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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

KMart Is Back With The Knicks

Attention KMart shoppers, the store is now closed. According to Adrian Wojnarowski:

Free agent Kenyon Martin has reached an agreement to return to the New York Knicks, league source tells Y! Sports.

No details of the deal yet- I can’t promise that the Knicks didn’t trade their 2020 1st Round Pick to “Free Agency”- but Martin gives the Knicks additional big-man depth behind Chandler, Stoudemire, and Bargnani. While it’s hard to argue that the signing is good value for the veterans minimum, fans of #MeloAtThe4 must wonder if this further signifies the Knicks’ intention to put Carmelo back at his less productive position. Of course, it’s also possible the Knicks will try to keep Kenyon well-rested throughout the season in anticipation of the postseason, but, you know, Jason Kidd and #YOLO and whatnot.

Last year Kenyon didn’t sign with New York until February 23, 2013, and only played in 18 regular season games, leading to obvious questions about how the thirty-five year old center will hold up over the course of an entire season. However, he filled in capably for an oft-injured Tyson Chandler and appeared in all 12 of the Knicks’ post-season games.

82 comments on “KMart Is Back With The Knicks

  1. thenamestsam

    Reposting this in this thread:

    Very good news. I still think there are significant questions how he’s going to hold up over 82 games though – he hasn’t played more than 60 since 08-09 and he has only gotten to 70 twice since 02-03. Given his history and age I think 50 games would be a reasonable expectation for him next year.

    Since he and Tyson are the only two bigs with any NBA pedigree who are even decent on the defensive end and that Ty has his own record of fragility I still think the Knicks should be very much in the market for another veteran big who can play defense.

  2. jon abbey

    thenamestsam:

    I still think the Knicks should be very much in the market for another veteran big who can play defense.

    definitely, but for a veteran minimum pickup, hard not to love.

  3. Garson

    Would love to see a Felton, Shump, Artest, K-Mart , Chandler lineup at one point in the season..

    It doesnt get much worse on offense but it would be a sight to see on the defensive end!

  4. ephus

    Without having any inside knowledge, I expect that he signed a two year veteran’s minimum deal with the second year being a player’s option. Knicks do not have anything more to give. K-Mart, if he can play next year, would have Early Bird rights with the Knicks once he opted out of the second year of the deal (which means he could get up to the MLE without using the MLE or triggering the MLE hard-cap).

  5. yellowboy90

    Mike Kurylo:
    Just want to point out that Kmart has not played more than 60 games in a season since 2009.

    Well the last two years were different because it wasn’t due to injuries(lockout/china and holdout). However, he should be monitored.

  6. prezs2reprsntme

    now, a 3rd (and 4th?) PG….Toure, AJ price, D. Morris, bobby brown, scott machado, OG Tinsley…. honestly gimme any 2 of em and i’ll be content

  7. Pops

    I don’t know why Felton gets so much props on the defensive end when he got torched by Teague, Holiday, and most notably Curry last season. As far as defensive lineups go I’d prefer Shump, Pipe, Artest, K-Mart, Tyson. I think JR is (when motivated) an above average defender, he had more steals than Felton did in the regular season, but Felton had more come playoffs. I am not as advanced stat savvy to intelligently argue my case, but that’s why I came here :D big fan of this blog, go Knicks and somehow find a way to bring Wilson Chandler back!

  8. DCrockett17

    Some remaining FA bigs:

    Cole Aldrich
    Gustav Ayon
    Earl Barron
    DeJuan Blair
    Johan Petro
    Timofey Mozgov

  9. max fisher-cohen

    Gustavo Ayon would be a great pickup. He is a super active defender and rebounder and a competent finisher at the rim. The FT shooting is a concern though (20/50 last season). If not him, then I’d go with Blair or Aldrich. Petro and Barron are junk, and Mozgov would be alright — he’d match up best against Hibbert thanks to his size — but I worry about his basketball IQ.

  10. TDM

    I’d love to get Mozzy back, but rumor is that he is going to Spurs in a S&T, which probably makes sense given that San Antonio withdrew QO for Neal. Would also mean that Blair is not getting resigned.

  11. nicos

    Pretty much a no-brainer. Still three spots open- obviously a third point grabs one and most likely Tyler gets another. The last spot is most likely another big but it wouldn’t shock me if they started the regular season with just 14 guys so they have a little flexibility with regard to injuries that may crop up. Of course, Leslie can be easily waived (and hopefully Tyler or whoever that third big may be will be be on similar deal) so even if they’re at 15 they should still be able to create a roster spot for another guard/wing if injuries occur.

  12. DRed

    K-Mart’s a good player to have, and can’t complain about the money. I still think we should try to sign Cole Aldrich to at least have a big who can rebound and block shots that we can count on to stay healthy. Stat, Bargs, K-Mart and Chandler all can’t be relied on for that.

  13. thenamestsam

    I don’t think Blair is at all what this team needs. He’s a really poor help defender on a team that already has multiple big guys who meet that criteria. I’d much rather see even even Barron than him.

