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Monday, August 20, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.01.17)

  • [NYDN] Hornacek warns Knicks should stop drinking their own Kool Aid
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:51:57 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek is in the unenviable position of being the last executive’s hire and the first fall guy if expectations aren’t met.

  • [NYDN] Kanter rejects Hornacek’s reason for gluing him to Knicks bench
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:50:56 PM)

    Enes Kanter is still perplexed by his erratic playing time and rejected Jeff Hornacek’s reason for gluing him to the bench.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis has fifth-highest selling jersey in NBA
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:30:00 PM)

    Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis checks in at fifth among the NBA’s top-selling jerseys for the first three months of the season.

  • [SNY Knicks] Daily News Live: Knicks’ outlook
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:31:17 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] In Knicks debut, Trey Burke shows what he has to offer
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:28:41 PM)

    In just eight minutes, the Knicks’ newest PG Trey Burke showed exactly what he can bring to the table for the second half of the season.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis breaks cold streak with efficient performance against Nets
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9:40:44 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis said he needed to make an adjustment in his style of play, and he answered with a 26-point surge against the Nets on Monday.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ road trip turns tougher with next six games vs. Western Conference
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 4:45:17 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek met with his players before the Knicks began their long road trip and urged them not to look at it as daunting or difficult. He tried to appeal to their sense of togetherness and challenged them to return home with a feeling of accomplishment.

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ bench is turning into a strength
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 9:18:37 PM)

    The Knicks’ bench has earned some praise. In the past eight games, Knicks subs have outscored the opposition by more than 100 points — 358 to 248, or 44.75 to 31.0 points per game. Those bench players have featured a starter, Tim Hardaway Jr., for a couple of games, sometime starter Michael Beasley as an…

  • [NYPost] Can trip that’s supposed to kill the Knicks actually cure them?
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 12:52:40 PM)

    What many have viewed for some time as the possible end of Knicks 2017-18 life as we know it, coach Jeff Hornacek sees as undeniable opportunity. That was his take on the upcoming six-game “away” segment of the Knicks’ longest road trip of the season. He might be right. “This is an opportunity,” Hornacek said…

  • [NYPost] What a Knicks sell-off would look like after Hornacek clue
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:15:45 AM)

    As the Knicks head west to finish up what’s billed as a make-or-break, seven-game road trip, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek warned the media to slow its roll. Perhaps Hornacek’s statement should have been uttered by the new Knicks regime. Hornacek said a mouthful after the Knicks started their trip with a 119-104 MLK Day matinee…

  • [NYPost] Hornacek picks good time to lay out Porzingis’ path to greatness
    (Tuesday, January 16, 2018 8:24:34 AM)

    With criticism mounting about Kristaps Porzingis’ long-term durability, Jeff Hornacek quickly came to the 7-foot-3 Latvian’s defense on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Monday’s was the 26 best-looking points Porzingis has scored in a while, and it came at a perfect time. Even before the Nets game, Hornacek put in a Porzingis plug to eradicate…

  • [NYTimes] Jo Jo White, Deadeye Shooter for Boston Celtics, Dies at 71
    (Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:53:51 AM)

    White played 10 seasons for the Celtics and helped lead the team to N.B.A. championships in 1974 and 1976.

  • [NYTimes] Angry Words and Ejections as Chris Paul Returns to Los Angeles
    (Wednesday, January 17, 2018 4:56:21 AM)

    For the Rockets and Clippers, confrontations on the court, and maybe later by the locker room.

  • 71 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.01.17)

    1. Frank

      This six game road trip is so huge for the future of this team — really will be impactful in terms of how the FO decides to move forward. The trade deadline is Feb 8 and so this road trip will really determine whether we have any chance at the playoffs.

      IMHO – we really need to go .500 or better on this trip in order to even have the slightest justification to try for the playoffs and not trading guys who may bring back assets. We really SHOULD beat Memphis, the Lakers, the Jazz, and the Suns regardless of whether we’re home or away.

      Re: the discussion yesterday about the Cavs ability to trade their own pick –this is from cbafaq:

      Teams are required to have only a first round pick, and not necessarily their own first round pick. Teams may trade away their own future picks in consecutive years if they already own another team’s unconditional first round pick in one of those years. For example, if this is the 2017-18 season and a team has already traded away its 2019 first round pick, it cannot trade its 2018 pick. However, if it acquires another team’s first round pick in either 2018 or 2019, its own 2018 pick can then be traded.

