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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Four off the floor: Key decisions for the summer Decision #3 – What should be the draft strategy?

With no 2012 picks in their pocket as of now, this year’s draft is a big one for the Knicks. And with the summer’s CBA talks weeks away from yielding anything concrete, it’s also a strange one for the NBA as a whole. Many would-be first round picks, who in any other year would have been draft-bound, have instead chosen to avoid the uncertainty and stick around campus another year. In what’s being called one of the thinnest draft classes in years, and with no second rounders in their chamber, the pressure will be on the Knick front office to get as close to the bull’s eye as possible.

 

Mike Kurylo: If you really think about it, the Knicks have multiple needs. Obviously rebounding/shot blocking big man and point guard are at the top. However New York could do well with a lights out shooting guard or a swingman that can really clamp down on defense. A player that can fill both of those needs would be pretty valuable to the Knicks as well. Beyond that New York needs defense at just about every position. The attribute the team doesn’t particularly need is a high volume scorer, which they already have covered in spades.

To state the obvious, the most important thing the Knicks need is value. Whether the team keeps this player or trades him, they need someone that will stick around in the league. If Donnie Walsh is planning to pick up a third All Star, then Chauncey Billups and Landry Fields isn’t going to be enough to get the deal done. In this situation, a firecracker rookie that can contribute on the NBA level would be most helpful.

 

Jim Cavan: In his first draft as Pacers GM in 1987, Walsh raised as many eyebrows as pitchforks when he selected Reggie Miller with the 11th pick, passing on such auspicious names as Joe Wolfe, Chris Welp, and Jim Farmer.

Point: Walsh.

Since then, DW has arguably connected in the first round (Rik Smits, Malik Sealy, Travis Best, Al Harrington, Danny Granger, Gallo) more than he’s whiffed (Scott Haskin, Freddy Jones, Primoz Beszec, COUGHJordan HillCOUGH). He’s also made his fair share of late steals, with Antonio Davis (45th pick in 1990), James Jones (49th in 2003) and Landry Fields (39th in 2010) being chief among them.

No, he hasn’t been a drafting Carnac. But to those who count Miller as his only home run, consider this: With the exception of Smits (the 2nd overall pick in 1988), Walsh never had a pick higher than #10 during his tenure in Indiana — a testament to an overall GM savvy that helped transform the “small market” Pacers into a perennial contender.

In a perfect world, we should be looking to kill two birds with one stone: fill an immediate need, and — assuming Chris Paul or Dwight Howard pull a Melo — nab a player who might contribute enough off the bat to entice a New Orleans or Orlando to deal their disgruntled star for a package that would likely include Fields, Douglas, Chauncey Billups’ expiring contract, and draft pick X. That would mean most likely passing on Jordan Hamilton, Terrence Jones, Tobias Harris, or Tyler Honeycutt — players who, despite their undeniable talent, will more than likely need time to develop beyond the three or four months leading up to the February 2012 trade deadline.

That leaves guys like Kenneth Faried, the brothers Morris (Markieff and Marcus), or even a Jimmer Fredette — all of whom have at least three years under their belts — as the safe bets. Even if Walsh and D’Antoni don’t intend to keep them.

On the other hand, this year’s draft class doesn’t appear to be bursting with a lot of sure things, even in the top 10. In the midst of such uncertainty, teams could be more willing to take risks, and that could scramble the board very quickly. To that end, expect Walsh to go the “best available” route. Even if the pick doesn’t make sense when it happens, Walsh has shown over the years that his is an approach that, more often than not, has been successful. Even if it isn’t always conventional.  

 

John Kenney: Watching Corey Brewer provide a spark for the Mavericks in Game 2 of the LA-Dallas series made it clear that the Knicks were foolish to waive him (as many predicted at the time). Giving up a quality NBA player looked even worse in retrospect, as the Knicks had to reach deep on their bench against the Celtics due to all the injuries sustained during the series. Knicks management’s reasoning at the time- “We have plenty of wing players, can’t guarantee him playing time” – was always suspect. First, the Knicks lacked a good wing defender, and Brewer definitely could have provided that. Watching Paul Pierce and Ray Allen go to town on the Knicks defense, it was impossible to avoid imagining how different the game might be if either of them had Brewer chasing them all over the court. Second, Brewer is simply a quality basketball player. When the Knicks waived him, a number of contenders were immediately interested. Those are the types of guys you want on your team.

