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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Is Iman Shumpert a shooter?

When the Knicks drafted Iman Shumpert in the 2011 NBA Draft, it wasn’t because of  his sterling outside shooting.

In fact, shooting efficiency and 3-point shooting were seen as perhaps Shumpert’s biggest weaknesses. DraftExpress.com’s prospect profile of Shumpert said his shooting “remain[s] by far his biggest weakness.” NBADraft.net’s pre-draft scouting report called him a “very poor jump shooter” and “not efficient at all” on offense. In his pre-draft analysis, ESPN’s Chad Ford at the time said Shumpert, “Struggles with his jump shot,” and has, “Unproven 3-point range.” In his last year at Georgia Tech, Shumpert made fewer than 28 percent of 3-pointers and shot 40.6% from the field.

Unsurprisingly, his first year in the pros validated the wise words from the wise wags. Shumpert shot 30.6% from 3 and had a true shooting percentage of 48.4%. After last season, then-ESPN NBA analyst John Hollinger put quite a fine point on it, calling him a, “Poor outside shooter.”

And now, a year later, here we are. I’ll give you the stats, but just know that Iman Shumpert shot a better percentage from 3 in the 2012-2013 regular season than Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, and Ryan Anderson. In just one season, Shumpert went from non-shooter to elite 3-point shooter.

Shumpert shot 40.6% from 3 last season, nearly ten full percentage points better than his rookie year. He bumped up his true shooting percentage by 3.2 percentage points and his effective field goal percentage by 2.5 percentage points. He shot a very good 43.4% from the corner 3 in the regular season, and 9 for 15 from the corner in the playoffs. In those playoffs, when the Knicks faced the most efficient and sixth-most efficient defenses in the NBA, Shumpert actually improved his shooting numbers from the regular season.

Put simply, Shumpert emerged as the sort of efficient shooting threat no one ever expected he would. He fits in particularly well in a modern, Popovich-ian NBA offense that puts a premium on floor spacing and 3-point shooting (the prized goal of which, of course, is the corner 3; the most efficient jump shot in basketball.)

Zach Lowe, an NBA savant who you must read regularly if you don’t already, wrote that Shumpert might be emerging as a new age Shane Battier — a guy who makes efficiency hounds salivate with his ability to defend multiple wing positions and shoot 3s at an elite clip. If Shumpert can combine this newfound elite 3-point shooting ability with his phenomenal multiple-position on-ball defense, his active hands, his explosiveness and athleticism, his ability to get to the rim, and his high basketball IQ, the Knicks might have a really accomplished two-way player on their hands (who, by the way, will be 23 on June 26.)

But can he? Are Shumpert’s shooting improvements sustainable? Unfortunately, we don’t know – because Iman Shumpert has not taken enough shots.

The hope here is that Shumpert’s newfound shooting effectiveness is because of natural player development and his shift to the wing position. He came out of college as a PG/SG, and continued to play point during much of the first half of the 2011-2012 regular season. After Jeremy Lin’s emergence, Shumpert moved to the wing position for the second half of that year.

From that point on, his shooting numbers showed a major improvement. After the All-Star break his true shooting percentage jumped a remarkable 7.8 percentage points to 52.7, his effective field goal percentage improved by 7.7 percentage points, and tellingly, his usage rate dropped by almost 5 percentage points. Freed from ball-handling duties, Shumpert embraced his position on the wing. He touched the ball less and shot far more efficiently, at rates similar to what he put up this past year.

It is possible that player development and embracing his wing role has led to Shumpert’s dramatic 3-point shooting improvement. For example, in 2012-2013 he took 42.5% of his 3s from the corner compared to just 30% in 2011-2012, suggesting a far better and more efficient shot selection. According to Synergy, he has also dramatically increased his shooting percentage on spot-up jumpers and spot-up 3s, and took far fewer shots off pick-and-rolls.

In other words, it is possible that Shumpert moved to the wing position a year and a half ago and never looked back. It is possible that this is all sustainable.

The fear is that Shumpert’s newfound shooting effectiveness is a small sample size mirage. Iman Shumpert has played 104 total NBA regular season games, just over one full season. Last year, he took 125 3-pointers. Behind those gaudy 3-point percentages is a fewer number of attempts than he probably takes during an hour of shooting drills at the gym. The fear is that Shumpert caught fire in March and had a fluky three months of basketball. The fear is that Shumpert had several lucky months that mask that he is who has been since college – an explosive athlete, a dominant defender, and a non-shooter.

