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Friday, April 20, 2018

Knicks 125 Jazz 131

With just 8 minutes left in last night’s game, Alan Hahn tweeted: “The Knicks defense has been just awful vs Jazz, who already have 111 points with 8 minutes left.” Points per game isn’t a great measure of a team’s defense, but Hahn’s critique of the New York defense was correct. In their loss to Utah yesterday the Knicks allowed the Jazz to shoot a blazing 64.9% eFG%, including 10-22 from three point range. Seven Utahns were in double digits, and not one had more shots than points.

It’s unfortunate that the Knicks D was so poor, because their offense was hot. New York got some help from a few unlikely characters. Shawne Williams netted 25 points on 12 shots. And Bill Walker also exploded off the bench with 23 points on 11 shots. The pair seemed unconscious especially from behind the arc, combining for 10-13 from downtown. Felton and Stoudemire were efficient as well, but both were in foul trouble for parts of the game. Toney Douglas who suited up but wasn’t supposed to play had to come in late in the third when Felton picked up his fifth foul. Roger Mason played 14 ineffective minutes, and ended up -11.

You have to wonder if Andy Rautins might replace Mason on the depth chart. Mason seems to be one of the most intelligent and likable players on the team, but he’s clearly not producing. If Rautins can’t get time when Mason stepping on the court hurts the team, then when will he play? It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Roberson scenario a few years back. D’Antoni preferred to go guard-less rather than insert Roberson in one game. It ended up being essentially a wasted roster spot.

New York is one of those teams that doesn’t find value in using the D-League, saying that instead it’s better for a player to develop along with the team. That is very likely to be true when the player is in the rotation, but if the player can’t find court time then you have to wonder how true that can be? I wonder how many players evolved after a season at the end of D’Antoni’s bench? If the Knicks are going to eventually use Rautins, throwing him out there with Douglas hurt seems ideal. He can’t be any worse than Roger Mason is right now.

If not then what’s the point in keeping Rautins, because it’s likely he’ll never crack D’Antoni’s rotation. The Knicks would be better served using that roster spot to rotate guys on 10-day contracts. D’Antoni has given time to 10-day players in the past. The irony of course would be that these players would be from the D-League, the same system that the Knicks eschew.

146 comments on “Knicks 125 Jazz 131

  1. latke

    The reason Mason was so bad was mostly because he couldn’t initiate the offense. Rautins is really a 2 guard, so I can’t see him helping in that department, especially with the way Utah was pressuring. Regardless, if he’s not here to be the 3rd string point guard, we have no need for him. We have plenty of guys who can play the 2.

    Regardless, the real problem was the defense. The Jazz would sort of loiter their way up the court, run a pick and roll, then the roll guy would wait for a cutter to come in and dunk the ball. Or else Deron Williams would just do whatever he felt like.

    Twice at the end of quarters the jazz got the ball with like 40 seconds left, and Deron just ran the ball up the floor and shot. He made a three off a little juke move once, and the other time he missed a layup, got the ball back on the offensive rebound, and still got into the paint and drew a foul. Guess how much time ran off the clock in that entire possession? I believe it was 8 seconds. You know he’s going to try to score 2 for 1 — at least try to stop that so they don’t get another possession. Then you can let him have his layup.

  2. Veal Scalabrine

    Mike, you’re absolutely correct–now is an ideal time to give Rautins some burn at the 1 until TD recovers. Now I’m probably a bit biased, being a Syracuse fan, but I like Rautins a lot. Having watched every game he played as a senior, I think he possesses more than a sweet J.

    Like Fields, he has a high b-ball IQ and is a smart decision-maker. (Though Wes Johnson was the star of that ‘Cuse squad, Rautins was more valuable–the offense absolutely failed to function when he rested. He’s an underrated passer, and he doesn’t force the issue: once he’s acclimated to NBA game-pace (other than garbage-time), I expect a low TO%. Though he lacks speed, his long arms (for a PG) and quick, active hands compensate for any lateral-movement shortcomings on D.

    All reports from Knicks brass suggest he’s the hardest-working guy and the hungriest learner on the team; he’ll be able to run the Pn’R, and if defenders go under the screen and collapse on Amare, he can make them pay with his J. Though he’s not a threat to penetrate, I can easily see him dishing to Fields and WC off the curl, and he’ll position himself for the kick-out if his defender rotates away. Again, he only needs to do this for 10 minutes a game. I think we all agree he can’t possibly be worse than Mason Jr., and we need to see what he can do facilitation-wise, because he won’t survive in the NBA–let alone play a purposeful role on the Knicks roster–strictly as a 2.

    Free Andy!

  3. Doug

    Is Rautins ready? He might not be getting playing time because he’s not yet able to run the point in practice to D’Antoni’s satisfaction.

  4. Ben R

    I think we need to cut someone, Mason preferably, and sign a PG off the d-league. I still think Aaron Miles, he was a great PG in college (8th all time in NCAA history in assists). He is also a little older, 27, and had a nice career in Europe before coming back this year. He is not a great outside shooter but he is averaging 15 pts and 8.8 asts in d-league with a TS% of 58%. He seems like a perfect fit, seasoned, a good defender (was a three time big 12 all defensive team and known as a good defender in europe) and is a good pass first PG. I think we could do alot worse for a third string PG at the minimum salary.

    We don’t need anyone great just someone who is happy to be on the team, who works hard and can give us 10-15 minutes a couple times a month.

  5. daJudge

    I would cut Mason and sign Miles. Apparently he can play D and run the point. Those are the back up needs. I also think Rautins probably should get some time, even at the 1 in certain situations. Mason is adding nothing and is simply roster filler. We have needs to fill and can’t afford him to just sit. Also, no surprise a Jerry Sloan team took the Knicks out of their rhythm. He used to do the same thing as a player. I’ll take the two and two on the road, go back home and learn from the losses.

  6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    That Mason airball was cringe-worthy. I doubt there’s anyone in the league playing as badly as he is right now. TS% of .113, eFG even worse, a negative PER. He’s made one field goal in 16 attempts.

    Why is this guy taking up a roster slot?

  7. Thomas B.

    I think Rautins should get more playing time. He can’t beat anyone off the dribble, but that hasnt taken Fields off the floor. He is a steady ball handler and with Douglas’ bad shoulder taking its toll on an already poor passer, perhaps Rautins can provide the 5-8 minutes you need when Felton gets into foul trouble.

    Why trade for a player before you know exactly what you have on your bench? These next two games at home could be a good time to work him into the rotation. Clearly Mason just can’t make anything happen with the time he has had.

    Besides, Rautins was the higher of the two draft picks so that means he must be better than Fields, right? Right?

  8. d-mar

    I just can’t believe Mason is this bad. He looks like a scared rookie out there. This is a guy who was an important bench player for a strong Spurs team just a few years ago. But I agree that he needs to be crazy glued to the bench.

    If you look at the East standings right now, the Knicks are pretty locked in at #6 and the Bulls are a solid #3, with zero chance of not winning the Central. Assuming the Heat eventually grab the #1 spot, it wouldn’t be a bad scenario for us to play the Bulls in the 1st round (we’d be underdogs but would have a puncher’s chance) and then Boston in the next round (heavy underdogs, but boy, would it be fun if we got there) Playoff basketball at MSG, cannot wait!

  9. Frank

    Meanwhile I am just loving Donnie Walsh. Except for Evil Riley’s ridiculous coup in Miami, Donnie would be a shoe-in for exec of the year with his sign-trade of Lee, signing of Amare, great value contract in Felton, and drafting of Landry Fields. Now he’s also just playing this Melo deal brilliantly. He knows the Knicks and Melo have all the leverage — Melo because he doesn’t need to sign an extension with a team he doesn’t want to go to, and the Knicks because they don’t really need him that badly. I sort of think Melo is coming by the trade deadline, and that the deal will look something like Curry, Gallo, and Randolph. Especially with the emergence of Shawne Williams, Gallo (as much as I love his potential) is pretty expendable at this point. That’s a reasonably fair deal for both sides – not the king’s ransom the Nets are willing to offer but their offer is moot is Carmelo won’t sign the extension. Then, presuming that the new CBA still allows Bird rules of some sort (which I think it will – a hard cap would be devastating to a lot of the premiere teams in the league), we can sign Chandler.

    Meanwhile, does anyone think we should somehow try to extend Shawne Williams? Not sure we could even if we tried since we are near/over the cap right now. If he keeps shooting this way he will command a big price on the FA market this summer.

  10. Caleb

    @9 You can’t extend a player who’s on a contract shorter than three years…

    Interesting to see what Williams can get on the market this summer. He’s only played well for about 500 NBA minutes, doesn’t defend or rebound and has a long history of drug and police problems. On the other hand, there aren’t a lot of guys who can shoot 65 percent from 3-point land.

    Jason Kapono turned it into $30 million but I don’t think Williams will hit 8 digits… unless he has a few more games like last night.

    I can envision Frank’s Carmelo trade happening, but my preference would be to not trade anyone at all – which I can also envision. Try and sign the guy over the summer (or post-lockout), for a contract number that won’t kill the Knicks’ cap the way a $65 million extension would.

  11. Caleb

    p.s. Although in theory you can say “Why not play our #3 (or #4) PG?” In the NBA, a #40 pick is not likely to ever be a rotation-level player – especially not in his rookie year. Unfortunately, “par” for your rookie #39 pick is glued to the bench. It doesn’t mean that Rautins is a bust, yet.

    Of course I hope it turns out he CAN play.

    I don’t know anything about Aaron Miles but Ben’s description sounds like the right kind of guy.

    The trade market is tricky. Williams might bring back a solid vet. Trading Walker would leave us in the same position at SG as we’re in right now, at the point. Is too early to give up on Mozgov, for a 3-month rental? Probably… But Rautins or Mason won’t bring back a rotation player.

    You might be able to save another team some cash by trading Azubuike’s deal for a PG with a slightly smaller contract.

    Or this:
    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4q45mq9

    If Knicks threw in cash, when you factor in Curry’s advance I think this would save the Pacers $5 million-plus… that’s awfullly tempting for a money-losing team, although they’d be giving up their own backup PG in the middle of a playoff push.

  12. Frank

    Caleb:
    Jason Kapono turned it into $30 million but I don’t think Williams will hit 8 digits… unless he has a few more games like last night.
    I can envision Frank’s Carmelo trade happening, but my preference would be to not trade anyone at all – which I can also envision. Try and sign the guy over the summer (or post-lockout), for a contract number that won’t kill the Knicks’ cap the way a $65 million extension would. &nbsp

    I’ve been back and forth on whether I’d want him in a trade or not — but I guess the real question is would you rather keep whoever you trade for Anthony or would you rather keep Chandler. I can’t figure out a way to keep Chandler AND sign Carmelo in the summer. Chandler will almost certainly command 8-10 million this summer (depending on the CBA), and unless we are using bird-like rights to go over the cap to sign him, we won’t be able to keep both. So the choice may come down to Gallo + Randolph for Chandler + the certainty of having Carmelo (ie. not having to wonder about the CBA etc. before signing him).

