Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.06.30)

  • [New York Post] Report: Melo’s tour begins in Chicago (Mon, 30 Jun 2014 02:16:01 -0400)
    If the Miami Heat are intent on creating their own Melo drama while chasing Carmelo Anthony in free agency, they have the means to do it. But they will need…

  • [New York Times] 5 Teams to Watch When NBA Free Agency Opens (Mon, 30 Jun 2014 07:37:21 GMT)
    All the anticipation. All the rumors. All the speculation.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Bosh Opts Out, Joining James and Wade (Mon, 30 Jun 2014 04:01:49 GMT)
    Chris Bosh told the Miami Heat that he, like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, would be exercising the early termination option in his contract and forgoing the final two years on his deal — making him a free agent.

  • [New York Times] Analysis: Kidd’s Power Play Is Bold, if Not Out of Character (Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:29:12 GMT)
    For the Nets, the summer became a lot murkier over the weekend when it was revealed that Jason Kidd’s brief tenure as the team’s coach was most likely coming to an abrupt end.

  • [New York Newsday] NBA free-agent forecast: Where will LeBron, Carmelo, Wade, Bosh, others sign? (Mon, 30 Jun 2014 00:31:00 EDT)
    Al Iannazzone makes his NBA free agency predicrions

  • [New York Daily News] Melo confident about ‘max deal’ from Knicks, plans to meet with Bulls, Mavericks, Rockets and Lakers (Mon, 30 Jun 2014 02:48:57 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony is confident the Knicks will offer him a “max deal” to ensure that the free agent small forward re-signs with the club, according to a source close to the negotiations.

  • 150 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.06.30)

    1. Farfa

      Just a quick request: could you make the hyperlinks point to a new window or a new tab (target=_blank)? It would be much easier to read and post a comment simultaneously. Thanks Mike! (good work as always)

    2. CaptainB

      Phil wont really offer him a max right? Count me as a Melo supporter over the years, but even I recognize signing him to a max contract is a bad idea.

    3. Farfa

      I don’t know why he should. I think it’s quite clear that a good share of Knicks fandom won’t hold it against Phil if he won’t offert the max to Melo (better yet, they could be quite contrary to the idea, as a large part of this board has been saying in the last few months). I sure hope he’ll offer to Melo something like 97mln/5yrs at most (possibly with a frontloaded contract).

    4. sugarslim5

      Carmelo average 4.1 assists for the whole 2009 playoffs, so he’s got some skill in that area after all.

    5. cgreene

      The one thing about these recruiting trips to Chicago and Houston is that they cannot sit there and offer him a contract. They can only say if we do x, y or z then you will get paid a,b or c and the contract structure will be as such. But they cannot give him a perfectly clear picture of their team or his $ tomorrow at 12:01am. In order to go to Chi or Houston Melo would in essence have to commit to those teams without clearly understanding the details of his contract or who will be on those teams when the process finishes so that they can then put in motion the deals necessary to get him. Dallas, LA and the Knicks can push a piece of paper at him immediately. Big difference IMO especially for someone who seems slightly risk averse based on his history. That’s why I think it’s NYC at 5 yrs / $105M tiered to give us the discounts in 2015 and 2016.

    6. Farfa

      That’s why I think it’s NYC at 5 yrs / $105M tiered to give us the discounts in 2015 and 2016.

      Yes, I think it boils down to this, knowing that there are strict limitations in the oscillations between one year and the following one.
      Ephus please, come to the rescue to explain how could a contract be structured so that Melo gives us the most discount in 2015 and 2016. If I remember correctly, there can be a 7.5% decrease/increase from one year to another, so it basically could be like this: 2014 22mln, 2015 20.35mln, 2016 18.82 mln, 2017 20.35 mln, 2018 22 mln. Right?

    7. Frank

      @5 – I agree with your numbers, but re: Chicago or Houston, my guess is all those deals to clear cap space are lined up and ready to go as soon as Melo says yes. I’m sure they’ll be able to tell Melo at the meeting how much they’re going to offer him to the dollar.

    8. ephus

      Farfa @6: those numbers work. Might also see 20/18.5/20/21.5/23. Five years/103 million. Creates the most space in 2015. Give Carmelo a player option or ETO on the last year.

    9. Frank

      Farfa @6: those numbers work. Might also see 20/18.5/20/21.5/23. Five years/103 million. Creates the most space in 2015. Give Carmelo a player option or ETO on the last year.

      I’d sign up for that, and maybe even up to 5/110 with that same structure.

      People who want Melo gone in a S&T forget how much downside risk there is to letting him go. I get the idea to get younger and to get picks especially considering our dearth of picks in the next few years, but it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we would get someone of equal value to Melo from those picks (even with $ taken into account), and also relatively unlikely that we get someone of his caliber in free agency. It’s a pipe dream to think that Durant will come in 2016, and that’s 2 years from now anyway. Lebron isn’t coming. The other upcoming FAs are generally underwhelming, with maybe the best 2015 guy from an ability + age + probable salary # being Dragic, assuming LBJ resigns for multiple years with Miami.

      Again, I think Phil is playing this perfectly. He probably WOULD give Melo the max or close to it if it was a choice between letting him walk vs. signing him, but he’s basically guilt-tripping Melo into “wanting” to accept less. S&T obviously is better than letting him walk if the deal is good, but we certainly wouldn’t want to take on any $ at all past this coming season unless it’s a really good piece (ie. Harden).

    10. Frank

      Meanwhile Fran Fraschilla says Thanasis is more athletic than Giannis. That is nuts.

      I’m loving those 2 picks.
      Hard to argue with Early especially at #34 – 58% from 2P range, 38% from (college) 3 point range, FTA/FGA of nearly 50%, 85% from the line. Scores in the post, in transition, can shoot the spot-up 3. Thirty and-1′s according to DX so he’s got pretty good body control around the rim. And yes he’s old for his class but the improvement in his numbers in just 1 year of real Division 1 level coaching has to be a good sign.

      And Thanasis – if his 3 point shooting the 2nd half of the year is real, I think we have a steal there. Just needs coaching and practice.

    11. cgreene

      Frank, I am less confident than you that Chicago (especially) and Houston have those deals lined up. The Chicago thing is more complex unless it involves giving away Taj for nothing which they could easily do and amnestying Boozer. The best move for Chicago and Melo is ST w Knicks and we know that deal is not lined up yet. If Houston really has Lin lined up to be unloaded then fine but I have a hard time believing that teams are lined up to take Lin and his $15M just without a significant asset coming back in return.

      Funny enough I also think the fact that LBJ is annoyed and now holding the line on getting the max from the Heat bc Arison cheaped out last season has changed the culture around these stars taking significant pay cuts. Kind of inadvertantly helps the Knicks.

    12. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Is there anyone else here who thinks Carmelo might be overpaid at 5 years, $60M?

      I have no idea what sports universe we exist in that Carmelo might get $110M for five years of chucking 20-foot fadeaways into his mid-thirties.

    13. lavor postell

      Idk but Daryl Morey apparently doesn’t think Carmelo on a max-ish deal is bad value.

    14. Farfa

      I have a hard time believing that teams are lined up to take Lin and his $15M just without a significant asset coming back in return.

      If Silver doesn’t intervene, I bet that Lin+conditional 2015 first round pick+Motiejunas (or T.Jones? but I bet D-Mo will suffice)+rights to two foreign players for a Philly 2016 second round pick is an offer that Hinkie will not refuse.

