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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2017.05.26)

  • [NYTimes] Cleveland Cavaliers Make N.B.A. Finals as LeBron James Passes Michael Jordan
    (Friday, May 26, 2017 4:03:23 AM)

    James finished with 35 points, becoming the career playoff scoring leader, as Cleveland beat the Boston Celtics, 135-102, to win the series, 4-1.

  • [NYPost] Knicks legend: Phil Jackson didn’t give Carmelo right pieces
    (Friday, May 26, 2017 12:36:16 AM)

    Legendary guard Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, teammates with Phil Jackson on the Knicks’ last championship team in 1973, said the Knicks president hasn’t done enough to surround Carmelo Anthony with the right complementary parts. “I thought this team was going to be pretty good with Derrick Rose coming in and Courtney Lee, though I’m not…

  • [NYPost] Rick Pitino has the Knicks’ solution at point guard
    (Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:51:54 PM)

    Louisville coach Rick Pitino doesn’t like to hear draft analysts downplay 6-foot-3 Donovan Mitchell as an undersized shooting guard. That won’t be his position in the NBA. “Point guard is his natural position,’’ Pitino told The Post. “But because of Quentin Snider, who’s been around a while as a veteran, I played [Donovan] at the…

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks would do well with either Frank Ntilikina or Dennis Smith, says Fran Fraschilla
    (Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:10:12 PM)

    Fran Fraschilla has seen enough of French guard Frank Ntilikina in person and on television to believe he will make an impact in the NBA at some point. He feels the same about North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr.

  • [NY Newsday] Mike Crispino, Knicks’ radio play-by-play man, won’t return for 2017-18
    (Thursday, May 25, 2017 9:31:00 AM)

    Mike Crispino, the Knicks’ radio play-by-play man and a fill-in for television coverage, did not have his contract renewed after this past season, MSG Networks confirmed on Thursday.

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    86 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.05.26)

    1. Z-man

      Reposting on new thread…

      Willy is the kind of player you hope for with the #3 pick. Trading him after his demonstrated ability to score and rebound in the NBA would be absolutely foolish, even if he, like most rookies, looked lost on the defensive end. But it wasn’t Bargnani bad.

      He is productive right now. Why would you trade him for a possible bust?

      Probably because I’m less risk-averse than you (you have admitted to being incredibly risk averse.) . I see your point and it would be a tough decision, but with a draft this deep, I think foolish is too strong of a word. For example, I was more for drafting KP, the riskier pick, and you were more for drafting WCS, the safer pick. Not sure who will turn out to have the more “productive” NBA career yet, but there is no doubt that KP had immensely more trade value right now.

      Willy is an NBA player, no doubt. The question is, what is his ceiling? I think it’s backup C on a contender, starter on low-playoff/lottery team. Greg Monroe? Al Jefferson? That’s who I see in Willy, not Marc Gasol, who is MUCH bigger than WHG. In today’s NBA, perimeter players have much more value than post players, especially non-rim protectors. This is a very deep draft with possible 2-way stars at the top, especially PGs that are very difficult to come by in trades. It would be risky to trade a bird in the hand, but in this case not a terrible gamble.

    2. Accidentank 2017

      Also reposting:

      It appears that the Knicks have heavy interest in Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell, and that makes a ton of sense. He’s basically Malik Monk except he has a 6’10” wingspan and is a much better defender. Of course his coach is going to talk him up, but Pitino said he’s strictly a PG at the next level, and if the Knicks agree that’s a game changer for him. I have him rated ahead of Monk, and I see him the same way I see Frank N Tank (except Frank is at least 2 inches taller and he’s 2 years younger).

      Considering his 2 way upside, his work ethic, and his overall intelligence, I’d have no problem taking him at pick #8 depending on how the board fell. Having a 6’3? guy with a 6’10” wingspan at point guard goes a long way for our defense. I think he’d be a nice fit in our offense as well. Triangle or no triangle (since Derrick Rose didn’t pass out of P&R opportunities anyway), I think Mitchell fits what we want to do with his spot up shooting, handle, and ability to score in on or off ball situations.

      Watching his film, you see a little bit of D Wade in him in terms of his combination of athleticism and craftiness as a penetrator.

    3. Z-man

      The Celts had a good season and the future looks bright for them. However, they have lots of work to do to be a true contender. Are they going to overpay for Thomas and Bradley? Is Horford going to decline (he’s turning 31 next week and has had durability issues in the past.) Do they start trading young assets/draft picks and go into win-now mode?

      Man, I hate that team.

    4. Accidentank 2017

      Re: Willy Hernangomez vs the #3 pick in this draft:

      The number 3 pick has more upside, but Willy is our best rebounder and put up historic per 36 numbers for a rookie. Depending on which stat you adhere to, he’s already a good to great NBA basketball player and the #3 pick in any draft isn’t likely to be as productive as Hernangomez already was as a rookie. As soon as next season we could see Willy live up to his his 16 points and 13 rebounds per 36 full time. You’re not going to convince me that a rookie will for sure outplay his .123 WS/48 over 1324 minutes, especially when the rookie is going to cost more in the new CBA and could potentially suck.

