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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

From the Mailbox: T-Mac for 2011?

Been a while since I’ve gotten a request from the old inbox, so I thought I’d take the time to answer.

Do the Knicks have any interest what-so-ever in resigning Tracy McGrady? I know that most people think T-Mac will never be half the player that he once was, and there is more than enough evidence to support that. However, he won’t be worse than he was last year, and last year, even injured, he still always seemed to have the highest IQ on the floor, especially in a Knicks uniform. He can pass as good as anyone in the NBA, and hes clutch. Additionally, Wilson Chandler is a small forward, not a 2 guard. I like him, but he does not have the handling, or the jump shot the Knicks need at SHOOTING guard. Bill Walker is good, but i dont think he is ready to start just yet. So again, do you know if the knicks have any interest in T-Mac? Looking forward to your response!

Thanks,
James

First, the reliable Alan “my sources say LeBron is going to Miami” Hahn tweeted that neither McGrady nor the Knicks were interested in a reunion. So it doesn’t seem like a likely possibility.

Second, I’ll start this off by saying I’m not a fan of McGrady’s, and I’ll try to convince any New Yorker not to be either. Let’s look at what I said about him after the season ended:

I had hoped that McGrady would benefit from a reduction in shot attempts upon arriving in New York. But even when he cut his FGA/36 to 12.6, T-Mac put up the lowest TS% of his career (46.6%). You know your career is over when you’re a former All Star trying to beat out Chris Duhon for a starting job, and you fail. Probably some team will sign him to a minor contract this year, I just hope it isn’t New York.

How bad is a 46.6% TS%? Well Jared Jeffries managed a TS% of 52.4% for the Knicks last year. Chris Duhon was at 50.1%. Larry Hughes was at 47.3%. Darko Milicic 47.1%. This number is a personal low for McGrady, but poor shooting has been a staple of his late career. In 4 of the last 5 years McGrady hasn’t gotten his TS% above 50%. And mind you that 54% is the league average for true shooting percentage.

I agree that McGrady has good basketball IQ with regards to passing. However the prerequisite for shooting guard is, as you aptly put it, “SHOOTING.” And hands down T-Mac was one of the worst in the league. If there is any role for McGrady to play in an NBA offense it’s point guard, but even then he’d need to be the basketball equivalent of Stephen Hawkin to make up for his poor shot.

Now, it’s been no great secret that shooting guard has been a Knick weakness for the past few seasons. As you point out, Wilson Chandler is a forward masquerading as a guard and this summer didn’t do anything to improve Bill Walker’s stock. However, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Chandler finally addresses one of his offensive weaknesses (although I’m still waiting). Nor is it inconceivable that Bill Walker turns into an NBA starter at shooting guard. But if neither happens New York has more depth beyond them. Azubuike was a starter for most of 2009, and seems to be a great fit for D’Antoni. Douglas will likely see time alongside Felton, and either Fields or Rautins could surprise fans this year as well. Between Chandler, Walker, Azubuike, Fields, Rautins, and Douglas the Knicks finally have some better options to get some real production from the 2 spot this year.

203 comments on “From the Mailbox: T-Mac for 2011?

  1. Z-man

    Agree 100%, T-Mac is T-oast.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on Jonathan Bender as a backup center. I thought that with his size and length, and the decline in his athleticism, the 5 is the ideal position for him at 5-10 mpg. He had good blocks and rebound numbers, but shot too much and was too far from the basket too often. Assuming Jordan starts in the D-League, Curry is on the perma-bench, Mosgov is not a rotation player, and Turiaf can’t log more than 20 mpg w/o consequences, he seems like the ideal solution. If I were D’Antoni, I would use him exclusively at the 5 and move him closer to the basket. Good vet’s minimum option, no?

    http://www.hoopsnotes.com/2010/06/jonathan-bender-wants-to-play-next-year/

  2. DS

    IMHO, I think we shouldn’t pursue any stars for two reasons 1) Let our young core develop as individuals and as team 2) Let them join the Bulls, Magic, Hawks, and Celtics so that they can hopefully pound the Heat.

    Z-man – I agree; if it doesn’t cut into cap flexibility.

  3. Jafa

    Hi Z-man,

    I really hope your assumption about Mosgov is wrong. We really need him to be a capable back-up center. Our long shots at back-up center are Curry and Jordan. But Jonathan Bender is not a center. He may be tall, but he is not a center, does not play that way and would not give us what we need out of a center (someone to guard others centers so that STAT doesn’t have to, rebounding, hustle plays, shot blocking, etc). Besides, we have enough lanky tall guys on this team already.

  4. danvt

    Thanks for the info and for all the fantastic articles on this site. Obviously, McGrady would be a throwback to the bad old days. Kinda like a Jalen Rose, let’s just get someone in here who might know what they’re doing, kind of move.

    I, being a PTSD Knicks fan, am not optimistic about their chances, in spite of the beautifully written post in the last thread. However, the one thing we do have right is that the pressure is squarely where it needs to be, on the coach and GM. It’s like, OK guys, these are your players now. You picked them. You can’t blame Isiah Thomas anymore. You have to teach. I heard Brandon Jennings in an interview talk about how he was lucky to have landed with Scott Skiles. The implication was that, in another situation, he might not have developed. Is coaching, or lack thereof, sometimes a key piece in whether a guy is boom or bust?

    I miss David Lee already and consider it a strong possibility that we’ll be embarrassed next season watching him kill people with Steph Curry, while a brittle Randolph sits on our injured reserve list. Not that I don’t understand the cap implications, low risk / high reward side of the deal, just that basketball wise, Lee was the one known quantity we had. Adding to him would have made pure basketball sense. Amar’e is better than him but will the “trade” of power forwards make us a better team?

    One thing all the advanced stats analysis on this site has taught me is that leopards don’t usually change their stripes (or is it spots?). Well, Lee did. He’s one of the few guys in the league that consistently got better, beyond all reasonable expectations. Will the rest of this team reach their upside? I freakin’ really hope so, but I’m pessimistic, so I’ll wait until they’re 10-5 (or 8-8) to decide. Meanwhile, we can finally have a true assessment of D’Antoni / Walsh this season.

    A move for McGrady would be a really bad sign (no pun intended).

  5. Count Zero

    Pass on both T-Mac and Bender.

    I’m prepared to go to war with what we have and while I agree about the weakness at the 2 (I like Azu, but will he get healthy?), I would hate to see some downward slope guy eating minutes from Douglas or any of the other younger possibilities.

  6. danvt

    Of course, McGrady doesn’t cost what Rose cost, so in that way, it’s not as risky. Donnie has given us favorable contract situations, I give him credit for that already. If we make mistakes, they’re not catastrophes, as they have been this decade.

  7. supernova

    It took me about half a second to decide whether I would want McGrady on the Knicks this season and my answer would be a resounding NO! There are so many reasons not to want him.
    1) Most importantly will eat into the time of the younger guys.
    2) Skills are on the decline and there is no sign that he would contribute much anyway going forward.
    3) Probably would not be too happy getting minuscule minutes.
    4) Pretty much an injury waiting to happen.

    On the plus side he would probably come cheap, and might provide some veteran leadership, but as said in an earlier comment, I am happy to go to war with the group we currently have.

    Also no need for Bender. If they really need a backup center how about the Earl of Barron?

  8. David Crockett

    Theoretically, the SG should be the easiest position to fill on a basketball team. The Knicks are in a position that they shouldn’t feel like they *have* to sign someone. Although SG is a weakness on the roster, NY has enough guys with upside who also have sufficiently complementary skills that we should see at least replacement level performance from the position.

    The vet FA market out there is barren.

    The two vet minimum types I might consider are former Celt Marquis Daniel and former Pacer Luther Head. Daniel is almost certainly not as bad as he played last year. Of course, he’s always hurt and has been on the wrong side of replacement level the past few years. He’s 31 to boot. (I know. I know. I shouldn’t oversell this guy.) Head is a shooter who has only shot well in 2 of his 5 NBA seasons. But if you’re looking for guys who might luck into a replacement level season, they’re probably a better bet than the likes of McGrady. That’s the kind of stuff we’re looking at on the FA market if we’re determined not to overpay in $ or years.

    I think the Knicks best option, by a longshot, is to mix and match at the SG depending on opponent and need (including a Felton/Douglas dual PG backcourt). I think the market is very clearly short on cost effective wings. Mixing and matching is the best strategy. It just so happens–first bit of serendipity I can recall for a LONG time–that NY has the pieces to mix and match SGs.

  9. Ted Nelson

    The way I’d look at T-Mac is if he were willing to take a bit of a player-coach-cheerleader-veteran presence role ala Herb Williams or Kevin Willis late in their careers with the Knicks and Spurs, respectively. Doesn’t seem like that will happen, though, and would be harder to make that work for a wing than a C.
    At 6-8, 6-9 maybe T-Mac could compensate for his lost quickness, etc. by transitioning inside and play the “stretch-4″… Would take a real commitment to change his game on his part and I highly doubt it happens, but I think he could be as successful there as at the 1 (where his quickness and jump shot would be liabilities) potentially. More likely to beat a 4 off the dribble than a wing or guard. .337 3-pt shooting is almost a strength at the 4, whereas it’s average at the 1-3. Lateral quickness wouldn’t be exposed as much on D and has the body to bang a bit if he wanted to. Was a decent rebounder early in his career when his position/role was more up in the air.

    Bender’s not a bad idea for the end of the bench, but as supernova says it might come down to him v. Barron. Mozgov is an unknown, but I’d say his odds of making the rotation are higher than Barron’s or Bender’s.
    Bender might be more of a stretch-4 than a 5, but along with Gallo he’d be the only big with a proven 3-pt shot… which D’Antoni might want. Length is a plus. For the end of the bench that versatility could come in handy for spot minutes. Bender’s upside is pretty limited compared to other options as much because of health as anything… and his TOs… got to stop him from dribbling at all costs. Barron provides some jump shooting but is more a C than Bender if C is the position the Knicks want to add depth at.

  10. Ted Nelson

    danvt,

    I agree about it being time where Walshtoni are now accountable for their results. That’s a good thing as a fan: no more responsibility vacuum.

    However, pessimism/optimism really depends on expectations. If you expect the Knicks to win 60 games and make a very deep playoff run you’re probably going to be disappointed. If you expect they’re a 12 win team (which hack journalist wrote that they had a good chance to challenge last season’s Nets? Chad Ford?) then you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised. Personally I’ll put my expectations around 41 wins/.500. If they have a winning season I’m happy. If they have a losing season I’m disappointed. That expectation considers that the following season the bar will be raised above 41 wins.

    Just because Brandon Jennings says something doesn’t make it true. The biggest reason Jennings is lucky to have played for Skiles is that Larry Brown is about the only other head coach so lacking in offensive imagination that he’d allow Jennings to shoot so much despite being so awful at scoring the ball. Maybe JVG, but even he might have put a stop to that. Jennings still has a LONG way to develop.

    I can’t tell you whether Randolph will be healthy or not, but it’s hard to be down on a player because of one injury. The trade also was not Lee-Randolph. The Knicks got two other potential starters out of the deal. 40% of their starting line-up and 43% of their rotation might have come from that trade. So, I do think the “trade” of PFs made the Knicks a better team in that 50/57% of the Knicks rotation might have come in because of it.

  11. Frank

    Count me as a No on McGrady.

    Bender though? I’d be interested in him as a late training camp sort of signing. Our center position is currently Turiaf, Curry, and Mosgov. Two of those guys are total unknown quantities and could easily give us nothing of use. Turiaf, who I love, has never played more than 22 minutes/game in any season so far. I could easily see us picking Bender up as a (much) cheaper version of Channing Frye — the no defense, 3 point shooting 7 foot sort-of-center that stretches the floor for Amare to work inside — especially if Mosgov is totally raw and Curry is totally a lard-ass. After all, Frye/Amare/Hill/Richardson/Nash were the top 5 man unit on the Suns for last year.

    BTW, their numbers per 36 are really quite similar from last year.

    Bender – 14.5 p/36, 6.4 r/36, 2.1 b/36, 2 a/36, 36% 3P%
    Frye – 14.9 p/36, 7 r/36, 1.2 b/36, 1.9 a/36, but 44% 3P%

    So while Frye clearly shot better from 3, 36% on 3 pointers out of your “center” is still pretty darn good. We can also expect Frye’s shooting numbers to come down to earth a little, whereas Bender’s were not so different from his career numbers. And Bender does block a fair amount of shots. Turns the ball over too much but what do you want for a vet’s minimum guy?

    I’d like to see this —
    figure Amare plays 36 min/game. He plays 25 of those minutes next to Turiaf and 11 minutes next to Bender.

    The other 12 minutes at center can go to Curry as a low-post presence. Not sure who would play next to him but at least he wouldn’t be bumping into Amare in the low-post.

    I’d be fine with a Barron resigning too.

    Thoughts?

  12. Thomas B.

    Back when we were Grading the deadline deals I had this to say of McGrady:

    Thomas B.: This is NOT the 13 points in 35 second Tracy McGrady coming to NY. I hope folks understand that. This guy is much closer to the Anfernee Hardaway we got in 2004: an injury riddled once dominant scoring wing.

    Naturally, several poster disagreed, but the comparison to Hardaway turned out to be accurate.

    Hardaway’s first 32 with Knicks: PER 10.8, TS% .451, eFG% .409, WS/48 0.029
    McGrady’s first 24 with Knicks: PER 12.2, TS% .469, eFG% .424 WS/48 0.016.

    Later on I expressed my concern over whether McGrady could be an efficient scorer:

    “Surprisingly, players do not see a hit in their athleticism-related stats, with the exception of rebounding. Still, the harm to their shooting and scoring is enough that they are significantly less effective overall in their first season back on the court. They play fewer minutes and miss even more games than they did before the procedure.” http://basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=923

    And what is it that McGrady is known for? Shooting and scoring. It is likely that “he will be significantly less effective overall” in his first eason following surgery. “They play fewer minutes and miss even more games than they did before the procedure.” For a guy who only played 41 games in the last two seasons, that is not good.

    I’m sure I’ll be wrong but maybe not this time.

    I read Dave Berri’s new book (thanks for the excellent read Mike) and I am now a firm believer that you need efficient scorers who can do things to help the team win. McGrady is not effcient and his win scores are well below average. So yes I agree with Mike. There really is no reason to bring T-Mac back. The trade was not about getting McGrady as much as it was about getting rid of Jeffries. We accomplished that goal and McGrady can move on to a supporting role on a contending team.

  13. Caleb

    I was rooting for Jonathan Bender (and Earl Barron) but these are 12th men – I’m not too worried about the center spot. For all the angst I will lay money that Stoudemire plays at least half the minutes at the 5 this year.

    I will bet even more that Curry plays fewer than 100 minutes as a Knick.

    I am definitely interested in the Russian, but it’s all based on reading other people’s scouting reports. I’ve never seen him play and don’t know much about how #s translate from the Russian league (especially for a 21-year-old!) so whether he’s NBA-ready is a total mystery. Turiaf is a great pick up just because we know he can handle at least 15-20 minutes without being a liability. He’s the best defender we’ve had in the middle since Kurt Thomas. The bar is low, I know.

  14. stratomatic

    T-MAC was in a serious decline before surgery when he was younger. He’s done.

    If we are desperate enough to sign Bender as our backup C, then we aren’t going to be as good as I hoped.

    I think our best lineup contains a front court of Amare, Randolph and Gallo. That will give us the length, offensive firepower, rebounding, and shot blocking we need. When we are facing a legitimately stong C, then Turiaf can give us 20 minutes at the C to give Amare a break. Perhaps we could even experiment with moving Gallo to the SG position in those cases when he can handle the defensive assignment.

    Amare may not want to play C, but in the east some of the Cs are actually PFs. So I think he’s going to have to play there some so we can keep Randolph on the court as a PF. IMO Randolph is too good to keep on the bench. We are going to have make adjustments to make sure he gets minutes.

  15. Z-man

    Dollar for dollar, I’d go with Barron as well, but I was anticipating that he’ll command more than the vet’s minimum and/or a one year deal. If we can get Barron to sign for a year at the vet’s minimum, it’s a no-brainer.

