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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.06.15)

  • [SNY Knicks] UNC’s Justin Jackson: Knicks’ workout ‘more mental than physical’
    (Wednesday, June 14, 2017 10:44:48 AM)

    North Carolina’s top scoring threat, Justin Jackson, said his workout with the Knicks Tuesday was entirely different than the rest he has participated in, per NY Post’s Marc Berman.

  • [NYDN] Astros-Red Sox series could feature Derek Fisher vs. Matt Barnes
    (Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:37:57 PM)

    Derek Fisher and Matt Barnes could come face to face this weekend…on the baseball diamond?

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ other Carmelo option if Jackson can’t pull off trade
    (Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:26:39 AM)

    It’s a last resort, but if Knicks president Phil Jackson can’t find a trade partner suitable for Carmelo Anthony’s approval, the Zen Master always can go stretch. Stretch, as in stretch provision. The new collective bargaining agreement, which kicks in July 1, still contains the stretch provision clause, which few teams ever use. The clause…

  • [NYPost] ‘Most famous Latvian in the world’ out of hiding for documentary
    (Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:24:27 PM)

    Tucked away in his European homeland for the offseason, Kristaps Porzingis will be back in United States living rooms June 25, when ESPN airs an E-60 documentary on the Latvian’s life. Jeremy Schaap is host and traveled last June to the seacoast village of Liepaja to spend time with Porzingis, his brothers and his parents….

  • [NYPost] J.R. Smith starts stumping for Carmelo trade to Cavs
    (Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:21:10 AM)

    J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony reunited on a third different NBA team? Smith seems to be in favor, judging by his Instagram activity.

  • [NYTimes] W.N.B.A. Players Union Leader Takes a Thoughtful Approach
    (Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:00:32 PM)

    Players say Nneka Ogwumike, who ran uncontested, takes notes first, and takes action later.

  • 143 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.06.15)

    1. KnickfaninNJ

      The Dunc’dOn podcast has an interesting breakdown of Ntikilina. They make him sound like a quality player in several years, but not a star. Of course, thats a normal outcome for a number eight pick, but of course I’m hoping for better

    2. Philmelo

      I will take a bunch of drafts that give us quality players to surround KP with in this rebuild. That’s how you build a respectable contender that star FAs would want to join.

    3. Accidentank 2017

      Ending up with Monk and Jackson wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I’m not sure if Monk has the IQ to play in the triangle, but I guess it’s worth a shot. I think he turns out to be worse than Mitchell, Kennard, and Ntilikina though, and those guys are the next three guards off the board.

    4. Philmelo

      The more I think about it the more Philly should buck the expert draft boards and trade down to take Monk and Isaac. Both would perfectly round out their starting five to compliment Embiid and Simmons.

    5. lavor postell

      Other than the Kings where’s the trade down for Philly happening and the Kings need to wake up and realize that it’s very likely Fox is on the board at 5 for them regardless and that without their 2019 pick they shouldn’t be sacrificing 10 to move up anyways. Also if Philly wants Isaac it seems that they need to stand pat to do so, assuming Isaac has a promise from Phoenix which would explain why he’s not working out for any teams picking after 4. What trade down even exists where they could get both Monk and Isaac?

    6. Frank

      If Philly is trading down for Isaac and Monk, we should totally also trade down for Fultz and Ball.

    7. Frank

      Re: that Monk article – at the end of the day, there are very few players that Phil could reasonably pick that I would really be unhappy with. Like in Chad Ford’s “tiers” article, there are probably about 9 players in this draft that I think will end up being solid starters, if not stars. That’s all we can reasonably ask for with the 8th pick.

      Fultz, Ball, Jackson, Tatum, DSJ, Monk, Ntilikina, Isaac, Fox, Mitchell, Markkanen, and maybe Zach Collins.

      Out of those, the only one i guess I’d be “upset” with would be Markkanen and maybe Collins, mostly because we really need backcourt/wing help, not front court help. I’d be shocked if Phil chose a front court player since he’s already said we need guards and wings (I assume we would consider Isaac a wing).

      Literally every player, including Fultz (who sounds like a pretty awful defender), seems to have an obvious weakness.

      I’ll put my trust in Clarence.

    8. thenoblefacehumper

      He was used in a very similar way to Devin Booker

      Yeah this is pretty disconcerting actually

    9. Philmelo

      Yeah this is pretty disconcerting actually

      Agreed. Devin Booker is criminally overrated.

    10. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Phil’s interviews are more mental than physical? Is he stoopid??

    11. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I still think Philly isn’t in a position to start drafting based on fit rather than BPA

      No one knows how Simmons will be at pg/if he’s injury prone and the same worry about injuries goes for Embiid. I think drafting Monk would be a big mistake for them given the question marks because they’re then basically uninsulated from any and all risk related to their franchise players

      And Monk playing like Booker isn’t something that inspires confidence–Booker is awful

      I think Markannen will bust–he’s going to be literally unplayable on the defensive end

    12. djphan

      it’s starting to seem like one of ball and tatum could possibly fall to us… and it’s going to hinge on the sixers and the wolves pick since there hasn’t been strong indicators….

      why couldn’t we win that damn coin flip….

    13. lavor postell

      Monk moves way better off the ball then Booker and he’s got a much quicker release. He also shot a much higher volume of 3’s than at a similar attempt rate despite having to shoulder a much higher usage. Also flashed more playmaking ability than Booker did in college, though this could be more about Booker playing on a way more stacked team.

    14. airkent

      What do people think about Jonah Bolden? Just saw an article about him on the Ringer seems like a poor man’s Issac

    15. Hubert

      Re: that Monk article – at the end of the day, there are very few players that Phil could reasonably pick that I would really be unhappy with

      I would be unhappy if we draft Frank. If we had a solid development structure in place, I would be ok. But we have the opposite. Bringing an 18 year old, French, tall PG (there was an article recently that tall PGs take much longer to develop, will find link) with limited track record to this team with it’s rotating coaches, its in-and-out adherence to the triangle, and its tenuous upper management has disaster written all over it. To me, Monk vs Frank *for the Knicks* is the easiest choice in the draft.

