Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

ESPN: Sources: Knicks president angling for David Fizdale firing

Obviously, this was the big story of the day, so big, in fact, that it seems like it overloaded our server (or whatever. I honestly don’t know what the issue specifically was), so we never got the chance to actually put up a thread on the topic. Here it is now.

From Woj at ESPN:

Even before a startling news conference in the wake of a blowout loss to Cleveland on Sunday, New York Knicks president Steve Mills had started to lay the internal groundwork for the eventual dismissal of coach David Fizdale, league sources told ESPN.

Mills is selling owner James Dolan on a roster constructed to be highly competitive in the Eastern Conference, leaving Fizdale vulnerable to an ouster only weeks into the second season of a four-year contract that league sources say is worth $22 million.

Days before exiled star Kristaps Porzingis returns to Madison Square Garden with the Dallas Mavericks, Mills delivered the first public salvo on shaping an organizational narrative that the Knicks’ struggles aren’t born of an overmatched roster, but the lack of a “consistent level of effort and execution.”

Rival coaches and executives see a mismatched Knicks roster slow of foot, without legitimate NBA guard play, but Mills is selling Dolan on a poorly coached team that is underachieving at 2-8 to start the season, league sources said. Around Madison Square Garden and the league, the timing and tone of the news conference was met with considerable surprise and dismay — and it was considered to be a complete undermining of Fizdale.

“Everyone is moving to their positions now,” a league source close to management and the coaching staff told ESPN. “This is how they’ll make (Fizdale) the fall guy.”

No offense to Woj, who is obviously the most plugged in guy in the NBA and if Woj says “they’re going to scapegoat Fizdale,” I believe him, but this report seems to be a bit more like “everyone else in the NBA believes that Mills is going to scapegoat Fizdale,” rather than actual evidence that Mills is scapegoating Fizdale.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that this very likely IS a case where “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” and this probably IS what Mills is trying to do, as we all thought as soon as Mills and Perry gave that press conference last night, but it seems to me that this report is mostly just reasonable supposition. Since it’s reasonable, it’s likely correct, but it’s still just supposition.

But either way, the Knicks are clearly Knicks-ing it up, either way (as the press conference was enough of a trainwreck on its own), so that’s something.

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216 comments on “ESPN: Sources: Knicks president angling for David Fizdale firing

  1. DRed

    I keep getting stuck on the phrase ‘highly competitive in the eastern conference’. What does Mills think that means?

  2. rama picked up his option

    A post about this on the previous thread is caught in moderation, but the TL;DR version is: when I called out @72 for intellectual dishonesty, I meant @172. Not jk but tnfh. In short, when someone argues that current numbers support the idea of improvement, and someone responds that he sucks, just look at his career VORP (or whatever), that’s changing the parameters and not responding to the specific point.

    I also apologized for introducing the phrase intellectually dishonest. Though I do believe it was accurate.

    Anyway, just getting that in before the Russian hackers take us down again….

  3. E

    It means Mills told Dolan the team could make the playoffs or come extremely close, and the idiot bought it.

    The more interesting words to me were “laying the internal groundwork,” which means he either doesn’t have the authority to fire Fiz, or wants to get allies — and therefore cover — before he does.

  4. E

    One of those allies is probably Dolan himself, so if we start seeing tweets/reporting out there saying that Mills has the authority to do what he wants with the coach and it’s his call, then finally Mills very well might be in trouble. He has to go before any kind of success can be had. No one good is going to come to the Knicks if they have to deal with him. If he’s truly out of the building, at least there are possibilities.

  5. dtrickey

    I get Fizdale has under performed, but was a 2-8 start really not that unforeseeable when the schedule dropped? No doubt this team should have been more competitive against the Kings and Cavs, but the team has mostly been competitive in spurts against playoff teams.

    The offensive schemes have been an issue which is undoubtedly on Fiz and the coaching staff, but we have been without a proper PG for the better part of the first 10 games (not going down the Frank rabbit hole) which I don’t think helps at all. Throw in arguably our best player (Mitch) missing games through injury and you don’t have a lot left in the cupboard (which is on Mills and Perry).

    It has been a team effort to suck so far, but reality is we are 10 games into the season. Unless Fiz has completely lost the locker room then why remove him now? The criticism of the franchise has been lack of continuity and uncertainty. Firing Fiz now just plays right into that narrative.

  6. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    NOBODY could win with this roster.
    Nobody.
    What is Mills record?
    Here’s what’s clear to me. He hired Phil. He hired Hornacek. According to my research….

    2013-14: 37-45
    2014-15: 17-65
    2015-16: 32-50
    2016-17: 31-51
    2017-18: 29-53
    2018-19: 17-65
    2019-20: 2-8

    If my math is correct: 165-337 or 33% winning record.
    Now, ask me who should be fired?

  7. bobneptune

    The biggest fear we should all have now is a Mills panic trade for a “star.”

    The CP3 and Wiggins should be on a watch list at the Lincoln Tunnel and the GWB!

  8. Hubert

    Rival coaches and executives see a mismatched Knicks roster slow of foot, without legitimate NBA guard play, but Mills is selling Dolan on a poorly coached team that is underachieving at 2-8 to start the season, league sources said.

    Tastes great. Less filling.

  9. Brian Cronin Post author

    The CP3 and Wiggins should be on a watch list at the Lincoln Tunnel and the GWB!

    When Hubert mentioned Minnesota as a possible Randle destination recently, I had a “Randle for Wiggins” deal flash through my frightened mind.

  10. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @2

    Measuring improvement accurately is dependent on the accuracy of the tools you are using to measure it.

    IMO, if you are using a model that does not include a lot of relevant information and that can’t handle the fact that basketball is a team sport in which the talents of your teammates, their fit, roles, and the system you play in all impact your own stats, then you will often come to poor conclusions about how good a player is, let alone be able to measure subtle year to year improvements in some skills.

    IMO, if you watch basketball games with some level of competence and understanding of the sport and use detailed statistical data to enhance the accuracy and understanding of your observations, you at way more likely to come to correct conclusions than from catch all models. IMO, you should ignore garbage in/garbage out single number models and instead watch games and try to understand what’s actually happening on the court with eyes and relevant detailed data.

  11. BigBlueAL

    At this point we need Mills gone ASAP before he does long term damage to the roster by making some stupid trade to try to save his job. Ditto firing Fiz and hiring someone like Mark Jackson. Mills should not be allowed to hire another head coach or make another trade.

  12. djphan

    yea this whole drama is a bit reactionary but it’s well deserved… being 2-8 was probably expected but losing the way we have is just not acceptable… we have the 2nd worst point differential in the league… and it seems like we’ve been down by 20 pts in i think 80% of the games….

    and i know folks don’t really like the talent on the roster but we’re definitely very capable of not being the worst team in the league…. and that falls on the coach… if you can’t get these guys to at least play hard and get back on defense or look for the open man when you have 4 guys around you or defend the pick and roll like an actual nba team…. that’s signaling some deep coaching issues…. there are vets on the roster who have been key pieces on multiple winning teams under multiple coaches… there’s simply no excuse….

    midseason coaching changes are the worst tho… it’s highly disruptive and you really shouldn’t be doing that unless the players quit or if you have better options on the bench…. i don’t think these group of assistants are the answer either considering they are as much to blame for the preparation issues….

    we are hitting a soft spot and we should be getting a bunch of guys back…. and there are some very easy adjustments for fiz to make ….. cutting portis’s minutes in favor of mitch is one very obvious one…. if you can’t recognize the value of mitch after over a year of seeing him.. then you don’t deserve to be coaching period….

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Measuring improvement accurately is dependent on the accuracy of the tools you are using to measure it.

    how accurate is 170/200

  14. Brian Cronin Post author

    It’s funny how every time they hire a coach, we have to worry that it will be Mark Jackson and then they go with another guy and we’re happy that, hey, at least it’s not Mark Jackson and then that guy gets fired and we have to worry that the next time it will be Mark Jackson. In other words, we’re bound to eventually end up with Mark Jackson as the coach of the Knicks….and it will make us sadly yearn for the days of David “There’s trouble right here in River City” Fizdale and Derek “Using his players’ girlfriends as his own personal Tinder” Fisher.

  15. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Here’s what’s clear to me. He hired Phil. He hired Hornacek. According to my research….

    Dolan hired Phil and was told Mills was his GM.

    Agreeing to a wildly incompetent basketball person like Mills being his GM was the first of several mistakes Phil made as part of his deal, but it was his biggest and deadliest to his time in NY.

    Phil is a basketball player and coach that understands basketball talent and skillsets, strategy, fitting pieces together, and how to win games. He does not understand player values, contracts, and the details of the CBA. Those responsibilities should have fallen on a competent GM after Phil laid out a general multi year plan for rebuilding a team lacking in cap space and first round picks, but with veterans that wanted out and trouble makers that needed to be traded but that no one else wanted.

    His philosophy was getting high basketball IQ two way players that can play well within a team concept. The scouts and GM should have brought him the limited options that fit that criteria given our poor circumstances and slowly improved the position of the team over time.

    The scouts were fine.

    The GM (Mills) was terrible and Phil was just as bad in that role.

  16. JK47

    Ok well what happens when they fire Fiz and the team still sucks? How far can this can get kicked down the road until it’s Millsy’s turn under the bus?

  17. Brian Cronin Post author

    there are vets on the roster who have been key pieces on multiple winning teams under multiple coaches

    Morris, to be sure, but otherwise, who else? Gibson? I guess, but he barely plays and he hasn’t been on a winning team in years (okay, I forgot that he was briefly on a decent OKC team in 2016-17 after the trade deadline, but still).

    It’s too funny that the only really good trade piece they picked up of the 57 mediocre free agents they signed was the guy they only got to sign because one of their original signees failed his physical. Even the good decisions here are accidents.

  18. Brian Cronin Post author

    His philosophy was getting high basketball IQ two way players that can play well within a team concept.

    And so the first major move he made as team president was to give a mega-max extension with a no trade clause to Carmelo Anthony, the first player you think of when you think of high basketball IQ two-way players that play well within a team concept.

  19. JK47

    Phil is a basketball player and coach that understands basketball talent and skillsets, strategy, fitting pieces together, and how to win games. He does not understand player values, contracts, and the details of the CBA.

    Seriously, give me a break with this crap. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    I’m just a jackass on an internet blog and it was pretty fucking apparent to me that 4/72 for the dessicated carcass of Joakim Noah was a moronic idea. But Phil Jackson is apparently too savant-like to understand numbers, he’s too naive to know that $18M per year for pinch post passing is an overpay.

    You’re not making a great case for the “Phil wasn’t a doddering old fool” argument. This argument doesn’t get any better the more you make it, it just makes you sound like you’re completely full of shit.

  20. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    how accurate is 170/200

    Not very accurate because I don’t have the time and energy to spend all day watching film and looking at detailed data like a competent basketball person getting paid to do so, but more accurate than garbage like PER, Win Shares, BPM, Wins Produced etc… because at least I understand things like Randle’s struggles having to do with his role, teammates, system and fit and not because he’s suddenly a bad basketball player. Seeing and trying to understand the details enhances your understanding over incomplete models that look at generalities.

