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Monday, December 22, 2014

Knicks 128, Spurs 115

Recently the buzz in New York has been about one coach publicly airing his frustration with losing to a Hall of Fame worthy rival. Hopefully for Jet fans Rex Ryan stopped talking about Peyton Manning long enough to watch last night’s Knick game. New York toppled the league’s best record last night, beating San Antonio 128 to 115.

Prior to this game Mike D’Antoni has been 11-30 all time against the Spurs, and 7-18 in the regular season. Oddly enough a casual look at the box score might have indicated a San Antonio victory. Six Spurs managed to score 10 or more points, compared to only four Knicks. Additionally New York didn’t have a hot night from downtown, making only 8 of 27 (29.6%).

Rather the team did it with turnovers and free throws. The Knicks offense coughed the ball up only 6 times, and every player had an assist. Granted 6 turnovers are a low amount, however New York managed to do it just last month against Denver, and this is the sixth time they’ve done it with D’Antoni as the coach. Although the Spurs hit more free throws (23-30), New York was more efficient from the line only missing three (20-23).

If scoring 128 points on the Spurs seems like a lot, it’s because it is. According to ESPN’s Stats and Information:

The last time the Spurs allowed this many points in a non-overtime game came in March 1993, when they gave up 132 to the Celtics in Boston.

How long ago was that?

That Spurs team featured David Robinson, Vinny Del Negro, Avery Johnson, and no Duncan, and was coached by John Lucas.

However this year’s Spurs are different from their predecessors. Last year San Antonio had the league’s 11th slowest pace, while this year they are the 10th quickest. Additionally they no longer rely on defense, as they are the league’s best offense and only rank 9th on defense.

Nonetheless, this is a win that Knick fans can hang their hat on. Against the league’s best team, the lead only changed 3 times, and the Spurs capitulated in the end. With 3 minutes left, Popovich sent in his reserves for garbage time.

100 comments on “Knicks 128, Spurs 115

  1. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    With all this talk about how the Knicks were able to score so many points against the Spurs (which was a combination of pace, the Knicks’ lights-out shooting, and lack of turnovers), I was thinking about whether pace has anything to do with playoff success, since there’s such an emphasis on “defense” in the postseason.

    Championship winning teams and relative pace:

    2009-10 Los Angeles Lakers 14th
    2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers 5th
    2007-08 Boston Celtics 19th
    2006-07 San Antonio Spurs 27th
    2005-06 Miami Heat 12th
    2004-05 San Antonio Spurs 23rd
    2003-04 Detroit Pistons 24th
    2002-03 San Antonio Spurs 20th
    2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers 6th
    1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers 14th
    1998-99 San Antonio Spurs 19th
    1997-98 Chicago Bulls 22nd
    1996-97 Chicago Bulls 18th

    Hmm…

  2. Nick C.

    Hmm… indeed even if it is only a handful of teams none above 5th only two Laker teams separated by 7 years in top 10 and only Miami in the top 12.

  3. Frank

    Just looking at the four factors page and was wondering — OREB% on the “Defensive” side means OREB% allowed I assume? Presuming that’s the case, I wonder whether our terrible defensive rebounding is the reason for how bad our defensive #s look in general — ie. we give up tons of high-percentage shots off offensive rebounds which makes our eFG% allowed worse ie. it doesn’t tell us how good our “1st shot” eFG% allowed is. Does anyone know a site where one could find this sort of data (ie. how many points/shots off of 2nd opportunities the Knicks have given up?)

    Not that this is any huge revelation, but this really comes down to STAT — his rebounding #s aren’t horrible but it sure seems like time and again that he doesn’t box out. I know he is size-overmatched at times, but he also has so much more rebounding potential than he shows.

    If D’Antoni wants to get the ultimate test of his SSOL, we should throw max money at Kevin Love after 2011-12 and hope Minny doesn’t match (I think he is a RFA after next season?). A 4 who rebounds like a beast, can hit the 3, and plays no individual defense? Sounds perfect for this system. Although his O-rebounding potential would probably be wasted camping out at the 3 point line while STAT does his inside thing.

  4. Die_Hard_Knick_Fan

    I think that this win shows that the Knicks rely too much on the three pointer. Chandler, Fields, and even Felton were taking the ball to the hoop and getting better results. I like Gallo, but I think it’s interesting that he wasn’t in the line up camping out behind the line. The offense was moving around, passing the ball, finding the open man, and taking the ball to the basket.

  5. NYK Ewing

    I’m very excited to see how this team plays without Danilo to be honest. I’ve been down on him since the preseason (although he picks one out of three or four games to start doing things I look for, like playing tighter D or using his height to go for rebounds). He’s too slow off the ball for me, he’s been inconsistent with his three ball (especially when wide open), and his driving game consists of getting fouled when going to the rack. Don’t get me wrong – when he’s been open he’s gone strong to the rack and dunked, but the second he’s contested or contacted he goes up way too soft (and normally flops for a foul, like most Europeans). It might be efficient but he slows down our pace a lot.

    Not going to grant that win to his absence at all, but I’m still curious to see how we do without him and to see if our pace increases with players like Williams getting more minutes (and Walker too I guess – never been a real fan, I’d rather see AR get some minutes to split with Walker, but he WAS boxing out last night which is more than I can say for a lot of our team). We might not improve, but my prediction is that our offense will look good without him.

  6. NYK Ewing

    I DO hope that Dantoni comes up with better lineups though than Williams (at the 5!) / Chandler / Fields / TD / Felton – what WAS that?! Granted there was no big man to defend down low (with Timmy and Blair sitting), but at least throw in Ronny to get some strength/size to pull down offensive and defensive boards and give our other scorers more chances.

    And one more gripe about Gallo (I have tons of them as you might have noticed… again, been a fan of his since he came here and am more upset at unused potential rather than lack of talent): I’ve seen it commented several times that he’s an underrated passer and think that’s absolute garbage. One of the reasons his turnover rate is so low is because the passes he makes tend to be very safe – he’s not really a passer at all in that he doesn’t look for assists. Not that this in itself is a problem… the problem I have is that when he gets the ball on the wing, he takes his time and lets the defense get set instead of a) swinging the ball around the arc immediately or b) driving before his opponent is set (he ALWAYS prefers to headfake and try to draw the foul instead of driving). And when he drives and draws defenders, he almost never kicks it out for open threes. His passing isn’t overrated or underrated, it’s not rated at all, as it shouldn’t be.

  7. Caleb

    Interesting chart on pace, since it’s something people always talk about.

    The takeaway is that pace is irrelevant – you can be fast and good or slow and good.

    With the caveat that it’s only a handful of teams…

    Champions won as 5th and 6th fastest, and as 24th and 27th. The 14-year average was to rank slightly higher than 16th… i.e. smack in the middle.

  8. Caleb

    @3 The Knicks are awful on the defensive boards because of their bigs. Boardwise, Stoudemire is below-average, Turiaf is the worst in the league (at his position), and Randolph doesn’t play. Chandler is a good rebounder for a SF but he’s way below average for a PF, where he plays half his minutes. Chandler and Fields are the only things keeping the Knicks from being the worst-rebounding team in the league.