      I’m thinking long term here. Whoever we take with this pick HAS TO BE a bona fide NBA starter. We don’t have to hit a HR. We’re drafting too low to get a franchise player. But we NEED to get a guy who is going to be a top 4 rotation player through his first two contracts. Monk is definitely that.

      Next year, we’ll be shit again, and maybe then we can get the franchise player.

    16. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @13

      I agree that Monk will likely be better than Booker (it really isn’t hard to be), was just mentioning as an aside that comparing him to Book isn’t flattering

    17. Hubert

      Here’s that tall PG thing. It’s from a Kevin Pelton mailbag. Essentially, smaller PGs (Brevin Knight and Damon Stoudemire, for example) tend to come in right away and be close to their peak. Taller ones (e.g. Strickland, Payton, Cassell) take longer.

      Add in the adjustment period for your average 18 year old. Factor in the adjustment of coming over from Europe. That’s a lot of initial barriers that are likely to inhibit him from making an impact in his first contract.

      Now throw in a demanding & impatient fan base, a team president that wants to win soon, and an unstable coaching staff (every for the idiot that’s always there), and honestly I don’t even know why this kid is even being considered. He may be great, but it probably won’t be here.

    18. lavor postell

      I just don’t see the explosiveness from Frank or shake off the dribble to convince me he’s going to be a dynamic PG or 2 guard. He might still carve out a long career for himself as a good spot up shooter that has great defensive versatility, but I’m not seeing the upside with him others do.

      @17

      No doubt. I’m just very partial to Monk. I think he’s destined to be one of the elite shooters in the league because of how good he is at squaring up and getting his shot off even when he catches it coming off a screen at full speed.

    19. DRed

      Booker shows you Monk’s downside-he absolutely has to be an elite 3pt shooter to have any value. Monk is not a surefire NBA starter. If you’re playing a guy who doesn’t play defense, doesn’t pass and doesn’t rebound, he really better shoot the ball well. Monk seems to be a good bet to shoot the ball very well, but it’s not a sure thing, and if he doesn’t then there’s nothing else in the toolbox.

    20. ess-dog

      I think we should run with the Holiday brothers idea. Just offer them both starting spots. Then we can develop players like Frank slowly over time.

    21. Brian Cronin

      Re: that Monk article – at the end of the day, there are very few players that Phil could reasonably pick that I would really be unhappy with. Like in Chad Ford’s “tiers” article, there are probably about 9 players in this draft that I think will end up being solid starters, if not stars. That’s all we can reasonably ask for with the 8th pick.

      I generally agree. I’m no Monk fan, but he’ll clearly be a decent NBA player, and that’s something (really, it truly is something notable).

    22. ClashFan

      Monk seems awfully thin to me and rather short-armed. However, if he’s the Knicks’ pick, I’ll root hard for him to become Stephen Curry Lite. I still think he’ll be gone before 8, but I’ve often been wrong before.

    23. Frank

      Monk seems awfully thin to me and rather short-armed. However, if he’s the Knicks’ pick, I’ll root hard for him to become Stephen Curry Lite. I still think he’ll be gone before 8, but I’ve often been wrong before.

      The short-armed thing on Monk is weird. All his measurements before had him with a ~6’6″ wingspan or so (a total of NINE measurements), but it was his Kentucky-published measurements that had his wingspan at 6’3″. Standing 6’2″ with a 6’6″ wingspan is actually well above average for a PG, assuming that’s what he would play for us. Per DX, the average PG measures 6’0-3/4″ without shoes and has a 6’3-3/4″ wingspan.

      I’d be fine with Monk. I think he’d be a really nice fit on offense, although would get brutalized for the next couple years on D.

    24. Accidentank 2017

      Donovan Mitchell and Justin Jackson are officially my guys for our two first round picks (and before you ask, I will definitely be holding it against PJax if we don’t get a 2nd top 20 pick. I think Mitchell is a great fit as a triangle point guard with star potential on both ends of the court. His best case scenario is probably a longer Avery Bradley and that’s a really valuable player. I’ve come around to see some value in Justin Jackson, too. He has very consistent mechanics and legit NBA range on his jumper, and he looks like a guy who can survive in a switch-happy defense. For some reason he feels like a guy who needs to be in the triangle offense; he doesn’t have the athleticism to be a truly dominant wing player but he’s skilled and he’s smart. Guys like him do well in motion offenses where they can out-think the opposition.

      So yeah. Donovan Mitchell and Justin Jackson. They can shoot, they can defend, they’re smart, and they’re ACC guys who played at the highest level of college basketball.

    25. Accidentank 2017

      If Monk could play point guard with his already elite level shooting he becomes very hard to pass on. Undersized shooting guards can be triangle point guards, though, so I can see the attraction. His statistical profile is very alarming though; he hasn’t shown that he can do anything but score. We need 4 boards, 5 assists, and good defense from him if he’s going to be a good starter at the next level. I don’t want to see KP fouling out because Monk can’t stop anybody.

    26. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      The thing that I like most about Justin Jackson is his excellent passing ability from the wing position–having plus passers at every position is more important than ever in this league, especially with a motion offense like triangle

      He really is a good fit for the triangle, which is a stupid reason to draft a guy, but I like him enough as a player where I think he’ll be reasonably productive in his role irrespective of system.

    27. lavor postell

      Jackson is similar to Monk in that he’s able to create much of his offense by doing his work before he gets the ball. He’s nowhere near the athlete or shooter, but he’s a great cutter and makes quick decisions. Also like Silky said, he’s a very good passer from the wing.

      I don’t see significant upside from him, but I also think his floor is a rotation wing. I’d be happy adding him with a mid-first.

