Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.06.27)

  • [New York Times] Exum Keen to Grow Game in Utah With Jazz (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 04:19:15 GMT)
    Australia’s Dante Exum, the NBA Draft’s Mystery Man, will have a chance to reveal his talents with the Utah Jazz after being taken fifth overall on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] NBA Selects Isaiah Austin in Draft (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 04:07:28 GMT)
    Between the 15th and 16th picks in Thursday night’s draft came a very special selection by the NBA.

  • [New York Times] Wiggins Is No. 1, Napier to Miami in NBA Draft (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 03:49:32 GMT)
    Andrew Wiggins went No. 1, so he got to make the first pitch.

  • [New York Times] Selections in First Round of NBA Draft (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 03:16:15 GMT)
    First-round selections in Thursday’s National Basketball Association Draft at Barclays Center in New York (order of pick, NBA team, player, position, college/country):

  • [New York Times] Cavaliers Pick Wiggins at No. 1, Bringing N.B.A. Draft Speculation Full Circle (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 02:49:06 GMT)
    In the end, the top three selections were essentially what observers expected all along, with Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid picked by the Cavaliers, Bucks and 76ers.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Draft Cleanthony Early of Wichita State (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 02:44:30 GMT)
    With the first of two second-round picks acquired as part of a trade Wednesday that sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas, the Knicks selected Early, a 6-foot-7 scorer from Wichita State.

  • [New York Times] ‘Great Thing for Canada’ Says Top Pick Wiggins (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 02:19:15 GMT)
    High-springing swingman Andrew Wiggins was over the moon after being taken with the first pick of the NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday and proclaimed it “a great thing for Canada.”

  • [New York Times] Clock Ticking, Anthony Is Set to Test Free Agency (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 01:20:38 GMT)
    Facing a Monday deadline to decide whether he wanted to exercise an early termination option, Anthony informed the Knicks that he would explore free agency, according to a person briefed on the discussions.

  • [New York Times] Canada’s Wiggins Is Top Pick of NBA Draft by Cavs (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 00:58:14 GMT)
    Canada’s Andrew Wiggins from the University of Kansas was taken with the number one pick of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday launching a great night for Canada and international players.

  • [New York Times] For Gene Melchiorre, a Regretful Turn Brought a Unique N.B.A. Distinction (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 00:40:14 GMT)
    Melchiorre, known as Squeaky, is the only No. 1 pick to never play in the N.B.A.; he was barred for life after the point-shaving scandal of 1951.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks take Wichita State's Cleanthony Early with 34th pick (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 01:16:48 EDT)
    Phil Jackson said the intent of the blockbuster trade with the Mavericks was to change the Knicks' chemistry and that there will be more moves to come.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: Knicks prez Jackson again asks Melo to take less money (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:04:52 GMT)
    Phil Jackson was frolicking in Turkey just last week, and the second the Knicks president returns stateside he is back to playing a game of ‘max deal’ chicken with Carmelo Anthony.

  • [New York Daily News] Phil’s Knicks makeover off to Early start at NBA draft (Fri, 27 Jun 2014 05:49:54 GMT)
    Phil Jackson’s assessment after a few months of sifting through the mess he inherited with the Knicks was an immediate need to alter the mix of players, regardless of whether pending free agent Carmelo Anthony returns next season.

  • 181 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.06.27)

    1. Zanzibar

      Chicago takes on salary in McDermott pick making it harder to sign Melo outright – what does it mean? Methinks Gar and Phil have already talked and S&T (or the outline of one) is already in place. Chicago would offer all or a combination of Mirotic/Butler/Snell/2015 Kings’ pick and Knicks would offer combination of Melo/Dalembert/THJ/Shump/Prigs.

      Lots of permutations. For example: I would be ecstatic if NYK received Mirotic/Butler in exchange for Melo/Dalembert/THJ/Prigs. Not a bad deal for Chicago either – they add shooting and depth. Check out 12 man roster:

      Melo/Noah/Rose/Gibson/5.5m MLE/Dunleavy/Dalembert/McDermott/THJ/Prigs/Snell/2m BAE

      Note Chicago could package Dunleavy/2015 Kings’ pick/maybe Snell to pick up quality player (Pau in S&T?). There’s some risk to Bulls in Mirotic and Butler. Regarding Mirotic, his performance in the NBA is an unknown; regarding Butler, he would be an rfa next summer. For us, they’re a better match because Mirotic would provide upside potential we seek in wake of Melo’s departure and we would have cap to match any Butler offer. Dolan is willing to go into luxury tax so overpaying would be fine so long as we time the Butler rfa signing to occur after we have used up all the existing free cap (like current Parsons situation in Houston).

      There are many technical paths to any S&T offering tremendous flexibility in structuring a deal (e.g., transaction could be broken up into multiple smaller trades, existing TPEs used if required).

      Final thought: maybe Bulls didn’t have to take Randolph to make that pick swap. Maybe Phil asked them to take Randolph and include him in any deal which (1) would make it easier for Bulls to keep Dunleavy or trade him for value to another team (2) would give Phil a year to test drive Randolph as a post-up triangle player (guy’s got the skill set). He’s a headcase but..Dr. Phil would be to Randolph as Woody was to JR.

    2. johnno

      Second round picks are apparently not hard to acquire since, in a span of 48 hours the Knicks and Nets picked up six of them. Love the French guy’s hair…

    3. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      This draft has made it clear that teams still value old-school scouting methods to the analytics movement. The usual suspects made some outstanding picks, the 76ers might end up with the luckiest (and scariest) frontcourt in the league by 2016, and Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker will win Rookie of the Year by leading all rookies in scoring, despite shooting at a .490 TS%.

      Kyle Anderson will quietly put together a highlight reel of passes to every single Spurs player cutting to the rim, and the Spurs win 60 again.

      Thanasis projects horribly. I’m all for drafting a guy because his brother looks like a beast– wait, no, no I’m not. That’s fucking stupid. That’s like drafting a guy because his dad played in the NBA. I’m looking at you, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Glenn Robinson III and Austin Rivers…

    4. GoNyGoNYGo

      So on Bleacher Report Adam Fromal gives the Knicks an “A+”
      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2111214-2014-nba-draft-grades-full-team-by-team-report-cards/page/18

      And on Bleacher Report Howard Beck says Knicks are one of the “Losers”
      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2111453-winners-and-losers-of-the-nba-draft

      The truth must be somewhere in the middle, right? Me? I give them a “B+”. It would have been nice to get a first round pick but Early looks like a good fit. I gave the Knicks a + in the B+ because 2 days ago I wasn’t even thinking draft, Phil made it worth watching ;)

    5. Hubert

      Chicago takes on salary in McDermott pick making it harder to sign Melo outright – what does it mean?

      It could mean that a lot of what we hear and read in the media is total bullshit and Chicago is just a ploy from Melo’s people to get us to pay him the max.

      It could mean Chicago is cool with dumping Taj Gibson to make Melo happen.

      It could mean that Melo told them he would take a shit ton less money to play for them and they should make all the best moves they can make.

      It could have nothing to do with Carmelo Anthony at all.

    6. Hubert

      And on Bleacher Report Howard Beck says Knicks are one of the “Losers”

      I can’t see the video on my browser, but I’m really curious how Beck could possibly have us as a loser. 48 hours ago we didn’t even have a big, now we have the rights to three 2nd round prospects.

      EDIT: Unless he is stuck on the Melo trade and the fact that we gave up a lottery pick in this draft for a player who just opted out. I guess you have to take that into consideration. The Knicks, as a whole, are losers in that sense. But the current regime came out ahead, IMO.

    7. iserp

      This draft has made it clear that teams still value old-school scouting methods to the analytics movement. The usual suspects made some outstanding picks, the 76ers might end up with the luckiest (and scariest) frontcourt in the league by 2016, and Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker will win Rookie of the Year by leading all rookies in scoring, despite shooting at a .490 TS%.

      Kevin Durant won the Rookie of the Year, leading all rookies in scoring, despite shooting at a .519 TS%. Not sure if Presti is one of those guys with old-school scouting methods, but it turned out pretty well.

    8. lavor postell

      When you watch tape of Thanasis you can see the broad strokes of a solid NBA player with the potential to be a lockdown guy defensively. I completely disagree that since his numbers are poor he’s definitely going to be a bad player or that the Knicks drafted him because he’s Giannis’ brother. I don’t think either of them has been coached in any way growing up and have been playing the game in an organized way for a very short time. Is he going to be great? Probably not, but there’s definitely raw talent there if the Knicks are willing to be patient and give him a chance to develop. I think he seems like a good candidate to spend a majority of time with the Westchester Knicks next season.

    9. Alecto

      This Knicks draft leaves me lukewarm after all is said and done–Early seems to have decent numbers but he projects poorly and I doubt his skill set will translate to the NBA well. Thanasis is a crapshoot who will probably fail. I would’ve preferred trading up to 29 for Anderson or drafting Dinwiddie /McDaniel+ Khem Birch. Have no opinion on the french guy.

    10. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Kevin Durant won the Rookie of the Year, leading all rookies in scoring, despite shooting at a .519 TS%. Not sure if Presti is one of those guys with old-school scouting methods, but it turned out pretty well.

      You are aware of how few players go from “average rookie” to “MVP-level play” over the course of two seasons, right?

      For every Kevin Durant there are several players like this:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/i/irvinky01.html

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/w/willide02.html

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/k/kanteen01.html

      Hey, let’s just go through the whole 2011 draft.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/t/thomptr01.html

      SUCK

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/v/valanjo01.html

      (okay, our first good player!)

      My point is that using Kevin Durant as an example of “potential” is not exactly talking about the average NBA player’s trend. LeBron and Durant had so-so rookie years, and then almost immediately made a leap toward all-time greatness.

      VERY FEW PLAYERS DO THIS. I know that people on this board (and every draft pundit in the history of draft pundits) gets aroused by the idea of “upside,” but really, most players have a low ceiling. The distribution of talent is pretty regular. There are a few LeBrons, a few Bargnanis, and then a whole lot of players who never really figured out how to go from .519 TS% to .650 TS% by their mid-twenties.

    11. SJK

      FWIW, Cleanthony’s TS was .627% last year on 28.5% usage. There’s definitely potential there, especially in a motion offense like the triangle.

    12. lavor postell

      Most picks at 51 have not and will not be in the NBA ever. That is a place where you swing for the fences and hope you hit a home run. At least if you’re going to be critical be upset about the Early pick since at 34 you can pick a rotation player. I think Early has a good chance at being a rotation player in the Triangle which places far less emphasis on creating off the dribble.

      I like what Phil did in going for high risk, high reward and I’m more excited to see what kinds of moves he’s making to balance out the roster during the summer in trades.

    13. Farfa

      @9

      Also, Durant played at the wrong position in his rookie year. And let’s say that Michael Beasley was touted as “the next Durant” the very next season and… we know how it ended.

      I think this draft made exceptionally clear that some front-offices know what they’re doing and make the right choices, some other know what they’re doing but choose to be bold, and the vast majority go completely by the old book, which means not very well. As you know I like advanced statistics but I don’t think they tell all the story. Anyway, I don’t know why Sacramento seems to draft the same two players almost every year (I was high on Stauskas, but since he’s gone to Sacto at #8 I already lowered my expectations), why Minnesota drafts like their scouts are allowed only five random minutes out of YouTube (seriously? a probably rebuilding franchise who drafts LaVine in the lottery? even Zach facepalmed), why Memphis of all teams keeps on drafting fringe perimeter talent who likely will never contribute, why everyone (everyone!) apart from the Spurs thought that drafting Anderson was a bad move.

      By the way, could someone explain to me how it is that getting Napier was a necessary step to retain James for the Heat? Is LeBron going full Jamison, Hughes-era Cleveland on them? That’s pretty funny.

    14. Farfa

      I also think Adam Silver will be forced to address heavily the tanking debate, after Philly made those choices (who I agree with – 100% about Embiid, 70% about Saric). They are already saying, fine, we’ll happily tank another year. Many teams do that, but I’ve never seen a team declare it so evidently on draft night.

    15. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      lavor,

      There is no reason why “swinging for the fences” can’t be a player who HAS ALREADY PUT UP GOOD NUMBERS. There’s no reason to spend any pick, of which ALL TEAMS GET FEW, on a player who has never looked good in the box score, hoping that YOUR TEAM will be the one to change him.

      This is the whole “turn the ‘bad’ girl into a great wife” argument over and over and over and over.

      The Spurs have demonstrated countless times that you can swing for the fences by choosing a guy who put up great numbers and lacks the “skills” or “athletic prowess” or whatever it is that scouts value. Read the scouting reports on Leonard from 2011. “Limited offensive game.” “Athletic but unskilled.” Look at him now.

      Kyle Anderson is the most recent in a long line of players who get railed for unmeasurables (honestly, he doesn’t look that slow to me; his sense of pace and ability to get the ball from the dribble up into lay-up position looks quick as hell to me, especially since he’s got long arms and most athletes should be able to move their arms from their torso to full extension very quickly) yet have PLENTY of measurables, like assists and rebounds, to speak to their “athleticism.”

      Most teams treat the draft like they’re buying $2 million dollar scratch-off tickets. That’s not wise.

      Take the best expected value, and base your decision on a large body of past performance. Will you lose on draft bets? Yes, you will. The potential is always there. The Spurs took Marcus Denmon last year, and I haven’t heard a single thing about him since his injury after the draft. But at the time, he was a “safe” pick, which is another way of saying, “We actually had decent criteria for his selection.”

