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Friday, October 20, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.08.12)

  • [NYDN] Mavs’ Dennis Smith Jr. on Knicks meeting, Summer League success
    (Friday, August 11, 2017 10:00:22 PM)

    The Knicks dined with Dennis Smith Jr. but didn’t draft him, leaving themselves open to criticism if his athleticism translates to stardom.

  • [NYDN] Ntilikina tells News ‘of course’ Knick wants to be starting PG
    (Friday, August 11, 2017 9:59:39 PM)

    The Knicks’ starting point guard spot remains very open for Frank Ntilikina following an unconvincing free agency for New York.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks pick up Porzingis’ 2018-19 team option
    (Friday, August 11, 2017 9:29:00 AM)

    The New York Knicks reportedly picked up the 2018-19 team option on 22-year-old forward Kristaps Porzingis.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks to open season at Thunder, host 76ers on Christmas
    (Friday, August 11, 2017 8:16:49 AM)

    The New York Knicks will open the 2017-18 season on the road against Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 19, the league announced.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks, Rockets re-engage in Carmelo Anthony trade talks, report says
    (Friday, August 11, 2017 7:35:36 PM)

    At least Carmelo Anthony knows he is scheduled to work on Christmas Day, assuming he sticks to his current stance regarding a potential trade out of New York.

  • [NYPost] Frank Ntilikina knows weakness: ‘I’ve been working on my body’
    (Saturday, August 12, 2017 12:14:39 AM)

    As a top-10 pick and foundation piece of the Knicks’ rebuilding process, Frank Ntilikina is going to play in the NBA. But to play well — to be able to start, defend and excel — the young Frenchman is going to have to get bigger and stronger. The wiry 19-year-old is going to have to…

  • 48 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.08.12)

    1. Z-man

      Following up on yesterday’s old-school discussion, I’ve often heard LeBron compared to Magic, but Elgin Baylor is the Laker I think he is the most similar to. A bit smaller, but as physically dominant then as LeBron is now, not as efficient or as much of a passer, but the game was different then. They had pretty much the same skill/power package, check out some of the great passes, dunks and moves in this video:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjNS_oYE92E&t=587s

    2. ptmilo

      Phil was not a big Chandler believer. So I think he believed that that first Knick team would win around 39 games. Then, with all of the cap room available, he would add two good free agents who would each take a little bit less to make the Knicks then even better (and since he really wanted two guys, that’s why he was SO adamant about finding as much cap space as possible that first year, even if it meant getting less for Shump because it opened up JR’s cap space). I’m not saying he was RIGHT to think that, but it was the plan.

      Right but he certainly wasn’t getting two max guys to take huge discounts bc they only had around $29-$30m million in cap space (with the lower pick) unless they could dump Calderon (and in this scenario Calderon is good and helps them to win 39 games instead of being one of the worst teams in NBA history). So even if he was right and the 39 wins attracted his preferred guy Monroe or LMA to sign instead of Rolo, there was no room for anything but a second tier signing — only about $11-13m. In fact it would probably be exactly the guys they did sign: Afflalo/DW. So if his plan goes well we are basically the same except we draft someone worse than Porzingis (and we probably also don’t have KOQ bc of the extra cost of singing LMA/Monroe over Rolo).

      The irony of the Phil post-mortem is that he thinks the problem was failing to get to the crucial .500 launchpad. Perhaps he even laments his hubris in believing he could take a shitty roster and turn it into a .500 team just by installing a system and culture from afar. But failing to get to .500 is actually the best thing that happened to the Phil Knicks because it landed KP, and reaching .500 would not have netted Marc Gasol and Lillard at $14.5m per.

    3. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I know it’s agains inferior, smaller competition, but it’s nice to see KP scoring mainly inside but utilizing his height advantage. He also seems noticeably stronger.

