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Monday, November 24, 2014

ESPN Reporting David Lee to be a Knick in 2009-10

ESPN.com is reporting on their front page that sources say that the Knicks expect David Lee to sign a one-year deal in next few weeks for the 2009-10 NBA season.

The deal is expected to be in the $6-8 million dollar range. The sources claim that the only thing possibly keeping Lee out of New York next season is if another team jumps in with a good sign and trade offer now that they hear that Lee will be signing with the Knicks. That seems unlikely, so it appears that Lee will be a Knick next season.

As Caleb just noted, this is bittersweet, because while it means we get to watch Lee play another season on the Knicks, the odds are that he leaves after this one season, a la Ben Gordon, who was in a similar position last season.

However, as we all know, things change quickly in the NBA and 10 months is a long time, so who knows what Lee’s state of mind will be like come July 1st, 2010?

125 comments on “ESPN Reporting David Lee to be a Knick in 2009-10

  1. TDM

    This really doesn’t sound like anything new – certainly not front page fodder:

    “Contract discussions are expected to heat up next week, with a deal expected to fall into the $6 million-to-$8 million range. The only way the deal with Lee wouldn’t get done is if another team offers the Knicks a sign-and-trade scenario for a player the Knicks like at least as much as Lee and still allows for future financial flexibility.

    No sign-and-trades have materialized at this point, and Walsh doesn’t expect any. There is also a good chance that guard Nate Robinson will return to the Knicks on a one-year deal as well, Walsh said.”

    This is basically the same party line we have been hearing / reading over the past few months.

    That said, it seems inevitable that Lee is going to be back with the Knicks on a 1 year deal. The fact that it has taken this long is more likely a testament to how hard they were trying to S&T him.

  2. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I’ll admit that for us Knick fans, this sounds like everything we already knew/expected.

    I suppose the only thing notable about it is that it is the first clear sign that Lee appears willing to take the one-year deal, which was really the only thing left that we were unsure about.

  3. Caleb

    Sheridan pointed out a rule yesterday, that I didn’t know about — that if Rubio waits 3 years from the draft, instead of two, he’s no longer bound by the rookie salary scale. If that’s true – seems like a no-brainer he will wait until 2012. Unless he gets hurt, turns into a big bust, etc.

  4. Ben R

    I have to say this off season has turned into an almost complete disaster. Our draft was mediocre at best, we lost Sessions, and now we are putting Lee on a one year rental. On top of that Nate is still a question mark but is also probably at best a one year rental as well.

    I cannot believe Sessions signed for 4 years 16 million. That is a steal that we could have had. Why is it we never have the great signings and bargains. Walsh is really hurting this team waiting for 2010. We are not going to sign anyone great. I think best case we get a Joe Johnson or an Amare in 2010, There will be no LeBron, Wade, Bosh.

    Sessions will be a great player and I am expecting an Andre Miller like career. If we had just signed Sessions, Nate and Lee to long term deals we could potentially had three of our five starting positions taken care of long term in Gallinari, Lee and Sessions, plus some solid reserves in Nate and Chandler and more solid bench players in Hill and Douglas. Instead in 2010 we will have one NBA quality starter on this team to try and attract a big name with.

    I think Walsh’s inaction might be as bad as Isiah’s quick trigger finger. I am really upset and I cannot believe Sessions signed for so little and we did not get him. Walsh is doing a terrible job.

  5. Frank O.

    Ben:
    I think Sessions signed for so little because the rest of the league isn’t as high on him as you are. You may be right. I just don’t know.
    I don’t think the Knicks could have done much to improve their lot.
    Sessions is as much a gamble as most of the young guys on the Knicks roster already. What’s the upside of taking on another guy who is all potential?
    There were no sure things this year. It’s hard to get upset when the options were so limited.
    Meanwhile, the Knicks will sign Lee and Nate for a year, and have cap flexibility in 2010.

  6. Rashidi

    “I have to say this off season has turned into an almost complete disaster. Our draft was mediocre at best, we lost Sessions, and now we are putting Lee on a one year rental. On top of that Nate is still a question mark but is also probably at best a one year rental as well. ”

    How is not signing Sessions a disaster?

    I am still flabbergasted that people think it’s okay to sign Sessions long-term but not okay to sign David Lee to a long-term deal that would only take an additional 4 million of cap space. If the Knicks are going to be using up cap space, shouldn’t it be on good players?

    “I cannot believe Sessions signed for 4 years 16 million.”

    Nor can I, considering the vastly superior Allen Iverson can’t even squeeze two million out of a team.

    “Walsh is really hurting this team waiting for 2010.”

    Oh right, because Ramon Sessions is a future all-star and destined to bring championships intsead of ping pong balls to the teams he starts for. That patient bastard Walsh is just ruining the team, why can’t he dole out long-term contracts to mediocre players like his predecessors!?

    “We are not going to sign anyone great. I think best case we get a Joe Johnson or an Amare in 2010″

    Joe Johnson. Amare Stoudemire. Ramon Sessions.

    Guess which of these names does not belong?

    “There will be no LeBron, Wade, Bosh.”

    Just out of curiosity, why wouldn’t Bosh sign with NY? He’s a mortal lock to leave Toronto, which is more than you can say about the other two. Regardless, signing one of those players is only one step, it’s not like the Knicks are expected to be title contenders in 2011 even if they nab one of those players.

    “Sessions will be a great player and I am expecting an Andre Miller like career.”

    Considering Andre Miller has never gotten a team out of the first round, this is probably accurate.

    “Instead in 2010 we will have one NBA quality starter on this team to try and attract a big name with.”

    If you’re implying Lee, Sessions, and Gallinari are NBA quality starters, you’re sadly mistaken. All three are below average starters. None of them will ever be all-stars, and that’s what you need to win championships. Even the last team w/o a superstar that won a championship (Detroit) had four all-stars. Billups, Hamilton, Sheed, and Big Ben were all AT LEAST top 10 players at their position. You cannot say that about the above trio. The only one even in the top 15 at his position is Lee. What is the point of locking yourself into non-stars long-term? The goal isn’t making the playoffs with a 44 win team.

    The Hawks have one all-star, and four solid starters, and they can’t get any higher than the fourth seed. You know why?

    Boston: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen
    Orlando: Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis
    Cleveland: LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal

    Contenders need more than one all-star, ESPECIALLY in today’s stacked NBA.

    The Lakers have Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum. You think a team with Lee, Sessions, and Gallinari making up 3/5 of the starting lineup is gonna win a championship anytime soon?

    “I think Walsh’s inaction might be as bad as Isiah’s quick trigger finger.”

    Oh yeah, not signing Ramon Sessions is just so ****ing similar to Isiah trading expiring contracts and the #2 pick (Brandon Roy or LaMarcus Aldridge) for the right to overpay an out of shape “center” with an uninsured heart condition and questionable work ethic to a long-term contract.

    I’d rather fold on a pair of Jacks than bet the house on them. Maybe that’s just me.

  7. Thomas B.

    So if Lee signs a 1 year deal for at least the 2.68 million QO, then he is an unrestricted FA next year. So if he does sign in the 6-8 million range for 1 year, what will his cap hold be in July 2010? Just trying to get an idea of how much cap space we may have.

  8. Thomas B.

    “Joe Johnson. Amare Stoudemire. Ramon Sessions.

    Guess which of these names does not belong?”

    In NY? None of them belong.

  9. steveoh

    Donnie Walsh’s plan is pretty clear: the time to build a team is in 2010, and let’s not add any salaries in 2009 to bog that down.

    Whether that team building in 2010 includes LeBron remains to be seen, but that’s his gambit. And depending on who we get in 2010 (and we’ll probably get someone if not that one), Ramon Sessions may or may not be a fit. But until we know who we’re building around, it makes no sense to build a supporting cast.

  10. Caleb

    Thomas B, his cap hold will be 150% of his salary.

    “If you’re implying Lee, Sessions, and Gallinari are NBA quality starters, you’re sadly mistaken. All three are below average starters… ‘I cannot believe Sessions signed for 4 years 16 million’… Nor can I, considering the vastly superior Allen Iverson can’t even squeeze two million out of a team.”

    I think we have a troll.

    Wasn’t there another Rashidi who used to post here?

  11. Ted Nelson

    I would have been happy re-signing Lee and Nate plus adding Sessions, but I’m also happy maintaining cap flexibility. Slowly building a solid squad would have been nice, but there’s no guarantee that Lee, Nate, Sessions, Gallo, Hill, Douglas, etc. would ever even be a playoff team. The hope would be that you get some strong development plus make a move or two to improve the roster, but that’s no more a sure thing than cap flexibility. Cap flexibility leaves you with a lot of doors open, we’ll have to see if Walsh chooses the right doors…

    It’s not a forgone conclusion that one year deals mean Nate and Lee are gone next offseason. There’s certainly a good chance they are, but as Brian says in the post a lot can happen in 10 months.

    There’s a risk he would under perform or get hurt, but signing Sessions and trading him before the deadline could have been a good move for the Knicks. Maybe he thrives under D’Antoni and is valuable enough to unload Jeffries and/or Curry (he could easily average 8-10 APG given the minutes). Probably at least worth an expiring and a pick.

    I really like the Sessions signing for Minnesota. I think Kahn has the right idea. I don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with positions. He inherited a pitiful roster. Adding talent has to be priority number 1, he can always shuffle the deck chairs later.

    I especially wouldn’t worry about bruising the ego of a 5-10 rookie who has yet to play an NBA game. If anything he should be more motivated by all this, and Flynn strikes me as a guy who will use this as fuel. I expect Flynn to be a solid NBA player, but who knows. Sessions is a bargain and an asset. Sessions is already a good NBA player. Limited at this point, but already good with strong potential. Exactly the kind of signing a pitiful team like the Wolves should be making. Great move.

  12. Caleb

    There’s also this weird disconnect about salaries – with a lot of people. $4 million is a lot of money in the real world (!) but it’s less than the mean NBA salary… in that line of thinking, it’s less than what you’d expect to pay the “average” roster guy, i.e. the 7th man on a .500 team.

    And when we talk about David Lee, some people act like $10 million a year is breaking the bank — most teams in the league have at least 3 guys making that much. Cleveland had 5 or 6.

    Paying Sessions $4 million or Lee $10 million might or might not be smart, but it doesn’t mean you’re paying superstar money for either.

  13. Thomas B.

    Thomas B, his cap hold will be 150% of his salary.

    Thanks. So were are looking at a cap hold of 9-12 million in July 2010. Well the door is not shut on Lee as a long term Knick yet. There are a few senarios where he could remain on the team.

    1. Walsh wakes from his slumber and deals Curry and JJ for a contract that expires this year.

    2. The top tier players such as Wade and James sign extentions or decide not to opt out. Thereby, reducing the need for so much cap space.

    3. Lee puts up a 22 and 12 All-NBa season and the team decides he is better than Bosh so they give him a new contract.

    4. The salary cap is increased by 10 million dollars for 2010.

    Notice how this gets less plausible as the list goes on….

    5. Lee gets hurt this year, finds no takers, and then resigns with the Knicks.

  14. Frank O.

    I think Curry is going to be very productive and the Knicks will move him. I’m very curious to see how he and Darko play as a combo at center.
    I also think it will benefit Lee a lot to have Milicic at center.

  15. Caleb

    Depending where the cap falls, the Knicks are probably $22-27 million under next summer, without Nate and Lee. If they sign Lee but let Nate walk, even with the cap hold they probably have $12-15 million in space. That’s plenty of room for most FAs… and if they dump Jeffries OR Curry, not both, could probably offer a max deal.

    They could also trim it – say, to $9 or 10 million – by re-signing him immediately, July 1 — if they gauge that LeBron, Wade and Bosh are not likely to come… or Stoudemire isn’t worth his asking price.

    Or he could be willing to wait a few days, if he really wants to stick around. Hard to guess what the market dynamics will be.

    Or they could trade him before the deadline and re-sign him this summer when the dust clears. That’s legal, right?

  16. Frank O.

    I actually see the Knicks getting a few games better this year; call me crazy.
    You have several guys playing for new contracts. Guys trying to change their image. Guys who want to stay in NYC.
    All that has got to mean maybe a few games improvement.
    And this year, the Knicks have a much deeper bench.

  17. Frank O.

    There’s also a chance that the Knicks hold a fire sale sometime during the season.
    On a team that can do no better than 40 wins at the most ambitiously hopeful end, no one should be safe.

