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Saturday, August 2, 2014

How Does Marion Staying Put Affect the Draft?

As you may or may not have heard, while Shawn Marion and the Heat have not agreed to a new contract as of yet, Marion has announced that he will not opt out of the final year of his contract (I wouldn’t walk away from $17.8 million at his age, either).

With Marion definitely staying put, this apparently may affect Pat Riley’s decisions regarding the draft, specifically what he does with Michael Beasley. Today, Chad Ford reported a rumored deal between the Heat and the Grizzlies where Memphis would deal the #5 pick, Noel Lowry and Mike Miller for the #2 pick (with Beasley being their choice).

The Heat are rumored to have countered that deal with a request for Mike Conley, specifically Conley and the #5 for Daequan Cook and the #2.

I think that trade makes some real sense for both teams. As I was just noting earlier in a comment, I think Conley is a fine player, and he would be an excellent back-up plan for the Heat now that they have lost out on their top option, Derrick Rose, so adding him and, say, Kevin Love would be a good result for Miami. And as good as Conley is, the Grizzlies do have 312 point guards and no great power forwards. Beasley and Gay would be a formidable pairing at the 3 and 4 for years to come.

This proposed deal would affect the Knicks if they seriously were interested in dealing with Memphis for the #5 pick. At the same time, you would also think that if the #2 pick is available, the Knicks should be trying to get in on that action. I am no huge Beasley fan, but I think he would quickly become the best player on the Knicks, so they should definitely inquire about that pick, especially since the Timberwolves and the Sonics don’t seem to have anyone as valuable as, say, David Lee to trade.

The Ford piece, by the by, has an amusing bit about players invited to the NBA’s Green room. Robin Lopez, do not accept!

172 comments on “How Does Marion Staying Put Affect the Draft?

  1. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    If you were the Heat, wouldn’t you trade it to Memphis to keep Beasley out of New York? Why would the Heat make a win-win deal with the Knicks?

    After seeing the statistical works on the draft, I would love it for the Knicks to land Beasley. From all accounts he looks like a can’t miss All Star. I’ve heard of a lot of trade scenarios involving the Knick youngsters thrown about, but Beasley is the only person I’d think about trading Lee for (except maybe that Lee/Conley+Love swap).

  2. RAy

    Too much buzz going around. Its making me anxious. Im just hoping we make some moves on Thursday.

  3. Ess-dog

    Yeah, I don’t see the Heat playing nice with us even though they could gain a lot. They’re one of the few teams that could use Curry effectively I think. Maybe Curry, Crawford, Lee and #5 for Blount, White Chocolate, and #2.
    I’m sure they could do better than that though. I don’t know why the Heat won’t just draft Beasley though. It sounds like they really want a point guard. I think Lopez would be a good fit for them after they swap with the Grizz and get Conley.
    Maybe we should think about a trade with the Bucks if we get shut out of the Grizz talks? Redd, Gadzuric and #8 for Zach and #6. Or does that kill our cap even worse? Then we can still get Love, Augustin, or Alexander.

  4. Loki1963

    Lee for Conley? No, I’m not feeling that. But Lee to move up to # 2, for Daequan Cook and the # 6, yes, yes and yes. I’ll even throw in Collins if they want him. I’d do that. I still have Balkman and Jefferies that can pick up the slack that Lee leaves behind. Beasley is a proven scorer and possibly a future All-Star. And we need a name.

  5. DS

    If there is ANY truth to the Memphis/Miami rumor I think the Knicks need to try outbid the Grizz in an effort to shore up Beasley. This guy would be at the very least an enormous piece in the rebuilding effort. (For the record, I am very skeptical that Miami is willing to give up the pick for Conley and the #5).

    I think Walsh and Riley would take eachother’s calls regarding a trade and would be able discuss a deal that helps both teams regardless of the rivalry.

  6. miik

    I still can’t figure out why the Bulls wouldn’t take Beasley over Rose. As much as I love Rose, Beasley seems like the most sure thing in the draft in a long time, and his low-post scoring fits a more pressing need for the Bulls. All these questions about his character just seem blown out of proportion. He’s just sort of a goofball, like Shaq.

    That said, if Rose goes #1, Even a cheapo franchise like Memphis would probably rather do the Heat deal to get Beasley, than the Lee cost-cutting deal with us.

    Can we turn it into a three team deal and get the #2 pick. Basically, the proposed Lee trade with the Grizz, and then we give #5 and #6 to the Heat? Would the Heat rather have #5 and #6 or would they rather get #5, Kyle Lowry and Mike Miller?

  7. miik

    Anyone else find it ironic that now that the Knicks have an open media policy under Walsh, we’ve never known less about the Knicks draft intentions? Gotta hand it to Walsh and D’Antoni for holding their cards close.

  8. Thomas B.

    If the Knicks want to trade up, then it makes sense to move to 3 not 5. How about JC and the 6th to Minny for Walker and the 3? JC and Foye can make a decent backcourt. Minny needs backcourt scoring as much as they need a body in the middle. By moving down to 6, Minny can get the center they want in Lopez. They may even get Lucky and see Love slip to 6. Odds are that one of the two players will fall to 6.

    The Knicks can take Mayo at 3, getting a JC type player (with better D) for a quarter of the money. Knicks are able to shed salary as Walker’s salary next season is at a team option. That will take an additional 10 mill of the cap number for 10/11. We could be around 41 million that year if we dont resign N8 and DL, if we can them signed around 4-6 million, then our cap number is at about 50 million. That’s not much cap room (my estimated 2010/11 cap is about 61 million based on a 4.5% increase over the next 3 years) but we will have 2 expiring contract in Curry and Randolph and a few young assest that we can use for a sign and trade, which is the most likely senario to get a LBJ or Bosh.

    How much cap room will we need to make a run at LBJ? 20 mill.

  9. Marc R

    Not to knock Lee, but I think now probably is the time to trade him. He looked considerably less athletic last year coming off his ankle injury. He still plays hard and has good instincts, but he’s not a skill player and a drop-off in his athleticism could be deadly.

    That said, the main objective has to be dumping Z Randolph and I would save any move of Lee for a deal where we can dump Randolph too.

  10. Brian Cronin

    Thomas, David Lee is going to be expensive to re-sign. Players of his caliber do not come cheap – he will most likely take more than the mid-level to keep as a Knick.

  11. jon abbey

    “I still can’t figure out why the Bulls wouldn’t take Beasley over Rose. As much as I love Rose, Beasley seems like the most sure thing in the draft in a long time, and his low-post scoring fits a more pressing need for the Bulls.”

    someone made the Glenn Robinson/Jason Kidd comparison, and I think that’s a valid one. Beasley will put up tons of numbers, Rose will help you win games.

  12. miik

    Jon – it’s a valid comparison. I guess a lot of the statistical analysis has really convinced me that Beasley is a lock to be something special. But, Rose certainly is impressive, both statistically and intangibly. I just see Beasley as a dominant force and better fit for the Bulls.

  13. jon abbey

    I think Rose is a bit hard to judge based on the numbers, because he came into a aituation where Memphis was already loaded with stud upperclassmen, and as the much-hyped PG savior, it would have been really easy to step on toes, piss people off, and lose the team.

    so I think he held back in different ways for most of the year, Memphis didn’t need him to do much to cakewalk through most of their weak schedule. where they needed him was the later rounds of the NCAAs, and he looked fantastic there, completely abusing Augustin and Collison (a top 10 pick next year as of now), among others.

  14. Thomas B.

    BC,

    Yeah I know Lee is gonna command more than 6. I was hoping that we could keep him with out breaking the bank. But yeah, he cant take JJ money. I guess the only way to get under the cap is to get rid of Randolph. Randolph and Rose to Indy for O’neal should do it. Then you can do the JC trade to minny and still stay under the cap.

  15. Frank O.

    The only pick you take over a great PG would be if a great, no-miss dominant center like Ewing or Shaq was coming into the NBA.
    Otherwise, abbey is right: Rose will win games.
    In military parlance, Rose is a force multiplier because he can make everyone on his team better. I suspect Beasley will be very good to great, but his affect on others around him might actually be negative because he will need to become a focus.

  16. TDM

    Mitch Lawrence today on Augustine:

    “That sounds like just the kind of player D’Antoni wants to run his system. By all accounts, Walsh will have final say on whom the Knicks select. He knows all too well how things can go awry when he allows a coach to make the pick. Just go back to 2002 when he allowed Isiah Thomas to make the Pacers’ selection. Thomas went against the wishes of the entire scouting department and took Fred Jones over Tayshaun Prince. Nice move.”

  17. Frank

    The comparisons between the Rose/Beasley situation and the Glenn Robinson/Kidd debate of 1994 — except that I think that Kidd was a better prospect coming out of college than Rose — as a freshman he averaged 13 pts, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals, then as a soph he average 16, 9, 7, and 3 respectively, playing on a team that was definitely inferior to Memphis. I just can’t say that I’m that impressed with Rose — I think he deserves to go top 2 but I’d take Beasley over Rose if I were Chicago — Hinrich is pretty good at the 1, but throwing Tyrus Thomas and Noah out there in the low post is guaranteed to turn your team into a jumpshooting streaky offensive team. Thomas and Noah are good defenders, Deng is acceptable, and Hinrich is a pretty respectable defender at the 1, so I don’t think team defense is really their need.

    The other side of the Big Dog/Kidd debate is that Robinson had sort of similar numbers to Beasley — but just looking at Beasley play, he seems to be far more athletic than Robinson ever was. And in terms of defense, he is an excellent rebounder and blocked a fair amount of shots…

    By the way, i’d do that Conley + 5 for Lee + 6 trade in about 3 seconds. I’m pretty sure Memphis wouldn’t. Conley was the consensus #1 PG in the draft last year, is earlier on his rookie deal than Lee is, AND we get to move up a pick?
    Conley was pretty darn good by the end of last year (April #s – 14.3 ppg, 4.4 apg, 4.3 rpg, 1 steal, 1.4 TO in 28 minutes, shooting 48% from the field, 45% from 3, 75% from the line). And he’s 20 years old?

  18. DS

    Did anyone see this? No one made a direct reference to it:
    “The latest buzz has the Knicks talking to Memphis about a deal that would send David Lee and the expiring contract of Malik Rose to Memphis for No. 5 and Cardinal.” – Chad Ford

    This deal wouldn’t worsen(and might improve by not having to sign Lee) our situation for free agency summer 2010. I’m not sure the #5 pick will definitely pan out better than Lee. Gordon could be a star maybe Bayless.

  19. Sunil

    I don’t think id trade lee just to move up a spot.
    I dont think walsh would do that either.
    might be smoke blowing from memphis..

  20. Sunil

    I don’t know how legit Andy katz reporting is.
    But here is the latest.

    • A potential deal with Memphis and New York apparently has some legs. The Knicks, who have the No. 6 pick, would get the Grizzlies’ No. 5 pick and give David Lee and other considerations to Memphis. New York would then select UCLA’s Russell Westbrook and Italy’s Danilo Gallinari with its No. 5 and No. 6 picks. If Memphis selects UCLA’s Kevin Love, that is a strong indicator that the Grizzlies are keeping the pick.

    i don’t mind that at all.

  21. TDM

    Sunil:

    You are not just moving up one spot. The rumor has the Knicks keeping the 6, AND getting the 5. So the Knicks would be giving up Lee and the expiring contract of Rose for the #5, and the remainder of Cardinal’s deal.

    Then the Knicks have limitless options. For example, they could:

    - Package the 5 and 6 to move up.
    - Package the 5 or 6 with an albatross (i.e. Zach, Curry or Jeffries)
    - Trade the 5 or 6 to move down, and get two lower first round picks or a first and second rounder.
    - Stand pat with the 5 & 6, and select two second tier players (westbrook and love, etc)

  22. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    I wouldn’t do that deal. What’s the point of trading Lee for another draft pick? Lee is already established as being a quality NBA player, but the draft pick might be a bust. If it were Lee for a good young player + a draft pick I could go for that, since you have the young player to fall back on if the draft pick pans out.

  23. TDM

    KB:

    Exactly. Which is why I proposed trying to get Conley into the deal. If we are taking Cardinal back (another bad contract), and are giving up an expiring deal in Rose, Memphis would have to sweeten the pot to get Lee.

  24. Thomas B.

    You are not just moving up one spot. The rumor has the Knicks keeping the 6, AND getting the 5. So the Knicks would be giving up Lee and the expiring contract of Rose for the #5, and the remainder of Cardinal’s deal.

    TDM,

    I misunderstood the trade as well. I thought we were swapping the 6th to get up to the 5th. But 5 and 6 is much better and I just might do it. My only reservation is that is that if David Lee (the 10 and 10 Lee) were in the draft , he might be a top 7 pick. So why trade him for an unproven talent?

    I know I keep saying it, but Randolph, Rose, Collins, and Jared for O’Neal, Tinsley and the 11th will save us 17 million in 2010/11. And puts our cap number at 48 million, including resigning Lee (at 8 million) and Nate at 5.5. So we could be close to 14 million under the estimated 2010/2011 cap.

    Our 2010/2011 roster could be:

    2008 6th pick
    2008 11th pick
    2009 draft pick
    Crawford
    Curry (yeah I know but he’ll be in the last year)
    Tinsley (same as above)
    Lee
    Nate
    Chandler
    Balkman
    LBJ?

