Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Knicks by a Rose from the Grave

So here we are. The Knicks have just made a trade that has been brutally lambasted by nearly every knowledgeable Knicks fan I’ve spoken with, based on a lot of relevant statistical information I see no reason to repeat here. I want to talk about this in terms of practicality and overall scope as an effort in team-building, or perhaps even better, team-trashing.

At the end of last season, basically all of us could agree on several things about this team. First, we hated that we didn’t have a first round draft pick because of yet another awful trade for a bad player, which made tanking an irrelevant strategy for the year. We pieced together a team with several free agents, two of whom we unanimously regarded as the laughingstock of NBA backcourts; Aaron Afflalo and Jose Calderon. I don’t recall a single person hoping we could retain their services, and to my relief, we haven’t. The Knicks convinced Afflalo to opt out by giving him no reason to believe he had a place on the team in the latter half of the season, the first great thing to happen this offseason. We also found a team willing to absord Calderon’s nearly $8 million deal this season, giving the Knicks a chance to scrap the awful backcourt experiment that was signed last summer in an attempt to field a team competitive enough to compete for a 7-8 spot in the playoffs last year. Without a draft pick, it made sense in a vacuum to sign those veteran players to short contracts to field a competitive team, but it became clear at about the halfway point of the season it was a wasted effort.

We also agreed that Porzingis should probably play more minutes at the 5 in an increasingly smaller NBA, although with his smaller frame it wouldn’t be wise to subject him to the type of punishment that can require against some of the bigger frontcourts in the league. But are big frontcourts really a thing anymore? How valuable is a double-double center without range in today’s space-and-pace NBA? The best “true” bigs in the NBA have the ability to make shots in the 15-20 foot range, or even further, such as Marc Gasol, Lamarcus Aldridge, Damarcus Cousins, Serge Ibaka and Hassan Whiteside. Traditional bigs have been disappearing faster than the bee population, in part because it is becoming harder and harder to find a place for them on the court as teams employ more lineups with all five players capable of spreading out around the three-point line, causing switching nightmares in the pick-and-roll and rendering their rebounding/paint-protecting abilities all-but irrelevant as they were extended out to the top of the key in and endless succession of P&Rs.

Anyone who would listen to me knows that I rode HARD for the Golden State model last year. And make no mistake, I was wrong that they could not be beaten, and I’ll be the first to admit that. There were two, perhaps three teams (we’ll never know if San Antonio could have matched up with them, but I’m gonna say because Duncan couldn’t have stayed on the floor that they would have been a less difficult matchup for Golden State than OKC was in hindsight) that could employ the type of spacing lineups with a big that had the athleticism and ability to switch any screen to match the spacing ferocity that Golden State forces on a team. The value of a traditional big, therefore, has gone down. Not to say that teams don’t still need one on a night-to-night basis, but the value of a player like Robin Lopez is not what it was even two years ago. Make no mistake—RoLo is an awesome guy to have in any locker room, he is a productive player, and he’s dependable (the man played 82 games in 3 of the last 4 years). He was on a good contract and what he did do, he did well. The thing is, what he does is fast becoming an irrelevant skillset.

I’m not going to try and convince you that Rose is about to have some sort of career renaissance and become a productive point guard after everything you’ve already read that suggests otherwise. Rose is the definition of damaged goods and even the most optimistic projections have him as a league-average point guard in a league full of talent at that position. But the Knicks were not going to upgrade that position in this offseason in any meaningful way—would you want to sign Conley to a 4-year max contract, a player now 30 years old with his own injury issues? I stand on some rocky ground here to suggest that this trade was a good thing for the Knicks, but only in relation to what they do around it. If the team signs Dwight Howard (which I have no reason to believe they will, but I’ll entertain the theoretical) then this is yet another awful short-sighted move that the entire fanbase would be correct to be pissed off about. But if this is part of a two or three year plan to tear down the roster, then I think it’s a great start.