  14. JK47

    I don’t know why Cole Aldrich doesn’t get more love. He was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for two years in a row, and he’s been very efficient all-around as a pro. He can hit a free throw, his rebounding percentage numbers are solid, he gets blocks, he’s 6’11″… Does anybody have any idea why this guy never gets any burn?

  15. DRed

    JK47:
    I don’t know why Cole Aldrich doesn’t get more love.He was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for two years in a row, and he’s been very efficient all-around as a pro.He can hit a free throw, his rebounding percentage numbers are solid, he gets blocks, he’s 6’11?… Does anybody have any idea why this guy never gets any burn?

    Aside from the fact that he has a certain, shall we say, Eric Montrossesque/Will Perdueish look, it could be because he’s a fouling machine. Coaches get pissed off at that sort of thing.

  16. DRed

    Brian Cronin:
    I am quite pleased to see K-Mart back. Ayon is still out there? I’d love him!

    The Bucks have until tomorrow to guarantee his salary for next season or release him. Certainly would be worth a punt if he’s let go.

  17. mokers

    Count me in on Cole Aldrich. Knicks need defense and rebounding. It is troubling that he fouls a lot (is that one of the reasons why Woodson banished Camby?) but he is still only 24.

    The trouble goes in after that. With all of the depth we are building, is Woodson going to coach for the playoffs and not burn his guys playing second halves in blowouts and whatnot? Melo and Tyson definitely need their minutes reduced from last year and Amar’e should be limited to 20-24 a night.

    I do think Leslie and even Tyler have some good upside to look forward to.

  18. SeeWhyDee77

    Now I am really wondering about Stat. I think the FO thinks he’s done as a dependable rotation player. And in this case, bringing Kmart back makes more sense than ever because u can pair him with Bargnani off the bench and not worry a whole lot about defensive continuity. If Stat could be counted on this signing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as far as playing time goes unless Melo moves back to the 3. But still, I’m happy to have Kmart’s defensive versatility. I hope he, Stat and Bargnani can adjust to their new roles in this minute crunch on the horizon. In a perfect world we will be able to use all three enough to keep Melo and Chandler fresh all season long.

  19. Mike Kurylo Post author

    JK47:
    I don’t know why Cole Aldrich doesn’t get more love.He was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for two years in a row, and he’s been very efficient all-around as a pro.He can hit a free throw, his rebounding percentage numbers are solid, he gets blocks, he’s 6’11?… Does anybody have any idea why this guy never gets any burn?

    +1

    I would take him over any and all of the summer league guys. And that includes THJ. (Not Shumpert, obviously).

  20. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    John Wall’s getting maxed!

    Yes, NBA decision makers are still idiots!

    Where’s ruruland to talk about all the proprietary stuff that we don’t know about yet? Where is he?

  21. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    John Wall’s getting maxed!

    Yes, NBA decision makers are still idiots!

    Where’s ruruland to talk about all the proprietary stuff that we don’t know about yet? Where is he?

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=1980&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=23&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&qual=&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=gt&c1val=.500&c2stat=ast_pct&c2comp=gt&c2val=35&c3stat=usg_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=25&c4stat=mp&c4comp=gt&c4val=1000&c5stat=trb&c5comp=gt&c6mult=4&c6stat=g&order_by=ws

  22. Zanzibar

    Attention KMart shoppers the store is now closed!
    Attention WallMart shoppers the store is now closed!

    To be fair Jowles, the Wizards’ first choice was Kidd but he’s no longer available.

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Z-man: http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=1980&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=23&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&qual=&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=gt&c1val=.500&c2stat=ast_pct&c2comp=gt&c2val=35&c3stat=usg_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=25&c4stat=mp&c4comp=gt&c4val=1000&c5stat=trb&c5comp=gt&c6mult=4&c6stat=g&order_by=ws

    Wow, look how few players meet these totally arbitrary criteria!

  24. massive

    80 Million to John Wall is ridiculous, but that’s the difference between Western Conference GMs and Eastern Conference GMs. James Harden got $80 million, and so did Westbrook. Stephen Curry got like $45 million, but Wall gets $80 million when he’s probably worth $40 million over the same time span. They better hope that jumper he showed late in the season wasn’t a fluke, because they’re gonna need the 25 and 8 Wall that he was in April.

  25. iserp

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    John Wall’s getting maxed!

    Yes, NBA decision makers are still idiots!

    Where’s ruruland to talk about all the proprietary stuff that we don’t know about yet? Where is he?

    Come on! The wizards went 5-28 without him, 24-25 with him, yet wins produced only “assigns” him 4 wins.

    He’s not Lebron, and i’d rather have my max player be a big, that is more difficult to find, but the wizards are starting to have some core of young talented players. At some point they had to commit them heavy money, and complete the team via trade / free agency. They have been impatient in the latter part (Okafor/Ariza was a really bad idea IMHO). I don’t think rebuilding forever is an option… you rebuild for some time, roll the dice even if you know the odds are not too good, and then rebuild again; but if you don’t roll the dice, you’ll never win a title, not to mention the implications to your reputation as a free agency destination.

