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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Knicks Free Agency Primer

Another season of Knicks basketball has past, and like always it was filled with good times, weird times, bad times. But mostly weird times. With our beloved Bockers so far over the cap they’d need a GPS to find their way back, potential free agency dealings are very limited.

That said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind as the period draws nearer. Not to mention a host of names I’d like to see don the blue and orange come fall. So let’s talk.

Not Every Big Signing Comes During the Summer

Remember that Asian-American point guard who stole the attention of, well, America back in 2012 and basically led the Knicks to the Playoffs? He was signed a couple of nights into the regular season. Before him was one Steve Novak, who came aboard about a week earlier. Then, midway into the 2012 campaign, J.R. Smith joined New York’s roster. Let’s not forget Kenyon Martin, who signed with the Knicks last March and was a huge impact on the team’s late-year Playoff push.

Notice the trend? Some of the most key rotation players in recent Knicks history weren’t signed in the July, but in December or March. With that in mind, there’s little reason to overreact to who the Knicks may or may not sign in the upcoming months. Free agents will still be looking for an NBA team to sign with in October, November, December, and so on. And when they do, the Knicks could very well be waiting.

Every Man Counts

This is related to the aforementioned point, but another mistake often made is automatically assuming that the 11th or 12th man on the roster is disadvantageous. Chris Copeland was a Summer League invite turned rotation player this past season, a journey not unlike Jeremy Lin’s in 2012 and Shawne Williams’ in 2011. These players twiddled their thumbs at the end of the bench night in and out — until they didn’t.

Every team signs one or two no-names to reside at the end of their bench, usually as insurance in case the injury bug shows up. The Knicks are no different, and writing off players who aren’t projected to be making an impact in the rotation amounts to a conviction without a trial. Where the Knicks would be in recent seasons if Jeremy Lin or Chris Copeland were relegated to the pine for the entirety of their respective tenures is a scary thought to fathom.

The Free-Agents

All listed names are players who I believe would be beneficial to the team and could realistically ink a contract with the Knicks, financially speaking.

Dahntay Jones: A veteran wing who’s game surrounds his defense, only unlike one Ronnie Brewer, he shoots the three at a 33% clip over his career.

Reggie Williams: A 6’6″ 26-year old lefty with untapped potential and a very impressive rookie year. Slipped ever since, but with more playing time he could blossom.

Marco Belinelli: A sharpshooting two-guard who was a key factor in the Chicago Bulls’ success last year who looks a lot like Haywire from “Prison Break.”

Darren Collison: Would probably have to use the mini-MLE to obtain him, but Collison’s a feisty and quick-as-lightning point guard who could perhaps one day reach his potential?

Timofey Mozgov: Please cue the “I’m Coming Home” promos.

Will Bynum: Another point guard with a need for speed, Bynum was the backup one for the Pistons last year, and filled up the stat sheet, averaging 18 points and 7 assists per-36 minutes.

Tyler Hansbrough: The Knicks could use a bit of crazy, but signing him for his size and work on the boards will suffice.

Matt Barnes: Could be a stretch to offer him the mini-MLE, but what a year from the veteran Barnes. The true Sixth Man of the Year in my book, Barnes ignited the Clippers defensively everytime he stepped on the court while working the offensive glass and spreading the floor night in and night out.

Keyon Dooling: The Knicks can use some defense in the backcourt, and Dooling’s extremely viable at the end of the floor. The 33-year old also has a career 35% shooting stroke from downtown.

Chase Budinger: A 6’7″ wing with a 36% shooting tough from long distance over his career, Budinger ad a tremendous impact on the Houston Rockets as a rookie coming off the bench, but regressed since and suffered a torn meniscus last season, allowing him to only play in 23 contests.

Chris Copeland and Pablo Prigioni: MATCH ANY OFFER. GET THEM BACK HERE.

Toney Douglas: You already know.

DeJuan Blair: Sliding out of Gregg Popovich’s rotation after looking like the steal of the Draft in 2010, Blair is a hustler on the boards and a solid finisher as well. He also plays without ACLs, which is amazing.

Sebastian Telfair: A Brooklynite born and raised, Telfair was sound defensively last year at the point guard. That’s enough for me.

Randy Foye: A 41% three-point marksman last season with the Jazz, this Draft bustee could find a role in New York as a floor-spacer off the bench, and could even be a potential starter if he could learn how to play some defense.