    5. Z-man

      I agree that Willy is a very polished offensive player, but he is very limited defensively. He’s Al Jefferson at this point. That’s a very good player at #3 in a weak draft. But will he be better in 3 years than Isaac? or Josh Jackson? Or even Collins?

      I get not trading him, but look at it the other way. If we had the #3 pick in this draft and another team offered WHG for the pick, would you jump at the chance? I doubt that many GMs would.

      As to Mitchell, I looked at his DX analysis, and he seems like an Iman Shumpert-level player to me. I’d pass on him and take a big at #8. But he definitely has potential.

    6. Accidentank 2017

      The thing is Iman Shumpert couldn’t shoot at age 20 and Mitchell is already a capable shooter both off the catch and off the bounce. If Iman Shumpert was able to shoot and finish he’d have been an All Star.

      And I wouldn’t trade my pick for Willy Hernangomez if I had the #3 pick unless my franchise was just bad at drafting. I’d have faith in my team’s ability to pick a better player, but at the same time I think it’s counter productive to trade your good young players on excellent contracts for *potentially* better young players. Keep your good talent and add more good talent. I would definitely hesitate to move the future captain of the Spanish national team.

    7. Accidentank 2017

      Also, when looking at Donovan Mitchell I think it’s pretty important to note that his in conference TS% is a lot higher than his overall TS%. In the ACC this year (616 minutes of his 1098 minute sample this year), he posted a .580 TS% and a .546 eFG%. The ACC is widely regarded as the best conference in college basketball, and he played pretty well on both ends as an All-ACC guard and he was voted All-ACC 1st team defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if he rose into the top 10 picks in this year’s draft.

    8. King Induction

      This year’s #1, next year’s Nets pick, plus Brown for KP and our pick this year. Who says no?

    9. geehee

      Watched some clips of Donovan Mitchell and I have to say I’m impressed. I definitely like him over Monk, but maybe we should be moving back in the draft to select him? Its a tough call, he’s projected around the #11-12 position.

      Latest draft boards (top 10) I’ve stumbled upon:
      BleacherReport: Fultz, Ball, Tatum, Jackson, Fox, Markkanen, Monk, Ntilikina, Smith, Isaac
      Draft Express: Fultz, Ball, Jackson, Tatum, Fox, Monk, Isaac, Smith, Markkanen, Collins
      NBAdraft.net: Fultz, Ball, Jackson, Fox, Tatum, Isaac, Smith, Monk, Ntilikina, Collins
      AZCentral: Fultz, Ball, Fox, Jackson, Tatum, Markkanen, Isaac, Smith, Monk, Ntilikina

      It seems general consensus that top 5 are fultz, ball, jackson, tatum and fox in some order. Isaac and Monk are probably next . At least if Monk is gone, Phil can’t draft him.

    10. Totes McGoats

      I’d be happy with a trade down for Mitchell if it nets us another asset that the team can use this season- whether it’s another late 1st or early second, or a rotation piece. I would pick him over Smith Jr, but not at 8. DSJ shows natural defensive ability & IQ on that end, but the consistent effort isn’t there. Maybe it’s because his team relied so much on his offense. He doesn’t have the wingspan that Mitchell has so it kinda makes me wonder how good can he actually be defensively.He’s gonna hafta use his feet and lateral quickness more because of his shorter wingspan, and with his ACL injury- it concerns me. Derrick Rose has a similar build and defensive ability, but after his knee injuries he played less defense. He also had the same scoring responsibility DSJ has. So..yeah..I prefer Mitchell over DSJ- I just wouldn’t draft him at 8

    11. Z-man

      And I wouldn’t trade my pick for Willy Hernangomez if I had the #3 pick unless my franchise was just bad at drafting. I’d have faith in my team’s ability to pick a better player, but at the same time I think it’s counter productive to trade your good young players on excellent contracts for *potentially* better young players. Keep your good talent and add more good talent. I would definitely hesitate to move the future captain of the Spanish national team.

      I dunno, I’m seeing a contradiction here. You’re saying that you wouldn’t trade Willy for the #3 pick, but you also wouldn’t trade the #3 pick for Willy. At some point, the question boils down to: Is it better to have Willy or to have the #3 pick? I think it’s a very close call, but if the #3 was offered to me, I’d make the deal, and if I had the #3 pick, I wouldn’t trade it for Willy.

    12. Z-man

      I brought up Shumpert because he’s a lanky, athletic guard with decent but not great handle or passing skill who is a poor finisher, questionable decision-maker and streaky shooter. Mitchell is definitely a better shooter from 3 than Shump (but not great), and Shump is bigger and stronger and a better on-ball defender, but I think their careers will have a similar arc…a good 3rd or 4th guard on a contender, a starter on a lottery team.

