Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Filling Out the Roster (cont’d): Point Guards and Small Forwards

ESPN New York beat writer Jared Zwerling is saying that the Knicks plan to fill out the roster with two bigs, two point guards, and a wing. Two PGs seems a bit excessive. I’d be a little surprised if that were the mix. I take a look at some available players who could fill the various roles. I’m not going to include much on the guys we already know (e.g., Kenyon Martin, Jerome Jordan, Chris Smith).

 

BACKUP PG OPTIONS

  • Nate Robinson - It’s unlikely he signs for what NY can offer, but it’s not unthinkable. The Negatives: We know a lot about what he doesn’t bring to the table.* The Positives: Nate’s reputation as a gunner is exaggerated if not undeserved. (His career 15 FGA/36 isn’t out of sorts for combo guards.). He’s also been mostly a league average or better shooter. He’s a decent (not great) passer and has generally kept TOs to 2.5/36 or fewer. Overall: You never know. The Knicks could absolutely stand to build more redundancy into the PG position. Nate has an ideal skill set because he creates a great deal of flexibility. Woody could also stand to bring Felton’s minutes down closer to 30 MPG. It’s interesting that Nate’s name hasn’t really been linked to any other team.

*Please note that I’ll defend to the death my belief that Robinson’s reputation for immaturity was slanderously exaggerated by Mike Breen. Nate can be a bit of a clown, but he’s not Javaris Crittendon. He’s not Stephen Jackson. Hell, he’s not even Gilbert Arenas.

  • Rodgrigue Beaubois - The Negatives: He declined almost across the board after a promising rookie season. The numbers suggest: stay away entirely or at best rent-don’t-buy. The Positives: His (high) assists have remained stable, despite declines almost everywhere else. That’s a pretty big deal for a PG. So, there’s that. Overall: The question is whether, after such a promising start, he can become anything more than an end of the bench player.
  • D.J. Augustin - He’s a solid backup PG. For the money that’s out there at this point, I don’t see why he would’t re-sign with Indiana. Also, I have some concerns about whether he can defend in Woody’s switch-happy scheme.
  • Chauncey Billups – Evidently, the Knicks are in pursuit (h/t P&T). We know what he brings to the table – high assists, low turnovers, still shoots the triple. Or, at least that’s what he brought to the table. Who knows what he has left?

 

SMALL FORWARD OPTIONS

Depending on how you feel about Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks either have one or no “true” small forwards. The Knicks can play any number of players at small forward for certain matchups, including Shumpert and Smith. Still, Woody could use a traditional small forward. To be honest, few of the options look all that appetizing.

  • Anthony Morrow - He began his career as a Novakian shooter but he’s come back to earth a bit the past few seasons.
  • Lamar Odom - On a minimum deal, I’d like Lamar. A lot of what I wrote about Elton Brand rings true for Odom. He can’t shoot at all anymore, but does most everything else. NY could mix and match Odom at both forwards. The Lakers appear to be ready the amnesty Metta World Peace and are in the hunt for Odom.
  • Luke Babbitt - He probably has the most upside on this list. Heading into only his age 24 season he’s already an accomplished 3pt. shooter and a presence on the defensive glass. He could fill the Novak role.
  • Wesley Johnson - He could be a worthwhile change-of-scenery gamble, but it looks increasingly like he parlayed one fantastic season at Syracuse into a top 5 selection. I never saw much of him in college, so I don’t have a feel for whether he can play.
  • Mickael Pietrus & Dahntay Jones – Both aging defensive specialists shoot juuuust enough to retain some value.
  • Sam Young - Eww. Still, compared to Johnson at least Young can defend a bit.
  • Raja Bell – The Knicks have worked him out. (See the Billups link.) No thanks. At this point, he’d just be stealing minutes from Shumpert.
  • Metta World Peace – I initially didn’t include Metta because the Lakers had not officially amnestied him, but mostly because I just didn’t want to contemplate it. Well…  The Negatives: What role does he play for the Knicks? Is he a starter at SF? Is he a reserve at both forwards? Is he insane? He’s also a worse rebounder than Bargnani. (I bet a lot of you didn’t know that.) The Positives: He’s still got some game left in the tank. I thought his 3pt. shooting had fallen off a cliff, but it looks more like he had an outlier crappy season in 2012. He’s mostly been a good perimeter shooter. His defense may not be what it once was, but his fouls/36 have remained pretty consistent. Overall: I thought I’d be much more firmly opposed to Metta, but the more I ponder this the more it seems like signing Shane Battier just with a bit more crazy.

