Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Iverson for Billups/McDyess

http://www.nba.com/2008/news/11/03/nuggets.pistons.trade.ap/index.html

The Denver Nuggets have agreed to a deal that would send Allen Iverson to the Pistons in exchange for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess, sources have told TNT analyst David Aldridge.

There is one sticking point to the deal, though. McDyess does not want to go to Denver, and a source close to him says “he will not put on a Nuggets uniform” and may opt to retire.

Because of McDyess’s objection, the Nuggets may waive the mandatory physical each player in a trade must take in order for the league to approve any deal. McDyess may be seeking a buyout of the remainder of his contract (two years, $13.6 million).

150 comments on “Iverson for Billups/McDyess

  1. daaarn

    Wow, that was kinda sudden (to me anyway). Also very interesting about McDyess. How may this affect us (in a roundabout way most likely)? Could this be an indicator that some teams may feel some pressure earlier on to just bite the bullet and do some risky trades (like last year at the deadline)?

  2. Owen

    Interesting trade. If you believe Billups is the better player, (which I do of course) this would seem to be a steal for Denver.

    However, this also positions Detroit perfectly for Lebron. It clears room for Stuckey, for Amir, for Maxiell. It allows those guys time to develop their games for when the Global Icon arrives.

    They weren’t going to compete this year in the East. It’s a good move really for both teams. Dumars can also pitch it as a bid for a title this year too, even though that’s never happening. Makes sense to me…

    Anyone who has Jr Smith in a keeper league, and i do, is really really happy right now….

  3. Ted Nelson

    Basketball wise it was a solid move for Denver. They’re going deeper into salary-cap hell for what will be a 34 year old PG, but I guess they were already there (especially if they resign Kleiza) and Chauncey’s last year is the same as Melo, K-Mart, and Nene’s. I think Billups will be a better fit, but we’ll see. One might start to show his age more than the other.

    I don’t know if Joe D did it more for basketball reasons or salary cap reasons, I guess probably both. Even if LeBron is not going to Detroit, getting some salary cap space without completely killing the team’s competitiveness could end up being a good move. I wonder if he thinks AI is a better player though?
    Also wonder if he resigns McDyess in a month or gives Maxiell, Amir, and Kwame more time… if McDyess even wants to resign.

  4. Nick C.

    Wow. Has Detroit thrown in the towel with opening week not even over? The next question would be how reliable is this report.

  5. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Interesting move by both parties. All three of these players were “expendable” due to younger players in the wings. Denver probably got the better deal in the short term, but the Pistons cleared out a ton of cap room.

    Now correct me if I’m wrong, but Denver can not trade McDyess until January 3rd. Any chance we could get him & Steven Hunter for Eddy Curry or Jamal Crawford?

  6. TDM

    Cap-wise, this looks like a boondoggle for Detroit. McDyess had 2 years remaining, Billups had 4. They get to clear 20 mill off their payroll at the end of the year, and puts them around 10 mill under the cap.

    I also think Detroit wanted to give more minutes to Amir Johnson and Maxiell.

    Denver now has 17 players under contract, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do to rid themselves or 2 contracts. I don’t see Balkman being a casualty.

  7. Brian Cronin

    This pretty clearly favors Denver this year, and really, it does a wonderful job of restructuring their roster.

    That said, I can’t recall ever seeing a better cap-clearing move (from a PR perspective) than this move by Dumars. Who clears cap room while tricking fans into thinking you’re still trying to compete?

    Well done, Dumars.

  8. daaarn

    Kind of a superficial matter, but what uni numbers to do you all think Iverson and Billups will get now?

    Stuckey already has #3 on the Pistons, and I don’t know if Iverson’ll try to buy it off him considering he’s almost guaranteed not to be on the team after this year.

    JR Smith has #1 on the Nuggets, but I think he’d be willing to switch (I think he was #23 w/ the Hornets, and now w/ Camby gone, I could see him reclaiming it). If not #1, then I could’ve also seen Billups take back his #4 during his first stint in Denver, if not for K-Mart already having it.

  9. Owen

    Ray – If only you were an operative in the Knicks front office hinting at a Randolph, Curry, or Crawford trade

  10. TDM

    The strange part of this trade is that when DEN traded Camby to the Clips it was said to be a pure salary dump deal. Picking up 4 years of an aging Billups and 2 years on McDyess for AI’s expiring deal seems to go against the salary benefits of dumping Camby.

  11. Italian Stallion

    I like this deal for Detroit, but I love it both long and short term if they can somehow get McDyess back after 30 days or so (one report mentioned that scenario).

  12. Z

    The strange part of this trade is that when DEN traded Camby to the Clips it was said to be a pure salary dump deal. Picking up 4 years of an aging Billups and 2 years on McDyess for AI’s expiring deal seems to go against the salary benefits of dumping Camby.

    I agree, Denver is acting inconsistently. The Camby trade was a salary dump (Camby was even popular with fans, a good character guy, AND wanted to stay in Denver). It doesn’t make much sense, unless they used their trade exception to land Billups (did they?).

    Speaking of Camby, the Clips are 0-3, at the bottom in both offense and defense. Think they are regretting not trading for Randolph instead of Camby (who is hurt)? They made a lot of big moves to try to window dress the loss of Brand. It’s pretty ugly over there right now.

    There is still time to right that wrong!

  13. Ben R

    My Prediction for JR Smith:
    JR Smith is going to win the most improved player despite the fact that his per minutes averages will barely change, he will also be in the all-star discussion and everyone will talk about the steal of a contract Denver got.

    My Prediction for Denver:
    They are now solidly a playoff team in the west. They will take a huge step forward with Billups and the “bad chemestry” they have had will disappear, because their “bad chenestry” was in fact just bad roster management.

    My prediction for Detriot:
    They will now fall to a borderline playoff team in the East and will stuggle to win 42 games. Rip and Iverson will struggle to coexist and all of Denver’s “bad chemistry” will now be Detriots.

    As for the winner of this trade I think it is a great one for both teams. Denver gets incredibly better and Detriot makes a move to get under the cap soon. Next they will trade Rip and do a quick rebuild and be good again in a couple of years. This is the way to rebuild, trade your talent before they get too old and bounce back quickly.

    As for us, it makes me sad because I was still holding out hope that we could steal away Kleiza or Smith for one of our overpaid players.