  26. iserp

    massive:
    80 Million to John Wall is ridiculous, but that’s the difference between Western Conference GMs and Eastern Conference GMs. James Harden got $80 million, and so did Westbrook. Stephen Curry got like $45 million, but Wall gets $80 million when he’s probably worth $40 million over the same time span. They better hope that jumper he showed late in the season wasn’t a fluke, because they’re gonna need the 25 and 8 Wall that he was in April.

    Stephen Curry got $45 million only because he was injured. That doesn’t count as a tough negotiation. And as for John Wall, being number 1 of the draft means that his QO is $10 million. He doesn’t lose that much money if he takes the QO and signs for the max somewhere else.

  27. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wow, look how few players meet these totally arbitrary criteria!

    Since you like it so much, here’s another:
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=per_game&per_minute_base=36&lg_id=NBA&is_playoffs=N&year_min=1980&year_max=&franch_id=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=23&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&birth_country=&is_active=&is_hof=&is_as=&as_comp=gt&as_val=&pos_is_g=Y&qual=&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=gt&c1val=.520&c2stat=ast_pct&c2comp=gt&c2val=35&c3stat=usg_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=25&c4stat=mp&c4comp=gt&c4val=1000&c5stat=fta&c5comp=gt&c6mult=5&c6stat=g&order_by=ws

    So, what this says is that for a PG that was only 22 last season, he shot a lot (USG%=29) and despite being putrid from 3-pt range, still managed a non-putrid TS% for a 22yo PG. [The eye-test tells me that it is because he has a decent 2-pt % from attacking the rim a la Derrick Rose and gets to the line a lot and makes 80% of his FTs.] Despite shooting a lot, he still has a 43% assist rate, making him one of the best facilitators in the NBA (3rd in the league.) He is also a strong rebounder for a PG. This, despite playing for a woeful collection of offensive players.

  28. Brian Cronin

    I’m no big Wall fan, but I think in the current NBA he is a MAX player. For instance, if he was a free agent, he’d receive MAX money from another team. You can say that it is a sign of how the NBA rewards high-usage players, but whatever the case, whether he was going to get it from the Wizards or from another team, Wall was going to get MAX money. And if you’re a franchise who needs to give its fans a reason to give a shit about the team, you don’t lose your most famous/likely best player. Especially since Wall is still very tradeable, even with his now MAX salary.

  29. max fisher-cohen

    The Wall win loss #s are deceiving for three reasons:

    1) Nene missed the first month of the season. Ariza missed much of the early season as well.

    2) Beal was adjusting to the NBA play style

    3) Wall’s backup is a joke of an NBA player

    Steph Curry got less $ because of injury problems? Curry missed 57 games in his first three seasons. John Wall missed 58!

    This guy’s ceiling is Steve Francis, and yes, Francis got maxed, but Francis was also a much better player in his first three seasons and played in an era where there were far fewer good point guards.

  30. Z-man

    max fisher-cohen:
    The Wall win loss #s are deceiving for three reasons:

    1) Nene missed the first month of the season. Ariza missed much of the early season as well.

    2) Beal was adjusting to the NBA play style

    3) Wall’s backup is a joke of an NBA player

    Steph Curry got less $ because of injury problems? Curry missed 57 games in his first three seasons. John Wall missed 58!

    This guy’s ceiling is Steve Francis, and yes, Francis got maxed, but Francis was also a much better player in his first three seasons and played in an era where there were far fewer good point guards.

    Stevie Franchise was 22 as a rookie. His rookie season was not as good as Wall’s 22yo season. His highest assist% of his CAREER was 31%, Wall’s was 43% at 22 years old. Your proclamation is just plain dumb.

  31. Hubert

    Remember when I said Washington was stupid enough to trade for Amar’e Stoudemire? How much more evidence do you need?

    If we actually want cap space at the end of 2014 (and I think we should, because very few teams will, unlike in 2015 when everyone will), we should be burning the phone right now offering Amar’e for Okafor and Ariza’s expirings.

    I don’t know if you can move Bargnani, but worst case scenario you can use the stretch provision to reduce his cap figure to $3.8mm.

    If you move Felton and JR (doable), you can have Tyson, Shump, MWP, Prigioni, THJ under contract all for $22 million. Assume a cap of $59mm. That means if Melo opts out you have $36 million to use to sign him and another free agent (or free agents). Plus the room exception.

    You’re not getting LeBron (unless RuRu is right and Melo takes an $8mm paycut), and you’re not as good next year, but I think if you take a 4 year look you will put yourself in a better position doing it this way.

  32. Hubert

    * I’m talking about using the stretch on Barngani and trading Felton & JR after this season, not now.

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I use that quotation for two reasons.

