Knicks Fire Steve Mills

According to multiple sources:

The New York Knicks parted ways with president Steve Mills, the team announced Tuesday.

General manager Scott Perry will oversee the basketball operations in the interim, the team said.

“Steve and I have come to the decision that it would be best for him to leave his role as president of the New York Knicks,” Dolan said in a prepared statement. “We thank Steve for his many years of service to our organization and look forward to continuing our relationship with him as part of our board.”

Well that’s nice, isn’t that special?

via GIPHY

Someone in their mid-40s asked me the other day if he will see a Knicks championship in his lifetime. I said Dolan is 64, and he’s got at least 10-20 more years running this team. At that point, it’ll be a coin flip if the next owner is competent or not.

I have zero-faith Dolan will ever turn the team around. Absolutely none. The name Masai Ujiri will be floated by columnists looking for clicks. But the Knicks’ will hire someone else, as they always do. The great ones never come. Not Kyrie. Not Durant. Not LeBron. Not even LaMarcus Aldridge nor Greg Monroe. We get stuck with the J.R. Smiths and the Clarence Weatherspoons.

In the last 22 years, Dolan has made a toxic environment that will repel the best GMs and free agents. Who would want to work for him? Would you? Think about all the stuff that has gone public, and imagine what hasn’t. If a job in your field opened up and Dolan is your direct boss, would you take it?

Yup me neither.

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Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

190 thoughts to “Knicks Fire Steve Mills”

  1. Really crazy to think where we would be if Durant had not torn his Achilles. I fully believe that Durant + Kyrie was a done deal. Steve Mills would prob be the toast of the NBA right now. RJ probably would not be on the team after being traded for veteran help.

    There really was a 10+% chance that we started this year with Zion, Durant, and Kyrie. Instead…. this.

  2. So Steve Mills was about to do some real Steve Mills-y shit, and Guitar fucking Jimmy intervened and shitcanned him instead.

    What timeline is this that I’m living on right now?

  3. If it really is true that Dolan fired Mills because Mills wanted to trade for people like Russell and resign Morris, then that’s actually a positive sign.

  4. The whole Masai midseason thing is quietly superdumb too. As if that could happen.

    I think I am ok with going in another direction since we’d have to wait another year or give up draft equity. But why Dolan is in such a rush to do this is a mystery. Take your time, enjoy firing Steve Mills, and let us enjoy you firing him too.

    Btw, the shred of hope I was feeling has completely passed. He may have done something good but Dolan is going to screw this up real bad.

  5. Christ, it sounds like Mills was really trying to go all in on this team. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a more insane front office direction.

  6. In the last 22 years, Dolan has made a toxic environment that will repel the best GMs and free agents. Who would want to work for him?

    well at least if you do play for the knicks you’re guaranteed a hot shower with good water pressure after you play at MSG…

    that’s gotta count for something – right?

  7. Scott Mills? Freudian slip?

    Please, not another sport agent running one of my teams. I’ve already got to live with Brody Van Whatever running the Mets (and has already traded away 10 prospects, including 3 now in the Top 100), only to fail the make the playoffs last year and be saddled with Robinson Cano for FOUR MORE YEARS.

    Please trade Morris for a first rounder, then offer that and one of the Dallas picks for Masai. At least try. Tread water with Perry for the rest of the season.

  8. The Mets were considering hiring a pure analytics guy, which makes the Brodie era sting twice as bad.

    We had to let Zack Wheeler go and patch the holes with Porcello and Wacha because he spent the money on the sack of magic beans known as Jed Lowrie. The Mets had a window where they had lots of great talent on the roster for cheap, and that asshole fucked it up real good.

  9. I’m not as enthused about Morey as some others.

    Me neither.

    He’s done some amazing things in Houston. I think he has the right idea about the need to get legitimate star players. But he’s made a few highly suspect deals and given out a few pretty bad contracts. I’m forging of an occasional mistake, but I think at some point he became overrated even if he is good. He had the current Houston team a CP3 injury away from beating one of the greatest teams of all time, but as far as I can tell has done nothing but make it worse since. You can call ownership cheap, but it’s Morey that gave out all the contracts that put them in such a tough financial position to begin with. These guys are not bottomless pits of money.

  10. Christ, it sounds like Mills was really trying to go all in on this team. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a more insane front office direction.

    Other than maybe some immediate flame out in like 1992 or something, Mills is the most incompetent GM I’ve seen in my 30-ish years as a sports fan. Just completely clueless in every way.

  11. Begley’s got a tweet about 15 minutes old pretty much saying Toronto wants two firsts for Ujiri. It sounds like there actually might be negotiations going on and that the sides are leaking to favored reporters.

  12. It’s amazing how much power Mills actually had… and how his plan for the team flew in the face of how every other league exec builds a team these days.

    I feel like the crazy pills have finally worn off.

  13. morey’s recent mistakes.. if you can even call them that.. is only because he was pigeonholed into high risk deals since houston is all the way on the other side of the win curve….

    he’s not a great drafter and he probably could do better on the development front although hartenstein seems to be the one guy that’s made it into the rotation… they haven’t had a ton to work with besides that….

    beggars can’t be choosers…. and masai would be phenomenal… but morey would be an absolutely tremendous get….

  14. The Ron Baker contract was the canary in the coal mine (as if we needed a canary, but you get my drift) re: Mills’s incompetence. The THJ contract was bad, but plenty of execs have fallen in love with a RFA and felt like they should overpay (see: Alan Crabbe, Tyler Johnson – Hi Sean Marks!) But the Baker contract was so completely inexplicable. It basically showed a complete lack of basketball sense, complete misreading of the market, and utter ignorance of the CBA. I mean, a 15th man on a bad team got the full room exception and a no-trade clause?

  15. Begley’s got a tweet about 15 minutes old pretty much saying Toronto wants two firsts for Ujiri. It sounds like there actually might be negotiations going on and that the sides are leaking to favored reporters.

    We have 2 Dallas picks and might be getting one for Morris. That 3 picks over our own. As long as we don’t have to give away one of our own (most likely very good) lottery picks, 2 would not be a disaster if that’s what it took. He’d still be taking over with a few talented young players, lots of cap space next year, and good picks. That’s a pretty good place to start.

    On the flip side, if you can get someone else very good for free or are willing to wait 1 more year for Ujiri, those are options also.

  16. Do you give the two firsts for Masai? Wouldn’t that be hampering him from the jump?

    Or do you play the fiddler and let him take the wheel?

  17. @15

    There were other boneheaded or suspect moves before the purse strings tightened (Chandler Parsons, including Montrezl Harrell in CP3 trade, Ryan Anderson, Jeremy Lin). There are probably others I can’t recall.