      So yes, the Cavs can trade one of their 2018 first picks (their own or the Nets pick)

    2. Hubert

      2. IMO, Lee fits better [in Cleveland], but getting back someone young or a pick can be problematical

      I would love to get back Osman or Cleveland’s 1 for Lee, but we have to be honest. Getting out of the last two years of Lee’s deal is going to be a reward in itself. If all else fails, I would be very happy if Perry managed to swing Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas for Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert, with no picks attached. We’d save $8mm next year and $19mm the following summer.

    3. Frank

      Trolling through lineup data, and the one that is interesting is Frank+THJ+KP, otherwise known as the 3 building blocks of the team. One would think these 3 should play together a lot since they are, you know, the building blocks of the team.

      First thing of note – this 3-man lineup is insanely good – ORtg 124.1 (99th percentile), DRtg 92.8 (99th percentile).

      Second thing of note – these 3 have only played 187 possessions together (not quite 2 games worth of possessions). Why in the world is that?!

      By comparison, Dallas (who also has a rookie PG playing with 2 more established guys) has played 883 possessions with DSJ/Dirk/Barnes.

    4. Grocer

      Outside of the guys we’ve said we won’t trade (KP, Frank, Willie), I don’t think we actually have any solid tradeable assets. Lee’s playing great but he’s old and on a too long and too large contract. KOQ is playing better than ever, but is viewed as a backup and he’d just be a rental. LT makes too much for what he does. No one trusts that Beasley will be consistent, and he’s a rental. Kanter, way too much money, negative playoff stigma. McBuckets doesn’t move anyone’s needle.

      The FO doesn’t want to tank, so we’re only gonna move folks if we get value back. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see us doing anything at the deadline.

    5. Grocer

      Why in the world is that?!

      Frank’s limited minutes early in the season and THjr’s injury? I want to see more of this lineup over the next couple weeks.

    6. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      The FO doesn’t want to tank, so we’re only gonna move folks if we get value back. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see us doing anything at the deadline.

      I’ll be surprised if they don’t move O’Quinn. I like O’Quinn. In my ideal world we’d try to trade Kanter instead. That would free up Willy who has a similar game. I’m not sure how trading O’Quinn frees Willy unless on the nights Kanter has a bad matchup you play Willy and get the same bad matchup. I see Noah as the more logical replacement for O’Quinn’s minutes.

      It’s a matter of what we can get for O’Quinn. Unfortunately, we may be disappointed, but whatever it is, it’s probably going to be better than allowing him to walk for nothing.

      Everyone knows I have less of an issue with Lee than the consensus. I don’t see much upside to moving him just to get him off the books quicker. What are we going to do with that cap space other than sign another veteran player to a fair (or in our case possibly poor) contract. The idea with Lee would be to get back a young player or decent pick that could help long term. That’s won’t be as easy as just trading him for another good vet because we are limited to teams that are willing to trade long term value for the better player now. There are only a handful of teams like that.

    7. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      Was Isiah lucky or good? The sample is too small to know.

      You can’t just look at his drafts. If you look at his trades and FA signings, you realize he couldn’t tell an NBA player from a bobsledder.

      lol

      I agree that you should look at someone’s overall record, but I do think it’s possible to be good at the draft and not so good with trades and signings (I’m not necessarily making the case that Isiah was good at the draft).

      When you are evaluating trades and free agents, you typically have a long statistical record, film, input from coaches, and scouting reports to evaluate how good the player has been at the NBA level and what you might do to use him better. It’s a snapshot. Whether you are good or bad with trades/FAs is primarily dependent on how well you evaluate that snapshot and translate it into value.

      When you are evaluating draft prospects, you have similar data, but a much bigger piece of the puzzle is knowing the probability and extent of improvement that can be expected over time given that these players are so young.

      I remember Isiah talking about personality traits he looked for among kids that he thought made it more likely they would get good. Maybe he had a legitimate value oriented insight into those probabilities that was useful in the draft but not very useful for evaluating older players and how much they were worth.

      More likely is that he was lucky in the draft.

    8. vincoug

      er
      January 17, 2018 at 8:52 am
      wait are we still talking about playoffs?

      Tank, tank, tank, tank!

      This is widely regarded as a 6-player draft, though my thoughts are that it’s really a 3 or 4-player draft depending on how bad Porter’s injury is. Even with yesterday’s win we’re still only 4.5 games out from being tied with LAL and Phoenix for 6th.

