If I Were The Knicks GM, I’d…

With one day of the NBA’s 2010 free agency in the books, some developments have occured that might alter New York’s plans. What would I do with how the chips current lie?

Plan A – This is still LeBron James. A lot of speculation was that New York needed to sign James along with a second superstar to make a championship caliber team. Of course signing another top tier free agent would be ideal, it’s not necessary. First, New York has Eddy Curry’s contract that they can use in a sign and trade anywhere between now & the trading deadline. At worst they can let it expire & use that money to sign another player.

Second, I’d say that James, along with re-signing David Lee would make New York one of the best teams in the league next year. Why? New York theoretically could surround James (60.4% TS%) and Lee (58.4%) with Gallinari (57.5%), Walker (65.1%), and Toney Douglas (57.1%). That would be an incredibly efficient lineup. Although they might be lacking on the interior especially with rebounding at the 4, that would be one heck of a difficult team to shut down defensively. They could easily lead the league in offense with enough room to cover an average defense, much like D’Antoni’s 60 win Phoenix teams. Additionally Lee would give them some extra cap room to sign a few players for depth.

Plan B – See above, but substitute Dwayne Wade for LeBron James.

Plan C – Here’s where things from day 1 make it interesting. In the likely event that James and Wade go elsewhere, supposedly the Knicks were high on pairing Joe Johnson with another big man (Bosh? Amare?). But it appears that Atlanta has put the kibosh on that plan by throwing a max-ish offer at Johnson. (At this time the rumor is unclear if the offer is for the full 6 years, or just 5). New York’s backup option was likely Rudy Gay, but that option has been taken off the table by Memphis’ deal worth $86M over 5 years.

So let’s assume that LeBron, Wade, Johnson, and Gay are all off the table. What are the Knicks to do? The obvious option would be to bring back David Lee along with one of the top big men Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh. Bringing Lee back would be key, considering that he would likely cost less than Bosh or Amare, giving the Knicks the ability to sign another mid-tier free agent. Perhaps a player like Mike Miller or Josh Childress would come to New York for a discount. If not they should be able to land someone decent, if not one or more of the bargain bin players that Ted Nelson brought up earlier in the week.

A lineup of Stoudemire/Bosh, Lee, Gallinari, Miller/Childress, and Douglas with the bench of Chandler, Walker, Fields, Rautins, and James should easily make the playoffs. Depth would be a concern (especially at center & point guard), but the team would still have Curry’s contract to use for an upgrade at those spots.

Plan D – If Bosh and Stoudemire go elsewhere, the Knicks aren’t likely to have a good 2010. Their best option would be to make a trade for a superstar. Of course this is where Walsh’s mid-season trades hurt them, because they lost some assets they could have used in a deal. Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony could be possibilities, but the team inevitably would have to send their prized youngster (Gallo) along with a few other players. Depending on how this plays out, they could still have Lee (or not) and cap space (or not). The idea would be to grab a superstar now and hope to eventually surround him with talent. Paul or Anthony surrounded by marginal talent would be an upgrade for New York, but depending on the cast might struggle to win half their games.

Plan E – Hope New Jersey gets some free agents and wait for them to move to Brooklyn. Sell all my Knicks related stuff on eBay.

OK so it’s probably an overstatement, as the team would be best served by going lean for another year & hold onto their cap space. The worst part about this scenario is that Walsh’s past year would have been one big mistake. Not resigning Lee to a moderate contract, and trading some future draft picks (plus Hill) to get rid of Jeffries’ contract will have hurt the team tremendously. For another year they would be a losing team without the benefit of having their own first round draft pick. On the other hand, the team wouldn’t be hamstrung by a handful of overpaid players for the first time in what seems like a generation.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

241 thoughts to “If I Were The Knicks GM, I’d…”

  1. Whatever happens, Walsh’s strategy was a not a mistake. As you said, the team wouldn’t be hamstrung by a handful of overpaid players for the first time in a generation. Besides that, the only real concrete quote I’ve seen anywhere that LeBron actually said in the meetings yesterday was, “Can you add another max player?” I.E. Bosh, Amare, a few others.

    The only team that can honestly answer YES is the Knicks. I mean, I guess the Heat can, but not if you count Wade as being already signed, which I do. That third guy would have to take less.

    So, I am happy with Walsh’s strategy. As he’s said many times, and as you agreed, the team now has flexibility it hasn’t had for a long time. That’s success. We are pretty much the only team that can offer two max contracts, which the best FA is recent history says is important to him. That’s success.

  2. I think you have distilled the options down very nicely, KB. However, Plan C would be a hard sell IMO. Bosh and Amare are better suited for PF, and Bosh, in fact, has said that he doesn’t want to play C. Not to mention, wouldn’t either of these players duplicate what the Knicks have in Lee? I think the Knicks would run the risk of an inefficient tandem like Jefferson/Love in Minnesota. If the Knicks can get Haywood and pair him with Bosh, Amare or Lee, I think that would be the best combo. Get a pg that can excel at the pick and roll and then you would have a solid squad with Gallo and Chandler rounding out your starting 5.

  3. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the chances of either A or B are slim at best. So C is probably the best outcome we can hope for — which ain’t so hot because I am not a big fan of either Bosh or Amare. That is — I would love to have either of them paired w/ LBJ, but as the #1 player on a team? I have serious doubts.

    Realistically, I would be OK signing Lee and trying to swing something that lands us a real, honest-to-goodness PG. Then trying to get Carmelo next year. I know that’s pretty defeatist, but I am more and more fearful that the summer of FA is going to turn into the summer of teams overpaying mediocre FAs once LBJ and DWade come off the table. All the hype is going to drive one or more teams to overpay for second tier players and get them in bad long-term contracts.

    I sure hope Donnie can surprise me…

  4. Lets further enhance plan C, as TDM started:

    Get Haywood and pair with Bosh/Amare and S&T Lee to Spurs for Parker (if they want Chandler too, since the lost RJ, let them have him). Now that would be a great back-up plan.

  5. I don’t think Carmelo will be available next year. Seems like he either extends with the Nuggets or they trade him. Knicks can offer Gallo and cap space, which may or may not be their best offer, but Carmelo can scare away suitors by saying he won’t resign with certain teams. It would be risky for him, though, considering the new CBA next year.

    I think plan D is probably better than plan C, if the Knicks think they can realistically obtain Anthony. Offer Gallo, Chandler, and Douglas for Anthony, Martin, and Lawson. Re-sign Lee. Keep Curry and Martin to trade later or let sunset. $25 mil to play with going forward. Core of Anthony, Lee, Lawson. More attractive than what Knicks have been enticing free agents with this year…

  6. The only way the Knicks really lose is by spending money on the wrong folks–just what we spent the last couple years trying to recover from. So in that sense, Johnson/Gay going off the market is a relief.

    The issue is everyone’s desire for them to be an overnight contender. Given that goal, failure is much more likely.

  7. rrude:

    We don’t want them to contend in 2010/11 – we want them to simply make progress (like 45-50 wins progress and a playoff appearance, maybe even a 1st round upset would be nice). After all they are still hamstrung by Eddy.

    We expect them to be a contender in 2011/12 after Eddy comes off the books. If they are not by them, then I’ll be calling for Walsh to get fired and Mike D to be gone. Until them, I’m squarely in their corner.

  8. I’m sure we’ve gone over this before, but I really don’t get why Walsh didn’t re-sign Lee last summer. If we want to pair Bosh with Lebron, we might end up sending Lee to Toronto in a sign and trade. We’d still be able to do that if we had Lee signed already, no? Plus, having him signed now takes some of the air out of Chicago’s argument that they have the most talent.

    Why didn’t we do that again? Is there some scenario in which not having him under contract is advantageous?

  9. Call it the LifeRaft plan (don’t know if this is C, D or E):

    1. re-sign David Lee. A better player than Amare; younger and healthier than Boozer. A Gay-ish deal probably gets it done.

    2. See if Boozer or Amare takes a 4-5 year deal, maybe not a full max. Something you could trade later. Sure, they duplicate DL’s skills, but they’re terrific players and our offense would be awesome (D, not so much). As long as they’re not maxed out, they (or DL) is tradeable in a future, roster-balancing deal.

    2a. If Boozer/Stoudemire don’t bite, and the $ is reasonable (say, $7-8 million per) sign Josh Childress to play SG.

    3. Offer Jermaine O’Neal $7 million for a year, to defend the middle.

    4. Fill it out with Ted’s bargain-binners.

    5. Use Chandler as trade bait, to get a decent draft pick (asset) or someone about as good who doesn’t play Gallo’s position and isn’t a free agent next summer.

    6. Hope the Rockets flop and leave us with an ok draft pick.

    This leaves the Knicks with a roster that should be semi-respectable – at least, better than last year. No over-the-hill guys. No one with an untradeable deadweight deal. With $20 million in expiring contracts, plus a few good young players, the Knicks are poised to be a serious player in trade talks.

    If no trades, the Knicks open up $20+ million in cap room next summer, add a draft pick and get another year’s development from Gallo, Douglas & Chandler if he’s still around. Next year is a great time to land a bigtime big man.

  10. Good thoughts Caleb, but I think you need a back up and or starting pg in case Douglas can’t get it done. Ridnour or Livingston for 5 mil. O’Neal might balk at a one year contract. If that’s the case do you stick with Barron? the rookie Jordan? Curry for god sakes???

  11. Rumors flying like crazy that Knicks and Amare close to agreeing for the Max.

  12. If they are not planning on pairing Amare with Lee (which I bet they still are planning to do, provided Lebron does not come to the Knicks), then it is quite sad that they are getting a slight upgrade at center from last year and yet they probably bought themselves a ton of relief, PR-wise, with this move.

  13. From Hahn’s Twitter:

    “Wade left after 2 hour meeting. Stopped for a moment and said, ‘it went well…I have to say I’m intrigued.'”

  14. Has Joe Johnson verbally agreed to that ATL contract yet? If not, what’s taking him so long? Holding out for even more $$$??

  15. Totally agree Brian, even today all the national media guys are writing that the Knicks are the team with cap space most likely to be shut out.

    How would a Amare/Lee duo work you think???? Must say I am somewhat intrigued by it.

  16. You know too Brian it is not just a PR move but probably a good move in terms of selling the Knicks roster to other FA’s too this summer and in the future. Like it or not Amare is a big name.

  17. How would a Amare/Lee duo work you think???? Must say I am somewhat intrigued by it.

    Well, obviously you’d be punting defense, but you’d be creating an insane 4/5 tandem – how could you possibly defend those two? – while not slowing the team down like traditional “twin towers” would. Plus, remember my bit about how Lee’s cap hold could mix with a max player to give the Knicks $8-10 million to spend? That could be at play here, too, and the Knicks could net Amare, Lee and Mike Miller (for roughly $8 million).

    They would not be able to play any defense, but man would that team score!!

  18. You know too Brian it is not just a PR move but probably a good move in terms of selling the Knicks roster to other FA’s too this summer and in the future. Like it or not Amare is a big name.

    No, that’s a very fair point. This definitely is a game-changer. I just cannot wait to see the ESPN guys try to skew this as bad, somehow.

  19. How would signing Amare impact our chances with Lebron?

    It would tell him, “We have one of the most explosive forwards out there – if you want to play with a top notch big man, we got one now.”

    They won’t tell him, “You foolishly are underrating the big man we already had, but that’s okay,” but that’s what I will think if an Amare signing honestly does woo him.

