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Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Great Jimmy Butler Test of 2018

On Monday, Steve Mills, Scott Perry and David Fizdale had a sort of “open forum” for a few select fans to ask questions.

When specifically asked about trading for a free-agent-to-be like Jimmy Butler, this is what Mills had to say:

“We’re going to build this team the right way. We’re not going to trade assets that we can get on our own later. … We’re not taking shortcuts. We’re not going to trade our draft picks. We believe New York will buy into a plan.”

Perry added, “Our main focus is the ’18-19 season. As much as we talked about having cap space, we are trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. This team requires our undivided attention. I understand fans drifting to the future. Part of my job and Steve’s job is to stay grounded. We’ll deal with that class next summer when that arises.”

That was Monday.

Today, according to league sources (I totally missed that Shams is at The Athletic now, by the way. Wow, big get), Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to Woj, he would prefer to be dealt to the Knicks, Nets or Clippers. Not only that, but Woj later added that the reason he chose those teams is because they each have room to re-sign him to a 5-year/$190 million extension, which is what he wants from any team that trades for him.

So there ya go. Rarely do you have a test as obvious as this one. You said Monday that you would not do X and then on Wednesday, one of the league’s top players said, “I would like for the Knicks to do X.”

What a fascinating test this will be. I tend to believe that they will follow their initial remarks on Monday, because I don’t see how Minnesota can’t get a pick back for Butler (and the Nets have an extra Nuggets top 12-protected pick to trade) and if they won’t trade a pick, then this is not an issue. Not to mention that Butler’s cap hold is $30 million, so the Knicks would effectively be out of the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes if they traded for Butler (unless they attached so many assets to dump players that that would, too, go directly against what Perry said that they would do).

So this should be an easy case of the Knicks actually following the plan that they just re-iterated on Monday. And yet…

102 comments on “The Great Jimmy Butler Test of 2018

  1. alsep73

    Woj:

    Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler is most determined to find a way to the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell ESPN. The appeal of partnering with a second star – the Clippers have two max contract slots available in summer free agency – is an intriguing scenario for him.

    Fine by me. Even if that second star winds up being Kyrie, who, as previously discussed, fits the design of our roster really really well.

  2. chrisk06811

    Luckily, I don’t see any way this works for us. The only thing of real value that we have that Minn would want is our #1 next year, and that’s too valuable to trade. i’m not sure how mils/perry could save face if they dealt it. And, Minn needs an asset back that can play now in the deal. They would prob want Kanter and our pick. That’s just way too much. especially for a guy who has burned bridges with 2 teams. I don’t care that KAT and Wiggins don’t play hard; what he’s doing isn’t leadership.

  3. Brian Cronin Post author

    Thibs is a shitty enough GM that I could see him taking THJ and a pick, but yeah, he would need to get a pick.

  4. Hubert

    I don’t agree with any of this.

    Dirk wasn’t a very good rebounder for a 7? 1? player partly because of his role and even though he was WAY stronger than KP is at this stage. Teamed with Chandler Dallas did fine.

    ^ this is where you prove *my* point, not yours.

    Dirk never had a max contract. He was great but flawed. He knew the Mavs needed to invest in expensive teammates around him to compensate for his flaw and accentuate his strengths. If he’d signed a max, they’d have never gotten Chandler. Or maybe they would have, but not Marion, or Kidd.

    That’s my point. If the mavs had maxed dirk they’d have never won a thing. Dirk is one of the best players of all time, but you couldn’t have built a title winning team around him making the max.

    Porzingis will probably never be as good as Dirk, so barring some extraordinary stroke of luck that lets us acquire a core group like Kidd, Marion, Chandler, and Terry while tying up 25% of the cap to KP, we’re damning ourselves the second the ink dries on a max deal.

  5. Hubert

    As for the topic at hand, you have to consider losing a top 4 pick in a top heavy draft as part of the cost of acquiring Butler. That’s too expensive for me. I want the top 4 pick.

  6. ptmilo

    none of the three teams really make sense for Butler and if he is traded I wouldn’t be surprised to see the best offer come from a better team who takes an OKC type risk. He’s still a top 10-15 player and would turn some good teams into “we can win this if curry or Durant gets hurt” teams. in the meantime our job is to pray that thibs is such a bad gm that he pivots and trades KAT instead. then we can start throwing our picks out there like confetti in 2005.

  7. DRed

    Trading for a year of Jimmy Butler (who is a fantastic player) makes no sense when you’re as shitty as the Knicks are.

  8. dtrickey

    Heck if he is keen on the Clippers, Perry and Mills should just let that one go. The only way the Knicks should pulll the trigger on a trade for Butler is if they get an offer too good to be true, and they aint getting that kind of offer.

    I saw someone on twitter pose the question whether Knicks fans would be happy top remove themselves from the Butler conversation if it meant Butler and Irving (on the assumption he and Butler are serious about teaming up) ended up with the Nets. My answer is yes. Yes I would be happy with that if we can stay the course as proposed in the town hall meeting. We may have PTSD after the Melo trade, but in my mind we would have to probably give up a similar (but probably not as ridiculous) package to get him and I would rather let the Nets do that than us.

  9. ptmilo

    Dirk never had a max contractor He knew the Mavs needed to invest in expensive teammates around him to compensate for his flaw and accentuate his strengthsem

    actually you are talking about much, much later in dirk’s career. his rookie extension was six years $79 million which paid him the same 25pct of the salary cap as a max rookie extension KP would be eligible for today.

  10. Bruno Almeida

    The Clippers are really adamant they are not rebuilding and they’ll have a lot of cap space in the future. If they don’t re-sign Harris they could have 2 max slots by just trading away the expiring contract of either Gallinari or Bradley, both should be moveable. They could offer the Wolves something like Harris + Beverley + a pick, that matches the contract and seems like a good enough deal for the Wolves in terms of staying competitive for this year, and the Clippers could be sneaky good if SGA is the real deal and if Gallo is healthy. The Nets also make more sense as they could offer something like Russell + Crabbe or Carroll and the Nuggets pick, and they would already have the two max slots for Butler and someone else.

    Both teams make a lot more sense than the Knicks on this case, by their cap situations and their rosters. I don’t see a way the Knicks could outbid them without going overboard.

    I love Butler as a player and he would be the best Knick in a while to play for the team, but it’s just not a good deal unless the Wolves accepts our garbage offers.

  11. Z-man

    Heck if he is keen on the Clippers, Perry and Mills should just let that one go. The only way the Knicks should pulll the trigger on a trade for Butler is if they get an offer too good to be true, and they aint getting that kind of offer.

    I dunno, look at the offer Chicago got for Derrick Rose. Or the offer Toronto got for Andrea Bargnani. Or the offer Chicago got for Eddy Curry. Or the offer Denver got for Melo.