  14. cwod

    Tonight, Marc Gasol put up a Howard-like 27 and 16 against GS. That Pau deal doesn’t look so lopsided this season.

  15. Ben R

    “Next they will trade Rip ”
    they signed him to a three year extension today.

    I guess I got that one wrong.

  16. Ted Nelson

    This is the way to rebuild, trade your talent before they get too old and bounce back quickly.

    Donnie Walsh did a good job of that in Indy (until the shit hit the fan, anyway). Too bad no one values the Knicks talent…

    I really thought trading Jamal Crawford is the offseason was this kind of move. Coming off a 20 ppg season he might have been one of the only Knicks with trade value, and I really thought Walsh might be able to get a good young prospect (the way he did with JO, Artest, and Brad Miller), a pick in the 10-15 range, or maybe gone after Childress in a sign-and-trade. His contract isn’t the Knicks’ worst, but you can definitely get a similarly talented player cheaper or a better player cheaper/at the same cost. Of course I have no idea if he was shopped or not, but Walshtoni seemed to buy the hype.

  17. teddd
    “Next they will trade Rip ”they signed him to a three year extension today.

    I guess I got that one wrong.

    The underlying issue in all of this is that Rip Hamilton and LeBron James are represented by the same agent. Hmmm….

  18. Italian Stallion

    I can’t see Lebron going to Detroit. That’s a sideways move. I realize he wants to win, but he also wants to play and win in a major market. I can see him teaming up in Miami with Wade if he doesn’t just stay in where he is or come to NY/Brooklyn.

  19. TDM

    I hear that Denver is going to buy out McDyess and that he doesn’t want to play for any team other than Detroit. That said, any chance we could get Denver to swap McDyess for Craw, Q or Malik? I think the salary would work.

    Just a thought. McDyess always seemed like a class guy, and if he is healthy, he could be a good fit for D’Antoni. Not to mention, a good defensive guy.

  20. Thomas B.

    Denver does not seem to want McDyess, would they accept James for McDyess? The salaries are close enough for a trade but since James makes about 800K less than McDyess, Denver could save 1.6 million after luxuray taxes are added. The Knicks could get someone that knows how to switch inside and would at least try to block a shot. Plus as McDyess would not play more than 25 a night, he would not hurt Lee’s minutes.

  21. caleb

    Denver would save a lot of money by trading McDyess for Rose, instead of buying him out — $6.8 million against the cap next year, and more than $13 million when you factor in luxury tax (I think they owe the tax, though I’m not sure).

    Caveats:
    - From Denver’s perpsective, you have to compare those savings to what they might save in a buyout – McDyess might not demand his full salary.

    - Other teams might offer the same savings as Malik, with players who are more useful this year. (I haven’t scanned the rosters, but anyone making $6-8 million, on a deal that expires this year)

    - McDyess does us no good, really; to make the trade useful for the Knicks, we’d have to find a 3rd team to take him in exchange for a prospect or a pick. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be impossible.

  22. Thomas B.

    - McDyess does us no good, really; to make the trade useful for the Knicks, we’d have to find a 3rd team to take him in exchange for a prospect or a pick. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be impossible.

    I considered Rose first but I thought it would be more helpful to the Knicks to move James. That way we keep Rose’s expiring contract to either let go this year or to help get a player at the deadline. I dont exactly agree that McDyess does the Knicks no good. Even greatly diminished, he is a far better defender than any big we have. Basically, the defense would go from the current swiss cheese to a soft cheese like brie or guda.

  23. Owen

    I don’t think Mcdyess wants to come to New York. I highly doubt it. Didn’t work out too well the first time around.

    Also, our defense has actually been better than our offense thus far. Hard to believe but it is true.

  24. Italian Stallion

    This was too funny!

    http://njmg.typepad.com/knickknacks/2008/11/steph-on-larry-wish-you-were-here.html

    All that said, the absolute best line of the day (and, frankly, we might have to close the phone lines, for it’s almost certain to be the best one of the year) came from Marbury, who when asked about Larry Brown’s return to New York on Wednesday with the Bobcats, said with a huge laugh (and prompted even bigger ones): “Looking back at the last two years, I kind of liked Larry Brown.”

    Then as the laughter subsided, he went on, “I kind of like Larry Brown. I’m like, ‘Man, I wish this guy was here to drill me now.’”

  25. caleb

    I agree that McDyess helps the Knicks (a little bit) right now, but all that does is hurt our draft position (a little bit) while clogging up a roster spot for two years.

    If anyone would take Jerome James for that, I’d say hell yeah but it’s more likely McCain wins California.

    Make a 3-way, swap McDyess to a contender for a late first-rounder, and that’s as good a value as we’re ever going to get from Malik Rose.

  26. Owen

    The sports quote of the year has already been locked up…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJwoNSLRwg

    Stephon Marbury probably isn’t aware of the numbers, but he is quite correct about Brown. Marbury posted a ts% of 57.5% in 04-05, which is 3.5% higher than his next best year. It’s not quite as big an anomaly as say, the 62.5% Damon Jones posted in his contract year in Miami, but given how consistent NBA players are generally, it sticks out like a sore thumb. His turnover rate that year was also the second lowest of his career.

  27. TDM

    Make a 3-way, swap McDyess to a contender for a late first-rounder, and that’s as good a value as we’re ever going to get from Malik Rose.

    How about one of the following -

    Al Harrington to NY
    Malik to Denver
    McDyess to GS

    Matt Harpring to NY
    Malik to DV
    McD to Utah

    Eric Snow to NY
    Malik to DV
    McD to CLE

  28. joeyd

    Interesting trade. If you believe Billups is the better player, (which I do of course) this would seem to be a steal for Denver.
    However, this also positions Detroit perfectly for Lebron. It clears room for Stuckey, for Amir, for Maxiell. It allows those guys time to develop their games for when the Global Icon arrives.
    They weren’t going to compete this year in the East. It’s a good move really for both teams. Dumars can also pitch it as a bid for a title this year too, even though that’s never happening. Makes sense to me…
    Anyone who has Jr Smith in a keeper league, and i do, is really really happy right now….

    you dont really believe billups is a better player?

