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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grading the Knicks 2010 Deadline Deals

DARKO MILICIC TO MINNESOTA
FOR
BRIAN CARDINAL

Mike Kurylo: Hard to hate or love this deal. The Knicks were intent to not play Darko, and Milicic has an Erik Estrada sized chip on his shoulder. The NBA grapevine has it that the Knicks are going to release Cardinal, but I don’t see why. Kelly Dwyer called Cardinal the anti-Milicic, a guy who worked hard to squeeze out minutes like you would an old tube of toothpaste. Unlike Darko, Cardinal is on the tail end of his career, but if the Knicks decide to keep him I can see D’Antoni having a use for him in a Jeffries-esque-do-the-little-things kinda way.

Cardinal’s career stats aren’t awful 12.4 pts/36, TS% 55.2, 2.6 ast/36, 2.0 to/36, 6.2 reb/36, 1.7 stl/36. The question is how much of that is from his earlier days, and how much does he have left in the tank? I’ll put a clause out on my grade. If Cardinal plays 200+ minutes for the Knicks, I’ll call it a B+. If not then I’ll go with a C, since you have to hand it to Donnie for trying to get something out of nothing.

Thomas B.: I see this as trading goldenrod for saffron. But this is worth a C+ because we knew Milicic was never going to play. At least now we can wonder if Cardinal will play. Cardinal has been a pro for 9 years and I never heard of him. I had a picture in my mind of who I thought he was and I went to NBA.com to see if it matched; it did not. I was thinking of Bison Dele–he retired a decade ago.

Kevin McElroy: Knicks look set to cut Cardinal, so this seems like a clever piece of bookkeeping that will save them a shade over a million dollars. Small potatoes in the grand scheme of things? Sure. But who am I to hate on a team that wants to save a couple million bucks a few months before its intends to shell out roughly three gazillion dollars to let me root for LeBron and a high-priced sidekick. Not like they gave up anything we’ll miss, and Darko’s malingering could only have caused tension, so I’ll throw this one a C+. Somewhere, Q-Rich is wondering why he had to pay all those real estate agents in the first place.

Robert Silverman: Although I would have gotten a weird kink out of seeing Brian “The Janitor” Cardinal get some spin, it looks like we”ll never know. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for career backup PF/C’s. It’s why the only Nix jersey that I actually own is a Ken “The Animal” Bannister model from ’85-’86. B-

Caleb: Most NBA fans probably didn’t know that Darko was still in the league. Here’s my favorite Brian Cardinal story – can you believe there is a Brian Cardinal story? It’s how he got that contract in the first place. Allegedly, Michael Hensley was giving Jerry West a lot of grief, “why haven’t you signed anyone? etc.” West was about fed up and so he picked up the phone, called Cardinal’s agent and asked if he wanted $30 million. Ten seconds later, he turned to Hensley and said, “I signed a free agent. Are you satisfied?” I don’t know if it’s true but it’s a good story. This trade saved the Knicks about a million bucks, counting luxury tax. Supposedly Kahn is his protege. Guess there was a favor owed. A-

Brian Cronin: As Caleb notes, the trade saved the Knicks roughly $1 million off of their luxury tax bill, and since they were not playing Darko at all, this is a pretty easy win (now as to why they never really played Darko at all, well, that’s another story). A-

Dave Crockett: A little tax relief, and a potential end-of-bench player. Moving right along. A (but only worth a few points)

NATE ROBINSON AND MARCUS LANDRY TO BOSTON
FOR
EDDIE HOUSE, J.R. GIDDENS AND BILL WALKER

Mike Kurylo: Nate’s days were numbered under D’Antoni. Getting the starting job over Duhon seemed to indicate a final opportunity for Nate to win over D’Antoni. Being demoted just 2 days afterwards told you all you needed to know about Nate’s future in New York. In Walsh’s defense Nate did reject the deal to Memphis, but perhaps he could have played chicken with Nate and tried to force his hand (no one wants to sit in the final year of their contract). I’m sad the Knicks didn’t get a draft pick in return in this deal, especially considering that they gave one (and a half) away to Houston. It seems that there’s always a few teams willing to give one away, perhaps the Lakers might have been interested.

In the short term Eddie House will bring the big three ball, and fit in nicer with D’Antoni than Nate ever did. Giddens & Walkers NBDL numbers aren’t bad, but considering how little last year’s NBDLers played, I don’t envision the Knicks giving them lots of playing time. Oh and Giddens just had knee surgery, with no timetable to return. The Celtics got by far the best player of the bunch, and the Knicks didn’t receive anything here except perhaps a rental on House and a short look at Walker. D+

Thomas B.: I guess this means I lost when I took the over for Nate Robinson games as a Knick (82.5) prior to the season. I don’t like the move because Robinson is worth more than what we brought back. I’d have much rather had Robinson added to Jeffries deal with the Knicks keeping the “sweetener” picks. Or bring back a late first round pick when sending Robinson to Boston. A protected pick in 2012 would have made the 2012 pick we moved out with Jeffries easier to take. Of course, Walsh was somewhat limited since Nate could void the trades. This deal makes me think letting Robinson walk at the end of the season is okay. I just can’t see House, Walker, or Giddens dropping 41 points combined in any game this season much less any one of them doing it alone. D-

Kevin McElroy: This trade was presented in a ton of different forms and with a number of different justifications over the last month, most of which made sense for one reason or another. These reasons included:

1) Because the Knicks were going to get a draft pick back.
2) Because the Knicks were going to dump a player to reduce next year’s cap number.
3) Because the Celtics needed an incentive to be pulled into the larger Knicks/Rockets/Kings trade.
4) Because the Knicks wanted to get Toney Douglas more playing time without Nate looking over his shoulder.

In its final version, the trade accomplishes zero of these things. No draft pick came back and no long-term salary left with Nate, the Celtics trade was conducted separately from the mega-deal, and Alan Hahn has tweeted that Douglas will remain out of D’Antoni’s rotation (behind Duhon and the newly acquired Sergio Rodriguez).

Ultimately, the Knicks sent away a fan favorite for players that won’t be around after a couple months, received no assets, cleared up no cap room, and have run the risk of rejuvenating a division rival for a playoff run by sending them a much-needed bench scorer (seriously, I know the Knicks are out of it, but we can all agree that we’d rather not see the Celtics succeed in the postseason, right?). On a personal level, I’m happy that Nate gets to play for a good team, but the Knicks did absolutely nothing to advance their interests here. More worryingly, it feels like the Knicks brass was simply out-maneuvered, failing to take a hard line as the best parts of their return package came off the table. It feels silly to give such a poor grade to this one, seeing as Nate would have walked in a few months anyway, but the direction that this negotiation took shouldn’t get anything more than a D+.