  20. Wait, let me predict their spin before they even do it.

    “The Bulls and Heat did not want to sign Amare because they were afraid of his health.”

    To which I retort, “Daryl freakin’ Morey wanted Amare. If Daryl Morey wants you, you must be good.”

  21. Bill Simmons and Wilbon were already making fun of the Knicks when they talked about Knicks possibly signing JJ and Amare so Im sure just signing Amare will not stop them from mocking the Knicks saying all these moves to get cap space was a waste if no LeBron.

  22. That was JJ and Amare, though.

    Honestly, I’d make fun of the Knicks if it was JJ and Amare. Now Amare and Lee, that’s at least interesting.

    Amare and Lebron or Amare and Wade?

    That’s just awesome.

  23. In recent days, some have characterized the Knicks as a team that might completely strike out on big-name free agents.

    “Some” meaning US.

  24. From the ESPN chat just now:

    Chad Ford, ESPN Insider: At this point I think they know the chances of landing LeBron and Bosh are super slim. That’s why you hear them panicking a bit with Amare Stoudemire. All year I’ve been hearing that Mike D’Antoni isn’t the biggest fan. But when it’s Amare or nothing, he starts looking a lot better. They’ll probably fill in the rest of the holes with smaller free agents. It’s not good Knicks fans. Amare is a great player, but teams are scared of his knees and his eye.

    His knees! His eye!

  25. I think Amare + Lee is not a good fit. Two poor defenders whose best offense comes off pick-and-roll and mid-range jumpers. Why pay 2 people to do the same thing?

    If Amare signs I think Lee is gone. I’d honestly rather have Barron and Jordan play the 5 and give Amare space to operate without spending all the extra $ on Lee. It hurts me to say that though. Hopefully Amare brings Lebron or Wade with him. If not, and if Amare starts at $17M that would leave us another $17+ to play with. This is what I hope we could do thereafter:

    – See if NO would trade us Collison and Okafor for Chandler. Collison’s and Chandler’s contracts are a wash, so we would use 11 out of our 17M cap room for that. BUT – it would leave us Curry’s contract to use in a trade or to fall off the cap next year.

    – Use the remaining $6M to sign either Mike Miller or Josh Childress.

    That would give us:

    PG: Collison
    SG: Childress/Miller
    SF: Gallo
    PF: Amare
    C: Okafor

    reserves – TD, Rautins, Fields, Jerome Jordan, Curry, Bill walker, filler.


  26. Chad Ford already talking crap on his current chat:

    “At this point I think they know the chances of landing LeBron and Bosh are super slim. That’s why you hear them panicking a bit with Amare Stoudemire. All year I’ve been hearing that Mike D’Antoni isn’t the biggest fan. But when it’s Amare or nothing, he starts looking a lot better. They’ll probably fill in the rest of the holes with smaller free agents. It’s not good Knicks fans. Amare is a great player, but teams are scared of his knees and his eye.”

  27. Also from Ford:

    “the Suns are going to have to renounce Amare in order sign Warrick. They have to get far enough under the cap to afford both Frye and Warrick. So, not only is Amare gone … but they’ll be giving up a chance to get something of value back in return for him. Not a great day in Phoenix. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop with Steve Nash. I don’t know how he looks at this team and feels they’re still committed to winning a championship.”

    Okay, let’s get Steve Nash.

  28. “Good thoughts Caleb, but I think you need a back up and or starting pg in case Douglas can’t get it done. Ridnour or Livingston for 5 mil. O’Neal might balk at a one year contract. If that’s the case do you stick with Barron? the rookie Jordan? Curry for god sakes???”

    Sure, I only filled about 8 or 9 roster slots.. but I would stick to serious budget for the rest. Every “name” guy out there, like Ridnour, would sabotage the cap and we’d regret it in 3 months. We’ll be taking some lumps with my plan for sure, but we wouldn’t be terrible – might even hit .500 – and would preserve our chances for a big splash at trade deadline or next summer.

  29. For the love of God, don’t let the Knicks sign Boozer. I’d rather have the same roster as last year than add him. I live in SLC and he isn’t worth having. Amare, however.. would be a great help. Between Amare and D Lee we can fill the 4-5 slots, with Gallo at the 3, Douglas at point and (Insert Mid-level guy here) at 2.
    Amare was at his best under D’Antoni. I truly believe this setup would be better long term than even signing LeBron.

  30. re: Amare – he’s a terrible fit, but if you’re not a contender you have to go for the best available talent. Lee & Amare might be that. You can re-shuffle later. And I think both those guys would be tradeable…

    I do think he’d be seriously overpaid at the max (especially since his max is higher than LeBron even, given it’s his second contract) — but at least if he’s healthy, it’s… it’s…. well, let’s just say there are worse contracts out there.

    Health is obviously a huge concern but if your doctors give him a serious workup and the bill of health is clean — well, maybe that fear is overblown.

    fwiw I read the Suns offered max but only 4 years.

  31. I don’t even like Amare that much, and I think he’s likely going to be a decent value even in that fifth year.

  32. Also, the Knicks can obviously also offer Lee to teams as a sign and trade guy.

    What decent teams out there would like to have Lee (as he is not re-signing to go to a shitty team)?

  33. Still not sure if Knicks will re-sign Lee if they sign Amare, would Lee even want to come back if thats the case??

  34. Lee is definitely a guy who wants to play in a big city. Plus, the Knicks can out-bid everyone for him.

    That said, they could also explore sign and trades, too!

  35. I really can’t stand Chad Ford. He’s a snarky little SOB who, in my mind, will never live down all his hype about Darko, Podkolozine, Lampe, Skita, etc. All his crazy trade proposals never come close to coming true. It’s fine for us fans who don’t get paid to make up random crap to play virtual GM on Knickerblogger, but he gets PAID to make up stupid crapola?

    Of course I want Lebron here because I’m a fan, but almost more of me wants him here just so Chad Ford will shut the F#$^@$ up.

  36. It’s official. Chad Ford is an ass:

    “I’m not sure that panic is the right word. I still think Wade and Bosh are most likely to end up together in Miami. It’s LeBron that may be forced to decide between the Bulls, Nets and Cavs. ”

    Why is LeBron not forced to decide between the Bulls, Nets, Cavs and KNICKS? WHY??? Just say ‘Knicks’, jeez.

  37. Well, Lee to the Bulls makes sense. Close to his hometown, great fit, old college teammate… do you think we could get Gibson and a 1st rounder if the Bulls want Lee? That’s about all they’ve got. I’m not sure if anyone wants Deng…

  38. I give the guy crap, too, but I think he’s a good guy, overall. I don’t think he’s doing any of this to be a jerk or needle Knick fans. I think he honestly believes that the Knicks have no shot and that informs everything he writes. So while he might be biased, I don’t think he’s a jerk or anything like that.

  39. By the way, there’s a very real scenario that Lebron goes back to Cleveland, Bosh signs with Wade in Miami and then Chicago and New Jersey are left with just Boozer out there.

  40. “As you said, the team wouldn’t be hamstrung by a handful of overpaid players for the first time in a generation.”

    But that was going to happen regardlessly. Walsh could have done nothing from the time he was hired and the Knicks would have tons of cap space in 2011. Crawford and Randolph and Jeffries all expire then. If the Knicks end up signing Lee for $14 mill per and had a chance to sign him for $8-10 mill last offseason, there’s no way to say that doesn’t hurt. In hindsight the calls Walsh has made in the last year would be bad, but he knew that was a possibility going in and decided a shot at LeBron was worth it. It might have been the right strategy, but his moves can still hurt the Knicks in hindsight.

  41. Also, how in the world is signing Amare a “panic move”?

    Is there some scenario where there won’t be heavy demand for Amare this offseason? So locking him up early is a panic move how?

  42. Amare is one of the better big men in the game. He’s flawed, but how many players aren’t? My worry is he doesn’t always play hard…the Knicks need to put a good team around him to hold his interest

  43. How about Lee to Dallas in a sign and trade for a signed and traded Brendan Haywood and Rodrigue Beaubois? How can Dallas worry about the future when Lee could help them win now (with an old team)?

  44. @48
    Good point. Even after Amar’e, it’s still not a win for Walsh. Amar’e and Lee at a fair price is maybe a win by points. The only clear knockout though would be Amar’e and Lebron or Wade (I would maybe include Bosh, but he doesn’t want to play center.)
    I mean, I LIKE Amare but is Z-bo at 14 mil that much worse than Amar’e at 20 mil?


    Hahn reports that Patrick Ewing Jr. and Marcus Landry are both on the Knicks Summer League roster. I’d like to see Landry return.

  46. By the way, I almost want the Amare deal to fall apart so that we can read Chad Ford give the Knicks shit for not signing Amare.

  47. Oh man, my math is way off. The Knicks would have less than $7 million to spend on free agents if they max out Amar’e and keep Lee’s cap hold. Yuck. And that’s not counting the money you need to take out to pick up Walker’s option!

  48. Could mean a sign and trade with Lee. Could even mean a sign n trade of Lee for Amare. Although it sounds like the Suns are going another direction.

  49. Oh, I meant to say this the other day. Lee’s cap hold is also important because, according to Coon, if the Knicks go over the cap – even with cap holds, they retain the ability to use the mid-level exemption. If they were to renounced everyone and just spend all their cap room, they would lose it, I believe.

    So that’s a pretty big incentive to at least sign and trade Lee, right? So whatever they do, they would still have the mid-level on top of it to offer (or split among guys like Livingston, etc.).

  50. yuck..I think imma be sick…did I hear a max deal for Amare starting at 17.2 mil?? Are we really that desperate? A max deal for the same Amare…27 yr old man-child with creaky knees. 5 years, with the 5th guaranteed? He doesn’t seem to be the type of player who will be able to adapt when his athleticism leaves. That’s who Donnie’s rumored to give a max deal to? OK thas it…fire D’Antoni and start over. If this is true then obviously it is at Mike’s behest, and he has got to be out of his mind!!!! I hope this isn’t true becuz I always figured Walsh was alot smarter than that. Please say it ain’t so..his own team won’t even give him a deal like that. Shouldn’t that fact kinda set the market for him? I think Amare’s good, but Walsh can also build a better team without him.
    If he whiffs on free agency this year, then I say bring back Lee, make a play for Jason Thompson (he’s got to be expendable), Trade Curry and Chandler for whoever you can get for that package, add another reasonable PG and SG (or perhaps bring back T Mac on an incentive laden 1 year deal), and then go hard for 2011 when ‘Melo might be available. Or use some of that cap space in a trade for CP3..Curry, Chandler and a nice trade exception (if possible) sounds ok for Paul and Posey. I’m not quite sure how those numbers would work out becuz I didn’t do the research..but that shouldn’t take all of our cap room rite? I don’t know…but FA 2010 is looking more and more gloomy every minute..i’m worried yal

  51. I really think everyone has to stop with this CP3 trade talk, not gonna happen because the Hornets dont have to trade him anytime soon.

    Also Amare has adapted his game very nicely now so losing his athleticism wont be that big a problem I dont think.

