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Thursday, October 23, 2014

How the Knicks should approach this year’s NBA Trade Deadline

There is no quick-fix solution when it comes to the New York Knicks. Some teams are fortunate enough to just have a roster problem, or a coaching problem, or even just an inept front office. Some teams have more than one of these problems. The Knicks have all three.

For a lot of fans, the NBA Trade Deadline is a signal of hope. — a chance at moving an albatross contract or two, receiving draft picks, obtaining a star, etc. For Knicks’ fans, especially this year, it’s a time that requires one to check his or her medicine cabinet to see how much Tylenol is available. If only so you can get through every Knicks-interested-in-making-losided-deal story you come across for the next few weeks. Are things really this dire in New York, or is there a tiny spec of light at the end of the tunnel? I lean towards the former, but let’s examine.

The Tradeable Assets

The Knicks roster is a mess, but it’s a mess with some good, tradeable pieces. Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler are probably their most lucrative assets, but it’s unlikely the team trades Anthony or Chandler. Shumpert’s name has popped up in trade discussions for what feels like years now, but the front office still hasn’t moved the combo guard.

Shumpert’s not going to bring in multiple first-round picks, but he’s still the type of player a number of teams would like to have. Given how Shumpert has played in the last month, perhaps now is the time to move him. In January, Shumpert registered a TS% of 58 percent, shot 41 percent from three-point range and had his highest ORtg of the season (109). Shumpert is a good role player, but he’s not an untradeable piece vis-a-vis the Knicks core (though I’m not sure what that includes if they have one).

Melo and Chandler are interesting cases. If you move Melo, you must enter full-on rebuild mode, but with basically only the picks you theoreritically receive from the team that trades for Melo. The organization has catered to every need of Melo’s except in one key aspect — putting together a roster that can realistically contend for an NBA championship. If you move Melo, you have to move Chandler as well. Due to injuries, Chandler isn’t the defensive force he once was. He’s allowing opponents to shoot 51 percent at the rim against him this season. Compound that with his limitations on offense, and Chandler isn’t realistically going to bring in a major haul even if you decide to move him.

Players I’d like to see targeted: Picks and expiring contracts.

The Semi-Maybe-Possibly-PLEASE GOD-Tradeable Assets

Here lies the Raymond Feltons, J.R. Smiths, Amar’e Stoudemires, Metta World Peaces and Andrea Bargnanis of the world. What do these five players have in common? They’re simply not long-term options for the team. Metta isn’t playing, Bargnani is injured, Felton’s not a starting point guard in this league anymore, J.R. is J.R., and Amar’e just doesn’t fit.

Trading any of the players is going to be difficult, but moving any of them wouldn’t be greatly opposed by the fanbase, I suspect.

The Coaching Situation

Perhaps the most underrated aspect of the trade deadline this year for the Knicks is their precarious coaching situation. Mike Woodson could be let go tomorrow, and it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise — and that’s a problem. The Knicks need significant roster changes, but they also need an identity. If the Knicks start shuffling the roster now, but still plan on parting ways with Woodson, they run the risk of saddling the next head coach with players that may or may not fit his scheme, thereby resulting in potentially more roster turnover. So, if the Knicks’ brass is sure they’re going to give Woodson the axe before the end of the season, the quicker the better.

Coaches I’d like to see targeted: Stan Van Gundy, David Fizdale, Fred Hoiberg

The Front Office Situation

The man who personally recommend Isiah Thomas for the job of Knicks’ President in 2003 — Steve Mills — is now running the show for the Knicks. As such, this will be the first trade deadline for Mills as Knicks’ General Manager, so it’s difficult to decipher what he may or may not be looking to do over the next couple of weeks.

The Knicks roster needs an overhaul, but it’s not quite clear that Mills is the guy to do it — right nor or at all. With a team this in-limbo — a lame duck coach, a roster that’s a fringe playoff team in the Eastern Conference and a dysfunctional front office — the only change that would be worth a damn must happen at the top.

The Knicks simply don’t have the assets to undergo a long-term rebuild, and nor would James Dolan necessarily be on board with that anyway. So perhaps what the Knicks need is what they first started pursuing back in 2008: a complete, cap-clearing overhaul.

