Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Knicks Morning News (2014.07.07)

  • [New York Times] AP Sources: LeBron James to Meet With Heat (Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:53:17 GMT)
    Before LeBron James makes his next decision, Pat Riley will get a chance to convince him to stay in Miami.

  • [New York Times] French Forward Diaw to Stay in San Antonio (Mon, 07 Jul 2014 03:02:08 GMT)
    Boris Diaw will re-sign with the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, the French forward announced on Sunday. Diaw, whose versatility inside and outside the paint played a key role in helping the Spurs capture the title this past season, announced the news via Twitter. “Hey Spurs fans, good news I stay in San Antonio for a few more years. Let’s win it again,” Diaw tweeted. According to multiple reports, Diaw has reached an agreement on a three-year contract that will pay more than $22 million. The 32-year-old Diaw averaged 9.2 points per game and 4.8 rebounds during the 2014 playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Sterling Case Will Examine Role of a Doctor Who Evaluated Him (Mon, 07 Jul 2014 02:12:21 GMT)
    A neurologist involved in assessing Donald Sterling’s competency socialized with Sterling and his wife, Rochelle, hours later.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Off-Season in the N.B.A., but Free Agency Brings Plenty of Drama (Mon, 07 Jul 2014 01:55:09 GMT)
    Free agency has helped the N.B.A. keep pace with global events like the World Cup and Wimbledon.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks, Lakers go one-on-one for Carmelo Anthony (Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:49:37 GMT)
    The waiting game continued through the holiday weekend, but Monday finally could be the day that Carmelo Anthony makes a decision about his future — likely coming down to the Knicks or the Lakers.

  • 218 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2014.07.07)

    1. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Do people really see the whole “Melo pay cut” thing as a means for the frontman of “JD and the straight shot to spare a few bucks”? I’m really baffled by this. Isn’t it clear that the request for a pay cut derives from a roster building perspective and not a profit/loss account one? I thought at least the Times knew better than this.

      You’re a little short-sighted on this one. The owners locked out the players over revenue distribution. They imposed a hyper-restrictive luxury tax to keep teams from spending “too much money” on the players due to “profitability concerns.” Then they ask the players to take a pay-cut to ensure “competitive balance.”

      There is no universal “luxury tax” rule that the owners must arbitrarily abide by. The owners negotiated it, and then complain when a player asks for his full market value.

      That’s hypocrisy, through and through.

    2. Frank

      From the previous thread–
      there are clearly 2 different reasons players are being asked to take less — 1) there literally is a salary cap and to sign players in FA you need to have either cap room or exceptions, none of which are infinite sources of $ no matter if the owner is Bill Gates or DRed; 2) owners who refuse to pay the luxury tax (like OKC, Arison, Reinsdorf, etc.).

      Reason 1 is unchangeable at this point. If the players are going to be upset about that now, they need only look at themselves, their union leadership, and the bad deal that they cut — not just this past CBA session but all the ones before them that led to a salary cap. That is not the owners’ fault – it was collective bargaining, and one side was able to stick together with a harder line than the other. So crying about it now is not a solution. So as it is now, there are a finite amount of dollars and exceptions, and if Melo (or whoever) signs for $25MM/year leaving only $40MM + exceptions for the rest of the roster, that will ALWAYS impact the ability to get more talent on the team. Melo being asked to take less has zero to do with Dolan’s willingness to pay the tax (which he has always done without any questions asked, except for maybe the J-Lin thing, which always felt more personal anyway), and so Melo’s handlers are really upset about the wrong things.

      Reason 2 is what the players should be upset about — especially OKC and Miami/LBJ fans. OKC gave away James Harden because they didn’t want to pay the tax. Ridiculous. Sarver sold 1st round picks like crazy to put a few extra $ in his pocket. And not that Mike Miller would’ve been the difference between winning or losing the championship this past season, but I don’t blame Lebron one bit for being mad as hell about an important contributor being let go purely because of Arison wanted to make more money — money that he’s only making because Lebron is on his team.

    3. Frank

      There are also the owners/FO’s that are sort of in the middle – like Dallas. Cuban clearly has tons of money and doesn’t really care whether or not he pays the tax. But he sees competitive disadvantages to being a tax team, which are true – the hard cap, lower MLE, no sign and trades, etc. But my feeling is that for the right player Cuban would go into the tax without any question.

      It’s interesting to me that Dirk decided to take less without even a plan as to who he would be taking a pay cut to get, especially after they let Tyson go a few years ago just to avoid being in the tax (and now they got him back 3 years older by giving away a bunch of assets). I’d be a little unhappy about that if I were Dirk, but he apparently doesn’t care. It’s not like Duncan in San Antonio, that just won a championship and needed to bring back Diaw and Patty Mills — Dallas literally doesn’t know who they’re going to get.

    4. johnno

      Everyone talks about Tim Duncan as the “role model” for players who should take less for the good of the team. That narrative is true to an extent, but he didn’t really start sacrificing significant money until he turned 36 years old. Here are his salaries for his age 30 through age 35 seasons — $17.4, $19.2, $20.6, $22.2, $18.7, $21.2. I don’t know the specifics of the salary cap rules that were in effect when he signed his contract in 2006, but it appears that his salaries were pretty close to the max that he could have signed for at the time.

    5. Frank

      Duncan started to take much less when the new CBA kicked in. Like you said, it may have just been a luck of timing, but I have no doubt that after making a bazillion dollars in his first 46 years in the league, he was ok with making “just” $10MM/year to win more championships.

    6. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      He made a whole lot of money and never had to worry about coach-switching, system-learning, or general incompetency. From a basketball standpoint, there are a lot of reasons to stay in San Antonio.

      $220M in career earnings doesn’t hurt, either. And we can only imagine how much money he made doing those shaving commercials with The Admiral back in ’03.

    7. Farfa

      You’re a little short-sighted on this one. The owners locked out the players over revenue distribution.

      No no, I get it. But in this particular case, it’s not like Melo is asked to take less money so that Dolan doesn’t have to pay more tax or to avoid the repeater tax. Melo is asked to take less money so that Phil (or whomever is it) can assemble a roster with better players. Again, players are totally and rightfully entitled to make as much money as they can; in this specific case, though, I don’t think spending money was ever the issue. This seems like a bad attempt at exploiting the Melo situation to prepare things for the next lockout. But revenue sharing has nothing to do with these roster building
      exercises. Keep in mind that Adam Silver is the first one who wants (or at least says so) to enhance competitive balance in the league, and that is really the issue here. Competitive balance = salary cap + rules to incentivize players to stay with their incumbent teams = need for stars to take less than their market value to increase the chance to win, assembling better rosters where everyone takes less that he could.

      Everyone talks about Tim Duncan as the “role model” for players who should take less for the good of the team. That narrative is true to an extent, but he didn’t really start sacrificing significant money until he turned 36 years old.

      Duncan is seen as a role model because he worked with the frontoffice to arrange his contract to help them getting help, not because he was always ready to be paid less than it was his value. Also, he was a real superstar and having him at the max would have never been a detrimental thing to his team. In 2014 NBA, you can say that about three players and only those three: LeBron, Durant and Anthony Davis. Everyone else getting the max (deserving or not) hurts a little bit the chances of his team. Not their fault. It’s just the CBA that’s built this way.

    8. Farfa

      especially after they let Tyson go a few years ago just to avoid being in the tax

      Don’t forget they let Chandler go so that they could chase Howard, Williams and others, not only to avoid paying the tax.

    9. Frank

      wow – just saw on Twitter that Stephen A is saying that the Knicks are in talks with Philly to dump Amare using Shump as sweetener.

    10. Farfa

      There are more than three players who deserve max money.

      Absolutely, and I wrote it if you look closely enough. I just said that those three have an impact so huge, it definitely offsets the inherent salary cap disadvantage wherever they may go. Philadelphia could land one of them at the absolute max possible (and beyond that) and the 76ers would be going straight to the playoffs. For the other players, getting the max or not hinders (or not) the chance of their team depending on the circumstances. Melo getting the max in Phoenix would not be a bad idea, certainly better than Melo in LA with the max.

    11. Farfa

      wow – just saw on Twitter that Stephen A is saying that the Knicks are in talks with Philly to dump Amare using Shump as sweetener.

      Didn’t think about that. I suspect, though, that Shumpert alone wouldn’t suffice.

    12. Frank

      would doubt it’d be a straight salary dump. We’d probably have to take back a bad contract or two (like Richardson and Thaddeus Young). But even taking both back would clear about $10MM of space, leaving us with only about $50MM before potentially resigning Melo. Even if we give him the max, that’d leave us at $72MM — far enough away from the apron to use both the full MLE and the BAE.

      Big risk (other than giving up Shump and his defense next to Calderon) is that Thaddeus opts in to his ’15-16 contract. Richardson is an expiring.

      Definitely would not give up any 1st round picks in this scenario. Not to mention it feels wrong to send Amare to tanking hell after all the physical stuff + comebacks he’s gone through here. Bad karma regardless of the fact that he didn’t live up to his contract.

    13. lavor postell

      There are more than three players who deserve max money.

      This

      Keep in mind that Adam Silver is the first one who wants (or at least says so) to enhance competitive balance in the league, and that is really the issue here. Competitive balance = salary cap + rules to incentivize players to stay with their incumbent teams = need for stars to take less than their market value to increase the chance to win, assembling better rosters where everyone takes less that he could.

      And therein lies the issue. You’ve created a system where paying Lebron James the max restricts your ability to do a lot of things. For example OKC if they had kept Harden would basically only be able to use their draft picks, trades, mini-MLE and vet. min to acquire players with an extremely punitive tax that would severely impact their flexibility.

      I don’t feel bad for them since Bennett was one of the hard line owners during the negotiations, but it seems silly that a small market team that drafts well may have to make a tough choice due to a restrictive tax and their owner being unwilling to stray into the higher tax brackets under the CBA. I believe if you’re a taxpayer you lose the ability to share in the tax money.

      So if I’m a player I can understand why they could care less about the impact of their contracts on future cap flexibility of teams since the owners are the ones that created this system.

      I do understand what you’re saying that Dolan and the Knicks aren’t asking him to take less take make more money, but they happen to be on the same side as Sarver, Bennett, Gilbert, etc. that pushed for things to be this way.

    14. Frank

      Wow – if Lebron signs with Cleveland they will have 4 #1 overall (LBJ, Wiggins, Bennett, Kyrie) and 2 #4 overall (Thompson, Waiters) picks on their roster.

    15. danvt

      Since I’m done reading, I’ll post, but you guys have been doing an awesome job summing all this up and I’m thankful.

      Really unbelievably stupid reporting in the main stream media. Especially the idea that Carmelo would be “offended” by the Knicks offering/ wanting him to accept less than the max. I mean, Carmelo, SAID HE WOULD TAKE LESS. Are the reporters in 4th grade? Is Melo? This is how my daughter and her friends act.

      Secondly, if LAL wants Melo and Melo wants them for 4/96, then, please, be my guest. It’s obvious that he’s a great player but him + a rebounding big and a decent PG does not equal a team. If PJ thinks he can sign him to a max and stay competitive I’ll still try to believe (because I’m in essence a fan boi nut hugger) but I won’t really feel that much hope for anything more than winning a series or two in the playoffs. Meanwhile, I have zero confidence in even making the playoffs with Melo if Barney-Annie, Amar’e the amazing invisible defender, and the intellectual JR Smith are seeing significant floor time. Even more terrifying is the prospect of another Iraq style quagmire of bad contracts at the deadline in February.

      So, I guess my order of preference is to A.) Get religion now and let him walk. B.) Sign him if you think he’ll work in the system (his $ figure will give you a really good hint) C.) If you sign him, AND LISTEN TO ME, think very carefully before you pair him with FUCKING JOSH SMITH.