Could we have gotten a first-round pick for Lopez? Not likely. And certainly not without taking back long-term $$ from a team seeking its own cap relief to scrape their way out of a bad contract after they find out they made their own short-sighted move in free agency. But we did find a way to get out of a contract that would have lasted 3 more years and provided the team with no real value at a position that frankly, Porzingis should be starting at. Kristaps provides rim protection and is not fast enough to keep up with the new 4 position in this league. In the playoffs, Durant and LeBron played the 4. You want Kristaps trying to guard that? Are you kidding? Kristaps has a few years to develop into a better defender, but at the 5, he could at least hide by going under screens and hanging back, remaining close to the paint where he would be most effective in a defensive set, rather than being stretched out to the corner 3 as he so often was last season. I see no way to not play Kristaps at the 5 going forward, which leads me to believe that this team shouldn’t be looking to sign a traditional center this offseason anyways. Everyone keeps pointing to how we need to replace the center, but to my mind, we already have. Melo and Kristaps should play the 4 and 5 respectively now, and that’s just the only way to play basketball going forward in my mind.

I’m aware there will be a thousand arguments about the validity of that thought alone, but if the Knicks really are transitioning to a more fully-realized small-ball approach, then I think this was a good way to get cap relief, blow up the unbelievably terrible backcourt we trotted out last year, and pivot Kristaps to his more-natural position at the 5. What we need now is a 3 and a 2, not a 5 and a 1. And those positions are a lot easier to fill nowadays.

I say this trade is impossible to grade without what comes after, so maybe I’m writing this too soon. We should wait until after free agency’s dust has settled to really think this through, but in today’s world of instant reaction and much-too-soon evaluation, that is just not possible. Remember, Golden State was done when they were down 3-1 against OKC. I heard nobody suggest otherwise. OKC had figured them out, Stephen Adams was the perfect 5 to wreak havoc on their system, and then somehow, OKC lost. We repeated the exact same platitudes after Cleveland went down 3-1 in the Finals, citing all the historical data and how Cleveland couldn’t keep Kevin Love on the floor and the matchups were simply too much to overcome, but we all know what happened next (and a lot of what happened is Golden State just didn’t make shots. If they were nearly that cold against OKC, they would have lost that series in 5 or 6. Let it be forever remembered that a team that suddenly begins missing all of it’s wide-open threes when that is the reason their engine runs in the first place may be beatable). In the NBA, and in sports and the world in general, all that matters is what happened today. Tomorrow, a new narrative can replace it just as easily. The only true way to evaluate something is in a broader scope of perception, but we seldom allow ourselves to do that because of the urgency to give our opinions as soon as something happens. It can be likened to how we think of our relationships with people—we can have weeks and months and years of positive experiences, but one major slight, deception or betrayal can cause an incredible momentary emotional reaction and that one day can change everything about how we feel.

Let’s not be victims of the moment here. Let’s not assume that Derrick Rose is coming to save the Knicks, because he’s not. Anybody arguing this trade as an immediate boon to the team is wrong. It is only in the larger scope of what is done in relation to it that this trade can be viewed as a success or failure. In life, you may take a job that initially seems like a life-changing positive event, and find in a year that you’re in fact miserable to go there every day even though the pay is better and it seemed like a pragmatic and smart move at the time. And let’s not kid ourselves, the Knicks were not competing for a title next year, even if by some miracle they signed Conley and Whiteside AND Batum. They still wouldn’t be good enough, and that’s just a fact. This was always a two-year rebuild at the very least, and to my mind, the team is in a better position to do this than they were two days ago. Nothing we did was going to make us better than Cleveland next year, and that’s okay. In no world should the Knicks be attempting to have a championship contender this year, or even next year, because the NBA already has enough contenders that we couldn’t possibly pass in that timeframe. And that’s okay, because this type of move can either demonstrate that the front office does in fact realize this and knows the roster needs to be torn down so as to wait for next summer’s much more robust free agent class and arm ourselves with another lottery pick or two to do a true rebuild, or… gulp… it will show yet again the unforgivable short-sightedness of this team we love to hate and that they’ve sacrificed future assets in favor of an unrealistic chase for a title they have no hope to compete for.