    13. wetbandit

      Honestly, the draft is SUCH a crapshoot that I doubt anyone here knows wtf is going to happen with any of these guys. There’s a reason Westbrook, Harden, Curry didn’t go #1. We just don’t know. Which is why when you have a productive big with above-average numbers in the NBA in his rookie you don’t trade him. Unless it’s in a great trade that no one would offer anyway.

      I really don’t like Monk, but he could be Curry. I don’t like Dennis Smith but he could be Isaiah. And yes, I don’t like Markannen AT ALL but he could be Dirk (unlikely!!!). Tatum can be Pierce, and Jackson can be a SF version of Garnett. As you said, it’s all a matter of willingness to take on risk. We are in no position to be risk-averse. My list would run Fultz > Ball > Jackson > Fox > Isaac > Ntilikina > Smith > Monk > Mitchell > Tatum > Collins (BPA unless a center), but everyone after Fox can be interchanged and I wouldn’t cry about it- our scouts are that good.

    14. lavor postell

      Mitchell to me is going to be some cross between Eric Gordon and Marcus Smart. Not quite as good on O as Gordon or on D as Smart, but you get the idea. Just a solid well rounded combo guard that can run your offense in select stretches, preferably against reserve heavy units. Assuming Monk is off the board I’d take him over Smith or Frank at 8. I think his upside is being undersold because he struggled his freshman year and improved as a sophomore instead of coming in, like other freshmen, and producing off the bat. His improvement in a year’s time is impressive and he’s still young enough it wouldn’t concern me.

      Trading Willy is just not a good idea. I still don’t believe his defense was nearly as bad as is being made out by many. At the very least there aren’t any defensive metrics I’ve seen which paint him as a poor defender, which you’d expect to find if he’s as hopeless a cause as Kanter as many have made it seem and actually, rates out as fairly decent on that side of the ball last year. Additionally his passing as a roll man, from the top of the key and out of the post with his back to the basket is much more advanced than we were led to expect. If he gets a perimeter jumper and improves his decision making, 2 areas young players can reasonably be expected to improve, you have a frontcourt combination that pose a difficult challenge for opposing teams.

      What are KB’s thoughts on D’Angelo Russell? Magic certainly seems willing to deal. What kind of protected pick would you be willing to deal for him?

    15. wetbandit

      Lakers could use a guy like Lance, O’Quinn, or Lee to shore up their defense and teach the young’uns some professionalism and defense. :)

      They can have anything but firsts (maybe one, but heavily protected), KP, or Willy. We really need a PG.

    16. wetbandit

      BTW- Look at how sure we were of Russell, and how much we cried over losing out on him.

    17. DS

      This year’s #1, next year’s Nets pick, plus Brown for KP and our pick this year. Who says no?

      Danny Ainge.

    18. stratomatic

      Maybe we can trade down and come away with Donovan Mitchell and Justin Jackson. That would solve two problems.

    19. english_knick

      I think Russell would be a good get in the right deal – still tons of upside, can play on or off the ball and gives us more flex in the draft to go BPA even if that’s a wing.

      Does LA do Russell for Melo? Does Melo?

      Alternatively, if we absorb one of their terrible contracts (Deng, Moz) into our space, do they give us Russell for something less? I’d take one of those contracts if it got us Russell without giving up much else as we’re not going to get any value in FA for the next few years anyway…

    20. DS

      Does LA do Russell for Melo? Does Melo?

      I’d say that L.A. doesn’t do it, unfortunately. Why stunt Ingram’s growth? Maybe Ball and ‘Melo would get you in the playoff hunt soon and generate some buzz and ticket sales. But giving up Russell for that possibility wouldn’t be worth it.

    21. King Induction

      Danny Ainge.

      KP, minus Brown, plus our #8 and they’re a real contender next year.

    22. lavor postell

      I think LAL would do Melo for Deng and Russell. They’d still get to draft their PG of the future with Ball and they move a salary they really don’t want while landing Melo who probably makes them more attractive to PG next summer than DAR and Deng. Not sure Melo would do it, but maybe?

      Is getting Russell enough to take on Deng’s 3/$54m remaining to us? Not sure. I didn’t watch Russell enough this year to get a good idea of his game or progression he’s made since his rookie season.

    23. 2FOR18

      Oh man, it couldn’t get more knicksy than throwing out a starting lineup next year that included rose, Noah and Deng.
      No thank you.

    24. lavor postell

      I could care less about Deng’s contract if Russell is good. I don’t know whether he is or not, but if the Knicks are still high on him like they were pre-draft that’s a no brainer imo.

    25. Hubert

      I’d actually be willing to give up a decent piece like Hernangomez to move up to high enough to draft either Isaac or Fox.

      Y’all made excellent rebuttals to my proposal. I rescind my imaginary trade offer and recognize both the value of WHG and the persuasive power of the knickerblogger community.

      I submit plan B: I will build a time machine and smack Phil Jackson around so he doesn’t prioritize winning 4 meaningless basketball games down the stretch that padded his pathetic wins total at the expense of our future. Then we can choose between Isaac and Fox ourselves.