Caleb: This was depressing. Like Balkman, an example of Walshtoni dumping someone they just didn’t like. Although, to be fair, it saved the Knicks more than $1 million, counting luxury tax. On the plus side, I’m happy for Nate, who will have a lot of fun the next three months. Wild-card: Bill Walker. Before he blew out both knees, there was talk of his being a top-5 pick. If they ever invent a new surgery/rejuvenation machine he could be a stud. D

Robert Silverman: First of all, can we please stop holding a torch for the supposed “Kenny Thomas for Jeffries & Nate deal that Donnie Moth$%&*^!ing Walsh turned down!!!!” deal. It was a rumor. No one, save Walsh and Petrie, knows if it’s true and they’re not telling. It’s like still being pissed at Isiah for (supposedly) retiring in ’93 rather than accept a trade to the Knicks (as Pete Vescey/Pete Vescey’s psychic Ms. Cleo claims). No, two C-Minus prospects like Giddens and Walker isn’t much of a haul for a productive (if maddening/maddeningly inconsistent) player. But what’s the alternative? Even if you could get another team to go for a sign and trade this off-season (which, considering Olympiakos was the strongest bidder in the summer of ’09 isn’t likely), you’re still going to have to take back a contract to make the deal work, thus cutting into our sweet, creamery cap space. The one thing that royally cheeses me off is that come playoff time, I will pull for Nate when he’s in the game (b/c he’s Nate. Warts and all, I so dig the dude). As a result, I’ll have to…sort of…root…for…the Celtics. Ick. I just threw up a little in my mouth. C-

Brian Cronin: I agree that it is a bit frustrating that Nate returned little value partially because his own coach was pretty clear about not liking him (way to market your assets!), but once you allow that Nate’s value was depressed to the point where you weren’t going to get a draft pick for him (by the way, the deal apparently does include a conditional second round pick, but I believe it’s one of those conditional picks where the chances of the conditions ever actually existing are next to nil, so it’s effectively not really a pick at all), then saving some money on the luxury tax is as good as anything else, I suppose. C+

Dave Crockett: This was all about coach D. I just cannot understand why Nate couldn’t play in 7SOL (such that it is in NY) while he got big mileage out of Barbosa in PHO. Happy for Nate, but I recall from my Beantown days that Tommy Heinsen HATES Nate. That’s never a good thing in that town. D

JORDAN HILL, JARED JEFFRIES, OPTION TO SWAP 1ST ROUND PICK IN 2011 (TOP 1 PROTECTION), 2012 1ST ROUND PICK (TOP 5 PROTECTION), AND LARRY HUGHES TO HOUSTON/SACRAMENTO
FOR
TRACY MCGRADY, SERGIO RODRIGUEZ

Mike Kurylo: I’m not sure what else to say that I didn’t say yesterday. So I’ll look at what this deal means for this year. I admit I’m a bit excited to see some new blood on what’s become a lifeless team. However there’s a nagging voice in the back of my head that is telling me not to get too optimistic. I would love for someone to take Duhon’s place in the starting lineup. But part of me is hoping it’s not McGrady, because if he plays well then the front office might overpay to keep him. I don’t want my future hopes resting on Donnie Walsh giving him a reasonable contract, T-Mac staying healthy for a full season, and shooting more efficiently than he’s been in the past (he’s had exactly one season with a TS% over 54%). What are the odds all that comes to fruition?

Perhaps Sergio Rodriguez would be the guy to send Duhon packing. But I just don’t trust D’Antoni to play him, and can you blame me? Remember the NBDL-shuffle of last year? The 2 whole games he gave Nate Robinson this year (one against Cleveland) before calling the experiment a failure? Von Wafer? Morris Almond? I just don’t envision Mike D’Antoni handing over the reigns to a youngster, especially with how oddly married he is to Duhon. My guess is that Sergio won’t get a chance until it’s too late, and he’ll be gone without given a fair shake.

On the long term it’s a lot to pay for moving the contracts of Hill and Jeffries, and I’d be much happier if things go wrong in the next 3 seasons we still have our draft pick to comfort us on those cold February days when the team is playing poorly. I’d like to give this a D or an F, but the remote chance this brings in 2 studs and the draft picks don’t matter gives it some hope. C-

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. I’m excited about what Sergio might be able to do…to Duhon. If he can’t steal Duhon’s minutes at point he does not need to be in the NBA. Sergio should be allowed a fair shot to supplant Duhon. We know Duhon won’t be back, so at least see if Sergio is worth bringing back on the cheap. Other than the draft picks, I won’t miss what we sent away.

This deal was not about players, it was about cap room and Walsh delivered. Now we have to see what that cap room turns in to. This deal can’t be graded fairly until July 2010. And the true impact will not be known until May of 2011 (playoffs anyone?). For now, I’ll grade this pass/fail. So for giving the team a chance to dream about James/Bosh or James/Wade or Wade/Bosh, Walsh earns a Pass. But if he goes all Dumars this off season…..

Robert Silverman: Outside of the roundball ramifications, from a semi-ontological point of view, doesn’t it seem like the Knicks are somehow osmotically taking on the karma/organizational principles (or lack thereof) of their Madison Sq. Garden co-occupants? For years, nay, decades…heck, since ice was invented, the Blueshirts have given a washed-up/injured “star” a year or two to spin/reclaim their former glory. Some worked out well (Messier, Jagr, even Gretzky) while for the most part they, to use an utterly shop-worn tabloid cliche, bombed in their B’way revival (Plante, Sawchuk, Hedberg, Nilsson, Esposito, Hodge, Dionne, Carpenter, Lafleur, Nicholls, Gartner, Kurri, Robitaille, Lindros, Fleury, etc. etc.). Look at the cats who’ve graced our roster in the past decade – McGrady, Hardaway, Jalen Rose, Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, Van Horn, McDyess, Mutombo, etc. In 2001, that’s an all-star roster. Alas, it isn’t 2001 anymore, Victoria. And there ain’t no Santa Claus.

Look, Walsh went all in for LeBron/Wade. And as my fellow Knickerbloggers/other sportswriters/pundits have written, he had to do it. I’m going to cross the sporting barriers for my take on this: “…The day you say you have to do something, you’re screwed. Because you are going to make a bad deal…” – Billy Beane/Michael Lewis, Moneyball

Say LeBron/Wade gives the ‘Bockers the Heisman. What does Walsh do then? Just let all of that cap space sit there? Doesn’t Walsh, by the same logic then have to overpay Stoudamire/Johnson/Gay (or trade for Arenas – shudder) even if none of them are close to being worth a max deal? Like Thomas B., I’m going to hedge my bets/grades: A+ (LeBron/Wade agrees to be NY’s best girl)/D- (Walshtoni’s so depressed/on the rebound that he throws money/a promise ring at the first vaguely attractive gal who comes his way)

Kevin McElroy: Look everybody, I know we’ve grown accustomed to expecting the worst here. I also know that there is plenty NOT to like about this trade [For example: how's that "Nate and Jeffries for Kenny Thomas" trade look now? Far be it from me to say "I told you so," but I think we can put to rest the idea that Walsh was wise to turn down that opportunity because he was waiting on something better (I'm looking at you "Donnie Walsh Report Card" commenters!) I hope for the sake of Walsh's sleep schedule that rumor was unfounded all along.].