    16. CaptainB

      Could the Knicks get any more bad karma for trading Amare? He has been compensated enough for his time in NY. We dont need to coddle him for another season by not trading him.

    17. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      You’re a little short-sighted on this one.

      I’d argue that it’s short sighted, perhaps a little naive, to think that any owner is NOT trying to maximize profits. It’s their money, sure its fun when their toys (teams) do something exciting once in a while (win a championship) but in reality they are simply too invested in other parts of their life to be 100% dedicated to a sports team to justify the decision to overspend. Do notice, just because you are paying the luxury tax without fear does not make a winner (IE: Brooklyn Niets). Winning, to me, takes wise spending, continual year-to-year development of players, and a communicative coaching staff with a clear vision and plan for each player to contribute to the overall success of the team.

      The luxury tax, while not a rule, does trigger a big loud red sign in the owners head – “WASTING MONEY”- which is a big no-no in business, especially when you factor in the exponential “offender” tax penalties year by year. It may be something the owners negotiated, but I don’t think its hard to see why they negotiated this, and quite frankly don’t see how is relevant.

    18. Farfa

      So if I’m a player I can understand why they could care less about the impact of their contracts on future cap flexibility of teams since the owners are the ones that created this system.

      I do understand what you’re saying that Dolan and the Knicks aren’t asking him to take less take make more money, but they happen to be on the same side as Sarver, Bennett, Gilbert, etc. that pushed for things to be this way.

      Yes, and that’s why it’s perfectly ok to get the max if you can (or to get 19mln/3 yrs if you’re Jodie Meeks). Thing is, and sadly I would say, that there are at least two different goals a sports team can choose to go for: 1) winning it all or at least compete until the end and/or 2) put together an enticing show so that people come to watch because of the show.

      When a player says that the most important thing for him is to win (which almost everyone says, but not that many act on the floor like they really mean it) it can happen that he pigeonholes himself in a difficult role, because this CBA essentially says “dear player if you want to win you have to sacrifice some money so some other good players can come here”. If said player gets the max anyway he better bust his ass off and be a class act, or the fans will hold it against him. Is it right? Not entirely. But can see it in effect here in NY. The fans are disappointed in Amar’e, but they are clearly not mad at him, because he seems to be a nice guy, he brought the Knicks back to relevance (not that I think this is really the case, but it’s some sort of consensus) and never looked like a me first player. Melo, on the other hand, who is a much better contributor than Amar’e, has had lots of hard times in managing his image and suffers from it, possibly more than he should (and I agree with Brian when he says that Melo clearly does not know how to express himself from a PR perspective).

      If a team is just glad to put on a good show, instead, giving the max is ok.

    19. Farfa

      I’d argue that it’s short sighted, perhaps a little naive, to think that any owner is NOT trying to maximize profits.

      Maybe so. But Dolan is the same guy who paid incredible amounts of money for Larry Brown and let him go after just one year (keeping on paying him anyway). I was only talking about this specific situations, and we have no indication whatsoever that Phil is trying to get Melo at a discount to make Dolan spend less, come on.

      What you say happens everytime in Chicago, OKC, even Miami: but the Melo situation does not resemble at all those dynamics.

    20. yellowboy90

      would doubt it’d be a straight salary dump. We’d probably have to take back a bad contract or two (like Richardson and Thaddeus Young). But even taking both back would clear about $10MM of space, leaving us with only about $50MM before potentially resigning Melo. Even if we give him the max, that’d leave us at $72MM — far enough away from the apron to use both the full MLE and the BAE.

      Big risk (other than giving up Shump and his defense next to Calderon) is that Thaddeus opts in to his ’15-16 contract. Richardson is an expiring.

      Definitely would not give up any 1st round picks in this scenario. Not to mention it feels wrong to send Amare to tanking hell after all the physical stuff + comebacks he’s gone through here. Bad karma regardless of the fact that he didn’t live up to his contract.

      I brought up the scenario a few days ago about it possibly involving Lin so philly doesn’t have to pay him his 15M. They get the pkg from Houston and the sweeteners from NY(Shump/Larkin/non-guaranteed). I doubt it would happen but if it did wow. That would save Philly 5m or so. Maybe throw in a future 2nd rd pick because of Thad. I would have thought more until the Afflalo trade. Maybe I’m missing something,

    21. Hubert

      It continues to infuriate me that the idea of asking Carmelo Anthony to not be 4th highest paid NBA player next year, the 2nd highest paid NBA player the following year, and the highest paid NBA player for years 3-5 of his contract is asking him to take a pay cut.

      I am all for calling out the hypocrisy of the owners for expecting guys like LeBron to take less than they are worth, but Carmelo Anthony has been overpaid since his rookie contract expired and he will continue to be overpaid for the next five years even if he signs for a “discount”.

      He’s not a player whose abilities deserve to be paid the max, and that’s factorial.

    22. Hubert

      In two years, every NBA writer currently saying Melo is being asked to take a paycut is going to have Melo on top of his “NBA’s worst contracts” or “Most overpaid player” list.

      He’s going to be untradeable within 18 months.

    23. Kahnzy

      I am all for calling out the hypocrisy of the owners for expecting guys like LeBron to take less than they are worth, but Carmelo Anthony has been overpaid since his rookie contract expired and he will continue to be overpaid for the next five years even if he signs for a “discount”.

      He’s not a player whose abilities deserve to be paid the max, and that’s factorial.

      If the possibility, and indeed strong likelihood, exists where Carmelo is paid the max by someone, somewhere, than asking him to turn that down is asking him to accept a pay cut.

      I agree with you that his ability to bring a team to the Larry O’Brian Trophy Promised Land does not warrant the max salary, but the fact is the market is willing to pay him the max for other reasons (such as putting butts in seats, selling merchandise, and other valuable revenue generating activities).

    24. Farfa

      He’s going to be untradeable within 18 months.

      Now, now. Even Joe Johnson got traded, and I can’t remember a worse contract than that.

    25. er

      Carmelo Anthony has been overpaid since his rookie contract expired and he will continue to be overpaid for the next five years even if he signs for a “discount”.

      He’s not a player whose abilities deserve to be paid the max, and that’s factorial.

      He’s going to be untradeable within 18 months.

      Your infuriation/ disgust for Melo amuses me. Please tell me more. 1 question though, how the hell was he overpaid in Denver? He kinda made the franchise relavent. You know, more money for the owner etc.

    26. Frank

      In two years, every NBA writer currently saying Melo is being asked to take a paycut is going to have Melo on top of his “NBA’s worst contracts” or “Most overpaid player” list.

      He’s going to be untradeable within 18 months.

      I think you’re probably overreacting. Yes, at a max contract he’ll be overpaid re: his production compared to guys like Duncan/Ginobili/Parker/Dirk etc. who decide to take way less than market value, but he’s a much better player than Joe Johnson who was a) traded in the middle of his crippling contract, and b) was an extremely important player on a pretty good team last year that really took it to Miami in the playoffs. I think for 3 years Melo will be very good, and for the last 2 he will not be worth his contract but will still be a useful player. Obviously not an ideal scenario, but given we are all expecting the cap to go way up, it shouldn’t be too crippling IMHO.

    27. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      I was only talking about this specific situations, and we have no indication whatsoever that Phil is trying to get Melo at a discount to make Dolan spend less, come on.

      I’m with you 100 on this, Farfa – I actually was commenting with someone else’s comment in mind, but must say I got a few laughs at picturing Dolan trying to justify the Larry Brown release while at the same time imagining himself as a shrewd, smart basketball-decision maker.

      He’s learned since then, god (and a little Phil) willing.

    28. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Your infuriation/ disgust for Melo amuses me. Please tell me more. 1 question though, how the hell was he overpaid in Denver? He kinda made the franchise relavent. You know, more money for the owner etc.

      He was the face of their mild success, but not the primary cause.

    29. Farfa

      I’m with you 100 on this, Farfa – I actually was commenting with someone else’s comment in mind, but must say I got a few laughs at picturing Dolan trying to justify the Larry Brown release while at the same time imagining himself as a shrewd, smart basketball-decision maker.

      I’m sure he thinks about that while riffing on “Money for nothing” with his band.

    30. er

      He was the face of their mild success, but not the primary cause.

      Where did i use the word success? I said relevant. And lol anyway. Who else was added from the 15 win season to the Playoffs his rookie year Kmart? Smh

    31. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      Why do I have the feeling that Melo will expect to be commended on his leadership abilities and desire to win when he inevitably takes (slightly, my guess is 5/110) less than the max? The guy said it himself that he would be willing to speak with ownership/mgmt on a pay cut if it would help the team; he should not get praised for keeping his word, that’s hysterical. That really takes hero-worship to new levels.

      I can imagine Allen Iverson somewhere muttering to himself amid piles of defective Iverson 3 sneakers :”Man, they talkin’ about MONEY?!”

    32. Hubert

      wow – just saw on Twitter that Stephen A is saying that the Knicks are in talks with Philly to dump Amare using Shump as sweetener.

      I was wondering when those discussions would begin, and thought it was a little negligent on phil’s part for not having them already. If they are willing to take on junk assets from Houston, we should talk to them.

      Coincidentally, even before I read this, I was playing with a spreadsheet to see how much flexibility it would give us and it was encouraging (not enough to sign LeBron and Melo, though). However, I failed to see where we have enough assets to bribe them. Once again, it comes down to the Bargnani trade. Had we not made that trade, we a) we would have had enough assets to make Philly an enticing offer, and b) we could have serious cap room if they accepted it.

      But we got Bargs, so no.

    33. Farfa

      You don’t want to know. We pretty much could have been able to bribe Philly to take Amar’e and had enough room to sign Melo & LeBron with a little creativity.

      I made the same experiment and didn’t post a single word about that to avoid crushing this board under the weight of heavy discomfort. And I’ll add a thought: it’s not a stretch to say that without that trade we would have quite surely reached the playoffs, so not only we would have had a chance to nab LeBron, but we would have been much more appealing too.

    34. er

      Why do I have the feeling that Melo will expect to be commended on his leadership abilities and desire to win when he inevitably takes (slightly, my guess is 5/110) less than the max?

      Isnt that what we want? Him to take less right, dont we commend others for this or no? haha the hate is real

    35. lavor postell

      Can we stop revisiting the Bargs trade? It’s actually more painful for me than any other move the Knicks have made save the Eddy Curry trade. We all know it sucks and that it has and continues to be a major headache for us. My soul can’t take it anymore.

    36. Farfa

      me:

      didn’t post a single word about that to avoid crushing this board under the weight of heavy discomfort

      lavor:

      My soul can’t take it anymore.

      Case in point. :-(

    37. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Y’all just need to relax. Spend the next four days doing whatever it is that brings you joy, and then spend the next five years sadly wondering why we can’t have a GM like Masai or Buford in the nation’s largest city’s pro basketball franchise.

    38. Hubert

      Please tell me more. 1 question though, how the hell was he overpaid in Denver?

      He was paid the max and he didn’t produce like you would expect a max player to.

      He kinda made the franchise relavent. You know, more money for the owner etc

      Are you sure about that?

    39. Hubert

      Let’s not confuse two things that should be distinguished:

      1. Every NBA star is underpaid relative to what they might earn in a free market system.

      2. Within the rigged economy that the owners and players agreed upon (which is the only context that matters to me in this discussion), you can earn less than what you might earn in a free market and still be overpaid. If you earn the max and consistently fail to deliver the results that one can reasonably expect from a max player, you are hindering your teams chances of success and are overpaid.

    40. Frank

      It’s interesting to consider this question — 2 years ago, if Carmelo hadn’t gotten his arm pulled out of its socket by Garnett, or if we had a coach with half a brain, we could easily have been in the eastern conference finals against Miami. My guess is that the conversations we would be having now about Melo would be completely different if those things (that are out of Melo’s control) had happened, right? If we had made it to the conference finals, we would have entered “real contender” status like Indiana did this year. We probably wouldn’t have made that painful Bargnani trade. No one would be wondering about Melo’s ability to carry a team deep into the playoffs, just like Paul George got all the love this year despite playing really badly for much of the year.