    It’s close — I would tend to think that it is not that bad a deal. As much potential as we all think Gallo and Randolph have, Carmelo and Chandler are MUCH better players than them right now, and Chandler still looks like he may improve more. Amare will be 29 next season, Felton 27, so while the window isn’t necessarily closing, our best chance for a championship is probably within the next 2-3 seasons. We would still have a relatively young team with all of our best players 29 and under, most of them under 27.

  13. Caleb

    I dunno… Chandler, Gallo, Fields & Randolph all look to have very good careers ahead of them. Chandler has been easily the best this year but it’s less than 40 games – I would probably rate them all pretty close together in terms of potential, where they’re likely to be in 2 or 3 years.

    You’re right, the Knicks can’t re-sign everyone AND Carmelo this summer – but the obvious move, if you’re not desperate, is just to sign and trade Chandler for Carmelo. Don’t throw in Randolph + picks.

    The bigger pitfall to avoid is giving Anthony a $20 million contract, which would foreclose the possibility of adding another star in 2011 or 2012.

  14. JK47

    Now there is a rumor that NYK is interested in DeAndre Jordan. First a Marc Gasol rumor, then a DeAndre Jordan rumor. Does Donnie Walsh read Knickerblogger?

    I kind of like the idea. DeAndre is kind of like Anthony Randolph if AR didn’t have that misguided guard mentality. He does pretty much what we wish AR would learn to do– grab rebounds, play some defense, generate offense through putbacks and dunks, not throw the ball into the third row when he tries to pass.

  15. Caleb

    I like Jordan but IMO Randolph has a much higher ceiling. AR – if he develops – is a combo forward, like el ruso. Jordan is your classic center.

  16. Caleb

    p.s. As far as chucking the ball into the 3rd row… even though he does not know how to properly use his skills, AR actually does have some wing player skills – for all his over-ambitious ball-handling, his career TO rate is not bad at all – around 12 percent. He’s had some doozies this year but even for 2010-2011 his TO rate is lower than Jordan, who does nothing but stand under the basket on offense (not a criticism, mind you!)… and of course AR turns it over half as much as KB-fave Timo…

    I said Kirilenko but Josh Smith is a great comparison… He spent 2-3 years pretending to be a guard, chucking up 3-pointers, fighting with the coach. He still has the perimeter skills but only uses them sometimes – he plays his true position and has become an All-Star level player. Smith’s early-career #s are very Randolph-like across the board. AR is a little behind as a shot-blocker, and there’s no guarantee he’ll improve the same way as an overall defender, but on the other hand he rebounds almost twice as well..

  17. JK47

    I dunno, the more I see Randolph play, the less impressed I am with him. He’s like one of those “five-tool” outfielders who lacks the tool of “being good at baseball.”

    Plus, I would rather have a true C than a skinny guy like Randolph who is at best a PF. Against some of the elite teams we’re going to need somebody who can at least somewhat slow down opposing centers, and I just don’t see Randolph as ever being able to do that… And we know for sure Amar’e can’t guard opposing C’s very well.

  18. JK47

    Good point about AR’s turnover rate though. He doesn’t turn it over all that often, but when he does, they are the most mindblowingly awful-looking turnovers you’ll ever see, so he gets kind of a bad rep in that department.

  19. rama

    Jafa: The AR for 1st round pick is with Wolves:http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/71120/20110113/knicks_have_randolph_for_pick_deal_in_place_with_wolves/So, to Melo or not to Melo? That is the question.  (Quote)

    I hate that rumor. Two of three of Gallo, Wil, and Landry is at least one too many. Besides, WE NEED A 5. WE NEED A 5. Melo is a good player, but if we acquire and extend him, WE DON’T GET A 5. It’s that simple.

    “I dunno, the more I see Randolph play, the less impressed I am with him. He’s like one of those “five-tool” outfielders who lacks the tool of “being good at baseball.””

    Hilarious. And, sadly, seemingly true.

    What about DC’s post in the previous thread, that Landry could maybe handle the point? I know he doesn’t seem to be able to take his man off the dribble, but he generally makes smart decisions, plays within himself, and we’re only talking about 10 minutes a game…crazy?

  20. Caleb

    @19 fyi Clippers have Minny’s pick this year – they own the Jazz and Grizzlies picks.

    JK47: I dunno, the more I see Randolph play, the less impressed I am with him.

    Where? Where? :)

    I agree he’s not actually “good” yet but he’s not bad either, and if you compare him to other players at the same age it’s pretty impressive – at least, it was before he hit D’Antoni exile this year.

    I agree the Knicks have more need for a classic defensive center, than another forward, but I would rather have Josh Smith than Brendan Haywood if you know what I mean.

  21. JK47

    Okay, so the potential trade with the Wolves has got to be for the pick they acquired from Memphis, which is top-14 protected in 2011, top-12 protected in 2012, top-10 protected in 2013 and top-9 protected in 2014 and 2015. Denver might not get to use that pick for a while. It certainly can’t be for Minnesota’s pick which would be #3 overall (well, they’d get the third most lottery balls).

    Trading two out of three of Gallo/Fields/Chandler seems like a pretty terrible idea. Gallo + Curry’s contract plus the pick for Randolph. Take it or leave it.

  22. JK47

    @23 Can’t we go over the cap to sign Chandler if we extend Melo though? I thought that was a big reason to trade for Melo now rather than wait for him to come as a FA. I guess the new CBA might render all of this moot though.

  23. Jimmy C

    JK47: Plus, I would rather have a true C than a skinny guy like Randolph who is at best a PF.Against some of the elite teams we’re going to need somebody who can at least somewhat slow down opposing centers, and I just don’t see Randolph as ever being able to do that… And we know for sure Amar’e can’t guard opposing C’s very well.  

    DeAndre weighs at least twice as much as AR. I’ve been watching quite a few Clips games on League Pass, and I have to say I REALLY like De J — not just his “upside”, but his “right now”. The knocks are he’s a terrible free throw shooter and doesn’t have much of a game outside the box, but I feel like these can be developed. But his athleticism, interior D and ability to run the floor are off the charts.

    Even if we kept AR and he started to develop, I really can’t see him playing the 5 consistently. He’s got a Tayshawn Prince-like build with not even a fraction of the decision-making and intangibles.

    If the rumors are true, and he really is dogging it in practice and not particularly interested in improving his game or bulking up, we should part ways sooner rather than later.

  24. JK47

    The Heat beating the crap out of the Nuggets tonight could end up being the final nail in the Melo-to-Nets coffin.

  25. Mike Kurylo Post author

    In 1460 minutes (NBA + DLeague) Aaron Miles has attempted 16 three pointers and hit 4 of them. Here’s a scouting report:

    Size is a bit of a concern for Miles, at 6-1 1/2 in shoes and without a whole lot of meat on his body. While he is by no means slow, he won’t be confused with TJ Ford or Raymond Felton anytime soon either.

    The fact of the matter is, Miles won’t ever be anything more then just a solid role player. That’s what he’s been his whole college career, and he doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. In fact, that’s probably his biggest weakness, he’s just not flashy (or conceited) enough to draw attention to himself. He’ll at times pass up open shots and make an unnecessary extra pass instead.

    Something that has always been a knock on Miles is the way he’s played in big games. He seems to lose his calm and steady demeanor when he things are on the line and his team needs him the most.

    Some will wonder he will perform when he’s taken out of the very cozy system he’s been in at Kansas for the past four years, somewhat similar to the questions that were asked of Chris Duhon last year out of Duke.

    He’ll also have to prove in NBA workouts and probably at Moody Bible that his much improved shooting ability this year is no fluke.

    Matt Broz 2003-04: While a PG isn’t expected to make many shots, it’d be nice to see Miles make a few sometime. His shooting is terrible. Point blank. For Miles to have a long career in the NBA, he needs to learn how to take the shot, when given to him, and knock it down. Or else he won’t be around for long.

    Now I wouldn’t mind a PG that can dish and defend, but I don’t know if D’Antoni would play him. (OK the part that compares him to Duhon scares me). However if coach D won’t play him, then what’s the point?

  26. DS

    JK47: The Heat beating the crap out of the Nuggets tonight could end up being the final nail in the Melo-to-Nets coffin.  

    I don’t understand. You’re saying getting blown out by one of the top 3-5 teams in the league would push ‘Melo or the Nuggets over the edge? This thing won’t reach a boiling point unless the Nuggets receive a offer that they believe helps them.

  27. JK47

    @28 I think it might make him think twice about signing an extension with the Nets. But maybe the deal is already dying or dead anyway. Either that or the Nets have taken to heart the Nuggets’ threats to scrap the trade if the Nets don’t keep their mouths shut. Melo-to-Nets has been awfully quiet for a couple of days.

  28. Z

    @27 The scouting report on Mason and Rautins is that they CAN shoot. D’Antoni doesn’t play them. Maybe a back up PG who brings something (anything!) is good enough for coach right about about now.

  29. Caleb

    @24 You’re right in that Chandler’s cap hold is actually less (slightly) than Gallo’s salary, so technically it doesn’t make s difference.

    From a financial standpoint, I think that if the Knicks see Gallo and Chandler as equivalent players, they would rather save $5-6 million in 2011-2012 by keeping Gallo. Of course the Nuggets probably feel the opposite.

    The CBA changes are the main reason I am not too keen on Anthony, unless he comes at a big discount. A hard cap with Anthony as the 2nd best player is a much less attractive scenario than leaving yourself room to trade for/sign CP3, Howard, etc. IMO Carmelo is an upgrade from Chandler (or Gallo), but not a big one, especially over a 2-3 year window. And when you factor in that you’re paying a few million more – or many million more – I’m unenthusiastic.

  30. Z

    @ 19 The RealGM source for that is Marc Berman. And if you read the article in the link, even Marc doesn’t seem too sure how to parse conflicting bits from his sources. He writes: “the Knicks, according to a league source, have a contingent deal in place with Minnesota to trade Randolph for a Timberwolves 2011 first-round pick.” Three sentences later he offers: “Walsh is unsure he wants to give up on [Randolph] because he is just 21 years old, and size and athleticism is a rare commodity.”

    If there is a deal in place, Walsh must be sure. So either Berman is wrong or his sources are wrong.

  31. Z

    Caleb: @24 You’re right in that Chandler’s cap hold is actually less (slightly) than Gallo’s salary, so technically it doesn’t make s difference.  

    ?? Gallo’s salary next year is $4.2 mil. Chandler’s cap hold is $6.4 mil.

    There is no way to sign Melo and Chandler this summer (under current CBA), unless it’s in a s&t with Denver. In that case it doesn’t make a difference at all if we trade Curry + Chandler for Melo now rather than wait until summer. The only thing that matters is what else on top of Curry + Chandler we’d have to lose in a trade.

