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Friday, November 24, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.11.06)

  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony ejected from Thunder’s loss to Trail Blazers
    (Monday, November 06, 2017 1:53:37 AM)

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  • [NY Newsday] What will the Knicks do when Joakim Noah comes off suspended list?
    (Monday, November 06, 2017 12:29:20 AM)

    The way the Knicks have played recently, it’s hard to question Jeff Hornacek’s rotations, although fans probably wish he would play second-year center Willy Hernangomez more.

  • [NY Newsday] Frank Ntilikina’s late three-pointers thrill Madison Square Garden
    (Monday, November 06, 2017 12:25:22 AM)

    Frank Ntilikina didn’t hesitate even though he missed his previous shot.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis’ 40 points spark Knicks’ comeback win
    (Monday, November 06, 2017 12:04:51 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis was on a mission Sunday night. He wasn’t going to let the Knicks lose.

  • [ESPN] Porzingis nets 40, says challenge ‘never too big’
    (Monday, November 06, 2017 2:05:32 AM)

    Porzingis nets 40, says challenge ‘never too big’

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 101, Pacers 101: Kristaps Porzingis Scores 40 as Knicks Rally to Beat the Pacers
    (Monday, November 06, 2017 4:04:04 AM)

    Porzingis’s points were a career high, and the Knicks stormed back from a 19-point deficit late in the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers.

  • [NYPost] Porzingis, Ntilikina are just the pair to get Garden rocking again
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 9:10:38 PM)

    “The Franchise” and the “French-ise.” The Knicks haven’t sold out the Garden in any of their past three home games. It’s too bad because some fans are missing out on the best sports show in New York. “The Franchise’’ didn’t just score more than 30 points in this Sunday night thriller. No, Kristaps Porzingis notched…

  • [NYPost] This is the Frank Ntilikina Knicks banked their future on
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:48:25 PM)

    The French Prince did some growing up Sunday night. In a closely contested game at a raucous Madison Square Garden, 19-year-old rookie Frank Ntilikina found himself on the floor during crunch time. And the eighth-overall pick in this year’s draft delivered. Ntilikina, who set season-high with 10 points and added seven assists in 24 minutes,…

  • [NYPost] Why rebounds were last thing on Enes Kanter’s mind
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:30:21 PM)

    Enes Kanter has had 20-rebound games in his career — he has a career best of 22. But rarely has he seemed more impactful than he was Sunday when he corralled 18 — seven offensive — in the Knicks’ thrilling 108-101 comeback victory over the Pacers. “The edge that he provides on the boards, brings…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis drops 40 to lead stunning Knicks comeback
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 5:16:29 PM)

    Rarely has the Garden been as subdued recently. Here were the Knicks, who had shown such promise and provided such excitement, lagging behind the Pacers by 19 points late in the third quarter. The defense was bad. The offense was worse. But then it got loud and lively, with electricity surging through the joint. “The…

  • [NYPost] The Knicks’ plea to Courtney Lee is finally sinking in
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 3:48:53 PM)

    For the bulk of last season, his first as a Knick, Courtney Lee heard the same refrain over and over. Shoot. Shoot the ball. Please. Eventually, Lee got the message. Then at the start of this season, he went back to his passive ways. “We got on him last year about shooting those open shots….

  • [NYPost] This is what Doug McDermott’s been waiting for
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 3:36:15 PM)

    Doug McDermott long craved the opportunity he is now getting. “I always knew [coach] Jeff Hornacek ran an up-tempo style, watching his teams in Phoenix,” the forward said, before the Knicks hosted the Pacers on Sunday night. “I always wanted to play in a system like this.” Through the first eight games of the season,…

  • [NYDN] Lance Thomas and his defense pave way for Knicks’ comeback win
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:38:56 PM)

    New York fans can thank Lance a lot for Sunday’s gripping comeback win over Indiana.

  • [NYDN] Frank Ntilikina takes big step forward in win over Pacers
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 8:18:45 PM)

    Hornacek agreed that this game “absolutely” represented a significant step for the rookie point guard.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis scores career-high 40 as Knicks beat Pacers
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 5:23:44 PM)

    Porzingis strapped on his cape again and saved the Knicks.

  • [NYDN] How Jarrett Jack came back from a career-threatening injury
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 4:14:58 PM)

    There was a time, not too long ago, when Jarrett Jack thought his career was done.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis, Ntilikina lead Knicks to comeback win over Pacers
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 10:17:00 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 40 points and Frank Ntilikina hit a go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter as the Knicks rallied from 19 points down in the second half to beat the Indiana Pacers 108-101 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Pacers vs. Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
    (Sunday, November 05, 2017 5:01:32 PM)

    NEW YORK — Sunday night should present a matchup of two of the bright young big men in the NBA at Madison Square Garden.

  • 146 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.11.06)

    1. alsep73

      Still floating a bit thinking about last nights game. KP is a monster, and Frank’s fourth quarter felt just as precocious as some of KP’s rookie games where you could see all the flaws but also the enormous potential.

      I wonder how teams are going to start trying to defend KP at this point. Other than the Warriors, that is — and if Kristaps can shake his Draymond problem… look out.

    2. Brian Cronin

      I imagine that teams will just try to send their most Draymond-esque player after him in each game. The thing is, most teams don’t have anyone similar to Draymond, so it will typically be in vain.

      That’s really the only way to play KP. As an opposing defender, you have to hope that he tires, basically. He had problems with that in his first two seasons, but so far it has not been an issue in season three and hopefully he’s grown past it. If he’s grown past the defender being able to bully him up, Draymond-style, then he’s unstoppable.

    3. ptmilo

      That’s really the only way to play KP. As an opposing defender, you have to hope that he tires, basically.

      Man-up yes, but teams can and should be sending more doubles now. And not soft or sneaky doubles, but hard, flailing doubles. Sometimes he will Porzingerate the double team and sometimes he will find the open guy, but it’s not clear he’s a good enough passer/reactor yet to kill you off the hard double. At least compared to what he’ll do to you otherwise. If I were playing the Knicks I would hard double KP at least 3/4 of the time and alternate who helps to add confusion. Man up I would just put my strongest forward on him irrespective of length or ups.

      The Melo ejection call last night was incredibly bad.

      I still don’t think we’re a .500 team this year, but as long as Frank and KP look anything like this it will still be fun as hell to watch games. The second half defense from those two last night should be a controlled substance.

    4. alsep73

      I missed the Boston game, which is the only one where he hasn’t looked dominant this season. What were they doing to defend him that was different from everyone else? Or was it more about the point guard play in that game?

    5. Brian Cronin

      I still don’t think we’re a .500 team this year, but as long as Frank and KP look anything like this it will still be fun as hell to watch games. The second half defense from those two last night should be a controlled substance.

      I think it’s too soon to tell either way, but yeah, watching Frank evolve and watching KP destroy other teams makes every game a delight to watch, no matter what the final score is.

      It’d be hilarious if this team managed to pull off what Phil tried and failed to pull off in the last three seasons, which is to be just good enough that a star free agent would say, “Hey, I want to join these guys to take them to the next level.”

    6. Zanzibar

      Random stuff:
      – Frank’s TS% just broke the 40 barrier and his WS/48 is about to go positive!

      – That KP pass to Frank for the go-ahead to stay 3 was incredible! Frank shot 70% on uncontested catch-and-shoot 3s in French league so if opponents throw double teams at KP, Frank’s sharpshooting’s gonna be huge not to mention Dotson/Lee/McDermott/Lance while Timmy’s a bit iffy there.