The best-case scenario for the Knicks in three years? The Dallas Mavericks, who slowly but surely built the pieces necessary to contend for a title. It may have only netted the Mavs a single championship, but we’re pretty sure Knicks fans would take that outcome.

The more worrisome aspect of Mills running this team for the near-to-distant future? His relationship with Dolan. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Mills listed “JD and the Straight Shot” as his favorite band on his resume). 

In short, if Dolan wants to trade Shumpert and a 2024 first-round pick for Kenneth Faried, Mills will not get in the way. And that’s a major problem.

General Managers I’d like to see targeted: Phil Jackson, Michael Zarren, Troy Weaver

 

The End Result

There is no quick fix for this franchise, even if they somehow persuaded Phil Jackson to accept an relatively low-intensity front office role with the team. It starts at the top and trickles down from there. Making quality changes in leadership in the front office is a good starting point for this offseason. Accomplishing that hinges on Dolan finally deciding that his mettlesome ways aren’t going to land him his coveted championship.

As for the trade deadline, it would behoove the Knicks to show some perspicacious judgment as the deadline approaches. Kenneth Faried, Kyle Lowry, or even Rajon Rondo aren’t going to be enough to steer this franchise away from the iceberg that’s inching closer with every J.R. Smith step-back jumper.

62 comments on “How the Knicks should approach this year’s NBA Trade Deadline

  1. mj1

    I think reloading is going to take a combination of trade, free agency, and Melo, that is if he stays, and for the money that will be on the table, I have to assume that he will. That being said, by 2015 the team will need to clear pretty much EVERYTHING (unless through some miracle they can get a hold of Rondo via trade before then) and use that fat salary cap coin in 2015 to build a team around Melo. That team could possibly include guys like Love, the aforementioned Rondo, and one other big name star. There are also some bench guys that they have now that could be serviceable backups on such a team, THJ (who may be a star in his own right by then), Tyler, etc. In an effort to keep Melo happy, I would grant him wide discretion in who he wants to play with and be coached by, with the understanding that this is HIS team, HIS legacy, and he will sink or swim with it. Notice, I did not mention the draft. For all intents and purposes, the NYK do not have a draft for the foreseeable future. That’s why while pushing all the chips to the middle of the table with this approach, they MUST STOP TRADING DRAFT PICKS. They will be needed down the road, once the Melo era ends. Also, this approach is a big gamble that will put them in salary cap hell for sometime to come. The 2015 cap money is their only real weapon here, and they MUST use it wisely. They cannot do trades this season that will return shitty contracts that mess with that 2015 coin and not make the current team any better. If they are not trading for Rondo or someone of his ilk right now, or doing something to improve the 2015 cap bounty, they may as well sit tight. What I’m basically saying is the team is what it is and the around the edges tinkering will not help. I also have my issues with Woody, but I see him as long gone before 2015, so I’m not really putting him in the equation.

  2. Die_Hard_Knick_Fan

    I don’t care what anyone says but I don’t see enough Knicks fans standing up for STAT. In fact, if I were STAT and I was seeing all these comments about him not fitting, and not being the same player, I would go home pack my shit and leave town with my hand in the air and that one special finger waving back and forth. Shumpert can go, Bargnani can go, Smith and Felton can take a hike. Have you not been watching the games? Stoudemire has been playing very well. He’s been rebounding, he’s been attacking the basket, he’s been playing better defense. We don’t have too many big men and I still believe that Stoudemire is the player that came to the Knicks and not a run down, past his prime wash out. Stop talking down about Stoudemire and give hin respect for being professional. He’s never complained about coming off the bench, when his number is called he jumps off the bench and comes running into the game. When he’s on the bench he’s cheering his team on. He needed some time to get his game back and it’s starting to come back. He’s not 100% at all yet, but I still it in him and I’m not willing to just throw him on the block as a trade asset. He’s a better player than that and he deserve that kind of treatment.