    The Knicks are also terrible (26th) in offensive rebounding, but part of that is strategy. You’ll see back to Phoenix that part of D’Antoni strategy is to abandon the offensive boards to run back on defense.

  9. Frank O.

    @9
    Caleb, you know Kerr made an interesting point last week:
    He said that one of the reasons the Knicks have so many blocks among their bigs is that their defense breaks down so much it’s up to the last line of defense to thwart a shot.
    Often two or three Knicks are going for the block. If the shot is gotten off, and it is most of the time, those that are contesting the shot are now in a poor position to rebound on the O board.
    While I am delighted that the Knicks are finally blocking shots, I think they have so emphasized that portion of their D that the O boards suffer.
    Also on that point, it appears the Knicks D intentionally channels penetrators to the baselines where their bigs can contest shots. It looks like their defensive design. If the bigs are chasing the block, then someone needs to be blocking out on the weak side. It may be why guys like Fields are getting relatively good numbers off the boards, but he’s going to suffer against PFs and Cs.

    Anyway, it appears the Knicks D is designed to channel penetrators to shot blockers, but it also appears this strategy comes at a cost on the O boards.
    Any thoughts, anyone, on this?

    Also, I too am not that swayed by the pace issue. I think the Knicks play an elegant, beautiful game. I am enjoying tremendously.
    They are not perfect, but I could see this team peaking late in the season and really doing some damage in the playoffs.
    As Pop said last night, they are not dangerous; they are a good team, period.
    They play smart, protect the ball, defend when they need to, and fill the hole often. How far they have come…

  10. Z-man

    http://www.nba.com/video/games/knicks/2011/01/04/20110104_popovich_postgame.nba/

    Not sure if anyone posted this, but this is a classic post-game interview. How rare is it to see a coach after a tough loss actually encouraging reporters do ask more questions?

    Most importantly, he is highly complimentary of the Knicks, but dismissive of their defense (and his own!). I would beg to differ in that the Knicks seem to have an ability to crank up the D in the fourth quarter, and that showed again last night. He did mention fighting through screens as a positive.

  11. ess-dog

    Frank O.: @9

    Often two or three Knicks are going for the block. If the shot is gotten off, and it is most of the time, those that are contesting the shot are now in a poor position to rebound on the O board.
    While I am delighted that the Knicks are finally blocking shots, I think they have so emphasized that portion of their D that the O boards suffer.

    The opposite if this is exactly why David Lee was such a bad defender. He put rebounding position above all else.
    Most teams try to utilize a scoring/rebounding big (Love) and a defensive big (Darko) together. Coach D wants fast athletic shooters at every position, so this is not very possible for us. He would rather give up a few inches than give up shooting or speed.
    It’s an interesting take/experiment. We’ll see how well it works this year.
    It will be interesting to see the results without Gallo. For all that he brings to the floor, his foot-speed is a bit lacking, which is why I would like to see him develop more as a post player (stretch 4.)
    If Moz could get to a place where he could play center for about 10 minutes a game, he could help with the rebounding woes. I don’t think we need all that much more help on the glass since, as caleb stated, that is part of the logic of the system.

  12. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Z-man: http://www.nba.com/video/games/knicks/2011/01/04/20110104_popovich_postgame.nba/Not sure if anyone posted this, but this is a classic post-game interview.How rare is it to see a coach after a tough loss actually encouraging reporters do ask more questions?Most importantly, he is highly complimentary of the Knicks, but dismissive of their defense (and his own!).I would beg to differ in that the Knicks seem to have an ability to crank up the D in the fourth quarter, and that showed again last night.He did mention fighting through screens as a positive.  

    The best four and a half minutes of this year, was the time I spent watching that video.

  13. Frank O.

    One thing that seemed a bit pathetic is the new york media seeking some kind of confirmation or affirmation that in fact the Knicks are a good team. Pop appeared genuinely amused that the media was asking him to comment on the performance of a team that just man-handled the best team in basketball right now.
    It feels like some of these folks don’t believe their own eyes.

  14. DS

    Frank O.:
    Have to remember, too, that they have the Celts today.  

    Yeahhhh, but with 3 minutes left, the team with the best record and 2nd best 3-point percentage would normally go for it esp. against the Knicks… I doubt an extra 3 minutes of rest makes a difference for the Celts game. I actually agree w. Chris Webber that Pop’s move was more of a motivational tactic than an effort to rest his starters.

  15. Frank

    @9:

    Wow I did not realize how horrible a rebounder Turiaf is. His TRB% is 8.7 which is last in the league by a relatively wide margin. Then again, his low-usage TS is 5th among centers and his crazy 31.7 assist rate is 1st by a very large margin too. What a strange player.

    Maybe we could get Randolph some burn by taking a few minutes away from Turiaf. Seems like Turiaf is probably least useful on the floor when Felton is in the game, since most of the assisting/ball movement will probably be done by Felton– and he is probably most useful when ballstoppers like Douglas are in the game. Maybe Randolph can get 5-6 minutes/game when Felton is in the game and there are enough outside shooters to allow him to play exclusively inside (ie. Felton + Fields/Douglas + Gallo + STAT).

  16. Ben R

    But Frank, Turiaf is a much much better defender than Randolph so any gains on the glass would be offset on defense. That’s the big thing about Randolph right now is he is a poor defensive player that blocks shots. He has all the tools to be a good defender excpt maybe a little bulk but he roams on defense, much like on offense, and gets a little lost. If we wanted more defense and rebounding then Mozgov is a better player than Randolph at this point.

    As for Williams at the five I actually think it’s kinda working. We really gave Orlando fits and the Spurs didn’t expliot it either so I think for a couple minutes here and there it can be effective. Teams are not used to defending five 3 point shooters at the same time. Big centers hate being 20 feet from the rim so Williams gets good looks from three plus the extra space inside helps Chandler attack the rim.

  17. Caleb

    I put my longer Randolph/Turiaf comment on the other thread, but @20 – I’m curious why you are being nice to Mozgov. He has been awful as a rebounder and everything else. I wouldn’t rule out his having potential but (unlike AR) he has no history of playing better… I say, wait ’til next year. Or summer league.

    re: Williams, anyone shooting as well as he is, deserves to play. I’ll just be surprised (and delighted!) if he keeps up the pace… He doesn’t offer much else.

  18. jon abbey

    actually, Williams hasn’t been asked to do much else until recently, but last night, he seemed much more versatile in Gallo’s absence. he even had one very impressive move in the post, he looks like a keeper rotation guy to me.

  19. NYK Ewing

    @ Frank O

    I agree, I’ve been saying that for a while. Our block rate doesn’t mean we’re a great defensive team. It happens like twice a game where Amare/Chandler/third person all go up for a block, the shot misses, and all three are out of position for a rebound. The result – opponent gets an offensive board, despite being outnumbered in the paint 2 to 1. We need to have people start boxing out more.

