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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.02.11)

  • [New York Daily News] Lawrence: Woodson treks on in uncertainty, the way Knicks do business (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:39:17 GMT)
    There is one spot where Mike Woodson could land, once he’s shown the door at Madison Square Garden. Woodson could end up on Larry Brown’s bench, down in Dallas at SMU. And he can take a seat right next to another former NBA head coach and Brown loyalist, Maurice Cheeks.    

  • [New York Daily News] Woodson focused on playoffs, not job security (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:24:19 GMT)
    Mike Woodson reiterated Monday that he still expects to be the coach of the Knicks when they reconvene after this weekend’s All-Star break.    

  • [ESPN.com - New York Knicks] Opening Tip: Must win vs. Kings? (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 06:00:10 EDT)
    NEW YORK — On the surface, Wednesday night’s Kings-Knicks game doesn’t look like much is at stake for either team. The Knicks are 20-31, and the Kings are struggling at 17-34. But make no mistake, Wednesday’s game is critical for the Knicks. They’ve lost three of their past four games. With Mike Woodson’s job possibly hanging in the balance, the Knicks desperately could use a win to go into the All-Star break with some good vibes.

  • [New York Times] Speights, Warriors Hand 76ers Another Rout, 123-80 (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 07:02:23 GMT)
    By the time reporters were allowed in the visiting locker room at Oracle Arena late Monday night, most of the Philadelphia 76ers already had cleared out.    

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Pistons Give Interim Coach Win in Debut, Topping Spurs (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:28:34 GMT)
    John Loyer took over for Maurice Cheeks, who was fired after just 50 games as Detroit’s coach.    

  • [New York Times] Pacers Roll Past Short-Handed Nuggets 119-80 (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:17:02 GMT)
    All David West wanted to do Monday night was get his team playing the right way.    

  • [New York Times] Pistons Beat Spurs 109-100 in Loyer’s Debut (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:11:27 GMT)
    With interim coach John Loyer hoarsely shouting instructions, Brandon Jennings and the Detroit Pistons ran away from the San Antonio Spurs in the third quarter.    

  • [New York Times] Howard Leads Rockets Past Timberwolves 107-89 (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:55:58 GMT)
    Dwight Howard had 18 points and 15 rebounds, and the surging Houston Rockets used a fourth-quarter push to hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves 107-89 Monday night for their sixth consecutive victory.    

  • [New York Times] Green Leads Celtics Past Bucks 102-86 (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:47:41 GMT)
    Jeff Green scored 29 points and Kelly Olynyk added 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Boston Celtics pulled away from the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth quarter of a 102-86 victory Monday night.    

  • [New York Times] Lowry Scores 19 as Raptors Beat Pelicans 108-101 (Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:08:17 GMT)
    Kyle Lowry had 19 points and 12 assists, Patrick Patterson scored a season-high 22 and the Toronto Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans 108-101 on Monday night.    

  • 106 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.02.11)

    1. Totes McGoats

      Yaayyyy me!! Who has 2 thumbs an turned thirty somethin I meant twenty somethin today? THIS GUY!! Err and uhh probably a whole buncha other people the world over lol. ALL I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY IS A BIG BOOTY HO(2 Chainz voice lol I REALLY don’t like that dude as an ‘artist’- turrible)!! And a Knicks win streak of 5 or better and a coach who is not afraid to use every asset available to him whether it’s Woodson or anybody else. It’s time to inject a different energy into this team, they look lifeless too often. A heavier dose of the youngins and MWP should do the trick. How do u NOT play MWP right now since he’s back and Kmart is out? He’s our 2014 Anthony Mason let the dude contribute! Sure it might take a few games to get back in the swing but let him play! Free World Peace

    2. d-mar

      The 2 losses that will come back to haunt us (either causing us to miss the playoffs entirely, or an outside chance at the #6 seed) were the losses to Philly at home in January and to the Bucks recently in Milwaukee. Since our loss to Philly, they’ve lost 10 of 11, including recent demolitions by 45 and 43 points. So the win over us was obviously a turning point for their season.

      The Bucks, meanwhile, have 1 win in their last 10 games, over guess who?

      I know that we’re not a good team either, but those 2 losses to 2 obvious tankers were a complete disgrace.

    3. johnno

      And, in other news, Marcus Camby is actively planning his comeback from plantar fasciatis surgery. It must be really cool to be in a position in which you can continue to get people to pay you millions of dollars for years after you can actually contribute something to the organization.

    4. lavor postell

      I would also want Gibson in this trade which would require the Knicks matching salary. At the very least the Knicks would need more than one first round pick, butler and snell for melo. I’d like to get mirotic and the bulls 2016 pick as well.

    5. Hubert

      Thoughts?

      Fucking fuck no. I seriously could not put more fucks in that sentence. Infinity fucks no.

      If you didn’t open the link, it’s basically:

      We Butler for Shump (which is a wonderful). And we get to swap Felton’s deal for Heinrich’s expiring (very nice).

      And for those two benefits, the cost is Carmelo Anthony and taking back Carlos Boozer’s hideous contract.

      And “likely” we get a pick.

      Go fuck yourself, Guy Who Started That Rumor.

    6. johnno

      @4 — So, in return for Melo and Shumpert, the Knicks would get a guy whom the Bulls have been thinking of amnestying for three years (Boozer), another Shumpert (Butler — I know a lot of people think that he is great but have you checked out his numbers this year? He might be the only starting two guard in the league who has shot worse than Shumpert — 37% overall and 26% from 3 while playing 36 minutes a game), another lousy old point guard who might be even slower than Felton and has managed the amazing feat this year of putting up a single digit PER (Hinrich — by the way, not one of the Knicks’ current crop of lousy guards has managed a PER that low this year), a worse version of Hardaway (Snell ) and a late first round pick. Forgive me if news of this trade would not motivate me to rush out and buy season tickets.

    7. Hubert

      FWIW, I love Jimmy Butler. He is an excellent player.

      But I wonder, if Shumpert was drafted by the Bulls and developed by Thibodeu, and Butler was drafted by the Knicks and subjected to Woodson, who would be better today?

      Just your basic nature vs nurture topic.

      You like Butler’s size more. But I still think Shump could have been special if we weren’t a pathetic organization from the owner to the entire coaching staff. I like hypothetical Shump coached by Thibs the best.

    8. Hubert

      Don’t bother reading my post at 7. Hubert’s post at 6 put it much better than I did…

      Thanks. I’ve been told I am adept at pissing all over things.

    9. Zanzibar

      No interest in taking on Gibson’s 4yr/32m deal. I would go for Butler and 2 1st round picks. I’d offer Raptors the following in exchange for Lowry: Bulls 2016 pick/our 2018 pick not protected/3m/JR. We’ve unloaded Felton and JR’s contracts, would be competitive next season and also be set up well cap-wise for 2015. Not so bad to contemplate 2015 Knicks and either Van Gundy as coach: Lowry/Butler/Shump/THJ/Millsap/M. Gasol/Tyler/2014 pick/2015 pick. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lnev7dv

    10. ptmilo

      @4 — Butler’s had a bad shooting year but I would be happy to get him among the reasonable things you might land for a half year of Melo plus the implicit option to resign him. He is a valuable young player who can really defend and even gets to the line a bit. Some people like Snell and Thibs is giving him rookie minutes, but I don’t see it at all. He is a better shooter than he’s shown but I don’t think he is even an average NBA defender long term. He looks like should be, but so does Amare. And he has an eye level ceiling as a playmaker. A big step down from Shumpert who is still a really valuable defender when not guarding Kevin Durant. I don’t think you make this trade down and take $17m of 14-15 Boozer as part of this deal. A Chicago 1 in 2016 with Rose, Melo, Noah, Gibson, and Shump is almost a high 2nd. If you can do it without Shump and Snell and can get an unprotected 2018 pick instead, then it works for me. Plus, it would be fun knowing that Dolan was paying $52 million in 14-15 to the three worst defensive forwards in the NBA. And it would make it impossible for him to add a 4th in Greg Monroe.

