Knicks Morning News (2015.09.23)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Five things to watch during Knicks training camp (Wed, 23 Sep 2015 06:00:37 EST)

    Five things to watch during Knicks training camp

  • [New York Times] Balanced Lynx Top Parker, Sparks to Advance to West Finals (Wed, 23 Sep 2015 04:30:41 GMT)

    Through injuries, trades and upheaval, the Minnesota Lynx have struggled at times to find their footing this season.

  • [New York Times] Liberty 79, Mystics 74: Liberty Advance to Conference Finals (Wed, 23 Sep 2015 02:55:03 GMT)

    The reserves Sugar Rodgers and Candice Wiggins spurred a 15-0 second-quarter run to lead the Liberty past the Washington Mystics.

  • [New York Times] Charles, Liberty Beat Mystics 79-74 to Reach East Finals (Wed, 23 Sep 2015 02:39:59 GMT)

    Tina Charles and the New York Liberty are headed to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in five years thanks to a strong effort from Sugar Rodgers and the reserves.

  • Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    58 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.09.23)”

    1. Sooooo…Anthony Bennett’s reportedly getting bought out. He’s only 22, is a former #1, and played really really well for Team Canada this summer. Is he a good fit at PF for this roster? At least to compete with Williams, with the loser being let go or traded?

    2. Yeah, Anthony Bennett is not likely to turn into a productive player. But he’s probably got a better chance than Lance Thomas because of his age, so if the money is the same, why not?

    3. Herring tweeting that the Knicks had 11 players on the team last season that are in the bottom 100 of ESPN’s player rankings. I have some issues with the ranking system (Langston Galloway is not only one player better than Cleanthony Early, for instance), but it’s still pretty funny.

    4. I just ran the Knicks through my basketball model and I came up with 30 wins without assigning any value to Grant, Porzingas, and any potential improvement from Galloway. I was hoping it looked better than that.

    5. That’s about what my gut was telling me, strat, so your model seems pretty accurate. The way I look at it, last season was a poor team with a lot of downside risk and much less upside. Last year the best case was that all the injury prone older guys stayed healthy, and triangle magic worked on all our inconsistent veterans and they had career years. This season, we have a poor team with much more upside. We’ve got a bunch of young players who aren’t likely to be very good, but maybe they’ll surprise us. So, the likely result is we muddle our way to a low 30ish win total, which sucks, but it means we’re in a lot more games than we were last year and because we have developing talent (at least hopefully) the games will be more interesting than watching and hoping JR goes on one of his hot streaks.

    6. I just ran the Knicks through my basketball model and I came up with 30 wins without assigning any value to Grant, Porzingas, and any potential improvement from Galloway. I was hoping it looked better than that.

      I dunno, 30 wins with nothing from those two guys means you have a legit shot at adding some wins, no?

    7. I dunno, 30 wins with nothing from those two guys means you have a legit shot at adding some wins, no?

      I don’t have any insights into how to value rookies.

      Some of the very young ones that turn out to be top players don’t add much their first year but then start exploding in year 2 and 3. Others contribute right away. It gives us something to root for.

    8. Herring tweeting that the Knicks had 11 players on the team last season that are in the bottom 100 of ESPN’s player rankings. I have some issues with the ranking system (Langston Galloway is not only one player better than Cleanthony Early, for instance), but it’s still pretty funny.

      The ranking system this year seems kind of dumb, as opposed to just giving each player a score out of 10 (or whatever they previously did). All I know is that if Early is ranked higher than Calderon, you’re probably doing something wrong. I mean it does take in last years numbers, but even Calderon’s banged up numbers are better than Early’s. Even outside of the Knicks, there are key roation guys that are barely out ranking end of the bench garbage time guys. Bah! I don’t even know any more……

    9. I’m not a fan of bringing Bennett in, we’re pretty good at that position and don’t need another distraction.

      Can’t wait to see these guys play. Last year, I was cautiously pessimistic until I saw us play the Bucks on October 22, then I wrote this:

      “My concern with this team is that we don’t have enough players with 2-way skill, size and what I’ll call “youthful athleticism” to match up with the many young athletic teams. I fear we’re gonna lose a lot of games to non-playoff teams like the Celtics and Bucks, not to mention the athletic playoff-caliber teams that seem to be a thing now. The only true 2-way skilled athletes we have are Melo (and he’s not really an up-tempo player any more) Shump, and JR (and those 2 are flawed.) Maybe Hardaway, although his D is inexplicably bad for a young, smart, athletic player.
      The rest are either slow (Jason, Dalembert) undersized (Larkin, Acy) raw (Early, Larkin, Acy, Cole) not physically/mentally capable of defending their position (Calderon, Prigioni, Amare) or just suck (Bargnani, Outlaw).

      We’re not looking good right now. And I’m usually the optimist around here.”

      This year, I’m cautiously optimistic, and hopefully will have a more rosy outlook once we have something real to talk about.

    10. I’d take Bennett if we could then turn around and trade to upgrade at the guard position. Is that a possibility?

      I mean, if he plays well during the season, sure. But not right now. Right now any team that wants him can sign him. No one is going to trade a player for him when they can just sign him outright.

    11. We just managed to get rid of one No.1 bust, why do we want to take another one on?

      He definitely looks like he has improved, and given a good opportunity could potentially become a solid role player. However, he should get that somewhere else other than NY. We already have one PF/C prospect to look after.

    12. Yeah, Anthony Bennett is not likely to turn into a productive player. But he’s probably got a better chance than Lance Thomas because of his age, so if the money is the same, why not?

      The point of having Thomas is to have an end of the bench guy who does not complain about having minutes, plays hard every time he is on the court, and will be a training body that knows the system.

      No way Jackson paid him more than the minimum to be cut and bring someone who will be discontent if he does not have playing time.

    13. Why are we always so eager to take the garbage thrown out by other teams?

      It seems like *any* player (no matter how terrible) has some sort of “upside” and represents a “low-risk/high reward move” by virtue of being useless and available. Not only are we certified losers, we’ve become bottom-feeders and masters of the absurd: these ‘investment opportunities’ are clearly ‘high risk’ (odds are the guy will not work out) and ‘low reward’ (if the player could actually produce at any semi-decent level, he would not be released so easily).

    14. I haven’t followed or watched Bennett at all so I have no personal opinion about him as a player. However, I read Zach Lowe’s article about him yesterday and here’s what jumped out at me — he described a typical Bennett possession as one in which he gets the ball with 15 seconds left on the shot clock, immediately launches a contested long 2 and then, when it inevitably misses badly, he jogs back while everyone on the other team beats him down court. If that is in any way accurate, I hope that the Knicks stay as far away from this guy as possible. I really don’t feel like watching any more guys who act like they don’t give a crap.

    15. Not only are we certified losers, we’ve become bottom-feeders and masters of the absurd: these ‘investment opportunities’ are clearly ‘high risk’ (odds are the guy will not work out) and ‘low reward’ (if the player could actually produce at any semi-decent level, he would not be released so easily).

      I mean, I could put together a list of cheap young guys I’d rather spend a million or so on than Anthony Bennett. but if it’s Anthony Bennett or Sasha Vujacic-why not Bennett?

    16. but if it’s Anthony Bennett or Sasha Vujacic-why not Bennett?

      Because Phil’s softest spot is reserved for a bad player with nice hair. Or no hair at all.

    17. I mean, I could put together a list of cheap young guys I’d rather spend a million or so on than Anthony Bennett. but if it’s Anthony Bennett or Sasha Vujacic-why not Bennett?

      Because Vujacic has actually played thousands of somewhat productive NBA minutes, and is a career 37% 3-point shooter. Bennett has not even come close, and it is extremely unlikely that he ever will. It’s hard to be a worse bust #1 pick than Bargnani, but Bennett has managed to do just that.