    16. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      I repeat, ad nauseum:

      Advanced stats are not perfect, but they’re a whole lot safer and more productive than the available alternatives.

    17. Farfa

      Advanced stats are not perfect, but they’re a whole lot safer and more productive than the available alternatives.

      Yes, to me advanced stats are to eye-test alone what a condom is to coitus interruptus. Neither one of them will totally erase the possibility of a mistake, but one of them is much safer.

    18. Farfa

      Ooooo I realize only now that Minnesota picked Glenn Robinson III too. What a botched draft. If I were Kevin Love I would have already put my house on sale. Right now.

    19. SJK

      Ok I like Anderson too, but he wasn’t available. How could you possibly have a problem with the Cleanthony pick if you judge by his advanced stats (unless I’m misreading your post and you don’t have a problem with it)?

      .627 TS%, 91.4 Drtg, .246 WS/48… That seems like a guy who has “ALREADY PUT UP GOOD NUMBERS” to me.

    20. Kevin Udwary

      I think you’re always going to have front office guys who are overconfident in their (and the teams) ability to develop talent. Why do you have all these assistant coaches and trainers on the payroll if you can’t teach a guy how to hit a proper jump shot, or box out correctly for rebounds? So all the coaches are going to try and justify their salaries and say, take the guy with the uber athleticism and no basketball skills, and we’ll coach him up! Time after time it doesn’t work out, but there is the occasional superstar that puts it all together, thus perpetuating the “athleticism trumps all” myth.

      I have a lot less of a problem with taking the raw athletic freak with the 51st pick than a lottery pick. I’d be more optimistic with Thanasis if he could actually rebound, though.

    21. iserp

      You are aware of how few players go from “average rookie” to “MVP-level play” over the course of two seasons, right?

      For every Kevin Durant there are several players like this:

      And for every Kenneth Faried there are players like:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/robinth01.html

      What i want to mean is that stats don’t tell the whole story of players that are still growing. Obviously there are players that are more finished product and you know what you are drafting. If you are a finished product and are going to be a MVP from day 1, great!, you are likely going first in the draft. But then you have many teams choosing between the more NBA ready player with low ceiling and a project with higher ceiling. The first one has nice stats, the second one has nice measurements. And there are good players in both sides. If you limit yourself to just one, you are losing opportunities. For example, we did not have much to gain with the 51st pick, as a more NBA ready player in that position is equivalent to players we can pick up in the D-League. Why not go with Thanasis that measures well? Most likely it won’t work out, but then again, we can drop Thanasis and pick up someone from the D-League.

      I know very little about the draft. If I look at the actual picks and what i can read in internet, i see that the ‘experts’ know very little too. When i read Chad Ford’s grades from year ago, i get some laughs. Even some GMs that look good drafting, then have a bad streak and leaves you wondering whether they were lucky in the first place. So i am very surprised you claim drafting is such an exact science. This site welcomes all advanced analytics, why don’t you make an article projecting the picks in the first round? Then we can come back, discuss your method and compare it with other journalists.

    22. lavor postell

      Jowles,

      Don’t a lot of advanced stats admittedly fail to capture defensive value? Don’t the WOW guys admit that’s one of the shortcoming of WP/48. Thanasis is unlikely to be more than just a guy on offense, but he has all the tools to be a great ballhawk on the wing. I’m not debating that Kyle Anderson or McGary was a great pick since I loved both of them, but we also don’t know what the asking price was to get back into the mid-20’s. I mean Aaron Afflalo got traded yesterday for No. 56 and fucking Evan Fournier.

      I like Early because I think he’s productive and fits well in to the Triangle. I like taking a risk at 51 because I think Thanasis can be a plus defender. I’m legitimately asking who was there at 51 that you think will be a productive pro.

    23. Farfa

      why don’t you make an article projecting the picks in the first round?

      This would actually be much interesting, and I’m saying this without any trace of irony.

    24. johnno

      “The Spurs have demonstrated countless times that you can swing for the fences by choosing a guy who put up great numbers and lacks the “skills” or “athletic prowess” or whatever it is that scouts value. Read the scouting reports on Leonard from 2011. “Limited offensive game.” “Athletic but unskilled.” Look at him now.”
      But doesn’t this kind of undermine your whole point? Other than rebounds (which I realize are the holy grail of stats to you), Leonard didn’t put up good numbers in college. He had a TS% of .50 his last two years, was a lousy 3 point shooter, didn’t get to the line much, didn’t have a great assist rate, etc. But he DID have huge hands, great size, speed, “measurables” and athletic ability. In other words, he was kind of the anti-Anderson. So the Spurs swung for the fences with him based on potential, not on college performance, and hit a grand slam. By the way, I agree wholeheartedly with your point that actual college performance should be given a lot more weight than pure athletic ability. I just don’t think that Leonard is a good example to use to support it.

    25. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “There were a lot of second round steals this year, but to me, the team that had no business getting what it got was the San Antonio Spurs. In exchange for George Hill – an average guard still on his rookie contract – the Spurs got Kawhi Leonard, who posted a PAWS/40 of 13.02, which was good enough for 4th amongst all drafted players. The really amazing part about the trade is that they still have a strong guard rotation (Parker, Ginobili), it shores up the Spurs’ weakest position (small forward), and takes minutes away from the unproductive Richard Jefferson. Now the Spurs can trot out a starting lineup of Parker, Giniobili, Leonard, DeJuan Blair, and Tim Duncan, and try for one last ring before Duncan retires.”

      http://thenbehteam.blogspot.com/2011/06/quick-thoughts-2011-nba-draft.html

      No. Kawhi Leonard was one of the most productive players in the NCAA according to stats.

    26. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      So i am very surprised you claim drafting is such an exact science.

      When did I say this? I just said in this thread that drafting is a crapshoot, but a crapshoot whose volatility can be mitigated by using quantifiable production rather than non-quantifiable conjecture.

      Will Kyle Anderson absolutely be a productive NBA player? No! ‘

      Will he be more productive than a majority of the players chosen before him in the draft? Probably!

    27. johnno

      “No. Kawhi Leonard was one of the most productive players in the NCAA according to stats.”
      Only because a few of the advanced metrics, like you, put such a huge premium on rebounding. Other than rebounding, his numbers were bad. Put another way, how would you be reacting today if the Knicks had picked a wing player who had a TS% of .50 and a 3 point percentage in the low 20’s against mediocre college competition? Remember, the knock on Leonard coming out of college was that he couldn’t shoot — at all.

    28. iserp

      No. Kawhi Leonard was one of the most productive players in the NCAA according to stats.

      It is unfair to say that Kawhi Leonard had good stats because of PAWS/40 and then complain about Derrick Williams who had better PAWS/40 than him (As did Irving, and the Morris Brothers, Jared Sullinger and Kemba Walker)

      At least try to be consistent about the stats you use. If you cherrypick TS% to complain about Derrick Williams, use it also to value Kawhi. And if you use PAWS/40 to portray Kawhi as a good player, then use it also for Derrick.

    29. Ted Nelson

      Thanasis projects horribly.

      1. He was the 51st pick. If we look back and the Knicks passed on even two good players drafted after him, I would be very surprised.

      2. He was likely drafted primarily for his defense, which doesn’t show up well in the box score.

      3. Take a look at his first half of the season vs. second half. His FG% and 3P% both took big jumps. Could be random, but there’s a good chance he improved. Actually scouting him would help to determine what happened. If he changed his mechanics, for example, data from early last season may not reflect who he is as a player today at all.

      I think this draft made exceptionally clear that some front-offices know what they’re doing and make the right choices, some other know what they’re doing but choose to be bold, and the vast majority go completely by the old book, which means not very well.

      Glad you know how this draft will turn out as soon as it happened! Have tonight’s lottery numbers by chance?

      Advanced stats are not perfect, but they’re a whole lot safer and more productive than the available alternatives.

      And by far the best approach is to combine advanced statistics with in-person scouting. You simply cannot translate incomplete numbers from various much, much lower level of competition for players who are still boys directly to the NBA. Looking only at advanced stats in regards to amateur players is probably as bad as ignoring them completely.

      Sitting in your armchair looking only at a spreadsheet puts you at a huge disadvantage to the NBA organizations that can potentially not only have trained statisticians to pour over the same stats 40 hours a week, but also have an army of scouts to watch these kids play. I think you’re probably right that many teams don’t have a clue, but figuring out which teams are which without inside knowledge is difficult until we get a pretty large sample.

    30. Farfa

      Put another way, how would you be reacting today if the Knicks had picked a wing player who had a TS% of .50 and a 3 point percentage in the low 20?s against mediocre college competition? Remember, the knock on Leonard coming out of college was that he couldn’t shoot — at all.

      But shooting you can teach.

      Just to be clear: I think that Early is a nice pick. Maybe I’ll be wrong maybe I won’t. But he’s not a slacker, nor a show-boater. He can be a nice addition if properly used.

    31. iserp

      When did I say this? I just said in this thread that drafting is a crapshoot, but a crapshoot whose volatility can be mitigated by using quantifiable production rather than non-quantifiable conjecture.

      Will Kyle Anderson absolutely be a productive NBA player? No! ‘

      You are not talking only about Kyle Anderson, which i agree that is very good value. But you are also complaining about Wiggins being taking 1st. Would you take Kyle Anderson first than Wiggins? At some point you have to value more the higher ceiling of some prospects than the readiness that his NCAA stats show.

    32. ephus

      For me, the strangest part of the Bulls draft is that they could have asked Denver to take Dario Saric at 11, and made the same trade. Saric would have been stashed and taken no salary cap space.

      On a totally separate note, a link To my latest column. No relation to sports.

    33. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “At least try to be consistent about the stats you use. If you cherrypick TS% to complain about Derrick Williams, use it also to value Kawhi. And if you use PAWS/40 to portray Kawhi as a good player, then use it also for Derrick.”

      I would have loved to have Derrick Williams. He looked like a stud. My point was that some don’t pan out, some do, and that the Wiggins pick could result in a ROY win and still be a bad pick (mostly because teams and sportswriters alike can’t figure out what results in winning basketball).

      I don’t think that “by far” the best approach is to combine advanced statistics with in-person scouting if the in-person scouting relies on all sorts of fallacious criteria to get there. The problem is not dismissing either side of prospecting, but of deciding what is and is not important to your selection process. As the smarmy dude from Box Score Geeks wrote the other day, if your draft process entails taking the results from a 2-hour workout and letting them change your position on several months (or years) of organized basketball, your process is fucked.

      I particularly remember a sequence in Moneyball when Billy Beane was described as running on a treadmill to prevent himself from watching the games. Why did he do that? He knew that stats could help him, on average, make better decisions (and sometimes he made decisions that would end poorly), but he also knew that his subjectivity could lead him to all sorts of bias and heuristic errors, so he chose to eliminate them.

      Are there non-tangible factors to consider? Absolutely. I don’t think Leonard would be a Spur if he were more like Brandon Jennings in demeanor. I think that teams need to know about a player’s psychology before making a long-term investment. And I think that “coachability” is worth looking into. Character matters.

      Ted, I really didn’t expect the “appeal to authority” argument from you in the last paragraph. It’s so abundantly clear that the NBA is still…

    34. MSA

      On the bright side, with Early and THJ we can start trying some fastbreaks once in a while again.

    35. GoNyGoNYGo

      @7 Hubert
      Beck did harp on the fact that we lost the first round pick, which to me is utter nonsense. How many of us would have given up on the fun years that 2011-12 or 2012-13 were just for the 12th pick this year? None of us.

      @13 lavor postell
      I agree totally. Second round picks in general rarely become rotations players. Just for kicks, here are the #51 picks going back to 1990:

      1990 Tony Smith (LAL)
      1991 Zan Tabak (HOU)
      1992 Tim Borroughs (MIN)
      1993 Spencer Dunkley (IND)
      1994 Lawrence Funderburke (SAC)
      1995 Dejan Bodiroga (SAC)
      1996 Chris Robinson (VAN)
      1997 DeJuan Wheat (LAL)
      1998 Corey Brewer (MIA)
      1999 Antwain Smith (VAN)
      2000 Igor Rakocevic (MIN)
      2001 Andre Hutson (MIL)
      2002 Marcus Taylor (MIN)
      2003 Kyle Korver (NJN)
      2004 Chrisian Drejer (NJN)
      2005 Axel Hervelle (DEN)
      2006 Cheikh Samb (LAL)
      2007 JamesOn Curry (CHI)
      2008 Shan Foster (DAL)
      2009 Jack McClinton (SAS)
      2010 Magnum Rolle (OKC)
      2011 Jon Diebler (POR)
      2012 Kris Joseph (BOS)
      2013 Romero Osby (ORL)
      2014 Thanasis Antetokounmpo (NYK)

    36. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      in the dark ages of organizational structure and player development. When players like Andrea Bargnani are being traded for multiple assets, players like Rudy Gay are being given max contracts, and players like Kendrick Perkins are inexplicably kept on the roster over a generational offensive talent like James Harden, there are clear indicators that decision-making in the NBA is not considered the same way it is in the average business.

      And that makes me question all of their processes when it comes to basketball-related resource allocation.

    37. GoNyGoNYGo

      @35 MSA
      Phil actually hinted at the fact that he wants the Knicks to run more and that they must be in tip-top shape to play in his presser yesterday

    38. thenamestsam

      Put me down as far more interested in discussing the Knicks pick than how brilliant the Spurs are. They are, we all know it, but there has to be some Spurs fan board where you can take your fawning if that’s all you want to talk about.