    9. SJK

      This an incredibly deep draft. There are 9 guys in the lottery who would be excellent for us:

      -Doncic
      -Ayton
      -Porter
      -Young
      -Jaren Jackson
      -Bagley
      -Mikal Bridges
      -Collin Sexton
      -Miles Bridges

      The higher our draft pick the better, but I’d be extremely happy with any of those first 7 guys, and content with Sexton or Miles Bridges.

    10. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      There is value at every level of the draft. The only place I don’t really want to be picking is that 7-10 where you’re probably forced to reach on a guy like Miles Bridges who’s probably just a poor man’s Harrison Barnes. You can get a franchise player from 1-6. 11-20 you can grab an NBA starter level talent like Kevin Knox or Troy Brown Jr, and in the 20s you can get Jalen Brunson. The 2nd round has guys like Aaron Holiday and Allonzo Trier, who are flat out excellent college players. This draft might turn out to be the best of the decade.

    11. djphan

      i think the high end guys are overrated besides doncic and possibly young…. for what we need.. which is a sf… picking in the late lotto – mid first rd is actually kind of ideal….

      another guy to keep an eye on.. jarred vanderbilt… he just came back from a foot injury.. which was his second injury to that foot…. but out of all the guys that we’ve talked about on this board as remote possibilities he has the most talent…

    12. ess-dog

      Vanderbilt looks a lot like a poor man’s Ben Simmons but is an even worse shooter – 20% from three thus far. He’s a physical talent, but so is a guy like Diallo. He’s a project for sure.

    13. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Make no mistake about it, Luka Doncic and Trae Young are overrated prospects. They are surefire NBA players, but they do not possess the ability to physically dominate a game at the NBA level. A lot of guys have can’t miss statistical profiles and end up being productive but not elite. DeAndre Ayton is the best player in this draft because his film, stats, and athleticism are unbelievable. He’s a true #1 guy on both ends of the court.

      I love Doncic and Young, by the way. It just takes a lot for me to believe that they are the true franchise alphas that can carry your team to a victory night in and night out. For the Knicks I think they would fit perfectly because we already have KP, Frank, and TH2 in place. You could build one hell of a system around Young/Doncic, Frank Ntilikina, KP, and TH2. They’re franchise 1Bs to me, not the 1A type that guys like Durant, Harden, Towns, and Giannis have proven to be. To be the main man amongst the best athletes in the world, you kinda have to be an elite athlete. Having the strength and speed to deal with an NBA defense is important as we’re seeing firsthand with KP. If he had the requisite strength necessary to be a franchise player the Knicks would be a playoff team.

      Even if Trae Young is Steve Nash and Luka Doncic is Manu Ginobili, that is absolutely worth a top 3 pick in this draft. That is clearly franchise altering talent, but I’m not sure it’s equal to being the guy who is the best player on a championship level team.

    14. Hubert

      The FO doesn’t want to tank, so we’re only gonna move folks if we get value back.

      Dumping bad contracts is not tanking.

    15. SJK

      I mean, yeah, Nash and Manu are all-time great players. You’d take them in the top 3 of any draft.

      I’d obviously like to be in the top 5-6, but there is value to be had in the 7-10 range of this draft. Mikal Bridges is a perfect fit at the 3 for any team and Sexton/Frank would be an intriguing 1-2 punch in the back court. If JJJ somehow dropped to 7, he’d be awesome. Miles Bridges would be a nice fit at the 4 next to KP as well, but in terms of value he’s probably more of a late-lottery guy.

    16. djphan

      ayton’s problem is that he doesn’t block shots…. if you’re a top center prospect that is absolutely a requirement given their defensive responsibilities… okafor is an example of a guy who took advantage of smaller college guys on offense but the low block rates portended bad things in the nba…

    17. 2FOR18, understands math

      From the “this trade makes too much sense to happen” department: Lee straight up for Kidd-Gilchrist.

      Both have 3 years left, with MKG making about 1.25 mil per year more.
      For us, we get a 24 year old defensive whiz at SF, no more watching Lance Thomas, it frees up 2 guard minutes for our young 2 guards, and no more watching Lance Thomas. Now, to say MKG can’t shoot would be an understatement, but we can’t have everything, we’re the Knicks.
      Charlotte gets more shooting to surround Dwight with, and could just move Batum over to the 3 to replace MKG.

      Frank, Timmy, MKG and KP would be fun as hell to watch, with an average age of 22.5!

    18. Grocer

      Dumping bad contracts is not tanking.