    28. ess-dog

      I also like Jackson as a quality role player. The more guys we have that can find KP for easy buckets the better.
      It’s a tough call between Monk and Mitchell. As far as immediate payoff, it’s Monk’s shooting vs. Mitchell’s D. But Mitchell is also better at driving and passing. BUT he’s also older than Monk. Monk has more upside, but can he fulfill it? I think if Monk’s there you have to take him, but he probably won’t be there.

    29. JK47

      I’m biased against Monk not because he’s a bad player but because I am sick of watching that type of player. The pointzz-oriented, do-nothing-else kind of player. We’ve had an awfully long run of watching lots of guys who play that way.

    30. nicos

      Using shooting guards as points in the triangle works great when you have Jordan/Pippen or Shaq/Kobe, Kobe/Pau. We’ve been down this road with Baker and Galloway and it ain’t pretty. If you have multiple guys who are above average passers for their positions it can work but the Knicks have none of those. You might make an argument for Melo but he holds the ball so long he kills the triangle anyway. Lee and KP are both poor playmakers. I think WHG has some potential but is way too turnover prone at the moment. Lance, Holiday, just go down the list and all you see are below average passers. Rose is far more of a natural playmaker than Mitchell or Monk and he was awful. Drafting either of those guy (or Frank right now) and asking them to run an offense, even the triangle, is setting them up for failure.

    31. stratomatic

      Donovan Mitchell and Justin Jackson are officially my guys for our two first round picks (and before you ask, I will definitely be holding it against PJax if we don’t get a 2nd top 20 pick.

      I’d sign off on this.

      Count me among those hoping we can land Justin Jackson with our 2nd first round pick. I don’t think he’s going to be a high level all star, but I think he’s the kind of hard working intelligent player that’s going to get better every single year and make the most of his gifts. Then one day in 3-4 years we are going to look at him and say “Damn he got good”.

    32. stratomatic

      I don’t know about anyone else, but there are so many possibilities for the Knicks in the draft and free agency period I’m so darn excited I can’t wait to see what happens.

    33. Accidentank 2017

      I’m excited every year for what the Knicks can do in free agency, and every year (except the year we let Lin walk) they seem to disappoint me.

    34. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Given the spot where we’re at, I think trading for Rubio is imperative–all the PGs will likely be gone by the time we pick, and having Rubio around acts as an insurance policy if we want to draft any of the available combo guards (Monk, Frank, Mitchell, Thornwell later on)

      An offseason of Rubio + Monk/Frank + Justin Jackson would be excellent and is eminently possible

    35. djphan

      i would love rubio.. but i think many are overestimating our chances of getting him… he had a very good second half and while he’s made it clear that he wants out there’s no indication what we can offer would be good enough…

    36. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Some of you are already spending a second 1st round pick that we don’t even own yet. My optimism is really spreading!

    37. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      What would you do if the choice comes down to Frank or Tatum who seems underrated recently?

    38. stratomatic

      Some of you are already spending a second 1st round pick that we don’t even own yet. My optimism is really spreading!

      I’m thinking we have #8, we trade for one in the teens, we take on a contract for another, we trade Melo and get a good young player back, we land Rubio, Willie develops a mid range game and improves on defense, and KP develops a post game, improves his 3 point shooting, and gets stronger on the boards.

      It’s either that or we get no extra picks, draft a bust at #8, re-sign Rose for 2 years with a player option for year 3, Melo doesn’t wave the NTC, Tommy Dee predicts 55 wins, Melo revolts over the triangle, KP gets pissed off and demands a trade, Hornaceck quits, the Knicks miss the playoffs but go on a 3 game winning streak at the end of the season to blow an easy franchise player in the next draft.

    39. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      @42 I’m with your scenario for sure. Let me beat Tommy Dee to the punch and predict 56 wins.

      Ntilikina is playing now in the finals and has 9 points on 4/6 shooting and is a +10 in 10 minutes of play at the half. I hope no one above us is watching.

    40. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      As much as I’d hate to I’d take Tatum over Frank if he’s available at 8, the dude is almost guaranteed to be at least average on both sides of the ball. Despite his game reminding me of Carmelo he’s less of a ball hog prima donna and shows some passing ability as well as an ability to play and defend both forward spots.

      The similarities to Melo give me an anxiety attack about how we’re stuck with 10 more years of jab step isos but he’s got enough other stuff in the toolbox that he’s a good idea to grab

    41. DRed

      For anyone who likes Sam Veccine he’s got a Knicks draft podcast up. I’m not sure how good his analysis is, but he does advocate trading Lee for a Portland pick + Evan Turner.

    42. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Coach please sit Frank down right now before somebody else notices him!

    43. Totes McGoats

      No one knows how Simmons will be at pg

      Simmons a PG?
      The East is BIG, man!
      Sorry..couldn’t resist. In all seriousness, I don’t think they should use Simmons as a PG. I like him as a point-forward running the offense from the PF spot to take advantage over other players his size. He doesn’t have a great perimeter shot, but he can draw opposing bigs away from the paint and drive against them at will- giving Embiid room to operate on the block. Philly would be smart to surround those 2 with shooters who can handle the ball reasonably well. Isaac’s a good talent, but I don’t like him there either. I think they can and should trade down with the Kings for that extra pick. The Kings are foolish enough to do it. With the 5 & 10, they should pick Monk and Kennard. Kennard’s a bit of a reach at 10, but the combination of he and Monk brings real threats to Philly’s offense with a healthy Simmons and Embiid. Who knows? Philly may also be able to send Okafor in the deal and squeeze out even more..like WCS & Langston Galloway plus a future 1st. Outside of Boston, Philly’s the only real lottery squad in great position with their options.

    44. rama

      It’s either that or we get no extra picks, draft a bust at #8, re-sign Rose for 2 years with a player option for year 3, Melo doesn’t wave the NTC, Tommy Dee predicts 55 wins, Melo revolts over the triangle, KP gets pissed off and demands a trade, Hornaceck quits, the Knicks miss the playoffs but go on a 3 game winning streak at the end of the season to blow an easy franchise player in the next draft.

      hahahaha…I wish I weren’t so worried that this is what’s going to happen….