But these are the facts, and they are undisputed: The Knicks, even by the most pessimistic cap projections, will have $32 million in cap space next year. The Knicks have retained David Lee, who can be used in a sign-and-trade this summer. The Knicks have retained Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, the two players who most fans feared would have to be sacrificed to unload Jared Jeffries contract. And the Knicks will enter next season, no matter the free agent machinations, with Eddy Curry’s $11 million dollar expiring contract, allowing them to either make a mid-season trade or add another very good player in the summer of 2011. Make no mistake, the Knicks paid dearly to get here, and if they strike out in free agency, the lost draft picks could haunt them for a decade. But look around, and think about where we were 24 months ago (Isiah in charge, capped out beyond belief, any hope of signing LeBron as faded as my 1998-99 Eastern Conference Champions graphic tee), and realize that you now root for an NBA team with a blank slate, four months before the best basketball player in the world becomes a free agent. And, yes, there is no guarantee that he, or anyone else, is coming. But this was the only reasonable course of action given where the Knicks started and the potential reward.

When Walsh arrived, he inherited three players with cap-killing contracts that extended past 2010. He was widely expected to find takers for ZERO of them. He found takers for THREE of them (Z-Bo, Crawford, Jeffries). This can’t be forgotten. The road here was a bumpy one, but the fact that we’re here at all is cause for quiet celebration. And cause for an A- .

Caleb: For me the key is opportunity cost. Without moving Jeffries, the Knicks ran a real risk of being able to afford only one major free agent, a scenario that probably would have led to signing no one — who would come to MSG, if even David Lee were gone? They were truly, truly desperate.
But the reactions are also just that people can’t believe their eyes. Or they remember the Bulls and Jerry Krause striking out for a couple of years, or they’re quivering at the memory of Isiah throwing $29 million at Jerome James. But free agency isn’t bad, guys. For $3 million, you can get someone better than Jordan Hill. Along those same lines, I think there’s very little chance the lost draft picks are in the teens, much less the lottery, and Walsh has covered his worst-case scenarios. $32 million buys a lot of options, LeBron or no. It won’t be hard to make this team a contender again. The only reason not to give this trade a higher grade is because when both the other teams come away grinning ear to ear, you have to figure you might have paid more than you had to. B

Brian Cronin: Not for nothing, but I believe the most pessimistic cap projections (a cap of $53 million) give the Knicks $31 million. Not a big deal, but you would need more than that to give full maximum contracts to either Lebron, Wade or Bosh. In any event, I think this is a trade that the Knicks had to do, and as Robert notes, when it is clear that you have to do something, other General Managers are going to take advantage of that need, and Daryl Morey is one of the best General Managers in the NBA, so he basically got as much as he could possibly get in this deal – but because the deal had to be made, I think it’s still a worthwhile move. I am on board with the notion of splitting the difference between an A (if this nets either Lebron/Wade, Lebron/Bosh, Wade/Bosh or Lebron/Lee) and F (if this nets no one of note, not even Joe Johnson), so the middle of that is a C.

EDITED TO ADD: I just realized another valuable aspect of this trade. It now allows the Knicks to sign up to $20.5 million worth of free agents (presuming a $53 million cap) while still keeping Lee’s cap hold in place rather than the $11 million worth of free agents before this trade. If they do that, they can then go over the cap to re-sign Lee. That basically puts them into a position where they can pretty much guarantee themselves that they will keep Lee if they want to keep Lee, as they’d be able to match any offer he gets. That’s big. Big enough for me to raise my grade to a B-.

Dave Crockett: You have to give this an incomplete. On the downside, the cost of this flexibility is high. So in one sense, it’s almost impossible to see this deal as an A+. Even in the best case scenario, we win the Yankee way–at a higher cost-per-win than any other team. Nevertheless, I’d rather win than not win. So, we’ll have to see what Donnie does with the flexibility. Its worth noting that the flexibility we have should also extend to sign-and-trades and trades. Incomplete.

75 comments on “Grading the Knicks 2010 Deadline Deals

  1. DS

    “[N]o matter the free agent machinations, with Eddy Curry’s $11 million dollar expiring contract, allowing them to either make a mid-season trade or add another very good player in the summer of 2011

    I wonder if we can get rid of this contract sooner rather than later. Maybe if we sacrificed, say Gallo, to a team that had cap room this summer we could dump Curry on them. That would give us approx. $45mm to spend on whoever and keep the wet dream of signing LeBron, Bosh, and David Lee alive. Can anyone find a precedent of someone taking a contract that big as early as the summer before it was set to expire?

    Caleb: “For $3 million, you can get someone better than Jordan Hill.”

    I agree with your logic (though I’m not positive that Hill won’t be better than your average $3mm/yr guy).

    As a rule of thumb, I’d rather have $ to spend on free agents and for flexibility in making trades than take my chances on a draft pick or a prospect like Hill panning out. And as you all have presumed, the difference between the Knicks having $22 million in cap space and $31 million could be huge if 2 big time FA’s are in play.

  2. DS

    * I should note that what inspired my thinking of dumping Curry was that the Rockets and Pacers are both talking about how optimistic they are about being able to make deals with their contracts that expire in 2011. Albeit, they have to say things like that b/c it’s good PR even if it’s not very true. And their players with expiring deals are presumably far more valuable than Curry.

  3. Mulligan

    I don’t get people’s concerns about Walsh overspending on second or third tier free agents. I have the opposite concern, that he’ll try to do what he did with Ramon Sessions and keep low-balling people until we lose out on potential contracts. Seems like he loves to negotiate.

    Also, did anyone notice this quote buried in Chris Sheridan’s article about our cap space? “I don’t know who is going to be out there. I know what the free agent list is, and as soon as we get to it, we’ll be prepared,” Walsh said, “and if you don’t get ‘em this year, then maybe I won’t be here but it’ll be better for the guy coming in next.” (http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/13615/walsh-exceeded-his-own-cap-clearing-expectations)

    I’ll admit, I rarely know what Walsh means (he really is a lawyer at heart with the way he nuances words), but it sounds like he’s ready to leave after next year.

  4. Brian Cronin

    I thought that was a “joke” (quotes because it actually could be true) that if he doesn’t land at least one of the Big Three that he would be blamed and fired.

  5. TheRooster8

    “Perhaps Sergio Rodriguez would be the guy to send Duhon packing. But I just don’t trust D’Antoni to play him, and can you blame me?”