      As for Early, I think like THJ last year a big part of his NBA future is going to depend on what type of defender he can turn into on the NBA level. Offensively he looks like he can fill that 3 and D wing prototype – his jumpshot is decent and improving, and he’s got the athleticism to get out on the break and get to the rim on simple attacks when guys closeout hard on him. Defensively is where the questions are. He looks like a good enough athlete that he should be solid on that end, but the highlights packages I saw (including the one Z-man posted above) showed him getting worked over pretty good including by what looked to be some seriously sub-NBA level guys. Obviously all the caveats that come along with judging someone off a highlight package apply, but he looks like about what you’d expect for the 34 pick – upside is probably solid NBA starter but could easily be out of the league in 5 years.

    39. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “You are not talking only about Kyle Anderson, which i agree that is very good value. But you are also complaining about Wiggins being taking 1st. Would you take Kyle Anderson first than Wiggins? At some point you have to value more the higher ceiling of some prospects than the readiness that his NCAA stats show.”

      No, I would not have taken Kyle Anderson first. But I would have taken him over Andrew Wiggins. Perceived value matters. I do think Kyle Anderson will be a more productive pro than Wiggins. I think you’ll see a lot more of Wiggins in highlight reels and sports drink commercials, though, so… whatever. I would have taken Embiid with the first pick, and if he weren’t there I would trade down for several future picks and choose Anderson in the mid-teens.

      I think Chris Andersen is a phenomenal non-scoring center and would improve virtually any team in the league, but I wouldn’t sign him to a max contract because of his perceived value even if I think that he’s worth that kind of money w/r/t production.

    40. iserp

      Well, Jowles, then there is something i don’t understand. Why did you write the following paragraph:

      This draft has made it clear that teams still value old-school scouting methods to the analytics movement. The usual suspects made some outstanding picks, the 76ers might end up with the luckiest (and scariest) frontcourt in the league by 2016, and Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker will win Rookie of the Year by leading all rookies in scoring, despite shooting at a .490 TS%.

      Exactly what is wrong with the Wiggins or the Parker pick? Who should they have drafted? Or did you just say that to ‘get a point’ when next year we realize that some teams made bad pick choices (oh surprise!)?

      I already understood that Kyle Anderson has been drafted much later than he should be, and that Zach LaVine is going to be a bust. What about the rest?

    41. SJK

      I have a feeling we’ll package one or some of the young guys we’ve picked up or THJ to move JR. I just can’t see any scenario where JR gets minutes next year. Some team in needing of shooting has to be dumb enough to take him right? Charlotte?

    42. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Exactly what is wrong with the Wiggins or the Parker pick? Who should they have drafted? Or did you just say that to ‘get a point’ when next year we realize that some teams made bad pick choices (oh surprise!)?

      The project poorly, statistically.

      If you notice, though, they’ve been “top prospects” for the last three or four years, so I’m thinking that conventional wisdom overruled the whole “did they play good basketball this year” thing.

    43. Kevin Udwary

      Some team in needing of shooting has to be dumb enough to take him right? Charlotte?

      Charlotte doesn’t have much use for Biyombo now. He would make a nice defensive/rebounding big to have, with our thin frontcourt.

    44. iserp

      I would have loved to have Derrick Williams. He looked like a stud. My point was that some don’t pan out, some do, and that the Wiggins pick could result in a ROY win and still be a bad pick (mostly because teams and sportswriters alike can’t figure out what results in winning basketball).

      So, if Kawhi Leonard did not pan out we would still be praising how good drafters are the spurs? How many teams are ‘good drafters’ but then his picks don’t pan out? There must be some out there. I am pretty sure if you use PAWS/40 it must not be difficult to compute.

    45. Ted Nelson

      At least try to be consistent about the stats you use.

      Great points, iserp. When you start looking backward, it become pretty obvious that dogmatically sticking to a single stat to evaluate draft prospects is not a magical answer. These are still kids and they’re playing against inferior competition. Perhaps over time the results for some metrics are better than the actual draft, but the difference is probably at the margin. I’ve been out of the game for a while, but I remember some stats gurus pointing to the steals their metrics unearthed while conveniently ignoring several nobodies surrounding them. It’s also a lot easier to fit a model to historical data than to use it to project forward.

      I think statistical analysis is an important data point in evaluating draft prospects. I also think, though, that it should be cross-checked against watching the kids and doing some detective work into their personalities. It doesn’t have to be “traditional” scouting, as you can still use some more advanced techniques to track the things that are predictive over the years and look for those. I also think that there’s probably just always going to be a portion of NBA success that’s just hard to explain. Even the Spurs end up with some Marcus Williams’ and some James Anderson’s.

    46. ephus

      Miami did not send Norris Cole to Charlotte in the Shabaz Napier deal. Just the Hairston, the 55th pick, 2019 second round pick and cash. Looks like Cole would be part of Miami’s S&T package for Lowry.

    47. Dan Panorama

      One thing I like about the picks is that all of them (well, minus, the French guy nobody’s heard of) have some amount of buzz around the league that’s disproportionate to their position in the draft. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get something out of them on the court, but they’re pretty clear tantalizing assets in trade negotiations too — even if Thanasis doesn’t take off quickly I think a lot of teams would still be interested in getting someone with his combination of athleticism, length, and character and hoping he puts it together. That’s given people like Anthony Randolph value longer than they should have kept it based on their on-court performance. It’s legit shocking how fast we’ve gone from 1-2 young assets (one of them, Shump, with an uncertain contract situation) to our current stockpile in just 48 hours or so.

    48. Farfa

      This Miami talk is really blah, until now. But I have to admit that Lowry would be a nice addition, though I’m kinda perplexed by how well would he mesh with those other guys (mostly Wade. Lowry has been long known for being …ornery).

    49. DRed

      Kevin Durant won the Rookie of the Year, leading all rookies in scoring, despite shooting at a .519 TS%. Not sure if Presti is one of those guys with old-school scouting methods, but it turned out pretty well.

      The difference between Durant and Wiggins is that Durant was the best college basketball player in the country as a freshman. He’d already shown the ability to translate his freakish physical gifts into dominant play on the court. No draft pick is ever a lock, but Durant was about as close as it comes.

    50. Ted Nelson

      The problem is not dismissing either side of prospecting, but of deciding what is and is not important to your selection process.

      Your comments come across as EXTREMELY dismissive of an entire side of “prospecting.” You may want to express yourself better, because what I’m coming away with from reading your comments is that almost every team in the NBA is really stupid for not drafting exactly what the advanced stats tell them to draft… which advanced stats exactly? Well you seem to waffle on that. Whichever looked good in hindsight.

      Baseball is not basketball at all. Baseball stats themselves have advanced lightyears since Moneyball and are best combined with scouting. It’s been awhile, but I remember his running on the treadmill being explained as anxiety over watching the games. Anyway, it really doesn’t matter because that has nothing to do with drafting amateur players. You cannot translate even AAA stats directly to MLB, just as you cannot translate NCAA or European or DLeague stats directly to the NBA. Just looking at NBA performance over a decent sample is a different conversation.

      I am not appealing to authority. That you dismiss my comment as such without understanding it is why it’s you against the world in this discussion. I am telling you that sitting in your armchair without the resources to properly evaluate these players, you are not in a good place to criticize specifics.

      I never said that watching games means doing so stupidly. Again, be less dismissive. I said that a good decision process includes watching games. How many hours of tape have you poured over? Have you broken down guys shooting mechanics? Isolated their performance from their level of competition?

      I don’t think every NBA team is well run by any means. A decade or whatever after Moneyball there are still poorly run MLB teams. Unless you know what their decision processes are, though, it’s hard to criticize them or think that you…

    51. Farfa

      Again, be less dismissive.

      Jowles, despite finding myself agreeing very much with you on this topic, I would advise that as well. This constant bickering could really annoy lots of people, and as much as it’s tradition it can result in the creation of a sort of enclave.

    52. thenamestsam

      The difference between Durant and Wiggins is that Durant was the best college basketball player in the country as a freshman. He’d already shown the ability to translate his freakish physical gifts into dominant play on the court. No draft pick is ever a lock, but Durant was about as close as it comes.

      I don’t want to minimize Durant’s play or make it seem like I think Wiggins is as good as Durant as a prospect because he’s obviously not. But I think it’s worth pointing out that the difference you’re talking about is 35 games (about 1200 minutes) as an 18 year old. That’s not much of a sample at all. THCJ keeps talking about how dumb it is to value something that happens in workout vs. all of this game time, but if you have a guy in for a 2 hour workout that alone could be equal to 10% of his minutes he played in college. Obviously organized basketball is different from a workout, but some of those differences are in the workout’s favor (e.g. you’re going to see a guy shoot the ball way more in 20 minutes of a workout than in 20 minutes of game film). I’m not saying ignore a guy’s production in college, but I also think there’s a risk in going too far the other way.

    53. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “Without the resources to properly evaluate these prospects” is where you lose me. Your definition of “properly” implies that NBA teams use their resources efficiently. I see very little evidence, outside of the brilliance of a few select teams, that NBA teams know how to manage their basketball assets productively. Again, the Knicks traded a huge amount of their resources for Andrea Bargnani, who has never been and will never be a productive NBA player. How many hours of tape did they pour over? How intensely did they break down his shooting mechanics? Isolated his performance from the level of his competition?

      Why do NBA teams fail to recognize talent and reward players who lack productivity? They have the resources, yet I, in my armchair, am calling for decisions that end up being mirrored by the most successful franchise in the league. (Leonard, Blair, Denmon, Anderson– at this point, it’s a trend.)

      Do you know that Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans, Inc., is intimately involved in the process of selecting the Cavaliers’ picks? That’s right: a man who made his money in the mortgage industry has a great deal of control over determining which basketball player will be the most productive on his team. Do you think that’s a good process?

    54. Brian Cronin

      While I admire his ability to get the narrative out there and I hope that it does work, I hate the basic thought process behind these comments by Phil Jackson about Melo taking a pay cut:

      “I think it puts limitations on a team,” Jackson said of a maximum-salary contract. “What happens is then you end up having two or three players that have big contracts and everybody else’s is either veteran minimums or young players coming in. You don’t have that middle ground for a player that’s veteran, comfortable leadership-quality people. Miami explored it. I think they got the most out of it.”

      “I think it puts limitations on a team”? The teams are the ones who artificially put a limit on the payroll!!! They artificially lowered the amount of money their best players could make and then they want to complain about players wanting to make even that artificially low amount! It’s such an effed up situation. I mean, Jackson is doing a good job playing the effed up system as best that he can, and I appreciate that, but boy, it boils my blood whenever I see a representative of a team complain about players putting money ahead of the team.

    55. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Jowles, despite finding myself agreeing very much with you on this topic, I would advise that as well. This constant bickering could really annoy lots of people, and as much as it’s tradition it can result in the creation of a sort of enclave.

      The enclave has already been made. It was made four years ago when I lamented the Amar’e signing, and I relish my role as the “heel” of this board. You know, the guy who makes relatively accurate predictions and gets called a broken watch each time.

      The tone of the disagreement has certainly cooled since the days of Z-man telling me I’m an unfit employee, and me consequently telling him to imbibe whatever liquids he could find under his sink, but I’m just calling it like I see it, like everyone else. I just happen to be right more often than they are on these matters.

      As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said, “What I mean by truth is only that path which I must take.”

      And the truth is that if the Spurs keep drafting the guys my “advanced stats” say project well, those stats might just be onto something…

    56. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      THCJ keeps talking about how dumb it is to value something that happens in workout vs. all of this game time, but if you have a guy in for a 2 hour workout that alone could be equal to 10% of his minutes he played in college.

      Not even close to comparable. I’ll hit 50% of my jump shots from 18 feet, but you put a hand in my face and eight other players swarming around me and I will literally take the ball and cry under the bleachers from sheer fright.

      Not remotely the same thing, workouts and game-time.

    57. Hubert

      I think you’re always going to have front office guys who are overconfident in their (and the teams) ability to develop talent. Why do you have all these assistant coaches and trainers on the payroll if you can’t teach a guy how to hit a proper jump shot, or box out correctly for rebounds? So all the coaches are going to try and justify their salaries and say, take the guy with the uber athleticism and no basketball skills, and we’ll coach him up! Time after time it doesn’t work out, but there is the occasional superstar that puts it all together, thus perpetuating the “athleticism trumps all” myth.

      I have a lot less of a problem with taking the raw athletic freak with the 51st pick than a lottery pick. I’d be more optimistic with Thanasis if he could actually rebound, though.

      It’s not like we have definitive proof that they’re wrong, though.

      There’s a lot of cherry picking when the advanced stats community trots out the guys who failed to improve on raw ability when they got to the NBA. I would have loved to hear what THCJ would have said about Andre Iguodola, for instance, after he was a 20% 3 point shooter in his freshman year at Arizona.

      I’ve seen advanced stats people loose their collective shit over guys like Adam Morrison, DeJuan Blair, and Luke Walton, too.

      The truth is the draft is a crapshoot, and both styles hit or miss with equal frequency.

    58. Farfa

      @56

      But it’s the truth. We can agree that if the system is wrong, that’s only because of the teams, but Jackson is essentially saying that if you have to build a contender from scratch (with no superstar still in his rookie or first extended contract), your best player needs to take a paycut from his real market value to make it happen. Jackson is right in saying so.

    59. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Hubert,

      I would have said, “That’s a red flag,” but I would have also cited that he only took 44 3PA his freshman season, and got up to a 32% in his sophomore season with a much larger sample.

      By the way, his career 3PT% is 33 in the NBA, so… uh, yeah.

      Iguodala’s value isn’t from 3PT shooting. Never has been, never will be.