    If you look at that as your plan then you need to find Curry’s replacement in this or next years draft.

  25. caleb

    “Robinson had sort of similar numbers to Beasley.”

    Beasley led the country in rebounding. And did it, along with the scoring numbers, as a freshman – not a junior.

  26. caleb

    I would rather have Lee than the #5 pick in this year’s draft, but I would rather have Conley than Lee. He’s got all the defensive ability of Rose or Westbrook, and while he isn’t as big he’s almost as quick and is much more polished as far as running a team. He fits our needs perfectly, and the deal would probably save us about $5 million against cap in the summer of 2010.

    I doubt Memphis would do it, though. We talk about them having a lot of PGs, but in reality they have one prime-time prospect and two guys lucky to be starters some day.

  27. Ted Nelson

    I still don’t really see the fuss about Conley… Really good PGs (Kidd, Paul, Deron Williams) have had better seasons at a similar age, the guys who seem most comparable statistically seem like Kenny Anderson with a jump shot or Raymond Felton as a rookie (he hasn’t improved much but was fairly comparable to Conley–20 last seaosn– as a 21 year old rookie, although he did have 3 years at UNC under his belt). Conley seems to me like a solid starting PG who might even make an All-Star game or two, but he was just an average shooter and passer last season. The only way I see trading Lee for him is if you have reason to believe he’s going to take a big step forward next season. He seems to have a good work ethic, was injured to start last season, and was a PG entering the league after 1 NBA season, so maybe that’s the case?

    “someone made the Glenn Robinson/Jason Kidd comparison, and I think that’s a valid one. Beasley will put up tons of numbers, Rose will help you win games.”

    I don’t have a problemw with taking Rose over Beasley, but Beasley was a more effective scoring inside in college than Big Dog, who eventually became a slow, out of shape jump shooter with a poor career TS% in the NBA (Big Dog shot 48% in college while Beasley shot 53%). For every negative rumor I’ve heard about Beasley’s work ethic, I’ve heard something about how the guy’s a tremendous competitor… Again, I have no problem with Chicago taking Rose over Beasley, but the two things I find very odd are
    1. Miami’s going to pass him up
    and 2. there was a loud minority calling for Durant over Oden but Rose seems like the consensus #1 this year.

  28. Ted Nelson

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d say Kyle Lowry is as good as Conley right now… He has no outside shot, but still posted a better TS% than Conley. He’s 5-10, but is known as a good defender and Conley’s only 6-1. He gets more (way more) steals and more rebounds per minute. His assist numbers were lower than Conley’s last season, have to wonder whether his 10 games in 06-07 numbers were an aberration or he suffered from not being Memphis’ primary ball handler (he only player 25 mpg and Conley 26, so I don’t know if they were actually on the court together much, anyone know?).

  29. TDM

    “Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d say Kyle Lowry is as good as Conley right now”

    I agree, not to mention, Lowry had more steals per game than Conley, along with 21 blocks last season. Based on those stats, he looks very athletic.

  30. Thomas B.

    “Maybe I’m crazy, but I’d say Kyle Lowry is as good as Conley right now”

    Maybe, you are crazy? I’d say there is no maybe about it. :-) Lowry has no offensive game, zero, nada, nothing. He would have to improve greatly just to be as bad in the half court set as Mardy Collins. If other GMs think this highly of him, then Memphis has to trade him now before anyone figures out the truth. I dont have anything against defensive points, but damn when you make Eric Snow look like Steve Nash, that is a problem. Lowry is a high steal, low turnover guy. But what else does he bring? He is not a great driver, he cant shoot, he is not a high assist guy. I would not even call him a lock down defender, though he has a knack for passing lanes and disrupting sloppy ball handlers (like Collins). He is a poor man’s Charlie Ward. At least Ward could hit a 3 on occasion and start a fight with the best of them. He allows teams to play five on four defense. He cant bust a zone with either drivers or shooting. I dont see it. Now if we are saying this to sell memphis on trading Conley Jr., then OK. By all means Memphis keep Kyle. He is the bomb.

  31. TDM

    Thomas B.

    But what do you really think of Lowry’s game? Ok, you win, we’ll settle for Conley in the deal proposed above.

  32. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Ok – after a somewhat harrowing journey through all the “experts” on the interwebs (stat guys, ESPN guys, Knick fanblogs, and on and on [yes, it's aslow day at the office]), I’ve managed to come up with a few conclusions

    Westbrook is great/the next Rondo AND a career backup who will never learn to play the point

    Kevin Love is the best prospect not named Beasley AND is an undersized, slow, white guy who won’t be able to get his shot off int he pros

    Danilo Gallinari is the Next Nowitzki/Turkoglu and perfect for D’Antoni AND is too slow/the next Tskitishvili/Radmanoic/Korolev

    OJ Mayo is going to be a star AND a total bust

    Derrick rose is the next Jason Kidd AND overrated

    Beasley will dominate from day one AND be an overhyped, immature, 20-10 guy who puts up stats on a bed team (yes, I’m talking to you Zachie-boy)

    Joe Alexander is a white Shawn Marion AND Mike Mamula of the NBA

    Eric Gordon is the next Ben Gordon AND Jamal Crawford

    Jerryd Bayless is Gilbert Arenas AND… well..Gilbert Arenas

    Anthony Randolph is Marcus Camby with a jumper AND so skinny he gets marked absent when standing sideways/Stro Swift 2.0

    DeAndre Jordan is Andrew Bynum AND Eddy Curry

    Brook Lopez is Robin Lopez

    So yeah, I have absolutely no idea what to think except that the Knick’s pick will be a hall-of-famer who will revitalize the franchise AND a guy who will cost Walsh/D’Antoni their jobs by July 1st.

    Anyone else find this year’s draft particularly divisive w/r/t the “experts” opinions?

    My head is swimming…

  33. AncientMariner

    isnt the primary reasons to trade lee for the #5 that Lee is going to get 7-9 mil a year next year for 4-5 years and that would throw off the LBJ in 2010 plan.. the draft pick will be at significantly less for the foreseeable future.

    and selling Lee High after two above average seasons and coming off the ankle problem that will probably lower his trade value this year – assuming he cant fit into the Dantoni system?

  34. Nick S.

    The Knicks have some serious, serious problems. This requires creativity and risk-taking on the part of Donnie Walsh. I don’t see a single player on the current roster that I wouldn’t trade. David Lee is solid, but no starter. If there’s a slim chance of getting a crack at Mayo, Walsh should stop at nothing to draft him. He had a subpar college season, but he was probably just looking ahead to the pros. As far as Gallinari, he looks more Turkoglu than Nowitzki.

  35. caleb

    Lowry’s a pretty good prospect, but Ted — you’re still crazy :)

    “His assist numbers were lower than Conley’s last season, have to wonder whether his 10 games in 06-07 numbers were an aberration or he suffered from not being Memphis’ primary ball handler.”

    The ’06-07 numbers are great, but he only played 174 minutes. The 2,100 minutes he played in ’07-08 are probably a better reflection of his ability.

    Lowry is a year-and-a-half older than Conley, pretty significant for players that young. Not to mention that Conley’s numbers came in a rookie season where he missed half the games due to injury. I guess durability is a valid concern, but as a healthy 20-year-old I’d expect him to be a lot better than Lowry.

    “Really good PGs (Kidd, Paul, Deron Williams) have had better seasons at a similar age…”

    When Deron Williams was Conley’s age, he was still at Illinois. I wouldn’t put Conley in a class with Paul or Kidd (or even Williams yet), but then again, I’m proposing a trade of David Lee, not Patrick Ewing.

    “isnt the primary reasons to trade lee for the #5 that Lee is going to get 7-9 mil a year next year for 4-5 years and that would throw off the LBJ in 2010 plan.. the draft pick will be at significantly less for the foreseeable future.”

    True, but not a huge worry — even at $8-9 million Lee is a solid value and eminently tradeable. Unless he’s bringing back a really good prospect or high lottery pick, the Knicks should exhaust all other options before they move him for salary reasons.

    I also don’t think he’s remotely near his high point in value — he’s coming off a season that may have been marred by injury, in which he played only 25 mpg. A healthy year getting starter’s minutes will push his value even higher.

  36. Brian Cronin

    David Lee is solid, but no starter

    Through no fault of his own, Lee is not a starter.

    He should be.

  37. Danisrob

    I reckon Knicks trade up to the three to get Lebron’s pal OJ Mayo.

    Lee and 6 for Gnomes and the 3 or something liek that

  38. Owen

    Caleb – How much do you think your opinion of Conley is influenced by watching him lead that Ohio State team with Greg Oden to the NCAA title game?

    Re Ken – I totally agree.

    Re Lee – Guys, the next mention of how we should trade Lee for a draft pick will cause an immediate hunger strike. I am not joking.

    What Caleb said is 100% correct. We lose nothing by giving Lee that 7-9 million contract. And to get Lebron we need to do more than clear cap space. We need to put a solid team together. Lebron is going to spend the next two years getting bounced from the playoffs. He will be in his absolute prime, he can get the money anywhere, what he will want is a title to cement his status as the Chosen One. If he looks at NY and sees a team that can’t compete for a few years, that will be a dealbreaker.

    (file under: things Owen says out of desperate fear that DLee won’t be in New York next year)

  39. tastycakes

    Mike,

    “What’s the point of trading Lee for another draft pick?”

    Because if he stays, we’ll have to extend him. Rolling the dice on two lottery picks seems like a pretty decent proposition to me, and it gives us even more flexibility for subsequent trades.

    David Lee has been my favorite Knick over the past two years, easily. The Knicks have also been totally awful. Lee has real value, but he’s not a superstar. Time to reshuffle the deck, IMO.

  40. tastycakes

    BTW, I also don’t totally buy that the Heat wouldn’t deal with the Knicks.

    If the Heat really want to move the #2, they’ll do it for the best deal they can get. Maybe Lee + #6 + an expiring contract for #2 + a longer contract would appeal to them?

    I totally agree with The Animal — I have absolutely no idea who’s going to be good out of this draft (though I do believe D. Rose will be a star) — the variation in the opinions out there is crazy!

    I love the draft spectacle though. Can’t wait.

  41. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    D Lee’s my fave Knick, but I do understand the logic in trading him – esp. if D’Antoni doesn’t like haing a 4 that can’t shoot.

    Now let me contradict myself. Just like Lee made himself an 80% FT shooter, he can learn a consistent 15-18 footer. Charles Oakley did it, PJ Brown did it, Marcus Camby did it, and on and on. Bigs, if they’re going to last in this league, usually develop teh ability to hit an open shot. I have no doubt that Lee’ll be the same (and D’Antoni’s going to love his hustle and athleticism).

    Considering how willdly the opinions vary w/r/t this year’s draft, if you could GUARANTEE you’re getting a 10 and 10 guy out of the lottery, you’d take him in the top 5, right? That’s clearly what Memphis is thinking in offering the pick.

    Maybe a combo of Westbrook and Gallinari (or Mayo and Alexander or Bayless and Gordon or whatever combination you prefer) both turning into good/great players is worth the risk, but it IS a risk, and not a no-brainer. Probability-wise, it’s like splitting a decent hand in blackjack – it could pay off big time but it could blow up royally.

    Now just to maintain my rep as the forum’s resident Shecky Green, here’s an awful/borderline offensive joke…

    “Rabbi walks into a bar with a frog on his shoulder. Bartender says – Wow, you don’t see that everyday! Where’d you find one? And the frog says – Brooklyn, they’re everywhere!” (Rim shot)

  42. Ray

    Well thursday is almost here and all our wonderings will be put to rest. No one on this team should be safe and everyone should be considered tradeable. If we can get two pick in this draft then that would be spectacular. We’d be building our team on some of the most talented youth in the world. These kids are going to come into camp and want to work hard for Coach D because they know how the suns played and it was fun to watch. Love will not be a bust. Hes a natural. I watched a bunch of UCLA games and he can shoot and he knows how to use his body to box out people so that he doesnt need to jump to the rafters. His fundamentals are excellent!!! Hes going to be a baller. Someone will be a brilliant GM for getting him. Westbrook i like but im I think what if he turns out to be something like Fred Jones?? Athletic but not a game changer? (Even though Fred did change some games for us this year). I think he is a hard worker and at 19 the sky is the limit for him. What about Gallinari? Word is that he has skills and fire but no D? Maybe hes lacking D but its has to be better than anything we have now. Besides the kids is only 19. Hes going to get better. I think whoever we pick will fit right in and slowly we’ll return NYC to Basketball respect worldwide.

  43. caleb

    Owen,

    That’s a fair question. I certainly saw more of conley at osu than I saw in memphis. I saw enough of him to form a clear opinion, which is that he was solidly worth a 4-8 lottery pick.his rookie numbers don’t dissuade me; they’re pretty good for a 20 y/o rookie, esp one who also prvides a lot of value (IMO) via his on-ball defense.

    The tourney run aside, remember that conley led osu to the #1 ranking while oden was still nursing his injury and hadn’t played a game. (Then they got smoked by unc, but that’s another story…)

    So no, I don’t think conley shone only because of oden.

