Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.07.02)

  • [New York Times] Roundup: Cano and Seager Lead Mariners in Pummeling Astros (Wed, 02 Jul 2014 04:35:36 GMT)
    A seven-run sixth inning helped the Seattle offense to the most runs it has scored this season on a season-high 18 hits.

  • [New York Times] As N.B.A. Free Agency Opens, Anthony Is the Star (Wed, 02 Jul 2014 01:38:10 GMT)
    Carmelo Anthony began his tour of N.B.A. teams that are interested in his services. First stop: the Chicago Bulls.

  • [New York Times] Source: Gortat Gets 5 Years, $60M From Wizards (Wed, 02 Jul 2014 01:24:08 GMT)
    Center Marcin Gortat agreed to a $60 million, five-year contract Tuesday to remain with the Washington Wizards, according to a person familiar with the deal, a major step in the team’s quest to keep the roster intact as much as reasonably possible following the end of a playoff drought.

  • [New York Daily News] His kinda town? Melo impressed as Rose, Chicago roll out red carpet (Wed, 02 Jul 2014 03:46:56 GMT)
    If Carmelo Anthony was wondering how the Chicago Bulls players would receive him, he got his answer in the form of a one-time NBA MVP. Derrick Rose, who famously avoided trying to recruit LeBron James to Chicago four years ago, was part of the Bulls contingent that met with Anthony on Tuesday, the first day of the free agent recruiting period.

  • 166 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.07.02)

    1. Farfa

      I still can’t wrap my head around the Jodie Meeks deal. As much as I can’t tolerate JR Smith, for that money I’d take Smith every day (which we did).

    2. Z-man

      Yeah, what about Lance quibbling about $9 mill per? JR seems like a steal at that amount…

    3. Z-man

      RE: Melo and THCJ, what made Melo worth a max deal in 2011 is that you could either trade him or recoup what you gave up for him at any point during the deal. Not so sure that would be true this time around, which is why I think he isn’t even worth the 4 years @96 mill to us, but he would be to the Bulls, Rockets, etc. But he is CERTAINLY worth well more than @12 mill per year for the next 5 years to ANY team by any reasonable calculation (WP48 is not reasonable, since it radically overvalues low-volume, high-efficiency scoring, interaction effects, system effects, defense, etc.)

      At this point, I would love to see a sign and trade which was essentially the reverse of Melo’s original deal, or signing Melo to a 5 yr, 90-100 mill deal. The fact that the reverse sign-and-trade is even a possibility confirms that the original deal was at least a “market-value” deal, though not necessarily the best deal for the team.

      Short of a true max deal, I think the Knicks will be in a good position next year and will be fun to watch for the next few years under Jackson and Fisher. The Chandler deal was VERY promising.

    4. johnno

      If I were Lance Stephenson and I saw what Meeks got, I would also be looking for a lot more than $9 million. There are a lot of teams with a lot of cap space to spend. My guess is that, over the next couple weeks, there are going to be a number of deals that leave you scratching your head and saying, “Someone thought that THAT guy was worth THAT much?!?”
      Re: The Bulls and Melo — I think that including Taj Gibson in the Melo sales pitch improved the Knicks’ bargaining position. Since the Bulls are hellbent on keeping Gibson, they can only offer Melo something like $16 million to start, unless the Knicks take back Boozer in a sign and trade. So, Melo can accept a LOT less to play for the Bulls, or he can get paid more if the Knicks do a sign and trade. If I were the Knicks, I would only agree to a sign and trade if the Bulls offer a very big bag of assets.

    5. Farfa

      There are a lot of teams with a lot of cap space to spend. My guess is that, over the next couple weeks, there are going to be a number of deals that leave you scratching your head and saying, “Someone thought that THAT guy was worth THAT much?!?”

      Yes, it could be an archetypal case of “basketball blue balls” for every team with cap space that gets spurned by LeBrom and Melo.

    6. Kevin Udwary

      Wow, with some of these contracts being handed out for “shooters”, there has to be at least one dumb team that will give up something of value for JR. Charlotte, I’m looking at you!

    7. Farfa

      The Pacers are funny. They just signed a dude who could be described as a white Copeland. Send Cope back to us, dammit!

    8. Zanzibar

      So, Melo can accept a LOT less to play for the Bulls, or he can get paid more if the Knicks do a sign and trade. If I were the Knicks, I would only agree to a sign and trade if the Bulls offer a very big bag of assets.

      If you haven’t read it yet, take a look my post #97 in yesterday’s thread in response to Frank’s query. We probably could get more value from Melo-to-Chicago S&T than Denver got from us in Melo-to-NY deal. Best case might be Boozer, Mirotic, Butler, Snell, Chicago’s 2015 Kings’ pick plus we unload JR’s contract in exchange for Melo/Dalembert/Prigs/maybe THJ (broken into multiple trades using trade exceptions to make #s work).

      Re Melo and Money: Melo could get 96m 4 year-deal from Chicago in S&T. I doubt Phil is willing to offer him more than 115m/5-year deal or Jax would like a weak fool. So that’s about 20m for the extra year. In Chicago scenario, Melo would be able to make something in year 5 barring career ending injury. So maybe all he would be sacrificing money-wise would be about 10m. Heck, Bosh is giving up almost that much in one year. Why the heck would Melo stay then? Calderon and Dalembert and JR? Hope Jax isn’t shut out in 2015 free agent sweepstakes? It makes no sense not to go to Chicago unless it’s really all about location and, if so, why are we re-signing an aging player whose highest priority isn’t winning?

    9. Count de Pennies

      There’s little doubt in my mind that Melo’s market value has been inflated by the reports that LeBron is “keenly interested” in teaming up with him.

      How then should one assess Melo’s “true” value if he significantly increases a team’s chances of securing the services of the best player on the planet? I’d happily overpay Melo with a max deal if he were indeed part of a package deal with LeBron. Being it’s highly unlikely that any such pairing will occur this year, what then is Melo worth? Should he be given a max deal in the hopes that he will be able to lure Lebron in a year or two’s time? I’m not sure it’s worth it but it seems there are plenty of front offices around the NBA (including one helmed by Phil Jackson) who are willing to make that gamble.

    10. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      (WP48 is not reasonable, since it radically overvalues low-volume, high-efficiency scoring, interaction effects, system effects, defense, etc.)

      You radically undervalue it.

    11. KnickfaninNJ

      Lately I’ve seen many suggestions to try and get rid of JR. For example, “there has to be at least one dumb team that will give up something of value for JR” and “plus we unload JR’s contract” from posts above. But recent signings, the fact that many teams are under the cap, and the apparent expectation that the cap will go up substantially suggest that, if anything, JR is underpaid by today’s market. And that’s underpaid for the relatively bad year he had last year. I realize he does and says dumb things, but those things are usually not things that are characteristics of his actual play. On the court, he seems to be trying to do whatever the coach wants him to do. I wouldn’t be so quick to say get rid of him. For those of you suggesting this, who is a current player making less than JR that you would trade JR one for one for?

    12. KnickfaninNJ

      Players artificially undervalued because of the rookie and related wage scales don’t count.

    13. Farfa

      For those of you suggesting this, who is a current player making less than JR that you would trade JR one for one for?

      I’m going to exaggerate, but I’ll say this: anyone who is not a headcase.

      But, if you want a serious answer, I’ll give you at least one player in every roster without even taking rookie scale contracts in consideration (data from HoopsHype):

      Atlanta – DeMarre Carroll
      Boston – Chris Johnson
      Brooklyn – Teletovic, Kirilenko
      Charlotte – Gary Neal
      Chicago – Mike Dunleavy Jr.
      Cleveland – Brendan Haywood
      Dallas – Brandan Wright
      Denver – Mozgov, Arthur, Foye, Robinson
      Detroit – Jerebko, Bynum, Datome
      Golden State – Marreese Speights
      Houston – Casspi, Beverley
      Indiana – Scola, Mahinmi, Copeland, Watson
      LA Clips – Crawford, Dudley, Barnes
      LA Lakers – Kendall Marshall
      Memphis – Lee, Allen, Pondexter, Koufos, Leuer
      Miami – Norris Cole
      Milwaukidd – Pachulia, Delfino
      Minnesota – Budinger, Brewer, Mbah a Moute, Turiaf
      New Orleans – Alexis Ajinca (if opting in, Anthony Morrow)
      Oklahoma City – Nick Collison
      Orlando – Jason Maxiell
      Philadelphia – Eric Maynor
      Phoenix – Green, Smith
      Portland – Lopez, Wright
      Sacramento – Jason Terry
      San Antonio – Green, Belinelli, Ayres
      Toronto – Novak, Hansbrough
      Utah – Ian Clark
      Washington – Webster, Miller

      And remember I didn’t count rookie scale contracts!

    14. Farfa

      It’s obvious I’m not talking about talent alone. By JR carries too much baggage. I’d be much happier taking a flyer on Ian Clark (last year Summer League MVP) than not knowing which JR will show up from game to game.