  52. He’s far from being signed, but Stat. Hm.

    If he’s in the fold to lure James, well, sure. But otherwise. Hm…

  53. Im beginning to think short of LeBron or Wade anybody the Knicks sign will get ripped here unless he is signed for “cheap” and is a good “value” signing. lol

  54. Im pulling for Houston to land Bosh in a S/T, thereby forcing Wade to bolt Miami and come to NY to play with Amare. If Houston manages to pull it off, i cannot imagine a scenario in which Wade actually stays. In fact, if Houston does pull that off, it seemingly destroys the Miami Heat.

  55. Ted – in what universe could Donnie have signed Lee for $8 – $10m per? Please be consistent with your criticism: you were here during the negotiations. You know his agent was asking $12m per. And he was obviously smart to do so – because Lee will get at least that, now. But $8m was NEVER a possibility, so don’t use it to second guess Donnie now. Unfair.

    I would rather have Lee than Amare, but would LeBron? If it’s true that we signed Amare, you’ve got to think other FAs are suddenly looking at our roster much differently. It’s no longer hypothetical: we have a better core than Chicago. Than anyone, pretty much.

    Hey LeBron -want to play with Amare, Gallo, TD, Chandler? Dominant inside big man; great outside shooter and potential star; great outside shooter and complementary defender; OK all-around SF? Or would you rather play with DWade and spare parts? Or with Rose (a shoot-first PG who might have issues sharing the ball), Noah (great defensive center and boarder and to my mind their best piece); and Deng (good all-around player, but no Amare)? The Knicks might look a lot better to him…

  56. ESPN still hasn’t acknowledged the Amare to Knicks rumor, and the timing seems curious since they are currently meeting with Bosh…may just be talk

  57. By the way, anyone check out Interbrand? I’m guessing they made a pretty strong and credible presentation about how NY would mean much more to LBJ’s potential earnings than anywhere else. Maybe we do have a shot at this.

    Man,what a rollercoaster! If we hadn’t had ten bad years, but only a couple, I’ve got to guess this wouldn’t be so bipolar an experience….

  58. rama, I said same thing earlier to Brian and he agreed with me too. Like it or not Amare is a big name that makes the Knicks roster look ALOT better to other FA’s if he is indeed signed soon. Assuming Bosh signs with either LeBron or Wade you would have to think having Amare would make the Knicks that much more attractive to the one not playing with Bosh.

  59. I don’t know how to feel about this one:


    It’s funny that the mention Pekovic’s signing as a reason that the Wolves won’t keep Jefferson. Draft Express has Pekovic’s “best case” as (you guessed it) Al Jefferson.

    It’s also a strange coincidence that this is the first sentence of their profile:

    “In a controversial decision, the Euroleague chose Danilo Gallinari over Nikola Pekovic as the winner of the Rising Star award that honors the best young player in the competition.”

    AND… if you remember, Amare was almost trade for Jefferson…

  60. The last thing ESPN would want to do is say the Knicks might sign one of the big FA since almost every single analyst there has said Knicks will get shutout from signing any of the big FA’s.

    Of course as mentioned earlier when Chad Ford was asked about this rumor during his chat today all he did was rip the signing where as if the Heat or Bulls would be rumored on the verge of signing Amare it would be huge news and a big get for either of those teams.

  61. I don’t know BBA..everyone says N.O. is cash strapped so anything’s possible. And yes, Stat is still producing despite his microfractures…but microfractures usually bother u for a while so I don’t necessarily think he has lost that much…yet. So we’ll see on that as well. He just doesn’t strike me as the Karl Malone type, who still found a way to be a HOF caliber player after he lost his athleticism. I will say he shows flashes of that ability to adapt, but he never was the rebounder Karl was. It’ll be interesting to see..hopefully not in a Knick uni tho. LOL..at this point anybody short of ‘Bron and Wade problee will get bashed b/c of all the expectations and anxiety. Signing 2 “other” FA’s will get us in the playoffs, but problee just tha 1st round though..unless we switch coaches.

  62. Actually as I say that top story in their NBA page talks about Amare to the Knicks. lol

  63. Signing Amar’e isn’t the end of the world. At the end of a 5 year contract, he’ll be 32, and I’m positive he’ll still be effective barring injury. Also, I doubt they’ll seriously commit to Amar’e before even talking with Bosh.

  64. God, Sheridan is breath of fresh air after Ford:

    [Comment From Lito Lito: ]
    with NY having no PG and no center, you still think NY is the best fit for bosh and lebron?
    Friday July 2, 2010 4:23 Lito

    Chris Sheridan:
    They have PG Toney Douglas, who can defend and won’t need to handle the ball and initiate if LBJ is on team. They have a shooter in Gallinari. Bulls and Heat have no shooters. They don’t have a center other than Curry and the draft pick, Jordan,, but they would still have leftover cap space after signing two max players, and they liked what Earl Barron gave them in the final 7 games. Plus they also have W.Chandler, who ain’t bad. Put all those pieces together and you see why I make the argument that they have more of a supporting cast already in place. PLUS they have cap room next summer, or could use Curry’s expiring contract to add another guy(s) at the trade deadline if they have LBJ/Bosh on board.

  65. I like Amare..don’t get me wrong. But at 27 and bad knees I don’t think he’s worth it. The team that had his Bird rights didn’t even want him at that salary. I believe the saying goes “u pay max for what they’re gonna do..not for what they’ve done”, and Amare’s long term health looks a lot less secure than anybody else on the market..maybe except Booz. Before somebody jumps on me with “Amare opted out”..Phoenix was glad he opted out becuz they didn’t wanna give him 6 years at max salary. 3 years for Amare is great. 5 or 6..not so great. Now if he gets a 5 year deal and puts up 23 and 9 or 10 rpg every year while staying healthy, then yes..I will ask for some hot sauce to put on that crow I will hafta eat. I’m just sayin I’m not sure after microfracture i’m not sure he’s gonna hold up well being a go to guy…with or without LeBron. At that price, no team can afford to have his game drop off. I’m not gonna lie, I have envisioned Amare bein a force in the paint, fueled by Knick fans love and support for years in the Garden, as well as that charismatic figure we’ve lacked since Spree..cuz if he stayed healthy long enough he would love bein a Knick and we would love him right back. But those surgeries scare me.

  66. @SeeWhyDee77

    “at 27 and bad knees”: Have you SEEN Amare play? We should all have such bad knees. Sure, every player has a risk of not panning out because of injury. Wade, of course, has missed tons of games. No one mentions it, but even LeBron could break down. With his body type and the way he plays, I see him gaining weight in time and possibly coming back to earth, so to speak.

    So, yes, I worry about the previous surgery, but it’s not like Amare hasn’t shown himself to be a complete player since. This is not a McDyess or Allan Houston post-injury player.

    With Amar’e, I am more worried about his attitude and his fit without a strong PG or center. We never know, but I’d take the risk on his talent and physical gifts remaining intact.

  67. Ric Bucher “Haha, let’s talk about a ‘haircut.’ Bosh and James will take a ‘haircut’ to play in Miami. But the Knicks have zero chance at all. I’m a red head douche.”

  68. From Hahn’s Twitter:

    “Bosh leaves after over 2 hrs and 40 min meeting with Knicks. Asked if he’s excited: ‘Man you should have seen me in there. I’m more excited than I was yesterday.'”

    Wade is having a second meeting with Chicago.

  69. Can you imagine a scenario where Bosh goes to Houston, LeBron and JJ stay put, Amare and Wade come to NY and Miami and Chicago fight it out over Boozer and the rest of the scraps? It would almost be worth not getting LeBron (and I’d be thrilled to get Wade) to have all those anti-Knick NBA writers have to eat crow.

  70. @76 I’m not sure Bucher is aware that the Knicks are in the NBA.

    Also, I may be proven wrong, but NO ONE is taking less than the max to play anywhere. You think Bosh or LeBron want to make less than Rudy Gay? Their agents will never allow it.

  71. @78

    I’m with you, d-mar. Wade and Amare would make me extremely happy (and slightly nervous – two injury-prone dudes). Those two guys would play great together, and Gallo and TD would fit great with them.

    But it would be extra enjoyable watching all the writers scramble to cover their asses.

  72. d-mar, NOTHING would be sweeter than the Heat striking out and being forced to build around Beasley and the Bulls stuck in first-round playoff land. Of course, that is assuming the Knicks get their men.

    So both Bosh and Wade went on the record today saying how excited they were by the Knicks pitch. Amar’e might be getting a deal. At this moment, I will take any one of those guys names on a contract!


  73. There is absolutely nothing wrong with signing Amar’e even if we don’t get LeBron/Wade. Amar’e + Lee + Haywood could be a really solid frontcourt. Add Mike Miller and Luke Ridnour we have a quality team to which we can add Carmelo next year and we’d have 3 maybe 4 (if Gallo maxes out his potential) all-stars. That doesn’t seem unreasonable

  74. Getting Amare alone means five straight years of thinking we can be a force in the East, but actually striking out in the first round, Amare sulking and complaining by the time we’re down 3-0 because there’s “not enough” around him.

  75. SJK – how could we possibly sign all those players? Even if you assume you get Haywood for something reasonable, like $10m, that leaves $6m for Lee…which is fine, because we have his Bird rights and can then go over the cap to keep him, but it obviously leaves 0 for Miller or anyone else.

  76. With Lee’s bird rights, we can sign him and Amar’e and still be 18 mil under the cap. I saw that on ESPN with Lebron instead of Amar’e. Then we have 18 mil left to sign some combination of Haywood, Miller, and Ridnour. Miller’s offer from LA was 6 mil/year. We could offer him 7 haywood 7 and ridnour 4

  77. “Breaking news: #Knicks to meet with Raymond Felton next week”

    Still pretty torn about Amar’e. Yes, if D’Antoni’s idea of having Lebron be the new Magic Johnson comes to fruition, then Amar’e is a good signing, but in no other way is Ama’re better or equal to Bosh. Looking at footage, it seems like 80% of Amar’e’s fg’s are dunks. Which is great for a SSOL finisher. But Bosh is much better at taking his man off the dribble and seems to utilize a greater variety of post moves.
    But the offense in Phoenix and Toronto are different and Phoenix did have a good playoff run after all while Toronto has done very little. There are even complaints of Bosh slowing down the offense and there are Raptor fans that will be glad to see him leave. Of course, if you see how many perfect little passes Nash has given to Amar’e on a platter, you have to wonder if anyone can even replicate half of that pick/roll offense anywhere…
    So if we get Amar’e, we’d better do our best to get Lebron or barring that, CP3 or Tony Parker at least. I don’t think Felton’s gonna cut it.
    Maybe Iggy with his passing ability would be a good fit? Curry/Chandler/Lee for Iggy/Brand?

  78. THCJ @ 83..well said…ditto for ess-dog @86 about Bosh and Felton.
    I like the thought of bringin Iggy on board..especially since they just drafted Turner. But if we would hafta bring along Brand then no dice. Can u imagine Stat and Iggy on the same team with a decent PG who can run the break ass well as the half court sets? Wow..but it looks like the only way Walsh will significantly improve the roster is via trade and low level FA’s..unless ‘Bron reverses course and embraces everything NY has to offer..including Jimmy D. I definitely have an apprehensive excitement toward the possibility of Amare bein a Knick..especially if we’re gonna give him an Allan Houston deal.

  79. SJK – ESPN is wrong. You can go over the cap with a Bird rights guy after signing everyone else. But that would mean coming close to the cap with everyone else in the fold, then signing your Bird guy. Also, it isn’t $18m, it’s $17 mil. Big difference.

