Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Has the “Win-Now” Window Already Closed?

The New York Knicks have never been more clear as to what the team wants and how they’ll get there.

What do they want? A championship.

How do they get there? Throw heaps of money at players and/or front office personnel.

The Knicks are in what many call a “win-now” mentality. The term has been tainted by many fans using it as an excuse for terrible decision making, but it is the best descriptor of New York’s growth in recent years.

Give a lot of money to good players. Then fill the rest of the roster with minimum contracts every year and through the Draf– Oh, right, the Knicks never have any draft picks. Go for a championship. That’s the plan.

Effective? Not so much. The best team we’ve had in over a decade? Yes.

This past season was the Knicks’ first looking like a competent title contender, but they were bullied out of the second round by the Indiana Pacers. Not the ending Knicks fans envisioned, but hey, they weren’t that far off from completing their goal. They only had to avoid some injuries, out-play the Pacers, then the Heat and Spurs. At least we have this upcoming season! Only problem is, it gets tougher from here.

Miami Heat

The Miami Heat still being the Miami Heat, the Knicks don’t stand a freakin’ chance in hell in a seven-game series. They still have LeBron James, and his “aging” superstar counterparts have still risen to the moment when called upon. Shane Battier is still ageless and Mario Chalmers continues to grow into a very solid point guard. The Heat are still the primary vacationing-for-a-free-championship destination spot for veteran free agents, and they also came away with James Ennis in the Draft via a trade with Atlanta.

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls were the fifth best defensive team in basketball (per NBA.com) last season, and upset the Brooklyn Nets in seven games in the first round of the 2013 postseason. They did so with their second-best player — Joakim Noah — playing through plantar fasciitis throughout the series and their third-best player — Luol Deng — missing the latter portion of the series due to a spinal tap. The Bulls drafted Tony Snell and Erik Murphy, two rookies who can fill the biggest void in Chicago’s attack, the three-point shot.

Indiana Pacers

Indiana’s young core of Paul George, Roy Hibbert and George Hill have another year under their belt, and they’ll undoubtedly be even better next season. While the Pacers will need to figure out a way to retain starting forward David West, they will also hopefully get back a full-strength Danny Granger, a player who was once considered the face of the franchise and missed the overwhelming majority of the 2013 season due to a battle with patellar tendinosis.

Brooklyn Nets

Let me tell you how the Nets obtaining Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will go for the Knicks. Beware: Breaking Bad reference with spoilers. You know how our ‘Bockers knocked the Celtics up and down the block last year in the regular season and in the opening round of the Playoffs? Well compare that to Gustavo Fring killing Hector Salamanca’s entire family in Breaking Bad. This old crippling man (in the Knicks’ case, Pierce and Garnett) ruined Gus’s (Knicks fans’) life and Fring murdered his whole family, and boasted about it. You know who the Nets are? The bomb. DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING.

The Others

The Atlanta Hawks are a pretty depleted basketball team, but have the core pieces to potentially build into a threat from scratch with Al Horford, head coach Mike Buenholzer, general manager Danny Ferry and a couple of solid picks in the Draft — Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroeder.

The Washington Wizards were the eighth best defensive team last year and will come into the 2014 season with a trio of healthy John Wall, sophomore Bradley Beal and third overall pick Otto Porter.

The Toronto Raptors could very well be Playoff-bound since their acquisition of Rudy Gay, and with developing players such as Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas, they could very well make a splash next year. Perhaps the biggest key to their forthcoming success lies in their front office, with Masai Ujiri hired as their new general manager.

The Detroit Pistons possibly have the highest ceiling of any team who were in the lottery this season, with a young squad built around their twin towers of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. They also own a pair of super-talented guards in Brandon Knight and newly-drafted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Oh yeah, and there’s also the entire Western Conference to worry about.

So, is there any other direction the Knicks can take from here? A #TankForWiggins campaign is realistically out of the question, and a major shakeup through a trade is tough to construct with where the Knicks stand financially. The only real option here is to enjoy the next few years of fifty-win seasons and bitter early Playoff exits until our triumvirate of Carmelo Anthony’s contract, Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract and Tyson Chandler’s contract come off the books. Maybe then can we start anew, hopefully with a more sound strategy in mind.

244 comments on “Has the “Win-Now” Window Already Closed?

  1. Z-man

    I am feeling better about the Bargnani trade every day. As a complementary player, there is a reasonable chance that he will be a nice fit with this team. He seems so much less one-dimensional than either Novak or Camby, or than Chandler or Copeland for that matter. He can’t possibly be as dumb or emotionally weak as JR (who I have totally soured on. I would be thrilled if another team picked him up.)

    I also don’t think that Bargnani is hopeless on D. He has length and quickness and likes to bang on O, so maybe with something to play for, the right coach, and the right role, he can be similar to, say, Nowitski on D. We are certainly not going to lose anything there with Bargnani replacing Novak and/or Copeland.

    It must have totally sucked for him in Toronto. Not an excuse for his underachieving, but there is reason to believe that he can be a player well worth $11 mill per for 2 years.

  2. Z-man

    I think Prigioni coming back is extremely important for this team, especially for Bargnani. one thing Bargnani brings is an ability to score in multiple ways from the 3-pt line in. He is not a bad post player, can shoot off the dribble, etc. and I can see he and Prigioni developing some chemistry.

  3. Z-man

    Re: this being a bad team in spite of the 54 wins, The one thing I would admit is that as a purist, this team played very ugly basketball last year. Obviously Melo iso-ball is tedious at times, but JR’s total lack of b-ball IQ, Novak’s complet inability to get open, and 3 bigs who had zero offensive skills between them (Chandler, KMart and Camby) were painful to watch vs. Indiana, especially when Kidd joined that group from the guard position. If we can replace KMart with Brand and replace Kidd with a smart 2-way guard, this team might be not only better than last year, but more interesting to watch.

  4. danvt

    I’ve been on vacation and I enjoy July in the NBA but I need to get off KB soon again. I’m starting to get irritated. Yeah, the Knicks are probably not going to beat the entire rest of the field. (Especially now that DET has kentavious Caldwell-Pope!).

    Back in the Ewing era (before you were born Vertsberger) my friend (we were adults already and not living with our Moms anymore) bet me that NYK wouldn’t win a championship. He didn’t give me a team that would, he just took the field. Needless to say, (or maybe you need to know because your favorite Knicks are Larry Hughes and Nate Robinson), he never quite got us over the hump but he actually almost did pay off on that bet. That I took that bet makes me a NYK fan.

    So, all you, RC Buford worshiping, snide, sniping, factoid flashing, number crunching, easy conclusion drawing “journalists”. Keep it up. Look at every transaction as proof positive that we still actually have Scott Layden (he was GM before you were born, son). Keep picking Lebron to win next year (way to show off your advanced analytics! and he has James Ennis, now!).

    I’ll just be there, again, as I was when Frazier won it for NYK in 1973. Hoping that Starks (some day I’ll tell you about him) or JR can make a hoop at the most meaningful time and realizing it’ll always be a longshot.

  5. Igno-Bot 3000

    Prigs coming back is huge. If they get JR back too, I don’t think they’ll be markedly worse this season. Remembering that they also have the mini-MLE leaves me downright excited. I’m not sure if a player who can guard PGs and hit the three is too much to ask at that price point, but it’d be ideal.

    As I’ve been reiterating, I don’t love the moves the team has made this offseason but the notion that their window has closed is silly. While the top 5 will be more competitive in the conference, the bottom teams have really bottomed out and are going to be tanking all year. Boston will probably trade Rondo, the Raptors talking about trading Gay. We were always a more talented team than the Pacers and we seemed to have the Bulls number even when Rose was healthy. The Nets have a lot of talent but they also have a rookie coach, roster full of old, injured or uninspired players and need to figure out their own chemistry before posing a threat to anyone.

    Knicks’ management will always be curious but there’s undeniable talent on the floor. In no way is the window closed.

  6. Brian Cronin

    Woah! That’s a huge shift away from them! Great news! Maybe the Knicks could grab him. He’s awesome.

  7. Frank

    Z-man: He can’t possibly be as dumb or emotionally weak as JR (who I have totally soured on. I would be thrilled if another team picked him up.)

    JR’s an interesting case. The best situations for 2-guards/6th men have already been snapped up between the Clips, Wizards, T-Wolves. Out of the teams with cap room, need, and good talent/location, Atlanta already has a smaller version of JR in Lou Williams, Dallas is way too smart to give JR a big deal, and Denver’s bridges are burned. It really looks like he’ll have to choose between going to crappy team in a crappy city and making his $ or staying here at what he would probably consider a below-market deal.

    It’ll be tough because you don’t necessarily want a disgruntled JR, but I’d try to stick to a 2 year full EB deal. He’s a great deal at that number. And we can blame his own knuckleheadedness (elbow to the head), awful playoffs, and lack of focus (Rihanna) for not giving him a 4 year deal. None of the other guys who got big deals (Martin, Budinger, Webster, Redick, etc.) come with that baggage.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Clever offer by Pistons to Raptors. Essentially a “get out of Rudy Gay free” card. Two expiring contracts for Gay. I think Toronto might very well take them up on it and try to get Wiggins in the draft.

  9. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    Woah! That’s a huge shift away from them! Great news! Maybe the Knicks could grab him. He’s awesome.

    unfortunately it’s way more likely he saw Kevin Martin get $6.5MM and wants at least a full-MLE-type contract.

  10. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I guess when Chase “Poor Man’s Kyle Korver” Budinger gets over $5 million a year it gets difficult for the actual Kyle Korver to accept $3 million a year. But who has MLE money that is actually a good team? He seems like a waste on a bad team.

  11. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    Clever offer by Pistons to Raptors. Essentially a “get out of Rudy Gay free” card. Two expiring contracts for Gay. I think Toronto might very well take them up on it and try to get Wiggins in the draft.

    That counts as clever? =)
    If Ujiri can pull that off, in just a few days he’ll have basically undone Colangelo’s 2 signature moves/mistakes in Toronto — the drafting of Bargnani at #1 and the Rudy Gay trade. He should win Exec of the Decade for that.

  12. Brian Cronin

    That counts as clever? =)
    If Ujiri can pull that off, in just a few days he’ll have basically undone Colangelo’s 2 signature moves/mistakes in Toronto — the drafting of Bargnani at #1 and the Rudy Gay trade. He should win Exec of the Decade for that.

    Well, while I am definitely no Rudy Gay fan at all, if you’re only acquiring him by giving up your own garbage, I don’t think it is a bad move for Detroit. But yeah, it’d be quite a star for Ujiri if he got rid of both of those guys in his first week as GM.

  13. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    Yeah, I guess when Chase “Poor Man’s Kyle Korver” Budinger gets over $5 million a year it gets difficult for the actual Kyle Korver to accept $3 million a year. But who has MLE money that is actually a good team?

    If Denver loses out on Iggy, they’d have $ for him. He’d actually fill a position of need for them — zero shooting on that team especially with Gallo out for part of this coming season. And depending on what shakes out in Dallas and Houston, they could have room for him too.

  14. GHenman

    Brian Cronin: Yeah, I guess when Chase “Poor Man’s Kyle Korver” Budinger gets over $5 million a year it gets difficult for the actual Kyle Korver to accept $3 million a year. But who has MLE money that is actually a good team? He seems like a waste on a bad team.

    Indiana maybe

  15. DCrockett17

    I don’t know David. The piece strikes me as excessively pessimistic. It’s a realist’s take, I’ll grant. At the same time, a few counters.

    1. 54 wins was no fluke. The Knicks were only a game better than their Pythagorean record on BBall-reference. They had the NBA’s 3rd best offensive efficiency, and that happened with only one crazy good season (Copeland, who only played 15.5 mpg). That’s an opinion that basically comes down to how sustainable you think Melo’s 3pt shooting is. He might not shoot 38% but I’d be a bit surprised if he dips below 35%.

    2. I’m not ready to crown Indy just yet. Objectively, it’s hard not to love what they’ve done. Still, so much of what they did was predicated on Hibbert’s sterling play. God bless Roy Hibbert, but he was a SUB-.500 TS% over 79 games! He had a month long stretch where he shot the hell out of the ball and officials simply would not call a foul on him. My other thing about Indiana is that they won’t just add Danny Granger. So much of what he does overlaps with Paul George. Working that out is no simple task.

    3. It’s Miami’s world right now and we just live in it. Still, they peaked with this team. Their decline may be gradual but they’re not getting any better. They have remarkable luck with health for a team so reliant on older vets. That’s the league’s only hope. LeBron’s a horse but the load he has to carry is likely to keep increasing.

  16. Hubert

    Coming tomorrow on Knickerblogger, a third person regurgitates the same story about how the Knicks should just give up because the Heat, Bulls, Pacers, and Nets are all so unbeatable.

  17. Frank

    Meanwhile, regarding David’s article above– this is another in a long line of “I’m smarter than you” posts. I am not of the opinion that there is only one way to build a team. At the end of the day, we traded what will almost certainly be a late 1st round pick for the former #1 pick in the draft — a guy who is universally (even by his detractors) lauded as a major offensive talent. Sure, I hate to give up 1st round picks, but that pick will almost certainly not be gamechanging player. The 2nd round picks? Meh. As long as we don’t spend our $3MM yearly allocation, 2nd round picks can be bought (as well as late 1st’s by the way). The bigger criticism is that if a better deal comes along, we won’t have the assets to make that deal — but honestly, that’s just completely theoretical.

    The die was cast with this team once our “big 3″ came together. If there’s ANY real franchise-changing mistake Grunwald has made, it’s that he amnestied Billups instead of Amare — a totally understandable mistake since Amare had just come off a great 2010-11 season without any knee issues, and would have been a PR nightmare if we waived him. But as soon as we committed to spending basically our entire salary cap on those 3 players, our hands were tied.

    So what has GG done? He’s crafted a team that has a puncher’s chance at being a contender — a team that will probably be a top 4-5 seed this year and next. I still don’t think there’s any team that we have no shot at beating in a 7 games series. He’s also maneuvered for the eventual rebuild/reload. That 2016 pick will almost certainly be in the 20s, because you know what? No matter who his teammates, Carmelo Anthony has NEVER missed the playoffs in his career, and Denver has their core tied up through that season – really really tough to imagine they AND the Knicks will end up in the lottery. And of course, there may be protections on that pick anyway.
    continued…

  18. d-mar

    Hubert:
    Coming tomorrow on Knickerblogger, a third person regurgitates the same story about how the Knicks should just give up because the Heat, Bulls, Pacers, and Nets are all so unbeatable.

    Yeah, we should just not bother with the season and just slot ourselves into the #5 spot in the East. The Pacers, Bulls and Nets should all win 55-60 games and we’ll be lucky if we get 45.

  19. GHenman

    d-mar: Does Miami have the ability to sign Korver? Please tell me no.

    I don’t think they can pay him anymore than Brooklyn. Looks like he wants more.

  20. stratomatic

    If Masai gets rid of Gay the same week he got rid of Bargnani, if I was a Raptor fan, I would make a donation for a statue of him to be erected immediately.

  21. stratomatic

    Good piece, but you missed that Chicago will have Rose back also.

    The Knicks are the 5 seed in the east and I could easily see someone else having having a surprisingly good (Washington played excellent ball when they got healthy and will be even better this year) and knocking NY to 6th.

    As of right now, the Knicks are worse than last year.

    They lost Kidd (who was very productive early and reasonably productive overall despite the death spiral late in the season) and every single minute that Bargnani plays is of less value than whoever had those minutes last year. Bargs has always been and will always be horrible. He can score OK, but he’s so preposterously bad as a rebounder and defender relative to the average PF/C (which is what he plays), he’s a huge negative.

  22. DCrockett17

    Reply to Z:

    I get less optimistic about Bargnani the more I go look. Obviously, if he returns to being the kind of 3pt shooter he was early in his career then it’s all to the good. But, for all the skill he allegedly has I’m not seeing it pay off the way it should. For his career, he’s a low-assist (7%), high-turnover (10.5%) guy. So for all the talk of how multi-dimensional he is, maybe the talk is wrong. Or maybe he shouldn’t be so multi-dimensional. At least he used to be a good 3pt shooter. It’s hard to see where he was ever good at anything else.

    Just taking a quick peek at 82games.com at his 2010-11 season (the last time he played 60+ games).

    http://www.82games.com/1011/10TOR19.HTM

    I really see little indication of all this alleged skill for such a high usage player (28.2%, from BBall-reference). 80% of his attempts are jump shots (.460 eFG). Yet, he was a better shooter (.560) on close shots. So, a 7-footer turned himself into Kyle Korver only to shoot worse. At the same time, he didn’t draw fouls (12.7 of his attempts) and he doesn’t appear to be a good passer (2.4 Asts/48).