      That being said, that iso where he crosses the dude over into a dirk fadeaway is simply ~absurd~

    4. Brian Cronin

      Right but he certainly wasn’t getting two max guys to take huge discounts bc they only had around $29-$30m million in cap space (with the lower pick)

      I think he believed he could get them to do so, providing the team was good enough. Heck, he even tried that approach with Greg Monroe (“Take less and I can pair you with another star who will also take a little bit less”) after the Knicks were terrible!

    5. Z-man

      It is ironic that Phil’s bumbling may have initially avoided making the mistakes of Monroe or Aldridge, but then he turned around and squandered Lopez on Rose and signed Noah.

      But if KP breaks out like I think he does this season and Frank is not a scrub, it’s all good.

    6. Brian Cronin

      In his perfect world, the lineup for the 2015-16 Knicks would have been Jose Calderon/Langston Galloway/Melo at the 3/Aldridge at the 4/Momroe at the 5 with KP presumably coming off of the bench. That’s kind of bonkers, right?

    7. thenoblefacehumper

      I don’t see Jackson’s strategy as even mildly confusing. I see it as the correct approach, albeit not executed perfectly by Jackson. The idea was to build with a combination of draft picks and young players/veterans attained through trade and free agency, to retain picks, keep cap space flexible, and slowly improve.

      Phil Jackson traded away an unprotected pick to dump Travis Outlaw, preferred dumping JR Smith (who could’ve simply been waived) to taking back a first rounder, preferred signing Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo to getting a plethora of great picks from the Kings, didn’t buy the 38 (McCaw), 54 (Felder), and 56 picks in 2016, and didn’t buy the 38 pick (Bell) in 2017.

      I really want to know in what world this is the record of someone who was so deeply committed to building through the draft. It’s not his fault that we traded away picks before he got here, but it absolutely is his fault that he preferred the most mediocre of free agents to recouping any of those picks.

      His only major mistake was giving Noah too much money/years given his recent health issues, but it’s understandable why he wanted him. He looked like a veteran presence that could play C while KP/WH developed and he was a perfect fit for the way he wanted the team to play.

      The NTC turned out to be a mistake, but trading Melo was not a likely scenario at the time and we still don’t know how that’s going to shake out.

      So choosing Afflalo and Williams for one shitty season over a huge pick package wasn’t a mistake? Trading assets for one shitty season of Derrick Rose, who every non-er poster on this board knew was totally cooked, wasn’t a mistake?

      Trading Melo wasn’t an option because Phil Jackson said it wasn’t an option. Even if we grant for some reason that he couldn’t have sign-and-traded him at the time, how can you possibly think that it was “not a likely scenario” that we would want to trade him at any point…

    8. ptmilo

      In his perfect world, the lineup for the 2015-16 Knicks would have been Jose Calderon/Langston Galloway/Melo at the 3/Aldridge at the 4/Momroe at the 5 with KP presumably coming off of the bench. That’s kind of bonkers, right?

      tbf that would be a damn good NBA team in 1985 if basketball had icing and offsides

    9. JK47

      The idea was to build with a combination of draft picks and young players/veterans attained through trade and free agency, to retain picks, keep cap space flexible, and slowly improve.

      I’ll still never understand why this “hybrid approach” with its supposed “two-tiered roster” was a better plan than a plain old rebuild. The veterans that are part of this plan keep you from being bad enough to draft true impact players, while at the same time hurting cap flexibility. The Knicks are now saddled with several Phil-acquired veteran albatross contracts who aren’t doing anything except ensuring the Knicks are stuck around 32 wins.

      Still, I guess the “hybrid approach” could work at least somewhat okay if you have somebody running the team who has a keen instinct for asset valuation. Phil didn’t have this. He didn’t win trades, and he didn’t make shrewd free agent signings. It was a poor approach, executed poorly. As a result, the Knicks are still a neither-fish-nor-fowl team, stuck in limbo, racking up 32-win seasons, drafting at the back end of the lottery, waiting for useless contracts to come off the books and still overpaying middling free agents.