    Oh, wait…

  12. Bruno Almeida

    Looking back at the situation, I *think* my ceiling would be a deal that sent THJ plus a future top 10 protected pick, preferably 2020.

    I think Hardaway’s contract was a big mistake, and this creates a situation where if all goes well the pick conveyed won’t matter much, and if all goes poorly and Butler is out next season, we still keep the pick, but don’t have to deal with THJ’s player option for 2020-2021 when we should have a much better cap situation. I’m not sure I love the idea of Butler so much but not having to deal with Hardaway’s contract anymore is a big plus to me. I would probably not do that deal unless the protected pick turned into 2 2nds which would probably be a no for Minnesota, but I think it’s the most we could give up without making me pissed too much about it.

  13. GoNyGoNyGo

    I hate playing the trade game but since it seems that Butler has given the Knicks a 1 in 3 chance:

    Courtney Lee, Ron Baker & Emanual Mudiay for Jimmy Butler.

    No picks. Maybe the right to swap 1st round picks a few years in the future.

  14. Donnie Walsh

    The Knicks probably aren’t building a championship team over the next 5 years no matter what they do. And Butler would instantly be the best player to wear a Knicks uniform since Patrick Ewing (and maybe even since before Patrick Ewing), which would make the Knicks infinitely more worth watching. And, who knows, maybe KP comes back strong and makes a leap and the two become a pretty synergetic pair. So, I wouldn’t complain if Steve Perry and the Fiz did a 180 and sent some of their assets away for Butler tomorrow. There are like, 1,000,000 worse moves they could theoretically make between now and the end of Butler’s next contract, and it only takes one to sink the franchise.

    With Noah still on the team, and Thibs being the only person that would want him, perhaps a Deng for Noah aspect of the trade can happen to soften the expense going out (it would save MN money and get them out of their bad Dieng contract a year early, perhaps at the concession of more protections on the NY pick?).

  15. JK47

    How many times is this stupid ass team going to make the same dumb ass mistake and cash in assets to land a “name” player on the wrong side of 30 despite being nowhere near contention? I like Jimmy Butler just fine, he’s a good player but you are BUYING HIS DECLINE PHASE.

    Is Jimmy Butler, age 30-34, going to outperform his megamax 89 zillion dollar per year contract? Noooooo he isn’t folks!

  16. Donnie Walsh

    Is Jimmy Butler, age 30-34, going to outperform his megamax 89 zillion dollar per year contract? Noooooo he isn’t folks!

    Yeah, that’s all true. But there are so many worse players to blow it on out there and outside of an Anthony Davis long shot, there really aren’t any great possibilities out there over the next few years.

    There is pretty much no way to win a title anytime even remotely soon. NY is going to be the 3rd or 4th best team in the 5 team Atlantic Division for the next decade no matter what they do. So if they can make things even remotely interesting during that time, that would be the greatest victory of the Dolan era and we should take the money and run.

  17. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I just can’t see a situation where the Knicks beat out the Clippers in a bidding war (Tobias Harris is better than anything we should be willing to offer), so I’m not worried we will trade for Jimmy Butler. I guess I can’t scream too loud if Thibs talks himself into a trade that’s centered around TH2 and no former lottery picks or draft capital, but a trade for Butler doesn’t make sense on a bunch of levels. The big thing to me is the Knicks would be paying all of 30 year old Butler, 27 year old Irving, and 24 year old Porzingis salaries north of $25M for the next 4-5 years, and that doesn’t sound like a way to build a contender to me. The second would be Jimmy Butler is a 30 year old vet who played most of his career for Tom Thibodeau. Another reason would be Jimmy Butler would make us a 35 win team, and don’t nobody got time for the middle of the lottery again.

    I must say, age be damned, it would be awesome to see a starting line up of Eric Bledsoe (2019 FA and probably the plan B if Irving stays put), Frank Ntilikina, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Knox, and Kristaps Porzingis play both sides of the floor.

  18. JK47

    “We’ll never be good, so we should shoot for mediocre.”

    Well, I’m sold. Make the deal! Unprotected 2019 pick it is!

  19. Brian Cronin Post author

    It’s fascinating looking at the parallels between this and Melo. The big difference is that Melo just wanted to go to a big market while Butler seems to have some specific issues with Minnesota other than their location. Plus, of course, Melo was a good deal younger and a good deal worse than Butler.

    But outside of that, you have a guy who wants the most money possible and has a big enough ego (or, if you prefer, believes in himself so strongly) that he thinks that he will turn any team he goes to into a contender even if he is making the mega-max.

  20. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    It’s fascinating looking at the parallels between this and Melo.

    The biggest difference is that Butler’s okay with going to the Clippers.

  21. Zanzibar

    Not to mention that Butler’s cap hold is $30 million, so the Knicks would effectively be out of the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes if they traded for Butler (unless they attached so many assets to dump players that that would, too, go directly against what Perry said that they would do).

    This is the crux of the matter. What does Butler do to our chances of landing one of KD/Kawhi/Kyrie in summer of 2019 and could we free up enough cap to sign one of them without gutting our youth? The answer is that there is one – and probably only one – deal that Wolves might take and that would also work for us. It’s THJ/Courtney/1-3 protected 2019 1st round pick. If the pick conveys to Minnesota that trade would free up $34m to sign one of those guys presuming KP/Butler/Burke would be paid after KD/Kawhi/Kyrie join the team. LINK

    People argue we’re not ready but our core youth is more ready than they think in that scenario. KP and Frank need to continue to play elite defense. KP needs to continue to shoot 3’s at a 3FG% in the high 30’s. Frank needs to start hitting open 3’s which seems probable given his strong catch-and-shoot stats in Europe. Mitch needs to be a rim protector, rebounder, and a plus PnR defender. Is all of that such a stretch? A unit of Frank/Butler/KD/KP/Mitch could lead the league in defense. Who cares about Frank’s playmaking when Butler and KD are on the team? Our bench (guys who I kept on team in salary projection) would be Burke/Knox/Dotson/Vonleh/room exception and a couple of quality vet min guys.

    Now we’ve shifted to the dual track strategy where we’re very competitive for the next 4 years and still positioned for the future so long as KP/Knox/Mitch/Frank pan out. And still have all of our 1st round picks in 2020 onward. Sign me up.

  22. Zanzibar

    There is one potential show stopper in the scenario I outlined. The deal would have to wait until Dec 15th to include Tolliver’s expiring contract to match salaries. Also not sure if THJ’s trade kicker is reflected in trade machine and if THJ would waive it to make deal work if not.

  23. Frank

    Yeah after sleeping on it overnight I am OUT on acquiring Jimmy Butler unless it’s really too good a deal to pass up (ie. somehow we avoid giving up cap space, KP/Robinson/Knox/Frank, or any top15 first round pick).