    15. sugarslim5

      New theory, Melo really does end up on the Bulls or Rockets. He’s not coming back to the Knicks either way.

    16. Frank

      New theory, Melo really does end up on the Bulls or Rockets. He’s not coming back to the Knicks either way.

      thanks for your reasoned analysis

    17. Farfa

      Is there anyone else here who thinks Carmelo might be overpaid at 5 years, $60M?

      I think he would be a tad underpaid at 5yrs/60M. I guess his real value goes around 4yrs/68M. Sadly what I think bears no relevance on the real market. Melo is seen as a superstar (by his peers nonetheless, and by a good portion of fans and by at least half the league’s GMs), so unless Melo understands that he’s not an alpha dog he will paid accordingly.
      Spoiler: he will not understand it, so 100mln/5 yrs is a realistic outcome that wouldn’t damage all that much the Knicks.

      I also think that a healthy environment could extract from Melo the best basketball he’s capable of playing. An efficient 60%TS, 20/8/5 Melo would be much more valuable than an insufferable 54%TS, 28/7/3 one.

    18. sugarslim5

      so unless Melo understands that he’s not an alpha dog he will paid accordingly.

      Melo’s alpha dog status isn’t based on someone else’s opinion alone. His money isn’t based purely on post season success, as a matter of fact even as a second option Melo could get paid beaucoup money.

    19. lavor postell

      Let’s start with the best-case scenario that Anthony gives the Bulls a huge discount and is willing to sign for a first year salary of $17 million. The first domino to drop will be Dunleavy. Two factors make him the first to go: his relatively affordable expiring contract of $3.3 million and the Bulls drafting Doug McDermott, a player with a similar skill set. Trading Dunleavy for a future pick gives the Bulls approximately $13.1 million in cap space for Melo, still not nearly enough.

      To keep Gibson (and that’s something the Bulls would very much like to do) the Bulls would need to unload Butler, Snell, and the very hard to move Randolph. Trading Butler and Snell for second round picks should be relatively easy. Both players are still under rookie contracts and Butler could become an immediate rotation player on any team in the league. Randolph is the issue – he struggled to find playing time in Denver last season and it’s difficult to see a team giving up a second round pick for him. The Bulls would be forced to add in another incentive to trade him, and it’s very hard to trade him as part of a multi-player deal [7]. Making all of these moves gets them $16.9 million for Anthony. The Bulls will try hard to convince him to take that amount, and while it’s possible it’s not likely.

      That to me is the most relevant part of the article Frank posted. If Melo wants $20m it would give the Knicks an incredible amount of leverage in S&T talks to extract a high price as the article goes on to detail, one that would likely include Taj Gibson heading to New York.

    20. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Ooh!

      Carmelo’s Whim Guts Quickly Developing NBA Roster, Part II!

    21. lavor postell

      If Phil Jackson agrees to a sign-and-trade with Anthony, he is going to want as little guaranteed salary added as possible while getting the most attractive long-term assets possible. The problem for the Bulls is they either need to a) be under the cap after the trade or b) send out $15 million in salary to take back Anthony’s $20 million salary. For either one to happen, Gibson absolutely has to be included because of his $8 million salary. In addition to Gibson in a sign-and-trade, the Bulls would need to send out Dunleavy, the 3 non-guaranteed deals at least one first round pick and likely Mirotic.

      That’s the other part of it. If we lose Melo that would be a solid package. Gibson would be a solid Triangle fit and a great veteran presence to have on the team and getting the rights to Mirotic and first rounder would be great.

    22. Farfa

      as a matter of fact even as a second option Melo could get paid beaucoup money.

      Yes, but there’s no sense in knowingly paying a second option all that money (if you want to win). I repeat: the last three NBA Champions should have taught him something, and that is that you need help to win, and you can get help by sacrificing something.

      BTW, this is why the rumor that LeBron wants the max makes my head spin. If anything, LeBron should be the one who understands the sports benefit in being underpaid, so why in the hell is he going for a max?

    23. Frank

      I’d sign on for a S&T that netted us Dunleavy, Mirotic, Gibson, cap relief, and a #1 pick. For one thing, we could leave Mirotic in Europe for another year, basically giving us $70MM in guaranteed money in 2014-15. We could easily fit both a BAE and full MLE without worrying about the apron which is probably $81MMish. MLE could get you Pau Gasol, BAE might get you someone like McBob.

    24. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Unfortunately ruruland is not available to explain Carmelo’s professional philosophy, but it seems that, to Carmelo, The difference between $110M and, say, $70M is indeed $40M, which, after taxes and fees, is worth about five enormous villas in strategic locations around the world.

      Championships are wonderful, but so would be a townhouse in Paris, a beachfront penthouse in Rio, and a 4000 sq. ft. ski-hut in the Swiss Alps. I like money, you can too.

    25. lavor postell

      Why the fuck should Lebron take a less than max salary to help out the Miami Heat? He already did that and then was rewarded by Micky Arison using the savings the Big 3 provided to amnesty Mike Miller so he wouldn’t have to pay the luxury tax. Let’s remember that the players are worth what the market allows and what teams are willing to pay. If these owners want to cry poor and have a restrictive cap then that’s their problem, but I couldn’t give a shit if a player wants to get paid the max when the fucking Clippers sell for $2bn because the NBA finally decided to force out a racist scumbag owner like Sterling who spent the better part of 3 decades making no attempt to win and pocketing profits instead of re-investing in the team.

      If I’m a player between the owners acting like they were sitting on negative value assets during the last CBA negotiations, creating a much harder cap, reducing contracts lengths to save them from their own stupidity and now this Sterling fiasco I don’t feel the need to give back anything.

      Also let’s not act like Lebron, Wade and Bosh were playing for peanuts. They all signed for approx $10m less over a potential 6-year deal. Melo’s probably going to end up taking a token discount exactly like that this summer.

    26. lavor postell

      @Frank

      You’re absolutely right. That deal would put us in a great situation financially in addition to helping to replenish assets under our control. I think Phil is playing his hand perfectly right now and understands that he has leverage with Melo and any potential S&T scenarios for him.

    27. sugarslim5

      Yes, but there’s no sense in knowingly paying a second option all that money (if you want to win).

      In the real business world of the nba, you need to prove an expensive second option can’t help you win championships, so you don’t sound like your against paying stars. Or against one star on his image alone.

    28. Frank

      Stein just reported Kidd is headed to coach the Bucks for 2 second round picks.

      Sliminess aside, nice move for Kidd, especially if next year he gets more power. Milwaukee has a some young talent between Sanders, Ilyasova, and Jabari Parker, and they actually have these things called draft picks.

      Never would have guessed that Kidd was so power-hungry, but of course we don’t know these guys at all.

    29. thenamestsam

      If anything, LeBron should be the one who understands the sports benefit in being underpaid, so why in the hell is he going for a max?

      You realize that it’s good for your company if you make less money also right? And yet I’m guessing you haven’t marched into your bosses office this morning and demanded a pay cut. Why is that?

    30. Frank

      meanwhile who in the world would want that Nets job? Aging roster, zero picks. They’ll end up getting some retread like Lionel Hollins. Can’t imagine George Karl wants to coach a team that can’t run. And no young hot coach like Hoiberg or Billy Donovan or anyone good wants that situation.