Finally, I’ve read that the front office thinks they could attract a marquee name like Kevin Durant with this move, and I think that’s smoke and mirrors. Or at least it better be. There’s no way in hell Durant is coming to New York anyways, he’s signing the 1-and-1 deal with OKC and that’s all there is to it. And seriously? He would choose the Knicks over Golden State or Miami? If he leaves (and he’s not leaving, stop falling for the click-bait people) we are too far down the list for Derrick fucking Rose to change his thought process. I’m wrong all the time, and if I’m wrong here and Durant decides to come save the Knicks, I’ll eat crow every day until I die of whatever disease you would likely contract from making crows the centerpiece of your diet. But I’ll go out on a 40-foot wide limb and say that Durant is not going anywhere this summer because it would be a stupid decision on his part and he is comfortable where he is. If it attracts anybody, let it be Horford or Batum, someone worthy of the first step in the rebuild that is also a realistic target and will make the team better. Horford could be the 4 that allows Melo to play the 3, and if we just flipped Lopez for a more expensive upgrade in Horford and got rid of the worst backcourt in the NBA in the process without giving up any assets, this was a great decision.

We will either feel a lot better or a lot worse about this trade in two weeks. but right now, I’m going to be an optimist and give the team the benefit of the doubt (that admittedly they’ve done very little to earn). If we sign a marquee free agent at the 2 or 3 and otherwise just stuff the roster with short deals on players with upside, I’ll be thrilled. It will give us a chance to move Carmelo for the future 1st rounder we covet along with other assets, and to reshape the roster for 2018-2019, the year this team should be looking at. It sucks to be thinking of the next two seasons as simply a bridge to cross, but haven’t we all been clamoring for a complete teardown for years now so we can actually build a functioning team going forward? Think of it like going to college; those first two years you take all of your general education classes, none of which serve as anything more but a way to get accepted into your major program and finally get some real work done. Sure, it blows, but you get a chance to warm up to the process and collect some memories and habits to succeed in the future.

If that’s indeed what they are doing, I am all for this deal and can see the sense behind it. If not, though… I don’t even want to think about it. This franchise and its fanbase deserves better, and maybe, just MAYBE, they’re going to get it. We deserve a teardown, not a prop-up. You don’t fix a house by remodeling the kitchen and updating the furniture, you tear the shitty thing down and start from the foundation.

Let the arguing commence.

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50 comments on “Knicks by a Rose from the Grave

  1. Erik Judd Post author

    Oh yea, Cavan’s piece was laugh-out-loud hysterical. It took me like 15 minutes to read I was laughing so damn hard. He made his point though, that this trade was not so awful as his parody made it seem, because we are probably overvaluing a lot of the pieces and undervaluing Rose. He and McElroy’s Twitter timelines yesterday made a lot of good, and most importantly lucid, points

  2. Brian Cronin

    I was thinking of a great Simpsons quote today “Isn’t it amazing, the same day you got a pool… is the same day we realized we liked you?” So similarly, isn’t it amazing that the same day Robin Lopez got traded is the same day that people realized they no longer liked him?

  3. Totes McGoats

    A thought just hit me. Should we really sign Durant and jeopardize KP’s growth? Sounds absurd, but at least hear me out. I imagine that it would be extremely hard to move Melo and Rose unless LeBron really wants Melo or Milwaukee some random team is desperate for a former electric PG. Suppose Durant does say yes, but we end up being stuck with Melo & Rose. That would really limit KP, who at his position, can conceivably be better than Durant. That’s a serious roll of the dice. Of course, I don’t want to see Phil NOT go after Durant, but that is something to worry about. I guess the question is, is there still a market for Melo or Rose beyond NY?