    Which doesn’t mean you couldn’t do Amare + Haywood + Lee, or Amare + Miller + Lee, but there’s no way you’ll get Haywood AND Miller for less than $18m, meaning you can’t have both and have Lee.

    And certainly not Ridnour…even if we wanted him, which we shouldn’t.

    But I’d be delighted with Amare + Miller + Lee, or Haywood. I just don’t think it’ll happen. Also, if it does, Curry’s expiring doesn’t mean quite as much – we lose its value against the cap. We only keep its value as a trading chip.

  80. I think we can all agree that pretty much any info that comes out is less than 100% reliable.

    And that there’s an anti-NYC bias

  81. “James’ camp categorized New York’s presentation as ‘lacking preparedness and organization.'”

    So our presentation “lacked preparation?” The same presentation we’ve been working on for the past two years? A comment like that is so frustrating as a Knicks fan.

  82. Let me reiterate…
    Rule #1:I think we can all agree that pretty much any info that comes out is way less than 100% reliable.

    And that there’s an anti-NYC bias

    Rule #2: See Rule #1

  83. The latest buzz is that Wade is leaning toward Chicago. Lebron might join him. How exactly would a Wade/Lebron/Rose lineup work?

  84. Knicks are disputing reports that they’re “virtually eliminated” from the Lebron-stakes.


    “In addition, Wojnarowski reports that James was turned off by Donnie Walsh’s need to use a wheelchair after a medical procedure on his neck, and that James was similarly deflated by owner James Dolan’s appearance.”

    That reflects well on King James.

  85. Maybe his anonymous source is the owner of the Nets! And according to him, I bet the Knicks don’t have a chance at Lebron.

    How lame is this nonsense?

  86. Wow I would be so happy to see the Miami Heat compete with a roster of Mario Chalmers, Pat Riley, and Mickey Arison next year.

    Do you forfeit if you have less than five players? Can Dexter play power forward?

  87. Hahn, who to be honest has pretty much stayed away from writing rumors and stuff, with his latest tweets really sum up the reasons it looks like the Knicks will sign Amare:

    “I’m being told Amar’e believes he can help Knicks get LeBron (recall all-star wknd in feb.). He’s also texting Tony Parker about teaming up.”

    “Here’s the thing about Amar’e/Knicks marriage: they both need each other. Both realized the market was drying up on them.”

    That really is the whole point, regardless of what some fans and stats guys think Amare is a name big enough (and to be fair if healthy good enough and as Hahn also noted he did play in all 82 games last season and is still just 28) to make other players really consider coming to NY not just because its NY but because they will have a chance to be a really good team. I mean yeah it might be more of a PR move than re-signing Lee but again Amare is a very good player and is a big name who is not over the hill or washed up like T-Mac or overrated like Joe Johnson.

  88. At this point I am a little relieved that the Knicks aren’t getting totally shut out, and Amare is a good player who is far from the worst free agent signing of all time. On the other hand, as someone else mentioned, is he really that much better than Zach Randolph? He’s getting paid 30 percent more.

    Anyway, I was a little stunned to see David Lee win the ESPN poll of best consolation prize – pretty easily, over Amare and Boozer. And I completely agree – Lee is a better player, or at least very close, and probably comes a lot cheaper (although, maybe not – we’ll see).

    But I and other bloggers have been saying that for a long time and at this point we all realized where Walsh stood. So I’m not surprised.

    I wonder if it really does mean the end of David Lee’s NY career. On the one hand, they are a terrible “match” for each other. But if the Knicks have a bunch of cap room left, and they can spend it on Lee or Ray Felton – then, c’mon, they’re gonna pay DL.

    It’s also hard to see a lot of S&T locations – he is a rich guy who doesn’t seem to need or care about an extra $15 million, and he wants to be in NY. Or NJ :)

  89. Lee seems like the ideal big man target for NJ, that’d probably get a huge percentage of NY fans to flip, depending on what else goes down.

    the reason Amare is better than Zach Randolph is because of big-game upside and experience. among the FA PFs, only he and Boozer really know what it’s like to play and win serious games deep into the playoffs. he is a very good #2 to Gallo’s #3 and Chandler’s #4, then they have a much better basketball case for LeBron or Wade. the more I think about it, NJ doesn’t have as much as it seemed (a lot of assumptions they’d get Wall, ignoring the whole lottery thing). if Wade goes to Chicago and Amare to NY, I think NY has the best basketball case for LeBron. there aren’t even close to enough basketballs for LBJ, Wade and Rose, NY’s surrounding cast would seem to be much more complementary.

    “LeBron, we can offer you a supporting cast and a system where you can not just have a shot at a title, but a shot to go 30/10/10 at the same time. you can also be the NBA historical figure to make people reconsider whether great D always beats great O in the playoffs. even Jordan didn’t do that.

    SSOL 2.0, the Garden going nuts every night, celebs putting LA to shame, the most fun you could possibly have actually playing the game night in and night out. the playoffs is work, but the regular season would be a party every game. also, NY will not expect a title in the first season, or maybe even the second. we just want to see you in blue and orange doing your best. give us at least two years, then you can jump to Brooklyn if you want.”

    I have a little hope again.

  90. Also for everyone talking about Lee being so much cheaper than Amare, I have a feeling whatever contract Lee signs aint gonna be that much cheaper than Amare.

  91. Signing Amar’e…not a bad move by any means. We get a guy that can outplay every PF in the game today, and we still have cap room to use. I just hope Amar’e brings LeBron or Wade with him, and if not, Walsh makes some serious trades to build around Amar’e.

  92. Here’s all I have to say about comparing Zach Randolph to Amar’e: Stoudemire almost blocked more shots in one season (163 in 2008) than Zach has in his career (171 – 9 seasons). He has about an 80% advantage in TS%, and nearly double the free throws.

    Carry on.

  93. Good stuff Jon. All these FAs saying they don’t want to take less than the max (and rightfully so after all the money we have seen spent) may force LBJ to have to narrow his choices to NY or Miami, the only two teams that can truly offer him the opportunity to play with another max guy.

    If its us against Miami, then I like our chances.

  94. So, this would be the updated version of the best SSOL team D’Antoni had, the 2004-2005 Suns, the 62-20 team that looked like it would win it all before the idiotic Amare suspension and one of the five most fun teams to watch since I’ve been following the league:

    Stoudemire and Johnson would return, six years older and wiser and hopefully not so much less explosive. a young man named LeBron James would be filling the role of then-MVP Steve Nash, Gallo would be in the role of our beloved Quentin “only good year I ever had, solely because of the system” Richardson, and Wilson Chandler in the role of Shawn Marion.

    There’s a fair amount to argue pro and con there, but the defensive upgrade from Nash to LeBron is pretty insane. There’s no defensive presence in the middle, but the other four guys are all good to great defenders, and D’Antoni is never going to play a Kendrick Perkins type anyway (not there are more than a few anyway).

  95. how would we do all this again? Would we have to do a double sign and trade with Lee? Not sure what in the world we could offer Atlanta other than Gallo to make this JJ/Amare/Lebron thing happen. And I’d rather keep Gallo than pay JJ $119M.

  96. Outside money of some kind, presumably, to get them up to max levels overall. Not sign and trades, Amare and Johnson sign for less.

  97. @ 104

    I agree. Hahn tweeted earlier, “Talked to David Lee today in Chicago. Saw what Darko, Hakim and Rudy got and there are $ $ in his eyes.”

    He might not be that cheap compared to Amare.

    @ 107

    That rumor is wild, jon. Probably too good to be true.

  98. The BS is OUT OF CONTROL. Every single pundit/analyst reports every piece of shit they hear; if they’re right they think it’s a coup that they were the first one to report it and if they’re wrong they can just say “well, that rumor was bogus.”


    This may be what’s fueling all the Wade to the Bulls speculation and he says NOTHING substantive!!!!

  99. I might find myself more willing to listen to Stephen A Smith if:

    A. He had any idea what he was talking about.
    B. His website featured editors.

  100. Has to be the first time I ever wanted to believe Stephen A.

    Hahn, on the other hand, is easily the best of the NY beat writers, so I believe both that DLee is seeing dollar signs after the other signings this year, and that Amare will be working hard to convince LBJ to come with him. If the report is true that Amare and JJ were considering taking less than the max to play together with DWade, why not with Lebron and other actual living basketball players, as opposed to Miami?

    Frankly, if Amare gets us LBJ, who cares???

    Besides, if we really want JJ that badly, Amare and JJ could take the max and we could deal Lee to Atlanta. I bet they’d be glad to have him, and he’d be glad to play for a winning team and be reunited with Horford.

  101. Whoops – to clarify, Amare and LBJ could take the max, and we could deal Lee to Atlanta for JJ in a sign-and-trade.


    Oh my. Need to step away from the computer….

  102. Lee doesn’t seem like a great fit for Atlanta with Horford and Josh Smith already there. Maybe they could move him on in a three way deal for something that better fit their needs?

  103. Fair enough. I got caught up in the dream for a minute. Back to Amare and Felton, yahoo.

  104. “JJ could take the max and we could deal Lee to Atlanta”

    Can the Knicks really renounce Lee and then s&t him for a max player? It seems like that is a blatant loophole to the CBA that would be exploited more often if it was legitimate.

  105. Can the Knicks really renounce Lee and then s&t him for a max player?


    Amare/Lebron/JJ is a total pipe dream.

    Amare/Lebron, though, is a real possibility.

    Amare’s signing surely puts the Knicks at least into the game.

  106. Gonna be a wild couple of days.

    Here’s a weird idea. If the Nix whiff on LeBron/Wade, what about sending Gallo and DWTDD to Chicago for Derrick Rose?

  107. I just don’t see Joe Johnson leaving, what, $50 million on the table just for his legacy. Unlike Lebron and Amar’e, he’s not going to ever have a chance to make this much money again.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like that people like Stephen A. Smith are at least talking up the possibility of a trio taking less money to play in New York (including the caveat that Amar’e would only take less money if it was a trio – just two guys he would not take less than max – that sounds believable) – it does tend to suggest that it is more than a complete fantasy, but I think at the end of the day, it still remains a fantasy.

    Wade and Bosh signing with Chicago would probably be the best scenario for the Knicks in this regard – it would practically force Lebron to the Knicks.

  108. Joe Johnson’s position in all of this is fascinating. Effectively, it’s $50 million in exchange for never winning a title (at least never win a title as a main contributor). That’s such an odd thing to deal with – “Do I take the money and pretty much guarantee myself that I never win a title, or do I roll the dice playing with the greatest player in the NBA?”

  109. “Joe Johnson’s position in all of this is fascinating. Effectively, it’s $50 million in exchange for never winning a title.”

    I think 99.9% of guys think it’s a no-brainer to take that exchange. This little tidbit gives me hope that JJ is an outlier:

    “Johnson was offered scholarships from Duke, Connecticut, and other schools with excellent basketball reputations, but chose the Arkansas Razorbacks because it was his dream to play for them.”

    A sentimentalist!

  110. I think 99.9% of guys think it’s a no-brainer to take that exchange.

    And I think that ultimately is what will keep him out of New York.

  111. FWIW, the ‘source’ quoted on ESPN’s ticker last night said Johnson was about 50/50 right now. of course, none of it matters if LeBron goes elsewhere.

  112. “I just don’t see Joe Johnson leaving, what, $50 million just for his [happiness]”

    It’s un-American!

