Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hope

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Patrick Gallagher. He's a playwright with a day job and has been a Knick fan for 25 years. He's not sure which has brought him the most misery.]

“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It’s got no use on the inside. You’d better get used to that idea.”

Red Redding, The Shawshank Redemption

 

Every year around the summer solstice, Knick fans indulge in their long-running tradition of creating outlandish, implausible trade and draft scenarios that transform the Knicks from playoff outcasts to title favorites. It is a curious tradition, in that most traditions involve good memories filled with pleasantries like family and cake, or solemn, obsequious routines filled with deep meaning that connect us to our forbearers. Knick rumor mill tradition, on the other hand, is filled only with unrealistic pipe dreams (see: signing Michael Jordan, trading Michael Doleac for Kobe Bryant, James Dolan taking a sabbatical to play with The Eagles) that lead inevitably to crushing disappointment. No rational person would choose to subject themselves to this once, let alone every summer of their post-pubescent lives.

And yet, in the wake of Carmelo’s opt out, we find ourselves here again. Every third tweet recapitulates a new trade rumor that nets Phil Jackson and company Chandler Parsons, or the Bulls’ two first round picks, or Kobe Bryant and the Lakers first rounder, or even the Cavaliers number one overall pick. Insidiously, each of these rumors carries with it a certain plausibility: The Rockets/Bulls/Lakers/Cavs need to shed salary to add ‘Melo, why not shed that salary right onto the Knicks’ cap? After all the Knicks will happily take your flotsam, as long as you throw in a sweetener or two. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Right? Am I right? Tell me I’m…

Sorry, chief. Despite the litany of click-bait headlines, there is almost no compelling reason for any team to give away any valuable asset to the Knicks to complete a sign and trade for Carmelo Anthony. The most plausible scenario right now seems to be Melo to the Bulls. Chicago can clear the cap space to offer Melo a near max-deal, but both Melo and Chicago would probably be happier with a sign & trade the could net Melo more money and net Chicago more years with Melo under contract. The last rumor I saw was Boozer, Dunleavy, and picks 16 and 19 this year and Sacramento’s top 10 protected in 2015 for Carmelo Anthony. Sounds somewhat equitable, right?

There are two huge problems with believing in that proposal. First, it ignores the timeline of events required to sign Melo. Melo is not allowed to receive proposals from teams until July 1st. The draft is June 26. In most cases, especially mid first round picks, it is much easier to move picks pre-draft than post draft, especially for the purposes of clearing salary. If Chicago is hell-bent on clearing the cap space to sign Melo, which they should be, their most rational action would be to trade their first rounders this year on draft day for future picks and cash (which they’d then use to cover the theoretical cost of amnestying Boozer). Given the strength of this draft, this appears unquestionably achievable.

This leads to problem two: Once the Bulls have officially created the cap space to offer Melo a near max-deal, they have all of the leverage in any sign and trade negotiations, assuming Melo decides that he wants to be a Bull. And this is how free agency recruiting works. Before there is any discussion of a sign and trade, Chicago will get Carmelo to commit to the franchise. Commitment comes first. That’s how it worked with the big three in Miami, that’s how it will work with Melo. Once the commitment’s in place, Chicago can call up the Knicks and tell them, “Melo is going to sign with us. You have two choices: You can either facilitate a sign and trade in which you get Boozer, Dunleavy, and a second rounder or two, or we can amnesty Boozer and sign him on our own.” This is not a haul worthy of Anthony Carter, let alone Carmelo Anthony. But it is the most likely outcome.

No matter who acquires Melo that will be the story of a sign and trade. No acquiring team will make the Knicks an offer before they are assured that Melo is coming, and once Melo is coming the acquiring team has all of the leverage. Assuming that team is a rational actor (see: not secretly owned by James Dolan), the only chance the Knicks have of getting a decent return like the one outlined above is if Carmelo Anthony tells two teams he will sign with whichever one can get the Knicks to agree to a max contract sign and trade first. That’s a circumstance I’ve never heard of in my entire life. It’s also the one most of you reading this hope against hope will come to pass

I get it, I really do. It’s so hard to see a player of Melo’s caliber let go for pennies on the dollar or nothing at all, especially after Dolan & Co. gave up literally half of a young, improving, above .500 roster and draft picks galore to acquire him. It’s not just hard; it’s unfair. It’s unfair that this has to happen to this team yet again, who since they traded away the 15 year heart and soul of their franchise for a guy who may have allegedly been shtupped by Sarah Palin have been on the wrong side of virtually every trade they have made, who have acquired potential star after potential star only to see them felled one after another by terrible roster management, brittle knees, or an untreatable Vaseline addiction. For once can’t we be on the winning side of a trade? If we can’t have a star, can’t we at least have the bounty of assets such a player commands? If we can’t be good, can we at least have hope?

***

This seeming elimination of even the slightest rational possibility of hope is truly the greatest crime perpetrated on Knicks fans by the team’s maladroit management. Fan bases of professional sports teams can only sustain interest if their team is winning (unless you’re a Heat fan with a dinner reservation) or if the team has a plausible path towards contending; that is, if the fans have hope.

For 15 years, Knick rosters have consisted of retread, underachieving or declining veterans. Draft pick after draft pick has been traded away, for very little or in the case of Andrea Bargnani outright negative return. This is why Knick fans are so prone to overvaluing serviceable but hardly extraordinary players like Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., or Nate Robinson, who happen to be homegrown (I was convinced Frank Williams would be a professional point guard for fifteen years…he played 86 career NBA games). This is also why many Knicks fans were so distraught when the team chose not to re-sign Jeremy Lin, a player who, for all his flaws, felt like a fount of untapped potential at the time. He raised (perhaps illogically) our perception of the team’s ceiling. For a brief time, the Knicks were not only good, but also had room to become even better.

With that pathway seemingly gone, it’s no wonder Knick fans are back to their old habits. Free agency invites wild speculation. But what’s so striking about this version is its lack of ambition. Yes, there will always be morons who think we can somehow turn Bargs, Shump and a 2022 1st into Russell Westbrook, but the most common free agency rumors smart Knick fans currently indulge in are so, well, modest. Getting a couple mid-round draft picks and Mike Dunleavy does not turn the Knicks into a competitive team, or a team with robust growth capacity. Even the Lakers-based proposal Dan Litvin detailed at The Cauldron earlier this week centers around acquiring a 75 year old Kobe Bryant with a quantum thin Achilles tendon who makes $25 million the season after next; hardly the stuff titles are built on.

And yet the delusion persists. Well for the love of God stop it. Don’t do it to yourself Knicks fan. Accept that to root for this team means there is no hope. We are as far from a title as Andy Dufresne was from Zihuatanejo. It’s just a fecal pipe dream.

I mean, Mexico is way the hell down there, and you’re in here. And that’s the way it is.

148 comments on “Hope

  1. Farfa

    Ouch. Reality hurts.

    Then again, I’m ok even letting Melo go for nothing, as long as Phil puts in place a coherent plan and Dolan doesn’t meddle, so… bye Melo.

  2. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

    Getting a pair of mid-round picks can be a path to success if you don’t waste the picks on “projects,” “upside,” or “fit.”

