Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.07.17)

  • [SNY Knicks] Former MSG broadcaster Wolff dies at age 96
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:58:13 PM)

    Former Madison Square Garden broadcaster Bob Wolff died Saturday at 96 years old.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tim Hardaway, Jr. says he has faith in the Knicks
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 3:27:42 PM)

    In this week’s edition of Steve Serby’s Q&A, guard Tim Hardaway, Jr. expressed optimism about his second stint with the Knicks.

  • [SNY Knicks] Carmelo Anthony expects trade talks to resume soon
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 12:38:25 PM)

    The Knicks put the talks with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers on hold on Thursday.

  • [NYPost] What’s with Carmelo? And 4 big questions for new Knicks regime
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 9:57:36 PM)

    Perhaps it was just the usual press-release rhetoric from owner James Dolan when he announced Steve Mills as president and Scott Perry as general manager Friday, but there seemed a series of digs aimed at the departed Phil Jackson. Almost mimicking Jackson’s press conference from three years, four months ago, Dolan stated that “today marks…

  • [NYPost] Now Blazers star openly recruits Carmelo with Instagram pic
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 12:58:37 PM)

    Portlandia, anyone? Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum is the latest attempting to sway Carmelo Anthony, posting an Instagram picture Sunday of the Knicks forward in a Blazers uniform, a week after a Rockets player used the same method to recruit Anthony. The Post has reported the Knicks’ new hierarchy of Steve Mills and Scott Perry…

  • [NYDN] Bob Wolff, legendary sports broadcaster, dies at 96
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:26:25 PM)

    Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Wolff died on Saturday at the age of 96.

  • [NYDN] C.J. McCollum recruits Carmelo Anthony to Portland on Instagram
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 4:23:00 PM)

    Houston, we have a problem.

  • [NYTimes] N.B.A. Hopeful’s Scar Tells a Tale of Determination
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 5:39:19 PM)

    Josh Adams, a former Wyoming basketball star, played five months of the 2016-17 season in Russia after recovering from severe injuries sustained in a car crash.

  • [ESPN] Legendary broadcaster Bob Wolff dies at 96
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 8:00:17 PM)

    Legendary broadcaster Bob Wolff dies at 96

  • [ESPN] CJ McCollum’s not-so-subtle Instagram post indicates he wants Melo in Portland
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 6:34:01 PM)

    CJ McCollum’s not-so-subtle Instagram post indicates he wants Melo in Portland

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks want to talk it over with Carmelo Anthony, report says
    (Sunday, July 16, 2017 10:07:21 PM)

    It appeared to be exactly what the Knicks wanted when Phil Jackson was their president: Carmelo Anthony waiving his no-trade clause and even showing enthusiasm about being moved to the Houston Rockets.

  • 151 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.07.17)

    1. Z-man

      Now that the reality of recent developments is sinking in, I am looking more forward to preseason than ever.

      First, unlike most here, I truly believe that while we overpaid for them by probably $8-10 million combined annually, both Baker and TH2 are going to be worth more that what they are getting paid.

      Baker is going to set a defensive tone on defense and an unselfish tone on offense. Also, unlike most here, I think he can actually play PG, probably more as a backup but also on a starter on a defensive-minded unit. I expect that his shot will improve now that he has an established place on the team. He’s got great form, rotation and trajectory on his 3-ball, so it’s just a matter of confidence and consistency, which I think will come as he works his ass off this offseason. Hornacek also probably loves him because he reminds him of himself and his work ethic will set the tone in the locker room, practice and games. He has never failed yet at taking advantage of an opportunity, and I’m happy to believe in him.

      TH2 is doing and saying all the right things. He earned that contract and a return to NY the hard way (npi). In watching his highlights from the 2nd half of last year, I was struck by how many ways he can score, and how live his legs and body looked on his offensive moves. He has a prototypical 2-guard body and skill set. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the discussion for a backup all-star role.

      Then there’s the foreign legion. KP is flashing his new guns on instagram. Frank is a huge mystery, but at least we know that he will be OK on the defensive end. Willy is probably working on lateral quickness for being a better PnR and perimeter defender, and expanding his shooting range a bit. Kuz is hopefully getting stronger and refining that jumper a bit, although he’s probably distracted by being a newlywed. And I hope we give OJ a camp invite, if only to get a better look at him.

      Then there’s Dotson. Is he able to play the 3? Is his shooting and rebounding going to translate? If yes, we may have another 2nd round gem in the fold.

      So much depends on the Melo trade outcome. But no matter what happens, I can’t wait to see our young, athletic, unselfish core in action.

    2. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I think two teams Melo should consider for one year (before forming the inevitable banana boat) are Portland and Charlotte. Kemba Walker, Nic Batum, Melo, and Dwight Howard would be one hell of a team under Steve Clifford, and North Carolina is a short plane trip away. And in Portland you have Dame, CJ, and Nurkic. Both teams have ’93 born small forwards we should be interested in (MKG and Harkless), and both should be able to give us a 1st round pick. I hope the meeting between Melo and Scott Perry is productive.

      The truth about Houston is they’re still going to lose to Golden State and may have trouble getting past Kawhi and the Spurs. That team, with or without Melo, will miss the NBA Finals. So when you look at it from that perspective, I think Charlotte with Melo has as much of a chance to reach the ECF as anybody in the conference. Portland probably gets swept in the semis if they add Melo, but they obviously want to play with him. Melo should definitely be open to other suggestions.

    3. TheOakmanCometh

      I think two teams Melo should consider for one year (before forming the inevitable banana boat) are Portland and Charlotte.

      I’ve been saying the same. Actually I’ve been saying that Portland/Charlotte should be the 3rd team in a 3-way deal with Cleveland, where the Cavs get Melo + a small piece, the Blazers/Hornets get Love, and the Knicks get a package. Both teams have enough matching salary and assets to facilitate a trade.

      I still don’t think there’s any chance Melo would go to Charlotte directly, and probably not Portland either. But Love would be a good fit in both places.

    4. TheOakmanCometh

      I truly believe that while we overpaid for them by probably $8-10 million combined annually, both Baker and TH2 are going to be worth more that what they are getting paid.

      So they’re overpaid and also underpaid?

    5. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I think he meant while we overestimated their current market value, they will prove to be smart investments and outplay their contracts. I can see that argument with TH2 because he’s a good bet to become a Bradley Beal/CJ McCollum type with more defense, and both of those guys make north of $20M. Ron Baker is a harder sell because he was clearly terrible last season, but what’s $4m worth on the market today besides replacement level veterans? The Baker contract was indefensible, and the TH2 was a clear overpay. Either way, I’m excited to see a young Knicks team no matter how much we’re paying for it.

    6. Z-man

      I think they’re overpaid in that we could have signed them for less than we did. But I think they will both play well enough to earn what they are getting paid.

      Sort of like if you paid sticker price for a car while everyone else negotiated a deal. It doesn’t mean that the car is not better than other cars selling for what you paid.

    7. GoNyGoNyGo

      I think that they were both significantly overpaid.
      My hope is that they play well. I’m not even going to set the bar at what players they are getting what they are paid should. I don’t think it’s possible that THJ ever plays at a level that justifies his salary.

      No. I just hope that both can be viable bench players/6th men. If THJ plays like a $6M player (1/3 of his salary) he has value. If Baker performs like he deserves the veteran’s minimum, then he has done OK.

      I repeat… I cannot see the day that either player lives up to the contracts they signed. If you do, I want some of what you’re smoking.

    8. thenoblefacehumper

      I don’t think THJ will ever reach the point where giving him that deal was actually smart, but if he scores 4 more PPG or so and maintains or improves his efficiency I could see the narrative about the deal turning around. That still wouldn’t do much for us except boost his theoretical trade value that we’ll never cash in on, sadly.

      I do not think Baker will ever be worth what we gave him and we’ll be stuck with him for two years.

    9. ClashFan

      No matter how well both play, they will be overpaid b/c you could’ve gotten them for less money. In a league with a salary cap, you really need to avoid that, esp. when rebuilding, unless you are renting cap space for assets. This is even more true when you already have some wasted money on your cap (Noah, anyone?).

      And then there’s the silly player option for Ron.

      Nonetheless, I hope Ron and Tim both play well. They seem like good guys.

