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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.09.25)

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis ‘ready for the challenge’ of replacing Anthony as face of Knicks
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 6:43:06 PM)

    Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis told the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola he is confident he can take over as the face of the franchise after New York traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Rooks, Begley, Bondy discuss Carmelo Anthony’s departure to OKC
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 9:00:32 AM)

    SNY’s Taylor Rooks is joined by ESPN’s Ian Begley and the NY Daily News’ Stefan Bondy to discuss Carmelo Anthony’s trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Carmelo Anthony: How Much Was He to Blame for Trouble With the Knicks?
    (Monday, September 25, 2017 12:20:09 AM)

    Anthony is hardly alone in failing as a supposed savior for the franchise, but he set himself up for some of the drama that enveloped him in New York.

  • [NYTimes] Stephen Curry, on a ‘Surreal’ Day, Confronts a Presidential Snub
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:55:19 PM)

    The Warriors star woke up on Saturday to learn that he was no longer welcome at the White House, after he had already said he didn’t want to go.

  • [NYTimes] Sports of The Times: As Trump Takes On Athletes, Watch Them Rise
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:56:11 PM)

    The president’s inflammatory comments might not be as significant as the players’ responses.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis ready for ‘fresh start’ with Knicks
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 11:29:56 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis has volunteered to care for Carmelo Anthony’s Rolls Royce should Anthony decide not to bring it to Oklahoma City.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis will lead Knicks’ young, revamped roster
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 9:53:39 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis got stronger and added some much-needed muscle this offseason. It should help him because he will carry more weight and more of the workload for the Knicks this season.

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ grand Kristaps Porzingis plan finally falls into place
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 9:11:44 PM)

    In a lot of ways, it has been good — very good — to be Kristaps Porzingis these past two years, despite all the losses he has endured, despite getting an up-close look at what New York-style chaos can be, despite not exactly having the kind of player-coach relationship with Jeff Hornacek that, say, Matt…

  • [NYPost] New Knicks piece wants to prove he overcame biggest weakness
    (Sunday, September 24, 2017 8:14:09 PM)

    New Knicks center Enes Kanter spent a lot of time in New York this summer, working out, losing weight and appearing on a couple of occasions with Russell Westbrook at Carmelo Anthony’s pickup games at his Manhattan gym. According to Kanter’s manager, Hilmi Cinar, Kanter has used New York as his training base the past…

  • 165 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.09.25)

    1. GoNyGoNyGo

      I am being happy about Melo leaving but now i’m torn between tanking and being a 7-8 seed. Most fans will be praying for the playoffs. We, Knickerbloggers are a different bunch.
      A quick point or two. Kanter is actually a slight improvement defensively over Anthony. Melo ranked 156 and Kantor 126 last season. McBuckets did not play defense.

      Theree is some depth. Noah, Thomas, O’Quinn and Kuzminskis might become 3rd stringers. Baker was paid like rotation player. Ntilikina will need to battle Jack and Sessions for PT. Where does Dotson fit? Lot’s of options we can bicker about but are we trying to be good or bad right now? The team is young and has some good veteran leadership.

      What is clear is that there are marketable trade chips. What are we buying? Picks or studs?

    2. ess-dog

      I’m cautiously optimistic about McDermott. He was very good in college, and if you look at his body, it looks like he hasn’t embraced a modern conditioning and diet regimen yet. I think if he shapes up, he could become a long-term rotation piece. That means more rebounding and passable D.
      My main concern is that Beasley, Kanter and Timmy will chuck too much this year. Not that I care about winning games (we shouldn’t win them) but the team should be focused on an inside/outside passing game centered around Zinger, and those chuckers could delay the system progressing.
      On the other hand, it would be great if Kanter had a stellar year and opted out (hey, could happen) and Tim seems like he can at least pass a little.
      I guess Beas and his style of play is my biggest concern.

    3. ptmilo

      I’m cautiously optimistic about McDermott. He was very good in college, and if you look at his body, it looks like he hasn’t embraced a modern conditioning and diet regimen yet. I think if he shapes up, he could become a long-term rotation piece. That means more rebounding and passable D.

      your caution seems warranted. mcdermott is the only player in nba history with 1000+ minutes to average less than .3 steals and .1 block per 36. players like that don’t become passable defenders by getting a trainer. he is older than kanter.

    4. GoNyGoNyGo

      What concerns me is that there aren’t many defensive-minded players for the team at all – not that the Knicks have been good defensively since the days that dinosaurs roamed the earth. Will tthe Knicks ever be able to put a stop-them-cold rotation on the floor that can also score some buckets? What lineup achieves that?

    5. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      This should, in my opinion, be our final year where we want to be bad. The top 5 players in this draft all look amazing, and Doncic would be franchise altering. You tank this year while watching the young guys–especially Frank–develop. You draft one of the wings in this draft or PGs if Frank is better as a SG, i.e. one of Doncic, Porter Jr., Troy Brown, Collin Sexton, Trenton Duvall, contingent on draft position (or go BPA if you miss on Doncic but still have a high pick. I like Bamba a lot, probably my second or third favorite player in the draft.) Then you go all in next year for the playoffs as KPs rookie deal expires, giving him a real reason to stay other than cash. The year after that, Noah and Lee come off the books and then you have cap space to add 1-2 really solid players or a few more bench pieces or resign Willy if he becomes expensive due to production.

      Things are finally looking up. I’m excited for our future even if THJr doesn’t pan out.

    6. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Forgot about one other option, which is Miles Bridges. I like him more than most people here, so long as he cuts down on his turnovers.

    7. english_knick

      I’d agree that this year being bad, but with a view to next year being the turnaround year, is the right timing for this team. Frank needs to be given some experience and KP needs to learn to be the alpha dog on offense. This year’s draft is stacked at the top, so there is real upside to being bad for one more year. That said, if we stick to playing our young guys but go on a run and they get some experience on games that matter that’s also fine. What would kill me is if we end up playing Noah, Lee and other older guys big minutes chasing the 8th seed.

      In terms of defensive lineups – down the road both frank and dotson have good defensive potential, and KP is already a very good rim protector. What we lack is players at the forward spots who can guard 3s and perimeter-oriented 4s. If we could turn lee and KOQ into MKG or Harkless, that would really help I think…

    8. lavor postell

      That doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think losing Melo moves the needle much for the Knicks at all. He was truly awful last season.

    9. ptmilo

      That doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think losing Melo moves the needle much for the Knicks at all. He was truly awful last season.

      well, it’s difficult to evaluate because the line already implied some meaningful probability of melo getting dealt. on the other hand, the +2 on the okc line for melo-kanter is pretty clean.

    10. lavor postell

      @10

      True, but I was speaking more that we won 31 games last year and even if they’d already priced in Melo leaving, having us in that ballpark this year doesn’t surprise me. He’s probably better on a good team like OKC that will park him behind the 3 point line than a bad team like the Knicks where he could indulge in his favored elbow isolations without anybody challenging him.

    11. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      29.5 has us in the mix for the ~3-6 pick, right? That’s pretty solid–we have a good shot at one of Doncic or Porter if we manage to get the #3-4 pick, which is eminently possible, depending on how bullish you are about Sacto and Brooklyn (I’m relatively high on both.) Also, if KP does that thing again where he misses 10-20 games because of some leg issue, well, we might be the 2nd worst team in the league.

      @11
      I agree that Melo was awful last year, but I think that Beasley and Kuz and Lance are all measurably worse. So I think Vegas dropping us by a game or two is warranted.

    12. lavor postell

      @12

      Agreed. I have no issue with dropping us a game or 2. My guess is they’re favoring the Knicks to outperform expectations and the minimal drop is geared towards drawing action on the under. I think the line is pretty fair.

    13. JK47

      The worst teams in the NBA are likely to be, off the top of my head: Nets, Kings, Lakers, Suns. Who else might be bad… Magic, Pistons, possibly 76ers?

    14. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @14

      I think there’s basically gonna be two tiers of bad NBA teams, and, in accord with Dolan’s Razor, we’re right on the line between both.