    It’s hard to see where Bargnani brings anything to the table that is actually useful over Steve Novak’s single dimension of superior shooting.

  23. Frank

    lol — as I was writing #20, a few people wrote the same thing…

    anyway — would I have preferred we didn’t give up the #1 pick? of course. But there were a lot of rumblings out there that other teams were in the running for Bargs. There will ALWAYS be a market for 7 footer with his skill level, and a few other GMs may have had the idea that this is the best time to buy on him.

    I think most of the “smart” people on this board want to go the way of OKC — tank and tank then get 2 top-3 picks in a row in drafts that happen to have franchise-changing players in the top 3. News flash– it doesn’t always work out that way. Charlotte has sucked forever despite having universally acclaimed smart guy Rich Cho, who now wants to dump MKG after his rookie season. Sacramento has sucked forever. The Clips sucked forever despite having 100 lottery picks until they lucked into Blake Griffin and lucked into David Stern disallowing CP3 from joining the Lakers. Cleveland has won 2 lotteries in 3 years and if they’re good this year, I’ll still be surprised (btw why did Kyrie Irving suddenly become the media’s darling? He’s a semi-efficient chucker that doesn’t play any defense at all and is a net +1 point per 100 poss despite having a vet’s minimum Shaun Livingston as his backup).

    So here’s the question for the crowd — literally 1 team has become a “contender” the OKC way– OKC. SA still had to win the lottery at juuuust the right time (and not just move up but WIN — picks 2-4 were Van Horn, Billups, and Antonio Daniels) to get the guy their team is built around- Duncan. If they won in ’96, the #1 pick was Iverson. in ’98 the #1 pick was Olowokandi.

    And news flash, other than OKC, there have been basically 5+ teams tanking every year. And they’re still not good. So the question is – is this fan base ready to SUCK for years for a small chance at becoming OKC? Or is 50-55 wins, puncher’s chance, and a reload in 2015 better?

  24. Frank

    sounds like Korver got a 3 year $20MM offer from Milwaukee. JR’s potential destinations are drying up quickly.

  25. AvonBarksdale

    Strictly playoffs we’ve gotten better with this trade, regular season I don’t even know if i care. We did look for multiple stretches but that’s only because we looked so awful and played so mediocre for stretches either following a win streak or after all star break. It was just as lazy, unguided and ugly as I’ve seen the team regardless of roster the only difference is we had more ability to pull out some wins after taking quarters 1&3 off sometimes. the laziness was still on display, the lack of focus was still on display and yes the competition in the east was weak which had a slight impact. I believe the regular season is no indication on how the coach will manage us out the second round when different challenges start to pop-up, I also can’t say Andrea/Stat health is gonna hold up or that STAT can adjust to his limited minutes finding a consistent groove within whatever our team dynamic is with all the switching creating too many situational nightmares. I believe we have more potential in the playoffs only…if that makes any sense.

  26. Brian Cronin

    sounds like Korver got a 3 year $20MM offer from Milwaukee. JR’s potential destinations are drying up quickly.

    Hilarious. I really did think that JR’s playoffs were going to keep him from getting a good offer from a good team, but then reports were saying otherwise. Now it is looking more and more like JR will be back, which is great.

  27. thenamestsam

    Hubert:
    Coming tomorrow on Knickerblogger, a third person regurgitates the same story about how the Knicks should just give up because the Heat, Bulls, Pacers, and Nets are all so unbeatable.

    A third person? You must not be counting commenters. We could probably dig up five hundred comments from the last year making the exact same points as this article and the one thousand and one back and forths that ensued. It’s the most played out angle possible on the Knicks. Are we capped out? Yes. Are we championship favorites? No. Every single person here knows both of those things. If that’s all you care about with respect to this team come back in two years and we’ll see where we’re at. Otherwise, can we move on? Please?

    On actual basketball topics: A lot of people were ragging on the Splitter deal last night. I don’t love the deal, but I think it makes a lot of sense. On the one hand, it pays him like he’s a core part of the team when he’s more of a role player. Yes, that role is increasing, but a guy who averaged 20 mpg in the playoffs is not what you would generally consider a critical part of what you’re doing. On the other hand, I do think he’ll start taking on more responsibility plus you have to consider that they would have had to find a replacement. Duncan can’t take the load he has in the past anymore (especially in the regular season) and their other bigs on the roster are Balir, Bonner, Diaw, and Baynes. Clearly they would have had to dip into the FA market, and bigs get paid. Always. Is it worth sacrificing continuity and knowing what you have to save a few million dollars by going for an inferior player like JJ Hickson? I think they made the right move given the situation. It’s not a great deal but there are plenty of centers with worse deals out there.

  28. stratomatic

    Frank,

    IMO, there is no exact approach that will work for all teams all the time. It depends where the team is now, what city you are located in, the finances etc…

    Generally though, IMHO, the correct approach is to make sure you have management that values players and draft picks correctly. Then you keep trading for better and better value assets without much regard for winning in the short term. If you wind up with piles of draft picks, young players with upside, or use them to land a star doesn’t matter. As long as you keep rolling up to better and better players at good value you’ll always have the flexibility to make moves.

    If you get to the point where you are “1″ player away from being a SERIOUS contender, then you can do something somewhat “suspect” from a value perspective to position yourself for a serious run.

    The problem the Knicks have is that they don’t value players or picks well and wind up capping themselves out with bad contracts and no flexibility to get better, but aren’t good enough to win it all. They are always in a rush and go to the final step before they are 1 player away. Then they wind up in the kind of hellish place they are in now where they are good enough to make the playoffs and give good teams a tussle, but they have no chance to win a title.

    Right now the Knicks should be in 2015 rebuild mode. They should be trying to get rid of bad contracts, accumulate picks, accumulate underrated young players with upside, accumulate role players with attractive contracts, clear space for 2015 etc… They should have been in 2015 rebuild mode last year but they were dumb enough to think they actually had a serious contender with Amare and Melo.

  29. iserp

    9 million is cheap for a legit 7 foot center who is 28 years old. He is no star, but you can anchor your team from there.

  30. iserp

    BTW, I was talking about Splitter, not Bargnani, i said 7 foot center, not 7 foot SF, xD.

  31. GHenman

    Brian Cronin: Hilarious. I really did think that JR’s playoffs were going to keep him from getting a good offer from a good team, but then reports were saying otherwise. Now it is looking more and more like JR will be back, which is great.

    Who’s looking at JR right now?

  32. lavor postell

    thenamestsam: A third person? You must not be counting commenters. We could probably dig up five hundred comments from the last year making the exact same points as this article and the one thousand and one back and forths that ensued. It’s the most played out angle possible on the Knicks. Are we capped out? Yes. Are we championship favorites? No. Every single person here knows both of those things. If that’s all you care about with respect to this team come back in two years and we’ll see where we’re at. Otherwise, can we move on? Please?

    Yeah I agree with this. I was pretty meh about the Bargnani trade, but it really doesn’t fuck things up too much for us in the long term. The 2016 first rounder seems unnecessary but I don’t really care about losing Novak, Camby or a second rounder. At the end of the day it doesn’t really alter our fate much and gives us even more cap space in 2015.

    Even if we all we do is re-sign Melo, Chandler and re-up Shump for like 6-7 mill annually, having that kind of cap space gives you a ton of flexibility. Not sure why anybody dismisses our chances competing for somebody like Kevin Love in free agency by saying he’ll be traded to a contender and re-up. Just light Dwight re-upped with the Lakers right? Exactly like Paul simply re-signing with the Clips this season without making any moves? Or Deron Williams re-signing with the Nets without talking to other teams.

    Mavs 2011, Lakers 2009-10 and Pistons 2004 all come to mind as teams that never blew up a competitive roster and didn’t exactly value developing young players or draft picks of any kind and still won championships. It’s not the best way, but if you have a team thats actually good, are patient, keep continuity and get a little lucky (a prerequisite for winning it all) in free agency or trades (Dallas scoring Chandler for pennies, Sheed for a late…

  33. Z-man

    DCrockett17: I really see little indication of all this alleged skill for such a high usage player (28.2%, from BBall-reference). 80% of his attempts are jump shots (.460 eFG). Yet, he was a better shooter (.560) on close shots. So, a 7-footer turned himself into Kyle Korver only to shoot worse. At the same time, he didn’t draw fouls (12.7 of his attempts) and he doesn’t appear to be a good passer (2.4 Asts/48).

    strat, it’s hard to argue with the numbers clearly not in my favor. Howerer, I think you are correct that the main problem is usage%. Tell me, If Novak played at the same usage for the same minutes, what would his numbers be?

    There is little doubt that AB’s usage% will go down on this Knicks team, and that should help his shooting numbers. As to his numbers in other areas, let’s keep in mind that if his numbers were good, he wouldn’t have been available at the bargain-basement price of two overpaid scrubs and three draft picks (one #20 or lower, the other two at the tail end of the 2nd round). So, I think it’s a good low-risk gamble. He comes with low expectations and little pressure, and to a winning culture (don’t look now, but we’ve made the playoffs 3 years in a row and appear to be a lock for a fourth!)

  34. RicanKnick

    People crying so much for the Camby/Novak for Bargnani trade, remind me of those who were crying for the NYK letting J-Lin go. It’s ridiculous. I hate the fact of losing in the 2nd round to Indiana, but I think it was great to win 54 games (and the Atlantic Div) considering all the injuries. I like what Felton brings to the table, Shumpert is a great young player, Melo is one of the top 10 NBA players, weather you like it or not. Obviously we need a healthy Chandler and we need to resign Priggy and JR. If we add Brand, another good wing and a sound point guard, I like our chances.

  35. Z-man

    Put another way, he frees up cap space and has at least theoretical upside. Novak is as one-dimensional of a player as there is in the leagyue and will absolutely not get any better. Neither will Grandpa Camby. At its worst, this is a lateral move, but I am optimistic that AB is going to help us in a number of ways that are above and beyond what Novak and Camby could do.

  36. Brian Cronin

    Who’s looking at JR right now?

    That’s the question. I have no real idea anymore. I guess we’ll see when some of the other free agents get signed. JR is in no rush since he knows he has the Knicks’ offer in his back pocket at all times.

  37. lavor postell

    Z-man:
    Put another way, he frees up cap space and has at least theoretical upside. Novak is as one-dimensional of a player as there is in the leagyue and will absolutely not get any better. Neither will Grandpa Camby. At its worst, this is a lateral move, but I am optimistic that AB is going to help us in a number of ways that are above and beyond what Novak and Camby could do.

    I’m just willing to see how it plays out. I think Grunwald has shown enough that I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and be okay with watching it play out. This isn’t Isiah acquiring overpriced dudes without regard for their contract length. Grunwald if anything may have bit the bullet on the mistake of handing Novak a four year deal last summer and overpaid to rid himself of that burden and free up more cap space in 2015 which has been the plan all along anyways.

    I don’t think this is going to push up to the level of a true contender, but I think we’re about as much a longshot as Memphis is to get out of the West. That’s really not some kind of NBA black hole that some want to make it out to be.

  38. lavor postell

    I really think at this point some team is going to have to make a real godfather offer to JR for him to leave starting at like 7.5 mill a year. Then the size of the market also has to be considered before he makes that decision. Probably a 50/50 shot now that JR is back. Would be interesting to see if him and Bargs both benefit by mutually decreasing their usage.

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    iserp:
    9 million is cheap for a legit 7 foot center who is 28 years old. He is no star, but you can anchor your team from there.

    He was 4th on the team in WP48, which is saying something. He’s worth every penny of that deal.

  40. Brian Cronin

    and free up more cap space in 2015 which has been the plan all along anyways.

    But that couldn’t have been the plan all along, or else he wouldn’t have given Steve Novak a four year deal and then spent a first round pick to get rid of Novak’s deal, right?

    In other words, something must have gone off track somewhere.

  41. Brian Cronin

    As for Splitter, I think the Spurs were sort of stuck in a corner there. He was going to get a similar offer from another team like Portland and with Duncan bound to retire soon, they had to keep him. Is it a big contract for a guy who was not even a major part of their team? Of course. But at the same time, they really couldn’t afford to lose him. So it was a bit of a perfect storm for Splitter. Good for him.

    Similarly, Boris Diaw would not make roughly $5 million on the open market, but for San Antonio, he’s worth that money.

  42. lavor postell

    Brian Cronin: But that couldn’t have been the plan all along, or else he wouldn’t have given Steve Novak a four year deal and then spent a first round pick to get rid of Novak’s deal, right?

    In other words, something must have gone off track somewhere.

    The mistake was assuming that Novak could add something to his game off the bounce or that our system would be able to mask his deficiencies come the playoffs this time around. If you’re paying a solid role player 4 mill per year, as Grunwald envisaged, that’s a good investment. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and Grunwald rolled the dice. I’m okay with that when rolling the dice doesn’t entail trading for Steve Francis, Othella Harrington, Clarence Weatherspoon, Marbury etc. and extending our salary cap hell.

  43. Hubert

    Btw if we’re comparing the Nets to anyone from Breaking Bad, they’re Tuco. Stupid, crazy, short-sighted, possessing grand plans but lacking the ability to pull them off, and ultimately just some schmuck who dug his own grave.

  44. Brian Cronin

    I’m okay with that when rolling the dice doesn’t entail trading for Steve Francis, Othella Harrington, Clarence Weatherspoon, Marbury etc. and extending our salary cap hell.

    But it did, right? He extended the contract past the “reboot” point. There was no reports of any other team even making Novak an offer and the Knicks gave him a four year deal. I find it extremely difficult to believe that Novak couldn’t have been had for three years. And that’s exactly what we all said at this time last year. That the fourth year was ridiculous. And then a year later Grunwald is trading away a first round pick to make up for a mistake that seemed evident as soon as it was made.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a gigantic mistake. Agreed that it certainly isn’t like trading for Shandon Anderson and giving him a four years/$25.5 million contract (which is a thing that actually happened). But it is a mistake, that’s all.

  45. jon abbey

    Hubert:
    Btw if we’re comparing the Nets to anyone from Breaking Bad, they’re Tuco.Stupid, crazy, short-sighted, possessing grand plans but lacking the ability to pull them off, and ultimately just some schmuck who dug his own grave.

    he would have lasted a lot longer if he hadn’t signed up to do a different series, so they had to kill him a lot earlier than they wanted. not sure how that messes with your analogy…

    AND STOP WRITING PIECES ABOUT WHERE TEAMS FIT NEXT SEASON UNTIL WE SEE HOW ROSTERS SHAKE OUT. thank you.

    not to mention, “Shane Battier is still ageless”? dude played like two good games after being Kidd-esque for weeks, Miami needs either a lot healthier Wade or some more help to threepeat.

  46. ess-dog

    I can’t believe that people are already saying that we’re worse than last year.

    Bargs is maybe average at best, but we got younger and a guy that’s a better fit with the offense.

    We also lost a few guys that were total playoff duds in Kidd and Novak (and hopefully JR will follow them out the door.)

    Aside from just playing like total garbage, we don’t need guys like JR blowing up at refs in tight playoff games. That is always a killer.

    Brand is a savvy vet and will give us a nice rotation in the post. We’re still an inefficient offense with Bargs, Ray and Shump, but Shump is young enough to improve, and hopefully Stat and Brand will provide some efficient scoring (Brand is a nice post scorer and can provide 15 ppg, easy.)

    Clearly the Heat are better than us, but I think a few tweaks could get us even with Indy. Chicago is good, but we match up well against them. Not sure how NJ will pan out – age is a factor. In short, we’re still a top 8 team that should be fun to watch.

  47. danvt

    Igno-Bot 3000: Prigs coming back is huge. If they get JR back too, I don’t think they’ll be markedly worse this season.

    Great optimism. If they upgrade at 4/5 and sign two of their best players from last year they may not be worse than last season!

    Frank: That counts as clever? =)
    If Ujiri can pull that off, in just a few days he’ll have basically undone Colangelo’s 2 signature moves/mistakes in Toronto — the drafting of Bargnani at #1 and the Rudy Gay trade. He should win Exec of the Decade for that.

    Amazing how great other GMs are, huh? High volume / low efficiency scorers are great for other teams but kryptonite on ours. Expiring contracts are brilliant moves, unless we acquire them. Late draft picks represent the one true way to build a championship contender, except for the one we picked.

  48. Brian Cronin

    Of course one shouldn’t pass judgments until you see what the Knicks’ roster is.

