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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Is This the Way the Melo-Drama Ends? Not With a Bang But a Whimper?

According to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard:

The Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks are discussing a three-team trade that would make forward Carmelo Anthony a Knick before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, according to league sources.

In the proposed trade, New York would send Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota and the Timberwolves would send Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to Denver. Denver would also receive Wilson Chandler from New York.

The deal is not expected to happen until the middle of next week at the earliest, and one source said it could drag out until the trade deadline. Denver, which has been exchanging proposals with the Knicks for the past couple weeks, is weighing other options.

Could this really be how it ends?

Might Carmelo Anthony actually just be acquired for Wilson Chandler, Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry?

Now don’t get me wrong, this is no offense intended to Anthony Randolph. He might very well develop into a tremendous NBA player, but if he is going to become a great NBA player, it sure did not seem like it was going to happen on the Knicks. So this trade would be giving up Randolph and one of the three young assets that the Knicks currently have (Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Landry Fields).

I’ve long said that I would be fine with a Carmelo deal if it included only one of the three young assets (along with AR, as he seemed like a given). I did not hold out much hope for that happening, though. Especially when ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan wrote a few weeks back:

[I]t’s far from a done deal that the Knicks are going to get Anthony.

They are going to have to pay a fair price, or they are going to have to settle on playing out this season as the fifth- or sixth-best team in the East, then rearrange their roster next summer to clear enough cap space to make a max offer to Melo.

At the end of the day, it comes down to a question of what is a fair price?

The guess here is that if the Knicks acquire Anthony, they will give up Chandler or Gallinari (not both), Fields, Walker, Anthony Randolph (or a No. 1 obtained through a Randolph trade), Eddy Curry, plus an additional No. 1 pick (perhaps New York’s own 2014 pick), with the Knicks getting back an additional big body — something they’ve been scouring the league for throughout December and the first half of January. And I’m not necessarily saying the Nuggets would be taking on all those pieces, because a three-team trade might make it easier for everyone to walk away satisfied.

But apparently, it sounds like it might be very close to a deal getting done for a great deal less than what Sheridan felt was a “fair” price.

It is still early, of course, and as we saw with the New Jersey Nets mega-deal, these things sometimes collapse at the last moment, but either way, this is still major news. And I’m sure you all are a-buzzing with reactions, so have at it!

53 comments on “Is This the Way the Melo-Drama Ends? Not With a Bang But a Whimper?

  1. TheRant

    I’m not a member of Team Melohappy, but I’d agree that if you’re only losing Chandler and the two large men we can’t find a use for, then it’s a nice pickup.

    I really like Chandler’s game and feel he’s been underappreciated, but I also think Melo can really turn it on. And like Amare, I think he’ll really turn it up if he lands in NYC. I don’t think you can deny that Chandler to Melo is a huge upgrade.

    That being said (a) can we really trust Broussard? (b) I still have my eyes on a big or a point. But we’ll be a hella lot more attractive to the CP3/Howard/Deron FA class if we have that kind of roster to fill out. And (c) it’s really windy in Brooklyn right now.

  2. John Kenney

    @1- I trust him a lot more than Sheridan. In fact, out of all the rumor writers, I’d guess that Broussard has done the best job (beginning with the Decision) of being correct on the nature of trade talks throughout the league. I’m not sure if he at one point fell victim to the Melo-to-the-Nets idea, but he’s not guilty of what Sheridan is, which is frequently pretending he is the player/GM in question, then stating what he would do if he were in that position. When Sheridan writes, “fields, chandler, walker, randolph, 2014 1st round pick” etc etc, he means “I’d do that.” Same thing many other writers are guilty of too: remember all the Nets-trade-fanatics who said “He can’t risk giving up that extension” when what was actually true was the writer stating “I wouldn’t give up that extension.”

