Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.07.17)

  • [NYPost] Knicks dump last year’s surprise Troy Williams
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:50:01 AM)

    OK, the Knicks are ready to start the season. At least numerically. The Knicks waived 6-7 forward Troy Williams on Monday, and the move brought them down to 15 players under contract plus a pair of two-way contract players, the maximum allowed for Opening Night. Williams, 23, joined the Knicks last season on the first…

  • [NYDN] Alleged gang members accused of killing Carey Gabay during J’Ouvert await judgment from their juries
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 3:00:00 AM)

    The fates of four alleged gang members accused of participating in a Brooklyn shootout that killed governor’s aide Carey Gabay during are in the hands of two juries.

    Over 80 days, jurors in Brooklyn Supreme Court viewed nearly 350 pieces of evidence and listened to 50 witnesses — including four…

  • [NYDN] The big private prison break: N.Y. is making a strong statement against companies that profit off incarceration
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:00:00 AM)

    Kudos to Controller Tom DiNapoli for divesting state pension funds from the morally abhorrent private prison industry. Honorable mention to Sen. Brian Benjamin of Harlem and activists including the ACLU and Randy Credico for raising the issue months ago and finding creative ways to keep it in the…

  • [NYDN] What Eric Garner and Saheed Vassell deserve
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:00:00 AM)

    On April 4, 2018, Saheed Vassell was killed at the hands of five police officers responding to 911 calls in Crown Heights. The officers shot at him 10 times — and even though an investigation is underway, it will be impossible to know whether any of those officers had a history of excessive force…

  • [NYDN] A chokehold on justice: The NYPD is right to lose patience with the feds
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:00:00 AM)

    The agonizing death of Eric Garner four years ago today, the result of NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo applying a banned chokehold to a man whose offense was selling loose cigarettes, has been followed by excruciating delays in the quest for even basic disciplinary justice.

    At long last, there’s light…

  • [NYDN] July 18 Readers sound off
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 12:00:00 AM)

    Choice and NY’s governor

    Manhattan: “Roe, Roe, Roe the vote” a July 15 editorial, was both confusing and factually inaccurate. You questioned the need for expanding reproductive rights in New York. Why is Gov. Cuomo fighting day in and day out to protect women’s rights in New York? The Supreme…

  • [NYDN] Readers sound off on Trump-Putin, abortion and humidity
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 12:00:00 AM)

    Putin trumps America in Finland

    Bayport, L.I.: Just for a moment, following Putin’s victory lap in Finland, let’s consider him not based on character or danger to us, but as a leader. Not since Alexander the Great has a single person dominated so much of the civilized world of his time. He is absolute…

  • [NYDN] CVS fires two employees for calling cops on black female customer attempting to use a coupon
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 11:30:00 PM)

    Two Chicago CVS employees were fired amid backlash from a Facebook video posted by a black customer who said white managers accused her of presenting a phony coupon and called police on her.

    The pharmacy giant said it had completed a review of the Friday night incident and subsequently axed the…

  • [NYDN] NRA gun activists swirled around alleged Russian agent Maria Butina
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 10:45:00 PM)

    Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist, went from running a small group in her home country to hobnobbing with major politicians and attending the National Prayer Breakfast after the election of President Trump.

    The 29-year-old, indicted for allegedly acting as an unregistered Russian agent…

  • [NYDN] Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:35:00 PM)

    HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent molten rock crashing through the roof of a sightseeing boat off Hawaii’s Big Island, injuring 23 people Monday, officials said.

    They were aboard a tour boat that takes visitors to see lava plunging into the ocean from the long-erupting…

  • [NYDN] ‘Sopranos’ memorabilia, including Bobby’s fat suit, go up for auction
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:25:00 PM)

    You, too, can dress just like a New Jersey mobster.

    A treasure trove of memorabilia from “The Sopranos” is being auctioned off by Steiner Auctions this summer, including autographed scripts, a cast varsity jacket and several posters.

    ‘Sopranos’ prequel movie brings back series director Alan Taylor…

  • [NYDN] Saints defensive lineman helps save man trapped in SUV after it plunges from fourth floor of parking garage
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:20:00 PM)

    A New Orleans Saints defensive lineman helped a man escape from a car after it had plunged from the fourth floor of a parking garage Sunday afternoon, according to The Times-Picayune.

    Mitchell Loewen was having brunch with his wife and two-year-old son when a Mercedes Benz SUV came crashing down…

  • [NYDN] Yankees appear out of the running for Manny Machado as Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers emerge as favorites
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:10:00 PM)

    WASHINGTON – Manny Machado seems likely to be traded following Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

    It’s just a matter of where – whether to Philadelphia, to Milwaukee or to the Dodgers.

    It appears the Yankees are out of the mix, at least as of Monday night.

    Various reports said the Orioles were getting “close”…

  • [NYDN] Bryce Harper and his dad may have bent Home Run Derby rules by pitching before balls landed during final tear to 18
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:05:00 PM)

    Was there more rushin’ collusion going on in Washington Monday night?

    Nationals star Bryce Harper was the hero in D.C. after beating Kyle Schwarber in a thrilling finish of the 2018 Home Run Derby, but he and his father may not have been playing exactly by the rules.

    Technically, the pitcher is…

  • [NYDN] Four years after police chokehold victim Eric Garner died, there’s a teddy bear and barely justice
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:00:00 PM)

    They remembered him with a cuddly teddy bear.

    On the Staten Island street where he died four years ago Tuesday at the hands of police, Eric Garner was memorialized with a large stuffed bear — its arms folded and its eyes looking skyward.

    “I came in this morning and saw it there. Then I quickly…

  • [NYDN] Sociology prof says city needs less heavy-handed policing and more transparency
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:00:00 PM)

    Much has changed in policing since the death of Eric Garner four years ago, but have these changes brought real relief to communities that have faced a long history of at times excessive and abusive policing? While tremendous effort and expense has gone into new training and technology, it has…

  • [NYDN] Biased ‘broken windows’ policing fractures lives of minorities and the poor
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 9:00:00 PM)

    Tuesday marks the fourth anniversary of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of an aggressive group of NYPD officers. In the course of holding Garner down on the ground, one officer, Daniel Pantaleo, applied a chokehold whose use is banned by NYPD guidelines.

    We police reformers focus on this incident…

  • [NYDN] 10 best MLB All-Star Game performances by New York players
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 8:45:00 PM)

    Before the trade deadline and MLB’s home stretch, baseball’s schedule takes a break this week for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in D.C. By pitting baseball’s best against each other since 1933, the All-Star Game allows the game’s elite a chance to add to their legacies with legendary performances. This…

  • [NYDN] Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen trolls President Trump’s servile support of Putin
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 8:40:00 PM)

    The man who paid off porn stars for President Trump on Monday trolled his ex-client’s servile support of Vladimir Putin.

    “I respect our nation’s intelligence agencies who determined that Russia, had in fact, interfered or meddled in our democratic process,” Michael Cohen tweeted Monday evening.

  • [NYDN] Mazzeo: Yankees ace Luis Severino deserved All-Star Game start over Chris Sale
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 8:30:00 PM)

    WASHINGTON – Sevy got shafted.

    Luis Severino deserved to start the All-Star Game over Chris Sale — even if, as A.J. Hinch said, “the proof is in the numbers.”

    Sure, Sale has a better ERA (2.23) and more strikeouts (188) than Severino (2.31, 144).

    But why not give the Yankees’ emerging, 24-year-old…

  • [NYDN] Hometown hero Bryce Harper wins Home Run Derby in front of raucous Washington D.C. crowd
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 8:30:00 PM)

    WASHINGTON – It must’ve been the headband.

    Bryce Harper scored a home victory in front of his fans on Monday night at Nationals Park, defeating Kyle Schwarber 19-18 in extra time of the finals to capture the 2018 Home Run Derby.

    “This is for the whole city of D.C.,” Harper said afterward, choking…

  • [NYDN] Charter commission’s first report will recommend lower campaign donation limits in city elections
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 8:00:00 PM)

    The staff of the commission Mayor de Blasio appointed to overhaul the City Charter will recommend lowering campaign donation limits and offering more taxpayer cash for city candidates.