    10. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      If Tim Hardaway Jr scored 21 points/36 on a .530 eFG/.580 TS% that’s not worth $17M?

    11. Bruno Almeida

      Good news, if Ron Baker actually outperforms by some black magic his contract, he opts out next year!

      Thanks Mills!

      I think this team will suck, but if Melo’s gone it will be fun to watch at least, so I’m happy.

    12. Bruno Almeida

      @12

      if he’s a net negative in every other aspect on the court, specially defense, I dont think so.

      If he can become a decent defender and keep those numbers than yeah, probably.

    13. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I can’t wait until Two Way Timmy proves his worth as a New York Knick. Shooting guard is arguably the easiest position to improve at because it’s the least valuable position on a basketball court. A two guard in today’s NBA has two vital functions; score efficiently and use his size to harass opposing perimeter players. Tim Hardaway Jr is an above average scoring threat and about an average defender. If/when he makes marginal improvements on both of those things, you’re looking at breaking even on the contract. If he becomes a .600 TS% guy and an average defender, you now have surplus value and an NBA All Star.

      I think the key to whether Tim Hardaway Jr will improve or not depends on his ability to handle the ball. Now that he is currently slated to play in a 3 shooting guard-2 center line up, I think the team will rely on his handle more than he’s ever had his handle relied upon in the past. If he can develop an above average ball handle (and this is embarrassing considering who his father is), I think he gravitates to grabbing rebounds and pushing the ball in transition rather than just being a run out guy. It will also give him opportunities to boost his assist rate/attack defenses in P&R situations. His handle will really determine if he’s a poor man’s Klay Thompson or if he develops into a Bradley Beal level player. At least that’s how I see it.

    14. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Tim Hardaway Jr is already an average NBA defender, if not slightly above average.

    15. fmikieo

      I guess it’s Delusion Monday today.
      Carry on.

      It’s not difficult to disagree without being disagreeable.

    16. GoNyGoNyGo

      @12 – These are the players aside from Timmy with contracts that will pay between 17M-$19M per year.

      Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Allen Crabbe, Enes Kanter, Greg Monroe, Wesley Matthews, Klay Thompson, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Evan Turner, Goran Dragic, Bismack Biyombo, Evan Fournier

      Sure, some are idiotic (starting with Noah) but tell me with a straight face that THJ belongs in this group (ranked 33-44 in per-year salary)

      (Source: Hoopshype)

    17. Z-man

      @6 well put. My love for the idea of Baker is not supported by what he has produced statistically in his 800 NBA minutes, particularly his awful shooting. But I believe in him and think he will do whatever it takes to be good, mainly because I see the same things in him that Coach Forbes saw when he was an assistant at Wichita State:

      “What makes you think you can play in the NBA?” Baker will have a ready answer.
      “I feel like I’m very coachable,” he said. “Whatever you tell me to do or need me to do, I’m going to try and accomplish it. It may take me a year to get good, or even great at it, but I’m willing to put in the work to get there.”

      Those who know Baker best think the NBA is his next destination.
      “Without question,” said former Wichita State assistant Steve Forbes, now the head coach at East Tennessee State. Pressed for reasons, Forbes offered several.
      “One, I think he’s a really good player,” Forbes said. “Two, he’s ultra competitive. Three, I can’t ever remember him having a bad practice, not going hard every play, every possession, every drill. I never walked out of the gym saying Ron Baker had a bad day today.
      “You need to have a Ron Baker on your team to win. The intangibles, the little things … all the stuff that adds up to winning, he’s got it all.”
      Forbes was at Wichita State for Baker’s sophomore and junior seasons, plenty of time to judge his talent, but more important, his character.
      “I’ve had a lot of NBA guys call me,” Forbes said. “And I tell them all, there are no negatives to Ron Baker. I’ve coached several guys who played in the NBA, I know their strengths and weaknesses. And I’m telling you, there are no negatives to Ron Baker. He’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime players, and persons.”

    18. Bruno Almeida

      Mark Few said Adam Morrison would be a great NBA player too, I dont think we should put much into what an ex coach in college says about one of his guys.

      I hope he does well because he’s a nice dude it seems, but well. Its optimist monday anyway.

    19. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      How does Tim Hardaway Jr not belong in that group? You have Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, and Jimmy Butler in that mix of players, but they are underpaid. Those guys, if their contracts expired, would be making Mike Conley money. Everybody else though? Enes Kanter (who is beyond abysmal defensively), Greg Monroe, Evan Fournier, Goran Dragic, Wesley Matthews, Goran Dragic, Bismarck Biyombo? I’d rather have a .580TS% guy on a 23% usage than them. Well, maybe not Monroe but we already have Willy Hernangomez. I think TH2, should he make continue to improve, fits exactly into that category of player.

    20. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      https://www.peachtreehoops.com/2017/2/22/14692240/tim-hardaway-jr-atlanta-hawks-free-agent-cash-in

      From this article (written in February):

      In addition, Hardaway has improved nearly every aspect of his game to go along with better shooting. His on/off court statistics reflect this gain, since the Hawks have played better with him on the floor in 2016-17. Atlanta has a offensive rating of 108.4 and a defensive rating of 103.0 with Hardaway playing. Without him, the numbers shift to 97.4 and 103.7, respectively. The most significant number is the offensive rating. The defense has been about the same without or without Hardaway, but the offense takes a major hit when he is on the bench.
      When one considers that the Hawks as a team have a negative net rating, the fact that Atlanta posts a positive rating of 5.4 with Hardaway playing is significant. The sample size for this statistic is somewhat smaller since he normally doesn’t play starters’ minutes, but over the course of a full season it still stands out. From shooting to defense, Hardaway has become a much more valuable player than he was last season

      .

    21. TheOakmanCometh

      Average starters should make about $15m AAV. THJ is between the 19th-23rd best SG in the league, making him a below average starter. That translates to about $12m AAV. He’s being paid $18m — 50% more than he’s worth.

      He’d have to improve significantly to outperform his contract. And he’d have to improve even more to justify the trade kicker and player option. The chances of that are pretty slim. Given that last year was his career year, two years ago he was sent to the D-league, and he’s leaving a Hawks system that makes wing players look great, it’s just as likely that he gets worse than gets better.

      If he maintains his exact level of play from last year, we should be happy. Which would still mean he’s badly overpaid.

    22. Z-man

      Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Allen Crabbe, Enes Kanter, Greg Monroe, Wesley Matthews, Klay Thompson, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Evan Turner, Goran Dragic, Bismack Biyombo, Evan Fournier

      Kyrie, Kawhi, Jimmy are all superstars that could never have been signed this year at the price TH2 was signed for in today’s market, so it’s a joke to even bring them up.

      Kanter, Monroe, Crabbe, Matthews, Biyombo and Fournier are easily as overpaid as Hardaway Jr. is likely to be. Only Monroe and Kanter had a higher WS48 than Timmy last year. Milwaukee would dump his salary in a heartbeat. Kanter couldn’t get off the bench in the playoffs because he was such a defensive liability. Yes, I can tell you with a straight face that Hardaway Jr. more than belongs in that group, even at last year’s level of production.

      Goran Dragic was 30 years old last year. When he was 26 years old in Phoenix, he played 2600 minutes to a WS48 of .106, that after only one >.100 WS48 season.

      Klay Thompson is in the 3rd year of his first extension with the team that drafted him, and will likely command a max salary in 2 years. If he was a RFA right now, what would he be signed for? Please don’t say anything less than the theoretical max.

      Noah, Turner and Deng are all terrible overpays.

      The bottom line is that your list supports the point that Hardaway more or less belongs in that salary niche based on current market value, i.e. what they would sign for if they were RFAs or UFAs this year.

    23. TheOakmanCometh

      As for Baker, the chances that he outperforms his contract so much that it justifies the money AND the player option is roughly 0.001%. There is literally no evidence that he can do that.

    24. Z-man

      “Mark Few said Adam Morrison would be a great NBA player too, I dont think we should put much into what an ex coach in college says about one of his guys.”

      Nobody ever said this about Baker:

      The other hole in Adam Morrison?s game can be easily observed on the defensive end. Morrison clearly reserves most of his energy for his scoring expoits, and tends to coast on defense most of the time. Gonzaga will often switch into zone defenses so teams can?t exploit him on that end. – Source: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Adam-Morrison-174/ ©DraftExpress

    25. english_knick

      I just love ‘now he’s playing in a 3-sg 2 center lineup’ … as if that’s some sort of normal thing or a great strategic play by a farsighted front office seeking to outmanoeuvre the vogue small-ball pace and space revolution.