    If they lose JR, though, it will be very tough to see how they’ll be better than last year. JR was a huge part of last year’s team.

  49. Hubert

    Is that so about Tuco? I always heard season 1 had a massively different ending that was ruined by the writers strike.

    Aaron Paul came out and said we will shit ourselves when the final season ends. I kind of always expected that I would.

  50. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the actor who played Tuco left because he was on the Closer. So amazingly enough, Gus Fring was a BACK-UP plan. What a back-up plan! Honestly, though, I never understand how that worked. Cruz (the guy who played Tuco) had been on the Closer for three years at that point. So how did he think he was able to just do another show?

  51. lavor postell

    Brian Cronin: But it did, right? He extended the contract past the “reboot” point. There was no reports of any other team even making Novak an offer and the Knicks gave him a four year deal. I find it extremely difficult to believe that Novak couldn’t have been had for three years. And that’s exactly what we all said at this time last year. That the fourth year was ridiculous. And then a year later Grunwald is trading away a first round pick to make up for a mistake that seemed evident as soon as it was made.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a gigantic mistake. Agreed that it certainly isn’t like trading for Shandon Anderson and giving him a four years/$25.5 million contract (which is a thing that actually happened). But it is a mistake, that’s all.

    No doubt. I guess I have low standards because I appreciate that Grunwald is willing to accept a mistake rather than compound it. That gives me some hope.

    Btw didn’t we also do the same with Eisley or was he already on a stupid contract at the time?

  52. Brian Cronin

    Btw didn’t we also do the same with Eisley or was he already on a stupid contract at the time?

    He was already on a stupid contract, so Layden somehow managed to avoid giving him another one.

  53. danvt

    One more thing on little precocious David’s piece. There is one team that was appreciably better than NYK last season. There is no one else that I would say that about. We were an injury or two and a call or two away from the ECF. In the west, it’s an abomination that SAS was the winner. OKC shouldn’t have traded Hardin but still beats SAS with Westbrook. I don’t know what happened to MEM. LAL was a better team on paper than SAS but somehow never put it together.

    As to the organizational mind set of teams and NYK’s win now mode putting them in a bad position. The great CHI Bulls, even with a healthy Deng and Noah, minus DRose are a decent team, maybe capable of making an ECF but certainly not a prohibitive favorite. How’d they get Rose? By finishing 9th and lucking out with like a 1% chance at the top ping pong ball. Not exactly a coup for the GM.

    The fact that MIA needed seven games to beat both IND and SAS says a lot about their pretensions of being one of the best teams ever. The showtime Lakers had the Bird Celtics to contend with. Jordan had to vanquish the Bad Boy Pistons. How are any of last years also rans in that class?

    The point is, my Knicks are about as smart and talented as anyone right now, and someone does have a chance to beat those lazy coasting fools down in South Beach. If not, and again, even Tiger Woods doesn’t beat the field most of the time, then they have flexibility after this two year window.

  54. stratomatic

    IMO losing JR would be addition by subtraction. Despite his immaturity and off the court issues, he was a very good value at his previous contract. If we pay him fair market value for his basketball talents, IMO it would be a huge mistake even IF (and that’s a big IF) it makes us a little better this year. Given that we just threw away 1st and 2nd round picks to clear Novak’s contract for 2015, it would be insanity to take on JR for that long and take that space away given his history.

    Anyone that thinks Bargnani is a good player or decent value at his current pay, well, I don’t even know how to begin. IMO that’s borderline delusional. The guy was booed out of Canada for being so bad. It’s no accident that the first thing Masai did in Toronto was get rid of that albatross.

    Bargnani at his best was a decent scorer but so wildly flawed as a defender and rebounder for the PF/C position he should have been at the end of the bench, not getting huge contracts. He’s terrible. Every minute of every game that he plays at PF or C will be a net negative even if he recovers his shooting stroke and does help space the floor a little better on offense. His upside value in that regard is so dramatically overwhelmed by the loss of rebounding and defense that will accompany it, that the best thing that could happen to the Knicks is that he gets hurt in camp and it out for the rest of the year.

  55. Juany8

    I love how some of these people never learn, they all predicted the Knicks would be terrible last year and all of the sudden a 54 win season was a fluke because a 40 year old player who played well for maybe 30 games last season (and was the worst player ever in the playoffs) left and we replaced a scrub 3 point shooter with a scrub 7 footer (and Novak was playing PF guys, the rebounding and defense issues with bargs are dumb to bring up as he’s an improvement)

    Of course if you keep going with the assumption that Melo is a mediocre offensive player despite constantly being the top option on supremely efficient teams, you might have a hard time getting your predictions to work out lol.

  56. danvt

    Frank: And news flash, other than OKC, there have been basically 5+ teams tanking every year. And they’re still not good. So the question is – is this fan base ready to SUCK for years for a small chance at becoming OKC? Or is 50-55 wins, puncher’s chance, and a reload in 2015 better?

    Frank, we’re on the same page. Thanks for your posts. that paragraph was stupid that I quoted you on.

  57. Hubert

    jon abbey:

    AND STOP WRITING PIECES ABOUT WHERE TEAMS FIT NEXT SEASONUNTIL WE SEE HOW ROSTERS SHAKE OUT. thank you.

    You’ve got roster shakeouts, inevitable injuries to key players that randomly changes the landscape, potential infighting that tears apart invincible teams, young teams failing to handle the burden of expectation, really REALLY old teams failing to handle the burden of 82 games, Dwyane Wade’s knee, the fact that only 2 teams have made 4 finals in a row in 35 years, the fact that Tom Thibodeu is a great coach who sucks at one REALLY important aspect of his job (managing his players’ minutes so they’re healthy for the playoffs), the fact that Deron Williams is a joke, the likelihood that Jason Kidd may not be ready to handle this, the possibility that Danny Granger may suck in a reduced role, the possibility that next years playoffs may not be devoted to the sanctity of jumping straight up, the chance that maybe our best player doesn’t play the playoffs w a torn labrum and our second best player doesn’t have a herniated disc that renders him a shadow of the player he was all year, the fact that maybe another team may have to deal with something like that….

    I could go on and on and on.

    Bottom line:

    If you think trying to win the East next year is hopeless, you’re a card-carrying fool.

    Maybe I should write a Silverman-esque post channeling the writing style of Benjy Compson that presents this kind of logic the way it should be presented: as if it’s from the retarded mind of an imbecile.

  58. stratomatic

    Juany8:
    I love how some of these people never learn, they all predicted the Knicks would be terrible last year and all of the sudden a 54 win season was a fluke because a 40 year old player who played well for maybe 30 games last season (and was the worst player ever in the playoffs) left and we replaced a scrub 3 point shooter with a scrub 7 footer (and Novak was playing PF guys, the rebounding and defense issues with bargs are dumb to bring up as he’s an improvement)

    Of course if you keep going with the assumption that Melo is a mediocre offensive player despite constantly being the top option on supremely efficient teams, you might have a hard time getting your predictions to work out lol.

    If you are referring to me, I thought the Knicks would win about 50 games last year. I was down on the team last year because management capped us out with little upside and there was still too large a gap between us and the elite teams to have a decent chance to win a title.

    I don’t want to get to the playoffs and battle in the 2nd round. I want to win a title.

    We are nowhere near that now. In fact, our only chance is that Shumpert or Hardaway turns into an elite player over the summer. Good luck with that. I like Shumpert now and think there’s a chance he’ll become an all star caliber player eventually. But I don’t like the idea of him being my only shot at title because we are loaded up with veterans on the downside, players with behavioral disorders, and little flexibility to get better any other way.

  59. PQKnickfan

    I’ve been reading this blog for quite some time and I have to say that I’m amazed by the level of pessimism expressed by the some of the fans who regularly post here. This team just won 54 games last season, exceeding most reasonable expectations in the process. I think Carmelo had a very very good year. Sure, I wish he did some things better but I’m really happy to have him on our team. I also like most of the players we have remaining on the team (Shump, Stat, Chandler etc.). It seems that several of the guys were banged up at the end (Felton, Chandler, etc.) Losing Wallace really hurt because I think the guy did some nice things while he was in there. I just think they will be a better team this year even if they don’t win quite as many games (mainly due to the improved competition).

    As for the trade, Novak as much as I liked to see him do his thing (3pt shooting and NOTHING else) wasn’t much of a factor in the playoffs and Camby?….pffff

    I’m willing to wait and see what Bargs brings to the table and I hope I’m presently surprised by consistent effort on both ends of the court. The guy does have some skill.

    More importantly, the current FO has shown that they know what they are doing in terms of adding talent to the roster on the cheap. Can we at least wait and see how this all unfolds before we slit our wrists????

  60. danvt

    No, No, No. Please win games for me. You really want them to tank? Come on!

    stratomatic: Right now the Knicks should be in 2015 rebuild mode. They should be trying to get rid of bad contracts, accumulate picks, accumulate underrated young players with upside, accumulate role players with attractive contracts, clear space for 2015 etc… They should have been in 2015 rebuild mode last year but they were dumb enough to think they actually had a serious contender with Amare and Melo.

  61. DCrockett17

    Z-man:
    There is little doubt that AB’s usage% will go down on this Knicks team, and that should help his shooting numbers. As to his numbers in other areas, let’s keep in mind that if his numbers were good, he wouldn’t have been available at the bargain-basement price of two overpaid scrubs and three draft picks (one #20 or lower, the other two at the tail end of the 2nd round). So, I think it’s a good low-risk gamble. He comes with low expectations and little pressure, and to a winning culture (don’t look now, but we’ve made the playoffs 3 years in a row and appear to be a lock for a fourth!)

    If this were a “low-risk” kind of move then I’d be on board. The problem is that it’s not. Let’s even grant that the talent swap is a wash. NY bought some cap flexibility (good) at the expense of even cheaper players (especially 1st rd. pick in the 20s) who might be just as good as AB is right now.

    That’s not far-fetched. Right now, even the staunchest AB defenders are suggesting that he’s a quality complimentary piece. Players drafted in the 20s every year become that. If you just take AB’s best seasons 2008-2011, his age 23-25 seasons, he was within a point of league average PER. That’s not easy to find in the 20s but not unheard of either. Either way, his level of likely production is typically available for part of the mini-MLE or vets minimum.

    Had AB been amnestied and NY picked him up for even part of the mini-MLE–even at the expense of Copeland who I love–I wouldn’t be griping about this deal.

  62. Kikuchiyo

    PQKnickfan: As for the trade, Novak as much as I liked to see him do his thing (3pt shooting and NOTHING else) wasn’t much of a factor in the playoffs and Camby?….pffff

    I’m okay with letting Novak go because of the contract length and Woodson’s commitments to getting points elsewhere. But I liked the guy and still feel queasy about letting an absolute bomber go. Of course we all know that Novak will torch the Knicks at least once this year. We’re used to that.

  63. Loathing

    stratomatic: If you are referring to me, I thought the Knicks would win about 50 games last year.I was down on the team last year because management capped us out with little upside and there was stilltoo large a gap between us and the elite teams to have a decent chance to win a title.

    I don’t want to get to the playoffs and battle in the 2nd round. I want to win a title.

    We are nowhere near that now. In fact, our only chance is that Shumpert or Hardaway turns into an elite player over the summer.Good luck with that. I like Shumpert now and think there’s a chance he’ll become an all star caliber player eventually.But I don’t like the idea of him being my only shot at title because we are loaded up with veterans on the downside, players with behavioral disorders, and little flexibility to get better any other way.

    Technically as of right this second we only have seven guys under contract: Felton, Shump, ‘Melo, STAT, Chandler, Novak n’ Camby (the latter two being moved on 7/10 for Bargs). Timmy Jr. isn’t signed yet, Brand hasn’t been signed yet, JR hasn’t been signed yet, etc. Let’s wait until the dust settles to see just WHAT role-players will be surrounding ‘Melo this year before we flip out about future playoff seedings.

  64. stratomatic

    Juany8:
    I love how some of these people never learn, they all predicted the Knicks would be terrible last year and all of the sudden a 54 win season was a fluke because a 40 year old player who played well for maybe 30 games last season (and was the worst player ever in the playoffs) left and we replaced a scrub 3 point shooter with a scrub 7 footer (and Novak was playing PF guys, the rebounding and defense issues with bargs are dumb to bring up as he’s an improvement)

    Of course if you keep going with the assumption that Melo is a mediocre offensive player despite constantly being the top option on supremely efficient teams, you might have a hard time getting your predictions to work out lol.

    Also, I am in full agreement on Copeland and Novak being slightly different versions of Bargnani. I want nothing to do with Copeland long term unless he comes extremely cheaply.

    Novak is slightly different.

    He so wildly efficient as a spot up shooter when left open, he adds a lot of value that way (way more than Bargs ever did). That attribute adds enough value to overcome some of the huge negative drag on defense and the boards. Plus, even when he’s not getting open, it’s because teams are game planning to make sure they stop him. No one game plans to stop Bargs. They send out invitations.

    At 4-5M a year for Novak, I’m not a happy camper , but I’m way happier than having Bargs at 10-11M. Plus, Novak is not much worse defensively at SF than at PF. That’s where he should play when he’s on the court. You don’t have that option with Bargs.

  65. stratomatic

    Loathing: Technically as of right this second we only have seven guys under contract: Felton, Shump, ‘Melo, STAT, Chandler, Novak n’ Camby (the latter two being moved on 7/10 for Bargs). Timmy Jr. isn’t signed yet, Brand hasn’t been signed yet, JR hasn’t been signed yet, etc. Let’s wait until the dust settles to see just WHAT role-players will be surrounding ‘Melo this year before we flip out about future playoff seedings.

    I hear you.

    I have no issue with Brand at the right price. I want Prigioni back. Maybe they can find something else.

  66. DCrockett17

    For the record, I still believe NY will end up in that 48-55 win range with a puncher’s chance at a title if some things break their way. This deal doesn’t appreciably impact that one way or the other.

    Also for the record, I don’t think Bargnani is the defensive sieve he’s made out to be. I don’t think he’s a *good* defender–not based on what I saw. But he’s at least mediocre at perhaps the most important part of defense (rebounding). As I’ve noted elsewhere, his low overall rebounding totals are a function of his truly abhorrent offensive rebounding. He’s a better defensive rebounder than Melo or STAT for whatever that’s worth.

  67. stratomatic

    danvt:
    No, No, No.Please win games for me.You really want them to tank?Come on!

    There is a difference between tanking and valuing players and picks properly. Tanking is holding a garage sale and giving away decent players at decent value to get picks. That’s usually a bad idea.

    You can build a good team of players by resisting bad deals and not panicking into making moves that “may” help in the short term but certainly hurt in the long term. It’s all about long term value. The Knicks always think short term and often take on bad long term value to do it.

  68. RicanKnick

    Call me crazy but I don’t see the Heat as being the All Mighty Team of the NBA!! Birdman gets tossed on that game 5 after his foul on Tyler H., Indiana wins the series. Against San Antonio they were 20 seconds away from being sent fishing. They lost 8 games during the playoffs. Two of them games against a depleted Chicago team. I agree that the east is going to be tougher next season, but until we see what the Knicks roster will be, we can’t say they don’t have a chance.

  69. mase

    Even if Ab was amnestied there would’ve been 5 teams who could offer him more than a mini-MLE or vets minimum… we still have gaping holes to fix and a logjam at forward but we needed another scorer and we got one.
    Elton Brand is another need, hope he signs but I doubt it; that would make Amare nearly obsolete, i wouldnt be surprised if he asked to be traded.

  70. DCrockett17

    Hubert: [...] the possibility that next years playoffs may not be devoted to the sanctity of jumping straight up…

    That made me crack up right here in the middle of Panera Bread.

    That little bout of momentary insantity–not replicated by officials in any other series for any other player–just left me scratching my head.

  71. JK47

    The offseason ain’t over yet. The Knicks could very well still re-sign JR, pick up Matt Barnes for the mini-MLE, re-sign Prigs, sign Brand and maybe pick up a decent third string PG. A few smart moves and this team could be better than last years.

  72. Brian Cronin

    Yep, that’s very possible. There’s still waaaaaay too much uncertainty. JR, of course, remains the biggest key. Losing JR would be very bad news. People can dislike JR all they like, there is no one out there for the mini-MLE that can replace what JR can do for this team. And that’s before you even get into the fact that if you needed to use the mini-MLE to replace JR, you lose the chance to use the mini-MLE on a point or a big.

