Knicks Morning News (2017.03.27)

  • [NYPost] Knicks eye Carmelo Anthony replacement in March Madness
    (Sunday, March 26, 2017 8:07:38 PM)

    This is considered one of the best point-guard drafts in years, but that doesn’t mean the Knicks will wind up with one, according to an NBA source. If the tanking Knicks wind up with a top-six pick, as the odds now suggest, they haven’t ruled out passing on a point guard to take Josh Jackson,…

  • [NYPost] Phil’s Joakim Noah love blinded him from the tutor Knicks need
    (Sunday, March 26, 2017 10:15:00 AM)

    A free agent last summer, center Pau Gasol waited for a call from Knicks president Phil Jackson. Lakers president Jeanie Buss once told confidants Jackson considered Gasol his favorite Laker to coach. Obsessed with the younger, more defense-oriented Joakim Noah, Jackson had tunnel vision when it came to filling his center role. “No, no contact,”…

  • [NYTimes] Knicks’ Joakim Noah Suspended for Failing a Doping Test
    (Sunday, March 26, 2017 6:24:27 PM)

    Noah, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, was suspended for 20 games, starting with the first game he is physically able to play.

  • [NYDN] Porzingis, Hernangomez tandem best thing Knicks have going on now
    (Sunday, March 26, 2017 7:41:32 PM)

    If things work out the way the Knicks hope, these two Europeans will be tethered together for quite some time as a big men tandem.

  • [NY Newsday] Willy Hernangomez a work in progress on defensive end
    (Sunday, March 26, 2017 3:16:00 PM)

    Jazz center Rudy Gobert faced little resistance against the Knicks last Wednesday, dunking on them every chance he got. After one slam, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek screamed to Willy Hernangomez, “Foul him!”

  • [ESPN] Monday’s Knicks News: Hernangomez working to become a better defender
    (Monday, March 27, 2017 4:52:15 AM)

    Monday’s Knicks News: Hernangomez working to become a better defender

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    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).

    100 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.03.27)”

    1. Continuing the thread from yesterday:

      Assuming we don’t jump up into the top 3, I think the 1st 3 picks will go Fultz/Ball and either Tatum or Josh Jackson going to the Suns if they keep the 3rd pick.

      I think it’s highly likely we’re choosing between one of the SFs (Tatum/Jackson) and PGs (Fox/Smith/Ntilikina).

      I just want someone who plays and values defense. Show me Fox/Ntilikina/Josh Jackson and I will be happy.

      I’m intrigued by Dennis Smith but he is so small. He’s smaller than Kyle Lowry, and has a much shorter wingspan than Lillard. Hard to think of that many small PGs that are good-great on the defensive end. Really it comes down to Lowry and Chris Paul, and both came out of college with great defensive reputations, whereas Smith really doesn’t have that rep. I guess you could add Patrick Beverley too.

      Honestly though – I think we’re destined for Ntilikina if he’s there when we draft. Assuming his workouts and physical don’t show any surprises, and how poorly the Rose experiment worked out, I think Phil will try and stay away from hero-ball PGs and go Euro.

      So for me – any of Fox, Ntilikina, or Josh Jackson and I’ll be a happy Knicks fan.

    2. As I just noted, I would be fine with Ntilikina, but why do you think they are destined to pick him? Where they’re currently ranked, they’d have a chance to get Fox if they end up there.

    3. A couple reasons – 1) he’s bigger than Fox, and 2) he’s a better shooter than Fox.
      Phil loves big guards and they have to be able to shoot.
      Draft sites seem to think Ntilikina will measure 6’5″ with a 7′ wingspan. His shot has been on fire this season, and even the sites that are down on his offensive potential are fine projecting him as a guy who will be able to guard 3 positions well.

      Also – I think the Euro thing probably will play well with Phil. Gross generalization (or maybe not), but the Euro players literally come from a different culture and will not be as intrinsically resistant to a system they haven’t played before.