    (ps– if we extend and trade for Melo before February he doesn’t have to extend for the same offer Denver has offered, does he? He can agree to extend for less, or is that impossible? (Since the Knicks can’t negotiate with him, I suppose it’s impossible, but are there channels that can be exploited to work someing out and not get Joe Smith’d?)

  32. latke

    Caleb: The bigger pitfall to avoid is giving Anthony a $20 million contract, which would foreclose the possibility of adding another star in 2011 or 2012.  

    Let’s say Anthony comes for $14 million in free agency and takes a salary cut in the second year of his contract for the express purpose of maximizing the knicks’ cap space that year, and that we resign Fields, Felton and Gallo.

    Here is what our cap space would look like with the lowest $s that I can imagine Fields, Felton and Gallo taking:

    Amare: $19.9 million
    Melo: $12.8 million
    Fields: $6 million
    Gallinari: $7 million
    Felton: $8 million
    Douglas: $2 million

    total: $53.7 million.

    The cap right now is $58 million. If the CBA remains similar to the current CBA (doubtful) then the cap could maybe be $60-$61 million next offseason. That leaves us $6-$7 million to sign our star in 2011. Not gonna happen. The mid-level exception (again, assuming current CBA rules) will be somewhere in that range by then anyway, so we may as well go over the cap before then.

    Of course, you could just renounce Fields, Felton and Gallo and then you could add a maximum contract and have your own big-three – Deron Williams, Amare, and Carmelo + a bunch of random dudes might be enough to compete with the Heat.

    You could also hope that one of the big time FAs puts himself in the same situation as ‘melo right now, in which case perhaps we could trade, say Felton and Fields and an expiring for Chris Paul, then go over the cap and resign Gallo that summer.

    It’s a difficult decision, but if you believe in the current youthful core, then your goal should be to use expirings to add players now, before the rookie contracts expire for these little dudes.

  33. Ben R

    @31 you wouldn’t resign Gallo and Fields until after a you sign your free agent. Gallo’s qualifing offer is 5.6 million and for Fields we would have to keep our MLE availiable – 5-6 million to resign him using the “Arenas provision”. So to sign a free agent in 2011 in your scenario (Melo at 13 mil) we would have to let Felton walk and then would have around 12-15 million if the cap goes up and isn’t changed by the new collective bargaining agreement. It’s moot because I really doubt Melo would sign for anything close to 13 million anyway. But thats how you could use your cap space.

    @27 Miles isn’t a great outside shooter but he has learned to be a little more selfish (good thing) since his college days and as a shooter he is all over the board. He shot a decent amount of threes in college (was okay his junior year, great his senior) and then in europe he shot alot of threes and was very efficient in 06-07 and okay in 07-08 and then in 08-09 he struggled shooting them and pretty much removed them from his game. He could possibly start shooting them again especially if he got wide open looks. Besides I’m only pushing him for an end of bench role anyway to provide insurance for Felton and Douglas. We need someone who can start the offense if one of them goes down and neither Mason or Rautins is close to being able to do that. (Besides he certainly can’t shoot any worse than Mason this year anyway)

  34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Wait–

    Does anyone actually think Carmelo’s taking anything less than max salary to play anywhere? Come on, now. Carmelo would be justifiably insulted by an offer of $12.6M. I think he’s worth less than that and even I would be surprised by that kind of lowballing. He’ll go to that awful, ghost ship Nets team for max before he comes to NYC for that kind of money.

  35. Caleb

    @33 I said cap hold, but since Chandler is an RFA I assume the Knicks would extend the qualifying offer, which is just over $3 million. That’s all the cap space he would take up until they sign or renounce him.

    That makes him less of a cap impediment than Gallo, albeit by just $1 million. And I agree – Chandler + Curry now is essentially identical to signing Melo this summer.

    @34-35 You’re leaving out our draft pick this year (probably around $1.5 million, at the #20 spot), and the roster charge (minimum salary times the number of players you need to fill out the roster). Those two things would bring the number up around the cap.

    You can create more space by letting Chandler walk this summer, or in 2012 by not re-signing Gallo, Fields or Felton. Or include any of the above in a sign and trade.

    In 2012 you could create extra cap room by waiting to sign Gallo (his Q offer will be @$5 million, not $8 million) and Fields (whose cap hold will be negligible). Even with a $60 million cap you could do those things and have @$17 million to give Chris Paul or Williams. Or do those things and you could swap Gallo for Dwight Howard (if he signed for a little less, like $15 million) – and still have room to resign Felton in the $7-8 million range. If my math on the fly is ok.

    But yes, even at $13 million you’re in a tight salary space with Carmelo. At $20 million, forget it – he’s your last big piece.

    I don’t think it’s insane to think that Carmelo might take $14 million (LeBron & Bosh signed for $14.2 mil the first year) or a touch less. And at that cost, you could make a case for it.

    But I’d be just as happy, if not happier, to re-sign Chandler in the $8 million range and keep total flexibility for those mega-moves. In the meantime the Knicks could upgrade by using all their 2011-2012 cap room on a one-year deal for someone like Tyson Chandler or Dalembert. Would the Clips match a one-year, $10 million offer to DeAndre Jordan?

  36. Thomas B.

    “And with the 21st pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the New York Knicks select Jimmer Fredette from BYU. Following advice from the Department of Homeland Security, Jimmer is not here.”

  37. flossy

    Caleb: I agree the Knicks have more need for a classic defensive center, than another forward, but I would rather have Josh Smith than Brendan Haywood if you know what I mean.  

    It’s funny you mention it—I’ve been thinking about this as well and completely agree. I no longer hold out hope that Anthony Randolph will turn into Josh Smith anytime soon, at least not for us, though the potential is there. That being said, I would MUCH rather keep Amar’e at the 5 and pair him with an athletic, rebounding/shot-blocking 4 who can run than a plodding center who will just muck everything up a la Haywood.

    In most of the Melo trade proposals floating around, we end up giving up 2 out of Gallo/WC/Fields plus Curry and a pick (in the form of Randolph) and making a $20m+ salary commitment. If you take it as a given that we’re going to do that, wouldn’t you so much rather have this haul than Carmelo, who we don’t even need?

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4z5bx9h

    Yeah, it’s a bit far-fetched, but both Iguodala and Josh Smith have been rumored to be on the trading block this year, and you could make the case that Atlanta and Philly would both be getting back young, cheap replacements for the players they lose and major salary relief. That being said, I think Atlanta would have to implode in order for this deal to go down, but it’s pretty much my dream scenario. A starting 5 of Felton/Iguodala/Gallinari/Josh Smith/Amar’e would be unreal in terms of athleticism and transition attack, and we’d be… wait for it… good at defense! Yes!

  38. Brian Cronin

    From Bill Simmons’ column today:

    Their best possible Melo offer (Danilo Gallinari/Wilson Chandler/Anthony Randolph/Eddy Curry/2014 No. 1 pick/$3 million) would be like one of those insulting “MAKE AN OFFER” moments on eBay, when you lowball a seller hoping he’s going broke in the next 24 hours and might say yes.

    Yikes.

  39. Frank O.

    I think it is worth noting that it’s not in Denver’s interest to move Anthony until the trade deadline for two good reasons:
    1. if the value of the first round draft picks they get back (meaning the place they fall in the first round) is contingent on the performance of the team giving them away, then it makes no sense making that team better with Melo and sooner than necessary; and
    2. Denver needs to keep people’s butts in seats in Denver for as long as possible, and Melo is the guy that does that for them.

    So buckle your seat belts. This is going to take another 40 days or so before the deadline, which I think is the 24th of February.
    The person who is in the most control is Anthony. If he truly wants to go to the Knicks, he can refuse to sign an extension with anyone but the Knicks. Now he could be sent off as a rental, but there are only a few teams who want that, and then the Knicks can make a run at him as a FA.
    Otherwise, the Knicks could get him at a good trade value because Melo gives them leverage, and the Knicks can extend him at that time.

    Either way, Carmelo could really put the screws to Denver. I think Walsh is playing this smartly, but I’m not sure it’s genius. It’s pretty easy to see that so long as Carmelo wants to play for the Knicks, he can make that happen.

  40. Brian Cronin

    Then Simmons follows it up with…

    lottery pick Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman, expiring contracts and the rights to Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 pick (nearly as valuable a trade chip as Favors) for Carmelo and Al Harrington’s horrendous contract that’s the Carmelo Trade Tax.

    That’s his great idea for a Clippers offer, and yet he’s poo-pooing Chandler/Gallo/AR/Curry/2014 pick?!!?

  41. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wait–
    Does anyone actually think Carmelo’s taking anything less than max salary to play anywhere? Come on, now. Carmelo would be justifiably insulted by an offer of $12.6M. I think he’s worth less than that and even I would be surprised by that kind of lowballing. He’ll go to that awful, ghost ship Nets team for max before he comes to NYC for that kind of money.  

    And I assume you’re saying this because you are close friends with Melo and know how he thinks? Or did he sleep with your sister or something, because you’ve definitely been the biggest anti-Carmelo guy on this board?

    One thing about Melo – if he wanted to go somewhere just for the money, I think it would have happened already. The Nuggets would be insane not to take Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, 2 #1s, and a huge amount of salary relief for a guy they’ll lose for nothing in 6 months, and whose leverage is growing by the day.

    Truth is, we have no idea what he’s thinking other than that he would prefer to come to the Knicks. And given that Bosh/Wade/Lebron have already set a precedent for taking less than the max, it seems pretty reasonable that he might do that also.

  42. Caleb

    @41 I don’t take it as a given Walsh would do that. So far all we see is pure speculation by sportswriters who are overwhelmed by “stars” and aren’t great judges of talent. My guess is NONE of these leaks come from NY. Minnesota is always a sieve for rumors, and the Nuggets are floating these supposed mega-offers to bluff the Nets into giving them 5 draft picks and Favors and taking all their bad salaries.

    I won’t beat a dead horse but will say that people are way too down on AR – he hasn’t played and we don’t go to practice so there’s no way to say anything about how his game has developed since the past two seasons, when he was actually pretty good. All we semi-know is that D’Antoni doesn’t like him.

    re: the trade, that’s amazingly not crazy. It’s really two separate trades. I’ve thought about Chandler for Iggy. Similar players, although Iggy is a much better passer and Chandler is starting to look like a better shooter. AI is a bit more expensive, but I actually like him better than Carmelo, even at the same salary. He’s a beast on D.

    I don’t see Atlanta doing the other half of the deal but they are always hard up for $$ and that would be a great rebuilding trade.

    Don’t like it for the Knicks, though. Randolph has decent chance to be as good as Smith and even if he isn’t, Fields more than makes up the difference. And the Knicks have a lot more cap flexibility as-is.

    Luckily, it could only happen before the trade deadline and that’s too early for the Hawks.