  4. max fisher-cohen

    Stop confounding the concept with the actual move. The concept is fine. Let’s get Melo time at the 4. Let’s play a more modern, smaller lineup. Great!

    But the fact of the matter is Rose for free would have been a questionable move. He’s just a bad player, and no matter how much you try to confuse the issue by talking about roster balance or whatever, it’s really really simple. We gave two players with trade value for an awful player who would be playing in China right now if not for the fantastic marketing job Adidas did and all the money Chicago had invested in him.

    would you want to sign Conley to a 4-year max contract, a player now 30 years old with his own injury issues?

    This is like asking, “would I rather eat my own poop or drink my own piss?” How about I don’t do either? if you’re arguing that by making one incompetent trade, Phil prevented himself from making another, fine, reasonable point. But the message to take from that point is that this team’s front office is immaculately incompetent. There’s no positive spin there.

  5. reub

    Brian did you recently read that the 96 year old Dr.Heimlich used the famous maneuver for the very first time recently to save a life in the nursing home where he now resides?

  6. DRed

    Yeah but we gained cap space next year that otherwise would have been taken by the guy we signed to a 4 year deal last year. It’s a brilliant stroke.

  7. johnno

    “Sounds absurd”
    Yes, it does. Play KP 15 minutes at the 5 and 15 minutes at the 4 when Durant is resting. Practicing with and against, and playing with, one of the best (and hardest working) players on the planet every day for the next four years is not going to hinder anyone’s progress.

  8. Brian Cronin

    Brian did you recently read that the 94 year old Dr.Heimlich used the famous maneuver for the very first time recently to save a life in the nursing home where he now resides?

    I did not. That’s awesome. I did see him do an interview years ago where he mentioned never having done it himself. That’s great.

  9. reub

    Most of our games will be over in the first half so they’ll be plenty of rest to be had.

  10. taward

    Wait, so D. Rose is an awful basketball player now? And we would rather have Jose fucking Calderon starting for us? Have we looked at his numbers as they are rather than comparing him to his former self? Wouldn’t Rose, at his current level of production, be better than any starting PG we’ve employed for nearly a decade?

  11. Mr. Cock Jowles, If You Please

    The best “true” bigs in the NBA have the ability to make shots in the 15-20 foot range, or even further, such as Marc Gasol, Lamarcus Aldridge, Damarcus Cousins, Serge Ibaka and Hassan Whiteside.

    You totally lost me here.

    1) Marc Gasol hasn’t been all that good since 2013. It’s 2016 right now. He’s been on a number of excellent teams and has usually been a solid contributor, but he’s not a top big man outside of that year and maybe his sophomore year. Lots of mediocre shooting.

    2) LaMarcus Aldridge is the quintessential overrated big man. Hits at a good rate from 16+ but a career average of .421 isn’t really anything to write home about, especially if that attempt is making shorter players fight for offensive rebounds.

    3) Demarcus Cousins: fucking no. Dude is the C version of Carmelo Anthony. You may remember the big scoring nights, but do you remember nights like this one, where he single-handedly loses a game for his team?

    4) Serge Ibaka: 2012 called and it wants its player perception back. Also he’s probably like 34 years old and he wasn’t even close to a top big man this year. Like, not even fucking close. I don’t know what sports league you’re watching, but it’s not the NBA if you think Serge Ibaka is a top performer. Plus he’s actually like 38.

    5) Whiteside: nailed it! But unfortunately for your narrative, he takes 7% of his shots from the midrange. That’s a few more points than noted mid-range specialist Tyson Chandler, who takes 5% of his shots from 16-23 feet and hits 33.8% of them.

    The best “true” bigs this year were Jordan, Drummond, Thompson, Gobert, Whiteside, and Ed Davis (among others), none of whom have or will ever be a threat from the outside. If your seven-footer is taking shots, that means your shorter players have to crash the rim. That’s not good.