      PS – to everyone crapping on Monk, I maintain that we should be delighted if we can get a player of his caliber with the 8th pick in the draft. I’d be hesitant to choose him at 5 over the guys above, but at 8? We should be so lucky.

    26. djphan

      donovan mitchell is not good… i mean he can be ok in the way terry rozier is but they essentially had the same type of numbers in college… measure about the same also and they both struggle to score inside…

      that’s not deserving of the #8 pick…. at least in this draft…

    27. Accidentank 2017

      Terry Rozier had a .506 TS% overall with a .486 TS% in ACC play his sophomore year. Donovan Mitchell posted a .534 TS% overall with a .580 TS% in ACC play his sophomore year.

    28. djphan

      russell is def worth trying to grab… he hasn’t been all that great but he def shows a lot of nba skills… i think his problem is that he wants to be like curry jacking up a lot of 3s but if gets into the paint more… which he’s capable of.. then he should be a very good player…

    29. Donnie Walsh

      I think LAL would do Melo for Deng and Russell.

      This is a pretty realistic proposal, I think. Knicks should do it if Anthony would agree to it. The Lakers, though, said they are saving their salary for the summer of 2018, and the deal would cut about $3 mil into that, so they may value that $3 mil more than they value Anthony.

    30. djphan

      ts means nothing in college… esp with a low ftr… if rozier shot 3’s better then he would have virtually the same ts….

      what translates over is how well they do on 2p’ers… and they both were really bad… you can’t survive in the pros shooting badly from there… if you’re not getting to the line.. and just jacking up 3s you are insanely limited in how much you can contribute on the floor…

      that’s what baker is… he does some nice things but his offense is a huge drag.. which is ok for an end of bench guy that was undrafted.. it costs you nothing to see if he figures it out.. but for a lotto pick that is an insanely bad investment…

    31. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I would take Russell and Deng for Melo in a heartbeat. His first year he had to sit there while Kobe did his little farewell tour, which is toxic for any young player’s development. Plus, it helps our loss total the coming year.

      He wasn’t particularly good this year but like some other people have said he has legit NBA skills that could lead him to improve drastically. It seems to fit both of our MOs, as well, where Magic is looking to make a splash in free agency and to get out under the Deng contract and we’re looking for a PG so we can draft a wing to replace Melo.

      Donovan Mitchell is alright but his shot selection sucked and his 2pt% wasn’t much to write home about. You don’t take him 8, just like you don’t take JJ 8. And I think I’d rather trade down for JJ than for Donovan, but that’s a tougher call.

    32. 2FOR18

      So you guys don’t have an issue with paying 40 mil to Noah/Deng for the next 3 years? Am I wrong to be worried about that? I’d love to get Russell for melo, but that’s a lot of cap money to tie up in 2 washed up players for 3 years.

    33. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      BTW heard an insane stat from the Locked On Knicks podcast on De’Aaron:

      Fox was in the 75th percentile among ALL players in college basketball in shooting near the basket in halfcourt settings, and he shot around 60% at the rim–which is insane, given that in the context of this stat he’s competing against people 6-12 inches taller than he is. He was also in the 89% percentile in terms of runners and shot 48% on them, and that’s a really important shot in this day and age when you’re dealing with rim protectors like Gobert or our very own KP. He also shot 52% on *14.2* 2’s per 40! That’s the kind of shit you look for in a penetrating PG.

    34. swiftandabundant

      @ 34 – Sure that would suck but you’re collecting a very young asset who could turn into a good player that fits along KP and Willie H’s prime (and our draft picks prime too).

      We’re not competing this year and probably not next year either. This is the kind of move you make to build FOR THE FUTURE. You just gotta hope Noah and Deng can be of some value to you during the remainder of their contracts.

      I’d look for another piece along with Russell even if its just a couple of second round draft picks. I think you’re doing LA a pretty big favor giving them Melo for Deng. Melo is better and his contract expires earlier (and he’s more marketable). So I’d ask for Russell, Deng and maybe some second rounders thrown in there.

    35. djphan

      if that deal was on the table you should def take it… i highly doubt that it is…

      smith, russell, deng, wily and kp… totally onboard with that..

    36. thenoblefacehumper

      The Lakers could definitely fetch at least a first rounder for Russell if they were so inclined. Rob Pelinka seems like a smart guy (he’s probably doing way more of the basketball operations than Magic), so there’s no chance he’d trade Russell for Melo even if it meant getting rid of Deng.

      I’m a no on moving Hernangomez for any single draft pick. He is quite simply better than the vast majority of draft picks, including high ones. If we trade him for a pick we’re losing a productive young player for someone we hope becomes a productive young player. Hard pass.