    31. Farfa

      I’m not blaming anyone (such an hypocritical move on my behalf, wouldn’t it be?). I’m just saying that LeBron asking the max is all well and good (and boy, does he deserves it), but that he should be the one who understands the most that a max limits his chance to win.

      What would I do if I were Melo or LeBron? I can’t say that for sure. All I can say is that I’m tired of all the trite rhetorical claims by everyone “I want to win, all I care about is rings, I want my legacy to be a championship in this or that city, blah blah blah”. You want to win? Fine. That’s why you play. You want to win while earning the max? Also fine. You want to win while earning the max and then want to complain about your teammates and/or front office if things don’t go well? Well then, be ready for boatloads of #HotTakes. Everyone is still laughing at the ridiculous Kobe extension. If Kobe signed for a decent Duncan/Nowitzki 10mln/yr the Lakers could be able to get TWO superstars. Mind you, this is not Kobe’s fault. Kupchak offered that money without negotiations.

    32. Frank

      by the way THCJ – Cleanthony Early just compared himself to Kawhi Leonard on the conference call. Are you a Knicks fan again? =)

    33. Farfa

      If these owners want to cry poor and have a restrictive cap then that’s their problem, but I couldn’t give a shit if a player wants to get paid the max when the fucking Clippers sell for $2bn because the NBA finally decided to force out a racist scumbag owner like Sterling who spent the better part of 3 decades making no attempt to win and pocketing profits instead of re-investing in the team.

      Hey, hey, I completely agree with you. But the rules are the rules. And the rules say there’s a max cap and a salary cap. LeBron and the other two already gamed the system (rightfully so), so why this change of mind? Yes, he has all the rights in the world to earn a max, but in doing so he’ll lower the Heat odds. Doesn’t he want to win?

    34. cgreene

      TOTAL CONJECTURE: I think one of the reasons LeBron wants the max is that in an ironic way (ironic because it is of most financial benefit to him) it is retribution for the CBA after Arison’s cheapness and the Clippers’ sale for $2B. He’s basically “sacrificing” competitiveness to demonstrate the absurdity of a player of his caliber having to take a significant pay cut in addition to the existing cap on his pay in order to play for a competitive team. And he’s RIGHT.

    35. Farfa

      @39

      He’s completely right. But he’s shooting himself on the foot in regard to his chances to win.

    36. sugarslim5

      by the way THCJ – Cleanthony Early just compared himself to Kawhi Leonard on the conference call. Are you a Knicks fan again? =)

      I think he’s better then leonard, as a matter of fact he reminds me of a certain King who once played on the Knicks, but it’s insane to say it now.

    37. cgreene

      Farfa, my point being that he is making a conscious sacrifice in a sense for the players’ future negotiating power. Wouldn’t be surprised if he actually said something to that effect publicly.

    38. thenamestsam

      It’s also a little bit putting the carriage before the horse to start talking about Lebron taking the max like it has already happened. Could easily just be his agent pushing back against all those stories about how Lebron cared only about winning, etc. Hell, there were people hypothesizing he might take the MLE for the right situation. No agent wants that to be his negotiation position. Lets see what he ends up taking before discussing the reasons for it.

    39. Farfa

      Farfa, my point being that he is making a conscious sacrifice in a sense for the players’ future negotiating power. Wouldn’t be surprised if he actually said something to that effect publicly.

      Whoa. A little convoluted but a very intriguing and fascinating possibility.

    40. Farfa

      @43

      Indeed, and that’s why I find discordant the LeBron-max rumor. I say it again: it seems a broken Riley power play (so that he can blame it on a max-wanting LeBron a possible failure in building a competitive roster in Miami).

    41. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      I think he’s better then leonard, as a matter of fact he reminds me of a certain King who once played on the Knicks, but it’s insane to say it now.

      It’s certainly possible, but highly unlikely that he’s better (or ever will be) than the #3 SF in the game right now.

      I’ve got my fingers crossed, though. Rubbing my rabbit’s foot. Walking under ladders.

    42. lavor postell

      @Farfa

      If owners want to lie about how they’re all just losing a ton of money and that there isn’t much value in owning an NBA team I’m fine with player lying about winning being all that matters over money. Melo was stupid for volunteering that statement without being prompted, but if a guy gets asked if money or winning is more important to him he’d be dumb to say anything but winning since if he says money he’ll just be pilloried by the media and fans for being a mercenary.

      Lebron, Melo, Durant, Paul, etc. all these guys want to win, but they also want to be paid similar to their worth. I wouldn’t sign Melo to the megamax because of how hard it is to build a team around 1 guy making that much money especially when his name isn’t Lebron, but if these guys choose making the max over maximizing winning titles I have no problem with that.

      The owners created this system. They now have to live with the consequences if their franchise player wants the max, which they know other teams will definitely give him.

    43. lavor postell

      @47

      I can’t tell if you’re trolling me or if you’re recommending I read this book

    44. Farfa

      but if these guys choose making the max over maximizing winning titles I have no problem with that.

      Neither do I, just as long as we accept that the superteam concept can only exist under those circumstances in this CBA.

    45. lavor postell

      Neither do I, just as long as we accept that the superteam concept can only exist under those circumstances.

      I accept this.

    46. flossy

      meanwhile who in the world would want that Nets job? Aging roster, zero picks. They’ll end up getting some retread like Lionel Hollins. Can’t imagine George Karl wants to coach a team that can’t run. And no young hot coach like Hoiberg or Billy Donovan or anyone good wants that situation.

      Mike Woodson is kicking himself for being so quick to join the Clips bench.

    47. lavor postell

      So we agree, lavor :-)

      Lol yes.

      OT, but Farfa do you also follow Serie A and other European leagues in general? It’s always been interesting to me how different the financials of European soccer work from American sports leagues.

    48. lavor postell

      Man what is going through Larry Drew’s head right now?

      I remember when I did this to Mike Woodson. Karma’s a bitch.

    49. Hubert

      The “Melo Tour” is hilarious. Is it me, or does he think this is his “summer of LeBron” moment, only he’s just figuring out now that he’s not as big as LeBron was in 2010?

      Why do I feel like he tried to schedule all teams coming to his home like LeBron did before they all told him “yeah, no, we’re not doing that”.

      I’ve no doubt he is going to attempt to make a spectacle of his decision, as well. No one will be daft enough to offer him a TV show, but he’ll probably call a press conference to make his announcement on live TV, which I’m sure ESPN will cover.

    50. Z-man

      “Is there anyone else here who thinks Carmelo might be overpaid at 5 years, $60M?”

      No one that works in basketball for a living.

    51. Farfa

      Yes lavor, obviously I do.

      It’s totally different (especially in Italy and Spain). The financials here work in a very… you could say capitalistic way. The rich becomes richer, the poor becomes poorer, unless one of these three things happens:

      1) a minor club gets bought by a wealthy foreign investor. That transforms almost overnight the team (see: Man City, Malaga, Chelsea years ago)
      2) a minor club has a superb scouting network, and it survives by literally buying low and selling high. Sometimes this club makes a Champions League apparition, or at least an Europa League one (see: Udinese, Everton)
      3) a major club goes bankrupt because his owner(s) and/or CEO commited some financial crimes and/or bribery. This creates a void at the top of the ladder for a few years (see: Juventus in 2006). This is much more typically an Italian “tradition”.

