was still a very good basketball player in his prime which included his first few years with the Knicks. Unfortunately after his surgery and re-signing it was all down hill from there and that’s the lasting memory of him as a Knick for most. Although to some here all his memories as a Knick are bad lol.

  367. you’re just soooooooo overly sensitive and dramatic na na…kind of like jae crowder…bet you’re also a big hair flipper…

    well, at least peyote phil actually vocalized the need to improve the character of the team…at the time that was a different perspective to hear from the front office…

    I was happy to see robin lopez, kyle o’quinn, and courtney lee join the team…

    rose and noah were big disappointments, but, yeah, can’t win em all…most of the other folks have been good citizens since becoming knicks, including dot…I was really happy to see how things worked out with michael beasely, I was expecting the worse…

  368. “Bobby N can curse the Greek Chorus, but this team would be so much better if the KB Greek Chorus was POBO of the Knicks.”

    Au contraire mon ami, I agree the consensus BB opinion on hoops would outperform any Knick GM from the last two decades.

    Its is in the arena of politics where I think the Greek Chorus here is a tad…. how should we say…. myopic.

    With recent trove of transcripts released from Schiff committee where Clapper, Brennan et al UNDER OATH can’t think of a single piece of evidence linking the Trump campaign to Russia ….. but for the past 3 years have been going on MSNBC and claiming Trump is a Russian “asset” and is guilty of TREASON.

    How are they not held to account for that sort of shit?

    There used to be a time when the democrat party was skeptical of the FBI and CIA and they actually used to be concerned about civil liberties other than what bathroom someone uses.

    But the slappies and ploppies in the Greek Chorus keep on droning their same refrain…….

    I mean Cuomo deserves shit for ordering nursing homes to accept COVID positive patients, but how does the PA Health commissioner have a job after mandating the same stupid shit while taking her own mother out of a nursing home and putting her up in a hotel because nursing homes are currently too dangerous.

    Where is the indignation from the MSM?

  369. Anyone parse through the Athletic piece on How Much Frank Ntilikina Can Make?

    That should be good for a 500+ comment post.

  370. Rumor has it bobneptune fired the inspector general who was looking into whether he was violating the knickerblogger community guidelines

  371. The Athletic says that Mitch has proven less than Capela had when he got his 15 million per deal. However, he has a year to go. Says that we need to offer him a deal before he expires. Says his defense is good not great, tools notwithstanding. Says that his value could spike if he shows more offensive versatility. In general, highly optimistic about Mitch, just thinks market value is depressed currently by concerns about whether he can grow either into a fully mature pogo stick type or blossom into something more.

    And Frank, says he hasn’t proven he can be a starter yet, looks like Exum in a bad way, and is looking at less than 10 million per year in FA, which I consider a hard punt on saying anything at all. For the record, I am also looking at getting less than 10 million per year.

    Also, here are some Bundesliga highlights. This was like a shot of Lysol right into my temple.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-iEWo6fKTE&feature=onebox

  372. and is looking at less than 10 million per year in FA, which I consider a hard punt on saying anything at all. For the record, I am also looking at getting less than 10 million per year.

    I found this part weird too. There’s a lot of room between $9M and the borderline minimum contract I would offer Frank in free agency barring major improvement.

  373. Mitch is extremely physically coordinated and has good hand-eye coordination. There’s really nothing clumsy about him. He could become a more versatile player. It’s all between the ears for him. He’s pretty goofy and immature. One thing I sense in him is that he sees basketball as just a game and plays with great joy…seems like pressure doesn’t build up in him. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I’d like to see him get more mature and serious.

  374. If I went back to check out Bobby N’s take on birtherism, what do you think I would find?

    Geo, I do hope you are being sarcastic.

  375. >>Where is the indignation from the MSM?<<<

    The media is some combination of the most incompetent and corrupt institution in the country.

    If you watch CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX, OANN or read the Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, etc.. and think you are informed you should go into the bathroom right now, look in the mirror, stare at yourself, and repeat these words over and over, "I am one naive dumb fuck".

    There's literally only one way to have any chance of knowing what is really going on. You have to research primary source documents and info on your own.

    All these guys in the media are lying sacks of shit bought and paid for political parties, the IC, corporate interests, or they are advancing personal politics. They are mostly horrible human beings with no interest in unspun facts or informing the public. The earth should swallow them all whole.

  376. I really like Haliburton too, but think they should draft him as an SG with an eye for sliding RJ to the 3. Then maybe they can grab a true point like Terry/Dotson/Riller/Flynn with one of the later picks… just load up on ball-handlers/passers.

  377. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt:
    The media is some combination of the most incompetent and corrupt institution in the country.

