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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Knicks 2009 Summer League Roster

Looking over the Knicks’ roster there are 9 spots that are taken (Chandler, Curry, Duhon, Gallinari, Harrington, Hughes, Jeffries, Milicic, and Mobley). Two more are likely to be filled by Lee and Robinson. That leaves 4 spots possible for the summer league candidates, barring any offseason player movement.

Definites
It’s safe to assume that both draft picks Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas will be on the team’s roster come October. However it doesn’t mean the pair can relax in Vegas, as a poor showing could send them to D’Antoni’s doghouse before training camp even opens. Knick fans will expect both to make the rotation, Hill because of his status as lottery pick, and Douglas because of the lack of depth at guard. New York hopes both can help improve the team defensively, but they’ll need to prove that they’re capable on the offensive side as well. Both will need to play well now and in the preseason to make sure they aren’t sent to the D-League or practice squad. Considering their draft status and the competition, they should be able to give above average performances.

Probables
At the end of last year the team rotated in some NBDL players, and it looks like two stuck. Joe Crawford and Mouhamed Sene will be playing in the summer league, but they may need to prove their worth. Both of them combined for only 29 minutes last year, so the team isn’t committed to either. While Sene has more NBA experience, he’ll have tougher competition for playing time. New York has bolstered their front court by drafting Hill, trading for Darko, and hiding Eddy Curry’s Ring Dings. On the other hand Crawford will have less competition from the NBA roster, but might get pushed for playing time by Douglas and some of the other summer league guards New York. I wouldn’t bet on either player making the team, but they do have the inside track.

Possibles
One player that could push for a roster spot is Morris Almond. The Jazz selected him with the 25th pick in the 2007 draft, but Almond barely saw any NBA action in two seasons. However he was a prolific scorer in the NBDL, averaging 25.4 pts/36 over two seasons. Although this was due to his high usage (30.9%), to Almond’s credit his TS% was a robust 57.6%. One stat that did stand out in the NBDL is his free throw to field goal ratio. He hit .35 free throws for every shot attempted, and averaged 6.5 ftm/36. Clearly he’s skilled at drawing contact, and his 36.7% from downtown shows that he’s able to score from outside as well.

However Morris peripheral stats are weak. His rebounding numbers could be better for someone who stands 6-6, and his passing, steals, and blocks are weak for a shooting guard. Still he could provide some needed scoring off the bench and could be a poor man’s Allan Houston.

Another candidate is Blake Ahearn, a castaway from the Heat & Spurs. Like Almond, Ahearn dominated the NBDL, scoring 21.9 pts/36 on a sizzling 64.6% TS%. He connected on 43.4% of his three pointers, and was about as perfect as you get (95.5%) from the charity stripe. Unlike Almond, Ahearn has one peripheral stats that is above average, his 4.6 ast/36. At 6-2, Ahearn is more suited for point guard at the NBA level.

Doubtfuls
Yaroslav Korolev was drafted as an 18 year old by the Clippers in 2005 and spent two years in L.A. Yet even though he last suited up for an NBA game 3 years ago, he’s the second youngest player on the summer league team. Korolev is a 6-10 forward who’s father was a basketball coach and is rumored to have a sound all around game. At only 22 years old, he’s definitely young enough to be a “second draft” type of player.

Probably the last guy with a realistic shot at a roster spot is David Noel. He was a second round pick of the Bucks and didn’t play well in his one season. However he did well in the NBDL, scoring 17.1 pts/36 on 60.7 ts% and averaging 5.3 reb/36, 4.4 ast/36, and 1.7 stl/36. His free throw shooting was suspect (68.6%), but he was deadly from downtown (44.6%).

Please God No
Nokoloz Tskitishvili and Alex Acker are both 26 years old. Tskitishvili is looking for yet another chance at the NBA, while Acker is a combo guard who had 2 stints in the NBA (Pistons & Clippers). Nokoloz’s NBA numbers are laughably bad, while Acker’s D-League numbers aren’t very impressive (53.1% TS%).

Hey I Got Free First Row Tickets to the Summer League!
The summer league might be happy days for Valparaiso’s Ron Howard. Rashaad Singleton is a 7 footer, but barely played at Georgia. According to Wikipedia, Warren Carter plays in Spain and thinks Allen Iverson is the NBA’s best player. Wink Adams shot 26.9% from trey his last year at UNLV.