    I think this is wrong…Didn’t MDA want to draft Rodriguez when he was still coaching the Suns? Hasn’t this been someone the knicks have sought after for quite sometime? It seems as though MDA was the one driving to include Sergio….So I doubt he will not play him. (See Alan Hahn’s twitter page for more on this).

    The bottom line is DW delivered on his promise of creating maximum room for free agency. Not only can they sign two max players, but if they hold onto Curry’s huge contract till next year’s trading deadline, they can position themselves to pick up a very good player a la Jamison this year, as they will be able to provide substantial cap relief for teams for 2011, when there are several more premiere FA available. This deal is definitely incomplete, but puts the NYK in the best position they have been in since they way over spent on Allan Houston. All year I have read on this site that people believe LBJ could come to NY, well this trade was the only way to make that happen. Now its up to MDA and DW to get the big guns in here, as they were brought in to do. Otherwise, why is MDA even here?

  6. jon abbey

    some interesting lines in Vecsey’s piece today:

    “That’s why Walsh must know something. He cannot afford to do what he’s done and not have a promise from LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.

    “You better believe every team with an elite [rising] free agent player is nervous as hell,” a western conference general manager declared. “Everyone wants to play with LeBron. If he goes to New York, come July, they’ll be boxing out for position to join the party.”"

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/cap_all_folks_DnwXyyvQP8DZ7TIrMShECM/1

  7. Caleb

    Most of the worst-case scenarios have Walsh panicking and doing something stupid if Plan A doesn’t work out. The assumption is that New York fans won’t stand for “rebuilding.” That assumption sunk Scott Layden. But based on Walsh’s track record, I think he has the patience to stick it out, instead of throwing $60 million at Rudy Gay.

    The cap room gives you a lot of options, but the best Plan A might not include sign two max guys. Assuming we have a choice, it might be better to sign one max player (say, LeBron) and split the rest (e.g. David Lee and a few others).

    As of now, the Knicks only have 3 legit rotation players on the roster. Max Free Agent 1 makes #4 — you might get #5 in a Curry trade. Might. But if you blow the rest on another max guy, that’s still just 6 rotation players. You could fill it out the next summer but that’s still awfully thin. On the other hand, if you sign Lee and two other guys (say, Sergio and a functional center) — you’ve got 8 rotation-level players. Maybe you can luck out, get a decent vet like Grant Hill to sign for the minimum.

  8. jon abbey

    Caleb, I think you can fill in those guys later on, even a season later when Curry’s money frees up if necessary.

  9. Frank O.

    @8
    Translation: He’s a guy that will pass to Gallo.Perhaps the Rooster won’t suffer frostbite out there alone anymore with Sergio passing

  10. jon abbey

    Hahn on Twitter:

    D’Antoni on Walsh’s moves: “What Donnie laid out for me [when I was hired], he executed almost perfectly. I think that’s what’s reassuring.”

  11. Ted Nelson

    re: 3 and 4,

    I don’t know that the situation would be better for whoever came in next if Donnie were fired at the end of the summer. They would have had cap space even if Donnie never made a single move as Knicks’ GM. They also would have had draft picks in 2011 and 2012 to work with. If Walsh “doesn’t get um this year” they won’t have those picks. Therefore, and I really do hate to be always pointing out the pessimistic side of things, having no GM at all for the past 2 years would have been a decidedly better option for the Knicks should Walsh fail this offseason. On the optimistic side of things Walsh is in a great position not to fail this offseason!

    re: 8 and 11,

    I think it’s an attempt at a joke. Sort of an ignorant/xenophobic joke: all Europeans magically get along with each other and being from Spain or Italy is the same damn thing.

  12. Caleb

    LeBron and Wade, that’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    But I think I’d rather have David Lee + someone else pretty good, than Chris Bosh, or anyone else on the market.

  13. rohank

    As per Caleb’s analysis of the Darko trade – i wish Donnie had used his “favor” to get a different player…….

    As per Kevin’s analysis of the Nate trade – we ARE rooting for the celtics now…would you rather the cavs win?

  14. jon abbey

    “we ARE rooting for the celtics now…would you rather the cavs win?”

    there is a line of reasoning that says it will be easier for LeBron to leave if the Cavs do win, then all of Ohio will be mad at him for a while, but not forever. I still think there’s a better chance he leaves if Cleveland loses again, but it’s not totally clear.

  15. Garson

    Regarding what we are rooting for come playoffs… I have heard both sides of the coin and am not sure which is more acurate.

    Lebron wins championship with Cavs this season:

    A. Leaves > Feels he has given back to Clevlend and its time to move on.
    B. Stays > Feels he can win multiple titles with Jamsion and Crew.

    Lebron loses in playoffs:

    A. Stays > Feels he has unfinished buisness and doesnt want to leave Cavs emptyhanded and on a sour note.
    B. Leaves > Feels he if he cant win this season with this team , why would he in years to come… Bolts to a better scenerio.

  16. Ted Nelson

    I didn’t know the Grizz got Ronnie Brewer… nice move for both sides. Brewer is having a career worst season, but gives the Grizz a good young player for a less certain pick. Good move for the Jazz too, if they weren’t going to re-sign Brewer anyway.

    I know it’s a really tough call, but I feel like it’s a cop-out to call this deal incomplete. The deal is complete for the Knicks. Walsh made the trade knowing what he knows right now. Therefore, I think you have to give it a grade based on the probabilities of different events occurring. What that grade should be?…. I have no idea. I think Caleb’s B is pretty fair, maybe I’d say B-. Would be best to actually run through probabilities of certain events occurring and do it in a semi-scientific manner, I suppose.
    (I hope that what Walsh knows is substantially more than what we know… i.e. I hope that the whole AI flirtation was a way to legitimately get into the same room with Leon Rose and throw out a few “hypotheticals” about a certain “the best player in the world.”)

  17. Ted Nelson

    re: 16 and 17

    Very true. I think the best chance by far is if Cleveland losses in the 2nd round (would say 1st, but that seems pretty unrealistic) and Jamison is worthless to them. Then they’re capped out, old, and underachieving. Even then maybe LeBron feels he has something to prove, but it would be pretty easy to walk away with a clear conscious in that situation.

    re: Darko trade

    Isn’t it the case that the Knicks needed to cut someone to make the Boston deal? So, it was a purely financial move, as some graders pointed out.

    Caleb,
    re: 9
    “Most of the worst-case scenarios have Walsh panicking and doing something stupid if Plan A doesn’t work out. The assumption is that New York fans won’t stand for “rebuilding.” That assumption sunk Scott Layden. But based on Walsh’s track record, I think he has the patience to stick it out, instead of throwing $60 million at Rudy Gay.”

    1. The Knicks had that cap room in 2011 without this deal. In fact, they had it without the Randolph or Crawford deals. If he’s patient it might be the best move, but this deal will have been a bad deal at the end of the day. In hindsight, that is, which is of course 20/20. Today I agree that it’s a good, but risky move.

