Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.08.22)

  • [NYPost] How Knicks ensured summer standout wouldn’t get away
    (Monday, August 21, 2017 12:13:07 PM)

    Maybe there will be a small forward from Baltimore on this season’s Knicks roster. Not Carmelo Anthony, but 6-foot-7 Jamel Artis, the Pittsburgh senior swingman who went undrafted but impressed on the Knicks’ summer league team enough to sign a partially guaranteed contract last week. Artis, who is 24 and averaged 18.2 points, 4.9 rebounds…

  • [SNY Knicks] Undrafted rookie Jamel Artis vying for spot on Knicks
    (Monday, August 21, 2017 10:20:56 PM)

    Small forward Jamel Artis was not selected by a team in the NBA Draft, but he’s getting a key opportunity to make his mark with the Knicks after the team signed him to a partially guaranteed deal last week.

  • [SNY Knicks] Blake Griffin says LeBron James would join Knicks over Clippers
    (Monday, August 21, 2017 9:18:30 AM)

    LeBron James is set to become a free agent after the 2017-18 season, and at least one player thinks the four-time MVP could join the Knicks.

  • 208 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.08.22)

    1. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      From last night:

      If his handle were tighter, he’d be a lock to make the team. If he comes into camp with that under control, don’t be surprised if he outplays Ron Baker

      We’re not necessarily in trouble if XRM does outplay Baker..but sheesh! That would be an AWFUL look. And now I understand why people almost hate Baker’s deal. Maybe my appreciation for his effort blinded me before, and while it’s true Baker’s deal won’t make or break us- Baker’s gonna really hafta step it up if XRM is playing the way he played in SL. Though I don’t think he’s gonna outplay Baker because of Baker’s defense (which isn’t great- he’s alot like a cleaner Dellavedova there, so it’s welcomed), it certainly is possible. The way I see it, if XRM sticks, he’s taking Randle’s spot AND Ntilikina is playing better than expected in year 1.

      This is end of bench talk, so in that sense it’s much ado about nothing- but we’ve been in the dumps for a long time. I want developmental players there that have a logical shot. Don’t get me wrong, I will be ECSTATIC if guys like Hayes, Kornet, XRM, and Artis play really well, surprise the NBA and stick. That would give me hope for the nearer-than-you-think future.

    2. KnickfaninNJ

      Presumably, Baker worked on stuff over the summer and got better. So he might outplay Artis. But it’s still a terrible contract.

    3. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Jamel Artis probably won’t be a good NBA player. He’s already 24 years old and was only a standout scorer (everything else was at best average) for Pittsburgh. The team as currently constructed also has Beasley, Melo, Lee, Thomas, and Kuzminskas scheduled to compete for minutes at the 3 spot. He’s a long shot to make the roster. Nigel Hayes isn’t good at anything so he’ll surely be cut. XRM probably beats those guys out because we need a lead guard and he could be that.

      PG: Sessions, Ntilikina, Randle, XRM
      SG: Lee, Dotson, Baker
      SF: TH2, Melo, Beasley, Kuz, LT
      PF: KP, O’Quinn
      C: Hernangomez, Noah, Kornet

      I think our starting five on opening night will be Sessions, Lee, Hardaway, Melo, and KP. Melo will be willing to play power forward because that’s what he would play for any contender he’s traded to. I don’t like it because KP and Melo is a terrible rebounding front court and the strength of our team is O’Quinn and Hernangomez, but offensively that’s a very tough unit to cover. Off the bench we have Beasley and Hernangomez to get buckets, and potentially our rookie backcourt can provide some defense and good shooting. If KP answers the call and rebounds at a respectable rate, we could win too many games for Melo to want to leave. Melo at the 4 means KP is the primary dive man and that would be close to unstoppable if he has the strength to play there full time.

    4. Z-man

      It is highly unlikely that XRM, Hayes or Artis makes the NBA team at the onset of the year, if ever. All of them are older (for rookies) tweeners with significant weaknesses. The other guys will either get cut, sent to D-League, or sit at the end of the bench. This is especially true of Rathan-Mayes, who is really an undersized 2 with limited athleticism. I would be shocked if he plays more than a game’s worth of minutes this year. Hayes is an underized 4 but has a crazy wingspan and could be an banger-type wing off the deep bench if he learn how to score a little bit; there’s really not another guy like him on the roster, so he probably has the best shot. Artis is an undersized, non-athletic 3 who will struggle at both ends at the NBA level. Dotson is a much better prospect in pretty much every regard, so unless Artis blossoms, he won’t get any of Dotson’s minutes.

      I get the negativity about Baker, but he got paid and is gonna play a lot of PG until he plays himself out of the rotation, which surely will not happen during preseason. He is certainly not gonna lose playing time to any of these 3 guys.

    5. danvt

      I love KB in August. It’s a beautiful scenic vista where all dreams come true in our mind’s eye. Look, over there, that’s Andrea Bargnani attacking a closeout…

    6. d-mar

      I love KB in August. It’s a beautiful scenic vista where all dreams come true in our mind’s eye. Look, over there, that’s Andrea Bargnani attacking a closeout…

      Look, there’s Carmelo getting stuffed at the rim and hustling back on defense to stop a fast break.

    7. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Ron Baker will very likely be the 3rd string point guard and 2nd string shooting guard by November. The Knicks are going to give Frank Ntilikina all the opportunity in the world to earn minutes, and I feel pretty good about his chances to outplay Ron Baker. If we really go to a Sessions, Lee, Hardaway Jr, Melo, KP starting five like we should, I’d say Ntilikina, Baker, Beasley, O’Quinn, and Hernangomez will make up the second unit.

      There was a poll that voted Dennis Smith Jr the most likely rookie, over Lonzo Ball (which is crazy and clearly driven by the fact that the Knicks passed on him), to win rookie of the year. According to Ian Begley, sources around the Knicks say these kind of things motivate Frank Ntilikina. That’s what I like to hear. He knows how people feel about him as he’s a European player and how everyone says we should have taken Dennis Smith Jr instead of him. He’s using it as fuel the same way KP used it as motivation. Hopefully the results are similar.

      By the way it’s insane that Dennis Smith Jr is the favorite to win ROY. Lonzo Ball tore Summer League up and he plays for a bigger market team. Of course there’s no “the Knicks passed up on him hahaha” narrative to the story so he doesn’t have an anti-NY crowd around to hype him up. Dennis Smith wasn’t passing the ball in Summer League. Lonzo elevated the Lakers to the championship game over Dennis Smith’s Mavericks.

    8. er

      By the way it’s insane that Dennis Smith Jr is the favorite to win ROY. Lonzo Ball tore Summer League up and he plays for a bigger market team. Of course there’s no “the Knicks passed up on him hahaha” narrative to the story so he doesn’t have an anti-NY crowd around to hype him up. Dennis Smith wasn’t passing the ball in Summer League. Lonzo elevated the Lakers to the championship game over Dennis Smith’s Mavericks.

      Nah, I seriously think its because he will lead rookies in PPG, and probably be up there in assists on a fringe playoff team. I don’t think its bias.

    9. Z-man

      I don’t get how anyone would “feel pretty good” about Ntilikina outplaying Baker this season. I’d say that the odds are 50-50 that Frank winds up as either a fixture on the bench or in Westchester for the bulk of the season. He just turned 19 and has an immature body. He has no offensive go-to moves whatsoever. He played mostly the 2 in France, and limited minutes at that. He was a foul machine who averaged nearly twice as many fouls as assists. He shot 43% on a whopping 51 3’s for the entirety of the year. And now he’s suddenly going to be able to displace a guy who just signed a $4+ million contract for next year?

      I could understand “holding out hope” but there is absolutely no reason to “feel pretty good” about it.

    10. er

      The most interesting thing in the rookie survey is the feelings about KD. He was the favorite player last year at 30% and this year he came in at 5%

    11. danvt

      I think Ntilikina will look good and “surprise” a lot of mainstream media types (AKA casual fans with a bullhorn). Will it be enough to provide the critical mass to make us a team that wins more than we lose? That I’m not sure of, but I think it’s a safe bet that it’s a step in the right direction. In any case, that should be the calculus. Are we improving as a team? Not whether DSJR wins a dunk contest.

      I think we’re looking good with a young core and a few vets for big situations and early season starts. Carmelo just needs to put his head down and not create a circus around the NTC. He’s gonna do what he does on the court but it shouldn’t be enough to derail us if GM/ Coach have their shit together for a change.

      No moves are good moves. Time to play basketball soon.

    12. swiftandabundant

      The ironic thing is that this team potentially has more talent than any recent Knicks team Melo has been on since Phil Jackson arrived. I would say this team has a chance (a small chance) to be better than the team that followed up the 54 win team.

      The even more ironic thing is that if Phil had been patient we could have pretty much this exact same team PLUS Robin Lopez and Grant.