    One, it’s total fucking poetry from an insane person. Those words are just beautiful. “One plus one is two all day long, and that ain’t never gonna change.” Marvelous. You couldn’t write it better. “And that’s factorial.”

    Two, it’s a surprisingly adept defense of his contract. While we sit and debate over who deserves what money due to what production, the reality is that the market assessed his value as “max” and he received max money. John Wall is, likewise, a max player. That is soon to be a fact. If he does not produce wins commensurate with his pay, he will be both a max player (in pay) and not a max player (in production). And if that’s the case, John Wall wins and the Wizards lose.

    No matter what happens, I am not going to ride John Wall for being mediocre at winning basketball games. I don’t even think I can ride Carmelo Anthony anymore. What I can ride is the decision-makers who think that signing and keeping an overvalued max player is a winning strategy in a league with a soft cap and prohibitive luxury tax.

    It’s going to be a long five years in Washingston.

  34. Hubert

    Hubert:

    Assume a cap of $59mm.That means if Melo opts out you have $36 million to use to sign him and another free agent (or free agents).

    Sorry, I was using $62mm as the cap figure when I did the math. You’d have $33 million.

  35. TMal

    I like the pick up but I wish KMart was so offensively challenged not as bad as Chandler but still. I hope Woody odes not start Melo at the 4 this year, now in some substitute situations fine but, u just don’t need STAT or BARGNANI should not start the game on the bench

  36. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Also, disregard the WP48 numbers, if that’s your prerogative, but look at his numbers compared to the average PG.

    http://www.thenbageek.com/players/348-john-wall

    Do you really think that’s max-worthy?

    Fortunately they’re not paying Wall for what he has done, but for what he will do going forward. The key number here is one that you won’t see on that page – 22. His age.

    What John Wall has done in aggregate for his career is clearly not worthy of a max contract. What he did last year? Still comes up short, but it’s a big step in the right direction. Not only was his play vastly improved, but there were clear improvements in the play of his teammates that directly related to his presence. Maxing him out is a calculated risk that an insanely talented 22 year old who has shown big strides is going to continue getting better. It’s not a lock but it’s also not insane.

  37. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Also, disregard the WP48 numbers, if that’s your prerogative, but look at his numbers compared to the average PG.

    http://www.thenbageek.com/players/348-john-wall

    Do you really think that’s max-worthy?

    Well, even using WP48 (that thinks Faried and Ronnie Brewer are max players) if you consider the facts that 1) his WP48 has improved every year and last year was well above average 2) he was coming off a serious injury and actually produced better than he did pre-injury, 3) he played for a horrible team, yet made them significantly better than they were without him and 4) HE IS 22 YEARS OLD!, they you could make the argument that if his improvement trajectory continues, he will be well worth the max as currently paid, rather than max money, say, 3 years from now (it would be more, no?)

  38. Hubert

    thenamestsam: Maxing him out is a calculated risk that an insanely talented 22 year old who has shown big strides is going to continue getting better.

    FWIW, I’ve never watched John Wall play and thought he was insanely talented.

    It’s a bad deal but these are the Wizards. They’re idiots.

  39. Hubert

    Then again, maybe they’re smart and what they were really thinking was…

    “It’s really a two year deal. If he completely bombs like that other #1 pick in Toronto, we’ll trade his last 3 years to the Knicks and pick up a bunch of draft picks in the process.”

  40. Z-man

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I use that quotation for two reasons.

    One, it’s total fucking poetry from an insane person. Those words are just beautiful. “One plus one is two all day long, and that ain’t never gonna change.” Marvelous. You couldn’t write it better. “And that’s factorial.”

    Two, it’s a surprisingly adept defense of his contract. While we sit and debate over who deserves what money due to what production, the reality is that the market assessed his value as “max” and he received max money.

    I agree on all counts. Not convinced that it applies here, though. Its an investment based on age, trajectory and ceiling. Definitely a gamble, but not like splitting 5′s in Black Jack.

  41. iserp

    max fisher-cohen:
    The Wall win loss #s are deceiving for three reasons:

    1) Nene missed the first month of the season. Ariza missed much of the early season as well.

    2) Beal was adjusting to the NBA play style

    3) Wall’s backup is a joke of an NBA player

    Steph Curry got less $ because of injury problems? Curry missed 57 games in his first three seasons. John Wall missed 58!

    This guy’s ceiling is Steve Francis, and yes, Francis got maxed, but Francis was also a much better player in his first three seasons and played in an era where there were far fewer good point guards.

    Stephen Curry negotiated his extension while injured, after missing 40 games, and with a reputation of glass ankles. It is not the same as John Wall that after coming back from injury, had a really strong 2nd half of the seaon.

    I agree that the Washington wizards split with or without John Wall is unfair because of all other factors (but 1: Nene missed the 9 first games, but the rest were sprinkled all over the schedule 2: Having a real PG helped Beal more than he adapted 3: I assumed WP48 was onto the discussion, John Wall backups aren’t assigned -20 wins to make the difference, but 1 win produced, so having John Wall in the lineup just results in 3 more wins). In any case, since he has such a high usage, you might think he has something to do with the wizards winning or losing.