      I prefer much more the American system. I root for a really minor club here (Bologna FC, the team of my city) and we just got relegated because we had to sell our best players (also because our owner is a dumbass, but that’s a story for another day). Here, nobody cares for minor clubs, and there is no chance that some stars can remain in small teams, apart from end-of-career moonlighting (see: Baggio, Guardiola, Michael Owen).

    52. MSA

      If Lebron or Durant wants a max contract, just pay him.

      They worth it and are not the one that need to make sacrifices to win. Any team that have this two are already contenders.

      Lebron himself already have two, so I understand that he is probably in “fuck it mode”.

      Carmelo Anthony and other several “lesser stars” are the ones that should be weighting money vs titles.

    53. MSA

      BTW, why on earth would anyone spend a cent on Melo when you can have Lebron for the same money?

      I know, Lebron is far from a sure thing, but that should be plan A any day. Then you can throw a plan B or C on Love, Melo or whetever.

    54. er

      @59 you really dont like Melo huh

      @61 I disagree. Only Lebron is in that class. When has Durant shown that he is? Also how fucked up is it that the NBA has created these artificial ceilings

    55. Z-man

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he is worth the max under today’s cap, and I certainly hope that we don’t sign him for the max. But $12 mill per? really?

      Melo needs more help than he has had to be a top-2 dog on a championship team. Can it be done at $24+ mill per year? I doubt it. At $20 mill? Possibly, as a sidekick to LeBron or another MVP-caliber player. At $15 mill? Absolutely, so long as the others on the team are not grossly overpaid (as say, Amare, Bargnani, and yes, Chandler).

    56. lavor postell

      Probably because everybody knows he’s going back to Miami. I mean from what I understand he hasn’t even set up meetings with any other teams yet.

    57. Hubert

      Is there anyone else here who thinks Carmelo might be overpaid at 5 years, $60M?

      Sort of raising my hand here.

    58. Farfa

      Your system works better. It gives everyone a real chance. Yes I know, in Milwaukee they get a 10% chance instead that a 100% chance, but that’s because of poor management and bad luck, not only bad location. Do we have to pretend that San Antonio is a metropolis? Or Detroit? Heck, even Oklahoma City? The last time a team won the Serie A outside of Milan, Turin and Rome (easily the three biggest cities here) is 1991. 23 freaking years in three cities! The last time the best player in Italy played outside of Milan, Turin and Rome was (probably) in the same 1991, when Maradona played for Napoli, in Naples, easily the fourth biggest market. To find a great player playing outside of those four cities in his prime you have to go to the 1970s, when Gigi Riva, the most prolific scorer in the Azzurri (our national team) history, played for Cagliari.

      Here, if you don’t root for great teams in great cities, you won’t win anything.

    59. danvt

      “The owners created this system. They now have to live with the consequences if their franchise player wants the max, which they know other teams will definitely give him.”

      I think the owners are happy with the system. It keeps them profitable. Also, there’s a difference between a business being able to turn a profit and selling a franchise for a profit. The players get a hard cap and can’t like that, but, unlike the NFL, once they sign it’s all guaranteed. As a fan, I like the NFL system. Give the players signing bonus’s and guarantee only a certain percentage of the deal. Then you just cut a guy like Bargnani, who doesn’t give you the production you need.

    60. lavor postell

      Farfa that’s incredible. I know the imbalance in European soccer but when you lay it out like that it’s quite depressing.

    61. Frank O.

      I might consider 5 years for $80-$85 m.
      I don’t believe he is a max player.
      There are other very good players out there they can use the cap space to fill needs.

    62. Farfa

      Yes it is. Believe me, for how much it sucks to be a Charlotte/Milwaukee/Minnesota fan, there’s no thing like knowing you will never (never!) win anything, and if you’re lucky and your management unearths a gem, well then, that gem is going to stay with you maximum 2 years, and more often than not when he goes away he’ll rot on the bench.

      Bleargh. Sometimes I wish I was born in the USA.

    63. Farfa

      and if you’re lucky and your management unearths a gem, well then, that gem is going to stay with you maximum 2 years, and more often than not when he goes away he’ll rot on the bench.

      Uhm. Maybe in Charlotte they know what it means.

    64. JK47

      The “Melo Tour” is hilarious. Is it me, or does he think this is his “summer of LeBron” moment, only he’s just figuring out now that he’s not as big as LeBron was in 2010?

      No, you’re not the only one. When Melo talked about how he never experienced being a free agent, it seems like this is what he meant– “I never had a chance to have multiple teams kiss my ass for a week and be the big story on ESPN every day.” The man has a very high opinion of himself.

      I’ll say the same thing I’ve said many times– Carmelo Anthony is not a top-tier NBA player. He is a Dominique Wilkins, Mark Aguirre, Adrian Dantley, James Worthy caliber player. Hell, he’s not even as good as Dantley was. He has a cult of personality around him that fools everybody into believing he is a franchise player, but he is a complementary player. Paying him the max or near-max as he enters his thirties is a poor basketball move. Somebody will do it, but it’s a bad move. I just hope it isn’t the Knicks making this unfortunate decision. His perceived value is way higher than his actual value, and that is the type of player smart teams avoid.

    65. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      @50 (lavor)

      I’m suggesting you read the book, and agreeing with you.

    66. Zanzibar

      So if Phil gets his way, here’s our starting 5 in the playoffs of the 2015-16 season (ages in paren).

      Pau Gasol (36)
      Calderon (34)
      Melo (32)
      Marc Gasol (31)
      Some SG (<30 unless JR)

      Those 4 would take up 80% of the cap. NO Phil, what are you thinking? This is not a sound plan! In terms of ages, only the Celtics won a championship with that age profile. Those are not good odds. And what happens if Melo loses that first step; he's already begun to morph into more of a jump shooter, playing farther and farther away from the rim. Will his improved outside shooting hold or regress to the mean? Will he be willing and able to transition to more of a motion/ball movement offense? Way too many IFs to sign him to a near max/5 year deal (4 year/16m per year, no more).

    67. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      I’ll say the same thing I’ve said many times– Carmelo Anthony is not a top-tier NBA player. He is a Dominique Wilkins, Mark Aguirre, Adrian Dantley, James Worthy caliber player. Hell, he’s not even as good as Dantley was. He has a cult of personality around him that fools everybody into believing he is a franchise player, but he is a complementary player. Paying him the max or near-max as he enters his thirties is a poor basketball move. Somebody will do it, but it’s a bad move. I just hope it isn’t the Knicks making this unfortunate decision. His perceived value is way higher than his actual value, and that is the type of player smart teams avoid.

      Agreed, but can I see some independent research to this point?

    68. Hubert

      Farfa that’s incredible. I know the imbalance in European soccer but when you lay it out like that it’s quite depressing.

      Except the imbalance in the NBA is just the same. Sure, it’s swell that you can dominate the league in San Antonio. But is a league dominated by a small market team any less imbalanced than a league dominated by a large city?

      3 cities in 23 years sounds drastic. But 29 of the last 30 NBA titles have come from 7 cities. It’s not like we’re spreading the wealth around.

      Also, the NBA and Serie A have the same exact amount of unique champions in the last 30 years: 8

      An association football-style system would thrive in the US, I think, because unlike the Italian economy, the United States economy is actually diverse. All the wealthiest people don’t live in 3 cities. Relegation would eliminate tanking immediately. And no one would pay Andrea Bargnani $12 million because you’d be free to spend $ on the players who are worth it. EDIT: in theory! Someone could always be duped into overpaying someone.