      – Let’s resolve never to call a young player from Euro leagues a “project” ever again.

      – They’re probably gonna start construction on a corner office for Janis on Dolan’s floor.

      – KP’s offense looking similar to Dirk and KD which means he needs a center to handle the blood work to keep him fresh and probably extend his career. However, he’ll need to play the 5 against some opponents and lineups.

      – KP didn’t look winded to me at the end

      – Kinda bizarre but here’s an excerpt from nbadraft.net on Frank:

      Great ball handler … He has a nice hesitation dribble and he has also an improving crossover dribble on his repertoire … Possesses an explosive first step … Really good on ISO situations thanks to his athleticism, length and excellent ball handling … He can create his own shot and score off the dribble from mid-range and has also a floater as a counter move … When he has time to gather he can finish strong at the rim

      – PHX not getting great offers for Bledsoe. Mudiay’s starting to play better so I doubt Denver does a trade but it wouldn’t include both Mudiay and a pick. Cavs might panic and offer Frye plus Osman and/or their pick. But if nobody’s biting, maybe something like KOQ/Baker/Chicago pick (and Kuz if they want him) could get us Bledsoe? Might take some of the offensive burden off KP and we could always trade him if it didn’t work out this season. Just split minutes 24-24 between Frank and Bledsoe and Frank could play some off the ball as well.

    7. MSA

      I missed the Boston game, which is the only one where he hasn’t looked dominant this season. What were they doing to defend him that was different from everyone else? Or was it more about the point guard play in that game?

      I don’t know exactly what happened that game but it was mostly KP getting the ball behind the 3pt line and trying to ISO the whole game.

    8. Frank

      RE: the Boston game – Horford was great, but they also came with late doubles and switches and Sessions et al. couldn’t get him the ball in his spots.

      Sure does seem like KP is getting the ball in much better spots now — either on the move off cuts, in PNP/PNR on the move, or only after he’s established reasonable position against someone he can beast on in the post.

      KP was amazing last night, but it was really the 4th quarter D that impressed me the most. Outside of a couple 3’s that KP didn’t get out on (and honestly, I’m happy to let Thad Young shoot 3’s, not sure I buy he’s suddenly a 40% 3P shooter), the Pacers took terrible shots in the 4th. The combination of Ntilikina at the point of attack, Lance on whoever the best wing scorer is, and KP patrolling the paint is — and I can’t believe i’m actually writing this about a Knicks defense! — that is a really potent trio. Rim protection and defense at the point of attack is soooooo important, and we really haven’t had anyone at the point of attack like Ntilikina since…. forever. Clyde? Derek Harper and his handchecking opposing PG’s into the 3rd row?

      btw, not sure why it’s not showing up this way (maybe # minutes?) on NBA.com, but the Octopus is leading the league in per-possession steals by a country mile (>100 min played). Maybe country mile is putting it too conservatively. Frank is averaging 4.9 steals per 100 possessions. Next closest is Kyrie at 3.6 steals per 100 poss. Ginobili led the league last year at 3.2 per 100. Frank is also currently leading the league in deflections per 36 (5.2).

      And KP — 9 games is starting to be a big enough sample that at least we can say that even if he wears down and plays at 80% this level, this dude is indisputably really really good. Like best player on contender good.

      Not sure where ephus is, but it sure does feel like a good time to be a Knicks fan right now.

    9. Frank

      btw in 45 minutes, KP+Ntilikina 2 man lineup has an ORtg of 124 and DRtg of 87.7 = Net Rating of +36.3. Is that good?

    10. Bruno Almeida

      @9

      They really need to play more together, KP was getting shots in good positions with him handling and the defense was legit really really good with him on the ball handler and KP hovering around. Very encouraging stuff.

    11. 2FOR18, understands math

      I’ve officially seen enough to be glad that we drafted Frank over the ankle breaker.

      Knicks 5-4 while Team Gravity = 4-5. It almost makes waking up and commuting on a Monday worth it.

      Yeah, I still don’t think of this as a .500 or playoff team. Once Jack gets hurt the offense will probably fall apart. But’s it’s certainly fun to watch good pg play along with a beasting KP playing next to a rebounding machine (be it Kanter or O’Quinn)

    12. Frank

      Big challenge tomorrow night for Frank — Kemba Walker is no joke. If he can harrass Kemba like he did Darren Collison, the 2% of me that keeps pinching myself that this isn’t a dream will be forced to wake up and acknowledge that it’s real.

    13. Owen

      Whoever posted about Lebron last night got me thinking. Why wouldn’t he want to come play with Frankzingis rather than go to LA?

      I think the question is more, do we actually want to commit our dollars to an old washed up Lebron when we have a superstar core in the making?

      ; – )

      (just wanted to test out the hype train and see how it runs. It’s an unusual feeling for me. I haven’t felt this giddy in a long time. Reality is going to hit me like a Mack truck when we get smoked by Charlotte and Frankie Smokes looks like a used up cigarette butt out there)

    14. d-mar

      (reposting from prior thread)

      I guess the next question is, when does Frank start? He’s getting more and more comfortable out there, and since Jack offers basically jack offensively, I’m leaning towards starting him and giving him 30+ minutes. There’s really no downside.

      Also, I know we’ve played a lot of home games, but the 4 teams we lost to were OKC and Boston on the road, Detroit (7-3) and Houston. So 5-4 looks pretty damn good to me.

    15. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, Kemba is a different sort of threat, much more explosive than Collison or Joseph. It’s more that Collison was killing us with the high pick and roll, the amount of times Turner or Sabonis got the ball wide open off pick and pops was just insane. The Knicks as a whole did a good job adjusting in the 3rd and Ntilikina and Lance finished it by clamping down on Collison and Oladipo.

      I have to say I agree with 2for18 because it’s still November and there’s a lot that can go wrong still, but I would be really glad to miss out on my predictions if it was because KP turned into a top 10 player and Frank is already the real deal at least on defense.

    16. Frank

      When Frank picks up 3/4 or full court pressure, it really is crazy how hard it is for opposing PGs to move the ball upcourt. Feels like they’re getting into their sets with 10 seconds left on the shot clock every time. And that’s aside from all the off-ball defensive stuff he already does so well.

    17. Frank

      I haven’t felt this giddy in a long time.

      It’s been a really long time since we’ve had a legitimate young star — literally back to Ewing in terms of a young player who can dominate both ends of the floor. Since Ewing we’ve had a number of fake stars, and even those players have been in their mid-late 20s when we got them (Melo, Sprewell, Amare, etc.). It’s hard to be anything but giddy at KP’s development. 59% TS at a usage of 35.5, a 0.219 WS/48 so far. Age 22 was also the age that Dirk made the leap, but given the usage% (and continued ridiculous block numbers), KP really is better (at least so far) now than Dirk was at this age. And KP has superior physical tools to Dirk. It’s a little scary.

    18. danvt

      So happy.

      Aside from what’s already been said it seems Hornacek is pushing all the right buttons. Getting Lance in won the game for us. He’s also showing a lot of fire and really getting in guys and refs faces when they mess up. He’s a bit old school for my taste but it’s WORKING!

      Big test coming up for Perry when Noah comes back. Just do the right thing, Scotty. Jack should remain the nominal starter and keep the pressure off baby Frank. I think Sessions should be the odd man out since we know what he brings and he’s lost the job. That opens up some minutes for Baker as well. Please no deals involving good vets who are playing well. This roster seems to be developing synergy and we don’t need to be subtracting productive pieces and adding guys on the fly. We’re WINNING! Don’t change a thing right now.