    Draft productive players and tailor your team to their strengths. Don’t choose players who require significant development. Choose players who are already good shooters or good rebounders or good defenders. Stop trying to turn the proverbial h0 into a housewife, or something a little less misogynistic.

  3. Brian Cronin

    But as we’ve discussed for the last couple of weeks, the Bulls cannot clear a “near-Max” salary (which I would define as at least $20 million) for Melo without giving up Taj Gibson. They can clear an “in the ballpark of the max” salary (roughly $16 mllion) for Melo by just giving up Dunleavy and Boozer (and the picks), but not a near Max salary.

    So then the question becomes “How important is it to Melo that he get a near-Max salary and how important is it to the Bulls to avoid trading Gibson?” If the answer to both of those questions is “very,” then the Knicks would once again have some reasonable leverage.

  4. chrisk06811

    I get your point on the bulls having the leverage, but I think it’s very likely Melo’s answer to them is, I want to play for the Bulls but make the max $$ that I can only get from the Knicks. Therefore, if you want me, you have to sign and trade for me. He only has that leverage if the Bulls think the Knicks will pay him that. Which I guess they may only be willing to do for a sign and trade.

    I also think the Bulls would prefer trading Boozer to amnestying him. Because, once they sign Melo to all this $$, they might want to have that amnesty in their back pocket.

    So, I’m not saying we can get a shitload in a sign and trade, but I think we can at least get a 1.

  5. prezs2reprsntme

    A good sobering column. My only beef — There is actual reason for the bulls to include first rounders in a theoretical sign and trade with NYK instead of to another team before hand — because reinsdorf may be opposed to paying boozer through amnesty.

    Surely no team will take Boozer in a trade outside of a S/T with the knicks. And if the knicks don’t play ball with the S/T, then they pretty much have to amnesty boozer, which means Reinsdorf has to pay him.

    In light of that, it doesn’t seem entirely unrealistic for the knicks asking for a first rounder to take on boozer, no? Reinsdorf is who he is. He could change for this month perhaps, but it’s doubtful.

  6. prezs2reprsntme

    Because, once they sign Melo to all this $$, they might want to have that amnesty in their back pocket.

    Amnesty wouldn’t apply to Melo, since his deal is post new CBA.

  7. DRed

    I get it, I really do. It’s so hard to see a player of Melo’s caliber let go for pennies on the dollar or nothing at all

    Actually, I’m not sure you do get it. If we let a player of Melo’s caliber go for pennies on the dollar or for nothing at all (stupid sexy flanders), it’s a hopeful sign, because it means our front office is doing things differently than it has for the last 15 years.

  8. Farfa

    Choose players who are already good shooters or good rebounders or good defenders. Stop trying to turn the proverbial h0 into a housewife, or something a little less misogynistic.

    Yes. More of this for our Knicks. I’m already facepalming at the thought of someone drafting LaVine with a lottery pick.

    I get your point on the bulls having the leverage, but I think it’s very likely Melo’s answer to them is, I want to play for the Bulls but make the max $$ that I can only get from the Knicks. Therefore, if you want me, you have to sign and trade for me. He only has that leverage if the Bulls think the Knicks will pay him that. Which I guess they may only be willing to do for a sign and trade.

    Color me skeptical about that. I think this market (and the last three NBA Champions) made it clear that to enhance your chances to win you have to leave something on the table to help your team recruiting a decent supporting cast. Why should Melo only want the max from Chicago? For financial reasons, ok. But for sports reason? Hasn’t he really learned anything? Also: how can he be sure Rose won’t be a shell of his former self, a-la Terrell Brandon? Will he really cripple Chicago’s cap? If so, I’d be double happy in seeing him go away.

  9. Brian Cronin

    Surely no team will take Boozer in a trade outside of a S/T with the knicks.

    Utah just took on more salary for worse first rounders last season, so I think Chicago can easily get rid of Boozer if it pairs the two picks with him.

  10. Farfa

    Surely no team will take Boozer in a trade outside of a S/T with the knicks

    . Hinkie would certainly be more than happy to take Boozer, a first and cash for a second rounder.

  11. KnickfaninNJ

    I agree with most of the points above, but the title was just “Hope”, not specifying what to hope for. Having watched the Knicks for many years, I think my standards for a good season are lower than Patrick Gallagher. I suspect is saying there is no hope of a Knicks title contender. That’s true, at least for the next two or three years. But I just hope for a team that makes the playoffs, is quite competitive in the first round and is intelligently coached and managed. If this happened next year, that would be great, but I am definitely hoping it happens is season’s two and three of Phil Jackson’s management. I think it’s still reasonable to hope for that.

    How could this happen in the first year? Melo could sign for less than max, for example. That’s definitely been known to happen in the league. He has family reasons to do so, and, for most people, that plays a role. Amare could actually stay healthy a whole season. Or, we could start actually playing good team ball with Chandler playing well. For years two and three, the Knicks should be out of cap hell, and that should give them a boost. So if your hopes are modest, there are reasons to hope.

  12. Brian Cronin

    Amnesty wouldn’t apply to Melo, since his deal is post new CBA.

    I believe he is saying in case they want to use it for another player, but yeah, in the end, it’s the same difference since I think Boozer might be the only guy playing on his pre-CBA contract right now (Rose is ineligible since he signed an extension post-lockout).

  13. prezs2reprsntme

    Utah just took on more salary for worse first rounders last season, so I think Chicago can easily get rid of Boozer if it pairs the two picks with him.

    shit, didn’t think of pairing them. IDK how probable it is, but all it takes is one team, so…

  14. Brian Cronin

    The thing is that there are so many teams out there who are just collecting cap space and waiting to rebuild that there is almost always someone willing to be the facilitator to pick up a couple of picks. Daryl Morey famously did that for years and now a lot of teams are trying to copy him. So if you have first rounders you’re willing to deal, there will be a team that will use their cap space to pick them up.

  15. KnickfaninNJ

    I get it, I really do. It’s so hard to see a player of Melo’s caliber let go for pennies on the dollar or nothing at all

    The trouble is that once a player if fully paid to his actual dollar value to a team, then if he walks away you aren’t actually losing anything. Instead of having a $20M a year player you have $20M a year more to spend (cap considerations aside). That’s a fair deal if you can use the money to hire someone else. For the Knicks, they can’t use the money for hiring someone else until a year later because of the cap, so it hurts if he take free agency and goes, but it only hurts for one year.

  16. Donnie Walsh

    Since I don’t know much about Patrick, I prefer to put weight into the opinions of Ephus, who has spilled more ink on this subject in the last few threads. He believes the timeline is not a big factor, and that the Knicks can (and must) receive compensation from the Bulls.

  17. prezs2reprsntme

    @brian for facilitating that kinda deal, a team (lets say for thought exercise purposes) would have to send over the value of booz + the 2 picks? Is that right? I’m no good on the technical stuff

  18. Farfa

    not really prezs, if the other team is under the cap enough can absorb it for just a second rounder and/or the rights to some stashed foreign player.