    45. ClashFan

      I’d do Lee for Turner and the #15 pick. But don’t they want to just dump salary? The net there might not be enough to get it done.

      How about Lee to Detroit for Reggie Jackson and the 12th pick?

    46. ptmilo

      but he does advocate trading Lee for a Portland pick + Evan Turner.

      i hate watching evan turner play almost as much as i hated watching post-injury Derrick Rose before we somehow traded for him, but something like this seems within the realm. if we did get turner he would immediately be the funniest dude on the team, tied with silent-movie-rambis.

    47. wetbandit

      I don’t care who we take on in order to get a pick. The worse, the better, actually, because we want to lose short-term (heh, yeah right, we’ll be pushing to tank in 2022, 2032, 42, 526272…)

    48. wetbandit

      Imagine running Turner, Holiday, Kuz, KP, and Hernangomez? Yeesh. Doncic here we come. Until we win a game, and drop 3 slots due to being Knicksy.

    49. plenty

      Looks like Pabs Prigioni is passing up the chance to work with the knick organization, instead opting for a position in his home country Spain. Whether this position is related to triangles, or the illuminati, is yet to be known.

    50. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      We’re not playing to lose next year. And the year after that. Just stop it.

    51. ess-dog

      Would anyone trade Willy and the #8 for the Lakers’ #2 if Ball is there? LA might be selling to the highest bidder.

    52. lavor postell

      Frank had a good game, but it just reinforced what his strengths and weaknesses are.

      The defense is for real and he’s a good spot up shooter. He still can’t break anybody down off the dribble and either can’t or lacks the confidence to get to the rim in the half court.

      He did have a few nice dishes out of PNR.

      Still looks like he’s going to need a lot of time to figure things out offensively.

    53. ClashFan

      @57
      More likely Prigs getting a chance to be a HC in his native land vs. being an assistant on a team owned by James Dolan in a USA led by Donald Trump?
      :-)

    54. stratomatic

      I don’t want to give up Lee to take back that Turner contract plus a pick. IMO, that’s not a good deal. Lee is a solid starter on a fair contract. Setting aside matching salaries, Lee is probably as good a player as you can typically expect to get at #15. Some players will eventually be better and some will be worse. So basically we’d be getting back a younger Lee via the pick to take on a crap contract. Not enough. To me, you send out the expiring contracts of filler players you don’t need to take back that bad contract plus a pick.

    55. chrisk06811

      We should free up some cap space and get into this Gordon Hayward sweepstakes. just because the guy always looks smug to me, and I’d like to see his dreams shattered.

    56. Philmelo

      Now throw in a demanding & impatient fan base, a team president that wants to win soon, and an unstable coaching staff (every for the idiot that’s always there), and honestly I don’t even know why this kid is even being considered. He may be great, but it probably won’t be here.

      Those were all of the same issues confronting our front office in 2015 and it didn’t stop Phil from picking a 7’3 Euro bigman who all the experts said would need 5 years to be an impact player.

    57. lavor postell

      I don’t want to give up Lee to take back that Turner contract plus a pick. IMO, that’s not a good deal. Lee is a solid starter on a fair contract. Setting aside matching salaries, Lee is probably as good a player as you can typically expect to get at #15. Some players will eventually be better and some will be worse. So basically we’d be getting back a younger Lee via the pick to take on a crap contract. Not enough. To me, you send out the expiring contracts of filler players you don’t need to take back that bad contract plus a pick.

      We should just take on Turner’s contract and get the pick. Lee shouldn’t be part of the equation unless they want to include another pick as well.

      I think a team like OKC that desperately needs shooting would be interested in Lee and perhaps we could net the 21st pick from them for it.

    58. Philmelo

      Frank had 13 points in a Finals game where the leading scorer on his team had 16 points. He also added 4 rebounds and 3 assists with shutdown defense all in only twenty-four minutes of play. Are people really going to use this game as proof that he’s too raw?

    59. lavor postell

      Did you watch the game? Probably not. I’ve watched his last 3 and it’s very clear he has a long way to go offensively.

      He scores on spot ups and today got a transition layup as well. None of that screams lead guard. He didn’t get to the rim in the halfcourt when he had opportunities. Anytime he looks to create a shot it ends up as a pull up J, because he can’t break guys down off the dribble.

      His offensive game is definitely raw. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t draft him, but he’s got a definite learning and development curve on that end which isn’t some made up nonsense.

    60. Philmelo

      Did you watch the game? Probably not. I’ve watched his last 3 and it’s very clear he has a long way to go offensively.

      No I didn’t see it. The people who did see it credit him as the difference in the game.

      18-year-old Frank Ntilikina playing best basketball of pro career. 13, 4 & 3 in 24 minutes in Game 2 win in French finals.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) June 15, 2017

      Played aggressivley with 11 shots and a few impressive crossovers. Showed huge potential on both ends of the floor.— Nyal Rivera (@Nyal_River) June 15, 2017

      But please tell me how an 18 year old playing against grown ass men in his league’s biggest stage has skills to work on.

    61. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Frank is very young. He can outgrow PhilMelo’s support given enough time.

    62. ClashFan

      Beware of getting too excited over any one guy. The Knicks might not get him. Stranger things have happened than Dallas swapping picks with Minny on draft night and grabbing Frankie.

      Of course, if that were to happen, then someone else falls…

    63. wetbandit

      Lee is probably as good a player as you can typically expect to get at #15. Some players will eventually be better and some will be worse. So basically we’d be getting back a younger Lee via the pick to take on a crap contract. Not enough.

      Listen. If you got Lee with our #8, that’s a huge win. Like, huge. Lee isn’t just an average player. And the #8 has usually gotten you Terrence Ross, Brandon Knight, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jordan Hill, Joe Alexnder, Brandan Wright, Rudy Gay, and Brandon Wright.

      If you got a starting level player, you have to be happy.

    64. Jack Bauer

      ‘So yeah. Donovan Mitchell and Justin Jackson. They can shoot, they can defend, they’re smart, and they’re ACC guys who played at the highest level of college basketball.”