  44. Ben R

    The only way I move Lee is if we can use him to move up to #2 and get Beasley. The other thing I would maybe do is straight across for the #3 to draft Mayo. I would not trade Lee and #6 for Mayo but I would probably trade Lee for Mayo.

    I would rather have Lee + Love/Bayless/Gallinari/Westbrook than no Lee and two of those players. But I would rather have Love + Mayo than Lee plus one of those players above.

    To get Beasley on the other hand I would trade anything and everything on our team; Lee, the #6, next years pick, cap space, etc. Beasley is going to be a superstar in the LeBron, Howard, Wade mold. He is a true center piece to build a team around. You do everything you can to get a player like that.

  45. Brian Cronin

    I personally would not trade Lee for the #5 pick, as I think the odds are that he will be more valuable going forward (even at $7-9 million per) than whatever the Knicks get at #5.

    That said, I still think a player of Lee’s caliber is fair value for the #5 pick, in theory.

    In practice, I’m crossing my fingers that Lee is still a Knick come Friday morning.

  46. Z-man

    While I do ultimately think of Lee as trade bait, I would not use him to move up in this draft unless it were for Rose, Mayo or Beasley. These 3 will be stars, the others are all question marks, not worth the risk.

    Save Lee for the “DeBuscherre” type of trade, the one that puts us over the top. Or keep him.

  47. Capt. Merlin

    As I’ve maintained throughout this draft saga, Michael Beasley will without a doubt fail to live up to the gaudy praise that’s been slathered on him. I see him as the sort of player who will be fairly decent from a fantasy standpoint, but horrible in terms of the equally important statistically unquantifiable traits necessary to carry a team. Derrick Coleman v2.0.

    As for the rumored trade sending Lee and change away for the 5th pick and Cardinal…Why give up Lee for the sort of player who might be a bust at 5?

  48. Ess-dog

    I’m not totally sold on OJ, but yeah, the top 3 are worth anything we have pretty much. I actually think Love will be a better player than Lee, but he might go #3, so you would need to trade for the third spot at least. I don’t think McHale trades this pick and he probably takes OJ even though he should take Love. Then Seattle takes Westbrook? Then would you pull the trigger on Lee for Love? But if Love is still there, why wouldn’t Memphis just take him? If they don’t take Love (throw in Chandler or Nate if you have to), then package the #6 with Zach to Toronto for Ford, a bad contract, and their pick, 17 I think. Then we take Jordan or R. Lopez to play center.

  49. jon abbey

    “we take Jordan or R. Lopez to play center.”

    I’d stay away from those guys under your scenario, I think either or both could be total busts. I’d hope that Arthur or Speights are still there, or even Owen’s old buddy Hibbert.

  50. GiantKnickFan420

    This draft is all over the place and it starts at Miami, the bulls are retards trying to convince everyone they still havent decided.
    I would be very surprised if Memphis moved up for 2 reasons, they are not one player away and doesnt Rudy Gay play the same 3/4 combo/tweener forward position?
    Trading with memphis makes sense, they need talent and productivity in their frontcourt,and lee provides that. And i would replace Lee with Love. He can shoot, pass, outlet pass, pick and pop and can post. Then id shop our 6th pick for a lower lottery pick and a dumping a contract (jeffries/marbury if we get a PG in return etc). If we keep both id go Love, Bayless, Augustin, Westbrook/Alexander/Gallinari. In that order of whoevers available. (im assuming Mayos a lock to Minny at #3)

  51. Brian Cronin

    The heat on Westbrook is surprising me. A little while ago, I thought the Knicks should trade down because they would be able to get Westbrook later in the lottery, now it looks like he won’t make it out of the Fab Four!! It’s nuts how players have their stocks rise and fall seemingly on a whim.

  52. jon abbey

    I think with Westbrook, it’s the semi-similarity to Rondo, people saw firsthand how that kind of player could be a starter on a title team.

  53. Thomas B.

    Not fair to compare Lowry to Conley. Lowry played two years at Nova compared to Conley’s 1 at Ohio State. Lowry was in his second season, Conley his first. Given the extra two years (1 if you say 2006 was lost to injury) of ball that Lowery has over Conley, Lowry should be ahead of Conley. But Lowry has likely reached his ceiling. Conley has much more upside.
    ——————–

    “Joe Alexander is a white Shawn Marion AND Mike Mamula of the NBA”

    Shawn Marion isnt White?

  54. Thomas B.

    “The heat on Westbrook is surprising me. A little while ago, I thought the Knicks should trade down because they would be able to get Westbrook later in the lottery, now it looks like he won’t make it out of the Fab Four!! It’s nuts how players have their stocks rise and fall seemingly on a whim.”

    Westbrook is oil. When he declared for the draft Westbrook was trading at about 45 a barrel (mid-late first rounder). But all of sudden these speculators (Ford) start saying how valuable he is and how there is a “supply problem” with PG’s in this draft (many combo guards, few true points). All of a sudden Westbrook is at 140 a barrel. Teams are adjusting their energy policy (draft approach) to compete for the valuable commodity. Some teams are willing to trade up for Westbrook which continues to drive up the price. Other teams are looking to invest in alternative fuels such as bio-diesel (Augustin) and ethanol (Chalmers).

    In order to get our hands on the valuable resource we have warmed to the risky option of off-shore drilling (Shaun Livingston). We have also pushed Fuel Cells (Lowry), an efficient option but incapable of giving everything us we need.

  55. tdm

    The TJ Ford to indy for JO’Neil rumors are heating up. If indy doesn’t take Augustine he could drop into the late first round.

    I was watching this ESPN special on tv tonight. A couple things I saw: (1) Joe Alexander looks like he’s 12; (2) Beasley almost cried when they measured his height and it was 2 inches less than advertised; and (3) Rose impressed the hell out of me – not so much for his skills, but for being a really nice, down-to-earth kid. His 3 older brothers really went all out in protecting him in south Chicago from bad influences and it showed. I’m pissed that Chicago is going to take him, but couldn’t happen to a nicer kid.

    Another note on the ESPN ticker during the show, Ric Bucher reports that Miami to take OJ if Rose is gone at 2. If that happens, does Minny keep the pick and take Beasley? I’d have to think so even though they need a center more.

  56. Ted Nelson

    Ken,

    Spot on draft analysis.

    Nick,

    “David Lee is solid, but no starter. If there’s a slim chance of getting a crack at Mayo, Walsh should stop at nothing to draft him.”

    He’s a top 10-15 PF but he absolutely has to come off the bench…
    How about the slim shot at Beasley?

    Thomas and Caleb,

    I just don’t see any evidence on the side of the Conley supporters other than his draft stock and “upside.” I mean he definitely can become a very good NBA player, I just see no evidence.

    Lowry has one college year and 10 games (his rookie total) of experience over Conley, but is actually only 1 year older.

    Thomas rants about how bad Lowry is, yet he’s better than Conley… I mean what does Conley bring to the table that’s so impressive? Youth, upside, work ethic, maybe leadership ability down the road, but not much in terms of tangible production.

    Eric Snow, by the way, had a career TS% of .492, while Lowry’s is .532. Not particularly comparable.

    “but as a healthy 20-year-old I’d expect him to be a lot better than Lowry.”
    “Conley has much more upside.”

    Based on what? His on ball defense and one year in college? Maybe the injury was a factor last season, but I trust his NBA numbers to tell me what kind of player he is a lot more than his NCAA numbers.

    I’m just not sure how much 1.5 years means. There’s this consensus that younger players improve, but I think it’s really a case by case
    basis (some do and some don’t). I’d be interested to see how other PGs who had similar rookie years to Conley turned out (my two proposals of quick 21 year old 6-1 PGs with fairly similar seasons were Raymond Felton and Kenny Anderson). I’m just wondering how realistic it is to assume Conley becomes a much better player… he does have the
    potential and I was impressed that after getting tagged as a poor shooter he shot the 3-ball half way decent as a rookie.

    “just to make Caleb’s head explode, Portland just bought the #27 pick from Charlotte, so they’re going to have even one more player under contract.”

    Why can’t the Knicks use their deep pockets in productive ways like this???????????

    Tastycakes,

    Rolling the dice is not exactly the strategy I was hoping Walsh would implement…

    “I also don’t totally buy that the Heat wouldn’t deal with the Knicks.”

    Every indication I’ve gotten is that they want to trade down to get Mayo. If they think he’s off the board at 6 they won’t trade with the Knicks, unless they want Bayless (who they worked out and apparently compared to Chauncey Billups for some unknown reason other than he’ll be a PG with a low assist total).

  57. Thomas B.

    “Thomas rants about how bad Lowry is, yet he’s better than Conley…”

    Yes, but it was more of a comedy rant.

    Anyway, I just want folk to compare Conley’s second year to Lowry’s. Many player make a significant jump in the second season. David Lee is a good example of that. We may yet see a jump from Conley this year.

  58. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    He might make a jump, especially if the injury was still effecting him. I just wonder how many PGs make the kind of jump we’d be looking for if the Knicks traded Lee for him… Most of the PGs I’ve been looking at to try to compare Conley stayed pretty consistent in terms of per minute and rate stats, or made a jump from good to very good or solid to good, I’m just looking for a PG that made the jump from solid to very good (not that there necessarily has to be one for Conley to do it, but it would make the probability go up in my eyes).

    Conley was a very average PG as a rookie, while Lee was already putting up good per minute and rate stats (9.7 reb/36 as a rook and .607 TS%…). A PG who improved that comes to mind is Steve Nash, but he averaged 7.3 ast/36 as a rookie and shot .418 on 3s. I just see a limit on Conley’s ceiling, but maybe the whole injury/one year in college PG thing makes him an exception.

  59. Ess-dog

    Another guess: Miami will take Beasley at the 2 spot and then trade to the highest bidder/whoever has what they need. Could you see a trade with Detroit where Billups goes for Beasley?
    OJ’s good but Riley would prefer a sure thing.
    Seriously that would’ve been great if the NYK’s had bought the 27th pick, pick up CDR or another prospect. I have to figure that Portland is making a run at a high lottery pick (maybe the 3 pick?) if they are trading for MORE picks. Portland needs a pg and could be going for OJ.
    If Walsh can move Curry and/or Randolph and get a top 6 pick I would be very very happy. We’ll have to see what he has up his sleeve.
    I’m going to go on record as saying a pick of Westbrook is too risky. I prefer Love.
    But who doesn’t want Love?

  60. tastycakes

    Ted Nelson,

    “Rolling the dice is not exactly the strategy I was hoping Walsh would implement…”

    Isn’t drafting pretty much *always* rolling the dice? The people doing the drafting (or the draft projections) are “experts” and they get it wrong a very high percentage of the time.

    You obviously want to take calculated risks. Status quo, in my opinion, would be the riskiest maneuever.

    My real hope is that we use tomorrow’s draft to shed at least 3 of the following players: Jeffries, James, Curry, Randolph, Malik Rose, Steph, Crawford.

  61. retropkid

    The original question was: How does Marion’s decision affect the Knicks?

    I don’t think it does. Miami still takes Beasley and lets it get sorted from there.

    If Walsh can get Mayo or Love I’m happy…if he can shed Curry and Crawford I am happy.

  62. Thomas B.

    Ted Nelson,

    “I just wonder how many PGs make the kind of jump we’d be looking for if the Knicks traded Lee for him… ”

    Amen brother!! I really don’t want to trade Lee for Conley (unless the 5th pick is included and we get the keep 6th, even then I worry). Lee for all his percieved limitations has shown that he can be a 10/10 guy, and he has improved some part of his game each year-the fact that he showed an ability to hit an open 14 footer last year is very nice. He runs the floor, has shown leadership ability, a desire to be better, and most of all the thing I love about Lee is that he really plays with great effort. Is there a 10/10 guy in the top 5 this year? Possibly Beasely. But we are not trading Lee for the 2 pick, so why gamble?

    I’m only saying that if we were to trade for a Memphis PG, I think Conley should be the guy and that I would like to keep Lee out of it.

  63. Thomas B.

    tastycakes,

    “My real hope is that we use tomorrow’s draft to shed at least 3 of the following players: Jeffries, James, Curry, Randolph, Malik Rose, Steph, Crawford.”

    Time will fix two of the guys on the list, Rose and Marbury gone July 1, 2008 at the latest. James is done the following year. So lets not lose a pick in the top half of the lottery to address an issue that will fix itself in two seasons-which is just the amont of time needed for most top picks to become significant contributors.

    Crawford might have some trade value. He can put up 20 a night and his salary is not that bad. A team with cap room that needs a scoring guard, could go after him-think Orlando or Minny. I would move JC, and Rose to Minny for Walker and the 3rd pick. (yes, I know that would be silly for Minny to do, but how many of you actually think Kevin McHale knows what he is doing?)

  64. Mulligan

    Some team is going to benefit from all of the picks Portland has (do they have 5 now?) and I’m afraid it won’t be us.

  65. Thomas B.

    edit Rose and Marbury gone July 1, 2009 edit

    If Miami wants to move the 2nd pick, then the Knicks should make a play. I think you have to include Lee in the deal, but Beasley is worth it. Beasley can play either forward spot. He could be the best player in the draft.

    Lee, Chandler, Rose and the 6th for the 2nd, Cook and Blount?

    —–

    But I don’t think Miami will move the 2nd pick. I think they want to see what they can get but ultimately Beasley will be the pick.