    All these guys in the media are lying sacks of shit bought and paid for […].They are mostly horrible human beings with no interest in unspun facts or informing the public.The earth should swallow them all whole.

    Except for Charley Rosen when he is reporting on Phil. And then, the media is ok.

  378. Any updates on the draft/lottery dates? Is everything still in limbo?

    my understanding is the nba is still waiting to see what they’re going to do with this season…

    someone posted earlier there’s a chance we may actually have an opportunity to compete for a spot in the playoffs this year…

    my dream of frank leading us in to and through a playoff series is gonna happen…some day…maybe…

  379. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt: All these guys in the media are lying sacks of shit bought and paid for political parties, the IC, corporate interests, or they are advancing personal politics. They are mostly horrible human beings with no interest in unspun facts or informing the public. The earth should swallow them all whole.

    This is about as offensive of a post as I’ve ever read here. Even if there is bias in the media on all sides of a factual event, it varies considerably from reporter to reporter, from outlet to outlet. Your virulent take is the same rational that the dictators of the world spout to abolish the free press in their domain. I have had many dealings with numerous reporters in personal and professional life, and judging by your persona here, nearly every one of them is a better person than you could ever hope to be.

    And to be fair, I feel the same way about those who paint all law enforcement officers or lawyers or doctors or educators, or their profession, with a broad brush. It’s a patently ignorant thing to do, and you should be ashamed of yourself for using the language that you did above.

  380. Z-Man

    The truth is the truth even when it’s insulting.

    I don’t care which side of the political spectrum we are talking about. Both side are horrible (I should say “all” instead of both because I read some foreign and non mainstrem sources also) . Journalists are supposed to report facts and leave the spin, opinions, personal views, political agendas etc… to the editorial pages.

    We don’t get anything even remotely close to that anymore.

    On any news story on which I have done serious personal research, actually read primary source documents, and developed some level of expertise, it has been close to impossible to find anyone that’s giving a balanced unspun view of reality.

    By definition that means they are either incompetent, willful liars, or so woefully unaware of their own extreme bias as to make them unsuited for the job. To listen to and read information from people like that and presume that you are being informed is a combination of naivety and ignorance that’s much more dangerous to the country than me telling the truth about them.

  381. “This is about as offensive of a post as I’ve ever read here. Even if there is bias in the media on all sides of a factual event, it varies considerably from reporter to reporter, from outlet to outlet.”

    OH please……

    I’ll ask again….. if MSNBC and their friends have a scintilla of journalistic credibility how do Clapper, Brennan et al still have jobs after they were proved to be lying through their teeth calling the president a Russian Asset and Treasonous? How are the NY Times and WaPost not running scandalous pieces on how these trolls winked to the camera saying, “We “know” Trump’s an asset but we can’t tell you,” and then TESTIFIED UNDER OATH TO PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE.

    None of you guys want to answer the actual question. I understand that…. but that is what makes many of you the Greek Chorus.

    Note the only response I get is some lame birther nonsense. It never made a difference. Mc Cain was born in Panama and George Romney was born in Mexico. If Obama had been born in Jakarta to an American woman he would be natural born regardless.

    Trump trolled the shit out of O and you guys and it worked……

    Isn’t it ironic to you guys that Biden was all in on the Title IX stuff but now avoids being judged by the same standards like meat shuns the grinder????????

  382. “NahNah
    May 18, 2020 at 2:41 pm
    Z-Man, great post and take down of Strat.”

    Patting the Greek Chorus on the back is a big part of what the Greek Chorus does here…… Are you still in middle school, nahnah?

  383. Bobby N’s response to birtherism is to point to McCain and Romney, two of the whitest white men to ever walk the face of God’s white planet. I think the point may have eluded him.

    Also, not sure any regular poster would put me and Z-Man in the same ideological basket. We have been going pretty hard at each other for the last few weeks. He made a good point. He gets credit.

  384. “Bobby N’s response to birtherism is to point to McCain and Romney, two of the whitest white men to ever walk the face of God’s white planet. I think the point may have eluded him.”

    Sorry pal… in our system even OJ gets a fair trail and adjudication of the facts and law. YOU raised the point of birtherism and I merely pointed to “case law”.

    How’s that search goink?

  385. My search is goinking pretty well actually. I am a NY attorney with almost a decade of immigration rights advocacy. Very familiar with the principles of a fair trial, and how often people are denied such rights. No correlation to Trump’s birther movement.

  386. “My search is goinking pretty well actually. I am a NY attorney with almost a decade of immigration rights advocacy. ”

    No…. I meant you birther search on me……..

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