  19. JK47

    I’ve been saying all along that I can’t figure out a scenario where the Bulls draft for the Knicks this year, with the picks coming back to NY in a sign-and-trade. I take Melo at his word when he says he really wants to explore free agency– this is a guy that really likes having his ass kissed and really likes being the center of attention. He’s not going to decide right now that he wants the Bulls and the Bulls only– he’s going to hear Pat Riley’s pitch, and the Bulls’ pitch, and Phil Jackson’s pitch, and he’s going to be all over ESPN for the next few days and he’s going to be right where he loves to be the most, at the center of all the swirling drama. So I would be very surprised if he has some wink-wink deal in place with Chicago by Thursday, and the Bulls are drafting for the Knicks.

    If I’m NYK, I start focusing my attention on Mirotic.

  20. ephus

    Let me retort:

    Assuming that team is a rational actor (see: not secretly owned by James Dolan), the only chance the Knicks have of getting a decent return like the one outlined above is if Carmelo Anthony tells two teams he will sign with whichever one can get the Knicks to agree to a max contract sign and trade first. That’s a circumstance I’ve never heard of in my entire life.

    But that is essentially what Carmelo Anthony did on his way out of Denver. When the Knicks balked at Denver’s demands, Carmelo was asked whether he would sign a max extension with Denver or the Nets, rather than wait to the off-season to sign with the Knicks. Carmelo made it clear that he wanted a deal immediately, and would not wait (because there was a lockout and new CBA looming).

    I can see Carmelo Anthony saying that he would rather play for the Rockets at 4 years/96 million than for the Bulls at 4 years/69 million.

    Once the commitment’s in place, Chicago can call up the Knicks and tell them, “Melo is going to sign with us. You have two choices: You can either facilitate a sign and trade in which you get Boozer, Dunleavy, and a second rounder or two, or we can amnesty Boozer and sign him on our own.”

    As Brian noted above, if the Knicks say no, the Bulls cannot offer Carmelo Anthony more than $13 million by amnestying Boozer. They can get the offer to $16 million by dumping Dunleavy for no returning salary. They could get to $17.5 million by also dumping Snell for no returning salary.

    If that is not enough for Carmelo, then the Bulls would have to ditch real assets to increase their offer: Jimmy Butler ($2.1 million) or Taj Gibson ($8 million). And Melo might be less inclined to go to Chicago if Butler and Gibson are not going to be part of the supporting cast.

    In all scenarios, the Bulls cannot afford to bring in the #16 or #19 pick this year. So they either must pick Euro stashes or trade away.

    Hope…

  21. Brian Cronin

    not really prezs, if the other team is under the cap can absorb it for just a second rounder and/or the rights to some stashed foreign player.

    And the future second rounder can be a fake pick (like “you only get it if it is in the #60 pick” or whatever).

  22. JK47

    Although presumably the Bulls could just draft whoever they want at 16 and 19 as a contingency plan if Melo doesn’t work out, and then just offer up whoever they draft at those slots at 16 and 19 in the S&T. I would imagine the Knicks would take just about any reasonable player drafted at those positions, if for no other reason than to move them for other pieces later.

  23. Farfa

    Although presumably the Bulls could just draft whoever they want at 16 and 19 as a contingency plan if Melo doesn’t work out, and then just offer up whoever they draft at those slots at 16 and 19 in the S&T. I would imagine the Knicks would take just about any reasonable player drafted at those positions, if for no other reason than to move them for other pieces later.

    No no no no please no (not a knock on you JK). If the Bulls draft two high-risk, high-reward prospects I don’t want them here. Moreover, the Bulls know they can’t make that mistake. They have to know on draft night if the guys they choose are the apples of the other team’s eye.

  24. Brian Cronin

    I do believe that the Bulls would most likely “have” to have a deal in place by Draft night. The issue, then, for me is, well, they don’t have much time to make this deal then, right? The clock is ticking and I haven’t heard anything imminent about them dealing the picks. Perhaps we’ll see them deal them for future picks. That would make some sense, as well. Gives them time to wait to work out a deal with the Knicks.

  25. Brian Cronin

    Here’s an interesting trade offer for the Bulls – offer #16 and 19 to Sacramento in exchange for Sacramento lifting the restrictions on the pick they owe the Bulls. Sacramaento could then use those picks as part of the deals they’re planning on to help them get Rondo and pair him with his buddies Josh Smith, Rudy Gay and Boogie Cousins (with the thought process that they are confident that they will be improving and thus they will be giving the Bulls the pick anyways because they won’t be in the top ten picks). Then the Bulls would be able to offer the Knicks’ Sacramento’s now-unprotected pick along with Boozer. That’d be a really good offer for Melo.

  26. Farfa

    I’d certainly take the Sacramento unprotected pick, just to double my joy in watching them selfcombust with that ill-assembled roster. Seriously, Rondo-McLemore-Gay-Smith-Cousins? Thibs-style defenses would feast on them.

  27. Frank

    There are a teams who might (as a matter of principle) be interested in picking up 1st rounders for cap space — however, I’m sort of thinking Philly is not one of them if Boozer is the salary. Philly just came off one of the most overt tanking jobs in memory. They already have 2 first round picks and 100 second round picks. WTF are they going to do with 2 more 1st round picks? They already have enough assets to move up in this draft if they want, and their whole team is basically expiring or kids on their rookie contracts. I think it’d be an extremely tough sell to an owner and fan base to outright tank 2 consecutive seasons.

    Meanwhile is there precedent for a team taking on $17MM in salary to get non-lottery picks? $5-6 MM sure, but 27% of your total salary cap? I remember when Dan Gilbert, fresh from the Decision, absorbed Luke Walton’s contract to get the Lakers’ 1st rounder, and people were talking about how that was a very high cost to pay for a non-lottery pick. The GSW/Utah trade was for 2 Unprotected picks + 2nd rounders.

    If you look at the teams who actually have a lot of cap space, it’s just hard to find a team that absorbing Boozer’s contract would make sense for:

    1) Philly -see above
    2) Phoenix – is on the verge of a breakout, has a very competitive team. They already have 100 picks. There’s no way they’re using cap space on Carlos Boozer — they’re going to try and improve their team for this coming year.
    3) Cleveland – obviously in win-now mode
    4) Lakers – forget it — they’re semi-looking into LBJ+Melo scenarios — if they end up with Carlos Boozer they’ll be a revolt in LA.
    5) Orlando? I guess maybe. No one seems to care whether they are a winning team or not.
    6) Utah – I guess maybe except they literally just did this with Golden State, and they’d blow all their cap space this year (Assuming a match on Gordon Hayward)
    7) Charlotte/Atlanta – no way a playoff team would do this

    S&T with us seems more…

  28. DRed

    “The Miami Heat have started the process of courting LeBron James with an aggressive attempt to move up in Thursday’s NBA draft with their target being former UConn point guard Shabazz Napier, league sources said.”

    L
    O
    L

  29. Farfa

    WTF are they going to do with 2 more 1st round picks?