    Bender is a stretch 4, yes, but at 7′ 230 lbs with long arms and decent skills but limited mobility, I think he could evolve into a servicable “traditional” b/u 5 if he puts his mind to it (or is compelled to) and has preseason to prepare for that role. Now that we have shooters/scorers at the forward positions, I would keep him close to the basket and have him focus on rebounding, blocking shots, defending, and passing out of the post.

  16. chris.afroman

    I’m all for Azubuike starting at SG. good defender and shooter. can be a “D and 3s” guy. I just hope that Gallo doesn’t have to start at power forward. that’s all I’m really concerned about.

  17. Ted Nelson

    Z-man: Dollar for dollar, I’d go with Barron as well, but I was anticipating that he’ll command more than the vet’s minimum and/or a one year deal. If we can get Barron to sign for a year at the vet’s minimum, it’s a no-brainer.Bender is a stretch 4, yes, but at 7? 230 lbs with long arms and decent skills but limited mobility, I think he could evolve into a servicable “traditional” b/u 5 if he puts his mind to it (or is compelled to) and has preseason to prepare for that role.Now that we have shooters/scorers at the forward positions, I would keep him close to the basket and have him focus on rebounding, blocking shots, defending, and passing out of the post.  

    I’m not sure Barron will get more than the minimum. He had a few good games, but that comes after playing 3 years at the minimum where he barely played followed by 2 full seasons where apparently no NBA team even wanted him at the minimum…

    My consideration with Bender is “if he puts his mind to it.” I mean Jonathan Bender and ” focus on rebounding, blocking shots, defending, and passing out of the post” have never gone together before. His biggest NBA skills are his length on D and outside shooting. Bender has never had a rebound rate or ast rate above 10 for a full season. He’s only had a TO% below 15 once. I’d tell him to stand there and shoot 3′s… Frye’s comparison to Frye seems about right.

  18. Count Zero

    @ #13

    Any plan which includes 12 mins/game from Curry is doomed from the opening tip. Seriously — you’re not asking us to fall for that again are you? Eddy is an expiring contract — no more, no less.

    If Amar’e plays 36 per, I seriously doubt 25 of them will come beside Turiaf. (I doubt Turiaf will even play 25.) If they do, then you can pretty much assume that either Randolph or Gallo are in the doghouse because otherwise they should each be pulling down 30+ — which in turn means that one of them will see time at the 4 and therefore Amar’e will see time at the 5. Or more accurately — you will see the three forward, no center look quite a bit IMHO. We’re talking about D’Antoni here…

  19. Ted Nelson

    stratomatic,

    “If we are desperate enough to sign Bender as our backup C, then we aren’t going to be as good as I hoped.”

    The Knicks might have an open roster spot (11 under contract + 3 rookies). No one is talking about Bender as a big-time acquisition, just as an end of the roster guy who has the upside and versatility to maybe make the rotation or fill in for an injured guy.

    They’ll probably wait for some other things to shake out to see what 15th man candidates are available. Bender, Barron, Marquis Daniels and Luther Head (who DC mentions above) and any PG are definite veteran candidates to take that spot. Or the Knicks could bring in an unproven young 15th man with upside.

    “IMO Randolph is too good to keep on the bench. We are going to have make adjustments to make sure he gets minutes.”

    There’s talk that Randolph has put on 25 lbs or something and speculation D’Antoni will use him at the 5 as he did with Boris Diaw. No one told Randolph apparently because he called himself a hybrid 1-through-3 in a recent WFAN interview.
    If Randolph doesn’t play the 5 and/or get on D’Antoni’s good side, I could see D’Antoni starting Turiaf/Mozgov at the 5 and bringing Randolph off the bench. Randolph might play more minutes, but D’Antoni would be able to tell Amare he is starting a 5 next to him.

  20. danvt

    Ted,
    Thanks for the response on my post.

    I would also be happy with a 41 win season. I’m not sold that we get there.

    With regard to Brandon Jennings, I’m just concerned about D’Antoni’s teaching ability. Skiles, put Jennings in the right situation and taught him how to be a good PG. That he forced too many shots is on him.
    Now, for NYK, my concern is whether we have the guy in place that can get the most out of his young players. From the way he rode Duhon, I’m dubious (but ever hopeful).

    My point on the “trade” was Amar’e compared to Lee. Yes, I think he’s better, but is that upgrade enough to make us a lot better all by it’s self? Randolph certainly gets rave reviews here. Does the combination of him and Amar’e put us in playoff contention? I haven’t seen him enough to know. Is he a young Jermaine O’neal or is he brittle? Was everyone we got from GSW hurt last year?Are they all OK now?

  21. Ted Nelson

    dan,

    I think it is partially on Skiles that Jennings jacked up a lot of shots. It happened all season, so he had plenty of time to correct it.

    Skiles is a very good teacher/ motivator/nagger, especially on defense. He gets the most out of his players for the most part. I agree. D’Antoni has a different–more hands off–approach maybe, but he did get the most out of his players in Phoenix. He got the most out of Lee, Al Harrington, Nate in 08-09, Douglas, Bill Walker, turned WC’s approach around last season… but not the most out of some Knicks and Nuggets in his time with those two orgs. I’m not the world’s biggest D’Antoni fan, but I think he’s a good coach and I think this team is built for him. I do think he’s the best coach maybe in the entire NBA to get the most out of Randolph, Amare, Gallo especially, which is pretty much the Knicks core. TD should at least do very well for him whether or not another coach could get more from him. There’s an argument Felton will be at his best running the break. Turiaf, Walker, Azu, Timo, and Fields are all guys D’Antoni might be able to get the most out of based on their skill-sets and histories.

    At some point you can’t do it for the players and even the Skiles approach often leads to burn-out and guys motivated until the day they sign fat guaranteed contracts.

    “Yes, I think he’s better, but is that upgrade enough to make us a lot better all by it’s self?”

    You can’t just consider Lee-for-Amare, though. The Knicks would never have gotten Randolph, Turiaf, and Azubuike had they kept Lee. It would have been Lee and free agents/salary cap dumps v. Amare-Randolph-Turiaf-Azubuike.

    No one knows for sure how AR’s career will go. However, he’s been an above average player at 19 and 20 years old. There just aren’t many guys you can say that about who didn’t go on to accomplish a lot. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but a very good 20 year old is a good risk to take.

  22. danvt

    I’ve heard very little criticism of the Lee trade here, so, I’ll take that as a good sign. Considering how popular Lee is on this board and how few dissenters there have been on Randolph, I’m encouraged. The consensus on this blog has not been wrong about much. Seems like for years we were bashing our heads against a 30+ win ceiling, with no hope of getting better. I like that AR is still on his rookie deal. That’s our ace in the hole. If it doesn’t work out, we’re not paying him like Bobby Bonilla…yet.

    I guess my main thrust is that I don’t really trust D’Antoni yet. He had a genius in Steve Nash, who might have been the true source of his SSOL success. He has not had any extended runs of success in his first two years with the Knicks and it seems like teams in similar position have had more (ie: Milwaukee). I’m afraid D’Antoni was brought here because he was the popular flavor two years ago, coached LBJ on team USA, and was thought to be a great recruiter.

    Again, I couldn’t be happier that Zach and Jamal and Malik are gone, but now is when this coach and GM are going to earn their legacies. I’ll believe it when I see it is all I can say.

  23. Jafa

    Can we stop with the Bender as a center comments, or even the “stretch 4″ ideas. We need rebounding. I say again, we need rebounding.

    There are a lot of guys on this team that can shoot the ball, so we don’t need anybody else to “stretch” the floor. We need rebounding, or else it will be 7 second and clank, run back on D, and if the other team misses, give up a second chance opportunity. That is a recipe for disaster for a marginally good defensive team.

    Somebody needs to rebound on both ends of the floor. There will be a lot of shots put up by us this season, and with David Lee gone, who is going to rebound?

    Somebody explain how Bender is the answer to this problem.

  24. slovene knick

    I see AR as the seconcoming of the draft pick that was lost years ago with Marbury deal and now Donnie managed to right the wrong with just a little shorter rookie contract.
    You get the player who has already shown that he is Nba readyand is young and cheap.With Donnie you dont need no first round picks:).He gets you Randolph + two decent players.

    I don’t understand the GSW management on this…or do they have some other reasons(injury or something else) to let a guy like Randolph go?
    T-Mac???Have no clue.More no than yes.He’s veteran…and Knicks have a very fresh empirical(Penny, Steve,Vin….) data regardig those experiments.Ok..99 had something to do with veterans.

    Sorry for my gramar and spelling(lack of knowledge and my checkspelling doesn’t work).

  25. Ted Nelson

    Jafa: Can we stop with the Bender as a center comments, or even the “stretch 4? ideas.We need rebounding.I say again, we need rebounding.There are a lot of guys on this team that can shoot the ball, so we don’t need anybody else to “stretch” the floor.We need rebounding, or else it will be 7 second and clank, run back on D, and if the other team misses, give up a second chance opportunity.That is a recipe for disaster for a marginally good defensive team.Somebody needs to rebound on both ends of the floor.There will be a lot of shots put up by us this season, and with David Lee gone, who is going to rebound?Somebody explain how Bender is the answer to this problem.  

    I don’t think there is a problem. NY had one of the worst rebound differentials in the league last season even with Lee. They were largely playing Lee with a weak rebounder like Harrington or Jeffries… This season they should have 2 or 3 strong rebounders on the court at a time.

    Randolph is a very good rebounder (reb% 17 career). Amare is a solid rebounder (reb% 14.7 career). And Timo has the chance to be a very good rebounder if he’s good enough overall to earn minutes. Turiaf is a weak rebounder, but he’s still significantly better than Harrington or Jeffries or Danilo (between the 3 I’m guessing that’s the majority of the PF minutes from last season).

    Bender is not necessarily the answer to any problem besides possibly the problem of putting a 15th man on the roster which Walsh might elect not to do so he’s flexible for 2 for 1 trades).

    I don’t know where to look for comprehensive historical team stats, but were the Suns particularly good rebounders under D’Antoni? They didn’t have particularly strong rebounding personnel. Last season’s Suns were towards the middle of the pack in differential. Boston was towards the bottom of the pack and made the Finals.

    slovene knick,

    Good points.
    re: GSW… I guess GS wanted the certainty of an All-Star PF over the risk of a talented PF with a higher ceiling but also a lower floor.

  26. Ben R

    The end of the bench player we need is a PG. We have Turiaf and Mozgov plus Curry if we need him, Jordan if he makes the team and Amare and Randolph can play the 5. We have no PGs after Felton and Douglas. If either goes down who is our backup PG? Walker? Azubuike? Fields?

    We need our last pickup to be a third string PG because after Douglas and Felton we have no one that can even play backup PG in a pinch.

    I would second the resounding no to McGrady and also would pass on Bender. The difference between Bender and Frye was huge last year when you take into account Frye’s 60% TS% compared to Bender’s 53% and Frye’s 8.8% TOV% compared to Bender’s 20.1%. Frye was extremely efficient in his role last year which is what made him useful, his combination of extremely low turnovers and high TS% made up for some of his other shortcomings. Bender has all the shortcomings; questionable mobility, poor rebounding, average usage, average defense without the strengths.

    If we sign another center on top of Mozgov and Turiaf I would prefer a project like Jordan than a solid but mediocre backup like Barron.

  27. massive

    Does anybody here think Mozgov has the motor/rebounding ability to start? I think he has a chance to a better rebounding version of Robin Lopez. I don’t think he’ll start right away (if at all), but I think he has a chance. Of course, he’ll first have to make the rotation, but according to Mozgov’s agent, he’s already Turiaf’s back-up.

  28. rama

    What an amazing article! Not because it necessarily has a chance to become true (though it doesn’t seem farfetched), but because a top NBA talent actually talked about WANTING TO PLAY WITH THE KNICKS?

    Even better was the assertion that the DLee sign-and-trade was not only about good rotation players that don’t mess with our cap, but about acquiring actual TRADE ASSETS. When was the last time anyone used the workds “Knicks” and “trade assets” in any combination that didn’t include “expiring deal?”

    Wha? I’m so disoriented in this bizarro universe….

  29. Thomas B.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/13659617/new-hornets-brass-already-facing-crisis-with-paul

    CBS sportsline says the same. They say Knicks, Magic, Lakers on the list. I’d have to thinks Knicks have the least talent to send back.

    I am the worst poster/contributor on site when it comes to trade value (since i admit that, please spare me the mean comments) but this worked on trade machine.

    Knicks get Paul and Okafor (26.4 million) and Hornets get Curry, Randolph, Azibuke, Turiaf, and Chandler (22.6 million). Hornet speed rebuilding with expiring contracts and young cheap players, plus they move the 4 years left on Okafor’s deal.

    Knicks get Paul-nuff said-and Okafor, who is probably a better fit next to STAT than either Randolph and Turiaf.

    Yes, I know its unlikely. But I dont want to give up Gallanari. Sue me.

  30. jon abbey

    “Knicks get Paul and Okafor (26.4 million) and Hornets get Curry, Randolph, Azibuke, Turiaf, and Chandler (22.6 million).”

    I think if you threw in Toney Douglas, this would be a tough package for Orlando or LA to match.

    we’d need a lot of guys for depth still, but then we’d be at Okafor/Amare/Gallinari/Walker/Paul, with Felton, Fields and Mozgov coming off the bench. we’d be a real SG away from a very good team.

  31. Thomas B.

    “I think if you threw in Toney Douglas, this would be a tough package for Orlando or LA to match.”

    In that case, Toney Douglas is in.

    If only there was a Joe Johnson type at a quarter the price, that team with a few bench contributors could have a shot at the Eastern Conference finals, if they didnt have to face Miami or Orlando to get there. Man that would be sweet, a quality playoff run.

  32. massive

    I think a 3-way trade with New York, Orlando, and New Orleans is best for everybody. Maybe something like this:

    New York gets: Chris Paul, Ryan Anderson, Mickael Pietrus.
    Orlando gets: Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf, and David West.
    New Orleans gets: Marcin Gortat, Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph, and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract to make the math work.

    Orlando gets an offensive 4 to play next to Howard (West), somebody to back up Howard and do the dirty work (Turiaf), and somebody who can step in and bring what Pietrus brings or more. Also allows them to move Lewis to the 3, something SVG wanted/wants to do/look into.

    New York gets Chris Paul and Mickael Pietrus, nuff said. Ryan Anderson is a legit stretch four (6 foot 10 and 240 pounds, shoots around 37% from downtown) and makes for a pretty good STAT back-up. We managed to keep Gallo and Toney Douglas, and Raymond Felton can be moved to a team like Memphis or somebody else later for front-court/wing depth.

    New Orleans gets to put out a starting 5 of Collison/Thornton/Chandler/Randolph/Okafor, with Gortat off the bench. They get younger and have two franchise cornerstones in Collison and Randolph. Not sure how else I can rationalize giving up there two best players (you can argue that Randolph has a higher ceiling on both sides of the ball compared to West, so they do get a better player).

    :)

  33. Z-man

    Would hate to give up on Randolph before getting a good look at him. He may wind up having more upside than Gallo.

  34. Spree8nyk8

    Isn’t there a trade window for newly signed free agents? I thought they couldn’t be moved for 3 months or something…

  35. xduckshoex

    I don’t understand why Gallo or Randolph have to be included. The Hornets are cheap and will want young talent, the Lakers and Magic can’t offer that in any capacity. Chandler, Douglas, Azuibuke and Curry for Paul.

    I wouldn’t want Okafor included at all, he’s not going to play much under D’Antoni and it ruins the Knicks flexibility in the future, but if it comes down to it and Okafor is necessary I’m either keeping Randolph and Gallo or I’m getting Marcus Thornton.

    Otherwise I’ll pass. I love Paul and would love to have him in NY but I’m not for giving up all flexibility and getting him by making an offer that is much, much, much better than any of the other suitors can offer. I’d rather retain the cap flexibility and try my luck with Melo next summer if New Orleans insists that I gut the roster of all of the young talent.

  36. Z

    If we are going to bid against Orlando and the Lakers for Paul, though, there is no way Orlando can win without involving a third team. No way NO accepts Gortat, Bass, and Petrius over anything the Knicks and Lakers can offer.

    Lakers can offer Bynum, the single most attractive player available. He has $15,000,000 due in 2011, which is still less than they were committed to Paul for.

    If you were NO would you rather have Bynum, or a handful of young guys on small contracts? I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that, but like Rama said, at least we are in the conversation.