  113. Walsh’s plan could never be considered a failure. There was no way the Knicks are a player for the big FA’s w/o the things he did, and even if we come away empty, he could not have set us up better than he did. There was always the risk that things wouldn’t pan out, but not taking the risk was never an option. He moved contracts that were considered immovable. True, there were draft picks lost, but at least for the right reasons. I have nothing but love for Walsh right now. The only questionable move in my mind is the signing of D’Antoni; I’ve been disappointed in his handling of the personnel he’s had. Beyond that, I’m loving that we are serious players in the market right now.

    Amar’e has no more health risk than any other FA on the market. He just played a grueling 82 games plus 16 playoff games against the big men of the Blazers, Spurs and Lakers. His knees are no more of a risk than any others, and he wears goggles to protect the eye. He is 27 years old. Don’t get the talk about his health status.

    Agree that Lee was not available at $8-10 mill last year. I can’t hold that against Walsh.

  114. BTW Parker and Amar’e would make a nice combo, looks like that is a possibility, no?

  115. Z-man, word up.

    I give D’antoni a partial pass since he’s had to deal with a roster of guys who knew they were expected to lose / be somewhere else next year. I wish he had given more minutes to the rookies earlier on this year, however.

    What’s crazy is that these last few days have been more entertaining as a Knicks fan than much of their on-court play for the last decade.

    OK, that’s just sad.

    I’ll believe San Antonio is giving up Parker when I see it. Personally, I can’t stand the guy, but that might just be that Spurs stench.

    You wear orange & blue? I’m with you!

  116. A ring aint worth 50 million, no way. Most people dont get into this to win, they do it to earn. If you win along the way, then great. Jeez JJ take the money if for no other reason than to keep us from overpaying you.

  117. “A ring aint worth 50 million, no way. Most people dont get into this to win, they do it to earn.”

    That is true, but Joe Johnson has already made $75,000,000. That’s a lot of dough, even for someone coming out of the prestigious Little Rock school system.

  118. “Lee was not available at $8-10 mill last year”

    I think he was. It wasn’t the $ that was keeping Walsh from signing him. It was that Walsh didn’t want to give him more than a one year deal. I think he could have had him for 5 years, $50 mil. Lee wanted it, but understood the Knicks wanting to preserve their cap space.

    We’ll know in a week whether Walsh was brilliant or not, but even if he had signed Lee to a long term contract, Lee would have been an asset– the only real risk being a career threatening injury during the season. As it was, the Knicks couldn’t do anything with Lee because he could veto any trade, and now there’s a chance they’ll lose him for nothing in return.

    But, of course, if Walsh gets his two A listers, it’s not even worth discussing.

  119. Here’s why we get Lebron.

    The first thing Chris Bosh probably told his agent is the same thing all the guys told their agents which is, “Get me the max”. Either that or their agents told them, “Don’t be a sap, do you want to get paid less than Joe Johnson? Let me see if I can get you the max”. So, he looks at Houston and thinks, “They’re always good. How’s Yao? He’s coming back? Me and him can beat Kobe. (Even if it isn’t true, he’s gotta be thinking it). Toronto, for their part is thinking, “We are in Canada. We’re even more screwed geographically than the Nets. No FA as good as Bosh wants to come here. Bosh wants to leave here. We’ve always liked Ariza. let’s start there and see what we can get in an S&T”.

    Now Bosh is a Happy Rocket. D-Wade is a very unhappy Heat. He goes home to Chicago to play with Rose and Noah. Lebron thinks to himself, “maybe I should have been more agressive”. Has a choice between Amar’e and NYK or Shaq and Cleveland.

    Maybe it really will happen people. I could cry.

  120. If I’m GM, the first thing I do is analyze the team’s weaknesses. The most glaring for the Knicks is the poor overall rebounding/middle defensive presence. Then I see all the fives in the bargain pile of free agency – aside from the previously mentioned Mahinmi, potentially grand larceny, there’re Johan Petro, Josh Powell and even Aaron Gray. None are gonna be All-Stars, but all are young and cheap, and each is better than a doughnut hole. Barron is also on that list, but you can’t teach hands. Jordan may well become a serviceable NBA center. I don’t see it happening this season. Bosh isn’t going to play the five, and Lee shouldn’t. Sign two bargain bigs for $2-4 mil total.

    Second, I look for heart. Stoudemire’s no upgrade over Lee, to be kind. Besides, no Knick fan should not quail when hearing fat contract and knees mentioned in the same paragraph. Hell, I’d take Boozer over Stoudemire. Then there are the whole defense/rebounding/Nash-factor minuses.

    Third, Chandler/Curry is viable trade bait. For whom would depend on the final point. Not hearing/reading “Chandler misses lay-up” again would be a blessing in and of itself.

    Finally, getting LeBron is the goal. The only one. I think the Knicks have a chance. Forget LeBron/Wade playing together. There’s only one basketball and NBA egos are not immune to serious pouting. Likewise LeBron/Chitown. Rose in a season-long funk would be Ann Coulter ugly. Besides, if you’re gonna be King, you don’t wanna do it in Second City. With LeBron, the Knicks’ weaknesses at the one and two disappear. With LeBron, the defense improves immensely. With LeBron, the Knicks would have to fight off the swarm of players who would suddenly love to play in NYC. With LeBron, Gallo gets all the open looks his right arm can handle. I’m pretty sure LeBron knows this; he’s no dummy. If it takes Bosh to get LeBron, and hopefully Knicks management addressed this, then a sign and trade, which Bosh prefers so Toronto gets something, featuring some combo of Lee/Chandler/Curry’s expiring, gives the Knicks a decent chance to land Bosh, though I’d be keenly sorry to see David go. Then again, I don’t think Lee wants to play in Toronto. Hell, if it takes Dolan on his knees in a wedding gown to woo LeBron successfully, break out the dresses and kneepads.

    Signing DWade and DLee wouldn’t be too bad either, but it’s a major step down from royalty.

  121. OK this Amare semi-bashing is getting a bit ridiculous.

    Compared to Bosh-Lee-Boozer in only looking at a few stats Amare has a higher PER and WS/48 than all 3 players and its not really that close. Neither of the 4 players are considered good defensively but Amare does have the highest career blks/g at 1.4 and had a career high of 2.1 one season where none of the other guys have come close to averaging that in a season. Oh and he has the highers TS% of all of them too (even higher than Lee even though it is not by much) and gets to the FT line the most of the group (again barely more than Bosh but significantly more than Lee and Boozer).

    Most importantly this whole thing about his knees. He played in only 3 games in the 05-06 season due to the micro-fracture surgery BUT he played in all 82 games the very next season, 79 the season after that, 53 the next season because of his eye injury not due to knee problems, then he played in all 82 games last season. He doesnt turn 28 til Nov 16.

    Before this off-season I too wouldve said I wouldnt want Amare ahead of Bosh or Lee but ahead of Boozer since I believed the stereotypes too. But after evaluating this its actually not that close, Amare is the best of the big men available even better than Bosh. NONE of the other big men (including Lee) have ever played in all 82 games in a season, Amare has done it 3 times. I am now totally on board with signing Amare and am genuinely excited about it too.

  122. BBA – Yeah, but Lee, whose numbers ARE comparable (although not quite better) is still the cheapie for us at $10.5 mil Bird. With him, we can still get a max and maybe Hayword.

  123. “Yeah, but Lee…is still the cheapie for us at $10.5 mil Bird. With him, we can still get a max and maybe Hayword.”

    Yeah– but with him you can’t get that max. It’s where perceived value trumps real value.

  124. What’s the best guestimation of how much a max deal for next season could be worth?

    Mainly wondering b/c I don’t see why the Knicks should offer Amare the max if there’s barely anyone else bidding for his services. I just don’t think he’ll be that good on the Knicks, esp. without a proper point guard in place. On a very general level, he just reminds of a lot of those players drafted in the late 90s/early 00s that put up good numbers, but haven’t really won anything yet (ie- Iverson, Carter, Francis, Marbury, etc.)

  125. @145: Amare is a far more efficient scorer than the Iverson/Francis/Marbury group you mention.

    TS%/EFG%, career:
    Amare .606/.545
    Iverson .518/.452
    Francis .533/.463
    Marbury .528/.470
    Carter .537/.486

    The Iverson/Francis/Marbury/Carter group put up lots of points because they took absurdly high number of shots. Amare puts up lots of points because most of his shots go in. Apples and oranges.

  126. Plus Amare has been to the Conference Finals a couple of times and played on a couple of 60 win teams so he might not have won a title yet but he is certainly a winner especially compared to the group of guards listed above.

  127. Wasn’t really trying to compare them stat for stat, so much as the feeling I get when I think of him (which is very subjective). I just don’t see him as someone who can lead a team and deserves the max. He’s certainly a capable player performance/skill-wise, but I don’t think he can be like the captain on a team.

  128. For the glass is half-full types out there, now the WORST case starting scenario (assuming Amar’e deal goes thru and Walsh doesn’t do anything really stupid like signing Felton) is:


    Four home-grown starters and all 5 under 28 years old and tradable, plus the flexibility of cap room for this or next year. Also have 3 intriguing draft picks and a walk-on with upside (Garcia.) Wouldn’t that put us in at least as good of a position that the Celts were in prior to the KG-Allen trades?

  129. Dont think they will re-sign Lee if they sign Amare but who knows. Thinking Mike Miller will be signed if no LeBron/JJ.

  130. I would not agree with signing Miller over Lee. I think Lee will have far more trade value in a year or two when the current FA bonanza is a distant memory. In fact, I’m not a big Miller fan at all, especially on a team with Gallo. Sign Lee and let him, Amar’e and one of the bench guys rotate at the 5 for now. I guarantee that a contending team looking for the perfect complementary guy, or a young team looking for a high-character guy will will give us value for Lee should the right deal come along. Or better yet, keep him. He’s freakin’ good!

  131. BTW, I think Lee and Stoudemire complement each other better than some think. Lee is an excellent defensive rebounder and outlet passer, Amar’e is not a terrible shotblocker, so he could get more aggressive on D while Lee makes those great outlet passes to get the SSoL offense going.

  132. Just checked the Knicks’ Summer League team to scope out any potential roster-fillers and noticed PEJr.’s back! However, I found that kinda weird b/c I remember seeing him listed on Orlando’s Summer League team on their website. The different summer leagues don’t conflict with each other (Orlando ends their’s like a day b4 NY starts), but I’m wondering if players can be on 2 different teams, or maybe the info’s outdated and he’s only on 1 of those teams.

  133. “On a very general level, he just reminds of a lot of those players drafted in the late 90s/early 00s that put up good numbers, but haven’t really won anything yet (ie- Iverson, Carter, Francis, Marbury, etc.)…I just don’t see him as someone who can lead a team and deserves the max.”

    Those guys all got max contracts. Not sure how they prove Amar’e doesn’t deserve a max deal. Robert Horry has 7 rings. Fisher 5. That doesn’t make either of them a “max player”.

    A contract is awarded not on merit or production, but on expected revenue and return on investment. Amar’e is worth the max, presumably, because he can draw a second max, which generates more money for the owner, which makes him worth more than Lee at any price.

  134. Again, though, if the Knicks re-sign Lee (or sign and trade him), they will likely have enough money to both A. Add Miller and B. spend the Mid-Level Exemption (in which case they would almost certainly then trade Curry, as with the MLE and Lee’s raise, they would be enough over the cap that Curry’s contract wouldn’t give them any cap relief).