      Robin Lopez instead of Noah wouldn’t make us world beaters but man we’d be in such better shape if we had Lopez on this team contributing with his fair contract instead of Noah eating up cap space and doing nothing (although to be fair Noah could bounce back and contribute off the bench). With KQ playing well last year and Willie H contributing so much so soon, we’d have a plethora of good bigs and we’d be in a position to deal one of them (Lopez or KQ) for a future asset, maybe even a first round pick). As it is now, its risky to deal KQ bc we don’t know what Noah will bring to the table.

      The lesson here is patience. A lot of people unfairly bashed Phil from the get go but I think up until last off season it felt like he had a plan and was sticking to it. Rebuilding from the ground up while trying to be competitive with Melo. Then he panicked in order to appease Melo and well, you know the rest.

    13. swiftandabundant

      Frank is going to be great. Maybe not right away but I think defensively he will have an impact right away. And I think the pundits and casual fans really underestimate how much having a smart and unselfish player can help a team (especially if that star and unselfish player actually has talent). Frank will most likely be a plus defender, make smart passes and plays and hit his shots for the most part when he gets an open look. From there its just a matter of him being able to run an offense and get to the rim. I’m excited for the kid and could care less about Dennis Smith. Dennis Smith seems to me like the type of player that lights up the league for a few years and then flames out after he gets injured. I don’t hope that on him but I’ve seen this type of player before. He will wow us and a lot of fans will lament us not picking him. But I bet you 8 years from now Frank is still playing and contributing for his team and Dennis Smith won’t be in the league or will be a journey man who used to be great.

    14. Z-man

      But I bet you 8 years from now Frank is still playing and contributing for his team and Dennis Smith won’t be in the league or will be a journey man who used to be great.

      I wonder what Vegas would say about this bet.

      I also wonder what you and others would be saying if we had drafted Smith Jr. instead of Frank.

      Look, I want the kid to be good, but how he magically becomes a “plus defender” when he was fouling his brains out a couple of months ago is a mystery to me. I think at best he takes 2-3 years to become a full-time player. At worst, he’s a journeyman 3-and-D wing for his entire career.

    15. er

      I’m with Zman on the Frank Optimism. I hope he is great, I just don’t know how this is any difference than what the realists always criticize me for. This seems like hopeful thinking. It is ok because he’s not known for his scoring?

    16. er

      I bet you 8 years from now Frank is still playing and contributing for his team and Dennis Smith won’t be in the league or will be a journey man who used to be great.

      LOL. Wow where is the criticism for this kinda shit?

    17. swiftandabundant

      @ 17 – what’s up with throwing shade?

      I’m a fan of the Knicks. If we had picked Smith I would be pumping him up and hoping for the best. And yes, I would most likely be justifying it and writing stuff about how he’s better than Frank, because as a fan that’s what I do. I’m all about drinking the Kool Aid every off season and I make no apologies for that.

      BUT, I did not want DSJ. My choices were Fox, Monk and Frank. Those were the dudes I wanted and I was really high on Frank because despite Phil’s shortcomings, his two Euro picks, KP and Willie, turned into very good prospects for us. And in general I like picking the euros because I like that team oriented style of play they bring to the table. And from what I’ve read about Smith, I was worried about his character. So if we picked him? I’d be on board and I’d be talking him up right now. But he was NOT my choice. I wanted Fox, Frank or Monk.

    18. DRed

      I don’t think the Smith shit is that anti-Knicks driven. Basketball twitter fell in love with Smith towards the end of the pre-draft period. What people should be more incredulous at is the Celtics not taking Lonzo Ball so they could draft Jason Tatum and have the 7th pick next year.

    19. Z-man

      Smart and unselfish is great, but at some point you have to have the skill to back it up. Baker played the smart, unselfish card last year, but this year he had better show more or he’ll start the slide down that slippery slope to Europe. But he’s 24 years old. Frank has more time, but there is absolutely no evidence that he will evolve into a starting PG in the NBA, it’s all pretty much blind faith. And anyone who thinks he will be a plus defender this coming year is in for a rude awakening. What NBA PG is he going to defend? Chris Paul? Kyle Lowry? Steph Curry? John Wall? Isaiah Thomas? Mike Conley? Goran Dragic? Damien Lillard? He might not even be able to defend guys like Teague, Brogdan, Rubio…. or rookies like Ball, Smith Jr., Mitchell and Fultz.

    20. DRed

      Bovada has Lonzo as the favorite for ROY, with Smith second. That doesn’t sound that bad to me, although I’d personally put Simmons over Smith.

    21. Bruno Almeida

      The front office that drafted KP and got Hernangomez thinks the kid is good enough to be the 8th pick over Smith. Z-man sees nothing to like about the kid.

      Both sides could be right, but if I was a betting man, I know which side I would listen to.

    22. Donnie Walsh

      I bet you 8 years from now Frank is still playing and contributing for his team and Dennis Smith won’t be in the league or will be a journey man who used to be great.

      This is actually an interesting sliding door question. What is more valuable: a player who is great in a small window, or a player who is good in a large window.

      Like, for instance, given what you know about them, would you rather draft a Penny Hardaway and get 4 all-NBA years before a quick fade sets in, or an Andre Miller/Chauncey Billups type that blooms late but plays well forever, if given the choice?

    23. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      I’d say Ntilikina, Baker, Beasley, O’Quinn, and Hernangomez will make up the second unit.

      No way Beasley gets bench minutes over Lance. Lance plays..err..gives great effort on defense, while Beasley makes excuses defensively. I can definitely see those 2 playing alongside each other, but that likely leaves out KOQ. If Melo’s a Knick, he HAS to start SF or come off the bench in the combo forward role meant for Beasley. Unless of course, KOQ gets traded..

    24. Bruno Almeida

      @26

      That’s an interesting question… In this specific case I’d take Chauncey, for sure, but prime Penny was no joke.

    25. Z-man

      Well, I agreed wth the Porzingis and Hernangomez drafts at the time (and TH2 and Grant and Dotson and Jaramaz) but that doesn’t mean much, even the best GMs make mistakes. We all know that the draft is a crap shoot for the most part. Nearly every GM in the league would have taken Okafor and Russell over KP, including Phil. On the other hand, KP could have been a fragile bust. All of the genius GMs passed on Jokic and Willy.

      But what we DO know definitively is that it is super-rare for PGs to make much of an impact in their rookie years, especially very young ones, and Frank is about as young as you can get. And that’s even considering players with stellar college/Euro stats. In Frank’s case, he played less than 600 minutes (almost none of them at PG) and did not make an impact in any specific area, including defense. You can’t be considered a good defender if you average 4.5 fouls per 36 minutes like he did last year. I’m not sure how much he will progress in 2-3 years’ time, but for next year? It would be shocking if he legitimately earned rotation minutes.

      After that, who knows? Maybe Russell and Mudiay turn the corner this year. Is anyone here bold enough to definitively say that they would have drafted Frank over those two guys? And that both of them would suck this badly for their first two years? And those guys were actually PGs before being drafted.

    26. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      I hope he is great, I just don’t know how this is any difference than what the realists always criticize me for.

      There’s nothing wrong with hoping a Euro rookie will be great despite having very little evidence for it. E.g. Bargnani was a bad #1 pick, but you could have argued anything you wanted about him before the draft. Dirk or Darko? No one knew before he put the ball on the hardwood. I certainly didn’t know.

      There’s a lot wrong with ignoring tens of thousands of minutes of evidence — whole seasons in the one and only NBA — in favor of some wild belief that a player you enjoy watching (or, hell, a player who is on your favorite team’s roster) is also a great player, when all of the evidence points to the contrary.

    27. JK47

      Ntilikina is 19 years old. How many 19-year old PGs have had success in the NBA? As far as I can tell, there were only four guys in the history of the whole league who had decent success as NBA point guards at age 19: Kyrie Irving, Stephon Marbury, Tony Parker and Jrue Holiday. And Jrue wasn’t even that good, he had a WS48 of .033 as a 19-year old rookie.

      PG is very likely going a black hole for the Knicks this season. There are about 4,000 minutes of PG play to dole out. Maybe 1,500 of those will go to a journeyman veteran coming off a poor season, another 1,500 will go to a guy who was not good enough to play PG in the Midwestern Valley Conference and who had a negative WS48 as a rookie and the remaining 1,000 or so will go to a raw 19-year old rookie. It’s a pretty dire PG rotation.

    28. swiftandabundant

      I think the top Euro prospect in the draft in 2017 is a lot different than the top Euro prospect in the draft even 10 years ago. The gap between the Euros and the NBA is a lot smaller than it used to be. Frank is 19 and got serious minutes on a championship team going up against grown men. And hey, its all guessing. We honestly have no idea and won’t for a few years. But Dallas wanted Frank too. They were actively scouting him. Before The Knicks picked him Frank was a consensus top 10 pick in the draft and we picked him with the 8th pick. It was not a stretch to pick him.

      Smith is talented. I hope the best for him. I also know that the Knicks should probably stay away from players with character issues. Those players can work those things out and I hope Smith does but we’re not the organization to take on a talented kid who might have character issues and might be a bad teammate. Maybe that stuff is overblown. I don’t know. But high character guys like Frank who are hard workers and smart players. That’s good look for us.