The fact is that we don’t have enough data to know whether this is sustainable. The truth might lie somewhere in the middle, but it also might not. And as the Knicks front office faces difficult personnel decisions moving forward, most dramatically whether to include him as part of a potential trade package for an impact player, it sure would be helpful if we knew more about Iman Shumpert.

57 comments on “Is Iman Shumpert a shooter?

  1. Frank

    Good article, although this comes down to a classic case of us just not having access to the right kind of information. If someone here has a corporate Synergy account, my understanding is that it gives you numbers about shooting % with feet set, off the dribble, spot up, etc. Just visually, it looks much like Jonathan said — he’s shooting waaay less off the bounce and much more with feet set off kickouts. So it’s not just more efficient shot distribution in terms of corners/wings etc, but also removing shot-types that were not benefiting his efficiency.

    IMHO Shump’s improved shooting is for real. From press reports, it sounds like Paul Hewitt is a pretty horrible head coach, and basically empowered Shump to play like Allen Iverson when he clearly is not. Moving him to the wing (at least for now) might be the best thing anyone has done for Iman — cuts down his responsibilities, allows him to work on his strengths. If I were him, this summer I’d be working on whatever drills exist to help improve finishing through contact at the rim (his footwork looks pretty awful IMO) and a one- or two-dribble pull-up. Improve those, then next offseason really work on being a PNR ball handler so he can be the secondary PG type in those 2PG lineups that work so well.

  2. johnno

    Funny thing is that I remember reading all of the scouting reports about how he was a lousy shooter, but I also remember reading reports about how, at his individual workout with the Knicks, he wowed them with what a great shooter he was. I’m not sure which is true, but I hope that it’s the latter.

  3. Frank

    btw Jonathan, thanks for linking to that great Zach Lowe article about the elusive 3+D player: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9225802/players-shane-battier-harder-find-conventional-wisdom-suggests

    That’s why I think that unless the Knicks are convinced one of the PG/C types that are left at #24 is the real deal, we should go with one of the many wing-shooters that are available in this draft. We need more guys that are lesser usage but can space the floor AND let Melo hide a little on defense. Right now we really only have JR and Shump, and both those guys are probably better off guarding 2′s than 3′s. For Pete’s sake, we kept James White on the roster all year just for his 6 fouls against Lebron. I’d love to see someone like Reggie Bullock.

    I see that a couple mock drafts have us getting Tony Mitchell. That seems fine too.

  4. flossy

    Frank: I see that a couple mock drafts have us getting Tony Mitchell. That seems fine too.

    Tony Mitchell will take the Renaldo Balkman/Anthony Randolph memorial “A+ athlete at the end of the bench struggling to stay inside the lines of his Space Jam coloring book” roster spot

  5. yellowboy90

    Frank:
    btw Jonathan, thanks for linking to that great Zach Lowe article about the elusive 3+D player: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9225802/players-shane-battier-harder-find-conventional-wisdom-suggests

    That’s why I think that unless the Knicks are convinced one of the PG/C types that are left at #24 is the real deal, we should go with one of the many wing-shooters that are available in this draft.We need more guys that are lesser usage but can space the floor AND let Melo hide a little on defense. Right now we really only have JR and Shump, and both those guys are probably better off guarding 2?s than 3?s.For Pete’s sake, we kept James White on the roster all year just for his 6 fouls against Lebron.I’d love to see someone like Reggie Bullock.

    I see that a couple mock drafts have us getting Tony Mitchell. That seems fine too.

    I don’t know why but I gravitate more to Allen Crabbe who is the same size but slightly longer. 6’7 with a 6’11 wingspan that can shoot the lights out. The way he comes off screens is a thing of beauty. His movement also helps his lack of elite athleticism and gives him a step on a defender. Throw in his spot up numbers and you have a future Novak replacement that can be used more effectively. He can actually get through the elevator screens and not rely on simple flare screens.

  6. Frank

    yellowboy90: I don’t know why but I gravitate more to Allen Crabbe who is the same size but slightly longer. 6’7 with a 6’11 wingspan that can shoot the lights out. The way he comes off screens is a thing of beauty. His movement also helps his lack of elite athleticism and gives him a step on a defender. Throw in his spot up numbers and you have a future Novak replacement that can be used more effectively. He can actually get through the elevator screens and not rely on simple flare screens.

    I’d be fine with either one. Just looking at film on them Bullock seems a lot bigger, but I guess they’re roughly the same size. Bullock seems to come with a better defensive rep, which is why I had been thinking about him.