  21. zulu1991

    As I mentioned earlier, firing Fiz is nonsense. By my back of the envelope, this team should be sitting on 2.5 wins after 10 games. Here is my math 10 games X 0.05 WS/48 X 5 players = 2.5 games. I assumed that an average Knick has 0.05 WS/48, which is consistent with where these players have been historically. The only standout is Mitch at 0.3 WS/48 and he has played only 17min per game, playing him at double that rate would have increased our wins by 0.75. Can anyone really quibble over one game? Perry and Mills should be looking in the mirror, not at Fiz.

  22. geo

    do we need to establish some kind of rally point protocol and the case access to this site is unavailable for more than let’s say – 30 seconds…

    mills won’t get “completely” fired…jimmy d will simply move him around…man, when does our theo epstein finally show up…

  23. JK47

    Strat’a gut is better than any statistical model, even though by his own admission he doesn’t really get to watch that much basketball.

    He’s just that fucking smart.

    I rate him 90/200.

  24. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @20 and @21

    Both are generally complaints about salaries and contracts. That’s the job of the GM.

    A good GM is supposed to say, “Phil, I know you need a guy that creates for himself late in the clock to be the cornerstone of the offense and we already have that in Melo, but I think a no trade clause is a bad idea because he’s getting older and we may want to move him at some point”. We don’t know this, but it was probably Mills that agreed to the HTC and Phil just signed off.

    A good GM is supposed to say, “Phil, I know a healthy Noah is an absolutely perfect triangle fit and upgrade from Lopez, but he’s had some injuries and at his age we are probably only going to get a good year or two out of him. Offer 2-3 years for less money and if he won’t take we have to stick with Lopez”.

  25. djphan

    i’m mainly referring to morris.. ellington and gibson… and you also have elf and randle who have definitely looked better under multiple coaches…. this isn’t like last year when you had guys who didn’t belong on an nba roster playing heavy minutes….

    it’s a challenge to get a lot of new pieces to fit…. but when every new player is coming on board who are viable nba rotation players… and you’re turning every one of them into replacement level guys…. there’s something deeply wrong with what you’re doing….

  26. JK47

    Phil was hired to run the team. If he delegated that kind of authority to a mouth breathing moron like Mills, and didn’t veto Mills’ ridiculous shitty contracts, that’s on him. Stop it. You’re making a fool of yourself.

  27. Brian Cronin Post author

    “I dunno, Mills, do you really think that giving Melo a mega-max with a no-trade clause makes sense? Okay, I guess I’ll just defer to you, as that’s the only way I can do this job is to defer to you on a decision like this. I don’t know ’bout numbers or anything like that.”

    Yikes, that is weak.

    You might as well just go the Family Circus route and have Phil blame the bad decisions on a ghost named “Not Me.”

  28. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Strat’a gut is better than any statistical model, even though by his own admission he doesn’t really get to watch that much basketball.

    I watch dozens of games of almost every player I comment on and GUT has absolutely nothing to do with it. I am seeing what a player can and cannot do on the court, looking at detailed stats, and at on court results for that player to form a final assessment.

    When I had more time for basketball I made money gambling at this game.

    IMO, that’s the ultimate test of what you know.

    Most of my bets were when certain players were out of a game and I thought the line moved more or less than it should have. That wasn’t a frequent occurrence because as all basketball gamblers quickly learn, Vegas lines are very accurate. But they do make mistakes and I had a handful of insights to exploit. I was doing exactly what I am describing back them. I just dedicated many more hours per day to it to find those occasional misvalued players.

  29. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I do not think Mills stays if Masai Ujiri takes the job. I also think Masai Ujiri won’t take the job because Dolan will say “my only condition is you keep Steve Mills on in some capacity.”

    My perfect list of candidates for the POBO job:

    1) Masai Ujiri – free agent in 2021 and if the Raptors don’t make him the highest paid POBO, Dolan will. It’s that simple.
    2) Gregg Poppovich – It’s clearly pie in the sky, but if there’s anybody who could be the coach and POBO, it’s him. It would also be a HUGE boost to the Knicks reputation around the league.
    3) Darryl Morey – The Rockets are going to fire him at some point, and if he’s free at the same time we have a vacancy, I can see his “I will get stars at all costs” mentality being one Jim Dolan loves. I’ve always thought he was overrated, but his winning record is unlike anything we’ve had in a very long time.
    4) Whoever the hell is responsible for the Denver Nuggets’ player development system.
    5) Greta from Phoenix.

  30. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Steve Mills should have been fired the minute he gave Bobby Portis $16M AAV and let Luke Kornet leave for $2M AAV.

  31. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    In case you guys are too dense to realize this, If I say Phil was a shitty GM (as I did) and needed a good one instead of Mills, then I just agreed with you that Phil was shitty GM. That has nothing to do with his understanding of basketball talent, basketball skillsets, fitting pieces together coherently, coaching wining basketball games etc.. which I said he does very well.

    You guys are just too ridiculous to admit being a great coach and having the skills to identify talent, skills, fit, etc have nothing in common with being a GM and ensuring that all the contracts make sense. Phil needed help at GM. He’s brilliant at the rest of it.

    Mills/Perry are bad at all of it.

  32. Brian Cronin Post author

    I do not think Mills stays if Masai Ujiri takes the job. I also think Masai Ujiri won’t take the job because Dolan will say “my only condition is you keep Steve Mills on in some capacity.”

    Sounds about right, sadly. Although, if ever there was an executive who could make Dolan part with Mills, it would Ujiri, since Dolan has already built up Ujiri in his head. Remember, Dolan nixed a Mills deal back before Phil got here due to how scared he was over getting fleeced by Ujiri again.

  33. JK47

    Phil Jackson thought that building around a decline phase Carmelo Anthony, and giving him Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Courtney Lee as sidekicks, was sound basketball strategy.

    It wasn’t.

  34. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Sounds about right, sadly. Although, if ever there was an executive who could make Dolan part with Mills, it would Ujiri, since Dolan has already built up Ujiri in his head. Remember, Dolan nixed a Mills deal back before Phil got here due to how scared he was over getting fleeced by Ujiri again.

    Steve Mills would have traded the pick he used on Kevin Knox for Kyle Lowry, and Masai Ujiri would have ended up with Shai Gilgeous Alexander.

  35. Dink

    Strat’s back on his Harry Turtledove shit re: alternative histories.

    Surprised he hasn’t compared PJax + Mills to Théoden + Wormtongue. Probably not a fantasy fan.

  36. Brian Cronin Post author

    Steve Mills would have traded the pick he used on Kevin Knox for Kyle Lowry, and Masai Ujiri would have ended up with Shai Gilgeous Alexander.

    Also sounds about right.

    Honestly, though, I would imagine that Ujiri would have flipped that pick before actually using it.

  37. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Good point; I absolutely believe the Spurs would have demanded the Knicks’ 2018 pick in any Kawhi Leonard trade. So SGA would be a San Antonio Spur.

  38. geo

    had a buddy stop by yesterday to relax and watch the knicks game (poor guy had no idea what he was getting in to when he visited – we ended switching to the football game)…it was interesting, he was telling me about this new job he had, where the owner he was working for was making really good cash, but, was in to gambling and strippers…

    which got us talking a little more about gambling…the owner mentioned at some point my buddy might want to stop by for a poker “get together” with him and his friends…

    my first thought – that sounds like a great way to blow a few hundred on sitting around a table and bullshitting…he’s of the same mind when it comes to wasting away money – much better opportunities to do so…

    i can almost sort of understand the stripper thing – although, not really…but, to sit around a table with “friends” exchanging money – i’ve never understood that…

    i guess if it’s one of those quarter limit games where you might come ahead or lose $20 bucks, but, to hand over (or take) hundreds or thousands to a “friend”…yeah, that one puzzles me…

    sports betting though – that does seem a bit interesting to me…thankfully not interesting enough to sink cash in to…but, i kind of do get that…heck, lord knows i’ve waved good bye to enough of my money in the market over the years…

    but yeah, sitting at a table with “friends” exchanging our money – yuch…

  39. Brian Cronin Post author

    I mean I think they would have flipped it, like, right away. But yes, if they still had it by the time the Kawhi trade happened, it would have been a necessity for that deal and yes, SGA would be a Spur.

  40. djphan

    zulu – that’s not a bad thought altho i disagree with it… i think you’re underselling a lot of these guys by assigning a .05 ws48 …. randle and morris are capable of much more than that…. and so are a few others….

    i’m generally in the .. never fire coaches midseason frame…. but much like players… there is a minimum level of ability a coach needs to demonstrate in order to have the privilege of having a job in the nba…. and having your players play hard and not constantly make bonehead plays is one of them… and identifying the talent on your roster is another… fiz is failing both….

    i do agree 10 games is very reactionary but if fiz has multiple blowout losses in this soft part of the schedule he’s gonna be gone and it will be with merit….

  41. djphan

    isn’t ujiri under contract? we probably need to send a pick to make that happen don’t we?

    and tim connelly is the guy to go after in denver…. very sharp dude….

  42. thenoblefacehumper

    Trying to read Strat’s Phil screeds as charitably as possible, it sounds like he believes Phil Jackson was paid $12M a year and given veto-proof authority over basketball decisions in order to issue insightful decrees such as “we need two-way players who move the ball.”

    Then, it was up to Steve Mills to find all the players who fit that description, and sign them to value-maximizing contracts or draft/trade for them. When Mills abdicated this responsibility, our poor genius had no choice but to try to also do this part of the job. This was an unfair expectation, as again, he was only paid $12M a year and given full authority over all basketball decisions.

    Give him a break! How was he supposed to know that his job description included anything other than “tell Steve Mills to get good players?”

  43. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Last post on this and then I have to get away from this madness for a few days. Everyone that knows anything about basketball and the Knicks has long known that the real problem was Mills. Thank God we have people like Stefan Bondy (axe to grind or not) to tell the truth. The media spin, lies, and incompetency about any number of scapegoats over the years will not set us free. The truth will set us free. Mills must go!

    Mills likes to distance himself from Phil Jackson, which is indicative of a pervasive philosophy at MSG: pass the blame and survive. But the fact remains he was Jackson’s general manager. And when Lakers owner Jeanie Buss implied that Jackson was betrayed in New York, it was widely assumed she was talking about Mills as the Benedict Arnold.

    “(Jackson) should’ve made sure (to control) who was surrounding him, because the people close to you will take the knife and put it in your back,” Buss told The Athletic.

  44. Brian Cronin Post author

    Of course Mills sucks and of course he stabbed Phil in the back when things went wrong, but that does not lead to it being Mills’ fault that Phil was terrible at his job. “Mills is terrible” and “Phil is terrible” are not competing positions. They both can be and certainly are true.

  45. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Ok well what happens when they fire Fiz and the team still sucks? How far can this can get kicked down the road until it’s Millsy’s turn under the bus?

