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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Forum Blue and Gold Interview

Before the second meeting between the Knicks and Lakers this season, I asked Darius Soriano of Forum Blue and Gold a couple questions about the view from Lakeside. Without further ado…

Knickerblogger: The media perennially is in distress about the “decline” of the Lakers as they muddle through some regular season games, but the two straight championships which have followed those mid-season worries seem to make such prognostication foolish. However, as we all know in the NBA age eventually takes its toll. Are Lakers fans worried that this is the year a decline really does happen, or are you unfazed?

ForumBlueandGold: I don’t think Laker fans are too concerned with this year being the year that age catches up to the Lakers. The oldest Lakers (that are expected to contribute) are Fisher and Kobe and both of those players still provide what’s expected of them – though I would add that concerns about Fisher are always present and that has little to do with his age.

As for Kobe, he continues to show an evolution in his game that has me believing that he can be extremely effective for 2-3 more seasons quite easily. With his continued refinement of a low post game and his uncanny ability to still get to his favorite spots on the floor due to his fantastic footwork, his overall game isn’t so much declining but just changing into a new way to control a contest.

In the end, I think the biggest concerns are still related to a combination of the Lakers’ health and the overall strength of other teams relative to the Lakers. In years past, the Lakers’ margin for error was larger due to the fact that they had more talent than other teams, especially in the big man department. However, with the rise of the Spurs, the continued excellence from the Celtics, and the additions of Bosh and LeBron to the Heat, other teams are now closer to the Lakers in talent and depth and that has fans concerned that a march through the playoffs will be much more difficult.

Knickerblogger: How do you see Andrew Bynum’s career unfolding? Knicks fans will always remember Isiah’s drafting Channing Frye over Bynum, and his connection (or lack thereof) to the latest Melo rumors seem to indicate that he is valued highly within the Lakers organization. However, he’s been injury prone, and waiting until after the World Cup to get knee surgery doesn’t seem to display the competitive fire of a Kobe or a Michael.

ForumBlueandGold: I’m probably higher on Bynum than most. Obviously his history of injuries is concerning and even if he gets through an entire season relatively healthy the thought that he could suffer another leg injury is always on the mind. That said, you just don’t often see a man with his combination of size and skillset. I’m not arguing that he’s in the class of Howard or a healthy Yao Ming, but he shows tremendous polish in the low post, great hands, and continues to improve his defense by better controlling the paint.

As for the questions about the surgery delay, I think those reports were overblown. Kobe too waited until after the World Cup to have the arthriscopic surgery on his knee. The difference between the two is that when Bynum actually went under the knife his surgeon decided to repair his torn meniscus rather than shave off the damaged portion. This surgery is more complex than a the typical operation performed and leads to longer recovery time. In the long run, though, this type of surgery is better for Bynum and should promote better health in his knee. Believe me, just like many other fans, I was frustrated that it took so long for him to recover and was distressed when Pau had to log so many extra minutes to compensate for Bynum being absent. But if he’s healthy through the end of this year and has relatively good health moving forward the extended healing time was well worth it.

Insider Point #1: Many fans think of the Lakers and assume that they’re a very good home team but I think many would be surprised that they’re actually just as good (if not better) on the road. This season they’ve already lost as many home games as they did all of last year. Meanwhile if the Lakers are able to beat the Knicks they’ll have the exact same record at home as they do on the road and would tie the Spurs for the most road wins in the league at this point (19). So, for those that are concerned that the Lakers may not be able to win without home court advantage, I think it’s important to note that they’re actually a very good road team. (I’d also point out that in the Lakers last two championship runs they’ve closed out 5 of their 8 playoff series on the road, including the 2009 Finals against the Magic.)

Insider Point #2: With such a top heavy team – especially one with the start power of the Lakers – you’d think missing a bench player wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I’ve really noticed how much the Lakers miss Matt Barnes. Barnes is key player on some of the Lakers best performing units and has brought an added dimension to the Lakers’ offense as a slasher and offensive rebounder from the wing position that no one else can really provide. Since Barnes has been out with his injury, the Lakers have still been performing well as a group but the second unit has suffered and many times Phil Jackson has had to go to Kobe at back up SF. Some may recall that this was the case last year as well, but with Luke Walton healthy this year I was hoping Kobe wouldn’t have to spend much time at the 3. But that just hasn’t been the case as Luke just hasn’t been able to string together positive performances consistently.