      That said, I know nothing about Fox’s coachability – he could be the greatest guy in the world and totally willing to do whatever.

      Honestly I’d be thrilled with either.

    4. I’m fine with Ntikilina too (although he has the biggest bust potential in this draft IMO) but if Phil really wants him, he should trade down and grab some value from other teams.

      Ntikilina may be the best player in the draft, but he is 8th-12th pick material. There is no way he goes ahead of Fultz, Ball, Jackson and Fox. And then you have guys like Tatum, Isaac and Monk who may be drafted before him.

      Time to be smart, Phil!

    5. If Phil loves Ntilikina, I think you just take him at whatever pick and not let DraftExpress determine value. The last thing you want is to lose a guy you because you’re trying to squeeze the last bit of value out. Sure, if we get up to #3 and we love Fox/Ntilikina/Josh Jackson equally, and Sac is willing to give us #6 and #8 to get to 3, then definitely do it. But the last thing you want is to blow a top pick by getting too cute.

    6. It’s just based on the DX videos and random YouTube highlights I’ve seen but I’m not so high on Ntilikina. He doesn’t have a quick first step, struggles to get to the rim against a set defense in the halfcourt, has a very basic handle at this stage and doesn’t explode vertically at the rim. He also struggles to create his own shot right now. His defensive potential is very good and he looks to have great lateral quickness, so he should be able to defend both guard spots and maybe some 3s as he fills out, but offensively I see his long term position as a 2 more than a PG. That could suit us just fine if we’re sticking with more Triangle and UCLA 2 guard fronts, but I don’t think we’d have addressed a need at PG if we select him. Defensively him and KP gives you great long term potential.

      Re: Smith – I actually think he’s becoming one of the more underrated prospects. He’s an athletic freak and from watching him I think some of his issues with shot selection and forcing up contested jumpers was the result of the rest of his team being awful. He embraces contact at the rim, can finish with both left and right and has good pull up from 3 and mid-range. He’s also extremely strong for his size. Like Frank noted, he’s small so he’s likely just a one position defender and his wingspan is probably only 6’4 or 6’5. He did average 1.94 steals per game, 2nd in the ACC this year. Also led the conference in assists, so he’s a more skilled and willing passer than he gets credit for and he rebounded very well for his position even though he’s more pint sized. I think his game and upside is most similar to Lillard or Kyrie.

    7. Yeah I prefer the trade down situation if we get #3. Give me Isaac/Frank then Doncic next year.

      @Lavor Agreed, long term I think he’s a SG but that’s fine if we can get Isaac as well.

    8. @kevin

      I’ll stick at 3 if Jackson is on the board. If not a trade down is cool, but only if Fox is still on the board and we net an additional first.

      I like Isaac a lot too. Him and Frank aren’t my favorite prospects that project to be available if we stick at 5-6, but they have the tools, defensive potential and upside that I can get behind that.

    9. I’d love to see us land Fox. I think the shot is a skill he can improve upon. I mean that corner three was insane. Plus it seems like he’s got a very good head on this shoulders and leaves it all out on the floor. Last night, dude was in tears.

      I think NY would love someone like him.

    10. I think some of his issues with shot selection and forcing up contested jumpers was the result of the rest of his team being awful

      this doesn’t bode well for his prospects on the Knicks.

    11. smith reminds me of derrick rose… both in good and bad ways… he wouldn’t be a bad pick since rose before he got hurt was a load and there’s opportunity for him to develop more into a true point with other players sharing the scoring load…

    12. Smith is like Rose but with an outside shot.
      Fox is like Rose but with much better defense but the same shot.
      Ntilikina is nothing like Rose.

    13. The Pistons game tonight in a must lose so start Melo and Rose, hide Willy and NDour, limit KP to guarding shooting guards, and by all means bring a blindfold to the game.