    Don’t know, tank another year while quietly drafting FOUR more possibly good rookies, Embiid first of all? I would certainly do it. Also remember that Hinkie said it clearly: it was a two-year plan. That said, if 4 first round picks aren’t enough to get Love…

  30. pablopilot

    This is a fun exercise. Can anyone remember ever once seeing a speculated-upon trade from these blogs actually materializing as speculated (or even close)? Excluding rumored deals already reported on… occasionally those do pan out…

  31. Farfa

    Frank, this is a very deep draft. 16 and 19 this year is like 8 and 11 most other years. The Walton contract was seen as a high price because the Lakers were the clear cut buyer, whereas in a sense in a NY-CHI S&T there is no clear buyer or seller.

  32. stratomatic

    As far as I am concerned, Melo is an overvalued asset at almost any salary above 15m. So I’d take back almost anything that was fairly valued (including nothing at all) rather than overpay him. Once you overpay for a player, you are immediately in a hole as far as winning a championship goes. In a climate where some players are willing to take less than they are worth in order to win and a few players (James, Durant…) are worth way more than the max, you cannot overpay players and expect to win (even if they are good players).

  33. prezs2reprsntme

    Meanwhile is there precedent for a team taking on $17MM in salary to get non-lottery picks?

    Frank, Utah took on BIedrins, Jefferson, and and Rush. 9 mil, 11 mil, and 4 mil…24 mil! So there is definitely some kinda possibility here…though I do agree it is pretty much up to PHI or ORL to do it. If they don’t, IDK who else would. Certainly not CLE, LAL, or Utah.

  34. GoNyGoNYGo

    I will disagree with anyone that thinks Melo leaving the Knicks has a silver lining. To those of you who say “let’s start over”, I respond, “With what?”. We have too few picks and with a gutted roster we can’t attract free agents.

    The best play, by far, is to resign Melo at WHATEVER COST.

    I don’t think the odds are great but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that he leaves. I hope that Phil’s plan resonated with Carmelo. The Knicks need Melo to be relevant over the next two years at least.

  35. DRed

    I mean, I even like Napier. But he’s going to be the reason Lebron stays? That’s insane.

  36. stratomatic

    The best play, by far, is to resign Melo at WHATEVER COST.

    That’s the best play if you are trying to remain relevant now and are happy remaining a playoff team with virtually no chance of winning it all over the next 5 years. It’s the worst play if you are trying to win a championship or bust.

    It will be extremely difficult to construct a championship caliber team within 5 years if Melo leaves for nothing. But I’ll talk extremely difficult over virtually impossible any day.

    That’s why so many people are hoping we can pull off a S&T that nets some good assets (either picks or a decent young player). It would quicken the pace and make it more likely. It will still be very tough, but it’s tough for anyone unless you start with Durant or James.

  37. Frank

    I think Melo is staying and will come back on a 5 year deal for around $100-110MM total. I would prefer something closer to 5/90 but I think $20-22MM/year is most likely. And overall I’m ok with that. He might be slightly overpaid at that number but I don’t think it would be a death knell for the franchise given how much the cap is expected to go up the next few years.

    From Melo’s point of view – even before the Knicks sucked to high heaven this past year, Melo said he was going to opt out. This has been the plan all along — and a plan that frankly makes sense for him, which is to get his last long-term contract now.

    In terms of all the chatter about talking to people in Chicago, Houston, wherever? It’s just due diligence, which he should be doing. Other than Lebron opting out, none of the actual facts on the ground have changed – just the narrative from the media.

    Now that said – if Melo DOES want out – the very bottom offer I would take from Chicago would be Melo for Boozer, Dunleavy, #16, some 2nd rounders, and $3.2MM in cash so Chicago can’t go buying picks next year. Naturally I’d love both 1st rounders, Mirotic, Butler, and a pot of gold, but there might just be a team out there willing to take Boozer for 2 first-rounders, and a deal like this would be significantly better for Chicago than having to give up both 1sts, and would make Melo $uper happy. Even this deal would be much better for us than just letting him walk for nothing unless Phil knows something in advance about Pau Gasol or another FA willing to come here for MLE-type $ that would be available to us if Melo left without any NYK compensation.

  38. Frank

    I mean, I even like Napier. But he’s going to be the reason Lebron stays? That’s insane.

    It might be that he likes Napier but also that he can’t stand Chalmers and Cole.

  39. GoNyGoNYGo

    That’s the best play if you are trying to remain relevant now and are happy remaining a playoff team with virtually no chance of winning it all over the next 5 years. It’s the worst play if you are trying to win a championship or bust.

    Yeah. I disagree totally. What you need to win is a well balanced team with heart, one super-star and a one or two very good side-kicks. Replace the combined Amar’e and Bargnani’s salary (total $35.5M) with the right 3 players and the Knicks could have the makings of a team that could compete.

  40. stratomatic

    From Melo’s point of view – even before the Knicks sucked to high heaven this past year, Melo said he was going to opt out.

    Agreed, but no one considered it a risk he would leave until the Kicks did suck to high heaven and he started talking about winning being the most important thing. Then it became feasible.

    I said it when the trade went down and I’ll say it again. We aren’t going to win a title if Melo is our highest paid player making the max (or in this case 20m a year to start). In 5 years we are going to be having the same debates about the original trade, resigning him, his true value, etc… The only risk to my projection is that Jackson can get through to him in a way that Karl and D’Antoni could not and Woodson did not even try. I just don’t see it. He plays the way he plays because he thinks it’s the best way for him to play. He does not consider that the best way for him to play is not necessarily the best way for the team to play.

  41. GoNyGoNYGo

    He plays the way he plays because he thinks it’s the best way for him to play. He does not consider that the best way for him to play is not necessarily the best way for the team to play.

    Again I disagree. Melo is willing to change and upped his game this season. The Knicks needed him to rebound more and he upped his total rebounding avg from 6.9 to 8.1 per game. He did whatever was asked of him. It’s not his fault that Woodson’s idea of offense was “give the ball to Melo and get out of the way”.

  42. Frank

    I said it when the trade went down and I’ll say it again. We aren’t going to win a title if Melo is our highest paid player making the max (or in this case 20m a year to start). In 5 years we are going to be having the same debates about the original trade, resigning him, his true value, etc… The only risk to my projection is that Jackson can get through to him in a way that Karl and D’Antoni could not and Woodson did not even try. I just don’t see it. He plays the way he plays because he thinks it’s the best way for him to play. He does not consider that the best way for him to play is not necessarily the best way for the team to play.

    Pre-post disclaimer – I am totally fine with us sending Melo out in a S&T.

    Re: the above – a max Melo contract comes out to ~$26MM/year. A 5 year 100-110MM/deal could be structured in such a way as to help the team sign players in 2015 or whenever Phil wants to make his move. Again – at $20MM cap number in 2015 would equal about 30% of the cap (if it indeed turns out to be 65-66MM), which equates to a 17.6MM number last year. Assuming Melo doesn’t fall off a cliff, that is not a cap-crippling number IMHO.

    Another thing to consider – in 2010 we had Donnie Walsh on board as well as a respected coach (at the time) in Mike D’Antoni. We struck out on our top choices. Going into the 2015 FA market (which has fewer marquee players than 2010’s did), who’s to say it wouldn’t happen again? I’d much rather go into a FA recruiting session with Phil, Fisher, and Melo than with Phil, Fisher, and THJ.