    41. Hubert

      Secondly, if LAL wants Melo and Melo wants them for 4/96, then, please, be my guest. It’s obvious that he’s a great player but him + a rebounding big and a decent PG does not equal a team.

      I agree, but they’re the Lakers and we’re the Knicks. I’ve no doubt that if we re-sign Melo we’ll be mediocre to terrible for 5 years. But if they sign Melo, somehow he’ll end up playing with Anthony Davis and Seth Curry on the 2016 NBA champions.

    42. Farfa

      Hubert, you underestimate the impact of the death of Dr. Jerry Buss. Now the Lakers are in the hands of their own version of Jimmy D.

    43. Donnie Walsh

      There are lots of what-ifs for everybody, not just in sports. We can concoct a world where it feels good to pay Carmelo Anthony a lot more than $100 million to stay on the Knicks. But in the current world, which we are all experiencing together, it feels pretty shitty.

    44. Nick C.

      @31 02-03 primary starters for Denver: Juwan Howard 77; Nene 53; Junior Harrington 51; Vincent Yarbrough 39; Ryan Bowen 31; Donnell Harvey 27; Mark Blount 24; James Posey 24 (traded for picks); Chris Whitney 20 (waived in February).
      03-04 primary starters: Melo 82; Andre Miller 82; Nene 77; Camby 72; Voshon Lenard 70. I don’t know about you but the first list had a lot of who’s he? guys The second has 4 new starters all of whom had or are having long careers.

    45. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      Isnt that what we want? Him to take less right, dont we commend others for this or no? haha the hate is real

      Yes ER that is what I, we, all want. But you forgot to leave in out the next part of where i explain that in doing so, he is only keeping to his word. So please don’t misinterpret unwillingness to false-praise our boy Carmelo as hate. Hate is a strong word partner, them’s fighting words, lol.

    46. Hubert

      On comparing Melo to Joe Johnson with regards to his tradeability:

      1. It is hard to find another Nets
      2. Joe Johnson was 29 years old when he was traded. He was an effective player on a really bad contract who you were getting during his prime. In 18 months, you’d be trading for Melo’s age 32-35 seasons, during which he will be the NBA’s highest paid player (unless the Lakers re-sign Kobe again!). Untradeable may have been aggressive, but I think he’s going to be as hard to move as Johnson was. And the prospect of him deteriorating like Wade has looms very large to me, even if it’s not a factor in the media right now. We all saw what Woodson did to him for two years.

    47. Hubert

      All these teams willing to give Melo the max now are willing to give him four years. If we assume that Melo follows a normal career trajectory, you probably expect 1-2 prime Melo seasons, 1-2 seasons where you hope he’s still in his prime but he may not be, and you probably brace yourself for the possibility that he is like current Wade or Amar’e in year 4 but you’re willing to swallow that 4th year if you got 2-3 seasons of prime Melo out of the deal.

      If we sign Melo, it’s for 5 years. And just because teams are willing to offer him the max that they can pay now doesn’t mean they’re going to be willing to trade for him at the max that we need to lay out for him now. 34 & 35 year old Melo at $28-$30 million per is a much bigger pill to swallow for the first three years of his contract.

    48. JK47

      34 & 35 year old Melo at $28-$30 million per is a much bigger pill to swallow for the first three years of his contract.

      And this is important, because the idea here should be to get out of the loop of never-ending WIN NOW cycles, and to set the team up for sustained success. This is the kind of thinking that results in us always sucking, this “live for today, who cares about 2019″ attitude.

    49. Hubert

      I thought Jowles (and others) would like this bit from a just-posted Grantland article about the Bulls’ offseason:

      “Rose isn’t a lights-out shooter, but he makes the guys around him better. Kyle Korver’s true shooting percentage with Rose on the floor back in 2011-12 was a cool 72 percent. That’s pretty good (it’s just one of the several hidden offensive factors Rose has added in the past; throw in offensive-rebound opportunities too).”

      http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-best-case-and-worst-case-scenarios-for-the-bulls/

    50. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Why would he use TS% there when eFG% is much more important?

      Anyway, that sentence should read, “That’s pretty good (it’s just one of the several hidden offensive factors that I believe exist and that, ostensibly, Rose has, according to my own assumptions about basketball, added in the past; throw in offensive-rebound opportunities, which are better known as Kobe Assists, and are a mere hypothesis that has no evidence available to me, too.)

    51. Hubert

      And this is important, because the idea here should be to get out of the loop of never-ending WIN NOW cycles, and to set the team up for sustained success. This is the kind of thinking that results in us always sucking, this “live for today, who cares about 2019? attitude.

      We really shouldn’t offer him more than the Lakers are offering. Give him two identical 4 year offers at the max and make him choose. But because we live in such a weird world, that would be considered disrespectful and less than equal. Thus, the NBA’s CBA proves itself to be terrible yet again. If you’re the home team, you’re forced to massively overpay just to be equal!!

      Honestly that CBA might have been the worst document ever agreed upon. All it did was give our money to the people we least want to have it: the owners, and the players who aren’t worth it.*

      * and we can argue if Melo is worth the max now, but I’m sure NO ONE would argue that 35 year old Melo is going to be worth the max, right?

    52. Hubert

      Anyway, that sentence should read, “That’s pretty good (it’s just one of the several hidden offensive factors that I believe exist and that, ostensibly, Rose has, according to my own assumptions about basketball, added in the past; throw in offensive-rebound opportunities, which are better known as Kobe Assists, and are a mere hypothesis that has no evidence available to me, too.)

      If you really think about it, John Starks didn’t shoot us out of game 7. He made two field goals and created a whopping 16 offensive rebound opportunities that his teammates failed to sufficiently capitalize on. He was the goat, but he should have been the hero.

    53. Zanzibar

      It’s not too difficult to discern Phil’s strategy: it’s somewhat akin to that of the Brooklyn Nets last summer. Sign Melo for whatever amount it takes. Drop below apron (Amare/Shump to 76ers) to sign Pau via S&T or mle. Find out through Pau if his brother would join the Knicks next season. If not, make a trade like Bargs/sweetener for Josh Smith. Having to stay below the apron, use bae and whatever’s left of THJ/Larkin/Early/Greek/Frenchie/Dalembert/Ellington/Tyler/Odom and Brown contracts to trade for any useful pieces which could help immediately. Starting lineup: Calderon/JR/Josh/Melo/Pau.

      If this is the strategy, it’s a reasonable one even though I would have much preferred the approach which revolved around picking up players through a Chicago S&T. It’s better than a complete rebuild and, given the 2015 free agents and our roster, better than a slower plodding approach. Melo/Pau/Calderon have narrow windows because of age so time is of the essence. The objective would be to hope to punch through a relatively weak EC in the next 2 years. There are no real attractive free agents in 2015 which make sense for Melo/Calderon/Pau team and are worth waiting for other than Marc G. If he’s not attainable, Josh Smith is an excellent defender and very good passer and, if anyone would benefit from the Triangle, it’s him. Plus he could defend the 3 or the 4 positions making it easier for Melo.

      If the 2-year blitzkrieg approach doesn’t work out, Smith and JR are off the books and we have some hope that larger cap/possible amnesty would allow us to stay relevant unlike the Nets.

    54. DRed

      “Kyle Korver’s true shooting percentage with Rose on the floor back in 2011-12 was a cool 72 percent. ”

      Because kyle korver scored very efficiently when Derek Rose was on the court over a 39 game stretch, we have proved that Rose has the same rare shot creating ability than a select few high volume, inefficient scorers posses. QED. Interaction effects proven. Imagine Melo was also on the court? TS 100%

    55. danvt

      * and we can argue if Melo is worth the max now, but I’m sure NO ONE would argue that 35 year old Melo is going to be worth the max, right?

      I know. I want us to be competitive next year and I’m dreading an Amar’e, Dalembert, Bargnani, starting front court but I really kind of want LAL to save us from ourselves this time. It won’t happen. Melo will come back for close to the Max and we’ll spend the next five years either A.) combing the d-league for future Copelands or B.) in capped out, former all star, Al Harrington-esque, hades. I’m sure that there’ll be at least one year where we’ll “surprise” and put a little fear in a second round opponent and at least one where a couple of injuries and no depth destroy the team. We’re Knick fans. That’s what life has been like. Maybe Phil can really change things though. We haven’t YET really seen anything to convince us otherwise.

    56. JK47

      Josh Smith is fucking terrible. If there is one strategy Jackson should pursue, it is the “not acquiring Josh Smith” strategy. I think Smith might actually be WORSE than Bargnani, because you can at least count on Bargnani to blow his elbow out 35 games into the season, thus resulting in ANYBODY ELSE getting into the lineup. Josh Smith is pretty durable, so you’re guaranteed 2500+ minutes of turbo suck. Josh Smith’s stats from last year look like a typo: .463 TS% with a whopping .020 WS48. If you just stuck Cleanthony Early in the lineup for 2500 minutes I don’t see how he could possibly be much worse. And Josh Smith makes $13.5M a year THROUGH 2017.

      NO JOSH SMITH GOD DAMN IT.

    57. flossy

      Starting lineup: Calderon/JR/Josh/Melo/Pau.

      Lord have mercy! If you honestly think that Phil Jackson’s plan is to build around 33 year-old Calderon, 34-year old Pau Gasol, and the unholy trinity of players whose talent is inversely proportional to their basketball IQ in Melo/JR/Josh Smith…

      Then please stop this ride because I want, no I NEED, to get the hell OFF.

    58. flossy

      In fact, if that came to pass my guess would be that Calderon and Pau would pull a Beno midseason and demand to be traded literally anywhere else.

    59. Hubert

      Josh Smith and Melo together would make me cry. What a terrible fit that would be.

      But we have to be honest and understand that if Melo comes back, the next move could be to be trading expiring contracts for a better player on a longer deal. The trick will be finding the right player (and, hopefully, a shorter deal; like a two year deal).

      Is there anyone available we might actually want to trade Amar’e or Andrea’s expiring for?

    60. JK47

      If you had asked me before last season, “Who is the NBA player you would LEAST want on the Knicks,” I would not have hesitated for one second to answer Andrea Bargnani. And if you asked me the same question right now, the answer, without hesitation, would be “Josh Smith.”

    61. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Yeah, but he’s Josh Smith! Remember when he was good on the Hawks? He’ll be good again. We’re the Knicks. We find underachieving players and turn them into studs. That’s what we do here.

    62. JK47

      Acquiring the worst contracts in the NBA is a big part of what we do here. We’re not gonna kick acquiring horrific contracts to the curb.

    63. JK47

      Trading bad contracts for other bad but longer contracts is the Isiah Way. There is no real compelling reason to dump the Stat or Bargnani contracts other than to perpetuate the “WIN NOW” mentality that has caused this team to be mostly awful for the last decade plus. Let those guys come off the books; don’t let mistakes perpetuate themselves forever. Short term pain, long term gain. It’s not that difficult.

    64. Zanzibar

      @flossy and JK47 Don’t sugarcoat your responses, tell us how you really feel. Smith had a relatively healthy +/- according to ESPN’s real plus-minus stat (> Faried). He’s terrible on offense but look at the teams for which he was playing. We’re all in on changing Melo’s game so we might as well throw in on Smith improving on offense via Triangle. He’s able to post-up and is a very good passer. Just eliminate ISOs and you have a very productive player when you add in his strong defense.

    65. JK47

      Ask Piston fans about Josh Smith’s defense and you’ll get an earful. He’s just as GIF-worthy on defense as Bargnani. He’s probably the most hated Detroit Piston in the history of the franchise, impressive work for being there only one season. We heard the same bullshit when Bargnani came here, that he was gonna be so great because we were gonna use him differently, and it turned out to be complete 100% nonsense.