    14. I was about to say, we’ve been a bit frisky these last two games without Melo. Think we need him back in there. God damn it, there is no way we’re getting anything for this guy.

      Put me down as a Ntilikina skeptic. If he’s a SG longterm, and it seems that way given his meh assist numbers, all of the sudden his size isn’t much of an asset. He also barely ever gets to the line. The shooting and defense would definitely be nice to have and I won’t be too upset if he’s who we wind up with, but he’s solidly below Fox, Isaac, and probably Smith for me.

    15. A sf is the last position we should be drafting. We need a lead guard.

      Baker is the closest thing we have to that, and that’s not enough.

      We are not one player away

    16. Having not seen much of Ntilinka’s play it is hard for me to get on the bandwagon. Fox seems like a safer pick based on what I’ve seen. He’s a freshman with good size, looked engaged on defense from what I’ve seen, and appears to have a good attitude. He can learn to shoot.

    17. It seems like Fultz/Ball/Jackson are the consensus top 3.

      So, lets say we pick 4th or 5th….my question is, would you trade down, what would you want back, and would the other team do it?
      1. SAC will likely pick around 7th and 10th.
      2. Lets say Orlando picks right behind us, and then again at 25th.
      3. Portland will pick around 16th and 20th.
      4. The Lakers could keep their pick, and Philly could be right behind us

    18. I’m intrigued by Dennis Smith but he is so small. He’s smaller than Kyle Lowry, and has a much shorter wingspan than Lillard. Hard to think of that many small PGs that are good-great on the defensive end. Really it comes down to Lowry and Chris Paul, and both came out of college with great defensive reputations, whereas Smith really doesn’t have that rep. I guess you could add Patrick Beverley too.

      You could John Stockton to that list- one of the best defensive points of all time. I’m not concerned by his wingspan but I’m am concerned about his lateral movement which doesn’t look great. Shump was never the same after his ACL. Westbrook hasn’t played a lick of defense since his. Like Westbrook, it looks like he’s recovered his straight line burst and elevation but point guard defense is about moving your feet and getting over screens. Smith is just about two years post surgery- if he’s not moving well laterally now is he ever going to get that back?

    19. A sf is the last position we should be drafting. We need a lead guard.

      We actually NEED everything. We’re far away from relevance. We need to be drafting BPA.

    20. BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE

      Would anyone give up a top 5 pick for Schroeder and thier first?

      Why are people still advocating for trades where the Knicks give up assets to receive shitty players?

    21. Jowles what’s your lottery scratch off big board looking like

      Everyone should post theirs actually it’d be fun

    22. Put me in the not sold on Ntilikina camp. I think he has a pretty high bust potential and the fact that he is not putting up big numbers despite playing in a 2nd or 3rd tier European league is worrisome. It would be one thing if he was playing limited minutes for an ACB team but his level of competition is lower than the NCAA.

    23. Ntilikina over Fox makes zero sense to me. I think Fox is gonna be a very good NBA player, and a star if he ever learns to shoot.

    24. Yeah Schroeder looked like he could’ve been good but now with his increased usage he’s actually gotten worse so he’s no bueno.

    25. Reub, I say no. You want to start 2 rookies and then give the PG slot to two guys with like 700 combined minutes in the NBA?

    26. i would trade the pick to Minn for Rubio and their 1st before I would trade it to Atl for Schroeder and theirs. He’s going to make $16M next year.

    27. Schroeder is expensive, pretty bad, and looks a lot better than he actually is. Come to think of it, him being a Knick feels inevitable.

    28. Apparently Schroeder is a shitty player now

      Career

      TS% .516
      OBPM -0.6
      DBPM -1.7
      VORP -0.3
      WS/48 .059 (for a guy with a USG% of 27, awful)
      WP48 .008

      Yes, awful. Why not trade for him, since he starts making $15.5M through 2021 as of next year?

      Oh, but no, you’ve watched some game footage so you must really know what you’re talking about. Please, do tell me more.