  18. @19
    If they can package a Dallas first and one they could get for Morris, Masai would still have plenty to build with. I would not want to give up one of our own picks, b/c those are much more likely to be high lottery ones.

    If not him, maybe Presti could be lured for less?

  19. Begley’s got a tweet about 15 minutes old pretty much saying Toronto wants two firsts for Ujiri. It sounds like there actually might be negotiations going on and that the sides are leaking to favored reporters.

    Nah, I think that’s just recycling some old info. He just knows every Knicks fan is clicking on it. There’s no reason to make a move for Masai 24 hrs before the deadline.

  20. Masai’s presence would still not neutralize the galactic stink that Dolan perpetrates on the Knicks.

  21. Presti’s name is being thrown around too. I’m sure there’s little to it, but I’m a fan.

    Does OKC need more first rounders? They have about 40 from the Westbrook and Paul George trades.

  22. This is unequivocally the best thing that’s happened to the Knicks in years

    We’ll see.

    If this isn’t a summary of the past 20 years I don’t know what is

  23. @24

    Does OKC need more first rounders? They have about 40 from the Westbrook and Paul George trades.

    They need second rounders! Let’s trade our two from the Hornets for Presti!
    :-)

  24. If we give Toronto the Dallas picks it would mean we traded Porzingis for Masai and damn would I be down for that.

    One thing, though: we can and should add protection to their 2021 pick.

  25. Masai is a free agent in 2021. Just let Perry or some other placeholder run the team until then, and forbid them from trading young players or picks for vets. We don’t always have to get the shiny object right away.

  26. I’m pleased. Mills was an upgrade over the insanely bad Phil Jackson and now anyone Dolan hires will likely be better than Mills. Slowly but surely, competence will be achieved!

  27. Masai is a free agent in 2021. Just let Perry or some other placeholder run the team until then, and forbid them from trading young players or picks for vets. We don’t always have to get the shiny object right away.

    You’re probably right but if you give Masai 1.5 seasons at the helm he might actually make us an attractive option for the 2021 free agent class.

  28. Scott Perry to do list?

    1. Trade Morris for best deal bringing in a first rounder
    2. Trade DSJ for Malik Monk
    3. Try Jedi mind trick to try to get 2nd rounders for Portis, Bullock, Gibson, Ellington, Trier
    4. Move RJB to the three
    5. Start Mitch
    6. Move Frank to the two to split time with Monk or Trier
    7. Move Knox to the four

  29. I’m going to be cautiously optimistic, but its almost like these clowns have to know the right answer to continually choose the wrong one with 100% accuracy.

  30. if you can get masai now… you go and do it…. there’s no point in a lameduck making draft picks for you… that’s how we ended up with frank….

  31. Damn it, Brian

    Phil and Mills just can’t be beat. Can’t be done. Not even Dolan could do it!

  32. Berman is floating Rich Kleiman as being in the running and that if hired he would bring in Mark Jackson. Sounds plausibly Knicksy.

  33. These are the best moments of Knick fandom: those tiny slivers in time where we finally killed one king and don’t know how bad the next one will be and actually believe maybe it will be our Aragorn (but it’s usually another Denethor).

  34. Berman is floating Rich Kleiman as being in the running and that if hired he would bring in Mark Jackson. Sounds plausibly Knicksy.

    ^ BRRRRRRIIIIIIAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

  35. I was going to joke “Mark Jackson” but it seemed too implausible, even as a joke

  36. The manager of the guy who just spurned the Knicks? Wouldn’t that be the opposite of a Dolan-esque move?

  37. @46

    The manager of the guy who just spurned the Knicks? Wouldn’t that be the opposite of a Dolan-esque move?

    It might be Dolan’s interpretation of “better late than never.” Is there any limit to his potential foolishness?

  38. This is like a horror movie where you think the kids have finally escaped the axe murderer and then a maniac with a chain saw jumps out from behind a tree.

  39. Rumors are flying all over the place on Mills replacement.
    Adrian Wojnarowski:

    ESPN Sources with @ramonashelburne: Knicks owner Jim Dolan is already considering a front office model that is working with Golden State (Bob Myers) and the Lakers (Rob Pelinka): Hiring a top basketball executive out of the player agent ranks.

    If we’re going with a youth movements there’s NO F’N WAY we should part with picks for someone that won’t be playing.

  40. Isiah Thomas was massively by far the worst person ever in charge of the Knicks and Mills is a close 2nd because he was a part of the Isiah years, a major part of the Phil years, and the Hardaway/Baker debacle that set us back a couple years was all him.

    It’s not even a debate.

    Just curious is Noah still on the books?

  41. @50
    RE Isiah…I mentioned him earlier as a joke. I’d hope the NBA office would squelch that one, but you never know.

  42. I have Brodie Van Wagenen trauma, PLEASE DO NOT HIRE AN AGENT TO BE GM.

    Oh who am I kidding, Dolan will probably send two draft picks to the Mets so he can just hire Brodie to run the Knicks

  43. Isiah Thomas was massively by far the worst person ever in charge of the Knicks and Mills is a close 2nd because he was a major part of both Isiah years, Phil years, and Hardaway/Baker debacle that set us back a couple years.

    I’d argue Layden over Isiah. Isiah gave up way too much for one-dimensional but talented guys… Layden had a weird affinity for overweight 6’8″ power forwards (Clarence Weatherspoon, Othella Harrington, Mike Sweetney) and players with Utah affiliations (Michael Doleac, Keith Van Horn, Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson).

  44. Dolan has long wanted to bring over Toronto’s Masai Ujiri but he’s under contract through next season and the Knicks would need to pay major compensation. Dolan balked at compensation in 2017 when interested in Ujiri. ESPN reported it stands as a barrier this time too. The Post has reported the NBA would prefer Ujiri in New York rather than Toronto.

    Come on Silver, step in here!

  45. Isiah was slightly less terrible than Layden, Phil was slightly less terrible than Isiah, Mills was slightly less terrible than Phil. We’ll eventually hit competence some day!

  46. Of course, the funny thing is that they finally did hit competence with Grunwald and he was pushed out in favor of Mills.

  47. We’re due for a disaster BUT something has to be said about Dolan stepping in to waive the “don’t trade Morris” plan.

  48. I’d argue Layden over Isiah. Isiah gave up too much for one-dimensional but talented guys… Layden had a weird affinity for overweight 6’8? power forwards (Clarence Weatherspoon, Othella Harrington, Mike Sweetney) and players with Utah affiliations (Michael Doleac, Keith Van Horn, Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson).

    I won’t disagree with you because it has been awhile and I didn’t pay as close attention to the details or understand as much back then, but in recent years we’ve made mistakes, but few were crippling. Back in the day, we used to make crippling mistake after crippling mistake and leave ourselves with a bad team, capped out for several years, and without multiple 1st round picks going forward. It used to take years just to reset to zero where you had picks and any space. Recently, we’ve had some bad contracts, but you can simply eat those for awhile while you keep building as long as you have your picks and manage space.