    19. Ntilakilla

      KP and Ntilikina have to play together more often. The chemistry of the way they compliment one another’s games in the PnR/P on offense and as long, active defenders on defense is too potent. KP’s vertical length on the interior and Frank’s horizontal and vertical length on the perimeter is an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses. It shut down one of the best offenses in the league on a night when they were firing on all cylinders for 3 quarters.

    20. Frank

      Actually think the move to make is to either release Kuzminskas or trade him for one of those phantom 2nd round picks (I can’t imagine we would get more for him in trade). Someone like the Pelicans could use Kuz. He’s not playing, he’s unhappy, and he probably is the 4th string SF at this point behind Lee, Thomas, and McDermott.

      The other thing we could do is take on a similar salary that has an extra year on it, since we don’t really project to have much cap space this summer. That way we might actually get an asset back for Kuz.

    21. ClashFan

      That sure was a fun fourth quarter to watch. I think a real key in the game was the Knicks keeping it close through the first three even though they were struggling. Every time it looked like the Pacers might push the lead to 20+, the Knicks made a mini-run and kept it reasonably close.

      Hornacek’s switch to LT over Beasley in the 2nd half and the decision to stay with Frank the entire 4th were pretty big moves. I wonder if H is going to figure out that Beasley is just not worth the minutes. Let Kuz and LT have those.

      At what point will we seen Ron again? Can he give the Knicks something similar to Jack, since neither can shoot, but with more D?

    22. Brian Cronin

      That sure was a fun fourth quarter to watch. I think a real key in the game was the Knicks keeping it close through the first three even though they were struggling. Every time it looked like the Pacers might push the lead to 20+, the Knicks made a mini-run and kept it reasonably close.

      Yeah, I was impressed by how well they withstood the Pacers run earlier in the game. As Marv Albert always said, basketball is a game of runs, and keeping close and weathering the other team’s run is huge.

    23. Brian Cronin

      Actually think the move to make is to either release Kuzminskas or trade him for one of those phantom 2nd round picks (I can’t imagine we would get more for him in trade). Someone like the Pelicans could use Kuz. He’s not playing, he’s unhappy, and he probably is the 4th string SF at this point behind Lee, Thomas, and McDermott.

      I agree that they really should just get rid of Kuz if they’re never going to play him. Isn’t he a free agent after this season? So why keep him if they’re never going to play him, he’s not that young and he doesn’t seem like he is a factor in the future plans?

    24. Zanzibar

      I’d keep Kuz until the trade deadline because he’s got a terrific contract in terms of facilitating trades and you never know what might happen.

    25. Frank

      @25 – that’s a good point. An expiring 3+MM contract may be valuable especially for teams expecting to be near the tax next season. OK bye Sessions!

    26. swiftandabundant

      So that was amazing! DUDE THIS TEAM IS AWESOME!

      I think this might be the second best feeling for a fan. The first being obviously when your team wins a championship. But even with that, its a momentary feeling and then the next season starts. But this feeling…knowing youre rooting for a young team on the upswing and that this could just be the beginning…its the most exciting feeling in sports.

      And here’s a question I think someone asked the other day as a joke but I’m gonna ask it again seriously. Could LeBron be a Knick next year? Everyone assumes the Lakers are where he wants to go and that’s how the Banana Boat is going to happen. But would the Banana Boat be his best bet at another ring? Or would pairing up with KP and Frankie and Timmy be the best bet? I’m fucking serious. WE’d have to do something about Lee and either KAnter or Noah to make the room for him but with the way this team is playing and KP being a clear superstar now, is LeBron realistic at all?

      Honestly I don’t even know that I want him. I mean, yeah, sure, sign me up. But I would almost rather we continue to build this team organically and find a young superstar on our own. I wouldn’t say no but it would feel like a shortcut.

    27. Brian Cronin

      @25 – that’s a good point. An expiring 3+MM contract may be valuable especially for teams expecting to be near the tax next season. OK bye Sessions!

      I don’t think that they should cut Kuz, but I do think they should be pushing to deal him.

    28. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Lance Thomas deserves way more credit for our win last night than the boxscore reveals. Oladipo was killing us in the first half. Lance Thomas was a big part of why the defense shut the Pacers down. He was +23 in 16 minutes. I really wish there was a good metric for that kind of thing.

    29. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I think I’d like to see Kuz play a little before we trade him. He looked like a better player in the Euro championships. I’m going to trust that Hornacek knows what he’s doing because he gets to see him and McBuckets in practice all the time. But still, if he’s a more mature and better player now, we should know that before we decide to trade him. He might be worth a little more than we think, but other teams would have to see that too.

    30. Hubert

      I’ve officially seen enough to be glad that we drafted Frank over the ankle breaker.

      I agree. I thought Frank would test our patience, but it is pretty clear he’s going to be a solid pro on both ends. Dallas can take their standing ovation in the draft room and shove it.

    31. Brian Cronin

      I really wish there was a good metric for that kind of thing.

      Well….

      He was +23 in 16 minutes.

      ;)

    32. ClashFan

      From what I’ve seen, Kuz has another year on his deal after this at $3.8m (he’s $3.0m this year). I too thought he looked impressive in the Euro games, but Beasley and McD seem to have taken his minutes.

      Seems unlikely to cut a guy with nearly 2 full years left unless doing that as a favor to him to hook up on a team that can play him more. That’s an expensive favor.

    33. Brian Cronin

      Of the realistic options (you know, guys projected to go around #5-9), I always wanted Fox, Isaac and Frank (in that order), but Frank looks even better than I was hoping so far. I wanted no part of Markkanen, but he has played better than I expected. I’m still thrilled Chicago took him instead of Frank.

    34. Brian Cronin

      From what I’ve seen, Kuz has another year on his deal after this at $3.8m (he’s $3.0m this year). I too thought he looked impressive in the Euro games, but Beasley and McD seem to have taken his minutes.

      That’s his qualifying offer. He’ll be a restricted free agent after this season if they extend the QO to him or an unrestricted free agent if they do not give him the QO.

    35. lavor postell

      This is probably going to be the best defensive Knicks team since 12/13 which isn’t a high bar but it’s a hell of a lot better than most everybody expected.

      Hornacek deserves a lot of credit. I thought he was weak last year and confounding early on this seaso, but his 2 big calls of starting Kanter over Willy and inserting Jack into the lineup and benching Sessions have paid big dividends. He’s also got the team executing to scheme on both ends of the floor in a logical and orderly fashion.

      Frank’s ceiling is probably some kind of modern day Harper, but hopefully a bit more dynamic and efficient as a ball handler and scorer.

      KP looks like he skipped the star stage and went straight to superstar. That’s pretty cool.

      I’m hopeful that FO will stay calm and stick with a focus on drafting and development for another year or 2 before making any big splashes in trade or FA.

    36. Ntilakilla

      Another thing to think about, If. Ntilikina were a freshman at, say, Kentucky or Duke, he’d be in the conversation for #1 overall right now.— Tommy Dee (@ThomasCDee) November 6, 2017

    37. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The fact that James Harden was 9 for 23 against us but just scored 56 points on 75% shooting from the field makes me feel really good about Frank Ntilikina. If Euro project players are guys who are obvious rotation players early in their career and then turn into two-way nightmares like KP, then we need to draft the next euro project immediately. Frank Ntilikina’s potential is through the roof. His work ethic, high IQ, and physical gifts make him a very scary proposition for a lot of players.

    38. Ntilakilla

      I’m hopeful that FO will stay calm and stick with a focus on drafting and development for another year or 2 before making any big splashes in trade or FA.