      Phil gets a lot of leeway from some people because of all the 13 ringzzz stuff, but if he was just some faceless executive named Bill Johnson there would be approximately nobody trying to defend his approach or reading between the lines to see the secret genius of it all.

    10. Donnie Walsh

      I think his plan was to make the Knicks an attractive place to play, with Marc Gasol, whom he saw as a perfect triangle center and had a relatationship with, as the target.

      I think he underestimated the Grizzlies, who went 27-14 once Jackson took the job in NY, and also underestimated the difficulty of winning basketball games without good players.

      I have to say, Gasol on the Knicks would have changed the way Jackson is seen as an exec, as his defense and passing is extremely valuable to any team, but especially one playing the triangle.

      But “plan B” was to sign Greg Monroe, and he failed to even do that… (he basically pulled a Homer, and still got laughed out of town).

    11. JK47

      I think his plan was to make the Knicks an attractive place to play, with Marc Gasol, whom he saw as a perfect triangle center and had a relatationship with, as the target.

      If that was the plan, it was a shitty plan. I like Marc Gasol. He’s a good player. He’s not so amazing that you base your whole team-building strategy around acquiring him as he enters his decline phase.

      I actually DO believe that you might be right though, and again this is another symptom of Phil’s greatest flaw: the belief that the Triangle cures all ills. He’ll make the Knicks a viable free agent attraction because Triangle. And then Marc Gasol will want to play for these newly viable Knicks because Triangle. And then when you take Marc Gasol and Triangle him up, you’ll be an unstoppable force, because Triangle.

    12. lavor postell

      Still, I guess the “hybrid approach” could work at least somewhat okay if you have somebody running the team who has a keen instinct for asset valuation.

      Yeah, it could have worked if after drafting KP and Willy, he had done some Hawks like FA stuff such as signing Millsap to an under market contract, pulling Demarre Carroll off the scrap heap or things of that ilk. He didn’t and so that plan was a failure when he went all in on guys who didn’t deliver the improvement he hoped for.

      I think Phil left us in OK shape and better than he found us, but he made plenty of mistakes, didn’t ever fully commit to a vision and ultimately deserved to be fired.

    13. thenoblefacehumper

      If Phil’s “plan” had actually “worked,” we would’ve drafted some shit like Stanley Johnson and Jarrett Allen to compliment Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, and Greg Monroe. It would’ve been even more of a disaster than his actual tenure. His saving grace was that he was too much of an idiot to fuck things up as much as he wanted to. Given that the Kings have gotten their shit together to some extent, I really think he might’ve been the single dumbest executive in the NBA by the end of his time here. He was so obviously in over his head when it came to every aspect of the job besides international scouting, which he had the good sense to listen to Gaines about.

    14. iserp

      The veterans that are part of this plan keep you from being bad enough to draft true impact players, while at the same time hurting cap flexibility.

      You can also advance into your rebuild signing the right veterans. 26-28 years old guys are considered “veterans” and they may last playing good basketball for another 6 years, depending on the player. So, if you sign the right guys when the opportunity arises, you might be better than having all the cap room in the world in a free agency with Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

      They are also trade chips you can use in the future. If you can get positive value right now of your cap space, it is worth more than a few losses for the draft. Of course, you need not to overpay (which may be difficult with contenders also trying to sign those veterans) and structuring the deals in a team friendly way (no player options, no NTC, two or three years contract but no longer).

    15. Early Bird

      [Phil] underestimated the difficulty of winning basketball games without good players.

      Lol, literally the whole reason teams have GM’s is because you can’t win games without good players.

    16. ClashFan

      @14
      Pretty much agreed. I think his failures all ultimately come down to the decision to build around Melo. The NTC really killed him, b/c otherwise he could’ve just dealt him during last season. That’s all on him. Then, the Rose and Noah deals, of course, as a last ditch try to build a winner around Melo. Thump.