  3. maxwell_3g

    my biggest fear is that we make trades in which we give up future draft picks to make us incrementally better (see trades for Lowry, Kyle; Faried, Kenneth). I also cringe when we talk about our 2015 cap space and immediately start giving it away to established stars (see rondo, rajon; love, kevin; also consider Stoudemire, Amare). I would prefer to blow it up and get as many future assets as possible, but if we are not inclined to do this, I would prefer Mills make no moves, unless it involves trading someone like Udrich or MWP for a second rounder. I could deal with that. I just dont trust the brain trust in the FO to do much more than this

  4. KnickfaninNJ

    I think it’s likely Woodson stays. For one thing, the comment below is 100% correct.

    If the Knicks start shuffling the roster now, but still plan on parting ways with Woodson, they run the risk of saddling the next head coach with players that may or may not fit his scheme, thereby resulting in potentially more roster turnover.

    For another thing, all the people who predicted a terrible Knicks team this year did so because of the roster, not the coach. They are probably right about this. I suggested Woodson should have been a coach of the year candidate last year; and this year is making it clear that he did do an exceptional job last year. The Knicks have also fired the GM that put together this year’s squad, so Knick’s management seems to agree that the roster isn’t what it should. If they do think this, then roster change rather than a coaching change is what is likely

  5. Hubert

    Question:

    Do you guys think we’re in better or worse shape if Melo opts in?

    I think we’re in a much better position if he isn’t committed to opting out this year. And it’s kind of pissing me off that, after putting us in a terrible position in 2010 so he could get his money, he’s putting us in a terrible position again so he can test free agency.

    I love the guy on the basketball court, but his off court machinations have been, and continue to be, extremely damaging to our stability and our success. One simple declaration from him (“I intend to opt out”) threw the entire organization into uncertainty and the fear of losing him has led to stupid trades, firing good GM’s, and god knows what more damage it might do in the coming weeks.

    It’s time we rest control of the Knicks’ future back from Carmelo Anthony. And there is a very simple way we can do it. (Note this is highly hypothetical. We will continue to let Carmelo Anthony run the Knicks, much to our detriment, because Dolan. But we don’t have to.)

    Here’s what I would do if I owned the Knicks and I didn’t want my best player fucking us over for the second time in 4 years:

    Dear Melo,

    It is best for our organization if you opt in for 2015. Ergo, if you opt out, we will not offer you a contract.

    We’re not your bitch. Please waive your opt out now, a la Dwight Howard, or we will trade you this week.

    Regards,

    Knicks

    I feel like we win in every conceivable outcome of that scenario.

  6. george from brooklyn

    First, and foremost James Dolan is a businessman, who’s primary interest is his personal fortune and the entities stock price. So, from the Knicks “team” perspective, he has 2 reasonable alternatives. He can trade ‘Melo and rebuild and “hope” the Knick fans support a rebuilding effort, or he can keep ‘Melo, essentially assuring the corporate base and continuing to build the team’s valuation.

    He’s going for the latter.

    Within that framework, some options I think they should pursue. Trade Chandler for Deng. Cleveland then unloads Chandler for something to a team that’s playoff ready. Find out what you have in the “young ‘uns”. Cut a deal with Felton to “pay him off”, move Prigs to starting PG, with Murry as the backup. Move TJH to the 2 as the starter, Deng the 3, ‘Melo the 4 and Tyler to the 5 ! Shump moves to the 2nd team and they decide, once and for all, whether he can play, if not, he goes during the off season, for draft picks. Aldrich is the backup center. JR, STAT and Martin fill in as necessary, but not to impede the young guys court time.

    Respectfully remove Woodson and hire Kenny Atkinson and allow him to evaluate the roster. Change the offense to “small ball” and RUN ! Reduce ‘Melo’s minutes dramatically.

    In summary, don’t go into next season with this season’s headaches.