  37. nicos

    Unless Paul is seriously threatening to sit out (which I doubt he is) I be really surprised if NO moves him before the season starts. Maybe if the Lakers jumped in with an offer Bynum, some expiring contracts and a bunch of picks they might go for it. The Knicks deal mentioned above- which amounts to a very intriguing talent in Randolph and a bunch of expiring role players (unless they love Chandler)- if I’m New Orleans I’d keep Paul and hope he doesn’t become too big of a distraction. And my guess if Paul really is desperate to get out that by the trade deadline he’d expand that list of teams, giving NO some other offers to consider.
    On the Knicks end: while I’d probably make the deal, I’d at least consider waiting- if he really wants to play here you might have the chance to sign him in 2012 without giving up anything (and not taking back a bad contract like Okafor’s). If you take on Paul & Okafor that means you’re going to have very little in the way of salary cap flexibility and without the prospect of high draft picks the next couple of years, you’re probably looking at the mid-level exception as the only way of adding talent. I think I might want to know Paul’s knees are sound before I’d go all in like that.

  38. jon abbey

    for LA to move Bynum, they need to get Okafor back (personnel-wise), and then they’d have to include Odom and Vujacic for cap purposes.

    I’m not sure that’s a smart move for LA, is Okafor/Gasol/Artest/Kobe/Paul and no sixth guy better than the team that just won the title? arguable.

  39. Z

    Why do the Lakers need Okafor?

    Kobe, Paul, Gasol, Artest, Odom. That can survive without Bynum and Okafor, don’t you think?

  40. jon abbey

    Gasol can be physically overmatched at C, same as Garnett or Bosh or Amare. a C who allows them to move to PF is an important part for any of those teams.

  41. TDM

    Bynum is very good when healthy. However, because of his history of injuries, I can’t see NO trading CP3 in a deal revolving around Bynum. If they want an injury-plagued big man, they could try to bring back Chandler. Don’t see LA happening.

  42. Doug Chu

    Does Paul fit in with the Lakers? They don’t need a genius at the point to run the triangle. How much marginal value does Paul provide in an offense that doesn’t rely on his skill set?

  43. Frank

    I’d do just about any deal that nets us Chris Paul (assuming of course that he is actually healthy– BIG if) as long as it does not include Amare and includes only one of Gallo or Randolph. The deals being thrown around in the previous posts are classic fantasy football or MLB one-sided trades for stars – a bunch of average to above average players or prospects for a bona-fide superstar. I’m having trouble thinking of a single trade in MLB involving a real superstar (ie. 1st-team all-MLB sort of guy) for prospects where it actually worked out better for the team getting the prospects. Prospects are just prospects — they MIGHT be good. Seriously – the Indians gave up CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee for a bunch of super-prospects, and I think 2 years later one of them is playing semi-regularly and the rest of have been busts.

    Chris Paul (if healthy) will be probably be included on the next top 50 of all time players the next time they do that exercise. I couldn’t care less if we have to swallow Okafor’s contract at the same time — he at least is useful in some way, shape, or form, unlike any of the other players playing C for us since Patrick. Guys like Chandler, Azubuike, Douglas, etc etc are totally replaceable. Giving up Randolph OR Gallo is totally reasonable. Depending on the package it might be reasonable even to give up both (ie if we got a bunch of picks back too). I’d be totally willing to give up the package that jonabbey suggested in #35.

    Actually – what I would most prefer is to wait until 2011 to reconsider this. Right now Gallo and Randolph still fall in the “prospect” category — if we are right and they end up being as good as we all think, we would have a lot more options.

  44. Frank

    sorry to add onto my own post – but ESPECIALLY in the NBA where there are max contracts and where real superstars making the max are actually totally underpaid — trading a bunch of mid-level guys for a real superstar is a good idea.

  45. danvt

    I’ll be surprised if a deal for Paul is coming. I mean, blockbuster deals don’t just happen because the numbers crunch on the ESPN trade machine. However, a crucially important precedent has been set, that’s good for NYK, and it’s been set by everyone’s favorite scoundrel LeBron james. It used to be, until this July, that athletes equated the most money with the most respect, period. Whether it was two million or twenty thousand, jocks would pay lip service to other aspects of the situation, common folk would wonder why such small percentages of overall income are so important, but the bottom line was always the financial bottom line. Can anyone think of anyone who ever took less money to be in a better situation in free agency before Miami 2010? Griffey Jr. with the Reds?

    Now, the seismic shift. The bottom line is winning. The bottom line is playing with people you’ll enjoy playing with. NYK is pretty well positioned for this new atmosphere. The best city and all that goes with it. Amar’e, the “superstar” and top recruiter, and good young talent to trade or play with. Thanks LeBron.

  46. DS

    While I don’t want to believe anything I read at face value after the LeBron affair, the Hornets, ARE in trouble of following the Cleveland model of trying to add piece after piece to make their superstar happy only to have him bolt on them. The Hornets are not winning the championship before 2012. They have to know that. New Orleans is my 2nd favorite city but they are not a popular free agency destination. So, maybe something with the Knicks will work out.

    The Knicks SHOULD give up Gallinari AND Randolph, and prob. more (Douglas? Chandler?) for Paul. The Hornets will have serious leverage.

    CP3-Azu-Chandler-Amare-Okafor is a bad ass team. With Felton, Walker/Fields, and Turiaf off the bench to give the starters plenty of rest!! Are you kidding me??? I would take that in a heart beat. That team could really hurt Miami down low and would defend and score very well if healthy.

    N.O. could start over with a Collison-Thorton-Gallo-Douglas-Randolph core who are all under 24. They could trade Peja and West to playoff teams for 3 or 4 more high quality youths, maybe some picks and they’d be in business w/ plenty of cap room. They could start to build a team the way the Bulls did.

  47. Z

    Here’s Hahn’s piece on the Paul rumors. The most interesting part is the insight he adds at the end:

    “Donnie Walsh in May made initial contact with former Hornets GM Jeff Bower about Paul. Bower told Walsh that the franchise was going through an ownership transfer and, as a result, it wasn’t the right time to discuss moving the franchise’s most valuable player. Bower didn’t exactly close the door, but he made it clear there wasn’t any rush to move the player, either.”

    http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=7E558F9D4CEC94137BB6.2777?site=newsday&view=page3&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports&feed:i=1.2128277

  48. DS

    jon abbey:
    I’m not sure that’s a smart move for LA, is Okafor/Gasol/Artest/Kobe/Paul and no sixth guy better than the team that just won the title? arguable.  

    Yes. A downgrade at the 5, that is IF Bynum is healthy and a colossal upgrade at the 1. L.A. “ain’t broke” but they did get pushed to a nail biting 7th game by the Celtics. I think you 100% have to do that deal if you’re L.A

  49. Caleb

    It would take a Vince-Carter style sitdown strike to get the Hornets to move Paul right now, for the kind of deals we’re talking about. He’s under contract for two more years, so it’s not like they’re limited to the Knicks and Lakers as trade partners… you’re not going to get him cheap.

    But it’s interesting to see… he does have leverage, in that he can always threaten to bolt in 2012 if he doesn’t like where he is.

  50. Ted Nelson

    The Hornets are probably not trading Chris Paul this season. Theonly argument I can really see for trading him is that another injury or simply not returning to form because of a lingering injury will decrease his trade value.

    The big x-factor with Chris Paul is his health, though.

    As far as LA, I probably wouldn’t do that deal. Bynum is one of the top 2-5 centers in the NBA. He’s as good as Gasol, just not durable. I’d call Bynum maybe the most underrated player in the NBA. What’s Chris Paul going to do in the triangle offense? It’s going to take the ball out of his hands, which is not what you want. You want the ball in his hands. You have to seriously consider it because of Bynum’s lack of durability, but trading both Bynum and Odom would take them out of title contention in my opinion. They need their interior strength the compete with Boston and Orlando, and their advantage in the paint is probably their strength against the Heat.

  51. Doug Chu

    Frank, baseball prospects are a much greater risk than basketball prospects. Few pan out. It’s not completely accurate to compare the two.

    If out of an MLB team’s top ten prospects, three or four make it to the majors, that’s a reasonable haul.

  52. Thomas B.

    I figured N.O. would be more receptive to an offer that allowed them to move Okafor’s contract. That way they can speed the rebuild. They would get a number of young cheap players plus the expiring contract of Curry to match salary. The Knicks are still under the cap, unlike the other teams on the list, so the Knicks have some flexability with taking back contracts that other teams do not. I think if N.O. had to trade Paul they would try to get Okafor moved at the same time.

    Paul was hurt but we are not talking about microfracture surgery here. He missed 37 games with a kneee injury. There is no reason to think that signals a huge problem.

    Okafor would have to play in D’antoni’s system. His defense and rebounding is far too valuable next to Amare. He is a more efficient scorer than Randolph for all his upside. Plus if the deal I suggested is even a bit plausible, then you have no bigs on the team other than Jordan and Margozov and they aint ready. We all agree DG should not be a power forward, so what are the other options.

    Answer me this, who is a better player today Randolph or Okafor? On talent Okafor, on age and money Randolph. But to get Paul, I’d give up Randolph easy. Of course, I never liked him anyway so it’s easy for me to say that.

  53. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    Is New Orleans really “rebuilding” though? They have one of the top 5 players in the league… maybe top 3. The last two seasons CP3 was healthy NO won 56 and 49 games. If they “rebuild” can they really expect to find another talent as good as Chris Paul? Can they guarantee 50 wins? If his health holds Paul may retire as the best PG ever to play the game… NO can guarantee they have Chris Paul on the their roster the next 2 seasons. In that time they could make 2 deep playoff pushes and convince Paul to stay. They could get back to 50 wins with Paul healthy and have good young talent to improve going forward (Collison, Thornton, Brackins, Pondexter…). They could piece together some expiring contracts and young players to get CP3 a super-star sidekick. Plus they have tons of cap flexibility going forward, as their only guaranteed contract beyond 2012 is Okafor. I think they have to go into this season trying to win and see how it goes. They’d have to be really blown away with a Randolph + Gallo deal to consider trading him soon, IMO, and even then I don’t know if they give up Paul for two unproven players who have little chance of ever being as good as Paul. If this season goes poorly maybe things change.

    I have heard that Paul’s knee problem may be a long-term concern. I have no idea if that’s the case. If his health is not a concern, NO would be wise to hold on to CP3 since a healthy season could only raise his trade value.

    Why don’t you like Randolph? I would trade him for Chris Paul if there are no serious health concerns with Paul, sure. I don’t think that’s realistic, though. He’s a good player already, though, with the chance to get a lot better.

  54. JK47

    @62 I completely agree and was going to say the same thing, but you beat me to it. The Lakers match up well against Miami because they will be able to punish the Heat down low, and because they have such excellent perimieter defense. They’d be better off keeping Bynum
    and sending a relentless army of big men at the Heat’s weak interior defense. The Lakers as currently constituted are kind of a matchup nightmare for the cHeat– great perimeter defenders in Artest and Kobe to keep Wade and LeBron in check and three very talented big men to attack the Heat’s biggest weakness, interior D. An ideal player to add would be a Ron Harper-ish triangle PG, but Paul doesn’t really fit that bill. Chris Paul in the triangle offense would be kind of a waste and would be counterproductive if it meant sacrificing Bynum.

  55. rama

    Z –

    thanks for the link to the generally excellent Alan Hahn. But read further – that isn’t the end of the article by any means. There are six more (short) pages. The real end is pithy: that LeBron’s promotional agency – which CP3 just signed with – may play a role in convincing CP3 to move on, meaning that in a way LeBron could help deliver a second superstar to NY this summer.

    Sweet.

    Hahn also puts forward a similar analysis as already seen here: the trade wouldn’t make tons of sense to the Lakers, and Orlando doesn’t really have the assets. The Knicks do – especially if they take the big contract of Okafur off NO’s books. Personally, aside from the fact that NO wouldn’t likely do any rebuilding trade without getting rid of Okafur, I would be happy to take him. Overpaid, sure, but he’d be a good complement to Amare. And NO would have a core to build around – assuming we deal Randolph, which would we have to. Randolph is also more expendable than Gallo: both have similar upside – they could be franchise players – but offer different skill sets. Randolph’s is a bit more similar to Amare’s.

    Assuming we trade Chandler, Curry, Randolph, Douglas:

    CP3
    Azu
    Gallo
    Amare
    Okafur

    Felton
    Turiaf
    Walker
    Mozgov
    Fields
    Rautins
    Jordan

    Pretty exciting. Still need a 2, though as I keep saying, Azu is very good and will surprise people here, I think. And maybe Walker or Rautins will surprise us.

  56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    “I’m having trouble thinking of a single trade in MLB involving a real superstar (ie. 1st-team all-MLB sort of guy) for prospects where it actually worked out better for the team getting the prospects. Prospects are just prospects — they MIGHT be good. Seriously – the Indians gave up CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee for a bunch of super-prospects, and I think 2 years later one of them is playing semi-regularly and the rest of have been busts.”

    Have you not yet read Moneyball by Michael Lewis?

  57. JK47

    If we take Okafor, though, it kills our flexibility. That’s a long and burdensome contract. I would rather try to figure out a way to acquire Paul while preserving cap space for Carmelo. With Paul and Stoudemire on the team it may be possible to convince Melo to take a Miami-style “haircut” and come here for a bit less. How in the hell this would be accomplished I have no idea, but that’s my new pipe dream post-LeBrocalypse.

  58. jaddddd1

    “I’m having trouble thinking of a single trade in MLB involving a real superstar (ie. 1st-team all-MLB sort of guy) for prospects where it actually worked out better for the team getting the prospects.”

    How bout Bartolo Colon for Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, among others

    Mark Mulder for Dan Haren, Daric Barton, Kiko Calero

    Dan Haren for Carlos Gonzalez (who was then shipped off for Matt Holliday), Brett Andeson, Chris Carter, Aaron Cunningham, Dana Eveland, Greg Smith

    AJ Pierzynski (one of the top catchers in the game at the time) for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser

  59. Z-man

    I would really, really want to get a look at Randolph in action in D’Antoni’s system before concluding that Gallo is more valuable than Randolph. I am not convinced that Gallo’s back surgery is no longer an issue. For all of his great shooting, he still looked somewhat slow and stiff to me. I am concerned that Paul is as much of an injury risk as Amar’e, due as much to his small size and balls-out play as anything. I would rather hold off and take my chances with Anthony in 2011. My hope is that if you have Amar’e, Melo, Randolph and Gallo on the floor for 30+mpg in D’Antoni’s system, you can live with a non-star PG.

  60. jaddddd1

    Mark Teixeira for Jarrod Saltalmacchia, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, and others (big win for Texas)

    Erik Bedard for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman

  61. Count Zero

    There is almost no deal that results in CP3 wearing blue and orange that I wouldn’t do. I would rather not give up both Randolph and Gallo, but if I had to…I would probably do it as long as I got something besides CP3 and the horrid Okafur contract.

    I mean, really — this CP3 we talkin’ ’bout!

  62. Ted Nelson

    I also don’t know that Randolph is more expendable than Gallo. Right now Gallo is pretty much Peja. Outside of 3pt shooting he’s shown some signs, but has no other plus NBA skill. Maybe he improves, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he develops into a better player than Randolph, maybe he doesn’t. Is 3pt shooting really harder to find than shot-blocking, rebounding, and other worldly athleticism? I don’t think it is.

    Randolph is similar to Amare? Randolph is a poor scorer, but has a lot of defensive upside. I think he could complement Amare as well as Gallo.

    “Azu is very good and will surprise people here”

    I don’t think anyone is debating that he is good… very good, though?

    “My hope is that if you have Amar’e, Melo, Randolph and Gallo on the floor for 30+mpg in D’Antoni’s system”

    You’re going to have 4 forwards on the court and 3 guys whose value is derived largely from shooting the basketball. I think the Knicks are in a good position regardless of what happens, but if the chance to trade Randolph or Gallo for Chris Paul came and I had no long-term injury concerns with Paul… forget it. Done. Paul-Amare + supporting cast makes you a home court team. The Knicks have no guarantees of making the playoffs this season. Chris Paul is already a top PG all-time, and we’re talking about Randolph’s most realistic outcome being Josh Smith/Andrei Kirilenko/Lamar Odom… Melo is just not in the same league as Paul. Melo is a strong all-star, CP3 is an all-time great. Chris Paul is worth maybe twice what Melo is.