      The only reason it doesn’t happen here is because there is too much risk involved for the owners’ pockets. But it’s a far superior system from a fan’s perspective, IMHO.

    69. lavor postell

      @Hubert

      The difference is in basketball the imbalance is created by having multiple two-way, all-time great players on your team at the same time. If you hit the draft jackpot and land 2-3 All-Star caliber players you can retain them because there is a cap on how much they can make. That is enough for a sustained push at championship contention.

      In European football any team outside of the big money, Champions League contending clubs or clubs with Russian and Arab billionaire owners have very little hope of retaining elite talent once the player starts producing. I mean just looking at Southampton in the EPL this year, they have been improving the past 2 seasons and are now set to lose perhaps their top 5 players to the bigger English clubs (Lallana, Shaw, Lambert already gone and Schneiderlin and Lovren rumored to be on the way out).

    70. Mehrab

      My 1st comment here after following this blog for about a year.

      Farfa @61 & 69 what you said is exactly what i wanted to say when I read some people here like the way it is going in Europe. to add to your examples, look at Spain La Liga. It’s all about to cities and better to say just two teams. In Britain it’s all about Manchester and London, and sometimes Liverpool. and don’t let me start talking about the soccer league in my country, Iran.
      I can realize that people arguing about NBA system, don’t like the idea of the corporations/owners getting richer by spending less on players, but as it is experienced in other countries no salary ceiling and no such limitations eventually makes the league a tale of 2-3 rich teams (or just big markets). and then no other teams would have any chance of competing.

    71. MSA

      The difference between soccer and the NBA is that soccer owners on the majority don’t give a shit if the team will have any profit.

      Of course, the best teams try to live within their means, but most of them are there to spend money and win championship (at least try).

      The premier leagues are not exactly an enterprise with franchises.

      Hell, here in Brazil where I live, the majority of the clubs are broken that live rolling their debts over. And even that doesn’t prevent them to spend millions that they cannot afford in former star players.

    72. Farfa

      The only reason it doesn’t happen here is because there is too much risk involved for the owners’ pockets. But it’s a far superior system from a fan’s perspective, IMHO.

      It depends. It’a superior system in the sense that it can give you something to root for even when you are in 13th position with 5 games to go for the season. It’a far inferior system until there is some sort of salary cap which prevents the usual suspects from hoarding all the best players, limiting the competition for the ultimate prize.

      As for the lack of turnover in NBA winners, I have to concede that. But it’s still a very narrow point of view. Try to take a look at NBA finalists in the last 10 years. You have San Antonio, Miami, Dallas, the Lakers, the Celtics, ok. But then you also have Cleveland, Detroit, Orlando, Oklahoma City (and if you expand the period to 15 years, you also have Indiana, New Jersey, Philadelphia – our Knicks miss the cut by a hair). Try to take a look at the first two places in Serie A in the same period: Roma, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Napoli.

    73. Farfa

      Exactly MSA, I totally agree with you. Hubert, while I understand that the grass is always greener on the other side, believe me when I say the US sports model is much more healthy than ours. The only thing it lacks (at least for the NBA, I don’t follow NFL and MLB, sadly I didn’t get exposed to your other beautiful sports as a child and so I find them much less interesting) is a CBA which doesn’t limit the max money an individual can make. A salary cap is manna from heaven in creating competitive balance.

    74. Zanzibar

      So Melo’s on the way to the airport when he hears this: Rose saying he’s not sure about participating in the Team USA training camp that begins in late July. Troubling news about the guy who won’t participate in the Melo recruiting effort. If you’re Chicago FO, you gotta be furious about the timing. Maybe he really doesn’t want Melo on his team.

    75. Farfa

      Why are the media still treating Rose like he’s a surefire bonafide superstar? When are they gonna cave in just a little bit and say that, well, maybe, indeed, er… there’s a 50/50 chance that he’ll be Penny Hardaway 2.0 (in terms of general health and change of value before and after injuries, not in terms of actual playing style)?

    76. Hubert

      In European football any team outside of the big money, Champions League contending clubs or clubs with Russian and Arab billionaire owners have very little hope of retaining elite talent once the player starts producing.

      But do you understand how translating that to the United States economy is a false comparison?

      Instead of little, tiny Southampton, you have Mark Cuban in Dallas.

      Also, we don’t have a champions league, which is a completely bullshit method of keeping the rich richer, and arguably the biggest reason you never see anyone break through in those other leagues.

      And besides, didn’t they say the same thing about baseball? But with a few minor tweaks it’s become arguably the most democratic, equal opportunity sport in the world without even needing a salary cap.

      I just don’t see how tyranny via ping pong balls or tyranny via smart management is preferable to tyranny via a large city.

    77. Mike Kurylo Post author

      Agreed, but can I see some independent research to this point?

      Sorry Dave Berri’s blog hasn’t written this up, so I’m not sure exactly what the correct opinion is, yet.

    78. cgreene

      Farfa, couldn’t agree more about the Rose thing. How is this not a main story? You can bet if he was on the Knicks they’d have written his gravestone already. But the press still rights “dynamic superstar” in context with him. It’s kinda nuts.

    79. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Let me know when we get the WP48 numbers. Until then, let’s just futz around in our own pants’ pockets. Or each others’, if we’re feeling particularly self-congratulatory for our self-prescribed basketball truths.

    80. lavor postell

      I guess I wasn’t really comparing the two. If you had an association type football setup in the USA I think it would definitely be more equitable than it is in Europe. I just was arguing that the NBA is far more equitable the Serie A, EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.

    81. Hubert

      You guys are talking about economies that are smaller than Texas and acting like it would be the same way in the United States. I think that’s kind of silly.

      You think Paul Allen wouldn’t be able to afford to field a competitive team because Portland is too small? Really? You think the poor little Blazers would be forced to feed all their talent to bigger clubs like Southamton?

      Your imposing the limitations of those countries’ economies on the system they employ, and it’s leading you to false conclusions.

    82. Zanzibar

      Agreed, but can I see some independent research

      Jowles is baiting Ted. Ladies and Gentlemen…….. In this corner, we last saw him a year ago in the ring versus David “The Kid” Vertsberger and now he’s emerged yet again from retirement to take on “The Cocky Professor” …..Teeedddddd “Halfffffff” Nelsonnnnnnnn.

    83. JK47

      What the hell kind of team is Miami going to have with LeBron making the max and Wade and Bosh returning at like $15M per? By my count that’s $52M of their $55M cap space right there. The only other players they have under contract are Norris Cole, Chris Andersen and now Shabazz Napier. Even with whatever MLE type signings they manage, that’s still far short of a well-rounded roster.

      I think LeBron might be dunzo there.

    84. Mike Kurylo Post author

      From my perspective, Ted handily won the first round, so there’s no need for him to respond.

      Jowles’ little jabs smack of desperation.

    85. d-mar

      If LeBron leaves Miami, Heat fans might start showing up late to games and leaving early in protest

    86. lavor postell

      If LeBron leaves Miami, Heat fans might start showing up late to games and leaving early in protest

      If Lebron leaves Miami there won’t be any Heat fans.