  66. GiantKnicksFan420

    I think Marion staying makes a big differense for Miami, even tho they are different players both play the forward combo position, the 3 and the occasional match up 4. Beaz wont be able to handle rasheed, bosh and other premier power forwards. Memphis (on rumors of trading up) face the same questions about Rudy Gay.
    Miami should just draft beaz and trade marion, even if its during the season, its a talented player with an expiriing contract. Getting that extra pick opens alot of doors. Letting Lee go is a high price, and its obviously stuck on whether Love or Mayo is there at 5 for Memphis.
    Seems like there are a ton of deals floating around right now. Hopefully we can get in the action and accerlerate the process of revamping the roster much quicker.
    O and lets stay away from TJ Ford, hes very frail and hes had some nasty injuries in the past and looks like hes one more bad fall away from never walking let alone playing again, not wishing bad on him, its just the reality of his situation. We can wait a yr for a PG if we dont draft one.
    Right now, if we DO find our PG, and it takes giving up nate to get rid of randolph, so be it…

  67. tastycakes

    Thomas B,

    Fair enough. I’m anxious to see the Knicks turn the page on the current roster, and I am still hopeful that we have > 50% turnover between the end of last year’s team and what we field on opening night.

    Of course, I don’t want to give up our pick unless we get a better pick in return. But using one of those expiring contracts (Rose, Steph) to take on a guy with 2 years remaining (like Cardinal I believe) AND so we can move up in the draft, seems like something the Knicks could do.

    If our goal is to be under the cap in 2010, then we can take on extra salary, so long as it doesn’t take us past that point in time. It’s not the money we’re spending that’s the problem, it’s the flexibility it costs us in free agency and on the trade market.

  68. Thomas B.

    From Ford’s article…

    “To that end, Riley staged two separate secret workouts in Miami on Tuesday.”

    Okay c’mon, how secret could they be? You just call them secret to make it seem that you are so adept at invesigative journalism that you found out about the double secret, extra classified workouts. Enough with the cloak and dagger crap.

    “Bayless had an “amazing” workout, according to the source. He “shot the lights” out and performed even better than he had in his first workout for the Heat. They believe he can be a full-time point guard in the pros, similar to Chauncey Billups.”

    And the price of oil just jumped 35 dollars a barrel!! Bayless shot the lights out, big suprise. Everyone knew Bayless could shoot lights on going in. He can be Billups? Okay, so assist are not that important to you, fine.

    “The source said Mayo was also “great,” and in addition to shooting the ball well, he performed well in some of the ballhandling drills. The Heat believe Mayo could be a Gilbert Arenas-type point guard.”

    Mayo is a Gilbert Arenas type? I hope not. I hope Mayo will keep turnovers down and play better D. I hope he will consider passing the ball. Gilbert cant even get his team out of the second round, or win the division, how valuable is that?

    My hope is that the price of oil keeps climbing to the point that the top five picks are Rose, Mayo, Bayless, Westbrook, and Chalmers. Then Beasley will settle in at 6 and Walsh will pull of the steal of the draft.

    “In addition to any questions about attitude, a number of high-ranking NBA sources told Katz that one of the main reasons the Heat wouldn’t select Beasley is the hope that they will land Utah’s Carlos Boozer in a year when he can opt out of his contract. Boozer has a home in Miami.”

    Okay that’s just other worldy dumb. You don’t pass on the best player in the draft on the possibility that Carlos Boozer MIGHT opt out of his deal because he has a home in Miami. Every player making more that 5 mill a year has a second home in Miami or Orlando.

    This is just like what the Bulls did 2 years ago, they got to smart and too cute for their own good with the 2nd pick. They could have gotten exactly what they needed in Aldridge-a player who proved his worth over two years at Texas-but no, they had to be super smart and trade Aldridge for Thomas (an athletic freak of nature that does not understand how to play) and wing. So instead of having Aldridge giving them 18 and 8, the Bulls had Thomas acting a fool and fighting with Skiles. In fact, the Aldridge trade could be the proximate cause Skiles losing his job.

  69. Dan Panorama

    Can anyone explain why Bayless’ stock is apparently plummeting? I understand Westbrook is moving up, but all the reports seem to be that teams that were drooling over Bayless a week ago, like the Knicks, planning on shunning him en masse even with Westbrook off the board. What gives? Supposedly he’s had some good workouts, draft measurements were already taken awhile ago, and we know what his season was like. I don’t really get how draft logic works…

  70. Italian Stallion

    I don’t think the Knicks will move Lee unless the flexibility they gain as a result of getting an extra lottery pick leads to other trades we are not contemplating yet.

  71. Mel

    this David love affair has to stop at some point , he is a decent player but he is no starter , and the reason is simple , he is neither a defender , nor a scorer and there isn’t one player at the 4 who deservedly starts in recent memory who cant claim to be at least 1 of the 2.

    some centers can get away with it because there is a lack of talented depth there, but not power forward.

    he doesn’t fit in with D’Antoni wants for his system, and his value is very high considered his actual production, the time is now to trade him .

    if the knicks can get that grizzly deal for the 5 they should just jump on it grab whoever (my prefernce would be Love) and move on.

  72. Ted Nelson

    Dan,

    It is a bit odd, but I think he was at #4 in the first place because of the consensus, and baseless as far as I can tell Seattle loves Bayless rumor.

    Mel,

    I don’t really feel like another one of these, but your point is not well received at all.

    Lee’s actual production on his career is 11.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, a 621 TS%, and 12.7 points per 36 minutes. 11.1 reb/36, .606 TS%, 13.4 pts/36 last season.

    Starting for the NBA runner-up Lakers at PF last season was Lamar Odom: 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes, .582 TS%, 13.5 points per 36 minutes last season. Career: 8.6 reb/36, .536 TS%, and 15 pts/36.

    So, David Lee scored more points more efficiently than the starting PF of the 2nd best team in the league while grabbing 1 more rebound per 36 minutes. The one place Odom clearly had Lee beat is passing, and I think this more than shooting is where Lee needs to improve: if you’re a low usage guy you should be a good passer. I don’t feel comfortable judging Lee’s defense on as miserable a defensive team as the Knicks. Put him next to Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen and I’m sure he’d look a lot better defensively.

    “they should just jump on it grab whoever”

    Great, any guy off the street is better than David Lee. Absolutely.

  73. jon abbey

    “Can anyone explain why Bayless’ stock is apparently plummeting? I understand Westbrook is moving up, but all the reports seem to be that teams that were drooling over Bayless a week ago, like the Knicks, planning on shunning him en masse even with Westbrook off the board. What gives? Supposedly he’s had some good workouts, draft measurements were already taken awhile ago, and we know what his season was like. I don’t really get how draft logic works…”

    this year, it seems like conventional wisdom is moving in the direction it should have been all along, with guys like Love and Westbrook rising and Bayless and Randolph falling. the real question is why Bayless and Randolph were ever so high to begin with…

  74. Dave

    Just to chime in on the Lowry-Conley conversation from earlier in the page.

    Lowry is a talented young player. Unfortunately he’s not really a point guard. He’s more of an undersized two guard. He’s got an unbelievable first step (one of the quickest in the league) especially off a triple threat position (versus off the dribble). He’s got bullish strength for a guy his size, he creates contact and gets to the line well. He’s a decent shooter, he has a good midrange game but lacks a perimeter shot. The main reason why he isn’t a point guard is that he does a horrible job organizing his team and regularly forgets to involve 1-3 of his teammates for 4 minute spells. He’s a below par passer for his position but acceptable. He isn’t a playmaker in that he doesn’t really create shots for his teammates. He’s gutsy player that likes big moments and likes a challenge. He also plays with great energy and hustle. His lack of point guard skills and size likely makes him a backup for his career.

    Conley on the other hand is a pure point guard through and through. He knows how to run his team. He’s a floor general and he’s a playmaker. He’s also a good penetrator. He has better handle and is better beating his man off the dribble. Conley is a far superior passer. He doesn’t have Lowry’s midrange game and he doesn’t finish as well in the paint, he’s a better perimeter shooter.

    Defensively is a tough question. I’d rather have Conley but the reason is Lowry’s inconsistency rather than his lack of defensive ability. Lowry can be a very good pressure defender and he also makes defensive plays like stealing the ball. He needs more discipline defensively (less reaching, gambling, straying from his man off the ball) and some more consistency of the things he does right. If he can do that he’s probably the better defender and could be an above average defender in the league. Both were fairly mediocre defensively this season, I’d place Conley as slight above average and Lowry as average. It’ll be interesting to see where both go from there.

  75. caleb

    I don’t think there’s much difference between #3 and the end of the lottery this year, so a slight wind can really affect a player’s stock.

    as far as Conley goes,

    “‘Conley has much more upside.’ Based on what? His on ball defense and one year in college? Maybe the injury was a factor last season, but I trust his NBA numbers to tell me what kind of player he is a lot more than his NCAA numbers.”

    Ok, Ted, I guess I see where you’re coming from. You think his rookie numbers were disappointing, so you’re not impressed.

    I just have to differ — I think he was pretty much in line with the high expectations coming out of college. He’s not Chris Paul or Jason Kidd, but the list of 20-year-old point guards who have averaged 25 minutes a game is very short. Just for fun, I’ll draw up a list to compare…

    You also mentioned Lee and Nash as comparisons — Lee was 3 years older than Conley his rookie year; Nash was 4 years older. Let’s see what Conley looks like in three years.

    “There’s this consensus that younger players improve, but I think it’s really a case by case basis (some do and some don’t)”

    Technically, I suppose this is true, but the vast, vast majority get better. You know this intuitively. Kevin Durant was a very bad player this year, compared to other NBA players, but I still think he’s gong to be terrific in a few years.
    I don’t think there have been 10 players in the last 20 years who were above-average NBA starters, before turning 21. (Magic, LeBron, Garnett, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kobe, uh, uh… who else? ) Players that age almost always get better, a lot better. It’s just as true for very good or average players, as it is for stars.

  76. Dave

    David Lee is a good solid power forward. For teams looking to contend they’ll need to pair him up with a dominant center. Since it’s easier to find good offensive talent at power forward than center and the Knicks are rebuilding …. he doesn’t have huge value to me. Knicks will probably give him up at some point to fit in their talented offensive player like they’ve already tried to do with Zach Randolph.

    I don’t like David Lee’s defense. If he played very good defense I’d have a lot more time for him but he hasn’t shown that. He’s still developing and since he’s one of those niche players in the league he’ll know he has to develop defensively to claim more minutes. He could become a solid defender in time and with better defenders around him but I don’t see him rising to a top defender like an Oakley was. Because of the lack of defense I group Lee closer to the Reggie Evans camp than the Charles Oakley camp.

    Hurts to loose a rebounder of his quality and a player who doesn’t need the ball to be successful. That hurts. Lee could be a very good fourth player on a title contender but if giving Lee up meant the chance of more and advancing the Knicks rebuilding with a high lottery pick … that’s something I’d be willing to do.

  77. Ted Nelson

    Dave,

    No doubt Lowry is not John Stockton, but I just don’t think Conley is much better than Lowry at this point statistically speaking. If he’s really as much better at running a team as you suggest, it will probably start to show statistically, either in his individual stats or team wins. (I have a problem basing a player’s passing ability solely on assists and TOs, but it’s what’s available.)

    Another point is that given the likely difference in their trade value Lowry would be an attractive guy to trade for (not as much for the Knicks with Nate already in the rotation, but a good rotation player on the right team if he can iron out his game).

    Caleb,

    As far as comparisons for Conley, the one obvious one I didn’t think to check out is Tony Parker. That’s who he was compared to entering the draft, and his rookie season was pretty similar to a young Parker. Parker has consistantly improved and obviously become a very good PG. He took a pretty big step forward between year 1 and 2… so maybe I can start to buy the Mike Conley hype.

    I think players do by and large improve from the time their 20 (would love to see a list), but I was checking out some of the high profile PGs who entered the NBA with 2 years of college or less and Conley just doesn’t stick out (again, the Parker comparison is promising). Don’t get me wrong, I think he’ll be a good starting PG and has a chance to be a perrenial All-Star, I was just not impressed enough to say the Knicks should trade their best player and take on a bad contract to get him. He does strike me as a good attitude/work ethic guy, so I’m encouraged.

  78. TDM

    Miami Herald today: “A source close to the Grizzlies said Memphis has no interest in parting with Conley.”

    It may all be a moot point (no pun). If he’s not included, however, I don’t think I’d pull the trigger on the rumored trade, unless the 5 and 6 could get us Rose. It sounds like Donnie is trying to swing a deal with Minny at 3 so he can pick Mayo, but I can’t imagine what he could use to pull the trade. Maybe Lee, 5, 6 for 3 (Mayo) and Jaric?

  79. Mel

    Ted,

    c’mon now , stats be dammed you know full well Odom is better on both sides of the ball, because everyone knows that.

    you can clear out and let odom operate no matter who is guarding him, you can run offense through him.

    and he is a legit good defender, you can win with him.