    11. ephus

      I’d rather let Carmelo walk and send Chandler out for an expiring contract and a low #1 then make that trade to Chicago.

    12. lavor postell

      The trade should be Gibson,hinrich, snell, butler mirotic and 2014 and 2016 first rounders for melo shump Felton. If they want to lose boozer we can exchange bargnani. They don’t have leverage because they need to trade for melo to acquire him at this point unless they trade Gibson for expirings which would make them a less attractive destination.

    13. Hubert

      I’d rather let Carmelo walk and send Chandler out for an expiring contract and a low #1 then make that trade to Chicago.

      Right?

      That rumor is the new worst case scenario. Even worse than signing Melo to a supermax, IMHO (though I understand why someone would disagree).

    14. JK47

      On the one hand, you don’t want to let Melo walk and get nothing in return.

      On the other hand, where does that trade leave NYK? What the hell kind of team has Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer AND Andrea Bargnani on it? Why do you want Tony Snell when you have JR Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr.?

      Chicago has no outgoing draft picks and a bunch incoming, so I would think the Knicks would have to get at least two first rounders in this deal for it to be plausible. I’d have my eyes on the pick the Bulls got from the Bobcats, protected 1-10 this year, 1-8 next year then unprotected in 2016. The Charlotte pick plus the Bulls’ own first rounder this year and maybe we’re talking.

    15. johnno

      I’m not sure that Melo would be so confident that he has a chance to win a championship in Chicago. He would be essentially betting on Derrick Rose’s health. By the start of next year, Rose would have essentially sat out two straight entire seasons and had two major knee injuries. Who is to say that he comes back as Derrick Rose (especially since he was not exactly setting the world on fire when he played this year, after missing 18 months) and not Late-in-Their-Career Penny Hardaway/Tracy McGrady?

    16. lavor postell

      You might be able to pull in a third team and maybe move snell and shump along with a potential 2016 bulls pick for Lowry. Lowry butler thj Tyler mirotic 2014 bulls pick and our 2015 pick could be a nice core with a ton of cap space available in 2015.

    17. Hubert

      If it’s me giving them Melo, and we’re stuck taking Boozer back (and we’d have to be), the foundation begins with them giving us Bynum’s expiring for JR (salaries match perfectly), and Heinrich’s expiring for Felton (salaries also match).

      Then we figure out how to make up the difference in value with them including assets from the group of Butler, Mirotic, Snell, and future picks.

      If it were the Knicks, we’d give up Butler, Mirotic, Snell, and all our future picks. I would expect the Bulls to be able to negotiate giving us much less.

      But fuck giving them Shump while we’re stuck with JR. They don’t get to make this trade unless they relieve us of JR & Felton. That’s just the fucking cost. Like Chauncey Billups was for us.

    18. iserp

      I don’t want Lowry if we are rebuilding.

      If we are going to trade Melo, i’d rather be talking directly to Phoenix, at least we would get young players and expirings in return. Personally i would play out the season and then offer 90-100 million/5 years to Melo, and then try to get Marc Gasol and Rondo (or some other PG) in 2015 (and if Melo walks, start rebuilding for a few years)

    19. DRed

      That trade isn’t terrible. Trading Carmelo means we’re blowing it the fuck up. Yeah, Boozer’s contract is ridiculous, but it expires the same time our other ridiculous contracts do. We’re going to suck next year-barring a miracle-so IF we trade Melo I’d want young talent/draft picks and no contracts running longer than next season. The proposed Bills trade ticks those boxes. But I’d want to know why Jimmy Butler forgot how to shoot this year.

    20. thenamestsam

      Yeah, that trade “rumor” sounds like one dreamed up by a delusional Bulls fan. It’s the same type of trade you read on message boards everywhere – “If we give up a hodge podge of our miscellaneous crap do you think we can get one stud in return?”
      I think there’s the framework of something not insane there though if the Knicks get the rights to Mirotic (by all accounts a very good prospect), a definite 1st rounder, and say the rights to swap a 2nd 1st rounder or something like that. Boozer’s contract is gross, but it isn’t such an imposition on us anyway since in the dump Melo scenario next year is a transition year anyway as we wait for our cap to clear entirely and then Boozer’s departure lines us up for a 2015 spending spree. We get out from under Felton’s awful contract (again helps the 2015 spending spree), turn Shump into Butler, get two nice young assets in Mirotic and a 1st (a 1st that everyone would say is going to be very late but could turn out decent if Rose gets hurt again), plus the pick swap and we avoid the potential Sophie’s choice between keeping Melo at the max and letting him walk for nothing.

      I think I really like that trade from a Knicks perspective which means I may have unbalanced it the other direction. Maybe take out the pick swap or the Shumpert-Butler component (works either way) to get it back more to even. Plus we’ll throw them a 2018 1st rounder, because that’s just how we do.

    21. KnickfaninNJ

      I think Carmelo is as valuable or more as Pierce and Garnett together, and look what Brooklyn paid for them. Maybe we don’t have Ainge like trading instincts, but we still should get more future than one first round pick for him. To put it another way, look what Denver got from us for Carmelo. Now we are in a similar position to what they were. The return from Chicago doesn’t seem anywhere near as good as what Denver got from us.

    22. Hubert

      This is a trade that makes both us and them better (assuming Felton & Smith never actually play for them).

      Bulls get:

      Melo
      Smith
      Felton

      ($30.5mm this year, $33.1mm next year, $10.3mm in 2015/16)

      Knicks get:

      Boozer
      Bynum
      Hinrich
      Butler
      Chicago’s pick this year or Mirotic
      The Charlotte pick

      ($26.4mm this year, $18.8mm next year, $3.0mm in 2015/16)

      Or I would tell Reinsdorf to go fuck himself.

      I would rather lose Melo for nothing than send him and Shumpert to motherfucking bulls for the Jimmy Butler pupu platter. You have got to be kidding me.

    23. thenamestsam

      Bynum

      The Bulls cut Bynum, he plays for Indiana. I don’t think they have enough potential outgoing salaries to match Felton and JR unless we take Dunleavy back also.

    24. flossy

      Can’t be mad at any trade that would allow us to run out a front court of Amar’e, Carlos Boozer and Andrea Bargnani. The East is big, man!