  7. Bruno Almeida

    I don’t care what anyone says but I don’t see enough Knicks fans standing up for STAT. In fact, if I were STAT and I was seeing all these comments about him not fitting, and not being the same player, I would go home pack my shit and leave town with my hand in the air and that one special finger waving back and forth. Shumpert can go, Bargnani can go, Smith and Felton can take a hike. Have you not been watching the games? Stoudemire has been playing very well. He’s been rebounding, he’s been attacking the basket, he’s been playing better defense. We don’t have too many big men and I still believe that Stoudemire is the player that came to the Knicks and not a run down, past his prime wash out. Stop talking down about Stoudemire and give hin respect for being professional. He’s never complained about coming off the bench, when his number is called he jumps off the bench and comes running into the game. When he’s on the bench he’s cheering his team on. He needed some time to get his game back and it’s starting to come back. He’s not 100% at all yet, but I still it in him and I’m not willing to just throw him on the block as a trade asset. He’s a better player than that and he deserve that kind of treatment.

    oh, poor Amare, being abused by the fans! he’s only making 44 million in the next 2 years to play 19 minutes a game, he’s really getting disrespected.

    I know it’s not his fault that Dolan is such an imbecile and gave him that uninsured contract, but if you think any professional player would “pack his shit up” and leave when he’s getting paid so much to do so little, you probably also think this is team will get Love + Rondo in 2015 and will suddenly be a title contender.

  8. lavor postell

    Also who is shitting on STAT? I think mine and others’ criticism is that unless STAT is scoring at an elite level, he is a liability because he is such a god awful defensive player. Right now he is scoring at a very efficient level and looks to have some bounce in him when he attacks the rim especially off of PNR as the roll man.

    He’s been rebounding? Ok I guess in comparison to THJ he’s been a force on the boards, but the guy isn’t exactly Moses Malone averaging 8.2 rebounds per 36.

    We can’t use him as a trade asset so I’m not sure why you think people have been clamoring for him to be shipped out. Nobody is touching him this season with that contract and his injury history. Maybe next season he’ll have some value as an expiring contract for a team unloading some unwanted long-term deals, though knowing the Knicks they would use it to acquire Eric Gordon or somebody else who is not worth such a bloated salary.

    I love STAT for coming to New York, but let’s not act like he was some philanthropist taking the league minimum. The Knicks offered him the most money over the most time, with a coach who’s system he thrived in and the promise of building the team around him. If STAT really was all about helping this team out he has an option to opt out of the final year of his contract this summer. Just like I won’t grudge him for opting in or for getting the contract the Knicks offered him, I’m not going to sing his praises and give him a pass just because he’s a good dude and has had a lot of bad luck with injuries.

  9. Frank O.

    I don’t think I feel sorry for Stat, but I think the team has done a disservice when it keeps such an efficient scoring threat on the bench. Stat should be getting 30 minutes per. So what if he gets injured; you’re not getting enough out of him playing this way.
    There are very few PFs in basketball that combines his even reduced level of athleticism, with his low post game and a very good mid-range jumper. His biggest problem in NYC has always been he lacked a decent point guard. The Knicks during this entire run, have almost never had an average point guard running the show.

  10. Hubert

    I think it’s likely Woodson stays.

    If he is back next year I will not watch a single game until he is fired.

  11. lavor postell

    Yeah STAT definitely needs to be getting more burn right now than he’s currently on. Amazing how the Knicks haven’t been able to find a decent point guard since 2010 in a league filled with them.

  12. Frank O.

    Honestly, with a good, deep draft, the Knicks should be trading players to amass draft picks.
    Take back some bad contracts, and some expiring contracts, but always, always, get back 1st and 2nd rounders.
    This is a deep draft. The Knicks could begin to rebuild that way.

    So no matter what they do, everything needs to be focused on getting young talent. And then they need to get a coach that wants to teach young talent.
    That guy isn’t Woodson, who tends to treat rookies like shit.

    But I’m not concerned about the talent we get back for Melo, or Shump or Chandler. I want picks. Lots of them.
    The rest is just window dressing to finish out the season. Make the playoffs as an 8th seed in a shitty division is like being the first pig to slaughter. What’s the fun in that?
    I say, tank, baby, and gets lots of picks for the talent we have now.

  13. Hubert

    my biggest fear is that we make trades in which we give up future draft picks to make us incrementally better (see trades for Lowry, Kyle; Faried, Kenneth).

    I’ll bet someone $1 that we will trade the right to swap draft picks in 2015 as part of a package for either Faried or Lowry before the trade deadline.