      To his credit, he left the team with a few good young players and all of its first rounders going forward.

      He just wasn’t real good at trades and FA signings. Maybe if he’d had a good, experienced GM under him helping or giving advice? We’ll never know.

      I really don’t think that he thought that the Triangle would get guys to come here. I think he thought that HE would. He may fully believe in the myth of his own persona and persuasive powers. That clearly did not work.

    17. Early Bird

      Phil did fine until last year. Going all in on the trade for Rose and the Noah signing were devastating. Lee might still be movable.

      Before those moves, we have Robin Lopez on an attractive contract. And we don’t have Noah on a bad one. If you look at the 2-tiered system then, it’s working. We can field a decent team and move anyone easily. Plus, the Knicks were good at drafting/finding the Ron Bakers, et al.

      Problem eventually becomes we end up like the Horford Hawks. Perennial playoff losers. Lots of good pieces, no one to put us over the top. Then free agency hits and we either let them walk or sign them for inflated contracts.

    18. JK47

      Plus, the Knicks were good at drafting/finding the Ron Bakers,

      Yes, let’s give credit to Phil for unearthing this gem of a player who played at sub-replacement level. He found Travis Wear too, let’s give him a cookie for that while we’re at it.

    19. Early Bird

      Yes, let’s give credit to Phil for unearthing this gem of a player who played at sub-replacement level. He found Travis Wear too, let’s give him a cookie for that while we’re at it.

      The blog always talks about how we’d be better off looking at undrafted rookies or international players than signing retreads. They did that with Ron Baker, Kuzminskas, Plumlee and Randle. Baker doesn’t deserve his current contract. Doesn’t mean signing him last year was bad.

    20. JK47

      Finding replacement-level players is not a skill. That’s why they’re called replacement-level players. Pretty much every team in the league has guys like this hanging around at the back end of their roster.

    21. Jack Bauer

      Phil Jackson “underestimated how hard it is to win games without good players” -Holy crap, any GM that this is true of is not worth $12.000.000 per year. How hard of a concept is that to get?

    22. Early Bird

      Finding replacement-level players is not a skill. That’s why they’re called replacement-level players. Pretty much every team in the league has guys like this hanging around at the back end of their roster.

      You’re not really responding to what I’m saying. Sure, we can always find replacement level players. What I’m saying is that I’d rather take a gamble on a player who could turn out better than replacement level. That’s why signing Ron Baker is better than signing a known quantity.

    23. Early Bird

      Phil Jackson “underestimated how hard it is to win games without good players” -Holy crap, any GM that this is true of is not worth $12.000.000 per year. How hard of a concept is that to get?

      I was quoting one of the other posters here. I hope it isn’t true. Wouldn’t be that surprised though.

    24. 2FOR18, understands math

      Shit noble hit it out of the park again. The only reason we have any hope is Phil fucked up enough to get us 2 lottery picks while he was trying to win.

    25. Ntilakilla

      KP’s arms look huge compare to where they were last year. Whatever he’s taking is working. That game against Poland is like a glimpse of what his ceiling would look like BTW and its Olajuwonesque in its shot blocking, crossover into the low block, rebounding over everyone glory.

    26. JK47

      What I’m saying is that I’d rather take a gamble on a player who could turn out better than replacement level. That’s why signing Ron Baker is better than signing a known quantity.

      I hear you, and I don’t think we really disagree here. Still, Phil burned roster spots on the likes of Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic, so he wasn’t even really committed to the whole “taking flyers on longshots” approach either. And again, pretty much every team in the league has a couple of D-league type players floating around at the back end of the roster, so this is not something that’s particularly notable.

    27. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      I know it’s agains inferior, smaller competition, but it’s nice to see KP scoring mainly inside but utilizing his height advantage. He also seems noticeably stronger.

