Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.03.09)

  • [ESPN] Steve Francis on selling crack, NBA stardom
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 5:20:42 PM)

    Steve Francis details his journey from selling drugs in Washington, D.C., to being the second pick in the NBA draft in a story for The Players’ Tribune.

  • [NY Newsday] NBA is trying to crack down on teams tanking, but Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said that term doesn’t apply to them
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 9:54:24 PM)

    System.Xml.XmlElement

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek: NBA doesn’t have to worry about Knicks tanking
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 8:40:44 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek insists that the Knicks are still attempting to win games and that the league needs not worry about them tanking.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek expects to be Knicks coach next season
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:20:00 AM)

    Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek doesn’t expect to be looking for a job next season.

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter has keen interest on how his brother’s team is faring
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 11:59:00 PM)

    MILWAUKEE — The Knicks have no game Saturday night, but center Enes Kanter vows to be on celebrity row at the Garden. He figures he’ll be watching his younger brother, 6-foot-10 Xavier center KeremKanter, in the Big East championship game. No. 3 ranked Xavier beat St. John’s, 88-60, in the quarterfinals at the Garden on…

  • [NYPost] Knicks coach to NBA: Leave us alone, we’re not tanking
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 2:35:53 PM)

    MILWAUKEE — Jeff Hornacek said NBA commissioner Adam Silver has no reason to worry about the Knicks. He can save the phone call to team president Steve Mills about tanking for a better lottery seed. Responding to Silver’s bizarre warning to the Bulls for announcing they would shelve starters Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday, Hornacek…

  • [NYPost] How ex-Knicks star went from selling crack to The Franchise
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:49:09 AM)

    Steve Francis played two games of high school basketball, but became a one-year college wonder, the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft and a three-time All-Star. He was an NBA meteor, brightly blazing through the league but burning out far more quickly than someone with his level of talent should have. Francis opened up…

  • [NYTimes] New York Today: New York Today: Beneath the Big Foam Head
    (Friday, March 09, 2018 11:00:08 AM)

    Friday: College mascots reveal themselves, what to do this weekend, and a marathon soccer match.

  • [NYDN] Kerem Kanter backs Enes’ stand ‘for what he believes is right’
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:03:57 PM)

    Musketeers forward Kerem Kanter sat in a chair in the home locker room and mulled over his performance — at his brother’s locker.

  • [NYDN] Derrick Rose to sign with the Timberwolves for rest of the season
    (Thursday, March 08, 2018 6:52:54 AM)

    Derrick Rose is reuniting with Tom Thibodeau.

  • 71 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.03.09)

    1. Sir Robin

      Consider tanking a form of welfare. If 20% of teams are participating in the NBA’s welfare program, that’s in line with general welfare participation percentages.

    2. thenoblefacehumper

      The problem is these “welfare” recepients are all billionaires who have the capacity to make their teams better but are incentivized to not do that.

      Again, I don’t blame teams at all for tanking under the current system. It’s just hard to imagine it’s not damaging to the sport when taken to its logical extreme (all teams diving head first into the cellar when it becomes clear they can’t get a playoff seed, and maybe a decent one at that). I know I’ve certainly tuned out the NBA other than the Knicks and marquee games at this point.

      I don’t have the solution. I like the lottery wheel idea but also see the issues that arise when draft position is completely untethered from team record. I feel pretty confident in saying the more flattened lottery odds will do little to nothing and could increase tanking in some cases though.

    3. Sir Robin

      Noble. Agreed. Look at how the Wilpons run the Mets in that market with that revenue. Billionaire welfare recipients. The new American way.

    4. DRed

      . I listed 15 centers who are demonstrably better, thusly he can’t possible be a better than average starter.

      Bob, you just listed a bunch of guys you claim are better than Kyle. As far as I can tell you use some combination of salary and playing time to determine player production. I think that’s a shitty way to do it.

    5. Frank

      thankfully the draft comes before FA.
      If we somehow end up with Bamba or another big, then it makes re-signing KOQ much less likely.

      kinda wish my Jets knew how the draft would turn out before they go and give a bazillion dollars to Kirk Cousins.

    6. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Speaking of stratomatic 180s, the man hated the melo trade when it happened. Just kept blasting it.
      It’s ok though:)

      That is not entirely accurate.

      My initial reaction was to hate it because I already knew that Kanter was a huge liability on defense and because we didn’t need a C. I was hoping for a deal that would have brought us a defensive minded SF like Harkless without taking on a really bad contract.