The moral of the story? Get NBA-quality players on your team, and keep them. The Knicks right now have an incredible lack of depth. To focus too much on positional needs would be a mistake- what the Knicks need is someone who is immediately a rotation-quality player. I would love to see either one of the Morris twins from Kansas fall to the Knicks’ draft spot. If still available, Kenneth Faried from Morehead St. could be a huge help as well. None of those players fills a true positional need, true. However, the Knicks need a point guard or a center, and there will not be quality at either one of those positions as low as we are in the draft. Drafting a PF to backup Amar’e could help shore up the rotation as well. Shawne Williams wouldn’t have  defend as many minutes at PF, and the Knicks could have some intriguing lineups with Amar’e at center. Whatever the choice is, Walsh needs to make sure the player can help the team immediately next season.

 

Max Fisher-Cohen: The Knicks would be wise to buy some picks in the late first or early second. They need to luck into some depth, and for a team that is unlikely to have cap space going forward, the draft is the best way to do that. I agree with John Kenney in that early on you go for players who will be able to contribute next year. However, if we do end up buying later picks, I think the only option is to hunt for steals, even if they aren’t ready for the NBA. Young players with potential can be stashed overseas and are appealing as trade assets since they don’t cost any salary. Here are some players I like:

Kenneth Faried — Forward, Morehead State: D’Antoni had the right idea in playing Jared Jeffries big minutes. His help defense made things difficult for opponents. Per 48 minutes (in the regular season), the Knicks outscored opponents by 9.2 points with Jeffries on the floor. Imagine how much more dramatic that difference would be if we had a player who potentially could play the defensive role Jeffries played while being a serious upgrade in rebounding and on offense. Enter Kenneth Faried. Faried is a Taj Gibson type player — undersized, but muscly and active, a good finisher, and wholly capable of guarding 4s.

Reggie Jackson — Guard, Boston College: Quick, pretty athletic, played out of position (should be a point guard) for a bad team, so didn’t get much attention. He’s supposed to be deadly on the pick and roll and knows how to shoot. If he’s there early in the second round, he’s worth giving a chance.

Lucas NogueiraCenter, MMT Estudiantes (Spain): He’s looking like a late first rounder. He played five games this year in the Tournament of the Americas and averaged 8 blocks/36 minutes against Division I level competition. He’s 18, 7’ tall, athletic, and impressively skinny. Maybe he won’t immediately contribute, but he’s the kind of promising young player that the Hornets could advertise to fans as a part of a rebuilding process.

Justin Harper — Forward, Richmond: Harper is an elite shooter (44.8% from three) who did nothing for his first three years, and this year improved enormously in nearly every statistical category. Because no one had heard of him before and because his team was mediocre, there’s a good chance he falls to the second round. For what it’s worth, Chad Ford compares him to Rashard Lewis.

 

104 comments on “Four off the floor: Key decisions for the summer Decision #3 – What should be the draft strategy?

  1. BigBlueAL

    From the little draft stuff Ive read so far if Markieff Morris is available at 17 for the Knicks to pick he would be a freaking steal. Being an ACC fan I think Reggie Jackson would be a great pick too.

    I know he is a great rebounder but Im not totally sold on Faried to be honest. Also a player not mentioned above who could be a great pick if available is Washington St shooting guard Klay Thompson.

    In Chad Ford’s 1st mock draft he had Morris going to the Knicks but with Terrance Jones pulling out he updated his mock draft last night and had Morris moving up a couple of spots in the draft and had the Knicks drafting Faried even with Reggie Jackson and Klay Thompson available (had them being drafted immediately after at 18 and 19).

  2. Robert Silverman

    I’m all for either Faried, Fredette, or Noguiera (or “Bebe” as he’s known. For serious! Screw Nene, we got Bebe!).

    It’s really unlikely he’s there at 17, but if he drops, I’d love to snag Bismack Biyombo.

  3. nicos

    I’m hoping Trey Thompkins slips down to the Knicks- excellent shooter and pretty good rebounder who should be able to find minutes in D’A’s system. Whoever they pick I think they have to draft the best guy available at 17, regardless of position and then maybe try to buy an early 2nd rounder to address need. As Mike stated the Knicks are going to add some young talent if they want to have any chance to trade for a third all-star. Hopefully, Jerome Jordan slots right into Mozgov’s old spot and they come up with another rotation guy in the draft. Then if Fields and/or Douglas takes a solid step forward we’d have a package not too far off what we gave up for Melo to go for Paul or Howard.

  4. ess-dog

    Although I also would’ve liked to see what Brewer could do in a Knicks uni, in a way, I’m glad he was let go because it shows the organization’s commitment to going after a 2012 free agent – which is the right strategy. He was not going to be retained, and nor will any mediocre player at this point unless it’s a one year contract.