  63. TheRant

    CP3 would indeed be an extraordinary upgrade. But the only way I’d trade for Emeka Okafor is in a game of Scrabble. He is signed at $14M through 2014.

  64. Frank

    OK for all you guys listing trades for 2nd tier MLB players — that is why I wrote 1st team MLB guys. AJ Pierczynski does not count. Erik Bedard does not count. the “big win” for Texas has still equaled ZERO post-season appearances for Texas since then (although that might end this year because…. they traded a bunch of prospects for Cliff Lee).

    So…
    We’re talking Cliff Lee – Phils get him, go to WS
    We’re talking CC – Yanks get him, win WS
    We’re talking Johan Santana — granted the Mets stink but he’s been pretty great and there are ZERO players from that trade on Minnesota’s MLB roster.
    We’re talking Pujols if he ever got traded.
    We’re talking Joe Mauer-type guys.
    How did A-Rod for Alfonso Soriano work out?
    Also – I’m not talking about short-term rentals. Obviously if the player is on the team for 3 months then it’s not a good trade.

    Re: Moneyball – what Billy Beane did is remarkable, but here’s a quote from his Wikipedia page: “Beane succeeded Alderson as GM in 1998, and he continued Alderson’s crafting of the Athletics into one of the most cost-effective teams in baseball. For example, in 2006 the A’s ranked 24th of 30 major league teams in player salaries but had the 5th-best regular-season record. This reflects a typical pattern throughout Beane’s stewardship…Despite this, the Athletics have been repeatedly thwarted in their bid to win in the playoffs under Beane. They finally won a series when they swept the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series on October 6, 2006, but were subsequently swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.”

    My point was only that when you have a choice between trading multiple “potential” guys for a 1st-team all-NBA guy in his prime (assuming his health is ok) — you have to do it. If we traded Gallo and Randolph and they both blow up and become Nowitzki and Garnett, then at least we still got Chris Paul. But chances are more likely they’ll turn out to be Peja and Odom — and I bet most of you would make a Peja/Odom (and their ~25M in salary) for Paul (and his 15-18M salary) any day of the week.

  65. Brian Cronin

    So Richard Jefferson did, indeed, opt out of his contract in a “wink wink nudge nudge” deal with the Spurs. He just re-signed with the Spurs for a multi-year deal.

  66. DS

    Caleb –

    I agree that the Hornets are holding the most cards. On the other hand, what is their long-term strategy?

    They can either get better in the next two years to keep CP3 happy which might involve dealing Thorton and almost certainly would involve a Collison trade. It is extra tricky to convince Paul you want to win if you are unwilling to pay any luxury tax. Plus Miami’s spectacle has made any other player who wants a championship look at their current situation and wonder if they have any shot at all in their prime. I think they’d find themselves in the same position in 2012 that the Cavs are in.

    …OR the Hornets can deal David West to get younger. Maybe if you add two or three up-and-comers, CP3 will be more inclined to re-sign in 2012. If they decide they want to get younger, they prob. want to do it now before West turns 30, while they can package him to dump Okafor’s deal that lasts until 2014. Hard to say if that will get CP3 to stay.

    OR they can just resign themselves to being OK, w/ no championship aspirations and hope for the best when CP3 become a free agent.

    The new CBA might make it harder to do something to their advantage.

  67. Frank

    Brian Cronin: You’ve moved the goal posts so far I can’t even see them anymore, Frank.  

    LOL – but you would agree that Paul would be the NBA equivalent of A-Rod, Mauer, Cliff Lee etc. and NOT Dan frickin Haren, wouldn’t you? Chris Paul is an all-time great point guard. He’s not a 2 time all-star who got in to the all-star game because Chauncey Billups got hurt.

    The case I’m making is even stronger in the NBA as opposed to MLB because in no other major team sport does one player make such a huge difference. Paul + Amare and 1-2 good 3 point shooters would be crazy good on the offensive end.

  68. Caleb

    for the record, Okafor is pretty good… on his career he averages almost 2 blocks a game, and about 11 boards per 36. Last year was no different. He’s not a great scorer but he’s no Tyson Chandler, and he’s reasonably efficient – TS% around 55 the last few years, and 58 in 2008-2009. Given the injury history I might rather have $13 million for a FA, but it’s not like he’s stealing money.

    As for Chris Paul… in general, you trade anything to get a player like that. But we might have some special circumstances, i.e. if he’s trying to force his way to the Knicks. If he’s willing to take the long view – wait until 2012 – he could take away all the Hornets’ leverage. He could land himself on a Knicks team with Stoudemire, Anthony (or maybe a great center, like Noah or Horford or Oden), Randolph AND Gallo*…

    At least he could minimize what the Knicks have to give up. I don’t know what Paul wants, but IF he wants to land in New York he’s got a vested interest in the team not giving up too much.

    Like someone else said, it’s just fun to see the Knicks as a desirable destination.

    *In the summer of 2012, the Knicks roster would look like this:
    Stoudemire @19.5 million
    Anthony/Noah/etc. 17 million (or less, if he takes a LeBron-ish deal)
    Gallo’s Q-offer 5.6 million
    Randolph’s Q-offer 4 million

    That’s 46.1 million… if the cap is around 60 million, there’s plenty to make a big offer to CP3. If Anthony/2011 star takes less, it frees up even more $$. Knicks could sign Paul (or Deron Williams) for $14 million, then go over the cap via Bird rights to re-sign Gallo & Randolph.

    Or, if the Knicks include Gallo or Randolph in the deal, they have even more money to spend – say, to keep Toney Douglas, or whatever. Tack on our #1 pick from the 2010 Wilson Chandler trade and we’re in business.

    I’m not saying this is THE best plan – like Ted said, it gives the Knicks four forwards, including three ball hogs. In a perfect world they swap out a star forward for a star center, or a star shooting guard. And the new CBA could change things up. But basically, the Knicks have fantastic flexibility the next few years.

  69. Caleb

    @79 If I were the Hornets, I’d try and build a team around Paul. Cap flexibility and draft picks are pointless – you’re not going to fill them with someone as good as Paul. Meanwhile, if everyone’s healthy, there’s no reason they can’t win 55+ the way they did two years ago. David West has value in a trade. Collison, too. They’ve got some decent young prospects. And, who knows – the new owner might be willing to pay tax. Or the new CBA could help the poor teams.

    At this point, the Hornets have two years to build a winner, or take bids – they don’t have any reason to rush into a bad deal.

    But that could change if Paul makes it clear he’s not staying. As time goes on, the situation gets more desperate. If he’s willing to bite the bullet for a while, he can steer himself wherever he wants. Or b), he goes into vince Carter mode and the team panics.

  70. TDM

    @69 – I agree that flexibility would be gone with Emeka, but if NO indicates that it will only trade CP3 if the Knicks take Okafor, what should NY do? Would NY be more competitive with a trio of CP3/Amare/Emeka or Tony Parker/Melo/Amare?

    If Chris Paul really wants to force the Hornet’s hand and trade him to NY, like the Knicks, he would also want a deal that doesn’t package Okafor since he ideally wants to play with both Amare and Melo. I’m just not sure how much leverage he has.

    Is there any update on Earl Barron? Are the Knicks too stacked at the 4/5 to consider him?

  71. Z-man

    Ted Nelson: I also don’t know that Randolph is more expendable than Gallo. Right now Gallo is pretty much Peja. Outside of 3pt shooting he’s shown some signs, but has no other plus NBA skill. Maybe he improves, maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he develops into a better player than Randolph, maybe he doesn’t. Is 3pt shooting really harder to find than shot-blocking, rebounding, and other worldly athleticism? I don’t think it is.
    Randolph is similar to Amare? Randolph is a poor scorer, but has a lot of defensive upside. I think he could complement Amare as well as Gallo.“Azu is very good and will surprise people here”I don’t think anyone is debating that he is good… very good, though?“My hope is that if you have Amar’e, Melo, Randolph and Gallo on the floor for 30+mpg in D’Antoni’s system”You’re going to have 4 forwards on the court and 3 guys whose value is derived largely from shooting the basketball. I think the Knicks are in a good position regardless of what happens, but if the chance to trade Randolph or Gallo for Chris Paul came and I had no long-term injury concerns with Paul… forget it. Done. Paul-Amare + supporting cast makes you a home court team. The Knicks have no guarantees of making the playoffs this season. Chris Paul is already a top PG all-time, and we’re talking about Randolph’s most realistic outcome being Josh Smith/Andrei Kirilenko/Lamar Odom… Melo is just not in the same league as Paul. Melo is a strong all-star, CP3 is an all-time great. Chris Paul is worth maybe twice what Melo is.  

    Re: Gallo vs. Randolph, and Randolph not that similar to Amare, agreed. I think Gallo gets some deference here because we drafted him and have seen flashes of what he can do. On upside, though, I think Randolph has the edge.

    Re: Paul, granted, he’s a dream-team PG. I just worry that if we put all our salary into him and Amar’e, we will never match up with either Orlando or Miami, and will have trouble with Boston and Chicago due tho their very good PG’s. I think our best chance to get out of the East is with a Laker-like front line, except with some guard skills (Gallo, Melo and Randolph all have them to some degree.) Each of them creates matchup problems at the 2 in their own way. I just think we should wait and see what we really have.

    Speciically, I just don’t think Paul-Amar’e-Gallo/Randolph (not both) + role players is enough to overcome the big 3 in Miami. Don’t know why, just a hunch. If the door can be left open for Melo, I do the deal, but the proposed deals seem to rule Melo out.

  72. taggart4800

    Azbuike
    Chandler
    Douglas
    Walker
    Turiaf
    3.8mill TE
    Pick(s)

    That is a very good haul for NO. I don’t see anyone matching that. 4 of those guys have only one year remaining. They can then use those pieces to move Okafor perhaps.

    This is somewhat a case of having your cake and then gorging yourself on it, but this is a very good offer that enables us to retain Gallo and AR. Furthermore we still have 11.5 mill expiring and Felton/Mozgov and rookies to move to Denver at the deadline for Melo. Sending further first rounders is not exactly a terrible idea as we would have Gallo and AR.

    Perhaps unrealistic but not impossible…

    Randolph
    Stoudemire
    Anthony
    Gallinari
    Paul

    Plus ,if im not much mistaken, we would still possess the MLE for the following season as we would be over the cap by resigning the guys on the roster. Add what good value there is in the Vet market and you have a very good team and a very watchable league. It would then make the playoff teams legitimately great and very entertaining. No matter what people say it would a golden era for the NBA. ORL,OKC,LA,CHI,NY,MIA,DAL,BOS all with good title claims.

  73. NYKjames

    NEW YORK KNICKS! Do whatever you have to do to bring in Chris Paul!
    NYK Trade: -Eddy Curry ($11.2m)
    -Wilson Chandler ($2.1m)
    -Ronny Turiaf ($4.2m)
    -Kelenna Azubuike ($3.3m)
    *And if necessary, any other player not named Danilo*
    = [$20.8m] in total salaries

    NYK Receive: -Chris Paul ($14.9m)
    -Emeka Okafor ($11.5m)
    = [$26.5m] in total salaries
    The Knicks are the only team who would be willing to take on Emeka Okafor’s rediculous contract; (Lakers-not gonna happen, Magic-Don’t need a center with a big contract for obvious reasons) and being that the Knicks desperately need a starting center, they would get a good solid player in Okafor, as well as fill in one of their two big holes.

    The other hole, which would be alot bigger after this proposed trade is “SHOOTING” guard. (My opinion on that is referenced in the above article) I’m telling you, T-Mac. Don’t sleep on him.

  74. Ted Nelson

    Frank,

    I agree with those who said that your MLB example means nothing in the NBA… why not just use NBA examples?

    jaddddd1′s list was pretty good and disproved your point about the MLB, to me… not that it’s a very relevant point in NBA terms. Mulder and Colon were among the best pitchers in baseball when traded. Texas knew for a fact Soriano wasn’t as good or valuable as A-Rod, so that’s not really fair. They didn’t make the trade for talent reasons, which is the case in most of the baseball trades you’re talking about.
    CC *WAS* traded as a 1/2 season rental. He was not traded to the Yankees.

    Teams in the MLB aren’t trading a top player unless they can’t afford him for some reason (budget or contract expiring), that gives them little leverage. There’s also no cap, max salaries, or minimum payroll in baseball. There are more players and more prospects in baseball… there are 75 rounds in the baseball draft and 2 in the NBA.
    Chris Paul has 2 full seasons on his contract. He can’t get more money anywhere but NO. NO can only slash their payroll so far before hitting the min payroll. NO is cheap, but have always been over the cap… they’re cheap about the luxury tax which they should be well clear of for years now. (Are they being sold anyway?) They can trade him after this season. They can s&t him in 2012. NO should be looking for a move that makes them a contender if they move Paul.

    I don’t think there’s a clear rule here. As you say, if Gallo/Randolph become Dirk/Garnett and Paul’s knees are shot forever… Knicks come out big losers. I would probably trade them both for Paul, yes, but I wouldn’t present it as if there were no possible way it could back-fire and the Knicks HAD to do it… Knicks can also maintain flexibility and pick-up Paul in 2012 without giving up any prospects. It might be in the Knicks best interest to wait until their young players are a bit more proven… Gallo/AR/TD/WC are not in A-ball right now, they’re going to be in the Knicks rotation. If they play well, they become more valuable and more attractive to NO. It would also be nice to see how Paul recovered from his injury and whether he can still play at the same level.

  75. Frank O.

    If your argument against a deal for CP3 is that you lose flexibility, I would pose this question:
    If you don’t go after a guy like CP3 with the flexibility you have, what the hell did you need flexibility for in the first place?

    Seriously, I think if you land one of the very best players in basketball not named Lebron or Kobe to complement Amare’, you are one of the most envied franchises in sport, period.
    And if that top player is a PG, the multiplier effect of a guy like Paul is enormous. A great point is more important than almost any player at any other position. He makes everyone on the team better. He makes the team’s schemes smarter. His value is truly inestimable because not only is he a strong advanced stats guy, he also brings tremendous intangibles, something I know is not quantifiable, and hence criticized on the board as a measure of the player.

    Nonetheless, you give up deal-making flexibility when you bring in great players. I’m certain Riley isn’t second guessing the moves he’s made because he’s compromised his flexibility.
    He’s happily burning his cap space.

    If you can pair Paul with Amare and fill in with some good young talent in addition to Okafor, you make that deal, or you need to be fired.
    Since we’re using baseball comparisons, I remember watching a movie about the Tampa Bay relief pitcher who was signed as a relatively old man because inexplicably he could suddenly throw 98 miles and hour. The scout approached the guy after examining several radar guns and said something like this to the doubtful pitcher, “I know your 38, but if I don’t call in a 98 mile and hour heater, I’m gonna get fired.”

    Same goes for a Paul deal. Basically, everything on the roster is available for that deal except Amare’.

    Having said all that, I simply CANNOT believe, I cannot wrap my brain around the idea, that NO would even consider trading CP3 with two years remaining on his contract…unless they thought there was something seriously doubtful about his recovery.

    I’ve gotten caught up in trade rumors on this site before only to have those hopes dashed.
    I’ll believe it when I see it…and even then, I’d have doubts until I saw a press conference with Paul there…holding up a jersey and his first paycheck. :)

  76. vanedave

    I really hope this deal does not get done before the season starts. I would hate to trade Randolph before seeing what he brings to the table this year. I want to see Felton get his fair shot. Will CP3’s knees hold up this season? Will Melo sign his extension?

    These are all questions we could possibly have clarification on by the deadline. I just don’t see CP3 as a franchise savior. We can wait. If he goes somewhere else, so be it! Lebron ended up somewhere else, and at first I was disappointed, but now I am happy. I like the players we have now. We have a young, very rootable team. Let’s enjoy that for a second, and see what we’ve got.

  77. Frank O.

    Prediction: If Paul goes to the Knicks, Melo does not sign his extension…:)

    *breathing into bag*

  78. Ted Nelson

    Frank O,

    “If you don’t go after a guy like CP3 with the flexibility you have, what the hell did you need flexibility for in the first place?”

    I agree, except I would say that Chris Paul is *better* than Kobe Bryant.

    I would not go so far as to say someone should be fired before you see the results of their plans. *If* Gallo and Randolph light the world on fire, you’re not going to look that bad for passing on trading them.