    In a preliminary report set to be released Tuesday, the Charter Revision Commission staff will also say the city…

  • [NYDN] Jacob deGrom’s agent: Mets should extend him or trade him
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 7:55:00 PM)

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jacob deGrom wants a commitment from the Mets. The ace right-hander wants to be part of the Mets’ long-term solution, asking for an extension that would go beyond the two years that the team controls him. If not, then the Mets should consider taking advantage of this hot trade…

  • [NYDN] MGM Resorts International sues more than 1,000 victims from Las Vegas mass shooting, denying any liability
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 7:55:00 PM)

    MGM Resorts International claimed in a new lawsuit that it has no liability in any of the injuries or deaths in the October mass shooting in Las Vegas.

    The company, which owns Mandalay Bay and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue, argued that its security vendor took all necessary precautions, approved…

  • [NYDN] Vladimir Putin refuses to touch indictment papers naming Russian spies accused of hacking 2016 US presidential election
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 7:55:00 PM)

    Putin that on the table!

    Russian President Vladimir Putin become agitated when Fox News’s Chris Wallace waved a Justice Department indictment of 12 Russians who allegedly interfered in the 2016 presidential election during a tense interview.

    “May I give this to you to look at, sir?” Wallace asked…

  • [NYDN] Man at urinal wrongly busted by MTA cop who “leaned over and looked” at his genitals: lawsuit
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 7:30:00 PM)

    A Harlem man claims an MTA cop “leaned over and looked at” his genitals at a urinal – before arresting him on bogus allegations of indecent exposure, new court papers allege.

    William Campbell was using the restroom at Grand Central Terminal about 10:40 p.m. on April 17, 2017, when a “man using…

  • [NY Newsday] Game changer: Tim Hardaway Jr. worked his way back after ‘dark period’ of career
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 8:40:00 PM)

    Hardaway and his father believe that he wouldn’t be where he is today without his five-game stint in the developmental league early in the 2015-16 season.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks waive forward Troy Williams
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 1:33:05 PM)

    The Knicks announced on Monday afternoon that they have waived forward Troy Williams.

  • [NYTimes] 76ers Foiled in Their Pursuit of Houston’s Daryl Morey
    (Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:07:26 AM)

    The Sixers had strong interest in hiring Morey to replace the ousted Bryan Colangelo, but Morey could not be lured away.

  • [NYTimes] Len Chappell, 77, College All-American and N.B.A. All-Star, Dies
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 4:08:07 PM)

    Chappell led Wake Forest to the Final Four in 1962 and was the top scorer for the Knicks in 1963-64, averaging more than 17 points per game.

  • [SNY Knicks] Emergence of Knox, Robinson among five takeaways from Knicks Summer League
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 12:30:26 PM)

    Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson stole the show for the Knicks during the Summer League.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks waive F Troy Williams
    (Monday, July 16, 2018 1:33:12 PM)

    The Knicks announced they have waived F Troy Williams on Monday. Williams had just completed the Summer League with New York in Las Vegas.

  • 133 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.07.17)

    1. Z-man

      Here’s what Kevin Pelton had to say about our rookies:


      It should come as no surprise that Wendell Carter Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who both were among the picks for the best rookie in summer league in our 5-on-5 on Monday, crack the leaderboard. But when it comes to exceeding expectations, they can’t quite match New York Knicks second-round pick Mitchell Robinson.

      Despite a relatively strong projection based on his effective play in the 2016 Nike EYBL, Robinson still leads all rookies on this list by virtue of the best per-minute win percentage for any player in summer league this year. Robinson made 67 percent of his 2-point attempts, pulled down more than a quarter of all available offensive rebounds and swatted one in every seven opponent 2-point attempts. He’s the early favorite for steal of the draft.

      Incidentally, if you’re wondering about Robinson’s teammate Kevin Knox, his advanced statistics didn’t quite match up to the hype he generated in Las Vegas. Because he shot just 17-of-49 (35 percent) on 2-point attempts, Knox’s improvement over his projection ranked just 54th of the 93 qualifying players.

    2. GoNyGoNyGo

      While I’m all-in for the tank, if we win games with guys like Ntilikina, Robinson, Knox, Herzonja and Mudiay playing prominent roles, then I’m OK. Progression by the kids means we’re establishing a strong core that eventually can compete. The kids are all raw and in desperate need of solid coaching. Now it’s in Fizdale’s hands. Let’s see if he can mold these kids.

    3. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      PER has a bad reputation as a statistic here at Knickerblogger, but I would say it matches up with player market value much better than other advanced statistics such as WS or EF%. You can find players who have good WS or EF% who aren’t highly paid, but that doesn’t happen as much with PER. I think PER matches up better with the general public’s and perhaps the typical GM’s perception of player value. By that standards, Robinson’s league leading PER in summer league is really impressive.

    4. Ingmarrrr

      I don’t think Robinson needs to worry about his contract at all. If he’s as hood as we hope he is he’ll be a NY star and make tons of money from sponsors.

    5. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      IMO PER is not as bad a metric as its reputation (which is not saying it’s good). The problem is that it makes no effort to measure defense other than basic boxscore stats and at the extremes of usage it will overrate high usage inefficient scorers and underrate low usage efficient scorers. If you take a quick look at it and make a mental adjustment for where it breaks down, it’s no better or worse than most of the others that break down in other areas.

    6. bobneptune

      While I’m all-in for the tank, if we win games with guys like Ntilikina, Robinson, Knox, Herzonja and Mudiay playing prominent roles, then I’m OK. Progression by the kids means we’re establishing a strong core that eventually can compete. The kids are all raw and in desperate need of solid coaching. Now it’s in Fizdale’s hands. Let’s see if he can mold these kids.

      So much this!

      If They should win 32 games and blow a 1-3 pick because Frank, Robinson, Dotson, Knox , Burke et al play wildly beyond expectations then assuming a healthy KP, top end UFA will be drooling to come here.

      However if Kanter has a couple of 26 and 16 games and Lee gets hot a few nights and they end up with the 6 seed instead of the 2 then going postal should be an option.

    7. Zanzibar

      Top 5 prospects in the 2018 #nbadraft class in PER @nbasummerleague (min. 3 GP / 20+ MPG)
      1. Mitchell Robinson (35.0) @nyknicks
      2. Wendell Carter (26.8) @chicagobulls
      3. Svi Mykhailiuk (26.6) @Lakers
      4. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (25.7) @LAClippers
      5. Jaren Jackson (23.2) @memgrizz

      PIPM Summer League Ranking

      OUCH. Look who’s #2. We’re gonna fix you Mudiay Perry. Fizdale’s now the de facto GM and Perry’s negotiating the contracts which is fine for the time being. I would have cut Lance instead of Troy, but Fiz knows Troy from a previous team and probably looked at him as a low IQ guy who couldn’t hit 3’s and showed no improvement.

    8. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      However if Kanter has a couple of 26 and 16 games and Lee gets hot a few nights and they end up with the 6 seed instead of the 2 then going postal should be an option.

      We tend to remember when a player has a great (or terrible) night and then attribute an entire win/loss to that player because of that night. It’s tougher to remember all the nights they over/under perform in the opposite direction. The net of all of it is usually not that much compared to the backup unless we are talking about real stars or horrible backups. Whether Lee plays or doesn’t play is not going to matter much to our wins given our options at that position.

    9. Z-man

      Well Kanter is gonna play a lot, no doubt about it. Not so sure about Lee. But those two, along with Burke and of course Timmy can win you games all by themselves. So if Mitch is for real (and I am uncomfortably confident that he is a Camby-like X-factor from day 1) and 2-3 other young’uns step up a notch, The Fiz Kids will be the talk of the league. That would bring us back to the days of The Bomb Squad…I still might have that poster in a closet somewhere!

    10. Z-man

      My biggest concern with this team as currently constructed including KP is ball-stopping/chucking. Knox, Kanter, Timmy, and eventually KP are not smart or willing passers and only Trey is close to being a capable PG. I hope that Fiz can instill a share the ball/work for a high percentage shot on every possession.

    11. Z-man

      Sorry for the OCD posting, I’m in a bagel place in Canton NY on a recruiting visit at SLU for my kid.

    12. Owen

      in 1987 Jordan had more blocks and steals at the all star break than Lance has in his career

      I just wish this had been done as haiku

      Other than Jock and Luka there was no one I loved more in this draft than Wendell. Shocked he fell as far as he did, below Bagley anyway, and will be pretty surprised if he isn’t at least the fourth best rookie after Ayton, Doncic, and MitchRob.

      A parallel universe where we drafted both Carter and MitchRob is my happy place right now….