    EDIT: actually, Ujiri probably plans on tanking next year, so that may not be very attractive to him. But I expect that to be on the table before the deadline.

  14. Hubert

    If the Knicks start shuffling the roster now, but still plan on parting ways with Woodson, they run the risk of saddling the next head coach with players that may or may not fit his scheme, thereby resulting in potentially more roster turnover.

    Another reason Melo’s insistence on opting out is so detrimental right now.

    This organization needs to stand up to Carmelo Anthony, or we’re fucked. That’s the most important thing we can do this month. Either get him to waive his opt out, or trade him. If we keep giving into his every whim, we will keep setting ourselves back.

  15. DRed

    Stat is going to get hurt again. It’s almost inevitable. Which is a shame, because he still is a very good option on offense.

    As for Melo, him opting out is not terrible. Re-signing Melo to a max contract is much worse for the Knicks future than letting him go for nothing.

  16. chrisk06811

    Who the hell is going to trade us a 1st rounder this year, for anyone but melo? it would be nice to get draft picks, but nobody is going to give them away.

  17. DRed

    He can trade ‘Melo and rebuild and “hope” the Knick fans support a rebuilding effort, or he can keep ‘Melo, essentially assuring the corporate base and continuing to build the team’s valuation.

    Knicks fans supported the team through a decade of bumbling incompetence. It’s almost offensive to suggest they wouldn’t support a well planned rebuilding effort.

  18. mase

    I disagree that with the thinking about rondo, the knicks needs to be in play for him.

    How about a three way swap with Houston in the mix that nets boston asik, Lin, thj and shump. That’s a core of 4 young players.

    Knicks take back Wallace an rondo and move Tyson and Felton and smith to Houston…pairing Tyson with Howard in the middle would be a formidable front line to make a run at okc… Felton would be a force with harden on the wing and Jr as a hired gun. That’s a good team.

    We would have holes to fill but this locks up melo and puts us in position for next season to make the coaching change we need.

  19. Hubert

    Re-signing Melo to a max contract is much worse for the Knicks future than letting him go for nothing.

    I don’t agree with this popular theory for two reasons:

    1. I think it will very clearly tell all future top level NBA players to stay away from NY at all costs. Which you may think is great

    2. And it’s all based on the foundation that, if Melo leaves, we will do the right thing (i.e. bottom out and keep our draft picks). What makes you think we won’t just start giving Melo’s money to even worse players than Melo? What makes you think we won’t include the rights to swap draft picks for the next 3 years in some terrible KG/Pierce type deal?

    I think Melo walking away for nothing is a lot more disastrous than people are imagining.

  20. chrisk06811

    Chandler would need to go to a team focused on using him for D in the playoffs, maybe in a limited role. The way I see it, there are 5 teams that would take him.
    -San Antonio: For Splitter, Bonner and maybe a pick? We’d be tied to splitter 3 more yrs; I wonder if they are regretting the deal he signed?
    -Dallas: I can’t find a way to make the salaries work.
    -Indiana: Straight up for Grangers expiring. why would they give us more?
    -OKC: I can’t find a way to make the salaries work unless we take back Perkins
    -Brooklyn: Straight up for Brook Lopez.

    He is our 1 trade-able asset that can help someone win now, and I can’t find a way to deal him that gets us younger, in players or picks. That is depressing.

  21. ephus

    @20 – Phoenix has a natural fit for Chandler. They could trade Okafor’s expiring contract for Chandler. The Suns have $5 million in room under the salary cap, so they could also take Felton’s contract. The Suns have potentially four first round picks this year: 1) Their own pick (probably 20 – 24), 2) Minnesota (protected 1-13 in 2014 so it probably stays in Minnesota this year), 3) Washington (protected 1-12 in 2014 so it probably goes to Phoenix at 18 – 22) and 4) Indiana (lottery protected so it almost certainly goes to Phoenix at 27 – 30).

    I could see the Knicks sending Chandler and Felton to Phoenix for Okafor’s expiring contract and the best of Phoenix’s first round draft picks.