      That makes sense so you can be assured the Knicks will get neither in the draft

    65. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Damn you, Phil. Why don’t you own every first round pick in this draft? You’re so senile.

    66. lavor postell

      But please tell me how an 18 year old playing against grown ass men in his league’s biggest stage has skills to work on.

      Ok? He has skills to work on like finishing at the rim, dribbling and shooting on the move. He did have some nice crossovers that led to missed pull up jumpers, so that was good to see that he could create the shots, but he bricked his shot attempts.

      I’m not sure what your point is, but it’s universally acknowledged by scouts and draft experts that his offensive game is raw, his defense is excellent and he has great physical tools. Nothing I’ve said is some groundbreaking or controversial thing – it’s exactly what people that have watched him more than me have said about him repeatedly.

      I’ve also said that I’d be fine with the Knicks picking him at 8 though he’s not my personal favorite. Having a good game doesn’t mean he dispelled the concerns people have about his game.

      @reub

      That’s a highlight from the U18 championships last summer, not his game today.

    67. ptmilo

      Listen. If you got Lee with our #8, that’s a huge win. Like, huge. Lee isn’t just an average player.
      if courtney lee is not an average nba player then nobody is.

      career WS/48 .087
      career BPM -0.2
      on/off +0.4
      per 36 12.6/2.9/3.5 1.3/0.4
      TS .548

    68. wetbandit

      Ok, he’s average- wouldn’t an average player who happens to shoot 40% from 3 and play passable defense be a win with the 8th pick? You have to be realistic about bust potential.

      Also, we have absolutely no need for Lee; if the best we can do is Evan Turner + Pick for him, I’m good.

    69. ess-dog

      In theory I’m fine with the best euro prospect in this draft, but the guy seems like a 2-guard to me, at least right now. Hell, he might not see the court at all next season (which also might mean another year of D Rose at pg, blech).

    70. rama

      We should free up some cap space and get into this Gordon Hayward sweepstakes. just because the guy always looks smug to me, and I’d like to see his dreams shattered.

      lol

    71. Philmelo

      I’m not sure what your point is,

      My point is that a 18 year who you just called raw was the MVP of a Euroleague Final game and you’re fixated on what he didn’t do in the game.

      That’s a highlight from the U18 championships last summer, not his game today.

      Do yourself a favor and ignore Reub. He should know that’s not today’s game so he’s either a troll or too stupid to insult or both. Treat him like fungus by feeding him shit and keeping him in the dark.

    72. lavor postell

      Also, we have absolutely no need for Lee; if the best we can do is Evan Turner + Pick for him, I’m good.

      Turner is one of the worst contracts in the league along with Noah, Parsons, Mozgov, etc. He should cost a pick on his own to dump, because there is zero market for him at that price and with those years remaining.

    73. lavor postell

      My point is that a 18 year who you just called raw as the MVP of a Euroleague Final game and you’re fixated on what he didn’t do in the game.

      Yeah, you can be raw and play well in a game. He still is lacking necessary guard skills. This isn’t a fixation it’s me trying to objectively comment on what I saw from him in this game.

      Again, I’d be fine with the Knicks picking him at 8 so my “fixation” isn’t making me so critical that I don’t value the things he does bring to the table.

      IF THE BEST WE CAN DO

      That’s not the best we can do. That’d be awful management when Portland wants to dump salary.

    74. ClashFan

      @86
      Agreed. Having said that, I’d try to dump a little bit of salary back at them. So, see if they might take LT back for Turner and the pick. They’d still be clearing about $10m+ per year off the books.

    75. ptmilo

      We should free up some cap space and get into this Gordon Hayward sweepstakes. just because the guy always looks smug to me, and I’d like to see his dreams shattered.

      rooting against gordon hayward is like rooting against reub’s travel agent. some barbies were just born to live in the dream house.

    76. Philmelo

      People have to understand that in the Euroleague younger players in the professional divisions don’t have the freedom to work on or explore the shakier aspects of their game because its a results-driven league with minimal room of mistakes. In Kentucky, for example, De’Aaron Fox had the opportunity to keep improving his 3 point percentage the past couple of months of the collegiate season because Pitino gave him the green light to shoot behind the arc when opposing defenders slacked off. In Strausburg, if Frank turns over the ball on a drive to the basket or a pass, he’s yanked for an older more mature professional and loses minutes. He has to play more conservatively and stick to what he does exceptionally well.

    77. wetbandit

      People have to understand that in the Euroleague younger players in the professional divisions don’t have the freedom to work on or explore the shakier aspects of their game because its a results-driven league with minimal room of mistakes.

      This.

      And I was talking about trading Lee for picks in general, not this trade in particular. Yes, Lee>Turner + 15. I would want more. I was saying that Lee should be traded because he’s got a reputation as a hardworking, dependable professional player with good stats. And my original point was that Lee WAS worth more, and IS a good player, but should be traded because he has no fit with our direction.

    78. ptmilo

      Ok, he’s average- wouldn’t an average player who happens to shoot 40% from 3 and play passable defense be a win with the 8th pick? You have to be realistic about bust potential.

      I have a minute so I looked at the all of the players who were picked 7-9 from 1985-2012 (84 picks). Of these, median career BPM was -0.75 and WS/48 was 0.875. About 39% of the players had a BPM between -1 and 1, i.e. average-ish NBA players, while another 23% were”good” players with a career BPM over 1.0. 1985 was a good year for the 7-9 slots. Mullin, Schrempf, Oakley. 1999 wasn’t bad either. Hamilton, Andre Miller, Marion.

    79. lavor postell

      In Strausburg, if Frank turns over the ball on a drive to the basket or a pass, he’s yanked for an older more mature professional and loses minutes. He has to play more conservatively and stick to what he does exceptionally well.

      This is a good point. The concern for me is that even in the U-18 European Championship where he upped his usage, he still did it mostly on J’s and wasn’t getting to the rim. I don’t know if first step, burst, quickness, etc. is something that can be significantly improved even at a young age.