      Adam Morrison? A total whiff. Everyone was wrong about the guy. I’d like to see who disliked him as a prospect, and why. The guy looked like Larry Legend 2.0. I think diabetes was the only thing he had going against him. And at this point, he’s one of the worst ever.

    60. Farfa

      I’ve seen advanced stats people loose their collective shit over guys like Adam Morrison, DeJuan Blair, and Luke Walton, too.

      DeJuan Blair and Luke Walton have been good picks, in my mind. They played well for contending teams, understood their limitations and made the most out of what they had. Morrison blows, but he got derailed by injuries.

    61. Ted Nelson

      Your definition of “properly” implies that NBA teams use their resources efficiently.

      No, it does not. You are not reading what I am writing. You are reading what you want to read. I never said that all NBA teams are doing it properly. I said that you are doing it improperly, then getting up on your high horse talking about how stupid everyone else is for specific decisions that you are not in a good place to judge.

      That’s right: a man who made his money in the mortgage industry has a great deal of control over determining which basketball player will be the most productive on his team. Do you think that’s a good process?

      What does how the man made his money have to do with their decision making process? Those are two independent things. How do you make your money, by the way? Does the way you make your money necessarily make you a better basketball analyst than Dan Gilbert?
      I have no idea what the Cavs decision making process entails, and I doubt you do either. What their owner made his money doing has no bearing on how good a process it is, though, and whether the Cavs have a good decision making process has little bearing on whether your comments are good ones or not. (Maybe the Wiggins ones, but none of the ones I’ve responded to.)

      yet I, in my armchair, am calling for decisions that end up being mirrored by the most successful franchise in the league. (Leonard, Blair, Denmon, Anderson– at this point, it’s a trend.)

      You are hardly calling for any decisions at all. You’ve pointed out exactly one player in this year’s draft you thought was undervalued. All you’re doing is criticizing other people and calling them idiots without offering any real decisions of your own. “Draft Anderson” is not the answer to every single team’s problems. There are exactly one Anderson in this draft. If Embiid and Anderson went 1, 2… who would you pick 3-60?

    62. Brian Cronin

      But it’s the truth. We can agree that if the system is wrong, that’s only because of the teams, but Jackson is essentially saying that if you have to build a contender from scratch (with no superstar still in his rookie or first extended contract), your best player needs to take a paycut from his real market value to make it happen. Jackson is right in saying so.

      He’s not right that the player taking the maximums salary puts a limitation on the team, though. It is the team that put the limitation on the team by creating the cap system. Again, I’m fine with Jackson spinning it in a way that’ll get Melo to take less, because yes, it is better for the Knicks if he does, but I don’t like the implications that it is a player’s responsibility to take less money to help the team when the teams are already screwing the players’ earning potential and now they want to shame players into taking even less.

    63. DRed

      But I think it’s worth pointing out that the difference you’re talking about is 35 games (about 1200 minutes) as an 18 year old. That’s not much of a sample at all.

      That’s a fair point, and I don’t think one season of freshman ball can tell you all you need to know about a player. But Durant ticked all the boxes. He was a good kid, a great athlete, he could shoot, get to the hoop, he had a freakishly long body, and he dominated on the court. Wiggins is a great athlete who had an inconsistent year. One year is a limited amount of information, but everything pointed to Durant being a very good pro. Wiggins hasn’t shown that. I understand drafting him, but the first pick is not the place to do it

    64. Ted Nelson

      The teams are the ones who artificially put a limit on the payroll!!! They artificially lowered the amount of money their best players could make and then they want to complain about players wanting to make even that artificially low amount!

      I don’t think Phil Jackson had much of anything to do with the NBA salary cap. That’s a collective bargaining process between the owners and the players… Jax is neither. Maybe he was wispering sweet nothings about capology into Buss’s daughters ears during negotiations, but otherwise I don’t see the connection between his comments and the cap at all.

      I would imagine/hope that his comment have more to do with Melo being a questionable use of a max deal. If the guy you’re limiting yourself with is LeBron or Durant or Duncan… ok. If you sign Melo to a max deal you are going to have a really hard time fielding a championship team.

    65. Farfa

      Brian, I’m not sure it is about “shaming” them. I think it is about the players deciding to game a broken system (which I don’t like, to tell the truth) to increase the chance to win a championship. The summer of 2010 is where you can point your finger to: if that superteam never happened – and, by the way, that superteam was a tremendous boon for the entire League, hate or not – then this would be another example of teams vexing players to squeeze maximum profit and/or flexibility. Since that superteam has happened, though, Phil is just addressing the current state of the NBA. I don’t think this is one of his famed mind-games.

    66. Ted Nelson

      He’s not right that the player taking the maximums salary puts a limitation on the team, though. It is the team that put the limitation on the team by creating the cap system.

      I think you’re misinterpreting Jackson’s comments to make a larger political point here. It’s pretty clear that he’s talking about limitations within the larger NBA framework, not the framework itself. You’re taking his words out of context to make a largely unrelated point.

    67. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “Draft Anderson” is not the answer to every single team’s problems. There are exactly one Anderson in this draft. If Embiid and Anderson went 1, 2… who would you pick 3-60?

      “Draft Anderson” could have been a solution to a problem for most teams between 1-29, though. It was actually an option for each team until the Spurs picked at #30, and none of them took him. For a few, it makes sense. Houston chose the Swiss guy because (1) he projects as a future star and (2) they need to preserve cap space. The 76ers had a miracle two years in a row and, as I said, look like they could be world-beaters in a few years if the injury bug doesn’t strike.

      You’re right that I don’t have the resources that NBA talent evaluators have, but I think it’s implied that having access to that kind of stuff implies a more thorough, well-reasoned draft strategy. I don’t think that a lack of access implies “improper” talent evaluation. I think the draft could be conducted with the players taken sight unseen and a team could do very well in the long run.

      And I’ve pointed out one player that I thought was undervalued in this thread, but I’m pretty sure we’ve talked about other players in previous drafts. And I’ve certainly pointed out players who have been overvalued by “high ceiling” projections, like Wiggins and Parker. The Greek brother. P.J. Hairston. All with mediocre-to-terrible stats, but lots of fawning over potential and growth (and some Youtube highlight reels from the first two).

    68. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      And let me reiterate: WIGGINS COULD BE THE NEXT LEBRON. I don’t know. I just think that given his play over the last year, he is a large risk to be a long-term “project” instead of a near-immediate MVP candidate like LeBron, Howard and Durant.

    69. mokers

      I don’t se why people are so upset about the Cleanthony pick. It’s in the second round so if it doesn’t work out, it’s not going to be a big deal financially. I agree with Lavor Postell that he would be a good fit in the triangle. Look at his shot chart: http://www.shotanalytics.com/2014/06/25/nba-draft-shot-chart-cleanthony-early/

      71% at the rim and 50% at the left corner three. He has post up ability. And he comes from a program where people were encouraged to pass the ball and take open shots when you have them. Jackson talked about changing the culture of the team with his moves and it seems he has a vision.

      Thiansis is obviously a big project, but there are very few rotation players coming from that part of the second round, but check out his interviews after getting drafted. Dolan wasted so much money doing terrible things, I can’t get upset about using some of his money making a good kid’s dream come true. And he has had such little actual basketball development, so there is still a chance he can have productive NBA minutes.

    70. JK47

      Adam Morrison? A total whiff. Everyone was wrong about the guy. I’d like to see who disliked him as a prospect, and why. The guy looked like Larry Legend 2.0. I think diabetes was the only thing he had going against him. And at this point, he’s one of the worst ever.

      Actually, not everybody loved Adam Morrison, and the knock on him was that he was not gifted athletically, was not a good leaper, lacked quickness on defense… basically all of the “eye test” things that doomed Morrison as a pro.

    71. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      I admit that the Thiansis pick isn’t much of a risk at #51, but I do think there were some other players who could have been a good choice… namely a certain big PG from the loveliest college town in New Jersey…

    72. Farfa

      The potential problem with Wiggins is that, as of now, his ceiling looks much closer to a rich man’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (which is to say, prime Gerald Wallace – not a bad player, though) than to a Scottie Pippen or a Tracy McGrady, and he’s not in the best situation to develop at the right pace.
      The potential problem with Parker is that he is pretty much guaranteed to be the second coming of Big Dog Robinson, or a shorter version of Shareef Abdur-Rahim: good if not all that efficient scorers who came into the league already capable of playing offensive basketball but never improved. I still think Milwaukee did good in drafting him, but only because we’re talking about Milwaukee and the chance that the Bucks will ever attract a great free agent is really, really close to zero.

    73. Frank

      THCJ – no one is arguing that if Kyle Anderson were there at 34 we should have (and probably would have) taken him.

      Hard to argue with Early’s efficiency numbers although obviously you’d like to see some more passing acumen from him. Again, we’re talking about a 2nd round pick here.

      Re: Thanasis – he’s a young kid who really never had adequate coaching before. We’re talking about small samples here because we just don’t have that many stats on him.

      But if you look at his last (arbitrarily yes) 20 games, he shot 41% from 3 point range on 66 attempts. Not THAT small a sample. And overall in those last 20 games (per 36):

      TS 62.2
      17.4 points
      5.8 rebounds
      3.5 assists
      1.5 steals
      1.9 blocks

      Yes I arbitrarily picked 20 games, but when you’re talking about a guy who had no coaching before and now is getting coaching, the more recent numbers are probably the most relevant.

      I dunno. he’s the 51st pick so he’ll likely amount to nothing. But it sure feels like he has a good ceiling. And if he doesn’t, oh well. No big deal.

    74. Ted Nelson

      Not remotely the same thing, workouts and game-time.

      And any halfway intelligent organization would not be looking for the same thing in both contexts. You would have to be a real moron not to realize that there’s a difference between a game and a workout. Like have the mental ability of an average 7 year old. You seem to assume that everyone but you is really stupid. You can control certain variables in a workout, which makes them worth looking at. You’re not just looking at a guy’s skills in a workout, but also how he responds to coaching, how he carries himself, etc. By themselves, these are not variables you want to base your entire decision on. It’s just one part of a much bigger picture. One thing you seem to be missing in the Spurs formula is that they’re an organization that generally prizes strong attitude and work ethic. Playing your role on the team above pure skill.

      You are building a lot of strawman arguments to paint almost all NBA front offices with the same brush as some kind of caricature of ineptitude. Clearly there are better run and worse run FOs. It’s not necessarily one or two incredible ones and then a vast wasteland, though. (Even the Spurs got extremely lucky to land Duncan and grab Manu at the end of the draft and Parker at the end of the first because they were a first mover in Europe… they’re an incredible organization, but since then they’re basically just had to fill in role players around Duncan.)

      The problem may not be NBA FOs so much as your belief that you (or Dave Berri) have boiled basketball down to a single formula.

    75. mokers

      namely a certain big PG from the loveliest college town in New Jersey…

      He’s still available as a free agent, no? Still a chance to get him before the Spurs do.

    76. Frank

      and by the way if you look at Thanasis’s shot chart, he looks like he might already be able to contribute a little on the offensive end —

      http://stats.nbadleague.com/playerShotchart.html?PlayerID=203648

      61% at the rim, ~39% from the corner 3. It’s when he shoots from anywhere else that it’s a problem. But luckily he shot 3/4 of his total shots from those places.

      by the way THCJ — where would you have drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo last year? He was all potential, middling efficiency.

    77. Farfa

      by the way THCJ — where would you have drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo last year? He was all potential, middling efficiency.

      Let’s not get carried away. I hope that Giannis explodes to superstardom, but he is still very raw and with no certainty of becoming a sure thing. Let’s wait at least two more years before saying he has arrived.

    78. Frank

      Re: Phil Jackson and the ongoing media manipulation — clearly I’m not the Zen Master but I think his point has been made re: Melo taking less, and it feels a little over the top to keep making that point weekly with the media. Makes you wonder whether or not he is mostly pre-creating cover for himself should Melo leave for more $ (along with also trying to corner Melo into taking less than the max).

    79. Frank

      Let’s not get carried away. I hope that Giannis explodes to superstardom, but he is still very raw and with no certainty of becoming a sure thing. Let’s wait at least two more years before saying he has arrived.

      lol – who got carried away? I didn’t say anything about Giannis other than that he was all potential and middling efficiency.

    80. lavor postell

      I’m so sick and tired of hearing about the fucking Spurs. We all get it. They’re really good and they value good things and do everything the right way. Why does this need to be mentioned at every turn when nobody disputes any of those things as fact.

      Jowles you never answered my question. Advanced stats like WP are admittedly not good at capturing defensive value. Thanasis is a young player who’s played little organized basketball but has shown tremendous potential on that end of the floor which is evident when you watch his game tape. Yeah he has really bad mental lapses, but that is generally common for young players, particularly those who are very new to the game especially at the higher levels, but his raw skills defensively are scary.

      The kid shows tremendous potential that can be molded and from everything you read he’s a hard worker and has extremely high character. Do you think it’s possible he can develop a three point shot given time and given he’s a good finisher at the rim maybe a decent enough ability to drive and finish?

      Do the Spurs hit on every pick? Haven’t the Knicks when they’ve had picks generally done alright? Didn’t they unearth Copeland when he was on nobody else’s radar? I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt here since I think they know more about Cleanthony Early, Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Louis whatever than we do.

    81. JK47

      The Thanasis pick at 51 has major home run potential. Looking at his NBDL stats and saying “he doesn’t project well” really, really misses the point.