      Teams I see as definitely worse than us: Chicago (worst team in NBA by a fair margin imo); Atlanta; Phoenix

      Teams I see as about the same as us: Brooklyn, Sacto

      Then you get the 2nd tier of bad teams, which I think are at least 3-5 wins ahead of us when it’s all said and done: Orlando, Indiana, LAL (Lonzo Ball will win ROY and Brandon Ingram won’t be a productivity black hole.)

      We’re kind of in the frustrating position where we’re simultaneously hoping that KP and Willy make a leap and/or for an upside surprise with THJr or Frank, but also hoping to get a top pick. I think we’ll be bad even if KP does take a leap, though. So I think we’re in a decent position, tank wise, where we’re gonna have a 20-40% chance of getting into the top 3, where we can get one of Porter or Doncic. Those are decent odds.

    15. johnno

      @11 — if OKC is looking for someone to park at the three point line and play lousy defense, they should have just traded for Ryan Anderson. He’s a much better 3 point shooter, especially over the last three years.

    16. thenamestsam

      I think the really big question in terms of how good we’re going to be this year is how much the total black hole at PG, and more generally a lack of perimeter creativity is going to sink the offense. Obviously we still have some defensive offensive talent on the roster, particularly up front, but who’s going to get those guys the ball? THJ scored effectively in ATL, but shouldering the load of #1 perimeter option is a pretty huge change, and there really isn’t anyone else with any creative chops on the perimeter other than Beasley (who only creates for himself).

      Obviously we’re expecting KP to take a big step forward in terms of offensive responsibility, and the same is true of Willy. Noah’s passing can help if he can play, Kanter’s offensive rebounding can lead to some easy stuff, but again all the talent is in the frontcourt and those guys can’t all play at once. What does this team’s offense look like on a possession by possession basis, and who has the ball in their hands most of the time? I’m having trouble answering those two questions, which makes me think the offense has a chance to be really, really bad.

    17. swiftandabundant

      Haven’t had a chance to chime in since the trade but have been reading up. Overall, I thought maybe we could get a bit more but I’m ok with the return and the biggest feeling I felt when the trade went down was relief. Obviously I think Lee and KQ are next on the trading block (and Noah but that ain’t happening at least not this season). If we can trade KQ and Lee (and maybe Lance/Kuz) sometime this season for additional picks then I think we’re really cooking.

      As far as team expectations, I honestly don’t care. I get people want us to tank one more year but if we are truly awful enough to land a top 5 pick this year it probably means KP hasn’t taken that next step. So I’m actually hoping we are decent this year. I’ll be happy really wherever we end up as long as we have growth from the young players, KP continues to improve and our young core plays a lot together and grows as a core. But if I had to take a guess…I think we end up about the same as last year but maybe 3 games worse?

    18. swiftandabundant

      And to my above point, I just hope this blog doesn’t turn into every post after every game they win being about how dumb they are for winning. Melo is gone. Winning is good for us long term if its built on the young players learning how to play and growing together. Let the chips fall where they may.

    19. Bruno Almeida

      @17

      I agree with you, but Id switch Orlando and Sacramento around.

      Orlando is a mess of weird veterans and flawed young players and I don’t think Isaac will contribute at all this year (even though I have high hopes for him as a player), while Sacramento has added George Hill and Fox should be at least a good defender right away.

      I’m a very big proponent of just throwing the young guys out there and see where it goes. Play Lee, Noah, Lance, Sessions, KOQ, but look actively for trades if possible and don’t let them take away too many minutes from Ntilikina, Willy, Kanter, Dotson, even Baker. If the youngsters end up winning 35 games by themselves it’s fine, it means at least some of them are developing, if they suck, a high pick is desirable anyway.

    20. DRed

      again all the talent is in the frontcourt and those guys can’t all play at once.

      Horny ran a 3 PG offense in Phoenix, maybe he’s going to use a 3 C offense next year. Zig while the league zags.

    21. iserp

      @19 Seriously, Jack and Sessions had terrible/injured seasons last year. THJr, Lee and Baker are not real distributors. Lance, Kuzminskas and Kanter do not help either. If Ntilikina is not a good passer from the beginning, this team is going to struggle to play anything resembling a team offense. Actually, our best bet is to have either Noah or Hernangomez distributing the ball.

      I like to be optimist about the win total of the team, but this year it is hard to be. So I hope that Ntilikina becomes a real distributor.

    22. Owen

      The best case scenario is that KP plays like a superstar for 20 games, then goes down with a very mild season ending injury with no long term impacts.

    23. mase

      Mc buckets is gonna get pt… Which equates to us not being very good, but the guy can flat out shoot, super quick release. He has is going to be a trade chip by the deadline, worth a second rounder.

      Kanter/whg/Noah /kornet
      Kp /koq/beas
      mcbuckets/lance/kuz
      Thjr/Lee /baker/
      Jack/frank/sessions

    24. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @22

      Totally forgot that Sacto added George Hill, that’s a big difference maker. I’m pretty bullish on Isaac–I think he’ll be a plus player right away–so that bumps Sacto “down” into my personal 2nd tier and Orlando stays in the 2nd tier as well. That just leaves us and BK to duke it out for #4, in my personal odds calculation.

      I’d be fine if we vastly overperformed expectations, however, because that would mean we have some real improvement from some of our young guys.

    25. english_knick

      @21 – totally with you. Top picks are great and if we end up with one this year that’s fine. At the same time, young players have to learn how to win. AS LONG AS it’s off the back of big playing time for the young guys I’m fine if it turns out we’re in contention for the playoffs in late Feb.

    26. swiftandabundant

      @ 25 – I can’t tell if you are joking but there is no such thing as a “mild season ending injury” especially after 20 games. Your scenario would be awful. We want KP to play the full season with the other young players. This is exactly what I’m talking about in regards to people on this blog hoping we suck. We are rebuilding fully now and have a team full of young players. Let them play and win games and let the chips fall where they may with regards to draft picks. We have them all going forward, so we will add to our core regardless. And we will have cap space coming up with Lee, Kanter and eventually Noah coming off the books. So let them play, let them improve and if they win 32 games and get the 8th or 9th pick again, so be it. If they get the 8th seed, so be it.

      The problem with wanting the top pick is that it would mean we are really bad. Like only win 20 games bad and that means that KP hasn’t improved at all, neither has Willie, Frank has shown nothing and Timmy is an obvious huge overpay and done nothing. So even if we get that top pick we are now kicking the can down the road with another couple of seasons of rebuilding bc the young core we have hasn’t shown us shit.

    27. TheOakmanCometh

      We have a semi-deep roster now, but with 3 major caveats.

      1) All of that depth is concentrated at 2 positions. We have 5 centers who, if healthy, deserve playing time (I’m including Zinger and KOQ, who should be playing center in the modern NBA). It’s the same at SG (Hardaway and Lee have to play, Dotson will hopefully be decent, Baker is really a SG, and Frank might be one too).

      2) Our PG and SF rotations might be the worst in the league.

      3) Even at the two positions we’re deep at, the starters aren’t much better than the backups. So we’re deep, but we’re also flat.

    28. kevin5318

      Minnesota was really bad with Towns who is much better than KP at this point.

      20 games means someone like Willy, KP or Timmy were probably injured for a decent chunk of time.

    29. ess-dog

      I think Sessions starts because they need a distributor. After him, the best passer on the team is probably Noah.
      With Tim, McBuckets and KP, you at least have three 3pt threats out there, and I suppose Kanter gobbling up boards and hitting some post buckets. Then you bring in SuperCoolBeas to jabstep on the 2nd unit… this team will score pointz, but will give up many, many, MANY points.

    30. Bruno Almeida

      Its really a crapshoot for those teams I think, my assumption that Sacramento is better is mostly because of Hill and that I think Buddy Hield is legit and will keep his efficiency from the post Cousins games.

      I love Isaac and I think he’ll end up being around the 3 best players in this draft class, but I look at Orlando’s roster and it hurts, it makes zero sense. They’ll probably start something like Payton / Fournier / Ross or Simmons / Gordon / Vucevic and then there’s a bunch of bad veterans and wild cards all around.

      I can see the Knicks winning between 26 and 34 to be honest, and both outcomes would be fine.