    No matter how much the team’s image has been rehabilitated since Phil’s firing, making a deal whose most plausible outcome =

    1) giving a max contract to a 30 year old player (who is great but whose realistic ceiling is fringe top-10 player in the league for 2-3 out of the 5 years of the giganto-max contract),

    2) whose decline is going to happen just as your young players reach their early primes

    3) whose major indirect benefit is theoretically attracting other free agents who unless they are a healthy Kawhi, Kyrie, and KD are likely to be quite overpaid as well, and whose signing would probably cause us to have to mortgage future assets to get enough space for them in addition to Butler

    4) who has a well-documented relationship problem with young players to the point that those players are publicly celebrating his impending departure

    that all equals no bueno for me. I love Jimmy Butler as a story and as a player but he just doesn’t fit right now.

  24. Frank

    My ideal scenario for the next few seasons would be to:

    1) not stretch Noah right now unless he is giving back tons of $
    2) spend most of the year giving Frank, Knox, and maybe Robinson (unless he’s completely unprepared) a very long leash to see what they can do
    3) bring KP back only when he’s fully healthy
    4) trade Lee at least for an expiring deal, preferably with at least a 2nd round pick attached
    5) get good draft pick
    7) offer max contract to only KD/Kyrie/Kawhi (and not Klay, Middleton, Butler, etc.)
    8) if those guys don’t want to come, then don’t stretch Noah
    9) convince KP to take less than max under the “international star” plan a la Dirk, Ginobili, Parker, Gobert, Giannis (or even if starting at the max, make it a flat contract as opposed to increases every year)
    10) rent out any additional cap space for deals that don’t go past the following summer + draft picks
    11) have room for 2 maxes for summer of 2020
    12) win championship

  25. lavor postell

    I would trade THJ+Lee+2nd round pick (or some glorified protected 1st which is essentially a 2nd or two) for Jimmy Butler. There’s too much risk involved for him to be worth dealing anything of long-term value with his injury history, checkered past with having good relationships with teammates and his desire for a full max contract.

    So unless Minnesota essentially wants to give him away for two wings who are overpaid but ok, then we should pass.

  26. DS

    I think I understand well the argument of why you don’t trade your 2018 #9 pick, Knox, for Butler He’s cheap and has a high current face value. Also get that Butler eats cap space hurts draft position.

    What I don’t get it is that almost no posters on this site believe that Knox’s actual yield (in the form of productivity nor assets received in a trade) will match Butler’s that of over the next 4-5 years.

    If anyone could explain, I’d be grateful.

  27. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m honestly more sympathetic to Donnie’s view than others. The fact of the matter is Phil Jackson’s tenure almost certainly dropped our title chances within the next 7 seasons or so to 0%. It’s not even any individual move he made (though those were bad too)–he just decided to sit on his ass for 3 years while our most direct competitors realized that bad teams should be in asset hoarding mode.

    Having said that, I still wouldn’t say this nihilism justifies a Butler trade. He’s legitimately one of my favorite players in the league, and you better believe I’m sympathetic to his grievances about Andrew Wiggins, but as usual it would be badly misaligned with our win curve. Who knows, maybe we nail a pick that changes everything soon. Butler would make that a lot less likely.

    I would do the trade lavor outlined because that would probably be beneficial to the Knicks even if Butler never plays a game, but it’s a moot point.

  28. thenoblefacehumper

    I think I understand well the argument of why you don’t trade your 2018 #9 pick, Knox, for Butler He’s cheap and has a high current face value. Also get that Butler eats cap space hurts draft position.

    What I don’t get it is that almost no posters on this site believe that Knox’s actual yield (in the form of productivity nor assets received in a trade) will match Butler’s that of over the next 4-5 years.

    If anyone could explain, I’d be grateful.

    It seems more contradictory than it is. We’re not winning a championship with Butler or Knox, and Knox is much cheaper and doesn’t destroy our chances at a franchise altering pick.

    Now, if we traded Knox for Butler and proceeded to flip Butler at the deadline for greater value than Knox then yeah that might be beneficial. It would never happen in a million years though.

  29. DS

    @30 – Thanks. So until an asset comes along that could actually be a piece on a contender, you don’t cash in a chip like Knox (even if you think he’s the next Beasley).

  30. DS

    @32 – I’m not actually drawing that comparison. That’s my summation of the comments here from when was drafted.

  31. Hubert

    @25 – sums up my position perfectly.

    And frankly, this time next year, I’d rather have one the top 3 picks in next year’s draft beginning his rookie deal than 30 year old Jimmy Butler starting year 1 of a 5 year 30% max contract. So even if Thibs got crazy and offered Jimmy Butler for Tim Hardaway, Trey Burke, and a lottery-protected 2020 pick, I’d prefer to be patient and follow the plan Mills outlined Monday.

  32. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

    ^ this is where you prove *my* point, not yours.

    Dirk never had a max contract. He was great but flawed. He knew the Mavs needed to invest in expensive teammates around him to compensate for his flaw and accentuate his strengths. If he’d signed a max, they’d have never gotten Chandler. Or maybe they would have, but not Marion, or Kidd.

    Please stop.

    Dirk is one of the greatest players in NBA history.

    Every great player needs other star players around them to win a championship. The idea is to create a team of players where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts by fitting them together so they compliment each other. No one can do everything.

    Next you’ll be telling me that Kareem sucked because he had no outside shot, wasn’t a play maker, and didn’t have a good enough handle to bring up the ball. I guess he didn’t deserve the max because he needed Oscar and Magic.

    We all agree that KP is not a great rebounder. IMO, it just won’t matter as much as you think if we build the team intelligently just like all other great teams are built. He just has to keep getting better

  33. Hubert

    Please stop.

    Dirk is one of the greatest players in NBA history.

    Every great player needs other star players around them to win a championship.

    I’m aware of how great Dirk Nowitzki is, thank you. You’re the one out here acting like comparing him and the Mavs (with Kidd, Chandler, Marion, et al) to Porzingis and the current Knicks is comparable.

    Yeah, maybe if we “pay and hope” that Porzingis becomes Dirk Nowitzki, we might be able to win a championship with him making 25% of the cap. That’s not a bet any reasonable GM would make. Definitely not the ones you mentioned yesterday. That’s a Minnesota with Andrew Wiggins move.

    Jaylen Brown through two seasons is on the same level Porzingis was. You’re telling me that if he tears his ACL next January, it’s 100% automatic that Ainge is going to sign him for 25% of the salary cap when he comes back, no matter what? Because there’s an outside chance he’s the next Kawhi Leoanard? That’s how preposterous your argument sounds when you swap a smart team in for ours.

    It’s like Bruno said, Porzingis’ perceived value is disproportionately attributed to hype, narrative, and the Knicks’ desperation for a savior. If you can’t ignore those factors when valuing a player, you’re not a good NBA GM.

  34. thenoblefacehumper

    @30 – Thanks. So until an asset comes along that could actually be a piece on a contender, you don’t cash in a chip like Knox (even if you think he’s the next Beasley).