    And re: Melo’s inability to change – they all said the same things about Kobe and Michael. And I think Melo has tried to change his game. He wasn’t the one calling timeouts to set up the 47th wing iso in a row.

  43. stratomatic

    Again I disagree. Melo is willing to change and upped his game this season. The Knicks needed him to rebound more and he upped his total rebounding avg from 6.9 to 8.1 per game. He did whatever was asked of him. It’s not his fault that Woodson’s idea of offense was “give the ball to Melo and get out of the way”.

    This is a fallacy coming from the media. His rebounds were up because he played more minutes per game last year than he usually does. His rebounds per 36 minutes were 7.5. That’s above his average in recent years and good for a SF, but not his all time top. It was also probably helped at the margin by playing a lot of games with Bargnani at PF/C and without Chandler who was hurt. I have no issue with his rebounding. I also think he’s capable of improving his skill level. He’s a much better 3 point shooter now than he used to be. But with that he’s starting to get to the FT line a tad less often as he’s getting older (don’t blame him for that either), so his overall efficiency hasn’t jumped as much as it might have.

    The real issue is shot selection, holding the ball too long before making his move, average defense at best, taking possessions off, and not making enough plays for his teammates given that he’s often the focus of the defense. I haven’t seen too many players like that change their stripes.

  44. Hubert

    I’ve never been one to criticize an author on this site. Never said a bad word to a young writer you guys were trying to bring along, and in fact I’ve encouraged them as much as possible.

    But this article really pisses me off. And since it’s tone was more than a little “I’m smarter than you” (e.g. “sorry, chief”), I’m not going to be shy about saying so.

    1. For one thing, the only thing more annoying that reading idiot Knicks fans tweet impossible trade ideas is reading someone be condescending towards realistic ideas while not having his facts straight. And as Brian Cronin pointed out already, Mr. Gallagher’s premise is not sound. It’s based entirely on this statement:

    Chicago can clear the cap space to offer Melo a near max-deal, but both Melo and Chicago would probably be happier with a sign & trade the could net Melo more money and net Chicago more years with Melo under contract.

    Probably be happier?

    The Bulls have to gut their team (including trading Gibson & Butler) to offer Melo close to what he can get from us in a sign and trade (4 years, $96 million). Melo would have to sacrifice around $20-25 million to go to a Bulls team that isn’t just him, Noah, Rose, an MLE player, a BAE player, and assorted flotsam and jetsam.

    So you think Melo and Chicago would “probably be happier” avoiding that? No, they are probably desperate to avoid that. So the idea that

    Once the Bulls have officially created the cap space to offer Melo a near max-deal, they have all of the leverage in any sign and trade negotiations, assuming Melo decides that he wants to be a Bull. And this is how free agency recruiting works.

    is nonsense….

  45. stratomatic

    Frank,

    Striking out in the FA market is not only a risk, I’m not sure I like many of the players that will be available next year! It’s at least even money I am going to be whining about a FA signing we make next year regardless of whether we have Melo or not.

    But that doesn’t change my philosophy. My philosophy on team building is that you should try to accumulate as many fairly priced and bargain assets as you can and then try to roll them up into better players at fair or bargain prices over time. The only time it’s OK to overpay is if you are already a serious contender and believe the final piece to the puzzle is available. Then you can pull the trigger and overpay. If the Bulls or Rockets overpaid for Melo it wouldn’t be a disaster. Both teams would have a solid top 3. For the Knicks it might be a disaster.

    I think Daryl Morey, Danny Ainge, RC Buford, and a few others generally take that approach. Sometimes they make mistakes or get a bad break with injuries, but that’s the general approach. It takes patience if you are forced to start from zero because of an injury, and old core, or you are taking over a mismanaged team. But once you get rolling you can get there. That’s what I am hoping Jackson is going to do. If there are no good value FAs available next year, screw it, buy or trade for picks and build bottom up for awhile.

  46. Hubert

    …because the Bulls can’t get to that point. To create the cap space, they have to create a team that Melo will probably not want to join. To maintain a team that is attractive to Melo, they need him to sacrifice $20-$25 million on what could be the last pay day of his career.

    But thanks for telling us how free agency recruiting works. Really needed to come to KB to learn that.

    2. I know KB has (and seeks to attain) a wider audience than just those of us who post, but it’s kind of frustrating when you publish something that is so obviously aimed at a different audience. For example:

    The last rumor I saw was Boozer, Dunleavy, and picks 16 and 19 this year and Sacramento’s top 10 protected in 2015 for Carmelo Anthony. Sounds somewhat equitable, right?

    There are two huge problems with believing in that proposal. First, it ignores the timeline of events required to sign Melo. Melo is not allowed to receive proposals from teams until July 1st. The draft is June 26.

    Sure, maybe that guy on twitter who you’re trying to reach doesn’t know this, but we’ve been talking about this in your comments section all week. This is not news to your core audience, yet the author acts like he’s revealing a big secret to all of us.

    Sorry, KB editors. I love you guys, but this one rubbed me the wrong way and I just wanted to express why.

  47. SJK

    If we’re talking about signing Melo long term vs letting him go, we need to look at who we could realistically surround him with in the 2015 off season:

    We’re gonna have 5 players under contract after 2015: Melo, JR, Ray, THJ, Prigs. Of these guys, we obviously want to start and give big minutes to Melo. I’d be pretty uncomfortable starting THJ unless he significantly improves on D this year (unlikely but who knows). So that leaves Prigs, JR, and THJ coming off the bench (maybe spot minutes for Ray, if any at all). In the best case scenario we are able to sign Patty Mills this off-season as our back-up or starting PG and re-sign Cole Aldrich.

    That would leave us heading into 2015 with roughly 40 million in cap space (assuming Melo’s deal is around 20-22 mil/year and Mills signs for the mini-mid) and needs at the 1, 2, 3, and 5, and bench.

    Looking at the 2015 pool, I’d say Dragic and Brook Loopez are maybe the most realistic options. Signing both of those guys would probably take up at least 30 mil, probably closer to 35. You could probably get away with playing Mills at the 1 and Dragic at the 2. That would leave us with a roster as follows, plus our 2015 draft pick:

    1 – Mills / Prigs / Ray
    2 – Dragic / THJ / JR
    3 –
    4 – Melo
    5 – Brook / Cole

    Add to that our 2015 draft pick, and we then have ~5 million to go after with an obvious need for a wing defender. We could feasibly sign someone like Danny Green, Corey Brewer, or Chase Budinger, or maybe we decided to keep Shump. Assuming we could get one of those guys, the question becomes is the following, best case scenario roster good enough to win a championship?

    1 – Mills / Prigs / Ray
    2 – Dragic / THJ
    3 – Brewer, Green, Shumpert / JR
    4 – Melo / Brandon Bass? Darrel Arthur?
    5 – Brook / Cole
    2015 draft pick

    If you think so, then sure, re-sign Melo. If not, better to let him walk and go after Durant in 2016.

  48. Donnie Walsh

    Meanwhile is there precedent for a team taking on $17MM in salary to get non-lottery picks?

    Hahaha. C’mon Frank, you know Isiah set a precedent for everything right?!