    31. TheOakmanCometh

      It would be great if we could smooth out our roster by trading a center. Noah is untradeable, Kanter is virtually untradeable, and Zing is not available. That leaves Willy and KOQ.

      KOQ should be very moveable, given his salary. I just don’t think we’ll get anything more than a mid-round 2nd rounder for him. But that’s fine. Make that deal.

      I said last season that we should look at moving Willy, and I feel even stronger about it now. His defensive shakiness and lack of shooting range really limit his upside. I’m skeptical that he can ever start for a really good team. Even if you think he’s better than that, he’s buried in our glut of centers and won’t get a chance to shine here. Better to trade him now and get something good for him while his contract is still an attractive asset.

    32. mase

      We should just throw out there our best version of gsw high octane offense sans a scoring pg…
      Frank starts in my scheme(iniation by fire scenario, he’s fast and long)
      Thjr.. sg
      Mc buckets. Sf
      Kp and kanter upfront …
      that’s a lot of offense, not so much defense but hey maybe our second unit can get stops lol … probably 30 wins and lottery pick.

    33. bobneptune

      The path is clear. Every effort should be made to liquidate KOQ, Lee, Kuz and lance Thomas. If a couple of seconds is all that can be had…. so be it. I’d even consider swapping KOQ and Lee for Ryan Anderson’s odious contract or Chandler Parson’s if some picks in the out years could be arranged. The difference between picking 3rd this year vs 9th could be franchise changing.

      Just to spite us Dotson, Frank, KP, WHG and THJr will play lights out and get us the 7th seed :-)

    34. JK47

      Comparing this year’s team to last, there’s a clear tradeoff: we’re subtracting a LOT of Melo and Rose’s low-eFG% shot attempts, and those will be redistributed to more efficient players. Melo’s eFG% was .488 and Rose’s was .477 last year. Many of those shots will be redistributed to high-eFG% guys like Hardaway, Kanter, McDermott and Hernangomez. The tradeoff though will come in the form of a higher turnover rate. The Knicks were a tick above average in offensive TOV% last year and you would expect that to get worse. Melo and Rose had the rock in their hands a lot last year, and they’re both low-turnover guys.

      Sessions is a pretty big key to the offense: he was hurt and terrible last year, and if he plays like that again that is going to hurt the Knicks’ offense a lot. But he was decent the year before that. If he can split the difference and play something like 1600 minutes at something like a .075 WS48 clip, it might not be a godawful offense. The second unit will have some scoring punch.

      The defense should be more or less the same as it was last year: terrible.

    35. TheOakmanCometh

      The defense should be more or less the same as it was last year: terrible.

      Yeah. We have no defenders that are better than OK. Porzingis, Noah, Lee, and maybe Lance are somewhere between average and slightly above average. Frank is a wild card. Everyone else is below average.

    36. TheOakmanCometh

      For whatever its worth, Willy led the Euro tournament in Def Rating.

      If he evolves into a good defensive center, I’m happy to change my position on him. He was an old rookie, though, so he’s got less time to grow.

      He strikes me as a Landry Fields type who enters the league as an older late-round pick, shows strong fundamentals, makes an impact right away, has a great personality, becomes a fan favorite, gets overrated by his team, hits his talent ceiling pretty quickly, then fades away after a few years. Every team has one of those guys. The Knicks refused to include Fields in the Melo trade, which was a huge mistake. Let’s not make the same mistake by overvaluing Willy. If we get a good offer, pull the trigger.

    37. Owen

      I dont want KP to be hurt. But I do want us to be bad enough for another year to get Doncix. It’s not likely I know but that would be the clearest path to a championship contender.

    38. heavencent35

      We need to upgrade our sf by trading one of our c. Maybe kq and Lance for t.ross, or harkless, and someone like Middleton is a pipe dream. When our best player, highest paid player are all centers and where playing in a generation where centers are not that needed.

    39. 2FOR18, understands math

      This is what I learned, or more accurately had confirmed, by listening to espn and the rest of the media today: most people are ignorant morons.

      1. Nobody seems to know what the First Amendment is/does.

      2. The conventional wisdom is that poor melo was held back all these years in NY, carrying the wait of the world on his shoulders, and will now tear the league apart in okc. And of course the Knicks were robbed in the deal, getting back garbage for a top 20 superstar.

    40. TheOakmanCometh

      The First Amendment says that Melo has a right to be traded to the team of his choice. It’s been a while since I read the Constitution, but I think that’s correct.

    41. Jack Bauer

      This team is going to struggle mightily to score unless KP & Willy have breakout years, McDermott reverses to his college self, Frank is a useful rotation player, and they improve to mediocre point guard play. They will likely also be below average on defense, especially on the perimeter. The tank appears to be in full gear, this should end up with a high pick, which is better than the 7-8 seed and picking 12th – 15th

    42. DRed

      Best case scenario is an improved Porzingis/Willy/other youngsters lead us to narrowly miss the playoffs and we get stupidly lucky in the lottery

    43. KnickfaninNJ

      Fields got worse after he injured his elbow, and anyway a lot of his scoring was based on getting open when the defense stopped paying attention to hom briefly. That’s very different from WHG. I wouldnt give up on him so quickly. He’s still two years younger than Kanter.

    44. JK47

      I believe that Landry Fields went on a lucky hot streak with his jumper when he was a rookie. He always had horrifically bad form on his jump shot, but for that one year he shot a completely improbable .393 from 3PT. He rattled a bunch of those line drives in that one season. For the remainder of his career he shot .239 from 3PT. He was never a good free throw shooter, even in college, and he wasn’t a good 3PT shooter in college either, shooting .342 over his four years. His rookie season was a complete outlier, he never played anything like that before or after. There is absolutely nothing in his body of work anywhere to suggest that he’d be able to shoot near .400 from 3PT in a full NBA season.

      It was a complete fluke season, like a banjo-hitting middle infielder who keeps a .400 BABIP up all year and ends up putting up a .320 batting average by hitting lots of seeing-eye groundballs and bloop singles.

    45. thenamestsam

      Horny ran a 3 PG offense in Phoenix, maybe he’s going to use a 3 C offense next year. Zig while the league zags.

      I assume your comment is a little tongue in cheek but I am super interested to see what Horny does with this team this year. Like you mentioned he has shown himself to be a fairly creative coach in the past, and he has just about the weirdest roster possible now, low expectations, and he’s completely unshackled from whatever triangular pressure was being applied last year. A “standard” contemporary NBA offense, i.e. lots of pick & rolls, looks like a dicey proposition with the perimeter ball handlers here. If ever there was a time to get weird, this is it.

    46. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Frank at the 1, Timmy at the 2, KP at the 3, Kanter at the 4, and Willy at the 5 would be hilariously big.

    47. johnnyhoops

      Willy is a definite keeper with the most team friendly salary on the team. Advanced stats showed that his defense last year was slightly above average. Plus he’s been playing on teams with the Gasol brothers and that’s bound to rub off on him.

      I wonder if that extra $5 million in cap space that we gained in the Melo deal can be put to good use? Possibly take on a little salary and trade a veteran for Harkless?

    48. Bruno Almeida

      The return of the “east is big, man”!

      Let’s hope Kanter doesn’t turn into Bargs.

      I’m optimistic also about this draft class. While it’s pretty top heavy in that there might be some transcendent guys like Doncic and Bagley, there’s quite a few intriguing dudes in the lower spots, like Kostja Mushidi, Emmanuel Akot, Trevon Duval, even Hamidou Diallo… honestly, it’s the first time in a while I’m confident the Knicks are in a good position no matter what happens this season.

      Sucking completely would mean KP won’t amount to much but could mean Doncic or Porter or Bagley; do well while Porzingis and the others progress and there’s some intriguing talent to look forward to in the draft.

    49. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Watching Knicks Media Day, Kanter is super charming and seems to be really positive. Hope he sticks if we can’t find a good deal for him.