    Yup. Basically, if you’re using assets to acquire a player there needs to be a non-zero chance that player is on your next contending team.

  35. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    I want to stress that KP ranks significantly better on +/- metrics like PIPM and RPM than he does on box score metrics like BPM and WS/48–the difference is the difference between anywhere from a top 25-40 player on the +/- metrics vs. league average on the box score metrics. I think the +/- metrics are better for various reasons (and in the case of KP more accurately capture his defensive contributions), so I hedge more towards KP being in the realm of a top 25-50 than merely league average. He’s certainly way better than Wiggins and a fair bit better than Jaylen Brown on the +/- metrics. If your 23 year old player is top 25-50, you probably max him without blinking assuming he comes back fully healthy from injury, especially when he’s as unique and potentially franchise-changing of a player as KP is. The injury history is concerning, however.

  36. thenamestsam

    I guess the thing that makes me most down on trading for Butler is that by far the most valuable thing you get if you acquire him now is this year. Not only because he’s 29 and his peak is right now, but because this year, and this year only, he’s on a super bargain contract. After this year you’ve got a 30-year old starting a new jumbo-sized contract. Jimmy Butler is really, really good, but during his decline phase on that type of contract, he’s not going to provide tons of surplus value.

    For the Knicks, that setup makes no sense. They’re not going to get much value out of this super bargain year. In fact, I think you could make a pretty compelling case that it’s a long-term negative for him to be on the team this year given the reduced value of their 2019 pick (or potentially losing it completely in the deal to acquire him).

    The teams that should be trying to make a move to get Butler are ones that think they are one player away for this year and thus can take full advantage of just how cheap he is right now. Something like Schroeder and filler and picks for Butler works and potentially makes OKC a real threat to GS. Butler for two of Minnesota’s midsize salaries (say Burks and Sefolosha) and picks. If Boston really wanted to swing for the fences, what about Butler for Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown (have to wait for Smart to become trade eligible).

  37. swiftandabundant

    Yeah I’m a hard no on Butler. I think he is a great player but we need to stop signing dudes who are 29 or 30 years old. And the fact that he hasn’t gotten along with younger players on 2 teams is concerning to me.

    There is no need for us to rush things at all. We really shouldn’t make any moves at all until Porzingis comes back and we know where he’s at.

  38. Hubert

    Next you’ll be telling me that Kareem sucked because he had no outside shot, wasn’t a play maker, and didn’t have a good enough handle to bring up the ball. I guess he didn’t deserve the max because he needed Oscar and Magic.

    Come on, you must know this is twisted logic. We’re talking about a center who can’t rebound, not a center who can’t hit an outside shot. A center who can’t rebound is like a point guard who can’t dribble or a shooting guard who can’t shoot.

    The point was not that great players need more great players. It’s that great players who can’t do one of the fundamental basics their position demands requires you to do more than just go out and find great players. You have to find a collection of extraordinary players at multiple positions to compensate for it. Just because Dallas did it doesn’t mean anyone else is likely to ever do it. They lucked into three elite players (Kidd, Marion, and Chandler) who were wildly undervalued. That’s not a blueprint you can easily repeat.

  39. Z-man

    I disagree with Brian in that I think that trading for Butler is more like signing Amare than like trading for Melo. in that it signifies an abject abandonment of the “patient rebuild” and confirms that the team is moving into “win now” mode prematurely built around acquiring stars and will sacrifice cap flexibility and draft position/picks, not to mention building around a young core, to get that second star. Once Amare was signed, it set the conditions for going all in on Melo.

  40. bobneptune

    @23

    First of all Butler is a wonderful top end two way player and should be coveted as a long term asset at the age of 29. He has a great body and is a legit all star both ways.

    There is another piece no one has talked about besides Lee/THJr and some sort of protected 2019/2020 pick. Kanter could be swapped for Taj Gibson. I’m guessing Kanter has more value than Gibson and are both expiring with similar contracts. Kanter would make MN better this season and Thibs might think he can improve his D with work or scheme. I would also tel him we will stretch waive Noah so he can have him for the vet min if he likes him.

    We could then waive Gibson and create a complete vortex at the 5 with Kornet and an 18 yr old high schooler at center that every team in the league can exploit to increase losses. Don’t play KP til march and then on a minutes restriction. Don’t play Butler >30 mins a game and play Mrob, Kornet, Dobson Burke Frank and Knox all the minutes they can eat and hope for a to 5 pick.

    With Adding a healthy KP, a top 5 pick and Maxish UFA in 19-20 that group might fly……………….

  41. Frank

    Re: KP on defense – I would again reiterate that rebounding is just one of the four factors. Obviously you would like him to be a vacuum on the glass, but there are other ways to be a great defense other than being great at rebounding. Like I said in another thread, Horford is a horrendous rebounder and yet he plays huge minutes on the best defensive team in the league. Andre Drummond is an amazing rebounder yet by DRPM he is the 33rd ranked center in the league and the Pistons were terrible defensively with him until SVG showed up (and even then they’ve just been just above average). Kevin Love is a notoriously great rebounder but of course the Cavs were horrible on defense when playing him at the 5. Draymond Green isn’t a great rebounder (TRB of ~13ish) yet the death lineup changed the league.

    When KP is on the floor and he doesn’t have to cover for other horrible defenders (Jack/Kanter/etc) the Knicks were really great at eFG-allowed. They forced lots of turnovers. They never got a rebound, but still they were a really good defense.

  42. Bruno Almeida

    On the Knox thing, I was against drafting him and I still don’t think he was the best possible pick, I’m concerned about his production in college and about his skillset, mainly that he hasn’t been a very good shooter and he seems to have issues finishing at the rim and creating for others.

    That said, I agree with tnfh. He’s a 19 year old on a very team friendly 4 year contract. There’s a legitimate chance he progresses and becomes a good player, and even if he doesn’t really become one he’s already building a reputation that could make him a valuable piece either way. NBA execs, analysts and fans are very high on him, he’s been showing up in early ROY conversations and is regarded highly. If he never becomes a very good player there’s a chance he’s still going to be a very good asset either way if he adds to that reputation and has good trade value eventually. So there’s no point in trading him now unless the returns are amazing.

  43. kburt8

    It seems like Butler wants the money/years more than anything and that whatever team trades for him will have a significant advantage in keeping him. This might be the time for the Spurs or Blazers to gamble with a Butler for Derozan or McCollum (straight up/minimal filler) deal if MN will bite.

  44. Hubert

    Like I said in another thread, Horford is a horrendous rebounder and yet he plays huge minutes on the best defensive team in the league. Andre Drummond is an amazing rebounder yet by DRPM he is the 33rd ranked center in the league and the Pistons were terrible defensively with him until SVG showed up (and even then they’ve just been just above average). Draymond Green isn’t a great rebounder (TRB of ~13ish) yet the death lineup changed the league.