      And not just ‘ah crap we blewall our cash on 2-guards’.

      Also a big fan of the idea that THJ will just seamlessly become CJ or Beal – two guys who outperformed him in pretty much every counting stat AND every advanced metric and are borderline all-stars.

      Whatever you’ve had, I want some…

    26. Z-man

      I truly don’t get the concern about the player option for a contract that small. I’d be THRILLED if he plays well enough to opt out, and would not be a bit concerned about it if he doesn’t play well enough to justify the $4.9 million and opts in. Bad negotiating or not, it is so inconsequential that it’s not worth thinking about.

    27. Z-man

      Comparing TH2 to Beal or McCollum is not realistic. But both of those guys are making max money, so who cares? In 3 years, they will both be making 50% more than him. Will they be producing 50% more than him on the court? I doubt it.

    28. chrisk06811

      Don’t forget, if Baker disappoints or under performs this year, there is a high probability that he will feel guilty about it and not exercise his option just because we are good guys and he doesn’t want to let us down.

    29. Bruno Almeida

      Come on, Z-man.

      Your post was a quote from an ex-coach of Baker praising him. I’ve answered by saying ex-coaches will obviously talk positive things about their players, they won’t throw them under the bus unless something bizarre happens.

      Then you come and cherry pick some quote on Morrison’s draft express… let’s do that one more time then, shall we?

      “All in all, Morrison backed up the hype and some more in this workout. Watching him play in a setting like this, it’s hard to not come away with the feeling that his impact in the NBA will be almost immediate. (…) he has to be considered the early favorite for Rookie of the Year honors.”

      Nobody said that about Baker either, and I’m pretty sure if you go to Baker’s draftexpress page you’ll find a lot of bad stuff written about him too.

      I get that you love the kid, I hope you’re right. But please, stop trying to make it seem like there’s actual analysis behind it instead of just hope he’s gonna leverage his smarts / hard work into becoming a good player.

    30. JK47

      Oh sure, Baker received all positive glowing scouting reports, which is why he wasn’t one of the 60 players chosen that year. Uh…

      “Undersized for a SG and lacks speed and athleticism for either NBA guard position … ”
      “doesn’t have any stand out skill that makes him intriguing as an NBA prospect at this point”
      “Lateral quickness definitely an issue for defending guards at the NBA level ”
      “Size not optimal for SG, and has not displayed the ability to play point guard full time”
      “Below the rim player”

      That’s my Ron Ron!

    31. JK47

      I’m looking forward to this highly innovative three-shooting guard, two-center lineup. It’s the equivalent of the “three left fielders” outfield currently employed by the New York Mets.

    32. chrisk06811

      I think we all felt like Ron was better than what we expected from him last year, which was just about nothing. I don’t think anyone’s upset that he’s on the team. It’s just $9M……why? I mean, if I have to choose between Dolan having that $$ and Ron, I’ll take Ron

    33. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      It’s obviously a bad thing what the starting 5 looks like. I was making a joke.

    34. Z-man

      Baker justifiably went undrafted. Everything that was said about him has turned out to be true, positives and negatives. He has already defied insurmountable odds by actually making an NBA roster, and then again by actually earning an NBA rotation spot in his rookie year. He is not limited by size (6’3″ with a 6’8.5″ wingspan) or athleticism (built like a linebacker) or work ethic (legendary) or b-ball IQ (probably his most outstanding feature.) Maybe his shot doesn’t improve or his ball-handling plateaus, but I wouldn’t bet against him.

      And to be clear, we’re not having a discussion about whether to draft him at #3, as Morrison was. Morrison represents a horribly squandered draft opportunity who under-performed even the worst floor set for him.

      It’s not that you should blindly believe what coaches say. The point is that Baker’s coach said things that are already proven to be true. He said before the draft that he would be an NBA player and he gave his reasons, and he is, for all of those reasons, right?

    35. thenoblefacehumper

      Ron Baker playing well enough to opt out would actually still be objectively bad. It would secure us a few more meaningless wins (say, 33 instead of 29) and then we’d have to pay up just to keep together the core of a team that still wasn’t good. You might think that’s a cynical analysis but it’s undoubtedly true. It’s truly an all-downside deal.

    36. Z-man

      JK47, yes, I read those too.

      “Undersized for a SG and lacks speed and athleticism for either NBA guard position … ”
      Clearly this is not true. He’s plenty big, long and athletic enough.

      “doesn’t have any stand out skill that makes him intriguing as an NBA prospect at this point”
      This is true thus far.

      “Lateral quickness definitely an issue for defending guards at the NBA level ”

      Not true.

      “Size not optimal for SG, and has not displayed the ability to play point guard full time”

      Undetermined.

      “Below the rim player”

      Somewhat true, but who really cares?

    37. GoNyGoNyGo

      Z-Man and Glass-half,

      I’ll try and bring sense to the THJ ranking. He absolutely does NOT belong in a group that is paid as if they were ranked as near All-stars. We’re talking about paying him as if he was 35th-40th ranked player in the entire NBA.

      Using advanced stats for his career year last year, he ranked…

      77th in WS
      140th in WS48
      125th in VORP
      100th in DWS
      81st in OWS
      97th in USG%
      139th in TS%

      The ball is in your end of the court now.

    38. Z-man

      tnfh, maybe we should just waive all not rookie contracts and play KP and Willy in the D-league? I mean if KP plays well, we will win too much, killing our lottery odds, and we may lose him or overpay him! Damn, I hope Dotson sucks too, imagine if he gives us a couple more wins and we lose out on Doncic?

      If Ron plays well, no matter what, it’s bad for the team? I just can’t relate to that on any level.

    39. thenoblefacehumper

      Z-Man, come on. Ron Baker became an NBA player because Phil Jackson signed him to a contract, but he didn’t actually play like one. He has not overcome any odds to this point in his career. He has played like the player the quotes JK47 posted would indicate. I don’t mean to pile on, he seems like a nice guy and I don’t blame him for Steve Mills’ idiocy. But citing the fact that he made a roster as a justification for the deal is ridiculous.

    40. GoNyGoNyGo

      Z-man,
      I kinda agree with TNFH. I cannot see us being anywhere near mediocre this year. We’re talking 25 wins as a high mark based on this roster. But mediocrity is the worst thing to be in this NBA. It is an inescapable purgatory. Either you are a great team and have a shot at the title or the worst possible team and can draft a stud in the draft.

      Or you can be the Celtics and trade for 2 Nyet picks.

    41. JK47

      If Ron plays well, no matter what, it’s bad for the team? I just can’t relate to that on any level.

      It’s bad for the team because Ron is only a long-term piece here if he plays badly. If he plays well he’s either going to bolt for somewhere else or we’ll have to pay him market value.

      Again, if you pay everybody market value you’re a .500 team. He either stinks and we’re stuck with him, or he’s decent and we have to pay him like a veteran. This defeats the whole point of an end-of-roster flyer like Ron Baker.

    42. Z-man

      GNYGNYG, it’s not useful to look at things that way. You have to throw out all players that either are grossly underpaid due either to their rookie scale contract or a re-upped contract under different cap parameters. The only measure that makes sense is, how much would a comparable player command if he were available as a RFA right now and you wanted to prevent a team from matching? Or as a UFA and you were bidding against other teams?

      There is absolutely no way that he doesn’t get offered in the $12-15 million per range, and as such, he’s a $3-5 million per year overpay at his recent level of production. He’s in roughly the same class as other late-bloomer wings like Carroll, Matthews, Bazemore, etc. If he maintains his stats, he will continue to be an overpay, just like those guys turned out to be. But it’s not a horrible gamble, given his age and trajectory.

    43. Z-man

      “It’s bad for the team because Ron is only a long-term piece here if he plays badly.”

      He is a dirt-cheap (1/20th of the cap) two-year piece under any circumstances, so the term “long-term” doesn’t apply here. And at his salary, the extra year is totally inconsequential.