    Lee has proven nothing other than he is basically more talented than basically all bench players but doesn’t play well enough to be a starter, all his problems are mostly of mentality, you shouldn’t have starters holding the ball when its swung around the perimeter getting the post players 3 sec. violations because they are afraid to shoot it past 5 feet…there is no stat for that other than him keeping his high TS% and garnering eddy and zach a turnover they dont deserve.

    there is no reason smaller,less gifted, less athletic players like reggie evans and udonis haslem are starter caliber players and Lee isn’t because they are good defenders and Lee isn’t. at some point it just becomes time to cash in your chips.

  80. Ted Nelson

    “Because of the lack of defense I group Lee closer to the Reggie Evans camp than the Charles Oakley camp.”

    I agree that Lee needs to improve his D (and passing) to reach his reasonable potential. But I think in a more functional organization than the Knicks’ over the last few years he might.

    However, one thing you’re completely ignoring is Lee’s scoring efficiency:

    Career numbers

    Oakley:
    11.1 pts/36
    .526 TS%
    (His number dropped off after he left the Knicks, but were probably like 13, 14 pts/36 and .560 TS% max before that, rough estimate just from looking at the numbers)

    Evans:
    7.8 pts/36
    .502 TS%

    Lee:
    12.7 pts/36 (has risen every year)
    .626 TS%

    I’m not against trading him in the right move, I just don’t think the average mid-lottery pick is necessarily better than Lee.

  81. Ted Nelson

    Mel,

    You’re right Lee is a worse player than REGGIE EVANS and UDONIS HASLEM and anyone off the street, even though every statistic and any basketball observer would disagree.

    I mean I can see saying we overrate Lee on this board, but he’s coveted around the league and generally consdired a good young player (see making the Olympic practice team and winning Rookie-Sophmore MVP). Maybe Owen’s in the minority thinking Lee’s a top 5 PF, but you’re definitely in the minority (and possibly crazy) if you think Lee’s worse than Reggie Evans.

  82. Dallas

    why have the knicks lost interest in Jerryd Bayless. He has franchise player potential and is an overall better player than russel westbrook.

  83. Mel

    i dont know where this “every1 off the street ” stuff is coming from i clearly meant any decent selction at #5 thats far from every1 off the street.

    untill proven otherwise Evans is a better player , he is good at rebounding and defense and lee is only good at rebounding

    you stat guys still know 2 is more than 1 right?

  84. Ben R

    I wonder how interested Minnisota would be in cap space. We could trade them Marbury and take all three of their undesirable contracts; Walker, Jaric and Buckner. If we took all three maybe we could do a Marbury + one other asset (#6, Lee, Robinson, future 1st) for Walker + Jaric + Buckner + #3.

    If we got #3 and Miami is truly interested in Mayo we might be able to do a Rose + #3 for Blount + #2. This way Miami gets the player they want and saves money on Blount’s contract.

    Another idea would be Crawford + #6 for #2 + Blount. Riley has been interested in Crawford in the past and maybe he could be tempted with him as a solution to their backcourt. Bayless, a player Riley is supposedly interested in should still be there at 6. Also while it does not save them money they should still be under the cap enough to extend Marion and sign a huge free agent next year. We could also take Haslem and Banks for Rose to save them more money if they want.

    Whatever we do if Bealsy is availiable we need to do everything in our power to try and get him.

  85. Ted Nelson

    “Since when does Reggie Evans play defense?”

    Uh, since never… And since when wasn’t Daivd Lee one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA? That would be 2 skills: 1 + 1.

    “untill proven otherwise”

    It has been about to proven as it possibly could be. The point is absolutely useless to argue, Lee is MUCH better than Evans and I think it’s more useful to debate whether Lee is as good as someone like David West (an on going discussion for a while) or even Zach Randolph… Lee is very good at his role (rebounding, low usage/high efficiency scoring), and with some improvement (passing, defense, shooting confidence) could be amazing at it. To discuss how useful a low usage/ high efficiency scorer is would be an interesting conversation (one that’s also been beaten to death here). To discuss whether Lee is better than Udonis Haslem is not in my opinion. Haslem, by the way, averages 9.4 reb/36 and 11.6 points/36 on a .543 TS%. The difference in scoring efficiency far outweighs any difference in defense, to me, because it’s not like Haslem is a sepcial defender (average probably) and it’s not like Lee is a terrible defender.

  86. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “you stat guys still know 2 is more than 1 right?”

    Stats that David Lee beat Reggie Evans on last year (per minute where available):
    Minutes
    FGM
    FGA
    FG%
    FTM
    FT%
    AST
    BLK
    TO
    PF
    PTS
    PER
    TS%
    eFG%

    Stats Reggie Evans was better:
    FTA
    OREB
    STL
    Games Started

    Looks like 14-4 by my count.

  87. Thomas B.

    Lets play “Find That Typo”

    From the NY Post…

    “Sources indicate the Knicks no longer are interested in Arizona combo guard Jerryd Bayless. But they still pine for UCLA PG Russell Westbrook, an athletic, explosive penetrator who’s a solid defender, and Indians sharpshooting combo guard Eric Gordon.”

    Well it seems to me that Eric Gordon’s draft right already belong to the Mohegan Sun.

  88. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    FWIW,

    I jjuust saw the projected top 15 picks leaving Shula’s steakhouse in Times Square (they took them to Shula’s???? In NYC? There HAVE to be better places for lunch). Someone in the crowd yelled out to OJ Mayo – “Come play for the Knicks!” Mayo smiled and winked. That’s my “insider” info for the day – then again, my “sources are probably just as good/accurate as Vescey’s

  89. Dave

    David Lee’s scoring doesn’t matter too much to me because he’s not a scorer. It has a value definitely but it doesn’t rate highly on my list. If his defense was good his scoring efficiency could be a deciding factor against many guys but what I want from a player like him is defense. The important part in my reasoning is – a player like Lee (doesn’t need the ball, top rebounder, doesn’t have much go-to offensive value). I want defense from that style of player far more than I want scoring efficiency. Then I want passing again far more than scoring efficiency. So it does have a value to me but it is low on my list for a player like David Lee.

    By the way I fully agree that David Lee is better than Reggie Evans. I just said he’s closer to that type of a player than a Charles Oakley. I rate Reggie Evans as a better defensive player than David Lee. I consider Evans a mediocre defender whereas I have Lee as below average. Reggie Evans is also a better rebounder and gets to FT line well. Evans also sets far tougher screens for his guards. Lee is much more efficient scorer with a better jump shot, better finishing and much better at the FT line and also a slightly better passer. Lee is a more cerebral of a player and clearly more comfortable away from the hoop than Reggie is. Lee’s added physical size also allows him to play some center which Reggie Evans cannot do.

  90. Italian Stallion

    David Lee brings fairly efficient scoring, a good FT%, a solid rebounding game, and good energy to a team.

    But that’s not the question to ask or answer.

    “What does the team need” is the question to ask and answer.

    If you need a PF that plays great man defense, blocks shots, can play help defense for the C/SF, is enough of a threat from the outside that defenses can’t sag off him and help out against your post players, that can score 20 when you need it, then Lee is not your man.

    It’s a matter of matching needs to skills and until we know what this team is going to look like, it’s hard to know whether we need what Lee brings to the table at 8M a year.

  91. Mel

    of the 18 stats only 2 were defensive stats, how does look even to even the most slanted eyes and some were essentially duplicates of each other with a new additive (fg%, efg TS%)

    how about stuff that actually matters , neither of these guys are looked to provide points , its their job to do the dirty work , throw their bodies on the line and make their presense felt in ways that dont include them having the ball in their hands .

    evans is a better rebounder period according to the numbers on this site (rebounding rate)19.5 to 17.5.

    according to 82games.com evans drew 24 offensive fouls…lee 8 Jamal crawford not the most rugged guy even drew 11 .

    blocks+ steals 94 for evans in 1879 minutes last season

    Lee garnered 84 in 2,356 last season

    the knicks aren’t winning games based on Lee’s offensive proficiency , and they never will, despite whats said here its never going to be more important than guys understanding their place on a team and doing whatever is needed for the sake of the team .

    and its something Evans gets and haslem gets and while lee is more talented , its why they are better than him because Lee after 3 years still doesn’t get it. These guys are role players, comparing Lee to guys like Odom shows that some people here dont get it and its why if the Grizz wants to give up a #5 for Lee they should jump at it.

  92. Ted Nelson

    Dave,

    Fair enough. I can’t disagree: I’d like to see Lee’s defense (as with any Knicks not named Balkman or Chandler, maybe Fred Jones or Jared Jeffries but…) improve from last season. And I also think he should work on passing (more than scoring). If the Knicks were a championship contender I think those would be legitimate concerns. I guess the real question is whether trading Lee gets the Knicks closer to that level or keeping him and trying to add the pieces they need around (in-front of, so to speak) him through free agency, draft, trades. (If the Knicks traded Lee for a guy I saw as a legitimate top 2 guy on a champion one day, say Beasley or maybe Mayo…not sure about him… I’d be happy, if they traded him for a possible 3rd guy on that kind of team like Conley or Love I would be indifferent, otherwise I guess it’s really subjective and would depend on the deal.)

    I’d be interested to hear why you think Lee is below average rather than average defensively. I mean with his athleticism, attitude, work ethic I think he would be passable on a good team D. He’s not going to be an interior force, but I think in a few years he could be a decent man defender.

    IS,

    You make a decent point and it’s not like Lee is Tim Duncan. I would just say that a guy who rebounds exceptionally well and scores VERY efficiently by moving without the ball and getting himself easy looks is a good fit in most any situation (of course you need some legit scorers around him, not Randolph and Crawford, but neither of those guys has EVER won in the NBA as a big minute player). I would like to see the Knicks focus on defense, but hiring D’Antoni over the likes of Avery Johnson and Scott Skiles and Tom T makes me think it’s not their first priority.

    Mel,

    First, yes, Odom is a very good point-forward. Off hand, I’d say making plays for teammates and scoring the same amount of points extremely efficiently more or less evens out (not many other PFs are Odom as playmakers, so it’s kind of a unique example anyway). Again, I think Lee should improve his passing.

    “its never going to be more important than guys understanding their place on a team and doing whatever is needed for the sake of the team .”

    I’d say that sentence discribes Lee EXTREMELY well. Guys like Zach and Jamal jacking up fade away Js with hands in their face and 20 seconds on the shot clock is not what the Knicks need and that’s why they don’t win not because Lee doesn’t block more shots. But with guys who take a lot of shots what the Knicks need is someone who scores efficiently and rebounds the abundance of Zach and Jamal misses.

    “neither of these guys are looked to provide points , its their job to do the dirty work , throw their bodies on the line and make their presense felt in ways that dont include them having the ball in their hands”

    Again, Lee is MUCH better at moving without the ball in his hands, getting in a position to score, and converting. This skill would be much better utilized on ~90% of NBA teams than on the Knicks. LEE IS NOT A “DIRTY WORK” / “HUSTLE” GUY LIKE JEROME WILLIAMS OR REGGIE EVANS: HE’S VERY SKILLED. This is something I think his Rookie game MVP attests to. Renaldo Balkman is more the Jerome Williams type (at SF).

  93. retropkid

    This Board just loves to talk David Lee….

    The original question — how does Marion’s decision affect the Knicks?

    It doesn’t.

    Miami still takes Beasley — if Marion could play with Stoudamire, he can play with Beasley, the Heat stink anyway and may as well put studs out there.

    I hope the Knicks take Love, but would live with Mayo….a draft day deal that gets Curry and Crawford out of NY would be heaven…we’re stuck with Steph for a year, okay I can live…

  94. Thomas B.

    At this point no lottery team is trading their pick before the draft. Teams are likley to make a pick then trade that player. So why not just wait to see who Memphis takes at 5 before you go offering Lee for the pick. I would not support trading Lee for Westbrook or Gallanari, or Alexander. But Lee for Mayo or Beasley or possibly Love, then Yes trade Lee for one of those guys.

    Lets say Memphis agrees to trade Lee for the 5th pick today. And then Thursday the top four picks are:

    Rose
    Beasley
    Love
    Mayo

    What do the Knicks do now? They traded Lee to take Westbrook, Bayless, or Gallanari? That isnt such a great move. If you plan to trade Lee, you need to move into the top 3. The skill drop off between 5th and 6th is too small to give up Lee just to add Westbrook, Bayless, or Gallanri. Especially when one of those three will be there at the 6th pick. I dont get it.

  95. Dave

    “Again, Lee is MUCH better at moving without the ball in his hands,”

    I left that out completely. Lee is fantastic at moving without the ball into open space and at creating a passing lane for his teammates. I love that part of his game.

    Ted,

    There’s nothing on his defensive game which I think is better than average. His post position defense is slightly below average. His defensive rotations are inconsistent, sometimes solid sometimes sloppy. He very rarely forces his man into a low percentage shot which would be high on my list of concerns. He doesn’t defend the rim well. He doesn’t force turnovers – charges, steals, blocks. His defense away from the hoop on forwards with jump shots is below average (lacks discipline, leaves shooters too often). His defense on screen and rolls is fine. He has solid mobility which helps him out there. I don’t think Lee does well against penetrating bigs like Chris Bosh who use quick movements and quick first step to drive inside. There’s nothing in his game that makes him a solid one-on-one defender or a solid help defender.

    He’s not awful or very poor at anything which is very good because it means if you surround him with good quality defenders his own D will pick up quickly and easily (like it did for Ray Allen in Boston). That’s important.