57 comments on “Forum Blue and Gold Interview

  1. Nick C.

    Nice job. What is the deal with Luke Walton’s de-evolution? With Derek Fisher being, well, Derek Fisher I would have thought Steve Blake would have been a bigger contributor than he appears from the box scores.

  2. ess-dog

    Bucher is now saying that Denver’s “counter offer” is Melo for Gallo, Chandler, Timo, Fields and two 1st rounders.

  3. KnicksFanInVA

    Wow, four starters and two 1st round draft picks?? Holy crap that’s a bit much. Don’t do it Donnie!

  4. Jafa

    ess-dog: Bucher is now saying that Denver’s “counter offer” is Melo for Gallo, Chandler, Timo, Fields and two 1st rounders.  

    Well, if they throw in Nene, Lawson & JR we’ll take it.

  5. Darius

    #1. Nick C.,
    I think injuries have really affected Walton’s game. He was never an athletic player but he always had good size for a SF and an underrated post game. However, after injuring his back, he’s not as good at getting deep post position and whatever quickness he had is lessened now. Without getting deep into the post and not able to shoot over the top of even smaller defenders (Courtney Lee blocked his shot in the post in the Rockets game last week) he’s now strictly a set up man. He still fills that role well, but his other limitations hamper him more now than ever.

    As for Blake, I think it comes down to aggression. He’s simply not looking to shoot or make himself a threat on offense enough. So while he’s ably running the offense (he’s adjusted well to the Triangle) he’s not scoring well and at times is too content with getting the team into its sets. There are times where I wish he had a bit more Fisher in him; that extra bit of confidence/selfishness where he just decides “I’m going to go after my own on this possession”. I don’t think he should do that a lot, mind you, just more than he currently does (which is basically never).

  6. Frank O.

    ess-dog: Bucher is now saying that Denver’s “counter offer” is Melo for Gallo, Chandler, Timo, Fields and two 1st rounders.  

    HAHAHA!!!!

    that’s just fuckin’ funny. Hilarious.
    Apparently, that deal also requires that Denver’s GM gets to piss in Walsh’s face, screw his wife, put a meat jacket on his puppy and throw it to Michael Vick’s fighting dogs, and reinstate Isiah as GM of the Knicks.
    I find the last probably the most offensive, although the puppy thing is just wrong. :)

  7. Frank O.

    Frank O.:
    HAHAHA!!!!that’s just fuckin’ funny. Hilarious.
    Apparently, that deal also requires that Denver’s GM gets to piss in Walsh’s face, screw his wife, put a meat jacket on his puppy and throw it to Michael Vick’s fighting dogs, and reinstate Isiah as GM of the Knicks.
    I find the last probably the most offensive, although the puppy thing is just wrong. :)  

    We’ll take Melo as an FA at the cost of his salary, and you can get nothing.
    And if Melo signs with Denver for the cash, more power to him, and the Knicks have a direct line on some other FAs, with a strong cap position.
    Denver is delusional.

  8. ess-dog

    The funny thing is, 3 starters plus our 6th man isn’t enough. They also want not one but two picks!

    I wonder if Donnie planted this so Melo would get mad at Denver…

  9. Frank O.

    BTW, I was saying the other day what a great coach Jerry Sloan is.
    I was stunned to see him walk, and if Williams drove him out, shame on him.
    But his press conference was about as classy as it gets.
    Great coach.

  10. Frank O.

    ess-dog: The funny thing is, 3 starters plus our 6th man isn’t enough.They also want not one but two picks!I wonder if Donnie planted this so Melo would get mad at Denver…  

    Interesting point. It shows what he is dealing with. It also sounds about right given what they were trying to get from the Nets, who were very close to over, over, over paying.