  43. Frank

    Frank O.:
    Otherwise, the Knicks could get him at a good trade value because Melo gives them leverage, and the Knicks can extend him at that time.Either way, Carmelo could really put the screws to Denver. I think Walsh is playing this smartly, but I’m not sure it’s genius. It’s pretty easy to see that so long as Carmelo wants to play for the Knicks, he can make that happen. &nbsp

    This is exactly why Carmelo holds all the cards and why all this recent talk might just be ESPN doing its thing and over-dramatizing all these negotiations just to get pageviews. Denver can ask for Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, but it makes no difference unless Carmelo will agree to sign an extension. All this talk is moot until Melo agrees to sign on the extension’s dotted line. Again – if Melo is ok with moving to Jersey, then it probably would have happened already. There’s no way that Denver backs away from that king’s ransom with the hope that the draft picks get a little better – too much risk that the Nets will walk away and leave them with no time/leverage to make another deal.

    My prediction for what it’s worth (which is nothing) – one of 2 things happen:
    1- Melo is traded to the Knicks for one of the following 2 packages: Chandler + Curry or Gallo+Curry. +/- AR or draft pick.

    2 – Melo is traded for cents on the dollar to a team willing to rent him for the stretch run (Dallas) and hope that post-season success convinces him to re-up.

    BTW Simmons is entertaining, and that article was spot-on in many parts. But that offer is just crazy talk. Does he realize the Knicks are actually GOOD and that they’re no longer run by Isiah? One can only hope all those “/”‘s were meant to be or’s and not and’s.

  44. DS

    Looks like Ama’re moved into 2nd among forward in All-Star voting. ¡Olé!

    Also, if Felton makes it (in addition to it being very nice too see TWO Knicks in the ASG), I think it slightly improves our odds to deal him for CP3 and Williams. If either of those two ask for a trade, their owners might be slightly less timid about pulling the trigger if the package they receive in return includes “an All-Star point guard.”

  45. Thomas B.

    @34

    I can imagine Fields at a number lower than 6 million. As good as Fields is, his market value takes a hit because he isnt a big scorer. But who knows what Kahn is willing to do. Still dont get the Darko signing.

    Anyway, yes Fields does a ton of great things and yes his scoring may improve–not that I think it even needs to. But there are very few players who can do what Fields can do that make 500K a year. There are bunch more options at 6 million a year. What makes Fields so nice is the value vs. the cost. He is an above average player so he would make slightly more than average NBA salary at 6 million. But I have to think the new CBA is going to address the second round pick issue. because had Fields been the 30th pick we could lock him up for 4 years at around 2 million per.

    Currently a 2nd round pick make far less than a first rounder but can become an unrestricted free agent after the second year. Have a great second year ala Carlos Boozer and you can get a free agent deal for the maximum salary of a players with two years experience (around 13.5 million).

    Meanwhile the first rounder has more job security in terms of years, but he has to wait longer to cash in AND the team can make him a restricted free agent by making a qualifing offer. So then the team can just sit back and see what the market dictates. Had the Cavs been able to do that, they could have kept Boozer and maybe the Cavs field a way better team in those years.

    I’m thinking the new CBA is going to address this issue. First I think player maximum salaries will come down significantly. Second, I think there will be a provision to make second rounders restricted free agents at the end of the second year. I dont think a third year player should make more than a first rounder in the third year of his rookie deal. That needs to be fixed. And if it is fixed to my satisfaction, Fields could make no more than about 3.5 million.

  46. Caleb

    @49 All true except it doesn’t look as though Melo is playing along.

    @50 I think the first thing to change will be exceptions – fewer or none. The league will also aim for shorter vet contracts and longer rookie contracts.

    That’s an educated guess, not based on any reporting.

  47. flossy

    @46 The only reason I treat it as a given is that I have a hard time believing our F.O. isn’t going to do what’s necessary to get Melo once it becomes clear that the Nets rumors are all hot air. And while I cringe at the thought of giving up all our cap flexibility, plus the potential of AR, plus two of Gallo/Chandler/Fields… I think Donnie Walsh would have to have balls of steel to turn that offer down if it were really on the table. That’s betting his legacy, basically, that Landry Fields will take a franchise farther than Carmelo Anthony. There’s a ton of potential downside to passing up what seems like a sure thing, whereas nobody outside stat heads will knock a trade that lands us a Melo. I just don’t see a trade going down for any less than what I proposed (and Denver fans will still scream bloody murder) since as overrated as he is, Melo is still probably better than any one of those three players individually. And you know, “it’s a star’s league blah blah blah”

    As for Randolph… oh man. This summer I thought that Josh Smith was his *worst case scenario*. I still think he could develop into a really, really good player, but I no longer as certain and I no longer think it will happen on a timeframe that works for us. If he’s 24 years old before he starts to “get it”… well, that’s kind of too late. Admittedly he’s had a tiny amount of minutes this year, but he has look just atrocious. I mean, really, just… clueless. And it pains me to say it because I was so high on him.

    As for my trade, yes the Hawks would have to implode very soon, or Smith himself would have to do something really objectionable before the trade deadline. But if it happened we’d have 3 of the top 10 athletes in the NBA (two of whom are legit all-defensive team candidates), a fast, tough-as-nails PG who lives to play D and run the break, the best paint scorer in the league, and an ultra-efficient scorer and perimeter threat in Gallo. None of whom are older than 28. Sign. Me…

  48. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin: Then Simmons follows it up with…
    That’s his great idea for a Clippers offer, and yet he’s poo-pooing Chandler/Gallo/AR/Curry/2014 pick?!!?  

    Simmons can be a good read. He also can be blindingly unaware of his own biases as a fan. I read his piece too and aside from radically underestimating the Nix assets and inflating the Clips’ offer, it’s a solid take (and relatively free of reality TV/Vegas/Porn references)

  49. Brian Cronin

    Currently a 2nd round pick make far less than a first rounder but can become an unrestricted free agent after the second year. Have a great second year ala Carlos Boozer and you can get a free agent deal for the maximum salary of a players with two years experience (around 13.5 million).

    Second-rounders are restricted free agents after two years.

    Boozer only became unrestricted because of the under the table agreement with the Cavs that he used to get out of his restricted status.

  50. Brian Cronin

    Simmons can be a good read. He also can be blindingly unaware of his own biases as a fan. I read his piece too and aside from radically underestimating the Nix assets and inflating the Clips’ offer, it’s a solid take (and relatively free of reality TV/Vegas/Porn references)

    Oh definitely, it was otherwise a fine piece. I was just stunned by the Knicks/Clippers take. That was astonishingly silly on his part, but what gets me is that his take tends to go towards conventional wisdom in a lot of cases, and his take on the Knicks’ “best offer” matches Chris Sheridan’s take, as well, and it is just so ludicrous. Chandler and Gallo plus AR is a “low ball” offer?!?!?

  51. Caleb

    flossy:
    That’s betting his legacy, basically, that Landry Fields will take a franchise farther than Carmelo Anthony.

    Not really, it’s betting his legacy that Fields + Gallo + Chandler + an extra $10 million in cap room will take the franchise farther, etc.

    flossy:
    As for Randolph… oh man. This summer I thought that Josh Smith was his *worst case scenario*.I still think he could develop into a really, really good player, but I no longer as certain and I no longer think it will happen on a timeframe that works for us.

    Take heart!

    100 minutes, in 5-minute bursts, is no reason to change your assessment of a player who played 2,000 minutes coming into the season…

    Just for some perspective, in Stoudemire’s first 3 games this year (107 minutes) he shot 46 percent with more turnovers than rebounds – 17 vs. 15. (Randolph has 10 TOs in 110 minutes). But Stoudemire hadn’t turned into a pumpkin on the flight from Phoenix and I don’t guess Randolph has either.

  52. flossy

    Caleb:
    Not really, it’s betting his legacy that Fields + Gallo + Chandler + an extra $10 million in cap room will take the franchise farther, etc.  

    No, I know, I meant in terms of public opinion. If we stand pat, resign Chandler and add a center like Nene or Gasol (if we’re lucky) or Dalembert (if we’re not) and then fail to get past the second round for the next 3 years… the Mark Bermans of the world would have a field day with mean-spirited counter-factuals. For the record I am firmly against trading more than just one of the pups for Melo, but resigned to the fact that it’s not unlikely to happen.

    Caleb:
    Just for some perspective, in Stoudemire’s first 3 games this year (107 minutes) he shot 46 percent, averaged 5 rebounds a game and had 17 turnovers. (Randolph has 10 TOs in 110 minutes). Stoudemire hadn’t turned into a pumpkin on the flight from Phoenix and I don’t guess Randolph has either.  

    True, but Amar’e has a track record of elite performance over the long haul, whereas Randolph has shown nothing but tantalizing flashes and a propensity to find the bench/dog house even on a bad Warriors team that had not much to lose by giving him heavy minutes. Although he’d have had to have spent all summer huffing glue to have regressed as badly as it appears given the small sample size, let’s just say my optimism is sharply tempered. I think it hurts him that he is hyperactive, making a few great plays and a bunch of AWFUL mistakes in the course of five minutes, as opposed to someone like Mason Jr. who just discreetly contributes absolutely nothing when given playing time.

  53. latke

    Caleb: In 2012 you could create extra cap room by waiting to sign Gallo (his Q offer will be @$5 million, not $8 million) and Fields (whose cap hold will be negligible).

    Fields’ cap hold will be the league average salary — about $6 million, as per this.

    Gallinari’s will be 150% of his previous year’s salary — about $6.2 million.

    Felton’s will be $8.4 million.

    If you renounce Felton, that leaves

    $19.9 (Amare) + $6.2 (Gallo) + $6 (Fields) + $13 (‘Melo) + $2 (Douglas) + $3.5 (7x minimum salaries) = $50.5 million. So that leaves $10-12 million. You’d have to renounce either Fields or Gallo as well to be able to offer a max/near max contract.

    flossy: I think Donnie Walsh would have to have balls of steel to turn that offer down if it were really on the table. That’s betting his legacy, basically, that Landry Fields will take a franchise farther than Carmelo Anthony

    The question is not whether Carmelo Anthony can take a team further than Landry Fields. It’s whether the team and salary situation that remains after ‘Melo is signed gives the team the maximum opportunity to win a championship. Which is better? ‘Melo or Fields, Gallo, Randolph and player you sign with the additional $10 million you save in salary?

  54. Veal Scalabrine

    As I noted in my very first post on this board, I suggested that Carmelo–strictly from a personnel standpoint–not be a part of our plans, so we can position ourselves for Dwight/Paul/Deron cap-wise. In reality, however, the Knick fan-base and media at large would kill Walsh for not landing Anthony–especially if all indications are that he only wants to play for New York, $$$’s/new CBA be damned.