    29. I’ll do my draft big board:
      1 Ball
      2 Fultz
      3 Isaac
      4 Fox
      5 Jackson
      6 Smith
      7 Ntilikina
      8 Tatum
      9 Bridges
      10 Monk

    30. 1. Ball
      2. Fultz
      3. Jackson
      4. Fox
      5. Smith
      6. Isaac
      7. Ntilikina
      8. Tatum
      9. Collins
      10. Bridges

    31. For me:

      1 Fultz
      2 Ball
      3 Jackson
      4 Fox
      5 Ntilikina
      6 Isaac
      7 Smith
      8 Tatum
      9 Bridges
      10 Monk

      RE: Ntilikina not putting great #s —
      a) lots of euro players who end up being very good don’t put up big numbers in Europe because European coaches don’t cater to the youngest players, even those with great ability.

      b) he’s the youngest player in the draft

      c) anytime he plays against his peers (the U18 this year AND last year when he was playing against guys a year older than him), he dominates them

      d) eye-test here: his jumper LOOKS pure, whether catch-and-shoot or off the dribble. Looks repeatable and legit.

    32. oh, and for once THCJ and I agree completely. Hard pass on trading our awesome pick for the Hawks’ crappy pick and distinctly average and expensive PG.

    33. he’s locked up for the next 4 years at $2MM per 10 games.

      ($2MM/year this year, then $15.5MM for each of the 4 following years, according to B-R)

    34. I’ll do the whole lottery:

      1. Ball
      2. Fultz
      3. Isaac
      4. Jackson
      5. Fox
      6. Smith
      7. Tatum
      8. Ntilikina
      9. Bridges
      10. Anunoby
      11. Monk
      12. Zach Collins
      13. Markkanen
      14. Hart

      I could go either way on Tatum vs Ntilikina, and would have no problem taking Fox over Jackson since Jackson seems like a scumbag.

    35. here’s what i have:
      1 – fultz
      2 – jackson
      3 – fox
      4 – tatum
      5 – smith
      6 – ball
      7 – isaac
      8 – zach collins
      9 – bridges
      10 – john collins

      i’m tempted to put zach collins in the top 5 because his numbers are pretty eyepopping and i think he would be in the discussion for #1 if it wasn’t so packed with great prospects… he probably would’ve been #2 in last year’s draft… he’s played low minutes and gonzaga hasn’t really played anyone good tho… he is a very skilled big man in the low post and he has some range and he did put up good numbers against arizona so i think he is for real….

    36. @44 I like your list because it would mean that we would end up with Ball.

    37. 1. Ball
      2. Fultz
      3. Jackson
      4. Fox
      5. Markannen
      6. Isaac
      7. Monk
      8. FRANK
      9. Dennis Smith
      10. Tatum?

    38. 1. Ball
      2. Fultz
      3. Jackson
      4. Fox
      5. Isaac
      6. Smith
      7. Frank
      8. Tatum
      9. Monk
      10. Markannen
      11. Bridges
      12. Collins
      13. Anunoby
      14. Giles

    39. I am with Frank. After watching this year’s NCAA competition I am very sure that Ntilikina could have acquitted himself as well as the higher ranked guards in this draft.

    40. markannen is about as surefire a bust as there is… low rebounding + low defensive #s for a big man = bust about 100% of the time… if you want your big man to shoot jumpers you don’t have to waste a lotto pick .. there’s dozens of them in the dleague and in europe for that…

    41. De’Aaron Fox reminds me of Walt Frazier. If god is done torturing us, please let him end up a Knicks some how some way.

    42. @51

      I don’t want Markannen on the Knicks unless we somehow got another late lottery pick, but you are grossly underselling his shooting ability. There might be dozens of big men in the dleague and Europe that can hit open jump-shots, but Markannen’s ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor, off screens and off 1-2 dribbles is uncanny for a guy that size.