Martell Webster: A strong 3-and-D wing who could potentially sign for the mini-MLE? Sign him, start him, and give him the keys to the city please.

 

 

46 comments on “Knicks Free Agency Primer

  1. Frank

    I’m good with Telfair, Foye, Webster, Bynum, Budinger, and Dahtay Jones. The rest I could do without.

    On Bargnani — having had a chance to think about it overnight, I don’t think this has anything to do with Brooklyn getting KG/Pierce. This has EVERYTHING to do with how we couldn’t score against Boston and Indiana, and how every time we put Novak in, both teams went mercilessly at him until he had to come out. The trouble with our O in the playoffs is we have too many one-dimensional offensive players, or at least too many guys who have to extend themselves in unfavorable ways in order to get their shots off. Bargnani (the healthy version) is a very good shooter from 3 point range and off the dribble. His efficiency was fairly good (TS 56 or so) on a usage in the low 20s as second banana to Bosh– after Bosh left and he was “the Man”, his efficiency plummeted as his usage increased to 28 and he got a bunch of nagging injuries. I think that as a 2nd or 3rd option on the floor, he could actually be pretty good.

    Defensively he’s obviously a problem — but assuming Woody signed off on this move, I think it shows the organization has an enormous amount of confidence in Woody’s ability to get a good defense together. If he’s going to play the 5 he definitely needs to rebound better, and maybe Woody has to employ a Hibbert-like strategy with him on PNR coverage and let him sag back into the paint and use his length to bother players rather than have him run out and hedge like he does with Tyson. He’s a legit 7′ without shoes and has a 9’2″ standing reach, comparable to guys like Nerlens Noel and Tyson.

    The other thing this means is that we really really need to find another backup big that can rebound and block shots. Maybe that’s K-Mart, but my guess is we use the mini-MLE on a perimeter player and let Jerome Jordan or Henry Sims try and make the team on a minimum contract.

  2. Frank

    btw FWIW (almost certainly not much in this case) – Synergy ranked Bargnani as the 26th best defender in the league last year. Lol.

  3. Frank O.

    Honestly, Bellini and Collison would be nice in the backcourt. I’d love to have Prigs and Cope back.
    Foye, Blair and Hansbrough I bet get resigned. I wouldn’t be surprised if we got Mosgov.

  4. johnno

    It is nice to see a rational perspective on the trade. I read that the 2016 pick is lottery protected. However, even if it isn’t, the Nuggets have the right to swap picks with the Knicks in 2016 so, unless BOTH the Knicks and Nuggets are in the lottery in 2016 (unlikely in my opinion) the pick is going to be in the bottom half of the first round, regardless of whether it’s protected. The 2014 2nd round pick is OKC’s, which means that it is likely going to be about the 57th pick in the draft, which is roughly equivalent to the ability to sign an undrafted free agent. The other 2nd round pick is also likely to be in the 50′s. If healthy, Bargnani and Gallinari are comparable players (their career numbers in all categories are eerily similar). If the Knicks had traded Novak, Camby, a late first round pick in 3 years and 2 virtually value-less second round picks for Gallo, this board would be celebrating. Bottom line — is this a dramatic improvement for the Knicks? Probably not. But, if healthy, does Bargnini bring more to the table this year than Novak and Camby? Absolutely yes. So, they have improved a 54 win team.

  5. er

    johnno:
    If healthy, Bargnani and Gallinari are comparable players (their career numbers in all categories are eerily similar).If the Knicks had traded Novak, Camby, a late first round pick in 3 years and 2 virtually value-less second round picks for Gallo, this board would be celebrating.Bottom line — is this a dramatic improvement for the Knicks?Probably not.But, if healthy, does Bargnini bring more to the table this year than Novak and Camby?Absolutely yes.So, they have improved a 54 win team.

    Shhhhhh………. this board this Gallo is an absolute beast and is the MJ as Barfs’ is to Smush Parker

  6. DRed

    Frank:

    On Bargnani — having had a chance to think about it overnight, I don’t think this has anything to do with Brooklyn getting KG/Pierce.This has EVERYTHING to do with how we couldn’t score against Boston and Indiana, and how every time we put Novak in, both teams went mercilessly at him until he had to come out.