    25. Ibai

      I don’t think the bulls are the best destination for Carmelo, if I were him I would rather be traded to the suns. But in case he wants to go to the bulls and the bulls want to get him I want Mirotic in that deal. I’m from Spain and that guy is really good and improves every summer. He’s putting incredible numbers here and playing for a team much more backcourt oriented. They rarely use him in the post, where he has shown some good moves. He is a very good shooter, nice ball handler and finisher, has ability to draw fouls and is automatic from the line. He has to continue working on his rebounding, defense and athleticism but after every summer comes to Real Madrid being a better player in every aspect of the game.
      I think a deal of Butler, Boozer, Nikola, Hinrich and 2014 2016 1st rounders (I’ll be fine with only one but I would try to take 2) for Felton and Melo will be nice to start over. I’m also reluctant to give shump before seeing how he performs with a real coach.

    26. JK47

      This is one scenario where the Knicks’ own historical record of stupidity could work in their favor. The negotiation would go something like this: “What, you think we’re desperate? We’re crazy enough to let Melo walk for nothing, and if you don’t believe us I invite you to look at our record of complete incompetence spanning well over a decade.”

    27. JK47

      If we make this trade, does Chicago send us some Carlos Boozer superfan to offset the acquisition of Ruruland?

    28. thenamestsam

      Also I think it should be pointed out that this is basically all in Melo’s court at this point, because A. the Knicks are (stupidly) not going to trade him unless he specifically requests it, but also, and less discussed, B. the Bulls would have to be insane to make that trade without knowing for sure that Melo planned on resigning there, so he’d have to basically say that Chicago was where he wanted to be. I don’t think he’s going to do either of those things. Basically this is all a fun way to spend a day on a message board, but there’s like a .01% chance of any such trade coming to fruition.

    29. johnno

      “He is a very good shooter, nice ball handler and finisher, has ability to draw fouls and is automatic from the line. He has to continue working on his rebounding, defense and athleticism”
      So, is this Mirotic whom you are describing or a young Andrea Bargnani? In other words, maybe this guy is a stud or maybe, next year, everyone on this site would be screaming about the Knicks’ giving up Melo for Bargs 2.0. (By the way, last year, Mirotic hit about 30% from the international 3 point line). And I can’t wait to see the reaction to Jimmy Butler when he is firing up 3s at MSG at 27% next year…

    30. Hubert

      The Bulls cut Bynum, he plays for Indiana. I don’t think they have enough potential outgoing salaries to match Felton and JR unless we take Dunleavy back also.

      See what happens? The Knicks have made me so depressed about basketball I’ve spent more time paying attention to the Barclay’s Premier League than anything outside our team.

      Oh well, then. Fuck the Bulls.

    31. DRed

      Can’t be mad at any trade that would allow us to run out a front court of Amar’e, Carlos Boozer and Andrea Bargnani. The East is big, man!

      Oh, that would be hilarious. But the point of trading Melo is not to be good next year.

    32. Ibai

      So, is this Mirotic whom you are describing or a young Andrea Bargnani?

      I can be wrong but I’m telling you that he is right now the best player in Europe, he’s not injury prone and he has a very good work ethic so there is anything that tells me that he is not going to be productive. Is he a Melo type talent? I don’t think so, but Carmelo is a FA next summer, this team sucks and as I said we would be getting him, butler, 2 draft picks and getting rid of Felton’s contract in 2015. If we manage that well those are 2-3 useful players for the future so I don’t think we can ask for much more than that.

    33. Owen

      Sit back for a moment and imagine Thibs coaching JR and Felton on defense…..

      I’d be fine with Jimmy Butler, Boozer, Mirotic and picks.

      Btw, where is Ruru. I feel like the surest sign that Melo is a goner is that he hasn’t been posting here of late. Maybe he has other stuff going on….

    34. DRed

      So the wizards are looking for a back up PG. What can we get for Beno? Or even better, what about Ray Felton?

    35. thenamestsam

      Stein reports Knicks are trying to get Shump-Faried deal started again. I still think this makes less than no sense given our roster construction: I feel like we’re quite well stocked on front court players who are inadequate defenders, he’s best on a running team and we’re the opposite of that, we’d be giving up our only wing who can really defend, etc. I also still think we’d be winning the deal from a talent perspective and I think it’s a bit silly to worry about roster construction on a 20-31 team, so I guess that’s a tentative endorsement. Can’t see the Nuggets biting unless we add some extra enticement though.

    36. thenoblefacehumper

      MARC STEIN
      @ESPNSTEINLINE
      Hearing that Knicks are trying again to re-engage Denver and sell Nuggets on idea of trade built around Shumpert-for-Faried before deadline

      If for some reason the Nuggets want to do this deal with no pick (and I have no reason to believe they do) we’d be crazy not to. They’re both having off years but Faried’s off year still has him at 15-11 per/36 on a 56% TS. I know he’s a defensive sieve but is there any reason to believe his trajectory isn’t better than Shumpert’s?

    37. DRed

      Faried has flaws and is not a great fit for us, but we suck anyhow, and he’s a better player than Shumpert. At worst, he would be a better trade asset next year. No idea why Denver would make that deal, but we’d be smart to pull the trigger if they’re serious.

    38. johnno

      “Sit back for a moment and imagine Thibs coaching JR and Felton on defense…..”
      Even better, sit back and imagine Tyson Chandler anchoring a front line of him and some combination of Faried, Boozer, Amare and Bargnani. We just might witness the first ever instance of an NBA player’s head exploding while he is on the court.

    39. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, if the Nuggets were insisting on a pick plus Shump earlier in the season, why would they move off of that now? It’s not like Faried is a free agent. They can just deal him in the offseason.

      But I’d still do that deal, even if it makes no sense from a roster construction perspective, just because Faried is looking like the much better player at the moment.

    40. Brian Cronin

      I do agree that Mirotic, Butler and the Charlotte 2014 first rounder is a fair haul for Melo, especially if it means dumping Felton, too. Mirotic looks like a special player. But if they do that deal, they really really really have to deal Chandler, too.

    41. nicos

      If Denver was somehow willing to make that trade without adding picks etc… I’d look for a third team to get involved as Tyler is basically giving you what Faried would and at least has the potential to be a decent defensive player.

    42. Brian Cronin

      If Denver was somehow willing to make that trade without adding picks etc… I’d look for a third team to get involved as Tyler is basically giving you what Faried would and at least has the potential to be a decent defensive player.

      In theory I’d look to move Faried, as well, but my problem is if the best Denver can get for Faried is Shump, what can the Knicks get for him that’d be worth their time?

    43. Z

      Hmmm. Interesting, re:Melo to the Bulls. Even if it is a long-shot that it happens, at least there is a reasonable market value being discussed. It seems like if Anthony says he’s leaving, and gives the Knicks a list with two cities on it to trade him to and Chicago is one of them, then there is a reasonable deal to be made (assuming Chicago wants him). I didn’t realize the Bulls had so many picks, both their own and others (whoa– a competitive franchise that doesn’t throw away draft picks?? Imagine that!).

      Boozer is moot in the deal, as he would just be another expiring next year. Grab as many picks as possible (the swap with Cleveland of next year’s pick could be very high!, and the Sac pick or Charlotte pick could have great value to).

      The biggest hang-up I can see would be Dolan not wanting to send Anthony within the conference, and to a historical rival at that. And, frankly, I would empathize with him not wanting to. But the idea that NY is entertaining offers is a good sign.

      (And, if they can dump off JR Smith in the deal too then it’s a no brainer. Anthony and Smith for Boozer alone is wash!:)

    44. Hubert

      I do agree that Mirotic, Butler and the Charlotte 2014 first rounder is a fair haul for Melo, especially if it means dumping Felton, too. Mirotic looks like a special player. But if they do that deal, they really really really have to deal Chandler, too.