    Lee and Miller are not a “if one then not the other” deal.

    By the way, the whole “The Knicks will make a run at Melo next year – but wait, they can’t! More bad news for the Knicks!” meme is ridiculous. I guarantee you that the Knicks have neither intimated that are planning on using Curry’s contract to get under the cap to sign another max player. I am sure that they have intimated that they will use Curry’s contract to do something, but not sign Carmelo Anthony!

  135. “if the Knicks re-sign Lee (or sign and trade him), they will likely have enough money to both A. Add Miller and B. spend the Mid-Level Exemption”


    The Knicks don’t have their mid-level this year. They are under the cap. If they re-sign Lee, they can only add a $10 million free agent once the Amare deal is official. Right?

    Come to think of it, I still have no idea how a s&t works after a player is renounced. Apparently it can be done, but how???

  136. The difference is Horry and Fisher are role players and weren’t expected to carry the team and shoulder all the expectations that a max player should have to carry. I understand it’s a hindsight thing, but I doubt many fans felt those Carter and Francis-type players were worth the max, just as how I preemptively feel Amare won’t be worth the max when all is said and done. I’d love to be proven wrong with a Knicks championship of course.

  137. The Knicks don’t have their mid-level this year. They are under the cap. If they re-sign Lee, they can only add a $10 million free agent once the Amare deal is official. Right?

    That’s what I always thought, but apparently it is not the case.

    According to Larry Coon (who knows everything), cap holds can still bring you over the salary cap and therefore preserve the MLE.

    If the Knicks have to renounce all of their cap holds, though, they would lose the MLE. So if it Amar’e and Lebron, then yeah, the Knicks would have to renounce all their cap holds and would be under the cap and therefore would lose the MLE.

  138. I have to agree with Z-man that Amar’e-Lee is not bad. If we sign Amar’e and can’t sign a 2nd max, i’d go for the most young talent, and that is Lee for sure. Besides, a Lee-Stoudemire frontcourt is something that D’Antoni can make it work. And we would have money to make a run for another FA making around $8 million, like Childress. Lee would be a very movable contract in case we decide he doesn’t fit with Amar’e.

  139. Signing a max player, or even 2, doesn’t guarantee a championship. Just about every team has a max player and many have 2. Just because you can’t get the perfect guy doesn’t mean you say no to all of them.

    In Amar’e, they get a very productive big man who is just entering his prime years. He is not a one-man show, but neither was Gasol or KG or Tim Duncan. It doesn’t matter whether you get the other key pieces before or after, but you have to start somewhere. This guy has been a consistently huge player for a winning franchise and has been to the conference finals multiple times. He’s not coming off a recent injury (like McDyess.) He’s not a brooding, underachieving head case (like Stephan.) He’s not an inefficient ball-hogging chucker (like Zach.) He’s not an out-of-shape head case (like Curry.) Unless you can make an argument that his game is likely to deteriorate in the next 4 years (I see the last year as less critical due to the expiring contract factor) then I don’t get the trepidation about this guy. He can play on my team any time.

  140. Thank you all for assuaging my fears about Amar’e. I would welcome him with open arms. Suddenly, the Knicks seem fairly well positioned. That could always change, but I like their aggressive approach. Did you see that Toronto no longer wants a sign and trade for Bosh? That just lowered his price tag, no? Not sure if this helps or hurts us really, but it would theoretically cut out teams like Houston and LA who don’t have cap space. I think Chicago will be left holding the bag. They are just a bargaining chip. I see Wade and Bosh in Miami, Lebron and Amare in nyc. Hopefully Lee in Minny where we get some value back, and Boozer in chicago. I suppose that leaves NJ holding the bag, but they could get Lee.

  141. Brian– it seems that because the Knicks are more than Lee’s cap hold below the cap that they have to renounce all their exceptions (which includes their traded player ones (Darko and Hill)). Exceptions count against the cap until they are renounced, just like free agents do. If the Knicks don’t renounce Lee and their mid-level, they lose $16,000,000 in cap space. Why would they want to carve $5.5 mil out of their cap instead of being able to spend the lump sum of it?

    Honestly, it’s all so complicated that it makes my head spin. And just as I feel on the cusp of understanding, here comes a new CBA altogether… You (and Coon) may be right. Probably are, but I really can’t see how.

  142. hey guys, im outside rock of ages theater right now, talking with bermans guys

  143. OK so I read that Amare’s signin a 5 yr 96 mill deal next week, and Tony Parker wants 2 play with Amare. Hmmm..that doesn’t sound so bad. I mean I am worried about Amare’s health goin forward..but Parker makes 12,600,000…2nd All Star at only 13 mil? Now the rumor I read said Lee in a S&T..I’d rather it be Curry and Chandler for Parker so we can use Lee to get a center. And I believe that’s possible. Now if San Antone really wants Lee, then Walsh should still make that deal. But you hafta believe he’ll try to swap Curry and Chandler 1st. I guess u could say i’m a little more optomistic about this offseason.

  144. Brian– it seems that because the Knicks are more than Lee’s cap hold below the cap that they have to renounce all their exceptions (which includes their traded player ones (Darko and Hill)). Exceptions count against the cap until they are renounced, just like free agents do. If the Knicks don’t renounce Lee and their mid-level, they lose $16,000,000 in cap space. Why would they want to carve $5.5 mil out of their cap instead of being able to spend the lump sum of it?

    Hmmm…what you say sure seems to make sense.

    I think how it works is they use up the $23.5 million they have of open cap space, leaving them with just Lee’s cap hold of $10.5. They then sign Lee (and possibly trade him upon signing him) for, say, $14 million. I think that would then officially leave them as over the cap, thereby making the MLE available.

    I agree that I am not sure if this is true, either. It sounds hard to believe, but Coon was just writing about this point the other day. I possibly/probably misinterpreted what he said, though. I’ll try to find what he said and post it here.

  145. “OK so I read that Amare’s signin a 5 yr 96 mill deal next week, and Tony Parker wants 2 play with Amare.”

    Wait, are the Spurs shopping Parker or does he want out? And what connection does he have with Amare that makes him want to play with him? Ugh, I’ve got a lot of FA stuff to catch up on after coming back from my bball break.

  146. The thing with Parker from what Ive read is that he is a FA after this season and the Spurs do not want to re-sign him to a long-term deal because of George Hill plus the fact that the Spurs always try to avoid paying the luxury tax.

    If Parker is not going to be re-signed he would like to be traded from everything I have read but its not like the Spurs are dieing to trade him at the moment.

  147. Now..it’s purely speculation and furthermore it came from Isola quoting “a source”…and we all hafta take this “sources say” thing with a grain of salt b/c there are so many wild rumors out there and most of them are from the anti-Knick sentiment. But the Spurs are rumored to think that George Hill can start so losing Parker may not be that big of a deal to them. So based on the chatter, I don’t think such a pairing sounds bad at all. I wonder…suppose we do grab Parker..considering tha fact that he only has 1 yr remaining and IS an all star PG..could Walsh use him to snatch Chris Paul? Hey..Parker would love the french quarter rite?? lol…all jokes aside if a Stat/Parker pairing rumor is remotely true..i’d go for it and take that risk with one “max” player until we can do some more manuvering. It’s not like the Knicks aren’t in a good spot financially for the next couple of years..unless Walsh blows the cap space on something Layden-esque. I don’t agree with Stat getting 5 yr/96 mil..but I can live with that risk as long as he’s the only risk of that nature. One thought to ponder..Amare put up 23 and 9 with Nash…Lee put up 20 and 12 with DUHON….

  148. hey guys, I just had a coversation with other reporters with amare. He called the knicks a historic franchise, and when asked about who he talked with bout playin here, he said melo, lebron and tony, he even got a little emotional talking about phoenix.

  149. SeeWhyDee77: “One thought to ponder..Amare put up 23 and 9 with Nash…Lee put up 20 and 12 with DUHON….”

    One other thought to ponder.

    Amare and Nash went 54-28 (10-6 in the playoffs)…

    Lee and Duhon went 29-53.

    Wins are the ultimate stat, aren’t they?

  150. I wouldn’t do a Lee S&T for Tony Parker yet. We don’t know if Carmelo is going to accept that extension to stay in Denver. If he doesn’t, we have to pursue him. David Lee and Gallo should get us Carmelo (kind of a bad deal on our side, that’s an All-Star and a potential All-Star. But we do get a top 5 player in the game, and the best scorer to ever play for D’Antoni). If that’s not an option, I’d see what Orlando, Minnesota, and the Lakers would give us for Lee. Then if none of those options are better than Parker, then we pursue him.

    Oh, and great news. ESPN reports that the Toronto Raptors are not interested in a sign and trade unless it benefits them. So that means if Bosh really wants that 6 yr deal (which he does), its Dallas, Houston, or Los Angeles for him. Looks like Miami is royally screwed. Miami can’t say “take less to play with Wade and for Pat Riley,” because Bosh can say “I can take 30 million more to play with Kobe/Dirk/Yao and someday, if not immediately be the #1 guy on those teams like I’ve always wanted.” This makes the Amar’e deal look so great.

  151. lol..good point..I guess the point i’m tryin 2 make is u can plug anybody in that big spot in the SSOL..but unless there is a good playmaker on board then it doesn’t matter. Lee was every bit as Amare this past season..the difference was Nash. Lee had to make himself that dependable becuz his P&R partner suffered major fail this past season. So..maybe u don’t need to pay Amare 96 mill..maybe Walsh should just resign Lee and find a center who plays better post D instead of throwin Dolan’s cash at Amare. Although I can’t wait to see Stat go off for 50 a couple times as the go to scorer, I just don’t see much difference between the 2…stat-wise of course. What happens when u give Lee someone who takes the pressure off at this stage in his career? It was just a thought..Lee’s definitely less of a risk and maybe less of a reward. But if I had 2 pick between the 2, I’d go with the presumably cheaper Lee-if we can get a playmaker and a 5. Like I said in a post a few days ago..LBJ, Johnson and Lee would be phenominal. Hell, Parker, Johnson and Lee would be great too…Wade, Lee, Gallo..with a respectable 5 and Douglas at the point..I’m just sayin…
    But if Amare’s the way we’re goin, then he’s a Knick so I will love him (no homo) until he fails us becuz bottom line is if he can stay healthy-then Walsh will have signed one hell of a player

  152. BTW..that was in response to 171..
    @172..I don’t think a S&T for Parker is the way to go either..but it may be Walsh’s only option becuz the market for Lee really hasn’t been set yet. Maybe Minny’s really interested, but what could they give us at this point? Love would be nice, but I doubt it would happen becuz of Rambis’ affinity for Love and the salaries. But good idea on waitin 2 S&T nonetheless

  153. @174,

    If Minnesota doesn’t have a good enough offer, maybe Orlando and the Lakers do. Maybe Lee nets us Gortat and Pietrus, maybe he gets us Bynum. Maybe Portland is interested and offers us Oden (with Pritchard gone, there’s likely little commitment to him anymore), Fernandez, and Bayless if we agree to throw in Chandler. Maybe Utah is interested. Maybe Lee and Gallo is good enough to land Carmelo. My point is there’s probably more value out there than Parker for Lee. Especially considering how smart the Spurs are, they’ll probably get us for more than Parker is worth.