      If he plays well, it’s a feel-good story. If he bolts, good for him, look for the next feel-good story, no harm, no foul. If we re-sign him to a more expensive long-term deal, good again! We discovered a good, home-grown talent and are keeping him around! If he’s bad, well at least he set a tone in practice and didn’t do anything to embarrass the team. Sucks for us, but no biggie, we were projected to be bad anyway.

    44. Z-man

      Z-Man, come on. Ron Baker became an NBA player because Phil Jackson signed him to a contract, but he didn’t actually play like one. He has not overcome any odds to this point in his career. He has played like the player the quotes JK47 posted would indicate. I don’t mean to pile on, he seems like a nice guy and I don’t blame him for Steve Mills’ idiocy. But citing the fact that he made a roster as a justification for the deal is ridiculous.

      This is an oversimplification. It’s not that he made an NBA roster like some Rudy story. It’s that he demonstrated lots of NBA-caliber skills, just not as consistently as he needs to. He averaged 4 rebounds and 4 assists per 36, and clearly demonstrated the ability to be a plus defensive player. The one thing he did poorly was shoot, which is the skill that scouts were least concerned about…notice that in @32 nothing is mentioned about his shooting. He shot very well in college, so was last year an aberration? If yes, and he shoots better, he’s easily a $4 million dollar player.

    45. GoNyGoNyGo

      Z-man,

      There is absolutely no way that he doesn’t get offered in the $12-15 million per range

      I would not complain MUCH if he was paid $12M. But he’s paid at 150% of that rate. There are no stats that you’ll accept but I’ll make a bold statement. He’s not a top-50 player. It is STUPID to pay the 100th best player the same, or more than the 50th paid player. We’re paying him like the 35th rank player which ranks as VERY STUPID.

    46. djphan

      to put it in perspective … the #5 pick this year gets paid 3.8 and 4.5mm this year and next and get signed to 4 yr deals with a team option in the 4th….

      not sure what precedent is for these type of contracts for an undrafted FA… but to me .. it was pretty excessive…

    47. Bruno Almeida

      once again, it’s not about if those players will match their contracts, it’s about the fact that the Knicks did not have to overpay them.

      THJ might be a 17 million player one day; we got him for 17 million so he’ll strike even. If we got him for a bit more than what Atlanta was rumoured to give him, let’s say 55 million + player option, and he turned out to be a 17 million player, the Knicks would have done what smarter franchises do all the time: not get equal value to their expenses, but get extra value.

    48. Z-man

      @47 I like how you completely avoided refuting anything I said in @47. How many of the top-50 players in the NBA were available to sign this year? And of those, what did they sign for? And how good are the players who signed similar deals this year?

      It’s VERY STUPID to compare apples to oranges.

    49. thenoblefacehumper

      tnfh, maybe we should just waive all not rookie contracts and play KP and Willy in the D-league? I mean if KP plays well, we will win too much, killing our lottery odds, and we may lose him or overpay him! Damn, I hope Dotson sucks too, imagine if he gives us a couple more wins and we lose out on Doncic?

      If Ron plays well, no matter what, it’s bad for the team? I just can’t relate to that on any level.

      Do you actually not understand the difference between these things or are you just trolling? KP and Willy are under cheap team control for at least 2 and 3 more seasons respectively, after which we still will be able to keep them if we want through restricted free agency (unless they take their QOs in which case everything is fucked anyway). Their improvement is clearly beneficial for the long term status of the team even if it costs us draft slots.

      The same is obviously not true for a player we control for one year on what projects to be a shitty team. The contract is set up so that whatever the worst case scenario for the Knicks is, that is what will happen.

    50. Z-man

      @49, is there a possibility that he actually plays better in 2 years than, say, George Hill (old, always hurt)? Or Danilo Gallinari (always hurt)? Or Serge Ibaka (old)? In that case, wouldn’t the Knicks be getting extra value compared to those guys and what they are getting paid?

      In most cases, other than the transcendent stars and just off of rookie deals, it is very hard to get “extra value” in FA. Look at the signings this year and tell me who is obviously getting extra value for FAs from other teams. It’s a really short list. Most are calculated risks.

    51. Z-man

      The same is obviously not true for a player we control for one year on what projects to be a shitty team. The contract is set up so that whatever the worst case scenario for the Knicks is, that is what will happen.

      This is simply not true. The most likely scenario is that he plays at near his contract and then either opts in or out with little financial or other consequence. It is exactly what happened with DWill and Afflalo.

      If you want to say that there were better guys to sign with the money, that’s fair. But you are harping on the extremes…he either totally sucks and opts in, or plays way better than a $5 million player and opts out.

    52. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Guys the Knicks overpaid. Woe is me; let’s discuss how dumb the Knicks are until training camp. Or we could compare TH2 and some of the other young guys our future is hinged to (like KP) to other guys and try to gauge their chances for improvement and productivity.

      This isn’t your regular Knicks off season where we sign 29 year olds and wonder about if they change their lifestyles and miraculously improve. This time we have a 22 year old Porzingis, a 23 year old Hernangomez, and a 25 year old Tim Hardaway Jr. We also have a 19 year old Frank Ntilikina and a 23 year old Damyean Dotson to look forward to. We know the Knicks overpaid, but every RFA that makes it to free agency gets overpaid. Gordon Hayward and Bradley Beal were gross overpays at the time they signed their deals but their teams were banking on their improvements. Bradley Beal went from a .540 TS to a .600 TS% in one season. Gordon Hayward went from a .520 to a .567, and then this past year his TS% went from .559 to .595.

      A lot of young guys get overpaid on their 2nd contract only to outperform that contract so they can be overpaid on their 3rd contracts. We’ll see if TH2 can jump from a .568 to a .600 this season. Ron Baker is house money this season, and even though we should have signed him to a 3 year deal with a team option on the 3rd, losing Ron Baker will never be the end of the world. Ron Baker is the new Langston Galloway.

    53. Ingmarrrr

      And I still remember how Z
      man did not surrender
      to the fickle nature of analytics
      and the cruelty of his critics
      but pored his love on the Rose
      and his good pal who should foreclose.

    54. thenoblefacehumper

      In most cases, other than the transcendent stars and just off of rookie deals, it is very hard to get “extra value” in FA. Look at the signings this year and tell me who is obviously getting extra value for FAs from other teams. It’s a really short list. Most are calculated risks.

      You’re so close to making a realization here…

      It’s almost as if the non-superstar free agent market is not where mediocre teams should be shopping.

    55. GoNyGoNyGo

      @50 – I didn’t do it because there are only 9 signed RFA’s. It’s too small a sample size and oh, BTW, THJ is the #2 highest paid of the lot:
      Otto Porter Jr. $26,631,244
      Tim Hardaway Jr. $17,737,500
      Joe Ingles $13,000,000
      Tony Snell $11,500,000
      Cristiano Felicio $8,000,000
      Andre Roberson $10,000,000
      Langston Galloway $7,000,000
      Alan Williams $5,666,667
      Reggie Bullock $2,500,000
      (BTW, I would rather have Langston Galloway)

      Here are the top-200 players based on VORP that signed this off-season. See how he stacks up in terms of salary by rank. THJ sticks out like a sore thumb:
      Rk Player Salary
      7 Stephen Curry $40,231,758.00
      13 Kevin Durant $25,625,000.00
      14 Kyle Lowry $33,333,333.00
      20 Gordon Hayward $31,957,493.00
      26 Blake Griffin $34,452,000.00
      34 Paul Millsap $30,000,000.00
      35 Jeff Teague $19,000,000.00
      37 Andre Iguodala $16,000,000.00
      39 James Johnson $15,000,000.00
      44 Joe Ingles $13,000,000.00
      45 George Hill $19,000,000.00
      54 Jrue Holiday $25,200,000.00
      63 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $18,000,000.00
      66 Amir Johnson $11,000,000.00
      72 P.J. Tucker $7,818,097.00
      73 Zaza Pachulia $3,477,600.00
      74 Danilo Gallinari $21,587,579.00
      84 Vince Carter $8,000,000.00
      90 Thabo Sefolosha $5,250,000.00
      94 Dewayne Dedmon $7,000,000.00
      96 Patrick Patterson $5,451,600.00
      98 Andre Roberson $10,000,000.00
      103 J.J. Redick $23,000,000.00
      107 Mike Muscala $5,000,000.00
      108 Kelly Olynyk $12,500,000.00
      113 Serge Ibaka $21,666,667.00
      122 David West $2,328,652.00
      125 Tim Hardaway $17,737,500.00
      134 Kyle Korver $7,000,000.00
      136 Ersan Ilyasova $6,000,000.00
      143 Nene Hilario $3,651,480.00
      145 C.J. Miles $8,333,333.00
      147 Rudy Gay $8,616,150.00
      149 Tony Snell $11,500,000.00
      161 Anthony Tolliver $3,290,000.00
      168 Cristiano Felicio $8,000,000.00
      171 Nick Young $5,192,000.00
      185 Justin Holiday $4,500,000.00
      189 Dion Waiters $13,000,000.00
      190 Raymond Felton $2,328,652…
      (Spotrak is missing some recent signings)

    56. stratomatic is despondent

      The key to Baker is whether he can improve his scoring efficiency to around league average. If he can do that, he’ll be a bargain because imo he’s already a good defender with some other skills. The odd thing is that he wasn’t nearly as terrible a shooter in college as he was last year with the Knicks. It’s hard to know how much of that was the rougher competition and how much was random. All that said, if we had planned things better we could have gotten him for the qualifying offer. So we screwed up badly.