Who Am I Rooting For?
I think there’s the possibility that the Knicks could find a decent player here. I don’t think there are any NBA starters here, but certainly a few guys could contribute as reserves. After reviewing their numbers, Blake Ahearn is at the top of my list. I have a soft spot in my heart for snipers, and the Knicks really need more depth at point guard. I like Almond, but he scares me at the same time. His number suggest a typical me-first-shooter that’s indifferent to the other aspects of the game.

As for the rest, I hope Sene sticks around, even if it’s in the NBDL until New York moves Curry or Jeffries. Korolev has the most intriguing story, but his numbers are so bad as a teenager it’s hard to see him being good at this level. I don’t want Acker or Tskitishvili, and I sure hope the Knicks don’t fall in love with someone who is hot for a few games (*cough* Roberson *cough*). So that leaves Crawford or Noel. Perhaps Noel would be the better choice, considering D’Antoni had Crawford last year & barely used him.

37 comments on “Knicks 2009 Summer League Roster

  1. BigBlueAL

    I believe Hahn has written in his blog and on Twitter that Ahearn has looked really good in the practices in particular his passing and that Almond has shot really good (never mentioned any of the other players). I would think for sure Sene plus Almond and Ahearn will make it to training camp and dont forget Ewing Jr too.

  2. cwod

    I think Hahn mentioned that Sene was giving Hill a hard time in the first practice. And I think he made a joke about Sene vs. Tskitishvili for another practice.

  3. jon abbey

    Mobley is still taking a roster spot this year? is that definitely true? that seems ridiculous, if so.

  4. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Mobley is still taking a roster spot this year? is that definitely true? that seems ridiculous, if so.”

    They have to keep him on the roster if they want to use his insurance for a trade. He’ll be on the inactive list, however.

  5. Dan Panorama

    Almond and Crawford better be good, seeing how pathetically light we are at guard…especially if Nate leaves. Mo had a ton of hype going into his draft (people kept calling him some kind of future Allan Houston, now it’s a “poor man’s Allan Houston” at best) but it looks like he showed little promise in actual NBA games with Utah.

  6. Dan Panorama

    Also that’s hysterical about Korolev. During the draft I remember wondering “what ever happened to that Russian project the Clippers gave a promise to in the lottery that no one ever heard of before and no one has ever heard of since?”

  7. TDM

    Ahearn played in the Orlando Summer League for Philly/NJ.

    Over 4 games:

    48 minutes, 6-15 fg, 4-9 3point, 2 boards, 6 assists, 7 to

    Not exactly impressive, aside from his 44% from downtown.

    The Knicks were very high on Almond when he was in the draft. Because of his size and shooting ability, I think Almond has a better shot at making the team. Especially if the Knicks obtain another pg like Andre Miller (although both Miller’s and Duhon’s agents have dispelled the recent rumors about a sign-and-trade).

    I used to watch Acker play at Pepperdine. He wasn’t even the best player on a crappy team, in a weak (at the time) division. I’m a bit shocked he’s stayed around this long.

    Off-topic: I haven’t been a fan of Brandon Jennings and am still relieved that the Knicks did not draft him. However, to his credit, he was very impressive yesterday against a crappy Cavs summer squad – 23 pts, 2 boards, 8 assists, 5 steals, and only 3 turnovers.

    http://www.nba.com/summerleague2009/games/boxscore.jsp?gameId=1520900012

  8. Ricky_J

    I Read an interesting description of Portland’s offer to Millsap. They front-loaded it through a large signing bonus and early payment structure to deter Utah from matching. Couldn’t the Ks employ a similar approach with Lee and/or Nate? Although risky, it seems like a good way to maximize 2009′s competitiveness concurrently with 2010′s cap flexibility. Is there a rule in the CBA limiting/preventing such a tactic?

  9. TDM

    “Couldn’t the Ks employ a similar approach with Lee and/or Nate?”

    Not sure I understand what you mean.

    Portland frontloaded the contract with Millsap so that Utah – the team with matching rights – may consider passing. The Knicks have the matching rights for Lee and Nate, so they wouldn’t sign front-loaded contracts to prevent other teams from matching. It would be another team that would purportedly sign Lee/N8 to such deals to prevent the Knicks from matching.

    Based on the market, it doesn’t look like the Knicks are bidding against any other teams right now anyhow. Millsap’s deal 4/32M, although a bit complicated in the details, works out to 8M per. Right or wrong, teams seemed more interested in Millsap than Lee, so Lee’s value may be around $7M per – an amount the Knicks would certainly match if tested.

    I’m a bit surprised no teams have put up offers for Nate. It seems a lot of playoff teams could use him coming off the bench.