  11. Brian Cronin

    Huh. I honestly don’t know what to make of that rumor. I mean, I guess it is a normal enough negotiation – one guys asks for the moon, the other guy offers up a cup of dirt and they meet in the middle, but for that to be their counter-offer this late in the process…I think I am taking it as a good sign that the Knicks will just say, “Screw it, keep him” and then Denver will panic.

    I just don’t like the idea of the media then spinning it as “well, then if you get them to agree to Chandler, Fields, AR and a draft pick then you got them down a lot from their original asking price, so everyone wins!”

  12. Brian Cronin

    In terms of realistic deals that I could see Donnie agreeing to, I could see the Billups for Felton rumors coming true. Heck, maybe even a first rounder on top of that.

    But Fields and Gallo and Moz and another pick? It’s beyond insulting, it just seems like an eff you.

  13. ess-dog

    I liked Donnie’s original offer because it was *just* better than what someone would offer Denver for a Melo rental. I mean, what renting team is going to offer more than Chandler/Brewer/pick/spare parts/cap savings?

    Of course the Laker trade could be a difference-maker but do the Lakers really do that? Really?

  14. Nick C.

    Darius, thanks: did all those minutes you mentioned suck the life out of Gasol or is he hurt b/c his numbers have diminished from the early season and readign between the lines Kobe is yammering about passivness or some such thing. or is it just less minutes with Bynum back that are keeping his numbers down?

  15. ess-dog

    Brian Cronin:it just seems like an eff you.  

    It’s a total F U. “Four of your starters aren’t even worth Melo.”

    And I’m not buying the Billups deal b/c I think they could get more for Billups at the deadline alone than as a throw in. He’s still pretty good.

  16. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I hate hate hate hate hate hate any discussion about this deal that involves the possibility of the NBA getting a franchise tag. The NBA is never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER going to have franchise tags, so there is no way that Denver is seriously factoring that into their decision making, “Well, if we don’t deal him, maybe we’ll get franchise tags!” It is a non-issue.

  17. Jafa

    If this deal doesn’t go down and Denver does not trade Melo by the deadline, then history would likely have repeated itself. I’m sitting here reading all these articles that say “Melo want his money” and “no way he walks away from $65 million” and I seem to recall these kind of statements made about LBJ before he promptly walked away from the money for a better chance at obtaining rings.

    And that would be the second time the current Denver GM would have been part of an organization that lost its franchise player for nothing. At that point, he probably would get fired and nobody would hire him again for a while. This may be his strongest motivation to move Melo for something, despite their apparent greed with these trade requests.

  18. Dan Panorama

    Jafa: If this deal doesn’t go down and Denver does not trade Melo by the deadline, then history would likely have repeated itself.I’m sitting here reading all these articles that say “Melo want his money” and “no way he walks away from $65 million” and I seem to recall these kind of statements made about LBJ before he promptly walked away from the money for a better chance at obtaining rings.  

    This is an excellent observation, haven’t seen it brought up much. Lebron/Wade/Bosh definitely ups the ante on turning down max offers for team superiority.

    Obviously the Bucher deal is a fantasy, but with Dolan in the background I’m still terrified of a Chandler/Gallo/Fields scenario in general.

  19. Thomas B.

    ess-dog:

    Bucher is now saying that Denver’s “counter offer” is Melo for Gallo, Chandler, Timo, Fields and two 1st rounders.  

    (Quote)

    Snicker. Denver has lost its damn mind. For Dwight Howard sure, Chris Paul, yeah maybe, but for Melo? May I quote The Wire’s State Rep Clay Davis and say “Shiiiiiiiiiiit.”

  20. NateRobinson

    If anyone missed Melo last night on TNT, hes pretty good. So Denver is asking for fair value imo…

  21. Frank O.

    NateRobinson: If anyone missed Melo last night on TNT, hes pretty good. So Denver is asking for fair value imo…  

    Sorry, Nate.
    Respectfully, his play of the last few nights does not reflect his careers stats.
    Denver is asking for four-fifths of the Knicks starters, and then some. This may be a superficial as citing a couple days of performances to justify a person’s worth, but you may recall, the Knicks beat Denver head to head once and should have won the game they dropped to them. Melo played in those games, and he and his entire team were not the Knicks’ equal, IMHO.