    Novak played 9 minutes against Indiana and wound up with a positive +/-. Obviously, that doesn’t prove much, but if you’re remembering Indiana working us over mercilessly with Steve on the floor you’re remembering it wrong, because he was never on the court.

  7. Garson

    If this trade does nothing but get Vogel to sub out Hibbert at the end of the game when woodson puts bargnani at center… its a win for me!

  8. Bruno Almeida

    Garson:
    If this trade does nothing but get Vogel to sub out Hibbert at the end of the game when woodson puts bargnani at center… its a win for me!

    I get the idea, but why would Vogel do it when Hibbert becames almost an automatic 2 points on the other end against him?

  9. er

    He’s a decent low post defender. I know it goes against the anti barfs rhetoric but his main issue is help D

  10. Zanzibar

    Regarding Bargnanin trade, ready for a silver lining ? It’s that fan consensus has been wrong more often than not on recent roster moves. Let’s take inventory where fan consensus has turned out to be wrong:

    (1) Amnesty Billups to sign Chandler
    (2) Gave up too much for Melo
    (3) Need to re-sign Lin
    (4) Winning arbitration and re-signing Novak
    (5) Camby signing
    (6) Sheed signing
    (7) Dump Copeland mid-season

    Consensus was right about James White and keeping Shump (Nash, Dudley). I’d categorize the consensus/result regarding Kidd as mixed. So take heart everybody – our collective lack of acumen gives us a real reason for optimism!

  11. Zanzibar

    Frank:
    btw FWIW (almost certainly not much in this case) – Synergy ranked Bargnani as the 26th best defender in the league last year.Lol.

    In the Dwight Effect Study, Bargnani ranked 2nd!! in FG% when opponent was within 5 ft of defender. Only Sanders was ahead of him.

  12. Garson

    Zanzibar: In the Dwight Effect Study, Bargnani ranked 2nd!! in FG% when opponent was within 5 ft of defender. Only Sanders was ahead of him.

    Maybe he’s equipped with the Vlade Divac Stench…

  13. Vinny L.

    For a big man, I was hoping the Knicks would go after someone tough who could clean up the glass: Tyler Hansbrough….. But we got Bargnani :/

    For a PG, I was looking for something more younger, and more dangerous/threatening offensively than Jason Kidd and Prig: Nate Robinson, Will Bynum, or Darren Collison…. Knicks offer Prig contract :/

    In the draft, I was looking for Knicks to pick up a tough wing, possibly Hardaway or Rice– who could possibly replace JR or Cope… But if a player projected to go earlier than 24 falls in our lap, take em!…. Knicks pass on Jamaal Franklin SG/SF and Rudy Gobert C :/

  14. chrisk06811

    I’m wondering if we start Bargnani, on offense, he plays the 3, so melo can stay at the 4, but he guards the opposing PF, so Melo doesn’t have to work so hard on D and be under-sized. Does that make any sense?

  15. johnno

    Zanzibar: In the Dwight Effect Study, Bargnani ranked 2nd!! in FG% when opponent was within 5 ft of defender. Only Sanders was ahead of him.

    Don’t let facts get in the way of people’s opinions! He is a rotten defender, always has been and always will be! How do I know this? Because, just like virtually everyone else on this website, I see him play about twice a year and the announcers say that he is a bad defender. It must be true. Also, it must be true that Danilo Gallinari is a great shooter even though he shot 41% from the field in his best year because announcers always say that he “stretches the floor.” And it must be true that Papanikoulis is the second coming of Dirk Nowitzki because I read it somewhere. Boy, the Trailblazers must be stupid to trade him away for a guy who has already been dumped by two teams after being a lottery pick exactly one year ago. One more thing — I can’t believe that the Knicks’ stupid front office couldn’t figure out how to trade up a few years ago to take Bismack Biyombo. Everyone knew at the time that he was the second coming of Bill Russell, and the Knicks let him slip through their fingers. We truly are doomed…

  16. johnno

    Vinny L.: Rudy Gobert C :/

    How could they possibly pass on Gobert!?!? He was projected as a lottery pick until he actually worked out for teams and they saw that he has stiff written all over him. Guys who can almost touch the rim without jumping don’t last until late in the first round unless they are pretty talent-less.

  17. danvt

    Zanzibar: our collective lack of acumen gives us a real reason for optimism!