  29. Italian Stallion

    Marbury’s big year came under Lenny Wilkens, not LB…

    I didn’t even know he had a big year. LOL

    IMO Marbury is a very talented and skilled player. He’s sort of a weaker version of AI. IMO, the primary problem with both is that they are inefficient scorers. But I don’t think it has to be that way. Neither ever learned how to play the game to maximize the results for the team (either that or they were unwilling). It’s sort of a shame when a player has that much talent but plays in such a self centered way. I guess it maximize their compensation while minimizing their chance of winning and getting other rewards.

  30. joeyd

    this deal should allow jr smith to emerge and maybe score an average on par with carmelo anthony’s

    On a par with who? Melo is 30ppg scorer in this league, jr smith will likely never do that!!!

  31. joeyd

    My Prediction for JR Smith:JR Smith is going to win the most improved player despite the fact that his per minutes averages will barely change, he will also be in the all-star discussion and everyone will talk about the steal of a contract Denver got.
    My Prediction for Denver:They are now solidly a playoff team in the west. They will take a huge step forward with Billups and the “bad chemestry” they have had will disappear, because their “bad chenestry” was in fact just bad roster management.
    My prediction for Detriot:They will now fall to a borderline playoff team in the East and will stuggle to win 42 games. Rip and Iverson will struggle to coexist and all of Denver’s “bad chemistry” will now be Detriots.
    As for the winner of this trade I think it is a great one for both teams. Denver gets incredibly better and Detriot makes a move to get under the cap soon. Next they will trade Rip and do a quick rebuild and be good again in a couple of years. This is the way to rebuild, trade your talent before they get too old and bounce back quickly.
    As for us, it makes me sad because I was still holding out hope that we could steal away Kleiza or Smith for one of our overpaid players.

    Denver will slot themselves into the 5-10 range in the west, they are still not as good as
    1. san antonio 2. lakers 3. rockets 4. new orleans 5. utah 6. dallas

    chauncy billups is extremely overrated, he landed in the right place at the right time.

    The Pistons are now a serious contender in the east, because now they have a player that can create scoring and AI does a good job of getting his teammates open looks wich will be great for sheed tayshaun. detroits defense will not suffer much, however their offense will be much improved

  32. Italian Stallion

    you dont really believe billups is a better player?

    Most of the people that post here more weight on scoring efficiency, wins produced, and other advanced stats than they do on scoring, the ability to create shots for yourself, and the ability to draw defenders away from other players.

  33. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    you dont really believe billups is a better player?

    Most of the people that post here more weight on scoring efficiency, wins produced, and other advanced stats than they do on scoring, the ability to create shots for yourself, and the ability to draw defenders away from other players.

    Way to build up that strawman & knock him down!

  34. Owen

    “you dont really believe billups is a better player?”

    Of course I believe that. I think he is a much much better player than Iverson. Billups had an offensive rating of 127 last year to Iverson’s 115. And he is certainly a much better defender.

    Iverson soored 4 points more per 36 than Billups, while Billups posted a ts% 5% higher. Which is more valuable? The ability to score prolifically on a team that features Anthony, J.R, Smith, and Kleiza? Or the ability to score efficiently?

    I could quote statistical chapter and verse on the subject, but will spare the gentle folk of the Knickerblogger community.

    As for J.R. Smith, he averaged 23 points per 36 last year. Carmelo averaged 25.7, which was down from the years before that. But J.R. can dofinitely fill it up. Not only that, he does it efficiently, with a ts% over 60% last year, which is fantastic. Unfortunately for the Nuggets though, his peripherals are poor. Too many turnovers, not enough rebounds and assists. But he isn’t much worse than Iverson.

    It’s going to be fascinating to see how this works out. My bet is the Nuggets will surprise people by how good they are with Billups.

    And I will bet the bottle of Cristal from my Eddy Curry bet with Jon Abbey that the Pistons don’t make the EC Finals, which actually is a far more sporting bet than the one I offered him, but the cellarage fees are going through the roof….

  35. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    Here wait – I can build my own strawman…

    Most of the people on this site prefer team players that win championships, and not those that only interested in loafing through practice or winning scoring titles. Count the ringz!!1!1!!

    Ahhhh that felt good.

  36. Italian Stallion

    you dont really believe billups is a better player?

    Most of the people that post here more weight on scoring efficiency, wins produced, and other advanced stats than they do on scoring, the ability to create shots for yourself, and the ability to draw defenders away from other players.

    Way to build up that strawman & knock him down!

    Not sure what you mean by that.

    I think it’s pretty clear based on several months of reading the views here what the general thinking is. I made no value judgement. I neither agreed or disagreed and didn’t even express an opinion on who I think is better. I am right in the MIDDLE on the issue and usually find myself in the minority when I take the scorer/creator side. That’s the opposite of where I find myself on other message boards at times.

  37. jon abbey

    people, the reason D’Antoni hasn’t made any trades yet is that NO ONE WANTS OUR VETERANS unless we throw in Lee or a lottery pick. it ain’t happening.

    so spend your time hypothesizing about something more likely, like Marbury being elected mayor over Bloomberg next time, go watch some other real teams (I recommend Memphis at this point, very entertaining), and patiently wait for contracts to expire.

  38. Italian Stallion

    Here wait – I can build my own strawman…
    Most of the people on this site prefer team players that win championships, and not those that only interested in loafing through practice or winning scoring titles. Count the ringz!!1!1!!
    Ahhhh that felt good.

    LOL

    I really don’t have a strong opinion on who the better player is. I never tried to analyze them carefully against each other.

    My general view of Iverson is that he’s not as good as the average fan thinks, but he contributes in ways that are difficult to measure. So he might be better than his harshest critics think.

    My view of Billups is that he’s a very solid PG. He’s better than the average fan thinks, but probably not as good as his biggest fans think.

  39. Owen

    So, cap gurus, that’s you Caleb, what exactly does this trade do for Denver’s luxury tax situation? No change?

  40. Dev

    Curious move for Denver. They may be slightly improved, but they needed vast improvement to contend in the West. Now, they have locked themselves into two extra years of guaranteed big salary which hampers flexibility while not making them anything more than first round fodder still.

    Detroit gets cap space, but they won’t land Lebron. Detroit would be a lateral move from Cleveland from a marketing standpoint and most likely from a competitive one as well. Cleveland is positioned to have a bunch of cap space in 2010 also and has some solid young pieces around Lebron. Lebron is only bailing on Cleveland if he puts fame and fortune over winning.

  41. Ray

    So the Knicks say they have no plans to do anything with Marbury. That has to mean we’ll wait and see what happens on the trade front at least?? When February rolls around everyone starts talking a different language. Im just looking for some draft picks. Thats all i ask for.