  22. KnickfaninNJ

    “If he is back next year I will not watch a single game until he is fired.”

    Hubert, I know how you feel. I am already watching less than I used to. but it’s very hard to stay away entirely.

    Ephus,

    I like your suggestion of a trade with Phoenix. But they are playing so well right now, I doubt there ownership is in the mood to swing a big deal.

  23. mase

    Why would phx take back Felton , give an expiring contract and an unprotected pick?

    No way…

    They would do an even swap, that’s it.

  24. iserp

    Chandler would need to go to a team focused on using him for D in the playoffs, maybe in a limited role. The way I see it, there are 5 teams that would take him.
    -San Antonio: For Splitter, Bonner and maybe a pick? We’d be tied to splitter 3 more yrs; I wonder if they are regretting the deal he signed?
    -Dallas: I can’t find a way to make the salaries work.
    -Indiana: Straight up for Grangers expiring. why would they give us more?
    -OKC: I can’t find a way to make the salaries work unless we take back Perkins
    -Brooklyn: Straight up for Brook Lopez.

    He is our 1 trade-able asset that can help someone win now, and I can’t find a way to deal him that gets us younger, in players or picks. That is depressing.

    Some time ago i posted a trade idea around getting Rondo and Asik and shipping Chandler to Dallas. It is quite complicated, but basically NY sends Chandler to Dallas and Shumpert + a pick to Boston, Dallas sends Marion (expiring) to Boston and Vince Carter to Houston, Boston sends Rondo to NY and Jeff Green to Houston, Houston receives Jeff Green and Carter and trades Asik to NY.

    So Houston trades Asik for a better fit in Jeff Green (could be Brandon Bass) and gets Carter, who has been nice for limited minutes. Dallas trades Marion and Carter to get the Center from his championship season. Boston gets rid of Jeff Greens salary and gets a young player and a pick in exchange for Rondo. NY would downgrade the center position and put a pick and Shumpert for a big upgrade at PG. However Dallas might say no to that, or perhaps Houston is looking for another kind of player, and not Jeff Green (or Brandon Bass, which could be other possibility). And Boston might as well try to rebuild with Rondo. All in all, a really complicated trade.

  25. Hubert

    Re-signing Melo to a max contract is much worse for the Knicks future than letting him go for nothing.

    Following up on my response to this, what do you think is more likely:

    a) Melo leaves for nothing, Dolan learns the error of his ways, accepts that we need to keep all our draft picks to rebuild, trades off all our assets for picks, starts drafting cost-effective players, and starts us on the proper road to long term success.

    b) Melo leaves for nothing, and in the face of dwindling season ticket renewals, an enraged Dolan tells Mills to get him a new star to sell tickets or he’s fired. An opportunistic Danny Ainge offers us Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace for Amare’s expiring contract, Tim Hardaway Jr, Shumpert, and the right to swap draft picks in 2015 & 2017. Dolan, naturally, says yes so he can market his new “star” and replacement for Carmelo Anthony. We go into next season with a lineup of Rondo, JR Smith, Gerald Wallace, Andrea Bargnani, and a homicidal Tyson Chandler. And, of course, we give Rondo a super max contract at the end of the year.

    Seriously, gun to your head, who doesn’t think B is the most likely scenario if Melo walks away for nothing.

  26. DRed

    Yeah, we could give Melo’s money to someone worse. But I prefer the possibility of putting that money to better use to shackling ourselves to an aging player, who even at his best, is not worth the money we pay him. Resigning Melo at or near the max is definitely a bad idea. Letting him walk might be a bad idea. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I’d rather have the chance that something good happens.

  27. mase

    Iserp

    Your trade scenario has the best player rondo being traded to the competing team, us, for virtually nothing back…and they like Jeff green.

  28. flossy

    Amazing how the Knicks haven’t been able to find a decent point guard since 2010 in a league filled with them.