    (In this case he purchased the Renaldo Balkman pick for approximately $30 million (the $15 million due to Jalen Rose + the 100% luxury tax Dolan had to pay on it!)

  49. BigBlueAL

    According to Chris Broussard Durant wants to sign with the Knicks in the summer of 2016 so cant wait!! Also Melo and Lebron could both go to Houston this summer which would apparently mean James Harden to the Knicks in a sign and trade!!

    God I hate this time of year and all these ridiculous rumors lol.

  50. Hubert

    Although presumably the Bulls could just draft whoever they want at 16 and 19 as a contingency plan if Melo doesn’t work out, and then just offer up whoever they draft at those slots at 16 and 19 in the S&T. I would imagine the Knicks would take just about any reasonable player drafted at those positions, if for no other reason than to move them for other pieces later.

    No no no no please no (not a knock on you JK). If the Bulls draft two high-risk, high-reward prospects I don’t want them here. Moreover, the Bulls know they can’t make that mistake. They have to know on draft night if the guys they choose are the apples of the other team’s eye.

    The Bulls have been drafting pretty well, almost San Antonio-esque (Mirotic at 23, Butler at 30). I have no idea if Phil is going to be good at drafting.

    I’d actually rather the Bulls make those picks for themselves and trade them to us than let us make the picks for them.

  51. ess-dog

    Yeah the Harden trade would be amazing. Just think of our backcourt hair combo! (with Shump)

    It would suck not getting a draft pick, but that move would be pretty great. And Harden is young enough that a rebuild/reload will work.

    Sign me up!

  52. Frank

    lol – Broussard is trolling hard. I’ve never seen a guy be wrong so much yet still be allowed to “report” on things.

  53. lavor postell

    Harden also has 4 years left on his deal.

    The Bulls have been drafting pretty well, almost San Antonio-esque (Mirotic at 23, Butler at 30). I have no idea if Phil is going to be good at drafting.

    I’d actually rather the Bulls make those picks for themselves and trade them to us than let us make the picks for them.

    Exactly. We also would suck so bad that every position would be one of need.

    Looking at the 2015 pool, I’d say Dragic and Brook Loopez are maybe the most realistic options

    Brook Lopez has an opt out which he almost certainly won’t be using given his insane injury history. Robin Lopez is a free agent that summer though and him and Dragic would be nice pieces to add.

    Utah just took on more salary for worse first rounders last season, so I think Chicago can easily get rid of Boozer if it pairs the two picks with him.

    Utah also got like three second rounders out of that deal. Also we don’t know what the Warriors’ 2017 pick is going to be. Remember when we gave up an unprotected 2014 first round pick because there was no way we’d suck that bad?

  54. SJK

    Brook Lopez has an opt out which he almost certainly won’t be using given his insane injury history. Robin Lopez is a free agent that summer though and him and Dragic would be nice pieces to add.

    I’m not saying it would have to those guys specifically, that would just be the best case scenario, IMO. Gasol seems like a long shot and I wouldn’t go anywhere near Hibbert, but I could see us getting Asik, who would fit pretty well and would certainly help cover up Melo’s defensive deficiencies if we played him at the 4 (which, as he ages, I think we are going to have to do to maximize his talent).

    Dragic definitely seems like the best guard option. I’m not as high on Rondo as I used to be. Who knows if he’ll even want to leave Boston anyway.

  55. Hubert

    Hahaha. C’mon Frank, you know Isiah set a precedent for everything right?!

    (In this case he purchased the Renaldo Balkman pick for approximately $30 million (the $15 million due to Jalen Rose + the 100% luxury tax Dolan had to pay on it!)

    That’s a great call.

    But if Isiah is the only guy to ever do it, chances are it’s not going to be that easy to pull off.

  56. Farfa

    The Bulls have been drafting pretty well, almost San Antonio-esque (Mirotic at 23, Butler at 30). I have no idea if Phil is going to be good at drafting.

    I’d actually rather the Bulls make those picks for themselves and trade them to us than let us make the picks for them.

    Fair point. Maybe you’re right.

  57. JK47

    Melo for Harden is too good to be true. Harden is 24, has a career .607 TS% on high volume, and has four years left on his cap-friendly deal.

    No way this happens, because Knicks.

  58. er

    You all know Harden is one of the worst defenders in the league right? Or does TS% wipe that away?

    Also how does harden get no shit for not getting out of the first round with Dwight Howard on his team?

    because… KB

  59. yellowboy90

    Seriously if Lebron and Melo wanted to play together so bad why not just go to Philly and build their own team. They could play in Philly and live in NY. The team could probably easily trade Thad Young and J. Richardson to create even more space to bring in the surrounding pieces. Wouldn’t they also have room to make a play for Love too with the picks they have? I doubt this is possible given that the draft is tomorrow but why not create a super team there

  60. JK47

    Who do you want, the bad defensive player, age 24, on a $15M contract with a .600+ TS%, or the bad defensive player, age 30, on a mega-max contract with a .550 TS%?

  61. JK47

    Plus, Harden could easily be flipped for other assets.

    Doesn’t matter though, because good fortune like this does not happen to the Knicks.

  62. ess-dog

    Harden and Asik (plus a draft pick for taking on Asik) for Melo and Felton makes too much sense. It would also be amusing to have Melo get Lin traded again, so they can try for LeBron.

  63. Donnie Walsh

    Or a 3 way deal that sends Harden to CLE and the #1 to NY? (Harden is the perfect star for Cleveland to build around– he’s under contract for 4 years and can’t say no!)

  64. BigBlueAL

    Breaking news from Marc Stein, apparently Knicks on verge of trading Chandler and Felton to Dallas for Calderon, Dalembert and Shane Larkin.

  65. Donnie Walsh

    @70

    Hmmm. Not sure what to think of this. Proactivity = good, but Chandler for picks is better, no? Unless Anthony is already in the bag? (Supermax time!)

  66. Farfa

    Wow. Don’t know if that’s good news. Calderon is a good player, but not worth 16mln next two years. Still, it’s a 4.5 mln cap hit more than it was before, so… treading water sending Felton away? Ok.

  67. alsep73

    Breaking news from Marc Stein, apparently Knicks on verge of trading Chandler and Felton to Dallas for Calderon, Dalembert and Shane Larkin.

    Is this a good deal for us? Calderon is much better than Felton, but Dalembert is worse than Chandler. What are the contract situations? Thoughts on Larkin?

  68. BigBlueAL

    Dallas has 0 1st rd picks this draft so that wont be happening unless there is a future 1st or a 2nd rd pick this year or in future.

  69. BigBlueAL

    Dalembert’s contract is not guaranteed for 15-16 apparently so the only money being added would be Calderon.

  70. thenamestsam

    I guess my gut reaction is that Chandler’s stock has clearly fallen pretty significantly. Calderon improves us a ton at the 1 obviously and getting rid of Felton makes me want to cry tears of happiness, but Calderon is on a pretty mediocre deal, Chandler to Dalembert is a big step down, and from what (little) I’ve seen Larkin is basically a throwaway prospect. I hope the plan is to move Calderon and Dalembert along as part of a real rebuild, but I doubt it. Calderon’s shooting will be a big bonus in the triangle at least, but this trade somehow makes the defense even worse – a scary thought.