    37. nicos

      I can’t see taking Donovan Mitchell over Smith Jr.- Smith had over double the assist rate (had more turnovers too though) and got to the line far more often. I know Mitchell can jump but does he have a first step? He didn’t get to the line a ton so I’d say that’s questionable. I’ve had my fill of combo guards running the point- running a lot of triangle sure didn’t help Galloway or Baker. If you want to trade down and get him along with another asset- fine. Mitchell over Frank might make sense but I think if you’re looking at all three as potential points then you have to take the guy who has shown actual point guard skills. I know Smith looks like the worst defender of the three but point guard defense is so reliant on bigs being able to hedge and recover right now I don’t think it makes as much of a difference as it might otherwise. As long as Smith shows he can move his feet I think he’s the clear choice of the three provided he’s even still available.

    38. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Mitchell is pretty much a two feet jumper, unlike Smith, and he doesn’t have a quick first step.

    39. english_knick

      Russell would net you a first, sure. But getting rid of Deng would cost you one… so net-net?

      In terms of the money tied up in Deng and Noah, I really don’t think it matters. We are not a destination for elite FAs right now, and we’ll only become one by building a promising young team through the draft. All cap space represents now is the chance to overpay mediocrity – I’d prefer we tie the money up through deals to take in promising young talent

      In any case, lee and Noah already take a ton of space in that period, and Melo currently is on the books for two of the three years. So what does it actually cost? Some flex for one summer…

    40. Frank

      Yeah I’d go Smith > Mitchell. Both have great steal rates and of course Mitchell is bigger, but I don’t think anyone thinks Mitchell has the offensive upside of Smith. And there are those who think that Smith is getting a bad rap re: his defense.

      I think with a top 8 pick we really should be drafting for upside. Ntilikina and Mitchell seem probably to have higher floors, but lower ceilings than Smith. I’d go Smith > Ntilikina > Mitchell.

      That said, I have a sneaking feeling that Smith will be gone by the time we draft.

    41. mase

      if smith ‘takes plays off’ of the defensive side i dont want him.

      Lakers wont give up russel to get get rid of deng; Magic would counter with Clarkson and deng for melo which i would do if they threw in their late first. would they do that?

    42. Accidentank 2017

      Smith Jr > Mitchell, Ntilikina > Monk >> Justin Jackson, who will be out of the NBA in 4 years.

      Donovan’s shot selection was definitely bad but he’s not Dwayne Bacon in terms of his mentality. The story is he asked Pitino what it would take to get him drafted, and Pitino told him he needed to put more arch in his jumper. Mitchell then came back this season and had a breakout year with a much more reliable jumper.

      I like the idea of a two way Eric Gordon in the triangle next to Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. I generally don’t like Louisville guard prospects but Mitchell is different. I love his upside as a two way guard prospect and he appears to have the IQ to thrive in the motion offense we will eventually be running. I fully expect that the top 7 picks will be Fultz, Ball, Smith Jr, Jackson, Fox, Tatum, and Isaac. That leaves us a top 5 of Monk, Markannen, Ntilikina, Mitchell, and Zach Collins. I think Mitchell might be the best of all of these guys.

    43. Hubert

      Fox was in the 75th percentile among ALL players in college basketball in shooting near the basket in halfcourt settings, and he shot around 60% at the rim–which is insane, given that in the context of this stat he’s competing against people 6-12 inches taller than he is. He was also in the 89% percentile in terms of runners and shot 48% on them, and that’s a really important shot in this day and age when you’re dealing with rim protectors like Gobert or our very own KP. He also shot 52% on *14.2* 2’s per 40! That’s the kind of shit you look for in a penetrating PG.

      Yeah, he’s probably going to be an all star for someone else.

    44. Hubert

      When you think about it, there’s no reason to think the Lakers would offer anything for Melo.

      I would happily take a flyer on Russell if we could get him, but they seem to think he’ll do better off the ball as a 2.

    45. DRed

      I woudn’t take Mitchell over Smith, but I do love players with freakishly long arms.

      Russell? His almost total lack of improvement from his first to second season is pretty worrying, and he turns the ball over way too much but sure, i’d trade Melo for him. Maybe he’d be better if you took the ball out of his hands some.

    46. JK47

      I watch the Lakers every now and then and I always come away unimpressed with D’Angelo Russell. He’s not an explosive athlete, he looked all season like he was out of shape and he has a passive attitude. He’s not completely devoid of skills but I just do not see a star player when I look at that guy. He just seems sort of soft all-around.

    47. djphan

      russell’s the perfect example of how bad your offense can be if you just jack up 3s and hardly get to the line… he showed improvement across the board except for his shot selection… which i think bodes well for him but he’ll never be any good unless he either starts hitting 3s like curry or lillard and/or get to the line…

    48. Donnie Walsh

      Lakers wont give up russel to get get rid of deng; Magic would counter with Clarkson and deng for melo which i would do if they threw in their late first. would they do that?

      Clarkson + Deng + #28 pick for Carmelo Anthony would actually free up almost $3,000,000 in space for them next summer. So, yeah, this could be a realistic package too.