  42. thenamestsam

    Z-man: I agree on all counts. Not convinced that it applies here, though. Its an investment based on age, trajectory and ceiling. Definitely agamble, but not like splitting 5?s in Black Jack.

    Well said. I think a good comparison in a lot of ways is the Mike Conley deal. Very talented, very young former high pick whose production to the time of his contract had been fairly mediocre. That contract was also panned when it was given out (lead to this memorable rant from Matt Moore: http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/25626885) and now it’s a clear bargain. Obviously that one wasn’t for quite as much money, but Conley had shown even less than Wall to that point and wasn’t seen as quite the same level of talent.

    That’s not to say that the Wall deal will work out. Not every deal does. But he’s capable of being one of the top 10-15 guys in the league in my opinion and he showed just enough movement in that direction last year to make it a risk worth taking I think.

  43. max fisher-cohen

    Z-man

    Look, no comparison is going to be perfect, but Steve Francis was a pretty good player and wasn’t the worst player to max out. I know the hope for Wall is that he’s another Russell Westbrook, but for every player like westbrook that takes big strides after his 3rd season, there are five guys who don’t. And Wall needs to take at least one more big stride to be Russell Westbrook type player, and Westbrook isn’t even a great deal for a max contract.

    I guess I’m curious — can you give me five players on max deals that they received after their rookie contracts who are less deserving of those contracts than Wall is?

  44. max fisher-cohen

    @thenamestam The conley deal wasn’t max though. Conley only got like $8m/year, which would be a fine deal for Wall and IMO is what he’d get had he not been a #1 pick and been picked up and marketed by adidas.

  45. thenamestsam

    max fisher-cohen:
    And Wall needs to take at least one more big stride to be Russell Westbrook type player, and Westbrook isn’t even a great deal for a max contract.

    Consensus would clearly strongly disagree with this. He has been all-NBA 2nd team 3 straight years and he’s 24 years old. The most recent NBArank had him as the 5th best player in the league. I think that’s pretty much the kind of guy you want to max out. You may disagree with that evaluation of him but it’s an extreme minority viewpoint.

    max fisher-cohen:
    @thenamestam The conley deal wasn’t max though. Conley only got like $8m/year, which would be a fine deal for Wall and IMO is what he’d get had he not been a #1 pick and been picked up and marketed by adidas.

    As I pointed out in my comment Conley had played even worse to that point in his career than Wall (see the pasted piece above calling him the worst starting PG in the NBA) and was seen as less talented. The fact that Wall was the #1 pick isn’t irrelevant, it’s a reflection of the type of talent he’s perceived to be. Wall is better than Conley at time of contract with a significantly higher ceiling. If he simply repeats his performance from last year for a full healthy year he’s an $8M a year type of player. And again, he’s 22, and on a positive trajectory.

  46. Hubert

    max fisher-cohen:

    I guess I’m curious — can you give me five players on max deals that they received after their rookie contracts who are less deserving of those contracts than Wall is?

    GREAT question.

    I assume you mean *directly* after their rookie contracts, right? (i.e. I can’t throw Amar’e Stoudemire in there.)

    Prior to this postseason, Roy Hibbert would have been the best answer. Now he’s the best answer for the other side of the argument, which just goes to show this may not be as terrible as it seems.

    Brook Lopez’s max seemed incredibly stupid at the time, too. Doesn’t any more.

    Only two guys I can think of that are still less deserving of a Max than Wall are Rudy Gay and Eric Gordon.

  47. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Consensus does not mean knowledge.

    Westbrook is a good player, but max players who outplay their contract are few and far between. Players like LeBron and Durant get less than they deserve, and players like Westbrook and Lopez earn what they do because of a perception of scarcity, not because of actual production.

    NBArank is probably the worst indicator of actual value in the entire universe. Where was Kobe Bryant on that list? #3? #4? List void.

    You nailed it in your last paragraph: “perceived to be.”

    Where a player is picked has nothing to do with productivity. Perhaps perceived value is higher, but teams like the Spurs have been riding the low perceived value of players like Ginobili and Parker and Leonard and Splitter for over a decade. You don’t pay someone because he was the #1 pick, even if he was the #1 pick because of “potential.” That’s why people are still overpaying Rudy Gay — even trading for him! — and why Eddy Curry got his contract, too. Pay for production, not possibility. Again, see: San Antonio Spurs. One lucky move (tanking in 1996) and then dozens of shrewd ones to put together more championships after they lost an all-time great to retirement.

    NBA players peak around age 25. Will Wall improve? Probably. But he’s going to have to make a Durant/Harden-like leap to earn his contract in productivity.

  48. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Consensus does not mean knowledge.

    Westbrook is a good player, but max players who outplay their contract are few and far between. Players like LeBron and Durant get less than they deserve, and players like Westbrook and Lopez earn what they do because of a perception of scarcity, not because of actual production.