    At least we can rest easy in the knowledge that Raymond Felton is just as good as Jeremy Lin, anyway, right? Right…? [sobs]

  29. KJG

    The back and forth on STAT may have ended a few posts ago but STAT is a god in my eyes… he can do no wrong… There’s a few guys I want to see succeed… STAT, TH2, Prigioni, the rest of the young guys (not including Shump)… and to a lesser extent, Felton (even though I dislike his game, it would be nice to see him $hit on everyone)…

    So, how does this fit into the trade deadline… anyone not mentioned above can disappear… I can’t stand the characters on this collection of “employees” … a bunch of shite…

    And… Rondo is bogus… guy throws up bricks, and, post-injury, who knows what he’ll ever amount to… he’s getting paid somewhere… grand larceny…

  30. DRed

    Melo leaves for nothing, Dolan learns the error of his ways, accepts that we need to keep all our draft picks to rebuild, trades off all our assets for picks, starts drafting cost-effective players, and starts us on the proper road to long term success.

    It’s not that I have any expectation of Dolan learning the error of his ways. But with Carmelo leaving and Amare expiring, we’ll have a chance to throw piles of money at new free agents, and I don’t think it would be difficult to use 50 million a season to get some combination of players more productive than Carmelo and Stat. Carmelo is good, but not great, and Stat is essentially useless. The bar is pretty low.

  31. Hubert

    Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I’d rather have the chance that something good happens.

    With this team, I can’t help but view the chance that something good may happen as the near certainty that something terrible will happen instead.

  32. Hubert

    But with Carmelo leaving and Amare expiring, we’ll have a chance to throw piles of money at new free agents

    That’s the thing I don’t believe. We would have to patiently wait a year for that chance. And lose a ton of money in the process, because if Melo walks and we do nothing, this team isn’t selling tickets.

    If Carmelo walks, Dolan will take immediate action.

  33. Hubert

    this team isn’t selling tickets.

    Not as many, I should say, and not at the price the Garden wants to sell them at.

    And that may not even be true (I happen to think Knicks fans will happily support a young, rebuilding team), but the Garden seems to act like they think it would be true.

  34. JK47

    So the latest rumor is Lowry for Felton, MWP and 2016 first rounder.

    I hate trading draft picks, but I think you have to make that deal. Lowry is a very steady performer and this year he is in the top 10 in the league in WS48. I wouldn’t mind having Lowry’s age 28-31 seasons. Even if he falls off a bit he won’t be as bad as the trainwreck we have playing PG right now.

    Any trade that means I don’t have to watch Ray Felton anymore is a winner for me. I have had about enough Ray Felton for one lifetime.

  35. mase

    Lowry trade is a good one if you can’t get rondo IMO… From our pov why give up a pick if we can position ourselves to sign him in the offseason?

  36. Brian Cronin

    They can’t position themselves to sign Lowry in the offseason. They only have the mini-MLE to offer and Lowry is going to get more than that (although less than he thinks, I imagine, as the teams with cap space really don’t need point guards).

  37. mase

    My thinking was to move a player for an expiring contract to create space to sign him like chandler for okafor

  38. Brian Cronin

    By the way, I don’t believe it is likely that Toronto accepts the same offer that Dolan turned down earlier in the season. I imagine that the rumor is that the Knicks are willing to make that offer again, but I doubt that the Raptors are inclined to take it since Lowry has played so well since the original trade offer.

  39. Brian Cronin

    My thinking was to move a player for an expiring contract to create space to sign him like chandler for okafor

    They are so far over the cap it wouldn’t be feasible. The cap will be, like, $60 million and the Knicks have roughly $90 million committed in salary next year already.

  40. DRed

    For those wondering why we wouldn’t get a great haul for Melo, Lowry is at least arguably the second/third best point guard in the NBA this year. And Toronto might be willing to deal him for a pick and some filler.

  41. Brian Cronin

    I think there’s a strong chance that the Knicks do make a move for Lowry, as it seems just like their style to keep going all in with their current team instead of trying to start over. I also think there’s roughly a 90% chance that Lowry regresses as soon as the Knicks re-sign him to a large contract after acquiring him (by the way, it’ll be fascinating to see how much they’re going to be paying in luxury taxes next season once they extend Lowry after trading for him). That said, a regressed Lowry is still a lot better than Felton.