  7. flossy

    I hope the Knicks can manage to trade for or buy a 2nd round pick. This seems like another one of those drafts that is short on stars and long on guys who will end up being solid role players, 4th to 8th on the depth chart kind of players.

    Bullock or Crabbe sound fine (assuming the good center and PG prospects like Dieng, Withey, Larkin and Schreoder are gone), but I’d also like to take a flyer on someone like Mike Muscala at Center or one of the half dozen combo guards kicking around the late-first/early second round in most mocks.

  8. massive

    Good NBA draft news; Schröder had a bad workout with the Bucks. I hope that means he’ll get out of the top 15 picks and actually have a shot at being around at 24.

    But Reggie Bullock would be a great pick. He’s like a Danny Green type of player already. I’m not sure how the Nets pass up on him, though.

  9. Frank

    flossy: I hope the Knicks can manage to trade for or buy a 2nd round pick. This seems like another one of those drafts that is short on stars and long on guys who will end up being solid role players, 4th to 8th on the depth chart kind of players.

    We can’t buy anything because we decided to blow the whole $3M on Marcus Camby last year.

    The only things I can picture would be for us to trade one of our non guaranteed salaries for a guaranteed salary + a 2nd round pick. I still wonder whether Dallas is so interested in dumping salary that they’d give Vince Carter to us as a salary dump. Carter would be a nice fit for this team. Seems unlikely but who knows, maybe Cuban wants cap space so badly he would do this.

  10. flossy

    Frank: We can’t buy anything because we decided to blow the whole $3M on Marcus Camby last year.

    The only things I can picture would be for us to trade one of our non guaranteed salaries for a guaranteed salary + a 2nd round pick. I still wonder whether Dallas is so interested in dumping salary that they’d give Vince Carter to us as a salary dump.Carter would be a nice fit for this team. Seems unlikely but who knows, maybe Cuban wants cap space so badly he would do this.

    Vince Carter would fit right in, both from a roster construction standpoint and the “washed up old guy that I used to loathe when he was good” standpoint.

  11. massive

    Speaking of trades, the perfect player for the Knicks is on the trade block. The Bucks supposedly have Ersan Ilyasova on the block right now. I doubt we’ll get him (they were discussing Ilyasova to Washington for the #3 pick), but he would make us a lot better. I think they would consider Felton/Novak since they have no PG, and who can’t use some extra 3 point shooting?

    Honestly, Felton/Novak +#24 for Ilyasova and the #15 would be so beautiful, I’d be jumping off the walls. And maybe Dallas does want to give away the #13 and Vince Carter for the cap space we’d get from Q Rich/James White? How sweet would it be to end up with Ilyasova and the #13 and 15 picks in the draft at the cost of Felton, Novak, and the #24? Highly unlikely, but it’s good to dream sometimes.

  12. Keniman Shumpwalker

    massive:
    Speaking of trades, the perfect player for the Knicks is on the trade block. The Bucks supposedly have Ersan Ilyasova on the block right now. I doubt we’ll get him (they were discussing Ilyasova to Washington for the #3 pick), but he would make us a lot better. I think they would consider Felton/Novak since they have no PG, and who can’t use some extra 3 point shooting?

    Honestly, Felton/Novak +#24 for Ilyasova and the #15 would be so beautiful, I’d be jumping off the walls. And maybe Dallas does want to give away the #13 and Vince Carter for the cap space we’d get from Q Rich/James White? How sweet would it be to end up with Ilyasova and the #13 and 15 picks in the draft at the cost of Felton, Novak, and the #24? Highly unlikely, but it’s good to dream sometimes.

    Ridding ourselves of the Novak contract while adding Ilyasova and two high picks sounds great but A) The Bucks will get a better offer if they are dead set on trading James Franco/Ivan Drago and B) RayRay would have to be put on suicide watch after that trade.

  13. Nick C.

    massive:
    Speaking of trades, the perfect player for the Knicks is on the trade block. The Bucks supposedly have Ersan Ilyasova on the block right now. I doubt we’ll get him (they were discussing Ilyasova to Washington for the #3 pick), but he would make us a lot better. I think they would consider Felton/Novak since they have no PG, and who can’t use some extra 3 point shooting?

    Honestly, Felton/Novak +#24 for Ilyasova and the #15 would be so beautiful, I’d be jumping off the walls. And maybe Dallas does want to give away the #13 and Vince Carter for the cap space we’d get from Q Rich/James White? How sweet would it be to end up with Ilyasova and the #13 and 15 picks in the draft at the cost of Felton, Novak, and the #24? Highly unlikely, but it’s good to dream sometimes.