    13. Z-man

      I think Ayton will disappoint, not as bad as Okafor but along those lines. He’s not gonna Physically dominate NBA bigs in the post, is not a reliable perimeter shooter and doesn’t protect the rim. His ceiling is Amare, which is awesome, but there’s not much margin for error.

      Carter is really impressive. He seems in better shape and was moving very well in SL and the skills are obviously there.

      Who knows with Doncic?

      I’m still thinking that Bamba has unlimited upside. He is still so underdeveloped physically that it’s hard to tell what he will morph into.

    14. 2FOR18, understands math

      I was already leaning WCJ over Bagley, but then when Bagley wouldn’t submit to measurements (at the combine?) and that video came out where he stood next to Peja and Peja looked taller than Bagley, I really didn’t want any part of him if I were picking in the top 6.
      It’s hard to believe people get paid so much to do nothing but pay attention to basketball and be so incompetent. How do you take Bagley over Doncic when you already have Giles????

    15. Zanzibar

      Knicks should feature a spread PnR offense right out of the chute using Mitch at the 5. All Mitch has to do is dive to the rim just like Tyson used to do. The PnR could be initiated by Frank/Timmy/Burke/Knox or even Dotson (I saw a couple of nice Dot-Mitch PnRs in summer league). The spread PnR should be a staple even when KP returns and plays the 4 since he’s able to shoot the 3 ball. The offense will be much more diverse when KP returns (e.g., PnPoP, KP ISO, KP off screens) but it’s better team get used to spread PnR rather than plays built around Enes’ skills since he’ll be gone next summer.

      Enes could help Mitch a lot in practice in terms of Robinson having to box him out and keep him off the boards. Also defending him in the post.

    16. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      I’m just glad my pick of SGA is looking solid. Not that I’m rooting AGAINST Knox; I hope he turns out to be good. It’s possible he becomes a high volume efficient scorer who isn’t terrible on defense. But summer league hasn’t made me a believer. A hoper, but not a believer.

      As for KP being a ballstopper, I’m not either: he’s a smart player, he’ll figure it out. He’s got the talent and the intelligence; the only question is his health/endurance.

    17. Z-man

      @16 agree on all fronts. Does anyone worry that if the Knicks don’t have takers in July2019 FA market that they might re-sign Enes to a 4-year/$72 Mill deal?

    18. mase

      This idea of enes making Mitch a stronger defender is getting overblown and I think they can be played together if Mitch can defend out to the perimeter like he was doing in SL especially if either can hit the occasional 3.

    19. Z-man

      I’m not so sure about KP’s b-ball IQ. He does a lot of stupid shit out there. I think he fancies himself to be Kevin Durant rather than Dirk. He loves dribbling way too much and seems resistant to developing a single unstoppable bread-and-butter move e.g. the Kareem Sky Hook, The Dirk One-legged Fadeaway, the Hakeem Dream Shake. He is not, nor will ever be, a Kevin Durant that has a dozen killer high-efficiency ways to score. Fiz needs to employ the same philosophy he espoused with Mitch…first, do the things you are already great at, then add on to those as you perfect new things. KP has become a Jack-of-all-trades, master of none on O. That’s not as smart as KP’s media savvy would suggest, he has an answer for everything but it’s all bs.

    20. lavor postell

      Does anyone worry that if the Knicks don’t have takers in July2019 FA market that they might re-sign Enes to a 4-year/$72 Mill deal?

      No. I worry they may re-sign him, but not on a batshit crazy contract like that.

    21. Zanzibar

      KP’s got a mediocre Bball IQ and poor work ethic. I worry that Fiz took the wrong lesson from the Gasol situation. Marc’s a 30+yo established star and Fiz’s personality and pushing him to expand his game grated on him. KP is 22yo and we need Fiz to challenge and push KP not coddle him.

    22. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      I’m not very worried about giving out a crazy contract to Kanter. All the contracts that Perry has done so far are reasonably priced. I am worried about his taste in players and his ability to assemble a team that can both score and defend. He hasn’t failed at doing this, but he hasn’t shown signs of success at this so far either.

    23. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Enes Kanter will probably be a Brooklyn Net in July. With KP, Robinson, and Knox all needing front court minutes I doubt there’s any room for Kanter long term.

      While I love Robinson already, the Knicks, if they play everybody by merit, are a 23 win team at best. Kanter and Mudiay are an unstoppable tank on defense, and if Knox has a Beasley-esque season this year (and I doubt he’ll be as efficient offensively but he could be better defensively), you’re talking about the worst defense in the NBA over 82 games. We also have a single 40% 3 point shooter on the roster, and he’s likely to come off the bench this season and unlikely to lead the team in 3PA. That honor will go to Tim Hardaway Jr and his career 35% mark. This is the making of a terrible defense and below average offense unless Frank Ntilikina and Mitchell Robinson get a lot of time. Those two are probably the 22nd best defense in the NBA by themselves, but their limited offense will keep them off the floor.

      Maybe Mario Hezonja has a breakout season, maybe TH2 has a career year at 27, maybe Kanter improves defensively, maybe Fizdale turns water into wine on defense, and maybe Trey Burke is the real deal. But it’s more likely that we suck, and I’m embracing that. There is no Kristaps Porzingis to save our defense this year, and that means a lot of losing.

    24. mase

      Mario should render Timmy all but obsolete with his passing abilities. We still have a glut at off guard /Timmy, Lee, hezonja is a tweener, Baker, Dotson, frank another tweener. Very balanced roster at guards spots?

    25. d-mar

      There’s no need to worry about accidentally winning too many games this season, our defense is going to be god awful. The summer league Knicks made guys like Ojeleye on the Celtics look like LeBron, there will be many more instances of scrubs “elevating” their games against our awful perimeter defense.

      Speaking of Boston, in typical Ainge fashion he moves Isaiah Thomas after his best season ever, gets Kyrie Irving back and Thomas proceeds to become an injury ravaged mess who just signed with Denver for $2 MM. Every player Ainge trades becomes a worse player on his new team, just uncanny (and I don’t want to hear about the Brad Stevens effect)

    26. DRed

      We could cut a bad young player, like Mudiay, a bad veteran like Thomas, or a fairly productive young player. What should we do? Someone help me answer this.

    27. Bruno Almeida

      @26

      It’s like the days of Jodie Meeks or Wayne Ellington casually dropping 35 on us never left!

      Yeah I wouldn’t be too worried about winning many games until KP is back, I just hope he takes his sweet time to recover properly and that Fizdale sits Lance and the other veterans to focus on development. There’s not much else we can ask for this season.

    28. Z-man

      @27 I know it’s annoying but it’s hard to cut players who you have more cache invested in, or who have bigger contracts, or at positions you are thin at. Lance is probably a better player than Troy right now and might have value as an expiring (considering he is only guaranteed a Mill in 2019-20). Mudiay is still very young and might develop somewaht and is at a very thin position. But yeah, it’s annoying.

    29. GoNyGoNyGo

      If Kanter, Burke, and Hardaway win games for us, I’m not so sure it’s a bad thing. Kanter and Hardaway are 26. Burke is 25. Lee and Lance need to be traded. They’ll have market value. The problem is that they’ve got a combined $19M salary that doesn’t come off the books until 2020.

      And although we’ve written Noah off, I wonder what a 2nd year off has done for his health? I had the same shoulder injury and it took more than a year to recover. That’s something I’ll keep an eye on in the fall. If he can help mentor Robinson defensively, that could be very valuable.

    30. Will the Thrill

      Winning too many games on accident shouldn’t be a worry anymore, and not just because the defense is going to be terrible. The draft lottery odds have changed so much that tanking doesn’t matter too much. I think people are underestimating just how much the odds have been flattened. Take a look here: http://www.tankathon.com/pick_odds

    31. Z-man

      I don’t know if Noah is anything but a washed-up big-mouthed, lying, PED-using, malcontent albatross at this point. Let him mentor someone in China at this point.

    32. Z-man

      There’s still a sizable difference between top-3 and say, #8. And next year’s draft is supposedly thin.

    33. Hubert

      The contract detail that Z-Man keeps pointing out makes Lance one of our most valuable assets. Next summer, he can be traded for any player making up to $12mm, and the team acquiring can waive him for $1mm and save $11mm. A savings of $11mm to a team in the luxury tax or looking for cap space is worth at least a first round pick, probably more. Waiving him now would be a terrible mistake.

    34. GoNyGoNyGo

      I don’t know if Noah is anything but a washed-up big-mouthed, lying, PED-using, malcontent albatross at this point.