    Every example cited of a team overcoming a mediocre or poor rebounding big (Dirk, Green, Horford) has the same commonality: a stacked roster full of players earning less than their value. We’re trying to do the same trick by paying players MORE than their value! It ain’t gonna work.

    I mean, yes, we can overcome Porzingis’ poor rebounding if we have 4-5 all stars on the team like Dallas, Golden State, and Boston to. But we’re very unlikely to do that if we’re overpaying him in the first place. It’s a bad bet.

    And tying his into the Butler discussion, this is why I think we need to tank for Zion more than anything. There’s a chance he’s the evolutionary Barkley and a vaccuum on the boards. In that case, yes, we can overcome this problem.

    But these are very low probability outcomes. The right thing to do is pay the guy according to his production instead of the press clippings.

  45. swiftandabundant

    We’re trying to do the same trick by paying players MORE than their value! It ain’t gonna work.

    Except that we aren’t. All of this is speculation right now. I get that we all have PSTD from Noah, Curry, Melo, etc. But it does get annoying when fans bash the franchise for possible trades that they haven’t even made any indication of wanting to do.

    I remember the Melodrama (part 1) very well. And there was so much lead up to it. The Knicks made it pretty clear that they wanted Melo and Melo made it pretty clear he wanted The Knicks.

    Sure, Butler has listed the Knicks as one of his choices. Sure, the Knicks hope to be players in next summer’s free agency. But the front office hasn’t really given any indication they want Butler. Again, I know we all are trained now to assume the worst but there really isn’t much to go on that leads anyone to think the Knicks want to go after Butler.

  46. swiftandabundant

    @ 47 – oh I see you’re actually talking about Zinger, not Butler. My bad!

    I would argue that every one of those good teams has at least one or two players who is overpaid vs. their production. I mean, Iggy is good but is he worth his contract at this point in his career?

    Dirk absolutely was paid at max player level in 2010. They had Chandler for super cheap that year bc he was considered damaged goods from his time in New Orleans and Charlotte. Remember one of those teams tried to trade him to OKC and then OKC went back on the trade bc of his ankle or knee injury or something like that. And I believe Chandler was making the vet minimum or just a little more that year. But they had other guys who were getting paid more than their worth (but who were still integral to their winning it all).

  47. Hubert

    Except that we aren’t. All of this is speculation right now. I get that we all have PSTD from Noah, Curry, Melo, etc. But it does get annoying when fans bash the franchise for possible trades that they haven’t even made any indication of wanting to do.

    If we have Porzingis making 25% of the cap along with Hardaway at $18 million, then yes, we’re trying to do the same trick by paying players MORE than their value. I’m imagining any far off, unlikely scenarios.

  48. Owen

    He’s married! ;-)

    Acquiring Jimmy Butler would be super dumb. I am sympathetic to the “he’d be fun to watch play argument” because he is an awesome, cool player who is basically what the NBA is all about. But any discussion of acquiring a player other than Anthony Davis, Giannis, or that type of guy is just silly at this point. If the guy in question is 30+ it’s insane unless it’s KD.

    Porzingis is such a tough player to evaluate. I am skeptical and optimistic in equal measure. I think everyone agrees he’ll be overpaid on a max deal because of injury risk and rebounding, but he legitimately is a high impact defender who has a very reasonable path to becoming a big positive on offense. I just wish we could get him on a reasonable deal – that would be a good risk – but it’s never going to happen.

  49. Frank

    I just wish we could get him on a reasonable deal – that would be a good risk – but it’s never going to happen.

    He has contemporaries that have taken less than the max. Gobert (4 years 102 MM) and Giannis (4 years 100MM) both took a little less than the max in the last two offseasons. He says he’s all about winning, so now it’s time to show it. His salary could be about $27MM starting in 2019 — if he just took no or smaller raises that would be of significant help.

    I’m much higher on KP than Hubert. We’ve literally had the dumbest coaches in the league for his entire career, have never given him an actual PG to play with, and have paired him with truly horrible defenders. His injury risk is a real thing of course, but put him in an offensive system like the Latvian national team did (or Don Nelson did for Dirk) and his offensive ceiling is really quite high. He’s not the shooter that Dirk is/was, but 39+% from 3 and 80% from the line is still pretty freaking amazing.

  50. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Iggy is the kind of player you overpay when you’re already capped out and need a guy to improve your MOV by ~0.5 to edge out the league’s best teams.

    Butler is a legit star who’s pretty old for a supermax contract handed out by a lottery team, and who also has the mentality of a guy who wants to be the #1 guy on a championship team.

    Carmelo had the same mentality, but he didn’t realize he was the cause of the Knicks’ struggles. Butler would come to the Knicks and be really goddamn pissed off about being a 7-seed with a round 1 sweep as your likely outcome.

    The question is what you want from the next four years. Do you want to see fun basketball with a vaguely competitive spirit? Trade for Butler. Are you a person who thinks that the only measure of success is ringz? Don’t trade for Butler.

  51. ptmilo

    Every example cited of a team overcoming a mediocre or poor rebounding big (Dirk, Green, Horford) has the same commonality: a stacked roster full of players earning less than their value.

    this is such a content free sentence. “Overcoming” in this context means being a contending team. And most contending teams have stacked rosters and undervalued players. If you look at contending teams with point guards overcoming not having freckles they also all have stacked rosters and great values. Rasheed Wallace was a mediocre rebounder who played on many excellent teams, and for several of them he made equal to or well more than the 25pct KP would get. So did Marc Gasol. I don’t know if KP will ever generate 25pct worth of value but I am damn sure he might do it even without a big jump in his rebounding. The interesting question last year may have been “what offer is good enough to trade KP.” But now there’s only one really interesting question. If you have a binary choice between 25pct or losing him for nothing what do you want to do.

    and yes the injury throws this all to hell but for conversation’s sake the best imposed assumption is you get to see him play over 600 minutes looking like he did last year, both good and bad.

    If it’s me I’m at the little table pen in hand.

  52. Brian Cronin Post author

    He has contemporaries that have taken less than the max. Gobert (4 years 102 MM) and Giannis (4 years 100MM) both took a little less than the max in the last two offseasons. He says he’s all about winning, so now it’s time to show it. His salary could be about $27MM starting in 2019 — if he just took no or smaller raises that would be of significant help.

    But isn’t that really Hubert’s whole argument in a nutshell? That the Knicks should not be giving Porzingis the largest possible contract that they can give him? While they almost assuredly will, in fact, be giving him the largest possible contract that they can give him? For instance, if you believe your point above, would you then think that it would be a bad move to do what the Knicks clearly seem poised to do, which is to give Porzingis the largest possible contract that they can give him?