    In this case, I feel there are only 2 acceptable scenarios: a) either he signs as a free-agent for a LeBron-like 14 mil contract and we retain all our assets/flexibility. Or b) we only give up junk (Curry/Azu/Mason … and maybe the draft pick obtained via Randolph) in an extend-and-trade (that STARTS at 14 mil–nothing says we’re beholden to the current extension terms). Bottom line, call Melo’s bluff. If he REALLY wants to be part of a championship contender in his hometown, (and reports increasingly suggest he’s not keen on NJ), then the Knicks really do possess all the leverage. (Personally, I’m very doubtful at the half-year rental scenario, etc.)

    So, let’s say we get Melo in FA at the above terms, and we keep-in-mind that WC’s qualifying offer is 3.9 mil. 2011/2012 cap situation is thus (I’m 90% sure on these figures):
    Amare: 18.3(mil)
    Melo: 14
    Felton: 7.5
    Chandler: 3.9 (qualifying)
    Gallo: 4.3
    Fields: .55
    Randolph: 2.9
    TD: 1.9
    Moz: 2.6
    Rautins: .65
    2011 1st round: 1.5-ish
    1 roster charge: .47
    =58.5 mil (right at the cap if we use this year’s #)

    Unless I’m mistaken, we’d retain WC’s Bird rights (assuming they’re part of the next CBA), and I would gladly match any offer in the 8-9 mil range. With a top-6 rotation of Amare/Melo/Felton/Gallo/Fields/Chandler … well, it’s hard to complain about that.

    If you all were to humor my assumptions here for a moment, and also assume ongoing development from our young core, can this team legitimately challenge Miami next year????

  55. Caleb

    latke:
    Fields’ cap hold will be the league average salary — about $6 million, as per this.Gallinari’s will be 150% of his previous year’s salary — about $6.2 million.Felton’s will be $8.4 million.If you renounce Felton, that leaves$19.9 (Amare) + $6.2 (Gallo) + $6 (Fields) + $13 (‘Melo) + $2 (Douglas) + $3.5 (7x minimum salaries) = $50.5 million. So that leaves $10-12 million. You’d have to renounce either Fields or Gallo as well to be able to offer a max/near max contract.

    I agree with you on the ‘Melo choice. On the #s…

    re: Fields Unless I’m confused, the average NBA salary is the maximum the Knicks can pay Fields, if they have to go over the cap – it’s the Early Bird exception. His cap hold is as small as it gets, the minimum NBA salary, since that’s what he’s being paid now.

    re: Gallo, once the Knicks make the qualifying offer – $5.6 million – that’s all the cap space he takes up. Unless I’m crazy!

    re: Felton, I think his hold would be $9.4 million – 120 percent of his most recent salary, which HoopsHype lists as $7.5 million in 2011-2012.

    All that stuff could be overturned in the next CBA – hard to know what to expect.

    And very possibly one or more of those guys would be part of a sign and trade deal if the Knicks were reeling in a big fish.

  56. Veal Scalabrine

    Just to correct a slight misimpressions re Felton’s salary: the Knicks have a team option for Felton in 2012-13 at 7.5 mil. Of this I’m certain.

  57. Caleb

    flossy:
    I think it hurts him that he is hyperactive, making a few great plays and a bunch of AWFUL mistakes in the course of five minutes, as opposed to someone like Mason Jr. who just discreetly contributes absolutely nothing when given playing time.  

    This is a good description, and it (obviously) does hurt him in the perception of many fans, and probably some dopey GMs. I’m guessing a sharp guy like Walsh knows its better to have a guy who makes great plays and can work on cutting out mistakes. As John Thompson likes to say, “You can calm down a fool but you can’t resurrect a corpse.”

  58. flossy

    @62

    That Thompson quote is great. Sadly, I think our coach may be a bit too risk-averse, especially now that we’re winning, to be similarly inclined. When Shawne Williams finally cracked the rotation I think D’Antoni said something to the effect of “even when he’s not shooting, he’s not hurting us out there.” Sadly, the same cannot be said for AR so far in game action, and I have to assume he’s not much better in practice.

  59. Caleb

    @59 No, I don’t think that team would challenge Miami and without Turiaf would almost be a wash with this year’s team – Melo only takes minutes from our good young forwards and doesn’t help the defense.
    Long-term, it’s ok because we would be loaded for a big-time followup trade.
    I think sportswriters underrate the fans – if the Knicks are winning, if it turns out to be a good basketball decision, fans don’t care about missing out on Anthony.

  60. Thomas B.

    Brian Cronin:
    Second-rounders are restricted free agents after two years.
    Boozer only became unrestricted because of the under the table agreement with the Cavs that he used to get out of his restricted status.  

    Fair enough. But they can still make the maximum salary for a player with 2 years exp. and that is much more than they would make if they were a late first rounder. They’d be on the third year of the rookie scale. The point is that the max salary for a third year player is too high.

  61. latke

    Caleb — The cap hold rules are pretty arcane, so I may be wrong. Here’s where I’m getting my #s:

    Kind of Free Agent: Early Bird, following the second season of his rookie scale contract
    Previous Salary: Any
    Free Agent Amount (cap hold): The maximum salary the team can pay the player using the Early Bird exception

    Fields’ max salary in early bird is the NBA avg salary, which is like $6 million.

    I think because this $ amount is greater than the qualifying offer, for both Gallo and Fields, it overrules any qualifying offer as per this:

    A restricted free agent counts against his team’s salary cap by the greatest of:

    • His free agent amount
    • The amount of his qualifying offer
    • The first year salary from any offer sheet the player signs with another team

    The rule for gallo is 150% of previous salary. (link

  62. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    We’ll have the same W-L next year with Carmelo (minus whoever we have to give up) as we will at the end of this season. Just like my “Fields will be awesome” prediction, this will come true. All of this speculation makes me feel quite pessimistically about our future.

  63. Caleb

    @67
    re: Gallo (and Chandler, earlier) I missed that the “free agent amount” overrules the qualifying offer. If that’s accurate. In Chandler’s case especially, it makes a pretty big difference.

    re: Fields, I sort of contradicted myself. Re-thinking – I don’t think there is a “rookie scale” for second-rounders. So I think he would fall in the “Early Bird (all others)” group.

    If that’s right, his cap hold would be 130% of his most recent salary, or about $1 million for 2012-2013. And he could be paid up to a max of the average salary.

    “EARLY BIRD EXCEPTION — This is a weaker form of the Larry Bird exception, and is also a component of the Veteran Free Agent exception. Players who qualify for this exception are called “Early Qualifying Veteran Free Agents” in the CBA. A player qualifies for this exception essentially by playing two seasons without being waived or changing teams as a free agent (see question number 26 for details). A team may use this exception to re-sign its own free agent for up to 175% of his salary the previous season or the average player salary, whichever is greater.”
    source:
    http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q19

  64. Caleb

    @71 on straight economics, it’s articficially low, way too low – in free market the rooks would be paid much more, like they were before the scale started.

    In terms of production – I dunno. I’d guess that on average they are still underpaid, by a lot, especially in years 2, 3 and 4.

  65. d-mar

    Broussard is tweeting that Knicks have reached out to Memphis about sending Mayo to Denver as part of 3 team deal to send Melo to NY. I really really hope we don’t give up 2 out of 3 of Gallo, Chandler, Fields.

  66. Thomas B.

    @72 But compensation should always be tied to production, not place in line. I’d say about 1 of the first 7-8 picks in the draft is underpaid in terms of salary to production. Is Haseem Thabeet worth the money he is getting as the 2nd overall? Hell no. And even doing nothing he makes more than the vets minimum and pretty close to average NBA salary.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @74

    But an acceptable consensus on production is simply not feasible. I think you know that. That’s why we’re going to trade a 6’10” sharpshooter with a high FT/FGA, a draft pick, and possibly another low-cost, high-efficiency part for a dude who’s only shown that, despite being surrounded by terribly efficient “role players” (Nene, Billups, hell, even Affalo this year) he can take a lot of shots with an average make rate. That’s why we’re about to mortgage the future on one player whose consensus, based in traditional stats, claim greatness, while the advanced stats cry fraud. It’s a damn shame.

  68. daJudge

    Does Melo fit in better with this system and, more importantly, with this team, better than Chandler, Fields plus Gallo, or any combination of the two? Will he be more productive than two of the above? Does his presence, minus two of the above, make us more competitive with Miami, Boston, Orlando, Dallas or LA? Gut feeling—I’m not convinced. Is Melo actually more attractive because he is more available than other FA’s (RFA, and others), who we might need to wait a bit for? Is his potential availability driving this crazy train? I know Melo is great, but is he an opportunity or a chimera? No disrespect for an awesome 3 who wants to play with us, but really, is this a need or a desire? Great and impressive analysis by you other bloggers, btw. Really mind boggling in its detail on the cap. Is there any way we could sign Melo,perhaps lose only Gallo (my own prejudice, never been so hot on him), or even Chandler (which I would hate), and have enough left over to sign a solid FA Big, now or next year? I think that’s who we need. “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”

  69. leearmon

    I know the debate about melo has gone on for months it seems. Im not completely for him, but not as against dealing for him as others on this site. However, with the recent news of Memphis getting involved could this satisfy even the most anti-Melo Knickerblogger?

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine

    Obviously picks would also have to be included but it seems to satisfy everyone’s biggest problems. Memphis has already stated they are very high on Will (and why wouldn’t any team be) Giving up Gasol is a reach, but maybe they are saying to themselves “we dont want to match whatever the Knicks offer him this offseason, so better get something for him now”

    Thoughts?

  70. BigBlueAL

    THCJ, if Melo was with the Knicks this season instead of Fields and Chandler they would be a 29 win team according to Dave Berri!!!!

    I totally understand the major skepticism in terms of trading for Melo. Hell Im largely against trading for him. But I think there is some major exaggeration in terms of what would happen if they trade for Melo as if it will destroy the franchise and all these doomsday scenarios being thrown around if they trade for him.

  71. daJudge

    BBA— I don’t think any right thinking dude believes that obtaining Melo would destroy the franchise. That’s simply absurd. I also do not think any right thinking fan would disagree that Melo would be fine on the Knicks. But at what cost? That is the issue presented. Trades are designed to help, not hype. Also, I do not think the trade at # 79 is realistic. We are talking about letting go 2 of 3 rotation players, one who is a rookie and has demonstrated rare qualities. Another is a guy, drafted by Thomas, who has measurably gotten better every year. Also, they each play a 2/3/4. That’s my problem with the whole thing and we do not know (and can not know), empirically, how Melo will play with our guys.

  72. Spree8nyk8

    I’m ok with Gallo/fields/randolph/curry But I’m not ok with swapping Chandler for any of those. I feel better about this now because I really think Shawne Williams is the real deal and I think he can do everything that Gallo can do and play better D. So I could see a starting lineup of

    Felton
    Williams
    Melo
    Chandler
    Amar’e

    And hopefully we can find something good with the MLE in the offseason (if it’s still there).
    I think that is an acceptable starting point.