    NBArank is probably the worst indicator of actual value in the entire universe. Where was Kobe Bryant on that list? #3? #4? List void.

    You nailed it in your last paragraph: “perceived to be.”

    Where a player is picked has nothing to do with productivity. Perhaps perceived value is higher, but teams like the Spurs have been riding the low perceived value of players like Ginobili and Parker and Leonard and Splitter for over a decade. You don’t pay someone because he was the #1 pick, even if he was the #1 pickbecause of “potential.” That’s why people are still overpaying Rudy Gay — even trading for him! — and why Eddy Curry got his contract, too. Pay for production, not possibility. Again, see: San Antonio Spurs. One lucky move (tanking in 1996) and then dozens of shrewd ones to put together more championships after they lost an all-time great to retirement.

    NBA players peak around age 25. Will Wall improve? Probably. But he’s going to have to make a Durant/Harden-like leap to earn his contract in productivity.

    I disagree with basically everything you’ve ever posted on this board but do you truly believe that a consensus of basketball experts is “the worst” way to value basketball players? Because that might just take the cake.

  49. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Considering that “expert” is a matter of definition, and even baseball “experts” couldn’t figure out the game, which is much simpler than basketball?

    NBArank — er, excuse me — #NBArank is a fucking joke.

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I had to do some research:

    How did we rank the players?

    We asked 111 experts to rate each player on a 0-to-10 scale, in terms of “the current quality of each player.”

    The voters are contributors to ESPN’s NBA coverage from ESPN.com, the TrueHoop Network, TrueHoop TV, Daily Dime Live, ESPN TV, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, espnW, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Insider, ESPN Fantasy, ESPN Games, ESPN Boston, ESPN Chicago, ESPN Dallas, ESPN Los Angeles, ESPN New York, ESPN Stats & Information, ESPN Topics and ESPN Analytics.

    So basically, anyone who writes for any of those shitty sites is an “expert.” Are you fucking kidding me, dude? You think these people are basketball experts because they watch the same game we do? Being a sportswriter makes you an expert on basketball player evaluation? Being a sportswriter makes you less prone to cognitive bias? Logical fallacy?

    Get the fuck out.

  51. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Not to mention the arbitrariness of a 0-to-10 scale. Jesus christ. I’m glad you disagree with me on everything. Agreement would likely mean that I did something wrong.

  52. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Considering that “expert” is a matter of definition, and even baseball “experts” couldn’t figure out the game, which is much simpler than basketball?

    NBArank — er, excuse me — #NBArank is a fucking joke.

    Uh-huh. So Russell Westbrook and John Wall both suck. Any thoughts on the fact that both their teams imploded without them?

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    “current quality of each player”

    Ugh, you are the worst. No, jon abbey. Then you. Tied with ruruland.

    No. Vinny P., then jon abbey, then you and Juany8 and ruruland.

  54. flossy

    Who are the Wizards going to spend that money on, if not John Wall? Would letting him walk actually result in anything other than restarting the tanking cycle all over again? Would another, comparably productive PG sign with Washington in the near future for less? I doubt it.

    So he may end up somewhat overpaid. Would it be a good deal if he were getting 80% of the max? 75%? 50%? How much should a team try to nickle and dime their young, talented players? Do you think OKC is happy they held fast and didn’t offer Harden the contract he wanted?

    If you have a 22 year-old player with insane physical tools who has improved every year and contributed to demonstrably better team play once surrounded by even half-decent teammates, you might as well give him the max extension. As others have pointed out, if Washington didn’t pay him, some other team would, and since the Wizards are not a FA destination there is no point to just punting on the entire rebuilding process by refusing to pay him.

    Reasonable people can disagree about whether Wall’s production and potential is worth max money in the abstract, but in reality there’s no way it makes any sense for Washington not to give him the contract he wants.

  55. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Again, see: San Antonio Spurs. One lucky move (tanking in 1996) and then dozens of shrewd ones to put together more championships after they lost an all-time great to retirement.

    And yet, if we were to make a attribution pie chart of their success, 95% would be for the one lucky move.

    Without the presence of one of the 10-20 greatest basketball players in NBA history Duncan, the shrewd moves amount to nothing.

  56. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    thenamestsam: Uh-huh. So Russell Westbrook and John Wall both suck. Any thoughts on the fact that both their teams imploded without them?

    Yes, here are some thoughts.

    Russell Westbrook does not suck. He does, however, occupy a max salary slot on his team’s roster. What does this mean? This means that the Thunder have fewer resources (i.e. cap space) to sign a good back-up player in case of catastrophic injury. Why? Because it’s expected that other players not named Russell Westbrook will play on the floor along with a player named Russell Westbrook. Given his lack of injury before this postseason, it was a safe bet to spend more money backing up other positions than it was to back up the PG position.

    How do I know that the Thunder thought this way? In 2012, they drafted Perry Jones III, a forward, and signed Andy Rautins and DeAndre Liggins to play the guard positions behind the starters and first wave of back-ups.