  53. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Strictly speaking you shouldn’t give any player the largest contract you can give him if you can avoid it. Like Milo said, the choice is fairly close to binary–give KP 25% (or at a nominal discount), or watch him walk (with a small chance of trading him for subpar value–and I don’t think this FO would ever open that can of worms). I’d comfortably give KP 25% in most of the likely scenarios.

  54. Frank

    But isn’t that really Hubert’s whole argument in a nutshell? That the Knicks should not be giving Porzingis the largest possible contract that they can give him? While they almost assuredly will, in fact, be giving him the largest possible contract that they can give him? For instance, if you believe your point above, would you then think that it would be a bad move to do what the Knicks clearly seem poised to do, which is to give Porzingis the largest possible contract that they can give him?

    If I were GM, I’d probably say to KP exactly what Bob Myers said about KD – that he can have whatever contract he wants. Then I’d go about trying to convince him to want the contract I want him to have. But if he doesn’t want that contract, then yes, I’d max him out (and try to get some nonguarantees due to injuries etc). He’s on his 2nd contract and by and large those are not the truly crippling contracts (excepting injury of course) – it’s the 3rd contract where you really run into issues.

  55. Hubert

    I just wish we could get him on a reasonable deal – that would be a good risk – but it’s never going to happen.

    I’m just having one of those moments where I want Knicks management to be the ones who say “wait, just because it’s almost always done this way doesn’t mean we have to do something that’s obviously dumb and unnecessary.” Golden State obviously made that choice, and it propelled them to a dynasty. San Antonio didn’t give max contracts to players just because they were top 50. And I’m willing to bet Danny Ainge isn’t going to start blindly throwing max contracts at every good player on his roster, either. So it can be done. I want us to do it.

  56. Frank

    Golden State has obviously done an amazing job, but it all started out with Curry being repeatedly injured right when he was due for his 2nd contract. I guess KP technically falls in the same category. The Knicks could’ve tried to lowball him like GS did with Curry, but the relationship with KP is/was tenuous, although it seems like everyone is happy now.

  57. Hubert

    ptmilo there were two parts to my argument.

    The first was that Porzingis, flatly, is not a max player. I didn’t say he wasn’t a max player because he can’t rebound. He’s not a max player because his offensive game is based on inefficient volume shooting, because he’s always has trouble staying on the court, and because he’s coming off an ACL injury.

    The counter was that he’s an elite defensive player.

    I countered that by pointing out he’s only an elite rim-protector and it’s important not to overlook the defensive impact of his poor rebounding skills.

    The counter to that has been you can overcome a poor rebounder. But all the examples cited have been examples we’re extremely unlikely to be able to copy with KP making 25% of the cap in addition to our overpaid shooting guard. So it’s kind of pointless to say the Mavericks could do it when a) KP isn’t Dirk, and b) we don’t have Kidd, Marion, and Chandler and we’re not likely going to be able to acquire players of that ilk.

  58. Hubert

    Rasheed Wallace was a mediocre rebounder who played on many excellent teams, and for several of them he made equal to or well more than the 25pct KP would get.

    I think we’re past the point in the NBA where you can pick up a designated rebounder cheaply like Rasheed had with Ben Wallace on Detroit and Dale Davis on Portland, and they can make up for players who can’t rebound.

  59. Hubert

    I guess KP technically falls in the same category. The Knicks could’ve tried to lowball him like GS did with Curry,

    I would say he overwhelmingly falls in the same category. And I don’t think Curry got low-balled. He was pretty happy with the contract. He outperformed it. He eventually got paid what he’s worth.

    There’s no way 5 years, $125 million is low balling Kristaps Porzingis coming off ACL surgery.

  60. ptmilo

    For instance, if you believe your point above, would you then think that it would be a bad move to do what the Knicks clearly seem poised to do, which is to give Porzingis the largest possible contract that they can give him?

    it’s the largest contract they can possibly give him and also the only contract they can possibly give him, because if he comes back seeming healthy, someone else will give it to him. this is Carmax not auto nation. Suggesting we should sign him for a discount (other than a fake Carmelo type discount) is suggesting nothing at all. We pay or we don’t. admittedly, there is a small sign and trade possibility, but that’s a longshot.

  61. ptmilo

    I think we’re past the point in the NBA where you can pick up a designated rebounder cheaply like Rasheed had with Ben Wallace on Detroit and Dale Davis on Portland, and they can make up for players who can’t rebound.

    ignoring ben Wallace who is not a designated rebounder but maybe a top five all time nba defender, this is really not the case. rebounders are cheaper than they have ever been. KOQ, who was a lot like Dale Davis but can pass, was virtually free. Julius Randle cost just a tick more than Hezonja. Guys like Ed Davis Amir Johnson Marcin Gortat and Dwight Howard were probably sending audition tapes to TNT just in case. It’s the exact opposite now.

  62. Ben R

    The counter was that he’s an elite defensive player.

    I countered that by pointing out he’s only an elite rim-protector and it’s important not to overlook the defensive impact of his poor rebounding skills.

    The problem is your counter is wrong. KP was an elite defensive player last year and he had a positive impact on the Knicks defensive rebounding. People get blinded by individual rebounding stats which have almost no impact on team win percentage. Team rebounding does have a positive impact on winning and KP has been a positive force in that regard for the Knicks. In fact last year KP had a bigger positive impact on defensive rebounding than either Kanter or O’Quinn.

    Team DRB%:
    KP On 77.6%
    KP off 76.1%

    Kanter On 77.2%
    Kanter off 76.3%

    O’Quinn On 76.3%
    O’Quinn off 77.0%

    Add to that that the Knicks with KP on the court allowed teams to shoot 50.5% efg% equivalent to 6th in the league and allowed 53.3% efg% with KP off the court equivalent to 24th in the league. Every statistical measure shows that KP had a monumental impact on the Knicks defensively last year. They were above average when he played and worst in the NBA when he didn’t.

    With that said, of course, I want a deal on his contract and his injury probably means we should get one but let’s stop with the KP isn’t elite defensively argument.

    As for Butler, I say pass. If it’s THJ and some small asset for Butler then it’s okay but honestly, I’d rather just go with this team and hopefully get lucky in the lottery and hit free agency next summer.

  63. lavor postell

    Yeah, maybe if we “pay and hope” that Porzingis becomes Dirk Nowitzki, we might be able to win a championship with him making 25% of the cap. That’s not a bet any reasonable GM would make. Definitely not the ones you mentioned yesterday. That’s a Minnesota with Andrew Wiggins move.

    I think plenty of “reasonable GMs” would make this move.

    Comparing KP to Wiggins is downright foolish.

  64. alsep73

    Mills and Perry keep saying all the right things regarding a trade for Butler or anyone like him. At the season opening press conference, they stuck to the script from that town hall the other night.

    Doesn’t mean they won’t suddenly trade Frank and an unprotected first for Butler, but they’d have a whole lot of explaining to do if they did.