  42. Italian Stallion

    So the Knicks say they have no plans to do anything with Marbury. That has to mean we’ll wait and see what happens on the trade front at least?? When February rolls around everyone starts talking a different language. Im just looking for some draft picks. Thats all i ask for.

    If the Knicks start winning some games and at least show some signs of progress, I think the problem will fade into the background. If they keep losing, it’s going to become a bigger and bigger headache for Walsh and D’Antoni. It really shouldn’t, but the NY sports media is basically the enemy of the Knicks and their fans. The media will savage management just to make a story and sell papers etc…
    which in turn distracts from the real task at hand.

  43. Ted Nelson

    Ray,

    Let’s hope Walshtoni is able to trade Marbury in a good deal. Actually playing him might help his trade value, of course, but I guess that’s out of the question at this point.
    I spent some time thinking about which teams might actually offer something of value to the Knicks for Marbury:

    Atlanta: Mike Bibby, Speedy Claxton, 2nd rounder
    Off to a hot start, but if they’re unhappy with Bibby they’re one of the few teams who might actually want Steph for his game rather than his contract.

    Chicago: Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden/Ben Gordon
    If they fall out of contention and Gooden/Gordon is not in their long-term plans maybe they do this to not pay Hughes next year and/or to make a run at Boozer, Marion, etc. in free agency. Gooden/Gordon is a high price for them to pay, though, as they could probably trade either for something of value.

    Cleveland: Multiple scenarios–for example–Ben Wallace,Sasha Pavolovic, pick
    If they’re struggling this move would let them roll the dice that Starbury’s really make in form and save them $20 million next season (which they could spend on Marion). Neither Walsh nor Ferry wants to look like he handed the other guy LeBron, so I guess the only way it happens is if both feels he’s really ripping the other guy off (Ferry: free agents to keep LeBron, Walsh: can’t come up with much …assuming that Ferry will shoot himself in the foot in free agency and actually push LeBron away?).

    Golden State: Monta Ellis and Al Harrington
    They can probably get a better deal, but hoopshype has a headline that Ellis is considering severing ties with GS.

    LA Clippers: 1. Marcus Camby and Cat Mobley 2. Mobley, Tim Thomas, Jason Hart, pick
    The Clipps are one of the few teams who might completely ignore Marbury’s past and his playing the same position as their best player. They’ll already be under the cap, but this deal would let them be a huge player next offseason.
    Option 1 gets the Knicks an inside presence, option 2 would require that they clear 2 roster spots.

    Memphis: Darko and Antoine Walker
    I guess they’d rather trade Toine’s contract for a long-term piece.

    Phoenix: Boris Diaw, Leandrinho, and Goran Dragic
    It’s highly unlikely, but Phoenix is notoriously cheap, Steph can take Barbosa’s role, and Diaw is basically behind Matt Barnes and Grant Hill. Dragic is only included for salary reasons, the Knicks could cut him to let him resign with Phoenix I suppose.

    Sacramento: Brad Miller, Kenny Thomas, pick
    If the Maloofs want to take a run at Boozer/Marion…

    Marbury’s contract is a huge trading chip, so I can see why Walsh is reluctent to cut him. I don’t know if he ends up using it, but keeping Marbury until the trade deadline does seem like the right move. Should have shopped him hard all offseason and handled the situation better to minimize the bad PR (he did quite things down by meeting with them both, at least).

  44. Ted Nelson

    the NY sports media is basically the enemy of the Knicks and their fans.

    The Knicks themselves have been the enemy of their fans for a while.

    The media will savage management just to make a story and sell papers etc…which in turn distracts from the real task at hand.

    I blame the people who buy the papers and eat this stuff up more than the media, who have an incentive to cover this garbage if it’s really what sells paper.

  45. Italian Stallion

    Ted,

    I don’t think this Marbury situation was handled very well. I don’t know why they even bothered playing him in pre-season. He played well and behaved himself but he’s inactive anyway. So the decision was probably made awhile ago.

    All that said, we are three games into the season and the media is already practically TRYING to create a rift between D’Antoni and Walsh on this. I’m not in the locker room, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the players are already annoyed too because they were hoping for a new and fresh start and it’s more of the same BS.

    I guess there are fans on both sides with very passionate feelings, but the media should be reporting the story, not trying to recreate the same circus that just left town. It’s pretty disgusting.

  46. Ted Nelson

    I agree both that the situation could have been handled better and that the media is really playing it up. I was just saying that the press at least thinks drama is what sells (I assume they’re right, but I have no idea).

    If Walsh and D’Antoni don’t want a rift to develop the other one is just a phone call away, so I’m not really too worried about the media creating a rift. Walsh seems to have handled the press well by meeting with D’Antoni and Marbury, D’Antoni I’m not so impressed with thus far: cocky and stubborn isn’t so appealling when you’re losing 60 games instead of winning 60 games.

    I also can’t really blame the media for running with this story: the circus atmosphere and total incompetence have been to the ’00 Knicks what defense was to the ’90s Knicks. It’s their identity.

  47. caleb

    So, cap gurus, that’s you Caleb, what exactly does this trade do for Denver’s luxury tax situation? No change?

    According to RealGM, this year’s luxury tax threshold is $71,150,000. The Nuggets were at $78.2 million before the trade, and $75.2 million afterwards, so they are tax payers. The trade saves them about $3 million against the cap, and about $6 million for their owner, Stan K.

    But that’s just this year. Overall, money-wise, it’s a really weird move. They might still squeeze under the luxury tax next year, but they just committed $18 million in salary that wasn’t on their books – Iverson’s deal was expiring. And Billups is on the cap for two years AFTER that, through 2012, when he’ll be 35. They also have Carmelo, Nene, Kenyon Martin and the relatively cheap JR Smith signed through 2011 — those 5 alone put them over the cap. All but Kenyon are signed through 2012.

    So the Nuggets are set with this core, until the Obama-Palin matchup.
    Billups/Smith/Balkman-Kleiza/Anthony/Nene is a pretty good team, but it’s not a title contender and I don’t think it ever will be. Meanwhile, they committed an extra $40 million-plus.

    I guess teams have made bigger gambles, but considering they gave away Camby for nothing this summer, to save money, this move is total whiplash. I guess you could argue that they weren’t going to get a better value for Iverson, but is it worth the huge $$?