    Any team could implode if there’s a lack of depth at a given position. If Chris Paul went down, and you had 1994 John Stockton or 2006 Steve Nash as his back-up, and his team did not implode, would you conclude that Chris Paul were not a productive player? No. You would attribute the (likely) lack of change in productivity and game-outcome to having replacement players that were also excellent at basketball. Chris Paul would still be a highly valuable player, but maybe less valuable to your team at that moment. I assure you that a team in desperate need of a PG would not ask for him at a discount simply because your organization did not need him as much, nor would you give a discount in the unlikely event that it were asked.

    Does this make sense?

  57. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Hubert: And yet, if we were to make a attribution pie chart of their success, 95% would be for the one lucky move.

    Without the presence of one of the 10-20 greatest basketball players in NBA history Duncan, the shrewd moves amount to nothing.

    Any team can make responsible decisions and prepare themselves to make offers to high-level free agents. The Houston Rockets just did this.

    And as valuable as Duncan was to all of those championship and deep playoff teams, the Spurs would not have been a lottery team without him. There would have been another undervalued, underpaid PF/C in his place, and they would have been a playoff team still.

    When he retires, I think we’ll find that the Spurs won’t make drastic decisions regarding long-term cap space simply because they don’t have a HoF PF/C to build around.

  58. thenamestsam

    I actually do think that people who watch basketball and write about it for a living is a pretty reasonable definition of expert. Is it perfect? Of course not. But it’s reasonable. It’s certainly far from the worst way to evaluate players. Does Russell Westbrook being #5 in NBArank prove he’s a top 5 player? No. But it’s an opinion that is shared by the league’s fans, coaches, GMs, and broadcasters. Basically everyone who watches basketball except those who worship at the idol of Berri’s linear regressions think Russell Westbrook is an awesome player. Maybe they’re all wrong, but it’s a hell of a lot less likely than the alternative. Anyway, carry on with the personal attacks if you so choose. It seems to be basically the central aspect of your rhetorical strategy.

  59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    flossy: So he may end up somewhat overpaid. Would it be a good deal if he were getting 80% of the max? 75%? 50%? How much should a team try to nickle and dime their young, talented players? Do you think OKC is happy they held fast and didn’t offer Harden the contract he wanted?

    Given his age and improvement in performance, he’s probably better at 4/$40M. A max contract based on the hope of continuing improvement is foolish. Isn’t that ruruland’s whole M.O.?

    “If x, y, and z, Carmelo Anthony will improve his shooting efficiency.”

    That’s no way to make a $80M decision.

    And re: OKC, the Thunder fucked up when they gave Perkins that contract and then refused to amnesty him. It was, in my eyes, a bad decision to keep Westbrook over Harden, but a much worse decision to keep Perkins over anyone. I’m not sure that, Perkins still under contract, they would take Harden’s contract back. The luxury tax is, as we know, structured to punish. If you insist on keeping the rest of their core, can you justify Harden at $40M a year in total costs?

  60. Hubert

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Any team can make responsible decisions and prepare themselves to make offers to high-level free agents. The Houston Rockets just did this.

    Ah, yes. Because going all in with Dwight Howard isn’t a desperate move.

    On your San Antonio analysis, what is your point? They’ll still be good, yes. But making a series of shrewd moves won’t necessarily make them better than a team that overpays for their talent.

    The point is to win basketball games, not be the most efficient economist. We won 54 games last year despite overpaying for just about every player on our roster. There were shrewd teams that didn’t do nearly as well. Would it please you more to root for an inferior team filled with players who are making only exactly what they are worth?

  61. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    thenamestsam:
    I actually do think that people who watch basketball and write about it for a living is a pretty reasonable definition of expert. Is it perfect? Of course not. But iayer? No. But it’s an opinion that is shared by the league’s fans, coaches, GMs, and broadcasters. Basically everyone who watches basketball except those who worship at the idol of Berri’s linear regressions think Russell Westbrook is an awesome player. Maybe they’re all wrong, but it’s a hell of a lot less likely than the alternative. Anyway, carry on with the personal attacks if you so choose. It seems to be basically the central aspect of your rhetorical strategy.

    Forget about Berri for a second. You question my skepticism about ESPN sportswriters and claim that it might be my all-time gaffe? Come on. Think about everything in that post.

    0-to-10 scale
    sportswriters from ESPNU and ESPNw and, hell, any of those sites
    “current quality of player”

    There’s no semblance of objectivity whatsoever in that ranking. It’s a page-click generator. Who cares what the consensus is?

    In the mid-00s, consensus said that mortgage-backed securities were good investments because of their high rate of return relative to other investment opportunities in the market. It turns out that the analysts and actuaries — experts, verily — calculated risk based on outdated ratings, failing to adjust for new lending practices that obfuscated future outcomes and projections. A whole system of people paid to be experts, all subject to the same avenues of failure. And fail they did.