      I mean, why would a young, on-the-rise team cut bait on a 22yo owed $12 million if he had any potential whatsoever? If he had any trade value at all in this generous cap environment, he could have been sent packing with something like a 2nd round pick as sweetener. Minny obviously didn’t want his presence fouling the air on day 1 of training camp. I mean, it’s shocking that we’re even talking about him.

    18. I mean, why would a young, on-the-rise team cut bait on a 22yo owed $12 million if he had any potential whatsoever?

      The team that gave away a first round pick for Thad Young right before they finished with the worst record in the NBA?

      More seriously, Anthony Bennett has sucked. But he’s only 22, he sucked much less his second season than his first, and the main reason he sucks because he takes really stupid shots. That is, at least theoretically, fixable. If he shot more from inside, and shot more from 3 (with a slight increase in 3pt shooting, he’d be an adequate player at least on offense) Sasha Vujacic is 31 and hasn’t been a good NBA player since he was 25. The Knicks are going to be bad this year, and we need to get lucky on some dice rolls if we’re going to turn into a contender (short of duping some suckers to trade for Melo).

    19. Vuj is a player who fills a position of need. He knows the system and has had success in it on a championship team. He has a legit NBA skill. If he sucks, cut him. If someone in the d-league looks better, cut him. It’s a far better gamble than a guy who does nothing well relative to the abundance of other guys in camp at the PF position: Pozingis, Seraphin, O ‘Quinn, Williams, Atkins and Melo. Even Hernangomez would be better than him on day 1 if he was available. Bennett has even less upside than Alex Kirk!

      DRed, you and Jowles are normally on the same page, what happened?

    20. Thad Young is a good player, Anthony Bennett is a bad player. Which one do you want? It depends on money and team situation. Thad is good, but Minnesota didn’t need a good player. They need players who are going to be good in 2-3 years. Thad now makes 12 million a year, and Minny let him go. They traded a first round pick for absolutely nothing.

      I wouldn’t want Bennett on his rookie deal, because he would still be getting decent cash and he’s a bad player. But for a million with, say, a team option for another year or two? When you’re as bad as the Knicks are likely to be next year, why not? If Sasha plays well and Bennett keeps sucking, maybe the Knicks win 2 more games next season. So what?

    21. I wouldn’t want Bennett on his rookie deal, because he would still be getting decent cash and he’s a bad player. But for a million with, say, a team option for another year or two? When you’re as bad as the Knicks are likely to be next year, why not? If Sasha plays well and Bennett keeps sucking, maybe the Knicks win 2 more games next season. So what?

      This is the only reason to do it. Maybe you can get him to break 46% TS in his third season, and maybe he ends up averaging 20 PPG and the Kings trade a couple 2nd-rounders for him. That would be a win. But for those thinking he’s going to end up a decent player? Nah. Dude got drafted for resembling Larry Johnson.

    22. Yea..I’m not a fan of Bennett either, that’s why I suggested bringing him in to compete with Williams. Both guys are young, former #1’s. If the team could get anything positive out of either one, it’d be a bonus, no? But if you asked me to pick between the 2, I’d probably go with Williams. He seems to not go crazy on the court and try and do too much a lot less than Bennett. Plus, there has never been complaints of Williams being horribly out of shape. With that said, I would be ok with Phil inking him to a low risk deal to see if he’s ready to be a real NBA player. Bennett has practically ruined his rep, so he probably can be had for cheap- like a make good deal. If Phil was to bring him in, both he and Williams can’t stay on the roster. No way those 2 should be taking away from obvious better fits like KP or O’Quinn. However, if Bennett can sustain his Team Canada play, I would like to have that guy.

    23. Can anyone think of an example where a so-called “reclamation project” panned out, i.e. a high draft pick who was written off as a bust has a rebirth later in his career and becomes a good NBA player?

      I can’t think of any.