  48. Owen

    “I guess teams have made bigger gambles, but considering they gave away Camby for nothing this summer, to save money, this move is total whiplash. I guess you could argue that they weren’t going to get a better value for Iverson, but is it worth the huge $$?”

    I don’t think you get better value than Billups for 11 million in the NBA. They would have signed someone at the end of this year with Iverson’s contract coming off the books, and I don’t think, looking at the free agent class, that they could have done better than Chauncey.

    I really don’t think this the contract that hurts them that much. Kenyon Martin hurts them, Nene, even Carmelo, who probably isn’t a max producer. Those are the contracts that have doomed the franchise for a few years. I think Billups will make it palatable.

    If he makes them a 50 win team for the next three years and gives them playoff bsaketball, well, I have to think there is a lot of value in that. Yes, this wasn’t a move that moved them closer to winning a championship, but thinking they could do that with the salaries they have on the books was unrealistic anyway. At least they will have a winning team.

  49. Caleb

    this wasn’t a move that moved them closer to winning a championship, but thinking they could do that with the salaries they have on the books was unrealistic anyway. At least they will have a winning team.

    I agree – it’s a pretty good trade for them. But it’s a 180 from what they did over the summer. If this was the plan, they should have kept Camby and for $16 million more, they’d have an actual title contender.

    I’m a little less sanguine than you, because they are getting Billups on the downside. $11m per for what he did the last three years is a bargain, but they’re getting him for the NEXT three. With his size and shooting ability – 2 things that don’t go away — I think he’ll age better than most PGs, but I still expect a pretty big dropoff by 2012.

    btw, they would have saved a lot of money with Iverson’s departure, but wouldn’t have gotten the cap room to spend more than the mid-level. The risk was losing AI for nothing, and they did a good job getting back a lot of value. I just expected a deal for draft picks, not an aging star.

  50. Owen

    “btw, they would have saved a lot of money with Iverson’s departure, but wouldn’t have gotten the cap room to spend more than the mid-level.”

    Thanks for that, it makes sense to me….

  51. joeyd

    “you dont really believe billups is a better player?”
    Of course I believe that. I think he is a much much better player than Iverson. Billups had an offensive rating of 127 last year to Iverson’s 115. And he is certainly a much better defender.
    Iverson soored 4 points more per 36 than Billups, while Billups posted a ts% 5% higher. Which is more valuable? The ability to score prolifically on a team that features Anthony, J.R, Smith, and Kleiza? Or the ability to score efficiently?
    I could quote statistical chapter and verse on the subject, but will spare the gentle folk of the Knickerblogger community.
    As for J.R. Smith, he averaged 23 points per 36 last year. Carmelo averaged 25.7, which was down from the years before that. But J.R. can dofinitely fill it up. Not only that, he does it efficiently, with a ts% over 60% last year, which is fantastic. Unfortunately for the Nuggets though, his peripherals are poor. Too many turnovers, not enough rebounds and assists. But he isn’t much worse than Iverson.
    It’s going to be fascinating to see how this works out. My bet is the Nuggets will surprise people by how good they are with Billups.
    And I will bet the bottle of Cristal from my Eddy Curry bet with Jon Abbey that the Pistons don’t make the EC Finals, which actually is a far more sporting bet than the one I offered him, but the cellarage fees are going through the roof….

    if your using stats to compare these players, iverson is clearly better. Your ts% argument doesnt fly, billups gets open looks within the scheme of the offense, why? because that is the only way he can score, open looks off ball movement.

    Iverson has to create shots for himself and his team. He forces teams to plan for him. No team has ever tried to figure out how to stop chauncey. So yes chauncey is a better 3 point shooter and free throw shooter so he will have a better ts%.

    No one can defend AI on an island. Everyone can defend chauncey!!

    billups cannot get to the basket and draw contact. I dont even see the comparison.

    I say the nuggets will not improve, and the pistons will be in the top 2 teams in the east.

  52. Owen

    Caleb – One more question. My impression is that even with the Iverson contract rolling off, the Nuggets still wouldn’t have really been able to compete for any of the 2010 free agents. Is that right?

    So really, there is no opportunity cost to Billups? He won’t cost them the chance to sign Lebron, Wade, or Bosh?

    And what if any of those guys don’t opt out, but wait for the summer of 2011? Or is that incredibly unlikely.

    I don’t know, to me this trade seems to save them a little bit of money, makes them better on the court, and costs them nothing in terms of signing free agents in the next two years, since they weren’t going to be able to compete anyway.

    Not sure if that is the correct assessment though…

  53. Caleb

    My impression is that even with the Iverson contract rolling off, the Nuggets still wouldn’t have really been able to compete for any of the 2010 free agents. Is that right?

    So really, there is no opportunity cost to Billups? He won’t cost them the chance to sign Lebron, Wade, or Bosh?

    Carmelo Anthony ($17.1 million), Kenyon Martin ($15.5 million), Nene ($11.4 million) and J.R. Smith ($6 million) eat up almost $51 million towards a cap that will be in the $60-64 million range. That’s without extending Kleiza (or Balkman). Realistically, there’s no way the Nuggets have room to sign a serious free agent in 2010, unless they dump one of the core guys for a shorter contract.

    The opportuntity cost of signing Billups is that they might have found a very different deal, for a lottery pick, multiple picks or young prospects.

    I also notice that Billups’ 2011-2012 contract is listed as a team option, which makes it a lot more palatable, the option to dump the most expensive, least productive year of the deal.

  54. Ted Nelson

    “If he makes them a 50 win team for the next three years and gives them playoff bsaketball, well, I have to think there is a lot of value in that. Yes, this wasn’t a move that moved them closer to winning a championship, but thinking they could do that with the salaries they have on the books was unrealistic anyway. At least they will have a winning team.”

    Well said.

    I’m also wondering how Chauncey ages, and whether they could have gotten a promising young player or draft pick(s). The Nets were able to get Devin Harris, Diop, and 2 1sts for Kidd last season. Billups is a sure thing and (likely) a good fit, though.
    I don’t think they’re much more of a contender with Camby, and I think they’ll still be an above average defense without him.

    Denver’s only commitments in 2011/2012 seem to be player options for Melo and Nene.

  55. Owen

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/nov/03/kroenke-goes-from-being-a-saver-to-a-spender/

    This is a good article.