  65. Ingmarrrr

    a designated rebounder cheaply like Rasheed had with Ben Wallace

    ptmilo beat me to it but I had to respond, Ben Wallace was the best player on a team that came one win from two consecutive championships. He was a huge star, not some designated cheaply crap.

  66. Brian Cronin Post author

    Mills and Perry keep saying all the right things regarding a trade for Butler or anyone like him. At the season opening press conference, they stuck to the script from that town hall the other night.

    Doesn’t mean they won’t suddenly trade Frank and an unprotected first for Butler, but they’d have a whole lot of explaining to do if they did.

    Yeah, that’s precisely why I think that this really will be a case where they legitimately will follow what they said they were going to do. They continue to be very consistent about their plans.

  67. DRed

    Per 36 Kristaps averages about .5 rebounds fewer than Draymond, another guy who plays a lot of forward and sometimes at center. Kristaps is a below average rebounder, but not by all that much. I think his defensive shortcomings are exacerbated by the teams he’s played with. His offense is the problem-he can’t or doesn’t pass, and he cannot initiate offense for himself. Look at his tracking shot stats at nba.com. The longer he holds the ball, the more he dribbles the worse his shot gets. Kristaps should just finish offensive moves. If you need someone to take a shot against a set defense give it to Trey Burke, or maybe one of the new guys.

  68. Hubert

    In fact last year KP had a bigger positive impact on defensive rebounding than either Kanter or O’Quinn.

    Team DRB%:
    KP On 77.6%
    KP off 76.1%

    Kanter On 77.2%
    Kanter off 76.3%

    O’Quinn On 76.3%
    O’Quinn off 77.0%

    Show me the Knicks’ DRB% with Porzingis playing without Kanter or O’Quinn. That’s how you measure the impact of playing him at Center, where he should ideally be to optimize his skill set.

  69. Hubert

    Comparing KP to Wiggins is downright foolish.

    I said he’s closer to Wiggins than a real max player. Take a look at TS%, vorp, WS, anything you want. You’ll see KP is a lot closer to Wiggins than Embiid.

    I also said paying someone for what you hope he’ll be instead of what he is is a Wiggins kind of mistake.

    If you think either of those statements is foolish, go ahead. But I didn’t say he’s as bad as Andrew Wiggins.

  70. Hubert

    Show me the Knicks’ DRB% with Porzingis playing without Kanter or O’Quinn. That’s how you measure the impact of playing him at Center, where he should ideally be to optimize his skill set.

    ^ That’s step 1.

    Step 2 is to look at our offensive and defensive output with KP and one of those guys compared to league average and compared to lineups with just KP. That’s how you measure the impact of having to compensate for his poor rebounding.

  71. Frank

    Show me the Knicks’ DRB% with Porzingis playing without Kanter or O’Quinn. That’s how you measure the impact of playing him at Center, where he should ideally be to optimize his skill set.

    This is exactly why you’re wrong Hubert.
    You’re fixated on rebounding when it’s only 1 of the 4 factors.
    Per cleaningtheglass – the Knicks had a 94th percentile defense (DRTg 101.8) with KP on the court and Kanter/KOQ off. The reason they were so good? Because teams can’t freaking score on KP when he’s guarding the cup. The Knicks gave up an eFG of 44% (99th percentile) with KP playing center. The Knicks were flat awful at rebounding (10th percentile in ORB-against) and even worse at FTR-allowed (1st percentile and not in a good way), but add that all up and an eFG of 44% still leads to a 94th percentile defense.

    The difference between the best rebounding team in the league (PHI TRB% 52.9%) and the worst (Dallas at 47.4%) is only about 5.5% of available rebounds. There are roughly 90 rebounds available per game so that means the very worst team will be outrebounded by 5 boards per night. Not every “Extra” rebound will lead to a shot, and not every shot will go in. Let’s just say for argument’s sake 5 extra rebounds leads to 4 extra shots and that leads to 5 extra points per 48 minutes. And that’s comparing the BEST team to the WORST team. The Knicks weren’t the worst rebounding team with KP (10th percentile).

    The average eFG in the league was (visually) about 52% (PPP ~ 1.04). the best was GS at 56.9 and the worst was PHX at 49.5. Last year — the Knicks with KP at center (without Kanter/KOQ) kept the opposition to an eFG of 44% (0.88 PPP). In each 48 minutes there are nearly 100 possessions, so if KP were theoretically able to play all 48 minutes it would be a difference of 16 points per 48 minutes between a KP-led eFG-against and an average offense.

    Rebounding is only 1 of the 4 factors.

  72. ClashFan

    Stay the course. A thousand points of light.

    As the new coach said, don’t be distracted by shiny things.

  73. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

    It’s like Bruno said, Porzingis’ perceived value is disproportionately attributed to hype, narrative, and the Knicks’ desperation for a savior. If you can’t ignore those factors when valuing a player, you’re not a good NBA GM.

    I am disagreeing with the view that he’s all hype. I love stats, but I think boxscore models do a bad job of valuing players certain players. He’s one of them. They don’t capture the value of his rim protection and help defense or the value of his spacing the floor.

    He’s a long athletic 7’3″ big man that can shoot 3s at close to 40% clip, stretch the floor beyond the 3 point line, create his own shot, score off the dribble, and is athletic enough to go up and score off offensive rebounds and lob passes. He’s even slowly learning to post up a little even though he’s weak.

    He’s one of the few players in the NBA that can change a game on either end of the floor.

    He has flaws in that he’s physically weak, injury prone, his shot selection is poor at times, and he doesn’t rebound a lot. But the gap between where he is now and becoming an elite scorer is not that far or difficult. The results are understating the skill. With a better PG, better coaching, a little more knowledge, and a better team around him he’s going to a be force on offense and defense. He’s a bit of a project that has been used poorly so far.

    We’ll do fine rebounding even though he’ll be more of a stretch PF or C and may never have the strength to bang with the biggest guys. If he’s outside more than the typical big because that’s where his value is, someone else will be inside.

    I think we have only one worry and that’s his health and tendency to get hurt. Other than that, you pay the man, watch him develop, and worry about building a cohesive team as you move along. We are going to be having the same debate about Knox soon after his rookie TS% of 51% and all his flaws are exposed.

  74. Jack Bauer

    I don’t think the Knicks should or will go after and trade for Jimmy Butler.
    But, I’ve resigned myself to the possibility that they will go into “win now” mode again and do something ill advised. If so, ending up with a roster featuring Jimmy Butler, Kyrie, KP, Frank, and Burke wouldn’t be the worst outcome we’ve seen in NY (they are not getting KD or Kawhi). I don’t think they should go that route, but if they did it would at least be competitive and fun to watch for a change and I don’t think I’d immediately want to throw up.

  75. Will the Thrill

    That’s how you measure the impact of playing him at Center, where he should ideally be to optimize his skill set.