    @ Turiaf’s Rebounding

    I’m also very surprised. I’ve thought that we rebound much better as a team when Turiaf is on the floor.

    I want to pay more close attention to how he acts on the floor though because he seems to be one of the few players we have to box out that I’ve seen, although maybe I’m not getting an accurate picture.

  20. ess-dog

    jon abbey: actually, Williams hasn’t been asked to do much else until recently, but last night, he seemed much more versatile in Gallo’s absence. he even had one very impressive move in the post, he looks like a keeper rotation guy to me.  

    And actually his defense is alright – not “top notch” but at least above average.

  21. Caleb

    @24 I’m not knocking Williams – he’s played well, and he’s a former lottery pick (I think) but if he were shooting anything like his career rate he would be more of a fringe guy.

    @19 + 23 Turiaf really is a bizarre player – he’s led the league in blocks per minute and led all centers in assist rate, twice. He’s always been a terrible rebounder. And then this year he’s gotten even more extreme on all counts.

    I am a fan (of him, and his game) but in a perfect world he’s not a full-time starter.

  22. ess-dog

    Curious who here would trade for Steve Nash at this point if he were available?
    Ray has been great but Nash’s stats are still video game – 53% assist rate, .631 TS% – but it’s obvious he’s not nearly the defender Ray is. And he’s 10 years older than Ray.

  23. Jafa

    I would trade for him if it didn’t cost us a valuable rotation player in return and Nash was ok coming off the bench. Since none of these things will happen, we move on. And can’t we get him in Free Agency later this year anyway?

  24. latke

    ess-dog: Curious who here would trade for Steve Nash at this point if he were available?
    Ray has been great but Nash’s stats are still video game – 53% assist rate, .631 TS% – but it’s obvious he’s not nearly the defender Ray is.And he’s 10 years older than Ray.  

    Making a move for Nash is a “win this year” change. He would cost too much to make it practical — Fields or Gallo + expirings, probably. Let’s say though that you got Grant Hill, Nash and Frye for Gallinari, Randolph and expirings. Does that put us over the top? I think it might. Nash and Felton could play side by side. Felton is strong enough to guard most 2s.

    Jafa: Chandler is going to be expensive to keep around after the season:http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-128-spurs-115/#comment-308966So how do we keep Chandler, make a run at Gasol and still have money to sign Melo since he’s so eager to come here?And if we say no to Melo (like quite a few people on this blog would), can we realistically sign both with the cap space we have?

    The best the knicks could do in terms of cap space is about $20 million, maybe a little more if Turiaf opts out. If Chandler costs $10 million, you cannot sign Gasol or Melo. However, if you were to trade for Melo (or gasol, or any other big contract) before the trade deadline, you could go over the cap and resign Chandler with his bird rights. This would make it a lot harder to pursue free agents in 2k12 though, which is a much better group – Chandler, Amare and ‘Melo’s contracts would eat up most of our space.

  25. ess-dog

    latke:

    The best the knicks could do in terms of cap space is about $20 million, maybe a little more if Turiaf opts out. If Chandler costs $10 million, you cannot sign Gasol or Melo. However, if you were to trade for Melo (or gasol, or any other big contract) before the trade deadline, you could go over the cap and resign Chandler with his bird rights. This would make it a lot harder to pursue free agents in 2k12 though, which is a much better group – Chandler, Amare and ‘Melo’s contracts would eat up most of our space.  

    This is an interesting conundrum. You have to figure with Curry’s big expiring and quite a few down and out teams (Charlotte, Philly, Sacto just to name a few) that if we don’t get Melo that we will pull the trigger on something. And if a team like the 6ers are desperate enough, we could get away with only giving the Curry/AR combo for a great 2nd option. I know it’s not a position of need per se, but Gerald Wallace and AI2 could work really well in this system.
    Then we would be able to go over the cap to retain Wilson.
    I’m not completely sold on Gasol at this point, only because I don’t know if D’Antoni would prefer him to a quicker, forward-type at center.

  26. Frank

    @29 –
    Actually — Gallo+Randolph+Azu+Curry for Hill, Nash, and Frye works $$-wise. Not that bad a deal for PHX if they’re going to blow everything up anyway — 2 excellent prospects, 2 expirings, one of which will be paid mostly by insurance, for 3 guys that are probably not part of the medium or long-term future of the team.

    That would give us probable starting lineup of:
    PG: Felton/Nash
    SG: Fields
    SF: Chandler
    PF/C: Frye/Turiaf
    PF/C: Amare
    with Nash/Felton, Hill, Williams, Frye/Turiaf as a 9 man rotation, with DWTDD, Walker, Rautins sitting on the outside I guess.

    That lineup could seriously run just about all of the other 29 NBA teams out of the building on most nights and would be so fun to watch.

    Then after 11-12, Turiaf and Nash come off the cap, Felton’s contract is done and we can decide whether or not to extend him. Frye would sit on the cap for 3 more years but his contract isn’t super-horrible. It would be the end of the Melo-drama though, which may not be such a bad thing.

    Getting Nash would be a gut-shot to Felton though – you can tell he wants so badly to be the NYK PG of the present and future. Ray is definitely not a perfect PG but I love his toughness – really a NYK sort of player in the Starks/Oakley/Mason mold.

  27. Frank O.

    @26
    Ess, I think Nash is a right now move.
    But if you sign him, Ray will be disgruntled. And he would have cause to be.
    He’s playing All Star-caliber ball this year. Nash is still the better guard, offensively, but not by that much this year. His defense is no where near what Felton’s is.

    This may be a difference-maker down the road. Phoenix in its hay day with D’Antoni was an offensive force, but defensively lacking, in part because of Nash.
    Felton isn’t the shooter or passer that Nash is, but he’s improved immensely. He’s also a much more formidable defender.
    He has held his own against the most skilled offensive guards during this campaign.
    I’m not sure we need Nash. We need a strong back up for Ray.
    We need a big man who can run the floor, limit mistakes, play defense and grab rebounds.
    I wonder if Cleveland would part with Anderson Varejao?
    And by the way, for all the Marc Gasol fans out there, his per game rebound rate is exactly the same as Landry Fields.
    Love Landry

  28. Frank O.

    @31
    Wow.
    Considering a trade of that size when we already have a very good team kind of freaks me out, Frank. :)
    Losing Gallo and AR gives me great pause given how young they are. Azu is an unknown, but he’s also a young guy.
    I know Frye has shown great improvement since he was last here, but my impression of him is that he is soft, and Hill and Nash are old…good, but old.

    I’m not sure I would want to shake up the team dynamic.
    But it is an interesting proposal. Maybe I’m growing too attached to this team.

  29. nicos

    To me the most impressive thing about the 128 the Knicks put up was that they only had 7 fast break points and I don’t recall too buckets off of secondary breaks either, it was mostly in the half court.