      Clarkson isn’t worthless, but he’s not exactly going to pair with KP for a deep playoff run. And the #28 pick is arguably less valuable than the #31-#39 picks because of the guaranteed salary, so unless there is somebody the Knicks love at #28, the Laker deal is probably redundant. (I’d still do it, because I think diversifying that $30,000,000 into three players is better than the one declining player it is currently buying.)

    49. Accidentank 2017

      Lonzo and D’Angelo won’t be able to guard anyone but dammit if they won’t score points. Lonzo Ball improves everybody’s shot selection, so I would fully expect a good season from D’Angelo if he plays the two. They won’t stop anybody, but they’ll score points alright.

    50. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Lonzos not an *awful* defender but yeah he’s certainly not a stopper and not a plus on that end (though he should be in all honesty.)

    51. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      @50 The #28 pick would probably get you Thornwell, Swanigan, Hart, Frank Jackson or Ojeleye, so it’s a definite yes on that trade.

    52. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      My order of preference would be Smith, Monk and Ntilikina based on innate skills and the ability to do at least one thing in an elite fashion. But I wouldn’t rule out Collins or OG with Rubio out there for an acquisition and plenty of talented guards available in the 2nd round.

      I also like the fact that DSJr has an extra knee ligament!

    53. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Don’t leave out Collins and OG from the discussion. Collins could be the best player in the entire draft and OG is often compared to Kawhi.

    54. Accidentank 2017

      The Spurs are serious about wanting to sign CP3 and the Clippers are worried. Somebody is going to trade for Melo and we better be in a good position afterwards.

    55. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      @56
      I’m guessing that Melo will bring us Austin Rivers and a future pick. We need to prepare ourselves for that result.

    56. Cock Jowles, A Proven Scorer Who Is Worth All of His Max Contract

      There are also reports that Derrick Rose could become a Spur if Paul stays put, which is the dumbest rumor I’ve heard in years. Like, if you went back in time and told me “Phil Jackson signs the rotten husk of Joakim Noah for $72M over four years,” “The Knicks trade three players and three draft picks for Andrea Fucking Bargnani,” and “Derrick Rose signed by Spurs in free agency,” and said one of those was a fake headline, I would choose the Rose one.

    57. Cock Jowles, A Proven Scorer Who Is Worth All of His Max Contract

      OG is often compared to Kawhi

      Surprisingly, I’m not coming at you personally, because I know you’re stating a fact here, but here are some NBADraft.net comparisons over the years:

      Stromile Swift = NBA Comparison: Shawn Kemp
      Darius Miles = NBA Comparison: Tracy McGrady
      Marcus Fizer = NBA Comparison: Charles Barkley
      DeShawn Stevenson = NBA Comparison: Michael Jordan
      Kwame Brown = NBA Comparison: Kevin Garnett
      Tyson Chandler = NBA Comparison: Rasheed Wallace
      Pau Gasol = NBA Comparison: Toni Kukoc
      Eddy Curry = NBA Comparison: Shaq
      Mike Dunleavy = NBA Comparison: Larry Bird
      Amar’e Stoudemire = NBA Comparison: Ben Wallace (ahahahahaha)
      LeBron James = NBA Comparison: Magic Johnson (surprisingly good, had to include it)
      Dwight Howard = NBA Comparison: Kwame Brown (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    58. JK47

      I tried googling PAWS40 and couldn’t find anything. Who are the hot shit PAWS40 guys in this year’s draft? I’m guessing Zach Collins probably does pretty well in that metric, with the .700 TS% and the 13.6 rebounds per 40 and all.

    59. Donnie Walsh

      OG is often compared to Kawhi

      Surprisingly, I’m not coming at you personally, because I know you’re stating a fact here, but here are some NBADraft.net comparisons over the years:

      And Kahwi, himself, was NBADraft.net compared to Luc Mbah a Moute when he was profiled in 2011.

    60. yellowboy90

      You know all this time I thought Reub was kidding about Smith Jr having and extra ligament in his knee. Wow, who knew that he was one of the only 20% of humans that have an extra ligament in his knee and why didn’t people say this was the reason Peterson came back so fast. How many athletes have been “conned” into thinking that they could come back like Peterson did? lol.

    61. Cock Jowles, A Proven Scorer Who Is Worth All of His Max Contract

      I tried googling PAWS40 and couldn’t find anything.

      Side note: BoxScoreGeeks has reached critical mass of uselessness. I realize they’re a bunch of data nerds doing this as a hobby, but the analysis is pure shit and they rarely write any analysis worth reading. Berri did a much better job of trying to bring Four Factors into the basketball discussion, but that was a vehicle attached to his own professional development (aka selling books).

      It’s nice to have the WP48 numbers (RAPM be damned) but not having playoff sortables or PoP numbers for individual game analysis is lame, and their draft analysis used to be one of the more fun analytics-oriented articles of the year. Lots of surprising stuff, given that the pre-draft lottery pick hype-trains tend to create their own momentum and not let up for years after the picks finally take the floor.