(UPDATE: Anthony Morrow signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. Yeah, that still sounds odd.)

26 comments on “Filling Out the Roster (cont’d): Point Guards and Small Forwards

  1. Hubert

    “I thought I’d be much more firmly opposed to Metta, but the more I ponder this the more it seems like signing Shane Battier just with a bit more crazy.”

    Interesting interpretation of “a bit”!

  2. ephus

    Everything good and bad about Nate Robinson was encapsulated in the game where he scored 20 (!) straight of the Knicks points. During that run, the Knicks managed to fall further behind. The rest of his teammates were clearly standing and watching the Nate show. If looks could kill, D’Antoni would have murdered Nate at that moment.

  3. JK47

    I don’t know how you can pass on Ron Artest if he is really truly available. The Knicks are a little short on guys who they can really count on, and MWP is both: A. Durable and B. a good NBA caliber player. Most of the options the Knicks are looking out to fill the roster are pure dreck. Gotta roll the dice on MWP if you can.

  4. Hubert

    JK47:
    I don’t know how you can pass on Ron Artest if he is really truly available.The Knicks are a little short on guys who they can really count on, and MWP is both: A. Durable and B. a good NBA caliber player.Most of the options the Knicks are looking out to fill the roster are pure dreck.Gotta roll the dice on MWP if you can.

    It is very tempting.

    But we’d all have to agree to call him Ron Artest. New York City collectively ignoring that stupid moniker would be the best part of him coming here.

  5. Glew

    This is slightly off topic but I just happened to read that harden was 5th in pick and roll scoring last year. Would anyone with synergy be able to give me the top 5 pick roll combo and whenever melo ranks?

  6. ephus

    JK47:
    I don’t know how you can pass on Ron Artest if he is really truly available.The Knicks are a little short on guys who they can really count on, and MWP is both: A. Durable and B. a good NBA caliber player.Most of the options the Knicks are looking out to fill the roster are pure dreck.Gotta roll the dice on MWP if you can.

    +1.

    Also, I’m not really comfortable with the making fun of MWP for the “crazy” – since he has acknowledged that he has psychological issues and has been working with a therapist for years. Maybe I’m being too PC.

  7. ephus

    Muhammad Ali.
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
    Metta World Peace.

    Every person has the right to be called by a name of his choice, so long as it does not deride others. Had a friend who went by “Lotus” for years. He eventually moved back to “Craig.” It’s no skin off my nose either way.

  8. TDM

    ephus: Muhammad Ali.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.Metta World Peace.Every person has the right to be called by a name of his choice, so long as it does not deride others. Had a friend who went by “Lotus” for years. He eventually moved back to “Craig.” It’s no skin off my nose either way.

    Artest is more like Ocho Cinco or He Hate Me. Rather than Kareem or Ali.

  9. JK47

    Nah, Metta World Peace is the obvious heir to the throne of World B. Free when it comes to name changing.

  10. yellowboy90

    -”momma named him Artest I’ma call him Artest”

    -”that’s right he going to always be Artest to me” :-)

  11. Hubert

    ephus: +1.

    Also, I’m not really comfortable with the making fun of MWP for the “crazy” – since he has acknowledged that he has psychological issues and has been working with a therapist for years.Maybe I’m being too PC.

    It’s not about making fun of him. You have to recognize that it’s there and you’d be introducing it to the team if you sign him.