  18. d-mar

    Some posters need to relax about Sessions. I think this idea that top FA’s like LeBron and Wade are only going to come to teams that are in or close to the playoffs is off base. It’s been said before on this forum, put LeBron’s current supporting cast against the Knicks current roster and there’s not much of a talent gap, and the Cavs are considered a championship contender. If LeBron or Wade wants to come to NYC, the roster will not be much of a factor, the coach and the potential additional $$ will.

  19. Caleb

    Lee, Gallinari and Sessions could have made a pretty nice core… plus $12-15 million in cap space… and another $11 million when Curry comes off..

    Maybe trade Nate and an expiring deal for someone good with a long contract. I dunno, Marcin Gortat.

    In a couple of years, a team of Sessions, Gallinari, Lee, Gortat and one max free agent could be pretty good.. plus Hill, Chandler and another draft pick.

    Obviously Sessions is out of the picture – but the point is, there are routes to becoming a good team, without betting our life savings on the LeBron lottery.

  20. Ben R

    First off I am just as upset, if not more about signing Lee for one year as I am losing out on Sessions. We probably could have gotten Lee for 8-9 per for four or five years because he could not find any takers at 10 per. That plus Sessions at 4 per gives us two tradable assets who are two good NBA players with upside. Players that are underpaid or paid what they are worth are always moveable. Signing Lee and Sessions to reasonable deals would not have hurt the Knicks cap flexibility.

    I would be shocked if Lee is back after next year, but if keeping him long term is our goal signing now would almost assuredly be cheaper.

    As for Amare, Johnson and Sessions, I would much rather have Sessions at 4 mil per than either Amare or Johnson at max deals.

    People talk about patience but I think trying to go all in on a LeBron longshot is the impatient move, why not resign Lee and Nate, sign Sessions and then have patience to let them develop and worst case if we can’t move Jefferies or Curry make our free agent splash in 2011 rather than 2010. This off season smells of desperation praying for a miricle that won’t come in 2010. You make good, financially responsible moves when they are in front of you and have faith you can move assets around to make the big moves when you need. Waiting for the one big move that will save the franchise is exactly what Isiah did just in a different way, it’s bad GMing.

  21. Ted Nelson

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat. The Knicks have plotted their course, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable.

    Like I said in comment #12, I wouldn’t have been upset had the Knicks resigned Lee and Nate, and signed Sessions. That’s one way to go about building a team, but not a sure thing by any means. Caleb’s plan still involves finding a superstar through over means, and there aren’t many superstars in the world who rival LeBron and Wade.

    Everything we heard was that Lee WOULD NOT sign a long-term deal for $8 mill. That was about the offer Walsh was initially rumored to have made. Lee’s starting price was $12 mill per. It’s impossible to say the Knicks could have signed Lee to a long-term deal at $8 mill per, most indications are that they could not have. At $12 mill per Lee would be overpaid and hard to move.
    There was also no indication that Nate was falling over himself to sign for 5 mill per.

    Sessions would have been the fourth PG sized player on the Knicks roster.

    “Waiting for the one big move that will save the franchise is exactly what Isiah did just in a different way, it’s bad GMing.”

    Cap space doesn’t just have to be about one big move. Among the 2nd tier and lower of free agents that year could be Rajon Rondo, Tyson Chandler, Ray Allen, Josh Childress, Dirk (put him out of the first tier due to age), Shaq, Powe, Josh Howard, Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Camby, Rudy Gay, Haslem, Michael Redd, Aldridge, Outlaw, Przybilla, Ronnie Brewer, Carlos Boozer, Mike Miller, Richard Jefferson, Joe Johnson. And of course, the top free agents include LeBron, Wade, Manu, Bosh, Amare…

    There are plenty of ways that Walsh can do some “good GMing” next offseason, before then, or after then and make the Knicks cap flexibility pay off.

  22. BigBlueAL

    I cant believe alot of people are actually complaining about this off-season and essentially not caring about the amount of cap space the Knicks will have next year.

    I understand if you want to complain about the draft, even though I think of it as bad luck more than bad drafting but again I understand criticizing the draft if you want. But people complaining because they didnt sign Lee and/or Nate long term and not signing Sessions long term I think is pretty stupid. For years this team hasnt been anywhere near being under the cap, now they are finally about to be not only way under the cap but way under the cap during the greatest off-season ever in terms of available FA’s.

    Walsh had a plan we were all excited about last year, was applauded when he started shedding contracts and now that he is quiet the off-season before the cap space opens up we are going to criticize him for not making moves???? I know Im in the minority but I am still very much looking forward to this season. With Lee and Nate back I think they can challenge for the 8th seed and am very much looking forward to seeing hopefully the growth of Chandler and especially obviously Gallo. Also knowing the summer of 2010 is finally almost here makes it alot easier too.

    Im just as frustrated as everyone else here but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and even though it is an unknown it is nice to finally have some hope for the future….

  23. iserp

    Ramon Sessions has potential, but also potential to be just an average PG, and 4 million would hurt the cap space, and i’d rather have enough space to resign Lee, which is already a great player.

    Nate Robinson might not be better than Sessions, but i think he is far more tradable, since he addresses the problem of scoring for some teams. So if we’re seeking someone tradable, N8 is much more tradable. Sessions is just another PG.

    BTW, is there any other FA to use our MLE? I would give one year to Iverson, just to make the season more interesting (either on or off the court). I think it would very sad for him to end up in Memphis, waiting in turns to shot the ball with all the other ball-hoggers there. Here, it may work…. or not (in which case, we would have Marbury2 to talk about all the season). One year won’t hurt the cap space, so why not?

  24. ess-dog

    OK I was a little bummed so I went and looked at some Toney Douglas highlights… the dude looks like he’s for real.

    His shot mechanics look excellent and on top of that, it looks like he already has the ability to create space for himself in order to take a runner or an outside shot. Not to mention, he seems to have a very good handle and good athleticism. I would love him to be 2, 3 inches taller, but what do you do?

    My point is, I think that Donnie/Mike D both feel like Douglas has got what they need in an up an coming point guard. With Danilo’s court vision and passing skills, and Lebron’s point-forward mentality, perhaps Douglas is a better fit at the point for a post-2010 team with Lebron than Sessions, Kidd, or Rubio?

    He’s not the shooter Curry is (who is?) but he appears to be a good shooter, which is what D’Antoni values in Duhon (but Toney is a younger, more athletic version.)

    I just hope Douglas gets a lot of minutes this year so I can stay interested…

  25. Thomas B.

    A.I. paired with Hughes? I am not feeling that. That’s like having two Crawford’s in terms of shot selection.

  26. Captain Merlin

    and no due credit to the initial kb reporter of this tsk tsk, may you all follow the trajectory of michael ray richardson.

  27. Ben R

    Don’t you think planning which PG goes better with LeBron is getting a little ahead of ourselves. Thats like me planning which car to buy so I don’t have to replace it when I hit the lotto.

    As for Sessions 4 million per is a decent deal even if he is only average, many backup points make more than that. Plus many players on the rookie scale will make almost as much or more than Sessions over the next four years and none of them has shown the ability to play in the NBA at all. If we really want to save money why not sign Sessions and then give away Hill, they will make similar money over the next four years and I have higher hopes for Sessions than Hill.

    As for AI, I cannot believe I am typing this, I would be willing to have him a Knick for one year just for fun, I am not sure we would win that many more games but he would sure be alot more fun to watch than Hughes. I really hope Hughes is not our starting 2 guard next year.

  28. Rashidi

    “I think we have a troll”

    How is stating the truth trolling? Sessions would only start for a handful of lottery teams. Gallinari has shown nothing yet. Lee is an excellent role player but plays the deepest position in the league.

    Top 15 SFs (no particular order): LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Danny Granger, Paul Pierce, Ron Artest, Andre Iguodala, Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Caron Butler, Kevin Durant, Richard Jefferson, Josh Howard, Tayshaun Prince, Rudy Gay, Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson

    Top 15 PFs (no particular order): Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Antawn Jamison, Carlos Boozer, David West, Josh Smith, Zach Randolph, Lamar Odom, Elton Brand

    So how are the Knicks going to contend for a championship if 3/5 of their starting lineup is not among the top 15 players in the league?

  29. Ted Nelson

    Rashidi,

    Part of it is how you say it, not that I’m necessarily one to talk.

    I’m not going to take the time to analyze your entire top 15s. I would say that some of the PFs you have in your top 15 are not clearly better than Lee.

    Danilo was a 20 year old rookie with a back injury last season. If he can stay healthy it’s pretty reasonable to assume he’ll improve. How much is the question, but the Knicks are clearly not going to contend this season no matter what it’s about building for a few years from now.

    Out of curiosity here are the teams I think Sessions could/should/might start for:

    Minnesota
    Milwaukee
    Philadelphia
    Sacramento
    Memphis
    New York
    Miami
    Detroit
    Atlanta
    Lakers
    Houston
    Golden State
    Oklahoma City

    That’s 43% of the league. He wouldn’t start on all of those teams, but could. More importantly he could be in the rotation on just about any team in the NBA.

  30. JoMo

    @BigBlueAl

    Amen. Was anyone excited for the “VAUNTED SUMMER OF 2009″ when Walsh took over with intentions of the turning things around?

    We’ll no longer be hamstrung (hamstringed?) by terrible contracts brought on by impulsive and terrible decision-making, presumably by 2011 – and that should be an amazing sigh of relief for any of us knick fans. I’m pro-walsh-patience if it’s going to give us some breathing room in both the long and short term.

    Do you complainers remember the Isiah era? Scott Layden? I want the franchise turned around onto the championship track just as much as anyone, but it wasn’t going to happen overnight, and these small moves people are groaning about are not the make-or-break decisions that are going to take us to that next level.

  31. Ben R

    Rashidi – When I said three starters potentially locked up it was hopeful because as young players of course Sessions and Gallinari are not there yet but from what I’ve seen I think it is reasonable to project both players to become at least average NBA starters if not better. There are only a handful of PGs under 25 that I think have as much potential as Sessions and Gallinari in 500 injury filled minutes looked like a top flight NBA shooter.

    As for Lee right now I would put him ahead or at least equal to many people on your list (Aldridge, Randolph, Smith, Jamison, Odom, West) and many of the other are in their thirties and on the decline (Duncan, Brand, Dirk, Garnett). That leaves Gasol (29 years old), Boozer (injury risk), Amare and Bosh as the only PFs younger than 30 that are clearly better than Lee. I think that puts Lee in pretty good company.

  32. Z-man

    “As for Lee right now I would put him ahead or at least equal to many people on your list (Aldridge, Randolph, Smith, Jamison, Odom, West)”

    You would, but not many others (especially non-Knick fans and GMs around the league) would put Lee on par with these players. his failure to get a reasonable deal as a RFA speaks volumes about his perceived value.

    I don’t think Sessions was worth 4 years at $4 million, given our situation, so good for him that the T-Wolves mad him that offer. My guess is that there is going to be a glut of decent PGs in the league within the next couple of years, so there will be no problem getting one for around the MLE in the future. I’m OK with rolling the dice with Douglas this year. If he turns out to be good, the cap space would have been lost for no good purpose.

  33. Z

    I like that Zach Randolph made Rashidi’s list.

    Was it really THAT long ago that Lee and Randolph shared the court together?…

    Just to remind everyone, David Lee was not the one traded for Cuttino Mobley’s broken heart.

  34. Rashidi

    “Just to remind everyone, David Lee was not the one traded for Cuttino Mobley’s broken heart.”

    Which had more to do with clearing the books than it did Randolph’s play. The Knicks were the 6th seed when they dumped Randolph and Crawford.

  35. Rashidi

    “There are only a handful of PGs under 25 that I think have as much potential as Sessions”

    PGs under 30

    29: Steve Blake
    28: Kirk Hinrich, Luke Ridnour, Keyon Dooling, Jose Calderon, Marcus Banks, Gilbert Arenas, Mike Wilks
    27: Maurice Williams, Travis Diener, Chris Duhon, Jameer Nelson, Beno Udrih, Tony Parker, Luther Head
    26: Will Bynum, T.J. Ford, Chris Quinn, Devin Harris, Jarrett Jack, Ronnie Price, Salim Stoudamire
    25: Raymond Felton, Jose Barea, C.J. Watson, Roko Ukic, Quincy Douby, Deron Williams
    24: Acie Law, Aaron Brooks, Sebastian Telfair, Jordan Farmar, Marcus Williams, Chris Paul, Shaun Livingston
    23: Rajon Rondo, Daniel Gibson, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Lowry, Mike Taylor, Mario Chalmers, Ramon Sessions, Toney Douglas, Louis Williams, Goran Dragic, Sergio Rodriguez, George Hill, Sean Singletary, Gabe Pruitt
    22: D.J. Augustin, Ty Lawson, Mike Conley, Darren Collison, Eric Maynor
    21: Jeff Teague, Rodrigue Beaubois, Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn, Russell Westbrook, Jerryd Bayless
    20: Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans
    19: Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holliday

    Lets focus on Sessions’ age (23)

    23: Rajon Rondo, Daniel Gibson, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Lowry, Mike Taylor, Mario Chalmers, Ramon Sessions, Toney Douglas, Louis Williams, Goran Dragic, Sergio Rodriguez, George Hill, Sean Singletary, Gabe Pruitt

    How many of these players are “good bets” to improve? If anything, there are more players who will be out of the league in a short amount of time. The PGs with the highest upside on this list are the ones with impressive physical attributes: Rajon Rondo, Rodney Stuckey, and Louis Williams. Daniel Gibson and Sergio Rodriguez haven’t improved a lick since they’ve been in the league. Three players on this list were already waived by their teams. There is more to “potential” than age. 23 is already pretty old in point guard terms. Just look at the players aged 24-29. How many of them significantly improved since their age 23 season?