    2. Walsh’s track record is that he will not rebuild by stinking. He did not do that in Indy. He has not done it in NY to the point where he’s painted himself into a corner where he cannot legitimately do that. His track record is that he’s a competitor who wants to win games. This is a good trait, but it’s the reason I am worried about overpaying some Amare or Rudy Gay. You yourself say that even Bosh or Johnson would be overpaying. Morey reportedly offered Scola, Battier, and picks for Amare… you think Walsh is smart enough not to overpay some “bigtime” player?
    Why’d he let Bird trade for Dunleavy and Murphy? That’s another worrying question. Why does he always trade for Harrington? I like Walsh A LOT, but he’s pretty old-school and is one of the guys who invented the current standard practices/status quo. I think he’s going to go out and spend as much as he can on whoever he can get… He’s never been a money-ball type before. He’s more of an old-school scouting type of guy, but one who obviously understands the game very well.

    “The cap room gives you a lot of options, but the best Plan A might not include sign two max guys. Assuming we have a choice, it might be better to sign one max player (say, LeBron) and split the rest (e.g. David Lee and a few others).”

    If I had the chance to sign the 2 best basketball players on the planet today… that would be my plan A by 50 gazillion miles. If I were one of those two guys and didn’t mind leaving my current team it would also be my plan A (in LeBron’s case, Wade could stay in Miami and get LeBron to come).
    How much room is left once you sign LeBron and Lee? Especially if LeBron gets signed-and-traded to maximize his earnings and Lee gets $12 mill or so…
    You address this in #14, I see. I would take Bosh over Lee and an extra 4 mill or something in cap space. I think he’s better enough to justify it.
    I still don’t understand how you can be so against signing anyone besides LeBron/Wade, and so adamant that cap space is valuable beyond LeBron/Wade.

    “As of now, the Knicks only have 3 legit rotation players on the roster. Max Free Agent 1 makes #4 — you might get #5 in a Curry trade. Might. But if you blow the rest on another max guy, that’s still just 6 rotation players. You could fill it out the next summer but that’s still awfully thin.”

    Who are the three? Gallo and Chandler and ???

    Boston has about 6 rotation legit players, or did before they got Nate. I wouldn’t be too worried about being thin. You can work that out if the core is really strong.

    “On the other hand, if you sign Lee and two other guys (say, Sergio and a functional center) — you’ve got 8 rotation-level players.”

    I would take a really strong 6 (meaning especially strong at the top) over a good 8. Sergio, for example, isn’t a definite rotation player right now. He’s been in the league a few years and never really stuck in a rotation. Maybe he kills it for D’Antoni, but even then you’re risking signing him based on a small sample size. I wouldn’t mind re-signing him, but I wouldn’t make it plan A or B or C or probably even D.

    “Maybe you can luck out, get a decent vet like Grant Hill to sign for the minimum.”

    If you’ve got LeBron I think you can definitely get a few of those guys. Which ones are available and when is a question, of course.

  18. Brian Cronin

    I think Caleb’s B is pretty fair, maybe I’d say B-. Would be best to actually run through probabilities of certain events occurring and do it in a semi-scientific manner, I suppose.

    That’s hilarious – I was just changing my answer to a B- based on what I said earlier about now being able to re-sign Lee easier (if they so choose to).

  19. ess-dog

    Great wrap up guys. I’m surprised more people aren’t positive about this. People like Hughes, Darko and Nate had to go already. And in my most honest heart of hearts, I’m glad that Hill has exited stage right. All the guys coming in are a lot more professional. Who knows what we could get out of T-Mac? I don’t expect much, but he could have a Grant Hill in Phoenix type of effect. He is a great passer. And I’m excited about giving Sergio a spin. And even if they are both garbage, they are gone after the season anyway. Same goes for House, Walker and Giddens. House will at least accept his role and thrive at it. Hopefully Douglas gets a little more tick. The guard defense is so much better now (unless we continue to play duhon.) I would sit Duhon and rotate Douglas, Sergio, TMAC and Chandler: some shooting, a little slashing, and solid defense all around. But we’ll probably still see Duhon.
    Harrington will still get his 6 man bench minutes, but at least Jeffries is gone. Lee still at the 5… Gallo at the 4 more often maybe? It’s a small, frontcourt, with little shotblocking, but good passing (minus Harrington) and scoring/shooting and the better guard defense will really help the back line defense.
    These next games will be more watchable damnit!
    And next year we get to play build-a-team. Who knows? maybe we draft next year’s Dejuan Blair in round 2? There’s always one… and really I would be happy with 1 or 2 good players next year – not just the big 3. Even a guy like Ginobli at the right price would be cool. There are a lot of possibilities. I wouldn’t be surprised to see big NY celebs offering up tasty nuggets to free agents early in the summer (Trump to Lebron: “I’ll build King James Tower at 23 Park Av. and save you the penthouse if you come to the Knicks”… stuff like that.
    Just compare this moment in your minds to the moment where you saw that Zeke traded for Randolph right before the draft: Locked into to big-money, flawed players oh, that also basically play the same position on the block! The sinking feeling you had as the announcers questioned the odd maneuver… you probably already hated Steph and the other free agent signings, so this really hit home as “crap. I.T. has no idea what he’s doing.”
    Despite some mistakes thus far, you can’t feel that way about what Walsh has achieved.

  20. Brian Cronin

    T-Mac “says he would take a considerable pay cut from this season’s $22.5 million salary to stay in New York if the Knicks got those players [Lebron and Wade].

    Gee, thanks, T-Mac!

  21. ess-dog

    Also, I think we got a good look into how Walsh operates on the free agent market this past summer. If we whiff on Lebron, Bosh and Wade, he’s going to work it down to the wire to get guys as cheaply as possible. Had we eventually signed Sessions at 4.5 mil over 4 years, I don’t think anyone would’ve had a problem with that. That ends up being a very tradable contract that doesn’t kill you. I expect to see more of that this summer.

  22. Nick C.

    I’m on board with #21. I’m averse to trading picks (and previously said IT probably never thought his picks would be lottery-so it would be foolish to assume otherwise with these) but this was the course we wanted (cap space) then I have to live with it.

  23. cgreene

    @19 Ted, the reason he traded for Dunleavy and Murphy is bc he had to blow up the Artest, Stephen Jackson Pacers team because of the Brawl. Total no win scenario.. Cmon. You knew that before you wrote it.

  24. Brian Cronin

    Todd, my guess is that the conditions on the pick are the type that make it near impossible to actually vest, which is why people haven’t mentioned it in most of the articles on the trade.

    By the way, from that link, I found this strange:

    Explain this: The Rockets hit an impasse in talks with New York over their demands for T-Mac, struck a deal with the Kings for Martin then expanded the trade to include the Knicks and then received everything they initially wanted – in addition to Martin.