    I mean, I guess…if you assume that the only way he can become a max player is if he becomes a Center. If he never puts on the weight needed to become a Center, and therefore never becomes a great rebounder, is it really so bad to play him at PF alongside a good rebounding/defending C? He played a lot of PF last year, and was still the most important part of our defense every night. Plus, this was despite being dragged out to the 3 point line from time to time. He still blocked the most shots in the league up to his injury, and was the most successful player at preventing baskets at the room (on a large number of contests). I agree that his optimal position is Center, but I think if he improves his offensive efficiency, he still has the ability to be a max player playing Power Forward.

  76. Will the Thrill

    KP’s health is my biggest concern by far. Second, his scoring efficiency. I think that slightly below average rebounding for a position is much easier to overcome by playing other plus rebounders.

  77. Brian Cronin Post author

    By the way, you have to love “This guy is writing an article about us, so we’re probably going to come off as dicks in it. Let’s show him by being dicks to him! That makes sense, right?”

  78. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    I guess that’s not actionable, but I feel like it ought to be. Rules around social media aren’t anywhere near appropriate yet.

    As for Butler, if you can ditch THjr and Lee without giving up anything but a 2nd, you do it. Then you trade Kanter, as Bob suggests, and keep Butler’s minutes under 30 a game losing a ton of games with MRob and Kornet as your centers. Then you draft Zion, sign Buter to a max, sign Kyrie, and go forward with Kyrie, Butler, Zion, Knox, and KP, with Burke, Frank, MRob, and filler. That team gets to the EC finals, I think.

    Then Butler and Kyrie break down, and our window closes. But for a year or two it would be pretty good, and that would be a welcome change.

  79. Brian Cronin Post author

    Oh sure, I’d be down with them getting Butler with only giving up their terrible contracts, too. Sadly, even though Thibs sucks big time as a GM, even he would insist on a first rounder.

    Not to mention that Los Angeles has Harris (who is actually good) and a draft pick that they are willing to trade.

  80. lavor postell

    I said he’s closer to Wiggins than a real max player. Take a look at TS%, vorp, WS, anything you want. You’ll see KP is a lot closer to Wiggins than Embiid.

    I also said paying someone for what you hope he’ll be instead of what he is is a Wiggins kind of mistake.

    If you think either of those statements is foolish, go ahead. But I didn’t say he’s as bad as Andrew Wiggins.

    He’s closer to a max player than Andrew Wiggins and if you asked 30 NBA teams I’m extremely confident that’s the answer you’d get from the vast majority of them.

    Paying someone for what they can be is what you have to do when you’re drafting guys at age 18/19 and they come up for their 2nd contracts at age 22/23. You look at the components of his game and make a determination based on age, trajectory, off court preparation, health and positional value. A 7’3″ big who grades out as the premier rim protector in the league, showed an improved post game last year and damn near shot a 40% clip on 228 attempts last season is a player a number of teams would risk maxing out and not lose much sleep over so long as he gets through next season without any serious injury and looks like the player he was prior to being hurt.

    For the record think the Knicks should give him a max but put protections in it similar to how Philly did with Embiid or they should be able to get him to give some money up if he wants the 5 years fully guaranteed. That would be the smart way to do things and failing to do so would be a failure on Perry and Mills’ part. Where I am disagreeing with you is the idea that KP is far far away from being a max caliber player and that no team with a “smart” GM would give him a max.

  81. d-mar

    It’s pretty funny – every time a star player becomes available, our usual response is “he’s great and all, but I’d only do a deal where we only have to give up garbage”

    And of course, it never happens because there’s always another team who offers more than our garbage.

    You can all rest easy, we’re not getting Jimmy Butler.

  82. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

    Come on, you must know this is twisted logic. We’re talking about a center who can’t rebound, not a center who can’t hit an outside shot.

    If your argument starts with the assumption that he Is a center, then youbautomatically bias yourself against him. The main argument he is a center seems to be his height. By that logic, Magic JoHnson was a forward. I agree that if he is wa power forward, then the Knicks need a rebounding center to go with him. But that isn’t so hard to d, and do far the Knicks have done itevery season.

  83. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    And of course, it never happens because there’s always another team who offers more than our garbage.

    I’m trying really hard to think of a single clear Knicks trade win.

  84. Brian Cronin Post author

    I think you’d have to go all the way to before the days of Dolan, to the brilliant Camby for Oakley trade. But don’t worry, as soon as Dolan was in charge, his GM traded Camby and the #9 pick for an injured Antonio McDyess.

  85. Brian Cronin Post author

    Wait, I take it back. There were a few unabashedly good trades during the Dolan years:

    1. Layden traded Sprewell for Keith Van Horn.
    2. Isiah traded Van Horn for Tim Thomas and Nazr Mohammed
    3. Isiah then flipped Mohammed for Malik Rose and two first round picks, one of which became the illustrious Mardy Collins, but the other one became David Lee
    4. Huh, do you count Tyson Chandler as a trade? I say no, but technically it was done as a sign and trade.
    5. Phil traded two second round picks for Willy.
    6. Phil got two second round picks for Prigs.
    7. Perry and Mills did well in the Melo trade to OKC

  86. Bruno Almeida

    I mean, the Knicks probably won the Carmelo Anthony trade… to OKC.

    Bringing Chandler was also technically a winning trade, as it ended up being a sign and trade that sent a 2nd rounder, Turiaf and Rautins away.

    But yeah, I guess that’s all, I can’t remember anything else. I guess I would count turning THJ into a first rounder a winning trade too, if we hadn’t given up on the dude we picked in like 2 years and then re-signed Hardaway, and maybe the trade that brought Willy if we hadn’t given up on him too for no reason, so there’s not a lot to go with.

  87. Brian Cronin Post author

    If I recall correctly, they had a deal all set with Turiaf and a second rounder with Washington to clear Turiaf’s cap space to fit Chandler under the cap and Dallas ultimately agreed to do a sign and trade where they would get a trade exception out of the deal, at least (and Rautins). In other words, the Turiaf and the second rounder were already gone and the Knicks were set to sign Chandler and then the Mavericks got involved, so I don’t really count that as a trade.

    If they had negotiated it as a sign and trade from the beginning, that’s a whole other thing.

  88. Donnie Walsh

    None of those trades in #95 were “clear wins”.

    The only clear win trade they’ve made in the last 20 years was Oakley for Camby.

    Before that it was Cartwright for Oakley.

    The track record is horrible.

    (But I’m still down with rolling the dice on Jimmy Butler, historical precedent and all…)

  89. thenoblefacehumper

    It doesn’t have the consequence of the others, but it’s hard to view Melo for Mitch Rob as anything but a clear win.

  90. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    The comments on the Silverman twitter account make me sad about humanity.

    Also, they make me want to beat the ever living crap out of most of them. As if that would help. But it would make me feel better.

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