      He shot 42% from 3 on 4.4 attempts per game this year. Blue-chip shooting ability means there is almost no chance he will bust. He’s not gonna become an all-star (probably), but quality rotation player is a likely outcome for him.

    43. De’Aaron Fox reminds me of Walt Frazier. If god is done torturing us, please let him end up a Knicks some how some way.

      For the record, this is based on advanced statistics such as style, swagger, coolness, and being southern.

    44. Markkanen may end up ok but we honestly need guys that can play on the defensive end of the floor as well as hit shots. If we get another lottery pick, I’d use it on another guard or whoever the best 2-way wing is at that point.

    45. there have been big men who can shoot before… and without being able to hold their own on the glass or the defensive end means they are usually relegated to the bench….

      shooting ability only gets you so far in this league… just like if you’re just a rebounder like reggie evans.. or just a defensive guy like pj tucker… or just shoot 3s like novak… if you can’t do multiple things well you’re just a specialist… and specialists don’t play too many minutes….

    46. Sure, so would I, mainly because our two best young players have pretty significant overlap with him in terms of position, skill-set or both. But if you’re looking at value, landing Markannen outside of the top-10 is hard to argue with.

    47. Career

      TS% .516
      OBPM -0.6
      DBPM -1.7
      VORP -0.3
      WS/48 .059 (for a guy with a USG% of 27, awful)
      WP48 .008

      Yes, awful. Why not trade for him, since he starts making $15.5M through 2021 as of next year?

      Oh, but no, you’ve watched some game footage so you must really know what you’re talking about. Please, do tell me more.

      Jesus…. these numbers make Noah’s signing look reasonable. At least when he does play he does some things well still and plays to a league average player.

    48. Markannen could be the greatest 6’11+ shooter of all time. His floor is a better Channing Frye, which for a non top 3 pick isn’t bad at all. And his upside is Dirk. He already has the elite shooting, and he very well could develop elite creation

      He is shooting 83.5% from the line. Big men just don’t do that. Check the list, check the history.

      He probably won’t ever be a positive defender but he could become competent. His feet aren’t too ridiculously heavy or slow

    49. Steve Novak averaged 4 rebounds in college, is only 6’10 and has feet made of lead. And he also stayed in college for 4 years. just a terrible comparison

      Lauri is a 7 footer who averages 7 rebounds a game.

      you are going to eat crow sir djphan

    50. Even Channing Frye had significantly better rebound and block numbers in college than Markkanen. It’s quite possible that Markkanen just doesn’t have the athleticism to stick as anything other than a fringe bench shooter. He definitely wouldn’t be the first NCAA player to post huge scoring numbers (both volume and efficiency) and not much else who mostly flamed out in the NBA. College scoring is just a really unreliable indicator of NBA success.

    51. look i’ve been wrong before.. i’m just saying guys like markannen usually bust… i wasn’t too high on kp coming into the draft before i knew he was 7ft 3 … and markannen is kinda like that except his reb is worse and he can’t really block shots… which makes him a lot like danny ferry or channing frye…

      the future isn’t written in stone but there’s a large tendency to overrate shooting ability… it’s a bonus more than something that should be a feature in a prospect… kaminsky was one of the best in college ball a couple years ago and he can’t really get off the bench in charlotte and he was much much better than markannen..

    52. Channing Frye also stayed all 4 years and wasn’t much of a shooter. 76% FT, and 26% from 3. And what is this significantly better rebound rate? wow 8 compared to 7

      And again, Kaminsky was a 4 year player! with much much worse percents. and it took him to senior year to average 1 more rebound than Laurie.

    53. This is my board for the Knicks
      1. Fultz (I think Ball will probably have the better career but Fultz is the safer pick)
      2. Ball
      3. Fox
      4. Jackson (Again Isaac might wind up better but Jackson is the safer pick because Isaac is SO thin)
      5. Isaac
      6. Frank
      7.Smith
      8. Monk
      9. Tatum
      10. Markkannen

      The actual board will no doubt look quite different since it’ll be a surprise if Fox goes before Jackson and Tatum most likely won’t last past 5.