  36. Ted Nelson

    “Which had more to do with clearing the books than it did Randolph’s play. The Knicks were the 6th seed when they dumped Randolph and Crawford”

    And they were the 8th seed when they extended Isiah’s contract… Who cares? You really think that would have lasted?

    They were clearing the books because of Randolph’s play. You would really rather have Zach Randolph on your team than David Lee???

  37. Ted Nelson

    Rashidi,

    I’m not really sure what to say to comment #38… I guess I would just say use your head a little.

    Sessions is already a good NBA player, a bargain at $4 mill per based on his play last season. It makes absolutely no sense to compare him to Sean Singletary or Gabe Pruitt or Goran Dragic (who wasn’t any good in Europe either). Potential IS about more than age, it’s also about skill and production and Sessions is clearly a skilled and productive NBA basketball player. I don’t understand at all why you refuse to acknowledge Sessions strong play through 2623 minutes of NBA action, this is the kind of stubbornness that’s leading to the troll comments.

    Players definitely tend to improve on their 22 year old seasons. It’s not a set rule, but it’s a trend. Again, this is the reason for the troll comments: a complete refusal to acknowledge facts.
    Jose Calderon wasn’t even in the NBA at 22 (Sessions’ age last season, which is what’s relevant in this discussion), and at 24 he posted a PER of 11.4 compared to 18 on his career (just using PER as shorthand here, not the end all and be all). Mo Williams had a TS% of .504 at 22, Tony Parker’s was .528. Devin Harris had a strong season at 22, but clearly broke out this past season. Jameer Nelson had a PER of 14.5 at 22 compared to 20.6 last season. So, yeah, most of the guys on your list DID improve after the age of 22.

  38. Thomas B.

    “23: Rajon Rondo, Daniel Gibson, Rodney Stuckey, Kyle Lowry, Mike Taylor, Mario Chalmers, Ramon Sessions, Toney Douglas, Louis Williams, Goran Dragic, Sergio Rodriguez, George Hill, Sean Singletary, Gabe Pruitt

    How many of these players are “good bets” to improve?”

    Rondo, chalmers, douglas, williams, and stuckey.

  39. Ben R

    The only point guards on your entire list under the age of 25 that are clearly better than Sessions at this point are Paul and Rondo, Rose is about equal and is two years younger so he should be better as well.

    I do not see anyone else with a clear edge over Sessions. I do not understand why you are so down on him. He averaged 16.2 pts and 7.5 asts per 36 with a TS% of 52.5% and a 3:1 A:TO ratio in what was for all intents and purposes his rookie season. On top of that he spent about 25% of his minutes playing off the ball next to Ridnour. When he was not on the court with Ridnour he actually averaged 8.6 asts per 36. He is a great playmaker who manages to still be passably efficient without a great outside shot.

  40. Rashidi

    “I do not see anyone else with a clear edge over Sessions. I do not understand why you are so down on him. He averaged 16.2 pts and 7.5 asts per 36 with a TS% of 52.5% and a 3:1 A:TO ratio in what was for all intents and purposes his rookie season.”

    Take a look at that 23 year old list. Only 6 of those 14 guys were first rounders. Ramon Sessions was the 56th pick and it’s not because the guy was brimming with potential. The first rounders have the upside, while the second rounders more or less are what they are (aside from Lou who was drafted out of HS).

    Sessions put up those numbers because he had a big role on a lottery team, which pads numbers. He would not put up those numbers on a contender, nor would he have anything close to a comparable role on such a team.

    Mario Chalmers averaged 11.2 pts36, 5.5 ast36, shot .367 from 3pt, was 3rd in the league in stl% (3.3), and had a .548 TS% starting for the 5th seed (read: not the worst east team). And how much better can we really expect him to get? The question is what can he realistically be expected to improve upon? The same goes for Sessions.

  41. Ben R

    I actually like Chalmers and think he will be a servicable starter in the NBA for his whole career but Sessions is a much better playmaker and can get into the paint alot better. Two skills that have been traditionally alot harder to improve once in the league than an outside shot.

    The thing is at 4 million per year Chalmers would not be a bad bet at this point in his career and his upside potential is alot lower than Sessions. 4 million per year is 6th to 8th man money and if you can get a starter for less than the mid level even an average one he is a bargain.

    Once in the NBA I don’t think draft position is nearly as good an indicator of upside potential than actual production. Many good to great players have been taken in the second round, it by no means guarantees mediocrity.

  42. ess-dog

    Wow, lovin’ this back and forth… I’m happy to have a spirited discussion as long as it’s relatively civil. Here is the key phrase to the argument though:

    “if you can get a starter for less than the mid level even an average one he is a bargain.”

    While he’s not the second coming of Pistol Pete, I do think most people believe that Sessions could be an “average” starter. But…
    our situation is pretty unique. Based on Donnie’s plan, you can’t add payroll for an average player.

    I really think everything is about money and since a New York zip code can offer the most money to a free agent (if we have the cap space) then the free agents will come, and Walsh knows that. Therefore, I don’t think it’s wise to sign any average, even above average player this season.

    Someone earlier listed that there were only 4 power forwards they would want ahead of Lee. While that is a little extreme, when I looked at the four, three of them were free agents in 2010. If I were Walsh and I was serious about this, I would use Lee as a package deal with Jeffries or Curry to get more cap space. If you can make the space to give competitive offers to not only Lebron, but Lebron and Boozer, Bosh or Amare… I think you should do it.

    Here are the choices:

    Team A: Sessions, Lebron, Gallo, Lee (if he comes back), Curry, Chandler, Hill, Douglas, Jeffries.

    Team B: Douglas, Lebron, Gallo, Bosh, Hill, Nate, Chandler.

    Team C: Douglas, Wade, Lebron, Gallo, Hill, Nate, Chandler.

    Team D: Douglas, Lebron, Gallo, Boozer, Hill, Nate, Chandler.

    Team E: Douglas, Lebron, Gallo, Nowitzki, Hill, Nate, Chandler.

    Team F: Douglas, Lebron, Gallo, Amare, Hill, Nate, Chandler.

    You get the idea.

  43. Ted Nelson

    The NBA according to Rashidi:

    -Players do not improve with experience.
    -Playing on a worse team makes you a better player and having better teammates makes you worse.
    -Only first round draft picks are good basketball players.
    -The Knicks were headed to the playoffs until they traded their “stars.”
    -Allen Iverson is amazing and Andre Miller is a bum.

  44. Thomas B.

    “Sessions put up those numbers because he had a big role on a lottery team, which pads numbers. He would not put up those numbers on a contender, nor would he have anything close to a comparable role on such a team.”

    I thought this line of thinking along with the “bench players would be less effective as starters” argument was refuted many many times.

    Actually, I’ve read posts that argue the alternative; that marginal players are more productive when they play on contenders. I dont agree with that either.

    If you compare adv stats there is no substantial difference between a player’s production on a bad team and the production on a good team.

    Sure raw numbers may change but when player A has 12 and 5 on contender then 22 and 8 on the bottom feeder that gave him a FA deal, you must adjust for usage, pace, ect.

    You really should read the “Layman’s guide to Adv Stats.”

  45. Mike Kurylo

    “Ramon Sessions was the 56th pick and it’s not because the guy was brimming with potential. ”

    Gilbert Arenas, Ben Wallace, Manu Ginobili. A player’s draft status should mean much after he’s seen NBA action. NBA GMs, even en masse, aren’t infallible.

  46. Ben R

    ess-dog – I think that all those scenarios while nice to think about are pretty big long shots. Unless the economy takes a big upturn we cannot sign two max free agents even without Lee and Nate and Sessions on the books anyway.

    Also I think I would probably rather have Sessions + Nate + Lee over Boozer or Amare or a thirty year old Dirk. Money wise I believe the three of them will equal about one max contract.

    If LeBron, Wade, or Bosh really wants to sign with us, tradable assets like Sessions, Nate and Lee will make a sign and trade more possible. Cleveland, Toronto or Miami would rather get something back instead of letting their stars walk for nothing and more assets mean more options for us. I think in a perfect world we have enough cap space to outright sign one max free agent and then enough assets to make a sign and trade for another. That is better than enough cap space for two.

    As for Sessions potential I think at this point average NBA starter is the worst case scenario for him and I could easily see him developing into a top 10 PG. Looking at Rashidi’s list he’s not that far from top 10 out of the under 30 pgs already.

  47. Frank

    “If you compare adv stats there is no substantial difference between a player’s production on a bad team and the production on a good team.

    Sure raw numbers may change but when player A has 12 and 5 on contender then 22 and 8 on the bottom feeder that gave him a FA deal, you must adjust for usage, pace, ect.

    You really should read the “Layman’s guide to Adv Stats.””

    I’ve generally tried to stay away from conversations like these, but I can’t help myself. I think everyone here has a skewed view of what statistics actually mean when it comes to an individual player.

    True: Player X has shot 40% on 3 pointers with a very small standard deviation on average during a 6 year career, all of which have been with one team. He has no new injuries and is playing on the same team with the same teammates in the same system. This season, in 10 games, he is shooting 56% from 3 point range. The true statement is that he will likely shoot 40% for the entire year.

    False: Player X has played 12 minutes per game in his 3 year career and has averaged a PER of 22. He gets traded to another team and is expected to play 36 minutes per game. Because of the study reported here (http://ballhype.com/story/love_and_mathematics_pt_2_the_paul_millsap_quandary/) where 70% of players had their PER increase, 28% of players had their PER decrease, and 2% had their PER stay the same, one can assume that his PER will increase or stay the same. Not to mention the r-squared value of 0.2 is pretty crappy in any analysis.

    Now I know Thomas B’s point was about playing on a good team vs. playing on a bad team, but the idea is this: Sure, if you could sign 100 free agents, probably 70 of them would do as well or better in their new role as compared with their old role.

    BUT….

    30 of them would do worse. And when you have one free agent, you cannot tell me which way it will go based on statistics.

    Now if the numbers were something like 94% do better, 4% do the same, and 2% do worse in a new role, then we’ve got something. But 70/30 — that’s not great when putting the fate of a franchise on the line with a free agent, even if it is just Ramon Sessions and his $4M per.

    So at the end of the day — it comes down to what you think of the player, all things considered. I don’t think that as a GM, you can blindly follow “advanced statistics” and make concrete assumptions based on them.

  48. Rashidi

    “Gilbert Arenas, Ben Wallace, Manu Ginobili. A player’s draft status should mean much after he’s seen NBA action. NBA GMs, even en masse, aren’t infallible.”

    This still doesn’t answer my question though:
    What is Ramon Sessions capable of improving on?

    Being young does not mean one has a high ceiling. How much has Sebastian Telfair improved since being drafted out of high school?

  49. Rashidi

    “In this case, I think most PGs like Sessions do better when they are surrounded by good players because good offensive players hit more of their assisted shots and can put themselves in a position to score more often.”

    I don’t think that’s the case anymore. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade negatively affect their PGs assist numbers because they do the majority of the ball handling. The Bulls and Lakers have won numerous championships with the triangle offense which is essentially point-guardless.

    Besides, doesn’t Stephon Marbury put that theory to rest? His assist numbers got worse as the talent around him got better.

  50. Ted Nelson

    “But 70/30 — that’s not great when putting the fate of a franchise on the line with a free agent, even if it is just Ramon Sessions and his $4M per.”

    I would say 70/30 is pretty good odds. I don’t really follow your point, though.

    “So at the end of the day — it comes down to what you think of the player, all things considered. I don’t think that as a GM, you can blindly follow “advanced statistics” and make concrete assumptions based on them.”