    Fiz will be fired on January 26th. The next 4 games are winnable but then the schedule is a lot tougher and doesn’t let up until the end of January. Here are the first 11 games starting on Jan 28th: Charlotte, Memphis, Pacers, Cavs, Magic, Pistons, Hawks, Wiz, Pacers, Houston, Chicago. And the schedule isn’t tough at all after that.

    Mills has no doubt examined the schedule. He knows even a decent coach will have trouble getting many wins before the end of January. So it behooves him to wait until then, fire Fiz, replace him with an interim coach, and POOF the team improves. He won’t imo consider trading Morris since current wins trump future wins.

  46. rama picked up his option

    Fiz’s moves are inexplicable at times, but I agree that best case the team is at 4-6 right now instead of 2-8. So it’s interesting that Mills is already in CYA mode. Did he really believe this team could compete? Because that speaks to total incompetence. Mills should be much better at forecasting that lil ole Rama, but I’m feeling pretty good about my 24 win prediction at the moment….

  47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    blueprint for a 300-comment thread during a lost season

    1) that player with the league-worst BPM is not bad, his stats are just a big lie

    2) the player would have better stats anyway if the system and teammates actually played to his talents

    3) we sold low on that player even though he’s now underperforming for another team

    4) but that’s not the player’s fault since he was failed on player development and system play

    5) there’s no way to know what the player would have been like if he had been coached and used correctly

    6) I am a false prophet, god is a superstition (they can’t hear you in the back) I am a false prophet, god is a superstition (say it again) I AM A FALSE PROPHET GOD IS A SUPERSTITION

  48. JK47

    Phil had actual autonomy. Let’s stop indulging in this fantasy that he didn’t. It’s pathetic. Some people can’t admit they were wrong about anything and need to create some obviously false narrative but that bullshit MMM/Joakim Noah team was a Phil Jackson production through and through.

  49. Z-man

    The suggestion that Phil did not have autonomy and was some kind of a puppet of Mills is beyond ludicrous. This is Phil fucking Jackson, who thinks he’s smarter than everyone in the room, no matter how big the room is, and has no problem throwing people under the bus. He got paid nearly 50 large to turn the Knicks around, and he himself said that there were no restrictions on his power. The fails during his tenure were 100% on him (except if you want to put the blame on Dolan for hiring a big name with no front office experience. He bought high and sold low on virtually every trade he made.

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Melo — can’t find a taker on a vet’s min
    Noah — stretched and out of the league
    Courtney Lee — looking like a possible retirement after this season
    THJ — still not good, making $18M off the bench
    Porzingis — has never cracked >0.2 BPM, currently a career low WS48, BPM

    I mean… yikes

  51. geo

    But he does these things all the time,
    These mysteries that he presents and
    while we wait…while we wait…wait for his word…

    yeah, fiz’s firing won’t really feel all that good…

    it’s gotta be dolan and/or mills…anything short is simply some 3 card monty…

  52. dtrickey

    Fiz’s moves are inexplicable at times, but I agree that best case the team is at 4-6 right now instead of 2-8. So it’s interesting that Mills is already in CYA mode. Did he really believe this team could compete?

    I tend to agree with this, however currently 4-6 has teams knocking on the door of a low playoff seed in the East with the 7th seed having a record of 4-5. I don’t doubt that the narrative changes for a team that only won 17 games if it is sitting in the playoff hunt early. Given the small margin maybe Fiz was on to something pointing out we are only 2 games out of 8th. That being said, based on some recent performances, we are still along way from being a low playoff seed team even if the pack is within arms reach.

  53. Brian Cronin Post author

    I always assumed resigning Melo was a condition of taking the job. Everything else was on Phil.

    Phil himself said otherwise and then Dolan confirmed it. Phil had full autonomy. Both Phil and Dolan confirmed this.

  54. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Can we just not talk about the embers of the failed Phil Jackson era? There’s a raging dumpster fire right in front of us at this very moment!

  55. DRed

    With the Knicks, it’s not the record so much as it’s that we’ve been getting blown out. We’ve already lost 4 games by 20 or more points.

  56. bidiong

    The whole thing is a disaster at this point. Dizfail is awful. Mills should just be happy with his millions and leave, and wtf was Perry thinking with signing 18 power forwards?

    Fizdale should be gone because we don’t have a real offense, Mills wouldn’t know where his head was if it wasn’t attached, and Perry is busy learning the Steve Mills methodology of sticking around while being incompetent.

  57. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Phil himself said otherwise and then Dolan confirmed it. Phil had full autonomy. Both Phil and Dolan confirmed this.

    The funny thing is, the idea of paying Phil Jackson $12M a year to command him to lob Melo a mega-max with a NTC is so Knicksy that if you were throwing around conjecture, it wouldn’t sound out of the question.

  58. Unreason

    The current record doesn’t seem out of whack with the talent level especially given the lack of a decent pg. But Fiz is not good. It would be nice if he’s resplaced by someone better.

  59. Brian Cronin Post author

    The funny thing is, the idea of paying Phil Jackson $12M a year to command him to lob Melo a mega-max with a NTC is so Knicksy that if you were throwing around conjecture, it wouldn’t sound out of the question.

    Oh totally, Dolan is such a stupid asshole, it wouldn’t have shocked me had that been the case. It just turns out not to be the case. Dolan was pretty up front about how he didn’t give anyone full autonomy until Phil and Phil (and his mouthpiece, Charley Rosen) all confirm that he Melo decision was his and his alone. Well, except that Phil didn’t understand that a mega-max contract was a lot of money, because Steve Mills handled the money, I guess.

  60. KnickfaninNJ

    Given Dolan’s penchant for name hires, that leaves only Stan van Gundy of the names I mentioned. I’d be pretty happy with him as a coach.

  61. Brian Cronin Post author

    Becky Hammon would get him a ton of positive attention, though, right? He might like that.

  62. Z-man

    She’d be a perfect hire. Not sure if she’s a good coach, but with this team, who cares? The goodwill alone would be worth it.

  63. bobneptune

    Ok well what happens when they fire Fiz and the team still sucks? How far can this can get kicked down the road until it’s Millsy’s turn under the bus?

    They could hire ancient Hubie Brown as an interim replacement and they’d suck but suck a lot less with a coherent defensive strategy and literally any offensive set. And they young players might actually learn a little something about how to actually play NBA basketball……

  64. bobneptune

    Becky Hammon would get him a ton of positive attention, though, right? He might like that.

    I get the positive ink and all that but does anybody know if she can actually coach??? You know there are actual people that have positive track records who I’m sure would like 20 M or Jimmy D’s money…..

  65. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Andrew Wiggins’ last 4 games:

    30 PTS | 6 ASTS | 2 STLS
    40 PTS | 5 REBS | 7 ASTS
    25 PTS | 4 REBS | 5 ASTS
    33 PTS | 6 REBS | 5 ASTS

    Paging Mills/Perry

  66. Brian Cronin Post author

    I get the positive ink and all that but does anybody know if she can actually coach??? You know there are actual people that have positive track records who I’m sure would like 20 M or Jimmy D’s money…..

    She’s Pop’s lead assistant, right? Since Messina left to be a head coach in Italy. And his coaching tree tends to do well, like Budz. Jacque Vaughn was really his only big failure from his coaching tree.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How about that line from Tatum? 1-18 with 4 FTA for 5 points! Paging Stratomatic to tell me how 1-18 isn’t all that bad if you just watch the game tape.

  68. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m still not over the idea that Phil Jackson was hired as President of Basketball Operations for $12M a year but should not have been expected to choose the basketball players and decide what to pay them.

  69. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Celtics Junkies
    @Celtics_Junkies
    You cannot watch Kemba play with this team and tell me the Celtics were better off with Kyrie

    You just can’t ?

    Another non shock to me.

    Even without Horford, Baynes, and Rozier and now Hayward going down (who was having a great year after taking a year to recover his best form), the Celtics look like a better team this year. The models say Kyrie is the much better player. They are wrong. Kyrie is more talented, skilled, and puts up better boxscore numbers, but Kemba plays the game better at the team level. He makes the “team” better. The only thing I’d prefer Kyrie at is closing. Otherwise, at best this was a wash and it’s the loss of those other players that could hurt the Celtics, especially when that boxscore darling Kanter comes back.

  70. Brian Cronin Post author

    Oh, Kemba was obviously a great signing for the Celtics once they were clearly going to lose Kyrie. The bigger issue was losing Horford.

  71. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    They must have thrown the Marcus Smart unicorn kryptonite at him

    No, they just changed the system so dramatically from last game that he was in a poor position to play to his strengths and minimize his weaknesses. Adjustments and shit.

    Oh, Kemba was obviously a great signing for the Celtics once they were clearly going to lose Kyrie. The bigger issue was losing Horford.

    Kyrie may be a better and younger player, but it sounds like he is the polar opposite of a leader. Publicly unlikable as well.

  72. Early Bird

    On the bright side if you told me we’d be tied with the Warriors 10 games into the season, I’d be ecstatic.

  73. Donnie Walsh

    The offensive schemes have been an issue which is undoubtedly on Fiz and the coaching staff, but we have been without a proper PG for the better part of the first 10 games

    The pump don’t work cause Randle’s got no handle.

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Even without Horford, Baynes, and Rozier

    Just FYI, Baynes was rated a 0.2 BPM player and Rozier a -0.7 player last year. According to BPM, they were worth about 3 wins above replacement. Funny how that works.

    On the bright side if you told me we’d be tied with the Warriors 10 games into the season, I’d be ecstatic.

    On the downside, there’s a solid chance that you hear the words, “And the #1 pick goes to the Golden State Warriors,” followed by a shit-eating grin from Bob Myers as he decides which generational talent he’ll rebuild his championship team around.

  75. DRed

    It appears there have been 11 Pop assistants with head future NBA coaching gigs and besides Budz and Brett Brown there have been a bunch of whiffs.

    That list of whiffs includes Quinn Snyder and Mike D’Antoni?

  76. Brian Cronin Post author

    I don’t think D’Antoni should count and I’m torn on whether Snyder should count.

    But anyhow, legit Pop assistants are:

    Brett Brown
    Mike Budenholzer
    James Borrego
    Jim Boylen
    Mike Brown
    Jacque Vaughn
    Joe Prunty

    Vaughn’s the only dud from that group, even if Prundy and Mike Brown are probably best suited to be assistant coaches (Brown did win Coach of the Year, though).

    If you expand to the G-League coaches (which I have no idea if Pop is really involved there), then you add:

    Quin Snyder

    I think Taylor Jenkins and Earl Watson, as assistant G-League coaches, are too distant to really count. Of those two, Jenkins is a pretty respected guy and Watson was a dud.