      I’m just excited to see him play. I wanted Fox, Frank or Monk. I knew Fox was a long shot. So for me it was either Frank or Monk. We got Frank so I’m happy.

      And give me Chauncey over Penny. Prime Penny was an amazing player but I’d rather have Chauncey with the longer career who didn’t fly quite as high (but still flew pretty high).

      Is Chauncey Billups a good comp for Frank?

    29. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Z-man, to say the least it’s disingenuous to argue that Ron Baker’s $4M a year deal should have him ahead of Ntilikina. Ron Baker is worth a 3 year minimum deal with team options on the second and 3rd year and everyone knows that much. The reason I’m confident Frank Ntilikina will outplay Ron Baker is because Ron Baker is terrible at basketball according to every metric we can find. Of course he was only a rookie last season, but Ron Baker is already 24. He’s closer to the team mascot than he is an NBA rotation player. Frank Ntilikina is a lottery pick who looks like he can become a cross between Avery Bradley and George Hill, except taller and longer. Out the gate it’s likely that he’s one of our two best perimeter defenders, and he’s a good perimeter shooter by all indications. There was close to 1200 minutes of film on him across more than 50 games if I’m not mistaken. While we think he’s not a sure thing, there was actually more available film on him than any other rookie taken in this draft. From what I have seen, he’s already a game changing irritant defensively.

      Consider this; you’re betting that an undrafted 24 year old NBA player, who has seen less than 1,000 minutes at the professional level but posted negative marks in BPM, WS/48, and VORP (his WP48 was a .013), shot under 30% from 3 point range, has a TOV% greater than his AST% (though he really has a 2:1 A:TO ratio), and had no other offers but one from the Knicks, is going to outplay Frank Ntilikina. Frank Ntilikina won the French League’s award for best young player two years in a row, started on the team that went to the French League’s finals, won the FIBA Europe U18 tournament and the MVP award (the only other French players to win that award were Nic Batum and Tony Parker), and was our lottery pick. It doesn’t seem like a smart bet to me.

    30. fmikieo

      Frank’s lack of minutes, insofar as predicting his production this coming season, cuts both ways. That’s why, despite his youth and talents, he fell to 8th in the draft, which is also why you hire scouts-to evaluate the question mark players. Because prospect players can and do have/gain skills and talents that may escape their early film.

      For me, I trust the Knicks’ scouts more than any media talking head or any random hoss on KB.

      Does that mean Frank will superceed expectations. I honestly don’t know. But I also don’t know that he’ll bust either. IMHO, trust the scouts.

      I do know this:
      it’ll be fun seeing and learning where Frank is at season’s start and also how he develops over the course of the year. If he becomes a major contributor, either immediately or later on, then that’s just extra icing of the cake.

    31. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I’m not betting that Frank is an impact player from Day 1 here. I’m just betting that he plays better than a guy who was objectively bad at basketball last season.

    32. nicos

      Pretty much every clip I saw of Frank showed him pressuring the ball full court which should account for some of the fouling. I think he at least winds up a very good defensive 2. He’s never had to deal with the quickness and ball skills he’ll see here at the point so I think he might struggle there for awhile. I think his biggest issue regarding the point is his ball-handling. It’s extremely loose for a lead guard and I wonder if he’ll ever get it tight enough to effectively play the point given his giant wing span.

    33. Z-man

      I’m not saying that he was not worth a good look in the top 10 in the first round. Only that he had the least compelling evidence for being drafted there out of all those being considered. Especially at the position he is supposedly being drafted to fill!!The most compelling evidence for believing in him is that Gaines liked him. Beyond that, Smith, Monk, and Mitchell were safer picks. Collins too, but redundant.

    34. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I don’t agree with the idea that Frank had the least amount of compelling evidence. For us, absolutely. But for the New York Knicks? Frank Ntilikina played more basketball in the past year than pretty much all of his rookie peers. There’s a ton of film on him that we don’t have access to.

    35. JK47

      I’d give Ron a better chance of succeeding if he wasn’t being asked to play PG, a position that he has never been good enough to play. It’s like taking a guy who was a second baseman for a small college team and asking him to play shortstop in the major leagues. If Ron had PG ability, he would have played PG for Wichita State. As an NBA PG, he’s almost doomed to fail.

    36. er

      Like, for instance, given what you know about them, would you rather draft a Penny Hardaway and get 4 all-NBA years before a quick fade sets in, or an Andre Miller/Chauncey Billups type that blooms late but plays well forever, if given the choice?

      I think the answer to this question is easy. Its Penny. You have him to pair with another star and a chance to win a title. As good as Billups and Miller were they have 1 title. You can get the same with Penny and then tear down and try again

    37. TheOakmanCometh

      Frank’s advantage over Monk is his body. He’s got the length and footwork to play the 1 or 2 defensively. Monk is too small to play the 2 defensively, but too much of a shoot-first guy to play the 1 offensively. He may never be more than a Ben Gordon-type tweener off the bench.

      Frank’s advantage over Smith is in health and attitude. Smith has had knee surgery already; Frank hasn’t. Smith pouted and loafed on an underachieving team; Frank was by all accounts a good teammate despite being often nailed to the bench.

      So it’s debatable to say that Smith or Monk were safer picks. I’ve always felt that Frank, as a strong and motivated defender who can at least shoot and pass at a reasonable level, has a pretty high floor. There’s always room in the NBA for Patrick Beverley/KCP types.

    38. nicos

      I don’t agree with the idea that Frank had the least amount of compelling evidence. For us, absolutely. But for the New York Knicks? Frank Ntilikina played more basketball in the past year than pretty much all of his rookie peers. There’s a ton of film on him that we don’t have access to.

      ??? Both Smith and Monk (just to name two guys that the Knicks might have drafted) both played significantly more minutes last year than Frank.

    39. Bruno Almeida

      @37

      That seems a sure fire formula for sustained mediocrity. The Knicks are not one Smith, Monk or Mitchell away from being a good team.

      In the position the Knicks were in, not bad enough for top picks, far from good enough to be in the playoffs, you swing for the fences.

      That’s why I can’t understand why you hated the pick so much. If the Knicks passed on Lonzo or Josh Jackson for him I’d be pissed too, but Id always rather swing for the fences with the 8th pick and bust than grab a safe dude who won’t move the needle either way and has a lower ceiling.

    40. DRed

      JK, I think it’s fair to point out that Witchita State had an NBA point guard on the team when Ron was there.

    41. Bruno Almeida

      @40

      How is that easy when prime Billups was significantly better than Penny? I can’t understand how much people underrate Chauncey to this day.

    42. Z-man

      The same braintrust that drafted Frank signed Baker (Phil was already committed to signing him before he got fired.) Would they have done that if they felt that Ron would play the same this year as he did last year?

      Any statistical analysis of Ntilikina’s 3-pt shooting is based on 66 attempts in 3 years of league play (41%) and 21 attempts in 2 years of playoff play (25%). I know it’s a slightly shorter shot in college than in Europe, but It’s pretty clear to me that the sample size is too small to confirm whether Frank will be able to shoot the 3 in the NBA. In contrast, Fultz took 126 attempts last year (41%). Lonzo Ball took 194 attempts (41%) and Dennis Smith Jr. took 153 attempts (36%).

      Ron Baker shot 37% on 655 college 3-pt attempts. Baker also shot 80% from the FT line on 437 attempts. (So far, Frank has shot 66% on 38 attempts.) Why is it a better bet that Frank will improve what he did poorly and/or maintain what he did will in a small sample size than that Ron will revert to the mean efficiency he has at the college level?

    43. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Chauncey’s best years were drop dead amazing and to my mind superior to any of Penny’s seasons

    44. Z-man

      I don’t agree with the idea that Frank had the least amount of compelling evidence. For us, absolutely. But for the New York Knicks? Frank Ntilikina played more basketball in the past year than pretty much all of his rookie peers. There’s a ton of film on him that we don’t have access to.

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/euro/players/frank-ntilikina-1.html

      Really? According to above stats, Frank played 587 minutes (32 games) plus 280 playoff minutes (13 games). Just about everyone drafted played significantly more minutes than him last year.

    45. nicos

      In the position the Knicks were in, not bad enough for top picks, far from good enough to be in the playoffs, you swing for the fences.

      If you wanted to swing for the fences then Smith would have been the pick. He’s in a different league than Frank athletically and has far better ball skills to boot. Unless Frank makes a big jump athletically (possible given his age but not likely) Smith has the higher ceiling. And I actually think he has a higher floor as well unless he blows out his knee again since I can’t see him being a complete bust whereas Frank is enough of an unknown that he could be- very little to go on offensively and if he can’t stop fouling… But most guys come in somewhere between their ceilings and floors so who knows? I think a lot (and maybe most) of the middle outcomes favor Frank but I preferred taking the risk on Smith.

    46. stratomatic is despondent

      I saw an interesting article about Frank’s 3 point shooting about a month ago. He was run through a series of shooting drills. They guy that tested him has a lot of data for NBA players (including the very best players) that have run through the same set of drills. Frank had an elite score. The article was very optimistic that his shot is going to translate very well at the pro level. Even if there is some variance in the test and he just happened to have had a good day, it’s likely he’s going to be a solid shooter. We may even get a huge upside surprise.