    You can’t (or at least shouldn’t) just look at PER or any other single measurement, but if you understand the stats and know your team you can make informed decisions that will be right more than wrong (say 70/30).

    “you cannot tell me which way it will go based on statistics.”

    There are certainly a lot of factors involved and some random variability, but if you take a systematic approach you can find undervalued free agents (like Sessions) or role players with one of more strong suites who will fit into your rotation.

    Again, I don’t really understand your point though.

  51. Ted Nelson

    “This still doesn’t answer my question though:
    What is Ramon Sessions capable of improving on?
    Being young does not mean one has a high ceiling. How much has Sebastian Telfair improved since being drafted out of high school?”

    This is why I don’t understand your argument against Sessions. Telfair has no defined NBA skill and limited production to date. His lack of improvement would seem to have more to do with desire and work ethic than talent. He spends his spare time shooting rappers instead of practicing.
    Sessions, on the other hand, is an NBA playmaker, a decent NBA scorer, and a strong rebounder for a PG. He’s had one and a half strong seasons in the NBA and has shown good work ethic after falling to the 2nd round and starting his career in the D-League (which a lot of guys on NBA rosters, childishly, get mad about).

    What can he improve on??? If you know anything about Sessions the answer should be pretty obvious: his jump shot. This is Sessions’ huge weakness. He can still be a useful, productive player without a strong jumper (as he was last season), but to reach his potential his jumper has to improve at least a little.
    If Sessions improves his jumper and his defense then he’s a complete NBA player. Not Oscar Robertson, but someone you definitely want on your team. He’s a strong playmaker, can get to the basket and score, a good rebounder for his position, low TO, and would be (with the aforementioned improvements) a decent-to-good outside shooter and defender.
    You are correct that not everyone can/will improve significantly on their 22 year old season. One subtlety I think you’re missing though, is that more players will improve after the age of 22 (unless they get injured, addicted to drugs/alcohol, just put zero work in, or have a career year early). It’s just that they might not ever improve enough to be a good NBA player. I just think there are reasons–given his skillset, production, and glaring weakness as a jump shooter–to believe that Sessions can improve.

    “I don’t think that’s the case anymore. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade negatively affect their PGs assist numbers because they do the majority of the ball handling. The Bulls and Lakers have won numerous championships with the triangle offense which is essentially point-guardless.
    Besides, doesn’t Stephon Marbury put that theory to rest? His assist numbers got worse as the talent around him got better.”

    Marbury is definitely a unique individual, not really someone to base your generalizations on.

    I think your getting way off topic in your first paragraph. Certainly a strong, traditional, pass-first PG is not necessary for NBA success. The topic has really been your belief that Sessions is garbage and not worth $4 mill per. The two points are not entirely unrelated, but I don’t think this new point helps your argument that Sessions is a worthless pile of crap (which really seems to be your argument…).

    Regarding the new point: this is why Danny Ferry has gone to great lengths to put combo-guards with strong outside shots in the backcourt to complement LeBron (Gibson, Williams, West). Unfortunately not many teams have a LeBron or a Wade.
    I’m a big fan of ball movement and do think that over-reliance on your PG (especially if he’s not great) can hurt your offense. Phil Jackson has milked the triangle, in part because of the incredible talent he’s had, in which a good PG is clearly not as important as some other systems. D’Antoni is known, rightly or wrongly based mostly on the fact that he succeeded with Steve Nash running the show, as a guy who wants a strong, traditional PG. Sessions seems like someone who could fit the bill as a playmaker.

    Regarding the point about players doing better or worse on better teams… Certainly it’s not a rule and every situation is different. In some cases you are right that a rotation player on a weak team (say Larry Hughes on the Knicks) wouldn’t even see the court on a good team, so clearly he would be less productive. Or he would make the rotation but have a much smaller role (say a pass-first PG who moves to the Cavs. In other cases, though, a role player is a role player (I hate that term, but anyway) whether on a bad team or a good team. It’s not his fault his team is crap, and on that crap team he might be asked to do more than he’s capable of/ not concentrate on what he’s good at. By moving to a good team he can concentrate on his strengths with better teammates to complement him (say Tyson Chandler as a go-to guy vs. his role when he was in NO). That’s mostly related to offense, I think you can argue pretty easily that playing on a better team defense makes your job easier and you a better defender in most cases.

  52. Frank

    Ted, my point is this:

    (somewhat exaggerated numbers) – every so often on this board we talk about Player X who averages 28 points, 12 assists, and 5 blocks per 40 min but whose averages are based on, say 12 min/game. Some people (me for example) will say, we don’t believe that they can keep that up for 40 min/game — ie. he will not average those numbers if he plays 40 minutes every game.

    Then come the inevitable posts that quote infallible study x and y, in which there was no statistically significant decrease in PER or whatever stat when all 50 players whose minutes increased by 10 or more from the previous year etc etc. were entered into the analysis. As such, David Lee will definitely perform just as well or better when we double his minutes and put him in as the focus of the offense. And if you disagree with that interpretation, you are condescendingly told this: “You really should read the “Layman’s guide to Adv Stats.””

    But when you look at the data (for instance, in the study linked above) a VERY significant portion of the players analyzed fell BELOW the regression line. Perhaps more fell above the regression line. But overall, if you look at the scatterplot, there’s really hardly any trend at all. The author didn’t provide p values but it is entirely possible that his analysis was not statistically significant at all. A reasonable way to read that study, then, is that your previous PER has no bearing at all on your PER when your minutes increase.

    Even assuming that it IS statistically significant, a reasonable way to read it is that if you take 50 players, 35 of them might do slightly better than they did before, but 15 players will do worse. How do you know if you’ll be Boris Diaw or Malik Rose?

    Another way to look at it:

    You are playing blackjack. You have 15, dealer is showing a 6. Joe Schmo has 14 and decides to hit. Duh, of course you’re supposed to wait for the dealer to bust! Statistically, the dealer will bust more often than not in that situation (or something like that). But lo and behold, in this instance Joe Schmo pulls a 5 to give him 19, then the dealer has to hit, and he gets a ten and busts. And everyone is happy. Now, Joe Schmo did not do the statistically correct thing — BUT 20 out of roughly 50 times in that instance, the next card will be an A, 2, 3, 4, or 5 — and if Joe didn’t hit, the dealer would have gotten that card, stayed on 17 to 21, and everyone would have lost.

    So my point, at long last — statistics only tell you what is LIKELY to happen if you have a large sample size. But in the per-min stat analysis, each player is a SINGLE OCCURRENCE in that sample size. And so especially when the trend is so crappy, I would say that it is nigh impossible to predict whether a PARTICULAR PLAYER’S per-min stats will get better, worse, or stay the same if the player’s minutes are increased.

    Not sure if that clarifies things at all. Sorry for long post.

  53. Thomas B.

    “So at the end of the day — it comes down to what you think of the player, all things considered. I don’t think that as a GM, you can blindly follow “advanced statistics” and make concrete assumptions based on them.”

    I never said adv stats should be viewed in a vacuum. But they are much more reliable than raw numbers or the naked eye assumptions of the average fan.

    I dont have time to author a treatise on the subject but a combination of adv stats, player history, and well reasoned assumptions about the player, the system they play in and their potential should factor in to whether a player will exceed expectations based on the new environment. But I say that adv stat is the most important factor to consider.

  54. Nick C.

    I was not totally sold on the study, but I do not see what it has to do with Sessions, since it came up with reference to backups having to play against starters instead of the backups if they started and increased their minutes. Sessions was already starting.

  55. Z-man

    There is little doubt that Sessions will be at least a decent PG, and probably will be a starter-caliber player on a good team if not better. The real question is whether he was a good way to invest $16 mill, given our cap situation and aspirations. Bottom line is, Sessions didn’t want to play here enough to take a lesser deal, so good luck to him.

    I don’t mind passing on Sessions because I think his like or better can be had later, even if it winds up costing more down the road. Once we have our superstar (or 2, or 3?), we can fill in the blanks. Believe me, LeBron or Dwyane wouldn’t be coming to New York because we have Ramon Sessions.

    We can live with a Duhon/Douglas/Nate combination for now. Douglas may wind up being every bit as good as Sessions, and at a much lower cost. When the cap numbers are this tight, it’s a worthwhile gamble.

    Can’t wait for preseason games. We are debating lots of stuff here but we have no idea what this team will look like even as presently constructed. I, for one, am dying to see how much different we look up front. With Gallo, Chandler, Hill, Harrington, and (hopefully) Lee running the floor, with Douglas (the fastest guy at the combine) and Nate pushing the ball up the floor, with new-and-improved versions of Curry and Darko in the middle, there is hope that D’Antoni’s system can make something work better than the garbage we have been subject to for the past 6 years.

  56. Ben R

    I think my biggest concern is I do not believe we have a realistic chance to get one much less two superstars. I agree that if we sign LeBron concerns about Lee and Sessions will seem trivial, but if we sign no one or walk away with a Boozer or Joe Johnson consolation prize we are going to regret passing on good players following unrealistic pipe dreams.

    I could easily see us leaving the summer of 2010 with no Lee, no Nate, no Sessions and no superstar. We need to start doing things now to make sure that can’t happen. The best way I see, now that Sessions is gone, is to bite the bullet and sign Lee long term.

    With Lee and Nate on one year deals it’s going to be hard to enjoy this year even if we exceed expectations and compete for the playoffs because next year might be the best Knicks team we are going to field for a while. I could see us competeing for the worst record season after next.

  57. Z-man

    Ben
    I agree with the premise that if we don’t get LeBron or Wade, it will be a huge disappointment. However, it doesn’t change my feelings about the Sessions and Lee situations. With the additional cap room not just in 2010 but 2011 and beyond, we can find other diamonds in the rough, IF Walsh and D’Antoni have the eye to spot them.

    I would love for us to sign Lee long term, but certainly not at $12 million per. To me, he’s worth pretty much exactly what Millsap signed for. However, if by signing him you diminish the possibility of getting LeBron or Wade, you roll the dice and let Lee walk. 2010 is a once in a GMs life opportunity, you can’t let the likes of Lee and Sessions divert your attention.

    When Curry and Jeffries come off the books, it will be the first time in the history of the salary cap that the Knicks are capable of being big players in free agency. And maybe, just maybe, we bamboozle some other team out of their lottery pick instesd of the other way around.

    The glass is half-full, the glass is half-full…

  58. Rashidi

    “I could see us competeing for the worst record season after next.”

    That would be great, considering the only consistent way to get a superstar is through the draft.

  59. Rashidi

    “I could easily see us leaving the summer of 2010 with no Lee, no Nate, no Sessions and no superstar. We need to start doing things now to make sure that can’t happen.”

    Why? Are the Knicks going to vanish off the face of the earth if they don’t make the playoffs in 2011? Quick fixes don’t bring championships.

  60. Caleb

    Sessions is out of the picture, but the point is — even if the cap comes in lower than expected, the Knicks could sign (or trade for) a $4 million a year player, and still have room to make a max offer.

    They can sign a $4 million player, re-sign Lee and still have $12-15 million to play with… or let him walk and have the max money available… or somehow dump Jeffries, and have the room to keep Mr. $4 million, Lee AND the max guy.

    I know we’re used to being $30 million over, but the Knicks are not in desperate cap straits next summer. You don’t have to jettison the roster to clear space.

    And – Ramon Sessions and David Lee might not be enough to lure LeBron to NY, but there’s no way in hell he’s signing with a team that doesn’t have Lee, Sessions, Robinson or anyone else but Gallo — he’s not joining a 20-win bottom feeder.

  61. BigBlueAL

    I am completely dumbfounded by some of these comments. Now all of a sudden if the Knicks dont sign either Lebron or Wade next off-season the team will have the worst record in the NBA in the 2010-2011 season????

    Im sorry even if Lebron and Wade werent FA’s next off-season Id still buy into this plan of getting plenty of cap space in 2010 rather than just give long-term deals to guys like Lee and Nate and even Sessions. This team has not had any cap flexibility at all since the 1996 off-season and the fact that it wouldve taken 14 years to get back that flexibility and have nothing to show for years of overspending and horrible cap/roster management since 2000 is pitiful.

    Im sorry but again I will say I am thrilled that we finally have someone running this team with a fiscally smart plan in regards to the salary cap. The time to criticize Donnie Walsh will be next off-season to see what moves he makes if he cant land a Lebron or Wade but right now to me is certainly not a time to criticize Walsh for the moves he hasn’t made so far…

  62. Caleb

    My math = If you take the current roster and subtract David Lee, we’re in the <25 win category. LeBron/Wade will not sign with a 25-win team.

    The team has cap flexibility with or without Ramon Sessions. We’re questioning the strategy of putting all eggs in one basket – and to an extent, questioning the talent evaluation.