      The guy had not played any high-level basketball, and got thrown into a very strange situation playing for a NBDL team where 30 players got playing time over the course of the 50 game season. When the season started Thanasis was basically a guy looking to just dunk the ball, but the coaches there basically converted him into a three-point shooting perimeter guard, and amazingly, he actually did a pretty good job making the transition. By season’s end he was a pretty reliable three-point shooter. Nobody questions his defensive ability– he plays harassing position defense, blocks plenty of shots with his 7’0″ wingspan and fast-twitch reflexes, fights hard through screens… Even if his ceiling is Bruce Bowen, Tony Allen or Thabo Sefolosha, those are winning players.

    82. Ted Nelson

      Great analysis, Frank.

      “Draft Anderson” could have been a solution to a problem for most teams between 1-29, though.

      It could have been an answer for only one team. There’s only one Anderson. A good decision process does not mean you identified one guy you love (who may or may not work out… last Anderson the Spurs took didn’t do much even though he was picked #20).

      I think it’s implied that having access to that kind of stuff implies a more thorough, well-reasoned draft strategy.

      Not sure how I can imply that something implies something… but it was not implied and rather something you read into my comment.

      I don’t think that a lack of access implies “improper” talent evaluation. I think the draft could be conducted with the players taken sight unseen and a team could do very well in the long run.

      I don’t think you’d do a ton worse because of the variability of the whole process and the amount of opinion available from guys who have seen them play, but I think you’d end up with a whole lot of Adam Morrison’s too. If you are so confident, all you have to do is predict how this draft class will turn out. Do it for a few years. If it’s so easy and you’re so good at it… you will be rich and famous in no time at all.

      I’m pretty sure we’ve talked about other players in previous drafts.

      And what is your track record? Not, I identified one steal once upon a time. Over a decent sample size, what (forward looking) results does your system produce?

      The Greek brother.

      I think that this has more to do with your understanding of stats than anything. The reason a simple statistical system using averages is unlikely to work is that good analysis breaks down averages into their constituent parts. At the 51st pick, the Knicks took a chance that Greece Lightning had improved his game over the season…

    83. thenamestsam

      If you are so confident, all you have to do is predict how this draft class will turn out. Do it for a few years. If it’s so easy and you’re so good at it… you will be rich and famous in no time at all.

      It has always struck me as slightly odd that THCJ who according to his own hype is both a better GM and better analyst than just about anybody out there continues to waste his time posting here when he should be making easy millions in Vegas or running any of the number of NBA teams that would be lucky to have him, but I guess everyone has different priorities.

    84. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      The problem may not be NBA FOs so much as your belief that you (or Dave Berri) have boiled basketball down to a single formula.

      Accuse me of straw men and make your own in the same breath.

      You’re out for a fight today, Ted. Back up.

    85. Hubert

      I particularly remember a sequence in Moneyball when Billy Beane was described as running on a treadmill to prevent himself from watching the games. Why did he do that? He knew that stats could help him, on average, make better decisions (and sometimes he made decisions that would end poorly), but he also knew that his subjectivity could lead him to all sorts of bias and heuristic errors, so he chose to eliminate them.

      That would explain why he had no clue that team’s success was 95% Hudson, Mulder, and Zito; and 5% drafting hitters with high OBP

      ;)

    86. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      running any of the number of NBA teams that would be lucky to have him

      It’s that easy, huh?

      I have few doubts that I could have made better personnel decisions than half of the NBA GMs over the last ten years. That doesn’t mean that I’m a basketball genius; it means that NBA GMs have made some obviously terrible decisions for quite a long time. It also means that I’m probably more likely to trust analytics than Joe Dumars, Michael Jordan, Kevin McHale and Isiah Thomas, who were exceptional basketball players who then turned their expertise into (largely) awful GM tenures.

      Sorry if you disagree.

    87. Hubert

      @7 Hubert
      Beck did harp on the fact that we lost the first round pick, which to me is utter nonsense. How many of us would have given up on the fun years that 2011-12 or 2012-13 were just for the 12th pick this year? None of us.

      Well, 2011-12 was fun in spite of Melo. 90% of the fun happened before he got here. The other 10% was his game 2 in Boston.

      And I think the answer to that question is a lot more people than you think.

    88. JK47

      How many of us would have given up on the fun years that 2011-12 or 2012-13 were just for the 12th pick this year? None of us.

      As if all he cost us was that one pick.

    89. Farfa

      Re: Giannis. Sorry Frank, I misinterpreted your question.

      Re: NBA GMs. NBA GMing is often like politics. Knowing the right people will help getting you a position of power. This makes so that there are some awful GMs who are working just because of their connections network. Those are mostly bad GMs.

    90. Ted Nelson

      You’re out for a fight today, Ted. Back up.

      On the contrary, I woke up very excited to make one comment about how I thought the Knicks draft strategy was pretty solid. I happened upon a thread filled with you basically calling everyone else an idiot while offering very little analysis of your own. I have pleasantly requested some simple information from you, and you’ve just tried to argue with me rather than engaging in discussion and elaborating on your points.

      If you can’t have a decent discussion in which you defend and expand upon your points, please stop criticizing everyone else so much. If you think NBA teams are so poorly run and a better process is right in front of their eyes, do a little work to show it. I am not being condescending there. Seriously, show your work. Either you’re blowing a lot of smoke here, or you do have a superior system that could be shown to be superior very easily. From what I’ve picked up, you seem to be a Berri follower. If you don’t want to create your own system, just measure his. It should be easy to do. When the guy has Damion James as the best player in his draft class, though, I don’t think you’re going to find a significantly better results than other systems or the draft itself. His system does unearth some steals, and the Knicks have actually brought a few of them into the league (Fields and Lin, for example).

      You have described no real decision making process besides look at stats in some unknown way and draft Kyle Anderson. You have contradicted yourself by bashing freshman picks and then explaining how a good sophomore pick developed from his freshman to his sophomore year… do you not see how that reasoning with Iggy contradicts your other points about freshman?

      Accuse me of straw men and make your own in the same breath.

      That’s seriously what I’ve taken away from your comments. You aren’t really expressing any other positive thoughts…

    91. Ted Nelson

      It’s that easy, huh?

      It literally is that easy to start a blog, post what decisions you would make in realtime, and then go back to check your historical accuracy. Yes. And if you do that and prove to be better than half the GMs in the NBA… you can start to attract some attention. At least become a famous journalist, but probably land a gig with an NBA team at some point.

      I have few doubts that I could have made better personnel decisions than half of the NBA GMs over the last ten years.

      And, yet, you refuse to enlighten us on what decisions you would make going forward other than draft Kyle Anderson and a couple of other guys.

      It also means that I’m probably more likely to trust analytics than Joe Dumars, Michael Jordan, Kevin McHale and Isiah Thomas

      A few things…
      1. You need to stop ascribing intelligence to “analytics” and “statistics.” They are basically thinking and numbers, respectively. It’s how you use them that matters.
      2. Joe Dumars had a sustained run as arguably the best GM in the NBA. It’s been a 5 year rebuild since they were a playoff team. The nature of his profession is that a couple of good or bad decisions can significantly alter the trajectory of your organization. Did he get lucky for the first 8 years? Unlucky the next 5? Both? You can’t judge process only on results over a small sample. That’s why I’m asking you to provide a decent sample of your work.
      3. You’ve listed 4 guys… there are 30 teams. That is not half. And half of your list haven’t been NBA GMs in like half a decade.

    92. thenamestsam

      Also interesting to note with respect to Billy Beane that the As have largely gone away from the “production over potential” draft philosophy they had at the time Moneyball was published. Beane expressed a strong belief in “proven” college players over upside high school picks at the time, but in the last few years they’ve gone largely the other direction:

      In 2013 they took a high school player in the first round and went over slot to sign two HS pitchers (Beane’s #1 bugaboo in Moneyball) in the early rounds and way over slot for a HS catcher late.

      In 2012 they took a high school player in the first round, two more in the supplementary round (between 1st and 2nd rounds) and took HS players in the 3rd (pitcher) and 4th rounds also.

      Obviously a small sample, but I think there’s some evidence that Beane may no longer be quite the performance over projection zealot that Moneyball suggests.

    93. Frank

      meanwhile – interesting conversation going on on Twitter – about how Phil is such a freaking master of manipulation. I missed it previously but apparently Phil basically made it clear he could give Melo the max but that it wouldn’t be a team player-ish thing for him to demand it. And now yahoo sports is saying that a source says Phil is willing to give him the max but hopes that Melo won’t ask for it — as if there’s any doubt that the “source” was sent to yahoo by Phil himself.

      So basically unless Melo comes in under the max, he’ll look like a selfish a**hole to the entire fan base. If the Knicks don’t succeed, everyone will blame Melo. But if he signs for less, then Melo looks like a reasonable team-first guy and Phil looks like a freaking genius.

    94. Farfa

      So basically unless Melo comes in under the max, he’ll look like a selfish a**hole to the entire fan base. If the Knicks don’t succeed, everyone will blame Melo. But if he signs for less, then Melo looks like a reasonable team-first guy and Phil looks like a freaking genius.

      This is why Dolan pays 12 million dollars the guy. Not to think about that solution (I’m confident that more than half this board would have thought of that), but because there are only three people in the world who can spin the thing this way and not make a fool of themselves in front of Melo: Riley (fuck), Pop and Phil.

    95. Ted Nelson

      Also interesting to note with respect to Billy Beane that the As have largely gone away from the “production over potential” draft philosophy they had at the time Moneyball was published.

      Interesting point.

      I think that the thing people often miss about Moneyball is that it’s all about looking for market inefficiencies. Not just about using statistical analysis, but taking the output and figuring out what is undervalued in the market. (It’s the same thing Warren Buffet or any value investor does.) Once patience and power became fairly- or probably even over-valued, it seemed like Beane tried to get ahead of the defensive value wave and largely failed. He’s gotten back to the top of the mountain again since then.

      I don’t think Beane’s philosophy was so much that NCAA production is inherently better than HS upside, as that NCAA production was being undervalued. He may now believe the opposite to be true. (In the first two rounds of the MLB draft I think it’s 6-to-1 between HS and NCAA… from about round 3 onwards, though, I would lean heavily towards JC or NCAA guys, especially with the new bonus rules. High end HS talent is largely off the board or not going to sign. Even before the new rules, the vast majority of picks who made any real positive MLB impact from round 3 on were JC or NCAA guys. More so from probably 5 or 7 on.)

      I think that this difference probably plays out more in baseball where you have large samples of more predictive data for each player and have hundreds of players in your organization. Compared to basketball where you’ve got 15 guys and one or two of those guys can basically make your team for the next decade.

      Also interesting with Beane is how results vary over time. Beane was a genius then a fool now a genius again. Friedman replaced Beane as the small market genius and even had a less popular book written about his approach, now he’s looking questionable.

    96. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “You have described no real decision making process besides look at stats in some unknown way and draft Kyle Anderson. You have contradicted yourself by bashing freshman picks and then explaining how a good sophomore pick developed from his freshman to his sophomore year… do you not see how that reasoning with Iggy contradicts your other points about freshman?”

      It does not contradict my argument at all. And I have not mentioned freshmen once in this thread or elsewhere. What points about freshmen have I made?

    97. JK47

      Jowles presents himself as a great basketball mind, but his thought process looks like this:

      1. Look up stats on WoW website
      2. Declare the guys with the highest WP48 as the best players

      And that’s it. It’s not really like a lot of thought goes into Jowles’ “predictions.” There’s about as much nuance in the way he sees the game as there is in a Pauly Shore movie. All of the boasting that “I predicted this” and “I predicted that” is really silly. He didn’t predict shit. Dave Berri predicted it.

    98. Ted Nelson

      Frank,

      Some discussion of Jax/Melo above in this thread, too.

      I think it could also just be as simple as he doesn’t want to give Melo a max deal. The wording comes across to me as “signing Carmelo Anthony to a max deal limits your ability to win a championship.” If the player in question were LeBron or Durant, I don’t know that he’d say anything other than “let’s pay this guy and get him back in a Knicks uniform ASAP.” That’s just my speculation, though, and a bit of confirmation bias in that it’s the opinion I personally hold about Melo. The limitations that Melo put on the Knicks was the main reason I stopped following the team, and a big reason I am back now that he’s a free agent. (That and Dolan.)

    99. massive

      Well, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins would qualify as freshmen mentioned by Jowles on this thread.

      I wanted Kyle Anderson, but I knew he would never fall past the Spurs. I know kids who faked injuries so that they didn’t have to play him. He’s a more athletic Boris Diaw, and I guess the only person with 1st round picks who valued that was Pop.

      The Knicks are a good drafting team, though. Over the past few seasons, our biggest gaffe was Rautins and Fields over Stephenson, but being a young adult from Brooklyn, I don’t think Lance would have had the same success he did in Indy. He needed to be away from the excitement of the city and develop into a productive pro and more importantly, a man.

      The Spurs get good young players consistently (Green, Neal, Leonard, Mills as of recent). So do the Knicks (Lin, Fields, THJr, Copeland, Shump).

    100. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      I think the point about Iguodala is that he was evaluated based on 44 3PA, whereas Parker and Wiggins had many more minutes to show their value.

      Does it mean they will be poor NBA players necessarily because their numbers are weak? No, it doesn’t. But it also doesn’t mean that they’re deserving of their positions in the draft, especially given that there were other players who performed very well according to the stats.

      Kyle Anderson at #2 would be a bad value because he was, apparently, evaluated as a #30 pick. Wiggins might be a bad value at #2 because he statistically rated more like a #30 pick (albeit one with a nice PPG figure on a high-profile team).