    As I recall people were pissed about Shumpert over Chris Singleton as well.

    The only thing that gives me pause is wondering if we’re really getting the guy we think we’re getting. I remember when the Knicks got Kiki Vandeweghe. I just couldn’t believe how stiff he looked. It wasn’t the high octane guy from DEN. The problem with NBA veterans with miles on them is that they often are not capable of doing what it was that got them into the league. So, I’m less worried about what Barfs did on horribly run TOR teams than what he’s got left in the tank.

    The trade really comes down to a low 1st rounder in 2016 vs. Barfs. People generally are suspicious of low draft picks because of their lack of polish, but they do tend to hustle and the athleticism can be really exciting. Shumpert may never get back to pre-knee injury levels on defense. He was just amazing as a rookie despite the TOs and the bricks.

    I’ll get over Steve-O, and Camby was a non factor (what a weird goodbye note, btw) but Bargs Root Beer will need to play well to justify giving up the pick. If he can actually move well and put a shot in I think the trade has a chance to work out.

  18. Garson

    Any insight on the rotation next year?

    If we resign Prigs… I can see Woodson sticking with the Felton, Prigs, Shump, Melo Chandler Lineup.

    The problem with that is , you have Stat Bargs coming off the bench. I think one of them needs to be paired with Chandler at all times.

  19. Vinny L.

    @Johnno

    Nah… I saw some of Goberts workouts. He looked pretty good. I’m not saying you don’t have a point though. None of these draft picks have played 1 NBA game. So you can say anybody outside the lottery is going to be a stiff.

  20. Juany8

    I don’t know why everyone is so down on this trade, isn’t bargs basically a better version of copeland? The Knicks were playing Amare and Novak together as the front court for various stretches of the season, there’s no way this can possibly be worse. It’s not a good trade by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because of that first round pick (which is a big asset considering how hard it is to get cheap role players on a capped team) but it certainly improves the team these next 2 years unless he’s injured, and it frees up even more room past 2015 is the Knicks want to go a different direction.

  21. iserp

    Right now:

    Felton / Prigs?
    Shumpert / JR? / TH2
    Melo / Copeland?
    Amare / Bargnani
    Chandler / K-Mart?

    We need another PG if we want to play with 2 PG lineups. And I think this trade forces us to start either Amare or Andrea, and start Melo at 3, which i am fine with it.

    BTW, from the other thread:

    About the trade, i am worried that this will bite us back after the “reboot”. I was hoping that after 2015, we would only resign Melo, tank for year, gather young players and then make a splash in free agency. That would give us a nice team from 2016 onwards (Pierce has been useful till 35, why not Melo), but this messes all that.

    Right now, Bargnani will be an improvement over what we have given up. He fits nicely with Melo and Chandler, and will provide spacing without sucking at everything else (Novak, ehem, although Copeland did fine last season at that role). D is gonna be a problem, we will have to see how he fares next to Chandler / K-Mart. Overall, i think he gives us another scape when we had only JR Smith providing offense.

  22. Garson

    Re-tooling in 2015 isnt horrible.

    Anyone have a list of the free agents that summer? I recall hearing Love being available.

  23. johnno

    Vinny L.: I saw some of Goberts workouts. He looked pretty good.

    Virtually anyone who gets a sniff of the NBA can look great in workouts. (Except for Biyombo who, in his workout videos, literally couldn’t hit a single shot from one foot away from the rim.) Check out the Draftexpress video scouting reports for every single player who was drafted in either round. When they show a guy’s strengths for the first 10 minutes of the video, every one of them looks amazing. The only game video of Gobert that I have seen looks like he’s playing against a decent CYO team. Also, check out highlight videos for Jerome Jordan. If you look at just his highlights, the guy looks like Patrick Ewing. Plus, the Frederick Weiss experience has forever soured me on French centers.

  24. DRed

    Juany8:
    I don’t know why everyone is so down on this trade, isn’t bargs basically a better version of copeland? The Knicks were playing Amare and Novak together as the front court for various stretches of the season, there’s no way this can possibly be worse. It’s not a good trade by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because of that first round pick (which is a big asset considering how hard it is to get cheap role players on a capped team) but it certainly improves the team these next 2 years unless he’s injured, and it frees up even more room past 2015 is the Knicks want to go a different direction.