      The proposed trade with the Cavs (Lee and LT for Shump and Frye) is basically dumping contracts so we get worse. That’s the entire point of it for the Knicks.

    19. ess-dog

      O’Quinn is a goner. Kanter is still being talked about as part of the “young core” and Kyle’s worth the rental price of a late 1st. If they could add Thomas to that trade, I’d be ecstatic.

      I think Lee will stay. He’s worth more to us than anyone else.

    20. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Okafor was a bad college rebounder, and I said at the time he needed to be in a position where he could be the Pau Gasol to somebody’s Andrew Bynum. Okafor was also about 6’9” and Ayton is 7’1” 250. Look at this film and tell me this isn’t a kid who deserves to go 1st overall:

      https://youtu.be/GEZ-5X8sm9Q

      Oregon literally has to triple team him on the catch. Watch how they couldn’t get him the ball on one possession so they just took a bad shot and let him fight for the offensive rebound. This is the kind of dominance that gives you an unfair advantage. This kid is like Shaq except you can’t foul him because he’ll just make the free throws. So he doesn’t block shots yet. Maybe he’ll never be an elite shot blocker, but he is the kind of player that causes defenses to move and leave guys open on the three point line. His ability to physically dominate a game is unlike anyone else in this draft and that’s why you take him number one. His combination of size, speed, talent, and basketball IQ is the best of everyone in this draft.

    21. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I’ve been banging the MKG drum for a long time now, but I don’t think Charlotte budges. They’re trying to rebuild apparently so getting older wouldn’t help, even if Lee makes a ton of sense for them (which he does). MKG, Frank, and KP together defensively would be unfair, and you could compensate for his inability to shoot it if you’ve been playing Lance Thomas starter’s minutes.

    22. vincoug

      i think the high end guys are overrated besides doncic and possibly young…. for what we need.. which is a sf… picking in the late lotto – mid first rd is actually kind of ideal….

      another guy to keep an eye on.. jarred vanderbilt… he just came back from a foot injury.. which was his second injury to that foot…. but out of all the guys that we’ve talked about on this board as remote possibilities he has the most talent…

      What we need is talent all across the board. A 3 would be nice but so would a 1, 2 (I don’t give two shits about THJr), 4, or 5.

    23. djphan

      @28 – i totally agree… but where we would be drafting it just so happens the best players available are at SF…. i don’t think someone like sexton or even jackson are better than either bridges or brown or vanderbilt… and i don’t think they would fall to that area in any case….

    24. Hubert

      The proposed trade with the Cavs (Lee and LT for Shump and Frye) is basically dumping contracts so we get worse. That’s the entire point of it for the Knicks.

      It has nothing to do with getting better or worse. They have terrible contracts.

      Would you say no if someone offered an expiring for Noah, too?

    25. Bruno Almeida

      I think if anyone has the chance to draft the new Steve Nash you do it 100% of the time 1st overall, and I really disagree he was a “1B”. He was the clear best player on a team that didn’t reach the finals in extremely unlucky situations. If just one thing happens differently in those series we would remember him a lot more like we do Nowitzki now, another presumed “1B” guy for the longest time.

    26. Z-man

      I think Lee’s contract is very fair at worst. Lance is definitely overpaid, but hardly a “terrible” contract. We could think of other ways to spend the money, but taking back Shump and Frye is not worth it unless we get an asset.

    27. Grocer

      Would you say no if someone offered an expiring for Noah, too?

      Obviously you’d say yes, but that’s not happening. What are we gonna spend the money on that’d we’d clear up? So somebody pay us a pick to take on another long and bad contract, or overpay another RFA? Cap space has value but less value for the Knicks at this specific moment. If we needed it we’d waive Noah.

    28. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Steve Nash was definitely a 1B type, which isn’t a slight to him at all. 1A types are guys like LeBron, KD, Anthony Davis, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Steve Nash couldn’t physically dominate games but he was a franchise altering talent. And you don’t draft Trae Young over DeAndre Ayton or Luka Doncic. I think they are the clear top prospects in this draft and will go 1 and 2 on draft night. Young’s build gives him close to no chance at being a good defender while Ayton and Doncic have the size to be plus players at that end.

      If Steve Nash was in the same draft as David Robinson and Manu Ginobili, in hindsight you do not take Steve Nash first. That’s essentially what we have here with Ayton, Doncic, and Young.

    29. ClashFan

      I hope that the Knicks do not do a deal just to free up a bit of cap space; rather, get a young asset (draft pick or young interesting player like Osman). That might be hard to do as we really don’t know what other teams are willing to give for a Lee, OQ, LT, or Kanter.