      This. We need to find a defensively elite wing who can drill threes or an athletic 4 who can guard the perimeter, rebound and block an occasional shot.

    39. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I think I was probably wrong about Kanter. I’m not sure I love him as a starting C. I’d rather have a guy that’s a defensive anchor in the middle and have him coming off the bench. But he plays so hard and isn’t as much of a liability so far on defense as I thought. So if we stick with him for a couple of years we should be fine. We could always make a change later. I’m in no big rush to trade him unless it’s a very good deal (assuming that is even possible).

      Once Frank takes over the starting spot I think we’ll need an upgrade at either SG or SF to start making serious noise.

      I’m not sold on Hardaway. I’m going to be patient, but he still looks more like a scorer off the bench (6th man type) than a starting SG or SF to me. He’s not consistent enough and doesn’t do enough other than his streaky shooting to merit starting on a serious team. I guess we are stuck with his bad contract for awhile.

      I like Lee, but eventually he’ll have to be replaced with an upgrade also. Again, I see no reason to make a rushed move. He’s OK and the chemistry is great.

    40. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Another thing to think about, If. Ntilikina were a freshman at, say, Kentucky or Duke, he’d be in the conversation for #1 overall right now.— Tommy Dee (@ThomasCDee) November 6, 2017

      I never agree with TommyDee and this is just another example.

      It’s looking more or more like Boston selected the best prospect, but I don’t think anyone would pass on Fultz to get to Frank yet either. That’s not to say that Frank’s stock isn’t starting to move up, but it’s way too early to jump him ahead of a few players that were selected over him.

    41. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Knicks shouldn’t be looking at LeBron, PG, or anybody like that. The Knicks are a Robert Covington type away from building a two way basketball team. LeBron and PG just put pressure on us to win now and that’s not what we need. We need more defense and more three point shooting. A guy like Maryland’s Justin Jackson should be the goal in the draft if we’re too good to get Kevin Knox.

      There’s always a good chance this feel good start goes left like it sorta did the last two seasons. We have a negative point differential so far due to our blow out losses so that’s something to look into. I do believe this is currently a .500 ball team with potential to win around 46 if Frank and Tim Hardaway improve on their season stats. I never thought the Knicks would be as bad as some of you believed because we just have too much front court talent. If TH2 and Frank Ntilikina look to be at least average with some splashes of high level play here and there, we have a chance to be a top 6 team in the East. I didn’t expect Frank to be this type of defender so early. I fully expected James Harden to take him to the woodshed and for Frank to learn on the job. Watching Frank play what looks like All-NBA defense compared to what we’ve had really gives me hope as early as this season. No more nights where Ish Smith level players look like world beaters.

    42. Brian Cronin

      They certainly shouldn’t be planning on adding Lebron, but if Lebron wants to play for the Knicks (he won’t, but if he would), then of course you add Lebron.

    43. Hubert

      Frank’s ceiling is probably some kind of modern day Harper, but hopefully a bit more dynamic and efficient as a ball handler and scorer.

      Funny you mention that… my friend and I spent 20 minutes last night trying to figure out who his best comp is (we both agreed the George Hill comparisons are too low). He’s a hard guy to find a comp for. The best we could muster was Harper.

      Of course, if you really want to get ahead of yourself… you can see the potential for the next Gary Payton. But I’m going to settle down now.

    44. er

      Im curious to see if the Knicks are able to beat any good teams. The schedule for the rest of the month is far tougher than the first 9. So I guess we will see. Atlanta and Sacramento are the only 2 gimmies for the rest of the 12 games remaining in the month

    45. thenoblefacehumper

      One thing I am worried about is getting low-balled for whichever big man we wind up trading. Obviously Porzingis is here forever and it seems unlikely to be Kanter with him starting and playing well. That leaves KOQ and Willy (and Noah, I guess, but no one is trading for rare fossils in the NBA).

      KOQ has been awesome and definitely has helped us win some games, but with him expiring and being a bit older I think the optimal play is to move him and give Willy all of his minutes. It definitely could hurt us this year and I understand why some people might not like that, but Willy has “trade him and watch him become an all-star” written all over him. This year is still primarily about the future.

      Roll with KP, Kanter, Willy, and Noah in some spot defensive matchups if he’s still alive.

      So the question is, what’s a realistic and desirable package for KOQ? Minnesota’s defense has been terrible, so maybe Tyus Jones and their lottery protected 2018 first?

    46. ptmilo

      Maybe Noah won’t have anything left but if he does it could be real fun to watch Noah KP and Frank play D together

    47. Brian Cronin

      Im curious to see if the Knicks are able to beat any good teams.

      They just beat the Pacers, who have been a good team so far this year.

    48. Frank

      Lebron is perfect for every team, but he’s especially perfect for the Knicks in that we don’t have a ball-dominant guard that needs the ball in order to be useful. He’s big enough to guard any frontcourt position and is a great rebounder (and when motivated, an excellent rim protector), so could play a small ball frontcourt with KP. A lineup of Frank, Hardaway, Lee, Lebron, and KP would be pretty freaking amazing offensively, and really quite good defensively too.

      What would be hilariously sad is if LBJ actually wanted to come but freaking Ron Baker’s player option kept us from offering a reasonable salary. (Honestly if LBJ really did want to come here, he’s got more money than anyone so could really come for less)

      OK now that I am out of that daydream, the more likely thing is we draft a 3/4 combo forward that can defend and hit 3’s — sort of a better version of Lance Thomas. Assuming this start is for real and we’re not in the running for guys like Doncic, Porter, or Bagley, can I interest anyone in Mikal Bridges?

    49. 2FOR18, understands math

      Yeah, they’ll lose to most of the good teams they play, but at least beating the bad teams is a step in the right direction.

    50. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      Maybe Noah won’t have anything left but if he does it could be real fun to watch Noah KP and Frank play D together

      Yeah, that would be interesting.

    51. Owen

      I also would love to watch a healthy Noah play defense with Frankzingis.

      I was saying that tongue in cheek about Lebron but if you have two legitimate young stars (not that I am ready to anoint Frank yet) anything is possible.

      When is AD a free agent?

    52. er

      They just beat the Pacers, who have been a good team so far this year.

      Yeah but I don’t think they are actually a good team. Oladipo and Sabonis’s play is not sustainable.

    53. er

      I think Charlotte is a good test. Kemba walker is ballin and so is Lamb. Howard is an interesting match up for the bigs as well.

    54. Zanzibar

      So the question is, what’s a realistic and desirable package for KOQ?

      KOQ’s got a player option this summer so not likely you’d net more than a 2nd round pick for him unless an extend-and-trade is done. If you include the Chicago pick, there are some creative possibilities. For example, Portland’s set at center but they are sensitive to luxury tax (pay Nurkic and CJ) and have Aminu. Here’s something which works in trade machine:

      Knicks……….Harkless
      76ers…………KOQ
      Portland……Chicago pick/1 or 2 76er 2nd round pick(s)/Kuz

      – Portland sheds 10m in salary because Kuz may be cut and also receives some draft picks.
      – 76ers could audition KOQ who provides some insurance in the event of an Embiid injury and gives quality minutes so they may not need to play Embiid as much.
      – Knicks get Harkless who plays SF or PF for KOQ/Chicago pick. He may or may not be desirable depending upon your view of him.

      Another simpler option which works in trade machine might be KOQ for TJ McConnell.