    47. stratomatic is despondent

      The same braintrust that drafted Frank signed Baker (Phil was already committed to signing him before he got fired.) Would they have done that if they felt that Ron would play the same this year as he did last year?

      Phil was definitely going to sign him, but there are 2 unknowns here.

      1. Would he had paid as much?

      2. Would he have signed him if he thought he was getting the same player as last year?

      You can’t answer #2 without knowing #1 and vice versa.

    48. Ntilakilla

      He’s in a different league than Frank athletically and has far better ball skills to boot.

      If by athletically you mean speed, dexterity and vertical then yes. If you’re talking about frame, height, and wingspan then no. Personally, I will take Frank’s length – unlike vertical it lasts and allows him to be a far more versatile player.

    49. JK47

      Smith’s floor is probably higher than Ntilikina’s floor, but I disagree that Smith has the higher ceiling. Smith, best case, is a good offensive player who won’t kill you on the defensive end. Ntilikina, best case, is a good two-way player. I know which of those I’d rather have.

      Ntilikina is enough of an unknown though that his floor is “complete bust.” Smith will probably not be a total bust in the NBA, so I do think it’s fair to say Smith has the higher floor.

    50. Z-man

      If the Knicks offered Ron no more than the minimum, it is not inconceivable that another team wouldn’t have paid him more. I can’t imagine that, at any price, Phil would not be anticipating improvement. In fact, I thinks its just as likely that Phil made a verbal commitment to Ron’s agent and Mills just executed the deal as promised. It’s highly likely that Hornacek (perhaps delusional) sees a lot of himself in Ron and stoked the overpay flames. If Ron plays poorly, it could be a nail in Hornacek’s coffin.

    51. JK47

      Frank’s supposed strengths– defense, basketball IQ, team-oriented play– are the kind of things that are often undervalued, and the kind of things that we regularly pine for around here.

      Smith’s supposed strengths– pointzz and ankle breaking– are the kind of thing that are often overvalued, especially by this franchise.

      If Ntilikina makes it in this league, it will be because he’s a high-IQ player who is a plus defender and can also knock down shots.

    52. Z-man

      I think most would say that Smith’s ceiling is a great offensive player, not good. Like Isaiah Thomas great.

    53. Ntilakilla

      I think the top Euro prospect in the draft in 2017 is a lot different than the top Euro prospect in the draft even 10 years ago. The gap between the Euros and the NBA is a lot smaller than it used to be.

      I could make the argument that its reversed the past 3-4 seasons at the upper crust. Who would you rather have? Jokic, Giannis, KP, Willy, Gobert or KAT, Embiid, Tuner, Simmons? Its close.

    54. Z-man

      What were Steph Curry’s supposed strengths coming into the league? If I recall, it was that overrated pointzz ankle-breaking thing.

    55. Brian Cronin

      If the Knicks offered Ron no more than the minimum, it is not inconceivable that another team wouldn’t have paid him more.

      The issue with the Ron deal (besides wildly overpaying him and giving him a freaking PLAYER OPTION) is that had they not renounced him, they could have matched any offer, thus making sure no one would try to sign Baker, as other teams would know that the Knicks would match any low level offer. That they renounced him to free up a little extra money to make the TH3 overpay even more of an overpay…well, most likely not a good idea.

    56. Ntilakilla

      I don’t think people here really understand how freakishly athletic Frank’s length makes him if he can stick at point guard. One exec scouting Ntilikina measured his wingspan is 7’1″. That would make him 10 inches longer than Dennis Smith, 7 longer than Fox. The average wingspan of a point guard is around nine inches shorter than what Ntilikina recorded. In fact, the average NBA center has a wing span of approximately 7-foot-1. The average arms-to-height ratio for an NBA player is 1.06-to-1. Ntilikina is at 1.10, which is not far from the largest of any All-Star in recent memory: Kawhi Leonard (1.12). For comparison, his wingspan is greater than what LeBron James, Paul George and Blake Griffin recorded when they entered the league though all are notably taller.

    57. Bruno Almeida

      @59

      Steph played 3 years for a bad team and never once had a less than .600 ts% in a college season, while shooting 20 FGA per game and being a decent rebounder for his size and position. Nice try though.

    58. JK47

      I think most would say that Smith’s ceiling is a great offensive player, not good. Like Isaiah Thomas great.

      By the same logic, Ntilikina’s defensive ceiling is Gary Payton. Smith will have to reach the utmost top range of his potential to be a Steph/Isaiah type player. It’s possible, but that’s like his 1% best case scenario. Lots of players in the draft would be pretty good if they hit their 99th percentile projection.

    59. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Knicks are going to be a good team this year. I feel the irony of it heavily. We’re going to play Sessions, Lee, Hardaway Jr, Melo, and Porzingis as a starting five because KP came back strong enough to play the center position full time after playing it full time with the Latvian national team. Lee and Hardaway Jr will work well on the perimeter to defend and Sessions will Ray Felton his way to usefulness. We won’t be excellent, but this is a playoff team sadly.

    60. Z-man

      Wingspan is nice. Somehow Chris Paul figured out how to play pretty good defense without it. Steph Curry too. Lots of guards with 7′ wingspans never panned out. Wingspan in and of itself is not a big deal for a guard.

    61. nicos

      I think Smith’s ceiling is Derrick Rose with a three point shot. And that’s an actual MVP candidate (unlike the actual Rose who was very good but not MVP caliber). Frank has shown nothing on offense beyond a solid three point shot and some nascent playmaking skill. And while he’s looked good defensively he’s fouled a ton but hasn’t generated much in the way of blocks/turnovers. Unless he makes a real jump athletically I’d say his ceiling is in the George Hill range- a very good player but not a superstar. As I said, given that Frank will hopefully be a nice two-way player there are a whole range of outcomes where he’s better than Smith but in terms of absolute ceiling I’ll take a true offensive superstar who’s competent defensively over a guy who’s pretty good on both ends.

    62. Jack Bauer

      @65 – You’re probably right, but that starting 5 is going to get completely destroyed on the boards

    63. Z-man

      @62 Smith was the much more well-rounded player as a college freshman than Steph and played against much, MUCH better competition. The only thing that Steph did better was pointzz.

    64. Ntilakilla

      Wingspan in and of itself is not a big deal for a guard.

      Untrue. Read this article

      https://sethsdrafthouse.com/wingspan-and-reach-are-the-key-nba-draft-measurables-b0dab6b95043

      When it comes to evaluating NBA draft prospects, reach and wingspan tell us a lot more about a player’s potential, especially on the defensive end. They’re the hidden numbers that can mean the difference between a hidden gem and an overrated bust.

      Here is the prognosis on Smith:

      Smith is worryingly small. It is hard to find an example of a player with his dimensions, a 6’3” wingspan and an 8’1” reach, being good on defense. That means Smith will get targeted in pick-and-rolls. If Smith’s size makes him a defensive liability, he has to be especially valuable on offense to be a starter, let alone a star. He is reminiscent Steve Francis or Stephen Marbury—probably an NBA player, but is he a starter on a great team or even a good one?

    65. JK47

      That starting five of Sessions, Lee, THJ, Melo and KP looks weak to me. It’s a horrific rebounding team on both ends, and it forces KP to bang inside with every starting center in the league.

      Fuck that lineup. I hate that lineup. Willy needs to start.

    66. Bruno Almeida

      Well, if you really think a guy who’s primarily an offensive player is better with a .560 ts% than a .600 ts%, I won’t argue anymore.

      Pointzz has never been the problem and not anyone ever argued that scoring points is in itself bad. It’s middling / poor efficiency while scoring points that’s the problem. Scoring more points with a significantly higher ts% is always going to be more valuable than a .560 ts% against the amazing nba-ready ACC competition.

    67. chrisk06811

      Z-Man has a point. here are Frank’s Euro stats:
      21 mins a game, 2.6 fouls a game, 1.4 turnovers, 0.5 assists. 11 pts. 36% from 3.

      no, wait…..those were KP’s numbers. Franks were:
      18 mins a game, 2.3 fouls a game, 0.9 turnovers, 1.4 assists. 43% from 3.

      NOT saying he’s going to be great. You have to be careful w/ Euro stats. the competition is A LOT harder, kids dont’ play much. He went up against former NBA’er Roddy Beaubois in practice every day, who is 29. Don’t take the limited stats at face value.

    68. JK47

      Who the fuck knows how to translate Frank’s stats as a role player at age 18 in some funky European league playing against a bunch of journeymen adults? I sure as hell don’t, so I’m not going to bother to scout the guy’s stat line. There’s way too much noise mixed in with the signal.

      He was a consensus top 10 pick, and was drafted right about where he was projected to be drafted. So whatever. Hopefully we get lucky and he’s good.