    Personally, I feel that the deal will happen the day of the deadline (which is why I’ve taken my tickets for the next game after that date off Stubhub in hopes of a later payday haha). It doesn’t really help the Nuggets to make the trade happen more quickly. They’re still winning games / hoping the Mavs or someone else can trump NY’s offer. But if this ends up being the deal we pull the trigger on, count me happy. I agree Chandler when he wasn’t worried about trade talk was playing fantastically, almost to Melo-like production at a lower price. But which would you rather have: the player who’s mind is completely thrown off, making him totally ineffective, when outside information is upsetting? Or the player who sits in the media whirlwind for months and still plays pretty well? I think Melo can handle NY/the pressure that comes with it. Can we trust Ill Will at the end of a game in the playoffs? Because I’d trust Melo.
    Again, some advanced metrics don’t like Melo that much, and I generally would follow their opinion. For whatever reason, though, I do think this trade will make us significantly better. I think. Hopefully.

  3. BigBlueAL

    I believe the reason this could be happening soon is because there were reports earlier today that Melo’s agent officially told Denver that Melo will only sign an extension with the Knicks period plus Melo publicly stating he would have no problems becoming a FA all of a sudden has Im sure killed all of Denver’s leverage with other teams except for a team like the Mavs who have stated publicly they dont care about Melo not signing an extension.

    Maybe Denver has finally realized its over and they might as well get something for Denver as opposed to nothing or they can just call Melo’s “bluff”. Safe to say the sooner this ends the better for all parties involved, including us fans!!! lol

  4. TheRant

    BigBlueAL: Maybe Denver has finally realized its over and they might as well get something for Denver as opposed to nothing or they can just call Melo’s “bluff”. Safe to say the sooner this ends the better for all parties involved, including us fans!!! lol

    I must say the Knicks have benefited tremendously from Melo (and his team)’s total intransigence about being traded anywhere else. It’s quite remarkable. They’ve really blown any leverage anyone else had vs. the Knicks.

    It may not be as much of a gift as Pau Gasol walking into the Lakers for nothing, but it’s close.

    (Yes, I know Pau came into Odom and Bynum — and that threesome in the core makes the paint awfully perilous for those visiting LA. And they already had Kobe, who doesn’t suck as a wingman.)

    We do this trade and we’re one or perhaps two pieces away from being really strong as well.

  5. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    That’s probably the least imaginable to receive the “superstar” from Denver. It’s a lot better than losing Gallinari or Fields, especially since Chandler’s going to command $8M/yr or more on the FA market.

    That said, I’m worried — just like I was in July. Although some of the regulars like to point out that one of the two signings I blasted has turned out well, I strongly believe that Landry Fields is the reason that the Knicks will have no struggle for their seed. Replace him with Bill Walker and you’re looking at a .400% team waiting to unload a 33-year-old PF during his expiring year.

    So maybe this will work out. I didn’t really expect Chandler to remain a Knick, and even though I think he’s tremendously athletic and one of those quiet types that’s not hard to like, it won’t be a downgrade to move to Carmelo. (Yes, I’m convinced of Carmelo’s “clutch” ability. I give up.) But if Dave Berri’s minions are right, the Knicks’ beat writers are going to have a lot to talk about: “Why can’t the Knicks win with not one but two superstars?”

  6. tastycakes

    To sign Melo in the offseason would mean we would have to renounce Chandler anyway, so this proposed deal — 2 guys not in the rotation and the guy we would lose anyway? I’m all for it.

    The way Gallo has played lately, I want him sticking around.

    Do it.

  7. Keef

    I’d do that trade in a HEARTBEAT. Curry is the most useless player in the NBA, AR is glued to the bench, and if NY signs Melo as FA they will lose Chandler anyway. Do this NOW!

  8. Spree8nyk8

    Man that trade could really really help this team. OMG i wish i didn’t read this shit at 6 am. I can’t sleep. FML

  9. JK47

    Even Cock Jowles likes this trade. Jowles is probably the most convincing Melo skeptic, and even he agrees that Melo for Chandler-Curry-AR is a win for NYK.

    I think there is something in Melo’s game that advanced statistics do not quite capture. We hear very often that Melo is an inefficient offensive player, and if you look just at his eFG% and TS%, you’d have to conclude that he’s not all that valuable.