      I agree but there is no need to throw in Shump.

      I would do that deal, trade Chandler, and hire a real coach next year to see how that affects Shumpert’s performance. It’s stupid to give up on a young player who’s been coached by an idiot who hates young players. If it’s for faried, sure. But as a makeweight/throw in? No thanks.

      One potential extra benefit of tanking next year: we can make JR our go to guy, and if he puts up great ppg numbers as a main guy he would probably opt out after 2015.

    45. Frank

      I actually don’t think the trade of Melo/Felton/Shump for Butler/Boozer/Snell/Hinrich/#1 pick is that bad — provided that this is the 1st trade in a blow-up scenario. We will never get more than 65 cents on the dollar for Melo trading him at this point of the season when he basically has veto rights with his early opt-out. We would basically have a brand new team in 2016 with the only salary being Pablo (probably would retire rather than go through a tear-down), JR, THJ, Snell, and Butler who would be a RFA at that point. We probably would be looking at 40+MM in salary cap room.

      In this scenario, we’d trade Tyson for either late 2014 pick or a protected 2015 or 2016 pick for and a young player or other useful player whose contract doesn’t go past summer of 2015-16. Then next season we are tank-a-palooza trotting out Bargnani/Stat/Boozer, a stopgap PG, and JR. We’d have whatever 1st rounder we get from Chicago, our own lottery 2015 pick, hopefully another 1st rounder that we get from a Chandler trade. Then in 2016 we can go big into FA with young talent and a clean cap sheet.

      No tear-down is ever going to look pretty. No other owner will blow his wad like Dolan did in the Melo and Bargnani trades. This trade isn’t that bad if the point is just to get young assets and picks. If we could somehow squeeze another 1st round pick either out of Chicago or in some sort of 3 way trade, I think it’d be ok.

      Re: Butler – I think it’s a great buy-low moment. He’s really struggled with turf toe and other nagging injuries, and has been hurt by Thibs’s take-no-prisoners approach to every game averaging basically 42 min/game(including 60 and 49 min games in Jan). Elite/smart defender that could easily be the 3rd best player on a championship team — not so far off from Kawhi Leonard in my opinion, except that he doesn’t get rest and doesn’t get to play next to Duncan/Parker/Ginobili under an offensive genius like Pop.

    46. Brian Cronin

      I agree but there is no need to throw in Shump.

      I would do that deal, trade Chandler, and hire a real coach next year to see how that affects Shumpert’s performance. It’s stupid to give up on a young player who’s been coached by an idiot who hates young players. If it’s for faried, sure. But as a makeweight/throw in? No thanks.

      One potential extra benefit of tanking next year: we can make JR our go to guy, and if he puts up great ppg numbers as a main guy he would probably opt out after 2015.

      Oh yeah, I don’t like Shump as a throw-in in the Bulls deal, either. That really doesn’t seem to make much sense. That’s why I’m happy to see the Faried trade being discussed, because the Knicks can’t be morons and throw Shump into a Bulls deal if they’ve already traded him.

    47. Frank

      My only issue with the tear-down now is that I actually think Woodson is at least half the problem with this team. Notice how the Bulls’ D has not suffered at all despite losing Deng, Asik, etc. — because Thibodeau is a defensive genius which will immediately make a very talent-poor team into a pretty good team.

      My feeling is that if Van Gundy was our coach, our defense would be as good as Charlotte’s (coached by a JVG-tree guy in Clifford) otherwise known as a top 6 defense. And we would be well over .500 with a chance to make some noise in the playoffs with that Van Gundy defense. So I can understand why Mills and co. might not want to trade Melo — instead try and make some minor moves that might make JVG happy and then give him big money in the offseason.

    48. DRed

      In this scenario, we’d trade Tyson for either late 2014 pick or a protected 2015 or 2016 pick for and a young player or other useful player whose contract doesn’t go past summer of 2015-16. Then next season we are tank-a-palooza trotting out Bargnani/Stat/Boozer, a stopgap PG, and JR. We’d have whatever 1st rounder we get from Chicago, our own lottery 2015 pick, hopefully another 1st rounder that we get from a Chandler trade. Then in 2016 we can go big into FA with young talent and a clean cap sheet.

      I’d sign on to that. We’re basically looking at keeping Carmelo and going through this season again next year and then hoping Melo ages like a fine wine and trying to build around him, or getting something for him now. Rebuilding isn’t easy, but neither is building around an overpaid, aging ‘superstar’.

      If you look at that deal with the Bulls as Shump for Butler and Melo for Boozer, Snell and a pick, that’s obviously not great value for Carmelo. But I don’t know that we’re going to get much more. There aren’t many possible destinations for Carmelo, and I think any deal that doesn’t constrain the cap after 2015 is basically a net win for us, because I see resigning Melo to any realistically plausible extension as a big loss. We wouldn’t be doomed (we had a very good team last year despite having a basically useless max level player on the books in Stat), but we would be operating with a significant handicap.

    49. Brian Cronin

      It’s mind-boggling how the only way that Melo would possibly be dealt is if he specifically says to Dolan “trade me.” How does it not even enter Dolan’s mind that it might make sense to trade Melo?

    50. lavor postell

      If we are going to trade with the Bulls then we need to make it worth our while.

      NYK receive:
      Gibson
      Butler
      Boozer
      Hinrich
      Dunleavy
      rights to Mirotic
      2014 first rounder and lottery protected 2016 pick (becomes unprotected in 2017)

      CHI receive:
      Carmelo
      Felton
      JR

      Chicago does not have leverage in these negotiations at all. Melo may not re-sign with the Knicks, but he also can’t simply sign with the Bulls as they are currently constructed even if they amnesty Boozer. So if they want him they must trade for him now, unless they want to salary dump Gibson and Dunleavy and they are unlikely to get much value for those guys as teams will know Chicago is looking to create cap space and must do it by the end of season.

      Is Chicago really all that attractive when you strip it of one the league’s most versatile defenders and a 3 who would be a perfect complement to Carmelo Anthony? Then you’re left with Butler, Noah, Mirotic a couple of picks and Rose who nobody will have seen play productively in a competitive game for 2+ years at the beginning of next season. They would be right up against the cap, significantly limiting their financial flexibility. Even if they were to make the moves necessary to create cap space for Melo it’s not really a sure bet that he’d go there.

      The Knicks can’t milk a team like Phoenix in a trade because they would be able to sign him outright this summer and keep their bevy of first rounders in the process if they so choose. Chicago does not have that kind of leverage and if they want Melo and the Knicks decide by some miracle to move him then they need to get every last thing they can out of the Bulls. Ultimately I don’t see anything happening because we are too dumb to trade Melo and Chicago’s FO has demonstrated time and again they do not have the balls to push their chips to the middle of the table and go for an over the top move.

    51. johnno

      For those of you who think that Butler is so great, how many games have you actually watched him play over the last couple years? The reason that I ask is that, if you watched Shumpert play twice, and you just happened to catch the two games in Texas, you would think that he is great. Similarly, if you just watched the NBA Finals, you would think that Danny Green is the best player on the Spurs. In other words, beware of small sample size. If you have only seen Butler 4 or 5 times, you might have caught him on good days. I have no strong opinion one way or the other on whether he is any good because I’ve only seen him play against the Knicks, but I do know that, over his last 20 games, he has shot 34% from the field and 22% from 3. Those are some putrid numbers. How will you guys react if he is doing that in a Knicks uniform next year? I have no opinion at all on Mirotic because I have never seen him play.