    I’m sure Dallas doesn’t like paying Hardaway what he’s getting or Lee to sit on the bench, but junior is a player and it’s not to kill them or stopping them from making productive moves like picking up Willy Cauley-Stein or possibly even using Lee’s expiring contract to facilitate or do a deal. All that stuff goes away on their timetable.

  49. Apparently Steve Cohen is backing out of buying the Mets which is pretty hilarious. It’s an interesting news day for NY sports fans….

  50. This is like a horror movie where you think the kids have finally escaped the axe murderer and then a maniac with a chain saw jumps out from behind a tree.

    too funny…yeah, it’s kind of like being stuck in some sort of quicksand that takes years to finally pull you under…

  51. I don’t care if Rich Kleiman couldn’t get Durant to sign with the Knicks. What matters to me is:

    1) Can he identify a good head coach? (Answer seems to be no if the Mark Jackson rumor is real.)
    2) Does he value analytics?
    3) Does he understand the win curve?
    4) Can he identify talent in the draft?
    5) Can he develop a program to develop young players?

    I’m not optimistic about Rich Kleiman, but I’d be willing to give him a chance to not hire Mark Jackson. For all we know, he’s pushing the Mark Jackson angle to get casual Knicks fans to think he’s smart.

  52. Actually, I’m pretty sure Mills was far and away the worst in every possible way imaginable (basketball. contracts, trades, fit etc..) , but he was so ridiculously bad, even Dolan figured it out after Hardaway/Baker and brought in Perry before he turned the team into another Isiah hell hole or worse.

    To be fair, Isiah actually understands basketball and can evaluate talent (as least young talent) fairly well, but the contract and trade decisions were mind numbing dumb.

  53. Apparently Steve Cohen is backing out of buying the Mets which is pretty hilarious. It’s an interesting news day for NY sports fans….

    I had to look. I see it’s based on speculation by someone from barstool sports. Maybe it’s true but I put that on the level of “a friend of a friend …” Still with the cretinous Wilpon’s you never know.

  54. As horrible as Zeke was in the Knicks FO, isn’t it ironic how pairing he and Perry would give us a great eye for talent in the FO? LOL

    But..no to Zeke. Obviously.
    I have no idea who I’d want as Prez, but I’m not a fan of trading assets during a rebuild for someone who will not play. Sure, I’d love a Presti, Buford, or Ujiri..but they’d have to be free and come on board willingly. I actually wouldn’t mind if Grunwald came back to fill the position. I think he & Ninja P would make a nice tandem.

  55. Layden thought small and still traded a first rounder to go all in on a mediocre, old team, while having no eye for talent. Zeke thought big and had a good eye for talent, but was just incompetent at managing it all. Walsh was a more competent manager, but also failed at understanding the win curve (plus he allowed Dolan to push him around). Grunwald was the only guy who understood the win curve, but he was too much of a no-name for Dolan to respect (and he also allowed Dolan to push him around). Phil stopped trading first rounders, but had no conception of win curve. Mills also wouldn’t trade first rounders and had a slightly less pathetic conception of the win curve, but still had a bad view of the win curve.

    So maybe we’ll get somebody this time who won’t trade first rounders and understands the win curve!

  56. As horrible as Zeke was in the Knicks FO, isn’t it ironic how pairing he and Perry would give us a great eye for talent in the FO? LOL

    Agree.

    That’s one of the points I’ve been making. You need someone that understands the game of basketball really well, that can identify talent, and that understands how to fit pieces together well so each player is as productive as his potential will allow within the system. Then you need a guy that understands the cap issues, fair contract values, that’s a good negotiator etc.. to keep the basketball guy in check and make good deals.

    In NY’s case we also need a guy that understands great players don’t come to bad teams even if it is NY. So cap space is not as valuable when you suck.

    That’s why some of the coaches that were given a lot of power failed badly (Tibs, Van Gundy, Phil etc..). They know the game, but have zero GM level skills. They were either doing too much GM level stuff and screwing it up, had a GM that was an incompetent assisting them, or both.

    It’s kind of hard to find all those skills in one man.

  57. The old “Phil Jackson knew how to pick good players, he just didn’t know how to add numbers together” chestnut returns.

  58. I’m not shilling for the guy, but Phil Jackson’s evaluation of Kristaps Porzingis was spot-on and isn’t given enough run around here. If he’d been allowed to trade him even for Brown, (the pick that became) Tatum and the other lottery pick the Celtics offered (*), things would look a lot different in Knickland now.

    They should have traded KP on draft night 2017. Jackson wanted to. He was blocked, then fired.

    (*) Or even negotiated more on top of that initial Celtics parry as his counteroffer of Brown, Tatum, the Nets pick, and Crowder was getting at.

  59. The old “Phil Jackson knew how to pick good players, he just didn’t know how to add numbers together” chestnut returns.

    Phil just wanted two-way players, which is why the first thing he did was to sign Melo to a Mega-Max deal. Because, you know, Steve Mills, I guess?

    But Darryl Morey, now that’s a GM who needs to be taken down a peg.

  60. Do not fuck around…give Toronto the two picks (assuming we get one for Morris and one of the Mavs picks) and move forward with one of the top proven executives in the league on our side…when was the last time we could say that?

  61. I’m not shilling for the guy, but Phil Jackson’s evaluation of Kristaps Porzingis was spot-on and isn’t given enough run around here. If he’d been allowed to trade him even for Brown, (the pick that became) Tatum and the other lottery pick the Celtics offered (*), things would look a lot different in Knickland now.

    A. The deal didn’t involve the #3 pick. It was Brown, plus a second lottery pick in the same draft that the Celtics were going to acquire with other assets (not their own pick). The idea was to net Markannen along with Brown. Still a good return, of course, but not Tatum and Brown.

    B. When discussing the trade offers at the time, Rosen (Phil’s mouthpiece) never says that Phil was overruled on the deal, but rather that no one gave Phil enough to make a deal. I believe he wanted Boston to kick in a third notable asset (Crowder?).

  62. Don’t mean to quibble with our gracious host, but we have to get this one right:

    June 22, 2017:

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Boston Celtics have an offer on the table for Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis.

    According to ESPN, the Celtics would give up the third overall pick in Thursday night’s draft, an additional lottery pick that they believe they can acquire Thursday and another player. The report cites executives familiar with Boston’s offer.

    The “another player” was Brown. Jackson countered with Brown, the Nets pick the Celtics still owned (can’t remember if it was in ’17 or ’18), the 3 pick (that became Tatum), and Crowder. Jackson’t counter was also reported in mainstream outlets, and I’ve seen it now at least a dozen times including while it was going on so I’m not going to bother reposting.