    15. Totes McGoats

      For those of you suggesting this, who is a current player making less than JR that you would trade JR one for one for?

      He’s already on the roster..TH2. But..to pick another team’s player for JR straight up, I would certainly consider pushing for a S&T of Greivis Vazquez for him now that TOR has Lou Williams. I’m only in favor of movin JR to clear up the glut and redundancy at the 2(JR-TH2-Ellington). I’ll freely admit that when his head is on right, JR is a wonderful player to have on your team. The guy is so talented. Can Phil & Fish get through to him like Woodson did in ’12-’13? Who knows? But we are rebuilding with a vaunted system…a trusted system. We need moldable talent to fit in with whichever alpha dog we end up with in 15, if we can’t bring Melo back. Guys like JR, STAT, Bargs don’t necessarily fit the archetype at this stage in their careers. I would love to see a healthy STAT with his new low post game in this system though.

    16. KnickfaninNJ

      I don’t have time to look up all the players, but I would comment as follows. Some of them I wouldn’t do the trade. Norris Cole pops out at me, for example. He looks good scoring sometimes, but he’s never the focus of attention for the defense, which makes his scoring easier. Some of them are underpaid already. I like Jerebko, but he was signed was signed in 2011 for four years at $4.5M a year, very close to JR’s current roughly $5M a year salary. I think he’s underpaid now. To give an example of the current market, the Celtics just resigned Avery Bradley to a 4 year $32M deal (this morning), which is about $8M a year. He has mostly inferior stats to JR, including fewer assists per 36 minutes over the last season despite JR being a shooting guard and Bradley being a point guard. The market for players has clearly changed. If you want more details on the current market, Grantland has a nice article at:

      http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-free-agency-the-crop-from-day-1/

      I do agree that the Knicks have too many guards. I’m not against trading JR if we get value for him. My point is that he’s definitely not overpaid in the current market so he shouldn’t be a throw in to a trade.

    17. Donnie Walsh

      I’d trade Smith for anybody on that list, and everybody Farfa left off the list. I can’t stand him.

      Re:ridiculous contracts (Meeks, et al)– remember there is a salary floor as well, which teams need to exceed. And a team like Detroit has some underperforming long-term contracts on their books, but none of them make the max. Smith makes a flat $13.5 and Jennings averages $8. So their two highest paid players make less than Anthony will next year, which allows them some flexibility and some margin for error.

    18. Farfa

      In terms of talent, he was never going to be overpaid. In a perfect world (where he doesn’t untie shoelaces and doesn’t ask anything about pipes, not to speak about not knowing results at the end of games) JR could easily command 10-12 mln a year, for his talent alone. His problem is that you don’t know which JR you’re getting, which in a group gives him negative value.

    19. CaptainB

      Except that if JR is seen as a good value and underpaid, wouldnt it be a good time to sell high on him? (poor choice of words I know)

    20. Kevin Udwary

      I do agree that the Knicks have too many guards. I’m not against trading JR if we get value for him. My point is that he’s definitely not overpaid in the current market so he shouldn’t be a throw in to a trade.

      I agree with this. I don’t think JR is a bad player, in general, but I do feel like he’s overpaid with respect to his production. The fact the market seems to be inflating the value of shooting guards would mean that it’s a really good time to get some value for that contract. The only reason JR should be a “throw in” to a deal, is if the salary cap space it provides is urgently needed.

      JR could easily command 10-12 mln a year, for his talent alone

      Paying players for their talent rather than their production (especially when the player is a 10 year veteran) is a good way to guarantee yourself a nice lottery pick every year. Unless you trade those lottery picks for more veterans with “potential”…

    21. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Paying players for their talent rather than their production (especially when the player is a 10 year veteran) is a good way to guarantee yourself a nice lottery pick every year. Unless you trade those lottery picks for more veterans with “potential”…

      I’d like to see some evidence that J.R. Smith is not productive. He takes a lot of shots, so the Kobe Assist is strong with him.

    22. KnickfaninNJ

      If you want to get rid of him because he’s a head case, I agree, it’s better not to have a head case on the team. I don’t like shoelace or pipe incidents any more than you do. But he has a lot of value in the trade market because he is underpaid for his talent. None of the trades involving him that I have seen proposed here get enough value for him. There are so many teams with cap space that are going to start getting desperate to use it after the first wave of deals goes through and they haven’t landed anyone. That’s when the Knicks should start to entertain offers for him.

    23. Farfa

      Paying players for their talent rather than their production (especially when the player is a 10 year veteran) is a good way to guarantee yourself a nice lottery pick every year. Unless you trade those lottery picks for more veterans with “potential”…

      Yes, yes, I totally agree. I’ll try to sum it up: who thinks that JR is underpaid, or properly paid, evaluates him only on a talent basis, which is not enough from a team-building perspective. I hope it’s clear from my list that I wouldn’t pay JR more than 2mln/yr (and after having thought about it a few days).

      I’d like to see some evidence that J.R. Smith is not productive. He takes a lot of shots, so the Kobe Assist is strong with him.

      Let’s see who falls for this :-)

    24. Farfa

      There are so many teams with cap space that are going to start getting desperate to use it after the first wave of deals goes through and they haven’t landed anyone. That’s when the Knicks should start to entertain offers for him.

      This is a smart idea.

    25. EB

      JR’s talent has always been overrated since he can jump high. Jumping high isn’t a useful skill unless you can actually get by your defender. JR lacks the ability to get by his defender. Therefore, JR has never had as high of a ceiling as most people seem to think. That said, he could still be a very good player if he cut out all the JR crap.

    26. DRed

      JR is roughly a average/slightly above average player. He’s a pretty good rebounder, an okay passer, and a skilled offensive player who takes some terrible shots too often. But he’s also an unreliable idiot, and why put up with the bullshit unless you’re getting a high level of production? His contact, like JR, isn’t too bad, but if Phil can convince someone to take yet another chance on JR that would be great.

    27. Loathing

      You know, since we have SO many bleepin’ guards on this roster, has anyone thought of the Plan B as being three guard lineups, like Calderon/Shump/Smith/STAT/Dalembert?

    28. JK47

      If you’re serious about Changing The Culture™, dumping JR Smith would be a good way to get that going. JR is the definitive Mike Woodson-era Knick– on offense he’s a low-percentage shot taking machine, on defense he’s somewhere between indifferent and confused and just to complete the package of complete Knicksiness he’s the ultimate CAA nepotism charity case. And this isn’t even mentioning the drug suspensions, partying until the wee hours the night before playoff games, shoelaces, pipes, etc.

      He’s capable of going on hot streaks and looking like a good player– .563 TS% after January 1 this year– but he’s a low-IQ player on both ends of the floor and moving him should be a priority.

    29. EB

      @32 since we’re trying to run the triangle I doubt that’s what Phil wants. We need as many people in the post as possible. I’d think Cleanthony might get a shot in that lineup.

    30. JK47

      Have you guys ever watched Biyombo play, or do you just like the way he looks in a boxscore? He’s a complete oaf with the basketball, can’t pass, shoot or dribble. No way he could play center in the triangle offense, absolutely zero chance at all.

    31. Z-man

      “I’d like to see some evidence that J.R. Smith is not productive. He takes a lot of shots, so the Kobe Assist is strong with him.”

      Another inefficiency with WP48: all misses are treated the same. A missed shot is a “bad” shot and a made shot is a “good” shot, no matter what happens afterwards. Yet different misses lead to different types of ensuing offensive possessions for the opponent.

      Isn’t there a stat along the lines of Net Point Differential Per Shot Attempt, i.e. the change in score between the time you shot and your team’s next possession.

      The starting point is your PPS, which is what it is and is aligned with TS%.

      But PPS and TS% doesn’t capture that a missed corner 3 that leads to a fast break dunk and 1 for the opponent would be more costly, i.e, a worse miss, than a missed layup leading to a follow dunk and 1 for your team.

      In the first instance, assuming a made free throw, the result would be a -3.

      In the second instance, you’d be +2, plus whatever happened at the other end (probably a lower percntage shot because the defense had a chance to reset after the made follow.)

      I remember reading that Bargnani was particularly bad according to a metric along these lines…and that Kobe was particularly good.

      Would love a reasonable response from you, Jowles. Interestingly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this kind of stat worked against JR, since he not only takes lots of shots, he takes shots where the rest of the team is flat-footed and in bad rebounding position.

    32. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      If that’s the case, Z-man, it seems that the best way to reduce the likelihood that the opposing team would get a fast-break would be to not miss. And that’s what Tyson Chandler is very, very good at. Not missing.

      ; )

      I think that it would be more important to see how many of your shot attempts result in fast-breaks to the other end of the floor. There are so many variables at play: the opposing team’s average likelihood to push the break, who rebounds the ball, the other players on the floor on your side, etc. And furthermore, how many missed shots end up as fast-breaks to begin with. If a team misses 55 shots out of 80 over the course of a game, it could be statistically significant if a team allows 8 of those FGM to turn into fast-break opportunities rather than, say, 5. But assigning individual blame to those fast-break opportunities seems awfully noisy to me.