    But I find it hard to see how he’s going to become a very good defensive player. The development there would be huge. I don’t expect him to become a player who can effect games significantly and consistently with his defense. He can be a solid defender though.

  96. Z

    All it takes is one “non stat guy” or “Lee is just a role player guy” to turn any thread into a rehashing of 1000 previous posts. Guys like Mel aren’t going to stick around on this site long enough to convince them that Lee is better than Kobe, so save your words, guys…

    That said, I actually think Lee is a good defender. Since there seem to be few accepted stats other than blocks and steals to dispute that, my contention is “stat guy” proof. If the Knicks had a shot blocking center I don’t thing anyone would complain about Lee’s D. If Lee played on the Spurs I don’t think they would become a mediocre defensive team. He played Yao straight up this year with better success than anybody else on the team (the way Kurt Thomas used to lock up bigger centers). Defense is hustle and grit, which no one can say Lee lacks.

    That may be my last Lee posting, because once he’s in Memphis, I probably won’t even remember his name…

  97. Mikecc

    Why are people convinced David Lee won’t fit into D’Antoni’s system? He can run the floor and finish. Granted, it was an exhibition, but he was easily the best player on the floor (in that game) in that sophmore/rookie game. He is also unselfish, rebounds and has a huge heart- a keeper who epitomizes NY basketball.

  98. Dave

    How does Marion staying put affect the draft?

    I don’t have a clue because Pat Riley’s lack of comfort with Beasley confuses the life out of me. I think Beasley-Marion-Wade is one heck of a threesome that balances each other very well. They’re all very athletic and could run the floor very well. Add two solid role players, a point that can run the offense (so Wade can attack rather than organize) and a defensive minded center, and you have yourself a very impressive team.

    Logically I think it should make it more likely Riley drafts Beasley. If Marion opted out Riley might have tried to entice Brand to do likewise and tried to sign him. Which makes a guard like Mayo easier to add. Without that cap space Riley can’t add a big man with the talent of Beasley which should make him harder to pass up. I’m not sure how much logic Riley is using these days so who knows?

    I can’t believe it’s even a decision for Riley. Beasley is a great fit for Miami and a top talent that should be a top two pick.

    …..

    If Miami draft Beasley it means nobody else is trading up for Beasley so teams like Min-Sea-Mem are likely still in their slots and likely to draft the expected picks – although they’re tough to figure at the moment. I think most likely (but not definitive) are Mayo/Bayless/Love in some order.

  99. Italian Stallion

    >If the Knicks had a shot blocking center I don’t thing anyone would complain about Lee’s D. If Lee played on the Spurs I don’t think they would become a mediocre defensive team<

    Z,

    You are making my point in another way.

    These debates about which player is better are interesting when they are somewhat limited. However, the success of a basketball team is more related to having a “balance” of inside and outside scoring, defense, rebounding, limited turnovers, good passing etc….

    Lee would be a terrific starter on the Knicks if they had a center with a bit of an outside shot that could also block shots and play great defense. He would even be terrific on a team with a center that only had a good post up game and a very solid defense/shot blocking game if the Knicks had a bunch of dead eye shooters at the 1,2 and 3.

    But they don’t. So he contributes his rebounds and energy etc…, but his weaknesses either hurt or don’t help where the Knicks need help. IMO, that makes him expendable because even though he’s one of the best Knicks, he is far from good enough to build a team around.

    Randolph is also a good player in several ways (despite the trashing he takes here and just about everywhere else). The problem is that you couldn’t find a worse combination of big men than Curry and Randolph no matter how hard you tried. Randolph needs a center that compliments his weaknesses and vice versa.

    On another note, word has it that Curry is working harder than he ever has to get into top shape because he knows the new management is not going to take his lard ass BS. He’s even supposedly going to play in the summer league to try to salvage his career.

  100. Mel

    First, yes, Odom is a very good point-forward. Off hand, I’d say making plays for teammates and scoring the same amount of points extremely efficiently more or less evens out (not many other PFs are Odom as playmakers, so it’s kind of a unique example anyway). Again, I think Lee should improve his passing.

    “its never going to be more important than guys understanding their place on a team and doing whatever is needed for the sake of the team .”

    I’d say that sentence discribes Lee EXTREMELY well. Guys like Zach and Jamal jacking up fade away Js with hands in their face and 20 seconds on the shot clock is not what the Knicks need and that’s why they don’t win not because Lee doesn’t block more shots. But with guys who take a lot of shots what the Knicks need is someone who scores efficiently and rebounds the abundance of Zach and Jamal misses.

    “neither of these guys are looked to provide points , its their job to do the dirty work , throw their bodies on the line and make their presense felt in ways that dont include them having the ball in their hands”

    Again, Lee is MUCH better at moving without the ball in his hands, getting in a position to score, and converting. This skill would be much better utilized on ~90% of NBA teams than on the Knicks. LEE IS NOT A “DIRTY WORK” / “HUSTLE” GUY LIKE JEROME WILLIAMS OR REGGIE EVANS: HE’S VERY SKILLED. This is something I think his Rookie game MVP attests to. Renaldo Balkman is more the Jerome Williams type (at SF).

    thats the thing isn’t it.

    they dont need a skilled guy who isn’t as skilled as Zach, they need a guy who will come in and give them stuff Zach and curry dont .

    Curry is every bit and more the finisher around the hoop , zach is a better shooter, rebounder, creator of offense , when he chooses to be .

    They need a guy to be a defender/dirty work guy , and Lee has resisted or been incapable of being that and he isn’t so skilled he can be considered an offensive guy he avg. slightly more than a point for every 3 min. he is on the court most scorers do better than 1 of 2 min. its a big difference and they do it pretty much as soon as they enter for the most part .

    he has taken basically 6 shots a game over 25 minutes in his career , a guy who is a scorer would never be so low…he would find a way to take more.

    he needs to accept his role , he’s not Lebron , the knicks aren’t going to change their makeup based on his presence on their roster , he needs to start doing the dirty work ,He isn’t above it , Charles oakley made a great career off of dirty work , Dennis rodman may make it to the hall of fame off of it.

    what coach needs non stars not doing whats needed because they supposedly have more skill than that , you may think he is better than balkman and JYD , but if he doesn’t get it together i find it hard to believe ultimately he’ll have a very sucessfull nba career , players who dont conform usually find themselves on the bench on good teams or only playing alot on bad ones.

  101. Z

    “Lee would be a terrific starter on the Knicks if they had a center with a bit of an outside shot that could also block shots and play great defense. He would even be terrific on a team with a center that only had a good post up game and a very solid defense/shot blocking game if the Knicks had a bunch of dead eye shooters at the 1,2 and 3…. But they don’t.”

    IS– I agree. But do you throw out the baby with the bath water?

    If the Knicks do add a few good young players tomorrow and in the 2009 draft and land a A list free agent in 2010, then Lee becomes just what you say: a terrific starter on a good team.

    It wouldn’t break my heart to see him go (no hunger strikes from me), but I see good things in Lees future. I hope those good things happen to him with the Knicks.

    On another note: it seems like the 6th pick is the WORST pick to have tomorrow. Pretty much all the guys from 6-15 are inter-changeable, whereas, picks 1-5 seem to be the sure bets.

    We get 6 while the bulls get 1…

    When will this nightmare end?

  102. Italian Stallion

    >But do you throw out the baby with the bath water? <

    Lee is my favorite Knick. However, I’m having a tough time figuring out how to rebuild these Knicks with Lee on the team. He doesn’t really compliment Curry well and I think the Knicks are going to have a tough time trading both Curry and Randolph. IMO, Randolph is actually going to be easier to move.

    If Curry is the center, the Knicks need a different type of PF to play along side of him.

    I think Lee is tradeable. I also think paying him 7-8 million sort of locks the Knicks up financially a little again. So moving him to rebuild other parts of the team or maybe even to get Love, upgrade at PF slightly, and save money is not such a terrible idea (if that could be done).

    If we could get rid of Curry and Randolph and find a solid defensive and shot blocking center with an inside game, then Lee works great. But that sounds a lot like building around Lee. ;-)

  103. jon abbey

    “When will this nightmare end?”

    not soon, certainly. even with Walsh and D’Antoni, we have probably the worst personnel/cap space situation in the league. ain’t no quick fixes here…

  104. Owen

    I am not even going to touch this DLee stuff, I am too close to the breaking point here.

    Honestly, it’s ludicrous to blame Dlee for defensive shortcomings on a team that starts Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph.

    And I would like to see this mythical beast who can make up for their failings and be acquired for the same or less than what it would cost to sign DLee.

    Here is a list of players who would make up for their shortcomings.

    Dwight Howard
    Tim Duncan
    Andrew Bynum
    KG
    Tyson Chandler
    Amare Stoudemire
    Marcus Camby

    And I have to agree with Dave, passing on Beasley seems totally ludicrous.

    I don’t think I have really ever tuned into a draft this closely. It’s a really byzantine, bizarre process…

  105. Z

    “even with Walsh and D’Antoni, we have probably the worst personnel/cap space situation in the league. ain’t no quick fixes here…”

    Jon– I know. I know. I’m venting 33 years of frustration here…

    There is a certain amount of Karmic cause and effect at work here, courtesy of Isiah, Jimmy D., Larry Brown, Ms. A. Brown, that intern thet Marbury semi-raped, etc…) But the usual suspects to blame (Dolan, and more recently in your own blog one Commissar Stern) are only partly responsible for my frustrations. There is a lot of (deserved/undeserved) bad luck conspiring against them…

    I mean, really (apologies, Seth and Amy)– The Bulls? After fleecing the Knicks of two lottery picks for Eddy Curry AND unloading Jamal Crawford on us, get the #1 in a top heavy draft?! …

    While the Knicks end up on the 6 end of 6-16 being consensually equal?!

    I mean, come on, it’s been 23 years since the rigged lottery gave us Pat Ewing. Isn’t 23 years outside the statute of Karmic limitations?…

  106. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I don’t get Riley’s logic at all – at the worst, he’d be able to trade Beasley next season if, say, Boozer becomes available.

    To turn Beasley down period – absurd.

    Anyhow, I’m hopin’ and prayin’ that Memphis does deal with Miami, as that’ll assure Lee will stay a Knick for at least one more night.

  107. Italian Stallion

    Owen,

    >Honestly, it’s ludicrous to blame Dlee for defensive shortcomings on a team that starts Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph. <

    I believe you are missing the entire point of the discussion because no one is blaming the Knicks problems on Lee.

    The question being raised is whether Lee fits well with Curry and/or Randolph because that’s who we have as our other front line players.

    Randolph and Curry don’t fit well at all. That much a dead man could figure out. The problem is that Lee and Curry don’t fit well either PERIOD!!!

    So the question becomes how do we get our frontcourt from point “A” (where we are now) to point “B” (where we would like to be).

    Here are the options:

    1. We can try in vain to trade both Curry and Randolph AND build around Lee, but that would probably be without our #6 because no one is going to take either of those guys without a sweetner.

    2. We could trade Lee (our most marketable asset and probably fairly easy to get done), possibly get another pick in return, gain significant trade flexibility, potentially get one or more players that could easily be as good or better than Lee at various positions, potentially get a great player, and without locking us up into another pricey long term contract immediately. Then depending we need to trade either Curry or Randolph.

    Honestly, there is way too much MAN LOVE on this board for Lee.

    He’s a good player, but we have to keep in mind he’s not a franchise player (LMAO) or even the type of player you want to build around.

    Since the idea is to figure out how to use our assets to get to point “B” as quickly as possible, moving Lee has to be considered.

    The Knicks have many needs, mismatched players, few tradeable assets, and a bad cap situation. The #6 alone is not going to get us very far. We need to make some moves. If there are things on the table now that help, they have to be done – including trading Lee!

  108. DS

    Jermaine O’Neal to Toronto is almost complete. I guess that’s enough team we won’t be displacing in the playoffs any time soon.

  109. Z

    “Since the idea is to figure out how to use our assets to get to point “B” as quickly as possible, moving Lee has to be considered.”

    As quickly as possible isn’t really true. No real Knick fan expects the Knicks to compete for a title in 2008-2009, or 2009-2010.

    Still, despite the fact that Italian Stallion’s “knick”name is synonymous with that of a dubious draft option of our beloved, there is some sense in moving Lee now rather than later (sorry Owen).

    24 hours from now there is a distinct possibility DLee will be gone. Since it is not Isiah making the call, I have to defer to the new brass– assume there is a plan in place, and just hope that with DLee goes Zach Randolph to ease the pain…

  110. Ben R

    It does not matter whether Lee fits with Randolph or Curry because Randolph and Curry should not be starters on the Knicks anymore. We should not make personnel decisions based on who fits with our terrible starting PF (Randolph) or our very limited C (Curry).

    Lee is the only Knick bigman that is even average. So we should keep him unless we can get a better player. I am not saying we should build around him I just do not see the wisdom in trading the only legitimate starter on the team, just because he has value. We need all the starters we can get so why trade the only one we have.

    I agree with a poster above that Lee is more valuable than anyone in this draft besides; Rose and Beasley (who are better) and Mayo and Love (who I would say are about equal).

    If we cannot get one of those four players for Lee than trading him would be a mistake.