    57. Bruno Almeida

      @56

      exactly.

      that’s way smart teams don’t make big free agent signings unless they are already contending or they are rebuilding for years and won’t use the cap space anyway.

      adding decent to mediocre players for decent to mediocre prices is a good way of building a decent but mediocre team.

    58. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Steve Mills plainly said “no” to a question where he was asked if the Knicks would buy out Melo. He also said that the Knicks were in a rebuilding stage without ever using the word “rebuild,” making a comment about how the fanbase is ready for a youth movement so long as the team on the court tries hard and doesn’t go full Hinkie. I like what they’re saying so far.

      If Hornacek really wants to build a great defense he has two excellent pieces to build around with Ntilikina and Porzingis. But apparently Hornacek’s Knicks will now have an emphasis on defense.

    59. GoNyGoNyGo

      @56 – I agree 100%. A rebuilding team has no reason to pay FA money. That’s what is egregious about the THJ signing. It locks us into a mediocre player for 4 years.

    60. rama

      Mills emphasized defense as well as youth and length. I like defense a lot more than youth and length, because it’s less about wishful thinking and more about what actually happens.

      That said, they then overpaid for Timmy, a notoriously poor defender with us who became a mediocre defender with Atlanta. If he stays mediocre on D (i.e., if the effort wasn’t related to it being a contract year and a superb coaching staff we don’t have) and raises his TS to 60% on say 23% usage, Mills was a genius. Otherwise, bad deal.

      Either way, I agree that it will be nice to be rooting for a bunch of kids with potential – sort of like the Gallo/Chandler team. All we need to do is trade Melo.

    61. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Tim Hardaway Jr is weak on close outs but he’s a good help defender otherwise. He’s somebody that works well in a team oriented defensive scheme but he’s not your Klay Thompson type that you put on Kyrie Irving when you need a stop. TH2 didn’t hurt Atlanta’s defense when he stepped into the game.

    62. Brian Cronin

      Someone convince Dolan it would be easier to sell the Knicks and buy the Rockets

      What a strange situation that is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a non-sick guy sell a big team like that. Think Alexander is lying about his health?

    63. Brian Cronin

      Mills’ press conference was fine enough. He’s saying a lot of the right things (they don’t necessarily match what he’s done, but he’s saying the right things at least). The thing that got me the most was how dismissive he seemed to be to Jackson. It was kind of odd.

    64. danvt

      The question is the downside. Do RB and TH make us worse on the court? Do they make us better but only in the annoying sense that we pick 8th again? Could we have other better players later if we keep the money in our pocket now?

      At least we’re betting on young healthy players and we didn’t have to give up picks.

      If KP, Frank, Wily develop like Sanchez and Judge we’ll be happy whether these guys develop or not. Unless they cost us that one last piece and don’t become it.

    65. stratomatic is despondent

      If you don’t sign free agents, that means you are basically building via the draft only initially. That’s going to take around 5 years just to get the core players, let alone develop them all. It will also often fail unless you get a good ping pong ball draw and/or lucky selection. That approach failed for our new GM’s former team, the Orlando Magic.

      I’m not condoning the signing of a FA like Hardaway. That was an obvious overpay. But adding undervalued free agents selectively should be on the table or get ready for a 5-8 process that may fail badly.

      Even Hinkie’s 76ers, who executed the “draft only” approach to an extreme, drafted well, and was in some good drafts is still nowhere close to actual contention yet (probably 3-5 years away assuming all those injuries don’t come back to haunt the 76ers). It can work, but no management will survive it.

    66. Early Bird

      I don’t think Baker will improve his shooting much as a pg.

      I’ve always believed running the point hurts your shooting. You aren’t running around staring at the basket the whole time. Often times shooting is supposed to be your last option.

    67. Cock Jowles, Not a Knicks Fan Because Fuck This Team

      2017 and we’re still arguing over whether a ~30-win team will end up being a 50-win team. Good to know nothing changes, here.

    68. TheOakmanCometh

      Mills said the right things about Melo today. He helped our trade leverage by suggesting that we might keep him, but he also left open the door to a trade. He said unequivocally that we won’t buy him out. Let’s hope Melo gets the message by widening his circle of teams he’ll accept a trade to.

    69. Z-man

      Funny how much flak I’m getting considering that I’m in agreement with the premise that both deals were overpays.

      And I also agree with @56, in that mgmt’s team-building strategy is wrong-headed. They’d be better off not signing FAs at all.

      But the reality is that Mills is who he is and Dolan is who he is, as such, I set the bar low when it comes to what to expect from them. Despite those 2 moves, I agree with Rama that we’re essentially back to where we might have been without the Amare and Melo signings. Not sure what will happen, but Baker and TH2 are my kind of players, overpaid or not.

    70. chrisk06811

      I would have argued the PG shooting % thing, but I looked it up, not a single PG shot over 48% last year.

    71. JK47

      The odd thing is that he wasn’t nearly as terrible a shooter in college as he was last year with the Knicks.

      That isn’t odd at all, because the Missouri Valley Conference is a piddly little mid-major conference and the NBA is the NBA. Cleanthony Early lit the Missouri Valley Conference on fire– he had a .570 eFG% as a senior. How’s it goink with him?

    72. Z-man

      Both played very well in the NCAA tournament. Early played PF, though, and is clearly not suited to playing there, nor does he have the ball skills or IQ to play smaller. Ron’s greatest asset is between the ears. He will only succeed by out-thinking his opponents. He thrives on making others better and doing the little things that win games but don’t show up in the box score. Cle either scored a lot and efficiently or was a liability.

    73. Z-man

      Cle also slipped in to round 2 due to concerns about being a tweener, which turned out to be true. Ron went undrafted over concerns he was not either physically or skill-wise an NBA player. That has not turned out to be true. His weakness in the NBA was a strength in college…shooting. He doesn’t have to get bigger, or stronger, or faster, or smarter to fix that. It’s far more possible than it was for Cle.

    74. nicos

      When you have a turnover % of 19.2 against an assist rate of 17.2 while playing the majority of your minutes at point it’s hard to say you’re a high IQ player- you’re either really incompetent or you’re making bad decisions. Or you’re just not a point guard and since Ron is probably fifth on the current shooting guard depth chart (and he shot poorly anyway) signing him to anything other than a minimum contract was foolish.

    75. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, Ron never struck me as a smart player. He was a maximum effort guy, no doubt about it, but that’s about it. I went to one game after Ron had become the back-up point guard and I spent most of the game just watching Ron (as the rest of the game sucked – it was the one that they lost to the Nets) and he was constantly making terrible decisions. That’s obviously just one game, but I don’t think it seemed much different from his normal play.

      Still, if he improves his shooting a lot, he’ll be a good player.

    76. Z-man

      Or you’re a rookie playing a notoriously difficult position to learn (see: Mudiay, Russell, etc.)

    77. JK47

      Not only did they overpay him, but once again they’re asking him to play a position that he can’t really play. If he wasn’t good enough to play point guard in the Missouri Valley Conference he is probably not going to be figuring that ish out at the NBA level. It’s kind of like asking a guy who is a second baseman in college try to convert to shortstop in the pros. It doesn’t happen, because if the guy was good enough to be playing shortstop he would have been playing shortstop already.