      OQ still just seems like the most likely to go. There is some buzz in the media about him. He’s inexpensive, so should be easily able to fit, and productive (though probably viewed by other teams as a 20 mpg at most guy). Moving him also frees up some time for Willy.

      As for Noah, I’m more for being Machiavellian with him. Don’t play him at all. Maybe he’ll get dejected, want out, and accept a reasonable buyout. A longshot, I know, but if you let him know that the team is rebuilding and he won’t get any minutes…

      Kanter is useful but overpaid. He’s really just a good scoring big off the bench with excellent intangibles. At about half his current salary he’d be a nice deal.

    30. chrisk06811

      On the 4 team trade suggested, why would Chicago want frye and shump?

      On the Charlotte idea, why would they want Lee over MKG, if that’s all they are getting? They are out of it, and they already have Batum at SG…..I would think they would want to get younger.

    31. Frank

      Re: Isiah – talent evaluation is one thing and putting a team together that is fiscally responsible and makes sense on the court is another thing. Isiah might be ok as a VP of Player Personnel but contracts/cap management/team construction was a disaster.

      Trae Young is putting up Steph Curry+ numbers – doesn’t matter if he’s physically dominating or not. Dude is putting up 30/10/4 on a TS of 62 and a usage of 39. He may be playing in the same Oklahoma system but his game is completely different from Buddy Hield, who averaged 2 assists per game as a college SENIOR – Trae Young is doing this as a 19 year old freshman. (random note – Ntilikina is only 1+ months older than Trae Young). In today’s NBA, I think it’d be nuts if Trae Young wasn’t a top 5 pick.

      Re: MKG – put me down as never wanting a wing player that can’t shoot at all – especially one that is making 8 figures. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is a much better all around player and makes the league minimum.

      I somehow feel we are going to end up with Miles Bridges. He just feels Knicksy to me. If he can somehow play the swing 3/4 position, it might be a pretty good fit. He is absolutely explosively athletic, which would be really welcome on this team.

    32. mase

      36

      youre right they wouldnt but the 2nd trade i included osman, i dont know if they would do that either

    33. Cock Jowles, Living through the Melo Era All Over Again

      Make no mistake about it, Luka Doncic and Trae Young are overrated prospects. They are surefire NBA players, but they do not possess the ability to physically dominate a game at the NBA level. A lot of guys have can’t miss statistical profiles and end up being productive but not elite.

      Just for fun:

      Weaknesses: Far below NBA standard in regard to explosivenes and athleticism … At 6-2, he’s extremely small for the NBA shooting guard position, and it will likely keep him from being much of a defender at the next level … Although he’s playing point guard this year, he’s not a natural point guard that an NBA team can rely on to run a team … Struggles defensively getting around screens … Can overshoot and rush into shots from time to time (vs. WV) … Hasn’t had to deal with getting benched due to poor performance (shooting) which has allowed him to shoot through any slumps. Will have to adjust to not being a volume shooter which could have an effect on his effectiveness … Doesn’t like when defenses are too physical with him … Not a great finisher around the basket due to his size and physical attributes … Makes some silly mistakes at the PG position. Needs to add some muscles to his upper body, but appears as though he’ll always be skinny …

      Lacks great athletic ability, although he shows good quickness … Body is on the small side, short arms and lack of great natural body strength

      Name that player.

      (“Athleticism” is overrated. Jokic is a “bad” athlete compared to, say, Gerald Green, but he’s a much, much better player.)

    34. 2FOR18, understands math

      The reason I want to get rid of Lee is that we are paying 26 mil a year for 2 average guys who play the same position and are both deserving of 30 mins a night. Plus, Frank and Dotson should be getting minutes at the 2 as well. After nearly 20 years of redundancy, I’d like to see a roster that makes sense. The longer this situation drags out , the worse it is for the team’s development, which is all that should matter at this point.

    35. Brian Cronin

      I somehow feel we are going to end up with Miles Bridges. He just feels Knicksy to me. If he can somehow play the swing 3/4 position, it might be a pretty good fit. He is absolutely explosively athletic, which would be really welcome on this team.

      Bridges has long seemed destined to be a Knick, but yeah, he’s also probably going to be a decent NBA player, so I can’t mind it too much if it happens.