    “Azbuike
    Chandler
    Douglas
    Walker
    Turiaf
    3.8mill TE
    Pick(s)
    That is a very good haul for NO. I don’t see anyone matching that. ”

    There’s some depth, but not a ton of quality there. I think Portland already beat that with their offer. I really think most teams could beat that. Keeping Chris Paul would be better than taking that offer, especially without dumping Okafor. NO is under the cap next season and there’s no 2011 FA better than Paul… why would they move him for peanuts now?
    They’d have a million wing players, but no real high-quality players.

    Z-Man,

    “I just worry that if we put all our salary into him and Amar’e, we will never match up with either Orlando or Miami, and will have trouble with Boston and Chicago due tho their very good PG’s. I think our best chance to get out of the East is with a Laker-like front line, except with some guard skills (Gallo, Melo and Randolph all have them to some degree.)”

    -I think putting all your money into All-NBA players is the only way to match up with Miami, LA, etc.
    -Melo is a wing player. He’s not going to help your Lakers frontline. Same with Gallo. Maybe the same with Randolph.
    -Rondo and Rose are going to give us problems? More problems than CP3 is going to give other teams? Seeing as CP3 is a lot better than either of those guys… I sort of doubt it.
    -It’s not just, hypothetically, CP3-Amare-DG/AR forever… Knicks would still have flexibility with expiring deals and could still acquire a third star… say your guy Melo. They could still find someone in another way… draft, or Walsh using Okafor or WC, for example, the same way he used Dale Davis or Jalen Rose…
    -The Knicks are not even title contenders right now. I’d like to see them get to that point before worrying about beating LA/MIA/etc. If they *can* trade for Paul immediately or wait around to *maybe* sign a far inferior player in Carmelo Anthony… does seem like a no-brainer. I see a lot of diminishing returns with Amare-Melo-Gallo together and team that’s going to have a tough time being a great defense. CP3 is a facilitator as well as great scorer and also All-NBA Defense.

  79. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If the Knicks’d look like this in 2011, I would puke with joy.

    PG: Chris Paul
    SG: Landry Fields
    SF: Carmelo Anthony
    PF: Anthony Randolph
    C: Amar’e Stoudemire

    I would puke.

  80. Frank O.

    @97
    You’d have to have Okafor at the C, because you’re not getting Paul without taking on his contract.
    Also, I liked what I saw from Fields, but I’m not ready to say he’s a starter yet.
    I suspect Randolph would be gone too if we get Paul.

    Ted,
    You know, I hate Kobe for a lot of reasons, and I love Paul’s game. Just love his game.
    But until and unless Paul leads his team to a few championships, I’m not sure he can be called better than Kobe. I know Kobe has had some very good and sometimes great complementing players, players that Paul has not had, but this year he was special.
    He showed great will in playing with a broken bone in his hand. I also realize he didn’t have a dominant playoff series at the end, but the man has shown the ability to simply will his team to wins.
    Anyway, I know Paul is great. And I think in a few years your point gets stronger because I believe Paul will lead his team to a championship eventually, but until he does I respectfully disagree… however nuanced and dispassionate my disagreement is…:)

  81. Doug Chu

    Frank: Baseball “prospects” =/= NBA “prospects.”

    This is because prospects in baseball are by definition minor leaguers. Players who haven’t proven they can succeed in the major leagues. In terms of relative development, even the consensus #1 prospect in all of baseball right now, the Phillies’ Domonic Brown, is far, far behind AR or Gallo. A better analogy for you would be Jason Heyward. Heyward has the skills, oozes potential, is already contributing to the major league squad, but hasn’t put it all together yet.

    And yet now that Heyward is in the majors, there’s no way Atlanta trades him, since he’s under team control for the next five years and his contract has tremendous value to the team.

    Also, Dan Haren is having a bad luck year with his BABIP and strand rate but he’s still one of the best pitchers in the game. Check his insane strikeout peripherals this season.

    The idea of a “prospect” doesn’t work too well for the NBA since you’re basically either in the “majors” or you’re not.

  82. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: Apropos of nothing, go check out my latest LA Times Sports Legends Revealed piece!http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/07/sports-legend-revealed-the-movie-major-league-originally-had-a-twist-ending.html  

    Major League greatest sports movie ever!!!! White Men Cant Jump a close 2nd. lol

    I have Major League on DVD but it is an old DVD release with no extras, been wanting to buy the Wild Thing edition since it has a bunch of extras plus the scene you talk about.

  83. Mike Kurylo Post author

    NYKjames:
    … The other hole, which would be alot bigger after this proposed trade is “SHOOTING” guard. (My opinion on that is referenced in the above article) I’m telling you, T-Mac. Don’t sleep on him.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  84. Brian Cronin

    I know Win Shares are not the end all/be all, but Chris Paul has averaged .233 win shares per 48 minutes his career.

    For comparison’s sake, the last Knick to even crack .200 was Marcus Camby, who did it twice in 1998-99 and 2000-01 (1998-99 he had a really high Win Shares) (conveniently, 2000-01 was the last season the Knicks had a winning record).

    Ewing only did it twice (89-90 and 93-94).

    Amare did it a few times, as well (04-05, 06-07 and 07-08). His career average is .181.

  85. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Brian Cronin: Apropos of nothing, go check out my latest LA Times Sports Legends Revealed piece!http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/07/sports-legend-revealed-the-movie-major-league-originally-had-a-twist-ending.html  

    That’s amazing. I loved that movie when it came out. Makes me want to check out the alternate ending. I have a feeling that I would have preferred it. Team owner that is a stat geek – man that Spielberg is something!

  86. NYKjames

    Mike Kurylo: zzzzzzzzzzzzzz  (Quote)

    hah. Just watch some footage of him as a Knick. His shot just goes in the basket differently than anyone elses.. It’s perfect…back of the rim b-line. But, if any single stat of his was lower than Jeffries, Duhon, Hughes, or Darko… then that is just embarassing

  87. Garson

    Paul to NYK is absolute worst thing that can happen to Felton. He took a shorter 2 year deal to beef up his stats in SSOL offense and capatalize in 2012 , and now he would have to be a backup for the remainder of his NY tenure.

    How can he not be rooting against us getting CP3?

  88. Brian Cronin

    Mike Kurylo:
    That’s amazing. I loved that movie when it came out. Makes me want to check out the alternate ending. I have a feeling that I would have preferred it. Team owner that is a stat geek – man that Spielberg is something!  

    The funniest thing about it is the obvious disconnect between what the screenwriter thought the viewers would care about and what they actually care about.

    “I need to put in a scene explaining this plot hole” vs. “we don’t care! we like her as a villain!”

  89. Thomas B.

    @ 65 Ted Nelson

    I don’t like Randolph’s shooting numbers. It isnt just a poor percentages (TS% .521 eFG% .445), I don’t like his shot distribution. He takes as many shots per game from beyond 15 feet as he does at the rim, but he is a very poor outside shooter. That says that he is trying to do something that is not within his abilities. If he focused more on rebounding and blocking shots and less on long jumpers, i might change my mind. Okafor is for more durable over the same period of time and is a better option for a defensive, rebounding center that can score efficiently ( TS% .547, eFG% .530). At 27, Okafor is in his prime. You know exactly what your getting and it seems that N.O. will insist on including him in a Paul trade anyway.

    I say rebuilding since Peja is slowing and if they have to trade Paul, then there are in rebuilding mode. Even with a healthy Paul, this team can’t beat the Mavs or the Lakers. They may be close to the Suns or Portland but that about it.

  90. Frank

    Ok this whole MLB vs NBA thing has gone way farther than I was initially intending but the point was– take the hall of famed in the prime of his career when you can get it, and don’t worry about the ok to pretty good guys you give up to get him because, well, it’s easier to get ok to pretty good than it is to get all-time great.

    @99 – Dan haren is nice but you are really going to compare him to Chris Paul? Chris Paul is Randy Johnson in his prime. Chris Paul is sandy Koufax. Chris paul is potentially the mariano Rivera of point guards. Dan haren is not even one of the top 5 pitchers in the national league.

    I don’t think this is going to happen, but if we can get Paul without giving up amare, and with giving up just one of gallo and Randolph– you HAVE to do it. Don’t care what else we give up.

    (assuming he’s healthy)

  91. rama

    Ted and Z-man –

    Really, Gallo’s game is more similar to Amare’s than Randolph’s? Really?

    I wasn’t making any kind of qualitative judgement – they are two young talented players with tremendous upside – but they are very different players. Gallo (so far) is an outside shooter and poor rebounder and average defender. Randolph (so far) is a good rebounder and very good defender and not a good outside shooter.

    So how is it that Randolph’s game works better with CP3 and Amare again? Because of his defense? That’s what you get a real defensive close-to-the-basket center for. Like, um, Okafur.

    Seriously, if we can get CP3 for the price of losing Randolph and taking on Okafur’s contract, that’s the best deal ever. Even if Gallo’s upside turns out to be more Peja and Randolph’s turns out to be more Garnett’s.

  92. BigBlueAL

    Im thrilled with the way the team is now so I could care less if they trade for Paul or not at this particular time (although taking back Okafor isnt an ideal situation considering all the players the Knicks would have to give up).

    To me as long as it wont take trading both Gallo and Randolph trading for Paul is obviously a no-brainer. Hell trading both of them in a package for Paul is a no-brainer too I guess. Just I am very curious to see how the current roster can do this season and still have the salary cap flexibility in the future, but man seeing CP3 with the Knicks right now certainly would be a dream scenario.

  93. Z

    If Walsh thought there was even an outside chance of getting Paul, why would he have signed Felton? Looks like another “sign Jerome James then trade for Eddy Curry” situation in the making, which is fine in this case, but it sort of conflicts with Hahn’s reporting of Walsh being in dialogue with New Orleans since May…

  94. rama

    Z, If Walsh didn’t sign Felton, what leverage would he have in a trade? In that case, it wouldn’t only be competing against other interested teams; it would be trying to acquire a player for a position that was desperately open.

  95. taggart4800

    New Orleans roster i hardly packed out and they are very weak at the 2 and 3 IMHO. Is Peja really worth a starting slot? Luther Head? Thornton is nice but only on a par with Chandler and Az.
    Az and Chandler could very well start with Walker as a rotation guy and Douglas as a very nice combination with Collison. Turiaf is good for the money and they get a TE aswell as future 1st Rounder.
    It is basically the Lee deal with a bit more and lets face it Paul is a bit more.

    Okafor
    West
    Chandler
    Azubuike
    Collison

    Douglas
    Thornton
    Walker
    Turiaf
    Peja

    Two solid rotations there with room to improve.

  96. Caleb

    I dunno, Felton isn’t standing in the way of getting Chris Paul. I don’t see one move having anything to do with the other.

  97. Z-man

    rama: Ted and Z-man –
    Really, Gallo’s game is more similar to Amare’s than Randolph’s?Really?I wasn’t making any kind of qualitative judgement – they are two young talented players with tremendous upside – but they are very different players.Gallo (so far) is an outside shooter and poor rebounder and average defender.Randolph (so far) is a good rebounder and very good defender and not a good outside shooter.So how is it that Randolph’s game works better with CP3 and Amare again?Because of his defense?That’s what you get a real defensive close-to-the-basket center for.Like, um, Okafur.Seriously, if we can get CP3 for the price of losing Randolph and taking on Okafur’s contract, that’s the best deal ever.Even if Gallo’s upside turns out to be more Peja and Randolph’s turns out to be more Garnett’s.  

    I, for one, never said that. I said that Randolph might have more upside than Gallo, but did not compare the two in terms of being similar to Amar’e. I think they both will complement Amar’e, and each other, pretty well, because despite all being 6’10″ they have very different games.

    I am concerned that if we get Amar’e and CP3 but lose both the other possible stars (Randoph AND Gallo), we wind up being like the Nash-Amar’e Suns or the Stockton-Malone Jazz. Great teams to watch, and perennial 55-60 game winners, but teams that will ultimately lose to the Heat and the other more stocked/more balanced teams. In any case, I have to trust Donnie on this, he’s brought us this far, let’s see if he can finish the deal in the next year or two.

  98. Garson

    @115

    So you think were getting Paul Without giving up Gallo OR Randolph AND not taking back Okafor?

    Seems like one of those video game trades that after the team says no, they give you the option of “would you like to force this trade” and you click FUCK YEA.

  99. ess-dog

    Thomas B.: @ 65 Ted NelsonI don’t like Randolph’s shooting numbers.It isnt just a poor percentages (TS% .521 eFG% .445), I don’t like his shot distribution.He takes as many shots per game from beyond 15 feet as he does at the rim, but he is a very poor outside shooter.That says that he is trying to do something that is not within his abilities.If he focused more on rebounding and blocking shots and less on long jumpers, i might change my mind.Okafor is for more durable over the same period of time and is a betteroption for a defensive, rebounding center that can score efficiently ( TS% .547, eFG% .530).At 27, Okafor is in his prime. You know exactly what your getting and it seems that N.O. will insist on including him in a Paul trade anyway.I say rebuilding since Peja is slowing and if they have to trade Paul, then there are in rebuilding mode.Even with a healthy Paul, this team can’t beat the Mavs or the Lakers.They may be close to the Suns or Portland but that about it.  

    Agree with this, and that is why I think D’Antoni will try Randolph at center.
    Randolph supposedly weighed 210 last year and again, supposedly has put on 10 lbs this summer. That’s the weight Camby played at up until around 2-3 years ago. And by all accounts, Randolph’s grown to at least 6’11 if not 7′ even.
    It’s clear that D’Antoni could create a new hybrid type guard-center position for Randolph. Imagine the height, length and rebounding of a Camby but the quick first step and slashing ability of Paul Pierce (ok, at least of Rudy Gay) to get to the rim and get the foul vs. slow centers and pfs? Not to mention a nasty streak and the ability to block shots like Ibaka or Howard.
    That could actually be Randolph’s ceiling. If he can be focused on these skills (along with running the break) and maybe leave the p&r to felton&amare, he could cause some major problems for opposing defenses.
    Let’s take Toronto for instance. Are they going to put Bargnani on Randolph where he will get blown off by randolph’s dribble and/or let Amare eat up the rookie ed davis on the p&r or post move? Or maybe Randolph sets a high screen, get’s the ball back and blows to the hoop or kicks out to Gallo once Bargnani’s teammates collapse? I’m imagining grainy footage of Kareem flying to the hoop off the high screen and dunking (btw, Kareem played center at 225 lbs.)
    Randolph just needs to work on the mid range and have his desire to take long jumpers beaten out of him. Playing between 2 heady players like Gallo and Stat, he will learn the rest.
    There’s no way a player like that will come off the bench. As much as I like Paul (he’s the best pg there is) I would love to see Randolph in this offense. I still can’t believe he was traded to us! If we could get Paul w/ Gallo, I might have to pull the trigger, but otherwise, I agree we can wait until 2012 if need be (or once Kahn crumbles and trades us Rubio!)

  100. Z

    I heard Hahn on the Michael Kay show today discussing Paul scenarios. Hahn said that he, personally, wouldn’t include Gallinari in any trade, believing Gallo was going to be a star in the league. Just one reporter’s opinion, of course, but I thought it was interesting.

    Here’s an interview Hahn did with Gallinari which was posted today:

    http://mobile.newsday.com/inf/infomo;JSESSIONID=C4F174F61EBDCA48D96C.2777?site=newsday&view=page3&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports&feed:i=1.2127466

  101. massive

    Broussard reminds me once again why I dislike him so much. He says Portland and Orlando are the front runners to get Chris Paul. Can Orlando and Portland really outbid us? I’d like to think otherwise.

  102. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    “until and unless Paul leads his team to a few championships, I’m not sure he can be called better than Kobe.”

    I don’t hate Kobe at all. I just don’t think he’s as good a basketball player as Chris Paul.

    Championships are a team accomplishment, not an individual one… If Chris Paul were playing with Shaq in his prime instead of Kobe or with Bynum, Gasol, Odom, and Artest… you don’t think he could win titles too? If Chris Paul were a bum or his toughness was in question… ok, but the guy is one of the best “character guys” in the NBA and All-NBA on defense. If your argument against Chris Paul is that he doesn’t have the intangibles…

    If your argument is that he hasn’t won a championship… Again, that’s a team stat.