    54. @64

      I agree completely, that’s my board as well.

      I might draft Markkanen ahead of Tatum and maybe, maybe Isaac over Jackson like you said, but overall I’d be happy with any of the top 6 guys, ok with Smith and a bit disappointed with anyone lower.

    55. My board:

      Ball
      Fultz
      Jackson
      Nnnntilikeeeeeeennna
      Fox
      Isaac
      Smith
      Tatum
      Monk
      Markkanen

      I could actually drop Fox a little lower because he’s a little one dimensional, but I won’t because I like him.

    56. When I first saw that video of Fox crying and hugging his teammate, I thought, “Hey, this guy really cares about basketball” and I wanted him on my team.

      But then I realized that he cares so much about basketball that he tries his literal hardest, and his literal hardest was not good enough to win in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, and really what I want is a guy who plays at 70% of his ability level so I can coach and motivate him to be the very best he can possibly be, so I decided that I don’t want the Knicks to draft him, because he is a loser at 100% capacity.

    57. I just want to say I wasn’t making my board based around the Knicks and their needs. Just a board ranking the prospects

    58. 1. Fultz
      2. Jackson
      3. Fox
      4. Tatum
      5. Ball
      6. Smith
      7. Isaac
      8. Monk
      9. Bridges
      10. Ntilikina

      Didn’t include Markkanen because I don’t think he should be of any interest to the Knicks. I have Bridges over Ntilikina, but I’d rather bet on Frank’s upside rather than Bridges safer, but lower end ceiling.

    59. I think this is right but I can’t help but think the Knicks are going to fuck it up and trade Willy for pennies on the dollar later down the line since they clearly intend for KP to be the starting center as soon as next year probably.

      He’ll be sent along with Noah so we can get out from under Joakim’s contract.

      Source: I’ve seen this play before

    60. A question for you guys. How much better would this team be if we bring back Rose but trade Melo while replacing him with Josh Jackson or Jonathon Isaac?

      Or just letting Austin Rivers play PG for us while drafting Jackson?

    61. A big game tonight against the Pistons. I hope that all the players are enjoying a huge, fatty meal right about now.

    62. Anything that includes Rose coming back would be the worst case scenario, so I would even rather Melo stays.

      Next year the Knicks need to at least try winning, we need to see what KP can do without all the stupidity and bad basketball around him for at least one season before facing the decision of giving him a large contract… getting Rose back under any sort of contract is directly detrimental to that plan.

      I would be fine with another terrible season as long as it gave us Doncic or Ayton, but it’s too much of a risk to intentionally go for that.

    63. A question for you guys. How much better would this team be if we bring back Rose but trade Melo while replacing him with Josh Jackson or Jonathon Isaac?

      Very marginally, if at all. Melo is probably close to a neutral player, most rookies are bad, and Derrick Rose sucks.

    64. I just noticed that we looked pretty good against the Spurs the other night with Rose but no Melo. Rose seemed very bouncy.

    65. just because i did such an awesome job predicting the knicks would go 47-35 this year…let’s see if i can get the 2017 nba draft completely wrong also – in my defense, all i know of college ball i’ve gotten from this site:

      1. ball
      2. jackson
      3. issac
      4. fultz
      5. fox
      6. tatum
      7. giles
      8. bridges
      9. ntilikina
      10. monk
      11. collins
      12. kennard
      13. smith
      14. leaf

      book it – not one of these picks will be correct…

    66. finally – begly says something i completely agree with:

      You have to feel for the die-hard Knicks fan, who has had to root for NYK to lose at the end of 2 of the last 3 seasons — with a 50-loss season sandwiched in between?.

      actually begly’s not all that bad…he’s just typically not very insightful or amusing…hey, maybe i could do his job…

    67. Begley is generally fine, but every Knick beat writer goes with the same flow… very little advanced analysis and a lot of snarky shit, criticism without much knowledge, catering to the casual fan…

    68. I think Markannen’s best comp is Ryan Anderson with worse rebounding. Peak Ryan Anderson was really good, so I imagine Markannen could be a rich man’s Jason Smith/a poor man’s Ryan Anderson, which is pretty decent. He could bust really hard, though, so I’d be very wary of picking him.