    Expertise is not a guarantee of competency. It’s largely a matter of definition.

    I think that Jim Cavan and Bob Silverman are outstanding basketball writers. That does not make them experts on basketball evaluation.

  62. Hubert

    THCJ, I won’t have time to make it because I’m heading out for the day, but I think an argument can be made that the decision to max Dwight Howard (one that you cited above in a positive light) is as aggressive and filled with willful blindness of evidence as the decision to max John Wall.

  63. thenamestsam

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Forget about Berri for a second. You question my skepticism about ESPN sportswriters and claim that it might be my all-time gaffe? Come on. Think about everything in that post.

    0-to-10 scale
    sportswriters from ESPNU and ESPNw and, hell, any of those sites
    “current quality of player”

    There’s no semblance of objectivity whatsoever in that ranking. It’s a page-click generator. Who cares what the consensus is?

    In the mid-00s, consensus said that mortgage-backed securities were good investments because of their high rate of return relative to other investment opportunities in the market. It turns out that the analysts and actuaries — experts, verily — calculated risk based on outdated ratings, failing to adjust for new lending practices that obfuscated future outcomes and projections. A whole system of people paid to be experts, all subject to the same avenues of failure. And fail they did.

    Expertise is not a guarantee of competency. It’s largely a matter of definition.

    I think that Jim Cavan and Bob Silverman are outstanding basketball writers. That does not make them experts on basketball evaluation.

    Experts can be wrong. No doubt about that. But if you’re making the claim that they are the burden of proof is on you. If you understand Bayesian reasoning at all you understand that making a claim like “A player who 99.9% of all people who watch basketball agree is excellent is not, in fact, even very much above average” is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary evidence. Do you agree with that? If so, would you like to present some of that extraordinary evidence?

  64. max fisher-cohen

    @thenamestam

    Not saying russell isn’t worth a max contract, just that he’s not a top five player so not someone you drool over giving a max contract. I would prefer 12/13 Carmelo to him if age and health weren’t factors since Anthony is a more effective off ball player. The point was that if the dream scenario is that he’s westbrook, that’s not an amazing dream, and dreams don’t usually come true. If the dream scenario is Chris Paul or prime Jason Kidd, then it’s a good risk, but I don’t think many people see Wall having the potential to ever reach that level.

    @Flossy

    This is the logic that causes teams to back themselves into a corner. I’d rather overpay someone else on a shorter deal. First of all, Wall was tradeable and probably could have garnered a better player of similar age or an equal but older player plus draft picks.

    Second, there are always players who will take your money. OJ Mayo went to the Bucks for 3 years, $24m — just over half of Wall’s new deal and for two fewer years. Milwaukee is probably the least appealing NBA city. DC is a pretty decent place to live if you have money.

    Third, Wall was going to be an RFA. Giving him a max extension does nothing for the team but add risk.

    @Hubert

    Here’s a list of guys who got max/near max contracts off their rookie deals, including those whose contracts expired this summer. I’ve ranked them in order of worst to best. I’m not punishing guys who had major injuries after re-signing (Granger, Rose) nor am i rewarding guys whose deals are slightly more reasonable, like DeAndre Jordan’s.

    1) Rudy Gay
    2) DeAndre Jordan
    3) Eric Gordon
    4) Granger
    5) Monta Ellis
    6) Wall
    7) Aldridge
    8) Hibbert
    9) Deng
    10) Josh Smith
    11) Al Jefferson
    12) Brook Lopez
    13) Rondo
    14) Ibaka
    15) Westbrook
    16) Al Horford
    17) Griffin
    18) Curry
    19) Marc Gasol
    20) Kevin Love
    21) Derrick Rose
    22) James Harden
    23) Dwight Howard
    24) Kevin Durant

  65. flossy

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Given his age and improvement in performance, he’s probably better at 4/$40M. A max contract based on the hope of continuing improvement is foolish. Isn’t that ruruland’s whole M.O.?

    Way to ignore the rest of my comment. What happens when John Wall tells them where to shove their 4 year/$40 million offer? What better PG is going to sign with the Wizards? How do you sell a fan base on yet another round of tanking for picks, when you just blew up a very young and improving core that was, actually, one of the better teams in the East for the 2nd half of last season with Wall back in the line-up?

    Even if you take it as a given that the Wizards are overpaying, they’re not bidding against themselves, they’re bidding against other NBA teams, at least one of whom would gladly pay Wall if Washington decided not to do so. John Wall on a max deal anchoring a good young core of players is better than no starting PG and no long term plan whatsoever apart from “suck and see what happens.”

  66. DRed

    Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense for the Wizards to wait until the end of this season to do the deal?

  67. Z

    flossy:
    Who are the Wizards going to spend that money on, if not John Wall?

    Good point. Especially with a salary floor in place the Wizards literally HAVE to spend the money on someone. (Fastest way to a max contract is to be a lottery pick for a franchise that isn’t a popular free-agent destination, and then not get hurt during your first 4 years.)

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