  63. Caleb

    “I’d still buy into this plan of getting plenty of cap space in 2010 rather than just give long-term deals to guys like Lee and Nate and even Sessions.”

    Not picking on Al – this represents about a million other comments this week – but what do you expect to buy with that cap space? Let’s say we get lucky and sign LeBron (which we can still do, even with Lee in the fold)… it’s extremely unlikely that our remaining $10-12 million gets us a second FA who’s better than Lee. It’s not enough to pay for Wade, Bosh, Stoudemire, etc. (I don’t think the last two are worth their asking price, anyway). And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather have Lee than Joe Johnson, even for the same price.

  64. BK

    I like the Knicks sticking to preserving their cap space, though a part of me thinks they got blindsided by the shrinking cap (if stories about their relief that Kidd didn’t take his offer were true). Some of what has happened/not happened (sniffing around the likes of Miller and Sessions and stiff-arming Lee and Nate) seems to be an ongoing assessment of “the plan”.

    I think it’s highly unlikely Lebron signs, personally, so my question has always been: what’s the backup plan in 2010? I tend to agree with those that think Joe Johnson and Amare (neither likely to sign, IMO) aren’t highly preferable to David Lee — and I’ve been critical of Lee. The brain trust seems to be placing a lot of hope in Gallo, the rookies, and even (gag) Chandler…plus some miracle like dramatic improvement in Curry and/or Jeffries’ games to the point that they become tradeable or legitimate contributors to a playoff run.

    It’s just all very strange. But with that said, I think if D’Antoni really wanted Sessions, Donnie would have gotten him. I think he’s a good young player who could become very good, but I am not losing sleep over his signing elsewhere.

  65. Ted Nelson

    “So my point, at long last — statistics only tell you what is LIKELY to happen if you have a large sample size.”

    Of course, but if you use statistics rather than ignoring them you get a much clearer picture. You also have to actually analyze those stats, which will tell you more about how likely a player is to improve, how well his game will translate to your system, etc.
    There’s no trade off between watching the game and analyzing stats, they complement one another. Stats are just a way to quantify what you saw on the court (and if you don’t quantify what you saw you usually end up thinking that the athletic guy who shot a lot was great despite terrible efficiency and high TOs while you miss the efficient undersized guy who didn’t shoot much or even play much… over a large enough sample you can see the real picture with stats).

    As far as the question of players’ stats and players’ minutes… I haven’t really done any research on the subject, so I don’t know what the relationship between minutes and production is. I would certainly say there is no evidence stats/production decreases with minutes, which is when the subject usually comes up because people assume that it’s harder to play more minutes or a player somehow played only junk minutes or whatever they assume. Your example of 12 mpg is also a bit extreme, since the discussion usually comes up with guys like David Lee or Ramon Sessions who play more than 12 mpg.

    It’s not easy to say who will improve or get worse in new situations (part of the reason GMs are paid so highly), but if it were as random as blackjack you could just have a computer run a team (which might be better than 1/2 the GMs in the league… A rational GM would to some degree just look at the probability of certain outcomes, but they’d have to use some subjectivity in their weighting.) GMs also don’t have to be right all the time. Overtime we tend to forget the Robertas Javtokases or Jackie Butlers and remember the Manus and Bowens for good/great GMs and remember the few good moves that a bad/terrible GM makes.

  66. Ted Nelson

    “Once we have our superstar (or 2, or 3?), we can fill in the blanks.”

    The issue, though, is what happens if those superstars don’t come? Or even worse, maybe, what happens if the guy you’re paying like a superstar isn’t actually one or gets hurt? Do you play the waiting game until you get a superstar or just add talent?

    I won’t criticize the Knicks strategy, I am on board with it. I also wouldn’t have criticizes building a decent team and slowly getting better though.

    Ben R,

    I respect your opinion, but you have to try to at least see the other side and the logic behind what they’re doing. Your opinion about LeBron, etc. not signing isn’t a fact, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to treat it as such. Potentially missing LeBron and the other A-Listers doesn’t mean you have to sign Boozer or some B-lister to a max deal, either, you can look for next season’s Sessions. There are a lot of things that can go right or wrong whether the Knicks take the slowly sign good players approach or the clear cap space approach.

    I think now would be the worst time to switch courses. They’re on the cap space road, and have already missed out on Sessions and other potential FAs they might have gotten.

    If the Knicks compete for the playoffs they could still sign Lee and Nate. I don’t think they will compete for the playoffs, though, personally. If they do compete it will probably say good things about at least some of Gallinari, Douglas, Hill, Milicic, and Chandler.

    “LeBron/Wade will not sign with a 25-win team.”

    I understand your logic, but no team with a healthy LeBron/Wade will be a 25 win team. They know that the 25 win team they’re signing with will automatically improve the day they sign and will be able to add role players around them relatively easily. The Knicks, probably rightly, also are probably thinking in terms of LeBron AND, not LeBron or. If they manage to get rid of Jeffries and/or Curry this offseason they can do that.
    I tend to think sign-and-trades might be more realistic given that players would have to take less to sign in NY without them, but not having the cap space puts you in a weaker position in some ways (less leverage with the player’s old team). The Knicks still have guys like Chandler, Hill, Douglas, even Gallinari to dangle in sign-and-trades.
    If the Knicks can’t get far enough under to make 2 max offers, they can still maybe pull one straight signing and one sign-and-trade (maybe get Bosh with the lesser max deal after forcing the Cavs into a sign-and-trade using cap space as leverage… idk it gets complicated). Or, with only $10-12 mill in space, they can ask LeBron how to spend it. He might make a terrible decision, but I would say it would probably be worth it if it got LeBron to NY.

    Your math doesn’t include an improvement from Gallinari or impact by Hill and/or Douglas. None of the above might happen, but I certainly hope it does. And, by the way, what salary are you using for Lee in that calculation? Again, I don’t think you can assume he’d sign for under $10 mill, he seems comfortable waiting until next offseason or his agent wouldn’t have taken such a hard stance early.

    Also, the Knicks may have had a reason to back off Sessions. Maybe a character thing or maybe they felt he could never improve his jumper or who knows. My gut, actually, is that Dolan is the one playing the LeBron 2010 card.

    “Joe Johnson and Amare (neither likely to sign, IMO)”

    Amare has all but said he wants to sign in NY. The quote was something like I would be better in NY than Chris Bosh.

    I think Johnson will either not be able to turn down the money Atlanta is going to throw at him or signs with a legit contender (maybe the Knicks are that if they get LeBron).

  67. BigBlueAL

    The thing about not re-signing Lee now is that the Knicks could very easily re-sign Lee next off-season too. Why do it now if you dont really have to???? Sure he could leave next off-season but there will be plenty of other options if he does leave. No need to take up cap space for 2010 prematurely.

    This debate also goes towards your opinion of Lee vs guys like Bosh, Amare and Joe Johnson. I know many of the stat-heads here would take Lee over all 3 but to me I definitely wouldnt and so wouldn’t probably every GM in the NBA. But in the end the only opinion that really matters is that of Donnie Walsh and D’Antoni….

  68. Ben R

    Ted Nelson – I know that signing LeBron is possible it just seems like a long shot that we are banking alot on. You are right I have been taking an unnessarily hard stance, there are reasonable reasons to like the cap space moves. I am just really frustrated because Lee is the best homegrown Knick player since Mark Jackson and we are probably
    going to lose him for nothing and we could have had Sessions for rookie contract like money.

    One thing to take into account is that because of LeBron and the sagging economy teams are not really spending this year and I think players like Lee, Sessions, Nate, etc are going to be cheaper this year than similar players will be next year. Also I am worried that if NY misses out on a big name there will be pressure to sign someone to justify all our moves over the last two years. I think alot of average players are going to get overpaid next year when 15 teams miss out on a superstar and need to sign someone to appease their fans.

    With all that in mind I do not have alot of faith in Walsh. His first free agent moves were chasing Kidd and Hill before he even looked at better options like Sessions or Lee. Does Walsh even realize why a player like Sessions is so much better than a player like Tinsley or why Lee is so much better than a player like Harrington or Gooden.

  69. BigBlueAL

    You do realize that the Knicks did seriously consider signing Sessions where as with Tinsley he is still un-signed and the Knicks obviously have no interest in him. Plus I dont understand your question about if Walsh realizes that Lee is alot better than Harrington or Gooden. Where the hell did Drew Gooden’s name come from????

    Again I am amazed how people are going crazy over players like Sessions, passing on players like Lawson and Blair in the draft and not re-signing Lee when it is pretty obvious his asking price is a joke. You do realize a bunch of teams passed on Lawson, EVERY team passed on Blair in the draft at least once and no team stepped up to sign players like Lee, Nate and Sessions. Im not saying those players suck because I like David Lee and was hoping the Knicks did pick up Sessions but again not signing Sessions and not giving Lee a long-term contract is not passing on the core of a championship contender for God’s sake….

  70. Rashidi

    Players like Sessions are available in free agency EVERY season. The team would probably prefer to get a legit star PG and relegate Duhon to the backup role.

  71. Ben R

    AL – I put Gooden’s name in there because it seems that Walsh does not think Lee is much better than an average starting PF like Gooden or Haslem. It was a bit of a leap I admit. As for Johnson, Amare and Bosh it is not just a question of whether Lee is better or worse he will cost half as much and is a sure thing if we want him while those three players are not.

    Also why are people high on Johnson he is already 27 and is actually very similar to Nate they are both poor defenders and statistically they are almost exactly the same:

    Last year per 36:
    Nate — 20.7 pts 4.7 rebs 4.9 asts 2.3 tos 54.9% TS
    Johnson 19.5 pts 4.0 rebs 5.2 asts 2.2 tos 53.4% TS

    What I am saying is that signing good players to reasonable contracts is always a good move. We have had the chance to sign three good players to reasonable contracts and we have not. I definatly think that Sessions or Lee could be part of the core of a championship contender and Nate a great 6th man. You need a superstar but you cannot put the franchise on hold while you take hail mary after hail mary trying to get said superstar. Thats how teams are terrible for years and years.

    Tony Parker is a big part of San Antonio’s core, is not a good outside shooter and at 22 was no better than Sessions:

    There 22 year old seasons per 36:
    Sessions 16.2 pts 4.5 reb 7.5 ast 2.5 tos 52.5% TS
    Parker — 17.5 pts 3.9 reb 6.5 ast 2.8 tos 52.8% TS

    Lee is already good enough to be the #3 on a championship team and is still improving. I do not see how you can say that Lee and Sessions cannot be part of a championship core, they cannot be the superstar and maybe not even the #2 but they can sure be important parts of a championship squad and you put them on Orlando, Cleveland, Portland, etc and they would probably be able to push those teams over the top.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Wow! Those numbers on Johnson made me do a double take.

    And we’re thinking that he might be worth a max deal in 2010? Hah!

  73. Ben R

    Rahidi – name one point guard over the last 5 years that has changed teams in free agency that is under 24, costs less than 5 million per season, and is as good as Sessions. I do not see how players like him come around that often.

  74. BigBlueAL

    I think the point is your right Lee and Sessions can most definitely be part of a championship contender, BUT if signing them this season hurts the chances of signing the superstar or 2 who is needed here than you have to understand why Walsh didnt sign them (or in Lee’s case sign him to a long-term contract).

    Walsh even admitted I believe in one of the newspapers recently that the unknown salary cap next season is what stopped him from signing Sessions. Again I still think that they shouldve signed Sessions BUT I understand why they passed on him. Again the Knicks were on Sessions so you cant say Walsh didnt think he is good or understands how good he is because obviously Walsh was very close to signing him and didnt not because he didnt think Sessions is good but because of his plan of having as much salary cap space as possible.

    If you are critical of Walsh’s plan about 2010 thats one thing but dont say Walsh doesnt understand and think that a player like Sessions is good because obviously he thinks he is good but to him the salary cap space is more important….

  75. Ben R

    Al – I hope you are right about Walsh’s eye for talent it’s just he did chase an aging Kidd and I do not care much for his Hill pick or the way he seems to covet Harrington, but he did eventually go after Sessions and maybe he has a better eye than I think.

    I just do not think Walsh is worried enough about losing Lee, I see Lee as a very good player that will likely be a top ten PF in a couple of years and it seems Walsh sees Lee as a very good hustle player that rebounds well but is ultimatly easy to replace.