  73. mase

    i think we are better than last year already, we finally have a 1-2 punch on offense

  74. JK47

    If we lose JR, that immediately makes Bargnani’s role as a scorer more pronounced, which means the “new role” everybody is so excited to see him embrace is an illusion. As the #2 scorer Bargnani is an extremely terrible option. As the #8 or #9 man in the rotation maybe you can live with him.

  75. Loathing

    Brian Cronin:
    Yep, that’s very possible. There’s still waaaaaay too much uncertainty. JR, of course, remains the biggest key. Losing JR would be very bad news. People can dislike JR all they like, there is no one out there for the mini-MLE that can replace what JR can do for this team.

    Two takes on that:

    One: Shump could provide the offense.
    Two: Do we WANT anyone who would tweet random asses?

  76. GHenman

    Brian Cronin: Yep, that’s very possible. There’s still waaaaaay too much uncertainty. JR, of course, remains the biggest key. Losing JR would be very bad news. People can dislike JR all they like, there is no one out there for the mini-MLE that can replace what JR can do for this team. And that’s before you even get into the fact that if you needed to use the mini-MLE to replace JR, you lose the chance to use the mini-MLE on a point or a big.

    I think a healthier Amare, a full year of Shump, Bargnani, and Hardaway more than make up for JR.

  77. JK47

    I would be making Matt Barnes the top priority. He plays great defense with a chip on his shoulder, rebounds really well for a SF and is perfectly competent on offense. Put Barnes and Shump on the floor at the same time and you could create some headaches for opposing offenses.

  78. johnno

    stratomatic: The guy was booed out of Canada for being so bad.

    No, the reason that he was booed out of Canada was that he had no shot of living up to the expectations of being the savior that fans expect the overall #1 pick in the draft to be. If he had been picked in the middle of the first round, where he probably belonged, the narrative on him would have been completely different.

  79. EB

    Whats up with Baron Davis? Is he looking to come back to the NBA or is he retired now?

  80. Juany8

    stratomatic: If you are referring to me, I thought the Knicks would win about 50 games last year.I was down on the team last year because management capped us out with little upside and there was stilltoo large a gap between us and the elite teams to have a decent chance to win a title.

    I don’t want to get to the playoffs and battle in the 2nd round. I want to win a title.

    We are nowhere near that now. In fact, our only chance is that Shumpert or Hardaway turns into an elite player over the summer.Good luck with that. I like Shumpert now and think there’s a chance he’ll become an all star caliber player eventually.But I don’t like the idea of him being my only shot at title because we are loaded up with veterans on the downside, players with behavioral disorders, and little flexibility to get better any other way.

    If you really think Tyson chandler is the Knicks best player, then you have to be intellectually honest enough to admit that he fucking sucked due to injury last year, and that if he doesn’t then that massively improves the Knicks chances of beating the pacers, a team that very nearly beat the Heat. You keep wanting to blame Melo for this while our 2 other max players have been garbage in the playoffs these last 2 years. If anything melo’s been the only guy worth having lol.

  81. lavor postell

    JK47:

    I would be making Matt Barnes the top priority.He plays great defense with a chip on his shoulder, rebounds really well for a SF and is perfectly competent on offense.Put Barnes and Shump on the floor at the same time and you could create some headaches for opposing offenses.

    Barnes would be a great addition even though I think he’s a fucking tool. If there’s somehow the Knicks can swing re-signing JR and Prigs while adding Barnes and Brand I would be ecstatic. If Grunwald could pull that off and find some decent point guard play on a minimum contract while preserving cap space for 2015 that would be a coup considering the assets and exceptions that we entered the off-season with. Then again that’s a lot of ifs and we’re about 4 seconds into free agency. Still a lot that needs to shake out before the season gets started.

  82. Juany8

    johnno: No, the reason that he was booed out of Canada was that he had no shot of living up to the expectations of being the savior that fans expect the overall #1 pick in the draft to be.If he had been picked in the middle of the first round, where he probably belonged, the narrative on him would have been completely different.

    If Novak had been a number 1 pick expected to have a 28% usage and to play 30 minutes a night as the key focus of the defense, I wonder what his efficiency would be lol

  83. Loathing

    Juany8: If Novak had been a number 1 pick expected to have a 28% usage and to play 30 minutes a night as the key focus of the defense, I wonder what his efficiency would be lol

    About as bad as Bargnani’s. :P

  84. JK47

    Matt Barnes is so much better than Andrea Bargnani, it’s like they play two different sports.

  85. JK47

    The Knicks’ biggest weakness last year in terms of the Four Factors was eFG% prevention. Brand and Barnes (and a full season of Shump) would help a lot with that. Too many minutes for Bargnani will exacerbate the problem.

  86. Juany8

    Seriously though, you can’t ignore the Knicks 54 win season because they had a bad playoffs and then pretend that losing Kidd, Novak, and camby means anything. Those guys contributed NOTHING against the Pacers, and Kidd was a huge negative and yet kept getting minutes. So it is impossible that the moves so far would make the Knicks have a worse chance of doing well in the playoffs next year, in fact losing Kidd is a positive since Woodson can’t keep playing him.

    Also we need to stop pretending that the salary space we got for the trade would have been easy to get. Just a few years ago the cavs got the top pick in the draft because th clippers wanted to dump baron Davis. The Knicks improved their cap situation if the next 2 years don’t work out (and people need to get over the fact that this core is staying here 2 more years) and potentially get a player who can contribute more than anything we sent out will contribute these next 2 years.

    This isn’t some awesome trade, it’s a minor sideways trade that people are getting worked up over for literally no reason. Memphis lost a first round pick to send out a productive player last year, and then they salary dumped Rudy gay on top of that. Even the Knicks sent out a first round pick to only send out Jared Jeffries. There is a non zero chance bargs will be good, that’s more than you usually get in a dump, and it’s a risk a capped out team has to be willing to take. They weren’t getting somebody good for a late pick lol, rockets barely got anything for Kyle Lowry and he is freaking awesome

  87. mase

    exacerbate what problem?
    most of the season the knicks offense was unwatchable, i dont care that they won 54 games, it was boring and it proved not to work in the playoffs when it mattered…you really think having barnes over bargnani wouldve given us a better shot at indiana?

  88. Juany8

    mase:
    exacerbate what problem?
    most of the season the knicks offense was unwatchable, i dont care that they won 54 games, it was boring and it proved not to work in the playoffs when it mattered…you really think having barnes over bargnani wouldve given us a better shot at indiana?

    You really think Kidd having zero points in that round and Tyson being punked by Roy Hibbert had nothing to do with it? Mike bibby would have been an improvement…

    Why worry about the pacers getting granger back when both the Knicks best players had injuries that clearly hampered them in the playoffs. All of these guys are just going to get healthy and play awesome but the Knicks can’t do so?

  89. Z

    Brian Cronin: But yeah, it’d be quite a star for Ujiri if he got rid of both of those guys in his first week as GM.

    …and still have his Amnesty provision for Amir Johnson next summer!

    lavor postell:

    Btw didn’t we also do the same with Eisley or was he already on a stupid contract at the time?

    He was already on a contract that Layden gave him in Utah. After Layden left Utah dumped his mistake on Dallas, and Layden effectively used Patrick Ewing’s salary slot to bring his own mistake with him to NY! (This is the kind of mismanagement that we’ve put up with during Dolan’s reign that newbies like Ruru simply don’t appreciate… like it’s our fault we’re jaded!)

  90. massive

    Here’s why the Knicks stand a chance in 2013:

    1) Chicago’s Head Coach sabotages his team’s chances every single year by running his players into the ground. The next time Rose, Noah, and Deng play a game they will all be coming back from injuries. That trend is likely to continue with the Bulls’ philosophy not changing.

    2) The Pacers are a mediocre regular season team. And for all the talk about Paul George’s rise in the playoffs, go back and look at his statistics. Nothing groundbreaking out of him this year. And Roy Hibbert is not a good regular season player. This year makes the second time Roy Hibbert amped up his play in the postseason. I still don’t believe they beat us if Melo doesn’t have his labrum torn.

    3) Miami is getting older and hasn’t made a move yet to combat that. A 32 year old Dwyane Wade can’t play 95+ games a season anymore. The Heat were 30 seconds away from losing in Game 6 if weren’t for some SERIOUS serendipity. They are not unbeatable.

    4) The Nets don’t scare me. At all. They lose in the first round after having home court advantage, had a worse record than us, but they added a 37 year old KG and soon to be 36 Paul Pierce so they’re officially better than us.

    It’s really easy to forget the 4 week span Felton was out and the 3rd of the season Shumpert missed, or the 3 MONTH PERIOD Melo was playing with a bad knee, or everything else that isn’t likely to happen twice in a row. But no, the Knicks have no chance because of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. This has to be a bad joke.

  91. Z

    Frank: So the question is – is this fan base ready to SUCK for years for a small chance at becoming OKC? Or is 50-55 wins, puncher’s chance, and a reload in 2015 better?

    Well, this fan base did support a team that sucked for over a decade. But while sucking we managed to trade all of our lottery picks away and also have the highest payroll in NBA history, so it wasn’t quite as fulfilling a process as it could have been :)

  92. Brian Cronin

    He was already on a contract that Layden gave him in Utah. After Layden left Utah dumped his mistake on Dallas, and Layden effectively used Patrick Ewing’s salary slot to bring his own mistake with him to NY! (This is the kind of mismanagement that we’ve put up with during Dolan’s reign that newbies like Ruru simply don’t appreciate… like it’s our fault we’re jaded!)

    I believe Eisley was actually on a terrible contract from Dallas, back when they were unsure if Steve Nash was really their future or not.

  93. Count Zero

    This site has become the home of screeching negative hyperbole. For a while it was just a few of the comments, but it seems to be spreading.

    Amazingly enough, the sky did NOT fall when we let Lin walk — despite this site’s screaming predictions of DOOM. I wouldn’t want Lin right now even for the AAV of $8.4M — he’s way overpaid. We did the right thing despite the fact that the screaming masses decried it as the worst move of the offseason.

    The Nets are not the EC favorites or even the #2 or #3 IMPO. I actually think that was a great trade for the Celts and a pretty poor one for the Nets….even given their “win now” mentality. Knowing when to sell (something the Celts do quite well) is as important as knowing what to buy.

    The Bargnani trade is neither a coup nor a disaster — it’s just another in a series of low risk, potentially helpful deals that have been GG’s motif for the past 2+ years. He may continue to be as bad as he was last season — or he may thrive in the Knicks’ offense. Only time will tell.

    Some of you guys really need to come down off the ledge…

  94. thenamestsam

    lavor postell:
    Also what’s going to happen with Bynum?Wonder where he will end up.

    It’s almost crazy how quiet things have been on him given that this guy was arguably the 2nd best center in the league a year ago. I’m not sure I’ve seen his name mentioned once. I think teams are terrified of him. Not just the health issues but the way he handled it last year. He’s going to be huge risk/reward for whichever team eventually pulls the trigger.

  95. stratomatic

    Juany8: If you really think Tyson chandler is the Knicks best player, then you have to be intellectually honest enough to admit that he fucking sucked due to injury last year, and that if he doesn’t then that massively improves the Knicks chances of beating the pacers, a team that very nearly beat the Heat. You keep wanting to blame Melo for this while our 2 other max players have been garbage in the playoffs these last 2 years. If anything melo’s been the only guy worth having lol.

    I think Chandler had a good year “overall”, but was hurting and well below par in the playoffs. During the Pacer series I said repeatedly I thought the Knicks were the slightly better team, but the Pacers were the better gambling value at the odds because it was very close.

    If you put a gun to me head, I think the Pacers have way more players with upside and the Knicks have some downsides (pending filling out roster). So I would rate the Pacers over the Knicks for next year and assume Vegas agrees.

    I didn’t say anything about Melo in this entire thread. My opinion is well known, with one minor adjustment. I think he’s a EV+ player, but very overrated by the media and fans. I think we gave up too much for him and I generally would not want him as my “max player” to build around. I changed one minor view. I was an advocate of playing him at PF going into last year. I have concluded that he’s better offensively at PF, but we give up too much on the boards that way. So I think he is more EV+ overall as a SF. I would prefer he play SF next year. If Amare can’t play or it’s not working defensively, I want Kenyon Martin there if we have him.

  96. stratomatic

    johnno: No, the reason that he was booed out of Canada was that he had no shot of living up to the expectations of being the savior that fans expect the overall #1 pick in the draft to be.If he had been picked in the middle of the first round, where he probably belonged, the narrative on him would have been completely different.

    I agree that it’s possible he would have sucked without the booing.

  97. Z

    Brian Cronin: I believe Eisley was actually on a terrible contract from Dallas, back when they were unsure if Steve Nash was really their future or not.

    That was Shandon Anderson, who played for Layden’s Jazz but signed his $42 million contract with Rockets before Layden reclaimed “the one that got away”.

    Eisley signed his 7 year, $41,000,000 with the Jazz and Layden jumped at the chance to keep his boss’s bank account forever responsible for those payments.

    (…this from Layden’s Wikipage: “[Eisley] was currently in the second year of a 7-year, $41 Million contract that he signed by Layden’s former organization, the Utah Jazz. At the same time, Anderson, another former member of the Jazz was in the first year of a 6-year, $42 Million contract that he signed with the Rockets”)

  98. Nick C.

    Any news on what the state of Amare’s health is or Tyson’s disc issue? If Amare can give 30 minutes with the low post play he showed briefly when he was in and Tyson is closer to his 2011-2012 form this team can be as good as the optomists expect. Shump should build on his offensive improvement and with a year plus post surgery his mobility should be back to rookie form defensively. The thing is other than Prigs and Cope, maybe, JR ? and Felton who else is back from that team?

  99. stratomatic

    Count Zero:
    This site has become the home of screeching negative hyperbole. For a while it was just a few of the comments, but it seems to be spreading.

    Amazingly enough, the sky did NOT fall when we let Lin walk — despite this site’s screaming predictions of DOOM. I wouldn’t want Lin right now even for the AAV of $8.4M — he’s way overpaid. We did the right thing despite the fact that the screaming masses decried it as the worst move of the offseason.

    The Nets are not the EC favorites or even the #2 or #3 IMPO. I actually think that was a great trade for the Celts and a pretty poor one for the Nets….even given their “win now” mentality. Knowing when to sell (something the Celts do quite well) is as important as knowing what to buy.

    The Bargnani trade is neither a coup nor a disaster — it’s just another in a series of low risk, potentially helpful deals that have been GG’s motif for the past 2+ years. He may continue to be as bad as he was last season — or he may thrive in the Knicks’ offense. Only time will tell.

    Some of you guys really need to come down off the ledge…

    Lin started the year horribly last year while still recovering from knee surgery, but IMO he was better than Felton once he reached form. You coud argue Felton is the better deal at the salaries, but Lin still has upside and can be moved in that balloon year as an expiring if he makes no upside progress. It’s close, but I’d go with Lin long term.

  100. Juany8

    thenamestsam: It’s almost crazy how quiet things have been on him given that this guy was arguably the 2nd best center in the league a year ago. I’m not sure I’ve seen his name mentioned once. I think teams are terrified of him. Not just the health issues but the way he handled it last year. He’s going to be huge risk/reward for whichever team eventually pulls the trigger.

    Lol made this same post a few days earlier, it’s eerie how little noise there is around him. I would snatch him up if I were the mavericks and gambling on one last chance at contention with dirk

  101. BigBlueAL

    Didnt the Knicks get both Shandon Anderson and Eisley from Houston for Glen Rice??

  102. Juany8

    stratomatic: Lin started the year horribly last year while still recovering from knee surgery, but IMO he was better than Felton once he reached form.You coud argue Felton is the better deal at the salaries, but Lin still has upside and can be moved in that balloon year as an expiring if he makes no upside progress.It’s close, but I’d go with Lin long term.

    Another team was not simply going to come in and take Lin off our hands at that price. The only way that expriring contract would have been worth anything is if we were willing to take trash back. That the rockets are already considering dumping him tells you all you need to know about his market value. Why would a team pay $15 million for a player just to help the Knicks with their luxury tax bill?

    Big expiring contracts are only valuable if another team has bad contracts they’re looking to unload, or in a package for a valuable player. There was no way the Knicks would have been able to move Lin without paying for it somehow.

  103. BigBlueAL

    The East next season will have 5 teams win 50+ games with the 6-8th seeds possibly all being at .500 or below. There are going to be some truly awful teams in the East next season and 1 or 2 of them will actually make the playoffs.