  73. BigBlueAL

    Oh I totally agree dont get me wrong. Like I said I dont really want to trade for him but if they do Im not going to have the mindset of this is the worst move ever, we are screwed for the next 5 years now.

  74. daJudge

    Fields and Williams are not, IMO,fungible. I would hate like heck to lose Landry. There are so few players like him and he’s cheap.

  75. Spree8nyk8

    I’m with BBA on this one. I’d love to see them wait, but I’m not superoffended by them not risking waiting. Especially if they can hold on to wilson. If they can hold on to wilson I’m all for it. Like I said, I think Shawne Williams can take on a larger role.

  76. BigBlueAL

    Funny thing is while most everybody here, plus the numbers analysts, will hate trading for Melo basically the entire national and local media will be praising the Knicks left and right lol.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It’s all about the narrative, my man. A sportswriter’s dream. Unfortunately, the Knicks won’t be shooting more shots per game because of Carmelo, and odds are they won’t be making more of those shots. We’ll see in time.

  78. Z

    Caleb: at $13 million you’re in a tight salary space with Carmelo. At $20 million, forget it – he’s your last big piece.  

    First off, let me say it’s great having our resident cap guru back discussing this stuff here!

    Re: Carmelo at $13 vs. $20, I don’t see how the total effects the teams ability to add future pieces. Either way the Knicks are
    Over the cap in 2012 (at least per current CBA rules). As long as they are over, it doesn’t really matter how much they are over– regardless they have to acquire contracts via trade rather than free agency.

    The Knicks will have $17 million in expiring contracts to match up with Paul’s salary (Felton, Turiaf, Walker, and Mozgov’s non-guaranteed contract). That is enough to bring in a 3rd max player before the deadline, should one become available. I just don’t see how Melo taking a haircut or not determines whether we can make another big move or not.

  79. Jimmy C

    This is becoming exhausting. I’d REALLY like to be a fly on the wall in Donnie’s office right now, to see his thought process. One thing that struck me in Broussard’s piece — and, let’s be honest, this guy makes a living on speculation and rumor, so take anything that ever comes out of his mouth with a Spaulding-sized grain of salt — was the statement that any deal would “most likely” include a combination of WC, Fields and Gallo. But to assume “most likely” is to believe that Denver is far less desperate than I think they are at this point. They see the writing on the wall and just want to make a deal and move on with some semblance of a future intact. I have no idea what the situation in Memphis has been, but Mayo could definitely be a borderline elite 2 given a few more years, and I can see how Denver would benefit from his being involved.

    Assuming Walsh pulls the trigger and two of them have to go, I have to say I’d keep Fields over the other two. Which is hard for me to say, given what both Gallo and WC have shown — Gallo more in spurts, and WC ever more consistently. Fields is super cheap, after all, and I for one don’t buy the argument that, just because he’s 22, he won’t develop a more refined skill set. Furthermore, if it’s one position we can afford to trim, it’s the 3. I know D’Antoni doesn’t put too much stock in positions, but the fact is that Gallo, Chandler, Williams, Walker, and to a lesser extent Fields (although he’s definitely more of a 2), all play that position. And so does Melo. So if you’re going to give up pieces, they might as well be the piece you’re replacing them with.

    But again, who knows what Walsh is trying to work here. He strikes me as savvy and forward-thinking enough to be playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers — posturing in order to get someone else to bet the farm in the hopes that the Knicks can end up either getting Melo for a song or filling more pressing needs.

  80. Brian Cronin

    I feel better about this now because I really think Shawne Williams is the real deal and I think he can do everything that Gallo can do and play better D.

    Gallo is a better defender than Shawne Williams.

  81. BigBlueAL

    Gallo is definitely a better perimeter defender than Shawne Williams for sure but Silent E has shown he can at least battle defensively in the post and mix it up on the boards from time to time.

  82. Brian Cronin

    Who here would sign off on this trade?

    I find it amazing that Hollinger’s numbers feel that that trade does not affect any of the four teams.

  83. Brian Cronin

    Gallo is definitely a better perimeter defender than Shawne Williams for sure but Silent E has shown he can at least battle defensively in the post and mix it up on the boards from time to time.

    I agree, it is useful that he can battle in the post.

    He’s not good at it, but I do agree that it is useful to have a guy at least willing to be (or rather, the coach is willing to let be) sort of a sacrificial lamb in the paint on defense when D’Antoni is determine to play small ball.

  84. Ben R

    I am strictly in the don’t want Melo camp. We are young and we are improving. Chandler, Gallo and Fields are all above average starting wings and all three are very young. Chandler is putting up borderline all-star numbers this year. Why drastically change the team to add a piece, although very skilled, that is alot older, alot more expensive, has seen his efficiency drop over the last couple of years and plays the same position as 2 of our best players. He’s not even a good outside shooter. I do think Melo would be a bad thing and if we lost Gallo in the process I would be pissed, livid if we lost Fields, losing Chandler would sting but it would only be bad rather than disasterous.

    I liked the Nene trade. We should tell Melo we’re not interested, which would force him to sign an extension with someone, and then try and poach Nene. His contract has an option next year and he has no reason to stay on a rebuilding team so Curry plus an asset or two might be enough.

    Add Nene to our starting five with Chandler, Turiaf, Douglas and Williams off the bench and I think we’re talking 50 wins easy. As good as any team in the east other than probably Miami.

  85. Brian Cronin

    Honestly, Robert, your trade kinda pisses me off, because it is pretty logical, but it then reminds me that it would never work because the media has decided that it would be a joke offer, since it includes only one of Gallo, Fields and Chandler.

    It seems pretty clear that the Knicks are not going to get Melo without parting with two of those three guys, and it also is beginning to look like the Knicks are going to get Melo.

    Soooo…yeah, I am not happy.

  86. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin:
    I find it amazing that Hollinger’s numbers feel that that trade does not affect any of the four teams.  

    Not sure what to make of that either

  87. Robert Silverman

    Brian Cronin: Honestly, Robert, your trade kinda pisses me off, because it is pretty logical, but it then reminds me that it would never work because the media has decided that it would be a joke offer, since it includes only one of Gallo, Fields and Chandler.
    It seems pretty clear that the Knicks are not going to get Melo without parting with two of those three guys, and it also is beginning to look like the Knicks are going to get Melo.Soooo…yeah, I am not happy.  

    There’d be a first from the Wolves in exchange for Randolph, plus 3 million Cablevisions going to Denver in the deal to boot. I tried to concoct the most equitable deal I could

    Plus, Moz’s contract is non-guaranteed after this year & insurance may cover all of Azu’s deal so you’re saving Memphis a bunch of cash.

    Honestly, I trust Donnie not to overpay for Melo. If the “refusing to sign anywhere but NY” thing is real, there’s absolutely no need to overpay.

    I have a feeling he’ll tell Denver, take this (or some other what the media would call “lowball”) deal or take your chances this summer.

  88. Brian Cronin

    I sure hope that you’re correct. The idea of gutting the young talent from the team for Melo…yuck.

  89. Brian Cronin

    I think it is especially irritating me right now because the Yankees just went out and gave a godawful contract to Rafael Soriano, so right when my head is reeling from hearing about the Yankees being stupid, I get to hear about how the Knicks are doing everything they can to get Melo. The stereo stupidity is maddening.

  90. Robert Silverman

    there are two logical options (I’m speculating, yes). One, he offered the farm (Curry, Randolph, Fields, Gallo or Will) already and Denver said no. In that case, the only way the Knicks get Melo is as a free agent. Two, he offered far less (something like the trade I listed) and Denver is holding out. In that case, all these “leaks” (the NJ mishegas) is really just Denver trying to get Walsh to up his offer and Walsh isn’t budging.

    I trust DW to make a good trade. He successfully lowballed Felton. He got Randolph, Turiaf and Azu when Lee was leaving anyway. And he dumped the supposedly untradeable contracts of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. Yes, he gave up a LOT in the Jeffries/Hill deal, but for a shot at LBJ, I think we all agree it was worth it, especially since w/o that trade, the Nix don’t have room for Felton this past offseason. Really, DW hasn’t made a panic move since he got here and every deal has been a plus for the team. I trust him to be patient and either make a fair trade or, if Denver isn’t willing move on to plan B or C or D, etc.

  91. rama

    Almost never read Berman, but had a Post in front of me this evening, and picked up an interesting detail: Dolan attended the last three Knick games on the road in order to check out the team. Which says to me that Donnie is resisting getting rid of these guys, and Dolan wants to see why. No inside information, though, except one article that stated earlier this year that Donnie was under all kinds of pressure from an owner still in love with Isaiah.

    Of course, ratings are up, no-shows are down, and the Garden is rocking again…so maybe that makes Dolan think Donnie knows better than him. Doubt it, but it would be nice.

    In Donnie we trust.

  92. Z

    @79 and @96 I’m okay with both trades. In Robert’s, though, I’d be just as happy to give Denver Thabeet (or leave him out altogether and keep Mozgov if it’s all the same to the Nuggets). Would rather have Gasol, but as the proposal in 79 suggests, it would likely cost a lot. If we are definitely doing a Carmelo trade, though, I’d be happy with either proposal, mostly because we’d be keeping Fields.

  93. jon abbey

    the part that’s being largely ignored here is that a third star will likely come along in 2012 if Amare and Melo are both here, Paul or Howard or Deron Williams. no, I have no idea how the cap numbers will work, but I know that if those players want to do it (and they seemingly do), they’ll find a way to make it happen.

  94. Z

    rama: Dolan attended the last three Knick games on the road in order to check out the team.Which says to me that Donnie is resisting getting rid of these.  

    I don’t think I’d read that much into it. I’m pretty sure Dolan goes on a western swing with them every year.

  95. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin: I think it is especially irritating me right now because the Yankees just went out and gave a godawful contract to Rafael Soriano, so right when my head is reeling from hearing about the Yankees being stupid, I get to hear about how the Knicks are doing everything they can to get Melo. The stereo stupidity is maddening.  

    Oh God dont tell me you are another one who actually is pissed about the Soriano signing.

    The Yankees have gotten better is the way I see it. Spare me the whining about losing a draft pick and too much money being spent on a reliever. The Yankees dont have to deal with a salary cap and arent run like a small market team. They already have a Top 10 farm system according to Baseball America and still have supplemental 1st round pick anyway if Im not mistaken.

    Anyway back to Melo and the Knicks….

  96. Brian Cronin

    . And he dumped the supposedly untradeable contracts of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford.

    Both of those players were later traded by the teams that the Knicks traded them to, so I don’t think they were really all that untradeable.

  97. Brian Cronin

    No one else wanted to offer Soriano a deal because they didn’t want to give him a big deal on top of a draft pick. Soriano had no leverage, and yet ended up with a three-year deal for big money where he can opt out after each and every year, plus the Yankees lose a first round pick in a strong draft where their monetary advantage would allow them a real opportunity to sign one of the players with signability issues.