    24. Can anyone think of an example where a so-called “reclamation project” panned out, i.e. a high draft pick who was written off as a bust has a rebirth later in his career and becomes a good NBA player?

      Talk to Billy King when the upcoming season is over. Around April 1st of next year.

    25. Can anyone think of an example where a so-called “reclamation project” panned out, i.e. a high draft pick who was written off as a bust has a rebirth later in his career and becomes a good NBA player?

      I can’t think of any.

      Billups?

    26. They essentially traded Miami’s top-10 protected pick for Young. Miami was #10 in this year’s lottery, and will probably at best result in a late-teen’s pick next year. Then they traded Young for Garnett. So, to be accurate, they didn’t trade the pick for nothing. They just didn’t get as much value as they might have gotten for it.

      Garnett, while not being good value for Young or a #1 pick on paper, is a perfect fit for the T’Wolves current team…a world-class leader and winner and consummate pro (albeit a total a-hole) who will probably be the face of that franchise going forward. He gives them immediate credibility and a mentor for their highly regarded #1 pick and other promising young players.

      Minny is finally on the right track, and dumping Bennett without even trying to seduce a dumb GM with the inclusion of a 2nd round pick or something speaks to how terrible he is and how little potential he has.

    27. Can anyone think of an example where a so-called “reclamation project” panned out, i.e. a high draft pick who was written off as a bust has a rebirth later in his career and becomes a good NBA player?

      I can’t think of any.

      It’s a good question, and one I enjoyed thinking about.

      The aforementioned Billups and Jason Terry both come to mind, but none of them really bottomed out as a player.

      Mike Dunleavy couldn’t put the ball in the ocean for four years at Golden State and turned out to be decent.

      Is Sebastian Telfair good now (I hear people say he is, but I don’t believe them)? If so, he might count.

      Maybe you can squeeze Tyson Chandler into the equation. They thought he was a bust, signed Ben Wallace to huge deal to replace him, and then salary-dumped him on New Orleans. But honestly that might have just been stupid. The league wasn’t quite ready to appreciate all the things he did great when he was on the Bulls.

    28. Also important to note in this conversation that we’re only talking about a guy who has been in the league two years. Just last summer, the bust word got thrown around plenty with regards to Tristan Thompson on this very website. Now he’s going to get the max or something darn close to it.

      We’re not talking about whether a guy with a long established track record of being bad can suddenly become good. He’s only 22, his first season was completely marred by injury. He has been absolutely awful, but we’re talking about 1500 NBA minutes for two incompetent organizations. It’s an incredibly small sample, which is something you’d think the so-called “box score geeks” might care about.

    29. Half the time these guys who “turn it around” really just keep being themselves they just stop being on shitty teams.

      Or it’s just expectations. You bring a guy in to save your team, you can’t you think he sucks. You bring him in to be your 6th man, he does the same stuff, he’s great.

      Jason Terry and Mike Dunleavy are two guys who, for whatever reason, could not shoot on their original teams and shot much better later on.

      But rarely does a guy suck (like Bennett, or Beasley) and then stop sucking.

    30. Barring a miracle, Bennett is never going to come close to justifying being the number 1 pick. But again, you don’t look for guys who were busts and then managed to restart their career later. He’s 22-he hasn’t had time to bust yet. I looked at the players since 1990 who played 500+ minutes in their age 21 season and put a sub .040 WS (Anthony put up a .017 last year). There aren’t any superstars in the bunch, but there are useful players like Metta World Peace, Donny Marshal, Kenny Anderson, Boris Diaw, Brandon Knight. Bennett was bad last year, but he was bad in the way a lot of decent NBA players are when they’re 21. He was incredibly awful when he was 20, and that, and his draft slot are what drives the perception of him as an all time disaster.