    In light of this, I don’t see us going after a point guard in this draft, not only because there aren’t many good ones, but also because a young pg most definitely will not help right away in a system like ssol.

    What is likely is a hard-nosed, bottom-barrel retread who can just take care of the ball for 10 plus minutes a night a.k.a. Anthony Carter. I think we would look at Jimmer if he was there b/c he fills the need of outside shooting as well as pg, but I can’t imagine he’ll be there.

    At 17, we really need BPA and a guy that can contribute. What we know is that for this system, great athletes and great shooters are premium. I think Faried will succeed at the next level because of his intense athleticism. He can’t shoot but he has touch near the basket. He would definitely help now.

    Biyombo or Morris sound great for banging down low as well and are excellent athletes. Jordan Hamilton and Klay Thompson sound intriguing for their instant offense, but they’re young and not so much a need. Even thinking about a guy like Chris Singleton as a defensive forward stopper is interesting.

    So realistically at 17, I like Faried or Biyombo/Jimmer/Morrises if they fall. If none of those mentioned are there, I’d probably trade the pick, either trading down or for a player.

    Reggie Jackson or Darius Morris are intriguing if we get a late 1st.

    I would also take a chance on Keith Benson with a late 2nd, but I wouldn’t expect great production from a non-lottery rookie pg or 2nd round big they’re 1st year.

  5. Robert Silverman

    Off topic but, to Messrs. Bryant and Jackson of Los Angeles, let me channel my inner Nelson Muntz and say, “Ha-Ha!”

  6. TheRant

    Robert Silverman: It’s really unlikely he’s there at 17, but if he drops, I’d love to snag Bismack Biyombo.

    I would pay good money just to hear Clyde saying “Bismack Biyombo”

  7. Jim Cavan Post author

    Robert Silverman:
    Off topic but, to Messrs. Bryant and Jackson of Los Angeles, let me channel my inner Nelson Muntz and say, “Ha-Ha!”

    I loved Bynum’s rationale: “We were getting embarrassed, they were breaking us down. So I just fouled somebody…I was just kind of salty about being embarrassed.”

    I’m not sure what’s funnier: the fact that he didn’t show one iota of remorse for the cheapest shot we’ve seen since maybe Horry’s hip check on Nash… or the fact that he used “salty” in a sentence.

  8. latke

    Man, Chad Ford now declaring Reggie Jackson’s range to be 9-19. When I first looked for him on the draft boards (maybe 2-3 weeks ago), he was at best ranked in the 40s and at worst not even in the top 100.

  9. Owen

    Life is really good when Kobe Bryant gets swept. Just awesome.

    Bynum is apparently kind of big nerd (according to a recent SI piece) which makes sense.

    Watching Charles Barkley go off on Derrick Rose taking 32 shots. Chris Webber made the typical argument “the bulls don’t have anyone who can get thirty.” blah blah blah and Barkely just tore the argument to shreds saying basically that the Bulls were the best team all year, the rest of those guys didn’t turn into pumpkins. Rose just needs to distribute the ball.

    Not the first time I have heard Charles talking like that. Sounds like he has spent some quality time with John Hollinger. Charles, you lurking at K-blogger?

    I sniff a culture change….

  10. massive

    Reggie Jackson shouldn’t fall past #25. Danny Ainge promised Jackson he would take him if he was available.

  11. JK47

    I think both of the Morris twins will be off the board and Jimmer will certainly be off the board– Utah isn’t gonna pass on him twice.

    If the Knicks were not in win-now mode, I’d say go for Noguiera, since he seems to have massive upside. But he’s just so young and sooooo skinny… He’s not going to be a good NBA player for at least a few years. Plus there are questions about his work ethic. I’m skeptical about Biyombo too– he’d be very tempting because he has the potential to be a real force on defense, but “potential” isn’t the same thing as “good at basketball” and what we really need is the latter.

    I’d much rather have Kenneth Faried than either of those guys, because even if Faried doesn’t develop much more he has a lot of what we need– rebounding, defense, diving for loose balls, etc. The guy has heart and plays the game like his life depends on it. You’re never going to have to worry about that dude giving less than 100%.

    I do like Justin Harper, who seems like sort of a poor man’s Gallo or possibly a rich man’s Shawne Williams. I’d be in favor of buying a 2nd round pick and snagging him.