    Huh!?!? They traded Carl Landry!!! How does that need to be explained?!?

  25. Ted Nelson

    ess-dog,

    I think upside/positive is obvious, I just think the downside is too.

    I don’t think 2009 is very indicative of Walsh’s free agent approach. Had he signed Sessions we’d all be furious because the Jeffries deal would be less meaningful. 2009 he was clearly looking towards 2010. 2010 he’s all in

  26. Ted Nelson

    cgreene,

    Artest had nothing to do with that. Jackson is a character, but he’s done fine since then. He could have gotten shorter deals for Jackson and Harrington, instead he got longer, worse ones. Was a stupid move possibly brought on by Bird’s racial profiling, Donnie should have vetoed it.

  27. gbaked

    @ 21: I think it would be 6th ave. I have heard that he is going to change numbers after he signs to #6. Or was I dreaming that up?

  28. Caleb

    “The Knicks had that cap room in 2011 without this deal.”

    But LeBron James isn’t a free agent then!

    Carmelo Anthony is, but the Knicks can still shoot for him, whatever happens this summer. (as long as they do a minor trade or two, on top of letting Curry expire)

    Walsh rebuilt Indy on the fly, but did it without going nuts on free agents (except Jermaine O’Neal, perhaps).

    “You yourself say that even Bosh or Johnson would be overpaying… I still don’t understand how you can be so against signing anyone besides LeBron/Wade, and so adamant that cap space is valuable beyond LeBron/Wade.”"

    I’m not that adamant against, say Chris Bosh… I’m a value guy, and Bosh might be worth a max deal (since the CBA basically screws the really good players, by flattening the salary curve); it’s not like his contract would become an albatross. But I think the Knicks would be better served by spreading the money around. Johnson isn’t close to a max player, IMO… hopefully Walsh agrees.

    Whether we use the cap space well boils down to, does Walsh think the money is burning a hole in his pocket and he has to spend it RIGHT NOW!!!!! on the best available player THAT MINUTE!!!! or is he willing to wait for the right opportunity in trades, or 2011, or even 2012. It’s not either-or — that we get LeBron, or we go 17-65 — we could be decent or even good in the meantime, without busting the cap. $32 million can buy a pretty good team, in a lot of ways. You just have to sign players at decent value, not screw yourself, i.e. the opposite of what Isiah did.

    Walsh is not a stats guy and I don’t think his eye for talent is standout, but I think you are undervaluing what he does well — good planning, not wasteful, pays attention to the details. He signed plenty of good players at modest cost – Jeff Foster, Derrick McKey, Ron Artest, just to name a few. Taking a huge gamble isn’t his usual modus operandi – Indy was a deep, non-superstar team. But I think he (correctly) saw 2010 as a moment to roll the dice.

    “Who are the three? Gallo and Chandler and ???”

    I would call Toney Douglas an actual NBA player, especially with a year under his belt.

    “Lee gets $12 mill or so…”

    I might be naive but I think he would take less to stay in NY — $8-9 million, with big annual raises to push the 6-year total past $60 million. a) he’s just not a smalltown guy and he likes it here; b) he’d be playing with LeBron! More fame! More wins!; c) he’s already rich. Not Laimbeer-rich, but rich all the same!

    The market will be interesting – there are so many teams with money to burn, tyou could see some crazy bidding wars. On the other hand, I just have the feeling that teams are getting smarter. Combine that with the fear of a much tighter cap post-2011, and the tough economy, and I don’t think we will see as many outrageous contracts as we used to. I know, that last sentence is a bulletin board quote for my critics…

  29. Caleb

    p.s. re: Murphy and Dunleavy, hard to say who was really running the team – Walsh knew he was going to be leaving and as a lame duck you might not take more of a hands-off approach. Then again I’m only speculating.

    Murphy isn’t that awful a contract, no worse than Antawn Jamison. Dunleavy on the other hand – not Jared Jeffries-bad (contract-wise), but pretty damn bad.

  30. Loathing

    I like these moves…not only was this about shedding salary, but also about improving team chemistry/morale for the rest of the season. They got team players who will undoubtedly buy into D’Antoni’s system. Whether this will translate into wins will remain to be seen (though it would be funny if the Knicks made a furious run and snuck into the playoffs at the last second, only to have to face LeBron), but I agree…at least the games will be more entertaining.

    Did Cardinal get waived? I didn’t see the official word on that.

    As far as the offseason goes:

    Push HARD for LeBron (pester him until he signs just to shut us up :P) then re-up on Sergio, see if Camby can be had on the cheap then bird Lee in.

    Lineup then would be:
    Sergio
    Chandler
    LeBron
    Lee
    Camby

    with a bench of:

    Gallo
    Douglas
    Curry?
    and a bunch of young’uns (drafted or otherwise).

  31. Robert Silverman

    This is why I’ll miss Nate (via Twitter): nate_robinson I have a ? For the tweet world: do u guys like word aapp? Y or N either way I love it word aapp

  32. Loathing

    $ figures (rough guesses):

    Starting Salary: $21 mil.
    Est. Cap: $53 mil.

    LeBron: MAX ($14.6 mil?) Screw it. Call if 15.

    SALARY: $36 mil.

    Team option on Sergio: $2.7 mil. (call it 3)

    SALARY: $39 mil.

    Sign Camby: $8 mil.

    SALARY: $47 mil.

    Birding in Lee: $10 mil.

    TOTAL SALARY: $57 mil.

    Am I looking at this right??? Someone PLEASE tell me I’m wrong somewhere here!!!

  33. Kevin McElroy

    Loathing –

    I think you have a slight misunderstanding of the Bird rule. Keep in mind that teams have an exclusive opportunity to re-sign their own players before the general free agency period begins (so the Knicks can re-sign Lee, chronologically, before they could sign LeBron). This means that the Knicks basically have three courses of action with Lee:

    1) Re-sign him before the general free agent period starts, in which case he counts against the cap for whatever 2010-2011 salary is agreed to.

    2) Maintain his Bird rights without re-signing him before the general free agency period, which would mean that a cap hold of 150% of Lee’s 2009-2010 salary (150% * $7M = $10.5 M) counts against the Knicks salary cap during free agency until they either renounce his bird rights, sign him to a new contract, or Lee signs with a different team.

    3) Renounce his Bird Rights, meaning that his contract comes completely off the cap, but also meaning that the Knicks will not be allowed to exceed the salary cap to re-sign him.

    This set of rules was instituted to keep teams from doing what you’re suggesting. If they kept Lee’s cap hold, they would have $10.5 million more on their cap commitments before they could sign LeBron, Camby, or anyone else.

  34. Brian Cronin

    Right, and getting the extra cap room allows the Knicks to add up to $20.5 million in free agents before they would have to renounce Lee. Once they’ve filled up that $20.5 million, they can then re-sign Lee for whatever they want (up to the max, of course).