    36. geo

      if it were just a matter of whom to keep: kanter or o’ quinn (forgetting about the fact we already have noah and willy) – despite the fact o’ quinn is a couple years older, i’d rather have kyle on the team…

    37. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      Dumping bad contracts is not tanking.

      Just for the record, a contract is not bad just because it’s long, the player doesn’t fit your team, and/or the player doesn’t fit your development cycle.

      It’s bad if you could easily get better players for the same price or equal payers for less in free agency.

      It’s bad if you would have to add an incentive to get anyone to trade with you.

      Once you define it as bad, then the longer it is, the worse it is.

      O’Quinn does not really fit perfectly on the Knicks because we have a glut at C and would like to play Willy more minutes. He’s also older than some of our key young players (though not significantly enough to matter much).

      He’s on a good contract. It would be really tough to get a player his caliber for the same amount of money. In fact, you could argue that if he was on a 3-4 year contract it would be even better despite not being on our timetable. Locking him in for longer at that price would be good (even though it won’t happen).

      Noah is a bad contract.

      IMO, Kanter is bad contract.

      IMO, Thomas is a bad contract, but not hugely significant.

      IMO, the jury is still out on THJ.

      IMO, Lee is a fair contract even though we have duplication at SG between him and THJ and he’s older. He’s simply not a perfect fit on our team and on our timetable. He’s also tougher to trade if we insist on picks and young players.

    38. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      That’s probably Steph Curry and it reads a lot like Trae Young. You’re missing the point though. The point is that in this draft, there is a superior prospect to Doncic and Young because they are not the superior athlete that you get out of DeAndre Ayton. Ayton provides you with the statistical profile to go with the physical profile and he’s not a low IQ player either. He’s the complete package when it comes to size, stats, and smarts. There’s a reason LeBron and MJ are the conversation for greatest ever; it’s because they were the best combination of skill, athleticism, and smarts. Ayton is a generational talent and I believe he would be the #1 pick in every draft since Towns came out. Even over Ben Simmons, who is a worse shooter than Ayton.

      So yes, athleticism is overrated by a lot of people. They see a big dunk and think he has all star potential in the case of a guy like Hamidou Diallo. I’m talking about the evaluation of the top of the board, and how Ayton’s superior athleticism in combination with his skills and basketball IQ makes him a better prospect than Young and Ayton.

    39. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      @The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Having the strength and speed to deal with an NBA defense is important as we’re seeing firsthand with KP. If he had the requisite strength necessary to be a franchise player the Knicks would be a playoff team.

      Porzingis getting stronger is a certainty. I’d say it’s close to 100% unless injuries/health issues prevent it or he gets ridiculously lazy. He’s way stronger now than he was as a rookie and he’s still very young. He’s definitely going to put on some weight as he matures and seems fine with working out with weights.

    40. swiftandabundant

      A little off topic but I think we need to expand our idea of a “timetable” when we’re talking about players we want going forward.

      One thing that some people have talked about when it comes to players and them dropping off in production is that we shouldn’t just look at a player’s age. Obviously guys in their 30s are closer to the end of their careers than the beginning, but there is a big difference between say 32 year old Carmelo Anthony, who has played in the NBA since he was 19, has been a starter his whole career and has played in international play a lot. Melo (and I’m just using him as an example) has A LOT of miles on his tires.

      So if you were targeting a free agent like him to be a starter on your team going forward that would be a bad move. He’s gonna continue to decline.

      However, if you’re targeting say a bench free agent. Like say Michael Beasley or OQuinn, just looking at their age won’t give you a clear picture of how quickly they will decline. If you’re talking about a career bench player, you’re talking about someone averaging say 15 to 20 minutes a game as opposed to 30 to 35 minutes a game. Or maybe they started their career later because they were in college longer. A one and done player would in theory have 3 extra years of NBA basketball mileage on them than a 4 year college player.

      So my point is that if we’re looking at a guy like OQuinn or Beasley, I don’t think we should just dismiss these guys because they are in their late 20s as opposed to mid or early 20s. If we’re looking to resign them on reasonable contracts for the next 3 to 5 years and they’re going to be bench pieces that play 10 to 20 minutes a night and not starters, we shouldn’t assume they’re going to be bad contributors in their early or even mid 30s. Yes they are aging like everyone but they haven’t put the same amount of miles on their body as a guy who has started his whole career.

    41. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      I’m not arguing that athleticism doesn’t matter. IMO, it does. But IMO not being an elite athlete does not prevent you from becoming a franchise player.

      I would not consider Jame Harden an elite athlete by NBA standards, but I would put him on the franchise player list.