  22. Jafa

    NateRobinson: If anyone missed Melo last night on TNT, hes pretty good. So Denver is asking for fair value imo…  

    You call that fair value? Lets take a quick scan at the most recent star players to be traded:

    KG to Boston for 2 1st Round Picks, Al Jefferson (young prospect), Ryan Gomes (backup for the Clippers), Sebastian Telfiar (3rd PG for Wolves), Gerald Green (now playing in Russia), Theo Ratliff (old and past his prime) and cash. So that’s 2 1st, a young prospect and filler.

    Pau Gasol and 2nd round pick to LA for 2 1st Round Picks, Kwame Brown (lottery bust), Jarvaris Crittenton (currently in D-League), Aaron McKie (way past his 76ers days) and the rights to Marc Gasol (young prospect). So that’s 2 1st, a young prospect and filler.

    So, based on this standard, the Knicks offer should be the same: 2 1st, a young prospect and filler. Tell me how 2 1st, Chandler (solid rotation player), Gallo (young solid starting player), Fields (young solid rotation player) and Timo (young prospect) is fair value?

  23. DS

    Brian Cronin: By the way, I hate hate hate hate hate hate any discussion about this deal that involves the possibility of the NBA getting a franchise tag. The NBA is never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER going to have franchise tags, so there is no way that Denver is seriously factoring that into their decision making, “Well, if we don’t deal him, maybe we’ll get franchise tags!” It is a non-issue.   

    Brian, I don’t doubt you at all, but why, specifically, is that?

  24. Brian Cronin

    Single players are too valuable in the NBA. The NFL is different because when you have a million guys on the team, the burden of one of them being franchised is not as big of a deal (it drives the players nuts, but it is not as big of a deal). They’re so dramatically different it drives me nuts that the media tries to act like they’re the same. I have no doubt that the owners want it, but I am sure they would never make it an important issue.

  25. Thomas B.

    @22 No, it is not fair value

    Melo:
    Age: 26
    2010 WS/48 .119
    Career WS/48 .124

    Gallinari, Fields, Chandler
    Age: 22, 22, 23
    2010 WS/48 .147, .107, .094
    Career WS/48 .116, .107, 062

    Melo’s WS/48 is better than Chandler’s, only slightly better than Fields, and well behind Gallinari’s. He is five years older than Fields and Gallinari and three years past his NBA statistical peak age (24). We are to give up three players that have yet to reach peak age, plus two first rounders? Assume those picks turn into average NBA players, then that trade becomes:
    Knicks get average player who is five years older
    Nuggets get well above average player who is five years younger, slightly above average player who is also five years younger, slightly below average player who is 4 years younger, and two chances to secure an average NBA player.

    In what world is that trade fair value?!

    Now consider the value of Melo’s contributions vs. his compensation and the trade gets even more out of line in favor of Denver.
    Melo is paid 17 million for his .119 WS/48. Meanwhile, the player whose WS/48 is closest to Melo, that being Fields, makes 473K for his .107 WS/48. For nearly the same statistical production, Fields costs about 2.5% of what Melo costs and he is younger. Say what you will about WS being flawed, but you cannot argue with the value and age advantage the Knicks players have over Melo.

    So no, this is no way a fair value trade. It is a steal for the Nuggets.

  26. Jafa

    Based on the 2 1st round pick, young prospect and filler theory, Walsh should be trying to get a 2011 1st from a team like San Antonio or LA so that we can offer our 2011 1st + AR/1st from Minny + one of Gallo/Chandler/Fields (to fulfill the prospect requirement) and filler (Eddy Curry).

    Am I totally off base?

  27. TDM

    Brian Cronin: In terms of realistic deals that I could see Donnie agreeing to, I could see the Billups for Felton rumors coming true. Heck, maybe even a first rounder on top of that. But Fields and Gallo and Moz and another pick? It’s beyond insulting, it just seems like an eff you.  (Quote)

    Denver must really think Donnie fell for that Bynum for Anthony rumor that was floated conveniently last week.