  63. Then it was Brown instead of the #3 pick. In other words, it was never Tatum and Brown. It was either or.

  64. @74

    He was good at evaluating most players in terms of skills and fit, but he got Melo way wrong in terms of his ability to get through to him.

    He knew that to run his offense he needed a #1 scorer that could create on his own when the triangle actions failed to create a good shot. I’m sure he understood that Melo was not Jordan or Bryant. What he didn’t understand is that those other guys were also willing to play within the system he was implementing even if they didn’t like it. Then they even grew to respect it.

    Melo was 100% the opposite.

    In his book, Karl said he had to negotiate a 50-50 split between what he wanted from Melo (to make him more efficient) and how Melo actually wanted to play.

    D’Antoni basically got run out town for wanting to run a PG centric offense with Melo shooting a lot of 3s and playing PF.

    Phil couldn’t get him to buy into an updated variation of the triangle at all and when KP complained publicly that they had to pick something, stick with it, and the triangle was OK when they played it right, Melo creamed him privately for even suggesting that. Then Melo got hurt and the decline began.

    Melo was Melo. He was a very good player, terrific talent, that probably could have been a great offensive player, but he was Melo.

  65. I’m not shilling for the guy, but Phil Jackson’s evaluation of Kristaps Porzingis was spot-on and isn’t given enough run around here. If he’d been allowed to trade him even for Brown, (the pick that became) Tatum and the other lottery pick the Celtics offered (*), things would look a lot different in Knickland now.

    Has it ever been reported that Dolan prevented any potential KP trades? Not seeing anything from the guys who reported the initial rumor (Isola, Begley). I’m not giving Phil any credit for almost trading KP. He had total control of the team, according to Phil himself. It looks like the rumored trade lost steam after the C’s said the initial asking price was too high.

    The trade probably didn’t happen because Phil was a lazy schmuck as POBO.

  66. I cannot believe that people here would argue that IT was not the worst POBO we’ve since Dolan took over. How many trades in Knicks history, hell in NBA history, that are worse than the Eddy Curry trade? Two unprotected 1RP for Eddy fucking Curry! In the same offseason he gave a big contract to 30 year old Jerome James because he had one decent playoff series the year before.

  67. Knicks have had “exploratory conversations” regarding Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, per @ShamsCharania

  68. Then it was Brown instead of the #3 pick. In other words, it was never Tatum and Brown. It was either or.

    Except it wasn’t. It’s right there in the story. Everyone knows by now — it’s been reported in a zillion places — that the “other player” was Brown. It was the “other player,” the 3 pick draft night, and the other lottery pick the Celtics were going to get.

    The Phoenix offer was the one where Markkanen was supposedly on Phil’s radar. That one has been reported a bit differently in different outlets but was at least Booker and the 4 for the 8 and KP, or alternatively Booker and the 4 for KP. Phil was going to use the 4 pick to take Markkanen.

    I guess this has become a big cause celebre around here and, yeah, Phil wasn’t real hot — but there were major, major offers on the table for KP.

  69. I’d much rather take the alleged Clippers package (Harkless, their 2020 1st, and Jerome Robinson) for Morris than trade Morris for Kuzma. But that’s just me.

  70. Hopefully just leaking the Kuzma news to get the clippers to put Shamet in there over Robinson

  71. Has it ever been reported that Dolan prevented any potential KP trades? Not seeing anything from the guys who reported the initial rumor (Isola, Begley). I’m not giving Phil any credit for almost trading KP. He had total control of the team, according to Phil himself. It looks like the rumored trade lost steam after the C’s said the initial asking price was too high.

    Like I said, I’m not going to shill for Phil. Who knows what happened then, exactly, that wound up having the trade not be made? But he did shop KP and KP got serious offers. I guess the anti-Phil sentiment is so strong around here that the paltry return they got for KP compared to his actual market value doesn’t go on Mills’s incompetence meter. Fair enough. But for me, it should and it does. I’m coming at it from an anti-Mills perspective, not a pro-Phil one.

  72. I guess this has become a big cause celebre around here and, yeah, Phil wasn’t real hot — but there were major, major offers on the table for KP.

    And Phil had the juice to take any of them and still didn’t. No bonus GM points for him.

    Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

  73. Except it wasn’t. It’s right there in the story.

    It is not right there in the story. Jaylen Brown is not “another player.” He’s the highlight of a deal, not “another player.” It might have been the #3 pick at one point and then Jaylen Brown later on, but not both. If you can find a credible story where someone says it was the #3 pick and Jaylen Brown, fine, but you won’t, because it wasn’t. Again, Rosen never even claimed it was and Rosen was working as Phil’s mouthpiece/cheerleader on this stuff.

    Brown and Markkenan is still better than what the Knicks ultimately got, but it wasn’t Brown and Tatum. And, of course, Phil was the one who didn’t make that initial trade.

  74. The Kuzma leak is good news even if you don’t like Kuzma. The Lakers are one of only like 3-4 realistic potential Morris landing spots and Kuzma is quite literally the only thing they have to trade. If you’re at all serious about trading Morris you obviously have to at least have “exploratory conversations” about Kuzma just to find out what all the options are.

  75. He was good at evaluating most players in terms of skills and fit

    Did Derrick Rose-Courtney Lee-Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis-Joakim Noah really fit together tho

  76. It is not right there in the story. Jaylen Brown is not “another player.” He’s the highlight of a deal, not “another player.”

    On draft night 2017, he was indeed just “another player.” He was nothing close then to a guy who could have highlighted a deal for draft night 2017 Kristaps Porzingis. He’s become far more now, of course. But then, no.

  77. On draft night 2017, he was indeed just “another player.” He was nothing close then to a guy who could have highlighted a deal for draft night 2017 Kristaps Porzingis. He’s become far more now, of course. But then, no.

    He was a year removed from being the #3 pick in the draft. That’s not “another player” territory. But again, if you believe he was the other player, then I’m sure you can find a credible source which says he was.

  78. My guess is the final decision on KP was made by Dolan. But it could have been Phil knowing that if he made a mistake with KP it was curtains for him. At that point KP was considered a franchise cornerstone, wildly popular among fans, and a future star in NY for years to come. Only Phil was talking about his ability hold up for a full season and things like his center of gravity against smaller men and stuff like that. He also said he was not a #1 player “yet” etc.. It’s not easy in basketball terms, fan terms, or economic terms to make that trade regardless of whether you are Phil or Dolan. You’s have to have a supreme set of balls to take the inevitable heat you would have taken and do it anyway assuming Dolan said “OK”.

  79. Did Derrick Rose-Courtney Lee-Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis-Joakim Noah really fit together tho

    Absolutely not.