      But after I thought about it for a couple of days, I softened to say we won the deal because even though I didn’t like Kanter, his deal was the same length as Melo’s (and cheaper) , and we got the Chicago pick. It was a good deal, just not the one I wanted.

      Harkless hasn’t had a very good year, but I still think we would have been better off with him as long as we didn’t have to take on a real dog of a contract as part if it. Without Kanter, we’d still have Willy. Harkless is also still young, a pretty good defender, and a huge upgrade over someone like Lance Thomas.

      Maybe taking on a bad Portland contract was unavoidable so it had to end this way. I’ve since read that Melo told management they if they couldn’t get the deal with OKC done he was OK with Portland. Lucky Portland. :-)

    7. bobneptune

      Bob, you just listed a bunch of guys you claim are better than Kyle. As far as I can tell you use some combination of salary and playing time to determine player production. I think that’s a shitty way to do it.

      Jesus man…. just admit for once you made a hyperbolic statement that has no basis in reality. KOQ isn’t among the top half of stating centers in the NBA. Why do people have such trouble they made a mistake here?

      Please tell me which of those players listed that KOQ is better than ? Jesus the man couldn’t beat out ROLO with two years to do it. He plays 16 minutes a game largely vs back ups. None of the “smart” teams had any interest in him at a paltry 3M/yr

      And don’t make stupid statements with your mind reading capabilities how I arrived at that list off the top of my head. If I wanted to include grossly overpriced centers that get too many minutes I would have led off with Kanter….

      KOQ is a top half of NBA starting center just like Cole is……

    8. bobneptune

      Mudiay sucks.

      He’s an elite tank commander…. although it clearly wasn’t by design :-) I am looking forward to the losses piling up for the next 14 months!

    9. DRed

      Jesus man…. just admit for once you made a hyperbolic statement that has no basis in reality. KOQ isn’t among the top half of stating centers in the NBA. Why do people have such trouble they made a mistake here?

      Please tell me which of those players listed that KOQ is better than ? Jesus the man couldn’t beat out ROLO with two years to do it. He plays 16 minutes a game largely vs back ups. None of the “smart” teams had any interest in him at a paltry 3M/yr

      Bob, you don’t appear to base your player evaluation on anything other than appeals to authority. Hassan Whiteside is a bum-he was available to any team in the NBA for nothing and nobody took him. He only plays 25 minutes a night and you think he’s good? FOHHHHH

    10. swiftandabundant

      You know I go off on posters here for being so negative but at the end of the day I know that you stat heads are most of the time going to be right. I chose to be optimistic and hope for the best because as a fan I feel like if I don’t do that I will go crazy and I have to have a reason to watch each season.

      But man the prospect of having to go into next season knowing that we’re gonna suck from the get go for another full season is really grim. Its depressing as hell. Hopefully we nail our draft pick and play the kids next year (and nail next year’s pick too). But the fact that 2020 is the earliest I can probably even begin to hope for us to be decent. Damn.

    11. ClashFan

      @13
      At the end of the day, this is just entertainment. The Knicks stinking does not depress me at all. The real world does…the daily headlines from around the world. As a former teacher, these continued school shootings and the gov’t lack of response to it, year after year, makes me far sadder than the Knicks.

      However, it sure would be nice if my favorite sports teams could ease that sadness, though. If the Knicks would just commit to an intelligent rebuild. Give us a young team that plays hard and cares. I can root for that all day long, even if they don’t make the playoffs. There’s at least hope in that. There’s no hope in the Michael Beasleys of the NBA.

      For all his warts, Phil Jackson did leave the Knicks in better shape than when he came (though he certainly could’ve done much better, and he left the Knicks with the burden of Noah’s contract). But so far there’s no good sign that Mills will be any better (see contracts to THJ and Ron, Willy deal, giving 2nd for Mudiay).

      I’m a Jets and Mets fan too, so, yeah…

    12. DRed

      Yeah, next year could be pretty bleak. If O’Quinn leaves we are going to actually need Joakim Noah, so if you’re looking for upside maybe not playing all year is going to re-energize him. We do have a bunch of young guys-maybe one of them takes an unexpected leap, or maybe we’ll fire Horny and hire a really good coach. I dunno. It’s not easy to be optimistic about next year.

    13. Bruno Almeida

      @13

      I think we all have different ways to be optimistic, if you lose that completely being a fan is just masochism. I for example generally overrate the draft massively, as I keep hoping that despite all the ineptitude this franchise has shown, we could Oklahoma City our way to a good position by striking gold in the draft.

      It’s just that it gets progressively harder when you invest yourself into another season and it goes just as the other ones did. Everyone who has been “right” in their pessimism would surely love to be wrong, but oh well, I keep hoping that it will happen one day against good reason.