  35. ess-dog

    Loathing, I don’t think Camby is a D’Antoni type player. I feel like his goal is to get athletic “shooters” at every position. I think we could use a Camby type though, definitely need shotblocking…

  36. Kevin McElroy

    Also for the purposes of future discussion, I believe a max contract is 30% of the cap for players past their rookie contract but without 10 years of NBA service. That means $15M with a $50M cap and $15.9M with a $53M cap. So signing LeBron will leave the Knicks with:

    X – (.3X + 18M) of cap space, where X is the salary cap, for Lee, Bosh, Wade, or whoever else.

    (Loathing — you h ad it at 21M of commitments; I think you probably forgot to subtract Hill?)

  37. Loathing

    Which was why I included him…otherwise we got a short frontcourt…

    unless you skip on Sergio, start Gallo at the three and turn LeBron into Magic…I know I’m gonna get ribbed for this one.

  38. Z

    “I don’t get people’s concerns about Walsh overspending on second or third tier free agents. I have the opposite concern, that he’ll try to do what he did with Ramon Sessions and keep low-balling people until we lose out on potential contracts. Seems like he loves to negotiate.”

    I really don’t think Walsh liquidated his portfolio just to stash the money under his mattress.

    “Johnson isn’t close to a max player, IMO… ”

    Caleb– as you say a few paragraphs later, you don’t think there will be outrageous contracts given out this summer. I think the sheer fact that so many teams (8 as of now) have max room, there is no way that Joe Johnson doesn’t get one, if a max contract is what he wants. I’m not saying he wouldn’t take less to play on a winner, but if a max offer he wants, a max offer he shall receive (maybe not 6 years, but a max starting salary certainly).

    “He signed plenty of good players at modest cost – Jeff Foster, Derrick McKey, Ron Artest, just to name a few.”

    For the record, I’m pretty sure all those guys were brought to Indian via trade.

  39. ess-dog

    I’m not sure where we stand with our kids: Is gallo exclusively a 3 or is he buying time at the 3 until he bulks up to play the 4? Is Chandler now a 2 for good? or if we get a legit 2 does he go back to being a 3? Is Douglas a point guard or a ‘tweener’ or really a 2 guard? I curious how the staff feels these players are best utilized…

  40. Loathing

    Ugh…had to post that right after you Kev…now what I said makes no sense. OK…no I didn’t forget Hill…are you sure you included the roughly 4 mil. in “phantom cap”?

  41. nicos

    Great Breakdown guys! While I think the Knicks best shot (and maybe only shot) at LBJ is to get him another max guy to play with, I’d really like to maintain some cap flexibility going forward into 2011 and beyond. With a hard cap looming, I think we’re going to be entering an era of new frugality- owners definitely are no longer willing to write off short term losses in hopes of building long term equity growth. Remember a hard cap will eliminate the MLE and you may well see a lot of quality veterans (like Abreu, Matsui, Damon in MLB) not willing to take the minimum but more than willing to sign for say 2 years at 4 or 5 mil per and it’d be nice to able to take advantage of that. This is still the best off-season to have space in terms of talent but it may turn out to be not be nearly as good in value per dollar spent (at least after LBJ and Wade both of whom can’t get anywhere near what they’re worth). All of which means what we already knew- LBJ or Bust!!

  42. Robert Silverman

    D’Antoni (on his MSG show regarding the free agent chase) – “This summer we’re gonna go huntin’ bear with a big ol’ rifle. And that always feels good!”

    Yipes.

    I guess you can take the coach out of West Virginia but you can’t take WV out of the coach.

  43. Brian Cronin

    What I don’t get is why they had to cut Cardinal. They have the roster space for him, don’t they?

  44. Brian Cronin

    1. Tracy McGrady
    2. Eddy Curry
    3. Al Harrington
    4. Cuttino Mobley
    5. David Lee
    6. Chris Duhon
    7. Danilo Gallinari
    8. Eddie House
    9. Wilson Chandler
    10. Bill Walker
    11. JR Giddens
    12. Jonathan Bender
    13. Sergio Rodriguez
    14. Toney Douglas
    15. Brian Cardinal

    That’s everyone, right?

  45. TDM

    Deron Williams is really ticked that Utah traded Brewer to Memphis for a protected 1st rounder. Brewer and Deron were really close, plus he thinks that the team are worse off now, whereas the other West teams have gotten better. Compounded by the fact that the Jazz will likely lose Boozer this summer, trouble may be stirring in Utah. Incidentally, Deron’s deal expires in the summer of 2011. Hmmm?

    http://www.sltrib.com/sports/ci_14434166

    DW
    Chandler
    LBJ
    Gallo
    Lee

  46. Brian Cronin

    The Deron quote was kinda amazing, really – when asked if this affected his long term future in Utah, he said something along the lines of “That’s why I only signed a three-year extension.”

    Mee-ow.

  47. TDM

    That’s weird. The article says Deron signed a 3 year extension in July 2008, but RealGM shows he’s not a UFA until 2013. What did I miss?

  48. Brian Cronin

    It might have been three years on top of his then-current contract.

    HoopsHype has him being an UFA in 2012 (he has a player option for 2012-13).

  49. mateo2

    I don’t see how losing would make LeBron want to come to New York. Maybe another team, but not New York. New York is a worse situation than Cleveland when it comes to future winning prospects. If he did win the championship he might be more apt to rebuilding with a new team.

  50. Frank O.

    Between Nash, Lopez and Miller there’s got to be some hairstylists just drooling to test their meddle….

  51. BigBlueAL

    So D’Antoni says back to 7SOL, I hope this means almost no Duhon anymore. I think TD will be better in a faster tempo like he was during the Summer League and Sergio is said to thrive in the open floor.

    I really wouldnt mind some DNP-CD’s next to Duhon’s name soon although Im not holding my breath.

  52. Ted Nelson

    Caleb,

    My friend who scouts for a German team told me tonight he thinks Sergio Rodriguez can make several million a year tax free in Europe. He said 6… I doubt that, but I don’t know European basketball nearly as well as he does. I also don’t literally negotiate contracts with players in Europe the way he does.

    “But LeBron James isn’t a free agent then!”

    I agree 100% with going after LeBron, I’m just saying that if Donnie Walsh fails to execute this offseason the Jeffries/T-Mac deal will be a failure. His whole tenure to date will be a failure. James Dolan might as well have not hired a GM and just drafted the consensus pick (probably Lopez and Jennings), then hired a GM in offseason 2011. If Walsh fails to do something good this offseason the Knicks would have been better off if Dolan had done that. In that case tons of cap space, plus picks coming up. If Walsh doesn’t sign anyone we’re talking tons of cap space and no picks coming up. This deal means that it all boils down to what Walsh does this offseason, and he’s even said so himself.