    Ilyasova would be a nice addition. But, who are the Knicks PGs w/o Felton and did anyone tell Brandon Jennings that Milwaukee has no PG? Picks are always nice in the abstract, but (not that I have checked to see if one exists) a rookie PG on a “win now” team with a slamming window doesn’t seem feasible.

  14. knicksfan1

    Jon,

    You ended your article with “it sure would be helpful if we knew more about Iman Shumpert”. I dont know if we will find out about Iman Shumpert, but I do know that we know all about how great of a write you are!

    Your topics are more thrilling than a Carmello 50 point game! Your writing is more accurate than a Jason Kidd pass. Thank you to knickerblogger.net for publishing your articles. Keep them coming!

  15. Hubert

    I believe in Shumpert as a shooter, using the completely unscientific method that, when he gets an open shot on the wing, I expect it to go in.

    I remember game 6 in Indiana thinking every one of those three 3′s in a row he took were going in.

    Of course, reminding myself of that just made me really sad.

  16. massive

    Nick C.: Ilyasova would be a nice addition. But, who are the Knicks PGs w/o Felton and did anyone tell Brandon Jennings that Milwaukee has no PG? Picks are always nice in the abstract, but (not that I have checked to see if one exists) a rookie PG on a “win now” team with a slamming window doesn’t seem feasible.

    I don’t think the Bucks are looking to bring back Brandon Jennings this summer, or at least not at the money somebody else is going to pay him. But yeah, it really isn’t realistic that we trade away Felton considering the dearth of talent we have at PG. If we did trade Felton, I think the Knicks would start Prigioni and play Schroeder (if we didn’t pick him with either of the picks in my scenario, I would hate everything) off the bench. Prigioni was the 1 and Felton was the 2 when they were the starting backcourt, so we’d essentially be looking for a new 2 (or a 1.5). And look at how good this kid is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koDAqCWjIcw

    In a season or two, there will be no scoring from opposing backcourts with Shumpert and Schroeder on defense.

  17. Hubert

    johnno:
    Funny thing is that I remember reading all of the scouting reports about how he was a lousy shooter, but I also remember reading reports about how, at his individual workout with the Knicks, he wowed them with what a great shooter he was.I’m not sure which is true, but I hope that it’s the latter.

    Yeah, Donnie Walsh said definitively: “His shot’s not broke”.

  18. massive

    I don’t think this trade will ever happen by the way. I just think adding Dennis Schroeder (#13), Reggie Bullock (#15), Ersan Ilyasova, and Vince Carter would make our team really good if it were at all possible. Even if it meant losing Raymond Felton.

  19. Hubert

    m_p:
    In february the Wall Street Journal already predicted Shumpert would become a better shooter. They did some research on players who came back after an ACL tear and concluded that their FG% improved significantly, since all they could do during their recovery is shout some h-o-r-s-e.

    If the WSJ is right, Shumps improved shooting is here to stay: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323384604578326451812887938.html

    I’ll bet you $1 that Derrick Rose’s shooting doesn’t improve like Shumpert’s.

    I’d favor Jonathan Topaz’ theory about moving off the ball/to the wing over Chris Herring’s “guys with knee injuries shoot better when they come back because they have nothing else to do”.

  20. Hubert

    Frank: We can’t buy anything because we decided to blow the whole $3M on Marcus Camby last year.

    Dear god. So we gave up:

    Douglas
    Harrelson
    Jordan
    TWO second round picks
    AND sacrificed the ability to buy a draft pick…

    For the right to overpay Marcus Camby.

    (Obviously the Douglas, Harrison, Jordan bits don’t matter, but we essentially gave up 3 late draft picks for Camby. Damn you, Morey.)

  21. johnno

    massive: they were discussing Ilyasova to Washington for the #3 pick),

    I saw this the other day and my immediate thought was, “Ilyasova is worth the #3 pick in the draft? Wow, this is a WEAK draft.”

  22. massive

    johnno: I saw this the other day and my immediate thought was, “Ilyasova is worth the #3 pick in the draft?Wow, this is a WEAK draft.”

    Ehh, I personally think that Otto Porter and Anthony Bennet have a chance at being a better player than Ilyasova is. But you shouldn’t understate how good Ilyasova is. He gets you 13 points and 7 rebounds in roughly 28 minutes a night while shooting over 40% from 3 point range. He’s a really good player. Would I trade the #3 pick in the draft for him? Absolutely not, but Washington traded the #5 pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller once, and they do own the #3 this year.