  77. geo

    yum, new coach talk…still, when was the last time a front office signed 5 one year deals in one off-season…not typical nba front office operations I would imagine…i wasn’t expecting it…

    seriously, at this point: you could put “name successful coach here”, and things would still suck…

    you put our kids out there with a bunch of mercs…hmmmm, go figure why we give up so many points and can’t hit a shot from anywhere on the court – literally how can we be so bad at shooting from every single spot on the floor…

    poor team chemistry maybe – not great coaching…

    it sort of defies reason, you’d think we’d able to do one thing right offensively…

    julius randle looks constantly in mental and spiritual anguish every second out on the court…

    they threw together a team from the island of misfit toys – once again favored offensive potential over defensive consistency – and, for like the millionth season in a row still didn’t acquire an average to above average nba starting point guard…

    what a surprise our offense sucks, and, our defense ain’t any better – although I would like to see frank, dot, RJ, taj and mitch out on the court together – defending…

    I think our next coaching hire needs to come from overseas…we’ve had poor fortune with coaches from the US…I don’t know, maybe a g-league coach will work…

    we do have more talent on the roster this year – however they’re playing for contracts…they ain’t playing to win…they all have something to prove – individually…

    I totally get why morris chose to come here – he’s here to get points and get paid…

  78. bobneptune

    That list of whiffs includes Quinn Snyder and Mike D’Antoni?

    Mike Dantoni was a “scout” for POP for one whole year. His offensive system he invented and he certainly didn’t learn any “D” from POP

    Snyder has been a good coach.

    I don’t see any coach there that jumps off the page was wow…. what an insane job this guy did….

  79. geo

    I don’t think of taj as a merc – solid vet signing…

    still waiting to watch bullock play…it’s been a tough year for him so far…hopefully he finds some joy in basketball and he plays well…

    you can get away with one short term contract for a key piece – but damn: portis, ellington, morris, trier, bullock, gibson all playing for contracts…

    a few more guys fighting to stay in the league: frank, DSJ, dot…

    some even younger guys in mitch, knox, and RJ learning how to play NBA basketball…

    yeah, what a surprise we have 2 wins and have been blown out 4 times…

    think about if you were evaluating this organization as a new hire – and, you took a look at their turnover rate…no thanks…

    bet fiz wishes he was in phoenix right about now…

  80. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    My only hope is that Steve Mills gets fired before he pairs Maple Jordan with the Maple Mamba and convinces Dolan his ability to add two superstars should keep him around.

    Wiggins is on a tear right now and it just feels inevitable. Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, and the Dallas pick for Andrew Wiggins.

  81. Hubert

    Good point; I absolutely believe the Spurs would have demanded the Knicks’ 2018 pick in any Kawhi Leonard trade. So SGA would be a San Antonio Spur.

    In fairness, the trade was for Kyle Lowry. We probably wouldn’t have been in position to draft Knox.

    The problem is that might give Mills some ammo with Dolan. “Remember that time you wouldn’t let me trade for Kyle Lowry? Trust me this time. If we take all the picks we acquired for Porzingis and use them on Andrew Wiggins, we’ll be in the promised land!”

  82. cgreene

    Am I the only person here that would not take 2-3 weeks off work if my mom passed away?? And I really love my mom a lot.

  83. KnickfaninNJ

    I read some Dallas blogs after the game with them and some of the comments discussed DSJ. They felt he was fragile emotionally and needed support and might not get that in NY. To me, it sounds like they were right he needed the support, but I’m not sure he won’t get it in NY. There were a lot of quotes from the Knicks that were supportive, and they are giving him time to deal with stuff. You can’t make a rule about how much time someone needs for a personal event. Every situation and person is different.

  84. Owen

    Someone posted Wiggins’ recent Insane point totals and my immediate thought was, I wonder if he is over .100z

  85. Early Bird

    Just taking a quick look, Wiggins is taking more 3s while hitting the same %.

    His midrange shooting %s are all up too. I doubt that part is sustainable.

  86. Hubert

    At the rate he and the Wolves are playing I think we’re safe from acquiring him. It’s doubtful they view him as an albatross they must unload at the first chance. They’re probably thinking he’s finally arrived and aren’t excited to dump him for an underperforming Julius Randle and some picks.

  87. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Porzingis — has never cracked >0.2 BPM, currently a career low WS48, BPM

    Those are garbage stats, but 2 things are true right now.

    1. Porzingis looks terrible other than in occasional brilliant spurts. He’s slower and his shot is not sharp. About the only positive thing you can say is that he’s stronger and doesn’t get pushed around quite as easily. But he isn’t anywhere near strong enough to play C every night. And because he’s slower, the quicker PFs are burning him worse on defense. Right now, Dallas is literally better when he’s off the court.

    2. On the flip side, when everyone here was predicting he’d be good for a few months and then fade as usual, I predicted he would play well below expectations for the first few months and then start returning to form in 3-4 months.

    I don’t have hard data on it, but generally that has been the pattern I have seen with players recovering from ACL surgery. He was out even longer than usual. So it may take longer to get in peak condition and sharpness. There’s no way to know if and when he will return to his best form then continue with all the development he missed out on while injured. Every player is different. Paul George came back to form fairly quickly and then kept getting better. Hayward looked like he was done last year but came back “lit” this year.

    I’d still WAY rather have him at the max than the wasted cap space we got for him (Lee will be off the cap this year, no one any good is coming to NY next year, and soon Hardaway will be off too). The picks we’ll get from an improving Dallas team are likely to net us role players that won’t be ready to contribute significantly to a good team for 4-5 years after we eventually draft them, and I’d just as soon not even have DSjr on the team based on what I’be seen in Dallas and NY.

    KP still has the potential be high level #2 option on offense and impact rim protector/help…

  88. KnickfaninNJ

    I did watch the Mills Perry press conference one thing I noticed that no one has commented on is that Perry looked really unhappy, like he absolutely didn’t want to be there. I suspect the the press conference was Mills’ idea and not Perry’s. But Mills is his boss. I suspect Perry thinks it too soon to panic, or maybe had lesser expectations for the team than Dolan or Mills. Also, he has been a basketball coach and he probably sympathizes with Fizdale’s roster issues. I know he made the roster, but he probably knew point guard was still a weak point and knows that injuries haven’t helped.

  89. E

    Wow, the sense of optimism here is good to see and kind of demonstrates the persistence of hope even among the downtrodden. Randle, Ellington, and a 1 for Wiggins? My fear is something like Rowan Jr., Knox, filler, and a 1. If Dolan gets smitten and it’s clear that it’s going to happen, I’d take Randle, Ellington and a 1 in a heartbeat.

  90. GianaDani

    Its funny how after the KP trade, draft and even free agency, the sentiment of most of the posters here was that the leadership and intelligence of our three stoogies is going to be the backbone to our rebuild because they didnt make the same mistakes as Isaiah Thomas and Phil Jackson. In July, my concerns and fears were being dismissed as foolish and ignorant…in November the Woj writes that it essentially already fell apart. He sees the same playbook as KP. They will have already secured a head coach via back channels.

    Fiz will be brought in, told that he’s doing a piss poor job with youth development; he’s s showing signs of not believing in Perry and Mills and that he’s on probation. When Fiz responds that this roster is shit, which it is, Perry will fire him. Mills will do a usual “MSG controlled” press conference and say that Fiz didn’t believe in management and, most importantly, his own players abilities and talents, so he wasn’t the right guy to develop our current and future youth (5 picks) and as a result they were forced to move into another direction.

  91. Hubert

    Those are garbage stats, but 2 things are true right now.

    1. Porzingis looks terrible other than in occasional brilliant spurts.

    That’s pretty much the story of his career, Strat. Nothing new about now.

  92. KnickfaninNJ

    the sentiment of most of the posters here was that the leadership and intelligence of our three stoogies is going to be the backbone to our rebuild because they didnt make the same mistakes as Isaiah Thomas and Phil Jackson

    The only part of this that is true is that most posters here thought that Perry hasn’t made the same mistakes as Thomas or Jackson. No one that I recall ever stated anything to the effect that they would be something like the backbone of our rebuild. People were pleasantly surprised with Perry’s contract acumen, but everyone criticized Mills. Lots of posters were worried about the Knicks taste in players and no one here thought the Knick’s would be good.

  93. E

    Yeah, they were never really “rebuilding.” They had nothing else to sell there for a spell and so they trotted that one out. If you’re holding out hope that an elite free agent or two was going to swoop in and save the day, you aren’t “rebuilding.” No rebuilding team goes out and spends all their cap room on a bunch of dreck like the Knicks did, and — no surprise — we’re now finding out the truth that Mills oversold Dolan on the quality of the dreck. But the only material point is that the way to Dolan’s favor was (rightfully) seen as something completely different than rebuilding.

  94. E

    They didn’t need to make a dumb, Knicksy trade for a veteran “star” because they thought they’d get Durant. Now all bets are off.

  95. JK47

    This current front office is not good or creative or clever or even competent really. The 1+1 contracts never made a lot of sense to me.

    Still better than MMM and 4/72 for Pinchy. Those were fatal, multiple-year fiasco mistakes. Most of the mistakes of the current chucklefucks are only short-term mistakes. They’re still mistakes! And these guys still suck! But Phil and Isiah were a whole other level.

  96. djphan

    considering that everyone is on notice 10 games into the season…. it should be abundantly clear that a full rebuild was just not going to be possible…. it’s not an enviable position to be in…

    i’m not saying that all the moves were great but if you want to field a respectable team without mortgaging the future… signing a bunch of vets on short term contracts was probably the best way to go…. that at least (hopefully) buys you some time to see the rebuild through…. dolan certainly was not gonna sit through another 20 win season…. and with how the fanbase has been reacting they probably wouldn’t have either…

    considering that we’re not respectable even with these vets is a double whammy…. and while i’m not a big fan of fiz who’s probably gonna get everyone fired…. or mills… i think perry has done an ok job considering the circumstances… obviously we’re probably in need of an extraordinary effort but this isn’t gonna change until everyone all around exhibits some patience…

  97. rama picked up his option

    the sentiment of most of the posters here was that the leadership and intelligence of our three stoogies is going to be the backbone to our rebuild

    Yep, that’s exactly what everyone was saying. I am sure you can link to various comment threads just filled with encomia.

    See, this is what I mean by intellectually dishonest. Don’t sink to this level! We’re better than this!

  98. Farfa

    I mean, there’s definitely a chance that Perry tries to save face asking Fiz to win half the games from now until December 15th, telling Dolan that a blockbuster (?) trade is coming as soon as Portis, Randle etc are eligible to be sent away and then buying Fiz and himself a few more weeks getting Wiggins.

    Luckily Fizdale is so inept that this won’t happen because we’ll lose other games with a 20+ gap before Thanksgiving.

  99. E

    The odds are astronomical that whatever they do is going to wind up worse than using the cap room to sign actually good players. Add Baynes, Brogdon, and Utah Bogdanovic to this team instead and you actually have something. They’re going to wind up way worse off than that when the dust clears.

    I’m going to be hopeful and hold out hope that Dolan never forgives Mills for not getting Durant/Irving and gets rid of him.(*) It’s a good sign on that front that his people are musing out loud about getting Ujiri and Ujiri luring Giannis. Dolan blamed Walsh for not getting LBJ BITD, so there’s clearly a philosophical history there. Dolan wants his organization to be one stars want to come to and he’s not going to rest until it happens. That and only that is his basketball “philosophy.” If he can’t have that, he wants to be competitive or in the playoffs. He has zero interest in a starless rebuild. He never has, and he never will.