  10. Frank

    I think what Ricky is suggesting is something like this:

    Total contract = 5 years 44 million (~9 million/year)

    2009-2010 – pay him 20 million
    2010-2011 – pay him 6 million
    2011-2012 – pay him 6 million
    2012-2013 – 6 MM
    2013-2014 – 6 MM

    so he only counts 6MM against the cap in 2010 and beyond.

    i don’t know the answer to this — sounds like an obvious cap workaround that someone would’ve exploited way before this if it were do-able.

  11. jon abbey

    yeah, pretty sure the cap number is just the AAV of the contract, so it would be $8.8M each of the five years in the above example.

  12. Brian Cronin

    Millsap’s deal 4/32M, although a bit complicated in the details, works out to 8M per. Right or wrong, teams seemed more interested in Millsap than Lee, so Lee’s value may be around $7M per – an amount the Knicks would certainly match if tested.

    That’s not what that means…

    Millsap’s getting that offer because:

    A. They think he will take it – Lee would not (as he had that same offer basically on the table from the Knicks).

    B. The Jazz might not match that amount, while the Knicks would likely match an even higher amount for Lee.

    C. They hope that if Utah does match, that it would then force the Jazz into making a Carlos Boozer trade that Portland can be a part of, thereby netting a player at a position where they really need help (say, point guard).

    Basically, Millsap’s contract here does not have an impact on Lee’s market value, except that it would theoretically remove Portland from the field of play.

    The only thing hurting Lee’s market value is the Knicks’ clear willingness to match any reasonable offer (and their seeming disinclination to pursue sign and trades), and no team out there wants to/can blow the Knicks away right now.

  13. Frank

    OK after looking at the NBPA’s site re: player contracts it appears any signing bonus is prorated over the life of the contract, essentially as jonabbey said above, so the 20/6/6/6/6 would definitely not help us in terms of cap room in 2010.

    In that case I think the reason Portland is structuring the deal this way is to force the Jazz farther into luxury tax for this year — as far as I know, the cap # determines the max amount of salary you can carry in terms of trades/signings, but the luxury tax is just based on how much you ACTUALLY spent that year — so perhaps by front-loading the contract Utah would be losing millions of dollars in luxury tax.

    And since Dolan (and Paul Allen) apparently has more money than God, this sort of strategy wouldn’t work against the Knicks. It seems a good strategy for us to consider using in the future to get restricted FAs away from their cheapskate teams though (ie. Rudy Gay in 2010 or Durant in 2011!!).

  14. Frank

    OK after looking at the NBPA’s site re: player contracts it appears any signing bonus is prorated over the life of the contract, essentially as jonabbey said above, so the 20/6/6/6/6 would definitely not help us in terms of cap room in 2010.

    In that case I think the reason Portland is structuring the deal this way is to force the Jazz farther into luxury tax for this year — as far as I know, the cap # determines the max amount of salary you can carry in terms of trades/signings, but the luxury tax is just based on how much you ACTUALLY spent that year — so perhaps by front-loading the contract Utah would be losing millions of dollars in luxury tax.

    And since Dolan (and Paul Allen) apparently has more money than God, this sort of strategy wouldn’t work against the Knicks. It seems a good strategy for us to consider using in the future to get restricted FAs away from their cheapskate teams though (ie. Rudy Gay in 2010 or Durant in 2011!!).

  15. nickatnight

    If Milsap takes 8M and the consensus is that 8M is fair, Lee should jump at the same offer. They are not that far apart statistically.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=0&p1=leeda02&y1=2009&p2=millspa01&y2=2009

    Lee had the advantage of playing in one of the fastest paced systems in the NBA and on a team without another significant rebounder sharing the boards. Milsap has 3 years of playoff experience vs none, is a couple of years younger, is also improving, and is considered the superior defender.

    I would not argue with anyone that would prefer Milsap over Lee for the long haul. It’s that close.

  16. Caleb

    re: tweaking contracts, aside from pro-rating any signing bonus (“front-loading”) there is also a limit to annual raises (12.5 percent, I think) so you can’t make wild year-to-year swings in a player’s salary. But, you can shift things around, for a more subtle advantage. For example, David West has an interesting contract that declines by about a million dollars each year.

    With Lee and Millsap, I agree the deciding factor is that Portland thinks they can get Millsap and/or force Utah to make a Boozer trade that gets Portland a PG… whereas they’re wasting their time offering similar $$ to Lee.