    50. 2FOR18, understands math

      I wonder if Dotson could end up being the starting 3? His rebounding and shooting might work there. He’s listed as 6’7. I’d like to see it tried in preseason

    51. TheOakmanCometh

      Along with Fields, it’s instructive to look at guys like Jordan Clarkson, Langston Galloway, and Kyle Singler. They were 2nd round or undrafted picks who entered the league as old rookies, made an All-Rookie team, got paid, and subsequently fell back to earth. Tyler Zeller, MCW, and Gorgui Dieng were mid-1st rounders who followed a similar path.

      I could see Yogi Ferrell and Malcolm Brogdon, who made All-Rookie teams last year as 4-year college players taken in the 2nd round, falling back to earth also.

      Same with Willy. Again, I hope I’m wrong, the guy is very likeable, but I don’t see how his skillset translates to a starting center in the modern NBA. He’s already 23. Just like Fields, Singler, MCW, and all the rest that I mentioned, his value may never be higher than it is right now.

    52. 2FOR18, understands math

      Hm ok. I Googled Dotson measurements and first result had 6’7, 205.

      Since rebounding is a big part of team defense, maybe a Kanter, Willy, KP front court wouldn’t be that horrific if Frank is really all that defensively.

    53. rama in the JING

      I said last season that we should look at moving Willy, and I feel even stronger about it now.

      You are letting the eye test mislead you.

      Player A
      PER 22.5 TS .590 REB% 19.0 AST% 11.3 STEAL% 1.1 BLOCK% 4.3 WS/48 .151 VORP 3.1

      Player B
      PER 19.0 TS .564 REB% 20.4 AST% 11.5 STEAL%1.5 BLOCK% 2.2 WS/48 .123 VORP 0.7

      By most metrics, these two players are relatively similar. Differences are mostly due to the number of minutes each played – 2627 for Player A and almost exactly half that for Player B – and the role each played on their teams, with Player A taking more than twice as many shots per game in their rookie seasons.

      Player A is KAT, widely considered one of the best young players in the league, and Player B is Willy. There is very little gap between them. Willy makes $1.5 mil per year for ANOTHER THREE YEARS.

      Still think we need to trade him? If he were picked in the top 5 in the draft, would you still think he would never be more than a backup? If he were properly valued by the team last year, he would have played twice as many minutes, would have twice as many shot attempts and twice as many points, and maybe people would understand how incredibly lucky we were to get him.

    54. mase

      out these starting frontcourts which is the best offensively and defensively?
      lee/kp/kanter
      kp/whg/kanter
      mcbuckets/kp/kanter
      thjr/kp/whg

    55. geo

      i’m not that familiar with sessions, but – it seems like we were able to add some decent “locker room” guys to the team – minus maybe pothead beasley :-)…

      in the absence of quality play, personality is the next easiest thing to root for…definitely some likable guys on the roster…

      right or wrong – it would seem horny and kp will be receiving the most heat this season when the losses start piling up…

    56. ess-dog

      @64, either of the Willy lineups. Kanter is better on O than TH2 but TH2 (by default) is better on D than Kanter. Neither plays sf though, nor does KP.

    57. d-mar

      It would be funny if on opening night as Kanter takes the court, some Turkish government dude runs out and tries to cuff him

    58. Bruno Almeida

      I think Lee has to start at the 3 for the opening stretch at least. Let THJr play the 2, a position he’s more comfortable with and let Lee take the toughest defensive assignment every night. We need to free Hardaway to see what he can do on the court.

      I think the starting lineup should probably be Sessions, Hardaway, Lee, Porzingis and Hernangomez, with Kanter, Ntilikina, O’Quinn and McDermott as the primary bench players. Baker, Dotson, Lance etc should get some minutes here and there unless they really impress in practice.

      It should be a solid offensive lineup with poor defense, which is fine.

    59. 2FOR18, understands math

      I couldn’t live with the rebounding with that lineup. Can’t play Lee and Hardaway together.

    60. Jack Bauer

      @68 “It would be funny if on opening night as Kanter takes the court, some Turkish government dude runs out and tries to cuff him”

      I don’t think Kanter would see the humor in that….but it would add a different look to the start of the season

    61. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      If he were properly valued by the team last year, he would have played twice as many minutes, would have twice as many shot attempts and twice as many points, and maybe people would understand how incredibly lucky we were to get him.

      Luck had little to do with hit. Phil made a good trade to net the pick, had a staff underneath him that was smart enough to recommend him, and then Phil was smart enough to pull the trigger.

    62. ClashFan

      If there is no trade during the preseason, Lee and OQ need to get good minutes to showcase them.

      Kanter was beloved by OKC fans and is very likeable, but unless his defense really improves, he’s not a long term piece. He too needs good minutes to either make him an interesting chip or at least put up good numbers to where he will opt out.

      LT needs limited minutes. If he gets too many he’ll break down again. So, limit him (10-12 per game?) and hope he hits enough threes again that he can be shopped

      Beasley to me now looks completely superfluous. LT, Kuz, McD and Dotson all should get time at the three to either be shopped or evaluated properly.

      With no really good players at the 1 and 3, it will be very interesting to see how Hornacek gives out minutes. The balance between showcasing and developing the guys you want to evaluate will be delicate.

    63. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      I have a friend that lives on Oklahoma City. He’s a season ticket holder. He told me Kanter is a great guy. All the fans absolutely love him.

    64. ess-dog

      I could see Horny starting a 3-guard lineup with TH2 and Baker as wings. Clearly they’re invested in those guys.

    65. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      I think Baker is going to get more minutes than people think. He’s one of the best defenders on the team and he does other things at a decent level. The problem was almost entirely his shooting (both FT and from the field). I can accept that his shooting from the field was worse than in college because the competition is so much better, but I refuse to accept that his free throw percentage was poor because of that also. I’d be willing to bet anything his TS% is going to rise just based on better free throw shooting. If he also turns it around or improves his 3 point shot, he should get his TS% up to a tolerable level for a plus level defender on this team. He’ll deserve minutes unless someone else really steps up.

    66. Bruno Almeida

      @70

      Damn I definitely keep forgetting about Beasley.

      I guess he’ll play a role too, I have no idea. If he starts were probably in for a rough season right away.

    67. Frank

      Holy @^%@# Melo just said this about playing the 4 in OKC: “I have no problem playing the 4. I actually like that, actually embrace that.”

      I was going to root for him in OKC but wasn’t he the one who kept fighting against playing the 4 while here??!!?? when it’s been obvious since 2012-13 that it was by far his best position?!?!

      “I actually like that” – as if it’s the first time it’s ever been suggested to him. What a farce.

    68. Frank

      I think if Ntilikina shows well in camp, he should start. If not Ntilikina then it’ll be Baker or Sessions.

      My guess is we start a 3 guard lineup with THJ + Lee at the wings and KP and either Kanter or Willy at the bigs. Not sure who would guard the big SF’s, but offensively that sort of makes sense.

    69. thenamestsam

      ). I can accept that his shooting from the field was worse than in college because the competition is so much better, but I refuse to accept that his free throw percentage was poor because of that also. I’d be willing to bet anything his TS% is going to rise just based on better free throw shooting.

      Baker averaged 1.8 FTA/36 last year and shot 43 FTs total for the whole year. If he had shot 90% from the line it bring his TS% all the way up to…48%. I wouldn’t put much faith in free throw shooting to raise his shooting numbers unless he learns to generate a lot more FTs. Unlikely in my eyes given his subpar athleticism. He needs to make 3s or he’s not an NBA player.

    70. Ntilakilla

      “I actually like that” – as if it’s the first time it’s ever been suggested to him. What a farce.

      He always does this. He’ll say whatever will float with the media and then proceed to do what he wants. Melo’s all about the optics.

    71. swiftandabundant

      With training camp now underway I’m going to make my annual plea to BRING BACK THE PLAYER AND COACH GRADES AFTER THE GAMES!

      And I think if there is a season to bring them back it is this year. Here are my reasons why.

      1. This site says “Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.” Humor is the second thing in that subtitle yet this site has been largely humorless for the last 4 seasons. I understand why. We had the decline of the STAT/Melo years and then the clusterfuck of the Phil/Melo years. But its a new day here in Knicks land and I think some levity will do us all good. No more Melo hanging over this team. The grades were what originally brought me to Knickerblogger years ago as a reader. I know they take a lot of work but damn it, it made this site so funny and unique.