    Derrick Rose did not fit that team at all, but it wasn’t a bad gamble because it was for only 1 year and then you got the 20m space. I believe that was a concession to Hornacek who wanted to run a more traditional PG team.

    The older veterans were a concession to Melo who refused to buy in and had a shorter window. When it failed miserably, Phil started coming to practices and that was the beginning of the end. He started out OK, went off the rails, tried to correct it, but by then he just wanted to get rid of Melo with a buyout and then he was fired.

    If he was going to go down in flames, he should have gone down in flames building a team with whatever picks he had (missing 2), space, and veterans running the offense he wanted to run like he intended. It was his fault. He blew it.

    Noah at 4 years was also obviously a huge error. It wasn’t so much that he wanted Noah over Lopez that was the problem. Noah was still the better player and fit. It was that with his injury history 4 years was idiotic. Then Noah went off the rails (but he was actually quite good last year when given a chance)

  80. kuzma is one of the most overrated players in the league, so he’d be perfect here. I’d rather get a pick for Morris, but Kuzma is still young and gets buckets so it wouldn’t be the worst deal in the world. In my fantasy world where we wind up with a smart GM they can move Kuz next year if need be

  81. Yeah, Kuzma’s clearly movable, so he’d be a fine return if they can’t get a pick for Morris.

  82. On the way out, Phil made a big point of noting that he was never told he couldn’t do anything, at least not up until the point where he wanted Dolan to just buy out Melo (which, of course, was also a terrible idea, since the Knicks got Mitch in the eventual Melo deal). Dolan said as much earlier when he gave Phil the extension in April 2017.

    But it could have been Phil knowing that if he made a mistake with KP it was curtains for him.

    Which is fair enough. It just means he doesn’t really get credit for considering it and then not doing it.

  83. Wow.

    The Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves have finalized a trade that will send D’Angelo Russell, Kevon Looney and a future 1st round pick to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins, Josh Okogie, and Shabazz Napier, per @ShamsCharania

  84. They better just be using Kuzma as leverage…

    The Clips deal is fine but I’d much rather get that Hawks or Bucks pick if possible. Honestly, playing the long game and get a 2021 first would be the better move.

  85. There’s no way that’s a real trade that GSW agreed to. That’s highway robbery by Minnesota if true. A useful if overpaid player in DLO, a future 1st, and they dump Wiggins? No way, can’t believe it.

  86. Isiah was slightly less terrible than Layden, Phil was slightly less terrible than Isiah, Mills was slightly less terrible than Phil. We’ll eventually hit competence some day!

    I hated Isiah more than anything at the time, but I have to say he was probably a better basketball exec than Phil Jackson was. I think that if Isiah had managed the team during a time of 4 year max contracts, his product and legacy could have been different. He had a tangible philosophy, he made good draft picks, and was a few years ahead of the nba becoming a guard dominated league, as he wanted it to be. He also had a legit skill that could have led to a championship: he could convince his owner to totally disregard the salary cap and luxury tax thresholds and to spend money like he was the banker in monopoly. Unfortunately, most of the decisions he made with that power weren’t good ones. But his tenure had the possibility for success.

    Phil Jackson’s legacy was DOA. He instilled an irrelevant system and married it to a mega maxed Carmelo Anthony. There was nothing good to hope for from that.

  87. On the way out, Phil made a big point of noting that he was never told he couldn’t do anything, at least not up until the point where he wanted Dolan to just buy out Melo (which, of course, was also a terrible idea, since the Knicks got Mitch in the eventual Melo deal). Dolan said as much earlier when he gave Phil the extension in April 2017.

    This is a minor quibble and really has nothing to do with Phil, but IMO we shouldn’t value deals based on who a pick eventually becomes. That’s results oriented thinking instead of value oriented thinking.

    It’s like saying I took 4/5 on a coin flip and won so that means I am smart.

    If someone gives you the #1 pick, you take the obvious consensus player, and he either busts or breaks down, it sucks, but that’s results oriented thinking instead of value oriented thinking. You got a #1 pick in the deal and simply got unlucky relative to the long term value of that asset.

    If you got a 2nd round pick, that’s the value you got. If you selected Mitch, you got way more value out of it than it’s “intrinsic long term expected value” which is great but that’s it.

    You could also argue that a pick in San Antonio’s or Golden State’s hands is worth a little more than in NY’s hands but that still another story.

  88. You know, Steve Kerr was a GM once and not horrible at it (by Knick’s standards probably pretty good). If he is happy dealing Russell, and I’m sure he was consulted, then I’m happy we didn’t get him. That said, my gues is that draft pick is going the other way and Shams mis reported. That is GS gets a first round pick from Minnesota instead of the other way around.

  89. Oh, geez. I’m sorry guys. Got taken in by an impostor Twitter account. That is not a real trade, though apparently both Russell and Wiggins are being discussed in 3 and 4-team scenarios.

    Now gotta self-deliver the lecture on media literacy that I usually give my kids.

    Sorry. I’m better than this.

  90. Hard pass on Kuzma. If that’s all we can get for Morris, I would consider just holding him. At the least there should be two 2nds involved, but really anything less than a 1st is disappointing.

    Kuzma turns 25 next season, can’t rebound, only 33% from three for career, and I don’t think he plays defense.

  91. Morris’s third year stats aren’t that different from Kuzma’s stats, but at the moment Morris is a much better player. I don’t see us making the deal unless we get something besides Kuzma.

  92. So why are we interested in Kuzma? Everything about him screams mediocrity, age 24, mediocre rebounding, Kevin Knox levels of allergic to passing, inefficient on medium volume, no defense, overall production and shooting stats have only declined so far after a sort of promising first season… I literally don’t see anything to be excited about him as a player. I guess that might be precisely why the Knicks are reportedly pursuing him.

  93. I dunno, if nothing else he can probably be flipped for an asset on youth and reputation alone…and it would keep us from offering Morris a longer term deal,,,

  94. Now it works. We’d have to waive some of the guys we get back. I’m not sure why we should throw in Dotson to get more people back.

  95. Morris’s third year stats aren’t that different from Kuzma’s stats

    Is there any evidence that players that have similar 1st, 2nd or 3rd years will follow the same career trajectory? I’m just trying to understand the value of this statement. I mean, we can find lots of guys with Kevin Durant’s 1st-year numbers, but that doesn’t mean any of them were as likely to become Kevin Durant.

  96. Jowles, I don’t know about the evidence you asked for. But I didn’t mean to imply that Kuzma would improve, only that he could improve. That’s why I want something else besides Kuzma if we trade Morris.

  97. I worry so much about Zion hurting himself.

    I cannot believe that people here would argue that IT was not the worst POBO we’ve since Dolan took over.