  111. Caleb

    I see that even posters who are usually cold-eyed realists, have drunk the Kool-Aid on Mayo.

    Can anyone explain why they think he is the 3rd-best player in the draft?

    Meanwhile, there’s no way Miami picks Mayo straight up; even if they don’t have a deal in place they’ll just take him and listen to trade offers later. They really need to decide whether Marion is staying for the long-term or not. If he is, it makes sense to trade Beasley for a veteran star, even if the ceiling isn’t so high. If they’re trading Marion or letting him walk, then they’re going younger and Beasley is a building block.

    Speaking of trades, Portland looks to be in great shape to trade for either Beasley or Rose, if they wanted. They could move either Aldridge or Roy, along with the #13 and any number of extra draft picks or solid young players (Outlaw, Jack, Webster, Rodriguez, etc._

  112. TDM

    Today, the Bobcats traded a future protected no. 1 to Denver for the 20th pick this year.

  113. Frank

    Yow- I guess that Toronto-Indy trade is pretty official now. Toronto is seriously a team to watch now… starting lineup of:

    PG: Calderon
    SG: Parker
    SF: Moon
    PF: Bosh
    C: O’Neal

    with Kapono, Bargnani, Delfino, etc. off the bench. well-balanced with Calderon being great as we all know, Parker being a great defender and good 3 point shooter, good SF flexibility with rebounder/defender/energy guy in Moon and 48% from 3pt range Kapono for offense. If O’Neal is healthy (big if) they really could challenge for the eastern conference with Boston — I think they match up well with the Celts.

    The thing they’re missing is a slasher/creator type in the backcourt outside of Calderon… Jamal Crawford anyone?

  114. TDM

    The other thing they are missing is a starting center that can play more than 50% of the season.

  115. Brian Cronin

    If healthy, yeah, that trade is amazing, and even if not healthy, it’s still a deal I’d have done in a second.

    Still, he does have to stay healthy for the deal to be great – what are the odds that he stays healthy?

  116. TDM

    Brian,

    JO’s only played 60% of his games the past 4 seasons. I’d say its a long shot he stays healthy. The other question coincidentally is what are the odds that TJ Ford stays healthy?

  117. Brian Cronin

    Oh right, TDM, but like I said, I think it is a good trade no matter what, because an iffy O’Neal is better than an iffy Ford.

    But if O’Neal is healthy, then it is a great trade.

  118. Z

    “JO’s only played 60% of his games the past 4 seasons.”

    Stat guys–

    Is there correlation between games missed in 4 years and games missed next year? Seems like if one is healthy, one is healthy. You can throw history out the window.

    McDyess has been productive, despite injury history saying he was a risky sign at the mid-level. Same with GHill. Corey Maggette’s had his injury problems too, but is he necessarily washed up?

    Seems like injuries are isolated to the injury, and that winning has a way of making pain go away…

  119. tdm

    Brian,

    I agree. A hobbled starting center is better than a hobbled backup pg – especially when the center used to be an all-star. I guess my only reservation if I were TOR would be trading out of this draft when there are several big man prospects expected to go late first or even second round.

  120. Duff Soviet Union

    Not sure about the injury history thing. Ilgauskas always got injured early in his career and has since become an ironman. Sam Cassell missed a ton of games in his first few years and then got healthy (until he got old). McDyess you noted (I laughed out loud when Detroit signed him to a five year deal. Never doubt Joe Dumars). I think these guys are the exceptions though. I think O’Neal might be just about done. But yeah, if he’s healthy and can accept being a third option on offense then it’s a great trade and Toronto are semi-serious contenders. Not sure I’d bet on either of those things though.

  121. tdm

    Z-

    You may be right and give good examples (although you left out Camby). However, I would put JO in a slightly different category. While he is still young, he has higher mileage than he should even considering that he didn’t really become a starter until his third year. Not to mention, for every good example you gave, there is one to show the opposite (Houston, Webber, Penny, LJ, even Shaq). And I think time and injuries take their toll on bigger players more so than smaller guys.

  122. Ray

    Man some of you guys really love D. Lee…..But if we can get Beasley for him all im going to say is SEE YA!!! Id also like to see Love come in because he can shooot (mid-range and three). Love also blocks a couple of shots here and there. Hes a primetime rebounder and hes an A plus passer!!! So dont fret guys. Thats if we were to land him. If we get Beasley or Mayo im going to jump for joy. Im pretty sure my wife will tell me to calm down but she knows ive been obsessing over the draft for a while.

    Who id like to see us draft in this order…

    Beasley
    Mayo
    Love
    Westbrook
    Bayless.
    Gallinari(BEcause he has multiple demnsions to his game)
    Augustine
    Rush
    CDR

    Id also like to get a second rounder or an additonal 1st rounder for cash.

    Lets go Walsh baby make this happen!!!!!

  123. Brian Cronin

    I think it is a case by case basis, and O’Neal just seems to be a case that appears iffy.

    What injury surprised you the most that it ended a player’s career? I think Jamal Mashburn would be my pick – I was shocked that it ended his career.

  124. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think anyone is saying not to trade Lee for Beasley. Heck, I don’t think Owen even said it.

  125. DS

    Point to consider about whoever falls to #3: Is there any chance Beasley’s or OJ’s agent muscles Minnesota into dealing their pick (a la Steve Francis) as their client presumably would rather play in NY?!?!?! I would love for Miami to pass on B-Easy and for this to happen. One can dream.

  126. Brian Cronin

    I just had a really scary thought.

    Donnie Walsh…

    Antonio Davis for the #5 pick = David Lee for the #5 pick?

  127. Owen

    “see that even posters who are usually cold-eyed realists, have drunk the Kool-Aid on Mayo.”

    Cool name, lots of press, definitely the sharpest dressed guy.

    To me he has Larry Hughes written all over him…

  128. Duff Soviet Union

    Brian, what’s REALLY scary is that Anthony Randolph seems to be exactly the player Jonathan Bender would have been if he’d been forced to go to college.

  129. Ted Nelson

    Dave,

    Good comment on Lee’s D. I agree that he needs work, is unlikely to ever become a real difference maker, but can become an adequate defender on a good defensive team.

    “Pat Riley’s lack of comfort with Beasley confuses the life out of me. I think Beasley-Marion-Wade is one heck of a threesome that balances each other very well.”

    My sentiments exactly. Not one rumor that he actually likes Beasley… Then again, I wonder if it’s a smoke screen to keep Chicago from considering Beasley #1 (highly doubt it).

    IS,

    “But they don’t. So he contributes his rebounds and energy etc…, but his weaknesses either hurt or don’t help where the Knicks need help. IMO, that makes him expendable because even though he’s one of the best Knicks, he is far from good enough to build a team around.”

    Expendable, sure, but is the Knicks problem that D Lee doesn’t fit with their other pieces or that most of their other pieces SUCK??? As Owen says, who fits with Curry, Randolph, Q, Crawford, Marbury? MJ? LeBron? Even those guys would have a hard time winning with that “core.”
    If you can trade Lee for a top 2 player on a contending team, do it. I mean no one is giving those kind of guys away, but I would be looking for someone with a reasonable chance to become that kind of player to trade Lee (who I think can definitely be the 4th best player on a serious contender and probably the 3rd). In the end, does a shot blocking center really fit any better with Curry/Randolph? (This notion of defensive beast PF/C with an outside shot is always coming up on this board, how many guys in the NBA fit that description? How many guys under 30 the Knicks could actually acquire?)

    “Randolph is also a good player in several ways”

    It’s extremely contradictory to talk about team balance and then say Randolph is a good player. I have a hard time seeing ANY team winning with a PF who jacks up as many jumpers at as low a percentage as Randolph, not to mention his defensive indifference. How do you balance him out? He’s got to change the way he plays/his attitude to win.

    Mel,

    “thats the thing isn’t it. they dont need a skilled guy who isn’t as skilled as Zach, they need a guy who will come in and give them stuff Zach and curry dont .”

    The thing is that they need to get rid of Zach and/or Curry. There’s a reason that two players with as much talent as those two have never led a winning team: they don’t WANT to. They could give a crap less about winning: feed them the rock, pay them, and stay out of Zach’s way or he’ll break your eye socket (as he did to Ruben Patterson). Curry might eat you if you get in his way…

    “he needs to accept his role , he’s not Lebron”

    I really can’t think of many guys in the NBA who are more excepting of their role… He doesn’t force shots, he rebounds, he moves well without the ball. That’s his role, that’s what he does. Zach Randolph, by the way shot a far lower % on jumpers last season. Maybe he needs to learn his role. Again, Lee is not the Knicks’ problem: Curry, Randolph, Crawford, Marbury… those are the Knicks’ problems. Same goes for someone like Jared Jeffries. He was a perfectly capable rotation player in Washington. Are the Knicks bad because Jared Jeffries regressed or because Crawford and Randolph are no Arenas and Jamison? (hell the Wizards made the playoffs even without Arenas.)

    “what coach needs non stars not doing whats needed because they supposedly have more skill than that ,”

    Every coach needs “stars” to win and the Knicks have NOT ONE SINGLE STAR (in terms of on court player not hype). What team has ever won with nothing but inefficient scorers like Crawford and Randolph, an indifferent low-post scorer and no one to get him the ball, and a PG who takes the year off after he and the coach have a FIST FIGHT. What coach gets into a physical fight with his players in the first place?

    “but if he doesn’t get it together i find it hard to believe ultimately he’ll have a very sucessfull nba career , players who dont conform usually find themselves on the bench on good teams or only playing alot on bad ones.”

    Again, are we talking about Lee or Randolph/Crawford????? Lee is already having a successful career. He’s the only Knicks to win MVP at an All-Star event and the ONLY KNICK CHOOSEN TO REPESENT HIS COUNTRY.

    Z,

    Good points about Lee.

    6-15 seem interchangable now, but in 5-10 years I doubt they will be… Walsh makes millions a year to make the right call (as do the other execs, so we’ll see who is better).

    IS,

    Fair enough… if you can trade Lee for an EQUAL CALIBER player who fits in better next to Curry, sure trade him. I just don’t see too many PFs complementing Curry, the low-post black hole. I mean, in my opinion, you’re basically forced to play a slow offense posting up Curry if you want to feature him in any meaningful way, and then he can’t pass the ball well enough to make the outside part of the inside-outside offense work. Curry’s passing doomed the 06-07 Knicks as much as (probably a lot more, in my opinion) their outside shooting. Maybe Mike D can figure out a way to fit Curry into a coherent offensive scheme… I personally would rather just bench him (as Isiah more or less did after growing tired of trying to accomedate him).

    I think Mel was blaming the Knicks’ struggles on Lee.

    Your two front court rebuilding plans are far from the only options. After trading Randolph and Curry (which you CAN do, it just depends what you’re looking to get back) you don’t have to “build around Lee”. In fact I don’t think ANYONE would propose “building around” Lee as if he were Tim Duncan. You would try to bring in other good players to go with your good PF.

    Basically, I think Lee is a MUCH better player than Curry or Randolph, so I see no reason to more him unless you’re getting equal or greater value.

    As Z said, it’s not as QUICKLY as possible, but as WELL as possible. 1 season and a perrenial 8 seed, or three seasons and a perrenial title contender…. seems like a very easy choice to me.

    Well said Ben R.

  130. Italian Stallion

    >It does not matter whether Lee fits with Randolph or Curry because Randolph and Curry should not be starters on the Knicks anymore. We should not make personnel decisions based on who fits with our terrible starting PF (Randolph) or our very limited C (Curry). <

    Ah, some more Lee “man love”. It never ends on this blog. ;-)

    To begin with, I’m not so sure that Lee is better than Randolph. The thing that gives him greater value is that he’s cheaper.

    I am also not bashing Lee or suggesting we throw him under the bus.

    I am pointing out his limitations and how those limitations create major weaknesses for the team given our other players – players that will be massively more difficult to move. There is no question we are going to move either Zach or Curry eventually, but moving both is more of a fantasy than a reality. One is going to remain and he doesn’t fit with Lee.

    To not even consider moving Lee (who will be making 7-8 million) next year is thinking with your heart and not your head. Actually, I take it back, it’s not thinking at all.

    There is no player on this team that shouldn’t be part of trade talks. The problem is that Lee is the only one anyone cares about. So if we can get back more for him than we give up, only a fool wouldn’t consider it.

  131. Italian Stallion

    “Randolph is also a good player in several ways”

    >It’s extremely contradictory to talk about team balance and then say Randolph is a good player. I have a hard time seeing ANY team winning with a PF who jacks up as many jumpers at as low a percentage as Randolph, not to mention his defensive indifference. How do you balance him out? He’s got to change the way he plays/his attitude to win.>Fair enough… if you can trade Lee for an EQUAL CALIBER player who fits in better next to Curry, sure trade him. I just don’t see too many PFs complementing Curry, the low-post black hole. I mean, in my opinion, you’re basically forced to play a slow offense posting up Curry if you want to feature him in any meaningful way, and then he can’t pass the ball well enough to make the outside part of the inside-outside offense work. Curry’s passing doomed the 06-07 Knicks as much as (probably a lot more, in my opinion) their outside shooting. Maybe Mike D can figure out a way to fit Curry into a coherent offensive scheme… I personally would rather just bench him (as Isiah more or less did after growing tired of trying to accomedate him).<<

    I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but even though all your points are valid, the Knicks are not going to be able to move BOTH Curry and Randolph and they don’t have a C to replace Curry.