    On the Knicks poor rebounding: As previous posters have mentioned, Stat rarely puts a body on anybody under the boards but Chandler doesn’t either and given how often he’s matched up with someone bigger he’s got to start making a more concerted effort to box out. Gallo’s weak rebounding hurts as well- yes, his numbers aren’t awful for three (though not good) but given how small the front line is they need more from him.

    As for the names being talked about tradewise- Since moving into the starting lineup Chandler’s played as well as (if not better than) AI2, Wallace, and Melo and as any of those guys are going to cost at least Chandler or Gallo plus another asset (or two) it seems crazy to deal for one of them.

  30. Mike Kurylo Post author

    FYI – From MSG

    New York, NY – January 5, 2011 – The New York Knicks on MSG Network averaged a 2.02 household Nielsen rating for the month of December 2010, the highest monthly average since the 2004-05 season (when Nielsen changed its methodology from meter-diary integration to Local People Meters). The previous high since 2004 was January 2007 (1.59 HH rating).

    Last night’s game versus the San Antonio Spurs, who currently hold the NBA’s best record, registered a 2.75 HH rating, the fourth-highest ranked Knicks game on MSG Network this season. The game pushed the year-to-date average to a 1.50 HH rating, up 39 percent over 2009-10 (1.08 HH rating through 32 games).

  31. Frank

    @33 – I’m not actually saying we should do this — there are way too many medium-long term implications that I haven’t had time to consider. But it’d be a really fun team to watch.

    Let’s see — after 2011-12 season we would have these salaries:
    Amare ~20M
    Chandler presumably resigned at ~10M
    Mozgov (nonguaranteed?) 2.5M
    Frye 6M

    So somewhere between 36-39M commited to 4 players, or 20M to fill out the rest of the roster.

    Essentially (Assuming re-signing Felton after 11-12), we would be hitching ourselves to Felton-WC-Amare troika as our “big 3″ for the next 4-5 years, and adding a wealth of better supporting players. But considering how close the original PHX teams were to championships, the crazy trade above is probably worth at least considering.

    Nash is at least 95% as good as he was back then, and the combo of Felton/Nash is much better than any other PG combo in the league.

    – Fields is better than Raja Bell
    – WC is not as good as Marion in his prime but not far off
    – Amare is just as good now as he was back then, if not better because of his improved shotblocking and jumper.
    – Turiaf+Frye is pretty respectable as a C crew in SSOL

    And our bench would probably be one of the best benches in the league (with Nash or Felton, Grant Hill, Extra E, and Turiaf or Frye). The adjustment would be minimal since the offenses are pretty much the same, and I can’t imagine the defenses are all that different.

    Can you imagine teams trying to double team Amare with some combination of Nash, Felton, Williams, WC, and Frye spotting up behind the 3 point line?

    I’d hate to give up on Gallo and Randolph but you do need to give in order to get.

    That team could probably contend for a championship this year IMO.

    Just thinkin’ out loud.

  32. jon abbey

    nicos: To me the most impressive thing about the 128 the Knicks put up was that they only had 7 fast break points and I don’t recall too buckets off of secondary breaks either, it was mostly in the half court.  

    and they weren’t even hitting threes! that might have been the high point of our season when we look back on it this summer, what a game.

  33. DS

    @31 Why cash in any of our young, cheap players for anything less than a championship? I’m not sure that the 2009 – 2010 Suns plus Felton, Fields, Wilson Chandler, Turiaf, and Toney Douglas (minus Jason Richardson) are good enough to win it all.

    Also, Phoenix is going to ask for some picks in return for putting a starting lineup of Goran Dragic, Vince Carter, Robin Lopez, Gallinari, and Michael Pietrus on the floor in the Western Conference.

  34. Frank

    DS: @31 Why cash in any of our young, cheap players for anything less than a championship? I’m not sure that the 2009 – 2010 Suns plus Felton, Fields, Wilson Chandler, Turiaf, and Toney Douglas (minus Jason Richardson) are good enough to win it all.Also, Phoenix is going to ask for some picks in return for putting a starting lineup of Goran Dragic, Vince Carter, Robin Lopez, Gallinari, and Michael Pietrus on the floor in the Western Conference.  

    Maybe not. Just thinking crazy. This’ll never happen, if only because I’m sure Sarver doesn’t want to make D’Antoni look great in case it does lead to a championship.

    Meanwhile, Gallo + Randolph and 15M in expiring contracts is a pretty amazing haul for a 36 year old PG, a 46 year old SF, and Channing Frye’s bad MLE contract.

  35. Caleb

    Meanwhile, Gallo + Randolph and 15M in expiring contracts is a pretty amazing haul for a 36 year old PG, a 46 year old SF, and Channing Frye’s bad MLE contract.  

    Not even Isiah Thomas would try and walk THAT dog. I think.

    Marc Gasol is an interesting player but it’s hard to predict what he’ll cost. Sure he’s good, but a lot of teams look at per-game numbers. 11 points and 7 boards a game. Will that get more than $50-60 million? He also has past issues with conditioning and motivation. And then you have the uncertainty of the new CBA. being a gasol i wouldn’t be surprised if he’d look hard at a bigger city than Memphis.

    If center-shopping, Tyson Chandler could be a beautiful thing. Or Sam Dalembert, who would come a bit cheaper.

    Chandler could be a great sign and trade piece, too. If he keeps on doing what he’s doing, I could see him bringing back a pretty high lottery pick. Or someone like Ricky Rubio. Would the Lakers give up Andrew Bynum? Or am I getting ahead of myself?

  36. DS

    We’ve heard all the political answers to questions about Randolph but I wonder what D’Antoni and Walsh are really thinking.

    Does Walsh see more of a Jonathan Bender or more of a Jermaine O’Neal??

  37. Frank O.

    Whatever happens, I hope Walsh takes the long view.
    I don’t think the Knicks can trade into winning a championship this year.
    I do think this bunch with a few extra pieces could contend in coming years.
    I think to try to win it this year would cost the current squad too much and not return enough to get there.

    And we have seen how big trades destroy team dynamics.

  38. Frank O.

    Some fun in Memphis:

    After a card game gone awry, Memphis Grizzlies teammates O.J. Mayo(notes) and Tony Allen(notes) had to be separated during a physical encounter on the team’s charter flight Monday, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Mayo owed Allen money from a card game, “Boo-Ray” and sources said Mayo became increasingly belligerent and antagonistic toward Allen when asked to settle the debt. Sources said Allen walked away from Mayo to go the restroom and returned to find Mayo continuing to berate him. Eventually, Mayo inched close to Allen, and sources said Allen hit Mayo.

  39. Frank

    Agree– as much as my head has been swimming with the crazy trade I proposed above, I actually don’t even want it to happen. I’m loving our two co-captains now and I think adding Nash can only blow up what is looking like a locker-room lovefest right now.

    What I AM pretty sure of now is that there is no way in this world I give anything more than Curry + Chandler + filler for Melo if that trade has to happen. Over the last 6 weeks or so, Chandler has played himself into a very passable 2nd option guy or a very good 3rd option guy and I would not want to give him up easily. So please Chris Sheridan, stop saying craziness like it’ll take Curry + Chandler + Gallo + Randolph + Fields to get Melo.