    But the Nuggets, who feature Carmelo Anthony as their franchise player and the high-usage centerpiece of their offense, are the #1 offense in the NBA. They’re #1 in offensive rating. If we’re going to win with SSOL, that’s where we’ll need to be: #1 in offensive rating. I just can’t accept that the Nuggets could rank #1 in offense with a supposedly bad offensive player anchoring their offense. What’s going to happen when Melo leaves? Are they going to become the greatest NBA offense of all time? Of course not.

    If Melo comes to the Knicks for the very small price of Curry, Randolph and Chandler, I think we will go from being a pretty good offense to being a deadly offense.

  10. njasdjdh

    This Melo trade would be awesome. Please let it happen.

    If it goes down I think I’m leaning towards running Gallo with The Unit, off the bench to ensure his touches and make sure The Unit has some semblance of an offense.

  11. latke

    This trade will put the pressure on MDA. He will have the chance to show his mettle as a coach. The best coaches can get star players to adapt, and melo is going to have to adapt. He will still get shots, but Gallinari and Amare are much higher usage players than Afflalo or Nene. Can MDA get ‘Melo to play within the system? They both will have a lot at stake here. It will be interesting.

  12. totti

    giving away essentially only chandler for melo
    is, would be a masterpiece.

    I think knicks fans should thank melo’s camp
    in this case as the real facilitators of the trade

    knicks are a good pg away to be contenders

  13. Spree8nyk8

    We already have a good pg. He’s 5th in the league in assists. He just needs another option like Melo. This teams going to rock

  14. KnickFanInCelticLand

    This was quietly my best offer ( in my “fantasy” GM chair) I would have done during the whole melodrama considering Denver’s leverage in the ongoing situation. Now we get to find out if Melo really wants to win or if he (and his better half) just want the bright lights of NY. The key will be the terms of the extension negotiation. That 25 mil number thrown out there by Denver was a franchise killing number for any team let alone the Knicks. Does he take what Lebron took from Miami (or close to it)? Stay tuned.

  15. Thomas B.

    Meh.

    Are we getting any draft picks sent our way in this one? So what is the line up if that happens? If the starting five is Stoudemire, Anthony, Gallinari, Fields, Felton, then you have two people playing out of position no matter how you slice it up. I guess you do this then you bring Geg Oden in for a look at center. Id really like a proper center so Stoudemire can play the PF. I guess that moves Fields to the 6th man, but I’d miss his rounding unless we had a quality center who could provide that.

    Excluding the last game, the Knicks averaging an eFG% of 46.6 in the last 10. I hope Melo can help fix that because that is the source of the struggles of late.

  16. jon abbey

    you guys are talking like this will definitely happen, have you not been following this Melo saga? I’ll believe it when I hear Denver has actually agreed, and I bet Dolan ends up pushing Walsh into including Fields to get it done this month.

  17. massive

    jon abbey: you guys are talking like this will definitely happen, have you not been following this Melo saga? I’ll believe it when I hear Denver has actually agreed, and I bet Dolan ends up pushing Walsh into including Fields to get it done this month.  

    I think the only reason every Melo trade fell apart was because Melo didn’t want to sign that extension in New Jersey.

  18. d-mar

    Kudos to Donnie for once again showing patience and being rewarded for it. If during the Nets trade hysteria he had tried to top their offer (like some of the hysterical sports media were saying he MUST do) maybe the Nuggets bite and we lose Chandler AND Fields or Gallo.

    Wow, keeping Gallo and Fields would be sweet.

  19. KnickFanInCelticLand

    jon abbey: you guys are talking like this will definitely happen, have you not been following this Melo saga? I’ll believe it when I hear Denver has actually agreed, and I bet Dolan ends up pushing Walsh into including Fields to get it done this month.  (Quote)

    Jon,

    IMHO, what derailed all previous negotiations was failure to sign an extension. Denver would have taken the Nets offers in a heartbeat IF Melo signed the 3 yr 75 mil extension. I think this media leak ( and all past leaks) is by Denver to stimulate bidding for Melo. It is a very strong possibility of a done deal if Melo is true to his words about wanting to play in NY AND be part of a winner. I said stay tuned because this is where Donnie gets to find out Melo’s true intentions. The extension negotiation will be paramount to the outcome. Send Dolan out of town (faaaarrrr out of town) and let DW handle this. IMHO, that’s how the best outcome happens for Knicks, Knicks fans, and management.