      At the 2 I don’t think it’d be an issue, but I’m skeptical of his ability to operate as a lead ball handler. On defense he’s going to be able to defend both guard positions and if/when he adds weight he should be comfortable defending 1-3.

    80. djphan

      the best indicator of how good you are going to be… is how good you are now…

      there’s only so much you can project and assume will develop…. things like getting to the basket and being creative with the ball is something most really good players develop very early in their life and if you can’t demonstrate that aggressiveness to the basket in the french league it’s going to be immensely more difficult to all of a sudden turn it on…

      the guys that are usually tagged as a few years away in the draft… are actually light years away…. and if they actually turn out good.. they’re usually better right away because most ppl didn’t know how good they actually were….

      the draft is not rocket science… falling in love with wingspan and athleticism alone is a surefire way of drafting bust after bust…

    81. Philmelo

      and if they actually turn out good.. they’re usually better right away because most ppl didn’t know how good they actually were….

      This is precisely the argument for Frank.

    82. djphan

      there’s just no evidence of it at all…. it’s all projection at this point based on speculation of his size and wingspan….

      ppl quite often will fall in love with the tall pg based on just being tall… and that’s exactly what’s occurring here…

    83. Frank

      I’d much rather do KOQ for #15 and Harkless. I’d even take 20 instead of 15 and draft Anunoby if he’s there, Justin Jackson if not, and Terrence Ferguson if none of them are available.

      If I’m Portland that saves me a ton of money since KOQ expires. Lee is a good value but they already have Crabbe and in this case Turner. And KOQ is actually good for them since they need someone behind Nurkic.

    84. Philmelo

      there’s just no evidence of it at all…. it’s all projection at this point based on speculation of his size and wingspan….

      He’s produced in the past. I know you don’t care when you say absolute statements of “there’s just no evidence of it at all.” He had a terrific U18 tournament on the level of Tony Parker and Nic Batum. He’s been a lockdown defender for his team in the playoffs. He just won his team the second game of his league Finals. The guy isn’t all projection. Stop pretending that he is.

    85. nicos

      And let’s be clear- Playing for Strasbourg is nothing like playing for Real Madrid. Yes, they are grown men but the vast majority of them are grown men who are not anywhere near the talent level you’d see in the NBA. It’s not even d-league quality. Yes, he’s young and obviously has a nice skill set to build on so I won’t be upset if the Knicks pick him but his lack of production there really should tell you he’s a couple of years away from being a rotation player in the NBA.

    86. Philmelo

      Yes, they are grown men but the vast majority of them are grown men who are not anywhere near the talent level you’d see in the NBA.

      And I am sure the talent NCAA players see is NBA level.

    87. djphan

      We’ve been over this before…. u18s arent indicative of anything because he is playing against players his own age… the players you play against in the nba will mostly be older than you for your first 8 years…. this is the same thing that caused ppl to go gaga over exum….

      What you are leaning on is hope… and hope is not a good metric…

    88. Philmelo

      u18s arent indicative of anything because he is playing against players his own age…

      By this standard of logic the NCAA games aren’t indicative of anything either.

    89. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Don’t question PhilMelo because he’s never wrong. Just ask him.

    90. kevin5318

      Frank stock goes down a little if he’s projected as a SG but I would be fine with him if it came down to him and Mitchell. If he grows another inch or two then we have a guy who can guard 1-3 and some 4’s.

    91. djphan

      of course they are… 18-19yo’s who excel against 21-22yo’s is as good an indicator as we’ve got about a special prospect… we have an enormous sample of this…

    92. nicos

      And I am sure the talent NCAA players see is NBA level.

      I guarantee you De’Aaron Fox played against more guys who will be in NBA rotations next year than Frank did. And that the general level of athleticism was higher- not in terms of strength but in terms of quickness/agility.

    93. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Nicos, Fox might have played against more future NBA guys but only in their embryonic stages. Frank is playing against trained grown men.

    94. stratomatic

      Listen. If you got Lee with our #8, that’s a huge win. Like, huge. Lee isn’t just an average player. And the #8 has usually gotten you Terrence Ross, Brandon Knight, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jordan Hill, Joe Alexnder, Brandan Wright, Rudy Gay, and Brandon Wright.

      Lee is a solid player, but he’s not even an average usage scorer on his mildly above average efficiency. I also don’t think his defense was all it has been cracked up to be. I like him a lot and think he’s on a very fair contract, but I hope we do better than him at #8, I’d give him up for the #12 if Phil/Gaines have a strong opinion on a player in the draft, but I would’t give him up for #15 if we also have to take back Evan Turner at his salary.

    95. stratomatic

      Just for the record, my Twitter feed is kind of blowing up on Frank because he’s been playing so much better lately. He could rise above the #8 if he keeps this up.

    96. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I think whether or not you like Frank is contingent on how risk averse you are–he’s certainly one of the riskier picks of the draft because much of his upside is contingent on filling out his frame and strengthening–which many other players his age don’t really have to do. I think he has tremendous two way upside if he can develop his body further, but you have to be comfortably with taking a risk projecting his future athletic development–which is much the same criticism that long, raw players always get (Giannis comes to mind though he’s a different beast obviously)

    97. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      I trust Phil and his assistant Clarence Gaines to make the right call. It’s only a week away.

    98. stratomatic

      I don’t profess to be an expert on the quality of various leagues around the world, but I see loads of NCAA and D League players that put up excellent offensive numbers that can’t score very well at the NBA level. The guys that can score in the NBA are usually the guys that really stand on offense at those lower levels.

      I’m not sure where the French league fits vs the best college teams or the NBA D League, but I’m going to guess that a guy that’s not much of a scorer in that league is a long way away from being a decent scorer in the NBA. I think he’s going to wind up coming off someone’s bench and getting 10 or so minutes a night the first year. Maybe he’ll get more in NY because we stink and need guard help, but I’m not expecting a lot out of him the first year other than defense.