    69. JK47

      Also, it doesn’t really seem like that big of a stretch to assume that longer arms and a longer wingspan are more desirable than short T-Rex arms. That just seems like common sense. That’s one major reason Frank is a top prospect– it’s not JUST that he has long arms, it’s that he has a combination of long arms AND good lateral movement AND a knack for getting skinny on screens AND a harassing mentality on defense. You can see why people think he’s going to be a good defender.

    70. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Celtics were a terrible rebounding team last year and it didn’t stop them from winning a lot of games. That being said, I would not like to see that line up either, but I feel it coming.

    71. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @69

      Steph recorded 7 winshares in his freshman season to Smith’s 4. Also, FWIW, Smith’s WS/48 was awful for his tier of prospect when restricted to conference play (.103 WS/48)

      Sports reference doesn’t have any per game, 36, or advanced stats (beyond WS) for Steph, which is unfortunate, but it’s clear that he was the far better player than Smith was in his first year.

    72. stratomatic is despondent

      The issue with the Ron deal (besides wildly overpaying him and giving him a freaking PLAYER OPTION) is that had they not renounced him, they could have matched any offer, thus making sure no one would try to sign Baker, as other teams would know that the Knicks would match any low level offer. That they renounced him to free up a little extra money to make the TH3 overpay even more of an overpay…well, most likely not a good idea.

      100% agree.

    73. nicos

      Untrue. Read this article

      https://sethsdrafthouse.com/wingspan-and-reach-are-the-key-nba-draft-measurables-b0dab6b95043

      That article gives absolutely no statistical reason for the writers opinion. He just says wingspan is more important than height but gives no list of outcomes on guys with long wingspans vs. guys with shorter ones. And not for nothing but that same writer had tiny-armed Dennis Smith higher on his draft board than Frank. That wingspan is definitely going to help Frank on defense but when you see how high and loose his dribble is you can see that it might be just as big a hindrance on offense if he’s going to play the point.

    74. Ntilakilla

      That article gives absolutely no statistical reason for the writers opinion.

      Which is why I followed it up with this one.

      That wingspan is definitely going to help Frank on defense but when you see how high and loose his dribble is you can see that it might be just as big a hindrance on offense if he’s going to play the point.

      With Frank’s wingspan he doesn’t have to just be a pointguard, that’s the point. He can just as easily move off the ball, be a 2, play excellent defense, and shoot his way to a 3 and D role. Smith, on the other hand, probably needs to be a very offensively elite player at the 1 to be a starter on a winning team. And his efficiency needs to improve from where it was in college in order for that to happen. Its why I disagree that Smith’s floor is higher than Frank’s. Frank can settle into a supporting role if his defense is solid, Smith is a tweener stuck at the 1 who can’t.

    75. geo

      It’s highly likely that Hornacek (perhaps delusional) sees a lot of himself in Ron and stoked the overpay flames. If Ron plays poorly, it could be a nail in Hornacek’s coffin.

      no doubt, with “newish” management – horny is definitely on the clock…

      it was nice to see horny’s persona change a bit towards the end of the year…hopefully with phil out of the picture he’ll force his will a lot more on the team and front office…

      and yes, if melo stays – he most definitely should play the four…off the bench :-)

    76. DRed

      The average wingspan of a point guard is around nine inches shorter than what Ntilikina recorded. In fact, the average NBA center has a wing span of approximately 7-foot-1. The average arms-to-height ratio for an NBA player is 1.06-to-1. Ntilikina is at 1.10, which is not far from the largest of any All-Star in recent memory: Kawhi Leonard (1.12).

      Rondo has a 7’0″ wingspan, and he’s like 6 feet tall. It’s another reason I wanted the Knicks to sign him-he’s the only non-Giannis point guard with arms as long as Frank

      edit: I got that from wikipedia, and it might be off by a few inches. Still, he’s got crazy long arms.

    77. nicos

      Which is why I followed it up with this one.

      Players with longer wingspans are better at contesting shots- fine. But do they have better outcomes overall? Might wingspan be detrimental to shooting or ball-handling? All I care about is the bottom line- if you’re going to write an article saying wingspan is ultra important you should have some evidence to back it up.
      My issues with Frank’s floor are that he hasn’t played against NBA-caliber athletes so his defense is a little tough to judge (and the fouls are concerning) and offensively he showed so little beyond a decent stroke (though with a slow release) that I could still see him being a Jan Vesely level bust. Whereas unless Smith blows out his knee again he’ll score enough to at least hang around the NBA for awhile. I think Frank winds up being a very good defender and should shoot well enough to be at least a solid 3 & D guy. I don’t really see him being a legit point guard- no handle, not a great first step, and his court vision doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.

    78. JK47

      I’m just throwing this out there as a general observation, and this isn’t meant at anybody in particular: people need to slow their roll when it comes to making grand pronouncements about Ntilikina. Really none of us knows what the fuck we’re talking about with this guy. There are people fully dismissing him based on conjecture that they’ve pulled directly from their ass.

      I don’t know what to make of him. Neither do you. He’s an enigma at this point. Let’s see what we have before crying that we didn’t draft Dennis Smith.

    79. ILoveHatetheKnicks

      @85 – agree 100%. not to mention the crying about level of competition he faced. the french league he played in may not be top tier to some people, but they have produced some players that seemed to do “okay” who have been able to carve out decent to impressive careers in the nba. also, for what its worth, the kid supposedly impressed scouts playing in the same basketball without borders camp that had thon maker and deandre ayton as attendees.

      i get some of the concerns about him, but i’m hopeful his supposed work ethic along with basketball iq increases the chances that he maximizes his potential. in any event let’s wait and see what we may or may not have with the young man before declaring we made some monumental mistake because we missed out on dennis smith.

    80. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      We were never supposed to draft Dennis Smith Jr after we were denied access to his medical records. Can you imagine the blowback if it came out that we drafted a kid with an ACL tear without evaluating him medically? You can make an argument for Luke Kennard and Donovan Mitchell, but not Dennis Smith Jr.

    81. Bruno Almeida

      @85

      Exactly. Let’s wait until his first turnover or first foul at least to make assumptions of a 19-year old’s career.

      I have faith that he will be good. There are some indications he might be good. There are also indications that he might not be much, but the overreaction is becoming quite boring.

    82. Donnie Walsh

      How is that easy when prime Billups was significantly better than Penny?

      Yeah, Billups is probably too good to have used in my example. He turned deceptively great as he entered his 30s.

      Hardaway was a transcendent player for his first 4 years. It was easy to see a Magic Johnson level career for him, both on paper and with the ol’ eyeballs, if he’d been able to sustain it. Guys like that, though disappointing in the long run, have immense value while they are peaking. That’s what my question was getting at (not whether Bullups is underrated or not:)

      Guys like Hardaway, McGrady, Grant Hill, and Brad Daugherty. Would you rather have drafted them, rather than guys like Andre Miller, Zach Randolph, Joe Johnson, and Andre Iguodala, whom have all been solidly consistent for 1000+ games, but never had any transcendent individual seasons to hang their hats on?

      I guess it depends on where you are as a franchise, and what the window of contention is. But the Smith v Frank talk made me wonder which the better path to take for the Knicks/Mavs is.

    83. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      The Pennys play in the Finals. The Z-Bos play in the conference semis. I think I’d rather have a couple just-short championship runs than get bounced by the same three teams in the first two rounds over a decade.

    84. Ntilakilla

      Players with longer wingspans are better at contesting shots- fine. But do they have better outcomes overall?

      I would assume their advantage in contesting shots correlates with greater defensive success, no? Obviously, there are other factors to consider (quickness, strength, dexterity, reflexes, etc.) but the point is that a long wingspan gives a player a significant defensive advantage over those who don’t.

    85. GoNyGoNyGo

      Agree about giving Ntilikina a chance. He hasn’t played a minute of NBA ball yet. He could become a stud – or not. And with a PG, we need to wait a year to see what he’s about. It’s very tough for a rookie PG to shine.

    86. nicos

      would assume their advantage in contesting shots correlates with greater defensive success, no? Obviously, there are other factors to consider (quickness, strength, dexterity, reflexes, etc.) but the point is that a long wingspan gives a player a significant defensive advantage over those who don’t.

      Sure, all else being equal I’d take the guy with the longer wingspan. That said, the two best defensive point guards I’ve seen are Paul and Kidd, neither of who have huge wingspans. Throw Stockton in there too. I think everybody is looking for the next Kahwi right now so wingspan’s importance is being exaggerated a bit. Basketball skill is still going to trump physical measurements more often than not.

    87. er

      How is that easy when prime Billups was significantly better than Penny? I can’t understand how much people underrate Chauncey to this day.

      Its hard to really make this comparison. I agree I am underrating Billups, but that was cagey vet Billups right…..idk this is hard to do with a short burst like Penny.

    88. Mike Honcho

      There are, as noted, great defenders who do not have excessive wingspans.

      Does that mean wingspan is irrelevant? My answer would be no, wingspan is very relevant. Does anyone doubt that Kawhi and Gobert (two of the top five defenders in the sport today) leverage their freakish wingspans into more effective defense? They’d still likely be good (maybe even great) defenders with shorter arms, but I think it’s inarguable that their wingspans are a key reason they are so stifling on defense.