    66. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Josh Smith was one of the worst players in the league last year.

      You know why a +/- stat would work for him? He played next to Andre Drummond, one of the best players in the league last year.

    67. flossy

      Just eliminate ISOs and you have a potentially very productive player

      You could say that about 3/5 of your proposed starting lineup, players who have been in the NBA for, lets see here… a combined THIRTY ONE YEARS.

      But sure, let’s roll the dice and just collect ‘em all. What’s ~ $181 million in long-term salary commitments between friends?

    68. DRed

      JK, you see your boy Hairston allegedly sucker punched a HS kid during a YMCA pickup game?

    69. Hubert

      Trading bad contracts for other bad but longer contracts is the Isiah Way. There is no real compelling reason to dump the Stat or Bargnani contracts other than to perpetuate the “WIN NOW” mentality that has caused this team to be mostly awful for the last decade plus. Let those guys come off the books; don’t let mistakes perpetuate themselves forever. Short term pain, long term gain. It’s not that difficult.

      I don’t disagree at all. I’m just saying it’s in play and I was curious if there were any players we might actually want, as opposed to Josh Smith.

      If you have Melo on board for 5 years, keeping cap space open for 2015 isn’t necessarily a better long term plan than trading the expiring contract of Amar’e or Bargnani for a decent player with an extra year or two (i.e. not Josh Smith, or Tyreke Evans).

    70. Zanzibar

      You know why a +/- stat would work for him? He played next to Andre Drummond, one of the best players in the league last year.

      Drummond was minus on defense according to Real +/- which is not surprising given he was one of the worst PnR defenders in the league. And Monroe is a middling defender at best. Jennings is terrible. All of Smith’s plus was on the defensive end and he was a slight minus on the offensive side. If he improves on offense – and there are compelling reasons to believe he would in Triangle – you have a productive player right away.

      Trading bad contracts for other bad but longer contracts is the Isiah Way.

      The difference here is the expected huge jump in the salary cap and the availability of an amnesty clause in the new CBA.

    71. Hubert

      Phil seems to think he might be able to trade both Bargs and Stat without attaching a ton of assets or taking back other awful contracts.

      I have either been grossly over- or underestimating his abilities.

      If Phil somehow unloaded STAT, trading JR (which I don’t think is impossible; Ben Gordon just got a deal worth 75% of what JR is making) and using the stretch on Bargnani would open up two max (or close to max) slots.

    72. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Zanzibar,

      We have no idea what Real Plus Minus even is.

      http://regressing.deadspin.com/just-what-the-hell-is-real-plus-minus-espns-new-nba-s-1560361469

      It’s a tweak of RAPM. Beyond that, we literally do not know. Why would we cite this when we have several other stats that are totally transparent?

      Hate all you want on the weights assigned by WP48 to various box score data, but at least you know where the number is coming from. RPM is a black box.

    73. JK47

      Josh Smith was a “slight minus” on the offensive side? He had a .463 TS% on high usage. He was an utter and complete black hole on offense.

    74. DRed

      Josh Smith. I mean, look, taking a gamble on a skillsy guy who has played unproductive basketball for a long stretch on the hope that your system will turn him into a completely different player is fine on cheap, short-term deals. If you don’t win the lotto, hey, the ticket was only a buck. But accumulating a roster of highly paid reclamation projects is not a smart way to build a team.

    75. DRed

      Josh Smith created all those offensive rebounds for non-creative paint clogger Drummond to slam home.

    76. lavor postell

      It’s a tweak of RAPM. Beyond that, we literally do not know. Why would we cite this when we have several other stats that are totally transparent?

      Hate all you want on the weights assigned by WP48 to various box score data, but at least you know where the number is coming from. RPM is a black box.

      This

      Josh Smith was a “slight minus” on the offensive side? He had a .463 TS% on high usage. He was an utter and complete black hole on offense.

      Any stat that says he was a slight minus offensively last season is a fucking joke. Josh Smith is making a run at worst free agent signings in the history of the NBA. STAT’s contract sucked, but at least when he was initially healthy he was awesome and a guy that his teammates really liked. Josh Smith a black hole of suck who combined the shittiest possible level of play with a piss poor attitude.

    77. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      That Cavs/Bynum deal was the epitome of “low-risk, high-reward” deals. Same with the Oden deal. Franchise-level center on a one-year. That’s good.

      Not Josh Smith through 2017.

    78. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      I have to say that Drummond might not have crushed the #2 ORB-getter by such a ridiculous, Rodman-like margin had he not had Drummond and Smith missing so many shots.

      So. Many. Shots.

    79. JK47

      Bringing in Josh Smith, hands down one of the biggest jerks in the league, would also not do wonders in the “changing the culture” department.

    80. Frank

      I really still do not understand this Melo to the Lakers thing. First, maxing out Melo + Kobe and having Randle, Sacre, and some actual other players likely means they won’t have room for Love next year unless Love is willing to take a pay cut. And even with Pau re-signing, I don’t see how that team is even a top 4-5 seed in the West.

      If Melo wants a real chance at a championship, the easiest first decision is to cross off the Western Conference unless he’s going to the Rockets.

      Which is why I think Lala is getting some side deal as part of Melo signing in LA, which maybe is why Joel Silver got involved in the pitch.

    81. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      Josh smith is such a black hole, my god he’s taken over this entire thread and is completely unwilling to give it back. He’ll be horrible, we get it.

      On a brighter note: Looks like Bosh is boltin for Houston…is it wrong that i’m cheesing out smiling thinking of the end of the big 3? Feels cathartic. Think i’ll go have a coke.

    82. airkent

      Wow looks like Houston offered Bosh 4 years 80, if we had cap space we might have had a chance at melo and lebron ………

    83. lavor postell

      I really still do not understand this Melo to the Lakers thing. First, maxing out Melo + Kobe and having Randle, Sacre, and some actual other players likely means they won’t have room for Love next year unless Love is willing to take a pay cut. And even with Pau re-signing, I don’t see how that team is even a top 4-5 seed in the West.

      If Melo wants a real chance at a championship, the easiest first decision is to cross off the Western Conference unless he’s going to the Rockets.

      Which is why I think Lala is getting some side deal as part of Melo signing in LA, which maybe is why Joel Silver got involved in the pitch.

      Right and at that point fuck Melo. If you’re a professional basketball player and you have the opportunity to play for Phil Jackson in some capacity and he’s offering you all the money in the world to do so, I don’t understand how you pass that up to go play second fiddle to 36 year old Kobe coming off of two season ending injuries.

    84. Zanzibar

      Hate all you want on the weights assigned by WP48 to various box score data, but at least you know where the number is coming from.

      WP48’s treatment of defense is a joke. But fair enough, you want more data, how do you like these apples? Smith is one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA, able to guard the 3 or 4 position which is critical if your teammate is Melo. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Smith was one of five players in the NBA to average at least 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steal per game. Joining him in that regard were Marc Gasol, Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Anthony Davis. According to Synergy Sports Smith allowed 0.65 points per isolation set and 0.71 per post up. By comparison, LeBron James allowed 0.82 per isolation play and 0.56 per post up.

      On offense, Synergy shows he’s above average in transition and on post-ups. He’s also an above average passer. All of those are important attributes which fit Phil and Fish’s plans. Why have all of you suddenly lost faith in our Buddha to change Melo and Josh? Honestly, Smith’s game is easier to change than Melo’s.

    85. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Who cares about per-game stats?

      And Basketball Reference might be selling you short on that list. Drummond was the first guy I checked, and he had 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game (but again, per-game, who cares). I’m sure he’s not the only one.

      If we’re playing the “savior of thine basketball game” game, why not get a guy who wasn’t among the league’s worst players last year?

      (P.S. If Josh Smith is that good at defense, it would be reflected in his WP48 score. I think he’s probably a good defender, but so very bad at offense. So very bad.)

    86. BigBlueAL

      Josh McRoberts has agreed to sign with the Heat for the full midlevel. No way Lebron doesnt go back now!!!

    87. yellowboy90

      4yr/$23M for mcRoberts? Really Riley? Really? IF I’m Lebron I’m laughing in Pat’s face at their next meeting

    88. thenamestsam

      It is awfully hard to imagine Riley selling McRoberts to Lebron as the missing piece. I think it’s a decent signing assuming the big 3 return. Can give them a little extra size at the 4 while still stretching out to the 3 point line on offense, good passer, decent system defender, etc. He’s not moving the needle, but it doesn’t seem like the move the needle guy was really out there in their price range. And honestly they don’t need to move the needle that much. They got their asses whooped in the finals by a great team playing their absolute best, but the Heat were really only about 2 productive role players and a slightly better Wade away from the team the beat the Spurs the year before. McBob can be one of those two role players. If Birdman is a little healthier (and resigns), Allen comes back, Napier is decent and they can find some low-priced help on the wing it’s not crazy to me to think they could look more like 2013 Miami than 2014 Miami come next years finals.

      That’s not the greatest pitch in the world but it may be the best Riley can realistically do at this point. And I still think there’s a decent chance it’s enough to keep Lebron around, at least on some short term contract with opt-outs etc. so he can escape if Wade keeps getting worse.

    89. Owen

      Man, this offseason is getting crazy….

      Please stop talking about Josh Smith. It’s making my head hurt in a really bad way.

    90. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      Honestly, Smith’s game is easier to change than Melo’s.

      Okay, ill bite, Z.

      I don’t think the question is how well he can fit with our system, but is he worth $13,500,000+ dollars over the next three years to find out? Wouldn’t you rather wait for Amare’s bill to expire, then upgrade with less risky and what-if type players? Please note we do not HAVE to keep swapping our bad contracts for more bad contracts, they do expire after all.

      Josh smith just doesn’t seem like a Rodman-type who Phil / Fish can tailor his greatest strengths to benefit the team. His greatest strength is defense, but i’d rather have 3-5 decent-defense capable players than banking on another 28 year old who only got by on his athleticism and has thus far seemed uninterested in expanding his game beyond convincing himself he is a decent 3PT shooter.

    91. Kahnzy

      Please stop talking about Josh Smith. It’s making my head hurt in a really bad way.

      What do you think it would take to pry Rudy Gay away from Sacramento?

    92. Zanzibar

      Who cares about per-game stats?

      The stats cited were for the 2012-13 season. Per game in this instance is important because he’s been one of the most durable players in the league unlike your boy Tyson. All the gaudy rate stats aren’t worth a darn if you’re not able to stay on the court.

      If Josh Smith is that good at defense, it would be reflected in his WP48 score…
      If we’re playing the “savior of thine basketball game” game, why not get a guy who wasn’t among the league’s worst players last year?

      Why is it so hard for you to understand that defense is half of the game? He wasn’t one of the worst players when you factor in defense in a meaningful way. And no, defense wouldn’t be reflected in WP48 just like it isn’t for Calderon and Harden? And we don’t have to save his defense – it’s just fine. On offense, he needs to reduce ISOs, operate out of the post more and pass to elite catch-and-shoot teammates like Calderon and JR.

      Monroe wants Smith out so Detroit has to make a decision; it may be possible to get Smith in a simple Bargnani swap. I’m not averse to looking at other players but somebody needs to name some which are realistic options in exchange for Bargs. The whole gist is Phil probably doesn’t want to waste a prime Melo season especially when EC isn’t very strong. The alternative is to wait until next season but, like I say, other than M Gasol there’s really no one out there who looks all that appetizing and we’re gonna have to overpay for one of those players.

    93. MKinLA

      I’m no fan of Josh Smith, but I think you do have to consider context.