    87. Hubert

      As for the lack of turnover in NBA winners, I have to concede that. But it’s still a very narrow point of view. Try to take a look at NBA finalists in the last 10 years. You have San Antonio, Miami, Dallas, the Lakers, the Celtics, ok. But then you also have Cleveland, Detroit, Orlando, Oklahoma City (and if you expand the period to 15 years, you also have Indiana, New Jersey, Philadelphia – our Knicks miss the cut by a hair). Try to take a look at the first two places in Serie A in the same period: Roma, Juventus, Inter, Milan, Napoli

      It’s also a league format, whereas the NBA is a League + Cup format, so it’s not really apples to apples, is it?

      Let me ask you a question: if, in the last 30 years, we switched the format of Serie A to the top 8 teams from the league qualify for a knockout tournament and whoever wins that cup is the league champion, do you really think the same teams would dominate to the same degree?

    88. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      “From my perspective, Ted handily won the first round, so there’s no need for him to respond.

      Jowles’ little jabs smack of desperation.”

      Ted dismisses my position and ironically throws his own conjecture out like it’s the most reasonable, with no evidence of his own to support it but the ever-present “common sense” argument.

      No one argued that there’s no place for observation-based synthesis in player evaluation. My argument was that I’d rather construct a team based on WS48 and/or WP48 and/or WARP alone than allow cognitive fallacies and limitations and even-more-complex observational assessments to complicate the issue of productivity. There are important character factors at work, but a player who is productive in college (meaning “very productive” or “exceptionally productive”) would be a good risk to take, even without considering the environmental factors at work in that production.

      It shouldn’t be “how can we turn this marginally-productive player into a productive member of our system,” but “how can we make our system play to the strengths of this already-productive player.”

      We’re saying the same things, but Ted is pinching the bridge of his nose way more than I am. And insisting that I produce independent research or STFU. And, in the same breath, tossing his conjecture about.

    89. Ibai

      When comparing the NBA system with the european soccer one you have to consider two things:
      1 The size (and the economy): In Spain we have 20 teams in the first division for a population of 40 million people. The state of New York has two NBA teams for a population of 20. Is impossible to make a system like the NBA one for a league that features teams like Real Madrid and Levante, for example. When a team spends 5oo million and the other barely has 30 is impossible to put a fair salary cap.
      2 The College system: The draft system would be just impossible to implement here.
      There are fixable problems in the Spanish league like a more reasonable distribution of the TV revenues but at the end of the day, the difference is just too big to overcome.

    90. Hubert

      A salary cap is manna from heaven in creating competitive balance.

      And yet there were only two teams who had a realistic chance to win a title this year, and so many more teams were trying to lose than win. How does that add up?

    91. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      A salary cap is manna from heaven, sure, but not when 4-or-5-year guaranteed contracts are the norm. If there were non-guaranteed contracts like there are in football, the league would turn over each and every year.

    92. Farfa

      Let me ask you a question: if, in the last 30 years, we switched the format of Serie A to the top 8 teams from the league qualify for a knockout tournament and whoever wins that cup is the league champion, do you really think the same teams would dominate to the same degree?

      If by knockout you mean something like NCAA or the World Cup (no best of 7), there is gonna be a lot of variance, for sure. If you adopted a best of 7 or best of 5, then I still think the same teams would dominate to the same degree. I would argue, though, that if you’re really talking about a knockout, single-game elimination, the variance holds true even for the NBA. Only San Antonio and Washington didn’t lose the first game in any of the series they played (minimum two series played – or you could add the Warriors).

      How does the salary cap thing add up? It’s simple: you have to be smart to compete. When I talk about competitive balance, I’m talking in 5-year spans. Look, in European soccer even great clubs can stink from time to time. But you’ll never see Manchester United and Liverpool in the relegation zone while upstart Wigan and Newcastle battle for the trophy. That’s what happened, NBA history wise, this year.

    93. Hubert

      What I’m saying, Farfa, is you can’t compare a league format (Serie A) to a league + cup format (NBA). By knockout, I mean combine Serie A with the Coppa Italia. The top 8 teams from Serie A qualify for the Coppa Italia, and the winner of that is your Italian champion.

    94. Farfa

      What I’m saying, Farfa, is you can’t compare a league format (Serie A) to a league + cup format (NBA). By knockout, I mean combine Serie A with the Coppa Italia. The top 8 teams from Serie A qualify for the Coppa Italia, and the winner of that is your Italian champion.

      I knew I was comparing apples to oranges. But at the same time, I wanted to make really clear that there’s an intrinsic imbalance in Europe, which probably stems by what you said, meaning different economies.

    95. thenoblefacehumper

      by the way from P&T a link to this really excellent breakdown of the Bulls FA aspirations:

      http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/breaking-it-down-bulls-free-agency-options

      After reading that, am I correct in assuming it’d be at least relatively hard for the Bulls to get ‘Melo without sending us either Gibson or Butler? They could make all of those trades with other teams but that’d be much more complicated than one simple sign-and-trade with us.

    96. stratomatic

      The bottom line on Melo is that the difference between him and James/Durant is that those guys are way more efficient scorers and also better play makers. If you think Jackson/Fisher can improve Melo’s shot selection significantly and turn him into a much more efficient scorer and play maker using the triangle and persuasive ability, then by all means sign him to a contract close to the max. I would just remind you that two extremely team oriented coaches like D’Antoni and Karl failed at that very thing. Karl had to draw up compromises between the shot selection he wanted and what Melo wanted just to have reasonable relationship with him. D’Antoni was run out of town or left on his own because Melo refused to play within the system.

      If you don’t think Melo can change, then anything over 12m to start is probably a bad idea. Melo is simply not that valuable in his current form. He has large amounts of talent and skill (which if why is he’s so overrated), but it doesn’t translate into a lot of excess value creating production on the court. And it won’t unless he changes!

    97. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      I think he’s an excellent playmaker, stratomatic. The issue, as you noted, is that he’s quite a bit less efficient (1 in every 9 or 10 shots, which is a lot) and thus significantly less productive. On the team scale, over the course of a whole basketball game, that’s, what 16 points?

      So maybe he’s not as good a playmaker as those players. I think that his eFG% suggests this.

      I have no independent research to support this, but I’m willing to run with it.

    98. Farfa

      Jowles, you troll like there’s no tomorrow. Good job, good effort.

      It seems the Rockets or the Pistons have already found their backup PG. Nelson has been waived by the Magic.

    99. stratomatic

      Jowles,

      It depends on what you mean by play maker.

      I believe he has good passing skills, but it doesn’t translate into as many assists as James and Durant get (which in turn has been demonstrated to improve the efficiency of teammates). Granted, I have not included hockey assists as part of this, but my guess is that Durant and James do well on that stat also. Those are the players we have to look at and say “Can we pay Melo anywhere near as much as those guys and still build a championship contender under the cap”. To me, he’s significantly below those guys. It’s not marginal. So the answer is a clear “NO”. To have any hope, you have to do what San Antonio did (get several top players to take a discount) or somehow draft spectacularly well and build from the bottom up. You aren’t going to match or top those guys. So you have to somehow squeeze more value into the other spots with more space. That leaves us 3 options.

      1. Melo has to get a lot better under Phil/Fisher and narrow the gap
      2. Melo has to sign for a substantial discount and we move forward from there
      3. Melo has to leave and we have to get back good value players and/or picks (or nothing) and go forward from there

    100. JK47

      Can Melo play better under Phil Jackson? Well, I guess that’s debatable. I suppose Melo is quite good at the three things you need to be able to do in the triangle: shoot, pass, dribble. Will his efficiency go up as a result of playing in the triangle? Maybe. Maybe it results in Melo cutting down on his iso addiction and getting shots within the flow of the offense. And maybe some accountability will get Melo to work harder on defense instead of constantly calling for switches.