    As for money, if we could have signed Lee and Sessions to contracts that equaled 14 million next year, highly likely I believe, we would have enough cap space for a max free agent in all but the worst case economic climate. So that would mean only in a worst case economic climate in which we cannot move Curry or Jeffries would their contracts get in the way. In that case we could give one of them away or give away Chandler or Hill to get us enough cap space to sign a max player. Our options would still be there. As for signing two max free agents I think at this point it is pretty unlikely unless we can move both Curry and Jeffries with or with Lee.

    As long as their contracts were good they would have been tradable for expirings if needed.

  76. Frank O.

    I’ve so moved on from the coulda, woulda, shoulda stuff…no disrespect.

    My thoughts are now along the lines of packaging Lee and Nate with Jeffries and Curry, in some form, or multiple forms, to shed salary and created greater flexibility.
    I think packaging his hard to do now, but if Curry returns and is productive he might be more easily packaged and moved, and in a way that permits you to keep Lee.
    But if Curry gets too good, the Knicks are faced with a delightful dilemma….:)

    Either way, as much as I love Lee, I suspect David, Nate, Edy and Jeffries will be gone by midseason.

  77. d-mar

    Now ESPN is reporting that the Knicks may be interested in Wally World. Obviously as a means of recruiting LeBron (LOL)

    I’m sort of in Al’s camp, while it’s tough to sit through an offseason where almost nothing has happened, be patient and trust Donnie to make intelligent decisions. It’s not LeBron or armageddon, in fact, one GM said that Wade is more likely to leave, which would be far from a consolation prize. I also think the cap may move up based on a slowly recovering economy, and you know Stern would like to help the Knicks become relevant again.

  78. Frank

    “I haven’t really done any research on the subject, so I don’t know what the relationship between minutes and production is. I would certainly say there is no evidence stats/production decreases with minutes, which is when the subject usually comes up because people assume that it’s harder to play more minutes or a player somehow played only junk minutes or whatever they assume.”

    Ted — there actually is evidence that some players will have worse production with more minutes — in that one study alone 30% of the players had a worse PER with more minutes.

    I feel like I’m beating this completely to death (and please tell me to stop posting about this is it is getting annoying to the group) — but I’ll try again.

    Where I think advanced statistics are useful is in a setting like TS%. Over an entire season, there are hundreds of shots and free throws (the “n” in the statistical analysis) taken by that player, and so at the end of the day, you can say Player X had a TS of 65 and so is a very efficient player. Over the course of a season, it will be better to have the ball in his hands than someone with a TS of 45, as over a whole season (or other such long period of time) his superior TS will lead to more points and fewer missed scoring opportunities. I’m perfectly happy with TS as a statistical measure and think it is a very useful tool.

    Now compare that situation to the study quoted above which claimed that there is no evidence that more minutes = lower PER. In that sample, each point on the plot is one player’s entire season. Therefore, for each player, there is only an “n” of 1. So presuming that the statistics presented are reliable, that would mean 70% of players did better and 30% of players did worse, or in other words, 70% good outcome, 30% bad outcome. To make the analogy even more relevant, it’s almost like someone with a 70% FG% shooting a particular. Now sure, you’re shooting 70%, but would someone be surprised if you missed your next shot? Or even the next 2? No, because even if you shoot 100 shots, you’re still going to miss, on average, 30. And those 2 missed shots just happened to be these 2 of those 30.

    So in other words – when I say I don’t think Player X will put up similar numbers in greater minutes, I just think he’s probably going to be one of the 30% bad-outcome players. When you say he will be as good or better with more minutes, you think he’s going to be one of the 70% good-outcome players. Just because yours is more “likely” to happen doesn’t mean that it WILL happen in this particular player. And the art is figuring out what it is about each player that will determine whether he’s in the 70 or in the 30.

    All I really want is for people to stop quoting these analyses as the end of the argument — “that argument has been refuted” or, as it says on the layman’s guide to adv stats page “Study, after study, after study shows a player’s per minute production to stay the same despite how many minutes they play.” — because that is NOT what the study actually says. What it actually says is that on average, there is no change (or there is improvement), but plenty of players have a higher PER with more minutes, and some players have a lower PER with more minutes.

  79. Jafa

    Wow…all this back and forth because of Raymond Sessions? A guy I never heard of before this off season that plays for a team in Siberia (the Bucks might as well be in Siberia)?

    Wake me up when Donnie fails to sign one of the top tier free agents in 2010. Then we can have a heated debate that spans about 50 posts.

    But I’m not wasting time debating the merits of signing or not signing an average nba player because we Knicks fans are starved for anything to talk about this off season since Donnie is sticking to his plan and doing nothing new until 2010.

  80. Caleb

    re: the study on whether production gets better or worse with more minutes (“the role-player study”) I don’t think any statistic will ever tell you that something will ALWAYS happen in EVERY case. If you’re holding 18 and tell the dealer, “hit me,” you won’t always lose but it’s still a bad long-term strategy.

    If you’re looking for evidence that PER holds steady or increases with more playing time, the results aren’t that strong… but at least they point in that direction…

    They DON’T show that PER declines – which is sort of the mainstream view, that role players don’t do as well when they’re thrown into more minutes, playing vs. starters. etc.

    If anything, the study suggests that per-minute production holds up, in more playing time. That’s a pretty good assumption to make, until we’re shown otherwise.

    Ted —
    I’m just working on the calcuations I’ve posted before — assuming $9 million for Lee.

    I think it’s technically impossible for the Knicks to clear space for two max players unless they dump Lee, Nate, Curry AND Jeffries.

    That said, I do think flexibility is important – gives you trade possibilities, FA options down the road, etc.

    But I don’t think you’re being realistic to think that LeBron or Wade would sign with a 25-win team. Sure, they know it will be better with them — probably a 45-win team, or even 50. But there will be 20 better teams in the league, many in desirable locations and offering max contracts… I don’t see any chance they sign in NY, if the team has nothing on the roster save Gallo.

    re: Johnson, Bosh, Amare… like someone else said, it’s more about value than talent. I’d take Bosh or probably Amare (“probably,” only because of health concerns) over Lee, at the same price – but not when I could use the $6-8 million difference to sign one or more good players. Johnson – don’t know who said he’s a bad defender; he’s actually pretty good. But he’s way overpaid at $14 million a year. Way, way overpaid. He is durable (led the league in minutes a couple of times) and versatile – but i think he might be in for a shock next summer.

  81. Ted Nelson

    Ben R,

    I would have been happy building with Lee, Robinson, Sessions, and even trading expiring contracts for the right long-term contract (someone like Deng, Josh Smith, etc. if Walshtoni thought he was a perfect fit), but I’m also fine waiting to see what Walsh does with the cap space. Walsh has a 20 year track record, hard to base your assessment on this one offseason.
    As far as this offseason, he did look at Lee first… Lee asked for $12 mill and Donnie offered like 7, so they were miles apart and neither was in a rush. I liked the Kidd and Hill flirtations. Certainly no harm in feeling them out, and at the right price I think either one would have helped the Knicks. He did not sign Tinsley and seemed to take it much further with Sessions, so I think he knows who is a better player there (of course, he can probably get Tinsley on a non-guaranteed deal before training camp… which might be worth a shot). I don’t have any idea who he thinks of Lee, but he hasn’t traded the guy yet, so he must value him to some extent… somewhere below $12 mill per, though.

    “You need a superstar but you cannot put the franchise on hold while you take hail mary after hail mary trying to get said superstar. Thats how teams are terrible for years and years.”

    I generally agree with you. This may be a unique circumstance, though. I really don’t know what I would have done if I were Walsh. You also have to consider that Dolan and his business people may have a large hand in this.

    “maybe he has a better eye than I think.”

    Reggie Miller, Dale Davis, Antonio Davis, Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest, Brad Miller, etc., etc., etc. Walsh either has a good eye or knows how to hire people who do.

    Walsh is not just waiting for 2010. I don’t love Hill, but in a crap shoot draft Donnie took an athletic bigman. If he can develop into a solid NBA defender I’ll take it even if he’s not an offensive dynamo. I do love Danilo offensively, and hope he’s healthy. I like what I’ve seen from Douglas. Would be really nice if he could fill the final roster spot with a pleasant surprise.

    Frank,

    I was just saying that I’m no expert on the subject. I don’t think you’re making much of a case by saying that 70% of players PERs improve with a significant increase in minutes and only 30% have a drop in PER. I’ll take 70% shooting any day of the week. I completely agree that you can’t just look at every player and say he’s likely to improve with more minutes. However, the discussion usually comes up when people state as fact that a back-up cannot be as good in more minutes. Clearly he can, but yeah he also may not be. As you say, looking at one observation leaves a lot of variability. Let’s say Player x gets 10 more mpg next season but also plays on a bum ankle all season. He gets worse. Was it the ankle or the minutes? There are tons of less obvious confounding factors.

    As far as your final point. Again, those arguments are usually used to refute the conventional wisdom many people hold to dearly that role players are interchangeable and “stars” (aka all high volume scorers) are everything, that in more minutes and with more touches a player will get worse, that possessions are irrelevant, that the world is flat… The study does say that there is no evidence that more minutes means less production per minute. So, I don’t see why people shouldn’t say that. I do agree that people shouldn’t say that a player will NECESSARILY improve or stay the same in more minutes. A million different things can happen with one player from season 1 to 2. You expect that the average player will not get worse if his minutes increase all other things equal, but all other things are never equal from one NBA season to another. Switching teams, coaches, teammates, rules changes, injuries, personal life, offseason training/skill development, etc, etc…

    I do think it would be more informative to really dive into the study and see what traits were common among players who improved in more minutes and among those who got worse. I don’t think I’ll do that unless I have a lot of free time or someone pays me, though, personally.

  82. Ted Nelson

    “I don’t see any chance they sign in NY, if the team has nothing on the roster save Gallo.”

    It’s a long shot. Definitely. But, no one would be shocked if LeBron leaves Cleveland for NY. Public opinion is probably about 50/50 on whether he will do exactly that. Whoever does it would be betting on the future. If it’s LeBron he would be betting that he can become THE most populat athlete on the face of the planet. Since his stated goal is to become a billionaire, he just might.

    They’re not going to have just Gallo. They’ll have Gallo, Hill, Douglas, Chandler (or whoever they can trade him for), and a bunch of FAs who will still be “Knicks” in everyone’s mind. However much cap space over what they can offer LeBron they can use however he and they see fit. LeBron can personally convince a few veteran FAs to sign with the Knicks for the vet’s minimum.

    I would assume they’re hoping for 2 max guys, however unlikely that is. With LeBron and Wade (and health) you’re a perennial contender even with a mediocre supporting cast. LeBron and Wade are not T-Mac and Hill signing in the same place as FAs, it’s Bird and Magic or MJ and Pippen hitting free agency together. It’s lunacy.

    “but i think he might be in for a shock next summer.”

    I think teams will be falling over one another to sign him (starting with Atlanta and Cleveland), and they’re more likely to be the ones in for a shock… Although I don’t think he’ll be an outright disappointment until later in the contract (if at all), and may even go down as a legend for being LeBron’s wingman… what Larry Hughes was supposed to be.

  83. Ted Nelson

    The Johnson/Robinson stat lines Ben R posted are great, btw. Speak to Nate being underrated offensively and (especially) on the boards because of his size as much as Johnson being overrated, though.

    Sessions/Parker also interesting.

  84. Frank

    I think if Lebron signs with anyone but Cleveland, it’ll be us. And I think it’ll be non-basketball as well as basketball issues that determines it — I think quality of teammates will NOT be #1 or even #3 on that list. Lebron has taken the Cavs to the conference finals and NBA finals with a supporting cast that is arguably no better than if not significantly worse than the Knicks.

    Mo Williams — really no better than Duhon or Nate.
    Daniel Gibson — bit player
    Delonte West – better than advertised but still average at best
    Varejao? fair at best
    Ilgauskas is pretty terrible
    Old Ben Wallace, pretty terrible
    Wally?
    Old Shaq?
    blech.

    So really, I don’t think the quality of his teammates even really matters. He is so transcendent a talent that even the worst players look good next to him. In fact, I’d take the core of Chandler, Gallo, Hill, and Douglas over that crew.

  85. Caleb

    Ted, I would have liked Sessions at the price he signed for, but I’m not going to kill Walsh over one player. Maybe he’s right, maybe he’s rong. But I think this is really an argument about David Lee. With Lee, or possibly one of the other $8-10 million pieces, I can envision adding LeBron and having a really good team. Without him, it all becomes a real longshot.

    I don’t think it’s farfetched to imagine LeBron signing in New York, on a team with David Lee, especially if Gallo or Hill turns it on… because that team would at least be decent – a superstar and a few role players away from contention. And I agree, LeBron would help fill in the blanks, as a draw for vet FAs.