  12. Mr. Cock Jowles, If You Please

    Wait, so D. Rose is an awful basketball player now?

    Awful. Like among the league’s worst. Truly one of the worst persons in the NBA last year.

    I know there are these things called “stats” that we throw around on this site, but you might want to look into them. Here you go:

    http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/40-derrick-rose

    Derrick required 14% more shots to score the same points as a league-average PG. League-average. That’s fucking awful when you consider that teams have a fixed number of opportunities to score over the course of a game and you need to score more points than your opponent to win.

  13. Mr. Cock Jowles, If You Please

    This is like asking, “would I rather eat my own poop or drink my own piss?” How about I don’t do either?

    Urine is virtually sterile, dude. The choice is easy.

    Whether I want to be a Knicks fan past 2016 is a much tougher choice, but I’m leaning toward “fuck James Dolan.”

  14. JK47

    Wouldn’t Rose, at his current level of production, be better than any starting PG we’ve employed for nearly a decade?

    No. Unless you’re using POINTZZ as your metric, Rose at his current level of production is even worse than the dreck the Knicks have been running out there at PG for the last decade plus. Let’s use WS48 as our metric, just for fun:

    WS48
    2015-2016 Derrick Rose .009
    2015-2016 Jose Calderon .096
    2014-2015 Shane Larkin .045
    2013-2014 Ray Felton .053
    2012-2013 Ray Felton .087
    2011-2012 Jeremy Lin .140
    2010-2011 Ray Felton .093
    2009-2010 Chris Duhon .045
    2008-2009 Chris Duhon .069
    2007-2008 Nate Robinson .082
    2006-2007 Stephon Marbury .103
    2005-2006 Stephon Marbury .084
    2004-2005 Stephon Marbury .171
    2003-2004 Stephon Marbury .144
    2002-2003 Howard Eisley .097
    2001-2002 Mark Jackson .123
    2000-2001 Charlie Ward .127
    1999-2000 Charlie Ward .133

    I could keep going all the way back to Ossie Schectman in the 1946-1947 season if you want but I think you get the drift.

  15. Jack Bauer

    So the Knicks will be paying 20 million plus next year for statistically their worst point guard ever?
    Sounds great, sign me up!

  16. SJK

    Not to break the riveting Rose back and worth but per Woj, Hernangomez is confirmed planning to come over this summer.

  17. taward

    Awful. Like among the league’s worst.

    And that makes Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant, what, exactly? He still managed to post a better PER than either of our PGs. I’m not sure how we can argue that we would be better off. But until we can predict the future, time will tell.

  18. Erik Judd Post author

    @16 my man, I put the word true in quotes specifically because they are not true big men in the traditional sense. They are all big men that can hit outside shots in addition to providing rim protection. That was all that I meant. Jordan, Drummond and Gobert are not capable of that and that doesn’t make them bad players in any sense. I’m just saying they would have had a tough time finding playing time in the NBA conference finals and beyond simply because of the way those matchups went.

    The NBA tends to change form pretty quickly, so who is to say that their roles will not matter more going forward, but as it stands right now, the best teams in the league would run them off the court because they wouldn’t have a natural place to be. And to trash Cousins or Gasol is kind of idiotic from a basketball standpoint, and Ibaka had a pretty good series against Golden State and San Antonio, two of the best 4 teams in the league. I think you’re being a little myopic in your appraisal of these players, but given nearly everything I read you say, that kind of fits your narrative.

    And frankly, you’re not wrong to say these guys aren’t “true” big men in the sense that Lopez is. But you really want Lopez going against any of the 10 people we listed? He just doesn’t have the skillset on either side of the aisle to be a game-changer, and I’m not interested in maintaining a team that can contend for a chance to lose in the first round in 5 or 6 games the next couple seasons. I don’t understand why so many are upset that we gave up a guy like RoLo in this deal when he is not going to move the needle in any meaningful way. He is a league-average center with a skillset that doesn’t project to make much difference in the future, and he plays the position Kristaps should be at.