  154. So Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony are “ready to join” Amar’e next year if he signs with New York. Why prolong the situation? I say send David Lee and Wilson Chandler to Denver for Carmelo Anthony now, so Denver get value for him now before he leaves. Besides, they were looking for an upgrade in the front-court anyway. An All-Star isn’t a bad deal, right?

  155. David Lee and advanced stats fans, Check this article out and tell you what you think…

    Amare Stoudemire as seen by advanced stats:

    Here is a snippet.

    “The WOW Journal also takes a look at the Amare to the Knicks for five years, $100 million rumor. This analysis determines that Amare offers quite less than the top free agents, is relatively old and is projected to decline to the extent that he will only produce 32.4 wins throughout the length of the contract:

    “It doesn’t look like Amare is going to produce enough to justify his contract. So the Knicks will be paying $100 million for an above average player, but not a player who is going to substantially change the team’s outcomes. And that means fans of the Knicks might be disappointed.”

    Depending on what advanced metrics you choose to focus on, Amare is either a ruthlessly efficient big man who can score at will or an overhyped superstar who does not make his team better when he’s on the floor and does not do the things that lead to wins at a superstar level.

    This examination does shed some light on why the Suns were not willing to offer Stoudemire a guaranteed max deal for five years and why a team like the Knicks that offers such a contract might be getting less than they’re bargaining for.”

    Read more: http://valleyofthesuns.com/2010/07/03/amare-stoudemire-advanced-stats/#ixzz0sgmMXu9N

    More at the link:

  156. I am 100% in favour of a sign and trade for Parker if the Knicks can’t get Lebron or Wade. It gives the Knicks a point guard who should thrive in their offense, and if it doesn’t work out his contract expires at the end of the season so the Knicks preserve their cap space for future use.

    Of course, that all goes out the window if the conditions of the trade involve an extension.

  157. greatscott, I read that article earlier since someone on Twitter had posted a link to it too.

    This is where my much more familiarity with baseball advanced stats confuses me some when it comes to basketball advanced stats. I went to basketballreference.com and looked at all the advanced stats of Amare/Bosh/Lee/Boozer as I talked about in my comment #142 and judging by those numbers Amare is the best player of the 4 and I would say quite easily too. In baseball its easy, you just look at a player’s individual stats and thats it. But in basketball you go to +/- and other stuff that to me at least depends on your teammates too and am not sure how fair those stats are to use to compare players with. Also again this debate about durability, Amare has been as much if not more durable than all the other big men aside from the one season he had the surgery and only played 3 games and that was in the 2005-2006 season.

    I understand about overpaying him but the Knicks arent in a position where they can quite frankly be so picky. If the Knicks do sign Amare with the other moves they make the Knicks will without a doubt be a playoff team next season with hopefully a foundation laid down to improve upon to become an even better team in 2011.

  158. From a Post article:

    “When Stoudemire becomes official, it would end the five-year era of David Lee, but set up a possibility of a sign-and-trade to add another piece. There’s been rumors of a three-way trade talk between Golden State, Minnesota and the Knicks where Lee winds up with the Timberwolves, Monta Ellis comes to the Knicks and Al Jefferson goes to Golden State. Lee visited Minnesota yesterday and it has only $7 million in cap room, meaning he’d want a sign-and-trade.”

    Monta and Amar’e? Gotta like that…

  159. Well, Monta does seem like a bit of a chucker, though. Probably has defensive issues (though lots of steals) and there are injury concerns. Still, he’s locked in at $11M for the next 2 years. Good value for Lee, no?

  160. Bob Ryan is such an a-hole. In a panel discussion on ESPN this morning, 2 of his points:

    1) The Knicks are a “distant 5th” behind Miami, Chicago, NJ, Cleve. and LA in the LeBron chase. Even with an additional FA, the Knicks would have the worst chance of all the teams to win a championship with their current rosters.

    2) When the boos come raining down in MSG. Amare will “rue the day” he signs with NY.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at this from the Boston beat writer. And he wasn’t really alone, the rest of the panel perpetuated the anti-Knick sentiment that’s running rampant in the media.

  161. I think Ellis is a good player..but he’s far too inefficient to be lead guard in Mike D’s system. But he’s sure as hell an upgrage from what we had at the point the last 2 season. Based purely on stats, Amare and Monta would be incredible. but neither player does much to make players around them better. If ur gonna grab one of those 2 guys, it’s imperative to grab a playmaker type to keep everybody happy and effective. IMO, Lee for Parker is a better deal in comparison to essentially swappin Lee for Ellis. Now, Ellis is younger and a year removed from a serious injury so he may be worth the risk considering that he has a chance to grow into bein a better PG, but we’d be taking enough of a risk with Amare.

  162. It is a good thing that a player of Amare’s stature isn’t a giant pussy like Bob Ryan.

  163. Time for a little Sunday morning caffeine-fueled “analysis.” Please note that I have no sources and am just making things up. Thank you.

    Some hypotheses:

    – I don’t believe we will see LeBron and Wade on the same team next year. Partially it’s an ego thing, partially it’s a “front office thinking about fit” thing, partially it’s that I’m guessing Bosh will land alongside one of the two blocking the other.

    – I have also long believed that the Clippers have no chance at any of these guys. This one shouldn’t be too contentious. Terrible franchise, still in disarray. Nice talent base but they’re gonna pull in a top dog without a coach in place?

    – I don’t think the Nets are going to get any of the big 3. Or Stoudemire. They are going to play in Newark. They are still called the Nets. They won like 4 games last year. I just don’t see it. Maybe a stone cold mercenary like Boozer. The Brooklyn Nets may be a big f’in deal in 5 years, but today, it takes too much of a leap of faith.

    – Given the press rumblings, I don’t think we’ll see a Bosh sign and trade.

    – So, LBJ could go to CLE, NYC, MIA, CHI.
    – Wade: MIA, CHI, NYC
    – Bosh: MIA, CHI, NYC.

    – Stoudemire becomes something of a wild card. If you add him to New York tomorrow, and then compare available talent levels

    Knicks – Amar’e, Gallo, Toney
    Bulls – Rose, Noah, Deng
    Heat – Beasley

    The Knicks don’t look so bad anymore — though the Bulls still have 2 max slots, the Knicks have 1.

    – The Heat are completely fucked if Wade goes to Chicago. No way LeBron or Bosh go there without Wade. If Wade does go to Chicago, I see Bosh right behind him. That would be a scary team, and one I’d be quite comfortable rooting against (I hate Wade, unless he’s a Knick). LeBron stays in Cleveland or comes to New York. Miami ends up with Boozer and Mike Miller or worse. At least they have their draft picks (hahaha).

    – I get the vibe that things really hinge on Wade. If he goes to Chicago, the Knicks chance at LBJ is improved. I’m rooting for it. It would create a near superpower but also eviscerate Pat Riley.

    – Signing Stoudemire is the best move the Knicks can make right now. There is risk there, like with any max guy, but as many here have enumerated, there is also big upside. He has a great attitude and is perceived as a stud by other players and fans. He legitimizes the franchise. This whole “New York are the new Clippers” meme can go die a quick death. We’re legitimate with or without LBJ or Wade (though this can change quickly if we miss the playoffs right out of the gate). But that *legitimacy* is what matters the most, because that’s what makes us more appealing to LeBron.

    Happy 4th!

  164. TC – pretty fair analysis. The Bulls actually don’t have the cap space right now for 2 FA’s, so Rose, Noah, Deng would probably have to be just Rose and Noah to swing it for them. Worst case scenario for Knicks would be LBJ going to the Nets, but I agree with you, that just ain’t happening. I would think the Heat front office has to be scrambling big time, and while the writers tend to look at us as the desperate team in all of this, it’s starting to look like the Heat will be that team very shortly.

  165. I think that’s very good analysis, except I don’t think NY is a real contender for either Wade or Bosh, and I don’t think Miami is a real contender for LeBron (as you said, it’s highly unlikely he and Wade will play together, and why would LeBron go there if Wade goes to Chicago?).

  166. THCJ,
    I checked out the careers stats of several prominent PF types in the 28-32 YO range (Garnett, Malone, Duncan, Nowitki, etc.) Virtually all of them had very little decline during these years, and had at least 3-4 years in line with their overall career stats. I don’t know how Berri generates this BS. For example, why does he have him averaging 65 games per season when he just came off an 82 game (plus 16 playoff game) season?

  167. BigBlueAl,
    You also dislike Lee and wanted Lee to leave all along, so I will take your analysis of the rumored A’mare signing with a grain of salt. I was hoping to hear from someone less biased on the Lee vs Amare matter.

  168. So can Chicago get the cap space for 2 max guys? I remember seeing somewhere that they had a deal in place that would send Deng out for a “serviceable big man” to get space, but not sure if that’s true. It would have to be someone with cap space and no chance of getting a big free agent: maybe to the Clips for Deandre Jordan? Maybe to Jersey for Boone? I really hope no one helps them out, but even if they get the space, it’s good to remember we have flexibility in the future with Curry’s contract.
    The question is: how do we add any more pieces (barring a buyout or trade of Curry) if we sign LeBron? I can’t imagine we’d have any $$ left.
    Also, if we don’t get LeBron, I’m starting to feel like I’d prefer the Miller/Lee/Amare combo to the Johnson/Amare combo… anyone else agree? OK back to the beach.

  169. I don’t want Monta Ellis for David Lee. How about we forget Golden State, and take Love and Sessions? Or why not try to get something going with Orlando, which could possibly net us Gortat and Pietrus? One of the Texas teams could give us more value for Lee than Golden State will. But I don’t want anything out of Golden State for Lee unless its Stephen Curry and their pick next year, which won’t happen.

  170. Oh and one more thing. Saw this trade idea posted somewhere. Not sure if it would really work, but it could open up close to 3 slots for us if it could:

    Minnesota sends Al Jefferson to Dallas for Erik Dampier. Then Minnesota trades Dampier to the knicks for a signed & traded lee & eddy Curry.

    Minny might have to lose another contract to make it work though.


  171. You know – I think the same way there is an anti-NYK bias in the media that there is an anti-Amare bias. I’m not sure what he has or has not done to be mentioned in the same breath as Chris Bosh, who is always mentioned as one of the “big three”.

    Not sure how to import in the charts like Ted Nelson always does, but from basketball-reference, if you compare their stats from 09-10 (bear in mind this was Bosh’s CAREER YEAR by a fair amount — in a contract year, how strange?) —

    Amare beats Bosh in TS 61.5>59.2 — both quite good
    Amare = Bosh in WS/48 – 0.182=0.181
    Amare slight edge in steals/blocks, roughly the same
    Amare slight edge in PPG or P/36
    Amare significant edge in games played – 82>70
    Bosh with edge in rebounds and assists.

    Now if you look at the last 4 years —
    Amare (Mr. Injury risk) games missed: 31. Bear in mind 27 out of the 31 were due to an eye injury, not an injury that would have long-term impact on his explosiveness.

    Bosh (no one talks about injury risk) games missed: 45

    Amare WS/48: 0.181, 0.148, 0.262, 0.201
    Bosh WS/48: 0.182, 0.159, 0.2, 0.174

    If you look at their careers (Amare has been in the league 1 year most than Bosh so wear/tear not that different):

    TS: Amare 60.6, Bosh 57.1
    P/36: Amare 22.5, Bosh 19.7
    B/36: Amare 1.5, Bosh 1.1
    R/36: Amare 9.4, Bosh 9.1
    WS/48: Amare 0.184, Bosh 0.158

    The only important stats where Bosh > Amare are assists/36 (2.1 vs 1.4) and TO (2.2 vs. 2.7).