      I’d be fine with that if management is confident in his long term development on both ends. But we need a legit starting PG now and we need more scoring, especially if Melo is traded. I do not want that to be Derrick Rose. So if we draft Frank, I think we need another pick or a trade. We need a PG, a scorer, or someone that can do both.

    99. MSA

      I’m ambivalent about Ntilikina.

      I wouldn’t draft him with the 8th pick because he’s the riskier pick in the top-10 IMO. But I would be OK if he’s the one.

      His stock is rising because he’s playing well lately and to me this is the same mistake as picking a player because he went well on NCAA tournament.

      He could end up being the best player in this draft but my hunch is that he will spend the whole season in the D-League. On the bright side, we will be one season closer to Doncic.

    100. thenoblefacehumper

      I’m not risk averse when it comes to the Knicks, because what the fuck do we have to lose? However, I still don’t think drafting Frank is a smart risk. Even his “good” games mostly consist of pretty average production, and I’m not even ready to call him a reliable shooter (the sample size is pretty tiny).

      There is a non-zero chance this guy has no NBA skills, and his lack of production makes me wonder what alleged ceiling we’d be taking on all this risk for. It seems inevitable that if the Knicks draft the guy who might not be good at anything, he will go on to not be good at anything.

    101. Frank

      I don’t disagree re Frank’s box score production- but Euro teenagers clearly are difficult to extrapolate. KP didn’t have great stats, Giannis didn’t have great stats. At the end of the day you just need to trust Clarence Williams and the rest of the euro scouting team.

      And re playing in NCAA vs French league- no question that the talent level in the big games was prob higher in NCAA but you can’t find underestimate how physically different 18-22 year olds are from 26-30 year olds. How many 19-20 year olds are physically ready to play in the NBA for the first few years of their careers?

    102. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      The weather is nice. Go outside and enjoy. Leave the decision making to Phil and his staff, the real experts.

    103. Philmelo

      You guys are making lots of unfair assertions, allowing biases about the Euroleagues to affect your thinking. For one thing, the biggest upside about Ntilikina playing in the French League isn’t the talent level, even though I am willing to bet the average player there is better than your average NCAA Division 1 basketballer, its that he’s an integral part of a winning championship caliber team in a professional league. At 18 years of age he’s already learned to play as part of a team and win at an adult, pro-level. The importance of this knowledge and experience for a young player can’t be overstated during a 1 and done era where your average college stud comes from a league where he’s best player on the court to someone who has to fit into a system and learn. I am not sure Markelle Fultz or Dennis Smith has this knowledge to be honest. Derrick Rose, for all of his “talent,” still sure as hell doesn’t get this after so many years in the league. And its a major reason for why I believe Frank has a higher floor as a 3 and D supporting piece than many here give him credit for.

      For another thing, you guys have to stop using NBA star production as metric to determine Frank’s success in Strasbourg if you really want to accurately access his value. He was the best player in the Finals game he played on a winning team where the lead scorer amassed 16 points. That’s it. That’s the type of team offense Ntilikina plays in. You won’t get Kevin Durant Finals level numbers in a league that, unlike with NCAA rules, you can get physical and touch a player on the perimeter. And you sure as hell won’t get it from a developing 18 year old who is consistently being guarded by a grown ass man with many years of experience playing pro ball who probably in the prime of his life. In that respect, Frank has it over guys like Fox, Ball, Monk, etc.

    104. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      Frank had 0 turnovers in a men’s championship game. The kid would be a freshman next year if he played here. He’s played in the triangle, already can shoot at an excellent level, has learned to move without the ball and only take good shots. Plus he actually wants to be a Knick and might be the best defensive player in the entire draft. I’m all in.

    105. lavor postell

      He hasn’t played in the Triangle, but his team does operate mostly out of a 2 guard front

    106. Philmelo

      The thing that actually worries me most about Ntilikina is the adjustment he’s going to have to make as a defender in an NBA league where hand check rules are way more stringent than they are in France. He’s probably going to draw a lot of fouls using his long reach to redirect and restrict ball handlers the way he did with Strasbourg, especially now that he has to defend a whole other level of quicker, faster athletes.

    107. nicos

      Batum is probably as good a comp for Frank as there is- both wing guys from the same league though Batum was a 3 and Frank has played the 2. Batum’s last year in euro-ball he put up numbers that look more like you’d expect from a guy who’s athletically superior his competition- he shot a hundred points higher than Frank from 2 point range (.617 to .519) got to the line twice as often (3.5 per 36 vs. 1.8) and generated better steal and block numbers while committing less than half the fouls. He even averaged almost 2 more assists per 36 though almost double the turnovers. Plus he was playing almost 10 more minutes a night so there’s less guess work involved about how physically ready he was. Now Batum was a year older which certainly makes a difference but you can’t automatically assume Frank is going to improve to Batum’s level. That said, Batum was a pretty good rotation player right off of the bat without overwhelming numbers (12.3 pts, 5 rbs, 3.6 assists in 28.8 mpg) in the French league so maybe that bodes well for Frank. I’d still take Smith ahead of him though.

    108. Philmelo

      Now Batum was a year older which certainly makes a difference

      Actually, it makes most of the difference. Batum played two seasons as a French League pro. You compared him to Ntilikina at a year’s older age. At the same age of 18, his first season, Batum merely averaged 3.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in 13 minutes of play per game. Frank is averaging 5.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in 19 minutes of play.

    109. DRed

      Kevin Pelton also finally released his projections-his top 5 are Ball, Fultz, Isaacs, Smith & Collins.

      If people are interested and don’t have an insider subscription I can do more.

    110. Philmelo

      Chad Ford claims the Celtics are considering Josh Jackson-that would be unexpected

      It kind of makes sense when you ignore the expert rankings and remember that Ainge wanted to trade for Jimmy Butler. If there was a current ceiling for Jackson in the league today it would be Jimmy Butler so he definitely projects to have the skills they’ve been looking for, certainly more than Fultz does to be honest.