    I am not arguing that. the Eddy Curry deal was the worst. And the reason I am here.

    I got tricked by that imposter account too. Funny troll job. He had Mitch going to GSW for some derisory return.

  98. @127

    Apparently the original source is Marc Stein, so it’s reputable enough to be interesting. Damn I do hope that happens. My ideal scenario would be trade Morris for the best offer, stay put everywhere else and sign Masai for him to run the next offseason, with a great draft pick and cap space.

    Zion is having major issues with the Bucks incredible defense, but he has been finding ways to contribute. That tip to himself that he almost finished was incredible.

  99. I think Zion is a bit overweight. But he’s also probably never played against a team as good at protecting the rim as the Bucks are, so he could just be taking some time to figure things out.

  100. Elfrid Payton has unfollowed the Knicks on Instagram based on several reports. I also saw an unverified report that the Knicks were talking to some teams about moving him.

  101. In Knicks gossip apparently Payton unfollowed the knicks on instagram and Mooch said goodbye to the beat writers after the game last night.

  102. Welcome to the NBA Zion.

    He’s obviously going to be a beast, but he’s learning that there are some other longer taller beasts in the NBA.

  103. @120 the salaries don’t work otherwise unless LA gives back a piece they really need. My trade essentially swaps Cook for Dotson to make the trade work salary-wise. Seems like an even swap.

  104. Guys- remember that if we do asymmetric trades (ie the one Zman suggested ) we have to create roster spots, meaning we have to waive a bunch of players or find trades for them that clear roster spots. So if we trade 2 players for 5, we have to dump 3 players on the roster. Ain’t gonna happen without some really crazy multi-team deals

  105. Just curious is Noah still on the books?

    Using the stretch provision reduced Noah’s cap hit of $19.3 million in 2019-20 to $6.4 million. Stretching his contract, though, costs the Knicks $6.4 million in cap space in the summers of 2020 and 2021.

  106. Wiggins for Russell match up salary-wise. Golden State wants more draft pick compensation.

    Hope that goes through since this would be a Knicksian thing to have no patience to rebuild and fall for a Max player who isn’t worth it.

  107. I think the Rockets really overpaid for Covington, but I’m super glad about it because it will probably set the market on what the Knicks can get with Morris. They gave up Capela and a first rounder just for Denver to throw Beasley and Juancho at Minnesota, while Atlanta just gave up the Nets pick for Capela. It’s an all in move that I don’t really think is going to work out very well.

  108. I bet we are doing a Lakers trade. They need an extra ball handler (Elf) and another good wing (Morris) but how would the money work?

  109. @140 – A good read. It seems as that Masai is the one pushing for the move to the Knicks.

  110. Houston Recieves: Robert Covington,Jordan Bell and a 2024 Golden State second round pick via Atlanta

    Atlanta Receives: Clint Capela and Nene

    Denver Recieves: Gerald Green, Keita Baites Diop,Noah Vonleh,Shabazz Nabier and Rockets 2020 FRP

    Minnesota recieves: Malik Beasley,Juan Hernangomez,Evan Turner,Jarred Vanderbilt and Nets 2020 FRP via Atlanta

    What a steal for atlanta

    Will update if more players are added

    UPDATE: So Houston after this trade has 12 million dollars available to possibly expand this trade even more by trading for more players with the new found cap space Morey has got something cooking

    Man, what a huge trade. Shame we couldn’t get involved.

    On a different note, is there like a gofundme I can donate to get this site fixed? It’s constantly going down and it’s where I do my main Knicks and NBA discussion.

  111. As of right now, it appears Morey is going “all in ” on small ball. 3 shooters with Westbrook and Harden taking turns driving to the basket with all that space.

    I don’t know what Morey has been drinking the last couple of years, but please keep him away from us until he’s sober again.

    I have no issue with playing small, but this team keeps getting worse and/or more strapped by the trade.

  112. I wonder how much say Steve Stout has with Dolan. Seems like that got the ball really rolling on dumping Mills.

    Only room here for one Steve, Jim

  113. @144

    I’m not going to debate what he’s worth, but he’s one of those players that has clearly been underrated by boxscore metrics that don’t capture his value as an individual defender. He’s down a little this year, but he’s often among the best defenders in the entire league on DRPM (nba real +/-) and his teams are almost invariably solidly better when he’s on the court. He’s only 29. I don’t think he’s declining. It’s probably just tougher get to enthusiastic about playing defense on the T-Wolves. lol

  114. From what I’ve read, Hou owner is looking to dump salary, they’ve gone 10-1 since Capela went down, are looking to switch at each position. Also Capela has plantar fasciitis and will be in and out all year.

    This move lets them accomplish a lot of different goals. Apparently they played the first full game without using a player taller than 6’6″ since like 1963 or something.

    Hou is all-in on some insane midget ball. Could only happen with Pringles and Morey.

  115. I can’t believe Robert Covington yielded two first round picks.

    Don’t be too despondent — so did Kristaps Porzingis!

  116. Covington also has two years left on a bargain contract after this one. That adds a lot to his value. Particularly for the Rockets since it’s also important to note with this mvoe that they once again got out of the tax and saved a bunch of money. You can’t judge Morey’s last few years without acknowledging the constraint of ownership.

    It’s a fascinating move for the Rockets to go so all-in on small ball. If the season ended now they’d be matched up with Utah and Gobert in the first round and then if they survive that in all likelihood they’d have to contend with the Lakers massive frontcourt in the second round. They’re really testing the limits of the theory in ways no team ever has before. Those series would be absolutely must-see. I think they’re also kind of counting on a decent, more traditional center becoming available in the buy-out market. Even if they’re going all-out with small ball when the chips are down they need someone just to save some beating on PJ Tucker for some regular season minutes I would think. Tristan Thompson for example could be a huge difference maker for them if he gets bought out in Cleveland.

  117. Houston still has the corpse of Tyson Chandler to run out there if they get desperate. Smart money says they find some decent big.

    They’re definitely looking to give Harden and Westbrook an open lane to the basket. Gobert is gonna struggle running from the 3pt line to the basket and you don’t really have to worry about him taking advantage of the mismatch on offense.

    The Lakers are another issue. Lebron + AD can probably matchup with anyone in the league defensively.

  118. Gobert is gonna struggle running from the 3pt line to the basket and you don’t really have to worry about him taking advantage of the mismatch on offense.

    Disagree on worrying about taking advantage of the matchup. You’re not going to just throw Gobert the ball on the block every possession of course, but it matters in terms of deterring the lob threat, and even more so in terms of the matchup on the offensive glass. But obviously the bet they’re making is that the twos they give up can be made up with threes at the other end because you’re right that it’s a very tough matchup for Gobert on D.