    Better at what than Copeland? Being tall?

  25. er

    chrisk06811:
    I’m wondering if we start Bargnani, on offense, he plays the 3, so melo can stay at the 4, but he guards the opposing PF, so Melo doesn’t have to work so hard on D and be under-sized.Does that make any sense?

    lol you just described Melo at 3 and Barf at 4.

  26. Juany8

    DRed: Better at what than Copeland?Being tall?

    Knicks fans never seem to learn, what happened to Landry fields after a period of hot shooting when nobody paid attention to him? What about Shawne Williams? Steve Novak? Knicks pick up a new one of these players every year, and every time they come back worse the next year after teams start scouting them. I don’t think bargs is a good player, but there is an excellent chance Copeland falls down to earth, took us just a year to dump Novak after the ridiculous contract we have him. And copeland was horrendous on the boards and defense most of the year, he had some inspired moments but lets not get carried away, he is also a pathetic interior defender and rebounder.

  27. Juany8

    I’d also like to point out that most of the people pessimistic about the moves this year were also pessimistic about all the moves last year. Felton was supposed to be awful, Lin was supposed to break out into a star, Knicks were supposed to win under 50 with no home court…. And the same team that advanced to the second round with it’s top 2 players hobbled is bringing back everyone who actually contributed in the playoffs. The top of the east is looking better now, but I think the Knicks get home court and have as good a chance as anyone outside of the Heat. The bulls keep giving away good players which helps.

  28. Vinny L.

    @Johnno

    But you just said that Gobert dropped from the lottery because of bad workouts:

    “How could they possibly pass on Gobert!?!? He was projected as a lottery pick until he actually worked out for teams and they saw that he has stiff written all over him.”

    Now you’re saying:

    “Virtually anyone who gets a sniff of the NBA can look great in workouts.”

    How about a more simpler explaination, like: Knicks were scared to go with Gobert because of the Frederic Weis situation, or they really liked Hardaway..

  29. Keniman Shumpwalker

    Juany8: Knicks fans never seem to learn, what happened to Landry fields after a period of hot shooting when nobody paid attention to him? What about Shawne Williams? Steve Novak? Knicks pick up a new one of these players every year, and every time they come back worse the next year after teams start scouting them. I don’t think bargs is a good player, but there is an excellent chance Copeland falls down to earth, took us just a year to dump Novak after the ridiculous contract we have him. And copeland was horrendous on the boards and defense most of the year, he had some inspired moments but lets not get carried away, he is also a pathetic interior defender and rebounder.

    I think it has a lot to do with the emotion behind seeing these out-of-nowhere finds (Novak, Lin, Cope) perform well. We’re so impressed by meaningful contributions coming from some dark corner of the NBAverse that only our FO had the vision to scour that we overvalue those contributions relative to the rest of the league. Was/is Copeland a nice offensive player? Absolutely. He scored efficiently and was a great story to boot. But losing Chris Copeland because someone else wants to give him the mini-MLE or more will not make or break next season or beyond. Plus, while he’s obviously much more expensive, I’d actually rather have Bargnani, who I can’t fucking stand, in that role than I would Cope. At the very least, Bargnani is as good of a shooter and a better defender/rebounder (which is not saying much…because they’re both terrible, Bargs just slightly less so). And I agree, with a full off-season of advance scouting and a more clearly defined role in the offense, I could easily see Cope’s impressive efficiency numbers plummeting.

  30. DRed

    Juany8: Knicks fans never seem to learn, what happened to Landry fields after a period of hot shooting when nobody paid attention to him? What about Shawne Williams? Steve Novak? Knicks pick up a new one of these players every year, and every time they come back worse the next year after teams start scouting them. I don’t think bargs is a good player, but there is an excellent chance Copeland falls down to earth, took us just a year to dump Novak after the ridiculous contract we have him. And copeland was horrendous on the boards and defense most of the year, he had some inspired moments but lets not get carried away, he is also a pathetic interior defender and rebounder.