    Millsap is an excellent player. Not THAT far behind Lee.. but he’s definitely behind. The idea that Lee’s stats are “inflated” by the system is silly – his numbers were just as good or better the two years before D’Antoni showed up.

    Millsap’s rebound rate the past three years was 17.4, 16.5 and 17.0, among the top power forwards.

    But Lee was at 20.7, 17.5 and 18.4.

    Millsap’s TS% was 57.1, 54.8 and 57.6

    Lee, in similar volume, was 65.2, 60.6 and 59.0

    Lee has a similar advantage in passing and turnovers. Millsap is a better shotblocker and I would say better defender overall, but his foul rate is 30 percent higher so it’s not a lights-out advantage.

    Anyway, Lee won’t have much trouble getting $10 million next summer, but if he wants to avoid the injury risk he can probably grab $8-9 million right now.

  17. Jafa

    Here’s some advice for DLee: A bird in hand is worth two in the tree.

    You touched on it Caleb – biggest risk is injury. Not only would he lose time on the court to improve his value, but the Knicks are loaded with front court players that could come in and quickly play well enough for the coaching staff to decide to “ease” DLee back into the lineup.

    So I think it come down to this for DLee: get injured and lose $2-3 Million in annual salary, or stay healthy and get $2-3 Million more next year. Personally, this spread would be too wide for me to take the risk.

    What would you do?

  18. Thomas B.

    I’ve been asking for more “ha-ha” and I finally got it. “Please God no” laughed out loud, which is bad because I was in court today (blackberry during recess)-and no, Ess-dog I was not the defendant.

  19. Brian Cronin

    Wow, Orlando is not effing around.

    First the Carter deal, and now they have announced that they’re matching the Gortat (5 year/$36 million) offer sheet and they’re signing Brandon Bass to a 4 year/$18 million deal.

    That’s going to be a stacked team.

    Nelson
    Carter
    Bass
    Lewis
    Howard

    is an impressive starting five.

  20. Owen

    Wow, good for Orlando indeed….

    I agree that Lee has been better than Millsap, not by a huge amount, but by a fair bit, at least statistically. Not much I can add really to what Caleb already said on that score…

  21. Caleb

    Hard to judge subjectively from what I’ve seen… Utah of course is a much better defensive team, but they have Kirilenko, Brewer and Williams and still aren’t great – so it’s hard to think that either Boozer or Millsap makes a big impact (Boozer is awful on D, IMO).

    Millsap blocks more shots than DL but fouls a lot more.

    His plus-minus is better, but not great. (if I’m reading 82games correctly)

  22. nickatnight

    “The idea that Lee’s stats are “inflated” by the system is silly – his numbers were just as good or better the two years before D’Antoni showed up. ”

    Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s such a good thing. It suggests to me he wasn’t as good and didn’t improve as much as much as most people think last year because there’s little doubt he had more possessions per 36 and less competition from other NY “bigs” with which to accumulate rebounds, points, blocks, and assists last year than he had in prior years.

    Year Pace

    2007 89.4
    2008 91.6
    2009 96.7 (D’Antoni)

    Utah in 2009 93.1

    These are not wildly different numbers, but neither are Milsap’s and Lee’s 2009 numbers. I think most GMs consider 2009 to be the most relevant comparison because even though both are young players, Milsap is especially young and on the upswing.

    Either way, they are reasonably close and probably closer than a first glance would indicate. I don’t see anyone jumping hoops for Lee. As far as I am concerned that’s a very good thing. We all love Lee, but paying him more is not going to put a better grade of steak on my dinner plate. So when I’m eating my “skirt steak” and enjoying the Knicks, I’d rather Lee be making less so we can offer someone else we need more and convince him to come.

  23. Caleb

    Millsap is two years younger than Lee, so I’d agree he’s got more upside — but Lee is already “there.”

    “It suggests to me he wasn’t as good and didn’t improve as much as much as most people think last year…”

    Undoubtedly true, but that’s no criticism – in terms of rebound rate he’s been among the best 5 PFs in the league, three years running. In 2006-2007 he was thousands of a percentage point from leading the league in TS% (and FG%). Defense is questionable, but in key areas he’s been among the league’s best since 2006.

    “there’s little doubt he had more possessions per 36″

    Obviously, this soups up his per-game #s, which you’d think might catch a few people’s eyes.

    “… and less competition from other NY “bigs” with which to accumulate rebounds, points, blocks, and assists last year than he had in prior years.”

    It surprised me, too when I first looked but the other players don’t impact these #s very much. You can find all the combos on 82games.com. Probably the biggest example is DL’s rebound rate which dipped a little when he was next to Randolph but he was still among the elite in that category.