      2. The team has A LOT of young players. So giving grades makes sense now. We want to track how KP, Willie H, Frank, Hardaway, Baker, Dotson…are doing. And giving out grades will I think help us put all the development in perspective. Not all of us get to watch every game. The grades were a great way to get a more in depth recap.

      3. There’s going to be losing and growing pains this year. Grades help with that.

      SO BRING BACK THE POST GAME GRADES!!!! ITS TIME!!!!!

    72. thenoblefacehumper

      With the way the rotation looks right now it’s difficult to believe more moves won’t be made. I’ve changed my mind about wanting to look for a trade for Kanter immediately–I want to see what he can do. I think he’s become a little undervalued due to (valid) concerns about his defense. The guy is legitimately one of the best scorers in the NBA and is one of the few young, soon-to-be-expiring guys who might actually be looking at a pay cut when his contract ends. There are worse things to be had in a sixth man than money scoring with defense you have to somehow hide.

      Lee should be gone ASAP, and while I kind of like the idea of keeping KOQ around to cover for some of Kanter/Porzingis’ deficiencies, he should probably be gone too. That would ease up some of the rotation clutter.

    73. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      Baker averaged 1.8 FTA/36 last year and shot 43 FTs total for the whole year. If he had shot 90% from the line it bring his TS% all the way up to…48%. I wouldn’t put much faith in free throw shooting to raise his shooting numbers unless he learns to generate a lot more FTs. Unlikely in my eyes given his subpar athleticism. He needs to make 3s or he’s not an NBA player.

      My assumption is 80% from the FT line and at least 30% from 3. He was 80% and .369 in college. He’s obviously not going duplicate his college 3p% because of the different shot length and different defenses, but he shot .267 last year. I don’t think the typical drop off is in the 10% range. I think he just had a bad year in limited minutes. If we grant him 30% and 80% with absolutely no incremental improvement it’s less of a disaster. 31%-32% does not seem far fetched. I haven’t written him off. If he was bad defender too, it would be hopeless. But I think he’s a plus defender. So all he has to do id get closer to average in terms of efficiency, rebounding and assists etc.

    74. kevin5318

      @87 I’m still amazed at how much muscle he put on in a short period of time. It’s like he never lifted a weight in his life before this off season.

    75. JK47

      If Baker shoots 30% from 3PT he is a black hole on offense and not an NBA player. The league as a whole shot .358 from 3PT last year. He doesn’t have enough secondary skills to make up for being a perimeter player who shoots 60 points under the league average from 3PT.

      In other words, he needs a miracle to happen to become a viable NBA rotation player.

    76. Ntilakilla

      @89

      I had a feeling that an American nutritional diet and weight training regime was going to put meat on his bones quickly like it did Giannis because of his large frame. I had no idea he would fill out so big so fast. Makes you wonder if he’s done growing yet at 19 years old. It will be something to monitor, as Ben Simmons put on a lot of weight during his rookie offseason and had major injury issues last year. The question is whether or not that kind of physical maturation will result in a more explosive, powerful body. I sure do hope so.

    77. iserp

      @79 KP has been playing the 4 the last years. Did you want to send KP to bench?

      Melo at the 4 makes a lot of sense, but the FO signed lots of PFs and Cs (“The East is big”), and brought very little in terms of guards. So actually, we have not been able to play Melo at the 4 since the time Stoudemire was injured, and had Felton and Kidd as PGs.

    78. er

      @79 KP has been playing the 4 the last years. Did you want to send KP to bench?

      Melo at the 4 makes a lot of sense, but the FO signed lots of PFs and Cs (“The East is big”), and brought very little in terms of guards. So actually, we have not been able to play Melo at the 4 since the time Stoudemire was injured, and had Felton and Kidd as PGs.

      And he still played 31 percent of his time last year the 4. Haters gonna hate lol.

      @Swift you should do the grades

    79. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      @89

      I hear you, but I’m giving him absolutely no credit for the possibility of him improving his shot. Improving your 3 point shot seems to be one of the easiest skills to develop in basketball. We have centers in the league right now that for years virtually never took a 3 pointer. Now they shooting them at a passable level. Some are even good if left alone. IMO, he’s a plus defender. You don’t even have to be average on offense to be an average player if you are a very good defender. Let’s hope he can become an average shooter that make plays (which he can compared to many SGs) and rebound well enough on hustle (which he can compared to many SGs) and continue to be a plus defender. No way he’s going to be the SG of the future, but no way am I writing him off after 1 year of misleading stats.

    80. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      Maybe we all have it wrong when it comes to Frank. Maybe we drafted our SF of the future.

    81. plenty

      84 –

      I’ve been tryna infuse this jaunt with humor, join the crusade, just make sure you’re funny…

      I’m only joking ( :

      Really feeling good about the blog now that Melo is in the past. Inevitably people will still bring him up but it’s nothing a scroll-down won’t solve.

      Btw i cosign the movement for you to do the grades!

    82. swiftandabundant

      @ 93 – man, if I could watch all the games I would do it. But my schedule only allows me to really watch games that fall on the weekends. I would not be able to do the grades. I’m also not smart enough (as Jowles can attest!) to do them service. I could probably nail the humor aspect reasonably well but not the nuts and bolts/stats aspect.

    83. ClashFan

      @84
      I might be willing to do some game recaps. I have an English degree and just retired from teaching, so I have some free time (no longer dozens of papers to grade every week). I get the Team Pass and do try to watch all the games, though I wouldn’t even try to do all. Maybe 1 or 2 per week? I guess just post it in the game thread?

    84. Ntilakilla

      Maybe we all have it wrong when it comes to Frank. Maybe we drafted our SF of the future.

      This was always the point in drafting Ntilikina – projecting a high ceiling. Even if he was too long to be a PG he has skills and a frame which allowed him to play elsewhere. That’s why I’ve never bought the argument that he has a lower ceiling than DSJ, who can only be a PG. If Frank never grows an inch and just naturally matures, he’d be a 3 and D wing. If he grows and fills out more he could play some at the 3 because of his insane length.

    85. ClashFan

      @101
      Some years ago the football players at the high school I taught at all were wearing matching shirts that said, “Pain is only weakness leaving the body.”

      I thought that was a really stupid slogan for the school/football coach to allow them to wear.

      I love that Frank, like KP, seems like such a hard worker.

    86. geo

      I get the Team Pass and do try to watch all the games

      ah – once again that is the question – to league pass or not to…

    87. Mike Kurylo Post author

      Holy @^%@# Melo just said this about playing the 4 in OKC: “I have no problem playing the 4. I actually like that, actually embrace that.”

      I was going to root for him in OKC but wasn’t he the one who kept fighting against playing the 4 while here??!!?? when it’s been obvious since 2012-13 that it was by far his best position?!?!

      “I actually like that” – as if it’s the first time it’s ever been suggested to him. What a farce.

      Give him a month. Two tops. There’ll be that one bad shooting night, and it’ll start.

    88. Mike Kurylo Post author

      SO BRING BACK THE POST GAME GRADES!!!! ITS TIME!!!!!

      Writers wanted.

      Although I was surprised to see Bobby on P&T. What are they paying him? Is it money? Because — that’d be pretty good, actually.

    89. Donnie Walsh

      I agree that Field’s good 3 pt shooting was luck driven, but for some reason his extremely high rebounding rate (he was leading all guards in rebounding at the all-star break his rookie year) also went into a nose-dive. There’s no obvious reason to assume WHG follows the same spiral, but I guess it’s possible that like Fields he peaked during his rookie year. (Fields really is an interesting study: the elbow simply doesn’t explain because there was no record of his injury and he didn’t have surgery until the end of his stint with the raptors).

      As for McDermott, best case scenario is that he turns into Tim Hardaway jr: a guy that did nothing but shoot reasonably well early, but made himself valuable by improving his peripheral contributions.

      And, finally, it is important that Kanter be a loveable backup center: we haven’t had that since the Ronny Turiaf era.

    90. Bruno Almeida

      There’s no reason the Knicks shouldn’t try to find minutes at the wing positions for Ntilikina too. If his long range shooting translates immediately to the league he’s already a taller, better version of Courtney Lee.