    89. Bruno Almeida

      @89

      Yeah, I’d definitely agree there. I’d take Penny, McGrady, Hill or Daugherty over any of those dudes, specially T-Mac. I hate the “superstar had bad teammates” narrative in general but I make an exception for him. Truly a multitalented star who was pigeonholed in the superstar scorer role for lack of a better alternative while he was a terrific passer and ball handler in terrible / unlucky teams.

    90. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Wingspan is definitely a very important part of playing defense. Not having it means you have to have an unbelievable amount of lateral quickness and defensive basketball IQ, but the ability to physically stifle defender with long, strong arms is key. Like in football, long arms are key to being dominant in the trenches. The ability to make first contact with your opponent allows you to control the fight. Is it crucial that you have long arms? No; you can compensate with things like overall strength and technique, but the prototypical players have long arms.

      Frank’s long arms are a plus and give him a better chance of success defensively. Once you add in his high basketball IQ, you have a potential game changer on defense.

    91. Bruno Almeida

      @98

      Plus Steph and CP3 being able to do it without much size does not mean it’s not important. Transcendent basketball players like those two are the golden standards of this sport, there are many other reasons they are who they are.

    92. mase

      I’m very excited to see frank in action and then I’ll make my judgements.

      Based on workout videos I’m thoroughly impressed!

    93. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      I’d like to see a good side by side statistical comparison of Penny & Billups. I’m not so sire Billups was a better player. Maybe I’m only remembering Penny’s highs or folks are remembering Billups’ Piston years- but those 2 weren’t far off in my opinion. Billups’ was really good and relatively injury free until late in his career, so this is no slight against him. You really can’t go wrong either way.

      I’m thinkin that Billups’ rep as a clutch shooter probably clouds some folks minds as it relates to his overall shooting. He had a nice 3 ball, but he really wasn’t an accurate shooter. Let’s not forget, pre-injury Penny consistently shot near 50% or better from the field. Defensively, Billups was smart, savvy, physical, and good enough to mask his lack of quickness. As good as Billups was defensively, Penny’s length and quickness gave him a slight edge there. Slight.

      I don’t think Penny was alot better than Billups- Billups was really good. But I still give Penny the edge. His longevity- or lack thereof- hurts him, but I’m still picking Prime Penny over Prime Billups at least 7 out of 10 times. This is a really good comparison though, I’d love to see the numbers side by side

      One more thing, I don’t wanna compare Ntilikina to Penny- but given his size, length, and hoops IQ, I think he’d do very well to emulate his game. Maybe he can be a less explosive, less scoring version of Penny with a better 3 ball.

    94. kevin5318

      @wojespn
      Sources: Boston, Cleveland nearing deal on Kyrie Irving, but details still working to completion. Isaiah Thomas, Crowder, pick(s) in talks.

    95. KnickfaninNJ

      This is an interesting debate. I didn’t see Smith play in Summer league, but from everyone’s reaction, he must have been outstanding. The descriptions of him kind of remind me of a young Derrick Rose. Now if this was a draft with no particular point guard hype about it, then his play could count as a surprise. But actually, all the stuff I read about it said it was going to be a great draft for point guards. And summer league play showed that Ball and Fultz are good too. My inference from this is that the analysts were right, it was a great draft for point guards. Those same analysts also thought Ntilikina was as good as Smith (although a different sort of player). Why can’t they be right about this like they were about the draft overall? There is no evidence they are wrong. Smith being good is not evidence of Ntilikina being bad.

      If the two players are of equal value, and the one we got is a two way player and the other one is not, then I’m happy with our choice.

    96. ptmilo

      Who is Ante Zizic?

      he is ivica zubac, but worse. he had a meh summer league but guys who play like zaza usually don’t look good in summer league.

    97. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      I was just about to comment on Ntilikina until I saw the news regarding…wow. If this trade goes down, we will see exactly why the Knicks were right not to make this deal when Boston drops a little. A Kyrie-Hayward-Horford core is still very good, but not serious contender good. I’ve always wondered what Boston is gonna do with the Hayward-Tatum conundrum..

      Anyway..back to Ntilikina. I just had a thought that may bode well for the kid. Maybe it’s good that he’s not an explosive athlete and that may help him grow into and maintain his body better. Guys like Livingston and Penny- who were tall, skinny and more explosive- got wrecked by leg injuries. Maybe we’ll see his body and game mature at the same pace and he’ll be able to kick the taller, skinny PG curse.

    98. Bruno Almeida

      Why the hell is Ainge giving Thomas + assets for Kyrie when the two players by themselves are pretty equivalent? Holy shit, Boston mighr prevent us from getting fleeced by doing it to themselves.

      @101

      I can’t do it on my phone now, but pretty much every advanced stay gives the edge for Billups best years x Penny’s best years. Ofc Billups was already a veteran and we have no idea how Penny would have progressed, but if its just best years against best years, I’d take Billups.

    99. stratomatic is despondent

      Does that Kyrie/Thomas deal reopen the door for Melo to the Cavs?

      (Crowder and picks would be available in Cleveland)

    100. Bruno Almeida

      @112

      Please God yes. Boston getting destroyed in a deal, us getting rid of Melo for Crowder plus picks is the future I want to live in.

    101. GoNyGoNyGo

      What I find most amusing about the Ntilikina-D.Smith comparison is that all that praise on Smith is based on some good summer league games against schoolyard dudes. Sure, a couple of other rooks were there, but weaving through a bunch of scrubs in July is not like trying to break down an NBA defense.

      Let’s all remember that kid crying when KP was drafted. And who’s this Hernangomez kid? And Kuz? This year they drafted Ntilikina, Dotson and Jaramaz. I’ll evaluate things in late December after watching a bit.

      As for the potential Kyrie-Thomas deal, If that was it, OK. It looks fair. I don’t think it would move the needle for either team. But throwing in Crowder and picks???? Hmmmmm.

    102. ptmilo

      even if you don’t like Boston’s end, it’s amazing what ainge did: he got a cavs first just for taking Marcus thornton’s $8m contract, then flipped that for IT. Then he traded rondo’s corpse for crowder, turning basically nothing into kyrie.

    103. thenamestsam

      If this happens it seems about as good as Cleveland could expect to do if they really feel they need to trade him now. If Thomas’ hip is healthy I think they’ll be better next year than they would be with Kyrie. Crowder is exactly the kind of big wing they’ve been crying out for and Thomas is a more efficient offensive player than Kyrie. If Lebron and Thomas walk after this year than instead of having Kyrie left over they’ll be left Zizic, with whatever picks they get back from Boston (I’d bet on a low 1st) and whatever they can get for Crowder (another low 1st probably). That’s less than they’d get if they moved Kyrie for pure future value, but not terrible.

      I still think if there’s any way to salvage the situation it makes more sense to just keep Kyrie for another year and then trade him for pure future value next summer if he’s still dead set on leaving once Lebron exits. But maybe it has become completely untenable. If that’s the case, they’re really pinned into this extremely unusual role (maybe unprecedented in NBA history) of being title contenders this year and yet knowing (with 95% certainty) they’re rebuilding after this year. This is about as good as you can do given that circumstance I think.

    104. Bruno Almeida

      If this trade happens I expect Cleveland to beat the Celtics in the ECF again in a similar fashion.

    105. Bruno Almeida

      @119 I think the Knicks would have to take JR or Shumpert back for it to happen, since Crowder makes so little, but that’s still fine for me.

    106. mase

      I agree that the cavs would want to keep crowder…all the other pieces they would need to trade for melo would make for a tough deal, dont knownhow a trade would happen because of that reason.

    107. DRed

      I’m pretty bullish on the Nets, but considering Kyrie & IT aren’t that different that’s a lot to give up

    108. KnickfaninNJ

      I think its a good trade for Boston. Thomas may have just had his career year, assuming the picks arent that high. They will start Irving, Horford, Hayward and probably Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. Thats a good roster.

    109. GoNyGoNyGo

      Yeah. The Nets will be decent. Lin, Booker, Crabbe, Carroll, Mozgov and Russell isn’t shabby.

    110. Bruno Almeida

      The Nets pick should have been a deal breaker. This trade only makes sense if IT is not recovering from his injury, which might be real. If not, it’s straight up robbery.

    111. TheOakmanCometh

      It’s a lot for Boston to give up, but it’s not crazy. IT is older, has one year left, and is eligible for a very expensive contract as an undersized PG. I think Kyrie is a significantly better commodity, despite the fact that IT was better last year.

    112. Bruno Almeida

      I do agree Kyrie is slightly superior to Thomas in the near future. Never Crowder + nets pick superior.

      The Cavs were the ones who should have been desperate to trade Kyrie and thus accepting less, not the other way around. IT + Crowder should have been more than enough, but it seems Ainge got desperate somehow.

      Ainge spent years building the best asset portfolio in the league… now all of that is gone, and this is the Celtics team that will have to beat the Warriors. I’d say thats not happening.