      I’m not saying that it’s worthless information. It’s potentially valuable. I’m saying it’s a possible signal among a whole lot of noise.

      I think we on the “dumb box score” side tend to argue that a player like Chandler is the agent of very strong shot selection. We don’t presume that his shot selection entails poor shot selection from his poor ol’ teammates. I think that’s a reasonable assumption, given how often basketball players make bad shot decisions without the “Chandler ruins offensive possession and forces teammate to scramble” assumption that runs wild on this board and others.

    33. johnno

      “it seems that the best way to reduce the likelihood that the opposing team would get a fast-break would be to not miss. And that’s what Tyson Chandler is very, very good at”
      He is also very, very good at not shooting at all. So, if you want to completely eliminate the other team’s fast break opportunities, don’t ever take a shot. Just let the shot clock expire on every possession and then hustle back on defense.

      “Any better ideas then?”
      Yes. Don’t acquire Biyombo.

    34. DRed

      With a guy like our Bargs and fast breaks, how much of that is shoot selection and how much is it playing a center who rebounds like a guard and plays horrible transition D? It all adds up to Bargs sucks, but I could have told you that from the box score.

    35. BigBlueAL

      Just checked in on Twitter for the first time today and its abuzz about the Rockets disrespecting the crap out of Jeremy Lin. They photoshopped a pic of Melo holding the Larry O’Brien trophy in a Rockets jersey with the number 7. That is Lin’s current number. Lin apparently even tweeted a verse from the Bible talking about disrespect from others.

    36. johnno

      By the way, DRed and Jowles are not on their games today. Several hours ago I posted a statement the there would be a number of deals in the next couple of weeks that would leave you scratching your head in amazement at the value that teams place on certain guys. I put the over/under at 10 minutes before one of them responded, “You mean Melo?” or something like that. They must be distracted or something.

    37. KnickfaninNJ

      Any better ideas then?

      Maybe the Lakers could sign Gasol and trade him to us for Smith. Otherwise, we are unlikely to be able to afford Gasol

    38. johnno

      “They photoshopped a pic of Melo holding the Larry O’Brien trophy in a Rockets jersey with the number 7. That is Lin’s current number. He apparently even tweeted a verse from the Bible talking about disrespect from others.”
      Someone should break it to Lin that it would not have made a whole lot of sense for the Rockets to photoshop Melo in a #11 jersey, since he kind of wears #7, and the Bulls had 90 foot high billboards with Melo in a #7 Bulls jersey on the sides of the United Center yesterday.

    39. Zanzibar

      FWIW I would prefer to unload Calderon instead of JR in a Melo S&T but I don’t think Chicago would take him. Chicago will have its mle and bae after a S&T and will seek to re-sign Augustin as Rose’s backup. Prigs would be their 3rd guard. Plus Calderon’s contract is longer than JR’s and would have potential luxury tax implications. JR, on the other hand, could serve as a very good spot-up shooter in Melo/Rose lineup (like McDermott) and wouldn’t be needed to create shots. One of the benefits of unloading JR which I mentioned in the previous thread but not my post above is that it would help put us under the apron and free up 5.3m mle and 2m bae. That benefit, plus the desire not to have almost 15m in cap tied up in JR and Calderon contracts in the summer of 2015, makes unloading him in S&T worthwhile.

      Regarding Calderon, Mavs made the trade not so much to acquire Tyson but rid themselves of Calderon’s contract. Tyson for one year (contract year at that) is not a bad pick-up toward that end. Calderon’s been a hot potato, on his 3rd team in 3 years. He’s an aging average PG on the decline who will be very difficult to trade unless we include some sweeteners (like Mavs did). Maybe the numbers wouldn’t have worked but I wonder why we didn’t take Wright instead of Calderon even if that meant giving up Larkin and not including Felton. I hope Jax has got a plan here like including Dalembert in Melo S&T or this will likely be looked on as a lousy trade.

    40. BigBlueAL

      Avery Bradley re-signed with the Celtics for 4 yrs-32 mil. He has been hyped alot past couple of years but dont see it, statistically he is a pretty below average player.

    41. DRed

      Among players with 1500+ 3PA, Calderon has the 9th highest 3PT%. That’s 80 spots higher than JR. I know who I’d rather have shooting 3s.

    42. Hubert

      Avery Bradley re-signed with the Celtics for 4 yrs-32 mil. He has been hyped alot past couple of years but dont see it, statistically he is a pretty below average player.

      Found that startling, too.

      I’ll never quite understand why people think Ainge/Boston are a well run organization. Getting one of your friends to trade you Garnett for 15 cents on the dollar right before he gets fired isn’t something you can repeat often. Aside from that, they’ve missed much more often than they hit.

      Heck, didn’t Ainge gave up assets to help Detroit acquire Rasheed Wallace back in the day?

      Not a smart man. But hey, you get Kevin Garnett in his prime and it makes a lot of your dumb moves look good.

    43. Hubert

      Another inefficiency with WP48: all misses are treated the same. A missed shot is a “bad” shot and a made shot is a “good” shot, no matter what happens afterwards. Yet different misses lead to different types of ensuing offensive possessions for the opponent.

      Isn’t there a stat along the lines of Net Point Differential Per Shot Attempt, i.e. the change in score between the time you shot and your team’s next possession.

      The starting point is your PPS, which is what it is and is aligned with TS%.

      But PPS and TS% doesn’t capture that a missed corner 3 that leads to a fast break dunk and 1 for the opponent would be more costly, i.e, a worse miss, than a missed layup leading to a follow dunk and 1 for your team.

      In the first instance, assuming a made free throw, the result would be a -3.

      In the second instance, you’d be +2, plus whatever happened at the other end (probably a lower percntage shot because the defense had a chance to reset after the made follow.)

      Determining whether or not a shot is good or bad depending on what happens afterwards strikes me as kind of silly. For one thing, where do you set the arbitrary end point? Why end at the ensuing possession? What if you missed a 3, it led to a fast break, but you broke up the 3-on-1 and now you scored because you had numbers going the other way, all because you took a shot that happened to lead to a fast break? There’s just as many variables determining that outcome as there are calling someone’s missed shot good when a teammate scores on an offensive rebound.

      It might be a little unfair to treat all misses equally. Felton, for example, often created wonderful opportunities for Tyson when he blew the wide open 5 foot jumper he was given. The Kobe Assist made for good reading but come on, missing shots isn’t a good thing.

    44. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Among players with 1500+ 3PA, Calderon has the 9th highest 3PT%. That’s 80 spots higher than JR. I know who I’d rather have shooting 3s.

      Only because Calderon didn’t have Chandler forcing him to take bad shots. Think about it, dude.

    45. Z-man

      Yeah, the noise is a problem, but with enough data it might wash out and make incremental differences valuable.

      I doubt that we will ever reconcile our differences Tyson’s shot selection. But consider this: suppose there were a stat for “rebounds attempted” as opposed to just “rebounds secured.” Would you value the guy who only attempted to get uncontested rebounds but on average snagged 4 out of 5 of those per game more than the guy who went after every missed shot but only snagged 12 out of 70? Is it possible to be a “low volume-high efficiency rebounder?” By your logic re: shot selection, Steve Novak could theoretically be the most efficient rebounder in the league and therefore way more valuable than Faried as a rebounder.

    46. Hubert

      I really like this bit from Zach Lowe today:

      Meeks can certainly shoot — 40 percent from deep last season on a bundle of attempts in Mike D’Antoni’s Seven Seconds Till Getting That Paper system.

    47. lavor postell

      Yeah Chandler doesn’t force guys to take bad shots. He just forces them to take shots period. If you can’t understand why it’s an issue that when Chandler gets a guard switched on him but can’t do jack shit with that mismatch I’m not sure what to tell you Jowles. It’s not his fault that Melo and JR take a lot of inefficient jumpers, but it’s definitely his fault that he can’t take advantage of basic mismatches that most 7 footers in the league can abuse even if offense isn’t their forte. If we’re going to give him a ton of credit for being a great PNR big man, well then he deserves a ton of blame for not being able to utilize the mismatch that the PNR can generate even if the initial action doesn’t result in an immediate basket.

    48. Zanzibar

      Among players with 1500+ 3PA, Calderon has the 9th highest 3PT%. That’s 80 spots higher than JR. I know who I’d rather have shooting 3s.

      Only because Calderon didn’t have Chandler forcing him to take bad shots. Think about it, dude.

      Here’s the WP48 crowd defending Calderon. If Harden and Howard played the same number of minutes, they would be equal defenders in the eyes of WP48. If Calderon and Josh Smith played the same number of minutes, ditto. There’s a reason Harden and Calderon don’t perform well in the playoffs – it’s tough to hide lousy defenders against good teams who game plan a series. Sure Harden had gaudy stats when taking open spot-ups courtesy of Durant and Westbrook in the playoffs. No longer on Houston. And Calderon is just a Spanish Novak in the playoffs.