  12. daJudge

    If Jimmer is available, I would grab him. I think he is a very rare player and is a much better athlete than people think. Huge maturity upside and coachability. He is a decent passer and could learn point. However, as stated, Utah will take him. I liked what I saw from Faried and would gladly sign him. Could be something like a JJ, with much better hands, rebounds really well and knows how to dunk. Really. You know what you get with him and I think he will be a decent pro.

  13. d-mar

    I would love to get a guy like Faried, a player to come off the bench and make all the scrappy hustle plays, get blocks and grab tough rebounds. I don’t care if he scores a single point. I think he would energize MSG and the team and would be perfect for what this team needs right now.

  14. TDM

    I’m hoping the the Knicks trade down and get a pick in the second round. Like trading the 17th pick to the Wiz for the 18th and 34th, or the Rockets for the 23rd and 38th. Or even the 17th to the Bulls for the I really like both Nolan Smith and Reggie Jackson – either of which could help with depth at pg behind Billups.

    While I like Faried, I don’t see him as the answer to the Knicks’ lack of a down-low presence, or as someone that would help the Knicks’ develop an inside-out game.

  15. Mike Kurylo

    TDM:

    While I like Faried, I don’t see him as the answer to the Knicks’ lack of a down-low presence, or as someone that would help the Knicks’ develop an inside-out game.

    Not sure if the Knicks need a traditional “down-low” presence. It seems like that with the current roster/system that would just bog down the middle for Amar’e and Carmelo.

  16. Richmond County

    I’d like to see the Knicks work out Julyan Stone from UTEP as a potential second rounder. A 6-7 point guard who plays lockdown defense and is in his conference’s top five all time in assists seems like a guy worth looking at.

  17. ess-dog

    On pure talent alone, Josh Selby could be a steal in the 2nd round, if he lasts long. He’d be a great guy to bring in and have Chauncey train.

  18. flossy

    1. Draft Kenneth Faried
    2. Make him spend six hours every day all summer shooting three pointers from the corners with Phil Webber
    3. PROFIT!!

  19. TheRant

    I have a rules question for some of the great minds on this board.

    Let’s say Bynum earns a two game suspension for being a d*ickhead in the last Lakers game. And then suppose he is traded to the Magic for Dwight Howard.

    Does he serve the suspension as a member of his new team? Or is there some way to punish the Lakers for Bynum’s action as a Laker?

    Just curious.

  20. rooster_douglas

    @14
    I don’t really see any need to trade down to get a second round pick. Every year there are teams sitting from 28-40 who will gladly sell their pick for $3m Dolan Dollars (Toney Douglas pick etc), and I assume that would be the case even more than normal this year given the thinness of the draft.

    On an unrelated note, the All-NBA defensive teams came out today. How did Kobe get first team again?? Can anyone really say with a straight face that he is a better defender than Tony Allen, Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler or Andre Igoudala? His lateral movement on D is terrible. His numbers arent great (1.3 combined S + B). He doesn’t usually guard the opposition’s best swingman… I don’t get it. He used to be a GREAT defender but he has regressed for several years now and this year, more than ever, he seemed to take it easy on D to conserve for the other end/the playoffs. I don’t even think he was the best defender on his team. I’d take Bynum, Artest and maybe even Pau over him defensively….Crazy?

  21. Brian Cronin

    Does he serve the suspension as a member of his new team?

    Yep.

    The Knicks had a player who served his suspension as a Celtic when the Knicks traded him in the offseason.

  22. Brian Cronin

    I don’t really see any need to trade down to get a second round pick. Every year there are teams sitting from 28-40 who will gladly sell their pick for $3m Dolan Dollars (Toney Douglas pick etc), and I assume that would be the case even more than normal this year given the thinness of the draft.

    The Knicks specifically don’t want the guaranteed salaries that come from first rounders, since they’re trying to ensure that they get enough cap room in 2012 as possible.

  23. Robert Silverman

    TheRant:
    I have a rules question for some of the great minds on this board.

    Let’s say Bynum earns a two game suspension for being a d*ickhead in the last Lakers game.And then suppose he is traded to the Magic for Dwight Howard.

    Does he serve the suspension as a member of his new team?Or is there some way to punish the Lakers for Bynum’s action as a Laker?

    Just curious.

    If Bynum gets traded, the suspension would effect whichever team he is playing for next season.