  119. From what I’ve read, Hou owner is looking to dump salary, they’ve gone 10-1 since Capela went down, are looking to switch at each position.

    Hou is all-in on some insane midget ball. Could only happen with Pringles and Morey.

    Playing like this is one of D’Antoni’s long held theoretical goals. He talked about it going all the way back to the NY days and probably before. He’s willing to sacrifice inside defense and rebounding for space, quickness, switching, and to allow his drivers and slashers to do damage. He thinks he wins that tradeoff most of the time because he’s creating mismatches against big men at the same time.

    Personally, I don’t think it will work against a big team whose offensive strength is at the bigger positions (like the Lakers for example with Davis, James, Howard etc..), but so be it. We’ll see.

    I just see a Rockets team with Harden/Westbrook/Gordon in their early 3os on some very long expensive contracts, a team that’s not good enough to win it all, getting older, and without any young players that could get a lot better to squeeze out some upside in the next 3-4 years. And I don’t think they have many picks to work with when this all starts falling part.

    I like Capela and won’t debate one way or the other which player helps more, but he was at least young and paid more reasonably than their other main players. He’s a good player for the Hawks to pick up. He’s young enough to fit their timetable, but old enough to help the team with all his experience.

  120. So according to Berman, Mills wanted to trade down and Perry wanted RJ.

    Not sure how to feel. Except Mills probably would’ve just taken Reddish anyway.

  121. I listened to Dunc’d On discussing the Knicks firing Mills. They mention that some people think the “Sell the Team” chants had something to do with the firing.

  122. I don’t see why he doesn’t just go with the low risk sensible approach of hiring someone that’s well known and with a long track record of success at running, managing, and building a successful team and then just get out of the way. He keeps taking less conventional paths or paths with people that are proven losers.

  123. @154
    While it might be true, it smacks of Mills pulling a Fatal Attraction move, rising out of the bathtub to stab Perry.

  124. Disagree on worrying about taking advantage of the matchup. You’re not going to just throw Gobert the ball on the block every possession of course, but it matters in terms of deterring the lob threat, and even more so in terms of the matchup on the offensive glass. But obviously the bet they’re making is that the twos they give up can be made up with threes at the other end because you’re right that it’s a very tough matchup for Gobert on D.

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/202001270UTA.html

    They literally just beat Utah in a game where they outrebounded them. Also, Harden didn’t play.

  125. They literally just beat Utah in a game where they outrebounded them. Also, Harden didn’t play.

    Utah is probably not the team they are worried about because as great as Gobert is overall and as much as I like the Jazz team, Gobert is not a guy that’s going to go off for 35 or 40 when he has a mismatch. James and Davis will do that and force you out of what you are trying to do.

  126. Hou knows their window is short, that’s why they rather move forward with a healthy RoCo this year than an injured Capela. Better to take an extra crack at it. Plus, as Dolan has repeatedly shown us, there’s no arguing with an owner. Hou owner wanted to dump salary, Morey did it without killing their title shot this year or next.

    Anyway, that’s the reasoning. I won’t go so far as to endorse it as correct.

  127. Utah is probably not the team they are worried about because as great as Gobert is overall and as much as I like the Jazz team, Gobert is not a guy that’s going to go off for 35 or 40 when he has a mismatch. James and Davis will do that and force you out of what you are trying to do.

    I know. You’re agreeing with me. See 151.

  128. The thing that might save us from Kuzma is the salary matching. Really tough for the Lakers to come up with matching dollars for Morris that doesn’t require us to waive players to create roster spots or come up with complicated multi-team scenarios. I saw what presumably is a ridiculous rumor about Danny Green + Kuzma coming to the Knicks, and that just seems ridiculous. Danny Green is exactly what a contender like the Lakers needs in the playoffs, would make zero sense to trade for Morris yet give away Green.

  129. True. That’s why Z-man had to propose such a complicated trade. But his trade still requires free roster spots. You can waive Dudley and Daniels but you still need one more roster spot on the Knicks. I think the Knicks would have to make a side deal to free up that spot because I don’t see anyone they would want to waive.

  130. They literally just beat Utah in a game where they outrebounded them. Also, Harden didn’t play.

    I’m not saying they can’t beat them, not at all; I would favor the Rockets in that series. I’m just saying there is always potential difficulties when your starting center is 6’5″ and their starting center is 7’1″, even if 7’1″ isn’t much of a post up threat. The rebounding totals from a single game I don’t find a particularly compelling counterargument to that.

  131. The Knicks should probably just trade Morris for a pick, start looking at Wooten and the other kids a little, and call it a day while they search for the next POBO.

    I mean, if they can actually get a pick or find a trade that makes sense short and long term for Randle, Taj, Payton, DSJr, Portis etc… I’m not against it, but I don’t have a high trust level with Perry evaluating “two way” talent well and fitting pieces together correctly. So I’d rather defer actual basketball moves to whoever comes next and pray he’s someone that understands basketball and knows that defense counts too.

  132. My guess is Perry now has a mandate from Dolan to do just what you said because this will give a new GM flexibility and assets. But it’s easier said than done and he only has one day to do it.

  133. Personally, I think Payton and Bullock might also have trade market value and we should consider getting assets for them as well.

  134. My guess is Perry now has a mandate from Dolan to do just what you said because this will give a new GM flexibility and assets. But it’s easier said than done and he only has one day to do it.

    I can’t believe moving Morris will be tough when everyone is screaming that there’s a significant market for him. Just get an expiring contract and the pick most likely to have the most value and take a nap.

  135. capela trade was interesting. i understand why everyone thinks roco is overrated, but if he is i don’t think it’s by a lot. you often hear analysts talk about guys who hustle or are pretty good at fighting through picks and staying in front of or annoying their man and so (on some cases) valuable 3D players. bullock and dotson are examples of these sorts of guys. and sure it’s better to be on of those dudes than dsj trier or knox, but i think another huge gap exists between those low-mistake hustle guys and the players who can actually be disruptive team defenders. roco is one of those guys and there aren’t that many of them. of course he has to be healthy and he’s only a pretty good shooter, but that still makes him a pretty damn good piece. and his contract is excellent, a big part of his trade value.

    i was surprised the wolves essentially gave up a first for beasley and jauncho. not that there’s anything so bad about those guys as prospects but all your are getting is their rfa rights; not sure that’s worth it.

    maybe houston now tries to give up their 2022 first for barnes. that would keep them under the luxury tax and he would make a huge difference to their current team. denver seems like they are in a good position to make a big follow on deal.