  24. BigBlueAL

    Interesting, I just read an article from Hahn where he wrote this:

    Walsh seemed satisfied with where the conversation is with Robinson’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, but seemed a little more perturbed with the lack of progress with Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein.

  25. cgreene

    Looks like Lee is playing hardball with DW. So much for how badly he wants to stay a Knick. That $12M per offer ain’t coming from anywhere right now. Would his agent really advise him to take the QO and leave the $ on the table?? That’s really playing chicken with all the talent in the market next year including Boozer, Dirk, Amare and Bosh all at the 4… and less cap.

  26. mhev35

    everything ive read about douglas has talked about his great pg skills. i remember watching him in the acc tourney and thinking he was a great pg but had nobody to pass the ball to, therefore the low numbers that lead to thinking he was more a combo guard. he can create for himself and can pass but the only thing i doubt is his ability to create for others. if he can do this as the NY beat writers are saying (i know this doesnt mean much) then i think well have a solid backup pg for awhile

  27. cwod

    Latest on Curry from Hahn’s Twitter:

    “Trainer Tommy Weatherspoon (trains NFL and MLB players too) says 300-315 is the target weight. He’s at 328 right now.”

  28. Thomas B.

    The fact that most of us knew nothing of TD’s skill set is an indictment of how the pre-draft camp works. The players should be playing in actual game action, particularly those players that are not going to be lotto picks. I don’t know about the NBA’s CBA but I would support making the following mandatory for each entrant (by mandatory I mean any player who is asked to participate. There is no reason to force the inclusion of a fringe draftee.)

    1. Participation in at least three but no more than five full speed games. The coaching staff could be selected via lottery. Reps from every team may participate/watch the games.

    2. Participation in at least three 1-one-1 drills against players of the same position. Reps from every team….

    3. Make the combine meaningful by including drills that actually measure ability rather than physical gifts. What does a standing broad jump or 185 bench press tell you about how well the player can get over a screen, his team defense, whether he can get into the paint, can he run a fast break. Reading about David Noel reminded me of how he was ranked the top athelete in the pre-draft class a few years back (i think it was him) anyway, he can’t stay on a roster. So, the combine tells you very little about how a player can play the game. Teams should have known going in that Korolev wasn’t polished, Tskitishvili can’t shoot, that Shelden Williams is not the next Boozer, and Quincy Douby really can’t do much of anything other than shoot well in drills.

    I don’t know how, but this thing has to be fixed. I’m sick of drafting players and then…suprise and the suprise is not often pleasant.

  29. Thomas B.

    SO at 328 curry needs to drop about 8% of his body weight. Not too bad. Could be worse, right Oliver Miller?

  30. Thomas B.

    I don’t see Almond as a “poor man’s Allan Houston.” I see more as a rich man’s Anthony Roberson.

  31. Ted Nelson

    nickatnight,

    Rate stats are adjusted for pace, as are shooting %s… so, those numbers are not directly affected by pace.

    As far as “competing” with the other bigmen on your own team… Millsap played the majority of his minutes last season with Okur, who is a below-average rebounder and spends as much time on the perimeter as in the paint (71% jumpers last season).

    In 2007-2008 Lee played with a very good rebounder, Zach Randolph, and still put up better rebounding numbers than Millsap has either of the past two seasons. Theoretically, playing on a better defensive team should help your defensive rebounding stats (more misses). Utah is a superior defensive team (10th v. 23rd last season), yet Lee is a beast on the D-glass while Millsap stands out on the O-glass (anyone who claims that Lee gets freebees off the O-glass might want to notice that his offensive rebounding rate was down in D’Antoni’s system).

    Scoring efficiency is also something that, if anything, you would expect to improve with the quality of your teammates. Millsap played on the 8th best offense, and Lee on the 17th. Their usage rates were pretty close last season. Both are pretty bad jump shooters.

    I like both players, and their free agent values have as much to do with circumstances as anything. I just don’t think you can use pace or poor quality teammates as a justification that Millsap is better. At this point it’s hard to argue that Lee is not the better rebounder and more efficient scorer.