    55. nicos

      No need to start Frank yet. Jack still does a better job running the offense- even if he’s close to the end he’s going to shoot better than he is right now and he handles pressure better /far less turnover prone. I do think you definitely start boosting Frank’s minutes- he should be playing 20-30 minutes every night. Once Frank shows he can handle ball pressure and is a little more consistent with his shooting then you think about starting him- and that could be soon. But there’s no way he’d be the conversation for the #1 pick this year if he’d gone to a US college- Doncic and all of the bigs would still be seen as better prospects right now.

    56. thenoblefacehumper

      KOQ’s got a player option this summer so not likely you’d net more than a 2nd round pick for him unless an extend-and-trade is done. If you include the Chicago pick, there are some creative possibilities. For example, Portland’s set at center but they are sensitive to luxury tax and have Aminu. Here’s something which works in trade machine:

      All good points, but I’d note that Bogdan Bogdanovich fetched a first last year despite being expiring and demonstrably worse than KOQ. I also don’t think the Blazers would give up Harkless just for salary relief, and I don’t think Philly would give up McConnell with Fultz’ situation looking so precarious right now. They have Richaun Holmes, who looks like a future KOQ.

      Off the top of my head Minnesota, LAC, Golden State, and Detroit are all looking to compete to various extents this year and could probably use him.

    57. Brian Cronin

      But there’s no way he’d be the conversation for the #1 pick this year if he’d gone to a US college- Doncic and all of the bigs would still be seen as better prospects right now.

      Yeah, it’s kind of a ridiculous point by Tommy Dee, who is no stranger to ridiculous points. I am a big Frank booster, but come on.

      I think it is fair, though, to say that in a more typical draft, Frank would have been a top five pick. This past draft (and this current draft) were just a bit more top heavy than usual.

    58. djphan

      just a few games ago ppl were calling for hornacek’s head…. we still basically have giant holes at multiple positions…

      talking about playoffs is just way way premature….

    59. er

      just a few games ago ppl were calling for hornacek’s head…. we still basically have giant holes at multiple positions…

      talking about playoffs is just way way premature….

      LOL that’s why I wanna see them against legit teams. The schedule has been fairly soft. Even the good teams (we have beaten aren’t really that good. (Cleveland and Indiana) 2 teams are just bad (Brooklyn and Phoenix) and 1 was mediocre (Denver). And only the Cleveland win was on the road. We really don’t know much about how good this team is. And we have seen that KP diminishes in the dog days. Now his usage is pushing 40%, so I am very curious indeed

    60. Zanzibar

      I also don’t think the Blazers would give up Harkless just for salary relief

      They’d get 10m in salary relief AND our Chicago pick which is close to a 1st round pick AND 1 or 2 2nd round picks from 76ers

      They have Richaun Holmes, who looks like a future KOQ.

      True but I think Embiid’s health is so precarious that they might want to carry an additional center like KOQ for 8m/yr. They could give Embiid days off and play Holmes and KOQ.

    61. ess-dog

      Things that make you go hmm from ESPN’s latest power rankings:

      “An MVP and an All-Star teammate haven’t altered Carmelo Anthony’s style of play. His numbers this season versus last season are nearly identical. Prior to his early exit because of a flagrant foul 2 on Sunday, he had a usage percentage of 28 percent and was averaging 21.3 points while taking 18.0 shots per game. Last season, he had a usage percentage of 29 percent and averaged 22.4 points per game on 18.8 field goal attempts per game.”

    62. DS

      It’d be hilarious if this team managed to pull off what Phil tried and failed to pull off in the last three seasons, which is to be just good enough that a star free agent would say, “Hey, I want to join these guys to take them to the next level.”

      Can that happen before 2020 with THJ and Joakim on the books?!

    63. Frank

      LOL that’s why I wanna see them against legit teams. The schedule has been fairly soft. Even the good teams (we have beaten aren’t really that good. (Cleveland and Indiana) 2 teams are just bad (Brooklyn and Phoenix) and 1 was mediocre (Denver). And only the Cleveland win was on the road. We really don’t know much about how good this team is.

      You could easily make the converse argument which is that the only teams we’ve lost to so far are OKC on the road, Boston on the road, Houston at home, and Detroit at home (but we had a 21 point lead that we somehow blew).

      The questions for this year were always going to be whether we could get any semblance of competent PG play, and whether KP would make a jump. The second question has (so far) been answered with an emphatic yes — he’s not only made the jump, he’s made a freaking leap to superstar. The first question was a no while Ramon Sessions was the starting PG and Ron Baker was the backup PG — but since Jack and Frank have taken over the lion’s share of the PG minutes, the team has been an actually good team –> 6th in offensive rating (108.4) and 13th in defensive rating (103.7).

      The 13th rating is especially impressive because a) it’s the Knicks and we don’t do above-average defense, and b) the offenses we’ve played against are good offenses–>

      In those 6 games (yes it’s only 6 games) we’ve played:

      Nets (#16 offense currently, was higher at the time)
      Cavs #7
      Nuggets #14
      Rockets #2
      Suns #23
      Pacers #5

      Add those up and on average we’ve played the #11 offense — so above average DRtg despite playing above average offenses.

    64. Brian Cronin

      Can that happen before 2020 with THJ and Joakim on the books?!

      I believe so, yes, but it would require Lee and Thomas to be jettisoned without taking salary back.

    65. swiftandabundant

      I mean, if the Knicks only beat shitty teams, that means they will probably make the playoffs. There’s a lot of shitty teams and I think the Knicks have shown that KP, Kanter, Hardaway, KQ, Frank, Lee is enough offense, defense and rebounding to beat most bad teams. It looks like we will win most of the games at home against bad teams and mediocre teams. The road will be the tougher challenge but if we’re good enough to beat Brooklyn, Denver, Indiana, Cleveland and Phoenix…I’d say that’s a pretty good indication that we’re going to be 500 or damn close to it. And that will get you in the playoffs in the east.

    66. DS

      I believe so, yes, but it would require Lee and Thomas to be jettisoned without taking salary back.

      Which would require throwing in a sweetener because no one wants them… Lee’s playing fine and is shooting well from behind the arc, but I’m not optimistic.

    67. Ntilakilla

      Why am I not surprised about that Melo stat? That Olympic Melo shit was always overplayed. I do wish him the best though.

    68. Frank

      I know we’re all in schadenfreude Melo mode, but let’s wait a bit before we say same-old Melo. Presumably he is getting much cleaner looks this year because of Westbrook, yet he’s only shooting 32.8% from 3. I’d expect his 3P% to be much closer to 40 before the year is out, and so his points/shot will go up as well. We can say lots about Melo and his weaknesses, but with feet set on catch and shoot, he is $$$.

    69. djphan

      to have some perspective… we were over .500 about 15-20 games past where we are now… and the season kind of tanked from there….

      we still are depending on the combo of jack/frank/baker for our pg… lance thomas, mcdermott and beasley at the 3… and various other mediocre bodies at the 2… none of those guys have tremendous track records…

      we are doing well because kp is doing an impression of dirk in anthony davis’s body with kobe levels of usage… i have no doubt he’s pretty good.. but i don’t think the first 9 games of kp can sustain for the next 72… whether through health or the usage being just crazy high…. and certainly kp alone can’t propel us to the playoffs…

    70. Zanzibar

      Presumably he is getting much cleaner looks this year because of Westbrook, yet he’s only shooting 32.8% from 3. I’d expect his 3P% to be much closer to 40 before the year is out,

      I do too but we know he’s lost some lift in the legs. Once the legs go, the 3 ball follows. Exhibit 1: Jason Kidd.