  104. thenamestsam

    Juany8: Lol made this same post a few days earlier, it’s eerie how little noise there is around him. I would snatch him up if I were the mavericks and gambling on one last chance at contention with dirk

    If they miss on Dwight (and it sort of seems like its down to Rockets and Lakers) I think that would be a reasonable way to go. It’s a nice start to a team. I’d be a little worried that a lot of the good role players are already getting snatched up which is going to make it tough to put a solid roster around those guys.

  105. stratomatic

    Juany8: Another team was not simply going to come in and take Lin off our hands at that price. The only way that expriring contract would have been worth anything is if we were willing to take trash back. That the rockets are already considering dumping him tells you all you need to know about his market value. Why would a team pay $15 million for a player just to help the Knicks with their luxury tax bill?

    Big expiring contracts are only valuable if another team has bad contracts they’re looking to unload, or in a package for a valuable player. There was no way the Knicks would have been able to move Lin without paying for it somehow.

    Then his contract is not a very good value assuming he makes no progress as a player. I’m not going to argue that. I will argue that once he got healthy he was better than people think and IMO a hair better than Felton.

  106. Zanzibar

    Bargainani or Barginanity? Outcomes range from Dirk Lite to GG’s magic was to turn a lazy, injury-prone 7ft black guy into a lazy, injury-prone 7ft white guy. I’m slightly in favor of the trade after weighing all of the pros/cons. That extra roster spot could be valuable since we are for the first time in more than a decade a very attractive location for vet min players and, given the new CBA, there may be some good players in that category (Brand, Delfino, Barnes). Our cap situation/strategy allows us to offer them a player option as injury protection (that’s legal right, player option on vet min contract?). Also, NYC has a heavy Italian population which won’t take to a soft paisan. A 2-minute convo at half-court between Schirripa and Bargs will resolve any effort/toughness issues…or shatter him to where he returns to Italy and lives with his mom until he is 50yo.

    Why the general pessimism? This 13 man active roster looks healthier and better than last season and our cap situation is favorable for the future.
    PG…………. Felton/Prigioni/Brooks
    SF…………. Shumpert/Hardaway/JR or Delfino
    C………….. Chandler/Brand/Sims or KMart
    Forwards…. Melo/Amare/Bargnanovic/Cope or Barnes

  107. Juany8

    stratomatic: Then his contract is not a very good value assuming he makes no progress as a player. I’m not going to argue that. I will argue that once he got healthy he was better than people think and IMO a hair better than Felton.

    I’d agree with that assessment, Felton was nothing more than a decent backup we got for nothing and paid very little. Lin was supposed to be a foundational piece for the rockets, and they got a player who has trouble playing next to their best player. There’s a good chance Patrick Beverly overtakes him next season, he’s freaking legit

  108. max fisher-cohen

    My feeling is NY really needs to choose between 2015 and now.

    It seems like the new CBA is going to really put a hurting to the NBA middle class. Maybe not this year as teams feel out the new CBA, but in the future, there are going to be very few contracts between the max and the MLE. If that’s the case, then in the next year or so, I think you’ll see more guys like David Lee and Rudy Gay come onto the market for basically cap relief.

    When the trade deadline comes along or maybe next summer, the Knicks may be able to trade Stoudemire and Chandler for younger, more productive players who are on bad long term deals. Let’s say for example you could turn Stoudemire’s expiring deal into Udoh and Ilyasova, and you turn Chandler’s into a now overpaid Pekovic so the Wolves have space to re-sign Kevin Love. That’s a team that IMO really does have a puncher’s chance at a title. It’s also a team that has further locked itself into cap hell and still has a short window.

    The other option is to just say “this team isn’t winning anything until 2015 or after”, and start moving everyone who’s value is on a downward trajectory. To me, that means Chandler, Anthony and Shumpert should be traded for assets that have the potential to mature in value. The first two are unlikely to be worth their next contract due to age, and Shumpert’s value will decline significantly when he hits free agency and gets a contract commensurate with his value.

    You can’t play things down the middle or you end up minimizing your peak year chances in both scenarios. It’s like if you go to college wanting to be a either a biologist or a journalist and so settle for degree in general studies. You’ve limited your career options in both directions by refusing to fully commit in either direction.

  109. JK47

    Lin was moved to an off-ball role to which he was not ideally suited, and he struggled to begin the season. He was also coming off an injury. But from game 13 of the regular season on, he was quite a good player:

    TS%: .555
    eFG%: .510
    3P%: .356

    That’s in 70 games, not a small sample size. And Lin put up those numbers despite still playing in a role that was less than ideal for him. Some people here have an irrational hatred for him and will never admit he’s any good, but I’d take him back for Felton in a heartbeat. Lin’s the better player in my opinion.

  110. er

    JK47:
    Lin was moved to an off-ball role to which he was not ideally suited, and he struggled to begin the season.He was also coming off an injury.But from game 13 of the regular season on, he was quite a good player:

    TS%: .555
    eFG%: .510
    3P%: .356

    That’s in 70 games, not a small sample size.And Lin put up those numbers despite still playing in a role that was less than ideal for him.Some people here have an irrational hatred for him and will never admit he’s any good, but I’d take him back for Felton in a heartbeat.Lin’s the better player in my opinion.

    Irrational. Interesting choice of words

  111. jon abbey

    Lin was beyond worthless once the playoffs started, even before he got an ‘owie’ that kept him out. seriously, have you ever heard of a NBA player missing playoff games with a ‘bruised chest’? Felton isn’t anything special either, but no thank you on Lin.

  112. Ted Nelson

    I thought Yankees fans complained a lot…

    Sure, the Knicks goal is to win it all. Will they? Most likely not. Only one team can win it every year and in the NBA that team is fairly likely to be the same one as the previous year. Does that make a “sound strategy” to tank every year and hope to strike some lottery gold, though? You can argue either way. At some point, you just have to appreciate the 50+ win team and the playoffs series, especially if the team is at least a contender. I see that you are young, but the 90s were a TON of fun to watch without a title. After a decade of losing, I will take a solid playoff team.

    Your run downs of the other teams are pretty incomplete. They list some strengths and then play the “if game” a whole lot. If draft picks contribute. If injured guys return 100%. If young guys keep getting better. They list teams as top X offenses/defenses.

    Your run-down of the Knicks would look about as impressive as any team besides Miami’s. They have a lot of “ifs” too. So, this analysis is really insufficient to support a claim that the Knicks are not a contender. I think that claim can be made, but I don’t think you have actually done it effectively.

  113. David Vertsberger Post author

    Never said I didn’t enjoy watching this team. I also did say we’d enjoy watching our consistency in making the Playoffs. I also was very pessimistic about our chances of winning a championship, because in reality, they are hilariously slim. And because I’m realistic about my shoddy 54-win Bockers I know that, and you know that, well, sadness awaits. Just wanted to lend perspective to fans that for the 600th year in a row, have a ton of hopeless optimism. Maybe that’s why you enjoy sports? I don’t know. Also, never said I was smarter than anyone here. Go Knicks.

  114. Ted Nelson

    To elaborate a little:

    -3rd best offense in the NBA.
    -nbadraft.net’s #16 and 37 prospects from this draft.
    -Amare only playing 29 games last season, with Shumpert and Bargnani also injury returning type guys.
    -Shumpert is a young guy who took a step forward in production from year 1 to 2 and should only get better.

  115. David Vertsberger Post author

    Ted Nelson:
    They have a lot of “ifs” too. So, this analysis is really insufficient to support a claim that the Knicks are not a contender. I think that claim can be made, but I don’t think you have actually done it effectively.

    Wasn’t necessarily going for the most efficient claim. But you’re right. Just wanted to glance over some teams that are clearly improving while we… traded for a team cancer. Go Knicks.

  116. David Vertsberger Post author

    Ted Nelson:
    To elaborate a little:

    -3rd best offense in the NBA.
    -nbadraft.net’s #16 and 37 prospects from this draft.
    -Amare only playing 29 games last season, with Shumpert and Bargnani also injury returning type guys.
    -Shumpert is a young guy who took a step forward in production from year 1 to 2 and should only get better.

    5th best, and last time I checked a crappy defense always outweighs a stellar offense.
    The same site that compared Deshawn Stevenson to Michael Jordan?
    Whoa, Amar’e… SCARY!
    Shump’s awesome, no argument here.

  117. Ted Nelson

    Dude, the point is that your analysis takes the stance that other teams question marks are positives while it doesn’t even really take a look at the Knicks’ question marks.

    If you did, they would come out pretty high on the list. Contenders, which is basically all you can ask for if you are not a dynasty.

    Your defensive rant calling yourself a realist and me a hopeless optimist was not particularly well received and basically reinforced my thinking. I would suggest taking a look at criticism more open-mindedly.

  118. johnno

    So, to summarize what has been written here over the last several days — the Owner sucks, the front office sucks, Felton sucks, Amare sucks, Chandler sucks, Melo sucks, Woodson sucks and, on top of that, is stupid and stubborn, Novak sucked, JR sucks, Camby sucked and Kidd sucked. It is a crying shame that the Knicks can’t somehow figure out how to pay Prigioni, Copeland, Shumpert and K-Mart max contracts because, apparently, those are the only four guys who don’t suck and they somehow managed to push this crappy team to 54 wins. I hope that they bring those four guys back, because we are going to need them to help overcome Bargnani and Hardaway who are certainly going to suck…

  119. Z

    johnno:
    It is a crying shame that the Knicks can’t somehow figure out how to pay Prigioni, Copeland, Shumpert and K-Mart max contracts because, apparently, those are the only four guys who don’t suck…

    Hey, hold on a minute! The only reason those guys don’t suck, too, is because they are cheap!

  120. Ted Nelson

    One more comment. Then that’s it. Try to open your mind a little. Have a discussion. Maybe actually learn something. You say you consider yourself a “neophyte” yet seem to think you know more than everyone and your opinion on matters is fact.

    My main point is that you are illogically optimistic about other teams and pessimistic about the Knicks, and you have confirmed it.

    Again… you have done not one fucking thing to show those teams improved. There was no analysis to speak of. Because I said so isn’t really an analysis.

    Team cancer? Really? That’s your argument?

    The Knicks were 3rd in offense: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2013.html
    Their “terrible D” was 18th and could add a full season from Shmpert along with two promising young defenders in Hardaway and Leslie.

    Hardaway and Leslie were pretty universally regarded as good (top 40) prospects, Leslie obviously having big warts. Any draft site is going to make mistakes, so pointing to one mistake while ignoring the general consensus on the guys the Knicks got is disingenuous.

    You listed James Ennis in your analysis and then mock Amare? Amare has been an above average (above .1 WS/48) player in the NBA forever. Last season in the 29 games he played he had a PER above 22 and a WS/48 of .191. He is very good. How much do you know about basketball?

  121. Zanzibar

    johnno:
    So, to summarize what has been written here over the last several days — the Owner sucks, the front office sucks, Felton sucks, Amare sucks, Chandler sucks, Melo sucks, Woodson sucks and, on top of that, is stupid and stubborn, Novak sucked, JR sucks, Camby sucked and Kidd sucked.It is a crying shame that the Knicks can’t somehow figure out how to pay Prigioni, Copeland, Shumpert and K-Mart max contracts because, apparently, those are the only four guys who don’t suck and they somehow managed to push this crappy team to 54 wins.I hope that they bring those four guys back, because we are going to need them to help overcome Bargnani and Hardaway who are certainly going to suck…

    Wait just a minute Johnno-one-note! I admire your optimism but…Cope had a MINUS, that’s -.045 WP48 so we’re down to 3. Kenyon sucks because he blocks shots out-of-bounds so we’re down to 2. Prigioni played Euro ball so after only 1 year are we really sure he’s not more Bargnani than Ginobli? I mean Bargs had one good NBA year. That leaves Shump and …no i won’t

  122. Z

    I have to admit, I didn’t read this article very carefully until Ted ripped into it, but, yeah, he does have a point. By saying “Indiana’s young core of Paul George, Roy Hibbert and George Hill have another year under their belt, and they’ll undoubtedly be even better next season” does imply that there is absolutely 0% chance that any of them will get injured, which is, of course, a silly thing to assume. And, of course, the same goes for Miami (an aging team), the Nets (an even older team), and the Bulls (who’s injuries we saw derail them the past few years already). A lot can change between July 3rd and Mid-May.

    (So, basically, don’t give us pessimists a bad rap by ignoring ALL signs of hope!)

  123. Igno-Bot 3000

    GHenman:
    AB was not getting amnestied.GS offered David Lee for God’s sake!

    Hahn said this was BS, so let’s stop pushing this slander when we’re talking about Andrea’s market value.

  124. Unreason

    The strategy for filling out the rest of the roster is partly a question prioritizing the importance of addressable problems that emerged the playoffs. Here’s a partial list of problems. I’m not sure which are most important and addressable with FA:
    – scoring/distributing options that keep the O from going stagnant
    – high energy team defenders
    – man defenders that can give serious problems to opposing pgs
    – someone that David West won’t treat like a chew toy
    – decent front court rotation guys to keep Melo/Stat/Chandler fresh
    – better chaperon for JR to keep him sober and rested
    – rebounders on both ends

    What’s missing? and which are most important and addressable?

  125. flossy

    If the Bargnani trade precipitated Ted Nelson’s return, then maybe it wasn’t all bad…

  126. Igno-Bot 3000

    danvt: Great optimism.If they upgrade at 4/5 and sign two of their best players from last year they may not be worse thanlast season!

    Amazing how great other GMs are, huh?High volume / low efficiency scorers are great for other teams but kryptonite on ours.Expiring contracts are brilliant moves, unless we acquire them.Late draft picks represent the one true way to build a championship contender, except for the one we picked.

    We lost our starting SG, our C is injured and we don’t know his status going forward, our aging second PG is a year older, our 6th man of the year is completely inconsistent, we still need a backup PF/C (and if we keep K-Mart he’s another year older), and our brand new acquisition had 0.1 WS last year. I’ll concede that we have two rookies with potential, (hopefully) more Amare time and a full year of Iman, but considering the changes that have been made in our conference, I don’t think it’s a given that we’re going to win 54 games again. At all. I don’t think we’re going to fall off a cliff either, but I think we’re starting the season with ground to make up.

  127. flossy

    johnno: No, the reason that he was booed out of Canada was that he had no shot of living up to the expectations of being the savior that fans expect the overall #1 pick in the draft to be. If he had been picked in the middle of the first round, where he probably belonged, the narrative on him would have been completely different.

    Um, no. They guy made his team 5 pts/100 possessions worse on defense, had a TRB% of someone 8″ shorter and had trouble ever cracking league-average scoring efficiency. Any fan base would grow to hate someone like that regardless of where they were picked. It doesn’t help that he went around giving quotes like “I do things that are more complicated than rebounds and defense.”

  128. Igno-Bot 3000

    Igno-Bot 3000: We lost our starting SG, our C is injured and we don’t know his status going forward, our aging second PG is a year older, our 6th man of the year is completely inconsistent, we still need a backup PF/C (and if we keep K-Mart he’s another year older), and our brand new acquisition had 0.1 WS last year.I’ll concede that we have two rookies with potential, (hopefully) more Amare time and a full year of Iman, but considering the changes that have been made in our conference, I don’t think it’s a given that we’re going to win 54 games again.At all.I don’t think we’re going to fall off a cliff either, but I think we’re starting the season with ground to make up.

    Also I want to note that I”m worried we have no great 3-point shooters on our team after making that the focal part of our offense last year.

  129. nikp31

    Indiana Pacers fan here….
    very few teams managed to beat my Pacers twice this season (your Knicks were one of them, congrats on the moral victory) but surprisingly enough, Toronto was one of them…
    Why do I bring this up?
    Because Bargnani was HUGE in the 100-98 OT victory.
    His numbers (14pts on 7-10 shooting, team high +6 in +/-, off the bench) only tell half the story.
    He literally bullied Hibbert on defense and made the big fella lose his composure. Bargnani would not back down. He was in Hibbert’s face down the stretch, effectively taking Roy out of the game. It was unreal. As a fan I was first thinking “take advantage of the mismatch.” This thought soon became “let’s try going small.”

    Bargnani was not worthy of a #1 pick. He is not a great player. And he is not very durable. But he does have heart, and he tries when motivated. He plays his best when he is inspired (an early scuffle with Hibbert began Bargnani’s mean streak) and actually plays solid D when this is happening, using his length and quickness to irritate opponents and deny them the ball.

    Your Knicks got a better piece than you realized. He can guard Roy better than Novak (or even Camby) ever could. And he will stretch the floor, which will pose seriously problems to teams like the Pacers.

    If Bargnani stays healthy, you got a steal, and will be much improved from last season.