      I think the most important phrase you used was “I don’t know if….”. Truth is, we don’t know. That’s why I’m curious because there’s no way we’re shedding that salary. The stretch buy-out is an option but it doesn’t impact this year’s salary cap but it spreads his following year salary over 3 (instead of 19.295M in 2019-20, it would be 6.43M for 2019-20, 20-21 and 21-22).

      In my eyes, next off-season isn’t the big free-agent year, it’s 2020 for us. Hopefully, by then, we have a solid core of young lottery picks that had 2 years to develop chemistry.

    35. Bruno Almeida

      I really think we should just Marbury Noah and leave him away. He already made it clear last season he’s not healthy and not in the mood to be helpful, why should we care?

      If he shows up to camp healthy use him as a backup for a couple of spot minutes here and there, just so he won’t make another shitstorm, our coaches should be mentoring the development of Robinson and the other guys, not him. Then stretch him next year if something amazing comes up or just let him expire.

      Thanks Phil!

    36. english_knick

      @33 – the flattening of the odds clearly makes a big difference but don’t underestimate the importance of the final standings in terms of limiting how far you can slide. If you have the worst record you floor is 5th. If you have the 4th worst, your odds of a top pic are similar but your floor is now 8th. Difference between 5th and 8th in a weak draft is large.

    37. chrisk06811

      If guarding Enes in practice makes you a better defensive player, then why did Billy H look so lost on D last year everytime he got in a game?

    38. Hubert

      Thanks Phil!

      We have ~$40mm this year and next year tied up in Noah, Lee, and Lance Thomas. AND he gave away our extremely valuable 2nd round pick to Philadelphia. It’s unbelievable.

      Showing restraint in 2019 is going to be the benchmark for this front office’s competency. If, for some miraculous reason Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard wants to play here, then fine go ahead and stretch Noah, buy out Lance, and use an asset to dump Lee. But let Kyrie and Jimmy Butler find other homes.

      KP, Mitchell, Knox, and Frank is a flawed but encouraging core. Add a top 3 pick in 2019 and a top 15 pick in 2020 and we could all be very happy Knicks fans two years from today. Even if KP is signed to an ill-advised Devin Booker type deal, we’d have up to $50mm available in cap space that summer if we let all the Phil mistakes roll off and stretched Timmy before his final year.

      I don’t know if the Knicks are capable of executing a plan that requires two years of patience, though.

    39. ClashFan

      @41
      I’ve never felt that the Lee or LT contracts were that bad. LT is basically an expiring, now. Noah, of course, was atrocious.

      I too hope that the FO waits until 2020 before spending any big money. I wonder, though, how bad Timmy would have to be for Mills to face up to that bad deal and stretch him?

    40. Bruno Almeida

      Well, Lance’s contract in a vacuum is not bad, a 4 year 27 million with the last year partially guaranteed. The issue is paying anything more than the veteran minimum for Lance Thomas. It’s not Luol Deng or Chandler Parsons but just giving Lance any contract is bad enough.

      Lee’s contract is decent enough for a player like him, it just was the wrong team at the wrong time giving it to him.

      All Mills and Perry have to do really is to not make similar misguided moves and we should be fine for the future.

    41. TheOakmanCometh

      The contract detail that Z-Man keeps pointing out makes Lance one of our most valuable assets. Next summer, he can be traded for any player making up to $12mm, and the team acquiring can waive him for $1mm and save $11mm. A savings of $11mm to a team in the luxury tax or looking for cap space is worth at least a first round pick, probably more. Waiving him now would be a terrible mistake.

      Unfortunately this is not longer the case. Under the new CBA, the non-guaranteed portion of contracts is not counted in trades. So Lance only counts as $1m if he were traded next summer.

    42. Donnie Walsh

      Unfortunately this is not longer the case. Under the new CBA, the non-guaranteed portion of contracts is not counted in trades. So Lance only counts as $1m if he were traded next summer.

      But Lance Thomas’s contract is grandfathered into the old CBA.

    43. english_knick

      We probably wouldn’t need to stretch Timmy – year four is a player option and he may well opt out to seek a multi-year deal.

      I think the Lakers model is the right one. Get to 2019 knowing how we would create space if a top tier FA we’re willing to commit. If not, roll it over by adding short deals. For example, we can add one more year of Hezonja if he’s any good then we’d have his early bird rights.

      Cap is slated to be $120m in 2020 and if we haven’t stretched Noah and if THj opts out we have a LOT of space. I think nearer $70m depending on where we pick in 19 and 20.

    44. Jack Bauer

      “I don’t know if Noah is anything but a washed-up big-mouthed, lying, PED-using, malcontent albatross at this point. ”

      Is there any evidence that he’s not??
      He is DONE and the Knicks are screwed for the remaining years on his contract.

      “Let him mentor someone in China at this point.” – Agree

    45. ClashFan

      So Lance only counts as $1m if he were traded next summer.

      So, there may be a silver lining in there? But I’d guess Mills and co. just want the cap space.

    46. Donnie Walsh

      Mario should render Timmy all but obsolete with his passing abilities.

      Post of the summer.

    47. swiftandabundant

      I’ve used the “mentoring” angle a lot to justify bad contracts but more and more I think this idea of mentoring is really overblown. I do think a young team should have a few vets on the team to keep the young guys in line and teach them what life in the NBA is about, but our young players should be developed by the coaches, not by other players. If Noah were in his prime and still a badass on defense then that would be a different story but I don’t think an over the hill player who used to be good can really mentor or teach a young player how to be good on defense. At least, not more than a coach would.

    48. djphan

      we’ve collected a lot of guys who can’t really handle the ball or create for others… no knox is not that guy either and will most likely be exacerbating that problem… it’s gonna be a lot of catch and shoot off screens or a heavy reliance on burke and frank which probably won’t end well…

    49. TheOakmanCometh

      If Noah were in his prime and still a badass on defense then that would be a different story but I don’t think an over the hill player who used to be good can really mentor or teach a young player how to be good on defense. At least, not more than a coach would.

      Plus Noah’s relationship with the franchise is not so bueno right now. If Mills asked him to come back as the 3rd center, play 8 mpg, and spend most of his time grooming a rookie to take his place, I don’t think he’d be the most enthusiastic mentor.

      If we’re going to bring him back, we should give him some minutes and see if he has anything left to contribute. Otherwise just tell him to stay home.

    50. Zanzibar

      Someone reporting NYK and Thibs have entered prelim negotiations on a Butler trade. Butler bad-mouthed his teammates and young star KAT so it makes sense they’d want to be rid of him before the season starts. Who would Butler agree to sign with after a trade? Jimmy just liked an instagram about he and Kyrie joining the Knicks. That would be a great coup if Perry could engineer THJ/2nd round picks for Butler. I believe (not sure at all) Jimmy’s cap hold if he joined the Knicks via trade might be about 20m which would give us enough money to take Kyrie and then go over the cap to sign Jimmy and KP.

    51. JK47

      we’ve collected a lot of guys who can’t really handle the ball or create for others… no knox is not that guy either and will most likely be exacerbating that problem…

      Yeah this is not a good passing team. There is probably goin to be a lot of Knox iso, a lot of THJ iso and so on. The addition of Knox gives the team another guy who can run the floor, so they will probably get more easy transition buckets than Knicks teams of recent vintage, but this still seems like an offense that is going to struggle with eFG% and FT/FGA.

    52. Donnie Walsh

      Someone reporting NYK and Thibs have entered prelim negotiations on a Butler trade.

      I know the negatives on Butler, and he makes little sense for a team in the Knicks’ position, and the Knicks have made dumb trades for veterans too many times to even count over the past 20 years, but Jimmy Butler would be the best basketball player to wear a Knicks Jersey since Ewing. He’s probably the best player in the league at his position, is in his prime (should have been in the top 3 of MVP voting when he got injured last year), and seems like a dynamic enough personality to entertain in New York. It would be exciting to have him in NY, especially if it didn’t include moving any young players or picks.

      The Knicks could even trade Noah and Thomas for Dieng in the trade and save Minnesota money while also preserving their own cap situation in 2019 and 2020.

    53. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      @57 If I had to pick between giving up assets now for Jimmy Butler and having a Charlottesque lottery pick OR tanking and securing a top 3 pick I’d go with the latter. The number one pick in the draft means RJ Barrett, and a top 5 pick plus what it would take to secure Jimmy Butler could get you Anthony Davis on draft night.

      19 year old – 27 year old RJ Barrett > 30 year old – 34 year old Jimmy Butler.