    But without DL, LeBron isstarting from scratch. He can pick from a dozen teams, who can offer cap space, immediate rings, etc… “New York” isn’t enough, not these days. And the ring-hunting vets will just sign in LA, Miami, Orlando, Houston, etc.

    Frank, I think you’re misreading the Cleveland roster – not great, but not terrible. Varejao, Ilgauskas and even ol’ Ben are light years ahead of the Knicks front-court, save Lee.

    And their backcourt – average at best – beats the hell out of Duhon & Hughes, even with Nate.

  86. Ted Nelson

    “I don’t think it’s farfetched to imagine LeBron signing in New York, on a team with David Lee, especially if Gallo or Hill turns it on… because that team would at least be decent – a superstar and a few role players away from contention.”

    The Knicks can still resign Lee next offseason. In fact, not signing Sessions may have been as much about being able to sign a max guy while maintaining Lee’s cap hold… no?

    Anyway I love Lee, but I don’t know that he is so crucial that he’s the difference between LeBron signing here and not (and certainly between vet FAs following LeBron or not). Players tend to be pretty bad at making personnel decisions, and LeBron might not be too siked to come play with a 6-9 white boy with no jump shot who is considered “soft.” The Knicks can use the cap space they would have on Lee to get someone that both they and LeBron like.

    “Lebron has taken the Cavs to the conference finals and NBA finals with a supporting cast that is arguably no better than if not significantly worse than the Knicks.”

    Whoa there tiger… I agree with Caleb on this one and would even go a bit further. Cleveland was the third best defense in the NBA last season. LeBron helped that, but doesn’t explain it. They have a very good defensive team, while the Knicks only hopes of breaking the top 20 are rookies Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas and the great shot blocker Darko…

    Z might have been the second best center in the Eastern Conference last season, and the Z-Shaq platoon might help keep both of them fresh plus give them not one but two of the best centers in the East. Varejao is another strong defender inside. Leon Powe could make their rotation when he gets healthy. JJ Hickson killed the Knicks, don’t remember if it was summer league or preseason last year. Their backcourt’s not great, but they defend, take ball-handling pressure off LeBron, and hit the three. They added Anthony Parker, who along with shooting gives them some size they lacked at the 2 last season. Jamario Moon and Danny Green are other offseason additions who make them bigger and tougher on the wing (I thought one of the reasons Orlando man-handled Cleveland was their tiny back-court, which VC could have exposed further when Orlando goes big this season). It’s just a solidly constructed roster, which is much easier when you’ve got LeBron to literally build around at the 3 spot…

    The one thing the Knicks do have over Cleveland is youth and “potential.” Still, though, Cleveland’s got a bunch of marginal young players out of which at least one diamond in the rough might emerge: Hickson, Danny Green, Daniel Gibson (still only 23, and obviously a deadly shooter), Jawad Williams, Darnell Jackson, and Powe (who almost certainly will emerge if healthy). Plus none of their old guys have long-term contracts. Although, it might not be easy for them to find a starting caliber C to replace Shaq/Z once they’re gone.
    The good news about youth and potential, though, is that if the Knicks are seen as an up-and-coming team and Cleveland is seen as an old team losing it’s Cs and without depth on the wing, maybe LeBron looking forward picks NY.

  87. Mike Kurylo

    Frank – I’m not sure if I get your point. There is no certainty in sports, just like blackjack. I understand that there is a chance that Sessions reverts and there is no 100% guaranteed way to be sure that signing him for $4M x4 is a good decision. However, to use your blackjack analogy, just because the strategy isn’t right all the time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed with it. I’ll take it one step further. Let’s say you have 19, the dealer shows a 6 (with a hidden 10). And let’s say the next card is a 2, and the one after a 3. You would lose if you didn’t hit, and win if you did.

    But if you took that strategy of hitting on 19 (with a dealer showing a 6), you would lose quickly in the long run. Using statistics doesn’t turn a chance based game into absolutes, whether it be blackjack or sports. However ultimately playing the odds is the best way to go.

    Bringing it back to Sessions, there’s a lot to consider with this deal. First question is whether he’s worth $4M over 4 years. I would say yes, especially considering his age and performance. Then, is he worth it for the Knicks at this time? This one is harder without knowing the long term status of Lee, Nate, Curry, Jeffries, even Duhon, etc.

    I guess time will answer both.

  88. ess-dog

    Interesting view of the Bucks on Wages of Wins: http://dberri.wordpress.com/

    Confirming that Sessions is in fact a pretty valuable (+9 wins worth in the Berri system.)

    4 mil a year is a good deal and at 4 years, and he’s a tradable asset, especially with Felton projected to get 7 mil a year…

    The only thing is I don’t see the rest of the league doing the Knicks any favors to get them in max free agent range during the season – maybe a trade will happen if they are already that far below the cap, but no one’s going to do the Knicks any favors to get a Wade or James in 2010.

    Any interest in McCants here? I know he’s been bad, but he’s still young and we can get him on a 1 year deal, right? He has to be at least as good as Almond…

  89. Frank O.

    If I may be so presumptious as to speak for the other Frank:)

    I think his point isn’t that you should avoid 70-30 odds or that it’s bad to proceed based on those numbers…
    But sometimes folks on this blog use such arguments as if they are a certainty, and they tell others that if they just looked at advanced stats they would understand that. Advanced stats are used by some as a dismissal of oppposing arguments, when, in fact, advanced stats often highlight risks, depending on your point of view.
    If someone said to you you have cancer and a 70 percent chance of making it, you’re likely to see the 30 percent loomig pretty large. I had cancer, and I was given something like a 95 percent chance of survival, but when I heard cancer, my mind was on the 5 percent who didn’t survive. Everyone sees risk differently.

    As the other Frank said, I think there is condescension when some one says, I really think you should read the blah, blah on advanced stats. Some of us do read the handbook, but we don’t always see the certainty others do.
    Statistics are open to vastly different interpretations.

    Anyway, it seemed to me that he was saying some moves are being called slam dunks – supported by references to advanced stats – but are in fact far greater risks in the end. Giving a guy more minutes doesn’t mean his PER will simply remain consistent. Most do carry over,but some players’ PER worsens.

    The othe Frank probably could do this much better, but I felt I got his point clearly.

  90. Ted Nelson

    “But sometimes folks on this blog use such arguments as if they are a certainty, and they tell others that if they just looked at advanced stats they would understand that.”

    Frank O., I don’t think people are talking about certainty, and I think it’s just as likely that you and Frank are reading what you want to into their comments. Mike’s comment (#91) is really well said, IMO:
    “just because the strategy isn’t right all the time, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proceed with it.”
    “Using statistics doesn’t turn a chance based game into absolutes, whether it be blackjack or sports. However ultimately playing the odds is the best way to go.”
    … every GM makes a mistake from time to time, and some have more luck than others. All they can really do is make the best decisions possible with the opportunities that present themselves (and get creative from time to time). Advanced stats can help, a lot. Especially with NBA veterans. An NBA team could spend a small fraction of what they pay their roster to have a really top notch stats department.

    “Giving a guy more minutes doesn’t mean his PER will simply remain consistent. Most do carry over,but some players’ PER worsens.”

    Giving a guy the exact same number of minutes doesn’t mean his PER will remain consistent either. In fact, it’s very unlikely it will remain the same.
    I’m not really sure how this more minutes thing came up in the first place, since Sessions played 27.5 mpg for 79 games last season. Charlie Villanueva, in contrast, played 26.9 mpg for 78 games for the same team, had a similar TS% and PER, and got twice as much money without the deal being put through the ringer to this extent. At $4 mill Sessions wouldn’t have to play anything more than 27.5 mpg to be a good value.
    We’re not talking about a rookie who had a surprising 450 minutes (Sessions after 2007-8), but someone who backed that up by actually improving in over 2000 minutes the next season. He may get worse, but even a 3 point fall in PER would make him a near average NBA player by that metric.

    “Everyone sees risk differently.”

    When you talk about risk you have to look at potential reward and potential downside. The Knicks saw a bigger downside with Sessions because of the 2010 plans, but for the T-Wolves and a lot of other teams around the NBA the risk on Sessions is minimal compared to the expected return (even if you assume he never improves one bit from next season).

  91. Mike Kurylo

    Frank O.

    I wasn’t happy at the troll comment earlier, and had I read it at the time I would have mentioned something about it. I’m not crazy at the tone at times, but I don’t think statheads have the market cornered on condescending talk.

    As for certainty, I’m not sure what to say. I haven’t seen a better method for evaluating players. So getting back to the blackjack analogy, if the best strategy says to stick on 19, then you should do that every time, no? Even if you lose on 30% of those, by hitting, you’re likely to lose much more often. Over the long run, you’ll be successful with the strategy that wins most of the time. Although the strategy isn’t 100% successful it’s more successful than not. And more importantly there’s no other method that’s better (that we have access to).

    So I understand from another perspective that people who advocate advanced stats sound more certain than they should be, but if it’s a good and proven method how should they respond? In other words what would you say to someone that tells you that you should hit on 19?

  92. Thomas B.

    Frank,

    “All I really want is for people to stop quoting these analyses as the end of the argument — “that argument has been refuted” or, as it says on the layman’s guide to adv stats page “Study, after study, after study shows a player’s per minute production to stay the same despite how many minutes they play.” — because that is NOT what the study actually says.”

    Would it help if I just quoted cartoon characters at the end of my arguments?

    “Sufferin’ Succotash.”

    I am not trolling, nor mocking. I am just failing to take the debate too seriously. :-)

  93. Thomas B.

    As the other Frank said, I think there is condescension when some one says, I really think you should read the blah, blah on advanced stats. Some of us do read the handbook, but we don’t always see the certainty others do.

    FWIW, I wasnt trying to sound condescending. I was just trying to expand the argument a bit. I had not read any consideration of pace, ect when a statement about Sessions’ play on a contender came up. I just thought the speculation would be lessen. My apologies if the delivery was wrong.

    “What’s up Doc?”

  94. Caleb

    When I used the word “troll” in an earlier post, it was inspired by Rashidi’s tone of absolute certainty, refusal to acknowledge potential value in others’ opinions and what seemed to be intentionally argumentative comments… nothing, pro- or con-, about “advanced stats.”

    That said… I should probably tread more lightly, and I’m sorry if I helped discourage – even inadvertently – a wider range of opinion.

  95. BigBlueAL

    I cant wait to see how many assists per game the Memphis Grizzlies average as a team this season….

  96. rayhed

    i havent read all the posts, and am not nearly up to snuff with the statistical analysis, but i dont know why noone has really mentioned the possibility of veteran free agents signing with the knicks if lebron joins (big if i know)…. there are MANY free agents next year outside the big names who would probably like the shot at playing with a player like lebron for dantoni and for a ring at a lower salary (i had my hopes set on dirk and nash)… its certainly not something you can factor in at this point, but if lebron does sign, i think it is def possible that the team will see some other midlevel signings (if possible with the cap)…

  97. Ricky_J

    Nowitzki might be a bigger pipedream than any of the more coveted stars. He’s already on a very good team and has a great relationship with Cuban who respects him and doesn’t flinch at opening the wallet. He’s a lock to stay put.

  98. Caleb

    I do think LeBron is a draw for free-agents, but not enough to get the Nowitzkis of the world to sign for the mid-level.

  99. Ted Nelson

    LeBron attracting veteran FAs thing has, in fact, been mentioned previously.

    There’s a good chance he does, but Dirk isn’t a lock to stay in Dallas. The Mavs should win 50 or more games, but are they a real contender? Dirk turns 32 next offseason, when the Mavs will have tons of cap room (plus a solid group of Kidd, Terry, Marion, and Beaubois still under contract). Other that the prerequisite run at LeBron/Wade I think the Mavs could take a serious run at Bosh, a Dallas native whose personality will make him a fan favorite. They could go after Bosh and still keep Dirk (I don’t know how the whole cap hold thing works, or if they’ll have room to sign both… Dirk is probably going to have to take a pay cut from $21 mill after next season though). It would be much better than Bosh/Bargnani but depending on how this season goes and what the market for Dirk is next season they might be ready to let Dirk sign a huge long-term deal into his mid-to-late 30s somewhere else. I have no idea what will happen, just saying that it’s not set in stone.

    I wonder how letting Nash walk away before winning MVP awards will color their thinking…

  100. Ted Nelson

    Disregard that last post entirely… I was looking at the 2011 cap situation. My mistake. Totally stupid of me.

    That’s a relief, though, because I was a little worried about Dallas making a run at Bosh. Not that Bosh is on the LeBron/Wade level, but he’s another option and I’m still hoping for the 2 max guys scenario.