    Re Camby – They couldn’t have done this deal without getting both Mcdyess and Iverson back. The contracts have to match up right? So if they had kept Camby, it would seem to me they would be paying a ton of luxury tax this year and next, right?

    Camby saved them 20 million total from what I have read. So if they still had him, they would be way way over the cap, no?

  56. Owen

    Also, is there no chance they unload Billups after next year? Let him pull a Gary Payton and move him to a team that needs a quality point guard, like Houston?

  57. Ted Nelson

    joeyd,

    First, the AI-Andre Miller deal offers evidence that suggests to me Denver will improve and Detroit will not (unless Stuckey/Johnson/Maxiell, etc. really step up). AI is a (very) good player, but Billups has been a better player recently and the Pistons also gave up McDyess.

    Second, I think you’re seriously underrating Chauncey Billups: “No team has ever tried to figure out how to stop chauncey.” He’s been the best offensive (and all-around) player on a team that’s been in the “final four” 6 seasons in a row and an NBA Finals MVP, every team that plays the Pistons tries to figure out how to stop Chauncey. Most fail.

    “if your using stats to compare these players, iverson is clearly better.” This statement is also false. You can argue that Iverson is better, but it’s certainly not clear.

    “Iverson has to create shots for himself and his team.” ???????????? Huh??? He doesn’t HAVE to do anything. No one does, but AI usually does what he wants. In Philly under Larry Brown maybe this was a valid statement, but the last few seasons he’s played with Melo and JR Smith in a George Karl offense. By “creating” too many shots he could actually be hurting his team.

    Finally, why does “creating your own shot” necessarily make you a better player? Basketball is a team game, my friend, and this is the NBA not Ruckers. Scoring is also not the whole story and Billups is a better playmaker, rebounder, and regarded as a better defender (although Detroit has been better defensively with him on the bench each of the last 2 seasons).

  58. Ray

    Is it safe to say that if we did trade him in Feb. the receiving team would actually be paying him less b/c we paid his salary the first half of the season so they would just have to pick up the second half. Would that make him easier to deal if we waited?

    Im going to the game tonight. Skybox seats….no not the luxury ones. The 10 dollar seats. Im still gonna have fun.

  59. Caleb

    Camby would cost them a lot of money*, yes, but IMO would take them from the 50-win range, to a title contender. At this point, it’s moot. Just strange that in August the owner was desperate to save money, and now he’s paying big bucks to improve the team. This trade costs him a LOT of money over the next few years, as compared to a rebuilding strategy.

    I agree if things go sour, Billups will have trade value for the next few years, even if it’s declining. So will Carmelo and JR Smith.

    *Gumby is listed at $10 million salary, but for some reason I think only $6-8m is guaranteed, if they dump him.

  60. mase

    from hoops world:
    “The Nuggets will also continue to look for suitors for Chucky Atkins and Steven Hunter and are willing to part with a draft pick in the process. If that happens, the Nuggets could very well be under the luxury tax threshold in advance of February’s trade deadline.”

    Steven Hunter and a pick, dont we need a shotblocker?

  61. mase

    from hoops world:
    “The Nuggets will also continue to look for suitors for Chucky Atkins and Steven Hunter and are willing to part with a draft pick in the process. If that happens, the Nuggets could very well be under the luxury tax threshold in advance of February’s trade deadline.”

    ‘Steven Hunter and a pick’, dont we need a shotblocker?

  62. Nick C

    I think Jerome James is a shot blocker. At any rate guys like Hunter, Atkins, etc. don’t move the team forward. I think the problem is years of guys who never were, used to be or never will be instead of just biting the bullet and going with kids. I’d rather lose with a roster like Memphis or even NJ where there is at least the hope of getting better than with retreads.

  63. Isiah Watch

    Couldn’t the Knicks have traded Marbury for Iverson in a 1-1 swap.

    The Nuggets roll the dice on Marbury being the point guard that they need, and if it doesn’t work out they don’t lose anything but his huge salary. The Knicks get Iverson for one year to bring some excitement to NY. My headcase for your headcase. Iverson plays the best that he can because it’s NY and it’s a contract year.

    Marbury came in to camp in great shape and a brief opportunity to do something in Denver.

    Why can’t the Knicks make these kinds of trades, when instead we just continue to get the garbage.

  64. jon abbey

    yeah, why wouldn’t Denver want to trade for a way worse player with the exact same contract?

    come on, people, think before you post! I know we’re all frustrated, but the wishful thinking here sometimes is ridiculous.

  65. Caleb

    We could trade Malik Rose and his expiring contract, take back at 2010 contract, get a draft pick in the process. Like a trade for Al Harrington.

  66. Isiah Watch

    I disagree with you.

    Denver gets a point guard, and they have nothing to lose as Marbury comes off the books at the end of the year thus saving them money, which we all know that they want to do since they traded Camby.

    Knicks put some fans in the seat until the end of the year no harm no foul.

    Instead Denver who made a better trade don’t get me wrong, but I think that Walsh could have been in touch with them earlier and this would have been done.

  67. jon abbey

    “Denver gets a point guard”

    Marbury assists per game in 2007/2008: 4.7
    Iverson assists per game in 2007/2008: 7.1

    admittedly in more minutes, but still, come on.

  68. Owen

    “Camby would cost them a lot of money*, yes, but IMO would take them Just strange that in August the owner was desperate to save money, and now he’s paying big bucks to improve the team. This trade costs him a LOT of money over the next few years, as compared to a rebuilding strategy.”

    Well, who knows what is going on with Kroenke. The guy is a real estate developer. I am sure his financial situation has been fluid in the last two years, to say the least.

  69. jon abbey

    here’s what I don’t understand:

    Kobe Bryant makes about the same amount as Marbury, but he’s signed for two extra seasons. so why hasn’t Walsh traded Marbury for Kobe? doesn’t LA want the cap relief? Walsh has really missed an opportunity here.

  70. Owen

    Lol…

    Here we go, the bobcats are probably the perfect team to be playing right now, let’s see if we can make something happen….

  71. Owen

    People always talk about the value of being able to create a shot….

    But it sures helps to be able to hit a wideopen shot…

    The Knicks have had about six of them so far…

  72. cwod

    Seven turnovers in the first quarter.

    Chandler and Nate are having nice starts.

    Malik Rose is [still] terrible.