    14. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      People that use different models for evaluating players and that believe strongly in them are rarely going to see eye to eye.

      One of my best and worst qualities is that I’m constantly changing my mind as new information comes in and my understanding of that information improves, but at every point in time on that journey I’m pretty sure I’m right. lol

    15. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      I was slightly more optimist at the end of last year than I am now, but I knew we were at least a couple of years away from being any good.

      1. I thought we’d do better than putting Hardaway and Baker into the Rose cap space
      2. KP broke down
      3. I was hoping our draft pick would make more progress than Frank has.
      4. I thought Willy was going to win the starting job and develop

      All that said, we are going to get a better draft pick this year and next year than I thought because of those disappointments. We’ll get there, but KP being out is clearly going to delay the progress one year.

    16. Owen

      There is no way to be optimistic about next year. We will spend most of it arguing over how soon KP should come back and who to take in the draft.

      My feeling about the Knicks at this point is you just have to keep grinding. When it gets depressing, I generally try picture how insanely fun this place will be when we finally have a decent young team. I also kind of rationalize fanhood as my own personal sports cilice, something to keep my mental discipline sharp you know.

      But yeah, we probably still haven’t bottomed out. It’s going to get ugly.

    17. bobneptune

      Bob, you don’t appear to base your player evaluation on anything other than appeals to authority. Hassan Whiteside is a bum-he was available to any team in the NBA for nothing and nobody took him. He only plays 25 minutes a night and you think he’s good? FOHHHH

      You know the prime directive when one finds themselves deep in a hole to generally stop digging. You picked kind of a bad night to pick on Whiteside is he put up 26 on 12 shots with 8 boards and 2 blocks in 29 minutes and held Embiid to 5 for 18 shooting.

      And yeah… Whiteside has been on a minutes restriction after missing 13 straight and 19 total games this year with left knee problems and he’s still averaging 50% more PT Than KOQ

      You don’t seriously want to argue Whiteside’s body of work primarily vs starters and KOQ’s primarily vs bench players right?

    18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I chose to be optimistic and hope for the best because

      free will is an illusion

      you live in a prison of belief

      art school was a waste of money

    19. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, it is so much fun to watch good Knicks teams that I’m willing to put up with a few years of awful play to get back there again.

      And when they stupidly fuck shit up so that those days never come? Well, again, it was so much fun watching good Knicks teams that I will carry on just by virtue of that nostalgia.

    20. DRed

      Are we evaluating players based on the “Their last game” model or on the “how many minutes a night they play” model?

    21. Brian Cronin

      Also, as to…

      I chose to be optimistic and hope for the best

      That’s the problem right there. When we’re negative about the Knicks, it’s not because we’re choosing to be negative. The Knicks get negative reactions because they do dumb shit. When they don’t do dumb shit, we’ll give them positive reactions. It just never seems to come. If you go into anything with your view already predetermined, you’re going to be wrong a whole lot of the time.

    22. 2FOR18, understands math

      @6 I have a fixation for Harkless myself and thought Portland was a good match. But I was instantly ecstatic with the melo trade —- 2 useful players making, combined, less than melo with contracts not lasting longer than melo’s. It was way better than I was expecting financial wise. Plus no more dribble dribble jab step jab step nightmares.

    23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      You don’t seriously want to argue Whiteside’s body of work primarily vs starters and KOQ’s primarily vs bench players right?

      I remember hearing that James Harden’s stats were inflated because he was a sixth man and then he went to the Rockets and has since become an MVP-caliber player

      I remember hearing that Carmelo was going to have an efficiency resurgence by being the 3rd option on the Thunder but since he’s had to play the 3rd- or 4th-best defender every night, he’s shooting .508 TS% and has the 3rd-worst BPM of all ~150 players playing >1500 MP so far (just ahead of Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, who are rookies and are also bad at basketball)

      We could talk about Manu’s starter/reserve splits and how much better he’s been as a starter than as a reserve but there may be some age-related noise in there — still, no evidence that any player plays easy minutes against bench players (and let’s not forget that it is rare outside of extreme garbage time for all five starters to be off the floor)

    24. swiftandabundant

      Brian, I get what you’re saying but moves can work out. Like I’m not gonna give up on Mudiay when he’s 22 and came into the league super raw and I’m not gonna freak out about the trade right now just cause he sucks right now. He’s probably gonna be worse than he normally is right now because its a new team mid season and he’s not joining a team with Zinger. He’s joining a team that is all ready kind of in a tailspin. And I sometimes think the negativity is something that the NY reporters love to feed off of. Yes The Knicks give them reasons to feed off the negativity but there are also things that I think most teams go through or do that get blown out of proportion by our media because they know the knicks fans are a more negative bunch and it gives them clicks and shares for their articles. So part of it is I don’t want to feed into that.