    78. Bruno Almeida

      The thing is that being a smart person hardly translates to being smart on the court, that’s where I disagree the most wish you Z-man.

      By all accounts Ron is a bright young man, yes, but there’s a reason people talk about basketball IQ. There have been many players who aren’t exactly book writers out there but who are capable of incredibly smart play on the court.

      I agree with Brian here. He might be a super hard worker, and we know that’s not a given with basketball players, but saying he’ll be able to outhink players in the NBA is just a load of crap. There’s no reason to believe his smarts outside the court will ever translate into proper understanding of the game or being able to outthink opponents on the court consistently, specially since basketball is such a fast game where instincts and habit most of the time are more important than being an intelligent person.

    79. #fireRambis

      fact CP3 has now joined his 3rd team where ownership decides (okay sterling was forced) to sell after. New Orleans, Clippers, Rockets

      Knicks sign CP3 next!

    80. Ntilakilla

      There once was a player named Melo
      Who was quite a selfish young fellow
      He whined like a twat
      Cause he lost his big shot
      For a buyout when Perry said, “Hello!”

    81. danvt

      2017 and we’re still arguing over whether a ~30-win team will end up being a 50-win team. Good to know nothing changes, here.

      So, would you trade KP? Is there anyone on the roster that’ll still be on it when the team next wins 50 games? Is Frank a bust already? No upside for Wily? This team, same as last year, no improvement to be expected?

    82. Brian Cronin

      Not only did they overpay him, but once again they’re asking him to play a position that he can’t really play. If he wasn’t good enough to play point guard in the Missouri Valley Conference he is probably not going to be figuring that ish out at the NBA level. It’s kind of like asking a guy who is a second baseman in college try to convert to shortstop in the pros. It doesn’t happen, because if the guy was good enough to be playing shortstop he would have been playing shortstop already.

      That’s really the impression that I get watching Ron play, that he’s a 2 being forced into the 1, but then he shot terribly. So it was a really bad fit. Now, if the shooting improves a lot, that helps a lot, but his mentality out there seems to always be to score and he was really bad at scoring. So it wasn’t a winning combo last year.

    83. geo

      way to go with the positive waves z-man!!!

      perfect timing for a fairly challenging monday….

      i wanna believe :-)

    84. TheOakmanCometh

      There’s no evidence that Ron is a smart player. Being white and unathletic does not automatically make a guy smart.

    85. djphan

      the history of players who weren’t pg’s in college and then playing pg in the pro’s… is almost non-existent.. it’s basically westbrook and that’s it… and i’d argue that he isn’t much of a pg anyway…

      that being said… i think baker has a shot to be something like a john paxson or derek fisher… someone who can play D, bring the ball up the court and hit open shots… but we need other ball handlers on the court for that and th2, lee, kp, wily are def not it….

    86. chrisk06811

      There’s no evidence that Ron is a smart player. Being white and unathletic does not automatically make a guy smart.

      I don’t know about that. I’m smart. I know it’s a small sample size, but that’s everyone currently in the room I’m in.

    87. JK47

      Now may I please have my $9M?

      And my player option?

      Are you scrappy? Player options are only for the scrappy.

    88. GoNyGoNyGo

      @86 – Ntilikina, Limericks might be your thing ;)
      @75 – Z-man, The clear message I got from your posts about THJ was that he got paid what the market value for him was. Then you brought the price down to $12-15M. I accept that you’ve set the bar low on anything that MSG does. +1 to that.

      As far as Baker goes, I view him as the 5th guard on a good team, one who gets into the rotation when there’s an injury. He can’t really shoot but he will pass the ball and provides hustle. He is not a starter and his upside is 6th man.

      Putting money aside, I like both Baker and Hardaway as role players.

    89. stratomatic is despondent

      That isn’t odd at all, because the Missouri Valley Conference is a piddly little mid-major conference and the NBA is the NBA. Cleanthony Early lit the Missouri Valley Conference on fire– he had a .570 eFG% as a senior. How’s it goink with him?

      I understand and agree with that. I don’t have a formula for trying to adjust college FG% to pro based on level of college competition. However, Baker shot 80% from the FT line over 4 years. He shot 65% last year for the Knicks. So I suspect he just had a down year shooting as part of it. If he could just get back to hitting 80% of his FTs he would have a decent impact on TS%.

    90. JK47

      He can’t really shoot but he will pass the ball and provides hustle.

      This praise is so faint you need the Hubble Telescope to see it

    91. stratomatic is despondent

      One problem with both Baker and Frank is that they are both better fits for the Triangle than playing PG in the typical offense we seem to be switching back towards. In fact, despite all the hoopla, imo that’s the primary difference between playing the triangle and any other offense. In the current modern offense the PG dominates the ball and makes most of the plays. In the Triangle the play making is more evenly distributed among all the players. That’s why traditional PGs hate it, but guys like Baker and Frank might thrive in it. It remains to be seen whether Frank can become more of a traditional PG, but he looks more like a SG to me now.

    92. GoNyGoNyGo

      This praise is so faint you need the Hubble Telescope to see it

      It wasn’t meant as praise. It was how I feel about him. I don’t think he has the talent to be a productive starter in the NBA but I think he’s better than D-League. When looking at a backup I would rather have a guard that plays defense, passes and hustles over one that doesn’t.

      As for his intelligence, let’s see how Hornacek develops him this year. During the presser, Mills underscored an emphasis about developing players. We’ll see.

    93. JK47

      Ntilikina looks like a pretty traditional PG to me, he’s just a little tall for the position. He has a reputation as a pass-first guy, he has some developed pick and roll ability, his first step is quick, he has a variety of hesitation/crossover moves… Everything in his profile says “point guard” to me except his 6’5″ height.

    94. stratomatic is despondent

      Ntilikina looks like a pretty traditional PG to me, he’s just a little tall for the position. He has a reputation as a pass-first guy, he has some developed pick and roll ability, his first step is quick, he has a variety of hesitation/crossover moves… Everything in his profile says “point guard” to me except his 6’5? height.

      When I watched him (admittedly I’ve probably seen less than 60 minutes of play), he did not look like a guy you’d give the ball to and tell to break down the offense with penetration, draw help, and create for others. He didn’t seem to have the handle and/or aggressiveness to do that yet. He looked more comfortable off the ball while being a very wiling passer.

    95. rama

      fact CP3 has now joined his 3rd team where ownership decides (okay sterling was forced) to sell after. New Orleans, Clippers, Rockets

      Knicks sign CP3 next!

      I’m on board.

    96. Bruno Almeida

      I think people are getting too caught up with the fact Ntilikina played mostly as a 2 guard in Strasburg.

      His team had a lot of veteran Guards and European coaches are notorious for being very hard on super young players, giving them very little playing time and forcing them to adapt to whatever the team needs.

      He was the main ball handler for France in the U18 tournament and he was tournament MVP, so that’s a better indication of his potential imo… He averaged 18 ppg and about 5 rebounds 4 assists for the tournament, which has had some pretty good players as MVP before, like Tony Parker, Nic Batum, Jonas Valanciunas, Dario Saric, Alex Abrines, Enes Kanter and Sergio Rodriguez.

    97. Ntilakilla

      I agree that Ntilikina’s weakness as a PG is his handle. If anything will keep him from being a bonified NBA starter at PG it will be that.

    98. Zanzibar

      NYK were +1.2 when Ron was in the game. This was his first year in the league and he played a lot at the 1 so it’s somewhat to be expected he’d be terrible, including his shooting%. Delly played well his rookie season as an SG. His stats worsened when Cavs played him more and more at the 1. Baker is not a 1 and should be getting almost all of his minutes at the 2. That’s gonna be a problem since we have Lee, Timmy, Dotson there and Melo/Lance at the 3 so there likely will be no minutes for Ron at the 2. He’ll get lots of minutes at the 1 where he will fail. Ntilikina is a Shumpert clone so we’re gonna have a real problem at that position. Terrible team construction.