  24. Mike Kurylo

    rooster_douglas: On an unrelated note, the All-NBA defensive teams came out today. How did Kobe get first team again?? Can anyone really say with a straight face that he is a better defender than Tony Allen, Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler or Andre Igoudala? His lateral movement on D is terrible. His numbers arent great (1.3 combined S + B). He doesn’t usually guard the opposition’s best swingman… I don’t get it. He used to be a GREAT defender but he has regressed for several years now and this year, more than ever, he seemed to take it easy on D to conserve for the other end/the playoffs. I don’t even think he was the best defender on his team. I’d take Bynum, Artest and maybe even Pau over him defensively….Crazy?

    Surely you don’t suggest that the NBA writers, a group of people who are trained at the best universities, devote their life to covering the sport, have access to the team in ways that the common people do not, and who collectively have witnessed every minute of every NBA game with their own eyes, have failed to assess the league’s best defensive players in an unbiased manner?

    Surely the numbers you use must be faulty. Please re-arrange the equations/data used to derive them until Kobe is in the top 5. I would suggest to multiply any final number by the rings a player has earned.

  25. TDM

    A couple of guys I’d like to see the Knicks target are JJ Barea (unrestricted) and Goran Dragic (team option – $2.1M). Could Houston exercise its option and then trade Dragic to the Knicks for the 17th and their second rounder (no. 38)? Then the Knicks would have a proven commodity backing up Billups for the year, plus they could take a flyer on a big like Jordan Williams from Maryland.

  26. Count de Pennies

    Only a 2-game suspension for Bynum? Not bloody likely.

    If yesterday’s stunt had been his first strike, maybe. But Bynum has a prior history of these type of bad acts as Gerald Wallace and Michael Beasley could attest. I’m sure the league is going to take that into account when it hands down its punishment.

    I’d be shocked if he’s suspended for anything less than 10 games. And I would not be at all surprised if it turns out be as much as 15-20 games.

  27. ess-dog

    I think Barea just added about 4 mil and 2 extra years to any contract he’ll be getting this summer, but yeah, I would love him in a Knicks uni.

    As much as Cuban annoys me, Dallas has been lights out on their moves these past 2 years – particularly Tyson and then adding Peja. Great moves.

    As for trading down, I would consider trading our #17 to NJ for their #27 and #36, or to Charlotte for #19 and #39, depending on who’s left.

  28. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Draft strategy:

    1) Look at Dave Berri’s PAWS40 ratings, which had Landry Fields as the 2nd or 3rd best rookie in the class.

    2) Draft the best available player.

    3) Make Cock Jowles look good just like he did last year.

    4) Profit.

  29. Robert Silverman

    Slightly off topic, but does this make sense to anyone else?

    Billups/Turiaf for Bynum/Blake (works under the cap).

    NY gets its center. LA gets cap room and the perfect guard to run the triangle (assuming they run the triangle next season)

    Then you snag Reggie Jackson (or Jimmer if he falls) at 17 and go with a Jackson/Douglas/Blake platoon at PG

  30. Jim Cavan Post author

    Robert Silverman:
    Slightly off topic, but does this make sense to anyone else?

    Billups/Turiaf for Bynum/Blake (works under the cap).

    NY gets its center. LA gets cap room and the perfect guard to run the triangle (assuming they run the triangle next season)

    Then you snag Reggie Jackson (or Jimmer if he falls) at 17 and go with a Jackson/Douglas/Blake platoon at PG

    I’d like it more if Bynum’s knees weren’t lined with tiny explosives. Simmons had a point when he wrote some months back that, when you watch Bynum lumber up and down the court, he just looks like a guy whose knees could go at any second. Every stride seems labored. Even when Amar’e at the same age posed the same risks, he still ran like a gazelle. Then again, who knows. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Bynum recovered and turned into an All-Star caliber player.

    Still, I think L.A. has all sights set on Howard. Most likely, Orlando won’t be looking to completely implode, but would want a franchise-type player (not that Bynum is that — yet) in any trade. MAYBE they take Gasol even if Bynum is gone in some other deal, but I doubt it.

  31. flossy

    Robert Silverman:
    Slightly off topic, but does this make sense to anyone else?

    Billups/Turiaf for Bynum/Blake (works under the cap).

    NY gets its center. LA gets cap room and the perfect guard to run the triangle (assuming they run the triangle next season)

    Then you snag Reggie Jackson (or Jimmer if he falls) at 17 and go with a Jackson/Douglas/Blake platoon at PG

    I’d only do that if we could somehow trade D’Antoni for Phil Jackson as well.

  32. Robert Silverman

    Yes, without a doubt Bynum’s the key in any Howard trade. Then again, if Chicago offered Boozer (or Deng) and Noah for Howard, Orlando’d have to accept that over an Odom/Bynum for Howard/Turkoglu’s crappy contract package, right?