      Anthony Davis > Jimmy Butler.

      As much as I’d love to have Jimmy Butler, I’ll pass. The plan should be tank for RJ, draft RJ, trade everybody but RJ and KP for AD, and then go grab Kyrie. If I couldn’t draft RJ, then I trade everything but KP for AD and then go grab Kyrie. Jimmy Butler at age 30 should not be in the plans at all.

    54. Zanzibar

      Here’s how the #’s look: LINK.

      If Jimmy declined his player option, his hold would be 30m. Knicks would have to trade Courtney to free up about 31m to sign Kyrie and then go over cap to sign Jimmy, KP, Burke. Our roster:
      1: Kyrie/Burke/Frank
      2: Butler/Frank/Dot
      3: Knox/Dot
      4: KP/Knox/2019 Pick
      5: Mitch/Room Exception

    55. JK47

      Butler and Gorgui Deng for Noah and Hardaway! It works in the trade machine!

      #AGirlCanDream

    56. JK47

      We really need to stop assuming we’re going to be able to tank our way into RJ Barrett. With the flattened odds the worst team in the league now only has a 14% chance at the #1 pick. If you’re the worst team in the league you only get a 42% chance to make it into the top 3. It’s very easy to be a truly terrible team and still pick 5th or 6th now.

    57. Donnie Walsh

      The plan should be tank for RJ

      How can you follow the NBA in any capacity and think that this is an actual strategy?

    58. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Even if you don’t get RJ Barrett and you don’t like any of the other players, you can flip the #2 pick, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Courtney Lee for Anthony Davis. The point still stands.

    59. alsep73

      Noah + Tim for Butler + Dieng does work in the trade machine, but it also sticks us with Dieng’s contract for one season past when Noah’s deal would have expired. Lee + Lance (plus a pick, presumably) works under the cap and doesn’t extend any obligations.

    60. Donnie Walsh

      Even if you don’t get RJ Barrett and you don’t like any of the other players, you can flip the #2 pick, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Courtney Lee for Anthony Davis. The point still stands.

      You’re writing a script in your head that has no bearing on reality.

    61. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      As the great Lottery Wheel proposal mentioned, the flattened odds don’t de-incentivize tanking. The reason that I want the Knicks to have the worst record in the league this year is that they’ll have a 27.4% chance at Barrett or Williamson (I want the latter, as he looks like a guy who’s got Aaron Gordon as an absolute floor, with Barkley 2.0 as a ceiling) and no worse than the #5 pick.

    62. JK47

      Even if you don’t get RJ Barrett and you don’t like any of the other players, you can flip the #2 pick, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Courtney Lee for Anthony Davis. The point still stands.

      Yeah, but even the worst team in the league gets only a 28% chance of a top 2 pick. If you’re like the fourth worst team in the league or something, you could very easily end up picking 7th or something like that with the new system. And the #7 overall pick is not that valuable.

      You have to tank REALLY hard just to get to a guaranteed #4 pick, and there is always stiff competition in the tankathon.

    63. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      that would be a great coup if Perry could engineer THJ/2nd round picks for Butler.

      Yeah, uh… this isn’t going to happen.

    64. Brian Cronin

      If the Wolves are seriously selling low on Butler, then Thibs is a worse GM than I think and I think he’s a really dumb GM.

      That said, I doubt he’s actually that much worse than I think, so the odds are that the Knicks don’t have what it takes to get Butler (or, if they do, it will be too much to give up).

    65. Donnie Walsh

      The old adage “a bird in the hand is worth two in some bushes 60 miles away” comes to mind.

    66. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I don’t know how hard the Knicks have to tank if our rotation is:

      Burke/Mudiay
      Hardaway Jr/Ntilikina
      Hezonja/Lee
      Knox/Thomas
      Kanter/Robinson

      Our best offensive player is Kanter and he’s guaranteed to sink our defense. This honestly looks like a 23 win team next season, which is probably good enough for 3rd worst. The lottery odds are flattened, but it’s still an asset you can use in a trade or worse comes to worst we’re stuck picking in the lottery. Losing as many games as you can is still a more sound strategy than trading the farm (because that’s what it will take) for Jimmy Butler.

    67. Zanzibar

      Thibs doesn’t have much leverage here. Butler’s leaving next summer and would be a toxic presence on team this year. If Butler tells him Knicks or nothing, what’s Thibs to do? THJ is not a bad player to plug into that team. Of course, Thibs will want a 1st round pick in addition to THJ, but the Knicks would have most of the leverage here. Maybe a pick swap?

    68. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I would take nothing if the options were nothing or pay TH2 $20M (remember the 15% trade kicker). Thibs would be coaching for his job if he decided to pay Wiggins $30M and Hardaway Jr $20M

    69. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      You really have to look at it from the perspective that Tim Hardaway’s contract is a nonstarter for a team that gave Andrew Wiggins a max contract. Do you know how bad Minnesota would look if TH2 got $20M, Wiggins got $30M, and Towns got $30M? You can’t hand out $80M to one way players, especially when two of those one way players aren’t good at the one way they play. Thibs gets fired and nobody good takes that job because you’re stuck with those three huge contracts and Towns is too good for you to get a top pick in the draft. Minnesota doesn’t do a Butler trade for anything less than Knox, Lee, Thomas, and a 1st round pick, and the only way they take that garbage is if Jimmy Butler actually demands a trade and actually says he will only re-sign in New York.

    70. Zanzibar

      If Thibs lets Butler walk, Wolves will still be over the cap in summer of 2019. THJ + pick swap + 2 2nd round picks is probably better than nothing.

    71. swiftandabundant

      This is why a coach shouldn’t also be a GM but it could be good for us. Thibs as a coach wants to win now. Thibs as a GM is still a coach first. So for him, getting prime THJ for Butler plus some second rounders…he probably beleives he can turn Hardaway into Butler with good coaching.

      I like letting Fiz have decision and control over the process of which players are on the team but still ultimately letting Perry make the call. A coach and GM working together is the best way but when coaches are also GMs, its usually bad because usually the GM side of their brain loses to the coaching side of their brain.

    72. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      Some trade heists involve getting a superstar (Gasol, Garnett, Chris Paul) for a bunch of trash and some lottery tickets. Sometimes the shafted team gets lucky (Marc Gasol, Lou Williams) but mostly they’re just shafted.

      Some other trade heists involve giving up a garbage player (Bargnani, Curry, Bennett, Wiggins) for literally anything of value. If the Raptors traded Bargnani for a ham sandwich, they’d still have come out ahead on the deal.

      Trading chaff for Butler is in a weird, no-man’s-land of NBA trade value: he’s undeniably good, a rare gem at a weak position league-wide, he’s still in his prime, he plays hard every night, and he’s reasonably healthy, historically. That said, he’d improve the Knicks by enough wins to make them irrelevant in the lottery, and either walk next offseason OR sign what will almost certainly be an overpay, especially in years 3-4 of his contract. Pass.

      It’s all about the win curve, and Butler is the wrong guy for this stage of a rebuild. He’d be better off going to LAL or SAS. Hell, why not ask for a trade to Philly if he’s going to be traded for scraps? They have the cap space and a glaring need for a 2-guard who can shoot and guard.

    73. Jack Bauer

      @79 – In other words we should stop talking about acquiring Jimmy Butler right now.

      Tanking = better odds at a top pick. Not guaranteed but better, sign me up

    74. dtrickey

      It’s all about the win curve, and Butler is the wrong guy for this stage of a rebuild. He’d be better off going to LAL or SAS. Hell, why not ask for a trade to Philly if he’s going to be traded for scraps? They have the cap space and a glaring need for a 2-guard who can shoot and guard.

      100% agree. Upside of this off season is that we haven’t been linked to any of the top(ish) FA’s or in trade convos for the big names (excluding the fleeting Butler talks), which leads me to believe the FO is at least thinking along the same lines (but with NBA FO’s who knows?). I mean Butler isn’t the worst guy we could trade for, but I am not sure it the right move for us ATM.

    75. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      I have no problem with trading for Butler as long as we don’t give up a core young piece, but it does open to the door to signing him back for another long contract after this one is over. That might be a bit dangerous. He’s 28. He probably has 3-4 more really productive years left. If you have him for that long and let him walk or trade him that’s fine. If you have him around for longer, the tail end could be an issue just when some of the younger players are peaking.

    76. Donnie Walsh

      he probably beleives he can turn Hardaway into Butler with good coaching.