  103. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin: I flove Allan Houston, but I dunno if I’d want him as the GM of the Knicks, unless it’s strictly a figurehead position.http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5401779I mean, Pritchard is still out there, people! Pritchard!!!!  

    The GM will be a figurehead, because Donnie is calling the shots. Pritchard is probably not going to walk into a situation where he’s the #2. The only way I see it happening is if Donnie gives a firm deadline within the next two years and the Knicks pay Pritchard significantly more than another team will.

  104. JK47

    Gallinari, 2014 draft pick and other stuff to NO for Paul, no Okafor. Curry, Chandler and 2011 expiring contract of Felton plus other stuff to Denver for Melo. You lose Gallo’s 3P shooting but you make it up with Paul’s 3P shooting.

    PG Chris Paul
    SG Bill Walker? Landry Fields?
    SF Carmelo Anthony
    PF Anthony Randolph
    C Amar’e Stoudemire

    That would be a pretty sick core. Probably a fantasy, I know, but that’s what the Internets are for, after all.

  105. Brian Cronin

    Ted Nelson: The only way I see it happening is if Donnie gives a firm deadline within the next two years and the Knicks pay Pritchard significantly more than another team will.

    Right, and that’s exactly the scenario we should see, no?

    Walsh has got to have some idea of when he is going to call it quits, right? And the Knicks have got to have more money than other teams (except Portland, of course, but I don’t think they’re an option…)

  106. Ted Nelson

    Thomas B.: @ 65 Ted NelsonI don’t like Randolph’s shooting numbers.It isnt just a poor percentages (TS% .521 eFG% .445), I don’t like his shot distribution.He takes as many shots per game from beyond 15 feet as he does at the rim, but he is a very poor outside shooter.That says that he is trying to do something that is not within his abilities.If he focused more on rebounding and blocking shots and less on long jumpers, i might change my mind.Okafor is for more durable over the same period of time and is a betteroption for a defensive, rebounding center that can score efficiently ( TS% .547, eFG% .530).At 27, Okafor is in his prime. You know exactly what your getting and it seems that N.O. will insist on including him in a Paul trade anyway.I say rebuilding since Peja is slowing and if they have to trade Paul, then there are in rebuilding mode.Even with a healthy Paul, this team can’t beat the Mavs or the Lakers.They may be close to the Suns or Portland but that about it.  

    I understand where you’re coming from, but Randolph is only 20… his jump shot can develop. This is not just a pie in the sky dream if you look at his FT%. His eFG% of .342 on jumpers was not dissimilar from Lee’s of .352 in 08-09.

    You also have to consider that he played for Don Nelson, who has been hesitant to play anyone over 6-7 for the Warriors. Nelson may have told him to shoot jumpers. He’s been a wing player for the Warriors. Apparently he’s added 25 lbs of muscle which could help him a lot inside.

    What you’re getting in Okafor is someone who showed he can’t play the 5 last season and needs to be at the 4…

    “Even with a healthy Paul, this team can’t beat the Mavs or the Lakers.They may be close to the Suns or Portland but that about it.”

    And without Paul they’re in the lottery… Only one team wins the title every season. Every playoff team gets extra revenue from making the playoffs, though.

  107. Ted Nelson

    Brian Cronin:
    Right, and that’s exactly the scenario we should see, no?Walsh has got to have some idea of when he is going to call it quits, right? And the Knicks have got to have more money than other teams (except Portland, of course, but I don’t think they’re an option…)  

    Walsh might not want to call it quits for a while… he might want to see this thing through and either get a title or at least get into contention. And given Pritchard’s record… he’s a tinkerer… he probably doesn’t want a fully built team, but a flexible team like the Knicks are right now.

  108. JK47

    @132 And as you’ve pointed out, Randolph is a decent FT shooter already, so it’s not like he’s a complete oaf with the ball in his hands. Randolph has to stay– we really need his shotblocking, rebounding and affordable contract. I love Gallo; he may be my favorite player in the NBA to root for, but I think I’d have little problem rooting for Chris Paul.

  109. Ted Nelson

    Z-Man,

    “I am concerned that if we get Amar’e and CP3 but lose both the other possible stars (Randoph AND Gallo), we wind up being like the Nash-Amar’e Suns or the Stockton-Malone Jazz. Great teams to watch, and perennial 55-60 game winners, but teams that will ultimately lose to the Heat and the other more stocked/more balanced teams.”

    The question is what’s your alternative??? Chris Paul is one of the top 5 players in the league, possibly top 3. You could compare him to Magic on the Lakers winning titles instead of Nash or Stockton… It’s pretty well established that 99% of titles are won by teams with 2 1st team All-NBA players. Miami has 2.5. LA has 2ish (Kobe+Pau+Bynum). NY has 1 or none right now. Melo would still leave them with 1 or one, he is just not a 1st team NBA caliber player. What are realistic the chances of Anthony Randolph becoming one of the top 5 players in the entire NBA? Gallo? They’re just not that great…

    55-60 wins is better than 45-50 wins, no?

  110. Ted Nelson

    rama: Z, If Walsh didn’t sign Felton, what leverage would he have in a trade? In that case, it wouldn’t only be competing against other interested teams; it would be trying to acquire a player for a position that was desperately open.  

    A lot of teams are desperate to get Chris Paul. Teams with and without PGs. The flexibility to maybe not have to include Curry in the deal would be a lot more leverage. NO doesn’t care who the Knicks PG is, they care about getting the best return for Paul should they trade him.

  111. Ted Nelson

    Caleb: I dunno, Felton isn’t standing in the way of getting Chris Paul. I don’t see one move having anything to do with the other.  

    You wasted money on a 13 mpg back-up and clogged valuable cap space that would have spared NO from having to pay Eddy Curry a boat load of money to sit on their bench… I think one has a whole lot to do with the other, if Paul is being traded. I still doubt NO moves him, though, unless they get absolutely blown away. They might as well see how the season starts off at least.

  112. Z

    “Can Orlando and Portland really outbid us? I’d like to think otherwise.”

    Orlando, no. Portland yes.

    Portland can offer combinations of Aldridge, Oden, Bayless, Fernandez, Batum, Miller, even Brandon Roy if they have to. And I would think Paul would like the idea of working in Portland. Great pieces; rich owner. They can even absorb Okafor thanks to the expendable and expiring Przybilla. (Aldridge, Przybilla, Miller, Bayless, and Fernandez for Paul + Okafor).

  113. Ted Nelson

    rama: Ted and Z-man –
    Really, Gallo’s game is more similar to Amare’s than Randolph’s?Really?I wasn’t making any kind of qualitative judgement – they are two young talented players with tremendous upside – but they are very different players.Gallo (so far) is an outside shooter and poor rebounder and average defender.Randolph (so far) is a good rebounder and very good defender and not a good outside shooter.So how is it that Randolph’s game works better with CP3 and Amare again?Because of his defense?That’s what you get a real defensive close-to-the-basket center for.Like, um, Okafur.Seriously, if we can get CP3 for the price of losing Randolph and taking on Okafur’s contract, that’s the best deal ever.Even if Gallo’s upside turns out to be more Peja and Randolph’s turns out to be more Garnett’s.  

    I don’t think that Randolph necessarily complements them better than Gallo, but at least as well. 3pt shooters are easy to come by. Randolph has a unique skill set that could allow him to be both what Marion was for D’Antoni as a scorer and what Diaw was for D’Antoni as a defender and distributor.

    Okafor has struggled at the 5, so I don’t buy all the people saying he’s the solution there.

  114. rama

    I don’t hate Kobe at all. I just don’t think he’s as good a basketball player as Chris Paul.

    Ted, for once I agree with you. If I were building a team, CP3 would be more valuable to me than anyone but LeBron and Wade. Maybe Dwight. Kobe’s a great player, but CP3, if he gets healthy, could be top twenty all time.

    But Ted, @140 – my whole point is that Gallo complements Amare and Paul better than Randolph. Don’t get me wrong – I think Randolph could be special – but you’re really, really underrating Gallo by saying “3pt shooters are easy to come by.” Gallo is no one-dimensional 3pt shooter. I’d take him over Peja today, and Gallo is 21, taller, coming off practically his rookie year, a better defender, and with a high, high ceiling. He can slash; he can draw fouls. I don’t know that he’ll ever be Dirk, but the kid is going to be special.

    Again, Randolph could be special, too. I just think Gallo fits better wth Paul and Amare.

  115. JK47

    If Paul and Anthony are hell-bent on coming to NYC they can make it happen. They can simply tell any other teams interested (including their own teams) that they’ll never sign an extension. New Orleans may be able to bring in another nice piece or two, but to think they can bring in two more stars to go head-to-head with the Heat… I dunno.

    Remember, the Heat built their superteam with outright collusion. Let’s hope the same thing happens here!

  116. Caleb

    @142 there is no such thing as “collusion” among players – legally speaking. Even if LeBron, Wade and Bosh agreed in 2006 to play together, it’s not against the rules.

  117. JK47

    @146 Well then, let’s party! I really do hope Paul and Melo are talking and are trying to make this all happen.

  118. massive

    @139,

    There is no way Portland keeps Batum if they want Chris Paul. I do see your point, but I think Portland really has to blow New Orleans away with a deal because they’re in the same conference. We have young, cheap talent, and Anthony Randolph is probably better than any player Portland would realistically offer. You can call B-Roy (3rd best SG in the NBA) and Oden (top 5 center when healthy) untouchables at this point. Without those two, Portland is far from a contender.

  119. TDM

    If Donnie pulls off a trade for cp3, I’d have to think lbj would be wishing he had a mulligan.

  120. Z

    “if we got LBJ we’d be out of the running for Paul”

    Not necessarily. We wouldn’t have Randolph et al, but we could still offer a Gallo package. Our cap situation is pretty much the same now as it would have been if LeBron had taken his talents to 7th Avenue…

  121. Z-man

    I think LeBron is happy with Wade and Bosh. And Pat the Rat. And South Beach.

    This is more about CP3 and Melo reacting to the Miami development. If LeBron goes anywhere else with just one of either Bosh or Wade, I think the chances that Melo or CP3 stay put are higher.

  122. DS

    For all of these hypothetical trade scenarios (if the Hornets are crazy enough to deal CP3 before the season starts), keep in mind that the Knicks would have to give back to the Hornets at least $26 million in contracts because the Hornets would want to include Okafor (ideally Posey too).

    So, if the Knicks had gotten LeBron (why are we still talking about that scenario?), they could’ve dealt Curry which matches Okafor’s but to match CP3′s $16million would have taken Gallo + another $12 million in contracts which is not easy when Chandler, Toney Douglas, Walker, some second rounders and ad hoc free agents are the only ones on your roster… now, back to reality. It won’t be so difficult for the Knicks to pull off a trade that works having made the Lee trade. Although ideally.

  123. Ted Nelson

    “my whole point is that Gallo complements Amare and Paul better than Randolph.”

    rama,

    My whole point is that he doesn’t.

    Gallo has shown signs of doing more than shooting 3s, but he hasn’t done it consistently. Last season he was a 3-pt specialist. 53% of his FGAs came from 3. In comparison only 41% of Peja’s career FGAs have been 3s. 53% of Kyle Korver’s career 3-pt attempts are also 3s. 82% of Gallo’s FGAs were jumpers… Reggie Miller was only at 84% his 37 year old season.

    I think you are underrating Peja. In his mid-20s Peja was one of the better offensive players in the league. Gallo is an average defender at best at this point. He’s shown signs that he could be more, but right now he’s not.

    Randolph could complement Paul-Amare just as well as Gallo. He’s got just as much play-making potential. He’s a better slasher and finisher. He has the potential to be a plus defender who can guard pretty much anyone on the court. His FT% suggests that he might even develop a respectable outside shot.
    If Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw complemented Nash-Amare… and I think it’s safe to say they did… then Randolph can complement Paul-Amare.

  124. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson:

    I understand where you’re coming from, but Randolph is only 20… his jump shot can develop. This is not just a pie in the sky dream if you look at his FT%. His eFG% of .342 on jumpers was not dissimilar from Lee’s of .352 in 08-09.

    You also have to consider that he played for Don Nelson, who has been hesitant to play anyone over 6-7 for the Warriors. Nelson may have told him to shoot jumpers. He’s been a wing player for the Warriors. Apparently he’s added 25 lbs of muscle which could help him a lot inside.

    What you’re getting in Okafor is someone who showed he can’t play the 5 last season and needs to be at the 4…

    “Even with a healthy Paul, this team can’t beat the Mavs or the Lakers.They may be close to the Suns or Portland but that about it.”

    And without Paul they’re in the lottery… Only one team wins the title every season. Every playoff team gets extra revenue from making the playoffs, though.  

    (Quote)

    Yes, Lee did develop into a very good shooter outsied the paint, but he did not take half of his shots from there until he had that skill and could hit them at a respectable clip. Randolph has put the cart before the horse by shooting first and developing (maybe) later. I don’t like that approach. Compare that to Chandler, I think Mike said Chandler was able to improve his shooting numbers without improving his outside shot, by driving more. Now, that leaves him with a less developed offense game, but a bit more efficient shooter. While I do not find either approach ideal, I prefer Chandler’s to Randolph as I view it as less harmful to the team.

    I dont know, ever since that draft raters numbers had bust written all over Randolph, I’ve been very cautious with him. But the machine is not always right, look at how favorably it ranked that kid that went to the Bucks that same year.

  125. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    The Chandler example undermines your point. Chandler continued jacking up jumpers when it was evident he shouldn’t be.
    Chandler took 74% jump shots in 08-09 and 65% jump shots in 07-08. Halfway through his *3rd* NBA season–Randolph hasn’t had a 3rd NBA season–WC cut back from 74% Js to 62%. Through his first two seasons Wilson Chandler was a less efficient scorer than Anthony Randolph, took far more jump shots, and drew fewer fouls: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=randoan01&y1=2010&p2=chandwi01&y2=2009

    Anyway, as a young player, it’s not entirely clear how much of Chandler’s shot selection is left up to him and how much is based on his assigned role in the offense. All the reports were that the coaching staff worked with him to get him to the basket more… could also be that the coaching staff told him to shoot 3s in 08-09… or not since it appeared he had limitations that kept him from being an effective slasher till he developed more skills. Who knows what Don Nelson and Co. were telling Anthony Randolph in GS. For a wing player 56% jumpers is actually quite low.

    I think it’s safe to throw the draft rater out after you have a decent amount of actual NBA evidence. Randolph brings so much in terms of defensive potential, versatility, and rebounding that I don’t think he has to become a scorer to be valuable (harder to say that about Chandler, who is more average overall, though his defense did improve to well above-average last season I’d say). With his year 1-to-year 2 increase in TS%, pts/36, FT%, FTA/36, TOV%… there’s evidence that Randolph could be on track to become an above average scorer.

    AR, anyway, was a developmental prospect who was raw and physically weak. It’s not too surprising his college #s weren’t great. No one is denying that he hasn’t had a jumper. It’s a matter of whether or not he can develop something resembling one or move away from needing one. Whether he can develop more as a playmaker (already cut TOs, which is important… needs to keep them low and preferably cut them further). His lack of a jumper is a negative and *if* he stubbornly refuses to change his shot selection that’s a negative. I’m going to wait until I see some evidence, though.

  126. Caleb

    @147 What WOULD be against the rules would be Wade working as assistant GM, carrying proposals or suggestions from Pat Riley – that would be tampering. Pretty much impossible to prove, at least while they’re all friends!

  127. Caleb

    I was wowed by Randolph when I saw him at LSU, then dismayed by the draft rater… but he was and is an unusual case…a wild card. The obvious explanation is that he was 18 years old and freakishly skinny in college – 6’11, 198. You had to figure that if he was just a late bloomer, growing to a normal size – like 225 – his game would take a big leap. The best scouting a team could have done was to visit the family to see if dad and Grandpa Randolph are hwp or look more like Manute Bol.

    I think Ted is right that the college stuff doesn’t mean much when you can look at two years of NBA work.