  28. NateRobinson

    Good point Frank O. and jafa

    But we all must agree that Melo is younger than the aforementioned KG and Pau. And he is the best volume scorer in the league entering his prime. Pau was at his prime and KG was slightly passed it.

    I agree it is too much from the Knicks point of view, but from Denvers view is that they are trading one of the best talents. In his youth and the face of the franchise in an average market. Take away Gallo and I say its fair value for both sides.

  29. TheRant

    On another note — the perennial note of He who is the Landriest of them all — Landry Fields has a new video of him at Modell’s, unsuccessfully trying to sell his own jersey.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9tvpiJkBgA

    When my daughter and I got the chance to meet him on MLK day, I asked him (at the request of this beloved Blog) how it felt to be the coolest person in New York. “Pretty cool,” he said.

  30. Brian Cronin

    Neither KG nor Pau had to be traded. Their teams had faaaaaaaaaaaaar more leverage.

    That’s the whole point here – the Nuggets don’t have the leverage of asking for what they incorrectly think is “fair” value. So asking for that is tantamount to an eff you.

  31. Jafa

    Brian Cronin: Neither KG nor Pau had to be traded. Their teams had faaaaaaaaaaaaar more leverage.
    That’s the whole point here – the Nuggets don’t have the leverage of asking for what they incorrectly think is “fair” value. So asking for that is tantamount to an eff you.  

    So what should Donnie do? Go all Cee Lo Green on them too or play the patient psychologist with the crazy patient?

  32. Brian Cronin

    So what should Donnie do? Go all Cee Lo Green on them too or play the patient psychologist with the crazy patient?

    I think he should go Dylan on them and just keep on keeping on…he is playing the situation well so far, just keep on doing it, Donnie!

  33. ess-dog

    I think it’s agreed that KG was superior to Melo. Also Al Jefferson > Chandler at trade ages. If the deal was Brewer/Gallo/Walker/Rautins/two 1sts, that would be a very fair deal IMO considering Melo literally won’t sign anywhere else.

  34. Brian Cronin

    I think it’s agreed that KG was superior to Melo.

    Pau was (and still is) also far superior to Melo.

  35. BigBlueAL

    The sad part is if Dolan really is pretty involved in the trade negotiations I wouldnt be surprised to see the Knicks give Denver everything they want for Melo.

  36. NateRobinson

    I for one will not further vilify Dolan and say Donnie is in control. I believe this trade does not happen due to the difference in asking price from both sides.

    If Pau is far superior to Melo than forget about him. Why even waste a max contract on him.

  37. Frank O.

    NateRobinson: I for one will not further vilify Dolan and say Donnie is in control. I believe this trade does not happen due to the difference in asking price from both sides.If Pau is far superior to Melo than forget about him. Why even waste a max contract on him.  

    I believe there is strong support among some on this blog for doing just that.
    I’m on the fence. If we can get him cheap, get him. If it costs too much, we don’t need him that badly.
    I think the trade that was floated by the Knicks was close to what I would be willing to do to get Carmelo now, given I think the Knicks have a good shot at getting him as an FA.

  38. Robert Silverman

    Totally off-topic, but when I’m not pounding nails into the floor watching our Nix, I’m also an actor and a playwright. For those in NYC, there’s a play that just opened that I’m in and I’m pleased to be able to offer all Knickerbloggeristas discount tix. Just say “Bridge 15″ at the box office and you can get 25% off the reg. ticket price.

    Here’s all the info: http://www.polishculture-nyc.org/?eventId=1812

    (I’ll be the one getting kidnapped and tortured for the 1st 1/2 of the show – kinda like watching the Knicks!)

  39. Robert Silverman

    Robert Silverman: Just say “Bridge 15? at the box office and you can get 25% off the reg. ticket price.  

    And no, “Bridge 15″ is in no way a reference to Carmelo Anthony, just an odd coincidence.

  40. DS

    Brian Cronin: Single players are too valuable in the NBA. The NFL is different because when you have a million guys on the team, the burden of one of them being franchised is not as big of a deal (it drives the players nuts, but it is not as big of a deal). They’re so dramatically different it drives me nuts that the media tries to act like they’re the same. I have no doubt that the owners want it, but I am sure they would never make it an important issue.