  130. jon abbey

    Igno-Bot 3000: Also I want to note that I”m worried we have no great 3-point shooters on our team after making that the focal part of our offense last year.

    WE HAVE HALF A ROSTER STILL TO FILL. people really need to stop this.

    and I never thought I’d be so glad to see Ted Nelson back, but welcome.

  131. dtrickey

    danvt:
    I’ve been on vacation and I enjoy July in the NBA but I need to get off KB soon again.I’m starting to get irritated.Yeah, the Knicks are probably not going to beat the entire rest of the field.(Especially now that DET has kentavious Caldwell-Pope!).

    Back in the Ewing era (before you were born Vertsberger) my friend (we were adults already and not living with our Moms anymore) bet me that NYK wouldn’t win a championship.He didn’t give me a team that would, he just took the field.Needless to say, (or maybe you need to know because your favorite Knicks are Larry Hughes and Nate Robinson), he never quite got us over the hump but he actually almost did pay off on that bet.That I took that bet makes me a NYK fan.

    So, all you, RC Buford worshiping, snide, sniping, factoid flashing, number crunching, easy conclusion drawing “journalists”.Keep it up.Look at every transaction as proof positive that we still actually have Scott Layden (he was GM before you were born, son).Keep picking Lebron to win next year (way to show off your advanced analytics!and he has James Ennis, now!).

    I’ll just be there, again, as I was when Frazier won it for NYK in 1973.Hoping that Starks (some day I’ll tell you about him) or JR can make a hoop at the most meaningful time and realizing it’ll always be a longshot.

    Here here! I do really enjoy reading KB and it’s posts, however I have to admit it has gotten really hard to stomach some of the things put up recently. Fact is this team as improved every year for the past 3 seasons. Compared to what we as Knicks fans endured for the previous decade, I am happy with that. Have they made some questionable decisions? Yes, without a doubt. That said I would rather be in with a chance (whatever odds they may be) to win a title like we are now than in the constant purgatory we were for the last decade. Go Knicks!!

  132. dtrickey

    Hubert:
    Coming tomorrow on Knickerblogger, a third person regurgitates the same story about how the Knicks should just give up because the Heat, Bulls, Pacers, and Nets are all so unbeatable.

    That statement could very easily be applied to the entire internet sporting community!

    For that matter, why are the Nets not copping more flak for what in my mind was a really short sighted trade? They add three geriatrics past their prime and suddenly they are winning the off-season and the Atlantic will be a cake walk.

    The Knicks got canned for adding old bench players, yet the Nets added old starters.

  133. Robtachi

    There seems to be growing sentiment among insiders that J.R. is going to follow the money somewhere else. Given how abundantly clear he’s made his desire to stay in NY, you have to assume the difference in what he’s being offered by other teams vs. what he can get from the Knicks via his bird rights is pretty significant; at least a couple million per year, right?

    Thing is, I truly believe he will never be as good anywhere else as he is here. Like it or not, this is J.R. Smith’s peak, more or less. So if he bolts because he’s going to get 4 years, $30 million, he’s going to be wildly overpaid. With the Knicks, $5 million/year is about right for the level of play he’ll maintain here.

  134. Juany8

    dtrickey: That statement could very easily be applied to the entire internet sporting community!

    For that matter, why are the Nets not copping more flak for what in my mind was a really short sighted trade? They add three geriatrics past their prime and suddenly they are winning the off-season and the Atlantic will be a cake walk.

    The Knicks got canned for adding old bench players, yet the Nets added old starters.

    No matter what people tell you it’s obvious bias, we just saw with the lakers last year that a team full of hall of famers doesn’t guarantee you much, especially if they are old and injury prone. Knicks obviously have questions marks, pending we see the full roster, but so far there is nothing to suggest the Knicks will be worse in the playoffs. If chandler and Melo are at full strength, that will make a much bigger difference than losing Steve freaking Novak lol, and Kidd was obviously a huge negative, now his minutes can go to someone with a chance of scoring.

    The east now has better teams, but if your only criteria of success is how close you are to being a favorite, drafting griffin and trading for Chris Paul has been about as useful as getting Melo and Amare. The Knicks will win 50+ barring major injuries, and they’ll have as good a chance as anyone in the east of taking out Miami. It’s not an ideal situation, but neither were the 2004 pistons or 2011 mavs. For that matter, neither were the 99 Knicks I’m sure many here remember fondly. Give me a 5% chance of winning a title over 5 years of tanking any day. If OKC never wins a title, that strategy of tanking for multiple years will never have resulted in a title. Look at Cleveland….

  135. alsep73

    Woj and Isola are both reporting that JR and the Knicks are nearing an agreement for him to return.

  136. Z-man

    I wish I could be excited about that, but JR is a guy I would much rather root against than root for at this point. Oh well…

  137. alsep73

    Here’s how I look at it: if we didn’t re-sign JR, the money we’re spending on him would cease to exist for us. It’s only available because we have his Early Bird rights. So would I rather have JR, warts and all, or whatever shooting guard is available for the vets minimum, or for the mini-MLE (which could in turn cost us the services of one or both of Prigs and Copeland, or another useful free agent)? I’ll take the bad JR with the good JR, and hope for the best. When he’s on, he is a wonder to behold. He’s just an idiot.

  138. Z-man

    alsep73:
    Here’s how I look at it: if we didn’t re-sign JR, the money we’re spending on him would cease to exist for us. It’s only available because we have his Early Bird rights. So would I rather have JR, warts and all, or whatever shooting guard is available for the vets minimum, or for the mini-MLE (which could in turn cost us the services of one or both of Prigs and Copeland, or another useful free agent)? I’ll take the bad JR with the good JR, and hope for the best. When he’s on, he is a wonder to behold. He’s just an idiot.

    I hear you, it really comes down to Woody not being in love with him. Thing with JR is that he helps a lot during the regular season, so maybe he is the difference between home court in the first round or not. Just would hate to have to depend on him playing a major role in the playoffs.

  139. flossy

    Most of the teams with a lot cap space and a need at SG have already made their moves, so JRs options are drying up. I suppose it only takes one desperate team to make a crazy offer, though…

  140. BigBlueAL

    flossy:
    Most of the teams with a lot cap space and a need at SG have already made their moves, so JRs options are drying up.I suppose it only takes one desperate team to make a crazy offer, though…

    His options on good teams appear to have dried up (cant imagine Dallas or Houston making him big offers). So it probably comes down to taking more money on an average-to-bad team (Suns, Pistons, Bucks, Kings etc) or staying with the Knicks.

  141. Z-man

    So if this goes through:
    Chandler
    Melo
    Bargs
    Shump
    Felton

    Amare
    JR
    Tim H Jr
    Maybe Prigs
    Maybe Brand
    Maybe Cope
    Maybe KMart

    Leslie
    Jerome Jordan
    Matthews

    Man, we need a veteran guard!

  142. lavor postell

    BigBlueAL: His options on good teams appear to have dried up (cant imagine Dallas or Houston making him big offers).So it probably comes down to taking more money on an average-to-bad team (Suns, Pistons, Bucks, Kings etc) or staying with the Knicks.

    This. Also JR certainly doesnt have everything together mentally, but he does certainly have some weirdly strong bonds of loyalty to Melo and has accepted Woodson as a father figure. I think both of those things can go a long way for us in his decision to re-sign or leave for more money in a completely new situation where the coach is less likely to hold his down and walk him through the concept of attacking the rim over settling for step back twenty footers.

  143. Brian Cronin

    I am pumped about this JR news! The Knicks need him! Although, yeah, it is pretty funny that JR’s loyalty here is basically “Well, I’ll wait to see if anyone else can beat you guys, but if not, then yeah, I’m totally loyal to you guys first!”

  144. Brian Cronin

    The Korver news is bizarre. Atlanta is going to suck!! You’re ruining your career, Kyle! Just take slightly less money to play for a good team! I mean, it’s good for the Knicks since he could be real trouble on an actual good team, but it still irks me how silly he’s being.

  145. Brian Cronin

    Also, I said it then and I’ll say it now, the only silver lining of the Knicks’ playoff exit was that JR priced himself out of a big contract. Which, while not good at the time, is good for the Knicks in the sense that they get to keep JR!

  146. Brian Cronin

    Man, we need a veteran guard!

    Yeah, if Brand will come for the mini-MLE, then obviously he has to be the guy they spend the mini-MLE on, but if not, then I think they should use the mini-MLE on a guard.

  147. Z

    Z-man:
    I wish I could be excited about that, but JR is a guy I would much rather root against than root for at this point. Oh well…

    Z and Z-Man agree! :)

    lavor postell:
    I’ll be happy if JR resigns.

    Z and Lavor Postell agree!

  148. Z

    GHenman: I hope they don’t offer him more than two years.

    I really don’t see how the Knicks can position themselves for 2015 on Tuesday and commit to JR Smith beyond 2015 on Wednesday… (…except, well, I guess I can see it)

  149. GHenman

    Z: I really don’t see how the Knicks can position themselves for 2015 on Tuesday and commit to JR Smith beyond 2015 on Wednesday… (…except, well, I guess I can see it)

    This is where Dolan usually steps in and Dolans things up.

  150. Unreason

    lavor postell: lavor postell
    July 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    I’ll be happy if JR resigns.

    I’m resigned to JR being resigned, not to the Knicks but to the sparkling largeness of his life in NYC. If the “he’s matured” “he’s loyal” Kool-Aid were a little less bitter I’d still try to swallow it.

  151. Z-man

    Z:

    Z and Z-Man agree! :)

    Funny!

    I have such mixed feelings, your point about 2015 is well taken, but if the contract is small and the player is still projected to be worth the money, it’s not a big risk. Beyond character issues, I can’t imagine that JR won’t be worth $6 mill for one year to someone in 2015.

    I’m much more concerned about him being the fool’s gold he was this year…you depend on him more and more during the season and then he rips your heart out in the playoffs.

  152. flossy

    I feel like I have made my peace with whatever the outcome of the JR Smith saga is. If he leaves, that’s okay–I think he takes a lot of shots that could go to someone more efficient (cough Amar’e) and not having him as a crutch could force the Knicks to play a smarter brand of basketball and open the door for someone else (Shumpert? Copeland, if he stays?) to step up and play a larger role.

    But if he’s willing to commit to a multiyear contract at or below market value, though I can understand having reservations, I think you have to welcome him back with open arms, especially since that money can’t be spent on anyone else. JR Smith at $5 million/year is almost certain to be a better value than whatever SG we can find on the scrap heap for the vets minimum.

  153. Zanzibar

    \

    Z-man:
    I wish I could be excited about that, but JR is a guy I would much rather root against than root for at this point. Oh well…

    Z:
    Z and Z-Man agree! :)

    Z and Z-Man and ZanZibar agree.
    If we gave this idiot 4 years, this deal stinks from A to Z. I only hope this will not deter Prigioni from re-signing since he dislikes Melo/JR ISO ball. Prigioni and Elton Brand are far more important to the success of this team than JR.

  154. flossy

    Berman sez Knicks and JR are close to a deal and adds:

    “The Knicks have talked to Smith about a two-year package (worth roughly $11.5M). After the two years are up, Smith could then re-sign with the Knicks with full Bird rights and get a maximum contract. It is unclear which package Smith prefers.”

    How hilarious would it be if the Knicks traded away yet more draft picks to clear our whole cap by the summer of ’15 and end up maxing out JR Smith…

  155. ruruland

    Z-man: Funny!

    I have such mixed feelings, your point about 2015 is well taken, but if the contract is small and the player is still projected to be worth the money, it’s not a big risk. Beyond character issues, I can’t imagine that JR won’t be worth $6 mill for one year to someone in 2015.

    I’m much more concerned about him being the fool’s gold he was this year…you depend on him more and more during the season and then he rips your heart out in the playoffs.

    Right, he’d be a much better trade chip than Novak.

  156. Loathing

    flossy:
    Berman sez Knicks and JR are close to a deal and adds:

    “The Knicks have talked to Smith about a two-year package (worth roughly $11.5M). After the two years are up, Smith could then re-sign with the Knicks with full Bird rights and get a maximum contract. It is unclear which package Smith prefers.”

    How hilarious would it be if the Knicks traded away yet more draft picks to clear our whole cap by the summer of ’15 and end up maxing out JR Smith…

    They’re probably doing that under the guise of having him off the books by the magic year, just using the full-bird as an excuse. Shifty. I like it.

  157. ruruland

    flossy:
    Berman sez Knicks and JR are close to a deal and adds:

    “The Knicks have talked to Smith about a two-year package (worth roughly $11.5M). After the two years are up, Smith could then re-sign with the Knicks with full Bird rights and get a maximum contract. It is unclear which package Smith prefers.”

    How hilarious would it be if the Knicks traded away yet more draft picks to clear our whole cap by the summer of ’15 and end up maxing out JR Smith…

    I’m not sure he would be much of a cap hold because it would be his early birds contract counting against the cap. So, maybe Ephus could correct me, if the Knicks wanted to sign him with full birds right and give him max, they would only be restrained by the early bird rights contract.

  158. ruruland

    Loathing: They’re probably doing that under the guise of having him off the books by the magic year, just using the full-bird as an excuse. Shifty. I like it.

    From Coon: “38. Why do free agents continue to count against team salary?

    It closes a loophole. Teams otherwise would be able to sign other teams’ free agents using their cap room, and then turn their attention to their own free agents using the Bird exception. This rule restricts their ability to do that. It uses the player’s current status (type of free agent, whether coming off a rookie contract, and previous salary) as a rough guideline to predict the amount the player is likely to receive in his next contract, and sets that amount aside in the form of a cap hold. But while it functions as a rough guideline, it’s obviously not perfect — for example, in 2005 Michael Redd’s free agent amount was just $6 million, even though the Bucks intended to re-sign him for the maximum salary. By waiting to sign Redd last, the Bucks were able to take advantage of the difference by signing Bobby Simmons. Had they signed Redd first, they would not have had enough cap room to sign Simmons.”

  159. d-mar

    Brian Cronin:
    The Korver news is bizarre. Atlanta is going to suck!! You’re ruining your career, Kyle! Just take slightly less money to play for a good team! I mean, it’s good for the Knicks since he could be real trouble on an actual good team, but it still irks me how silly he’s being.

    t

    Yeah, really strange move by Korver. You would think he would want to join a team that has at least a chance of a title. But glad the Nets didn’t get him, now i guess they have to keep looking for bench players to complement the greatest starting 5 in the history of organized basketball

  160. Z

    d-mar: Yeah, really strange move by Korver. You would think he would want to join a team that has at least a chance of a title.

    Maybe the Hawks promised him they would make a late blitz for JR Smith and that was enough for Korver… A 2-headed monster at the 2 guard is the NEW championship model! (or do Jordan and BJ Armstrong count as an old model?)

  161. maxwell_3g

    JK47:
    I would be making Matt Barnes the top priority.He plays great defense with a chip on his shoulder, rebounds really well for a SF and is perfectly competent on offense.Put Barnes and Shump on the floor at the same time and you could create some headaches for opposing offenses.

    What he said^^^^^^^. It looks like we are going to get JR back, which is great news. yes, he is a head case, but he gives us a lot that we need. I am not convinced that he is a playoff choker. it is likely a case of small sample size. he is much more valuable to us than korver, or Webster, or even tyreke evans. he is a steal at that money. and we, as fans, should give him props for his loyalty. as for our mini ML, I love prigs and really love cope, but barnes is a better player than either. he is a legit difference maker and a gamer. go get him

  162. ruruland

    maxwell_3g: What he said^^^^^^^.It looks like we are going to get JR back, which is great news.yes, he is a head case, but he gives us a lot that we need.I am not convinced that he is a playoff choker.it is likely a case of small sample size.he is much more valuable to us than korver, or Webster, or even tyreke evans.he is a steal at that money.and we, as fans, should give him props for his loyalty.as for our mini ML, I love prigs and really love cope, but barnes is a better player than either.he is a legit difference maker and a gamer.go get him

    JR was excellent as a third option on the 2009 Nuggers WCF team.

  163. bidiong

    I’m personally excited to get JR back. That’s awesome news. Spend Dolan’s money on the cap tax. JR can turn the corner with more work from Woodson.

  164. maxwell_3g

    mase:
    exacerbate what problem?
    most of the season the knicks offense was unwatchable, i dont care that they won 54 games, it was boring and it proved not to work in the playoffs when it mattered…you really think having barnes over bargnani wouldve given us a better shot at indiana?

    order NBA league pass and get a clue my friend. for those of us who watch games (as opposed to reading articles), matt barnes was one of the most overlooked players in the league last year. I personally think he is a complete tool, but the bottom line is that he brings defense, energy, and intensity every night. he can hit the 3 and can also come up with garbage points. I guarantee, with a gun to my head, if he joined the knicks and I was forced to pick the 5 to be out there in the last minute to win a championship, he would be one of the players I had out there.