    113. DRed

      The Celtics have moved 4 of their 7 most productive players from last season-they’re really counting on some of their kids stepping up if they want to have another 50 win season.

    114. Brian Cronin

      I’d take whatever garbage the Cavs want to get rid of for Melo if they give the Knicks the Nets pick, too.

    115. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      Here I thought Boston was going to draft Obvious #1 Pick Fultz or Obvious Should-Be #1 Pick Ball, win 62 games without trying, steamroll the Cavs in the ECF, and be the latest team to get worked by Golden State, but instead they’re aiming for the 6 seed and limited future assets while Gordie “White Larry Bird” Hayward and Kyrie “Horace Grant” Irving eat up 70% of their cap space. I do not understand this world.

    116. fmikieo

      Remember that Frank played in the Champions League, where the best teams in Europe played against one another all season long. Think of it as playoff basketball from day one.

      So to assune that Frank only competed against “middling” french teams is inaccurate at best.

    117. thenoblefacehumper

      Holy shit is New York Knicks-level dumb for the Celtics. It’s difficult to fathom! It reminds me of the fucking Melo trade, that’s how bad it is!

    118. Bruno Almeida

      After watching Dray and Klay destroy Hayward and Kyrie on the playoffs last year, I wish good luck for the Celtics hahaha.

    119. KnickfaninNJ

      If they actually give up the Nets pick, the Cavs did very well. That has yet to be confirmed though

    120. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      This is a lose-lose trade lol. Isaiah Thomas will leave Cleveland, so will LeBron, and Cleveland sucks at drafting. Boston just gave up three of their best assets for a player who won’t replace or outdo what IT and Jae Crowder gave them and he will leave Boston in 2019. Terrible trade.

      At least the Knicks came out of this looking competent.

    121. thenamestsam

      I think this makes Melo to the Cavs less likely as the IT acquisition makes it pretty apparent to me that Cleveland is viewing their contending window in terms of a single season (i.e. they know Lebron is gone after this year). No way are they giving assets for Melo if they’re only fighting for one year.

    122. #fireRambis

      Season opener for these two teams:
      Celtics:
      Irving, Brown, Hayward, Morris, Hortford
      with Smart and Tatum…
      Cavs:
      Thomas, JR, Lebron, Love, Thompson
      with DRose and Crowder…

      that included 2018 pick is a gamble from Ainge

    123. er

      If they actually give up the Nets pick, the Cavs did very well. That has yet to be confirmed though

      It’s everywhere.

    124. DS

      I think this makes Melo to the Cavs less likely as the IT acquisition makes it pretty apparent to me that Cleveland is viewing their contending window in terms of a single season (i.e. they know Lebron is gone after this year). No way are they giving assets for Melo if they’re only fighting for one year.

      Eh. The deal is both good for now (Crowder, IT) and later (Nets’ pick and Zizic). And if the Cavs were in win-now mode, wouldn’t they be more likely to want ‘Melo?

      Anyway, I think ‘Melo would nix a deal to Cleveland.

    125. ess-dog

      Wow, can’t believe Cleveland got that haul from a trade demand. I guess they did the right thing not re-upping Griffin! The Nets pick is huge. Ainge is a dumbass.

    126. DS

      Kyrie must have a boner. If he wanted to be treated like more of a franchise player and less of a sidekick plus play for a good team instead of, say, Phoenix, then he made out really well.

    127. TheOakmanCometh

      I think this makes Melo to the Cavs less likely. Cleveland has a great forward rotation now with LeBron, Love, Crowder, and Green. They would have to move Love and probably Crowder for other pieces to make a Melo trade worthwhile.

    128. Bruno Almeida

      Ir IT is 100% healthy this Cleveland lineup will steamroll the underwhelming defenses in the east. Crowder adds so much versatility to their lineups, he can easily fit next to Lebron in lineups with Love at the 5 or with both Love and Thompson, and IT shot 43% in corner 3s last season, a shot that will be there for him all season long with Lebron attacking the paint. They probably don’t get that much better on D because Thomas needs to be hidden, but Crowder should also help a bit.

    129. DS

      They probably don’t get that much better on D because Thomas needs to be hidden, but Crowder should also help a bit.

      That’s where Derrick Rose and Calderon come in.

    130. TheOakmanCometh

      Actually I forgot about Rose. He’s fine as a backup PG (though a poor fit with LeBron). So they’re deep everywhere.

    131. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah… they can have Shumpert guarding ones and Rose should be at least capable of running the second unit better than Deron or Felder. Warriors remain kings of course but it wouldn’t surprise me if Lebron comes out smelling blood and destroys the Celtics in the ECF.

    132. Jack Bauer

      IT, Crowder, AND the Nets Unprotected 1st round pick ??!?!
      Danny, put the crack pipe down. That is a pretty good haul for the Cavs considering the Kyrie “demanding a trade” situation.

      Houston, the price for Melo is gonna be high….

    133. JK47

      I guess the idea is that the Celtics would rather extend Kyrie than Isaiah but holy shit is that a soul-crushing trade.

    134. bidiong

      Melo to Cleveland for one year and an opt out. One year with LeBron and a banana boat reunion in another city.

    135. TheOakmanCometh

      Celtics were in a sneakily tough position with Isiah. If he had another big year, he’d have demanded the max. Boston would have few options to replace him and would have the fan base clamoring for him return. But he’s turning 29 this season, is very small, has some injury issues, and doesn’t have a long track record.

      This deal relieves them off that burden. So while the Nets pick is very valuable, I see why they made the trade.

    136. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      I think you’ll see that Nets pick go midseason for another defensive piece.

      Thomas
      Smith
      Crowder
      Lebron
      Love

      That is such a nasty lineup in a weak conference. They might only win 55 in the regular season but they’re going to torch dudes playing smallball.

    137. johnnyhoops

      It wouldn’t surprise me if IT is damaged goods. Isn’t this hip injury chronic for him? I think that Ainge might have decided that they couldn’t risk going into the new season with the hipster.

    138. KnickfaninNJ

      er, I just couldn’t believe the Celtics would give that pick along with IT and Crowder, and I hadn’t seen it confirmed. But you are right now it’s reported many places. With some lesser pick, it’s an ok deal for Boston. With that pick, wow. Cleveland did great if IT can play close to what he did last year.

    139. er

      Can’t wait for the emergency Bill Simmons podcast tonight. He may rage into Stephen A Smith like the incredible hulk

    140. Cock Jowles, #1 Usage Soaker

      The Cavs should be worried about the 2017-18 season and nothing after it. LeBron is probably gone, so if you get one year out of Thomas and you make the Finals and try to knock off the Dubs, it’s worth it.

      In a league of perfect parity, you get one shot at a title every fifteen years. Four Finals appearances in a row is worth pushing all your chips in at any cost — even if you have to fight a goddam hydra to win it all.

    141. TheOakmanCometh

      If OKC struggles this year, Cleveland should make a pitch for Paul George. Love, Crowder, and Frye for George and Kanter works under the cap.

    142. Jack Bauer

      @172 – Good call, I agree 100%, the Cavs have to be all in now.
      “Four Finals appearances in a row is worth pushing all your chips in at any cost — even if you have to fight a goddam hydra to win it all.” – Nice visual

    143. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

      It’s not that Kyrie/ Hayward/Horford isn’t a good core. It’s the fact that Boston is literally all offense now. When you’re an offense heavy team, you hafta be Houston special on that end to survive. But even Houston realized they needed more defense this offseason. Boston may take more than one step back because now they only have 3 players on the entire roster who play decent D. One of them is close to washed up as far as being the player we knew him as on his previous team and isn’t playing D as well as he once did. One is a 2nd year wing with the potential to be a good defender, and the other is Marcus Smart. They’re also a weak rebounding team and don’t have good depth up front. They’re likely to max out at 47 wins, and that’s with everything breaking their way. Cleveland, Washington, Toronto, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and maybe Miami could all be better.

      Maybe the C’s didn’t have faith that Thomas could get healthy- I don’t know. But it’s the only logical reason I can think of for them making that trade.

    144. Owen

      Baffled by this trade. Don’t know what Ainge was thinking. I guess they don’t think Criwder is good.

    145. Early Bird

      This is what happens when you’re 5’9″. Doesn’t matter what the numbers say, you’re the worse player in the trade.

    146. Z-man

      There are people fully dismissing him based on conjecture that they’ve pulled directly from their ass.

      If this was directed at me, go fuck yourself. If not, never mind.

    147. Z-man

      As to the trade, it’s a pretty big gamble for the Celts, and a no-brainer for the Cavs. Obviously this opens things up for Jason Tatum to play big minutes, they must have lots of faith in him.

      Man would it be sweet if we could seduce that #1 pick away from the Cavs in a Melo deal.

      Nice splash for the Cavs’ new GM!

    148. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      This is not a good trade for either team. In 2018 LeBron James and Isaiah Thomas will leave, and the Cavs will muck up that pick as they’re probably the worst team at making draft picks. Boston is now a mid 40s win team unless Tatum and Brown become all stars, and they have to do that today. The Celtics are now on watch. If Ainge wants to keep Irving, he needs to build a championship contender in two seasons. The chances of that are tough when you’re built around Irving, Hayward, and a 31 year old Al Horford.