    Agreed… I WOULD like to see a mechanism in the new CBA in which small markets could outbid larger market teams for their own FAs by a larger margin. Bird rights worked for a while but that mold has clearly been shattered. I preferred Scottie, Barkley, and Vince whining their way to a contender to this FA collusion s*** that LeBron and Bosh started.

    Almost every team in the NBA had a legit. shot to at least get to a conf. championship last decade.

  41. Z

    Frank O.:
    Respectfully, his play of the last few nights does not reflect his careers stats… This may be a superficial as citing a couple days of performances to justify a person’s worth .  

    Ah, but Frank, isn’t this exactly the way Jimmy D thinks?? Didn’t he extend the Weasel after a three game winning streak? Three good games by Melo coupled with 3 bad games by the Knicks is probably exactly what Dolan has been waiting for. As long as Dolan is around, none of us are safe. Donnie may not even be GM in a few weeks. This shit is THAT scary.

  42. latke

    Jafa: And that would be the second time the current Denver GM would have been part of an organization that lost its franchise player for nothing

    To be fair, Ujiri was the assistant GM at Toronto under Bryan Colangelo. Nonetheless, he must understand the situation. I think he’ll just dick around with the bullshit (how many more possible “deals” can he possibly leak?) and then take the best trade available. He really has never had any GOOD offers on the board. The Nets deal was never going to happen because Melo never agreed to play in Newark.

    Walsh has no reason to offer anything more than the Chandler/Randolph package because that’s the cost of signing him outright plus a little more for their trouble. The only x-factors here are Melo stating NJ is cool with him, and Dolan trying to be a hero. Ujiri will futz around hoping one of those scenarios plays out until the deadline.

  43. d-mar

    If I was Donnie, I wouldn’t even make a counteroffer. I’d just say to Denver: “Come back to me when you have a deal that is remotely reasonable and maybe then we can talk”

    And someone made an excellent point, if Melo sees that his management is just being stubborn and making it difficult to get a deal done, what’s the likelihood that he’ll turn around and sign and extension? The Knicks still hold all the cards, this insulting offer from the Nuggets changes nothing.

  44. Frank O.

    Z: I’ll be the one getting kidnapped and tortured for the 1st 1/2 of the show – kinda like watching the Knicks!

    Curse you, Z!!!!!
    Curse you for jinxing us. :)

  45. Frank O.

    Z:
    Ah, but Frank, isn’t this exactly the way Jimmy D thinks?? Didn’t he extend the Weasel after a three game winning streak? Three good games by Melo coupled with 3 bad games by the Knicks is probably exactly what Dolan has been waiting for. As long as Dolan is around, none of us are safe. Donnie may not even be GM in a few weeks. This shit is THAT scary.  

    Curse you, Z!!!!!
    Curse you for jinxing us. :)

  46. totti

    I go against the main stream:

    You want a chance for a title or are you ok with being a decent “not after may” competitor?

    i say, new york deserves the main show again, enough with san antonio or oklahoma. we want big cities teams full of stars like in our football, that’s the reason the world got mad at football, with real madrid manchester or ac milan.

    can’t win with all these good but young players + felton and some other non specified center and backup pg.
    Knicks need carmelo and deron or paul. You have to gut the team to do that, well, then do it and be relevant again.
    i know i change my mind. i know i’ll hate to watch gallo on another team but new york has to follow miami politics and it must be done very wisely because of this mad against the greatness of this sport cap system.
    Go knicks

  47. Doug

    totti: we want big cities teams full of stars like in our football, that’s the reason the world got mad at football, with real madrid manchester or ac milan.  

    Come on. You know as well as I do that you can’t compare roster management in football to the NBA’s. You cannot build a team of Galacticos with only money.

    totti: You have to gut the team to do that, well, then do it and be relevant again.
    Go knicks  

    If we gut the team of our young players, there will be no one to play with Amar’e, Carmelo, and Williams or Paul. It’s going to be scrubs from the 5th man down to the 15th. If we gut the team, we still won’t be good as Miami.