  20. xduckshoex

    I’d be a lot happier just letting Chandler walk at the end of the year and signing Melo in the offseason, that way Randolph could be kept. But overall I’m still opposed to this idea in general because there could be better options out there with Chris Paul and Deron Williams reportedly unhappy with their current situations and Dwight Howard possibly wanting out of Orlando. I don’t think any of those is necessarily a realistic possibility, but I don’t think Melo is enough of an upgrade over what the Knicks currently have to not play the waiting game and pursue those options.

  21. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Randolph will never play for Mike D’antoni. The other day, during a blowout loss, he rode the pine — er, padded folding chair. If he can’t get garbage time minutes, he shouldn’t even be with the team. He should be in the NBDL on assignment to work on some of the issues in his game that, to D’antoni’s eye, are dealbreakers.

    And I don’t really support any Carmelo trade that involves him receiving a huge extension at season’s end. Like I said, he’s not worth a max contract for the assumption that, simply by playing with Amar’e, he will become the high-efficiency player he’s never been in the past. Risk.

  22. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    JK47: But the Nuggets, who feature Carmelo Anthony as their franchise player and the high-usage centerpiece of their offense, are the #1 offense in the NBA. They’re #1 in offensive rating. If we’re going to win with SSOL, that’s where we’ll need to be: #1 in offensive rating. I just can’t accept that the Nuggets could rank #1 in offense with a supposedly bad offensive player anchoring their offense.

    He’s not a bad offensive player, but he’s not outstanding. Listen, Nene is not going to suddenly forget how to offensively rebound and put back a shot under the rim. Ty Lawson isn’t going to forget how to shoot the three. Billups isn’t going to stop being a phenomenal all-around shooter. It’s similar to the argument that because Kobe Bryant is the center (or vertex?) of the triangle O in LA, he’s most responsible for their success (which we know is untrue, since, you know: O’Neal, Gasol, Odom, Artest, Barnes, Glen Rice, Horry, et al.).

    Again, I’m not saying he’s bad, but I don’t think he’s a max contract guy. Even if he inflates other players’ shooting efficiency (and I’ve said this before), in the words of a dim-witted Minnesotean, it’s “like robbing Peter to pay Paul.” The advantages and disadvantages void each other.

  23. Z

    If trade goes through as currently constituted, Knicks would retain assets to make a similar (player holds current team hostage and demands trade to Knicks) move next February.

    For example, if Chris Paul “pulls a Melo” and says he’ll only extend with NY, Knicks can offer the expiring contracts of Felton ($7.5), Turiaf ($4.3), and ($3.5 (non-guaranteed past 2012). That is enough to work, salary wise. Add in Gallo, or Fields, or TD as needed, and there’s no reason the Paul dream scenario can’t come true.

  24. NateRobinson

    I like this trade but I hate the idea of signing any player not named Lebron for 3yrs 65million. It is flat out too much and would cripple our FA capabilities. That is the reason I would like for Donnie to wait or Denver to pull off and not accept it.

    Melo to FA I say!

  25. massive

    My favorite two parts of this deal are:

    1) We keep our three (or four if you count Felton) best players here.

    2) If Denver pulls out, we will probably still get Minnesota’s 1st round pick anyway.

  26. Spree8nyk8

    xduckshoex: I’d be a lot happier just letting Chandler walk at the end of the year and signing Melo in the offseason  

    1) Melo could cave and extend elsewhere if it comes down to it.
    2) The NBA could make changes to the current system to include possibly doing a franchise tag like the nfl.
    3) Under the current system gaining melo now would give us an MLE to use in the offseason that we will not have otherwise. In terms of what it means for us for next season we have more options if we pick him up now.
    4) yeah there are free agents coming available over the next year or so but waiting for Lebron didn’t work out so well for us. This is a sweetheart deal. Gotta take it.