  40. Frank O.

    BTW, I don’t understand why this road trip is being labeled tough.
    Phoenix is weak and primed for the picking.
    Portland is very beatable.
    Utah is always tough and the Lakers, too, although they have been very vulnerable. If there is a time to get them, this is it.
    I think the Knicks do well out west.

  41. Frank O.

    Frank: Agree– as much as my head has been swimming with the crazy trade I proposed above, I actually don’t even want it to happen. I’m loving our two co-captains now and I think adding Nash can only blow up what is looking like a locker-room lovefest right now. What I AM pretty sure of now is that there is no way in this world I give anything more than Curry + Chandler + filler for Melo if that trade has to happen. Over the last 6 weeks or so, Chandler has played himself into a very passable 2nd option guy or a very good 3rd option guy and I would not want to give him up easily. So please Chris Sheridan, stop saying craziness like it’ll take Curry + Chandler + Gallo + Randolph + Fields to get Melo.  (Quote)

    I couldn’t agree more on the Melo trades.
    I just don’t see it as necessary. Chandler is putting up excellent numbers and playing sound defense.
    Melo is going to have to go to the Nets, or walk away from the $65 mil and go to the knicks as an FA.
    Even then, I’m not sure he’s the guys for the Knicks.

  42. ess-dog

    I think the key (and Walsh’s strong suit) is to only trade for good contracts and not overpay. So if you add a Gerald Wallace, barring injury, that’s still a movable contract in the 10-11 mil per range. So if you go over the cap for Wilson, you can still trade people to make room for a Dwight Howard or CP3 if you want.
    That’s why the Melo thing is so interesting. He’s not really worth what he will get. Do you deal with that and take him anyway? Or pass altogether? Or offer him what he’s really worth in free agency? Maybe 13-14 mil per year? A lot also depends on the new CBA.

  43. Caleb

    @45 Seriously – Was it not Chris Sheridan who said that failing to sign LeBron was a catastrophe, that the Lee to Golden State trade made things even worse and that the Knicks had zero tradeable prospects. Anyone can be wrong – but to go six months without even a self-deprecating joke about it… kinda makes you wonder.

    IMO Carmelo is an upgrade from Chandler or Gallo but not by all that much… certainly not worth the extra $8-10 million it would cost, $8-10 million you could spend on someone else. Wait ’til summer, see if he’ll take a big haircut. LeBron signed for $14 million. If Carmelo took that, or even $12-13 million… then sure, consider it. Otherwise, why bother?

  44. latke

    DS: Also, Phoenix is going to ask for some picks in return.

    Thnk about what the market is for Nash. No rebuilding team wants a nearly 37 y/o point guard. Dallas, despite having Kidd already, might be crazy enough to trade for him, but is Beaubois and late 1st rounder really better than Gallo and Randolph? The Lakers and Miami would love him but have nothing to offer. Chicago has Rose, OKC has Westbrook. Charlotte seems idiotically intent on trying to compete still, but a package of say Augustin, Tyrus Thomas and picks is not all that enticing.

    That leaves the Nets. If they trade Favors for ‘Melo though they really don’t have much left to offer — Harris, Kris Humphries and picks? I’d still take the knick offer.

    The problem IMO is that you have a three year window here with Amare before he starts to fade. You may not win a championship, but at some point you have to cash in some youth for some veterans. What are our alternatives?

    I don’t think anything is going to happen for at least a month. Teams are waiting for the ‘melo thing to go down. Once it does, lots of assets that teams have been holding back will become available. Teams like Philly and Phoenix will likely accept their mediocrity and go into rebuild mode. Depending on what they reap in the melo deal, Denver will know where it stands in terms of rebuilding. Other options will present themselves.

    Regardless though, if an option like the abovementioned nash deal does open up, I think the knicks have to pounce. They have to make a move before the deadline next season, or else we’re gonna end up like the Hawks — some decent young guys that we’ve now had to pay, little cap room, and 2nd round playoff exits galore.

  45. Z-man

    Is it reasonable to expect for us to go 6-4 during the next 10 games? That would put us at 26-18.

    then if we went .500 for the rest of the season (19-19) our final record would be 45-37. Barring disaster, that seems like a not-overly-optimistic floor, no?

    That sounds like a 7-seed, though, and a first round match-up with either Boston or Miami. I think we need to crack 50 wins to get matched up with Orlando, Chicago or Atlanta. We would definitely need to beat a few more elite teams to do that. It would be nice to beat the Lakers on Sunday, they seem vulnerable right now and I like the way our personnel and system match up against them for now.

  46. Caleb

    @51 No comprendo – you laid out a good case for why there isn’t much trade market for Nash, and then said the Knicks should wildly overpay. If they really want Nash, they could probably wait until summer and then trade him for Felton, Mozgov and a 2nd rounder. I’m kidding, but just barely.

    Even if Stoudemire’s knee goes out, the Knicks have a bunch of good young players and a lot of cap flexibility…

  47. ess-dog

    Re: Nash,
    Seems difficult unless you guarantee Felton that he will sign an extension and get to be mentored in the process. Don’t see either Ray or Steve playing the 2, but you could do a 3 guard rotation with them and Landry. And maybe Hill if he’s included.
    Just don’t see Phoenix doing Mike D any favors though.
    Re: Chandler,
    It’s amazing, but he really is worth a top 5-7 pick after all. Look at the 2008 draft (a fairly strong draft.) Only Rose, Love, Gordon and Westbrook are arguably better players than Wilson (I don’t know about Lopez, but he is a rare big.) Gallo and Beasley are young, but I don’t think Beasley will get that much better.
    Gotta hand it to the Smiling Weasel on that one.

  48. tastycakes

    Man, I’d love to see the Mavs trade for Nash and beat the Heat to win a championship this year. Nash and Dirk are 2 of my favorite players to not have a ring, and it’d be exciting to see them reunited.

    The Knicks aren’t yet a piece away from contention (well, unless that piece was LeBron, and he ain’t on the market), so it doesn’t make sense to trade for Nash IMO. I’d like to see this young core stay together a year or two, add pieces as necessary, move into the “one piece away” group, and THEN consider that type of trade when it really makes the most sense.

    I want an exciting, winning Knicks team over the next 5 years, not a home-run-swing-and-miss team for 1 year.

  49. Z

    Nice to see Caleb and jon abbey making frequent posts again. Thought winning may have scared some of the old guard off :)

    Great win last night, though I think I enjoyed the Boston game even more, despite the loss. (Last year the Knicks also played a near-flawless game against the Suns, who at the time had the best record in the league too. Of course the Knicks were, like, 4-16 at the time so it wasn’t quite as satisfying as last night, but it was a glimpse of what D’Antoni-Done-Right can do to even the best teams in the league). Great to have fun, meaningful ball at the mecca again!