      (Re: Kyle Anderson — pretty amazing how well his teams performed in high school. Undefeated his junior AND senior years, playing center on defense and PG on offense.)

    101. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      There’s about as much nuance in the way he sees the game as there is in a Pauly Shore movie.

      Thanks, pal!

    102. lavor postell

      I think that the thing people often miss about Moneyball is that it’s all about looking for market inefficiencies. Not just about using statistical analysis, but taking the output and figuring out what is undervalued in the market. (It’s the same thing Warren Buffet or any value investor does.) Once patience and power became fairly- or probably even over-valued, it seemed like Beane tried to get ahead of the defensive value wave and largely failed. He’s gotten back to the top of the mountain again since then.

      Exactly. I can’t find the interview but it came out around the time they made Moneyball a movie and Beane basically said the same thing about market inefficiencies and that drafting high school players was something Oakland was going to have to look at since the rest of MLB was copying what made the A’s successful in the first place.

    103. Cincinnatus

      It’s pretty clear to me that Jowles, D-Red, and all the other guys who are mocking the draft picks from last night and espousing guys like TJ Bray (i highly doubt they’ve watched a game of his but maybe i’m wrong) don’t really have any real insight…they just go to boxscoregeeks.com and check out Arturo’s draft model, which is an awful way to make draft picks (Arturo’s own bragging of how successful his model is, is pure crap). BTW they rely heavily on WS so if you’re are suspicious of that stat to being with you’re not going to like the model at all. Is it sometimes right? yes. is it often times wrong? YES. Is it sometimes dangerously wrong? VERY YES.

      What’s funny is that many of the players certain “advanced stat” guys who comment here on this blog like/overrate are the same players who were LABELED AS LIKELY BUSTS by the advanced stat draft model: Drummond (67), Terrence Jones (34), Dieng (BUST), Plumlee (BUST). Look the model gets some things right but you don’t need the advanced stat model to understand that Shabazz Muhammed is likely going to suck or for that matter Zach Lavine (unless you’re the TWolves). The model also led to some ridiculous Wages of Wins grades such as A+++ for the Pistons’s pick of Caldwell-Pope and a “D+” on the highly overrated Andre Drummond at 9.
      i encourage anyone interested to look at their 2013 model: http://wagesofwins.com/2013/06/27/2013-nba-draft-extravaganza-rev-3-eliminating-the-big-man-bias-the-euro-numbers-and-the-cheat-sheet/

      notice how the rankings change as Arturo fidgets with the numbers…note the final results and how 2013 went from a poor draft to one of the best drafts of all time…it’s absurd. If this isnt the source of information that so many “advanced stat” guys here acting like wanna be Darryl Moreys were using then i’m curious as to what is…

    104. Ted Nelson

      Jowles,

      At the heart of your argument is a belief that these players have a static talent level. That the underlying population is unchanged. This is what you’re trying to say with Iggy: we didn’thave enough of a window to view his talent level because of a small sample. This is really questionable for 18 and 19 year old kids. Just about everyone else is trying to argue that there is room for growth with these kids. That maybe Iggy made a low % on a few 3s and a higher % on more 3s because… he got better.

      NCAA stats may correlate with NBA success, but only loosely (this is why Berri, for example, makes errors like putting Damion James at the top of his draft class despite 4 seasons in college to work with). More in depth analysis is needed because Berri himself has proven that NCAA stats alone are not very good predictors of NBA success. People are asking you to give them that analysis to sustain your very hardline views, and you keep avoiding doing so.

      Are you really citing HS team success as evidence of NBA potential?

      (Again… please stop saying that the stats are “saying” anything. People are interpreting those stats and saying things. The stats are impartial.)

    105. Kevin Udwary

      Is it sometimes dangerously wrong? VERY YES.

      This is true. I lost my left arm to a statistical model of NBA draft value due to an improper score adjustment based on age.

      If this isnt the source of information that so many “advanced stat” guys here acting like wanna be Darryl Moreys were using then i’m curious as to what is…

      It is a source of information, not the only source of information. The universe is full of an infinite amount of information, you just have to decide what is most important, and that is the point of statistical analysis.

    106. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      There’s nothing in what I’m saying that suggests that I think growth is static. Growth is dependent on a number of factors, including coaching, culture and individual ability, but yes, my underlying assumption is that players are largely responsible for their own production. So what? I’m merely suggesting that it’s better to choose a freshman who produced well than a freshman who produced poorly but had a handful of good workouts or a good interview or whatever it is that “traditional scouting” would use to override a player’s poor on-court performance.

      You’ve been away from this board, but I’ve said over and over over the last couple of years: it’s better to use these “all-in-one” stats to make calculated risks than to disregard the “all-in-one” stats and choose based on a nebulous calculation of player potential. No one’s arguing that stats override all, but the prevailing wisdom seems to ride on those washy descriptors more than it does the available statistical projects, from WARP to PAWS40. No one says it’s an exact science. Damion Jones didn’t work out. So what?

      By “stats,” I meant the informative stats, not the data stats. WP48 and PAWS40 “say” something on their own, as they are interpretations of raw data.

    107. Z

      So, wait, Phil Jackson publicly said he was able to offer Anthony a supermax contract, but has asked Anthony to decline it? That’s a new approach to dealing with Dolan-meddling. (“Dolan’s gonna write you a blank check because he can’t help himself, and he’s gonna make me give it to you because he can’t help himself, but you can still save us from him! You don’t need to accept it!”)

    108. EB

      Jowles, you don’t even give the benefit of the doubt to Ted. He makes a point that can be interpreted in several ways and you choose the least favorable interpretation and bash the hell out of it. There’s no reason to assume that Ted is suggesting that the we should trust the NBA’s decision process. Ted seems to suggest that people who look purely at advanced statistics could improve their process by also looking at film. Ted doesn’t ever claim that film watching is as important as statistical analysis or that it should be. He simply suggests film watching as an added source of information which, if used intelligently, can help determine who should and should not be praised.

    109. BigBlueAL

      This is a great day, check in on this site and see THCJ and Ted Nelson going back and forth!! Also of all the great comments THCJ has made on this site nothing beats his comment @58.

    110. KnickfaninNJ

      It also means that I’m probably more likely to trust analytics than Joe Dumars, Michael Jordan, Kevin McHale and Isiah Thomas, who were exceptional basketball players who then turned their expertise into (largely) awful GM tenures.

      At the risk of getting pilloried here, I will point out that while Isiah Thomas was a terrible GM, he was actually an excellent drafter, so he’s not a relevant example here.

    111. johnno

      One big difference between all of us and real NBA GMs — we are able to brag about the instances in which we were right and never talk about the ones in which we were wrong, and no one is the wiser, whereas real GMs make their mistakes in public. As someone astutely pointed out on this site a year or so ago — when the Knicks picked Balkman, they committed a serious blunder. However, it is possible that they had accurately evaluated 59 of the 60 players who were drafted — and a whole bunch who weren’t — but that they were really really wrong about one, and only one, player in the draft. Unfortunately, the one mistake they made is the guy they drafted. So, everyone remembers that they screwed up. Maybe Jowles is right about Anderson, but wrong about every other guy in the draft. If Anderson turns out to be a steal, he can rightfully say I told you so. However, since he doesn’t have to go on record as to when every other player should have been drafted, we’ll never know just how good or bad his evaluation of everyone else was (although I am sure that he will be more than happy to tell us about the guys about whom he was right).

    112. Ted Nelson

      WP48 and PAWS40 “say” something on their own

      They are models. The people who built them probably don’t think as highly of them as you.

      it’s better to choose a freshman who produced well than a freshman who produced poorly but had a handful of good workouts or a good interview or whatever it is that “traditional scouting” would use to override a player’s poor on-court performance.

      You are creating a false trade-off.

      There is no one definition of “produced well.” You and I can look at the same data (or Berri/Hollinger or Morey/Buford) and draw very different conclusions about how the player projects in the NBA. The “stats” (actually models or formulas) that you are referring to are fit to historical data and use econometrics to project how well future players will do based on how well past players have done. It’s not that a player “produced well” but that a player produced in a way that suggests he’ll have a good career based on a mathematical comparison to previous players. The sample size and correlation aren’t there for a ton of accuracy. A BIG problem here seems to be that you don’t really understand how the “stats” you’re referencing were calculated.

      The other choice is a strawman. That you didn’t like a particular pick does not mean they used any of the information sources you cite as the primary driver of their decision.

      better to use these “all-in-one” stats to make calculated risks than to disregard the “all-in-one” stats and choose based on a nebulous calculation of player potential.

      Again, the “all-in-one stats” you keep referring to are, in their very nature, nebulous calculations of player potential. They just have an econometric model driving them. You really need to understand them to keep talking about them.

      You are advocating one decision rule over all others with no hard evidence. Flies in the face of the quant approach you…

    113. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      He simply suggests film watching as an added source of information which, if used intelligently, can help determine who should and should not be praised.

      And I watched video of Kyle Anderson (both good and bad) before I anointed him Ye Future Starting Point Forward of Ye 2017 NBA Champion Spurs. I’m saying that I’d rather choose highly-ranked-by-PAWS40 players in the late 1st round, 2nd round and undrafted FA pool than, as so many NBA GMs do, choose guys with poor statistics who have been labeled as “upside” picks.

      I’m merely saying that it’s safer to choose guys with “good” stats than guys with “poor” stats who pass the scouts’ criteria for “potential.” If you’re skeptical of advanced stats or the “analytics” movement, you won’t agree. I put much more stock into their method than the crapshoot method that so many NBA teams seem to follow. I mean … Anthony Bennett? Sheesh.

      I think it’s awesome for NBA fans that Wiggins will be in the league; he’s an athletic freak, and I care much more about how high Blake Griffin can jump than whether he’s an efficient shooter. But insofar as I care about winning, I care about efficiency. And sometimes, as the Spurs have demonstrated, efficiency can be the result of a beautiful brand of basketball.

    114. Frank

      Meanwhile, something we can all agree on – it’s great that Felton is no longer on this team. How great is it that he’s excited about a “fresh start”. Hey Raymond — this is like your 4th fresh start in 5 years or something close to that.

    115. DRed

      To use Anderson as an example, he was a supremely productive player in his 2 years at UCLA. You can learn that pretty easily by looking just at his boxscore stats. Does that mean you don’t need to work him out, or to scout him? No, of course not. He’s not very fast-it’s possible that is going to really keep him from using his basketball skills against NBA caliber defenses. And that’s something that you might be able to see in workouts. So just because he looks great on paper doesn’t mean he’s a lock to be an NBA all-star.

      People say that the draft is a crapshoot. I think that makes it seem more random than it is. When you’re drafting, you should be looking to mitigate risk. Almost any player can be a bust, but players who have a track record of success at high levels of basketball (some of the better euro leagues, the NCAA, even the D league) are much more likely to succeed in the NBA. Many NBA franchises still don’t seem to understand that, and that’s why you see someone like LaVine getting picked so high. Teams are too optimistic-they think that they can take a high level athlete and develop basketball skills the player hasn’t shown before. Sometimes that works, but much more often it doesn’t. If Andrew Wiggins can improve his shot, his finishing, and his ball handling, then sure, he’s got the physical tools to be a great basketball player. But he’s been playing basketball for a long time and he hasn’t developed those skills, and that makes it more likely than not that he never will develop them to the level it takes to be one of the better players in the league.

    116. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      A BIG problem here seems to be that you don’t really understand how the “stats” you’re referencing were calculated.

      No. You seem to assume that I think “producing well” in college necessarily means “producing well in the NBA in the future.” I don’t. And I understand linear regression just fine, pal.

      The problem isn’t in determining with greater accuracy what makes a productive player in college; the problem is in determining whether the model used to explain wins in college will translate to wins in the NBA. And it’s not a great correlation, but it sure as hell ain’t bad.

    117. Ted Nelson

      I’m merely saying that it’s safer to choose guys with “good” stats than guys with “poor” stats who pass the scouts’ criteria for “potential.”

      Based on what evidence? This is something that would be SUPER easy to quantify. Would take like 20 minutes to do a decent study on.

      If you’re skeptical of advanced stats or the “analytics” movement, you won’t agree.

      No. If you were knowledgable about advanced stats and the “analytics movement” you would not keep making unsubstantiated statements. You cannot claim to be a fan of statistical analysis, on the one hand, and then refuse to go backwards and check your work on the other.

      I put much more stock into their method than the crapshoot method that so many NBA teams seem to follow. I mean … Anthony Bennett? Sheesh.

      This is a prime example. Wages of Wins ranked Bennett in their second group of prospects. They didn’t think he was the #1 pick, but didn’t think he’d be awful, either.

    118. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      At the risk of getting pilloried here, I will point out that while Isiah Thomas was a terrible GM, he was actually an excellent drafter, so he’s not a relevant example here.

      This is a good point, and one that speaks to johnno’s point in #114.

      Maybe Isiah’s failure was in understanding how to manage his limited talent assets w/r/t using them to acquire more assets. And spending cap room. Basically a guy whose decisions suggest that he doesn’t understand NBA-relevant opportunity costs at all.

      And he also traded for a ton of terrible players, which makes me believe he wouldn’t know basketball talent if it bit him on the tocus.

    119. Donnie Walsh

      when the Knicks picked Balkman, they committed a serious blunder.

      Balkman? Balkman was a really good player. Great defender, great rebounder. Created a lot of east baskets. I thought he was a great pick. The weird thing was that Isiah went out on a limb to draft him, then went out on a limb to not play him. His PT dwindled, but his productivity was high. (Sure, Rondo was picked after him, but it’s silly to rate picks based on other people’s picks.)