      He went from being on a decent team to a horrible one (chasing money). Anyone who plays basketball knows that it’s a lot harder to take the ball inside than to stand outside and bomb 3s. I think he realized the team wasn’t going anywhere and his money was guaranteed, and just decided he’d rather jack 3s than wrestle with the big guys inside.

      Obviously, you’d like a pro to keep playing his hardest / smartest no matter the situation, but I think what he did was pretty human.

      Furthermore, I bet that, if you put him on a good team with something to play for and a coach he respects, you could get him to cut out all but the most wide-open 3s. That would leave you with a pretty efficient offensive player who, when motivated, is probably a small net plus on defense, too.

      All of that said, you would ideally want to try this with a guy who had 1-2 years left on his deal, not 3.

    94. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Okay, I’m sold. Let’s trade for Josh Smith because he had 1.5+ STL/G and 1.0+ BLK/G and is probably not a terrible offensive player if he actually would try hard and have a good coach.

      C’mon, Phil!

    95. Kahnzy

      I’m not averse to looking at other players but somebody needs to name some which are realistic options in exchange for Bargs

      I’d rather waste another year than have to deal with Josh Smith for the next three. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as anti-Bargs as the next guy and if we were talking Bargs’ expiring for Josh Smith’ (i.e. he only had one year left on his deal as well), than maybe you could sell it. But we’re talking dumping an expiring for what would be two additional years of hoping a known player changes.

      Sign me up for bombing this year for a better draft pick if our only salvation is Josh Smith.

    96. lavor postell

      Okay, I’m sold. Let’s trade for Josh Smith because he had 1.5+ STL/G and 1.0+ BLK/G and is probably not a terrible offensive player if he actually would try hard and have a good coach.

      C’mon, Phil!

      Lmao

      Let’s be clear:

      there isn’t even a Josh Smith rumor.

      (right?)

      No there is not

    97. Frank

      wow – Danny Granger just signed with the Heat for 2 years 4.2 MM according to Woj. That is a steal assuming Granger can get somewhere near health. That probably is the biannual exception.

    98. Frank

      with McBob and Granger signing on, it sure feels likely that Lebron is going back to Miami.

      If that’s true, it’s really a crime that they got Cleveland’s hopes up again, if even for just 24-48h.

    99. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      No there is not

      Which is why i called this haberdashery to end about 20 comments ago:

      Josh smith is such a black hole, my god he’s taken over this entire thread and is completely unwilling to give it back.

      Man up, boys! He’s calling for a pick!

      /shoots contested 27-foot 3PT
      /kobe-assists

    100. hoolahoop

      Insanity!!!!!!! Melo is doing the same thing as last time – forcing his hand at the expense of the roster. And it’sa bad hand. It’s the knicks’ fault. They’ve seen this movie before. Don’t fall for it.

      Houston and Chicago appear out of the running. They probably low-balled him. So, essentially, no one wants Melo at the max, except possibly LA, another rebuild situation with another bad owner.

      Melo doesn’t really want to go to LA. If he does, good riddance. The knicks should absolutely not offer a five year deal, and any offer should be less than LA’s.

      Play in NY cheap (18/per) and let’s build a great team, or go get your money somewhere else.

    101. Zanzibar

      Okay, I’m sold. Let’s trade for Josh Smith because he had 1.5+ STL/G and 1.0+ BLK/G and is probably not a terrible offensive player if he actually would try hard and have a good coach…C’mon, Phil!

      How about these reasons?
      – We know his defensive stats have always been strong.
      – We know he’s a versatile defender (3 or4) which will allow Melo to guard weaker offensive player.
      – We know he’s an above average post-up player which fits the Triangle well.
      – We know he’s an above average passer which also fits the Triangle.
      – We know he’s durable.
      – We know his shot selection’s been lousy. But consider: he was playing on Woodson teams and a Piston train wreck. Is there not good reason to believe Phil/Fish/Triangle would mitigate that weakness?
      – He’s overpaid but whoever we pick up in free agency will be overpaid as well.

    102. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      /scorekeeper gives Smith assist
      /takes offensive rebound from Drummond because he had been “gumming up paint”

    103. yellowboy90

      Add Danny Granger to the Miami Crew. Are they fishing for Draft picks because Lebron is leaving? McRoberts is a pretty decent player though but Granger needs PHX med staff. I think the heat need more players who took cheap shots at Lebron or mouthed off to him during games.

    104. Shakespeare DiMaggio

      He’s overpaid but whoever we pick up in free agency will be overpaid as well.

      Seems a bit premature, especially when, with time(actually only 1 yr), you can sign much, much better quality players.

      Maybe we should ask Woodson what he thought of J.Smoove? He’s a great judge of talent.

    105. thenamestsam

      That is a steal assuming Granger can get somewhere near health.

      That seems like a pretty extreme assumption. Granger looked completely cooked last year. I wouldn’t be shocked fn the Heat dust him off for a few decent playoff minutes a la Rashard Lewis, but he was nowhere near being a main contributor to a top level team last year. Maybe he can get back there, but it’s an article of faith.

      I think it’s a bit surprising that Riley seems determined to keep filling in the fringes of the roster the way he has previously with vets and guys on their last legs almost exclusively. I expected him to go for more young guys with the hope of developing them after seeing what the Spurs did to them in the Finals.

    106. Kahnzy

      I think the heat need more players who took cheap shots at Lebron or mouthed off to him during games.

      I’m still holding out hope they find a way to sign Lance Stephenson and keep LeBron.

    107. Zanzibar

      Would Riley have signed these guys if LBJ is leaving? Doesn’t it make more sense that he went to Bron and told him: Here are the players who I’m able to sign. If I sign them, will you stay?

    108. Hubert

      I’m such a fucking fool that I keep playing with spreadsheets to figure out how we can get LeBron and Melo this summer if Phil can actually unload Bargnani and Amar’e.

      Please, LeBron, sign somewhere for 4 years and end this for me. END THIS!!!

    109. Hubert

      How about these reasons?
      – We know his defensive stats have always been strong.
      – We know he’s a versatile defender (3 or4) which will allow Melo to guard weaker offensive player.
      – We know he’s an above average post-up player which fits the Triangle well.
      – We know he’s an above average passer which also fits the Triangle.
      – We know he’s durable.
      – We know his shot selection’s been lousy. But consider: he was playing on Woodson teams and a Piston train wreck. Is there not good reason to believe Phil/Fish/Triangle would mitigate that weakness?
      – He’s overpaid but whoever we pick up in free agency will be overpaid as well.

      Please stop making the case for Josh Smith. No one wants him, no one ever will.

      And you’re the reason that 8 months from now Jowles is going to be saying “remember when everyone on this board wanted to trade for Josh Smith!?” ;)

    110. Donnie Walsh

      I think Lala is getting some side deal as part of Melo signing in LA, which may be why Joel Silver got involved…

      The Knicks can offer her a roster spot.

    111. thenamestsam

      Would Riley have signed these guys if LBJ is leaving? Doesn’t it make more sense that he went to Bron and told him: Here are the players who I’m able to sign. If I sign them, will you stay?

      If Lebron was 100% staying, and was working with Riley what reason would he have for not announcing that? It would make Riley’s recruitment a hell of a lot easier, that’s for sure. I think Riley is just trying to make the best pitch to Lebron he can, which involves locking up as many of the guys he wants with the big 3, even if the big 3 haven’t committed yet. Yeah, he’ll be annoyed if he locks up guys like Granger and McBob and then the big 3 dissolves, but it’s certainly worth the risk.

    112. Kahnzy

      And you’re the reason that 8 months from now Jowles is going to be saying “remember when everyone on this board wanted to trade for Josh Smith!?” ;)

      That’s the worst part about this entire discussion.

    113. thenamestsam

      That’s the worst part about this entire discussion.

      Glad to know that everyone else was thinking the exact same thing I was.

    114. thenoblefacehumper

      Seriously, anyone clamoring for Josh Smith should look no further than the spin following the Bargnani trade. “If we just use him right he could be a really productive player!” Except in very rare (read: Spurs) cases, bad players are bad. When bad players have been bad for the better part of a decade, they aren’t reclamation projects, they’re just bad.

    115. The Prescient Cock Jowles

      Does anyone else find it odd that Mike K. took down the Layman’s Guide to Advanced Stats?

    116. Hubert

      These moves by Riley don’t convince me that he knows LeBron is coming back. They remind me more of the desperation moves Cleveland was making prior to the decision. Like when they hired Byron Scott as coach, and everyone said “they must be doing that because they know LeBron is coming back”. But if you looked at it closer, you were like “Byron Scott? Really? That’s who LeBron wants to coach him?” And in hindsight, we know that deal was done when LeBron had cut off contact with Cleveland and they were getting super antsy so they made what they thought was their best move to encourage him to re-sign.

      I mean, Granger for the BAE? As a vet’s minimum guy, sure. But you’re using your second best bullet on him? That doesn’t strike me as anything but speculative. And Josh McRoberts for the full MLE strikes me as desperate.

      Jesus Christ I wish we had the cap room to make LeBron and Melo happen.

    117. Hubert

      Love that Dallas is trying to get Parsons to sign an offer sheet with them. About time someone did that. Hope he takes it and thwarts Morey’s grand plan.

    118. Donnie Walsh

      Does anyone else find it odd that Mike K. took down the Layman’s Guide to Advanced Stats?

      It must mean LeBron is going back to Cleveland.

    119. Donnie Walsh

      Seriously, if the Knicks sign Melo for $129 million, they might as well trade for Josh Smith. The team is going nowhere before 2019.

    120. Robtachi

      Is this freaking moratorium period over yet? I’m honestly completely sick and tired of nothing but vague rumors. I just want guys to make some fucking decisions already so we know what we’re dealing with.

    121. Zanzibar

      Seriously, anyone clamoring for Josh Smith should look no further than the spin following the Bargnani trade.

      This seems to be the consensus but it’s a real shame people don’t understand the difference between Smith and Bargs. I won’t go into all of the differences but people don’t give appropriate credit to strong defenders. That’s why everyone here wanted to unload Shump for a 20-30 draft pick. That’s why Jowles thinks Calderon is a top PG and overrates Drummond. And that’s why advanced stats can be misleading. Every year before the Pistons, Josh Smith posted healthy +/- figures (raw and adjusted) despite lousy shot selection/shooting. Why? DEFENSE. Even on the train wreck Pistons this year, his real plus-minus was positive. And it’s surprising that people don’t think Phil could effect some improvement in his offense over Mike Woodson. WTF? If you’re looking at advanced metrics which don’t accurately reflect an individual’s contribution on D, then I understand why you arrive at your erroneous conclusions.

    122. hoolahoop

      if the Knicks sign Melo for $129 million, they might as well trade for Josh Smith. The team is going nowhere before 2019.

      If the knicks sign Melo for $129 million, I’ll have to extend my moratorium on not going to the Garden (for a knicks game) for another five years.

      If the knicks sign Melo for $129 million, they might as well renegotiate an extension for Bargnani.

    123. Alecto

      Even if Fish and PJ coached Smith right he would have to improve his EFG from .448 to .508 or his TS% from .463 to .540 to be considered league average. It seems wildly implausible that a coaching change can bring up his stats by that much. We don’t have Gregg Popovich. Even if his TS went to .50 he would still be a net minus despite his defense. Tony Allen would be a net minus with those shooting numbers. Also his AST% TRB% FTR and his BLK% have been consistently falling–he’s been getting worse as he approaches 30, not better. How the fuck could you ever possibly think that Smith is or can be a good player?

    124. Alecto

      If the Knicks sign Melo for the max I’m done. I have what I think is a very common sense policy of giving non-max players non-max money. PJ may have outthought himself on this one because I’m pretty sure Melo is a dolt who has no sense of strategy or team-building. Or I may be being uncharitable.

    125. flossy

      What do you think it would take to pry Rudy Gay away from Sacramento?

      Phil Jackson going on a coke binge.