  71. SJK

    Calderon and Larkin are signed through 2017 at ~7 mil and ~2 mil respectively, Dalembert expires after this year. No idea about Larkin, seemed like a guy people wanted us to draft last year though I don’t think he ended up being available.

  72. Kevin Udwary

    Is this a good deal for us? Calderon is much better than Felton, but Dalembert is worse than Chandler. What are the contract situations? Thoughts on Larkin?

    Calderon – $22M over next 3 years
    Dalembert – ~$3.9M this year only
    Larkin – Rookie deal, ~1.6M next two seasons, then team options

  73. er

    As if Carmelo Anthony’s stellar defense makes up for the difference?
    —-Ha thats the crazy thing, thats how bad Harden is. And unlike Melo you cant hide him in the post against pfs

  74. SJK

    Maybe taking on Calderon means they think they can get a taker for JR? If so, we wouldn’t be hurting our cap situation for 2015.

  75. BigBlueAL

    Not sure at this stages of their careers Dalembert is that big a drop off from Chandler. Larkin I would think would be the key to the deal to be honest, that plus no longer having Felton lol.

  76. GoNyGoNYGo

    @sjk

    I like what you did by not looking at 2014-15 but rather 2015-16 and the free agent class. That’s what Phil has to be doing for Carmelo right now. Building off of that, assuming we have Melo….

    PG) We have Prigs through 2016 but he’s coming off the bench. This is the big hole we need to fill.
    SG) I hold out hope that THJ will learn to pass the ball and play defense. He’s coming off the bench since JR’s starting.
    SF) Melo.
    PF) We need someone.
    C) I think Chandler’s season was destroyed by that early injury. I’m wondering if there’s any tread left on that tire. Either way, if we hold on to him through this year and he does well, I would try and resign him for 1/2 of what he earns now or less. We can win with him. There are some free agents we could add.

  77. Donnie Walsh

    I think a move like this Chandler to Dallas move signifies Phil’s intention to sign Anthony at any price. I think that if Anthony stays in NY it will be because we offer him the most money and promise to bring in new players. These are the new players (an actual living, breathing PG).

    Unfortunately, I think the Knicks are making their bed for the next 5 years, and that bed will be uncomfortable to sleep in.

  78. thenamestsam

    Also getting Wayne Ellington and a future 2nd if that puts anyone over the edge.

  79. BigBlueAL

    Dalembert has been very good the last 3 seasons. Its only for next season so really not that big a deal, he is still much better than Bargs lol.

  80. Kevin Udwary

    From that article:

    prized young point guard Shane Larkin

    Really? Because he showed so much promise last season with his -0.05 WP48?
    And his 44.6 TS%?
    And his sub 1.0 Points per shot?

  81. Donnie Walsh

    I dont think this means anything in terms of Melo to be honest.

    But a rebuilding team would never trade for a contract that pays $7 million in 2017.

  82. BigBlueAL

    Larkin barely played last season but coming out of college he was rated very highly by most statistical models from what I remember.

  83. SJK

    Yeah don’t see how this relates to Melo at all. Think its more about overhauling the roster/changing the culture. I really got sick of Chandler towards the end of last year. I’d expect more trades to come.

  84. BigBlueAL

    I would think getting Larkin would be somewhat equal to getting a 1st rd pick this year.

  85. Kevin Udwary

    But a rebuilding team would never trade for a contract that pays $7 million in 2017.

    2015 is the year to look at, I suppose. Calderon is only making about $3mil more than Felton that year. Not exactly a cap killer.

  86. DRed

    Calderon is much better than Ray, but we should have really insisted Dallas throw in their medical staff.

  87. thenamestsam

    I would think getting Larkin would be somewhat equal to getting a 1st rd pick this year.

    Picked 18th overall in a draft where consensus seems to be that about 1 guy would go in this year’s top 10… and then had a year where he made zero impact. I’d say reading that as even somewhat equivalent to a 1st for this year in value is very generous.

  88. Igno-Bot 3000

    Good player on a good contract. The type of guy you’d be happy to sign in free agency. Everyone is all about “cap space” as if the result of acquiring said “cap space” isn’t signing “players” (of which, Calderon is a pretty good one)

    Good trade.

  89. JK47

    Calderon as the Steve Kerr/John Paxson PG who is automatic from 3PT will work. That guy can flat out shoot.

  90. Kevin Udwary

    Larkin barely played last season but coming out of college he was rated very highly by most statistical models from what I remember.

    He was pretty decent in his second year at Miami. He did only play about 500 NBA minutes so far, but they were a horrendous 500 minutes. Still, on a rookie contract, I’d be fine with him included. Not that what I think matters…

  91. SJK

    Calderon doesn’t really do anything to help our problems defending quick point guards though, does he? Larkin actually had a pretty good steal rate (2.7, top 50) so I guess he might help. Either way, happy that I never ever ever have to watch Raymond Felton play in a Knicks uniform again *knocks on wood*

    Don’t know much about Wayne Ellington, but seems like a decent 3 and D guy.

  92. Kahnzy

    I’d have been happy if we traded Felton for $7 million worth of potatoes. I think Chandler has some gas left in his tank, but his basically “I give up” attitude was a bit bothersome to watch.

    Also, am I the only one who doesn’t like to watch Harden’s game? I get he’s an efficient stud on offense and all…but man if I have to watch him flail and flop about all season in a Knicks’ jersey, I might actually convince myself we should have signed Melo to the mega-max.

    Also, before anyone goes off the rails let me repeat: Harden>Melo given their contracts and levels of efficiency on offense. I’m just saying Harden’s flop-tastic style is not one I enjoy watching overly much…not that Iso-Melo was all that inspiring either though. So I say make the trade, then trade Harden for more assets.

  93. Donnie Walsh

    Calderon had a very nice season last year. But he’ll be 36 in 2017 when he makes $7 mil.

    And sure, it’s only up $3 mil in 2015 from Felton, but that assumes Felton couldn’t be traded, or stretched, or incarcerated before his even more reasonable $4 mil contract expired.

    Plus, 2015 is fine and all if you like Al Jefferson or Rajon Rondo. But that class is weak. 2016 is the next big FA market to look at. And if you’re rebuilding, you simply don’t take that salary on over 2 year out.

    Dolan is writing up a $129 million offer for Anthony right now. It will be up to Anthony to politely decline.

  94. JK47

    Shane Larkin blows, and he’s a midget, but he’s just a throw-in. A PG who can knock down treys is pretty important to the triangle, so I love the idea of adding Calderon, despite his poor defense. Steve Kerr wasn’t exactly Gary Payton himself, and that worked out okay.

  95. SJK

    Also, a rotation of Calderon, Prigs, and Larkin at the point is more promising than anything we’ve had since I can remember.

  96. BigBlueAL

    Look at Larkin’s stats his sophomore year which was his final year in college. 60% TS%, very good steal and reb rates for a pg. He is only 6 ft but there was a reason he was a pretty decent prospect going into the draft. Most people here were hoping he fell to the Knicks so dunno if less than 500 mins in the NBA so far would kill those hopes.