  128. rama

    Ted –

    I’m not sure where in @154 you make a case that Randolph complements Amare/Paul better than Gallo. “His FT% suggests that he might even develop a respectable outside shot.” But he DOESN’T have a respectable outside shot – never mind an excellent outside shot, like Gallo. Worse than that, he takes a lot of those less than respectable outside shots, so it’s not a small sample size: the kid can’t shoot from 15 feet, never mind beyond the arc. He is definitely a great slasher…but complementary means “supplying mutual needs or offsetting mutual lacks.” With Paul, you don’t lack slashing. With Amare, you don’t lack finishing. So a slasher/finisher is less important than a guy who can shoot it from far away so that his defender can’t collapse off him to mess with the two man game.

    Ideally you’d have ANOTHER shooter on the other side, leaving the lane open for Amare and Paul to pick and roll you to death. Randolph is not that shooter. Yeah, he could definitely get some opportunities if his man collapses off him to help against the Amare/Paul tandem, but there won’t be as good spacing as there would be with Gallo on the wing. And by the way, I would be surprised if we didn’t see a lot more slashing from Gallo this year. as you noted, he wasn’t consistent last year – but he was basically a rookie, coming off serious back surgery. He’s had an off season to strengthen his body and prepare for a league he’s much more familiar with now.

    Is Randolph a better complement defensively? Absolutely. But he’s too thin to body up a real center, so I’d rather have a real center who can do what he does defensively and retain our better offensive complementary piece.

    But whatever. This trade isn’t going to happen, with any pieces – the Hornets will say the right things to Paul next week, and it’ll blow over to next off-season. And we’ll get an up-close-and-personal look at Gallo’s development and Randolph’s potential.

  129. Garson

    I would NOT trade Gallo And AR for Paul and Okafors contract. We would be stuck into Paul Amare Okafor , which would be great considering what we have been through, however at this point i feel we have the pieces to build a young dynasty as follow:

    2010 – Keep the team as we are now. Develop AR into a
    Garnett/Camby type defender and Gallo into a Peja/Dirk Scorer. Felton, Amare, Gallo , AR Chandler can get us to the playoffs.

    2011 – Sign Melo and keep the rest of the core. The extra year of Gallo and AR development , plus Melo Amare Felton puts us into the 2-3 seed zone.

    2012 – Sign Paul or Deron … one of them will be available. Then extend Gallo and AR as we can go over the cap signing our own players. Felton comes off the books.

    Paul/Deron Melo Gallo Amare AR is a fast, long, passionate, shooting, somewhat defending , young crew who can build us a dynesty for years to come. And the best part is , its possible.

    the argument against this would be take what you can get now as we dont know if Melo will opt out, however i feel taking Okafors contract and having Paul, Amare and Okafor locked in will get us to Conf finals at best in the east . I feel we have the tools to build the above.

  130. Count Zero

    24 hours of thinking about this and I have come to two conclusions:

    1) This deal will never happen unless it turns into a three team deal
    2) I’m kind of glad it won’t happen because I’m torn

    As I said at the start, I’m happy to go to war with what we’ve got. I really think Gallo will be an All-Star in two years. AR may be one too. Then there’s Azu and Timofey to see develop. Right now, I’m looking at a very young 35-40 win team that should be exciting to watch, enough cap space in 2011 to pick up another nice piece, and a potential 50 win team in 11-12. Moreover, I am very flexible with some young high-potentials under my control and reasonably priced — I can do deals at will and I’m not handcuffed by any horrid contracts unless Amar’e falls off the face of the Earth.

    This is a pretty exciting position for a Knick fan to be in after a decade of misery — I’m enjoying it quite a bit. I wish I could afford season tickets. The whole CP3 thing is just giving me agita. We get CP3 we win 50 with him and Amar’e, but we will definitely lose both AR and Gallo and we still don’t have enough to crack the top 3 in the East. I think I prefer to take my chances with the youth movement — even if it’s just the rootability aspect.

    Who knows — maybe everything goes our way. Gallo and AR both make the AS team in 2012, Timofey turns into a beast at the 5, and Felton proves to be a more than adequate PG. Just think how sweet that would be! We really do deserve some luck at this point. ;)

  131. Ted Nelson

    Again, rama… I never once said he complements them *better*. This is getting old. I said he complements them as well as Gallo. If I say it 500 times will you stop misquoting me and twisting my point?

    I don’t feel like repeating myself… Please answer this: if Shawn Marion AND Boris Diaw complemented Nash-Amare well, why wouldn’t Randolph complement Paul-Amare well???????????????????? He can incorporate both of their strengths into his game with very reasonable improvements on his 20 year old season.

    This is really aggravating to be honest. You think one thing, I think another… I see what you are saying, and I disagree. I feel you are missing my point entirely.

    To address your new points:
    -With Paul you don’t lack outside shooting, either.
    -Outside shooting is relatively easy to come by in the NBA.
    -Knicks could have shooters at the 2 and 3 spots since… you know… more wing players in the NBA are good shooters.
    -I can’t speculate that Randolph’s outside shot could develop to at least respectable, but you can speculate that Gallo will go from Korver’s % 3s and 37 year old Reggie’s % jumpers to an offensive dynamo? A lot easier to develop an outside shot than an entire offensive skill set and the quickness to beat your man off the dribble.

    “Ideally you’d have ANOTHER shooter on the other side, leaving the lane open for Amare and Paul to pick and roll you to death. Randolph is not that shooter.”

    Again THERE ARE 5 GUYS ON THE COURT. You can have shooters at the 2 and at the 3. You can put an Okur/Z type center who shoots mostly Js and play AR at the 3.
    Given his FT% of 80 last season, I think it’s completely realistic that Randolph could develop into at least a 33% 3pt shooter.

    “Is Randolph a better complement defensively? Absolutely. But he’s too thin to body up a real center, so I’d rather have a real center who can do what he does defensively and retain our better offensive complementary piece.”

    -Defense is fully 1/2 the game of basketball. You cannot just say that he’s a better defensive complement, but who cares because I’m still right no matter what evidence you provide and what arguments you make.
    -Randolph is adding weight to his frame. He just turned 21 a week ago. People have been pointing out that he’s the same size as Kareem was. Tyson Chandler and Amir Johnson are listed at 235 and 210, respectively, and no one is complaining about their defense. Noah is listed at 232. Pau is listed at 227. KG at 220.
    -You want a real C, but I highly doubt D’Antoni does. Okafor would 90%ly sure be part of the deal, but I doubt D’Antoni would be dying to put Amare and Okafor next to each other 40 mpg. Randolph could play with both of those guys.

  132. Ted Nelson

    Also, rama, Okafor is not a very good defensive C. I feel he is better at the 4. If the Knicks were going to add a real defensive C along with Paul I might be more inclined to agree. However, I think Randolph has a good chance to be a better defensive C than Okafor.

  133. Ted Nelson

    Sorry to get frustrated, but basically… I respect your point. Gallo is a great shooter who can complement a theoretical Paul-Amare tandem. I agree.

    However, I think Anthony Randolph can be just as much a complement to a theoretical Paul-Amare tandem as Gallo in his own way. As a reference, consider how well Shawn Marion’s slashing ability, mediocre J, solid rebounding, and above-average defense played next to Nash-Amare… and how much worse he’s played in other situations. Diaw was also a valuable contributor in Phoenix at times because of his passing ability and defensive versatility, despite having a mediocre outside shot. I feel like a realistic projection for Randolph is to combine a bit of Marion with a bit of Diaw, with better rebounding.

    What’s frustrating to me is that you act as if there’s no possible way I could be right. You don’t have to agree, but I’m not talking crazy here either.

  134. Frank O.

    Ted:

    I disagree with you only slightly and reluctantly, because I have lots of issues with Kobe.
    As for you point of about championships being a team thing: Sure, I can see that. But he was the feature guy on all his championship teams. That means he was the best guy or the second best guy (once) on five NBA championship teams, was the MVP in two of those championships. So, while championships are team things, his role on those teams sets him apart and cannot be dismissed as you did, IMHO.
    But you are “not taking crazy” either. :)

  135. Ted Nelson

    Frank O.,

    I disagree about Kobe being *the* feature guy when he played with Shaq. Why would you say that? Every season they won the title, Shaq had a higher Usage Rate in the playoffs than Kobe. Shaq’s playoff TS%s DWARFED Kobe’s 2 of those 3 playoffs, and led his all 3. Shaq also led Kobe in playoff PER and WS/48 all three seasons. There’s no debate in my mind that Shaq was the man on those teams and Kobe was the side-kick. Kobe was a 1a and not a #2, but Shaq was still the top dog.

    CP3 has limited playoff experience, but at 22 he played in 12 playoff games and led the playoffs in both PER and WS/48. He blew it in 08-09 playoffs. Overall, in a MUCH smaller sample, his playoff numbers are better than Kobe’s.

    I don’t dismiss Kobe’s role on those teams. I’m just trying to look at it in context. For example, he shot terribly for 2 of the 5 playoffs where he’s ended up with a ring. I don’t think it’s fair to count the rings as a personal victory. If Paul had ever once played with a teammate as talented as Shaq or Pau… I think he’d likely have a ring, too.

    You don’t have to agree, but I think a healthy Chris Paul is a significantly better basketball player than Kobe Bryant.

    I think if he stays healthy, Chris Paul is in line to be the best playmaker ever to play the game of basketball: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=paulch01&y1=2010&p2=johnsma02&y2=1984&p3=kiddja01&y3=1998&p4=roberos01&y4=1963

  136. Ted Nelson

    Basically, I’m trying to judge Kobe and Chris Paul based primarily on the factors they had control over. Kobe had little control over Shaq, Pau, Bynum being his teammates. Paul had little control over the best teammate he’s ever had being a competition between David West, an aged Peja, and Tyson Chandler.

    What they do control is their own individual performance.

    It’s pretty inconsequential, but I’ll take CP3 over Kobe.

  137. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson:

    Thomas,

    The Chandler example undermines your point. Chandler continued jacking up jumpers when it was evident he shouldn’t be.

    Um, no. Take alook at the report card. http://knickerblogger.net/2010/05/2010-report-card-wilson-chandler/

    The good news is that Chandler did increase his scoring efficiency, going from a true shooting percentage of 51.5% to a more respectable 53.4%. The bad news is how he did it. There are a few ways to increase your TS%. Two main ones that would coincide with a sign of Chandler’s development are increasing the number of times converting from the charity stripe and an uptick in three point percentage. However Wilson did neither of these as he scored fewer singles and connected less often from downtown in 2010. His fta/36 fell from 2.8 to 2.5 and his ftm/fga dropped as well (from .16 to .15). Meanwhile his three point percentage was a shameful 26.7%.

    So how did Chandler increase his efficiency? Simple, he changed what type of shots he attempted.

    Randolph appears not to have adjusted the type of shots to take as Wilson did. Was Wilson still jacking up bad shots? Yes. But he did so at a much lower rate.

    I’ll throw out the draft rater stuff but the two years of NBA work say: Horrible shot selection. How to adjust for that without using the phrase “Maybe he can develop, he is only 20 you know”? I dont like maybe. I like Okafor and Paul who already told me over many NBA seasons exactly what they are.

  138. TDM

    If the Knicks can’t pry CP3 away from the Hornets, any chance of packaging Chandler to get Collison? Chandler/Curry for Collison/Peja or Collison/Okafor both work.

  139. Frank O.

    I think you’re right about Paul’s future prospects. And I don’t need help disliking Kobe.
    I think if you dropped them right now on the court, in a vacuum, without knowing about Kobe’s rings or Paul’s injury from last year, I think Paul is better.

  140. cwod

    “I’ll throw out the draft rater stuff but the two years of NBA work say: Horrible shot selection.”

    Or, alternatively: a twenty-year-old forward who had Don Nelson as a coach.

  141. ess-dog

    TDM: If the Knicks can’t pry CP3 away from the Hornets, any chance of packaging Chandler to get Collison?Chandler/Curry for Collison/Peja or Collison/Okafor both work.  

    No thanks. Felton, who we just signed, is really just shy of Collison’s shooting and assist percentages and has a fairly higher Win score. Yes, Felton is 3 years older, but it doesn’t make sense to get a minor upgrade a the point while swallowing a big cap busting contract. That would be the same thing as taking on Elton Brand with Jrue Holiday because you like Holiday’s potential. Ok, maybe that’s a little more extreme, but you get the idea. Paul, sure. You do that for Paul.

  142. Ben R

    Thomas B.: I’ll throw out the draft rater stuff but the two years of NBA work say: Horrible shot selection. How to adjust for that without using the phrase “Maybe he can develop, he is only 20 you know”? I dont like maybe. I like Okafor and Paul who already told me over many NBA seasons exactly what they are.

    I think you are overstating Anthony’s lack of efficiency. His 52.1% TS% last year was not great but only a little off of the league average and at 20 years old the chance of it getting better is quite likely. He will probably never be a 60% TS% player like Lee but neither was Garnett, Odom, Josh Smith, etc. In fact Odom only exceeded 52.1% TS% once in his first five seasons, Smith did not exceed it until fifth year, Garnett only exceeded 53% TS% once in his first four seasons.

    I like that he raised his TS% from his rookie year to last year and a similar increase this year would put him at average. If he becomes simply average when it comes to TS% you still have an all-star quality player when you consider all his other strengths. If he becomes better than that you have a possible cornerstone to build around.

    Even if Randolph never improves at all, which seems unlikely given his age, he is already a quality NBA starter. The holes in his game are not huge. He needs to improve in a few areas a little bit to become very good, any more improvement and he will be great.

  143. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    This was Chandler’s 3rd season in the NBA. Randolph has only played 2 seasons in the NBA. I think Chandler is a poor example because he did spend 2.5 seasons scoring just as inefficiently as Randolph has his first 2 seasons. To me, Chandler appears to be more of an example of what Randolph might do this (his 3rd) season than an argument that Randolph is a bum. Maybe Randolph is a bum, I’m just not willing to label him as such yet.

    Considering that his jumper is terrible and he gets his shot blocked too much inside, but still manages 18.5 pts/36 at a .521 TS% as a 20 year old… there’s a lot of room to grow as a scorer. He could become a better jump shooter or finisher or post player, cut his jump shot attempts, improve his handle, etc. There’s certainly no guarantee, though, and I doubt he’ll ever become a primary scorer (which the Knicks hopefully/theoretically don’t need him to be) even if he does get better.

    Even if Randolph barely develops from here, I still think he’s a valuable player. If he doesn’t work hard and actively “undevelops”… (like if he joins Balkman and Beasley on their “lunch breaks”…) no. But as long as he’s averagely focused for an NBA player his rebounding and defense and driving ability make him a valuable rotation piece. *If* his scoring and/or playmaking come around and/or he becomes an absolute beast on defense… watch out. To become a solid plus player on a good-to-very-good team it probably only takes one of the three, though.

    I would say the chances of Randolph being better than Paul are next to zero (if both have good health). I would say, however, that Randolph is well on his way to being better than Emeka Okafor:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=paulch01&y1=2007&p2=randoan01&y2=2010&p3=okafoem01&y3=2006

  144. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog: ntages and has a fairly higher Win score. Yes, Felton is 3 years older, but it doesn’t make sense to get a minor upgrade a the point while swallowing a big cap busting contract. That would be the same thing as taking on Elton Brand with Jrue Holiday because you like Holiday’s potential. Ok, maybe that’s a li

    Agreed. Collison + Okafor for Chandler (and Curry’s contract) might solidify the Knicks playoff position this season, but cuts a lot of future flexibility without bringing in a great player.

    Also, NO gets the raw end of that deal unless they hope cap flexibility can help them lure Melo or something to keep CP3 (no guarantee WC even makes their rotation with all the wings they have). That could be their plan… do the Knicks want to help them when Melo and CP3 are both potential FA/trade targets? Could not be their plan too. They might not be willing to lose more 09-10 games, since it might push CP3 out the door.

    …Hard to say really… Knicks could end up missing on Melo (who is overrated anyway) and Paul just like LeBron… they could get one or both… or they could pull a nice Plan B off like they did this offseason. Will Plan B be better than Okafor and Collison? Who knows? Both above average NBA players with an average salary around average. It would be something to consider, but the Knicks should probably weigh their options for a while.

    Re: Collison v. Felton. Depends… Do you think Felton can maintain his 09-10 #s? Do you think Collison can maintain or build on his rookie season? On his career Felton is a solid step down offensively. I’d give Felton an edge defensively, but Collison was a good defender in college… I really don’t know how to quantify the defensive difference between the 2.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=feltora01&y1=2010&p2=collida01&y2=2010

  145. rama

    Ted –

    Thanks for the numbers of Okafor and Randolph (and Paul). That was revelatory, to see their per 36 stats together. Very similar players, and Randolph seems to have much more upside.