      Yes, Thibs being clinically insane could work to the Knicks’ advantage, for sure. It’s always beneficial to enter into trade negotiations with the delusional. (Just ask Vlad Putin:)

    77. JK47

      Yeah, I have to agree that Butler wouldn’t really be right for our win curve. Even if we can’t tank all the way to #1, we should be looking to add another high pick next year, even if it’s a mid-lottery pick because we couldn’t win the Tankathon and then get bad lotto ball luck. I don’t think next year’s draft is as weak as people are saying, there are already some pretty intriguing names in it.

    78. Zanzibar

      I don’t get why people would be averse to signing Kyrie and Butler to 4-year deals and giving up next-to-nothing. We’d be competing for the ECF against Boston and 76ers who are not exactly juggernauts. At the end of the 4 years, KP, Mitch, Knox and Frank would still be here so it’s not like the well would be empty. Timing is rarely ideal and that’s not a reason not to act. It’s delusional to plod along presuming AD or Giannis will join the team. And when they don’t the front office is gonna overpay for guys like Tobias Harris and Timmy.

    79. Owen

      I love Butler but the only reason I’d want to trade for him is to immediately repackage him to the Sixers. So yeah, what THCJ said.

      He’s a great player, no doubt. Why the hell would he want to come here though?

    80. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      @89

      On our current trajectory, after we add another 18 year old lottery pick in 2019, there are going to be people suggesting we trade KP because he doesn’t fit the timeline anymore. :-)

    81. 2FOR18, understands math

      I’m for signing Kyrie and against trading for Butler (unless they’re dumb enough to take Timmy)

      At some point, don’t we need a real pg if we’re ever going to develop into a real team? Clyde is not walking through that door. Either trade for Ball or sign Kyrie next off-season. Stand pat and tank this season.

    82. swiftandabundant

      Yeah I also do not get the idea that every single player on our team has to be under 24 in order to compete. Its completely unrealistic to think we can create a decade long window where we compete for a championship every single year.

      Take the Mavs and Dirk. They were pretty much always a playoff team with Dirk from early on till a few years ago. But some years they were bounced in the first round. Some years they got to the 2nd round or the WCF. They got to the finals twice and won it all once. Because they had Dirk and some other good players, they were usually able to retool every couple of years when they started to slip.

      Its impossible to build a team that is elite for a decade straight. If we sign Kyrie or Butler or other older players who are still in their prime, when they are done with their contracts, we would still have KP, Knox, Frank in their primes. Are we gonna then turn around and say, oh Frank is 27, we should trade him because he doesn’t fit the timelime.

      I get that we want a young core. And I get that we don’t want to overpay for faux superstars on the wrong side of 30. But if you can reasonably assume that a player you are getting will be productive and live up to their contract for the entire time of their contract, then why does it matter if they are 22, 24 or 28? As long as you aren’t signing them when they’re 32 or 34 and/or aren’t overpaying them then you’re good to go.

    83. 2FOR18, understands math

      Knox made 1st team All Summer League. Ptz

      JJJr was All 2nd team. Tells you all you need to know about experts

    84. Jack Bauer

      prime THJ
      “luxury Kia” – Good One !

      Minnesota is not accepting the dreck that the offers above are suggesting for Butler. If we have to start throwing in No. 1 picks I say hard pass. I like him, he’s a good player, but it will take to much to acquire him and even if they did it would screw up the odds for a top 3 pick next year. As stated above why would he want to go to NY any way?

      For once just stay the course and wait until the crappy contracts fall off before taking on new crappy contracts.

    85. Bruno Almeida

      @93

      The issue with this line of reasoning is that it worked for the Mavs because Dirk was a top 5 player, MVP candidate, in contention for best power forward ever kinda guy. They had the most important piece locked up, no one is going to be mad about building a win now team around prime Dirk Nowitzki. No one is telling the Bucks to go young and rebuild because they have Giannis.

      So no, not every player needs to be young. But if the player in question sucks, I.e Lance Thomas or Tim Hardaway Jr for example, I would much rather have 20 year olds that suck but have some potential to get better. And, the most important part, you need at least one established superstar to do it, or at least the ways to find one (young players who could develop, assets for trades, first round picks).

    86. Hubert

      I don’t know if the Knicks are capable of executing a plan that requires two years of patience, though.

      ^ that was me 6 hours ago. Now I’m afraid we don’t have the patience to get through the summer of 2018!

      I like Jimmy Butler but we would be much better served having the worst record in the league. There is *always* going to be an unhappy player available and we should wait until we are in the right stage of our development to acquire one.

    87. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Butler makes no sense unless Kyrie (or a similar star) comes here also. Butler is going to move the needle, but not by enough and for long enough for us to effectively contend as we wait for Knox, Frank, Robinson and the 2019 pick to develop. By the time they are peaking, he’ll be declining. However, I could easily see Kyrie, Butler, and KP doing some serious damage in 2020-2021 as those kids start coming into their own. Then as Butler finally ages, you still have the sustainable young core peaking and you are trying to fill that team out with new pieces. I could also imagine having KP and Butler here being enough to get that 3rd star here next year. That has to be considered. Adding 2 legit stars can really jump start the rebuild and imo makes perfect sense as long as you aren’t trading away the future to do it.

    88. danvt

      When were the Knicks last good for an extended period? When they got Ewing with the #1 pick. This team will be no better than the 12-13 house of cards until it gets another foundational piece. That may take a while because even a top pick doesn’t guarantee a Pat Ewing. But there are other upsides to keeping first round picks and avoiding veteran FA’s/ trades. Right away, like this year, you have some kids who have some intriguing upside, haven’t had injuries, and, as a fan, you feel like they’re members of your team in the truest sense (the endowment effect, LOL) If you have a confluence of that type of player over a decade and you might actually build a decent core. Maybe then you swing a value trade like IND did and have a nice little playoff team, if not a juggernaut.

      What I’m saying is, trading a #1 for Jimmy Butler is the wrong strategy. They can have all of Lee, TH2, Noah, Thomas and a 2nd rounder if Thibs is dumb enough but some win now move that includes a first rounder would be so freakin’ moronic.

      The problem is, our roster looks SO thin right now, I’m just not sure I can trust that they wanna go to war with that. They look like they’re in prime position to do something dumb.

      Do they think KP=Ewing and they just need one more star? Not a good idea at this point…

    89. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      Yeah I also do not get the idea that every single player on our team has to be under 24 in order to compete. Its completely unrealistic to think we can create a decade long window where we compete for a championship every single year.

      It’s not about age. It’s about contract value. Players under 24 are far more likely to have terms favorable to the team.

      Take the Mavs and Dirk. They were pretty much always a playoff team with Dirk from early on till a few years ago. But some years they were bounced in the first round. Some years they got to the 2nd round or the WCF. They got to the finals twice and won it all once. Because they had Dirk and some other good players, they were usually able to retool every couple of years when they started to slip.

      The Mavs’ 50-win streak also happened before advanced basketball analytics were a thing, so finding the edge (at least relative to their peers) wasn’t all that hard for anyone who happened to get their hands on Basketball on Paper. I’m fairly confident that anyone who read about the Four Factors in 2002 could have put together a playoff team.

      Dirk, as mentioned above, was also a true superstar who has played >90% of his team’s games in all but three of his 20 NBA seasons, including a troubled rookie year in which he was benched for poor play. Three times out of twenty! He led the team in WS from 2001 through the end of 2012. That is an absurd streak, unlikely to be repeated.

      Using the Mavs as a representative example is pretty flimsy. They positioned themselves uniquely, rivaled only by the Spurs in their seeming inability to make bad roster moves around their superstar(s).

    90. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      Its impossible to build a team that is elite for a decade straight. If we sign Kyrie or Butler or other older players who are still in their prime, when they are done with their contracts, we would still have KP, Knox, Frank in their primes. Are we gonna then turn around and say, oh Frank is 27, we should trade him because he doesn’t fit the timelime.

      The point is that you develop a core through losing games for draft position, stockpiling picks and winning trades and then you sign the star. There’s no point in taking a 20-win core to a 35-win core by trading for Kyrie or Butler. By trading for them now, you demand that the team’s window is right this instant, and when it doesn’t pan out (because, again, 35 wins, at beast), what do you do? Shrug, say, “How could we have known?” and punt again?

      But if you can reasonably assume that a player you are getting will be productive and live up to their contract for the entire time of their contract, then why does it matter if they are 22, 24 or 28? As long as you aren’t signing them when they’re 32 or 34 and/or aren’t overpaying them then you’re good to go.