    25. 2FOR18, understands math

      -what 24 said.
      Don’t shit on my face and tell me to be optimistic about it. The Noah and Timmy contracts = shitting on my face.

    26. Owen

      I remember hearing that Carmelo was going to have an efficiency resurgence by being the 3rd option on the Thunder but since he’s had to play the 3rd- or 4th-best defender every night, he’s shooting .508 TS% and has the 3rd-worst BPM of all ~150 players playing >1500 MP so far (just ahead of Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, who are rookies and are also bad at basketball)

      I was harping on this through the first twenty games. I barely believe in a link between usage and efficiency and even I am shocked by how incredibly bad Melo has been.

    27. swiftandabundant

      I also wish Phil had just not done the Rose and especially the Noah deals. I mean damn if he had just not made those moves we would be in such better shape right now. We’d have Lopez still and Grant and would have had way more cap space. I don’t mind the Lee deal because at the end of the day Lee is solid and is a consummate veteran. KQ was a good deal too. But how much brighter would things be if everything was the same but we still had Lopez on that team friendly deal (close to being done right now) and we had Grant still (would be our starting PG probably).

      He had a tough road though with no draft picks two out of the four drafts he got. He would have added two more top 12 picks probably to our team. If we had Zinger, Frank, Grant, two more first rounders, etc…we’d be much more optimistic right now. Also maybe those picks would have meant no Hardaway, who I like and don’t mind but I get why people don’t like the contract.

    28. Count de Pennies

      But yeah, we probably still haven’t bottomed out. It’s going to get ugly.

      Four + decades of rooting for the Nix has – if nothing else – left me better equipped than most non-Nix fans to cope with the daily realities of life under a President Trump.

      While it’s hardly a comfort, this Nix fan’s hard-won understanding that there is no such thing as rock bottom does serve to steel me against the many horrors yet to come.

    29. DRed

      Melo’s legs are gone. You could see that last year-he never runs, he can hardly dunk, he’s just done as a player.

    30. thenoblefacehumper

      As one of the younger posters here, the whole “the Knicks being good is super fun” thing is more theoretical than anything else. The 2012-2013 team was the best one I can recall by far, and I enjoyed the hell out of that season but had no illusions about its sustainability. Long story short, it’s hard to keep doing this shit.

      On another note, I’m starting to think Michael Porter Jr. might be available when we make our pick. The draft rarely perfectly mirrors the mock consensus. It’s just hard for me to imagine teams passing up the production of Bridges and Carter in favor of a high school kid, especially if he continues to not exactly light up the NCAA. I have no idea how to feel about him and kind of hope things just go as expected.

    31. bobneptune

      I remember hearing that James Harden’s stats were inflated because he was a sixth man and then he went to the Rockets and has since become an MVP-caliber player

      I remember hearing that Carmelo was going to have an efficiency resurgence by being the 3rd option on the Thunder but since he’s had to play the 3rd- or 4th-best defender every night, he’s shooting .508 TS% and has the 3rd-worst BPM of all ~150 players playing >1500 MP so far (just ahead of Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, who are rookies and are also bad at basketball)

      We could talk about Manu’s starter/reserve splits and how much better he’s been as a starter than as a reserve but there may be some age-related noise in there — still, no evidence that any player plays easy minutes against bench players (and let’s not forget that it is rare outside of extreme garbage time for all five starters to be off the floor)

      Jowles,

      Are you just arguing one line in a thread for the fun of it or would you prefer KOQ over Whiteside for your life in a game for the championship today? Or any other situation you can concoct? Seriously?

      Whiteside has put up some pretty impressive metrics both offensively efficient and defensively for a significant body of work. KOQ is a better all around player? I’m willing to be enlightened.

    32. ProjectKnicks

      Do we really need deep statistical analysis to determine KOQ is, at best, a decent bench player? Isn’t today’s argument a regurgitation of the old Cole Aldrich debate where numbers were great but the guy was not perceived as a good player?

    33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I’ve wanted Whiteside since his PAWS40 numbers blew my mind in 2010. Doesn’t matter — O’Quinn could start for the Warriors or Cavs and be just fine.