    Defense is interesting. Defensive +/-s are far from direct indicators of a player’s defensive ability, but I like to at least look at them… if the player makes his team’s defense better or worse year after year I sort of feel like a pattern emerges. The Jazz have been a better defensive team each of the past 3 seasons with Millsap on the court, but they’ve also been a worse defensive team with Boozer on the floor each of those seasons. So, it stands to reason that Millsap is a better defender than Boozer and probably a pretty solid defender overall. Lee has a bad defensive +/- last season, but also played almost exclusively at the 5… The two seasons before that the Knicks were a better defensive team with him on the court. Of course, the Knicks are a worse defensive team to start with than the Jazz. I’d give the edge to Millsap at this point.

  32. Ted Nelson

    The cap may or may not be lower next season, but more teams will have money to spend and more of them might actually need PFs (I have no idea and at this point I guess it’s hard to anticipate the moves that will be made between now and then). Lee would be taking a risk by leaving money on the table, but would also have the chance to return to the 4 spot defensively and have another year in D’Antoni’s system to develop and show that last season was no fluke.
    I think he should probably take 8 mill per, and try to get the last two years of the deal as player options… If he could somehow earn about 20% on his investments, than there would be no financial advantage to waiting for the $10 mill he might get next offseason. I agree that $12 mill is a dream, but Ben Gordon and Hedo Turkoglu got almost that money this offseason and I’m not sure either one is a better player than Lee (but, of course, scoring is overrated). Bargnani for $10 mill per and he’s not a better player… so maybe just go for the $12 mill if you’re willing to risk it.

    Thomas,

    I think that you’re right that a lot of things could be done to improve the pre-draft process. However, volatility is inherent in the draft process, just like picking stocks. Teams could have a whole year before the draft to prod and poke prospects, and they’d still pick busts and overlook steals.

  33. nickatnight

    “Rate stats are adjusted for pace, as are shooting %s… so, those numbers are not directly affected by pace.”

    Yes I agree. Pace is irrelevant to shooting and efficiency percentages, but when you say “rate” are you referring to PER 36?

    I do not think PER 36 numbers are adjusted for pace. They adjust the PER Game stats to minutes for easy comparison, but a player could get more or less possessions per minute depending on pace.

    If I’m wrong thanks for the corrrection. :)

    Last year Lee spent a lot of time playing C with Harrington or Chandler at PF. Both of those guys are very weak rebounders at the PF position. This year he’s going to spend a lot of time at PF with Milicic, Hill, or Curry at C. While none of those guys is a vacuum cleaner on the boards, they will probably be better as a group than Harrington and Chandler. Even Curry is better than them when in shape. ;)

    Intuitively, it seems like that could cause Lee’s rebounding to drop 1 or more per game. I also wonder what’s going to happen to his offensive production if they start running pick and rolls for Eddy instead of him.

    Maybe you guys are right, but I’m sure you can understand the intuition.

  34. Ted Nelson

    By “rate” I mean rebounding rate, usage rate, assist rate, TO rate, stl rate, and blk rate. I guess at B-R they’re now called percentage rather than rate. You are correct about Per 36 stats. All that I’m saying is that if the argument is that Lee is better because of his superior rebound rate and TS%, then pace doesn’t matter (especially because those numbers have consistently been better than Millsap’s).

    Lee played with Harrington and Chandler as his frontcourt mates for much of the season (although for 11 games the strategy was basically for no one besides Zach Randolph to hit the offensive glass); however, he’s put up better rebounding numbers than Millsap ever season. All else equal his rebound rate would probably get slightly worse with better rebounders around him (his worst rebounding season as spent with Zach, but he still had a rebound rate of 17.5), but he’s consistently been slightly better on the glass than Millsap (career average rebound rate of 18.3 v. 17.0). Of course, I can’t say what would happen if they switched spots.

    Lee has also consistently put up better TS% and eFG% than Millsap (career 60.8 and 56.4 v. 56.6 and 52.3). Until this season he was used less offensively, but last season his efficiency numbers were still better than Millsap’s. If Curry’s right, Lee’s scoring volume may decrease. But he’s played with Eddy in past seasons and still put up great efficiency numbers: his incredible career year with 65.2% TS% and 60% eFG% came during Eddy Curry’s career year, when Eddy led the Knicks with almost 3000 minutes.

    I understand your intuition, and based on the evidence we have to date I don’t think Lee and Millsap are very far apart as players. Just making points about pace and quality of teammates.

  35. nickatnight

    Just a note. Lee’s TS% dropped last year to a level close to Milsap’s. After a quick scan it looks a lot like that was because his FT% dropped from the prior 2 years. I seem to recall that he got off to a very poor start from the FT line last season. Why, I don’t know. It would not shock me if his FT% and efficiency rebounds this year. If not though, then I guess last year is more indicative of what me might expect going forward.

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