    126. 2FOR18

      I just saw the name Josh Smith and had a convulsion, and I just came to. It’s a total Knicks move to go with the Holy Stupidity of Smoove, JR and melo, but thankfully PJ is here to prevent that. Or let’s go all in and add Tyreke Evans and Larry Sanders just to see what would happen.

    127. Brian Cronin

      Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith for STAT and Shump.

      Then Eric Gordon for Bargs.

      How could Melo not take a discount for that awesome roster?

    128. bockadoo

      Melo should go to the Bulls in a S&T. It’s best for him – he can just keep playing like he does because that’s exactly what they need – it’s best for the Bulls for the same reason, and it’s best for us because we don’t have the complimentary pieces to win now with him like the Bulls do. Chicago is a well run franchise that has enough assets to make it worth our while. Let’s do it the right way. Make up for the Denver trade and start fresh with the exact players that Phil and Fish want, implement a great system and get respectable again the right way. Enough with the crap approach we’ve been saddled with forever.

    129. Zanzibar

      How the fuck could you ever possibly think that Smith is or can be a good player?

      Well he’s been a net plus (raw and adjusted) EVERY YEAR using available 82games.com data. So you’re saying if he joined the Knicks that would change and he would be a negative?

      .448 to .508 or his TS% from .463 to .540 to be considered league average.

      That simply is not true. Let’s take WS/48 for which an individual’s defensive rating is very shaky. Examine his WS/48 4 years starting from 2009-10. He posted WS/48 figures of .155, .116, .139 in 3 of those years. All ABOVE average. Let me pose this question: If you knew Smith would post a .140 WS/48, would you trade Bargs for him?

    130. DRed

      Zanzibar, the problem with Josh Smith is that even if he gets significantly better on offense he’s not worth his salary. So why take that long term commitment?

    131. Zanzibar

      Zanzibar, the problem with Josh Smith is that even if he gets significantly better on offense he’s not worth his salary. So why take that long term commitment?

      First, all he’d have to do is duplicate his offense stats in the years I cited. Regarding salary, I agree that he’s not worth the salary even if he posts a .140WS/48. I don’t think Calderon and Melo are worth their salaries. The question is what’s the alternative? Phil overpays 30yo Melo, signed 33yo Calderon, would like to S&T 34yo Pau. If Marc Gasol is not showing up in 2015, what is the best strategy? Wait for Al Jefferson or Hibbert? Maybe Millsap? We’d be holding the cap for a year for the hope that we land one of a very few free agents who fit our team. Melo/Calderon/Pau would be one year older. In that scenario and the EC being relatively weak, I think it’s better to flip Bargs for Smith. I think Smith would be a nice fit on a Melo/Pau/JR/Calderon roster. But hey, if Phil could land someone better and stay below the apron, I’d be all for it.

    132. Z-man

      Watching some summer league, can’t stand the sound of Isiah’s voice or any dumb thing he has to say.

      Aaron Gordon looks extremely raw for a #4 pick.

    133. thenamestsam

      Yeah I definitely don’t want to be on the trade for Josh Smith team here because he was really bad last year and that contract is horrible, but it’s not like he has always been horrible/it’s impossible to see how anyone thinks he’s good. At his best he was one of the most versatile players in the league – a good on ball defender at multiple spots who was also an effective weakside shot-blocker and a good rebounder, and offensively very skilled if not very smart – good handle and great passer for his size, efficiency always weighted down by too many bad shots. If you look at his stats from 2009-2012 he wasn’t a superstar and he had his flaws, but he was a darn good player. You’d be insane to trade for him at this point – way too much risk, but he had his moments.

    134. iserp

      Well, if the Pistons added some picks, i would consider it. Josh Smith is not totally useless, but why not let Bargnani and STAT expire and try to get a real player on FA?

    135. thenamestsam

      Pretty surprised Channing Frye is going to Orlando. I think he’s turned himself into a heck of a player and could be a difference maker even on a lot of contender level teams. But 8M is more than most of those teams have to allocate to a role player I guess, even a really good one. that’s a pretty significant loss for Phoenix I think.

    136. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, that’s a huge payday for him. He can’t turn that down. That’s practically double what the Suns were offering. But yes, that hurts the Suns a lot.

    137. Farfa

      Wow, Phoenix has missed on two almost essential targets to remain a team like the one they deployed yesteryear (Hawes, Frye). Maybe they’ll take a flyer on Josh Smith? He’s another big who likes to shoot from 3.

    138. Farfa

      Hey, Miami is pulling all the stops. They are close to signing even Garrett Temple. That’s how you do it.

    139. Donnie Walsh

      With McRobert out, Charlotte needs a “stretch 4″… They have $15 million of cap space… Bargnani and Shump for Hairston and his YMCA card. Win, win!

    140. Frank

      Feeling more and more like Melo wants to be S&T’d to Chicago and that this Laker thing is a leverage play. What else is he waiting for? All the meetings have taken place already. LA doesn’t make any sense for him. Houston is already offering to other players.

      I think he’s waiting for someone to blink- by someone I mean Phil- either by clearing more room to get other guys or by consenting to a sign and trade.

    141. Donnie Walsh

      I think the league is waiting for LeBron to indicate his intentions. (It’s his league, everybody else just plays in it)

    142. lavor postell

      I think if Melo and his camp are trying to bluff Phil Jackson into trading him to Chicago for a pile of trash to preserve the viability of their roster as a contender AND on the max contract he so desperately wants he’s going to be waiting for awhile.

    143. Brian Cronin

      I agree that if Melo is expecting Phil to blink on this, he is mistaken. I mean, what is the real leverage? “I’m going to screw myself over by going to Los Angeles unless you trade me to Chicago?”

      Okay, fine, screw yourself over. It’s not much of a bluff.

      I do agree that if Chicago had max cap space (and all their main assets, like Gibson), Melo would already be signed there.

    144. Brian Cronin

      It is interesting to note that apparently Jackson had an offer for Bargs, so long as the Knicks included THJ. I think that’s a terrible idea.

    145. Brian Cronin

      I don’t begrudge Mark Spears for this tweet, as it is obviously newsworthy, but seriously?

      After contemplating his options this weekend,free agent Carmelo Anthony’s decision isn’t expected to linger late into the week,a source said

      On Sunday night he tweets that Melo’s decision isn’t expected to linger late into the week.

      So basically no real information at all.

    146. lavor postell

      I don’t even think Phil is that opposed to trading Melo to Chicago, but he wants more than Boozer and some periphery of assets. I think Gibson, Mirotic and Butler have to be included in any potential deal to Chicago. After that give us Dunleavy and whatever non-guaranteed deals they have to match salaries.

      If they don’t want to give that up to him you can probably sell it to a guy as ego driven as Melo as, “Look man they don’t even think you’re worth 2 role players and some bro from Europe who hasn’t even played in the league yet.” Also Melo looks like a gigantic bitch if he wants to go to Chicago and rather than telling Jackson straight up is trying to gain some kind of bullshit leverage by threatening to go join the geriatric crew in Laker land.

    147. bidiong

      I think it would be great to trade Melo for Boozer picks and some nice prospects. Definitely need to have them give up a lot for him. If he signs for less than max instead, great.

    148. Brian Cronin

      Gibson is too important to the roster to lose. Butler is more fungible. Mirotic, too (Mirotic might turn out to be really good – he might not, though, while Gibson is definitely good). So yeah, I can see those two being the centerpieces of a Melo deal and Melo not minding what it would do to Chicago’s roster. Mirotic also has sort of lost his bargaining position with the Knicks by opting out of his Euro league deal.

    149. Zanzibar

      I think Gibson, Mirotic and Butler have to be included in any potential deal to Chicago. After that give us Dunleavy and whatever non-guaranteed deals they have to match salaries.

      Gibson, Mirotic, Butler are NOT happening. Chicago would give us Mirotic/Butler/Snell/Randolph/2015 pick. Here’s their roster (note: Chicago would also have 5m mle available):

      PG…….Rose/Augustin/Prigioni
      SG…….JR Smith/Dunleavy
      SF…….McDermott/Melo/Dunleavy
      C………Noah/Dalembert/Smith
      PF……Gibson/Melo

      I find it hard to believe either Chicago or Phil would walk away from this. I hoped LA was a leverage ploy to force S&T but I doubt it. Rather, I believe Melo is very impressionable and his wife and CAA have his ear. His wife probably wants to be in LA and CAA probably wants him to take the 129m. Who is pushing Chicago? The S&T is my hope but the only way that might happen is if a bawling Kiyan approaches his dad and says: “My friend Billy said you’re a loser because you’ve never won a championship.”

    150. lavor postell

      They can give up a 2nd first rounder for Melo in that deal. I doubt the Knicks even want Snell given we already have 4 shooting guards on our roster right now.

    151. Zanzibar

      They can give up a 2nd first rounder for Melo in that deal. I doubt the Knicks even want Snell given we already have 4 shooting guards on our roster right now.

      Chicago probably would give us another pick, but I didn’t include it because I wasn’t entirely sure. If S&T happens, we should be tanking this season for a high lottery pick. Knicks would have a team option on Snell so it wouldn’t hurt to play him (as well as Tyler/THJ/Early/Larkin, etc) to determine who are keepers. BTW if I were Chicago FO, I would have spent quite a bit of time on the S&T options so Melo understood them. I would have handed him a packet showing the various possibilities. Otherwise you might have CAA just feeding him misinformation to marginalize Chicago as a viable alternative.

    152. Donnie Walsh

      Anthony’s agents don’t care where he plays. They’re happy if he’s happy. (Their loyalty is not to Dolan).

    153. Alecto

      No idea how agents work, but do they get a cut commensurate to the contracts they help negotiate for their players? Or do they just get a flat fee? If the former, there’s a very clear incentive for them to get Melo the most money possible, location be damned.

    154. Zanzibar

      Anthony’s agents don’t care where he plays. They’re happy if he’s happy. (Their loyalty is not to Dolan).

      Don’t they make more money on a $129m contract than a 96m one?

    155. MKinLA

      Re Philly: Amare and Shump probably add a few wins (maybe more, if Amare is healthy). Why would Philly do anything besides tank one more year in hopes of adding yet another high-end rookie?

    156. Donnie Walsh

      there’s a very clear incentive for them to get Melo the most money possible, location be damned

      CAA is in the service industry. Their job is to make their clients happy. Especially the big names on their client list. If their clients feel manipulated and used, there are a hundred other agents to choose from. The difference in commission between $129 and $97 is less than the difference in commission between $97 and $0.

      CAA seems like this big evil empire, but they are staffed by humans and those humans rely on personal relationships to survive. Bryan Lourd, the head of CAA, is one of the nicest people I know here in LA. Their model, which made them the biggest agency in a very short amount of time, is to package their clients into the same projects (making them almost a studio in their own right). This works fine enough in the film industry because nobody is following who is attached to movies in development. But in the sports world, where roster development is ongoing season long and season to season, it becomes more complicated. CAA is relatively new to sports marketing, so there’s that too.

      But they would never force a client to do a project that the client doesn’t want to do (at least not without major concessions for the client (like when Spielberg had to agree to make Jurassic Park in exchange for getting Schindler’s List greenlit). But imagine if Scarlet Johanson’s agent made her do a porn movie because it paid more than Woody Allen’s fall project? She’d bolt for William Morris Endeavor in a heartbeat.

      Anthony is the same. If he’s happy, his agency is happy. If he wants to be in Chicago, his agents will do everything they can to facilitate it.

    157. MKinLA

      Further to my comment above re Philly tanking: Embiid is clearly sitting for the year (like Noel last year), so why on earth do anything but tank?

    158. Alecto

      Thanks Donnie, that makes a fair amount of sense.