    52. johnno

      One more thing re: Butler — His putrid 3 point percentage over the last 20 games hasn’t stopped him from jacking up over 4 3s a game. How would this board respond to that kind of shot selection/lack of discipline? My guess is that the love affair with Butler wouldn’t last half a season if he puts up numbers like he’s put up this year for the Bulls.

    53. Brian Cronin

      Butler’s clearly playing hurt while also being pressed into insane minutes by Thibs, who doesn’t give a shit about burning his players out (which is pretty weird, actually). I wouldn’t take anything from these last 20 games. The bigger sample size shows Butler to be a good shooter.

    54. johnno

      Butler has been a lousy shooter for 2 of his 3 years in the league and he’s a career 31% shooter from 3. Last year, he shot well, but on only 6 shots a game. Can he shoot a high percentage on 15 shots a game? I have no idea, but it’s not like he’s got a five year track record to judge him by. This year, he’s taking three times as many 3 pointers as last year and his shooting percentage has taken a nosedive. Maybe he’s a good shooter if he only takes shots when he’s wide, wide open (which only happens a few times a game) Or maybe last year was the outlier and the other two years are a better indicator of who he actually is. And, as far as his potential to become Kawhi Leonard, he’s two years older than Leonard.

    55. lavor postell

      So Lebron says he’s going to be one of the four greatest players when he’s done along with Jordan, Magic and Bird. I just wanted to know who you guys would include in your top-4 right now. In order for me I think I would have Jordan, Kareem, Magic and Robertson.

      Lebron can definitely get up there if he continues on his trajectory.

    56. Hubert

      We will never get more than 65 cents on the dollar for Melo trading him at this point of the season when he basically has veto rights with his early opt-out.

      I mean, I get that it was partially because we were the other party, but Denver got $1.25 for a $1.00 under the same exact circumstance, so why do we have to accept $0.65?

      As someone pointed out, how can he be worth so much less than Pierce & Garnett?

      All you need to do is find another team and create leverage.

    57. Brian Cronin

      Zach Lowe with a funny line on the Knicks…

      The Knicks have regressed horribly on offense this season, but they can still find potency when they spread the floor and flip the playbook beyond the page that is just stick-figure drawings of Carmelo isolating and J.R. Smith shooting step-back jumpers.

    58. DRed

      For those of you who think that Butler is so great, how many games have you actually watched him play over the last couple years?

      20? I don’t know. Good thing I have stats I can look at, though, otherwise I might have listened to the people who used the same argument when I told them this summer that Bargnani was going to fucking suck.

    59. Brian Cronin

      I mean, I get that it was partially because we were the other party, but Denver got $1.25 for a $1.00 under the same exact circumstance, so why do we have to accept $0.65?

      As someone pointed out, how can he be worth so much less than Pierce & Garnett?

      All you need to do is find another team and create leverage.

      Melo made it so that the Nuggets had leverage (by not ruling the Nets out).

      The Celtics had leverage with Pierce and KG because they didn’t have to trade them and they knew that the Nets were desperate to make a big move.

      The Knicks will only be dealing Melo if they have to trade him and the only way they’ll have to trade him is if he tells them he won’t be re-signing. And if he tells them that he won’t be re-signing then he will be telling them that he’ll only sign an extension with a small list of teams. And who knows if any of the teams on that small list would even be willing to trade for him. If there are more than one willing team, then yeah, the Knicks will have leverage. If it is just Chicago, the Knicks have enough leverage to get some good assets (since Chicago can’t sign him outright – well, unless they trade away assets anyways, so why not just get him through a trade?) but not enough to break them like the Nuggets did to the Knicks or the Celtics did to the Nets.

      If the Knicks get Butler, Mirotic and a decent first rounder for Melo, they should be happy. I really dunno if they even have enough leverage to get Mirotic, honestly. The rumored deal from before might actually be the best that they can get from Chicago (and if they don’t get Mirotic, then I don’t like that deal).

    60. DRed

      As someone pointed out, how can he be worth so much less than Pierce & Garnett?

      He’s an impending free agent, and at least the perception is that he’s only willing to play in a few cities for a huge amount of money. And the crazy Russian plutocrat is all out of picks to deal.

    61. thenamestsam

      So Lebron says he’s going to be one of the four greatest players when he’s done along with Jordan, Magic and Bird. I just wanted to know who you guys would include in your top-4 right now. In order for me I think I would have Jordan, Kareem, Magic and Robertson.

      Lebron can definitely get up there if he continues on his trajectory.

      Four is kind of a weird number, but my feeling is that if you asked a large sample of NBA people, the only guy guaranteed to be on everyone’s list is Jordan. After that Russell, Kareem, Wilt, Magic, Bird, Robertson all start to come into the discussion. Some might even throw Kobe in there. I’d say barring a shockingly rapid decline Lebron will get himself into that second group. Some would say he’s there already, some probably feel he needs another title, whatever.

      Can he get into a category with Jordan where he’s a no-doubter top-4? I think he still has a ways to go – we’ll know a lot more after these playoffs which should reveal whether the decrease in his athleticism (fewer steals, blocks, dunks in half court, etc.) which has been noted by some this year is a real issue or just coasting, and the playoffs plus his free agency should give us a much better idea of his prospects for getting to 4 or 5 titles.

    62. DRed

      I get Bird because of the titles and his rivalry with Magic, but compare his career to Charles Barkely and tell me which one was the better player. And this is no knock on Bird.

    63. max fisher-cohen

      Guys, if you trade Melo, next season is dead, and hte only way the Knicks have any chance of doing a fast rebuild is if they tank HARD and pick up a big time player with their 2015 pick.

      That means that unless you think Jimmy Butler or Iman Shumpert are max level players, they are absolutely meaningless to NYK. If we want them, then we can make offer sheets to them in summer 2015. Boozer’s terrible contract is also meaningless to us. In fact, Boozer is better for us than Gibson as his contract is up next summer.

      Now, the only things that are useful are 1) getting out of Felton and Smith’s contracts since they run beyond next season and 2) getting picks or players who have rookie scale deals that run beyond 2015. That is it.

      If I was GM, I’d spend a couple seasons using our cap space to facilitate to facilitate other teams’ desires in exchange for picks, ala Utah with Jefferson/Biedrins and Houston with Jared Jeffries, but I know Dolan won’t wait around.

      The problem is the Knicks very well could already be in the same position as Denver was in 2011, with Melo informing the front office that Chicago is the only place he’d promise to re-sign. Only this time Carmelo is three years older with bigger money coming his way and Chicago’s GM not as easily gamed as NY’s owner.

      Any trade of Melo to CHI has to start with the baseline that CHI can dump Dunleavy and Gibson and amnesty Boozer and create about $24m in cap space. Thus our only leverage may be we could allow Chicago to not pay Boozer after amnestying him and allow them to keep Dunleavy, Gibson, whatever small bribe they might have to pay to deal them, and their own desire to be competitive in the playoffs this year.