  33. Robert Silverman

    flossy: I’d only do that if we could somehow trade D’Antoni for Phil Jackson as well.

    Alas, I think Phil’s off to (not) smoke Peyote in Big Sky country for good.

  34. Jim Cavan Post author

    Robert Silverman:
    Yes, without a doubt Bynum’s the key in any Howard trade. Then again, if Chicago offered Boozer (or Deng) and Noah for Howard, Orlando’d have to accept that over an Odom/Bynum for Howard/Turkoglu’s crappy contract package, right?

    Robert Silverman:
    Yes, without a doubt Bynum’s the key in any Howard trade. Then again, if Chicago offered Boozer (or Deng) and Noah for Howard, Orlando’d have to accept that over an Odom/Bynum for Howard/Turkoglu’s crappy contract package, right?

    I would think so. It’s not out of the realm of possibility if you think about it. Boozer has just fallen off a cliff, and Taj Gibson would be starting for about 90 percent of the teams in the league. Replace Noah and Boozer with Gibson and Howard and that’s a pretty frightening front line.

    I don’t know. I still think Howard ends up in L.A. He’s their density.

  35. Robert Silverman

    massive:
    The last place I want to see Dwight Howard is in Chicago.

    Sans doubte, but they do have the best assets to offer. A Howard/Rose combo would lock up the East for the next decade, even if the Nix somehow got CP3 (and a 25-year old Earl Monroe/Willis Reed)

  36. Jim Cavan Post author

    TDM:
    A couple of guys I’d like to see the Knicks target are JJ Barea (unrestricted) and Goran Dragic (team option – $2.1M).Could Houston exercise its option and then trade Dragic to the Knicks for the 17th and their second rounder (no. 38)?Then the Knicks would have a proven commodity backing up Billups for the year, plus they could take a flyer on a big like Jordan Williams from Maryland.

    I think Dragic would be perfect in our system. He’s even an awful defender!

    I think Brian might be right: all of this might be moot, in that it really does behoove the Knicks to avoid first round contracts if they really want to shoot for CP3. I wouldn’t be surprised if they loaded up on a couple second rounders instead.

  37. Robert Silverman

    Jim Cavan: I still think Howard ends up in L.A. He’s their density.

    That’s why I said Deng instead of Boozer. In related news, the Knicks are planning to work out Biff Tannen (PF/C, Hill Valley HS) prior to the draft. Walsh digs his toughness/defense in the paint.

  38. flossy

    Would anyone do Billups for Odom and, say Blake? (Or…ugh, Walton)?

    I’d much rather have Lamar in this system than Bynum. Melo/Odom/Amar’e would be a fun frontcourt. We’d have to draft a point guard, obviously, but between Douglas, Melo and Odom you might have one whole PG already.

  39. Jim Cavan Post author

    flossy:
    Would anyone do Billups for Odom and, say Blake?(Or…ugh, Walton)?

    I’d much rather have Lamar in this system than Bynum.Melo/Odom/Amar’e would be a fun frontcourt.We’d have to draft a point guard, obviously, but between Douglas, Melo and Odom you might have one whole PG already.

    I’ve always liked Odom, and secretly hoped he’d end up on a team where he could run the point, a’la his days at the mighty URI. That would be a fun front court, but if we whiff on getting a PG in the draft, you’re looking at a possible TD — Anthony Carter — Steve Blake trio. Oogly. You can rely on an Odom or Melo in spurts, but not for long stretches.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Or Miami could trade Bosh in the biggest backstab in NBA history (sorry, Seattle) and Howard could make them a 75 win team.

  41. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Or Miami could trade Bosh in the biggest backstab in NBA history (sorry, Seattle) and Howard could make them a 75 win team.

    Orlando could do better for Howard than just Bosh, and luckily the odds of them trading the best center in the league to their intra-state rivals is zilch.

  42. Robert Silverman

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Or Miami could trade Bosh in the biggest backstab in NBA history (sorry, Seattle) and Howard could make them a 75 win team.

    I honestly think a package centered around Noah or Bynum is better than Bosh. And I doubt Orlando would deal w/their in-state neighbor.

    If we’re truly speculating, Atlanta (D12’s hometown) could offer Al Horford and Josh Smith.

    An Atlanta starting unit of Teague/Hinrich/Johnson/Marvin Williams/Howard would be pretty darned formidable.

    Or what if Golden State offered David Lee, Steph Curry, and Andris Biedrins for Howard/Turkoglu’s crappy contract

    Or what if Houston offered Yao Ming (resigned to a 10 million/3 year deal) plus Luis Scola?