    149. geo

      This is what happens when you’re 5’9?. Doesn’t matter what the numbers say, you’re the worse player in the trade.

      funny…

      this is a wild one…Crowder and the nets pick make it seem heavy in the cavs favor…

      I’m not sure the Celtics have made themselves better with this trade…

      maybe long term you’d prefer Irving over Thomas, wanna give Crowder’s minutes to Tatum…

      I don’t know – why not just draft Fultz or Ball…trade for a pf…

      all in all, from a knick perspective – I like this trade – we should kill the Celts on the boards next year…and, the clock is ticking loudly for the Cavs…

      Ainge has unfortunately done a really good job over the years…i don’t know, maybe he knows something…

    150. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Danny Ainge made a big mistake unless this trade lands him another superstar in free agency next year.

    151. johnnyhoops

      Geo, this was written just 15 hours ago on Celticsblog.com

      “We still don’t know,” Stevens said. “He has another follow up and another scan in the early part of September when he arrives back here out east. From there we will know the exact timeline.”
      This isn’t a reversal of the reported progress for Thomas that he and Danny Ainge have espoused during the offseason, but rather a more tepid advancement towards Thomas’ return by the most measured man in the room. Danny Ainge told CSNNE Monday that the further tests are to confirm that Thomas remains on track for his recovery, not a sign of any set back or concern.
      “Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest and a lot of rehab,” Stevens said. “There’s been some good strides here in the last month and couple of weeks, but we’re not gonna know that until after that early September timeframe.”

      This is the only reason I can see for Ainge making this trade.

    152. DRed

      Ainge

      1. Should have just taken Lonzo

      2. If not, he should have just taken Fultz or Isaacs

      3. If he was willing to let the Nets pick go, he should have used it to get Jimmy Butler, or Paul George

    153. d-mar

      To get Paul George, OKC gives up Oladipo and Sabonis

      To get Jimmy Butler (and the 16th pick), Minnesota gives up LaVine, Dunn and the 7th pick

      To get Kyrie Irving, Ainge gives up Crowder, IT, Zizic and an unprotected most likely top 5 pick

      And Ainge is supposed to be some sort of fucking genius??

    154. DRed

      George is overrated in my opinion, but you also could probably have just got him for something like the Nets pick & Avery Bradley

    155. geo

      that makes a little more sense hoops…

      so, decent chance IT misses some time – hence, the high 2018 pick…

      I still don’t think it’s a great trade for the Celts – but, that could be due to my very underwhelming opinion of flat earth kyrie…

      and, my overwhelming desire to see the Celtics fail…

      I think ptmilo had a real good point:

      even if you don’t like Boston’s end, it’s amazing what ainge did: he got a cavs first just for taking Marcus thornton’s $8m contract, then flipped that for IT. Then he traded rondo’s corpse for crowder, turning basically nothing into kyrie.

      maybe a top draft pick ain’t nothing for a true hustler like Ainge…

    156. plenty

      If there’s a coach who can conjure a kyrie “come to jesus” overhaul of his approach to playing basketball, it’s Stevens. I like the move, many teams are running two point guards out there at the same time and having much success. Of course, this can go wrong (especially if they can’t figure a way to cover his immediate defensive shortcomings), but this puts them closer to cleveland whereas before, i wouldn’t have.

      Brooklyn’s pick may not be as high as we are expecting, either.

    157. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Nope. Kyrie Irving will play the exact same way except there is less chance of pick and rolls as Boston has zero P&R dive men. This trade was dumb as hell, and Kyrie won’t be in Boston too long.

    158. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Giving up an All Star, one of the ten best contracts in basketball (Jae Crowder makes $7M a year), and a lottery pick for Kyrie Irving is dumb as hell. And Kyrie Irving is one of my favorite NBA players. They are gonna win like 47 games and Kyrie will leave summer 2019

    159. DRed

      IT3, Derrick Rose & Jose Calderon is worse than any of our recent PG combos on defense and that’s really incredible. At least we had Ron Baker this year.

    160. plenty

      Well of course anything could happen. But i think Hayward is a good P&R man, almost 29% of his total plays last year were generated via the P&R. As for Kyrie leaving, maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t. I’d imagine if they do well and he grows to like playing under Stevens, and they get some positive experiences in the playoffs, he may not leave as easily as you are implying.

    161. plenty

      Jae crowder isn’t the difference maker on a championship team, good contract or not. And although IT was an allstar, he doesn’t have finals experience and a title.

    162. Z-man

      By nearly every statistical measure, Isaiah was the better offensive player last year. But not in the playoffs.

      And that’s with Isaiah having very little company in the elite scoring department. I mean, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, etc is hardly an impressive offensive team.

      If the Cavs could land Melo, then Isaiah, LeBron, Love, Melo and Rose/JR/Crowder/Thompson/Korver etc. makes for a formidable offensive rotation. They should package that #1 and contracts for Melo and one or two of our better defensive players. I’d happily give them Ntilikina, Lance and/or O’Quinn in a deal if we can get that pick.

    163. plenty

      198 –

      Yes, but what if that was his ceiling? IT isn’t old, but he’s 28. Kyrie is only going to get better, and has all the motivation in the world to do so after getting up over lebron’s shadow.

      Also, IT kinda had to assume that ridiculous shooting load because of all those hardly impressive offensive players. It’s not unreasonable to assume he’s not going to be handling it to that extent next year, what with adding Hayward and all.

    164. Z-man

      Well, let’s not compare Hayward to LeBron. Hayward to Love, maybe. But keep in mind, the Celts have lost Bradley and Crowder as well. They are running out a starting lineup of Kyrie, Smart, Brown, Hayward and Horford, with a bench of Morris, Tatum, Baynes and Rozier. Is that much better than what they had last year?

      The Cavs will run out Lebron, Thomas, Love, Thompson and JR, with Crowder, Rose, Shump, Korver and Frye off the bench, plus assorted scrubs. Looks better than Boston to me.

    165. DRed

      Isaiah was the better offensive player last year. But not in the playoffs.

      He was hurt for a good chunk of the playoffs and his little sister also died.

      Kyrie has a higher ceiling in that it’s physically possible for him to play better defense, and he’s signed for another year. So I can understand Boston swapping IT3 for Kyrie. But Crowder is a good player, and that Nets pick could be very good-it’s a steep price. They might have improved a bit at point guard but hurt the team overall

    166. Bruno Almeida

      @199

      I’m sorry, but I don’t see any reason why Kyrie will surely continue to get better. His only good years in the league have come with Lebron, the one player who actually does make his teammates significantly better, and the Cavs have had like a 4-21 record without Lebron on the court. I would argue getting away from Lebron will hurt his numbers more than it will help them.

      Irving is also an injury risk, cares very little about defense and fancies himself a mega star… IT was better efficiency wise while having worse teammates (ie not Lebron) and in the playoffs, which people use his performance to criticize him sometimes, had to deal with the sudden death of his sister and injuries.

      The fact is even if Irving is actually better and improves, he would have to become Steph Curry to be worth this specific Nets pick, a very good two way player on an incredible contract and one of the most productive offensive players in the league.

    167. Bruno Almeida

      Thomas also has a higher ts% average for his career and higher ws48 than Irving, so it is very possible to argue that, even though last year was an extremely good year for him, it wasn’t out of nowhere. Boston was the first time he ever got to play with a talented group of players and a decent team / coach, so I don’t think it was a fluke.

    168. KnickfaninNJ

      IT3, Derrick Rose & Jose Calderon is worse than any of our recent PG combos on defense and that’s really incredible.

      Amazing, but true.

    169. KnickfaninNJ

      I have been assuming that IT had a career year last year given his age and his type of game. But Lebron makes players around him better. So who knows how IT will play.

    170. heavencent35

      I think cavs won that trade but they should trade IT. Just my opinion, Thomas season last year could be the best in his career. Nearing his 30 and considering his height and maximum salary expectations, its not a good future, trade IT and the return plus crowder and that Brooklyn pick will be overwhelming, Celtics though could have lose their asset (system) with Irving. I’ll bet that the Conf finals and win total in the regular season will be higher last year that this year for the Cs.

    171. heavencent35

      Reg lebron, we all assume that he will leave. But I just thought he will retire as a cavs. Will he chase another title with a different team or stay in his home town for good. I just think he may sign a long term contract with cavs to end his career

    172. Donnie Walsh

      Wow, interesting that two teams that just met in the conference finals, and will in all likelihood meet there again this year, would trade stars like this.

      I think you guys are probably under-estimating Boston on this. Ainge has made a lot of blockbuster deals and always comes out on top. Selling high on Thomas, before paying him big money, for an all-star PG who is 3 years younger and with 3 more years of NBA finals appearances under his belt, is a move that makes sense. The extra asset he gave up makes it a little tougher to swallow, but I expect Stevens to make it work and for the ECF to be very interesting this year.

    Comments are closed.