      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-monday-sep-10-2012/#comment-403679

      I’ve said it 100 times and I’ll say it again – just because a system can predict one or two Ty Lawsons doesn’t mean that it should be forgiven for predicting greatness for Nick Fazekas, Ahmad Nivins, Lester Hudson, Brian Zoubek, Hassan Whiteside, etc. Like Bill Clinton just said, even a broken clock is right 2x/day.

      Just remember, folks: even a broken clock is right 2x/day.

      The Harden battles between jowles and ruru were epic.

      I remember jon abbey being the most vocal detractor, but ruruland was equally wrong about basketball, just in a well-spoken, sophist kinda way.

    34. ProjectKnicks

      O’Quinn could start for the Warriors or Cavs and be just fine.

      Not trying to be argumentative, but the issue is fascinating: why, then, is KOQ not fine starting for the lowly Knicks? Why couldn’t Popovich or anyone else see the game in Aldrich?

    35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I barely believe in a link between usage and efficiency and even I am shocked by how incredibly bad Melo has been.

      Kind of interested to see who picks him up after this year. The ETO will almost certainly be declined and cost the Thunder about a billion dollars in luxury tax (haha, Presti) but I can’t imagine he’ll want to hang ’em up until he’s told he’s playing 10 MPG off the bench. I could see some dummies signing him to a 2-3 year MLE after next season, but he’d be crazy to test the free agency market because (1) there are only like 5 teams with real cap space (2) he’ll never find a better core in free agency than Westbrook and Adams, even if George leaves and (3) he’s fucking terrible and I assume half of the teams in the NBA know it.

    36. Bruno Almeida

      @38

      The way i see it, in the case of O’Quinn, is simply bad luck for him. He was an unknown bench player in Orlando, a team nobody really watched or cared about, had decent numbers but not great and took the chance of longer term security with his current deal and got stuck with the Knicks.

      Reputation and intangibles still matter for talent decisions around the league, even with the more extreme front offices like Toronto, Golden State or Houston, and it’s not like anyone is saying intangible stuff doesn’t matter, just that it matters less in most cases than talent and productivity.

      For all we know you could easily replace David West for O’Quinn in GSW and it would be perfectly fine, but West probably has a good impact in the locker room and was cheaper and available. You would rather have West at the minimum than have to spend an asset to pay O’Quinn more. You could replace Nene with O’Quinn and they would maybe even be better.

      Smarter front offices just don’t get blinded too much into overvaluing those intangibles and look for those things in role players or end of bench veterans without compromising the main production guys. Badly ran teams like the Knicks overvalue this sort of stuff, often over real productivity, so it becomes a shit show where they try to create a winning environment out of thin air without the required talent or structure to go with it.

    37. DRed

      Not trying to be argumentative, but the issue is fascinating: why, then, is KOQ not fine starting for the lowly Knicks?

      Well, because he’s not starting. He’s played very well when he’s played.

    38. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      I was harping on this through the first twenty games. I barely believe in a link between usage and efficiency and even I am shocked by how incredibly bad Melo has been.

      There are so many moving parts, it’s very difficult to isolate or predict the relationship between usage & efficiency. IMO, that’s why all the models are broken when it comes to measuring the value of scoring. The math is programmed for fixed relationships that don’t exist.

      Melo was already on a downturn related to injury and age. He can’t get to the FT line anymore either (which is critical for efficiency). What’s happening with him in OKC is hard to use as evidence of anything other than I’m glad we don’t have him. :-)

      At some point you have to use some common sense.

      If one guy takes mostly 5 foot shots and a handful of tough ones per month and the other is REQUIRED to take a couple of tough ones per game, there’s going to be a difference in their efficiencies that does not reflect on their value to the offense.

      If shot selection was truly always a choice, everyone would shoot nothing but spot of 3s from the corner, lobs, and free throws. But despite trying harder than any team in history, even Houston can’t accomplish that. The defense wins the possession a lot of the time no matter how good your offense is designed, how talented your players are, and how hard you try to avoid long 2s and other tough shots.

      A better way of thinking about the value goes something like this.

      Assume the defense won the possession & forced a tough shot.

      When peak Dirk took a long off balance 2, he made it WAY more often than most other players. The efficiency on those shots was not good, but relative to almost everyone else on those, he was God-like. That was adding value while lowering his TS% relative to Tyson Chandler. If he was doing that by choice, then he’d be destroying value.

    39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Not trying to be argumentative, but the issue is fascinating: why, then, is KOQ not fine starting for the lowly Knicks? Why couldn’t Popovich or anyone else see the game in Aldrich?