    (*) And not only did he not get them, he was never really even in the hunt for them. Thus, the dreck.

  100. rama picked up his option

    and while i’m not a big fan of fiz who’s probably gonna get everyone fired…. or mills… i think perry has done an ok job considering the circumstances

    I agree. I don’t fault him for trading KP for space (unloading Timmy and Lee and getting picks and DSjr were just bonuses). KP wanted to go; the trade made it possible to take on two max salaries. KD and Kyrie did team up, as expected, and with KD’s injury, who knows what the real story was as to why he went to Brooklyn and not here? But any observant outsider could say that it was a reasonable gamble, the kind Masai would make, and it just didn’t pay off.

    And so then what do you do? Well, you don’t sign Portis for $16m and Ellington for $8m, but you do bring in some vets to try to build a decent team so that your owner doesn’t go ballistic. Though of course Dolan is going ballistic, because Fiz isn’t a good coach and they brought in a couple players too many, and because two key players (Elfrid and Mitch) have been hurt. It wasn’t a GOOD job, but it wasn’t a terrible job either. Almost anyone here could have done better, because we would have taken on salary for picks and accelerated our rebuild, and we wouldn’t have brought in so many freaking power forwards, but…meh.

  101. KnickfaninNJ

    When players or teams improve over time they go through predictable stages.

    First they are terrible overall but show some skills that could be valuable if used correctly

    Then they have occasional decent games where they use this skills in a productive way, but overall are still very bad. At this stage there are a lot of arguments about their value

    Then they start having non terrible performances regularly. But they often don’t seem a plus contributor. They just hold down their position adequately.

    Then they start having plus performances pretty often.

    Frank’s probably at stage 2, but the Knicks as a team are at stage one. Unfortunately, I think Frank is more likely to improve than the Knicks are.

  102. DS

    Tatum is 1-18 and the Celtics are gonna win by double digits.

    I don’t think they miss Kyrie much.

    I have to say it feels good to see the Celtics go 8-1 without Kyrie (looks like Hayward is only missing 6 weeks btw) and KP have his issues, even though there’s not much to demonstrate our management knows what they’re doing.

  103. DRed

    i’m not saying that all the moves were great but if you want to field a respectable team without mortgaging the future… signing a bunch of vets on short term contracts was probably the best way to go…. that at least (hopefully) buys you some time to see the rebuild through

    yeah, I thought the 1+1 contract structures were fine, but the problem is they signed too many of the wrong people. *stares at bobby portis*

  104. JK47

    1. Team doesn’t try actual patient rebuild
    2. Half-assed rebuild fails
    3. “See this is why you can’t rebuild here”
    4. Repeat to infinity

  105. jazzfunk

    1. Team doesn’t try actual patient rebuild
    2. Half-assed rebuild fails
    3. “See this is why you can’t rebuild here”
    4. Repeat to infinity

    5. Watch Westchester Knicks highlights to get the first glimpse of the “Amir Hinton Era”.

  106. Farfa

    I mean, it’s true that you can’t rebuild in New York. But that’s only because of Dolan, newyorkers aren’t the reason.

  107. GianaDani

    rama @113,

    Don’t knock the person who made the correct call and call them intelligently dishonest (don’t even know what that means).

    Fiz cant lead, lack authenticity and is not quick and smart enough to actually coach. Uses fancy terms like position less basketball etc..trying to hide the fact that he doesn’t have a set of core team principles on either side of the ball.

    Perry did nothing of substance for almost 3yrs on the job. Empty suit in a position of leadership is fireable offense. His job is to make tough decisions and not run away from them. The minor decisions he did make were mostly wrong ones anyway.

    Mills is an egocentric charlatan with naked pictures of Isiah Thomas and Dolan locked in a Swiss vault.

  108. JK47

    I also think Andrew Wiggins doesn’t have enough “star” cachet to get James Dolan’s starfucking boner erect. He didn’t make a bunch of All-Star teams eight years ago, didn’t win a bunch of playoff games, isn’t really “famous” in any meaningful way.

  109. JK47

    This person is pretending to be a soccer mom so this isn’t the dude you want to engage with on the “intellectual honesty” topic

  110. thenamestsam

    I will say sort of in Mills+Perry’s defense (*gags*) that in light of the current developments it sure looks like the strategy they pursued this summer arose less directly from the idea that the best way forward was vets leading to gradual improvement towards a level of respectability that would allow us to reel in the big fish (how we all read it at the time) than from a directive from above that the team being that level of terrible wasn’t acceptable. If it was the former I would’ve expected significantly more patience, and Dolan calling everyone into the principal’s office after 9.5 games definitely is not sending that message.

    If they were told that competing for a playoff spot this season was the required target then they probably did about the least long-term harm possible while at least gesturing in that direction. The question is what happens now. The only smart path forward at this point involves staying the course, accepting that this year is going to be a lot uglier than you expected, hoping you high-roll some ping pong balls and then reassesing where you stand in the summer.

    Eyes on the big picture: The long-term situation here is still mostly good. The long-term cap situation is clean (Randle is off to a concerning start but even that’s not likely to be a disaster), there’s some young talent in house (even if we fight constantly about the exact quality of some of their prospects), and we have not only our own, but extra picks moving forward. Just don’t do anything incredibly dumb because you thought you were going to win 38 games this year and it turns out it might be more like 18.

  111. Farfa

    I also think Andrew Wiggins doesn’t have enough “star” cachet to get James Dolan’s starfucking boner erect. He didn’t make a bunch of All-Star teams eight years ago, didn’t win a bunch of playoff games, isn’t really “famous” in any meaningful way.

    So you say we’re due for Chris Paul, huh?

  112. djphan

    it is a half-ass rebuild… but that’s kind of what you have to do… it’s pretty clear we can’t get anything to close to the process… not with dolan… and with the way folks are talking elsewhere… the fanbase wouldn’t tolerate it either…. it doesn’t even look like this upcoming draft is all that great anyway….

    here’s the list of guys who got 2 year or less deals this offseason:

    jj redick – 26mm
    rudy gay – 29
    danny green – 30
    ariza – 25
    nene – 20
    kcp – 20
    rose – 15
    parker – 13
    ish smith – 12
    rodney hood – 12
    trey lyles – 11
    bradley – 10
    ed davis – 10
    kaminsky – 10
    kanter – 10
    robin lopez – 10

    some of those guys like green were not coming here… and while someone like ed davis would’ve been nice… and you could approximate some of the value with some of these lesser signings…. the theme is pretty much the same… you’re paying for either old guys that may or may not have anything left…. or you’re taking guys that might not even be good….

    and taken in that lens… i don’t find it too bad… portis and gibson i really thought were unnecessary and there’s a couple names on this list that stand out that would’ve definitely been better…. but at the end of the day it isn’t gonna matter too much either way….

    it’s window dressing for what really matters….

  113. JK47

    the fanbase wouldn’t tolerate it either

    Totally disagree with this.

    The fan base has tolerated 20 years of complete suckage. If they’re still around after all of that, I think they’d stick around for a few years of watching kids lose instead of watching mediocre veterans lose.

    The fans would go nuts for a good young team that made incremental improvements every year.

  114. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Fizdale is the wrong coach for this team but he’s being scapegoated. Not that I think he’s a lousy coach, he’s not. He’s just not suited for teaching fundamentals and effort and all that to a young squad. I’m convinced, more and more, that this team needs a tough-love coach that can teach. I don’t presume to know who that is, but that’s what’s needed now from our coach.

    But there was NO chance that this team would approach a .500 record. No point guard. No star. No rim defender. Not enough outside shooting. Based on talent, this team was going nowhere.

    I’m not sure Perry is a problem and he might be able to do something going forward, but Mills is a cancer and must go. Just listening to him, I think “idiot”.

  115. Farfa

    The fans would go nuts for a good young team that made incremental improvements every year.

    For chrissake the fanbase is clamoring for a terrible player only because he’s young and likable, if you fielded a Frank, Trier/Dot, RJ, Knox and Mitch lineup everyone would go gaga at least for a year. The fanbase is definitely not a problem. Maybe the press is.

  116. djphan

    i think most rational longtime knicks fans would love a proper rebuild… as would i… this board is probably unanimous on that and why this is the most rational sect of the fanbase…

    but that doesn’t mean the fans and media won’t get loud over continued losses…. particularly nowadays… and dolan for all his faults… isn’t too different than the average fan… he can be just as reactionary as many of the otherwise rational posters here can be…. and that’s what you have to deal with….

    and the fans probably would love a good young team… but they won’t tolerate a bad one…. crawford/curry/randolph… they weren’t draft picks but they weren’t old vets either…. the lee and chandler teams were fun young teams but the garden was mostly empty and the sell was lebron anyway….

    so they can tolerate it.. the fans will always be there.. this much we know…. but it does take a special kind of person to stick with a plan AND do it well… it’s not really enough to go with a youth movement if you continue to pick guys like frank and knox in the lottery…. you have to get good young players too…. because we don’t have exceptional ppl making decisions here and the fanbase won’t be rational enough to tolerate extended bad play either….

  117. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Fizdale is the wrong coach for this team but he’s being scapegoated. Not that I think he’s a lousy coach, he’s not. He’s just not suited for teaching fundamentals and effort and all that to a young squad.

    Here are Fizdale’s teams’ records since he became an assistant in 2004.

    37-45
    13-69
    26-56
    30-52
    37-45
    43-39
    47-35

    (LeBron takes his talents to South Beach)

    58-24
    46-20
    66-16
    54-28

    (LeBron lets Dan Gilbert have his cake and eat it too)

    37-45
    48-34

    (Fizdale becomes HC)

    43-39
    7-12

    (Fizdale takes a sack of cash to stash his career in Jimmy D’s gig bag)

    17-65
    2-8

    This isn’t really evidence of much aside from that Fizdale has never been on a team that’s cracked 50 wins without a top-3 all-time player and another top-5 all-time SG leading the charge.

    My point here is that if you think that Fizdale is a good coach (despite some evidence that he has installed literally no offensive system in this team), why? How? How could you possibly look at his track record — his career 69-124 record as a HC — and make a positive claim about his proficiency?

    Something tells me that Fizdale is not well-suited to be a development coach, to be a minutes manager, to be a play-to-your-strengths savant like Pop, to be a Jax/Kerr-style armchair-psychology guru, or any other type of coach worth mentioning. But those sound bytes.

    He has shown great promise as a tank commander, but it seems inadvertently so. The Knicks currently have a -10.67 SRS, which, if the season ended today, would be the worst mark since the 2012 Bobcats went 7-59 for a -13.96 SRS.