  23. johnno

    massive: Washington traded the #5 pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller once

    Now that you mention it, the Nets traded the #6 pick for Gerald Wallace. Go figure…

  24. Jafa

    Hubert: Dear god.So we gave up:

    Douglas
    Harrelson
    Jordan
    TWO second round picks
    AND sacrificed the ability to buy a draft pick…

    For the right to overpay Marcus Camby.

    (Obviously the Douglas, Harrison, Jordan bits don’t matter, but we essentially gave up 3 late draft picks for Camby.Damn you, Morey.)

    Front Office decisions like this, accumulated over a long period of time, can eventually sap every rooting fiber out of you and make you become a casual observer of the Knicks instead of a rooting fan. Keep your head up!

  25. flossy

    massive: Ehh, I personally think that Otto Porter and Anthony Bennet have a chance at being a better player than Ilyasova is. But you shouldn’t understate how good Ilyasova is. He gets you 13 points and 7 rebounds in roughly 28 minutes a night while shooting over 40% from 3 point range. He’s a really good player. Would I trade the #3 pick in the draft for him? Absolutely not, but Washington traded the #5 pick for Randy Foye and Mike Miller once, and they do own the #3 this year.

    Yeah, Ilyasova is good, and I can see the logic behind trading a lotto pick that could very well be a total bust for a (still pretty young) veteran whom you *know* will be a good supporting offensive player and floor spacer, decent rebounder, etc. from day one. For the Wizards, success = surrounding Wall and Beal with veterans who can play defense, rebound and hit open shots, and that’s Ilyasova to a tee. Ryan Anderson would also be a good trade target for them–maybe the Pelicans want to shed some salary and invest one more year in tanking?

  26. flossy

    Frank: We can’t buy anything because we decided to blow the whole $3M on Marcus Camby last year.

    The only things I can picture would be for us to trade one of our non guaranteed salaries for a guaranteed salary + a 2nd round pick. I still wonder whether Dallas is so interested in dumping salary that they’d give Vince Carter to us as a salary dump.Carter would be a nice fit for this team. Seems unlikely but who knows, maybe Cuban wants cap space so badly he would do this.

    When does that reset? We get another $3 mil to spend immediately after the draft, yes? Maybe instead of buying a pick in advance, perhaps we can purchase the rights to the player(s) we like after they’ve been drafted. IIRC, that’s how Toney Douglas and Josh Harrelson became Knicks in the first place.

    I hope they do that, if only to prevent us from throwing in $3 million as part of another stupid trade.

  27. Hubert

    Jafa: Front Office decisions like this, accumulated over a long period of time, can eventually sap every rooting fiber out of you and make you become a casual observer of the Knicks instead of a rooting fan.Keep your head up!

    I remember one time I did a cumulative trade chart of everything Morey received from us and what we got from him since the McGrady trade. It wasn’t pretty.

    Amazing that with all the help we’ve given him he still hasn’t been able to get anything done (though he’s on a good looking track right now thanks to the Harden trade).

    That guy has basically had the resources of two franchises to work with over the last 4 years.

  28. Hubert

    Speaking of the Wizards, I still feel like they would be dumb enough to trade for Amar’e.

  29. Hubert

    Okafor (1 year, $14.5 mil) + Ariza (1 year, $7.7 mil) for Amar’e (2 years, $45 mil).

    Okafor essentially replaces Kenyon Martin at 14 times the cost. Ariza hopefully never plays. And we get out of having to pay Amar’e $23.5 mil in 2014/15.

    Wizards do it because: a) they’re dumb, and b) they think Wall needs help and they don’t have a lot of choices. This would probably make them a playoff team at least. And it seems they are desperate to be one.

  30. flossy

    Hubert:
    Okafor (1 year, $14.5 mil) + Ariza (1 year, $7.7 mil) for Amar’e (2 years, $45 mil).

    Okafor essentially replaces Kenyon Martin at 14 times the cost.Ariza hopefully never plays.And we get out of having to pay Amar’e $23.5 mil in 2014/15.

    Wizards do it because: a) they’re dumb, and b) they think Wall needs help and they don’t have a lot of choices.This would probably make them a playoff team at least.And it seems they are desperate to be one.