  27. BIG STAT

    You gotta love this if it can get done. The previously reported deal, turned down by DEN, had the Knicks losing Fields as well. People are saying the Knicks won’t be able to contend this year, lacking capable big men and defense, but try this on for size: Starting five of: Felton, Fields, Gallo, Amare. That leaves Turiaf, Mozgov, Douglas, Williams, Walker, Azibuke, and Mason Jr. left to make up the bench or be traded to solidify the remaining needs. That is a very formidable team. Nothing would make me happier than upsetting Miami and knocking them out of the dance! Not likely, but possible if the Knicks make moves.

  28. artie

    Another year with no playoffs. This will disrupt team chemistry and any shot we may have. Wait for the summer.

  29. Doug

    artie: Another year with no playoffs. This will disrupt team chemistry and any shot we may have. Wait for the summer.  

    Waiting for the summer is marginally better, but given how frustrating this team has been, their “chemistry” could use some disruption.

  30. jon abbey

    artie: Another year with no playoffs. This will disrupt team chemistry and any shot we may have. Wait for the summer.  

    this is even more ridiculous than thinking this makes us a 2nd round team this year. Melo replacing Chandler shouldn’t disrupt things much at all, but either way, it shouldn’t take too many more wins to make the playoffs. 10-22 from here would probably be enough.

  31. BIG STAT

    jon abbey:
    this is even more ridiculous than thinking this makes us a 2nd round team this year. Melo replacing Chandler shouldn’t disrupt things much at all, but either way, it shouldn’t take too many more wins to make the playoffs. 10-22 from here would probably be enough.  

    Dude. If this team gets Melo, and finishes 6th in the East, they can beat the Bulls. That is not unreasonable. They would than get the Heat in the 2nd round and while I won’t get my hopes up, a win there would be something we’d all remember for many years to come.

  32. SeeWhyDee77

    if Minny is indeed having reservations about sending out Brewer and a 1st rounder then I have a better idea..one that allows them to keep both. And since having Beasley play on a losing team pretty much out of position..here go it
    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=68lnk9h
    Cap room galore and a young athletic shot blocker/rebounder to play with Love and hopefully keep him in Minny(for Wolves fans). And they still keep their assets to build with while Denver gets 37 points and 12 boards in Beasley and Chandler as well as a duo who could be their starting frontcourt for years to come. I like it…

  33. Batman

    Hey everyone, first post ever.

    Thomas B.: If the starting five is Stoudemire, Anthony, Gallinari, Fields, Felton, then you have two people playing out of position no matter how you slice it up. I guess that moves Fields to the 6th man, but I’d miss his rounding unless we had a quality center who could provide that.

    If, somehow, the Nuggets don’t milk more out of the Knicks in this proposed deal, you’d have to bring Gallo off of the bench and leave Fields in the starting lineup. Gallo would get lost in that offense far too often with two high usage players dominating the ball (in theory, it seems like he would thrive camping outside of the arc but you all know how often he’s been stranded on the wing in the past). Giving him the green light with the second unit could allow him to continue the recent development. You need to surround high usage guys with high efficiency guys that provide value without the ball in their hands, e.g., Fields. Throwing Fields out there with the second unit would be a waste of his talents. He’s so adept at getting his within the flow of the game that his true value lies when he’s on the floor with the “ballhogs,” if you will.

    Above everything else in the Melo-Drama, I think it’s vital that the Knicks hang on to Landry Fields. He’s that efficient role player that every contender has and his contributions to this team in particular are immeasurable. Especially on a team without a legitimate rebounding presence, it’s so valuable to have the league’s best rebounding guard. Plus, we’re seeing his game develop before our eyes a mere 5 months into his career. Who knows where he’ll be in five years. He knows what he has to do to get better and is putting in the work to get there. It could be a major mistake to dump him at such a young age. Go Knicks!