    71. Ntilakilla

      It’s not even about the record. People who fixate on it miss the point (as usual). This year is about forming a team identity based on actually executing plays within an offensive system and hard-nosed defense. If we go to the playoffs, then great. But our mission should be about finally putting a team together that plays smart together as a unit without ego or drama and giving it the time to gel.

      Last season you could see our early successful play was unsustainable. Even KP called it out. But as he said last night, they are playing with an “NY grit” that has shown in the team’s defensive ratings.

    72. swiftandabundant

      @ 81 – yes, that is all true. The last two years we had nice starts only to have it fall apart. But we’re kind of in a win win situation here. Either we keep it up and we’ve got a nice core to build on going forward, or the season tanks and we get a high draft pick. Either way, the winning is good for this team and for our leader, KP. And I know stuff like body language and chemistry gets laughed at on this site, but if you watch the games…the team chemistry and body language of the team makes me think this is a sustainable thing and just the beginning. Last year we won bc of Rose and Melo ISOing and KP was the third option. Once teams figured that out, we were easy to stop. We weren’t winning bc of team basketball and yes, the players were excited when we were winning early, but the way the bench was acting last night when Frank hit that 3…this team is young and learning the win and love playing together. Yes, KP is playing out of his mind and has high usage, but he’s not getting his shots but high jacking the offense at the expense of others.

      Wait and see, I just think we’re at the least a 500 team that makes the playoffs. And that’s quite all right by me!

    73. Zanzibar

      we still are depending on the combo of jack/frank/baker for our pg… lance thomas, mcdermott and beasley at the 3… and various other mediocre bodies at the 2

      I’ve never called for Horn’s scalp but one thing that bothers me is why he doesn’t give some of Beasley’s, Lance’s, and even Lee’s minutes to Dotson. He already has a higher WS/48 and bpm than Lance and Beasley. Why not try him at the 3? Right now we’re shopping KOQ and maybe Lee – wouldn’t it be nice to have some idea as to whether Dotson is able play SF before you maybe trade for one? Perhaps they’ve already tried it in practice but if not it makes no sense to me. It’s almost like Hornacek’s algorithm for playing time in priority sequence is (1) How much money do you make (2) How many years of NBA experience do you have (3) How relevant are you to Knicks future and (4) How good are you. That’s screwy.

    74. Hubert

      “An MVP and an All-Star teammate haven’t altered Carmelo Anthony’s style of play. His numbers this season versus last season are nearly identical. Prior to his early exit because of a flagrant foul 2 on Sunday, he had a usage percentage of 28 percent and was averaging 21.3 points while taking 18.0 shots per game. Last season, he had a usage percentage of 29 percent and averaged 22.4 points per game on 18.8 field goal attempts per game.”

      Has anyone discovered the Thunder blog that RuRu is currently posting on?

    75. swiftandabundant

      Lance might be someone they are highlighting too. I loved what he did for us last night. He was so huge in the 4th quarter. It was definitely the right call to put Lance in like that.

      I think we all need to just chill on the trade talks. Lets let the team play as is for awhile. Let the team experience wins and grow some chemistry. We have to remember, we don’t HAVE to trade Lee this year.

    76. yellowboy90

      Just a few days ago some were talking about how kp ts% would look even better minus the boston game. You can say the same for Melo. If you take out that game his shooting has been great. Even without playing with Rus going into tge Boston game his TS% was around 64% w/o Russ.

      I dont know where his TS% will be if he keeps shooting as many 3s as he is because even if his 3PFG% rises I doubt he can sustain his 2pfg%. It’s going to be interesting to watch and see what happens.

    77. Bruno Almeida

      @87

      Because once again reality isn’t supporting his fictional narratives about Melo, and when that happens he disappears?

      Honestly, all the talk about small sample size in the Knicks case is obviously true, there’s no way to just assume this team will keep playing like this. The huge, gigantic difference this year is that it doesn’t matter. It’s literally the first win-win situation I remember with the Knicks in such a long time.

      Whatever happens is great and that’s very un-knicksian, so people will rightfully be excited.

    78. alsep73

      Yeah, the only real downside if this improvement is real is that our cap situation is a mess thanks to the Noah and Hardaway contracts, plus that option year for Kanter (who’s been a pleasant surprise so far). As Brian has said, we can clear some space if we can move Lee and Thomas, but otherwise we’ll have to depend on Hardaway not being as streaky, savvy drafting, and trades to improve the team we have now. (Plus ongoing improvement for Frank and — shudder to think — Porzingis.)

    79. ClashFan

      @90
      It is really hard to make any long-term projections yet. It’s fun to do so, but ultimately just guesswork.

      I just hope that, win or lose, the Knicks phase out the older guys and get Dotson, Ron, and Willy some regular playing time. Let’s see what we have in those guys. Hang onto all the first rounders and the Chicago pick (unless a young talent can be snagged). Stay with the 25 and under philosophy throughout this season.

      We know what Lee, OQ, Beasley, LT, and Jack are. Each has his uses but should be moved out at the earliest reasonable opportunity. Noah, too, but it is hard to imagine anyone taking him.

    80. nicos

      I don’t know- Melo’s ws/48 is about 50 points higher than last year and as pointed out he’s not shooting the three well as of yet. My guess is that his ws stays somewhere in that 130-150 range for the season. Still not great but better than last year. The question is does he help them more than Kanter would have in the playoffs? My guess is that it’d be a wash.

    81. Owen

      Melo’s WS/48 will get a bump from playing on the OKC defense.

      I wish him the best and am excited for his new career opportunity.

    82. er

      Because once again reality isn’t supporting his fictional narratives about Melo,

      What does that even mean? Melo has been fine. He had 1 really awful game against Boston as YellowBoy mentioned. And to the defense , hes avg 1 blk a game. He will be an improvement over Kanter just by spacing the floor. Adams and Westbrook pnr has been great, and it just wouldn’t be if Kanter was there.

      Sooooo…….back to the Knicks now? or nah?

    83. TheOakmanCometh

      If Kanter maintains this level of play all year (and continues to fend off Willy, KOQ, and Noah for minutes), is there any chance he opts out? The center market is still overflowing, and 2018 is a buyer’s market, and the 2018 draft class is full of bigs. So I think there’s no chance he gets an AAV higher than the $18.6m he’ll make next year. But maybe if someone (Mavs? Lakers?) offers 4 years/$50m he would consider opting out?

      I still say it’s 80/20 that he stays, but that’s better than the 95/5 it was before the season.

    84. Bruno Almeida

      @95

      Dude, they are 4-5 and struggling, which is precisely what I said probably would happen. It’s clear they haven’t yet found out how to fit everyone together and their bench is really underwhelming. But I got called a homer and a Melo hater just by suggesting they wouldn’t be a top 5 team in the west right away.

      OKC will get better and probably fight for home court advantage (with a pretty good chance of getting it), and Melo’s overall production will very likely be better than it was with the Knicks. I’m just having a little moment laughing at the people who were outraged at the suggestion that they would struggle quite a lot in the beginning.

      I do think Kanter has a chance to opt out if he keeps up this sort of production, specially since it sorta proves he can indeed play together with another 7 footer. The Knicks really do need to know what they’ve got in Hernangomez before deciding whether to commit long term to him or not.

    85. GoNyGoNyGo

      There’s a lot of chatter on a number of matters that I want to chime in on…

      Ntilikina – I made a point of not trying to evaluate him too early, PG being the most difficult position to learn in the NBA. I said that previously because I figured he has a lot of growing to do still. I’m not backing off that but I’ll admit that he’s starting at a much higher level than I expected. I’m absolutely giddy about his game. I’m eager to see the French Prince in his 3rd year. He is going to get better…much better!