    Or what if Dallas offered Nowitzki for Howard straight up?

    Or what if Denver offered Nene, Gallo, Felton and Mozgov for Howard & HTCG (Hedo Turkoglu’s crappy contract)

    Basically, it’d be a pretty bonkers bidding war, is what I’m saying

  43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    That Denver offer is terrible, and Yao probably won’t ever play more than 20 games in the NBA, but, yeah, crazy stuff.

  44. massive

    Dallas can’t trade Dirk because he has a no-trade clause in his contract. And there’s no way in hell Otis Smith trades D-12 to an Eastern Conference team unless it’s the best possible offer by a significant amount. The Lakers are the clear front-runners in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

  45. massive

    Robert Silverman: That’s why I said Deng instead of Boozer. In related news, the Knicks are planning to work out Biff Tannen (PF/C, Hill Valley HS) prior to the draft. Walsh digs his toughness/defense in the paint.

    I’m so young I actually looked up Biff Tannen lol. Sucks being born in the 90s sometimes.

  46. latke

    That golden state deal is pretty nice. I honestly think OKC has the best to offer. How could Orlando possibly turn down Westbrook and Ibaka? Heck, Ibaka alone is probably better than Noah seeing as he’s so young and makes so little. Don’t forget the Nets, either. They could offer Morrow, Lopez, plus a couple of extra first rounders left over from the hoarding they did over the summer. With about $20 million in cap space, they could take back Howard plus Turkoglu, or even Arenas if Orlando took back Outlaw.

    If you’re Pat Riley, and Otis Smith calls you up and offers you Howard for Wade straight up, do you do it?

    I find it hard to believe that LA will be able to swing a trade for a new big star. The most sensible thing I heard (I think on ESPN rumors) was Pau for Felton and Gallo or a resigned Chandler, though I’m not sure how Pau fits into a team that thrives off running.

  47. SeeWhyDee77

    I said in my last couple comments in the four off the floor # 2 that we should go after Dalembert, Draft Jackson, see if OKC would bite on a Balman and Walker deal for Sefalosha and acquire a 2nd rounder and pick the Hollis Thompson kid from GTown. It seems a bit much, but I think Walsh could swing it. Assuming he can retain Jeffries, Mason, and Extra E and bring Jerome Jordan in, to me that would be almost perfect in terms of makin us a better team overall and immediately. In my mind I see a shotblocker/rebounder finally patrolling the paint, a lockdown wing, a young PG with tremendous upside offensively and defensively (the kid has a 7′ reach!!) and still enough shooters to keep defenses honest(Extra E, Mason, Douglas, Fields, Thompson, Billups). And I think Sefalosha’s 3pt shooting would improve like Melo’s did when he arrived. There’s something about knowing ur not gonna get pulled for taking a 3 that causes a player’s confidence in his outside jumper to skyrocket. Also it would leave us with enough youth to continue to grow, especially with the intriguing Derrick Brown cracking the rotation somehow. On top of that, it would land us a roster with a relatively high BBall IQ..well, definitely higher than last season’s. I kinda like that picture if everyone could stay healthy, and not 2 mention the improved defense we would have if Wlash could pull it off- and D’Antoni gets himself a “defensive coordinator”. I wonder if Mike Brown wants a job..

  48. SeeWhyDee77

    SeeWhyDee77:
    and not 2 mention the improved defense we would have if Wlash could pull it off- and D’Antoni gets himself a “defensive coordinator”.

    haha..I can’t type tonite lol…Wlash..lol

  49. d-mar

    So the Celtics execute to perfection against us in the last minutes of games 1 and 2 and Doc Rivers is a genius, then in the biggest possession of their season tonight, completely botch a play and Pierce ends up forcing up a brick. Oh well….

  50. latke

    Finally Scott Brooks realizes that playing Durant at the 4 and not having three guys on the floor who suck at offense is the key to beating Memphis. It only took his entire frontline having foul issues.

  51. Brian Cronin

    That last shot is the perfect example – that was idiotic by Mayo. It luckily went in, but it was a terrible shot.

  52. Brian Cronin

    If you combined the basketball IQs of Mayo and Westbrook, it would be lower than Randolph’s jersey number.

  53. Brian Cronin

    How stupid is it to put Mayo into the game when you needed someone to intentionally foul? What the hell?!?

  54. Brian Cronin

    You have to figure with Mayo and Conley out, the Thunder will pull away in the second OT, right?