      Re: Philly. I’m not sure why Philly would be interested in making a push for Stat unless they want Shump that badly. Perhaps they think Stat will be an injury risk or play at a subpar enough level that he won’t move the wins needle at all, in which case they get another guy to develop in Shumpert for little to no cost which would be a win for them.

      It seems like a fairly moderate-risk, moderate-reward bet, should there be an actual talk going on.

    159. lavor postell

      How many wins does STAT really improve them by? We already saw what Hinkie would do with any player that was remotely productive last season to ensure the tank, by dumping everybody for second round picks. Also STAT may not be all that great anymore but he’s a consummate professional and that’s a good thing to have around a young team that would be happy to get over 25 wins next year.

    160. lavor postell

      Oh and he’d also help them reach the salary floor and they could just fill out their roster with their 2nd rounders or any D-League guys that they want to give a chance too.

    161. Totes McGoats

      I’ve heard about the STAT to Philly link. Phil pulls it off..what would we get? I’m pretty sure that we’d hafta give up Shump and a pick for them to take that salary. Also..I see where Miami has agreed to terms with McBob and Granger. Scary team whether Bosh leaves and Melo replaces him or Bosh stays. Not much left on the market, but if they can get a C and a PF that can be tough in the paint and are taller than 6’8″ or bigger than Bosh, then they will have yet another special team. Of course, they are gonna need a young SG to spell Wade. LOL when I think about it, it looks like Riles and Phil are renewing their rivalry from when Riles was Knick coach- just in the FO this time. “oh..you wanna make your team look more enticing to Melo? Well I want him too, so lemme put shooters and ball movers on my team. Take that Phil!! Your move..we tryina get another ring…”

    162. Brian Cronin

      Oh and he’d also help them reach the salary floor and they could just fill out their roster with their 2nd rounders or any D-League guys that they want to give a chance too.

      Damn you, lp, I was just going to make that point! :)

      Yeah, STAT alone gets them to the floor, I think.

    163. Zanzibar

      Re: Philly. I’m not sure why Philly would be interested in making a push for Stat unless they want Shump that badly.

      76ers are sitting at about 30m in salary. In one fell swoop, Amare’s contract allows them to meet the CBA minimum salary requirement plus they pick up Shump who, it appears, the whole league covets. I’d rather Phil give them THJ, but they may only want Shump.

      UPDATED: Damn you, Cronin, I was looking up 76ers cap and typing when you made your post.

    164. lavor postell

      Damn you, lp, I was just going to make that point! :)

      Yeah, STAT alone gets them to the floor, I think.

      Great mind BC, great minds.

      I honestly don’t think he’ll have to give up Shump, which seems like it may be a sticking point. If he were to give them Larkin and a second rounder that would probably get it done. It’s really hard to say if any deal made with Philly to dump STAT would be worth it without seeing what Phil’s end game is in that scenario.

    165. Alecto

      Totally agree re: Phil’s endgame and Stat. I’d rather trade THJ than Shump if only because Shump can play defense which our team needs at this moment in time but I’m not too attached to either. I wouldn’t sign off on a Stat deal unless I could make a major coup this offseason.

    166. lavor postell

      @Alecto

      Exactly, which is why I’d hold off on making any assessments of such a trade were it to happen. This would be a move I’d fully expect to precede a much bigger move.

    167. hoolahoop

      Unless PJ is going to pull off some mega-trade to reap dividends for years to come, trading Amare, along with young talent, would be a big mistake. Aside from him coming off the books next year, I see him having a great season Just has to stay healthy. He has enormous pride and works extremely hard, and he’s working for his next contract. A lot of people here have counted him out, but he doesn’t see it that way.
      Amare is going to look something close to a max player this season. I’d hate to see him go.

    168. max fisher-cohen

      I agree about agents and CAA in one sense, @Donnie Walsh, but the bigger picture is that the more power an agency has, the more it can do for its clients and itself. What CAA has appeared to have been selling to players is the idea of family, which seems innocent enough, but it sometimes seems to me closer to a mob family than a happy family with a picket fence.

      From my perspective, CAA as a sports agency doesn’t just look to put its players in places where they’ll be happy. It preaches a sort of insularity and loyalty between itself and its clients so it can make things like moving Bargnani to NY happen. The more teams respect CAA’s power, the more they’ll be willing to do to accommodate them. THere’s a religious or maybe patriotic quality to it that IMO comes off as kind of dirty especially when it comes to these basketball players who maybe didn’t have the best upbringings and jsut flat out aren’t old enough to know what’s best for them (and I’m not saying I know better, just that they could figure it out better on with real support rather than high toned mantras).

      In short, they seem to use rhetoric to manipulate their clients, so yeah, maybe their guys buy into that rhetoric and give CAA their trust, but that doesn’t mean that CAA was the best route for player X to find the most happiness even if CAA ends up maximizing that player’s “options” (i.e. the options CAA pushes as best).

      I know i don’t really know what I’m talking about, but I do know that CAA tends to take over certain organizations (not just NY, MIA as well) and that their clients tend to do a lot of out of the blue talking about family in a way that reminds me of someone who’s found god… or is in the Mafia.

    169. Jack Bauer

      JK47
      July 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm
      Josh Smith is fucking terrible. If there is one strategy Jackson should pursue, it is the “not acquiring Josh Smith” strategy. I think Smith might actually be WORSE than Bargnani, because you can at least count on Bargnani to blow his elbow out 35 games into the season, thus resulting in ANYBODY ELSE getting into the lineup. Josh Smith is pretty durable, so you’re guaranteed 2500+ minutes of turbo suck.

      Now THAT is damn funny…..and right on point. “2500 + minutes of turbo suck” – Classic. NO JOSH SMITH – for god sakes we have enough under performers on horrible contracts!!

    170. Brian Cronin

      I also think it would be comical to acquire Josh Smith (in a bad way), but I do think that Josh Smith is better than, say, Bargs. Josh Smith is a lot like Anthony Randolph only better. He’s a guy who is great around the blocks but has such a low basketball IQ that he wants to play on the perimeter. And he is a malcontent. So yeah, in general, fuck that guy, but just like Anthony Randolph, he at least clearly has the ability to play well – he just is too dumb, basketball IQ-wise, to do what it takes to be good. There is little surprise that the best season in his career happened the season where he took pretty much no three-pointers. It is so obvious what he needs to do (and not do) to be good and yet he won’t do it. But if I had to pick, ignoring contracts, I’d prefer the guy who just needs to fix one easily fixable flaw in his game to a guy who needs to fix multiple flaws and/or hard to fix flaws (like “shoot better” it’s hard to make a guy shoot better – it’s really easy to just tell a guy “don’t shoot three pointers”).

      Of course, at the money he is making, Josh Smith might have the worst contract in sports the NBA, but I just wanted to speak up a little bit in Josh Smith’s favor.

    171. Donnie Walsh

      Max F.C.–

      Yeah, that’s kind of the CAA model– to keep it “within the family”. Kind of like the Mob. Or like the Bushes. Or like the Dolans. But at the root is their client’s best interests and not their own. Without their clients, they have nothing.

      When they package a movie, they attach CAA actors, and a CAA director, and CAA writers, and then make Warner Brothers or Sony pay for it. It is masterful– they basically pocket 20% of the above-the-line production costs. The clients don’t mind this, because it works in their favor. But it only works because they have the top talent. They need to keep their talent happy by putting them in situations where they aren’t going to be unhappy.

      For example, if an actress has a preschooler and wants to stay in LA, they won’t force them to go on location in Prague for a 9 month shoot.

      I think their problem (as you see it) is that they are new to the sports world, and they are pretty much just “doing what CAA does”, which is problematic in the more transparent arena of pro sports. Hollywood has two trade mags that few people who watch movies read. But pro sports teams have daily beat reporters for all the media outlets. So when the Knicks became a “CAA production”, it looked sinister when Mike Woodson fired his agent and switched to CAA. But really, that’s what any mid-level talent in Hollywood would do too, because nobody gets paid until the first day of production, and CAA gets projects out of development and into production. But sports are a constant production, so it looks awkward when the “family” rears it’s head.

      In Carmelo Anthony’s case, he’s not mid-level talent. He’s going to get offered $129 million from the Knicks whether he’s repped by CAA or by Broadway Danny Rose. He doesn’t need them to get rich. What he needs is people to do the negotiating for him because it’s awkward to negotiate for yourself when you feel guilty about what you want.

    172. DRed

      “The pie-in-the-sky scenario for Jackson is to trade both Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani’s expiring contracts as that would put the Knicks under the salary cap. However, a source familiar with Jackson’s thinking said he believes Bargnani could fit in well in the triangle offense because of his shooting ability. He also thinks Bargnani could excel since he’s in a contract year.”

      Oh hell naw

    173. lavor postell

      @DRed

      That sounds a lot like Phil using Berman to try and pump up Bargs’ non-existant trade value. He didn’t make his bones being one of the all-time great coaches by over valuing the Andrea Bargnanis of the world

      Of course, at the money he is making, Josh Smith might have the worst contract in sports

      A-Rod says hello

    174. lavor postell

      The Tigers might have a couple of the worst ones now too in both Verlander and Cabrera

    175. Brian Cronin

      Oops, I seriously didn’t mean to write sports there, as obviously there are a lot of bad ones out there in baseball since there’s no cap on spending. I meant to write basketball. It’s actually kind of weirding me out that I didn’t write basketball there, since that’s what I was thinking as I wrote it. Weeeird.

    176. Brian Cronin

      That sounds a lot like Phil using Berman to try and pump up Bargs’ non-existant trade value. He didn’t make his bones being one of the all-time great coaches by over valuing the Andrea Bargnanis of the world

      That’s the hopeful way of looking at things. This being the Knicks, though, “hopeful” doesn’t always follow here. ;)

    177. massive

      Meanwhile in Detroit, there are rumors coming out to the tune of “Greg Monroe will sign the 1 year QO and leave as a FA in 2015 if Josh Smith remains on the roster.” You’d have to think there’s some sort of legitimacy to that rumor because a 24 year old big man who averaged 15 and 9 last season should be able to find work, and he’s had seasons where he was 40 TS points more efficient than the trainwreck Detroit has become. He also averages from 2 to 3 assists a night. I think he’d be a good triangle big, so I’d like to see him sign that QO so we can target him next year.

    178. Brian Cronin

      While I agree that he’d be a nice piece, I also think that the more likely solution is that Detroit just trades Smith.

    179. steveoh

      At the very least, watching Riley sweat and squirm by toting McBob and a washed-up Granger as big signings to keep LeBron is a nice reward for the past couple of days.

    180. Farfa

      At the very least, watching Riley sweat and squirm by toting McBob and a washed-up Granger as big signings to keep LeBron is a nice reward for the past couple of days.

      Ha! And don’t forget the likely signing of Garrett Temple.

      While I agree that he’d be a nice piece, I also think that the more likely solution is that Detroit just trades Smith.

      I agree. Look, Smith is not at all untradeable. He has a bad contract and I wouldn’t want him on my team, but you just have to look at the contracts signed this week to see he’s gonna be tradeable. Smith for Frye + Gordon (I like Frye, but Orlando is going to regret giving him all that money for all that time; meanwhile, there you have a stretch four for Stan) in January? Or what if LeBron really goes to Cleveland and they need to add a piece in the next summer after falling short? Brendan Haywood non-guaranteed 10.5 million plus, don’t know, Carrick Felix for Smith? Or what about Brook Lopez for Smith, Billy King style?

    181. Farfa

      Meanwhile in Detroit, there are rumors coming out to the tune of “Greg Monroe will sign the 1 year QO and leave as a FA in 2015 if Josh Smith remains on the roster.”

      Greg Monroe is a guy who makes sense if we get Melo Mega Max and want to add someone by moving Stat and Bargnani. I think Detroit could decide not to match a 60mln/4yrs.