    Terrible deal. Brian Cashman has apparently even admitted as much, as sources say that this was the first time since he was given more authority a few years back that he was overruled by the owners.

    Soriano helps the team in 2011, sure. Just like Melo helps the Knicks in 2011.

    Not worth the cost, though (although Melo is obviously a lot worse than Soriano, as there’s no cap in the MLB).

  98. John Kenney

    I agree with the post a few posts above- in donnie we trust. The sportswriters are all dramatically underestimating our leverage/assets. If Melo says no extension to anyone but the Knicks, Denver can’t DEMAND we include Fields just to make it “look more fair.” Either they take nothing or they take what we give them.
    I normally am incredibly annoyed by what Sheridan says. However, in one of the chats he recently did, he said something like ” a good trade is chandler, gallo and fields” (making me really angry) BUT then said “but knicks front office is refusing to include fields” (or something to that effect.) I trust donnie to know he needs to keep landry.

    Final note: how LUDICROUS is it that people think for it to be a fair trade we’d need to include 3(!!!!!!) starters from a team that looks like it will be a 6 seed? so frustrating. We don’t need to play fair- we can steal him. Give up Gallo (minutes he’d be taking anyways) and let’s end this.

  99. Robert Silverman

    don’t kvetch about the Yanks, Bri. After all, the Mets made the earth -shattering signings of the great Ronny Paulino and the immortal Chris Capuano. Woo.

  100. Brian Cronin

    Hehe, true, Robert, true.

    And again, the Soriano thing isn’t nearly as bad as the Melo situation, but it was the combo of the two at once that felt like “Is every New York front office trying to irritate me today?!?!”

  101. Doug

    Brian if it makes you feel any better, Soriano has opt-out clauses after each year of his contract. It’s possible that he could pitch lights out this season, then take even more money to close elsewhere.

  102. Brian Cronin

    It’s the opt-out clauses that drive me even more nuts, though. No one else wanted to sign this guy, and the Yankees give him two opt-out clauses? So if he plays well, he leaves (and the Yankees pay him $1.5 million) and if he plays poorly, they’re stuck with the guy? Also, if the plan is for him to take over from Mo in two years, why give him the second opt-out clause for him to then opt-out and ask for more money when he’ll have more leverage?! Soriano had little to no leverage, and the Yankees gave up a contract to give him a big-money contract with terms all designed to be beneficial to Soriano, not them. Maddening.

  103. Brian Cronin

    I agree, it’s a great move for Soriano.

    And sure, fair enough, I’ll drop the off-topic discussion!

  104. Conor

    I don’t mean to go all the way back to the beginning of this thread, but I wouldn’t expect a low TO% from Andy. I too watched every game he played in college, and he threw up a 25.5 TO% as a senior last year. He loved trying risky passes. Maybe he’ll cut that down at the NBA level, but considering both that and the fact that he isn’t really a PG, I wouldn’t expect a low TO% from him.

  105. d-mar

    @100 “he’s not even a good outside shooter” I don’t think that’s fair at all in regards to Melo. 3 point shooter, yes, not one of his strong points, but I’ll take his mid range game any day of the week. I watched a little of the first half against the Heat last night, and several teams he iso’d against his defender, and with little to no space elevated from about 15 feet and drained jumpers.

    All that being said (and I hate the expression), I’m not advocating gutting the team to get Melo. But offensively, he is as skilled as anyone in the league.

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    d-mar: @100 “he’s not even a good outside shooter” I don’t think that’s fair at all in regards to Melo. 3 point shooter, yes, not one of his strong points, but I’ll take his mid range game any day of the week. I watched a little of the first half against the Heat last night, and several teams he iso’d against his defender, and with little to no space elevated from about 15 feet and drained jumpers.All that being said (and I hate the expression), I’m not advocating gutting the team to get Melo. But offensively, he is as skilled as anyone in the league.  

    No. See, this is factually inaccurate. You present anecdotal evidence (“I watched a little of the first half…”) to support your claim, which, by now, we should all realize is inherently distorted by our weak memories. He is not as skilled as anyone in the league. The stats prove this.

    The reality — and this is indisputable — is that despite being surrounded by great talent, Carmelo has never been a great shooter. He’s tremendously athletic and physically dominant, but his efficiency is not there. The only counter-argument is that his high usage has led to low efficiency, but who cares? As I said countless threads ago, we’re signing him hoping that he turns into a monster by being paired with another also-tremendously-talented player, not on the promise of the continuation of high-quality play (a la LeBron, P. Gasol, et al.). He’s a huge risk.

    Not as skilled as anyone in the league. Athletic? Maybe. But basketball is a lot more than running and jumping.

  107. flossy

    @123: For whatever it’s worth, I have to disagree. Sure he’s a fine athlete and has above average reflexive quickness but Carmelo isn’t any more physically “dominant” than, say, Wilson Chandler. Physical domination, in my mind at least, is someone like LeBron who combines a PG’s foot speed, quickness and court vision with Karl Malone’s body (with better hops). Yikes.

    Melo to my eyes is very much a finesse player—tremendous footwork, very nice shooting form (from midrange at least), an array of polished post moves and a variety of ways to hurt you from the triple threat position. The fact that he is inefficient has more to do with his god-awful shot selection and willingness—eagerness, even—to stop the ball in favor of taking high-degree-of-difficulty shots out of an isolation set or to shoot over double coverage.

    Now, none of that is to say he’d be a good fit for a system that thrives on good ball movement and typically eschews the mid-range jump shot in favor of the three. We already have one exception to the rule in that Amar’e likes to ISO and take mid-range Js, but insofar as this (sort of) works, it’s because he’s surrounded by 4 other guys who are credible threats to hit a three if left open, which Carmelo isn’t, really. Nor would he be content to become a spot up shooter or decoy for Amar’e, nor would he come close to earning his salary that way. I would rather add pieces that fit the system than adapt the system to an ill-fitting and overpaid player, no matter how skilled.

    But I do think he is absolutely one of the most skilled in the league and has a good mid-range J, and wouldn’t call him particularly physically dominant in my humble opinion.

  108. d-mar

    @123 I guess I should have known that as soon as something positive was said about Melo, THCJ would come back with the usual snarky response. Did I say that watching him last night was “factual evidence” that he was a great shooter? It was just an observation that he has the ability to create his own shot when being closely guarded. But if you want “facts” let’s look at his last playoff appearance against the Jazz:

    Games 6
    PPG 30.7
    FG% .464
    Reb. PG 8.5
    Steals PG 2

    This was playoff basketball against a very good Jazz team. What more do you want from the guy? I’m not saying he’s LeBron or Kobe or Wade, but he is a very good player and doesn’t deserve the criticism.

  109. JK47

    This is a stats-oriented blog, and Melo is sort of the ultimate anti-advanced stats player (despite the fact that he scores well in PER). There’s no question that if you’re a believer in Dave Berri’s system, Melo is overrated. If he does go to New Jersey, it should be an interesting test of Berri’s metrics.

    The Nets are a terrible offensive team. Just terrible– 28th out of 30 in offensive rating. The Nuggets are a terrific offensive team– 3rd in the league in offensive rating. The proposed Nets trade has the Nuggets basically staying the same, except with Melo and Billups leaving and Favors and Harris joining the team. Billups is a bit better than Harris, but there’s not a night-and-day difference between the two as offensive players.

    I think that the Nuggets’ offense will get a lot worse after the trade and the Nets’ offense will get a lot better, but if Berri is correct there shouldn’t be much of a change after the trade happens– the Nuggets should still be very good on offense if not better, and the Nets should still be a poor offense. It should be very interesting to see what happens to the offensive ratings of the two clubs should this trade go down.

  110. leearmon

    This melo debate is really a fascinating one, because ultimately it again draws the line in the sand between per game stats vs advanced. I for one, believe much can be interpreted from both, however, if you strictly use one to quantify a players talents or worth to a team you are making a huge mistake. Although melo scores like an “elite” player, advanced stats correctly show that he is not one. However this notion that melo is not an upgrade of Gallo, or even Chandler for that matter and that his usage doesn’t directly effect his efficiency in Denver is incorrect as well. We’ve seen this before in Raymond Felton. This offseason, advanced stats showed that Felton was not a top PG in this league. I can remember people (Ted Nelson) saying that he was one of the worst starting PG in the NBA. However a change in system did wonders for his career. Again, you have to be willing to use your eyes, and a little common sense, as well as advanced stats to properly determine what will be the best option, and even then other variables still can come into play. Although im new to posting i’ve been reading for years, and I remember people as recently as last year thinking Chandler would be nothing more than an average player. (SF I believe was the specifics) However this season, with a true #1 option, and a tweak to his playing position (although when he came off the bench early in the year, he still was impressive) you see his vast improvement. You can chalk it up to his age, and him getting better, but two years ago soooo many people on this site were so down on him. Last year people pleaded with him to stop shooting 3’s. Now he’s just as good of a three point shooter as Gallo, if you believe advanced stats (per 36 .370 to .368) Again, advanced stats tell you something your eyes don’t see, sometimes its a great tool (finding Landry in the draft) others however can put us in a bad place.

  111. Caleb

    Z:
    First off, let me say it’s great having our resident cap guru back discussing this stuff here!

    Re: Carmelo at $13 vs. $20, I don’t see how the total effects the teams ability to add future pieces. Either way the Knicks are
    Over the cap in 2012 (at least per current CBA rules). As long as they are over, it doesn’t really matter how much they are over– regardless they have to acquire contracts via trade rather than free agency.The Knicks will have $17 million in expiring contracts to match up with Paul’s salary (Felton, Turiaf, Walker, and Mozgov’s non-guaranteed contract). That is enough to bring in a 3rd max player before the deadline, should one become available. I just don’t see how Melo taking a haircut or not determines whether we can make another big move or not.  

    Thanks!
    cap management isn’t black and white, it’s a sliding scale. This far ahead, a $7 million difference isn’t about one particular deal – we don’t know the cap, we don’t know the rules of the next CBA, etc. But life gets easier if you have a lower payroll.

    With the roster we’re talking about, with Carmelo at $13 million, the Knicks would actually be under the cap in the summer of 2012. If Howard wanted to come here, they could just let their own FAs take a walk. Maybe a small trade would be involved. If he’s at $20 million, and they’re starting out over the cap – it gets complicated. They might have to include inducements for other teams to take on contracts – then you have to worry about what assets we have left – other teams try and hold you up – etc.

    Not to mention, Carmelo at $13 million, or $15-16 million, is pretty easily tradeable. At $21-22 million… your list of options goes way down, i’d guess. It’s just a lot less flexibility.

    Worth it for a LeBron/Howard kind of guy, but not for your run-of-the mill star.

  112. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think most folks would argue that Melo should be helped by a change of scenery, but as THCJ brings up all the time, we’re talking about trading multiple young talented players for an older player making a ton of money on the hope that he gets better. Think about that – the Knicks would be trading for a guy not for what he has done, but for what they hope he will become. $21 million to a guy on the hope that he gets better! Think of how absurd that sounds.