    Not saying he is a future all-star but thats the type of player we should be happy to be getting no?? Worth a shot imo.

  97. Farfa

    I got fed up from Harden too.

    Now I’ll make my best Jowles impression and I’ll tell you that I predicted this trade three weeks ago (sorta, I didn’t include Felton, but still). Go check it out!

  98. nicos

    Jeez- Calderon would be a terrific triangle point offensively but he is probably the worst defensive point guard in the league (far worse than Felton). There’s got to be a better deal for Chandler than this.

  99. Alecto

    For Larkin keep low expectations and don’t be afraid to move him at a moment’s notice but give him a shot

  100. Kevin Udwary

    Dolan is writing up a $129 million offer for Anthony right now. It will be up to Anthony to politely decline.

    I don’t know. If I were the GM of the Knicks and I wanted to tank next season and rebuild, then the first thing I’d do would be to get Tyson Chandler off the team.

  101. d-mar

    How does anyone not see this as a great trade? We get rid of Felton, who we all agree was the worst PG in the NBA last year and Chandler, whose contributions have declined every year since we acquired him. And we get back a decent PG who can shoot, a center who really isn’t that much of a drop off from the 2014 version of Chandler and a young PG who may turn out ok. And no additional cap hit.

    What’s not to like?

    I’m just shocked Dallas wants Chandler so bad that they’re willing to take on Felton.

  102. thenamestsam

    Not saying he is a future all-star but thats the type of player we should be happy to be getting no?? Worth a shot imo.

    Definitely agree with this. It’s just that trading Chandler I would have hoped to get back something like pick #20-25 this year as the centerpiece. Unless we’re spinning off Calderon for more than I can imagine, Larkin seems like a dissapointing haul. I’d be ecstatic if we got someone like him as a training camp invite flier. I just don’t think he’s much beyond that. He’s the equivalent of an extra future 2nd to me.

  103. thenamestsam

    And no additional cap hit.

    Except that there is a future cap hit which is exactly when we’re going to care about the cap hit.

  104. BigBlueAL

    Look Chandler is a much, much better player than Dalembert. Dalembert is not a scrub mind you but I would obviously much rather have Chandler but if this allows us to get rid of Felton and get a solid PG plus a possibly decent future PG as well then whatever go ahead and do it.

  105. JK47

    A Calderon-Harden backcourt is not gonna work though. You can’t win with piss poor defense from both guard positions.

  106. BigBlueAL

    Woj is reporting Knicks also might get 34th pick this year from Dallas. Also reading that this trade lowers Knicks payroll for the upcoming season enough to allow them to use extra exceptions this off-season but dunno the cap like that, thats a question for ephus lol.

  107. steveoh

    The other way to look at this is that we’d be stuck with Felton for two years – an overweight, unhappy Felton with a skill set that doesn’t exactly work with the triangle.

    Instead, we have Calderon for three years, two of which he’s replacing Felton’s spot in the rotation as a PG with a skill set that’s ideal for the triangle.

    And that third year? He’s an expiring contract.

    It adds some money to our ledger, but we’re dropping Amare, Bargs and Dalembert (or Chandler) in 2015, and he’s at least a better asset than Felton could ever be. Not a building block, but not a vortex of suck either.

    And that’s not taking Larkin’s possible growth into the mix along with Ellington as a shooter off the bench.

    That’s one positive way to look at it. Anyone with me?

  108. thenamestsam

    Getting the 34th pick this year makes me like it a lot better if true. 34 is actually better than a low 1st would be in many drafts given the depth of this draft and additional financial flexibility of 2nd rounder. Larkin + 34 as future pieces is much more along the lines of what I would have expected for Chandler.

  109. BigBlueAL

    Weird that the more details emerge of the trade the Knicks are the ones getting more not giving more lol.

  110. Alecto

    Any chance we move Larkin/Ellington/Calderon + 2nd round picks for another trade this year, and if so, any idea who the suitor may be? Either way I think this is a haul.

  111. Farfa

    Has Phil something to blackmail Donnie Nelson? What are the Mavs thinking? TWO second rounders?

  112. Donnie Walsh

    I’m just shocked Dallas wants Chandler so bad that they’re willing to take on Felton.

    Because they are actually saving money. Chandler expires and Calderon has $15 mil left on his deal after Chandler expires.

  113. Farfa

    Even better: Calderon and a second rounder for Marcus Thornton. Come on, we’re talking about Billy King!

  114. steveoh

    First off, how ironic is it that this trade is happening while we comment under a post called “Hope”.

    Second, according to Chad Ford’s Mock Draft #10, here’s some players (that we’ve heard of) who may or may not be available at 34 and 51.

    34:
    Cleanthony Early
    CJ Wilcox
    Joe Harris

    51:
    James Michael McAdoo
    Thanasis Antetokounmpo
    Jahii Carson
    Dwight Powell
    Bryce Cotton

  115. BigBlueAL

    Summer League should be fun at least. TH2, Larkin and the 2nd rd picks make it worth watching lol.

  116. yellowboy90

    So this deal opens the full MLE for Patty Mills but would you get Patty Mills with Calderon/Larkin?
    I think I would still try. Calderon should be on a minutes restriction anyway so why not bring in Mills for the heavy lifting and they both can play together at times I think.

  117. DRed

    We could certainly get a useful player with the 34. Good news if true. Or maybe even trade both to move up.

  118. SJK

    Anyone think Phil could convince Pau Gasol to sign here for the full MLE? No idea what his value’s like right now…

    Other options: Matrix, Shaun Livingston, Channing Frye? Wouldn’t mind any of those guys. Livingston might actually be great starting with Calderon to handle the tougher guard assignments on D.

  119. Kevin Udwary

    So this deal opens the full MLE

    We would have to renounce Melo’s Bird Rights though, right? So no Melo or no sign and trade would be possible if we did that.

  120. yellowboy90

    If the second round picks are true then that makes Patric Young a possibility. He is going to be a very mobile defensive big.

  121. Farfa

    Gasol at the MLE for 1 year, waiting to know what Marc will do in 2015, seems possible.

  122. BigBlueAL

    Its gonna be great when all the excitement of getting a couple of 2nd rd picks goes away draft night when we all complain about the players they draft with those picks lol.

  123. lavor postell

    You can easily combine money with 51 to move up in the second round. A team like Philly who fucking sucks, has 9 million second round picks and likes money would do this.

  124. d-mar

    I’m just glad to be anywhere in this freaking draft (if it really is part of the deal)

  125. BigBlueAL

    Dalembert can be bought out this year because apparently his contract is only partially guaranteed for this season for whatever thats worth.

  126. ephus

    Knicks would be shaving $5 million from 2014-15 salary cap if this deal went through. If Carmelo leaves for nothing, they would actually be under the salary cap. They would still have access to the full MLE and BAE, because they would still be within $8 million of the salary cap.

    If Carmelo stays for $18 million (or more), the Knicks would still be taxpayers. Under that circumstance, the Knicks would not have access to the full MLE or the BAE.

  127. JK47

    Maybe there’s some way to pawn off JR Smith to Sacramento. He seems like their kind of guy.

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