  165. ruruland

    Yeah, Matt Barnes is one of the best role players in the NBA. I would be shocked if the Knicks signed him for part of mini-MLE.

    But apparently he wants to play in NY.

  166. maxwell_3g

    BigBlueAL:
    Maybe Matt Barnes believes in the “Once a Knick Always a Knick” motto.

    damn. I forgot. we did have him in the beginning, didn’t we??

  167. Unreason

    Barnes and KMart would make a lovely welcoming committee for KG in his first visit to the garden as a Nyet

  168. lavor postell

    Unreason:
    Barnes and KMart would make a lovely welcoming committee for KG in his first visit to the garden as a Nyet

    A vintage 2011-12 Chandler would be most welcome to join them as well.

  169. Z

    ruruland:
    Matt Barnes is one of the best role players in the NBA. I would be shocked if the Knicks signed him for part of mini-MLE. But apparently he wants to play in NY.

    To replace Smith and Martin with Barnes and Brand would be enough to get me to pay for league pass again!

  170. ruruland

    A lot has been made about Andrea Bargnani’s shooting struggles, but here are some interesting facts.

    Over the last four years, via Synergy, Bargnani has shot a higher percentage from 3-pt range than Dirk Nowitzki (39 to 36 %) on pick and rolls. Imagine the double pnr opportunities with Bargs fading to 3-pt line and Chandler sprinting to rim…

    As Frank posted earlier, Bargs is also capable of slipping screens or rolling to basket to get size mismatch for a post-up. He’s extremely versatile in pick and roll, and the Knicks are built for and accustomed to a lot of pnr action.

    Check out how Bargnani compares to other floor spreading big men in terms of spot-ups. AB=Bargnani, KG=Garnett, CB= Bosh

    2010
    Player, play attempt #, points per possession
    AB: 512 , 1.11 ppp,
    KG: 259, .93 ppp
    CB: 155, .88 ppp

    2011
    AB 310, .93
    KG 211, .91
    CB 330, 1

    2012
    AB 138, 1.04
    KG 268, .93
    CB 267, .9

    2013
    AB 182, .92
    KG 200, 1.01
    CB 182, .92

    Bargnani has historically struggled shooting in isolations and transition, but he is much better when he runs wing instead of trails.

  171. David Vertsberger Post author

    Z:
    I have to admit, I didn’t read this article very carefully until Ted ripped into it, but, yeah, he does have a point. By saying “Indiana’s young core of Paul George, Roy Hibbert and George Hill have another year under their belt, and they’ll undoubtedly be even better next season” does imply that there is absolutely 0% chance that any of them will get injured, which is, of course, a silly thing to assume. And, of course, the same goes for Miami (an aging team), the Nets (an even older team), and the Bulls (who’s injuries we saw derail them the past few years already). A lot can change between July 3rd and Mid-May.

    (So, basically, don’t give us pessimists a bad rap by ignoring ALL signs of hope!)

    I will admit to ignoring all signs of hope. I has no hope :-(

  172. David Vertsberger Post author

    Ted Nelson:
    One more comment. Then that’s it. Try to open your mind a little. Have a discussion. Maybe actually learn something. You say you consider yourself a “neophyte” yet seem to think you know more than everyone and your opinion on matters is fact.

    My main point is that you are illogically optimistic about other teams and pessimistic about the Knicks, and you have confirmed it.

    Again… you have done not one fucking thing to show those teams improved. There was no analysis to speak of. Because I said so isn’t really an analysis.

    Team cancer? Really? That’s your argument?

    The Knicks were 3rd in offense: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2013.html
    Their “terrible D” was 18th and could add a full season from Shmpert along with two promising young defenders in Hardaway and Leslie.

    Hardaway and Leslie were pretty universally regarded as good (top 40) prospects, Leslie obviously having big warts. Any draft site is going to make mistakes, so pointing to one mistake while ignoring the general consensus on the guys the Knicks got is disingenuous.

    You listed James Ennis in your analysis and then mock Amare? Amare has been an above average (above .1 WS/48) player in the NBA forever. Last season in the 29 games he played he had a PER above 22 and a WS/48 of .191. He is very good. How much do you know about basketball?

    I didn’t write this article to open up discussion with you all, I have Twitter for that. I also know nothing about basketball. This much should be clear, I mean, WHY would Mike let me write for his site? He obviously will take any idiot out there.

  173. David Vertsberger Post author

    Ted Nelson:
    One more comment. Then that’s it. Try to open your mind a little. Have a discussion. Maybe actually learn something. You say you consider yourself a “neophyte” yet seem to think you know more than everyone and your opinion on matters is fact.

    My main point is that you are illogically optimistic about other teams and pessimistic about the Knicks, and you have confirmed it.

    Again… you have done not one fucking thing to show those teams improved. There was no analysis to speak of. Because I said so isn’t really an analysis.

    Team cancer? Really? That’s your argument?

    The Knicks were 3rd in offense: http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2013.html
    Their “terrible D” was 18th and could add a full season from Shmpert along with two promising young defenders in Hardaway and Leslie.

    Hardaway and Leslie were pretty universally regarded as good (top 40) prospects, Leslie obviously having big warts. Any draft site is going to make mistakes, so pointing to one mistake while ignoring the general consensus on the guys the Knicks got is disingenuous.

    You listed James Ennis in your analysis and then mock Amare? Amare has been an above average (above .1 WS/48) player in the NBA forever. Last season in the 29 games he played he had a PER above 22 and a WS/48 of .191. He is very good. How much do you know about basketball?

    Oh, and as far as Bargnani-
    Zach Lowe:
    “If you look players who actively hurt your team, Bargnani is your guy.”
    “…a player who is actively damaging and gettable for zero.”
    “Bargnani has been obscenely horrible on both ends since his return from injury”
    Also, these kind words from THN’s Raptors blog: http://www.raptorsrepublic.com/2013/05/10/100-words-andrea-bargnani/

  174. jon abbey

    Z: To replace Smith and Martin with Barnes and Brand would be enough to get me to pay for league pass again!

    I want all four plus Prigioni. get those under the table deals going, CAA!!

  175. ruruland

    David Vertsberger: Ted: “Team cancer? Really? That’s your argument?”
    Yeah, that’s my argument!

    Think I could create another account, copy and paste the board’s/Knicks fans reaction to the Felton acquisition last year, and fit right in?

  176. JK47

    I’m not gonna pile on Andrea Bargnani any more. I personally think the guy is a bad player, an “actively damaging” player like Zach Lowe suggests. We’ll have to see how he does here. I’m convinced that the Knicks could literally go out and get pretty much any terrible NBA player and some people here would think it was a great move, and some people would probably even go to the lengths of preparing obscure charts “proving” why Player X is really some hidden gem.

    I guarantee if the Knicks went out and picked up Austin Rivers or Wesley Johnson or some other scrub tomorrow, ruru would figure out some way to twist the Synergy numbers to make those guys look comparable to obviously superior players, and tell us to just imagine the possibilities with Austin Rivers in his new role. I love ru’s enthusiasm, but it’s a little tough to take him seriously sometimes. Does anybody really think that Andrea Bargnani even plays the same sport as guys like Nowitzki and Bosh? I’m all for optimism but sometimes it’s just too goddamn much.

  177. max fisher-cohen

    Felton was okay. He was acceptable. Which I think is what most people expected His one strength is his low turnovers. He surprised by putting in 36% of his 3s (about average for an NBA player) but still managed to be terribly inefficient, mostly because he is built like a pug and so has no ability to elevate and draw fouls or accelerate past guys for easy buckets. He is basically prime Chris Duhon version 1.2. A little more athletic and quicker, but not quite the defender or outside shooter. At his best, he’s worth the $4m we’re paying him, but no more than that.

  178. BigBlueAL

    This new CBA sucks. Knicks wont be able to afford to keep their own FA’s (Prigs and Cope) despite being the only team (especially in Cope’s case) to show any interest in these players before last season. I wouldnt be surprised if the majority of the teams in the NBA had never even seen Cope before Summer League last year.

    But the Knicks thanks to the CBA cant even offer Prigs the veteran’s minimum which is why they have to eat into their MLE just to be able to offer him 1.4 mil which is the league veterans minimum.

  179. Z

    JK47:

    I guarantee if the Knicks went out and picked up some scrub tomorrow, ruru would figure out some way to twist the Synergy numbers to make those guys look comparable to obviously superior players…

    Yeah, part of me wishes Ruru was around during the Layden/Isiah years. He’d have preached about how a Jerome James/Eddy Curry tandem would complement one another’s games; he’d have listed all sorts of numbers explaining how a Marbury and Francis rotation would be like the (enter time machine!) 2007 Nuggets; he’d have defended the Jalen rose signing because it got us the Balkman pick; he’d have lambasted the critics of the Frye for Zach Randolph trade; he’d have stated all the reason(!) why ultimately dumping Ewing for Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley was prudent basketball thinking…

    Basically, he’d have argued that all those Knick teams were just one small Carmelo Anthony away from winning it all.

  180. BigBlueAL

    I dont want to get into the type of Knick fans debate since Ive said my piece in the past but yeah another article like this one is just another example of people who are supposedly Knick fans but sure as hell seem to want them to suck.

    Worst case scenarios only for the Knicks is the probable but best case scenarios for the rest of the teams is guaranteed. Its just so easy to be right when your expectation of the team is championship or nothing especially in the NBA where just a handful of teams have legitimate championship aspirations every season. So the haters can talk about letting Lin go will doom the Knicks forever and they will be a 45 win team at best. They win 54 games but lose in the 2nd round so the same people can just say they were lucky to win 54 games and they still arent championship contenders so who cares. Trade a 2016 1st-round pick which they dont even have full control over?? Might as well just forfeit the next few seasons. It gets real tiring.

  181. JK47

    My MLE pipe dreams are Calderon and Barnes. I’d be really happy with either of those two. Either of those guys would be worth letting Prigioni go.

  182. BigBlueAL

    Z: Yeah, part of me wishes Ruru was around during the Layden/Isiah years. He’d have preached about how a Jerome James/Eddy Curry tandem would complement one another’s games; he’d have listed all sorts of numbers explaining how a Marbury and Francis rotation would be like the (enter time machine!) 2007 Nuggets; he’d have defended the Jalen rose signing because it got us the Balkman pick; he’d have lambasted the critics of the Frye for Zach Randolph trade; he’d have stated all the reason(!) why ultimately dumping Ewing for Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley was prudent basketball thinking…

    Basically, he’d have argued that all those Knick teams were just one small Carmelo Anthony away from winning it all.

    Thats different though Z, those teams legitimately sucked and had reason to get mocked left and right. Say what you want about Melo but he is easily the best player this franchise has had since Ewing. The Knicks have made the playoffs 3 years in a row and are coming off a 54 win season where they won their division for the first time in 19 years and ended the Celtics Big 3 era by defeating them in the playoffs. This was one helluva fun season.

    To me criticizing the current front office and players as if they were the same crap that we had to watch for nearly a decade is not fair and makes no sense.

  183. BigBlueAL

    JK47:
    My MLE pipe dreams are Calderon and Barnes.I’d be really happy with either of those two.Either of those guys would be worth letting Prigioni go.

    No way this happens with the MLE. They each can get the veterans minimum of 1.4 mil. The MLE is 3 mil. What is the point of splitting it between those 2?? For an extra 100K each??

    Unless you mean use the full MLE on one of them and let Prigs go which I could see but doubt that will happen. Right now it seems to me the most logically scenario is Prigs and either Brand or KMart for the MLE. The extra couple of grand or so for either Brand or KMart could be enough more than the veterans minimum that other teams might be offering to make them choose the Knicks. Maybe Barnes can be had for a bit more than half the MLE but cant imagine Calderon, would assume a team would easily offer him the whole MLE.

  184. JK47

    BigBlueAL: No way this happens with the MLE.They each can get the veterans minimum of 1.4 mil.The MLE is 3 mil.What is the point of splitting it between those 2??For an extra 100K each??

    Unless you mean use the full MLE on one of them and let Prigs go which I could see but doubt that will happen.Right now it seems to me the most logically scenario is Prigs and either Brand or KMart for the MLE.The extra couple of grand or so for either Brand or KMart could be enough more than the veterans minimum that other teams might be offering to make them choose the Knicks.Maybe Barnes can be had for a bit more than half the MLE but cant imagine Calderon, would assume a team would easily offer him the whole MLE.

    No, I meant either/or.

  185. Z-man

    David Vertsberger: I didn’t write this article to open up discussion with you all, I have Twitter for that. I also know nothing about basketball. This much should be clear, I mean, WHY would Mike let me write for his site? He obviously will take any idiot out there.

    Frankly, what I’ve seen of your writing thus far does very little for me; regardless of whether I agree with your points or not, it’s basically all opinion and “no shit, Sherlock” stuff. Yes, it does seem that Mike K will let pretty much anybody write. Just my opinion.

  186. BigBlueAL

    JK47: No, I meant either/or.

    OK yeah I feel you. Like Marc Berman mentioned it would be alot easier for the Knicks if they didnt need to use the MLE just to give Prigs the amount of a veterans minimum. Thats why I ranted on the stupid CBA lol.

  187. JK47

    What’s up with this Bobby Brown guy from Europe? The guy was a beast in the Euro League. Maybe he’s worth a look?

  188. nicos

    max fisher-cohen:
    Felton was okay. He was acceptable. Which I think is what most people expected His one strength is his low turnovers. He surprised by putting in 36% of his 3s (about average for an NBA player) but still managed to be terribly inefficient, mostly because he is built like a pug and so has no ability to elevate and draw fouls or accelerate past guys for easy buckets. He is basically prime Chris Duhon version 1.2. A little more athletic and quicker, but not quite the defender or outside shooter. At his best, he’s worth the $4m we’re paying him, but no more than that.

    He’s really nothing like Duhon- he actually attacks the rim (for better or worse) rather than meekly dribbling into the lane and circling back out. Not only did his aggressiveness keep the option of getting the pass to the roller open far longer than Duhon ever did but it also got Chandler a ton of easy put-backs as well. Both stints where he’s been here the Knicks offense has functioned very well- they were 7th (I think) before he got traded to Denver and 3rd last year. He played a good chunk of the early part of the season with a more or less fractured thumb and was much more efficient (.553 TS%) once he came back. Is he great? No, but at least he’s average- Duhon had a really good first two months with the Knicks and has been horrible ever since.

  189. David Vertsberger Post author

    Z-man: Frankly, what I’ve seen of your writing thus far does very little for me; regardless of whether I agree with your points or not, it’s basically all opinion and “no shit, Sherlock” stuff. Yes, it does seem that Mike K will let pretty much anybody write. Just my opinion.

    Thanks for reading.

  190. jon abbey

    Z-man: Frankly, what I’ve seen of your writing thus far does very little for me; regardless of whether I agree with your points or not, it’s basically all opinion and “no shit, Sherlock” stuff. Yes, it does seem that Mike K will let pretty much anybody write. Just my opinion.

    it’s really terrible, and honestly we don’t need the columns. the discussion/posters are what makes KB, and there’s not much overlap between them and the column writers.

  191. GHenman

    JK47: What’s up with this Bobby Brown guy from Europe? The guy was a beast in the Euro League. Maybe he’s worth a look?

    We’re probably just waiting to see how the rest of the FA signings go. I’ve read some good things about him lately also. If we’ve gotten good at finding talent abroad that really mitigates the damage from trading away so many draft picks.

  192. JK47

    Z-man:
    I’d rather have Brand than Barnes.

    I was hoping the Knicks would be able to pick up Brand for the veterans minimum. Elton Brand has already made $161M in his NBA career– is he really gonna be holding out for that mid-level MLE money?

  193. massive

    Prigioni, Copeland, Papanikolaou. The Knicks have pretty good scouts for Euroleague talent. I think Bobby Brown would be a good 3rd PG.

  194. ruruland

    It’s interesting that some people associate my posts with vapid, unbridled optimism, when what I’m actually doing is trying to analyze the possibilities of fit and interaction effects.

    What did Dean Oliver tells us?

    He doesn’t believe ANY all-in-one metric is very informative, not even his own (Win Shares).

    Why? Because, he said, the vast majority of players in the league have a different value for each team and role.