    49. Hubert

      But consider this: suppose there were a stat for “rebounds attempted” as opposed to just “rebounds secured.” Would you value the guy who only attempted to get uncontested rebounds but on average snagged 4 out of 5 of those per game more than the guy who went after every missed shot but only snagged 12 out of 70? Is it possible to be a “low volume-high efficiency rebounder?” By your logic re: shot selection, Steve Novak could theoretically be the most efficient rebounder in the league and therefore way more valuable than Faried as a rebounder.

      There is no opportunity cost to attempting a rebound, though.

    50. JK47

      Ideally someday Calderon will be the backup point guard and play the Steve Kerr/John Paxson role– the unconscious 3-point bomber off the bench who can also play some point. If the Knicks ever get into a position where they are actually a good team, Calderon will be a role player. His defense is too shitty to be a guy who plays 30+ minutes per game for a true contending team.

    51. lavor postell

      There is no opportunity cost to attempting a rebound, though.

      Then how come the Spurs completely forego crashing the offensive boards? Isn’t the underlying assumption that it compromises the integrity of their defense if guys attempt and fail to get offensive rebounds?

      I think there’s an opportunity cost to going for and failing to get a rebound on the defensive glass as well. If Shumpert leaves his man to try and grab a board, misses and the ball gets kicked out to his man for an open 3 that definitely matters.

      It would be hard to quantify the impact though of failing to get a rebound.

    52. KnickfaninNJ

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/11168158/cleveland-cavaliers-prepare-maximum-offer-sheet-gordon-hayward-utah-jazz

      Whoa.

      Johnno and I have both been saying player salaries are going up, and results are starting to come in as high or higher than we expected. At this rate, Pau Gasol will get offered max dollars from someone too and we will have to try to get LA to sign him and take Bargnani back in trade, which probably isn’t very feasible even if Phil is willing to do business with LA

    53. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Yeah, the noise is a problem, but with enough data it might wash out and make incremental differences valuable.

      I doubt that we will ever reconcile our differences Tyson’s shot selection. But consider this: suppose there were a stat for “rebounds attempted” as opposed to just “rebounds secured.” Would you value the guy who only attempted to get uncontested rebounds but on average snagged 4 out of 5 of those per game more than the guy who went after every missed shot but only snagged 12 out of 70? Is it possible to be a “low volume-high efficiency rebounder?” By your logic re: shot selection, Steve Novak could theoretically be the most efficient rebounder in the league and therefore way more valuable than Faried as a rebounder.

      That would be an excellent stat. I think there are numbers on that, somewhere.

      I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a frontcourt player who rebounds the ball is probably a good rebounder. Especially on the offensive end, where there are few if any “gimme” rebounds. Defensive rebounds, as pretty much everyone knows at this point, aren’t as important.

      I watched a Chris Andersen highlight video the other day and was floored by how many times he turned an offensive rebound into two points. And turned a lob into a 99% shot attempt. Every time you see a guy like Andersen crash the boards, I think you should think, “Either 2 points or 0 points on that play.” And Andersen is largely responsible for those points.

      They may not be “skilled,” those guys like Andersen and Chandler, but they’re rare AND valuable.

    54. Hubert

      Then how come the Spurs completely forego crashing the offensive boards? Isn’t the underlying assumption that it compromises the integrity of their defense if guys attempt and fail to get offensive rebounds?

      I think there’s an opportunity cost to going for and failing to get a rebound on the defensive glass as well. If Shumpert leaves his man to try and grab a board, misses and the ball gets kicked out to his man for an open 3 that definitely matters.

      It would be hard to quantify the impact though of failing to get a rebound.

      Everything has an opportunity cost in that sense, but I think it’s clear that’s not the point. Put it this way, then:

      You’re not limited to one rebound attempt by one player per possession, and attempting a rebound doesn’t eliminate the opportunity for a teammate in a better position to attempt a rebound.

    55. Brian Cronin

      Just checked in on Twitter for the first time today and its abuzz about the Rockets disrespecting the crap out of Jeremy Lin. They photoshopped a pic of Melo holding the Larry O’Brien trophy in a Rockets jersey with the number 7. That is Lin’s current number. Lin apparently even tweeted a verse from the Bible talking about disrespect from others.

      How fucking stupid is that? Obviously they’d have to trade Lin if they were going to sign Melo, so how is it even the slightest issue? Also, while Lin’s tweet about it was dumb, I’ll cut him a little slack over treating it as an insult when every member of the media automatically started writing stories about how it was an insult (it wasn’t an insult – at all).

    56. Brian Cronin

      I don’t hate Lionel Hollins, and with a veteran team like Brooklyn he’s probably not a problem, but boy is he an uninspired choice by Brooklyn.

    57. lavor postell

      You’re not limited to one rebound attempt by one player per possession, and attempting a rebound doesn’t eliminate the opportunity for a teammate in a better position to attempt a rebound.

      I get that and I think it’s far more true in terms of defensive rebounding, but on the offensive glass I think there’s a more direct opportunity cost to crashing the glass, failing to secure the board and the opposing team capitalizing on the other end.

    58. Brian Cronin

      We’re a day into free agency and there are no indications that Melo is leaving, so that’s good (well, I think it is good, at least). But man, all these big contracts sure do make me worried about Melo’s willingness to take a pay cut. Melo returning is good news. Melo returning at the max is really bad news.

    59. Zanzibar

      Bron’s agent has scheduled 3 meetings: SUNS/Rockets/Mavs. Could Phoenix possibly be a dark horse? What if somehow Suns could package 5 draft picks/Morris twins/Len in a trade for M Gasol? That’s a powerhouse team: LBJ/Melo/M Gasol/Dragic/Bledsoe. So, if you’re Melo and LBJ, like Woodson would say, you gotta look at that, right?And the most effective recruiter would be Charles Barkley. All he would have to do is show Melo his hands – NO CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS (and maybe sell him on the joy of year round golf). Other than location, main issue would be luxury tax but Sarver has shed his cheapskate ways in the last few years and this is type of team you shell out the bucks. Still a long-shot but agent is meeting the Suns (one of only 3 teams) and maybe Riley won’t be able to land an impact player.

    60. Brian Cronin

      Other than location

      I don’t think Melo is thinking much beyond that, though. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think New York has other advantages other than just location (consistency, legacy, his kids are in school here, his wife is happy here – which is a huge thing, etc.) but at the end of the day, I don’t think a stacked Phoenix teams convinces him to leave New York. A stacked L.A. team probably would.

    61. yellowboy90

      Everyone getting bloated money except Lance Stephenson. I wonder what Parsons is going to be offered.

    62. Hubert

      I get that and I think it’s far more true in terms of defensive rebounding, but on the offensive glass I think there’s a more direct opportunity cost to crashing the glass, failing to secure the board and the opposing team capitalizing on the other end.

      But there is no reason to treat rebounding efficiency the same way you would treat shooting efficiency, was the point.

    63. BigBlueAL

      Melo is returning and he is getting the max. Ive come to grips with it and everyone else here better start coming to grips with it too lol.

    64. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Hahaha, Gordon Hayward, max player.

      This league is really funny. First the Cavs fuck up two consecutive drafts and then offer Hayward an inexplicable max deal.

      That’s a MLE player if I’ve ever seen one.

    65. lavor postell

      But there is no reason to treat rebounding efficiency the same way you would treat shooting efficiency, was the point.

      Oh right. Yeah I agree.

    66. Hubert

      Bron’s agent has scheduled 3 meetings: SUNS/Rockets/Mavs. Could Phoenix possibly be a dark horse? What if somehow Suns could package 5 draft picks/Morris twins/Len in a trade for M Gasol? That’s a powerhouse team: LBJ/Melo/M Gasol/Dragic/Bledsoe. So, if you’re Melo and LBJ, like Woodson would say, you gotta look at that, right?And the most effective recruiter would be Charles Barkley. All he would have to do is show Melo his hands – NO CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS (and maybe sell him on the joy of year round golf). Other than location, main issue would be luxury tax but Sarver has shed his cheapskate ways in the last few years and this is type of team you shell out the bucks. Still a long-shot but agent is meeting the Suns (one of only 3 teams) and maybe Riley won’t be able to land an impact player.

      What has Sarver done to shed his image?

      If LeBron was made about Mike Miller getting amnestied, he should look at what Sarver did to Nash.

      I don’t think any elite NBA player with a choice is going to play for one of the cheap owners. Except Melo, of course.

    67. Brian Cronin

      He’s definitely returning, but the max thing is not definitive yet. Lebron saying he wants to get the max after winning two titles and then having the owner screw the team by cutting costs is a whole other situation than Melo’s current situation.

    68. Hubert

      Melo is returning and he is getting the max. Ive come to grips with it and everyone else here better start coming to grips with it too lol.

      I think you’re right.

    69. DRed

      If you can’t understand why it’s an issue that when Chandler gets a guard switched on him but can’t do jack shit with that mismatch I’m not sure what to tell you Jowles.