  132. Italian Stallion

    “Randolph is also a good player in several ways”

    Ted,

    I think there are very few players in this league that can do it all (or close). Those are the superstars. If a player does a few things well, he’s a good player. Randolph is a good player. To win you have to find complimentary players.

    I don’t like Randolph’s tendency to jack up bad shots either, but quite honestly, the Knicks have so many low percentage outside shooters, sometimes Zach’s “suspect” shot selection is superior to Crawford’s chucks or QRich’s bricks. I think if the Knicks had some solid outside shooting, Randolph would be forced to defer (and would).

    “Fair enough… if you can trade Lee for an EQUAL CALIBER player who fits in better next to Curry, sure trade him. I just don’t see too many PFs complementing Curry, the low-post black hole. I mean, in my opinion, you’re basically forced to play a slow offense posting up Curry if you want to feature him in any meaningful way, and then he can’t pass the ball well enough to make the outside part of the inside-outside offense work. Curry’s passing doomed the 06-07 Knicks as much as (probably a lot more, in my opinion) their outside shooting. Maybe Mike D can figure out a way to fit Curry into a coherent offensive scheme… I personally would rather just bench him (as Isiah more or less did after growing tired of trying to accomedate him).”

    I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but even though all your points are valid, the Knicks are not going to be able to move BOTH Curry and Randolph and they don’t have a C to replace Curry.

  133. Italian Stallion

    I’m starting to think that unless the Knicks make a major move of some sort, they should take the “Italian Stallion” and see if any trades develop later on.

    The Knicks need a PG that can run the team. There are some good guards in the draft, but not many true PGs that can be counted on to run Mike D’s offense. I’d hate to semi-waste the pick taking another pretty good player that doesn’t fit when it’s likely that Gallinari is just as good as anyone other the top 2 picks.

    The Knicks also need a SF. The “I.S.” has a good outside shot, very good passing skills, was the “go to guy” on his team, has a high basketball IQ, handles the ball very well, and will fit into the offensive scheme.

    I don’t think we can count on Wilson Chandler being the SF of the future. He had a handful of good games, but not enough to be certain.

    In addition, I’ve been thinking that perhaps we could try a little experiment if we take Gallinari. If Chandler is playing well and developing, he actually was a PF in college for a lot of the time. How about Gallinari at SF, Chandler at PF, and Lee at C. That’s a small lineup, but it might work against some teams. We’d have enough rebounding, passing, and be able to run the court great with those three.

  134. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Randolph is also a good player in several ways”

    Exactly what does Zach Randolph do well? About the only positive I can think of is that Randolph can rebound.

    He can score, but his scoring is very inefficient. He spends a lot of time on the perimeter holding on to the ball & he takes a lot of jumpshots (that he misses). He attempted 1.3 threes a game but only connected on 27.5%. And he turns the ball over way too much (3.0/36).

    Additionally Zach Randolph is maybe the worst defensive power forward I’ve seen. Next time you watch a Knick game, count the times that Randolph is the last Knick back in transition. He’s just awful with regards to help defense. How many times have I seen a guy go to the rim and Randolph half heartedly offer resistance? You know what’s sad: he blocked 16 shots last year, and that’s his third best total.

    Here’s an interesting comparison: Zach Randolph vs. Keith Van Horn – both at the age of 26. Zach was a better rebounder, but Van Horn could actually hit a three pointer (34.5%), turned the ball over much less (2.1 to 3.0), and blocked shots at twice the rate.

    Zach Randolph may have 20 different ways to get a shot off, but that skill doesn’t translate into being good. He’s certainly not good in many ways. That could be said of most of the Knicks that Isiah Thomas acquired.

  135. Dave

    I thought Eddy Curry was a good pick and roll player early in his career. I say this because D’Antoni will likely throw him into a few of those situations.

    He set solid picks, rolled well, good hands, and a good finisher. It’s also easier to get him a post up out of a pick and roll because it’s on the move and he can establish better (lower) position in the post both of which are harder for the opposition to defend and harder to for the opposition to send quick help towards for fear of defensive spacing. He might even get lucky sometimes and get a switch with a smaller PF defending him after the roll.

    Anyway we’ll see if Eddy can get back to that. It was under Bill Cartwright with Jay Williams running the show that they used a lot of pick and rolls. Eddy and Tyson were fairly similar on them except Eddy was a more versatile and reliable finisher. Again it’s been awhile so we’ll see how he does. D’Antoni might be good for Eddy, maybe, hopefully, probably not.

  136. caleb

    Curry is a very limited player — he will always be one of the worst defenders and rebounders in the league — but he could look fantastic on offense, under D’Antoni. His biggest problem is turnovers and dealing with double- and triple- teams. D’Antoni will insist on getting the shot off quick, No more Zach or Marbury or Crawford on the perimeter, trying to chuck it to Curry while 4 guys crawl all over him.

    Of course this will require that Curry be able to run up and down the floor, but I think he could do it quite well at least 20-25 minutes a night.

  137. Larry

    “Cool name, lots of press, definitely the sharpest dressed guy… To me he has Larry Hughes written all over him”

    Larry is a cool name?

  138. Ted Nelson

    “The thing that gives him greater value is that he’s cheaper.”

    The thing that gives him greater value is that he’s not one of the ultimate high usage/low efficiency PF.

    “I think if the Knicks had some solid outside shooting, Randolph would be forced to defer (and would).”

    He would apparently rant about how much the Blazers sucked openly in the locker room to the media after games until Brandon Roy (a rookie) told him to shut it… He carries around a shotgun in his car… He starts brawls in clubs… He broke a TEAMMATE’S eye socket… What exactly says team player about that rap sheet?

    “the Knicks are not going to be able to move BOTH Curry and Randolph and they don’t have a C to replace Curry.”

    First, as I said it depends who/what they want in return. They COULD trade both they probably WON’T, unless the priority is clensing the team (ala Protland a few years ago) and they’re willing to take back less talent and similar deals.

    I’m not too concerned about replacing Curry. I’m not very concerned about winning next season at all. Run out Lee, Balkman, Chandler, Robinson, and Collins with #6 off the bench, see what they got, win 20 games, and pick Blake Griffin, BJ Mullins, Ricky Rubio, etc… it’s not my ideal situation, but I’d rather see that than Crawford, Randolph, and Curry screwing around as if they were on a playground.

    In all likelihood Mike D is going to try to get some efficient points out of Curry, and correct Crawford and Randolph’s shot selection/ overall play depending on who of the three is still around.

    I also don’t think Lee/Curry is as bad a combo as you do. It’s not Duncan/Robinson, but with good backcourt play you could easily make the playoffs with Lee/Curry, if you get some production out of Curry. Defensively it’s a bad combo, but offensively Lee actually can be a very good fit next to Curry considering how well he moves without the ball, how efficiently he scores on few attempts, and his decent jumper. If only Curry could hit him with a few passes…

  139. Italian Stallion

    >Exactly what does Zach Randolph do well? About the only positive I can think of is that Randolph can rebound<

    He rebounds very well, has some nifty post up and inside moves, and has enough of an outside shot to draw players to him and prevent double teams on the inside. That’s not everything, but it’s enough to call him a good player.

    Most of his his flaws are mental.

    Primarily, on court, he takes too many poor shots. However, IMHO, on the Knicks his poor shots were often a better option than a lot of the alternatives (like a Qrich brick or Crawford chuck) or actually allowing one of the other “no shot at all players” on the Knicks to heave one up from outside as the clock was running out.

    It remains to be seen if he could behave himself on court with good coaching and team that made him less of a scoring option.

  140. Italian Stallion

    Instead of living in a world of wishful thinking and Lee Man LOVE, I believe everyone should take a deep breath and cope with the reality of how bad our situation is. That’s what Walsh is doing!

    1. The Knicks have a flawed center with some health and character question marks that no one wants. It’s going to be hard to move that contract to get shorter ones back.

    2. The Knicks have a reasonably good but flawed PF that is wildly overpaid, that has a very long contract, that also has some off the court issues that no one wants at all. It’s going to be hard to move that contract to get shorter ones back.

    3. Almost every championship caliber team has 3 all stars and a good supporting cast or 2 superstars and a good suporting cast. The Knicks have neither an all star or super star.

    We are likely to move either Curry or Randolph as soon as a reasonable deal makes itself available (probably Zach). But the reality is that we are probably going get stuck with one of them. Most likely that will be Curry.

    Regardless, please explain to me how the Knicks are going to be able pay Lee 7M-8M for a long term contract, attract or accumulate 3
    all-stars, and stay under the cap when we also have a series of other bad contracts (besides Curry and Randolph) that extend past 2010 that no one wants.

    I am sorry to say that IMO the best option is to trade Lee and not make a huge expensive long term commitment to him that will further kill the cap space plan.

    He’s neither an all-star or super star. He’s a very solid and likeable PF. He would be great as part of the supporting cast “IF” you could somehow pay him all that money and still fit in 3 all stars, AND and a bad contract or two. But it can’t be done.

    That’s why Walsh is dangling him as trade bait. He isn’t thinking emotionally. He thinking about dollars and “sense”.

    If you trade Lee and get equal or better value back in terms of player quality via the draft (or some other value), the cap issue becomes less of a problem because we can pay a low salary to a draft pick for several years. In addition, considering we may get stuck with Curry we can eventually look to fit in a PF that will better offset some of Curry’s major weankesses if we do get stuck with him.

    The situation is a financial and mismatched player mess. Until people come to grips with the numbers and what it actually takes to win (the number of very high quality players that compliment each other properly), you are never going to understand why Walsh is considering moving Lee and why he is 100% correct to do so.

  141. Italian Stallion

    >man, I wish you were the GM of another team, Mr. Stallion.<

    Funny that Walsh is considered a brilliant GM and he’s trying to move Lee but you purely stats guys can’t understand why.

  142. Italian Stallion

    “Curry is a very limited player — he will always be one of the worst defenders and rebounders in the league — but he could look fantastic on offense, under D’Antoni. His biggest problem is turnovers and dealing with double- and triple- teams”

    Caleb,

    This is exactly correct, but I’d like to add one thing.

    One of the problems the Knicks had in Curry’s 2005-2006 season was that other teams “were able” to double and triple team him easily because the Knicks did not have enough fire power from the outside. Qrich was better than last year, but still very mediocre. Crawford was, well Crawford. He’s streaky but not high % overall. Lee had no outside shot at all that year. In fact, his defender routinely sagged off because he knew Lee woundn’t shoot even if he was open.

    IF (granted big ?) the Knicks are stuck with Curry longer term, the way to make him more effective is to have a PF that rebounds well, plays good help defense, and that has enough of an outside shot to keep his defender honest. In addition, you need a high percentage shooter or two at the other positions.

    As currently situated, that means QRich can’t get much time. He’s a horrible outside shooter. We desperately need a a SF with a good outside shot if the plan is to play Curry at center. If not, then the point is moot.

    The goal is to not only find statistically skilled and efficient players, it’s to find players that compliment each other in ways that maximize their strengths and mitgate their weaknesses.

    This is a reason why some analysts and fans were wrong about the Knicks last year in giving them a shot to make the playoffs (including many former top players). They looked at the roster and saw a lot of talented players without realizing how terribly mismatched they were in terms of complimenting each other.

  143. Dave

    The financial argument isn’t a bad one. The Knicks salaries in 2010/11 according to Hoopshype are:

    Zach – 17.3mil
    Eddy – 11.3mil (player option)
    Crawford – 10.1mil
    Jeffries – 6.9mil (player option)

    Totaling up to $45.5million. Both players are pretty much locks to take their player options considering how unlikely they are to make money elsewhere. Add in the draft picks between then and now (likely two lottery picks, plus present youth). Then there’s David Lee’s extension which will likely cost 7-9mil per annum. This is with no free agent signings going past the next two seasons.

    There would be no substantial cap space. A couple million maybe. No marquee free agents arriving.

    Is there any mistake on the figures there? Some bad collection of information by Hoopshype by any chance?

    The year after – 2011/12 – they’d be in good shape with only David Lee and draft pick contracts on the books.

  144. Italian Stallion

    “yeah, I’m a “purely stats” guy. clearly you’ve spent a lot of time here.”

    Well, I meant no offense to you and don’t know you well, but it appears that many here don’t quite grasp the Knicks situation and Walsh’s thinking on Lee at all. So perhaps I made a poor assumption about you, but the fact remains that I believe Walsh is attempting to do the right thing for the right reason and others don’t. So either Walsh and I are idiots or some people are not thinking out the situation properly.

  145. jon abbey

    no, you’re an idiot for thinking Randolph has value, which is why I wish you had a GM job so we could trade him to you. my post had nothing to do with Lee.

  146. Owen

    Italian Stallion –

    Explain the situation whereby David Lee and his probable 7-9 million contract costs us the chance to sign Lebron or one of the other high profile free agents who will be available.

    Even I (leader of the man-love) would trade Lee at this point if it meant getting rid of Craw and Curry, but frankly, its really really unlikely that anyone will take those guys off our hands, not to mention Randolph….

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