    Copeland certainly has his flaws, but I don’t think you understand how bad Bargnani is. Bargnani is the 3rd worst rebounding 7 footer in NBA history and has managed to shoot .302 from downtown over the last two years (compare him to, say, Steven Novak, who also can’t rebound or play defense, but shot .445 from 3 point range in the same time span)

  31. thenamestsam

    To me, in a vacuum the trade is almost fine. It’s still bad because I really can’t imagine Toronto wouldn’t have done it if we’d only given EITHER the 1st or the two 2nds, but it’s not a disaster in my opinion. The extra cap space in 2014 and 2015 is a benefit, and Bargnani does have just a whiff of potential that the outgoing guys don’t. I expect effectively nothing from him, but “effectively nothing” is also a reasonable description of Camby and Novak’s contributions. If they can figure out an effective way to hide him on D for 15 minutes a night he might be able to bounce back an do some things as a tertiary option on offense (Note that I don’t expect this to happen and I think way too much is being made of a potential role change here- Bargnani wasn’t really the primary option for Toronto the last couple years). He’s not likely to contribute much of anything, but neither were the outgoing players.

    What really galls me about this trade then is that basically all the good things you can say about it are about how it cleans up other older bad moves. The Novak contract was a disaster the day it was signed. Giving 4 years of decent money to a guy with no track record of even moderate NBA success was never likely to work out well, and bringing in Camby, who the coach clearly had no interest in, certainly didn’t work out.

    So we’ve spent a 1st rounder to clean up those messes and acquire a guy who can hopefully progress from being one of the worst players in the league the last couple years back to the mediocrity that he showed flashes of a few years ago. Plus I haven’t even mentioned that Bargnani might be one of the hardest guys in the league to root for. This trade just makes me feel gross. If this was Dolan’s idea to regrab the headlines from the Nets I don’t think it’s working.

  32. Keniman Shumpwalker

    DRed: Copeland certainly has his flaws, but I don’t think you understand how bad Bargnani is.Bargnani is the 3rd worst rebounding 7 footer in NBA history and has managed to shoot .302 from downtown over the last two years (compare him to, say, Steven Novak, who also can’t rebound or play defense, but shot .445 from 3 point range in the same time span)

    But is Copeland any better, defensively or on the boards? Mind you, I’m not even saying we shouldn’t sign Cope, just that we may be overvaluing him a bit and I don’t think he’s worth OUR mini-MLE, not given the other needs we have.

    Bargs is fucking terrible though, so no argument there.

    Also, for the record, I’m not at all happy about this trade…mainly on account of I HATE BARGNANI. That’s all I got right now. Still kind of stunned by all this.

  33. DRed

    Keniman Shumpwalker: At the very least, Bargnani is as good of a shooter and a better defender/rebounder (which is not saying much…because they’re both terrible, Bargs just slightly less so).

    No no no no no no. Bargs is not as good of a shooter as Chris Copeland.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=copelch01&y1=2013&p2=bargnan01&y2=2011

    I left out Bargs last two seasons where he was even worse. What evidence is there that he’s at least as good of a shooter as Copeland?

  34. Juany8

    DRed: Copeland certainly has his flaws, but I don’t think you understand how bad Bargnani is.Bargnani is the 3rd worst rebounding 7 footer in NBA history and has managed to shoot .302 from downtown over the last two years (compare him to, say, Steven Novak, who also can’t rebound or play defense, but shot .445 from 3 point range in the same time span)

    I think bargs will shoot better and copeland will shoot worse because if their change in circumstances, guess we’ll have to see. Teams were happily letting copeland shoot all season, it turned out to be a bad idea since he made them, but it does raise the question of how he’ll adjust when teams start chasing him off the line. I’ll admit that if he stays shooting a terrible percentage then this trade will suck, but mostly because of the picks given up, Novak and camby were just taking up space for the most part.

    I’m not excited about the move, but it has some potential upside in the next 2 years, and the downside won’t be seen until this team will be potentially blown up anyways.

  35. Keniman Shumpwalker

    DRed: No no no no no no.Bargs is not as good of a shooter as Chris Copeland.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=copelch01&y1=2013&p2=bargnan01&y2=2011

    I left out Bargs last two seasons where he was even worse.What evidence is there that he’s at least as good of a shooter as Copeland?

    I’m not willing to bank on Cope maintaining that shooting % with increased defensive attention. Maybe he will, but 862 NBA minutes against mostly second unit defenses that were, for the most part, willing to give him open shots and roll their D away from him is not enough to convince me that he’ll stay in the low 40s going forward. You’re right, though, Bargs’ 3pt % is a lot worse than I thought. I read earlier today that he was a career 43% 3pt shooter…it was lazy of me not to check the #s before posting.