  34. Frank O.

    I am becoming increasingly convinced that playing for a team with solid pieces and a genuine MVP candidate will life Carmelo’s game and his efficiency.
    With genuine good perimeter shooters, a take the best shot offensive philosophy and a go to in the paint presence, Anthony won’t be asked to force ridiculously difficult shots. With the sound passing and spacing the Knicks employ, he’s also going to have many penetration possibilities.
    I see Melo probably scoring about what he gets now, but with fewer shots. Teams will need to double him, so his passing will be tested.
    But with him, you now cannot simply double and triple team Amare. People will need to stay home more.
    I think the Knicks will want to stay big across the front.
    If Melo comes over, the Knicks likely would run this lineup:
    C Mosgov
    PF Amare
    SF Anthony
    SG Gallo
    PG Felton

    Fields would be sixth and he would be a great energy guy off the bench, playing both SG and SF.
    Douglas would have to be 7th the give Felton a blow. His role would be more clearly defined as a back up to the PG.
    Then Williams 8th and Walker 9th.

    Hope Denver doesn’t screw this up

  35. Z

    Frank O.:
    I would think either one is fine to lose.  

    Yeah, I can live with it too :)

    (the headline of the article is “Knicks Add Names to Melo Mix”. Of course I expected to read the names Fields and Gallinari… (Donnie Walsh is a god!))

  36. Garson

    Frank… I dont love that lineup for the following reasons:

    1. Gallo in the starting linup at the 2 gives would give him a disadvantage guarding quicker 2s.
    2. If gallos getting lost on offense now, i cant imagine him getting the ball in that lineup, in a way where he can drive and create, not just spot up and shoot.
    3. Gallo coming off the bench would feature him on offense which would be amazing and give us a very strong second unit.
    4. Feilds biggest strength is his ability to fill in the blank… rebounding, extra pass etc… something that would be needed in an amare, melo lineup.

  37. Frank O.

    Garson: Frank… I dont love that lineup for the following reasons:1. Gallo in the starting linup at the 2 gives would give him a disadvantage guarding quicker 2s.
    2. If gallos getting lost on offense now, i cant imagine him getting the ball in that lineup, in a way where he can drive and create, not just spot up and shoot.
    3. Gallo coming off the bench would feature him on offense which would be amazing and give us a very strong second unit.
    4. Feilds biggest strength is his ability to fill in the blank… rebounding, extra pass etc… something that would be needed in an amare, melo lineup.  

    I think Gallo’s length could be an advantage guarding quick guards (can’t coach size) and his size will be a major problem for the opposing team. And you know how much D’Antoni loves these kinds of mismatches.
    I think Gallo’s size advantage over an opposing two will force the opposition to double him, creating other problems for a team that must deal with Gallo, and then Amare and Anthony.
    Can you imagine? Gallo at 6’10, matching up with some dude at 6’4 or 6’5.
    Frankly, I’d love that kind of mismatch. And like I said his size would compensate to a degree.

    I think Fields still gets about 30 minutes a game as the sixth man, so the impact on him is virtually nil.
    The guy most affected by this will be Douglas. His minutes dip to 15 or so, and he becomes a clear PG backup, whereas now he gets time at the one and two.

    Gallo also will play some SF when Carmelo is resting.

  38. Caleb

    If this deal happens, Melo will spend most of his time at the 4, with Gallo at the 3. I don’t see Mozgov ever playing more than 25 mpg and I wouldn’t bank on even that, just yet. Hopefully one of our backup centers is solid for 20 mpg, but that still leaves Stoudemire playing most of his time at the 5, etc.

    In my world as GM, I would hold off, knowing that Randolph will be a big time player in a couple of years, and that the Knicks have more salary flexibility in a Chandler-Randolph world than with Melo at $20-million plus.