    111. DRed

      1. Lonzo Ball
      2. Markelle Fultz
      3. Jonathan Isaac
      4. Dennis Smith Jr.
      5. Zach Collins
      6. Josh Jackson
      7. OG Anunoby
      8. Jayson Tatum
      9. Lauri Markkanen
      10. De’Aaron Fox
      11. John Collins
      12. Tony Bradley
      13. Frank Ntilikina
      14. Malik Monk
      15. Monté Morris
      16. Josh Hart
      17. Ike Anigbogu
      18. Donovan Mitchell
      19. Justin Patton
      20. Luke Kennard
      Player
      21. Tyler Lydon
      22. Alec Peters
      23. TJ Leaf
      24. Harry Giles
      25. Jarrett Allen
      26. Jeremy Morgan
      27. Aleksandar Vezenkov
      28. Derrick Walton Jr.
      29. Jonathan Jeanne
      30. Anzejs Pasecniks
      31. Thomas Bryant
      32. Jawun Evans
      33. Frank Jackson
      34. Justin Robinson
      35. Derek Willis
      36. Chris Boucher
      37. Edrice Adebayo
      38. Ivan Rabb
      39. Luke Kornet
      40. D.J. Wilson
      Player
      41. Caleb Swanigan
      42. James Blackmon Jr.
      43. Alpha Kaba
      44. Derrick White
      45. Kennedy Meeks
      46. Cameron Oliver
      47. Mathias Lessort
      48. Tyler Dorsey
      49. Troy Caupain
      50. Sterling Brown
      51. Jordan Bell
      52. Antonio Campbell
      53. Davon Reed
      54. Isaac Humphries
      55. Malcolm Hill
      56. Semi Ojeleye
      57. Justin A. Jackson
      58. Melo Trimble
      59. Alberto Abalde
      60. Jonah Bolden
      Player
      61. Vlatko Cancar
      62. Eric Mika
      63. Edmond Sumner
      64. Damyean Dotson
      65. Nigel Hayes
      66. Marcus Keene
      67. Kris Jenkins
      68. London Perrantes
      69. V.J. Beachem
      70. T.J. Cline
      71. Youssoupha Fall
      72. Charles Cooke
      73. Dillon Brooks
      74. Paris Bass
      75. Moses Kingsley
      76. Frank Mason III
      77. Austin Nichols
      78. Marko Guduric
      79. Kobi Simmons
      80. Sindarius Thornwell

    112. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Some things:

      Another model where Josh Jackson isn’t top 5. I’m seeing a pattern here.

      Sindarius Thornwell at 80 is mighty suspect

      Anunoby at 7 is something. He’d be a great pick at 15 for us, but if we get another pick I’m almost certain we’ll be picking Justin Jackson.

      Vezenkov at 27 is interesting. I’ve always liked him and he fills a position of need so I hope we take a flyer on him.

      Meeks at 45 seems appropriate

      Another good Tony Bradley showing.

    113. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      I wouldn’t complain if we ended up with Tatum, White and Bolden instead of Trimble. Does Pelton take team need into account?

    114. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      No it’s a draft model not mock a draft so it’s just ranking players on perceived future productivity not where they will actually be picked

      Another observation: Fox has been at #10 on like every draft model and Smith has been at #5

    115. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      There are also lots of stories out there about us selecting Luke Kennard at #8.

    116. djphan

      i think those are the consensus rankings which he incorporates ford’s big board into… which is actually the more correct method… he has monte morris #3 in his model… who i’m high on also but that’s just crazy high for him… and he has jackson, fox and monk way down…

      pelton’s model is best used for his euro projections… they are really good… the college projections are just soso imo…

    117. ess-dog

      My biggest worry about Frank is that he’ll have to learn basketball from the Knicks.

      His 18-year-old stats compare well with Kristaps’ 18-year-old stats, but KP got to marinate in the Spanish league an extra year.

    118. djphan

      is frank definitely going to bust? no… that’d be ridiculous… but he’s not good now and he’s not on the same planet as some of the other prospects by any objective measure and if he went to the ncaa.. he’d probably be a late first rd pick… but the mystique of the international play and the measurables turn on certain fans every year in the draft without fail..

      i feel like we went through the same thing with mudiay… and mudiay is like 10x the athlete and ball handler that frank was… except frank admittedly has a better shot.. but you know what they both struggled with? getting to the basket and finishing… if you’re a guard and you can’t do that.. you’re not worth the sneakers you take on the court and you will never get starters minutes.. and it’s going to be the biggest reason why frank is going to have a tough time…

      there’s no projection in that specific skill.. you either can do it now.. or you’re going to be struggling the same exact way exum, mudiay, smart, dunn, burke and every other bust at pg… it’s the number one reason for failed guards period.. and ntilikina has got huge issues there…

    119. stratomatic

      For another thing, you guys have to stop using NBA star production as metric to determine Frank’s success in Strasbourg if you really want to accurately access his value.

      I haven’t seen anyone with those kinds of expectations. It’s more like this.

      A guy that’s scoring around 10 points per 36 in the French league is simply not going to be able to score at anywhere near an average level in the NBA. He’s going to be a liability on offense initially. It’s likely the Knicks will give him some minutes anyway because of his defense and the lack of talent at the guard position, but that’s it. He wouldn’t even play on a good team at this stage. Other players in the lottery have short comings also, but most have more developed offensive games than Frank.

      In a year or two it might be a totally different thing.

    120. dtrickey

      Unless I missed his name on that list, if Terrance Ferguson is available in the 2nd I wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on him. Even if he goes undrafted, he would be a good signing to stash in the d-league or send to Europe for a year. Still young and rough around the edges, but can play within a system as a spot up shooter, moves the ball well and could be a nice 3 & D guy in the league.

    121. heavencent35

      Looking at the prospects I’m not worried if we end up with frank, dennis smith jr, or even monk.
      What worries me is markanen (seems like spencer Hawes) and Mitchell (galloway).

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