      It depends on whether you’re giving up assets for them. If you trade away future picks for Kyrie Irving, you’re making a bet that he will outperform the $200M contract he’s due to receive from his next team. If he doesn’t, your rebuild is dead in the water, and you have a guard already halfway through his athletic prime who’s owed way too much money.

      The Knicks have made so many bad decisions over the last twenty years that it’s easy to forget why they made them: because they thought they had found the “final piece” to a winning club. They didn’t give up the farm for Curry or Carmelo because they were looking for a marginal improvement; they were going for broke. I’m glad that this time, we’re talking about legitimate stars (for once), but it’s still bad timing. Be patient.

    91. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      Right away, like this year, you have some kids who have some intriguing upside, haven’t had injuries, and, as a fan, you feel like they’re members of your team in the truest sense (the endowment effect, LOL)

      You’re missing the most important thing: the rookie-scale contract.

      The problem with optimism in the past is that people were expecting players on veteran deals (Lance Thomas, Tim Hardaway, Andrea Bargnani) to outperform their contract. The rookie contracts go both ways — if the player is a stud, you get extreme surplus value (Embiid). If the player is a dud (Jahlil Okafor), you cut him loose and move on.

      When you have a Bargnani on your team, you’re getting the worst of both worlds.

    92. english_knick

      Just to check, is there any evidence we’re even trying to trade for butler or is this a totally hypothetical discussion based on a liked tweet and years of knicks-induced PTSD?

    93. alsep73

      Not a single legit beat writer for either team has picked up on that story yet. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but the fact that only the Tommy Dees of the world are talking about it suggests it’s a thought exercise and not much else.

    94. Bruno Almeida

      @103

      Yeah, this is definitely the point.

      Of course you can get lucky and have veterans outperforming their contracts, it could theoretically happen, but why put yourself in this position when the downside is 4 years of being fucking terrible and the odds are obviously low? Specially when the downside for the rookie contracts strategy is much smaller and much, much easier to recover from? It’s literally going for the 20% chance of success with 80% chance of crippling destruction to the franchise instead of 20% chance of success with 80% chance of being in the same place you were 1 season ago.

      That said, I do feel Butler and Irving are very, very good players who are top 10-15 candidates when they are healthy, and i don’t think it’s entirely like giving Melo and Amare max contracts, it has a much better chance of working out eventually, but it’s still too risky. That’s why I said I’d be up for getting them both as free agents only under many conditions, such as KP shows improvement, one or more of the young guys looks like a stud and we don’t give up real assets.

    95. Zanzibar

      Just to check, is there any evidence we’re even trying to trade for butler or is this a totally hypothetical discussion based on a liked tweet and years of knicks-induced PTSD?

      The prelim discussions between NYK and Thibs was tweeted by the guy who called Kidd to Milwaukee before everyone else. It might be bogus but given the Butler-Wolves situation, Thibs looking into Butler trades is a possibility.

    96. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      You’re missing the most important thing: the rookie-scale contract.

      This isn’t as true anymore.

      When you draft 18-19 year old players, you typically don’t get much if any positive production for a couple of years. For example, I think highly of Frank long term, but he’s not worth what we are paying him now. The same will probably be true of Knox for a couple of years. If we are lucky and they finally start coming into their own in 2 years, we won’t get great value for long because we’ll have to extend them with very generous contracts before we even know what their top is. You could also draft a series of duds and be overpaying all of them for years while limiting your options.

      The market is reasonably efficient everywhere.

      You can outsmart it by drafting really well (possibly Robinson for us). But you can also outsmart it with relatively young players, veterans, and even aging veterans. There is no formula for success other than finding good value and eventually rolling it up into enough quality to contend.

    97. english_knick

      I’m a long-term member of team ‘rebuild through the draft’. My natural inclination is to pass on a butler trade. What I would say, though, is you have to be a bit flexible and opportunistic relative to your core plan.

      In this cycle of the team the optimal time to consider adding ‘stars’ is, as Jowles says, once the young guys have started to peak and those ‘stars’ tip you over into a contender – ironically, roughly what the Wolves thought they were doing adding Butler in the first place! In our case, 2019/2020 look like a window of opportunity given the cap – even if we’re not likely to actually be ‘one star away’ yet – and waiting also gives us another high lottery shot.

      But the cap point illustrates how much of a moving target you’re aiming for. If we max KP there’s then only a two year window before we’re making contract decisions on one rookie each year. If the current run of lotto picks is good we’ll run out of cap space on them fast. And if they’re not, we might be so far away that we’re right back at the start.

      So for me it comes down to the price. If the wolves want to give us Jimmy for TH2 and spare parts I’d probably do it. Yes, it costs us lotto position. But it probably massively increases our chances of adding a top FA without giving up further pieces, and a core of Butler, Kyrie plus all our current young pieces and a mid-first rounder in 2019 is a really good team. The same core plus a higher 1rp and a shortish window of cap space isn’t obviously better.

      Of course, I don’t think for a second that thibs is considering any such thing and the minute he says the words ‘unprotected’, ‘pick’, ‘knox’, ‘frank’ or ‘robinson’ I’m hanging up.

    98. Brian Cronin

      Of course, I don’t think for a second that thibs is considering any such thing and the minute he says the words ‘unprotected’, ‘pick’, ‘knox’, ‘frank’ or ‘robinson’ I’m hanging up.

      Yeah, agreed. If Thibs is willing to take a deal that there’s no way that he would take, then I’d be down with it, as well. As you note, since he isn’t, then I’m not.

    99. Bruno Almeida

      Well, if we do give up only THJ plus a 2nd to get Butler it should be a no-brainer, simply because it gets rid of THJ’s contract. It would be literally better than just waiting to sign Butler as a free agent.

      It just makes so little sense that Butler would be available for this sort of package and that no other team in the entire league would offer something better.

      The wolves were hot garbage without him last year, and as much as I don’t really respect Thibodeau much as a gm or coach, it sounds impossibly stupid.

    100. alsep73

      Trading for an impending free agent who allegedly wants to come here in the offseason anyway is a song we’ve sung before around here. That said, I agree with a few points expressed above:

      1)It would increase the odds of us attracting a second top FA (the rumored Kyrie/Butler combo) in the offseason, and as the Paul George/Lakers situation showed us, assuming the impending free agent will automatically come to your team doesn’t always work out;

      2)Butler, even with the mileage on him, is a different and better caliber of player than Melo or Amare, and the combination of him, Frank, Robinson, and a healthy KP would give us the kind of defense we’ve been craving forever; and

      3)Even considering everything from #1 & #2, I would still only do it if Thibs is just so inept/crazy/pressured that he does it for stuff we’d want to get rid of anyway.

    101. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      A more realistic plan for landing Butler and Kyrie would be to trade Hardaway and Lee for expiring contracts or into cap space. For example, Sacramento has about 20m in cap space. They might be willing to take one of them with a small incentive. Next year there will be a LOT of teams with extra cap space. It might cost us a couple of 2nd rounders and we’d probably have to let a couple of 2nd tier assets walk next year also, but if they can open “close” to 2 max slots they could come away with Kyrie, Butler, KP, Knox, Robinson, Frank, Dotson, and the 2019 pick. It won’t be easy, but it will be easier than stealing Butler.

    102. Donnie Walsh

      I like Jimmy Butler but we would be much better served having the worst record in the league.

      Did you know that the Knicks have the worst record in the league over the past 17 years? The worst. The worst record. The worst record in the league.

      And this is all they have to Show for it.

      The Knicks are so far behind the good teams in the league, and they are so far behind the curve of the rebuilding teams, that their prospects of winning a championship in the next ten years are remarkably poor.

      Having the worst record in the league, to add to the twenty-year masterpiece they’ve been painting, isn’t really going to help anything.

      If the Knicks decide to trade for Jimmy Butler, that’s not a bad thing. He’s a great offensive player and a great defensive player—the kind of Top Tier Talent the team has failed to provide for their fans to watch play for way too long now.

    103. Stratomatic "Porzingis, Ntilikina, Knox & Robinson are going to lead us to the promised land

      Brent Petermeier
      @CoachPetermeier

      Hey @DWolfsonKSTP I saw @LegionHoopsRoss reported the Wolves and Knicks are discussing a Butler trade.. any validity to that rumor?