    91. kevin5318

      @Al_Iannazzone
      Scott Perry didn’t rule out another move coming, especially with the logjam at center.

    92. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      Scott Perry didn’t rule out another move coming, especially with the logjam at center.

      Can they make trades right up to the start of the season?

    93. Ntilakilla

      @110

      I imagine it should be part of Hornacek’s plan when he wants to get a more veteran player in at PG like Sessions or Mack while giving Frank in game experience.

    94. TheOakmanCometh

      Player A is KAT, widely considered one of the best young players in the league, and Player B is Willy. There is very little gap between them.

      Let me give you another player comparison, using the same stats. Both were rookies in the 2010-11 season.

      Player A
      PER 13.0 TS .542 REB% 9.8 AST% 8.3 STEAL% 2.5 BLOCK% 1.5 WS/48 .091 VORP 0.6

      Player B
      PER 13.5 TS .598 REB% 18.9 AST% 9.0 STEAL%1.6 BLOCK% 0.5 WS/48 .100 VORP 1.7

      Player B, who was better across the board, is Landry Fields. Player A is Paul George. Having comparable rookie numbers to a future star does not make someone a future star. That’s my point.

      Towns is 1.5 years younger than Willy and comes with a higher pedigree. When you watch him play, his raw skills clearly project at a very high level. Same with Paul George, who was 1.5 years younger than Fields, came with a higher pedigree, and clearly had superior skills.

      My point is not that Willy is going to disappear like Fields, or suck like Singler. But there is a history of older rookies putting up surprisingly good numbers on bad teams, then steadily declining. When I watch him play, I don’t see the underlying skills to support major growth. There is a real possibility that Willy is never as good, on a per-minute basis, as he was last year. That’s why I would trade him now, at what could well be peak value. Just like the Bucks should be shopping Brogdon at what is probably his peak value. Hinkie did it with MCW, and it was one of the great trades of the last 10 years.

    95. TheOakmanCometh

      When Hinkie traded MCW, I’m sure there were a million Sixer fans saying “How can you trade our leading scorer and ROY away! He’s making $2m for the next 3 years! He could be the next Chauncey Billups!”

      Well, it turned out that MCW wasn’t very good, and trading him away after his rookie year was the best possible move.

    96. latke

      I like Kanter too, but you can’t have Willy and Kanter on the same team AND expect to play KP more at center. You also can’t have Kanter and Willy on the floor together. Hell, Kanter and Adams failed, relegating Kanter to his bench role in OKC, and Adams is a far better, more agile defender than Willy (or KP).

      So I think you have to pick between Willy and Kanter, and it’s closer in my mind than you might think just because Willy’s cheap contract could be very meaningful for a playoff contending team while it’s not that meaningful for us. Like, what if you could trade Willy for Donovan Mitchell or Jaylen Brown? I would definitely pick that option and just keep Kanter, who you’re probably only getting rid of in a salary dump.

      But yeah, definitely one has to go as do Lee and O’Quinn if he has any value.

    97. er

      These are great cases being made to trade Willy. I think they should try to flip him for a PG prospect. Maybe Murray on the spurs. Then the spurs can trade LMA

    98. KnickfaninNJ

      I volunteer to write up game scores for one game thats on a Friday night or Saturday night. I’m in China most of the time so I can watch it Saturday or Sunday morning my time and then write it up during the night, US time.

    99. KnickfaninNJ

      Let’s see what they both look like in pre-season and training camp before we trade either. I’m not sure I buy that KP has to play center now or even eventually. The arguments for center seem to be one, that he’s tall and can protect the rim and two, he can’t defend some power forwards. IMO his height has no bearing on the question; by that standard Durant ought to be a Power Forward. The rim protection is good, but he seems to do that as a power forward anyway. If it’s defense, who are the power forwards in the league he can’t guard well enough?

    100. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Guys we can’t actually trade O’Quinn AND Lee. Who is going to play defense when they’re replaced.

      Put me in the “high hopes” bracket for Kanter and McDermott. I think they just need playing time and they’ll be valuable players on the Knicks in Hornacek’s new offense. I’m expecting the Knicks to have a top 15 offense this year in eFG% with all of Hernangomez, TH2, KP, Kanter, Lee, O’Quinn, Beasley, and McDermott as rotation players. Our offense should struggle drawing fouls and turnovers, but we have offensive rebounds and eFG% locked up pretty decently.

      Between the 4 and 5, there are 96 minutes a night. KP is a lock for 32 of those, and Willy might get 28, which leaves another 36 for O’Quinn and Kanter. If everything works out, we should never have a bad player in the front court. If Beasley gets minutes we’ll have to trade O’Quinn, who is the oldest of those four but probably the most productive (and he’s from Queens).

      In all honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see O’Quinn get the start ahead of the Euro ballers. He’s tough, he can pass, and he’s a better defender than Willy and Kanter. Look for the Knicks and D.C. to make a trade. The Wizards have no centers and I can see the Knicks talking themselves into Kelly Oubre

    101. er

      I do think KP has to play center because he can’t defend the perimeter. And also his shot blocking is nullified by being out there. As the nba has more stretch 4s this will bear even more fruit as we move forward in his career

    102. Bruno Almeida

      Yes, there is a possibility that Willy will suck and won’t develop at all… but the cost of keeping him is minimal. Let’s see what he can do in a full season with an increased role. Unless you think he could bring back some insane asset like a really good starting PG or a super high lottery pick, it’s shortsighted to let him go because of potential projections based on different players.

      He won’t develop like Landry Fields or Michael Carter Williams, he’ll develop like Willy Hernangomez. That might mean a bad player or a good player, but the stories of other players mean literally zero to his career.

    103. Z-man

      Sometimes when the stats are puzzling, you just have to go back to the eye test. The eyes said that Fields was a tweener with an ugly, flat shot. The eyes say that Willy is a smart banger with good size, decent athleticism, soft hand, great feet and a great attitude who moves better than Kanter on D and is very similar on O at a bare fraction of the cost. I wouldn’t trade him unless it was for a can’t miss player or pick.

    104. Cock Jowles, #1 League-Average Superstar

      The eyes said that Fields was a tweener with an ugly, flat shot.

      And the stats said that he was an exceptionally productive rookie.

      If you wanted then to bet that his basketball BABIP was way too high, sure. But you’re never going to convince me of that unless you show me what percentage of his jumpers were actually flat.

      I’m going to assume when a player shoots 40% from 3 that they’re simply good at shooting, and more often than not, I’ll be right.

    105. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I do want to say that I think the talk of how bad our guards are is overblown. Ray Felton, who has never been better than Ramon Sessions, was able to lead a decent Knicks offense. I have hope that Jack and Sessions will be good enough to keep the team afloat even if their individual stats are terrible.

    106. Cock Jowles, #1 League-Average Superstar

      The Knicks need to flip him or Willy. And build with one.

      Kanter is owed $36.5M over the next two years with no guarantee he opts in to the 2nd year, so he could walk for nothing OR he could put the Knicks on the hook to pay $35M to their two backup centers in 2019-20.

      Hernangomez is owed $4.5M over the next three years with no player options. He’s locked up.

      Which one do you think we should flip?

    107. KnickfaninNJ

      Er, KP protected tne rim last season despite playing the four. Why can’t that continue? And for all the talk about defending the perimetet, most fours who go out there to shoot threes arent threats to drive and will have a hard time shooting over KP.

    108. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Draymond Green has people confused. He is a generational talent on defense and there isn’t anybody else in the league even half like him. This stretch four stuff is really overblown. When KP is in his prime, all of the games’ stretch fours will be over the hill, unless you think Jabari Parker and Dario Saric will be amazing. The name of the game is get good players. The Warriors weren’t worried about Zach Randolph and Tim Duncan when they drafted Draymond.

    109. er

      @130 he also had games when he looked awful trying to defend the perimeter. Idk how this is arguable, on defense he is best left as a net minding big.

      @131 what about new guys? The Michael porter Jr/ Luka Donic types

    110. 2FOR18, understands math

      Jeez I agree with er. We CAN all get along.
      KP is a 7 ft 3 shot blocker, meaning he’s a center. This isn’t rocket science. I don’t want to see him running around chasing after smaller, quicker players on defense.