    Nice message sent by Popovich too. Don’t know how much fun it’ll be to be the Knicks when we play in SA later this month…

    But for now, let’s revel!

  50. daJudge

    Re: Our Guys…..I think as a general guiding principal the Knicks should trade based on need, rather than for redecoration. By redecoration, I mean avoiding trading away our guys that play well together for other players who we think might be an upgrade. Right now, and I think over a statistically significant period, we can conclude that Amare is a beast, Wilson is playing out of his mind, Raymond is playing well at the one and Landry is simply a keeper. I also think Turiaf brings things to the table that are rare and valuable. I’m sure we can all look at these players individually and find other players who are better in certain aspects of the game. Nash and Melo come to mind. However, we can not predict if those players will perform on the Knicks better than our guys. I don’t think you trade our core guys right now, certainly not unless it is to fill a glaring need. If this means that we sign some guys to a short term deal to preserve cap space when the Bigs come available, that would be my chosen course of action. The window of opportunity for Amare is an issue, but I would still play it cool, slow and steady—like Clyde.

  51. jon abbey

    thanks, Z!

    Z-man: Is it reasonable to expect for us to go 6-4 during the next 10 games?That would put us at 26-18.then if we went .500 for the rest of the season (19-19) our final record would be 45-37.Barring disaster, that seems like a not-overly-optimistic floor, no?That sounds like a 7-seed, though, and a first round match-up with either Boston or Miami. I think we need to crack 50 wins to get matched up with Orlando, Chicago or Atlanta.We would definitely need to beat a few more elite teams to do that.  

    you need to take a closer look at the current standings. for us to drop out of the top 6 with 45 wins would require a heroic run from one of the teams behind us currently. Indiana is in 7th right now at 14-18, so they’d need to go 31-19 to get to 45 wins. pretty sure that ain’t happening.

  52. latke

    Caleb: No comprendo – you laid out a good case for why there isn’t much trade market for Nash, and then said the Knicks should wildly overpay

    Fair enough. I’d like to revise my opinion to: wait for the deadline, see what’s available, but if the best deal out there is on par with that Nash deal, you do it. I wouldn’t be upset if we didn’t, but I feel like a move of that sort has to happen in the next year for the knicks, and if it happens before this trade deadline, it allows us to resign Chandler and use the MLE.

    If, as some propose, we are a superstar away from contention, then we may as well trade Amare for youth, give Randolph run, and in 3-4 years maybe we compete, because we simply don’t have the assets to acquire one without gutting our team. Superstars don’t grow on trees. The only one we have a reasonable chance at is Melo, and he doesn’t seem to be the answer. Instead, the consensus best option seems to have coalesced around the idea that we should wait for d. williams or paul, but they likely cost us twice what nash does for not all that much more production.

    Look at it this way: With Nash & co. rather than Gallo/Randolph, we would have won that Boston game. We probably could have stolen one of the two games in FL vs the Heat and Orlando. That would make us 22-12 (53 win pace), 19-5 since the 3-8 start (65 win pace). Is that not a record that suggests championship contention?

    I hope that whatever moves we make end up being better than the Nash one, but I do feel that there are great benefits to filling our cap space before the summer and that we aren’t as far away from contending as many make us out to be.

  53. daJudge

    latke–I don’t mind trading Gallo/Randolph for the right piece and I love Nash. But I really think this would cause major problems with Raymond, who is playing great. It would also cause a problem for Landry, if Raymond was moved to the two paired with Nash. IMO, it is also not a need. I agree that filling cap space is clearly important based on the current CBA.

  54. daJudge

    I apologize for the quick post and the topic change, but I wanted to pose a question. I am assuming, for argument’s sake, that Miami is the best team in the NBA and the toughest match up for the Knicks. What/who (w/i reason) do the Knick’s need to beat them? Maybe that question is something worth considering. Any thoughts?

  55. art vandelay

    I don’t think it makes sense either to trade for nash, because we have felton who has been playing terrific….the assumption is that we would trade for him and retain felton, but could felton really guard 2’s, and would he be a happy camper, if not, coming off the bench…I don’t think Walsh is thinking that way, trading for Nash and keeping felton…if anything, I think they would have to part with felton, but I don’t think they want to, so I don’t see it happening…I prefer keeping Felton and adding where we have greater needs, namely upfront….they need a guy like Dejuan Blair

  56. art vandelay

    the patience that Walsh exhibits is simply astounding…he is a very shrewd poker player….I think we should all be thankful he is at the helm….isiah would have traded half the team in the past week if he were in charge….for guys like Vince Carter

  57. jon abbey

    daJudge: I apologize for the quick post and the topic change, but I wanted to pose a question.I am assuming, for argument’s sake, that Miami is the best team in the NBA and the toughest match up for the Knicks.What/who (w/i reason) do the Knick’s need to beat them?Maybe that question is something worth considering.Any thoughts?  

    LeBron can opt out in the summer of 2014. :)

  58. latke

    daJudge: I apologize for the quick post and the topic change, but I wanted to pose a question.I am assuming, for argument’s sake, that Miami is the best team in the NBA and the toughest match up for the Knicks.What/who (w/i reason) do the Knick’s need to beat them?Maybe that question is something worth considering.Any thoughts?

    You say Nash is not needed, but that’s the thing with this team. There are no concrete needs. We have a nice SL and decent pieces off the bench. A backup 1 and 5 seem the most immediate, but even those aren’t essential. That gives us flexibility. We can look around for whatever position you can get the most bang for your buck by upgrading. In the case of Nash, you don’t bench Fields. You slide him to the 3, replacing Gallo. I don’t know that you can get another player of nash’s caliber for a decent young sf and a prospect that’s been riding the pine.

    As far as beating the Heat goes, the best solution is size, but our system makes it very difficult to go big. There are very defensive weapons that could run with us and not screw up the offense. IMO if we were able to add Nene and only lost one starter or Camby without losing any starters, then this summer added a solid sixth man that fits our system and can play 3/4 and 5 in a bind, we might be a long shot to beat the heat. But that’s all we can ask for.

  59. daJudge

    Jon Abbey—I would prefer to wait for Kevin Love. To reply to several bloggers reasonable concerns regarding a traditional center–Dr. Love would pull out the opposing center on offense, thus clearing the paint. He can hit a J and shoot the three. His stats in this regard are very impressive. I believe he can toss the outlet after rebounding like a demon. His defense may not be great, but he can box out, clog on defense and pick up the many blocked shots we send right back to the offense. I guess he’s a RFA pretty soon. IMHO, I see him as a huge upgrade over Frye. There is a post in Real GM re: his status.

  60. fespinal

    Hi everyone, I always read but never post. In terms of upgrading the roster it just seems like AI2 is the best options for 2 reasons:

    1. He can be had for an expiring and not much more, hence leaving most of our current roster intact.

    2. He addresses the defense; can guard the opposing team’s best wing player every night and is also decent offensive player.

    It looks like it would be a sound move and it would also allow the Knicks to keep Chandler.