    31. Barring a miracle, Bennett is never going to come close to justifying being the number 1 pick. But again, you don’t look for guys who were busts and then managed to restart their career later. He’s 22-he hasn’t had time to bust yet. I looked at the players since 1990 who played 500+ minutes in their age 21 season and put a sub .040 WS (Anthony put up a .017 last year). There aren’t any superstars in the bunch, but there are useful players like Metta World Peace, Donny Marshal, Kenny Anderson, Boris Diaw, Brandon Knight. Bennett was bad last year, but he was bad in the way a lot of decent NBA players are when they’re 21. He was incredibly awful when he was 20, and that, and his draft slot are what drives the perception of him as an all time disaster.

      Well researched and well stated. I’d just add that your population for this study is slightly depressed by the fact that lots of 21 year-olds who will someday turn out to be solid NBA players aren’t even in the NBA. A lot of them are in college, and a good number of those would have stunk up the league, but for the fact that they weren’t good enough in college in previous years to even get the chance.

      Bennett would have been just a junior at UNLV last year if he’d stayed in school. He’s still looking to start his career, not resurrect it.

    32. Garnett, while not being good value for Young or a #1 pick on paper

      You don’t say? KG was a free agent this off season. The T-Wolves turned a first round pick into 98 minutes of Kevin Garnett in a season where they won 16 games. They’re one of the most consistently incompetent franchises in the NBA

    33. I don’t even know what kind of player Anthony Bennett is supposed to be. In addition to being just sort of bad overall, he is also a tweener– smallish for a power forward and a “meh” rebounder, but not a good enough shooter or slasher to play small forward. He’s a plus athlete so maybe he could make a decent small-ball 4 if he really put his mind to becoming a physical defender, but a recurring knack on Bennett is that his defensive game is soft despite his strength and athletic ability, and that he’s not really willing to bang in the paint.

      I dunno, I can’t really see much of a player in there.

    34. smallish for a power forward

      In today’s NBA I really don’t think 6’8″, with a wide body and a long wingspan (7’1″) could be considered small at all for PF.

    35. Wouldn’t it make sense to take a chance on him? Isn’t this what rebuilding teams do? Then possibly trade Early or TA with a Calderon for a better guard?

    36. Wouldn’t it make sense to take a chance on him? Isn’t this what rebuilding teams do? Then possibly trade Early or TA with a Calderon for a better guard like Rubio?

    37. They were, but aren’t necessarily any more. They have a good young roster and lots of draft picks. If they wanted to sacrifice one middling first-round pick to get Garnett on board early so that he could help make decisions on personnel based on first-hand experience, that’s small potatoes.

      The Clippers were horrible for decades and now they’re a perennial winner. Do you still question every decision they make based on their sordid past?

    38. “I dunno, I can’t really see much of a player in there.”

      More importantly, Flip and KG don’t see much of a player in there. Maybe he makes sense for another team, but not for us, since we have 7 guys at the PF position in camp, including 5 guys 25yo or less: Porzingis, Seraphin, O’Quinn, Williams, and Atkins.

    39. Could they sign and stash him with the Westchester Knicks for a while? That would give him a chance to rebuild his confidence and recalibrate everyone’s expectations of him. He’d have to earn his way back onto a roster- Knicks or elsewhere. Seems very low risk if that were possible.

    40. “In today’s NBA I really don’t think 6’8?, with a wide body and a long wingspan (7’1?) could be considered small at all for PF.”
      This past season, he played 37% of his minutes at center and the rest at PF. He played 0 minutes as a small forward.

    41. Could they sign and stash him with the Westchester Knicks for a while? That would give him a chance to rebuild his confidence and recalibrate everyone’s expectations of him. He’d have to earn his way back onto a roster- Knicks or elsewhere. Seems very low risk if that were possible.

      Yes and no. Yes, they could do it, but no, they couldn’t because he’s getting cut from Minnesota specifically due to playing time issues – they have too many good young big men, so there’s no room for him. They know he’ll be unhappy, so they’re just cutting bait on him (and crossing their fingers that a team way under the cap like Portland might actually pick him up on waivers). So he’s not going to sign with another team to go play in the D-League.