      After letting Hardaway play just 24 minutes per game, the Knicks traded him away for Jerian Grant, traded Jerian Grant for Derrick Rose, found (as most knew) that Derrick Rose was terrible, and then let Rose walk so they could re-sign Hardaway for $71M (despite never having a positive BPM in his career). The Knicks are demonstrably bad at managing or developing assets.

      As for the Spurs, it’s like asking why a rich person doesn’t have a particular car or luxury item. This year’s team is the first since 2008-09 to not crack a 5.00+ SRS. They were swimming in frontcourt talent for nearly a decade. It’s teams like the Knicks that need to make aggressive low-cost moves to try to find solid players — Cole Aldrich should have played more, but it’s the Knicks we’re talking about.

      Also, the Clippers signed Aldrich in 2015-16 and got an outstanding 800 minutes from him during a 53-win season. So yeah, a franchise that managed to put a solid core together also signed Aldrich and got awesome value at $1.1M and >.200 WS48.

    40. kevin5318

      KOQ has been behind guys getting paid 10+ million his entire tenure here. They were obviously trying to get the most out of their investment.

    41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      But despite trying harder than any team in history, even Houston can’t accomplish that.

      I mean Houston actually has done that in multiple games, but whatever suits your narrative, I guess.

    42. Owen

      Kind of interested to see who picks him up after this year.

      Watching the end of Melo’s career is very satisfying for me.It’s one of my favorite things about following the NBA right now. I know that makes me a bitter, sad and somewhat contemptible person but I don’t care.

      I think I have come around to the fact that some players simply can’t handle the minutes physically. I think Cole or Boban fit that bill. Pop throttled Manu’s minutes his entire career without much argument from him. I am willing to defer to Pop I suppose though I never really understood why he wasn’t out there 35 mpg. Some guys may just not have the physical makeup to handle the minutes load their numbers suggest they deserve.

      But KOQ is not in that boat. He should be playing more.

    43. ptmilo

      I don’t honestly know how good KOQ would be playing 30 mpg, but the circular arguments that if he was good he’d be starting somewhere really have to go. I do know one thing. Many of these authorities that are being appealed to could have changed the entire fortunes of their franchise if only they’d replaced their overpaid bigs with KOQ. Washington is paying Mahinmi and Gortat about $30 million this year and KOQ is at the very least as good as those guys and probably a lot better. That could have allowed them to build an actual contender and not a guaranteeed playoff out playing luxury taxes.

      They are not alone. Charlotte traded for Dwight Howard’s contract and Danny Ainge is playing Aaron Baynes around 1300 minutes for the same price. KOQ may not be as good as the summary stats think, but he is a legit two way player who is simultaneously one of the best shot blocking and passing centers in the league.

      The Knicks once has a similarly unathletic, no shoot, no run teddy bear who didn’t become a full time starter in the league until he was 29 years old. And he was a damn good player may he Rest In Peace. KOQ isn’t Cole. If you look at the sample of games in which he’s played more than 20 minutes and isolate the last half of his minutes from the first half to avoid confounding variables his numbers don’t plunge (like Cole’s surely would have if he survived long enough to log them). He’s a pretty good player. I’d take KOQ over Kanter every day of the week.

    44. Brian Cronin

      The Cole argument is particularly weird since a good team did sign him after he was on the Knicks and he was great for them. He was so good that a bad team threw a lot of money at him, money that neither the Spurs nor the Rockets nor the Warriors could afford. So…huh?

      Same basic idea goes for O’Quinn. He was a free agent when those other teams didn’t have to room to sign him to the contract that he got from the Knicks. The Spurs were clearing out space for Aldridge and the Rockets and Warriors were capped out.

    45. ProjectKnicks

      So, are KOQ and Aldrich part of the problem or part of the solution? Do they make teams better, make them worse or just provide filler bench material of little consequence?

      Or looking at it differently, how much should the Knicks re-sign KOQ for, in order for it to be a great move by the front office?

    46. Bruno Almeida

      I would be perfectly fine with a 3 year 25-35 range million deal for O’Quinn if we we’re anywhere near decent. The way we are right now I think it’s much tougher and might not be worthy as I’d rather see a full rebuild.

    47. ClashFan

      @51
      Same here. I’ve already said that I hope the Knicks do not give OQ something like 4/$40m. He’s worth that to a playoff caliber team, though. But for a rebuilding team that will not be good for at least 2-3 more years (and maybe more…)? There’s also the ever present chance that, once paid, he may not be so motivated to get in great shape like he did this year.