    My main argument was that Kristaps should be our 5. If you want to argue why he should be the 4 and we need a traditional “true” big, please, I’m all ears on how that’s going to work.

  19. GoNyGoNYGo

    taward> Get used to the negativity over here. You’ll be bombarded with all kinds of efficiency stats, Per36’s, true shooting percentages, etc. Some of us can tell if a player is good by watching them play. Others will beat you over the head with the stats. It makes for fun conversation.

    Me? I think Rose is in the top-half of current NBA point guards but I don’t think the trade was good. He’s far better that Calderon or Grant. I dislike the trade because I liked Grant as a backup point guard (watch him excel in CHI) and I liked what Rolo provided. The trade would have worked for me if we had received a better draft choice but alas, we don’t keep most of our picks anyway.

  20. JK47

    Yeah, some people around here have some crazy ideas, like the idea that missing a ton of shots is bad for your team and detrimental to winning. Real killjoys.

  21. Erik Judd Post author

    The internet’s response to this situation has been one giant extension of LEEEEEROOOOOOY JENKINNNNNNNS. Let’s just rush in screaming instead of waiting a couple weeks to see what happens. If we sign Noah and someone else with all the $$ I’ll jump right on the hate-this-trade train. Until then, can we just wait and see if getting out of the one long-term contract that is probably useless going forward that we had was a good idea or not?

  22. JK47

    Until then, can we just wait and see if getting out of the one long-term contract that is probably useless going forward

    Me70 says hai

  23. DRed

    I think Rose is in the top-half of current NBA point guards

    It doesn’t matter what you think, because he’s not. We can argue about lots of stuff. Was Carmelo the best player on the Knicks last year? Maybe. Was Russel Westbrook more valuable than Kawhi Leonard? I don’t know. For some arguments, even with ‘advanced’ stats there still isnt a clear answer. But for questions like “Is Derrick Rose one of the 15 best point guards in the NBA”, there is a clear answer, and in this case the answer is no, he is not.

  24. djphan

    on the draft… this is a great site compiling all the analytical and traditional draft rankings over the years….

    the best individual model is layne vashro of nyloncalculus fame but all the models fall far short of using a simple composite of all the other models… i also love ed weiland over at hoopsanalyst.com ….

    i’m hoping we get into the draft since there are a lot of underrated prospects….

  25. Erik Judd Post author

    No matter where you stand on this, you’re gonna get a bunch of hate. Part of the wonderful nature of the human condition. I’m taking my position and that’s it. Being right or wrong is part of talking. I’m a cynic by nature, but honestly, if you think moving KP to the 5, exchanging Calderon for Rose and going for a draft pick and extended cap space next summer is a bad move looking forward, that’s your right. Press conference in minutes it seems… they’re gonna say the same old shit about how excited they are to bring in Rose, a former MVP, yadda yadda yadda, but what they do after July 1st is going to decide whether or not this trade was awful or has sneaky potential.

  26. DRed

    i’m hoping we get into the draft since there are a lot of underrated prospects

    Same, although even if we don’t there should be some useful guys available as FAs

  27. massive

    I mean I don’t think I’ve ever cared one way or the other about what happened this off season. I only had three requirements:

    1) Don’t hire Rambis.
    2) Don’t trade Porzingis or any future draft picks.
    3) Sign good or great players in free agency.

    If we have a free agency period where we sign guys with good advanced numbers, I will be happy. If we land KD or Whiteside, then it’s all worth it. If we end up signing Eric Gordon and Dwight Howard, though, I’ll be pretty pissed.

  28. johnno

    Has there ever been a player who has gone from every fan base drooling over him to most saying, “If they sign that guy I’ll be pissed” faster than Dwight Howard? I can’t think of any.

  29. Brian Cronin

    Has there ever been a player who has gone from every fan base drooling over him to most saying, “If they sign that guy I’ll be pissed” faster than Dwight Howard? I can’t think of any.