    42. If they wanted to sacrifice one middling first-round pick to get Garnett on board early so that he could help make decisions on personnel based on first-hand experience, that’s small potatoes.

      It was a terrible trade, small potatoes or not. They dealt a first round pick that only barely missed being a #11 pick this year (and is unprotected in 2017 if the Heat somehow land in the top ten this year again) for one year of a player when they were going to be bad with or without him. They then dealt him for a guy they could have just signed this offseason. How is “getting KG a little bit earlier” worth a first round draft pick that will likely be in the teens in 2016?

    43. You would think Knicks fans of all people would have a solid grasp on the concept that effectively lighting first round picks on fire with justifications like “Oh it probably won’t be that high of a pick anyway” isn’t the greatest team building philosophy.

    44. Well, they got Young for the pick, which isn’t a deal I would have made but I don’t think it was a terrible deal, certainly not in the class with our wonderful Bargnani trade. It’s probably less than 50-50 that a guy drafted after #10 in a given draft is better than Thaddeus Young.

      The trade for Garnett is also one I wouldn’t have made, but if they really wanted Garnett in the fold to evaluate the roster before the end of the season, and that was the price for doing it, so be it. They have lots of picks and lots of young, promising assets, so whatever.

      Was Ainge dumb for offering 4 #1 picks for the rights to draft Justice Winslow? He’s supposedly a pretty smart guy.

      Was Cleveland dumb for trading two #1 picks for Timofey Mozgov?

    45. Was Ainge dumb for offering 4 #1 picks for the rights to draft Justice Winslow? He’s supposedly a pretty smart guy.

      Was Cleveland dumb for trading two #1 picks for Timofey Mozgov?

      How are either of those deals comparable at all to the Thaddeus Young deal? That’s like saying, “Were the Clippers dumb for giving up a first round pick for Chris Paul?” That’s how little those two deals have in common with the Thaddeus Young deal. One was a young playoff team trying to bundle a pile of lower-level draft picks to acquire one high-level draft pick (and seeing as how the pick they were looking to get was only a couple of picks off from where the Thaddeus Young pick easily could have turned out to be, #9 versus #11, it just shows you how the Miami pick was a valuable asset) and the other was a win-now championship contender without a center trading for a good center who fits perfectly with their system and personnel and was signed for one more season on top of the year that they got him.

      In other words, absolutely nothing like a rebuilding team trading a valuable draft pick for one year of a veteran role player (a good veteran role player, to be sure – I like Thaddeus Young, but he is just not what a rebuilding team should be trading valuable draft picks for). Even if Draft Pick X is not necessarily better than Thaddeus Young, Draft Pick X with his X years of team control (I actually forget offhand how long players are controlled by teams – five years, right?) certainly fits in a whole lot better than “One year removed from free agency veteran role player Thaddeus Young.”

    46. I’d be okay signing Anthony Bennett in the place of some current Knicks. That says more about the current Knicks than it does about Bennett.

    47. Can anyone think of an example where a so-called “reclamation project” panned out, i.e. a high draft pick who was written off as a bust has a rebirth later in his career and becomes a good NBA player?

      I can’t think of any.

      Marcus Camby comes to mind. He was the #2 pick, terrible in Toronto, dumped for an over the hill vet, and turned into one of the most unique players of his generation.

      Rasheed Wallace, too, was pretty bad to start out and was given up on, but it’s not like he was dumped for nothing. WAS got value for him.

      Others high draft picks dumped before their prime are Darius Miles, Joe Smith, Shawn Bradley, and Drew Gooden, but it’s not like any of them became stars or anything. Just put together a few good seasons.

      But, yeah, about 95% of high picks that stink out of the gate never stop stinking. So I’ll go ahead and bet against A Bennett.

    48. It’s kind of crazy how obvious it was, in retrospect, that Oakley’s 1997-98 season was his one final hurrah. That Toronto gave up Camby for him was ludicrous.

    Comments are closed.