      Well no shit. But how big of a problem is that? Did teams often guard Tyson with a guard? Did Tyson’s non-scoring-over-a-guardability seriously detract from the good things he did do on the court? If so, how much did it hurt his team?

    70. er

      Melo is returning and he is getting the max

      –Windhorst reported yesterday that the Knicks offered max informally already. Not sure how true that is

    71. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Well no shit. But how big of a problem is that? Did teams often guard Tyson with a guard? Did Tyson’s non-scoring-over-a-guardability seriously detract from the good things he did do on the court? If so, how much did it hurt his team?

      If this happens twice a game to a center and he increases his shooting percentage from 40% to 60% (since, let’s face it, there are no automatic buckets in the NBA), his value has increased by, like, almost nothing.

      All of these cases and I don’t find them particularly interesting. I’d much rather have a guy who can elevate on a lob than a guy who can post-up a guard a couple times a game.

    72. Brian Cronin

      I feel foolish now for ever dropping my certainty over Melo staying to 80%. I should have stuck to my guns with it being a high 90% chance of him staying.

    73. DRed

      Here’s the WP48 crowd defending Calderon. If Harden and Howard played the same number of minutes, they would be equal defenders in the eyes of WP48.

      All I said was Calderon is one of the best 3 point shooters in NBA history, and I’d rather have him shooting 3s than JR Smith, because he’s indisputably a better shooter.

    74. JK47

      There’s an eerie silence coming from the Miami Heat camp… It’s starting to look like this Chris Bosh for $11M thing was bullshit. If they let Bosh walk, they’d presumably spend $20M on LeBron and say $14M on Wade, leaving them around $20M to fill out the rest of the team, but time’s-a-wastin’. Bosh and Wade also share the same agent, so that’s an interesting wrinkle as well.

    75. Brian Cronin

      I think silence is a good thing for them. I bet their next move is based on who they can get to sign with them. If it is Lowry, then fine, they’ll take pay cuts. If it is just a bunch of role players, then they’ll essentially say “fuck that” and insist on more money.

    76. JK47

      There’s also the interesting rumor that LeBron is looking for a short-term deal, a one or two year deal. Maybe a 2-year deal with an ETO. He could roll the dice somewhere like Houston, try to win a ring there, and if it doesn’t work out, join Melo and Phil Jackson in NYC the following year when the Knicks have all that cap space. Or maybe wait out the two years and join the Lakers after the 2015-2016 season.

    77. Hubert

      One idea on how to get Pau Gasol without praying he wants to take the mini-MLE (he probably won’t):

      Look at the Lakers salary chart:

      http://data.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/salaries/lakers.jsp

      They don’t have anyone. Let’s assume they don’t use their cap space to sign Melo & LeBron. They’re going to have to start signing players towards the end of FA just to field a team, and it probably won’t be pretty.

      Is it crazy to think that if we took Nash back ($10mm of dead money) they would sign Gasol for one year, $8 million and trade him to us for Amar’e? He helps get them to the floor without a long term commitment, gives Kobe and the fans another name… it’s not inconceivable, is it? If we take Nash back, for them it’s basically Amar’e for one year, $14 million.

      And yes, we are overpaying Pau Gasol but it doesn’t really matter. I think it’s unreal to think he’s going to play for the mini-MLE, and wouldn’t you rather overpay Gasol next year than Amar’e?

      Or are we still prohibited from participating in a sign and trade like this?

    78. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      There’s no such thing as “wait out” when you’re talking about LeBron’s prime.

      Dude wants rings. Dude should go to the places where he will get rings.

      Yes, that means San Antonio. They’ve got, like, $8M to play with, right? MLE, bro. MLE.

    79. Frank

      He’s definitely returning, but the max thing is not definitive yet. Lebron saying he wants to get the max after winning two titles and then having the owner screw the team by cutting costs is a whole other situation than Melo’s current situation.

      yes, completely different. You can call Dolan lots of things but “cheap” is not one of them. I imagine that’ll be one of the first things mentioned in the “last” meeting is that Reinsdorf has consistently avoided paying the luxury tax – and that he can say whatever he wants about paying it now, but his history speaks for itself.

      Honestly – an owner like Dolan paired with a guy like Phil is as good as it gets in terms of what players are looking for from the FO, assuming Dolan stays out of the way like he says he will — deep pockets, doesn’t care about luxury tax. Not even Buford and Peter Holt are like that (although obviously they’ve got other stuff going for them).

    80. JK47

      I think silence is a good thing for them. I bet their next move is based on who they can get to sign with them. If it is Lowry, then fine, they’ll take pay cuts. If it is just a bunch of role players, then they’ll essentially say “fuck that” and insist on more money.

      Problem is, I don’t think they can make a competitive offer to Lowry, even with Bosh and Wade taking the supposed gigantic pay cuts. Miami is probably only going to have $8M to $10M to spend after bringing back the Big 3, and somebody is gonna offer Lowry $14M plus. Kyle Lowry is not a guy who has had mammoth paychecks in his career, and this is his big contract, so I’m dubious about whether he’s going to leave what will amount to $25M or more on the table.

    81. lavor postell

      Well no shit. But how big of a problem is that? Did teams often guard Tyson with a guard? Did Tyson’s non-scoring-over-a-guardability seriously detract from the good things he did do on the court? If so, how much did it hurt his team?

      Yes it actually is a pretty big problem when you have a glaring mismatch on the block and Chandler catches the ball in a position where he can’t go up for a dunk or easy layup and then kicks the ball out to start the possession again. It happened a lot but I guess it’s convenient to marginalize it rather than address the fact that it creates a situation where you now have to go search for another high percentage look instead of Chandler being able to abuse the guard which should be a 60% scoring proposition or at the minimum force a double team.

      If this happens twice a game to a center and he increases his shooting percentage from 40% to 60% (since, let’s face it, there are no automatic buckets in the NBA), his value has increased by, like, almost nothing.

      All of these cases and I don’t find them particularly interesting. I’d much rather have a guy who can elevate on a lob than a guy who can post-up a guard a couple times a game.

      If a guy increases his shooting percentage from 40% to 60% on 2 possessions a game even that matters. It actually happens a lot more often than twice a game but you probably can’t see that when you’re refreshing the box score.

      The difference between the guy with reasonable ability to score in the post and the guy who’s a great finisher on a lob is that the one with post skills might actually still be a contributor when he loses his athleticism.

    82. Z-man

      “I think there’s an opportunity cost to going for and failing to get a rebound on the defensive glass as well. If Shumpert leaves his man to try and grab a board, misses and the ball gets kicked out to his man for an open 3 that definitely matters.”

      This happened in game 4 vs. the Celts and led to a critical fast break basket by Terry.

    83. Mr. Jowles, who commands your respect

      Yes it actually is a pretty big problem when you have a glaring mismatch on the block and Chandler catches the ball in a position where he can’t go up for a dunk or easy layup and then kicks the ball out to start the possession again. It happened a lot but I guess it’s convenient to marginalize it rather than address the fact that it creates a situation where you now have to go search for another high percentage look instead of Chandler being able to abuse the guard which should be a 60% scoring proposition or at the minimum force a double team.

      I think it’s pretty convenient that you use hypothetical situations as much as I do but seem to think that your hypotheticals are superior to mine.

    84. DRed

      I watch most Knicks games, and I don’t remember teams hiding their guards on Tyson. But maybe I was too busy staring at my spreadsheets. If you can’t quantify how much it hurts the team there’s really no point arguing about it. I mean, everyone knows Tyson would be better if he were better. But he was pretty damn good.

    85. Brian Cronin

      Problem is, I don’t think they can make a competitive offer to Lowry, even with Bosh and Wade taking the supposed gigantic pay cuts. Miami is probably only going to have $8M to $10M to spend after bringing back the Big 3, and somebody is gonna offer Lowry $14M plus. Kyle Lowry is not a guy who has had mammoth paychecks in his career, and this is his big contract, so I’m dubious about whether he’s going to leave what will amount to $25M or more on the table.

      But if everyone else is taking pay cuts to bring him in, I imagine Lowry would be open to taking a little bit less than market value, as well.

    86. lavor postell

      I think it’s pretty convenient that you use hypothetical situations as much as I do but seem to think that your hypotheticals are superior to mine.

      Coming from a guy who thinks his opinion is superior to everybody else’s on here.

      I watch most Knicks games, and I don’t remember teams hiding their guards on Tyson. But maybe I was too busy staring at my spreadsheets. If you can’t quantify how much it hurts the team there’s really no point arguing about it. I mean, everyone knows Tyson would be better if he were better. But he was pretty damn good.

      It’s funny I read your first response and immediately just got frustrated and responded and in reality what you said was right. Tyson has drawbacks on the floor, but it doesn’t hurt the team a ton so why focus on them. Fair point. I think those limitations get exposed more in the playoffs than they do in the regular season though which is why his career playoff numbers are far lower than in the regular season.

      Melo is actually similar in that his isolation heavy game is a lot more effective in the regular season than in the playoffs, where he’s underwhelmed throughout his career.