  118. geo

    I would have guessed intellectual dishonesty would refer more to dishonesty with oneself rather than with others…

  119. djphan

    and another thing is that.. if you wanted a youth movement… we have it already! literally the only guy who has seen regular play time over 25 is marcus morris…

    and the fanbase isnt exactly tolerating things now…

  120. geo

    it’s funny – if ever there was someone whom I could envision employing a mercenary type work force, it is james dolan…

    that man is a black hole of charisma and leadership…

  121. Frank

    Fizdale is not the source of the problem, but no doubt he is part of the problem. He’s a baseball manager (meaning manager of personalities), not a basketball coach. From the beginning we have all noticed that the team doesn’t seem to have any coherent idea on either end of the court, unless you call allowing Julius Randle or Bobby Portis to end up switched onto the opponent’s best offensive player every possession a coherent idea.

    What is the offensive system? They run actions but do it in a crappy way. He “empowers” players to spread their wings, but sometimes limited players are limited players for a reason – ie. they can’t (yet) do the stuff you’re asking them to do. Fine, have Julius Randle play like Lebron James, but how many 5 TO games do you have to have before you say no more and tell players you’ll do what they’re good at and not other stuff?

    It’s cliche by now but with the Nets and Atkinson, there was no mystery about what their system was going to be. No matter who was on the court, they played the system and it was identifiable and had principles. Nick Nurse said we’re not going to shoot midrangers anymore unless forced to by the clock and created drills to make the players look for a better shot than that midranger (if I remember correctly, when they scrimmaged in training camp, midrange shots were worth negative points). We on the other hand like running post-ups (not to pass, but to shoot) all day long.

    Fizdale seems like a nice guy, but he was brought in to recruit players and manage personalities, neither of which is what an NBA coach should have as #1 and #2 on their skills list.

    And btw shoot me if Mills gets to hire another coach, and it ends up being Mark Jackson. Give me JVG back.

  122. Owen

    #32 That was pretty awesome!!! Who says KB is ancient internet?

    I got to say, I do love how old school this interface is and the way it gives me bizarre nostalgia for the tech of yesteryear.

    I concur with most. This fanbase will be fine letting the kids play and clearing the deck for Masai in 2021. They are clearly more intelligent than a FO which has a low floor and a ceiling of being about average. They will always have Mitch on their resumes. That was a great pick. But I can’t wait for Mills to be shown the door.

  123. JK47

    fanbase won’t be rational enough to tolerate extended bad play either….

    See, this is where you lose me.

    The fan base has ALREADY tolerated extended bad play for a truly epic amount of time. It has already happened! This is the umpteenth iteration of a bad veteran team with no hope attached to it, and the fans still exist.

    We KNOW that the fan base tolerates losing. We have a massive, oceanic sample size that proves this beyond any doubt.

  124. Farfa

    and the fanbase isnt exactly tolerating things now…

    Sure, as I’m not tolerating them since at least February, but that’s because you see nothing in terms of actual development on the court. And that’s entirely on the coach.

  125. thenamestsam

    I mean both things can be true. Fiz clearly is being scapegoated – last year’s team was built to suck and duly sucked; this year’s team also sucks only Perry/Mills appear to have not broken that news to Dolan in advance and now they’re looking for a fall guy. But also there’s no evidence whatsoever that Fiz is even a replacement level NBA coach:

    He has been poor developmentally with the young guys – too harsh on Frank, not enough minutes for Mitch, let Knox lean in to too many bad habits last year.

    Communication was supposed to be his strength, but wasn’t able to bring KP back to the fold, again his treatment of Frank hasn’t seemed to strike the balance most likely to work for him, Mitch’s recent comments sure sounded like a failure of Fiz communication.

    The systems development stuff has been really poor. Yes, he’s been hamstrung with ill-formed rosters, low continuity and a real lack of NBA level guard play, but good coaches can implant a discernible style with identifiable benefits even on bad teams – see Atkinson and the Nets over the last few years. Fiz has been an abject failure in this regard on both ends of the court.

    His in game coaching is not good either. His rotations are all over the place; he plays some lineups that leave you scratching your head; it’s definitely not clear that he has any idea which players are good and what the best ways to combine them are.

    I don’t really have a single good thing to say about the job he has done here.

  126. thenoblefacehumper

    We have evidence that helps us answer this question. Just last season the team was miserable…but I didn’t hear much complaining from fans because most of the minutes were going to guys who had (mostly remote) chances to be part of our future. People understood the plan and I see no reason to think they wouldn’t have again if we just kind of ran it back, this time with RJ, some salary dump guys, and UDFA/G-League types.

    I think the broader point djphan is making (i.e. that there are generally pressures to not have terrible records for consecutive years) has some merit, but I just don’t see the pressure coming from fans.

  127. thenoblefacehumper

    and another thing is that.. if you wanted a youth movement… we have it already! literally the only guy who has seen regular play time over 25 is marcus morris…

    I think an actual “youth movement” requires:
    1) Young players with a prayer of being productive, so not Bobby Portis
    2) Young players you have some semblance of team control over for a bit, so basically none of the guys we signed outside of Randle

  128. Jack Bauer

    @138 – Well said Frank

    “From the beginning we have all noticed that the team doesn’t seem to have any coherent idea on either end of the court,” – This is true and 100% on the coach. I think he’s about to have Mills stab him in the back but he is not helping the team get better so Adios, I won’t miss him.

  129. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    None of Mills, Perry, or Fizdale is competent at any aspect of their jobs. It’s that simple.

    They don’t understand how to value players in either basketball or economic terms.

    They don’t understand the complexities of basketball well enough to create a team of complimentary players, lineups, and strategies so the team output is maximized.

    They don’t understand the personality intangibles that lead to success and winning.

    They are the functional equivalent of the average fan that watches a lot of basketball and plays fantasy sports with his father or son. Somehow, in this marvelous country of ours, people that have no idea what they are doing can “inherit” positions of power (like Dolan) or rise through the ranks of their given field because they possess qualities other than competence (good corporate politicians, good self promoters, snake oil salesmen, powerful friends etc..) and get very far all while being clueless.

    Dolan is the head of the snake, but he’s not going anywhere. We are going to have to hope he hires a competent person by accident and then gives him FULL control over all management and basketball this time.

  130. djphan

    The fan base has ALREADY tolerated extended bad play for a truly epic amount of time. It has already happened! This is the umpteenth iteration of a bad veteran team with no hope attached to it, and the fans still exist.

    i’m not disagreeing too much… all of us still being here is proof enough… that is very very clear to me….

    but where i think we’re off on is the perspective…. in order for a true youth movement to occur you need dolan to sign off on it… that’s not happening… this drama should be proof enough that you can’t be really bad for so long…. that’s the constraint your working with as a gm…

    and the fans will be there no matter what….. but that’s not what matters…. the fans are outraged… and we have young players… this is probably the best collection of young talent we’ve had since we drafted ewing…

    but what really matters is true progress… young players who are actually good… you can keep trotting out luke kornet and mario hezonja… but keeping those guys around isn’t exactly a youth movement… that’s being dumb…

    to me… the fanbase solely sticking around isn’t exactly a sign of tolerance…. the fanbase is asking for heads to roll too… and they’re probably justified with fiz and mills… but they’re also not exactly giving a mostly young roster much room either….

    i’m guilty of that too…. it’s tough losing games by 20 pts to bad teams… but this is what happens… i mean if someone told you that we were starting frank… and playing knox and portis heavy rotation minutes… most ppl would have oh-welled a 2-8 record….

    we don’t have harden.. westbrook and durant… it’s much much less than that… and this is what you have… past draft mistakes led to this…. there might be light at the end of the tunnel but this is what you have to deal with currently in a less than ideal scenario….

  131. Jack Bauer

    “Dolan is the head of the snake, but he’s not going anywhere. We are going to have to hope he hires a competent person by accident and then gives him FULL control over all management and basketball this time.” – OR GETS HIT BY A BUS

  132. JK47

    We are going to have to hope he hires a competent person by accident and then gives him FULL control over all management and basketball this time.

    You were doing pretty good there until you tried to sneak in the usual “it wasn’t Phil’s fault” horseshit.

  133. E

    It’s not a matter of fault. While he had autonomy and obvious power, he did not have FULL autonomy. Having to accept Mills as GM is not FULL autonomy. Not being able to fire some b/ball and medical people and bring in his own (reported in the papers at some length) is not FULL autonomy. Getting fired because you offered a player in trade is not FULL autonomy. (It’s barely autonomy at all.)

    Even if Dolan is somehow able to buy Ujiri, it only matters if Ujiri is able to get Mills finally out of the building. If Ujiri comes and Mills is still around, I won’t be excited in the least — just as the announcement on Phil press conference day that Mills would still be around sapped all the potential excitement out of that.

  134. JK47

    Getting fired because you offered a player in trade is not FULL autonomy.

    He got fired because the “win now” team he assembled sucked elephant dick

  135. E

    Nah, the only point is that the only imperative now is that Mills has to be removed from the building and the fact that he survived the hiring of Phil makes that hope less likely.

    Nothing else matters. If Mills is fired tomorrow and it’s Perry and Fizdale the rest of the year, I don’t even care. Mills absolutely has to go.

  136. Early Bird

    At least give Fizdale until game 20, gives the players time to adjust to one another and for the PGs to come back.

    Without looking at the schedule, I think he gets fired around game 17.

    Whoever gets to run this trash heap next isn’t gonna do much better anyway.

  137. Early Bird

    How about Patrick Ewing as an interim coach?

    I want Ewing back so badly. It’d be cathartic and may lift this godawful curse we’ve had since trading him.

  138. Grocer

    We are going to have to hope he hires a competent person by accident and then gives him FULL control over all management and basketball this time.

    Eerily similar to previous work, may be a copy/paste. 170/200, would not read again.

  139. Early Bird

    Mudiay has improved, Frank appears to have improved. If Fizdale can make that happen for our young guys, I don’t care how bad his Xs and Os are. We’re gonna suck, might as well keep Fizdale. Mills and Perry should take the fall for assembling this tank-tastic team.

    Also fire whoever is in charge of shooting. *Cough* Smart *cough*

  140. KnickfaninNJ

    At least give Fizdale until game 20, gives the players time to adjust to one another and for the PGs to come back.

    I support this. I remember reading that Steve Kerr had a hard time getting the Warriors to buy into his scheme when he was first the head coach there. He finally had some game at home with no games scheduled for the next few days and he told them something like if you do everything that I am telling you in this game then I will give you the next couple of days off. They did, they won in a blowout, and there was no looking back.

    I bring up this story because I think with a basically entire new team, they may be being told stuff that they aren’t executing yet, at least not most of the time. And remember that if one player doesn’t execute but the rest do, it’s easy to sub him out, but if the whole team isn’t executing, it’s harder to cure. At some point it doesn’t matter whether they aren’t doing what they are asked or whether they are doing what is asked but it isn’t working. But I don’t think we are at that point yet. Ten more games seems reasonable to me.

  141. Hubert

    So you say we’re due for Chris Paul, huh?

    I’m at the point where I wouldn’t hate Chris Paul as long as it was only for expiring contracts.

    He’d bring a measure of respectability that this team probably needs more than an ~8% increase in lottery odds.

  142. Frank

    this is what I’d say about Dolan.