    120. Ted Nelson

      The problem isn’t in determining with greater accuracy what makes a productive player in college; the problem is in determining whether the model used to explain wins in college will translate to wins in the NBA. And it’s not a great correlation, but it sure as hell ain’t bad.

      You have shown a complete lack of understanding in your comments, as I directly pointed out. I mean, said the exact opposite of what someone who understood how they are calculated would say.

      You have also provided no evidence whatsoever about what the correlation is or how it compares to the actual draft or any other model. I keep asking over and over, and you don’t seem to be able to produce any evidence. Just blind faith that some statistically derived model must be better than whatever blackbox decision making process 29 different non-Spurs NBA teams are using. Not that you actually know what’s in those boxes. Chances are very high that there’s a statistical model in most team’s blackbox. It may be a different statistical model than the two you’re looking at, or they may override it because they they have stronger contradictory evidence.

      If you could make a positive, productive comment once in a while… we might actually agree. It’s this “I looked up the outputs of two models so I know more than half the GMs in the NBA” arrogance that makes you hard to take.

      No one is arguing with you that there’s no place for statistical analytics… Yet that’s the windmill you keep fighting, Don Quijote. People are questioning other points you make, then you just keep going back to this defensive position of “well I’d rather look at just about any stat that tells me something than watch a workout” instead of actually addressing their comments. A bunch of people on here have tried to explain this to you, now, but you still don’t seem to get it.

    121. Ted Nelson

      Maybe Jowles is right about Anderson, but wrong about every other guy in the draft. If Anderson turns out to be a steal, he can rightfully say I told you so.

      Thing is, I don’t think a single person on here has disagreed with him about Anderson (or the Spurs). People are disagreeing with him on, or questioning him on, other points and he just keeps going back to Anderson.

      While Balkman in and of himself wasn’t a huge blunder, passing on Rondo, Lowry, and Millsap proved to be one.

      Rest of your comment is excellent, though, and the reason I keep asking Jowles for a larger sample of his work. There’s no reason to sit here the day after he was drafted and argue whether he’ll be any good in NBA. What we can do, though, is argue about a general decision making process. Jowles keeps criticizing everyone else’s process without offering much insight into his own.

    122. Cincinnatus

      “It is a source of information, not the only source of information. The universe is full of an infinite amount of information, you just have to decide what is most important, and that is the point of statistical analysis.”

      Obvious. So what’s the basis for everyone talking about how TJ Bray is a steal and should be drafted besides the boxscoregeeks draft model? It’s not like teams haven’t worked this kid out…the Knicks worked him out last month! What am i missing? Did people on this blog watch him run drills? Do people have the Ivy League Conference channel on their Direct TV and have seen this kid tear up Columbia? I play with this 6’5 dude on my Zog’s sports team. He averages like 24/15/5 with 2 spg and 5 bpg with a true shooting percentage of 66%, let’s draft him next year…I wanna win the title one more time before he declares.

    123. Ted Nelson

      Maybe Jowles is right about Anderson, but wrong about every other guy in the draft. If Anderson turns out to be a steal, he can rightfully say I told you so.

      His talent evaluation record is solid. His understanding of building a team (both on the court and in the locker-room) is non-existent. The problem wasn’t really opportunity cost in any sense other than he had the opportunity to build a good team rather than a bad one. He took a bunch of players who were pretty good basketball players individually (as several have shown since leaving) and mixed them together in a way that did not build a cohesive basketball team.

      To the off-court aspect… he probably also assumed everyone has the same drive and motivation that he does. This is the classic “great hitters make terrible hitting coaches” syndrome, where people generally lack the self-awareness to realize what makes them great and/or that other people don’t all possess it. He probably assumed that someone like Eddy Curry really wanted to be a great NBA player more than sit and eat food, and that someone like Balkman really wanted to be a great NBA player more than he wanted to puff the ganja. Appears he was wrong in both cases.

    124. Ted Nelson

      Balkman? Balkman was a really good player. Great defender, great rebounder. Created a lot of east baskets. I thought he was a great pick.

      “Great” seems a little exaggerated, but I think the point was more than taking Balkman directly resulted in not taking Rondo or Lowry (Millsap, too, though they passed on him twice). In hindsight that’s a blunder. Of course, the draft is full of missed opportunities.

    125. Kevin Udwary

      So what’s the basis for everyone talking about how TJ Bray is a steal and should be drafted besides the boxscoregeeks draft model?

      You do realize that the model is based on actual data, right? Just look at the guy’s stats this past season:
      link
      That’s pretty damn good no matter what metrics you use. Why wasn’t he drafted? You got me. I’d think he’s at least deserving of a 2nd round pick. I don’t doubt someone will pick him up as a FA though.

    126. Cincinnatus

      Yes i understand that the draft model is based on actual data…i’ve posted a link earlier in this thread…are you being serious? Am I crazy for being highly skeptical that Braymania should be drafted? I understand that Jeremy Lin had great stats on Harvard and should have been drafted. I actually saw him torch UConn. However, despite this, the ncaa stats of a 23 year old who plays in a terrible conference (has Princeton played a single good team this year?) ,and was terrible before this year, do not inspire me to blindly pick him just cause of his one good season. The fact that he’s been worked out by at least half a dozen teams reaffirms that. If you actually have any other information besides boxscoregeeks then please share it. You probably don’t and neither does anyone on this board. but it boggles my mind how people can be so dismissive of every team when they have absolutely zero insight as to what is actually going on in these draft rooms or for that matter the players they are raving about as “steals” (I don’t include kyle anderson, DE ranked him as the 15th best prospect btw).

    127. nicos

      You do realize that the model is based on actual data, right? Just look at the guy’s stats this past season:
      link
      That’s pretty damn good no matter what metrics you use. Why wasn’t he drafted? You got me. I’d think he’s at least deserving of a 2nd round pick. I don’t doubt someone will pick him up as a FA though.

      What’s weird is we DID draft a guy who measured out very well by WS
      link
      and he’s barely been mentioned on this thread at all. I know he doesn’t rate nearly as well by WP- I’m guessing mainly because they rated him as a PF/C (4.4) so his rebounding which would have been solid for a three looked bad- but a guy who put up a .627 TS on high usage and scored a variety of different ways doesn’t look like a terrible pick (or a pick that ignored stats over “potential”) at 34.

    128. MSA

      While THCJ tone can be a bit annoying sometimes, I’m with him in this one.

      There are plenty of behavioral studies that suggest that someone should keep his decisions in simple models instead o complex ones.

      There is a chapter in Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” that address this problem. The more information you add, more noise you have, and the result usually start getting worse.

      I do agree that you need to do workouts and video scout to check what are the red flags and potential.
      But a model like Warp and PAWS can be much more useful than checking lateral quickness or shooting wide open 3s.

      And there are a lot of political and economic reasons to not pick a guy like Kyle Anderson with the 1st pick. But you can always trade down, gather more assets and get the guy you want.

      There are 30 GMs, not one. So it doesn’t matter what is the top 30 list. Just what you gonna do with your pick.

    129. DRed

      Colin Cowherd has got to be the dumbest motherfucker in the sports entertainment world, which is quite an accomplishment. Just a vile xenophobic, sexist, big business loving, troll piece of shit.

      Just had to say that.

    130. Ted Nelson

      That’s pretty damn good no matter what metrics you use. Why wasn’t he drafted? You got me.

      Whether he proves to be a good NBA player or not, it’s really not hard to understand why he wasn’t drafted. The stats he put up were against C-level competition. You really want to analyze a guy as independently from his level of competition as possible. Try to normalize for level of competition as much as possible.

      The fact that he’s been worked out by at least half a dozen teams reaffirms that

      No, it really does not. Multiple teams work guys out, don’t draft them, and then regret it literally every year. UDFAs make an impact in the league with some regularity. Many of them were worked out by teams that elected not to draft them. His Ivy League stats don’t guarantee his NBA future, but neither does going undrafted.

      I don’t include kyle anderson, DE ranked him as the 15th best prospect btw

      I have a hard time understanding the logic of criticizing others for dogmatically following certain websites, and then citing another website as endorsing a player. That’s great, but DE’s seal of approval means no more to me than Dave Berri’s, for example.

    131. Ted Nelson

      There are plenty of behavioral studies that suggest that someone should keep his decisions in simple models instead o complex ones.

      This says absolutely nothing about which model you should use. No one is saying that a model can’t be helpful in decision making. A lot of people are asking Jowles for evidence that his model is a good one to use. (So, you have not really supported his argument here.)

      But a model like Warp and PAWS can be much more useful than checking lateral quickness or shooting wide open 3s.

      This, again, has almost nothing to do with the conversation we had earlier. Not one person on here ever said that checking lateral quickness and shooting wide open 3s was more useful than WARP or PAWS. This is the quintessential strawman argument. You are supporting Jowles’ argument here… but the two of you are arguing against no one.

      And there are a lot of political and economic reasons to not pick a guy like Kyle Anderson with the 1st pick. But you can always trade down, gather more assets and get the guy you want.

      It’s pretty likely that he was not the guy that most teams picking in the first round wanted, or they would have done exactly that. Kyle Anderson is considered one of *the* least athletic guys in this draft class. I don’t know where the idea that he’s a more athletic Diaw came from. He may go on to be a great NBA player and I like him as a prospect, but there are plenty of reasons to pass. Every single year there are Adam Morrison’s and Damion James’ that certain models *love* who can barely stay in the league.

      There are 30 GMs, not one. So it doesn’t matter what is the top 30 list. Just what you gonna do with your pick.

      It matters when you claim to be a better decision maker than 1/2 of NBA GMs. It may be a completely accurate statement, but you have to provide some evidence to substantiate it.

    132. Cincinnatus

      I have a hard time understanding the logic of criticizing others for dogmatically following certain websites, and then citing another website as endorsing a player.

      Jeez come on follow the discussion by looking at the model. I’m just pointing out that Kyle Andersen is not some secret guy…if you looked at the boxscoregeeks draft model you would notice that Arturo uses draft express as a comparison point. It was common knowledge that he put up elite numbers and was a concensus 1st rd pick by many mainstream experts. So when people here rave about Kyle Anderson he’s not some unknown like TJ Bray…he was on everyones radar. The point is not that we should use draft express as a draft model.

      It doesn’t mean tj bray is not good however it probably means that some teams are aware of his stats and also aware of how he performed in workouts…which is more than Any of us can say.

    133. BigBlueAL

      Best part is a Raptors beat writer tweeted that the Raptors and Heat have not had a single conversation between them regarding Lowry lol. Also why in the world would Bosh go back to Toronto with Lowry leaving!?!? Bucher seems like he is full of crap on this one.

    134. alsep73

      While it’s certainly fun to watch Ted and THCJ spar, does anybody want to talk some more about Cleanthony Early? The French player may not come here for years (if ever), and everybody seems to recognize that Thanasis is very raw offensively but showed significant improvement on that in the NBDL and has the potential to be very good defensively.

      But what do we make of the #34 pick? Who’s a good NBA comp for him in success? Was Simmons’ James Posey analogy on the telecast accurate, or does Early have a different skill set? Is he at best just a 3 and D guy, or could he be more than that?

      Kyle Anderson sure seems like a fun player to have on the roster, especially in the triangle, but I’d kinda like to discuss the players we actually have.

    135. BigBlueAL

      Ric Bucher is apologizing on Twitter now for being wrong about the Lowry to Miami rumor. Best part is he is blaming his source lol.

    136. Zanzibar

      Ric Bucher still pushing the Anthony to Bosh-less Heat idea, which would surely be the darkest timeline for the Knicks at least.

      At the moment, Miami is not one of the stops on Melo’s free agent tour (Bulls/Rockets/Mavs/Lakers). It’s just been reported that the Lowry deal is basically done. I wonder how the following roster would appeal to Melo and LBJ (Bosh opts out, heads to Mavs/Bulls/Hawks/Suns):

      LBJ (17m), Melo (17m), Lowry (9m), Wade (14m), Haslem (2yr room exc), Napier (1m), vet mins

      I would think Wade’s health over the next 4 years and lack of roster depth wouldn’t make this very attractive to either Melo or LBJ. I think Riley might realize this which is what might have prompted his desperate Jax-like public challenge to Bron not to abandon ship in the face of adversity, citing other stars who stayed the course.

    137. Zanzibar

      @141 Typing my comment when you made your post. Just checked RealGM to confirm retraction. In the immortal words of Emily Litella: Never Mind.

    138. Kevin Udwary

      Whether he proves to be a good NBA player or not, it’s really not hard to understand why he wasn’t drafted. The stats he put up were against C-level competition.

      I think that’s the most likely reason he wasn’t drafted, but it’s not like he was playing D3 ball. Also, the gap between mid major conferences and the majors isn’t as far as it used to be. I mean, Harvard made the Sweet 16 this past year. The level of competition isn’t so much different that you should just ignore a very productive player. I’m sure Bray will get his chance, though. Him not getting drafted is very low on my outrage scale.

      Can’t say that I’ve watched much Witchita State basketball this year, but Early looks good to me. Efficient scorer, solid rebounder, looks like he can hit a corner 3. His atrocious AST% and high turnover rate is a concern, but hey, a second round pick is never going to be perfect. It’s a solid pick, right? It’s just more fun to argue about other stuff!

    139. Zanzibar

      shhhhhhhhh don’t tell cock jowles

      And shhh don’t tell Jowles if Dalembert hadn’t taken and knocked down 16ft+ shots at a 48% clip this past season, he would have had a higher TS% than Tyson!