    69. @69

      What makes you skeptical of Ball? His shot? His mediocre penetration?

      And what entices you about Tatum? He seems like a decent volume scorer and adequate defender but doesn’t wow me in any way really beyond his polish (like Okafor in that respect, but better.)

    70. Big big game tonight. Detroit is beatable if we’re not careful. Need Rose to bring his A game (no D, no setting up teammates, lots of careless turnovers).

    71. I pray 4 teams are moronic enough to not pick Ball if we’re 5th overall. It will be a monumental mistake.

    72. I won’t even start speculating Ball would drop to our position in the draft because I don’t want to jinx it, it would be too good to be true.

      people are overrating the tournament again, and it would be nice to see the Knicks being the beneficiary of stupidity just once…

      seeing as it is the Knicks after all, Ball is probably dropping to the 5th spot while the Knicks are picking 6th, and he transforms the Sixers into a legit good team.

    73. Even worse would be Ball dropping to wherever the Knicks are and Phil passes on him. I think I would start weeping uncontrollably.

    74. Ball will probably be really good, but he has a lot of huge question marks, more than Fultz or Fox in my opinion. The only elite skill he has that I think smoothly transfers to the pros is his passing. He is a mediocre defender at the college level and will struggle in the pros, he has no mid range game at all, and I wonder if he’ll be able to get into the lane or shoot off the dribble against NBA defenders. That being said I would still take him top 3 or 4 but never over Fultz and I think him and Fox is a coin flip, though I lean towards Ball because I want great passing.

      My top 10:
      Fultz
      Issac
      Jackson
      Ball
      Fox
      Smith
      Tatum
      Monk
      Bridges
      Ntilikina

    75. i bet those beat writers absolutely hate phil…not really sure what’s “normal” communications for nba gm’s – seems a little odd though that other than jackie and lisa (i’m not sure if charlie really counts, that’s more in line with his tweets), he hasn’t really said much to the media the whole season…

      not quite sure how he’ll eventually respond to this season…probably a whole lot of ‘not really my fault’ and ‘shit happens’…

    76. the thing is, not playing in the tournament was the absolute best thing that could have happened to Fultz in this case… while Ball was submitted to weeks of heavy scrutiny and overreactions, Fultz was sitting pretty with the “his team is terrible” excuse and that’s it.

      I don’t usually agree with a Bill Simmons analysis, but I think he was spot on when he said that Ball is the only player in this draft that would instantly add something to any team in the NBA and make them better.

    77. Ball is an elite passer/rebounder/3 pt shooter at the point guard position. Even if you don’t believe his jumper will play at the NBA level, he can still excel as a spot up shooter. Basically his floor is Ricky Rubio without the great on the ball defense since he’s a very good help defender.

      Fox, on the other hand, has yet to prove he can consistently drain a college basketball 3 let alone an NBA three. He also has to prove he can muscle through physical defenders to drive at the basket and finish since that’s his only really effective offensive skill.

      To me, anyone rating Fox higher than Ball is falling in love with what they think he can become rather than what’s there.

    78. I know the NBA is a different game than college ball, but Lonzo’s production just can’t be ignored. His eFG% was friggin’ 66.8%. His TS% was .673. He’s a sick passer and an outstanding rebounder for a guard, and he also racked up almost 2 steals per game. You just can’t overlook that kind of production. He’s the #1 pick and anything else is overthinking it.