    I don’t think this current thing is his fault – I mean ultimately he hired Mills who presided over this whole disaster so of course it is in some way his fault — but it’s not his fault in the usual Dolan sense where he meddles and messes things up. I think he genuinely has kept out of day-to-day matters. The problem is he has allowed Steve Mills to sell him a bill of goods over and over again.

    Mills has to go.

    Re: Ujiri – there is a negative 1000000% chance he comes unless he’s allowed to clean and fumigate the whole organization. If he’s willing to accept the job without being able to do that, we probably didn’t want him in the first place.

  143. Dink

    It’s not a matter of fault. While he had autonomy and obvious power, he did not have FULL autonomy. Having to accept Mills as GM is not FULL autonomy.

    If PJax, in fact, did not have full autonomy then that’s on him. Do you really think Dolan would have balked at firing/demoting Mills if Phil requested it as a condition to his hiring?

    Phil held all the cards when the Knicks were courting him. It would’ve created a media shitstorm if PJax turned down the job because the Knicks wanted to make Mills his GM. Even a dullard like Dolan would’ve recognized that.

    Phil absolutely could’ve cleaned house if he wanted to. But he didn’t, for whatever reason. (likely because he’s a terrible executive)

  144. cgreene

    @161 I actually agree. Best way to teach the young players is for them to play with someone who really knows what they are doing. Send out the new 1+1’s after Dec 15 for CP3. Keep picks and youth. OKC would not go for it. Some contender is going to give them something of value for him at some point to make a run at a title.

  145. djphan

    i did compare porzingis to bargnani prior to that draft…. the rookie year made me take it back… but maybe i shouldn’t have!

    winslow over kp may have been the right call afterall…

  146. Brian Cronin Post author

    I had a whole post up before the draft about how shockingly weak KP was in Europe, where guards would routinely overpower him (and European guards, for the most part, are not exactly physical behemoths), but then he came out in his rookie season and played like the exact opposite of what I saw in Europe (I watched so many of his European games as that was such a big draft for the Knicks). I was really impressed by the change in his game, but yeah, maybe it’s gone away since then (the ACL injury probably doesn’t help).

  147. bobneptune

    Some contender is going to give them something of value for him at some point to make a run at a title.

    What contender has a 38 M slot with either a good player they want to swap for Chris Paul’s 3 remaining years or short term contracts OKC can either move for low 1st round picks or let expire???

    Who has better assets than say Randle, Morris and DSJr to make the money work. Seriously….. talk about the law of unintended consequences……

  148. Ntilakilla

    Why would any competent HC candidate ever consider playing for the Knicks front office after the way Perry and Mills are doing Fizdale dirty? They gave him a 29 win team without its injured star, traded that star, failed to bring in any major FAs, and then added Julius Randle/Bobby Portis/Marquise Morris/Wayne Ellington to a 17 game win team only to turn around threaten his job 10 games into the next season.

  149. Brian Cronin Post author

    What contender has a 38 M slot with either a good player they want to swap for Chris Paul’s 3 remaining years or short term contracts OKC can either move for low 1st round picks or let expire???

    Who has better assets than say Randle, Morris and DSJr to make the money work. Seriously….. talk about the law of unintended consequences……

    I could see a deal where the Heat trade Dragic and Olynyk and a future protected first round pick in exchange for Paul and one of the two Heat first round picks that the Heat owe the Thunder (presumably the top ten protected one).

  150. Bruno Almeida

    @172

    Unless the Heat really want the big name or the picks involved, that would be really stupid. Dragic is playing better than Paul this season and is on an expiring contract, and Olynyk’s contract isn’t even enough to do the swap, they’d have to add one of Waiters, Meyers Leonard or James Johnson just to make the trade.

    I think OKC will just keep Paul for now until the deadline, then see if anyone gets desperate. I could see Riley trying to make a deal if the Heat still look good by then, but there’s no real good deal to be found for Paul’s insanity of a contract.

  151. Early Bird

    Sounds like DSJr is back tonight.

    Here’s a question: if the Knicks don’t make any trades which of the 1+1 players should we keep?

    Bullock – TBD
    Portis – lol, no but we probably do anyway
    Ellington – No
    Payton – yes
    Taj – Yes, but easy to let go

  152. thenamestsam

    Yup, agree with Bob. I mentioned this before the season but the money is really hard to make work in a CP3 deal. It’s really hard to have a contending team and have $38M in “extra” salary. So you’d have to trade from your core to get CP3. In fact almost any trade you can construct would have to have a “star” going the other direction because few teams have the midsize salaries to bundle up into that large a salary without leaving them hopelessly thin, and if you have star from whom the upgrade to CP3 would be worth even considering that contract you probably aren’t a contender.

    Some potential constructions that I think are the least implausible just to get the idea (not going to try to figure out how many picks should be going which direction in these deals, just looking at salary matching):

    -To Utah for Conley. Makes some sense on a surface short-term level if Conley keeps struggling but would put Utah in tax hell going forward which is probably a non-starter.

    -To Philly for Tobias Harris. They could use a real on-ball creator, and Harris’ deal is maybe questionable but man this would be a big gamble on winning this year when their timeline isn’t that urgent otherwise.

    -To Denver for Milsap. Again this puts a huge emphasis on winning immediately for a team with more long-term visions and puts a team with an aversion to the tax in huge trouble going forward.

    -To the Heat for flotsam+jetsam. One of the few teams that actually does have enough midsize salaries on non-core guys to make it work and maybe playing well enough to talk themselves into it. CP3+Butler seems like a powderkeg but this is probably most likely.

  153. Hubert

    I had a whole post up before the draft about how shockingly weak KP was in Europe, where guards would routinely overpower him (and European guards, for the most part, are not exactly physical behemoths), but then he came out in his rookie season and played like the exact opposite of what I saw in Europe (I watched so many of his European games as that was such a big draft for the Knicks). I was really impressed by the change in his game, but yeah, maybe it’s gone away since then (the ACL injury probably doesn’t help).

    In retrospect, we know now that you were probably looking at February Porzingis in Europe. He probably crushed those same guards 4 months earlier.

  154. Grocer

    Why would any competent HC candidate ever consider playing for the Knicks front office after the way Perry and Mills are doing Fizdale dirty?

    This is a fair point, but I think they’re angrier about how the team has been playing than they are about the record. The game against Cleveland was disgusting. It’d be a bigger problem if they were okay with that level of effort.

  155. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How long is Paul under contract again? Anyone who makes a playoff push will have to eat his contract for what, another two years after this one. That’s a poison pill.

  156. bobneptune

    I could see a deal where the Heat trade Dragic and Olynyk and a future protected first round pick in exchange for Paul and one of the two Heat first round picks that the Heat owe the Thunder (presumably the top ten protected one).

    Is CP3 today that much of an upgrade over Dragic where you want to eat an extra 100M in salary over the next 2.8 years???

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1_hint=Goran+Dragi%C4%87&player_id1_select=Goran+Dragi%C4%87&y1=2020&player_id1=dragigo01&idx=players&player_id2_hint=Chris+Paul&player_id2_select=Chris+Paul&y2=2020&player_id2=paulch01&idx=players

    And the Heat looks like the only other possible trade.

  157. Brian Cronin Post author

    Is CP3 today that much of an upgrade over Dragic where you want to eat an extra 100M in salary over the next 2.8 years???

    I don’t think so, but the Heat literally tried to dump Dragic this year just to clear up space to acquire Butler, so they very well could think otherwise. I think OKC’s reticence to give the Heat’s pick back is the only thing keeping them from doing that deal.

  158. bobneptune

    How long is Paul under contract again? Anyone who makes a playoff push will have to eat his contract for what, another two years after this one. That’s a poison pill.

    Contract
    CP3
    Team 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
    Oklahoma City Thunder $38,506,482 $41,358,814 $44,211,146

  159. Frank O.

    Maybe this isn’t a new thought here. I haven’t read every comment.
    But I feel a bit like the assessment of KP is a bit unfair.
    Meaning, if he is basically showing the same performance as from before his knee injury, in his first 10 games back, I view that as highly positive and shows he has significant upside.
    Roughly one-third never return from an ACL tear.

    I think by midseason he has a very good chance of being a very good player. Max-worthy? probably not, but with some small improvement in some surprising areas his TS could be greatly improved. Inexplicably he is shooting only 68% from the line, which is ridiculous for a guy with his touch. If he gets to his season 1 83%, his TS is much better.
    He’s getting about 8 boards a game. It wouldn’t take a huge lift for him to get to 10.
    And frankly it feels like his rebounds and his overall shooting % would improve if he took a couple fewer 3PT shots. He’s putting up 7/36, or about 40% of all his shots. For a 7’3 guy, that seems like not the smartest move. And by taking fewer more choice 3s, he can get his .375% 3PT average to his 2017-18 levels of .395%.

    So, for me the jury is out on KP. Mid season or later will be a better assessment.

  160. bobneptune

    I don’t think so, but the Heat literally tried to dump Dragic this year just to clear up space to acquire Butler, so they very well could think otherwise. I think OKC’s reticence to give the Heat’s pick back is the only thing keeping them from doing that deal.

    As far as OKC is concerned …. why isn’t the proposed Knick offer markedly better???

  161. Brian Cronin Post author

    As far as OKC is concerned …. why isn’t the proposed Knick offer markedly better???

    Oh, it’s definitely better. I just doubt the Knicks would make that offer.

  162. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Gaines on Porzingis

    Clarence Gaines
    @ClarenceGaines2
    Coming back from ACL injury is tough – KP has bounced back nicely but not quite there with his def. lateral quickness – having a tough time containing & cutting off @AntDavis23 on baseline drives – sometimes takes 2 years to get back to full strength. Progress is not linear

  163. GianaDani

    If Riley pulls off CP3, pairs him with Jimmy Butler, with Spoelstra coaching them, he’s only ONE piece away from EC finals. Would love for him to swoop AD from LBJ this summer. At the end of last season, he was in salary cap hell with scrub mediocre players on roster. His ability to bounce back after a a number of poor decisions is remarkable.

  164. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    You were doing pretty good there until you tried to sneak in the usual “it wasn’t Phil’s fault” horseshit.

    You typically do especially well when you are talking about music, but your talent in music is rivaled by your lack of balance on some issues related to the Knicks. :-)

    We can argue all day about where the buck stops.

    Was it Dolan, Phil, or Mills?

    My very simple point is that understanding basketball and being a good GM are two different skillsets.

    When I was gambling I was 100% focused on a player’s basketball value to his team (+3, +5, -2 etc…). I didn’t have a clue as to how to convert that into a fair salary or contract. I didn’t care then because it didn’t matter to what I was doing. I still don’t really care unless it’s extreme.

    Phil understands basketball.

    He was a bad GM.

    He was forced to work with Mills as his GM.

    That was a terrible idea, but he agreed to his contract and signed off on all player deals and contracts. So he is ultimately responsible for making his own bed. That doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s a brilliant basketball mind and never would have built the unbalanced heap of garbage we have now. He would have probably made different GM level mistakes, but I’m sure we’d be way better off than we’ve been with guys that don’t understand anything.