      Darren Wolfson
      Verified account
      @DWolfsonKSTP

      Replying to @CoachPetermeier @LegionHoopsRoss
      Poked around, and told nothing to it.

    104. Brian Cronin

      Did you know that the Knicks have the worst record in the league over the past 17 years? The worst. The worst record. The worst record in the league.

      It just shows how inept they are that only twice in that 17-year time frame were they in the bottom five of the draft in any given year! Forget worse record, they haven’t even been top five more than twice! And one of those years, they didn’t own their own draft pick (one other time they were tied for the fifth worst record and, of course, lost the lottery and picked #6 and thus missed out on Kevin Love, who was drafted #5 overall)

    105. Grocer

      If it’s a steal then we should do it, he’s a good player on an expiring and at the least we could probably flip him mid season. But giving anything up for Butler now relies on such an improbable chain of events to pan out that it is way too Knicksy to even contemplate. Butler + Kyrie + KP sounds really good! What if Butler or Kyrie get seriously injured this coming season? What if KP comes back a complete dud? That’s just the top two, but it’s far more likely Kyrie signs somewhere other than here. The entire plan is ridiculously speculative. We have no idea how any of our guys with potential are going to pan out. There’s a bunch of teams for whom Butler makes a ton of sense. For the Knicks it just increases the uncertainty and frankly, dude got pissed off playing with younger guys this year. How much worse is that going to be when the younger guys aren’t KAT level? We need to be patient. For the Knicks, Butler just isn’t worth giving up a first. There are plenty of places he’d easily be worth that.

    106. Brian Cronin

      Yeah, exactly. Butler would totally be worth a lot of good assets for a lot of teams. Just not here, not now.

      But sure, if the Timberwolves want the Knicks’ dregs for some weird reason, go for it.

    107. Bruno Almeida

      @116

      And it really shows this stupid approach of never rebuilding properly, chasing stars and win now moves and winning cultures is garbage. There’s been like what, at least 6 of those seasons I remember where bottoming out for more losses and a true rebuild would have made a big difference in terms of the lottery, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017, not even counting 2002 because the draft was so laughably weak in the top 5 outside of Yao.

    108. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

      The market is reasonably efficient everywhere.

      Money owed from 2017 onward, assuming these players opt-in to their final years:

      Andrew Wiggins, $136M
      Blake Griffin, $160M
      Mike Conley, $113M
      Bradley Beal, $105M
      Jrue Holiday, $104M
      Aaron Gordon, $89M
      Gary Harris, $76M
      Chandler Parson, $72M
      Nic Batum, $99M
      Serge Ibaka, $65M
      Danilo Gallinari, $64M
      Gorgui Dieng, $62M
      Dennis Schroder, $62M
      Ryan Anderson, $61M
      Paul Millsap, $61M
      Cody Zeller, $56M
      Joakim Noah, $55M
      Luol Deng, $54M
      Evan Turner, $53M
      Tristan Thompson, $52M
      Chris Bosh, $52M
      Tim Hardaway, $72M
      Reggie Jackson, $51M
      Honey Nut Cheerios Anthony, $53M
      Evan Fucking Fournier, $68M
      TJ Warren, $50M
      Hassan Whiteside, $76M
      Dion Fucking Waiters, $47M
      Harrison Barnes, $73M

      Does that look like an efficient market to you? That looks like a ton of average-to-bad players with horrendous contracts.

    109. swiftandabundant

      I’m not actually advocating that we trade for Butler just questioning the logic that a lot of people here have that every player on our team has to be young in order to buy of properly. If there is a trade out there in our favor that Nets is an older prime player who can remain at his peak or near it for the duration of their contract I have no problem getting that player.

    110. Brian Cronin

      And it really shows this stupid approach of never rebuilding properly, chasing stars and win now moves and winning cultures is garbage. There’s been like what, at least 6 of those seasons I remember where bottoming out for more losses and a true rebuild would have made a big difference in terms of the lottery, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017, not even counting 2002 because the draft was so laughably weak in the top 5 outside of Yao.

      Ay-yep. This team has never tried a sustained rebuild since Dolan bought the team. They might finally be on the way to one, but, well, we shall see. ;)

    111. GoNyGoNyGo

      I don’t think that Dolan will tolerate a 2-year rebuild. I feel like we’ve gotten a good head start on one, but it’ll be easy to mess this up.

    112. Brian Cronin

      What sucks is that the one time he definitely would have allowed it, Phil, well, you know.

    113. Donnie Walsh

      Is Noah + Lee + Ntilikina + top-10 protected pick in 2020 for Butler + Dieng a bad trade for New York? Is it a bad trade for Minnesota?

      As a card-carrying pessimist and hater of everything the Knicks have done for the better part of my lifetime now, I’d be pretty happy. Butler would be the best player to play for the Knicks since Ewing, and would be the best player they’ve acquired via trade or free agency since Earl Monroe forty seven(!) years ago.

    114. Brian Cronin

      There is no way that the Wolves are ever taking a protected pick back in a Butler trade. Same with a pick swap (as the sole pick, that is. I could see them asking for a pick swap on top of an unprotected first rounder, but not instead of an unprotected first rounder). Hell, you’d be really hard pressed to get them to even accept an unprotected first from 2020 instead of 2019.

      Other good teams can and will make respectable offers if Butler is seriously available. Heck, what about the Lakers? Butler would cost a lot less than Kawhi.

    115. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      There is no realistic trade for Jimmy Butler that makes sense for us when you consider that Anthony Davis will be available in a year. Why flush those assets down the drain for 30 year old Jimmy Buckets when you can hold them for 26 year old Anthony Davis? The plan should be to sign Kyrie, get a healthy KP back, and then make a godfather offer for Anthony Davis.

      I guess I can see a situation where Jimmy Butler keeps us alive in the playoff chase until KP gets back and then they carry us to the 8th seed, but that just isnt worth as much as adding a top pick and/or trading that top pick for Anthony Davis.

      Anthony fucking Davis is going to be traded next summer and we need to be in that lottery. We cannot let Danny Ainge get his filthy hands on him.

    116. Donnie Walsh

      Anthony Davis will be available in a year.

      I’m sure there’s a good reason for being so certain about this, like you’re his Live Psychic Friend or something, but predicting player movement in the NBA one whole year out is like predicting where and when earthquakes are going to happen.

      Davis is signed until 2021.

      And if he’s made available in the summer of 2019 for some reason, like you said, Boston, and other teams, are so rich in assets that they can beat the Knicks if they want to, so building a strategy completely around acquiring him is more bunk than just clearing space for actual free agents.

    117. Donnie Walsh

      Other good teams can and will make respectable offers if Butler is seriously available. Heck, what about the Lakers? Butler would cost a lot less than Kawhi.

      But would those teams take Dieng? That’s a regrettable contract they gave him. Dumping that while picking up Ntilikina and a 1st rounder might be attractive, no?

    118. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, because the whole idea is so crazy; but Butler and Dieng for Noah and Hardaway and Burke actually works in the trade machine. Thibs probably thinks Noah is useful (and he is probably more useful than Dieng) and he gets youth in return for Butler. I’d rather give up Burke than a first round pick, although their value is roughly equivalent. It seems a fair deal to me, but will never happen.

    119. Brian Cronin

      But would those teams take Dieng? That’s a regrettable contract they gave him. Dumping that while picking up Ntilikina and a 1st rounder might be attractive, no?

      I’d hate to think that a team would ever take less in a trade of a star player, when they’re still trying to be competitive, just to dump a bad salary, but sadly I could possibly see Thibs being dumb enough to like that idea. I just don’t think he’d like the idea enough to not still insist on an unprotected first round pick in the deal. I think even the most optimistic of possible trades would have to include an unprotected 2019 first rounder. And I still wouldn’t want them to do that. Better to just hope Butler wants to sign her next year.

    120. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Brian, remember that Paul George was traded under similar circumstances and the Pacers got two players back and no first round picks. And I believe he was younger at the time than Butler is now. We can debate what might be a good deal for us, but don’t assume we have to give up a pick

    121. ess-dog

      I mean, healthy Kawhi is great, but busted, 1-year rental Kawhi…. that’s about a fair market price. Derozan is way better than any guard we have and Poetl is pretty good actually.

      Spurs didn’t want to rebuild with ultra young guys is my guess. If Murray improves, they have a team with 5 above average starters in a league that demands you to have a superstar (or 2).

      It will be fascinating to watch how they fare. I can’t imagine better than a 7 or 8 seed, but don’t underestimate Pop.

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