  12. Juany8

    I’m pretty sure Artest still goes by Artest around his friends and family, I think he just wanted to have “World Peace” on the back of his jersey. He’s a good guy and a little crazy, but not as dumb as he appears sometimes

  13. flossy

    Fuck it, I hope the Knicks have Nate Robinson, JR Smith, Ron Artest and Kenyon Martin on the roster come opening night. What could go wrong?

  14. Richmond County

    MWP is tweeting pictures of himself in China wearing a Lakers shirt and a Knicks hat. He’s also hugging watermelons, so it’s hard to say if anything should be read into his choice of clothing. That said, you don’t usually see pros wearing another logo.

  15. JoMo

    According to Sheridan, there’s no way for the Knicks to get Artest. If (when) he’s amnestied, only teams below the cap can bid for his services and take on his contract. If he tries to circumvent the process by retiring, he’ll be ineligible to play until the ’14-’15 season. Whomp whomp.

  16. d-mar

    flossy:
    Fuck it, I hope the Knicks have Nate Robinson, JR Smith, Ron Artest and Kenyon Martin on the roster come opening night.What could go wrong?

    At the very least, they could star in “The Expendables III”

  17. DCrockett17 Post author

    Fair enough. That was a bit insensitive.

    ephus: +1.

    Also, I’m not really comfortable with the making fun of MWP for the “crazy” – since he has acknowledged that he has psychological issues and has been working with a therapist for years.Maybe I’m being too PC.

  18. DCrockett17 Post author

    Note: Silverman reminded me that Anthony Morrow signed with the Pelicans.

  19. Hubert

    JoMo:
    According to Sheridan, there’s no way for the Knicks to get Artest. If (when) he’s amnestied, only teams below the cap can bid for his services and take on his contract. If he tries to circumvent the process by retiring, he’ll be ineligible to play until the ’14-’15 season. Whomp whomp.

    But if none of the teams below the cap bid on him, he is a free agent and can sign with anyone. We could then acquire him for the vet’s minimum.

  20. johnno

    JoMo: According to Sheridan, there’s no way for the Knicks to get Artest.

    Not entirely true. Only teams under the cap can bid for him. If anyone submits a bid, he has two choices — play for them or retire. If none submit a bid, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. I can’t remember whether it was Billups or Baron Davis, but one of those two guys got amnestied and threatened to retire if anyone put in a bid, so no one did and he became unrestricted.

  21. flossy

    JoMo:
    According to Sheridan, there’s no way for the Knicks to get Artest. If (when) he’s amnestied, only teams below the cap can bid for his services and take on his contract. If he tries to circumvent the process by retiring, he’ll be ineligible to play until the ’14-’15 season. Whomp whomp.

    If no team under the cap claims him, he’d become an unrestricted free agent. I can’t see there being a lot of teams under the cap who really want an unhappy Ron Artest on their roster (or who would claim him knowing he’d retire, just to fuck with the Knicks).

  22. Hubert

    The only team under the cap I could think of who would do something to mess with the Knicks is Indiana. Which would be kind of hysterical.

  23. Hubert

    strike that. they’re not under the cap any more.

    Houston might be a smidge under the cap, hard to tell. Hoops hype doesn’t update frequently.

    Maybe a stupid team like Cleveland or Milwaukee bids on him. I was going to say Detroit, but that would be even more unlikely than Indiana.

  24. danvt

    flossy: Fuck it, I hope the Knicks have Nate Robinson, JR Smith, Ron Artest and Kenyon Martin on the roster come opening night. What could go wrong?

    and they could all be on the court together!

  25. Donnie Walsh

    …wait, didn’t Nate Robinson and JR Smith ignite a brawl at MSG together? (that Carmelo Anthony ran away from!)

    Yeah, put those two on a team together, throw in some Ron Artest, and you’ve got a megaton bomb sitting on the floor of the Garden every night. (from which Carmelo Anthony can run away– all the way to Los Angeles)

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