  136. portland still seems like the team with the best pick that could fit with the knicks, but only assuming they agree that melo and ariza are all but washed. morris and payton for whiteside and their first (let’s say top 4 but not lottery protected) could work.

    from their perspective they are getting nurkic back (he is fully recovered and only out bc of calf strain) and maybe collins. they are playing simons real minutes and while he’s an interesting prospect with a game like our friend trier, he is not an nba player at the moment and a bad fit for their bad defense high output starting guards. payton is a better fit and could pair with either lillard or CJ. they can try to avoid wasting a year of dame’s prime by sneaking into the playoffs and rolling out a much better team than they had all year.

  137. After Morris I think Bullock is actually probably the second easiest guy to move. Shooting wings are the one position no team ever has enough of and Bullock’s low salary makes him easy for teams to match without shaking up their core at all. The Lakers for example would need to do something pretty drastic to get Morris (Kuzma has to go, they need to aggregate a bunch of players or include someone who currently plays for them, etc) but could acquire Bullock very simply (say Quinn Cook and a couple 2nd rounders). With Covington moved, there’s Morris and Iggy and then the market for wings starts looking pretty barren. I think it should be fairly straightforward to get something respectable (maybe a quality 2nd rounder or a couple low second rounders) for him if they want it, which they should.

  138. i was surprised the wolves essentially gave up a first for beasley and jauncho. not that there’s anything so bad about those guys as prospects but all your are getting is their rfa rights; not sure that’s worth it.

    Their thinking may be that with so few teams having cap space this summer, the market for Beasley and Juancho won’t be strong and they will be able to re-sign them for reasonable contracts.

  139. Their thinking may be that with so few teams having cap space this summer, the market for Beasley and Juancho won’t be strong and they will be able to re-sign them for reasonable contracts.

    That’s 100% what they are thinking.

  140. Jordan Bell is a sneaky pick-up by Morey in the deal. He could be good in the right system. Covington is this fascinating type of guy where he is really only worth having if your team is good. It’s like Tyson Chandler when he was in his prime. He was a waste on bad teams, but he’s really valuable on good teams. Well, not a “waste,” but you know what I mean, the things that he excels at are the stuff that have an exponential impact depending on how good the rest of the team is. Chandler just in the middle was a good defender. Chandler in the middle with willing and capable defenders around him can anchor an outstanding defense.

    I think it says a lot that Covington has been mostly doing nothing for Minny this year, and yet everyone was still clamoring for him (the contract was huge, too, of course). He’s a guy that will have an oversized impact on a good team. Sort of like an Iguodala.

  141. Covington is a pickup to counter the glut of good point forwards in the West: LeBron, Kawhi, PG, Luka, SGA, Grayson Allen. I’ve always been a Capela fan but this reads as pure matchup anxiety.

  142. I’ve always been a Capela fan but this reads as pure matchup anxiety.

    Wait until they match up against LA. The next stage of anxiety is a full blown panic attack.

  143. Covington is a pickup to counter the glut of good point forwards in the West: LeBron, Kawhi, PG, Luka, SGA, Grayson Allen. I’ve always been a Capela fan but this reads as pure matchup anxiety.

    But isn’t that a logical reaction, though? That they will be facing those players in the playoffs? The fact that they’re 10-1 also likely allays any fears they have that they’d collapse without Capela (of course, that would only make sense if they were getting a good player back for Capela, which they are).

  144. Totally logical. I’m much more worried about Luka Doncic than I am about Dwight Howard. Gobert is the only real matchup for Capela — he’s functionally useless against Jokic and there are no other real star centers in the mix right now. I’d rather have Covington on SGA than Capela on Adams, for instance.

  145. Covington is a pickup to counter the glut of good point forwards in the West: LeBron, Kawhi, PG, Luka, SGA, Grayson Allen. I’ve always been a Capela fan but this reads as pure matchup anxiety.

    I think Grayson Allen is the one they fear the most.

  146. Guys like Gobert and Capela are not going to got off for 35-40 against a mismatch. They are too limited.

    Who do you want on Anthony Davis if you are Houston?

    LA can just flip Davis to C and James to PF and Davis will pummel Houston. No one is going to stop James anyway. Also, it’s not like Howard/McGee can’t also still give you quality minutes scoring and rebounding if it’s working.

  147. There’s nothing wrong with Covington. I like him a lot. I argued above that’s he underrated on boxscore metrics because of his value on individual defense. But unless someone knocks out LA or there are injuries etc.. Houston is not getting to the finals now for sure. Their ultra small ball will give a lot of teams fits. It just won’t win a title.

  148. Guys like Gobert and Capela are not going to got off for 35-40 against a mismatch. They are too limited.

    Gobert has shot worse than .500 FG% in just 4 games this year. He score 20+ points more often than he scores <10.

    Worrying about high-volume scorers is fine, but if you let Gobert hang 20 on you while taking 12 possessions to get there, you're giving the rest of the Jazz a serious cushion. Gobert is the primary reason that the Jazz are 8th in DRtg, but he's certainly contributing to their 8th-ranked offense, too.

  149. it’s really really hard to replicate rim defense with perimeter guys…. and it’s really weird that houston had to include a pick in this deal….

    i highly suspect that this is for luxury tax reasons…

  150. Yeah, I seemed to have forgotten that as much as you might be afraid of LeBron, Anthony Davis is also down there waiting to eat your 6’6″ PF/C alive.

  151. I agree, I don’t see the matchup with LA being good for Houston, but I don’t think it’s much worse after this trade either. They were going to have trouble either way.

  152. Gobert has shot worse than .500 FG% in just 4 games this year. He score 20+ points more often than he scores <10.

    Worrying about high-volume scorers is fine, but if you let Gobert hang 20 on you while taking 12 possessions to get there, you're giving the rest of the Jazz a serious cushion. Gobert is the primary reason that the Jazz are 8th in DRtg, but he's certainly contributing to their 8th-ranked offense, too.

    I love Gobert. He’s going to damage any serious mismatch, but in order to really blow up an opponent’s strategy (which is small ball and shooting 3s in Houston’s case right now) you have to damage their advantage more than they damage yours. D’Antoni is saying, yeah, we’ll give up more rebounds and paint points going small like this, but you are going to have to hurt really bad inside to offset what we are doing to you with our speed, space, and driving. The rest is “we’ll see”.

  153. Just sayin’

    @StevePopper
    A few Knicks items about 24 hours from deadline – hearing Morris will be moved and that they are still in on D’Angelo Russell. And…two weeks after being announced as rebranding arm of Knicks, Steve Stoute is a prominent voice in all of this, including finding new front office.

  154. Wow, Oladipo has been in a coma since returning from his injury. He can’t hit the ocean. Right now he’s dragging the Pacers down. They need him to get his conditioning back and his shot at least tolerable soon. They have to have him peaking by the end of the season or they are not a serious threat in the East this year despite having some very good talent.

  155. Are we getting draft compensation for taking on Russell at that price? :-)

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