  61. Ben R

    Duncan is 34, Manu is 33, Garnett is 34, Pierce is 33, Allen is 35, Dirk is 32, Kidd is 37, Kobe is 32, Pau is 30, Odom is 31. Those are the cores of 4 of the top 5 teams in the NBA. Amare is 28, why is our window a couple years from closing? Amare should still be a great player at 31, 32.

    We are a young team both in terms of age and in terms of playing together. We are solidly 2nd tier with less than half a season together, we have 4 playoff games total between 4 of our 5 starters, and 3 of 4 starters on rookie contracts under the age of 24. There is no player in the NBA short of a top 5 player that would, this year, vault us past the best teams in the league. One of the big things most elite teams have is years of experience playing together. It’s the reason I doubt Miami wins a championship this year despite having the most talent in the NBA.

    Look around the NBA in two years after those 4 aging teams start to fade who besides Miami is clearly better than us. I see us right there with Chicago, Oklahoma and maybe Utah as the teams poised to be the next set of elite teams in the NBA.

    In two years we will have solidified our bench, gotten valuable experience in the playoffs and will have Chandler, Gallo and Fields entering their primes.

    We need to learn how to win and lose in the playoffs, we need to weather injury, we need to go through a slump all before we will be ready to take the next step.

    There is no shortcut, except signing a LeBron or a Durant which isn’t happening, so let’s be patient enjoy the ride and hope we take that next step.

    Championship teams aren’t built overnight. I like our long term prospects as much as any team other than Miami and maybe Oklahoma.

    No young for old trades, maybe in a couple years when we’ve maxed out and need a little more to compete but not while we’re still improving.

  62. BigBlueAL

    2 things I have unfortunately come to grips with tonight:

    The Hawks are still a very good 50 win team and the Knicks wont be able to catch them for the 5th seed and the trades by the Magic have indeed made them championship contenders again and the most likely 3 seed in the East.

    All this means the Knicks are probably stuck as the 6th seed and a 1st round matchup against the Magic. Not something I would look very forward to at all.

  63. tastycakes

    71, championship teams aren’t built over night? Maybe that is usually true, but BOS just did exactly that a few years ago, trading for Allen and KG.

  64. tastycakes

    And I definitely think Miami could win it all this year. BOS is the biggest threat to them in the East, and that is only if they get/stay healthy.

  65. Ben R

    tastycakes – In Boston’s case and in Miami’s they added a top five talent and a great third option to a team with an experienced playoff tested all-star. Also alot of things had to bounce just right for Boston to win. If Minnesota had insisted on Rondo instead of Jefferson, if Davis and Powe hadn’t come out of nowhere to provide huge lifts off the bench in the playoffs, if they hadn’t gotten really lucky with injuries they wouldn’t have won.

    Like I said the only way to shortcut the process of building a contender is to add a top 5 talent. Amare is not a top 5 talent. Top 10, maybe, but definitely not top 5. We also had no playoff tested all-stars, like Wade or Pierce, when we added Amare.

    Since we don’t have a top 5 player the road to a contender is longer but possible. Dallas has no top 5 players and only 1 top 20 player. San Antonio no longer has a top 5 player, Boston no longer has a top 5 or probably even a top 10 player yet these are all contenders because of their experience. They are better than the sum of their parts because they know how to win. That is something we still need to learn.

  66. latke

    Ben R — I like what you say and would largely accept it if the knicks kept their SL entirely intact. I do think you are being optimistic to say that at 31-32 Amare will still be the force he is now. He was drafted out of high school and has had 2 knee surgeries. McGrady, Rashard Lewis, and J. O’Neal’s bodies started to fall apart at around 29.

    Garnett and Kobe seem to have fallen off some at around 31/32. Al Harrington (30) and Tyson Chandler (28) are still going strong.

    I’m not saying Amare won’t be good anymore, just that these next couple years will probably be the last before he starts to decline. It might be a slow decline (kobe) or a fast one (mcgrady). Amare isn’t Duncan. He’s diversified his game some, but he is still largely reliant on his athleticism and strength.

    Like I’ve said before, we have until the trade deadline next season to evaluate this team. After that, we are going to have to resign our players and will be capped out. You can spend more money overall on salary if you acquire longer term contracts for expirings. Nash, Varejao, Iguodala, G. Wallace or whoever, as long as it’s a reasonably balanced trade, I’m in favor of making a deal that fills up our cap space. If we can’t make that kind of move this season, fine, but it better happen by feb. of next season.

  67. Nick C.

    Geez, I huge win and already 96 posts and theories on traidng some young guys for PGs on theior last legs. I hated the idea 2 years ago when there was talk of singing Kidd or Grant Hill. Now with a team that is doing well for the first time in a decade you wanna shake things up. Historically in any sport has it ever worked out well where a young team just becoming successful swaps out young talent for past its prime talent. Ever. Sometimes I just don’t get it.

  68. Frank O.

    The Celts-Spurs game last night was fantastic and the Celts nearly blew the win. Spurs showed real heart down the stretch, but they made some critical errors down the stretch.
    That last play, Manu should have gone PnR with the other spur player whose name escapes me, rather than trying to force a game-winning three.
    Celts sold out entirely on stopping the three. At that point, you take the deuce and retrench for OT.
    Manu tried to force a three with two defenders on him and got blocked.
    Fun basketball, but affirmed my earlier thinking. I think the Spurs are good, but they are old and they are not as good as the Celts and the Heat among the other tops in the East.

  69. ghill

    Hi All,
    First post here. RE: The Spurs benching starters for the last three minutes of the game. I don’t see how outplaying the bench at the end invalidates our win at all like some people suggested in the other thread. The bench is part of the team. We need to hold our lead against the other team, no matter who was on the floor.

  70. tastycakes

    - Funny to see the Spurs nearly come back from a 7 point deficit in the last minute after pulling starters with 3 minutes left and only 10 down against us.

    – On the Hawks being a definite 50 win team: the Hawks have so far won 4 games against above .500 teams: the Knicks, the Magic twice, and the Jazz last night. The Knicks have beaten 6 +.500 teams. Yet the Hawks have a recent history of being good and the Knicks don’t, so the Knicks “have had a really easy schedule.”

    – According to Hollingerbot, the Knicks last 10 games strength of schedule was over .650, and we went 5-5.

    – Donnie already throwing Chandler an extension bone? I never thought I’d say it at the beginning of the year, but I want to keep him too. But at what cost? If the Blartford Shawlers decide they want to give him a contract starting at 13M per, is he worth it? Well, he’s got a long season left to continue showcasing his value.

  71. NYK Ewing

    For all the value that commenters posting here put into objectivity and statistics, they sure propose some awful, awful trades that completely overvalue Knicks assets and undervalue pretty much everything about the other team (especially their needs).

  72. ess-dog

    NYK Ewing: For all the value that commenters posting here put into objectivity and statistics, they sure propose some awful, awful trades that completely overvalue Knicks assets and undervalue pretty much everything about the other team (especially their needs).  