    That trade is terrible for us. Not only does replacing Amar’e with $20 million in other salary not help our cap situation this year at all, you’re replacing him with vastly inferior players. Saving one year of his salary doesn’t help much (we’ll still be at or near the salary cap come next summer). I’d much rather see if he’s got one good season left in him before he becomess an expiring contract/trade chip. If adding Amar’e to the Wizards roster in place of Okafor/Ariza would put them in playoff contention, it stands to reason the Knicks would be better off with Amar’e than with those other two.

  31. EB

    Y’all using too much hindsight bias. The Camby trade was a good decision at the time he put up good numbers the year before. Seriously, second round draft picks???

  32. EB

    Also I’d take an injury prone Amare over two replacement level players any day of the week. Amare could help us win a championship. Under no circumstances could a tandem of Okafor or Ariza.

  33. thenamestsam

    flossy: If adding Amar’e to the Wizards roster in place of Okafor/Ariza would put them in playoff contention, it stands to reason the Knicks would be better off with Amar’e than with those other two.

    Keep in mind that the Wizards were actually pretty good with a healthy Wall last year. 24-25 isn’t amazing, but in the East, that’s a playoff contender. It just went unnoticed because they were 5-28 at the time of his return. If Wall is healthy next year they’re already a playoff contender in my opinion.

    That said, I think that trade would be very foolish from the Knicks perspective. It seems we have a lot of posters who really want to clear the cap and are willing to do so even at the cost of lowering our already short odds of making a serious run next year. I don’t see the point of that. The short-term cap situation for the Knicks is dire, but the long-term situation is fine. Both those factors make cap clearing trades less appealing. In the short run even dealing Amare for expirings doesn’t get us far enough under to do anything really interesting next year, but long run we don’t have a pressing need to clean the cap. Knicks priority should be doing everything possible to max out the next two years without taking back questionable commitments beyond that point.

  34. massive

    Yeah, I’d rather keep Amar’e than take on Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. Those guys are terrible at this point in their careers.

  35. max fisher-cohen

    flossy: Yeah, Ilyasova is good, and I can see the logic behind trading alotto pick that could very well be a total bust for a (still pretty young) veteran whom you *know* will be a good supporting offensive player and floor spacer, decent rebounder, etc. from day one.For the Wizards, success = surrounding Wall and Beal with veterans who can play defense, rebound and hit open shots, and that’s Ilyasova to a tee.Ryan Anderson would also be a good trade target for them–maybe the Pelicans want to shed some salary and invest one more year in tanking?

    Problem is that John Wall isn’t even very good. He’s a very poor man’s Westbrook, and Westbrook is a second fiddle, and because he is a name (shoe contract, #1 pick, makes highlight plays), he’s bound to demand more than he’s worth when his deal is up.

    Meanwhile, Nene and Okafor will both be crap by the time Beal (who will likely end up a better player than Wall) is in his prime. If Washington hits on their draft pick this season, they have a chance to maybe re-create something like what they had with Caron Butler, Arenas and Jamison — a second rate team. That’s their ceiling.

    If they are aching to get better, the person they should be trading is John Wall. Think the Magic would give up #2 pick and Tobias Harris for Wall? That’d be the type of trade that could set Washington on a trajectory towards a series of 55+ win seasons in a couple years.

  36. jon abbey

    I am not thrilled about Kidd coaching against NY in the same division, too much insider knowledge there. I love Brian Shaw, but I hope they hire Brian Shaw.

  37. Brian Cronin

    I do think that Washinton’s success with Wall was a bit more about no longer starting AJ Price and Shelvin freakin’ Mack at the point than it was about Wall being amazing, but he did, in fact, have a really good season last year. Easily the best season of his career so far.

  38. nicos

    max fisher-cohen:
    If they are aching to get better, the person they should be trading is John Wall. Think the Magic would give up #2 pick and Tobias Harris for Wall? That’d be the type of trade that could set Washington on a trajectory towards a series of 55+ win seasons in a couple years.

    I don’t know- he put up really good numbers at the end of this year: in the last 25 games .547 TS%, 42 AS%, 11.5 TOV%. While his usage was way too high at 30.4% (esp. considering his average efficiency) he really doesn’t strike me as a chucker- I think he’d be happy to take fewer shots provided his teammates were better. He’s still just 22 and given how weak this draft is at the top I’d consider keeping him unless he’s dead set on getting the max. I’d say his potential is still a good deal higher than somebody like Mclemore or Porter and Noel’s knee issues (and really raw offense) give me pause as well. If you can sign him in the 10-12m range I’d hold onto him. If not, then yeah, trade him but I’d rather get a lottery pick for next year rather than getting almost anybody in this draft outside of maybe Noel.