  48. tastycakes

    Two things that I think get overlooked:

    1. As much as everybody says it’s a huge disaster for the Nuggets to “get nothing” for Melo, it’s sometimes better to let a guy come off your books than to bring in the wrong guys and cripple your cap for sub-par players (see: Ewing trade).

    2. The Knicks don’t get Melo automatically without losing anything in free agency. Disregarding the CBA situation, they still would have to renounce Chandler (at least, can somebody back me up on this?) to get him. This is why I’m more than happy ditching Wilson and guys who aren’t playing to get Melo, even as I think Melo is overrated (really a third tier star in the league).

    I think Denver keeps him past the deadline, makes a playoff run, and rolls the dice that Melo is too scared of getting screwed by the new CBA and / or lockout to not sign that extension.

    If Denver *really knows 100%* that he’s leaving, and the Knicks are the only team willing to pay for him, if they get 2 or 3 young, cheap players or picks, that is a good deal for them. Of course, the media will act like it’s a disaster, and it’s in their best interest to try and play this thing for the best haul. But it really comes down to that piece of knowledge — if he is definitely leaving, you take whatever cheap upside you can take.

    If he’s not definitely leaving, either try to make a killing in a trade, or stand pat. Denver has a lot of good players besides Melo. Letting him walk would not be quite the disaster everybody assumes.

  49. tastycakes

    Also, I’d be OK with losing all 3 of our young “studs” if we got back some combination of Nene, Lawson, Birdman, Afflalo and Chauncey. i.e., I’d be psyched to root for NugsEast + Amar’e.

    Please though, for the love of god, no Fraggle. Please!

  50. DS

    d-mar: If I was Donnie, I wouldn’t even make a counteroffer. I’d just say to Denver: “Come back to me when you have a deal that is remotely reasonable and maybe then we can talk”And someone made an excellent point, if Melo sees that his management is just being stubborn and making it difficult to get a deal done, what’s the likelihood that he’ll turn around and sign and extension? The Knicks still hold all the cards, this insulting offer from the Nuggets changes nothing.  

    It was worth a shot for Denver.

    Isiah and Dolan would’ve salivated at the prospect of this lineup:
    1. Felton
    2. Douglas (the next Joe Dumars according to Ted Nelson)
    3. ‘Melo
    4. STAT
    5. Turiaf

    w/ Extra E, Walker, and Randolph (assuming he’s not bait for one of the draft picks)

  51. ess-dog

    DS:
    It was worth a shot for Denver.
    Isiah and Dolan would’ve salivated at the prospect of this lineup:
    1. Felton
    2. Douglas (the next Joe Dumars according to Ted Nelson)
    3. ‘Melo
    4. STAT
    5. Turiafw/ Extra E, Walker, and Randolph (assuming he’s not bait for one of the draft picks)  

    Eesh, that lineup’s a mess. Probably the same seed as our current team. The converse of what tasty just said is that the more players we move, the more cap space WE have to sign other players. So even though we love Moz and Gallo, that’s a lot of cap space right there. I would insist on keeping Fields b/c a. he’s cool and b. he’s so cheap it’s absurd (although he would get a pay day in 2012 right?)

  52. Darius

    Nick C.: Darius, thanks: did all those minutes you mentioned suck the life out of Gasol or is he hurt b/c his numbers have diminished from the early season and readign between the lines Kobe is yammering about passivness or some such thing. or is it just less minutes with Bynum back that are keeping his numbers down?  (Quote)

    I think Pau’s intial drop off in production was related to his overuse and him being worn down. However after Bynum returned and Pau’s minutes normalized, I think his (relative) lack of success was related to indecisiveness and some lack of aggression. Gasol is a thoughtful player and he’s consistently looking to play a team game even if it means sacrificing his own game to do it. Kobe’s “black swan” comments were all about reminding Pau to stay aggressive regardless of who was guarding him and regardless of what the game’s circumstances were. Pau’s much too talented to not play aggressively, sometimes he needs to be reminded of that.

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