    87. iserp

      I watch most Knicks games, and I don’t remember teams hiding their guards on Tyson

      If a team hides their guards on Tyson, they probably have another mismatch somewhere else we can take advantage of. We are talking about when in a P&R a guard switches on Chandler and he fails to capitalize on that. Since Chandler is not a good passer, he needs time to get the ball back to Melo/Felton, which sometimes is enough for the defense to switch back.

      It is not a terrible defect, but if he could take advantage of those, he could increase his usage at his stellar efficiency.

    88. DRed

      It is not a terrible defect, but if he could take advantage of those, he could increase his usage at his stellar efficiency

      Absolutely. But I still think you’re focusing on something that doesn’t happen often enough to significantly detract from the things Tyson did well.

    89. ephus

      Since the salary cap is going up this year, is likely to go up again next year and will go up massively when the new media deal kicks in (Summer 2016), teams are not going to horde salary cap room. The money is going to get spent on the available players, even if those players are not as good as the players already under contract.

    90. Kahnzy

      Hahaha, Gordon Hayward, max player.

      This league is really funny. First the Cavs fuck up two consecutive drafts and then offer Hayward an inexplicable max deal.

      If there’s one organization that can make the Knicks look like a respectable and well-run team, it’s Cleveland. What was Kyrie thinking? Surely he could’ve gotten his money elsewhere?

    91. thenamestsam

      It does seem like the league has lost its mind, but then again, we’re in a situation where tons of teams are flush with cash, and even the guys who are most worthy of that cash are talking about taking less to try to build the strongest teams possible. The money is going to end up somewhere.

    92. massive

      Cleveland is building an NBA 2K roster. Duh. Cleveland should be a fun team on the fastbreak this year.

    93. Farfa

      Whoa, there are glimpses of 2010 free agency craziness all over the place. Well, at least if Melo stays here for the max, we’ll be able to trade him for Hayward + Bennett. Win-win everybody! ;-(

      How can Griffin be a respected GM if the Hayward hypotesis is true?

    94. thenamestsam

      I’ll play Devil’s advocate just a little bit with Hayward. It’s obviously not a good idea to give him $15M a year, but to say that he’s a mid-level exception player is going way too far the other direction I think.

      First, we should remember it is “only” 15M a year. Obviously still a ton, but when people say “the max” I think it sometimes gets lost that his max is way less than a guy like Melo’s max. Second, he’s only 24 and his career seemed to be on a solid upward trajectory before this past season when he was forced to do way too much on a team with very, very few credible NBA offensive options. Put him back in a role as a secondary option and he can be an above average offensive player, and a quite good defender with room to grow.

      Obviously saying that he can be good offensively as long as he’s not asked to be a centerpiece, and that he can maybe grow into being mostly worth his contract isn’t a ringing endorsement of a guy getting a max deal, but that’s the best I could do. I think there might be an alternate universe where the Cavs are starting Irving, Oladipo, Lebron , Varejao and Drummond in Game 1 of the Finals next season, but that team is headed nowhere fast. Only a couple years ago that I remember some posters were already marking them down as future Eastern conference powerhouses with all their draft picks and cap space. Funny how fast things change.

    95. ephus

      ephus, thats why Melo is getting at least 20 Mil from the Knicks

      I have always thought that Melo would get 20m for 2014. For me, the big questions are:
      (1) Is Melo willing to take 20 instead of 22.5 (the maximum he can get)?
      (2) Is he willing to take a 7.5% pay cut for 2015 to create salary cap space next year when the Knicks are going to have Bargnani and Amar’e off of the payroll?
      (3) Will the Knicks give Carmelo a five year deal?
      (4) Will the Knicks take the big risk of making the fifth year a player option?

      I would. I know that others would not. I’m not going to try to convince anyone that I am right and they are wrong.

    96. Kahnzy

      I’m not going to try to convince anyone that I am right and they are wrong.

      Well that’s no fun. Party pooper.

    97. ephus

      Actually, the fun comes from being able to say, “I was right and you were wrong.”

      Of course, I bet THCJ that the Knicks would win more than 45 games in 2013-14. He was right and I was wrong.

    98. dtrickey

      We’re a day into free agency and there are no indications that Melo is leaving, so that’s good (well, I think it is good, at least). But man, all these big contracts sure do make me worried about Melo’s willingness to take a pay cut. Melo returning is good news. Melo returning at the max is really bad news.

      I think what probably exacerbates the head scratching moves is that a lot of these big deals are the first time theses guys are getting “paid” to use the colloquial expression. They’re probably not worth that, but I think sometimes (at least I know I don’t) we don’t really bat too much of an eyelash at guys getting big deals that don’t necessary warrant that kind of money if they’ve had prior substantial contracts. Not sure if anyone else subscribes to that reason, and I could very well be full of shit, but that’s how I perceive it sometimes.

      As far as the Melo on a max deal discussion goes, I think I’ve finally become apathetic about what moves we make. I like what PJ and Fish are looking at doing, so I think I will be content with whatever the makeup of the team is as long as they play hard and a good brand of ball next season. If Melo stays that’s just peachy. If he goes……..meh.

    99. Kahnzy

      Of course, I bet THCJ that the Knicks would win more than 45 games in 2013-14. He was right and I was wrong.

      Your reasonableness and maturity offend me. I demand you belittle and demean me this instant!

    100. Kahnzy

      Regarding Mega Max Melo (I call dibs on trademark rights for MMM): someone else said this the other day, and I apologize for not remembering who to give proper credit too (but I’m sure you know who you are), but it bears repeating.

      If the Knicks give Melo the mega max that means either:
      1) Dolan is still in charge
      or
      2) Jackson really isn’t the savior we all (or at least most) of us hoped he would be

      Again, not my original idea but I can’t for the life of me remember who said it first to give him proper credit.

    101. ephus
      Of course, I bet THCJ that the Knicks would win more than 45 games in 2013-14. He was right and I was wrong.

      Your reasonableness and maturity offend me. I demand you belittle and demean me this instant!

      Your syntax and grammar are plebian.

    102. ephus

      The dream of Patty Mills coming to the Knicks on the mini-MLE is dead. He signed with the Spurs for 3 years. $$$ not reported, yet.

      Kahnzy’s is as tough as Eric Roberts . . . in The Pope of Greenwich Village. He is as good looking as co-star . . . Burt Young.

    103. JK47

      The LeBron situation hangs over everything. If LeBron signs a one-year deal, or a two-year deal with an ETO in the second year, the Knicks become a very viable option for him. And that changes the way you have to approach everything.

    104. Kahnzy

      I take it back Ephus, your words are too cruel for me to bear.

      re: LeBron becoming a LeKnick, pre-Jax I’d have said this was the proverbial “pipe dream” even if he really wants to play with his bff Melo. Post-Jax hiring though, I think the thought appeals to him to play for a team run by someone who, at least in coaching, was on Riley’s level and might be as well in the executive role. Plus, if his anger at Arison’s cheapness is to be believed, the thought of playing for Jim “big spender” Dolan’s team might actually be a plus for him.

      And yes, that last sentence was as weird for me to type as it was for you to read.

    105. CaptainB

      It sure seems Melo will be getting the max from the Knicks. Even as a Melo supporter, I do find this somewhat troubling. I thought Phil would stick to his guns. This does not seem to leave us much flexibility in the future. We are really putting hopes that the younger guys develop.

    106. Kahnzy

      I take it back Ephus, your words are too cruel for me to bear.

      re: LeBron becoming a LeKnick, pre-Jax I’d have said this was the proverbial “pipe dream” even if he really wants to play with his bff Melo. Post-Jax hiring though, I think the thought appeals to him to play for a team run by someone who, at least in coaching, was on Riley’s level and might be as well in the executive role. Plus, if his anger at Arison’s cheapness is to be believed, the thought of playing for Jim “big spender” Dolan’s team might actually be a plus for him.

      And yes, that last sentence was as weird for me to type as it was for you to read.

    107. BigBlueAL

      If you listen to Phil’s recent press conference he basically said the Knicks will and can give Melo the max but that it was up to Melo to not take it and be willing to take less. Thats a slippery slope and kind of an odd stance but it might just be one of Phil’s jedi mind tricks at work lol.

    108. EB

      Is Riley really all that great of a front office guy? He kinda just lucked into having the only situation that could afford the big 3.

    109. BigBlueAL

      I hate Riley as much as anyone else because of how he left the Knicks but he has done a pretty amazing job with the Heat. He took over a nothing franchise and had them winning 61 games in his 2nd season there. Ironically it was the Knicks who cost those Zo-Hardaway teams a couple of realistic chances at reaching the NBA Finals in 1999 and 2000 once MJ was retired. He then rebuilt them by drafting Wade and trading for Shaq which lead to the 2006 title.

      They have had a couple of awful seasons in the process so they definitely have bottomed out under his watch but you cant really question his credentials and accomplishments as a President/GM.

    110. JK47

      Is Riley really all that great of a front office guy? He kinda just lucked into having the only situation that could afford the big 3.