      I’d like to see Jordan Bell in the 2nd round, but I don’t think he’ll be there when the Knicks pick. I could see him being a Spur or Dub.

    62. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      @63 I never kid about our beloved Knicks or my taxes. Well, maybe a little.

    63. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      I could be wrong but I seem to recall that The Ringer compared OG to Kawhi also. Anyway, he plays like Kawhi in the 2 minutes of highlight video I’ve seen of him.

    64. stratomatic

      The Knicks are so obviously 2-3 years away from being really good I’d be willing to sign off on Melo for Deng and Russell. Deng is not a good value and won’t be part of the future, but he can still play a little and has experience that may help some of the kids. I’d be willing to live with a few years of him to take a stab with Russell. Russell clearly has some skills. He just needs to improve his shot and shot selection a little more. He very young. I thought he looked pretty good in stretches late last year.

    65. JK47

      Side note: BoxScoreGeeks has reached critical mass of uselessness.

      Yeah, I don’t ever really visit BoxScoreGeeks except to look up WP48 numbers. Baseball has the great FanGraphs and the NFL has the excellent ProFootballFocus but there’s not really an NBA equivalent to those sites.

    66. Brian Cronin

      The Knicks are so obviously 2-3 years away from being really good I’d be willing to sign off on Melo for Deng and Russell. Deng is not a good value and won’t be part of the future, but he can still play a little and has experience that may help some of the kids. I’d be willing to live with a few years of him to take a stab with Russell. Russell clearly has some skills. He just needs to improve his shot and shot selection a little more. He very young. I thought he looked pretty good in stretches late last year.

      I’d be overjoyed with that deal, but I don’t think the Lakers are that desperate to dump Deng.

    67. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      This team has only 3 untouchables:

      3) WillyBilly
      2) The Angry Unicorn
      1) Sasha

    68. stratomatic

      This team has only 3 untouchables:

      3) WillyBilly
      2) The Angry Unicorn
      1) Sasha

      4) Rambis

    69. lavor postell

      There are times I watch Billy and KP and think to myself that Billy’s ceiling isn’t as high, but that he has a much better chance of reaching it.

    70. stratomatic

      There are times I watch Billy and KP and think to myself that Billy’s ceiling isn’t as high, but that he has a much better chance of reaching it.

      I agree.

      The things WH has to improve are the same things most young players have to improve (shooting range, reducing turnovers, defense). I would be shocked if he doesn’t improve at least 2 of 3 of those and he may improve all 3.

      The things KP has to improve are rebounding, post play, getting stronger without losing much athleticism, shot selection, and staying healthy. He will almost certainly improve his shot selection, but rebounding is not something young players tend to get better at. Players tend to lose athleticism and rebound less. He will certainly gain weight and get stronger, but I think he lost a step of athleticism last year with the added weight. He’ll probably get better in the post, but that’s not something you can count on. Hopefully he’ll remain healthy and give us 75+ games, but that’s not necessarily something you can work on.

      It’s easy to visualize KP improving his shot selection and shooting, rebounding, and becoming a 25 and 10 guy with a TS% near 60% playing 75-80 games . But it also easy to visualize a 20 and 7 guy with a TS% of 55% playing 60-70 games.

      With Willy, he’s going to get better in a few ways almost for certain.

    71. DRed

      He will almost certainly improve his shot selection, but rebounding is not something young players tend to get better at. Players tend to lose athleticism and rebound less. He will certainly gain weight and get stronger, but I think he lost a step of athleticism last year with the added weight.

      I looked at the careers of 4 terrific big men who came into the league young to see when they peaked as rebounders:

      Tyson Chandler-32
      Kevin Garnett-28
      Dirk-23
      Durant-28

      I found an old basketball prospectus article by Kevin Pelton that took at look at rebounding and age and found that “[d]efensive rebounding follows a pretty predictable trend. Players improve the most when they are young, peak at approximately age 29 and decline from there. Offensive rebounding is different. Look at the blue dots in the lower left corner of the graph. Even very, very young players are expected to get worse on the offensive glass. Why? My presumption is that as they expand their game and add range, they are pulled away from the basket and spend less time securing second chances. (I’m open to other theories, if you have them.) Lo and behold, if you look strictly at last year’s leaders in defensive rebounding, you’ll find guys like Kevin Garnett, Troy Murphy and Rasheed Wallace whose games have drifted toward the perimeter as they have aged.”

      So I’d say there is still hope Kristaps can improve a bit on the glass. If he just winds up rebounding like Nowitzki that’s not the end of the world either.

    72. Owen

      I find it amazing that Kennedy Meeks isn’t going to get drafted apparently. I bet he latches on and has a very solid career as a bench big.

    73. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      He’s right up Phil’s alley and I wouldn’t be surprised if we snatched him up immediately after the draft like we did with Ron last year.

      It’s absurd that he’s not getting drafted.