      I don’t even think Chris Paul is an elite athlete by NBA standards, but I’d put him in my top 5 PGs of all time.

      Larry Bird was an average athlete by NBA standards (maybe even below average).

      Athleticism is one of several important factors that determine how far you will go, but it’s not an elimination factor.

    42. Hubert

      IMO, Lee is a fair contract

      At this precise moment in time, Lee is making his $12mm AAV look fair. That doesn’t mean he’s on a fair contract. It means we should hurry up and move him before he regresses.

      He’s having arguably the best season of his career at age 32. We have him locked in to his age 33 at 34 seasons. He’s very unlikely to maintain this level of play, and perception of that contract will change drastically when he inevitably slips.

    43. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      @47

      I agree 100%.

      Also, since I’m in the “there are multiple paths to heaven” camp and don’t think tanking or going all young has such a terrific track record of success, I’d say you should be open to any bargains that can be used later to fill needs.

    44. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      At this precise moment in time, Lee is making his $12mm AAV look fair. That doesn’t mean he’s on a fair contract. It means we should hurry up and move him before he regresses.

      He’s having arguably the best season of his career at age 32. We have him locked in to his age 33 at 34 seasons. He’s very unlikely to maintain this level of play. It’s still a bad contract, he’s giving us a window move it. It would be extremely unwise to do nothing.

      I agree with most of what you are saying, but I’d be willing to take even money he remains productive for another 2 years (for whoever he plays for). Then when he’s gone you get the cap space back and can fill it again with the best possible candidate available.

      I have never had an issue with trading him.

      I have been saying 3 things.

      1. They haven’t been shopping him up until now. I know this because someone inside told me. (I have no idea yet if that has changed).

      2. It would be foolish to dump him just to get out of the contract quicker and get worse. That’s not how you rebuild a team. You get better by winning trades. For us that would mean trading him for a lesser player with upside or a pick. We would sacrifice some short term but for greater potential long term.

      3. It would be easy to trade him, but if we insist on #2, that limits the possibilities. That does not make it bad contract. That means putting conditions on the trade can make it tougher to find a partner.

    45. Hubert

      It would be foolish to dump him just to get out of the contract quicker and get worse

      I wouldn’t do Lee for Shump just to get rid of Lee.

      But if the market for Lee doesn’t develop, I would at the very least use him as the incentive to get rid of Lance. I would prefer that to keeping the two of them. Having the two of them combine for $19mm a year through the 2020 season is bad for us.

    46. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I’m not really saying that athleticism is the end all be all to dominating NBA competition. If I’m comparing Doncic and Young to Ginobili and Nash I obviously think highly of them. My point is that while those guys are all timers, there are players I would have taken on my team ahead of them. DeAndre Ayton has the potential to be one of those guys. He’s truly a special talent, and I think he should be taken 1st over potential HOF guys in Doncic, Bagley, and Young.

    47. Bruno Almeida

      The thing is, glass half rebuilt, the draft is most of the time equal parts maximizing potential talent and minimizing risk.

      If you tell me you’re 100% sure both Ayton and Doncic for example will pan out and develop as projected in their best case scenarios then sure, I can see picking Ayton first.

      As it is, we have a ton of evidence Doncic can, at 18, not only be good but excel at the 2nd best league in the world, while we have great stats for Ayton in a pretty talented Arizona team that’s only 14-4.

      Doncic seems to be the safer pick and the guy most likely to reach his full potential, even if his absolute best projection is slightly worse than Ayton’s best case scenario.

    48. Cock Jowles, Living through the Melo Era All Over Again

      I agree that Ayton looks incredible in the footage I’ve seen, but athleticism doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t read the play, or if you don’t have the eyesight/depth perception/muscle memory to pull up from 28 feet and sink the J. Jumping high =/= knowing where you are on the court while making a split-second decision to pull up.

    49. Bruno Almeida

      My point is, if you give me a choice between a guy who 95% will be Steve Nash or a 50-50 chance between Shaq and Hassan Whiteside, I’ll pick Nash.

    50. 2FOR18, understands math

      Yeah, there’s no reason O’Quinn can’t keep doing what he’s been doing his whole career for another 4-5, or even 7-8, years.

    51. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      There’s no guarantee Trae Young actually develops into Steve Nash, but I’m nitpicking there. Luka Doncic and DeAndre Ayton will without a doubt be excellent ball players, but I don’t know if Doncic’s success means more than Ayton’s. LeBron was a high schooler and KD went to Texas. You can’t discount the American system.