  39. ruruland

    Had to post this for Jowles:
    ruruland
    October 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm
    “Did a projection last night for the Knicks team shooting efficiency…… 563…The Knicks are likely to improve upon their shooting efficiency with respect to the rest of the league, but that wasn’t the weakness last season. The Knicks should improve in shooting efficiency, but they should make huge gains in turnover percentage, which was the Knicks biggest team weakness last season.”

    Had to post this for Hoolahoop
    http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-saturday-aug-04-2012/
    ruruland August 5, 2012 at 1:22 am
    “Martin remains an excellent pnr (and team) defender (elite on Synergy last three years) and in the upper half in isos and post-ups. Put him in a situation where he has some fouls to use can err on the side of super physical and he’s a fantastic defender.

    Let’s remember that Martin was clearly the leader of the post-Melo/Billups Nuggets and has raised his level offensively when key players were out throughout his career. He was the second best player on an ECF championship team and had a .210 WS48 on 583 TS on the NEts 2004 playoff run.

    I think you’re spot on about depth. Camby is a guy who is better served playing 60 or so games and will probably voluntarily miss that many games anyhow.

    I’d prefer to see Amar’e and Chandler take a similar approach as well, given their injury histories.

    All of that should open the door for a guy like K-Mart to fill in for 50 or so games.

    He’s similarly versatile and smart defensively like Chandler without the rim protection or rebounding. And has a history of not just slowing down Bosh but getting in his head. Chandler had issues with Bosh last season.

    Also, let’s remember that Martin was quite happy last season coming off the bench.

    Hard to think of a better fit.”

  40. jon abbey

    ruru, will you be reposting the back and forth we had immediately after the Indiana beatdown right out of the ASB where you refused to admit that Indiana could possibly knock us out of the playoffs? :)

  41. ruruland

    For JC: “ruruland
    October 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    “I think trying to define Melo’s game to any one confined area of the floor is a big mistake.
    He’s going to have a big year from 3. Last year he lead the league in scoring efficiency on perimeter penetration. I see him in the 37-39 range, around 4.5-5.5 a game which is a lot. But will have positive impact on his efficiency.”

    For Mike K
    ruruland
    October 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    “I predicted 53-58 wins, with an everything goes right prediction of 60+, so long as Melo and Chandler play 70-75 games and the rest of the team is healthy for 80-85% of the season.”

    Can’t my posts on Shump’s shooting yet. Oh well.

  42. ruruland

    jon abbey:
    ruru, will you be reposting the back and forth we had immediately after the Indiana beatdown right out of the ASB where you refused to admit that Indiana could possibly knock us out of the playoffs? :)

    Hey, I don’t remember that ;)

  43. ruruland

    In that same thread filled with doomsayers: “Just wait. Every fan base reacts the same way after a stretch like this, regardless of what the data or anything else says.

    I’m as confident in this as I was in a major run last year when this place was a morgue, and as confident as I was before the season started.

    Every 50 win team I’ve closely followed had an extended stretch of mediocrity where fans wanted to blow the team up.

    This Knicks teams is likely better than all of those teams.

    Stick with it during these times it will make the run that much sweeter. Melo and co. will not let the Knicks lose in the first round again, I promise that.”

  44. jon abbey

    which would be better if it wasn’t Kenyon Martin, nowhere near the roster at that point, who singlehandedly pulled them out of the tailspin.

  45. jon abbey

    actually he signed that day, but the point remains the same. he didn’t start making an impact for a couple of weeks after that.

  46. ruruland

    I really just wanted to re-post my pre-injury take on Shumpert and his shooting form, as well as the Synergy spot-up stuff/ shot distribution that I used to predict his dramatic shooting uptick, in response to Topaz’ line: “Put simply, Shumpert emerged as the sort of efficient shooting threat no one ever expected he would.”

    Anyway, talked to Carrick Felix today. He was shutting down some really explosive d-1 point guards in a few open scrimmages before he heads back to finish his workouts.

    He’s got a chance to be an excellent 3-and-D player. Guy who really knows himself. Excellent athlete, great/versatile defender, stud in transition, knock down shooter.

    Struggles with his handle some, but can post smaller players and is a more of a player that drives through tight windows/through shoulders.

    Not incredible upside given his lack of significant playmaking experience, but high character and intense, similar to Shumpert, who can develop pretty quickly.