    99. GoNyGoNyGo

      I just rewatched some video on Ntilikina and I’m hopeful. It looked like his defense had elite potential while the point-guard skills looked like the might peak at average. He’s young and I don’t know much about the type of coaching he’s had. The DraftExpress weakness video cited high turnovers and streaky shooting. It looks like he can be stopped on offense. But I don’t know how old the film was and a lot of what looked bad could be fixed with coaching. He’s really young. I’m looking forward to see him play some ball against NBA teams. I want to see if he brings tenacious defense to the Knicks.

    100. Ntilakilla

      Ntilikina is a Shumpert clone so we’re gonna have a real problem at that position.

      Shumpert was more explosive but was a way worse shooter.

    101. Z-man

      BC, Ron had a usage rate of 14%, and averaged 4.5 assists per 36 vs. 2.4 TO. Not great, but certainly not the stats of a guy who thinks shoot first. What killed him was his atrocious shooting, which got worse when he was moved to PG roughly after the ASB. In 6 games in April when he played 31MPG, he averaged 5 assists per game (roughly 6 per 36) and had 30 assists to 12 TOs. OTOH, he only took 46 FGA. I know its a small sample and all that, but he clearly wasn’t a shoot-first PG.

      It’s also the case that he was probably dealing with information overload. Not only was he playing PG, but doing so in a complicated (and antiquated) system that the coach and players didn’t really believe in.

      Here are some highlights from a game in April:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZJupwkY-Wo

      Again, I know it’s only a meaningless game in a losing season, but he definitely looks like a guy worth a good look, doesn’t he?

      Here’s another one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-42sE501rQ4

    102. lavor postell

      Ntilikina can run point. I’vee watched 7 games of his and there were frequently stretches where he operated as the primary ball handler. His handle has improved drastically in the last year and he’s a good spot up/catch and shoot player. What he’ll be asked and expected to do in the NBA which he was seemingly restricted in doing for Strasbourg is looking to attack consistently off the dribble and create for others or for himself.

      That last part isn’t a major question mark obviously, but imo he has developing PG skills and has proven capable of running an offense for stretches in a professional environment. What he hasn’t shown is whether he can control a game with his own individual offensive impact. The main evidence we have that he’s capable of it when called upon was in his star performance in the U-18 European Championship last summer in leading France to the title, but that’s an exceedingly small sample against relatively inferior competition.

    103. Zanzibar

      Does French league provide any stats on spot-up shooting versus off the dribble? Shumpert was an excellent spot-up shooter from 3 but terrible off the dribble (much like Winslow), had a terrible handle and couldn’t finish. The experiment of Shump at the 1 in the NBA failed terribly – he couldn’t drive/finish, execute the PnR or even lead a fast break. And he looked much better doing those things in college versus the pros. The game video I watched of Ntilikina had him spotting up most of the time. If there are stats which show him to be a competent shooter off the dribble, I would be more optimistic because then he could at least execute the PnR.

    104. geo

      thanks again z-man…i’m gonna leave the thread today thinking happy (maybe slightly irrational) knick thoughts…

    105. lavor postell

      @Zanzibar

      Not sure. He didn’t shoot much off the dribble in the games I watched, but it always seemed to me to be an instruction on his role from his coach rather than him lacking the ability to do so at all. There were actually a few instances where he’d run an early clock PnR and got buckets and was immediately substituted out. Could just be a coincidence, but it was really weird.

    106. Bruno Almeida

      “Averaging 5.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists over 19 minutes per game on a talented team that features a number creative veteran ball-handlers, including A.J. Slaughter and Paul Lacombe, Ntilikina plays a significant role in his team’s rotation, operating on and off the ball, even if he isn’t much of a focal point in their offense”

      this is the reason, as per draftexpress.

      draftexpress says he has a bad handle as is not very explosive, but he seems to have a very good understanding of how to shift speeds and has a high IQ with what they call “fluid athleticism”.

      that’s really not a guy I would ever compare to Shumpert, aside from the lazy comparison that they are both tall and expected to be good defenders.

    107. djphan

      ppl really need to stop pointing to u18s… they are not indicative of much… when you’re older than all of your competition you are supposed to excel… it is like judging hs or college seniors… not every senior is a tremendous prospect but if you are going to be considered any good you’re supposed to put up huge numbers against players that are your age and younger….

      what’s much more indicative of future success is when you are younger than your competition…. and while frank was young for the french league.. he was just ok… and for a pg.. way less than ok… you take a look at doncic… who is a real prospect.. and he is dominating in a much tougher league at a comparable age….

    108. Bruno Almeida

      I’m not even going to respond to the argument that u18 tournaments are useless when people are praising DSJ for being good at the freaking summer league, but have you followed Doncic at all?

      He’s hardly dominating, Real Madrid was second place in the Spanish league mostly because Sergio Llull is a monster there. Doncic averaged 7.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.1 apg playing quite a bit along Llull and Rudy Fernandez, and as their backup.

      I love Doncic as much as anybody else, but please.

    109. lavor postell

      His handle isn’t great, but it’s solid now and Strasbourg actually used him to bring the ball up against pressure defense in the championship final series and he didn’t struggle or turn the ball over in those scenarios.

      I also didn’t use the U-18 performance to say anything other than that in that small sample against inferior competition he did create his own offense and I followed that up by saying it’s a small sample against inferior comp and that doing that consistently would be his biggest obstacle.

    110. Ntilakilla

      Shumpert was an excellent spot-up shooter from 3 but terrible off the dribble (much like Winslow), had a terrible handle and couldn’t finish.

      I am not sure how someone with an eFG% of .453 in three college seasons can be considered an excellent shooter coming into the NBA.

    111. GoNyGoNyGo

      With a player as young as Ntilikina, my only worry is that he’s not ready to lead an NBA team. It’s obvious that he has great physical tools, but he needs time and the right environment to hone the skills and develop an understanding of the NBA game. He will be valuable as a defender on day 1. I just hope he can run an NBA offense in year 2.

    112. Ntilakilla

      ppl really need to stop pointing to u18s… they are not indicative of much…

      There were three French players in the history of the U18 to win the championship and tournament MVP. They were Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, and Frank Ntilikina. That tells me the quality of play Frank showed there was pretty good.

    113. Early Bird

      There were three French players in the history of the U18 to win the championship and tournament MVP. They were Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, and Frank Ntilikina. That tells me the quality of play Frank showed there was pretty good.

      Sure the French players turned out to be pretty good, but I’ve never heard of half of the MVP’s. Why should we throw out all those guys from our sample?

    114. Bruno Almeida

      because most of those players you’ve never heard about never went to the NBA, or some of the recent ones still havent.

    115. djphan

      luka doncic is avg’ing 14.1 pts, 8 rbs 6.7 assist 1.4 stls and 0.5 blks with a 2p fg% of .547… those are dominant if not the best numbers ever for an 18yo in the acb….

      frank’s game is pretty much all projection at this point… there is something to the fact that he may have been hidden at strasbourg…. but he didn’t show much while he was there… i don’t think there’s anyway of getting around that… and u18s aren’t good enough competition to judge anyone…. there are approximately 0-2 players who eventually see nba play at these things and it’s usually 0… you can get better judgment from summer league play than u18s…

    116. Bruno Almeida

      those are per 36 numbers.

      Sergio Llull is dominating the Spanish league, Doncic is not.

      and Summer League should be equally meaningless according to your first argument because the draftees are either playing against dudes from their own draft class or d-leaguers who’ll also pretty much never play in the NBA.

      dominating Travis Wear and Vander Blue is not a big achievement in my mind.

      but it’s fine, guys like you decided the pick was wrong so it was wrong. Thankfully, most of the people who think the pick was the wrong one at generally the ones wrong about everything else, so let’s move on.

    117. JK47

      Ntilikina is a Shumpert clone so we’re gonna have a real problem at that position.

      Ntilikina is already a competent pick and roll player though, and Shumpert couldn’t run the PnR at all. They don’t seem like obviously similar players to me other than maybe their physical dimensions. Ntilikina has the reputation at least of having very good feel, IQ and court vision. Shump was known as more of a physical freak, a chucker who made constant bad decisions.

    118. Early Bird

      If Doncic gets minutes as an 18 year old in the ACB at all, that speaks volumes about him. Let alone playing for Real Madrid, generally the best team in the world after the NBA teams. And sure Doncic doesn’t score as much as Llull, but he’s not that far behind and the dude is putting up 6 more rebs/36 than Llull. That’s pretty amazing.