      But on the other hand, maybe not. In fact, I’m going to go ahead and say PROBABLY not. We have a 28,000 minute sample that says Melo is a .138 WS48 player who tops out around .180. We have a 15,000 FGA sample that says he’s a .483 eFG% shooter. And we have plenty of anecdotal evidence that he’s not really inclined to change his game to fit into a system. Maybe this time it will be different. Probably not though.

    101. er

      Kevin Durant avgs more assists, but he avgs more turnovers than Melo. So doesnt that kind of negate the additional assists?

    102. SJK

      While Melo may not be a max-level value, it’s not like there are a bunch of world beaters running around waiting for us to have the cap space to sign them. Of the guys who are going to be free agents in the next few years, the only options that I would say are definitely better than Melo are Love (2015), Durant (2016), Westbrook (2017), Curry (2017). However, we have no idea if these guys (1) will actually be available and (2) will want to come to New York. On top of all that, it’s not like by re-signing Melo at a reasonable rate we totally take ourselves out of the running for any of these guys anyway. I don’t see the logic in just letting him go for nothing — he is still a productive player — so that we can hope that the next “Decision 2010″ falls in our favor.

    103. MSA

      Well, if you consider 11.2% agaisnt 12.5% turnovers negates 15.8% vs 26.7% assists…

      But I also don’t have any research to back me up ;)

    104. hoolahoop

      If you don’t think Melo can change, then anything over 12m to start is probably a bad idea. Melo is simply not that valuable in his current form. He has large amounts of talent and skill (which if why is he’s so overrated), but it doesn’t translate into a lot of excess value creating production on the court. And it won’t unless he changes!

      Bingo!

    105. hoolahoop

      I think he’s an excellent playmaker, stratomatic.

      That explains why you don’t like the eye-test. You don’t know what you’re watching.
      Melo’s a horrible playmaker . . . . unless you consider holding the ball for fifteen seconds, then dumping the ball off to someone else with five seconds on the clock.

    106. hoolahoop

      It depends on what you mean by play maker.

      I believe he has good passing skills…

      To me, good passing skills is someone who “consistently” passes the ball to get teammates good looks. Not someone who occasionally makes a good pass.

    107. er

      –He has large amounts of talent and skill (which if why is he’s so overrated), but it doesn’t translate into a lot of excess value creating production on the court

      I dont understand this. How doesnt his talent and skill translate?

    108. hoolahoop

      –He has large amounts of talent and skill (which if why is he’s so overrated), but it doesn’t translate into a lot of excess value creating production on the court

      I dont understand this. How doesnt his talent and skill translate?

      How many million times do you need it explained?

    109. sugarslim5

      If you don’t think Melo can change, then anything over 12m to start is probably a bad idea. Melo is simply not that valuable in his current form. He has large amounts of talent and skill (which if why is he’s so overrated), but it doesn’t translate into a lot of excess value creating production on the court. And it won’t unless he changes!

      Bingo!

      At 12 mil he’s not your franchise player, just a cog in the wheel, so teams should treat him like one and when they do, expect a new CBA to control it. But if you say he’s your franchise player then expect him to be treated like one. I find it interesting that Phil Jackson, 11 championships, 13 finals appearances is willing to pay Melo.

    110. er

      @ 121 lol. So what you are trying to tell me is that Melo doesnt create a lot production on the court? I guess that makes sense. sorry dad

    111. JK47

      I dont understand this. How doesnt his talent and skill translate?

      Melo doesn’t get the most out of his talent because he plays the game in a foolish and selfish way. He spends most of his energy on jab steps, spin moves, pump fakes and other iso-related athletic moves that result in shot attempts of mediocre efficiency. He’s been a little better efficiency-wise the last couple of years because he shoots the three very well now, but he still tops out at about a .560 TS%.

      If he cut down on all the iso-ing, used some of that energy to play defense with more intensity and operated more within the flow of the offense, he’d be a better player. But Melo gonna Melo, and that means shitloads of isos. Is he gonna change after 11 seasons in the league and play a more intelligent game? Maybe. Maybe not.

    112. JK47

      @116 those numbers for Melo and Durant’s TO% and AST% are cherry picked.

      I think he just made a mistake and used Melo’s career TO% instead of his number from last year, which was 9.5. Last year’s AST% and TOV% looked like this:

      Melo 15.8 AST% 9.5 TOV%
      Durant 26.7 AST% 12.2 TOV%

    113. EB

      @116 MSA

      Be consistent in your method for choosing numbers or explain why your method has the inconsistencies it does. You took Durant’s numbers from last season when his AST% is about 10% higher than his average, but took Melo’s career numbers for TO% which is about 1.5% higher than last year’s TO% and his TO% since he’s been on the Knicks.

    114. flossy

      Melo is willing to change his game somewhat to fit a system, he just needs to think like it was his idea and not something imposed on him by a coach. He loved playing in Mike D’Antoni’s 4-out spread pick and roll offense… just as soon as Mike D’Antoni left and Woodson replaced him (without changing the playbook in any substantive way). He’s gone from being a mediocre three point shooter to being a damn good, high volume gunner from deep, and it’s helped his efficiency some in the process. If anyone, I think Phil Jackson can probably manipulate Melo into thinking Melo invented the triangle offense himself, which combined with surrounding him with some more capable NBA players (god willing), will allow him to be worth if not a MAX contract, then a large contract. Scoring is important, after all. There aren’t many players in the NBA who could maintain even a .560 TS on north of 30% usage, so having one of them allows for more minutes to go to comparatively low-usage WOW darling types.

    115. stratomatic

      Sugar,

      The conclusions you draw can’t be proven.

      Perhaps not, but the evidence and logic of my assertion are both compelling. So without proof, I’ll go with logic and evidence over the idealistic delusions of the NY media and many Knicks fans. Delusions are what got us into this mess to begin with. :-)

    116. Donnie Walsh

      It is feasibly possible that Phil can change Melo. Larry Brown changed Jamal Crawford back in 2005-6. He was able to make (force? encourage? manipulate?) Jamal into taking 4.5 fewer shots and 2 more FT per36. Crawford became a more efficient player, and his productivity better reflected his salary that year.

      So, it CAN happen. (But that doesn’t mean that it WILL happen)

    117. Donnie Walsh

      While Melo may not be a max-level value, it’s not like there are a bunch of world beaters running around waiting for us to have the cap space to sign them

      True. But it’s better to have a diverse portfolio of players than to have a large % of your resources in one basket (unless that basket is a bona fide world beater). Melo is better than the other 2015 FA, but $24 million devoted to him isn’t necessarily better than diversifying that money into two, three, or even four players of all varying skills and specialties. We’ve seen the drawbacks to devoting a majority of ones cap space to 2 players. 3 maximums and 11 minimums simply isn’t the best way to build a contender. Especially if the max contracts are depreciating in value (as Melo will be over the next 5 years)

    118. Frank

      True. But it’s better to have a diverse portfolio of players than to have a large % of your resources in one basket (unless that basket is a bona fide world beater). Melo is better than the other 2015 FA, but $24 million devoted to him isn’t necessarily better than diversifying that money into two, three, or even four players of all varying skills and specialties. We’ve seen the drawbacks to devoting a majority of ones cap space to 2 players. 3 maximums and 11 minimums simply isn’t the best way to build a contender. Especially if the max contracts are depreciating in value (as Melo will be over the next 5 years)

      I’m really not sure this is true. Miami has gone to the finals 4 times with this model. The opposite of Miami’s “big 3″ isn’t the Spurs – the Spurs have a “big 3″ that just so happens to get paid like players 1/2 their ability. A more appropriate “anti-Heat” model is the Nuggets who have a bunch of guys paid between 8-12MM. And they haven’t done anything.