    This is the guy who invented many of today’s most credible advanced statistics, develops proprietary quantitative models for NBA teams, and has spent most of his life crunching numbers.

    So, last year, was I optimistic about the signings of Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Rasheed Wallace, all of whom were derided on this board, just as Bargnani is now?

    Sure, but was I trying to convince anyone that those players were something that they weren’t?

    (You can look any of this up by searching by username and going back to last off-season’s threads)
    No, the biggest arguments I made for adding Kidd was his intelligence and how he made moving the ball contagious, how he would find Amar’e and Melo in their sweet spots and read mismatches and advantageous situations faster than anyone, how he was an underrated defender, and still shot the ball decently in spot-ups.

    All of those things turned out to be true, and for much of the season, the Knicks leveraged those skills by playing him in lineups that largely covered his weaknesses (playing him at sg) and allowed him to exert energy on defense by not being asked to create, play with double-team creators who got the defense into rotation and allowed him to pass so well, etc.

    What did I spend days arguing w/others on this board vis-avis Felton?

    I said he was a very good pick and roll player and pretty solid as a spot-up shooter who could thrive in lower usage environments.

    What people didn’t realize about Felton is that he had spent most of his career as a primary…

  195. ruruland

    Felton spent most of his career as the primary shot creator on his team. That had a tremendously negative effect on his efficiency. As we learned last year, or perhaps remembered, Felton has a tendency to settle for mid-range jumpers if asked to create late in the shot clock.

    But his Synergy profile belied his total stat line, just as it does with Bargnani, for similar reasons.

    Nicos mentioned Felton’s hand injury, the difference in efficiency before and after.

    More important, I think, was his usage before and after.

    That .553 TS post-injury was accompanied by an 18.9 usage.

    Remember how many bad shots Felton would take early in the season out of the mid-range area when the initial pnr action wasn’t there?

    Well, I think Felton and the Knicks as a team added more layers to the offense and learned to be more patient if the initial sets didn’t work, which cut down on Felton’s bad shots.

    Let’s not forget that penetration assists are real, too.

    Felton’s signing was looked at just about the same as the Bargnani trade by this board and the commentariat in general.

  196. JK47

    Ruru, I like you, man. You’re obviously a nice guy, and obviously know a lot about the game. You add a lot to the discussion here. So no disrespect.

    But I was one of the people who was against the Jason Kidd signing, because I thought giving a 3-year contract to a 39 year old was a very bad idea, mainly because 39-year olds tend to have falling-off-the-cliff problems. And lo and behold, about a third of the way through the season, Kidd did indeed fall off that cliff. By the time the playoffs rolled around the guy was a freaking disaster, which didn’t stop our coach from sending him out there for 247 excruciating minutes. If those minutes had gone to a competent player, maybe the Knicks advance past the Pacers.

    Then the guy retired, much to everybody’s relief. How exactly was this a good signing? Because he played well in November? I hate to say “I told you so,” but the Jason Kidd signing did not really work out.

  197. ruruland

    So, no, I wasn’t bringing up Bargnani’s Synergy profile to show he’s somehow comparable to Dirk or Bosh or KG as a whole, but that as a floor spreading big-man, the comparison is actually favorable for AB in a few ways.

    He’s certainly not the shooter KG, Bosh or Dirk are w/out being set up, but the Knicks won’t, hopefully, be asking AB to do a ton creating or isolating, not like he was asked to in Toronto.

  198. ruruland

    JK47:
    Ruru, I like you, man.You’re obviously a nice guy, and obviously know a lot about the game.You add a lot to the discussion here.So no disrespect.

    But I was one of the people who was against the Jason Kidd signing, because I thought giving a 3-year contract to a 39 year old was a very bad idea, mainly because 39-year olds tend to have falling-off-the-cliff problems.And lo and behold, about a third of the way through the season, Kidd did indeed fall off that cliff.By the time the playoffs rolled around the guy was a freaking disaster, which didn’t stop our coach from sending him out there for 247 excruciating minutes.If those minutes had gone to a competent player, maybe the Knicks advance past the Pacers.

    Then the guy retired, much to everybody’s relief.How exactly was this a good signing?Because he played well in November?I hate to say “I told you so,” but the Jason Kidd signing did not really work out.

    Sure, but there is little denying he made a positive contribution for most of the season, certainly at least as positive as one would assume another player would make in Kidd’s salary range.

    He was pulled off the trash heap and dusted off and turned into a quality rotation player for much of the year. Was he overused early? Totally.

  199. BigBlueAL

    jon abbey: it’s really terrible, and honestly we don’t need the columns. the discussion/posters are what makes KB, and there’s not much overlap between them and the column writers.

    I dont like bashing the writers because lord knows I would be horrible at writing columns so who am I to criticize but to your point I hardly ever read the columns anymore too, just go straight to the comments.

    Only columns I still always read are the game recaps which continue to be great and even though I have vehemently disagreed with alot of what MFC has written I like his columns and read them all the time. But again to be honest most of the times if its not a game recap I dont even realize who wrote the column unless someone in the comments specifically mentions the writer such as this column today.

  200. thenoblefacehumper

    BigBlueAL: I dont like bashing the writers because lord knows I would be horrible at writing columns so who am I to criticize but to your point I hardly ever read the columns anymore too, just go straight to the comments.

    Only columns I still always read are the game recaps which continue to be great and even though I have vehemently disagreed with alot of what MFC has written I like his columns and read them all the time.But again to be honest most of the times if its not a game recap I dont even realize who wrote the column unless someone in the comments specifically mentions the writer such as this column today.

    Yeah, I don’t post often and I still generally only read the comments (and the recaps which I do thoroughly enjoy). I didn’t read this column until I saw some of the comments about it, and I really don’t want to criticize it for the same reasons as you, but this is the kind of article that reinforces the notion that the comments are the only thing worth reading.

  201. Z

    BigBlueAL:
    To me criticizing the current front office and players as if they were the same crap that we had to watch for nearly a decade is not fair and makes no sense.

    I get that, and honestly for the most part I do agree. I liked Walsh, and I like Grunwald. I think both made a lot of decisions that have put the team on a winning path.

    And I am even one of the few pessimists around here that is somewhat intrigued by the Bargnani trade :)

    But, there is a clear through-line from Layden>Isiah>Walsh>Grunwald, and that is, obviously, Dolan’s over-riding influence on the key decisions that the team makes. Grunwald has proven himself more than competent, yet he can only exercise his abilities by finding undervalued resources and then being prudent with them financially. Walsh, too, was able to find value where none of us thought he could (Fields, Extra E, Jeffries II, etc…). Meanwhile, for all their work, we are capped out, with minimal draft picks, looking at a rebuild halfway through the 2010 contracts.

    So, yeah, I agree with you, but I also think there is validity to those that see the 2000-2015 Knicks as a continuous thread of disappointing basketball.

    BigBlueAL: Say what you want about Melo but he is easily the best player this franchise has had since Ewing.

    KB wasn’t around during the Ewing era, which is good, because you wouldn’t have liked what I’d have had to say about him, either :)

  202. BigBlueAL

    Ha, yeah I know you werent Ewing’s biggest fan. He is my favorite player ever so Im definitely bias in my opinion of him but Im well aware he wasnt obviously as good as MJ or even Olajuwon unfortunately.

    But I see some similarities in Riley’s Knick teams and the current Knicks in terms of how the main focal point of each team was Ewing and now Melo (of course both teams are polar opposites of each other but I think my point makes some sense). They both carry a pretty heavy burden for their teams and are the main lightning rod in terms of fan and media criticism. Both accepted that fact and dont shy away from it which I respect. They both also have no problems taking the responsibility of taking the big shots, rightly or wrongly lol.

  203. ruruland

    Who ranks third among big men in spot-up shooting the last 4 years?

    You guessed it. (Only checked numbers for reputed stretch forward and centers)

    1.Ryan Anderson 1.09 2.Dirk 1.06 3. Bargnani 1.035 4. Love .948 5. KG .947 6. Bosh.935 7. Lopez .89 8. Aldridge .83 (Bargnani is also ranked ahead of David West, Serge Ibaka and Carlos Boozer).

  204. Juany8

    Am I the only person who wouldn’t be excited for Matt Barnes? He’s a solid get for the mini mid level, not like there’s a lot of awesome options, but there’s a reason he keeps jumping from contender to contender every year with none making much effort to resign him. Dude is the definition of mediocre, someone you get because he’s happy to take so little money to play on big teams.

    He’s an inconsistent 3 point shooter and an average defender, the only things he does kind of well are cut and rebound, as well as pissing off the refs and other team. Because the Knicks really need more players getting technicals…. Anyways is much, much rather have brand, Barnes is an ok option considering our cap situation, but I doubt anyone will love the guy by the end of the year.

    Also since we’re still talking about Bargs as a cancer, it really has to be brought up that Andrey Blatche was THE number 1 cancerous team player in the entire league before last year in Brooklyn. If the Knicks had picked him up last year, this board would have had a fucking riot. And yet look at his season last year. Talented but underachieving players are sometimes motivated into at least being decent role players when put in a good situation more frequently than people are pretending. Nate Robinson ended up being valuable on a team that went to game 7 of the Finals, JR won freaking 6th man of the year after being a punch line his whole career, Zach Randolph is the second best player on a team that made the WCF after being utterly reviled and tossed around for nothing….

    If you’re capped out and don’t have many options of making a legit difference for your team, or even filling out the bench properly, it’s not unreasonable to take a risk on talented, underachieving players who will be in an entirely new role and situation. All he has to do is be better than Steve Novak really, and in case everyone forgot, nobody wanted him before Linsanity. Even the spurs cast him off

  205. Z-man

    Re: the writers, I at least try to read every column out of respect for the work that goes into them. Some are really thought provoking, and others, like the one above, are just “here’s my opinion, blah, blah, blah…” If David V writes another one tomorrow, I’ll give it a look and hope that he grows into the job and comes up with something more analytical and focused.

  206. Z-man

    Juany8: Also since we’re still talking about Bargs as a cancer, it really has to be brought up that Andrey Blatche was THE number 1 cancerous team player in the entire league before last year in Brooklyn. If the Knicks had picked him up last year, this board would have had a fucking riot. And yet look at his season last year. Talented but underachieving players are sometimes motivated into at least being decent role players when put in a good situation more frequently than people are pretending. Nate Robinson ended up being valuable on a team that went to game 7 of the Finals, JR won freaking 6th man of the year after being a punch line his whole career, Zach Randolph is the second best player on a team that made the WCF after being utterly reviled and tossed around for nothing…

    Exactly, great comparison between AB Knicks and AB Nets.

  207. Juany8

    ruruland: Sure, but there is little denying he made a positive contribution for most of the season, certainly at least as positive as one would assume another player would make in Kidd’s salary range.

    He was pulled off the trash heap and dusted off and turned into a quality rotation player for much of the year. Was he overused early? Totally.

    What you’re both excluding from the discussion is potential. Simply put, the Knicks had a legit chance at winning the title last year if Kidd played as well in the playoffs as he did during the mavericks run, or at least close to it. When you don’t exactly have great options, you take a risk and hope for a streak of luck. I wil agree with JK that 3 years was too long to give him, but Kidd always seemed like the kind if person who would retire rather than just stick around for the money, so it worked out ok. It was an acceptable risk to take, clippers and lakers had the same issues with their super old players who just 2-3 years ago were key cogs of championship contenders. Brooklyn will probably have the same problem, but people are still pretending Paul pierce is a good player so….

  208. Z-man

    Shifting gears, 3 guys that I think teams are gonna regret passing over are Jamaal Franklin, Isaiah Canaan and C.J. Leslie. Franklin came into the draft with the same criticisms as Shump, and I think he might develop similarly. Canaan seems like a 4″ taller version of Nate Robinson (maybe even a better shooter with less of a big mouth) and I still can’t figure out how Leslie wasn’t drafted, he’s an uber-athlete and not completely raw. I’m fine with Hardaway, though, especially since Shump and Franklin are very similar.

  209. jon abbey

    heh, I made that exact Blatche/Bargnani point here a few days back.

    very happy JR is back, he was essential for this team to have any chance of competing next year.

  210. Z-man

    jon abbey:
    heh, I made that exact Blatche/Bargnani point here a few days back.

    very happy JR is back, he was essential for this team to have any chance of competing next year.

    As usual, we think alike. :-) To be fair, though, Blatche cost the Nets absolutely nothing, so had he turned out to be a bust, there was zero opportunity cost. We have invested in Bargs and if he totally flops, it was at the cost of a potentially better opportunity. That said, I think that Bargs will play well here with a more suitable role. Like Blatche, he is a very polished offensive player. Blatche is the far better rebounder/defender, Bargs a much more versatile inside-outside scorer (in theory) and a better complement for what we have already.

  211. max fisher-cohen

    The difference between Blatche and Barngnani though is that last season, Blatche was essentially staring Europe or the D-League squarely in the eyes. He’d been amnestied and was lucky to make a roster. In other words, he’s got a lot closer to rock bottom than Bargnani is, sitting pretty with $23m still owed to him. It’s less likely that AB will be scared into digging up a new level of focus and effort like Blatche was.

    My hope for Bargnani is that he ends up similar to Copeland, whom I felt was a solid 8th man. He’ll score efficiently unlike in the recent past, but he’ll struggle to defend most anyone he’s assigned and daydream through rotations. I feel like you could have found that sort of player in the scrap heap though w/o giving up a 1st round pick, but I think he’ll be fine as long as he’s not playing more than about 15 MPG.

  212. Z-man

    mfc, I don’t buy into your AB vs. AB argument. Either the guy has the talent to improve or he doesn’t and both players are talented. I don’t get why you think Blatche had more to play for. He was still collecting a hefty salary, so no matter where he played he was getting paid nearly as much as Bargs. He is in exactly the same position that Bargnani is from a personal perspective. Both were grossly overpaid young high draft picks who were run out of town despite huge contracts. Bargnani had the added onus of being overall #1 pick. He knows he’s coming to a contender in a city that will be even tougher on him if he doesn’t put in effort and produce. Almost seems like you conveniently forgot about Blatche’s amnesty deal on purpose. I’m OK with the pessimism, but at least make fair and logical arguments.

    Re AB vs. Cope, Cope is older, slower, and shorter. Yes, he was productive, but in a very limited role. I understand that Cope would be a lot cheaper, but AB has way more upside in the short term, so long as his role is similarly limited.

  213. maxwell_3g

    max fisher-cohen:
    Felton was okay. He was acceptable. Which I think is what most people expected His one strength is his low turnovers. He surprised by putting in 36% of his 3s (about average for an NBA player) but still managed to be terribly inefficient, mostly because he is built like a pug and so has no ability to elevate and draw fouls or accelerate past guys for easy buckets. He is basically prime Chris Duhon version 1.2. A little more athletic and quicker, but not quite the defender or outside shooter. At his best, he’s worth the $4m we’re paying him, but no more than that.

    built like a pug. lol. I do think that you are a little harsh on him. he was much better than duhon ever was. he also brings a fighting attitude that I think is important for this team. I would be happy if he fought a little less with the refs though

  214. jon abbey

    max fisher-cohen:
    The difference between Blatche and Barngnani though is that last season, Blatche was essentially staring Europe or the D-League squarely in the eyes. He’d been amnestied and was lucky to make a roster. In other words, he’s got a lot closer to rock bottom than Bargnani is, sitting pretty with $23m still owed to him. It’s less likely that AB will be scared into digging up a new level of focus and effort like Blatche was.

    actually you could make this argument in the exact opposite direction, since Blatche would be getting his $25M or so from Washington without even having to play in the league. he could have gone home and played video games all day and still collected it.

  215. Ted Nelson

    David, if you don’t want to provoke a discussion I am not sure why you are writing for a blog or defensively responding to every comment that critiques your article. And get off the high horse, man, it’s unbecoming. Mike let me write on here too.

    People are giving you their honest opinions of your writing. You don’t have to take action on everyone’s opinions, but you also don’t have to lash out at everyone who doesn’t think you are the greatest Knicks writer ever. Take a look at what people are saying. If you actually care to improve as a journalist, maybe see where you can improve based on that feedback. If you don’t care to improve, so be it. The great thing about being young, though, is that you have lot of time to improve. We live in a sort of teen fame society where everyone wants to be great at something from day 1 because guys like LeBron, Zuckerberg, and pop stars seem to be. Most things take a lot of work to get great at.

  216. Ted Nelson

    re: the Blatche comparison
    Bargnani doesn’t really have to get better. He just has to get healthy. It would be great if he does get better. He can be an asset without getting any better, though.

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