      Since they’d be paying Melo so much, they would probably not be able to sign Mirotic, which means he should be the first guy on the bargaining table. To me, a smart trade would be Melo/Felton/Shumpert for Boozer, Dunleavy, Mirotic’s rights and whatever picks we can get.

    64. Brian Cronin

      I agree that Mirotic and at least one decent first rounder have to be what the Knicks are looking for in a Melo deal. Anything not involving them getting back Mirotic and a first wouldn’t be worth doing. I like Butler, but I agree that he is not the key to the deal.

    65. Brian Cronin

      Oh, and the Knicks have to get the Bulls to throw in the full $3 million so that they can use the maximum $600,000 to help Miroitc buy himself out of his contract and still have money to spend on picks and stuff like that (or does it not work like that? To wit, if the Knicks get $3 million from the Bulls, are they still limited to $3 million on spending? If that’s the case, then the $3 million doesn’t matter. Dolan’s rich already so fuck him).

    66. massive

      The Knicks won’t trade Melo to the Bulls. I highly doubt that much will happen. It would be cool if the Knicks can somehow make magic and get both Faried and Lowry without giving up TH Jr. Lowry, Hardaway, Melo, Faried, and Chandler would lose like 10 games for the rest of the season.

    67. maxwell_3g

      a few thoughts after reading these posts….
      1) If we trade melo for assets, why the fuck would we then trade these assets for Lowry. People, Lowry is a decent starting pg. He would not make this team a contender and certainly wouldnt make a this team without melo a contender. we all complain about Dolan, and yet people suggests moves that only Dolan would approve
      2) as far as the trade for melo with the bulls, i have got to think that we should wither get a future first and mirotic or 2 future firsts in the deal. im fine with taking back boozer, because we would be planning on sucking next year anyways
      3) Full disclosure: I wanted to draft faried instead of shump that draft. that being said, why the fuck would we want faried at this point. he struggles defensively. we dont have enough players 4′s that cant play defense already. if tyler cant get 25 minutes, then we dont need to add anyone else to the front court. we have spent the past 2 years complaing about woodson refusing to play melo at the 4, and then we want to trade for faried???

    68. Hubert

      I’m not getting the part where we have no leverage. Melo can’t join the bulls without us trading him. And our owner has proven to be spiteful enough (Lin) to screw his team over if he feels betrayed.

      If Melo wants to go to Chicago, he’ll have to play ball for us just like he did for Denver. His only other real option is the lakers.

    69. Brian Cronin

      He can’t join the Bulls this season. He can join them next year if they amnesty Boozer and deal Gibson for cap room. And that’s a very doable deal (Gibson for cap space). They might also have to deal one more guy for max cap room. I honestly don’t know for sure, but just amnestying Boozer and dealing Gibson would get them pretty darn close to max cap room.

    70. ephus

      I hesitate to make Mirotic’s rights part of the value received for Carmelo Anthony. Getting Mirotic’s to the NBA will require his new team to have cap room to sign him, because there is no draft exemption. So any Melo trade to Chicago would bring back too much salary to allow the Knicks to sign Mirotic next year. 2015-16 would be the earliest you could see Mirotic in orange-and-blue.

    71. max fisher-cohen

      But ephus, that’s good for the Knicks too since 2015 would be a tank year no matter what. Let Mirotic develop another season without hurting the Knicks’ lottery odds. The drawback of him no longer being under the rookie scale sucks, but if he turns into a star, and there seems a good chance he will, then any deal we sign with him should still be a bargain.

    72. johnno

      DRed -
      I’m curious — how has Butler fared in the WP or other advanced stats department this year? The old-fashioned box score stats say that he has been one of the worst starting guards in the league.

    73. Brian Cronin

      A bit above average (.110) after a really strong previous season (.158). Remember, Butler is also a very good defender, which helps him with regards to advanced stats.

    74. Brian Cronin

      The shitty Cavs just kicked the Kings’ ass without Varejao. Melo is right, they really need to win tomorrow night.

    75. Zanzibar

      If we trade melo for assets, why the fuck would we then trade these assets for Lowry. People, Lowry is a decent starting pg.

      We’re gonna need a solid PG for the future and Lowry has shown his ceiling to be a top 5 PG. There certainly are risks associated with him but what are the alternatives? Hope that Rondo (who also has risks) wants to be a Knick in 2015? And besides it’s not a good thing to go into 2015 with too much cap space and needs or you end up overpaying players and also signing whoever’s available. I’d rather have Lowry/Butler/Shump/THJ/Tyler coached by a Van Gundy and then use the 30m of cap to pursue M.Gasol and Millsap instead of 45m and hoping there are enough players out there to fit all of our needs.

      And suddenly Mirotic is indispensable? And we should tank in 2014? Whaaa? So people would walk away from Boozer/Hinrich/Butler/Two 1st round picks for Melo/Felton? Bulls won’t trade Mirotic and will use their MLE to sign him. But Chicago will give us draft picks which won’t help them short-term in pursuing a championship. And on 2014 and tanking: a starting lineup of Lowry/Butler/Shump/Chandler/Boozer and Amare/THJ/Tyler/Prigs/JR coached by Van Gundy would be very competitive (top 5 defense). It’s Chandler’s contract year so, if history is any indication, he’ll be just fine. Real dilemma would be should we trade him at the deadline.

    76. lavor postell

      Right but the Bulls have to trade Gibson NOW before the deadline otherwise they cannot clear cap space. Once we’re past the deadline the Bulls have now way to move Gibson for contracts that expire at the end of the season. If the Bulls want Melo they need to trade for him or have assurance from him he will sign with them this summer if they clear cap space this summer.

      I don’t see Melo giving them that assurance if he has to sign up for a team that’s going to be up against the cap and built around himself, Noah and Rose, who it cannot be assumed is going to be an All-Star caliber point guard. That’s a situation that is marginally better than the one he entered with the Knicks since the Bulls should have draft picks, but those are likely to be moved in win now moves because of the window Chicago would be banking on with that core.

      Look at Paxson’s track record as a GM. He has never pulled the trigger on a trade for a superstar even when the Bulls have been in that position. Didn’t make trades for KG or Gasol when those players could have potentially pushed the Bulls into pole position in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls in general tend to overvalue their own assets until they have to trade them at which point their value has greatly diminished. They really seem to have the opposite problem that the Knicks have.

    77. DRed

      I’m curious — how has Butler fared in the WP or other advanced stats department this year? The old-fashioned box score stats say that he has been one of the worst starting guards in the league.

      He’s an above average player by WP and WS this year. WP likes him more. Quite obviously, you don’t need advanced stats to let you know he’s shot like shit from the field this season. But he’s a good rebounder (especially on the offensive glass), plays good D, and unlike Shumpert (in a lot of respects, a similar player) he gets to the line a lot.

    78. max fisher-cohen

      @zanzibar

      Lowry is not a solid PG for the future. He’s a solid PG for now. In a best case scenario post-melo, the Knicks win 40-50 games in 15/16 and 55+ in 16/17, at which point Lowry is 30 — an age at which few PGs are able to sustain prime level play.

      Being below the cap completely shifts what is and isn’t valuable. Even if Lowry is a good player, all that matters to a team that looks to be below the cap is whether he can be replaced for equivalent salary, and Lowry, like almost any player not on a rookie scale deal, can be.