  42. DRed

    One source close to the situation said the most likely trade scenario — if it ever progresses to a serious stage — would package Shumpert and Beno Udrih to Denver for Faried and Jordan Hamilton. But that’s the issue; New York simply hasn’t been able to get Denver to seriously consider the idea.

    I wonder why we can’t get Denver to seriously consider that idea?

  43. d-mar

    The upgrade from Felton to Lowry would be like dumping Melissa McCarthy for Kate Upton.

    Every day you’d be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.

  44. Hubert

    For those wondering why we wouldn’t get a great haul for Melo, Lowry is at least arguably the second/third best point guard in the NBA this year. And Toronto might be willing to deal him for a pick and some filler.

    True but so many teams either like their PG or are heavily invested in their PG. And Lowry has baggage. And has never played anywhere near this well in his life.

    Melo’s value is extremely higher.

  45. Hubert

    The upgrade from Felton to Lowry would be like dumping Melissa McCarthy for Kate Upton.

    I would rather be in a relationship with Melissa McCarthy than have to watch Ray Felton play point guard for my team.

  46. Hubert

    If we do trade Lowry I hope we fire Woodson first. I would hate for Lowry to re-energize this team and him get to keep his job as a result.

  47. Hubert

    I’m just trying to think who else would even be in play for Lowry.

    Detroit just wasted money on Brandon Jennings but could be in play
    Dallas would probably be interested.
    I’m sure the Lakers would love him.

    Isn’t that it?

  48. ephus

    If you are talking this summer, here are the additional teams with cap space that I expect would be interested in Lowry:

    Orlando
    Milwaukee
    Charlotte
    Utah
    Philadelphia

    I think Lowry gets 4 years/$36 million (and maybe as high as $44 million).

    If you are asking who else would trade for Lowry now, I would put Charlotte at the top of the list

  49. ephus

    If Charlotte wants Lowry, they could use the expiring Ben Gordon contract. I think Charlotte would do Lowry/Fields/Novak for Gordon. If Toronto needs to get a PG back, they could do Lowry/Fields/Novak/Hayes for Gordon/Sessions (Charlotte might balk).

    Toronto would shed $10 million in 2014-15 salary in the first trade and $15.7 in the second trade.

  50. DRed

    True but so many teams either like their PG or are heavily invested in their PG. And Lowry has baggage. And has never played anywhere near this well in his life.

    Melo’s value is extremely higher.

    Carmelo and Lowry have pretty much the same WS/48 over their career. Now, let’s assume that Carmelo, for various intangible reasons has been 30% better than WS values him. Lowry is 2 years younger and will probably be somehwere around 18-20 million a year cheaper. Let’s just say 15. Do you really think Carmelo Anthony is extremely more valuable than Kyle Lowry and 15 million dollars? I do not, and I think an increasing number of NBA GMs agree with me.

  51. er

    DRed, your comparison is pointless. If you can get a player for good value then that’s fine. But as you know salaries are not only based on court (ie Kobe) So in that vain there is no way Lowry will be getting 15 mil. Melo salary is so high in part because he spearheaded a team to the playoffs every year of his career and Is very marketable off court. The same can’t be said for Lowry who hasn’t been a starter that long.

    Paying guys like Lowry 15 mil is why the nba keeps locking out the players

  52. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Melo will be pursued by a few teams willing to give him the max. I dunno if Lowry even beats his current salary on the open market despite his excellent season (okay, he probably will beat it but not by some crazy amount). It is not a matter of fair or not, it’s just the way the market is.

  53. johnno

    Re: Tearing down and rebuilding. I think a lot of people underestimate just how difficult it is to win a championship by building through the draft. You have to be really smart as well as really lucky. If you have the worst record in the league, you have a 75% chance of not getting the first pick and, even if you do get the first pick, you have to be lucky enough not to get it in a year when Andrew Bogut or anyone in the 2013 draft is the best player available. Or you could be like Portland and draft Oden when Durant is available.

  54. Brian Cronin

    Yo if Jrue Holiday can make $11 million and Brandon Jennings can make $8.5, Kyle Lowry should easily command no less than $10-12 per.

    Oh, I agree, it’s just that that is a lot less than what Melo and guys of his ilk make.

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