    It’s easy to criticize but harder to throw your hat into the ring. Your turn to bat on the Trade Machine™, NYKEwing!

  73. ghill

    im wondering what it would take to get oden right now. it’s unclear if portland will rebuild in the short term, but im guessing oden could be had for expirings. trade machine here i come.

    in the meantime, what stats would be a good indicator of oden’s offensive value considering the small sample size?

  74. ghill

    im wondering what it would take to get oden right now. it’s unclear if portland will rebuild in the short term, but im guessing oden could be had for expirings. trade machine here i come.

    in the meantime, what stats would be a good indicator of oden’s offensive value considering the small sample size?

  75. Frank

    NYK Ewing: For all the value that commenters posting here put into objectivity and statistics, they sure propose some awful, awful trades that completely overvalue Knicks assets and undervalue pretty much everything about the other team (especially their needs).  

    I assume you’re talking about the trade that I suggested… do you really think that PHX could get anything better than Gallo+Randolph+15M in expirings for 2 oldies/goodies and an overpaid SF in a C body?

    What PHX the team needs is to blow the thing up. What Sarver the owner wants is to save $$. Gallo + Randolph are due ~7M in 11-12 and can be dropped thereafter if desired. They are both probably worth at least late lottery to late teens 1st round picks if traded. Curry is gone, and Azu is gone (with most of his 3.5M contract paid by insurance). So this deal would save Sarver 3.5M this year, 5+M next year, + the total of the rest of Frye’s contract (15-20M) = 25M-ish. Since Sarver has been known to sell picks that turn into Rajon Rondo for $3M, that’s 8 first round picks.

    They don’t need Nash because they’re not going to win anything and they have a young PG they like. They don’t need Grant HIll because he’s 50. They don’t need Frye because if they trade Nash, they won’t be running SSOL much anymore, and they have Robin Lopez and Gortat now.

    What every rebuilding team needs are young bigs with high ceilings – so therefore Gallo and Randolph are what PHX needs.

    If anything, it’s a horrible deal for the Knicks — it’s a great deal for the Suns.

  76. ess-dog

    I think it would be tough to part with young talent that we’ve already put time into coaching up (Gallo, Chandler) so free agency seems like the best move to me. It seems like Melo is content to play out the season in Denver if need be so there will likely be a trade at the deadline to a place that Melo would sign an extension: NYK, Chicago, Orlando? Can’t imagine any other teams. Or he could be traded as a hired gun (that would be good for us.) Hopefully he just hits free agency or else we can get him for AR/Curry +parts. In either case, I wouldn’t mind getting him for a reasonable contract in the 14 mil range. Then in 2012, getting Deron Williams via free agency creating a dream rotation of Felton, Williams, Fields, Melo, Stat, Gallo, Chandler, TD, and Shawne.
    You could start D-Will at the 2 and make him more of a scorer. Or if Felton isn’t living up to standards, don’t resign him, start D-Will at point and start Chandler at the 4. Might not be able to resign Turiaf or Moz but you could get a vet. min. center to pitch in like Jermaine O’Neal.
    This team would be as deep as the current Celtics but young and they would run like hell.

  77. Ben R

    Frank – I wouldn’t mind trading with Pheonix but we are young and I think trading for Nash or Hill is shortsighted. I would rather see if we can get Frye, who’s lost his starting job, Lopez, who has played less than 15 minutes in 5 out of the 6 games since the trade, or Childress, who’s fallen out of the rotation entirely, for expirings.

    I think Pheonix might jump at a chance to save money. We could do:

    Azubuike + Mason + Rautins for Childress
    Curry for Childress + Frye
    Mason + Rautins + 3 million and a future draft pick for Lopez

  78. latke

    ess-dog: Then in 2012, getting Deron Williams via free agency creating a dream rotation of Felton, Williams, Fields, Melo, Stat, Gallo, Chandler, TD, and Shawne.

    You can’t sign Williams and resign Fields, Gallo and Felton. You have to renounce their bird rights to get the cap space for williams. Your dream lineup is probably more like : D. Williams, Melo, Stat, + 10 budget dudes. Unless, of course, you trade for Deron at the 2k12 deadline, but unless Williams demands a trade, that won’t happen.

  79. d-mar

    Great blog by Hahn on Chandler today. He points out that Will spends a lot of time practicing corner 3’s because D’Antoni told him he’ll get a lot of looks from there because of doubling on STAT. And have you noticed that he’s almost automatic from there?

    That’s just great coaching and great work habits

  80. d-mar

    On the other hand, pathological Knick hater Mitch Lawrence has a column in the Daily News entitled: “Nice win, sure, but Knicks aren’t elite” Who ever suggested they were? I won’t even provide the link, as you shouldn’t even bother expending the energy to click on it and read his garbage (I read the first paragraph and couldn’t hit the back button fast enough)

  81. ess-dog

    latke:
    You can’t sign Williams and resign Fields, Gallo and Felton. You have to renounce their bird rights to get the cap space for williams. Your dream lineup is probably more like : D. Williams, Melo, Stat, + 10 budget dudes. Unless, of course, you trade for Deron at the 2k12 deadline, but unless Williams demands a trade, that won’t happen.  

    Didn’t do the math but I figured it’d be either Williams or Felton.
    I can’t imagine the owners getting a hard cap next year. It would hinder a lot of movement and just cripple some teams.

  82. Brian Cronin

    Sadly, the Suns seem pretty committed to Nash ending his career in Phoenix (at least ending his current contract in Phoenix). If Nash asked to be dealt, I believe they would deal him, but he hasn’t made any sort of hint that he wants to be traded. Remember, this is a guy who re-upped for three years with the Suns when it looked like they were going to be terrible (and, after one year of Amar’e, that turned out to be true), so he might just really like Phoenix.

  83. latke

    This just occurred to me: in 2012, Felton and Fields will not have full bird rights. If we are over the cap, it appears Felton would qualify for the non-bird exception, which means a contract starting at 120% of his previous year’s salary ($8.4 million). Fields only qualifies for baby bird rights, which means regardless of our cap situation we can give him a contract that starts at a maximum of the league average salary (about $6 million that year probably). If we signed either of them to an extra one year contract, they would both have full bird rights and we would be able to give them more $s than any other team.

    I’m not sure how much this matters. With that exception, we could offer Felton 5 years, $50 million. Early bird would allow us to offer Fields about 5 years, $36 million ($7.2 million/year avg). Those two contracts might be enough to secure Felton and Fields, but if not, it makes the contract situation after next season pretty complicated.

  84. bockadoo

    @97 –
    lupica is a great writer? come on. he’s a negative, all knowing blowhard. i can’t believe he actually wrote a positive article about any ny team or athlete. i’m embarrased that he’s ny’s most nationally known sportswriter. guys like mitch albom, bob ryan, etc…put him to shame. i’m so proud of myself for not having read anything he’s written going on two years now. vaccaro from the post is 10 times better than cocky little lupie. we get camby and we win it THIS year.

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