      As far as the Mirotic thing, I’ve read reports that say he won’t take mid level money, so the Bulls, if the get Melo, might not have the cap space to add Mirotic for years, which would make him much more valuable to NYC than Chicago.

      Lastly, if Melo leaves, there is pretty much no way the Knicks make the playoffs next year. You’re basically talking about replacing Melo with Lowry in terms of next year’s talent, undoubtedly a downgrade. So this team that’s on pace to win 32 games WITH Melo gets a year older and replaces its best player with a lesser one. Next season is dead no matter what if Melo leaves.

      That means you have a choice: You can try to win, in which case you’re hoping to get 30 wins and finish around 10th in the east, or you tank and take advantage of the fact that for once you own your own pick. There is a clear right choice here.

    79. hoolahoop

      Why Melo isn’t telling the next team of his choice that they better get a deal done with the knicks, and give up whatever it takes to get it done, otherwise he’s re-upping with the knicks.

      It’s because he smarter now, so he’s going to outsmart and fuck the stupidest front office in sports coming and going.

    80. lavor postell

      He won’t take mid level money and he’s said it many times. NBA teams are only allowed to contribute a maximum of $600,000 to a buyout and Mirotic’s is reportedly around $3.44m. Anything more than 600k counts against the cap. Additionally the MLE is a paycut for Mirotic so I don’t think he’s coming to the NBA for less than his current salary. If the Bulls manage to sign Melo they simply have an asset in Mirotic that they can’t cash in on.

    81. Zanzibar

      Lastly, if Melo leaves, there is pretty much no way the Knicks make the playoffs next year. You’re basically talking about replacing Melo with Lowry in terms of next year’s talent, undoubtedly a downgrade.

      No, in my scenario, we’re talking about replacing Melo with Lowry/Butler/Boozer AND a new coach. The roster I specified would be a top 4 team in the East.

      Lowry is not a solid PG for the future. He’s a solid PG for now

      I would bet on Lowry’s production being more than adequate for the next 4 years (thru age of 32). Indeed imo that level of maturity/experience for a PG might even be considered a plus in this league. But you need to tell me who’s gonna be our PG. Dragic will re-sign with Phoenix. I’d much prefer Lowry to Rubio. We’re gonna end up with a middlin’ PG like Felton again.

      As far as the Mirotic thing, I’ve read reports that say he won’t take mid level money

      So we’re gonna obtain the rights for a player who we don’t know for sure will play in the NBA and then shell out 5m+ for a guy who is somewhat of a wildcard? He could very well end up being Teletovic or Bargnani. I’d prefer a 2016 1st round pick instead, thank you, which at least is tradeable.

    82. maxwell_3g

      thank you MFC. Trading for Lowry makes less than no sense and is the type of thinking that gets us into this mess

    83. BigBlueAL

      Melo aint getting traded, all this trade speculation in regards to trades for Melo to me are a waste of time. Plus to be honest they all suck. The Knicks are in a really tough spot in regards to Melo IMO. I dont see any no-brainer trade scenarios for him, Melo leaving as a FA for nothing would be a PR disaster and re-signing him to the max would be a disaster as well.

      At this point I hope he stays (even if its at the full max because thats what Im expecting anyway) they hire JVG or Thibs in the off-season, have a bounce-back decent 2014/15 and hopefully put together a team for 2015/16 that is at least as good as last season (not necessarily a championship contender but a team capable of winning 54 games). Not great but for me personally at this point I will gladly take getting back to last season’s status and having a very good head coach to boot would be a major plus in terms of rooting and watching this team.

    84. Brian Cronin

      Right but the Bulls have to trade Gibson NOW before the deadline otherwise they cannot clear cap space. Once we’re past the deadline the Bulls have now way to move Gibson for contracts that expire at the end of the season. If the Bulls want Melo they need to trade for him or have assurance from him he will sign with them this summer if they clear cap space this summer.

      No, they can trade him during the offseason to a team with cap space just for picks. That’s what the Bulls did when they traded Hinrich to get cap space (which ended up only being used on Boozer, but they didn’t know that at the time). And Gibson is very tradeable to teams with cap space. They don’t have to trade him for expiring contracts.

    85. Brian Cronin

      Melo aint getting traded, all this trade speculation in regards to trades for Melo to me are a waste of time. Plus to be honest they all suck. The Knicks are in a really tough spot in regards to Melo IMO. I dont see any no-brainer trade scenarios for him, Melo leaving as a FA for nothing would be a PR disaster and re-signing him to the max would be a disaster as well.

      I do agree that he is unlikely to be traded. However, if he does indeed say “Trade me because I am leaving otherwise and you’ll get nothing” then, well, he will be traded, ya know?

      At this point I hope he stays (even if its at the full max because thats what Im expecting anyway) they hire JVG or Thibs in the off-season, have a bounce-back decent 2014/15 and hopefully put together a team for 2015/16 that is at least as good as last season (not necessarily a championship contender but a team capable of winning 54 games). Not great but for me personally at this point I will gladly take getting back to last season’s status and having a very good head coach to boot would be a major plus in terms of rooting and watching this team.

      I’d rather blow it up, but sure, I don’t have a huge problem with giving a good coach a chance at coaching the Melo/Chandler Knicks. Of course, that will be with Melo signed to a horrible extension, but, well, we’re used to terrible contracts, we’re Knicks fans!

    86. Will the Thrill

      Melo at the max is the worst case scenario in my mind. Having him stay for a considerable discount would be the best case scenario, followed closely by trading him for future assets. Letting him go for nothing is not the worst thing in the world, as I would much rather have that happen than signing him for the mega-max. I also have no idea why we aren’t shopping Chandler like crazy. Somebody MUST want him in the West to make a run at the Finals.

    87. max fisher-cohen

      @Zanzibar

      Carlos Boozer is useless at this point in his career. He is just as much of a sieve on defense as Stoudemire and is much less efficient. He’s a filler player, a guy who you could replace with just about any rotation big in the league and get as much or more production, so what you’re talking about comes down to Butler + Lowry + an aging and flawed supporting cast. In a best case scenario with Chandler having a renaissance and a good coach and Butler doing what Shumpert hasn’t and making a big leap at age 25 (yeah, he’s really not that young) and Lowry sustaining his health and level of play another year — something he’d never done in his other eight seasons — and the east being just as bad as this season, then yeah, maybe the Knicks win 46 games or whatever and win another playoff series.

      Is this a better situation than paying Melo his absurd max salary or watching him walk? Absolutely. But it’s a foundation for another dead end team. We get to be the 08-13 Atlanta Hawks. Better than being the 2003 Knicks again by paying an aging star too much to play on a team with no assets, but still not good.

      Mirotic would cost a lot, it’s true, and he could be Bargnani, but the way you build a great team is by taking on “smart risk”. You bring on players who could feasibly be top ten at some point, and you hope. Mirotic has that potential. Is it a long shot? Sure, but it’s way less of a long shot that the picks Chicago owns — mid/late first rounders — become top ten. Every first overall pick has the risk of being Olowokandi or Bargnani. You take that risk because of the tremendous upside, and even if those picks were guaranteed 4 years, $35m or whatever price Mirotic demands, only the most talented teams in the league would opt for that over a couple mid first rounders.

    88. Brian Cronin

      Agreed, Will.

      I’d rank it:

      1. Melo signs for a significantly reduced salary (less than $20 million a year)
      2. They blow it up
      3. Melo signs for any reduction at all
      4. Melo signs for the MAX.