      He’s certainly in a major pickle right now, as the folly of the “Three Stars Plus Dreck” model bites him in the ass. The Heat have all this record salary cap space but now they have to fill their entire roster solely with guys who are on this year’s free agent market. There is almost no way to move the puzzle pieces around in Miami and put together something better than what they had last year; at best they’ll be treading water. It was a good run while it lasted but that situation is collapsing under its own weight right now.

    111. Kahnzy

      Is Riley really all that great of a front office guy? He kinda just lucked into having the only situation that could afford the big 3.

      Doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks of Riley. Other than LeBron. His is the only opinion that matters.

    112. Z-man

      Is anyone else thinking that Melo’s shoulder should be an issue in the max vs. non-max discussion?

    113. Donnie Walsh

      It is virtually guaranteed that Carmelo Anthony will break down at some point during this next contract. Not really sure what there is to discuss.

    114. Donnie Walsh

      As for Hayward, it does seem like a steep price to pay for him. But at least he’s young and getting stronger. Anthony is old and getting weaker and will still cost a hell of a lot more. (If you’re gonna overpay a guy, pay for years 24-29, not 30-36)

    115. DRed

      It is virtually guaranteed that Carmelo Anthony will break down at some point during this next contract. Not really sure what there is to discuss

      This. A thousand times this. Carmelo has ended the season broken down 2 years in a row. If we’d somehow made the playoffs he probably would have been awful again (and yes, I am aware or moron of a coach ran him into the ground). Giving him max/nearmax is such an obviously bad idea.

    116. Frank

      For the life of me I can’t figure out why you’d pay Hayward $15MM and not go and pay Parsons 12 and get a better player. Sure Hayward has a little more versatility in terms of playing PG but you also just paid Irving and drafted Wiggins to play the 2.

      http://bkref.com/tiny/CTabm

    117. JK47

      Chicago seems out of the running, since they can only offer Mega Max Melo (I like that) something starting in the $17M range. If I were Phil, I’d try to see if Chicago was interested in gutting its roster in a sign and trade so they could get that offer up to MMM’s liking.

    118. Totes McGoats

      Is Riley really all that great of a front office guy? He kinda just lucked into having the only situation that could afford the big 3.

      Eh..on one hand he drafted Wade, traded for Shaq..got a title..signed LeBron and Bosh to go with Wade an got 4 straight Finals appearances and 2 more titles. On the other..he drafted Beasley..amnestied Miller but kept James Jones and Rashard Lewis. Personnel is always a crap shoot. At one time Dumars was a front office prodigy. I’d say Riley’s a great FO guy. The Big 3 era was just an all in run that ended prematurely. Sure there were some bad decisions involved..but every exec makes em. But I don’t think Miami’s current situation is wholly a result of poor management. No one really expected things to end like this for Miami. No one really expected Wade to look as bad as he did physically this soon.

    119. ephus

      According to Woj, Kyle Lowry has agreed to stay in Toronto for 4 years/48 million.

      Toronto has to start next season as the favorite in the Atlantic.

    120. Zanzibar

      So looks like Pau’s heading to OKC on about a 30m/3yr deal (via S&T Perkins and picks). Well that explains why Tyson was never an OKC option. If OKC deal falls through, Chicago appears to be his second choice. Both make sense for Pau; he plays for top 3 contender in EC or WC and gets paid. So the vision of the Brothers Gasol in the Triangle turns out to be just a chimera. Marc will be a Grizz.

      2015 crop of free agents is looking mighty thin and, at the current player inflation, Phil is probably panicking. Imagine if the great Phil Jackson coup were to land Al Jefferson? His rep would never recover. So, in that context, I suppose Melo Max is not that bad an alternative.

      I really wish Phil had pursued a bolder strategy. Look to S&T Melo from the start for upside player like Mirotic and Butler unloading JR in the deal. Butler’s rfa contract works out nice because we could go above the cap to match any offer after signing free agents. I would have given the 2m BAE to Aldrich – not much downside but potential for excellent value. I would have put GM Mills on a plane to Australian Outback to offer Patty Mills 4 year/5.3m mle beating Spurs offer by 8m. Again upside and value potential there. Traded Tyson for upside Wright, Ellington and maybe Larkin (note trade works because we would be 150% match after Melo S&T). Develop players this season and finish in the lottery. Maybe preemptively offer Shump 4m deal/4-year deal. So…..Mills (5m), Mirotic (6m), Wright (8m), Shump (4m), Aldrich (2m), 2015 high lottery pick (3m), 2015 free agents (35m), Butler (7m above the cap). Who knows maybe players like Snell/Tyler/Early/Greek are keepers.

    121. JK47

      2015 crop of free agents is looking mighty thin and, at the current player inflation, Phil is probably panicking. Imagine if the great Phil Jackson coup were to land Al Jefferson? His rep would never recover.

      There’s nothing that says you HAVE to break the bank for 2015 free agents. There is such a thing as building slowly and patiently, acquiring assets and pouncing on the right players when they are available instead of being in hysterical “WIN NOW” mode all the time. Who knows, maybe you score a real difference maker of a free agent in 2016, or maybe a true star player wants to get out of a bad situation and you can trade for that player with all the assets you have.

    122. er

      This. A thousand times this. Carmelo has ended the season broken down 2 years in a row. If we’d somehow made the playoffs he probably would have been awful again (and yes, I am aware or moron of a coach ran him into the ground). Giving him max/nearmax is such an obviously bad idea.

      Broken down? Didnt David West bang him and then KG pull his arm out of his socket last year? I dont really know how that is “broken down” He was playing out of position at PF.

    123. JK47

      Nah, apparently they were gonna amnesty Boozer anyway, Melo or no Melo. In fact, this could be more of a sign that they’re trying to go hard after Gasol.

      These teams that are dicking around waiting for LeBron and Melo to figure out what they’re gonna do are losing valuable time here. Chicago probably knows Melo isn’t going there so they better move on to plan B before all the top FA’s are gone.

    124. JK47

      Chicago was gonna have to dump Jimmy Butler just to get to $17M for Melo.

      Jimmy Butler is a damn good basketball player. That guy helped them win a lot of games the last couple of years. He’s an outstanding defensive wing, and even with his three-point shot disappearing last year he was the Bulls’ second best player.

      Jimmy Butler generated 7.1 Win Shares and his salary is $2M. Carmelo Anthony generated 10.1 Win Shares last year and $17M apparently isn’t enough money for him– isn’t it obvious that you’re giving away a lot of the value you get from acquiring Melo by dumping Jimmy Butler for nothing?

    125. er

      sn’t it obvious that you’re giving away a lot of the value you get from acquiring Melo by dumping Jimmy Butler for nothing?

      –Chi’s problem is offense plain and simple. Jimmy Butler is a terrible offensive player. There are plenty of guys that you could pick up to fill that role for 2 million.

    126. Zanzibar

      Whoa, Boozer just amnestied by Chi…..Melo?

      I suspect Phil told them he wasn’t taking Boozer in S&T and they’re preparing for Plan B in the likely event Melo won’t take 15-17m. Rose/Noah/Butler/Gibson/Pau/Mirotic/Augustin/McDermott is not a bad alternative. Note Chicago feels McDermott is NBA ready having watched him play against NBA competition before selecting him. They might keep Dunleavy or attempt to package him/2015 Kings pick/Snell for another player.

    127. yellowboy90

      Chris Herring ? @HerringWSJ
      Follow

      For all the groaning he prompts w his stepback jumpers, worth noting that JR shot 46.3% from 3 on catch-and-shoot chances, 4th-best in NBA.

      why can’t it be all that simple.

    128. ephus

      If JR Smith conforms to an offense, he is a real weapon.

      If he dribbles thirteen times before taking a step back jumper with 7 seconds on the shot clock, he is a huge liability.

      If Jose Calderon’s shooting selection rubs off on JR, he is one of the fifty best players in the game.

      And the article linked above does not say that Boozer has been amnestied. It says that he has been told that he will not be a Bull, but it is unclear whether he is going to leave via S&T or amnesty.

    129. DRed

      There were 40 guys in the NBA with more WS than Jimmy Butler. You there are plenty of them making less than 2 million? Problem solved Phil! Book the canyon of heros for the ticker tape!

    130. er

      If JR Smith conforms to an offense, he is a real weapon.

      If he dribbles thirteen times before taking a step back jumper with 7 seconds on the shot clock, he is a huge liability.

      If Jose Calderon’s shooting selection rubs off on JR, he is one of the fifty best players in the game.

      This was the value of Kidd in the 54 win season

    131. Robtachi

      Evidently Cleveland has come to its senses and will NOT be making Hayward a max offer.

    132. Brian Cronin

      I hate Riley as much as anyone else because of how he left the Knicks but he has done a pretty amazing job with the Heat. He took over a nothing franchise and had them winning 61 games in his 2nd season there. Ironically it was the Knicks who cost those Zo-Hardaway teams a couple of realistic chances at reaching the NBA Finals in 1999 and 2000 once MJ was retired. He then rebuilt them by drafting Wade and trading for Shaq which lead to the 2006 title.