      I’d think that he’ll get a full MLE offer from someone, and if so, the Knicks should just let him go. I’d rather they kept Willy as the backup big for the next couple of years and traded OQ instead, but that ship sailed. When KP comes back, he needs to play mostly at the 5, and the Knicks will need to find a backup 5 who is alot cheaper than OQ.

    48. ess-dog

      The Kanter trade I get. We needed to move on from Melo. But the Hardaway signing was so mind-bogglingly bad… I suppose they had to give someone that money and the more is defensible compared to the Noah signing I SUPPOSE, but you could likely get the same production from Dotson or many former 2nd rounders in the league right now.

      We are just kind of screwed re: Kyle, since we have both Kanter and Noah clogging up the works. Maybe we can trade one of them, in which case we could resign Kyle to a friendly deal, but even then, what if we draft a Carter Jr. type who needs minutes?

    49. thenamestsam

      If anyone is interested the Dunc’d On Podcast did a Center rankings podcast recently that discussed the C position extensively. Their conclusion was that outside of a relatively small number of elite guys there are a lot who are quite tightly grouped and where system/team needs etc. may matter more than overall talent. In other words the talent curve is flatter than at other positions. I see O’Quinn as falling into that flat portion of the talent curve and think that it makes this discussion a little academic. On the one hand I agree with the idea that O’Quinn is “just a guy”, he’s not particularly elite in any area, he has never had a major role on any team, and all the available evidence suggests there isn’t much of a market for him in the league. On the other hand he probably is good enough to start on some of the best teams in the league and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that about half the teams in the league would be at least indifferent between him and their starter. I don’t think he’d actually start for all those teams but he’d continue to get his 20 minutes a game either way.

      My feeling is that the C talent curve is so flat at the point that O’Quinn is on that locking him at market rates for the back end of his prime is kind of a waste, particularly for a bad team. He may be the 15th or 20th best C in the league but I don’t think he’s all that much better than the 40th or 45th best C. Unless he wants to take a hometown discount the Knicks would be better off trying to scoop up that 45 best guy for cheap and develop him a bit.

    50. JK47

      It’s back to the same old thing: paying market value for veteran players when you’re a bad team is just dumb. They get you unnecessary wins at the front of their contracts, and then at the back end of their contracts their value declines and they’re not even worth the “market value” contract anymore and they become liabilities. O’Quinn makes no sense for our win curve.

    51. Bruno Almeida

      Honestly I would just let KOQ go, specially since it may come to a point where Wendell Carter is the best available prospect to draft. Let him get his money somewhere else and move on with cheaper, more efficient contracts and it’s fine.

      If only we had a 23 year old Center on a cheap contract that has shown some good stuff already on the roster, you know…

    52. Brian Cronin

      If he’ll take a notable discount to stay (like barely more than he’s making now), I’d re-sign KOQ, but yeah, if he wants even close to market, I’d let him go. And yes, that is precisely why they should have kept Willy.

    53. kevin5318

      I’d sign KOQ at a discount even with how much we have invested in the C position. Big men and players in general seem to be playing at high levels well into their 30’s these days.

      If not then just let him go and get the top pick in the draft next year.

    54. djphan

      centers are very much a commodity at this point… they have been relegated to defense and boarding and scoring inside buckets… what would separate someone would be defense.. passing ability.. or outside shooting… which koq happens to be able to do…. he’s just a solid starter who has been criminally buried on this team….

      whether we bring him back should be dependent on who we draft… i’m very high on carter and if he’s the pick then obv koq shouldn’t be brought back… kanter also should eventually be let go….

      if we draft a wing i might think about bringing him back but i wouldn’t do it for more than 9mm….

    55. ess-dog

      Everyone besides

      Troy Williams
      Trey Burke
      Kristaps Porzingis
      Damyean Dotson
      Frank Ntilikina
      Ron Baker
      Luke Kornet
      and I suppose Emanuel Mudiay

      …they should be actively trying to move for anything they can get. I would’ve put Willy in there too but whoops!

      I’m guessing we’re stuck with Lee, TH2, Kanter, Lance, and Noah for the foreseeable future, so that makes 13 players, 15 with our 2 new draft picks. Troy and Luke could be 2-way contracts, and they could sign a few young fringe players.

      We are terrible. If we end up at 9, we might want to trade down for multiple picks just to try and get more talent.

      I’d hire Blatt and start: Burke/Ntilikina/Miles Bridges/Robert Williams/Kanter or something like that and just keep looking for deals and cheap talent.

    56. geo

      nice thread today – it seems the effects of that horrific west coast swing have begun to wear off…

      as the immortal oddball once said: Crazy… I mean like, so many positive waves… maybe we can’t lose

    57. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      Cole Aldrich is not a very good basketball player. He can give you a few minutes of productive backup ball, but that’s about it.