    89. max fisher-cohen

      @ Brian, where would you rank Melo simply leaving in terms of how good it’d be for the Knicks? If the team really is permanently stuck in mediocrity because of the front office’s way of thinking, then IMO that might be better than #3 and #4 as it might just be humiliating enough to cause the team to change its ways.

    90. Brian Cronin

      I don’t think that’s a realistic possibility either, though. If he’s going to leave, he will tell the Knicks he’s going to leave. I don’t think he’ll leave them for nothing (not to mention that if he leaves them for nothing he can’t get the most possible money available).

      But sure, I guess I’d rank Melo walks away with nothing in return as being between #3 and #4 on the worst case scenario list if I ranked it. Melo at the MAX is my absolute worst case scenario, and it’s also what I’d deem as the most likely scenario (by far). Because, of course, this is the Knicks, so of course the worst case scenario is also the most likely scenario.

    91. BigBlueAL

      My main point is I dont think there is a perfect (realistic) scenario to the Melo question. Thats why I say the Knicks are in a tough spot right now with Melo. As fans sure we would love to trade him and start a smart rebuild immediately but obviously the Knicks front office (especially Dolan) look at it a bit differently. Like it or not Melo is a big financial asset to the Knicks (similar to Kobe with the Lakers) and keeping him while it wont guarantee anything in terms of a championship assuming they actually hire a real head coach in the summer and make some semi-smart moves it will guarantee more playoff births and maybe some playoff series victories which makes them a shitload of money over the next few seasons. I mean hell look at how much the Knicks franchise value has risen since they traded for Melo, like it or not that means alot to Dolan Im sure.

      It sucks but thats how it is.

    92. Zanzibar

      Mirotic would cost a lot, it’s true, and he could be Bargnani, but the way you build a great team is by taking on “smart risk”…Sure, but it’s way more of a long shot that the picks Chicago owns — mid/late first rounders — become top ten.

      Agree and that's why I'm looking to parlay Chicago's 2016 pick plus our 2018 pick into Lowry because I think that is a "smart risk". Lowry is the same age as Dragic and Phoenix will probably pay him 10-12m which is the amount I would look to pay Lowry on a 4-year deal. Maybe we'll end up overpaying him but that's part of the risk and I don't envision a quality alternative to Lowry at this stage.

      Is this a better situation than paying Melo his absurd max salary or watching him walk? Absolutely. But it’s a foundation for another dead end team.

      Keep in mind Max that next season all of these guys will playing for their next contract: Chandler/Amare/Boozer/Bargs/Shump/Butler. That has a way of focusing a player and obtaining maximum performance. Also, I think Shump will benefit greatly from a new coach like Van Gundy. Shump’s a low BB IQ player so he needs a coach who will have a sensible defensive scheme and make sure every player understands his role and is held accountable. Low BB IQ players plus low BB IQ coach is a toxic mix. Finally, I’m baffled that you would say Lowry/Butler/Shump/THJ/Tyler/Chicago 2014 1st round pick/2015 1st round pick plus about 30m of cap (waive -and-stretch JR if unable to unload him) and 3m room exception would be a weak foundation?

    93. Brian Cronin

      Crazy game in Portland. Lillard turns the ball over down 1 with 13 seconds left. And then Durant turns it over on the inbounds (great defensive play by Batum)!

      So Portland has the ball down 1 with 12.3 seconds left. No one has scored since a bucket by Lamb with 1:38 left.

    94. Brian Cronin

      Ugh, another stupid Aldridge outside jumper for a chance at the win. What the hell, Portland? Why do they think that’s a good shot?!?

      He misses and Reggie Jackson is fouled and makes two. The Blazers now have one last shot at making a three with 0.6 seconds left.

    95. yellowboy90

      How many Bad shooting nights have that been for Aldridge?

      Chandler > Lopez?

      I still hold out hope that Portland will look for a vet like Tyson to make a stronger push.

      Lopez and a 2015 protected 1st would be awesome.

    96. er

      Looking at the Knicks remaining schedule. It is incredibly manageable. They have 1 game left against the top 6 teams in the west(@ Phx). 2 games left with Mia and 1 left with Indiana at MSG.

      2-2 in these four games would be nice

      On the other side of the coin they have a shit load of games against the dregs.
      2 vs SAC
      2 vs CLE
      2 vs UTA
      1 vs MIL
      2 vs PHL
      1 vs ORL
      1 vs LAL
      1 vs BOS

      If they go 10-2 or better in these games against these bad squads, they may finish .500
      The rest are against the middling east teams above the knicks and 2 vs the warriors and 1 DAL game. not bad at all

    97. max fisher-cohen

      @zanzibar

      Lowry is not a risk. He’s a known quantity. While Mirotic could end up anywhere from let’s say the 8th best player in the league to bottom 10%, Lowry’s range is probably this year — top 20 — at the top, and worst reasonable case, top 60.

      If you want to win a title, you need to give luck a chance. If you build a team around guys who are locked into a limited range, you lock yourself out of title contention.

      Think of it like this: You are playing a dice game where the highest roll wins. Everyone else gets nothing. You have two options in this game. Roll a 30 sided die or take a guaranteed roll of 20. Against one other person, the choice is obvious: take the 20, and you’ll win or draw 2/3s of the time.

      But say instead that you’re playing with 30 other players and 20 of them choose the 30 sided die. Your odds of winning drop precipitously with the guaranteed 20 as on average, one of the 20 risk takers will roll a 21 or better 99.97% of the time, eliminating you from contention, and even in those times when you win, you split the prize with the other 9 conservative players, meaning it would take you about 3.3 million rounds to earn a full win for yourself.

      OTOH, if you are one of the 20 risk takers, you will beat out the 10 conservative players 33% of the time and will be in equal competition in those 33% with an avg of 5.7 other players, giving you a 15% chance to beat them. Combined, you get a 5% or 1 in 20 chance to win each round. Your returns are 166,666 times greater in with this die.

      The NBA is structured similarly, offering the conservative free agency route of building and the risky draft pick/unknown player route of building. The teams that use the former route will make the playoffs more often but win far fewer titles. It’s not a perfect comparison with the differing resources b/w teams and the rare free agency coups like Lebron to Miami & Shaq to LAL, but I hope it illustrates my point about the importance of variance.

    98. Brian Cronin

      Mirotic might not be all that he seems to be, but I’d still prefer him to a late first rounder.

    99. Zanzibar

      @Max I prefer the 2003 Pistons/2010 Grizz model for Knicks at this time. Doesn’t a roster of Lowry/Butler/Shump/THJ/Tyler/2 1st round picks/Millsap/Gasol remind you of those teams? You know about the Pistons but that Grizz team knocked off the Spurs and lost in 7 games to OKC in semis. Hey, maybe Pacers win a chip and Hibbert decides he wants to play for his hometown Knicks in 2015. Or maybe Durant looks at our team in 2016 and decides he wants to play for Knicks on the big stage. Would Durant or Hibbert want to join a team in complete rebuild mode? Sure all of these scenarios entail some luck but that’s always the case and imo requires less than your approach where we would probably have to tank for about 3 straight years and land a top 10 pick like Drummond to break through (and hope we don’t end up like Cleveland). Let’s say we tank in 2014 – I’m curious what would you have us do in 2015?

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