    119. Zanzibar

      I am not sure how someone with an eFG% of .453 in three college seasons can be considered an excellent shooter coming into the NBA.

      I wrote Shumpert is terrible shooting off the dribble but an excellent spot-up shooter. His eFG was .446 in his first NBA season but his spot-up 3FG% was in the high 30s that same season. In the video I watched I saw Frank knocking down spot-up shots and not much shooting off the dribble. I saw great on-the -ball defense and OK team defense much like Shump. I saw a weak handle much like Shump and I think he might have trouble finishing in the NBA just like Shump. Shump is athletic but not explosive just like Frank. And of course they have similar body type. The only real difference at this stage is BB IQ but I’m not sure what to make of that since Shump had higher usage in college. Easier to look smarter whan you’re not doing as much. Not sure how that’s a “lazy” comparison – it’s quite detailed.

    120. Bruno Almeida

      you watched a video and called him a Shumpert clone, that’s why I called it lazy.

      can’t we all agree to at least watch the kid in one practice with the Knicks before labeling him a failure and a Shumpert clone?

    121. djphan

      yes those are per 36 numbers…. and yes they are pretty dominant esp for his age… i challenge you to find any 18 yo who’s put up those numbers….

      and mr. bruno…. just because you might have a vivid imagination… being sooo sure of a prospect based on NOTHING but youtube videos… there’s no cause to escalate this or try to get personal… it’s basketball… i’ve been wrong before… you.. i’m positive have been wrong before as well no matter how much you might portray yourself as this always-right-king-of-basketball-knowledge on the internet…

      so seriously… quit the tough guy act… no one cares that you’re right or wrong on here…. i only target arguments not ppl…. and the fact that you get defensive over what i say speaks volumes to how flimsy you feel about your opinions….

    122. Bruno Almeida

      the Knicks have a scouting team that’s by all accounts very good at evaluating talent, and the Knicks picked Ntilikina.

      I trust them more than I trust YouTube videos or Mark Cuban or summer league games.

      and how am I doing a tough guy act? what the hell?

      disagreeing with someone and pointing out that some people have repeatedly been wrong in their predictions here on this blog is putting on a tough guy act, or a know it all attitude? Do I have to be convinced by your arguments?

      Jesus.

    123. Ntilakilla

      I wrote Shumpert is terrible shooting off the dribble but an excellent spot-up shooter.

      A guy with an eFG% of .453 out of college isn’t an excellent shooter of any kind.

    124. Zanzibar

      A guy with an eFG% of .453 out of college isn’t an excellent shooter of any kind.

      Shump shot 40% from 3 in his second NBA season and had .489 eFG. Is 40% from 3 not excellent? The reason he shot 30% from 3 his rookie season was that he was playing the 1 and pulling up on the break and bricking 3s. I recall his Synergy 3FG% for pure spot-up shooting was excellent in his first season. In his second season, he played the 2 and eliminated many of those pullups and shot 40% from 3. You need to read a primer on shot types.

    125. JK47

      Shump’s shooting in that second season looks like a huge outlier, and it was a shortened season, only 995 minutes, which makes it seem even more flukey. I’m sure those splits are correct and he did shoot very well on spot-ups that year, and that his changed role eliminated a lot of bad shots, Shump has since shot .337 from 3PT over nearly 7,000 minutes, and I haven’t looked at the splits but I bet he shot a lot of spot-ups over that span, because he was on the floor with LeBron James a lot.

    126. Bruno Almeida

      @131

      I 100% know scouting departments are involved in draft picks, and the Knicks scouts have been widely praised for finding Hernangomez and Porzingis, so I reckon they were pretty much involved in the process of scouting Ntilikina.

      I don’t know if the Knicks scouting department had anything to do with signing Tim Hardaway Jr or re-signing Ron Baker.

      I said numerous times, many of those in response to you, Z-man, that I have no issues with both players, just with the fact that they are overpaid relative to their production in the league. No scouting department is involved with negotiating contracts with players.

    127. Ntilakilla

      Shump shot 40% from 3 in his second NBA season and had .489 eFG. I

      Jesus, can you cherrypick a dude’s stats anymore?

    128. Jack Bauer

      Bottom line: Shump is pretty underwhelming, I don’t miss him on the Knicks.

      Hopefully Frank’s ceiling is higher than that and he hits it within a few years.

    129. djphan

      you don’t need to disparage others(me) to try to prop yourself up…. it’s immature…. it’s defensive… and overall just brings the level of discussion down a notch…

      i have no problem engaging ppl on their arguments… that’s how adults talk…. and i always have… you come at me.. i will call you out and cut you down as much as i can in the process….

      no one wins these things… you don’t get a medal for winning internet arguments… so quit it..

    130. Bruno Almeida

      what the fuck is happening?

      dear lord, and I’m the immature one.

      nobody “came at you”, this is not a feud, someone saying that you’ve been wrong on stuff offends you this much?

      what the actual hell.

    131. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The good news out of Cleveland is that LeBron is frustrated with the Cavs’ off-season. He may very well force Kevin Love out of the door for Melo, and from there we can start to get back the assets we need.

    132. Ntilakilla

      He may very well force Kevin Love out of the door for Melo, and from there we can start to get back the assets we need.

      Where could we trade him to? I don’t think Ainge would give us the Nets pick but we can hope. Maybe Miami would be interested.

    133. Bruno Almeida

      It might sound insane, but Love would fit the Wolves really well right now…
      The Wizards would definitely love him too, but I don’t think they have the assets… same for the Raptors.

      OKC would probably make the most sense or even the Rockets.

    134. Zanzibar

      Shump’s shooting in that second season looks like a huge outlier, and it was a shortened season, only 995 minutes, which makes it seem even more flukey. I’m sure those splits are correct and he did shoot very well on spot-ups that year, and that his changed role eliminated a lot of bad shots, Shump has since shot .337 from 3PT over nearly 7,000 minutes, and I haven’t looked at the splits but I bet he shot a lot of spot-ups over that span, because he was on the floor with LeBron James a lot.

      That’s true, but then he severely injured his wrist at start of 2015 season and was out for 3 months. Upon his return, he had his worst shooting 3FG% in his career that season so that was probably an outlier. He’s had many other injuries as well which probably affected his #’s. This past season, when he played 76 games and was generally healthy, he shot 36% from 3 on the most attempts in his career by far.

    135. Jack Bauer

      @144 “the Cavs should trade Lebron” …..to the Knicks

      Make it happen, DRed for GM

    136. Bruno Almeida

      it would be fun to think what price would Lebron command in the trade market, does any team even have enough valuable assets?

    137. Mike Honcho

      I once got Lebron to go to the Knicks on 2k in a scrappy, hardworking, tenacious free agent signing. I’m still waiting for a check in the mail from Steve Mills.

    138. DRed

      Dan Gilbert is a shithead, and LeBron is going to leave after next season. Maybe you keep the band together and hope curry or KD get hurt, or maybe you deal Lebron and reboot

    139. Z-man

      I said numerous times, many of those in response to you, Z-man, that I have no issues with both players, just with the fact that they are overpaid relative to their production in the league. No scouting department is involved with negotiating contracts with players.

      Well, since I have always agreed with this premise, we shouldn’t be arguing. It’s generally agreed here that past production is indicative of future production, so my optimism about these two is based on the (admittedly less than 50%) probability that they will both improve beyond what they have produced thus far and will earn their contracts despite getting overpaid up front. In other words they will be plus players, just not as much as they should have been given market conditions.

      With Baker, it’s about 1) believing that he has the physical tools for his position, 2) a well-established history of shooting well in college, 3) typical learning curve issues with all rookie PGs and 4) belief in his ability to overcome odds through intelligence and grit.

      With Hardaway, it’s about the way he bounced back from a humiliating benching and D-league demotion and the commitment that took, and that he has great physical tools and the skillset to be a top-10 player at his position.

      But admittedly, past NBA production does not support my argument for either player. I just like feel good stories and I believe both of these guys will not disappoint me. For the doubters, I offer the following: “He who expects nothing is never disappointed.”

    140. er

      There’s also footage of him completely neutralizing Carmelo Anthony that is extremely painful to watch

      Uh, Melo dropped 62 on that guy and then make a few weeks later and LeBron dropped 61 on his head so idk…

    Comments are closed.