    Most importantly, here are their career playoff stats. Bosh has only been in 11 games, so his sample size is a bit small:

    TS: Amare 58.8, Bosh 52.3
    WS/48: Amare 0.179, Bosh 0.106
    Per game stats: Amare 24.2/9.2/1, Bosh 20.5/9/3

    So I just don’t get it. Amare’s played 4 seasons since his knee injury so I think we can put it behind him. He scores more efficiently and often. He blocks more shots. He even rebounds the ball better. Neither are good defenders. He has actually fewer minutes played than Bosh (17686 vs. 18815). He’s missed fewer games.

    The only thing you can say about Amare is that he has done it with Steve Nash. But is it even a little bit possible that Nash also looks so good because he has Amare? Not so coincidentally, Nash’s two worst assist seasons with PHX (05-06 and 08-09) were also the years where Amare missed a lot of games. Is it possible the media loves the little non-athletic white guy story and so has given Amare short shrift?

  172. Why would Lee want to help the Knicks to send himself to the worst team in the western conference?

  173. Also, why would Golden State want Al Jefferson? That trade doesn’t make sense to me. Lee can get better money from a team that has a chance to win. You’re telling me that Minnesota has him all pumped up about joining another rebuilding project? It’s nonsense.

    Can’t say I’m a big Monta Ellis fan either, so I’m definitely hoping it’s a no-go.

    #188, I had totally missed that the Bulls were actually still short of the space for 2 max guys. Makes the whole “Bulls in the lead for 2 guys” story seem kind of questionable to me.

    #190, I was suggesting upside for the team. Upside in terms of where the Knicks can go next year, upside in terms of the Knicks recruiting ability for the rest of the FA season. I think we know what we’re getting with Amar’e, and it looks pretty good to me.

    Reading more into it though, it sounds like Amar’e really WANTS to be in New York — check out the stuff he said to the press after hitting the Broadway show last night. Which is nice!

    But maybe the Knicks aren’t totally ready to extend him an offer until LBJ decides, which means other teams will get a crack at Amar’e after tomorrow. I sort of think the Knicks should pull the trigger on Amar’e tomorrow, but maybe I just have an itchy trigger finger.

  174. one other thing about Amare: he has obviously been helped on offense by Nash, but no one ever seems to mention how much more difficult it is to play competent interior D when your PG is a sieve.

  175. @197
    Apparently Lee had a ‘great’ visit to the twin cities. And Kahn adores Lee. And Lee wants to make max $$ I’m sure. Not sure why Lee’s a concern for Kahn though. He has Darko back and Pekovic coming over and Kevin Love who is basically Lee but younger. But then again, Kahn is a mystery wrapped in an enigma…

  176. Not only no, but HELL NO to Monta Ellis. He’s an inefficient 6’3″ chucker… an Isiah Thomas player. If that’s our big acquisition, I quit.

  177. Frank, I did the same thing you did and was surprised at how well Amare really is and the fact that his stats really make him look better than the other 3 big men FA including Bosh.

    greatscott, its simple just look at the stats as Frank and I did. There are articles as have been linked to here that are fairly negative of Amare too. But statistically, which is Lee’s greatest asset especially advanced stats, Amare still comes out ahead of Lee. Im not the one writing all these articles and FA rankings where Amare comes out ahead of Lee all the time. Do you see any articles talking about LBJ and Wade clamoring to play with Lee?? Amare signing with the Knicks like it or not is a big deal, much bigger a deal than Lee re-signing.

  178. So if Lee really wants to go to the Twolves, what about a sign and trade of Lee for Rubio?

  179. Im trying to figure out why in the world Lee would want to go to the Timberwolves.

  180. Ka-Ching!

    That said, A Love-Lee pairing (Lovely pairing?) makes as much sense as Love-Jefferson

  181. Give Kahn a call and make this offer. Lee gets 15 million. Knicks get Martell Webster (4 years, 4 million per left) and the rights to Rubio.

    Who says no first?

  182. Actually, my above trade wouldn’t work under the cap as Minny only has 7 million in space left. It’d have to Be Webster plus Sessions or a Hollins/Ellington combo. Either of which I’d still do.

  183. Minnesota is such an odd team. They’ve got the triple point-guard conundrum (Flynn, Rubio, Sessions) and the redundant big man situation (Love, Jefferson) so considering that nothing they do makes sense, adding Lee to the roster is perfectly in character for them. I’d do Lee for Rubio in a heartbeat.

    Maybe it’s the ‘Cuse homer in me, but I think Wesley Johnson is going to be a star and the best player of last year’s draft, maybe besides Evan Turner. The Wolves have some assets and figure to be a rapidly improving team, so I could see why Lee might want to go there and be the centerpiece.

  184. Since Lee and Love are redundant, Rubio might never go there and we hold all the cards (they cannot get Lee any other way) how about Love, Rubio and one of their bad contracts; Webster, Sessions, or Brewer for Lee.

    It’s lopsided but Kahn does not seem too savvy.

  185. I love how Chris Sheridan has now sort of carved out the niche as the “ESPN guy who isn’t writing off the Knicks.” It’s weird that that is, like, his thing now.

    Sheridan has a pretty meaningless (but nice to read) quote from former Portland Assistant GM Tom Penn in his latest column…

    “My gut tells me that New York is the place for LeBron. I’ve felt that since last summer when it became clear he wasn’t going to do a contract extension. LeBron is a dynamic guy, a guy who wants to do more than just play basketball, and he’s so talented and has so many other interests. And in the next decade, he can achieve success in all those areas if he plays in New York. If you want to be king, you want to be in the castle, the Mecca of Basketball.”

  186. I would think it makes more sense to do a S&T with Lee for Tony Parker if possible.

  187. “Could Monta be a good SSoL point guard?”

    No. Not to get all Talmudic, but let me answer a question with a question – Could Jamal Crawford be a good SSoL PG?

    In other news, apparently. Joe Johnson’s agreed to take the max from Atlanta. That’s GREAT news for the Nix. They can get Mike Miller at 1/3 the price and comparable value

  188. If Knicks sign Amare and Mike Miller, should still leave them with decent amout of money left to spend, curious to see what they do with that money. Fear spending it on Felton, although I am not as down on him as most are and would be curious to see if playing for D’Antoni would make him a better player.

    Still dream scenario would be to trade for Parker and spend the remaining amount of money left on other pieces. Of course its still way too early to assume Amare and Mike Miller will be signed….

  189. “If Knicks sign Amare and Mike Miller, should still leave them with decent amout of money left to spend.”

    If Miller signs for $8 mil, they cold afford to keep Lee. Or use that $10 mil to fill out the roster instead. Agree they should buy up the best players available, and not throw it at a lame-o PG.

  190. Funniest part about the Arn Tellem article talking about Joe Johnson re-signing with the Hawks is the final 2 paragraphs:

    “For his next act, Joe plans to actively recruit other top free agents to Atlanta, a place not unlike his hometown, where he feels comfortable and appreciated.

    LeBron, you’ve already met with the front offices of six teams. How about considering the Hawks?”


  191. Funny how free agency works like clockwork every year….. follow the money, which usually leads to players signing with their old team. All these stories about choices being “not just about money” are put to rest by the reality of the NBA landscape. Consider this year alone:

    – JJ signs max contract with Hawks
    – Rudy Gay uses Wolves for leverage, then signs near max contract with Grizzlies.
    – Nowitzki and Pierce opt out (“entering the free agent market”), then sign extenstions with their clubs at ~20M per.
    – Ginobili, Camby, Kobe all sign lucrative extentions before free agency
    – Suns DON’T offer Stoudemire guaranteed max dollars for 5 years, he opts out and goes money hunting elsewhere.

    Etc., etc., etc. No one should really be that surprised how this is all shaking out. If Lebron signs with New York, it will probably just as much to do with the earning potential in the financial mecca of NYC than the team the Knicks have positoned themselves to surround him with.

  192. “1. re-sign David Lee. A better player than Amare; younger and healthier than Boozer.” – Caleb


    The David Lee haters don’t agree with you. Why is that?

  193. But here’s another morsel of food for thought: I spoke to Lee during the past season about his relationship with LeBron, and he described it as quite friendly.

    What if James committed to the Knicks and told then he wanted to play alongside Lee?

    That, for Knicks fans, might be the best-case scenario of them all.

    Assuming Lee would merit a starting salary of $11 million in a six-year deal (which might be an undervaluation in this free-agent market), that would leave the Knicks with roughly $6 million-$7 million in remaining cap space. That’s probably enough to get both point guard Luke Ridnour, one of the two best unrestricted free-agent point guards on the market, and center Earl Barron, who played well for the Knicks in the final seven games of the regular season.


  194. I’m glad that we have apparently dodged the Joe Johnson bullet; that is going to be a horrifically awful contract in a couple of years.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: NO MONTA ELLIS! Surely Donnie Walsh is too smart to invest any assets in such an empty player, right? I’d MUCH rather give those minutes to Toney Douglas.

  195. Whao check out these tweets from Isola:

    “The NY Daily News has learned that Knicks got a second meeting with LeBron’s reps on Saturday in Cleveland.”

    “According to Knicks official, MSG prez Scott O’Neil and Glen Grunwald, VP of basketball ops, were sent to Ohio after Amar’e agreed to deal”

  196. And by Whao I meant Whoa. Also another report saying Maverick Carter and possibly LeBron will be in NY on Wed. The plot thickens…

  197. The Isola stuff is even in the Daily News website now. Not that this means anything but for all the national media making it seem like the Knicks has no shot at LeBron this makes it seem like the interest from LeBron is at the least more genuine than ESPN/Yahoo makes it out to be.

  198. Now multiple reports saying Knicks planning another meeting with LeBron tonight.

  199. LMAO @ the fact that ESPN still has not covered this story despite it being on several respectable news outlets (cnnsi, NBC). What a bunch of haters….

  200. Now Donnie Walsh saying no meetings tonight and no more scheduled with LeBron for now.

  201. Chad Ford and Hahn said so on Twitter, Ford said should be an article up on ESPN.com soon with direct quotes from Walsh.

  202. “You could put it off until next year, but it’s tough to do, especially with the direction we’ve been going,” Walsh said. “But you can do it. At the very least, you have to start building into place some of the supporting cast now. If we can’t get the stars this summer, we’re at least going to put some players into place that will complement.”

    That is exactly what I wanted to hear from Donnie.

  203. I do agree that there is something especially pointed about the fact that, say, looking at Chad Ford’s twitter on Sunday – nothing is written about the Knicks rumor until it is debunked. At least Windhorst acknowledged it.

  204. All one idiot needs to do is mention “rumblings” and everyone just gives up on the idea. Meanwhile, what has Bosh said? He, obviously would like an S&T.

  205. AND also, every single club has an offer in for Lebron, Wade, Bosh, etc. Maybe not the Lakers, that’s all. As a GM, you’re just not doing your due diligence otherwise. Milwakee: Bogut, Illyasova and a pick. I mean, how long does that take? The teams are gonna take the call (maybe not the deal). So, these guys really could end up anywhere.

    NBA “free Agency” is really a misnomer. Most player movement is going to have to happen through trades.

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