      Looking back, it is really crazy how quickly Riley turned them around. I remember at the time thinking, “What the heck? Why is everyone trading him such great players for such little return?! What is going on here?!? He got Zo, Hardaway and Mashburn for basically pennies on the dollar. More or less one really good player in all of the three trades (Glen Rice). Kurt Thomas sort of counts, as well, but he was traded while injured and it looked like he might never actually be able to play at the time (and then he screwed Dallas over by leaving them to go sign with the Knicks right after he finally healed and then didn’t get hurt again for the next decade).

    133. Brian Cronin

      These are two actual trades Pat Riley made that the opposing GM accepted:

      Traded Bimbo Coles and Kevin Willis to the Golden State Warriors for Chris Gatling and Tim Hardaway.

      Traded Sasha Danilovic, Martin Muursepp and Kurt Thomas to the Dallas Mavericks for Jamal Mashburn.

      (NOTE: Remember, Thomas was hurt when he was traded and it looked like he might have injury issues for the rest of his career at the time – so it wasn’t like it was the Kurt Thomas we all came to know and love being dealt at the time – he was a huge question mark)

      Only the Mourning deal approximated any sort of actual value received by the other team:

      Traded Matt Geiger, Khalid Reeves, Glen Rice and a 1996 1st round draft pick (Tony Delk was later selected) to the Charlotte Hornets for LeRon Ellis, Alonzo Mourning and Pete Myers.

      Actually, looking at that deal and knowing that Charlotte basically had to trade Zo, I guess that’s a respectable return. They luckily got the Heat and the Knicks into a bit of a bidding war for Zo.

    134. Brian Cronin

      Evidently Cleveland has come to its senses and will NOT be making Hayward a max offer.

      The crazy thing is that it appears as though it is not that they are coming to their senses so much as they are afraid that Utah will match and that they’ll have their money tied up in Haywood while other guys come off the board (since Utah can hold on to their offer for a few days before deciding whether to match). So I think we’ll see them look around a little bit before ultimately coming back and making Haywood that same offer. Or perhaps engage Utah in sign and trade discussions. We saw the same thing happen a couple of years ago with Minnesota and Portland and Nic Batum. Minny hemmed and hawed all offseason before finally giving him the offer (and losing him, as they figured they would).

    135. Brian Cronin

      This whole free agency tour just seems like a bit of a farce by Melo. He’s almost certainly not going to Houston and if he isn’t going there, then he sure as hell isn’t going to any of these other teams. It’s quite silly.

      I’ve reached acceptance stage on the whole “Melo for the max for five years” thing, but man, it was hard getting to this stage.

    136. BigBlueAL

      I just found an article by Kevin Pelton (ESPN Insider so cant link) ranking his Top 30 FA’s using a version of WARP he uses with his SCHEONE projections to project player values over the next 3 seasons. I figured oh boy Melo is not gonna be that high and the comment on him will talk about how overrated he is but actually the opposite was true.

      He had Melo 2nd behind Lebron and just ahead of Kyle Lowry. He even mentioned that Melo for the next 3 years even as a max player for the Knicks will provide decent value for the contract but its the final 2 years that might get ugly. Pretty surprised by his valuation of Melo considering people here think he isnt even worth 12mil a year :-)

    137. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, value-wise, the first couple of years aren’t the problem (although him making $25 million next year will not help with cap space), it’s the later years that makes giving him a max deal insane. That’s why I’m holding out hope to Melo taking max in year 1 but taking a 7.5% pay cut in Year 2 and then taking 7.5% raises every year after that. That’s the only slight hope I have left.

    138. Farfa

      This whole free agency tour just seems like a bit of a farce by Melo.

      I would say that this whole free agency hype just seems like a bit of a farce this year. There is a very good, very promising team with lots of cap space that doesn’t seem to be considered by anyone (Bron not included, but come on, are we serious? LeBron to Phoenix? Location matters, sadly). Melo is wandering around like a man in his 50 years crisis hitting club after club, wondering if somebody other than this wife might find him attractive and how much, before returning home kinda reassured of his value and ordering his wife to cook dinner, pronto! and leaving his socks on the floor.
      Meanwhile, every sane person is resigning with his former club at a slightly overpaid price (can’t decide if Bradley, Lowry or Gortat is the most overpaid as of now. At least Bradley is young), Indiana is signing shooters essentially waving goodbye to Lance (Charlotte! Charlotte!) and Detroit splurged too much dough on Meeks. That’s essentially it.

    139. Farfa

      That’s why I’m holding out hope to Melo taking max in year 1 but taking a 7.5% pay cut in Year 2 and then taking 7.5% raises every year after that. That’s the only slight hope I have left.

      I already abandoned even that. If Lowry makes 14mln/yr, how in the hell a primadonna like Melo can be convinced to take even 21mln/yr? Sigh.

    140. iserp

      This whole free agency tour just seems like a bit of a farce by Melo. He’s almost certainly not going to Houston and if he isn’t going there, then he sure as hell isn’t going to any of these other teams. It’s quite silly.

      Well, i’d say the tour is good for negotiation purposes. If he wants to stay in NY, so he can command a higher salary. If he wants to go to the bulls, to have some leverage to force a S&T (either accept what the bulls offer, or i sign in houston).

    141. JK47

      The Melo tour is pretty ridiculous, I agree. When he talked about how he never got to be a free agent, and how that was something he wanted to experience, this is exactly what he had in mind. He wanted to be the center of attention for a week and have everybody suck up to him.

      Since Mega Max Melo returning to the Knicks with a brand new Mega Max contract is now a virtual certainty, I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board and come up with some new fantasy scenario to convince myself that the team is still worth following. I think I’ll go with the “LeBron is gonna sign a one-year contract then join Melo in NYC” fantasy until that one proves to be unsustainable. When that one doesn’t pan out maybe I’ll try “Durant is gonna come to the Knicks” for a year or two, and by that time that one fizzles out Anthony Davis should be hitting free agency.

    142. Farfa

      I think I’ll go with the “LeBron is gonna sign a one-year contract then join Melo in NYC” fantasy until that one proves to be unsustainable. When that one doesn’t pan out maybe I’ll try “Durant is gonna come to the Knicks” for a year or two, and by that time Anthony Davis should be hitting free agency.

      JK, count me in. And don’t forget Kevin Love in 2015!

    143. Donnie Walsh

      JK— aren’t you an Angelino who jumped ship to the Clippers following the Lintastophe? What on earth brought you back to the Dolans in the first place, and don’t you think it’s time to reconsider the Clips again??

    144. JK47

      I was all set to become a Laker fan– tried it for a few games. But I missed Knickerblogger too much.

    145. Frank

      I have no problem at all with Melo taking his FA tour. It’s the last big contract of his career, and where he decides to play will be where his legacy will be cemented, for better or for worse. It’d be irresponsible of him to blindly go one place or another without at least seeing what the plans and personalities are. Whether this is all about his ego seems less clear — his ego gets stroked a million times/day probably, so I honestly don’t think that’s what this is really all about, regardless of what he said a year ago.

      I still think he’s coming back, and I’ll stick with my guess that it’ll be a sub-max but still very lucrative deal. 5 years, 110MM. I’m ok with that.

      I think we can cancel out Dallas (only 2 hours spent there? and he’d have to play with Felton again?), and Houston (between McHale, Harden’s chuckery/no-D, and western conference) seems unlikely. I’m not even so worried about Chicago anymore – Chicago only really works if they don’t have to give up anyone of consequence to get him, and I don’t think Phil would accept a deal with just Mirotic and what’s certain to be a very late 1st round pick or 2 — I think he’d rather let him walk, avoid the tax this year, and be able to get players in S&T and full MLE/BAE. And while I’m sure Melo is all about winning, taking what’s likely to be a 30-35% pay cut per year AND no 5th year is a major downer. 4/72 vs. 5/110 — $40MM is a lot of money to give up, especially to go to a team with two injury-prone stars in Noah/Rose, a coach that plays everyone 40 min/game, and an owner who’s allergic to luxury tax — and that’s not even to mention the damage to his brand if he leaves NYC after forcing his way here not even 4 years ago.

      In terms of the super max – I really don’t think he’ll get that. 5/110 is still more money than any other team can pay him, and it’d be a huge PR win for him if he takes even a small haircut. And like Phil said, it’ll set the precedent for other players coming in, meaning they’ll be more talent for the same $.

    146. Frank

      I really think Melo’s best move is to come back, from just about every perspective. Chicago is a huge question mark with Rose and Noah, and he’d have to take an enormous pay cut to go there. Houston is in the Western Conference and may never even reach the WCFs during his time there – and McHale is just not a good coach. And he can come back to NY, preserve his brand, show his loyalty, make the most money, and STILL couch it as “winning is the most important thing” because he trusts the future plan and personalities already in place, with the evidence being the 18 combined rings between Phil and Fisher.

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