      It’s not surprising how many opportunities for roll dunks he got, playing next to slasher who could actually lob the ball in his general direction. The defense did not look terrible, either. Lots of contests at the rim, but the dude is 7’3″ and finishes almost as well as a Gobert or DJ.

      He could be a guy who breaks .650 TS% if they actually used his vertical and dexterity gifts. 7’3″ roll man is lethal.

    28. danvt

      @31 +1 :-)

      By the way, what does Rockets/ Knicks re-engage in talks mean? Call all 26 other teams and ask if anyone wants Ryan Anderson for 3 years at 20 million per season? Have everyone say no? Does Morey himself do it or does he get an intern to do it and then close it himself if he gets a bite like when I had the job selling copier toner as a telemarketer after college?

    29. Brian Cronin

      Does Morey himself do it or does he get an intern to do it and then close it himself if he gets a bite like when I had the job selling copier toner as a telemarketer after college?

      “Hello, Mister (looks at name on list) Van Gundy? Could I interest you and the (looks at team name on list) Detroit Pistons in the services of Ryan Anderson for the low, low cost of a draft pick that we could send the Knicks?”

    30. KnickfaninNJ

      I just listened to a Dunc’d on Podcast about 2018 free agency. There are free agents out there, but very few teams will have lots of cap space. The Knicks are expected to have none, unless they can magically trade Melo into some teams vacant cap space, which I agree with the Podcast is very unlikely. The Knicks aren’t expected to have much cap space the next year either, because they will want to re-sign Porzingis. I don’t think the Knicks will be able to trade Melo for expiring contracts. If we aren’t going to have cap space, then maybe we should take on bad contracts for Melo, and just insist on getting high draft picks to go with those contracts. Ryan Anderson, welcome to the Knicks.

    31. KnickfaninNJ

      Although, I still want to trade Melo for Favors and Burks. Utah is an underrated trade destination. They made the second round of the playoffs last year, and this trade would make them better. We could take Joe Johnson instead of Burks. He’s worse than Burks but an expiring contract, or take Exum and fill instead of Burks.

    32. Bruno Almeida

      Well, if Melo’s not going to waive his NTC for Cleveland, imagine Utah. I was kinda hoping the Woj speculation about the Blazers being a dark horse would come true, but all the potential trades honestly still look terrible and very likely won’t get much better.

      This is a pretty shitty situation to be on and I honestly have no idea what the Knicks will do. Again the ball seems to be on Melo’s court and Im kinda holding onto some delusional hope that the Knicks can play hardball with him and he would rather waive his NTC than stay, but it’s so unlikely.

    33. johnnyhoops

      Portland is still recruiting Melo and would be the perfect trading partner. Cmon Melo, go West young man.

    34. Bruno Almeida

      I think the Pelicans are much better as a trade partner, since their picks are more likely to be decent and their bad contracts are a little bit less terrible.

      But I’d rather get a Blazers package of Harkless + Leonard + any pick than Anderson + Rockets picks.

    35. Ben R

      I think the Portland trade is Harkless + Davis + Collins for Melo.
      With all the work Lillard and McCollum are doing to recruit Melo it puts the Portland front office in a tight spot and they would have to get a deal done.

    36. Sir Robin

      z-man. Baylor was similar in some ways. LBJ is faster, even in comparison to today’s faster players. elgin a better on ball defender and on ball shot blocker. LBJ a great off ball defender. Jordan was compared to Baylor who had a lot more moves than LBJ. Bron is just quicjer faster and stringer than today’s players.
      The shame is that Baylor retired ( I’m not sure why) just before the Lakers won their first championship in 1972.

    37. Sir Robin

      Not the Lakers first championship (Milan in Minn.) but that particular team which had lost 8 times to Biston.

    38. Z-man

      Two other factors: 1) The NBA was not that big a deal back then, and basketball was not the “money” sport that it is now; there was less incentive to extend one’s career. 2) most players did not train year around like they do today, and used training camp to get into shape.

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