    79. The problem with Ball is he doesn’t score enough or in enough different ways. I think he will be a very good catch and shoot 3 point shooter and is great finishing on the break but in the NBA that will be the sum total of his offensive output. The fact that he shoots almost zero midrange jumpers, like less then 20 for the entire season, might help his shooting numbers but actually hurts his team. In the half court a PG that is no threat to score from midrange severely limits his ability on the pnr.

      I want my prospect to shoot more than five 2 pts shots per 40 minutes. I would still draft him 4th or 5th but I don’t see star when I look at him. I see Rubio with a catch and shoot jumper and worse defense. That’s great but with Fultz and Issac you get all-nba potential you don’t with Ball in my opinion.

    80. The funny thing about Jason Smith is that he may have been an okay NBA player if he had gotten on the stretch 4 train early and shot 5+ threes per 36. He is a very strong 46% from 16-23 in his career and this year in a too-small sample is shooting over 50pct from 3 in a career high in attempts. He’s a better defender than Ryan Anderson types and if he could shoot high 30s at that volume he goes from a mostly replacement level sometimes worse guy to pretty good.

    81. I’d take either Fultz or Ball and be happy. This debated seems like Who’s prettier Supermodel 1 or Supermodel 2?

    82. the problem with ball is that his scoring is lacking… scoring in volume matters in college for a prospect because it shows you can score in a variety of ways… he does everything else extremely well but he avg’s more 3pa than 2pa which might not be a red flag in and of itself… but when you see him play he’s not that good going to the basket… his ftr is pretty low also…. most of his efficiency stems from getting his buckets in transition… which i doubt continues…

      he’s smart and he knows his limitations and he can improve those things but not being able to drive to the basket in the half court is something that has sunk pg prospects in the past and it’s not an easy thing to develop… he has his shot.. he has size and athletic ability so he probably will be good enough at some basic level… his floor is pretty high imo as i think he could basically do what calderon does with better rebounding which is pretty valuable but not exactly all star caliber…

      his upside is muted if he has trouble creating shots for himself… dunn, smart, burke, payton and exum have all struggled mightily because of that and it’s affected their whole game… fox and smith don’t have that problem….

      all that being said.. he’s very unique and obviously very talented.. in the top 7 or 8 they are all like that and it’s not a huge difference either way…. having ball #2 i’m not going to argue too much with… but there are serious questions about his game including his defense which fox kind of exposed in their h2h… that trumps the questions that the others have….

    83. @91

      tell that to James Harden.

      only about 13% of all shots Harden takes are midrange jumpers, and that’s what a good primary ball handler in a well constructed offense should do.

    84. Ball’s worst case is 2012/13 Jason Kidd which is pretty good (as long as it’s regular season Kidd and not playoff Kidd) but not the best outcome for a #1 pick. Still, lots of #1 picks have had lower floors than that so I wouldn’t complain a bit if Phil took him #1.

    85. @95
      13% is still a lot higher than the like 2% of shots that Ball takes. It’s like djpham said his lack of volume and variety in scoring is a huge red flag that combined with his lack of defense gives him bigger red flags than just about anyone in the top 7. His truly elite passing and good size and rebounding make up for most of that which is why I still have him rated 4th or 5th but let’s not get blinded by his sky high TS% and forget why it’s so high. You can’t miss shots you don’t take and Ball is so passive offensively that he only takes shots that are sure things. I see him as a 12 pt 10 ast 5 reb guy. That is great but not a superstar.

    86. Ball is perfect for a modern NBA motion offense like the Spurs or GSW or, you know, the triangle, where point guard penetration isn’t essential to running an effective offense.

      Just sayin’.

    87. The problem with Ball is he doesn’t score enough or in enough different ways.

      Actually, that’s exactly the appeal of a player like Ball in today’s game. He’s an efficient, low usage player who generates tons of assists. You can count the number of NBA players who can fit that description on one hand. With a player like that a GM has the flexibility to load his team with any combination of defensive minded and offensive volume scoring players.

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