  165. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    If Riley pulls off CP3, pairs him with Jimmy Butler, with Spoelstra coaching them, he’s only ONE piece away from EC finals. Would love for him to swoop AD from LBJ this summer. At the end of last season, he was in salary cap hell with scrub mediocre players on roster. His ability to bounce back after a a number of poor decisions is remarkable.

    He made some GM level salary/contract mistakes like they all do, but time heals some of those and he’s still a great basketball mind.

  166. swiftandabundant

    I actually think a good coach and/or a good GM would love the opportunity to take over The Knicks as currently constructed. Despite all the negativity, we are set up quite nicely long term. Sure, we need more foundational pieces but RJ, Mitch, Knox and maybe Frank is not a bad start to a youth movement. You got 2 starters, a potential 6th man and a defensive bench specialist. Then you got flexibility with the 1-1’s to trade or simply not resign some of the players. Randle is still a very young and potentially good piece too. We got extra picks too…6 first rounders in the next 4 years and at least one of those gotta be a lottery pick (and maybe 2 or more depending on how the dallas picks land).

    So a good coach who could implement a real system and a good GM could build on this. We are in a much better situation than we were when Phil left and a lot better than when Phil took over.

    So I think a good coach and good GM would like this situation IF they knew they had real control.

  167. TheClashFan

    Contract
    CP3
    Team 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
    Oklahoma City Thunder $38,506,482 $41,358,814 $44,211,146

    Ouch. Ouch. And Ouch. Yeah, hard pass.

  168. thenamestsam

    I feel like the “Phil knew basketball but just was undone by the contract side of things” theory really has to contend with some severe basketball level misses during his tenure. The Noah deal wasn’t like a slight mis-valuing of a guy. It was a complete miss on the fact that he was totally washed up. Hiring Fisher wasn’t bad because they paid him too much or whatever; they hired a guy primarily because Phil knew him well who was such a bad NBA coach he is never getting another crack at it. The DRose move was poor asset management but way worse for the fact that Rose just didn’t fit at all and wasn’t good anymore. I just can’t square that style of mistake with the narrative you’re trying to spin around it Strat.

  169. Z-man

    He got fired because the “win now” team he assembled sucked elephant dick

    To be fair, that was only when the circus was in town….

  170. Z-man

    I’d gladly trade for CP3 if some nice, juicy picks came with him. Even 2 years from now when he’s expiring, he’ll still be the best PG we’ve had since Clyde.

  171. Dink

    Gaines on Porzingis

    Clarence Gaines
    @ClarenceGaines2
    Coming back from ACL injury is tough – KP has bounced back nicely but not quite there with his def. lateral quickness – having a tough time containing & cutting off @AntDavis23 on baseline drives – sometimes takes 2 years to get back to full strength. Progress is not linear

    Dallas must be stoked. Traded for KP and gave him the max so they can wait two years to see if he gets back his pre-injury lateral agility, which was mediocre to begin with.

    He was forced to work with Mills as his GM.

    Cut the crap. He chose to work with Mills. If he didn’t want Mills as his GM he could’ve refused the job. Jackson had all the leverage in 2014, Dolan had zilch.

  172. Brian Cronin Post author

    I’d gladly trade for CP3 if some nice, juicy picks came with him. Even 2 years from now when he’s expiring, he’ll still be the best PG we’ve had since Clyde.

    But if they were willing to give out picks with CP3, he’d probably already be on Miami. I think Presti is willing to just eat the contract rather than give up picks to move it.

  173. E

    I’d take CP3 if an unprotected or barely-protected 1 was attached. Of course, the Knicks are way too stupid to ever get that barely-protected 1 included, so it’s a moot point. And if a 1 is on the table going with him, the Knicks would get outbid.

  174. Donnie Walsh

    I remember reading that Steve Kerr had a hard time getting the Warriors to buy into his scheme when he was first the head coach there. He finally had some game at home with no games scheduled for the next few days and he told them something like if you do everything that I am telling you in this game then I will give you the next couple of days off. They did, they won in a blowout, and there was no looking back.

    This is clearly post hoc mythology. Kerr’s warriors won their first five games by an average of 15 points per game, and there were no days off that precipitated the 16 game winning streak they went on after their first loss.

  175. Hubert

    Contract
    CP3
    Team 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
    Oklahoma City Thunder $38,506,482 $41,358,814 $44,211,146

    The money is insane. But we’re a fucking joke. If Paul is merely diminished but not washed, I think he could make us a team that people at least take seriously. He’d help every young player immensely.

    I’d rather have him than the next Portis-Gibson-Morris troika. That’s all we’re ever going to get until someone comes in and changes things. No free agent is ever gonna sign here, and that includes Masai.

  176. JK47

    You typically do especially well when you are talking about music, but your talent in music is rivaled by your lack of balance on some issues related to the Knicks. :-)

    Ok, take the smarm and cram it up your ass. To most people here, you’re a running joke. You’re a punchline.

    You can keep trying to play this semantic game, that somehow Phil Jackson’s horrible mistakes were somebody else’s fault, but I assume Big Chief Mustache had both a calculator and veto power, so nobody is buying that ridiculous and embarrassing argument.

    It was Phil Jackson who decided to build a team around noted great team players who move the ball a lot Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, and to add in some pinch post sauce from Joakim Noah to the tune of $72M. He actually thought that was the core of a contending team. Not Steve Mills, not James Dolan, PHIL JACKSON wanted those players. For basketball reasons. That’s sort of at odds with the “great basketball mind” image you’re peddling

    Phil was at one time a legitimately great coach. He was given some great rosters to work with, but he deserves all the credit in the world for getting the most out of those talented rosters. But actually building the roster himself? Clueless. That’s where the Peter Principle kicked in and the limitations of his “great basketball mind” became rather obvious.

    You just can’t admit you were wrong. That’s all this is, all of these circumlocutions and all of this buck passing. You just cannot. Admit. That. You. Were. Wrong.

  177. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Haha yeah 2020 Chris Paul is definitely a “championship piece.”

    How the fuck do people think that a basketball player will replicate his, say, 2009 season in 2020? Like is this really a thing?

  178. Nick C.

    jeez why don;’t we argue about whether Moog the neanderthal really did a terrible job leading the mastadon hunt or whether Ook gave him low quality spears. This Phil Jackson argument is so old.

  179. thenamestsam

    I think Presti is willing to just eat the contract rather than give up picks to move it.

    Yup. There’s no way they’re paying for him to be gone. Their rebuild is in it’s very early stages – the teardown isn’t even really complete yet (along with CP3 they’ll try to trade Adams and Gallo at the deadline). And they’re never going to be a free agency destination. Why would they ever pay a pick to open future cap space at this point in their cycle? They’ll wait and see if they can ever get anything for him and maybe eventually buy him out at some point. But they’re not paying anyone to take him.

  180. geo

    Ok, take the smarm and cram it up your ass.

    fuck it, say what you want – but, i could read jk telling music stories – or, firing for effect on folks – all damn day…

    i think you may have said one time you wuz from upstate…but, yeah, you’d have fit in perfect out on the island…

  181. KnickfaninNJ

    This is clearly post hoc mythology. Kerr’s warriors won their first five games by an average of 15 points per game, and there were no days off that precipitated the 16 game winning streak they went on after their first loss.

    I definitely read this somewhere. It wasn’t that they were losing all the games. They just weren’t playing the way Kerr wanted them to.

  182. geo

    as much as i think we absolutely would benefit to have cp3 on our squad teaching people how to play basketball on both ends of the court – it would be a lot cheaper just to find a coach, that can teach those things…

  183. Ntilakilla

    Can’t we all just get along? The Knicks suck, the world is burning, and there’s no easy fix solution to either problem on the horizon.

    Last thing we need in life is animosity over Phil Jackson of all people.

  184. geo

    I actually think a good coach and/or a good GM would love the opportunity to take over The Knicks as currently constructed.

    wait a minute now…you do follow the same new york knicks we’re all talking here right – this isn’t some other Knicks team your referring to is it?

    it’s gonna take handfuls of sweaty cash, and some concessions that jimmy d won’t want to grant to attract any kind of top level talent to this organization…

  185. bobneptune

    as much as i think we absolutely would benefit to have cp3 on our squad teaching people how to play basketball on both ends of the court – it would be a lot cheaper just to find a coach, that can teach those things…

    I think you are on to something….. trade for CP3 and make him the player/coach a la Bill Russell, Lenny Wilkins, Dave Cowens, Dave D, Richie Guerin, et al!!!

    At least he could tech them how to run a PnR properly!!!

  186. zulu1991

    I will repeat my modest proposal from last year. Knicks should turn a GM position into an algorithm. No need to hire someone like Masai, who will try to be better than other GMs, only to be undone by whims.
    Here is my algo:
    —Don’t trade any picks.
    —Sign only players whose value exceeds their salary by at least 50%. This is not difficult – pretty much all statistical models have 90% overlap on the top 20 NBA players.
    —Draft players based on consensus rankings.

    This is NOT recipe for a good GM, this is a recipe for a GM position that is not a disaster (just average). I think we would all agree that average would be better than what we have had for a long time.

  187. Brian Cronin Post author

    They’ll wait and see if they can ever get anything for him and maybe eventually buy him out at some point. But they’re not paying anyone to take him.

    The interesting thing is the suggested Miami deal, where OKC gives back Miami’s top ten protected 2021 pick and gets back, say, a 2023 unprotected pick (or, like, top five protected). That’d be a clever solution, right?

  188. Brian Cronin Post author

    The obvious benefit of hindsight right call from the KP draft was to trade down with the Celtics.

    How about Charlotte turning down three firsts so that they could draft Kaminsky!

  189. Donnie Walsh

    How about Charlotte turning down three firsts so that they could draft Kaminsky!

    It was 4 firsts, I think. And Detroit turned it down too in favor of Stanley Johnson.

  190. TheOakmanCometh

    I’ve been saying it for 15 years, and I’ll say it again……James Dolan is the worst decision-maker I have ever seen. He fires people he should retain. He retains people he should fire. He undermines effective people and gives free reign to obvious incompetents. He interferes at the worst times. Every time he opens his mouth, pettiness and stupidity pour out.

    The fastest way to become a millionaire in New York is to whisper in Dolan’s ear. Mills is just the latest con man who has convinced this trust fund millionaire that up is down and down is up.

  191. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    A crazy thought entered my brain (I can’t wait for the replies to that), If any of us were made GM today and could do anything, but free agent attitudes towards the Knicks and Dolan, etc. have not changed. How long would it take for the Knicks to compete for a championship?

    The reason I ask is because if it were me, I would need 3 years and hope to compete for a playoff spot next year after just adding one more lottery pick. I don’t think there’s a chance for the Knicks to draw a free agent for the next 2 years at least. That makes CP3’s salary irrelevant. So sure, trade for the dude. Sign Melo for the minimum. Ask Jamal Crawford if he wants to play. See if Stoudemire wants to hang out too. Is David Lee around? Nate Robinson? Play them 10 minutes a night and have them teach the kids. (Maybe we don’t sign Nate) Keep losing. Keep drafting.

    OK. I said it was crazy.

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