  55. Brian Cronin

    I hate “clutch” guys who insist on taking the last shot, no matter how bad it is. I love Durant taking the last shot, but if they WILL NOT LET YOU TAKE A GOOD SHOT, don’t take a bad one!

  56. Robert Silverman

    Was about to give Hollins static for not using Vasquez to foul Westbrook instead of inserting Mayo — ostensibly his best 3-point shooter.

    Guess I was wrong

  57. Brian Cronin

    What do you mean you don’t have to call a T? It was obviously a T! You are wrong, Fratello.

  58. Brian Cronin

    Was about to give Hollins static for not using Vasquez to foul Westbrook instead of inserting Mayo — ostensibly his best 3-point shooter.

    Guess I was wrong

    Nah, you were right. It was idiotic. I think Hollins would even tell you that it was a mistake.

  59. BigBlueAL

    Last few plays on offense for OKC Durant is just standing in the corner with his hands on his hips watching Westbrook go one-on-one.

  60. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, but it is hard to knock it when it is working. But yeah, one of if not the best scorers in the NBA and he is basically invisible at the end of this game.

  61. Robert Silverman

    In Memphis, going by what they play during timeouts, the last rock n’roll song was written around 1987

  62. Brian Cronin

    Westbrook: “Durant who? Is he on my team?”

    Nah, I kid, I kid, with Allen dropping to the floor, Westbrook has to take the shot.

  63. latke

    hmmm, next player to foul out? Westbrook, Ibaka, Perkins, Collison, Allen all have 5.

  64. BigBlueAL

    Robert Silverman:
    In Memphis, going by what they play during timeouts, the last rock n’roll song was written around 1987

    “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Dont Stop Believing” are true classics!!

  65. Brian Cronin

    I like that they have to literally remove Allen from the game to keep him from trying to score.

  66. Brian Cronin

    Okay, I think we can just about call this one. Down 6 with 58 seconds and no good three-point shooters is not a good position to be in.

  67. Brian Cronin

    Now we can really call it. It is too bad for Memphis to hit all those crazy shots and then lose.

  68. Shad0wF0x

    They should really force feed Z-Bo’s rebounding ability into Amar’e. I don’t mind the lack of defensive intensity at times as opposed to completely not doing anything to rebound the ball.

  69. Shad0wF0x

    On that replay of Mayo throwing the ball off of Harden’s head, it kinda looked like Mayo’s right shoe touched the sideline.

  70. Brian Cronin

    Someone here suggested awhile back that it is messed up that you’re allowed to basically throw the ball as hard as you can at another player, so long as you’re falling out of bounds when you do it. That is kinda messed up.

  71. daJudge

    Brian and other’s-re: throwing the ball while falling out of bounds. When my son was about 13, I pulled that move on him and, at 28, I continue to hear about it today. Still do it though. Great write up on Faried in P&T. I guess there is no question that with his board work he would fill a vital need.

  72. Mike Kurylo

    Robert Silverman: That’s why I said Deng instead of Boozer. In related news, the Knicks are planning to work out Biff Tannen (PF/C, Hill Valley HS) prior to the draft. Walsh digs his toughness/defense in the paint.

    Odd, there’s a character with that name in the Back to the Future series….

    oh I see what you did.

  73. New Guy

    Who’s a good candidate for selling their draft pick? Lakers already sold theirs and Phoenix (another frequent seller) is probably a bit high (though I believe they once sold off a lottery pick, amazingly).

    Maybe Charlotte? I don’t know their M.O.

    Chicago’s got two picks (28 & 30) and Reinsdorf is notoriously cheap, but I just don’t see them giving away an asset.

    Looks like there will be more potential buyers than sellers, so I just don’t see us getting another pick.

  74. chrisk06811

    Instead of posting here that we have to draft a big man, we need to get together a signup sheet…..we need to get off the internet and get our asses over to Jarred Jeffries house and take towns rebounding for him an spotting him on the bench press. I figure 8 hours a day, all summer long……we got us a center.

    Start off close, maybe 3 feet from the hoop and work your way back. And don’t lob passes to him….make him catch em.

  75. SeeWhyDee77

    chrisk06811:
    Instead of posting here that we have to draft a big man, we need to get together a signup sheet…..we need to get off the internet and get our asses over to Jarred Jeffries house and take towns rebounding for him an spotting him on the bench press.I figure 8 hours a day, all summer long……we got us a center.

    Start off close, maybe 3 feet from the hoop and work your way back.And don’t lob passes to him….make him catch em.

    lol…make him catch em.

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