      This reminds me of a debate I once had with a friend that had a theory about horses that suggested that jockeys should always rate their horses to perfectly even fractions to maximize their final time and optimize their chances of winning.

      My response was, if that was true, why do most trainers train their dirt horses to run faster than that early and turf horses to run slower than that early and why do jockeys change their level of aggressiveness to match that?

      His answer was, “Because they are all stupid”.

      To which I said, “Dozens of brilliant hall of fame trainers have been training horses for decades trying every imaginable technique possible to maximize thoroughbred performance. Jockeys do the same thing. They all came to similar conclusions. The results of races verify that speed is more important on dirt than turf. Yet somehow they are all idiots because you have a theory and some math that says they are wrong”.

      I had to shake my head.

      If your favorite model is saying Cole Aldrich is a very good basketball player, it’s not that every coach, GM, and other player is wrong for barely using him. The problem is with the model.

      I would never argue that coaches, GMs, and players are perfect at evaluating talent. Some are better than others and some are not very good. But Aldrich has been on 6 teams and had many chances to demonstrate his ability. Everyone concluded he’s a liability on offense, slow on defense, his rebounding does not make up for it, and he’s only acceptably productive in limited minutes against mostly backups. Experienced people are often wrong, but when many people are actually testing and seeing the results in action, they are not THAT wrong. The problem is the model.

      KOQ on the other hand is a pretty good basketball player. The question is whether he could be as productive PER MINUTE starting and playing 35 minutes as he is playing with high energy is short bursts.

    58. Brian Cronin

      Appealing to authority against Cole Aldrich when he is currently on a three-year/$22 million contract is…well…you know, not a very good appeal to authority.

    59. mase

      It’s been said a million times but it is really essential to pick in the top 7!

      And if Bamba is there at 7 you have to take him, forget oq

    60. Stratomatic "It's tough being us"

      But despite trying harder than any team in history, even Houston can’t accomplish that.

      I mean Houston actually has done that in multiple games, but whatever suits your narrative, I guess.

      Houston has never had a game where they shot nothing but corner 3s, lobs, and FTs.

      They do an absolutely amazing job of avoiding tough shots (especially long 2s) because they have a genius offensive coach, a GM that understands the game and supports him, and they bring in talent that excels at the things that make sense mathematically. But the defense still wins possessions against them. So sometimes Paul is forced to fake a 3 and shoot a long 2, Harden throws up some trash, etc.. But they are smart enough on those possessions to know they are way better off with one of those guys doing it than allowing Capela to shoot an off the dribble shot from 20 feet. Having Harden do it when they are forced is a value choice even if he’s only 40%-45% to make it because Capela may be 30%. Again, that is not to say that Capela is not adding a ton of value with dunks and lobs. He is. Paul and Harden can’t do that. But Capela is not Shaq. He can’t do it at that super high level of usage (at least yet). If he was forced to up his usage to that higher level by taking some of the broken possession shots, his efficiency would decline.

    61. djphan

      i find bamba to be a bit overrated and it matches with the discussion we’re having on centers…. a center who can just rebound and block shots is basically a commodity at this point…

      he would have to be really exceptional to be considered good…. he might be… but his other skills are not that good to make up for it…. he’s not a particular good scorer and he’s atrocious when putting the ball on the floor and he doesn’t pass…. that makes him fairly one dimensional…. and one-dimensional prospects are usually not good….

    62. mase

      I haven’t seen him as atrocious putting the ball on the floor or hitting from outside. What I like is defense and dominance inside. His passing is non existent, maybe he is one dimensional but he could be lethal next to KP

    63. ptmilo

      Brian posting that Cole contract reminded me of the Atl/Det Jon Koncak deal right on the precipice of the money train. This classic SI article has so much in it, like people marveling at Drazen getting $1.1m per, Isiah showing he caught the marginal economics revolution at a young age, and Stan Kasten predicting the NBA would eventually be all seven footers.

      https://www.si.com/vault/1989/11/06/8076025/millions-from-heaven-the-atlanta-hawks-jon-koncak-was-a-center-of-little-renown—-averaging-62-points-and-61-rebounds-career—-until-he-signed-a-six-year-contract-worth-13-million-now-other-lesser-nba-players-sh

    64. billybaggs

      A big game tomorrow at 1pm between Alabama and Kentucky…two possible future Knicks in Sexton and Knox. Sexton looked really good today, Ntilikina and Sexton backcourt would interesting

    Comments are closed.