  101. Jafa

    Easy on yourself there Ted. I’ve got $20 bucks that says Dirk returns to Germany after his contract is up with Dallas. Here’s my reasoning:

    After all the stuff he has gone through with his fiance turning out to be on America’s Most Wanted List and being pregnant with what turned out to not be his baby, plus…

    His lack of a killer instinct or drive to win a championship (look at how he handled the loss to Miami in the Finals – no demands that they get better to get back, no outrage at the firing of the coach that got them there, do demands to management to go get impact players so they can contend again, etc.), plus…

    No way they contend in the West in the next 2 years, not with the Lakers and Spurs in the same conference and up-and-comers Denver and Portland, plus…

    He’s already made a lot of money and dosen’t seem to be motivated by it. And he is a legend in his own country, equals…

    Dirk goes back to Germany.

  102. Ted Nelson

    “look at how he handled the loss to Miami in the Finals – no demands that they get better to get back, no outrage at the firing of the coach that got them there, do demands to management to go get impact players so they can contend again, etc.”

    So, he handled it professionally? Like a mature adult? That’s terrible, I would rather have seen him lose his temper and storm out like a little girl… Then blame his teammates, coach, GM, owner, and David Stern (for creating a league where Wade and Shaq lived at the free throw line) for letting him down and take absolutely no responsibility himself. Why would anyone want a respectful, team-first star on their team?

    Dirk strikes me as very driven (I’ve heard he’s a pothead, but how many NBA players aren’t?). He’s worked his butt off to become the top shooting bigman of all-time (am I missing anyone?) and an all-around all-NBA player.

    Germany doesn’t have one of the most competitive leagues in Europe. I’ve got a friend who is a scout for a German team and I’m sure he would love to bring Dirk over, but his team is one of the better ones in Germany and had something like $200,000 total to spend on FAs this offseason. Spain, Italy, Greece, and Russia would be the logical destinations in Europe, and then he’s closer to home geographically but just as far in some ways culturally (and closer in others). I don’t follow Dirk closely, but haven’t gotten the impression he’s unhappy in the US. I would say Dirk has at least one more NBA contract coming before he considers a European retirement plan, but what do I know. Maybe he buys a German club and pulls a Jordan on the Wizards.

  103. Frank O.

    Mike:
    A reasonable point. Thanks.
    There are, of course, quite a few more factors that come into to play when evaluating player performance than there are in blackjack. I undersstand you were offering a simplified argument.
    The mere fact that there is dispute about the various ways you can evaluate player performance,i.e. PER or WoW, for example, adds a great deal more uncertainty, I think.
    But I agree that these are useful ways to assess players.
    Again,I understand the logic, but adv stats should not be offered as the holy grail, which again, I think was the other Frank’s point.

    And I don’t usually get that feel from this blog. Typically Caleb and Ted and Thomas, etc., are pretty level headed. I think what happens is when there is intransigence on one end, it forces others to harden their positions, their arguments become more pointed, and then distortions occur.
    Kind of like the health care debate…except more rational…:)

    Cheers

  104. ess-dog

    I would love to pick up Navarro to play some 2 guard, although I doubt he’ll settle for a one year contract. If we could get him, then maybe we could just buy out Hughes’ contract.
    Also of note, Portland might look to move or even cut Patty Mills after his injury. He would be someone we could wait on and maybe get for a low price.

  105. Caleb

    Ted,

    Part of my thinking is that a scenario signing two max FAs is already off the table, barring a big surprise with the league’s finances.

    You’d need more than $35 million to sign, say, LeBron AND Bosh. If the cap holds steady at $58 million, the Knicks could let Lee and Nate walk for nothing, and STILL have less than $30 million to spend.

    Worse, most people think the cap will shrink – David Stern claims as low as $50 million. I don’t buy that, but I won’t be surprised if it’s in the $54-55 million range. That would mean about $25 million cap space for the Knicks. To get in the double-max range, they’d have to let Nate go AND somehow move Curry — say, in a package with Lee. And that doesn’t mean LeBron/Bosh will sign — just that the Knicks could make an offer. ANd if the cap really does go to $52 million, even that won’t work. The consolation prize is a lot of lottery balls in 2011 :(

    It just seems like a desperate strategy, when there are other, more patient options.

  106. Mike Kurylo

    Frank O.

    Great analysis and analogy.

    One thing to note about advanced stats – they aren’t the holy grail, but they’re the closest we can get to understanding the game, at least at this time. Perhaps in the future there will be a better way to evaluate players, and that may open up more insight into a player’s contributions and career path.

    To go back to the black jack analogy, if you’re card counting and you know that there are nothing but low cards left, then it may not be a bad strategy to hit where you would normally stay. But right now, we don’t have that extended ability in basketball statistics. So the best strategy is to play each hand cold, relying on the information we do have, and that is the “right” way to go each time. At least for now.

  107. Caleb

    Frank O., I enjoy reading your take on things. I could explain my grumbling about Walsh, by saying that Sessions is part of a pattern. If Walsh had made other moves showing an understanding of statistical patterns, I’d shrug at Sessions or any single decision. But he hasn’t… sort of the opposite. Drafting Hill, for example. Letting Balkman go. Or – IMO – overvaluing Harrington, when he would have been better off swapping Crawford for a bench-ender and a draft pick.

    I give a thumbs-up to his business skills and conservative cap management, but not so much to his talent evaluation.

    Of course the grade is still incomplete.

  108. iserp

    Z-Man, Navarro is of the same age of Pau, Calderon, … and i am not sure that he wants to come back to the NBA.

    I think he needs to feel important in his club. After all, he has always played big minutes for a club which is always contending for the spanish league and the euroleague. I think he got frustated when he realized that being in the NBA meant playing few minutes in a lottery team.

  109. Ted Nelson

    re: Navarro

    I don’t know that he’s a free agent. He signed a big deal with Barca when he returned before last season, I have no idea what his buy-out would be but I remember the deal pretty muchly signaling that JCN wasn’t playing in the NBA again. He’s getting paid a lot of money in Spain, playing for his hometown team where he is a star (http://www.acb.com/stsacum.php?cod_equipo=BAR&cod_competicion=LACB&cod_edicion=53 5 ppg more than any teammate and 4 mpg more). I believe he came over to play with Pau on the Grizz for a small deal (half million dollars) with an opt-out because he wanted to see if he could get a significant pay raise in year two and if not return to Barca.

    He is a good player. A star in Europe and had a solid rookie season for Memphis (he faded at the end of the season, which may have reflected discontent in Memphis or a preference for the less intensive European schedule). A real sharp-shooter who would probably excel playing for D’Antoni. Uses screens very well. An undersized 2-guard by NBA standards, though.

    Caleb,

    First, I think the Knicks INTEND to trade Curry and Jeffries. Whether there will be any takers is another matter. If neither is movable, there is a good chance of clearing some smaller contracts if the Knicks are desperate to move salary.

    You can also sign-and-trade for one or both max players. It would be complicated and far from assured, but with the cap space to lure one (say LeBron) you convince his team that he’s ready to sign regardless of whether he’s signed-and-traded. A sign-and-trade gives the player more money and an extra year, and allows the Knicks to clear the cap space to get a second max guy. The Knicks have some decent, reasonable contracts to offer: Danilo, Chandler, Hill, Douglas. A big problem with this strategy could be that the other team realizes their star is going to NY contingent on their ability to sign a second star, and doesn’t get involved in the sign-and-trade.

    “It just seems like a desperate strategy, when there are other, more patient options.”

    I don’t think there are too many other strategies with a reasonable chance of yielding both LeBron James and Dwayne Wade… 2 First Team All-NBA, perennial MVP candidates… entering their theoretical primes. Not too many strategies will even yield one of those players and a Bosh/Amare/Dirk caliber player. It’s a high reward strategy, where if it pays off you’re a perennial title contender. The risk of striking out just means that you’ve got tons of cap space and the chance to build from the ground up, perhaps taking the patient, incremental approach. With all the FAs who will be available, though, even if the Knicks swing and miss their first time up (LeBron, Wade, Manu, Bosh…) they still have a few more at bats (Lee, Nate, Amare, Rondo, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Mike Miller, RJ, Redd, Gay, Brewer, Aldridge, Shaq, Z, Farmar, Camby, TJ Ford, McGrady, Tyson Chandler…).

  110. d-mar

    “A real sharp-shooter who would probably excel playing for D’Antoni.”

    Ted, this is not to pick on you specifically, because we see this observation a lot on this forum, but how many guards wouldn’t excel under D’Antoni? His offense is shoot first, and he doesn’t ask a lot of his players on defense. And this is not a criticism of Mike, just an observation when it comes to his system and its appeal to NBA players.

    PS LeBron’s mom said today there’s no way he’s leaving Cleveland. I guess we’ll see if he still listens to what she says.

  111. Ted Nelson

    d-mar,

    I don’t really know. I generally believe that coach/system don’t have a HUGE impact on a player’s performance. There probably is some, though. D’Antoni’s is a system that generates a lot of 3s, relies on ball/player movement, and a lot of getting out in transition. He seems to focus more on offense than defense. I think most good NBA players would fit, but JCN is just someone whose strengths fit. If you ask him to be a walk-it-up PG, on the other hand, you’ll be very disappointed. He plays much better off the ball, and has a quick/accurate trigger and a knack for generating good looks within the offensive system (not “creating” one-on-one fade-aways in the tradition of recent Knicks “scorers).

    Basically, I said first that he is a good player overall and second that D’Antoni would probably like him in that order because I think that’s the order of importance.

    Even if JCN didn’t play any better for D’Antoni, he might get more minutes for D’Antoni than another coach and therefore be relatively more valuable to the team.

  112. ess-dog

    I’m starting to agree with Caleb on the “troubling pattern” front. All of the non-guaranteed contracts look to be a complete waste for the 2nd year in a row. I know these guys won’t be in the rotation, but don’t you want semi-competent pros if, nay, WHEN a player gets injured??? Is it penny-pinching, or does Walsh think that no real player will sign up for a cheap one year contract?
    I know our eyes need to be on 2010, but I need a better reason to check Knickerblogger than Gabe Pruitt and Warren Carter…

  113. Ted Nelson

    “And Gabe Pruitt. Yup he of sub 40% eFG & sub 30 3p%. Anyone think the Knick front office are using advanced stats?”

    I also doubt that Walshtoni are crunching many numbers, but I like the Pruitt signing. It’s a non-guaranteed deal to a former early 2nd rounder who will only be 23.

    Pruitt played all of 461 minutes in 2 years in Boston. Could be a bad sign given Boston’s desperation for a competent back-up PG, but since when have we ever believed that coaches always make the right personnel choices? Anyway, the point is that it’s a pretty small sample size. He did play 638 minutes in the D-League as a rookie. Also not a great showing: http://www.basketball-reference.com/nbdl/players/p/pruitga01d.html He did manage to hit 36% on 3s and put up a .502 eFG%, but there are plenty of negatives too.

    I don’t have high hopes for Pruitt even making the team, but I also don’t mind taking a flyer on him. He hasn’t done anything to indicate that he’s an NBA player, but hasn’t really had the chance to prove that he’s definitely not at this point either.

    “All of the non-guaranteed contracts look to be a complete waste for the 2nd year in a row.”

    To be honest, I’m not familiar with the Knicks other options for non-guaranteed camp invites. I would assume there are some better options, but also some worse ones. Non-guaranteed camp invites tend to be a complete waste as a rule. You’re mining for a diamond in the rough.

  114. Rashidi

    “Rahidi – name one point guard over the last 5 years that has changed teams in free agency that is under 24, costs less than 5 million per season, and is as good as Sessions.”

    This is an absurd request in itself. The only players that reach free agency at Sessions age are second rounders, and you’re asking me to ignore the actual good players like Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer, or even Paul Millsap and instead stick with the mid-level players/scrubs. But here goes anyway.

    Carl Landry
    Glen Davis
    Brandon Bass
    Trevor Ariza
    Zaza Pachulia

    Is Sessions conclusively a better player than any of these players? Based on his one season of stat padding for a lottery team? Come on.

    “I do not see how players like him come around that often.”

    Players like LeBron James do not come around that often. Players like Ramon Sessions are a dime a dozen.

  115. BXKNICKS21

    Donnie Walsh can surrender both lee and robinsons rights by june 30th so there would be no cap hold….. and if there was its 3 times there previous salaries….. and for you idiots saying walsh isnt doing anything or doing a bad job should please stop rooting for my team dont need you!! when the knicks were 7 years from getting out from under the cap people would scream now we are 10 months from that point you still complain…sessions is a nice player but not a star, he got 4 mil a year because thats all hw is worth.. we need a 2 guard not a point guard

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