    That said, my point about Gallo v Randolph wasn’t that you’re an idiot, it was that, in the context of a discussion about trading one of our potential stars as part of a deal for Paul, I’d rather trade Randolph, because Gallo at his best is a better complementary piece than Randolph. That’s all. I think they both have potential to be amazing…and I’m certain that both will show more than they have so far, which is saying something. But with Amare and Paul, I’d want Gallo. That’s all.

    If we were forced to take Okafor -and how could they not, if they wanted to really rebuild? – the similarities of Okafor and Randolph make it even more obvious we should trade Randolph. Again, I think the kid’s upside is huge, and I expect something more even if he doesn’t become Camby, but Okafor replicates his skills more closely than Gallo. And one thing I’ve LOVED about this offseason is how Donnie has found complementary parts. As opposed to bringing in ZBo a year after overpaying Curry.

    Again, it doesn’t matter, because NO isn’t likely to trade Paul. And if they were, I’d give up almost any player, just not BOTH Gallo and Randolph…and if given a choice, I’d keep Gallo over Randolph. That’s all I’m saying. In the context of best case scenarios, I’d rather have Dirk next to Paul and Amare than Camby. I mean, if it was as easy as you say to find good outside shooters, scrubs like Korver wouldn’t keep getting paid!

    We’ll get a sense of whether we have a potential Camby or Dirk this year, though. Those two next to Amare is definitely the most exciting thing to contemplate with the Knicks for a decade.

  146. Ted Nelson

    “Not to mention, Okafor is no schlub and would be starting for most playoff teams in the East.”

    I think that’s questionable:

    Cleveland= Shaq + Varajao + Jamison
    Orlando= Howard + Lewis
    Atlanta= Horford + Smith
    Boston= Perkins + KG
    Miami= O’Neal + Haslem
    Milwaukee = Bogut + SFs @ PF
    Charlotte= Chandler/Nazr/Ratliff + Diaw/Thomas
    Chicago= Noah + Gibson

    I think he’d should make all their rotations. I don’t think he’d start @ center on any of those teams. The only two I think he’d *definitely* start @ PF for are Milwaukee and Chicago. Probably Miami. Might start for Charlotte, but they traded him away just last offseason. I don’t think he starts for any of the homecourt teams, personally… maybe Cleveland.

    The consideration is that Collison on a rookie deal balances out Okafor’s huge contract and averages out to what might be reasonable deals for both. Not sure NO gives away those two players for cap space, but maybe.

  147. Garson

    Paul puting the knicks atop the list of FA desinations is a HUGE signal that he would sign with us in 2012 . I think best case for us is for the Hornets to be stubborn and NOT trade Paul this year or the next.

    I say be patient and develop the young guns while waiting for paul. We would then be able to keep Gallo and Randolph while adding Paul. Melo signing in 2011 would be a bonus and Felton would be gone by that point.

  148. rama

    The only thing that really depresses me this offseason isn’t LBJ going to the Heat – it’s last year’s draft. One slot higher – just one! – and we would have taken Curry. All of the moves we did this offseason would have been possible without trading him as we traded Hill, since we could have resigned Lee with our Bird rights and then traded him to GS. We would have had:

    Curry
    Azu
    Gallo
    Amare
    Randolph

    with a good bench, and Jeffries and Curry coming off the cap next year. Young, potential stars at four of five positions, with Azu being a solid wing with good outside shooting. Just too depressing.

  149. Frank O.

    As it should be…

    Berman:
    The Knicks are willing to trade anyone aside from newly-signed forward Amar’e Stoudemire for Hornets guard Chris Paul, according to a league source.

    Paul is scheduled to meet with New Orleans general manager Dell Demps, head coach Monty Williams and president Hugh Weber on Monday.

    “Amar’e won’t be traded, but everyone else is available,” the executive said of New York.

    Three weeks ago Weber said the Hornets wouldn’t trade Paul, but the point guard was inspired by Miami’s signing of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade.

    Read more: http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/68311/20100723/knicks_would_trade_anyone_but_amare_for_paul/#ixzz0uXGOEyD5

  150. ess-dog

    Although I think we are all drooling over Paul, it’s not out of the question that a price of both Gallo AND Randolph might be too high.
    If those two can come closer to their ceilings next year – both between 18 and 20 PER for example, and both Amare and Felton just hold their play at even from last year, and let’s say, Chandler plays a full year healthy at his 2nd half PER: roughly 16, and everyone plays the “standard” defense that they’ve played throughout their careers thus far… I would say that’s a four seed in the east. Is it unreasonable to think all of those things will happen? Probably.
    But Paul had a down year and was hurt and there is no guarantee that he will be back to form. And more importantly, it leaves you with either Chandler or Okafor (depending on the nature of the trade) as your 3rd best player. This is a pretty thin team that might resemble a Suns-east before last season – with very little in the way of a supporting cast, and if you take on Okafor – then you have no room to add any other great players (plus I don’t need to remind everyone of our draft pick situation.)
    To sumarize: Gallo + AR for CP3, yes. Either Gallo or AR for CP3 and Okafor, yes. Gallo + AR for CP3 and Okafor, hell no.

  151. Ted Nelson

    rama-

    I understand where you’re coming from with Gallo complementing them, and I still disagree that Randolph isn’t also an excellent complement even when you consider Okafor. I don’t see this going anywhere. You disagree but, again, my argument: Marion & Diaw and that players like Gallo are easier to find than players like Randolph (if you hold their development constant across the two.. which is in reality a huge variable).

    I would strongly disagree with calling Kyle Korver a scrub who keeps getting paid. He’s a pretty average NBA player offensively. He takes flack on defense, but Utah has still been better defensively with him on the court each of the past three seasons. His $5 mill per deal is a below average salary. I think that’s pretty fair. Knicks alone have three guys on their roster in TD, Walker, and Azu who can hit as high a % of 3s as Gallo. And no one is predicting the Knicks to be an amazing team.
    Anthony Morrow signed for $4 mill per. These are two of the best 3-pt shooters in the NBA, but no one cared to offer them an average salary.

  152. ess-dog

    Sh*t, I would do this. I think there is a 50/50 chance that either Gallo or Randolph will be if not as good very very close to as good as Carmelo. You have to insist on keeping one of the two young’ns though.
    Gallo, Curry, TD, Azu and Turiaf for Paul and Okafor?
    Portland could still give a better offer conceivably: Rudy, Bayless, Luke Babbit AND Aldrige + Pryzbilla’s expiring for Paul and Okafor.
    I think Gallo has the most upside of all the players, but everyone in the Portland package could be starting material.
    Can you imagine Paul, Roy, Batum, Camby and Oden? Sick.

  153. rama

    Z – Marbury meant Miami has interest in him for their medical staff. Along with eating vaseline he picked up some interesting holistic medicine playing in China.

  154. Caleb

    Ted – I think you are really underselling Okafor. For his career he has a better rebound rate thn David Lee – he really cleans the glass – and blocks almost 2 shots per 36. He doesnt have the mobility of truly elite defenders, but he’s built like a rock and is strong enough to push other big guys off their spots. I’m curious why you think he is better defending the 4, than the 5.

    It’s not like he’s a terrible offensive player, either – he’s averaged 13, 14 points a game with efficiency around a 55 TS% and middling usage rate.. he’s not hurting anyone. And is a good offensive rebounder. I think he’s an above-average NBA starting center.

    Now, whether you want to tie up $13-14 million of your cap space – is a different question.

  155. BigBlueAL

    WHY are these Isiah returning to the Knicks rumors still alive???? Now rumors about Isiah having secret meetings with the Knicks today and crap about his people saying if he was in charge LeBron wouldve signed with the Knicks.

    Somebody shoot me….

  156. Thomas B.

    Upside upside upside. Arrrghhh if I keep hearing that, I’m going upside someone’s head.
    How many 19-20 year olds came into the NBA and never developed into the upside and potential everyone thought they had?

    Some were highly taughted and stunk from day one:
    Y. Korolev
    N. Tskitisvilli
    S. Telefair
    K. Brown
    Many many more

    To be fair Randolph hasnt stunk from day one, he has put up an okay PER and he has shown some rebounding and blocked shot skills. I’d put him in the group that showed flashes but burned out.
    Jackie Butler
    Mike Sweetney
    Eddy Curry (see a pattern?)

  157. Thomas B.

    Oh and in case I have not made it clear, I only talk about taking Okafor to get Paul. I assume that would be part of the cost. Absent Paul, I’ll take my chances with Randolph and what a chance we are taking there. Amiright?

  158. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    At times I probably have, Okafor’s alright. I don’t think I’ve been nearly as down on him as other posters. I haven’t really been opposed to acquiring him with Paul for any reason besides cap flexibility… if that’s what it takes to get Paul I’d probably do it… though you hope that discounts the price in terms of young talent. Without Paul I’m not particularly interested in him, but I did say I’d consider he and Collison when you average out their contracts.

    The biggest thing I’ve said about Emeka lately is that I think Randolph is in line to be a good deal better. Okafor was pretty terrible his first two seasons and he was 22 and 23 (the back injury probably wore on him… speaking of which, it might be fully heeled, but who says it doesn’t act up again? I’m not chiropractor, but the back is a tricky thing). He’s never developed a jump shot. He’s not a playmaker. He’s not taking you off the dribble. He’s not guarding wings. I think Randolph has considerably more potential. Though maybe he never reaches it I think there’s a good chance he’ll improve considerably to the point where he’s move valuable than Okafor… and when he’s getting paid what Okafor is he’ll be 23 years old and Okafor will be 30 with another year at almost $15 mill.
    I’m on board to say “let’s deal Randolph for Chris Paul”… I’m just not on board to say “let’s deal Randolph for Chris Paul because I’d rather have Okafor than Randolph anyway.”

    “I’m curious why you think he is better defending the 4, than the 5.”

    He may be just as good at the 5. My reaction against him playing the 5 is how he struggled in NO, but it’s a small sample and maybe I’m wrong. It’s not like I watched many Hornets games last season. That I’ve been overselling.
    He and Diaw were a good defensive frontcourt and David West is not really a defensive presence. If CP3 stays healthy Okafor should look better offensively (I’d guess, don’t know what his splits were in games when CP3 was on the court…) and even defensively. Pondexter and Brackins maybe help him out a little defensively, too…

    The one guy on NO we haven’t been talking about who looks like he’ll be the odd-man out at some point (and probably deservedly so) is Julian Wright. At some point he’ll probably be available for next to nothing (either in a trade or as a RFA after this season) and he’s still got good potential. Not worth much since he’s gotten a lot worse since getting to the NBA, but worth a taking a flyer on to see if he can get his head on straight. Will only be 23 this season and career numbers aren’t terrible.

    I don’t really like Emeka next to Amare playing for D’Antoni, either. Okafor should be cutting his % jump shots, and for D’Antoni he’d probably be increasing it. He’s as poor a jump shooter as AR, but is 7 years older… not much chance of improving. He’d get 20-25 or so of his minutes while Amare was on the bench, I guess.

    He does seem like a stand-up guy and a hard worker. “Coachable.” I’ll root for him if he’s on the Knicks.

  159. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    190 is why I have a problem with your take on Randolph. He is already a good NBA player. I can’t say exactly how he’ll do, but objectively he’s got a very good chance to be a solidly above average player.

    You also cannot just ignore potential. Some guys will, in fact, reach their potential. (And I never said don’t trade AR for CP3… I just said I expect him to be a very good NBA player. Not as good as Paul. I said I would put the chance of that around zero.)

    Your first group is 100% irrelevant because none of them were good NBA players at any point. You even say that, but there’s really no point in including them once you consider their first two NBA seasons.
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=korolya01&y1=2007&p2=telfase01&y2=2006&p3=tskitni01&y3=2004&p4=brownkw01&y4=2003
    It’s about like if I put a list of LeBron, MJ, Magic, and Hakeem to demonstrate that some guys do reach their potential.

    The pattern I see with the 2nd group is that all three had weight issues, didn’t stay anywhere near NBA shape, and had major holes in their games (some maybe caused by weight). This is not a totally inappropriate group of comparison based on their first two NBA seasons, but it’s a worst case. If you want to assume the worst about every player, no one is ever going to be a good NBA player.
    Sweetney and Curry are crystal clear examples of guys who did not put forth even a bit of effort. Maybe they wouldn’t have reached their theoretical draft-day ceilings even with great work ethics, but their work ethics were clear problems. (Haven’t followed Butler too closely since he left NYK, but he went undrafted in large part because of character concerns as I remember.)
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=sweetmi01&y1=2005&p2=curryed01&y2=2003&p3=butleja01&y3=2006&p4=randoan01&y4=2010
    Could Randolph end up with the other guys (and Darius Miles and whoever else)… Sure. It’s possible. Is it a reasonable most likely case scenario based on the information we have? I would say no.
    Also, beside scoring efficiency (were he’s the worst) he’s the best in that group too.

    Scoring efficiency is a stat that *tends* to improve for very young players as they develop. If you take an average 19, 20 year old in the NBA, his TS% will improve. This is really not the case for rebounding or blocking shots. Maybe a very young, raw player (KG, for example, played more on the perimeter at first and his rebounds were low). It’s definitely not the case for other-worldly athleticism. Ast% and TO% are also numbers that tend in the right directions as you develop. Players tend to smarten up and play better D for a while until they decline physically (probably different curve at different positions).
    There’s no guarantees, but given all these factors plus his high FT% and FTA/36… It is not appropriate to compare AR to guys who got drafted in the top 5 based on a 1-on-0 work-out or international youth competitions.
    Comparing him to guys who could score in the NBA right off the bat, but had other holes, motivational issues, and were fat (when Randolph is anything but fat).

    Other comparable guys to look at based on their 20 year old seasons can be found in Mike’s article: http://knickerblogger.net/2010/07/similarity-scores-for-the-new-knicks/
    Joe Smith isn’t great (but he couldn’t rebound or defend like AR), but the rest is a collection of All-Star-through-Hall-of-Fame talent. There is no Jackie Butler on that subjectively accumulated list. No Sweetney (who wasn’t 20 in the NBA). No Eddy Curry.
    That doesn’t mean AR *will* do/become anything… but it’s a good sign.

  160. NateRobinson

    Thomas, with such a small sample it pays to watch tape of how those youngsters play(ed). Randolph’s on court demeanor is way more intense and competitive than all those other players you mentioned on your doomsday comparison. On both sides of the court you see AR’s demeanor as a player that takes things personal and that is one of the traits of players who tend to develop.

    Randolph projects to me to be a Josh Smith type of player. But with more Odom offensively.

  161. Donnie Walsh

    Someone in Chris Paul’s inner circle just faxed this trade proposal to me. They want it done on December 22nd. My back hurts too much to process it right now. Was hoping for feedback. Thanks. -DW

    Hornets get: Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry, Vladamir Radmanovic, Brandon Bass, and the draft rights to Ricky Rubio

    Warriors get: Ray Felton, Marcin Gortat, Wilson Chandler

    Timberwolves get: Andres Biedrins, Danillo Gallinari

    Nuggets get: David West, Monta Ellis

    Orlando gets: Emeka Okafor

    Knicks get: Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony

    (*it all works salary wise. Here at MSG we have a 6 team version of the trade machine)

  162. Donnie Walsh

    Forgot to mention, other five teams have already agreed in principle. I’m thinking about killing the deal. Worried about 2013 cap space and don’t want to part with our 2014 1st rounder. -DW

  163. Caleb

    @197-198 – THat’s awesome

    @193 – I pretty much agree, and I’d much rather have Randolph than Okafor, all things considered. I would just say Emeka is an asset, not a liability. We could probably find a 3rd team (OKC) to take him, anyway.

    If it came to that, I think the biggest problem would be having a pair of turnover machines – him and Stoudemire – next to each other. It could get ugly. Probably his minutes would go down to 25-30 and they’d alternate…

  164. KNCIKS2010

    @197 198
    I’m foaming at the mouth right now.
    Literally.

    Anybody hear the report that the heat have interest in Marbury (according to Steph himself, of course). I can’t imagine Miami bringing in a cancer to a locker room that may already have problems meshing egos.

  165. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    With that contract I don’t think he’s an asset… I wouldn’t call him a liability, either, though.`

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