    But as proposed, it’s not a bad deal. IMO Melo would be a very good player in NY – think 56-58 TS% as a high-volume scorer, with excellent rebounding for a 3, and good ball movement. It probably gets the Knicks to the level of a 50-win team right off the bat, with future improvement as Fields, Gallo and maybe Moz develop. We have a draft pick this summer. A 55-win team with a young-ish core isn’t something to sneeze at.

    We’d hurt on D but not much more than now. We could go stretches with a huge lineup which is how a lot of recent teams (LAL, ORL, BOS) have had success. We know Gallo can be super-effective without a ton of shots, so he fits well.

    Key point: it hedges against the risks of the next CBA. If the cap comes in at $50 million, or there are major restrictions on trades – e.g. a franchise tag, allowing a player’s current team to make a MUCH bigger offer (instead of 6 years vs. 5), or anything similar – the Knicks lose the chance of adding Carmelo or any of the big 2012 names.

    Trading for Carmelo and giving him a mega-extension means we can’t “add” Howard or CP3 as a future star, but if that’s ever in the cards and sign n trades are still allowed, we could always upgrade in 2012 by trading Carmelo (or Amare) straight up.

    But beware… this trade would eliminate all flexibility in the Knicks’ future. Amare/Carmelo/Gallo/Fields MIGHT be the core of a contender. Lose one more impact guy, and we’re stuck.

  39. Frank O.

    You know, I still see Mosgov as a very raw talent. Kirilenko seems to think Mos will be a star, and aside from it being his countryman, I think Kirilenko may be right.
    I suspect because he’s blonde and white and European, I find myself wanting to compare Mos to Rik Smits, who only averaged 30 minutes twice in his lengthy career.
    Smits was bigger, but far less athletic than Mos. Fundamentally, they are both sound players. I like Mos’s midrange shot, a shot that was very good for Smits, and he moves rather well. Smits struggled with more athletic centers. Mos’s defense is greatly improved since his first showing earlier in the season.
    But if the Knicks can get 25 minutes from the guy and he can get 8-10 boards and 8-10 points, with 2 blocks, I’d be pretty happy about that.
    I think he’s better than that, but when players are this new it’s all speculation.

  40. Caleb

    Frank O.:
    I think he’s better than that, but when players are this new it’s all speculation.  

    I agree… and the sample size is still tiny. If he gets to around 1,000 minutes this season (which would take about 20 mpg from here out) I think we’ll know more or less what we have. He is 24 so I don’t expect leaps and bounds development next year and beyond.

  41. Frank O.

    Caleb:
    I agree… and the sample size is still tiny. If he gets to around 1,000 minutes this season (which would take about 20 mpg from here out) I think we’ll know more or less what we have. He is 24 so I don’t expect leaps and bounds development next year and beyond.  

    Statistically speaking, you are right.
    But he may be an anomaly in that he played in a lesser pro league for several years. I believe it could take two years before we know his ceiling.
    I can only think of the Gasol brothers as centers who played overseas before turning pro. Pau came in and from the start seemed to show who he was early on, although I think his last three years, 8th, 9th and 10th, I think, have shown remarkable improvement.

    Do you know of other foreign centers who played in pro leagues back home and made their way to the NBA?

  42. Caleb

    Frank O.:
    Statistically speaking, you are right.
    But he may be an anomaly in that he played in a lesser pro league for several years. I believe it could take two years before we know his ceiling.
    I can only think of the Gasol brothers as centers who played overseas before turning pro. Pau came in and from the start seemed to show who he was early on, although I think his last three years, 8th, 9th and 10th, I think, have shown remarkable improvement.Do you know of other foreign centers who played in pro leagues back home and made their way to the NBA?  

    Tiago Splitter… Luis Scola if you want to call him a center.

    Gasol is a year older than Mozgov now, but he was pretty good from the minute he stepped on an NBA floor… 16 rebounds in his second game… 59 TS% his rookie season.

    I just can’t think of any players who were truly bad as 24-year-olds, but rebounded to be good players. (sorry, Thabeet fans).

    I hold off judgement on Mozgov because 300 minutes isn’t enough to say if he’s actually bad or just getting his feet wet. And his last 80 minutes were solid.