      The best model is to get a whole bunch of guys who are getting paid way less than they could. That’s not an easy thing to do.

      So it’s not splitting your resources between 4-5 guys rather than 2 guys. In the era of the tighter salary cap and tax, it’s finding 4-5 guys who are willing to be underpaid to play on your team.

      Hopefully Melo understands that and doesn’t try to max us out. If he does, we probably are better just letting him go in a S&T.

    119. ephus

      Is there anyone else here who thinks Carmelo might be overpaid at 5 years, $60M?

      There are two ways to think about “overpaid”.

      1. The market method. A player is worth what a team is willing to pay him. If you believe that “value” just means what the player will command on the open market, then my answer is “No. It is impossible that Carmelo might be overpaid at 5 years, $60M.” I have no doubt that multiple teams would offer Carmelo 5 years, $60 million if they could. In fact, I think he will certainly draw multiple offers of 4 years, $60 million.

      2. The Platonic truth. A player is worth an amalgam of (1) the wins he produces and (2) the additional revenue that he generates for his team. If this is your test, then Carmelo “might” not be worth 5 years, $60 million.
      (a) He might get injured and unable to play.
      (b) Carmelo’s game might not actually add wins to his team. There has been a spirited debate on this point on this board for the last four years. I think he adds wins, but an ominipotent, omniscient being might know better (THCJ certainly does).
      (c) Carmelo may not actually put fans in the seats. I do not know whether the Knicks would sell more tickets and in-MSG merchandise with Carmelo on the team than they would without him. This one is pure speculation. Wins put fans in the seats, but that moves the debate back to (b). Does Carmelo have star power to draw fans to a greater degree than other players who would produce the same record. I do not know. Maybe. Maybe not.

    120. JK47

      Does Carmelo have star power to draw fans to a greater degree than other players who would produce the same record. I do not know. Maybe. Maybe not.

      I would say definitely not. If the Knicks win, the new guys who are generating the wins will become the “stars.” The Knicks draw quite well even when they are terrible… They were 3rd in the league in attendance last year despite sucking pretty bad. I just don’t believe a winning Knicks team is going to have trouble drawing fans because there’s no “star” like Carmelo Anthony on the roster.

    121. sugarslim5

      Perhaps not, but the evidence and logic of my assertion are both compelling. So without proof, I’ll go with logic and evidence over the idealistic delusions of the NY media and many Knicks fans. Delusions are what got us into this mess to begin with. :-)

      What’s logical about focusing all of your energy on one guy. As a matter of fact basketball history shows that that’s rarely logical.

    122. sugarslim5

      What we saw from the Knicks is that when everything was organized properly and there was stability there were major runs showing massive potential. But the team struggled to maintain the stability and chemistry, so massive losing streaks followed.

    123. Farfa

      It’s not like the Cavs are a prime example of good management; also, Kyrie at 90mln/5yrs is a huge overpay.

    124. massive

      I’d pay Kyrie Irving $90 million over 5 years, I just wouldn’t have drafted Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Bennett with two number four overall and one number one pick. Kyrie Irving at $90 million looks a lot better if they at least took Andre Drummond and Victor Oladipo. Irving and Wiggins should at least be a very exciting pair for years to come. Better than Wall/Beal and maybe even Lowry/DeRozan, I would say.

    125. Z-man

      The Spurs are a brilliantly run and coached franchise. Morey has tried to a similar model to the Spurs model, and has done well considering bad luck with Yao injury. But isn’t me-first Howard overpaid? Isn’t one-way Harden overpaid? Weren’t Lin and Asik overpaid? Isn’t Houston going after Carmelo with max money?

    126. KnickfaninNJ

      ” The Knicks draw quite well even when they are terrible… They were 3rd in the league in attendance last year despite sucking pretty bad.”

      What’s more relevant is how good MSG TV ratings were. That affects many more dollars than arena attendance. Since the Knicks own the network instead of just selling the rights, viewer changes affect ad dollars and go directly to the bottom line

    127. Farfa

      The Spurs are a brilliantly run and coached franchise. Morey has tried to a similar model to the Spurs model, and has done well considering bad luck with Yao injury. But isn’t me-first Howard overpaid? Isn’t one-way Harden overpaid? Weren’t Lin and Asik overpaid? Isn’t Houston going after Carmelo with max money?

      I don’t think Harden is overpaid. As I said before, I’m quite fed up with his his flopping, ball-hogging ways, but holy cow does he produce on offense. Also, he’s young and currently earning around 16mln per season. That’s good value for him.

      I also don’t think Howard is overpaid. I think he is properly paid as of now. Probably he’ll be overpaid by 2016, but for then Houston will have extracted three good seasons out of four (barring injuries). The man is really annoying, what with all of his attempts at being funny while he obviously isn’t. But he’s still the second, maybe third best defensive big-man in the league, and that’s tremendous production.

      The problem with Melo is that he’s almost 30, plus he’s never been a very productive player. I think he’s a wonderful cog as a second option. If Rose was the 2011 MVP, he’d be a perfect fit in Chicago. Heck, if Melo adheres to the principle of the Triangle (and doesn’t break up all the possessions that Jordan and Kobe broke) he’ll be a productive player. But until now he’s never been a master of efficient production.

    128. Hubert

      Melo is willing to change his game somewhat to fit a system, he just needs to think like it was his idea and not something imposed on him by a coach. He loved playing in Mike D’Antoni’s 4-out spread pick and roll offense… just as soon as Mike D’Antoni left and Woodson replaced him (without changing the playbook in any substantive way).

      I think that’s a little unfair, Flossy. Woodson did one extremely important thing MDA refused to, which was run a lot of offense through him in the post. This appeased Melo enough for him to tolerate not being the man on every trip down the court. Until the playoffs, when he reverted to form.

      You always have to appease your star a little bit. Even Phil’s triangle bended to MJ and Kobe enough times to keep them happy.

    129. lavor postell

      Harden’s the most overrated player in the league. It’s one thing to be bad on defense, or be a bit lazy like Melo or any other number of guys and call for switches because you’re too lazy to fight around screens. What Harden does on that end is just gift points away without the slightest concern of where his man is. He’s young and I think a coach who won’t just acquiesce to him would go a long way, but his last 2 seasons have been great offensively, and quite frankly have been completely embarrassing on defense.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVYJULACcao

    130. Farfa

      Absolutely, Harden is probably the second worst defensive player of the last decade, just after Bargs (heh heh). But he is a beast on offense (regular season), so while he’s overrated he’s not overpaid. If he was 28 and earning 20mln a year to enact the same defensive routine? Ouch. But he’s still 24 and could still learn to keep his head focused on defense.

    131. Donnie Walsh

      I think spending one max on a great offensive player and one max on a great defensive player is smart. But they have to be great at that end, and not just above average.

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