    Amar’e was signed because of what he has done in his career (which is be a whole lot better than Melo).

    Melo is being pursued because of what he might do (and, of course, the “he’s a star!” stuff).

  113. Brian Cronin

    I think that the Nuggets’ offense will get a lot worse after the trade and the Nets’ offense will get a lot better, but if Berri is correct there shouldn’t be much of a change after the trade happens– the Nuggets should still be very good on offense if not better, and the Nets should still be a poor offense. It should be very interesting to see what happens to the offensive ratings of the two clubs should this trade go down.

    I disagree.

    A. Billups is waaaaaay more efficient than Harris (about a 60 point differential)

    but even more importantly…

    B. You know very well that if Melo is not on the team, the Nuggets are not suddenly going to give the ball to Afflalo and Nene more, they’re going to give it to Smith and Harrington more, both inefficient scorers (roughly just as inefficent as Melo has been this year).

    So with Harris replacing Billups and Smith and Harrington taking bigger roles in the offense, the team’s offense would likely get worse.

  114. JK47

    @129

    But that’s not what everybody’s saying. I think it’s apparent that Melo IS a good player, not that he might become one. He’s the main dude on the #3 offense in the league. If he was really such a detriment on the offensive end, I really don’t think the Nuggets would be such a good offensive team, and if you did an even-up trade of Melo for Landry Fields I highly doubt the Nuggets would remain an elite offense.

  115. JK47

    Berri has Harris clocked at 2.0 offensive win shares and Billups at 2.5. The season’s about half over, so that comes out to around one win for the season. Billups’ high efficiency is offset a bit by Harris’ superior passing (41.8 to 24.7 edge in assist rate). Harris is also no doubt suffering from the fact that the Nets have horrible offensive players all over the floor– Brook Lopez (who sucks) leads the team in FG attempts, followed by Harris himself, Travis Outlaw (!) and Jordan Farmar. If I’m drawing up defensive plans against the Nets, I know who I’m trying to stop– Devin Harris. Billups is a bit better as I said, but replacing him with Harris shouldn’t make the offense fall off a cliff.

    And if Harrington is just as inefficient as Anthony, why would the offense get much worse because he replaces Anthony? Shouldn’t this be a wash?

  116. Brian Cronin

    But that’s not what everybody’s saying. I think it’s apparent that Melo IS a good player, not that he might become one.

    So you’d be cool with Melo putting up a .527 TS% in New York?

  117. rama

    “This offseason, advanced stats showed that Felton was not a top PG in this league. I can remember people (Ted Nelson) saying that he was one of the worst starting PG in the NBA. However a change in system did wonders for his career. Again, you have to be willing to use your eyes, and a little common sense, as well as advanced stats to properly determine what will be the best option, and even then other variables still can come into play.”

    Lee – actually, advanced stats supported the idea that Felton was a superior player. Off the top of my head, I remember him getting a WS of something like .163. I remember, because I argued with Ted that we ought to be signing him, since his stats would have to improve in an uptempo system. So hate to say, but at least with this example, stats totally tell the story – not “eyes” or “common sense” – though I’d argue that common sense was the point of contention between me and Ted: the difference for Felton in an uptempo system.

  118. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the case against Felton was that he wasn’t likely to repeat last season’s numbers, not that his last year’s numbers were bad.

  119. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    So you’d be cool with Melo putting up a .527 TS% in New York?  

    I know Ted and I got into an argument about this, but I will believe until the end of time that you cannot necessarily extrapolate numbers from one situation to the next situation. I know Ted said that someone somewhere has done some study showing that “numbers don’t change when you switch teams”, but I have asked and have yet to see anything resembling that study.

    I don’t think it can be underestimated how much playing with a guy who commands a double team (ie. Amare) changes the dynamics of everyone else on the court I don’t think it’s a shocker that essentially every player on the Knicks team is having a career year or at least a much better year than last year prior to Amare. Is it because they suddenly morphed into better players? Of course not – it’s that the situation is different. If you look at Cleveland’s players, just about every single player on that team has had a precipitous (like 60+ TS points) decline in their offensive stats since Lebron left. Again, not a shocker — when the guy that sucked up 4 defenders on every play leaves, you’re suddenly not wide open on every shot you take.

    So am I “spitting on stats” as Ted said in one of his last tirades? No – I’m just saying that you can’t assume that Melo will or won’t have a 52.7 TS when he comes here. I’m guessing that the Warriors assumed David Lee would have a TS near 60 because he had done it multiple years in a row in NYC – oops sorry, he’s got a career low TS this year playing in a different situation (Which includes a hole in his arm).

    IMO – you look at Melo’s body of work, his skills, and what role you think he’ll play in the offense/defense. Then you decide if you want him – and not exclude him because of poor TS when being double-teamed on every play.

  120. Nick C.

    Frank I hear what you are saying and it makes sense … but I also recall the Zach/Curry would be unstoppable b/c you cannot double team them both. I know its blasphemy to bring up these names but Curry averaged nearly @ 19 ppg with a very high TS% and Zach was a 20/10 guy. So while looking back we may say yeah but they sucked traditional numbers and viewing things thru that prism would lead one to say otherwise.

  121. Brian Cronin

    I know Ted and I got into an argument about this, but I will believe until the end of time that you cannot necessarily extrapolate numbers from one situation to the next situation.

    That was my point – that of course you wouldn’t be happy with the same TS% in New York, because you’d hope he would get better. Which is my point in saying:

    I don’t think most folks would argue that Melo should be helped by a change of scenery, but as THCJ brings up all the time, we’re talking about trading multiple young talented players for an older player making a ton of money on the hope that he gets better. Think about that – the Knicks would be trading for a guy not for what he has done, but for what they hope he will become. $21 million to a guy on the hope that he gets better! Think of how absurd that sounds.

    Amar’e was signed because of what he has done in his career (which is be a whole lot better than Melo).

    Melo is being pursued because of what he might do (and, of course, the “he’s a star!” stuff).

  122. JK47

    1. This season’s .527 TS% represents Melo’s worst TS% since the 2004-2005 season. His career mark is .543, but in his best seasons he’s up in the .550-.560 range, in other words, similar to someone like Kobe Bryant. I’d be disappointed with a .527 TS%, yes, but…

    2. Is it that much of a stretch to think that Melo’s TS% would go up considering we play SSOL and have another premium scorer in Amar’e Stoudemire? Ray Felton has a career-high TS% this year, Wilson Chandler’s is up 45 points from last year, Danilo Gallinari is up 25 points from last year, Ronny Turiaf’s TS% is 70 points better than his previous high, Shawne Williams has a .700 TS% in 300+ minutes… That’s an awful lot of guys having tremendous offensive seasons. I’d think Melo would at least be able to put up the .550-.560 type TS% he does in a typical “good” Melo season.

  123. Frank

    Brian Cronin:
    Think about that – the Knicks would be trading for a guy not for what he has done, but for what they hope he will become. $21 million to a guy on the hope that he gets better! Think of how absurd that sounds.
    Amar’e was signed because of what he has done in his career (which is be a whole lot better than Melo).
    Melo is being pursued because of what he might do (and, of course, the “he’s a star!” stuff).  

    OK first of all, it’s not like Carmelo is Grant Hill age. He’s 26. He probably has at least 4 years of top-level productivity, and possibly more since he doesn’t rely purely on athleticism to score.

    Secondly – would you rather have bought Microsoft stock in 2000 or Apple stock? If you buy purely based on “what they have done” and not “what you expect them to do in the future”, then I’m guessing your investment portfolio is not, shall we say, all it could be.

    As the 1/2 season of David Lee in Golden State, Felton/WC’s 1/2 year so far this year, and as Microsoft has shown us year after year after year, it doesn’t matter what you did in the past, it only matters what you do today and going forward. History is not doomed to repeat itself in sports.

    Again, I’m not saying that Melo will definitely be the last piece of a championship team, or that he’ll definitely be the horrible Iverson-like player that THCJ thinks he’ll be. I’m just saying that if Donnie and D’Antoni think they have a role for him on offense and on defense where he can be valuable, and that that value is worth trading away some young guys, then I’m for it regardless of his TS% this year. In 2008-2010 Donnie was slashing and burning MSG – since 2010 started, everything he’s touched (minus LBJ) has turned to gold. So I believe in him.

  124. Frank

    Nick C.: Frank I hear what you are saying and it makes sense … but I also recall the Zach/Curry would be unstoppable b/c you cannot double team them both.otherwise.  

    Yes – but who told you that? The smiling weasel.

    If Donnie Walsh and D’antoni tell me they have a plan to make Melo and STAT coexist, that’s a whole different level of endorsement.

  125. Jafa

    JK47: 1. This season’s .527 TS% represents Melo’s worst TS% since the 2004-2005 season.His career mark is .543, but in his best seasons he’s up in the .550-.560 range, in other words, similar to someone like Kobe Bryant.I’d be disappointed with a .527 TS%  

    Since you brought it up JK, why is Melo posting the worst TS% since 2004-05? Could it be all the trade rumors? Off-court distractions due to impending free agency? Hmmm…is there any other high profile player who was the primary offensive option on his team that recently went through the same thing? How did they handle the pressure? What were their TS%?

    LBJ: Last Season TS% = 0.604, This season = 0.582, Career = 0.563
    STAT: 0.615, 0.572, 0.603
    Bosh: 0.592, 0.569, 0.570
    Wade: 0.562, 0.574, 0.566

    So, Melo’s 0.527 can be put in proper context. Career mark 0.543. And if the hope is 0.550-0.560 next to Amare, then what does that tell you about Melo?

  126. JK47

    @143 It tells you that Melo is not as good as LBJ or Wade, which I don’t think anyone has ever tried to claim. LeBron is ranked #2 all time in PER and Wade is #6. Of course Melo is not as good as those guys.

    But Melo has already, several times, put up .550-.560 WITHOUT a second star like STAT with him on the floor. I personally think if Melo came here and played in this system with a prolific scorer like STAT alongside him, he’d be able to get that TS% up to the .580 range, but of course nobody can see the future so that’s just speculation.

  127. Nick C.

    Melo had AI on the 07-08 team when his TS was .56something. AI took more shots than ‘Melo. The other time was with Miller in 05-06 when ‘Melo would have been the main option.

  128. ess-dog

    Bottom line is, at the extension price, no way, no thanks.

    NJ needs to put butts in seats so they will give whatever they can to get him. If Denver gets Favors, Harris, 3 picks, some role players AND manages to dump Harrington, Billups and JR Smith, that will be a great deal for them.

    btw, it’s so pathetic that both the Nuggs and the Nets are so dying to dump guys the JUST SIGNED to long term deals in Petro and Harrington! God, it really feels nice not to be the joke of the league any more.

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