    It really is unprecedented.

  30. Donnie Walsh

    I know we added the shiny championship ring of Justin Holiday as well, who people are hoping will play rotation minutes and be awesome, but in earthbound reality he played some garbage minutes in GS last year where he shot 37% from the field, and, apparently, played even worse for ATL and CHI this year while nobody was watching.

    His pro stats are bad. And his 4 year college stats were bad, which led me to wonder why he was even drafted. The answer: he wasn’t. He went to Belgium, then played some big minutes for the Idaho Stampede. It’s a decent bet that if he didn’t have a rich brother in the NBA that he’d probably still be on the Crelan Akapi Aalstars of the Flemmish Scoore League, playing for waffle syrup every night.

  31. SJK

    Ok you’re telling me we couldn’t get a first round pick for RoLo but the Kings got one for Marco belinelli??

  32. DRed

    Name 15 starting NBA point guards better than Rose.

    Every other one of them except maybe Muddiay

  33. Alecto

    Well at least Robin Lopez and a first round pick got us a mid second and the worst player in the NBA right?

  34. Mr. Cock Jowles, If You Please

    And to trash Cousins or Gasol is kind of idiotic from a basketball standpoint, and Ibaka had a pretty good series against Golden State and San Antonio, two of the best 4 teams in the league. I think you’re being a little myopic in your appraisal of these players, but given nearly everything I read you say, that kind of fits your narrative.

    Literally all I do is talk about these players from a basketball standpoint. I don’t factor in that Cousins has kinda sucked as an employee and Gasol’s fondness for the assault-rifle-toting, drug-dealer-robbing Zach Randolph kinda weirds me out a bit. I’m talking about their stats. Their stats this year (and the previous year): not good. I’ll take that over the career retrospectives that think that 2016 is 2012, which verily it is not.

    I really don’t care about Ibaka’s performance over a sample of 14 games when he has had decreasingly effective performance over the last several thousand minutes of play. I’m happy for him that he had a strong couple of series. (His best performances were against the Mavs, by the way.) He has not been a top big man any more than Jerome James was a top big man for a handful of games back in like 2005. This season has nothing to do with his 2012 performance, back when he was still in his thirties.

    As always, y’all can do the “Rose was the MVP in 2011” and “Gasol was an All-NBA player in 2012” thing all you want, but when you look at a bunch of dudes with middling-and-falling shooting efficiency, you have to do a whole lot of ‘splainin’ to convince me that they’re creating successes through their failures. Rose sucks. Gasol’s perception is based on way-past performance.

    I’m not saying that Cousins or Gasol would be bad to add to the Knicks at sub-max salaries. I bet that if you put Gasol on a number of fringe teams, he’d add value. There are a lot of scrubs in this league. But top big men? In any sense of the word except “shoots a lot of mid-range shots” or “was really good a few years ago?” Nah.

    Also, to the person who used PER earlier: stop. We don’t do that here.

  35. Mr. Cock Jowles, If You Please

    Every other one of them except maybe Muddiay

    literally every other starting guard except Mudiay, who put up a contender for worst rookie season since history was invented by the British

  36. KnickfaninNJ

    Holiday is similar to Grant in that he seems to showing flashes of potential and fans of both teams wanted to keep their player and sees how they grow. But Grant is 23 and Holiday is 27, so I think Grant is worth more than Holiday.

  37. Mike Kurylo

    Also, to the person who used PER earlier: stop. We don’t do that here.

    Sure we do, just put it in context. WS has its faults as well. There is, nor will there ever be, a single metric that can capture a player’s skill/ability/production. But PER/WS/etc. can help generalize and has its uses.

  38. Mike Kurylo

    Interesting article on statistical analysis and the draft. I don’t know the author, but he likes Thomas Walkup, so he’s smart.

    That is Kevin Broom. He’s damn smart — was a Wizards blogger and general NBA stats mind in the olden times. Nice find.

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