  36. DRed

    I generally agree with you about Cope, but Bargnani is a really fucking bad basketball player.

  37. Vinny L.

    yellowboy90 said:

    “Should Devin Harris be on the back up pg radar?”

    Nope.

    Nate Robinson
    Will Bynum
    Darren Collison
     

  38. yellowboy90

    http://blogs.thescore.com/raptorblog/2012/08/18/on-bargnanis-impressive-defensive-numbers/

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/17/the-inbounds-the-pierre-bargnani-defensive-mirror/

    Synergy Sports ranked Bargnani in the 88th percentile in post defense on a per-possession basis, and the 56th percentile in isolation defense last season (with a gaudy 95th percentile overall). It wasn’t all Dwane Casey’s wizardry last season (though his work with Bargnani’s defense should not be ignored, but we’ll get there. In 2011, he was 47th percentile in post and 83rd percentile in isolation. 2010? 72nd percentile in the post, 28th in isolation. Bear in mind these numbers are regardless of the number of possessions, so someone that defended in the post once successfully logs in at the top of the chart. So basically, he’s even better than these numbers indicate, relative to his position.

  39. thenamestsam

    Juany8:
    I’d also like to point out that most of the people pessimistic about the moves this year were also pessimistic about all the moves last year. Felton was supposed to be awful, Lin was supposed to break out into a star, Knicks were supposed to win under 50 with no home court…. And the same team that advanced to the second round with it’s top 2 players hobbled is bringing back everyone who actually contributed in the playoffs. The top of the east is looking better now, but I think the Knicks get home court and have as good a chance as anyone outside of the Heat. The bulls keep giving away good players which helps.

    Were people really wrong to be pessimistic about last year’s moves though? Yes, Lin was pretty mediocre, but outside of that? JKidd had his moments but most of those were in the first month of the season. He was a liability on offense most of the year. Felton did outperform his Portland disaster but he wasn’t exactly a stud. He was critically important on a team with no other perimeter penetration, but he was really only mediocre on offense (witness that defenses in the playoffs schemed specifically to take away everything else and make Felton beat them and he couldn’t) and we got continuously torched by PGs all year. Sheed had a few nice weeks but was basically a bust. Camby was a bust.

    Most of the moves people didn’t like didn’t really work out all that well. The Knicks were still a good team because Melo and JR had very good years and they got a lot of contributions all over the roster. They made the 2nd round at least in part because the East was horrible this year. Hell, the Bulls made the 2nd round while missing half their team. I still think the Knicks will be pretty darn good next year but I’m not buying the whole “Everyone was wrong about last years moves” thing.

  40. thenamestsam

    Z: Harder than JR Smith?! Yikes!

    For me? Yeah. At least JR Smith is out there trying hard night in and night out. He may be an idiot, but he’s our idiot and I’m okay with that. A guy who admits out loud on camera that he looks down on his teammates who work hard on the glass and on D because he does “things that are more complicated than defense and rebounding”? And it’s not just that he says it. His play on the court shows a total disregard for all the parts of the game that involve working hard. To me that’s about as bad as it gets. Knicks fans who haven’t watched Toronto much don’t realize how much they’re going to HATE the way this guy plays the game.

  41. Bruno Almeida

    Juany8:
    I’d also like to point out that most of the people pessimistic about the moves this year were also pessimistic about all the moves last year. Felton was supposed to be awful, Lin was supposed to break out into a star, Knicks were supposed to win under 50 with no home court…. And the same team that advanced to the second round with it’s top 2 players hobbled is bringing back everyone who actually contributed in the playoffs. The top of the east is looking better now, but I think the Knicks get home court and have as good a chance as anyone outside of the Heat. The bulls keep giving away good players which helps.

    I’m still pessimistic.

    the Heat aren’t going nowhere, Rose is back, Granger is back, the Nets will be better and we are at the same level, probably worse if J.R leaves and we can’t replace his scoring.

    this team is a Carmelo injury away from disaster.

    and I live in Toronto for a while and still watch a lot of Raptors games, and frankly, you guys can look at all the small sample size data you want, he’s PAINFUL to watch on D and he’s pretty much the least physical player I’ve ever watched on a consistent basis at the glass… he makes Brook Lopez look like Kevin Love.

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