    Probably a notch below Shump in terms of upside, but further advanced as role player going into the NBA.

    Could be a 37-40 % 3pt shooter, with strong defense and good peripherals.

    He’s probably going to sneak into the late first round with what he’s shown.

  47. yellowboy90

    I doubt Felix gets drafted in either round. IMO. Would be a nice UFA to put on the summer squad.

  48. yellowboy90

    I would hope the Knicks go after a guy Like Aminu over any UFA to fill the White role. Get Aminu some serious time with Hopla and let him develop.

    As I type this I just saw that he actually has worked with Hopla before. A reunion would be nice unless Hopla just thinks there is no hope. lol.

  49. johnno

    thenamestsam: Keep in mind that the Wizards were actually pretty good with a healthy Wall last year. 24-25 isn’t amazing, but in the East, that’s a playoff contender. It just went unnoticed because they were 5-28 at the time of his return. If Wall is healthy next year they’re already a playoff contender in my opinion.

    I think that the Wizards are potentially a real sleeper team next year. Check out their home record after their 5-28 start. They not only had a very good home record, they beat almost every elite team at home — Knicks, Nets, Bulls, Pacers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Thunder, etc. They were awful on the road, but the first step to becoming a good team is to win at home and they took that step. I wouldn’t be surprised if they won 45 next season.

  50. johnno

    After January 1, the Wizards were 20-7 at home, with 13 wins against playoff teams — the Bulls (2X), Hawks, Nets, Thunder, Clippers, Knicks, Nuggets, Grizzlies, Rockets and Pacers and the Bucks (2X).

  51. Frank

    max fisher-cohen: Problem is that John Wall isn’t even very good. He’s a very poor man’s Westbrook, and Westbrook is a second fiddle, and because he is a name (shoe contract, #1 pick, makes highlight plays), he’s bound to demand more than he’s worth when his deal is up.

    First of all, Westbrook is very very very good, and we all saw what happened to OKC without Westbrook, and specifically Durant when his usage had to go way up (ie. he had to take some of the lower efficiency shots that he used to leave to Russ). He lit up Houston, which has an awful defense, but when he went against an actual good defense, he fell apart. During the regular season, Durant averaged 31/8.3/4.7 on a TS of 60.1 against Memphis. During the playoffs, he managed 28.8 ppt, but only on a TS of 53.1. Shocker.

    Second, as nicos wrote, you must not have been paying attention to Wall in March and April. He was a totally different player in regards to his shooting — maybe it’s just small sample size, but he actually looked like someone who you shouldn’t leave open from midrange. And his on/off numbers are excellent as an overall +7 per 100 poss. The Wizards’ offense basically cratered without him (0.979 PPP) and was pretty good with him (1.05 PPP). Their TS was 49 without Wall and 53.4 with Wall. And if they actually had anyone that could space the floor for him (Nene/Okafor/Seraphin/Singleton and their whole frontcourt can’t shoot past 5 feet), his numbers would have looked even better. He’s only 22 years old. There’s no way you let someone like him walk, or trade him unless you somehow get an upgrade. You can teach shooting, but you can’t teach Wall’s explosion.

    And re: Bradley Beal, he basically sucked….until Wall was on the court with him. TS of 48 without Wall, TS of 59 with Wall.

  52. Hubert

    flossy: Saving one year of his salary doesn’t help much (we’ll still be at or near the salary cap come next summer).

    See, I think it does, and that would be my primary reason for doing the trade.

    But I don’t think that trade makes us worse next year. I understand wanting to hold the Amar’e lottery ticket and seeing if works out next year. But if you accept the fact that it’s most likely going to be a bust (and let’s be honest, Amar’e isn’t likely to play half a season without getting hurt next year), then what we’re getting back isn’t terrible because at the very least we get a player in Okafor who will contribute all year. Having him to back up Tyson is potentially huge. It means we don’t have to use any of our mid-level on Martin or another backup, so we can use it on Prigioni (and maybe Copeland). It means we don’t have to hope Marcus Camby gives us anything (he won’t).

    There are some mild benefits to it.

    It’s basically, what would you rather have:

    1. An overqualified backup to our most important defensive player + the mini-MLE flexibility to sign Copeland and Prigioni.

    2. The Amar’e lottery ticket + the problem of only having the mini-MLE when you need to bring back Pablo and sign a backup C, and you’d like to bring back Copeland.

    I think the Amar’e lottery ticket is a bust so I’d take it.

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