    74. Accidentank 2017

      Kristaps Porzingis never has to develop a post game. Ever. Having a post game isn’t as important as crashing the offensive glass, finishing P&R opportunities, and killing defenses from 3. Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire didn’t have Post games but that didn’t stop them from being excellent players in their prime years.

      KP does have to get stronger and he does have to become a better rebounder, but rebounds to me aren’t what they used to be in today’s NBA. I mean, Ty Lawson had a double digit rebound game this year. It feels to me that if we stick KP at the 5 full time he would have no problem grabbing 10-12 a game. He’s taller than everyone and doesn’t like the soft Euro label.

      I firmly believe Kristaps Porzingis will be fine. Grab a Lamar Odom/Rashard Lewis type and let Willy Hernangomez be Andrew Bynum. Once the Knicks find a stretch 4 worth 28-32 minutes a night, we’ll have the 96 front court minutes accounted for over the next 10-12 years. Nobody gets overworked and everybody is happy.

    75. stratomatic

      Kristaps Porzingis never has to develop a post game. Ever.

      Smart teams were putting strong small guys on him. He couldn’t guard them on the perimeter because they were too quick for him and he couldn’t punish them back on the inside because he was too weak and had no moves other than fading away taking a bad shot. They’ll keep doing that until the downside of doing it is greater than the upside. If he had a few moves inside and was stronger, he could eliminate some of the those bad match ups that drag him outside.

      Of all the things he needs to work on this summer, I would rate that as #1. It’s not that I want him to post up. I want him to have it in the arsenal to get away from the match ups that get him into trouble.

    76. Accidentank 2017

      Theoretically all KP has to do when Marcus Smart is guarding him is turn around and shoot the ball. I was very upset when he didn’t just use his height to his advantage. Adding strength is important; Marcus Smart is a bully and strength is what he does. If KP gets stronger that’s not the same issue it was last year.

    77. KnickfaninNJ

      I think all the proposed Laker trades are unrealistic. Melo wanted LA because of his wife’s career, but now she’s unlikely to go there if he does. And they are clearly not a contender, so Melo won’t want to play for them. The Knicks have shown unwillingness to take on salary and the Lakers’ strategy is to rebuild. So the Knicks won’t want Deng, and the Lakers won’t trade Russell, a 21 year old who still has a lot of potential.

      The Lakers are much more likely to trade Clarkson. His stats are basically the same as Russels, but he is 24. I think he’d be useful to us, but I see no reasonable trade. So my expectation is no deal with the Lakers.

    78. KnickfaninNJ

      To continue, the best we could do.might be something like Kuz and a second round pick for Clarkson. I would do this if we manage to get point guard in the draft. We would give up cap space, but we would have veteran point guard and a young one with potential. The Lakers would gain cap space and Kuz.

    79. Accidentank 2017

      Melo to San Antonio or LAC is what I’m hoping for. Mostly San Antonio because I’d like to see Melo actually play for a championship team, but Chris Paul’s movements might go a long way in determining what happens with Melo.

      Melo damn sure won’t be a Laker.

    80. KnickfaninNJ

      I stand by my prediction of Melo going to Boston, Atlanta or Miami, but if he goes to San Antonio, I’ll be happy for him. And he might win a ring too. If he goes to the Clippers, I will wish him well, but it’s hard to understand what sort of team he will be playing with. If they gave us the next two first round pick unprotected that they are able to give, I would be very happy with that, but I don’t think they will do that. Even if they are willing to give picks, it’s going to be hard for them to make a reasonable deal and keep their key players, since they are well over the cap.

    81. Frank

      Smart teams were putting strong small guys on him. He couldn’t guard them on the perimeter because they were too quick for him and he couldn’t punish them back on the inside because he was too weak and had no moves other than fading away taking a bad shot. They’ll keep doing that until the downside of doing it is greater than the upside. If he had a few moves inside and was stronger, he could eliminate some of the those bad match ups that drag him outside.

      Of all the things he needs to work on this summer, I would rate that as #1. It’s not that I want him to post up. I want him to have it in the arsenal to get away from the match ups that get him into trouble.

      I agree with this 1000%. Especially until the Knicks find a better PG for a PNP with KP, teams will continue to guard him with a small, and switch the PNR. I truly hope that KP spends a good amount of time with Dirk this offseason — Dirk had similar problems with teams guarding him with wings until he finally learned he could just shoot over them, either with a simple turnaround or the 1 foot stepback. There was that SI article from a few years back which suggested that Don Nelson’s strategy was that on PNRs, they would have Dirk just set the pick much lower, like around the FT line or a little higher, so that when the switch happened and Dirk had the small on him, he’d basically just be shooting a free throw. I’ve linked to this article before and if anyone hasn’t read it, it’s def worth the read.

      Seems like if we had a smart coaching staff, we would see how Dallas constructed their offense back in the day to make Dirk unstoppable. But of course our coaching staff is going to be busy cramming for Triangle 101 rather than tailoring the offense to the talent we actually have.

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