    “Whether we use the cap space well boils down to, does Walsh think the money is burning a hole in his pocket and he has to spend it RIGHT NOW!!!!! on the best available player THAT MINUTE!!!! or is he willing to wait for the right opportunity in trades, or 2011, or even 2012″

    If he was going to wait, why did he trade away 3 draft picks? My German scout friend basically laughed at me tonight and called the trade completely ridiculous. 3 picks……. that is pretty ridiculous. I’m all for it, but only because LeBron is a free agent. If LeBron were not a free agent with some chance of signing with NY, I would have either hung myself or stopped being a Knicks fan as a result of this trade. That’s all I’m saying: if not for LeBron/Wade this would be a really terrible trade.

    “It’s not either-or — that we get LeBron, or we go 17-65 — we could be decent or even good in the meantime, without busting the cap. $32 million can buy a pretty good team, in a lot of ways. You just have to sign players at decent value, not screw yourself, i.e. the opposite of what Isiah did.”

    I am 10000000000000% all ears. Tell me how you build a team without signing one of the big 4 free agents. No one has done this to date. Please, please, please, please, please let me know how you would do it. If you blow your cap space to build a #5 seed, what was the point? How, with no picks, do you build a title contender if you miss on all 4 of the Big 4?

    “Indy was a deep, non-superstar team.”

    $20 mill per… not superstar money… come on. Are you kidding me? Jermaine O’Neal makes $23 mill per to this day, that’s superstar money.
    I am a big Walsh fan, but I see nothing to indicate that he doesn’t overvalue scoring like the rest of the league. I see nothing to say he isn’t hell-bent on signing a “franchise player” like every other GM in the league is when he has enough cap space. If he weren’t, he wouldn’t have made this deal. He made this deal for exactly one reason, in my opinion: because LeBron James is a free agent. If LeBron James had signed an extension last offseason (or whenever he could have), I really doubt Donnie would have given 3 picks to get rid of Jeffries.

    “I would call Toney Douglas an actual NBA player, especially with a year under his belt.”

    He’s not a rotation player as of right now. At best he’s a specialist. He’s 6-1 and can’t play PG… his ast% is truly terrible. He can probably stick in the NBA with his shooting and defense, but he’s much better off in some situations than others.

    ““Lee gets $12 mill or so…”
    I might be naive but I think he would take less to stay in NY — $8-9 million, with big annual raises to push the 6-year total past $60 million.”

    My German scout friend literally HATES stats (he will not even listen to me about points per possession and got pissed at me tonight for saying OKC is a bad offensive team), and he told me Lee will get $12 mill per totally unprompted. He knows Sam Presti (along with pretty much every NBA GM) personally and knows David Lee personally, and he told me he guarantees Lee will sign with OKC for $12 mill per. Why Lee would shoot himself in the dick for the Knicks… I don’t know. They sure didn’t do him any favors last offseason.

    “p.s. re: Murphy and Dunleavy, hard to say who was really running the team – Walsh knew he was going to be leaving and as a lame duck you might not take more of a hands-off approach.”

    The buck has to stop somewhere. I said I blame the actual deal on Bird’s racial profiling (90% of the white Americans in the NBA play for Indiana… coincidence?); however, Donnie Walsh was Larry Bird’s boss in Indiana. As team president it was his place to step in and say Larry Bird is racist and this is a bad trade for the Indiana Pacers. Larry Bird is easily as big a joke as Isiah Thomas… Ironic given their history.

  53. Ted Nelson

    “I’m not sure where we stand with our kids: Is gallo exclusively a 3 or is he buying time at the 3 until he bulks up to play the 4? Is Chandler now a 2 for good? or if we get a legit 2 does he go back to being a 3? Is Douglas a point guard or a ‘tweener’ or really a 2 guard? I curious how the staff feels these players are best utilized…”

    I think it’s really a matter of teammates/match-ups for Chandler. He’s a 3, but he can play 2 if you don’t mind having someone who can’t handle the ball at all at the 2 or just have no better option (the latter being the current Knicks’ predicament).
    Danilo……… good question.
    Douglas: he can guard 1s and he can shoot like a 2. He can’t play the 1 offensively as of today and it’s pretty questionable whether he can guard 2s consistently. Can fit in nicely with a LeBron/Wade/Roy/Johnson

    “While I think the Knicks best shot (and maybe only shot) at LBJ is to get him another max guy to play with, I’d really like to maintain some cap flexibility going forward into 2011 and beyond. With a hard cap looming, I think we’re going to be entering an era of new frugality- owners definitely are no longer willing to write off short term losses in hopes of building long term equity growth.”

    So, screw signing 2 of the best players on the planet… let’s just keep the cap room and be REEEEEEAAAAALLLLLLLYYYYYY cheap??????????????? Good plan.
    Dolan is one of the last owners who has to worry. The Knicks play in a huge market. All the businesses he owns are close to monopolies. Also, he’s a total toolbag: if he loses money who cares? Not me.

    “like Abreu, Matsui, Damon in MLB”

    MLB has nothing even resembling a hard cap. Those guys had to take less money than they wanted because they’re old and can’t defend.

    “D’Antoni (on his MSG show regarding the free agent chase) – “This summer we’re gonna go huntin’ bear with a big ol’ rifle. And that always feels good!””

    Pretty accurate.

    “1. Tracy McGrady
    2. Eddy Curry
    3. Al Harrington
    4. Cuttino Mobley
    5. David Lee
    6. Chris Duhon
    7. Danilo Gallinari
    8. Eddie House
    9. Wilson Chandler
    10. Bill Walker
    11. JR Giddens
    12. Jonathan Bender
    13. Sergio Rodriguez
    14. Toney Douglas
    15. Brian Cardinal”

    PLEASE, don’t depress me.

    “Deron Williams is really ticked that Utah traded Brewer to Memphis for a protected 1st rounder. Brewer and Deron were really close, plus he thinks that the team are worse off now, whereas the other West teams have gotten better. Compounded by the fact that the Jazz will likely lose Boozer this summer, trouble may be stirring in Utah. Incidentally, Deron’s deal expires in the summer of 2011. Hmmm?”

    Yeah, Deron’s going to be really pissed right until that Knicks lottery pick comes rolling into Salt Lake… Then when the Memphis lottery pick comes in he’ll forget he even plays in Utah and think his like is actally fun…

    “I don’t see how losing would make LeBron want to come to New York. Maybe another team, but not New York. New York is a worse situation than Cleveland when it comes to future winning prospects. If he did win the championship he might be more apt to rebuilding with a new team.”

    Losing would make him more apt to leave Cleveland. Cleveland would be an old as balls team with no chance to get better. Then he’s got to look around and decide where he wants to go… He can (realistically) sign in Chicago, Miami, or NY. I would damn sure take NY of the 3.
    If he wins a championship he wants to defend it with Cleveland and three-peat like the past two NBA dynasties (besides SA)… but that’s just my opinion.

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