      Porzingis – Extend him now! This was the year we all hoped for.

      Noah – It ain’t happening, but I cut him when he’s eligible to return. Second option is to do a 2-for-1 trade: Sessions and Kuz? Reality? We cut Sessions or Beasley.

      Melo – The flagrant 2 on him was an absolute joke. He must’ve pissed off some refs. I’m glad he’s doing OK. We just didn’t need his gravitational pull on this team.

      LeBron – I think I’m the one that laughed at the fact that he’s playing with: Rose, JR, Frye, Shump, and Calderon – all former Knicks. No wonder they’re sucking wind!

      Kanter – I keep saying that I’ve been impressed with his defense. It’s much improved. In last night’s game he played great team defense. He still needs to learn how to defend the rim.

      Tomorrow’s game against Charlotte – Kemba is a tough test for Frank. I won’t judge him if he falters but I’m real interested in seeing if Frank can stop him. Howard might overwhelm Kanter. That’s a challenge I’m interested in seeing.

    86. bobneptune

      This sounded like fantasy a week ago, but Cleveland/LeBron have some decisions to make. If it looks like Cleveland isn’t going anywhere (and if IT isn’t coming back soon at 100%, they aren’t) LeBron is going to leave and it is in his best interest to not waste this season and in Cleveland’s best interest to get something for him unlike the last time.

      LeBron has a no trade so he can pick his spot and if Cleveland balks, he can walk to LA anyway next year while wasting this season.

      The question is does Quantum leaping KP, Frank, Kantner, THJr, Dotson , Mc Dermott< 25 core plus KOQ resigned look better to LeBron than no shooting Ball, Randle, Kuzma, Nance, Clarkson, Ingram and maybe another UFA in the 3-5 yr window LeBron is looking at.

      Can Cleveland get better than WHG and this year's Knick #1 and Chicago's #2 plus Lee and Noah to make the salaries work where LeBron would be willing to go? Cleveland could then trade off Love, IT and Lee for picks and do a complete rebuild with their #1 and Nyets #1

      I think only Philly has maybe better assets but Embid is frail and a huge risk.

    87. er

      Dude, they are 4-5 and struggling, which is precisely what I said probably would happen. It’s clear they haven’t yet found out how to fit everyone together and their bench is really underwhelming. But I got called a homer and a Melo hater just by suggesting they wouldn’t be a top 5 team in the west right away.

      They have the #3 differential in the NBA and have a top 5 defense. I don’t think that’s considered struggling. They play in what looks like the most savage division in the NBA. They are 4-5 and a couple of plays and minutes from being 6-3. They arent executing everything perfectly and the teams they played capitalized. Dont make it seem like they are playing like the Cavs.

    88. Bruno Almeida

      @101

      That’s because they padded those stats really hard by demolishing the Bulls, the worst team in the league. They lost against every really good team they faced, their best win is either against Indiana or Milwaukee, 0-4 against the western conference. They are struggling.

    89. er

      @102

      Sigh, i really loathe coming here sometimes.

      Good teams blow out bad teams. That’s what they are supposed to do. If Towns is called for the illegal screen on the Wiggins bank shot and they are 5-4 Are they struggling? If They don’t give up a 5 point play to Kyrie and they hold on to that game Are they struggling?

      let alone what happened last night with that sham of an ejection.

      0-4 vs west against good teams and 3 of the 4 were on the road and the 4th was the half court shot that shouldnt have counted.

      You sound like a moron.

    90. swiftandabundant

      The one thing is that the Lakers would also be adding probably a top ten draft pick to that core you mentioned, maybe even top 5. Whereas if we made that proposed trade, we would not add another pick to our young core. To get LeBron though it might be worth it. I mean, I know people hate “win now” moves and LeBron is coming off his peak, but he’s still a top 5 player and will be very very good in the back half of his career. KP can be the number one option, letting LeBron rest more during the regular season. Frank, KP, LeBron, Dotson, Hardaway Kanter, KQ, McBuckets….its certainly an intriguing idea. At the very least we’d probably be guaranteed a trip to the finals the next few years. And if we kept our picks after this year, then we can still add youth and KP would still be in his prime when LeBron is winding down. Hmm…

    91. lavor postell

      You can’t keep your picks if you have Lebron because he will never commit to your franchise for longer than 1-2 years and will constantly put pressure on your FO to maximize his window with win now moves at the expense of the future health of your franchise. At his peak that was 100% worth it, but at age 32 I’m not certain I make that choice.

      Maybe I’m being over cautious and naive, but I like what we’re building right now and don’t want to get off track, even if it is for the 3rd greatest player of all time.

    92. nicos

      Can Cleveland get better than WHG and this year’s Knick #1 and Chicago’s #2 plus Lee and Noah to make the salaries work where LeBron would be willing to go? Cleveland could then trade off Love, IT and Lee for picks and do a complete rebuild with their #1 and Nyets #1

      It’d take the Knicks #1 just to move Noah who probably has the worst contract in the league. Plus two more years of Lee on a rebuilding team that already has JR- I can’t imagine Cleveland making that trade. Unless LBJ demands a trade they’re going to ride it out until IT gets back- or use Frye’s expiring and picks to bring in help- and hope LBJ can carry them in the playoffs.

    93. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, I don’t see how they could possibly trade Lebron before IT gets back. It wouldn’t make any sense. If they’re still playing terribly after IT gets back, then sure, maaaaaaaaybe you do something.

    94. d-mar

      You guys are forgetting the most attractive option for LeBron, the Rockets. He’d have to take less than the max, and Houston would have to do some Riley-esque cap clearing wizardry, but playing with Harden and Paul is way more attractive than other options like the Knicks or the Lakers.

    95. GoNyGoNyGo

      How long will LeBron be a dominating player? He’ll be 33 in a little over a month from now. When does he slide? 35? 38? 52? He’s closer to the end than the beginning.

    96. JK47

      It’s a good sign that very early in his career, Ntilikina is living up to his reputation as a defender. He’s the complete package on D: he can play harassing on-ball defense, he’s highly disruptive in the passing lanes, he gets skinny through screens and he plays defense with passion. He fouls a little too much but that will improve in time.

      On the defensive end he seems to have the ability to do all the things the scouting report said he could do, right out of the gate.

    97. MSA

      Is he really declining?

      Statistically he’s still above his career average in about almost every category…

    98. Cock Jowles, #1 All-Rookie Benchwarmer

      Porzingis – Extend him now! This was the year we all hoped for.

      This is the kind of dude who goes on one good Tinder date and buys an engagement ring the next day.

    99. Bruno Almeida

      @104

      And you sound, as usual, overly aggressive and childish. Nothing new to see here then!

      Lebron to the Knicks would still be freaking amazing, he’ll be good well into the later 30s with just how smart he is.

    100. kevin5318

      2012-13 Lebron was his peak so he’s obviously dropped off from there. Defensively its not really close.

    101. GoNyGoNyGo

      Is he really declining?

      I don’t know. But when does the decline begin? Nobody defeats father time. What we do know is that he’s not going to run faster, jump any higher or recover from injury faster. It’s not how life works.

      Here’s an article about NBA age. Interestingly, it was about LeBron but published 2 years ago (almost to the day!)The Aging of LeBron James

    102. Brian Cronin

      Lebron could decline and still be the best player on the team (Porzingis, for instance, is playing out of his mind and currently has a .219 WS/48 – Lebron currently has a .257 WS/48). Jordan was still elite at 34 and probably would have been at 35, as well. Lebron seems to be in even better shape now than Jordan was then. If there’s any way that you could get Lebron James on the team that didn’t involve trading Porzingis and Frank, you do it.