    111. 2FOR18, understands math

      @130, so in your best case scenario, you are saying you want a 7 ft 3 KP playing defense 20+ feet from the basket? Come on man.

    112. Bruno Almeida

      I’m more worried if KP can convert his undeniable gifts into good production on offense first. Then we can figure out who he should play alongside on the frontcourt if he’s really the star we need to build around. Until that, play your most promising players big minutes and take the results that come from it.

      The Knicks have bigger issues still and there’s still a long way to go before the team has the necessary talent to be really competitive. Getting rid of Kanter and / or Willy before we figure out the type of player they can be is not wise, in my opinion. If one guy is the odd man out, it’s O’Quinn, since we very probably already know what his prime level is (and it’s good but not great).

    113. KnickfaninNJ

      Playing the four KP will only be on the perimeter when the other team goes small, which, for all the talk about it, is not as common as one might think. Then if we have Noah or WHG down low we could do alright. After all, he’s played the four almost every game so far, and I haven’t seen it as such a problem. On the other hand, in EuroBasket, he couldn’t handle Mozgov down low at all. Playing him at the four could create tremendous match up problems for the other team too when the Knicks are on offense.

    114. Z-man

      I’m going to assume when a player shoots 40% from 3 that they’re simply good at shooting, and more often than not, I’ll be right.

      Perhaps, but you weren’t right this time. Maybe it was because you ignored the fact that he shot 34% from the shorter college 3-pt line in 4 years and 301 attempts, or that he shot 67% from the FT line in college. That would suggest that his “good” shooting his rookie year on very low usage was not enough to bank on for the future, especially given his poor mechanics.

    115. KnickfaninNJ

      For example, Bogut, the two Lopez brothers, the Gasol brothers, Horford, Valanciunas, and I haven’t looked up many teams.

    116. Cock Jowles, #1 League-Average Superstar

      Perhaps, but you weren’t right this time. Maybe it was because you ignored the fact that he shot 34% from the shorter college 3-pt line in 4 years and 301 attempts, or that he shot 67% from the FT line in college. That would suggest that his “good” shooting his rookie year on very low usage was not enough to bank on for the future, especially given his poor mechanics.

      My point is that he was productive that year. Lucky or not, he helped the team win. Would I have paid him like he was LeBron James?

    117. latke

      Bogut and both Gasols are near the end of their careers. Robin Lopez does not post up. Horford is a finesse player. He doesn’t bully people in the post (and he’s also 31). Valanciunas is only nominally a starter considering he plays just 25 mpg. The only other younger dudes who use physicality to dominate in the post are Monroe, Kanter, WHG, Jokic. Jokic is the only one who looks like a true starter.

      @cock jowles

      “Kanter is owed $36.5M over the next two years with no guarantee he opts in to the 2nd year, so he could walk for nothing OR he could put the Knicks on the hook to pay $35M to their two backup centers in 2019-20.

      Hernangomez is owed $4.5M over the next three years with no player options. He’s locked up.

      Which one do you think we should flip?”

      Is this really how you decide who to trade? These qualities are already factored into the trade values of Kanter and WHG, so the question is not “Who is more valuable?” It’s “Which is more valuable, the player or what you could get in return?”

      If you could get a player who doesn’t have a defensive ceiling of average and doesn’t have defensive compatibility problems with KP, that’s a win for us. WHG’s salary is also more valuable to a competitive team than it is to us. If we can flip him for a higher upside piece, then we should do it.

    118. Ben R

      There was also statistical evidence that Fields was playing above his head at the beginning of his rookie season:

      Before the all-star break: 7.9 rebs per 36, 58.5% 2pt%, 39.9% 3pt%.
      After the all-star break: 6.2 rebs per 36, 49.6% 2pt%, 38.2% 3pt%
      Career stats overall – 6.5 rebs per 36, 52% 2pt%, 33.2% 3pt%

      The only real drop that was unpredictable was his three point shooting which was due partly to the injury that altered his shooting form.

      Willy only got better as the season progressed and looking at his stats in Europe and this summer his success seems sustainable. To think he will come crashing down to Earth seems pessimistic.

    119. Cock Jowles, #1 League-Average Superstar

      Is this really how you decide who to trade?

      Um, yes? Should the Knicks not consider ROI and opportunity cost when signing any players? If Kanter gives you 10 wins next year and WHG gives you 10 wins, how do you not consider their salary when deciding who to trade?

      These qualities are already factored into the trade values of Kanter and WHG, so the question is not “Who is more valuable?” It’s “Which is more valuable, the player or what you could get in return?”

      What about the value of the cap space you could free up by moving Kanter? Or what about the possibility that Hernangomez is an extremely valuable piece at $1.5M, even if he’s an above-average bench player?

      If you could get a player who doesn’t have a defensive ceiling of average and doesn’t have defensive compatibility problems with KP, that’s a win for us.

      Or maybe — and this is a crazy idea! — maybe WHG is the better player, and Porzingis, who’s about to receive a $195M extension next summer despite being pretty mediocre so far, should be the one on the trade block. But no — unicorn. So let’s trade one of the best contracts in the league for someone with Proven Upside™, like maybe Devin Booker or something.

      WHG’s salary is also more valuable to a competitive team than it is to us.

      Um, what? Why? How?

      If we can flip him for a higher upside piece, then we should do it.

      Are there really available players with higher upside than a 22-year-old rookie who posted a .123 WS48 on a dysfunctional team spearheaded by a washed-up, unmotivated ball hog? And are those players under contract for 3 years at $1.5M AAV? Nah? Didn’t think so.

    120. Ben R

      KP can play the 4 just fine. Hopefully as he gets stronger and better in the post he will be more of the match up nightmare to opposing small fours than they are to him. When he gets stronger with his back to the basket I would love to see him shred small-ball fours and make teams play to up our size rather than shrink to theirs.

      Dirk was a seven foot PF with mediocre perimeter defense and rebounding and he did just fine at the 4. Small ball is popular now but it isn’t the only way to build a good basketball team. KP at the four seems just fine to me. As long as we get more from mismatches when teams go small than they get playing KP and Willy/Kanter together won’t be a problem.

      I actually have high hopes for Kanter, he is a dominant offensive player and he worked hard this offseason and is a lot thinner and only needs to rise to slightly below average defensively to be a huge plus overall. I think we keep both him and Willy and have the best 4-5 rotation in the league in a couple years.

    121. Owen

      The Honorable One is all in on Wily! :-)

      It’s going to be an interesting season. I think I was singed enough by David Lee to not make the same commitment myself

      Just glad these are the kinds of debates we can have moving forward. Going to be delightful not having Melo around. It already is.

    122. Cock Jowles, #1 League-Average Superstar

      It’s sort of like when that cool, popular guy starts hanging out with all your friends, and everyone’s like, whoa, we’re cool now, but he turns out to be kind of a drag, and half your friends are like, “Man, he sucks,” and the other half are like, “But the upside!” but everyone’s actually having like half the good time they used to, and one day he decides to start hanging out with a new group and some guys are like, “Stay mellow, cool guy, gonna miss u,” and the other half are pounding congratulatory texts from keyboards in their mothers’ basement, but ultimately, everything gets way better and funner. That’s what it’s like.

    123. Bruno Almeida

      I mean, the Spurs won 61 games last year rotating Aldridge, Gasol and Dedmon on the frontcourt. The Cavs got to the finals with Thompson and Love, the Celtics won 53 with Horford and Amir Johnson, the Clippers won 51 with DeAndre plus Blake.

      Having two big men starting is not the issue for me. KP and Willy can definitely fit together and be successful if they improve and the rest of the team improves as well. We’ve seen them play defense with Rose and Melo playing big minutes, two guys who couldn’t or just wouldn’t stop anyone in the perimeter.

      Let’s wait a bit before we freak out about trading Willy shall we?

    124. KnickfaninNJ

      Jowles, you are arguing that Willy is better value than Kanter. (At the moment I agree, but this training camp and season could change my mind). But that’s different than deciding whom to trade. Who you trade depends on what you are offered for each of them.