      But, full disclosure: I don’t want to tie my hands with unclear projects. Monroe has great offensive potential but I’m not sure I’d welcome him at that price, as he is a .100 WP48 player as of now (and is a middling defender at best).

    182. Brian Cronin

      Apparently a few teams out there think that Melo is holding out hope that Bosh somehow goes to Houston, in which case he could take Bosh’s place in Miami. The way that would work is that they would keep Lebron’s cap hold at $20 million, fill in the rest of the roster to get exactly to the cap and then go over to re-sign Lebron (as his cap hold is lower than what he would get under the max) so they would still be able to sign McRoberts and Granger with their exceptions. I believe that they can sign Melo to the max under that scenario. Unlikely to happen, but I could see Melo wanting to see what happens there first.

    183. Brian Cronin

      Something that I think people miss with regards to the Birdman is that he hasn’t been playing for Miami for so cheap because he couldn’t get more money elsewhere – he has been playing for them so cheaply because he was still getting paid by Denver, who amnestied him (moronically). The brilliant thing about this is that his cap hold is only based on his Miami salary, which was the vet minimum and not his actual salary last year, which was roughly $5 million. Since he has been in Miami for three seasons, they have his full Bird rights, so once they go over the cap, they can re-sign him to a nice deal for $4-5 million a year.

    184. Farfa

      Napier-Wade-Melo-LeBron-McRoberts. Brilliant offensive machine, but who’s gonna defend anyone apart from LeBron?

    185. Brian Cronin

      Birdman. Plus I imagine that they’d then fill out the rest of the team with vet minimum guys who can play defense.

      But yes, I agree that it is unlikely to happen.

    186. flossy

      Melo replacing Bosh in Miami is going to be a spectacular failure.

      The whole genius of Chris Bosh in that system was his ability to be a small-ball center and/or a stretch four who can a) space the floor, b) score very efficiently on a small (relative to his Toronto days) number of touches, and c) actually rebound and defend the rim at a level befitting a PF/C (even if Miami as a team just doesn’t try to get offensive rebounds).

      Is Melo going to play center? Is he going to reduce his usage by ten percentage points? Will he accept “super role player” status as Bosh did or insist that he needs his 20 FGA/game? How does getting Melo change the fact that Wade seems to be in the process of falling off a cliff? Is he supposed to replace both of them?

      If Pat Riley, Melo, LeBron or Miami fans think that swapping Chris Bosh and star-level Wade for Melo, McBob, and declining Wade is going to turn back the clock to 2012 or 2013, they’re in for a bad time.

      Which is fine, because I would like nothing more than to watch that experiment crash and burn.

    187. Z-man

      Regardless, it seems clear that Melo is waiting on a decision by Bosh, and possibly LeBron. Melo and LeBron to Miami is a clear possibility, and I can’t fault Melo’s team for waiting to see how that plays out.

      Re Shump, I am his biggest fan here, but in the right deal, trading him makes sense. Not sure what Gasol has left in the tank, but a relatively healthy and productive Gasol on a MLE deal is probably worth Amare and Shump. I still would like to see if the triangle and new coaching staff make any difference for Shump before including him in a trade, especially for question marks coming back. The guy is an elite defender and a decent spot-up shooter, just pretty terrible off the dribble for a guard.

    188. er

      @198 I’m not sure why ppl think Melo to mia would fail. Lebron would slide to his natural role as magic Johnson on roids. Melo would play the james worthy role and be the key shot taker, wade would be the super role player doing all the little shit. They just need another big besides birdmAn. Maybe package Norris cole+ picks for someone

    189. flossy

      @198 I’m not sure why ppl think Melo to mia would fail. Lebron would slide to his natural role as magic Johnson on roids. Melo would play the james worthy role and be the key shot taker, wade would be the super role player doing all the little shit. They just need another big besides birdmAn. Maybe package Norris cole+ picks for someone

      Uh, first of all, LBJ already plays the Power Magic position. If you watched the Finals, the prospect of Wade being “super” anything over the next 3 years is a joke. Chris Anderson is 36 years old, and has never been more than a 20 mpg energy guy anyway. If you think anyone is going to trade any kind of quality big man to Miami for Norris Cole and a low future first, you’re out of your mind.

      But probably most importantly, trading a PF/C who has superstar skills but has embraced a less glamorous role for the good of the team–playing exceptional defense, expanding his shooting range, significantly reducing his usage–with someone who needs to take 20 shots every night to be effective, plays so-so defense at best and can’t play center at all is just incredibly stupid. Miami got absolutely shredded on defense by San Antonio in the finals, so their solution is going to be replacing Chris Bosh with Carmelo Anthony? What a joke.

      If you told me Miami was going to place WADE with Melo and keep Bosh, now that would be a problem. Replacing Bosh with Melo and keeping Wade is a clear downgrade that will only get worse over time.

    190. Frank

      Yeah agree 100% with flossy. In their primes I’d rather have Melo than Bosh, but definitely not on a team that already has Lebron and Wade.

      Feeling more and more like the Knicks are a fallback option for Melo. Not exactly inspiring.

      That said – as someone who recently had to make a very tough career/life/move decision, there are always multiple factors and influences, and leaning one way or another wasn’t purely a reflection on the specific jobs in question. Took me a full 3 weeks to make a decision, and only ultimately made it because there was an actual deadline. So I semi-understand where Melo is coming from, just minus the $129MM part.

    191. Zanzibar

      @flossy Bron/Melo/Wade/Humphries/McRoberts/Anderson/Granger/Marion. Melo + Humphries > Bosh. I think more than anything else Bron wants a shot creator so he doesn’t have to be the only one in that role when Wade is out during the regular season. Being the only real shot creator last season mentally and physically exhausted him, probably leading him to believe it might shave a year or two off his prime.

    192. Frank

      @203 – where exactly are they going to get $ to pay Humphries and Marion? They’ve already used all their exceptions with the Granger and McBob signings.

      That’s the major problem with the Melo/Wade/Lebron plan. They’d be stuck only with veteran’s minimums.

      Humphries isn’t great but I’d assume someone would offer him more than the vet’s minimum. Marion certainly could get more than the vet’s minimum even from Dallas.

    193. Farfa

      Melo + Humphries > Bosh

      Maybe on offense. Defensively speaking, we know Melo and Humpries is just a good rebounder but can’t defend more than, say, Udonis Haslem.

      Anyway flossy hit the nail right in the head in saying that the issue is Wade. As long as Miami keeps Wade as a featured contributor they are going to have some problem in building the roster, because as talented as Wade is he’s just inches away from becoming a glorified Harold Miner. On the other hand, I don’t think Miami will let him go away unless he asks for that. So, unless Wade accepts a deal like 52mln/4yrs (highly unlikely) they’ll have some real problems in assembling a powerhouse again.

    194. Farfa

      And I think it’s unbelievable that Miami used the BAE on Granger. He will probably reinvent himself as a Battier-lite, but without his defensive skills and general basketball acumen. I like McRoberts but I don’t know if using the full MLE for him is a good idea. I certainly hope it is not, I don’t wish doom upon anyone but a Miami Heat selfcombustion would be a great thing to witness.

    195. Frank

      I actually think Wade is not done and will probably have a surprisingly good year next year – but only if he plays Manu Ginobili type minutes. He really needs to work on his 3 point shot this offseason. You can’t tell me a guy who’s a pretty good 18 foot shooter can’t step back 4 feet with an entire offseason’s worth of work.

      Speaking of – and I really hope he isn’t traded unless there is a really good reason to do so — why in the world hasn’t Amare become a 3 point shooter? He could lengthen his career and greatly improve his value if he could just be a league average 3 point shooter. I remember Chris Herring saying that he was literally the best long 2point shooter in the league if you aggregate some of the last few years together. Instead you hear him talking about working on his ball handling over the offseason. SMH.

    196. Zanzibar

      @203 – where exactly are they going to get $ to pay Humphries and Marion? They’ve already used all their exceptions with the Granger and McBob signings.

      S&T Cole/Napier or Cole/future pick Humphries. I believe that’s why Riley chose to operate like a capped team so he could use a S&T. Note Jordan Hill is an option also via S&T. They would be able to pay either 4m or maybe even 6m if Napier in deal. Marion may be a BAE or vet min player at this stage; very possible he would prefer Miami on 1.5m vet min to 2m BAE or even 3m mle.

    197. lavor postell

      100% agree with flossy. Even if Wade has a solid year offensively and Melo is satisfied spacing the floor for Wade and Bron that team is going to be terrible defensively. Anderson can’t play more than 15-20 minutes a night and he needs to be managed very carefully. The other issue is what’s their starting lineup? Cole/Wade/Bron/Melo/McBob? Do they start Anderson over McBob? Can McBob even play the 5 credibly and frankly is he even all that good? If Melo goes to Miami I still don’t think the East is a cakewalk for them without addressing their glaring lack of size and the fact that Melo only duplicates a skill for them with his scoring ability, but does little else to replace Bosh.

      At this point I’d rather this just ended one way or the other.

    198. Farfa

      why in the world hasn’t Amare become a 3 point shooter

      I actually remember him hitting a pair of threes in his first game after the 2011 lockout (BTW, did you notice this weird trend in every MDA team? For the first five-six games of the season the best offensive big in his roster starts firing threes – and sometimes hitting them – but after that they completely stop. Amar’e, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol this year…). So I think he’s already at least a 35% 3-pt shooter. I guess nobody asked him to play that role, or he doesn’t want to play like that. I certainly hope for his basketball IQ that it’s the former and not the latter.

    199. er

      @201 “Power Magic” is an awesome name. But he didnt have a reliable scorer with him. Bosh wasnt good at all, i think Ray Allen and Lewis were the next two guys. Defensively, i think the problems are being overstated. Remember Amare and Nash won 60 games with less d

    200. lavor postell

      And how many titles did Amar’e and Nash win playing less defense?

      The problem with Miami is they have no depth and while Bosh brought something different to the table from Lebron and Wade, Melo is a very duplicative player. He’s a great offensive player and can really space the floor for Wade and Bron but he’s not going to do anything but hurt them defensively, where they’re still weak.

      Cole + picks is a really unattractive package that is unlikely to land them anybody who would really move the needle for them. That’s essentially the package they were handing out during the draft in an attempt to move up to draft Shabazz and found no takers.

    201. Frank

      Cole + picks is a really unattractive package that is unlikely to land them anybody who would really move the needle for them. That’s essentially the package they were handing out during the draft in an attempt to move up to draft Shabazz and found no takers.

      Not to mention Boston (where Humphries played last year) already has 2 point guards who can’t shoot (Rondo and Smart) and 1 PG that can shoot but can’t pass (Bradley). It’s also hard to imagine Ainge facilitating a trade that would make Miami better unless the package is really outstanding.

    202. er

      –And how many titles did Amar’e and Nash win playing less defense

      Yea they were in the west and they dind have Lebron

    203. lavor postell

      Lebron by himself isn’t making you a top-level defense. We saw this last year in the Finals and throughout the season. Miami was 5th in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency. The marginal benefit of adding Melo offensively is outweighed by how much you will lose on the other end.

      Melo can’t play the 5 so you also lose the ability to pull the Hibberts of the world out of the paint. I honestly think if they replaced Bosh with Melo they’d still be a really good regular season team and fun to watch, but I could see both Indiana with Stephenson and Washington beating them in a playoff series.

    204. thenamestsam

      I think people are being awfully quick to write off Wade. He was really, really bad in the finals, but he was pretty damn good otherwise last year. He needs to work on his 3 point shot and he needs to get healthier, but he wasn’t really any worse in this year’s finals than Manu was in last year’s finals – and he’s still way younger. He’s not a max guy any more but people acting like he’s going to be some millstone that Lebron has to carry are being influenced way too much by the small sample of the finals in my opinion. He looked pretty good at times in the EC playoffs, and very good at times in the regular season. I wouldn’t write him off completely just yet.

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