    52. Bruno Almeida

      @60

      My idea was not to discount it. Hell, Giannis came out of the 2nd tier of greek basketball, Nowitzki came from Germany, great talents come from everywhere.

      It’s just that when there is a choice involved all factors have to be taken into consideration, and dominating at Real Madrid is higher on the priority list for me than being great at Arizona.

    53. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Understood, and I think his success at that level is hard to deny, too. The thing is that above all else I’m a film guy. Watching DeAndre Ayton’s film shows so much and then his stat profile is also impressive. It’s the combination of the two that put him over the edge for me. Doncic dominates in many ways, but he’s a perimeter player with a mid 30s 3PT% and no ability to blow by guys. It’s not exactly a red flag, but it’s a concern. I’m certain he’ll be productive, but I’m not sure he’s a superstar the way I’ve been convinced that Ayton will be a top 3 guy at his position.

    54. vincoug

      Whether Ayton is the top prospect or Doncic is or Bagley is besides the point. What we need to do is get into a position that we might be able to draft one of them.

    55. Stratomatic says "Frank is going to be a Triple Double threat eventually"

      My point is, if you give me a choice between a guy who 95% will be Steve Nash or a 50-50 chance between Shaq and Hassan Whiteside, I’ll pick Nash.

      I agree with this,but where you are in the rebuild probably should weigh a little.

      If you have your franchise player and are building around him you can probably lean a little more towards being safe than if you have your supporting cast but need a franchise star.

      That’s what’s been bugging me about KP. When I was feeling good about him eventually becoming a franchise centerpiece my ideas for how we should proceed with the rebuild were a little different than now when some doubts are creeping in.

    56. vincoug

      I agree with this,but where you are in the rebuild probably should weigh a little.

      If you have your franchise player and are building around him you can probably lean a little more towards being safe than if you have your supporting cast but need a franchise star.

      That’s what’s been bugging me about KP. When I was feeling good about him eventually becoming a franchise centerpiece my ideas for how we should proceed with the rebuild were a little different than now when some doubts are creeping in.

      I like KP but I’m not convinced that he’s ever going to be the MVP-caliber player you need to win a title. He has definitely shown flashes but obviously hasn’t put it all together. Until we know we have a franchise player our #1 goal should still be to acquire one.

    57. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Ayton is a bad defender and has motor issues. He’ll be good but I think choosing between him and bagley basically a coin flip at #3.

      See: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theringer.com/platform/amp/2017/12/7/16743900/deandre-ayton-arizona-blocks-nba-draft

      Doncic is literally the best player in the second best league in the world and is close to averaging a triple double at the age of 18. I just don’t see how this is a contest. Jokic can’t jump and he’s a top 10 player in the NBA. And Doncic’s defensive issues seem to me more fixable than Ayton’s.

      Trae Young is tempting but whenever youre dealing with outlier shooting production like that you have to consider the volatility involved.

    58. Bruno Almeida

      I was quite frankly a non-believer in Young, but after watching him he converted me. The kid is far from just a shooter, he has brilliant instincts and basketball iq.

      The turnovers are scary but the assist numbers and the steals are also legit.

      I would gladly draft him 4th as of now, maybe 3rd depending on team need.

    59. geo

      not sure if this applies to all cable networks – but, right now nba league pass is free through sunday on fios…

      it’ll be nice to watch this game on cable and not have to deal with the buffering during some games, that comes with the app …

    60. Jack Bauer

      @67 I watch a lot of Arizona games because my son goes to school there. For a “bad defender” I can tell you that Ayton blocks a lot of shots, alters countless others , and gets on the defensive glass.

      He and Bagley look to have very legit NBA talent.

    61. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      @70

      He has historically low block rates for a lottery big over the last decade or two and doesn’t really know how to move in space. The general consensus on him is that you’re not drafting him to be a two-way star, just hoping that he’s elite on offense and break-even on defense, like Bagley. He’s gonna get killed the first few years while adjusting to the pace and higher athleticism in the NBA; right now his defensive struggles are somewhat masked by the fact that he’s simply much more athletic and physically developed than everyone else around him (just like Towns’ defensive issues were masked–and Towns was a superior defender compared to Ayton in college.) Still a great pick at #3, I think, but I think people need to pump the brakes on the Ayton hype.

      Another article echoing that sentiment:
      https://fansided.com/2018/01/08/deandre-ayton-defense-offense-tradeoff/

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