  43. Frank

    Hard to know re: Mozgov – sounds like he was a total unknown until 2008 when Khimki picked him up. A guy with his size and athleticism would’ve had coaches etc. all over him as a 12 year old if he were born in the US, but sounds like he was totally under the radar in Russia. Who knows what kind of coaching he got before David Blatt got a hold of him? Now he’s in the big leagues with real coaches and an opportunity. Hard to compare him to any American 23 or 24 year old, or even a 24 year old Marc Gasol, who came up in Spain – a relatively basketball-crazy country by European standards. He really is amazingly athletic for such a big dude, and seems to really WANT to get better. Great combination. Even if he ends up being a Przybilla type, I think that’d be great.

    Meanwhile – one thing that has gone sort of unnoticed is how much better he has been about turnovers. Prior to this 4 game stretch (in which he’s played about 105 minutes), he had 26 turnovers in ~260 minutes (1 every 10 minutes). Since then, 4 turnovers in 105 minutes (1 every 26 minutes). 105 minutes is a very small sample, but that’s gotta be promising.

  44. Z

    Caleb: But beware… this trade would eliminate all flexibility in the Knicks’ future.
    .  

    Caleb– you’ve been saying this from the get-go, but I don’t understand why. Knicks have $12 million in expiring contracts up in 2012, and another $3.5 million that is non-guaranteed (Mozgov). These can all be used in a trade, which is how any outside-of-the-organization player would have to be obtained, once our own players (Gallo and Fields) are extended. Even if Carmelo extends for $20 billion the Knicks would still have the same flexibility going forward. (The fact that they are keeping Fields and Gallo actually makes them MORE flexible, as they have good players to package with those expiring contracts should a Paul, Howard, or Willaims become available.

  45. Caleb

    @50 I don’t mean they would literally be unable to make a move. Just, they’d be limited to whatever exceptions are allowed in the next CBA, or a star-for-star trades the likes of which are pretty rare (can’t remember one, actually, although the new CBA could open the door).

    Figure the cap in 2012-2013 will land somewhere between $50 million and $62 million, depending who wins the lockout.

    Meanwhile, the Knicks are paying out:
    – Amare $19.9m
    – Carmelo $21m (just guessing – a $65m extension over 3 years)

    Technically – that would be it. But you’ve got 10 roster slots left. Just keeping Gallo and Fields…

    – Gallo $8.4m cap hold
    – Fields TBD (no more rookie deal for a 2nd rounder – even as a restricted FA he’s gonna cost a few million)

    If we want the rest of the roster to be better than replacement-level, you’ve got:

    - 2011 1st rounder (@$1.5 mil)
    - Douglas ($2m)
    - Mozgov ($3.1m)

    Plus Walker, and anyone else half-decent we sign between now and then.

    If CBA still has a Bird rule, the Knicks COULD go over the cap to sign everyone I just listed. But they’d be way over the cap. There might be some version of the mid-level exception, but most people think exceptions will be cut back or even eliminated in the next deal.

    It’s not a bad hand to play buy it’s basically putting all your chips in the pot. It’s a gamble. A really strict CBA might even limit the Bird rule, in which scenario we’d have to give up Gallo and/or Fields, to make room.

  46. New Guy

    I really hate that this is being leaked out. It smells of Denver trying to tell the league “this is our best offer, please top it.” They are rank amateurs. Somebody leaked this with a purpose, and it wasn’t to get the deal done as constituted.

    As for the rotation, I agree Gallo would have to head to the bench and head the second unit (not the worst thing). But the Gallo-Melo-Stoudemire-Felton-Fields unit would probably be unleashed for stretches of “small ball”, and I imagine it would be lethal if used correctly.

    Team would still be one quality big man away from being championship caliber. In an ideal world, the new CBA would prevent the Celtics and their bloated payroll from being able to resign Kenrick Perkins this summer.

  47. New Guy

    @51, it’s just my opinion, but those salary figures will probably be meaningless this time next year. If the cap is going down that much, salaries are getting slashed.

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