    125. ess-dog

      Willy had a better year than Nurkic at the same age, and Portland is raving about that guy. And yes, you trade Kanter first (if you even can).
      Teams aren’t just lining up to pay 18 mil for a backup that plays terrible D.
      That being said, I hope Kanter flourishes as a backup here, along with O’Quinn. Who knows… maybe Noah will come out better than ever and take the starting job after his suspension? Someone will likely be traded, but not until they all get a chance to log some minutes.

    126. lavor postell

      Why don’t we see KP be good enough to own the 5 spot before we start dealing promising young rookies who double as his best friend to accomodate that?

      KP averaged 5.88 fouls per 100 possessions overall last year, which is not great, Bob. When he played as the lone big on the floor at the 5 he was at 7.92 fouls per 100. Until he can cut that down and rebound like a 5 needs to we shouldn’t be trading away productive 23 year olds, just because.

    127. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      Sometimes when the stats are puzzling, you just have to go back to the eye test. The eyes said that Fields was a tweener with an ugly, flat shot. The eyes say that Willy is a smart banger with good size, decent athleticism, soft hand, great feet and a great attitude who moves better than Kanter on D and is very similar on O at a bare fraction of the cost. I wouldn’t trade him unless it was for a can’t miss player or pick.

      I agree with all this, but I want to make a point about the “eye test”.

      Stats guys tend to look down on the eye test. It’s usually justified because when abilities are fairly close there’s almost no way you can tell the difference from watching games, processing all the information, weighing it correctly etc…. However, stats can sometimes separate them.

      On the flip side, models don’t tell you everything and tend to have areas of weakness.

      Sometimes what you see is so blatantly obvious, if the stats disagree, it’s likely you’ve found a weakness in the model.

      One issue with Fields that no one brings up (aside from repeated injuries) is that in his first year he was playing for D’Antoni who put him in a role that maximized his potential. He started to decline when Melo came to NY and they started moving away from that real D’Antoni system.

    128. Cock Jowles, #1 League-Average Superstar

      Sometimes what you see is so blatantly obvious, if the stats disagree, it’s likely you’ve found a weakness in the model.

      Or sometimes the stats are so blatantly obvious that you’ve found a weakness in the eye test.

    129. ess-dog

      Oh and re: Landry, I distinctly remember that after his 40% 3pt shooting rookie year, the brain trust at the Garden decided they needed to “fix” his shot (yes ok he had a very slow realease, but at least it went in).
      By next fall, he had more arc, a quicker release, and he began missing most of his shots. :-/

    130. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      To me Kanter vs. Hernangomez is a no brainer. You keep WH. IMO the Knicks are definitely going to keep WH (being best friends with KP is a reason for that also).

      The problem is we can’t trade Kanter. No one will take him without sweetening the deal and we aren’t in a position to be giving away assets unless you want to include the Chicago pick for an especially useful player.

      This was the downside of the deal. We are overloaded with bigs that can’t play together and that duplicate each other. We are probably going to wind up trading KOQ. That saddens me because I think he’s underrated and like him. But if we get a much better fit at G or SF we’ll have to do it. In the mean time you keep Kanter, use him, see what he’s got now that he’s slimmed down, and see what happens.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that Noah will miss the first 12 games and probably sit out games with injuries from time to time. That loosens the logjam a bit.

    131. stratomatic's love hate relationship with The Knicks because of Melo is over

      Or sometimes the stats are so blatantly obvious that you’ve found a weakness in the eye test.

      Exactly, I thought I said that too. :-) I was trying.

    132. GoNyGoNyGo

      KP will be a stretch-4 again, especially when the team faces a tough center. While he is getting stronger, why do we want him to take the beating and rack up fouls when we have so many other options for thwt? It makes no sense. Honestly, his biggest test will be guarding Melo on opening day. That should be interesting. The Mozgov Eurocup matchup was my eye test. Put Wily or Noah on hulks like that.

      I would argue that given a choice, i might take Wily over Kanter but let’s see them play. Kanter lost 33 lbs this offseason because he was embarassed by his defense, believing homself too slow.

      Meanwhile, his manager told The Post this weekend Kanter lost at least 33 pounds, going from 273 to 240 to get quicker defensively. He’ll face a starting center battle with Willy Hernangomez and possibly Joakim Noah, who will miss the first 11 games with a drug suspension.

      “That’s something I’ve been working on,’’ said Kanter, who backed up Steven Adams in OKC but still averaged 14.3 points. “I’m trying to become a lot better team defender to help out and get more time on the floor.’’

      So we’ll see.

      The bigger issue for me is the 3 now. This feels like a last shot for Beasley and at this point I would say thwt he won’t change much and that isn’t good. Thomas can’t stay healthy. Can Kuz play with the lies of LeBron, Melo, KD or Kawhi? Can any Knick SF?

    133. Bruno Almeida

      Porzingis has the potential to be a very good long range shooter, I dont think the Knicks should pigeonhole him at the 5 and ignore his ability to stretch the floor. Yes, I agree he needs to get the ball closer to the basket and learn how to be more effective scoring inside, and that should come as he gets stronger and the gameplan focused on him as the primary scorer. But that can’t come with the cost of taking away one of his strongest weapons, which is the ability to take long range shots and use his ridiculous length to get good shots against smaller defenders.

      For me, he’s a very good weapon for a pick and roll based offense and I’ll be really disappointed if Hornacek doesn’t run more pick and rolls / pops and plays designed to get Porzingis the ball in better spots, either rolling to the basket or fading off a screen for a good shot. For all we know Sessions is capable of running a passable pick and roll, THJr too and Ntilikina has been praised by scouts for his floor vision and maturity out on the pick and roll. Just create a simple offensive framework that features Porzingis and let’s see how he does.

    134. KnickfaninNJ

      GoNYGo, I think Dotson is a dark horse for small forward. He looked good to me in summer league. But I wouldn’t assume Thomas is injury prone. Sometimes you just have a bad year, injury wise.

    135. TheOakmanCometh

      If we traded Willy, it’s not like we’d be trading him for the fun of it. His contract is so attractive that we should get a real asset back. If not, don’t move him.

      But love him or not, the crowded center rotation is going to limit his production. If Kanter gets 20 mpg, Noah gets 12, Zing gets 6, and KOQ gets 6, that leaves 4 minutes for Willy. Even if you don’t play Zing and KOQ a single second at center, that’s only 16 minutes for Willy. And with Noah, Kanter, and Porzingis all under contract next year, that’s not going to change. I’d rather have a more useable asset than a 16 mpg center.

      Of course I’d rather move Kanter. But he’s not moveable for a positive asset. Willy is. That’s the reality, no matter how you feel about Willy’s upside.

    136. Ben R

      I don’t think Noah is in the rotation. He will only play if someone gets hurt or plays badly. I think Willy starts, gets 20-25 minutes, KP gets 30-36 minutes and O’Quinn and Kanter each get about 20, but I wouldn’t be surprised if O’Quinn is getting less than 10 minutes.

      As for starting small forward I think Lee is the front runner and Beasley is the dark horse.

      Starting PG is probably Baker but Frank could get it or Sessions if everyone else struggles. I doubt Jack makes the team.

    137. er

      Porzingis has the potential to be a very good long range shooter, I dont think the Knicks should pigeonhole him at the 5 and ignore his ability to stretch the floor.

      Yea. He would be a stretch 5 who runs pick and rolls. Unheard of, and would be a devestating weapon. To echo whover brought up dray green. That’s why that lineup of death has that name. Dray at the 5 is devestating, KP is a far better shooter

    138. Bruno Almeida

      @163

      I agree, what I mean is that KP is the best weapon the Knicks have on offense and thus should be used to be best of his capabilities. His skill set is versatile enough that he can fulfill 4 and 5 roles at different times with promising effectiveness, so the Knicks shouldn’t limit him to just one role.

      Noah is definitely the one who should be left out of the rotation. He’s gonna be out for the first part of the season anyway and has not shown production or health to warrant minutes over any of the other guys. He should have a mentor role and be asked to step in in case of injuries or trades but there’s no way he should ever average more than 10-15 minutes maximum.

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