  73. Italian Stallion

    Seriously, I can’t comprehend how this can be the same team as we saw against the Bucks. The Sixers are just better and we don’t match up well, but it doesn’t make sense that they could come out with so much energy tonight and on opening night and be in a coma last time. Maybe D’Antoni slipped something into the drinking water.

  74. Owen

    sensational block by chandler, our first of the season…

    And Nate has hit two more, this is ridiculous….

  75. Italian Stallion

    I can’t remember many performances like Nate’s tonight. Sooner or later he’s going to cool down though. That’s when he’s going to have get control of himself and not start taking stupid shots.

  76. Owen

    Chandler just hit the most ridiculous three pointer I have ever seen, with Wallace hanging thirty feet up in the air in front of him…

  77. jon abbey

    just for the record, Nate scored 19 points in a 3:43 span right there (plus one assist!). Randolph/Nate/Chandler with 47 of NY’s 49 points right now…

  78. UK Knick

    This is what we need after the train wreck that was the Bucks game – high shooting %. But we also need to kill of Charlotte rather than waste the lead that Nate built. But we seem to be wasting it. Jeez…

  79. Italian Stallion

    Chandler just hit the most ridiculous three pointer I have ever seen, with Wallace hanging thirty feet up in the air in front of him…

    LOL!

    He’s going to have to learn to improve his shot selection. He really shouldn’t be shooting many 3s at this point. He’s not that good of an outside shooter to be getting aggressive about it. That might be one negative about D’Antoni. I see no evidence that’s he’s trying to discourage poor shot selection by a number of our players.

  80. BigBlueAL

    I cant stand watching this team, and its only the 4th game of the season!!!!

    I mean in just the 1st half tonight, the range of emotions has been incredible….

  81. jon abbey

    I disagree about Chandler’s shot selection, I almost never see him take bad shots (he did throw up a couple of bricks just now, but he easily could have hit them). he’s a natural scorer and I’d rather see him take contested shots than most other guys on this team with open looks. D’Antoni’s got to move him into the starting lineup over Q-Rich, the sooner the better.

  82. Owen

    I don’t mind putting him into the starting lineup. But I don’t think he is a good shooter, I think he is a mediocre, very streaky shooter. Some days he looks like a cornerstone franchise player. Sometimes he looks like a D-Leaguer….

    Tonight closer to the former…

  83. jon abbey

    I think he needs to go into the lineup and get a consistent 35+ minutes per game and see how he develops. that would also much better balance the starters (who are collectively beyond dreadful right now) and the bench.

    David Lee has been pretty disappointing so far this year, I have to say. much sloppier play than I’ve ever seen from him before, hopefully he snaps out of it soon…

  84. Italian Stallion

    I disagree about Chandler’s shot selection, I almost never see him take bad shots (he did throw up a couple of bricks just now, but he easily could have hit them). he’s a natural scorer and I’d rather see him take contested shots than most other guys on this team with open looks. D’Antoni’s got to move him into the starting lineup over Q-Rich, the sooner the better.

    I tend to agree that most of the shots are fine (even when he’s having a bad shooting night like against the Bucks). I argued that the point the other day when people were pointing out the volume of shots he’s been taking given his mediocre efficiency. But sometimes I think he looks for three pointers and other long shots a little too quickly for his shotmaking ability at this stage. I think Qrich has been better this year than I expected (I thought he’d be totally useless). But it’s just a matter of time before Chandler gets the starting job.

  85. mase

    his shot selection will get better once he controls his adrenaline But you take it because of the defensive effort. Who else plays with an intimidation factor bigger than him?

  86. BigBlueAL

    Im sorry but Chandler’s shot selection tonight as every night has been pretty poor. At least 4 teams when he drove the player in the corner was WIDE OPEN and he didnt kick it out to him. Now to me thats OK cause he isnt a PG so those arent his instincts, fine. BUT all the 3′s he has taken he couldve EASILY made the extra pass and had another player open for a 3. That is inexcusable because ball movement in the perimeter is a vital part of this offense.

  87. Duff Soviet Union

    Just thought I’d point out that Amare has 43 points on 16-18 shooting with 9 minutes left in the fourth.

  88. Italian Stallion

    I wonder what the problem with Lee is?

    Maybe he’s hurting a little.

    So far he has been a bit of a disappointment at both ends of the court and doesn’t even seem to be doing as well off the boards.

    I wonder if it has anything to so with matching up against starters instead of the second team for more minutes than he did when he came off the bench. Also, perhaps it was easier to get boards when he was in there with Curry instead of Randolph. I guess he’ll be alright, but I expecting more.

  89. Owen

    “Just thought I’d point out that Amare has 43 points on 16-18 shooting with 9 minutes left in the fourth.”

    I know someone who is really happy about that….

  90. Italian Stallion

    I hope they don’t find a way to blow this game!

    I think that would signal the beginning of a death spiral.

  91. Owen

    “51 for Amare. 18-22. 15-15 from the line. 11 boards, 6 assists, 5 steals. Wow.”

    Fantasy friendly performance…

    Zach is finally doing something good….

  92. Italian Stallion

    What the hell was Chandler doing on that play?

    He better just be totally exhausted, because there’s no excuse for that lack of defensive effort.

  93. Italian Stallion

    Thankfully they won, but to struggle this badly against such a bad team at home is a terrible sign.

  94. jon abbey

    Im sorry but Chandler’s shot selection tonight as every night has been pretty poor. At least 4 teams when he drove the player in the corner was WIDE OPEN and he didnt kick it out to him. Now to me thats OK cause he isnt a PG so those arent his instincts, fine. BUT all the 3’s he has taken he couldve EASILY made the extra pass and had another player open for a 3. That is inexcusable because ball movement in the perimeter is a vital part of this offense.

    the problem is that unless that guy is Nate, he’s pretty likely to miss the 3.

    Knicks ahead of the Sixers in the standings! :)

  95. cwod

    At least we made it through four games without the coach alienating the whole team yet.

    Lee has looked pretty bad.

  96. TDM

    Good win for the Knicks. I would have hated to see LB come into the Garden and get a win, especially after Marbs new found affection for LB. What the hell happened to Nate? He was on fire in the 2nd quarter, then disappeared.