    140. Donnie Walsh

      Chandler and Dalembert’s stats line up well, except for one major one: mpg. Dalembert played 80 games but only averaged 20 mins a game. I wouldn’t expect his minutes to increase.

    141. nicos

      As I said in a previous thread- their offensive stats look alike but if you think Chandler clogs the lane, wait till you get a steady diet of Dalembert who isn’t nearly as mobile. You still need to at least stay within a few feet of Chandler even 18 feet out because he’s quick to cut to the basket for a lob. You can cheat much further from Dalembert because of his lack of foot speed.

    142. Zanzibar

      In my very first post on this site a couple of years ago, I argued that Tyson was overrated by fans. Much of the improvement in the team’s defense was a function of (1) easy schedule (2) condensed season (3) energy boosts of Linsanity and D’Antoni firing (4) defense of Jeffries/Shump/Fields (5) Amare no longer playing center. I then stated that team would have achieved the same result in terms of defensive efficiency IF Dalembert had played instead of Tyson. I still believe that and, to a certain extent, Tyson’s defensive +/- and the results when KMart subbed for TC in our 54 win season now seem to support that contention. I remember Jowles’ response to my original post: “Zanzibar, you’ve made an awful lot of assumptions there.” Fond memories.

    143. er

      Kmart has been excellent, too bad hes always hurt. He helped the team with passing and toughness. Hopefully the greek can help

    144. Zanzibar

      One last item about Dalembert: He would make an excellent chip in any Chicago S&T. If Bulls acquire Melo, they will be in win-now mode over the next couple of years. Dalembert would make an excellent veteran back-up center for Noah. I really don’t like the Calderon pick-up, but if Dalembert is a piece which helps us to acquire Mirotic and Butler in S&T, it will have been worth it.

    145. Brian Cronin

      Zach Randolph agrees to a 2 years/$20 million extension with Memphis. That seems fair enough.

    146. massive

      Looking at the trade in a vacuum? We robbed Dallas. We got two quality starters at the two most important positions in basketball, Dallas’ 2013 1st and two 2014 2nd rounders. AND THEY TOOK BACK RAYMOND FELTON. The fact that we did that to Dallas, a great organization, just makes it even better. Now we just need to finesse Morey and Ujiri out of some assets for good ole retribution.

    147. Brian Cronin

      I really don’t understand Chicago’s game plan. Is seems like it is just “Sign and trade us Melo or else we can’t get him” I mean, what is the incentive for the Knicks to trade him to Chicago now? Houston at least can theoretically make it worth the Knicks’ time by offering Harden in a sign and trade. Chicago seems to be in a situation of either gutting their team to make room to sign Melo or getting the Knicks to agree to a sign and trade for…what exactly? What can they offer that’s better for the Knicks than a re-signed Melo?

    148. iserp

      I really don’t understand Chicago’s game plan. Is seems like it is just “Sign and trade us Melo or else we can’t get him” I mean, what is the incentive for the Knicks to trade him to Chicago now? Houston at least can theoretically make it worth the Knicks’ time by offering Harden in a sign and trade. Chicago seems to be in a situation of either gutting their team to make room to sign Melo or getting the Knicks to agree to a sign and trade for…what exactly? What can they offer that’s better for the Knicks than a re-signed Melo?

      Maybe they expect Melo to say “S&T me to chicago and get back something, or i sign as FA in LA”, and gain leverage.

      However, i don’t think Anthony Randolph is gonna be crippling if they try to get cap space. Taj Gibson + Randolph + Doug McDermott to Philly for a conditional 2nd rounder will work anyway.

    149. Brian Cronin

      But that’s what I mean – they can only clear the cap space now by losing Gibson, which is a huge blow to their roster, and their strong roster was the reason that they were appealing to Melo in the first place.

    150. Frank

      Not sure if anyone got a chance to listen to the Knicks “Roundtable” on ESPN Radio yesterday but there was really some great inside stuff from Tina Cervasio and Alan Hahn– people who are around the team all the time, know the players AND their families and non-family inner circles. Interesting bits I took from it:

      1) Tyson and Melo were not close – FWIW some of that was the CAA vs. non-CAA guy thing. But given Tyson’s behavior and effort for much of the year, it’s clear that the “chemistry” thing that Phil wanted to fix was not just a Felton thing, but a Tyson thing too. So I think we can probably cross Dallas off the list of teams that Melo might want really want to go to.

      2) Melo’s kid loves New York as does LaLa. As someone who had a (much much much less lucrative) job offer in California, I can tell you that that stuff is really important. I know Melo is rich enough to have his own private jet to go wherever he and his family want whenever they want, but it’s still a huge deal.

      3) Melo was NOT upset (as some media reports suggested) when Phil said plainly that he needed to take less $ — rather – it was his agent / handlers that were upset. Hahn was very clear about this, saying this was a FACT. Hahn also said World Wide Wes is the guy leaking all the “Melo didn’t like what Phil said” and Melo–>Chicago rumors. He did say, though, that Melo–>Chicago is a real possibility.

      Really great stuff – I would find the podcast and listen to it if you guys have a chance.

      FWIW – I don’t think he’s going to Chicago. Too much stuff needs to happen for him to get there for a commensurate salary to what he’ll be offered here (even sub-max), which will compromise their depth which means he’ll likely have to play 38+ minutes/night. Plus there is too much uncertainty with Noah (who’s always injured) and Rose for him to blow up his brand and uproot his family. I also don’t think he’s going to Houston to play in that packed Western Conference.

    151. Brian Cronin

      I’m still sticking with my “he’s re-signing here” stance. I just don’t know for how much. Please don’t be for the max!

    152. Frank

      Marc Stein also reported this AM (from Ramona Shelbourne who as we all know is seriously connected to the LA sports scene) that Phil is going to push hard for Pau Gasol to take the mini-MLE. Like I’ve droned on and on about, I think this is a REAL possibility – a sort of Kirilenko-like situation where a guy who’s made a ton of $ already and could make $10MM but is ok with taking the mini-MLE to play in the right situation. I can see Pau taking a 2 year mini-MLE deal where the 2nd year is a player option. If this year sucks and the whole thing blows up, he can go into unrestricted FA with his brother the following year.

      And honestly– a rotation consisting of Calderon, Prigioni, Shump, THJ, JR, Melo, Amare, Pau, and Dalembert would probably make some moderate noise in the eastern conference — especially if we get anything out of guys like Odom, Larkin, Murry, Tyler, Ellington, or even Bargnani.

      (by the way, that’s 15 players already — where do guys like Early and Thanasis fit? makes you wonder whether more moves are coming)

    153. Brian Cronin

      The one sort of interesting theory is him signing for the max for his first season, 7.5% decrease in year 2 (which would bring his salary down to roughly $21 million) and then maximum raises for the rest of the contract.

      Is $21 million a big enough pay cut? It’s $3 million less than he could make. That doesn’t seem like a big discount.

      I believe that’d turn out to be

      $22.5
      $20.8
      $22.4
      $24
      $25.8

      or five years/$116 million.

      If he starts a little lower in Year 1, it’d obviously be a lot more helpful.

    154. Brian Cronin

      (by the way, that’s 15 players already — where do guys like Early and Thanasis fit? makes you wonder whether more moves are coming)

      I think you should replace “whether” with “what” as I think that there is little doubt that Jackson is not finished yet. :)

    155. Frank

      I think you should replace “whether” with “what” as I think that there is little doubt that Jackson is not finished yet. :)

      what’s crazy is that at this point we actually have more than a full roster’s worth of actual roster-level players. No more Ike Diogu vs. Josh Powell vs. Chris Smith battles.

      Really hope Thanasis doesn’t get stashed in Europe. We’re moving to Westchester soon and will probably catch a bunch of D-League games at the County Center – he’d be awesome to watch in person for a fraction of MSG prices.

    156. Frank

      Upper West Side – sad to leave the city but with the two little monsters sapping all our energy we’ve pretty much been living suburban lives in the city for years anyway.

    157. Brian Cronin

      Ha! Very true. Where in Westchester? I grew up in New Rochelle and my parents live there still and I have a brother in Wykagyl and another just outside Westchester in Greenwich (my wife and I are in Astoria).

    158. Frank

      Ardsley — needed to stay within reasonable commuting distance of the city. Let’s hope it works out!

    159. Zanzibar

      Marc Stein also reported this AM (from Ramona Shelbourne who as we all know is seriously connected to the LA sports scene) that Phil is going to push hard for Pau Gasol to take the mini-MLE. Like I’ve droned on and on about, I think this is a REAL possibility….

      If I were Pau though, I would prefer to sign a 1 year 15m deal (Hawks, Suns). However, I’m not sure how feasible this might be, but there’s another scenario: we drop sufficiently below the apron to enable a 5.5 mle offer to Pau. Even better for Pau in below apron scenario, a S&T where we pick him up on a 3 year/25m deal. Note both mle and S&T would be available if Melo walks for nothing. In the press conference, Phil answered a question by stating we don’t have the 5m mle at present, but the tone of his voice implied it’s in the plans.

      Regarding all of our roster spots we already have filled, imo some go in Pau S&T and some will be headed to Chicago in a S&T. I think Chicago GM and Phil have already worked out the core of a deal. My guess is we receive Mirotic and Butler. Sample trade: Boozer/Mirotic/Butler/Randolph in exchange for Melo/Dalembert/THJ/Prigs/others. Bulls would then have 5.5m mle and 2m bae instead of 2.7m room exception and could build strong, deep roster. Mirotic is not a great loss to a win-now team because they wouldn’t be able to sign him this season using room exception and he probably wouldn’t be NBA ready the following season. Butler rfa re-signing might put them in luxury tax territory.

      I hope this is Phil’s plan:
      (1) S&T Melo to acquire Mirotic/Butler
      (2) If not below apron after trade, buyout Bargs and/or Boozer and/or Amare
      (3) S&T Pau, hope Marc joins him the following year
      (4) Sign Patty Mills using 5m mle
      (5) Sign Cole Aldrich using 2m bae
      (6) Use available cap in 2015 to sign M. Gasol/Millsap
      (7) Hope Durant likes team enough to force trade to NYK (we’ve got nice trade chips)

    160. KnickfaninNJ

      great stuff – I would find the podcast and listen to it if you guys have a chance.

      There’s an ESPNRadio app for iphones. I think you can find it there. I got the app to listen to games on ESPN while driving, but all the actual games seem to be blacked out. But all the talk show stuff is there and you can listen to shows that were already broadcasted.

    161. yellowboy90

      http://m.espn.go.com/general/story?storyId=11148045&city=newyork&src=desktop

      Chandler, for his part, thinks his return to the Mavericks will enhance Dallas’ pitch to Anthony greatly.

      “[Anthony] wants to win and he wants to be in a system and he wants to be in a culture,” Chandler said this week. “I think that’s going to go into a big part of his decision-making.

      “I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team and the organization. At the end of the day, free agency is kind of an individual thing … But I’ll tell you one thing: Dallas isn’t a bad place to be; it’s a great opportunity and clearly we’ve done it in the past. It’s not a hard place to sell. I’m going to do whatever it takes.”

      So they might not be friends but they respect each other games enough for Chandler to recruit him? IDK?

    162. massive

      I think Phil’s plan is primarily based around Calderon and the Gasol Brothers. This season, no matter how you look at it, is probably a wash. Calderon and Dalembert (if we keep Melo) guarantees us we’ll be a competitive team. If we have Calderon, Melo, Gasol, and Dalembert, if one of Shump or Hardaway Jr takes another step, we’d be a 50 win team IMO. A Calderon, Shump, Melo, Gasol, Dalembert, Prigioni, Smith, TH Jr, Stat rotation would be very competitive in the EC I would think.

    163. max fisher-cohen

      My problem with the Gasol brothers plan is that Pau is 33 and has missed 24 games on average the last three seasons. His numbers are dramatically down to the point where even if you say D’Antoni’s system hurt Pau, by 2015, I don’t think you can count on him being anything more than a league average player.

      Then you have Calderon — 34 as well by the start of 15/16 and playing at a position that is probably least forgiving of the effects of aging. He is a skilled player, but his defense, durability and stamina will only get worse.

      I’d love to see Jackson actually build a team that has a chance to have sustained success, not just a team that prays for its guys to have healthy seasons in its 1-2 year window before rebuilding again. I feel like I just watched that movie.

    164. SJK

      While I agree that Calderon’s age is a concern, I don’t think Pau’s injury issues are as big of a concern if he really did come here on the mini-MLE. There’s a difference between paying 10+ million to a guy who’s missed an avg of 24 games/year versus paying 3+ million to a guy who, while injury prone, can still be an effective player.

      Pau at the 4 would also be an ideal pairing with Melo at the 3 as he would be able to handle the bigger PFs on defense. While the Calderon/Shump/Melo/Stat/Dalembert or Calderon/JR/Shump/Melo/Dalembert line-ups that we have right now would be truly putrid on defense, I think a Calderon/Shump/Melo/Pau/Dalembert team might be pretty decent both ways.

    165. yellowboy90

      What about Blatche? Who is the better fit between Pau and Blatche? Can Andray continue to play well and would the triangle help his game. He seems to be a pretty good passer and rebounder. I know he doesn’t blow you away in those areas but what should we expect with the mini-mle.

    166. iserp

      Then you have Calderon — 34 as well by the start of 15/16 and playing at a position that is probably least forgiving of the effects of aging. He is a skilled player, but his defense, durability and stamina will only get worse.

      Well, Calderon has never relied in his speed or athleticism, so i don’t think that is gonna be a problem. Think of Steve Nash or John Stockton’s longevity, for example.

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