    103. er

      He’s not good at all defensively…of course he will block uniform you go up weak. But he”s nothing more than am average if not below avg defensive player

    104. er

      @104

      And you sound, as usual, overly aggressive and childish. Nothing new to see here then!

      Nah not really. When the knicks had a good record last year most ppl here said eh doesn’t matter look at the pythag. Now in the reverse , a team with no 10+ point losses including 3 road losses to teams with a combined record of 18-12 including a buzzer beater off an illegal screen, blowing a huge lead to the best team in the east who is 8-2 im wrong…. OK. Whatever

    105. hornyKnickfan

      The guy that’s sitting out there who would help us is Eric Bledsoe. He could actually play alongside Ntilikina in a dynamic 2 point guard scheme occasionally. We have a lot of pieces and maybe we can find a way to acquire him.

    106. ess-dog

      Man, a Lebron/KP pick n roll would be unstoppable. Just add a rebounder and 3pt shooters to that and voila…

    107. hornyKnickfan

      We could probably trade Kanter for Bledsoe today and slide Willy into that slot without losing too much.
      Plus Noah’s coming back soon and we still have Oak too. It might make sense for us.

    108. DRed

      I think OKC will be fine. Maybe not win 58 games fine, but comfortably make the playoffs fine.

      I also think it’s a bit too soon to start signing Lebron. We’ve played 2 teams with a good defense and they both wrecked us. It’d be awesome, obviously, but I think the basic thing with him and the Lakers is he just wants to live in LA and play for the Lakers.

    109. Brian Cronin

      I think OKC will be fine. Maybe not win 58 games fine, but comfortably make the playoffs fine.

      Yeah, I have no worries about them making the playoffs. They’ll make it pretty easily.

      I also think it’s a bit too soon to start signing Lebron. We’ve played 2 teams with a good defense and they both wrecked us. It’d be awesome, obviously, but I think the basic thing with him and the Lakers is he just wants to live in LA and play for the Lakers.

      Oh yeah, don’t get me wrong, Lebron is not coming here. Just noting that if he DID want to come here, the Knicks should do anything in their power to achieve that. I agree that he’s almost certainly staying put or going to the Lakers.

    110. hornyKnickfan

      Kanter is probably at close to peak value right now and Willy makes $15 million less per year. Plus he’s locked up for three more seasons, I believe, after this one. Bledsoe excelled under Hornacek and probably already knows all of our plays.

    111. Brian Cronin

      Phoenix already has an overcrowded frontcourt. I don’t think they’d want to add Kanter to it.

    112. Ntilakilla

      I still don’t understand why we want to trade Kanter for a player in Bledsoe whose team couldn’t wait to get rid of and played better after they got rid of him.

    113. GoNyGoNyGo

      Brian,
      I agree that LeBron at 33 could be better than KP at 22. But what about LeBron at 36 and KP at 25? If you look at career trajectories of guys like Jordan and Kobe and compare to LeBron, you’ll see the bell curve is similar.

    114. hornyKnickfan

      It’s possible that the Suns started to play better when they changed coaches. Bledsoe excelled under Hornacek.

    115. Brian Cronin

      Brian,
      I agree that LeBron at 33 could be better than KP at 22. But what about LeBron at 36 and KP at 25? If you look at career trajectories of guys like Jordan and Kobe and compare to LeBron, you’ll see the bell curve is similar.

      Lebron at 36 will probably still be a very good player, but even if he is “only” good by then, you’d still have already had Lebron at Age 34-35, which would be amazing.

    116. Z-man

      I like Bledsoe but we’re getting waaaay ahead of ourselves here. He’s not the right fit with this team right now.

      The current hype is largely based on one very nice win, but let’s not make it like we beat the GSW on the road on the second night of a back-to-back at the tail end of a west cost swing. We’ve beaten the pitiful Nets and Suns, the dysfunctional Cavs, the middling Nuggets and Pacers, and we’ve gotten embarrassed by the Rockets, Celts and Thunder, and beaten easily by the Pistons despite a 21-pt lead. Everything clicked vs. the Pacers in the last 14 minutes, but for nearly 3 quarters they were destroying us.

      We started off 14-10 last year. The year before that we started off 8-6, the last two wins vs. the Rockets and Thunder on the road, and were over .500 more than halfway through the season.

      I really like what I’m seeing, but only relative to the low expectations most of us had coming into the season. KP is blossoming into a legit superstar, but was completely neutralized by the Celts and Rockets. Frank has had one good 14-minute run, but has pretty much been a rookie clusterfuck outside of that (remember the hand-wringing here after Brandin Jennings put up a 55-pt game a few games into his rookie season?) Kanter is living large right now, but he’s keeping key young player Willy on the bench, which might not be a good thing. Same for Beasley vs. Kuz/Dotson.

      All I’m really saying is let’s wait until the schedule balances out before we judge this team. It’s a long way to the end of November. We’ll know so much more by then, and at that point should consider moves to make us better in the long term. Not before.

    117. lavor postell

      If Phoenix couldn’t wait to get rid of him they wouldn’t have had an absurd valuation of him for the past year and a half. The reason they want to trade him now is because he’s sick of their bullshit, which seems to be a running theme for Suns guards like Dragic and IT. McDonough is a fucking clown.

    118. Bruno Almeida

      I would keep Kanter over Bledsoe, even though it would solve the logjam. By all measures Kanter is a superior player in terms of production and Bledsoe has already shown he can be lazy and uninterested, and also perceives himself as a superstar.

      He’s also almost 28 and nearing the end of his prime with an injury history and has never been the greatest passer or shooter. It would be a shortsighted a win-now move when, like Z-Man said, we don’t even know if this team is legit still.

      Like I said before, wait until the deadline. If this team is .500 or around it and showing real signs of development all over do something. If not, ride the contracts out, let the kids develop and try to trade the older guys. There’s 0 need to hurry.

    119. Z-man

      In keeping an open mind, I understand that the argument for acquiring Bledsoe for Kanter is logical. Bledsoe would be more of an upgrade over Jack than Willy would be a downgrade over Kanter. And there would be a benefit in giving Willy a chance to improve and develop chemistry with KP. But right now, this team has a camaraderie and chemistry that is very fragile. Why disturb the mood for a potential injury-prone, ball-dominant malcontent?

    120. Z-man

      Food for thought…

      Ian Begley
      ESPN Staff Writer

      Trey Burke had a franchise-record 43 points in the Westchester Knicks’ win over the Delaware 87ers tonight.

    121. TheOakmanCometh

      Wait, why would Phoenix trade Bledsoe for Kanter? Bledsoe is a better player, plays a more valuable position, makes less money, and doesn’t have a player option.

      It’s not like the Suns have to either accept our best offer or keep Bledsoe. There are 28 other teams that can bid.

    122. Ntilakilla

      Man, it must be me. I don’t get what’s so valuable about a 28-year-old player with a 0.98 career WS/48.

    123. Jack Bauer

      I am not falling for that Lebron to the Knicks pipedream again – no, no no.
      Not happening, move on,.

    124. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The Knicks should be looking to steal Michael Kidd Gilchrist from the Hornets. He’s 24 years old and comes at a fair price. He can’t shoot but he’s the rebounder type we need. I don’t expect Philly to trade us RoCo, who would be perfect, so MKG and his contract are what we should target.

    125. bockadoo

      @145. MKG is out for tonight’s game and has been for the last two for personal reasons. What’s going on there?

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