    On another note, I’m watching the Nuggets play the Warriors right now. Denver is a very exciting team this season. Chris Anderson was a great pickup to come off the bench, the players are playing team ball, and Kenyon Martin looks like a frickin teenager. The dude is running down the court and has got hops I haven’t seen since he played for NJ. Nene finally looks healthy as well. With the addition of Billups, these guys could do some damage in the West.

  97. Ray

    Just got home from the game. Its was very sloppy. Lee was bumbling everything. Nate caught fire and then got wild. MJ was in the crowd and so was Chris Rock. It looked like a battle for the number one draft pick. It has to get better one day. Hope.

  98. mase

    We don’t have the right personnel yet… Zach looked good though didn’t he? He has got a great touch, old school type of form . contending teams should be lining up for his services by the deadline.

  99. scogg25

    Chandler needs to work on his D looking at the ESPN highlights. If Zach gets 23 and 13 win or lose it’s a victory for the Knicks.

  100. Ted Nelson

    I never remember that Amare is a potential 2010 free agent as well. Amare’s a “D’Antoni guy” and might like to reunite with his old coach, especially with Nash, Shaq, and Grant Hill all likely nearing retirement at that point.

    The Knicks don’t have to be anything more than an ok team in 09-10 (with a very low cap number or the goods for a sign-and-trade) if 2 superstars lure each other. They’d have a rotation of: LeBron, Amare/Bosh/Wade, 2009 1st rounder, Lee, WC, Nate, Danilo, plus cheap vets who would flock to play with the 2 stars (maybe even a 36 year old Nash would sign at the veteran minimum). Could definitely be a title contender or even dynasty depending on Walsh’s moves plus how the current Knicks develop and/or who they’re traded for.

    It’s going to take a lot of things going the Knicks way and I know we’re still wondering if they’ll have the cap space to sign even one bigtime free agent by 2010, but if the stars align correctly and Walshtoni are able to purge the roster or work a sign-and-trade… I can’t believe I’m even dreaming of a free agency quick fix, but somehow I think the prospects of signing LeBron and Amare/Bosh/Wade with $40 mill in cap room are actually better than signing LeBron alone with $20 mill in cap room.

  101. Nick

    Is anyone aware of a plan just in case LeBron, Wade, Bosh, etc. decide to pass up NYC? Is the team backing the next 5 years in effect, in the premise that the “mega” sattrs are just going to trip over themselves to play for the NYK and all the commercials opportunities playing in the largest media market in the nation will bring.

  102. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Just thought I’d point out that Amare has 43 points on 16-18 shooting with 9 minutes left in the fourth.”

    I know someone who is really happy about that….

    Tee-hee-hee-hee!

    Owen is in my fantasy league this year & there’s an extra bonus for getting the high in certain stats (pts, reb, ast, blk, stl?). And Amare is on my team.

  103. Ted Nelson

    Nick,

    I don’t think they’re banking on it by any means. Donnie Walsh is a smart guy. Smart enough to realize that NYC isn’t Indiana and he’s got a good shot at some bigtime free agents, but also smart enough to know not to put all his eggs in one basket. Even if LeBron came to NY, they need to have a strong team around him both to lure him and to win some rings.

    If they were going all in for free agency 2010 they’d likely have dealt Jamal Crawford already, and maybe even given the Clippers a 1st rounder to take Randolph off their hands. I think they’re trying to do whatever it takes to build a competitive team, but would be stupid not to at least position themselves to take advantage of free agency 2010.

    Way too many variables for us fans (or even Donnie Walsh really) to know how things will play out. For example even if they actually want to leave their team, free agents can get bigger, longer deals from their old team if they still have their “Bird rights”. So a sign-and-trade might be the best way to get the LeBrons of the world. Of course their old team isn’t likely to just give them away, so it pretty much has to be clear that their star is leaving either way and they might as well get something out of it. Hard to both have cap space and the salaries to work a sign-and-trade, so the Knicks might be best off getting really far under the cap with a bunch of prosepcts they could use in sign-and-trades. Those don’t always work out as expected, though, as the Eddy Curry sign-and-trade, Grant Hill-Ben Wallace deal, and Atlanta being a ping-pong ball bounce away from giving Phoenix Boris Diaw and a top 5 pick for Joe Johnson prove.

  104. Nick C.

    Ted,

    Thanks for the input. I guess the team is doomed to the extent that a ton of #1 picks were traded away and I think are in the future as well.

  105. caleb

    We are really awful. But unlike last year, you can at least tell that we’re coached. There’s some consistency in how we approach each posession.

    I missed the first half last night, and all the excitement with Nate. In the 4th – have to say that Duhon looks solid. Nothing more, but what a difference to have a PG who actually defends a little.

    Also, there’s something different about Zach – more intensity. (even though he still sucks on D, and had a few ridiculous fouls).

    Lee – agree, he looks (relatively) bad. IMO, he has been listening too much to people who think he should take jump shots. Whatever the reason, his aggressiveness and abandon aren’t there. I know, it’s only 5 games in.

    I was saying nice things about Tony Parker on Monday! Good karma! He is 2010 FA, too, along with Amare, Bosh, LeBron, Wade, etc.

  106. Owen

    “Lee – agree, he looks (relatively) bad. IMO, he has been listening too much to people who think he should take jump shots. Whatever the reason, his aggressiveness and abandon aren’t there. I know, it’s only 5 games in.”

    I am not a big believer that systems dictate how players perform. That said, I am mystified by how Lee is being used thus far. It’s like they are trying to turn him into Boris Diaw. They have him operating so far from the rim, and it seems like his job when he doesn’t have the ball is to stand on the perimter to “stretch the defense” with his shooting ability.

    The strengths of his offensive game are moving without the ball, rebounding, finishing with both hands around the basket, getting fouled, and being able to hit his foul shots. D’Antoni needs to let him do that…

  107. jon abbey

    Is anyone aware of a plan just in case LeBron, Wade, Bosh, etc. decide to pass up NYC? Is the team backing the next 5 years in effect, in the premise that the “mega” sattrs are just going to trip over themselves to play for the NYK and all the commercials opportunities playing in the largest media market in the nation will bring.

    it’s actually the offseason after next, not that far away at all.

  108. jon abbey

    as for Lee, I could care less about his jump shots or even most of his scoring. what worries me is 1) rebounds going off his fingers, 2) awful passes, and 3) he’s seemingly worse at finishing right at the hoop.

  109. Caleb

    Jon,
    I agree – it looks as though he is not focusing on the things that have made him successful.

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